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

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

Postby K.G. Carlson » Wed May 16, 2007 1:51 pm

I have found myself in the position of getting to play a PL10 version of Centurion this summer. I was so excited, I wrote a little over 15 pages of background story! :shock:

(It would have been longer, too, but I was tired of working on it. A "deleted scene" may appear on this thread sometime down the road)

My apologies to any Navy vets if the submarine sequence is inaccurate; my knowledge of said operations comes from some Tom Clancy books I read...a long time ago, in a galaxy pretty much like this one.

My apologies also to any Latin scholars for the butchering of said language. Although I did have two years of Latin in high school, it was really just to chase after a girl. Since my working knowledge of Latin is "Veni, Vidi, Vici" and "Cogito Ergo Sum" and she is married to Not Me, it would seem this was a colossal waste of my time. But hey, whats done is done.

It occurred to me as this story entered its 13th page that someone without working knowledge of the GMs universe may not be getting the big picture. So with his kind permission, the GM-provided timeline will follow the story.

And now.............I CAN'T BELIEVE ITS NOT CENTURION!

2760 Anno Imperium
Urbs Libertas, on the Eastern seaboard of Roma Nova
Terra Roma, an alternate reality wherein the Roman Empire never collapsed – until now


All the monitor screens glared with images of destruction; cities in ruins, bodies laying mangled on shattered roadways, survivors running frantically in search of some shelter. The sky was filled with black-clad Omega-drones indiscriminately dispensing death to all they could see. A few monitor screens revealed a rapidly shrinking number of brave souls in blue and gold power armor attempting to stem the tides of destruction, but to no avail.

The middle aged man before the monitor screens let out a sigh bereft of hope as he beheld the end of his world. So lost in defeat, he did not hear the frantic footfalls as his assistant rushed into the lab. “Dr. Gaius, the First Consul is demanding an update! Can we use your dimensional portal device to send these invaders back whence they came?”

Terra Roma’s preeminent scientific genius responded in a leaden voice, “Not unless you can think of a way to convince them to fly into the archway, Proximo. I’ve only retrieved the first probe an hour ago. There isn’t time to formulate a weapon.”

“Perhaps the Praetorian Guardsmen can herd them here and force them in,” Proximo offered, unable to accept the impending annihilation.

Dr. Gaius’ gave a bitter, weary sigh. “There aren’t enough Guardsmen left to adequately defend this building, much less drive these Hades-spawn back whence they came.” The building rocked with an impact as if to punctuate the doctor’s dire statement.

Proximo’s brow knit in consternation. “Then why are you preparing Promus II for launch?”

Dr. Gaius gave no reply. As Proximo stepped closer with the intent of repeating his question, a second shudder gripped the building. Both men turned as a woman’s cry of alarm issued from the doorway. In her arms she cradled an infant. Spying Dr. Gaius, she ran to him, crying, “Oh Julius, it’s terrible! These monsters are everywhere!”

Dr. Gaius cradled her in his arms for a few moments, whispering “Hush now, Octavia. Be brave.” For a brief time the distant sounds of destruction faded away as they held each other. When a third impact struck the building, Dr. Gaius disentangled himself from his wife and gently took his son into his arms.

Octavia glanced to her husband’s young lab assistant, desperately seeking hope, but his face reflected her confusion and panic. Turning to ask her husband what they should do, her question died on her lips as she beheld Julius placing her son into the metallic pod positioned in front of a metal archway in the center of the room. “Julius, what are you doing with our son?”

Dr. Gaius placed his infant son within the interdimensional probe in launch position. Patting him on the head a final time before sealing the capsule, he turned to face his wife. Eyes brimming with tears, he replied, “Giving him a chance for life.”

Proximo began jumping up and down, voice shrill with excitement. “Yes, Dr. Gaius! Brilliant! If we cannot turn the portal against the invaders, we can use it to escape! Perhaps find help and come back to reclaim our world!”

“No, Proximo,” Dr. Gaius said, shaking his head sadly. “There isn’t time to build a larger archway or design craft capable of carrying us through the dimensional barrier. By removing the recording sensors and several fuel cells I was able to make room for little Marcus within Promus II. I fear he may be all that survives of our world.”

“How will he survive?” asked Octavia in alarm. “He’s just a baby!”

“The Promus contains an artificial intelligence pod,” Dr. Gaius explained. “It was designed to facilitate communication between ourselves and any new peoples we may encounter as we travel to other realities. It also contains instructions to build construction droids and erect a sanctuary, so any scouts who would eventually follow these probes across the dimensions would have a base to operate from as they explore.”

Dr Gaius began keying the launch sequence of the interdimensional craft. Proximo bolted for the door, shrieking curses at them as his sanity crumbled beneath the weight of his fear. His escape was cut off as the wall exploded, burying his now lifeless form in the rubble. A large, armored figure strode into the lab, his footfalls causing the floor to tremble.

Dr. Gaius and his wife gazed in abject horror at the intruder. Beneath the clear dome of his helmet appeared a human skull, devoid of flesh and organs. Upon his chest was a symbol Dr. Gaius had not seen since attending praxeum; a letter of the ancient Greeks.

“Wh-what are you?” the trembled scientist asked as he clutched his wife protectively.

The armored monstrosity threw back its skeletal head and booming laughter echoed through the chamber. “I am Omega, Lord of the Terminus and your world belongs to me!”

A slight hum issued from Promus II as the launch sequence engaged. The metallic archway flared to life and the tiny ion drives of the interdimensional craft shoved it forward into the breach.

Emboldened by his success, Dr. Gaius stood tall and in a defiant voice proclaimed, “Not everything.”

Omega raised a gauntleted fist and a bright burst of energy leaped to the dimensional gateway. Panicked, Dr. Gaius turned in horror to see what effect the destructive beam had wrought. Although the archway had been instantly destroyed, the hole in reality wavered for several seconds before closing with an audible pop. For a few moments, its image had rippled like the surface of a pond, and it seemed as if dozens of pods streaked out into the interdimensional void where hopefully Dr. Gaius’ son would find refuge.

Dr. Gaius’ sigh of relief changed to a gasp of panic as the lumbering monstrosity was suddenly before him. An armored hand grabbed Dr. Gaius and his wife and hauled them into the air effortlessly. Omega let them struggle futilely for a few moments before casually crushing the life from Octavia’s body. Dr Gaius cried out as his beloved’s body was tossed casually aside and he ceased struggling against the titanic strength of his captor.

Omega brought the weeping man up his skeletal visage and said, “You will not be so fortunate. Omega does not tolerate dissention. You will spend the rest of your pathetic existence as a drone in my service. And know this, apeling; because you chose to defy the will of Omega, for the rest of your days you will remember only two things of this life: the sight of your woman’s broken corpse in my grasp, and the certain knowledge that whoever was in that craft will die painfully by my hand.”
* * *
Otherwhere
Otherwhen


The Promus II crossed into the space between realities just ahead of a massive entropic surge as the gateway was destroyed. Not quite separated from linear time, for an immeasurable moment it was caught in the shockwave created by the collapsing portal. Dozens of the interdimensional probe shot away from the breach point before the departed reality knit itself closed.
* * *
May 30, 1972 AD (CE my @$$)
Shadmoor Labs
Montauk Point, NY
Earth 1313-7412


Outside the lab of Dr. Thomas Leeds, a fierce thunderstorm raged. Heavy drops of rain pounded against the windows as loud peals of thunder rolled almost continuously. The fury of the storm outside paled next to the tense energy of the laboratory’s occupants.

Massive arrays of computers crowded the chamber. A dozen technicians and scientists monitored the equipment with growing excitement. In the center of the room was a man seated in a large throne, connected to the machinery by dozens of cables. A high-tech crown pulsed with faintly visible energy.

The doors to the lab swung open to admit Dr. Leeds. A lab assistant rushed up to him, offering a clipboard containing the latest readings. Dr. Leeds asked, “How is Jones holding up?”

“Just fine, sir,” the assistant said, glancing over at the man in the high tech throne who held the key to the success of their project. “How’s your wife, sir?”

“Pregnant,” Dr. Leeds replied, grinning. “Very pregnant. She could go into labor at any time.”

“Well sir, I hope she can hold out a little longer. I think we’re very close to a breakthrough, and it would be a shame for you to miss it.”

“You’ve always had a gift for understatement, Rollins,” Dr. Leeds said with a slight frown.

Shame was hardly the word for it. Dr. Morgan had spent decades working out his theories on interdimensional travel. It had been another five frustrating years spent in futility trying to discover the existence of other realities. When Dr. Leeds, known around the lab at the time as “the Boy Wonder” had suggested utilizing a psychic to pierce the dimensional ether most of the research team had scoffed, but Dr. Morgan had seized upon the notion. When Dr. Morgan had passed away last year, control of the project had passed to Dr. Leeds. Having finally recruited a candidate with the necessary “gift,” a successful dimensional breakthrough was imminent. To miss the culmination of his project and the life’s work of Dr. Morgan because of the birth of his child…well, he’d never say where his wife could here, but he would be greatly disappointed.

At that moment, Mabel Leeds pushed through the laboratory doors awkwardly, one arm curved around her abdomen protectively. “Tom, I think we’d better go.”

At the same moment, a low hum filled the chamber as the various electronic devices engaged, having detected a fundamental shift of power. From the central chair, Jones’ features scrunched in concentration. “Hey,” he called out excitedly, “I think I found something. It’s…it’s moving really –”

The sounds of the machinery escalated into a shriek, accompanied by an agonized scream from the psychic channeler as he rose from the chair clutching his temples. A blinding white flash occurred, destroying the lab.

Dr. Leeds was the first to regain consciousness. He sat up with a groan and took in the sight of the ruined lab. In the center of the chamber, where Jones had been focusing the equipment in search of other realities sat a small rocket craft.

The lab doors burst open and several security guards entered. “My God what happened in here?”

As he whirled to face the guards, Dr. Leeds’ gaze fell upon his wife lying upon the floor. “Quick,” he cried, “get my wife to the infirmary, and seal off this floor! No one else goes in or out without my authorization.”

As security was carrying Mrs. Leeds out of the lab, Rollins began to stir. With only a minor pang of guilt for not going with her, Dr. Leeds turned his attention to the strange device that had arrived.

After several minutes of inspecting the craft, Dr. Leeds discovered a hatch in the bulbous forward section of the device. As he prepared to open it, his assistant Rollins stepped up beside him.

“They’re all dead, sir,” he said. “Except for Jones, whom I can’t find anywhere. I’m sorry.”

Dr. Leeds gave no sign of having heard his assistant. “It worked, Rollins; it actually worked.”

The hatch gave way, and two curious sounds issued forth from the craft. One was a voice repeating a single work in what sounded similar to Latin, and the other was the cry of an infant. As the hatch cover slid all the way open, a human looking child was visible inside a small cushioned chamber. Dr. Leeds gently scooped up the child as he inspected the strange capsule. Rollins stood dumbfounded at the unlikely cargo Dr. Leeds had found.

A security guard burst into the lab. “Doc Leeds, I got some bad news.”

Glaring over his shoulder at the guard, Leeds snarled, “I told you to seal off this floor!”

“Uh, doc, it’s about your wife, sir,” the guard offered apprehensively.

Panic seized Thomas Leeds. “What about my wife?”

“Well, actually, uh, she should pull through okay, according to Doc Russell downstairs. It’s just, uh, well, she, uh……lost the baby.”

Dr. Leeds closed his eyes and wept. The infant cradled in his arms gave a small cry, but the guard was not close enough to have heard. Dr. Leeds’ eyes snapped open wide as an idea occurred to him. “Tell Dr. Russell I’ll be down in a few minutes.”

When the guard had left, Leeds turned to his assistant. “Get a gurney and a tarp, and get that capsule out to the storage lab immediately. Talk to no one, understand?”
* * *
June 15, 1972

Hurricane Agnes wreaks havoc on the eastern seaboard of the United States. Unbeknownst to all but two people, a mysterious craft from another reality is swept away into the raging waters of the Atlantic Ocean…

September 1, 1972
ocean floor just off the coast of Long Island


Promus II – repairs completed
Execute – primary function

* * *
January 22, 1982
Leeds home
Welling (small fictional town in upstate), NY


Mabel Leeds poured another panful of heated water into the small tub where her son Mark’s feet soaked. For perhaps the tenth time in as many minutes, she unwrapped the towel from his head to check his ears for signs of frostbite.

“Mom,” Mark said, brushing the long damp strands of his blond hair out of his eyes, “I told you I’m fine! I’m not even cold!”

“Fine?!” she shrieked. “‘Fine’ is having enough sense not to jump into a hole in the ice of a pond you’re not supposed to be anywhere near!”

“Mom, Billy would have drowned if I didn’t go in after him.”

Mabel Leeds regarded her son with anger and fear warring for her heart. “And who are you, Captain Liberty that you can just dive right in and save the day? That water is murky as a politician’s soul on its best day! What made you think you could find him and then find your way back to the hole in the ice before you both drowned?”

