Night City(12): Vanguard vs. Lt. Nichols
The pale young man raises an eyebrow at Adaptor, pauses for a moment, then hands Adaptor the fire extinguisher.
"Fine, here. Make sure you lock up when you're done."
Then he turns and walks out of the room, then out the front door of the apartment, locking the deadbolt behind him.
Adaptor takes up the fire extingusher and promptly begins to systematically track down any vestigal flames that may still be flickering. When he has completed this task, he tucks the extinguisher under his arm and exits the apartment (making sure to lock the door behind him, if he can). He then continues his sweep of the upper floors of the building, newly-garnered fire extinguisher at the ready...
Krane restrains the struggling villain gently. He doesn't want to allow the little guy to injure himself with his struggles.
During a pause in the rant Krane will interject, "Get it all out Mr. Needleman. That's a good first step. Maybe someday you'll come to realize where you went wrong. If you would only have used your abilities for good, the benefits could have rained down upon you one-hundred fold. As it is, you've brought quite a bit of trouble upon yourself. If you decide to cooperate and rehabilitate yourself, I'll be glad to be a character witness for you. You'll make the right choice."
Hopefully the police, or an ambulance will come to take the slobbering villain off of Krane's hands soon (grin).
About that bot, seeing how Krane has Needleman well in hand, Kakker will return to the window and check on the machine's progress.
Unless Britestar says anything or retains her, Amanda is going to fly off the roof. From there she is going to look for the Crystal Man and talk for a minute with him. How long did this encounter take? If it's too long then Amanda will be brief and go home. Jerrod is there alone.
If Britestar doesn't stop Powersurge she is going to fly and find Prism. Then she is going to blast the robot apart and talk to Prism for a little while.
Britestar will fly around the area looking for any other possible threats to needleman.
It takes only a few minutes for Adaptor, Kakker, and Arachne verify that the damage to the building doesn't pose any serious threat to the inhabitants. Adaptor managed to put out the fire on the top floor, while Kakker and Arachne douse the smouldering equipment in Needleman's apartment/laboratory.
Outside, Krane has Needleman well in hand, and after several minutes of work and persistence, Prism has finally rendered the robot, if not harmless, at least immobile. If no one gets too close to it (and someone keeps an eye on it), it shouldn't pose any serious danger.
In the sky above, Powersurge and Britestar zoom around looking for more threats ("securing the area" is what a military type would call it). After they spot the robot, Powersurge drops down to give Prism a hand with the 'bot. Together, they rapidly make it stop moving altogether (it would seem that it has little defense against Powersurge's attacks). Britestar zooms around a bit more, just to make sure the coast is clear, before he settles to earth along with the team.
While the heroes wait for the authorities (and keep an eye on their captives), a small crowd gathers around them (most of whom are residents of the apartment complex). A few of them are armed with video cameras, and one raven-haired teen-age girl in a leather jacket is bold enough to ask for a statement from the team (she actually asks Krane "for a statement to the public", but she pans the camera to anyone who talks -- she also gives Prism a long up-and-down with the camera).
Overhead, the cloudy sky eventually parts, and the cold winds give way to the tepid breezes California expects from late winter/early spring. However, in the next few weeks, wave after wave of blizzards hits the east coast and midwest, costing the lives of hundreds. No explanation can be found for the phenomenon: meteorologists just shrug and say it's a freak weather pattern.
Amanda looks to the crystal man and says,"Hi. My name is Amanda but I guess with these cameras, my proper title is Powersurge. I told you if we survived this I'd get to meet you. What's your name?"
After Prism gives her his name she'll look to the rest of the team.
"Well since Britestar isn't going to do it. Hello everyone, My name is Powersurge and I've recently arrived in L.A. It's a pleasure to meet you."
Amanda will greet each member of the team and will answer as many of the questions they ask as possible. One or two of the team may hear someone in the crowd go,"Hey isn't that the girl from the Plays of the Week? (FYI: Plays of the Week are a part of the ESPN SportsCenter show highlighting sports moments during the week)
If the camera people come her way Amanda pulls out a pair of shades (slightly bent, she rolled on them) adjusts them and puts them on. She says,"My name is Powersurge. No I'm not a part of the team. No I just arrived in L.A. Yes I am single. No I will not go out with you this weekend...or next weekend"
She will then meet the leader of the team or the person who thinks their in charge. "I'm very happy to have met your team. I hope I can work with you again. I'm new to L.A. and I don't want to step on any toes. Well if you don't need anything from me I'll be going. Is there a way to get in touch with you if I need some help?"
When Adaptor arrives at the ground floor, he will attempt to find the young man who loaned him the Fire Extinguisher and return it to him. If not, he will hand it to a Firefighter and identify the apartment it came from and ask him politely to see to it that the owner gets it back. He will then thank him.
When introduced to Powersurge, he will offer his hand for a handshake and say...
'Pleased to meet you, miss. I call myself Adaptor. You handled yourself well against Oberon. Thanks for the assist...'
