Vanguard Roll Call!

Vanguard Roll Call!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Issue 12: Chapter 1: Grilled Fish!

Forester, Sentinel, Slingshot, Viper and Agent Grey.
6:30 am EST, Atlantic Ocean. 18,000 feet below sea level.
Time until Tsunami Machine Activation: 5 hours 30 minutes.

Within Sentinel’s energy sphere, deep below the black cold waves, the heroes began their interrogation of U-Man.“You’ll have to take us to the Tsunami Machine before anyone even considers paying SKULL not to use the device,” Forester says to the anachronistic adversary.

The inhuman creature snarled: “Fools! Do you zink zat I haf survived all zis time to betray my cause zo zimply?”

Slingshot squeezed. Hard. The fishman cried from the ebon giant’s superhuman strength.
Then: “I have died vor my cause once. And shall do zo again if need be. Immortality is ze revard to zose who die in ze service of SKULL!””

U-Man struggled to escape Forester’s steely net and Slingshot’s thick arms and did not succeed. His “breath” was short. Deprived of a water atmosphere, U-Man would soon suffocate! While Sentinel spoke to U-Man, Viper pulled Grey to the side and quietly says... "We can't have this guy following us and we have no way to hold him… We need to move on which means we'll need to fry this fish before we try and catch up to Lightning Strike."

“Yer right,” said Grey. He moved toward U-Man. Sentinel was just wrapping things up. The beacon of liberty said: “Tell me, dumpkoff, do you look forward to hearing about your cowardly leader dying by his own hand alone and in the dark again. That's how it always ends for your kind, big ideas; no accomplishments! Some master race, ha, you and your fuehrer are a disgrace, little men with even smaller achievements!”

Sentinel’s speech enraged U-Man. His fleshy lip curled, revealing his jagged yellow teeth and grey gums. His flat black eyes grew small. “Your cause iz already lost! Look at what ze Nazi science of cryogenics haz wrought! I have survived ze War! I have thrived beyond ze reach of ze mongrel bastards who have ruined ze vorld. Ve zhall yet be victorious, and your sanctimonious lot vill be brought low once more! As it should be!”
“Child, you call me a puppet! But it iz you who are ze unknowing slave ov your government!
Zis man here,” U-Man said, indicating Agent Grey, “He is known to us. He is using all ov you trusting fools! Ze organization he vorks for is in existence only to monitor und control ze zuperbeings… ze ubermensch! To prevent zem from azzerting zeir natural dominance in ze order of things!!

U-Man’s voice was weakening. “You, all ov you, are being duped. You are ze blind pawns of an agency zat has all but imprisoned you!! You vould kill von ov your own, a fellow zuperbeing, at ze vord of zis man?!”

Agent Grey slammed a thick fist into U-Man’s jaw. He followed it up with the butt of his pistol. “That’s enough outta you, freak.” U-Man was bleeding from his wide mouth.

Grey took hold of Forester’s arrow, which was still in U-Man’s thigh. He let his voice out a notch: “Where the hell is the Tsunami Machine! I swear we’ll let you die right here and now!!” Grey held out U-Man’s breathing apparatus. A small device that could save his life. Grey’s face was dull and wooden. His eyes were two coolly glittering gems. His voice was calm. “Tell us right now, or SKULL is gonna have another martyr added to its hymn book.”
He leveled his pistol at U-Man’s temple.
Something had struck the outside of the energy sphere! Spidery cracks grew along its arcing hull. BAM! Bam!! Two more impacts and more webs of impact fissures grew around the energy orb.

Grey still held his pistol toward U-Man’s head.
Sentinel dimmed the light inside the sphere, so that its inhabitants could see outside. The sphere was surrounded by rows and rows of hammerhead sharks. Three had rammed it.
U-Man managed a weak smile.

OOC: Actions?
Sentinel: The hammerhead ramming caused 12 points of damage. The sphere now has 30 points left!
-Ye Editor



Forester rolls his eyes as he listens to U-Man’s megalomaniacal monologue. “Yes, yes, yes, we’re all pawns of the Allied officials. Ho-hum. How about telling us something a little less arrow-neous?”

Forester fires a normalarrow, attempting a special attack to hit U-Man’s gill to interfere with the villain’s breathing. “Now about this Tsunami Machine: Is it bigger than a breadbox? Any ACME labels stuck to the side? I thought someone with your reputation would at least be confident enough to brag about the device--even point us in the right direction to get a firsthand look.”

If time allows, Forester pulls two more normal arrows from his quiver-for a total of three normal arrows and one Corrosive Arrow now at his disposal outside of his pressurized suit.

“Blast,” Forester says as he hears the activity outside of the energy sphere. The archer looks to Sentinel: “The netting on my Tangler Arrow is as strong as steel.* Do you think that will hold our Axis archenemy here if we have to leave him behind?” If Sentinel’s energy sphere goes down, Forster will fire a normal arrow as a special attack against one of the sharks, injuring the animal’s jaw too much to bite. If the battle continues, he’ll use the same strategy against one or two more sharks.

Afterward, Forester will gladly swim in the direction that Lightning Strike went.

* Structural Rating = 11.



