Vanguard Roll Call!

Vanguard Roll Call!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Issue 96: Clash with the Communists!


The Lost Lands, Antarctica! Morning.

The humming temple seemed like something out of time and space. Ages ago, hands that were not human built it in this hidden valley where now Antarctic cold was kept at bay by volcanic warmth!
In this valley, within a swamp, before the temple, Vanguard battled the Soviet Super Soldiers!

Clone shouted for the combat to cease even before he could begin to divide!
The first Clone shouted: “For us we must to be stopping fighting!”
The second looked to his leader and said in Russian: “Comrade Siberian you must stop this fighting now – our people are getting badly injured! This fight is pointless! It serves no purpose!”
The third yelled: “Please to be stopping fighting!”

Talon ignored it! He let out a guttural growl as he struggled to free himself from the Cosmonaut’s space-age net. As he tumbled and clawed, his uncontrollable rage boiled within him. In frustration, he screamed at the Cosmonaut, "Let me out of this net now or the Russians will have to find another chimp to wear that suit!"
He struggled to right himself and set his claws to rip at the net, and with a final burst of strength, he tried to tear himself free....."Rrraaaggrrrr!"
The net sliced open from his claws and Talon flew free and directly at Cosmonaut! SKRESH! The bestial bird man savagely tore into the Soviet with a savagery unexpected! His armor took the worst of it but Talon could smell his fear!

Symbiote, Talon’s twin, was encased in Siberian’s ice, unable to move or even attack the ice! (He had taken another 13 points of damage between turns from the cold! Can only roll with 4. Takes 9 from hits!)

Avatar, Soldier and Lightning Strike heard Clone’s pleas and delayed their actions until they could assess if hostilities were truly over! They eyed the Soviet Super Soldiers warily, ready for treachery.

Clone divided into a total of nine peacekeepers! They deployed across the conflict, placing themselves between combatants as they continued pleading for the fighting to cease! “Please to be stopping fighting!” Two Clones freed Symbiote from his prison of ice! And one snapped Talon out of his rage!

Siberian barked in Russian to Clone: “’True Warrior of Russia’?! Silence, you coward! You traitor to the Motherland!” Seething, the frozen fiend attacked one Clone and Lightning Strike who had also given voice to a cessation of hostilities!
ZHWOOOSH! Frozen white ice exploded from his hands! (10 points of damage to Strike! 5 from Power and 5 from Hits! 14 points of damage to Clone 8! 13 from Power! 1 from Hit Points!)
Strike had ice on him, but could still move. Clone 8, however, was encased alive in a block of ice! He would continue to take damage from the frigid cold! His life hung by a thread!
“Comrades, attack!” Siberian roared, so furious that he did not think to regenerate his ice armor!
Lightning Strike knocked off the ice that still clung to him and returned fire on Siberian! KRAKOOM! The bolt of searing electricity struck the commissar of cold!

Symbiote stretched out his large black wings, shaking off the few remnants of ice, and hurtled at Siberian’s turned back! ZKASH! The duplicating defender’s new claws tore into the craven communist of cryonics and felled him. Siberian was unconscious!

Suddenly everything stopped!

Avatar evaded and watched!
Polar Bear stepped back from the Hellenic hero, and held a paw to his bleeding wound.
Shelley and Manetti lowered their pistols.
Shatter lowered Soldier to the ground, releasing him from his magnetic powers!
Soldier evaded and watched.
Mother Russia and Cosmonaut were motionless, and then raced toward the Clone that was trapped in life-sapping ice. They began to carefully free their comrades. “Help us,” Mother Russia said in English.

(OOC: Responses/actions, if any. You are out of ‘combat’ and may act freely)

The Clone was eventually freed, his life saved.
Lightning Strike said, "We need to be working together on finding what brought us all here. If we don't stop this fight now, we may never get to the bottom of this mystery. The answer lies in this temple."

Vanguard and the Soviet Super Soldiers paused.
Would combat continue? Before that question could be answered, noise suddenly came from the Temple!

(to be continued below!)

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Meanwhile, far away, near a volcanic-heated lake in the Lost Lands…

Accelerator moaned from within Slingshot. “Rescue mission, huh? Open up and let’s talk this over.”

Slingshot sensed vibrations in the ground. The extranormal of elastic ebony epidermi contorted his face around the surface of the rubber ball that was his body and saw looming over him a Tyrannosaurus Rex! 30 feet tall. Teeth like broadswords. The elongated skull of the Terrordactyls. It cracked its whip-fast tail and roared! VROOOOOOAAARRRRR!!!! It could see Slingshot clearly even though Scott was not moving!

Slingshot murmured to the speedster, "We have a problem. Let's deal with it together, then we can talk." With that, he opened up, facing Accelerator towards the menacing T-Rex. "We need to stop this before it decides we are lunch."