[Konji,the man greeting you is six feet tall, and proportioned like a Decathlete: strong, lean, and obviously VERY physically fit, although he doesn't seem to have any overt Paranormal abilities. He wears a red, white, and blue costume with a half-face 'Captain America' style mask that covers the top of his head. From the smooth surface, however, you're pretty sure the guy has no hair, but when you shake his hand and get a closer look, you realize that he has NO hair at all; none on his hands, which are bare, no eyebrows, no eyelashes, in fact. A quick glance at his cotume reveals that he fights barefoot, his tight-fitting pants ending just above his ankles. A small 'pocket' sewn into the side of his left leg holds a one-foot length of metal, apparently the staff you saw him using earlier, somehow retracted for portability. A large, red 'A' sprawls across his chest, bright against the white field it rests on. Taken as a wohle, the effect is unusual; his slate grey eyes are completely unblinking, his gaze penetrating, and he seems a little too intense for such an obvious 'Superhero' get-up...]
A shake of his hand will get a polite, firm, businesslike one-pump handshake.
Adaptor sees the skinny guy and his slightly chubby roommate in the crowd. As he hands the fire extinguisher back to the young man, the pair are illuminated by several flashbulbs as people take pictures. As Adaptor and Powersurge shake hands, the bold girl with the video camera confronts them.
"So is Powersurge a new member of Vanguard? Are you Adaptor's sidekick? How did you and Adaptor meet? What exactly was causing that weird weather earlier? Did Powersurge or someone else in Vanguard cause it? What exactly was the reason for the fight with Oberon? Why here? Who's the guy screaming face-down in the grass? Where'd that big robot come from? Was anyone in the building in danger? Were you afraid, Powersurge? What's it like being a female superhero?"
Mostly the rest of the crowd just mills around, and sometimes looks nervously at the clearing sky.
Soon, fire trucks and police cars pull up to the curb. Well-trained public servants hustle around and make sure no one is injured.
A plainclothes police officer comes up to the group of costumed vigilantes, her badge in the air. She has short reddish-brown hair, and looks a bit like Nana Visitor (aka Major Kira on Deep Space 9). "Okay, gang, I'm Lt. Nichols West Covina PD. Can anyone here tell me what happened? One at a time please." She points to the first person who speaks. "You. What happened?"
As Amanda is soaking in Adaptor (wild). The bold girl startles her. Her field flares for a brief second then she composes herself. She listens to the questions and answers each one:
"Well this is the first time Adaptor and I have talked."
"The strange weather was caused by a device created by Miles Needleman."
"No, I nor any in Vanguard had any to do with the weather. In fact it was the quick response to the weather field by Vanguard that prevented any further damages. They should be commended for stopping Needleman and preventing his death at the hands of Oberon." (excuse me I ment I nor anyone in Vanguard had anything to do with)
"Oberon fired on the weather device and seemed intent to kill Needleman. We had to try and stop him."
"That," pointing to the squirming little man, "is the nefarious Miles Needleman."
"We'll be investigating that soon."
"The only person truly in danger was Needleman."
"I was concerned more for anybody in the building. That's why Britestarand I engaged Oberon. Of course having a car thrown at me really scared me for a second... really bad."
"Superhero? Well I have these powers and I have a responsiblity to use them for the benefit of society, and for others who can't protect themselvesagainst ANYBODY who abuses their power. It's a job to me."
Once the interview is over if anybody else wants to talk to Amanda she'll talk and answer questions. Once the detective comes Amanda will slip behind Prism and find the bold girl. Does she look to be Amanda's age (18)? If she is then Amanda will approach her.
"Hi. Please no more interviews. I don't want to be Powersurge right now." She pulls off the shades and speaks again.
"My name is Amanda and I just got to LA a few days ago. I'd like to just have some girl talk. Can you come with me to my place? I have to check on my brother."
If she is cool then Amanda will ask Prism for a card or someway to keep in touch. Then she'll fly off ,or drive if the bold girl has a car, to her motel room and make sure Jerrod is alright.
"Thank you. Please call me Powersurge or Amanda." She takes her hand covers her face.
"I don't wear a mask." As Amanda shakes Adaptors' hand he notices that she is looking him up and down with a kind of "man oh man strange" expression.
She becomes aware of her dumb look and Adaptor noticing and quickly becomes aware of the bold girl.
[Jim, the girl shaking your hand is a couple of inches shorter than you. She is slender and reminds you of a model. (Picture will be up on the site later) She wears some cowboy boots, a pair of jeans, and a tan sweater that is dirty. It looks like to Adaptor's trained eye that she just got out of bed. Her baggy clothes are comfortable, not combat oriented, like "these are my step out clothes. She has shoulder length hair that complement her almond brown skin and wears a pair of adjusted blue shades]
When the girl asks for a public statement Krane blushes a little (below his mask). Finally the feeling of exhiliration is here. The feeling of a job well done. Krane smiles up at the girl. "We are the NEW Vanguard. This is Miles Needleman. He's the one responsible for the crazy weather. We came to save him from himself, and a few others.
"Anyway, we are here to serve. I hope we can do Vanguard proud."
When Powersurge introduces herself, Krane will shake her hand firmly. Krane is a leanly muscled martial arts type who wears black and purple body armor meant to enhance his already impressive physique.
"I'm Krane, glad to meet you.
"I would imagine that Dr. Arachne can probably provide you with the means to communicate with the rest of the team (grin)."
In answer to Lt. Nichols' question, "We are the NEW Vanguard. This," he motions to Needleman, "is your weather blackmailer. Watch him, he's sneaky.
"We're just here to serve and protect, and to hopefully pay the Vanguard tradition a respectful homage.
"I'd be glad to assist you in any way and answer any of your questions."
Finally, Krane gets to play the hero... and he loves it. (Hope he's not hamming it up too much grin)
Powersurge shakes Krane's hand. A pretty smile and a firm handshake from her.
