Vanguard Roll Call!

Vanguard Roll Call!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Vanguard: Issue 155: Revenge of the Luddite!

Homicide Unlimited had nothing in common with Homicide for Hire, despite the name. They were uncoordinated, undisciplined, getting in each other’s way, fighting amongst themselves, and possessed of little or no knowledge of Vanguard’s powers or weaknesses.
Clearly, a tactician like Harrik was not leading these killers. He had just put them in Vanguard’s way.

So where was Harrik and what was he really after?

Outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral…

Overdrive snarled and reeled wildly like a bear caught in a trap, succeeding only in further tangling himself in the super-strong silk cement of Web’s webbing!

Jack Lantern strolled up Madison, whistling and leisurely twirling a knife in his gloved hand. He turned the corner and saw Clone unconscious, near Web, Avatar and Overdrive. Smiling gleefully, he ambled over to the motionless Clone, pulled Clone’s head up to expose his throat. “The prize, spread before my feet. The contest, so easily won.” He clucked as he readied his long glimmering knife and…

“Back off, pumpkin brain!” yelled Web. “He’s mine!”

“The hell he is!” raged Overdrive from his gloppy prison, over Avatar’s head! “I’m the one that decked the Russkie in the first place!”

At this point, a little boy, maybe seven years old, ran toward Avatar, holding out a pen and paper for an autograph. ”Mr. Avatar?! You’re my hero!” He was ten feet away from the murderous brawl!

Deprived of his speed, Overdrive’s punch lacked power, but Avatar was unable to roll with the blow. The speed freak swung a truncheon at Avatar with his one free arm! “Off of me!” KRAK! [6 points. All off hits!]

Avatar, seeing the threat to the child, summoned up a mighty resolve to save the boy. He flexed his divinely-fueled muscles and attempted to pull the stuck speedster free of the webbing to use him as a bludgeoning weapon to strike Web! It was to no avail! [Failed both saving throw attempts, lost 1 Luck Point]

Realizing that Overdrive wasn’t coming loose, Avatar pummeled him right where he was, with the strength of Ares! POW! Unable to dodge or roll with the damage, Overdrive was beaten into unconsciousness!

Without missing a beat, Avatar barked from his web prison, "Run, child! You are in terrible danger here!"
The boy froze in fear!

Jack Lantern said, “A child?” with obvious delight in his voice.

Avatar quickly taunted Web, "I can't believe you'd let Lantern win that easily, wall-crawler. Not with victory so close. Of course, you still have to beat me. Clone isn't going anywhere..."

Before Jack Lantern could choose between murdering Clone or the child, Web yelled, “I said: back off!” and then - BLORF! - the agile arachnid covered the Halloween killer in his webbing compound, sticking him to the spot, without hitting Clone! Web dragged the unconscious Clone from Lantern’s reach.

Jack Lantern used his knife to cut into the web net. He chuckled eerily in his work. But he wasn’t free yet.

On the other side of the Cathedral, the uncanny Catman saw the Silent Killer attack Dexter Sinister Jr. and Triceratops, and then leap into the open manhole! Smelling a rat, he followed, leaping down the hole after him!

Meanwhile, The Fly formed laughter from the wings of thousands of insects as he watched the Voice fall from the sky! Symbiote was still inside the massive insect swarm! “Human,” the flies seemed to say within their buzzing. “You may as well try to resist decay itself. It is the fate of all living things to become prey of scavengers and carrion. Hahahaahaa.” [5 more points of damage from insect bites! Cannot be rolled with!]

Symbiote twisted in mid-air, opened wide and screamed for all he was worth at the verminous villain, hoping to cause mass casualty on the flies that make up his form! “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!”

The Fly writhed and was literally undone! The sentient cloud of insects that was his body came apart, many falling to the earth, stunned or dead! The insect swarm around Symbiote dispersed! The black rubber containment suit wafted to the street below.

Symbiote readied himself to fly with all speed into the Cathedral!

