Gateway City

Breakout at Gateway Prison

The heroes (Jeneal, Pacifier and The Talismonger) responded to an alarm call at Gateway Prison. Some mysterious foe had blown open the exterior wall, and broken into the cell blocks, releasing all the prisoners.

Landing at the opening, Pacifier recognized paramilitary troopers as belonging to ARSENAL’s private forces. He took down two of them with his sonic blaster, while Jeneal demonstrated her incredible swordsmanship on another two.

Meanwhile, Talismonger had teleported in to the top of the wall. He attempted to seal the breach with a mystical force-field, but the construct was soon overwhelmed by the mass of rioting prisoners who threw themselves against it! Searching through his pouches, he found a token that caused the wall to rebuild itself. A few of the inmates attempted to hitch a ride, but Pacifier’s quick reflexes knocked them off.

The battle moved into the prison yard. Jeneal cut a swath of pain and injury through the prison yard, while Pacifier took care of the ARSENAL troops guarding the hole in the prison proper. Talismonger took to the skies, checking for stragglers (and nabbed a couple).

With the ARSENAL troops secured, Pacifier proceeded inside, looking for the source of an explosion that Talismonger said he heard. At Jeneal’s advice, he checked in the basement, improvising an entrance through the floor.

Meanwhile, inside the prison, the dark vigilante Nightstick had been helping to subdue the riot. He saw several of the ARSENAL troops head downstairs, and he followed.

Both Nightstick and the larger team arrived on scene to find that the troops had freed Dr. Radiotron, and had also just retrieved his Radiotronic Blaster from lockup. Nightstick’s aura of menace caused the ARSENAL troops to freeze where they stood, but the mad Radiotron took aim on the group instead!

Pacifier stepped in and took the Blaster away from Radiotron, while Jeneal struck the mad scientist a crippling blow. Radiotron, seeing his defeat, managed to activate an emergency teleporter, and set the blaster to explode. Unfortunately for him, the heroes were able to either dodge or resist, while the ARSENAL troops took the brunt of the explosion.

After regrouping and treating the wounded soldiers, the group set out in pursuit of Radiotron. Talismonger was able to trace his location to an underground bunker deep in the Nevada desert. He transported the group there, where they quickly detained Radiotron and handed back over to police custody.

The Return of Argal

Waking from a precognitive dream, Talismonger rushed out to the Halcyon Building, where he went searching for a mad bomber, linked to his dream. He found the saboteur in the elevator shaft, planting some kind of strange device. Talismonger informed the police, and then delved into the saboteur’s mind.

Talsmonger learned that the saboteur had been hired by a mysterious person to plant these devices all through the building. With the deadline fast approaching, Talismonger then bewitched him into removing the devices, making him think he had placed them on the wrong building.

In the meantime, Nick Tyler was coordinating the police response. Staying out of the saboteur’s way, Tyler had bomb teams ready to disarm any of the other devices. Unfortunately, time ran out! Talismonger contained the last few devices in a mystic force-field just as a coruscating beam lanced down from the clouds. After searching in vain for the devices, it narrowed and sent down a squad of small, blue-skinned aliens. Nick Tyler, getting this report, exclaimed “They weren’t bombs! They were homing devices! SWAY teams to the roof! NOW!!”

the SWAT teams responded quickly, and thanks to Talismonger’s efforts to contain the troops, they were quickly taken into custody, but not before one threw a teleporter beacon down the hole they had blasted in the roof. The beam flashed again, and a massive, green figure emerged. The SWAT teams reported that it looked like Brute, but dressed in the strange armour of the aliens. Tyler told them to stay put, he was getting reinforcements.

Talismonger threw a quick force-field around the monster, but something in the air made it flicker out just as the creature got his bearings. The SWAT team was reduced to avoiding “Brute”’s powerful but clumsy blows, until Nightstick challenged it with the ominous phrase “You’re not Brute”.

The green giant turned, and stared into Nightstick’s eyes with his strange, glowing orbs. “Brute doesn’t live here anymore. Now it’s just me.” Then he unleashed a psychokinetic blast that leveled a wall. Nightstick dodged at the last second, only being grazed. “That almost hurt.”