"Hello. It is a pleasure to you." She gives Krane a once over and seems satisfied with meeting him.
"Is Krane your real name or is that like your fighting style? I," and she takes her hand to cover and uncover her face,"would prefer to be called Amanda when I'm not trying to slam Oberon in the pavement. Powersurge is the name I use when people are around." She glances at the crowd.
[What Krane sees: An almond brown girl around 5'10", she is wearing some cowboy boots, blue jeans, and a loose tan sweater that is dirty. Her hair is shoulder length and is a light brown color. She reminds you of a model. She has on a pair of slightly bent shades. She looks slender but by the handshake you receive there is some strength there. Maybe the clothes are too baggy to really see the build. The way she is dressed seems like "comfortable clothes" like she just threw something on and came out.]
"I just arrived in L.A. just a few days ago. I would love to work with an experienced team like this. I hope there are some things that will call for my skills."
Lt. Nichols crosses her arms and gives Krane a stern look. Then she looks at Needleman. "Is he paranormal? Do we need to call in FSPD?"
Meanwhile, Needleman starts ranting about being a genius and how everyone will pay for this.
The dark-haired girl with the video camera seems taken aback by Amanda's invitation. "You want to talk with me? About what?" She seems suspicious.
Arachne takes Kakker aside as Krane talks to the cop. "Well, no one got killed, and the only property damage was caused by Oberon. I'd acll this a sucessful mission. I don't trust that girl, though," she says, pointing at Amanda with one clawed tentacle.
"I think it was just too convenient that she happened to show up when we did."
Arachne's lips press tightly together, and she watches Amanda talk to the girl with the video camera.
Kakker considers Arachne's suspicions a moment then moves to Needleman's side, putting the mad scientist between himself and the camcorder girl. "Genius? We're all going to pay? Hmm...this sounds familiar. What's your Geek Code? R++ F-...?"
With a soliloquy bonus hopefully bolstering Kakker's 15 PRE in a an attempt to get Needleman talking and calmed down somehwat, Kakker is covertly eyeing the suspicious camcorder girl over the smaller man's shoulder. Does his professional experience with shady types suggest anything is afoot?
Prism, looking none the worse for wear after his battle with the giant robot, responds warmly to Amanda/Powersurge's greeting. "Call me Prism," he says with a glittering smile. "Nice meeting you, especially since you seem to be on our side. And whatever you were doing to that robot, it seemed to work real nice; thanks for the assist."
During most of the photo opportunity, Prism says nothing, but he does seem to be rather proud of his grossly altered physique for a change. While he doesn't exactly strike a pose for the cameras, and certainly doesn't step into anyone else's spotlight, he does seem more than willing to be photographed. He doesn't answer any questions unless they're specifically directed at him, however.
Once Lt. Nichols arrives, however, Prism appears ready to fade into the background (not literally, though). Again, if any questions are directed at him, he will answer, but is largely content to let others do the talking.
[BTW, in case anyone here didn't get my mass mailing, I'm going to be leaving Genie at more or less the end of the month. From now on, email should be addressed to:
Also, I'll likely be incommunicado until April 1 or so, as I'm currently in Florida getting married, and will be on the road honeymooning next week. Until then, Prism is friendly but not outgoing, and will attempt to kick the butt of any impending trouble he sees.]
Adaptor will politely deflect any cameras away from him and towards his teammates, especially those that seem to enjoy the spotlight. He seems very reluctant to be caught on film, and you hear his voice drop an octave when the microphone is pushed into his face. Viewers at home will see lots of his arms, hands, and the back of his head, as he manages to keep the camera from getting a clear shot of his face.
When the police arrive, he will wait to answer any questions they might have. His answers are short, precise, and contain the proverbial 'just the facts'. He always uses the phrase 'Officer' when addressing the Police, and seems genuinely willing to cooperate with them to the extent he is able to without revealing any confidential information about the team.
[During all of this, he watches Arachne's reaction. If there is a chance when the hubbub subsides, he will step aside with her and ask her what she makes of Oberon's involvement. he is hoping to ask the question as soon as he can, to get a relatively uncensored opinion, before she has 'decided' what she's going to tell us...]
Amanda looks at the girl with a hurt expression.
"I just want to talk... Like what's the town like. Where are the spots? Look at me." She takes a small step back and open her arms like 'see this' expression. "Now look at them." She motions to the other Vanguard members. "Do any of them look to be my age?"
[Of course I haven't meet Kakker, Dr. Archne, and Glimmer. Britestar has not spoken to Amanda in a long time. So is this girl close to my age or what?]
"I just want to get to know somebody in L.A. Do you think because I can fly, and lift cars that I don't want a social life? I'm not a robot for justice! You want to know what we'll talk about? How about where is the best mall in Los Angeles?"
Amanda notices Dr. Archne pointing at her.
"Look maybe this isn't the best place to start getting to know each other. All I'm saying is that I would like a friend and you," pointing at the camera."would like a great story.. How about following the lifestyle of L.A.'s newest superheroine? That way you get the story and I gain a friend."
Looking around she sees the Doctor looking with what might be an attitude.
"How about we exchange numbers and I'll call you later?"
Hopefully she will be like 'cool' that sounds good... Whatever her response Amanda will say "Thanks and later on".
Brandon could you post this to the others please. My system is acting up. Also Amanda is going to ask the girl the basics: What's your name, what do you do, and do you live around here.
