Issue #3 (July 12th, 2003)




Mr. Bubbles.... Paul
Rift................. Jim
Mercury.......... Mark
Robert............ Orland
LAW............... Jeff (Pre-Dinner Break)
Falcon............. John (Post-Dinner Break


You round up the criminals in the under construction super-base from last week and have the police haul these punks away. Cipher, whom you liberated, describes to you why he was present. The Judge detects no falsehood. He was abducted after getting off a plane back from Spain where he had been on vacation. The abductors, including Shockwave and the Blackstars, say they have something for him to translate. He describes the torn and rubbed out, aged pages to the characters and as he does, they are literally able to see the objects in detail. A search of the base, including the special sensory powers of the characters, manages to reveal that the three pages are present, hidden in a false computer panel that is supposed to be hooked to the base's security, thus indicating why base security never scrambled last game... because the cameras are hooked to nothing.

You meet up with Audra Blue at the base, drop off the pages of ancient text, then you go to the keep for interrogation of captured prisoners.

The procedure, as established, was for Liquid Met--uh, I mean Mercury, to go over and drag the guy away from the table by his chair, then in come the Judge and Bubble-Boy to interrogate. Mercury does the deadpan robocop shtick while the Judge tries to antagonize the men into They tried to intimidate HERCULAN (From the first game, first fight), and failed somewhat. He just wasn't going to crack. The team then skipped Ogre and Lodestone and went to interrogating the two Blackstar agents. The first one speaks only Russian (and the characters did not bring Orland, who speaks Russian). The second one regales them tales of his days back in the old soviet union. He says that blackstars work in 5-man teams. In his experience anytime there are more than that hired for a job it seems to be trouble, though that's just personal experience. He tells a tale of the day that his entire team was wiped out back in the ghettos of Warsaw, Poland, in '82, when they had captured a group of "pawns" when suddenly a "knight" showed up on the scene and began to attack and he was only saved by the fact that he could not operate the clumsy old style of armor and was trapped like a turtle on it's back, so the knight assumed he was dead.

Apparently the people he speaks of operate in 16-man cells and were operatives of the KGB; a nugget of knowledge which sends the entire group into fits of paranoia about Orland.

Meanwhile, Orland and Rift go to the museum regarding a stolen artifact. No genius crime here; The investigating officers are indifferent to the whole thing and the characters find a museum surveillance tape that has a group of figures in black waltzing in through the service entrance, using a decoder device to open the key-carded door, and walking out with it, stuffing the item into the back of a 'disguised' truck (A Little Debbie Snack Truck), (Thus revealing to the whole world that Little Debbie is the master behind all crime!). They go to the university and speak to a professor regarding a stolen artifact. They are shown pictures of it and it ultimately turns out that a pattern not in the mosaic itself but ultimately caused by the grout, resembles a figure that appears on one of the three pages that the characters rescued from the blackstars.

A SMALL BIT OF INFORMATION THAT NO ONE HAS ASKED but since I said that Cipher "translated the documents" for you, I will throw it in for free: The odd symbol that appears on both the document and the mosaics... "Et does not translate. Et ez representational," Cipher says. "Et ez meant to stand for someone or somethink. Tink of et like a propehr noun." (End of Russian Accent)

The chemical rescued from the last game from Armitage Pharmeceutical, is HXL, a notorious banned substance that has been known to cause mutation in 1-in-1 million individuals. Though it's never directly caused a death, it has been known to cause crippling mutation in a few unlucky individuals.

And a missive from Uncle Slam reports that the picture from THE ORACLE that features our alien friend Thok, was not taken by any known camera in the park and not from Dr. T's vehicle camera.


The characters begin to mercilessly harass their own... the poor lad Orland, accusing him of being some kind of spy. Audra Blue calls the characters together. "There is a problem and I would *like* your help. I will owe you, if you assist." It seems she has a friend named Lucretia who is a local detective. She was out doing some footwork regarding the possible murder of a couple of superheroes and managed to attract the wrong kind of attention. She is leading the bad guys (who are tailing her) through town and plans to stop at Blink's Cybercafe; With luck this will give the characters enough time to arrive and assist. She knows there are several. She fingered one as a wacko mercenary named NEWTON. The known associates file shows that he is frequently hired by someone named FALLOUT. So they are both likely involved here.

Characters arrive in time to catch Newton going in the front to catch the patrons attention. He draws a gun and a grenade and chaos ensues. Orland guns him good, pushing him back out into the street where the arriving Rift phasers his ass. Mercury (who is driving) blows his Enraged roll and drives full speed into one of the and the car beyond him. [NOTE: I think I should have made the car faster. It probably should have had more like 40". Sorry. Live and learn, I guess.] The man standing there does NOT dodge. He instead takes the brunt and is crushed between two vehicles. Funny thing... Between his high defenses and his kinetic absorption, he came out of that with more STUN than he went in with. Might have been a diffferent story with more speed.