The SWAT team beat a hasty retreat, leaving a smoke grenade back as a present for the creature. At the same time, Talismonger casta a spell to interfere with the monstrous psychic’s abilities. A deadly game of cat-and-mouse followed in the fog. Nightstick managed to put non-Brute in a sleeper hold just as Talismonger robbed the villain of his super-strength. Gateway’s Dark Avenger put the creature down handily, then disappeared under the cover of fog.

The police arrived to take the aliens into custody, and they were able to identify the being in Brute’s body as Argal the Conqueror, an alien warlord who had menaced Earth several times.

The Plague of the Golden Orchids

It began quietly. Only a few heroes noticed.

Pillar was on patrol when he spotted a panic in a bookshop. He found a delivery man who had been transformed into a savage, raging half-lizard thing. Quickly subduing it, he left it for the police. He took the flowers the man had been delivering, and went in search of someone who could help him understand how they might be linked the the strange transformation.

His search took him to a local laboratory, where coincidentally Solar was visiting with one of his few contacts on Earth. The scientist was fascinated (if somewhat disturbed) by the description of the transformation, and set to work immediately.

Meanwhile, in Southside, Dr. Ellen Sheridan was dealing with a crisis of her own. A patient had been brought to St. Jude’s Hospital because of a severe allergic reaction. However, while in the ambulance, the patient had transformed into another of the lizard-creatures. It took a number of the hozpital’s guards and orderlies to subdue the being, while Dr. Sheridan examined it.

Sensing the man’s life-force, the good doctor managed to learn that the poor soul had been transformed into a lizard-human hybrid through the agencies of the golden orchid flower he wore as a boutonniere. Before she could deduce more, she was called away. Apparently, the man was only the first of MANY at the wedding to be so transformed!

When January and the rest of her medical team arrived, the police had formed a cordon around the wedding hall. The reception had been awash with the golden flowers, and everyone in close proximity to them had been transformed. The altered wedding party and guests had then turned on the still-human guests, attempting to rend them limb-from-limb!

Between them, Dr. Sheridan and Nick Tyler devised a clever plan. Tyler’s officers stormed the wedding, containing the lizard-creatures while Sheridan’s medical staff entered to quarantine the flowers. It was all accomplished in short order, and both lizard-men and flowers were taken to a staging area set up to contain the threat.

By the time Tyler, Sheridan et al arrived, the staging area was handling a number of “outbreaks” from across the city, though none as widespread as the wedding. Solar and Pillar had found their way here, directed by a city official who had called on Solar’s scientist friend. The heroes sat down to exchange their paltry information. They had learned that the flowers had all appeared mysteriously. While looking like orchids, they were apparently not – they were the ancestors of orchids, from the distant past!

Keil appeared, having followed the trickle of Sauronids here. He identified the flower as the “sacred Nara” of the Dinosaur Men. A quick check on Dinosaur Island confirmed that it was possible that Lord Tyrannos and his mate had slipped off the island. But where to find him?

A clue was provided when the report came in of an aborted disaster. A gardening club was about to embark on a charity planting drive of the golden orchids, when the flowers were seized by police. This time, there was a clear source – one of the club’s members was a gardener at the Emerald Park greenhouses. A team proceeded there, while January stayed back to try and cure those transformed.

The heroes discovered a single greenhouse taken over by Lady Tyrannos, and overgrown with the flowers on strange vines. Taking the Sauronid Brood Mother by surprise, they were able to knock her unconscious, while Solar defeated her minions with gouts of flame. Nightstick appeared, taking care of some of the stragglers. to their chagrin, the heroes discovered that the flowers could defend themselves, as the vines animated and began trying to smother the heroes!

January arrived just in time. She drained the life from the vines with her powers, and between her and Solar, they were able to finish the deadly vines off.

Investigating the ruins of the greenhouse, the good doctor realized that the plants had had their pollen harvested. clearly, Lord Tyrannos was out there, planning on releasing the pollen on Gateway City.