Krane smiles at Powersurge. "Krane is my code name. I do not do crane style Kung Fu, if that's what you mean. Although the Krane is a part of the animal forms that I've learned-- but so is the monkey, the tiger, and the snake.
"By the way, your glasses are bent."
Krane is trying to put the girl at ease, while not revealing too much about the team or himself in front of the crowd. He's also interested in Lt. Nichols' response to his statement.
Adaptor sidles over to where Kakker and Arachne are talking, and asks what she thinks about Oberon's involvement.
"I'm not sure what to think yet. We'll have to get the details from Britestar and, well, you were up there too, weren't you Adaptor? Anyway, we don't want to discuss that here."
Nearby, Lt. Nichols listens to various versions of events.
"Okay, we're going to need all of you to come down to the station and make statements. If any of you," she says, gesturing at the crowd, "saw anything, we need your statements, too. Meanwhile, if this Needleman fellow isn't paranormal, we can go ahead and read him rights and take him in." She motions to a couple of uniforms, and they take Needleman off Krane's hands. He struggles feebly, but he's no match for two trained police officers.
Lt. Nichols spots the cameras in the crowd and says something to another couple of cops in uniform. Those officers then go to each person with a camera and start confiscating film.
As Amanda is talking to the medium-height girl (who looks athletic, thin, and around eighteen), the girls sees something over Amanda's shoulder. She interrupts Amanda (who is talking about being able to fly and needing to know where malls the are) with a quick "Winchell's at midnight!" She then takes off running. Like cops everywhere, the officers on the scene take her flight as evidence of guilt (guilty of what, they'll decide later), and two uniforms take off after her.
A few heartbeats later, Lt. Nichols becomes aware of the fleeing girl, and she turns to the superheroes present. "Can any of you catch her? Quick, before she gets away!" Lt. Nichols makes no attempt to take off after the girl herself, however.
[Hey, Brandon, did Kakker manage to get Needleman to say anything before he was husltled off? I thought the Geek Code bit might penetrate. Anyway, if not, then...]
Kakker, frustrated in his interrogatory attempts at Needleman, talkes in the scene. Police confiscating cameras and film? Hmmmmm. "Sure thing, Lieutennant!" Kakker speeds off, his cleated feet tearing great holes in the turf, smaller ones in the asphalt as he speeds after the camcorder girl.
Adaptor turns in the confusion to Powersurge. Hopefully he is able to whisper to her...
'Miss, it appears that your new friend is about to lose her camera. I suggest you 'assist' in her apprehension...'
With that, he starts to take off after the fleeing woman on foot, opening up to a full speed sprint in only a few steps. Unfortunately, one of his bare feet catches what looks to be a jutting piece of sidewalk (ouch!), sending him careening head over heels (Breakfall roll, please...) right into the path of the pursuing policemen.
Darn the luck.
Adaptor will be sure to assist the (hopefully) fallen officers, making sure they are all right, apologizing profusely, and generally geting in their way but trying not to be TOO deliberate about it.
As he gains his feet, he looks for Powersurge...
From her comfortable hiding place on the bus, Glimmer will use her N-Ray to scan the crowd for dense objects. If she spots anything dangerous-looking on anyone (especially Needleman) she'll radio the Vanguardians.
She'll also flit her enhanced hearing from conversation to conversation, just in case she eavesdrops onto something interesting. Special attention to the cops.
She'll definitely want to keep tabs on...
...the location of the confiscated recording equipment, ...the robot, ...and whatever it is that the video gal saw over Amanda's shoulder (unless that was just a ploy).
It certainly looks like Vanguard has wrapped this one up. But, as Glimmer knows so well, looks can be deceiving.
Since it seems that nobody has spotted Glimmer in the bus, she'll sink into a seat and remain inconspicuous, observing the goings-on to the best of her (rather considerable) abilities. [ Brandon, I'll send you a private e-mail describing what powers Glimmer is going to be using and what she'll do with them. ]
Seeing Adaptor's 'attempt' to help apprehend the girl, Amanda's electromagnetic field flares around her. The magnetic lines of the earth lift her into the air. She quickly moves in the girl's general direction.
GM KNOWLEDGE ONLY: About a minute or two later Amanda sees the girl in an alleyway. She is climbing over a fence. They lock eyes for a few seconds...
"Winchell's at midnight." Then Amanda continues down the street...
When Amanda returns to the scene she shrugs her shoulders.
"I think she dipped into a house. I couldn't find her anyplace else."
She gives Adaptor a wink and walks close to him, "Can we talk later?"
Oh by the way when Krane tells Amanda her shades are bent. She gets a look on her face like "oops. I knew that... kinda".
Krane doesn't join in the chase for the camcorder girl. He isn't sure about his feelings on the police confiscating people's personal belongings. It seems a little heavy handed. Instead, he tries to keep one eye on Needleman-- just to make sure nothing untoward happens to him.
While the confusion is going on, he approaches Dr. Arachne. "Well, did we meet with you approval, Doctor?
"We were a little rough around the edges, and I know we weren't facing the same level of competition as at the prison, but I think things went fairly well."
Kakker's valiant try to get some coherent conversation out of Needleman with the Geek code thing was, unfortunately, unsuccessful. Miles was just way too upset as his plans for financial security having been foiled. Maybe next time.
