Vanguard Roll Call!

Vanguard Roll Call!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Vanguard: Issue 197: The Burning.

CHAPTER ONE: Brocelïande

BOOM!  Vanguard exited Mystic’s gate and found themselves immediately attacked by intense heat.

Brocelïande was burning.  The raging conflagration of a full blown forest fire blazed for miles around.
Gigantic trees fell. Black smoke filled the skies. Heat broiled like an oven.  The flames greedily devoured what air there was. The intense heat of the blistering inferno would render normal men unconscious.

Menagerie’s Nature Sense showed him how the forest had been, and should be. 

Menagerie could hear the ancient spirits of the forest crying out in pain.  This was the second sacred grove he had seen razed by flame.

Menagerie and Sentinel could detect the energy of the next Artifact of Power. 

Vanguard were in a clearing, and relatively safe right now. But the direction of the Artifact would lead them into the heart of the forest fire.

Slingshot looked onward to the fire and could feel despair. "I can't do that. I can't go through that. I won't make it." He paced. Looked at the fire.. paced some more. "Sentinel, Menagerie, How far are we from the artifact?"

Sentinel said gently, “We can only tell direction, not distance.”

Avatar said, “I could summon the power of Zeus and rain water down upon the blaze.”

Slingshot was thinking of a million ways to avoid the fire, his greatest weakness.
Avatar’s weather powers! Scott looked around for more water, a river perhaps or a lake. He didn’t immediately see a body of water. The communicators' GPS were still down. Vanguard had no satellite imagery.  But from the atlas, he knew there was a small lake adjacent to the southeast border of the forest, and that several rivers ran through the forest. 
The elastic engineer used his skills to calculate their chances at burrowing underground. Given the array of superpowers at Vanguard's command, tunneling might be possible at a reasonable rate of speed.  But should the fire move, the tunnel's air source could be lost.

Menagerie and Sentinel detected no magical properties in the flames.
There was no path around this fire that lead towards the Artifact.

Sentinel thought about the possibility of creating an energy construct to fly the team over the burning forest towards the Artifact of Power. A forest fire smoke plume can exceed a mile in height. Flying through the plume, visibility would be zero. Their speed would need to be slow enough so they could safely stop should their extranormal senses, or construct tendrils, detect anything in their path. And when they found the Artifact, they may have to enter the forest fire at that point.

Lightning Strike scanned underground for electrical sources such as underground wires or perhaps Iron Ore that he can conduct through, to avoid the fire. The electric avenger found none. He kept looking for something to travel through.

Symbiote said, “My suggestion is a combination of three powers: Avatar summons as much rain as he safely can to douse as much of the fire as possible. Sentinel creates a flying platform to carry us over the (hopefully receding) flames. I’ll use my speedster powers to wave my arms in a circular motion and create miniature vortexes to clear out the smoke in our path as we travel towards the artifact, at least partially clearing our visibility.”

Menagerie scanned the area for animal life. He wanted to speak with them, find out who or what did this and whether they were still around. There were no animals in the area.  In life, Franklin Donovan was a park ranger, and had seen his share of forest fires.  The wildlife would have fled a fire of this scale by now.
He could spend time tracking a predator. It should be possible. Their direction is predictable in a situation like this.
The more the defender of nature thought about it, the more angry he became. When he found out who was responsible, there would be a terrible reckoning.

Their plan quickly formed, Vanguard took action!

Avatar manifested the power of Hephaestus: immunity to flames! [Costs 10 power points]
Then the myrmidon of mythology manifested the power of Zeus! [Costs 10 power points again]
Then he used Zeus’ powers to seize control of the World Storm in this region! [Costs 4 power points]
The drizzle turned to a deluge. A wall of water fell from the heavens as thunder rumbled and lightning cracked.
KRAKA-THOOM!!! Vanguard was drenched to the bone.

His eyes glowing with white light, Avatar used the power of the winds to funnel as much rain as possible into a path between Vanguard and the artifact of power! [PR = 4]
The rain extinguished a path through the forest fire, revealing burnt, blackened, wet branches, trunks and earth. Dark plumes of smoke turned white on the path, which was 20-40 feet wide and stretched off into the new white steam, beyond Vanguard’s vision.
Like Moses parting the sea, Avatar had parted the flames, creating safe passage through the raging inferno!

