RPG Library

Night City(11): Vanguard Saves the Day

"That guy is not a member of vanguard Powersurge. I'll fly over to him and persuade him to stop his attack."

Britestar activates his force field and flys on an intercept course toward the armored figure.

Powersurge and Britestar both head west to confront the approaching armored figure. When they are about 120 meters apart, the man in red and black fires another missile. Powersurge stays where she is, with the intention of shooting the missile down before it reaches the remaining satellite dish, while Britestar flies as rapidly as he can to intercept the missile's source.

[WARNING: Powersurge has almost no chance of succesfully shooting the missile down. She doesn't have Missile Deflection, the missile is tiny (25cm x 2cm), and it's moving at close to 500 kph.]

As Britestar comes within shouting distance of the armored missile-launcher, he suddenly recognizes him. This is Oberon, one of the group of supervillains that slaughtered Vanguard less than two weeks ago. A faint energy field flickers around his red-and-black armor -- he apparently has a force field in addition to his armor.

Below, Kakker wheels the bus in a U-turn and pulls abruptly up to the curb in front of the apartment building. With a jerk that sends the damaged police light flying into the aisle, the bus comes to a stop, and Kakker swings open the front and rear doors.


Amanda's thinking,"Damn, I didn't think it was that fast.." as it zips right past her. She's starting to sweat..."What should I do? If I leave Britestar he might get hurt by this guy (GM to player: do I know this guy and what he's done).

Then a thought, shouting at Britestar,"Britestar! Britestar! See if you can get your teammates to split up. Some go secure Needleman and the rest get ready to rumble... I have a plan! I'll bring this guy down to ground level so everyone can get a shot at him. Hopefully, my magnetics can affect his armor! What do you say? Is it HAMMER TIME or what?"


It is unlikely that Amanda/Powersurge recognizes Oberon, although she may have heard the name and know it applies to a villain.


Adaptor, without waiting for the bus to halt, leaps out the back door and races for the side of the building, looking for a fire escape he can climb.

As he does, he alerts his teammates on his course of action... "I am heading for the roof. I may be able to help with those incoming missiles. I will proceed down from there to try and intercept Needleman, to keep him from escaping that way..."

Brandon, let me know if this seems feasible from here...


Adaptor begins to climb up the side of the building and Krane heads for the closest entrance (it is his intention to ascend to the roof from within the building, keeping an eye out for Needleman).

Speaking into his communicator, "Adaptor, this is Krane, I'm headed up on the inside. Let me know if you find anything."


Kakker turns to Arachne. "I'm going to shut down the building's power, any back-up generators, and then check out any machinery that's still operating. Sound okay?"


I'm going to tell you my general plan in case the action goes down hot and heavy this weekend. I just found out I have a FREE trip to Mardi Gras. We are leaving around 1:00am Friday morning and will come back on Monday.

My plan is this, in order to get Oberon pummeled by the rest of Vanguard I have to get him on the ground. I plan to dip underneath him as he is zooming to the building, cut all power from my flight to my telekinesis, and like a judo throw redirect him into the pavement. I'm hoping he doesn't have the fine control neccessary to pull out at the last second. After he is stuck in the ground I'll help blast him.

If that doesn't work then I'll alternate telekinetic grabs on his weapon systems, blasting him, and tugging him closer to Prism so he can get smashed.


The clouds above the apartment building grows heavy and dark, the shadow spreading over the landscape like a dark ripple in the sky.

As the team exits the bus and takes up tactical positions around the apartment building, a cold wind blows from the west. As Prism steps off the bus, the last to depart, the bus rocks gently and Glimmer is alone. Scanning the building, she spots Needleman in his apartment, where the cables from the roof snake down into his bedroom window. Her picture of the room is fuzzy; the air is filled with smoke. Needleman is rushing around the room flipping switches and spraying his equipment with a fire extinguisher.


Above the apartment building, the second missile darts past -- no, darts around -- Powersurge and slams into the remaining damaged satellite dish. Unlike the first missile, this detonation does cause damage to the building, and the fireball ignites the room exposed through the blasted brick of the outer wall. Powersurge snans the room quickly, dreading what she might find within, but thakfully the room appears to be empty.

Britestar hovers near the armor-clad figure of Oberon, the man responsible for the slaughter of the entire team of which Britestar is now a member. Britestar is speechless for a moment. What is this guy doing here? Attacking Needleman? Why?

"My business here does not concern you, Britestar."

This is the first time Britestar has heard Oberon speak. He sounds like Darth Vader; the voice is deep, arrogant, and drips with menace. And Britestar is up here with him, alone.


Adaptor alerts his teammates on his course of action... "I am heading for the roof. I may be able to help with those incoming missiles. I will proceed down from there to try and intercept Needleman, to keep him from escaping that way..."

There is no fire escape, but as Adaptor surveys the exterior face of the building impatiently spinning his staff,

-SNAKT!-

two small barbs spring from the staff's end. With a snap, Adaptor stops the staff's spin and brings the end up to eye level. A small barbed blade a few centimeters across appears to have popped from the end of the staff, and a small stud now presses itself against his thumb, where it makes sense for it to be. Moving with the certainty of an action that is inevitable, Adaptor aims the staff at the roof and presses the stud. The blade-tip shoots like an arrow to the roof, leaving a spiderweb-thin line trailing behind it. After it hits, the line grows taught, zipping Adaptor up as it rewinds into the staff.