A police report came in, letting the heroes know that Tyrannos and a force of demi-Sauronids had invaded Robard Towers. The heroes were there in a flash. Arriving as the Dinosaur King and his minions took control of the Tower’s roof, the heroes were off like a flash. While Solar had little trouble flying to the roof, and Keil climbed the Art Deco exterior with ease, others were forced to improvise. Nightstick and January ascended the sabotaged elevator shaft with grapples. Pillar stood briefly frozen, worry apparent on his face. He quickly shook it off, however, and raised a column of stone to carry him to the roof.

Once on the roof, Solar launched a blast of fire at the pollen bag. Unfortunately, this backfired, spraying pollen down around the building, and forcing the Living Sun to burn it off before it endangered those below.

In the meantime, Nightstick exchanged threats with the Dinosaur King while January held off the demi-Sauronids. The Dark Avenger’s words hit home, sending Lord Tyrannos into a psychotic rage! Nightstick used the Tyrant Lizard’s rage against him, choking the giant mastermind into submission.

Recipe for Anarchy
Cookbook mixes up some trouble at the UN, resulting in more chaos than even he can handle!

Pacifier, Talismonger, White Dwarf, Reflex and Nightstick responded to an emergency call.

ARSENAL troopers showed up.

Cookbook’s a dick.

Talismonger turned him into a chimp.

This is a placeholder for when I don’t have a headache.

Night of the Living Morgue

Strange things were happening all over the city.

The Tao was dealing with a series of robberies at Happy Zap Electronics in Chinatown when a naked woman attempted to break into a nearby store. Her head had been stove in, and she was mumbling about a sale. Yang attempted to heal her, and while he restored her lucidity, he was unable to either heal her head wound or do anything about her lack of pulse! The Tao took the woman to the nearest hospital,St. Jude’s.

At the same time, Jeneal was looking into the theft of a state-of-the-art diagnostic bed for coma patients. She encountered a number of similarly-shambling hooligans in the street. After subduing them, she reported them to the authorities, and was asked to come to St. Jude’s Hospital.

All the while, January had been dealing with a crisis. Apparently, the entire contents (population?) of the morgue had got up and walked away! Reports were coming in about people meeting the description of the missing corpses being sighted in a variety of places.

Recaptured corpses came in at a trickle, including those escorted by Jeneal and the Tao. Under January’s astute gaze, she determined that while they had been animated, they were not truly alive (much as the good doctor herself). Moreover, they were (except for the woman Yang had treated) all incoherent. The question was then: what to do about them?

The Tao, probing the chi of the room, determined that the same event had animated all the corpses, a discharge of energy from a far corner (out of sight of the cameras). Checking a nearby closet revealed the missing diagnostic bed, highly-modified with parts from Happy Zap!

A decision was made: the incoherent animates would be restored to their fully-deceased state by January and Yang. The woman was given the choice, and chose to grapple with her new condition.

While all of this was going on, someone had come to “return” the bed to the coma ward! Running after the “orderly”, the heroes quickly detained him and prevented his removing the bed. At that point, he dropped all pretense, gloating about how amazing his accomplishment had been. Disgusted, the heroes handed him over to the police.

As they took him away, he gave them a card. On it? Nothing except the picture of a jaguar.

Winter's Hunger - Part 1
"The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead..."

It was a cold night in Gateway City. The kind of night that tells you winter is here. The docks were deserted, save for one old man with a bottle in his hand. The old man looked up from his drunker reverie, out onto the vast, choppy expanse of the lake. His eyes opened wide in shock, and he screamed.

The quiet of the night was shattered by the crash of the vast, hulking ship slamming into the wooden pier, ripping it apart. The old man was covered with the debris. Frost covered the rusting sides of the ship as it lay on the shore.

January and Talismonger were called on by the GCPD to assist in the investigation of the boat crash. One sailor had been recovered from the ship, identified as the William Baldwin, a merchant ship missing for four months.

January began by examining the sailor, who had unusual symptoms. She examined him and found him waterlogged, malnourished and suffering from incipient scurvy. She also found his life being sustained by some strange, alien life-force she had never before encountered. Using her powers to restore what she could of his condition, the man was still left frozen-cold and tinged a strange blue-green.

In the meantime, both Talismonger and Commander Nick Tyler were examining the ship. Talismonger, concerned with reports of ghosts by the lone witness, examined the decks but could find nothing conclusive. Tyler, on the other hand, noticed several watery footprints, as well as torn scraps of cloth from a sailor’s parka.

