Vanguard Roll Call!

Vanguard Roll Call!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Issue 67: The Ambush and the Ani-Men!

25,000 feet above Athens! The mysterious circular craft! Night!

Thanks to Oracle’s preternatural precognition, Vanguard just invaded the saucer ship of the savage Primate, catching his Ani-Men unaware!! (OOC: The villains are surprised and cannot act this issue!!)

Kairos entered the fray! The avatar of antiquity unsheathed his new silver sword, leapt out from Symbiote’s simulated, ebon, elastic epidermis and charged Hyena, shouting, "Let's see how you like the taste of this!" SKLAASHH! The blade bit deeply and the feral fiend yelped at the touch of silver!
“Now why’d ya hafta go and do that, pretty boy?” the jovial jackal growled. “I wasn’t planning to eat for another few hours,” he grinned as his licked his fangs with a long, slavering tongue.

Forester touched down on the deck and loosed a flash arrow and the colossal Cockroach! FOOOSH! The arboreal archer’s aim was true but the massive monster seemed unaffected! The immense insect thing spoke! “No! You’ll not blind me! I’ve gone to great pains to augment my form so that it would survive a nuclear holocaust!” The hideous thing gazed in admiration at the hairy, greasy, black carapace of its right arm and claw. The surprisingly human voice continued: “Your little lights will not bother one who can adapt to survive the most hostile environments on earth!”

Symbiote squared off and launched an enlarged fist across the cargo bay at the Crustacean of Crime. "Hey, Crabby Patties!" Hal yelled. "EAT THIS!" The homemade hero connected! KRA-POW!! But Crab Man’s mighty armor seemed unaffected! “You wanna tangle with me?” the saltwater slugger muttered.
Lightning Strike spoke to Jellyfish, "Time to put you on the shore to dry out my friend,” as he fired a blast of electricity at the poisonous princess! KRAKA-THOOMM! Lightning arced through her fluid form! She was hurt badly. “You’ll pay dearly for that,” she spat venomously. Crab Man turned and glared at the high voltage vigilante.

Meanwhile, outside the advanced technology of the saucer ship…

Sentinel hurtled toward the circular craft with Slingshot! The beacon of liberty saw that the ship’s hull deployed a massive communications array, bristling with energy! Sentinel crashed an energy construct ram into the array, splintering it! CRAASSHH! The energy sputtered, fizzled and dissipated! Then the heir of heroism flew he and his partner under the ship to the steel spiral iris that was rapidly closing!

Slingshot stretched his arms forward and squeezed his flexible fingers into the iris with a moment to spare! Using all his strength, the malleable man of might pulled the steel iris open with his bare hands, bending and twisting the reinforced metal until it could not close! Then he and Sentinel flew through the hole! Sentinel detected no other extranormals within the range of his extranormal energy sense!

Pressurized air kept the elements out of the high tech chamber but there was a bottomless manhole in the center of the chamber!!

Gator chuckled a gravelly laugh. “That’s it?! That’s all these jokers got?!”

Viper moved with the speed of a cobra strike! The serpentine superhero suddenly sucker-punched
Lightning Strike! KER-RACK! The electric avenger didn’t see it coming! (OOC: 12 points, all off hits!)

Web said to Viper, “Good to have you aboard, brother.” Then, to the others: “Remember what Inhuman told us about their powers and weaknesses! Take these humans apart!!”

The Ani-Men surged forward with a flash of teeth and claws!
To be continued!
OOC: Actions?
Current Conditions: Forester: Hit Points: 18 Power Points: 68
Kairos: Hit Points: 42 Power Points: 81
Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 28 Power Points: 62
Sentinel: Hit Points: 20 Power Points: 43 Energy: 87 Shields: 80
Slingshot: Hit Points: 55 Power Points: 89 Invulnerability: 8
Symbiote: Hit Points: 86 Power Points: 101 Invulnerability: 8 Charges: 12

Everyone, Don (aka that snake in the grass, Viper) has served his purpose. He still doesn’t have time to play a PBEM regularly.


"Take us apart?" Forester exclaims, as he hears Web's words. "Maybe we should try taking you apart first."

Forester fires an arrow in the direction of Web, but the weapon boomerangs back in the direction of Gator. If memory serves correct, Inhuman never saw this arrow in action, so the archer hopes the attack takes the reptile by surprise.

If the strategy works, the woodsman is not above saying, "See you later, Alligator."


I may not be understanding the description -- is the bottomless manhole the area we just entered from or something else? If something else, Kirk would focus his attention on trying to figure out exactly what it is and where it leads. Otherwise, does Kirk pick up anything more from his energy sense and the systems around him? Does he notice/can he determine the craft's guidance/flight systems area? From the systems is there anything that would appear to be related to a coolant system which could release freezing coolant into the area (not necessarily the entire craft -- ie something that would feed into Viper's weakness if necessary)?

As Kirk tried to get a sense of their environment he was shocked and dismayed by Viper's actions and immediately shouted to him exclaiming,
"Hey Rube! What would the bearded lady think? Come on big guy! Shake it off, this isn't you."
He hoped the carny rally cry for assistance and a reminder of who he was and of those that depended on him would give him the additional edge to shake off the mind-controlling effects of Primate.

Hearing Web's comments about Inhuman, Kirk thought to himself, "Well I guess we're about to get a clue as to whether Inhuman was able to shake of the Primate's influence and we've got an inside man." But seeing his friend Viper turn in front of him called to mind his interchange with Drake in an alarming way.

--- Actions to follow comments once you give me the additional explanations and perceptions that Kirk has enough time to feel/figure out this round. Thanks.



