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Found 9 results

  1. Archetech August 2019 The impossible had happened and a shining knight had found love with a perfect goddess of science and patriotism - or so it was known in much of the Freedom City community. The reality of the unholy cyborg killing machine from beyond the stars and the mysterious controller behind Miss Americana was rather more complicated than that, and far less known, even inside the relatively small confines of the hero community. But it had happened and those two lovebirds really were married now, a texted picture of rings on fingers having been sent to Erik and Talya's cellphones about twenty minutes earlier, about the time the Interceptors had arrived. They, their children old enough to stand a party, and a selected few friends of the family had been invited to the reception for the wedding at Steve's invitation. They were about ten stories up in a glass-walled, flower-bedecked atrium in a room staffed entirely by robots too far off the humanoid to be creepy - some were serving drinks, one appeared to have built-in speakers and was parked near a small dance floor, and others had been dusting and cleaning when the Interceptors and party arrived. It was a nice room on a sunny summer day, the sky overhead a lovely shade of blue dappled with white clouds. Steve and his bride were supposed to be there at any moment...
  2. Sunday April 24, 2016 Nuevo Laredo, Mexico There have been some interesting reports from Freedom City for the last few days - but honestly the news from Freedom City is usually full of something interesting or another. Nuevo Laredo was a dangerous city - its status as the busiest inland port in Mexico made it a hotbed of cartel activity, crime and violence such serious problems that even families separated by the border only met on the American side to avoid the risk of street violence. And yet even so, the people that lived there lived better than any prole in the Terminus - better than those people could have dreamed. In the trainyards, as the local security monitored the loading of Dragonfly's new electronic decompilers into the cars of the Southern Pacific, Steve Murdock brooded on these thoughts, and more besides, his dark mood a strange contrast to the "Pixar-blue" sky overhead complete with perfect white puffy clouds dotted here and there. "Thank you for coming, Echo," he said in a moment when his speedy teammate joined him on top of the train where he crouched, watching the work. Of all the Interceptors, Echo was the one with the simplest passport card - no wonder, for a woman who could cross borders when it suited her fancy. "The men appreciate seeing an American superhero - and I appreciate a comrade here. I apologize I am not a better companion." And with that, as he had been doing so often since they arrived, he fell silent. - Getting assigned as a superhero 'ridealong' to the famous Asad had proven to be a real coup for Sparkler and El Huracan - the wealthy playboy had had no real superbattles to fight during a week when business had taken him down to south Texas to supervise the acquisition of Multimedios Radio, one of the largest Norteño stations in the region, a gateway towards making a real financial push into the relatively untapped media market that was northern Mexico. Now he'd crossed the border to actually sign the papers that would make this territory part of his business empire, bringing with him his business staff and the two teenage heroes who hadn't had very much to do this week. The Crowne Plaza Hotel might not have been very big at 12 stories high - but it was the largest building in Nuevo Laredo. From the penthouse suite that Asad's party had rented for the occasion, the group could see out over the struggling city. From this high up, and behind glass, it was impossible to see the city's troubles, or hear them; just to see a nice, sunny day and a thriving commercial metropolis below them. The streets all around here were crowded with semitrucks, thicker than any the teens had seen even back in major cities in the States, making things far easier for those who could fly.
  3. September 5, 2015 It started with a wave of car thefts from the edge of the West End, all of them parked, secured vehicles in the parking lots of the many strip malls and other commercial areas that took up space between the West End and the growing suburbs of Ashton and Grenville. Then came the dumpsters, emptying out without a trace, and then finally vanishing themselves. When store owners put out security cameras and caught glowing lights surrounding their missing property before it vanished, they called their local superheroes for help. This meant the Interceptors - this meant stakeout. A little investigation revealed what looked to be a regular pattern to the thefts; and suggested the next place the thieves would strike. The team was currently occupying the next location on the list; a strip mall adjoining a small stretch of scrub woods that had for the moment escaped the growth of the city all around them. This late, only the all-night liquor store anchoring one end of the complex was open; the rest of the businesses, like much of the neighborhood, were sleeping. Luckily, Steve had a face for customer service, and so behind the counter he sat in the uniform of Al's Liquor Store, his scarred face and brusque demeanor making him seem 'like the kind of person who would work at a liquor store late at night." He wasn't entirely sure he understood what that meant; but he'd been given a mission by his team and he did his job. He knew the other Interceptors were on the case too. Of course, they weren't the only people out tonight trying to solve the mysterious disappearances...