Meanwhile, Kakker passes the prostrate forms of Adaptor (gee, musta rolled an 18 on that DEX roll, huh? or maybe his running has an Activation roll?) and a pair of West Covina's finest. Kakker is moving and grooving, his cleated feet tearing little divots from the manicured grass of the apartment complex. Suddenly he feels a tingle on the back of his neck, and hears a small zzzt-zzzt-zzzt from behind him. WHOOSH! Powersurge flies low over his head, making a beeline for the swiftly fleeing (but not quite as swift as Kakker) girl, tiny static sparks making the grass beneath her twinkle.
The girl is running for all she's worth. By the time Kakker gets close enough to her to try a flying tackle (or some slightly less punishing maneuver), both he and the two young women are out of the apartment complex and running through the alley behind the strip mall next door (Dumpsters to the left of me! Dumpsters to the right of me!). Oddly, Powersurge seems to have lost some of her initial velocity, and is now just barely closing with the dark-haired girl just ahead of Kakker.
Sorry for the delay. I've been working way too much (36 out of the last 24 hours, f'rex, and that doesn't include a visit to the doctor yesterday for the tendonitis in my right hand -ouch!- and the ganglial cyst in my left wrist). Anyway, I'm going to go to sleep now.
Maybe a dumpster rolls into Kakker's way at a bad moment. Unfortunately that gives the girl all the time she needs to hide in an alleyway (like the one I saw her in). I don't think a dumpster will hurt Kakker grin. If Kakker gets upset Amanda will say,"I'm sorry. I mistimed the pull. I'll go get her." Of course that three seconds of apology is all the girl needs.
I'll be out this weekend and I'll post back on Monday. Amanda will tell Adaptorabout going to Wincell's, will he come with me, and where is it. Also I have to get back to Jerrod (my little brother). Hopefully the team will give me a card or a cool communicator (not). ALSO I'LL TELL ADAPTOR TO TELL NOBODY ABOUT THIS. I'LL GET HIS WORD BEFORE I TELL ANYTHING.
Glimmer's voice comes over the radio and warns the team, "You might want to tell those cops that Needleman's coat is full of little gizmos. I can't tell what most of them are, but it can't be good."
But the police have the situation in hand. They pat down Miles and ask him to remove his scuba gear and lab coat. He does, and they pat him down again, finding a couple of more gadgets in his pockets. Eventually they're satisfied, and a humiliated Miles Needleman is loaded into a blue-and-white. He gives Vanguard a glare as the car pulls away from the curb.
Kakker can almost reach out and grab the girl. Just a few more steps and --
A big brown dumpster rolls directly in Kakker's path, and he rebounds off it with a resounding crash. Like a screaming banshee, a feral cat launches itself from the dumpster and speeds away from the scene, a blur of orange and black fur. No harm done to Kakker (other than his pride), but meanwhile the girl is getting away.
Powersurge flits down for moment and apologizes for the faux pas. "I'm sorry. I mistimed the pull. I'll go get her." She almost sounds sincere. Then she zooms over the dumpster and disappears.
If Kakker contiunues the chase, neither young woman is in sight when he comes from behind the dumpster.
By the time Kakker gets back to the scene, Needleman is being carted away and the police are wrapping up asking witnesses questions. Powersurge is chatting with Adaptor, and looks defiant but somewhat guilty when she makes eye contact with Kakker.
Spotting Kakker, Lt. Nichols strides toward him. "Since you're the one who tracked Needleman here, and one of the ones who apprehended him, we need you to make a statement. You can do it here, or we can take you to the station: your choice." She gestures for Kakker to go over and stand by Arachne and Krane, who seem to be surrounded by uniformed cops with notepads.
Powersurge gets back from the chase empty-handed. She lands next to Adaptor, and says loudly, "She got away." She shrugs, but one gets the impression she isn't too sorry about it.
Under her breath, Powersurge asks Adaptor. "Can you keep a secret? You have to swear not to tell anyone else."
Adaptor [who, for the record, has Mental Defense, just in case... ; )] gives a quick, barely discernable nod to Powersurge, then stands patiently waiting for Arachne to decide wether she'll let the police 'take them downtown...' The tiny trace of a smile that slightly curls one corner of his mouth up seems to indicate that somehow he doubts it.
As Kakker FRANTICALLY WAVES OFF POWERSURGE, shouting, "I got it, I got it!," he prepares to _gently_ catch the fleeing camcorder girl.
Good, I can dodge behind some of these dumpsters with this woman and find out what's going on. That remark she made earlier makes me think she's part of a cabal. Given the sinister nature of the police's confiscation, it would be best to ensure that her record of the event survives outside their hands, that is if that magnetic girl doesn't degauss it first. Now, what do I say to avoid making a bad impression?
Later, after his brush with dis dumpster, Damn! Friggin' cabals. "Certainly, Lieutennant. How may I help you officers?"
While Kakker and Powersurge are off chasing the wild goose, and before either of them gets back, Lt. Nichols turns to Krane.
"Your team did a good job. You captured the perp and no one got injured. And, from what I understand, what property damage there was was caused by Oberon, not by your team." She nods. "Good job. Professional. You're the new Vanguard, then?" She looks around. "So I take it you are the team leader in Modulator's absence -- or has he left the team altogether? At any rate, I'll need the people who were actually involved in bringing Needleman in to come to the office and give us a statement. It shouldn't take long: we'll have you out and dispensing vigilante justice again in to time."
