Vanguard Roll Call!

Vanguard Roll Call!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Issue 53: The Devil You Know.

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

Once more invisibly bolstered by Kairos’ nobility of spirit, Vanguard’s morale held as they stood their ground against the Black Bat! The Lord of the Underworld had openly and honestly extended his hand in partnership and Vanguard launched themselves at him. It was not unexpected.

The Black Bat raised one eyebrow and said calmly, “Very well. As you wish. I’m sorry that it had to be this way. In you I see Frostfire… the Human Dynamo… Storm Giant… Blazon… Nemesis… Tornado Man. All gone now. Come. Let me take my measure of you,” and the shadows themselves seemed to draw around him like the folded wings of a bat. (OOC: The Bat evades. Evasion lasts two ‘issues.’)

Kairos moved to flank his dark opponent. The Bat’s supernatural senses detected the maneuver and Kairos held his attack. The Bat regarded the fated fighter and said sincerely, “Old soul, you are an open book to me. As are your origins. Your heart is not in this fight… you who have fought so many battles. When you wish to learn who you really are, come to me.”

Sentinel was defiant. He held out his hands and golden energy burst forth. The solid energy gathered wooden shards from the floor, mounting their sharpened ends before a massive battering ram that hurtled toward the vampire. The Bat seemed to shift in space, moving faster than the eye could observe. The ram missed and crashed into the earthen wall behind him. THOOOOM! The ceiling cracked and more silt fell. The Bat eyed him with curiosity, “Noble, good man… that symbol upon your chest. What do you think it means?”

Inhuman tried to pull blood from the corpse of Morgue and found the cadaver unusually dry! An unexpected side effect of undeath? Undeterred, the cyan superhero fired a blast of water to distract the vampire. The Bat turned and noticed Inhuman’s blue skin. “What?” he said. “Another one?”

Slingshot grabbed the lifeless body of Dexter Sinister and explosively elongated his limbs to make contact with Black Bat’s pale skin. Inhuman’s distraction worked. Dexter Sinister’s lifeless left hand pressed against the cheek of the viceroy of vampires. He was no shapeshifter and he smiled at Slingshot. “What ingenious ruthlessness. What admirably resourceful treachery. But I expect poor Dexter’s ability requires a working bloodstream of some kind. Do you think you require one, Scott?” The smile was short lived.

Fffoooo… thunk! An arrow suddenly appeared in the Black Bat’s shoulder! Vanguard turned and saw Forester! The amazing archer’s torso was wrapped in bloody gauze. Once he had regained consciousness, he demanded that CHESS return him to Lonely Town where he quickly descended beneath the sewers to rejoin his team mates, slipping past the fleeing gangster ghouls on the way down. He even saw the Cat race by and noted the scar beneath his eye. Forester had heard Black Bat’s soliloquy (see Issue 52 and its replies). He recognized Morgue as the dead man impaled to the wall and noted Ghost and Clone’s absence!

The Black Bat regarded the razor arrow as a distasteful affront. (OOC: Evasion only works if you are aware of the attacker. Bat did not detect the relentless ranger’s arrival!) The regal revenant said, “Marksman taught you well before sending you headlong into danger like a pawn on a chessboard. Where is he?”

Lightning Strike threw wrath and a searing hot electrical bolt at the Black Bat. KRACKA-BOOM!! When the smoke cleared, the Bat was unharmed. Strike had missed. Black Bat said: “I believe I asked you a question.”

(OOC: Going right to the top of next turn….)

The Black Bat smiled: “Well, the Freedom Force certainly has nothing to worry about.” Ignoring the arrow in his shoulder he said, “I do regret this,” as he extended his overwhelming will. His powerfully hypnotic presence washed over the minds of Vanguard!

Kairos resisted the influence with his Nobility of Spirit resistance to domination! But he was briefly stunned!
Forester staved off the attack with his Willpower defense but was also left momentarily stunned!
Symbiote could not resist! He rose from the floor.
Sentinel’s Telepathic shields defended him! But he too was momentarily stunned by the attack.
Lightning Strike could not resist!
Inhuman’s Will defense (Charisma + defense in game speak) saved him! He was also stunned!
Slingshot could not resist! He dropped Dexter Sinister’s body.