Accelerator said, “Thanks...” He looked up at the deadly lizard king. “…sucker.” ZOOOOOM! The villain of velocity was gone!

Slingshot looked at the Tyrannosaurus Maximus and watched his trouble multiply. Two more of the dome-skulled terrors revealed themselves from nearby foliage, flanking the malleable man of might! The intelligent pack-hunting predators roared to each other in a chilling form of communication.
Slingshot got outta there! (Evasion and movement)

(to be continued below!)

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Meanwhile, moments ago, inside the Temple of Terror!

Sentinel had found the source of the silent signal. It was Nemesis, entwined in ancient roots deep within the inhuman temple. Then the heir of heroism heard a rustling from the earthen hallways beyond this chamber, from the only door that led out from here. And then he suddenly felt something sharp slowly severing his energy lifeline!

Sentinel kept focused on the lost Freedom Forcer! Nemesis was inert, a synthetic equivalence of unconsciousness. The beacon of liberty detected that Nemesis was not fueled by electricity. Nor was he a being of circuitry and wires. His energy would not work to help the artificial man. But Sentinel remembered that Nemesis once had a Regeneration Tank that could heal him.

Then something came into the chamber.

The only thing that was remotely human about the intruder was the color of its flesh. Within the shadows, Sentinel saw a seven foot tall writhing mass of tentacles, eyes and slavering mouths. (See picture!)

The thing’s very presence created dread and horror within Sentinel; the same dread Vanguard felt when they entered the Lost Valley, amplified a thousand fold.
(The Terror in the Temple forces Cool Rolls and Sentinel doesn’t make it this time. He has a -5 to all die rolls while in the loathsome monstrosity’s range!)



Forester suddenly appeared in the chamber, far from the door. The Zen archer had camouflaged himself in the shadows and was standing guard. He said, with alarm, “Gather Nemesis and take him with us. We have to get out of here!”

Then something happened that Sentinel would not soon forget. The ghastly, tentacled horror screamed: “WE hAve TO gET OUt Of HERE!!” in a mockery of a human woman’s voice.
The voice was frightened and in pain.
The sound was so loud it hurt Sentinel and Forester, but far less than did the dark realization that came with it: This undulating, misshapen thing had once been the Soviet superheroine, Echo!
Was this the result of the mental attack that Sentinel had resisted upon entering this hellish place?!

Kirk couldn’t resist the urge to flee. He freed Nemesis from his web of roots and took him within his strengthened energy shields. Forester lit a Flare Arrow to guide them, and they fled for their lives with the shambling horror slowly stalking behind them!

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Outside the temple:

The Clones were freed from their icy prisons.
Vanguard and the Soviet Super Soldiers paused. Would combat continue?
Before that question could be answered, noise suddenly came from the Temple of Terror!

Sentinel and Forester burst from the Temple’s non-Euclidean maw! Sentinel was cradling a lifeless figure: Nemesis! Sentinel and Forester saw that the fight had stopped… for now.

Those extranormals with magnified senses could tell that Nemesis was the source of the silent signal!

Accelerator suddenly zoomed into the area and stopped. “Huh?” he said at all the non-combatants.

Slingshot landed right after him, having slungshot himself back to the group.
Slingshot said grimly, “Everyone, a pack of intelligent, modified T-Rexes are headed this way, having tracked Accelerator’s scent. I slungshot ahead of the pack but they’ll be here soon!”

Accelerator looked sullenly at all the accusing eyes. “Don’t look at me. It’s not my fault!”

To be continued!

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OOC: Actions everyone?!
Intelligent Tyrannosaurs are coming! Something from the Temple of Terror may be coming! Siberian is still unconscious! And there was a razor-thin d├ętente between the two powerful super teams.

What does everyone do?!?!

Current Conditions:

Avatar: Hit Points: 40, Power Points: 51, Manifestation: Hestia: Shield, -4 to be hit, Evading

Forester: Hit Points: 23, Power Points: 56, Arrows Used: Parachute, Scent, Sonic, Acid, Flare, Evading

Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 25, Power Points: 48

Sentinel: Hit Points: 18, Power Points: 43, Creation Points: 86, Shields: 86%

Slingshot: Hit Points: 50, Power Points: 69, Invulnerability: 8, Evading

Soldier: Hit Points: 43, Power Points: 71, Invulnerability: 8

Symbiote: Hit Points: 51, Power Points: 75, Charges: 11, Copied Talon: S:20 E:27 A:24 I:25 C:13

Talon: Hit Points: 28, Power Points: 66, no longer enraged

Clone: Hit Points: 1 each, Power Points: 28 each, Total Bodies: 9. (Clone 8 has: HP: 0, PP: 15)

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Avatar:
Just to throw this out to the group: Maybe we can work to lure the T-rex's in to fight the thing from the temple? Still working out how this could happen, but it's something to consider.

