alt. Centurion [Lost & Found NOT a reboot!]

This is the place to recount your superheroic deeds for all to gaze upon with astonishment and wonder.
User avatar
Jason Altland
Supporting Cast
Supporting Cast
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 10:54 pm
Location: Dallastown, PA

Postby Jason Altland » Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:59 pm

That's some pretty good recollecting there K.G.!

Two tiny bits that I think you are confused on is that the son of Overlord was not Caesar. Caesar was aced by CPT Liberty in the Naziverse after you rescued him. The son of Overlord was your "double" who never became Centurion. He is not connected to the 13 versions of you that were displaced through the Multiverse by Omega's blast at the dimensional gate through which you escaped.

The other little bit is CPT Liberty wasn't being used as a power source, he was in a very heavily shielded bunker that blocked all background radiation, which was the source of his powers. CPT Liberty stayed behind to help with the resistance against a crumbling Reich.

Running the GDL has turned out to be a lot of fun and I can't wait to run again. The first story arc featured Centurion very heavily, the next arc will deal a lot with Gauntlet. My goal is to give each character a story arc to really give them a chance for some great roleplaying, and I try to put some stuff in there for every character along the way.

It's easy to get excited about running a game when you love the system as much as I do!
You only get to unmake reality once

http://www.crimsonhandgamers.com

User avatar
K.G. Carlson
Zealot
Zealot
Posts: 1198
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 7:58 pm
Location: wandering between worlds

Postby K.G. Carlson » Sat Mar 22, 2008 9:46 am

Jason Altland wrote:Two tiny bits that I think you are confused on is that the son of Overlord was not Caesar. Caesar was aced by CPT Liberty in the Naziverse after you rescued him. The son of Overlord was your "double" who never became Centurion. He is not connected to the 13 versions of you that were displaced through the Multiverse by Omega's blast at the dimensional gate through which you escaped.


I remembered being a little shocked that Cpt Liberty killed someone but I'd forgotten who that was. Maybe I got the two confused since Jr showed up later that same episode or maybe the following game session? It was pretty close IIRC. Now that you say it, I remember Nazi-me getting the neck-flex of doom.

Which also makes sense, since they would all be "Marcus" only from my origin tale. The whole Roman family escape would be from yet another Omega incident. Hmm.

And I forgot to mention that the GDL is now forewarned of Omega's threat. Hopefully we have some time to dig the trenches...

Jason Altland wrote:The other little bit is CPT Liberty wasn't being used as a power source, he was in a very heavily shielded bunker that blocked all background radiation, which was the source of his powers. CPT Liberty stayed behind to help with the resistance against a crumbling Reich.


This part I'm still a little foggy on. Wasn't Cpt Liberty hooked to machinery that was drawing off his power? Maybe that was just to keep him contained; I recall that he had broken out earlier in his captivity. I guess maybe I assumed that drained energy was put to some use.

And I did remember that CL had stayed behind, I must have just forgotten to post it.

Jason Altland wrote:Running the GDL has turned out to be a lot of fun and I can't wait to run again. The first story arc featured Centurion very heavily, the next arc will deal a lot with Gauntlet. My goal is to give each character a story arc to really give them a chance for some great roleplaying, and I try to put some stuff in there for every character along the way.


IMO thats the best kind of campaign; the kind that focuses on the characters. I've always felt that the characters should be the stars of the campaign and not its hapless victims. And it's going great so far!

Jason Altland wrote:It's easy to get excited about running a game when you love the system as much as I do!


I love the system, thats for sure; and I love getting to PLAY even more. Even as I started really digging M&M 2e I was getting that sinking feeling that I would be Star Wars-ed again (forever GM). And whats bad about that is that I've run so much Star Wars that now when I do get a chance to play I'm overly critical; so my rare play experience is largely disappointing. The game isn't all about the GM, but that role has the biggest influence on whether the game rocks or stinks. And its all rock! I'm stoked about the summer season of the Crimson Hands!
"More powerful than a locomotive...and about as subtle!"
--Joker

Say goodbye to gravity, say goodbye to death
Hello to eternity and live for every breath
-The Wicker Man, Iron Maiden

User avatar
K.G. Carlson
Zealot
Zealot
Posts: 1198
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 7:58 pm
Location: wandering between worlds

Postby K.G. Carlson » Sat Apr 26, 2008 4:33 pm

So as the summer gaming season approaches and the Crimson Hands prepare to don cape and cowl once again, creative energies begin to flow in the Jasonverse.

