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  1. February 27, 2021 The Lab The craft hovered in midair, its magnetic induction coils active as it gripped the Earth's magnetic field like the wheels of a racecar hugging the track. With a gesture, Angelic turned the boomerang-shaped flying wing back and forth, its gold and black polish gleaming in the light of a simulated sun. Stepping to the other side, she was barely visible through the faintly transparent hologram. "With a maximum velocity of 800 kilometers per hour, Winge will allow Chelone to cruise to her native Southwest in a morning's drive," she said with a cool smile on her face, "and is precise enough to allow for hovering as low as a few centimeters off the ground." She squeezed her fingers to magnify the hologram, and showed off the hooks for Chelone's feet, the matching helmet for her head that would give her a faceshield against the wind and provide her a computerized heads-up display, and the internal workings of the navigation system. "It is much too fast for an unassisted human brain to pilot safely but the internal GPS has a processing speed that will exceed a human brain tenfold!" When she dismissed the hologram, she was beaming. With her hair a brilliant platinum blonde shot through with streaks of blue, her labcoat a perfectly polished white, and her hands now folded behind her back, she looked a bit like a punk-rock version of Miss Americana - though the bar through her eyebrow and ring in her nose were all hers. "All that remains is to activate the 3-D printers and begin the work. I had thought of incorporating weapons or defenses, but Chelone is formidable enough on her own. What do you think, Voltage?" she asked. She looked, in her self-confidence and with her smile, actually quite a bit like the little girl he had first met years earlier.
  2. GM May 11th, 2019 1 PM ArcheTech West, Bridgepoint Nicole had been given a special opportunity, as part of her internship at ArcheTech. Come to ArcheTech West in Emerald City, shadow Doctor Rita Lang for the weekend. It was not so much a work weekend as a research weekend. The notes about the actual research had been kind of sparse. It had something to do with nanomachines, and a revolutionary use for them, but aside from that, the notes were rather short. They did note that Doctor Lang had specificially asked to have Nicole shadow her, so that was a plus, at least. Something about wanting an outsider's view of the project, which meant Nicole would have to write a report on it once it was done. Doctor Lang was standing outside the building as Nicole arrived. She was a Caucassian woman in the late 40'es. Slightly overweight, which she would attest was because of staying in laboratory all day. Her dark red hair seemed to have been dyed to hide beginning grey hair. She wore a white labcoat, which was open, revealing her jeans and a black t-shirt with the Nine Inch Nails logo. A pair of glasses was hidden in the pocket of the white labcoat. She patiently waited, looking up from her phone as Nicole arrived. "Hey, you must be Nicole. I'm Rita, nice to finally meet you. Been hearing great things about you, kid."
  3. OOC for this. @Zeitgeist Blue
  4. The seas have always held a special fascination for Viktor Archeville: their bounty, their mystery, their power. "We know more about the moon than we do about the deep sea," Greenpeace says. Archeville had advised and worked on assorted oceanographic missions before -- designing sensors and propulsion units, going over data, examining new sea life, and so on -- but he knew he could do better. So he decided to build a gigantic submarine, one capable of going faster, deeper, and staying under longer than any other, and which would have less of a "footprint" that would disturb the native life. The result, launched in April of 2010, was Fjölnirskraft, at the time the largest submarine in world history. During the ArchEvil event (20011 June), Fjölnirskraft was boarded by Deep Ones and used to invade Freedom; Gabriel & Ironclad fought them off. What remained of the vessel, along with the rest of ArcheTech, was given to Miss Americana and the Scarab. LOCATION Fjölnirskraft roams the Pacific Ocean. She'll dock wherever she's allowed, but Archeville also has a private shipyard on a small, barren island east of the Marquesas capable of handling most routine repairs and refueling. The Archeneum hull plating and skeletal structure of the kraft allow it to cruise at deeper average depths than most submarines. A Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine can dive to depth of 1,480 feet (450 meters) before beginning to risk hull collapse from the pressure; Fjölnirskraft can dive to depths of up to 2,460 feet (750 meters) without undue strain. APPEARANCE, EXTERIOR Manufactured primarily of Archeneum (a metal with approximately the weight of aluminum but a hardness & durability ten times that of osmium steel), the hull of Fjölnirskraft is, like other submarines, primarily tube-shaped, though the kraft is somewhat wider aft (rear) than fore (front), giving it shape like an elongated egg... or a turkey baster. However, when the eight manipulatory tentacles from the bow & the two from the sides all emerge and extend to their full length, it takes on the appearance of a gargantuan eyeless squid. APPEARANCE, INTERIOR The front third of the Fjölnirskraft is taken up by laboratories and