The President of the US was evacuated to the nearest hospital, with several CHESS Knights escorting him.
The wedding guests were moved upstairs and methodically processed and questioned by the Secret Service.
Rachel Ray and Clone never kissed, but when she saw several Clones at once, she asked her ‘escort,’ “Are you all the same person? I mean, do you all share one, like, mind? Or are you more like identical twins, or septuplets, where you all have different personalities, hopes, dreams, whatever?”
Clone looked a little confused by Rachael’s questions and said matter-of-factly to her, “No, I am being all of one person no matter how many of me there is at being.” Fearing that this might freak her out somehow; Clone continued, “ . . . but this is not to be scariest of things, I am knowing of many things that I can be doing for wife as a husband that can be in many places at many times.”
Before she could react to that statement she was suddenly dragged off to safety by a nearby security team. As she stepped into a waiting limousine, Clone called out to her, “I am having much fun on our date Rachael, please to be calling of me! I am very happy looking forward to you meeting of my family!” As the limo door closes, Clone placed his fist to his ear with his thumb and pinky extended and mouths the words – Call – Me.
CHESS teams arrived and apprehended the auditioners that formed Homicide Unlimited.
Black Ice, Killshot, Chain, Inside Man, the Voice, Web, Overdrive, Dexter Sinister Jr., Jack Lantern and Triceratops were captured. The Fly appeared to be destroyed.
Catman, Black Sheep, The Silent Killer, and Damocles remained at large.
Jack Lantern would soon be identified as a 40 year old accountant from Queens; married with three children. He kept repeating he had no idea how he got to Manhattan, let alone in a super villain costume.
Vanguard reunited in the Cathedral, escorted by CHESS Knights and Secret Service agents.
Sentinel signaled Ajay after he was caught up on the events he’d missed. “Ajay, we need you to work some of your magic. In this digital age with all of the recording devices available we should be able to get time stamped images proving that the attack on the President by Skin Deep began while our Slingshot was still here protecting the crowds on the street. Try to compile some hard proof and forward it to anyone that can help as quickly as possible.”
Ajay replied, “Sorry, boss. When communications went down at the start of the attack, all security cameras in the neighborhood went to static.”
Upon hearing about Harrik having a new teleporter, Sentinel scanned the area but detected no energy trail they could follow. He said to Menagerie, "Any trail on the teleporter on the mystical end of things?"
In the Cathedral, Slingshot and Slate were arrested by the Secret Service. “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law,” began the first agent.
The rest of Vanguard, including Sgt. Stone, Doc Rocket, Shelley and Felicity Chase, were being taken in for questioning, given their relationship to Slingshot, and their presence here during ‘his’ assassination attempt.
Preliminary statements were being taken right in the Cathedral, separately, while they waited for transport.
Nathan Lamb served as their CHESS liaison for now.
“Where’s Lightning Strike?” they were asked.
Slingshot was vocal about his innocence but didn’t press the “I’ve been framed” angle.
He was amiable and helpful, asking about how the search for Nan was going. He went into all the details, especially the facts around the timing regarding his coming down the stairs, knowing that people had seen me come down before just before the blackout and that the president was in the hand of the doppelganger before "he" showed up.
Lamb told him privately that many eyewitnesses were corroborating that sequence of events; gunshots, then Slingshot went by, then darkness; but not all. It all happened so quickly and most witnesses were panicking.
Avatar was largely unaware of everything that had happened with Slingshot, Nanite and the President. He had been very publicly busy outside in the street fighting super villains. He agreed to go along with the authorities for questioning but said nothing about anything other than what he observed on the street.
Symbiote remained largely silent during the public arrest phase of this entire situation, remembering his father talk about how many perpetrators had given away any chance of avoiding jail time just by running their mouths during an arrest. "If you're ever in a situation where the cops read you your rights, son, shut up and wait for a lawyer," Ralph had told his children. "Even if--hell, ESPECIALLY IF--you're innocent. Police are good people by and large, but remember, a lot of them don't think their job is to do justice. They think their job is to arrest somebody, guilty or not."
Clone was only too happy to start answering questions in the Cathedral:
“Please comrade; as I am telling of Secret Services persons . . . who by the way I am thinking they are not being so secret since it is that I am knowing of them . . . ( Clone then waves his hands in the air as he realizes that he is straying off topic ) . . . but as I am saying much before, you are not knowing of entire situation I am thinking. I am knowing of how this is now looking, but it is not really how this is now looking comrade. This is not the Slingshot you are looking for, it is other Slingshot who is not being here but is looking just like this Slingshot that is now being here to be blamed for all of this. That Slingshot is looking exactly like this Slingshot with most of same powers it is looking I am thinking, but it is not this Slingshot . . . please to be understanding all of this comrades.”
