Infinity Storm #6: White Knight, Green Hero

  • Real World Date: 2/9/2008
  • Game Date: July 10th, 2007

Previously in the pages of Infinity Storm

The teenager hero Lilly was sucked into the nightmarish, otherworldly city of Carcossa after attempting to wake a child from an unnatural coma … a coma he fell into after an accidental telepathic burst from another hero, Dragoon, while at the Freedom City Library. She managed to find the boy and escape back to Freedom City, but not before catching glimpses of a horrible future in which insane cultists trying to open a portal to the Lost City instead awaken the slumbering consciousness of the Hellqueen. The villainess’ awakening causes a magical apocalypse that lays waste the city and kills most of its heroes.

Meanwhile, in the real world, Paladin had encounter with a teenaged-aged ghost girl, who tells him that Lilly is lost in space and time … and that a dark ritual must be stopped. He and the other heroes learn of a grisly murder in Baltimore that may have been the work of cultists associated with – or inspired by – the indie rock band known as The Kings in Yellow. They also receive a threatening phone call from the band’s manager, Alistair Wyrmbury, who warns the heroes – whom he shockingly addresses by their real names – that they can not possibly stop the ritual … and that they should not interfere in powers they do not understand.

Finally, the ramifications of Dr. Stratos’ earlier attack on the city and Blackstone Prison continue to be felt — the villains Magpie, Rant and Rave, and White Knight are still at large, and believed to be somewhere in Freedom City. While the master thief Magpie has undoubtedly gone to ground, it’s likely that the other villains will lash out at the society that imprisoned them sooner rather than later.

The heroes are now gathered in Paladin’s secret headquarters in Freedom City’s Greenbank district, discussing their next move.

And now Infinity Storm #6: White Knight, Green Hero. Continue reading

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Infinity Storm #5: The Lost City

• Real World Date: 12/23/2007
• Game Date: 7/9/2007

Previously in the pages of … Infinity Storm

The telepathic teenager Lilly has been drawn into the bizarre otherworldly city of Carcossa after making mental contact with a young boy knocked into a coma by Dragoon, the man out of time. While she desperately searches for a way to return herself and the boy to the real world, her compatriots investigate the mysterious, possibly insane rock band known as the Kings and Yellow.

And now … Issue #5: The Lost City Continue reading

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Infinity Storm #4: Night Life

• Real World Date: 10/26/2007
• Game Date: 7/9/2007

Previously the pages of … Infinity Storm
The city is uneasy after Dr. Stratos’ assault of Blackstone Penitentiary, the terrible storm that accompanied it, and the subsequent escape of several superpowered villains. The heroes who destroyed Strato’s weather machine and helped subdue the prison riot are keeping a keen eye out for escapees while simultaneously trying to get some much needed rest.

Paladin, the Techno-Knights, has been rebuilding his droids, most of whom were badly damaged in the Blackstone fight. Flynn, the archer extraordinaire, has landed a new day job as a stunt double on the set of a new TV project codenamed “Freedom Vice”. And Dragoon, the Man out of Time, awoke to discover he’d developed strange new – and exceedingly unstable – mutant powers.

With the help of Paladin and Dr. Albright (publicly known as the former WWII era superhero Beacon) of the Albright Institute, Dragoon has discovered that his genetic mutation was caused by neutrionos from Earth’s sun interacting with his alien DNA. Dr. Albright has synthesized a pill to help his body regulate these new powers, but unpredictable power surges are still likely … if less common.

And now … Issue #4: Night Life
It is a troubling time for our heroes.

The child he inadvertently mentally blasted into a coma weighs heavy on the heart and soul of the hero Dragoon, who hopes to find some way to make amends. Paladin is disturbed by D.C. Stranton, Agent of AEGIS, who has taken a witch-hunter like interest in the Techno-Knight’s sometime compatriot and fellow superhero Gray. And Lilly, the Spirit of Youth, is struggling to adjust to her life as a homeless teen while simultaneously trying to use her new powers for good. And then there are the escaped villains, who are no doubt planning their next big crime wave…

Our Heroes

Paladin, the Techno-Knight
Dragoon, the Man out of Time
• The Indomitable Gray
• Lilly, the Spirit of Youth

Recordkeeping

• Power points earned: 1

Upgrades
7/9/2007 9 a.m.

Paladin upgrades his armor to support autofire, but doing so fatigues the armor. He also boosted its super-strength. Officially deems his droids “squires” The week begins. Paladin assigns “the Professor” to assist Dragoon in patrols.

Psychic Breaks
7/9/2007 9 a.m.

Dragoon goes to visit hospital and buys bear to give to buy. Meets crazed mother, who comes out screaming at doctor saying her boy will wake up, and she won’t have him moved to the crazy ward. Dragoon tries to comfort her but fails miserable. He goes back to the institute, asks to speak to the doctor, but finds he’s still at his conference and wont’ be available until the eventing.

Pretty Spry for a Dead Girl
7/9/2007 11 a.m .

Lilly takes up Paladin’s offer on the cell phone, the agree to meet at his business office in Greenbank. She goes, he gives her a heavily modified cell phone, then explains how to use it – press button and speak name of hero, it will connect to them.

Paladin asks about her “death” problem – she explains she was killed in car crash, then woke up alive. Now no one wants to be around her. She tries not to be scary, but sometimes she is when she needs to TK or stuff. Used to get good grades in math.

He interrogates her about being dead, asking if she must sleep or eat. “That’s it, that’s all I know this is kind of new. The guy at the morgue was surprised.

