Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"Champions: Phoenix", Part 2

The superheroic adventure continues...
After the supervillain knocked Field Effect over, our intrepid heroes discovered that they were in for more than they bargained for - a super team known as Future Shock, consisting of four supervillains, was out to ambush them! As another villain rushed up from behind the building, Field Effect played dead, hoping to lure the enemy into complacency. As the villain rushed past him to attack the rest, Field Effect got up, activated his superpowers, and ran the villain over! Meanwhile, Rift teleported on top of a building and started firing energy blasts down at the enemies, while Strobe went the other direction and tried to blind the enemies. For Technomancer, on the other hand this was the perfect time to try out his latest experiment - a "kinetic stasis field" that could stop any enemy in their tracks! As Technomancer tried to get the stasis field to work, he asked Alpha to go attack the bad guys. Unfortunately, while he was doing this, he and the robots were inside a van belonging to Rift, and he forgot to open the doors first, and the robots had no arms. So in order to get out, Alpha blasted the back doors off the van. The battle was soon joined. Technomancer hit one enemy with his stasis field - and that was a good choice, because all of his powers were based on his super running speed, which he oculdn't use, so he spent the entire battle futilely trying to wriggle his way out of the field. Technomancer also hit the enemy mentalist with the stasis field, but that didn't affect his mental powers. There was a third enemy that Technomancer couldn't hit because he kept dodging the attacks - he had a power that once per round, he could move out of the way to dodge an attack. Beating him would require a coordinated strike: Technomancer first attacked him to force him to use up his free dodge, then Beta used its Aid power to improve Alpha's offensive capability,then Alha let loose with a blast, which hit its mark. Meanwhile, the fourth supervillain had recovered and knocked out Field Effect, but a well timed assist from Beta let him get back in the fight. A couple rounds later all the supervillains were unconscious.

Soon on the scene were agents of the special police force known as H.U.R.T. (Hyper-Ultra Response Team). While they wre talking to the rest of us, Rift teleported into the temp agency to investigate for information. On seeing a computer that he couldn't get access to, he went back out and teleported Technomancer in. When the police found out we had teleported in, he said we had "messed things up" by investigating before they could get a search warrant, and that they would have to "manufacture some probable cause." As it turned out, however, the temp agency was merely a front and contained no useful information, so it wasn't too much of a loss. At any rate, they recruited us to accompany the villains as they were transported to Mesa, a prison in the New Mexico desert specifically designed to house superpowered criminals. But the transport would not happen until the next day, leaving plenty of time for more action...

That night, Technomancer told Alpha that he had done a bad thing by blowing up the van, and that he should only attack things that Technomancer tells him to:

Technomancer: "You are a prototype. Your purpose is to protect people by blowing up bad guys. If it works, they'll make lots more of you so you will be able to have lots of friends. But if you blow up things you're not supposed to blow up, your makers could be sued. And if that happens the program will be determined to be a failure, and you will be shut down."

Unfortunately, that reasoning backfired: Alpha concluded that it "wasn't his fault" if he started blowing things up, because it was his maker's fault. Also, he said Technomancer was "annoying" because "all you do is tell me what to do." When Technomancer explained that he would only ask him to destroy bad guys, Alpha asked him "how come you are the sole arbiter of who is good and who is bad?" Alpha flew off and started blowing up unoccupied cars on the streets. Fortunately, Field Effect got wind of what was happening and went to the scene, using his negotiating skills ot talk the robot down. [Another player said that Alpha had become a "robot teenager."] Technomancer tried to get his backup robots out of storage, but found out they had mysteriously disappeared.

The next morning, after the chaos was over, it was time for the transport. There were four vans, one hero and one villain in each van. Technomancer was assigned to the van with the mentalist:

Technomancer: "I can use this device to suppress the mentalist's mental powers, in case he tries to escape."
H.U.R.T. Agent: "Has that thing been tested?"
Technomancer: "Uh... no."
H.U.R.T. Agent: "Listen. If you use that thing on him and he gets brain cancer, we can be sued. So don't do that unless it has been tested."

We boarded the vans and set out for our destination. As it turns out, the reason that the bad guys were after Technomancer in the first place was to steal his robot technology. An as it turns out, they might have succeeded, because as they were driving along, a group of flying objects looking suspiciously like Technomancer's robots approached them from up ahead...

Who will win this next confrontation? Will Technomancer be able to defeat his own creations? Will the vile Future Shock be brought to justice? And is there any legal precedent regarding who is liable if a robot gets infected by an alien computer virus, develops sentience, and goes out destroying things? Find out, coming up next time, on "Champions: Phoenix!"

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