Menagerie was silently led by the Secret Service. As he was being moved, he telepathically spoke with the rats in the basement and learned of everything that had transpired there. He attempted to reach out to his spirit guide and 'His Lady' for the significance of Nanite's capture, but both were beyond the range of his mind-speech spell.
With Lamb present, he privately answered the Secret Service’s preliminary questions. He stated he had no idea what happened to Lightning Strike. “It is not uncommon for him to venture off on his own and it is possible that he was a victim of today's events.”
The former Park Ranger repeatedly told them that Slingshot had followed them outside and fought against Homicide Unlimited. Slingshot did not go to back into the church until after Menagerie told him that the POTUS was under attack by Skin Deep.
"I saw both Slingshot outside the church with us and Skin Deep inside the basement attacking the POTUS."
The first agent, who identified himself as Special Agent Valk, asked, “How did you see them both at the same time?”
Menagerie looked to Lamb, who said, “The Secret Service are the proper authorities. Please assist them as you would CHESS, especially if it will help clear Scott’s name.”
Menagerie said, "I talk to animals"
The agent said, “If communications were out, how did you notify Slingshot about the attack on the President?”
Menagerie said, "When I am an animal I talk to people."
After the preliminary questions were complete, Menagerie brought all his charisma and intelligence to bear to convince the authorities to release Slingshot and Slate under the supervision of CHESS and Vanguard. “Slingshot was a man protecting his family and country, and Slate is a child who had just lost his Mother and reacted to protect his Father. While I will agree that you’ll would be able to hold them, Vanguard would be better at supervising them and there is still the issue of the kidnapping to resolve. Wouldn't it be better if you focused on the threat to National Security these kidnappers represented?”
“Duly noted,” replied Agent Valk coolly from behind his mirrored sunglasses. “We’ll take it under advisement. But please consider this: A suspect in an assassination attempt of the President claims that a perfect imposter impersonated him today. How do we know if the imposter isn’t still doing so? Or if there aren’t other imposters among your number? This will take some time to sort out, thoroughly and responsibly. I thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.”
By the time Vanguard were marched out of the Cathedral and onto Fifth Avenue, reporters and photographers were there to capture the perp walk. News copters, government vehicles and agents, NYPD, and newly forming crowds completed the circus atmosphere.
The cloud cover was dissipating.
Unmarked vans pulled up. The Secret Service readied to load Vanguard into them.
Lightning Strike observed all this from cyberspace through a traffic camera. He detected no energy surges or decreases so far.
Katherine Adams, national news reporter, spoke into a camera near them, “Wolf, we have reports there was an attempt on President Taylor’s life tonight, at the Vanguard wedding. And wait… yes, we’re now seeing Vanguard being led out, in what appears to be police custody!”
Slingshot was cuffed behind his back and being walked out toward the truck when Adams put a mic in front of him. He stopped briefly. Speaking fast, but clearly, Slingshot said directly into the camera, "A mercenary task force known as Homicide for Hire has abducted my wife Nan and framed me for this. I implore you, if you have any information on her whereabouts, please contact Vanguard. I don't care what happens to me. Please help find Nan." Then he kept moving, his brief plea completed before he was asked to move along.
Slate had allowed them to handcuff him and followed his father’s example; his body seemed to be on autopilot. In his mind he continued to play the recent events over in his mind. Static swirled around his eyes, like some kind of electrical fish continually looking for something.
Logically, he understood what his father was doing and why, but his emotions railed against that logic, demanding action. He struggled against himself, and blocked out everything else. He didn’t even glance at the photographers or reporters yelling his name. When Slingshot stopped and made his short plea, even that didn’t register to Slate.
Nathan Lamb, CHESS ID pinned to his jacket, stopped the first Secret Service agent.
“Valk. Come on. You know this is extranormal business. Not your jurisdiction. Turn them over to CHESS. Grey is on his way to take custody,” he yelled over the street noise.
“I bet he is,” shouted Special Agent Valk. “Not a chance. This is a Secret Service investigation. This was a Presidential assassination!”
“That’s not what Vanguard says…” Lamb replied.
“It’s what the President says!” interrupted Valk.
“…and you haven’t the facilities to hold them anyway,” Lamb tried with all the charm he could muster.
“They’re not resisting,” said Valk. “But don’t worry. MEDUSA is coming, in case they do.”
