Tuesday, 29 September 2015

1.14 Endgame Part 4

After leaving Freya with Narszara, I bring Aunt Mary to my lab for a private chat.

“So about bringing Freya here,” I say as the door closes behind us, “What do you think the government will do about it? Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe that you haven’t done anything wrong, but I do want to be prepared for whatever is coming our way.”

“They’ll probably try and discipline me,” says Mary, “Reduced pay and bad assignments. They might even try and take Freya away from me so I don’t pull more stunts like this. They’ll find I’m a lot tougher than they expect. With the exception of Gregory, I’m the longest operating superhero that’s still active and they will not take my daughter away from me without a fight.”

“Aye,” I agree, “They’ll find the League of Heroes a bit more than they handle if it comes to that, but I feel that things won’t come that far. Especially once they realise how unrelenting we will be on this matter.”

“Too true,” says Mary, “But that’s just a worst case scenario. I’m certain they’ll just try and do that stuff and back down when I don’t. But enough about that, there is another reason I wanted to come here. I would like to take you up on your offer of assistance in upgrading the Warden armour.”

“In what way?” I inquire.

“We both know that you and Dad are both better inventors than me so no beating around that bush,” replies Mary, “I was hoping you could share your latest upgrades to the Sentinel armour with me, so I could add them to the Warden armour.”

“Sure,” I reply with no need to even think about.

Aunt Mary is family and is without a doubt completely trustworthy. No argument there and Granddad did always share his own inventions with her and I have absolutely no reason to not do the same.

“It’s nice to have some of the family back in the game,” says Mary suddenly, “Ever since your mum decided she didn’t want to get involved in the family business, I also thought it fall to me to continue the League of Heroes. It’s strange you know. When we were kids, I always assumed that if one of us was going to become a superhero, it would be Linda. Of the two of us, she was the one that inherited Mum’s powers.”

“Wait what?” I say, confused, “My mum has superpowers?”

“Like same as Helen and Mum, your grandma,” says Mary, “I wouldn’t be surprised if Lily develops powers at some point in her teens.”

“I’ll keep that information in mind,” I reply with frown.

Mum has portal powers? She has never shown any sign of the having them, but I guess she wouldn’t need to. Keeping the possibility that Lily might get the same powers in mind is important, especially as she wasn’t raised like the rest of us Leaguer descendents.

In fact, my little sis doesn’t even know about her connection to the League of Heroes.
But that is all in the future and whether or not Lily develops powers, there is nothing I can do about it.

Other than putting her through the Awakener that is.

As I begin to show the Sentinel armour Mk VIII off to Mary, Janelle interrupts us.

“Sorry to interrupt,” says Janelle apologetically.

“No need to worry,” replies Mary, “What we’re doing can wait and I’m sure what you got to say is important.”

“That it is,” says Janelle, “I have found the location of the Machine’s creator.

“Where?” I demand quickly.

“An old sunken Sektain warship that the original Lantern took down in the Invasion,” says Janelle, “About twenty one miles southeast of the Isle of Wight. Given the length of time, I personally believe that our foe is someone who has taken over the vessel as their base rather than a member of the original crew.”

“Hmm,” I mutter, “I’ll call the entire League together for this one. Given how dangerous, the Machine’s creator has proven, I think we should also call in some back-up.”

“I’ll call in the Albion Defenders for this,” says Mary.

“And I’ll call in Darrac,” says Janelle, “He is still planetside and his expertise should prove useful.”

“Darrac is one of the supersoldiers created by the Sektain right?” inquires Mary.

“That is correct,” I reply, “He has also helped me out against the Machine a couple of months or so ago. Plus he was the one who provided us with the equipment to locate the Machine’s creator in the first place.”

“I’ll be off to call my team then,” says Mary, “You call the League. I’ll be leaving Freya here by the way.  I am not sending her back after we just got here and I am most certainly not taking her with us.”

“I understand,” I reply as Mary leaves the lab.

I might as well get armoured up while I’m in here, I decide as I walk up to the latest version of the Sentinel armour.

“Hey Janelle,” I say as a thought enters my mind, “Are you sure this isn’t another trap?”

“Yes,” replies the AI, “For once, we have the upper hand and the element of surprise.”


Friday, 25 September 2015

1.14 Endgame Part 3

“Almost done,” I tell Charlie as we work on the last of Sektain sensor beacons.