The Bat said, “There. That’s better. You will thank me for this. I assure you.”
He turned to Lightning Strike: “I said, ‘you’ve cleared the field of my rivals for power. All, that is, save one. You know of whom I speak.’ There was a power behind the Five Bosses. Even they did not know his identity, referring to him only as The Overboss. But you know his identity, don’t you. That program you ran at the CHESS safehouse, that was almost interrupted, it told you, didn’t it? Who is the Overboss of Big City?”

Lightning Strike said: “I’ve long known that Silas Caine rules Big City’s underworld. Caine ran the Five Bosses.” His voice was like a dull knife. “But I’ve been unable to prove it with evidence admissible in court.”

Everyone had heard of Silas Hamilton Caine, the richest and some say the smartest man in Big City! Caine was a 50 year-old self-made man, whose wealth and power had grown from canny investments. (OOC: Imagine Lex Luthor, Gordon Gekko, Bruce Wayne, Adrian Veidt and William Randolph Hearst.)

Lightning Strike intoned: “According to the Luddite’s journal, Silas Caine also controls the Luddite, the extranormal who killed Nanite and… my wife.”

The Black Bat marveled at the electric avenger, “Fascinating. That’s why you’ve been tracking Caine.”

Strike said with the distant, eerie emptiness of a man talking in his sleep: “Yes. He turned me into this.”

Black Bat said: “Then, I’m about to give you your greatest desire: revenge. It will be my gift to you…
Go now and kill Silas Caine! My control over you will relinquish you of any responsibility for this act in the eyes of the law. Kill him and avenge yourself and your beloved wife!
“Slingshot and Symbiote, aid your friend to destroy this evil man.”

The Bat held his pale palm toward Symbiote and energy flowed from it into the superheroic simulator. (OOC: Symbiote, gain 35 power points!) Perhaps it was the energy that Morgue demanded before his death. “Now GO!” shouted the Bat.

Blank eyed, Symbiote touched Lightning Strike and absorbed his powers (using his action from last turn):
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 via wires or transmitted waves (cell phones, radio, TV, etc.). 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.

4) 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.

5) 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.

While Vanguard was still stunned from the Black Bat’s mental onslaught…
Lightning Strike and Symbiote transformed into living electricity and vanished into the TV wires!

Slingshot hurtled himself from the chamber into the catacombs, located a vertical shaft and slungshot himself upwards toward the surface with amazing speed! All three heroes were gone!! (Continued below!)

The Black Bat quietly said, “Magnificent.” Then calmly, to those that remained: “Soon Vanguard will have eliminated all my rivals. As for you, I told you there will be no epic confrontation. I have nothing to gain from it. I’m immortal. I don’t have to defeat you. I’ll do to you what I did to the Freedom Force: I will simply outlive you.”

Vanguard was no longer stunned! They were free to act again! (OOC: Actions?!)

(OOC: Meanwhile, on another timeline…)

Lightning Strike and Symbiote searched cyberspace for Silas Hamilton Caine’s current whereabouts. His personal schedule indicated he had a meeting in his offices at Caine Corp Citadel! The two heroes materialized atop the ostentatious midtown skyscraper. The city was lit up below, a magnificent landscape.

Slingshot reached the streets of Lonely Town and activated the wrist communicator’s GPS tracking system. He located Strike and Symbiote, notified them in a scrambled message and then the three deactivated their communicators. The malleable man of might slungshot himself in an amazing high arc toward Manhattan!

Lightning Strike, in the wind atop the roof of Caine Corp Citadel, disabled the building’s security system, looping it to avoid detection. He accessed a schematic of Caine’s floor and then he and Symbiote both drew power from the tower’s electrical system (each heal 5 points of power) as they waited for Slingshot.

THUMP!! The ebony giant landed beside them. Strike flatly said: “Caine is one floor directly below us.”