Krane moves up the inside stairwell, keeping an eye out for opposition, but none appears. His yoga-trained muscles make quick time up the steps, leading him to the apartment door marked "NEEDLEMAN". Speaking into his communicator, "Adaptor, this is Krane, I'm inside at Needleman's door. Have you found anything?"

Meanwhile, Kakker and Arachne head to the maintenance room on the building's ground floor. They are held up briefly by a locked steel door, but a casual flick of Arachne's tentacles sends the door flying out of the way. Kakker's forehead creases a bit, then he heads in. Scanning rapidly across the building's breaker panel, he finds an electrician's nightmare: nothing is labeled. With time, he could probably deduce which breaker feeds Needleman's machinery, but he has no time. With a decisive action, he flips off the main breaker and the bulding goes dark. Small battery-powered lights in the hallway glow feebly, but they are small comfort.


As Britestar and Oberon hold each other's gaze, Oberon suddenly dives toward the ground. Britestar reacts instantly, on guard against this surprise maneuver, but Oberon seems surprised as well: the armored man's arms gesture wildly, and he struggles to bring his boot-jets into position to correct this undesired trajectory.

Below and behind Britestar, Powersurge begins to fall from the sky as she channels her powers away from her flight and into her electromagentic tractor beam. Hoping that her force field will be enough to protect her (she's only about eight meters off the ground), she holds her concentration upon the crackling electrokinetic field pulling Oberon to the manicured lawn below -- and Prism.


Hi BB,

Thanks for adding me to the site. I haven't found a costumed photograph for Amanda yet but I see her in a couple different costumes. I might as well describe them now.

  1. White costume with dark blue gloves, boots, belt, and jacket. The belt and the jacket have stylized "V" on it (like Rogue), and she wears shades. For style purposes only.
  2. A light blue costume like Britestar.
  3. Baggy blue jeans, brown Timberland boots, UCLA sweatshirt with hood, and shades. Everything except the boots and shades are XXXL.

She'll be alternating on these three and maybe adding more as time passes. Amanda has plans too on that she is in LA. First, she wants to go to UCLA, Second, She wants Jerrod in a great private school, and Third, she wants to use her powers and maybe get paid for it. She just can't work at a fast food joint with a public ID there is too much risk.


Adaptor, will take a moment to survey the damage on the roof. If nothing seems too interesting, I'll head for some stairs down and head that way.. Oh, and anything that looks like an 'Anti-Superhero' defense (missiles, or whatever), I'll see if I can't figure out some way it might be used against Oberon (which would probably be me tossing it to Prism, or letting Kakker know about it, since I wouldn't have the tech expertise to actually OPERATE anything like that). That's all for now...


[Cutting the whole building's power was what I intended; good.]

"How are you at scaling sheer walls with those prosthetics, Arachne?" Kakker picks up his carpetbag of tricks and heads through the now- empty doorframe.

Following Kakker out of the mechanical room, Arachne responds to Kakker's question.

"Tests indicate I should be able to carry up to 400 kilos on an incline up -90 degrees from vertical. I take it you are suggesting that I scale the exterior of the building and enter Needleman's room through the window? If so, I think it would be unwise for us to split up. We have no idea what kind of traps or accomplices this man has, and deviating from the plan will only confuse the team."


Amanda is going to maintain the tractor beam if she isn't stunned by the fall. IF she isn't then conversation going like this...

Seeing the huge crystalline man nearby Amanda says,"This armored man just fired on that building behind me. If you're a good guy knock his block off! Britestar, let him have it!!" With that Powersurge picks him up and smashes down into the ground again moving him closer to Prism.

"Let's beat the stuffin' out of him guys!" Superheroing... I love this game!!!!!!!!!


Prism dismounts from the bus and begins looking around for some sign of Needleman's robot -- whatever he may think of Arachne, he's going to stick to the plan. However, he is momentarily interrupted by the impending impact of a very large armored person.

Assuming that anyone who launches high-explosive missiles at an apartment building probably falls into the "Bad Guy" category, Prism lines himself up for an attack, getting as close as possible to Oberon's expected impact point. As soon as Oberon hits the ground (no sense in wasting all that beautiful momentum), Prism will pivot on one leg and greet the armored fellow with a (hopefully) bone-jarring side kick (with levels in OCV).

"Hey," he says after delivering the kick, "aren't those Nerf missiles too small for children under 2 to play with?"


"By no means. I was planning on climbing in the lead myself." Kakker bends to remove the tough rubberized soles of his earth shoes. A Shrrrrip! reveals metalic cleats glinting dully in the overcast light. Kakker drops the preformed soles into his carpetbag, swings it over his shoulder, and pulling a short length of rebar* from his pocket, begins assaulting the nooks and crannies leading up to the scattered, glowing windows many stories above.

* You saw him stash it there in VANGUARD #0, True Believers!


Glimmer speaks in broken sentences over the Vanguard radio.

"a man...must be needleman...in second story apartment...fighting a small fire. also flipping switches. don't know what the switches do.

"needleman's alone.

"guy with the missiles is...i don't know. he recognizes britestar.

"no sign of allies for needleman. i'll keep looking."