  4. July 4, 2014 Freedom City "Damballah and Erzulie are with us." Cassandra Vale's doctorate was not in medicine, but between one thing and another there were few better doulas than La Sirene - especially for a water birth. Cassandra smiled and took her friend's hand. "Come on, Beth, let's get you in that tub." Despite the growing pains in her lower belly, Beth Walton-Wright was also smiling as Siren, her husband, and her midwife helped her into the tub - specially designed by Daedalus so that a woman strong enough to punch through steel wouldn't damage it while giving birth. After so many years of wanting, of prayers to Liberty and Justice and all the other gods and goddesses she'd known in her long career as a superheroine, she was about to have her baby! - July 4, 2014 Faneuil Hall Hulking and scarred, Steve Murdock stood as an island in the middle of a small sea of VIPs, waiting for the arrival of their very special tour guide. With a red shirt, blue slacks, and a white tie, he perfectly matched the color scheme for the day - right down to the Special Access pass pinned to his shirt. His special glasses gave the city and its crowd of tourists a faint greenish air, one that he knew would soon fade once the tour began. The special holographic technology built into the Archetech tour glasses would give the tourists a chance to see the Boston of 1776 (or at least its construction) overlaid on the Boston of 2014. Normally someone as high-profile as Miss Americana would not be involved in something as small as a tour, but the chance to show her work to tech executives, academics, and journalists alike had been too much for Gina to pass up. Intently he stared at the brochure in his hand, carefully memorizing everywhere they were going on their walking tour to the Common. People on Earth-Prime might take the idea of freedom and revolution for granted, but that was something Steve could never do - people had fought and died for the liberty of others in this city. It was very serious business. I will be here for Miss Americana to see what she has done. And after the tour, I will fly back to Freedom City, and Gina and I will watch the fireworks together. She will be happy today.
  5. July 1, 2014  Midnight Greenbank       Steve closed his phone, put it in the glove compartment of his HAX-issued car, and stepped out onto the street. The sightings on the streets of Greenbank had been dismissed as hoaxes, or perhaps a publicity stunt for one of the many stories told on Earth-Prime that he did not understand. At least at first. A group of young people, coming out of a store that sold picture books like those that had taught Steve how to read many years earlier, had seen representatives of some of their favorite fictional characters scuttling into the sewers, katanas and other martial weapons gleaming in the light. And then another sighting, this time of Sub-Terrans, and then another of the long-dead Conqueror Worm. The sightings all had something in common - they were all of beings that lived underground, all of them glimpsed on the surface before immediately disappearing below.    It wasn't the sort of situation that got the attention of the Freedom League - after all, the only real emergency had been the HAX car that had nearly been run off the road by a startled driver after a surprise appearance of the Conqueror Worm in the middle of the street. The only people who had been put off by it were the homeless population of Greenbank and the other areas where the sightings of the "Underground" had taken place. But Steve was not a man to turn away from a crisis, even an exceptionally humble one. Transforming into Caradoc, he reached down and used his sword to open the panel, no, the manhole, that would give him access to the sewers below.   Holding the manhole cover in one hand, he activated his jets and slowly flew down until he reached the sewer pipe itself, where a large walkway allowed for significant access even for a man-sized figure like himself. He had thought about inviting Miss Americana along on this expedition, but as a cockroach scuttled by, he decided this sort of mission was not one Gina would have favored. 
