- After getting back with new students from a successful World Tour and discovering the hidden micro-lab of Hank Pym 1, Cool decides he wants to take his students on a field trip to his hidden base located deep in the asteroid belt.
- Emma agrees, as long as he only takes students who are at least 18, which trims the list down to Kid Omega, Ursa Minor, and Old Lady Twilight. He also asks Susie and Madison, both of whom decline, but 717-Dwayne says yes. He also gets clearance from SWORD, so now they’re good to go.
- As he goes on a walk through of his Shi’ar Imperial Scout Ship with Dwayne and Madison, to make sure it’s all in working order, he agrees with the call to install the warp drive instead of the hyper-drive. Even though Shi’ar tech is made for hyperdrives, there isn’t a hyperdrive network in our galaxy so it wouldn’t make sense to keep that one installed.
shi’ar imperial scout ship
- After the walk though (and after he makes sure everyone is wearing an old school black and gold x-men uniform, made of unstable molecules for extra protection) they get clearance to lift off and they are on their way!
- Unknown to Cool, their take off has also been noticed by the Fist of The Empire, a Badoon warship that has been observing Earth from high orbit, under cloak, 2 for the last month. They’re shocked to see a Shi’ar Imperial Scout ship leaving Earth, and even more shocked when they watch it go to warp! A Shi’ar ship with a warp drive is a clear violation of the Inter-Galactic Accords! Is Earth an ally of the Shi’ar? They need more information so, they extrapolate their course, and sets out to beat them to their destination so they can plan an ambush.
fist of the empire
- Cool and his students arrive at his secret base and land on top of it (his base is built inside of a large asteroid) and he takes a moment to let them enjoy the wonder and majesty of knowing they’re walking on a giant rock in the middle of space before heading inside. (unknown to them, the Badoon have already beat them there and are laying in wait inside and the Fist of The Empire is cloaked and observing from outside)
- After they cycle through the airlock and get inside the main station, they see that main power is off and only back-up power is on, bathing the long hallways in a blinking green glow. Dwayne and Old Lady Twilight head to the main Command Deck to switch on the main power while Cool takes Kid Omega and Ursa Minor with him to show them around the base.
- After exploring the lower levels, Cool takes them upstairs to check out the observation deck. As they’re up there, they realize they can’t reach anybody on comms (the Badoon have set up a D12 Jamming Field complication). Not liking how this feels, Cool leads them back down towards the Command Deck to check in on Dwayne and Old Lady Twilight and see about helping Dwayne get main power back online.
- The instant they step inside the Command Deck, they see signs of battle. Scorch marks from blasters on the floor and wall. But no sign of Dwayne or Old Lady Twilight or their attackers. 3 (the Badoon are using personal stealth tech to make themselves invisible)
- And that’s when the entire room erupts in green blaster fire as the Badoon boarding party launch their attack!
- At first, Cool and his students are caught off guard but after that initial surprise they regroup and start to turn the tables on the invisible Badoon boarding party.
- They start to turn the tables so much that the Badoon call for reinforcements and the Fist of The Empire beam down a Monster of the Badoon war cyborg!
monster of the badoon
- Even after mopping up the last of the Badoon landing party, the Monster of the Badoon has started to turn the tide of battle against Cool and his students. So much so that Cool decides it’s time to get the hell out of dodge, transforms his charges into light alongside him, and makes a break for the airlock. He blasts through the airlock, not bothering to take the time to open it, and in the explosive decompression, he watches as the Monster of the Badoon gets sucked out into empty space.
- As he hits open space, he sees the massive Fist of The Empire warship as it starts to leave the asteroid belt with his Shi’ar scout ship in a tractor beam. He blinks himself and his students inside the cockpit the second before the Fist of The Empire jumps to warp.
- While traveling through warp space, Cool attempts to send a feedback pulse through the tractor beam to try and free the ship, but the Badoon reverse it and when they send it back it short circuits all the consoles in the cockpit, knocking out Cool and his students. (after he failed that roll, i spent 2D12 from the Doom Pool to end the scene this way)
- The next thing Cool is aware of, he’s sitting naked in a chair in front of a table. On the other side of the table is a Badoon interrogator, behind the interrogator is a one way window. A device is attached to the back of Cool’s neck that prevents him from accessing his psionic powers. 4
- The Badoon interrogator informs Cool that since they’ve dealt with telepathic races before they know how to block those abilities, but since they don’t know how to block his other mutagenic abilities if he attempts to activate any of them the interrogator (or the people watching on the other side of the one way window) will order the deaths of one of his team. He then proceeds to question Cool about his homeworld and if Cool has ever had contact with the Badoon before and Cool slips that the last time was at that black hole. 5
- Knowing he slipped, Cool decides now is the time for him to make his move! Even though he knows this will risk the life of one of his students he transforms into light and starts his escape attempt, as his neck psi-blockers falls to his empty chair. As he leaves he hears the Badoon interrogator order the death of one of his team. The race is on! (at this point i spend a doom die to start a timer.)
- Cool uses his now free psi-powers to track down his team and, one by one, rescues each of them, except for Old Lady Twilight. She’s still in the Badoon Med-Bay floating in a tank and wrapped up like a mummy, because they couldn’t figure out how to shut down her powers. They first stop by the Badoon Science Lab to retrieve their X-Uniforms, Dwayne’s armor, Cool’s armor and Cool’s Shi’ar touchpad. 6
- They defeat the Badoon guarding the lab and take back their stuff and then go to rescue Old Lady Twilight. Cool tries to take over the ship but the ship’s A.I. security pushes him out. (Kid Omega: “wait wait, i have a photographic memory and i just want to take all this in!” (looks at a naked ursa minor) Ursa Minor: “oh for the love of god quentin, get dressed and run!”)