Mark frowned as he thought back over the events of the afternoon. “That’s the funny thing, Ma. I could swear that I saw just fine under the water; like it wasn’t even there. I just grabbed Billy and dragged him back to shore without really thinking about it.”

In the living room, Thomas Leeds peered over his newspaper and frowned at the unfolding tableau in the kitchen, unseen by his family.
* * *
June 10, 1986
Leeds home
Welling, NY


Mark Leeds stared at his bedroom ceiling lost in thought. The sound of the screen door banging and a murmur of voices from the kitchen registered belatedly on his senses, and he frowned, imagining the impending confrontation.

A knock sounded at the door before it was opened without invitation. “Rise and shine, ya lazy bum! Hustle or we’re gonna be late for try outs.”

Mark glanced at his visitor before returning his gaze to the ceiling. “I’m not going.”

“Say what? C’mon, man, it’s me, Billy Thompson, best friend and sidekick extraordinaire. Talk to me.” Billy pulled the chair from Mark’s desk over to sit next to the bed.

Mark shrugged noncommittally and said, “I’m not going. I’m just not interested anymore.”

“Not interested?” Billy parroted, his eyes wide in shock. “All we talked about for three years of youth football was playing for the high school team; Welling High Golden Knights, remember?”

“Sorry, Billy; I just don’t want to anymore.”

“Is that why you weren’t at baseball practice this morning, for like, the first time ever?” Billy shook his head in frustration, trying to understand the sudden change in his best friend’s attitude. Gesturing to a shelf full of trophies against the far wall, he continued, “Look at those, man. You mean to tell me the guy who won all those doesn’t care about sports?”

“That’s exactly what I’m saying,” Mark replied in a leaden tone.

“Why?”

Mark shrugged again. “Some things just are what they are.”

Billy shot up from the chair and glared at Mark, frustration evident on his face. “Well, if you suddenly remember who your friends are and decide you want to talk about your problem, you know where to find me. Later, pal.”

Billy stormed off through the Leeds’ house, giving a terse farewell to Tom and Mabel on his way out the door. Tom looked askance at his wife, who merely shrugged and continued putting the groceries away. Tom walked back the hall to his son’s room. Tom shut the door and eased in to the recently abandoned desk chair.

Several minutes of an uncomfortable silence passed. Finally, Tom asked, “Son, what’s going on?”

“I don’t feel like playing football anymore, that’s all.”

“Sit up, son,” the elder Leeds said. “Look me in the eye, and let’s talk about this.”

Mark sat up as his father had asked, but studiously avoided eye contact. “Talk about what?”

“About what’s really bothering you,” Tom said. “Is there a reason for your sudden change in attitude?”

Mark shifted nervously a few moments before answering. “Well, it’s not really a ‘sudden’ change. I, uh, I’ve been sort of coasting through practice for the last year or so. You know, like, basically holding back. On the runs, everybody else is beat, and I don’t even break a sweat anymore. And even when its game time, I only try hard enough to win, I don’t really give it all I got.

“Yesterday, I decided to see how fast I could run. I went out to the rail trail and gave it all I had.”

Mark paused uncomfortably before finally looking at his father, eyes wide with fear. “I could see the cars on the highway above, Dad. I was passing them.”

Tom Leeds sat back heavily in his chair, stunned. Doctor Russell had died of cancer back in 1975, and his former assistant Rollins had been killed in a drunk driving accident in ’82, so Thomas Leeds had felt as though the truth of his “son’s” origins were safely concealed. Perhaps a time would come when he would need to speak of the events of that long ago experiment. But not today.

“Does this mean I’m one of…them?” Mark asked fearfully.

Tom Leeds put forth a reassuring smile and patted his son on the knee. “No, it doesn’t make you one of them. It’s not their powers that make them monsters. You’re too young to remember the days when folks with those kinds of gifts used them for the betterment of mankind instead of squandering them the way these modern ‘supers’ do. When I was your age, we had true champions like the Liberty Brigade to look up to. Those were heroes, son.”

“But, will I have to register? Didn’t they pass a law a couple of years ago?”

Tom Leeds frowned; he hadn’t considered that. “The Metahuman Controls and Registration Act? Yes, son they did. But what they don’t know won’t hurt them. Maybe dropping out of sports is a good idea after all.”
* * *
October 15, 1987
Welling High School
Welling, NY


“H-hey, Laurie,” Mark Leeds stuttered nervously. “How was Homecoming?”

Laurie Lamont looked to her left through the crowded hallway to find Mark dodging deftly through the throng to keep pace with her. She flashed a smile at him. “Oh, hi Mark. Well, you know how it is; typical school dance melodrama among the cliques; pretty boring actually. You didn’t go?”

Mark’s stammering reply was cut short when he ran into someone; he’d been so distracted by talking to Laurie that he nearly knocked down the obstacle.

“He was busy at home mooning over your picture, babe,” Chris Bradley sneered. “Ain’t that right, Leeds?”

“Ha! Mooning,” echoed Bradley’s friend Dennis.

Chris attempted to wrap his arms around Laurie, but she pushed him away and glared at him. “Chris, don’t be a jerk.”

Bradley offered her a lopsided, mocking grin. “Maybe you should dump me and start dating this chump. I mean, think of the money you’ll save on monograms; Laurie Lamont and Loser Leeds.”

“Ha! Loser,” chimed Dennis. Mark, Laurie and even Chris tossed a skeptical look at him as he stood leering.

Mark fought down the urge to smash his tormentors. Ordinarily, he was terrified that his growing strength would accidentally injure someone, but on certain occasions a darker side of him might thoroughly enjoy it.

“Hey, we better knock it off, or the president of the Super Hero Fanclub here will sick his buddies on us. Ooh, that’s right they all got vaporized in Texas a couple months ago!” Chris chortled.

“Yeah, jeez, you shoulda heard this dork yammering on in Civics last year about how the world needs ‘real heroes’,” Dennis said. “Thinks he’s the friggin’ reincarnation of Captain Liberty or somethin’.”

“You must have taught your parakeet some new tricks,” Laurie interjected. “Two complete sentences, including words greater than two syllables.”

“Hey!” Dennis exclaimed. Before he could speak further in his defense, four young men in blue and gold football jerseys loomed over the group.

“Animal here tore up our last tackling dummies,” Bill Thompson said, pointing a thumb over his right shoulder at the largest of the four. “Any volunteers for replacement?”

Chris and Dennis glared at him, but they knew when to fold. They quickly scurried off to class.

“Thanks, Billy,” Mark said gratefully.

Bill laughed good-naturedly and slugged him on the shoulder. “No problem. Hey, who knew that one day you’d wind up the sidekick? Of course, if you hadn’t pulled me outta old man Whitaker’s pond when we were ten, I wouldn’t be here to save you now. How’s that for karma?”

“I’ve gotta go or I’ll be late for class,” Laurie said. “I’m sorry about Chris. See you later, Mark, fellas.”

Waiting until she was about thirty feet down the hall, Bill turned to his old friend Mark and asked, “So when are you going to ask her out? If you want, we can take care of Bradley for you. Animal here can be down right ungentlemanly.”

Mark shuffled his feet in embarrassment. “No thanks,” he replied. “I’ll just wait till the time is right.”

“Seize the day, brother.”

Mark looked up to see if Laurie was still in sight. She was just entering the girl’s locker room. Suddenly the intervening wall and door became transparent and Mark watched her as she progressed back to the changing area. He let out a gasp of shock and staggered back. His vision returned to normal momentarily.

Bill looked bewildered at his old friend’s strange behavior. “What’s wrong, Mark?”

“Nothing, i-it’s nothing,” Mark stammered, gulping deep breaths of air.

Bill laughed as he departed for his next class. “When did you get to be so weird, buddy?”
* * *
April 1, 1989
USS Shiloh, USN attack submarine
beneath the arctic circle


“Conn, sonar. We have contact!”

“What do you make of her?” queried the captain.

“I’m not sure, sir,” the sonar operator replied. “It doesn’t match any of the acoustic signatures on file. But it almost sounds like….”

“Like what?”

“Like….construction, sir.”

The captain shook his head. “That’s ridiculous. Is it possible that the pack ice is causing the noise?”

“No sir, its not shifting ice. There is definitely a mechanical quality….wait. It’s stopped.”

“Did you get a fix on the location?” the captain asked.

“Negative, sir.”

“General area?”

“Given current acoustical conditions, the potential source of the contact is in an 8,000 square mile radius.”

The captain gritted his teeth; he hated mysteries. “Alright, log it and let’s get on with the patrol then.”

Construction complete.
Computer core online.
Establishing communications link.
Searching…

* * *
September 10, 1990
New York, NY
NYU campus


“Laurie! Laurie Lamont!” rang out across the quad.

She turned at the sound of a familiar voice. “Mark! Hey, what are you doing here?”

Mark had begun to raise his arms to embrace Laurie as he rushed up to her, but quickly stuffed his hands into his pockets instead. With a sheepish grin and a small shrug, he said, “Studying history. And you?”

“Journalism,” she replied. Turning to admire the skyline, she said, “Isn’t it great to be in New York? No more small towns for me!”

“I dunno,” Mark answered. “I’m not sure if I’ll ever get used to all the noise.”

Laurie’s reply went unnoticed as Mark detected a strange broadcast. He’d been detecting signals outside the normal range of hearing for almost a year, and was fairly good at tuning it out, although the sheer increase in volume here in New York City did require further adjustment. But now there was a broadcast signal much higher than anything he’d heard before, and it seemed to be coming from nearby.

“Mark!”

“Huh? I’m sorry, what were you saying?”

“Never mind,” Laurie said with mild annoyance. “Hey, I’ve got to run. But I’ll see you around campus, okay?”

“Sure,” Mark said with a wave as she sped off on some unknown errand. Though she was out of earshot he said, “It’s really great to see you.”

Finished with classes for the day, Mark strolled back to his dorm room. He noted with some concern that the unusual signal seemed louder the closer he got to his room. His roommates were not present, so he closed the door and dropped his backpack on his desk.

Mark jumped back in alarm when a small metallic sphere hove into view from beneath the desk and hovered about four feet off the floor. It began speaking in a language that sounded vaguely Latin in origin, but Mark was unable to make heads or tails of the gibberish.

After several cryptic sentences failed to elicit a response, the sphere began speaking in English! “Do you understand me now? I estimate the probability at 98.56% that you will comprehend this language based on your current habitation.”

“Y-yes,” Mark stammered. “What are you?”

“I am a contact sphere, sent by Promus to find you. A domicile has been constructed for your use in an isolated region of this planet.”

Mark Leeds had never been more confused in his life. “Domicile? ‘This’ planet? Who the hell is Promus?”

The sphere hummed for a moment before answering. “Given your age upon arrival in this reality, and your early separation from the transit craft, it is likely you are unaware of your origins. Promus is a device employed by the Terra Roman Expeditionary Forces in the exploration of alternate realities. As per its programming, it has created a base of operations for said Expeditionary Forces in this reality. According to my logs, that is you. I will now guide you to the sanctuary.”

“What? No!” Mark protested. “I’ve got classes, Laurie’s here, I…I can’t just take off with you and go to…wherever it is you’re from.”

“We cannot go back there,” the sphere replied. “I have been instructed to bring you to the sanctuary; it is located near the northern terrestrial pole of this world. However, my programming indicates I am not to jeopardize your investigations. When would be an acceptable time for me to return?”

“I don’t need this right now,” Mark muttered to himself, disbelieving the entire scenario. “I’ve got classes to worry about, Laurie is here...why is this wacky sci-fi crap happening now?”

“Studying the native educational system is important,” the sphere intoned. “As I understand it, there is a significant amount of time, during which the natives of this region refer to as ‘summer vacation’ that will allow sufficient time for you to visit the base without endangering your cover. I will return for you on May 14, 1991 on the local calendar.”

At that, the small metallic sphere hovered over to the window, extended a small manipulator to open the screen, and let itself out. As soon as it had replaced the screen, it disappeared in a blur, rocketing skyward.

Mark shuffled down the hall in a daze to the payphone in the dorm lobby. As he plunked coins into the phone, he muttered to himself, “Mom and Dad, have you got some explaining to do.”
* * *
May 14, 1991
New York, NY
NYU campus


Mark Leeds waited impatiently for the return of the “Christmas tree ornament from Hell,” as he’d come to think of it. Just when it seemed life was finally taking a turn for the better, his world had been turned upside down.

Going home for Thanksgiving back in November had been a total disaster. As it turned out, only the man Mark had thought was his father had any idea what he talking about. Both Mark and his mother had sat in shock as Dr. Thomas Leeds explained the events of that fateful night in 1972 that had brought their “son” into the world. Mabel had not spoken a word to her husband for the remainder of Mark’s visit home. During winter break, there was some attempt at reconciliation, but it was obvious that the Leeds family would be dealing with Thomas’ deception for a long time to come. But they had reassured Mark that even though he was adopted, they still loved him as their son.

Just as he was about to give up on his invitation, Mark spied a metallic disc about the size of a poker chip sliding under the door and hovering up into the air before him.