The following segments are some background information that Gauntlet's player has provided me, and with his kind permission I am posting it here to offer a glimpse into the magnificence of the Global Defense League, coming soon to a multiverse near you!

So I don't know whether this makes for a guest writer or a ghost writer, but here is the ATT debut of Gauntlet!

Gauntlet's player wrote:HERO: Gauntlet

REAL NAME: Ra'hMouur

SECRET ID: Raymond Moore

POB: Quadris

CURRENT RESIDENCE: Erie, PA

HISTORY

On the far edge of our galaxy lies the planet Quadris, the crown jewel of an interstellar commonwealth. The Commonwealth existed for centuries under peaceful rule, due in no small part to the Order of the Gauntlet, a peacekeeping force that defended the Commonwealth from within and without using the amazing powers of weapons called 'gauntlets'.

In recent months there was an overthrow of the Commonwealth's ruler, the Chancellor. This coup was assisted by a contingent of Gauntlets who turned against the Order and the Chancellor. Many Gauntlets and soldiers fell in battle defending the royal family. The Chancellor asked his oldest childhood friend Ra'hMouur, one of the Gauntlets' most decorated warriors, to take his last surviving son into hiding. Although he wanted to stay and defend his friend to the last, Ra'hMouur honored the Chancellor's request and fled the Commonwealth.

Using an experimental warp ship (designed to work in concert with a gauntlet's inherent ability to generate space warps) Ra'hMouur and eD'Hai traveled thousands of light years in a matter of months to Earth. (The trip burned out the ship's warp engines and it remains hidden at the bottom of Lake Erie until it's self repair cycle is complete in several years.)

The two adopted the secret identities Raymond Moore and his nephew Eddie. (The gauntlet allows the two aliens to appear as normal human beings.) They maintained a very low profile, living a quiet life until one fateful day. Ra'hMouur's gauntlet detected the arrival of an alien spacecraft on Earth. In order to protect his charge, Ra'hMouur went to investigate. He recognized the ship design as being part of an armada that had tried to invade the Commonwealth many years ago. Based on the size of the ship and its crew he determined it was an advance scout. He knew he had to stop them before they could report back to the invasion fleet. He revealed himself in alien form in his Gauntlet armor to confront the invaders. At this point, super-heroes from the Global Defense League arrived to investigate the situation. Ra'hMouur helped defend the GDL when the invaders attacked. Together they defeated the invaders (who committed suicide to avoid capture). Ra'hMouur used the ship's comm system to send a message back to the invasion fleet warning them away from Earth.

Due to his able assistance and power level, the GDL invited Ra'hMouur to join their ranks. He accepted (figuring having the resources and friendship of Earth's super-hero community would help him better protect eD'Hai) and fights alongside them as the alien super-hero "Gauntlet".


A Guardian From Beyond The Stars

"Computer, engage manual override," shouted Ra'hMouur. I have to try to keep us alive, he thought as he felt the weight of the damaged spacecraft put a real physical strain on every last fiber of his being. The ship was the latest technological marvel from The Order. Since it was a prototype, though, only a small handful of Gauntlets knew what it actually felt like to fly the unique craft. He especially felt the strain in his right forearm. He looked down at the battered metal sleeve that had wrapped his arm since he was a young initiate to the Brotherhood of the Protective Order of the Gauntlet. More years than he cared to think about. Now, the weapon glowed brightly, as it was both powering, and allowing him to control, the experimental ship.

Ra'hMouur lifted his eyes to the holographic display that was suspended in front of him and checked the ship's trajectory as well as the status of the cloaking shield that would, hopefully, prevent anyone on this tiny blue planet from seeing their arrival. Trajectory was less than ideal, but the cloak was at 92%, up five-and-a-half points since he switched to manual control.

Next, he checked the status indicator in the lower right corner of the display. He couldn't remember how many times he had checked that number since he began this journey. It was the entire reason he had spent 4 months in the pilot's chair of the ship. Nothing could happen to the stasis capsule. He made that promise to his Monarch. He made that promise to his oldest friend.

