History had been changed! A brand new battle raged within World War II! In their search for the Ring of Eon, Vanguard had travelled back in time where they and the Liberty League were ambushed by the Nazi Uber-mensch and the Japanese Imperial Guard beneath the Atlantic Ocean! [OOC: Here’s the map. Visibility is 100’]
Young Doc Rocket said to Slate, “Stop! That isn’t yours to take, young man!” Then he looked at Clone, Slingshot, Slate and the modern age Sentinel with his Rocket Gun in his hand. The ingenious hero’s perceptive eyes glanced at their high tech wrist communicators. He said, “’Heroes displaced in time?’… ‘Sentinel’s grandson?’… Just who are you and what exactly is going on here?”
A piece of Sentinel wanted to revert to the star-struck fan boy that first met Doc Rocket longer ago than he’d like to think possible, but he had no time for that luxury. His relationship with Doc had grown from awe to a sort of mentor-ship to comrade-at-arms. And he needed the Doc he had that relationship now… and he responded to this Doc exactly in that matter.
“Doc, we simply don’t have time for this. I know exactly how you’re going to react to our explanation and sort of mimicked him, ‘I’d always considered the possibility with all the legends and with the historical references, but to think it possible in the here and now, in the modern era…’
“But here is the short version since Gramps… Lancaster clued you in, as I’d hoped. This goes beyond this battle and the here and now, and even the Ring of Eon; we are your second generation predecessors, many of us fighting the good fight because of what the League began at this time period. We are responding to a 21st Century threat of the coming of Cthulhu and the end of the world. Gathering the Ring is a necessary part of putting a stop to that threat.
“Now as I said, no time. You need to tell me something. I see the condition of the League and I know what my team has been through the past few days. We need to know just how dire our situation out there. In your taking of the other sub, had you battled and defeated The Ubermensch and the Japanese Imperial Guard or are they running ‘fresh’?”
Doc Rocket answered cautiously, “They are uninjured. We avoided a direct conflict. But tell me…”
Sentinel cut him off. “We have a medicinal aid to assist in reviving some of your team.” As he was speaking he pulled out his med pack for the stimshot they all carried and looked to Slingshot and Slate and said, “I think having Gramps and Mystic conscious could help here most.”
[OOC: Everyone in Vanguard has one CHESS emergency stimshot patch with them. Slate isn’t a card carrying member of Vanguard yet ( and has the weakness, Prejudice). The stimshots are very dangerous. It gives you 1d4 + your Healing Rate in Hit Points. An hour later, you crash and lose all your Power Points. If you have no Hit Points when that happens, you're dead. Two patches placed on the same person will probably give them an instant heart attack.]
Doc Rocket analyzed Kirk as he spoke. He noticed the manner he addressed him, as someone he knew, in a way he didn’t think could be faked. In observing his body language, he also saw some of the family mannerisms he’d seen in Lancaster. He glanced at Lancaster and then Kirk and also came to another conclusion. Noting some of the concussive bruises and slight bleeding from some areas, the pained movement, as well as the degree of the fluctuation of the energies currently protecting them and surrounding Kirk… he saw something he'd seen Lancaster do many times before, he was compensating not to show it, but Kirk wasn’t far from joining his grandfather in unconsciousness.
Sentinel continued, “Doc, our last known player on the board just bought us this moment but we are out of surprise rescues.” Looking to Slingshot he said “I’d bet my life Strike commandeered the sub and controls it… at least for now. Doc, any chance you’ve got some help on its way?”
“None, I’m afraid,” said Doc.
Sentinel nodded. “I see two plays here, we get the League to safety in the sub and fight it out mano a mano, or we try one desperate play… They have to want the ring as much as we do and we know they want the League. I by-passed the safeties and jury-rigged the Manta Craft to explode on my signal. We go up. We go up quick. They chase. We go past the Mantacraft and out of its blast range high into the sky. The blast takes out the Ubermensch and the Japanese Imperial Guard.
“But first we get Lancaster conscious, he conveys the plan to Menagerie, Menagerie transmits it to the rest of the team and everyone is one board. That doesn’t work we try to manage it ourselves.
“I know it’s a long shot but I don’t see another way given what we have been through and with the League down.” And he looked to Slingshot, and for the first time gave a hint of his current condition… “Worst part Scott is I need interference here. I don’t know if I can hold this thing,” he thumb-pointed at his construct, “together to get this done but I damn well will try. Maybe we can pool our efforts to move this thing upward…”
Slingshot listened to Kirk's plan. He wasn't sure that it would be the best plan, but they were overwhelmed, two teams against one. Most importantly, U-Man was there, in his element. He would be trouble all his own.
He thought, “This would give us a chance to even the odds a bit.” So he nodded to the plan and conferred with the others on the details.
Once they agreed on the plan of action, Doc noticed a change in Kirk. It was almost if the physical signs he saw previously weren’t being covered up but were gone, he noticed the fluctuations of the energy construct grow stronger and faster and the glow around Kirk enhanced. His stature was again strong and he smiled. [OOC: picture Kirk channeling his inner Steve Rogers as he rallies the Avengers for battle in what seems like a no-win scenario]
Looking at each of his teammates he said, “An architectural genius with demolition skills (Scott), a mathematical and scientific genius (Doc), and a human computer with undefinable data processing and calculating ability (Slate).
“Slate, calculate the range of the blast of the manta craft blowing up. Share the speed of the transmission rate of the signal and the timing for it to be received and explosion to begin. Help to formulate our speed as we exit the water and gain altitude. Scott, guide our ascent with their calculations to help us be in the best position to magnify damage to our enemies and to escape our minimize impact for our teams. Doc, any local environmental variables to consider in our calculations?"
Slate provided the information Sentinel requested, and nodded along with the explanation regarding the ring. "We must have the artifact to save the world."