Talismonger turned his attention to the half-drowned sailor. Using one of his talismans, he tried to trace the source of the strange energies. He found himself in contact with a distant and cold entity, a being of pure hunger and malice. He collapsed briefly, babbling in a strange language than Tyler was able to identify as Ojibway. Two words among the unknown were recognizable by GC’s favorite son: Nishkiskade Gisinibi.

The Master of the Magical was able to pull himself together, and banished the strange energies from the sailor’s body. He was also able to translate the rest of the Ojbiway litany. It was an incoherent muddle, speaking of a great power of ice and storm, a hungry god exiled from this world by the ancient hero Nanabush.

Talismonger made a call, saying he knew someone who might be able to help. The three heroes’ vigil was delayed by a call on the police radio. Strange figures had been involved in an assault and kidnapping. Responding to the call, the heroes headed off five figures, dripping water and dragging two men towards the lake. These five were lurching corpses, animated only by the cold and hungry power that they had exorcised from the sailors.

Commander Tyler mustered the police attempting to capture the creatures, while January weakened them and Talismonger struck them down with lightning. No sooner had the heroes made quick work of this group, however, than reports came in of others roaming the city, dragging people back towards the lake.

The hours between then and dawn were full, but the heroes managed to prevent the waterlogged zombies from dragging any of Gateway’s citizens into the freezing depths. As dawn came, the heroes met at St. Jude’s Hospital. They were found there by a Native man with chiseled features.

“My name is John Twoyoungmen. The Irish feller called me. Gisinibi has woken, and we will need to put him back to sleep. Otherwise, he will devour us all.”

To be continued…

Winter's Hunger - Part 2
Rise, the Hungerer!!!

When we last left our heroes…

Sitting in the appropriated Staff Lounge of St. Jude’s Hospital, John Twoyoungmen explained the next step to the assembled heroes (January, Talismonger, and the newly-arrived Pillar), and GCPD Commander Nick Tyler.

“In the old, old days, Nanabush tricked Gisinibi, who was hungry enough to eat everything, in to going to sleep. Then he put a blanket over him that was so thick that Gisinibi would never wake. But sometimes Gisinibi kicks off part of the blanket. That’s when the winter gets really strong, and nobody would venture out on Gitchie Gumee.

“When Nanabush taught my people the ways of the Mediwiwin, he gave us a ritual to lull Gisinibi back to sleep, if he started waking up. Only two problems with that: we’ve got to be right near wherever he’s waking up, and he’s probably gonna be real cranky with us when we do.”

The first problem was easily solved by Talismonger, who scryed the depths of the lake, and located the rift through which Gisinibi was entering this world from the Spirit World. Unfortunately, this also attracted the Hungerer’s attention, and a mystical blizzard sprang up across the Great Lakes, lashing the area with snow, wind and waves.

The heroes waited while Twoyoungmen assembled his Mediwiwin medicine people from across the area. Only one, Mary, had to make the dangerous trek across the lakes, so Talismonger went to bring her in. A good thing he was there, for the unnatural storm had frozen the Mackinack Bridge to the point of fragility. Talismonger thawed the bridge, driving back Gisinibi’s power, and then teleported himself and Mary back to Gateway City.

Once the seven shamans were assembled, Cmdr. Tyler arranged for a boat to take them to the ice-island being formed by Gisinibi’s rift, then remained on shore to coordinate any rescure efforts. The seven shamans and three superheroes bundled up and took to the stormy waters of Gitchie Gumee.

The Coast Guard captain’s skill was up to the daunting task, and soon the heroes were at the strange island that had formed out of the cold emanating from the depths. As the Mediwiwin circle began their ritual, Gisinibi let loose the full power of his storm upon them. They erected mystical protections, but they were paltry things, and were on the verge of falling when Talismonger intervened.