A familiar voice issued from the disc. “Will you require a conveyance once we are clear of the local habitations?”

“No, I can get around just fine thanks. But you need to stay out of sight for a while.” Mark held out his hand, and the hovering disc landed gently in his outstretched palm. Mark pocketed the mysterious device and slipped it into his pocket.

A short cab ride later and Mark was at the airport, bound for Greenland. He panicked momentarily at the thought of the strange disc setting off the metal detectors at the airport security check point, but he passed through with a green light.

The uneventful flight gave Mark time to reflect on the past year. His grades had dropped precipitously after his unexpected revelation in September, and he’d only passed several classes by the skin of his teeth. Laurie had made it clear that she and Chris were maintaining their relationship, albeit long distance as he was enrolled at Michigan State. But what bothered him most was the lie he’d told his adopted parents about spending summer break in Greenland with a “friend.” He’d only told his parents some of the things revealed by his spherical visitor in the fall; his invitation to a mysterious sanctuary remained a secret.

When he arrived in Greenland, he took a cab from the airport to a small hotel on the edge of the city, although he did not check in. His hiker’s pack contained a few changes of clothing and two weeks worth of food. He wasn’t concerned about keeping warm; he had been little affected by cold since he was very young. He only hoped that his food supply would see him safely to his destination. The hover disc had assured him that there was plenty of nourishment at the sanctuary.

Mark removed the disc from his pocket and cupped it in his hands. He asked, “You can point the way from here?” He offered a smile to a couple passing by giving him a strange look.

“Yes,” the tinny voice echoed up from his hands. “Are you certain that you don’t require a conveyance?”

“Oh, I’m certain all right.” Mark ducked into a side street and checked thoroughly for any hidden watchers. Certain he was unseen, he began running at superhuman speed and turned north out of the city at about 100 miles an hour.

The wind howled forlornly over the frozen landscape as Mark Leeds raced towards his destiny. After two hours Mark’s mechanical navigator indicated a western turn. An hour’s travel in that direction revealed to Mark’s x-ray vision that they had crossed onto the artic ice pack.

A few minutes later, a massive shift as the ocean currents beneath the ice caused a crevasse to appear almost right in front of him. Panicked, Mark jumped in the desperate hope of clearing the span. Mark realized after several seconds passed that he was still traveling upwards! He watched amazed as the frozen landscape raced by below him. After a good 15 seconds or so, his momentum began to bleed off and he descended rapidly through the air. He winced in anticipation of the landing, and was surprised when he set down solidly but unharmed.

Looking back the way he’d come, Mark let out a short bark of laughter in disbelief. “That was…incredible! I must have jumped, like, five miles!”

“Actually,” answered his nearly forgotten mechanical companion, “it was approximately 9.47 miles.”

“What?” Leeds asked. “That’s impossible.”

“Apparently not.”

Mark chuckled and said, “You need to lighten up. And anyway, who ‘approximates’ to the second decimal place?”

“If you would care to test your hypothesis, we are approximately 13.2 miles away from the sanctuary.”

“Hmm, room for one more jump,” Mark speculated. “Okay then, let’s go.”

After a short running leap, Mark Leeds lofted once again into the frigid night air of the arctic. Upon landing, he consulted his interactive locator beacon and raced the few remaining miles to a forbidding wall of ice almost 100 feet high. He stood before a crack in the wall about ten feet wide.

“The entrance is back there,” said the disc, hovering once again as Mark released it.

Mark proceeded cautiously into the ravine perhaps fifty or sixty feet before it opened up in a much wider chamber, about thirty feet across. On the far wall was the facade of a building front using Roman style architecture. In the lintel above the metallic doors was carved ‘Arx Solitas.’ As Mark approached, the portal swung wide to admit him.
* * *
1991-1994

Mark Leeds spent his entire summer in the arctic learning of his heritage on Terra Roma. He returned to NYU and completed his course of study in history, focusing on the Roman era of his adopted homeworld. Although he did not return to the arctic fortress until after graduation, he continued to practice in the use of his powers in secret.

Bill Thompson’s football career at Penn State is shattered along with his right femur in 1992. The player responsible was a meta who had managed to slip through the screening process. His superhuman strength revealed, he was barred from athletic competition, which did little to assuage Bill Thompson’s rage at what he had lost due to the carelessness of one of “them.”

1994-1997

Mark departs for the Arx Solitas, where he spends three and a half years further training himself in the use of his powers. The communications uplink allows him to keep track of current events.
* * *
June 1, 1998
New York, NY


Three gunmen in ski masks ran down the steps of the First National Bank toward their getaway car idling by the curb lugging submachine guns and sacks of money. As the last one piled in, he fired a burst from his machine gun into the air, causing all the passersby to dive for cover. The car sped into traffic as the robbers completed their daring escape.

The criminal riding shotgun chortled and said, “I told you that would be a piece of cake! The cops are so busy with all this hi-tech crime on the internet and chasing drug dealers; nobody expects a bank robbery!”

“What’s the internet?”

“Shut up and drive, will ya?”

The driver’s next question was cut short as a blue and gold blur streaked by on his right and suddenly the car was no longer on the ground. The trapped criminals peered out the windows, trying to figure out what had happened. Traffic began clearing the scene and in the distance blue and red flashing lights rapidly closed the distance.

When police vehicles had blocked both ends of the streets, the car was gently lowered to the street. As the front of the vehicle returned to the ground, a tall muscular man with close cropped blonde hair wearing gold armor pieces on his chest and lower arms stood revealed, his white cape fluttering behind him like a pair of great wings.

“Oh great,” the first gunman muttered, “just what this town needs; another cape.”

The driver leaned out his window with a submachine gun and yelled, “One side, blondie!” as he fired off a burst into the would-be hero.

The crime fighter looked annoyed as the bullets ricocheted off him without harm. In the blink of an eye, he was beside the car, had taken the weapon from the driver and snapped it in two.

“The name’s Centurion,” he said. “And your bank robbing days are over.”
* * *
June 15, 1998
New York, NY
office of the New York Times


Laurie’s fingers tapped furiously at her keyboard as she struggled to finish her article. Her editor had zero tolerance for missed deadlines. In such a state of mind, it was little wonder that she responded rather harshly to a rap at her office door.

“What?!” she snarled, not bothering to look up.

“Um, hey Laurie,” said a tentative if familiar voice from the doorway.

She looked up at the speaker, and was confused when the voice she thought she recognized didn’t match up with the man standing there.

“Mark? Mark Leeds? My God, is it really you? How have you been? You just disappeared after college; nobody knew where to find you.” She looked him over, marveling at the changes. “You know, I never would have figured you for the long-haired hippy type. And when did you get glasses?”

Mark self-consciously pushed his glasses up and said with a nervous chuckle, “Well, you know how it is; we’re getting older and all that.”

“Hey, don’t worry about it,” Laurie responded with a dismissive wave.” You look great. Hell, you don’t look a day over 22. And don’t tell him I told you, but Chris is starting to thin on top. He’d probably grow a pony tail these days too, if he could.”

Mark looked to her hands, and spied a wedding band. Unable to keep the disappointment from his voice, he said, “You mean you and Chris…but your byline, its Laurie Lamont…”

“Right,” she said gently, noting his discomfiture. “That’s just my professional name. Keeps all the quacks and stalkers looking in the wrong place.”

“I see,” Mark said quietly. After a few moments of uncomfortable silence, he said as he turned to go, “Well, I don’t want to hold you up.”

“Wait!” she called out. “Where are you going, back home to Welling?”

“No, I’m taking grad classes at NYU. Hopefully when I’m done I’ll be able to get a job teaching history.”
“Well, stay in touch,” Laurie entreated. “Maybe we can all get together for dinner some time.”

“Sure,” he said softly, and departed with a wave.
* * *
June 30, 2004
New York, NY
atop the Statue of Liberty


Gauntlet, Sub-Zero, Roughcut and Centurion stood gazing at the glittering skyline of New York City by night. Never one for long speeches, Gauntlet got right to the point. “So then we’re all agreed that the work of the Global Defense League is far too important to allow political machinations shut it down?”

All nodded in agreement, and the towering Roughcut added, “Just so youse guys know, I’m still gonna do my other team thing too, but I’ll be there when you need me.”

“You might want to come up with a new name, though,” said Sub-Zero. “Isn’t your current moniker a little redundant? ‘Roughcut and the Roughcuts?’”

“Hey Frosty, it’s not a team of supers; the Roughcuts are a minor league ball team. I make appearances at the games ta raise money for charity.”

“It’s important to not lose sight of all the good we can accomplish in ways that don’t involve fighting,” Centurion said.

“Who woulda guessed ol’ skullcracker had a softspot?” Sub-Zero quipped.

From the shadows, a gravelly voice intoned, “Our new sponsor should have the new HQ finished in about six months.”

Sub-Zero nearly slipped off the crown of Liberty when he jumped in shock. “Dammit, Midknight! Can’t you ever just walk up to a meeting like a normal person?”

“Who here is normal?” came the gruff reply.

“Point for spooky,” groused Sub-Zero.

“Alright, take it easy,” said Gauntlet in an effort to return the gathering to seriousness. “Although we are currently without an official meeting place, these commlinks will allow us to keep in touch and coordinate our efforts.”

Gauntlet dispensed a commlink to each of his teammates. The assembled heroes shook hands before departing, a newly forged alliance against the forces of evil!
* * *
May 13, 2007
New York, NY



GAME ON!
Last edited by K.G. Carlson on Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:41 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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TIMELINE

Postby K.G. Carlson » Wed May 16, 2007 1:53 pm

Timeline: Universe of the Justicers

“Let there be light” – 1947: The same as the “real” world.

July 8th 1947: Reports flood the airwaves of a strange white light that pulses from somewhere in the American southwest. The US government allays any fears by releasing the news that there was a successful test of a new kind of atom bomb. The explosion was “minimal” but produced a brilliant white light visible for many thousands of miles.

March 23rd 1948: The New York Times, following reports of a costumed vigilante terrorizing the underworld, finds evidence of a mysterious figure calling himself Midknight. The editors refuse to print the story.

June 17th 1948: The Western Express Limited, a passenger train heading from Chicago to Seattle derails just outside Seattle. Emergency workers race to the scene and find a man, clothes burnt and torn, ripping open the steel walls of train cars and helping the injured to safety. He is soon revealed as a passenger on the train, though the government manages to keep his identity a secret.

1948: After the incident with the Western Express Limited, reports begin to surface all over the world of people with incredible powers. Though these people do indeed hail from every corner of the globe, the largest concentration of “supers” does seem to be in North America. Most “supers” exhibit one trait that has been enhanced, such as strength or speed; some however show enhancements over a range of traits.

August 29th 1949: The Soviet Union detonates their first atom bomb.

June 25th 1950: The Peoples Army of North Korea invades UN protected South Korea. At the fighting front American GIs find they are facing Chinese and North Korean supers. The most feared of which is given the moniker Peelback. He has the power to disintegrate objects by peeling them apart one atom at a time. He however proved very vulnerable to bullets and was killed by a Marine sniper from more than 1000 yards away.

July 4th 1950: The United States government reveals their hastily formed Super-Team to the world. Called the Liberty Brigade, these 8 heroes are led by a familiar looking man. Captain Liberty reveals that he is, James Johnson, a WWII veteran who was traveling across the country to visit his dying mother when the Western Express Limited crashed. Together with Brick, Blur I, Ember, Aquus, Blowback, Meld, and Paragon he is deployed to the Korean Theatre in order to counter the Communist Supers threat.

July 27th 1953: The Korean war ends in stalemate after US President Truman refuse to allow the Liberty Brigade to engage conventional North Korean and Chinese forces. What the world will not know for many years was that CPT Liberty had refused orders from Gen MacArthur to engage non-super enemies and threatened to resign his position.

August 5th 1954: The United States Congress passes the sweeping Meta-Human Controls Act. This legislation makes it a crime for any law enforcement agency to use Meta-humans to police “normals” without a special warrant from a court of law. Certain groups of supers could be used by the government to combat other supers, so long as the government sponsored supers were restricted by use-of-force rules similar to those used by the police. The driving force for this law was CPT Liberty himself. He testified to Congress’ Joint Committee on Meta-Human Affairs that he feared the rising number of supers could at a future point be used as a hammer against the general populace.

October 17th 1954: The first Super-Villain appears - a being calling himself Lord Shadow attacks the city of New York and nearly destroys the Empire State Building. Only the timely arrival of the Liberty Brigade stops New York losing its iconic landmark.

February 25th 1955: Finally realizing that certain supers might actually use their abilities for crime, Congress amends the Meta-Human Controls Act to allow the formation of private super groups. These new groups begin to pop up across the nation with the largest being in Chicago and New York. The Chicago team calls themselves the Second City Avengers, the New York Team calls themselves the Justice Sentinels.

1955-1963: This period will come to be known as the Golden Age of Heroes. Costumed heroes like Captain Liberty and Dr. Atom set the high standards by which all heroes will forever be judged.

