Vanguard Roll Call!

Vanguard Roll Call!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Vanguard: Issue 138: Deus Ex Machina.

Vanguard was trapped in Limbo, or something very much like it. A legendary dimension where the lost and displaced existed beyond time and space. There was said to be no way out.

With few other choices, Vanguard began to explore this barren realm, the latest in a long line that they had recently traveled to. They were careful not to lose sight of each other. There was no sun or stars that they could ever detect and when Talon flew upward he only found more endless grey fog.

An eternity passed, or so it seemed, but the interdimensional explorers knew neither hunger nor thirst. Their beards did not grow. Nor did they heal. It seemed this world had an eerie, supernatural inertia that held them in a kind of living stasis. A grey, twilight existence.

All searching was fruitless, and hope was all but gone when they finally encountered another living soul.

One hundred feet away, they saw an older man in a fetal position on the grey ground. Alone. He was dressed in a white shirt and pants and he was alive.

As Vanguard carefully approached, they saw that the white pants and shirt were attached. The lone figure was wearing a superhero costume!

The costume resembled that of Dynamo, the uncanny, unpredictable leader of the long lost Freedom Force! He was known to possess invulnerability, strength, agility and was an expert HTH combatant.

Formed in 1980, the Freedom Force was the world’s pre-eminent superhero team, comprised of Earth’s mightiest heroes (like the JLA or Avengers), and battled the deadliest supervillains known to mankind! They sparked the second age of heroes on Earth. The first was during WWII, the third was led by Vanguard!

In 2004, the Freedom Force went missing during the alien S’korian Empire’s invasion of Earth. The FF launched a counter-attack against the invasion fleet and their leader, Eon the Eternal, a black celestial with the power to travel through time! Their efforts must have succeeded; the alien ships left the solar system but the Freedom Force were missing! (See superhero history on the game blog)

Vanguard had found Nemesis, the super-intelligent android member of the Freedom Force, in the ruins of the Temple of the Inhumans in the Lost Lands of Antarctica. By scanning Nemesis’s frozen mind, Sentinel had seen that the Freedom Force encountered the sinister celestial, Eon the Eternal, at the Dawn of Time. There was another with them, whom Nemesis watched with suspicion even though he fought alongside the Freedom Force. Somehow Sentinel could not see this stranger.

They battled within the Big Bang, the universe expanding all around them! Eon smote Dynamo’s ruin across the face of a monolithic asteroid and then targeted Nemesis, transporting the avenging android through the corridors of time! From Nemesis, they learned nothing more of what transpired between the Freedom Force and Eon the Eternal!
(See the classic Vanguard issues 95-98, available now in the 50 cent boxes of your local comic store)

Vanguard had encountered no other survivors of the Freedom Force, until now!

Dynamo’s costume had been grey with white accents, and now the color scheme was reversed!

Historically a figure of great energy and vitality, Dynamo seemed to be almost elderly now and when Vanguard approached, he pulled his mask/hood over his face and stood up with what dignity and bearing he could still muster. His cloudy eyes tried to focus and he stammered, “Who… who… are you? Am I dead yet?”

Sentinel replied, “My name is Kirk and I’m known as the Sentinel of my generation.  These are my teammates and together we are known as Vanguard.  We are the successor of the superhero team known as the Freedom Force of whom we think you are very familiar.”

“As to your second question,” and Kirk smiled and continued, “We sure hope not because if you are, then we are too, and we’ve got too many people counting on us for that to be the case.”

“We just arrived here and are looking for a way out.  Time seems to flow different here, but have you just arrived also?  Do you know who you are?  What do you know about this place?”

The cosmic castaway seemed confused and excited to see so many others. He shook any hands that were extended and answered. His voice was dry and cracked, as if he hadn't spoken for years. "...Dynamo... This place is a prison... my mind... time goes on forever here... I... I have been here longer than I can remember.... where are you from?..."
Sentinel asked if the colors of his costume were always that way.

Dynamo looked down at his chest. "Colors?... I... don't know... I don't... remember..."

Sentinel continued: “We’re also from earth; the time period shortly after yours.  We became involved in an interdimensional mission and things went awry and we found ourselves here. 

“Rest assured, you are not alone now.  Together we are going to figure this out.  We’re going to escape this place.  And there’s no way we’d leave Dynamo behind.”

Dynamo smiled at Sentinel's words. His mind seemed to be rallying, awakening, from having someone to talk to after all that time.

Sentinel said, “We know that you and your team went on a mission and never returned.  I know it’s difficult, but what’s the last thing you remember before coming here?  Do you remember how you got here?  Other than the grey that is seemingly endless we’ve found nothing else here, have you encountered anything or anyone else before us?”

Avatar, Lightning Strike, Symbiote and Zephyr also questioned Dynamo on the events that led up to his being here, desperate to find a clue out of this place. Strike said, “If we can piece together what happened to him, then perhaps we can figure out a way out of this place.  Logic dictates that if there was a way in to this place, there must be a way out and since Dynamo obviously did not utilize a gate then there must be multiple ways to get here.  If we can find the common factors it may give us a clue.”

