Crinoverse Vanguard MTA: One Shots

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Arthur Eld
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Crinoverse Vanguard MTA: One Shots

Post by Arthur Eld »

Prologue: Winds of Change

A man sits in a bathtub in a dark room. His eyes are closed, and he focuses only the sound of his breathing and the feeling of the room temperature water around him. His setting is more like a watery grave or a sensory deprivation tank than a place of cleansing. Slowly he submerges his head and breathes out, letting bubbles rise to the surface slowly and languidly, like lazy bugs too large to fly with grace.

There is a pause after the last bubble breaks the surface. The man's eyes remain closed and he slowly raises his head out of the water. Before him he sees a thousand thousand paths, backwards and forwards and spiraling in all directions.

Water clings to Dr. Jeremiah Prophet's lips as he speaks. "It begins now." He reaches a hand over the edge of his tub and finds a cell phone easily in the lightless room.

He has work to do.

Dr. Ramses
Five days ago, SHADOW troops showed up here in Sallum, a small village not far from border with Libya. They were driven off by local military and Chip Scarab, an archaeologist turned superhero much like you, but the village itself is in desperate repair. That's where you come in, helping to repair stone fortifications and prevent craters caused by SHADOW weapons to unsettling the foundations of buildings or putting contaminants in the ground water.

Dr. Tiger
You've been working with UNISON for a few months now, consulting on various scientific issues, analyzing this experimental nerve gas, deciphering that fractal code that was hacking the World Bank, that sort of thing. Now you're on an experimental jet called a Skyranger that's taking you to an out of the way place in Colorado, United States. There's a small building that you are led to by men with guns, but no uniforms. The whole thing seems a little suspicious, but you were assured by some high ranking UN officials that this was on the up and up.

Once inside the building, you're greeted by an older Chinese man.

"Hello, Dr. Xin. I'm Dr. Shen. Welcome to XCOM Headquarters. I've heard nothing but good things about you, and I hope that you can help us." He waves you to follow him into an elevator, which begins humming and taking you what feels like several stories down.

"I'm sure you have questions, so feel free to ask."

Machi
Today you're in Santiago, mostly just being visible as a worker for your gods, who demand recognition. Honestly, they feel they don't get as much attention in Chile these days-the country doesn't have a lot of problems, so while a few people might give thanks in lip service, nobody's really beseeching their aid.

From where you're standing you can see the large statue of the Virgin Mary, white stone with her hands outstretched, offering peace and comfort.

Then there's an explosion and the statue breaks in half, crumbling to the ground. Screaming breaks out and people near you begin to run away. You can also hear the sounds of gunfire spreading throughout the city-it sounds like the largest concentration is from La Moneda Palace, the Preisdent's seat.


Amethyst
You're flying to New York to meet with some venture capitalist types, to discuss funding. As usual, your departure was heavily publicized-there were at least three separate cell phone videos of you flying up and away from the city, and probably ten times as many tweets from people who saw you go. Most people were just happy to see you out and flying, but some people are always a little sad to see one of their protectors go.

You've got quite a bit of distance to travel, but still if you crank up your Auxillary Drive to maximum output, you can be in New York in less than half an hour.

Assuming you don't stop for anything.

Shqip
You're in Glastonbury Tor, or rather in a dwelling inside that hill. Its a chapterhouse of the Covenant, the head of the Order of Solomon, their magicians and spellcasters.

You're currently in their waiting room when the person you've come to meet walks down to stand before you. It is Gabrielle, a beautiful woman with skin that sparkles. Of course, you know that she's not a woman at all-rather she's an angel of the Host, made of water-which is why her skin seems to sparkle in the light.

"Katja, it is so good to see you," She says in a bubbly tone of voice. She embraces you warmly, a touch more than just friendly. More than most angels, she truly loves mankind-specifically womankind.

"What brings you here?"
Last edited by Arthur Eld on Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:51 pm, edited 14 times in total.

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Re: Vanguard Mission Team Alpha: Prologue

Post by Kreuzritter »

Dr. Ramses

It's good work.