Slingshot wordlessly coiled one thick arm around his partners and swung them down and through a glass window, 75 floors from the streets below! SSKKRRAAASSHHH!
And at the moment of impact with the shattering glass, the Black Bat’s mental hold on all of them evaporated!

The three heroes landed inside, their minds free!

Silas Caine was not alone. Inside his sumptuous office, beyond the grand semi circle of shelves, across the large mahogany desk was NYPD detective Hank Archer!

(OOC: Unbeknownst to Archer, Strike is his nephew! –Ye Excitable Ed)

The two men were totally surprised. The detective had a pad on his lap, as if he had been conducting an interview with Caine. It fell off as Archer’s hand instinctively went for his gun.

Someone else was also present! A dark shadow figure phased through the wall! He did not touch the floor. Slingshot and Strike recognized him as the shadowy image that Doc Rocket recovered from Nanite’s history files days ago! (see Issues 34-37 –Ye Educational Ed!)

The image hadn’t been showing a normal man in a shadow! It had shown a shadow-man! It was her killer! The one she called ‘the Luddite!’

Unlike Caine and Archer, the Luddite was not surprised, having detected the heroes when they arrived. Detective Archer could not yet see the Luddite from his vantage point! The killer of Nanite and Lightning Strike’s wife glared malevolently as he flew directly toward the heroes!

OOC: Actions please? And welcome back James / Forester!

Current Conditions:
Forester: Hit Points: 15, Power Points: 66
Inhuman: Hit Points: 7, Power Points: 35
Kairos: Hit Points: 15, Power Points: 56
Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 18, Power Points: 52
Sentinel: Hit Points: 3, Power Points: 39, Creation Points: 78, Shields: 78
Slingshot: Hit Points: 26, Power Points: 86, Invulnerability: 8
Symbiote with Strike’s powers: Hit Points: 13, Power Points: 30, Harness Charges: 6


After getting shot in the stomach by the undead, basically "eating lead" (Issue 47), Forester meditated on healing and returning to active duty.

Though concerned about the conditions and whereabouts of some of the other heroes, the outdoorsy adventurer is relieved to be back.

“Marksman..." Black Bat says to the returning hero. "Where is he?”

Forester dodges the question about his mentor. "You're not only long-toothed" he says to the vampiric villain. "You're also long-winded. I'm already tired of hearing the sound of your voice."

Forester pulls a Sonic Arrow from his quiver and fires at the ceiling directly above Black Bat. With a special attack, he intends for the ceiling to shatter and come crashing down on this frightening foe.


OOC: Oops?
James, Nice to see you back!

(OOC: This post contains a little character development Jeff and I worked out).

Symbiote's knees almost buckled, he was so overcome with conflicting emotions. Relief at being free from the Black Bat's foul control. Anger at having been so violated in the first place. Ambivalence about Silas Caine sitting in shock before them--Caine may have been a monster but Hal had no desire to assassinate him on behalf of the Black Bat, apparently at least as bad a monster. Shock at the site of the Luddite. But the greatest emotion was shock and concern at the site of Hank Archer--the former partner of Ralph Harper, Hal's father retired from the NYPD!

Symbiote recovered quickly. He wanted to see Caine brought to justice and the Luddite brought down, but Archer was his first priority. He assumed that Archer was here to investigate Caine--he had been one of the best partners Hal's father had ever worked with, he couldn't believe that he was in league with Caine. And even if he was, even if he had become a little "dirty" late in his career--well, he was still Hank Archer. The man had been over to the house dozens of times when Hal was a kid for dinner and Giants games on the TV. He had been a pallbearer when Hal's mother had passed away. Ralph rarely discussed the more dangerous aspects of police work with his children but Hal always supected that his father and Archer had been through more than a few tight scrapes together. Whatever he might be he certainly didn't deserve to die in a metahuman crossfire.

Symbiote launched himself at Archer...

