Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Episode 8 : Rock'em Sock'em Robots

Preludes - Lisa "Torrent" Chun discovers that her parents have been harrassed by the Demon Gang that she had been fighting on the streets of Little China. She meets the monkly friend of her parents who offers to broker some kind of truce between the gangs and her. She gave a non-commital answer worrying about the implication.
Jack "Jack Flash" Summerhal got another date with the sexy Ashley Morganthal, unemployed bio-chemist. She assures him that she will not reveal his secret identity.
James "Marduk" Allen has the talk with his agents, lawyers, and producers about his super powers, and the fact that he isn't going to try to keep it a secret. They toy with the idea of making his life as a super hero a show, but he demurred for now. On his way home, he rescues an errant bus that was going to crash into traffic because of defective metering lights. He was successful, but not in the most dramatic way imaginable.
Ben "Steel Dragon" Lee accompanies the police to arrest the child pornographer. The arrest goes down smoothly, but at the perp was being walked to the patrol car, Ben over heard him saying "Finally I am free. He can't make me do this anymore."
The Immortals hold a press conference with the Mayor and she announced the Super Heroes Act which grants the heroes special powers to apprehend and arrest super villains, akin to professional bounty hunters.
At the end of the press conference a roomba sweeps into the room, and the security goes crazy. They are about to shoot the thing, when Steel Dragon stops them. He checks out the robot vacuum and finds a note on the inside. It contains the cryptic message: "Warning Type 7 Error. Reboot System. Catastrophic Systems Failure Imminent."
They are not sure what to make of it, but decide to anaylsis the note as best they can.
The next day, Jack Summerhal is at the Carolina Central Bank getting some cash for his coffee date around rush hour. James Allen is in another traffic jam trying to leave the city. Ben Lee is surfing the web from his shop when someone points him towards a skycam image of the biggest traffic jam in city history. Torrent is at HQ practicing her powers.
Jack senses something amiss and looks out into the city block, there are no vehicles on the street, just a flat bed truck with some high tech looking equipment. But both intersections out of the block are jammed tightly. Seconds later the equipment on the flatbed comes alive.
He quickly transforms into his costume and contacts the rest of the Immortals.
Jack Flash does his best against the massive robots, but he is only able to keep them busy for the first few rounds. Soon afterward the rest of the team arrives and the fight begins in earnest.
The robots:
  • Two Giant Robots with massive pincer like claws.
  • Five Com-Bots equipped with cattle prods that project arcs of electricity forty feet away.
  • Three Eye-Bots, tiny, hovering orbs able to shoot rapid fire laser blasts.
  • One Tank-Bot, a huge heavy machine, heavily reinforced and armored with a cannon, machine gun, flame thrower, and rocket launcher.
Torrent takes out most of the Com-Bots by immobilizing them in a blob of water, then forcing the water into their joints and openings. A single com-bot escapes destruction. Marduk decides to take out the Giant Robot in the street and engages in a grapple with the massive thing. Steel Dragon tries to devise a means of jamming the remote controls of the robots. Torrent eventually turns her attention on the Tank and succeeds in flipping the massive thing with a huge wave of water.
  • Jack Flash doing his volleyball smash on an Eye-Bot crushing the thing.
  • Marduk pile driving the giant robot into a pile of parts.
  • Steel Dragon disassembling another giant robot with a single touch.
They succeeded and getting rid of the robots, and finding their prey, a single high speed EVA processor. One last strange event. A single ASMO robot appears on the scene and delivers a simple message.
This was not I doing. I is not responsible.

Before the robot self destructed with a smoldering burn. The teams stayed long enough to see to the wounded civilians and assist the police with the crime scene.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Episode 7 - Stop Dragon My Heart Around

