The Vanguard! Issue #3 - The Vanguard, The long dead Queen, and the Holy Grail...

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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #3 - The Vanguard, The long dead Queen, and the Holy Grail...

Post  Admin on Mon Aug 16 2010, 13:18

The Vanguard - Putty and Frostbite

<<The tomb belongs to Queen Victoria*>> said the computer inside Frostbites' head. <<If this unit were to deduce the meaning of the latin phrase, one would assume the phrase 'best son' refers to her favourite son. Her sons were: Edward Albert: b. 1841, d.1910, Alfred Ernest Albert: b. 1844, d.1900, Arthur William Patrick Albert: b.1850, d.1942, Leopold George Duncan Albert: b.1853, d.1884 Several sources** quote her favourite child as being her 3rd son, 7th child, being Arthur. The legendary King, Arthur, sometimes known as Arthur Pendragon is inextricably linked with the Grail and Excalibur legends. Therefore, one would assume the passcode on this lock has something to do with Queen Victorias' son, Arthur.>>

*"All of which is confusing enough until you apply our current situation. Time has changed gentlemen. We need to track down Morgan Le Fay, or find where she hid the grail up until the time the Nazis won the war in this time period. I cannot think of anywhere to start but with asking Queen Victoria herself. If she's still alive, and the Nazis didn't get to her, she'll have put some plan in motion to recover the grail to free her beloved Britain. We need to get to the ruins of Buckingham palace and check the cellars - it was there a hidden entrance concealed the lower catacombs where the Queen was. If the Queen is gone... our chances of finding the grail are gone too. If Hitler got it, as it was rumoured he fervently looked for it in our History, we are doomed. Without the sword, and the Grail, our chances of casting that spell..." Nowhere Man to the team - taken from the 31st July post on page 13

**those would be internet sources, which I dug around looking for various facts about Queen Victoria to come up with this 'puzzle'. Google/search on 'Queen Victorias' favourite child' Smile

OOC that should narrow down the four letters required on the tumbler lock Smile
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #3 - The Vanguard, The long dead Queen, and the Holy Grail...

Post  Admin on Mon Aug 16 2010, 13:21

OOC Oh, and check out somewhere down the RH side of the page 3/4 of the way down for the coat of arms.... on Here
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #3 - The Vanguard, The long dead Queen, and the Holy Grail...

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Mon Aug 16 2010, 13:54

Admin wrote:OOC Oh, and check out somewhere down the RH side of the page 3/4 of the way down for the coat of arms.... on Here

OOC: Ok so I was on the right track sort off! Sorry I did say I was useless at these things I didn't realise Dave felt the same way.

Frostbite looked at the tumbler, "Well the third son would be Arthur William Patrick Albert: so the letter combination should be 'A - W - P - A.'" as he moved the tumblers in the right order to match the third son's initials. Before standing back and waiting to see what happened next.

"Be ready for anything..." He mumered quietly to Putty, unsure if he was even correct.

Sj
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #3 - The Vanguard, The long dead Queen, and the Holy Grail...

Post  Admin on Mon Aug 16 2010, 20:36

The Vanguard - Lionheart and Stormwarden

He was fast. Not Olympic level fast, but fast, like a snake. Striking, darting out of view, punishing with precise blows to the neck, midriff... A soldier would duck behind cover, breathing hard and trying to see through the blinding rain and wind. Calling out to a comrade... who suddenly wasn't there! Breathing quickened, eyes wide in fear, palms moist with rain - or sweat. The machine guns suddenly felt very heavy in the soldiers hands. They'd spread out. One could see something in the gloom and darkness. A Stone rising, a giant of a man hauling it up like a human crane! A wipe of the eyes, blinking back rain, taking aim with the gun... then *crick* a scream as the gun is torn away, fingers and all, then returned as the gun butt is slammed into the midriff, up into the chin, then driven between the eyes. And darkness.

"WHERE ARE YOU!!!!" screamed a soldier.