Doc wasn’t going to debate that now. But he would help with the calculations to the best of his ability. [Doc makes an Intelligence save on percentile to NOT be affected by Slate’s Prejudice weakness!]
Meanwhile, U-Man didn’t see Sentinel’s energy orb floating deep down in the darkness, nor its inhabitants who were crafting their desperate plans. Instead he targeted the nearest opponents, Avatar and Symbiote, with his insidious wrist torpedoes! Zwoooosh! KA-BOOM! The torpedo was expertly placed between them, but missed them both due to their evasions! [Both have -8 to be hit because Water Breathing B gives them full Power Points!]
Blitzkreig couldn’t attack Avatar or Symbiote without harming his axis allies. The lightning warrior hurtled through the water, down and toward his right, and discharged his ball lightning once more, this time at the prehistoric shark monster! BZZATT!
[Menagerie takes 12 points of damage. Rolls with 6 and takes 6 from Hits. Due to Water Breathing B, he doesn’t lose any Power Points]
Ninjutsu’s crimson envirosuit had been punctured by Avatar’s spear, and was filling with water! His U-Boat had been destroyed. The golden age ninja had one choice. Using techniques of mind over body, the master of the mysterious arts concentrated and began to slow his own heartbeat… to slow his own breathing. Vanguard saw him go limp, and drift slowly downward into the hungry darkness.
Avatar, assuming Ninjustsu dead, spun in the water and dove down at his latest assailant: U-Man. The myrmidon of mythology swam like the son of Poseidon, his left hand stretched out before him, and his right hand holding the Spear of Ares poised to strike! With powerful kicks, Avatar crashed into U-Man and drove his spear into the Nazi’s chest! Avatar’s aim was true. U-Man was badly bleeding but conscious.
Lightning Strike, still within the third U-Boat, wanted to target a cluster of villains without endangering any of the heroes. It was impossible. The teams were too close to each other, with the Megalodon in the middle of it. [see map above] Strike elected the next best thing. Using the U-Boat’s sonar, he found his target. Fwooooosh! The U-Boat fired a torpedo that threaded a needle. It zoomed beneath the Megalodon, above Vanguard’s sphere, and into Panzer! BA-BOOM!!!! A direct hit! The human tank was motionless and sinking.
The Ubermensch and the Imperial Guard glared at the U-Boat with fear and loathing.
Kamikaze knew what he had to do. He “flew” through the water at the commandeered U-Boat’s hull and exploded himself. KRA-BOOM!!! The human bomb’s detonation ruptured the sub’s hull. Air exploded from the hemorrhaged iron skin of the now-listing leviathan. Claxons sounded from within as the Nazi SKULL sub slowly descended into the darkness of the Atlantic’s abyss, and Lightning Strike along with it!
The Aryan couldn’t see Avatar’s attack on U-Man due to the poor visibility. He joined Blitzkreig’s attack on Menagerie, whose massive C Megalodon form now drew fire, buying the rest of Vanguard the time they needed for their desperate gambit.
The living embodiment of Nazi perfection and immorality fired his harpoon rifle - Fwooosh! THUNK! - piercing Menagerie’s sharkskin with a barbed iron harpoon! [13 points of damage. Menagerie rolls with 6 and takes 7 from Hits!]
The Shogun, his armor badly damaged, joined the assault on the Megalodon! His energy katana crackled and steamed the water in its wake as it struck Vanguard’s shamanistic shapeshifter! zzzzzzzzVWOM!!!
[Menagerie takes 15 points of damage! Rolls with 6. Takes 9 from Hits and remains conscious!]
Rising Sun [made his detect hidden roll and] noticed many heroes were missing. He projected beams of light from his hands, and moved them around the darkness, like gigantic twin search lights! In moments he found where the Liberty League was hiding! The modern age Sentinel’s energy construct was illuminated by the beams of white light. Rising Sun must have had a radio inside the helmet of his envirosuit. As one, all the Japanese Imperial Guardians looked down at Vanguard and the Liberty League! They were completely exposed.
Sentinel realized their time had run out. He kneeled down beside his grandfather, the original Sentinel, and administered the CHESS stimshot patch, as he commanded his energy sphere to begin to rise up!
The energy construct ascended with Rising Sun’s searchlights following it! As it neared Rising Sun, he focused his searchlights into twin, pencil-thin laser beams! ZIZZ! ZIZZ! They burned a path through the water before scarring the energy sphere! [ The sphere takes 20 points of damage! It still holds!]
The original Sentinel awoke with a start as light moved through the sphere. Disoriented, his eyes fell upon his future grandson and stayed there. He read Kirk’s surface thoughts and learned everything Kirk had told Doc Rocket, and more. Young Lancaster put his hand on Kirk’s shoulder. “Can it be true?”
Vanguard heard a voice in their heads that they didn’t recognize. “This is the Sentinel,” it said. “Fellow heroes, make your way to the golden orb. Now. We’re leaving. And stay clear of the… ‘Manta Craft’.”
Symbiote would do his best to take out the one enemy most likely to spoil their plans -- U-Man. At the moment, with Inhuman's power set, the Superheroic Simulator was best prepared to take on the Aquatic Aryan. He focused his water powers into another underwater vortex, buffeting U-Man with waves of pummeling force! U-Man was battered and bewildered, but still barely conscious!
Slingshot exited the energy sphere’s airlock and swam under it. Morphing his feet into elongated paddles, he pushed with his incredible strength, helping propel the sphere upward. When the sphere was level with Menagerie’s Megalodon form, he stretched a big arm out to lasso Symbiote, Avatar, Menotti and Ortiz, and reel them in. The malleable man of might dumped them unceremoniously in the airlock and continued pushing it up, according to the plan. In the airlock, the water level fell as the sphere’s airlock cycled through via invisible pores on its surface. All of Vanguard was in the construct except Lightning Strike and Menagerie.
