The Mid Atlantic, onboard and above the CHESS Omni-Carrier, late morning.
15 seconds remained until the four nuclear missiles that targeted American cities went supersonic! Meanwhile, our heroes struggled against the author of this apocalypse, Dr. Swastika, the mad genius who diabolically turned CHESS against them by “possessing” Agent Grey! Facing the famed, power-armored CHESS Knights, six heroes were all that stood between the U.S.A. and a nuclear holocaust!
High above the CHESS Omni-Carrier, Blue Comet, Sentinel and Slingshot desperately hurtled toward three of the missiles when suddenly, two of them were attacked by agonizing pain deep within their bodies! Having gone from the bottom of the Atlantic to the upper atmosphere in a space of hours, Sentinel and Slingshot each suffered from a deadly attack of the bends! (OOC: Sentinel loses 20 Power Points this turn and every turn he remains at this altitude! Sentinel’s creations generate air but, like a scuba suit or pressurized aircraft cabin, do not protect against bends. Slingshot, due to his rubbery physiognomy, loses 10 Power Points per turn.) Despite the danger, our heroes soared on!
The Blue Comet rocketed upward at top speed! The CHESS Knight on his tail fired his energy carbine, SHAKOW! SHAKOW! But the cyan speedster’s aerobatics evaded the onslaught! Outpacing the Knight, Comet closed within attack range of his nuclear missile and let loose a blue wash of flames! FVRROOOOOSHH! The missile sizzled, melted and then exploded in a small fireball, its nuclear weapon undetonated! Boston was saved! Without missing a beat, the blue bolt zoomed toward the Philadelphia missile that had no hero trailing in its wake. The skin on his face rippling backwards from the G’s his incredible speed generated, Comet inched closer, closer, closer and then BOOM! The missile went into mach speeds, creating a deafening sonic boom! Even the Comet could not catch it now as it screamed out of sight!
Sentinel was losing speed due to the effects of the bends! He made one last desperate speech and all the heroes heard it on their communicators, as well as Slingshot’s transmission. Dr. Swastika heard them too. Agent Grey’s voice came back over the airwaves: “Those are tactical missiles, targeting SKULL installations! I repeat, apprehend all extra-normals. Deadly force is sanctioned! This is Grey!”
Sentinel watched in shock as the CHESS Knight on his tail did not fire his carbine! The Knight continued following Sentinel closely, but did not attack him! “It’s you’re move, extra-normal,” he said. Emboldened, Sentinel flew desperately on toward the missile that would annihilate all of New York City. The beacon of freedom grew closer, closer, closer. In seconds the missile would be supersonic. Sentinel moved within range of his awesome powers and enveloped the missile with golden energy tendrils. These physical extensions of his will redirected the weapon into outer space where it would explode harmlessly! New York City was saved! Sentinel lowered his altitude to escape the bends.
After his plea, Slingshot watched in amazement as his Knight also stood down! But now the incredible momentum of Slingy’s amazing slingshot maneuver was dying out. He was slowing! In one last attempt, Slingshot stretched his arms to their maximum length: over 900 feet! His oversized ebon fingers barely grazed the missile. Slingshot strained, stretching further than ever before! His giant hands closed on the weapon and crushed the propulsion system with their super strength! The missile fell harmlessly into the Potomac. Washington was saved! The pliable powerhouse allowed himself to fall awhile before forming a parachute with his body that wafted him gently down.
Meanwhile, in the CHESS Omni-Carrier’s radar station, Lightning Strike’s hands projected white electrical bolts into the powered armor of the CHESS Knight! KRAKABOOOM! The electrical overload of the armor stunned the armor’s wearer into unconsciousness. The scientist superhero got back to work. A cannibalized conglomeration of circuitry, wires and controls was the fruits of his labor. Suddenly another CHESS Knight burst into the room! Lightning Strike coolly activated the makeshift carrier wave projector and then disappeared in a flash of sparks! The quick-thinking Knight shut down the strange machine, but not before it transmitted Strike’s electron-based form. Riding the carrier beam was a new sensation for the electric avenger and instantly, he was inside the supersonic Trident missile! Strike willed all systems to shut down, including the engines, and the missile fell helplessly into the Atlantic, with Strike still in it! Philadelphia was saved!