No one could understand how much Ra'hMouur agonized over agreeing to this task. Most Gauntlet's wouldn't consider a request from the Monarch of Qwad'rrs something to agree or disagree with. But most Gauntlet's hadn't dropped a beetle down the Monarch's trousers when they were both 9 years-old, either. Even after their respective duties took them in different directions, the two men remained the closest of friends. Which is why the the most highly decorated Gauntlet in the United Commonwealth was asked to leave the field of battle to take the Monarch's only son to safety. The very idea that the son of the ruler of the Commonwealth would need to flee for his life still baffled the old warrior. Not even the wizened Prefect of the Gauntlets could have predicted the events of the last year.

Over a thousand years ago, Ra'hMouur's home planet of Qwad'rrs joined with a handful of other space-faring worlds to form the United Interstellar Commonwealth. Over the following centuries hundreds of other worlds joined the Commonwealth. Originally, the Founding Worlds agreed that a council would govern the Commonwealth. It became clear rather quickly that this structure would not work as the more and more worlds joined the Commonwealth. The council was replaced by Parliament, which in turn elected a Chancellor. The sitting Monarch of Qwad'rrs was elected the first Chancellor of the Commonwealth. And as time went on, although not by design, the position of Chancellor was occupied almost exclusively by the ruler of Qwad'rrs. Although small in number The Gauntlets, a long established order of 300 noble warriors, became a recognized and respected force for good across the Commonwealth. Invasions were kept at bay. Wealth and education flourished. It was a glorious age. And now it was unravelling like a cheap rug.

A little over a century ago the Commonwealth admitted the Xelleran Collective, a tiny race that occupied 3 planets and several moons in it's star system. It was a controversial move by Parliament. Usually, worlds that were offered membership received overwhelming support of the member worlds. In all but a few rare cases, new member worlds received the unanimous support of the Founding Worlds. The Xelleri were a very aggressive race that had run afoul of the Commonwealth and the Gauntlets on and off for a few hundred years. They seemed to moderate under the rule of Emperor Qqqa. He approached the Commonwealth about membership. The father of the current Monarch of Qwad'rrs objected, saying that more time was needed to see if the change in Xelleri behavior would last. Strong debate raged through Parliament for years. Worlds on the far side of the Commonwealth seemed to think the objections were overreactions to minor infractions on the part of the Xelleri. Most border worlds were very opposed to their admittance, while other border worlds were enjoying increased trade relations with the Xelleri. Eventually, a vote was held and the Xelleran Collective was admitted to the Commonwealth by a slim majority of Commonwealth. The Founding Worlds were split right down the middle.

Everyone was pleasantly surprised by the new member. The Xelleri delegate to Parliament, Emperor Qqqa's brother, Qrrb, quickly became a respected statesman. Emperor Qqqa regularly visited Qwad'rrs as well as the other Founding Worlds to build diplomatic bridges and make Xelleran a productive member of the Commonwealth. Then, a little over 20 years ago, disaster struck. While returning to the Xelleri homeworld from Qwad'rrs, Emperor Qqqa's ship exploded. All passengers were vaporized when the warp drive overloaded. The investigation pointed to sabotage, although due to the total destruction of the ship there was not enough evidence to assign blame to anyone. Qqqa's son, T'Qqqa, became the new Xelleri Emperor and made a bad situation worse. He said his father's death was the fault of the Commonwealth for not maintaining enough order. T'Qqqa also, not so subtly, implied that high officials in Parliament and the office of the Chancellor were involved in the plot to kill his father.

The once promising Xelleran Collective, quickly turned into a petty, belligerent problem, as many had originally feared. Delegate Qrrb began using his political influence to push legislation proposed by Emperor T'Qqqa. One such initiative was to make more non-Qwad'rrans members of the Order of The Gauntlet. This was an issue that came up from time to time in Parliament, but debate usually ended quickly, as the Gauntlet's had been held in the highest esteem since the founding of the Commonwealth. This time, the debate ended with the Gauntlet's now forced to admit representatives, from world's determined by Parliamentary committee, as initiates into the Order. Of course, several of the first initiates were from the Xelleran Collective.

