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Thread: Stories of the Betterverse: Operation Inundation III!

  1. #31
    Keeper of Secrets betterwatchit's Avatar
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    Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Operation Inundation III!

    Operation Inundation, Freedom City, Part 3A

    Pyramid Plaza, Tower One, 45th floor...

    As Freedom Eagle and Scarab made their way to the stores on the 45th floor, they overheard a unit of SHADOW say "Backup Unit One on 45th floor, no sign of Primary Target. Repeat, no sign of Primary Target."

    Scarab used her telepathy to go "Feels like six of them in there, Eagle. On my mark, we kill two shooters each."

    Eagle replied "Got it. In three... two... one!"

    Then they burst out the door, shouting "FOR FREEDOM'S LEGACY!"

    Freedom Eagle and Scarab manage to Surprise the SHADOW soldiers.

    Freedom Eagle attacks an Umbra Guard with his Gauntlets and gets 29, Crit scored! He raises the DC by +5. The Umbra Guard gets 20 and dies.

    Scarab hits another Umbra Guard with her Mental Blast. The Umbra Guard gets 16 and is dead.

    Roll Initiative! Freedom Eagle gets 25, Scarab gets 22, four Umbra Guard minions get 12-19, Fist-In-SHADOW gets 11 and Flame-In-SHADOW gets 9.

    Freedom Eagle and Scarab get a HP each for entering combat.

    Everyone's using lethal force.
    Seizing the initiative, Freedom Eagle and Scarab then took down the other two SHADOW riflemen but the SHADOW soldier who looked like he was on fire managed to throw some flame at Scarab.

    Freedom Eagle Charges at one of the other Umbra Guard, getting 26, crit scored! He raises the DC by +5. The Umbra Guard gets 14 and is killed. Scarab fires a Mental Blast at the last Umbra Guard. The Umbra Guard gets 18 and is killed. The Fist-In-SHADOW tries to Charge Freedom Eagle, but he gets 1 and misses. The Flame-In-SHADOW throws a Firebolt at Scarab, getting 20. Scarab gets 18 and is Dazed.

    Scarab: 1 Injury, Dazed.
    Scarab could barely throw another mental bolt at the burning SHADOW soldier spouting fire at her.

    Freedom Eagle attacks the Fist-In-SHADOW with his Gauntlets, getting 16 and missing. Scarab hits Flame-In-SHADOW with a Mental Blast. Flame-In-SHADOW gets 13 and is Dazed. Fist-In-SHADOW tries to punch Freedom Eagle, but only gets 17 and misses. Flame-In-SHADOW throws a Firebolt at Scarab, getting 18. Scarab gets 16, spends a HP and rerolls, getting 27 and resisting.

    Flame-In-SHADOW: 1 Injury, Dazed. Scarab: 1 HP.
    Freedom Eagle took a fist to the face while the burning SHADOW soldier missed Scarab completely.

    Freedom Eagle attacks Fist-In-SHADOW and gets 22. Fist-In-SHADOW gets 26 to resist. Scarab does a Mental Blast at Flame-In-SHADOW, who gets 23 to resist. Fist-In-SHADOW punches Freedom Eagle, getting 25. Freedom Eagle gets 17 and is hit and Dazed. Flame-In-SHADOW throws a Firebolt at Scarab, getting a Natural 1 and missing.

    Freedom Eagle: 1 Injury, Dazed.
    Then things got really heated! The burning SHADOW soldier threw a fireball at Scarab and hit aome benches, starting a fire!

    Freedom Eagle attacks Fist-In-SHADOW and gets 21. Fist-In-SHADOW gets 23 and is hit. Scarab fires a Mental Blast at Flame-In-SHADOW who gets 12, and is hit and Dazed. Fist-In-SHADOW punches Freedom Eagle, getting 23. Freedom Eagle gets 22 and is hit and Dazed. Flame-In-SHADOW throws a Firebolt at Scarab, getting 24. Scarab gets 14, spends her last HP, getting 28 and resisting.

    Fist-In-SHADOW: 1 Injury. Flame-In-SHADOW: 2 Injuries, Dazed. Freedom Eagle: 2 Injuries, Dazed.
    Freedom Eagle managed to break some of the giant SHADOW soldier's ribs with a blow from his gauntlets while Scarab gave the burning SHADOW soldier another headache!

    Freedom Eagle attacks Fist-In-SHADOW and gets 27. Fist-In-SHADOW gets 11 and is hit and Staggered. Scarab hits Flame-In-SHADOW with a Mental Blast. Flame-In-SHADOW gets 17 and is hit. Fist-In-SHADOW attacks Freedom Eagle, getting 15 and missing. Flame-In-SHADOW attacks Scarab with a Firebolt, getting 11 and also missing.

    Fist-In-SHADOW: 2 Injuries, Staggered. Flame-In-SHADOW: 3 Injuries, Dazed.
    Freedom Eagle brought the large SHADOW soldier to the floor at last while the SHADOW blazer was starting to scream from the psychic pain Scarab was giving him!

    Freedom Eagle attacks Fist-In-SHADOW and gets 19. Fist-In-SHADOW gets a Natural 1 and is Incapacitated! Fist-In-SHADOW gets 27 and stabilises. Scarab hits Flame-In-SHADOW. Flame-In-SHADOW gets 10 and is hit and Staggered! Flame-In-SHADOW throws a Firebolt at Scarab, getting 16 and missing.