Much as he misses the days of lectures or research, Dr. Theodore Ramses can't go back to the life of an academic, not anymore. He can still feel the blood in the sand beneath his feet, the sense of invasion and violation SHADOW had left in their wake.

which is why he has taken a break from simply undoing the damage, standing and concentrating in a vacant field. his eyes are shut so he can focus, to expel the remaining invders, and with a faint tremor, this first phase is done, as he brings buried landmines and explosives to the surface for disarmament, as letting the Egyptian bomb squad defang the viper SHADOW had left behind

Hours after, he still stands there, unmoving, eyes closed, as he continues work unseen, before the ground before him opens up to a wide and deep hole, surrounded by a stout wall. a well for fresh water, more vital than gold out in the desert, before he resumes his work, raising walls and filling craters, toppling buildings beyond repair, but then doing what he can to erect a replacement, or at least lay its foundations.

much as his misses the digs and the tombs, they aren't for him anymore. there was nothing supernatural about his changes, but it wasn't long for him to know his place is among the living

"It's good work," he says to himself
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Re: Vanguard Mission Team Alpha: Prologue

Post by Yeoman »

Dr. Tiger

Ku wondered briefly if the guns were meant for their protection or hers. Or maybe just to make them feel more at ease in her presence. While the people she worked with were often used to odd appearances, that fight or flight response at the back of the brain always cropped up when one looked like a predator.

She was, also, sadly used to long elevator rides. While many of them led to places where it was good to have a great deal of dirt between you and what was above for everyone's safety, so many people just felt to need to be secretive, or just to show off. Still, it pays to be polite.

"Well, Doctor, I would like to know who it is I'm working with. And on what. UNISON was more than a little vague. They've been good to be in the past, so I was willing to take the job knowing that it would be at least interesting."
Actually, I was going for Family name first, so it would be Dr. Xin. Which should be fun if we ever run into the Quests... :) Sorry for the confusion.

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Re: Vanguard Mission Team Alpha: Prologue

Post by Spectrum »

Katja Grigori

Katja cooed as she sinks into the kiss. It took but a heartbeat for the embrace to get quite scandalous.

Her eyes fluttered as a moment as she recovers from getting her 'fix'. "My dear Gabrielle, why is it that I see you so rarely. Never enough time together. Do I truly need a reason to come see you these days? Why once upon a time.."

A largish box upon the rest wiggles and mutters.. threatening to hop off of the pillow.

Katja laughs musically, her fingers dancing like butterflies through the air. "Well, yes, there is a reason. I understand that there is an addition to your happy little family and I wished to convey proper regards."

She reaches down and carefully reaches for the box, "mmm and this little fellow looked like he needed a friend. Coincidence?"

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Re: Vanguard Mission Team Alpha: Prologue

Post by Phrozen »

Machi

As soon as she heard the the gunfire and explosions Machi was on high alert. She quickly checked to see if anybody was hurt by the explosion. Finding, thankfully, just minor scratches as the square was not packed with people today. The heaviest sounds of fighting came from the presidential palace and that is where Chile's greatest hero needed to be.

"Shining bird of fortune, grant me your boon. The Wings of the Alicanto" With the short incantation a large 12 foot pair of shining gold and silver wings sprouted from Machi's back and she took to the sky towards the palace. She wanted to get a quick look before engaging any enemies.
Perception Check: 1d20+6=9.

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Re: Vanguard Mission Team Alpha: Prologue

Post by Arthur Eld »

Kreuzritter wrote:Dr. Ramses

It's good work.

Much as he misses the days of lectures or research, Dr. Theodore Ramses can't go back to the life of an academic, not anymore. He can still feel the blood in the sand beneath his feet, the sense of invasion and violation SHADOW had left in their wake.

which is why he has taken a break from simply undoing the damage, standing and concentrating in a vacant field. his eyes are shut so he can focus, to expel the remaining invders, and with a faint tremor, this first phase is done, as he brings buried landmines and explosives to the surface for disarmament, as letting the Egyptian bomb squad defang the viper SHADOW had left behind

Hours after, he still stands there, unmoving, eyes closed, as he continues work unseen, before the ground before him opens up to a wide and deep hole, surrounded by a stout wall. a well for fresh water, more vital than gold out in the desert, before he resumes his work, raising walls and filling craters, toppling buildings beyond repair, but then doing what he can to erect a replacement, or at least lay its foundations.

much as his misses the digs and the tombs, they aren't for him anymore. there was nothing supernatural about his changes, but it wasn't long for him to know his place is among the living

"It's good work," he says to himself
As Dr. Ramses goes about his work, there is a rumbling about his feet. Its coming from below, where earth and stone is resettling, affected by his own earth shaping powers. It sounds like a hollow but it seems too deep to be a SHADOW trap-they weren't here that long.

