Vanguard Roll Call!

Vanguard Roll Call!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Vanguard: Issue 134: Vanguard Omega Is Watching Over You.

…Then the Empire State Building came down.
(9/11 did not occur in their world so…) Vanguard had never seen anything like it before. The mighty, 100 year old, art deco monolith roared down ninety stories to
Fifth Avenue
like a stone and steel Niagara Falls. The destruction was quick and absolute. Clouds of dust rose out of the unimaginable wreckage.

Silence. And then up rose a deafening roar. It was a cheer. Vanguard had been so transfixed on escape and the skyscraper that only now they noticed the thronging crowd of millions in the dark streets!

A safe distance from the collapse of the Empire State Building, the streets of Manhattan were filled with people. Manhattan seemed like a war zone. Bombed out and ruined. The Brooklyn Bridge was destroyed. One Twin Tower was gone. Lights in the sky; maybe copters? The people looked like the survivors of a war. Soldiers and CHESS Knights were in the crowd, except their armor was black. And they cheered too.

That sound, that cheer of a million voices, raised the hair on the back of Vanguard’s collective neck. It was the sound of victory. The sound of slaves being freed. Mubarak had heard that sound. And Hussein. And Chavez. Gadhafi and the Shah. Mussolini, Louis XVI, Charles I and many others before them. It was the sound of resistance triumphant. Of an oppressor overthrown. The sound of the liberation of humanity.

The crowd was celebrating, weeping and beginning to notice Vanguard hovering 800 feet above them.

Talon looked at the cheering crowd below as he made the sweeping arc toward the hover platform with Clone and Strike held tightly in his grasp. He smiles slightly, thinking that the crowd’s jubilant cheers come because Vanguard narrowly escaped death in the collapse of the Empire State Building. His smile quickly fades as he sees the signs of battle in the surrounding city.

A titanic billboard overlooking Midtown was being set ablaze by the mob. The billboard said: VANGUARD OMEGA IS WATCHING OVER YOU. Beneath those letters appeared Vanguard… or at least something very much like Vanguard.

Talon drew close to the hover platform, flared his wings and set softly upon the deck. After releasing Strike and Clone to their own means, he looked to the rest of the team for a possible explanation for what just happened.....then he saw the billboard. A familiar anger stirs within him as he begins to understand the meaning behind the display and sees the people pointing at the members of the Vanguard in the streets below. "What the hell is going on?" he growled. "Those people want our heads. This can't be happening! How could this really exist?"

Symbiote looked at the billboard with the terrible caricatures of himself and his teammates. This is what we became, in another time, under other circumstances, he thought to himself.  He shook it off.  We've got to get out of here, and quickly and quietly.  I doubt that crowd is going to be in any mood to listen to a story about how we're not the despotic rulers they're looking for...

Suddenly two energy blasts smashed the images of Vanguard Omega! It was Sentinel! Without thinking, in sheer anger, his energy responded, destroying the twisted versions of Vanguard!

The crowd saw that Vanguard Omega had survived the fall of Vanguard Vault! Their reaction ranged from shock to hatred to abject terror!

Well, so much for "quietly," Symbiote thought sardonically.  He turned to angrily confront the Beacon of Justice...and immediately saw the regret on Kirk's face, and calmed down.  I was young once too, and cripes...did we really become this?  I want to break something too.

Sentinel snapped out of it, knowing he’d just made their situation even worse. He looked at Symbiote and then Avatar as he began speaking, “Given what we see around us I don’t think we’re talking ourselves out of this one.  There is no way we’ll convince them we’re not Vanguard Omega at this point.”
Clone chimed in from behind the three superheroes, “Da . . . I am seeing this many times in my country… the people trying to rising up to fight against the Kremlin. After a brief pause in which he reflects on his life in the Soviet Union he continued, “These people are not to be hearing us, even if they are hearing us, they will not hear the words… they will be killing us as we are trying to speak with them.”