As the sphere passed U-Man, Slingshot reached out with a growing fist and slammed it into the fascist fish-man’s jaw! KA-POW! U-Man was knocked unconscious!
Slate used his ability to attempt to disintegrate a hole in the helmet of Rising Sun as the sphere rose past him! [a “special attack”] ZARK!! Slate succeeded! Rising Sun’s suit was breached! He was reeling in surprise!
[OOC: Fyi, Using Disintegration Ray without the “Ray” results in half normal damage. But the damage still ignores structural ratings as normal. Slate couldn’t do this last issue because visibility was such that he couldn’t see any villains from the sphere’s hiding place, so his Evasion will stand.]
Baroness Von Zero silently formed a circular ice platform beneath her, with rocket fins to stabilize it. It began floating toward the surface with her standing atop it. It slowly gained speed and was rising alongside Sentinel’s energy sphere!
Menagerie thought sent to Sentinel, “I’ll help protect you all as best as I can,” as he rammed the Shogun again! BOOM! The samurai general’s armor was destroyed! The under skeleton still provided air, but nothing more! The Shogun was still conscious.
Realizing the goal was to lure the villains to the Manta Craft, Menagerie swam upward at incredible speeds!
Blitzkreig gave chase, swimming with superhuman quickness! ZAKOW!! He generated another deadly charge of ball lightning, electrifying Slingshot, Menagerie, the Sentinel sphere and Baroness Von Zero! Von Zero’s ice armor protected her. [The sphere takes 9 points of damage. Menagerie rolls with 6 and takes 3 from hits. Slingshot rolls with 3 and takes 5 from Invulnerability.]
[Between turns…] Kamikaze’s body reformed.
[OOC: The sphere hasn’t reached the surface yet! Next turn of combat! All evasions are ending.]
Blitzkreig, relentless, discharged ball lightning again! ZZZRAP! [The sphere takes 8 points of damage. Menagerie Megalodon rolls with 6 and takes 2 from hits. Slangy rolls with 2, takes 3 from Invulnerability and 3 from Hit Points.]
Lightning Strike escaped the doomed U-Boat by using the sub’s communications system to beam his electrical form to the modern age Sentinel’s Vanguard communicator.
SHAKOW! The electric avenger suddenly materialized beside Vanguard in the hurtling energy sphere. Sentinel was out yet another communicator.
Aryan expertly fired his harpoon rifle at Sentinel’s energy sphere! Phwooosh! THUNK!! A barbed harpoon stuck into the sphere’s floor. [10 points damage to the sphere] The harpoon had a line that ran back to Aryan’s rifle. He began reeling himself upward, closing in on his prey!
Fissures appeared across the floor of Sentinel’s energy construct. Sea water sprayed in! The pressure of the ocean depths pushed in on the sphere. It would implode in seconds!
“We’re not gonna make it!” yelled Ortiz.
SPLOOOSH!! The heroes’ sphere burst from the waves, with Slingshot hanging beneath it, and Aryan hanging below him! They flew up over the crippled Manta Craft. Free from the crushing ocean pressure, the sphere held its shape.
Sentinel flew the sphere and took evasive action. [Using his action to Evade, so the sphere is harder to hit]
Clone [with his saved action from last turn] used his battle staff to hammer Aryan’s harpoon out of the sphere’s floor. WHACK! The harpoon was freed and Aryan went plummeting into the water beside the Manta Craft! Splooosh!
Doc Rocket [using his saved action] hung out the airlock and fired his Rocket Gun at the Aryan! ZARK!! The beam ricocheted off the Aryan’s protective uniform!
Sentinel said, “Slate, Slingshot and Doc Rocket please complete your final… wait! What’s that?!”
Vanguard saw Agent America (AKA Miles Hudson) standing on the floating Manta Craft! The star-spangled escape artist had freed himself from Baroness Von Zero’s icy tomb, which bobbed on the waves nearby.
The stealthy espionage agent was attempting to enter the Manta Craft! He must have been beyond the range of the original Sentinel’s telepathy! The Manta Craft was rigged to blow if anyone tampered with it [or if remotely activated]! Agent America was doomed!
Avatar was the only hero left with a saved action! He summoned the powers of Hephaestus! [Immunity from fire and heat!] Then he smashed a hole through the cracked floor of Sentinel’s sphere! KRASH!! The demigod of destiny leapt out of the orb and tackled Agent America, knocking him into the water while covering as much of the Leaguer’s body that he could! [Avatar takes 6 points of impact damage and rolls with all of it]
The Manta Craft self-destructed in an orange fireball explosion! Avatar used his fireproof body to shield Agent America from the flames and concussive force, saving his life! [Avatar takes no damage from the heat and flames, but takes 17 points of damage from the concussion! He rolls with 6 and takes 11 hit points damage!]
Blitzkrieg, Aryan, Baroness Von Zero, Kamikaze, Shogun and Rising Sun were also caught in the Manta Craft’s blast as they raced to the surface, giving chase to the heroes.
Black smoke roiled from the burning hulk of Vanguard’s ship.
No villains were visible. Broken shards of Von Zero’s rocket-finned ice platform surfaced.
Agent America and Avatar, both injured but conscious, appeared. “Thanks,” Agent America said to his savior. Little did Agent America know, Avatar had saved more than just him. Avatar had saved history. Had Agent America died in the blast, the world’s timeline would have been irrevocably altered. History had been preserved by Vanguard’s resident historian.
Menagerie surfaced as an awesome Megalodon! The shapeshifting sorcerer assumed human form.
Slingshot reeled in Avatar, Agent America and Menagerie, and climbed aboard after them.
The heroes’ sphere rose higher and in the distance, on the ocean’s horizon they saw a crippled Nazi aircraft carrier. Lightning Strike’s handiwork.
