Vanguard Roll Call!

Vanguard Roll Call!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Issue 5: Serve SKULL! Sanctify SKULL!

Blue Comet was now alone on the Engineering deck of the Doomsday Robot. The Robot was falling out of the sky. The voice on the intercom said, "four... three..."

In the blink of an eye, the cyan speedster hurtled through the interior of the gargantuan Doomsday Robot, to the Command Deck, to something he remembered seeing…
The voice on the intercom said, “two…”

On the Command Deck, captured images of all the superheroes present tonight were frozen on a large vid screen. All the images were taken tonight, and there was some kind of identification program running.
Viper’s image had the word “Unidentified” across it.
Lightning Strike’s image has the words “Identified: Unknown” across it, with a cross reference to police sketches published in recent newspapers of an unknown killer that resembled Strike.
Sentinel’s image had the word “Identified: Sentinel” across it, with data about some old WW II hero next to it.
Finally, Comet’s image, a blur at best, read: “Match: 50%. Tornado Man.” With cross-referenced photos of Tornado Man talking to Jim Harrik (aka the Mercenary), just before the heist that went wrong!
Blue Comet felt another flashback coming on! If he froze up now, like he did last time, he’d still be standing here when the Robot destructed! By sheer force of will, Comet’s mind stayed in the present. He turned from the vid screen.

At the Navigation Controls, the Comet stood before another wall-sized screen showing the Robot’s flight path to the Empire State Building. It came from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. He memorized the coordinates and threw himself out the blown hatch as the voice said, “…one.”

Lightning Strike, meanwhile, was trapped in a web circuitry that was melting apart, due to the Self Destruct sequence!
The voice on the intercom said, “…one…” and with nothing left to lose, the electrical avenger desperately attempted to absorb all power from the detonator. Kraacka-Shooom! Sparks flared within the Robot and then all was silent for one second, and then another. Lightning Strike had done it! (he now has full power points)
The lifeless hulk of the Doomsday Robot did not self-destruct! It did, however, continue plummeting to Earth.

The Blue Comet leapt free of the iron behemoth and was surprised to discover that he was over water, due west from the Twin Towers! But his plan to save civilians was still necessary! A huge garbage scow, holding the detritus of the great city was directly beneath the 100-foot tall robot! The mechanical giant was falling fast, but not faster than the Blaze of Blue!

The Comet zoomed down to warn the scow’s captain, one Zachary Bannick, of his impending death. The old sea dog quickly turned the wheel hard to port, but it wouldn’t be enough! Comet quickly flew back to the Robot’s height and began blasting away at its impervious hide, not to damage it, but to alter its trajectory. Shakow! Vrooosh! Shaka-Khan!

Ker-Splasaashh! The Doomsday Robot hit the river, displacing a building’s worth of water! Between Bannick’s efforts, and the Comet’s, the scow and her crew were saved! Drenched from the splash wave of a ten story death machine, but saved!
“Thanks, young fella!” called out the old captain with a wave. “Who the hell are you supposed to be?”
Comet watched as the Robot sank quickly beneath the dark waves and was gone. There was no sign of Lightning Strike!

Lightning Strike, meanwhile, was still in electrical form, and still inside the dead circuitry of the quickly sinking Doomsday Robot!
But Strike can’t leave the Robot in his current state! The water will disperse his electrical form, and Strike doesn’t know what that would do to him!
With all the hatches blown, the techno-terror was filled with water and falling fast! Lightning Strike would soon be trapped, helpless at the bottom of the Hudson River!

Sentinel, meanwhile, met the SKULL attack formation, 100 stories above E. 34th street!
Batter Up! The giant ball-player Sentinel points at the Statue of Liberty, chokes up and swings a mighty bat that was bigger than a telephone pole!
“Evasive action!” barked the captain of the Doomsday Robot.
Too late. Ker-rack! Three suicidal SKULL agents were swatted out of the sky! They plummet down to Fifth Avenue in a fiery explosion of jetpack fuel! Skraash! Booom!
The remaining nine SKULL agents, and their captain, seem unfazed. The flying fanatics keep coming, yelling: “Serve SKULL! Sanctify SKULL! Immortality is the reward to any soldier who embraces Death in the sacred service of SKULL!”
The front of the assault team touched down on the observation deck!

Meanwhile, Viper put a hand on Doc Rocket's shoulder. "What's in the bag, Pop? Is that what they're after? Come on now. If that can buy us and these people some time, then hand it over."
Doc Rocket hesitated, like he had been protecting the package for so long that instinct held him back. Then he handed it over. “Yes, son. They’re after it, and me. Here. I hope you know what you’re doing!”
Viper held up the brown paper-wrapped package, to distract the Skull agents away from the crowd, Grey and Doc. He threw in a few choice words for good measure.

“There It is, my master!” cried out one SKULL agents, pointing at Viper.
Nine futuristic energy weapons were suddenly pointed at the snake man.
The Captain of the Doomsday Robot commanded: “Hold your fire! He is holding the package! It can not be harmed!”
He landed his jet pack on the observation deck and closed with Viper, to fight him hand to hand as the rest of the SKULL agents continued their attack!

Viper suddenly leapt forward in an unexpected burst of speed, a cobra-like strike! Poww! His fist crashed hard into the SKULL leader’s head, knocking him down. The blow should have broken a man’s jaw!
Then the captain stood up. “Heretic. You dare strike me? You shall die for that!”
The cadaverous Captain unleashed his hate and fury in a martial arts strike that caught Viper in the neck! (Viper rolls with the punch and takes only 6 hit points damage)
The SKULL leader said: “Give It to me, and I shall be merciful… I will kill you swiftly.”
The two faced off on the very edge of the observation deck, 100 stories up!