    Fist-In-SHADOW: 3 Injuries, Incapacitated. Flame-In-SHADOW: 4 Injuries, Staggered.
    Scarab kept focusing her will upon the burning soldier's mind. If he's trying to kill her, she was going to snuff him out first!

    Freedom Eagle attacks Flame-In-SHADOW, getting 12 and missing. Scarab fires a Mental Blast at Flame-In-SHADOW. Flame-In-SHADOW gets 11 and is hit. 9.

    Flame-In-SHADOW: 5 Injuries, Staggered.
    Freedom Eagle held the burning soldier down, shouting "Scarab! NOW!" Scarab gave the SHADOW soldier a massive seizure!

    Freedom Eagle strikes the Flame-In-SHADOW, getting 18. Flame-In-SHADOW gets 19 and is hit. Scarab does a Mental Blast at Flame-In-SHADOW. Flame-In-SHADOW gets 8 and is Incapacitated and Dying! Flame-In-SHADOW gets 15 and stabilises.
    As Freedom Eagle dropped the unconscious soldier onto the ground, Scarab slumped to the floor, saying "That... was close!"

    Freedom Eagle grabbed a fire extinguisher and put out the remarkably few fires that were about. He looked out of the window and... "Hey, Scarab! I just saw several AEGIS troopers enter Tower Three on the ground and by the roof!"

    Scarab said "I saw. And they're entering Tower Two as well." She then used her telepathy to tell Midnight and Lightbearer "Backup team set on us is down. AEGIS are clearing out Tower Three, don't get in their way."
    Last edited by betterwatchit; 06-15-2017 at 07:33 AM.

  2. #32
    Keeper of Secrets betterwatchit's Avatar
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    Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Operation Inundation III!

    Operation Inundation, Freedom City, Part 3B

    Pyramid Plaza, Tower Two, 45th floor...

    When Lightbearer and Midnight made their way to the stores on the 45th floor, they overheard a unit of SHADOW say "Backup Unit Two on 45th floor, no sign of High-Value Target. Repeat, no sign of High-Value Target."

    Before they entered, Midnight whispered "You dazzle them and then I'll gas them, got it?"

    "Lightbearer whispered back "Agreed. On three, two, one..."

    Then they both charged, shouting "FOR FREEDOM'S LEGACY!"

    Lightbearer blinded the SHADOW unit and while they were screaming about how they were blinded, Midnight fired his Mist, flooring five out of six soldiers.

    Midnight then used his brass knuckles to lay the giant SHADOW soldier out with a textbook Superman Punch, by leaping forward to put more momentum into his fist!

    In the surprise round, Lightbearer Dazzles the SHADOW unit. Four Umbra Guard minions get 14, 21, 17 and 19. Three are blinded (Visually Unaware). Fist-in-SHADOW gets 14 and is Visually Disabled. Flame-In-SHADOW gets 25 and is unaffected. Midnight then fires his Gas Gun. All six hostiles are caught in the Mist. The Umbra Guard minions get 19, 19, 15 and 15 and are all Incapacitated. Fist-in-SHADOW gets 21 and is unaffected while Flame-In-SHADOW gets a Natural 1 and is Incapacitated.

    Midnight was in the Dazzle radius but his Mask renders him immune to it as well as to his own Mist.

    Roll Initiative! Midnight gets 22, Lightbearer gets 5 and Fist-in-SHADOW gets 4.

    Midnight uses his Brass Knuckles and Charges in an All-Out Power Attack to punch out the Fist-in-SHADOW, getting 25. Fist-in-SHADOW gets a Natural 1 and is Incapacitated! Fight's Over!
    When the mist cleared, Midnight said "I think we got them all!" That was when he and Lightbearer got Scarab's telepathic message of AEGIS hitting Tower Three. Lightbearer thought back to Scarab "Understood. It looks like they're paying all three towers a visit."

  3. #33
    Keeper of Secrets betterwatchit's Avatar
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    Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Operation Inundation III!

    Operation Inundation III: London, Part 5

    Griffin was searching the Museum of London, looking for anyone who's gotten lost. His sword's back on his belt and his wings are out. He's calling out "It's the Griffin of London here! Don't be afraid, you're safe now! You can come on out, I mean you no harm!" repeating it in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese to be sure anyone who hears him understands that he poses no danger to them.

    That was when he was shot. Both bullets grazed his wing.

    As Griffin turned to see who shot him, he unsheathed his sword, going "Show yourself, you weak-souled coward!"

    That was when he saw the man who everyone called the Akimbo Assassin with both his guns smoking out the barrel coming out of the Debtor's Cell, the one with the wooden walls and no door. AA said "Very well, Mr. Griffin. Consider it your last request to know who killed you, if not why."

    Griffin knew that AA had recently taken a contract - word gets out very quickly when AA's on the hunt - but he didn't expect to actually be the target!

    Griffin just roared and charged at the Akimbo Assassin. His objectives now were to kill the Akimbo Assassin and reduce collateral damage. And the best chance for both was to keep AA in the cell so he can't use most of his acrobatic skills.