(OOC: And exactly what he does next depends on who gets initiative, Hal or Archer. If Hal can move before Archer gets his gun out he will rush across the room and tackle him, trying to throw him to the floor and out of harm's way. If Archer gets his gun out, Hal will attempt a called shot with a low-voltage lightning bolt, not enough to cause serious harm, to zap the gun out of Archer's hand. Either way he'll also yell "Hank! Get Down!" not remembering or, at this moment at least, particularly caring that he has a secret identity to protect).

(Also OOC: Welcome back James!)


OOC: Greg, Great posting.
And I hope you’re right and successful.

Kirk has an instant affinity for Archer upon meeting him a few issues back and would be pained by either his death or his turning out to be on the wrong side of things here, but there didn't seem to be any foreshadowing of his being dirty and issue 53 said "Detective Archer could not yet see the Luddite from his vantage point" -- if he was in on things why would the Luddite be hidden from him?

Don't discount the will and resourcefulness of Archer in the situation, you don't survive in his position without it :)

Jeff: Talk about moving things along quickly! We go from rapping up a major component of a battle to getting all the pieces of everything coming to a head all at once. The readers must have been on the edge of their seats with this shocking all-reveal issue!!!

James: Very glad to have you and your battling bowman back in the fray.


OOC: Hey Jeff, I'm hoping that Forester's understanding of mysticism and general knowledge of Freedom Force history might yield answers to some of these questions.

1. When the classic members of Freedom Force encountered vampires, did those vampires have the weaknesses often depicted in contemporary popular film/literature? Specifically, a vulnerability to a stake through the heart or the requirement to return to a particular coffin during the day?

2. What powers and weaknesses did Freedom Force and CHESS assume/conclude/observe that Black Bat gained when he became a vampire?

3. Would a razor-sharp arrow through the heart have the same effect on a vampire as a stake through the heart? Would it matter if the arrow was shot from a short distance?

4. For the heroes facing Black Bat, what is the time of day?



OOC GM Replies!
Seth wrote: "Jeff: Talk about moving things along quickly! We go from wrapping up a major component of a battle to getting all the pieces of everything coming to a head all at once."

GM: I know it. Honestly, mysteries are like horror stories. Slow at first. But the closer you get to the end, the faster they go.

Seth: "The readers must have been on the edge of their seats with this shocking all-reveal issue!!!"

GM: I hope so. More likely they were scratching their heads trying to remember Nanite, the Luddite and Silas Caine from so long ago!

Forester / James wrote: 1. When the classic members of Freedom Force encountered vampires, did those vampires have the weaknesses often depicted in contemporary popular film/literature Specifically, a vulnerability to a stake through the heart or the requirement to return to a particular coffin during the day?
2. What powers and weaknesses did Freedom Force and CHESS assume/conclude/observe that Black Bat gained when he became a vampire?

GM Reply: Re: Bat and FF specifically: These are hard to answer without access to CHESS files, which is the situation you find yourselves in.
This wasn't something you had researched before entering the catacombs as Black Bat's involvement was unknown to you.
Also, Bat was a member of the Freedom Force twenty years ago, when you were all children. While he was a hero, his abilities and weaknesses were not reported in the press, in the same way that your full powers and weaknesses are now kept from the press. After he became a villain, he was quickly killed, so such information was not covered widely at that time either as it was moot.
The classic Freedom Force is known to have encountered only one other vampiric extranormal, Vampyress. She was destroyed via a stake through the heart. Her coffin was never located, if it even existed. She was thought to be German.

Re: Vampires in general: Your Occult Studies skill tells you that every culture on earth has a vampiric myth. All vary widely, but all have one thing in common: the creature drinks the blood of the living to live forever in some state of undeath. Aside from that, Asian vampires are completely different from those of European legend, or Latin legend or African legend
(BTW, true story, a man suspected of vampirism was stoned to death in Malawi, Africa in 2003. In the same incident, the Governor of Malawi was also suspected of vampirism and was attacked, but survived).

What you refer to as the "vampires of popular film or literature" are closest to the European myths, as researched and reported by Bram Stoker in the 19th century.
No vampire has a "vulnerability" to a stake through the heart. Their heart is not an Achilles heel or chink in a Dragon’s armor. Many legends, most notably the European strain, state that a vampire is immune to death unless his heart is pierced with a wooden stake, the body is decapitated and burned.
Forester also knows that many of the abilities and weaknesses of vampires popularized in film and literature have no bearing whatsoever on legend, European or otherwise.