November 22nd 1963: Lee Harvey Oswald attempts to assassinate President John F. Kennedy. Oswald’s first shot cripples the President, but the timely intervention of CPT Liberty saves the president from death. A now quadriplegic Kennedy resigns the presidency 3 weeks later. In 1991 a film by Oliver Stone puts forth the outlandish theory that CPT Liberty was involved in a conspiracy to disable the President.

1963-1972: Though heroes such as CPT Liberty continue to extol the benefits of virtuous living and faith in government, the nation is going through a revolutionary shift. The Civil Rights Movement and America’s growing involvement in the war in Vietnam serve as a catalyst for a new breed of socially conscious heroes. The negro hero Black Lightning openly joins the Black Panther Party. Female heroes take on a more prominent role and some, such as Lady Power, become politically active in the feminist movement.

December 22nd 1972: It is revealed, in papers given to NY Times reporter Kent Clark, that the Department of Defense has been using classified units of supers in the Vietnam War. Reports obtained by Clark reveal that these units are filled with dangerously unstable supers; some of whom have committed unspeakable acts of cruelty on civilian populations. One super, codenamed Scream, uses his fear inducing powers to force the people in an entire Cambodian village to kill and eat their children. The report states that CPT Liberty was asked by the DoD to take Scream down. CPT Liberty emerged from the Cambodian jungle two weeks later carrying the lifeless body of Scream and two of his squad mates.

January 23rd 1973: In a speech given at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C., Captain Liberty announces his retirement from public life, he states, “These powers and abilities that God has seen fit to grant me, now weigh heavily upon my tired shoulders. I believe in the United States of America. I believe that all men feel the call of freedom. Over these last many years, however, I feel the people of this nation have lost their way. Riots, corruption, drugs; these are the poisons that have corrupted the moral fabric. There was a time when a man could raise his children free from the fear that society would corrupt them. No more. I now leave you with this plea, this warning; do not forget the ideals that made this nation great, do not forever forget the good that lay in the heart of man. Until tomorrow brings new hope, I bid you farewell.”

August 8th 1974: Richard Nixon resigns the Presidency in disgrace following the events of the Watergate Scandal. He becomes the 2nd President to resign his office in 11 years.

1974-1979: A new type of hero takes to the streets and skies. The heroes of the Disco Era are loose and increasingly corporate. Many can be seen at clubs like Studio 54 and the Green Room. Gossip hounds and tabloids follow every move any costumed hero makes. Many are found to be using cocaine and other drugs. This causes a moral backlash against supers among a startled populace now emerging from nearly 2 decades of social upheaval. In May of 1979 the hero Disco Diva poses for Playboy, at the time it is the best selling magazine of all time.

November 7th 1979: The Iranian hostage crisis ends in tragedy when a squad of supers sent in to rescue the American captives finds itself ambushed by an Iranian super named, Koh-i-Noor. (Farsi for “Mountain of Light.”) During the struggle Koh-i-Noor’s skin is punctured and all of Tehran is consumed in a soundless burst of red light. When the light fades it is revealed that everything within 15 miles of the American Embassy has been disintegrated down to the atom. The only hero to emerge alive was Blur I.

November 11th 1979: In an emergency session, the UN Security Council passes a binding resolution banning the use of supers by any government in hostile action against another country; though both the United States and the Soviet Union both threaten vetoes, the resolution passes unanimously due to public outcry over the Tehran incident.

January 20th 1981: Ronald Reagan is inaugurated as the 40th President of the United States.

1981-1989: New, more violent heroes walk the streets, many with no compunction whatsoever against taking lives. The media dubs this the “Iron Age” of supers. Parents groups begin forming across the nation calling on the government to reign in these wayward “heroes.”

October 14th 1982: In Chicago, the first three floor of the Sears tower are left in ruin after the hero Shock tangles with the villain Fume. The official death toll would stand at 550. The American people’s patience with these new heroes and the growing number of super-villains also brings an end to the hero-worship of many supers by the general populace.

November 17th 1984: In response to the growing outcry against supers Congress passes the Meta-Human Controls and Registration Act. This measure forces any super who wishes to act in public must register with the government and submit to a battery of tests. While many supers simply leave public life, some do submit to these new requirements. The now aging members of the Liberty Brigade are the first in line to register, though most had not acted in public for many years.

April 30th 1985: In testimony before the Senate Committee on Meta-Human Affairs Tipper Gore, wife of then Senator Al Gore, calls for more stringent government control of supers. Her group, the Society of Concerned Parents, rails against the loose morals and corporate sponsorship of many supers. Though Congress pays lip service to the many parents groups calling for change, no real action is taken.

March 25th 1986: Though the Meta-Human Controls and Registration Act has had some success in reigning in some of the more uncontrollable heroes, there are still too many incidents of massive collateral damage and loss of civilian life. Richard Reed, a scientist working for the DoD manages to create a device that can inhibit the abilities of most supers at very short ranges. This gives the normal population a way to more effectively police and imprison rogue supers.

October 14th 1986: On the fourth anniversary of the Sears Tower incident a new villain makes his first appearance. A menacing new figure, calling himself Overlord, begins a spree of murder, killing many of the most dangerous super-villains, starting with the very public execution of the villain Fume. Using a nullifier field Overlord forces Fume to become corporeal and rips his spine out in front of the Sears Tower Memorial. Over the course of the next few months, many dangerous villains find themselves begging for their lives at the feet of the armored avenger.

November 22nd 1986: Overlord enters the Dallas/Ft.Worth State Penitentiary and kills several super-villain inmates, and one “normal.” That lone normal is Lee Harvey Oswald. Two prison guards are also killed in the attack. The Texas Governor, William Clements, gives the Texan hero, Lone Star Sentinel, orders to find and bring Overlord to justice.

December 17th 1986: The mangled body of Lone Star Sentinel is found at the steps of the Texas state capitol building. Attached to the body was a note that read; I have no quarrel with the heroes of this world. My mission is the elimination of those who twist their gifts for evil purposes. Stand in my way and suffer their fate.

March 23rd 1987: The FBI places Overlord as #1 on the list of top-ten super-villains.

July 4th 1987: Several copy-cat “heroes” calling themselves the Overlord Brotherhood attack and kill several super-villain inmates at 6 prisons across the northeast. These heroes are brought to justice by a suddenly un-retired Liberty Brigade. Though some are now in their 70s, the Liberty Brigade proves very effective in dealing with this new threat and brings a sense of purpose to other heroes who yearn for a return of the Golden Age. Not wishing very brutal and public executions at the hands of Overlord or his Brotherhood, many super-villains stop their flamboyant ways and retreat to the underworld.

August 30th 1987: In Grand Prairie, Texas, the Liberty Brigade finds themselves in a pitched battle with Overlord and his Brotherhood. Many supers, seeing the reports on TV, rush to the scene to help the living legends. By the end of the day more than 30 heroes stood in battle against the Overlord Brotherhood. Civilians for many miles are evacuated by the Army and National Guard. The battle, it seemed, would be endless until the combined powers of the Liberty Brigade finally brought Overlord to his knees. In a final, desperate move, Overlord detonated a small nuclear device he had somehow managed to teleport into the battle. The death toll was staggering; the Liberty Brigade was vaporized along with many of the heroes who had come to lend their skills to the fight, and also several thousand soldiers who had formed a perimeter around the battle site. Hundreds of thousands come to mourn and pay respects at the various funerals of the Liberty Brigade and the other heroes who had come to their aid. Even some who had found themselves on the wrong side of the law were moved to action. The former villain Radon used his absorption powers to clean most of the radioactive fallout from the atmosphere and, with the aid of another former villain, Shimmer, sent the deadly energy into the void of space.

September 17th 1987: In what many would remember as his greatest speech, President Reagan announces that a new memorial will be commissioned on the Mall in Washington dedicated to the Liberty Brigade and all other supers who have fallen in defense of truth, justice and the American way. This continues a trend in the Reagan administration of a fascination with the heroes of the Golden Age and a fervent wish that those better times could come again. After his passing in 2004, this speech will be replayed many times as a nation remembers a President who helped a nation heal.

January 20th 1989: George H.W. Bush is inaugurated as the 41st President of the United States.

August 2nd 1990: Iraqi armed forces, including several supers, invade the tiny nation of Kuwait. The move comes after several months of Iraqi saber rattling and accusations that Kuwait had been taking too much oil from the Rumaylah oil field near the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border. President Bush immediately condemns the action and calls for the United Nations to enact stiff penalties against the Iraqi regime.

August 1990: The Royal Government of Saudi Arabia invites the forces of western nations into its borders in an effort to stop the Iraqi Army from invading. Several supers are also invited by the Royal Family as guests, and to act as a deterrent to the Iraqi supers.

August 25th 1990: UN Resolution 1990-665 calls for the total economic blockade of Iraq, and also calls for the creation of the Global Defense League. The Global Defense League, GDL, is to be a small force of powerful supers whose mission is to intervene when rogue nations use supers as military weapons. The initial roster consists of Blur II (son of the original), Whitewash, Lady Power, El-Ahdeen, and Centrifuge.

January 17th 1991: The war for Kuwait begins. By UN mandate the Global Defense League may only engage Iraqi supers in the battle, though Lady Power does clear a large minefield that a Syrian armored unit stumbles into after the ground war begins.

January 20th 1991: Just outside Kuwait City the Global Defense League attacks the HQ of the Iraqi supers and wins the battle quickly, and with no casualties. The Iraqi supers had never faced other supers in battle and were ill prepared to face people who could actually fight back.

February 28th 1991: The first Gulf War ends in total victory for the UN coalition. The GDL returns to the UN building in New York to a heroes welcome. The American people are happy to have a new group of heroes who seem to follow the ideals set by the Liberty Brigade. During their actions in the Gulf the GDL managed to subdue all the supers they faced with no casualties, and they greatly reduced what was supposed to have been a high casualty rate among coalition troops by stopping Iraqi artillery and ballistic missiles before they could hit their targets. They never violated their mandate to attack Iraqi conventional forces directly.

April 23rd 1991: In a speech before the United Nations, President Bush calls upon the world body to make the GDL a permanent arm of the UN.

June 3rd 1991: UN Resolution 1991-697 provides for the permanent establishment of the Global Defense League. The GDL is to have its headquarters in New York City, separate from the UN Building. The five permanent members of the Security Council have oversight responsibilities.

December 26th 1991: After 74 years of slow disintegration, the Soviet Union dissolves. An attempted coup in August had failed to return hardliners to power. It is a little argued fact that the creation of the GDL, just two months prior, was a factor in keeping hardliner Soviet supers, such as Komrade Kommado and the People’s Champion, from participating in the coup attempt.

March 19th 1991: The GDL is called into action when the villain, Harbinger, attempts to extort 20 billion dollars from Saudi Arabia by threatening to turn their oil deposits into sand. The GDL quickly tracks and apprehends Harbinger. The GDL has once again proved their usefulness to the world body.

June 13th 1991: When Iraqi president Saddam Hussein deploys supers to crush a rebellion in the Kurdish Provinces President Bush calls on the UN to deploy the GDL to stop the genocide. France and China veto the resolution and refer to the Kurdish disaster as an “internal Iraqi problem.” Many American members of the GDL quit the team in protest.

August 24th 1992: Hurricane Andrew makes landfall in south Florida devastating a large portion of the state. President Bush asks for the deployment of the GDL to assist in rescue and recovery efforts, but China vetoes the request, arguing that every nation would begin asking for such aid in the event of a disaster.

August 25th 1992: In an emergency session, Congress authorizes President Bush to deputize and deploy supers to act as security, search, and rescue in the areas devastated by Andrew. Bush creates the American Defense League and enlists many of the American heroes who had quit the GDL. The assembled heroes act in spectacular fashion, stemming further loss of life and bringing hope to the thousands left homeless. Blur II, working with habitat for humanity builds, from the ground up, 30 homes in 30 minutes. Every newspaper, magazine and TV news show splash the images of the selfless heroes at every opportunity for all America to see.

October 16th 1992: After the positive actions of the American Defense League Congress authorizes the permanent creation of the group. Though funded by Congress, and working with Congressional oversight, the ADL is to be an independent organization with no direct Executive Branch control. The ADL is free to use their best judgment when responding to the actions of super-villains. The law does stipulate that when both the President and Congress agree, the ADL may be pressed into federal service. The last remaining American members of the GDL resign and join the ADL.

January 20th 1993: President George H.W. Bush, mainly due to a downturn in the global economy loses his bid for re-election and William Jefferson Clinton is sworn in as the 42nd President of the United States.

1993-1999: For the most part the 1990s prove to be a quiet decade. Revolutions in technology bring about the information age, and the United States enjoys a decade of prosperity. Some pundits even claim that we are seeing a return to the Golden Age of heroes. New heroes such as Gauntlet, Centurion, and Sub-Zero, act in a manner that would be sure to make the Liberty Brigade proud. One disturbing note for the decade is the rise of Islamic terrorism and an increase in terrorist attacks against western nations.

