Opening Volley

rpetras 2/2012


  • Longinus
  • Valk
  • Chance
  • Reaper Creeping Death
  • Vamp Wraith


Players are members of a government sponsored super team, organized to dispose of world class threats. They are the next incarnation of a team, Retribution, that acted at the direct request of the President of the United States. That team disbanded after several members were maimed or killed stopping one of their main foes, a beast known as Shield, who was thought to be unstoppable.

The characters have been a group for approximately 1 year, and in that time no world class missions have come up. They have helped with peacekeeping, and disaster relief efforts around the world, but recently members of Congress (led by Jeff Bingaman(D - NM) and Dan Akaka(D - HI)), and the media (blogger & radio personality Mike Marsh) have been discussing if there is a need for such a super team. Billions have been poured into the group to find them, and outfit them.

That need will become apparent soon enough.

It is an evening in summer, and the group gets a priority message that there has been an explosion on Schuylkill Ave near the transportation yard. A truck escaping the scene overturned near Alcorn Elementary School, near a residential area. Specifically at the intersection of S Patton and Dickinson. Massive damage has begun to occur, and there are reports of rampaging monsters. The first task for the heroes is to asses the situation, stop the destruction and save lives.

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Fortunately, the base for Retribution is located only a few blocks away from the location of the incident. Their base is an aircraft carrier that is in the process of being retrofitted at the Philadelphia ship yards. They have available to them a jump-jet two helicopters, several standard cars, including two military Humvees, two armored Suburbans, as well as a few more inconspicuous automobiles and motorcycles.

They geared up, with the Humvees preloaded with weapons for Longinus and Chance. Valk, with her strength and flight capabilities, carried the vehicle and all passengers to the scene.

The characters come on the scene to see an overturned box truck licked with flames. While the truck IS on fire, it is the surrounding area that is in greater immediate danger. The houses on the Northeast, and Southeast corners of the intersection, as well as several cars are burning. The characters can also clearly see several monstrous creatures amid the carnage.

  • The Red Bull
  • Fauna
  • Iguana
  • Serpent

They see a giant red creature, that appears to be a red minotaur that is leaving a trail of flames. A serpentine creature with four tentacled arms. A man-sized iguana, and a white rhinoceros. Looking closely, the rhinoceros has small antlers in it's head in addition to the normal horns.

Retribution IMMEDIATELY split into two teams, Chance, Longinus and Reaper took on the creatures, while Vamp and Valk leapt into the flames to rescue any civilians that might have been trapped. This was a wise move, as the building that was worst hit by fire had five people trapped inside, including a child.

Chance and Longinus begin to fire rounds into the bull, and it takes a beating. Reaper tangles with the Iguana.

Before it even gets an opportunity to attack, Chance pops two seemingly final rounds under the beast's jaws, and it drops with a resounding thud. As he walks away, Longinus reminds him to ALWAYS make sure it stays down. Good advice from the old soldier, because when he does cap it again, it lets out a loud bellow ... the creature wasn't quite dead!

Meanwhile, Reaper and Iguana are going toe to toe, with neither being able to connect. The overturned truck takes the brunt of the damage.

Serpent had been largely ignored, but had made a few swipes at the team that was trying to tackle his companions. It turns out it was a mistake to underestimate this foe. It manages to coil around Longinus, who deftly breaks its grip.

The group is losing sight of the rhino, who has avoided the fray. Chance begins to pursue, but the creature seemingly disappears! At this time, Valk and Vamp leave the burning building, having rescued the inhabitants. Valk joins the fight, and Vamp aids Chance in pursuit of the missing rhino.

Reaper continues combat with The Iguana, and manages to get in a few strikes, however, Longinus is not faring as well with Serpent, and is once again trapped in a coil of death.

Valk is a major help to the effort, and performs a power dive into Iguana, stopping him. She and Reaper aid Longinus, freeing him, and the three manage to terminate Serpent.

Chance and Valk realize the rhino is, in fact, a shape shifter, and has morphed into a mouse and crawled into the sewer. While they do pursue it into a manhole, and manage to pick up the trail, a rodent in a sewer is not an easy thing to track. They are forced to give up pursuit.

After the creatures are defeated, the characters investigate the scene, and take in some info. They realize, that the truck in which the creatures were transported was taken from the nearby facility where the explosion happened. This was a government eugenics research facility, one of several super soldier research buildings. This particular facility specialized in recombinant DNA research as well as combining biological structures into hosts.

Contacting base, and learning about the facility, they identify the missing shape shifter as Fauna. Given the ability to assume any animal form, she lost much of her capacity to reason like a human being after the transformation. Her mind became like that of a doe. She would resort to the flight instincts of a prey animal. Like a deer, she could be a capable and dangerous fighter if cornered, but overall is not particularly dangerous. The team is assured that she will be found.