We got all three of the three metre tall towers, made entirely from the greenish-purplish grey alloy that the Sektain use, set up in a spare room down in the base. The beacons are quite unusual by Earth standards, but feel quite normal for Sektain stuff. They have a wide and low tripod base with a generator that shoots a small beam of yellow energy into the air that only reaches the top of the beacon. Several metal rings surround the energy beam while three curved pillars protect its sides.

“Good because as fun as it is to mess around with alien tech, it feels weird,” replies Charlie.

“Really?” I say, “I enjoy it. Nice to work such advanced stuff.”

“Eh,” mutters Charlie with a shrug, “You’re the genius here.”

“You’re smarter than you give yourself credit for,” I tell him.

“Seriously Daniel,” insists Charlie, “You are a genius. Why do think you’re the Sentinel? Your grandfather picked you over both of his daughters, your sister and your cousin.”

“Yeah, well, he picked because-” I start to reply, but become flustered as I realise my argument is these cases is that Granddad picked me because I was the smartest.

“See!” says Charlie, “Of us New Leaguers, you’re the only one that could do your grandfather’s job.”

“I still don’t see how that- got it!” I exclaim as I get the last sensor beacon working, “Hey Janelle, can you start scanning for the Machine’s creator?”

“Already on it,” replies Janelle, “You also have your aunt on her way here.  She’s bringing Freya along with her.”

“Who is Freya?” asks Charlie.

“A Class 5, one of the only three in the country,” I tell him, “Her powers manifested when she was four and the government has kept her hidden since then, roughly a decade ago if memory serves. To stop her from accidentally hurting others and to stop people trying to use her for their own gain. My Aunt Mary has been looking after her since then, pretty much adopting her as a second daughter. So now Freya Griffin is family, at least to those that know about her.”

“So what is she to you?” inquires Charlie.

“The younger cousin I never get to meet in person,” I reply, “I’m surprised she got permission from the government to bring her here. Let’s go and meet her.”

“Nah,” says Charlie, “I got to get back home. I’m already pushing how long I can stay here.”

“Okay, see you around then,” I reply, “I’m going to get back to work one of my new major projects.”

“What is that?” asks Charlie as he heads for the doorway.

“Another AI to help us out like Janelle does,” I tell him and Charlie freezes in a doorway.

“An AI?” repeats Charlie, “You sure that’s a good idea? Haven’t you seen how that goes in the movies?”

“Those are not true,” I reply, “I would much rather based my judgements about AI going by the real life ones rather than the fictional ones.”

“Eh,” says Charlie as he leaves the room, “I’ll trust you to get things right.”


I wait at the exit for Aunt Mary and Freya to arrive in civvies. It’s just family so no need to wear the Sentinel armour.

Honestly, I’m feeling quite nervous. Freya may be family, but I never actually met her before and have no idea what she is like or what she thinks of me. And that’s not even taking into account that fact she has Class 5 powers.

“Hello Daniel,” says Mary as she lands, wearing the Warden armour, “Were you waiting for us?”

“Pretty much,” I reply as a girl climbs off Mary’s back, “I’m looking forward to meeting Freya. We haven’t exactly had the opportunity to do so before.”

“MI9 does like to keep a close eye on her,” Mary agrees as I take a look at Freya.

The girl is surprising tall for her age to the point I feel confident in saying that Freya will be one of those supers that end up over two metres tall when they’re finished growing. Her hair is in a long pony tail with an odd colour, a strange mixture of blonde and red, both colours being intertwined with each other.

Her eyes are a deep blue and Freya has pretty face. Not to mention a good figure like Narszara. And her clothes are pretty plain, simply black trousers and a brown t-shirt.

“Hi Daniel!” says Freya, “It’s great to finally meet you and to get out of a government building for once.”

“I’m glad to meet you too,” I tell her before turning my attention back to Mary, “How did you get permission to take Freya here?”

“I didn’t,” replies Mary bluntly, “I told them I was taking her to visit the League of Heroes base as we were leaving. Now let’s get inside the base before anybody stumbles across us.”

And that explains a lot, I think as we enter the base.

“Say Daniel,” says Freya, “Would it be possible to meet Narszara? Because I really want to.”

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

1.14 Endgame Part 2

“That was a good match,” says Sam as we exit the base in civvies, “Even if you cheated at the end.”

