Ciem: Inferno is a story in the works for the Cataclysmic Gerosha universe of The Gerosha Chronicles of Dozerfleet Comics, focusing on the life of Candi Flippo before she officially becomes Ciem. Taking place in October of 2015, the story was first proposed in real-life on September 28th of 2015. While not an origin story per se, it does provide a glimpse into Candi's life before Sodality - even helping to set the stage for Sodality. It's events also coincide with the events in The Gray Champion: Shaken Dust. It is immediately followed by Sniperbadger: Fall of the Critter Resistance and Ciem: Ash Cloud, which document the continued adventures of Candi and Miriam. Inferno also catches readers up on what the Purge-Flare has been up to since Blood Over Water.
Main article: In-depth plot of Ciem: Inferno
When the Hebbleskin Gang reaches a compromise with the Society of the Icy Finger and Halal Affadidah on how they wish to proceed with destroying America, they decide their first plan of attack will involve the Hebbleskin reconquest of Gerosha. They create a diversionary assault by having the Screwworm Network attack Evansville, taking over a convention center. They also launch a 100-ton-payload dirty bomb off in the back yard of Betty McArthur's home, out of revenge for Emeraldon having foiled an Icy Finger plot in Florida some time earlier. With Emeraldon aiding Anarteq on a mission in Canada, SCALLOP feels they must take back control of the city without the help of superheroes. The National Guard attempts to lend aid, though they are met with a major assault. Imaki Izuki, suspecting the convention center would be in trouble, has Candi infiltrate it. She is able to take out the MPF traps intended to capture Emeraldon or the Gray Champion with. She also subdues the Screwworm insurgents long enough for SCALLOP agents to arrive and kill off most of the remaining Screwworms. An agent for the Screwworms named Bronson tries to escape, but Candi hunts him down and stops him. She temporarily paralyzes him with her stings, leaving him for police. She also strips him of his means of committing suicide. He leaves her with cryptic warnings about the fate of Gerosha. Candi is later able to switch out of her proto-Ciem suit and hitch a ride back home with agent Thevia Logindil, who pretends to arrest Candi in order to avoid anyone asking too many questions about where Candi is being taken.
Emeraldon is informed about the mysterious centipede heroine that filled in for him, and decides that they should call her "Ciem" if they can't think of a better name. News outlets quickly catch wind of that, and give Candi's alter-ego that very name. Candi herself adopts it out of admission she didn't think of a better name. She writes in her journal about her origins, as well as her insecurities about how she wants to keep her boyfriend, Danny Loffin, even though her older sister and legal guardian Erin Flippo doesn't want the Flippo triplets to be dating anyone. She mentions that Marina is about to tour with an indie band, while Miriam has become a key member of the Critter Resistance Network dubbed "Sniperbadger." She also expresses insecurities about her recent discoveries, and over the oppressive new Kirby Act that has immediately become a launchpad for other judicial activists to pass worse fiats. She fears that simply doing her job could land her in jail - but decides it is necessary to take that risk. Meanwhile, Miriam works on some side projects with her fellow hackers, and learns a little bit more about what the Hebbleskins are planning.
Frank Morvel of Gleeful-N'-Young brings along Antonio "Lava Tigre" Frenze as a bodyguard for a sinister plot to abduct local Geroshans to add to the brothels of Clyde Spendelworth, improving business for Duke Arfaas and the Hebbleskin Gang. This alliance eventually recruits a local gang of teen arsonists called the Pyro Panthers into its fold, while several other Hebbleskin spies begin building stations to create another energy dome around Gerosha. All this activity results in Chris "Purge-Flare" Kennal paying Gerosha a visit - though local authorities make it hard for him to maintain a low profile when they quickly mistake him for Extirpon.
Erin leaves town for a few weeks to assist Meredith Stefflin with a 4H project in Tennessee. She also is sent to a SCALLOP center there for more treatments, as her mental health is continuing to fade and her brain disease appears to be getting worse. Trouble erupts in Japan, and Imaki Izuki leaves to assist Mukade in starting her life over elsewhere to be rid of the Yakuza interference in her life. This leads to Candi and Danny spending a lot more time together, though Danny is apprehensive about his parents being in Oregon looking for work. He fears that if he must move to Oregon with them, he and Candi will be forced to break up. As Miriam continues her work online as Sniperbadger, she discovers more and more disturbing bits of news. Roger, Danny's older brother, becomes a target of Pyro Panther harassment. Other grocery store workers start being abducted by Morvel's gang. Candi tries to become Ciem again and stem the tide in law enforcement's favor, but doing so nearly endangers Miriam with being exposed as Sniperbadger to local police. Worse, she learns about Lava Tigre after a quick encounter. She knows that he will not be easy to defeat, though she does get him to retreat after a battle. Chris also becomes desperate when he runs low on supplies to operate as the Purge-Flare; as well as with the recent assassination of one of his suppliers and comms operators.
On the afternoon of October 15th, Candi and Danny finally decide they've had enough of skirting the issue of their feelings. They head over to Danny's house, knowing nobody else will be home. Their study group abandons them. And it isn't long after finishing their homework that the two teens begin having sex. However, the Panthers begin a full-scale assault on the neighborhoods near the Loffin home as this happens. The Hebbleskins make their move to start initiating the dome construction sequence. Lava Tigre begins his assault on fire trucks, making it harder for the fires to be put out. When the Loffin house itself is shot at with a bazooka, Candi and Danny jump out of bed and decide to get dressed immediately. Roger catches up to them as they are fleeing the house. While the Loffin brothers head to where Roger has parked his car, Candi decides to go north toward an old shop parking lot. She promises to catch up later, after being Ciem a bit and helping police regain control of the situation. The brothers jump in their car and head for a motel on the north side of town.
Candi reaches the parking lot so she can pull the Zeran wardrobe out of her backpack that will let her change into Ciem. However, three police cars arrive and surround her before she can get the Zeran wardrobe out. They accuse her of being a Pyro Panther, and of having a bomb in her backpack. They urge her to go to her knees. A startled Candi insists that she doesn't have a bomb, but then blurts out that what she's holding is a Zeran wardrobe. Realizing Darius Philippine at SCALLOP will not be pleased with her revealing this classified technology's existence to local law, Candi surrenders. She take offense that they accuse her of setting the Loffin home on fire, but realizes that she does fit the description of a typical Pyro Panther gang member in terms of age and physique. She is surprised to learn that she is also violating an emergency curfew.
Police, realizing that their own station in Gerosha is under attack, decide to transfer Candi to one of the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's offices near Evansville, and keep her there until she can be brought to juvenile court. A masked Lonny Factor, however, attacks the police car. He states that the Hebbleskins now own Gerosha, and that no one is to get in or out without approval. The Hebbleskins complete the dome construction sequence, and the world looks on in horror as the Hebbleskins begin preparing the city for Arfaas to return to it. Unable to handle "Drop-In" and his weaponry on their own, Candi confesses that she's Ciem. The police warn her that this could mean more jail time, depending on SCALLOP rulings. She informs them that she'll take the extra time, provided she can ensure they all live. They agree to stop the car and unlock her door. Candi uses a Zeran teleporter to get a safe distance away while Drop-In is distracted fighting the police. She hides in the forest near the road, snapping off her handcuffs and getting her Ciem suit on. After a quick battle, she nearly subdues Drop-In. However, he launches a flash grenade and then uses a Zeran teleporter of his own. Candi tries in vain to catch him, but soon realizes he's gotten away. While he doesn't know her identity, she is relieved he hasn't deduced hers yet either.
Drop-In reports on his phone to his Hebbleskin commanders that Ciem interfered with his operations involving two Gerosha officers. He is informed that the Gerosha officers are of no consequence, and to let them go. Plus, with Ciem outside of Gerosha, she can do nothing to stop the complete conquest of the city in several days' time. A frustrated Candi retreats into the woods and changes out of her Ciem suit, placing it back in its Zeran wardrobe. She returns on foot to the officers, and hands them her Zeran wardrobe as evidence. They are stunned that she'd turn herself in, given she had a perfect opportunity to flee. She assures them that while she will contest certain details in court, she will minimize liability to them any way she can.
Meanwhile, Roger retrieves Miriam from Erin's home and takes her to the motel as well, at Danny's insistence. Miriam explains to the others what she was able to piece together about the Hebbleskins' evil plan - and how far-reaching it is. However, Miriam finds out soon enough that Candi has been arrested - and blames herself for not warning Candi about the new curfew.
Candi is brought before Judge Richard Deckinson a few days later. He decides that while waiting for evidence to be compiled for Candi's actual trial, she should be held at the Madison Juvenile Detention Center for a period of 8-10 days. He notes that Candi appears to be depressed and detached psychologically. Upon arrival at Madison, Candi is immediately assigned a cell with a vulnerable and scared Nancy Hizra - who accidentally poisoned a dog she was watching for a different family. Candi soon finds herself embroiled in a rivalry with an ill-tempered fire elemental Marlquaanite named Amirah "Flintirah" Rose - whom nobody believes when she tries to warn warden Bruce Almin that corrections officer Lonny Factor is not what he seems. Candi takes advantage of her situation to befriend the warden and get the therapy she grows to believe she needs. She also begins research of her own about Factor, and grows to believe Amirah's suspicions herself. She is able to forge a truce with Amirah in order to expose Factor as a Hebbleskin spy. Factor tries to assassinate everyone at the facility after he is exposed as being Drop-In, but Candi is able to make Amirah believe in herself long enough to land a lucky shot on Factor - killing him before anyone else gets hurt. Both girls are taken to the infirmary for medical treatment, though they heal rapidly, given their abilities. Amirah apologizes for being rude to Candi when they first met, and requests SCALLOP intervention. This results in Amirah being transferred out to SCALLOP Juvenile Containment near Houston.
Meanwhile, Miriam locates the Purge-Flare and convinces him that she can help him repair his suit and defeat Lava Tigre. She also assures him that if he can get her close enough to the dome's controls, she can destroy the force field and allow Chris to escape from Gerosha. He takes her up on her offer. They fight several battles together, with Morvel and Lava Tigre hot on their trail. When Darius learns the details of Candi's arrest, he vows to take action to keep her in jail.
Imaki and Erin are finally able to arrive back in Indiana in time for Candi's trial. The arson charge is dropped due to lack of evidence. However, she is informed that she'll be due back in court in November over the SCALLOP leak. She agrees to the terms, and is issued a S'Poling tether. The Flippo family is able to re-enter Gerosha after Chris and Miriam successfully find a way to disable the dome. However, Morvel and his goons begin loading up trucks full of victims they've abducted for Gleeful-N'-Young. Chris disappears for a time while Miriam reunites with her family. She attempts to inform all of them of what has been going on since they were out of town.
Finally tracking down the location where the convoy is being kept, Candi attempts to free the hostages. However, Lava Tigre engages her in a fight. Chris returns as the Purge-Flare to settle his score with Morvel, but quickly finds himself also under attack by Tigre. Candi decides to go after the convoy while Chris battles Tigre. This strategy pays off, resulting in most of the hostages being released unharmed and Morvel being left for police to find after a road battle between Ciem and Morvel's goons. Purge-Flare and Lava Tigre battle to the death, with Chris landing a lucky shot to finish the monster off. Miriam jumps into Chris' van with him and guides him on the escape routes north of town. He heads with Miriam to a motel, and then flees westward the following morning - vowing to continue his war on Clyde's brothels. Miriam finds herself a ride back to Gerosha.
At Candi's trial a month later, she is sentenced to 2 years of varying prison time and house arrest at Madison for the leak. She is given until the beginning of Christmas break at school to get her affairs in order. It is later revealed that a child saw Miriam associating with Chris, and spoke out. Miriam fears Candi will get blamed, and decides to go to the police station with Candi and turn herself in.
- Miriam Flippo / Sniperbadger:
- Danny Loffin:
- Roger Loffin:
- Chris Kennal / Purge-Flare: A seemingly mythical vigilante that is very hard for police to capture. Six years prior, he was a Sleet Mountain employee. But he learned the truth about Clyde, and betrayed him. Regretting various criminal actions he'd done for Clyde, Chris now makes it his goal to wipe out Clyde's entire operation piece by piece, member by member. He uses a custom suit that allows him - at least at night - to look like Extirpon. He uses this ruse to strike fear into his victims, as they think it's Extirpon attacking them. He is skilled in building various weapons, but also in theatrics to compensate for not actually being an Emotion Battery Marlquaanite like Extirpon is.
- Richard Loffin
- Meagan Loffin
Madison staff and childrenEdit
- Bruce Almin: The warden at Madison, who takes a great interest in Candi's unusual case. He is modeled to look like Michael Caine, as the character was inspired by Caine's take on Alfred.