    On the Museum Map, the Debtor's Cell is located in the Modern London exhibit on floor L2, on the western end of the Expanding City section.

    Roll Initiative! Griffin gets 18, AA gets 7.

    AA does an opposed Stealth Check against Griffin's Perception. AA gets 24, Griffin gets 18 and is Surprised.

    AA and Griffin both get a HP for entering combat.

    Griffin gets 3 HP for his Motivation (AA's confirmed bodycount alone would be just cause enough to attack him), his Fame (The 3rd Street Saints want to make an example of anyone who beats them and lives) and his Honour (Everyone who AA has killed must be avenged and there's only one effective way Griffin knows to do that and make it last!).

    AA gets 2 HP for his "Honour" (When AA fights, his assumption is "two men enter, one man leaves!") and the other for his Reputation (Cape- and cop-killer who a lot of people want to arrest or kill).

    In the surprise round, AA gets 28 and fires at Griffin with his pistols. Griffin gets 12 on his Perception check and doesn't hear its position. He gets 22 and is hit. It's only his calling-out that reveals AA's position.

    Griffin does a Well-Informed check, getting 19. He knows that AA is an acrobatic cape- and cop-killer who took a contract recently.

    Griffin Charged at AA with the Flurry of Steel, getting 22 and missing. AA fires on Griffin getting 18. Griffin gets 28 and resists.

    Griffin retracted his wings and got AA in the shoulder while getting a bullet in the chest.

    Griffin unleashes the Flurry of Steel, getting 29. AA gets 9 so he spends a HP. He gets 19 and is hit. AA fires at Griffin, getting 31. Griffin get 21 and is hit.

    AA: 1 Injury, 2 HP. Griffin: 2 Injuries, 3 HP.

    Griffin managed to hit AA behind the ear, keeping him from shooting straight!

    Griffin does the Flurry of Steel, getting 27, crit scored! He raises the DC by +5. AA gets 17 so he spends a HP, getting 23 and is hit and Dazed. AA fires at Griffin, getting 22. Griffin gets 26 to resist.

    AA: 2 Injuries, Dazed, 1 HP.

    Griffin then proceeded to crack one of AA's ribs.

    Griffin attacks with the Flurry of Steel and gets Natural 20, crit scored! He raises the DC by +5. AA gets 18 and is hit. AA fires at Griffin and gets 30. Griffin gets 28 and resists.

    AA: 3 Injuries.

    Griffin proceeded to cut AA up a little more...

    Griffin attacks with the Flurry of Steel, getting 24. AA gets 21 and is hit. AA fires at Griffin, getting 16 and missing.

    AA: 4 Injuries.

    And then AA shot him in the arm.

    Griffin attacks with the Flurry of Steel, getting 21 and missing. AA fires at Griffin, getting 19. Griffin gets 20 and is hit.

    Griffin: 3 Injuries.

    Griffin then missed stabbing AA in the side...

    Griffin does the Flurry of Steel, getting 21 and missing. AA fires, getting 14 and missing.

    ... then he put his all into three almighty blows, nearly gutting the Akimbo Assassin!

    Griffin does the Flurry of Steel with an All-Out Power Attack, getting 14, spending a HP and getting 30. AA gets 13 and is Incapacitated. AA spends his last HP on stunting Diehard to automatically stabilise. Fight's Over!
    Griffin checked to see if Akimbo Assassin was still alive...

    AA was indeed alive and he was helpless enough that Griffin killing him now would have been straight-up murder, one of the few lines Griffin won't let himself cross and still in good conscience call himself a human being. He put AA in the recovery position and shouted "CHEDDAR, MS. MAGUS, I NEED HELP OVER HERE!"

    Ms. Magus and Cheddar both came over. Cheddar said "We heard the gunfire, Griffin! Hey, is that the Akimbo Assassin!?"

    Griffin said "I gave him slightly better than I got! He's down and he's no longer an immediate threat. I have the number of a Ministry officer who'd be glad for such a collar. I also need several bullets removed from me without telling the police. That means I can't go to the hospital!"

    Cheddar said "Cass, if we work together..."

    Ms. Magus said "I got it. But what are we gonna do with him?" while pointing at the Akimbo Assassin.

    Griffin said "I've got this," and he picked up a mobile that someone dropped and sent a text to Officer Benbow...

    Code:
    AA severely wounded @ Museum of London! Floor L2, Expanding City. Debtor's Cell, to right of big heavy door. Bring ARMED backup & ambulance ASAP!
    He then said "Now that's done... Cheddar, you know the Barbican area better than I do. Lead the way."

    Cheddar said "This way, everyone! I have a flat nearby."
    Last edited by betterwatchit; 08-05-2017 at 02:52 AM.

  4. #34
    Keeper of Secrets betterwatchit's Avatar
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    Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Operation Inundation III!

    Operation Inundation III: London Conclusion

    Cheddar's Flat, Barbican Estate, London...

    Griffin's on Cheddar's sofa, feeling very tired after having several bullets magically taken out of him and watching the news channels to see the full extent of Overshadow's attack. Which looked very thorough. There's a knock on the door.

    Cheddar opened it, saying "Hello, Officer Benbow."

    Officer Benbow asks "Is Griffin there? I need to have a chat with him."