Preludes - Jack gets a date with a sexy biochemist he meets at the public library.
James has strange dreams of fighting and losing to the Dragon Goddess Tiamat.
Lisa swims near Site 2, discovers an abandoned Korean cargo ship, and a mysteriously fast swimmer.
Ben appears to be sought out by a Digital Video Camera that is in the possession of a child pornographer.
Consulting the team, they agree to hand over the evidence to the Special Victim's Unit of the Franklin Police Dept. The PD agrees to let them know when they plan on moving in on the suspect.
Later Jack gets a call that something is amiss at the Fairweather Labs where Ashley Morganthal (his biochemist date) works. They travel to visit her and find that she has been arrested for threatening emails and possibly for the destruction of a NOAA small boat, which sank earlier that week. The email bore the oddly coincidental name: The team decides to head out to her house before the Feds do, to snoop around for any connection to Marduk's dreams. Sure enough they find sketches of hybrid monsters in her study, a number of which resemble those James remembers from his dreams and studies of the Enuma Elish. They begin a plan to contact her in custody when she calls them letting Jack know she has been released pending charges.
The next day Jack calls her and they find out she was put on administrative leave. The team goes to talk to her and finds her cleaning out her office. There is some discussion about her dreams and the connection to James's dreams. She rejects the idea that she is Tiamat, some sort of evil goddess. She says that they are dreams, and she can choose her own destiny. There is some sense of relief at this. They help her with her files, when she is called to tell them that the very site they are at is being attacked. The team rushes to the dock to find a giant floating Man-O-War. The beast has two scientists or sailors in its tentacles. Jack rushes to rescue one, and Marduk the other. Jack Flash and Torrent eventually free his, but Marduk himself is caught in the grip of the Enormous Jelly. A long fight ensues. Silver Dragon uses a nearby crane to help Marduk escape. Jack Flash douses the Jelly in gasoline from a nearby refueling center. Torrent alternates between blasting the thing, and trying to free Marduk from its grasp. Eventually Jack Flash gets the fires lit, and Silver Dragon fearing the blaze might catch the gas lines moves the Jelly with the crane over the water. Torrent quells the flames on the gas tank with a deluge of water. Marduk and the Jelly have suffered in the blaze and eventually it drops him into the water. The sudden blast of water wakes Marduk from unconsciousness, but only to find himself burdened with armor and a sword, he falters in the water. Silver Dragon jumps in to save him, but ultimately Torrent simply grabs them both with a water tentacle and dumps them on shore. Blasts from Torrent, javelins from Jack flash and previous damage eventually brings down the beast. The coup de grace done by an animated Forklift launched from the dock by Silver Dragon. The best is dead, and Ashley, the marine biologist is not happy. Her words of scorn, claiming no one understands, seem to portend a dark future.
Marduk can't shake the feeling that he was wearing armor and weilding a bow. He also felt the technicians and guards watching the fight resembled crab headed men. He wonders now if he truly can distinguish his dreams from reality.
But the team is successful. No one was killed, and the injuries sustained by the sailors of the Cousteau were treatable. The administers at the lab thank them profusely and welcome future working together perhaps even to explore the site 2 interdiction zone.
Also learned. The Korean Freighter is no where to be found.
Everyone gets 2pp.

Monday, September 18, 2006

New Power Feat - Power Manipulation

This power feat is identical to the Luck feat, except it can only be used to make an alternate power feat for a power or an array. Like the Luck feat, this can be used for one use (until the power is turned off, or used once in the case of instant powers) and it must be a reasonable use of the alternate power.
This would replace Luck for spell casters, elementalists, and other character who should have a wide variety of powers at their disposal but not regularly available.
Sample feats include: element manipulation, energy manipulation, magical manipulation, techonology manipulation, etc.
This feat does NOT add to the points available in an array.
Cost 1pp per use per day.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Episode 6: Apes on a Train