workshops dedicated primarily to oceanography/the marine sciences. The middle third is the habitation area, including the galley and infirmary. Between the habitation area and the laboratories is the command deck, and below the command deck is Archeville's personal quarters. The rear third contains the "cold fusion" power plant (see below) and the life support systems. MISCELLANEOUS Archeville decided to keep the tradition of naming vessels after deities of the sea. According to Norse mythology, Fjölnir is the son of Freyr (son of the sea god Njörðr) and Gerðr (daughter of Ægir, a jötunn [nature spirit/giant] and king/personification of the seas), and thus the grandson of two sea-deities. Fjölnir is also another name for Odin (the chief god of the Norse pantheon), found in Grímnismál when the god revealed himself to Geirröðr, and in Reginsmál when he was standing on a mountain addressing Sigurd and Regin; Snorri also mentions it as an Odinic name in Gylfaginning. The Fjölnirskraft generates power through a ultra-efficient "cold fusion" reactor that can pump out twice the power of a conventional fusion reactor but requires almost no shielding (which helps lighten the sub considerably). The power plant generates more than enough powers to meet the kraft's day-to-day needs, which, combined with its mostly robotic crew (see below), means it can stay underwater for approximately six months without having to even approach the surface. The Fjölnirskraft uses a magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) propulsion system, a major advantage compared to propellers or pumpjet propulsion. The MHD engine uses magnetic energy to force water through tubes, an effect sometimes described as an "underwater jet engine." There are six MHD "jets" total, three each on the port (left) and starboard (right) sides, along the rear 2/3rds of the kraft. The MHD system allows the Fjölnirskraft to attain speeds far beyond those of standard submarines; conventional submarines typically run at 20 knots and max out at around 35 knots, but the Fjölnirskraft can reach over double that. Additionally, the MHD engine makes almost no noise, rendering it nigh-unnoticeable by wildlife (and modern sonar systems). To improve the kraft's stealth profile, Archeville has covered the hull with an anechoic radar absorbent coating, and has acoustically isolated machinery and other noise-causing objects inside the hull by mounting them on vibration-dampening platforms. The Fjölnirskraft contains ultra-advanced communications and sensory gear. It uses powerful active and passive sonars, including a spherical array in the bow, a conformal sonar array mounted around the bow, and several types of towed sonar arrays built into tubular shrouds around the hull. The Fjölnirskraft's communications equipment can receive and broadcast over the full frequency spectrum, from ultra-high frequency (UHF) to extremely low frequency (ELF). Unlike virtually every other sub in the world, the kraft doesn't need to approach or break the surface to use its communications systems (which would be too disruptive for long-term deep sea projects); they work just as well hundreds of feet below the surface as the do on top of it. After careful consideration, Archeville did decide to give the Fjölnirskraft some weaponry. Torpedoes were right out, though: too "low-tech", too unreliable. Instead, he went with 16 energy beam projectors, spaced evenly around the hull, specifically designed and tuned by him to fire underwater with minimal loss of energy. They can also be set to "paralyze" or "stun" mode. Similar projectors are mounted on the inside of the ship, to deal with any intruders or unruly specimens. Also usable as a weapon -- but primarily intended for specimen retrieval -- are the Fjölnirskraft's tentacles, eight at the bow and two along the sides. When retracted the bow tentacles form a spiral cover over the front of the kraft, and the two at the sides lie flat against the hull, so when not in use the super-sub is as streamlined as any other submarine. The super-submarine also contains a dock/hangar for other, smaller vehicles. The Fjölnirskraft has a crew of a couple hundred at most, and often runs with just a few dozen, not the thousands which would be expected for a ship of this size and complexity. This is possible for two reasons. One, the kraft is highly automated, and Archeville's technology rarely breaks down under standard use. Second, basic tasks that can't be automated -- everything from keeping the ship clean to routine maintenance -- are performed by robots. Human personnel only have to perform tasks that Archeville isn't willing to relegate to robots. This of course does not include the "guest" scientists who make use of the kraft's facilities for their own research. Due to its relatively small crew, the Fjölnirskraft requires less in the way of life support systems. These systems include carbon dioxide "scrubbers" to remove that gas from the air, and carbon monoxide "burners" which do the same for that gas. Another system breaks water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen to replenish the air supply; filters, dehumidifiers, and similar equipment keep the air fresh. The sub also has a water distillation facility to produce all the water it needs. The kraft typically carries enough food and other supplies to travel for 180 days in comfort without surfacing. See here for stats.