    Cheddar replied "He's in the living room but he's a bit tired. Having a few bullets taken out will do that to you."

    As Officer Benbow entered the living room, Griffin sat up and said "Officer Benbow, what a surprise! Cheddar let me in willingly, you can ask her. How did you know I'd be in here? CCTV? Telepathy?"

    Officer Benbow told him "No. Because I already knew that Cheddar lives here. I got a text saying that a major fight broke out in the Museum of London. Imagine my lack of surprise when I saw evidence of what looked like two seperate major fights having broken out! What are you doing here?"

    "I was in Woolwich when I saw Overshadow's declaration of war on the BBC Big Screen they have there. Stopped some yobs from burning down a church by knocking them out. After that, I heard an explosion in the direction of the Royal Artillery Barracks. Before I could react, I got a message from my commanding officer telling me to get my arse to St. Paul's Cathedral ASAP. I flew straight there and I helped Britannia get rid of a SHADOW APC, killing their entire assault team. After that, I made my way to the Museum of London to protect the London Stone."

    "The London Stone?! I thought it was just a really old stone, nothing worth putting your life on the line over!"

    "That stone is the 'Palladium', the spiritual heart of London fed by multiple ley lines that intersect at its cupola in Cannon Street, where it's normally meant to be. It'll take a while before you actually need to put it back. The legend goes, 'so long as the Stone of Brutus stands, so long shall London flourish!' And I've seen things that mean I can't honestly dismiss it as superstition! And as you've seen, I'm willing to give my life for my city, my country and my world! Anything less would be an act of cowardice and of treason against humanity! I encountered Cheddar and Ms. Magus at the Museum and we killed several SHADOW soldiers who weren't going to give us any quarter!"

    "That doesn't explain why I found the Akimbo Assassin bleeding out in the Museum."

    "I was searching for survivors in hiding, calling out in multiple languages that it was safe to come out now. My sword was on its belt and my wings were out so anyone who saw me could tell I wasn't a slave of SHADOW. That was when I was shot in my left wing. The bullets went clean through, but I lost a few feathers. I drew my sword and I demanded that whoever fired at me from behind show themselves. That was when the Akimbo Assassin came out of the Debtor's Cell. I only realised it was him because of his twin bayonetted pistols. I knew he'd taken a contract recently, but I didn't expect to be the one his employer was after! His response was 'Very well, Mr. Griffin. Consider it your last request to know who killed you, if not why.' I charged at him. I had every reason to believe that only one of us was getting out of there alive and he did attack me without any other apparent provocation. I focused on keeping him in the cell, because I was aware of his acrobatic feats and keeping him inside the cell would keep him from actually using most of them properly."

    "That does make sense when fighting an acrobat."

    "When the Akimbo Assassin fell, I put him in the recovery position, picked up a mobile that someone else dropped and I used it to tell you where to find him. I put the phone back where I found it. Cheddar led me here. She and Ms. Magus both did a ritual to teleport AA's bullets out of me. They then cast healing magic on me to stop the bleeding and fix my wing. I fell on the sofa to have a lie down and here we are. I'm going to rest for a couple of hours and then go and help quell any rioting that's kicked off. Something like this, you know a lot of people are thinking 'That thing we couldn't get away with before? Now's the time!' You only need to loot a single rifle or pistol to make it look like SHADOW did it!"

    Officer Benbow asked "You said that you nearly killed the Akimbo Assassin? If you want to leave here uncuffed, then I want to know where I can find evidence proving your claim that he shot first."

    "CCTV from the Museum, including the camera that I saw inside the Debtor's Cell, will clearly show that the Akimbo Assassin attacked first. It'll show that my back was turned and my sword was sheathed and on its belt and I was calling out, hands to mouth when he shot me. There is simply no way a reasonable jury is going to think that I was being an immediate threat to him! And SHADOW troopers wear their own uniform, so anyone with a working eye can't mistake me for one of them. The bullets are on the table there. Ms. Magus knows how to handle them without contamination. With his arrest, the CCTV from the Museum, the confiscation of his guns and those bullets, you now have hard evidence that the Akimbo Assassin clearly attempted to murder me! Even if you can't do him for his previous murders, you've now got something that'll actually stick this time! That's a collar that'll help your career. How is he, by the way?"

    "When we put him in the ambulance, the paramedics said that he was critical but stable. Given his injuries and the fact that we have his guns, it'll be a very long time before he opens fire again. I have to ask..."

    "Yes, officer?"

    "Why did you not kill him outright? You had him right where you wanted him!"

    "When the Akimbo Assassin hit the ground, he had lost consciousness and was completely helpless at that point! I only touched him to check he was still breathing and to put him in the recovery position. I left his guns untouched so the only prints I know for a fact were on there when we left the Museum are his. Killing a completely helpless target, that is one of the few lines I can't cross and still call myself a human being afterwards!" Griffin sighed "I've never seen myself as a hero, Jill. Only someone lucky enough to be in a better position than most to get things done and actually keep them done. There's something I ought to tell you."

    "And that would be?"

    "When we fought SHADOW at the Museum, I received a divine revelation when Cheddar thought she murdered their men. SHADOW clones have cranial implants that trigger a massive neurotoxin dose."