[Minor correction: Needleman's on the third (not second) floor of the six-story apartment building.]

Seeing the huge crystalline man nearby Amanda/Powersurge says,"This armored man just fired on that building behind me. If you're a good guy knock his block off! Britestar, let him have it!!"

With that, Amanda hits the ground. She impacts the grassy lawn with a "huff", but she seems unhurt. She gets to her feet swiftly, but without the ballet-like grace of Krane or the machine-like precision of Adaptor. However, she manages to maintain her electrokinetic hold on Oberon throughout her fall. Oberon strikes the ground like a brick... almost. Prism, moving faster than anyone with that much mass has any right to move, does a spinning side kick that would do any Mortal Kombat player proud.

-KRAK!-

The force of the blow knocks Oberon several meters away. Amanda can feel her electrokinetic grasp on him slip, and she has to exert herself to maintain her grip. It's almost as if she's trying to hold a piece of jello with rubber bands; she's never felt anything quite like it before.

"Hey," Prism taunts the red-and-black armored vilain, "aren't those Nerf missiles too small for children under 2 to play with?"

Oberon lands on one knee, trying to regain his balance in the split-second when Powersurge is trying to regain her hold on him. Her crackling energy field around him arcs and snaps, meshing and overlapping with Oberon's own force field. Suddenly, both fields disappear. To Amanda, the effect is a shock -- like walking down stairs and expecting to find one more step, but finding the floor instead.

"Ah, it was my EMF field you were manipulating. Interesting," Oberon says in a voice resonant with the satisfaction of solving a particularly interesting puzzle. Standing straight, he makes a dismissive gesture. "Enough of this. Your time will come, Vanguard, but it is not today. I came here for Needleman."

Flames fire from the soles of Oberon's boots and he rises swiftly into the air, leaving a burning patch of grass beneath him.


On the other side of the building (the side away from the street), Kakker and Arachne climb easily up the picturesque stucco and brick of the apartment building, using the plentiful balconies and ridges as a path to Needleman's door (or window, as it were). Kakker reaches the window first and gazes inside. Behind him, Arachne hovers looking in over his shoulder, her tentacles anchoring her to the wall on either side of the glass.

The interior of the room is a mess. Needleman is slob with a capital S-L-O-B. The room is also filled with smoke -- Kakker can't tell what the source of the smoke is, but it could be any of the dozens of the seemingly random piles of wires, switches, relays, and computer cases. There is no sign of Needleman or his infamous humanoid robot.


Adaptor reaches the roof of the building, and his staff's grappling hook retracts with a SNIKT!. Surveying the scene, he sees that the weather control machinery is no longer operational (and in fact, very little of it is even remaining on the roof). However, there does seem to be some damage to the building where the dishes used to be, and flickering tongues of fire dart out from the hole.


Meanwhile, Krane stands at Needleman's door. Should he wait for backup? Should he bash down the door, guns-a-blazing (so to speak)? He only hesitates for a fraction of a second, but in that second Miles Needleman, wearing a soot-stained green lab coat and what appears to be a scuba-diver's mask and oxygen tanks, flings the door open and almost runs straight into Krane. Behind the glass window of the face mask, Miles' eyes look at Krane and get REALLY BIG. He tries to retreat and slam the door shut before Krane can react.

From downstairs, a man's voice slurred by too many Mickey's Big Mouths bellows, "Needleman! I told you to cut that racket out! I'm calling the police this time, Needleman! I mean it!"


The temperature has dropped twenty degrees since the Vanguard bus pulled up the curb, and it's still dropping. The light is now heavy and grey, and the sun is hidden somewhere above the charcoal grey clouds.

In the parking lot on the other side of the building from the bus, not too far from where Kakker and Arachne cling and look into Miles' window, the rear door of a moving van opens and a primer-grey creature lurches out. Close to four meters tall, it moves with the ponderous precision of a tank, and stands with the lethal aura of a god of war. The only attribute which does not add to its tangible presence of hard, mechanical menace are its eyes. The eyes of this hulking man of iron and steel are white plastic spheres the size of golfballs, with tiny, black, square pupils. It stands for a moment, its gaze tracking up the wall to Kakker and Arachne, and then it begins to move toward them.


"Damn!" Amanda shouts. Electromagnetic energy flares wildly around her. As the wind picks up around her the sight of her hair and baggy sweater flailing about is impressive. She looks up at Britestar and says,"Can you warn the members of your team he's coming?" If Britestar looks her in the face, he'll see that Powersurges' eyes are completely opaque black. She turns to the huge crystalline man and says,"Well big guy I'm going to recycle that tin can. Join me?" With that she glides onto the magnetic lines and swiftly moves to follow Oberon.


"giant muppet robot in the street behind kakker and arachne. also a big armored bad guy flying their way. he's after needleman.

"krane. no danger behind you, but plenty in front. needleman's got to get out of there, now."


Prism is ready to follow up his kick with a further assault on the rocket- firing stranger, but all too swiftly he has recovered and is flying out of reach. If he thinks he has a shot at it, Prism will leap up after Oberon, thick legs coiling to propel his massive frame . . . well, actually, probably not too terribly high. He plans to grab the tin-man's legs and either drag him down or (more likely) be carried to his destination.

In the more likely event that Oberon is climbing too fast, Prism will shout into his comm-ring, "Incoming badguy with missiles! He's going after Needleman from the front of the building; anybody who can fly, get after him."