Sentinel nodded. “We need to vanish from here as quickly as possible so we can begin recon and find out what exactly happened in this world, and give our IQ wizards time to figure a way out of here. We’ve got the night darkness on our side at this point.  Way I see it, either we can go underground, Soldier and Strike, you know that area better than the rest of us, or we can head to the waterfront and we can submerge to clear the area and come ashore elsewhere using my construct, or Slingshot can carry us in a construct out of this area. 
“Strike, we need a place to regroup and a destination.  I know you don’t want to give it up, which is why it still might work for us, but if you have a secret safe house nearby, now would be the time to give us the direction.” Kirk looked to Vanguard for their input as to what they felt would be the best move here.

Symbiote agreed. "We need a safehouse. And at some point we'll need to find disguises--something that can cover my harness and Shelly's windsuit.  And something that will cover a multitude of sins with Slingshot and Avatar.  Fortunately," he said, looking at the crowd milling about, "I suspect shapeless, colorless overalls might be in style in this Worker's Paradise," he finished bitterly.

Slingshot said, "I can't help but think that we were setup. Clone is the only one here that's worse for wear, but for all I can see, we were sent here by the Datanauts. What are we supposed to do? We are Vanguard. We fight the good fight. We need to figure out what is this good fight. We need more info. I'm good with finding a place to regroup and understand where we are and what needs to be done."
He felt for the picture in his hand, "We need to make things right."

Clone will follow Sentinel’s lead. He see’s Sentinel as a trusted friend and comrade, and as a more then competent leader – he’s confident that he’ll chose the best course of action for Vanguard.

Menagerie in eagle form joined the others on the platform. He mind-spoke to the rest of Vanguard, “Are we oppressors in this realm?  Is that what we call these places we keep traveling to: Realms?" 
said, "I prefer dimensions, but you're right. Are the barriers between dimensions getting weaker?"

Menagerie said, “Why would Vanguard Omega bring us here to witness this rebellion against them unless we are to be scapegoats or sacrificial lambs to these rebels?"

"Good point. And remember, Vanguard Omega are in our world right now," Zephyr said with a shudder. "Maybe their plans there don't include us."

Menagerie said to Symbiote, “Do you think the Datanauts and Vanguard Omega are one in the same?"

Zephyr answered for her distracted brother, "Yes. They weren’t from the Digital Zone at all."

"Would they have needed a functioning portal on their side to get to ours?"

"Maybe. There was the one that overloaded after we arrived, remember."

"Why did they not appear with us? Is it because their portal was at different location and this Vault is more of a symbolic HQ and not their true HQ?” 
Zephyr replied, “Not sure what you mean, ‘appear with us?’"

Menagerie said, “Sorry, all I have are questions and no answers. When it comes to technology and different Realms, I am still very much a newb.”

"No problem," Zephyr said with as much of a smile as she could muster to her fellow newb.
Talon looked back to the crowd as the rest of the team discussed their options for retreat. "I don't know where we’re gonna go but we better get there fast. If we have to fight these people, innocent lives could be lost, and we'll never convince them were not the villains they think we are."

When prompted about a safe house, Strike responded that he has several but can't be sure they are safe in this reality.  “If this is some warped version of Vanguard then it’s possible that the version of Strike in this reality knows the whereabouts of the safe houses.”  Strike suggests that they take the opposite approach and use a location that was a known criminal location in our reality.  “It reasons that if things are twisted, then those who are criminals in our reality may be freedom fighters in this one.” 

Soldier said, "Gentlemen, it looks like we've got company. I'm picking up armed helicopters, and armored CHESS Knights headed our way, and they definitely don't look friendly." He drew his pistol and loaded a disruptor round.  

Sentinel said, “John, if we encounter aerial resistance to our leaving, any chance you could summon a storm front or something along those lines to give us cover to get away?”

Avatar nodded in the affirmative at Sentinel's suggestion but held off on manifesting any powers yet.

Panic and fear rippled through the crowds. A stampede was imminent. The best thing Vanguard could do, for the safety of the people, was to leave the area; remove the source of their terror: Vanguard Omega.

Sentinel expanded the platform to cover the entire team as a shield to protect them. The platform morphed into a glowing, oval-shaped force-bubble. Sentinel scanned the area but, at this altitude, very little was within range of his energy sense.

Vanguard flew east to the river. Perhaps they could submerge and get out to sea until they could formulate a plan of action.

Menagerie could sense only rats, cockroaches and feral cats and dogs in this war zone.