Sgt. Stone was reluctantly going along with all this but started looking at Vanguard when the vans pulled up.
Shelley glanced at Sentinel from the corner of her eye and, in Vanguard hand signal, asked, “Now what?”
Sentinel couldn’t have been more impressed with Scott’s choices this day or prouder to call him friend. He wondered if their situations were reversed and if it was Shelley missing if he could make the same sensible rational choices. When Kirk saw Scott and Slate being escorted away and the call for all Vanguard and their closest associates to surrender to the secret service it all hit him and had angered him. When Shelley signaled him, his anger turned to determination and action.
With all the reporters covering the wedding it would be easy enough to get their attention. He flew towards the media and descended to the crowd as recording devices and flashes were upon him as they gathered to hear.
“We know that you all have questions as to what happened here today and why, and that there are false rumors spreading. So let’s answer your questions and set the record straight now.
“First off, we’d like to thank our fellow workers, the brave men and women of the NYPD and CHESS for their heroic actions this day. And we’d like to thank each and every one of you present for your support and bravery, for cooperating with them and for keeping your heads during the attack of the super villains.”
Symbiote winced a little when Sentinel started making a very public statement to the crowd. He blocked an agent from interrupting the speech, but others got through.
Sentinel felt a hand on his shoulder. It was Special Agent Valk. "We've got to go. Now," he said unhappily with one finger on his earpiece.
Sentinel turned his head towards Valk, checking his energy aura for foul play just in case, and attempted to read his surface thoughts telepathically to be sure there were no ulterior motives.
Special Agent Valk did not register as an extra-normal to Sentinel’s energy scan. But his surface thoughts could not be read!
Valk stopped in his tracks, facing Sentinel. Then he said into his earpiece, “Attention: I am the target of a psionic attack from Sentinel. Request Aegis backup. Repeat, requesting Aegis backup.”
Other Secret Service Agents moved toward Sentinel and Valk!
Then the backs of the last unmarked trucks to arrive opened and out came several big black powered armor suits. The technology was reminiscent of the technology of the Black CHESS Knights of Universe Omega, except larger!
The first armored figure barked: “American AEGIS! Deploy!”
Vanguard knew that the Military Espionage Division United States of America was a secretive government division that dealt with extranormal sciences and security.
20 years ago, Aegis had been the name of the European superteam that had been slaughtered by the Primate. This was not them.
Avatar, who had been a scholar of antiquity before he learned to manifest the powers of Olympus itself, knew Medusa was a fearful figure in Greek mythology whose name meant “guardian” or “protector.”
According to Greek, Norse and Egyptian mythology, an aegis was a protective shield, the wearing of which signified sponsorship, protection, or authority derived from yet a higher source or deity.
With his new backup to help, Special Agent Valk said to Sentinel in front of all the cameras: “Sentinel, you’re under arrest. You have the right to remain silent…”
To be continued!
OOC: Sorry we didn’t get very far into the next six hours after all. But this unexpected turn of events could impact everything that follows it.
I think I know what your replies might be, but I’ve been fooled before, and happily so.
So I thought it safest to ask…
Map is below.
Current Conditions: (You’ve healed some Power Points this issue, except Lightning Strike)
Avatar: Hit Points: 35, Power Points: 84, Manifestation: None. Last manifestation has expired.
Clone: Bodies: 1, Hit Points: 22, Power Points: 64, Hit Point Pool: 22 (I’m assuming you’re one body now)
Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 39, Power Points: 31
Menagerie: Hit Points: 21, Power Points: 66, Form: Man
Sentinel: Hit Points: 23, Power Points: 70, Creation Points: 140, Shields: 57
Slate: Hit Points: 30, Power Points: 73
Slingshot: Hit Points: 35, Power Points: 59, Invulnerability: 8
Symbiote: Hit Points: 29, Power Points: 83, Charges: 11, Copied: Voice
- When Aegis Shows Up
As Aegis begins to appear on the scene and Agent Valk starts to read Sentinel his Miranda Rights; sensing that everyone around him is sufficiently distracted, Clone leans slightly in the direction of Symbiote and whispers to him out of the corner of his mouth, “Comrade Symbiote . . . I am thinking that maybe this is not good time to be asking . . . but are you thinking that I am to be hearing from my new girlfriend Rachael Ray maybe soon? I am thinking that maybe she is finding me to be most sexy and groovy of guy, but I am not knowing for sure. What do you think comrade?”