"Here." said a quiet voice behind the mans' right ear. He screamed, jumped and turned. BANG! And flew ten feet through the air to crash into sopping wet ground and slide to a halt against the wall of a hut.

=========

Tireless, Stormwarden moved to the next stone. When they'd been hauled out of the ground, they'd left holes and he hoped - prayed even - they'd more or less slot back in. There were so many though!

He heard gunfire, turned. Through the darkness and rain he couldn't see much. He closed his eyes, became the weather. The rain acted like a sonar. He saw Lionheart move, fluid, striking fast, hard, moving on. Grinning, Stormwarden turned to the matter at hand. He'd need help moving the bigger stones, but knew Lionheart, despite his size, was about as strong as he was. Together he hoped they could figure this lot out.

=========

The soldier dropped, unconscious before he hit the floor. Lionheart turned, narrowing his eyes. They'd come close a few times with their blind firing into the dark, but then, that was all part of the game. He grinned. Too easy. Then he remembered Saladin and the grin slipped. The man was out there. He would find a safe place to hole up and contact the Nazis, then this place would be crawling. Time was running out. He concentrated on the offices of the camp, and started going through a commandants' desk and filing cabinets. The man himself was slumped in the corner feet up after Lionheart had knocked on the door, stepped aside as shots blasted through the wood then stepped inside and delivered a kick hard enough to bounce the man off two walls. He glanced outside. Shots were still ringing out. He heard cries. The Nazis were firing at shadows, shadows cast in some cases by each other.

The hero blanked them out and concentrated on paperwork. There had to be some clue, some records, made of what had gone on here...

OOC it's going to take hours for Stormy/Lionheart to sort the place out. They have time at the moment but that will run out should they not get some clue as to how to reassemble Stonehenge!




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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #3 - The Vanguard, The long dead Queen, and the Holy Grail...

Post  Admin on Mon Aug 16 2010, 20:52

The Vanguard - Frostbite and Putty

Snick! CLANK! Clang *echoes*

Frostbite glanced at Putty, then at the huge vault door. Something inside was whirring, clicking into place. Decades old machinery turned, lifted, moved huge bolts and safety devices, and somewhere, the feint hum of a crude cerebral inhibitor died down.

The vault door opened with a hiss, and beyond lays a corridor not unlike that of a Victorian era house, black and white tiled floors, wood panelling on the walls and various pictures of stately looking men and women every now and then. Dim lights flicker in the ceiling, spaced 5m apart or so running the length of the corridor, the end of which has stairs going deeper into the area below Buckingham palace.

<<The energy signature I detected before has gone. I predict it would have administered cerebral shock had you attempted to enter these catacombs without opening the door. Impressive technology, given it was derived in the late 19th or early 20th century. Dangerous too. For anyone in close proximity and not adequately shielded, total brain seizure and death would occur. Even for a superhuman, dangerous.>> said the computer.

A faint whiff of formaldehyde in the air suggested something was going on down here.

At the top of the stairs, the Vanguardians looked down. The rail was rusted, the stairs well worn but dust covered. This was, indeed, a tomb.

=========

After a set of twisting stairs and a similarly serpentine corridor, it ends with another steel door. This time the Vanguardians see four long dead corpses, skeletal and still clothed in the rags of their uniforms. Crude looking early firearms lay by their side. Loyal, even until the point of their deaths, these men would not shirk their duty or leave their posts.

<<I can scan using only your senses, but I predict these men died of brain seizure, not old age or external force. The aforementioned protective field will have been the cause.>> said the computer.

The steel door looked sturdy - in normal human terms. There was another tumbler lock and a keyhole for this one, but the tumblers were long since seized and useless.

Moments later, the Vanguardians stood on the other side of the door. It was a simple matter for Frostbite to step through the door, Putty to flow through the keyhole like water to the other side. What they saw took their breath away...

