Vanguard Roll Call!

Vanguard Roll Call!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Vanguard: Issue 101: Homecoming.

Vanguard Vault, New York City, before dawn

The Soviet Star was over Manhattan. It was before dawn and the city was dark! They were on final approach to a darkened Empire State Building. The hangar door opened on the 85th floor and inside the hangar was pitch black! (J-1 on the Map) The Soviet Star touched down inside and then lost all power! Nemesis remained lifeless and the signal continued.

Mother Russia tore open the rear hatch like it was tissue paper.

Vanguard’s home was dark, silent and foreboding.
Manetti looked out into the eerie stillness. “Great. Now what?”

Siberian accepted Vanguard’s request for aid. But he offered no information to Symbiote’s request. The Soviet Super Soldier’s would stay to see this mystery solved!
When Soldier put out his hand, Polar Bear took it.

Avatar manifested Apollo’s power of sunlight and illuminated the hangar and everyone left the Soviet Star.

The silent darkness reminded Slingshot of the Luddite’s ability to deaden technology.

Talon, Soldier, Sentinel and Lightning Strike scanned the perimeter with their extranormal senses and found it devoid of other people. Cosmonaut may have done likewise but Vanguard couldn’t be sure.

Strike, Sentinel and Shelley perceived the silent signal emanating from Nemesis into the building, interacting with its electronic systems!
They also saw that not only was power out, but it was being funneled to a massive energy source in or near the Computer Lab on the lowest level of the Vanguard Vault. (82nd floor, C-1)
That wasn’t all. That’s where the city’s power was going. The Empire State Building was the center nexus of a massive power vortex!
Strike feared that if he transformed into electricity and entered the Vault’s systems, he would be swept away in that raging surge of power, like a child in a roaring flash flood!

This was not how the Luddite’s power worked. This was something new.

Symbiote handed out working flashlights from a locker in the hangar. Vanguard’s communicators were likewise powered but spotty, with all the crackling energy in the vicinity! They could not raise anyone.
Vanguard knew that only a skeleton force of CHESS personnel were on duty at this hour.

‘Siberian’ suggested dividing forces, to scour the entire Vanguard Vault. After a brief discussion, Vanguard and the Soviets divide in half to make sure none of them are at a disadvantage vs. each other.

Lightning Strike, Slingshot, Soldier, Talon, Shelley and Mother Russia, Polar Bear, and Accelerator will go to the Electronics Lab in search of Nanite. Slingshot took stewardship of the motionless Nemesis.
Sentinel would telepathically monitor Nemesis’ location as long as he remained within the range of his metal powers.

Forester decides to thoroughly search the rest of the base to ensure there is no one else here, as security is down. The quixotic quiver man believes he can best do that alone. “Good luck everyone,” he smiles.

Avatar, Sentinel, Symbiote and ‘Siberian,’ Cosmonaut and Shatter are going to the infirmary with ‘Clone’ (unconscious) and Manetti (injured). Clone knows that Cosmonaut and Shatter are Siberian loyalists and accustomed to acting as his personal guard. If ‘Siberian’ insists on a lopsided divide, he fears it may give him away! ‘Siberian’ was stuck! Cosmonaut carried the unconscious ‘Clone.’

The infirmary team took the stairwell near the North East corner of the building out of the hangar and down (parallel vertical lines in the upper right of each floorplan).

By the time they reached were between the 84th and 83rd floors, ‘Clone’ was stirring in Cosmonaut’s arms Wait. Cosmonaut was waking him!
“Traitorous Ukrainian dog,” swore Cosmonaut in anger at ‘Siberian.’
“You are not this team’s leader. You are Clone! Did you think my amazing sensors would miss the cybernetic implants of our team’s glorious leader?!

“Clone” was awake now and the area near him grew colder! Ice was beginning to form on his body!

Vanguard now knew that Clone and Siberian had switched places, against Siberian’s will! But why?

“Kill that traitor,” commanded the real Siberian, pointing at the real Clone! Cosmonaut and Shatter were happy to obey!

OOC: Actions for two actions of combat please! You’re in a tight, dark stairwell illuminated by Avatar and your flashlights!
Meanwhile, the other strike team had halted just outside the double doors on the south wall of the hangar. They were planning to descend in the dead elevator shaft in the SE corner of the building. But in the hall, they found a body on the ground! He was a Rook, unconscious and alive. Soldier’s training told him the Rook had been electrocuted! Polar Bear concurred; he smelled ozone in the air.