Dynamo looked off into the distance, lost in ancient memories. He tried to remember. "We... we had to stop Eon... and the S'Korian invasion...   ...Eon,,, had some ultimate weapon.... powered by a black hole... We defeated him... at the Dawn of Time itself!... saved the Earth... and with his last breath Eon scattered... we survivors.... across Time. Let the years take their toll.... consume us...
You're from... the 20th century? ...The 21st? ...I've been trapped here... since the Dawn of Time....
I've seen nothing and no one... for millions of years?..." his eyes seemed even more distant.
"I ... I have forgotten so much...."

Nothing Dynamo said was in conflict with the sequence of events as Vanguard understood them.
Sentinel gently mentioned that Dynamo looked older than they imagined him to. They showed him his reflection in Shelley's compact.

Dynamo's eyes widened in disbelief. "...Didn't think... I could age in this purgatory.... Guess there's... another first for me..." he smiled grimly. Then, with a start: "The Freedom Force... did any survive?..."

Sentinel couldn't contain himself any longer, turning to Vanguard he said, "Guys it’s him.  It’s really him!  We’ve found Dynamo.”
Then to the man himself: “We’re from the early 21st Century.  With the disappearance of your team, new heroes were brought together by Agent Grey to combat a menace he’d discovered.  With that initial success we decided to continue together to fight the good fight.  And one of the things we hoped to do was to discover what had happened to all of you, to the Freedom Force.  Thus far we’ve found Nemesis, and now you.”

Sentinel absorbed Dynamo’s words more fully.  “Since the dawn of time … I’m so sorry man.  Words can’t compensate for the sacrifice you’ve made.  But know this … you did it.  You saved earth.  You saved us all.  And your example inspired us.  You paved the way for the next generation of heroes.”
 Kirk would continue positive with Dynamo, this man deserved that and much, much more.

Clone listens carefully to the conversation taking place with the recently discovered superhero Dynamo. He has sympathy and pity in his heart for the man that now kneels before Vanguard. A once might superhero; broken by loneliness and isolation, imprisoned in a lifeless oubliette for committing an almost unimaginable act of true selflessness and self-sacrifice.

As the conversation between Sentinel and Dynamo progresses, Alexander pulls the crucifix he wears around his neck out from underneath the collar of his costume and kisses it. He prays ( OOC: silently / to himself ) that the Lord Almighty will have mercy on this mans soul and to help heal his damaged mind. He also asks the good Lord for guidance and understanding, “Such a place was never meant for good souls, Lord . . . please show us the way out of this world and into the one in which we; your humble servants, truly belong . . . Amen.” Finishing his prayer, he makes the sign of the cross over himself and places the crucifix back under his shirt.

Slingshot scouted the perimeter, trying to comprehend the rules of this world, trying to rethink everything they knew about this maddening prison. Sound seemed to travel the same way as Earth. He stopped and closed his eyes and tried to sense if anything was pulling him in any direction. Nothing happened. Then he felt it. His elastic form, its malleable nature perhaps more sensitive than others’, was being pulled toward Dynamo. Whether it was the metaphysics of this dimension that did this, or his own subconscious mind, he would never know.

Sentinel suggested that Menagerie, their resident sorcerer, lead Vanguard in a last ditch attempt to mentally or mystically reach out beyond this place!

Menagerie called all of Vanguard and the great Dynamo to gather. He intended going to merge their spirits in an attempt to reach the Spirit of Nature. He would call for a way out. Whether it is guidance, a guide, or gift; he doesn't care. He must save his friends, his inspiration for becoming a hero, Dynamo: the Freedom Force Leader, and his world!

The reaction ranged from enthusiastic to skeptical, but everyone was at least game enough to try. What did they have to lose?

Vanguard closed their eyes and concentrated! (15 power points each) Even without his mystic powers, Menagerie tried to focus the silent mental calls of the team of imprisoned heroes!

Then something happened.

Whether that something was an answer to Clone’s prayer, the hand of the Spirit of Nature, the combined will of so many heroes united, the inexplicable metaphysics of this bizarre realm, or just dumb luck would be debated for years to come!

Dynamo was suddenly limned in white light! He was more surprised than anyone. Dynamo, the uncanny, unpredictable hero who had earned a reputation for accomplishing the impossible time and again, looked down in wonder at his utility belt, which was actually called the Dyno-belt.
“… I still have it...” he said to himself, in disbelief.

Dynamo opened a compartment and produced a silver ring, whose non-Euclidean design was reminiscent of the otherworldly architecture of the City of Lost Gods. It was the source of the white glow.
He didn’t put it on, but held it. “… Eon’s ultimate weapon… I still have it!...” he gasped.

Talon muttered under his breath, “I knew we shoulda searched the old geezer.”
“Secure that disrespectful crap,” Soldier shot back at the avian antihero.

Dynamo didn’t hear them. “… been so long… I still have it... it had gone dormant… after we defeated him…. Anachronism had told us…. that it was so powerful… could never be destroyed … or contained …. Ring of Destiny?... No,.. Infinity? Ring of Eternity?... Anyway, I tried to use it before... many times…. To get out of here…. Never worked…. Until now….  Maybe I didn’t have enough… power on my own?...”