That done, Prism eyes the electric lady with a little caution and more than a little respect. "If I could fly, I'd be going after him right now. I'm kind of ground-bound, though, so I'm afraid I'll have to leave him up to you and Britestar -- the guy up there," he says, pointing. "Meanwhile, I'm looking for a giant killer robot; I don't suppose you've seen one around?" After a moment, he triggers his comm-link again and asks, "Anybody seen Needleman's robot? I'm going to make a sweep around the building."

After any parting words from Amanda, Prism will indeed begin to jog around the building, looking for anything giant-killer-robot-ish.


Britestar says on his radio "Hey Arachne, there is an unknown metallic man heading your way. What can you tell me about this fellow Oberon. Do you know if he has any weakness we can exploit?"

Britestar will move as close as he can (do a half move) and then fire a full energy blast at Oberon. "Little o, why don't you take off that second rate tin suit and fight me like a man."


Kakker motions Arachne upward to the window and makes gestures that fail to adequately convey IR sensing, but might suggest that she look inside the room.

After the radio traffic, Kakker looks down and out from the bulding at the area, dim in the overcast sky, and sees....?


Did anyone here see Judge Dredd (another terrible movie)? The big war-robot Armand Assante had following him around is what Needleman's robot looks like, with the exception that Needleman's robot's eyes look like golf balls (with small square pupils).


As Amanda starts to rise into the air she looks at the crystalline man and says, "I haven't seen any killer robot. I hope I get to know your name when this is over with!" She yelled that last sentence because by that time she is moving towards Britestar and Oberon.

Powersurge is going to try to move her entire flight movement to get between Oberon and the building. If Oberon is distracted by Britestar's attack then she is going to put as much power as possible into her Telekinesis and stay afloat... Then she is going to pick up small car and smash Oberon with it from behind.


Hey BB! I didn't think Judge Dredd was all that bad... It was better than Batman I thought. Anyway on to business. As you can tell by Powersurge's last couple of offensive moves she doesn't worry alot about property damage. In her experience you have to be kind of ruthless in a fight. She is used to fighting more experienced, more powerful opponents. The more sneaky or ruthless they get the more she'll get plus one. She will never push it past the limit until the bad guys do... then she might start losing it. Is this a potential side storyline?! I would if any of the players would recognize if she lost it.... HMMMMMM>


I'm not sure I understand what Amanda is doing. If she puts her power into TK, she isn't going to "stay afloat": she's going to fall.


Prism leaps upward with all his strength, struggling against the force of gravity and his own body, reaching upward with a crystalline hand to grasp the armored leg of Oberon....

But the earth loves Prism too well, and it pulls him down before he can touch Oberon. With a "thump" he lands, crushing the green, green grass still visible under his translucent feet.

Prism shouts into his comm-ring, "Incoming badguy with missiles! He's going after Needleman from the front of the building; anybody who can fly, get after him."

That done, Prism eyes the electric lady with a little caution and more than a little respect. "If I could fly, I'd be going after him right now. I'm kind of ground-bound, though, so I'm afraid I'll have to leave him up to you and Britestar -- the guy up there," he says, pointing.

"Meanwhile, I'm looking for a giant killer robot; I don't suppose you've seen one around?" After a moment, he triggers his comm-link again and asks, "Anybody seen Needleman's robot? I'm going to make a sweep around the building."

As Amanda starts to rise into the air she looks at Prism and says, "I haven't seen any killer robot. I hope I get to know your name when this is over with!" She yelled that last sentence because by that time she is moving towards Britestar and Oberon.

Prism then hears Britestar on his radio, saying "Hey Arachne, there is an unknown metallic man heading your way. What can you tell me about this fellow Oberon. Do you know if he has any weakness we can exploit?"

Metallic man? This could be the robot. Prism begins to jog around the building, looking for anything giant-killer-robot-ish.


Britestar moves to within six meters of Oberon and fires a full energy blast at Oberon. "Little o, why don't you take off that second rate tin suit and fight me like a man."

Britestar's blast of coherent light slams into Oberon's glistening black chest, throwing him a dozen meters back through the air, over the traffic on the road. He passes directly over the bus as he flies backward.

Oberon regains his equilibrium and hovers in the air above the bus. "Very well, you want a fight, you'll get one," Oberon says, obviously annoyed. "It took me most of the morning to kill your entire team, Britestar. I won't even work up a sweat taking care of you."

With a low hum, Oberon's black fists begin to glow a lurid red.


Kakker motions Arachne upward to the window and makes gestures that suggest that she look inside the room.

While she does, Kakker looks down and out from the building at the parking area, dim in the overcast sky, and sees a four-meter-tall primer-grey robot walking toward the apartment building. It doesn't seem to be carrying any weapons, but if it can move that much bulk, it must be more than strong enough to crush a human being in those huge steel hands.

"I don't see Needleman," Arachne reports after looking into the window for a few heartbeats. "I see lots of smoke; it seems to be coming from the other room." One of her tentacles reaches out and tears the window from the wall. The glass shatters, raining glass into the bushes three stories below. "Let's go in," Arachne says, and does.