In the CHESS Omni-Carrier Ready Room, one by one, the blips that represented the four nuclear missiles evaporated off the satellite image of the eastern seaboard! Grey cried out in impotent rage!
As fast as a cobra strike, Viper got in front of Grey and leapt at the three CHESS Knights, taunting them to attack. All three opened fire and the human serpent twisted out of the way at the last possible second! The three white energy beams burned into Agent Grey’s chest! The veteran CHESS operative was blown backwards, crashing into the wall-sized monitor that showed the satellite image of the eastern seaboard, shattering it in a hail of sparks, shards and smoke! SKRAASHH! His chest burned and smoldered, but Grey was still alive. He stood and staggered out of the electronic rubble.
Then the trick shot trickster pretended to fire his invisible “neuro-phasic arrow.” He loosed it and Grey’s face contorted at the “effect” of the non-existent weapon.
“No!” Swastika ordered. Then, Grey’s voice, mad as hell, shouted: “Get out of my head!!”
Grey’s hands clawed his head, where still resided the cold, hyper-intelligent eyes of Dr. Swastika!
“This body is mine!” snarled Swastika’s voice.
“The hell it is! Get out!!” yelled Grey’s voice.
Writhing in seizure, Grey’s body collapsed to the floor. Then suddenly, his twisted, pale face reared up to confront the heroes. The eyes of Dr. Swastika were burning with infinite hatred.
“You have beaten me… this time,” Dr. Swastika’s voice rasped darkly. “But I shall return, I promise you. And then each of you sub-human mongrels shall suffer unimaginable horrors at my hand!
I SWEAR IT!”
After that terrible, black oath, Grey’s face convulsed violently one last time and Swastika was gone! The CHESS agent was barely conscious, weak and exhausted. He activated the Omni-Carrier’s communication system, identified himself and cleared the good names of all superheroes onboard and in the vicinity. He ordered the Knights to stand down.
The flying heroes overheard this on their communicators. After Comet and Sentinel transported Slingshot and Lightning Strike back, the heroes were re-united aboard the CHESS Omni-Carrier!
They had stopped Dr. Swastika and all four nuclear missiles!
Agent Sam Drake and Doc Rocket were woken from unconsciousness. They would be fine.
Grey smiled wearily at the heroes. “Not bad for a bunch of kids. Now, who said something about a beer?”
(OOC: Replies, responses to any and all of the above.)
In The Coming Days…
The victims of Swastika’s Body Farm onboard the Omni-Carrier (Venus, The Ghost, Hip Hop, The Clone, Nanite, Senator Westphal, Miles Hudson, and the civilians that included some high-ranking administrators of CHESS) receive medical attention and de-briefing. So far, the de-briefings reveal:
All Body Farm subjects had been recalled to the Star Giant just prior to the Tsunami Plot.
Many captives of Dr. Swastika maintain most of their memories. Extreme cases, like Miles Hudson who might have been held for decades, have severe memory gaps. Blue Comet might possibly fit into that category. Many subjects remember being used like puppets by Swastika to perform heinous crimes and other terrible tasks on his behalf. These memories will haunt them for years to come. Miles Hudson especially will require extensive help.
Venus was intentionally knocked unconscious by the rogue Black Knights to disrupt telepathic communications during your mission. She will recover completely.
Nothing is learned about the Star Giant’s origin, or how it fell under Swastika’s power.
After recovering from her assault, Venus finally meets the heroes face to face. Like her psychic image, Venus is a beautiful blonde woman whose eyes are tinged with sorrow. At Grey’s request, she scans the minds of our heroes, herself, Agent Grey, Sam Drake, the Knights, all Body Farm Subjects, and others, searching for any sign of Dr. Swastika or his insidious telepathic residue. She finds none.
13 suspected undercover SKULL agents positioned within the US government (outside the Omni-Carrier) vanished when the Tsunami Plot failed to seize America’s nuclear arsenal. CHESS is searching for them, as well as for the remaining moles on the Omni-Carrier. Progress is slow; the security videotapes were sabotaged. Venus will be used to perform more mind scans. Security remains high.
Forester (and anyone else who cares to) sees the death certificate and autopsy photos of the deceased Agent X. His body is in the custody of Scotland Yard, awaiting CHESS transport to the USA.