“I didn’t cheat,” I protest, “I just used an advantage that the battlefield granted me to win.”

“In an official match, that would have been considered cheating and you would have been disqualified,” points out Sam.

“In a real battle, your foe wouldn’t have cared and would beat you,” I counter.

“True,” agrees Sam, “You have to admit that I would have taken you out otherwise.”

“It would have taken you a while, but you would have,” I concede, “Then again, you are the second most powerful superhuman in the British Isles minus Narszara.”

“That I am,” says Sam with a grin.

“Do you want hear what Janelle found out about the Blackguard Breakout?” I inquire, “She filled me in as I was getting changed.”

“Definitely,” replies Sam.

“Well, Prison Officer Glenn Bateson was always a troublemaker so it was really only a matter of time before he ended up on the other side of the law,” I explain, “He was discretely paid a lot of money from anonymous source. We’re talking tens of millions here so it is no surprise at someone like Bateson accepted the offer.”

“Oh for sure,” mutters Sam, “That much money should traceable. At least to us if not to government. We’re able to use illegal methods that they can’t after all.”

“Surprisingly, Janelle was unable to track it and if she couldn’t, I won’t be able to either,” I reply, “Call me paranoid, but I think it was the Machine’s creator who paid him.”

“Really?” inquires Sam, “Why so?”

“Because Bateson was told to wait until I was there with the media tour before breaking them all out,” I tell him, “That breakout was a trap set for me. But don’t go spreading that around. I don’t want our enemy to know we know and it might get us some unneeded bad PR.”

“I understand,” says Sam, “Any closer to finding out whom this mysterious enemy of ours is?”

“Not really,” I reply, “Other than they have access to large amounts of outdated Sektain technology and mass amounts of money, there isn’t much they left out there. Personally I’m hoping that I can use the sensors I brought off Darrac to find out more information.”

“What is Darrac up to?” asks Sam, “I know he is still hanging around the planet, but not anything more than that.”

“He is visiting Mia over in Australia,” I reply, “Darrac is getting to know the family and new life of his captain and they’re getting to know him and her old life.”

“Darrac isn’t getting into any trouble is he?” inquires Sam.

“Hah!” I laugh, “Between him being him and his spaceship, there isn’t much that can actually trouble Darrac. But he is playing nice due to Mia. Even if he wouldn’t suffer consequences, his captain would.”

“I assumed he cares about Mia then,” says Sam.

“He is absolutely loyal and devoted to his captain,” I reply, “From what I have found out, Darrac is cooperating nicely with the authorities like Mia has been.”

“So do you think these new sensors will help?” asks Sam.

“Without doubt,” I tell him, “I’m certain that our foe is using outdated Sektain tech leftover from the Invasion to keep them hidden. This modern Sektain tech should counter that advantage of theirs.”

“Just don’t go into more detail,” says Sam.

“Why not?” I tease him, “I’m sure you would enjoy it.”

“Oh no,” says Sam with mock horror, “Whatever shall I do to escape this horror.”

I snigger and Sam soon joins me.

“But on a more serious note,” I say as I stop laughing, “MI9 has finally sorted things out for the Rileys. They should be able to get back to a normal life. Or least more normal than what they got currently.”

“They should be looking forward to that,” says Sam, “Well, I don’t know about the kids, but Mr and Mrs Riley will be.”

“Yeah, the kids have been getting along great with their Auntie Narsey,” I reply.

“Have you called her that?” asks Sam, “Narsey that is.”

“Would you?” I counter.

“True,” replies Sam with a laugh, “But you are her lord.”

“And I don’t want to know how far that extends in this case,” I reply.

“Talking about Narszara,” says Sam, “Have you considered the idea of sending her to school for education like some have suggested?”

“You have to be kidding me!” I laugh, “Sending Narszara to school would just be asking for trouble. You wouldn’t believe the body count she would rack up in a mere week. Besides, even if she is only thirteen years old, her people grow up faster both physically and mentally. As of such, her body is more in its late teens and her mind is that of a young adult rather than a girl who has just entered her teens.”

“This is the point where we go our separate ways,” says Sam as we come to a halt at the junction of a road.

Sam is correct as his route home requires a turn to the right while my own route means that I need to go left.

“See you tomorrow then,” I tell him, “Give your parents my regards.”