- Loading Up For Transport
As the doors to the vehicle transporting Vanguard close; with his hands still firming secured behind his back by handcuffs, Clone leans forward and in a gentle tone asks one of the Secret Service Agent ( Valk maybe? ), “I am most sorry for asking of this comrade, but it is seeming that I am needing to . . . err . . . how is it that you are saying . . . err . . . oh yes . . . I am needing to be making of a pee-pee.” Before the agent can even respond, Clone says with a look of child-like concern on his face, “Are you thinking of this is being possible comrade?”
Terrific issue as always, Jeff – I’m really looking forward to seeing how much of a ‘pissing contest’ this whole thing turns out to be between the various government agencies involved.
My IC Response was written around the assumption that the other members of Vanguard would be following the instructions they were given from here on out. If things get violent I’ll change my actions if that’s ok with you, Jeff.
JEFF WROTE: ( I’m assuming you’re one body now )
That would be correct sir – Clone is cooperating fully with the authorities and understands how difficult it would be for them to have to deal with a bunch of duplicates on top of everything else.
Jeff, if you need anything else from me let me know.
Talk to you all soon,
OOC: Awesome issue Jeff. The ending reminds me of the classic Avengers 94 when SHIELD unleashed the Mandroids on them.
Menagerie will try to sense any kind of teleportation trail left from Nanite's abduction.
Menagerie will use his Charisma to try to diffuse the situation with MEDUSA.
IC: When asked if there were further imposters in Vanguard, Menagerie responded, "Sentinel and I both have the ability to sense if any imposters are among Vanguard. What worries me is how did Skin Deep get into the wedding in the first place. Are all of the Secret Service Agents counted for? Vanguard did not verify the authenticity of Secret Service detail out of respect. All other guests and wedding party members were verified. How do we know that there are not more imposters in the detail?"
When AEGIS appears, Menagerie will call out. "Everyone calm down. This doesn't have to escalate into a fight."
Menagerie will thought-send to Sentinel, "Tell Agent Valk you weren't attacking him. Tell him you were making sure he wasn't a Homicide for Hire imposter attempting to silence you to hide the fact Nanite was kidnapped."
Thanks a lot guys. ;-)
Kev said: "If things get violent I’ll change my actions if that’s ok with you, Jeff."
GM Reply: Great. Thanks.
You guys are too quiet - its scaring me =/
I'm probably going to hit the deadline. I've got Thursday and Friday night outings. Tonight, I'm working on some stuff due by end of week.
But I fear my options may be limited.
Ajay replied, “Sorry, boss. When communications went down at the start of the attack, all security cameras in the neighborhood went to static.”
Once we get a chance we need to understand what was taken out and what radius. This goes beyond someone accessing and cutting off CHESS channels. If the interference took out all security cameras, did it take out cellphones and things like that too? We’ll need to determine what happened as that is an incredible security threat.
With his new backup to help, Special Agent Valk said to Sentinel in front of all the cameras: “Sentinel, you’re under arrest. You have the right to remain silent…”
Kirk’s gaze didn’t leave that of Valk. His dissipated his energy shields and raised his hands palms upward in surrender and said to Valk before the cameras, “Vanguard has given you full cooperation Agent Valk, and continues to do so. I don’t understand why you won’t allow me to make a statement to the press. You may silence me, but you can’t silence the truth.” And he added with his arms outstretched to him, “Do you feel cuffs are necessary Agent Valk?”
OOC: Obvious Kirk isn’t going to say his peace here. The psionic attack wasn’t said to the cameras and Kirk wouldn’t reply to it since knowledge of his mental abilities was classified at the suggestion of CHESS. (although an actual psionic attack would be a great character advancement at some point). Valk has broken protocol and overrun his authority as we answer to CHESS and Gray, and Gray answers to the President. Kirk is not taking any action against him and basically his arresting Sentinel and if he chooses to cuff him on camera should create an outrage in support of Vanguard and against what has happened to them today. (They stop a bunch of super villains publically and then the Secret Service denies them freedom of speech and arrests them... where was their show of force when there was a genuine threat to the city?)
If Valk does cuff him it really completes the ‘classic’ cover for the issue. And its appropriate Kirk ends up in the same mess as Slingshot trying to help him here.
Kirk has no reason to resist here. He has nothing on his end to find Nanite anyway and Slingshot is already arrested so our best hope is that Symbiote gets kicked free quickly since he was smart enough to stay silent and he gets back to the lab to begin working on something
Not sure how Valk will play this, but if Kirk gets the opportunity to have words with him he would likely try to figure out if Valk is being played to think we are a big threat and just buying it or part of the effort against us. Obviously we know that MEDUSA has been preparing for this and has advised other government agencies of this ... and it seems like Grey is out of the loop. So how far does this go and how ready is the government to move against us? Is the President even aware? Or is this division already a pawn of Caine?