Vanguard took it.

Menagerie assumed the majestic form of the spirit totem, Eagle! “KAAA!!!!”

Weight: 25 lbs.
Agility: 21
Ferocity/ Charisma: 22
Hit Points: 26
Power Points: 64
Accuracy: +8
Damage: d6+3
Movement rates: 14” walking, 147” flying (34 MPH)
    -Heightened Senses: Vision: Detect Hidden x 3]

The gigantic, golden raptor took to the air, soared through the downpour and down the path, his keen avian eyesight leading Vanguard through the steam, to the artifact! “KAA!”

Sentinel constructed a platform of golden glowing energy; a flying observation deck, complete with safety railings of course.  The rest of Vanguard boarded, save one member.

KRA-KOOM!  Lightning crashed across the thunderstorm. Lightning Strike had found his means of transport.  The high voltage vigilante moved safely away from Vanguard as he ionically charged his entire body, turning himself into a living lightning rod. [Costs 4 power points]
Then KRAKA-BOOM!!! Lightning Strike was struck by lightning! In that micro-instant, he transformed himself into electricity and rode the white hot, jagged bolt up, up, up to the clouds! [Costs 8 Power Points]
Lightning Strike, moving as sentient electricity, coruscated across the top of the electrified cloud cover, in the direction that Menagerie was telepathically thought-sending!

Avatar, Clone, Sentinel, Slingshot and Symbiote climbed aboard Sentinel’s flying platform.

Symbiote used the powers of Accelerator to wave his arms in a circular motion, like two fans, to create miniature vortexes to clear out the white, steaming smoke in their path, partially improving visibility, allowing a faster rate of flight!

Slingshot saw this and joined in, morphing his malleable hands and arms into giant blades that he waved to help clear the smoke.

Sentinel sent the platform racing down the black path! Rain soaked them and flames roared on either side as they hurtled through the parted forest fire beneath the night sky!

With Menagerie and Sentinel guiding him, Avatar’s wild, windy, rain soaked path led Vanguard toward the Artifact of Power!

Vanguard approached a clearing that appeared to have not been touched by flames.  There were people there, standing in a circle, outside an ancient stone circle.  

This area had been doused by rain, and rain fell here still as flames licked at the edges of the clearing. 
Avatar knew there were over one thousand known stone circles in England and Brittany alone, each dating back a millennia.  To the south of the stone circle were the ruins of an ancient circular tower.

150 feet to the north of the stone circle was a small stone chapel with a cemetery.  The chapel’s architecture evoked Celtic, Arthurian, Christian and Medieval traditions. It had burned and its flames had been extinguished by Avatar’s storm.

Around the moss covered stone circle, there were some people that Vanguard recognized:

Baron Samedi! The vulgar voodoo houngan of hate!

Jack Lantern! The enigmatic Halloween killer!

Le Fou! Jolly jester of chaos!

The Fly! Agent of decay and pestilence! 

Dexter Sinister Jr! The court jester of crime, the living hallucinogen!

The Ghoul! A French cannibal Vanguard recognized from the news. His touch caused paralysis in his victims.

The Puppet! The malevolent marionette of mind control!       
And there were several people that Vanguard didn’t recognize. Three were with the others, surrounding the stone circle:


Inside the stone circle was another large figure Vanguard didn’t recognize. He was motionless within a dark cloak:

And near the chapel graveyard to the north there were three more hooded figures, holding torches:

 Both groups became aware of each other simultaneously (no one had the element of surprise).

 Lightning Strike arced high above, unseen within the clouds, aware of Vanguard’s position.

At this range, Menagerie and Sentinel could only tell that the energy of the Artifact of Power was somewhere inside the stone circle.


 Top of the map is North.
150 feet north of this map is the stone chapel with the three hooded figures with torches.

The area pictured on the map hadn’t been burned by the forest fire but has been, and continues to be, doused by Avatar’s thunderstorm.  Surrounded on all sides by acres of flames. This seems to be the center of the inferno.
Close by, to the east and the west, are the raging inferno of the forest fire.
To the south is your approach, a path of extinguished forest fire.
Visibility is poor between night, storm, smoke, and steam.