Dynamo looked at Vanguard.  “… You kids… you saved me….”

The ring grew brighter, like an engine awakening. Coming to life. The white light suddenly became a beam that scanned the eleven foreheads of the ring’s new masters. And it knew what they wanted.

And then they were gone. Just like that.
Far away, inside Vanguard Vault, two of the Datanauts destroyed the Gate to the Digital Zone, with Vanguard Alpha still in it!
One Datanaut fired a blast of energy from his hand at the gate. The energy blast had the same color and sound as Sentinel’s.
Another Datanaut stretched out a big massive fist and crashed it hard into the Gate! SLAM!
A third Datanaut said, as Vanguard dissolved out of existence, “We did it. We made it.”
The first Datanaut quickly logged into the computer terminal.
SHAKOW! SHAKOW! Two more Datanauts suddenly materialized! “We got ‘em,” one said.

Then, through the destroyed, dead gate came Vanguard Alpha… AGAIN!

“What?!” cried one of the Datanauts. ‘That’s impossible!”

Eon’s ultimate weapon had brought Vanguard here, and then suddenly stopped glowing. It went dead.

Vanguard’s devices, however, had power in them again! Limbo had not drained them, but had somehow neutralized them! Sentinel and Menagerie’s extranormal senses had returned. Slingshot could stretch again. All of Vanguard’s powers had returned, but none of them were currently active!

The sudden appearance of Datanauts, walls, machines, and ceiling overwhelmed the sensory-deprived heroes, who had just spent what seemed like an eternity surrounded by vast nothingness. It took Vanguard precious moments to recover. Dynamo was affected worst of all!

In that time, the element of complete and utter surprise was lost, and the Datanauts, in shock and angry disbelief, tore out of their Datanaut suits, revealing Vanguard Omega beneath them!

Symbiote Omega snarled, “I don’t know how you got back here, but if we’re gonna have to kill you with our own damn hands then we’re only too happy to oblige!"

To be continued!

Actions please, for your next TWO actions.

Welcome home.


Current Conditions:

Avatar: Hit Points: 58, Power Points: 46, Manifesting: none

Clone: Bodies: 1, Hit Points: 21, Power Points: 49, Hit Pool: 21

Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 47, Power Points: 70

Menagerie: Hit Points: 26, Power Points: 51, Form: Man

Sentinel, Hit Points: 30, Power Points: 55, Creation Points: 110, Shields: 0

Slingshot: Hit Points: 79, Power Points: 77, Invulnerability: 8

Soldier: Hit Points: 57, Power Points: 66, Invulnerability: 8

Symbiote: Hit Points: 40, Power Points: 65, Charges: 11, Copied: None

Talon: Hit Points: 55, Power Points: 72

Zephyr: Hit Points: 17, Power Points: 54, Charges: 11, Armor: 7


OOC: ... It's clobbering time!


OOC: Awesome issue!!!  Wonderful job, Jeff!

Quick question, Does it take an action to activate Menagerie's Willpower defense?



No, it takes 1/3 of his max movement to activate his Willpower defense.



OOC: How cool was this issue!

If ever an event called for the equivalent of 'Avengers Assemble' this is the time.  This is the place.  As much as I love Aunt Petunia's favorite nephew's battle cry, I so wish we had one here.  Anyone got one?

Ok, Jeff.  Sentinel Omega didn't think he'd have to deal with Sentinel Alpha and likely isn't expecting much of anything.  Kirk has known that if they were successful they were likely outgunned (ie Omega is older and more experienced) and that we needed an advantage to push things our way, what are the odds of instead of summoning his energy, he takes control of the present energy, that of Sentinel Omega?  Depriving the Omega group of their Kirk's power might turn the tide here ... and hell, we've got freakin Dynamo on our side.  WAHOO!

How would it work if i 'grabbed' his energy instead of summoning my own.  From my energy sense do I think his energy is, indeed, the same as my own and I have a shot at it?

Also, the Entity turned our headquarters into a nightmare against us, any chance we could get the security grids to turn on the Omega group.  I thought perhaps a quick reprogramming of things to search for their costumes and let the security systems attack them?!

Those were the two quick thoughts I had to turn the tide in our favor.

We rescued Dynamo!  How cool is that??? That is 'we found Captain America frozen in an ice block cool'!  We saved Superman who was lost in time cool!

Viva Vanguard! (Alpha)


(See the classic Vanguard issues 95-98, available now in the 50 cent boxes of your local comic store)

The fifty cent box?  Come on, everyone knows all available issues of Vanguard have been sent to CGC for grading and encapsulation and the stories are only available via digital download or through buying the reprint issues of Vanguard's Greatest Classics!



Did Freedom Force have a known battle cry? Since Dynamo was the one who saved us from being trapped in Limbo, and since we all respect him so much ( like you said - like finding Cap in the ice after all those decades ) - lets give the man ( and his old group ) the respect he deserves and charge in using a battle cry he would be proud of! I think it would be a BIG morale boost for the members of Vanguard and for Dynamo if Sentinel led the charge screaming it out ( whatever it is . . . ) - what do you think? Might also freak Omega out a bit, especially if they see Dynamo charging in behind us.