“Yeah, see ya tomorrow,” replies Sam as he heads down his route while I got my own, “Same for your parents and tell Lily I hope she makes her full recovery real soon.”

Friday, 18 September 2015

1.14 Endgame Part 1

“Let’s see how well you can take this!” I yell as I fire a pair of missiles at Sam as we engage each other in aerial battle.

He crushes one with his telekinesis, but the other explodes into a dozen micro-warheads. Unable to respond in time, the warheads hit Sam, engulfing him in explosions which send him flying backwards.

For some context, James, Vance, Stefan, Lucy, Sky and I are currently facing off against Sam in the training room while Alex, Narszara and some others watch on from the control room.

He is coming in low James warns me.

I see him I think back as I spot Sam flying close to the floor.

I’m on it says Stefan as he unleashes several bolts of lightning at Sam.

While the lightning doesn’t actually do anything to hurt or even slow Sam, it does block his line of sight and forces him to pull upwards.

Hit him Vance! yells Stefan and Vance obliges as unleashes two beam of energy from his hands directly at Sam.

Good use of teamwork so far. While Sam may have started with the upper hand and has already taken out Lucy and Sky, I was able to force him back and between me and Stefan, we have been able to control Sam’s path of attack. Now Vance, one of the few of us with an attack actually able to stand a chance of taking Sam down, is hitting Sam dead on.

Sam grunts as the beams of energy blast hit. He raises his arms to block the attack as he is slowly forced backwards and downwards.

My turn I tell the others as I grin beneath my armour.

I unleash the other four missiles at Sam before firing both of my sonics at him. The missiles go directly for Sam, but curve as they fly through the air so when they explode into the micro-warheads, they’ll hit him in the side.

Unlike most with super senses, my sonics won’t do much against Sam as his psionic field protects him, shielding him from most of it. But a little will help quite a bit when used to support other attacks.

The missiles hit Sam, engulfing him in a large explosion. Barely a split-second later, Vance’s energy beams blast Sam out of the explosion and into the ground.

Sam crashes into the floor, leaving a small crater. Vance and I keep our respective energy beam and sonic attacks, but after a moment we cease.

“Lantern is-” starts Alex from up in the control room when Sam suddenly springs to life. He zooms straight at me, catching me off guard.

He punches me in the chest, sending me flying. It takes me a moment to stabilise myself, but when I do, it’s just in time for me to hear Alex declaring Stefan out of the match, just as she had with Sky and Lucy earlier and almost did so with Sam just now.

Stefan is down James informs me.

I heard I reply

Look out! yells Vance.

I feel a mental strike of pain from James a mere moment before the mental connection is broken.

“Vision is out,” declares Alex.

“I’ll hold him, you hit him,” I yell at Vance as I fly at Sam.

This time it is my turn to catch Sam off guard as I tackle him mid-air. He huffs in surprise as we slam into the wall.

But Lantern has always been stronger than the Sentinel and Sam easily breaks free of my grip. He slams his fist into my face and I go flying.

“It’s not going to be that easy Daniel,” says Sam with a grin on face.

“That’s soon going to be mutual,” I reply.

“We’ll see,” says Sam as he swings another fist at me.

I sidestep and roll to his side just as Vance blasts him in the back again.

“Don’t count me out just yet,” says Vance as he blasts Sam with another energy beam.

“Oh, I’m getting to you-” starts Sam as he blocks Vance’s energy beam with a raised up, but I cut him off as I punch him.

“You’re still out numbered,” I point out.

“But you’re out of heavy firepower,” retorts Sam.

“Then bring it on!” I tell him as swing another punch at him.

But Sam dodges easily, his flight being much more manoeuvrable than that of the Sentinel armour. He punches at me and I raise both my arms to block. Not very effective as Sam’s strike still sends me flying.

I hear Sam zooming off and Vance blasting with his energy beams. As I gain control of my flight once again, I hear Alex’s voice.

“Bolt is out!” declares Alex, “Good luck Sentinel, you’re going to need it.”

“Oh, I won’t need luck,” I reply.

Unbeknownst to the others, I still have one last trick up my sleeve.

“Want to call it quits?” asks Sam, “I got you outnumbered and outpowered.”

“You wish,” I reply, “Bring it on! I’m ready for you.”

“As you say,” grins Sam and he zooms at me.

