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January (and February) Vignette: Day of Wrath

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January 15, 2013

9 AM

Freedom City Courthouse

"We now go live to the courthouse steps, where Star Knight has appeared to offer her opinion on the Yamashita verdict." The trial of the accused stockbroker had been a high-profile case of financial fraud in Freedom City, Greg Yamashita having plundered the pensions of several established Freedom City companies, and his acquittal had brought many demonstrators out with placards and catcalls. Yamashita was being ushered through the crowd by the police when Star Knight, the armored heroine and Freedom League member, swooped down from the sky overhead and briefly hovered over Yamashita and his police escort.

The crowd fell silent for a moment as the heroine raised her hand, looking down from her faceless armor at the wide-eyed stock forger. "It's time," she said with perfect clarity before suddenly firing a deadly blast that instantly incinerated the criminal and sent his police escort tumbling like so many ninepins. "The day has come when the heroes of Freedom will no longer stand the existence of our enemies! You're next!" she yelled to the camera as the crowd began screaming in terror. The camera fell, tilting wildly, as a distant explosion sent the crowd stumbling. The last shot captured by the camera before a foot crushed it to bits was the heroine floating in the air and firing blasts into the side of the jail attached to the courthouse, laughing at the top of her lungs. "Hahaha! It's judgement day!"


January Vignette: Day of Wrath

On January 15, 2013 at 9 AM EST, a wave of violence sweeps through the heroes and villains of Freedom City, without regard for who and what they might once have been before. Some seem to go mad, laughing manically as they fall on their enemies alike like a rabid wolf gone among the sheep, driving some of Freedom City's worst to take shelter from the best gone evil. Some stalk their enemies with cruel, predatory intent. Their acts are showy and terrifying, sending the civilians in the street running in fear from their erstwhile protectors and criminals alike. Though deaths are largely limited to villains and criminals, the deeds are frightening enough, and deliberately, _mockingly_ public enough to strike at the very heart of Freedom City's trust in its heroes. As heroes and villains alike go mad, the heroes of Freedom must rally like never before to defend themselves, their families, and their cities from this unexpected attack.

The 'wrathful', as the press has dubbed them, will happily tell anyone what they're doing: Freedom City has tolerated scum and villainy for too long, and now they're going to destroy the enemies of Freedom whatever it takes, and whoever they happen to be. It looks as though judgement day has come...

Vignettes might include:

Dealing with panicked mobs fleeing a particular crisis, or even one that has turned on another costumed hero in a moment of panic they will later bitterly repent

Fighting a hero or villain 'gone mad', they are frightening foes who attempt to persuade the other heroes to join them in their campaign of violence before turning on their erstwhile ally with vicious intent. (make sure to get approval for the use of any canon NPCs in this capacity) If cornered, they will fight to the death.

Helping investigate the crisis, looking for psychic spoor, computer linkups, poison or disease in the air, and whatever else might have caused this terrible transformation

Reassuring the public, either on TV or in person, that they're going to solve this, and that they might even know who it is that's behind it.

Blowing up one of the control boxes, and dealing with its various Foundry bodyguards


Associated Threads:

These Chains On Me: Miss Americana and Gabriel, and a mixed bag of allies, deal with an attempt by Harrier to blow up Blackstone Prison and kill the inmates there.

Arms and the Man: It's Jill O'Cure vs. the Interceptors as she eliminates a jobber villain for them; permanently!

Time and Chance: A battle between gangsters and bikers takes on a whole new terrifying turn as Jubatus, Velocity, and Silver Spider take on a Bee-Keeper gone bad!

Pale Moonlight: Blue Jay deals with a battle between Congressman Aaron Walsh and some Terminus babies by shooting as many of them as possible with arrows while Blod, El Heraldo, Warp, and Kit take her on!

Counterfeit Medications: When Wander kills Jonathan Grant during a board meeting, what will her lover Midnight, the rest of the Liberty League, and old friends Cobalt Templar and le Renard Bleu do?

War of the Worlds: Young Freedom learns that home isn't necessarily where the heart is


DC 20 Bluff, Perform, Sense Motive

The 'wrathful' are obviously playing to the crowd, whipping up terror among civilians with their deeds as much as actually killing criminals, and specifically picking opportunities for showy, violent fights with other supers over general mayhem.