Relations with the Xelleri continued to degenerate. T'Qqqa began questioning the influence of the Founding Worlds and specifically the influence of Qwad'rrs. He called it undemocratic that the Chancellor of the Commonwealth be continually elected from one world. He continued to assert that the facts of his father's death were being covered up by the Monarch of Qwad'rrs and called for a vote of no-confidence. There had not been a confidence vote in Parliament in over 300 years. To even suggest such an action was outrageous. The no-confidence vote was defeated overwhelmingly, but a surprising number of worlds voted with the Xelleran Collective. T'Qqqa's outspoken criticisms had uncovered unrest in other corners of the Commonwealth. The Xelleran Emperor and his Parliamentary Delegate fomented this unrest and built a significant bloc of votes in Parliament and began making things difficult for the Chancellor and the Founding Worlds.

Ever since the death of the Emperor Qqqa, several Gauntlets along with agents of the Chancellor, investigated the incident. The evidence that supported T'Qqqa's claims of conspiracy was shabby, but appealed to the public and (more importantly) to the media. As the years long investigation continued, it was looking more and more like it was a conspiracy of T'Qqqa and Qrrb. Finally, one year ago, the Prefect of the Gauntlets was prepared to release the findings of the investigation. Evidence had been collected that would completely discredit the Xelleran Emperor and likely lead to the expulsion of the collective from the Commonwealth. Or it would have had a Xelleri Initiate not murdered the Prefect and destroyed the evidence.

A statement from Emperor T'Qqqa was broadcast across the Commonwealth, accusing the Gauntlets and the Monarch of Qwad'rrs of attempting to frame him for the murder of his own father. He explained that they were doing this to cover up their own conspiracy to murder Emperor Qqqa. T'Qqqa painted an elaborate, yet deranged, picture of his father standing athwart sinister plans by the Monarch of Qwad'rrs to use the Gauntlets to place the entire Commonwealth under dictatorial rule. At the end of his speech he announced that a fleet of warships were already en route to Qwad'rrs to remove the Chancellor from power.

The civil war was horrible. Ra'hMouur was fighting against military officers he had known for decades. More unthinkable, however, was that he was fighting against other Gauntlets. The Xelleri initiate who murdered the Prefect took the old man's Gauntlet and began to rally nearly 50 Gauntlets who had been slowly corrupted over the last decade. He had been forced to kill men and women he had fought alongside for most of his life. This was a disaster.

The Commonwealth's military was taken completely by surprise, and as a result, was failing. Founding World's were falling to the insurgency. The Chancellor's three oldest son's were killed in battle. More Gauntlets had fallen. As one of the most experienced Gauntlets, Ra'hMouur was commanding forces in space when he received a private message from the Chancellor. He returned to Qwad'rrs to find the grand palace in flames.

"You've come," said a weary Monarch.

"You doubted me?" Ra'hMouur replied sarcastically, "The only reason I haven't been here since this insanity began is that you ordered me into space, old friend."

"I know. And I have always been able to count on you. That's why I've called you here," he said. He led Ra'hMouur into a small chamber where the Monarch's wife and youngest son sat. "I need you to take them to safety," he said somberly.

The two men argued but in the end the Monarch gave an order. Ra'hMouur would take his youngest son, eD'Hai, somewhere safe. The Monarch's wife was adamant that she would not leave her husband's side. Both men knew enough not to argue with LLoi'rr. Ra'hMouur proposed using and experimental warp ship that the Gauntlets had developed to take the boy to a world on the far side of the galaxy. There was virtually no likelihood of anyone being able to find them that far away. The Monarch agreed and within hours a small, unassuming ship streaked into space and vanished in an unusual burst of warp energy.

That was 4 months ago. Ra'hMouur had no idea what was happening back in the Commonwealth, and at this moment he had no time to ponder that. He was too busy trying to manually pilot a ship, pushed way past its limits, through a planet's atmosphere. Alert lights were flashing all over the place. Right now, he was feeling every last day of his age, wishing he was the man he was 20 years ago. He was actually able to land the ship (as opposed to crashing) and the cloak was holding very well, considering all the failed systems on the ship. He decided to park the ship at the bottom of a large body of water. (Several Commonwealth member worlds were homes to water-breathers, so most small Commonwealth ships were built to withstand deep-sea pressures.) Using the ship's comm systems allowed him to download a good deal of information about this world into a portable computer tablet. They were going to need all the help they could get if they were going to blend in here.