Accelerator smirked, “Um… on second thought, maybe I will take Symbozo up on his offer.” Then the slacker speed demon hurtled back the way they came, out the open hangar door and down the side of the darkened stone tower of the Empire State Building at blinding speed. Before anyone could act, he was beyond their sensory range and gone into the darkness of New York City!

Mother Russia sighed and cursed.

Then Polar Bear, Soldier and Talon detected something up ahead in the living quarters on the 85th floor (Room marked Q, southeast corner of building, adjacent to the elevator)

The team prepared itself and burst in!

“Good morning,” said Silas Caine! The richest man in the world sat calmly, as if he had been waiting for them. He held a flashlight and an old fashioned walkie talkie.
Lightning Strike believed this man had directed the Luddite to sabotage the lab that killed his wife and transformed him into the vigilante of voltage. Vanguard knew Caine was reputed to have had control of the Five Bosses of Big City’s underworld before the Black Bat tore them down.

“You can stand down now. I’m unarmed.

“Now… I’ll try to state this simply so that you may understand… you are all about to destroy the world.

“You’re bringing Nemesis to Nanite. Who do you think that benefits? Who has been guiding you?

“The poor man you called the Luddite was correct, in his way. There is a consciousness from Outside our universe that is trying to get in. Our plane of existence rejects “Him” as a body rejects an incompatible organ. But for whatever reason, cyberspace is condusive to his existence; it must share similar properties with His home dimension. He can see even through it, but not much more… yet.”

Vanguard realized there were no security cameras in this vicinity. Did Caine know? Is that why he choose this area? They recalled the Luddite’s journal all too well:
“…over the last 90 years an insidious invasion of what is benignly called technology, most dangerous of all the so-called internet revolution, is in actuality a malignant and guided transformation of human nature itself, preparing it for its dark fate…”

“…through my abilities, I have been chosen, blessed and cursed to stand alone against this secret enslavement of mankind… all technology is my enemy now…”

“Every silicon chip is another bacterium that invades and infects this dimension. Every computer screen is a portal through which they can see. And humanity is building these infectious portals as fast as its fingers will allow.”

Caine’s persona was unlike the one portrayed on television or even in his office with Police Detective Hank Archer the day the Luddite died. This man seemed much more capable.

“The more the digital world expands, the more our universe can accommodate His coming.
The constructs, Nemesis and Nanite, are his instruments. His Adam and Eve you might say.
Nanite’s death would have delayed, perhaps even prevented, His coming. But now you’re about to undo all that. Stop. I implore you.” Caine’s voice was deadly quiet.

“If our world is going to live, then Nemesis must be destroyed.”

The artificial man lay lifeless in the arms of Vanguard, still transmitting the Silent Signal. Mother Russia looked from the capitalist to ‘the Nemesis weapon’ to Vanguard. So did Shelly Harper.

Caine said, “Sacrifices must be made for the sake of the human race… you remember them. I’m asking you to help me save the world. You are “superheroes” after all. That IS what you do, right?”

OOC: Replies/Actions?!



Current Locations: (see map!)

Avatar, Sentinel, Symbiote, Manetti and Siberian, Cosmonaut, Clone and Shatter were on the way to the infirmary and are currently at in the NE stairwell between floors 84 and 83. Sentinel can still sense where Nemesis is located. (His telepathic range is 750 feet)

Forester is searching the rest of the base. Exact location unknown.

Lightning Strike, Slingshot, Soldier, Talon, Shelley and Mother Russia and Polar Bear were on the way to the Electronics Lab and are currently in Room Q on the SE side of the 85th floor. Silas Caine is with them and Slingshot has stewardship of the motionless Nemesis.

Current Conditions:

Avatar: Hit Points: 40, Power Points: 41, Manifestation: Apollo: Light Powers

Forester: Hit Points: 23, Power Points: 68, Arrows Used: Parachute, Scentx2, Sonic, Acid, Flare, Impact

Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 25, Power Points: 73

Sentinel: Hit Points: 18, Power Points: 39, Creation Points: 78, Shields: 78%

Slingshot: Hit Points: 36, Power Points: 88, Invulnerability: 8

Soldier: Hit Points: 39, Power Points: 73, Invulnerability: 8
Symbiote: Hit Points: 70, Power Points: 99, Charges: 10, Copied Russia: S:60 E:22 A:18 I:25 C:13 Invul:8

Talon: Hit Points: 28, Power Points: 75

Clone: Total Bodies: 1. Hit Points: 8, Power Points: 51, Total Hit Point Pool: 8


Light Control attacks on Siberian for the next two actions. I'd like to hit him before he generates ice armor.