January 20th 2001: George W. Bush, son of the former President, is inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States.

September 11th 2001: In the bright and beautiful morning, 20 Middle Eastern hijackers take control of 4 planes and attack targets in the United States. 2 of planes hit the World Trade Center in New York, the 2 other planes are intercepted by heroes from the ADL. United Airlines Flight 93 is stopped from crashing in Pennsylvania by Lady Power and Blur II, the effort to stop the massive airliner is too much to the aging sentinel of women’s rights and she collapses soon after setting the plane down in a field. Sub-Zero and Roughcut stop American Airlines Flight 77 from crashing into the Pentagon, though 17 people on board the plane are killed as well as the 4 hijackers. The rest of the ADL attempts to fight the fire and damage to the WTC, but to no avail. The towers collapse, taking the life of Kraken and 600 others. The ADL is credited with saving thousands of lives due to their quick action and teamwork.

September 17th 2001: President Bush asks Congress to authorize the deployment of the ADL to Afghanistan with the singular mission of apprehending Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 plot. Congress agrees and gives the ADL the limited mandate of finding OBL and nothing else.

September 20th 2001: The UN orders the GDL to stop the ADL from entering Afghani territory over the objections and vetoes of Britain and the United States. All but 2 heroes on the GDL quit and refuse to follow those orders. The next day the UN votes to eliminate the GDL as a UN sanctioned body.

September 22nd 2001: President Bush orders the occupation and dismantling of the GDL HQ in New York and orders the construction of a new facility for the ADL. He also rechristens the ADL as the new Global Defense League.

September 25th 2001: The ADL, now the new GDL, apprehends OBL in the mountains of Tora Bora in Afghanistan. OBL manages to commit suicide during his transport to the United States for trial.

March 20th 2003: President Bush, with Congressional approval, launches his war on Iraq. He attempts to deploy the GDL to the area but the group refuses to enter the fight unless coalition forces are attacked by Iraqi supers. Remembering the disaster of the first Gulf War, Iraqi supers lay very low and never menace any coalition troops.

June 30th 2004: President Bush leaves funding out of the budget for the upkeep of GDL HQ in New York, and Congress, under republican control won’t insert it into the budget. The GDL takes a vote of its members and they agree that the GDL serves too great a purpose to be dissolved because of political games. A generous donation by billionaire industrialist Wayne Bruce gets the GDL the funding they need to continue operations. Bruce, with secret approval from NYC mayor Giuliani, begins construction of the new GDL HQ deep under Central Park in NY. The construction is hidden as a massive restoration and upgrade project for the historic park.

November 16th 2004: Construction is finished and the GDL occupy their new HQ.

November 18th 2004: Congress attempts to disband the GDL by outlawing private groups of supers. It is seen by the public as retaliation by a vengeful republican party for the GDL’s refusal to deploy in Iraq. The War in Iraq is growing much less popular with the American people.

December 23rd 2004: In an emergency session, the US Supreme Court rules the law banning the formation of private super-groups unconstitutional and a violation of the 1st amendment right to freedom of assembly.

2004-2007: The GDL performs many heroic feats and stops many super-villains from bringing their schemes to fruition. The GDL is seen by most Americans and many others around the world as the finest example of supers since the legendary Liberty Brigade.

May 13th 2007: A quiet day in NY as several members of the Global Defense League report to HQ for monitor duty and training…
"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

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Postby K.G. Carlson » Wed May 16, 2007 7:04 pm

Okay, same day and already a reshoot :oops:
In my zeal to develop my background, I accidentally trampled the some of the other player characters! I screwed up ones name, and I misread the "team" of another. Below is my mangled original version (I have edited the 1st post to be correct)

K.G. Carslon wrote:June 30, 2004
New York, NY
atop the Statue of Liberty

Gauntlet, Sub-Zero, Roughcut and Centurion stood gazing at the glittering skyline of New York City by night. Never one for long speeches, Gauntlet got right to the point. “So then we’re all agreed that the work of the Global Defense League is far too important to allow political machinations shut it down?”

All nodded in agreement, and the towering Roughcut added, “Just so youse guys know, I’m still gonna do my other team thing too, but I’ll be there when you need me.”

“You might want to come up with a new name, though,” said Sub-Zero. “Isn’t your current moniker a little redundant? ‘Roughcut and the Roughcuts?’”

“Hell, it worked for Captain Liberty and the Liberty Brigade, didn’t it? Redundant gets the point across.” The four shared a brief chuckle.


From the shadows, a gravelly voice intoned, “Our new sponsor should have the new HQ finished in about six months.”

Sub-Zero nearly slipped off the crown of Liberty when he jumped in shock. “Dammit, Knightwatch! Can’t you ever just walk up to a meeting like a normal person?”

“Who here is normal?” came the gruff reply.

“Point for spooky,” groused Sub-Zero.

“Alright, take it easy,” said Gauntlet in an effort to return the gathering to seriousness. “Although we are currently without an official meeting place, these commlinks will allow us to keep in touch and coordinate our efforts.”

Gauntlet dispensed a commlink to each of his teammates. The assembled heroes shook hands before departing, a newly forged alliance against the forces of evil!
"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

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Postby Libra » Thu May 17, 2007 9:30 am

Interesting. Veeeery interesting. . . :D
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Postby Lindharin » Thu May 17, 2007 5:49 pm

Nice job with the story!

And is your GM a fan of Aberrant? Midknight shows up on March 23, '48, 50 years to the day before the Fireman's eruption as the first nova in Aberrant.

(I'm not sure I want to know what it says that I know the date of the Fireman's eruption off the top of my head, but can't always remember real people's birthdays...) :lol:

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Postby K.G. Carlson » Thu May 17, 2007 7:59 pm

Thank you, kind post readers.

I hope to follow some of the characters adventures in this thread also. Since I missed the first session the GM is being kind enough to PBEM me up to speed with the rest of the group. I dunno that I'll keep logs of the RL gaming, maybe just a summary, but the PBEM portion I can cut and paste with some minor editorial tweaking.

Lindharin wrote:And is your GM a fan of Aberrant? Midknight shows up on March 23, '48, 50 years to the day before the Fireman's eruption as the first nova in Aberrant.

Not sure. I had liked the setting but didn't care much for the rules. Of course, that was based on a read through, I never got a chance to actually play it. I haven't looked at that stuff in years.

Lindharin wrote:(I'm not sure I want to know what it says that I know the date of the Fireman's eruption off the top of my head, but can't always remember real people's birthdays...) :lol:

S'okay.....you're in good company :lol:
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Postby Libra » Fri May 18, 2007 6:02 am

We await any tales you care to tell with baited breath and quivering anticipation. :D
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Postby Minister » Fri May 18, 2007 7:41 am

I would like to register a great thumbs up, and declarre Nyoink! as I blatantly lift ideas for my own setting.

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Postby K.G. Carlson » Mon Jun 11, 2007 6:09 pm

Okay, So I really need to finish tightening the bolts on my Origins module so its ready for the shakedown cruise at Free RPG Day, but having just played in the Global Defense League campaign last night, I am really jonesin' to polish up my other intro pieces and post them here. So I will settle for making a coming soon announcement for projects in the works.

*note: I am organizing/categorizing things according to my personal methods used when I am GMing. The GM of the campaign may not necessarily like/use them, but he's welcome to them. Basically, each adventure is a story line, each game session is an "issue" of the comic. Also, I don't know if Global Defense League is the official campaign name, I'm just winging it at this point.

In Global Defense League #1, the League, now divested of political engtanglements, is testing out their new danger room. Gauntlet (like Green Lantern only its a whole glove instead of a ring), Roughcut (brick and a half) and Kitsune (female Japanese mage) are the stars of the premier issue. Sub-Zero's whereabouts are unknown, which is unusual. Midknights whereabouts are unknown, which is typical. Centurion is winging his way to Italy as Mark Leeds chaparoning an NYU archeological study of ancient Rome. Much fun and chaos ensues, when Overlord, the ruthless tyrant who disappeared in an atomic holocaust back in '86 appears atop the Sears tower in Chicago. This should be the top story of the hour, but the fact that dozens of major cities around the world are under attack by Overlord's forces sort of overshadows the guest appearance. The GDL's present membership races to Chicago for a royal rumble on the roof! *note: I wasn't at the first session, so thats all the recap I can give ya!


COMING SOON!

Panic in the Sky! trade paperback

Originally a three-part mini-series, the tale of Centurion's mid-air encounter with the forces of Overlord as high-speed interceptors attack his 747 high over the Atlantic. Bad place for a super-hero who can't fly to have a battle! Fortunately, the GDL has many reserve members and Centurion does not fight alone!

Centurion/Midknight Special #1: Battle for DC!

Barely back on the ground from a harrowing mid-air fracas, Centurion is whisked back to the US at the behest of the mysterious Midknight to keep the nuclear arsenal of the United States from the clutches of Overlord! Ties in to Global Defense League #2 as Centurion, Midknight and Sub-Zero rush to aid their embattled comrades in Chicago.
Last edited by K.G. Carlson on Tue Jun 12, 2007 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jason Altland » Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:00 am

K.G. Carlson wrote:*note: I am organizing/categorizing things according to my personal methods used when I am GMing. The GM of the campaign may not necessarily like/use them, but he's welcome to them. Basically, each adventure is a story line, each game session is an "issue" of the comic. Also, I don't know if Global Defense League is the official campaign name, I'm just winging it at this point.


You are more than welcome to write anything you want for my universe. LESS WORK FOR ME! Doing the Panic in the Sky e-mail adventure was fun and helped me flesh out my fledgling universe.
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Postby K.G. Carlson » Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:44 pm

Well, I can't take writing credit on this one. This is a short series of PBeMs that the GM ran for me to catch me up since I'd missed the first game session of the Jasonverse adventures of the Global Defense League.

Midknight is another player character, although I think the GM did the build. Draken and Andrew are NPCs. Of course you know Centurion (or do you :twisted: )

Its not a total cut and paste. I have removed the game-speak and duplicate dialogues, out of game Q&A, etc. I have also done some minor touching up here and there, but this is largely a collaborative piece that Jason Altland and I created. I hope you enjoy...

PANIC IN THE SKY!

Mark Leeds gazed wistfully out the window at the thick clouds streaming past, high over the Atlantic. The late afternoon sun cast a golden gleam on the billowing mountains of vapor.

He’d initially turned down the request of his department chair to oversee this field trip, but things had been relatively calm in the world since the Global Defense League had reformed, free of any political entanglements this time. At Gauntlet’s urging, he’d agreed to take the trip and spend some quality time out of costume.

Turning away from the spectacular view, he looked over the group of NYU students he was chaperoning on a visit to Rome to work on an archeological dig. Dr. Jones shook his head and said with a chuckle, “Dr. Leeds, the students aren’t going anywhere, at least not until we’re back on the ground. I think you can relax and enjoy the flight.”

“Right,” Mark said with a sheepish smile, self-consciously pushing his glasses up. “It’s just that I feel –”

“Responsible,” Dr. Jones finished for him. “Yes, of course; what else is new?”

Mark Leeds was spared the embarrassment of a reply as the airliner suddenly shuddered violently, accompanied by a sharp metallic rattle. The PA system activated with a tinny squawk and the panicked voice of the pilot cried out, “Everybody hold tight! We’re under attack!”

The passengers began calling out loudly in fear even as the flight attendants urged everyone to remain calm and buckle their safety belts. Those fortunate enough to have a window seat had their faces pressed against the glass in simultaneous hope and dread of sighting their attackers.

Mark Leeds didn’t waste time peering out the narrow pane; his x-ray vision allowed him a full view of the surrounding skies. His eyes widened in alarm as he saw two high-tech jet fighters of an unknown design sweeping towards the hapless civilian jetliner. More alarming still was the unmistakable insignia of the Overlord Brotherhood on the wings of the two mystery craft.

‘What on earth is going on here?’ Mark wondered. ‘There has been no sign of Overlord or his henchmen for almost 20 years.’

Mark needed more answers than x-ray vision could provide. He unbuckled his safety harness and hurried back the aisle towards the restroom. He was intercepted about halfway there by a female flight attendant.

“Sir, you must return to your seat!”

“I can’t,” Mark said with a groan, one hand clutching his stomach as the other covered his mouth. “I’m gonna….be…”

He shouldered past the flight attendant, into the restroom and locked the door. From his pocket he withdrew a device that looked similar to a cell phone. Thumbing the device on, he scanned the airwaves with the Global Defense League issued commlink. Nearly every broadcast channel was abuzz with panicked activity.

In London, the UK Sentinel was battling power armored troops. More power armored troops were attacking Washington DC; the Capitol building was in flames. Berlin was frozen in some sort of stasis field. On and on the reports came, endless waves of attackers in Beijing, Tokyo, Moscow; the power centers of the world were under attack!

Suddenly, the voice of Andrew Harding, a GDL civilian employee cut through the chatter of newsfeeds. “Centurion! Come in, Centurion!”

“Centurion here,” Mark replied.

