Vanguard Roll Call!

Vanguard Roll Call!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Vanguard: Issue 167: Back to the USSR

Before the wedding of Nanite and Slingshot:

Symbiote and Menagerie soon made their cautious approach on the cabin on the lake and found Hank Archer alone. The night was dark like only the countryside can be.

“More capes?” Archer growled when they revealed themselves. “I’ve had it with all of you!” 

Symbiote hung back, still not sure if Hank knew his secret identity or not.  

Sentinel said, “Hank, I can understand how angry you are about everything that has happened.  You know I’ve respected you from the day we met.   We know that you were controlled by the Black Bat and framed and have been working hard to prove it and get you released.  We know that the Lightning Strike from the Omegaverse broke you out.  Surely someone who dedicating his life to upholding the law doesn’t want to spend the rest of it running from it.  We want you to get your life and your name back and as much as we wish you could continue free now, you won’t get it back that way. You need to surrender yourself so we can continue working on your release and on clearing your name.” 

Hank Archer snarled, “Forget it. Even if I manage to survive jail, I’ll never beat the rap. The frame up is too good.”
Menagerie said to Hank Archer, "So what do you plan to do? Run and hide the rest of your life? There has to be a way to turn this to your advantage. Even in prison you can serve the cause of Justice." 
As the super sorcerer reasoned with Archer, Sentinel used his telepathic powers to read Archer’s surface thoughts. He still detected the trace signs of Black Bat’s past “fingerprints,” like before, but Bat was in no way controlling Archer. Hank was being completely honest with Vanguard and meant everything he said.
When Menagerie asked him what he planned to do, “run and hide for the rest of his life,” Sentinel saw the thought of suicide flash briefly in Hank’s mind!

Finally, Symbiote stepped forward. "Hank, I don't know exactly what's gone on between you and Lightning Strike. Not entirely my business. But, please, please believe me when I tell you we're going to get you out of this situation. If you won't believe Symbiote, maybe you'll believe..."
And with that, Hal removed his mask.

"...your best friend's son."

He paused and let it sink in. "It's me, Hank. I've played it close to the vest in order to protect you and Dad and everybody else I care about. But I'm not going to hang on to my secret if it means that you continue to be hurt. I'm trusting you, and asking you to trust us for a while longer.

"We'll get you out of this, Hank. We're going to tell the authorities the truth about why you're here, for starters. We're going to tell them that Lightning Strike Omega kidnapped you against your will, and that you cooperated when we asked you to return to prison. And in a few weeks, when Slingshot has his wedding, we're going to ask for help from the one person who can get it for you, one of our esteemed wedding guests--we're going to ask the President of the United States to give you a full pardon."

Sentinel read Hank Archer’s surface thoughts. Archer was stunned. He had held no suspicion that Hal was Symbiote. Archer thought that President Taylor could never grant Archer a pardon. Archer had tried to kill Silas Caine, the President’s opponent in the election! But despite this, Archer was so overwhelmed with Symbiote revealing his true identity, and with Lightning Strike Omega having revealed that his nephew was still alive, that he broke down and relented.
“All right,” Hank said. “I’ll go quietly.” He hugged Hal, and fought back tears as his face pressed against Hal’s shoulder. He cleared his throat and said, “I trust you.”
 (Replies, if any, Menagerie, Sentinel, and Symbiote?)

During the five days after the assault on Aztechnology, this had transpired:
Avatar had been working hard, but not using his powers at all, feeling that working out with them is a cheat. Harrik’s experience has got to be the key to how easily he defeated John when they fought, he thought. Avatar wasn’t at his strongest at the time but that makes little difference. John knew that the man, unenhanced though he might be, was an awesome combatant, something that he hadn’t really thought over the times that they’d encountered him. A leader and tactician, yes, but he hadn’t been prepared for Harrik’s virtual dismissal of Avatar while manifesting the powers of both the war god and the god of messengers.

Sweat was streaming from him as he worked the multiple extra-heavy bags alone in the Vanguard gym. Sgt. Stone’s entry shook him out of his focused reverie.

“Why the long face, kid? Someone take yer lunch money?”
Sarge casually pulled on two big, oversized boxing gloves. “Ya got yer fancy superhero costume mussed up?” Sarge slowly hauled himself into the gym’s boxing ring. The boards groaned under his weight. Sarge faced Jon, his gloves at his side.