P.S. What exactly were Dynamo's powers any way?


OOC: It sounds good to me if the Freedom Force had one... Jeff? Tony?

I think last time we discussed this you said they didn't have one.

(I'd throw in 'Freedom Forever' as a retcon and with their last adventure with Eon; but don't think retconning a battle cry is appropriate)

It's not easy to come up with one.  Last time we tried to do so, Stephane came up with the great 'Viva Vanguard' that we've been using OOC but I don't think we've used it IC. 

For teams, nothing comes close to 'Avengers Assemble'.  The only other team I can think of in comics that had one is the Teen Titans.  I can't remember the one they used in the comics at this point, but when the cartoon was out a few years ago they switched it to 'Titans Together' which was better than what they had but nowhere near 'Avengers Assemble'.

On the individual end, nothing will ever come close to Benjamin J Grimm's 'It's Clobberin Time' in my mind.  But the Tick's 'Spoon' always does bring a smile to my face with a close second.

To show how hard it is to come up with one, I just remembered part of the dialogue (and looked up the rest) from thirty years ago from JLA #200 where Gerry Conway in one of his better moments (and undoubtedly in response to the Marvel/DC rivalry) tried to address it.  Frankly it amazes me that someone my mind recalled the issue from thirty years ago ... so it really must have struck me at the time (given that now when I'm on hold calling at work I sometimes forget why I was calling before coming off hold to speak with someone).

"They have no battle cry ... nor do they need one! ... They are fifteen of the greatest heroes this weary world has ever seen ... and their strength resides not in simple slogans, but in their very identity: for they are the Justice League!"

Like I said, still remember it thirty years later, but it really shows just how hard it is to come up with something memorable.



OOC: Thanks!

Replies to Seth/Sentinel:
Sentinel Omega's shields are not currently active. They would have been detected over the Datanaut suit.
fyi, Sentinel cannot use or manipulate other sources of energy than his own constructs (for example, Strike's lightning). This is an unprecedented situation.

If Sentinel wishes to alter the security protocols for Vanguard Vault, that will take time. The speed of this task would depend on how well he rolls vs. his Computer skill. fyi, each game issue of combat action encompasses 7.5 seconds.

BTW, as mentioned last issue, one of the Datanauts logged into the computer terminal. When Vanguard Alpha enters, they see this. When the Datanaut suits were torn off, it was revealed that this specific Datanaut was Sentinel Omega! (see map)
"Great minds think alike, but fools seldom differ" -Anonymous  ;)

Replies to Kev / Clone:
Can't remember a Freedom Force battle cry. "Freedom Force Fight!"? "Freedom Force Forever!"? Maybe Tony remembers.
I'll accept any appropriate alliterative invention.

Dynamo's powers: To quote from last ish, now slabbed and tagged and valued at $400 with a CGC grade of 9.6:
"...Dynamo, the uncanny, unpredictable leader of the long lost Freedom Force! He was known to possess invulnerability, strength, agility and was an expert HTH combatant."


PS: Aah, Gerry Conway was rationalizing. J

Me, I like superhero catchphrases and sound bites.
Stan Lee, tireless marketeer that he was, invented most of them:

"It's Clobbering Time!"
"Flame On!"
"Avengers Assemble!"
"friendly neighborhood Spider-Man!"
"I say thee nay!"
"Hulk smash!"
"By the Vishanti!"

On the other side, I always liked the Green Lantern oath, "... beware my power, Green Lantern's light!"
Beats the heck outta "Great Scott!'


OOC: (Ah, Gerry Conway was rationalizing.)

Yes, in hindsight I'd agree.  That's my point, they couldn't come up with a good one.


Actually I did forget "Flame On!" which is one cool battle cry too.
Stan is the man!

On the GL oath, naturally I'm far from impartial knowing both the Silver and Golden Age oaths by heart forever... but I will say I'm looking forward to seeing what causes the sound bite from the movie ads for the conclusion as he gutturally utters "Green Lantern's Light".  I don't much care for that part of it and I'm assuming there will be some extreme circumstance when he says it that way and look forward to the context to make it make sense to me since it doesn't sound like he'd say it normally.



Lightning Strike:
OOC: I don't think Freedom Force had a battle cry.  I only remember our battle strategy that we called the Freedom Force Shuffle where we each focused on one enemy with our attacks and then moved on to the next.  Of course when the villains used that strategy it didn't work out so well for us. 

I am still waiting for Blazon to show up some day!!  I loved that flaming motorcycle helmet!

By the way, where is Intercrime these days?

I will try to post on time this issue.


Re: Intercrime, the criminal elite:

The Freedom Force dismantled Intercrime, but good.
The first assault included the battle where the Mimic copied Storm Giant's size change power and their combined weight collapsed the floor of the skyscraper they were fighting in. That floor had just been covered with an ice slick by Glacier, one of the many supervillains that Intercrime had on their payroll. So, there was a full blown superhero battle going on and the floor gives out and everybody suddenly stops fighting and is clinging for dear life to a slick surface. I think Mimic died in that battle.

