Issue #2 (June 28th, 2003)




Robert.............Orland, boy genius/punchin' bag
Robert.............Dr. T., your chauffeur
Alan................Team Gardiner
Paul................Action Billy Ray, w/kung-fu grip
Paul................Brian "Mr. Bubbles" Briazz
Mark...............Mon Calamari
Jeff.................."Judge-mental", Judge, Jury, Executioner, and Defendant
Isaac...............Your Bartender
Me..................Your Cruise-Director

Having defeated the well-armed agenty types near town, the team got word last issue that the helicopter they had spotted with the bogus KPLS call letters was crosstown trying to load up some suspiciously well-armored individuals on the top of Armitage Pharmaceuticals. They raced to the scene, leaving the Police's super-powered detainment team to search the rest of the building for any stragglers.

Orland spent his day at the base and then is informed of the happenings at Armitage, and speeds off on his cycle, arriving at about the same time as our other heroes. He runs in and goes up the stairs while the heroes approach from the back of the building. Two developments have happened: The police on the scene have managed to sufficiently damage the helicopter with gunplay enough to get it to crash into the rooftop. It is a smoking husk when players arrive. The other thing is that the police are being held back by suppressive fire of the armored gents on the roof.

Some take the stairs while others climb the side of the building. The steambots begin to drag injured police officers off of the battlefield. Thok drags JudgeMental all the way to the top of the building then remembers he's crazy for going into the line of fire and has wasted a few phases. Likewise, Billy Ray has trouble defeating the entrance door for three phases. Orland is average running speed and takes a while to get to the top. So the first engagements come in the form of the mentalists (Judge & Thok) doing line-of-sight attacks, to limited effect. One of the armored individuals is a fellow not dressed like the others; he is in green with a funky "ripple" pattern on his outfit; he is tossing out oddly shaped projectiles that explode. Jeff seems to be doing serious damage until we realize I am instructing him on how to roll a killing attack when instead his attack is actually an Ego Attack that does body. The "reset" of a fallen villain to conscious status changes the impact of the battle. These guys have small amounts of Mental defense, but it's enough to have a serious impact on our LoS heroes as they try to chip away.

The villains have a nasty selection of firepower which hurts Thok, and eventually Billy Ray when he gets to the roof, but REALLY hurts Orland when he arrives. He has a good opportunity to punch hole in a bad guy, but bad rolls cause him to miss. They hit him around his cover by using an explosion effect attack, taking him out.

Another helicopter is coming! This one is better made, meant for business than the "camouflaged" one that was intended to go unnoticed as a typical city helicopter. Thok does his best to keep it from landing with a Mind Control on the driver, which works. He hovers instead. Billy Ray is kicking some agent ass, but they kick in their nasty weaponry and begin to do their worst on the heroes.

Billy Ray has run off with two duffel bags that the agents were carrying. Problem is that while he's off hiding it, one of the agents sees Orland, who is awakening, and shouts something in Russian (Which Orland recognizes as the word "Rook") and they are suddenly more concerned with the prone boy than with the items they were stealing. Steambots & Master arrive and begin to attack while Billy Ray is concealing the bags in a bathroom on the second floor.

Now the terrifying ballet sequence: Billy Ray runs over and smacks an agent who is trying to haul Orland over to a helicopter which has finally landed on the pad. He smacks the agent causing knockback. The unconscious Orland is dragged with the agent. Geoff Gardiner runs over and grabs the boy. He wants to haul them both up, but does not have the STR to do so, and so they contest who gets to keep the boy. Geoff Gardiner beats the agent (who continues to fall). Then another "grab by" maneuver occurs on the edge fo the building as Geoff Gardiner is hauling Orland up. The villain in green (Shockwave) reaches out and grabs the boy and yanks him from Geoff Gardiner's grasp. They do contested STR rolls... Shockwave just barely makes his roll, while GG... rolls an 18!!! The botch causes him to have to make a DEX roll to stay on the building, which he does! Whew!