Soldier’s bionic telescopic eye gave him a visual of the helicopters. The closest thing they resembled was the Apache AH64-D attack copter (see image). He recognized the four-blade main rotor and a four-blade tail rotor. It was likely the next model. Or the one after that. Soldier winced involuntarily.

He had flown the AH64-D in combat. The crew compartment and fuel tanks are armored such that the aircraft will remain flyable even after sustaining hits from 23-millimeter gunfire. The two-man crew sits in tandem, with the pilot sitting behind and above the copilot/gunner who had:
-M230 Chain Gun with 2,300 rounds.
-Hydra air-to-ground rockets.
-Hellfire missiles.
-Improved sensor suite including night vision and target acquisition.
-Integrated Helmet and Display Sighting System that slaved the Chain Gun to the crew’s helmets.
Maximum Speed of the craft was 200mph. Enough to easily overtake them before they reached the river.
Apaches were used to eliminate infantry, tanks and ground structures.
These had seen combat. And they were coming for Vanguard.

They assumed attack formation, all four of them, with a dozen black CHESS Knights flying up from the streets to join them. Soldier’s visual on the Knights showed them to be bigger and uglier than those from home. (see image)

Their strategy was clear. The CHESS Knights would defend the copters in the air. And the copters would fire on Vanguard from considerable range. (200”, 1000 feet, nearly a quarter mile!)

VWOOSSHH! VWOOSSHH! VWOOSSHH! VWOOSSHH! Hellfire missiles screamed toward Vanguard, trailing smoke behind them.

“Here it comes!” grimaced Zephyr.


Three direct hits! The fiery explosions of the tank-killing missiles rocked Vanguard’s shielded hover platform! (46 points of damage to the energy construct!) There was a gaping hole in the energy orb!
Zephyr was clearly thinking about getting out, getting airborne, getting some maneuverability.

The fourth missile flew past Vanguard and slammed into the ninth floor of an abandoned ten story building. KABOOM! The upper floor collapsed and fire broke out, illuminating the night. Luckily, the collapse did not endanger the crowds in the street below!

Soldier took the miss to mean that the copter targeting systems were not linked, which was an option with Apaches. The link would have enabled all four to fire on one target lock, even without line of sight! Perhaps their satellites were down as well.

Vanguard was over
Lexington Avenue
now. The copters’ speed and range would permit them to fire again on Vanguard again before they reached the East River. Perhaps twice! And that was assuming they didn’t attempt to intercept.

Three black CHESS Knights hovered near each copter in defensive positions. Three more were flying up from the street, jets firing from their boots!
Vanguard was beyond the range of the Knights’ energy blasters.
The military copters and the black Knights were beyond the range of Vanguard’s ranged attacks. (see map)

But Vanguard was well within the killing range of the attack copters’ deadly weapons!

(OOC: Actions?!)

Current Conditions:

Avatar: Hit Points: 58, Power Points: 83, Manifesting: none

Clone: Bodies: 1, Hit Points: 19, Power Points: 40, Hit Pool: 19

Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 48, Power Points: 67

Menagerie: Hit Points: 5, Power Points: 51, Form: Eagle

Sentinel: Hit Points: 30, Power Points: 58, Shields: 54, Creation Points: 118  

Slingshot: Hit Points: 55, Power Points: 81, Invulnerability: 0         

Soldier: Hit Points: 57, Power Points: 79, Invulnerability: 8         

Symbiote: Hit Points: 152, Power Points: 123, Invulnerability: 8, Charges: 12, Copied: Russia

Talon: Hit Points: 58, Power Points: 88                

Zephyr: Hit Points: 17, Power Points: 69, Charges: 14, Armor: 25


These actions are what I'd like to do in the long run but they may change as you describe the situation to us.

To start with, Avatar will summon a pegasus and have Sentinel allow him out of the shield to leap upon it.

Hopefully this will give another target and let them split their attacks.

While it may sound silly on the surface, we ARE super-heroes, so Avatar will use his bow to engage the CHESS knights.

Avatar will try to angle in and get closer to the helicopters, perhaps even behind them, if he can.  When he gets within range where his Weather Control powers could be effective, he will manifest those and begin using them to fight the helicopters and knights (if it gets to that point).  If weather conditions are such that it would take too long to change the weather to something worthwhile, he'll take a different action.