“That’s fascinating. I’ve never met anyone whose been dead before.”

He looks for dead people or people with death connections in his database

• Lantern Jack
• Hellqueen
• Hades
• Silver Scream

Maybe you could talk to them about your condition. Lilly says something about girl. “I hope she’s not real, ‘cause if she is I think something bad might happen to the city. I don’t know, something like … Doom. She talks about a boy whose lost. And dreaming guys. I don’t think she’s bad, I think someone killed her. Don’t think she can here me she just rambles on with prophetic stuff.”

Paladin gets a little freaked. “Here, write everything down you can remember. So we can cross reference in database.”

He then explains he has a secret lair they can go to research.

“Alright, but I gotta hurry . This is when they throw the good stuff at Burger King.”

“um, ok I have food…”

She then says she’s going to the library at the college to learn more.

Laying Low in the Dock District
7/9/2007 9 a.m.-10 p.m

Learns that black suited AEGIS were asking about Gray from a co-worker. Decides to spend the day up in a crane. That night goes to a pub, hears various myriad rumors about Gray either being a hero or a terrorist.

Timmy!
7/9/2007 1 p.m.

He decides to find more information about the boy Timmy Whitefield. He decides to hcks his way into Hospital web site then launch attack across network to secure records but fails three times. He’s surprised, but remembers that there’s metagene research being done there that might explain things.

Stymied, he calls Dragoon to learn what he found out about the boy. Dragoon rambles on about the woman not liking him, and let’s slip that she said something about the Yellow Man or Yellow Men.

The Kings in Yellow Are Coming
7/9/2007 3 p.m.

She sees yellow flyers for Kings in Yellow. She does research on Lantern Jack. Also does research on the Dreaming City. She learns it is referenced many times in the pulp stories of the 1930s, and checks out a book on the subject. Having no card, she decides to “borrow” it, assuming she’ll return it later.

She sees yellow flyers for Kings in Yellow. She does research on Lantern Jack. Also does research on the Dreaming City. She learns it is referenced many times in the pulp stories of the 1930s, and checks out a book on the subject. Having no card, she decides to “borrow” it, assuming she’ll return it later.

Raving the Knight away
7/9/2007 11 p.m.

He goes on patrol, finds sounds of rave in progress as well as two supers on stage, making people nausous and causing some to flee and throw up. A bunch get upset and start picking a fight.

Police are dispatched; Gray calls paladin, who dispatches a Sherlock to investigate. By the time they and the Sherlock arrive, they fled. The Sherlock shows up when Gray is human form, surprising him. “What the?” He says and throws phone against wall.

Sherlock reports back that he’s not sure that Gray was there, since he didn’t give a good response and then broke phone. Paladin has Sherlock try to apprehend him, stealthly disable him, dispatching Gemini him (not knowing if the metahuman has done something to Gray).

It tries to stun him and fails. Then Gray tries to flee, but the Sherlock easily keeps up. This time, the Squire tries to dazzle him.

Reports back “attempts to neutralize have not proven successful.” Gray ducks into a 70s bar, finding a bunch of swingers. The Sherlock instantly follows and proceeds to hide in plain sight. He finally leaves, shaking off the swingers, and outside he finds Gemini waiting for him.

“Halt Perp”, the robot says. Gray ignore him.

“What have you done to meta human designate Gray?”

Gray, trying to cover his human persona, says “I don’t know, I just found the phone.”

Advice from the Beacon
7/9/2007 6 p.m.

That night Dragoon talks with Prof. Albright. Albright says he doesn’t think the boy has any physical trauma, but could have mental trauma, perhaps the telepathic blast that did psychic damage, even knocking his mind to another reality or plane of existence, causing him to become lost.

The Professor, who had been with Dragoon, hears all this and reports back. Paladin adds this to the database, starts mining and realizes the potential connections – the lost boy, the city, the yellow men.

“It all makes sense!”
7/9/2007 7 p.m.

Paladin summons Lilly to his secret lair, then has Professor cancel patrol and summons him to headquarters as well.

There, Paladin tries to explain what he thinks happened. He introduces Dragoon to Lilly. He explains that Lilly has been receiving portents, visions, some sort of catacylsm coming to the city. Paladin also informs them both that Gray has gone missing in the Docks. Dragoon, confused by what’s going on, decides to go look for the missing Grayson.

“No, no it’s a dead girl who comes and tells me things”

“It’s ok, I occasionally blast people with my mind.

“Ok, scary ghost girl tells our scary ghost girl about evil thing coming to the city. Also tells her about a Dreaming One in the city who needs to be found and a lost boy who wants to be found. And strange yellow ones who seek the underground.”

“Also did some research on the King in Yellow, a play since the 1800s, its never had a successful run, and strange things just happen in cities. Also, there’s this Kings in Yellow band coming, supporting their new album the Unblinking Eye.”

She says, “Hey that sounds like the name of a story – ‘The Unblinking Eye’”. They decide to go to the hospital and find the boy.

Paladin does research on boy, members of the band, seeing if they have siblings who match 15-year-old girl.

The Search for Gray
7/9/2007 11 p.m.

Dragoon flies out on the city, the droid lecturing him and updating him on the status of the boy, using less then flattering terms. The voice grates on his nerves, and the headache that’s been building all day explodes, causing cosmic energy to slam into the Squire.

The Squire responds by hitting him with dazzle. “This unit is under attack. Reporting back to Maker.” It jumps off bike and tries to hide in plain sight.

It reports back, Paladin asks what’s happening, wondering if Grue are invaded. Paladin determines that yes, he did damage the unit. “If you gave the robots nicer voices, and didn’t give me headaches, maybe I wouldn’t have had to release on them”.