Meanwhile, straight below him, the Voice, poisoned by the Spider form of Menagerie, fell from the sky like a meteor, with Menagerie riding his unconscious form as it plummeted down hundreds of feet to the pavement!

Menagerie silently focused his mind. "I have only one chance to do this right." He thought-sent to Vanguard to clear out the area below The Voice. "I am coming down and coming down BIG!". He quickly crawled around The Voice's neck until he was beneath his body. Then Menagerie willed himself to change into a Terrordactyl, the ravenous sky predator of the Lost Valley at the bottom of the world!

It was terrifyingly fast. Mouth filled with razor sharp teeth. The knife-like fin protruding from the back of its skull seemed rounder, more bulbous than it was supposed to be [like the skull of H.R. Giger’s Alien]. The body was big. Muscular. 30 foot wingspan. It was what Pteranodons evolved into over the last 65 million years. [Imagine the Velociraptors of Jurassic Park crossed with Pterodactyls!]

SKKKKRRAAAA!!!!! Menagerie slowed the descent of the Voice and then arced up, careful to keep the sonic assassin on his back, saving his would-be killer’s life!
As the time-lost terror soared over the streets of New York, Web, Damocles and the little boy took notice!
“Dinosaurs!” The boy pointed out to Avatar.

From his airborne perspective, Menagerie could see Nathan Lamb and the CHESS Honor Guard, having escorted the crowds out of harm’s way, starting back toward the Cathedral!

Sentinel, though he was still sightless, knew exactly where Damocles was. The beacon of liberty morphed his energy shield into a series of spinning gears and blades that whirled horizontally. Damocles’ whip got caught up and was quickly pulled into the thirsty mechanism, pulling her into the blade tornado as well!
GRRRRZZZZZZZZ!!!! Sparks flew from her damaged armor against the tower of buzz saws!

Damocles slammed Sentinel with her energy blade! SKARG! [13 points of damage. All off shields!] No effect! She released the whip from her gauntlet – POP! And then she quickly optic-scanning the battlefield.
Villains lay sprawled all around her; Dexter Sinister Jr., Black Ice, Chain, Inside Man, Killshot and Overdrive.
No member of Vanguard was dead yet. And a prehistoric lizard monster just turned up.
She remembered the words Sentinel broadcast at the start of the fight and said, “Forget this! Another time, kid.” And then her boot jets roared to life as she flew off to the West! VROOOAR! She was soon beyond Sentinel’s energy sense.

Below Sentinel, Triceratops didn’t give a damn about the unconscious villains that lay all around him. He stormed St. Patrick’s Cathedral, in search of Slingshot who had just thrown him down the block. BOOM! BOOM!

“Hey! Petunia!” called Sgt. Stone.
Triceratops stopped on the church steps and turned.
“Your mother shaves her pits with a lawnmower,” advised Stone cheerfully.

Triceratops charged the granite-skinned soldier! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! The prehistoric powerhouse lowered his head at the last moment again, slamming Stone with his horns! KA-SLAM! The impact of the two titans shook the ground! But Stone held his ground!

“Hmm. That wasn’t too shabby, junior. My turn,” said Stone. KA-POW! The virtuous vet fired a big uppercut into Triceratops’ jaw, knocking him back 40 feet and through a fire hydrant, creating a geyser on Fifth Avenue.
Triceratops was mad now!

Meanwhile, Symbiote flew with speed into the Cathedral, down the stairs, into the basement, over a large throng of wedding guests, including Rachel Ray, and came to the blacked-out area that was the very edge of the Luddite’s area of effect and stopped! The last time he entered the Luddite’s range, the Harper Harness deactivated!
A Clone and Doc Rocket was there. “Hal. Something’s terribly wrong,” Doc said, pointing into the darkness!

Meanwhile, inside that darkness, all hell had broken loose.

[Cathedral Basement Map: Each map square is 5 feet / 1”. Characters are in scale.]