Oberon fires beams of crackling ruby energy at Britestar, and the sound of the blast sounds like a saw ripping through wood. The scarlet blast strikes Britestar like a burning battering ram [31 STUN, 10 BODY], throwing him four meters backward through the air, bringing Britestar close to the edge of the building.


That was an A.B.C. Warrior. No, I don't know what it stands for, but if anyone's really curious I could look through my 2000AD back issues and see if I can find out.

A friend of mine and I went on for -hours- debating the faults of "Judge Dredd" and "The Shadow" -- the films, that is. We agreed that the films were both terrible, awful and basically el-stinko, but we differed as to which was worse.

BTW, Brandon, I didn't know that anyone else in the world watched the ol' Doc Strange TV movie. Gawd, wasn't that the most awful thing?!?


Before Needleman can slam the door, Krane moves in. "I'm not here to hurt you, just to protect you from yourself and others," Krane says in his most reassuring voice, as he attempts to grab the would-be supervillain.

Into his communicator, Krane says, "I've got Needleman in front of me. What's going on outside?" Krane does his best to keep the others informed of what's going on within the apartment.


Adaptor, from his vantage point on the roof, has a view that any TV news crew in town would probably kill for...

Seeing no obvious weapons that might aid his teammates, he instead hustles over towards the area where Oberon and Britestar are battling, his bare feet seemingly unaffected by both the cold and the occasional jagged piece of debris. He introduces a possible plan to the team as he sprints across the roof to the plucky young man's aid: "This is Adaptor on the roof. I currently have Oberon in sight to the (compass point where he's located) and a large robot that is probably Needleman's in sight on the ground to the (compass point where it's located). Perhaps we could introduce them to each other. I am engaging Oberon now..."

With that suggestion, he pulls to halt, pausing to survey the situation. He will attempt to make eye contact with Oberon, and twirl his staff in a simple Kata to get the villian's attention, then hold a defensive stance, but not say anything, on the off chance that Oberon may mistake him for Apex (as Ron specifically mentioned his name several days [actually, months ; )] ago). Standing ready (read: holding an action), he awaits Oberon's next move.


Upon further review of my character I have discovered you are right. Instead Amanda will fly at ground level between Oberon and the building LAND and then try to SMASH him with the car. Please forgive the slight oversight of my tactic. By the way may I have a surprise bonus on the hit roll ,and I have seen the Dr. Strange movie... It REALLY SUCKED.


While Adaptor is running towards the fight between Britestar and Oberon, he notices what seems to be a dark figure surrounded by a blue electrical field. He soon realizes it's coming his way. It appears to be a young black girl wearing blue jeans and a loose tan sweater as she comes closer Britestar blasts Oberon taunting the supervillain. It's then that Adaptor gets a really good look at the girl the electrical field causes her fly about -excuse me- causes her hair and sweater to fly about wildly. When he looks into her face he sees a look of determination that makes her seem alot older. Then he sees her eyes... the cold opaque black orbs with power dancing around them. She doesn't seem to notice him as she lands a few meters in front of him. She looks up in time to see Oberon blast Britestar towards the building.

Looks around and sees a candy apple red Chevette. The blue electrical field once flaring brightly dims... then suddenly it comes to life the girl simply stands there staring. Her energy flowing to car and then it shoots up skyward... Straight into Oberon. With that the girl, hair all around her face, looks at Adaptor and say,"..My name is Amanda Edwards. I hope you're here to help.. for your sake."


With several reports of potential sighting of Needleman's robot to the rear of the building, Prism has a pretty good idea of where he can find his target, and so picks up his pace as he rounds the corners of the apartment building. When Adaptor suggests "introducing" the robot to Oberon, Prism activates his comm unit and says, "I'm going for the robot. If you can get Oberon down here, great, but I don't think I can get the robot up to the roof."

Rounding the last corner, he sees the appallingly fake-looking robot ["giant muppet robot" -- I LOVE it!], which prompts him to emit a loud, "You have GOT to be kidding me." Then, louder, he yells, "Hey, Oscar! Prepare to be trashed!"

His first action upon reaching the robot will be a footsweep (or, more likely given its size, a knee-kick takedown) to try and reduce its height advantage. If Prsm has a chance to follow up while it's (still) on the ground, he'll drop to one knee on it...preferably with the knee in question on the robot's "throat" or head. [I guess you could call that a kick; in any event, levels are in DCV right now.]


Kakker broadcasts to the team. "We've got a hostile robot approaching on the pavement. It could possibly collapse the building. Prism, are you on it?" Kakker dithers between joining Arachne and keeping an eye on the killer robot.


Inside the building:

Before Needleman can slam the door, Krane moves in. "I'm not here to hurt you, just to protect you from yourself and others," Krane says in his most reassuring voice, as he attempts to grab the would-be supervillain. Miles' attempt to leap backward is too slow to evade Krane's lightning reflexes. With a grip firm enough to keep Miles from getting away, but not so hard as to hurt him, Krane holds the mad scientist at arm's length.

Into his communicator, Krane says, "I've got Needleman in front of me. What's going on outside?"

But Miles didn't get this far without planning ahead. He whips out a modified Black & Decker electric screwdriver and slams it against Krane's midsection. With a BZZZZT!, the sonic torque of the battery-powered tool drills a small hole through Krane's armor and into his skin. [3 BODY, 10 STUN, Armor Piercing]

Meanwhile, Krane hears a sound from inside the apartment, the sound of twisting aluminum and breaking glass. It sounds like someone tearing a window from its frame.

