Avatar said, "I can see you, too. What would you have of me?" Rain soaked the thick New York crowds.
“Everything,” was the calm reply. “I have been searching for you… for ages. Long have you been missing from the world of Men, Avatar of the Pantheon. But now you are returned. Where have you been?...”
KRAKA-BOOM! Lightning flashed to reveal the giant’s face. John saw the ugly man had but one large eye! He was a Cyclops! “…Where have you been to escape detection by Otom the Seer?”
John chuckles. Here we go, he thinks. "Searching for me for ages...? This is a mystery to me but there have been lots of strange things going on so, instead of dismissing this out of hand, I guess I need to ask one question of you before we move forward. Otom, Seer...are you my friend or are you my foe?"
“Both,” said the ancient Cyclops with sincere remorse and determination. He tore open his brown paper package to reveal two long spears, crafted with traditional materials and methods.
His voice boomed again, like thunder. “I, Otom the Seer, worthy, wise and deserving, do hereby challenge you before the all-seeing Pantheon for the sacred mantle of Avatar of the Twelve Olympians!”
Those words triggered a memory in John’s amnesiac mind. Those words… a ritual… an ancient pact that must be honored. Suddenly John felt those magic words change him! He lost his ability to manifest the Pantheon (OOC: ie: Power 4: Magic Power: Divine Manifestation) …until this mighty contest was decided!
Otom threw one spear hard at John, lengthwise, not to attack, but to arm a fellow soldier.
KRAKA-BOOM! roared the heavens. Panic rippled through the crowds as the giant Cyclops roared back over the wind and the rain and the thunder! “Now let us see, at long last, who is worthy to be called Avatar!”
Clone heard CHESS Director Grey say, “Alex, what you said about giving your life. Were you serious?”
He cleared his throat. Agent Drake and Doc Rocket looked uncomfortable.
“Through unofficial channels, the Soviets have contacted CHESS. They’ve proposed a trade. The USSR want one of your duplicates… in exchange for your family.”
Putting his hand to chin, Clone turned and slowly walked away from the three agents. With his back turned towards them he stopped only a few feet away, scratching his chin as he pondered what they have just said to him. Clone’s eyes opened slowly as he turned to the three agents, “They are having my family? Of this you are certain?
“We’re certain,” said Grey flatly.
“Is the Kremlin telling you of what they are wanting with my Clone?” “No,” said Grey without pleasure. “We figger they’ll put him back in the Program, re-indoctrinate him, and start building up the ranks of the Soviet Super Soldiers again.” “Are you trusting them comrades?” “In this instance? Maybe,” said Grey. “For their national security, they need extranormals to replace what they’ve just lost. Weighed against that, your family doesn’t matter much to them. It’s an easy call on their part.
But we’ll insist on a live, simultaneous trade in a neutral location just the same. If it’s what you want.”
(Reply? Actions? And Kev, I need a list of Alex’s family members. Thanks.)
Menagerie tracked a mysterious disturbance in the Natural Order to the wilds of Canada. In the titanic forests of British Columbia, a forest fire borne of a lightning storm smoldered and flickered as the sun set. Illuminated by the dying flames as he cupped stream water to his lips was a monolithic figure. Menagerie knew from the news that his name was Pachyderm. Wanted for wholesale destruction of property, the seven foot tall man-mammoth, like his name, evoked elephant, hippo and rhino. The bestial behemoth was the source of the mystical disturbance!
Menagerie magically assumed the form of a cougar and slunk stealthily downwind to escape detection! The fire, or perhaps the grey goliath, had forced all other animals from the area.
With amber cat eyes that caught the flickering flames, the sorcerous shapeshifter silently watched Pachyderm. Using his mystical Nature Sense, Menagerie tried to divine more! The wizard of wildlife saw visions of events. Events that both transpired and did not! Pachyderm was hurtling from the sky like a comet, the catalyst in a chain of events that would result in the overthrow of mankind! A perverted vision of animal law gripped the planet, enforced by a beast with the mind of a man, the Primate! His all-too-human tyranny supplanted the Natural Order forever!
All of this happened… and none of it did. The environmental empathy realized then that his visions were of an alternate dimension, a parallel universe that lay incredibly close to his own. The disruption he detected was coming from that adjacent realm! The threat to this world had already been averted… by Vanguard, a New York based team of superheroes!