OOC ok, I'm going to try and apply some of my crap artwork to give you some description of what's inside, so it'll be an hour or two before I lash something up and scan it for you to look at. Won't make much difference to what you need to know, just help in visualising what I will describe... If you have Queen Victoria and the Holy Grail (the module) you'll have a pretty good idea of what's inside the chamber...
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #3 - The Vanguard, The long dead Queen, and the Holy Grail...

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Mon Aug 16 2010, 20:59

[quote="Admin"]The Vanguard - Lionheart and Stormwarden

The hero blanked them out and concentrated on paperwork. There had to be some clue, some records, made of what had gone on here...

Willing himself to be quicker, Lionheart hoped he'd find some clue. Time was short, and the sooner they could get things ready for this crazy plan he'd become embroiled in the better. It would only take a call to get Adjutant here and then their goose would really be cooked. Strong as he was, from what he knew, Stormwarden was no match for the premier Nazi figurehead.

OOC:

Ok using super speed to speed up the search, whilst trying to not miss anything. Using my full concentration to make sure I don't miss anything.


Sj
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #3 - The Vanguard, The long dead Queen, and the Holy Grail...

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Mon Aug 16 2010, 21:03

Frostbite

OOC ok, I'm going to try and apply some of my crap artwork to give you some description of what's inside, so it'll be an hour or two before I lash something up and scan it for you to look at. Won't make much difference to what you need to know, just help in visualising what I will describe... If you have Queen Victoria and the Holy Grail (the module) you'll have a pretty good idea of what's inside the chamber...

I do have that module but declined to look at it as I didn't want to get the steal on anything that might happen here. I must admit I was tempted though ;-). Thanks for being so patient with our poor attempt at puzzle solving. I think we can extend you the same curtasy with regard any attempt at art and making what we see easier to appreciate.

Sj
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #3 - The Vanguard, The long dead Queen, and the Holy Grail...

Post  DavidMcMahon on Mon Aug 16 2010, 22:46

Have the module too and its tucked away with the game some place.

Puzzles I'm no good at. Now if you had asked me the riddle of the Sphinx!
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #3 - The Vanguard, The long dead Queen, and the Holy Grail...

Post  Admin on Tue Aug 17 2010, 00:06

The Vanguard - Frostbite and Putty

OOC to be honest I'm totally crap at puzzles mostly. That goes for setting them too. Too easy or so wildly obscure even I'm not sure how I come about my 'logic' so don't be too hard on yourselves - I wouldn't have 'got it' I expect Smile



The chamber glistens with frost. All about are machines of varying complexity, pumps that flow illuminous liquid, another machine straight out of Frankensteins workshop complete with arcing electrical pulses rising to the ceiling. Yet more with blinking lights, dust covered gauges and some with a fine veneer of rust. Someone has been looking after them, or trying to. There are footprints in the dust and a worn out brush in the corner that suggests they haven't given up dusting even when the brush is past useless.

"In here gentlemen" said a clipped, strained voice. English accent, no hint of german about it. It came from across the other side of the room where what looks to be a concealed door is ajar.

Apparently you were expected.

Moving up to the doorway, the Vanguardians stop short. (OOC see picture) A man is pointing a gun at the pair of you. Behind him and filling most of the chamber is a huge block of ice. Instantly Frostbite knows it's degrading, and that machines are working overtime to ensure the ice won't thaw, but it's a losing battle. Vapour rises from the ice block, and pipes pulse whilst machines hum. A dark shape stands in the middle of the ice, perfectly preserved in a state of unlife.

The man, a fellow in his mid fifties, with greying hair and a dusty moth eaten suit, holds the gun on you with a slightly shaky hand. His eyes are bloodshot. Lack of sleep or the onset of madness, being cooped up in here so long alone?

"Not dead, but resting" he says quietly, to no one in particular. Then, louder, he says "Ma'am, they've arrived. As you said they would."

A voice echoes throughout the chamber. You hear the sounds, but more importantly feel the words inside your head!

The man winces, lowering the gun as his other hand presses to his temple, as the voice speaks. "We are Alexanderina Victoria. From 1837 until ones death in 1901 one was Queen of England and Empress of India."