Lt. Nichols smiles, and there's some sincere humor there in her eyes, but you get the impression she isn't entirely kidding, either.
"We aren't going to the station to give statements. If you like, we can give them to you now, or you can come to Vanguard and we can give them to you there. Or we can simply fax them to you. But we don't have time to waste by sitting in a police station waiting for a clerk to interrogate us." Arachne's voice is flat, authoritative, and the subtext is clear: there will be no argument.
Lt. Nichols gives Arachne and her tentacles a puzzled look, an almost-smile. To Krane, she asks, "And this is?"
Arachne nudges Krane aside with one tentacle. It feels like the bumper of a slow-moving dumptruck pushing him, relatively gently, but firmly nonetheless.
"I am Arachne, the Vanguard team leader. Krane, Kakker and I apprehended Needleman, saving the city and countless lives."
Lt. Nichols meets the purple-haired heroine's gaze (or tries to, since she can't actually see Dr. Redgrave's eyes behind her visor), and says nothing for a few heartbeats.
"Well then, 'Arachne', we'll be needing statements from you, Krane, and whoever Kakker is. Whether you give them here or at the station is, of course, up to you." She gives the tentacled doctor a small smile, and gestures for a couple of uniforms to come and take care of these two.
"Um, Lietentant?" a nearby uniform says, "Kakker is the one who ran off after the witness. The one with the brown coat and the cleats. I recognize him from my dad's scrapbook. He's been around a long time: I thought he died years ago."
The Lieutentant, without looking away from Arachne, says, "You should know better than that, Golembiewski. These people never die: that dubious honor is reserved for people like you and me." With that, she turns purposefully away and heads over to the cops with the confiscated cameras, leaving Krane and Arachne to the tender graces of officers Golembiewski, Oyenik, Jones, and Brown.
Powersurge walks over to the small circle of officers. As she is about to enter she remembers what Krane said about her shades and she takes them off.
"Excuse me but may I speak with the 'team leader'?" She looks more at Krane and make NO FORM of contact with Kakker. "I have to be going soon. I have some other responsiblities else where and I'd like to be able to contact the team... In case there is trouble or anything."
Her level of anxiety (about the fight, meeting the girl, the chase, and worrying about SOMEONE- you know BB) is causing her field to flare a bit. The officer closest to her.. I think it's Brown loses his pen...then his badge... one spare bullet flies off his belt and explodes on Amanda's shoulder.
Krane smiles to himself as Arachne pushes him out of the way. He's careful not to talk over her (since she is the team leader).
When he gets a second alone with her he will say, "You need not fear a challenge from me. I would have introduced you as our leader... given half a chance."
To Lt. Nichols, he can't be quite as kind.
"Lt. I am glad that you are willing to work with us. Feel free to contact me at any time through Vanguard's offices. I am here to serve and protect. But please don't insult us. Vanguard is barely cold in their graves and we are trying to fill some very big shoes. And, by the way, in case you didn't notice they were all killed in the line of duty. DON'T belittle that."
His overall tone is friendly, but it's obvious that her comment upset him (and yes, he is aware that she has some reason or other for choosing those particular words).
To Powersurge, Krane is very friendly. "You can always contact us through our offices," he says. "I would be glad to help you in any way that I can. I'm not a resident at the base, but you can always leave me a message there."
Glimmer monitors the conversation between Nichols and the confiscators with great interest. Something's not quite right. Perhaps she's being too suspicious. But, hey, a girl's got to do what comes naturally.
"lyle?" Glimmer asks over the Vanguard radio. "are you there? i'd like you to check out a hunch. we've encountered some people who identify themselves as west covina cops and i'd like to be sure that they really are.
"do you have a way of checking on a lieutenant nichols and on officers golembiewski, oyenik, jones, and brown?
"also, can you tell me whether cops confiscating civilian recording equipment is standard operating procedure?"
After hearing only silence in response to Glimmer's question, Doctor Redgrave taps a button on the wrist of her left gauntlet. "Vanguard Base, are you there? Team 1 to Vanguard, come in please."
The radio is silent. She tries again: "VBase, this is Team 1, come in please."
"Team 1 to RBase, emergency response."
Rasputin's calm, modulated voice comes over the Vanguard radios. "Yes, Team 1, this is RBase. How may I assist you?"
"Where's Lyle, Rasputin?"
"I do not know, Doctor."
Arachne stares at her wrist blankly, then replies. "Let me know when you find him. Team 1 out." Arachne clenches her fists at her sides, but her tentacles flick menacingly back and forth.
Suddenly a shot rings out: one of the bullets from Officer Brown's belt has flung itself into the air and detonated next to Powersurge.
Brown exclaims "SHIT!" and dives to the side. The rest of the officers present either crouch or dive to the ground, and about two thirds come out of their crouch with pistols cocked and aimed at Powersurge.
Lt. Nichols, 9mm stainless steel semi-auto at the ready, seems more than a little put out. "Lady, if you can't control your powers, I'm going to have to call in the FSPD and have you put into protective custody. I would rather not do that, so maybe you should just move along. Now."
If Amanda protests, Lt. Nichols gets on her radio and asks for FSPD backup due to an "unrestrained paranormal threat".
Prism watches the encounter with the camera-wielding girl with some interest, but makes no move to get involved -- just as well, since he's certainly not fast enough to compete with her other pursuers. He seems content to act as a focus for media attention, which may enable others to enable it more easily; he doesn't say much to the press, but is certainly one of the most distinctive members of the team visually, and makes no attempt to hide from the spotlight.
