Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Episode 30: Lambs and Wolves

Starring: Banshee, Dragon Fly, Jack Flash, and Mystery Man

Mystery Man - Takes a walk to acclimate himself to his new home on the grounds of the Teach Academy. As he does he is hit by a strong headache and spinning vertigo. He staggered over to a fountain to splash some water on his face, as he does, the fresh water seems to transform into salt water, and looking around he sees himself on the rocky coast of some strange land. He shakes his head and tries to make sense of this, eventually climbing to some high ground to get a better sense of where he is. He spots a man walking among the tide pools and goes to meet him. The man, Harold, seems to recognize him, and speaks with concern about his memory losses, how they seem to be getting more severe. He reminds Mystery Man, that it was he who brought him, and the others to this place, this time. Understandably confused, Mystery Man tries to coax out more information, and gets more and more puzzled. Apparently he has been time traveling, rescuing people from the past and bringing them to this place, a sort of Super Utopia. He explored further and found a small village inhabited by other supers, including the Villain Tiamat he had so recently fought. He was recognized, but no one seemed to expend much concern about seeing him, as though he was a regular figure there.
He decided to find another village, and warned about some dangers, he traveled by teleporting from one point to another in his line of sight. For a while this worked well, but soon, he was getting disoriented by the confusing landscape of a thick forest he traveled. Again he was hit by a sense of panic and vertigo, and he retreated to the light at the edge of the wood. When he did, he found himself back on the grounds of the Teach Academy.

Banshee - Wandered the Manor to learn it s layout, she passed by a week paper showing a familiar face, that of Damian Ravenna, former paramour and erstwhile leader of her cohort from before the event. He was the headliner of an acting troupe entitled "Le Theatre Rienaissance." The show was playing that night in Franklin to rave reviews, so she decided to check it out. The elite of Freedom City has assembled to watch the show. The show was sold out, but she went to the stage door, dropped a note to Damian with her name on it, and was soon granted entrance to the show.
It was a strange gothic pantomime. What was strangely still is that the audience seemed almost mesmerized by the activities on stage. How she escaped the stupor was unknown, but she witnessed hundreds of people in rapt silence staring mindlessly at the performance. She slipped out and explored. When she came upon Damian in his dressing room, he mentioned the Event, and how it changed things for him and others. He asked her if she was still willing to commit fully. He spoke in terms reminding of their dramatic past, of the sorts of people, lambs and wolves. When they played at Vampires in the past, that sort of language was common enough. The Vampires were the wolves who preyed upon the 'lambs' of humanity. No morality, no concern, just life and death. He made a sort of threatening comment about not fearing sacrificing a few of these lambs if need be. Knowing her own changes made her worry. Perhaps he too had changed. And he alluded to such as change as well. She eventually returned to her seat, witnessed the end of the performance, and saw the crowd rise to a standing ovation cheering wildly the odd show. She also them writing checks and dropping them into donation boxes around the theater.

Jack Flash - Jack had little time to reflect on the past adventure before his phone rang, and his parents called him home. Unsure how they would respond to the discovery of his super hero status, Jack was confronted by his parents. They were not exactly excited about his new vocation, nor convinced he had any idea what he was doing. They compared him disparagingly to his siblings (who by the way hadn't saved the world even once!)and showed a little confidence he'd pull off super heroism. He did his best to assuage them, and argue that he did know what he was doing. They suggested he seek some counseling before something bad happen to him, or by him. He eventually left the house frustrated to yet again fail to live up to their hopes, or please them. What more could he do?

Dragon Fly - was asked by Dr. Weischaus to sit for some more experiments (what with all of his other subjects being... gone). The prospect of spending more time with Susan, and out of some sense of loyalty to the doctor, Dragon Fly does. He shrinks and stands on a microscope pad. The doctor then irradiates him with a dose of microwave radiation. This causes him to shrink even smaller, and smaller. Soon the room begins to lose its distinctness, objects become so big, they become formless blobs. The smooth glass slide he stood on, became a jagged set of shards, then the shards became looming towers as he continued to shrink. Soon, even the glass became obscured by a dazzling electric display, and then darkness. Complete and udder darkness. Yet he could in a sense 'see' for what seemed like miles, still it was indistinguishable emptiness. He stood there suspended in the darkness for several minutes, until he glimpsed what seemed to be movement. It was a slick and evasive sort of movement, and he chased it from here to there. Then he tried to lure it out in the open with a feint. He succeeded, and immediately regretted it. The form was a vaguely humanoid, titanic form, miles high like a person's shadow extending from their feet, only it wasn't from his feet, and there was no light source. A tendril of shadow drooped down from the form and licked at him coldly. It felt horribly perverse, like an unwelcome thought brought on by a dream or ill wind. He pulled away and the dark shadows pursued him. He decided to stand his ground and resist. He breathed a quick burst of flame at the thing, but the fire was absorbed and quenched like a match in molasses. He turned to flee and felt the form following him rapidly. Darting here and there, he tried to evade the thing, then realizing the futility, he twitched the muscle that made him grow, and grow he did. But unlike his normal growth, this took awhile, second passed where normally it took but an instant. Finally, he was sprawled across the laboratory table in normal size.
He explained what he had experienced, Dr. Weischaus suggested without explanation that it was probably the evil at the center of the universe.

The team compared notes of their unusual experiences and Banshee warned that Damian might be up to something untoward. She wondered what it might be. DragonFly called up some old friends, and learned that some Goths were blowing cash fast on party drugs including some unusual stuff like Laudanum, Absynthe, and Opium. They began to wonder what was the plan when Ormand arrived home, clearly from the something formal, and spoke glowingly of the Theatre Rienaisance. They drilled him for details, and Banshee explained her point of view, but Ormand remained skeptical. He did contribute several thousand dollars to the troupe, but he was wont to do such things anyway. He showed them an invitation to an exclusive party at the estate of the Pierce family, of Pierce Communications, Freedom City's richest citizen. The mayor, the chief of police and countless others of wealth and power would be there.
They formulated a plan for Ormand and Banshee to go to the party. If something happened, they would signal the team (parked nearby) who would teleport into and save them. It didn't work out exactly as planned, when both Banshee and Ormand appeared to be enslaved to the will of Damian. Ormand summoned the team to the pool house, and there was a brief discussion about the future. He told them he didn't go by Damian anymore, he preferred the term Ba'al. Not wanting to lose the element of surprise, Mystery Man tried to subtly create a portal from the pool into the pool house distracting Damian. As Mystery Man tries to bend time, Damian catches his movement out of the corner of his eyes.
As the episode ends, the Team is ready for action, but Banshee and Ormand still appear in the thrall of Ba'al.


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