  6. Power Level: 12 [15] (250/250PP) [280] Trade-Offs: None Unspent PP: 0 In Brief: Omegadrone turned Hero Name: Harrier Alternate Identities: Steven Murdock Identity : Secret Birthplace: Nihilor, the Terminus Occupation: Deputy Chief of Security at HAX Affiliations: HAX, Omegaorphans, the Americana Family, Deep One orphans Family: Dead Age: 100 Apparent Age: 40 Gender: Male Ethnicity: Terminus Height: 6'4" Weight: 600 lbs. Eyes: Black Hair: None Description: Murdock is a brown-skinned man with no visible body hair, just like all combat drones. His face is generally non- descript, save for the small, hair-thin lines that run over most of his body. They look like tribal tattoos, and he will not correct anyone who makes that assumption. He speaks in a flat monotone occasionally leavened by a wistful regret. Harrier is a monster. Clad in black and red armor that bursts out from his back to cover his whole body, he is clearly recognizable as an Omegadrone, fully armed and ready for battle beneath his faceless armor. He prefers to let his fists, and his power pike, do the talking for him if forced into his armor. He flies with the help of the red and black jetpack that erupts from his back with his armor, spewing hellish gouts of flame as it propels him into the stratosphere. Power Descriptions: Harrier is a wrecking machine, a goonsweeper capable of going toe-to-toe with some of the toughest customers in the World of Freedom. Unarmed, blasting or cutting with his pike, he's a powerful threat to almost anyone; a hard, cold blade designed to cut deeply and painfully. History: Once, there was an Earth. It was defended by the greatest heroes of the world, champions of justice and right, avengers of evil: Earth's mightiest superheroes. And then that world died, screaming, as its heroes died and it was sucked into the Terminus. Sally and Ben, survivors of that world, were part of the personal retinue of Steelguard, once friends who became slaves of Shadivan Steelgrave. Steelgrave liked having some around who remembered the old world, and enjoyed reminiscing with them as they tried not to weep at the slayer of billions that their friend had become. He forced them to take anti-aging drugs so they would live as long as he did, and denied them the quick deaths they craved after watching the deaths of their families and the assimilation and corruption of all they loved. When he began to mutter about what a shame it was that there were no more children from their world, in their terror they conceived and gave birth to a son. In one last act of defiance, they named him Stephen, after the man who had once been their captor and tormentor's best friend, then his first victim as Omega corrupted him. Steelgrave was...amused, and gave them something of what they wanted. Stripping them of their immunity to aging, he hurled them into the pits of Nihilor, where the once-favored slaves learned to scrape and fight like the proles they now were. After all, they lacked the courage to die if it meant the death of their son. Stephen Murdock grew up in the pits, the great black castle of Shadivan Steelgrave overhead, with memories of a dead world loud in his ears. He learned to survive in the grim surroundings of Nihilor, the hearthworld of the Terminus, to run and hide from drones, to fight for food, to survive in a world of pure death. When his parents died, Stephen assembled a gang of likely toughs and began doing what he could to make himself master of the pits: not to overthrow the drones, but simply so that the people there could live without having their neigbor as their enemy. When he came to the attention of Steelgrave, as all such visionaries do, he pleaded for mercy, begging for help from the last survivor of their world of marvels. He got that help, oh yes. The process of assimilation into the armies of Omega is a horror best not described in these pages. Bones are removed and replaced with black, terrible Terminus metal, parts of the brain replaced with transceivers to receive the VOICE of Omega, and the body itself is infiltrated with a thousand different pieces of nano-technology. The subject is conscious to the end, naturally, so that when the torment and mutilation ends, he will cling to the VOICE in his head as the voice of his god. Steve Murdock died that day. He became a combat drone, a specially augmented unit designed to fight superhumans. And that was precisely what he did in a dozen different worlds. He was in at the death of mega-billions, a cold, merciless killing machine and agent of assimilation. A particularly powerful and skilled unit, he was traded from Annihilist to Annihilist, even starring in several battles in the arena. His armor was an experimental variety, designed to burst from under his skin when