The President was hurt and on the ground unconscious but not seriously injured!

With the President clear, three Clones struck at Slingshot with their staves! WHACK! KRAK! Two connected! Slingshot was still standing.
One Clone pulled Slate back from Slingshot and the president!
Another Clone pushed Nanite from the room. ‘No wait!” she yelled.
Another Clone scooped up the President and carried him from the chamber!
More Clones were outside the room!

Then another Slingshot suddenly hurtled into the room! He poured himself back into humanoid form and said:
"Skin Deep. Give it up, right this moment."
He stretched an arm past the Clones and touched the other Slingshot, trying Slingshot Omega’s regeneration attack! Nothing happened! This Slingshot was not made out of rubber!

The false Slingshot glowered intently and said, “Backup.”

One of the shadows in the dark chamber jumped. Then, from behind Vanguard, out stepped the shadow of a man. Except it had no caster.

It was the Luddite!
The zealot who tried to kill Nanite! The assassin who murdered Lightning Strike’s wife! He looked just as he did the last time they saw him, when they battled in Silas Caine’s penthouse offices. [Issue 56, true believers]

The Luddite spoke to Nanite over Slate and a Clone: “Did you really think we forgot about you, infection of the Digital Zone? Did you really think that we’d let you breed?!” he glared pure hatred at Slingshot and Slate. “And bring about the end of the human race??”
Those last six words reminded Scott of the conversation he had with Silas Caine on the day his son was born!

The suddenly everything in the area lost power! The living shadow that men called the Luddite had absorbed all the electricity into himself! The lights went out. Communicators died. Zephyr’s Windsuit lost all power! Clone felt Nanite swoon in his arms.
But Slate was unaffected. The Luddite seemed surprised at that and then the room and everyone in it was plunged into pitch darkness!

Slate calls out into the darkness, "Clone, do you have the President, is he safe?"

A Clone six inches from him replied, “Yes. One of me have him.”

Lightning Strike assessed the situation. The president was out of harm’s way and he could focus on the Luddite.
He stayed in character and said little, barely acknowledging the chaos and darkness around him. Since the room was pitch black, nobody would know who was attacking who so he could maintain his cover. He reached into his pocket, pulled out a bullet (his M.O.) and magnetically launched it at where he knew Luddite to be. Since this was the killer of his wife, Strike was not concerned about lethal damage to Luddite!

P-KOW!! Strike heard the bullet ricochet off the stone wall where the Luddite had been. Or perhaps still was. Strike remembered that the Luddite was somehow intangible, a shadow of some kind!
The bullet could have passed through him! Fortunately, it didn’t seem that anyone in the tight quarters was hit by the ricochet!

Slate watched as the events unfolded, his father appearing and facing his doppelganger, all the Clones pouring into the room, and two new villains appearing. When saw the villain appearing from the shadows, he quickly accessed the memories of his father’s battle with the Luddite in Silas Caine’s office… He continued to cross reference mentions of the villain, leading him back to the original “death” of Nanite.

As the police image of his mother lying in a pool of some liquid like some anonymous murder scene came to memory his eyes began to sparkle, looking familiar to anyone who had ventured to the digital world, it was what IT’s power manifestation had looked like. Slate stood from where the alternate Slingshot had knocked him. As the Luddite’s abilities knocked out the power in the area, Slate felt something within him change. Organs that hadn’t been functioning suddenly jumped to activity. He felt blood pulsing through his veins, and again the anger that these villains had come against them on this day, a day that was supposed to be a joyous one for his family. The Luddite had seemingly killed his mother before, and had started the consequences that had led to IT almost taking over this dimension.

Neither of those things was going to happen if Slate had anything to say about it. Before the lights went out, Slate and the Luddite had been toward the end of the room together. Slate might not be able to see him, but he knew where he had been last.