Then the SKULL agents attacked! Five airborne agents fired their energy pistols at the giant Sentinel, buzzing around him like biplanes around King Kong! BZZAAT! BZAAT! BZAAT! Three black energy beams hit him, …to little effect. (Your construct-self is 25% damaged. It now offers you 75% protection. Repairing it costs a full action, remember.)
“Die, infidel! Die before the might of SKULL!” they shrieked.

The other four agents found Doc Rocket. “There he is, Master! The mission remains! Kill Doc Rocket! And serve SKULL!” they shouted as they opened fire. BZAAT! BZAAT! BZAAT!
“Not so fast,” muttered Grey, as he knocked down Rocket, saving him from the deadly blasts.

The panicked crowd of innocents was now safely off the roof! But The SKULL agents prepared for another attack, and now their prey was prone! Nothing could stop them now from completing their unholy mission!

OOC: Actions, everyone!


As half the Skull agents fly around Sentinel, he notices the other half of the agents attacking the two helpless figures below. There was no hesitation about what he had to do; Sentinel zooms away ignoring the agents around him and moves towards the two prone helpless figures on the roof below. As he moves towards them, he shrinks in size a bit allowing the Sentinel baseball construct to be of appropriate size to allow his next actions.

The Skull agents he has left behind notice the cape area rising from the body and refiguring; flowing from his shoulders, just behind his back, the cape expands taking the form of a big baseball scoreboard complete with innings and stats. (This also adds another expanding obstacle to get around should they wish to join their cohorts on the roof.) The stats for the scoreboard on the first inning read "Vile Villains" 0; "Heroic Heroes" 4.

As Sentinel approaches the roof area, on his left hand forms a baseball glove which scoops up Grey and Rocket. Rather than just catching them in the mitt, they are actually absorbed within the giant Sentinel construct, now protected by it.
As Sentinel got closer to the roof he confirmed what he had already suspected, seeing the appearance of the younger of the men, he says, "Mr Grey, I presume. If you had planned to invite Skull to your little soiree, you should have at least informed them of the proper rules of etiquette! Where was the posturing? Their pontificating? It's only good manners for such before their wave of destruction and mayhem ensues!"
"Now who's the old gentlemen with you, and what's the most important thing we've got to prevent Skull from accomplishing here? What do they want?"

OOC: If I'm trying to do too much here, of first concern would be to envelop Grey and Rocket to protect them. Also, if my assumption that Sentinel would recognize Grey from his description was wrong, we'd adjust the dialogue to something along the lines of "Exactly who are you guys and why is Skull so intent on killing you?"


Viper realizes that his plan went awry. Instead of taking the focus away from Doc Rocket and Grey, he left them clear for the skull agents to kill them. Now Viper needs to act fast to get the attention away from the two men.
"Skull boys! Lookie what I got here. Harm those men and your precious package is destroyed!"
Viper tosses the package up and down in his hand.
Chanting agents, "Kill Doc Rocket! And serve Skull!"
"The mission is to get the Package Skull boys! And I have the Package! Touch those men and me and the package go bye-bye!" Viper motions to the edge of the building and motions to the agents to come and get it.
Viper will use his turn's action to hit the captain with his Hypnotic Gaze. Hopefully he'll have caused enough confusion to keep Doc and Grey safe until the others arrive.

Blue Comet:
"Thanks, young fella!" called out the old captain with a wave. "Who the hell are you supposed to be?"

"I'm the Blue Comet! Champion of the Stratosphere!"

“Well.. That's a fine name... for a little boy on Halloween. Well I'm all out o' candy little boy, but thanks a pant load anyway for saving me and me boys from that big robot... you know the big robot you sent screaming toward us in the first place."

The Comet blinks at the salty sea captain and is at a loss for words for a moment. "Um Ok then. I have to go. Have a nice day!"

"Sure, fly away why don't ya! You don't want to be late for puddin' day at the crazy house ya big blue freak!"

OOC: Believing Lightning Strike to be trapped in the hull of the robotic nightmare. BC takes a big breath, fires up his flame and dives for the metal hulk making it's way to the riverbed To be honest, he's not sure what he's looking for, but he's hoping to find some sign (physical or otherwise) of the electrical avenger.
His first instinct would be to find something electrical that could be portable and somewhat sealed. A battery or other fuel cell from engineering. Perhaps a data core from the bridge or navigation helm would also suffice. He could try to communicate by tapping the circuit on the battery to Morse code. The Comet is not sure of the extent of Lightning Strike's powers, but he's sure water can't be good. He will spend all his movement and actions trying to find, communicate with and ultimately rescue LS.


Lightning Strike:
Now that the robot is disabled and plummeting to the hudson river and those rats have deserted the sinking ship, it's time to turn the power back on.

OOC: If there is any way that LS can determine that reactivating the robot is hopeless then see scenario 2.
Scenario 1: Seeing that the robot is now a lifeless shell with it's controller's gone, Lightning Strike seeks to reignite the engines and see what other systems are still operable and turn this robot against those fiends of Skull.
Scenario 2: Realizing that the circuitry is fried, LS is determined to find a way out and take the fight to those cowardly devils that would sooner run than defend themselves. Seeking out the last exit point that the Skull agents were connected to this behemoth, LS looks to find a spare rocket pack and reform into it and blast out of the robot and engage those cowardly Skull agents.
Scenario 3: That's up to the GM!