I have to agree.. more details are welcome. I'm in construction, that's not advanced aeronautics, but are there any indication of what's are all the constructs that are in the room that I can phantom? something that I can use to eliminate some of the more difficult opponents?The hole is of course something to look for? Could it be the hole they use to shoot Pachyderm out of?


GM Replies:
OOC: Sentinel and Slingshot:
Sorry. In Issue 66, I wrote this for Kairos, Forester, Symbiote and Viper:
"The four donned AEGIS oxygen masks, with Oracle’s assistance, and were enveloped in Symbiote’s newly elastic, ebony epidermis and were slungshot straight up! With Slingshot’s powers, Symbiote could shoot himself almost nine miles up!

They passed Sentinel, Slingshot and Pachyderm and kept going! They closed on the mysterious circular craft! Hal marveled at the technological engineering of the amazing ship!
As they grew closer still, they spied an irising portal in the bottom of the saucer’s hull! It was how Pachyderm departed the ship, and it was slowly closing!

With no time to lose, Symbiote, using flexible fins, guided he and his team right inside the craft! Zoom!
Vanguard burst into a pressurized, large cargo area and Symbiote unfurled, releasing Vanguard!

Inside the cargo bay was Hyena! Crab Man! Jellyfish! Cockroach! Gator! And an extranormal they did not recognize! Gator inadvertently introduced the last man, yelling: “Look out, Web!”
Hyena barked: “What the?!!” The villains were surprised at the sudden appearance of Vanguard!
The cargo bay held controls and a power source for the personnel tractor beam that Vanguard witnessed at CHESS Castle prison break! The iris portal beneath them was still closing, but not closed entirely! Pressurized air kept the elements out of the high tech chamber!"

To be clear:

The "bottomless manhole" is referring to the circular, irising portal in the floor of this chamber. It is what Vanguard entered the ship through, after the villains dropped Pachyderm out of it.
Slingshot damaged it when he forced it back open so that he and Sentinel could enter.

The hole/portal is slightly bigger and more irregular than a manhole and the drop is several miles down to Athens... almost bottomless.
Its position is marked on the current map by the word "hole!"

The pressurized air in the chamber, designed for when the circular hatch is open, is preventing a loss of oxygen and temperature, despite this gape in the craft's hull.

The machinery on the far left ("west") of the chamber appears to be the personnel tractor beam operations area (how the convicts were levitated out of the prison yard at CHESS Castle and up into the irising portal).

The door from this room is faint on the map, but it is due "south."

The chamber feels like a ship's cargo hold. The walls are dull metal.
The ceilings are 12' high.

The stuff beyond this room is not seen by anyone save Lightning Strike.

Hope this helps.

Sentinel: Your energy sense range is being curtailed by the steel walls. You do not locate a navigation system. (Strike told you earlier he planned to raid that information center).
You do discover coolant pipes in the industrial ceiling of this cargo bay.



IC: Hal was shocked and outraged by the foul betrayal of Viper. Surely the Scaled Superhero was not in charge of his own faculties, he had been brainwashed by the Primate! He made a mental note to contact Doc Rocket (using a frequency other than Vanguard's normal radio communications protocol) and see how that countermeasure was coming, if he survived the fight. At the moment, however, he had his hands full.

He'd attacked Crab Man to no apparent effect--clearly it was time for a new tactic. "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em," Symbiote muttered to himself as he used Slingshot's abilities to reach out with the contacts of his gauntlet, ready to copy the powers of the Briney Brawler...

OOC: If I can copy Crab Man's abilities I'll do it this round. If he's a power type I can't copy and I don't feel the change coming on I'll instead wrap my body around him, attempting to entangle.


Kairos will continue attacking Hyena with the silver sword.


Thanks for the full explanation.
Ok, added to my turn would be the following:

Kirk would try to establish a link with Viper so he can determine what is going through is friend's thoughts and if he has some free will at all in play here or has no real thought of his own. He wants to help him break the Primate's hold before anyone is forced to hurt him (or before he hurts anyone).

Once he does that, he would say the words of my last email directed to Viper to see if it is having any of the desired effect and likely additional dialogue to bring Viper back to them.

In addition, since we have the coolant available, he'd try to use that as an additional 'jolting' agent to try to break Primate's hold if the words alone aren't working (sort of like the traditional slap across the face to bring an hysterical person back to their senses).

Since his 'action' would be the mind link I don't think you'd allow him to use the coolant directly at this point, but what I'd like him to do as he hits the coolant container (making sure his teammates aren't in the path - any foes in the path are fine) is to grab a bunch of it in a component of his energy fields to use it with Viper next.

Kirk would move towards the next room and enter if he still has enough movement left, hoping Viper would be following him at this point from their interaction and getting him away from the rest of melee. At that point Kirk should get both visual and energy sense of the next area to try to figure out what's going on and plan his next move.

Should Viper come follow Kirk to attack him this round -- which could be likely if Vipe hasn't shook off the influence of Primate with just the words, perhaps you would allow Kirk with movement to let him release the coolant between himself and Viper so that in effect, Viper would be jolted by the coolant due to his own actions rather than an 'attack' by Kirk.

Hopefully Kirk's shields, even at already lowered levels, would help him withstand a round or two of Viper's attacks as the team figures out what is going on here.

I'm making some assumptions here (although they would seem a possibility) and possibly playing too freely with actions vs movement and stuff in the gaming rules, so you'll have to let me know, but it would seem like I'm sacrificing a 'damaging' attack this turn, so perhaps Kirk could do the above stuff.