Vanguard Roll Call!

Vanguard Roll Call!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Issue 51: In The Shadow Of The Bat!

Morgue’s Secret Stronghold, Beneath Lonely Town, Big City. Night.

The Ghost was dead! Clone was dead! And the Black Bat might be alive and controlling Morgue!

The Cat suddenly launched into an attack at Kairos! The nonliving ninja pounced forward with an economy of motion that bordered on elegance, slicing his katana vertically across the mid section of the Eternal Champion! K-TANG!! Kairos’ steel staff parried the blow!

Kairos leapt backwards, somersaulting in mid-air and landing in a crouch. The avatar of antiquity grimly applied the CHESS stimshot and prepared for a long duel with the Cat. (Gain 4 hit points. Let me know if you want to spend a Luck Point or two to get more hit points from the stim shot.)

Dexter Sinister was enveloped alive in the half-melted rubber slag that was Slingshot’s drugged body. Laughter could be heard through the black, organic folds from the undead druglord. “If it’s more you’re craving, Slingshot, then it’s more you’ll get.” Slingshot felt a new sensation wash through him: blissful peace. His eyes were currently five feet away from each other due to his “meltdown” and they both shut as he plummeted into a deep slumber. His amoeba like form relaxed, releasing the tension that held it together and Dexter Sinister started pulling himself out of it. Writhing free from the ebony flesh cocoon, he emerged like a psychedelic butterfly, laughing maniacally, “Heh heh ha ha heh heh heh!”

The thing that had been Symbiote did not believe its own senses. He knew too much about the workings of the Harper Harness for all this to be real! But the nightmare did not end. His body was turned inside out by the simultaneous splicing of all the DNA sampled by the Harness! Trusting in his powerful intellect, Symbiote tried to fight through the pain and fear and act as if the ghastly transformation wasn’t happening. He lurched forward and threw a devastating double uppercut at Femme Fatale who was unprepared for Symbiote’s seeming recovery from Dexter Sinister’s caress. "I never hit a lady!" Symbiote roars. "But sister, you weren't a lady even when you were alive!!" KER-POW! The surprised siren caught it full in the face, flew backwards and hit the ground, incapacitated. Her eyes were closed, her body motionless and her fingers twitched. But the mighty myrmidon of mimicry was still trapped in Sinister’s mad hallucination!

Morgue stood triumphant over the fallen hero. He laughed viciously. Then he placed his bare hand on the Ghost’s face. Something happened. There was a tingle of energy and the sense of darkness and
Morgue removed his hand to reveal the Ghost’s eyes were open. Except now they were as damned and haunted as those of the Five Bosses! The Ghost was returned to a state of undeath, now under the dominion of Morgue! “The latest addition to my Gang of the Living Dead!” he said savagely. “The rest of you are next!”

Sentinel had returned to the main chamber in time to witness that. The beacon of glory grabbed the largest table with tendrils that grew from his energy shields and crashed it violently into Morgue. SMAAASSHHH!
The wooden table splintered around Morgue’s big form, staggering the cold-blooded killer. Hit by Kairos, the Ghost and now Sentinel, the Boss of Big City was clearly hurt! “Kill these bastards!” he snarled.

The Ghost’s expression was one of anguish and loss. He rose and obeyed his orders. Levitating toward Sentinel he said, “Sorry, friend,” as he phased right through Sentinel’s shields and placed his intangible hand deep inside Sentinel’s chest! The heir of heroism felt sharp deep pain! (9 points damage, all off hit points!)

Lightning Strike had just rematerialized after traveling the length of Kairos’ cable! The high-voltage vigilante said to Poker Face: "Card tricks don't impress me!! Did you really think you could blind a being of pure electricity?" And then Strike fired another bolt of crackling white electricity at Poker Face’s head!
SHA-KOW!!! The degenerating gambler was incapacitated and fell back behind the tables. CRAASH!!
Free from an immediate adversary, the electric avenger surveyed the room.

The Octopus wrapped his four rubbery tentacles around a crate from the pile in the northwest room and hurled it savagely at Inhuman! KER-RUNCH!!! (12 points of damage! Inhuman rolls with 4 and takes 8 off hit points) The crate broke open upon impact, revealing bullets and new, unassembled tommyguns. “Rub out Morgue and all this ends!” the revenant racketeer repeated thickly.

Inhuman fled into the main chamber and seized hydrokinetic control over the clean water bursting from the cracked pipe. It impossibly formed a small, five foot high wave that the aquatic adventurer rode! The wave orbited the room, passing through the wraith-like Ghost, the unconscious Slingshot and the pained Symbiote before flowing down the body-laden stairs to the lower chamber and the silver coffin! SHWOOOOOSSHHH!