“Aww. Things didn’t go your way? That must be awful hard on a golden boy like you,” he smiled.

“Go my way? No, they didn’t, not really. That’s not the way things are supposed to play out.”

John stripped off the bag gloves that he’d been using and pulled on some boxing gloves, more to protect his own hands than anything else.

“The way I figure it, I’m playing at a whole different level than I have until now. I can’t just rely on what I’ve relied on in the past. Yeah, life’s been great…and generally pretty easy. I’m blessed, you see, but the bad thing about that is that even the holiest of holies gets taken down in all the stories and it’s usually by something from left field.”

John stepped into the ring, manifesting Heightened Strength as an avatar of Ares, his eyes picking up their divine glow. “Unfortunately, divine abilities, while great in theory, aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. In the end, the gods get foiled by chance or by the sharp wit of some mortal, so wrapped up are they in their godhood. Guess that’s where I need to focus and where my true strength might lie, the powers of the gods combined with the wit and drive of mortality? Ah, screw it, Sarge, why can’t things be more simple?”

John manifested the Heightened Endurance derived from Hera and shrugs. “Time to take out some frustration, I guess.” Avatar attacked Sgt. Stone, inwardly wincing at what was most likely going to be a painful lesson at the massive hands of the old pile of rock.

Sgt. Stone showed no mercy. WHAM! It was soon clear this was no sparring session. BOOM! The twin titans slugged it out or 5 minutes. 10 minutes. 20, without stopping. POW! Sarge poured it on like never before, and withstood the preternatural power of Avatar. SLAM! 25 minutes and both men still stood against the mutual onslaught.

Sarge grunted as he gasped for air, “Why ya holding back?” He looked John in the eye with his baby blues.  “Kid, there’s only one of us in this ring that doesn’t have to be a brick if he don’t wanna be.”
(Reply, Avatar?)

Meanwhile, Slingshot made sure the DNA sample from Skin Deep was safely delivered to Doc Rocket for analysis.

Slate was very curious about the state of the Digital Zone… almost fixated.  The experience had changed him, and he wanted to know more about it.  He would often be found observing cyberspace through Symbiote’s Digital Zone Portal.  He questioned his father, Symbiote, Sentinel, and his mother extensively about their knowledge and experience regarding the Zone.  Did they feel what he felt, what was Nemesis like?  He studied the Omega team’s “Datanaut suits” and found that they would allow a human to exist in the Digital Zone and not be rejected by it. He had no idea for how long.

If he wasn’t studying the portal, he was with his mother… He desperately wanted things to get back to “normal”.  Slate requested one of the tracking devices that were created to find his mother. He wanted to have one of them near at hand and if no one was using them, he’d keep it in his room.
Also, he was sneaking into servers in the Vault, but at this point he will request internet access.  Argument points: “I was able to save the Digital Zone, and I did figure out Homicide was after the President.  I had done nothing to display malice, or to cause concern… PLEASE…”

Symbiote voted for allowing Slate access to the internet. He's earned the team's trust, as far as Hal was concerned.

Slingshot smiled at his son, "You know we did this for your protection as much as for everyone. You are so young, yet you've shown such promise and wisdom. I'm quite aware of what you've been able to do. If I didn't tell you, I'm proud of you, son." He gave Ethan a hug. "I see no issue with granting you access to the internet. Further to that, your mom and I talked and I'm interested in building a communication bridge to Cyberspace. This will allow you, us all, to communicate with the Entity and continue to foster our friendship."

One of Scott's fondest memories of his father was helping him build the tree house at the cottage. They had spent the whole summer working on it. Coming up with the plan, sizing up the tree, the buttressing the roof. Thinking back to that moment, it was probably what prompted Scott to become a civil engineer. "Why don't we work together on it? Come and let's see if anyone else in the team is interesting in helping?"

When they did, Sentinel added, “I’ve had a couple of thoughts about this… is it possible to isolate what it is in the makeup of the Datanauts suits that enabled the zone to accept us? If so, instead of the suits might we be able to adapt the same technology into usage via nanobytes? This would allow us greater mobility and eliminate the risk of the suit being destroyed and the zone rejecting us?

“Ethan, when dealing with the virus released in the zone, it seemed you were able to adapt the zone to reject the virus… almost as if you inserted your own subroutine to adjust the parameters of the zone to combat it. Might you be able to do something similar to encode the zone to accept us in its environment? We know we can exist there at least temporarily since we have done so but perhaps it is possible for you to adjust things so that we can exist converted digitally without the rejection or damage.”