necessary, something which he used to great effect in combat again and again. Until one day, when it all changed. He was leading a squadron of Omegadrones through the Hundred Worlds when an alien starship decloaked just above them and opened fire. The big combat drone at the lead took the brunt of the damage, the tremendous magnetic charge scrambling his circuits...and severing his connection with the Terminus. Heavily damaged and outnumbered, he managed to fight off the lesser drones who attacked him when he was severed from the VOICE, their blasts giving him the drive to escape. And from there he fled, deep into the Void, screaming. It was through great good luck that he stumbled across a Furion raiding party, and even better luck that they didn't kill him out of hand. And when Freedom Bird disarmed him and beat him to his knees, the former drone looked up at the Furion and screamed "I die free!" And that was when Freedom Bird and the others wept, because if a drone could be freed, who knew what freedom could do? The Furions took him in and taught him, teaching him something of himself and of what it meant to be a free man, but he really had no place among those shining symbols of virtue. They knew him too well, and had fought too many drones, to ever fully trust him. Luckily, Freedom Bird knew people who could help, and the former Omegadrone (now calling himself Harrier, after Harriet Tubman), was delivered to the Freedom League, who (after _extensive_ tests), delivered him to the world, with a fake ID and fake name, the better for him to learn about freedom. What better place than Freedom City? It's been quite a ride for the walking embodiment of pain and loss; embraced by some as the ultimate hard-luck hero and others as a symbol of all that is evil and horrible. He is still the monster people tell their children will come for them at night, but he's a hero too. It's a good feeling. He has a woman he loves and a job he cares about, friends and comrades with whom he would fight the worst of monsters with. But the road to redemption is a long one, and Harrier knows better than anyone the perils that lie along the way. After all, blood will tell. Personality & Motivation: Harrier is cold. It's not that he's unfeeling, by no means, but rather that the horrors of life as an Omegadrone have layered depths of memory and grief between himself and the rest of the world. He cares intently for the suffering of others, but shows this by action, not words. He speaks with a slow, deliberate monotone occasionally leavened by moments of wistful emotion. In his civilian ID, he keeps to himself, sometimes in a slightly creepy way. His small apartment has no decorations and sparse furniture. When he's not working, eating, or sleeping, he watches television, doing his best to absorb the reality of this world that's now his home. Otherwise he walks the streets, pike fastened subtly at his side, and tries to learn what he can about humanity. He opens somewhat around his close friends and his lover, but there is still no denying the fact that the scarred-faced drone is _other_, even if most people might not be able to sort it out. Powers & Tactics: Harrier prefers not to use his armor if the situation calls for it, and against many foes he can actually get away with that. Generally he fights silently, his face composed in a flat mask, but when angered by a particularly vile enemy his face contorts into a mask of utterly infuriated rage. He'll usually attack the strongest-looking enemy first, hitting them as hard as he can, not retreating unless absolutely necessary. His staff lets him hurt almost any foe, whether with blasts of Terminus energy or strikes with a devastatingly fast, powerfully charged blade at the head. If forced into his armor he's a terror on the battlefield. He usually fights from the air, blasting away at lesser foes, before landing to begin a slow, methodical elimination of the enemy. He'll allow weaker enemies to shoot him a few times, the better to spread _fear, before landing to begin their punishment. If forced into his armor, he does not linger, and will leave as soon as possible (or at least change back) so as not to attract attention. Complications: Enemy: This is something separate than just people being scared of him. There are people, a lot of people, who'd see a free Omegadone as an opportunity for some free payback. Friends: Wander, Jack of all Blades and company, Dragonfly, and the rest of the HAX and Interceptors crew are people Harrier would walk through fire for. Immigrant: Harrier is still adjusting to local customs and society in Freedom City. He's learned a lot as he's gone, but this is indeed a strange world. Love: Harrier loves Gina Evans, for all that it's a deeply fraught relationship. Double