Whether by shock of cold water, or the diluting of Dexter Sinister’s venom, or by sheer will, Slingshot awoke and found the hallucinations were abating. Likewise, Symbiote’s terrifying nightmare was ending and he found the Harper Harness operating perfectly!
(OOC: Inhuman gains 5 PP from contact with water. Sentinel was battling Ghost in the spot where you wanted to create the water wall. Do you want to create it somewhere else?
Symbiote, it’s your choice on whether you want to be swept downstairs via the water to the coffin?)

Slingshot awoke and stopped Dexter Sinister from sliding out from his shapeless rubbery mass. The malleable man of might re-gripped the human hallucinogen and slowly crushed him, applying all his extranormal strength. The death-headed jester cried out once and was still, save his twitching finger tips.
(OOC: Slingy: Mild Disorientation. Agility -1. Detection skills/2. Movement/2. The rest is normal)

The Cat remained on the offensive as he quickly rotated his blade from a vertical slash to a direct impale position and lunged in the eastern fighting style of the cat. The steel staff did not parry this time. The katana stabbed Kairos in his left shoulder! SHHNNK! (12 points of damage! Kairos rolls with 6 and takes 6 from hits!)

More rocks and earth slid from the surface of the cave-in and more silt fell from the earthen ceiling. Their shouting louder now, it wouldn’t be long before Morgue’s undead gang burrowed through!

To be continued!

OOC: Actions please?

Current Conditions:
· Inhuman: Hit Points: 7, Power Points: 42
· Kairos: Hit Points: 15, Power Points: 58 (includes luck point on stimshot)
· Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 18, Power Points: 61
· Sentinel: Hit Points: 3, Power Points: 41, Creation Points: 82, Shields: 82
· Slingshot: Hit Points: 26, Power Points: 88, Invulnerability: 8
· Symbiote with Morgue’s powers: Hit Points: 19, Power Points: 85, Harness Charges: 7
· Clone: Dead?!
· The Ghost: Undead slave of Morgue??!!

· Morgue: Injured
· The Octopus: Uninjured
· Femme Fatale: Incapacitated
· Poker Face: Incapacitated
· Dexter Sinister: Incapacitated
· The Cat: Uninjured

Best, Ye Ed


OOC: Man, the Cat is fast! Jeff, how many luck points do I have left? I have used only one, I think. If I have at least two remaining, I'll use one for the extra hit points 'cause I may need them. I will always keep at least one full one remaining so that I can't die.

Kairos will actually evade, if possible, rather than go offensive. Better to keep the Cat occupied and off of the others since he's so tough. If I heard Octopus and can't evade, I'll throw a chakram at Morgue. If I didn't hear him and can't evade, then I'll strike at the Cat with my staff.So, to recap:1. Evade the Cat's attacks2. If no evading possible, a. If I heard Octopus, then throw chakram at Morgue b. If I didn't hear Octopus, then strike at Cat with staff


OOC GM Replies!
Kairos wrote: Jeff, how many luck points do I have left? I have used only one, I think. If I have at least two remaining, I'll use one for the extra hit points 'cause I may need them.

GM Reply: You have 2.6 left. I'll mark one off and add hit points to you from the stimshot.
Evading should be possible, and with each "issue" representing half a V&V combat turn, the effects of your evasion will last through Issue 52.

FYI, Octopus and Inhuman are speaking in a language only they and other aquatic beings can understand, via one of Inhuman's powers. So no one else can understand what they are saying, even though there are odd verbalizations that can be heard.

But Inhuman did say to Vanguard that he believes that Morgue is controlling the Five Bosses.
In his second reply to Issue 50, he said:
"Guys, we may have to kill Morgue to stop this mess, He seems to be the link, unless someone else has another way to cut the strings.... or sever the tentacles without killing the boss."


Prior to my posting, can you give me an idea of any additional energy readings.
Can I assume that prior to his murder by Morgue Ghost's personal energy reading was extranormal like us, after Morgue's murder there was no energy, and now after being "resurrected" he's reading the anti-energy?
Did Kirk pick up anything more on energy readings as he witnessed the horrific event.

In his current contact with Ghost, now that he has experienced not only sensing but also contact with both the "immaterial" aspect of Ghost and the anti-energy has that given Kirk any further insight into their situation. Does Kirk feel he can somehow alter or use his energy in a better way to counter the effects of the anti-energy.

Finally, can you remind me of Ghost's personal name for my posting (unless he never went by it) reply.