He deflected one of Gisinibi’s attacks, then set a far more powerful shield over the shamans, woven of rainbows and promising access to a land of eternal Summer. With the ritualists safe, the heroes turned their eyes outwards…

The next assault came cold on the heels of the last. More of Gisinibi’s hungry dead climbed out of the lake, swarming the heroes. With a slam of his fist, Pillar sent half of them back into the chill waters. January used her strange touch to weaken and then drain them. Talismonger drove those foes attacking him back, and then spotted more emerging from the depths. He sent a wave of eldritch flame into the depths. It destroyed many of the drowned corpses, but also unbalanced the island.

As the heroes fought on, Gisinibi himself rose from the depths, a terrifying creature whose head and shoulders dwarfed even Pillar. This terrifying, ancient god nearly paralyzed the heroes with fear, but Talismonger shored up their strength and they fought on. Next, they faced Gisinibi’s chill breath. Already mystically protected from the unnatural cold, they weathered the storm, and went on the counter-attack.

Talismonger lashed the Hungerer’s eyes with lightning, blinding him briefly. Vanquishing the last of the attacking corpses, January had Talismonger teleport her onto Gisinibi. Standing on the behemoth’s shoulder, she sapped his unnatural might, leaving him only with his great bulk as a weapon. Pillar then summoned a rock spire, and rode it up to strike a mighty blow to the Hungerer.

Staggered, Gisinibi was unable to mount any further attack on the chanting shamans. Their lullaby grew in strength, and they cast their power as a blanket over Gisinibi, returning him to his cold slumber.

As Gisinibi fell into dreaming once more, the skies over Gateway City cleared, and the lake was lulled from its unnatural fury. The Coast Guard ship returned to a heroes’ welcome, for the people of Gateway City knew they had been spared a terrible fate by the bravery of those aboard.

RadioActives Attack!
Introducing ILSA!

A call goes out for heroes to aid the police. There has been a theft at a government-run research lab, and super-criminals are involved!

Jeneal and Talismonger arrive on the scene, to see a large hole blown in the building, with a hazmat containment tent erected over it. Jeneal is somewhat unwelcome by Captain Henderson, but Talismonger is a sight for sore eyes. He briefs them both on the trio of villains who broke in and stole a prototype particle accelerator. Or rather, he tries. Jeneal heads off inside immediately, forcing Henderson to shout after him that the criminals have already fled.

The two heroes are about to take off in pursuit, when they are interrupted by another threat. A police officer checking ID stopped someone in a hazmat suit from entering the building. When thwarted, the…being transformed into an androgynous, featureless grey humanoid with wings, and tried to fly away. Talismonger caught the being, while Jeneal attempted to subdue it. When her attempts failed, Talismonger transported the being, insisting that it must be allowed to enter the building, into a detention van parked nearby.

Once the crime scene was secured, Talismonger and Jeneal began to search for the criminals. Talismonger located them in Emerald Park, and teleported the two of them there.

The RadioActives were caught unawares, preparing their next move. Jeneal struck at Roentgen, stunning him with pain, while Talismonger unleashed a powerful blast of psychic energy that incapacitated Carcinoma, the Living Tumour and shocked the other two. Blast Shadow reacted by teleporting the RadioActives to the Gamma Realm to recover.

Back at the crime scene, Ilsa had managed to convince Captain Henderson to hear it out. Reciting its origin, it convinced him to trust it, and that it was on the side of right. Confirming its story through other channels, Henderson gave Ilsa permission to track down the others.

Meanwhile, Talismonger had rummaged up a hoop that would allow the heroes to teleport together to track the villains. Ilsa joined them just as they departed, and the three of them penetrated into the Gamma Realm. However, the RadioActives had already departed for Dr. Radiotron’s desert laboratory, a site familiar to Talismonger. He tracked them down, and they departed the strange home of Blast Shadow.

The heroes arrived in the midst of an ambush, but one they had anticipated. Talismonger transported them each into close combat with one of the RadioActives. In psite of their powerful abilities, the RadioActives proved difficult foes. In the end, both Roentgen and Carcinoma was captured, while Blast Shadow was catapulted back into the Gamma Realm, trapped in that strange dimension…for the time being.

Hard Day's Fight

The heroes were called on by Captain Henderson of the GCPD as support in a hostage situation. An armoured man had taken BioNext Medical Research hostage, and wired several floors with explosives in order to prevent being disturbed.