Slate used his abilities to determine what would be the quickest way to create a new portal to the Digital Zone.

As Sgt. Stone hauled in the wreckage of the previous Digital Zone portal, Doc Rocket approached the problem from another perspective. He said to Slate, “You know, my boy, Mystic is able to travel between dimensions.  And, to some extent, so are you.”

Slate looked at the heir to the mantle of Einstein.

“Your optic rays, my boy. Objects that you blast are… ”digitized.” They are transported to the Digital Zone. Could you transport a person, I wonder?”

Slate looked at Doc Rocket, tilting his head to one side, "I had not considered the possibility, but in my experience living matter tends to react differently to my powers than inanimate objects do."  He began to work with Doc, Shelley, Nanite, and Sgt. Stone assisting to put the portal back together.  He focused initially on the monitoring equipment from the original portal.  As he worked, he asked his mother about how she came to this dimension, and how she had come to initially be rescued by his father.  

Nanite said, “Actually, Ethan, I don’t know. Part of my memory has been erased.  I first met your father, and Vanguard, when they found me aboard the Star Giant, among the many extranormals that were held prisoner in the Body Farm of Dr. Swastika. Hand me that screwdriver, dear. Apparently Swastika, who was merely a head in a support vat by this time, could place his mind into any subject in the Body Farm. I’m thankful I have no memories of that.
“But your father and I fell in love afterwards. Scott said he first understood his feelings for me when he thought I had died… killed by the Luddite… at the direction of Silas Caine.”

Sgt. Stone noisily blew his nose into a handkerchief.  “Love stories… always get me,” he muttered.

Slate wanted to communicate with Nemesis first to ensure it would be safe for Nanite and himself to enter the digital zone.  He transmitted a message and received no reply.

After much time, Slate and his friends had successfully built a new portal to the Digital Zone!

[Your invention roll was a success. Cost = your last Inventing Point. Fyi, in this circumstance, your Heightened Sense of Comprehension was able to greatly reduce the time required to create this Invention.]
It was a gigantic machine surrounding a large doorframe.  When active, the doorway would open into the Digital Zone.  [kinda like the below image.  :) ]

Doc Rocket said, “Well done, my boy. All that is needed now is a power source.”

Shelley said, “The Vault’s on emergency generators. The city is blacked out. We need power to burn.”

[OOC: What do you do?  Where will you get enough power to pierce the fabric of reality itself??!]


The old man said, “It remains my hope that you will return to us, Alexi.”  Doctor X recited another Russian proverb, “There are many houses, but only one home.”

Still curious, Clone asked, “…and assuming that I’m open to the possibility of being the harbinger of this alliance, what will you be bringing to the table? I mean you must know that Vanguard has already secured a few of the ancient relics, how many have you managed to obtain?”

Doctor X said, “In addition to the Spear of Destiny from the Lost Lab of Dr. Swastika, we also hold a Mirror crafted in Ancient China. That is not all I have to share. But before I continue, it is your turn to share. I require a gesture of good faith as well, Alexi. Which artifacts do Vanguard hold? For each answer you give me, I shall give one to you.”

Clone took a few moments to ponder the game of “tit for tat” that Doctor X was suggesting before he finally responded in a trepidatious tone, “Fine . . . we can play this game if you wish. The last time I saw the rest of my group, we had three of the artifacts; the Splinter of the True Cross, the Sacrificial Dagger of the Maya, and the Stone Idol of Cthulhu.” He then looked sharply at Doctor X and continued, “. . . and now it’s your turn. Are there any other teams out there looking for artifacts; and if so, what have they found?”

Doctor X said, “In Northern California, USA, we seized an iron crown from the collection of a rich capitalist.
In Nevada, we secured a gem that had been found inside a meteor that had fallen to earth.”

There was a moment’s silence. Both men realized Vanguard and the SSS each held four artifacts.
There was just one artifact left unaccounted for!
Clone knew that it was in Northern France, but he didn’t know that Vanguard was already on their way there!

Not knowing if he could trust anything that came out of his villainous mouth, Clone nodded at Doctor X as if to suggest that he was satisfied with the answer he provided.

