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.