Issue #1 (June 14th, 2003)





I could do the whole thing in narrative but it would take me forever. So here it is in bulletpoint format. Just the facts, ma'am.
The characters gather at the base and are barely introduced when in comes an emergency call. There is a bomb reported in Memorial Park. Word is that the heroes can get there faster, and that's good because the size of it is enough to take out the whole of the park.

Upon arrivale the heroes find congestion at the gate, which has been locked (sealed with some kind of hardening foam agent). Billy Ray and the Judge break off the foam, then the judge scares everyone into being orderly with his manly presence attack.

Meanwhile inside the park, Rift finds out the situation from a police officer, then has to keep him from shooting Thok, the hideous alien beast who materializes out of nowhere.
Spying the sealed box: "How do you know it's a bomb?". Answer: "Because there's a sign on the side that says 'This is a Bomb'."

Geoff Gardiner sends in his robots to lift the box, tripping the mercury switches and setting it off. Nothing appears to be harmed, despite a brief cloud of red smoke.

Out of nowhere, a robot lifts into the air and is hurled some 70 feet where it crashes but takes no injury.
OGRE and HERCULAN appear from their hiding places (Amazing how good a concealment roll you can get when you have a day's time to add to your roll). The characters engage them.

MIRAGE and LODESTONE show up next. Lodestone spends his time lifting and throwing robots, fooling with Dr. Tellwilliker's vehicle, and bending a basketball post around Rodeo Clown. Mirage is stymied early by damage and winds up using her invisibility to most senses to bail out.
Someone is triggering bombs on the battlefield. Some are drains, some are flashes, some are damaging explosions, all are in a very small radius.

Ogre drops in on Rift on a leap, but Thok is there to take mental control and direct him toward Herculan. Ogre's leaping move-through on Herculan results in a ton of STUN to Ogre as he misses and takes half the damage of the move through. Typically Ogre is saved by his bereserker rage, but so far it's been a non-factor thanks to the high levels of mind-control.
Lodestone is finally brought down in the hedge maze by the Judge's ranged mental blasts. He has to have his bleeding stopped because he is bleeding to death following the last attack.

UTILITY, the ring leader, has been hiding nearby out of sight and has been responsible for the bombs. He's been triggering them from his anchor point under the lake.

Funniest part to me was actually a reasonable enough reaction: Being all paranoid about the lake. You were just supposed to find out that this is where the villain was set up, but not knowing that you all got ready for some other ambush.

Characters make a trip to the KEEP. They see one of it's "legendary" captives, a man called "The Doctor" because they have no real name for him. He seems singularly unimpressive. Everyone shrugs. They meet the warden, who has many villainous devices deactivated and in his office in cases as trophies.


On the way back, the heroes get another call. Geoff Gardiner summons his robots from base and everyone meets at the scene. Some armed thugs have seized control of two floors of a building.

  • There are plenty of news copters circling, but during the flight up, one of the heroes notes the presence of a helicopter that is incongruous. KPLS is a small station certainly without money for a helicopter. The judge notifies the police, who say they will keep an eye on it.
  • Thok has trouble with the thugs. While he can get one to attack another one, he is unable to avoid a good shot by the third, which KOs him. Now comes MY FAVORITE PART.
  • Duplicity leaps out the window and grabs the falling Thok. He then is short by the same thug, triggering his duplication. One of him flies Thok safely to the ground while the other flies back up and takes out the thug. Very cool and fortuitous little sequence.
  • Dr. T is out for much of the fight as Robert leaves. We assume he's on crowd control upstairs.
  • Billy Ray takes out the first thug in a stairwell and steals his communications. It seems that the thug was in communication with someone with a Russian accent. He says, "We're halfway there."
  • Ben the robotic spider, protégé of Geoff Gardiner, does searches on the offices finding mostly cowering normals. His Steambots do a job of capturing and disabling opponents. Except one, who simply vanishes from the room when left unsearched, via some kind of device in her pocket.
  • Dr. T spots someone via N-Ray vision, who is in the restroom. Billy Ray goes after him and the guy pretends to be mute and deaf, but Billy Ray's paranoia pays off! The man is indeed faking. Had you just assumed he was what he says he was, you'd have had quite a nasty surprise. On his person, beneath the image that hid his armor, the characters can find an electrical device that can build up to a massive electrical pulse. The longer you went without touching him, the higher it would charge, then when he cut it loose he'd take out much of the floor, endangering the floors above and all of the people on the roof. Billy Ray only took the low level charge since you forced him to activate it to get free. As soon as you set him down he would have initiated it and you'd get a perception roll to notice the device powering up, but the longer you went without noticing... the bigger the BOOM. So good job of circumventing that problem by being paranoid.
  • At the end of the seige, Billy Ray hears over the headset "Package has been picked up".
  • The cops report back to the Judge on his cellphone that the KPLS helicopter has set down on another building downtown and picked up a number of armored individuals.