Menagerie’s mystical perception suddenly jolted back to his surroundings! Pachyderm was glaring at him! Looking him directly in the eye, perhaps in a display of dominance over the cougar. Or perhaps it was something else… because the lethal leviathan grunted in a questioning tone, as if in disbelief!
Sentinel hosted an old-fashioned costumed ball fundraiser for REACH at the Odyssey Club, the stately philanthropic institution housed within a Fifth Avenue brownstone. He dressed as the Scarlet Pimpernel and spoke briefly but passionately about his goals and hopes for REACH and how it would benefit all of humanity, during which he revealed himself as Sentinel, the beacon of liberty!
The event was a swank affair and the attendees were appreciative and attentive. When he revealed the Sentinel insignia on the back of his cape, they applauded loudly.
In mingling, Kirk noticed at least two male guests wearing signet rings with the symbol of the Sentinel on them! Kirk knew its origin was in US history but it still seemed unusual. Lancaster wore such a ring but Lancaster’s friend, Edward Thistlewait, did not. Kirk recognized Senator Doyle and Sean O’Malley in attendance but no one else, however the masks made such work difficult.
Sentinel approached the ring wearers and in their casual conversation said, "I couldn't help but notice the symbol on your ring, it’s one that has always been close to my heart. Does it have any special meaning?”
The two men froze. The awkward pause kept going. Kirk noticed the silence spreading through the ballroom!
Sentinel turned to see what was the matter and noticed a woman dressed as the Mask of Red Death at the top of the stairs. She was laughing unpleasantly from behind her skull mask.
When she had everyone’s attention, she said, “Ladies and gentlemen. You have eaten your fill. You have eaten this country’s wealth. And it’s heart. But don’t fret, you well bred masters of the universe. That time is done. From now on, you shall be the prey. This nation has no need of you slave masters anymore.”
Kirk had feared that REACH’s affiliation with super heroes would cause it to become a target for extranormal criminals, but this woman wasn’t targeting REACH. She seemed to be targeting the members of Odyssey Club!
(Replies? Actions?) *
Slingshot had coffee and small talk with Spider Girucci’s sister, Maria. The check came and Maria Girucci said, “Well, I gotta thank you…. Really. I believe I have enough now.” Her accent evaporated and she smiled as her eyes glowed white, eclipsing her brown pupils entirely.
Scott steeled himself. While, he understood why Maria might have been after him.. Go through this whole charade to spend an hour in front of a coffee? - He says sighing, something between exasperation and sadness. "Thank you for the reveal. I'm assuming you're not actually Maria. I certainly don't appreciate the subterfuge. If you wanted to talk to me, you could have simply come up and asked, just as "Maria" just did… and what do you mean, ‘I have enough?’"
Maria’s eyes returned to normal. She stood up and said, “I’ll tell you outside,” again without the thick accent.
She went out the side door and Slingy followed, looking for answers.
The alley was empty and the sky growing dark. “What I meant was” WHAM!!!!
Maria, or whatever she was, hit Scott with a speed his eyes couldn’t follow. There was a blur and then blackness. Scott couldn’t see or move! He felt tightly constrained, like he was just swallowed alive! Whatever was containing him felt warm… and living!
Soldier looked at the Top Secret dossier as Dr. Ashe said, “He calls himself the Patriot. He’s gone AWOL from CHESS in Venezuela. We have a lead on his location.”
General Steele said, “We’re burning daylight. Ashe can thoroughly brief you on the way down. Will you help me, son?”
Soldier replied, "I got a few questions I need answered, so that I can come up with a workable plan, and I'll need some equipment. When and where was the Patriot last seen?”
Ashe said, “Venezuela’s capital. He failed to check in 30 hours ago.”
Soldier said, “How am I infiltrating my objective, and what my cover story?”
Ashe said, “We’ve traced him to a location remote in the jungle. We’ll airdrop you in. You’ll likely not need a cover story in that wilderness. But if you want, we can arrange an identity as a Canadian missionary worker, volunteering with local indigenous peoples.” Ashe produced a passport and drivers license from a beige envelope.
“What type of support am I looking at, and will CHESS back up be available if I need it?"
General Steele said, “Almost none, and no. Venezuela is hostile country. You’ll almost be on your own.”
Matt said, "Also, I'd like to request that Agent Manetti be the CHESS Agent to accompany me on this mission.”