- They make a run for the hangar bay, where their ship is being kept and they manage to drop the security around the hangar for just long enough to get the hell out of dodge and they jump to warp speed, in a random direction to throw off Badoon tracking, after they clear the ship.
- They manage to get a dozen sectors away before there’s an explosion from the engine room! The Badoon have sabotaged the warp drive! The ship enters a deadly spin before Cool can reclaim control.
- And after he regains control they find themselves in empty space, with no planets in scanning range, no warp drive, deep in Badoon Empire territory…lost in space…
lost in space
- to be continued! -
- The issue opens with Cool and the gang under heavy fire from the Fist of The Empire and their attack starfighters. This is the 5th time the Badoon have tracked them down in the three hours after their escape from them in the previous issue.
- Dwayne is down in the lower decks, in the engine room, trying his best to get the warp drive back online so they can actually make a clean getaway. This is proving difficult to do with no parts and with being under constant attack by the Badoon.
- Old Lady Twilight, Kid Omega, and Ursa Minor have all joined Cool up in the cockpit and they’ve taken stations. OLT as co-pilot, Kid Omega on sensors, and Ursa Minor on Communications. But with all the main systems offline due to the warp drive being offline, they really can’t offer that much help.
- As their Shi’ar Imperial Scout Ship gets hit by another strafing run, Kid Omega manages to pick up on short range sensors a Class 5 nebula 25 parsecs away. If they make a run for it, being inside of the nebula should protect them from the Badoon sensors. And the Badoon can’t risk opening fire in case they ignite the nebula. They have a plan!
- Cool does some very impressive flying and manages to dodge and outrun all the starfighters the Fist of The Empire launches and they make it inside the nebula. (with one roll he pushed their Outrun the Badoon asset die past D12. it was really impressive LoL)
- Now that they’re safe for a minute, everyone catches their breath and tries to work out a plan. Cool goes down to help Dwayne with the warp drive and, with the two of them combined, they manage to jury rig a fix. But it won’t last and they both know that, the next time they jump to warp could be the last.
- Now that the warp drive has been patched, everyone meets up in the cockpit to try to figure out a heading, since they don’t actually know where they are or how far away Earth actually is. With the patched up warp drive providing main power again, they manage to use the sensors to detect other warp trails and discover a lot heading in one direction. In that direction they pick up a weak signal that could be from an outpost…and it looks like it’s outside of Badoon space.
- They decide that making a run in that direction is their best bet and they get strapped in and make the jump to warp space.
- Since it’s gonna take a day and a half of warp travel to reach where they’re going, Cool takes that time to talk to each one of his crew, one on one, to get to know them better. Kid Omega admits that, seeing the Earth as a whole, and realizing that other races don’t care about mutant and non-mutant distinctions, all they see are humans has made him re-think some of his “magneto was right” feelings. Ursa Minor admits that she’s scared and worries that being afraid would disappoint her father but Cool teaches her otherwise. He learns that Old Lady Twilight is retired air force and she served in the vietnam war and he helps teach her how to help fly the scout ship. And he learns that Dwayne feels genuine remorse for the things he did while he was with the Zodiac and he tells Cool that, if it comes down between saving his life or the lives of the rest of the crew to choose the crew, he would be ok with that. Cool tells him that everyone is going to make it home, he promises. After that, everyone gets some much needed rest.
- When they’re about a few parsecs shy of leaving Badoon space there’s an explosion that knocks the warp drive out, throwing them out of warp space, and making them go into a deadly spin. Cool manages to regain control of the ship and when they get their bearings they discover that it was the Fist of The Empire that had opened fire on them. They’ve been found again!
- Cool does some of the fanciest flying of his life as he maneuvers and zig-zags around all the starfighters and enemy fire and manages to get his ship out of Badoon space before the Badoon can catch up and get in tractor beam range. (LoL once again, in one roll, he manages to step up his Make it out of Badoon Space asset past D12. so awesome.)
- When they cross over into Ungoverned Space, the Badoon stop their pursuit (so they won’t violate their treaty with the Spartax Empire) and Cool and the crew are clear!
- They make their way to the only system in range, which is the White Star system which leads them to the only thing in orbit around this star, which is the White Star Trade Outpost. An artificial city in space.
white star trade outpost
- They get cleared to dock, but only the first standard hour is free and since they don’t have any interstellar credits they have an hour to figure out their next move.
- As they make their way around the station, they manage to arrange a work agreement with the Dock Master. Some members of his guild are down with the Snarkian Flu so he needs some extra hands. If they help out, he’ll “pay” them in spare parts they need to patch up their warp drive enough to get them to their next stop. (everyone assumes they’re just recently escaped slaves from the Badoon slave pins and need a helping hand. they see a lot of those types being here on the edges of Badoon space.)
- Their next stop will be Planet Sin, deep in Ungoverned Space on the edges of the galaxy. That’s where they can find a contact that doesn’t barter in credits, and he may be able to get them access to a shipyard they can use to install a new warp drive. (that contact will be the Sultan. since he deals in emotions and stories)
- It’s gonna take a couple of days of work to get the parts they need so everyday after work, Cool gathers the team in a library they find in the city and they learn everything they can about: local star charts, how money works in this galaxy, planet sin, and the spartax.