Slate was determined to digitize the Luddite. Their powers would seem to be almost opposites, Slate’s changing matter into a digital representation, and the Luddite’s removing all trace of technology. Slate used his heightened comprehension to determine where the Luddite should be based on the direction he had been moving, his velocity, and the space available. He then attempted for the first time to digitize a sentient being, unsure of what the affects might be. He reached out with his mind to find his target, and let his power flow!

ZARK! Slate was unsure whether or not he had hit! If he missed, he would have disintegrated the back wall!

The Luddite’s voice came out of the darkness. “You. Creature. I feel as if I’ve been waiting my whole life for you. Your ancestors have steadily and malevolently guided the transformation of mankind, preparing the way for your coming. And now the time is come. The invasion is here! Die, simulacrum of humanity!”
Slate felt energy pass over him, but felt unharmed! “What?!” snarled the Luddite.

Slingshot couldn’t believe the lack of luck that plagued Vanguard. The President unconscious moments before the real Slingshot appears! Scott doesn't care about the Silent Killer at this moment. He's got two arms and two specific foes he wants to take to justice.
Lack of light underground made for poor visibility. In a small room like this, you don't necessarily need to see with Slingshot's powers.
"Luddite and Skin Deep. I have a bone to pick with both of you." With that, Scott executed a tentacle attack in both directions, extending one arm at each of them (where he remembers them being) and spreading to attempt splatter them against the wall, encompassing them, and crushing them in his firm grip.

SLAM! One giant tentacle hand slammed through the Luddite and into the stone wall behind him! BOOM! The masonry crumbled and silt fell from the stone ceiling!
WHAM! The other hand connected into and around the other Slingshot. Slingshot squeezed hard!
[OOC: The tentacle attack prevents you from missing all targets when you miss one on a multiple attack!]

The false Slingshot grunted in pain. And then laughed. The laughter became woman-like. “A bone to pick? Scott, I’m touched you remember your old friend Maria Girucci.” In the darkness, the voice was identical to Spider Girucci’s ‘sister.’

Fighting in complete darkness was something new to the regiment of replicating Russians. Using their empathic and telepathic link, they tried desperately to reach out to each other in order to get a better feel for what was going on around them.

The three Clones attacking Slingshot/Skin Deep stood their ground and continued to attack the same last location they did last time. One missed and two unknowingly connected with the real Slingshot’s oversized hand! KRAK! FAP! [12 points! Slingshot can’t see, so can’t roll with it. 8 off Invulnerability. 4 off Hits]

The Clone next to Rachael Ray did his best to keep his celebrity date safe, taking her into one of the many side rooms in the basement, holding her close and acting as a human shield. As he held her, their faces were inches away, and Rachel looked into his eyes! [OOC: I’m gonna hate myself in the morning for this]

The Clone carrying the President moved slowly through the darkness and into one of the side rooms, not wanting to go near the crowds. He was followed by the Clone carrying Nanite. Together, they stood in a pitch black room. [Made their saving throws for moving in darkness, thanks to telepathic link bonus of +4!]

Two Clones blocking the hallway backed up a bit into the light and stood guard, trying to keep the crowds back and the villains corralled.

Four Clones would try to block the doors leading out of the room that Luddite and Skin Deep were in.

Meanwhile, Skin Deep said quietly, “Targets are here, but only one is affected. Go to Plan B. Need evac on my mark.” Their communications weren’t jammed! And she could see in the dark!
Then Scott felt her shape stretch like his and worm its way out of his grip! He lost track of her in the darkness!

Then, KRAK! Fwump. The Clone holding Nanite fell unconscious from a blow to the head!
The Clone that was next to him, still holding the President, couldn’t make telepathic contact with the Clone holding Nanite. Then he heard a woman’s voice near him saying: “Mark.”

Light appeared in the room and grew until it was man shaped. It looked like this:

The light from the armor illuminated the unconscious Clone, the false Slingshot, and the motionless Nanite, still in her wedding gown. The emerald-armored teleporter hovered over a cellphone that lay on the floor beneath him. He picked it up and gave it back to “Slingshot,” placed a hand on the false Slingshot and Nanite and then he and they were gone! The room grew dark again.