Steele said, “Not a problem. He’s cleared.”
Then Matt spoke directly to his father. "With your permission sir, I'd like to take care of a few personal issues, before I leave, do I have time?”
More of the throbbing vein Matt had come to know all too well. “Make it quick,” his father grumbled.
Symbiote had found Gadget Girl in the Vanguard Vault Electronics Lab! The inventing ingénue, fresh from the CHESS Castle jailbreak! And she was wearing the Harper Harness! Hal could tell that it had been somehow modified in the area of the telemetry system! Gadget Girl smiled as the Harper Harness hummed to life and her form grew with muscle! She said, “After all, sweetheart, I just stole it fair and square.”
KA-POW!! Gadget Girl landed a haymaker on Symbiote’s jaw and sent him flying across the darkened Lab! (OOC: 23 points of damage! 8 from Power, 15 from hits!!) CRASH! Hal landed hard across a workbench, scattering steel tools across the cement floor! Clang! Clatter! Skash!
Gadget Girl smiled and looked at her fist. “Sweet! What else can this baby do?” she purred.
Hal grasped a tool that would help him quickly deactivate the Harper Harness. (a Luck Point is spent to retcon a quick deactivation process that will also instantly discharge the current extranormal genetic template. It’ll take a special attack to successfully deactivate it with the tool. )
Symbiote charged her with the tool and missed!
“Not so fast,” Gadget Girl laughed. She was enjoying this. Then the lights came on.
“Hal, what was so damn important that you’re yelling for me on the intercom?” asked a perturbed Shelley who was standing in the doorway with her hand on the light switch. “Um... Uh oh.”
Talon was trying hard to enjoy a night out as a regular person on a date, albeit a date with Mother Russia, former leader of the Soviet Super Soldiers, but still.
The two new friends talked happily on the way to the bar. Then the hair on the back of Talon’s neck went up. The eagle-eyed hero scanned across the reflection on a window wall they were passing and saw they were being followed. One person, male. A block back. Coat and hat made him hard to make out in the night.
If Mother Russia noticed, she didn’t let on.
Adam found a small bar and sat her down near the window in the hopes that this person will leave them be if they sit for awhile. He' tried to keep up the small talk without losing his temper but his extranormal eyes detected another stalker trying not to be noticed. Adam couldn’t make this one out in the darkness either.
Suspecting a trap, Adam excused himself and went out the back door. He freed his wings from their harness, feeling his blood pressure rising. He was angry at the disturbance of his date. All the bad memories of his past came flooding back, the effort he’d made to control his anger be damned.
Talon flew up and into the alley on the opposite block where the first tail was now watching from. He descended near him, ready for a fight, his temper lost.
The man cried out, “Talon! No!” He reached into his coat pocket and said: “I’m a CHESS agent! We’re monitoring Mother Russia!” But all Talon could see at this point was red!
You’ve blown your first save against Low Self Control, but may attempt to regain control if you want)
Symbiote: Hit Points: 25 Power Points: 72
Everyone else is full or close to it.
*Couldn’t fool you, Seth. We’ve been gaming too long together.
Apologies to Frank Miller. More than usual I mean.
John is puzzled at the utterance of the cyclops and the surfacing of the memory...but only for a moment. A battle looms nigh and that is all that he has time for at the present!
Catching the hard-thrown spear, thoughts race through his mind at break-neck speed. Without the powers of the Pantheon, he is back to the powers that he had as Kairos. He realizes that he had grown to depend on the powers of the Pantheon too much, even in the brief time that he has had them. A fight without them, once commonplace, was now a little scary!
Nevertheless, here it was. This cyclops was obviously someone who knew more than John did about his past and his response to John's question about whether he was friend or foe was revealing. More needed to be discovered.
John raced forward toward the cyclops, spear in both hands. He didn't know the abilities of the cyclops but needed to do something to make the odds favor him more. An obvious ploy sprang to mind.
As he closed with the one-eyed seer, John feints with the spear's point but then uses the butt of the weapon to try and strike Otom's eye, not to permanently blind but in an attempt to make seeing difficult for the giant for the duration of the combat. John reasoned that even a mythical giant might be vulnerable to such an attack and disrupted vision would be a boon to him in a fight with an enemy of unknown abilities.