After a few hours of rest, Ra'hMouur put the ship into a low-power self-repair cycle, detatched the stasis pod containing eD'Hai, and made his way to the surface. According to the information he downloaded, he was looking at a town called Erie Pennsylvania. It was a town he was going to call "home".
"More powerful than a locomotive...and about as subtle!"
--Joker

Say goodbye to gravity, say goodbye to death
Hello to eternity and live for every breath
-The Wicker Man, Iron Maiden

User avatar
K.G. Carlson
Zealot
Zealot
Posts: 1198
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 7:58 pm
Location: wandering between worlds

Re: alt. Centurion [a glimpse o' the Gauntlet!]

Postby K.G. Carlson » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:33 pm

Well, there's no way I could do a recap that can span the awesomeness that is Jason's Global Defense League campaign; if you're going to Origins this year maybe you can get a taste for yourself.

To just sum up our last battle, the Global Defense League had a knock-down, drag-out fight with Omega in the Orrery of Worlds...and the universe lost. And thus our M&M 2e campaign ended. And when we resume, our M&M 3e campaign will take flight!

In the meantime, I've managed to guilt one of the GMs in one of my other groups to run M&M. Sure, I could come up with a new character concept...but thats not me :mrgreen: Besides, how could I resist a chance to play Centurion Reborn in the Freedom City setting?

Since this Centurion will be built on his FC roots, this Centurion's background just needed to fit the 21st century and explain the reduction to PL 10. So here is Lost and Found. Enjoy!
"More powerful than a locomotive...and about as subtle!"
--Joker

Say goodbye to gravity, say goodbye to death
Hello to eternity and live for every breath
-The Wicker Man, Iron Maiden

User avatar
K.G. Carlson
Zealot
Zealot
Posts: 1198
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 7:58 pm
Location: wandering between worlds

Re: alt. Centurion [a glimpse o' the Gauntlet!]

Postby K.G. Carlson » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:39 pm

Lost and Found

Daedalus smiled warmly at the shining planet drifting below the Lighthouse. Even after two and a half millennia, the sight of Earth from near orbit still took his breath away. The ageless inventor’s reverie was interrupted by the staccato beat of feet pacing the observation deck so fast as to render the sound a low metallic thrum.

“I only designed the outer hull to withstand heavy assault, Johnny,” Daedalus called. “You’re soon going to break through the deck and smash up the life support machinery. I told you, I am more than willing to take the next monitor shift; it will be at least four more hours until the computer simulation I’m running will be finished anyway.”

Johnny Rocket actually paused for a full second to scowl over the top of his sunglasses at Daedalus before he resumed his high-speed pacing. “Nonono, that’sok,” he answered. “It’smyresponsibilityandI’mnoshirkersojustfinishthatsensorsweepandmovealong.”

A frown splintered Daedalus’ swarthy Mediterranean features; even his intellectual prowess was hard pressed to interpret Johnny’s high-speed speech. Normally the speedster had better self-control; something must be bothering him.

“Run that by me again, Johnny,” Daedalus said, motioning with both hands for the speedster to slow down.
Jaw taut with tension, Johnny Rocket growled, “Thanks but no thanks, D. I’d rather be up here in space for a bit; less chance of a close encounter of the paparazzi kind.”

“Ah,” Daedalus replied sympathetically. “Media troubles. Well, if it’s any consolation, the technology of today means word spreads faster but folks are fairly unimaginative in their mudslinging. Why, back in the 1600s I remem-”

The immortal’s rumination was cut short by an insistent trilling from the sensor console. Before he had swiveled his chair fully around to examine the display, Johnny Rocket was beside him. Daedalus frowned involuntarily, annoyed that Johnny was already letting out a low whistle at the threat he had yet to assess. His eyes widened in alarm as he scanned the display:
UNKNOWN ENERGY LATTICE DETECTED: FREEDOM CITY – DOWNTOWN
DIMENSIONAL BREACH IMMINENT
Daedalus checked the team status board as he activated the comm system and broadcast a League-wide alert. “Freedom League, we have a level five dimensional breach in progress, Liberty Park. Captain Thunder and Lady Liberty will need as much back up as we can give them.”

As the scattered members of the League began reporting in, Daedalus smiled at the gust of wind in Johnny’s wake as he dashed to the teleporter; so much for keeping a low profile.
***
Captain Thunder’s cape snapped in the air as he soared among the towering skyscrapers of downtown Freedom City, his jaw clenched as he pondered this newest threat. Daedalus had informed him that only Lady Liberty was on location, with Johnny Rocket set to arrive on-scene shortly. The frequency by which Freedom City suffered extra-dimensional invasion was both frustrating and dangerous.