The Liberty League was awakening. [Between the spraying seawater and wake-up attempts from the heroes.]
The original Sentinel looked at Kirk. So did Lady Liberty.
Before Vanguard and the Liberty League could exchange words, the Ring of Eon awoke. Slate felt it, and produced it from his pocket. Weird energy emanated from it.
Some distance away, similar energy suddenly coruscated in the middle of the sky, as if in answer to the Ring. It was the tear in the fabric of time that brought Vanguard here in the first place. To judge from its identical energy readings, the Ring of Eon must have been its cause!
“Incredible,” murmured Doc Rocket.
The golden age Mystic said to Vanguard, “It would appear you’ve little time.”
Words? Actions? Thanks!
Not to push things too quickly, but IF you elect to go through the tear in the fabric of reality and IF you safely return home, what is the next artifact location that Vanguard will target?
Vanguard has the Splinter of the True Cross, the Sacrificial Dagger of the Maya, the Stone Idol of Cthulhu, and the Ring of Eon.
Five Artifacts remained, and Vanguard knew their locations:
- Northern France
- The Nevada desert
- Moscow (This is assumed to be the Spear of Destiny, in possession of the SSS)
- Northern California
Avatar: Hit Points: 24, Power Points: 57, Manifestation: Poseidon, Hephaestus
Clone: Bodies: 3*, Hit Points: 11, Hit Point Pool: 22, Power Points: 57
Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 39, Power Points: 29
Menagerie: Hit Points: 7, Power Points: 66, Form: Human
Sentinel: Hit Points: 4, Power Points: 30, Creation Points: 60, Construct Sphere: 13
Slate: Hit Points: 13, Power Points: 42
Slingshot: Hit Points: 31, Power Points: 25, Invulnerability: 8
Symbiote: Hit Points: 25, Power Points: 82, Charges: 12, Activated: Inhuman
*Clone’s hit points are: Clone here in the past: 11, in Vanguard Vault: 5, in Moscow: 5
Power Points are at full for the two Clones in Vanguard Vault and Moscow.
BACK-UP FEATURE! STARRING… CLONE!
Elsewhere, deep within the Stronghold of the Soviet Super Soldiers…
Clone willingly triggered the proximity sensor on the vault door. Security alarms brayed.
Six masked soldiers with assault rifles poured into the room before the safe door. They lined up in formation, and pointed their automatic rifles at Clone, who calmly acknowledged the firing squad. They all held their positions as behind them, in walked Doctor X. He turned his head slightly and the alarms stopped.
The silence that followed was long and deafening.
Then the aged creator of the Soviet Super Soldier Program said in Russian, “So… my prodigal son returns. Sweet, young Alexi, I am glad you’ve come home to be with your family for this, the ending of all things.”
Then Doctor X recited an old Russian proverb about the importance of preparedness: “Carry fire in one hand and water in the other.”
The proverb was actually the command phrase that Doctor X had placed inside Alexi’s mind (with the help of the insidious lunatic, the Puppet) years ago when X had learned of the Rogue Clone’s successful escape from the Iron Curtain. The command phrase was an insurance policy that would place Clone’s conscious mind in a deep trance of suggestibility.
Instead, this time, nothing happened!
Although he never knew the exact trigger phrase, Clone knew that Doctor X had just tried to reestablish his mental control over him. With only a few choices available to him, the Replicating Russian decided to play along with the “good doctor”.
With a sinister grin on his face, Clone chuckled maniacally and said in Russian, “Yes, Comrade Doctor . . . I am back.” He then continued, “. . . the stupid Americans thought they could keep me from you and thwart your plans, the fools. He then placed his hand inside of his shirt and nodded his head towards his would be master in reverence and said, “. . . and I have not come emptied handed. I have one of their ‘Items of Power’ with me.” Gripping it by the barrel, Clone produced the revolver Mystic hand given him from his shirt and asked, “Shall I place it in the vault with the others?” He then placed his hand on the vault door; and like an obedient servant, waited patiently for Doctor X’s response.
“Mystic’s revolver?” Doctor X said. “After all these decades?”
Clone knew that Doctor X had allied with the Liberty League in World War II when their nations fought together against Nazi Germany.
“No,” commanded the Soviet supergenius. “Bring it here. I would examine it now, Comrade Collective.”
Clone released his grip on the vault door and walked slowly towards his “master” as he said, “You are right Comrade Doctor. This item belongs in your hands.”
Clone walked unchallenged through the ranks of unsuspecting gunmen to Doctor X, with the revolver in his outstretched hand. Suddenly, Clone closed his hand, rushed past him, placing Doctor X between Clone and the six masked soldiers. Clone turned and, using Doctor X as a shield, placed the gun to the back of Doctor X’s neck!
“What is this?!?” demanded Doctor X.
Your surprise attack worked. You got the drop on them. So you get a full turn where they cannot act.
One turn = two actions. Your first action was to move behind the Doc and get the gun on him.
What are your next two actions please? One will be a “free” action due to your surprise attack. The other action will occur in a turn when everyone else in this chamber may act freely. Gulp!
PS: Given his iron helmet, I said you put the gun at the base of his neck. If you prefer his back or somewhere else, just let me know. Thanks.
Looking at Doc Rocket and the rest of the Liberty League, Slate longed to ask them about their adventures, to get to know them as he knew them now, but he also knew they had little time, or did they? If the ring could control time, or give them a choice in when they returned, they could go back to an earlier time. He wasn't sure about the paradoxes of time travel; he'd read that the same being could not inhabit the same space, and that if a time traveler met himself it could cause problems, but they should be able to buy some time, maybe going back a few days before they left to recover and then gather some of the artifacts. Returning to the tower immediately after they left.
He turned to Mystic to see if this would be possible. They might only have a short time to make a decision, but "when" they would go could make all the difference.