  5. On the day Viktor Archeville turned 18 (June 1995), he was given a doozy of an inheritance: his own ancestral keep! It wasn't much to look at, just a five-story tower straining under more than a century of neglect, but it was in an exquisite location overlooking the majestic Danube river. He spent a few months working on fixing it up, but slowed when he started his college career. After graduation (Spring 1999), he revisited the tower with many, many plans for it. Not only would this be his new home while in Germany, it would be a center for his company (still some years from completion) and a place of learning for all who were determined enough to make the trip. During the ArchEvil event, Schloss Wissenschaft was destroyed by UNISON Agent Mark Lucas. What remained of it, along with the rest of ArcheTech, was given to Miss Americana and the Scarab. LOCATION Schloss Wissenschaft sits in the Black Forest of Germany. Originally a small keep awarded to one of Archeville's ancestors in the 16th century, it stands on a hill overlooking the junction where the Brigach and Breg rivers join to form the Danube river. The closest town is Donaueschingen, a regional rail hub. APPEARANCE, EXTERIOR The keep had started as a 5-story tower with a basement/storage cellar. Archeville restored and expanded it, turning what had been a simple keep into a sprawling 110-room castle with an expansive subterranean substructure. APPEARANCE, INTERIOR The ground floor contains the grand entry hall (with a large art gallery off to the side), a lavish reception hall (with a large and well-stocked kitchen off to the side), classrooms (see below), staff lounge and dining room (for non-robot staff), and a robot repair/recharge area. 2nd floor holds a ballroom, a large meeting room, a formal dining room, servant's quarters, expensively furnished guest rooms, music room, museum, communications center, robotics laboratory/workshop, business offices, and a balcony overlooking the lands. 3rd floor holds R&D laboratories (primarily life sciences), an infirmary (with state of the art quarantine chamber, pathology lab, and cryogenic storage), more living quarters (primarily for scientists and technicians who show exceptional talent and receive training from Archeville himself), a national surveillance center, and aircraft hangar/helipad. 4th floor contains R&D labs (primarily physical sciences) and a global surveillance center. The castle's massive central tower contains floors 5-10. (The reception room in the ground floor, ballroom on the 2nd floor, and R&D laboratories on the 3rd and 4th floors make up and expand out from the lower levels of the tower.) Most of the 5th floor is take up by the gym and Combat Simulator Holo-Chamber (which he can use to show famous battles from history, with himself in the the role of one of the commanders), and the 6th floor contains Archeville's living quarters (sitting room, bedroom, and bath, all luxuriously appointed with the best in carpeting, furniture, and decor). The 7th floor holds private laboratories and workshops for personal projects (with their own dedicated power supply, a tabletop cold fusion generator), and the 8th floor holds labs for studying "unusual" items (which includes nonterrestrial, extradimensional, and "magical" items). The 9th and 10th floors are Archeville's massive library/reading room. In addition to Archeville's personal elevator, the 8th-10th floors are connected by a massive spiral staircase. Beneath the castle are numerous subterranean layers of considerable size; altogether they are about three times as big as the entire above-ground castle. The basement holds wine cellars and miscellaneous housewares; it can be accessed via elevators in the kitchens and Archeville's personal elevator (which runs through the central tower). The first sub-basement is contorted with small winding passageways, and the hangar, with access to the surface coming through the courtyard of the castle or via a ramp leading out behind the castle. The second sub-basement contains all sorts of power inhibiting devices designed to detain and imprison metahuman villains (or unruly experiments), as well as several research & testing laboratories (including his primary psionics/psionic tech R&D laboratories). The third sub-basement contains more laboratories and workshops (primarily robots and alternative energy sources), nestled in a maze of corridors. The fourth sub-basement holds more secret laboratories/workshops (including an extradimensional research laboratory), and a highly efficient fission reactor. Beneath this, an underground offshoot of the Danube River runs through a number of large caverns, and the current of the river powers three backup hydroelectric generators. MISCELLANEOUS Exterior granite walls are supported by titanium/vanadium steel bracing, supplemented with force screens. Schloss Wissenschaft is highly automated, with a permanent staff of only 50 humans and 300 robots. Archeville could streamline operations more -- less humans and less robots via more automation -- but he chose not to because people coming there expect to see robots, and appreciate seeing other humans. Most of the ground floor is open to the public at all hours ("if you can reach the place," he figures, "you deserve at least a little something.") The classrooms contain scores of "teaching computers" that can answer a number of questions; they are free for anyone to use, though they only display in German. These "teaching computers" have fully interactive file libraries on anatomy, astronomy, biology, botany, chemistry, ecology, geology, medicine, physics, and zoology; they can also teach algebra, calculus, trigonometry, drafting, and electrical and mechanical engineering. The castle has a "Schwarzschild Wormwole Aperture Producer" (SWAP) system, which allows instantaneous teleportation between it and any other ArcheTech facility. See here for stats.
  6. OOC thread for this thread. Citizen takes a STAND. On the ISSUES. @Avenger Assembled You don't need to roll for this opening part. It's basically just a cold open and splash title page.
  7. GM April 1st, 2018, 1.23AM Emerald City, Oregon, USA, Earth-Prime The meteorite had snuck past every layer of warning the Earth had to offer, a flaming rock that by rights should have been seen coming a light-year away by the Lighthouse. It careened through the sky, directly for the peaceful, foggy Columbia River mouth and the two tiny cities crouched on the shores of the great gray sea. One of the Archetech staff had stepped outside for a smoke break, and a passing homeless man had pointed out the "new star" to him. Three minutes later and there Citizen was, high up in the sky with a giant ball of iron and alien metals racing for his head. It was around 150 meters across its smooth body, if it hit the cities at the speed it was going there wouldn't be any survivors for miles around. The voice of Archetech West's ground crew hummed into his receptors. "We're ready when you are, Sharl! Say the word and we'll fire up the conduits for that power boost! Hit that thing with everything we got!" "Just make sure to burn some of it off before you come back," another voice quickly added "just to be safe."
  8. Tuesday, April 7, 2015 Freedom City, New Jersey, Earth Morning Archetech's North American headquarters saw more than the average amount of parahuman weirdness in a work week, even more than most places in Freedom City. Being the home of highly advanced sciences, the regular working space of superheroes, and the epicenter of a world-wide attack meant that a place started to attract a certain type of attention, and the security team had developed procedures for all sorts of situations. Like when a falling star landed at the top of the building. Corona glowed gold and red and perpetually angry, floating half a foot above the helipad. She glared as the security guards spilled out of the rooftop access and surrounded her. No one was pointing weapons at each other yet, but if looks could kill there would murder. Corona crossed her armored arms and rotated slowly in place, finding the one guard who looked the most in charge of his emotions. He was an older gentlemen, with a bushy mustache and an Archetech cap on his head; Corona inclined her head infinitesimally towards him. "I need to speak with your genius," she said, her voice amplified through the suit's speakers. "I have a trade for her."