Probably best for the Doctor who can walk through the earth to check it out up close.

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Re: Vanguard Mission Team Alpha: Prologue

Post by Ysariel »

Amethyst
Condition: Normal > Fatigued / HP: 1

"Mom, I can fly. I am not getting a private jet just so I can spend fifty million dollars on a piece of junk that can't land without a runway."

It's nine in the morning and Amethyst pads through her villa in stocking-clad feet, pulling on the long gloves of her power suit. A holographic window floats to one side of her, showing a video feed of a middle-aged Chinese woman shaking her head. The red button below it shows 'End Call'.

"Every time you go out wearing that thing, I have no idea what sort of danger you're getting yourself in. Promise me nothing will happen to you that will give me a heart attack."

"I solemnly promise not to get sucked into a jet engine."

"Michelle--"

Amethyst grins. "Love you too, mom. I'll call you back from New York." She takes the holographic panel - force fields make it feel solid - and kisses it lightly, then lets it fade out as the call ends over her mother's sighs. "Amy, you there?"

"Only for you," comes the synthetic voice of her suit's AI. "Shall I start the boot up sequence?"

She puts on the choker of her suit, and the blue gem in the middle lights up. "Let's get this show on the road."

"Negotiating connection to system core."

Somewhere in the vast, airless void of a hyperspace pocket, a vast machine stirs, the beating heart of Amethyst's power suit. The space is airless so that its automated factories can move matter without losing energy to friction. It is in hyperspace because only here information moves faster than light, fast enough to run the quantum computer that controls it. Back in realspace, Amethyst's armored boots warp onto her one after the other in mid-step, followed by her belt, gauntlets and the backpack that houses the wormhole providing the link to the core of her suit in hyperspace. She holds out a hand to one side, and her goggles teleport right into her grasp; she puts them on and a flurry of beeps ring through her wireless earbuds as her HUD lights up.

"System core uplink established," Amy declares as the front doors of her villa slide open and the dawn light shines down on Amethyst. "You are ready for departure."

"Here we go," she says, takes a deep breath and breaks into a running leap. Sensors in her stockings detect the movement and ignite her hyperdrive. Blue light flares from her armored gauntlets and boots, and a second later she rockets out of the building and skyward. The streets of San Antonio zoom by below, then blur into motion as she accelerates, gaining altitude, and within moments she's a bright comet of light soaring northwards.

As she passes the city limits the auxiliary drive kicks in and she pushes past Mach 1, leaving behind the crack of a sonic boom. A map pops up in her virtual HUD, tracking her position with a glowing dot on a map. Concentric circles centered on San Antonio mark how far she's gone: ten miles, twenty-five, fifty, seventy-five... Amethyst waits till she's cleared the hundred-mile boundary, counts to ten, then abruptly jinks to one side and downwards.

"Unexpected deviation from flight path."

Amethyst smiles as she breaks through the cloud layer, trading altitude for speed. "Amy, there haven't been any major crimes in the city within the last quarter. Do you think they've given up or just got better at hiding?"

"In all probability, the latter."

"Yes. So I'm taking the chance to flush them out. 'When the cat's away, the mice will play'."

"Mouse-catching will significantly delay your presentation, however."

"Then let's be fashionably late for once." She draws an arc of blue light in the sky as she turns back towards San Antonio, dropping below the radar and away from major highways leading to the city.

Minutes later Amethyst comes blazing out of the sky to land on one knee atop a deserted high ledge some distance from the city proper. She stands and regards the vast sprawl of the city beneath her as holographic screens flash into existence about her. "Amy, give me some eyes in the sky." Above her, half a dozen spy drones - slightly smaller than a soda can each - warp out of hyperspace and go flitting over the city, and the screens before her fill up with video feeds from the cameras.
Extra Effort and stunt Remote Sensing 12 [vision 2pp/r] 24pp off Hyperspace Arsenal and look around the city.
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Re: Vanguard Mission Team Alpha: Prologue

Post by Kreuzritter »

Arthur Eld wrote:As Dr. Ramses goes about his work, there is a rumbling about his feet. Its coming from below, where earth and stone is resettling, affected by his own earth shaping powers. It sounds like a hollow but it seems too deep to be a SHADOW trap-they weren't here that long.

