Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Episode 14: Hotel California

You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave.
Introducing: Gypsy, a mentalist with a mystic style. Her abilities include telepathy, mind control, mental illusions, and telekinesis (which she can use to fly and generate a force field); and Warden, a technologist with a powerful Battlesuit; near invulnerability, massively powerful power blasts, jet speed flight, enhanced strength, and an array or life support and super senses.
Esmerelda, a.k.a Gypsy, had been invited to work with the TAROT or face an assassin who threatened her imminent death. She chose to work with them, and has spent the last two months in relative luxury in the Palm Springs resort, doing Tarot Readings on a number of names, photos, and objects. She had no idea for what purpose her readings were being used, or if her readings were at all accurate. She is still learning her powers. She could sense that something wasn't right. On occasion she dreamt of people disappearing in the night, or simply being shot by a coworker or boss. She couldn't help shake the feeling that her own prophecies of doom for some people were self-fulfilling.
William, a.k.a. Warden, Thompson, was another 'volunteer' working for TAROT. He assumed that they were a defense contractor, but he never really thought to ask. He let them use his intuitive grasp of technology to build powered suits, and wicked weapons. He didn't ask any questions when they asked him to design weapons specifically designed to take out police and US Military armor and defenses. But, he began to worry. When two colleagues tried to leave, they were given a party and encouraged in their new ventures. Then, as they left the building they were the unfortunate victims of a 'stray' bomb from the nearby Marine Bombing range. When their manager, the Queen of Cups, watched it happen by the big window before simply closing the blinds and bidding everyone return to work, he knew he had to leave. But he had to do it carefully. He carefully assembled the things he needed, he corrupted the back-up data on his latest project "The WARDEN Suit" a highly advanced self-contained battlesuit. He collected explosives and fuel from distant warehouses and put them in his lab. Then he waited for a distraction to set his plan into motion.

Marduk woke up on a lear jet to California. He was treated well, but kept shackled and groggy with drugs. He was taking to the posh country club resort the Hotel Excelsior, and allowed to clean up and eat. He waited. That evening he met with "The Lovers" which turned out to be a single man, apparently in the US Government. He made him an offer to join the TAROT as King of Swords, and to lead a team of Supers. When he tried to ascertain their motives and methods he was somewhat evasive. The mysterious TAROT remains a mystery. But it was clear they answered to no law but their own.

Jack Flash and C4 were able to track Marduk via his GPS transponder. There was no obvious way of tracking Ashley (Tiamat) or Lisa (Torrent), so they decided to find Marduk. Moving at super sonic speed, Jack Flash, wearing C4 as a backpack, ran to California to the rescue. They arrived at the strange desert resort and when they tried to infiltrate the compound, C4, in the shape of a giant snake set off a land mine, and the alarm was sounded.

Marduk heard the alarm and decided it was time to leave. Opting for the dramatic exit he plowed through the Tempered Glass window of his suite and escaped on to the grounds. This set off even more alarms, sent a Sword Team to investigate and really set things in motion. Warden used the confusion to set his plan in motion and he donned the suit, and set off the explosions. Hoping to time his exit with the explosion, he miscalculated slightly and ended up being blown into the sky. He was stunned and a little embarrassed but otherwise unharmed. With that, the TAROTS super armored units, the Knights of the TAROT, entered the fray. Following them out the door, Gypsy also made her fateful escape from the building.

In the ensuing fight the teams were well matched. But, once the Immortals and the new Supers joined forces, the Kinghts of the Tarot were overwhelmed. Using teamwork C4 and Marduk finished off two. Jack Flash ensured one would not reenter the fray by stripping her of her powered armor. Gypsy was able to control one of the Knights to fight his teammate. Warden showed his martial prowess by scoring two KOs and sending one flying in to the air. Marduk summoned his mystic Sword and Shield and enflamed with the passion of the gods he set about to finish the fight. That he did with a deadly blow to the last knight standing. It was only the quick thinking and medical care by Jack Flash that the fallen knight was saved.

Sensing that reinforcements might be arriving, the two groups fled the scene, and made plans to return to North Carolina. Gypsy and Warden were offered membership in the Immortals to take the places of the missing Torrent and Tiamat. As if to punctuate that thought, Warden played a news report that Homeland Security had a warrant for the arrest of Torrent.