- After five days of work, they’ve managed to get the parts they need for the patch job (plus a few extra parts for an additional patch job) and they’re ready to head out.
- And so, after they board their ship and clear the White Star Trade Outpost, they set a course and make the jump to warp space. Next stop; Planet Sin, deep in Ungoverned Space.
- It’s going to take a standard week of constant warp travel to make it to Planet Sin so Cool and the gang take that week to try to unwind some. OLT suggest that they always have evening meal together and it starts being something everyone starts to look forward to.
- At the end of the week they make the jump back into real space on the outer edges of the Sin star system…only to find that the Fist of The Empire is waiting for them! Commander Ma’Tok hails them and informs them that they are still considered property of the Badoon and for them to surrender and prepare to be boarded.
- Cool responds and gives them his final warning. Leave them alone. Go away in peace. But if they attack then they will be destroyed. The Commander looks cool in the eye, in silence, for a full minute. Then he cuts communications and launches a squad of star fighters. This is it!
- The battle isn’t over quickly, but when it does end there is only one victor. As The Fist of The Empire explodes like a mini-nova, the Defiant flies through it, in total victory!
- (i spend a D12 out of the Doom Pool to give Cool and his crew the complication Hunted by the Badoon D12. They’ve taken thousands of Badoon lives. There’s no going back, now.)
- The battle didn’t come without scars, though. The Shield Generator is completely destroyed. They’ll need a shipyard to get that fixed. The Self-Repair Unit is also offline, but if they use some spare parts that they got to fix the warp drive, they should be able to patch that up. And the engines were damaged, but if they use the rest of the spare parts for the warp drive, they should be able to patch that too. And so the crew gets to work.
- After they patch what can be patched, Cool tells OLT to take them from the outskirts of the system to the inner system and to set a course for Planet Sin!
- to be continued! -
- The issues opens with Cool and the gang entering orbit over Planet Sin hours after their battle with the Fist of The Empire on the far outskirts of the Sin System.
- The orbital traffic is immense, with hundreds of ships either coming, going, or making their way to one of The Twins; the two moons known as the Companion Moon and the Outlaw Moon that orbit Planet Sin.
- Once they achieve orbit they learn from Sin Orbital Control that staying in orbit is free but if they wish to land on the planet they will be charged a docking fee. So they elect to stay in free orbit an Cool will just blink everyone down to the planet that wants to go with him.
- OLT knows that the kids really want to see Planet Sin and since she knows how to pilot the Defiant she volunteers to remain with the ship so they can go down with Cool and Dwayne.
- After all that is decided Cool blinks them down to the surface of Planet Sin’s largest city-sector and they all take in the awe and wonder that is the night time hustle and bustle of Planet Sin.
planet sin at night
- As they make their way through the city-sector they see the gigantic pyramid building that houses The Great Exchange and they see floating holo-billboards advertising the upcoming Blind Exchange in two standard months. 7
- They make their way to the secret alleyway entrance to the Sultan’s Den and, with the blessings of the Sultan, make their way inside. The Sultan is a large, humanoid white tiger dressed in flowing robes.
the sultan’s alley
- The Sultan explains that he deals in emotions. So they can barter either an object with significant emotional resonance or in a story with the same. Cool decides to barter an object and gives him his wife’s wedding band. The wedding band forged of Asgardian Gold and enchanted by All-Father Odin himself on her and Cool’s wedding day in the Golden City of Asgard!
- That barter is more than enough to give them what they need. The Sultan gives them one of his personal contacts on The Outlaw Moon that deals in black-market parts and owns his own shipyard. So he’ll be able repair their warp drive and won’t ask any questions about violating the Inter-Galactic Accords. Cool also asks for star maps and the Sultan gives him a star map of this entire Quadrant of space; which is the Delta Quadrant. The star maps also show the locations of the Delta Gate, which links to the Alpha Gate and can get them back to the Alpha Quadrant.
- As they make their way out the Sultan does warn them that the Outlaw Moon more than lives up to its name. It’s the headquarters of the Galactic Syndicate and there is not one shred of law and order on there. It’s might makes right and whoever has the most weapons and credits is the one in the right.
- As soon as they leave the Sultan’s Den and set foot in the alleyway outside, Cool blinks everybody back up to the Defiant and, after filling in OLT, they break orbit and set a course for the Outlaw Moon.
- When they get into orbit around the Outlaw Moon they discover that, unlike most civilized planets, there is no Orbital Control. It’s pretty much, take off and land wherever and if you run into someone, well, better make sure it isn’t a Syndicate ship.
- They locate the shipyard of their contact, on the night-side of the moon, and head there and make a safe landing.
- They meet their contact, the Foreman of this shipyard and he tells them it’s gonna be, at least, a standard week until he can get everything fixed on the ship. The current warp drive is just completely shot so they’re gonna have to replace it with a totally new one and that takes time. In the meantime he’s set them up in an abandoned warehouse a block away from the shop where they can squat at.
outlaw moon slum sector
- The first few days pass without incident. Cool and Dwayne go down to the shipyard to help with the repairs while OLT, Kid Omega, and Ursa Minor keep to the warehouse and out of trouble. In order to get in good with the rest of the shipyard crew, after work each night Dwayne goes out drinking with them while Cool goes back to the warehouse to set a good example for the kids.
- But, on the fifth day, as Cool an Dwayne head back to the shipyard for work, they find the entire shipyard totally empty. The only thing in there is a single figure (that looks like a drow) dressed in black and holding a cane.