Quick investigation work leads to identifying a stolen car, in which the driver of the truck escaped. Valk carries Reaper and takes off, the others procure one of the "black helicopters" that has since landed. Chance remains at the first scene to direct the effort, and interface wit the rapidly growing number of support personnel from their own resources, the Eugenics lab, as well as standard emergency response teams.

The image of this flying sequence was IMMEDIATELY conjured up.

Valk and Reaper identify the car, note that there is only the driver and engage him. He is clearly a mutant of some type.


They catch up with the car and they try to land Reaper on top, but something hits them from above. The driver has help. Help that can fly.

Valk manages to fend off the flying foe, and engage him in quick combat, getting in a few quick hits. Reaper is left on the top of the car and tears into the roof. He and the driver wrestle for control of the vehicle. They are over the bridge which joins 76 and Vine St. when WHAM! They are hit by a large pickup truck which was in their lane of traffic. It is clear the Rodent was prepared for the crash, and he deftly hopped from his seat, out the opening in the roof, to the hood of the car and over the truck.

  • Rodent
  • Pachyderm
  • Kodiak
  • Raptor

Rodent's large compatriots, Pachyderm and Kodiak step out of the pickup just as the rest of the team land in the helicopter. Raptor is leading Valk on a merry chase through the skies. Longinus immediately pulls out the .50 cal, but Vamp gets caught up in her seat belt in the copter and can't get out. Reaper is near the three villains, and engages them in close combat.

Longinus opens up on Pachyderm but the heavy duty rounds seem to do little against his armor. Rodent is bounding around Reaper, who can't land a hit, and is taking many claw rakes from the nimble mutant. Kodiak, likewise, is engaging Reaper, and is slamming him pretty hard.

During the fight Rodent shares some intel. He and his team are part of the Mutant Liberation Front (M.L.F.) and they are freedom fighters for the mutant cause. He claims that the experiments they freed were created by the harvesting of organs from mutants.

Things take a turn for the worse when Pachyderm throws the truck they were traveling in at Longinus, and connects! Luckily, Longinus isn't caught underneath, but is merely hit and knocked back by the massive weapon. Once he catches his breath, Longinus decides to turn his attention to Kodiak, since Reaper is being double teamed.

This change in tactic seems to help, as Kodiak takes a number of hits and looks to be going down for the count, and Rodent disappears out of the line of fire. Of course Pachyderm keeps up the pressure throwing the stolen car as well. He breaks up some pavement, and begins to hurl that as well. One of the vehicles he tosses hits the chopper. Vamp is able to leap free, but the pilot is not. He does survive, but is battered and bruised.

The aerial fight is won. The Valkyrie had already landed a few blows on Raptor, and she is swifter in the air. One successful hit, and the fight was over, and he was out cold. She carried him back to where the action was taking place.

The fight appears to be going better for the heroes, Longinus fires a massive burst into Pachyderm, who's armor finally gives. That is, until Kodiak transforms. He grows to over 9' tall, his features looking even more ursine. A glowing aura surrounds him, it appears to be an even larger astral form of a bear, and he is at the center. In his massive form, he lands a severe hit on Reaper, knocking him down, but instead of pressing the advantage, he turns and runs towards his wounded teammate.

With Valk's return, and Vamp finally in the thick of it, all the team focus on Kodiak, who is simply running to Pachyderm. He is taking hits, but manages to grab his friend and leap off the side of the bridge. It detonates behind them, knocking the team over. Save for Valk, who is in the air.

She swoops down for an attack on the falling villains, but Kodiak manages to block her hit. As she comes around for another pass, Kodiak winds up a fastball special with Pachyderm, and connects! She is knocked from the sky and severely wounded. Her final thought before blacking out is; Pachyderm is heavier than he looks, and he already looks pretty heavy. She wakes up some time later on the river bank.

Follow up

Radio Personality Mike Marsh explodes on the airwaves denouncing the government's Supers Program. The fact that experiments were being conducted on US citizens, that it was done in such close proximity to a metropolitan area, and that it failed, and (presumably) ended in the loss of life and property are all outrageous. He will state that this type of thing can NOT be allowed to continue.

More legislators will begin to look into the funding of super hero development. While the support for defunding Retribution will now be split, more will be on board with stopping hero development programs. The anti supers momentum will be led by Dan Akaka(D - HI).

The characters learn, for those that didn't know already, that there are a number of such research facilities around the country. These facilities research different branches of powers. Valk and Reaper will have been affiliated with a mystic research branch, Vamp was affiliated with a different biological research facility. They learn that facilities exist for everything from robotics to xenobiology.

While most of the villains got away, Raptor is captured. The team goes back to the base home for debriefing and much needed rest.

Unhappy with their code-names, Reaper is now called Creeping Death, and Vamp is now Wraith.

Their first trial by fire is over.