Before Doctor X had a chance to say another word, Clone’s youth got the best of him and caution quickly turned to courage. His demeanor became dark and a fire began to grow in his eyes as he snapped sharply at the supervillain, “Enough of the games, Doctor, you know what I really want to know!” The Replicating Russian than reached for his mask; and with one quick pull ripped it away from his head. He lunged forward and thrust his face towards his would be creator and growled menacingly, “Why?!?”

Doctor X was silent a moment; taken aback. Then slowly, and with as much dignity as an old man could muster, he removed his helmet and revealed his face.  It was identical to Alexi’s, only older… much older.

He looked stoically, unflinchingly, into Clone’s face with eyes that were rimmed in tears.

“Because,” he said in Russian.  “Every father wants their favorite son to grow up to look just like them.”

 Current Conditions:
Avatar: Hit Points: 27, Power Points: 53, Manifestation: Hephaestus, Zeus
Clone: Hit Points: 16/5, Bodies: 2, Hit Point Pool: 23, Power Points: 67/67 (Stats are France/Russia)
Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 41, Power Points: 71
Menagerie: Hit Points: 26, Power Points: 64, Form: Eagle
Sentinel: Hit Points: 7, Power Points: 61, Creation Points: 122, Shields: 100, Platform: 22
Slate: Hit Points: 19, Power Points: 73
Slingshot: Hit Points: 79, Power Points: 90, Invulnerability: 8
Symbiote: Hit Points: 28, Power Points: 81, Charges: 13, Activated: Accelerator


OOC: Ok, Jeff - you got me! I didn't see any of that coming - AWESOME issue! Great job!


OOC: I actually got chills reading it... great job Jeff!

I don't remember, but I think there is a time differential between the digital zone, and our world, is that accurate, or incorrect? Is there any way Slate might be able to use his eye beams to kick start the portal? Reading about Lightning Strike and the storm has me thinking about rigging lightning rods from Vanguard to the portal generator. I believe most tall buildings have these built in to protect from storms.

IC: Slate looked to Doc Rocket and Shelly. "Is there anyway we can route the electricity from the lightning rods on the building to the portal? I know in a normal storm these kinds of buildings can be hit multiple, if not hundreds of times. If we can tap into that, we should have all the power we could need."


Avatar attempts to hurl hurricane-force winds along the line occupied by Dexter Sinister and the Puppet, judging their powers to (possibly) be the ones most apt to cause a division within Vanguard and make them less effective.

Thanks, Kev and Jon!

Everyone: "bad visibility" from nighttime darkness, storm, smoke and steam will:

a) Triple your ranged attack modifiers in combat.
So, 0"-30"  is still no modifier.
But attacks at 31" - 60" will be at -3
Attacks at 61" - 120" will be at -6, etc., etc.

b) Halve all Detect Hiddens beyond 30".

(fyi, the length of one of your character counters is 1" on the map.)
Heroes with Heightened Senses may be able to avoid these modifiers.

Jon, There is no time difference between our universe and the Digital Zone.
Harnessing the power of the World Storm via lightning rods atop the Empire State Building sounds feasible, and suitably awe-inspiring.
The eye beams thing has a real poetry to it, because it's Slate himself, but that superpower is about disintegrating/teleporting to the digital zone. So I don't know if that's feasible as it stands right now.  Maybe a modification or something??
Or you could go with the lightning.

Harold, to use the hurricane attack, you need to move the weather to "hurricane" level.  This will not harm anyone directly (aside from your intended targets), but will create hurricane force winds and rain in the immediate area, knocking down trees, further reducing visibility, and limiting verbal communication, for Vanguard and villains alike.  This is just an fyi, not an attempt to talk you out of anything.
Also, targeting two enemies is a "double attack" as per the rules of course.
Thanks for the quick reply!



OOC: Go with the lightning


OOC: Awesome issue!

I can't wait for this fight!



OOC: You got it, Jon. 

Thanks, Tom!



OOC: 1.21 gigawatts? 1.21 gigawatts? Great Scott!

Great idea.  I was wondering what you would come up.


OOC: totally awesome idea.


OOC: Jeff,

Two quick additions for Slate.

First, Slate will share what he overheard regarding the "Contingency" with Doc and Stone. He's not sure if they'll see his father again before he does, so he wants to make sure Vanguard gets the message that something is going on. Way OOC: I got the Suicide Squad vibe when I read this...