- He introduces himself as a Liaison for the Syndicate and he’s here to offer Cool a deal he just won’t be able to refuse.
- A Syndicate courier ship has vanished while passing through a star system that is known to be totally empty. This courier ship was bringing an item of great importance for the Syndicate to the Outlaw Moon. The Syndicate wants Cool to find this item, which is a Shi’ar Lockbox, a jet black cube the size of a softball, and, in return, they’ll allow his ship to finish being repaired without telling anyone that doing so would break the Inter-Galactic Accords…and they won’t inform the Badoon where they are either. (that D12 Hunted by the Badoon complication rears its ugly head)
- Cool knows he has no choice but to accept, so that’s just what he does. The Syndicate arranges for Cool and his team (he doesn’t want to leave anybody behind to be used as a potential hostage) to have passage on a cargo transport ship with a Captain on the take with them and they leave the Outlaw Moon to go ahead and get this over with.
- It takes two standard days of warp travel to get to the star system where the ship went missing and when they get there they discover something unexpected.
- A rogue planet, the size of Mars, is passing through this system! And the transponder code of the Syndicate’s courier ship is pinging from the only land mass on the rogue planet.
- The few scans the transport ship can do of the planet reveals that it’s teeming with life and the atmosphere of the planet is in a constant state of total electromagnetic flux. (meaning more probing scans are impossible, no advanced tech will work down there, and neither will any of Cool’s energy powers.)
- So, the only way to get Cool and the gang down there, and then back up again, is to send them down in a old school chemical rocket pod. Landing will be all manual and all they have to do to leave is ignite the rockets to sling them into orbit and then signal the transport ship to pick them up.
- The pod can only hold four but Cool doesn’t want to leave anyone alone on the transport ship so he transforms himself into ice and coats the inside of the ship, leaving a seat free for the fifth person.
- And with that, they head down to the only land mass (the size of cuba) on this mysterious rogue planet, hoping to be able to find what the Syndicate wants so they can worry about getting back to Earth sooner rather than later.
- They try to land next to were the transponder ping is coming from but the massive EM storms make them blow the landing by a couple of miles but OLT manages to land them in a clearing. The atmosphere has a high nitrogen content so, while they could breath it they all decided to put on breathers before they exit the pod.
- Outside is a jungle environment. Lush grass and towering trees that reminds them of the congo back at home. The massive EM storms and the blue light from the local system star gives everything a permanent, overcast gloom. Pretty much, imagine the worse space horror movie you can and that’s what it feels like. (which kid omega points out to everyone there)
- Cool uses his photographic memory and 12th level intellect to figure out where the transponder ping should be coming from and takes everyone up on an ice slide, above the tree line, to get there. While above the tree line they notice that this world’s massive ocean is made up of what appears to be rolling black and red oil and that, off in the far distance, there’s a storm, incoming, on the horizon.
- They land in a partial clearing miles away from where they started and they see some scattered ship debris around the area. Nowhere near enough debris to be the final crash zone of the Courier ship. After landing and searching the scattered wreckage they manage to find the actual black box transponder but that’s it. Now they need to figure out a way to find the actual crash site and hope that the cargo is there, too.
- As they continue to try to figure out a plan, Ursa Minor gives out a startled cry and when they turn to see what’s going on they see an emaciated looking Kree soldier start to shamble towards them from the jungle. Then a Shi’ar soldier. Then a Badoon. Then a Skrull. Then other races they don’t even recognize. A Dozen. Two Dozen. More. More. All slowly walking towards them with hollow eyes that have seen things nobody should have to see…
- Then they all start to scream, at the same time, and the start bleeding from their eyes, ears, nose, the pores in their skin, and then they just start to vomit vast amounts of “blood.” But then this “blood” starts to swirl around them until it covers their body and then they start to howl, showing their long, razor sharp teeth and long tongues…
- Carnages. They’ve all become Carnages. 8
- They rush Cool and his students and they’re so stunned and shaken by the horror of what they’ve just seen that they’re actually caught off guard. (they all took a lot of emotional stress)
- As they get swarmed by the Carnages they all get bitten and slashed until Cool shakes off his fear and forms a massive ice column under his team and raises all of them high into the air and then forms an ice slide to they can get the hell out of dodge!
- As they run, the Carnages use their wall-crawling and web-casting and leaping to keep up with them, hounding them, not letting them escape. They want to EAT THEIR BRAINS!! (more emotional stress)
- At this point Cool knows, they either need to fight or they’re gonna die. He tells his students this is what it’s come down to and they’re ready. The final stand begins high above the jungle trees! Fight!
- The fight is short but it’s also the most brutal Cool’s students have ever been in. It’s the first time they’ve ever had to kill other living beings. But they do what they have to do and, in the end, Cool and his students are the last ones standing among the dead. (but, during the fight, unknown to all, Kid Omega becomes infected with a Carnage spawn! Infected D8 complication)
- After the fight, as everyone tries to catch their breaths, they set back out and finally discover the primary crash site of the Syndicate Courier ship. It’s amongst many, many other crashed ships. It’s a ship graveyard. This rogue planet has claimed so many ships. So many.
- Instead of landing and possibly encountering more Carnages, Cool keeps everyone up in the sky on his ice slide and uses his water generation and control to totally flood the entire Ship Graveyard and uses his water senses to find what the Syndicate is looking for.