"Mystic, would it be possible to change the target time of this vortex to a few days before we left? That would buy us some time to recover, when time is really the one thing we don't have. Cthulhu is coming, and we have to stop him," Slate looked expectantly from face to face, his large eyes reflecting the gathered heroes.
Menagerie thought, "So many questions so little time". While the Ring of Eon might control time, no one knew how to control time. He listened to Slate's questions and waited for the Mystic to answer.
"I know for myself the idea of manipulating time to heal would be wonderful but is it worth the risk of trying to control the Ring of Eon. Look where it led Dr. Change."
"I vote for leaving now and getting back to the Vault. We can have the Mystic and Archimedes teleport us to China. I am also ready to get rid of this Ring. I have been a hero for only a short time but it has appeared way too often and caused too many hardships".
"It was an honor to meet everyone of you. The Liberty League has grown from a group fighting the good fight to the standard of what it means to fight for good. Thank you."
Great issue. I'm glad we pulled it off as this time around the odds seemed against us even moreso than usual.
Do we know any 'rules' for time travel? Sadly it seems like the less we say the safer everyone is... but have to tell you that it has to be burning Kirk up that he can't warn Lancaster about Dr Swastika's abilities and what is going to happen to Miles (Agent America) - surely he'd love to undo that injustice... but the ramifications of meddling in history have to outweigh it. Don't know if I'll have time to 'play' that internal struggle but surely it has to be foremost on Kirk's mind at this point.
Slate said, "Mystic, would it be possible to change the target time of this vortex to a few days before we left?"
The golden age Mystic said, "I've no experience with this artifact, so I can't predict its power or abilities."
The golden age Sentinel said, "Allied intelligence learned that Dr. Swastika had launched an expedition to fabled Atlantis in search of another ancient superweapon to help the Axis win the war."
The golden age Sgt. Stone said, "We cut in, stole their precious treasure, and commandeered a SKULL sub to make our getaway, when you lot showed up."
The golden age Doc Rocket said, "While I doubt the Ring has magical properties," casting a dubious glance at the Mystic. "we've just acquired it and have not yet had time to study it."
The golden age Agent America said, "Hey, I couldn't help but notice but the superheroes from the future are all Americans. Looks like we win the war!" He clapped American Eagle on the back with a smile.
When Menagerie mentioned Dr. Change, Doc Rocket's eyes widened. Vanguard knew that Dr. Change was rumored to have been in action covertly since the Victorian Age (or perhaps had traveled back in time with the Ring of Eon before it drove him mad?). But Vanguard never heard that the Liberty League had encountered him, or even knew of him.
Seth wrote: "Do we know any 'rules' for time travel?"
Slingshot has a skill called Multiverse Theory. Slingshot would note that even though this is Vanguard's first experience travelling through time, they have witnessed its results at least twice,
The first was the Primate. Oracle's powers allowed Vanguard to psionically "see" the future, so that their foreknowledge could avert it by changing their actions.
The second was the Omega Universe. This future was created due to events around Slate's birth and Silas Caine's Presidency. And it was averted here due to what Vanguard learned when they were in the Omegaverse, which enabled them to alter the future and prevent the Omegaverse from happening here, so far anyway. ;-)
So, it seems that the future of a given timeline can be changed, Slingshot would say.
[OOC: Stephane, please let me know if Slingy says this in another way, or if you have any other questions your skill could help answer]
Seth wrote: "Don't know if I'll have time to 'play' that internal struggle but surely it has to be foremost on Kirk's mind at this point."
Then he'd better be careful. The golden age Sentinel can read surface thoughts. ;-)
Slingshot does. He also cautions that we do not know our future and we are not aware of what we are trying to avoid in the future. We may be avoiding the future where we win while healing. Although healing is likely something that will actually help the team greatly.
He will try to pull Doc Rocket aside and question him on Dr Change. Gently:
"Doc, I couldn't help noticing that you reacted when we mentioned Dr Change. Is there anything that we need to know about him? I fully expect him to show up at the most inopportune time. Anything to help fight him would be of serious help."
Kirk spoke to Mystic privately and said, “Events in this mission confirmed my suspicions that my powers were at least partially based on mystic energies. It seems you sensed that and disrupted them. I can’t afford to let that happen again and imperil my team or the mission… can you tell me what you did and how to prevent it?”
After that, Kirk stated, “I have a bit of a dilemma here. Everything speculated about time travel highlights the hazards of affecting the time stream adversely. However in our brief actual experience we have actually been able to affect the future for a better outcome. Had Vanguard not experienced the positive effects our efforts before I wouldn’t question the conventional wisdom… but our personal experience makes me think harder. But I was wondering, noticing the effect seeing us has already had on some of your team, are you planning to take action after we leave to prevent the League from remembering what they have learned here today. Not that I approve of it, but if so I have little reason for me to think further on this moral dilemma”
And Kirk thought about Gramps comments about the Mystic and his apprehension of him… perhaps this was the situation which prompted it.
Kirk spoke to Lancaster, “You are going to crash hard in a little less than an hour, be sure you are in a situation that can accommodate that safely. If you have any questions for me that you think I can safely answer I’d be happy to do so”.
He added to Lancaster, “Thank you for everything. I am who am I today because of you.”
And to the League, “It has been an honor today to meet all of you. I just wish parts of it had gone a bit differently. What you do during this time will inspire the generations to come. Keep fighting the good fight to preserve our future and we’ll do our part to ensure its continuing… and he looked at them wanting to say more, “And never underestimate the capabilities of your worst enemies or their ability to hide and endure where you least expect…”
Modern time: (OOC)
Any possibility we can use the power of Ring of Eon to bring all the artifacts to us or to end the threat?
Assuming we are going to another destination does their location give any insight into the possible artifact or the possible threat?
Was Oracle and her group France or Greece? I can’t remember now. Would she have insight into the potential French artifact from her knowledge of the lore of the area or past encounters?