(OOC: John tries a special attack at the eye and uses a Luck Point in an attempt to ensure a hit. I forget the rules but I'm hoping that this not only does damage but also blinds him for a time so that he is both more vulnerable to attack as well as having an even greater chance of missing me. Any further actions in the immediate future will be regular attacks with the spear unless something else comes up.)
"I feel that I've a destiny to fulfill before the mantle is passed to another, Otom, though I know not what it may be. Until that time, it is MINE!"
OOC: I wanted to get this in quickly. If I don't hear back, I will go the "If-then" route. (Unfortunately doing "if-then" and VLookups in EXCEL is a majority of my job so my response can be very long).
How does Pachyderm response to a friendly approach? I have written it down below the **** how I would respond if it is favorable. Let me know if it is unfavorable and I will provide a different response. If you are unable to get back to me 2 days before the deadline, then I will go the "If-then" approach for friendly and unfriendly.
IC: Menagerie is confused. Was I lead here because of a parallel dimension issue? Snap out of it! Focus on the most important thing! This Beast in front of you!
Menagerie will look into Pachyderm's eyes and softly purr. He moves to Pachy and rubs his head against an arm or leg. (OOC: like a cat when it is wanting to be petted). If successful in making contact, Menagerie will attempt to create a mindlink (OOC: spend 1 luck point and 20 PPs). If Pachy starts petting Menagerie he will go with the flow. If Pachy starts hurting Menagerie, he will use whatever means possible to run away.
I saw the potential for this scenario to happen but went with the action anyway. That's what I get for trying to role-play.
I will most surely try to save again.
Kirk didn't miss a beat. His energies focused around him clandestinely in an almost invisible glow imperceptible to all but those looking for it.
He smiled and clapped his hands applauding, "Bravo! (and louder) BRAVO!"
As he spoke he began to walk above the crowd of guests as a spiraling red staircase appeared seemingly from nowhere always a few steps ahead of him to accommodate his casual walk upward towards the mysterious intruder.
"You certainly know how to make an entrance and how to entrance a room my dear," as he said that Kirk made a wide flowing gesture about the room as he continued his ascent, but you have me at a disadvantage with the mask and all, and I'm afraid I've been a bit lax in my duties as the host of this little soiree I haven't properly met or welcomed you, Ms ..."
And Kirk motioned to her, hoping she would fill in her name.
"... although from your demeanor, I'd guess that you didn't get a proper invite, did you?"
Kirk continued walking upward until he was at eye level with her although towards the center of the grand ballroom saying, "Truth be told, although I am the host, tonight is the first time I've met most of my guests. But even I can see that tonight's portions of finger foods and cocktails, although more decadent than most, certainly don't qualify as the gorging of your accusations."
The scarlet steps formed a small landing which Kirk reached and as he did he dramatically adjusted his cape seemingly standing at full attention, "I'm shocked by what you say! Even startled. Perhaps you can enlighten me further about the company I've been keeping..."
And he waited for her reply.
Kirk is hoping to change the focus of the Mask from the guests to himself and has made himself an easy target away from them if an attack is eminent. He is also hoping that this dramatic show might abate panic on the part of the guests and perhaps allow some of them to make an exit.
As Kirk ascends he does what he should have done earlier had he not been so busy playing host and intrigued by the mystery of the signet rings, he focuses on his energy senses with two main intents.
First, to determine how many extranormals are in the room with him. Is the Mask one? And how about the two guests with the signet ring? It would seem likely that the Mask has some cohorts in the crowd so it would be good to know if these will be human henchmen or more. If an unusual number of extranormals do show up among the crowd, Kirk would try to check to see if he spots a signet ring on any of them figuring that marks them as allies. (although at this point visual scanning would be somewhat limited since he needs to focus on the Mask and have her focus on him) In fact, if he has time, do the signet rings give off any energy signature or are they just normal rings?
Second, any other unusual energy signatures that show some sort of weapons or threat present? If Mask has thugs were energy weapons, this should ferret them out.
Kirk's positioning himself above the crowd should aid in his sorting through the information more quickly and also put him in place where he can 'get to' any threats quicker and without interference if things go that way.
(I picture this part as a Daredevil-type panel when they show him viewing a scene with his radar sense as the energy signatures have some forms stand out among the others helping Kirk to 'chart' the room and what he is up against here. First panel would be a normal visual scan of the room as it appears to everyone and second would be the same view through Kirk's energy perception with most figures mundane, other than the unique energy signatures standing out according to their kind in different hues).