He arrives at warehouse. Talks with cops who tell him that feds are looking for associates of Gray, and then tells him to inform Paladin that Rant and Rave hit the rave.

He ducks down alley afterward, arguing with the Squire. Gray sees them, decides to meld into ground, reach up and tug at Dragoon’s leg. Startled, the Man out of Time blasts him with energy, hitting Gray and stunning him momentarily.

Sherlock orders him to stop. Finally, they talk. Gray said feds are after him and has to hide. They argue about best way to make contact, and then decide to head to hospital. Paladin’s about to call.

The Dreaming City
7/10/2007 1 a.m.

They hover outside. Lilly goes inside, reads mind of nurse, learns kid is in psych ward. Paladin breaks into the hospital, meets Lilly on 6th floor. Lilly cloaks herself and Paladin to look like nurses with illusion.

They hear him screaming. “Mommy … I want my mommy!” And then: “Mommy … is that you mom? Mommy I want to go … you’re not Mommy!” Followed by another scream. And soon after: “That music. It’s weird music. But it sounds like home. I want to go home.”

They rush to the room, and Paladin scares the crap out of a nurse as Lilly drops their disguise. He tries to tell her that they are there to help and that the book is under under psychic assault, but she’s shocked and starts screaming; Lilly calms her emotions down enough for the nurse to calmly walk to the main desk, call STAR Squad and announce that a power-suited maniac is in the psych ward.

Paladin, who hears the call as its routed through 911, sends a message to the STAR Squad explaining the situation.

Lilly tries to call the boy to him, reaching out to him, trying to get him to come to her telepathically. He’s lost and confused. He sees a woman, and he’s scared. Suddenly, as Lilly reaches out to the boy yet again, she’s pulled through to the Dreaming City.

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Freedom City Teamups Present: The Brains and the Brawn #1

Exploding form the pages of Infinity Storm: The Brains and the Brawn!

• Real World Date: 10/15-11-7, 2007
• Game Date: 7/8/2007

Previously, in the pages of Infinity Storm, Dragoon underwent a mutation that caused him to suddenly manifest new (and apparently random) superpowers. He’s struggling to get those powers under control with the help of Paladin while simultaneously teaming up with the Techno-Knight to track down recent escapees from Blackstone Prison.

A New Partnership
“Paladin? Dragoon here,” the Hero out of Time says into his communicator. “Just wanted to thank you for your help with my “situation”. Turns out I have a latent mutant gene which just activated. The Doctor gave me something to help keep it in check. I’ll just have to be careful. But thanks again for the help.”

After a long pause, Paladin replies “Sorry Dragoon. I’ve been working on some upgrades to my armor for the last few hours. A latent mutagenic gene, hmm? We’ll have to monitor that closely. If you’d like, I have very sophisticated medical scanning devices here in my lab. I’d recommend scans every two weeks at the most.”

He then says. “I’ve got my Sherlock’s out looking for the prison escapees. Do you have any availability to help track them down?”

As they talk, Gray, pressing the little red button Paladin put in his cell: “Hello? Hello? Who is this? I’m trying to reach my voicemail. Are you the operator? Hello? Heellooooo?”

Paladin thinks to himself, “Dammit, I’m going to have to alter these phones so that I can contact them but they can’t initiate contact with me”.

Paladin imitates his best operator voice and replies to Gray: “Please hold while I connect you to your voicemail”. He then re-routes his call to 911, knowing that they can trace his call back to him and will send the police to his location even if he says it was an accidental connection.

Dragoon, noting know about Gray’s call, continues: “I was going to propose exactly that. You seem to have connections I do not, and we seem to work well together. Perhaps one of your androids and I can patrol things and call you when needed. This way the android can also look after me should something happen. I do not wish to harm anyone else.

“Speaking of, have you heard any further about the young boy? Is he alright?”

“His name is Timmy Whitefield. He remains in a coma. Serious but stable condition at Freedom City Hospital. In the pediatrics wing,” Paladin replies.

Hearing this, Dragoon — still slightly blue tinged, but looking mostly normal — changes back into his civies and heads to the hospital.

Girl Troubles
Lily is bored. She’s having a hard time not hanging out with her “normal” friends, but has decided that trying to contact them probably wouldn’t turn out well at all.

Helping people, on the other hand – it’s something to do at least. Is this why she was brought back??

So far, every time she’s tried to help at some sort of disaster, she’s basically been fighting alongside those same other weirdos. So, if she’s going to do this whole superhero thing (God, the world totally hates her), she needs to find these goons. But how?? She only ever sees them at the big disasters, and it’s not like they advertise or anything…

That bucket-head guy – Paladin? – was talking to the cops on some kinda radio. Maybe they know him or something?

Lily visits the local public library and sets up a free LOL (Liberty Online) email account. She then makes a bit of a clamor by phasing into the local police district station in full scary ghosty mode. She waits a second until she has everyone in the squadroom’s attention, and then puts her hands on her hips and strikes what she hopes is a heroic pose.

Hovering above the room feeling like a total choad, she intones “I am Lily, the Spirit of Youth. It seems that Freedom City may be in need of a few new heroes, or something. Please, like, see that this message gets to Paladin.”

She then TK’s a piece of paper with her email address on it to one of the policemen, mumbles “Um, OK. Uh, thanks.” and turns and flies out through the nearest wall.

Shortly thereafter, Paladin responses to Lilly’s “message” left with the police. “This is Paladin. I hear that you were looking for me. The police were a little freaked out. What can I do for you?”