  9. ArchesternArchestern (2005-2011) was a private space station designed, built and operated by super-genius Dr. Archeville as part of ArcheTech Industries. It was a private laboratory and research facility in geosynchronous orbit over Earth, launched in 2005 with help from the Freedom League, most notably the heroes Dark Star and Ace Danger, with the cooperation of UNISON. Archestern operated as an orbital research facility until 2011, when it was weaponized during the events of ArchEvil and was eventually partially destroyed, then decommissioned and abandoned. LocationArchestern (“Arche-Star”) is parked in geosynchronous orbit (approximately 22,000 miles above sea level) over South America (mainly Ecuador, Colombia, and Brazil). However, it is possible for ArcheStern to move, albeit at a very slow pace. Appearance, ExteriorArchestern presents a profile similar to an eight-pointed star. It has a large central area that's disk shaped, and radiating from it to the eight points of the compass are wedge-shaped “rays.” The central disk is referred to as the Core; the eight arms are the North, Northeast, East, Southeast, South, Southwest, West, and Northwest wings. Appearance, InteriorThe 'Core' contains most of the station's key facilities, including gravity generation systems, the security room, and the bridge. The gravity generator (a masterwork resulting from Dr. Archeville's extensive research into gravitics) allows the station to maintain Earth-normal gravity (1.0G) without having to be spun; controls in the Core can vary the gravity throughout the station (or only in selected parts of the station) from 0.0 to 4.0G. From the security room, all internal and external cameras can be monitored, electronic locks controlled, and personnel communicated with. The bridge is where Doktor Archeville and crew operate the controls that fly the station; though it normally remains in a stationary orbit, it is possible to move it as a very slow pace. The bridge also contain the controls for Archestern's communications equipment and sensors. The 'North Wing' contains Dr. Archeville's personal quarters, his dining hall and kitchen, and his laboratories. His large, luxurious room occupies the tip of the wing and has large “windows” made of transparent Archeneum that allow him to gaze out on the magnificence of space. The laboratories aren't as extensive as those in Schloss Wissenschaft or Archeville's Hanover Home due to a lack of room aboard the station, but there's more than enough to keep Archeville occupied. This is where he does most of his work on astronomy, astrophysics, and related subjects, since it's much easier to view the universe without an atmosphere getting in the way. The 'East Wing' contains quarters and living spaces for Archestern's crew and guests. The lounges are small and focus almost entirely on video entertainment; there isn't room for things like billiard tables. The 'South Wing' of Archestern primarily contains the unglamorous but absolutely necessary systems required to keep the space station running: the power generator (a binary cold fusion system, supplemented by numerous solar panels on the sunward side of the station); the heating plant and ventilation equipment; and the main life support systems. (Smaller backup life support systems are in the Core and each Wing except the West Wing, capable of sustaining life in that particular section but not elsewhere.) Additionally, the South Wing features Archestern's teleportation platform. The 'West Wing' contain the landing/launch bay at its “tip,” and the rest of the wing consists of hangars and repair bays for space vehicles. The 'Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, and Northwest Wings' contain laboratories and workstations ArcheTech uses (and rents out to other companies), to take advantage of the low- and zero-gravity environments which are ideal for manufacturing some types of electronic components and chemicals, the clearer view of the universe for astronomy and astrophysics work, and the top-down view of the Earth for meteorological research. MiscellaneousArchestern mounts a telescope even better than the Hubble Space Telescope]. (Hubble has roughly x8,000 magnification, Archestern's has x10,000.) Archestern typically carries 60 man-years worth of food and other supplies. Archestern is based in large part on Zerstorenstern (“Destroyer-Star”), Doctor Destroyer's orbital headquarters, as presented in The Book of the Destroyer, a supplement for the 'Champions' RPG.