Kirk is NOT looking to escalate things into a battle here and would be happy if the Mask didn't either but is going to do his best to be prepared in case and to try to make sure he protects the guests from attack and injury. From his vantage point (assuming you let him get there) he should be able to use his energies throughout the room quickly and directly to accomplish this.
Also, he knows that at least a couple of his guests are well-versed in these sort of threats from their days at the side of Lancaster and assumes that they will help the guests take appropriate action to ensure their safety if the situation allows it.
Some other stuff:
(1) What is the crest of the Odyssey Club? It isn't the symbol of the Sentinel like the signet rings, right?
(2) What is the size of the brownstone? What level is the grand ballroom where the ball is being held? What is the size of the grand ballroom? What is the layout of the room and outside it? Any balcony leading outside or is this an interior room? Or has the brownstone been retrofitted to more of a modern look with huge glass panes with a view of the city in this room?
Not sure of how much clandestine super-stuff you'll allow here before things escalate further, but assuming Kirk gets the layout down and the energy scans interpreted and is prepared for any 'sneak' attacks, if Mask is happy to continue talking next step would be to turn on a mental read to find out more of who she is and what she is planning and hopefully stay a step ahead here. I'm kind of assuming Kirk wouldn't get that far but am outlining it just in case I'm wrong.
As always, if any clarification is needed let me know, and naturally, anything I've outlined is always subject to your allowing it and any changes are at your whim.
FYI for new players: I typically write Kirk's actions as I see them unfolding in my mind. This is no way implies that they will actually happen that way. When Jeff first started the play be email he encouraged me to 'write what you'd like to see happen or what you'd like Kirk to do' and I've gone with that since then, but its always subject to Jeff's discretion... and I quickly learned the more characters involved the less chance things will proceed the way I envision them.
A good weekend to all... and a separate email to follow if I get a moment on just how cool that latest issue was to read! Great stuff by everyone and special thanks to Jeff for taking the time to make it all possible.
Short and sweet on this one...with Gadget Girl hopefully distracted by the appearance of Shelly, Hal will make another attempt at jabbing her in the back with the tool.
That's all I've got. Sorry so brief, but I'm off for another fun-filled week of training in Jefferson City. Internet connectivity will probably be nil, but Harold or Denny can call if there's something I really need to know. Otherwise I'll check in again on the weekend. Have a great week!
Menagerie: I think the mind link's only purpose is as a Special Requirement in order to add another animal to your list of what you can transform into. Pachyderm is not an animal. Am I missing something? Thanks. :)
Talon: Thanks. I can handle what happens if you fail your saving throw.
Can you please give me an If-Then statement of what Talon's actions and words are if he makes his saving throw? Thanks.
Avatar, Sentinel and Symbiote: Thanks. Good to go.
You're enjoying this way too much, Jeff!:)
If Adam makes his save he will still be upset with the CHESS Agent.
"What did you think would happen if I noticed you following us in disguise? Who walks around in a trench coat with a hat pulled down over their eyes? You and your friend can go back to the Vault. I'll keep an eye on Mother Russia. Let us enjoy a night out and I'll forget this ever happend."
When he calms down he will quickly fly back to the rear of the building he exited, put his harness on, and try to compose himself.
When he arrives back at the table he will explain the situation and apologize for not letting her in on the secret(saying it was just a couple of new recruits trying to impress someone) and try to get on with the evening.
OOC: Jeff, No, you aren't missing anything. I wasn't sure if Pachyderm was an animal mutated into hybrid man form or if it was the other way around. So I was trying something, anything to figure out what to do next.
Maybe I am over analyzing this, but I am not sure if this is a diplomatic situation or a straight up hero versus villain fight. So this was a BIG reach to attempt to gather more information.
Scott is not sure what is happening.. It seems that he's been swallowed whole, or contained inside something organic. The first thing to do here is easy, but what if this was an illusion.. Scott's powers can create a huge amount of collateral damage.. With some misgivings, he proceeds to put his full strength combined with his plasticity and expand to the maximum of his capacity in an attempt to break this jail or find a crack that will let him out of these confines.
OOC: A few questions?
How remote an area of British Columbia is? Can I tell if this is a place that would be okay just to leave Pachyderm? (To relate to as a comic example. I don't want to be the fool who disturbs the Hulk when he has found a peaceful place to calm down and stay away from man).