Outside, South Side:

"This is Adaptor on the roof. I currently have Oberon in sight to the south and a large robot that is probably Needleman's in sight on the ground to the north. Perhaps we could introduce them to each other. I am engaging Oberon now..."

With that suggestion, he pulls to halt at the edge of the roof, pausing to survey the situation. He attempts to make eye contact with Oberon, and twirls his staff in a simple Kata to get the villian's attention, then hold a defensive stance, but not say anything, on the off chance that Oberon may mistake him for Apex (as Ron specifically mentioned his name several days ago). Standing ready (read: holding an action), he awaits Oberon's next move.

While Adaptor is running towards the fight between Britestar and Oberon, he notices what seems to be a dark figure surrounded by a blue electrical field. He soon realizes it's coming his way. It appears to be a young black girl wearing blue jeans and a loose tan sweater as she comes closer Britestar blasts Oberon taunting the supervillain. It's then that Adaptor gets a really good look at the girl: the electrical field causes her hair and sweater to fly about wildly. When he looks into her face he sees a look of determination that makes her seem alot older. Then he sees her eyes... the cold opaque black orbs with power dancing around them. She doesn't seem to notice him as she lands a few meters in front of him (and six stories down). She looks up in time to see Oberon blast Britestar towards the building.

The blue electrical field once flaring brightly around the girl dims... then suddenly it comes to life, flowing to a candy apple red Chevette. She can feel the cold solidity of the car like a smooth stone in her hand. It's reassuring, after her experience with Oberon. Surrounded by the electric field, the small vehicle shoots up skyward... straight into Oberon.

The gold rims and trim on the little car glint in the blue electric glow as Powersurge heaves it upward. Oberon sees it coming (how could he not?), but he has no time to move aside, and the red Chevette slams into him with a crash of mangled sheet metal and breaking windows. Oberon all but vanishes within the crumpled car, both now held in mid-air by Amanda's electromagnetic field.

With that the girl, hair all around her face, looks up at Adaptor on the edge of the roof saying, "My name is Amanda Edwards. I hope you're here to help... for your sake."

However, Amanda's and Adaptor's attention is drawn back to the car. With the sound of tearing steel, Oberon peels himself out of the Chevette. Standing in the air above the Vanguard bus, he lifts the Chevette over his head, pulling it out of Powersurge's grasp.

Oberon heaves the car at Powersurge with all his might.

Outside, North Side:

With several reports of potential sighting of Needleman's robot to the rear of the building, Prism has a pretty good idea of where he can find his target, and so picks up his pace as he rounds the corners of the apartment building. When Adaptor suggests "introducing" the robot to Oberon, Prism activates his comm unit and says, "I'm going for the robot. If you can get Oberon down here, great, but I don't think I can get the robot up to the roof."

Kakker broadcasts to the team. "We've got a hostile robot approaching on the pavement. It could possibly collapse the building. Prism, are you on it?" Kakker dithers between joining Arachne and keeping an eye on the killer robot. Then he sees Prism come around the far corner of the building, making a beeline for the huge primer-grey machine.

Rounding the last corner, Prism sees the appallingly fake-looking robot, which prompts him to emit a loud, "You have GOT to be kidding me." Then, louder, he yells, "Hey, Oscar! Prepare to be trashed!"

Arachne, now standing in Miles' bedroom, turns and looks out at the parking lot. "Where's the robot?" she asks Kakker, but then she sees it lurching toward the building. "Ah," she sighs, sounding disappointed. "It looks pretty primitive. I'm sure Prism can handle it. You can jump down and give him a hand, if you like. I'm going in to meet Krane and make sure Needleman is neutralized."

With that, she heads into the smoky interior.

Prism makes much better time than the hulking robot, and intercepts it at the sidewalk a few meters away from the building. Its head swivels down, but it doesn't take any action other than stopping in front of Prism.

Prism wastes no time. He pivots and kicks the robot in the knee, hoping to reduce its height advantage. The kick barely dents the monster's massive knee, but it does knock it backward into the parking lot. Like a falling safe, the robot falls onto its back, digging huge gouges in the soft asphalt of the parking lot.

The machine lurches, its hands grasping for purchase as it tries to right itself. Not letting this opportunity pass him by, Prism jogs over to the creature and knee-drops onto the robot's head. The thick metal plates forming the robot's forehead and chin give way slightly, but Prism's knee completely crushes its golf-ball eyes. Blindly, the machine gropes for Prism with an enormous metal hand.


"pretty intense violence, people!

"and speaking of properly damage, the weather doesn't look good. krane, could you ask needleman exactly what's happening and what it'll take to get the weather back to normal again?"

One more thing -- Glimmer is well aware that Oberon is hovering above her, so she'll be ready to take appropriate defensive action (probably the ol' desolidification trick) if he's going to drop. She'll do the same thing if, say, Powersurge decides to yank the bus up to deflect that incoming car.


The crunching sound in the other room doesn't excite Krane much more than Needleman's attack. He quickly tries to do a chopping disarm/grab on the would-be supervillain. "Quit playing around," Krane demands as he (hopefully bats the weapon away. "I'm here to keep you alive. There are some bad people after you. "And what's up with the weather outside anyway? Are you trying to kill yourself too?"