“We have a major event taking place, multiple attacks taking place! When does your flight land?”

Mark smiled wryly at the notion of landing; he thought certain it was going to be sooner than planned.

“I’m sorry Andrew, but my flight is under attack by what I think is the Overlord Brotherhood, although I thought they disappeared back in ’86 after Overlord self-immolated in Texas.” Mark’s thoughts went back to that dreary day in 1986 when the Liberty Brigade and dozens of other heroes had managed to corner Overlord and the Brotherhood in Texas. He was 14 years old then, and had always been riveted by tales of the Liberty Brigade in action. When Overlord let loose with the atomic weapon, it seemed the best hopes of a nation died in that firestorm too.

“I can’t explain it,” Andrew said. “Roughcut, Gauntlet, Kitsune and Midknight were the only ones here; you’re the only other member I’ve been able to contact! Midknight is on his way to Washington and the others have taken off for Chicago.”

Mark was puzzled. “Why Chicago Andrew?”

“Because Overlord, or someone trying to look like Overlord is on the roof of the Sears Tower holding several hostages. Not only that, but the hostages all appear to be family members of known heroes! Including Roughcut’s sister!”

“By Caesar!,” Mark exclaimed.

The comlink went dead as something violent shook the aircraft, and the oxygen canister deployed in the bathroom. A quick scan with his x-ray vision and Mark verified his fears; a gaping hole had been ripped in the fuselage. It appeared, amazingly enough, that no one had been hurt too badly; some scrapes and bruises but nothing serious yet. The pilot’s had taken the plane into a steep dive, likely trying to lose altitude and equalize the air pressure.

The commlink buzzed with another incoming call. “Centurion, this is Draken! ETA is 30 seconds. I can help you with the plane, but I need you to take care of the uninvited guests!”

Draken was a powerful shapeshifter who served in the GDL on reserve status. For about two hours a day he was one of the most powerful beings on the planet, but the use of his abilities taxed him greatly.

“Okay,” Mark replied tersely. “I’ll be right out.”

Centurion’s heart raced with fear. How to stop a pair of high speed interceptors? He had leaped from one moving target to another before, but never 30,000 feet in the air. Could he survive such a fall? Better not to find out.

His ultra-hearing detected failing systems in the damaged aircraft even as they enemy fighters made another strafing run. Putting aside his fear, Centurion scanned through the skin of the airliner to track the attacking craft. The hole in the fuselage was not far outside the restroom door; that would make for a convenient exit.

After tracking the nearest fighter for a few seconds more and making a best guess as to its trajectory, Mark stumbled from the restroom, crying out, “What’s that nooii-” before vanishing through the sundered ceiling.

Mark burst up out of the stricken airliner, and quickly shed his civilian disguise even as he arced through the air towards the incoming fighter.

The enemy pilot looked around frantically when Centurion slammed into the tail of the fighter, denting its fuselage. In the few seconds it took the pilot to realize that he’d picked up a passenger, Centurion had a firm grip on the plane.

‘Now to put these marauders out of commission,’ Centurion thought.

Taking the rear air flaps in both hands, he applied his tremendous strength. Metal groaned in protest as hydraulics and muscle vied for control. Centurion could hear the panicked voice of the pilot screaming for help as his fighter craft turned inexorably into the flight path of his wingman.

When a mid-air collision was no longer avoidable, Centurion coiled and leaped once more. The planes slammed into each other and the broken fighter craft began tumbling from the sky. Centurion noted that two parachutes were drifting lazily across the sky just beyond the blast area. A brief wave of dizziness swept over him as he made the mistake of looking past the aircraft to see the distant Earth passing below. He trained his focus on the airliner before he lost control of the jump. For an instant, it had almost seemed as if he’d adjusted course in mid-leap, but he discounted it as panic-distorted perception.

Draken had taken the form of a large dragon and the damaged airliner was clutched firmly in his massive claws. He was guiding the stricken passenger liner down to safety. Centurion landed on Draken's back just ahead of his massive wings.

“Could you raise your head a little higher?” Centurion shouted over the shrieking winds. “I need a wind break!”

Draken's massive saurian head nodded and he extended his neck higher to provide the requested cover. Centurion checked the distance to the parachutes, and confident that they were out of visual range, took out his civilian clothes and resumed his secret identity. He frowned at the fracture in both lenses. Perhaps concealing his disguise underneath the chestplate of his armor wasn't such a good idea.

‘Well,’ he thought, ‘Mark Leeds did get thrown from an aircraft; broken glasses seem a small price to pay.’

Draken swiftly descended to the Canary Islands, where he placed the damaged aircraft near an airport terminal on the island of La Palma. The crew of the airliner had contacted the tower and the already alerted emergency crews rushed to the damaged craft.

By the time Draken released the aircraft and stepped to the tarmac, the emergency doors were open and passengers were quickly exiting. Draken reached up and plucked Mark Leeds from his back and set him on the ground, where he promptly staggered as if drunk.

“Dr. Jones,” he called, voice cracking, “I think you better take charge of the fieldtrip. I don't think I-”

Draken caught Dr. Leeds as he fainted dead away. “I'll get this man to a hospital,” he rumbled, massive wings launching him eastward.

In moments they were miles away as Draken’s massive wings beat heavily against the air.

“You play the wimp really well,” Draken noted, saurian features angling to regard his passenger. “I know I was convinced.”

“Draken?”

“Yeah?”

“If I wanted comedy, I'd have asked Sub-Zero to go along to Italy.”

“Right,” Draken replied sourly.

Centurion frowned as his harsh words echoed in his thoughts. “Draken, I’m sorry. My comments weren’t fair to you or to Sub-Zero. I’m just a little shaken up.”

A massive reptilian brow rose in surprise. “Why? Couple’a mooks in some planes, whats the big deal?”

“Well,” Centurion answered, “it wasn’t so much the enemy as the 30,000 foot drop to the ground that concerned me.”

“Oh.” A wide smile revealed teeth the length of Centurion’s arm. “I guess when you can fly, you sorta take that stuff for granted.”

Centurion smiled wanly. “Yes, I suppose you do. Still, that’s no excuse to be rude to you. I apologize.”

“Aw, its okay. I was kinda givin’ ya a hard time and all.”

“By the way, how did you know I needed assistance,” Centurion asked.

“Midknight sent me,” came the dragon’s reply, “He was trying to contact all available reserve members when he tracked your plane over the Atlantic. He noticed two blips closing with your flight and sent me. I was the only one who could get to you fast and have the ability to help.”

“Thank you,” Centurion replied. “I don’t know how I would have saved the plane!”

Centurion reflected on his close call. A fall from that high would have probably killed him, despite his powers. ‘Strange,’ he thought. ‘I was sure I would overshoot that fighter, but I landed right where I wanted to; maybe luck is on my side for a change!’

“Why didn’t Midknight call me directly on the link,” quizzed Centurion.

“Something is jamming our frequency,” Draken replied. “Midknight managed a fix but right now it only works for short range communications.”

“Figures,” said an unsurprised Centurion. “I think our friend has contingencies for contingencies. Where are we headed now?”

“I’m going to London for a 24 hour nap; your next ride should be here by now,” said Draken.

Before Draken could even finish his reply a flash in the sky signaled the arrival of Doug Parkton, aka Lightwave. The yellow flash came to a stop beside the huge dragon and a human figure congealed from the light.

“Care for a lift?” Lightwave asked.

Before Centurion could reply he felt his body being converted to lightwaves and photons. It was painful and would probably kill a normal person, but he knew Lightwave would have him back to the fight in seconds.

In what seemed to him a mere instant, Centurion found himself in Midnight’s sanctum. He found Knightwatch HQ to be cold and dark, but it fit the current resident like a glove.

“Good,” said Midknight. “I have a Knightwatch team assembled.”

Midknight stepped forward and handed Centurion a new comlink. “These links have been ‘adjusted,’ they should work no matter who tries to jam them. We’re needed in D.C. right now!”

“But what about the rest of the League,” Centurion asked. “Shouldn’t we go help them first?”

“They can handle themselves. If we don’t get to Washington now, it won’t matter if we stop Overlord or not; there won’t be a world left to save!”

Midknight gestured to the teleporter in the corner of the large room, “The rest of my team is assembled just outside the Pentagon. We leave now.”

Centurion never liked how Midknight would just assume command; he always seemed to come off as pushy or bossy, having little care for the feelings of those around him, but Centurion couldn’t deny that what Midknight said made sense.

to be continued in CENTURION/MIDKNIGHT SPECIAL #1: THE BATTLE FOR DC!
"More powerful than a locomotive...and about as subtle!"
--Joker

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Postby K.G. Carlson » Mon Jul 02, 2007 4:16 am

Okay, so this one I DID write, although most of the characters are NPCs created by the GM. In my first draft of my version of Centurion's origin tale, I had mistakenly called Midknight Knightwatch. The GM liked it, so he decided to incorporate into Midknight's background (its reassuring, to me anyway, to know that even when I screw up it can still be inspirational :lol: ).

I decided that Centurion and Midknight should have a little Superman/Batman dichotomy going on, so thats how I penned it. Later it was revealed to me that Midknight had also attended NYU, so depending on his age, we may have either had classes together or Centurion may have been his professor. Personally, I think Mark Leeds would have flunked him for bad attitude :twisted:

So, anyhow, here is my last big chunk 'o posting, at least until after Origins. Comin' at ya live, its...

CENTURION/MIDKNIGHT SPECIAL #1: THE BATTLE FOR DC!

Centurion grimaced as his body coalesced from the energy transformation of Lightwave’s teleportation power. Although the stress would likely be lethal to an ordinary human, the ability to be anywhere on the planet instantly was an advantage hard to pass up.

The bright sunshine of the Canary Islands was instantly replaced with a murky subterranean gloom as Centurion and Lightwave appeared in Midknight’s sanctum. Knightwatch HQ was cold and dark, a perfect fit for its current resident.

“Good,” said Midknight. “I have a Knightwatch team assembled.”

As he stepped forward and handed Centurion a new commlink, he continued, “These links have been adjusted, they should work no matter who tries to jam them. We’re needed in D.C. now!”

“But what about the rest of the League?” Centurion asked. “Shouldn’t we contact them first?”
“They can handle themselves,” came the gravelly reply. “If we don’t get to
Washington right now, it won’t matter if they stop Overlord or not, there won’t be a world left to save!”

Midknight gestured to a brightly lit alcove that housed a teleporter unit. “The rest of my team is assembled just outside the Pentagon. We leave now.”

Centurion frowned. Midknight had a habit of assuming command, although he was not in fact League chairman. It didn’t help matters that he was frequently right. Centurion was also bothered by the fact that despite his membership in and support of the Global Defense League, Midknight saw fit to keep his own personal army lurking in the shadows.

Midknight was already halfway to the teleporter alcove. Centurion applied a short burst of speed to catch up. From behind them, Lightwave called out, “I’ll meet you there. My way is faster.”

Midknight pivoted smoothly, and in a voice that brooked no dissent replied, “You will take the teleporter.”

Chagrined, Lightwave zipped across the room to join them at the teleporters. Midknight thumbed an activator on his belt; the coordinates had been set before the cavalry arrived. In a burst of light, the three heroes vanished into the ether.

***

The gloom of Knightwatch headquarters disappeared in a flash, replaced by the bright mid-morning sun over Washington D.C. The three latecomers to the battle arrived on a field teleporter unit surrounded by the Knightwatch team. Battle raged all around the group as power-armored troops assaulted small units of U.S. military and several local metas on the scene. Towering over the battle were four enormous mechanical forms carving a swath of destruction through the hastily assembled defenders. Several aircraft zoomed low over the city on strafing runs, an eerie reminder of the Overlord attack on Centurion’s aborted field trip to Rome.

Devlin August was the only familiar face to Centurion. The League had consulted him in the past when facing magical threats. The mystic was currently employing his energies to maintaining a semi-transparent shield over the group. Centurion frowned as he recalled that August’s abilities were unpredictable at best. Glancing over his shoulder at the new arrivals, Devlin released the protective barrier over the group. Suddenly, the enemy troops nearby seemed to notice the squad of heroes in their midst and turned their attention to destroying them.

Midknight began barking out orders to the team. “Lightwave, find the president, now. No matter what happens, the football does NOT fall into enemy hands. Sabre, Black; the robots and don’t hold back. Devlin; damage control. Block, Centurion; take out the trash.” Midknight raced towards the Pentagon, vaulting over the fence in a stunning display of physical prowess.

“Wait! Where are you going?” Centurion called after him.

“You heard the man,” Block said, hoisting a car overhead with ease and tossing it at an onrushing wave of power-armored enemies. “Let’s take out the trash!”

The Knightwatch leapt into action. Lightwave disappeared in a streak over the city skyline. Block waded into another mass of enemy troopers threatening a squad of soldiers trying to protect one of the entranceways to the Pentagon. Sabre raced off towards the nearest robotic attacker, his deadly blade agleam. Centurion leaped towards another group of enemy troops assembling about 100 yards down the street.