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Symbiote:
IC: Symbiote looked at his claws, "borrowed" from Talon, and he looked at the ice-encased from of one of the Clones. He wanted to free his friend but he knew that he had other teammates that could exert more shattering power against the block of ice. Hal, on the other hand, had a plan that just might work against the oncoming Tyrannosaurs.

He turned and shouted to his teammates. "Guys! Help them free Clone! I've got a plan for the dinosaurs!" And then he bent over Siberian's immobile form, sticking a hand out...

OOC: Hal's plan is to absorb Siberian's powers (if possible) and then head in the direction of the T-Rexs, making an Iceman-type slide for travel if possible. Once he sights the roaring dinosaurs he'll hit with a wide dispersal cold blast, as much as he can lay on them. Hal is hoping that, like Vanguard's erstwhile teammate Viper, the cold-blooded creatures will be vulnerable to extreme frigid temperatures and either drop into hybernation, run away from it or at least be considerably slowed.

If this doesn't work or is only partially succesful (i.e., the T-Rexs are slowed but still coming at us), Hal's next trick will be to coat the ground in front of them with a layer of ice. These beings evolved entirely in a tropical setting, presumably neither they nor their ancestors have ever even seen ice, never mind having any idea about how to navigate on it. This along with the fact that they're large and ungainly to begin with will hopefully effectively immobolize them, they'll be too busy slipping and falling to make any progress towards the teams.

If Siberian's power type is one Hal can't absorb:

IC: Hal curses and then turns to Talon. "Well, Flyboy, you feel like exercising your testosterone?" Symbiote asks the Pinioned Powerhouse, gesturing in the direction of the oncoming T-Rexs. "Those things are at the top of the food chain, they're not used to anything fighting back, much less anything fighting back from overhead. We hit them with wolf pack tactics--hit and run from above--we can probably keep them busy, maybe even lure them away."

Symbiote will then launch himself into the air, hoping Talon (and perhaps Sentinel, Cosmonaut and Shatter) will follow.

Viva Vanguard (and happy Labor Day, Comrades!)
Greg

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Lightning Strike:
As the battle seemed to be winding down, Strike refocused his attention on the temple. When Forester and Sentinel emerged from the temple with Nemesis he rushed over to see what was going on. "What is Nemesis doing here and what is wrong with him? He hasn't been seen in years." Strike consulted with Sentinel to see if there are any energy readings whatsoever coming from Nemesis.

Strike spoke to the assembled heroes. "We have two main concerns here, what lies in the temple and these tyranosaurs. Obviously both are lethal but that monstrosity seems to be the greater threat to humanity in general. Between both groups we should be able to hold off the dinosaurs but we need answers. I think those answers lie within Nemesis. I propose that I enter him and probe the memory circuits and see if there is any residue left in them of what happened to him."

He will solicit suggestions from the rest of the group on strategy.

OOC: That's all for now. I am leaving for vacation today and will not have internet access until next Saturday so please act accordingly. Jeff can have Strike respond if necessary.

Take care all,
Tony

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Sentinel:
Kirk's head told him that he didn't want to flee from the temple, but despite all his training and his normally taking such situations in stride, he felt almost overwhelmed by the dread he was feeling. Then he heard the urgings of Forester and thought perhaps it was in their best interests to regroup outside of the influence of the temple creature ... at least that was what he told himself.

Kirk's exit was quicker and more pronounced then he'd intended. He found himself outside the temple and his body still moving further away from the temple (and the deformed creature within) than his mind intended.

At that point, his mind kicked back into control and he quickly surveyed the situation. He could sense that although there was a calm between the teams, things could still go right back into conflict.

Looking around he said, "Detente. Couldn't come at a better time." He addressed both teams. "There is a unearthly force inhabiting the temple. Upon entrance into the temple, it tries to exert control over you. And it seems that if it succeeds it manifests its control in a physical transformation of that being. Echo has succumbed to that influence. This is a threat that goes beyond national borders. We need to put aside our differences and pool our knowledge and our power," and looking at the hesitation in many of the faces before him he added, "at least for now."

Kirk protected the form of Nemesis and said to Strike, "From my analysis, his physiology is not electrical or mechanical, so I don't know if your idea will work." If Strike still feels he can do some good regarding Nemesis or wants to try, he would let him in within his shields. Otherwrise, Kirk will protect the inert body of Nemesis from any danger at this time (he isn't 'giving him up' to anyone).

When Kirk becomes aware of the dinosaur threat he would suggest leaving the area for now over a battle. There is nothing to gain from damaging these creatures that are apparently acting on their basic instincts and their prior actions have shown they can easily get clear of them as a team if necessary.