With so many high-ranking administrators of CHESS having been under the control of Dr. Swastika for so long, a massive reorganization of CHESS eventually promotes Agent Grey to Director of CHESS! This will likely reverse the decades-long anti-extranormal stance of the agency. There are exceptions however, like Agent Sam Drake, who is clearly suspicious of extranormals. Drake is also promoted in the reorg.
The Temple Foundation, the investment group that Lightning Strike had discovered buying up gold before SKULL’s ransom demand, comes apart at the seams. Discovered to be front for financing SKULL operations, it is an international organization of wealthy individuals buying immortality via Swastika’s mind transference technology. CHESS raids and investigations lead to arrests of over twenty individuals, and the discovery of occult trappings indicative of the Thule Society (see Issue 7! –Ye Ed). Two suspects commit suicide before capture.
Silas Caine is cleared of any possible wrongdoing in this matter. He too had purchased gold before the ransom demand, but he only acted when he saw the Temple Foundation buying up so much of the commodity. Caine has since sold it all, making a killing in the deal, all above board.
Aquon doesn’t resurface after disappearing into the waves after the release of the Star Giant.
The golden age Liberty Leaguers are re-united: Doc Rocket, Sgt. Stone, Miles Hudson (aka Agent America). They will return to retirement. “Super-heroics is fer the young,” grumbles Stone.
Ratman and Shockwave are in custody and await transport to CHESS’ maximum security prison for extra-normals, and their hearings. CHESS slang for the prison is “the Castle.”
Skin Deep, Talon and Morgue are still at large, and none of the Uber-Mensch’s bodies are recovered from the Atlantic. Search operations continue.
Dr. Swastika’s lifeless head is taken into custody by CHESS. It will be studied by “top men.”
All the above is classified Top Secret and is not releasable to the public. Americans never hear of the Tsunami Machine Plot, the return of the Uber-Mensch, nor of 4 nuclear missiles launched at US cities.
Lightning Strike: Grey wants to speak to you about the murders of Mr. And Mrs. Steven Archer, “off the record.” What will you tell him?
Forester: Grey asks what you know about Marksman, including his whereabouts. Reply?
Comet: CHESS and Doc Rocket offer to try to help you with your amnesia. Your response?
Sentinel: The Liberty Leaguers ask about your dad and you. Replies?
Viper: Venus still won’t give you the time of day. She’s leaving for home soon. Reaction?
Slingshot: In the sickbay, you bump into Nanite. The medical scans reveal she is some kind of highly sophisticated robot. It’s unclear whether or not she knew this. Reaction?
OOC: Please reply to any of the above, as you see fit!
Thanks! –Ye Ed
During the mind scan, Venus may notice how mentally fatigued Forester is, as Dr. S. noted last issue. "We were all very concerned when we lost contact with you underwater, Venus. It's a great relief to see that you're okay," he tells her. In spite of the telepath's oft-noted physical beauty, Venus will detect only platonic feelings from the archer.
When possible, Forester will politely retreat to a private room and mediate.
During the debriefing, Forester says: "Holy holding cells! Ratman and Shockwave are back in custody, but the other nihilists and ne'er-do-wells are still at large."
When time allows, Forester will go to the library to learn for what crimes Skin Deep, Morgue, and especially Talon are wanted, along with any other information about their powers, weaknesses, backgrounds, and criminal histories. Some of this information must be in public records in spite of
Drake's earlier statement about classified information from a few issues back.
If Grey and the other heroes go for a drink afterward, Forester will wear non-descript civilian clothes, if possible, and will prefer to drink room-temperature tap water instead of beer.
When Grey asks Forester about Marksman, he replies: "I trained with Marksman for several months, but he was about as chatty as Harpo Marx, so I can't say that I got to know him very well.I was relieved to see that Marksman wasn't captured by SKULL along with just about every other hero on the planet. But maybe that's par for the course. For cripes sake, the guy basically sequestered himself after retiring from Freedom Force, at least as far as I can tell. As for his whereabouts, I think he's been keeping those strictly under wraps."