Maybe an adaptation of the speech can conclude the issue (if we come out on top)
OOC: Based on Sentinel's response. Do not have Menagerie thought-send to Sentinel and he does not yell for everyone to remain calm.
IC: Menagerie watches Agent Valk and the MEDUSA units carefully ready to follow his leader actions. He doesn't say anything and doesn't move. His body language suggests he expects to be arrested next.
OOC: You might still need to calm everyone after the MEDUSA units cut Kirk down :)
I've actually asked people I know and have met in law enforcement about stuff like this ( i.e. Does law enforcement have to cuff people they're arresting, or do they have a choice? ), and they've all responded basically the same way - regardless if they feel its necessary or not, whenever they arrest someone they're required to cuff them - its just one of those standard things they have to do like reading you your Miranda Rights. That's the thing though - if he's cuffing us then he's definitely arresting us - they don't normally cuff people that they're just bringing in for questioning as far as I know - I could be wrong though.
I've got a gut feeling Vanguard is in for a long night.
OOC: I'd checked online quickly since I was just trying to get my actions out there so everyone had more than a day or a few hours to get theirs done. Sorry things have been hectic to delay the response this long. Some of the quick online research says cuffed, some say cuffed isn't necessary. Same with being told why you are arrested - seems like it isn't necessary so at this point Kirk didn't ask. Although I was unaware Kirk and some of Vanguard likely does know the answers regarding it.
Either way, the cuffing whether it is necessary or not, it is dramatic.
I don't think the rest of the team would be cuffed automatically as they are coming in for questioning willingly and cooperating.
Frankly we can make a case that the Secret Service is interfering in our investigation of events as superhuman activities fall under CHESS and we are authorized to act under them. I checked the Vanguard website for our actual legal authority given by the government - given we have been authorized with a security clearance we deserve more than this. We have a reasonable degree of authority and autonomy. Would you shut down an entire police division because one member is suspected of a crime? Would you suspend the entire unit from their case load and prevent follow-up of active investigations? ... I was tempted to repeat the words back to Agent Valk, "No Agent Valk, your under arrest, you have the right to remain silent..." Tom's initial post about us investigating is right. But I figured at that point we'd end up in a battle with them which wouldn't accomplish anything positive.
Guess we'll see what Jeff has in mind ... and I think Vanguard's authority as government agents is about to be defined.
Although I must say ... I'm beginning to understand how Magneto's attitudes were shaped. This universe should be glad that Kirk is a much more nobler and better person that his player Seth... I don't do well with people that prejudge you based on prejudice and are lurking in the shadows prepared to shape others into that mold. Nice argument for the nature vs nurture angle of behavior. It's hard to take the high road to prove them wrong ... and even then, some people never learn. We do have the possibility that Valk is a dupe and when he reviews the actions of the day and our handling of things, he becomes an ally. We can hope. I do.
But none of this gets us closer to finding Nanite ...
OOC: Police are encouraged to cuff whenever they feel endangered. E.g. a belligerent traffic stop or a loud domestic disturbance, especially if the cop is alone. It doesn't have to result in an arrest. It's for the cop's own protection.
So cuffing needn't result in arrest. But arrest does result in cuffing.
Sentinel, and anyone else with Law, Law enforcement subculture, Streetwise, or Criminal subculture skill would know this.
Seth, what gives you reason to believe that "the psionic attack wasn't said" within earshot of the press?
Also, does Sentinel say any of this stuff in character?
"We have a reasonable degree of authority and autonomy. Would you shut down an entire police division because one member is suspected of a crime? Would you suspend the entire unit from their case load and prevent follow-up of active investigations?"
"Valk has broken protocol and overrun his authority as we answer to CHESS and Gray, and Gray answers to the President."
If yes, to whom?
OOC: I'm still debating what I can/cannot do. I'll just make sure I have Vanguard lawyer by my side ASAP and get do the proper push back. I'll give my official entry today hopefully.
Since Slate and I were in the church, we would have to go. Potentially Clone as well as eye witness. Since everyone is corroborating my timelines, it's just a matter of time before they release me.
There is no reason any other members of Vanguard have to go. They were outside battling homicide unlimited. I say go for it, Seth: Tell Valk to take a hike and the rest of Vanguard needs to investigate this attack from supers.
