Inhuman traveled to Congo with the Ani-Men: the hyper-intelligent Owl, Monarch the butterfly man, Centipede the writhing ghastly multi-limbed horror, Ratman the back-stabbing little twit, and Slugg the grotesque gastropod! Inhuman had not seen the Primate since boarding.
An hour into the 15 hour journey, Monarch said: “Owl, I’ve lost contact with the other saucer!”
The Owl and Centipede joined the human butterfly. They tried to raise the other ship without success. A hush fell over the bridge.
Then the Owl said calmly, “Inhuman, you said that you were willing to brief and train us how to combat Vanguard? I think that time has come.”
Inhuman looked at the varied expressions on his associates, he knew this wasn't going to be easy however it had to be done. "I have to know the Strengths and Weaknesses of you guys" expecting an immediate show of resistance the Fishy Fighter hurried on "If Symbiote, who may be the most powerful of the Vain-Guard, duplicates any one of you guys a less difficult way to bring him down when he has the powers and weaknesses of you guys may be necessary."
Inhuman received the reaction he expected. Owl quelled the rebellion and the calls for Inhuman’s head with: “If such an event should transpire, the one whose powers were duplicated shall immediately inform the others how to take down Symbiote. Fair enough?”
The Ani-Men grudgingly accepted this, but glowered at Inhuman.
Inhuman said, "Owl, any sign of something unusual in the animal world that could be construed a coming from Black Bat? or is the Bold Bloodsucker being canny?"
(OOC: FYI, To the public at large, the Black Bat was assumed destroyed by the Freedom Force decades ago. His return has been kept secret from the public. Do you still want to ask this question? Thanks.)
Inhuman looked directly at Owl "The faster I can get an inventory of what we have at the base that I can use trap-wise as well as a base layout the better, assuming you guys aren't ready to share.
The Owl said proudly, “Very well. Once we’ve arrived, I can give you a tour of the construction. You will find it well defended.”
Inhuman said: "Speaking of training up for these guys, do we have a way to heal up before we meet with them? I'm a little Crispy from the Slugg here and Slugg would probably be happier if he wasn't hurting so much."
The Owl said, “There is a medical center at the base but I can tend to your wounds now.” (OOC: the Owl has medical training. Double your healing rate by the time the ship lands.)
When Inhuman gave his breakdown of Vanguard, and his recommendations for preferred targets, the Ani-Men listened closely.
Hours later, Sub-Saharan Africa was beneath them. Smoke plumes marked the human cities, just like Europe. During the flight, Inhuman overheard the following:
Ratman was sowing dissent to Slugg without knowing that Inhuman could overhear. “I tell ya, Vanguard wiped out the advance force. How soon before they arrive here?!” Slugg was noncommittal, but the two were the only CHESS Castle escapees left.
The Owl designed the Primate’s base.
Monarch said quietly to Centipede, “Europe is down. After we defeat Vanguard, we’ll need to return.” The Centipede replied: “Or else, move directly to Phase Two.”
The Primate’s family was murdered by Men in Congo.
There are other Ani-Men at the Primate’s base. Inhuman doesn’t hear who they are.
When they were an hour from their final destination, the Owl pedantically stated:
“The Primate’s lair is a small volcanic island within Lake Tanganyika, the third largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, and the second deepest. The immense water body divides four countries – Burundi, Congo, Tanzania and Zambia.
“On the lake are the Virunga Mountains, a chain of volcanic mountains that are home of the mountain gorilla, critically endangered due to habitat loss, poaching, disease, and war. The Second Congo War, beginning in 1990’s, devastated the country greatly and involved seven foreign armies and is sometimes referred to as the "African World War". In eastern Congo, the prevalence and intensity of rape and other sexual violence is described as the worst in the world, even for humans. The war is the world's deadliest conflict since World War II, killing 5.4 million people so far.”
The tone of the Owl’s voice was venomous as he spoke of Man’s predilection for warfare.
To be continued!
Replies? Actions before you land?
Current Condition: Inhuman: Hit Points: 15 Power Points: 60
(at the end of the Owl's Congo Commentary Inhuman will toss in "nothing like living next to a cesspool to remind you of what lofty goals we need to keep".
OOC: Haven't I already revealed to the Ani-men that The Black Bat is the greatest weakness of Vanguard?
OOC: does Symbiote's outward appearance appear to be altered by the set of powers he possesses?
OOC: i will keep an eye on the Owl for anything suspicious he may do while treating me. (Slipping something extra in the bandages, 'extra medication', etc...)
Inhuman will continue to talk to the Owl while he is receiving medical attention from Cyberised Comrade :
"I think I remembered another possible weakness of Symbiote" Inhuman tapped his chin with one of his long fingers "there may be an inability to duplicate mystical abilities, does anyone on our side have some of those?"
"As a general thought, how much of the base has electricity to it? Lightning Strike unlike real Lightning does strike in the same place more than twice."
Near the end of the treatment Inhuman lowers his voice "Look, at best Vainguard is 24 hours behind us. At worst one hour. Personally i'm betting 6-8 hours. After this ship lands we need to come up with good ideas to keep them off of our backs. i would start with how you keep invaders from the African War off of our backs and build up from there."
"If Chess believes that Phase 2 is worse than Phase 1, all that running away is going to do is to buy them more time to call in more resources. I have to assume that Phase two is more powerful than setting off nukes, after all you left one behind."
Inhuman gives the Owl his most determined killer whale look "Is there any other resources you are willing to let me know about now so that I can have more time to plan? Time is rapidly becoming the enemy."
OOC; During the trip will
1. take a shower
2.come up with a way to safely, discretely and effectively transport the salt cube (melting it and reforming it into a suitable form if necessary).
3. See If I can't come up with a way to 'say the wrong thing' to Ratman and possibly Slug to get them to slink away. does my social research suggest anything? (yeah kinda a reach here, I can probably come up with something myself I just am looking to see if there is GM input into something safer to say)