OOC GM Replies:
Seth/ Sentinel wrote: Can I assume that prior to his murder by Morgue, Ghost's personal energy reading was extranormal like us, after Morgue's murder there was no energy, and now after being "resurrected" he's reading the anti-energy?

GM Reply: Yes. That is exactly correct.

Seth/ Sentinel wrote: Did Kirk pick up anything more on energy readings as he witnessed the horrific event.

GM Reply: Yes, two powerful releases from Morgue to a) kill the Ghost, and b) return him.
Sentinel's earlier statements about the incredible power required to form an Army of the Damned seem likely.

Seth/ Sentinel wrote: Does Kirk feel he can somehow alter or use his energy in a better way to counter the effects of the anti-energy.

GM Reply: Not sure. The beacon of liberty can create energy. He can detect energy. But he can't alter, affect or otherwise manipulate existing energy (that he did not create).

Seth/ Sentinel wrote: Finally, can you remind me of Ghost's personal name for my posting(unless he never went by it) reply.

GM Reply: Robert, or Bobby. He might have been 17 or 18. Wide-eyed kid. On the CHESS Omni-Carrier, the Rooks called him "Casper." But none of that matters at this point. He's the undead slave of Morgue now.


(OOC: Well, if Black Bat is down in that silver sarcophagus, he's apparently well mannered enough to stay there for the time being. Morgue and the remaining Five Bosses, however, are still in the room and still thrashing at us, so Symbiote will stay in the room as well.

According to Inhuman's theory and what we just saw happen to Ghost, Morgue would seem to be the key to things. Perhaps he's a conduit for Black Bat (or whatever's down there) and if we take him down the rest of the revenants will stop. Frankly I doubt it'll be that simple, but that's the best information the team has at the moment, sooooo....)

IC: As Dexter Sinister's foul chemical attack wears off, Symbiote realizes what happened to Ghost and becomes enraged. He'd left Ghost alone with the Cadaverous Crimelord, and it had cost the young hero his life--or undeath, or whatever state the Ethereal Avenger had been in. Hal had no way of knowing what would have happened if he had stayed with Ghost and Morgue--perhaps Sentinel would be dead instead, or would have killed one of the other heroes while under Femme Fatale's command--but it would be something Hal would wonder about for the rest of his life, no matter how short that life may be.

One thing was certain: Morgue was going to pay.

"BASTARD!" Hal roars, too angry to even attempt any witty repertoire, as he launches himself at Morgue, preparing to make the villain wish he were fully dead instead of in some unholy state of undeath.


Lightning Strike:
After taking out Poker Face, Strike looks around the room to find Morgue.

"Morgue, it looks like Poker Face went down like a house of cards, just like your dreams of controlling this undead underworld. It's only a matter of time until we bring you down and bury you with the rest of these corpses. You will pay for what you have done to Ghost."

Strike blasts away at Morgue hoping to chip away at him after the series of attacks that have wounded him. With movement, Lightning Strike moves toward Sentinel and speaks as softly as possible. (OOC: The talk is based on the fact that I don't disable Morgue with my attack.)

"Morgue won't believe that bit of bravado for long. We need to take him out or take away the source of his power. It won't be long until the rest of those zombies get in here and we can't take them all down. With your senses, you must find whether we should focus on Morgue or something else but it has to be fast!!!"


Kirk looked into the eyes of the Ghost as he felt the pain shoot from his chest throughout his body. He heard Ghost’s words, “Sorry friend” and his initial _expression of shock turned to one of sorrow and pity.

“No, Bobby, I’m sorry we failed you. I know you’re no longer in control of your actions, but can you tell me anything more about what’s happened to you that can help us to help you. Is there a way we can make this right?”

A few things became clear to Kirk at this point. First, Morgue was the source of this undead army. There may be someone higher in the food chain, but he was the direct cause of the current population. Second, although he found the symbol of the Black Bat, he still found no evidence that they were dealing with vampirism here – in fact, all of the bodies, as well as what he’d witnessed with the victims didn’t indicate classic vampirism. None of the victims manifested the symptoms and the bodies seemed to be drained of their life energy rather than the symbol of it, their actual blood. Third, if the coffin below did indeed contain a being, perhaps some new incarnation of the Black Bat, after this devastating attack by Ghost on his person, Kirk didn’t have a chance of being able to handle it alone, even if he maintained the element of surprise.

Unless Ghost gives Kirk information that would cause him to precede otherwise, these would be his further actions: “Bobby, likely you can’t initiate an attack against Morgue, but what would happen if you were in the middle of phasing and were accidentally pushed through him at that time? Might something like that be possible?”