The matchups:

Rift is doing the most effective damage. He takes out Fallout by use of his Timestop. He does likewise to LUMINA, or as Robert called her, "The Slut of Many Things". She has all of her powers keyed to tattoos spread over her body. She touched the winged-horse "Peg" on her back and suddenly one appeared between her legs and she began to fly. Since Jeff was leaving at this point, I had her touch the snake tattoo on her thigh and she suddenly has a snake in her hand which she hurls at the Judge and wraps him up for the combat. Among the tattoos you did not get around to seeing (and that I can remember off the top of my head): A dragon, a bat-winged skull, and a nymph.

Inside the cyber cafe there is a new player, named KRIEGER who comes down the stairs in a silver suit with electricity arching between his hands. He does a few area effect attacks that Orland wisely dodges multiple times. Krieger destroys the bar and nearly hurts two patrons except that Lucretia ("Lucy") manages to shield them from too much harm. Then Falcon shows up from the alley side. He wings in and is promptly blasted by an area effect blast that Lucretia dodges, but he is willing to take. I roll a Mega-roll (a la "Thok is blasted by a blackstar agent") and send him flying through the alley and into the wall across the alley. Lucretia puts a couple of bullets into the guy using a gun improvised from behind the counter, and using it with accuracy and speed you don't see normally from a common pistol, but only harms Krieger a little. But the delay by Falcon allows Orland to do something other than dodge! He targets Krieger and puts the monster shot on him, knocking him out, impressing eye-witnesses.

Outside, BATTERY (the guy who took the car hit and laughed) and Mercury are having a fist fight. Mercury runs at him, Battery knocks him backwards. Mercury runs at him, Battery knocks him backwards. Battery gets knocked into a vehicle (which rolls over the unconscious Newton). Bubble-man slicks up the area and on the next successful hit to Battery, he slides right out of the slide area. Mercury hits him on the head with a car. Battery does a move through, to no noticeable effect, and then Battery is brought down finally, and Mercury barely recovers from his enraged before clubbing him again with the car. (Much to Mark's chagrin.)

And you had your introduction to THE PREDATORS. That's LUMINA (various powers), BATTERY (brick/damage absorber), KRIEGER (lightning boy), NEWTON (crazy commando) and FALLOUT (Weapon of Mass Destruction). Come to think of it, "The Weapons of Mass Destruction" might have been a cooler name.

The characters haul a grateful Lucretia back to base. It seems she has been investigating the seemingly related murders of two superheroes. One is an open case involving a hero whom the police jokingly refer to as a "suicide" because he's a superhero who died in a car crusher ("How else would a superhero kill himself?"). The other is JACKHAMMER, a well-armored hero who died by plunging to his death from a high building without his armor, ruled a suicide by the police.

An inquiry with Audra Blue has her go and do some research and dig for info on these two. It seems that one of the heroes was involved in the capture of the Keep's most notorious inmate, THE DOCTOR. This information is in secret files that Audra managed to dig up. According to records, the three men who performed the capture declined the opportunity to reveal themselves to the public and revel in the glory. Now they seem to be in trouble.


An interrogation of the woman captured at Armitage Pharmaceuticals yields small information about how Shockwave drafted her into working for him. But the most interesting event is when Rift is seated outside waiting to go in, and has a one-sided conversation with someone that no one else present can see.

Also, a sweep of an area where child abductions have been taking place yields only a strange flash of imagery to Orland, who has not related any of that information to other Player Characters yet.

And there was the report of the missing train car from the subway. It was found nowhere on the line for an entire day. Two people were possibly "missing", but they may be unrelated disappearances, because the next day the car returned, loaded to the gills with dirt, and appeared at the subway station, as if making a stop.

While on patrol, Mercury spies a mall on fire and calls in the troops when he is inside and notices the fire doing unusual things (Burning down the wall rather than up, leaping from place to place). The heroes move in. During the fight certain spots of the fire seem more active than others and actually try to dodge the heroes blows. Physical blows (The big fists of Mercury) seem to do it harm, but bullets go right through, as do most energy attacks. The fire extinguishers do some good damage to it, as does punching holes in the overhead sprinkler system and the most effective was use of the hose.

After putting out the fire, the characters encounter what can only be called a "Fire Zombie". Someone comes running, on fire, out of one of the shops and tries to burn Mr. Bubbles. With teamwork and determination, the thing is extinguished, whereupon it reverts to it's normal form; the charred body of a dead person. Good work identifying all of the ways of harming it (You got all but one way).