Clone wouldn't know this of course ( At least I don't think he would ), but someone else within the group might - if we drop down to 32nd ( flying low enough for the buildings to give us some cover ) and take it straight up to 7th we could 'dead end' right in front of the main entrance to Penn Station. We could leave Manhattan and go anywhere we wanted to from there - underground - away from helicopters and flying C.H.E.S.S. Knights . . . assuming the subway and train tunnels are still there and not caved in. The depth of the tunnels and the water sitting over them should definitely block even the most sophisticated thermal imaging device - satellite or otherwise.

. . . only one down side to that idea though . . . there might be refugees living underground and we might run the risk of bumping into them. Given the vastness of the underground tunnel network in New York City though, I'm pretty sure we could find a safe place to hide out regardless if there was an underground population or not. As an employee for a major utility company working within the five boroughs; I do a LOT of underground work, I can assure you that there are PLENTY of places you can disappear into under the city and never be seen or heard from again if you really wanted to disappear. There's practicly an entire inverted underground city sitting underneath the streets of Manhattan.

If we do go this route I have to ask just one thing before we head down there though . . . none of the characters have a fear of enclosed spaces or tunnel critters ( i.e. rats, large insects,etc. ) do they? lol ;)

We would also be able to find basic tunnel maps along the walls and information kiosk down there to better aid in our escape.

Oh, and we would need some kind of light source as well - those tunnels are dark, REALLY dark - trust me ;)

talk to you all soon,



Harold/ Avatar, the night is overcast, windy and dry. 52 degrees Fahrenheit.

Kevin/ Clone, I think you can enter the subway system near your current position as well. The Lexington line ( 6 train and 4 train) has a stop at
33rd street
, if I remember correctly. Not as diverse a jumping off point as Penn Station, but it would get you started.
Clone's been in town, showing his family around, for months now. It wouldn't be improbable for him to know this.



Avoidance is better.  If everyone goes that way, so will Avatar.  Otherwise it will be fought as stated.


"Matt, what are the odds of the copters having the ability to track and fire on us successfully assuming we me it to the water and are fully submerged in it?"

"Although I'm virtually certain we can take these forces, there would seem to be no benefit other than giving them reason to confirm we are Vanguard Omega in their eyes.  The only long-term positive influence would be to beat them and save them and tell them individually we aren't Vanguard Omega and perhaps some of them would consider it and spread that message.  However, more forces may gather against us beyond what we see already in that time we are engaging them.  Escape still seems the best option here if its possible."

OOC.  I'm assuming that Kirk, as a long-term resident, and other characters that have lived here know the subway systems (unlike his Long Island living player who at best can read a subway map) and that quick escape into it is an option (although packed with potential other perils).  If Matt indicates we can likely be tracked even submerged in the water, seems like the subway thing is where we go next.  We can take it to Penn and greater access if necessary.  I'd think down below would be no Knights and anyone we encounter would flee from us, at least until they could organize a 'hunting party'.  We'd just have to watch out for ROUSs and hope things haven't caved in too badly.  And perhaps one of Strike's safehouses may be accessible through the tunnels.



Harold / Avatar: Damn, and I had "Flight of the Valkyries" all cued up for the demigod on a pegaus with a magic sword charging an attack helicopter formation!  ;)

Seth / Sentinel: Yeah, any city dwelling Vanguard member should have at least a basic understanding of the subway. No mortal can ever hope to comprehend the entire NY subway system. But as Kevin said, there are usually maps posted in each station.
And ROUS's? It's the CHUDs you gotta look out for!



OOC: I forgot about CHUD's!


[OOC] I like the subway idea best.

[IC] Menagerie flies ahead in his Eagle form, communicating with Clone and the others to find the enterance. When he find he he will turn into his Cougar form using his nightvision to scout ahead.

Via Vanguard Alpha


Hi Jeff.

From the little feedback received thus far, it seemed like the underground option was what the team was leaning towards at this point.  Kirk will attempt to maneuver the team into the entrance and out of the reach of the missiles and hopefully he can do so before they are hit again or come into direct conflict with the Knights.