Second, I just re-read the last issue, and had over-looked that Slate wanted to send a message into the Digital Portal prior to activating it. Here's the message he would send:

To: the Entity
From: the Digital Child
Subject: Destruction of Earth
Our Dimension is currently under attack. Entity Cthulhu seeking to destroy life in this Dimension, beginning with Earth. Nanite and I seek protection in the Digital Zone. Are we welcome? We do not wish assimilation, only protection. Can you assist?

I think that does it, looking forward to where we're headed!



OOC: I know that my occult knowledge is fledgling compared to other folks in the team, but looking at the scenario, can I attempt to understand what they are trying to do? Is this a ritual? what kind of ritual? if it is something we don't want, what's the best way to interupt it? (occult roll?)

Depending on the results, I will have a bunch of options on hand, a lot of them is to take down as many as possible in the shortest possible time.

Couple of options are:
1) Grab wolfie and throw him at someone else - either flame girl or the guy in the middle.
2) Grab a pillar and throw it at any one person.
3) unless someone points out the object, then I'll do a smash and grab for it. (including pointing out that the guy in the middle has the object)


Lightning Strike:
OOC: I am with the majority here in that my occult knowledge is totally weak but since Lightning Strike is floating in the stratosphere which is a total surprise to me (and I hope those villains), Strike will take advantage of the opportunity and try to increase the static charge in the storm and then shoot a super lightning bolt (carrying himself down with it) into the center of the circle in the hopes that that guy in the middle is the focal point and the concussion of a huge lightning bolt will blow the rest of them out of the circle.

Once that is done, Strike will materialize in the center of the circle and look for the artifact.



Menagerie will attempt to figure out what they are trying to do too using his magic sense and by contacting Archimedes. He will describe the scene and inform he the villains that burned Central Park are here too.. He will tell the rest of the team he learns.

Menagerie will try to pinpoint the exact location of the artifact too.

Keep the great ideas coming team!

Viva Vanguard!



Menagerie stared in rage at the villains around the circle. They had set fire to the woods for their own nefarious purposes. Menagerie spotted The Puppet! He didn't know how it had been reassembled but he also didn't care. The Puppet! had mind controlled his friend Pachyderm. Menagerie lost control of his rage! The Puppet was having its strings cut!

Menagerie mind spoke to the rest of Vanguard, "Sentinel and Symbiote can you focus on getting the artifact? We need to wage a two front battle. You two on retrieving the artifact. The rest of Vanguard with me, for I must issue holy vengeance upon the nefarious ne'er-do-wells!"

"keeeyurrr"  Menagerie cried as he flew at The Puppet! His talons reaching for the wooden head as he prepared to crush the mind-controlling marionette.

OOC: Menagerie is making a special attack on Puppet's head. Hoping to get the knock out blow. I will use a luck point to help this happen.

OOC: Team talk: I am open to changing Menagerie's tactics to support the team. I am writing his base reaction to the situation. He will need to be told the error of his ways in order not to attack The Puppet! I recommended Sentinel getting the artifact because he too can sense where the artifact is and Symbiote because his having upload Hght Speed as a power.

OOC: Hey Kev, any chance that Clone still has that piece of Puppet with him? I didn't want to mention it in character because I don't believe Menagerie would immediately remember it.

Viva Vanguard.


Kirk quickly surveyed the situation from their unique vantage point.  Vanguard was badly outnumbered.  The series of missions had taken its toll on his team and especially on himself already, although he would be sure he didn’t let it show in the confrontation.

Kirk took notice of the two juxtaposed circles beneath them as well as the nearby chapel and figures.  Could this possibly be…? Had they found the legendary…? BROCELÏANDE?  And were the legends of who was buried there true?
His mind merged those two circles and it seemed the positioning of the stones and bushes become a complete circle except for the left side where the unknown female figure with the scarlet hair stood.  Even the stone almost seemed like an open door near her matching the open area next to the bush of the circle closer to them (OOC: against occult skill or anything else that will help – are the circles somehow linked and might entering into the circle from that approach be the appropriate way in, perhaps even from the circle that seemed unoccupied?)