The man glances to the ice block, then speaks again. "The Queen said you would come. Strangers, from here, and yet far away. I didn't know what she meant, still don't. I am James... Sir James, Peterson, loyal servant to the crown." He glances at the gun, chuckles. "Many's the time I thought of turning it on myself. Living down here, alone, for decades, eating defrosted foodstuff long past the time when it had any flavour, listening to the war above, and the vile Nazis having their way with... ahhh. Pardon me, I've not seen another human for a long time, since coming down here to guard her Majesty. You have questions. Speak! I'll answer those, then ask a boon, a favour of you. Probably the greatest favour any country could ask of one born within its borders."

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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #3 - The Vanguard, The long dead Queen, and the Holy Grail...

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Tue Aug 17 2010, 08:02

The Vanguard - Frostbite and Putty

Frostbite

Slightly taken aback by what he saw before him and even more by the fact they were 'expected' Frostbite stood forward. After giving a short bow, he said, "Your Royal Highness it's a great honour for me and my friend to be granted an audience like this.

Yes we are from far away, but we are both British and fight for justice and the freedom of our nation. But what has taken place here should never have happened to our beloved country. Our enemies, have gone back from our time to a decisive moment in World War 2 and alter what was our present history as a result. We are here to change it back again, restoring England to what she once was.

But in order for us to succeed marm we need to ask something of you. We were sent to find the Grail, in order that we might use it to return to that decisive moment in history and stop what ought never to have been started. Hitler must never be allowed to win, the evidence of such a victory is dreadfully plain to see. Your country is enslaved to fascism and brutality. We come hoping that you might have some plan, some means whereby you could help us find the grail. Our information tells us that after Morgan Le Fey hid it no one has seen it since, but that you might be able to help us recover it?"


Frostbite stood down and awaited the Queen's answer.

OOC: Great picture, helped set the tone very well and I love the whole idea of Victoria kept alive for the good of the nation.

Sj


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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #3 - The Vanguard, The long dead Queen, and the Holy Grail...

Post  DavidMcMahon on Tue Aug 17 2010, 10:59

PUTTY

Putty stood silent. He was amazed at what he was seeing. He felt very small at present.
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #3 - The Vanguard, The long dead Queen, and the Holy Grail...

Post  Admin on Tue Aug 17 2010, 12:55

The Vanguard - Putty and Frostbite

James Peterson glances at the Queen, locked in the icy tomb. "If I may, ma'am?" he asks. Silence greets his question, and he turns to speak to the Vanguardians. "I belong to a secret society, related to the masons and the knights Templar. For over 1,000 years we have closely guarded those items of historical and mystical significance, enhancing the legend in some respects, making sure it remained myth in others. Our numbers are almost gone. What you have said would sound fantastic to some, but the Queen, having resided in this chamber for over 100 years, has developed a number of special abilities thanks to the cerebral enhancer that picks up her thoughts and turns them into dreams. Here.." he says, gesturing to a machine with a large central circular screen about 2 feet across. "A dreamscope, invented by HG Wells and Jules Verne, who were no mere novelists, but accomplished inventors and members of the order in their own right. As it happens, the last of us have been watching the Queens' dreams. These days she is absolutely unwavering in her determination to find the grail, and has spent the years developing her keen mind to scour the land, for she and the land are one."

"It appears, Gentlemen, that our quest aims for the same goal, though the treasure at the end of your particular rainbow is of far greater value. The Queen has foreseen your coming. Indeed, she predicted the shadow mans departure to realms otherwise, she has seen the Man from Nowhere descend into the bowels of the Earth to find fabled Camelot, and even now watches your friends rebuild Stonehenge as best they can. She can help in that regard, but must reach them through a dream. As for your quest...Ynys Afallach. Does the name mean anything?"