If Nichols or one of her goons requests any sort of statement from Prism, his will be simple, to the point, and delivered extemporaneously on-site. "Well, like most of the city, we caught Needleman's broadcast on TV, and thought that we might be able to assist you fine officers in capturing him. When we arrived on the scene, I went in search of, found, and disabled Mr. Needleman's 'giant killer robot,' which turned out to be more like Robby the Robot. I don't think any citizens were ever in any serious danger from this, uh, deranged individual, but I'm glad we were here to be able to apprehend him and stop his plans with a minimum of property damage."
When he hears Nichols' references to Vanguard, Prism also has another statement for the lieutenant, this one decidedly off the record. Approaching Nichols with ground-eating (and -shaking) strides, Prism plants himself in front of her, looming as menacingly as a giant crystal man can loom (which may be quite a lot, actually). "Let me just point out one thing, officer. What happened to Vanguard was not some kind of publicity stunt. Good people died, people who took this job just because they could do things that could make a difference. People a lot like you." Here, he pokes one crystalline finger at Nichols' chest (very gently, but still certainly enough to be felt). "We didn't ask for this job, and as underpaid as you and your people might be, you're getting more of a salary for this job than Vanguard -- new or old -- ever will. Maybe we're harder to kill than you are, but we're also going up against guys with more firepower than you can imagine. We may not bleed, but we can die just like you, and some of us did. And I don't appreciate hearing you...spit on their memories." One gets the impression that Prism might have had a different word in mind for that last sentence, but at the last minute he apparently remembered the presence of all the media types around. "Understood?"
Without waiting for a reply, he heads back towards the bus, putting up a stony front while mentally berating himself for losing his cool.
Just before the bullet goes off, after Krane and Prism chastise her, Lt. Nichols' expression softens at first, then her eyes turn hard again.
"Well, I'm sorry your old teammates were killed, but I'll tell you this: about a dozen of my friends died in that prison break last night. People who worked day in and day out to protect this city, and they didn't have super-strength or armored skin to protect them. So don't go fishing for pity with me because, for ONCE, some of your friends got killed. Some of MY friends are dead now, too, and I don't see anyone giving THEM parades and making a media circus out of THEIR deaths."
Lt. Nichols looks Prism defiantly in the eye, and she looks like she might say more when the exploding bullet interrupts her.
Eyeing the tiny, nearly useless handgun (maybe not: She could have any kind of special load for responding to something like this), Kakker states, "That will not be necessary, Lieutennant."
Looking rather hurt, Amanda looks to Adaptor and says, "I'll be sure to call you at 9:30pm."
Then she turns to Krane, "Maybe you can teach me some of that focus, tai chi stuff in the future."
Looking around at the police and Lt. Nichols, "No need for the show of fear... None of your guns would have worked anyway..."
Then her field flares suddenly -ZZZKTT- and Powersurge rises majestically into the air. The magnetic lines of the earth glowing brightly around her. She keeps her eyes, now opaque black orbs, on Lt. Nichols... stone face. Once she is a good 400 feet in the air she stops turns to the west and zooms out of sight.
"She didn't have to call me out like that... I should have crushed her gun and wrapped it around her face." The wind feels good against her face as she moves (around 86mph) towards the Best Western near UCLA.
"I hope Jerrod is alright. I bet he is going to ask a thousand questions and none are like 'Are you alright', 'Would you like me to keep quiet while you rest?'.... It is hard having a younger brother... Even harder to raise him on your own.... Next to impossible when you're a superheroine too."
While Amanda is flying she sees a car moving extremely fast along some sidestreets. She would have dismissed it except for the two police cars that are slowly losing ground on it. "Well, well, well. Looks like I can save face with the LAPD after all."
Descending closer and accelerating Amanda has a perfect view on the action. It doesn't take long to hear the rumbling of a heliocopter coming to give the ground vehicles assistance. Catches up to Amanda and makes a pass, close... EXTREMELY CLOSE, to her while she's flying. Looking up in amazement but not slowing, she waves at the 'copter in a "leave me alone" manner.
"UNIDENTIFIED PARANORMAL. THIS IS AN LAPD MATTER. PLEASE LEAVE THE SCENE. THE SITUATION IS WELL IN HAND."
As the officer is saying that Amanda sees... There is a roadblock formed twoblocks down. It's a one way road and there seems to be no way out... Now she gets a good view of the car. It is a black and red.... Mustang? Maybe. it has gold rims and much illegal tint on the windows. It seems to absorb the light that falls on it. "Well, I guess it is over..."
Then as the car moved to around a 1000 yards suddenly there is a change... The front section of the car retracts to reveal... GUNPORTS?! From the side pops out a missile rack.
The police are stupified... They stand and look amazed for a split second.. a fatal split second... Amanda's eyes grow wide, "Oh... the gun ports open fire... my... the outer line of police cars start to explode... God!!! The first salvo of missiles fire..." As the officer in the helicopter screams at his fellows to move, it doesn't matter. The carnage is total and the car moves through the debris of the police roadblock. The now empty salvo on the right side of the car pops back into the car, and on the left side another salvo pops out and aims at the helicopter.
"He's going to destroy the chopper," Amanda begins frantically thinking. "I've got to stop him."