Lilly writes back:

Paladin –

Hi, it’s Lily – the girl that was helping at the airport, and fighting the bad guys at the docks and the prison and all that. Do you know those other guys that have been helping us rescue people and stuff? Are you guys like a super team or something? (If you are, you should really get some matching uniforms – it’s hard to know who’s who…)

Anyway, I have these powers, and I’d kind of like to continue helping people if I can, but I don’t know how to find the rest of you. You know – other than listening for explosions and death rays and stuff. Maybe we can get some walkie talkies or cell phones or something? I can’t really pay for them though, so dunno.

There’s also some other creepy stuff going on that I don’t understand. I think something bad’s going to happen.

Anyway, write back if you guys want some help sometime.

Lily

To this, Paladin replies:

I admire your desire to do good with your abilities. The others new heroes that I’ve met, Dragoon, Grey, Gear and The Bowman do seem to keep popping up whenever there’s trouble. We’re not an official “team”, but I have given the others secure cell phone/communicators so that they can get in touch with me.

If you’d like, I can send you one too, but please be aware of the limited minutes on the phone. It would be unwise for you to spend 4 hours a night talking to your girlfriends about boys or how life is pain or how ‘norms’ just don’t see the utter futility of hope or how Disintigration is the ‘best album ever’ or how your parents just ‘don’t get it’. It would be better to save the phone for emergencies. Like the Death Rays and Explosions kind.

Speaking of your parents, what do they think about you risking your life to take up superhero-ing? I don’t think you should be doing this just for kicks. If you give me your address, I’ll send you the cell phone and we can discuss more later.

Lily doesn’t respond well to this:

Dearest Paladork:

Just because *you* spend 4 hours a night talking to *your* girlfriends about boys, don’t assume you know anything at all about me. As for how life is pain? Life was just fine. It’s death that sucks – you should try it sometime.

I don’t have any parents to disapprove of anything that I do anymore. I’m not looking for any either, so you can secure your cell phone where the headlamp don’t shine.

Hugs and kisses,
Lily

PS – Disintegration?? Are you really *that* old??

Paladin responds:

Okay, I get it, you’re not a typical teenager. But what’s all this death stuff? And are you saying you’re an orphan? Shouldn’t you have a foster family at least? Or are you trying to say that you’re homeless?

You’re going to have to clue me in, since I don’t know anything about you or your abilities.

pps – you don’t have to be old to appreciate the Best. Album. Ever!

But Aenima is pretty damn cool, too.

Again, Lily’s teenager personality shines through:

XP Congratulations, you’ve reached the 90’s – keep trying. Here’s a link for you before your bones petrify completely. (You may want to avoid any tar pits btw…)

No, I’m not saying I’m an orphan, dummy – I’m saying that I’m dead. Hellooo? Floats through walls and can fly? Can poltergeist stuff around? Can possess the living and scare people? At your service – Lily the undead freak. The teenager that really *can* scare the living shit out of you…

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Worlds of Freedom

Green Ronin is planning a new Worlds of Freedom source book for Freedom City that will cover alternative realities, histories and futures, a la Crisis on Infinite Earths. The first design journal is up on the M&M web site and gives an overview of the book’s chapters.

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ECORE Central

ECORE Central is a news site chronicling the latest superlink news, announcing new third-party products for Mutants & Masterminds as well as fan creations such as character sheets and combat trackers.

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Infinity Storm #3: Downtime

Previously in the pages of … Infinity Storm
Blackstone Penitentiary is in ruins, its defenses smashed by the electrical fury of Dr. Stratos, Master of Weather in an attempt to free his Crime League associate Devil Ray. Several of the new heroes of Freedom City – Dragoon, Gray, Paladin and Lilly Tombs – responded to the disaster and managed to subdue two of the prison’s many freed supervillains: the duplicitous Mirror Man and hulking Brickbrack.

With the assistance of super-guard Strafe, they were also able to quell the ongoing riot by the mundane prisoners. They weren’t able to prevent everyone from escaping though. Several supervillains are unaccounted for, including the Ecstasy addicts Rant and Rave, the racist hatemonger White Knight, the master thief Magpie and the rock monster and Factor Four cohort Granite. Some are believed to have fled the island and the city, but at least one took a boat to the mainland.

And now … Issue #3: Downtime

The heat wave that blanketed Freedom City for most of June and early July has finally broken with the passing of Dr. Stratos and his superstorm. The heroes have returned the city and are trying to go about their normal lives while simultaneously searching for signs of the escaped villains.

Our Heroes

Paladin, the Techno-Knight
Dragoon, the Man out of Time
Flynn

Recordkeeping

• Power points earned: 1

Blazing Arrows
7/7/2007, 7:20 a.m.

Flynn’s awakened from a deep sleep by the ringing of the phone. He groggily picked up his phone to discover Saul Thompason, his agent, on the other end. He learns that he’s just been hired as a stunt man on a new action series code named “Freedom Vice” that’s shooting down at the docks. And that he’s late.

He heads out on his bike, has a hellish time navigating traffic, ultimately blowing out his rear tire as he flies down Greely Street toward Riverside and Route 4. He expertly (far more expertly then earlier in his drive) wrestles it to a stop.

He calls Paladin (calling him Guardian) by mistake “It’s an emergency … the Arrow Bike got a flat tire!” Paladin sighs and says “I only said call me if there’s an emergency and hangs up ”.