Kirk came to some conclusions.  This was a summoning.  The fire was either an effect of the power being contained or a sacrifice enabling the summoning/containment.  And given the Crimson Coven was performing the ceremony and the legends of the area, he thought there was a good chance that the mysterious hooded figure was not their ally or there willingly.

Kirk flew directly into the circle from the best approach possible (per above-lower to the ground in case somehow his power was negated as it had been at the temple earlier) and addressed the hooded figure and spoke with authority and power and truth and said pointing towards the Coven,
“Those are our enemies.  We have no quarrel with you.  We need that artifact (assuming Kirk has identified it by this time) to safeguard it against being misused.  We need it to prevent the coming of Cthulhu and the destruction of earth.”

He waited for a response.  If the hooded figure still didn’t respond, he would add, “Are you the being of legend once known as Merlin?”

OOC: Jeff – at this point if his guess that this is Merlin’s burial place and we have a potential ally here are correct, then great.  If this is just another malevolent powerful being perhaps he will be amused by Kirk’s approach and be here against his will by the Coven or expecting them to betray him anyway and side against them.  Worth a shot.
Kirk will try his best NOT to engage and to avoid conflict with the Coven to allow him to hopefully enter the circle and confront the hooded figure.  This all seems like movement.  For his action you can have him evade if necessary to accomplish the entry or it can be held should he make it into the circle and actually get to speak to the hooded figure.  He could also at that time, if necessary,  use his action to establish a telepathic link to read the thoughts of the hooded figure if after speaking there is still no reaction whatsoever so he could get a clue as to what is actually happening here.  Or if there is something that becomes more pragmatic for his action you can do so or let me know.




OOC: Just to round out my actions:

If the info is that what's happening in the circle (summoning?) is beneficial then Scott will hold his action and get close enough to be able to easily strike anywhere in the circle.

If Scott figures out the villains are going to attack the central figure, then enemy of my enemy. So he will try to knock out as many around the circle as possible.  Grab one to knock out the other. So maybe throw Wolfie into the Puppet or pestilence guy (sorry, doing this from cell/memory, don't have the pdf available)

If he thinks that the summoning/circle action is detrimental to them, he will try to break it up. Then his actions will be similar to above, but he will likely use the pillars and throw them at those around the circle, assuming that the pillars are required as well as the folks around the circle to complete the ceremony.

Scott will try to keep an eye on the folks in the distance.

Everyone, have a great weekend!



Greetings, Heroes!

IC:  "Jeez, not these mumbo-jumbo magical types again," Hal thinks to himself, mentally beginning the process of revving up Accelerator's powers.  "One of these days I'm going to have to sit down with Menagerie and seriously work out what 'magic' is.  I'm still fully convinced it's just science we don't understand, perverted by jackholes like these people.  Or maybe I can question one of them about it after they recover from their bruises."

With that, the Speeding Superheroic Simulator rushes into action, running at top speed around the east side of the map until he is behind Baron Samedi.  When he is behind the Shameful Shaman, Hal will palm strike him and transfer his inertia into Samedi's body and hopefully sending him flying--into the robed figure in the center of the circle.  He hopes to take out, or at least damage, two foes with one strike.

OOC:  I know that Hal gets lots of attacks while he has Accelerator's speed.  If he gets another this round he'll immediately zip southeast and try the same thing with LeFou.

Viva Vanguard,



OOC: Sentinel said that this was the Crimson Coven.

fyi, When Vanguard first met the Coven (when they put a spell on Vanguard to make our heroes believe they were delusional, non-powered humans in a mental asylum) they had 13 members.

When Vanguard most recently encountered the Coven (a week ago, in the U-Stor facility in New Jersey) they were less than half their original number. None of the supervillains at U-Stor are visible here.



OOC: Perhaps adjust wording to something along the lines as 'at least some members that have acted as part of the Crimson Coven' or anything that works for you.  I'd actually figured they fractured into separate groups when we met only part of them previously or were perhaps on separate missions/ had different views on handling the Cthulhu threat.  But those we did recognize were members previously so he referred to them that way.




Clone weighed the risks and assessed the situation within a fraction of a second. He watched careful as the other members of his group sprung into action, and decided it was time to do the same. Gripping his staff tightly, the Duplicating Dynamo raced towards the circle of stones. With every step he took another doppelganger appeared next to him. Within moments a brigade of simulacra swarmed across the dark and rainy field. The horde of duplicates brought the fury of a full charge against the Halloween Killer, Jack Lantern!