The second and final battle saw the Freedom Force invade Intercrime's secret New York City facility.

Intercrime was finished and the power vacuum in the underworld triggered a series of bloody gang wars resulting in the fracturing of organized crime nationally and, ultimately, the Five Bosses running Big City (ie: New York), and Silas Caine (allegedly) running the Five Bosses.

With the Bosses taken down by Vanguard, if anyone wanted to resurrect Intercrime, they'd better be ready to take on the Black Bat to do it!



OOC: Here is hoping that Vanguard Omega not being a team for several years balances things out for us.

 I have been trying to figure out what kind of team tactics I could support. Menagerie has one of the lower initiatives on the team.  He can activate his Willpower defense with just movement but it will take an action to change form. So he is not capable of leading the charge. 

While I am fan boy geeking on having us fighting our Omega counterparts, I know it isn't sound strategy.

So I have of 3 possible strategies for him.  Which do you think is best?

1) Menagerie is willing to be a rock for Slingshot. Maybe launching him into Clone.  I really think we need to take Clone out before he starts multiplying. All of Vanguard Omega is tough but in the close quarters Clone's Siberian Dogpile could really pen us in.

2) If the rest of the team thinks the Dynamo could be our difference maker. I would gladly have Menagerie turn into his bear form and protect Dynamo until he has recovered.

3) Menagerie follows up on a coordinated target.  For example, Slingshot, Sentinel, Avatar, and Zephyr all attack Talon Omega then Menagerie would attack as well.  While his HtH in human form isn't great, it could be the last few points of damage to finish Talon O.

If the team or the team leader decides on a different plan, Menagerie will stoically fulfill his mission.  Omega is going down!!!

Vanguard Vanquish!!



OOC: No worries Tom, Clone Alpha has a plan for Clone Omega - I've got him covered ;)


OOC: I agree with the tactic. We need to figure out who's the best to take who out. Let's plan out how we can neutralize ourselves the most effectively. Who can we take out fast and who will take time.

Slingshot, Soldier and Sentinel are going to be time wasters, or we will need to concentrate a lot of firepower to get to them (unless Sentinel's shields are down, then we should make certain we take him down ASAP). So we could wait for next turn to be able to take out the easier ones.

Which will we take out in our first round and which should we concentrate on in round two?


OOC: I'm assuming that both Clone Alpha and Clone Omega are the same genetically - if that assumption is correct, then Clone Alpha and his duplicates will start absorbing Clone Omega's duplicates as fast as he can make them, and at the same time start making his own duplicate army to take out the last Clone Omega standing.  Although Clone Omega might try the same thing - it might just boil down to the Alpha and Omega duplicates playing tag with each other - should be interesting to say the least lol ;)



OOC: Would it be okay if Menagerie hits Clone Omega while you are keeping him busy?



OOC: Hell Yeah! Kick his ass! I ain't greedy - more the merrier! =D


OOC: Jeff, what weapons are kept in HQ?  I'm thinking specifically of anything fire-related to deal more effectively with Slingshot Omega.

Regardless of your answer, Avatar will manifest Heightened Speed as his first action.  The rest will depend on what you tell me.


OOC: I was just thinking about what we were going to do with Vanguard Omega if we defeat them ( and I also have that story about a de-evolved Primate in my head as well, and how it effected Vanguard Omega ), and I had a really wild idea. What if we could re-open the gate to Limbo once this is all said and done ( assuming we beat Vanguard Omega that is ) and use it as a prison just like the Negative Zone was used in Marvel Comics?

It would definitely give new meaning to the phrase - Life in Prison!

Negative Zone -

Just something off the top of my head -



OOC:  or phantom zone for superman. Good idea. Nasty, but good.


Well if I can’t have a gorilla city, I would settle for a phantom zone.

Avatar/Harold: On the Vanguard Vault map, on the 83rd floor, is weapon and ammo storage. This has conventional firearms and CHESS energy weapons. Nothing flame related, but there are several labs, and other interesting options across the base, if someone wanted to invent a makeshift flame weapon.


OOC: Menagerie will use movement to activate his Willpower Defense first; He will follow the rest of Vanguard into the Vault!  He will watch his teammates’ attacks on Vanguard Omega. In his human form, He plans to attack Clone Omega.  His plan is to punch Clone Omega as he is busy fighting with Clone Alpha.  If Menagerie can get a “To Hit” chance of 60% or better he will do a special attack to Clone Omega’s head otherwise a basic HtH attack.

If the events leading up to Menagerie’s action on his phase make this attack unwise or meaningless. He will stay with Dynamo. He will take his Bear form.

IC: Standing behind his teammates facing Vanguard Omega, two memories enter Franks mind.  They are as opposing to each other as the dimensions he has experienced since joining Vanguard.
The first memory is of his favorite episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.  It’s about a Klingon raid into Cardassian space to strike at important Dominion targets and then disengage.  A cavalry raid.  The plan succeeds but for the forces to escape 1 ship has to stay and engage the 10 Jem’Hadar ships.  The 1 lone ship is able to disrupt and delay the enemy so the force can escape.  Frank realizes that Vanguard holds a similar function in this world.  They engage the threat so the world can escape.