Secret: Harrier has more than one identity to worry about now that he has the Caradoc name. Job: Harrier is frightened of losing his job, as it's one of his connections to the world around him. Monster: Harrier is an Omegadrone. Cops will shoot at him on sight if he's in armor, civilians will run screaming or attack him if they're brave enough. Only a Mother: Even outside of his armor, Steve is no prize. Collector: Between the Omegaorphans that he rescued from a crashed Terminus ship, Yolanda Morales, and the Deep One babies he helped save during the Archevil invasion, Harrier is something of a collector of lost and bereft children. The World I Left Behind Me: The Terminus knows those who escape, and has terrible plans for them. Abilities: 14 + 6 + 14 + 0 + 6 + 0 = 40 pp STR 32/24 (+11/+7) DEX 16 (+3) CON 24 (+7) INT 10 (+0) WIS 16 (+3) CHA 10 (+0) Combat: 8 + 8 = 16 pp Init: +11/+3 ATK: +4 (+7 Melee) [+6 (+9 Melee) w/Armor, +12 Blast with Pike, +18 Blast/+16 Strike w/No More Holding Back] DEF: +9 (+3 Dodge Focus, +2 from Armor, +4 Base, +2 flat-footed) [+15 w/No More Holding Back] Grapple: +14/+22 Knockback: -13 Saves: 3 + 5 + 7 = 15 pp TOU +15/+11/+9/+7 (+7 Con, +2 Density, +2 Protection, +4 Force Field [10 Impervious]) FORT +10 (+7 Con, +3) REF +8 (+3 Dex, +5) WILL +10 (+3 Wis, +7) Skills: 68 r = 17 pp Disguise 0 (+0/+50) Intimidate 10 (+10/+20, SM) Knowledge (Cosmology) 10 (+10/+15) Knowledge (Tactics) 15 (+15) Knowledge (Technology) 10 (+10) Language 1 (English, Base: The Black Speech of the Terminus) Notice 7 (+10/+20, SM) Sense Motive 7 (+10/+20, SM) Stealth 7 (+10/+15, SM) Survival 1 (+4) Feats: 15 pp Attack Focus: Melee 3 Dodge Focus 3 Interpose Leadership Master Plan 2 Second Chance (Saves vs. Fear) Skill Mastery (Intimidate, Notice, Sense Motive, Stealth) Takedown Attack Ultimate Save (Will) Uncanny Dodge (auditory) Powers: 6 + 14 + 30 + 31 + 13 + 30 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 12 + 1 + 2 + 8 = 151 pp Communication 4 (technological, 1 mile, radio, PFs: Selective, Subtle [Encrypted]) [6PP] Container 3 (15PP, No More Holding Back, training, Drawback: Power Loss [When Not Inflicting Lethal Damage, -1]) [14PP] Attack Specialization 3 (Terminus Blast Array) [3] Enhanced Defense 6 [12] 3+12=15 Container 5 (25PP, Terminus technological, Omegadrone Armor, Extra: Duration [Continuous]) [30PP] Enhanced ATK 2 [4] Enhanced DEF 2 [4] Flight 3 (50 MPH/500FPM, PF: Move-By Action) [7] Immunity 4 (disease, poison, sleep, starvation and thirst, Flaw: Limited [Half-Effect]) [2] Immunity 6 (Environmental Cold, Heat, Pressure, Radiation, Suffocation) [6] Protection 2 [2] 4+4+6+2+7+2=25 Container 6 (30PP, Terminus technological, Alpha Omegadrone, Extra: Duration [Permanent], PF: Innate) [31PP] Enhanced Feats 10 (Affects Insubstantial 2 [Unarmed], Challenge 3 (Fast Startle, Mass Intimidation, Powerful Intimidation), Improved Initiative 2, Luck, Quick Draw [Draw], Startle) [10] Enhanced Skills 40 (Intimidate 10, Knowledge [Cosmology] 5, Notice 10, Sense Motive 10, Stealth 5) [10] Impervious Toughness 8 [8] Super-Strength 1 (Effective STR 42, Heavy Load: 3 tons) [2] 11+10+8+2 Density 4 (Terminus technological, Permanent, PF: Innate [+8 Strength, Protection 2 (Impervious), Immovable 1, Super-Strength 1, x3 mass]) (13 pp) Device 9 (45PP, Terminus technological, Omegadrone Pike, Flaw: Easy to Lose, PFs: Restricted 2 [Harrier Only], Subtle [Collapsible]) [30PP] Concealment 2 (normal vision, Flaw: Passive) [2DP] Enhanced Feats 3 (All-Out Attack, Power Attack, Takedown Attack [2]) [3DP] Force Field 4 [4PP] Super-Senses 4 (Detect Weakness [3], radio, Enhancement: Analytical) [4DP] Terminus Blast Array 14 (28PP, PF: Alternate Power 1) [29DP] BE: Blast 12 (entropic blast, PFs: Accurate 3, Improved Crit) {28/28} AP: Strike 4 (blade strike, Extra: Autofire [10], Penetrating 5 [as DMG 20], PFs: Affects Insubstantial 2, Extended Reach 1 [5 ft], Improved Crit 2, Mighty, Precise, Variable Descriptor 2 [any technological]) {28/28} 2 + 3 + 3 + 4 + 4 + 29 = 45 Feature 1 (mutation, Temporal Inertia) [1PP] Immunity 4 (mutation, disease, poison, sleep, starvation and thirst) (Flaw: Limited [Half-Effect]) [2PP] Leaping 1 (mutation, x2, RLJ 34 ft, SLJ 22 ft, V 8 ft) [1PP] Morph 10 (Caradoc, technological, Disguise Bonus +50, PFs: Covers Scent, Precise) [12PP] Speed 1 (mutation, 10 MPH/100FPM) [1PP] Super-Senses 2 (Terminus technological, Darkvision) [2PP] Super-Senses 8 (mutation, Detect Terminus [3], mental: Enhancements: Acute, Extended 2 (1000 ft range increment), Radius, Ranged) [8PP] Drawbacks: -2PP Weakness (magnetism, uncommon, minor) [-2PP] Abilities (40) + Combat (16) + Saves (15) + Skills (17) + Feats (15) + Powers (139) - Drawbacks 2 = 250/250 pts
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