DC 25 Computers/Technology

There are radio signals passing between most of the maddened super-people emanating from various control boxes in Freedom City. Blowing them up should deal with some, if not all, of the 'wrathful' in the area. Careful, though, because those boxes have powerful robot guardians of their own...

I will provide further information once one of the wrathful takes significant damage in combat.

Send me a PM, or post here, with Vignette ideas or other stories you'd like to spring from this!


Since the news about the January Vignette came in so late, they're not due until the 15th of February. Points will be awarded with the February point count.

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...I want Voltage in on the radio signals thing. It's right up his alley, he can pass the check to detect them in his sleep. I don't know what i want to do with that, but I want him in on that.

As for Solar Sentinel, he's come back to town after a short visit to Arlington. I am going to put him out there helping keep things under control.

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So, for a Viginette for Fenris (as he's my only PC not already in a thread, and I'm not sure how much viginette opportunity my other PCs will get), I'm thinking of having him face Magni Thorson (who would be at least PL10, and probably bumped up due to...being a Wrathful I guess?). This is of course subject to GM/Ref approval!

Anyways, Checks for Fenris:

The first set don't feel appropriate, as he'll be in his office/lab when this all breaks out.


Computers: 32

Knowledge: Technology: 34

So he could definitely zero in on one or more of the Foundry boxes, and likely tell it's the Foundry in particular doing these things!

But of course, on the way, he would be intercepted by a Wrathful Son of Thor! :o

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Only the PCs already turned wrathful will do so.

Not _too_ many NPCs will go wrathful, just enough that there are enough for PCs to have to deal with in their vignettes.

You can still do a vignette if you're in a thread, just assume it's in interstitial time

I will be posting additional (and spoilerly) content when PCs figure out the first levels of what's going on.

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Either going with the existing checks, or giving new checks, could I state (at the beginning and/or end of the viginette) that Magnus sends out some anonymous signals (Tweets, broadcasts on various frequencies, that sort of thing) that might help some heroes who wish to home in on the Control Boxes, but aren't tech-types themselves, do so via a Notice check or the like? Just trying to help people figure out hooks for writing! :)

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So Asad is going to be doing a couple things. Batten down Summit, and head to Fens to follow up on a lead, and because he heard a certain intern he just hired was out there doing some follow up on some of their recent acquisitions.

Sense motive. (1d20+15=23) For him to see how Wrathful are acting. But while he is out there, he is going to be Voltage's hammer to break these things down.

As for Elias, I figure he is going to be spamming the heck out of Calm at the school to try and quell anything. Or use this as a time to meditate on anger.

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Available canon NPCs (not already being used in threads):

Magni Thorsson

Changeling [the Grue one]



Maximus Atom

Victoria Atom

Dr. Stratos


I know that's not as many as some folks were looking for, but it's the other team who wants the Day of Wrath to be all about fighting.

KD: That's fine.

Assume that the Wrath Boxes are heavily guarded by Foundry bots (see the FC book for information about their capability) in secret underground installations in Freedom City. Destroying them will shut down the non-in-thread Wrathful in the general area.

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Day of Wrath

Southside, Freedom City

Ironclad flew over the city, thrusters pushing her in a long curve over the south side of Freedom City. She had been out at Lonely Point, at the naval base, consulting with the US Navy on a stealth submarine drive they’d requested the Lab’s help with, when the police band radio came alive. Moments later all the local television channels had been interrupted to tell the citizens that heroes were going crazy all over the city, attacking civilians and other heroes alike. There were even reports of some deaths. Jessica had excused herself and armored up, flying up the river, trying to spot trouble before it reached the police band. She had managed to break up a couple of incipient riots (mostly people congregating in the street and yelling) and scared a group of looters in Lincoln into bolting. Now she was making a second pass and calculating the best route to the West End: apparently there was a giant robot stomping over there.

Her plans changed when a ten-foot woman jumped out of the streets of Southside. Ironclad instantly recognized Victoria Atom, even as the young woman swung up the side of an apartment building on twenty-foot arms. The battlesuited heroine swooped close to the Atom heir, hovering on jets. “Victoria! What are you doing out here?â€

The Atom twisted her head around to address Ironclad. “Thank goodness. Quickly, there’s some villains holed up in this apartment block. They call themselves the Wolfpack: we have to stop them. They’re behind all this madness!†Ironclad paused. She’d heard of the Wolfpack in passing; they were T-babies and constantly tried to conquer the city, but she was under the impression that they were strictly small time. “Quickly,†Victoria urged. “Maximus is chasing one of them down in the basement levels, but I cornered the rest up top. I need help to take them all down!†That decided it – two heroes like the Atoms needed her help? They’d get it.