I activate one of the training room’s attack features and a giant beam of purple energy fires from the wall behind me at Sam. Sam barely has a split-second to look shocked before it hits him dead on.

The energy attack slams him into the wall on the far side of the room and Sam drops face first into the floor.

“Lantern is out!” declares Alex, “Sentinel is the winner. By the virtue of cheating.”

“I didn’t cheat,” I protest, “I just used my home field advantage!”

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

2008 - Mary

Mary Griffin sighs as she finishes the last of her paperwork. She never had to do this level of paper back when she was in the League with all the old guys. Back then Dad just did all the work.

She misses those days, back when she became her Dad’s sidekick when she was sixteen. The joy she experienced when she got her own copy of the latest Sentinel armour at the time on her sixteenth birthday.
Best day of her life and possible the one that defined her for the rest of life. The other possible day that defined her life would have been when she became a superhero when none of the other Leaguer kids did. Or perhaps that day was the one when she help found the Albion Protectors.

Mary can’t help, but wonder how things had turned out if it had been her generation that formed the new League of Heroes rather than that of her daughter and nephew.
She was the only one that battled crime alongside League Heroes while the others did other things with their lives.

But plenty of them joined the Albion Protectors in later years, she thinks bitterly, Davin, Henry and Anne were happy to join the Protectors a decade after their formation.
And she didn’t even get any official authority when she joined the Albion Protectors. Britannia, a completely inexperienced, underage teenager, was made team leader.

As good a leader as Britannia has become over two decades, back then, little Liz didn’t have any idea of how to lead a team, skating by on her powers when it came to proper action. It was Mary that became de-facto leader back then with her six years of experience and later became the de-facto second-in-command once Britannia was able to stand on her own feet as leader.
Looking back on it, they probably just wanted to mould the inexperienced Britannia to be their loyal, obedient servant to do things as they wanted them to be done. Too bad for them that Mary was the one that Britannia went to for help.

At least the League of Heroes has always been there for her with the old Leaguers advising her as she struggled to keep the newly formed Albion Protectors afloat to the new Leaguers supporting her as folks try to weaken her position within the Albion Defenders.
Is some official respect and authority over things too much to ask for? Because Mary has never gotten any. Oh she has tons and tons of unofficial respects, authority and responsibility, but the government has never really trusted her.

Mary is certain it is because they don’t feel she is entirely trustworthy. Which, to be fair, they do have a point. Given the choice between the government and the League of Heroes, Mary will go for the later in pretty much every conceivable scenario she can think of.
At least if it gets too much she can always just leave the Defenders and go back to the League. She has always been half-Leaguer and half-Defender, one of her biggest assets and troubles.

"Hey Mary,” says a voice from the doorway, “Ready to go yet?”

“Sure thing Freya,” replies Mary as she looks at the girl in the doorway.
Freya Griffin is special, one of the country’s three Class 5 superhumans. As of such, she is kept secret and hidden from the rest of the world. For both her own safety and that of others.

Since her mother died in childbirth, the government has been responsible and specifically MI9 ever since her powers came to light.
That was a decade ago, when Freya was four and Mary has been the one primarily responsible for looking after the girl. Mary considers Freya her daughter while Helen considers Freya her little sister.

But Freya doesn’t consider herself part of the Griffin family. Even though she has taken on the family name as her own.
Due to Freya’s existence being a high level secret, they can’t exactly just go out somewhere for some mother-daughter time, but they can hang out together in the tower. Play games or perhaps watch a movie.

“You know Freya,” says Mary as she walks to girl, “I could always take you to the base if you wanted me to. It would be good for you to meet new people. Plus the place is much cooler than here.”
“Won’t we get in trouble?” inquires Freya, “I’m not supposed to leave the building without permission.”

“You’ll have my permission,” Mary tells her, “And honestly, I can’t think of any good reason not to.”

“I would like to,” says Freya as they head down the corridor, “I do keep hearing about that place from pretty much everybody. And I would really like to meet the Sentinel. And Narszara. She seems so cool. I mean, she can turn into a dragon. It isn’t that awesome!”
“I guess it is,” replies Mary with a smile, “Any idea on what you want to do tonight?”

“I want to watch The New Patriots III: Revenge of the Consortium movie,” answers Freya, “Rose and Linda got it for me.”
“Did they now,” says Mary, “I’ll remember to thank them for that.”

