Monday, August 25, 2008

Playing for Keeps: Up, Up and Away!

Cover: Playing for KeepsMy good friend (and geeky partner-in-crime at Knights of the Dinner Table) Mur Lafferty launched her the print edition of her superhero novel Playing for Keeps today.

Go buy the book.

Initially released as a podcast, Playing For Keeps tells the story of Keepsie, a bartender with third-rate superhero powers that kept her out of Seventh City's equivelent of the Justice League. Other "Third Waves" -- those who have minor or seemingly inconsequential powers -- frequent her bar. These Mystery Men-style also rans suddenly become important though, when villains and heroes battle in the sky, and a certain something falls into Keepsie's posession...

Mur's hoping to get a nice buzz going for the book; ah hell, that's not right ... Mur's hoping to smash the gates of traditional publishing by rocketing to the top of the sales lists. If you like superheroes, if you like Mur's stuff, if you want to stun a few traditional print publishers or if you just want to try out a fun, fast-reading novel, buy the book

One note, cribbed from Mur's FAQ. The book says its sold out, but you can still buy it. Her publisher, Swarm, uses print-on-demand technology, and they'll happily print you as many books as you want to buy.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Infinity Storm #6: White Knight, Green Hero

  • Real World Date: 2/9/2008
  • Game Date: July 10th, 2007
Previously in the pages of Infinity Storm

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

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

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

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

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

Our Heroes
  • Paladin, the Techno-Knight
  • Chauncey Meadows, the Man from Mars
  • The Indomitable Gray
  • Flynn, Vengeance Inc.
  • Lilly, the Spirit of Youth
  • Power points earned: 1

Trouble in Orbit

Something has gone wrong on orbit with FreeSpace Inc.’s space platform in low-earth orbit. The experimental private space factory Adam Smith is under attack by drones of unknown design. Thomas Freeman, the entrepreneurial hero known as Atlas, had previously visited Paladin and asked him to submit a proposal for space-worthy combat suits in anticipation of this very scenario.

It arrived far earlier than he’d expected though. With the platforms defensive systems not yet online, and most of his FreeSpace heroes lacking in offensive powers, Freeman calls Paladin and asks for his assistance. The Techno-Knight obliges, issues a stern warning to his new friends – particularly the archer Flynn – not to touch or break anything in the base and flies to the Star Island Spaceport where he meets up with Atlas, the analytical sorcereress Reason and their ride to low-earth orbit, the planetary-distance teleporter FarStar.

As he leaves Earth behind, Paladin can only hope that his fellow heroes can handle anything that might threaten Freedom City in his absence.

Chauncey Meadows, the Man from Mars

As Doctor Stratos unleashed his climatic furious on Freedom City, a minor scandal broke out at Channel 6. Weatherman Chauncey Meadows, caught up in the spectacle of the super-storm threatening the city, accidentally let his disguise slip.

Suddenly, his true form – that of a green Martian – suddenly appeared on TV before thousands upon thousands of viewers. His secret revealed, he decided to quit his day job and become a crime fighter. Little is known about Chauncey; he left the studio immediately after his unexpected revelation, and has not yet agreed to any broadcast interviews. In truth, he is essentially a Martian Buck Rogers, frozen in time a million years ago, and suddenly awakened in the current era. He came to Earth years earlier, seeking to learn what happened to his people years earlier. When he found no trace of them in any of Earth’s archives, he decided to blend in … and become a weatherman.

Hate in South Side

White Knight appears in Southside and begins attacking working class, mixed-race neighborhood, burning everything he can. Chauncey, who was telepathically screening people at airport, hears that the Knight is attacking the neighborhood, and flies there. He goes dense, and cannonballs into White Knight, bruising him. White Knight, sees that he got hit by a green freak and says he’ll burn the impurities to the freak.

He tries to burn the alien but the surge instead strikes the roof of gas station, failing to incinerate anything.

Chauncey moves forward, grapping him and trying to pummel him into the ground, but White Knight laughs off the attack, and ignites the alien hero, scorching him. The alien pummels him with a knee to the groin, knocking the wind from the villain and stunning him.

Meanwhile, at Paladin’s lair, the heroes hear that White Knight is fighting an unknown superhero, STAR Squad was dispatched, fire crews on the way. Chauncey tries to pummel his opponent again, but misses. A stunned White Knight is unable to respond, and the alien tries to hit again, but fails.

White Knight tries to break free, but fails. Lilly flies in, becomes invisible, lands and erects a forcefield around the Martian to protect him.

Dragoon arrives, sees the tenements on fire, and goes to investigate. He hears a man calling for help, saying kids are in the building. He has the man get onto the bike and have him go down to the street. Dragoon runs to the closed bedroom, opens the door, kicking off a backdraft inferno that shoots out, instantly knocking him unconsciousness. As he falls, a telepathic blast goes off from his mutant power, causing all his friends to catch a glimpse of him kicking open the door and setting off the backdraft.

The pugilist Gray, having learned from his fights in the wring, pummels the hatemonger but fails. The White Knight cackles, saying he’ll destroy the illegal alien lovers, and causes a burst of flame that stuns Gray. Fortunately, Chauncey and Lilly are protected from fire. Lilly tries to blast his mind, but he shrugs it off. She then flies down the street toward the burning tenement.

Flynn arrives, sees the explosion and shoots a dazzle arrow at White Knight which overwhelms the villain. White Knight freaks out, and explodes with fiery fury. Lilly transforms into her insubstantial form, runs up through the air into the room where Dragoon is, sees the corridor on fire, and the hero unconscious on the floor.

Flynn fires a stun arrow at the villain. It strikes home, stunning the villain. Flynn runs over to the gas station, searching for a fire extinguisher, then sees lever labeled “fire suppression system.”