Ironclad smashed through a nearby window and sent out a sonar ping, mapping the entire inside space in seconds. The building was mostly deserted, except for a cluster of people near the roof. Perhaps thirty individuals were huddled up on the roof, surrounded by five figures Ironclad recognized from police reports – Acro-Bat, Hombre, Multiplex, and Chamelia, the supposed leader of the group. After that it was child’s play to find an empty elevator shaft, force the doors open, and fly straight up, to where the Wolfpack had the civilians surrounded… families, actually. Adults protecting children who were clutching blankets or stuff animals. And the Wolfpack around them, spread out with even spacing, facing outwards. Like they were expecting an attack.

Ironclad paused, trying to make sense of the tableau, as the Wolfpack rearranged themselves in front of the hovering heroine. Chamelia stepped to the front, hands balled into fists. “Another so-called hero, ehn? Well, we’ll fight you, too! Just like we fought off Victoria Atom and sent Maximus chasing after Spectra. You won’t get these people so easily!â€

That stunned Ironclad. “What do you mean, get these people? I’m trying to save them – from you!â€

Chamelia barked out a laugh. “Oh sure, just like the Atoms were going to? You’re not going to get at these T-babies, ‘hero.’ The Wolfpack looks after our own. We’re not going to let you kill them!â€

Ironclad was too stunned to answer. She was completely off-balance, the wheels in her head spinning freely as she tried to accommodate this new information. The Atoms… were killing T-babies? Had already killed some T-babies? And the Wolfpack were defending these people? It was true that the civilians certainly seemed more afraid of Ironclad than any of the Wolfpack…

Victoria Atom suddenly crested the edge of the roof, clambering up opposite Ironclad as a helicopter bearing the logo of Channel 5 WXAD swooped overhead. Victoria grinned, showing all her teeth as she advanced on the crowd of civilians, who scrambled away from her. Chamelia scowled. “Hombre, Multiplex – hold off Victoria!†The two members of the Wolfpack raced around to put themselves between the crowd and the advancing Atom.

Victoria looked over the heads of the civilians at Ironclad. “Well? Let’s attack! Between us, they won’t have a chance!â€

Ironclad paused, and shouted back over at Victoria. “They said you attacked them,†she called out, “and that they were protecting the civilians.â€

Victoria laughed, loud and shrill. “Civilians? No, no, no. These people are symptoms, symptoms of a disease. You see, all these people are T-babies – or families of T-babies who won’t do the right thing and bring them forward to be exterminated.â€

Ironclad blanched under her mask. “Exterminated!? For what reason? For being a T-baby?â€

“Isn’t that enough? They’re bringing the taint of the Terminus into this world! Why, at any moment they might rip a hole in this dimension and let Annhilists and their armies through. We can’t wait for that to happen, Ironclad. We have to kill them all!†And Victoria rushed forward, using her elongated limbs to bash aside Hombre and Multiplex. She raised one noodle arm above the crowd, clearly intending to smash as many as possible to paste.

What she wasn’t intending was for Ironclad to catch the blow on her crossed arms. The force of it drove her down several inches, but she routed more power to the thrusters and pushed back. “I don’t know what the hell is going on,†Ironclad said to Victoria, “but this wrong. There’s no reason to kill these people just for being like this!â€

Victoria bounced backwards and sneered at Ironclad. “So you’d stand with villains? And wait for the world to be destroyed.â€

Ironclad charged her weapons and went into a battle stance. “I’ll stand alongside anyone who’s against murder. And I’ll protect this world from any threat, even if they think they’re a hero!â€

“So be it,†Victoria sneered loudly, even as the news chopper settled at a comfortable distance to film the fight. “If you stand with them, I’ll just have to kill you all!†The Atom girl wound up and swung, and Ironclad misjudged the timing of her distended limbs; the blow cracked off her armor plating and sent her flying. Multiplex called down lightning to blast Victoria, but she wove away from it – and into Hombre’s line of fire. The space biker let loose with a volley and Victoria rolled with the blows, falling off the roof – only to reappear, swinging up. She snatched Hombre off the roof and pitched him into the air and over the chopper, to land somewhere far away.