The fourteen year old grins up at her and Mary grins back down at her adopted daughter.
Sure Mary might not get any official rewards for her actions, but she was never in the business for that. Between doing good, her family and support of the League of Heroes give her, life is good for Mary Angeline Griffin aka the Warden.

Friday, 11 September 2015

1.13 Breakout Part 9

I fire my sonics at Vistorix and after a moment, he loses his hold over my ankles and drops. As he falls, I cut power to my rocket pack. While Vistorix lands on his back, I come crashing down on his gut, feet first.

As the supervillain gasps, I leap off on him. He tries to get to his feet, but I quickly kick him in the chest. Vistorix is sent flying into the wall. He attempts to get his to his feet, but once he is almost done, I punch him in the face.
He roars and swipes at me, but I duck and blast him with one of my sonics. I follow my sonic attack with an uppercut to the face. Vistorix grunts as my fist connects with his jaw. I don’t give him a chance to recover as I fire both sonics at him.

Vistorix stumbles forward, groggily reaching for me. I step back out of his reach and fire both of my wrist mounted lasers into his eyes. Vistorix screams and drops to his knees.
While it might seem a bit little lethal or maiming, Vistorix’s superdurability means that the lasers only temporarily blind him, the same way a flash of bright light blinds a normal person for a moment. And since he also has super senses, the lasers are much more painful and the blindness longer lasting.

I unleash a fury of blows against the supervillain until he sways unsteadily and topples over with a loud crash. I let out a breath of relief and look around the room.
It seems like all of the supervillains are down. Better get back to work on restraining their powers with special cuffs and putting them back in the cells.

I suppose the tour was technically a disaster, but nobody apart from the escaped villains were injured and the cameramen actually got some pretty good footage of me in action.

Sure a few people were claiming I was excessively violent, but the vast majority were praising me for taking on that many supervillains singlehandedly and doing as well as I did.
Personally I feel that while it might seemed I was a bit over the top, I didn’t do anything to the villains if I wasn’t sure they would be able to survive it. And in my defence, I was horrible outnumbered with a whole load of civilians to protect.

Now all I need to do is finish finding out why Bateson when rogue. I mean sure he was going to cross the line at some point, but why then and not some point sooner or later.
“Janelle,” I say as I take the Sentinel armour off back at the base, “Can you bring up any relevant information on Glenn Bateson?”

“Sure,” replies Janelle, “Would you like me to check for anything which might explain his treachery today?”
“That would be helpful,” I reply back, “How were Judy and Alex after I left? Did Alex start on Judy’s training?”

“Alex started teaching Judy the basics before they stopped to play card games,” says Janelle, “They got on well and Judy exited the base mere moments before the breakout started.”
“Glad to hear that,” I reply, “How is the security at Blackguard at the moment? Any possibility of the villains breaking back out?”

“Not any that are worth mentioning,” says Janelle, “With most of the superheroes in the nation there and the beating you inflicted, I would be extremely surprised if any even tried to escape now.”
“True,” I mutter as I finish taking the armour off, “Part of me just wants to relax while another part wants to get this situation sorted out as soon as possible.”

“You can do both,” says Janelle and I look around.
It is quite hard to look at a disembodied voice so I settle for just looking up at the ceiling.

“Please tell,” I inquire.
“Well, you can trust other people to get the job done,” replies Janelle, “I, Alex, Narszara and the other members of the League of Heroes can all look into this. Meanwhile you can relax and have fun. Remember Daniel, you are part of a team and you don’t have to everything. You have people you can trust and depend on to help you out and get the job done.”

“True,” I agree with a smile, “There is the rest of the League plus our friends and allies. I almost made a fool’s mistake by trying to everything myself. I would have burned myself out at some point.”
“And that is why you should go and have fun,” says Janelle, “Play games or hang out with your friends or something.”

“Good idea,” I reply, “I haven’t played many of my strategy games in long time. There is probably bunch of new updates and some new DLC out.”
“Should be,” agrees Janelle cheerfully.

“Then I’ll get my laptop out and play some of my games,” I continue to speak as I head for area of the lab where I kept my personal belongs, “I’ll probably start a new save in CKII or perhaps EUIV.”
“Sounds good,” Janelle agrees again.