    "Are you absolutely certain?"

    "Yes. I've never known my Lady to lie to anyone, and I wouldn't be surprised if she can't. Those implants - codenamed the Umbral Protocol - activate under certain conditions. These include attempting to betray SHADOW, taking a severe enough blow to knock them out and getting their minds read. If it remotely looks like they'll reveal anything at all or be taken prisoner, the implant activates and their enemies will still be in the dark. That would explain why they fight with lethal force like fanatics. Because anything that could keep them from fighting or being loyal to SHADOW will lead to their deaths."

    "Why would knocking them out set it off?"

    "To waste an enemy's manpower, of course. And since SHADOW uses clones, Overshadow doesn't really care at all if he needs to lose a few to maintain security! Knowledge of the Protocol helped me calm Cheddar down and keep her from going suicidal or even worse! You remember when those little ponies came to town?"

    "That was... unusual to say the least."

    "If some selfish knob or even a villain got there first, what do you think could've happened?! I knew that it was my obligation as a human being to genuinely and honestly help them, regardless of the risk or cost. By making sure that Hexenhammer was taken down and that the ponies made it safely home, we showed Celestia that there are people around here who actually give a toss, you know?"

    "Yeah, I know. Why do you think I joined the Ministry? Someone's got to keep you lot from going too far!"

    "As good a reason as any to join them, I suppose. Are you here to arrest me, Jill?"

    "No, because I don't have proof of wrongdoing. I'm just very concerned about you, Griffin."

    "What's concerning you, officer?"

    "It's your use of lethal force, Griffin. The only reason I haven't already tried to arrest you is because there's too much evidence of your current usage - that I'm aware of so far - appearing justifiable under the law to go through the drama of an arrest and trial. And when we in the Ministry arrest someone, we want to be absolutely certain that we can prove you actually did something wrong first! I'm worried that you're going to cross the line one of these days. I know you're trying to do some good, that business with the ponies showed it."

    "I try to go non-lethal, Jill. But sometimes you simply have no choice but to kill or die - as today clearly proves - and the scenarios I find myself in tend to be the sort where no-one else in the immediate area can actually do anything effective in time, forcing me to act at once to prevent unjust injury or untimely death. As for me crossing the line... I'll tell you what I told Britannia earlier today. You need to remember that a very powerful individual who cares about humanity has a vested interest in me behaving myself, is capable of keeping an eye on me at all times and has the power to instantly do something about it if I mess up. If I get violent without just cause, I'll immediately get in the sort of trouble you wished you could arrange for a power who's mad enough to hurt an innocent!"

    "What sort of trouble do you mean?"

    "The absolute worst you can do to me is kill me, Jill. The worst my Lady can do to me is kill me, throw me into Hell and make sure I can't get back out again, I've actually seen her do it! If I ever have to choose between an action I knew would annoy you and one that would annoy her... It won't be anything personal at all, Jill. I bet you tried looking in her head when you met her in the Guardhouse, against my advice."

    "I did. I've never witnessed a mind that old or that... sharp before! I've seen all sorts of stuff in this line of work that could've had a more mundane explanation, but this... this was one of the few things I've seen in my life that simply had no other rational explanation. I would've noticed it if she had any signs of being affected by hypnosis, mind control, mental illness, delusional, psychotic or neurological disorders. I couldn't find anything that would give me cause to question her sanity!"

    "When you try reading the mind of a goddess, you're lucky if she lets you keep your sanity afterwards..."

    "And before you ask, the answer's yes, this means I know for a fact that you're on the autism spectrum, Griffin."

    "DAMN IT! So you know my greatest secret, Officer! You know why it's in my best interest to keep that quiet?!"

    "No, I'm afraid I don't."

    "Because I want people to judge me by my actions, NEVER by that! Do you understand me, Jill?! I can't let this get out!"

    "What are you going to do about it, kill me?"

    "Even if I wanted to, I can't! If I use violence on a Ministry officer regardless of whether I had just cause - and this isn't anywhere near it - it'll prove the critics right when I'd rather they be proven to be a bunch of perma-noobs who don't know what they're on about and it would irreparably damage the one thing I need besides my powers and my sword to get anything done to any degree worth the bother of doing it at all!"

    "What would that be?"

    "My legitimacy! I need people to know and to trust that I can not only get something done, I can do it right and actually keep it done, Jill! The Equestria Incident is an example of this. Getting those little ponies into the Guardhouse was getting it done. Preventing Hexenhammer from killing everyone in the Guardhouse was doing it right and getting the ponies back home was how I kept it done. Princess Celestia publicly praising us on video of her own accord was just the icing on the cake, the sort of thing that proves I'm not an idiot in the face of death and danger!"

    "Were you absolutely sure Hexenhammer was going to kill the ponies?"

    "Yeah, he was! And you can look inside my head if you don't believe me!"

    Officer Benbow said "Since I have your permission, this shouldn't hurt a bit..."

    That was when Officer Benbow touched Griffin's forehead... and knew everything about the caper from his point of view. From the summons to picking the ponies up at Woolwich, the train ride, picking up the two books, the tour of London from Trafalgar Square to the Bottle, the escort mission, taking out the van of cultists, the duel with Hexenhammer, slaying him, dragging his hammer into the infirmary, beseeching his Lady to pass judgement on him, ending with Celestia's appearance.