Ironclad jetted back into the fight, blasting Victoria and driving her towards the flipping Acro-Bat. The nullifying villain got a hold of Victoria and grinned as she sent her power into the woman… Only to have the Atom laugh in her face and retaliate with a rabbit-punch. Acro-Bat folded, and Hunger came in swinging. Victoria dodged his open mouth and flipped him onto a neighboring building, but the distraction gave Ironclad enough time to get in close and grapple Victoria.

The heroines rolled across the roof, Victoria’s inhumanly long limbs fighting for leverage against Ironclad’s servo-assisted strength. It seemed a lost cause for the Atom woman, but suddenly her limbs moved with a disturbing fluidity and seeped out of Ironclad’s grip. Victoria landed in the midst of the civilians and laughed haughtily. “Time to make with the killing,†she crowed. “Time to cleanse this place of the AIEEEEEE!†The air crackled with energy and Victoria arched her back, bending into a horseshoe before collapsing.

Chamelia suddenly appeared, a smoking gauntlet on her arm. She glanced over at Ironclad and back at the gauntlet, shrugging. “Something I nabbed off a Super-MAX last time I tangled with STAR Squad,†she said. “Kind of over-charged it, I think, since all the lights are red.†She pulled the glove off and let it drop, as Ironclad came to stand next to her over the unconscious body of one of the city’s defenders. “What are you going to do now?â€

Before Ironclad could respond, a woman in white floated out of the floor. Spectra doubled over in the air, laughing herself silly. “Oh man, Chamelia. You should’ve seen the look on Maximus’s face!†The ghostly villain paused and looked over the roof. “Oh. Um. Is everything okay?â€

Chamelia crossed her arms and nodded, giving Ironclad a side-ways glance. “Everyone’s fine. And the civilians, too. Where’s Maximus.â€

“I, uh, left him in a sewer pipe under the river.†She giggled. “When he comes out he’s going to smell like what he has instead of brains.†She looked at Ironclad. “And we’re teaming up with the white masks, now?â€

Chamelia gave Ironclad a look, and the armored heroine sighed. “I have to get Victoria to the police,†she said. “After that I expect to be very busy. But I will be following up on these people, every single one of them, so if you have something in mind I’d drop it right now!â€

Chamelia held up her hands and rolled her eyes. “Right. Well I guess we’ll just get everyone inside and bunkered down.â€

Ironclad nodded and gathered up the unconscious and smoking Victoria Atom. She rose into the air as the Wolfpack began to regroup and herd everyone indoors, and the news chopper flew off in search of another story.

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Available canon NPCs (not already being used in threads):

Magni Thorsson

Changeling [the Grue one]



Maximus Atom

Victoria Atom

Dr. Stratos


I know that's not as many as some folks were looking for, but it's the other team who wants the Day of Wrath to be all about fighting.

KD: That's fine.

Assume that the Wrath Boxes are heavily guarded by Foundry bots (see the FC book for information about their capability) in secret underground installations in Freedom City. Destroying them will shut down the non-in-thread Wrathful in the general area.

Right, think I'll do Orion for Philos, won't be able to do it until Monday for research.

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I'd like to use Dr. Stratos, or at least like to lay a temporary claim until I get a chance to look at the book tonight. I'm only asking for a couple of hours of indecision, as I don't have the book right now (not at home.) I'll look at him as soon as I get home tonight and confirm whether or not I want to use him.

EDIT: Upon further reflection, I've decided not to use Dr. Stratos

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Day of Wrath

Southside, Freedom City

One week ago, Jerry Moretti was supposed to be the star witness for the district attorney’s office in a series of murders perpetuated by Big Al’s boys. The city was willing to offer him a plea bargain reducing him to time served in an upcoming trial for vehicular manslaughter, and in exchange he was supposed to give up information on a number of the mafia’s current operations and really put a damper on business. Unfortunately, The Hitter got to him first. Not in the way one would expect mind you, he was simply reminded of how favorable it would be to keep to the omerta. More importantly how unfavorable it would be to his personal welfare. This left the City stuck with an uncooperative witness that now had to be transferred to Blackstone, as anywhere else would inevitably lead to him being broken out by his friends.