The AI goes silent as I get my laptop out and open up one of my games. Nothing like having some fun playing a Grand Strategy game after an intense day as a superhero.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

1.13 Breakout Part 8

I am sent flying, but stabilise myself with my rocket pack and it isn’t like that punch hurt me through the Sentinel armour.

I take a moment to survey the room. Not that many supervillains remaining as only Vistorix, Nightmare, McNamara and Hall remaining with Edison finally being taken out by the electro-spyders.
“Come on,” I say, “Is that the best you got?”
“I haven’t even begun to fight,” snarls Vistorix, “I’ve been rotting in that cell for two months, waiting for some payback on the @#£$s that put me there. Now one of you is finally here and within my reach.”
“Just remember how badly you lost in our first fight,” I reply before opening fire with my lasers at Nightmare.
 I chop his arms off. While it might been a bit gruesome for superhero such as myself, you have to understand that it is a known fact that Nightmare can re-grow limps using his shapeshifting and that this isn’t the first time that he has lost both his arms.
“Son of a bitch!” yelps McNamara and Hall looks quite unnerved.
But Vistorix just lets out a throaty laugh and rushes me. He lets out a swing at me, but I dodge and enter the air with my rocket pack.
The thing with Vistorix is that while he can’t really hurt me, he can send me flying and I also lack any real capability to harm him except my attacks won’t knock him around like a ragdoll.
And I have to take into account that Vistorix is a highly experienced fighter even if he still fights like the brute he is. While our villains have generally been operating as long as Vistorix, they haven’t got in as nearly as many fights as Vistorix has been able to.
What can I do stop-I’m an idiot.
I have wrist-mounted sonics. I’ve been so used to using my wrist mounted weapons against machines that I forget how effective they are on organics. If only I had remember about them at the start of the fight.
I fire both of the sonics at Vistorix’s head and he drops to his knees before toppling over. I doubt I have taken him out for the rest of the fight, but I have brought myself a minute or two take out the other three remaining villains. As McNamara and Hall fire off futile fireballs and lightning bolts respectively at me, I drop down between the two of them.
I slug Hall in the jaw and knock him over backwards before kicking McNamara in the gut. I follow it up with a punch to the chest and the Irish man goes flying. Nightmare is still trying to regrow his arms when I turn on him. I stun him with the sonics before grabbing him by the hair. I slam his head into the ground a couple of times until I am sure he is out for the count.
Once again, I turn around to face Vistorix.
And once again, I am just in time to see his fist before he punches me in the face. I start to go flying, again, but this time Vistorix grabs my ankle and smashes me into the ground.
“Really?” I say, “Best you got?”
“Not even close,” snarls Vistorix as he grabs by the neck and starts smacking me against the wall.
Smack. Annoying, but not dangerous. Smack. Very annoying. Smack. I ought to stop this now. Smack.
I activate the rocket pack and fly up into the air. While the sudden movement does cause Vistorix to lose his grip around my neck, he quickly grabs my ankle again before he can fall.
“Janelle,” I say, “How long until back up?”
“Narszara and Sam are twenty minutes as while Sam is faster, Narszara got a head start,” answers the AI, “Britannia is about thirty minutes away. Multiple other Leaguers along with the majority members of all three governmental teams are on their way.”
“Are you giving them updates?” I inquire.
“Yes,” replies Janelle, “While the Leaguers, Britannia and Warden know who I am, the others just assume I’m an automated system to give situational updates.”
“Good,” I say.
While I trust Janelle and many other AIs, the majority of the planet’s populace has mixed to negative feelings about synthetic life. I personally find that what a sentient AI is like vary from each one and there are actually a lot of parallels between synthetic and organic life if you just look for them.
Such as creators being considered birth parents, power sources being considered food and drink and recharging being considered the same as resting.
 But like with people, you have to be careful with AIs. Software AIs are the hardest to deal with as they can go pretty much anywhere as long as the hardware can handle them. Hardware AIs are easier as they are confined to certain pieces of hardware unless transferred so you don’t really have problems unless their hardware is out of your league.
Regardless of what I and other people think of AIs, I still have a Class 4 supervillain to deal with here.
“Let’s tangle,” I tell Vistorix, grinning beneath my helmet.

Friday, 4 September 2015

1.13 Breakout Part 7

I shove the section of solid metal wall aside as I get to my feet. The thing slammed me  into the wall.