1pp awarded to all.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Episode 13: Nor a Drop to Drink

The team has been practicing at the academy, learning more about their abilities and trying to figure out how to get Ashley (Tiamat) to transform at will, it is slow going. The rain has been relentless, a low pressure zone is sitting on Franklin City, not moving.
The team gets a visit from Detective Mike Killian from the Special Perpetrators Unit of the Franklin Police Department. He asked them about Torrent and her whereabouts. The team expresses their ignorance and concern. He suggests that she is a suspect in the Tarot Murders of gang members in China Town.
After he leaves the team agrees to search for her. First they visit her family, and get a pretty cold reception there. C4 surprises a policeman staking out the area, and engages him in some conversation.
The team checks out the scene of the crime, and finds some drug residue.
The team decides to track her down assuming the strange weather is a result of her powers. They get a high quality barometer and Jack Flash takes it from place to place until they are able to find the center of the low pressure zone. This leads them to a flooded farmhouse out on the bay. They spy a couple of black SUVs and several armored men approaching the house. Jack Flash speaks with one of them at the SUVs and discovers that he is with Homeland Security and that they have a warrant for Torrent's arrest. Under the PATRIOT act, they need virtually no evidence or even a crime to accuse her of in order to do so. The teams stands by idly warning the agents of the danger of attacking her.
Their predictions come true when the agents wade across the shallow water to the house, and a massive wave knocks the men down apparently knocking several out. The team rushes into the rescue. Shortly thereafter, RPGs launch from the woods and set the house ablaze. The team does its best to rescue the fallen agents, and try to reach Torrent. She seems more angry than afraid or contrite. C4 bid her escape, and meet up with them. She bade them take Ormand's sailboat out, and she would find them.
During the rescue Marduk gets targeted by agents in the woods, whether intentionally or not, and attacked by a weapon that seemed to attach a strange glowing cord to his chest. He struggled to remove it, and then another hit him in the head. With two cables attached, there was a more intense glow and he felt a sapping sensation. When he tried to snap the cables he was unable. The cables then retracted back to the woods pulling him along. Drained of his powers, he was fairly helpless to the agents attention. They reeled him in, and when he was able to summon his armor, they stunned him with a power taser. The agents put him on their unmarked helicopter.
Meanwhile the rest of the team was attending the dead and wounded and assumed the helicopters were medical evac's but the helicopters passed them by, picked up Marduk and the other agents and flew off into the clouds.
When the checked the dead body of a fallen agent, they found a Tarot Card tucked into his armor with a 5 of Swords.
As they surveyed the area, they came to realize that another teammate was missing Tiamat.
Down to two teammates, one in a helicopter manned by unknown agents, the other lost to the waves? They did not know.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Episode 12: Stormy Weather

Heavy rains and winds batter Freedom City and darkness falls.
En route home from their trip Jack and Ashley endure a bumpy landing. Jack thinks he noticed some kind of creature on the wing of the jet, but when he got another look, it was gone.
At the Academy, C4 and Marduk fight a strange demonic foe, but after being pummeled by Marduk, the creature seemed to turn to dust.

After the landing, Jack and Ashley encountered an apparent car-theft in progress. Jack confidently went to take care of it, and discovered the thief was no normal thief but a super villain. A fight ensued and the Metallic foe put up a good fight against Jack. Somehow this caused a transformation in Ashley, she took on a reptilian appearance and struck several blows at the villain. The two heroes were able to take out the villain, and Tiamat landed a lethal blow. Jack summoned the police and Immortals, as well as an ambulance which took the wounded villain to the hospital.

The team returned to the Academy, made introductions, and compared notes. C4 came to the conclusion that the metallic villain might be part of the team that attacked Fort Knox, and the team worried that the other team might try to rescue him from the hospital before he was transferred to Blackstone Isle. They rushed to the site, and after some confusion over where he was, they figured out that the villain team had used some kind of illusions to deceive hospital staff, the SPU and the Immortals. But, the team was able to uncover the truth, and a fight ensued. With their recently lowered numbers the Immortals were facing four super villains and the fight was long and frustrating. They did learn the names of the Villains.
  • Brainstorm - the leader - a supremely confident villain with powers of illusion and mind control. His illusions were powerful enough to prevent most attacks from ever hitting him. But he was eventually hit a couple of times.
  • Thunder - the brick - the tall woman able to knock Marduk a hundred feet away off the top of the building to a neighboring one. She is tough and agile, but after being knocked off the building herself, she appeared to be out of the fight.
  • Lightning - the energy projector - lithe agile martial artist and conductor of electricity. His body rippled with electric current making him a dangerous foe to fight in melee. His ability to teleport makes him doubly difficult. He also seemed to possess some healing ability as well.
  • Tornado - wind controller - her domination of winds grants her flight and the power to form whirlwinds around herself and elsewhere. Her lack of precision made her less of an asset in this fight, although it was her wind control that eventually enabled the team to escape.
  • Metalstorm - the master of metal. A man covered in razor sharp shards of steel. Able to fling them off at high velocity and cut through flesh and steel alike. He also possesses some power over metal itself, being able to telekinetically grasp a car and drop it on Jack Flash. Metalstorm was severally injured by Tiamat, so was mostly just a prop in the fight on the roof top.
The Immortals, down one person, held their own against the villain team, also down one person. It remains to be seen how they will meet again, but rest assured they will meet again.