Krane will try to drag the (mad) scientist into the hall, since he's not sure who's coming in through the other room.


Kakker mulls over the prosects. Prism seems to have disabled the robot from _purposeful_ destruction, and given Arachne's ready earnest to use her new brawn...Needleman! Kakker, haunted by visions of a drawn and quartered Needleman, zips into the other room groping for Needleman or Arachne, anything to keep them apart.


"Damn," Prism exclaims as he avoids the robot's groping hands, "you make this too easy, Tinkerboy!" Then, as if hearing himself, he steps back. "If there's a person in there, I suggest you knock three times; I'll let you out before I compress that tin toy into a six-inch cube." After a slight pause, during which he actually half-expects to hear someone knocking on the robot's chest plate, he will try to glab one of the flailing arms of the robot and, well, break it at the elbow.


It's extemely unlikely that a young woman with Amanda's defenses would die from anything less than a tac-nuke gun. However, dodging will avail you naught: the car is an area effect. You may, however, dive for cover, which would require a Dex roll at -2 to perform successfully. If you succeed, the car misses, and you land on your feet. If you fail, the car hits, and you're on your ass. In either case, you've blown your next phase.

Decide whether you want to do the DFC or not, and if so, roll the dice and tell if you succeed.

PC deaths are not something I do in Champions without discussing it with the player first. It's much more fun to cripple you or take away your powers. Speaking of which, did you know that Amanda's not a mutant? Which begs the question, "Just where DO her powers come from?" Stay tuned....


Glimmer's voice comes over the Vanguard frequency. "pretty intense violence, people! and speaking of properly damage, the weather doesn't look good. krane, could you ask needleman exactly what's happening and what it'll take to get the weather back to normal again?"

Inside the building, Krane taps Needelman's wrist in just the right way, and the sonic screwdriver lands on the couch across the room. "Quit playing around," Krane demands. "I'm here to keep you alive. There are some bad people after you. And what's up with the weather outside anyway? Are you trying to kill yourself too?"

"Wh- wh- weavver? Outfide?" Miles stammers around his rebreather as Krane drags him into the hall. "You f- f- fouldn't be able to fee it from here...!"


"Damn," Prism exclaims as he avoids the robot's groping hands, "you make this too easy, Tinkerboy!" Then, as if hearing himself, he steps back.

"If there's a person in there, I suggest you knock three times; I'll let you out before I compress that tin toy into a six-inch cube." After a slight pause, during which he actually half-expects to hear someone knocking on the robot's chest plate, he will try to glab one of the flailing arms of the robot and, well, break it at the elbow.

Grabbing the arm is easy enough. Breaking it is another matter. Pulling on the robot's forearm, Prism manages to twist the elbow as far as it will go, but no further. Meanwhile, it's other hand clamps onto Prisms leg and begins to squeeze. Fortunately, Prism is made of stern stuff, too, and the robot's hydraulic grasp is not sufficient to do more than cause Prism minor pain (no significant Stun).

[By the way, Boris, you specifically said you wanted to knock it down and then do a knee-drop on its face. I don't know if you planned it that way, but that was about the only way to get at it's weak spot -- it's eyes. The eyes are made by Connectix, by the way. They're $100 each at CompUSA.]


Kakker mulls over the prosects. Prism seems to have disabled the robot from _purposeful_ destruction, and given Arachne's ready earnest to use her new brawn...Needleman! Kakker, haunted by visions of a drawn and quartered Needleman, zips into the other room groping for Needleman or Arachne, anything to keep them apart.

It doesn't take him long to catch up to Arachne, who is busy ripping Needleman's door from its hinges.

"Ah," Dr. Redgrave says as she catchs sight of Krane and the would-be would conquerer, "there you two are." She drops the door in the living room floor, where it crushes several boxes of electronics. ZZZT! FRITZZZ! ZZRRK-ZRRK!

The smoke appears to be emanating from a washing-machine sitting in the middle of the kitchen, but it doesn't appear to pose any significant danger to the building (unless, of course, it explodes). Various cables snake across the apartment, from the washing-machine to the various boxes on the floor, and in and out of Miles' bedroom. Kakker can readily tell that most of those coming from the washing machine are power cables.


The Chevette flies through the air toward Powersurge like impending doom. It hits the manicured lawn relatively quietly, digging deep troughs in the dirt, then crashes into the apartment building. The remains of the vehicle teeter for a moment, then fall back on the ground with a heavy CRUNCH!, exposing the broken wall behind it.

Amanda rolls to her feet just to the left of the car. Oberon is standing in the air, laughing at her.

Meanwhile, Adaptor stands on the edge of the building, feeling somewhat left out.


Krane's not sure who's coming in through the other room, but he's not giving them a chance to do something nasty either. Speaking into his communicator, "I've got Needleman. I'm dragging him into the hall, I think someones breaking into his apartment."


Oberon stands on pillars of fire, looking at the wreckage of the Chevette (which obscures his view of Powersurge, who darted out of the way just in time). He chuckles and returns his attention to Britestar.

"You are here for the same reason I am, Britestar: to eliminate this Needleman person. I cannot allow some would-be terrorist to interfere with my operations. However, I've destroyed his machine and I assume that your teamates have managed to capture the upstart. For the moment, I will allow you to retain him; I will deal with him at another time. Since neither of us was prepared to engage in warfare this day, and this is not the battlefield either of us would have chosen, I will allow you a reprieve, as well."