1. Before Venus began her telepathic scans, did CHESS have any way to determine if she had been mentally compromised?
2. Is CHESS officially a formal part of the Executive Branch of the U.S. government, or is it an independent organization that works closely with the federal government. As the new director of CHESS, who does Grey report to? In addition to knights, does CHESS also have agents called rooks, bishops, and pawns? How about a King or Queen? Do we know when CHESS began as an organization?
3. Does Forester have a secure way to contact the New Haven dojo via a secure telephone line? Or is a short visit possible? If so, he will try to reach Marksman or another trusted person at the facility to see if they have experienced any disturbances or disappearances over the past several weeks.
The archer will not mention his dealings with Freedom Force, given the sensitive nature of those activities.
4. While Forester is researching Skin Deep, Morgue, and Talon, he'd also like to search for any suspected or previous headquarters for SKULL. (Based on my minimal knowledge of Thulean beliefs) Forester will focus his research on the areas of Europe (including Iceland), Greenland, the Arctic Circle, and the surrounding oceans.
5. Speaking of secret locations, does the general public know of the existence of Atlantis (or wherever Aquon is reportedly from)? If so, is the location on maps? Does Atlantis have a U.N. representative, etc.? You get my drift. He'd like to track down any credible news reports on the topic, if and when time allows.
Upon arriving back at the CHESS Omni-Carrier, he realized it had been but a few days since he took off in the Sub with Sgt. Stone and Forester. He almost couldn't believe such a short period of time had passed. In that time, he managed to save the Earth and Washington with the help of the other
Freedom Force members. A wide grin formed on his face. It felt good winning the good fight.
They were attempting to usher him somewhere, either a debriefing room or medical attention. They could wait a little longer for either of that. He walked purposefully. He had more thanks to give. He did the heroic thing, but only managed to do so at with the help of others.
He continued, with whomever trying desperately and unsuccessfully to follow him, until he arrived to the Chess Knight barracks. He asked the name of the Knight who had been "assigned" to take him out.
He walked up to him and shook his hand. "Thank you, [insert name/rank]. You get to call me Scott." With that, he turned to the pest at his side and simply spoke: "Lead the way."
"Slingshot: In the sickbay, you bump into Nanite. The medical scans reveal she is some kind of highly sophisticated robot. It is unclear whether or not she knew this. Reaction?"
Scott entered the sickbay. He was going to get ministered by specialists in superhuman physiognomy. Doctors. He never liked them and they never liked him. Since his experience with his aunt Janice's cancer, he would never completely trust a doctor again. Yet, here he was. They knew so little of human beings what would they know of his own particular case?
He was not limping, but he felt that he should be. He guessed there was something to being a superstrong rubberband. It was a little ironic that since the accident, bullets literally bounce off his hide and, yet he kept getting pounded within inches of his life. Before the accident, he lived a reasonably peaceful life. He shook his head.
He was lead by a nurse. He passed several examination rooms. One such room had Nanite with a doctor. They were speaking intently so he would have to talk to her later. In the background was some schematics and what he could only surmise were special X-rays. It was evident that she wasn't
human, but robotic. She caught him looking at her. He waved at her and made a motion that they would see each other later. A robot? Well damn.
He smiled. There it was: irony. He shrugged once more. So what?
A day later, he was recuperating by ignoring the doctor's orders of complete bedrest and moving through the corridors, slowly mind you. He met up with Nanite again.
"How long will you be stuck in sickbay for? Looks like I'll be here for a while." Slingshot said smirking.
[OOC] I'm not comfortable continuing and adlibbing. I'm looking to have a conversation. If the robot thing comes up, I'll ask to see if she knew or not. Slingshot will still continue to make friends, because that's in his nature. After all, she Healed him.[/OOC]
GM OOC Replies:
Forester wrote: Before Venus began her telepathic scans, did CHESS have any way to determine if she had been mentally compromised?
GM Reply: In the Omni-Carrier sickbay, they ran an EKG and a CAT scan on her first, to check for anything abnormal. It came back negative.
Is CHESS officially a formal part of the Executive Branch of the U.S. government, or is it an independent organization that works closely with the federal government. As the new director of CHESS, who does Grey report to? In addition to knights, does CHESS also have agents called rooks, bishops, and pawns? How about a King or Queen? Do we know when CHESS began as an organization?
GM Reply: Formed in the early 1980’s as a response to the massive resurgence of extranormals, CHESS is an agency akin to, and working closely with, the FBI and CIA. Its jurisdiction is all extranormal matters.