Later, privately, Sentinel asked Shelly if her activity in the recent mission was one-time due to circumstance, or if her 'retirement' plans had changed?

No,” said Shelley. “It was about Nan. I think I’m happier back in the lab. Superhero-ing was something I wanted to do and now I’ve done it. I think I can help people more in other ways. But what should become of my wind suit?”

“Have to tell you, that’s a bit of a relief. When you went into the Zone, had Ethan and Scott not gotten you out at that moment… I was going through the gate. I mean, I was always concerned for you out there on our missions,” and he paused, “but now, it was almost overwhelming.

“But Shel, despite my misgivings… once you’ve put on the suit, it’s hard to take it off. You have the soul of a hero and a heart that cares beyond most. It’s one of the reasons I feel about you the way I do. With your talents and smarts you can give in so many ways and maybe you don’t need to put on the suit anymore…. but perhaps you should keep it in reserve for now, until you are absolutely sure. And if along the way you find someone worthy of the suit, maybe then you’ll decide to pass it along.”

“Oh, I dunno,” smiled Shelley. “These suits can be pretty easy to take off.”  She dimmed the light, and got Sentinel out of his costume. [End scene  ;-)]

Later, Symbiote approached Menagerie. "I keep saying someday I'm going to study the properties of what we call magic. I'm still convinced it's merely science we don't yet understand, but whatever it is, you seem to be our resident expert," he said. "Black Bat. He seems to be a creature of magic, and, more than that, as a dead thing brought to life through dark magic and a creature that feeds on life itself I suppose he'd be an abomination to the Natural Order. In a world full of nature, as something that doesn't fit in I'm guessing he would present a contrast, like a piece of filth on a clean white sheet. With that in mind--do you think you can track him?"

Avatar caught wind of what Symbiote was doing with Menagerie, and asked if he could participate in the former’s experimentation. “I’m no magician, Hal, but I do seem to be powered by the divine and if that isn’t some form of magic, I don’t know what is. I can throw in and do research and my powers can, perhaps, provide insight when you have questions that I can put to the gods. I can tap into something…maybe it’s the wisdom of the Greek gods or “gods” or maybe it’s something else…that lets me get answers that are limited in scope to “yes” or “no”, basically, but one way or another, the choosing of the correct path between two, can be the difference between success or failure and can certainly speed up research. Up to you, of course, but it sounds like possible fun. I feel a need to learn more about my powers, anyway, and purposeful, directed research is the best way, eh?”

Sentinel approached his teammates separately to discuss Black Bat
With Avatar, in addition to voicing concerns over the Bat he want to thank him for his efforts in their recent battle. His engaging Harrik in head to head combat, being capable, willing, and single-minded enough to do that really got them the victory.  Without him having been constantly in his face, Harrik likely would have picked off each member of Vanguard. Regarding the Bat, does Avatar have any tricks in his gifts from the Gods that might assist them in warding off his mental control?  What are his thoughts regarding strategy?

Avatar shrugged. “Thanks for the compliment but, honestly, I didn’t know what else to do. Harrik was and is the key figure in any fight that he happens to be in and keeping him occupied or taking him out, when possible, generally seems to be the best possible tactic. I feel more like cannon fodder, though. He took me down more quickly than I ever thought possible. I’m just glad that the rest of the team pulled everything through like they did.” John shrugged at the thought.

“In regard to the Black Bat? That’s a scary one. I was still doing the Kairos thing when we fought him but even with the powers that are at my disposal now, I don’t think that there’s a lot to do. I don’t think that he’d be very successful at controlling me, personally, and I think that some of what I know people on my side of a fight feel might help them resist, but it’s no guarantee. I don’t know…maybe the light of Apollo would hurt him? Other than that, it’s just fighting skill and hitting hard. Maybe if we had some conflagration that would burn him up? Again, I don’t know. I’ve been itching to use my Hephaestian immunity to fire and heat to do battle in flame but it hasn’t come up yet. I’ll think it over but I think that I’m kinda limited in regard to what I could do against him. The light thing, though, might be of use. Vampires are supposed to be harmed by sunlight and I’ve got the power of the sun god in my hands if I want it. Arrows of sunlight from Apollo’s bow guided by the hand and eye of an avatar of Artemis? Could be pretty effective. No matter, though, Sentinel. I’m 100% with the team on whatever we decide to do and you can count on me to do whatever is necessary.”