He smiles, sitting down, resting the gun on a table as he gestures to two more chairs for the pair of you. "Unfortunately over the centuries even our own version of the Arthur legend became muddled, thanks to various events beyond our control. The Great fire of London destroyed one of our great founts of Knowledge, a library of such scope and breadth that its loss was immeasurable. And so, over time, it became part of the Arthur Legend that the dying king was taken to Avalon, and it has been assumed, written about by ignorant historians and believed by those who should know better - those of our own order - that the place you know as Glastonbury Tor was once surrounded by water and marshlands, and was in fact the Isle of Apples, or 'Avalon'. This is false. We know, from a historian - and rogue member of the order James Bonwick* who wrote in 1894 that the Isle of Avalon is here." he points to a map on the table, specifically a point off north Wales, a dot on the map. "The Island of Bardsey. Bonwick himself later renounced his theory after some.. persuasion, from the Order, and so was discredited by many of his peers. The theory was dismissed as fanciful and without basis for fact. For that we allowed him to live out the rest of his days. Bardsey is no longer covered in orchards, having been converted to farmland and lived on for years until the Nazis invaded. Since then, it has lain derelict, out of sight and mind until I uncovered Bonwicks notes. Unfortunately, I have no means at present to follow this quest up. The knights of my order are gone, lost whilst trying to stop the Nazis. The Island of Bardsey is, I believe, where you will find Morgana le Fay, and with her, the Grail, which she stole from her Majesties possession. Look not at the farmlands, but seek out caves and hidden entrances. Beware, however. Morgana is a canny sorceress of high power, and would not leave her hiding place unguarded!"

"Get to Bardsey, find the cellars of the Church long hidden underground, and defeat Morgana's evil. Retrieve the Grail, and bring it here, if you would, before you use it for the spell which will free humanity. I believe her Majesty wishes, and deserves, to look upon that which she guarded for so long one last time."

He stands, taking a deep breath. "That which I recited in moments took decades and cost many lives to uncover. We sent an expedition with the last of the Knights this year, and none returned. I am the only one left who knows of the Grails resting place, save you and the Queen. Everyone else is dead. It is a grave and terrible thing we do, protecting humanity from itself. Were the forces of darkness to use the Grail a new age of shadows and doom would be ushered unto the Earth. I can only hope that Morgana continues to sleep - her spells require the planets to align and stars to be seen in the Northern sky, and she barely ages whilst she sleeps."

"That said, my Knights did not return." he lets the thought linger.

He turns, pointing to a machine in the corner. "If we can get it working, Professor Wells' amazing displacertron will transport you to Northern Wales in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, it is a one way trip, and you will have to return via your own means."

<<The Vanguards' base at Caer Alwyn is within easy reach should you wish to see if the place functions as before.>> informed the computer.

"So gentlemen. I ask, you, beseech you, undertake this quest and save the land. You are our last and only hope." implores Peterson.

OOC *All this comes from Here
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #3 - The Vanguard, The long dead Queen, and the Holy Grail...

Post  DavidMcMahon on Tue Aug 17 2010, 22:29

PUTTY


"So gentlemen. I ask, you, beseech you, undertake this quest and save the land. You are our last and only hope." implores Peterson.

"I am willing," Putty says. "I appear not to exist in this other, better world that my companions come from but nevertheless, I am willing to sacrifice myself so such a world may again come into being. I believe with our abilities we can make the journey back on our own safely. SO I say, start up your machine."


ooc: Don't know why but for some reason a song from the Man of La Mancha is running through my head as I read what you wrote and as I wrote. What a Face

"This is my quest! To follow that star! No matter how hopeless. No matter how far ....."

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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #3 - The Vanguard, The long dead Queen, and the Holy Grail...

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Tue Aug 17 2010, 22:57

Frostbite


"So gentlemen. I ask, you, beseech you, undertake this quest and save the land. You are our last and only hope." implores Peterson.

Frostbite nodded thankfully toward Putty and Peterson, both having made sacrifices for the nation. But in Putty's case, who though in no way human, had displayed the finest an even greater commitment.

"We'd be honoured to undertake such a quest at such a crucial time. And if our mission is successful and its within our powers, we will return with the grail to let the Queen gaze upon it one last time. Now you mentioned some means to get to North Wales..." Frostbite added with a note of haste.