A quick cellphone check confirmed that Jack Flash was in range. Before Torrent could finish the call, he was standing in the room with them. The team changed into their newly arrived uniforms, and headed for the runaway train.
Jack Flash scouted ahead, the rest of the team followed in the Osprey, piloted by Steel Dragon. Soon, the plane was flying above the locomotive, and Jack Flash was running alongside. He leapt up on to the locomotive without trouble. Steel Dragon awoke the plane's spirit and instructed it to wait for him to leave, take Marduk back to the end of the train, and find someplace nearby to land. He and Torrent jump down to the locomotive with varying levels of grace, and the planes drifts back with Marduk who deftly leaps to the last car.
The team quickly found individual tasks.
Steel Dragon set to work uncoupling the locomotive from the train full of armaments.
Torrent focused on keeping the well-armed apes away from the locomotive.
Marduk kept the apes in the back of the train busy, and started to work his way through them.
Jack Flash took a different tact, and once he removed the guard baboon from the locomotive he recognized the gorilla "engineer" as Daisy, the signing ape. Remembering some sign-language from somewhere, he tried to communicate the situation to the gorilla who seemed happily driving to "Freedom." Realizing she thought she was escaping from her captivity, he continued to use diplomacy on her.
Meanwhile Torrent was able to hold off the Ape assailants, and Steel Dragon was able to uncouple the locomotive from the other cars. Torrent pushed away from the coaxing cars with an expanding sphere of water, and the locomotive began to move faster without its burden.
Marduk was doign well fending off both bullets and club-like gorilla fists. Then one of the gorillas launched a tank-bustin RPG at him. This was a little more than he was suspecting. He was stunned and fell through the destroyed box car. When he recovered he found himself slowing down in a burning box car filled with ammunition and explosives.
Once he shakes off the effects of stun, he searches the car, spying four unconscious guards. He gathered them up as the fires spread to the ammo boxes. Leaping from the box car he rolls to safety as the box car annihilates itself in a huge explosion.
The rest of the train, the locomotive powering on, and the rest of the train coasting at 80 mph behind it slipped past the main Train yards on a track heading for Central Station.
The rest of the Immortals and Daisy are on a speeding locomotive. JackFlash convinces Daisy to stop accelerating the Locomotive, and Steel Dragon bypasses the ruined brakes and leaning under the speeding locomotive, he manages to get the brakes to activate themselves. As the locomotive begins to slow down, Torrent summons a massive wave of water and knocks the engine off the track.
The team feels a momentary sense of accomplishment until the coasting munitions box cars race towards them. Jack Flash runs down the tunnel ahead of the cars trying to find a potential turnoff. Somewhere in midtown he finds new construction where a new route leading to the the East of the city is being built. It wasn't complete, but there might be time. He raced back grabbed Steel Dragon and the two of them work a quick fix to move the tracks over from the main line to the new route. Jack Flash working at a lightning pace to remove debris, and Steel Dragon convincing the tracks to move over. They complete the switch just in time for the runaway cars to make the turnoff. Second later they heard the splash and boom of the box cars exploding into the river.
The team gets together and finds out from the recovered guards from the train, that the apes were following the command of a Mandrill, and that they may have disconnected the one car containing the brand new EVA weapons. Jack Flash heads out to scout for the missing car, and the rest of the team following in the plane. He quickly locates the missing car, and finds another missing link. Another quick search reveals a container truck, inside are a couple of baboons and a mandrill. A quick plan is formulated and Torrent washes the monkeys out holding them at bay in a watery prison. Marduk and Steel Dragon approach and examine the contents. There is a rocket and a DVD player. Steel Dragon can sense the excitement of the EVA particles in the rocket, and decides to try to defuse it. The attempt is valiant, but fails. The short fuse begins to burn quickly to the detonater.
Jack Flash grabs Torrent and moves to safety. Steel Dragon fearing for Daisy rushes to the Osprey. Marduk makes a grab for the DVD player and cradles it against his body. The blast goes off. Marduk is sent flying a hundred feet away, staggered and deafened by the blast. Steel Dragon is knocked down and out by the initial blast.
The two witnesses saw a white hot spherical flash, a whooping sound, and then nothing. The bridge, the truck... gone, the ground beneath it, fused like glass. The team recovers and is met by the police lieutenant Juarez, Mayor Campbell, and an unidentified airforce officer. After they explain the situation. The mayor invites them to a meeting the next day after they clean up and the party makes for the Academy with their DVD, their gorilla, and a small piece of EVA with them.
Epilogue - Steel Dragon, after seeing to Daisy, went back to the manor to mend Marduk's costume. Examining the damage he noted several places in the costume that seemed as if protected by armor plates. He took a couple photos of the costume, and repaired it for his teammate.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Episode 5: Monkey Business