Probably best for the Doctor who can walk through the earth to check it out up close.
"I'm going to below to check it out," he tells his fellow releif workers, before he sinks beneath the packed earth as if it were water and appears moments later at the hollow
note to self: spend xp on actually getting sensory powers
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Arthur Eld
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Re: Vanguard Mission Team Alpha: Prologue

Post by Arthur Eld »

Yeoman wrote:Dr. Tiger

Ku wondered briefly if the guns were meant for their protection or hers. Or maybe just to make them feel more at ease in her presence. While the people she worked with were often used to odd appearances, that fight or flight response at the back of the brain always cropped up when one looked like a predator.

She was, also, sadly used to long elevator rides. While many of them led to places where it was good to have a great deal of dirt between you and what was above for everyone's safety, so many people just felt to need to be secretive, or just to show off. Still, it pays to be polite.

"Well, Doctor, I would like to know who it is I'm working with. And on what. UNISON was more than a little vague. They've been good to be in the past, so I was willing to take the job knowing that it would be at least interesting."
The Dr. nods. "Of course, I understand. XCOM is a fairly new organization, we were formed in 2012 by the United Nations Security Council. We tend to keep a lower profile than most other organizations. Our job is to protect the Earth from alien invasions-after the Invasion, the global community felt they had been put at the mercy of the superheroes."

The doors open and he leads you into what looks to be a center of engineering. There are machines and men working on hi-tech rifles, pieces of armor and what looks like a combat drone. "During the Invasion, there was a minor attack in Germany. It was repulsed by der Wunder Watcher, but during the battle they discovered something. They turned it over to the German government, who then turned it over to the United Nations. They in turn gave it to us to analyze."

He leads you to an empty space dominated by a section of rock wall held up in a metal frame. Inside the wall is a large stone, circular in shape. There is one central round sphere, and then a series of spokes containing strange runes.

"We haven't been able to make much sense of it yet. We're certain its alien in origin, but other than that, we have no idea. Some of my colleagues believe its magic, which is why we asked you to come. You possess a relatively unique position as someone versed in the mystic and scientific worlds."

He waves a hand to the stone. "We're calling it the Dresden Slate."

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Re: Vanguard Mission Team Alpha: Prologue

Post by Arthur Eld »

Spectrum wrote:Katja Grigori

Katja cooed as she sinks into the kiss. It took but a heartbeat for the embrace to get quite scandalous.

Her eyes fluttered as a moment as she recovers from getting her 'fix'. "My dear Gabrielle, why is it that I see you so rarely. Never enough time together. Do I truly need a reason to come see you these days? Why once upon a time.."

A largish box upon the rest wiggles and mutters.. threatening to hop off of the pillow.

Katja laughs musically, her fingers dancing like butterflies through the air. "Well, yes, there is a reason. I understand that there is an addition to your happy little family and I wished to convey proper regards."

She reaches down and carefully reaches for the box, "mmm and this little fellow looked like he needed a friend. Coincidence?"
"Yes, the Tzadik Ha-dor. He is a wonderful child. Please, before you can see him, you must be cleared. And I must see what is in the box. You understand, he is an incredibly precious child." She waves a hand over your forehead, and you know she's reading your mind-most likely just to make sure you are who you say you are. The Covenant has powerful wards, but every precaution must be taken.

She smiles, pleased with what she has found. "And now, what is this gift you have brought?"

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Re: Vanguard Mission Team Alpha: Prologue

Post by Yeoman »

"Named for the now deceased Harry Dresden, out of Chicago, I presume," Xin says as she circles the object, examining it.

"Lets see, during the invasion, I believe it was the Tau and the Deamonites that were most prevalent in Europe. The Tau had no record of using anything mystical. Which makes the Deamonites the most likely suspect. Of course, they could have merely unearthed something that was already there. At which point, the question would become why they wanted it."

She leans down to get a better looks at the object and it's markings.

"Sadly, while I do have knowledge in both, I'm much better versed as a scientist. My mystical knowledge mostly lies in that the Arcane was merely a fact of life where I was born. Though I did do a little research in college when attempting to deal with an old problem."
Ex; Magic:1d20+12=14
Ex: Science: 1d20+15=18

Oh, yeah. Of to a great start.