Forester / James wrote: 3. Would a razor-sharp arrow through the heart have the same effect on a vampire as a stake through the heart? Would it matter if the arrow was shot from a short distance?

GM Reply: You don't know. To a legendary vampire of the European tradition, no. All cases of staking (and many have been reported!) refer to a wooden stake… usually oak or ash. There are no major legends of arrows and vampires, so range is an unknown factor.

Forester / James wrote: 4. For the heroes facing Black Bat, what is the time of day?

GM Reply: Around 9pm. Those at Caine's offices are slightly advanced on the timeline.


The Bat eyed him with curiosity, “Noble, good man… that symbol upon your chest. What do you think it means?”

The mention of the symbol and its meaning trigged a recent memory in Kirk. When he met Forester for the first time, he too, had asked about the meaning of the symbol. At first, Kirk had thought he was merely making friendly conversation. Then as he got to know him, he chalked it up to his uncanny observant and curious nature, but now, now he thought that Forester actually knew the symbol when he asked about it. And that it was more than just a symbol Lancaster had taken as his own. Kirk accepted the symbol as part of the legacy of the Sentinel established by his grandfather, but now Kirk was beginning to think there was much more to it. Not that he would give the Bat any satisfaction in the matter here and now with his bringing it up.

But Kirk needed to have a conversation with Forester about this assuming they both survived to have it. He thought about the man he was beginning to consider a friend and wished he was here. Somehow just the presence of the Zen-like archer brought confidence to Kirk in any situation; it seemed like he was always in total control of things. Kirk thought this too was perhaps due to the archer’s meditation and what he learned about the nature of things. He wished he was with them now.

As Kirk and the rest of Vanguard mounted unsuccessful attacks against the Bat, Kirk began to wonder if they could actually overcome him. And just then it happened!

Fffoooo… thunk! An arrow suddenly appeared in the Black Bat’s shoulder! Vanguard turned and saw Forester!

And a smile crossed the lips of Sentinel once again. “Not so untouchable, are you?” he said,” and with Forester’s return to their ranks and his successful attack, Kirk’s doubts vanished.

“I do regret this,” as he extended his overwhelming will. His powerfully hypnotic presence washed over the minds of Vanguard!

Kirk’s exuberance was short-lived upon seeing the effect of the Bat’s attack on half of Vanguard. He was quite glad with his recent decision to try to develop his mental aptitude as he was convinced further of the need for Vanguard to have a telepath on their team; at least his training enabled him to fend off the Bat’s mental onslaught!

Vanguard was no longer stunned! They were free to act again!

“This symbol on my chest means that there will always be heroes like us to put a stop to the machinations of predators like you. Before us was the Freedom Force, before them the Liberty League, and after us, someone else will rise. You will never be free of defenders of the innocent who will say 'enough' to you!

But let’s dwell on you for a moment. What we know of vampires indicates that you are vulnerable to religious symbols wielded by those with faith in them. The cross fends you off for those of Christendom who believe in the New Testament; the Star of David works as a symbol of faith for Jews who believe in the Old Testament. These symbols are based on a belief system for people’s focus on a higher universal power. Even with Chinese vampires it’s the Taoist and Buddhist priests that have success in destroying your kind, again those allying themselves with the higher universal force. Seems you don’t do to well against the higher forces of nature.

And its funny, I feel all the different forms of energy around us the same way others feel a physical touch. And from the moment I’ve felt your presence and the works of your presence I’ve known that you simply don’t belong here. You are an affront to the very nature of everything around us. I don’t think our universe wants you here.

And I think that the natural order of our universe has given us a means to fight back against your being here. That’s why those that have a “spiritual” focus of some kind, their own way of making peace with the “all” that is around them, can find strength against your kind in their symbols of that focus. That’s why the cross yielded in faith causes you to flee, that’s why holy water burns you. It’s the universe’s way of telling you to get the hell out!