Sentinel replied, “Thanks John. I know we can always count on you. Your bold perseverance despite the odds against us has inspired us onward and turned things around more than we let on… and the sun power of a God is surely something that strikes fear into the Black Bat’s dark heart. It likely means he’ll try to take you out of the game so he doesn’t have to confront you. We’ll have to be prepared for that…
We’re pretty good on the whole true faith in God thing too…Clone is a one-man Legion of faith… yes, we are very very different from last time. We can confront him on a number of different levels…”

Symbiote said, "I don't know, Kirk. Black Bat is pure magic, way out of my area of expertise. I am willing to put myself, Strike and Slingshot through full MRIs to find out if I can detect some sort of influence on our minds. But all of this leads to another question...
"Harrik says Caine was working with Black Bad. But when we first encountered him, he sent me, Slingshot and Strike to kill Caine. Why? Why try to destroy your own henchman? Just what kind of game is Caine or the Bat--or for that matter Harrik--playing? Who's really in charge here?"

(Replies, Vanguard, if any?)

Five days after the assault on Aztechnology:

 Silas Caine was arrested in connection to the attack at the wedding of Nanite and Singshot. Word got out that his bodyguard, the Patriot, that symbol of American, and human, ingenuity was really hired assassin, Jim Harrik, and Caine’s poll numbers plummeted. His party withdrew his nomination and tried to draft retired General Steele (Soldier’s father). Steele (who Vanguard knew was Silas Caine’s Vice President in the Omega-verse) declined to run and it seemed President Taylor would soon sail to re-election.

Prosecutor Doyle told Vanguard that Caine will be charged within 48 hours of his arrest for conspiracy to murder President Taylor, frame Vanguard for the murder, and murder of Vanguard, among other charges.

Caine pled the fifth and prepared to mount his defense. His wealth would ensure him the best legal defense that money could buy, but his political career was over.

Also that night, Lightning Strike and Soldier took leaves of absence from Vanguard in the fallout from the team’s split decision on the Harrik deal!

Slate stayed out of the discussions with Soldier and Lightning Strike. Soldier had been away from Vanguard for most of his “Life,” and although Slate wanted to get Lightning Strike better, he didn’t feel he could change his decision, the things he said made sense to Slate regarding the release of Harrick and his team… It seemed somehow contrary to what his father had taught him about responsibility and right and wrong.

fter Strike and Soldier departed, Shelley burst into the Vanguard meeting room. She was holding her cellphone.

Shelley said, “Guys! Something weird is going on. Rachel Ray just called me, looking for Clone. She thinks Alex is in trouble. She just spoke to him and said he didn’t sound right. He was really distraught. Rachel Ray says we have to find him!”

Menagerie immediately tried to raise Clone on his communicator and got no answer.

Shelley said, “I don’t want to invade his privacy or anything but can we, like, track the GPS on his Vanguard communicator just to make sure he’s alright?”

Slate brought it up on the wall sized monitor.

“He’s still in the city,” said Hal. “I’ve got the address. 9 East 91st street.”

“What’s there?” asked Slingshot.

Avatar Googled it. “It’s the Soviet Consulate.”

The GPS transponder was right outside the consulate. It wasn’t moving. It was 10:17pm.

Vanguard had no idea that Clone was thinking about the Soviets, just that he was distant and quiet. Vanguard had heard of no Soviet chatter that pertained to Clone. They knew Clone’s family had recently moved out of Vanguard Vault. Shelley had their new address.

Looking at the location information, Slingshot shook his head. “We definitely need to send someone to retrieve the communicator. I would doubt that Clone is anywhere near there. Anyone that has extra sensory capabilities should go there to see what they can gather. I don't think it would be a good thing to muscle our way in. International incidents have a tendency to backfire on you.

”We need more information. We should get a hold of Mother Russia. Maybe Talon knows where she is…” Slingshot said, unaware that Symbiote had been seeing her.

Sentinel was fine with flying within range to recon with his extranormal senses. He formed his energy shields and flew to the hanger, to exit the top of the Empire State Building from the 85th floor!

Menagerie transformed into the shape of Eagle and followed the beacon of liberty! “SKRAAA!”