With no help from Paladin coming, Flynn ducks into a side alley, scrambles to get into his uniform, and then uses his sling and grapple arrows to swing out across the building tops in order to get to the docks on time. Arriving there he meets up with Saul, who informs him that he’s got a role as a minor actor as well as acting as a body double for the star. His immediate job is to pilot a speed boat to intercept a second craft, jump to the second boat, deliver a line, mock knock out two bad guys and then seize control of the ship.

Blue Man Reclining
7/7/2007, 7:45 a.m.

Dragoon awakes and feels awful, with a bounding headache. He argues with himself about going into work on a Saturday, but ultimately decides he doesn’t have to. Instead, he sits in his recliner, watching TV and is nearly overwhelmed by the sensation that his skin is going to explode. He fights the feeling, and it passes … but the experience freaks him out.

Paladin at Work
7/7/2007, 7:54 a.m.

Paladin writes a series of programs to monitor events and activities in the city. After repairing two of his Sherlocks, he dispatches them to start patrolling Freedom City looking for escaped prisoners.

When he gets Flynn’s call for help at the docks, he decides to dispatch the droid Ovid to help him. The robot radios to Flynn declaring “inbound … refrain from stupidity until I arrive”.

Arrow at Sea
7/7/2007, 8:15 a.m.

Meanwhile, things are moving too quickly for Flynn who finds himself suddenly on a cigarette-style racing boat before Ovid’s arrival. “Oh well, hopefully he can resuscitate me when I drown…” He drives the boat out to sea, catches up with the other stunt craft and – as the chase helicopter catches the whole thing on film – makes a spectacular jump to the other boat. He then knocks out the pilot, backhands the other unconscious, delivers his line, and seizes control of the boat.

He’s the hero of the cast for getting the scene off in one take, and he celebrates by going out drinking with the cast.

Power Surges
7/7/2007, 11:30 a.m.

Back at his apartment, Dragoon nearly succumbs to erratic power surge that strikes him as he stumbles to his bathroom. He takes one of his pills designed to hide his native blue skin color from the natives, but it doesn’t work. He takes another, and decides to head to Freedom City Library to do some research.

At the library, and covered up in an overlarge hoodie t-shirt to hide his blue skin, he hits Google and does a search on “earth diseases 21st century skin

“Crap,” he thinks, scanning the results, “none of this is about blue skin”.

Then he does a search on “headache body reaction”:

He sees an item in the results about “emotional reaction.” “I don’t think I had an emotional reaction,” he muttered to himself. He then switched gears and decided to do a search on “freedom city genetic research”

His search turns up two noted genetic researchers in Freedom City:

Dr. Emily Tanner, Freedom Medical Center: Brilliant doctor obsessed with understanding the physiology of mutants. She’s the first result he finds, and subsequent searches turn up articles on her research in the American medical association journal as well as NATURE describing her work on various projects on DNA, opinion piece on future of humanity’s evolution, blogs and forums complaining about her obsession, her interest in the Atoms, etc.

The other notable result is Dr. Langston Albright, Albright Institute. He’s a former hero – Beacon of the Liberty League – who now researches superhuman powers and might be able to help. His office is located in Hanover.

While at the library, Dragon headache grows, made worse by an annoying kid. He can’t take it any more, and finally turns and focuses … and the kid drops unconscious. Mother comes over and says “Timmy … what’s wrong Timmy?”

Disturbed, he asks librarian to help with kid. Then Dragoon calls Paladin on the sly, and reports emergency. explains he had a headache and knocked kid unconscious. Paladin conferences in Flynn, who gives background on Albright. He decides to go to the Institute to speak with the esteemed scientist.

Knock First, Ask Questions Later
7/7/2007, 12:40 p.m.

He goes there, and tries to talk his way into seeing Albright. They make him wait for a few hours, at which point he gets angry and demands to see the doctor. This has the inadvertent side effect of triggering one of his episodes. This time, he hulks out, growing in size and strength and triggering the Institute’s defenses, which quickly subdue him.

No Rest in Dreamland
7/7/2007, 11:47 a.m.

While Dragoon is at the Langstrom Institute, Ovid evaluates the kid (over the protests of his distraught mother) finds that he’s in a coma and that he can’t revive him. Also determines that the individual was the victim of a telepath attacks. Ovid’s logic circuits are confused; the droid is a brilliant doctor, and should be able to determine why the child can’t come out of the coma. And yet he can’t. He reports his progress (or lack of it) to Paladin, then heads over to the

It’s Not Easy Being Blue
7/7/2007, 1:20 p.m.

Back at the institute, Paladin responds to the call about Dragoon hulking out. He arrives just in time t help and convince the institute that Big Blue really is a good guy. He teleconferences with a holographic Dr. Langston Albright (presently in Boston for a conference) and with the help of Ovid’s incredibly advanced medical scanners, they determine that Dragoon is in a state of cellular flux. Later that night, they are able to determine the problem is caused by Dragoon’s alien DNA interacting with the neutrino’s from Earth’s sun, which in turn is causing an unexpected mutation.

Albright gives Dragoon some pills to help him control his power, but warns that there will still be surges; they’ll just be less frequent.

It’s Not That Easy Being Gray Either
7/7/2007, 5:07 p.m.

That night, D.C. Stranton, Agent of AEGIS, shows up at Paladin’s headquarters and demands to know everything about Gray, whom he believes is a criminal who assaulted a prison guard and broke into a secure federal facility. He’s not allayed by Paladin’s claims that Gray is a good guy and that it’s all a misunderstanding; instead he makes veiled threats about his ability to use his government power to get Paladin’s government contracts pulled and generally make the Techno-Knight’s life a living hell. Paladin gives the agent as few details as possible, and essentially tells him to go ahead and try.