Director Grey now reports to the President. Additionally, Congress has oversight over CHESS.
Bishops, Rooks, etc. are slang terms, not official designations.
“Bishops” are field agents and investigators, like Sam Drake and Grey before his promotion.
“Rooks” are technicians, scientists, operational support and others not in the field.
“Knights” are the powered armor/ enforcement division.
As Director, Grey is now the “King” of CHESS. If Grey were female, he would be the “Queen.”
There are no “pawns.”
Does Forester have a secure way to contact the Haven dojo via a secure telephone line? Or is a short visit possible? If so, he will try to reach Marksman or another trusted person at the facility to see if they have experienced any disturbances or disappearances over the past several weeks.
The archer will not mention his dealings with Freedom Force, given the sensitive nature of those activities.
GM Reply: There are no phones or computers at Haven. Regarding a visit, Issue 26 will be our downtime issue. We can handle it then! Thanks! While Forester is researching Skin Deep, Morgue, and Talon, he'd also like to search for any suspected or previous headquarters for SKULL. (Based on my minimal knowledge of Thulean beliefs) Forester will focus his research on the areas of Europe (including Iceland), Greenland, the Arctic Circle, and the surrounding oceans.
GM Reply: Forester's Occult Studies skill, and his research efforts, find that:
Thule Society cultists and Nazi mystics believed in historical Thule/Hyperborea as the ancient origin of the Aryan race. (Yes, the same Hyberborea that Robert E. Howard set his Conan the Barbarian
stories in.) Thule and/or Hyberborea might be modern-day Northern Greenland.
According to its emblem, the Thule Society was founded in 1919. One of its three founder members was Nazi Lanz von Liebenfels (1874-1954) who wrote: "The Thule Gesellschaft name originated from mythical Thule, a Nordic equivalent of the vanished culture of Atlantis. A race of giant supermen lived in Thule, linked into the Cosmos through magical powers. They had psychic and technological energies far exceeding the technical achievements of the 20th century. This knowledge was to be put to use to save the Fatherland and create a new race of Nordic Aryan Atlanteans. A new Messiah would come forward to lead the people to this goal."
Forester discovers a municipality in North Greenland was formerly named Thule after the mythical place. During WW2, the US military built a station there. In 1953, Thule became Thule Air Base, operated by United States Air Force. The native population was forced to resettle to Qaanaaq, 67 miles to the north. The Air Force Base is present to this day. C.H.E.S.S. computers have files on this topic that are classified.
Speaking of secret locations, does the general public know of the existence of Atlantis (or wherever Aquon is reportedly from)? If so, is the location on maps? Does Atlantis have a U.N. representative, etc.? You get my drift. He'd like to track down any credible news reports on the topic, if and when time allows.
GM reply: The public does not know of the existence nor location of a modern-day Atlantis. There is no map location nor U.N. Representative. C.H.E.S.S. computers have files on this topic that are classified.
Setting: The Liberty Leaguers are in downtime and enjoying a drink and reminiscing as Kirk finds them and they invite him to join them.
Kirk, having been almost glowing being around his heroes and the men he respected most in the world and now feeling like he does belong and wasn’t out of place with them now looked down for a second a said, “Dad died when I was young. Mom too. Unfortunately, it seems in this world, not everything goes the way it should or the way you expect it. But I was fortunate, blessed in fact, because Gramps was there.”
They nodded in recognition. They each thought of Lancaster and what he meant to each of them. Specific events, some big, some small flowed through the thoughts of each of them and they all remembered just how positive an impact one man could have on others.
“I can’t imagine how my life would have turned out without him … and I’m grateful that I don’t have too. And that’s a little bit of what I wanted to talk to you guys about. I know about your resistance to staying active in the field, and smiling he eyed Stone, and I’m not one to buck against the stubbornness of your generation, I know better; but I really wish you’d consider giving some of your time to helping the next generation like Gramps did with me. I know if anyone deserves to take it easy, it’s all of you. But man, you guys started the “Age of Heroes” and every one of us today owes our lives and our very existence to you. I think maybe part of you knows it too. If Grey is successful in getting this new Freedom Force off the ground, you should consider staying around a bit, maybe in an advisory position or as trainers. Someone needs to help keep an eye on things around here, and someone needs to get my generation on the right track! The heroes of today need your wisdom and they need your heart.”