Foreshadow had it on good authority, otherwise known as the wonder that was precognition, that the armored prison transfer van would come under fire. The officers would be overwhelmed lives would be lost and Moretti would escape. All in all not a good day to be in law enforcement. Erick was genuinely surprised when Foreshadow asked him to prevent the tragedy. To say that David Sloane kept people at an arm’s length would be an understatement; as such teamwork was not a concept that got passed around often in the Sloane House. Nor was Foreshadow usually a fan of the public stuff. It took quite a bit of convincing and a whole lot of Foreshadow doing that thing with his eyes that let people know it was time to back down. Commissioner Kane was by no means a pushover. Not to mention the Star Squad loved having an opportunity to prove itself. Luckily, Foreshadow had earned the city’s trust with his one man war in the Southside.

Funny thing about trust it was a lot easier to lose than earn. In a stroke of a single morning the city had begun to lose the years of faith it had accrued in its heroes. Reports cropped up all over about heroes going on wild vigilante killing sprees with wanton regard for those who got caught in the crossfire. It amounted in the duo having to allow two members of the Star Squad to ride along as backup.


Waiting by the station for the van to double back so the officers could switch off with them Omen would chuckle before breaking the ice with a joke. “Welp let’s go change the future. Or present, which you saw in the past. Has anyone ever told you your real superpower is verb tense murder?â€

“And yours the murder of the English language. Now quiet we have work to do.†Foreshadow responded gruffly without so much as turning in acknowledgement towards Omen. As effective as a methodical approach to crime fighting had served Foreshadow, it just wasn't how Erick would ever want to approach it. Not that a difference in opinion could explain how odd it felt to Omen that he would be dismissed so quickly on a matter that wouldn't normally concern Foreshadow so much when it was just the two of them. While it wasn't expected to be a relaxing family outing full of casual back and forth, it was still out of place even for David. In fact Foreshadow hadn't been acting like himself as of late.

“Geez, someone’s got a stick shoved somewhere.†No response. The actual handover was quite uneventful. Foreshadow would sit in the back with a Star Squad Officer and Moretti. Of course Foreshadow was right about the attempted prisoner hijacking. This is where everything fell apart. Two vans would drive up and begin alternating fire towards the transport van sending a chorus of screams as worried bystanders looked on. As Driogano’s men fired Foreshadow suddenly swung the backdoor open. â€Not to pry, but what the $@&& are you doing?â€

“Why are we always protecting unrepentant garbage like this? If we truly want to change the future then we should start by sending a message. Freedom City is not a playground for the wicked any longer.†In one swift move Foreshadow snapped Moretti’s neck uncuffed him before tossed him out of the back. The officer in the back moved to stop David only to be greeted by an elbow to the side of his helmet. Omen’s mouth gaped open in shock as Moretti’s body went barreling out of the vehicle. His mind couldn't process what just occur and it was only by sheer luck that he avoided crashing into any oncoming traffic while dealing with the shock. Unfortunately the day wasn't getting any kinder as David would go on to exclaim. “Anyone who opposes progress is just as much a part of the problem.†In a truly horrifying turn of events he would also kick the officer out of the van. Not caring if the force of which killed the innocent officer. In fact David would go on to grab the man’s assault carbine and begin firing a calculated burst towards one of the two pursuing vehicles’ tires causing it to rollover and barrel into a nearby crowd just adding onto his tally.

A hail of gunfire ringing throughout the streets as the remaining members rescue party had make the conscious decision to become a hit squad. At this point Omen had enough of what he had seen. Yelling towards the officer in the passenger’s seat whom was now intent on pulling his service weapon out on one of the masked vigilantes,†take the wheel, I’ll deal with him.†Sending a series of wayward elbows fueled by a strange mixture of rage and sorrow Omen would send the vehicle bodyguard divider flying behind him and out of the vehicle. A result he hadn't actually expected to occur as it should have been nigh impossible for his physical strength. Apparently someone had tampered with it ahead of time for a sabotaging for an easy release, and considering how quickly Foreshadow hit the prone position he didn't have to wonder who. Nodding towards the remaining officer he would quickly roll out of his seat and sprawl for the back as the Star Squad officer did not miss a beat in taking his place the vehicle swerving a bit as the exchange occurred.