IC: You know, I have had just about enough of this crap, Hal thought to himself as he prepared for the Soviet Super Soldier's attack. Three times we've extended the olive branch to these people, and three times we've had it knocked out of our hands. I'm ready to take that olive branch and shove it up their big, fat, Commie....

Decorum prevents me from completing Symbiote's thoughts, Faithful Reader. Suffice it to say his normal patience has now expired. He'll attack Cosmonaut with all of Mother Russia's borrowed fury, determined to inflict maximum damage on the Stellar Soviet's armor and hopefully render the man inside harmless.

Viva Vanguard,


Hello Everyone,
IC: Talon steps toward Caine and growls, "It takes a lot of nerve for you to come into our home without invitation, and then insult us before explaining that we should kill the man we just travelled half a world away to rescue!". " What evidence can you provide that proves your statement is true?" Talon moves in close to Caine so he can react to any actions he might take, and to watch his facial expression when pressured so that he might be able to detect if he might be lying at any time.

OOC: Depending on his answer, we might split our group yet again. One group to watch Caine. Another to continue the search of The Vault to gain more information and to assess damage. Any opinions?

Thank You,


Had Kirk been monitoring Hal's thoughts he'd have found they were echoing his own anger and frustration. He realized that Hal must have picked up some clue of this situation, even though Kirk had missed it.

Kirk read the body language of his teammates realizing they were moving to attack Siberian and Cosmonaut; it was a good strategy to take them out of action given that they'd both taken damage in the previous battle and his teammates were powerhouses.

However that left Kirk to keep the wildcard Shatter occupied. Had Kirk been able to recoup from the last battle he would have been unfazed and ready, at his current power levels and given the unknown capabilities of his combatant he thought another approach more prudent.

As the battle erupted Kirk crossed his legs assuming an apparently non-combative position and glided towards Shatter his hand pensively rubbing his chin as if in thought.

Kirk said to Shatter,
"Really? You follow this man (pointing towards Siberian)? His undisciplined arrogance caused his defeat in the prior battle. He is unable to maintain the loyalty of his team as is evident from his current predicament. And his action here questions whether he can even comprehend the scientific world altering event about to occur nearby.

Meanwhile, you emerge from the battle unscathed. Obviously you are more powerful than he ... that was your power that utterly obliterated our craft, wasn't it? (Kirk would love to get a response on this)
Surely if his ineptness led to his capture on US soil there would be someone better qualified, someone more worthy to assume leadership of the Soviet Super Soldiers upon returning home...

Kirk will try this approach, depending on Shatter's reception he will go with the whole speech or abandon it. If he can keep Shatter from the battle all the better, perhaps he does have aspirations of his own and would be happy for the opportunity to move up in the ranks ... or perhaps he is more interested in the events taking place in the other end of the base and would like to witness those events as a scientist.

Kirk was extremely reluctant to give up the body of Nemesis and wants to get back to the rest of Vanguard - the less time they have to waste with the internal affairs of the SSS, the better.

Will depend on the reaction of Shatter and his decision. Kirk would love to piggy-back his attacks with those of his teammates (ala Forrester's battle technique) and actually not attack Shatter and hopefully help take out Siberian or Cosmonaut. He could coordinate his attack to go at the moment of Avatar given the light show Avatar will have at this point, Kirk's attack might manage to go undetected if he turned his energy 'clear' and the enemy was distracted by Avatar's light attack.
If it seems like that won't be happening then Kirk would try to hold his actions to see what Shatter would do - he could evade an attack of his at the last moment, or perhaps if he senses that Shatter is about to attack him, hit him first hoping to throw off his attack.

It is appears that Shatter isn't going to 'buy' Kirk's logic at this point, or he's just a lunatic and is going to attack then he'd do his best to preempt him and hit him first.

As the battle begins, if Kirk can use some of his movement to move the injured Manetti down the hall and out of the battle range and further injury, he will do so.

Given that we have two actions to cover - if you want to give me some additional if... then scenarios that you don't think I've covered, fire away.

Viva Vanguard!