  10. Electra


    ArchEvilThe ArchEvil Incident was a planetary supervillain plot that took place mainly in the third week of July 2011. Prominent scientist, noted philanthropist and respected superhero Dr. Victor Archeville had an apparently unforeseeable psychotic break that led to him terrorizing Earth and cutting a wide swath of destruction before being defeated by his own superteam, the Interceptors. In the wake of the disaster, it was revealed that Archeville had been mentally unstable for a long time, and that his villainous alter ego had been responsible for the murder of a number of heroes and villains in Freedom City over the past year. Disgraced and distrusted, Dr. Archeville handed off control of his various enterprises and began a regime of intensive psychiatric treatment to let him bring himself back under control. CharactersBecause this was a citywide event, a large number of PCs participated in various facets of the plot. PCs should be linked in the summaries of the threads where they appear. For the purposes of this page, the evil alter-ego of Dr. Archeville will be referred to as “Chevalier,” the identity he created for his solo activities. TimelineSeptember 19, 2010: Heroes Serum, Intel, Metallic Warrior, Lullaby, and Dryad are burned alive by Chevalier.October 1, 2010: First public appearance of Chevalier, perceived to be a new hero to Freedom City.October 10, 2010: Demonic antiheroine Dark Vixen is murdered by Chevalier.October 22, 2010: Chevalier betrays and murders heroine Valkyrie.October 29, 2010: Heroine Cougress is murdered by Chevalier.November 10, 2010: Heroine Kunoichi is kidnapped and tortured by ChevalierNovember 17, 2010: Chevalier teams up with, betrays, and attempts to murder teen hero Kid CthulhuDecember 13, 2010: Heroes Lion and Finder are murdered by Chevalier.December 25, 2010: Dr. Archeville infects the Interceptors with mind-controlling nanites by way of Christmas presents.January 4, 2011: Villainess Kakoku is kidnapped and tortured by Chevalier.January 6, 2011: Heroine Ferlyn is burned alive by Chevalier.January 9, 2011: Chevalier travels outside the city, where he murders dozens of minor villains as well as 13-year-old villainess Naxean and the villain called Berzerker.January 10, 2011: Chevalier murders heroine Sheyra and her unpowered associates.January 11, 2011: Chevalier kidnaps villainess Black Priestess by faking her death by electrocution.January 13, 2011: Chevalier tortures and murders hero Hellbound.January 13, 2011: The Scarab learns of the death of her old teammate Hellbound and begins investigating the string of strange murders and disappearances in the city.January 14, 2011: Fulcrum moves in with Doktor Archeville, curtailing the activities of Chevalier for a time.February 13, 2011: Chevalier breaks into Providence Asylum and murders heroine Honey Queen, then frames Beekeeper II for the crime.March 22, 2011: Chevalier assaults hero Dynamo and kidnaps heroine Je'La.March 26, 2011: Chevalier kidnaps and tortures hero The Big Man.April 20, 2011: Chevalier murders costumed metahuman American Patriot.June 17, 2011 (early morning): Arrowhawk returns to the United States and consults with Scarab about her investigations into a crime wave against metahumans.June 17, 2011 (early evening): Wander shows Dr. Archeville Omega's chestplate, inadvertently triggering his full physical transformation into Chevalier, ready to take over the world. Prologue Evil Archeville/Reaping of the X-VaultThread The gradual ascent of Dr. Archeville's evil side, as manifested by the treacherous “hero” Chevalier leads to a series of mysterious deaths and disappearances in Freedom City and its environs over a period of seven months or so. Heroes and villains who catch Archeville's attention also tend to interest his dark alter ego, who then kills them, or if they are resistant to death, kidnaps and tortures them. He begins by luring a group of heroes into an abandoned building before setting it on fire, then quickly escalates to more personal, face-to-face methods. By varying venue and method, he manages to escape detection, and indeed many of the crimes are not solved. Between October of 2010 and April of 2011, Chevalier murders fourteen heroes and two villains, plus several dozen civilians, and kidnaps another five metahumans for torturous experiments. Die Me, DichotomyThread After a punishing battle with SHADOW forces, Arrowhawk calls his old and trusted friend Dr. Archeville to treat him and his girlfriend and fellow hero Valkyrie. The trio discusses the SHADOW threat, including the reemergence of the villain Ragnarok. Eight days later, Valkyrie is summoned by her masters in the Norse pantheon to deal with a threat on the shore bordering Providence Asylum, and there finds Chevalier cleaning out a nest of hostile vampires. Believing the vampires to be the threat, she assists him in clearing out the nest, dropping her guard long enough to let him shoot her from behind with a blast of radiation. She attempts to fight back, but her injuries and Dr. Archeville's knowledge of her powers and weaknesses allow him to overpower her. He carries her high into the sky and drops her to her death, but is himself injured by a bolt of lightning she calls down. Afterwards, he convinces Arrowhawk that Ragnarock was responsible for her death, sending the hero on a wild goose chase to Europe. Who You Gonna Call?Thread During the months of Chevalier's crime spree, Doktor Archeville begins working with teen hero Kid Cthulhu to determine the nature of his unusual metahuman appearance and abilities. This brings him to the attention of Archeville's evil alter-ego, who becomes determined to destroy the teen hero. At this point, Chevalier is a known hero, so when he attempts to team up with Kid Cthulhu for an evening, the latter readily accepts. He lures Kid Cthulhu into the Super Museum, then disguises himself and lays in wait to attack. Employing one of his favorite tactics, Chevalier sets Kid Cthulhu and the Hall of Mysteries on fire, then puts a fist through the young man's chest to ensure his death. Blake Salazar survives the attack, but loses his metahuman abilities and appearance for a time. A Very Interceptors ChristmasThread Dr. Archeville attends a Christmas celebration with his proteges on the Interceptors at their Brownstone headquarters. Touched by their unquestioning acceptance of him as one of the family, he presents each of them with a personalized cuckoo clock of his own design. These cuckoo clocks are implanted with mind-controlling nanites that will make the Interceptors unquestioning slaves to Chevalier's will. Bread CrumbsThread In mid-January, Elena Guerrero is listening to the news when