    Officer Benbow went "Griffin?"

    "Yes, officer?"

    "Did you really have to blind the cultists who were in the van?"

    "It wasn't permanent! And it caused less drama and drew less heat compared to killing them! I used a bullethole they made to make it easier to keep myself out of the blast radius and then they were knocked out."

    "Why did you slash their tyres and impale their engine? We needed a breakdown truck to move that van!"

    "In case they recovered before the police got there, of course! Even if they got better in time, they couldn't get far. You need be thorough and vigilant in this line of work."

    "Don't you mean paranoid?"

    "No, I don't. Those cultists were a legitimate threat to the girls, meaning that my reaction was simple, basic vigilance! And in both our lines of work, you're either vigilant or you're just a dead man who simply hasn't fallen down yet."

    "That's one way to put it. Now for the one thing I'm concerned with."

    "And that would be?"

    "Was there any way you could've taken Hexenhammer alive?"

    "No way, Jill! You heard what he said! Holding back or retreating would've likely killed me, the ponies, the Guardians, you... It was the first time I've ever been in a scenario where deliberately taking the life of a sentient being was a justifiable and understandable response, given what I knew. I don't regret killing him, Jill. But I never enjoyed it either. I knew before but I */understand/* now that the act of killing is a serious business and only a psychopath would ever enjoy such an act!"

    "I understand. How did you feel after you killed Hexenhammer?"

    "Everything I was ever taught about killing someone said that I was supposed to regret it. But I didn't. All I really felt was that I did what I had to do. I gave Hexenhammer a chance to leave peacefully, you heard me give him one! It was hardly my fault that he really was crazy enough to choose death instead! After I killed him and was dealing with the shock of having just straight-up killed a man for the first time, one of the gunmen went 'What- What in the name of God are you?!' That question helped me shake off the shock, Jill. I revealed my wings and told them who I was and on whose behalf I was acting. Those guys were religious extremists, Jill. And their leader had just been killed by an angel who could prove on the spot that he really was serving the God they falsely claimed to worship. How quickly do you think they realised their mistake?"

    "Very quickly, I suppose."

    "Indeed. I kept an eye on their trial and I can see why they all pleaded guilty to attempted murder and then asked for a lot of other crimes to be taken into consideration. It's pretty much the only way they can be reasonably certain not to bump into me again. So I dragged the hammer into the Infirmary, using a rope that Red Mage gave me to avoid touching it myself. The security measures in there are strict! I'm talking about you needing Dr. Green's permission to get in or out of there. With her reputation and her usual research subjects, I'm not surprised. I couldn't see any, but I'm willing to bet that she had Sakura and Red Mage place a few wards here and there to make sure. I went down on both knees in prayer, asking my Lady to pass judgement on Hexenhammer. That is not something I do lightly, Jill. A flash of light and there she was. The one Lady I owe more than anyone."

    "The only one you fear."

    "Not just fear, Jill. I actually respect her and I owe her even more than I owe my own family. You see, my Lady made me an offer earlier this year. If I swore to serve her as her Chosen, she would give me the one thing I haven't been able to find or make for myself, something that no amount of money can ever hope to buy: a purpose to my life. And she has indeed made good on her end of the bargain. She sparked me up and in return, I do whatever assignments she gives me. Anyway, my Lady said I wasn't in trouble with her over that fight. It seems that Hexenhammer had been giving her a bad name for the past six hundred years, Jill. No one was as glad as her that I put Hexenhammer down and brought him before her at last. She picked the hammer up and told me to stand up and bear witness. She spoke to Hexenhammer in what sounded to me like an archaic German dialect, probably the one Hexenhammer spoke back when he still had his original body. If he didn't believe who she was before, he certainly did afterwards! She told him how disappointed she was with him. He was going to stand before her and explain himself. It was sad enough that his own actions and choices besmirched his own character. But falsely claiming to serve the Lady while killing innocents... She'd still give him a fair hearing, don't get her wrong, but it wasn't looking too good for him. My Lady then told me to bring everyone to the Guardhouse's library. She then disappeared in a flash of light, taking the hammer with her. Hexenhammer isn't coming back, Jill. After that, you know as much I do."

    "Hang on! She was only gone for a few minutes! How could she properly pass judgement on him and get back to the Guardhouse in time?!"

    "Time itself actually works rather differently on the other side, Jill. I'm sure you heard about me having the near-death experience that made me what I am. I was professionally diagnosed as being DEAD for about 8 minutes over here. You know long that is over there?"

    "An hour? Two hours?"

    "No. Try eight YEARS. I spent eight YEARS learning how to be an angel, Jill. By the time my family found out that I was even gone, I was already back on Earth! And they know that I'm a power by the way, told them the very same day I got out of the hospital and swore them to secrecy. Once my Lady got back to Heaven, she quite literally had ALL the time in the world to properly pass judgement on Hexenhammer, make sure he knew and understood exactly why he had that particular judgement placed upon him and send him wherever he was meant to go. And no, I don't know where he went exactly. I was a bit busy as you might recall."

    "About this meeting..."

    "Yeah, Jill?"

    "I'll have to mention everything you just told me to my superiors, who are quite aware that I'm here by the way."

    "Fair enough. Can't guarantee they'll believe it, though."

    "The thing is, Ministry files - including the one we already have on you - are sealed by law. They require signing the Official Secrets Act just to look at. Our rules for looking at them if you're not a Ministry officer require that you need to convince the Ministry that it's in the national interest for you to see the file and act on the knowledge of its contents and it's against our rules for anyone to be alone and unescorted in the room where we store the files. You won't have to worry about some journalist reading it."

    "You have no idea how much I appreciate that, Jill. Thank you."

    "What did your Lady mean exactly when she said that she Chose you?"

    "A very ancient treaty among pantheons allows each god or goddess to empower one mortal to directly serve them on Earth and they're the only ones who can legitimately claim that they do things in their God's name. The exact criteria used naturally tends to vary from patron to patron. Those so empowered are traditionally known as the Chosen by those who've heard of them. Thinking of Chosen as real-life paladins or like clerics from Dungeons and Dragons isn't completely off-base, Jill. I only know of two Chosen who are currently active within London. Myself and Sakura of the Guardians. There may very well be other Chosen out there.

    "Sakura is empowered by a god as well?"

    "By Amaterasu, the Kami of the Sun to be precise."

    "I see. Are there any rules that dictate who can be Chosen?"

    "The only hard rule I know of when Choosing someone is that you can only Choose */one/* mortal at a time. You need to Unchoose - and depower - someone before you can Choose someone else. Mutual agreement, gross disobedience, betrayal of your divine patron and the death of the Chosen are all known reasons for being Unchosen. Anything else you want me to tell you?"

    "No... No. You've actually given me a lot to think about, Griffin. I've got to go, stay out of trouble!"

    "Good luck out there, Jill!"

    When the door slammed shut, Cheddar and Ms. Magus re-entered the living room. Cheddar said "I didn't know you were on the spectrum, Griffin!"

    Griffin said "It's not the sort of thing I share with anyone, Cheddar! And you can't say I don't have a reason to keep it quiet. Someone could take advantage! It's only because Officer Benbow's a telepath that she even found out at all! And if either of you tell anyone, you'll come to regret it!"

    Ms. Magus replied "Well, you seem to have a grip on it. And I can't believe you didn't get arrested! How'd you do that?"

    Griffin told her "Jill's a telepath and she literally got inside my head. And she was dumb enough to look in my Lady's head. Everything you two just overheard me tell Officer Jill Benbow of the Ministry of Powers... was true. All of it."

    Ms. Magus asked "Are you really an angel?!"

    Griffin fully extended his wings, saying "Yes, I am indeed an angel of the Host of Heaven and the current Chosen of the Almighty. There's no need to be afraid of me."

    Ms. Magus went "My God..." while sinking to her knees.

    Griffin helped Ms. Magus up while closing his wings, saying "No I'm not. I do not deserve your worship, Cass. I never did."

    "You saved my ass and Cheddar's, so I still feel like I owe you."

    "I saved you because it was my duty. If you feel like you owe me, I know of a way that you can help me if you wish. Early next year, I'm planning on doing a world tour and I'm starting in New York."

    "And let me guess, you need a place to stay?"

    "If that's okay with you. I don't want to impose. I can even cover the relevant expenses if that's an issue."

    "It's no trouble at all. I've got the room for it. But I've gotta tell you, I don't live in Manhattan. I'm from Brooklyn."

    "Maybe you can show me around then. I wouldn't mind getting a look at all the Five Boroughs."

    "I've gotta ask though, do you have a visa?"

    "I went through the Visa Waiver Program, good for the next two years. Applied for it on the U.S. embassy's website. The waiver does allow me to legally enter America for business and tourism purposes for 90 days and it's much easier to get a hold of one. It does have a few restrictions, though."

    "What are those?"

    "I can't appeal for an extension to the waiver like actual visa holders can. At the airport, I must present both my ticket into the States and my ticket back out again. I don't need to go to the same country I come in from as long as I'm gone before the 90 days are up. I can't enter Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean islands unless I'm at least a permanent resident in those places. And I must use an approved airline to fly in and out. Good thing British Airways got on that list!"

    "Seems like you're not a noob at this sort of thing. I've gotta ask one question, though."

    "Go on, Cass."

    "How in God's name are you getting that blade of yours past Homeland Security? If they find it, they'll know who you are and you'll get a glove up your ass at least!"

    "Leave that to me, Cass. If my idea on the subject holds water, they won't know a thing! Now if you and Cheddar excuse me, I still have my duties to perform. Thank you, Cheddar, for your hospitality. If you need to talk, you've got my business number. Feel free to give it to Cass."

    Cheddar went "Bye, Griffin!"

    Ms. Magus said "See ya later, Griffin!"

    Griffin told them "Farewell, see you both later."

    That was when Griffin got out on to Cheddar's balcony and took off...

    Griffin gets 2 PP, which he saves up. He now has 4 PP.

  5. #35
    Keeper of Secrets betterwatchit's Avatar
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    Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Operation Inundation III!

    Operation Inundation III: Freedom City Conclusion

    Teleportal Room, Scarab's Lair, Freedom City...