If Kirk gets any indication that was possible, Kirk would work at pushing Ghost forward into Morgue.

Whether he is pushing Ghost forward, or going around him or through him at this point (if he is totally immaterial), Kirk would proceed forward to attack Morgue, flying at him in a “ramming” attack. As Kirk flew forward to attack Morgue, his energy tendrils that were present around Morgue (from the previous attack) picked up the sharp wooden fragments from the table forming a wall behind Morgue with the fragments sticking out like spikes – mostly along the chest, neck, and head area.
Kirk is hoping to both attack and impale Morgue at this point, and if their previous information about these creatures was accurate perhaps Morgue’s contact with the wooden spikes in the energy wall behind him might take him out if the damage from the impact does not.

As he flew towards Morgue, to distract him from the full intent of his attack (ie the wall behind him) Kirk shouted, “No Morgue, your next. You’re ‘gang’ despises you and will wreak vengeance upon you for what you’ve done to them. Did you really think you could wield that abhorrent energy and not pay the price? You’ve made yourself a blight against the very fabric of this universe and it won’t stand for it any longer. You’re the one that is going to be extinguished!”

As Kirk voiced the words, the anti-energy emanating from Morgue grew in its disturbance to him. Like a buzzing noise that grew louder and louder until it became maddening, or a stench that grew in offensiveness to the point of causing nausea, Kirk was compelled to take action against it.

If Morgue is taken out by someone else prior to Kirk’s action and the bosses haven’t stopped their attack, Kirk would try to assist whatever teammate seemed to be in the most jeopardy or closest to taking out another boss. If they could proceed together back to the coffin, that would be the next action.


His features were still fluid and, by consequence, still quite disturbing to a normal eye (not quite on par with Symbiote's own physical changes). While Slingshot understood that Morgue was the tie that kept this band of, now undead, bosses together, he was the reason that they were staying there. What will hold them here if Morgue collapses? Will they collapse too or will they fly the coop? They were a menace before, but now they are worse, far worse.Knowing that his comrades are going to concentrate their efforts on Morgue, he looked around, he saw that most have been dealt with. Cat was the only visible Boss and he was causing big trouble to Kairos. Cat will get a big surprise.. [ooc]Slingshot will attempt to land a punch on Cat. If he's down before I get to move, then I'll concentrate my efforts on the Super Stardestroyer (Morgue). [/ooc]


OOC: being not sold on many things I think it is time to try to figure out some stuff....
IC: Inhuman stood still for a second then lashed out with a tentacle of water from his wall snagging and snapping off a likely table leg (oaken if possible) his mind narrowed for a moment thinking impossibly thin thoughts as he used his water to sharpen the stake. Carl had read Bram Stokers Dracula for a prerequisite english class and he knew the only way to free the others was to kill the senior most vampyre, if that would even work. Then another thought crossed his mind, if the massive energies were being stolen then... perhaps the thief would dread the source and if it was an unwilling prisoner... an idea clicked in his head. "Sentinel!" Inhuman roared at the top of his gills as he surfed on to the top of the silver coffin (presumably it is flat and not propped up)"You kill Morgue, I'll get his SIRE!!!" Inhuman pulled his wall from the doorway in front of the stairs to the doorway blocking the room, part of the wall leaked onto the floor behind the wall (on inhumans side) leaving a puddle for someone to slip on.

"Slingshot, Octopus may be more your cup o' java, but try to not kill him again" as he said this inhuman pulled another tendril of water off of the thinning and weakening wall and passed it around the likely places for a seal to be there on the coffin (attempting to determine if the coffin is watertight perhaps simply even if the water is lost to control because of los blockage, may also reveal hinging, really embarassing to try to open from concealed hinge side, may block attempts for gaseous escapes)

OOC: here is what im trying to do: im attempting to determine if the coffin contents contain a potential ally or another enemy to fight. If Morgue's actions seem to indicate that the contents are something he has to protect then their destruction should be attempted, if they are something that should be better off left closed then keeping what is in there in there untill we are victorious over the rest may be more important than lending my strength of blows to the rest of the party. Of course I may be wrong....

In addition I have been wondering if the Darkness trip and fall mechanic may not be a good addition to my power simply by increasing the water tension level in a puddle. someone moving incautiously could slip and fall and take 1d6 damage. Definition of actions:
Movement to on top of the silver coffin (my weight +100# of water to hold back anyone trying to get out of the coffin or to get in.
movement of wall, taking and sharpening steak
sensory attempt
theoretically holding action to rip open coffin and plunge steak into the depths of the coffin if necessary and I haven't in the Gm's eyes taken my action already somewhere else.