Captain Thunder increased his speed in the hopes of arriving first; although Lady Liberty was closer, he was the faster flier. He spied his teammate’s lithe form soaring gracefully through the air from the far side of Liberty Park briefly, before a bright flash heralded a rift in the sky and obscured her from sight. The breach lasted but a moment, long enough to release a fiery meteor before vanishing.

Pausing in mid-flight, Captain Thunder was relieved to see Lady Liberty unharmed and already descending rapidly towards the smoldering crater on the edge of Heroes’ Knoll. Captain Thunder angled into a shallow dive to join her, frowning at the rubble littering the crater’s edge. The mystery missile had smashed through one of the memorials to Freedom City’s fallen defenders.

Captain Thunder momentarily lost sight of the impact point as he drifted through a cloud of dust kicked up by the collision. As he settled gently to the ground, he noticed Lady Liberty staring wide-eyed into the crater with a hand covering her mouth in stunned disbelief. Captain Thunder glanced down and joined his teammate in astonishment.

Lying ten feet down in the bottom of the crater lay a human form. Soot streaked the hair and face of the man and the tarnished golden armor pieces steamed with residual heat but could not conceal his identity.
Pebbles rattled off the living meteor’s armor chest-plate as Johnny Rocket braked to a halt on the edge of the crater. Taking in the scene, the unflappable speedster quipped, “So who dug up Centurion?”
All three Leaguers started when the body resting in the crater stirred. As Lady Liberty drifted down to tend the ragged figure, Captain Thunder contacted the Lighthouse. “Daedalus, prep the medbay.”
***
A week later, Centurion was on his feet staring down at the Earth through the observation deck window aboard the Lighthouse. The view from near orbit had always thrilled him before, but nothing seemed able to cut through the haze shrouding his mind.

After transporting him to their orbital headquarters, exhaustion had overtaken him. Later Centurion had awakened to voices in the next room; he was the topic of conversation. His heightened sense of hearing allowed him to overhear their concerns about “another” imposter Centurion. An argument erupted after the lab results confirmed his identity, about the possibilities of evil clones and dimensional duplicates, but he fell asleep again before the Freedom League came to a consensus.

He had waited patiently while the modern heroes had run their endless tests to allay their fears and suspicions, but Centurion had lingered here long enough. At least they’d provided a clean uniform to replace his medical jumpsuit.

The conference room door slid aside, and the modern incarnation of the team Centurion had founded entered the observation lounge. Some he remembered, like Daedalus, Pseudo or a greatly seasoned Captain Thunder. Most of them carried on the legacy of old comrades; he’d fought alongside Johnny Rocket’s grandfather, Raven’s father and the predecessors of Lady Liberty, Bowman, Siren and Star Knight. The only unfamiliar face was that of the enigmatic Dr. Metropolis.

Daedalus approached, his teammates standing back in awe. Smiling, he said, “I wish you’d reconsider, Mark. I understand the desire to get back in the hero business, but you don’t have to go it alone. And you are more than welcome to stay at Freedom Hall or here at the Lighthouse.”

Centurion frowned; as one of the few familiar faces and only person older than him, Daedalus had been very paternal over the last week since his abrupt return to the land of the living.

“I appreciate the offer, but I don’t think the League needs the media pressure,” Centurion answered. Apparently in the nearly two decades since he’d died fighting Omega during the Terminus Invasion, there had been a number of imposter Centurions making mayhem in Freedom City. For every citizen cheering his concern, there seemed to be two calling for his incarceration before he showed his ‘true colors.’ “Besides, I can have the Sanctum habitable again in short order.”

Daedalus frowned; it had fallen to him to inform Centurion, once they’d verified his identity, that Centurion’s Sanctum had been wrecked when the Crime League had broken Superior out of the Zero Zone and the Freedom League had not had time to effect repairs. Trying a different tack, Daedalus said, “Consider the influence of media when word gets out that your strength is still diminished. Every two-bit villain looking to make a name for himself will be gunning for you. And the tests were inconclusive; it might be years before you recover your full power, if ever.”

