Vanguard Roll Call!

Vanguard Roll Call!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Issue 16: Ambush Attack!

Time: Unknown.
Atlantic Ocean. 18,300 feet below sea level.
Time until Tsunami Machine Activation: Unknown.

Inside an airlock mounted into a titanic tentacle of the monstrous Star Giant, the heroes forged plans for their next move. Sentinel wished to concentrate a moment longer, and Viper to interrogate U-Man, so those two would form a team that stayed behind with Agent Grey for a short while, and ultimately act as reinforcements.

The other team, Slingshot, Forester and Lightning Strike, would launch a raid on the monitor station, since it lay between them and the center of the Star Giant, where it was believed the Tsunami Machine might be found! Slingshot, Forester and Lightning Strike silently and swiftly made their way through the empty, submarine-like machine-hallway. Pipes, circuitry, vents, cables, grates, wires, all in iron grey. They passed the security cameras that Strike had nullified, and then without a word hurled themselves into the SKULL monitor station.

Their stealthy ambush caught their foes unaware!
Slingshot exploded like a giant black airbag, freakishly transforming the structure of his entire body to instantly fill half the room and batter three surprised soldiers of SKULL into unconsciousness!
But four other agents remained! They had been out of view from Slingshot’s recon position!

Forester leapt into action. Coolly firing a normal arrow and a blunt-tipped Impact Arrow, Forester put the first into a neck and the second into a nose with impeccable aim, quickly dispatching two more SKULL agents without breaking a sweat.
One of the two remaining agents cried out through his white, ghoulish death mask: “Intruders! We are under attack! Sound the alarm!”

But before his partner could move, white, hot electricity arced and roared from Lightning Strike’s hands, and the last two lay silently on the floor, smoking and twitching.

The room had advanced computer consoles, screens and two other exits. The computers connected to a central system of some kind. One of the agents had previously logged in, and access seemed open. A cursory glance indicated that this is actually the watch station for the ship’s prison! The monitor indicated the brig currently held but one prisoner: Sgt. Stone!

Five cells were located right off this room, through one of the exits and down a corridor. They had energy fields as cell doors, and Stone’s door was activated. A monitor screen showed him, motionless on the floor of his cell; a huge monster of a man, with skin like grey granite. He wore only torn black pants and boots. A mighty titan brought low, he was further restrained with thick, iron shackles at hand and foot.

OOC: actions please!

Meanwhile near the airlock, Viper attempted to rouse U-Man, as Sentinel concentrated his mind.

Viper muttered: "Grey, I hope you've told us all we NEED to know."

Grey, perhaps irritable at all the blasted talk of interdimensional tesseracts, barked: “I spilled my guts to you lot about CHESS. You’ve got everything I know! Are the ravings of this little Nazi freak all it takes to sow paranoia among you kids?! Your morale stinks. Keep it together!”

Sentinel heard none of this as he attempted to concentrate, to open his mind. He had no formal training, no real experience of any kind with telepathic phenomena. But now he focused and attempted to “speak” to the Star Giant, playing out his hunch. Furthermore, he attempted to communicate that he meant no harm to the thing, and that he only wished to set it free from its unnatural cybernetic slavery at the hands of SKULL.

Time passed out of mind and then, inside of himself, Sentinel sensed something. A psychic energy that existed at the edges of his energy sense.It was a presence. A sentience. There in his mind. Somehow, Sentinel knew that the strange, alien intelligence had received his message. Then the presence was gone. Sentinel’s mind held an aftertaste echo of something like gratitude.

By then Viper had awakened U-Man, but not completely. Grey had expertly bandaged the Nazi’s arrow wounds to staunch the bleeding but U-Man was still groggy. Then Viper hit him with his serpentine Hypnotic Gaze, and began asking questions.

From his twilight realm of smudged, dank semi-consciousness, the amphibian creature croaked his reply. His voice was distant as he spoke in his native German. Viper cursed his luck, until Grey started translating into English. Sentinel drew nearer.

“Master? Master? Is that you in my mind again?” asked the disoriented, semi-conscious U-Man in German. He was almost delirious. “None can hide their thoughts from you oh Master. I have done as you asked. I have brought the American Ubermensch to the Star Giant, as you commanded. I have let them beat me like a dog, in accordance to your plan. They suspect nothing… even as our noose slowly tightens around their necks.
“All is as you predicted, O Master. All is as you have foresaw.” U-Man laughed, a cold hollow mockery of human joy.

Viper snarled: “Oh yeah? Where’s the Tsunami Machine?”