The four large robots were busy pulling the roof off of the Pentagon, paying them no heed. That changed when Black, the mysterious “dark matter” man unleashed a devastating blast of energy that decapitated the nearest automaton. Sabre changed direction and called out, “You couldn’t have targeted the next one out? I’m on foot, for Pete’s sake!” Black gave no response save to race into position to blast another of the robotic attackers.

The smoking ruin of the first robot began a slow, inexorable tumble towards the Pentagon, but a few swift gestures from Devlin August summoned a spongy mass to cushion the fall. The damaged structure groaned with the additional weight, but Devlin had prevented further damage to the Pentagon.

Centurion landed amidst forty enemy troopers. Before they could react, he knelt and slammed a fist into the ground. The evil henchmen were thrown off their feet by the concussion radiating outward from Centurion, many knocked unconscious.

The three remaining robots assessed the new threat in their midst and made them priority targets. This saved Sabre the trouble of chasing them around the building. As one of the robots thundered past he flicked out his blade, tearing a deep gash in the metal. The lumbering behemoth staggered, allowing Sabre to close on the robot’s undamaged leg. He managed three blindingly fast slashes to this leg before his deadly blade sparked against an energy shield. “Aw crap, they’ve adapted!”

As Black drew a bead on the second of the three remaining robots, it ripped a leg from its non-functional companion and brought it up to block the devastating blast. By the time its impromptu shield had been destroyed, this robot had projected an energy dampening field that absorbed the incoming blasts.

Devlin August spun his hands through an intricate series of gestures as he murmured a powerful incantation. Suddenly, the towering automaton that had frustrated Black’s attempts to disintegrate it trembled and its gleaming shell took on a brown, flaking appearance. The purplish glow of its energy dampening field flickered, and Black unleashed a powerful blast of destructive energy. A hole appeared in the robot’s torso as it careened forward to slam into the ground.

Several of the power-armored troops had noticed Devlin’s mystical assault on their robotic cavalry. “Mage!” one called out. “Priority one!”

Terror clutched at August’s heart as he hastily wove defensive enchantments to counter the hail of bullets streaming toward him.

***

Midknight raced through the empty corridors of the Pentagon. Although his face was its typical stony mask, inside panic clawed at him. He trusted Lightwave to make sure the primary launch codes for America’s nuclear arsenal would not fall to enemy hands. He only hoped he could reach the secondary override protocols, held by General Wade Eiling, in time. It disturbed him greatly that Overlord even knew about their existence.

Around a bend in the corridor echoed the sounds of fighting. By the time Midknight rounded the corner, it was over. Several soldiers lie groaning amidst companions who would never feel pain again. A smoking hole stood in place of a reinforced door, telling Midknight that he’d better move faster. Ignoring the feeble calls for help from the wounded men, he charged deeper into the bowels of the Pentagon.

Midknight was racing through a series of rooms when he heard the loud report of a high powered weapon from just ahead. He passed several more corpses before arriving in the large, ornately furnished office of General Eiling. The last of the General’s defenders was slumped to the ground in front of his desk, a large hole in his forehead. Four Overlord troopers fanned out to surround him, backs to the door.

“I say we just take the hand off,” the trooper on the far left sneered. “We just need the launch codes, not this old fart.”

Undaunted by his impending fate, General Eiling clutched the briefcase handcuffed to his left wrist to his chest and backed away. “You’ll have to kill me first, you cretins!”

The Overlord soldiers chortled wickedly and the only one to speak replied, “Be careful what you wish for, pops.”

Midknight charged into the room, reaching for his utility belt. Plucking several exploding shuriken, he deftly tossed them at his unsuspecting enemies. Taken unaware, the four power-armored troopers were staggered by the surprise attack. By the time they were aware of the new threat, he leaped into the air and delivered a solid split kick that dropped the two center thugs with a boot to the head. Midknight hand-sprang from the desk, tossing another shuriken in mid-air to knock the trooper to the right back into the wall. As he slumped to the ground unconscious, Midknight turned to face the last remaining trooper, the chatty one, in hand to hand.

“Nice costume,” he said sarcastically. “Aren’t you getting a little old for this game, Midknight?”

Midknight felt a brief flash of panic as the trooper recognized him, or at least his costume. He allowed a small triumphant smile as he realized that this goon thought he was the original Midknight; some secrets remained safe, it seemed.

“What’s the matter, creepy?” the enemy taunted. “Run out of boom-booms?” He laughed. “You don’t really think you’re gonna win a knuckle-duster with a guy in power armor right?”

The thug launched a fist that Midknight easily swept aside, and then Midknight proceeded to show the hapless Overlord minion the weakness of power armor. Snaring the wrist of the aborted punch, Midknight spun through, placing his shoulder beneath his opponent’s elbow, and yanked down hard on the arm, breaking it. He quickly released the arm, stepped out and dropped into a low spin, extending a kick to the side of his opponent’s right knee, shattering it. As the crippled trooper fumbled for a weapon with his remaining arm, Midknight delivered a chop to his throat just hard enough to leave him gasping helplessly on the floor. With a bootheel to his armored head, Midknight sent the would-be thief spiraling into darkness.

Midknight turned to the Air Force general and said, “Let’s go, general. There’s no time to waste.”

General Eiling continued backing away. “I’m not going anywhere with the likes of you! This is a matter of national security and you have no business or authority here!”

Midknight glided across the floor, rapidly closing the distance. “We don’t have time for this,” he growled.

As the general tried to bolt by him, Midknight drove a hard jab into his chin, rendering him unconscious. Easily tossing him over his shoulder in a fireman’s carry, Midknight hastened to the exit.

***

Outside the Pentagon, the battle raged on. Block smashed his way through an army of power-armored opponents as he worked his way across the battlefield to where Sabre struggled to evade the towering robot he’d managed to cripple before it had erected an energy shield. Black futilely hurled dark energy bolts at the only intact robot still in action. Devlin August fought a furious battle against a group of Overlord’s shock troops that had seen his mystical abilities destroy one of their towering allies. Although not as strong or resilient as Block, Centurion raced through the streets of Washington at 100 mph, pummeling the armored troopers into submission.

Centurion zoomed past the Pentagon, feeling a little guilty about straying from the center of action, but he was not entire comfortable working with Midknight’s private army. Seeing Devlin on the verge of being overrun, he smashed through a group preparing to rush the mystic.

“Quit dancing around and dust this clockwork already,” Block said to Sabre.

“I’m trying, dammit,” Sabre snapped at his teammate. Easy for Block to make jokes; he, Centurion, probably even Devlin could take a hit or two from the big robot, but Sabre would only get tagged once and it was game over.

“Maybe you need a new dance partner,” Block quipped. Spying Centurion’s return to the scene, he decided to try his latest tactical maneuver. He grabbed Sabre with both hands and lifted him overhead.

Sabre protested loudly. “Hey! What do you think your doing?!?”

“I read this in a comic book once,” Block said. “Worked great!” With a mighty heave, he hurled Sabre through the air at the energy absorbing robot stalking Black. “Heads up, Centurion!”

It took Sabre a moment to recover his wits, and by then he was nearly on top of the last fully functional robot. Its sensors must have detected him, for it started to turn; unfortunately for the robot, it was too little too late. Sabre’s ultra-keen blade carved the armored head like a hot knife through butter, taking the top half completely off. Triumph turned to panic as Sabre lost momentum and began falling to the ground.

Alerted by Block’s bellow, Centurion raced towards the last robot and leaped, catching Sabre shortly after he’d begun to descend. Centurion winced as Sabre’s blade bit into his shoulder, Sabre momentarily stunned by the awkward and unexpected catch.

Centurion landed clear of any combatants and set Sabre on the ground. Sabre’s eyes went wide as he inspected the gash left by his blade. “Geez, man, I’m sorry.”

Centurion looked at the wound in alarm; he was impervious to small arms fire, and had taken hits by some very tough opponents and not been as seriously injured. It seemed there was more to Sabre’s blade than meets the eye.

“C’mon, ya gold-plated slacker!” Block yelled down the block. “The last robot’s all yours, and Sabre even softened it up for ya!”

Sabre grinned sheepishly. “Heh. That Block; what a kidder, eh? I don’t see him as ambassador material, if you know what I mean.”

Just then an Overlord jet screamed by overhead on a strafing run. He was flying much too fast to make any kind of accurate attack on ground combatants, but was sowing terror in the American soldiers as they tried to form up lines against the dwindling number of attackers.

‘Why not?’ Centurion thought. ‘It worked pretty well earlier today.’ He raced away from Sabre a short distance and made a tremendous leap.

“Where the –” Sabre began, bewildered at Centurion’s seemingly random dash. He let out a low whistle as Centurion streaked through the sky to land on the fighter plane’s tail just as it began a sweeping right turn to strafe the Pentagon area again. “That boy’s crazy!”

Having heard the thump on the rear of his aircraft, the Brotherhood pilot looked back to see Centurion clinging to the tail assembly of his plane. Centurion jerked a thumb upward, telling the pilot to get out while he could. Determined to shake his hitchhiker, the pilot struggled with the control stick to try and shake Centurion off as he raced over the cityscape. Against his best efforts, the craft straightened its flight path once it was aligned toward the Pentagon. Alarms shrieked in protest as Centurion bullied the control flaps of the craft to his will.

In a few moments, it became obvious to the pilot that the crazed super hero hijacker intended to ram the last of the giant robots attacking the Pentagon. He punched out and prayed that he wasn’t too low for his chute to open.

The robot, hobbled by Sabre’s early attacks, was attempting to smash Block with his massive fists. Although he had tremendous strength, the robot had a reach advantage that Block found it difficult to overcome. In addition, the robot seemed to have expanded its force field to protect its damaged body from further physical assault.

Centurion held onto the control flaps until the last instant, then leapt clear of the plane. The robot’s force field was not enough to handle the impact on the scale of the hurtling aircraft. A tremendous explosion shattered windows in a one block radius. Centurion landed gracefully in spite of the buffeting shock wave. When the smoke cleared, the robot’s torso was gone, and the crippled legs tumbled to the ground as if in slow motion.

Heaving a piece of armor plating off of himself, Block clambered to his feet. “Show off,” he grumbled, though he gave Centurion a good-natured slug on the shoulder. Unfortunately, it was the shoulder that Sabre had just carved with his blade. A pained grunt escaped Centurion as he winced in agony.

Devlin, Black and Sabre approached the pair. The Overlord troops, having seen their gigantic robotic henchmen disabled in relatively short order and their numbers diminished by Block and Centurion’s two front assault began to break formation and flee.

At that moment, Midknight kicked an exterior door open near the assembled Knightwatch team carrying the unconscious Air Force general still slung over his shoulder. “Black,” he said, “fence.”

The dark matter man obligingly obliterated a gate for Midknight to pass through. When he arrived at the group, he unceremoniously dumped the unconscious officer into Block’s arms and pulled out his commlink. “Lightwave, report.”

Centurion frowned at Midknight’s brusqueness, but a quick scan of the Knightwatch team’s reaction indicated it was business as usual. Granted, the situation was grave but Midknight’s tactics were pushing hard on the edge of fascism. Sometimes Mark Leeds wondered just how far Midknight would go in his pursuit of justice, or just where he would draw the line when deploying his little private army.

Midknight frowned after long moments of silence passed. He was just about to transmit another hail when his commlink flared to life, sounds of battle screeching from the tiny speaker.

“I’m a little busy right now, boss,” came the terse reply.

“Do you have the football?” Midknight demanded.

“Football and uh, quarterback; but this game is all rained out. The water’s gettin’ deep real fast.”

“Centurion, White House bunker,” Midknight barked, his normally cool demeanor strained.

“But how will I –”

“The modified commlink will lead you,” Midknight interrupted. “Go!”

Centurion jumped to the roof of the Pentagon. Sighting the White House in the distance, he raced to the roof’s edge and leaped across the embattled city of Washington. As he arced through the smoke-filled sky, he activated the modified commlink that Midknight had supplied back at Knightwatch headquarters. Landing on the White House lawn, he raced into the building as fast as he could, checking the corridors with his X-ray vision to avoid any collisions.

The security doors protecting the White House bunker had already been demolished, and soon he had no need of the electronic device to find Lightwave, he could hear the sizzle of his energy blast competing with a hail of gunfire just ahead.

Unsure of how dangerous another groundstrike would be from underground, Centurion smashed through the wall of Overlord troopers firing on the beleaguered Lightwave, who stood valiantly before a heavy steel door. Several corridors lead to the large room and Overlord power armored troops were pouring in through all of them.

“He’s in there,” Lightwave shouted over the din. “But we’re trapped in here. I could get out, but the teleport would kill him!”

Bullets ricocheted off Centurion as he stood examining the roof; small arms fire was no threat to him. When he tried to examine the door he found that it and all the walls of the chamber beyond were lined with lead.

“Is the door locked?” Centurion asked with a frown.

“No, why?”

“Because we’re getting out of here.”

Lightwave momentarily ceased his energy barrage to regard Centurion incredulously. “We’re just going to leave him here?!?”