Well - I guess the cat . . . or in this case 'the Clone' . . . is out of the bag. Clone's initial reaction would be disbelief and fear ( for his family's safety - not his own ). This would quickly try into rage and determination ( he fears that Siberian will punish his family for his actions, and he won't allow that to happen ) as he splits into five duplicates. There are no funny little quips in broken English or attempts at a peaceful resolution for Clone in this fight - this one is for the whole bowl of borscht!!!
One of the Clones will do his best to help Manetti get to a safe location. The other four will attack Siberian and Cosmonaut. They will do their best to form a solid line across the stair case and try to charge the two like a football team ( depending on everyone is set up in the stair case of course ). One will attack Siberian - since Clone knows that he's been beaten like a 'red headed step child' for the whole flight to New York he's confident that one duplicate can take him down. The other three will gang pile on Cosmonaut like a pack of rabid wolves - dragging him to the ground and working him over like he owes them money! As far as Clone is concerned - THIS ends here! In his current state of mind he's convinced if the SSS win this fight that they'll go for his family back home next. He sees this fight as 'all or nothing'.
So in conclusion - one Clone will try to help Manetti get out of harms way, and the other four will go 'Helter Skelter' for two actions on Siberian and Cosmonaut. If it only takes the one Clone a single action to help get Manetti to a safe location then he will either join his fellow Clones in the melee ( where needed most ) OR 'rejoin' with a wounded Clone duplicate in hopes of replenishing the "human collective's" Hit Points.


[ooc]Sorry for the last minute. This is a conundrum that I do not like and that's entirely why (for a change) I've been slow to respond.[/ooc]

[ic]Slingshot looks at Caine. His animosity of the man is very real. He was the reason why Nanite was killed. On the other hand, Nemesis did take control of the ship and put us exactly here. Just as Nanite, miraculously, came awake.

Looking at the darkness surrounding them and the lack of cameras, he cannot help but think that it's all Caine's doing to stay "safe" from this thing he's rambling on about. Then again, after seeing what he's done to Vanguard with his PR machine, how can you trust such a man?

He's entirely too calm and collected. This feels like a setup. If he's that afraid, then let's see what he's willing to do about it.

Slingshot's demeanor changes as if he's come to a decision. He keeps his eyes riveted on Caine. He absorbs Nemesis within himself as if to protect it from the mafioso and proceeds to walk towards his original destination.

[ooc] Here are the options. The main thing is that Slingshot doesn't trust him. If this man is afraid of the devil's coming, he knows that he won't be able to escape from it for very long. So he's likely going to be very desperate about keeping the two androids apart.

That's what Slingshot's looking for. Clear and unadulterated fear and desperation. Something that shows real concern versus measured calculation from the man. Only then, will he trust what he just said.

So assuming he sees only the calculated version, then he'll just go on to his intended destination (especially the locking up part of it, no reason to let him run away. Not being stupid, I would likely tie him with something strong, such as metal tubes/rope something that would take very super human strength to break through).

If he sees the desperate, fear, some sort of real emotion from the man, then he will stop and ask for further information. These are androids. robots. They can be rebuilt. How can you destroy them in such as way that will avoid this thing from coming?

This assumes, I'm not getting into a fight. Then it's Clobbering time!


OOC: If it's not too late I will withdraw my statements and follow Slingshot's lead. Talon will place himself between Caine and the rest of our group to try and control any action that might take place.



Denny, because of Talon's weakness, Low Self Control, I'll roll vs Int on d20 for Talon to alter his more emotional, initial response into your second choice, and I'll include the outcome in the coming issue.



Lightning Strike:
Hi all,
I have sufficiently recovered from my coma (11 Hours of sleep will do that).
Here is Strike's tardy action.

Strike confronted Caine immediately. "What proof do you offer for your accusations? The scribblings of a madman. You yourself have profited from the very things you say are going to destroy our world. Nemesis served this world bravely and prevented its destruction. "

Strike continues his questioning. "How did you manage to enter Vanguard Headquarters? What makes you so altruistic now? You have never shown much interest in saving humanity before. Controlling us maybe, but never saving us." He walks to Caine and demands that he show Strike the source of this energy drain. "Before we can even look at Nanite and Nemesis, we need to stop this electrical drain. Give me more details of our current situation and we can decide if your story is plausible."

Strike will allow Caine to show him and the group more of what is going on but will not allow him anywhere near Nemesis.

OK, that should do it for now.

Happy Black Friday!


OK, let's try this again. As I'm not familiar with Mr. Caine, or his history with the team. Soldier will ask Caine.

IC: "What happened to the Rook? And what are you rambling on about?"

As he doesn't trust him, he’ll move to position himself between Caine, and the downed Rook. If Caine continues to talk, he'll let everyone know he's planning on trying to revive the Rook, if he can't do that successfully, he'll try to get home to medical. If it looks like there's going to be fight, he'll try to shield the Rook from harm.