U-Man yelped, as if physically struck. “Master why do you test me? Have I failed you again in some way? The Tsunami Machine lies dormant within the heart of the Star Giant as ever, as you told me.
“Your plan shall succeed! Soon you shall live forever and all will cower once again before the terrible wrath of Doctor Swastika!!
“Even now, Master, the American fools rush blindly into your trap!”

Grey stopped translating and turned toward the hallway where the others had gone. His pistol was in his fist.

OOC: Actions?


Earlier: Viper let out a sigh and thought to himself. I don't know which way is up. Now I'm stuck with a confused Grey and the rest of this group is heading into a trap. The Bearded lady is not looking so bad these days. Why did I leave the circus? Oh right. Horrid elephant dung smell and bad pay.

"Grey. I'm one of the good guys. (at that moment Viper gives U-man a knockout blow and begins securing his bindings) My morale doesn't stink. (Viper lies, hopefully with success) When I'm shot out of a cannon, I need to know where I'm going to land. I think we have a better idea where we're landing now. We need to warn the others."

Viper gives U-man a little pat on the head, then looks over to Sentinel. "Sentinel! Snap out of it. We need to stop the others and regroup. This is all a trap to lure us in. This whole ship is probably out to get us."

Actions: Viper doesn't believe there's anyone to save on the ship. He's going to do his best to regroup with the others and start making plans for destroying the whole place.


Upon seeing Viper's mind influence in action, Sentinel held back from waving his hand in front of him and saying "These are not the men you are looking for ... you can continue on your way" due to the seriousness of the situation, but he was clearly impressed.

Sentinel muttered... "So is the trap in the control room where the others are now or in the center of the starfish? Either way it seems our only means of stopping this thing lies at the center with the tsunami machine."

"And how the hell did his "master" know we were coming when Grey just handpicked us a few hours ago? Seems like SKULL knows much too much about top secret goings on at CHESS!"

Sentinel followed the lead of Grey and Viper to pursue the others since their was no other logical alternative; they needed to find out of the trap had been sprung and if so, help the others ... but he thought to himself, "about the only thing I am sure of is that it seems like the best key to stopping all this and crippling this operation of SKULL is to help this poor creature to free itself " and then he added "first U-Man and now Doctor Swastika, I know I look the part, but we'd all best be channeling the spirit of the Liberty League to come out on top of this one..."



Forester suggests the following plan of action:
To Lightning Strike: Can you use your electrical powers and scientific know-how to override the force field protecting the cell?

To Slingshot: Since we're the only two who Sgt. Stone has met, so one of us should go in first while the other guards the entrance to this area. My training makes me a good lookout--and you're probably strong enough to assist Stone if he needs help. How about you go in first to check on the sergeant, and see what he knows about the location or workings of the Tsunami Machine and the whereabouts of Venus.

Here are Forester's remaining arrows:
1 cable arrow
1 parachute arrow
1 smoke arrow
1 boomerang arrow
1 extinguisher arrow
3 normal arrows

Unless there's a fire (extinguisher arrow), or the floor suddenly falls out from under him (parachute arrow), Forester's actions in combat will be as follows.
1. Use his regular det. hidden/danger skills to prepare to stay alert.
2. Fire a normal arrow against any SKULL agents, making a special attack to the arm if one of them holds a weapon, or a multiple attack (against two) if they are unarmed.
3. In case we need to escape, fire a smoke arrow behind our group, to blur our opponents' vision.


After listening to Forester's plan, Slingshot nodded. Anything that was strong enough to stop the stone goliath would likely stop his own efforts. He would have to wait for Lightning Strike to do his magic with the computers. That left one more thing, the shackles that held the captive. As he glanced at the manacles, all sleek and electronics, he felt that he would not be able to break through them either. This was not his moment to shine.

"Lightning. If you can unlock of the force field, could you do the same with the restraints as well? While you're doing that, I think I'm better off dealing with these goons."

1- If Lightning acts much faster than I am and unlocks the Sarge, then I'll go over and attempt to wake and or calm him, whichever is necessary.
2- if he's not able to do so by my action, then I'll round up all the goons (probably without moving, but just extending my arms and picking then up with shovel-like hands and dumping them in a cell. If there’s an easy obvious way to activate the cell, and I have enough move/actions, I'll do so.


Lightning Strike:
LS scans the room for cameras or listening devices. He moves to the force field controls and attempts to short circuit them but if there is an alarm attached to it, then he will attempt to reroute the alarm circuits to skip over to the empty cells, thus fooling the circuit into thinking there is no open cells.

If LS is able to breach the force field, he will attempt to remove the shackles.
Plan B would be to assume electrical form and enter the cell via the controls on the outside and materialize inside the cell and disengage the shackles.