Now as for my belief system, I firmly believe with all my being that there is a basic universal energy and that from that energy depending on how it’s molded comes all other forms of energy and matter that we’re used to around us. What’s more, I know that my gift is that I’ve tapped into that universal energy.”

Kirk raised his hand in explanation and energy crackled and radiated from it in response. “What you see around me is a manifestation of that universal energy as I’ve learned to focus it and use it for now.”

“So tell me if I’m right in my reasoning here, what does the touch of this energy mean to you?”

And with that, Kirk twisted his hand and his energy flared forward almost in a liquid spray trying to douse down the Bat.

OOC: Jeff, I couldn’t find the original notes you gave us from Chess files, but I do believe that you said it was known that religious symbols wielded by those acting in faith did work (but not those without faith). Kirk is running with that reasoning here and with the fact that the anti-energy he’s felt from Bat is disturbing and very different from anything he’s felt before, even the alien energy he’s encountered, like this is something that simply doesn’t belong here.

Whether he’s correct in his assessment of things, or whether simply his total belief in the correctness of his assessment of things is enough – he’s hoping that his energy has become the equivalent of holy water and he’s seeking to douse the Bat in it.

Hope that the whole speech and role-playing aspect adds to allowing his “attack” to work. Also since Kirk’s energy could actually fill the entire room if he wanted, I’m hoping that a widespread spray in his direction would get some contact with the Bat whereas the more forceful ramming energy attack was sidestepped last turn. Perhaps we could even have some of the “liquid” energy stick to him like water would wet someone if the reasoning/attack is successful.


OOC: Thanks, Jeff. This information is a big help. Now don't be surprised if at some point down the road Forester starts carrying garlic-tipped arrows.
Wow! After reading Seth's reply, I had to track down the original dialogue between Forester and Sentinel way back in Issue 9, in case the topic of Sentinel's symbol comes up again.—js


OOC: That's funny. I thought I had sidestepped the question and didn't remember discussing it with you back then. It just stuck out in my mind that you had asked. But at least Kirk's thoughts are consistent about the insignia even I didn't remember saying it.And now perhaps Jeff will have to key you in on more that Forester knew that you didn't know he knew :) (roll those dice)That's how the greats used to do it anyway, one throwaway line becomes a whole new storyline or direction for a character in hindsight.


Inhuman shook the remaining strands of kelp like sluggishness from his thoughts as he recovered from whatever he had been hit with, then he chose the higher ranges of the subsea language to project a message of "3 days, clean spot in the local river, meet me now or then" hoping this would reach his Potential Pacific Pal by bouncing off of the walls better than anything else...
IF Black Bat Stays& Combat is still going on: Ill flood the area with water in as thin of an layer as possible (using the controlled water) then I will adjust the water tension so that everyone else has sure footing but Black bat is slipping like he is on ice (attack action, perhaps reducing his evasion ability...?), and then ill... erm stand around behind my whirlpool of water.... next round maybe ill have a better idea of what to do.

OOC: someone else needs to distract him next round with a feint so's I can switch this up with an attack and maybe get in a surprise attack...
IF Black Bat Leaves: "Allright guys, we can't hang around here, Forester though it is nice to have another combatant here you and the rest must go. " Inhuman gestured and his water under his control formed a mannish shaped hollow thing that was both erie and beautiful at the same time.
" I have the correct set of powers and skills to save lives here," Inhuman pointed out as a second hollow man form form formed "while Forester is the only one who has aided another against mind control and perhaps Sentinel and the others can find the faith to repel our repulsive opponent, keep in mind if some distract BLack Bat with feints while others truly attack that seems to be the best attack scenario"
"Someone must guard these and check for possible survivors, we don't need Morgue turning into another Black Bat, others must alert CHESS to the situation here and go about freeing our allies from his dominion before they commit crimes they will not be able to forgive themselves for later and us for not helping them sooner, and hopefully Chess can get the bodies out of here and advanced medical equipment to kep the possible survivors alive long enough for medical treatment"
"if CHESS is stretched too thin to get rescue crews down here safely and I don't hear from anyone in 8-10 minutes, again I have the best powers to move the injured and dead as safely as possible."
"I must stay and others must go may not seem like the best of the situation here, but i think it is the best we can do.