When he leaves, Paladin crafts a device to nullify paralysis and telepathic probes and makes plans to get it to Gray, just in case AEGIS decides to try and take the fledgling hero down. He also does some research on Stranton, and discovers the man is the AEGIS assistant bureau chief in Freedom City, and has powerful, anti-meta allies in Washington.

Atlas Rising
7/8/2007, 9:20 a..m.

The next day, Paladin has a far more cordial visit from Freeman, the CEO of FreeSpace and the costumed hero known as Atlas. The CEO of Earth’s leading private suborbital and orbital launch firm informs him of his plans to build a space station in low-earth orbit, and his need for space suits with offensive/defensive capabilities not unlike those of the Paladin armor. He asks Paladin to submit a proposal and bid for the project, informing him that he’s been very impressed by what he’s seen so far.

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Infinity Storm #2 – Reign of Chaos

Previously in the pages of … Infinity Storm
A terrible thunderstorm, summoned by Dr. Stratos, Master of Weather, has struck Freedom City. As a motley band of heroes was able to disable the storm generators Stratos had placed around the city, but not before the evil doctor was able to use his accumulated meteorological power to hammer Blackstone Penitentiary in Freedom Bay.

The resulting blast shattered the prison’s walls and knocked its electrical systems – including its supervillain containment fields – offline. Now the heroes are faced with a potential crime wave of epic proportions as villains attempt to flee the ruined prison…

And now … Issue #2: Reign of Chaos

Our Heroes

Dragoon, the Man out of Time
The Indomitable Gray
Paladin, the Technoknight
Lilly Tombs, the Spirit of Youth

Recordkeeping

• Power points earned: 1

Portents
July 6, 2007 8:55 p.m.

Lilly – the Spirit of Youth — woke up from a horrible dream to the sound of a terrible explosion that shakes the city. Catching glimpse of flames far out at sea, from the direction of Blackstone Penitentiary, she makes herself incorporeal and heads in that direction. Arriving at the prison she finds mob in yard trying to overwhelm guards, a hulk (Brickbrack) trying to tear his way into one of the towers, another group trying to get into a second tower, and a third with gunfire raining down in guards in center of courtyard.

Lilly, seeing Brickbrack trying to take apart one of the towers tower, mindcontrols him to aid the guards in their fight. He leapt to the center of the fight and began wading through the prisoners fighting the guards.

Paladin Informed
Seeing the explosion, knowing that Dr. Stratos had been headed that way, Paladin immediately contacted the authorities. He learned from them that Blackstone Prison had been hit, that one of its four stone guard towers is in ruins, that its electrical grid has been smashed, and that its super villain population is loose. Among those known to be on the island are Rant and Rave (twenty-something superpowered drug addicts), Devil Ray (member of the Crime League, known associate of Dr. Stratos), the White Knight (racist villain, associate of the neo-Nazi group SHADOW), the expert thief Magpie and Granite, the member of the Factor Four whom Gray had battled earlier.

Hearing this, Paladin sends out his probes – Sherlocks and Professors – to find his fellow adventurers and recruit help.

Graystone
Gray sensed the explosion at Blackstone, and headed out to the ruined prison where he found the melee ongoing in courtyard. He swam underground, emerging near center of fight. He realized that many of those around him appeared identical … and were intent on taking down the Paladin-armored super. He vaguely remembered hearing the name of these “villains” before: Mirror Men, spawned by a singular Mirror Man villain.

The power-armored individual identified himself as Strafe, a prison officer, and – thinking he is another of the villains — orders him to stand down. Instead Gray initiates a shockwave knocking most of the combatants to their knees, including Strafe.

An outraged Strafe stumbles to his feet and says “I TOLD YOU TO STAND DOWN!” and unloads on Gray, staggering him. Several Mirror Men start cheering on Brickbrak thinking he’s on their side (and not mind controlled). Others try to pile on Gray, but fail to knock him out. The fighter turns and knocks one flying, and as he slips unconscious, the Mirror Man shatters.

Enter the Dragon
Dragoon tried to join the fight, following Strafe’s order to hit Brickbrack. He missed however. Strafe then tried to drop the huge brawler with a repulser blast, but the giant took it. Paladin arrives and declares to Strafe that he and his friends are attempting to assist with crowd control. He includes Gray among his friends, but Strafe was skeptical.

Lilly had Brickbrack tell the guards that he’s under her control, and helping them. She then had him try and grab a Mirror Man. He misses, and Lilly retreats to a tower where she erects a protective barrier.

Strafe unleashes a blast burst that pummels Gray into unconsciousness and shatters the two mirror men on him.

Lilly, seeing how arrogant Strafe is, decided to release Brickbrack, who proceeds to knock the power-armored guard into Dreamland. Gemini – the construct paladin had assigned to help with the field melee – radioed “Creator, we’re going to need some help here.” Seeing this, Dragoon flew in and strikes at Brickbrack, who shrugs of the attack.

Lilly spoke to his mind, and told him to take out the Mirror Men instead. Paladin dispatched Ovid to revive Gray. He summoned the rest of his minions – two Sherlocks and a Professor — to dazzle the prisoners in the towers while he reacted to the battle below. He flew at Brickbrack, unloading with his dual repulsar array into his chest, which stuns the man The ordinary prisoners, seeing the arrival of the heroes, flee.

Mirror Mirror
Mirror Man saw them flee, said in mirrored unison “We’re NOT going back inside” and suddenly there were another 15 of them in the courtyard.