“Maybe someday, my friend,” Centurion replied. “But for now, I have…some things I need to sort out.”
***
Weeks later, as Centurion cruised low over the Freedom City skyline, a subsonic whistle resolved into a familiar voice. “Vacation is over, Centurion; you’re going back to school.” Centurion winced as the signal dissolved into static. The confrontation he’d been dreading was finally at hand. Centurion altered course and flew toward the Claremont Academy.
***
Duncan Summers was waiting in his office, whitened knuckles clutching has cane the only outward sign of his current tension. Out of respect for his old friend, he’d given Mark Leeds time to adjust to his mysterious return. But media reports of the newly returned Centurion’s haphazard crime-fighting efforts confirmed his initial concern. Mark Leeds needed to reconnect to his humanity, not his superhero career.

Centurion swept into his office in time to see the high-tech communication device fold itself back into Duncan’s desk. Dropping out of super-speed, Centurion closed the door and strode to the front of the headmaster’s desk. “Look Duncan, I appreciate the offer but I don’t think I would be useful here at Claremont-”

Duncan Summers outburst of laughter interrupted Centurion’s monologue. “I agree, Mark; you’re too busy getting your butt kicked by all those two-bit hoods Daedalus warned you about. I was thinking that your extra curricular activities might be better suited by a college professor’s schedule.”

Duncan used his cane to push a thick manila envelope across the desk top. Frowning, Centurion took the envelope and emptied its contents onto the desk: a set of keys, a checkbook, a thick packet of personal identification documents and a note with Tuesday’s date, a phone number and the name Dr. Linda Hoch. Flipping through the documents, Centurion realized he held a rather detailed alias for a Mark Leeds; such thoroughness was a hallmark of the first to don the mask of the Raven.

“Diminished powers or not, you haven’t forgotten how to be a hero, Mark,” Summers said. “What you seem to be lacking since your return from the dead is your humanity. Take off the cape, build a life, and maybe even enjoy yourself on occasion.

“The keys are to an apartment in Midtown and a Saturn sedan so you can go to work like a normal person. There are several business suits in your size at the apartment. I know how much you had to take a handout, so consider all this a loan until you get on your feet.”

Centurion thumbed through the information, taking in the details of his life-that-wasn’t. When the silence grew uncomfortable, Duncan continued, “Freedom City University has an opening in the history department. Dr. Hoch will be expecting you promptly at 10 a.m.”

Duncan waited, features inscrutable, as Centurion finished reading. Centurion looked out the window, jaw working, as he wrestled with the choice before him. Finally he turned to face his former teammate. “You’ve gotten chatty in your old age.”

Inwardly, Duncan Summers felt a great sense of relief as Centurion smiled for the first time since his mysterious return. Centurion leaned across the desk and offered a hand as he said, “Thank you, old friend.”
Watch it with that ‘old’ talk, Leeds,” Duncan growled. “We can’t all have cosmic-endowed immortality.”
***
A few days later, Mark Leeds fought the urge to squirm in the custom-fit suit Duncan had provided. The interview seemed to be going well, but Dr. Hoch occasionally gave him a most peculiar look while they discussed his employment.

“Well,” Dr Hoch said, rising from her chair, “I’m sold. Professor Leeds, pending approval by the Board of Trustees, I would like to welcome you to the faculty of Freedom City University.”

As the disguised superhero rose to shake Dr. Hoch’s hand, he fumbled as she injected, “But first, there’s something I have to ask you.”

“S-sure, Dr. Hoch. What is it?”

Gesturing to a wall covered in framed photographs, Dr. Hoch pointed to several pictures as she asked, “Are you the only professor in your family? Because you bear a striking resemblance to a former faculty member who was also named Mark Leeds.”

Blinking to cover his shock, Mark scanned the wall photographs, some of which dated back to the 1930s. He had started teaching at Freedom City University in the late 40s, and as the decades rolled by and his still youthful appearance would have raised eyebrows he had relied on disguise kits to keep Professor Leeds looking his age. But the earlier photographs quite naturally looked just like him.

“Oh,” he replied. “Yes. That would be my great-uncle and namesake. He was never seen after the ’93 Terminus Invasion.”

“I’m sorry for your loss,” Dr. Hoch said. “Why didn’t you mention a relation to a deeply respected former faculty member?”

“I prefer to stand on my own merits, Dr. Hoch.”
"More powerful than a locomotive...and about as subtle!"
--Joker

Say goodbye to gravity, say goodbye to death
Hello to eternity and live for every breath
-The Wicker Man, Iron Maiden


Return to “M&M Story Hour”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests