Friday, May 7, 2010

"Champions: Phoenix", Part 5

The adventures of our brave heroes continue...

When Field Effect returned, Agent Randall was anxiously waiting to speak with him. During the interrogation, Randall first realized he was getting nowhere, so they moved the interrogation into a sealed room, blocking all incoming and outgoing signals - including the one linking Field Effect to the aliens. With the interference from the producer's voice eliminated, Field Effect did his best to convey the situation. Although he still couldn't talk about it directly due to the neural block, he dropped the hints he could and eventually clued Agent Randall in. When the interrogation was over, Field Effect pleaded with his producers to remove the neural block. He stated that the government thought he was a threat to humanity, and was planning on locking him up, but if he could talk about it freely he could allay those fears and strike up a mutually beneficial deal. The producers said that they wanted to do so, but couldn't - putting in the neural block was illegal under the aliens' own laws, and if their government found out they would lock them up. Also, they gave out another shocking fact - when the aliens went to Earth to start the whole thing off, they weren't actually representatives of the alien's government as they claimed - they were just from the entertainment company making the show! Fortunately, there was an alternative option:

(Note: In the game, players create characters based on a point system, and you can get extra points by taking "complications", such as Field Effect's inability to talk about what happened. During the game, you get experience points, and you can spend experience points to improve your powers or to "buy off" complications, at which time you're supposed to come up with an in-game explanation for the changes.)

Rift: Technomancer, can you scan his brain and use your technology to remove the neural block?
Field Effect: He will be able to, just as soon as I get 7 more experience points.

Fortunately, he actually miscounted and only needed 2 more experience points, and was able to get those by increasing one of his other disadvantages. So Technomancer took him back to his lab and was almost ready to use targeted radiation pulses to burn out the neural implant and remove the block:

Technomancer: Before we begin, it's standard policy that you have to sign this superpower-alteration-experiment liability waiver form.
Field Effect: What? It says, you're not responsible if I grow extra tails?

The experiment proceeded as planned, and the only side effect was that the amount of susceptibility damage he takes when he gets teleported increased by 50 percent, but it was well worth it. We returned to Randall and resumed negotiations. Field Effect pleaded to be allowed to join Project EAGLE, because the aliens wanted him to be in danger, this would place him in danger, and if he was not in danger (and thus the show got boring) then the aliens could start making bad things happen. "The more danger we are in," he said, "the safer the world is."

Before we could finish our negotiations, however, the producers thought the show was getting boring, so they teleported us into a superpowered battle scene. We saw a guy being chased by thugs wielding blaster rifles. He was hit, then frantically fired off an energy bolt before being hit again and going down. Our brave heroes leapt into action, covering the victim while engaging the thugs. Field Effect flipped over the truck that the thugs were in - several thugs managed to jump clear, but a few got trapped under the truck. Then more thugs came in from a side street and opened fire! Technomancer ran up and got them in a stasis field, but Field Effect pounded the ground, destroying the stasis field but leaving the thugs unharmed. (Clearly not much coordination here.) Fortunately, Technomancer ordered Alpha to go around the corner and flash the thugs to blind them, which worked. Seizing the opening, the rest of the party unloaded with their area-effect attacks, taking out all the thugs before they could get off another round of shots. While waiting for the police to arrive, we tended to the victim, who soon woke up. He tried to leave the scene, but Field Effect stopped him. Eventually, he revealed why he was so anxious - "I don't want to go back to the Mesa," and tried to blast Field Effect but Field Effect knocked him out before he had a chance. As it turned out, the victim was Blueheart, a paroled supervillain who had just violated the terms of his parole by using his superpowers in a threatening manner (even though it was in self-defense). We then examined the guns, and began tracing them back to their source.

The source of the guns was apparently a militia leader who had a house on the outskirts of Phoenix. Field Effect, Technomancer, and Rift went to investigate, while Strobe stayed behind at home. They first alerted H.U.R.T. as to what they were up to, and H.U.R.T. told them to "proceed with caution." That proved to be good advice. As we advanced toward the house, we avoided two booby traps, then managed to get within Rift's teleport range. Rift teleported onto the roof of the house. He noticed several motion sensors, then reflexively froze in place just in time to avoid setting them off. However, he then decided to dance on the roof to set them off on purpose, to try to "flush out" the bad guys. This was not a good idea, as when he did so, the house exploded! The blast knocked him out, though fortunately he had his defenses up so he suffered no permanent injury. Field Effect used his stretching and super strength to put out the flames, but the fire destroyed any usable evidence.

We returned to Phoenix and reported back to Agent Randall. With the neural block gone, Field Effect could relay communications to and from the producers to the rest of the party. Randall agreed to let us join Project EAGLE, and they would provide us with a base of operations. Each side also had a few other requests - Field Effect wanted a few hours per week of "private time" that they wouldn't film, the producers wanted Agent Randall to wear a superhero costume, and so on. But the negotiations were a success, and just as they left, the producers chimed in with some news. Field Effect's sister, they said, "might need superpowers right about now." When Field Effect asked why, the producers said that "you might want to find out."

What will become of our heroes' latest enterprise? Will they find out what is happening to Field Effect's sister in time to save her? Will our heroes finally discover why nearly every superhero on the planet has relatives who keep getting in trouble? And will our heroes have the chance to enforce Arizona's new immigration law against the other kind of alien? Find out, next time on "Champions: Phoenix!"

1 comment:

Dan Mont said...

It's like you are living two lives.