Lilly tried again to fry Brickbrack’s brain into submission, but fails. Dragoon attempted to take down the hulk as well, but can’t stagger him. Paladin, suddenly surrounded by duplicates, lashed out at a Mirror Man. but can’t hit. Gemini, however, shattered one with a blow.

The troubled youth shatters a third of the Mirror Men with a telekinetic blast. Dragoon tries to grapple Brickbrack in an attempt to teleport him far into the air, but the brute shrugs off the attack.

Mirror Men launched a grapple wave that pinnedGrey, Dragoon and Gemini. Lilly tried yet again to fry Brickbrack’s again, and failed. Grey punches the Mirror Man that grappled him, shattering it. Three mirror men try and strangle Dragoon, but the space veteran merely smiles. Three others bash in Gemini’s helmet, disabling the robot.

Frustrated, Lilly flew down in front of Brickbrack, manifesting a ghostly aura that caused the brute to scream in terror and flee blindly.

Staggered, Gray tried to strike the Mirror Men around him but missed. Strafe, resuscitated by Ovid, got to his feet and unloaded on the Mirror Men and Gray, bruising the hero, shattering the Mirror Men. Seeing Strafe fire on her friend again, Lilly used TK to grab Strafe, and chucked him into the bay.

Paladin contacted Strafe to make sure that he’s alive; the super-powered guard reported that his armor was holding, but that he was sinking into the water and said he’ll have to walk back.

After the Fight
July 6, 2007 10:20 p.m.

After the fight, Strafe said he knows criminals and that Gray may not be one yet … but he will be. He then goes to assist his fellow superguard, Warboss, in the prison. The warden thanks for Paladin’s assistance, and asks they go search the perimeter. They find that several boats are missing. Grey reports one of the boats made it to the city, while Paladin receives report on military band from Coast Guard of submarine activity off the coast.

Within the hour, transport from Lockdown arrived, escorted by STAR helicopters. Strafe and Warboss start loading prisoners on to the plane.

Posted in vol. 1: heatwave | 1 Comment

Infinity Storm #1 – Lightning Crashes

Previously in the pages of … Infinity Storm

We were introduced to a new generation of heroes in Freedom City, including the rock-like Gray, the Goth teen Spirit of Youth, the pizza-delivering speedster Turbo, the techno-knight Paladin and the man out of time, Dragoon.

The heroes saved jumbojet from certain destruction after one of its engines caught on fire, rescued two children from a burning inferno that consumed an abandoned warehouse and defeated two members of the Factor Four — Granite and Sylph. The former was knocked unconscious and taken into custody by the city’s STAR Squad; the other escaped into the depths of the wharf district.

And now … Issue #1: Lightning Crashes

It has been a troubling week in the City of Heroes. The proto-heatwave of late June has transformed into the real thing, sending temperatures into the low 100s and straining the city’s power grid to the breaking point. Rolling blackouts are commonplace, and there is no relief in sight, despite nightly thunderstorms that have shaken the city to its bedrock.

As the sun dawns on July 5, Granite remains in Blackstone Prison. No one has seen his three Factor Four cohorts, but speculation is high that they are somewhere in the city. A rash of locked-room burglaries — in which jewelry is stolen without the locks on their stores being broken, their alarms being triggered, or their cameras caching sight of anything — have people speculating that the villain Downtime might be back in the city.

But it’s the heat that’s on everyone’s mind. It’s the heat that has tempers short. And it’s the heat that may be the city’s greatest enemy this summer.

Our Heroes

Flynn, the Master of Arrows
Dragoon, the Man out of Time
The Indomitable Gray
Paladin, the Technoknight

Recordkeeping

• Power points earned: 1

A Quiet Week in the Country
June 30, 2:00 p.m.

Meanwhile Bobby Phoenix, a.k.a. Dragoon, has been inspired by recent events to return to his country home to finish work on his sky bike, a contraption from the future which will allow him to quickly move around the city and keep up with his fast-moving new friends.

Trouble in High Places
July 3, 2007 10:05 a.m.

In the wake of the near-crash of the 747 and the subsequent assault by the Factor Four, Paladin makes an effort to follow up with his contacts in FEMA, NTSB and Homeland Security. At the last, he finds unexpected resistance from the agency’s higher echelon; despite having designed the well-respected Paladin-class army he’s found himself locked out of the leadership’s offices.

Why, his lower level contacts don’t know but some think he’s proving to be too successful in his private endeavors … or perhaps a rival contractor has been talking down his work in an effort to get their own product purchased by the government.

Slugfest
July 3, 2007 9:00 p.m.

After his battle with Granite, Grayson (a.k.a the Indomitable Gray) was eager to further hone his fighting skills with his next bout in Freedom City’s semi-pro boxing circuit. Going under the name “Slugger” Fraiser, Grayson’s opponent was “Thunderstrike” Collins, a brute of a man renowned for his no-holds-barred, all-out attack style of boxing.

The fight was an intense one, with Thunderstrike landing blow after stunning blow and Grayson taking every hit. Bloodied and battered, the hero was almost out of the fight when he landed a tremendous counterblow that knocked out his opponent and won him the fight.

It also earned him the scorn of some dapper-looking criminal-types who’d been watching the fight in the audience and clearly had bet against them. They left, clearly disgusted … and cursing his victory.

Unauthorized Withdrawal
July 4, 2007 9:00 p.m.

The next night, as Fourth of July fireworks exploded overhead, the city met its newest hero: Flynn. The young master bowman, who had recently saved a young girl from mugging, had taken to patrolling the city in search of other criminals.