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Re: Vanguard Mission Team Alpha: Prologue

Post by Arthur Eld »

Phrozen wrote:Machi

As soon as she heard the the gunfire and explosions Machi was on high alert. She quickly checked to see if anybody was hurt by the explosion. Finding, thankfully, just minor scratches as the square was not packed with people today. The heaviest sounds of fighting came from the presidential palace and that is where Chile's greatest hero needed to be.

"Shining bird of fortune, grant me your boon. The Wings of the Alicanto" With the short incantation a large 12 foot pair of shining gold and silver wings sprouted from Machi's back and she took to the sky towards the palace. She wanted to get a quick look before engaging any enemies.
Perception Check: 1d20+6=9.
Normally, that wouldn't give you much, but this is the kind of thing you don't really need a check for.
Taking to the sky, you see the cause of the chaos-men in grey military uniforms are opening fire against police, leading a march on the palace. Nearby, the streets are full with rioting citizens, striking out at each other. This is like nothing you've ever seen before. From what you can tell, there's nothing magical about what's happening either. The soldiers might know-whatever's affecting the people of Chile, its not affecting them.

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Re: Vanguard Mission Team Alpha: Prologue

Post by Arthur Eld »

Ysariel wrote:Amethyst
Condition: Normal > Fatigued / HP: 1
Amethyst sees a lot of stuff-San Antonio is a big city after all, and big cities have crime even if they also have super heroes. However, nothing really stands out...until you see a van that is unloading its cargo in a warehouse near the edge of town. IT'd be hard to see what was in the back of the van for anybody on the ground, but Amethyst's drones let her see that the back is stacked with large clear bags. Furthermore, this particular warehouse looks to be have been closed for some time-there's no insignia on the van, and the men who start heading towards the truck are dressed in normal street clothes-not the type you'd expect to see from real cargo workers.

Perhaps most telling, however, is when one of Amethyst's drones gets a decent picture of one of the bags being carried out. There's a young man inside, and the other bags look to have similar contents.

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Re: Vanguard Mission Team Alpha: Prologue

Post by Arthur Eld »

Yeoman wrote:"Named for the now deceased Harry Dresden, out of Chicago, I presume," Xin says as she circles the object, examining it.

"Lets see, during the invasion, I believe it was the Tau and the Deamonites that were most prevalent in Europe. The Tau had no record of using anything mystical. Which makes the Deamonites the most likely suspect. Of course, they could have merely unearthed something that was already there. At which point, the question would become why they wanted it."

She leans down to get a better looks at the object and it's markings.

"Sadly, while I do have knowledge in both, I'm much better versed as a scientist. My mystical knowledge mostly lies in that the Arcane was merely a fact of life where I was born. Though I did do a little research in college when attempting to deal with an old problem."
Ex; Magic:1d20+12=14
Ex: Science: 1d20+15=18

Oh, yeah. Of to a great start.
Shen looks perplexed. "Who's Harry Dresden?" He asks. "The stone owes its name to where it was found in Germany-just outside the city of Dresden. From what I've heard, it seems clear the aliens didn't have it with them-and we do have reports they were mostly Tau. It appears to have been uncovered during the battle."

As Xin examines it seems pretty clear that the runes are an ancient text unlike any she's seen before. Could they be a magic incantation? You're not sure. You are pretty sure however, that the stone itself is very very old-possibly pre Babylonian. You would need to run more tests to learn more about it. Given the resources XCOM has, you might be able to learn more than you would otherwise.

Dr. Shen opens a small folder. "People who have come into contact with the stone have reported a number of phenomena happening to them afterwards. However, we haven't been able to substantiate these claims after multiple tests. Its possible the stone is a catalyst of some kind. If you have the time, my scientists and I would appreciate any help you might give us."
Make two more Expertise checks, with a +2 circumstance bonus to each, due to the other engineers, scientists, and tools at your disposal.

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Re: Vanguard Mission Team Alpha: Prologue

Post by Arthur Eld »

Kreuzritter wrote:"I'm going to below to check it out," he tells his fellow releif workers, before he sinks beneath the packed earth as if it were water and appears moments later at the hollow
note to self: spend xp on actually getting sensory powers
You're in a small cave, made of old stone with little trickles of sand coming from cracks in the ceiling. Not the most stable of places, but its of no concern to you. There appear to be a few diverging paths.
Perception check please.

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