Clone was alone with an unconscious Clone and the President. He immediately telepathically communicated what happened to his duplicates! The Clone nearest Slingshot said, “Dearest Scott. The President was not the target. It is with greatest sorrow that I am telling you that they took Nanite. She is teleportated away with Skin of the Deep. To where, I am not knowing.” [OOC: I assume. Please re-write this if you want, Kev. Thanks.]

Then the darkness lifted! Skin Deep and the Luddite were gone! Zephyr was still there! And so was the Silent Killer! Two of the secret service agents were rousing. And the back stone wall was severely damaged!

Slingshot’s estranged dad and brother had pushed their way down the hall, forcing their way past one Clone, to the doorway of the chamber. “Scott, you all right?” called his dad.

Then suddenly a secret service agent got on one knee and leveled his gun pointblank at Slingshot! “Freeze!”

To be continued!

OOC: Actions please! [OK. Now you can give me the evil eye!]

Sentinel makes his saving throw between turns and is no longer blind! See? It’s not all bad news. ;-)

Current Conditions:
Avatar: Hit Points: 104, Power Points: 82, Manifestation: Hera and Ares!
Clone: Awake bodies: 11, Hit Points: 2 each, Power Points: 39 each, Hit Point Pool: 22, Unconscious bodies: 2.
Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 39, Power Points: 40, currently disguised as the Silent Killer.
Menagerie: Hit Points: 21, Power Points: 59, Form: Terrordactyl
Sentinel: Hit Points: 23, Power Points: 50, Creation Points: 100, Shields: 57, No longer blind!
Slate: Hit Points: 30, Power Points: 60
Slingshot: Hit Points: 35, Power Points: 40, Invulnerability: 0 til Issue 157
Symbiote: Hit Points: 29, Power Points: 64, Charges: 11, Copied: Voice

[Exterior End of Issue Map: Each map square is 40 feet / 8”. Characters are not in scale.]

[Cathedral Basement End of Issue Map: Each map square is 5 feet / 1”. Characters are in scale.]


Can Avatar use his sword to cut the web? I had been working under the impression that it was probably something in which it would get stuck but, if Jack Lantern is doing it, maybe Avatar can, too.


Harold, Avatar may use an action to cut at the webbing with his sword.
If he overcomes the Structural Invulnerability of the webbing, his chance to escape the web increases: strength save on d20 instead of d100, which can still be attempted by expending all movement.
But the sword WILL be stuck in the web and will have to be freed separately or left behind.



OOC: Great Issue, Jeff!
What is Menagerie's new carrying capacity?

What would Menagerie guess that Triceratops weighs? Would he know from any of the CHESS or Vanguard files?

Can Menagerie see the little kid?



OOC: Menagerie can lift 259 lbs. in Terrordactyl form.
He definitely can’t lift Triceratops. He can lift the boy or Web, but would have to drop the Voice to do so.



Caught in the web with only his spear immediately at hand to even attempt to deal with Web, Avatar desperately saws at the webbing with his sword, using all of his strength and the keenness of the blade that he wrought with divine skill.

As soon as he sees that it may be weakened, he'll go ahead and attempt to break free.
Where is the boy at this point?


OOC: The boy is near you and the unconscious Overdrive.


OOC: The only way I can play this one is to go with the secret service and put my character to the pasture for a bit. I'll have to leave it to Vanguard to come up with the evidence to clear my name.

IC: Scott sighs and holds his hands up. "No need. I understand how this looks. For the record, it was not me. It was Skin Deep impersonating me. You can request the CHESS records about her being able to take on my shape and powers. Also, for the record, they took my wife.".

As Scott is being dragged away, he turns to Ethan, "Son, I'm sorry. Don't be upset. I need you to be an adult now. Get Vanguard to help clear my name and look for mother."