Does Menagerie know of any government that is currently seeking Pachyderm? Does CHESS want him brought in at all costs?
Was Menagerie able to figure out whether it is this Pachyderm that is still the threat to Natural Order or the other dimensional Pachy that is the trouble?
Can Menagerie tell what his Nature Sense is calling him to to do? Does he sense he needs to subdue this creature, move it to a safer place, teach it sign languague, or spend an evening playing Guitar Hero together?
Soldier politely excuses himself, “Permission to leave sir.”, and returns to his quarters. As he left, he couldn’t escape that nagging feeling, that something about this whole situation just didn’t feel right to him. He wasn’t sure what it was, but heard learned to listen to that little voice, as it was usually right.
Upon returning to his room, he quickly packs a small assault pack. He also adds a journal entry to his computer files, changes the message on his voice mail, to one explaining that he’ll “Be out of town for a few days, but he’ll get back to you as soon as possible”. He also leaves a note for the team explaining that he’s been called away, and that while he can’t get into details, if he isn’t heard from within three days, they should contact his father for further information. He then tries to hook up with Agent Manetti to coordinate their travel plans, check their gear, and draw his weapons from storage.
OOC GM Replies:
Sentinel wrote: What is the crest of the Odyssey Club? It isn't the symbol of the Sentinel like the signet rings, right?
GM: Correct. It features the globe.
Sentinel: What is the size of the brownstone? What level is the grand ballroom where the ball is being held? What is the size of the grand ballroom? What is the layout of the room and outside it? Any balcony leading outside or is this an interior room? Or has the brownstone been retrofitted to more of a modern look with huge glass panes with a view of the city in this room?
GM: The brownstone is large and four stories. The ballroom is on the second story. The ballroom almost occupies the entire second floor. It is a large rectangle with a grand staircase leading to the third floor where there is a long balcony overlooking the ballroom. Large windows (the only ones in the room) and an exterior balcony overlook a private garden on the property.
Menagerie wrote: How remote an area of British Columbia? GM: Remote from civilization, and in a protected Provincial Park. So Provincial Park rangers or visitors might be near. Menagerie: Can I tell if this is a place that would be okay just to leave Pachyderm? GM: It might. One could go for months without encountering someone here. But then could come that encounter.
Menagerie: Does Menagerie know of any government that is currently seeking Pachyderm?
GM: He is wanted by the US government as the prime suspect in damage to property.
Menagerie: Does CHESS want him brought in at all costs?
GM: Menagerie doesn’t know. There have been no public statements along those lines.
Menagerie: Was Menagerie able to figure out whether it is this Pachyderm that is still the threat to Natural Order or the other dimensional Pachy that is the trouble?
GM: Neither! Pachyderm had threatened to begin a series of events that would culminate in the end of the Natural Order. But in this dimension, he was stopped. In a nearby parallel dimension, he was not stopped. Menagerie was sensing the disturbance echoes from the other, nearby dimension, through Pachyderm!
He was sensing the disturbance through the Pachyderm of this world because he was a focus, central to the splitting off of the alternate reality!
Menagerie’s dimension is safe. The Natural Order of this world is not threatened or disrupted. The disruption he detected was coming from that adjacent realm! The threat to this world had already been averted… by Vanguard, a New York based team of superheroes!
Menagerie: Can Menagerie tell what his Nature Sense is calling him to to do?
GM: His Nature Sense gives him information only. He must do with it what he feels is right.
Based on the last set of replies. Here are Menagerie Actions:
Menagerie will slowly back up from Pachyderm. He will turn into his human form. Speaking to Pachyderm, "Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you. Just checking on a few things. If it is okay with you I will leave." Watching for any sign of attack, Menagerie will back into any cover he can find. When there he will turn into eagle form.
Once in eagle form, he will fly into the sky and start flying in a circle moving outward in ever widing circles. Menagerie will be watching Pachyderm to match sure he is not being chased and will then scan for any people in the area.
When Menagerie have scanned enough to be certain that there is not anyone that would run across Pachyderms path, he will fly to a Ranger HQ or tower. There he wil try to convince the Rangers to quarantine the area to provide Pachy a safe place to live and not be disturbed.
If Pachyderm attacks or chases Menagerie use the following tactics to combat him.