- As he’s doing this Ursa Minor points out that the storm that was on the horizon is almost upon them and it doesn’t look good. (i start a Timer)
- It takes longer to search the graveyard with just his water powers than he thought and when he, finally, discovers the Shi’ar Lockbox, the storm is upon them and as the red lightning flashes it starts to rain…black and red oil.
- Symbiotes. It’s raining symbiotes. That’s when Cool puts together what the massive ocean is on this world. My God…
- As the horror starts to sink in, Cool pushes his ice powers to the limit and they run like bats out of hell, back to the landing site of their pod.
- Getting back to their landing site gets them out of the storm front for a few minutes and they use those minutes to hurry the hell inside and lift off before it’s too late! 9
- The chemical engines hurl them into orbit and they signal the transport ship to come pick them up as fast as it can, which it does.
- Once on board, Cool tells the Captain to send out a general advisory, warning everyone to stay away from this system until the rogue planet has passed through, and then get to warp so they can get the hell out of there and back to the Outlaw Moon.
- And as the transport ship goes to warp, Cool and his team breath a sigh of relief. Thankful for being able to escape the Planet of The Symbiotes!
- to be concluded! -
Issue Four (double-sized issue!)
- The Sense shattering conclusion to Into The Black! Guest-Starring Angelica Benton; Nova Centurion 2814.1!
- Meanwhile, on Earth…
- Claire St. John, the Dread Daughter of Limbo and brand new instructor of Mysticism 101 at the Xavier-Lehnsherr School of Higher Learning, has been busy. As the founder and chairwoman of one of the most successful mutant rights organization, the For Hope Foundation, she is one of the most public faces speaking on behalf of mutant rights in the world. When she’s not busy doing that, she goes back and forth to the mystic realm of Horizon to check in and make sure the repairs are still going well. (Horizon was hit hard during the Causality Wave).
- So it comes as a small surprise when, while she’s on campus and putting the finishing touches on moving into her instructor’s villa, she gets an urgent psychic summons from Emma to come to her office quickly.
- After getting there, she’s informed by Emma, Mirage (who’s a vice-principal), Cool’s wife Susie-Q, and a holographic avatar of Agent Mason, an official liaison of SWORD, that Brett Cool, along with Kid Omega, Ursa Minor, Old Lady Twilight, and Dwayne have been missing for the last four weeks!
- The last they heard, Cool was supposed to take his group on a quick spin around the asteroid belt, as a field trip, and then be right back a few hours later. SWORD cleared it and everything was all good. But then the hours turned to days and the days turned to weeks and now here we are. No one is really worried about Cool, they know he can pretty much survive whatever is thrown at him, but the students are a different matter altogether.
- Claire asks why, out of everywhere they could have gone in our system, they went to the asteroid belt. Susie has to admit, in front of Mason, that Cool has a secret asteroid base out there and that’s where he was taking his students. Mason is shocked! Cool has never divulged to SWORD about any off planet base!
- They put that aside, for the moment, and get back to discussing how best to try and find them. Mason says that the only Earth starship, the USS Excelsior, is in drydock undergoing a total refit and isn’t flight ready. But then he thinks for a second and says that he’ll be right back, he has to make a call.
- Meanwhile, in the top secret joint SHIELD/SWORD base known only as Area 51…
- After the events of The Life and Death of Phyla-Vell, Angelica Benton has been spending the months she’s been back on Earth working on her studies of Xeno-Medicine and Xeno-Biology at the Area 51 labs.
- While studying in the library, she gets told she’s receiving a holo-call from SWORD itself. She says that she’ll take it in a private alcove and when she gets there discovers that it’s her boyfriend Mason.
- Mason tells her that Cool is missing and, since she’s one of the official Nova Centurions for this galaxy, he wants to put her on a holo-conference call with the Xavier-Lehnsherr School as everyone tries to figure out what to do. She agrees and gets patched through and filled in on what’s been discussed so far.
- Options and ideas are floated and discussed and it’s decided that Angelia and Claire will set out in a Nova Corp Transport ship to Cool’s secret asteroid base and see if they can discover any clues about where they are and what happened.
- They set out as soon as they pack up the supplies and in a few hours they break Earth orbit and make a hyperspace jump to the location of Cool’s base that Emma pulled from Susie’s mind.
- When they get to Cool’s base, they do a flyby and discover that there has been signs of attack and battle but their scans are inclusive and they determine that they’re gonna need to check into the base itself to try to see if they can find out anything else.
- Angelica lands the ship on the asteroid and after Claire puts on a helmet, they step out and head for the airlock of the base. When they get to the airlock, they discover that it’s been blown open, but by the looks of the damage, it was blown open from the inside. Claire mentions that this looks like Cool’s style.
- As they make their way into the base they discover that, since the airlock has been blown, the entire base has been exposed to vacuum and is as still and silent as the grave. Or a tomb.
- They do a quick search and find the base total empty. Then they head to the Command and Control room and find a scene of destruction. Blaster rifle scarring on the walls and floor, the vast meeting table in the middle of the room lays shattered and in pieces. Some major major fighting went down in here.
- Angelica goes over to the computer terminals and, tapping into the Worldmind, tries to see if she can get through Cool’s encryption to see if she can access the security feeds so they can see what happened here.
- While she’s doing that, Claire watches her back for any nasty surprises. And it turns out to be a good thing she did because, coming down the hallway towards them, in the vacuum silence of the base, is the same Monster of the Badoon that Cool fought!
- As it roars out a silent challenge into the vacuum, the Marvelous Divas turn and get ready to fight!
- Claire unleashes her Darkforce and Angelica attacks with the Nova Force and this fight is short and sweet and they make quick work out of this Monster of the Badoon.