The two hurtled straight up Fifth Avenue toward their destination, 60 blocks to the north! The two miles would take them less than two minutes (or 8 combat rounds) to cover!

Both planned to use their paranormal senses once they were within range (in 7 combat rounds)!

Rain was falling steadily and thunder growled from the distant horizon.

Inside Vanguard Vault…

Slate tried to find additional information as to Clone’s whereabouts, including video cameras around the Russian compound. He wouldn’t invade the Russians’ systems unless he was specifically asked. He thought about the Cuban Missile Crisis, and had no intent of creating a diplomatic incident. He also looked for any American security devices that might currently be targeting the consulate and found none.

The scion of cyberspace hacked into a traffic camera on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 91st Street. Half a block down the street it showed a solitary figure, obscured in rain and darkness, crossing the street to the embassy!

Slate said. “That’s him. His communicator is moving toward the consulate. Wait. The GPS stopped moving… I think he dropped his communicator.”

"He's outside the embassy," Symbiote said, moving quickly to his computer. "Once he's inside, he's in Soviet territory and getting him back or even just talking to him becomes a lot more complicated. We have to reach him NOW," he said, waving his gauntlet over a contact on the computer. The Harness absorbed Lightning Strike's power template!

(OOC: The Harper Harness replicated the following DNA-based abilities of Lightning Strike:

1)    Transformation: May transform into Sentient Electricity: Costs 8 power points and one action. Changing back costs nothing. Bestows:
a) Near-instantaneous travel, almost like Teleportation. Can only travel long distance via wires. Strike will burn out devices not meant to receive electricity.
b) Non-Corporealness defense.

2)    Lightning Control: May control electricity. As an attack: Range: 36” (180 feet), 2d8 damage, PR=4. Electrical defense costs one action and no PP to activate. May attempt to control or short out electrical machinery, circuitry, etc. Costs 4 PP and one action per attempt.

3)    Heightened Intelligence: +15 to Intelligence.  (Symbiote’s Intelligence is now 43! )

1)    Special Requirement: Due to his altered physiognomy, Lightning Strike can’t heal power points or hit points normally. Must “recharge” from an electrical power source instead, at a rate equal to his healing rate. Side Effect: Lightning Strike doesn’t need to eat.

2)    Minor Low Self Control: When Transformed into Electricity, Archer assumes some of the detrimental effects of electricity: grounding, loss of control in water, conductive, etc. So, Archer is careful to transform into electricity only when a containing environment is available, like wires.)

With that, Hal turned to electricity -SHAKOW!- and dove into a power outlet and travelled by electrical current to the nearest lamp post at the consulate, hoping to head Alex off before he made a big mistake.

 SHAKOW!!! The lamp post exploded in a rain of sparks as Symbiote reassembled his molecules into human form on 91st Street!

Hal reeled to face the embassy and saw Clone standing on the steps before the consulate’s door, just 40 feet away. Through the rain, he saw the door was open and standing in the doorway was Mother Russia!
Both she and Clone had turned to look toward the explosion of Symbiote’s arrival. Clone still stood outside the consulate’s threshold.

OOC: Actions?!

Sentinel and Menagerie are six combat rounds away from sensory range.

Current Conditions:

Avatar: Hit Points: 26, Power Points: 85, Manifestation: None

Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 23, Power Points: 85

Menagerie: Hit Points: 13, Power Points: 65, Form: Eagle

Sentinel: Hit Points: 27, Power Points: 62, Creation Points: 124, Shields: 100

Slate: Hit Points: 35, Power Points: 72

Slingshot: Hit Points: 41, Power Points: 92, Invulnerability: 8

Symbiote: Hit Points: 47, Power Points: 88, Charges: 13, Copied: Lightning Strike

Viva Vanguard!



Private to Clone:
Having walked the streets of New York for hours, Clone found himself standing outside the Soviet Consulate. He had no idea how long he had been standing there. His communicator was still off. He had needed time to think after his brief call with Rachel Ray.

It was after 10pm. Long past consulate hours. He stared silently at the red flag of the USSR that flew in front of the building. The flag he once fought for. Once swore to defend.

