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.


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