Although Caer Alwyn might be able to get them back, assuming Nowhere Man had found it and was able to get it up and running again, right now the priority was to get to Wales as their time was surely running out.

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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #3 - The Vanguard, The long dead Queen, and the Holy Grail...

Post  Admin on Wed Aug 18 2010, 10:13

OOC update later, then watch for a new issue - will stick a link up for it. My birthday today so doing the usual rounds and out/about all day. Just one more year to go till 40 affraid
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #3 - The Vanguard, The long dead Queen, and the Holy Grail...

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Wed Aug 18 2010, 11:19

Admin wrote:OOC update later, then watch for a new issue - will stick a link up for it. My birthday today so doing the usual rounds and out/about all day. Just one more year to go till 40 affraid

Well a big happy birthday to you mate. If'd know we could of made a fuss of you. Hope you're day goes really well. Nearly 40 my wife is that next year, we've booked a few nights in Rome to celebrate. Me well I'm already over that hill and on my way to the next one, but a bit of a way to go yet. Yippee.

Have a great day, update when you're ready mate, its your day today.

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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #3 - The Vanguard, The long dead Queen, and the Holy Grail...

Post  DavidMcMahon on Wed Aug 18 2010, 13:59

Have a Happy Birthday.
David
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #3 - The Vanguard, The long dead Queen, and the Holy Grail...

Post  Admin on Wed Aug 18 2010, 23:26

The Vanguard - Frostbite and Putty

Sir James Peterson rose, nodding. He smiled, looking down. "Her Majesty also said you'd accept the quest without hesitation. That you were heroes, true hearts, without compare. I'm ashamed to say I doubted her, hence the gun, but then my own quest is a lonely and thankless one. I must stay here to guard my Queen, and can leave only to venture forth for food and such. Right the great wrong that has been done, gentlemen, both to her Majesty and this great country, and send the Nazi menace packing!" He breathed in, eyes welling up, then huffed and started towards a dark corner of the cavern. There a glass cylinder several feet across and taller than a man was wired up to copper coils and wires, a veritable mess of metal spaghetti that looked for all the world like the thing had been dumped there.

"We dumped it here after we couldn't get the bloody thing working." said Peterson. "Over the years I've tried to make sense of Wells' notes. Brilliant man, by all accounts, when his head wasn't in the bloody clouds. His theories about time machines were too... spot on... to publish in his book, so we kept those, built one. Didn't work." he laughed. "This... though. I have transported myself across the cave. I arrived in one piece, but naked. I... made adjustments after that, and thankfully such a sight was denied my Queen. You'll get to where you're going, but it's a long walk back!"

He stepped to a console, blew a layer of dust from it, then flicked several switches. He looked at the machine, grinned with embarrassment then gave it a slight kick. It hummed into life and the lights in the ceiling flickered. The glass tube glowed.

"Gentlemen. We are judged not by our words, but by our deeds. History may not remember the likes of us, but it will be a darker place should we not strive to shine a light for others to follow. I bid you good fortune. Do not underestimate Morgana or her trickery. She has not lived so long without becoming wary and selfish. Return the grail to us, that the Queen may gaze on it one last time, then do as you will. I pray for your success, knowing in my heart you are ranged against an evil so colossal it makes the Nazis seem like children at play." said Peterson. He bowed his head, then flicked a switch. The glass tube opened.

OOC thanks for the good wishes guys Smile One more post from each then we'll be into Issue #4
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #3 - The Vanguard, The long dead Queen, and the Holy Grail...

Post  DavidMcMahon on Thu Aug 19 2010, 02:52

PUTTY

"Is it "once more into the breech, dear friends" or "into the valley of death rode the 600"," Putty mutters to no one in particular as he stepped into a machine that has only taken a person across a room and not across a whole country before.
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #3 - The Vanguard, The long dead Queen, and the Holy Grail...