    As the Legacy reappeared in the Scarab's Lair, Scarab went "Is anyone else hurt?!"

    Freedom Eagle said "Only a little."

    Lightbearer told them "I've got this, just keep still." He then laid his hands on their shoulders. In seconds, the blaster burns faded away like they were never there.

    Scarab said "Thanks, Lightbearer! You know something? I actually died the last time I had to defend the Plaza!"

    Everyone else said "YOU WHAT?!"

    Scarab told them "The Scions of Sobek had mind-controlled the Freedom League in the 70s, making them bring the Plaza down! I sacrificed myself so they could regain their free will and I'm glad that they succeeded in saving it."

    Midnight asked "Which begs the question, why didn't you rejoin the League when you got your memories back, Scarab? You'd easily be able to prove to the older members that you're the original!"

    Scarab replied "Because this time around, I wanted to help a team get started from the ground up. It's just a matter of sheer coincidence this time that a legacy team was in the making."

    Lightbearer said "And we're very glad to have you with us, Scarab. We're all new to being heroes so it helps us to have a veteran join up!"

    Scarab went "Thanks, Lightbearer. In a while, we're going to have to stop all the rioting that's going to break out when SHADOW are gone!"

    The Legacy each get a PP, which they each save up.
    Last edited by betterwatchit; 11-04-2017 at 07:48 AM.

  6. #36
    Keeper of Secrets betterwatchit's Avatar
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    Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Operation Inundation III!

    No Man's Land, Part 1

    Author's Note: While the Imperial War Museum is real, the specific exhibit as detailed in this story is fictional. No disrespect, insult, offence or slight is intended towards anyone who fought in World War I, one of Europe's bloodiest conflicts, or towards the Imperial War Museum.
    Imperial War Museum, Southwark, London, Friday 11th November 2016...

    Griffin decided to attend the IWM's controversial new World War I exhibit. They had somehow managed to dig up an actual trench from the Somme itself and carry it all the way over to Britain!

    The soil that Griffin was about to step on was the very earth upon which thousands of soldiers died in 1916. Griffin, no longer a stranger to bloodshed and death, could feel the horror that occurred on this very soil a century ago. And since he was likely the only one in the Museum who had actually killed someone, he could very well be the only one there at the moment who could really understand the horror at all!

    As he descended down the ramp into the trench itself, Griffin noted that the soil had been coated with something to keep people from taking bits of the trench away with them. He could see stepladders to peer over the top with. The sounds of machinegun fire and biplane engines being played also increased the feeling of being there and he could imagine the screams. He noted the tank which was used as a defensive position when its tracks broke down and the Maxim gun, which was the first machinegun that people from the modern era would recognise as being fully automatic.

    It was now 11 AM. Like most Britons, Griffin honoured the national two-minute silence to commemorate those who gave their lives in Britain's defence. And all the death he could feel around him was making him extra quiet today.

    When the two minutes finished, skeletons started to crawl out of the earth! And the screams Griffin was hearing now were real!

    Griffin went "By the Lady's Heart!" as he reached into his messenger bag and unsheathed his sword! He's fought in close quarters before, but nothing this tight!

    That was when he saw the skeletons' rifles briefly gleam. Griffin knew from his experience with the Golders Green Guardians that the gleam was evidence of a repair spell being used! It meant that even though those guns had been rusting away for over a century, they were now fully repaired, oiled, loaded and ready to fire, with a residual enchantment allowing the weapons to wound him where they couldn't before! Whoever's doing this is well and truly out for blood and they know exactly how they're going to spill it!

    And that's when a pair of skeletons charged Griffin from both directions...

    Griffin gets a HP because of his Motivation (The war's over, damn it!). Due to the narrowness of the Trench, Griffin can't do the Flurry of Steel or use his wings until he gets back out again.

    The Skeletal Soldier minion stats are those of Skeletons from the Gamemaster's Guide with Light Service Rifles with bayonets that allow them to be used like Spears (both from Gamemaster's Guide). They have 5 ranks each of Close Attack and Ranged Attack.

    Roll Initiative! One Skeleton got 18, Griffin got 10 and another Skeleton got 1.

    Everyone's using lethal force.
    ...and he managed to smash the skeleton in front of him, noticing the resistance he felt on contact with its bones.

    The first Skeleton Charged at Griffin with his Bayonet Spear, getting 15 and missing. Griffin performed the Armour-Piercing Strike, getting 16. The Skeleton he struck got 4 and was killed. The other skeleton Charged at Griffin, getting 14 and missing.
    He turned around and struggled with the skeleton behind him...

    Griffin performed the Armour-Piercing Strike, getting 16. The Skeleton got a Natural 20 and resisted. The Skeleton attacked with the Bayonet Spear, getting 19. Griffin got 26 and resisted.
    ...then Griffin took that skeleton down.

    Griffin does the Armour-Piercing Strike, getting 28. The Skeleton gets 14 and is killed.
    As he took a breath, he knew what his objectives were now...

    Objective One: Get all civilians out of the exhibit!
    Objective Two: Kill the skeletons all over again!
    Objective Three: TAKE DOWN THE DAMNED WARLOCK WHO BROUGHT THEM HERE!
    Last edited by betterwatchit; Yesterday at 11:20 AM.

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