The second memory is of his junior year in High School.  He was required to memorize Shakespeare.  The teacher assigns a different speech to each student.  They are required to present it to classmate.  Frank is assigned a speech from Henry V.  It is the speech known as King Henry V encourages his troops to take the city of Harfleur. Frank sees the similarities between the England Army’s siege of Harfleur and Vanguard’s efforts to retake their Vault.

Frank realizes that both memories and Vanguard has something else in common.  His favorite episode title is the first 5 words from King Henry V’s speech and the phrase’s meaning is Vanguard’s purpose.
“Once more unto the breach”

Menagerie steels his mind and centers his spirit.  His Will is prepared for battle.  He wants to rally his teammates. He wants to acknowledge their purpose, their greatness, and strike fear in their enemy’s hearts.  Flooded with memories and girded with resolve Menagerie yells!
“Vanguard into the Breach!”


OOC: Cool!


OOC: Thanks!!


“What?!” cried one of the Datanauts. ‘That’s impossible!”

“Guess you forgot that when it comes to fighting the good fight nothing is impossible! We always keep coming back … and this time we brought company! Vanguard, for our world, and for all its heroes who came before us and stood firm in the face of oppression and tyranny, with the spirit of the Freedom Force right here beside us, I say thee “Freedom Force Forever!”

(OOC: Or whatever retconned battle cry you choose here for the Freedom Force. Certainly that call belongs to you and Tony here and not us to make… and if not, I’d just go with Vanguard Assemble! We might as well just give up and ‘borrow’ the best team battle cry ever...)

Kirk will use his energy sense to lay out a grid of the room ala Daredevil’s radar sense. He’s done it before and this will allow him to ‘see’ (sense) what is happening around him to a large degree because his sight is likely going to be diverted to other tasks. Does Vanguard Omega’s energy signatures match Alpha? Or is there at least a slight variance (Kirk doesn’t need to check everyone, just a few to be aware as I know he’s trying to do a lot with his senses here).

Given that you’ve revealed Sentinel Omega just did something with the computers, Kirk thinks making sure it isn’t go hurt his teammates right now is priority one. It seems unlikely that Sentinel Omega would have thought to turn the defenses on Vanguard Alpha since they had virtually no reason to think we’d be back here and that its more likely he was locking out access to this systems, but Kirk needs to know.

Kirk will use his energy sense with the computers to probe the buffer as to what Sentinel Omega just did – I’m hoping by doing this it will cut down his time trying to access the systems since really, at this point, Kirk is bypassing the actual computer protocols and anything Omega did. If Kirk finds out that the computers have been set to go after his team, then he’ll have to spend the time to prevent it and he can hopefully at that point configure them to go after Omega instead.

As a backup to this and depending on what happens to him in the big battle Kirk will use the Vanguard communication language to signal to Soldier the possibility of turning the defenses on Omega, and if he discovers that Sentinel Alpha has actually turned the defensive on Vanguard Alpha, at least someone else who is familiar with the security protocols can try to access them and turn things around if Kirk cannot. Since this communication system was set up long after the time of the Animal Revolution and seemingly Vanguard Omega isn’t the close knit unit of Alpha, hopefully they won’t catch it or don’t have their own equivalent of it. (OOC: It seems appropriate that our efforts to create and learn this ‘language’ counts for something and gives us an advantage over them)


Kirk will pay attention to Omega’s summoning his energy. He wants to quickly see if they are drawing from the same source or if it is slightly different. It could be even if it’s the same source, there is a slight variance that attunes their unique energy to them. Kirk wants to be sure that if does summon his energy it isn’t somehow pulled away by Omega (and will be very prepared to defend against that), conversely he’d love to be able to pull Omega’s energy away and prevent him from using it against his teammates.

Assuming the above, Kirk’s first ‘action’ would be to summon his energy to get himself protected and ready for the battle. If it was necessary for Kirk to ‘work the computer systems’ he could then use his energy to surround himself and the computer unit giving him time to do the programming while protecting himself physically (and his energy senses would be feeding him a view of the room so he’d know what was taking place around him and if he was in serious danger of attack, so he’d ‘sense it’ even if he couldn’t ‘see it’).

I don’t know if it’s this issue or not but …

Finally, Kirk is absolutely ready to engage Omega... and he’s going to play on Omega’s weakness. Even if he ‘bought away’ his ‘fair play’ which I’m assuming has been done here (ie yes, I’m using game terms but I figure that had to be accomplished here for him to ‘go bad’) there is no way within his psyche he has overcome it totally. He just needs to be reminded by the right trigger … and Kirk fully knows what it is.

Kirk stares down his doppelganger with conviction in his eyes and strength in his heart. “How could you? I do get what happened … totally. But all that you’ve done since then. What would HE say? What would he think about the man you’ve become?”

“You don’t deserve to wear that symbol on your chest. You’ve disgraced it. And you’ve betrayed HIM and everything he stood for and wanted for you. You’ve besmirched his legacy.”