(LoL, damn they were a really good team)
- As they stand over the smoldering, cybernetic body of the monstrosity, Angelical reveals that, even with the Worldmind’s assistance, she can’t get through Cool’s encryption. Claire says that, knowing Cool, he probably built in a backdoor so that members of Earth Force would be able to use it if he was ever taken out. She tries to put in the old Earth Force code backdoor (“WeGivesNoFucks”) and, sure enough, it works and they’re in.
(that was an inspired bit of roleplaying from Karyn right there)
- They access the internal security feeds and witness what happens to Cool and his students and when they access the external security feeds, they witness the Fist of the Empire tractor beaming Cool’s ship up into their hangar bay while they open fire on Cool’s base. Then they watch it go to warp.
- Angelica access the Worldmind database and learns that the cyborg monster, the soldiers attacking Cool and the gang in the security feeds, and that warship are all from a race called the Badoon. A major stellar power of this galaxy that pretty much controls the Delta Quadrant.
- The Delta Quadrant is on the other side of the galaxy! How are they supposed to get there?!
- Angelica contacts the Worldmind and, after a data download, learns about the Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Gamma Quadrant Gates. Large scale Rigellian Transit Gates that can jump your ship to a different quadrant of the galaxy, instantly. She tells Claire this and, after they contact SWORD and the X-Men to give them the sitrep, they board the Nova Corps Transport, set a course for the Alpha Gate, and make the jump to hyperspace.
- The days in hyperspace pass quickly and, when they arrive at the Alpha Gate, Alpha Station, gives them Nova Corps Priority so they can go before all the other ships, and as they pass through the massive Alpha Gate, there’s a bright flash of light and, the next thing they know they’re coming out of the Delta Gate, in the Delta Quadrant!
- There’s massive interstellar traffic around the gate and around Delta Station but the station gives her Nova Corps Priority and clears her for immediate docking.
- Delta Station is the size of a small city, and after they dock, they tell the Dock foreman to seal this docking platform so no one has a chance to sabotage her transport. Angelica shifts her Nova Centurion Uniform to look like average street clothes and folds her helmet into the inside pocket of her leather jacket, and after that her and Claire leave the docking platform to step into the general area of the station to try and see if they can find some leads into Cool’s whereabouts.
- Claire is wide eyed, but trying not to look like it or get overwhelmed. This is her first space adventure!
- They find a cantina and go inside to have drinks and try and find leads. As they sit at the bar and makes small talk with the bartender, they notice, across the bar a table full of drunk, loud, and partying Badoon soldiers. They overhear them toasting to the brave deaths of their fellow soldiers that served on the, now destroyed, Fist of The Empire.
- As they talk to the bartender they learn that the scuttlebutt is that a Badoon warship was destroyed on the edges of the Sin System.
- The Marvelous Divas finish their drinks (which were glasses of water, heh) and start forming a plan. Odds are, Cool and the kids were either taken to a Badoon Slave-Pen before that ship was destroyed or they’re the cause of the destruction and escaped and now they’re on Planet Sin or the Companion Moon or the Outlaw Moon in the Sin System. Either way, neither one of them want to go broadcast the Nova Corps is looking into it if they can help it, esp if they have to go into Badoon Space.
- So they decided to leave the Nova Transport here and figure out a way to get another, non-descript ship, to travel in from here. Angelica taps into the Worldmind to see if there are any underworld/blackmarket contacts that they can use to make that happen. She learns that there is, named Mor’an, so they make their way down to the Underslums of Delta Station to meet her.
- When they meet Mor’an, they learn that she has Syndicate ties and is the person to talk to to get what they need. In fact, she’s so impressed with their crazy plans (breaking into a Badoon Slave Pen to try to rescue someone) that she tells them that, if they make it out and actually returns her ship to her that she’ll give them all their credits back. She then nicknames them “The Crazy Fems” and the deal is done.
(this was some really excellent roleplaying from Steph and Karyn here. really fun!)
- After boarding their new, hunk of junk ship, they take off from Delta Station and decide that, odds are, the destruction of the Fist of The Empire was more Cool’s style than being captured and put into a Badoon Slave-pen. So they set a course for the Sin System and make the jump to warp.
- Meanwhile, on the Outlaw Moon…
- The days and nights on the Outlaw Moon have settled into a, pretty stable, routine for Cool and the gang after getting back from the Planet of the Symbiotes
- After giving the Liaison the Shi’ar Lockbox, Cool and Dwayne spend all their days in the shipyard, helping to install the new warp drive to the Defiant and OLT and the kids stay out of trouble and sight in their warehouse crashpad.
- One night, after the shipyard shuts down for the night, and Cool makes his back to the warehouse, OLT pulls him aside and says that she’s getting worried about Kid Omega. He’s been distant. When he isn’t distant, he’s angry and argumentative. And there’s something else.
- One night, OLT couldn’t sleep and when she walked out into the open area, she saw Kid Omega leap out the window and into the night. When she asked him about it the next morning he claimed that it never happened and then got distant again. Cool tells her he’ll start to keep an eye on him too.
- A few hours later, Dwayne comes in after going out drinking with the shipyard crew and pulls Cool aside. He tells him that something is going on. There have been savage attacks happening the past few nights. All random victims. People are starting to get tense and the Syndicate doesn’t have any answers. So the sooner they can get that warp drive installed the better. Cool gets a horrible sinking feeling, in the pit of his stomach. Oh no…
- Cool pretends to sleep that night and, sure enough, Kid Omega walks into the open area of the room, opens up the window, and leaps out into the night. Cool transforms into invisible light and follows.