Kirk knew not to push it, but hoped that he had sewn the seeds to keep these incredible men around and active; he knew what each of them had to offer! As time and conversation permits Kirk would ask about the exploits of Lancaster to hear about him in his prime from those who knew him best.
Kirk felt like he knew these men and he loved them as much as he did Gramps and this would be very apparent in everything he said and did.
Kirk would offer to Myles to be available to him as a listening ear and if he could help in any way, knowing what he had lost. He felt bad about how he had fostered such bad thoughts about Myles all these years and would genuinely want to assist any way he could to make up for it (yes, although none of that was known or would mean anything to Myles).
Kirk also wants to know about their exploits against Swastika and his abilities. What happened here seems regarding his possession and especially long-term possession and his ability to leave behind his “dead” body seem far beyond anything Kirk had heard or researched and he wanted to find out what they thought about this and anything else that could be of use in the future against Swastika.
For much of this information and conversations or stories, if you’d like, we can leave these as items that you can reveal if the information becomes something relevant in the future (i.e. next time we face Swastika, etc).
If Grey makes states that he wants Kirk to be a part of the new Freedom Force then Kirk would discuss further about what happened with Miles and his belief that they really need to establish more than just a core team. He’s like to see something greater where younger heroes might gain from the experience of those that have been around (and suggests trying to keep the Leaguers on in that capacity) and might have a means to be properly trained.
He also states his disbelief that Swastika could have manipulated things for so long unseen and done so much damage without nobody having a clue and that if they had a proper network set up back then, such unusual behavior wouldn’t have gone unnoticed. He’d like to be involved in understanding what happened with Swastika and helping to be sure future happenings are prevented (what information has been found out regarding how Swastika took and maintained control of these individuals – did he lose control at any time – if so, what caused it? How can we prevent future possessions, etc).
If Grey is planning to have Lightning Strike as part of the new Freedom Force he’d like to know more about his “wanted” situation. If he knows Strike is innocent, then he’d want to assist in any way he can to clearing his name. Kirk feels clearly that Strike proved himself in the mission and that he deserves any assistance that can be rendered here. Also, Kirk has definitely seen the need for the heroes to “take care of their own”. He wants to be sure that he does all he can do to be sure that there are no more “Hudson” incidents on his watch!
With Venus: Kirk will try to check on Venus and meet her and thank her for her assistance during the mission. Assuming that she is well on the road to recovery, he’d also like to discuss with her what occurred with the Star Giant where he felt that his “energy awareness” brought him to the brink of “psychic awareness” and communication with the Giant. He’d speak a bit about his theories about universal energies and that they are all related and wondered if this positive experience could be used as a jumpboard for Kirk to understand “mind” energies better … both as an asset in helping others in the future and as a protection against Swastika and being like him. Are there mental exercises he can do to test and develop what he tried further? Might she be able to assist or does Chess have a “department” for this? Or could she refer another extranormal that might be open to helping Kirk learn more about this?
With Drake: Knowing that Drake already has anti-extranormal sentiments, he makes sure to go to Drake and apologize for his outburst after the mission when Swastika attacked. Kirk’s anger at him and Chess didn’t help the situation and he should have controlled himself better at that moment.
Kirk is sincere in this apology because what he is saying is the truth, but he also wants to try to get things more in the right direction with Drake given that he is Grey’s second. He hopes that if he can slowly earn Drake’s respect perhaps that will give him a better view toward the “hero” community and help him to see the difference between a “heroic” extranormal and an “evil” extranormal.
Does this seem to be an outright prejudice against extranormals or is Drake overly cautious against everyone? Kirk tries to observe this so he knows what he has to try to overcome with him in the future.
Regarding the other Swastika victims, Kirk will try to assist as Chess will allow and will try to read and understand and listen to anything and everything they allow. Swastika’s actions have darkened the world in Kirk’s eyes greatly and this is a great evil that he needs to understand and be ready to deal with and combat. As he overlooks much of this and what has happened to all these people he thinks and says in an undertone “never again”.