Assuming Kirk gets his shields up and has his powers to attack on the next action, if he is busy working the computers he can use his energy senses and perhaps wait for a moment to lash out an attack on unsuspecting foe or prevent a successful attack on a teammate (perhaps Dynamo if he isn’t full recovered).

If Kirk ends up empowered and directly engaging Omega early and sees an opening to successfully hit him (perhaps somehow Omega doesn’t get his shields up) then he would strike him, otherwise he’d try to keep him occupied and hopefully have Omega wasting his time on Kirk’s shield and Kirk would still use his attack against another foe.

And if Sentinel Omega actually realizes what he has actually become … all the better. He certainly could have been rationalizing all of his actions and when confronted with his past and what he is now, his delusional reasoning may give way to remorse and hopefully recompense (ok, maybe I’m asking for a lot here J  )

Let me know if all is clear or where I need to clarify things and if I need to choose some stuff other others more, but there a few items of concern and possibilities here and a lot depends on the info I get and how quick and what else happens in between.
Viva Vanguard!



Talon listens to Kirk's speech to Sentinel Omega as he takes a moment to appraise the members of Vanguard Omega. He understands that Sentinel and Zephyr Omega might possibly have a grasp of the computer system and that Soldier Omega presents as their closest guard.

"Why don't we stop lecturing these fools and give them the spanking their step-daddies should have dealt them when they were pups!" Talon growls through clenched teeth.

Claws bared, Talon rushes past his comrades and drives himself forward with a forceful burst from his wings to try and close the distance between Soldier Omega and himself.

OOC: Talon will try to position himself away from Zephyr Omega to keep Soldier between them and avoid taking a strike from her. He will focus all his strikes on Soldier while keeping himself close to avoid weapon hits and try to force him to fight hand-to-hand.

Viva Vanguard,


Are our communicators active currently or not.  If yes, figured I'd IM Grey, Drake,
and Ajay about what happened and that all hell is about to break loose and that
our evil counterparts have no qualms with using lethal force so to keep
reinforcements back, but be prepared.

If I can get an IM with pertinent info out quick, I'll do that first as protecting innocents has to be number one and while using his energy senses to 'grid' the room.  Second will be trying to read the computer buffer to figure out what Sentinel Omega did and during that time he'd try to signal Soldier (if possible).  Reading the buffer to determine the threat level is more important than signaling Soldier.  If he reads the buffer if it is anything that will hurt the team, he will alert them.  Once the threat is determined then he could signal Soldier if he hasn't time already (so if Kirk can't perhaps Soldier can).  Third would be trying to turn the systems against Vanguard Omega if that is possible and if possible given everything else happening ... but making sure the systems won't be attacking our team is important to determine.

The interaction with Sentinel Omega is ONLY if or when Kirk is confronted with him.  He's not looking for it immediately.  He'd rather get those other tasks done.  However he is ready for when it happens, and summoning his energy, which will be his first 'real' action along with reading the energy of Omega may cause it to happen sooner than he wants.  He is trying to be prepared for anything with Sentinel Omega like Omega trying to control his energy too - and there might be possibility that their energy fields just negate each other so their encountering  each other might end up being strictly hand to hand; he'd be ready for that too.

I absolutely understand he's going to be trying to juggle energy sense readings,with some physical movements, and then his 'attack actions' and he might not get to do it all, but you have what he will try at this point... and other interactions may prevent much of it too.

If I need to clarify further, let me know.


Lightning Strike:
Hi all,

Surprisingly Seth and I have similar strategies.  Strike was hoping to take electrical form and then take over the Vanguard security systems and aim them at Vanguard Omega.  Of course the risk is that is exactly what my counterpart would have done and thus rendering my action useless or falling into a trap. I seem to remember a similar dialog in The Princess Bride, which if I remember correctly I actually saw with Seth!!  Who says life doesn't go around in circles.

Anyway, I digress.    If Strike has a chance to look at either a computer display or a clock and realizes that too time has gone by, then he will focus on one of the counterparts that uses hand to hand combat.  If the clocks and indicators show that no or very limited time has elapsed then Strike will assume electrical form and attempt to take over the Vanguard defense systems and will focus them on his counterpart so that he is out of the picture. 

OOC:  I can see Jeff writing up an entire electrical saga having both Strike's fighting each other along the wires!!

Take care all,


I'll make this short and sweet.

OOC: I tried to read through the emails, but I vaguely recall that Sentinel Omega didn't have his shields up. If so, I'm gunning for him. If not, I'll go after Strike Omega or Symbiote Omega if he still has Strike's abilities.

IC: (if Sentinel has his shields down) Scott says to the gang: "Divide and conquer. Strike go for Soldier Omega. Soldier with me, Sentinel Omega while shields are down. Zephyr knock the one on the computer away.  Take them out fast."