U-Man's voice was weakening. "You, all ov you, are being duped. You are ze blind pawns of an agency zat has all but imprisoned you!! You vould kill von ov your own, a fellow zuperbeing, at ze vord of zis man?!"

While Slingshot understood this to be the ranting of yet another crackpot who obviously spent too much time alone, this tirade reminded him of Forester's comments about Grey. While the course of action was obvious, he decided to keep a closer eye on Grey and once back on terra ferma, he would do some investigation.
Slingshot looked around and knew that they could not survive this. Well, he might, but that wasn't the point. This thing controlled these sharks. So to disperse them, they had to knock the Nazi out. Unfortunately, they still needed his information. Time for one last gambit. Tightening his hold on the aquatic monster[ooc: no damage], much like a snake's coiling around his victim, he whispered, "Tell me, do you know what these sharks will do if I tear you limb from limb, they will surely eat you as well as we will. You will be in such pain that you will not be able to control them."

Actions: if he still snubs us, I’ll hit him with a headshot with intent to KO him.


Viper paces behind Grey during U-man and Grey's verbal exchange. Muttering loud enough for U-man to hear--- "Just kill the guppy and let’s get it over with."

Viper stops pacing when the Hammerheads strike. "Dammit Grey! He's not going to talk and his goldfish have returned!"

Turning to Sentinel, "How long can you keep this up?" Viper readies his pressure suit and waits for a response.

"Ok, can you collapse this bubble and make one around the hammerheads? Let them in and then fill it with air! And Forester and I will do the fileting!"

"Grey, we'll need to hold the chicken of the sea here until Sentinel brings the bubble back up. If not, he's gonna have to die." Viper grins at U-man.

OOC: If the sharks get in Viper will save his action to guard Slingshot so that nothing causes him to release U-man.
If Sentinel can work out Viper's idea, he'll protect Sentinel while he reforms his bubble then begin killing the hammerheads once they're inside.


Sentinel is disturbed further by the turn of events. He is quite impressed with Grey's "act" and never for a minute would think that Grey would actually intentionally cause the demise of U-Man in the investigation.
Sentinel will continue to watch to look for evidence that this investigation is at all causing U-Man to start to talk, if not, Sentinel will whisper to Grey so U-Man can't hear, "What do you think are the odds that if U-Man "escaped" in the commotion with the hammerheads since he's injured, he'd head in the direction of that base?"

OOC: OK, depending on how things are going will determine Sentinel's action ... and also if this sounds plausible. Sentinel is hurting power-wise here, if it looks like U-Man will cooperate at all, like anyone's tactics are working, Sentinel will try to recreate/reinforce his shields before they collapse.
If it appears none of this is working on U-Man and Grey gives a positive response, Sentinel will cause a transparent part of his shield to break off into a small particle worth a few points of power and will cause that to safely enter into U-Man's body (through his ears, nose, mouth, gills, pick your choice). He will use this as a "tracker" for U-Man in hopes that if he "escapes" in the commotion, being injured, he will flee back to the base ASAP thinking that the hammerheads will cover his escape. Since Sentinel is sensitive to energy and in particular, his own, I think this might be a reasonable plan to place a "tracker" on U-Man. I don't know the rules regarding his range and stuff, but naturally if this worked, Sentinel would do his best to be as far away from U-Man as possible, but not lose his ability to "track" him.
If it seemed like the tracker was the best option, he would not reinforce the shields and let them go when the hammerheads seemed to get through, allowing the ruse that U-Man's "attack" was working... at that point, Sentinel would reinforce his personal shield with his remaining power and power blast the hammerheads as necessary to protect himself knowing his power levels were in sad shape... biggest thing here would be to try to hopefully track U-Man back to the base.

Jeff said this was plausible, but if U-Man goes out of the range of my powers, the construct simply dissipates and I've got no tracking ability.

Most of this is stuff that Sentinel likely could not make apparent to the group, and I wasn't sure if this was within the scope of my abilities which is why I directed it to Jeff first; since then we've gotten Don's post and in all likelihood, it seems like we'll be fighting the hammerheads pretty quickly with Sentinel's power levels where they are.

PS: I was actually thinking more along the lines of the construct not holding out for long.
Although Sentinel might consider Viper's move if it seemed like U-Man was going to talk or if it appeared that his teammates are likely to be hurt; but they already fought off a shark attack previously without much ado and the idea slaughtering the sharks who are under U-Man's influence seems harsh and unheroic and unlike him.

Also, it doesn't appear that we're making progress with U-Man and hoping he runs back to the base is seeming like the better option. Plus Sentinel took Grey's threats as part of the interrogation; despite Sentinel's anger towards U-Man and his attack, Sentinel is now likely getting the idea that Viper is serious about doing in U-Man - killing someone in a battle is one thing (and not desired to begin with), but murdering a helpless captive clearly isn't acceptable behavior and Sentinel wouldn't relish the thought and doesn't have the time or power to waste discussing it here.

So unless stuff occurs that indicates otherwise, Sentinel would likely move towards trying to track U-Man. Again, if it seemed like it would be to the detriment of his teammates he might go along with Viper's plan.

Hope that helps with my intentions - its hard to know what action to take without knowing the rest of what is happening ... and it seems like we might have another round before the hammerheads break through, unless they have some additional help show up.