GM said: Also, does Sentinel say any of this stuff in character:
"We have a reasonable degree of authority and autonomy. Would you shut down an entire police division because one member is suspected of a crime? Would you suspend the entire unit from their case load and prevent follow-up of active investigations? "
"Valk has broken protocol and overrun his authority as we answer to CHESS and Gray, and Gray answers to the President."
None of that is IC it is all meant to be after my OOC listing. At this point Kirk is in front of cameras with Valk - these are some questions he might bring up in an appropriate setting and would likely discuss with Vanguard and Grey at an appropriate time - but since I've no idea how you are intending things to play out just now I don't know if and when they would fit. If at some point Kirk gets to have a discussion with Valk he might say some of the applicable points and other things but his statement and surrender are done - Valk doesn't get anything at this moment that makes Sentinel into a threat or antagonistic. Kirk wants this event coming off that they are being victimized (which they are!)
GM said: Seth, what gives you reason to believe that "the psionic attack wasn't said" within earshot of the press? Also, does Sentinel say any of this stuff in character:
Sorry if I was wrong on that, it was the way I read into your description, for that line you said "Then he said into his earpiece" for the 'you're under arrest line' it said, 'Special Agent Valk said to Sentinel in front of all the cameras' where you specified the cameras.
Naturally, you decide how Valk handled it, but at this point whoever told him about it (which Kirk assumes is MEDUSA as well as arming him with whatever device he has to be sensitive to it) has breached information that CHESS has classified - if Valk wants to reveal it to the world he can answer for it when we get things sorted out. You'll recall that when Kirk developed the ability he immediately informed Grey (CHESS) and they came to the decision to keep it classified, I believe it wasn't even revealed to new members of Vanguard at the time, only senior members.
Stephane said: There is no reason any other members of Vanguard have to go. They were outside battling homicide unlimited. I say go for it, Seth: Tell Valk to take a hike and the rest of Vanguard needs to investigate this attack from supers.
If anyone has a reason here to have made a fuss it was you. You didn't want to give them anything to make us look bad and Kirk certainly isn't going to give it to them now. And actually we know that even more is at stake now that Valk made that psionic statement they are already prepared to move against Vanguard and waiting for us to 'go rogue' - who knows what else they have prepared behind the scenes and how they will try to twist things. We can't give them anything to work with here. Kirk has been arrested just like Slingshot now. The rest of the team has not but they have been asked to come in for questioning and if they refuse to do so perhaps Valk would arrest them too.
Now perhaps the rest of the team, some of whom have already given statements, could state they've given their statements and now isn't a convenient time for further questioning but they would be happy to schedule such a time. If they aren't suspects, merely witnesses, this might work. Or they could state if 'I'm not be arrested, I would choose to go now or something along those lines'. Perhaps Ajay could get CHESS legal on the line for further advice, but like I said Kirk is now arrested ... but at the cost of the reveal that the negative forces in the government that we thought were there do exist and have far-reaching hands already.
Assuming Kirk remains conscious he'll energy scan Valk for whatever device might have picked up the mindread and begin to check other members of his team for it as well as other government agents.
If he still is able to check into his CHESS communicator after the arrest he'll say to Ajay, "Ajay, expedite getting Doc to the labs to begin working on locating Nanite. Until Vanguard is cleared of these false charges he's our best bet."
OOC: Thanks Seth.
fyi, Doc is part of the group who are being brought in for questioning.
Quote from this issue: "In the Cathedral, Slingshot and Slate were arrested by the Secret Service... The rest of Vanguard, including Sgt. Stone, Doc Rocket, Shelley and Felicity Chase, were being taken in for questioning..."
Seth wrote: Sorry if I was wrong on that, it was the way I read into your description, for that line you said "Then he said into his earpiece" for the 'you're under arrest line' it said, 'Special Agent Valk said to Sentinel in front of all the cameras' where you specified the cameras.
GM Reply: Valk went to Sentinel and put his hand on his shoulder. Sentinel was surrounded by the press. Valk did speak into an earpiece, but did so audibly, of course. If I'm next to you, talking into my cellphone, you'll hear me.
The arrest "in front of the cameras" was written for maximum dramatic value, and was not intended to indicate that previous statements were not in front of the cameras. Valk went to Sentinel's position and Sentinel was in front of the cameras.
Seth wrote: Naturally, you decide how Valk handled it, but at this point whoever told him about it... has breached information that CHESS has classified
GM Reply: Assuming someone told him about it, this is possible. It's also possible that if Valk has a means to detect telepathic scans/invasions/attacks to his person, that no one told him of your powers (so he wouldn't know they are classified) and he just discovered them during your mind scan attempt.