she has a psychic vision related to a John Doe found mutilated and murdered in Freedom City. Upon investigating the site, she realizes that the murdered man is an old teammate from the Knights of Freedom, Hellbound. She begins investigating the crime, creating an intricate web linking dozens of seemingly unrelated deaths and disappearances over the course of many months. Back in BlackThread After spending months in Europe, attempting to track down the villain he believes killed Valkyrie, Arrowhawk returns to Freedom City at the summons of his friend Scarab. She lays out the details of her investigation, and the two of them puzzle over possible suspects. They bring up and rule out the supervillain Malice, noting that these crimes have a cruelty and sadism that the self-described savior of humanity has never shown. Clearly they are looking for someone else. The ArchEvil Invasion RevelationsThread Wander, recently hired as a security guard for ArcheTech, has concerns about the safety of the chestplate of Omega that Young Freedom brought home as a trophy after a recent mission, so she brings it to Dr. Archeville's home for him to examine in private. The shock of seeing the armor, and its implications with regards to the current power void in the Terminus is enough to shock Dr. Archeville unconscious and bring Chevalier to the fore. Without his power armor on, Chevalier is revealed as a Deep One, scaly, green and monstrous. Knowing that a fight with Wander would be inadvisable, he deceives her instead, professing horror and shame at his solely physical transformation. He's successful in convincing her, to the point that when Arrowhawk and Scarab show up at the door hoping to consult with Dr. Archeville about possible suspects in the crime wave, Wander heads them off at the door. Chevalier uses those few minutes of delay to take his equipment and make good his escape. Arrowhawk departs to track him down, while Scarab takes Wander to her base under Pyramid Plaza where Scarab makes preparations for the worst. Terrible BossesThread Dr. Archeville goes to the Interceptors Brownstone headquarters, interrupting a friendly sparring session intended to welcome and acclimatize the new members Thrude and Geckoman. With the use of subliminal commands hidden in images and briefings over the past months and nanomachines introduced to them with cuckoo clocks on the team's last Christmas celebration, the 'core' Interceptors Jack of all Blades, Jill O'Cure, Fulcrum, Dynamo, Colt and Grimalkin are transformed into darker versions of themselves fanatically loyal to the unveiled Other side of the Doktor. After a brief clash with their new team mates and Willow, the newly-christened Auffägangers and their master are teleported to the home of Taylor and Jack Faretti (Phantom and Avenger), aiming to capture the powerful dimensional guardian and the city's king of vampires along with their young son. Before he departs he has the likewise-altered A.I. VINCE destroy the Brownstone, right when new potential member Ferros knocks on the front door. News BroadcastThread A new villain – some sort of super-Deep One – hijacks communications systems worldwide and makes a bizarre, terrible pronouncement. Creatures pour out from ArcheTech facilities around the globe, while a great mechanical squid beaches itself at Freedom and vomits forth Deep Ones. Load-Bearing BossesLoad-Bearing Bosses The Interceptors caught in the destruction of the Brownstone escape from the rubble with the assistance of new arrival Ferros, Geckoman losing an arm in the process of extricating himself. Swearing vengeance on the Doktor for his betrayal, Thrude uses her power over the winds to discover where he and his altered Interceptors have gone, with the group making their various ways towards their dire enemy and brainwashed allies. Omnia Mutantur, Nihil InteritThread Archeville arrives with the Auffägangers before the Faretti's home, sending in his soldiers to search the place, finding it empty of inhabitants. Outraged, Archeville begins to prepare for departure to the Scarab's headquarters when his Archeville side breaks free and releases the Interceptors from his control. After a struggle where Archeville uses his carefully-laid counters against his one-time friends, Fulcrum knocks out the villainous side of the Doktor. The other Interceptors arrive and after a furious argument about what to do with the man are confronted by the monster-spewing form of the impossible creature that lay behind the Archeville family madness, an Elder being of tremendous power whose rise using the bodies of Archevilles living and dead causes madness in citizens even distantly related to the cursed family, causing riots throughout the world. Meanwhile, the various plots Archeville's Other side had laid over the years are begun, from the Deep Ones using his immense submarine to launch and invasion from the sea to mutated grue granted the powers of the Interceptors running riot to the vast space station hidden in the Asteroid Belt preparing to attack. After a desperate struggle, the Interceptors weaken the beast, and Fulcrum uses her power dampers to inject a flood of Terminus energy into the horrific monster, destroying it but hurling herself out of that dimension. Aftermath Gestalt TheoryThread As the Interceptors finish off the monster, the Scarab, Phantom and Ferros enter Archeville's mind, cleansing him of the Other's corrupting influence and healing his damaged psyche. AftermathThread With the battle over, the Interceptors are faced with a diminished and grieving Doktor, their own injuries, and a world that has been ripped apart. Jack of All Blades severs the Interceptors' connection with Doktor Archeville and leave, while Geckoman tries to find the rest of his teammates and sort order out of chaos. The Doctor is In(Sane)Thread A week after the battle, Dr. Archeville has been confined to Providence Asylum for evaluation and safekeeping. He receives several visitors. The first, Miss Americana, comes to deal with the business of ArcheTech, which she is trying to save. The doctor resigns his position and signs over control of the company to her, with the request that she make restitution a priority. The second is Harrier in his civilian identity, who Archeville does not recognize thanks to the Scarab and Psyche pulling all secret identity information from his mind. Harrier speaks of guilt and grief, and promises to take care of Mona's cat for as long as she is lost. The third is Ace Danger, who denounces atonement as selfishness and reminds Archeville that as long as he remains consumed with the enormity of what he has done, no one is building the scanner that could free Mona from the Terminus.