Menagerie would attempt to harass/annoy Pachyderm around the terrain to a suitable spot to Pachyderm's disadvantage. Something like the edge of a cliff, edge of a well, or river right before a waterfalls. When Pachyderm is in the correct position, Menagerie would turn into a grizzy bear and land from above on Pachyderm . The goal would be to land on Pachyderm's head and neck (backside first choice) to throw him off balance and into the terrain trap. Menagerie would then turn into the animal which provided the best chance to get away.
I WILL spend a luck point to make the terrain trap a success.
OOC: Hey Jeff,
I'll use a luck point on my save if I can.
Clone just stood there for what seemed only a fraction of a second, but in his mind his thoughts and feelings felt like they were battling for hours. “How could the American government so casually agree to the Soviets terms? Wasn’t it Agent Drake that compared the extra-normals to nuclear weapons? Why would they so easily agree to such an exchange? To them my family is nothing more then a small group of peasant farmers – what could they possibly hope to gain from this?” he thought to himself.
His thoughts then darkened as speculation slowly turned to suspicion, “Even a government as just and as caring as the one here in America; built on the idea of protecting the lives and freedoms of all its people, would be crazy to hand over something they saw as a weapon to their enemy in exchange for the lives of four poor country farmers. Why would they do such a thing?” As much as he wanted to see his family safe; Clone was afraid of what they these men were suggesting. He had no desire to return to Russia or to once again become a puppet for its twisted leaders. He was afraid that upon his return that the authorities would bury him beneath some gulag labor camp for even daring to think that he could ever be free. His heart sank even deeper into his chest as he pondered an even dark realization, “How could I stay here and enjoy my family, my life and my freedom, knowing that I condemned my duplicate to a life of fear and imprisonment? Which one would I be? Would I be them both; one foot in Heaven and one in Hell?”
His dark thoughts then took a dangerous turn as fear became desperation. “Perhaps I could trick the men at the exchange?” he thought. That idea then took a new direction as his mind looked feverishly for an exit from the situation before him, “what if I were to strap a bomb to my own chest and then set it off once my family was safely in the hands of the Americans? I could punish the soviets by killing the agents they sent to the exchange, gain my families freedom, and at the same time rid myself of my former government once and for all.” As his mind began to race down this deadly and dangerous path he quickly regained control over himself. “What are you thinking about Alexander?” he thought to himself in a scolding manner. His thoughts then turned upon themselves as he began to realize that his fear was getting the better of him,” how could I even think about suicide? I could never do such a thing, and killing those men would be wrong, they’re merely following orders, they do not deserve to die for the sins of their masters.” He then remembered a passage from the bible, ‘Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. In that instant his path had become clear, he knew what he had to do’.
Clone closed his eyes as he slowly reached down the front of his shirt and hesitantly pulled out the small wooden crucifix that he wore around his neck. As he quietly placed the tiny symbol of his faith to his forehead, the C.H.E.S.S. agents could faintly hear Clone mumbling something under his breath. A few moments passed before Clone gently lowered the crucifix to his lips and then kissed it with reverence and respect. With a soft monotone whisper he reached out with his soul and made his plea to heaven, “. . . prosti menya*.” A second Clone then emerged from the first. The three C.H.E.S.S. agents had their answer.
* TRANSLATION: Prosti Menya – Forgive Me
OOC Response: I guess Clone will have to repeat that same trick he pulled off while he was locked up inside the Moscow Military District Jeff – sever his connection with this duplicate. One Luck Point and one point of Charisma – man this is gonna hurt lol – OUCH!
I did some more thinking about that Skill stuff we had been discussing a while back Jeff – any chance Clone could have Romanian as a language instead of Ukrainian?
Clones parents had three children, with Clone being the middle child.
Father - Sergei Oleksienko
Mother – Mikayla Oleksienko
Older brother - Viktor Oleksienko
Younger sister - Katya Oleksienko
Oh and before I forget to mention it – that little exchange between Ton and Jeff had me crying with laughter when I read it.
TOM WROTE: Kev Clone's Mom quoting Corinthians to heal his pain brought tears to my eyes. Wonderful characterization and writing. This is shaping up to be a really awesome issue of Vanguard. I can't wait to see how Jeff puts this all together. Tom
JEFF WROTE: That makes two of us! ;)
Talk to you all soon, -Kev