After all, it was only after the telepathy attempt that he moved to arrest you and requested AEGIS backup. Before that, he tolerated Slingshot and you making BRIEF statements to the press, but clearly was in a hurry to begin questioning/ investigating the crime. (Also, few investigators relish persons of interest discussing a live case with the press.)
Again, at least one Vanguardian has been "perfectly impersonated" today. And another, Slate, has (apparently) threatened and attacked the President, and then Valk himself. So any Vanguard members acting strangely (making telepathic "attacks" on members of law enforcement, inexplicably resisting quick transport to questioning, etc.) will appear suspicious to even the most honest member of the Secret Service.
Just sayin'. :-)
-Devil's Advocate Jeff
If Valk made the psionic attack statement publicly and follows-up IC about it (doesn't just let it go), send me what he says and I'll respond IC - although it may really shake things up at this point.
Don't know yet what Valk will do or say. A lot of players still need to reply (subtle hint) so anything could happen at this point.
Sentinel knows that Valk reported an "attack." So there will be a report, and the Secret Service will likely ask Sentinel about it during a questioning session, assuming you guys go in for questioning.
Sentinel also knows (from his Law Enforcement subculture skill) that since Valk was the target of the "attack," he can't be Sentinel's official interrogator.
If you have a monologue in mind (for Valk or another interrogator), and you're going in for questioning, please send the monologue before tomorrow night.
Avatar will keep quiet but observe and listen intently. That's all for now. If something happens, I'll get more specific with actions. First action would probably be the activation of Heightened Speed, though.
I'm concerned at this point with Valk's public reply if the statement was overheard publicly. If at this point he takes Sentinel's surrender and we are done with the reporters fine. If he is going to 'push' the attack issue publically I do have an immediate reply which would likely change or cause different actions for everyone.
I'm not looking for it to happen and rather it didn't as there is a good chance that Valk isn't actually a bad guy.
And although your devil's advocate response is possible, Kirk has already voiced concerns over MEDUSA, and in his mind he just saw good reason for his concerns (although he could be wrong about their involvement here naturally).
Forgot the statement about Doc to Ajay. For some reason I missed he was rounded up, although I would say the fact that he was gives me (and Kirk) greater concern that this is now more than the villains trying to frame Vanguard and that there is inside men involved. To my memory, and I could be wrong and if so please let me know, Doc really wasn't involved in any of the events with the villains or the president. He wasn't in the room, so why is he being rounded up as an uninvolved bystander? He isn't even a member of Vanguard and wasn't involved in any events so he just happens to get rounded up too? Or was he in on the action and I'm not remembering which is possible?
Valk intends to accept Sentinel's surrender without any comment to the press.
Doc was in the wedding party of a missing bride and a groom with an evil twin. They have questions for him. He's not a suspect. He's not arrested. He might be among the first ones to be released if he continues to comply with investigators.
OOC: At this point I'm almost anticipating a 'lone gunman' to come jumping out of the crowd and start shoot'n up the place while screaming, 'DIE MUTIE!!!"
. . . and thus starts Vanguards own personal version of 'Civil War' =O
hehe Talk to you guys later,
OOC: One thing you can count on is as much of you think you've got it all figured out Jeff will still have a way to mix it up on us.
No matter how much I think I've 'got it' he still manages to spin things around.
If Valk is not replying to the press, Sentinel is done at this point but publically and in further questioning.
From what I can see of what the public has seen other than accusations Vanguard's actions look good here. I don't want to add anything more that can be twisted. It is possible Valk is doing his job and has been given tech and been briefed that Vanguard could be a threat.
At this point unless you want to give me some specific situations and questions since Kirk has actually been arrested which is very different than the rest of the team that is in for questioning Kirk is going to wait for CHESS counsel and intervention here. He wants to speak to Grey as that is his superior both about what is happening now to Vanguard and his personal arrest along with the actual charges against him and how the plan to have them 'stick'.
Assuming that the charge will be attacking a federal officer he will want to know what basis of proof there is for an attack. At this point the two of them were standing there and Valk claims he was attacked psionically - What admissible proof does he have that will be recognized in a court of law for the basis of that accusation that will stick? If there is none, we are done. Cut Kirk loose now. If he claims he has a device then the next question would be how it works, where it comes from, does it supposedly identify the source of a psionics or did Valk assume? Anyway any of that goes, has that device been tested and approved in a court of law to be permissible as evidence?
Another possible defense at this point given the parameters of what is said about how Valk knows things is that Kirk was earlier attacked by a villain that did actually attack him and try to possess his mind. Is it possible that the device was picking up residual of that or that another mentalist was still active in the area?