- Amirah Rose / Flintirah: A 17-year-old at Madison Juvenile, who was convicted of nearly murdering a boy in her neighborhood three years ago because he tried to rape her. She repeatedly tries to get the other staff to hear her out that she believes Factor is a Hebbleskin spy, but Candi is the first to ever take her warnings seriously. While she and Candi don't initially get along, they put their differences aside to expose Factor. She suffers from severe anger issues, and believes no one can understand her. While initially a bully towards other girls, she begins to lose her mean streak when she and her gang are routinely outsmarted by Candi. She is inspired by Erin O'Brien's take on Kody from The Asylum's Jailbait - a storyline also parodied in the Camelorum Adventures 2-parter "17 and Amphibious."
- Nancy Hizra: A 15-year-old at Madison who is in for overdosing and killing a dog with Benadryl, then running away. Insisting it was an accident, she feels her punishment is excessive. She also finds it infuriating that Candi is there without having gone on trial first, and believes Candi's account of things. She quickly befriends Candi, intrigued by her discussions about SCALLOP and contemplating joining when she is older. Candi warns her that they might look down on her because of her record, but Nancy is undeterred.
- Cassidy Yarn: A friend of Nancy's that is unsure of Candi; yet fears Amirah.
- Julie Saffins: One of the resident alpha girls at Gerosha High, who is frequently plotting and scheming with other girls to ruin the Flippo triplets' reputations or manipulate them into sexual situations. Candi is frequently tempted to betray her secret Centhuen Prototype abilities to exact revenge on Julie for her antics. Miriam, likewise, is tempted to use her Sniperbadger hacking network to ruin Julie's life out of revenge; resisting the urge at Imaki's insistence.
- Antonio Frenze / Lava Tigre: A Meethexo / Marlquaanite hybrid monster that desires the reclaiming of Gerosha for the Hebbleskins. He is a brainwashed lackey with an appetite for malice, able to shoot fire from his body. He appears to be part-man, part-tiger, and part-volcano.
- Pyro Panthers: A local gang of teen arsonists, with whom Candi has already clashed a few times. They are recruited to the Hebbleskins, with promises of higher payout for more disciplined attacks.
- Frank Morvel: A former Gleeful-N'-Young associate, unaware that he is being stalked by the Purge-Flare. He introduces the Pyro Panthers to Lava Tigre, and convinces them to work for the Hebbleskin Gang. He promises them that Lava Tigre will protect them from police while they go about burning buildings - if they agree to also abduct prostitutes and other young women for Clyde. The women can either submit to this, or be handed over to Duke Arfaas and company to be experimented on. Unbeknownst to Frank, his van has been bugged. Chris hears the entire conversation.
- Clyde Spendelworth: The former CEO of Sleet Mountain, who has since been reduced to a pimp working for the Hebbleskin Gang. He wants Lava Tigre and Frank Morvel to start up a new Gleeful-N'-Young in the Gerosha area, but warns Frank to keep an eye open for Chris.
- Lonny Factor / Drop-In: A Hebbleskin spy with a disturbing fetish for torturing Flintirah. He is posing as a corrections officer at Madison, looking for Phexo and Marlquaanite inmates sent there to avoid being sent to Houston due to the Kirby Act. The character is inspired by Brett Dalton's take on Grant Ward on Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, combined with Michael Keaton's take of the Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
- Anthony Wellings: A talent agent for the Starboard Crickets indie rock band, that wants Marina to tour with them given he is impressed by her banjo-playing skills.
- Randy Lapborn: A SCALLOP agent sent to explore into Candi's case when word gets to Darius that Candi has been arrested. He later informs her that she's been added to the SDCPM.
- Judge Richard Deckinson: The judge put in charge of Candi's case, who decides to keep Candi at Madison's for a week before the trial due to the anomalies found during Candi's physical exam. While he cannot find evidence to support police claims that Candi started the fire, he doesn't believe Candi to be completely innocent. He finds her nervous tics amusing, even though the prosecutor claims it's contempt of court.
- Erin Flippo: Older-sister-by-reason-of-adoption to Candi, Miriam, and Marina; and official legal guardian of the latter two. She has joint custody with Imaki on Candi. She is very strict regarding the girls' ability to date, but also appears to be gradually suffering from deteriorating mental health.
(This section is incomplete or pending.)
(This section is incomplete or pending.)
(This section is incomplete or pending.)