“Everybody out!” I yell as I realise how bad the situation is.
Somebody let all of the prisoners out. Every single last one and the power restrainers won’t keep their power neutralised for long.
And the person to blame is without doubt Glenn Bateson.  I should have known, but it wasn’t like I could do anything about it without any proof or evidence of wrongdoing.
How would have that gone? Hey, I think is prison officer I just met isn’t to be trusted because I think he might be a bad guy. Let’s arrest him and throw him into one of the cells.
But that would explain why a chuck of the wall just flew into me.
All of the country’s native supervillains, Vengeance, Vistorix and a rogue superpowered prison officer scattered between the ground level and the two walkways versus me, Treves and the other officer on the tour.
I can take them. Or hold them off long enough for someone else to arrive.
“Hey Janelle,” I say into my League communicator, “We got a breakout here at Blackguard. Officer Bateson just released all of the inmates.”
“I understand,” comes the swift reply, “Informing all relevant authorities.”
“Don’t bother calling for help,” Bateson tells me as several more chucks of the wall hover around him, “I’m jamming all signals in or out. No one will hear you.”
Now there is a trick up my sleeve. If they don’t realise that I have already called for help and their jamming is actually affecting me, then I might be able to catch them off guard.
Both Treves and the other guard have drawn their stun guns, but they’ll do little against the freed prisoners.
At least the crowd of reporters are heading back out. No idiots hanging around to get some footage.
Target priority first. Who are the biggest threats and which ones to use spyders on and which to use missiles on?
Black Death’s touch won’t affect me through the Sentinel armour while Gaia’s Vengeance doesn’t have any vegetation to work with. Hall’s lightning and Avenger’s fire are also useless.
With high amounts of metal in Blackguard, Bateson and Forsworn could be pretty dangerous as well. The rest also have the potential to cause some trouble for me, but I can probably take them if I play if smart.
But Vistorix, along with Gravilord and Edison, is the most dangerous with a very real chance of beating me. The three of them are easily the biggest threats of the assorted supervillains.
Two missile for each of the Mad sisters and the last two for Vistorix. Electro-spyders will take care of Edison and Gravilord. The rest I should be able to take.
I open fire with all of my missiles and electro-spyders as I activate the rocket pack. I zoom straight at Bateson.
I crash into the rogue prison officer and we both slam into the other wall that has mostly been stripped away by Bateson.
I hear something cracking and huff of breath from Bateson before I pull away. Bateson starts to drop to his knees, but before he can collapse into a heap on the floor, I slug him one in the face.
Not too hard, just enough to break a jaw. That combined with the ribs I probably just broke will keep Bateson out of the fight.
I spin back around to face the rest of the supervillains. Both Mad sisters are transformed, but only Mad Cat is down with Mad Dog shaking off the effects the missiles that caught her. It seems that her missiles were intercepted by Forsworn and Avenger judging by how those two are on the ground.
I should have expected teamwork from Vengeance. They were a successful team back when they were ‘heroes’.
Gravilord is also out while Edison is staggered. It seems that he was able to catch two of the three spyders I sent at him in his temporal field.
Vistorix is getting back to his feet after being blown onto his back.
Time to thin the herd. I grab one of the chucks of metal that were floating around Bateson and lob it at Mad Dog before reactivating my rocket pack and flying up at Nightmare.
Best to take Vengeance out of the fight.
The metal takes out of the stunned Mad Dog and knocks her off the walkway while Nightmare is better prepared for me. He shapeshifts out of the way, but I still catch him with a kick that sends him flying.
I unleash a flurry of low-power laser shots at the other villains to scatter them. Edison is still busy dealing with the electro-spyders. That leaves only White Lord or Redmund McNamara as main threats until Vistorix or a member of Vengeance recovers.
I launch myself at White Lord, ignoring Hall’s crackling lightning. My armour can more than handle bit of lightning.
White Lord attempts to dodge, but even with his enhanced speed, I’m still faster in the Sentinel armour. I catch his arm and yank it out of the socket before tossing White Lord into a wall.
I feel something ding against me and somebody yelp in pain. I turn around to find Gaia’s Vengeance clutching her fist in pain.
I punch her in the gut, kick her knee before finishing her off with a backhanded slap that knocks her aside.
I spare a glance at Treves and his officer. The two of them are covering the door and have even taken out Black Death with their stun guns.
I turn to take on Vistorix only to find his fist coming straight at me.