- Cool notices that Kid Omega keeps to the shadows and doesn’t use his TK to help him get around. He simple leaps, leaps impossible distances in the air, a silhouette against the lights of Planet Sin and the Companion Moon hanging in the sky.
- Suddenly, KO drops down and into a dark, fog shrouded alleyway. There’s a scream of horror and Cool blinks down invisible and sees something that will stay with him for a long time…
- Kid Omega, standing over a body that’s been totally eviscerated, blood everywhere. Kid Omega himself has veins that pulse with red energy, eyes that are as crimson as blood, razor sharp teeth, still dripping with the blood of his victim, and a long, tongue, dripping with saliva.
- A carnage. He’s become a carnage.
- Kid Carnage turns his attention to the screaming woman who’s also in this alley, who just saw her date torn apart by something straight out of a horror-holo. Before Kid Carnage can attack her as well, Cool makes himself visible and Stunning Missiles him into unconsciousness.
(between me rolling really bad for KC and marsh rolling really good, this was a one shot take out. pretty awesome actually LoL)
- He then blinks back to the warehouse and wakes everyone up so they can start planning on what to do about this. As can be expected, everyone is horrified beyond all words. They all look towards Cool to figure out their next move.
- Cool decides that, he needs to see how bad the mental damage of this infection is and decides to use his telepathy to enter Kid Omega’s mind. This proves to be a massive mistake as the rage and bloodlust of the carnage infection overwhelms his mind and he goes insane with the blood rage too. Cool screams! And that’s the last thing he remembers…….
(that one really bad roll changed the entire direction of the game. get ready, it’s about to get crazy)
- Meanwhile, on the outskirts of the Sin System…
- Claire and Angelica make the jump from warp space back into real space as they enter the Sin System. They pick up on scanners that there’s a Badoon warship overseeing a salvage crew on the outskirts. The Badoon are directing all traffic away from the incident zone and the Marvelous Divas obey and just set a course straight for Planet Sin.
- Once they get there, Angelica tells Claire that they need to meet with the Sultan, one of her contacts. He should be able to give them any additional info they need. They decided to just stay in free standard orbit and they use Claire’s powers to teleport down to the surface of the capital city-sector. As they make their way to the Sultan’s Den, they also see all the holo-billboards advertising the upcoming Blind Auction in 2 standard months.
(gotta lay on that foreshadowing, right? LoL)
- They get to the Sultan’s Den and he welcomes them inside like old friends. He’s starting to really enjoy meeting humans, they always have the best emotional objects or stories. Once they get settled, and the Sultan explains the rules, Claire is the one that tells a story this time and, once again, it’s gives the Sultan some of the best emotions he’s ever had.
- Since they fulfilled their end, he gives them all the information they need. They learn that Cool and his students did come to Planet Sin and met the Sultan and he directed them to one of his contacts that owns a shipyard on the Outlaw Moon. He gives his contact’s info to them and, after making their goodbyes, they leave the Sultan’s Den and Claire uses her powers to teleport them back up onto the ship. They set a course for the Outlaw Moon, hoping that they still have a chance to catch up with Cool.
- Once they get into orbit around the Outlaw Moon, they decide that, to secure their ship, Claire pulls the entire ship into the Darkforce Dimension. After that, Claire teleports them down to the city-sector the Sultan said his contact’s shipyard is in.
(that was a really great idea by karyn and a great roll to boot)
- Once they step out of the darkforce, they witness a scene of total chaos and horror! This entire city sector is burning! People are running, there are riots and chaos. Since the Outlaw Moon has no government, there aren’t any emergency services to help the injured or try to organize a humanitarian response. It’s total anarchy!
- Claire and Angelica are momently at a loss. They sure as hell weren’t expecting this! But then Claire’s X-Men training and Angelica’s Nova training kicks in and they start springing into action.
- Claire uses her X-Communicator to see if she can pinpoint Cool or any of the students. She gets a ping a few city blocks away and that’s where they head first. They come across a collapsed warehouse, and, in the alleyway near the rubble they find a shell shocked Ursa Minor, just trying to keep it together.
- After they land next to her, Claire manages to get her to calm down while Angelica uses her Nova Force to help pull Old Lady Twilight and Dwayne from the rubble of the warehouse.
- As Angelica uses her medical training to check over OLT and Dwayne, Ursa Minor tells Claire about what happened to Kid Omega and when Professor Cool tried to use his telepathy to help him he just started screaming and then exploded and then he’s been going on a rampage ever since and she didn’t know if she should try to stop him or Kid Omega or try to help pull Old Lady Twilight and Dwayne out the rubble and and and…
- Claire calms her down again and tells her that everything will be ok. Angelica tells Claire that both OLT and Dwayne are in a bad way and there’s no way they can just leave them on the street. They decided to have Claire teleport them into the Darkforce Dimension and onto their ship. They send Ursa Minor with them to help monitor and watch over them. Ursa Minor offers to stay and help fight but they tell her it’s ok and to focus on watching over her friends.
- Once they have that done, they have to decide their next move. Do they go after Kid Omega and try and stop Cool’s rampage. They decide to go after Cool first. Cool is an Omega Level Mutant and they both know it’s gonna take the both of them to stop him, if it comes to that.
