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No Pain, No Gain

Doctor Ramzi, Jabbar and Noora examine a comatose young man in St. Louis, Missouri, and Noora detects the presence of very faint traces of Noor energy around his body. He is but the latest in a clinically unexplainable seizures that drew Ramzi's attention and proves his suspicions about the presence of a gem-bearer in St. Louis who is using his gift to hurt people. While they debate how to stop the aggressor, they are being spied on by Davis, a Canadian secret agent with a Noor stone of his own that grants him increased senses, as well as agents of Rughal.

After investigating other victims of the seizures and getting an anonymous tip that reveals that all the attacked individuals were responsible for vehicular homicides, Ramzi and his allies manage to identify John Weller, whose parents and sister were killed by the first victim in an episode of drunk driving. They go to Weller's residence and discover him to be a moody paraplegic who immediately attacks Ramzi, Noora and Jabbar with his pain powers, thinking that they intend to take away his Noor stone.

In the ensuing battle, doctor Ramzi and Rughal's spies are knocked out by Weller's painwave attacks and the house is destroyed by Jabbar, but Noora breaks the fight by forming a triad link that makes Weller realize that he had been abusing his powers for evil. Alerted by Davis of the impending arrival of police drawn by the disturbance, the 99 drive away and ask the american gembearer to join them as a new member of the 99. Weller, shamed by his previous actions, refuses until he can set things right and with the help of the other gembearers, sneaks into the hospital to take away the pain of his victims and heal them.

The Origin of Rughal (part I)

Rughal, whose body was torn apart by the Noor energy in his last experiment, is reborn in Titusville, Pennsylvania, in 1859 where he is found by oil field workers. Extremely confused, Rughal manages to communicate with Christopher, a Spanish speaking member of the work crew and learns that it has been nearly three centuries since his 'death' and that he has somehow been rejuvenated to an apparent age of thirty five.

As he talks with Christopher, Rughal learns that one of Christopher's ancestors was a sailor during Columbus' trips and sees a family heirloom that turns out to be a Noor stone, one of thirty three that were entrusted to Columbus to hide in the New World. Taking this as a sign, Rughal decides to find, gather again the ninety nine gemstones and claim their power for himself. To accomplish this ambitious goal, he decides to build a vast business empire.

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