At this point none of the remaining areas seem more important or known than the others from what I can remember at this moment so Kirk is looking for something to point towards the best choice.
On my reply, sorry no proof reading and feel free to adjust or modify as the situation needs.
Hey, I made it on time. I'm amazed on this one :)
Scott looks at the tear pensively. He looks at Ethan and gives him a brave smile. If it was up to him, he'd jump through, but his son is here. He might look and behave like a teen, but he's still less than a year old.
He beckons to Slate and when he comes close, Slingshot hugs his progeny for what seems like a long time. "Uh, Daaad. Will you cut it out,” he says.
With that he turns to the rest of the Leaguers. "Understand that you are all legends. I'm proud to have known you in your prime. Keep fighting the good fight. It's all worth it."
With his hands, he envelops the ring in his son's hand and he says with eyes closed "Ring send us where we are needed, with our bodies from 3 days ago."
[OOC] I'm for jumping in the rift. The ring triggers at opportune time whenever it wants. It hasn't been a negative influence in itself. The people using it is another matter.
If I have a choice, I think I would go to China.
PS: Private conversation - When Slingshot hugs Slate, he says to him the following really softly (not to be overheard).
"Guard the ring well. Make sure that Symbiote doesn't get to it. I'll explain later."
FWIW, I'm thinking that the use of the ring to gather artifacts is a fantastic idea. I've been stumped since the start of this thing as to how we're going to gather up everything in the allotted time and that might be the only way.
( OOC: I'm still feeling like a fish out of water here - pun intended. I'm not sure what Clone can do here other than "go along for the ride". If I remember correctly - there was some talk about surfacing with the force-bubble. Assuming this is the case, if the bubble begins to rise too quickly and we start to run the risk of getting hit with "The Bends" . . . )
IC: Feeling the painful decrease in pressure; in hopes of adding weight to the bubble and slowing it down, Clone begins to duplicate as quickly as possible.
( OOC: If this isn't an issue, than he will simply tend to the wounded and provide First Aid where ever needed )
( OOC: Clone's overall plan here is to get the Russian soldiers to do all the heavy lifting as he holds "The Good Doctor" hostage . . . not a very heroic act, but desperate times . . . )
IC: Clone nudges the barrel of his pistol up under the bottom edge of Doctor X's helmet and in a dark and sinister tone whispers into his ear, "Any idea what a bullet bouncing all around the inside of this helmet would do to that twisted little melon sitting on top of your neck?" Not waiting for a response, Clone barked at the Russian soldiers standing before him, "The four of you! Open that vault door nice and wide and let’s take a look at what’s inside."
( OOC: If Clone sees some of the artifacts inside the vault . . . )
IC: Clone gave the barrel of Mystic's pistol a sharp push into the base of Doctor X's skull; motioned to an area over by the SSS's vault, and ordered "Now tell them to take the artifact(s) out and place it/them on the floor over there."
( OOC: After the artifact(s) are placed outside the vault, Clone contacts Mystic and asks him to open up the return portal - I forget how we said we did this - our communicators? )
IC: Keeping Doctor X close to him, Clone makes his way slowly towards Mystic's magical portal. With a rapid flick of his foot, Clone than shuffles the SSS's collection of Artifacts through the magical gateway. He then placed his free hand on the back of Doctor X's head and in a mocking tone whispered to him once more, "I'm not done playing with you yet . . . so I'm not going to kill you right now. You'll die when I'm no longer amused by your suffering." The Multiplying Mutant than shoved his hostage to the ground and backed up into the shimmering portal behind him. As he began to fade out of view, Clone left Doctor X with an ominous request, "Wait for me . . ."
( OOC: If Clone doesn't see any artifacts inside the vault . . . )
IC: Clone gave the barrel of Mystic's pistol a sharp push into the base of Doctor X's skull and ordered, "Where are the artifacts you've collected?"
( OOC: Assuming Doctor X tells Clone where the artifact(s) is/are )
IC: Clone gave the barrel of Mystic's pistol another sharp push into the base of Doctor X's skull; motioned to an area over by the SSS's vault, and ordered, "Now tell them to go get the artifact(s) and place it/them on the floor over there."
( OOC: After the artifact(s) are placed outside the vault, Clone contacts Mystic and asks him to open up the return portal - I forget how we said we did this - our communicators? )
IC: Keeping Doctor X close to him, Clone makes his way slowly towards Mystic's magical portal. With a rapid flick of his foot, Clone than shuffles the SSS's collection of Artifacts through the magical gateway. he than placed his free hand on the back of Doctor X's head and in a mocking tone whispered to him once more,"I'm not done playing with you yet . . . so I'm not going to kill you right now. You'll die when I'm no longer amused by your suffering." The Multiplying Mutant than shoved his hostage to the ground and backed up into the shimmering portal behind him. As he began to fade out of view, Clone left Doctor X with an ominous request, "Wait for me . . ."
OOC: I hope this is enough - too sketchy??? Push come to shove, given their past and Clone's TREMENDOUS "victim issues" with Doctor X, Clone will pull the trigger if things go sour. It’s definitely not what a superhero would do, but I think its what Clone would do if the situation started to get away from him.
Fyi, Sentinel's energy spheres can generate an atmosphere inside them. This can serve as a decompression chamber, protecting you all from getting the bends, thankfully.
Strike would take whatever opportunity avails itself to recharge as soon as possible. Strike also votes for the South of France since it is supposed to be nice this time of year and he wouldn't mind a nice bottle of wine.
Of course if the rest of the group has a different agenda, he will gripe but follow along.
Jeff, I've been thinking about Slate's actions, and I know he's studied Vanguard's history, as well as all known superheroes so please help me with my limited knowledge.
I've been trying to piece together the history of the Eon Ring to figure out Slate's next steps.