At this point for his 'action' Kirk can either reinforce (recreate) his shields since there is a 50/50 chance another hit will get through them or if it seems evading would be a better choice you can have him do that... at least that's what I have for now unless someone else has a better suggestion or another alternative or something else happens to make this choice unreasonable.



With neither flight nor a distance attack (at the moment), this isn't much Hal's move.  He agrees with the subway plan, though.  He'll also suggest that Zephyr can probably build up a strong enough wind to keep the 'copters off us if we need a few minutes breathing room.

If a CHESS Knight gets within arms range while making our escape Hal will definitely engage.  Super Strength (if strong enough) is a power that can engage an armored opponent, peel him out of the armor like a sardine can and leave the actual opponent relatively unharmed, which should be a high priority right now.

Enjoying this alternate universe where everybody posts on time, I'm at my scientifically determined ideal weight and I still have all of my hair.

Viva Vanguard Alpha,



Soldier will attempt to engage the attacking helos with an explosive round, firing at the nearest one first, as he considers them the greatest threat. As he does so, he'll yell out to his teammates.

"We need to get into the water NOW! As long as we're flying they've got the advantage. If we don't grab some cover they'll blow us out of the sky. If we're forced to surface, stay low to the ground and use the buildings as cover. It'll force them to come to us, and negate any speed advantage they have. Avatar, high winds and a storm cloud will play havoc with their ability to stay stable in the air."


Scott sees that this could be a problem.

"Guys, we need to get out of the sky. Sentinel force field is too slow for these. We will get creamed. Let me out. I'll provide some diversion. Go for the water or the tunnels. I'll follow." With that, Scott launches in the air at the Chess knights.

[ooc] His first action is to evade and present a closer target for the attackers. He will attempt to hold them off long enough for the others to get out. Then use his move to follow[/ooc]


Lightning Strike:
OK, I will post on time for the second straight issue!!  This must be a first in the history of Vanguard.

Strike agrees that making a hasty retreat is probably in the group's best interests so he will head down into the subway with everyone else.  If for any reason it appears that we may get dragged into combat with the copters, then Strike will change into electrical form and hopefully enter the helicopters through either their radio or radar and then disable their weapons systems.  He does not want to down the copters and potentially kill the occupants but rather to simply take away the offensive capabilities.

Short but sweet.


Talon will fly from the hover platform to create another target for the approaching threat. He will fly to his right and arc quickly back toward the helicopters to try and pull some of the fire in his direction. As he approaches, he will make quick adjustments in his flight path to make it hard for them to target him.

If he reaches the helicopters, he will rip at their side panels in an attempt to disable them and force them to pull away. Hopefully, he can distract the CHESS Knights and his close proximity to them and the helicopters will prevent them from firing their energy blasters.

If the group manages to escape, he will brake away and follow them in their retreat. 

Viva Vanguard,


Unfortunately Clone isn't in the position to do much this issue - no ranged attack, can't fly, not the team leader, etc . . . So since I don't think any of the characters actually came out and said the words ( at least not as far as I can recall, but my memory isn't what it used to be - so what the Hell do I know lol ), Clone will suggest the subway route.

As the team stares out at the night sky and frantically searches for a way to escape their heavily armed pursuers, Clone quickly looks down at the street below and then back at Sentinel and say, "Comrade, maybe it is best that we are to be leaving the air and going into there". Clone then quickly points down to the subway entrance below the teams feet, and continues,"They are not able to be flying down here and we will be able to go out of city without anyone seeing of us".

Talk to you all soon,


P.S. Sent this out just before midnight EST - so I made it in by the deadline lol ;)


Another on-time turn!?!
That's it. We're never leaving Dimension Omega!  ;)

Kevin/Clone: Thanks for suggesting the subway in character and defending the holy Continuity! Or maybe that's 'hole-y.' Much appreciated!

Harold/ Avatar: Your last order was: "Avoidance is better.  If everyone goes that way, so will Avatar. Otherwise it will be fought as stated."

Given that not everyone is going that way, I assume you're fighting as previously stated?  (dusts off old Wagner LP in prep)

Thanks everyone!
New issue ships Friday.

Viva Vanguard,


I'll go with avoidance for now.  I'll stay with Sentinel.
Avatar will use his bow for long-range combat, if necessary, having Sentinel open up an arrow slit in his shield for that purpose.


Got it. Thanks!