  11. ArcheTechArcheTech was founded by Dr. Viktor Archeville, who wanted an international chain of research laboratories unconnected to any one government or any business interests. His vision was to establish a unique center for multi-disciplinary research in a number of scientific fields, especially those pertaining to metahuman activity and the increasing emergence of metahumans. Fields of research & development include bionics and cybernetics, energy projection, force field generation, genetics and genome stability, gravimetrics, advanced metallurgy, nanotechnology, particle physics, and others. In addition to its exotic research, ArcheTech also provides humanitarian aid in times of crisis. HistoryArcheville had done freelance troubleshooting work for numerous other science & technology research facilities, in America and Europe, for many years, even while still a college student. He used the contacts established there in three ways: to keep tabs on as many scientists and researchers as possible, to establish working relationships with investors and financiers, and similar relationships with tech-friendly politicians. Through a combination of sound investments, keen tax planning, and funds raised by selling off certain licenses for various inventions to outside commercial firms (though making certain to retain all copyrights and trademarks), Archeville was quickly able to raise the seed money needed to start up and run his company. Months of phone calls and meetings got him the researchers he needed (some who would work freelance for his company, some under contract exclusively for the company for a number of years), and “nudgings” – completely legal, just not as “above board” as usual – from certain politicians to get the building permits pushed through quickly. Soon after the first ArcheTech facilities opened, demons invaded Freedom City and in so doing warped the corporate HQ into a black pyramid. But not many seem to remember that. In July 2011, the facilities and reputation of ArcheTech suffered far greater damage when Dr. Archeville suffered a psychotic break and began wreaking worldwide havoc centered in each of the ArcheTech buildings. Once Dr. Archeville was subdued by other heroes and brought back to sanity, he chose to enter retirement and passed over control of ArcheTech to Miss Americana, who had been working as a researcher in the Freedom City center before the disaster. Miss Americana took over as CEO of ArcheTech and spent the next three years rebuilding the reputation and goodwill of the severely damaged company. LocationsWorldwide. The corporate HQ for ArcheTech is in Freedom City, New Jersey, but there are branch offices all around the globe. In America, there are branches in California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. Outside of the United States, there are branches in Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Dr. Archeville's plans included continued expansion, but those plans were put on hold after the events of 2011. Appearance ExteriorAll ArcheTech facilities are built in the shape of square frusta, or flat-topped pyramids. They are chiefly light gray in color and twelve stories tall. The distinctive design is meant to inspire pride in its employees and in the surrounding community. (Critics do note that the darker coloration of the glass in the windows at the center of the building and of some doors at the bottom make the buildings look more like giant stylized As.) Each pane of glass doubles as a solar panel, to supplement the power drawn from the local power grids, though many facilities also have their own generators (the type depending on location). The flat roof contains a multipurpose helipad that also serves as an entrance point for flying heroes. InteriorThe first floor of every ArcheTech branch is reserved for public information booths, lobby access, security stations, and the on-site company cafeteria. The lobby area is often host to scientific exhibitions and is a frequent destination for field trips. The first floor is open to the public, but visitors will have to check-in at the desk in order to proceed to any other floor. The top floor of all ArcheTech facilities is reserved for administrative offices and conference rooms. Miss Americana's main office is on the top floor of the Freedom City building, with her personal laboratory space below it on the tenth and eleventh floors. The ten floor between lobby and offices comprise the main functional space of each ArcheTech center. These spaces may include laboratories, think tanks, centers for specialized medicine, and specially reinforced testing areas. Most centers also include dormitory space for participants in lengthy studies or for metahumans who are having a hard time controlling their powers. All ten floors of the Freedom City center are occupied, but progress has been less swift in other cities, where forgiveness for past errors has been a long time coming. Empty space in those facilities is used for storage, or as places of public refuge in case of disaster. The basement is reserved for maintenance facilities, power generators, and the bulk transporter (see below). Access to the bulk transporters is severely restricted since 2011, and most employees of ArcheTech never even see the basement. MiscellaneousAll ArcheTech facilities can serve as a temporary Metahuman incarceration facility, due to the availability of both high-strength building materials and power-nullifying devices.Each facility also has a bulk transporter, capable of nearly instantly teleporting several tons of material at a time, but only to other ArcheTech facilities. These teleporters can be used in crisis situations, bringing in supplies from other facilities or moving evacuees quickly out of the area. Due to their pivotal role in the so-called ArchEvil event in 2011, Miss Americana has heavily restricted use of these teleporters in non-emergency situations.Security for each local branch is multifaceted and relies heavily on redundant features for maximum protection. Main lobby entrances contain metal detectors and x-ray scanners, monitored at the primary security station by three full-time guards. Each floor has a security sub-station manned at all times by two guards, and three guards patrol each floor; each station has real-time video surveillance of each corridor and laboratory, and motion detectors to detect cloaked/invisible intruders. In addition to the human guards, each corridor and laboratory has an automated security turret programmed to neutralize any unauthorized persons with bolts of energy on a wavelength that will cause a normal human's neurological system to temporarily shut down; once a target is down, the energy projectors switch to emitting a beam of the same energy to keep the target unconscious.One of ArcheTech's sources of revenue is renting out space in its laboratories and workshops to other scientific organizations and universities.