From what I've come up with, it appears, The first time the "ring" was acknowledged, was in the battle with Eon the Eternal. Which resulted in Dynamo (aka Dr. Change) being trapped in Limbo, and Nemesis being sent to the past...
Our Vanguard came across the ring while attempting to return to "their" world from an alternate reality via a jury rigged Tesla coil, when the other end of the "tunnel" was destroyed by the "other" Vanguard.
They were able to jointly use the ring to come back to the present, and eventually to use it to trap Dr. Change again in Limbo.
Please let me know if I missed anything, or mis-stated anything that I did find.
My understanding is that the Liberty League was actually from a time prior to the FF, so this (when) we are now, is actually the first encounter with the Eon ring, and removing it from this timeline could impact the timeline stated above... or maybe not, seeing as the team has been able to impact the actions of the ring in the past corporately, I'm guessing we could send it back here after using it, but to follow this line of reasoning.
Perhaps leaving the ring in the past is the best way to ensure events unfold the way they should. Maybe Vanguard needed to come back to this time to save the Liberty League from the combined might of the Ubermensch and the Imperial Guard. It appears the ring may be sentient, gently guiding the steps of Vanguard.
So Slate's actions as an if then statement:
If Slate believes the timeline must be perserved, as Scott hugs his son, Slate leans in for a moment and shares his concerns. "Dad, if we take the ring, we could screw up the timeline so that Vanguard never even exists. The Liberty League could have fallen today without our assistance. Maybe as it has before the ring brought us here to save them and keep the timeline intact. If so, we need to leave the ring with the Liberty League as we go through the rift into the future, accepting that the ring will send us where we need to go. It will be out of Cthulhu's reach, here in the past, I don't think we can make it any safer than that."
If Slate believes the time paradox is not a threat, he will continue with his current plan to use the ring to try to warp them back to a few days before they left, to allow them to heal, and let the team work out how to best use the artifact in the future.
I know this is late, and if you can't use it, just leave it out.
Scott pulls back slightly and looks at his son. "Is that a fact? You highlight a serious problem. Are you sure that they kept the ring longer than up to this moment?" (I guess I'm asking the GM, here)
[OOC: If we can confirm that he League has the ring past this moment, then we can leave it behind. and I would be ok with it.]
Menagerie looks at Slate. "That is linear thinking. You are assuming that history has already happened. Vanguard could have always saved the Liberty League and to preserve our attacking their stolen sub is the reason none of our friends told us they knew us before. We could take the ring with us because that is how it happened before in our current timeline of history."
OOC: time travel stories always give me brain pain.
OOC: I'm with you there.
Scott nods to Menagerie. "So if we can collectively remember it the Ring stayed with them long than this moment - We can leave it behind. But I'm betting that we should bring it with us."
Any possibility we can use the power of Ring of Eon to bring all the artifacts to us or to end the threat?
GM: Assuming the Ring is working, it might be feasible. See below for past uses.
Was Oracle and her group in France or Greece?
GM: AEGIS, the European Union superteam, was headquartered in Athens, Greece before they were massacred by the Primate. Oracle herself is Greek.
More GM: Jon, your Ring timeline was very close. Here's the history of the Ring of Eon as Vanguard's superhero historians and Slate's heightened sense of comprehension recalls:
The Ring of Eon was first acknowledged in the battle with Eon the Eternal in 2004. Eon, the black celestial, led an alien invasion of Earth by the evil, star-spanning S'Korian Empire (the enemy of Paladin, the cosmic-powered, armored Freedom Forcer).
The Freedom Force, Earth's mightiest heroes from the 1980's, came out of retirement and joined forces with their arch enemy, the supervillain Dr. Change, to save the Earth. They destroyed the S'Korian fleet and defeated Eon but not before Dr. Change seized the Ring of Eon, and Eon scattered them all across space and time.
The whereabouts of Freedom Forcers Dynamo, Pulsar, Paladin, Onyx and Pathos remains a mystery to this day.
The android Freedom Forcer, Nemesis (the "son" of IT, "half brother" of Nanite, and "uncle" of Slate) was sent to the Dawn of Earth's history where he voluntarily shut down until he was found by Vanguard in the Temple of Terror in the Lost Lands in Antarctica.
Dr. Change was sent to Limbo where he and the now-dormant Ring of Eon were trapped for time immeasurable. This isolation broke Dr. Change's mind, resulting in him believing he was actually his archenemy, Dynamo, the leader of the Freedom Force. His shapeshifting powers subconsciously altered his outward appearance to match his mind's mistaken belief.
Vanguard encountered Dr. Change in this state when they fell into Limbo after trying to escape the Omega-verse via a jury rigged Tesla gate, when the "receiver" of the gate was destroyed by Vanguard Omega on Earth "Alpha."
Vanguard's combined mental effort enabled them to use the Ring to bring them and "Dynamo" back home. They defeated Vanguard Omega and then Dr. Change remembered who he really was. Vanguard once again combined their mental effort to commandeer the Ring, resulting in it and Dr. Change being sent back to Limbo.
Vanguard now encounters the Ring in the 1940's, where Dr. Swastika has sent an expedition to fabled Atlantis to discover an ancient superweapon from a fallen, advanced civilization to use in the war (not unlike Swastika's Nazi expeditions to the Lost Lands for the same purpose).
Vanguard has no recollection of the Liberty League ever encountering the Ring of Eon (let alone Vanguard!) but the modern age Sentinel just asked the golden age Mystic to mindwipe the Liberty League of these events in order to preserve the correct timeline.
Hope that helps.
Once we get a team consensus on a plan of action, I'll announce the ending of this turn, and then I'll begin writing the next issue. Over to you, heroes!
OOC: Perhaps I missed some of the e-mails or didn't read them (more likely) but what are we actually looking to get consensus on? I don't remember voting on anything or arguing with Sentinel but if there is something to argue about I am ready, willing and able.