- Before they even need to use Claire’s X-Communicator to try to ping Cool’s communicator, they witness a massive explosion a few city blocks away and they watch as the upper floors of Syndicate Towers starts to crumble down. As the dust settles, they see Cool floating over the rubble, glowing with crimson energy as red as blood.
- As Angelica and Claire fly over there they see Cool using his powers to toss rubble aside as he searches for something. They watch as he discovers the dead and mangled body of the Liaison and that’s when he finds what he’s looking for; the Shi’ar Lockbox! He snatches it up and puts it inside his armor.
As he raises back in the air to continue his rampage he becomes aware of Claire and Angelica. How dare they come here to try and stop him from taking what’s his?! This whole moon belongs to him now!
- As Claire and Angelica look into his eyes, and can see the blood madness, they know talking won’t get this done. This is it! Fight!
- As Angelica unleashes the Nova Force it buys Claire enough time to summon her Soulsword and, as Cool flies through Angelica’s Nova Force onslaught straight at Claire, she uses her Soulsword and stabs Cool, using its arcane powers to purge the Blood Madness from his mind!
(LoL, once again, the Marvelous Divas take care of business in a quick and efficient manner. hell yeah!)
- Cool comes back to his sense, only slightly shaken. He remembers everything. Everything he did. But he’ll feel bad about that later. Now they have to find Kid Omega and get the hell off this moon.
- They track KO down, a few city blocks away and they witness what can only be described as a street wide horror show. There are bodies, torn open, everywhere. Blood stains the streets. They come upon Kid Carnage as he stands over a pile of victims has he screams in rage and madness!
- Cool once again Stunning Missiles him into submission, then Angelica uses her Nova Corps stasis-cuffs to keep him in a state of temporal stasis, and then they blink to the shipyard. When he appears, the Foreman and his crew are terrified! They get on their knees and promise Cool that they’ll be done with the repairs in the next 5 minutes, just like he made them promise and please by the only god don’t kill them or their families! (it seems cool made a stop here while he was insane with the blood rage)
- Once the crew finishes with the repairs, Cool puts KO’s body in his room, then he goes to the cockpit and takes off. Claire and Angelica teleport back onto their ship in the Darkforce Dimension where they find Ursa Minor sitting in a corner with her knees pulled up to her chin, shaking. The Darkforce Dimension is starting to have a negative effect on her. Claire pushes the ship out of the Darkforce Dimension and back into real space; in orbit around the Outlaw Moon.
- They meet up with Cool’s ship as it breaks orbit and, together, they set a course for the Delta Gate and both jump to warp.
- As the days pass in warp space, they take stock of everything that’s happened and decided that, after getting back to the Alpha Quadrant they should head the the Nova Corps Station House to see if they can help Kid Omega there. But first, they have to go meet up with Mor’an again, to return her ship and get back the Nova Transport.
- Days later, they make the jump from warp back to real space at Delta Station. Claire and Angelica go to dock while Cool decides to leave the Defiant out in open space, with OLT at the helm, and he uses his powers to blink inside the station and waits to meet up with Angelica and Claire.
- The three of them head back down to the Underslums and meet back up with Mor’an. Mor’an accepts her ship back but, since they never actually went to any Badoon Slave Pens, she’s gonna have to keep the credits.
- Cool uses his telepathy to make her think they actually did go to a Slave Pen so she refunds the money and then they get the hell out of dodge.
(her robot bodyguards reboot her memory after they leave and she isn’t happy in the least)
- As they walk through the underslums, trying to get back to the docking bay, all the lights in the hallway go out, leaving only the flickering, green, emergency lighting. Then they start to see a mob of street toughs start to surround them. Mor’an then starts speaking over an intercom and tells them that no one cheats the Syndicate and no one lays waste to the Outlaw Moon like they did and lives to talk about it.
- Cool, Angelica, and Claire vs. a hallway full of Syndicate toughs! Fight!
- As you can imagine, this fight is over in pretty short order. This mob just isn’t any match for the sheer power they unleash on them LoL.
- After that, Cool blinks everyone back to the docking bay where Claire and Angelica board the Nova Corps Transport and Cool blinks back to the cockpit of the Defiant.
- After the Nova Transport leaves the station, they meet back up with Cool’s ship and start to make their way towards the Delta Gate, using Nova Corps Priority.
- But as they make their way there, a Badoon warship, Pride of the Brotherhood, decloaks and opens fire on the Defiant, nearly destroying it in their first volley! When Angelica contacts them and tells them to cease their attack at once the Commander of the Pride of the Brotherhood tells her that he doesn’t recognize the Nova Corps authority in this regard and continues his attack on the Defiant.
- This time they don’t fight it out, both Cool and Angelica both just gun it and make a run for the Delta Gate and make it through before the Pride of the Brotherhood has a chance to catch up.
(that was, once again, another bad-ass roll LoL)
- After they come out of the Alpha Gate they both set a course for the Nova Corp Station House and make the jump to warp.
- Once they make it to the Station House, they go through Quarantine procedures to make sure they aren’t infected and then Doc Sabien brings Kid Omega in for treatment. Between Doc Sabien and Angelica, they manage to extract the symbiote from Kid Omega and Doc Sabien locks it inside a stasis cylinder (making it look like an always flowing red lava lamp)
- And as the issue ends, Angelica watches over Kid Omega as he recovers in the Med-Bay while Cool, Claire, Old Lady Twilight, Dwayne, and Ursa Minor all sit up on the Observation Deck, looking out at the stars, each alone with their own thoughts.
- They all went into the blackness of space, and now, nothing’s the same anymore.
- end -