He found them at an Eastern Seaboard Bank (E-Sea Bank) in Southside where a group of burglars had decided to take advantage of a brownout to make an unauthorized withdrawal. He snuck up on the burglars, incapacitating one with a stun arrow, snatching up a radio he’d been using and then telling to the others to look outside the bank’s front window.

They did so, and seeing the masked bowman they fired their pistols at him. Flynn deftly avoided the hail of bullets, firing a barrage of his own arrows that incapacitated most of the villains, and sent one running outside.

At the same time, Paladin was intently working in his Greenbank lab when he heard the police band squawk about a burglary in progress, and immediately leapt into action, zooming across the city at breakneck speeds and arriving just in time to see one of the crooks fleeing from the bank. He stopped the man in his tracks with repulsar blasts, then paused to talk with the hero who’d broken up the robbery.

Impressed by Flynn, and respectful of the young hero’s hope not to get tangled up in police inquires, Paladin agreed to stay and deal with the cops while the archer melted back into the night. Before he did so though, Paladin gave him a communicator with which to contact him, just in case.

The Storm
July 6, 2007 8:30 p.m.

As night fell, a terrible storm built over Freedom city. The clouds stacked miles high, looming like a giant over the metropolis.
Dragoon, his bike fixed and cloaked to look like a Japanese-style motorcycle, arrived back in the city just as the front overtook him, sending torrents of rain cascading from the sky … and bringing a brutal barrage of lightning with it.

The powerful bolts struck from the sky in unnatural surges, and as Dragoon watched, he could see the strikes seem to coalesce around three points in the city. These points, in Hanover Park, Southside, and Downtown, glowed with a terrible power that cut through the dark rain. As he watched, he could see that power suddenly arc skyward, striking a central point roughly over downtown Freedom City.

The point expanded to become a radiant sphere … and the sphere began moving out to sea.

The Golden Peril
July 6, 2007 8:35 p.m.

Meanwhile, the rest of the city’s defenders were not caught unaware. Paladin, monitoring radio traffic in the city while subconsciously scanning a dozen web sites, noted the coming storm and the sudden appearance of the lightning bolt foci. He leapt into action, contacting the rookie hero Flynn for assistance.

He met the hero, flew him to Southside, and together the investigated one of the lightning focal points. They found a strange weather machine atop the Golden Calf Casino, the selfsame building Paladin had damaged two weeks earlier saving an airliner from certain doom.

Flynn volunteered to deal with the construct and disable the device while Paladin flew skyward to investigate the glowing sphere moving over the city.

“Dr. Stratos, I presume?”
July 6, 2007 8:37 p.m.

As Paladin approached the orb, he discovered there was a person in the middle of it. A quick scan of his personal law enforcement database quickly identified the individual as Dr. Stratos, master of weather and leader of the Crime League. The caped villain flew serenely over the city, caring little for the destruction the storm was causing around him.

Paladin streaked toward him, and demanded that the villain stand down. Dr. Stratos merely turned his head to the hero, smirked, and then watched as a lightning strike came down near the heart of downtown … and the bullet train line. Frantic radio traffic from the Freedom City Transportation Authority quickly confirmed the worst: the train had lost power and was in danger of careening out of control. Forced to choose between fighting the villain and saving innocents, Paladan made the only choice he could make: he dove for the train.

As Dr. Stratos continued out to see, Paladin fought to bring the train under control. By the time he wrestled it to a stop, the villain was long gone.

Triple Threat
July 6, 2007 8:45 p.m.

With Paladin struggling with the bullet train, it fell to the other heroes to deal with the weather control devices no doubt deployed by Dr. Stratos. Flynn continued his fight against the android protecting the device at the Golden Calf, eventually disabling it with nullification arrows that drained its power and allowed him to use kinetic arrow heads to destroy the device.

Gray arrived downtown and determined that a second of the devices was located on top of the Federal Building. When his attempts to talk his way into the building failed, he decided to travel underground and swim in through the basement. He then pounded his way up to the roof, where he found another android and device. The pitched fight which followed drew the attention of the Feds, who rushed to the roof.

They arrived just as the hero destroyed the device by throwing the android into it. They demanded that he stop immediately, but Gray ignored them and instead dove off the building, plummeting 50 stories to the ground. Rather than smashing into the pavement however, he “dove” into the ground, plunging through it like an Olympic diver.

Finally, Dragoon flew across the city to the Promenade Park in Hanover, where he found another of the devices that had – until recently – been thought to be a Hanover Institute of Technology science experiment. After making several strafing attacks from his rocket bike, Dragoon leaped into melee with the device’s android guardian, destroyed it, and then smashed the machine itself.

Blackstone Down
July 6, 2007 8:50 p.m.

Disabling the devices caused the streams of electrical power and caused the super storm to immediately fall back to more normal levels. It wasn’t enough though. Dr. Stratos, supercharged by the devices, unleashed a catastrophic blast against Blackstone Penitentiary. The explosion was seen — and felt — throughout the mainland city.

To be continued in Issue #2: Reign of Chaos!

Posted in vol. 1: heatwave | Leave a comment

Hero High

Green Ronin’s Hero High‘s out in print:

The Crime League is on a rampage downtown, but the prom is tonight and, worse yet, you’ve got a make-up test tomorrow! But then nobody said life was easy at Hero High!

On of our players picked this up at GenCon, and surprisingly the book has heroes that are Power Level 10, which what our non-teenage heroes start at. I was expecting something more in the 5 to 8 PL range.

Posted in mutant news | 1 Comment