  12. Even after her promotion, it wasn't usual for Naomi to be called in to ArcheTech headquarters, but at least the summons had become a less unnerving thing. She'd come in several times already for meetings with the Human Flight research group, getting her measurements taken, explaining exactly how she felt when exposed to various flight conditions and g-forces. They'd made all kinds of interested humming noises and gone off to their drawing boards, promising they'd get back to her. And they had, hence the meeting today. Miss Americana was waiting for her when she disembarked on the tenth floor, already wearing a clean new labcoat over her russet slacks and cadet blue blouse. "Hello Naomi, nice to see you again," she greeted the test pilot cheerfully. "Ready to try out the new rig?"
  13. For a building that had only been around a decade, the pyramidal frustum of ArcheTech Headquarters occupied its spacious campus in Hanover with a stately grace that suggested much longer years. It certainly hadn't taken long for the distinctive shape of the building to make it a landmark, or for its lobby full of scientific displays and free-of-charge rotating presentations to make it a popular field trip destination. The campus hosted a 5k fun run in the springtime, an all-ages Halloween extravaganza, summer science camps, and Christmas decorations that could easily be seen across the river. Whether or not people used ArcheTech products (and many of them certainly did), the company was a fixture in the life of the city. Even natives of Freedom City who'd spent most of the decade away from home knew something about the super-tech company. Going on a field trip or attending a fun run, however, was not exactly the same as actually coming into the company for a job interview. By the time Alex was invited for an in-person interview at ArcheTech, she'd already survived the resume submission and the phone interview stage, but now this was the real thing. An in-person interview with the company's superhero CEO, Miss Americana. Not only did Miss Americana run ArcheTech, she was a super-scientist and engineer in her own right, with dozens of articles published about her work in biomechanics, robotics, and a handful of other fields. She also apparently took it upon herself to hand-pick any metahuman scientists coming to work for the company. The lobby itself was not too intimidating, since it was mostly filled with schoolchildren and their harried chaperones, racing from display to display while cheerful tour guides led them around. Employees with badges and some with uniforms threaded their way through the chaos with the ease of long practice. Here and there, security guards in blue kept an eye on things and helped wrangle the wayward children. At the farthest point of the lobby from the displays was a bank of elevators and a large, sleek white desk. When Alex approached the front desk, she could see a trio of extremely efficient-looking employees wearing Bluetooth headsets and typing with holographic touchpads onto transparent projected screens. "May I help you?" asked the nearest receptionist, a young man with a polite smile and a small computer screen projected over one eye.
  14. Almost a week after the unfortunate incident with the sabotaged plane, Naomi finally received a summons to ArcheTech headquarters. She'd filed exhaustive reports, of course, been debriefed by her supervisor, Vithya Naganathan, as had Mike and Rory, her ground team, and Keegan her backup pilot. She'd had an extensive physical that included checks of vision, hearing, reflexes and proprioception, which had been a little bit interesting given some of the things she hadn't known her body could do until recently. But all of that had been done at the test facility at Lonely Point, a place she was already familiar and comfortable with. Today's summons was to the tower in Hanover, where Naomi hadn't been since she was hired. The lobby of the imposing building was not so bad; sure it was very large, but its grandeur was softened by the fact that it was full of schoolchildren exploring displays on the wonder and excitement of renewable energy and recycling. The noise and bustle of kids on a field trip was distracting until she made her way to the relative quiet of the horseshoe-shaped front desk, where an extremely efficient-looking young woman with an earpiece scanned Naomi's ID badge with a palm-held scanner. "You're meeting with Miss Americana," she told Naomi tonelessly. "You're cleared for top-floor access. Please follow the arrows." She gestured, and a line of green arrows lit up along the midline of the wall, heading for a bank of elevators. "Have a nice day."
  15. November 10, 2014 A hyperlight signal crossed the vast interstellar network, ricocheting off Lor communications stations a moment before the stations were deluged by word of the apocalypse that had befallen the homeworld. Further and further out into the Orion Arm it went, passing by the populated worlds of the galaxy as it headed into a remote galactic backwater that held one insignificant yellow dwarf and a small system of eight planets. It hit the unmanned station the Lor had left in Pluto orbit decades earlier and headed in one last burst for Earth, passing by the Lighthouse and heading straight for its source - Archetech. In a darkened laboratory, Sharl Tulink arrived on his hands and knees, screaming. "NO!" Instinctively, he reached out mentally into the surrounding network, both the building's power grid and the computers all around him. The lights flared up at his command and the computers came to life, the primitive technology and raw naturalism of Terra a sharp contrast to the sterile, doomed world he'd left behind him. As the Terran computers booted up, Sharl fought the natural urge to dive directly into their systems and not stop running through that primitive wireless network until he reached the familiar confines of Tronik - but of course that wouldn't really solve anything, would it? Instead, he raised his head and got up off the floor - though of course being a holographic projection he'd only barely been on it in the first place. He reached out into the surrounding network of the city and called a familiar number. "Gina!" he called, remembering old distress signals easily enough. "Code 404!"
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