IC: (if Sentinel has his shields up) Scott says to the gang: "Divide and conquer. Strike go for Soldier Omega. Soldier neutralize Clone Omega fast (disruptor rounds). Zephyr knock the one on the computer away. "


As Vanguard Alpha stepped through the portal and their battle cry rang out, a shiver ran down Clones spine. He remembered the stories he had heard as a child about epic battles between good and evil, and how; regardless of the odds against them, good would always triumph over evil in the end. This was one of those battles; the fate of the world would be determined by its outcome, and he would fight till the end to secure Vanguard Alpha’s victory.

Dividing into as many duplicates as possible, Alexander and his brigade of duplicates made their way towards the greatest enemy they felt they would ever have to face – their own dark future. Rushing in towards their enemy the replicating Russians universally thought to themselves, “How could this have happened? How could my heart have turned so dark?” The unanswered questions of self-doubt only strengthened their sense of determination however as they thought to themselves, “I will never allow this to happen! I will never become this man!”

With fists raised high and teeth clenched; the enemy was met and engaged, and it was himself. Clone knew that not only was he fighting for the survival of his world, but for the survival of his soul. This would be a fight to the finish and he was determined to win!
As I mentioned in one of my earlier e-mails, Clone’s basic strategy will be to divide up into as many Clones as possible and instead of actually fighting his duplicating doppelganger, he ( they ) will try to absorb Clone Omega’s duplicates – he’s assuming that they share the exact same DNA. He’s going to press the fight quickly; absorbing all of the duplicates that he can in hopes of defeating Clone Omega without even throwing a punch. He knows he has to do this quickly before Clone Omega realizes what he’s doing and tries to use the same tactic against him.

Should the fight take longer then expected, or if it seems that Clone Omega is using the same tactic, Clone Alpha will try his best to evade ( Evasion ) and then continue his assault of absorption.

Talk to you all soon,


OOC: Tony: Do you remember some words from the scene so I can try to google it to remember it? (Princess Bride scene)

I'm all good with you doing the computer system thing - if we can get it done, all the better and Kirk will shift his actions elsewhere.

Stephane: If you can take out Sentinel Omega, fantastic, but problem I see is that he'll be going before you unless he holds his action beyond his normal 'turn' - I would have held, but for the same reason, got to get defenses up quickly before taken out, so I doubt he'll wait.  My initial thought had been for you (as most invulnerable) to shield the teammates that needed an action to activate powers and defenses (Sentinel, Symbiote, Avatar) then we could all attack at full powers, but again, it wouldn't work because by the time you got to extend yourself to do it, the Omega team would have taken their initial actions.

I'm hoping here that Omega was on the run and coming from battle when they made the dimensional leap.  Otherwise on paper, we are in serious trouble here since some of our team isn't at full peak and they have ten years experience and such (not sure in game terms how that adds up) - only thing good is that they seem to be moving in synch with us (per prior issues) so perhaps they haven't 'leveled up' in game terms due to their 'evil' actions... I know virtually everyone else would understand that part of things better than me (ie the game rule stuff)

And Tony, why 'surprisingly'?  Great minds think alike ... and us too. :)



Lightning Strike:
Man in Black: All right. Where is the poison? The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you decide and we both drink, and find out who is right... and who is dead.
Vizzini: But it's so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you: are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet or his enemy's? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me
.Man in Black: You've made your decision then?
Vizzini: Not remotely. Because iocane comes from Australia, as everyone knows, and Australia is entirely peopled with criminals, and criminals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.
Man in Black: Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.
Vizzini: Wait till I get going! Now, where was I?
Man in Black: Australia.
Vizzini: Yes, Australia. And you must have suspected I would have known the powder's origin, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
Man in Black: You're just stalling now.
Vizzini: You'd like to think that, wouldn't you? You've beaten my giant, which means you're exceptionally strong, so you could've put the poison in your own goblet, trusting on your strength to save you, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But, you've also bested my Spaniard, which means you must have studied, and in studying you must have learned that man is mortal, so you would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
Man in Black: You're trying to trick me into giving away something. It won't work.
Man in Black: Then make your choice.
Vizzini: I will, and I choose - What in the world can that be?
Man in Black: [Vizzini gestures up and away from the table. Roberts looks. Vizzini swaps the goblets]
Man in Black: What? Where? I don't see anything.
Vizzini: Well, I- I could have sworn I saw something. No matter. First, let's drink. Me from my glass, and you from yours.
Man in Black,
Vizzini: [Vizzini and the Man in Black drink]
Man in Black: You guessed wrong.
Vizzini: You only think I guessed wrong! That's what's so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line"! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha...
Vizzini: [Vizzini stops suddenly, his smile frozen on his face and falls to the ground dead]
Buttercup: And to think, all that time it was your cup that was poisoned.
Man in Black: They were both poisoned. I spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder.


OOC: I've agonized over this one.  Hard to decide how to fight older, more experienced versions of ourselves, who presumably have at least a fair chance of guessing any move we make.  The "Princess Bride" scene is an apt analogy indeed.

But, if we're only doing one turn this round, that actually makes it a little easier--I just have to copy somebody.  I'll go with Lightning Strike.  That should have some useful applications in this situation.  Copy and be ready to attack next round.

Let's get this done and move on to the Rodents Of Unusually Large Size.

Viva Vanguard,