Kirk will do some searches over the internet and available databases about the Star Giant and references and myths regarding the creature. He is a bit distressed that no “real” telepathic contact had been made to find out more about the origins of the creature and its motives. He might not have enough time for this in the couple of days we have with all the other stuff he will be doing, but this would be something he’d do when time permits (and again, this could be one of those things that you provide info if it becomes relevant at a future time).
With Lightning Strike: “I know we didn’t get off on the right foot when we first met, but I think your actions these past couple of days give a much better indication of who you are than your “press” does. I’m sorry that I jumped to the wrong conclusion about you.
“This mission also helped me to see in a very personal way what happens when we extranormals fail to help each other when we need it most. I don’t know if you want my assistance, but if you do, I’m here and I’m available. I’d like to help you to clear your name and set things straight.”
Sentinel makes it clear that he just wants to help and if Strike can let him know. He doesn’t push for any information from him or have any additional agenda.
With Forester: “Sorry if I seemed a bit paranoid with some of your questions during the mission, but that’s simply because I was being paranoid. Some of what was revealed during the mission really hit hard. By the way, my name is Kirk, and I was genuinely impressed by your ingenuity and skill. You really are amazing with those arrows of yours and your awareness of things. Did you design them yourself?
“With my powers, surprisingly, a lot of what you ask I don’t know all the answers. I’m going to continue looking for them myself. But I do have a natural ability to summon and manipulate a special energy – that’s what you’ve seen in action. I’m not sure if its something self-generated or siphoned from elsewhere. I also seem sensitive to other forms of energy and their flow.”
When we finally do get the downtime for that drink:
Sentinel pours two shots of Jack and approaches Viper. Handing Viper one of them he nods as they down it. "So, tell me about this bearded-woman at home you keep talking about ... ", he says smiling, "she got a sister?" he adds with a grin.
In response to Sentinel's question, Forester says: I started developing stunt arrows on my own a few years back, but most of them were gifts from the former Freedom Force member known as Marksman." Forester holds out his arm, like a traffic cop keeping vehicles at bay. "I'm not his progeny; I simply trained with the guy for a while." By the way, Forester's just a stage name. My real name is Fred.
After he's had time to meditate and gain his composure, Forester returns to see Venus. "After spending all day reading other people's minds, you probably want some time to yourself. On the other hand, if you feel like talking, and letting someone else hear about you for a change ... well, I'm all ears." Forester tugs on the bottom of his earlobe.
If Venus is in the mood for conversation, the archer will enjoy a polite conversation with her, letting the telepath talk freely if she'd like. During the conversation, Forester will say the following: "Rumor has it that you're from another planet. Is that true? What's it like there? Is everyone there telepathic, or are you unique?"
"When you first encountered me, I was well rested and my 'willpower' was up, so to speak. I've never met a telepath before, and was wondering what that felt like. Was it like I had a mental shield protecting me, or was I completely masked or invisible telepathically? Maybe these metaphors don't
"When you do read minds, is it like hearing words or seeing images? Or do you simply understand someone's mental sensations? Again, I may not even be using the right vocabulary here. I'm fascinated in trying to understand the world from your perspective."
“Slingshot… arrived to the Chess Knight barracks. He asked the name of the Knight who had been "assigned" to take him out. He walked up to him and shook his hand. "Thank you, [insert name/rank]. You get to call me Scott.”
“Nathan Lamb,” replied the unarmored Knight as he shook hands. He was a big African-American man with a short, graying military cut that topped his craggy face. “And thank you,” he said.
Later Scott learned he was former NYPD.
Slingshot: … (Nanite) caught him looking at her. He waved at her and made a motion that they would see each other later. A robot? Well damn.
Nanite seemed happy to see Scott. She waved back and nodded.
A day later, Scott couldn’t find Nanite. When he asked the attending doctor, she said Nanite was gone. “She checked out… against medical advice.”
Further probing from Slingshot reveals that Nanite did not know she was an artificial construct.
When Slingshot asked Grey about it, Grey said sadly, “The psych team did their best, but she wanted to leave. Needed time alone. Can’t say I blame her.”
“When time allows, Forester will go to the library to learn for what crimes Skin Deep, Morgue, and especially Talon are wanted, along with any other information about their powers, weaknesses, backgrounds, and criminal histories. Some of this information must be in public records in spite of Drake's earlier statement about classified information from a few issues back.