( OOC: Clone’s goal here is to “steam-roll” Jack Lantern and knock over the standing stone behind him. Bonus round if they can flatten the red-head standing behind it lol )

The Vanguard Vault

( OOC: Jeff if I recall correctly, Clone left an “insurance policy” behind at The Vault. That would make his Body Count ‘3’ and not ‘2’. If I’m correct with that, please include the following IC Response to this part of the next issue. )

Elsewhere in The Vault, Clone’s “Insurance Policy” sat quietly in the closet of his room waiting patiently for the return of his duplicates.

As the minutes turned into hours, Clone began to get bored and frustrated sitting in the dark closet. Reaching into his shirt pocket he pulled out his personal cell phone and began to quietly think to himself. “I really need to call Rachael.” he thought. The darkness rid the sadness in his eyes as he continued, “I need to put things right with her. I have so many things I need to say to her, but all of that will have to wait . . . for another awesome round of Candy Crush!” The screen on Clone’s cell phone suddenly burst into a rainbow of color as the legendary superhero continued his quest for gaming greatness.

The Kremlin

Before Doctor X had a chance to say another word, Clone’s youth got the best of him and caution quickly turned to courage. His demeanor became dark and a fire began to grow in his eyes as he snapped sharply at the supervillain, “Enough of the games, Doctor, you know what I really want to know!” The Replicating Russian than reached for his mask; and with one quick pull ripped it away from his head. He lunged forward and thrust his face towards his would be creator and growled menacingly, “Why?!?”

Doctor X was silent a moment; taken aback. Then slowly, and with as much dignity as an old man could muster, he removed his helmet and revealed his face. It was identical to Alexi’s, only older… much older.

He looked stoically, unflinchingly, into Clone’s face with eyes that were rimmed in tears.

“Because,” he said in Russian. “Every father wants their favorite son to grow up to look just like them.”

Clone stumbled backwards as if he had been hit in the chest by some ethereal hammer. His movements were drunk with shock and disbelief. “This can’t be happening,” he thought to himself. Alex just stared quietly in horrific disbelief at Doctor X’s exposed visage. The silence filled the room like a clap of thunder as a million thoughts began to silently swim haphazardly through Alex’s mind.

The look in his eyes suddenly turned to rage as the young superhero screamed out, “Nnnoooo!” “You can’t be my father! It’s not possible! You’re a monster!” the angry Clone howled at him. Alex then thrust his arm forward and pointed at the man before him in an accusatory manner and shouted, “You’re not my father! Tell me you’re not my father! Tell me now, God damn it! Say the words!”

. . . but no response came from the Soviet Mastermind.

Tears filled the eyes of both men as they just stood there and stared at each other in silence. They stood there silently for what felt like hours, with neither one of them knowing exactly what to say.

An emotionally drained Clone than slumped down slowly to the floor and landed on his knees. His eyes began to well-up with tears as he just stared into the eyes of the only man on Earth that he genuinely wanted to kill . . . his father. The rest of his frame began to fall slowly to the ground; his arms had barely enough strength left in them to keep his torso from ending up on the floor. Kneeling on the ground before his father, an emotionally broken Clone began to weep gently as the reality of what he had just been told began to take root in his already fractured mind.

(OOC: Jeff, I’m guessing the battle in France will take a few issues to complete, so we can play with this “I am your father, Luke” thing for a few issues if you would like – this could be interesting lol )

Tom Wrote:
OOC: Hey Kev, any chance that Clone still has that piece of Puppet with him? I didn't want to mention it in character because I don't believe Menagerie would immediately remember it.

- To be honest, I forgot I even had that – so I would have to assume that Clone doesn’t have it on him unless Jeff wants to say otherwise.

Talk to you guys soon,



OOC: Hey Kev.

Great stuff on the Kremlin.

I think for me that part of the last issue was the most jaw-dropping and I thought your actions and dialogue appropriate and realistic.  Nice job!  Can't wait to see what Jeff does next...

... and hey, it takes my mind of Kirk/Vanguard's predicament.