“No,” Centurion replied as he tugged open the massive door. “You’re going to blast a hole up to the surface.”

“But, we’re below the White House!” Lightwave exclaimed. “Who knows what I’ll hit above us if I open fire down here!”

Centurion tapped beside his left eye and smiled wanly. “Oh, I might have a pretty good idea that the coast is clear overhead.”

Centurion motioned Lightwave to precede him into the final chamber and slammed the metallic door shut on the onrushing tide of Overlord soldiers. The enemy troopers reached the door in time to hear the massive locks slide into place. A demolitions team began attaching explosives to the last barricade against their success.

Inside the room, Centurion herded the president and several staff members into the far corner and shielded them as best he could as Lightwave began unleashing full power blasts into the ceiling. While Lightwave tunneled, Centurion contacted Midknight to inform him of their situation. It took several agonizing minutes, but finally Lightwave called out, “I can see blue sky!”

Centurion’s ultra-hearing could hear the electronic timers on the charges the Overlord troopers had rigged to the door. “We have to go now, Mr. President, “he said, grabbing the president in one arm and the chief of staff in the other. “I’ll be back for the rest of you as soon as I can,” he told the half dozen remaining staff members.

Centurion stepped beneath the escape hatch Lightwave had stily dug and leaped upward. The broken floors of the White House flew past in a blur, and suddenly the trio was sailing clear into the air. As Centurion arced down toward the White House lawn, he saw Lightwave streak skyward as well. He turned to his passengers, cautioned them to hold on, and then he raced a short distance across the turf and leaped through the air to land safely at the Pentagon. Lightwave streaked ahead of them at near lightspeed.

By the time Centurion had returned with the president and his chief of staff, General Eiling had awoken and a military helicopter had arrived. He was stabbing an accusing finger at Midknight as Centurion landed. “This isn’t over, you hear me!”

“That’s right, General,” came the frosty reply. “It’s not over, because we saved your sorry ass yet again.”

“Time for recriminations later, General,” the president interrupted. “Let’s get to the Mobile Command Center.” He turned to regard the assembled heroes. “You have my thanks; you are all good Americans. I would hope that you might consider working for us again.”

“Mr. President,” the chief of staff urged from the helicopter as the rotors accelerated to takeoff speed, “we have to go now!”

The president hurried aboard and the chopper climbed away from the scene of battle. When the dust cleared, Centurion turned, intending to leap back to the White House.

“Where do you think you’re going?” Midknight demanded.

“Back to the bunker,” Centurion answered. “There are still some people trapped in the lower level.”

“No there aren’t.”

“You don’t know that!” Centurion said heatedly.

“Yes I do,” was Midknight’s gravelly reply. “And so do you. When they finally got that door open, there’s no way those Overlord soldiers were going to let any of those people leave that room alive.”

Centurion turned away from the stony gaze of his fellow Leaguer and muttered under his breath, “Read much Nietzsche?”

Despite the low tone, Midknight had clearly heard it. “I could teach you things about the abyss that would break you, Centurion. Don’t presume to judge until you’ve endured the life that I have.”

Centurion turned to stare bitterly at Midknight. His frown deepened as he noted the members of the Knightwatch team stood loosely arrayed behind him. It seemed Overlord wasn’t the only one drawing lines in the sand today.
"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

Rover
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Postby Rover » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:47 am

I just got through reading your stuff. (Great way to avoid doing housework)

I really enjoyed it, well done!

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K.G. Carlson
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Postby K.G. Carlson » Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:25 am

Rover wrote:I just got through reading your stuff. (Great way to avoid doing housework)

I really enjoyed it, well done!



Thanks for the positive review

:lol:

Good to know it can be useful as well as entertaining.
"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

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Postby K.G. Carlson » Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:49 pm

Wow, almost 9 months since the last post. Time sure flies when you don't know what you're doing...

So, much as I would love to write up the first campaign arc of the Global Defense League, that would require a novel length story, which I unfortunately can't seem to fit into my schedule for at least a decade.

Word has it that the GM is gearing up for another run; just in time to bury this semester from hell! So the imagination is flowing again and I'm jonesing for some storytelling.

If you've read the above story Panic in the Sky, you know that I missed the first adventure of the GDL and was PBeMed up to speed. Here are some of the campaign highlights of the Crimson Hands in the Jasonverse; there is a ton of cool RPing that you're not getting as I recap the action sequences. Hopefully next year he will be running at Origins '09 so you too can experience the magic.

*As you may have discerned from the previous stories, Overlord is a major league bad guy who has menaced the world before, in the days of the K.G.-turion's youth. The adventure I missed started as a training session and ended with Overlord appearing on the roof of the Sears tower in Chicago. Both he and the GDL disappeared and Overlord forces out of nowhere launched a major coordinated assault on the Earth! At this point, myself and Sub-Zero, who had also missed the initial session arrive in Chi-town with NPC mage Devlin August (featured in Battle for DC). He works some heebie-jeebie to send us across the multiverse in search of our team.

*We arrive in a Nazi-fied Chicago right behind the rest of our team. But worst of all is there are Nazi-fied versions of US! :shock: Worst of all, my Aryan alter-ego can fly (more on that later). And so our first major combat begins. The Nazi brick is nowhere near Roughcut's league. Roughcut is a very large and powerful rock-man who at this moment discovers the joy of jumping off of a skyscraper and landing on bad guys! (Don't worry, Caesar, my alt., can take a hit). Our Gauntlet is an alien, and it appears that this universe's version is a human who has had the power glove "adjusted" to fit (i.e. bolted to his hand!). Never fear, the GL-style hero Gauntlet subdues him and then cuts off the offending digit! (Wait, we're the heroes right?)

*After our first smackdown, we escape the scene before reinforcements show up. After attempting to infiltrate the Nazi regional HQ via subterfuge, we fail miserably and fall back on our standard "lets break stuff" tactics. Our first surprise is that apparently Centurion and Caesar are not alone in the multiverse. In this world where the Nazis won WWII, there were files on Caesar that revealed a connection to Centurion's origins. By the Nazi scientists, there are...I forget the exact number, but there estimate is that are numerous "versions" of us in existence.

*Gauntlet has given the captured Naziverse power glove to Kitsune for safe-keeping. Not a mage, Kitsune is in fact a Japanese goddess (Note to Roughcut: don't refer to her as "China girl"). In this reality, Japan no longer exists, as the Nazis have nuked it into oblivion. In an aside, Kitsune convinces Centurion that Gauntlet is dangerously obsessed with this second power glove. Centurion agrees to "help" which winds up merely not leveling with Gauntlet before its too late. Later it was revealed that by sacrificing this second power glove in some kind of celestial temple, the devastated islands of this universe's Japan would be cleansed and capable of supporting life again. All this magic stuff is way over Centurion's head, but he doesn't learn of the glove's fate until afterward.

*Our next shocking discovery is that Captain Liberty, Centurion's boyhood hero that vanished over 20 years ago is here and being used as a power source!

*After our well conceived but poorly executed rescue plan somehow manages to free Captain Liberty (during which Roughcut discovers the joy of tossing a powerarmored opponent from the Mall into the Potomac), we make plans to deal with Overlord. That...doesn't go so well. We fall back to our own world to fight off the invasion. Centurion experiences a power spike as he realizes that his own fears have limited his growth potential as a meta.

*We return to our world to find most of Overlord's forces have disappeared. Only Berlin remainds a battleground, albeit frozen. The trauma of the attack has triggered the metagene of a young German boy who has frozen time in a bubble that encompasses most of the city. Via Kitsune's magic, the GDL contacts the boy (who is the only one NOT trapped in time). As the GDL and German troops prepare to leap into action, the boy is rescued and the battle for Berlin ensues. Now, at this point the GDL has had some pretty tough fights, and Centurion has hung in there against both Caesar and Overlord (not at the same time though :P ); nonetheless, Gauntlet intentionally cuts into an Overlord super-bot and I skunk the Toughness save and Centurion is at death's door! I recover, but not in time to finish the battle.

*It turns out that most of the cities targeted by Overlord housed mystical artifacts. It turns out the Spear of Destiny was in Berlin!

*After the battle, a guilt-ridden Centurion confesses the fate of the power glove to his friend Gauntlet. Shock and awe! Gauntlet is all business, and says we'll deal with this later.

*We begin to unravel the mystery of Overlord (holy Darth Vaders! He's my father! :shock: Sorta). Apparently, in one reality Centurion is NOT the only survivor; his parents also escape. But while the cosmic soup bestows power on Caesar and Overlord, mom just gets cancer. This has made Overlord a little bitter, mostly at Omega for causing their little jaunt into the ether. Overlord has been conquering other realities in an attempt to build a counterforce to Omega; its all "for the good of the multiverse" no doubt. In addition to forcible recruitment or replacement of superhumans, he's also been scooping up magic artifacts. Around this time the last of the PCs, Ghost Dragon, joins the fray. He's an American-born, Chinese monastary-raised martial artist of supernatural power. Not to mention he's terribly mysterious. He offers to hide the Spear but refuses to tell us anything about who he or his "allies" are. This might be a moot point if he wasn't holding the Spear. Ghost Dragon's mysterious benefactors agree to reveal themselves to one person they consider of pure heart; turns out thats me! Well, okay its my character (and a good thing too; I'd never make the cut). Convinced of their sincerity, Centurion talks the rest of the League into letting Ghost Dragon take the Spear to a safe location.

*During the lull, the GDL calls a meeting to deal with its treacherous members. Centurion feels especially guilty, since he's been lambasting Midknight about his secretive ways, not being a teamplayer and being generally untrustworthy. Hypocrisy, thy name is Carlson! So naturally, there is a motion to dismiss a totally unrepentant Kitsune (those goddesses can be stubborn). Centurion offers his resignation for the part he played in the power glove heist. After an awesome RP session, the GDL seems to have patched up the fractures (for the most part). Gauntlet announces he has some thinking to do, but for now the team should focus on Overlord.

*Caesar has turned himself in; his father is out of control and he can't ignore whats going on any longer. He tells the GDL of some high tech weapon that Overlord developed as a last ditch defense against Omega; explosive devices that will sunder the Nazi-verse from the rest of the multiverse, preventing interdimensional travel.

*The GDL's final (or is it? duh-duh-DUH!) battle with Overlord takes place on his home turf. Caesar is with the team, and intends to remain behind in the sundered universe. During the final conflict, Ghost Dragon drives a mystical blade into Overlord's chest, nearly killing him. Centurion, seeing the father he never knew near death, stabilizes the mortally wounded Overlord before leaping through the portal home seconds before it closed forever!

*A weary GDL returns to HQ, only to have Andrew, one of the tech support characters cameoed in Panic in the Sky and some other red-shirt NPCs reveal themselves as alien power-glove wielders! Gauntlet was on Earth, hiding a prince-in-exile, just a young boy, from his fate on the chopping block. It seems these folks had come to collect him! Talk about your cliffhanger endings!

*Eager to keep going, the GM ran one more session at a special game day event we Crimson Handers like to call "John Con." After getting trounced by the power gloves, we set off to rescue the young prince. We battled some non-gloved baddies at the secluded compound where the exile was in hiding; awesome battlefield set-up. We were even strafed by a spacecraft, which might have gone better if Centurion didn't "fly with the speed and grace of a hippopatamus in quicksand." Now the campaign has ended on a cliffhanger again as we are taking the battle into space.

I had built Centurion along Golden Age lines to give the GM a chance to get used to the rules and running M&M. There are 3 major flaws with this line of thinking: 1) he is on target with this system; no kid gloves required 2) nothing Centurion does will be as remotely game breaking as Kitsune or Roughcut and 3) the way I roll dice, I could be using the PL 15 Centurion stats and still barely tread water! :cry:

So my build had 10 ranks of Leaping with a slow progression into 5 ranks of Flight. Given the high-octane nature of the campaign, I have emailed and IIRC received permission to skip the slow bleed and power up the Flight as soon as feasible in game.

Since the campaign events are much too in-depth and generally awesome me to keep up with storywise, my brain is looking to fill in a few spaces in the backstory.

First of all, I'd like to find time to complete the origin story, specifically the missing segment in the early 90s. Lots of ideas, not so much time.

Secondly, I'd like to write a story about the GDL handing politics the divorce papers in the Jasonverse version of the Hurricane Katrina debacle.

Another idea I'd like to explore after striking crude oil in the backyard and retiring from this business of real life is the first team-up of Centurion and Midknight. It turns out they had attended NYU at the same time, and they probably got along even worse back then!

I'd left the background of origin story bully Chris Bradley intentionally vague, so the GM could put him where he can do the most harm. Turns out he's a member of the House of Representatives, and is the 2nd ranking minority member of the House Committee on Meta-Human Affairs. *sigh* I can never catch a break...but I guess I asked for that! :oops:

This summer is shaping up to be pretty busy and I don't know if I'll ever get the chance to work on those stories, but I'll try to keep a campaign update at least. GM says he hopes to be ready by the end of April. Game on!
"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


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