nightwatchmanA supervillain shootout may be the local Cleveland angle here, but you know what? Screw Cleveland. The Nightwatchman just fell into your lap, and your inner twelve-year-old superfan won’t let you pass up this opportunity.

You’ve got a mysterious vigilante to track.

You hit the alley just in time to see a dark cloak at the top of a rusty metal ladder on the building in front of you. He’s getting away! You throw yourself onto the ladder, but the life of a journalist is a mostly sedentary affair, and by the time you’ve reached the rooftop, you’re desperately out of breath and the Nightwatchman is already several buildings over and quickly disappearing into the skyline.

It turns out that rooftop scrambling is an awkward, grimy business, and although there’s no gap between buildings, the various architects involved clearly didn’t put much thought into the needs of anyone trying to participate in an action sequence on top of them. By the time you reach the end of the block, your quarry is nowhere to be seen. Catching your breath, you scan the area for any clue to where he went. The next building is at least 30 feet away — way too far to jump.  You also notice that the alley directly below you is blocked on one side by a brick wall and on the other by an ancient-looking dumpster and pile of debris. There’s a fire escape leading down into it, but other than from the rooftop you’re currently standing on, there’s really no way in or out.

Curious. You climb down, and the area appears altogether abandoned. The only marginally interesting feature is the metal dumpster, which looks like it’s been rusted shut for decades. You give it a shove, but it doesn’t budge.

Suddenly a blast of steam hits you in the face from underneath the dumpster. There’s a loud click, and the entire thing shifts about four feet to the side, knocking you to the pavement in the process. It’s on rails! The moving dumpster reveals a circular hole in the asphalt and a ladder leading down into the darkness.

You’ve just discovered a secret passage — could the Nightwatchman have some kind of safehouse here? In Cleveland? Or maybe it’s a villain’s hideout — this could be a lair, for all you know. After a bit of hemming and hawing, curiosity finally wins out over good sense and you hesitantly climb down into the hole. As soon as your head is clear, the dumpster slides closed above you, shutting you in the darkness with a clang. You frantically grasp around for some kind of control mechanism, but feel only cold, rough stone.

Crap. Well, it looks like you’re committed now. You find the floor about ten feet down, and the wall here feels like smooth tile. You stumble upon a switch, which bathes the underground chamber in light — it’s a tiny room with a ledge built into one wall that houses a computer terminal, a nondescript office chair, and that’s about it. There’s a door on the opposite wall, but you discover that it’s locked tight. Thrown over the chair is a big, dark blanket, a pair of funky gloves, some goggles and …

Holy crap — that’s not a blanket. It’s a cloak. This is Nightwatchman’s stuff.

Your heart skips a beat. You’re definitely alone here — the room just isn’t big enough to be hiding another person. Also,  you’re pretty much trapped in it. You test the computer, but it just gives you a blank screen with a command prompt. So you examine the gauntlets, and notice a small touchscreen built into one of them. There’s a message on the display.

“System reboot completed. Set controls for new host?” A little green button onscreen is labeled “Set host controls,” and a red one reads “Shut system down.”

Is that glove asking you what you think it’s asking?

Yes. Yes. A thousand times yes. If you don the Nightwatchman’s costume and set the host controls to YOU, turn to page 16.

Whoa, there! You don’t know where the real Nightwatchman is, but if he finds you messing with his stuff, you could be in serious trouble. If you play it safe and shut the glove down, turn to page 21.

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