Killy uses her TK power to lower Dragoon’s body to the street. Gray kicks the knight in the gonads, bruising him badly and stunned. Flynn triggers fire suppression system.

Lilly phases into room, finds two kids clinging to their dog. She reassures them and throws door open.

Gray continues beating on White Knight, stunning him again. Chauncey releases his pin, and punches the knight, bruising him even more. Lilly then TKs the kid and dog out of the room. Gray finally decks the knight, knocking him unconsciousness.

“You guys breath through that little whole that leads through your neck? I just need to choke that next time…” – Chauncey.

Lilly tries to wake Dragoon telepathically, but he refuses to return to consciousness.

The Cavalry Arrives

Lilly returns to the scene of the fight, taking refuge on the top of the building as the STAR Squad arrives. Gray also retreats, watching.

Stanton shows up, demands to know where Gray is. Dragoon says he only occasionally fights with the group, he doesn’t know where he is. Stanton flies into a rage, says he will arrest him if he sees Dragoon or Flynn with Gray again.

STAR Squad Lt. Joe Anderson confronts Stanton, saying its Freedom City Police Department Jurisdiction, and makes call for District Attorney to settle turf war. Then Stanton goes to leave, tries to open helicopter door held fast by Lilly, who then lets it go and causes him to fly backward, further upsetting him.

Meanwhile, one of the Psi Agents on board reports power spike from Lilly, and takes off, trying to do sweeps of the neighborhood.

STAR Squad carries away White Knight to Lockdown.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Infinity Storm #5: The Lost City

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

Previously the pages of … Infinity Storm

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

And now ... Issue #5: The Lost City

Lilly goes to Carcossa. She finds the boy, sees the crazy hospital and the Victorian architecture, gaslit streets, and the all-consuming mists which swirl around Carcossa. Also see great lake, and a palace, that may or may not be on the edge of the city.

She talks to the boy, says she’s trying to get him back. She hears the distance sound of a loud and raucous.

Our Heroes

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


• Power points earned: 1

* * *

Back in the city, Paladin runs scans, determines temperature is dropping fast. Informs Dragoon what’s happening, tells him he doesn’t believe in supernatural, it’s just meta. Suddenly, ghost manfists, says lilly is missing. That he must stop the ritual…

He says he doesn’t believe it was a ghost, instead it’s a meta who can phase.


He gives a communicator to the nurse, who informs him she’s summoning Dr. Tanner.

He then summons Grey and Dragoon.

Dragoon goes to Vito the Squid down at an illegal gambling bar. Negotiates with Squid to take a fall in a fight (pissed off a lot of mafia people winning the other week). Squid tells him the ship their stuff in via road freight into the wharf district, then have porters who carry it over to the college.

* * *

Gray and Dragoon try and figure something else.

Dragoon starts researching on the web.

Dragoon finds out that they’re at American College in Washington D.C., before that at Baltimore, before that Columbia.

In Carcossa
Lilly hears voices calling her to some location. She chooses to follow the voice, sees shifting door way.

July 10, 2007

The next day they call American College to find out who is handling the shipping for the Kings in Yellow.

• Call Wyrmbury associates, and gives number.
• Leaves message saying lost shipping information, will get back to him.

“I know what you’re trying to do, Mr. Bobby Phoenix. And you would do well not to interfere in what you do not understand.”

Dragoon goes to Enterprise and rents a truck, to drive to freedom city. Takes superhero damage clause. Arrives on campus, starts talking with Public Safety. Secretary gets suspicious after giving plans.

Freedom City Designs.

Finds entry. Sally Camstock. Went Missing in Arkham. Finds missing girl in Baltimore Morgue. Seems she’s been murdered, stabbed five times to the chest, breaking her heart. He also finds several code names on the server:

* Morgan
* Ghoster
* Dreamer
* Draconis

He also discovers that the Boston Transport Co. handles all of the bands shipping.

In the other world, Lilly gets lost in Labrintyth. She meets a man, who gives her a bottle. She asks if she opens if, if he will leave. There is no evil. Just knowledge and how you choose to use it. She opens her bottle.

Paladin does a search for “queens” turns up the Hellqueen. Finds that she’s in Providence Asylum in Royal Port. Paladin talks with Grey, brain storming.

Wyrmberry calls, taunts Draggon, saying the girl is lost and won’t find her way back in time and that they can’t prevent the queen’s return. Dragoon fills them in on Wyrmbury, tells him about pentagram yard.

Grey and the Sherlock find the discarded side chamber, and the robot opens the door. They go in, find several chests, filled with yellow robes and black candle. Grey wrecks everything.

Lilly emerges from the Maze and 11 hours later and hears the parade closer.

She tries to contact paladin, gets vision of future self who’s seen the hellqueen, whose killed all of his friends.

Finally, she discovers The Portal of Kerdah the Insane. Kerdah is actually the only sane person in Carcossa, constantly searching for a way back to his own time in medieval Arabia. He provides her and the boy with a portal back to the real world, asking only that she help him return home … if she can.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Infinity Storm #4: Night Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our Heroes

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


• Power points earned: 1

7/9/2007 9 a.m.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Lantern Jack
• Hellqueen
• Hades
• Silver Scream

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

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

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

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

“um, ok I have food…”

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

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

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

7/9/2007 1 p.m.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It all makes sense!”
7/9/2007 7 p.m.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lilly writes back:

Paladin -

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

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

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

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


To this, Paladin replies:

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

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

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

Lily doesn't respond well to this:

Dearest Paladork:

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

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

Hugs and kisses,

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

Paladin responds:

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

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

pps - you don't have to be old to appreciate the Best. Album. Ever!

But Aenima is pretty damn cool, too.

Again, Lily's teenager personality shines through:

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

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

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Worlds of Freedom

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

ECORE Central

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