Post  Steeple_jackuk on Thu Aug 19 2010, 07:07

Frostbite

"Is it "once more into the breech, dear friends" or "into the valley of death rode the 600"," Putty mutters to no one in particular as he stepped into a machine that has only taken a person across a room and not across a whole country before.

Frostbite smiled, "You've been among us too long, not to be thought of as human." Then as he looked forward, he thought on Peterson's words and nodded to him, before stepping forward. "Onwards and upwards and for Queen and Country." He said without hesitating to step into the contraption.

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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #3 - The Vanguard, The long dead Queen, and the Holy Grail...

Post  Admin on Thu Aug 19 2010, 09:27

The Vanguard

There was a flash of blinding light, and a churning sensation in the stomach that would have floored a non metahuman. As it was, a cold breeze met Puttys face, followed by driving rain. He looked about, and a heartbeat later Frostbite appeared, standing, as Putty was, on a a grass covered cliff.



Looking out to the sea (OOC which is somewhat more wild and turbulent than that shown here... don't think too many venture out in North Wales in the dark and stormy weather) the pair saw an Island not far away - certainly within swimming - or more likely - flying distance. Even with the wind blowing a gale, and rain whipping up and about, the place seemed serene, like something out of legend. Perhaps this was the fabled isle of Avalon, Arthurs' final resting place?

=========

Lionheart tossed over a cupboard in disgust. Nothing! He cursed, and looked out the window. Stormwarden was still struggling to right stones - some were at or over his lifting limits. With a sigh Lionheart glanced back at the Commandants' office, or rather the shambles he'd left. Then he was gone with a flutter of papers, on his way to help Stormwarden.

The big man huffed, grinding teeth. It was no good. He'd found his strength limits and, impressive as they were... He stood back. This monolith was beyond him! He turned, looking out into the darkness and suddenly grinned, turning round the other way.

"Ha! Got...oh. There's no sneaking up on you in a storm is there?" said Lionheart, having sped out of the darkness to make Stormwarden jump. Stormwarden winked, then gestured at the stone. "Hopefully together we can lift/push this thing out of the way. After that..." he waved an arm taking in a myriad number of similar sized stones lying about in the darkness. Lionheart groaned. "Must have been quite a feat to shift this lot back in the day." Stormwarden clapped him on the back "Let's get to it."

=========

Elsewhere...

"Well?" bellowed the Field Marshal of Britain. "You are supposed to be the most powerful superhuman option we have! The mystics report that whilst they cannot track your... your... 'mystery men' there are areas they cannot see into, and surmise that our targets are in those areas! Now they say two have disappeared, and reappeared..." he grabbed a sheet of paper, then crumpled it up after reading it "Somewhere in North Wales, 'we are tracking them down' and the other two are spread out. Here." he pointed to a map and the rough general locations of Nowhere Man and Stormwarden. "We've heard nothing from the witch or Saladin. They were at Stonehenge. So what are you doing?"

Adjutant looked back from the window. "Remember to whom you speak Nazi. I aligned myself to you because of certain conditions. I wear your uniform, I follow your rules, but I am NOT your lapdog." he snarled. The Field Marshal blanched, and stepped back. "I... that is..."

Adjutant looked back out the window "These 'mystery men' dispatched Majestic with ease. For myself, I sense they are cunning, intelligent and resourceful, but not overly powerful. That is what I sense on the surface. I feel that there is more to them however, a power that can rival my own, perhaps even eclipse it. Therefore brute force will be unwise, lest their 'sleeping dragon' awake and claim me as it did Majestic. And then where would you be? Majestic was an arrogant fool. For too long have we held sway without challenge, seeing as the Americans stand alone and dare not antagonise us. We too, have had to act accordingly to maintain the balance with them. And so it is with these people. We need to find out what they want, thwart them, frustrate them, and destroy them. We will start with..." he pointed to a point on the map. "Prepare your men."

Then Adjutant was gone.

END OF ISSUE #3
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Re: The Vanguard! Issue #3 - The Vanguard, The long dead Queen, and the Holy Grail...

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