January, Talismonger and Keil, the Last Caveman responded to the call. After conferring, Talismonger used his magic to determine the location of the bombs. In addition, he determined that the building had not been fully evacuated, which Henderson confirmed. Keil snuck into the building to begin evacuating people on the sly. Talismonger had another idea.

The Master of the Mystical pulled out a flying carpet and moved to the window of BioNext. He got Hardcase’s attention by shouting at him. This provoked a rocket shot, which did more damage to the building opposite than to Talismonger. The Irish Conjuror kept baiting Hardcase, distracting him from Keil’s activities. Unfortunately, he also enraged the desperate criminal, who was trying to keep Dr. Timothy McGregor working on something. Talismonger was “taken into custody” by Henderson (who was annoyed at the hero’s lack of consideration for the dangers, even as he admitted the distraction worked).

While this little drama was going on, January had made Hardcase an offer: allow them to evacuate the civilians, and they would let him be. She went into the building, and began evcuating the upper floors (while Keil worked on the lower ones).

When they had the building almost evacuated, Hardcase ripped a hole in the wall, and left, with Dr. McGregor (chained to some kind of briefcase) over his shoulder. The heroes swung into action. Tailsmonger teleported in front of the thug, while Keil mounted Talismonger’s flying carpet to swoop above and behind the powersuited criminal.

Talismonger rushed past, throwing his own teleportation amulet around Dr. McGregor’s neck and transporting him back to the police base camp. At the same time, Keil leaped on Hardcase’s back, trying to subdue the thug. When Hardcase fought back, Keil decided enough was enough – he ripped the armour apart like he would fighting a clubtail. Talismonger tossed a charm that paralyzed the man in the suit.

Unfortunately, this left Keil in mid-air, holding on to a no-longer flying suit. Keil, in a stunning feat of acrobatics, brought himself and the criminal safely to the gound, while Talismonger prevented the bottom half of the suit from crashing and exploding.

The two heroes returned to the base station with the criminal in tow. They handed him over to the authorities, and Keil issued a final warning: “Do not defy my chief – this jungle is under the protection of Keil!”. This set Hardcase off, and he was hauled away ranting and swearing revenge against the Last Caveman.

Not Street Legal

The mayor has been attacked at the opening of the Gateway City Auto Expo! Reports say that a gang of thugs busted in with souped-up cars, took control of the Expo, and forced Mayor Bennett to take refuge in a back room.

Pacifier, January and Reflex responded to Nick Tyler’s call for supers to help deal with the ringleader of the gang, described as “wearing a Trans Am on his chest”. The heroes entered the Millennium Center behind a SWAT team led by Tyler, making short work of the guards there. They then went in search of the mayor, while Tyler and his crew began retaking the Center.

Entering the New Car display hall, the three crossed it in a blink, confronting a group of the gang members blocking access to a door. Pacifier took them down with one of his Electro-Nets, but they delayed the heroes long enough for others to come up behind them. The heroes had to fight the gangers (armed with some kind of energy-slug shotguns) off, but between Pacifier’s electro-nets and Reflex’s explosive discus, they soon had the upper hand. January took a hit from one of the guns that left a hole in her midsection, but she shrugged off what would have been a lethal wound for the living, and kept going without a blink.

Working their way to the room where the mayor was holed up, they met up with thicker opposition, though no more challenging. Bypassing the gangers with a display of athletics, Reflex came face-to-face with the gangleader, who called himself Motorhead. The gangleader came out swinging, but Reflex dodged away while keeping up a line of banter.

Meanwhile, January had supercharged herself, and came flying in. She altered Motorhead’s metabolism to take away his unnatural strength. Unfortunately, his technokinetic control made the alteration a brief one. Regretfully, January drained Motorhead’s energy, bringing him low within moments.

In the meantime, Pacifier mopped up the rest of the gang members, who were no match for his sonic stunner and electro-nets. Reflex broke from the fight with Motorhead to assist Chief Manning and her security detail repel the attacks of the animated office machinery who were swarming the barricades where Mayor Bennett and his entourage had taken refuge.

With Motorhead down, the rest of his gang surrendered. Deputy Chief Tyler caught up with the team just as the mayor congratulated them on a job well-done.


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