Thok T-ports into the copter and scares the driver. The person in back of the copter (the female who escaped the heroes by teleporting out of the last scene) gets out and is bitten by a spider and then punched for horrendous damage by Billy Ray Wifebeater. Fortunately he only did 7 or 10 BODY, so she's not dying. Of course Billy Ray has taken some serious BODY himself; he's at about half.

Did I mention the "Molecular Disruption" attack? Billy Ray was earlier tapped on the shoulder by Shockwave. He has since that time been slowly dispersing, his atoms coming apart, forcing him into nothingness. Soon he will cease to exist (Cool/mean attack, no?). As it's "uncontrolled" I should have been rolling it more often, but that's my error.

Anyway, back to Shockwave & Orland. Shockwave is flying away while any conscious agents are fleeing via their belts (A teleport trick I call "escape clause"). Two agents are down, the woman is down, two agents and the pilot t-ported out, and shockwave is flying off with Orland. Thok follows for a while, but has difficulty keeping up. He has 20" Teleport versus the other guy's 12" flight, BUT the flight can go directly and upward, whereas the t-port can only get him from building to building. I allow this craziness for a while, but ultimately make them do INT rolls. Shockwave makes his roll by 9! Thok misses his roll. The badguy gets away with the boy genius.

Our heroes throw the Judge's "Healing Robe" onto Billy Ray and he stops deteriorating. Back at the base the new scientist has shown up. We shall call him "Mr. Bubble" pending any other sort of name. He is a molecular biologist who makes a nice science roll and determines that Billy Ray is no longer deteriorating and that he will recover as normal. (Truth is, I need to look at healing rules for Regeneration v. Transformation Attack. I'm not sure it's applicable, since it's for healing 'actual damage'. Either way, he's fine now anyway).

Some characters witness a "suit" from the Pharmaceutical company talking to the police and saying, "No, they didn't get away with anything." Thok corrects them (via mindlnk to a cop) telling him that he is wrong, that they escaped with Orland, to which the suit shrugs, saying he didn't see the whole combat but his inventory shows nothing missing.


The team then figure out that the villains t-port belts are linked to two locations. The villains will likely rendezvous and one of them. Four heroes strap on belts and teleport to the first scene. They find a small base with normal people, operating below ground in the badlands outside of Lazarus. While the other heroes cross town in vehicles and at blazing speeds make it there in a few minutes (they probably should have taken much longer in hindsight; It's a big city and it's loaded with traffic). Anyway, the heroes inside the base were waiting for them to arrive anyway, so that's fine.

Geoff Gardiner & Bots handle the surface (a diner and truckstop along the road) while the others are downstairs subduing agents.

Problem: One agent gets his helmet in place and subsequently becomes a HUGE pain. Mr. Bubble's been doing a great job of mopping up some of the guys in his bubble entangles and messing up their DEX based skills. The guy now helmeted and in his suit becomes a huge pain to everyone present. He is hurting people right and left. Our Judge does several grab manuvers to subdue him and keep him from fighting, but not before he manages to send Thok into a wall with a nasty, nasty, nasty 4D6K attack in which I roll 21 BODY and 105 STUN! Miracle roll, baby. Goooood Night. Eventually they come close to taking this guy down through a combination of blasting and grappling, but he decides on discretion and T-ports out of the grab and is gone.

Meanwhile Geoff Gardiner & Bots encounter shockwave, who does some cool attacks that are having no effect at all other than tossing the robots around. After a while he decides he can't defeat them head to head and alone, so he desolidifies and goes out through the walls.

The heroes discover Orland and another prisoner. Orland is unconscious. The other guy is identified by questioning as Russian National Igor Verbansky, aka CIPHER. He's a mutant with the uncanny ability to decipher languages, text, and all sorts of code. He claims to have been abducted for translating something.