STORY ARC 5
GM: KILLER SHRIKE
I was the GM for the duration of this arc.
Resumed play after the summer. After a month in-game of no activity from the team,
Rook got a message from Gravitic to meet him in the Millennial Memorial Park.
We had taken a hiatus from gaming for a bit over the summer. I was tired of running
Fantasy and was running short on time, so I decided to run some supers as it is
usually fast and easy to GM.
We retained a new player that had started playing Fantasy with us and she made a
mystic oriented character, so I thought it was time to do something mystical to
tie in with her intro to the Mill Men. Also, DEMON had recently come out and I definitely
wanted to use that material so it was just good timing.
I picked up Shades of Black, used the intro and maps from it, and made the rest
I also wanted to keep working in the remaining adventures from Champions Battlegrounds
and follow up on some Enforcers Incorporated threads I had been stitching in here
I was getting really fed up with my job about this time and starting to look for
a new one, and also my parents were having health issues which was getting me down
a bit, and it was really detracting from the time I had available to dedicate to
this arc. We were also preparing to move again, and the holdays were looming near
on the horizon.
It was frustrating because the game was really coming together and I was having
a lot of fun with it, but real life was putting the pinch on me and I just couldn't
give it the extra little touches to push it over the line from good into great.
After three sessions I had to read the writing on the wall and realize that I wouldnt
be able to run another face to face game for almost two months; this lead me to
make a tough decision and move the campaign to HERO Central.
Arriving on time for his meeting with Gravitic, Rook watched a little league game
while he waited, reminiscing about his slain younger brother.
Gravitic was characteristically late.
Meanwhile, a young new heroine recently arrived from France named Alliage was touring
the attractions of the park as part of her ongoing process of becoming familiar
with the cultural attractions of this depressingly modern and technological new
Both notice a disturbance independently at different ends of the park as park police
begin herding people out of the park.
Rook, a Sanctioned hero, gets to the bottom of the issue quickly, approaching a
pair of officers and getting the low down. Alliage, out of her element, is more
covert and manages to avoid some bike cops by ducking into a copse of trees to activate
her Seven Alchemical Orbs.
Rook is somewhat dismayed to see a large high tech bomb planted firmly in the middle
of a circle of statuary honoring fallen heroes of Mill City and Old Detroit.
The bomb appears to be Viral and Nerve based.
Rook shoos the cops away, assuring them that he will be fine, and attempts to do
whatever he can to disarm the bomb. Meanwhile Alliage sneaks up on the location
and observes from behind a fence.
25th Session Part 2
Rook finally realizes he lacks any knowledge of bombs and decides to pick the bomb
up and race it into the lake or hurl it into the sky or something, but lifting the
bomb sets it off.
Rather than an explosion, a noxious gas cloud expands outwards in a circle. Rook's
force field completely protects him from any harm, but Alliage is struck with a
feeling of vast lethargy and nausea.
However before the Heroes can react to this, Rook is set upon from nearby copses
of trees by three large metal robots and a small costumed villain surrounded by
a red energy field that bounded and leaped about while projecting force blasts at
Rook is bowled over by the force blasts but otherwise seems to be unharmed. Surrounded
by three of the robots, rook rises to this new challenge. Rook decides to ignore
the leaping blaster and concentrates on the robots. However he is dismayed to discover
that while they couldn't effectively hurt him thru his Force Field, his own blows
seemed to have little effect on them. The knock each other around a bit. The blaster
continues to harass Rook and begins to have an impact via attrition.
Taking stock of the situation, Alliage decides that Rook must be the good guy and
attacks one of the Robots, who moves to attack her in the tree line. Vaulting the
fence it prepares to wallop the slight girl, but she quickly uses her Lead Orb to
slow it's processing, leaving it unable to take action.
Session 25 part 3
Meanwhile Rook is in a bad way, and finally falls to the repeated attacks of the
leaping blaster. Moving quickly Alliage zipped in and erected a metallic barrier
against the attackers, shielding her and Rook. After Rook had recovered she dropped
the barrier, but was knocked out by one of the Robots.
Rook however was having none of it and set into the enemies with a fury. This gave
Alliage time to recover and again manipulating the Seven Orbs, she next released
some kind of invisible mystical field that shut down the three robots. Realizing
he was now out matched, the leaping blaster made a few mocking comments and leaped
Soon MOPP suited PRIMUS teams arrived and set up a containment perimeter and quarantined
the two heroes. Rook was fine, but Alliage was feeling quite ill.
26th Session, Part 1
At the park, Rook and Alliage are quarantined. A CDC Doctor shows up with a team
and thoroughly berates PRIMUS and the heroes, and takes control of the site.
Gravitic arrives late about this time and comes down next to the medical tent erected
for Rook and Alliage.
Feeling the effects of the toxin, and coming into a radiation field (which is damaging
to him), Gravitic panics and immediately shoots a kilometer up into the air and
begins gliding home.
The CDC rep is furious and orders PRIMUS to bring him back or else shoot him out
of the sky before he can infect others.
PRIMUS scrambles some Flying Cars, but Rook overhears and tells them to wave off
-- he recalled the effect Gravitic's powers had on John Wrath's Flying Car. With
that idea shot down, PRIMUS instead dispatched Major Savage to bring him back.
Meanwhile down on the ground the CDC rep tested Alliage, and insisted that Rook
turn off his FF to be tested. Rook refused on the grounds that he was fine, and
if he dropped his force field he'd get the illness too.
This went round and round, and basically the CDC rep indicated that Rook was quarantined
until he could be tested.