Oberon does not wait for Britestar's response. One gathers that he really doesn't care what Britestar's response is. His boot-jets flare, and the red-and-black figure rockets into the sky into a generally western direction (unless someone stops or follows him, of course: he's only going about 180" per 12 segments). As he does, Powersurge flies up to Adaptor and asks for suggestions.


Inside the building, Krane, Arachne, and Kakker stand around the thoroughly terrified Miles Needleman, Master of the World.

"You can't see it from here, can you? When you say 'outside', you mean Los Angeles, right? It's inconceivable that the effect would have spread to here. I balanced every variable, took every factor into account. I left nothing to chance! It was foolproof! I can't have made such an error!"

As Miles becomes increasingly agitated, his breathing becomes more labored, but the rebreather and tanks he's wearing seems to compensate for his respiratory difficulties (since he isn't collapsing into a wheezing ball).

On the other side of Kakker, inside Miles' apartment, a smoke alarm begins to whine.


Prism wrestles with the Needleman-spawned hulk. It hasn't done any significant damage to the crystalline hero (he might need polishing later), but nor has Prism succeeded in incapacitating the robot. With persistent effort, he's managed to disable one of it's arms by twisting an elbow linkage to the point where the joint is frozen. Still, Prism is keeping the monster from doing any harm to anyone, and the only property damaged is the asphalt blacktop, which now has huge gouges from where the goliath has been thrown repeatedly to the ground by the adroit hero.


Inside the bus, Glimmer is hanging out and keeping people updated.


Meanwhile, at Vanguard, an elderly Korean gentleman pushes the doorbell and waits for a response.


In an expensive private hospital, not too far away, a young woman is delivered into a ward for terminal cases.


In a dark room in a dark building, a group of shadowy figures examines a video tape of last night's news. A smooth hand presses a button, freezing the action on a single figure with a colorful costume.

"The lost offspring has been found."

"Yes."

"It has not been prepared for sentience. Its vehicle was not cleansed."

"No."

"We must find it before irreparable damage is done."

"Yes."

"It must be made part of the whole."

"Yes."

"If it can not be cleansed?"

"Then the abomination must be destroyed."

"The Will be done."


In a bathroom, a bleeding man breathes his last, and hands his legacy to his teacher, and his student.


In Santa Ana, a bloody body is found by a group of children. It is only after the police arrive that it is recognized as the remains of a human being.


"We have a positive on VN-750. Telemetry says Los Angeles."

The man behind the technician leans in and looks at the tell-tale power signature, the green glow from the screen giving them both a ghoulish appearance. "Good: I knew it was only a matter of time. Dispatch a team. And alert the director: he has an interest in this one."


Adaptor stares into the distance, tracking the plume of Oberon's jets until they disappear over the Horizon. He shrugs slightly and turns to Brightstar...

"Good job. You and the young lady obviously stratled him with the amount of power you were displaying. If he thought he could have taken you without a fight, he would have, but he didn't. I'll go down thorugh this hole in the roof. You should probably check on the young lady and make sure she's Okay and doesn't wander off. We'll want to debrief her...'

With that, he walks to the hole in the roof and without breaking stride simply drops down into it. He'll give a crusory inspection fo the rubble, then start to mehtodically search the apartments and evacuate the building...

'Arachne, I hear a smoke detector. I will start the evacutation fo any civilians in the area. I am currentlyon the top floor...'

With that, he retracts his staff with a snap of his wrists and strides thorugh the smoke searching for anyone not wearing a costume (and on the lookout for anyone he dosn't immediately recoginze who is...)


Krane keeps a firm hand on Needleman. He doesn't want the would be super villain pulling some sort of daring escape.

He glares at the mad scientist. "Where'd you go wrong kid? You're obviously very gifted. You could have used your abilities for profit in a legal way. Yet you pull some stunt like this.

"It doesn't make any sense."

If/when the others do start to evacuate, Krane will escort Needleman down the stairs and put him into the hands of the proper authorities.


As Powersurge reaches the top of the roof she sees Adaptor talking to Britestar. The sight of Oberon leaving brings a smile to her face,"Damn I'm glad he's gone." That repeats in her mind over and over again. As she lands it's just in time to see Adaptor step into the hole in the roof.

Turning to Britestar she sees the blast residue on his costume. A look of concern comes across her face,"Britestar are you alright?" After his response,"Look I hope I didn't make your team look bad with the damage I did." She looks over the edge of the roof at the destroyed Chevette and the hole where she planted Oberon.

"I have a habit of destroying things when I fight." Looking around kind of sheepishly, a sly grin comes to her lips.

"Well I'm sure you have enough on your team move the tenants... I guess I'll be going," she extends her hand out for a shake,"it was great working with you Britestar."


Adaptor responds with his usual lack of panache...

"Nothing of the sort, sir. There's been an altercation between paranormals in and around this building, and I'm conducting a search to make sure there are no civlians in danger. We would like everyone to leave the building for their own safety because there may have been structural damage. As you can see, there are fires to put out as well, and the authorities should be arriving shortly. May I assist?" (he may also take a casual glance at the stacks of white boxes...)

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