Hey Harold,
I think I have three options with Menagerie this turn.

1) He could fly down and grab Avatar. The plan would be to pull him out the web by flying him out of it. This would mean that Avatar would have to hold his action until after Menagerie's action.

2) He could fly down and rescue the child.

3) He could attack Web.

Do you have any preferences on which Menagerie could help with the situation or can you think of a better way I could help. I see this as Avatar's situation and I don't interfere.



OOC: Up to you, Tom. Just up to my knees in villains and have no freedom of movement here. Web is the immediate threat.


IC: Menagerie surveys the scene as he flies low through the streets. He though-sends the locations of the downed villains to Nathan Lamb. Menagerie does not worry about whether The Voice falls off or not. He believes that he is low enough that The Voice would survive the fall. Menagerie quietly turns to his left. He will use the buildings to cover his approach of Web.

Menagerie communicates with Avatar, asking which is most important between his choices of freeing Avatar, moving the child or taking out Web. Menagerie thought-sends "I am going to take out the threat first. Please distract Web with a superheroic monologue as I attack him from behind." Menagerie silently flew at Web from behind. His terrifying mouth opening wide to bite his prey.

OOC: Menagerie goal is to bite Web from behind. He is hoping to catch him by complete surprise but if not, he hopes to be discovered too late. Where if Web does try to web him his momentum will carrying him into Web anyway.



OOC: Jeff, I'm having trouble following everything that's gone on from an in-character point of view. Does Avatar know anything at all about what's been happening with the President and the others?


OOC: Harold, communications were jammed and the “relay Clone” near you is unconscious, so the last you heard was Menagerie’s thought-send to all of Vanguard* eight seconds ago, in Issue 154, that someone that looked like Scott was trying to kill the President of the United States!
Slingshot and Symbiote (and the Silent Killer, aka Lightning Strike) raced inside the Cathedral after receiving this info. There’s been no news since then.

*Tom, Sgt. Stone didn’t receive this info because he was beyond your thought-send range.


OOC: Sorry I feel like I'm late to respond...Sorry Stephane, you're going to have to Role Play this one. :)

IC: Then suddenly a secret service agent got on one knee and leveled his gun pointblank at Slingshot! “Freeze!”

Slate's eyes buzzed with static as he turned to the agent, tilted his head to the right, and said, "No", and the agents gun sparkled with the same static and evaporated. Slate looked around and the other guns in the room also seemed to dissolve.

"The president is safe in another room, Clone can take you to him. My father was not who you saw attacked you. You can read the CHESS record and determine he is telling the truth. Right now, we need him."

Turning to Scott, "I need you to help me find her," Slate says imploringly. "You found Nemesis using that energy they both release, maybe we can use that to track her. You have to look, you have to try. All those months you spent with her, when everything seemed lost. You didn't give up then, how can you just let them take her now."

His voice rises, "He killed her! What will he do with her now. It's so important to them that they came back not to just discredit us, but to get her. We can't let them have her, not for a minute. We have to go after them now." He drops to his knees and looks up at Scott with his Mothers eyes, "We have to."



OOC: You mean I _have_ to roleplay during a PBEM?!
Dosh garnit!

IC: Scott raises his voice for the first time at his progeny. "Ethan, stop that! The man is doing his job." Scott turns to the agent and pauses, "If you want me to go into custody, let me know. What my son says is right, looks like the president was not the target after all. It was both my wife and my son. They weren't able to run off with him. Go check on him and I'll be right here when you return."

Slate’s voice rises, "He killed her! What will he do with her now. It's so important to them that they came back not to just discredit us, but to get her. We can't let them have her, not for a minute. We have to go after them now." He drops to his knees and looks up at Scott with his Mothers eyes, "We have to."

The usually jovial features of his father harden, "I'm not giving up on her. I never will, but the problem is Caine's manipulations. I can't go out half cocked running into Caine's Office like we did that first time. We are here today because of that moment. We can't do it that way again. We have to have evidence and ensure that we can put it all on his feet. Until then we need to do our homework."