CHESS arranges access to a console in the library, but without security clearance, Forester will only learn public information. Powers, weaknesses and other critical info are often withheld from the public, so that a villain doesn’t know what the authorities know about him. Info new to Forester is:
Skin Deep: Wanted for burglary, identity theft, assault. Warrant issued.
Morgue: NYC contract killer. Wanted for murder, assault, racketeering, coercion. Warrant issued. Unusual markings: Skin is pale and corpse-like. (OOC: Forester doesn’t recall this, but he only ever saw Morgue under the red emergency lights of the smoky Body Farm Chamber.)
Talon: Chicago vigilante. Suspect in murder of Chicago police officer. Warrant issued.
Forester and Venus: "Rumor has it that you're from another planet. Is that true? What's it like there? Is everyone there telepathic, or are you unique?"
Venus seemed embarrassed to talk about herself. ‘No, no they’re not. I… I live among other aliens in a hidden refuge here on Earth. I was born there. It’s called the Acropolis.”
Forester: “When you do read minds, is it like hearing words or seeing images?”
“Both,” Venus replied. “How you hear and see your own thoughts… when thinking to yourself? That’s what I hear and see. Your mental defenses attempt to prevent me from doing that,” she smiled.
Sentinel to the Liberty Leaguers: “If Grey is successful in getting this new Freedom Force off the ground, you should consider staying around a bit, maybe in an advisory position or as trainers. Someone needs to help keep an eye on things around here, and someone needs to get my generation on the right track! The heroes of today need your wisdom and they need your heart.”
Stone stared off for a while, as if actually mulling it over. Then he grumbled, “Well, I could use the paycheck.” Doc Rocket smiled at his old friend. “I can see it now. Drill Sergeant Stone.”
Sentinel: Kirk also wants to know about their exploits against Swastika and his abilities. What happened here seems regarding his possession and especially long-term possession and his ability to leave behind his “dead” body seem far beyond anything Kirk had heard or researched
Swastika had none of these abilities in WW2.
Doc Rocket plans to examine the support tank and Swastika’s head for clues as to how Swastika was able to “possess” other people, in the hopes of devising a method that could detect or even prevent such “possession” in the future. It’s a long shot, but worth it.
Sentinel: With Grey: He’d like to be involved in understanding what happened with Swastika and helping to be sure future happenings are prevented (what information has been found out regarding how Swastika took and maintained control of these individuals – did he lose control at any time – if so, what caused it? How can we prevent future possessions, etc).
Grey nodded: “Those investigations are underway. If you’re a member of the Freedom Force, you’ll have access to that info (see Issue 26! –Ye Ed).
Sentinel: With Venus: Are there mental exercises he can do to test and develop what he tried further? Might she be able to assist or does Chess have a “department” for this? Or could she refer another extranormal that might be open to helping Kirk learn more about this?
Venus says, “I’m sorry, I’ll be unable to train you. This life is not for me. I’m leaving for home shortly. However, CHESS might be able to assist you.” (also, see Issue 26 on adding superpowers!).
Sentinel: With Drake: Knowing that Drake already has anti-extranormal sentiments, he makes sure to go to Drake and apologize for his outburst after the mission when Swastika attacked.
Sam Drake made some more or less appropriate remark and then left, muttering something about his workload.
Sentinel: Does this seem to be an outright prejudice against extranormals or is Drake overly cautious against everyone?
You’ve only seen him this way with extranormals.
Sentinel: Kirk will do some searches over the internet and available databases about the Star Giant and references and myths regarding the creature.
Sentinel finds Forester also doing research in the Omni-Carrier’s library.
Sentinel only locates fictional accounts. But one has some strange coincidences:
H.P. Lovecraft, a 1930’s horror writer, was a friend of Robert E. Howard, and like him, Lovecraft also wrote stories that took place in a mythical Hyperborea.
While not known to be a member of the Thule society or the Nazi party, Lovecraft was known to share many of their unhealthy interests: sorcery and the occult, pure-blooded races, tainted bloodlines, Freemasonry and the secret history of the world.
The Star Giant resembles one of Lovecraft’s hideous creations, an alien minion of immense, space-faring Demon Gods that were banished from our dimension eons ago and long to return.