Then the second volley of missiles fire. Amanda moves directly in the path and the missiles and is hit by three of the five missiles. The other two fly wide right and explode. Reeling from the pain (she lost 22 Stun), Amanda retains just enough sense to stay afloat. Her clothes are destroyed. Her jeans are burnt and her sweater is torn and tattered. She steadies herself and zooms closer to the car which had stopped... Maybe to admire its' handiwork? When she got closer the car started to move but was caught offguard. Amanda pulled the forces at her command together and leveled them at the car. As it began to pull off, the blast knocked it to the side, and it spun wildly. From the trunk compartment popped a laser gun type device. Amanda smiled.. "Big mistake carboy." She evened up and flew directly at the car...
The car began to speed out and Amanda fired again. This time at the front of the engine. The blast dented the hood but didn't seem to do much damage. Then a beam came from the trunk section. The emerald green ray struck Amanda in her midsection and flowed over her. "This feels like an itch but..." Arching her back as if in pain Amanda descended to the ground and landed semiroughly. The car stopped and turned around. The police chopper keeping a VERY safe distance away is still observing the scene. Amanda could feel the power welling up in her. Her field flared sharply as she looked at the car starting to menace her. It was then that she heard a speaker system say, "Quite a beauty isn't she? She is the first model I've ever designed and built. I don't know who you are but you have made a terrible mistake trying to interrupt this test... I guess you should know who is going to kill you. I can be calledDeath Racer."
"Well I don't intend to die today, Racer." Amanda rises to her feet. "You can call me Powersurge." With a devilish grin, "Let me show you why." Throwing her arms out Amanda releases the energy she had absorbed. It goes through the car and sparks fly! -zzzzzzkttt*zzzzKTTT*ZZZZZZZKKKKTTTTT- The car pops up a foot in the air and begins to smoke.
The speaker system crackles, "*pop*System overload! *sizzle* y bab*pop* I'll kill *crack* *pop* This isn't over!"
The first explosion started in the back and then -BOOM BOOM KABOOM!!!!!!!!!- Amanda was surprised at how powerful it was. There was a crater 50ft wide in the middle of the street. People are running out of their homes because they are catching fire. Looking at the flames Amanda sees nobody thrashing in the flames or smell any flesh. It relieves her and makes her wonder.... She hears sirens and starts to try and put out some of the little fires. She magnetically grabs a hose and turns on the water and waits....
Prism, too, looks ready to engage in further conversation with Lt. Nichols until she is pulled away by Powersurge's, er, power surge. As she turns to deal with the young heroine, Prism clenches one fist with an audible crackle, then stalks away towards the team bus.
After Powersurge is gone, the police put away their weapons and relax a bit. Lt. Nichols turns to Kakker, but to Kakker's surprise she doesn't look angry.
"Look -- Kakker, wasn't it? -- Mr. Kakker, I did that girl a favor. You guys did a good job here: the bad guy was taken in, property damage was... well, minimal, and no one got hurt. But if she's still wired from combat and making things explode by accident, the faster she gets out of here the better. For you, and for them," she says, shrugging in the direction of the gathering crowd.
"John, do we have everyone's statement?" One of the officers with a clipboard nods. "Okay," she says to Krane, "your team can go. If we have any questions, we'll call you." After a heartbeat's pause and a slight sideways smile, she adds, "We have you number."
When Amanda gets home, Jerrod is jumping up and down.
"I saw you! You're on the news! Come look!"
Jerrod pulls the worse-for-wear Amanda into the small furnished room and points her at the TV. Talking heads are describing the new "African-American superheroine who single-handedly destroyed a wheeled terrorist in LA just moments ago." The helicopter's-eye video shot shows Amanda landing in front of the car, then lightning lifting the car slightly into the air. Then a huge explosion and gouts of fire, and more talking heads talking about "costumed extremists" and the fact that this is the second time today that superheroes had taken the law into their own hands when the civil authorities couldn't handle the threat. The news segment ends on the note that although no one should condone vigilantism, there can be little doubt that the police and citizens of Los Angeles owed the so-called "superheroes" a heartfelt "thank-you" today.
"That was so cool! You blew it into a million pieces! KABOOM!" Jerrod makes exploding motions with his arms, and aims his hands at lamps and chairs making "Frazzt! KABOOM!" sounds.
"You're a hero! You're a celebrity! You can join one of those super-groups like the Texas Rangers or the Storm Riders [supergroups in Texas and New Mexico, respectively]!" Jerrod's enthusiasm has no bounds: this is obviously the best thing that has happened to him in days, if not weeks.
Amanda is tired... She looks at the clock... 4:30pm.... then she looks at Jerrod... he is running around acting crazy.
"Jerrod look I'm tired. I'm going to take a shower and then I'm taking a nap. After that I'm going to take you to some friends' of mine."
"Are you going to patrol tonight?" Jerrod is posing with his hands on his waist. He has a serious look like he is interrogating a bad guy.
"Sort of... I'm going to see a contact." Pulling off and looking at the remains of her sweater. "Momma gave me this sweater," she thinks.
Jerrod is asking a million questions and 'acting' like a superhero at the same time. He bumps into a table and the lamp begins to teeter... "Amanda!"
She steps out of the bathroom, half naked, in time to see the lamp have 1.6 seconds worth of life. The flow of energy wraps around her arm and shoots out to 'grab' the head of the lamp and keep it afloat. "Go and SIT down..." The GLARE... Jerrod knew to avoid the black orbs of his sister. He resigned to the bed and looked at the television...