26th Session Part 2
Savage intercepts Gravitic and escorts him back to the park, where he floats above
the tent outside of the radiation field. He indicates to the CDC that he senses
the radiation field, which the CDC had not yet detected (being primarily concerned
with the viral aspect of the bomb fallout).
Savage assumed command of the PRIMUS units at the site.
Eventually equipment is brought and both Alliage and Gravitic are deconned. Rook
refuses to lower his FF, but eventually the matter is resolved when the tests finally
come back and reveal that the virus was simply a very nasty strain of the flu. The
radiation field was also non-harmful, being very weak.
The entire thing was beginning to look like a very high-tech and elaborate prank.
While waiting this out the heroes were researching the identity of their attackers.
Well, Rook and Alliage did; Gravitic took a floating nap. They identified the leaper
as an elusive and relatively obscure villain named Ricochet. The Robots were identified
as the products of a project for the DOD to develop robotic soldiers, called T.H.U.G.'s,
Tactical Heuristic Uniform Grunts.
Apparently their creator had gone rogue and taken the prototypes to sell on the
black market! Running this by PRIMUS they discover the last known location of the
robot's creator, a warehouse lab right there in Millennium City's warehouse district.
Finally the CDC rep released the heroes and along with Major Savage and his vestigial
new ICARUS team the heroes streak off to investigate.
26th Session, Part 3
Arriving at the warehouse as dusk comes over the city, the ICARUS team moves quickly
to cordon off the area and evacuate nearby buildings. Once this has been accomplished,
Rook, Alliage, and Gravitic go in thru the front door.
Inside they find somewhere around 20 of the T.H.U.G.'s at a state of rest, but sensing
intruders the come online and start fighting the heroes.
As a vicious surprise, some of these units seem to be improved over the ones faced
in the park; some seem to have improved melee programming, and some others are equipped
with force blasters.
Rook as quickly surrounded by robots, which bear him to the ground and start trying
to stomp him into mush. Rook's force field protects him from the worst of it, but
he's not in a good position.
Alliage zipped away from the door in the hopes of drawing less fire, but was picked
Gravitic attempted to fly up and over the engagement, but force blasts unerringly
seek him out and he falls to the ground.
The heroes were in a very bad way at this point, but Alliage was able to employ
her Alchemical Orbs to good effect again, and once again shut down all of the robots.
Somewhat stunned by this turn of events, Gravitic and Rook cautiously begin to explore
the building. Finding an office, Rook goes in and sees a smaller robot sitting behind
the desk with a gun pointed at the door. Fortunately, it too is shut down.
Rook reached out with his force limbs and swiveled the robot around, which tripped
a bomb that blew the warehouse to kingdom come. Rook's Force Field again shielded
him from undue damage, but both Gravitic and Alliage were knocked unconscious. Though
knocked around a little by the blast, the T.H.U.G.s were basically unharmed by the
blast. Whatever they are made of, they're tough.
Session 27 part 1
After the dust from the explosion settled, Savage and his PRIMUS team moved in to
the wreckage and started collecting the robots. Gravitic and Alliage were seen too
while Savage and Rook has words about the explosion.
While still at the site, the group watched some news coverage on a PRIMUS monitor.
Part of the coverage was of the bomb in the park and the exploding warehouse, with
the new conjecturing on the connection. Then the new turned to a site near Grosse
Point where police were investigating a body that had been found earlier that day.
The fourth such body found in recent days, the media continued to speculate about
a possible serial killer and rumors of a supernatural connection.
The heroes noted the increased efficiency of the PRIMUS team working for Savage,
and he mentioned that he had been training this bunch of them himself for the last
month and that they were a unit under his direct control. This had been mentioned
previously, but apparently escaped the heroes perception.
Savage and Rook finished their little head bashing, and irritated with Rook's attitude
Savage basically took statements and chased the heroes off the scene so his team
could work unimpeded.
Finally leaving the site, the erstwhile trio headed out. Rook tried to go to the
murder scene and investigate, while Gravitic and Alliage went to a coffee house
in Grosse Pointe to wait on him.
At the scene of the investigation, Rook ran afoul of the police and was refused
entry to the area. Rook also managed to irritate Stalker, or the MC8, who was also
there and also refused entry.
Giving up Rook joined up with the other two at the coffee shop.
27th Session, Part 2
After talking for awhile, Alliage went to the crime scene instead to see if her
mystic background would get her in (due to the supernatural rumors they heard about
on the news) .
Meanwhile Gravitic revealed that he lived nearby and offered to take Rook to his
home. Gravitic and Rook went to where Gravitic had stashed his car and civilian
attire and Gravitic changed.
Rook instantly recognized him as movie star Dash Ransom. And started mocking his
lack of acting skills.
As the two drove off, Gravitic took to the back roads he frequently traveled to
avoid attention, but were both quite surprised when the expensive sports car was
lifted gravitically into the air.
Rook looked over in confusion. "New trick?"
And then the car was ripped apart from around them by gravitic forces.
Then the two noticed a costumed man descending from the sky, surrounded by a purple
field nearly identical to Gravitic's own when he used his powers. He promptly revealed
that he is Gravitic's brother, and Gravitic should join him and their sister Gravitar
in their bid to rule the world.
Gravitic responded by throwing the unprepared Rook the hundred odd feet between
them at his alleged brother.
Meanwhile at the crime scene, after much stammering and confusion, Alliage was finally
allowed to view the victims body and read the case files on the investigation. Unable
to determine anything herself, Alliage promised to look into the affair and departed
to head back to the coffee shop she had last seen Rook and Gravitic at.
That catches us up to the start of the HERO Central version of the campaign.