Standing silently outside the Soviet Consulate beneath the soft glow of a nearby street light, Clone frantically mulled over in his head the decision he was about to make. He knew that once he knocked on that door, there was no turning back. Anxiety and panic quickly replaced logic and reason as he tried to think about what he needed to do and what had happened to him to bring him to this crossroads in his life. His eyes closed for a moment as he thought about his friends, his family, and his new life here in the United States. A tear slowly ran down his cheek as he whispered aloud in Ukrainian, " . . . I'm sorry mama."

It started raining as he slowly reached into his coat pocket and pulled out his Vanguard Communicator. He raised the device up in front of his chest as if to speak into it, but instead clasped his other hand over it as if to silence it from speaking. Once again, Clone whispered aloud in Ukrainian, " . . . goodbye my friends." As he started to walk across the street, he unconsciously began to relax his grip on the device. Without concern or intent, Clone allowed the communicator to lazily slip away from his hand and eventually fall to the ground.

The decision had been made.

Standing motionless before the door to the consulate for a moment, Clone took a deep breath and then rang the front bell. Knowing that he had arrived unexpectedly in the middle of the night, Clone removed his hat and stared up at one of the nearby security cameras. With a look of utter defeat and complete indifference on his face, Clone said to the blank lens of the security camera, in Russian: "Tell Doctor X . . . I am here."

The door opened.

It was Mother Russia.

She said, “He knows.”


Clone looked over his shoulder in the direction of the tell-tale sound, and through the rain saw a lamp post explode in a hail of sparks as a dark figure reassembled his molecules from lightning into human form on the curb, 40 feet away!

The figure, silhouetted and backlit by the sparking lamp post, reeled to face the embassy… and Clone and Mother Russia!


Current Condition:
Clone: Bodies: 1, Hit Points: 20, Power Points: 64, Hit Point Pool: 20


OOC:  Heh...Hal has been seeing Mother Russia?  Didn't realize it had gone that far.  Not that I'm complaining.

1) After the events at Aztechnology and the clearing of the hero's names, Symbiote IMMEDIATELY began lobbying for a Presidential pardon for Hank Archer, through the director of CHESS and any other contacts he had at his disposal.  He stopped just short of nagging.  No, strike that--he nagged if that was what it took.

2) Upon materializing outside the consulate, Hal tried to keep it light with the Muscovite Maid of Might and the Replicating Russian.   He smiled at them both and pantomimed dusting off his arms and legs, and feeling of his own torso as if to make sure his body was solid.  "Wow.  If I do that a thousand more times, I don't think I'll ever get used to it," he said.  Symbiote then took two steps closer to the Defecting Duo but moved slowly, keeping his hands where they could see them.  The idea was to convey the feeling that he wasn't there to fight.  "Guys, what are you doing here?  You particularly, Alex?  I know you have concerns--about your powers, about your appearance, about your past.  But do you think you're going to find the answers you want in there?  Do you believe you'll be treated any better, any more fairly or humanely, than you were in the past?"

(OOC: Not sure if we've ever established a real name for Mother Russia/Knockout, but I'm going to go with Tatanya.  Jeff, feel free to change it if you've already assigned something else and I just forgot).

"And Tatanya.  You and I have had some awfully good times, and I thought we kind of trusted each other," he asked, smiling devilishly.  Then, with a more sincere tone, he asked "Was I wrong?"

"If you need answers, we'll get them for you.  I have a few plans, now that I can copy Skin Deep's powers.  Slate and Sentinel can do almost anything with computers, and Menagerie seems to have almost unlimited potential with his magic.  We'll even put off saving the world again for a while," Symbiote said, jovially.  "But you've got to know that going back to the Soviets is just putting chains around your own ankles again."

And he waited for the reply.

OOC:  As indicated, Hal will not attack or attempt to physically detain either of them from entering the embassy (especially Mother Russia, whom he has a nasty suspicion/fear might've been a double agent all along).  At the same time, he's on guard--if Mother attacks HIM or any other Soviet Super Soldiers pop up looking for a fight, he's ready to defend himself.

Viva Vanguard,


IC: Slate began trying to figure out what was going on.  He looked at phone records for calls to the Embassy to see if Clone had been in contact.  He searched both the phones from the Vault, and from Clones parent’s residence.  He also searched for any emails sent to the embassy.  He was not trying to read every email Clone had written, more to find any indication that he’d been in contact with the Russian embassy, Mother Russia, or any of his previous team members.