Kirk will survey the situation (since he now can) and play backup support as needed for his teammates. Use him where ever he will do the most good to assist. That can be getting the child from danger if it hasn't been done by his action, assisting to free Avatar from the webbing if he hasn't already done so himself (perhaps both using some movement and his constructs) and/or helping to put the kibosh on some of the still active villains that his teammates haven't finished off.

Don't know how far you are going with this issue, but what Kirk would like to do is put a positive spin on the events before Caine and his forces put a negative spin. I figured that once the villains are down for the count, Kirk could approach the reporters and give a statement about the event. Certainly there are tons around and they would be interested Don't know if that would be 'this issue or next issue' at this point or if I can physically find the time to pen what has been running through my mind for it last weekend and this weekend with real life events but I guess you can let me know if I should try and I have some good ideas in mind. But I definitely think we should be the first ones to put a spin on things rather than let the negative forces do so.



OOC: Jeff,
Just don't think I'll be able to give a worthwhile reply this turn. Had a little too much Real World lately.

And I don't want to hold up the turn any longer, so please move forward and just "move" Symbiote as you think best. By the next turn most of this should hopefully be straightened out.

Thanks, greg


Clone and Rachael Ray -
Clone; obviously nervous and embarrassed, suddenly blushed as he realized he had just dragged the girl of dreams into a small secluded room and was her holding her so closely that their faces were just inches away from each other. Whether out of fear of rejection or simply fear of the unknown ( OOC: Clone has never had a girlfriend ), he couldn’t bring himself to simply lean in and kiss the woman of his dreams. In a nervous stutter fueled by an unexpected burst of adrenaline, Clone tried to speak, “Uuhhmm . . . err . . . I am thinking that we are . . . uhm . . . maybe being safe it is seeming.” As he continued to look longingly into her eyes he continued after a brief pause, “Are you feeling . . . err . . . safe?”

( OOC: Clone would be as nervous as a teenage school boy at this point. Having never kissed a girl before; let alone the woman of his dreams, he would have all the desire but none of the guts needed to just lean in and kiss her. I hate to say it Jeff, but if this kiss is going to happen its going to have to be Rachael being the aggressor – Clone just ain’t got the skills lol )

( OOC: If Rachael seems to be putting a kibosh to the whole ‘kiss’ thing, Clone will do the following )

As the two separate and start to adjust themselves accordingly, Clone sends out a telepathic message to his duplicates, “Rachael and I are safe in a small room near one of the basement’s stairways.”

( OOC: If Rachael does lean in and kisses him, Clone will do the following )

As the two embrace and start to kiss with the same passion as two high school making out in the back seat of an old car for the first time, Clone sends out a telepathic message to his duplicates, “Rachael and I are . . . oh . . . oh my goodness . . . err . . . we’re fine . . .” The empathic link that exists between the troupe of replicating Russians only serves to reinforce just how true that last statement truly is.

The President and Nanite –
As the darkness subsided and light began to filter back into the small room, Clone looked down at the ground before him and saw an unconscious duplicate and a still unconscious President. He quickly moved between the two, knelt down, and then reached out towards them both. As he absorbed the unconscious replica with one hand, he checked on the President with the other. Was he still alive? Were his wounds fatal? Was he still breathing? All these questions and more raced through Clones mind as he struggled to make sure the President was merely unconscious and not actually dead.

Once he had determined that the President was still alive, Clone sent out a telepathic message to his duplicates, “The President and I are safe in a small room just down the hall towards the middle of the basement . . . it seems that he wasn’t their primary target . . . unfortunately they’ve taken Nanite.”

The Secret Service –
As the darkness subsided and light began to filter back into the small room, two of the duplicates already inside the room rushed to aid the two Secret Service Agents that were slowly regaining consciousness. Slingshot’s estranged dad and brother then appear out of nowhere just outside the doorway to the chamber. “Scott, you all right?” called his dad. Two of the Clones instinctively move to block their access into the room in order to keep them safe from any lingering ‘bad guys’ that might still be lurking about inside.