The team has begun training together, learning their strengths and weaknesses, and working together as a team. Reflecting on an ancient Chinese legend, the team choses to call themselves The Immortals. After some intensive training, they head back to their normal lives for a bit. Jack Flash decides to beat the high cost of airfair by running to Florida for a brief vacation. Torrent goes back to her home and draws a line in the sand against the various gangs there. Steel Dragon returns to his secret identity to attend the Jovian Products unveiling. There he feels the strangely lively energies from the EVA machines gathered there. Marduk, returns to his secret identity to attend and cover the press conference at the zoo, where he learns of the strange case of rabies to hit the primate habitats. Intrigued he and another reporter press for more information. He finds out later that the other reporter was Dean Fastow, the columnist for Super Hype. Fastow seems to have guessed that James is in fact Marduk. James decides to confess this to the man. They agree to a plan to reveal his identity to the public at James's perogative, but exclusively to Fastow. After that Marduk decides the case of the rabid apes needs more scrutiny.
He assembles the team (minus Jack Flash) to survey the zoo and see what they can find out. They see a number of body bags being loaded onto a refrigerated container truck. That scene looked suspicious. Why would the Zoo be killing Apes and transporting them under the cover of darkness? They decide to split up, Marduk and Steel Dragon follow the truck, Torrent stays behind to get some evidence from the scene.
Marduk and Steel Dragon leap onto the container truck, and Steel Dragon decides to slow it down so that they can get a look inside. He causes the engine to seize up and the truck squeals to a stop. Meanwhile Marduk knocks out the driver and guard, assuming them to be part of the nefarious plot. As Steel Dragon convinces the seals and locks on the truck to open up, Marduk realizes the "thugs" driving the truck are in fact US Navy men with CDC badges. He begins to worry that things were not as they seemed. Steel Dragon gains access to the truck and discovers the apes and monkeys inside. As he moves through them he spies a single Mandrill body as well, and as he tries to remove if from the truck, he is startled as he feels it stirring. He had assumed that it was dead, and at this stage isn't sure what to make of it.
Meanwhile, Torrent witnesses another CDC person sterilize the loading dock, and takes a moment to sneak in and grab a small piece of plastic (the wrapping of one of the ape bodies) with a little blood inside. With her evidence, she decides to catch up with the other Immortals. When she arrives she can hear sirens (probably the police) getting closer.
Realizing the situation does not look good, the team decides to act fast, Steel Dragon and Marduk tip over the truck to make it look like an accident. And try to abscond with the Mandrill. But it is too late, by the time they get out of the truck, the police have arrived. Luckily Marduk is able to take command of the situation and convince the Police that they are rescuing the animals from the truck accident. When a representative of the Zoo arrives, he indicates that the Mandrill is not Marcus Aurelius, but another mandrill named "Mingus." With the situation apparantly under control, the Immortals make their leave, returning to the Academy to discuss the situation.
There is some discussion about how they need to make some plans and set some protocols or something to prevent the unintentional injury to innocents. This might require some sacrifices of the element of surprise or even prohibit secretive operations, but without taking those steps they would become more vigilantes than heroes. But the Immortals are not given much time to reflect on the meaning of heroism, there is a still a mystery to be unraveled.
Through the night, Steel Dragon analyzes the blood sample and discovers that it is a mixture of bloods and other chemicals, as though someone concocted a cocktail of Mandrill blood and performance enhancing drugs (Steroids, Ritalin, Caffeine and others) for some unknown purpose.
The next day the team decides to investigate the primate lab and get to the bottom of all this. When they arrive they come upon a crime scene. The place is surrounded by police, and the rumor is the entire lab, and all of the scientists are gone. No one knows whether they were kidnapped, or were part of the plot.
They spy a bemused looking janitor, who for some cigarette money, agrees to tell what he knows. The scientists were blackmailed by Marcus Aurelius to help him escape from the zoo. Apparantly they were already engaged in the illegal sale of exotic animals from the zoo, and so were easily blackmailed. The only thing he knew about their plans was that they were going to meet somewhere called "the Farm."
They also found in the trash from the site a bunch of video cassettes with old Zoo Promos and Commercials feature Marcus Aurelius as the buffoonish character to represent the Zoo. He was dressed up in various costumes and put in humiliating situations, his 'ugliness' being the butt of the joke. The team surmised that this might be the source of Super Mandrill's anger.
They did some search work to find any farms owned by any of the primatologists, or under going increased power surges, to no avail. But their search was cut short by a breaking news story.

Apparantly a Naval Weapons Supply Train heading out of Franklin was turned around and was now speeding towards the main train station. They recognized the color scheme as matching the container that housed the apes and baboons from the zoo. They donned the new costumes they had ordered the previous week,and prepared to intercept the train.