[OOC] I'll start by saying: Jeff, you sir, are a shit disturber. You had to send Scott there. Damnit, he's been pinning away for something like 8 issues on that dead girl and you give him Luddite like that?! Bastard. Each one of us with a bone to pick with each of the present people?[/OOC]

His body returned to him, he was blown away by the situation. Caine, evil businessman, according to some. Archer, who has no love lost with Vanguard. This situation was extremely delicate and more than a little volatile and we barged in to the scene like elephants in a china shop. Not good. The Luddite made his presence known. That piece of filth.

Bellowing came easy to Scott. Years as an engineer on construction sites honed that skill to an art. Construction sites were notoriously noisy, one needed to be heard. As Slingshot, he was able to generate a startling amount of sound. In the back of his mind, the fact that we knew that Caine and Luddite were accomplices. He saw a way to salvage this debacle. He let the bellow roll.

"Archer, read Silas Caine his rights. He has been a collaborator and has been harboring a known fugitive of the law only know as The Luddite. You might want to turn around and see him for yourself." With that, he looked to Luddite and bellowed, "Your Master is done and there is NOTHING you can do about it, unless you can stop ME." He followed with a sotto voce transmission to the earpieces, "Remember, Luddite can siphon electricity and deaden electronics, be careful. Guys."

OOC: My main goal: keep Luddite busy: either protect others (including Archer) from him, or if he focuses his attacks on me, I'll return the favor, assuming I can.


Kairos speaks up: "Gentlemen, now is not the time to fight. A good general knows when to fight and when to retreat and this is a time for retreat. This thing before us is so arrogant as to believe he will outlive us and that we can do nothing against him. Let's leave here now. We can accomplish nothing as we are but time is on our side more than his, though he knows it not. I'll not rage futile war and perish for naught when the foe himself gives me ample time to recover and gain strength and plan against him. Chronos is on MY side and Nike will bless ME with victory, of that I have no doubt. Farewell, Black Bat...I will be seeing you again."

Kairos will then exit and try to find a way to the surface.


OOC GM Replies:
Hey Kairos, Did I detect a little pseudo-Shakespearean in there, ala Thor or the Surfer? Nice. :)

Stephane wrote: I'll start by saying: Jeff, you sir, are a shit disturber.
GM: I had to look that phrase up cause I'm not Canadian. Having done so, I think I may be guilty as charged.

Stephane: You had to send Scott there. Damnit, he's been pinning away for something like 8 issues on that dead girl and you give him Luddite like that?! Bastard. Each one of us with a bone to pick with each of the present people?
GM: Hey I can't help that you three have no defenses against mental domination! ;)
Seriously, I originally thought that only two of you three would have a personal stake in this issue. Then Greg/Symbiote reminded me that Hal's dad was a NYPD cop and I allowed the third coincidence. (Although Strike's situation wasn't a coincidence. Bat did it on purpose) This kind of thing is in keeping with the Silver Age (the Green Goblin turns out to be Parker's friend's dad?!) and adds some fun and drama, I hope.

Lightning Strike:
Freed from Bat's control, Lightning Strike had conflicting emotions, he wanted to bring Caine to justice but did not want to be anyone's pawn and certainly did not want to aid the Black Bat. Still, eliminating Caine would reduce the criminal element by one and hopefully the remainder of Vanguard could take down the Bat.

Strike speaks to Archer, "Luddite is a wanted felon responsible for at least two deaths. Caine certainly keeps interesting company. Keep your head down while we take him out."

LS turns to face the oncoming Luddite and says "The time has come for retribution. You will pay for what you have done and I will enjoy watching you burn." Strike lets off a blast of electricity at Luddite.

After letting off the blast, Strike scans the room for computers.
After the battle, Strike would love to get into Caine's network.

That's all for now.