“Oh you found my present just in case I ended up sitting in the front. You should be careful, someone could have been hurt.†Foreshadow chuckled as he picked himself up, dusting his costume off nonchalantly as they continued to be fired upon. Omen growled not in a quipping mood as he threw a punch that might as well have been telegraphed as Foreshadow casually leaned back to avoid it. A series of jabs would find itself just as ineffective only for David to take advantage and find an opening to kick his adopted son in the stomach. Erick clutched his gut as he leaned forward gasping for air “Come on now, everything you've learned I've perfected. At least bring your A-game to the party. “ Not that he would be given the opportunity to step up to the task as Foreshadow clapped both his hands against his student’s ears to disorient him further before tying him up in a chin and collar lock and transitioning into a judo throw which would send Omen flying out of the car.

His life was saved by crashing into the windshield of the remaining mob van. This is not ideal. Two, maybe three ribs. Omen thought to himself wincing in pain as he remained sprawled against the windshield of the car he had collided with welcomed only by the sounds of various Italian swears and wild swerve into a parked car the driver being knocked out in the ensuing chaos. Alright, Sloane the judges haven’t added up that final tally yet. I still have enough kick left to floor it. A poor choice of words as the tires of the transport van screeching echoed throughout the street. David had not wasted a moment in killing the second officer and taking control of the vehicle. Performing a rapid U-turn as he insisted on finishing what he began. “And I thought I was persistent.†With the driver out of commission a battle of bumper cars was out of the question, before a collision could occur Omen fired a swing line to get himself out of harm’s way.

Propelling himself into a nearby building just didn't have its usual luster when his entire body was screaming out in pain. Watching David crash into the remaining mob van and practically ensure their deaths as well only made him feel some self-loathing as he failed to do anything to protect them. Guilt was a luxury that he didn't have time to drown in. Limping into a nearby alleyway Omen was glad that people were quick to take a hint and crowds dispersed in fear of being caused in the crossfire.

Abandoning the transport van Foreshadow would chase after him in full pursuit certainly not moving as if he was a man whom had just caused a high-speed vehicle collision. Of course that could be the adrenaline pushing him forward. Erick knew he was in no condition for anything more than a last stand. His mobility was nonexistent, and getting the drop on a precog was easier said than done. A downhill battle this was not. “Come on now you didn't think I was going to let you go. You could save us some time and bite the curb if you’d like? Or I can beat you like before you’re a big fish wading in the shark pool now. So much wasted potential we could have made a difference together. Now your death will just have to serve as a deterrent.â€

“Aw options I didn't know you still cared.â€

“What can I say I’m sentimental.†Omen wasn't going to win in a straight on confrontation not in his condition. It’s a good thing he had no intention to fight fair sending a flash-bang flying at Foreshadow before he could turn his head away to disorient him. In a move that no doubt would be considered ill-advised upon his next doctor’s visit, otherwise known as Alaina performing garage surgery in the penthouse, Omen would somersault forward using the momentum to mule kick Foreshadow in the back of the head. Yet even with that David would remain standing and even turn his body to try and send a spinning back fist towards Erick’s face Luckily, Erick hadn't given himself a moment to breathe and in the exact same moment that he was hit in the jaw would lunge his stun gun into David’s side sending a high voltage torrent of electricity throughout his mentor’s body. A wail that could almost be described as demonic in nature would echo throughout the alleyway followed by a mechanical whirring noise. Foreshadow slumped forward helplessly into Omen's shoulder. His body twitching with the occasional spark flying about. An unnatural amount of smoke bellowing forth from his torso, as opposed the natural amount of no smoke. With a loud thwack, Omen would slam an escrima stick into his father’s temple tearing into the side of his head confirming he wasn't exactly dealing with flesh and blood.

“Okay...that's going to need some answers.

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Well, probably not gonna do Orion, just got a chance to look him up. I got a question, anybody want to do a dual vignette with one of these heroes. Basically Philos isn't gonna really fight any of these guys, he's gonna try to talk them down, and get knocked out.

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A Little Push

Providence Asylum

9:30 AM

January 15, 2013

“Get out of me!â€

The man that wasn’t a man came barreling across the asylum grounds on all fours. No one saw him – no one save Temperance, however, who dodged her attacker as it leapt at her, unkempt nails forward. It hit the ground hard, but not hard enough, turning almost on a dime to try and strike at her.