OOC: Deadline is tonight!
Seth, you wrote: "Another possible defense at this point given the parameters of what is said about how Valk knows things is that Kirk was earlier attacked by a villain that did actually attack him and try to possess his mind. Is it possible that the device was picking up residual of that or that another mentalist was still active in the area?"
GM Reply: Does this mean Sentinel would lie to construct this false narrative for his personal defense, or that he would just encourage his lawyers to lie? Please don't forget Sentinel's old weakness would certainly prevent him from lying, let alone to law enforcement or a judge.
I know he's bought this weakness down in advance for his next level advancement, but is this really what we can expect from our new beacon of liberty?
The beacon dims. Sentinel Omega, here we come. ;-)
For a guy who's so worried that the government's actions will turn this universe into the Omega-verse, you might remove the beam out of your own eye first. ;-D
OOC: At this point, Hal's actions are more or less the same as last issue: Stay quiet until we are taken to wherever they're going to question us and then insist on the right to leave, pulling the "oh no, I think the 'plague ray' The Fly hit me with might be taking effect' card" as needed.
Unless one of the Medusadroids actually physically attacks the team without provocation. Then it's on.
Almost forgot the all-important topic of Clone's love life...
IC: Hal looks incredulously at the Replicating Russian and then....figures what the hell. He's not going to say anything about their current legal situation, might as well play a little Dr. Drew to the earnest young superhero.
"Alex, I suspect a woman like that is so high maintenance that you wouldn't be able to keep her happy if you were able to split yourself into a thousand Clones, each of them with their own honey-do list," he says. He looks grimly towards the armored MEDUSA agents headed their way. "On the other hand, I wonder how she is at baking metal files or hacksaws into cakes? We may need those skills soon."
Viva Vanguard and ATTICA! ATTICA! ALL OR NOTHING!
OOC: Hi Jeff.
That was all OOC musings since we really have no idea where things will be going.
I didn't say Kirk would offer that defense. IC I said he would shut up (hears hoorays in background from fellow players) and wait for CHESS legal.
Seth would say about it:
(1) I've always maintained Kirk is a much better person than me
(2) If it was necessary and CHESS legal didn't come up with such a defense then CHESS needs better counsel
(3) If I do go to far IC beyond what you feel is in Kirk's character, please do let me know as you did here and in the past. I certainly don't want Kirk to become the beacon of darkness...
(4) Frankly I'd expect we get this dismissed quickly ... as I don't think MEDUSA (assuming it is them on my part) is going to be looking to get their secret tech analyzed and admissible as credible evidence in court even if it can pinpoint the source of the 'attack'.
OOC: OK. Glad Sentinel is still the campaign's resident boy scout, even if
his player is human. :-)
OOC: Sorry! I totally missed it, not on purpose this time. It was a busy weekend.
[OOC: Slingshot will not change his original orders. He'll comply and get this done.]
[I hope I'm still within hear shot of Valk.] Scott clears his throat, "Agent Valk, are we not peaceable enough for you? Look around you. Who's moving to "attack" but you? Calm down and lets get this done and over with. Let's not make this more difficult than it is."
With that he turns to the agent next to him, "Let's go."
[OOC: Slingshot will get the lawyer involved ASAP. He needs out, so he can start after his wife ASAP.]
OOC: Ouch, late again....
IC: Slate will continue to be compliant. He will eye the Medusa arrivals, but take no actions and say nothing.
OOC: Sorry for the short/late responses last couple of issues.
I will continue monitoring the situation from cameras in the area and will intervene if hostilities start. I am curious as to how Agent Valk knew he was being scanned and part of me believes he may not be human but some kind of android which would explain why Sentinel could not detect anything coming from him. If a fight breaks out, Strike will attempt to generate an EMP hoping to disable the computer chips on the combatants (and maybe Agent Valk's brain).
Fyi, Rules-wise, an EMP would be a multiple attack. You're good to go.
We need to stop being sitting ducks for Silas Caine. I've got an idea, but it's a single item and we need to come up with a multi-pronged way to get to him, but not get to him directly. If we dismantle his entourage, we might be able to get to him. I've cooked up something on one of them. I'm trying to come up other things, it might wait on getting more information. Going back into the archive is a great thing. :)
In the week ahead, please think of however many ways we can make his life difficult, in a completely legal manner. We also have to get Nanite, but that might be part of the whole thing.
Obviously, if we don't get out of jail by next turn, we can't necessarily implement those actions.