Grabbing their staves firmly, two of the duplicates suddenly turn and exit the room quickly.

( OOC: They’re headed towards the room with the President in order to help their fellow duplicate protect him should Skin Deep and her friend return. )

The Clone nearest Slingshot then turns to his friend and said, “Comrade . . . it is seeming that The President is not being main target of these villains. It is seeming that main target was Nanite, and I am being most sorry comrade but I was not being able to keep her safe from all of them. She was being instantly telephoned away to somewhere by Skin of the Deep and someone I am not knowing of . . . I am most sorry comrade.” Then suddenly a secret service agent got on one knee and leveled his gun pointblank at Slingshot! “Freeze!” Fearing for his friends safety, the Clone duplicate places himself between Slingshot and the government agent; puts his hands in the air ( OOC: submissively not aggressively – as if he were being arrested ), and tries desperately to explain the situation, “Please, you are not knowing of the entire situation I am thinking. I am knowing of how this is looking, but it is not really how this is looking comrade. This is not the Slingshot you are looking for ( OOC: couldn’t help it – gotta love Star Wars! ), it is the other Slingshot who is not being here but is looking just like this Slingshot that is being to blame for all of this. That Slingshot is looking exactly like this Slingshot with most of same powers it is looking, but is not this Slingshot . . . please to be understanding this.”

( OOC: Clone won’t physically fight with the Secret Service Agents, but he will argue with them if need be. )

( OOC: Side Note: I don’t recall if Lightning Strike told Vanguard about his Silent Killer persona or not; I’m pretty sure he did, but just in case he didn’t please slip this in somewhere – On of the Clones turns to Slingshot and quietly asks, “Comrade Slingshot . . . who is it that he is supposedly being, I am not knowing of him.” )

As much as I would love to have the Clone Collective run upstairs and help out with the fight going on in the streets, I think he/they would opt for staying in the basement of the cathedral to keep security tight and to protect the President . . . and of course Rachael ;)

Jeff I had a question:

Jeff Wrote -

Harold, communications were jammed, and the “relay Clone” near you is unconscious, so the last you heard was Menagerie’s thought-send to all of Vanguard* eight seconds ago, in Issue 154, that someone that looked like Scott was trying to kill the President of the United States!

Slingshot and Symbiote (and the Silent Killer, aka Lightning Strike) raced inside the Cathedral after receiving this info. There’s been no news since then.

I thought the Clones absorbed the unconscious Clone that tried to re-enter the cathedral – am I remembering that wrong? Am I forgetting something? I’m sure I am, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask. =/

Talk to you all soon,

- Kev


OOC: Kevin, during Issue 151, you said that you re-orged into 13 bodies. One went outside the cathedral, the rest stayed inside.
The one outside was knocked unconscious by Overdrive before he could attempt to re-enter the cathedral. He can't be re-absorbed back into the collective without physical contact and there were/are no Clones outside to make contact.



Lightning Strike:
OOC: Sorry for the delay but real life has once again beat out Vanguard.
Here is what Lightning Strike/Silent Killer will do. Realizing that the president was out of danger and Luddite was no longer there, he determined that there was no value in staying and blowing what was left of his cover. He figured that it was worth taking a chance and hoping that the teleporter and/or the Luddite left some sort of energy trail (hopefully electrical in nature) that could be tracked. Strike attempted to sense what or where this trail may be. (OOC: I will use a luck point to make this attempt) Hoping that the cell phone that was picked up might be more than just a red herring, Strike will focus on cell phone signals betting that this person isn't just a teleporter but can transform himself and others into signals (like Strike himself) that can beam at will.

If he can trace some sort of signal, he will attempt to follow it by transforming into a similar form. If he can not, he will transform into electrical form and head out through the nearest outlet.

That's all for now.