“There’s no need for this,†she said, desperately trying to remain diplomatic. “I merely wish to speak with --â€

“Little girl lost, stuck between, earth and air! What are you, who are you, why are you –“

“That’s quite enough, Cacophony.â€

The gibbering man turned to see someone else who wasn’t there stride across the grounds. He was dressed immaculately in three-piece suit and bowler hat, carrying a cane in one hand. His face and comportment were those of a middle-aged gentleman… but there was an air roiling off of him that struck at Temperance’s hindbrain, one that reminded her of cold knives and darkened rooms. Cacophony slunk off, then bounded away as soon as he was out of the presence of the man.

“Sorry for the mess,†he said. “My… underlings are so hard to control.â€

“Given the setting and their duties,†said Temperance, “that’s to be expected. Who do I have the pleasure of speaking to?â€

“You are in the presence of the Duke of Cold Dreams. And who might I have the pleasure of speaking with?â€

“An interested party.â€

The Duke tilted his head. “Now, that won’t do,†he said. “I gave you a name in trust, and I expect the same in turn. Or… do you have a reason to guard?†He leaned in, and the vibe about him cut deep into Temperance as he stared deep into her eyes. “Oh, yes. You smell of nepotism, and, as my friend said, of flesh. So you have a… father, I’d assume, somewhere in the courts. Aquatic, judging by your mask. Why do you hide your name? To hide his? Does he not know --â€

Temperance stepped forward, closing the distance with the Duke. To strike him would reign up there on the scale of bad decisions alongside “licking the third rail,†but she wouldn’t bow to him. “You can drop the Hannibal Lecter act,†she said. “None of that is relevant.â€

“Oh, dear,†he said, “you are so mistaken. This is far more than an act. Do you wonder why I’m the one talking to you, and not the Abbot of Cacophony? His kind draw on, and feed, the illness as it is. Wracking, clawing, and ever-present. Even the advocates of depression are a chore to get a straight word out of.†The Duke smiled, and Temperance prayed he wouldn’t again. “I, on the other hand, represent the illness as men most want it to be. Not something that disables. Not something that hurts. Something that… twists. Something they’ll never have to deal with, and which makes its bearers easy monsters.â€

“Thanks for the metaphysics lesson,†she said brusquely. “Now, onto the matter of business. Tell me about the madness.â€

“Well, that cuts a wide swathe. Where shall we start? Caligula? Gilles de Rais? King George?†There was that damn smile again. “Oh. You mean today’s madness. If you think that my court was responsible, dear, I warn you… that charge carries significance.â€

“I don’t,†said Temperance. Though it would give me a great excuse to punch you in the face. “But there are more ways to send a person into a frenzy than yours alone. I thought you might have a… professional interest in the other parties.â€

The Duke nodded. “So you seek information on a potential perpetrator, one who might be wracking the minds of mortals.â€


“That will require… a favor. In the interests of my court.â€

Temperance imagined a good dozen things a member of the Court of Lunacy would want done, and decided to cut off the list there. “No deal.â€

“Then no info.†The Duke turned to walk back into the asylum…


The Duke turned back. And Temperance called out the name of her father.

“So,†he said, “that’s who you are. Interesting. I have no ill will towards their number… yet.†He twirled his cane about lazily, then looked right at Temperance.

“We know nothing.â€

“Don’t play games with me--â€

“No games. Only truth. Whatever is happening today, it’s not our bailiwick. No poisoned thoughts, no ill urges, no overwhelming compulsions. Whatever is being done is either being done out of duplicity… or out of absolute sanity.â€

The Duke vanished into the morning air. Temperance shook her head. She’d cut class, taken risks, and possibly outed herself… and she had nothing to show for it. She turned to head back into the city. So I may not know what the hell is going on, she thought. Doesn’t mean I can’t try and do something about it.

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Well, as I discussed briefly in chat, I was thinking that once Velocity is contacted by the Freedom League as part of the reservist call up (be that Fluer or whomever), she will be zipping around town, maybe even going after one of the control boxes based on data being provided by Fenris or Voltage. I also was thinking of having her running into Amy Feng briefly and stopping to talk with the TV reporter (seeing as no one else has approached the idea of having their character speaking to the public/press during the crisis :))

Still not sure what I might try to do for Tsunami (likely will depend on how things go in the thread for those still at Claremont).

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