If we go back into combat his actions would likely include protecting Shelly and Manetti and combat with direct threats to them or himself or evading if no direct threat.

When he gets a moment to think and concentrate he wants to try to filter the perceptions and knowledge he has acquired to assimilate things and try to filter the unearthly energies better so his energy perceptions can understand and 'read' things better. Given the carvings and his contact with the physic force as well as continued exposure, he should be able to begin to sort through things and interpret these new energy readings in a more reliable way (this has been the way this power has worked in the past). Naturally Jeff may determine that this requires more time and actions, but at least lets say that Kirk will be activiely working on it.

Also, hopefully with him moving further away from the temple, his energy readings will help him 'chart' the presence and attack formations of the dinosaurs if they don't leave the area quickly enough and he would convey this information to the others.
 
Hope everyone enjoys the day off!

Best,
Seth

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Forester:
Forester grimly concurred with Sentinel.
"There are Things within that place that Man Was Not Meant To Know. This foe is beyond all of us. And we have what we've come for. The signal source is in our possession. I propose we choose the better part of valour."

After Strike and Sentinel conspired on next steps, the resourceful ranger whispered to Sentinel: "If Strike cannot read Nemesis's memory banks... perhaps you can, friend."

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Clone:
Now that the hostilities has ceased two of the Clones will tend to Polar Bear’s bloody wound. If need be they will use parts of their costumes as bandages. If they can stop the bleeding the next thing that they will make sure of is that Polar Bear is ambulatory. I'm hoping that their knowledge of Animal Husbandry and life on the farm might help the Clones with Polar Bears wounds - assuming he has a somewhat animal physiology.

Three of them will try to restrain Siberian, with one of them asking Mother Russia in Russian "So what should we do with him?"

Three of the others will attempt to aid any of the other injured - American or Russian - who ever seems to need more help ( triage conditions ). Realizing that we ( we = the Americans and the Russians ) might be leaving the area relatively soon; any first aid that any of the Clones will give will focus primarily on stopping bleeding and making sure all the injured are ambulatory. If need be they will use parts of their costumes as bandages.

The injured Clone ( the one that was encased in ice ) will be re-absorbed into the collective.

OOC:
Sorry my actions aren't overly heroic or dramatic, but given his personality and background I figured they were fitting.

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day Weekend!

Talk To You All Soon,
-Kev

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Slingshot:
Accelerator looked sullenly at all the accusing eyes. “Don't look at me. It's not my fault!”

With a look of disdain towards Accelerator, Scott made a mental note to "deal with him" at the most opportune time. Slingshot, unknowingly ignoring Sentinel's and Forester's imminent danger, focused on the threat at hand. Without a look back, he launched two massive hands towards a T-Rex in an attempt to brain it. "VANGUARD!", he yells as the flush of battle is coming over the group's Pliable Powerhouse.

[OOC: Simple attack towards a Close T-Rex]

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Avatar:
Avatar will drop Hestia's shield and manifest Zeus's Weather powers. Since it takes an action, I guess that's all Avatar will do, but he'll throw some lightning at the same t-rex that Slingshot attacks if he gets a chance.

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Talon:
Hey Guys,
After we have made the decision that we are preparing to leave, Talon will follow Symbiote in the direction of the Tyrannosaurs. He will follow Symbiote's plan to make sure it doesn't backfire and get him into trouble.

If he is forced to attack the dinosaurs, he will stay in the air to serve as a distraction, so Symbiote can have a better chance of escaping.

My intention is to try and slow the dinosaurs(I assume that's Greg's intent as well), so the group can make good their escape. If the dinosaurs make it to the temple and confront the group, Talon will attack the same Tyrannosaur that Slingshot does to try and take one down.

That's it for this issue. I hope everyone had a good vacation.

Viva Vanguard,
Denny

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Soldier:
Soldier's, IC response to Forrester's comments:" As much as I hate to tuck tail and run, I agree that until we know what we're dealing with, it's probably a good idea to back off and regroup."OOC: Upon hearing of the T-Rex's I'll assist in carrying anyone who can't move. If Polar Bear is unable to walk unde his own power, I'll try to lift him. Am I strong enough to carry him? If he's being carried by someone else, I'll look for something large to use as weapon against the dino's. And try to slow down there pursuit.

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Stephane:
I must have missed all the retreat talk. Obviously, if people are retreating, Slingshot will protect the retreat (as he usually does). This would include smacking the T-Rexes. If by the time he moves, he's the only one on the field, he'll retreat as well, otherwise, protect the retreat.

Slow-Pokes Stephane

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Avatar:
I guess that I missed that part, too. In this case, no dropping of the shield. I'll keep it up and run interference.

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