He increasingly became frustrated with how slow the interactions were between him and the computer… typing, waiting for a response… all so inefficient they needed to know what was going on now.  He thought fondly of that short time in the digital zone, seeing the data, feeling it around him, he longed to return.  IT was in there, somewhere in this very terminal, in every terminal, every digital device, there was a connection.  He had to be able to tap into that “source” somehow.

Slate was vaguely aware of the conversations going on around him, of individuals standing, a flash and Symbiote was gone.  Slate could almost see the living electricity moving through the wiring of the Vault, but it was gone so quickly… what must that feel like, he wondered again.  His attention snapped back into focus. 

Slate shared any information he was able to find on Clone’s interactions, with the embassy, Mother Russia, or any of his other ex-team mates.  Also if there had been any unusual activity, a single phone number called repeatedly (and with whom that number was associated). 

Slate OOC:

1)        He’ll stay close to Slingshot, and try to tag along if the team moves out.  He wants to be there if he can help in anyway.

2)        If he is stuck in the Vault, he will begin to work on an interface with the Digital Zone.  I’m picturing something like the Cerberus connection Professor X had, not something he can pull together in a short time, more a project/plot thread for the future.



Clone looked over his shoulder in the direction of the tell-tale sound, and through the rain saw a lamp post explode in a hail of sparks as a dark, capeless figure reassembled his molecules from lightning into human form on the curb, 40 feet away!

The figure, silhouetted and backlit by the sparking lamp post, reeled to face the embassy… and Clone and Mother Russia!

Clone stared over his shoulder at the silhouetted figure for a moment with a look of sadness and regret in his eyes. His eyes said what he could not, their message was simply - 'goodbye'. Clone then turned his attention to the Soviet super-heroine standing before him in the open doorway, once again his eye spoke for the replicating Russian - 'I'm ready'. As Mother Russia stepped aside; with trepidation in his step, Clone walked into the embassy - the door closed slowly behind him.


OOC: Will be prepared for battle on arrival, will be looking for my senses to to alert to potential dangers, sneak attacks, etc along the way, and if I get any info that can help prior to my arrival will relay it. Not looking to start a battle.

Not sure if it will be part of the issue but on the while clearing Archer some thoughts/inquiries come to mind.

(1) Since Primate helped redefine the definition of intelligent life and murder due to his sentience ... there was clear evidence of his ability to control and influence others via mental influence... what laws have been written regarding recognizing this and the law acting accordingly.

(2) Was it recognized in court that some members of Vanguard were under the Bat's mental influence in attacking Caine? (What court precedents are in place regarding mental control?)

(3) Kirk would cooperate with Hal in his efforts to work out a pardon or be heard over this.

If there is anything else aimed in the issue at me that I missed, let me know... but I figured earlier is better than later and at this point I didn't think you needed much from me anyway.

OOC: Nice to know that Greg can play Strike's solo jumping 'into the thick of it' with Tony on the sidelines :)



Menagerie will continue to fly toward the Consulate. He will reach out to gather as much intel from the animal kingdom that he can.



[OOC: So I left it for the last second, so my asking questions is kind of dumbass on my part, but I'll have to. I can travel fairly fast. How long will it take me to get to the embassy from Vanguard HQ?

Depending on how fast I can make it, I'll do one of two moves]

If I think I can make it there in less than 4 rounds, then I'll leave to the location (with Slate)

If I don't think I can do so, then I'll work, with Slate to remotely take over the Clone's communicator (assuming it's in range, otherwise Symbiote's) and listen in on the conversation and possibly make use of the speaker option, to respond.


Sgt. Stone showed no mercy. WHAM! It was soon clear this was no sparring session. BOOM! The twin titans slugged it out or 5 minutes. 10 minutes. 20, without stopping. POW! Sarge poured it on like never before, and withstood the preternatural power of Avatar. SLAM! 25 minutes and both men still stood against the mutual onslaught.

Sarge grunted as he gasped for air, “Why ya holding back?” He looked John in the eye with his baby blues. “Kid, there’s only one of us in this ring that doesn’t have to be a brick if he don’t wanna be.”

(Reply, Avatar?)

Avatar's activated powers were about to fade. He cocks his head at the old pile of stone in front of him and and queries, "What do you mean?"

In regard to the Consulate and what is happening there, Avatar will summon a pegasus and fly there in support.

OOC: What is the weather like? Thinking about controlling the weather if there is combat and sitting back and hitting people with lightning or other effects.