OOC: This one is about going through the portal and leaving the Ring in the past to potentially avoid a paradox (where we would never exist?), because we stole the ring before they lost it.
Okay guys, here are the issues we need a quick vote on! [Thanks, Stephane and Tony.]
1) Does Vanguard take the Ring of Eon with them or leave it in the 1940s?
Arguments for taking it:
We could use it to travel through time on our desperate quest to acquire the remaining Artifacts of Power!
Arguments for leaving it:
The Ring is hard to control. Just look at Dr. Change.
Taking it out of this time period could drastically alter the timeline, including Vanguard's "present."
Besides, it's safe here from those who would use it to summon Cthulhu in the 21st century.
[That's a quick summation of arguments. Full arguments are across this turn’s email.]
And, so that I can move the plot forward more than just five minutes...
2) If the team elects to take the Ring of Eon with them, do you think you should use it to travel through time to acquire the remaining Artifacts of Power?
3) Whether you have the Ring or not, what will the next Artifact target location be?
• Northern France
• The Nevada desert
• Moscow (This is assumed to be the Spear of Destiny, in possession of the SSS)
• Northern California
I'd like to tally votes by end of Election Day please!
I'd love to see 100% turnout amongst the electorate!
Exercise your patriotic duty!
Be sure to review all email for the full debates on this topic. It's always important to know the issues before you vote!
Kirk heard everything being said quietly taking it in (likely to Strike's surprise) and then spoke out strongly, clearly frustrated, not at his teammates, but at the entire situation. It was apparent that the physical and emotional toll of the last few hours was beginning to show, and Kirk was frustrated as the clock was running out and the odds of completing their mission in the time frame continued to mount against them...
"Or maybe we were supposed to come now and take the ring back to the present! Or maybe we take it to the present and send it back when we are done with it! I'm sick of may-bees."
And as he spoke he looked to each of his teammates ending with his eyes lastly locked on Avatar, whom they looked to as their key strategist with Soldier on leave, and Strike, who always played Devil's advocate. "Here's what we do know. We had a plan. We came here to get the ring. We paid the toll... We take the damn ring! And we worry about fixing time anomalies, if any, later because at this point without the ring I don't think its going to matter. I'm asking you now to think this through for an opinion as to how to proceed here. Looking at what has happened since this started and what lies before us and how each non-stop mission takes a piece out of all of us, does it seem like we can gather the artifacts in time? Even if somehow we get them all, will any of us be able to stand against the ultimate end game... and you know there is always an ultimate endgame. Our true enemy here since this started has been time. We now have the means to take control back from that enemy," and he raised Slate's hand up holding the ring. "We are going to lose on the path set before us! It's time to take control. Instead of following, we lead. We dictate the terms. Who's with me?"
OOC - More than half the artifacts out there and hours left, not days. Each mission wears away our hit points with no time to regenerate, we barely have time to get our power points back. At this point one to two solid shots past his shields takes Kirk out of each mission. Where do you guys stand given the number of hours and objectives left??? We aren't going to succeed without changing the rules of engagement.
Oh and just one thing at the end of your comments Jeff. Kirk was NOT asking Mystic TO mind wipe the League of the adventure. He was asking him if after Vanguard left Mystic had had already planned to do so. It seemed the one plausible explanation explaining how Vanguard could have been there and the League be unaware and it also would lay the basis for Lancaster's feelings about Mystic that you established at his first mention years ago since at this point they seem to be close teammates. You also had already begun to show the effects of the League's being aware of the future (two Patriotic heroes high-fiving that they win the war). If anything was worded to imply Kirk was suggesting the mind wipe please do adjust it as that was not my intent and just a poor choice of words. If that was his intent there would be nothing Kirk could do after they left whether he had a moral problem with it or not. Prior to the whole 'how to proceed thing with the Ring' was that every part of Kirk wanted to tell the League what Swastika can do and how he uses his power to split the League and end the first heroic age and warp events for years to come. But all of the thoughts of changing history for the worse was stopping him. Then the debate over the ring caused the same issue for everyone else. Thanks.
Finally, regarding question 3: Nothing struck me from a plot perspective at this point but since Kirk is trying to beat the cards they have been dealt I vote Vegas baby! Nevada desert. Thanks.
OOC: Thanks Seth.
Here's what Sentinel said to Mystic: "...are you planning to take action after we leave to prevent the League from remembering what they have learned here today. Not that I approve of it, but if so I have little reason for me to think further on this moral dilemma”
Maybe I was reading between the lines too much. :-)
OOC: Take it, use it, Nevada desert.
If we are successful, we can always return it to this time period, right? If not, then things are going to be bad enough, anyway, right?
OOC: Take it. Use it. China.
OOC: Slate votes leave it/France.
IC: Two wrongs won't make this right. We can't endanger the world to save it. None of the other artifacts have proven "useable", as you seem to think the ring will be.
I'm quite sure Dr. Change felt the same way about using it to rule time and space. We have to respect this as a force of nature, not a tool to be used by men.
OOC: Damn, I agree with both stances. However, at this point I fail to see how using the ring could possibly make the circumstances any worse for us and it seems virtually impossible to get the remaining artifacts in the little time remaining.
Final vote: Use it and France!
“It IS a "force of nature" to be respected but these are not normal circumstances, not by any stretch of the imagination, and we must do whatever we can to weigh the scales in our direction. Also, we are not mere MEN...we are all that stands between mankind and the apocalypse and only a few of us can truly be called "men", anyway. We are in the position we are in because we have been fated to stand here and we have all been given gifts beyond those of most of mankind so that we can defend and protect them from things like these Elder Horrors.”
OOC: Scott votes with his son. Leave it and he picks his original location (which *I* don't remember at the moment.
OOC: Stephane, it was China.