Tales of Justice

Launch Code part 8
You are a WEAPON, and you belong to ME!

Roland Desmond of Blüdhaven is a happy man. He has a nice shipment of incoming mutagenic pharmaceuticals and their antidote coming his way. He has an easily floodable base full of this new, rare drug’s creators. He has a new chef, and not just any chef, but the one some criminals call “Chef” — it’s like combining Mercy Graves with Anthony Bourdain!

So what if his shoes got a little damp when he boarded the submarine?

He already has secret control of several neighborhoods in Blüdhaven’s walled section, and today’s work may be just what he needs to increase his power to half the criminal underworld of New Jersey.

Just in time for Mother’s birthday!

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Launch Code part 7
What's the best tuna? CHICKEN OF THE SEA!

“One after one by the star dogged moon,
Too quick for groan or sigh
Each turned his face with a ghastly pang
And cursed me with his eye
Four times fifty living men
(And I heard nor sigh nor groan)
With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,
They dropped down one by one.”

- Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

===

Nine in the morning approaches on a late winter’s day in New Jersey. On the shoreline a short way north of Blüdhaven, the brightening sky is mildly overcast. The tide is coming in.

The masked mystery men are going to go down, down, down…..

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Launch Code part 6
Now listen here, Larry Duberman!

Among local Greek organizations associated with New York City colleges and universities, Psi Phi Zeta has a reputation as The Most Tight-laced, Boring Frat Ever. They don’t have scandals. They don’t have wild parties. They don’t have nerve-wracking Rush Week traditions. They don’t raid the Dean’s office or play pranks.

They are “staid” if you talk like they do.
“Lame” to everyone else.

Until now!

Something mysterious has lit a metaphorical fire under them. Members are making inventive, amateur forays into several metahuman fields at once. Some research ancient legends of artifacts that granted godlike powers. Some visit Chinatown, asking specific questions about rare, old herbal remedies. Some seek out psychics for very unusual queries. And some … some make suspicious deals on the black market, involving mutagenic “enhancers”. Not just the latest edition of Silent Dreams, either, now called Star Gate.

Last night, the Trenchcoat Brigade disrupted several pieces of a dangerous plan. In the wee hours of the morning, they infiltrated the PPZ frathouse through an ingenious plan and surreptitiously collected a lot of information, which they now take the chance to examine more closely at an undisclosed location.

Interrogating PPZ fraternity brother Larry Duberman ….

The hour is past six in the morning. Many citizens begin their normal days. Others go to rest after a long night.

The Shadow interrogated the young man who organized the supplies, shipments, and assignments for this highly dubious PPZ project. Larry Duberman, Keeper of the Checklists, has given all the information that can be coaxed out of him. Now it is time to dispose of him and plan the next step.

Sahara and Chameleon lurk nearby, just out of sight. They are ready if the Shadow needs backup; also they continue to look through the commandeered materials for any further clue, or for possible lines of further inquiry.

Psypher used the credit card swiped from the PPZ to arrange a future date with the alien visitor Summon: a tuxedo, two tickets to the Broadway production of Aladdin, even a prepaid cab ride. He then disposed of the credit card and traveled to deliver his invitation personally. He had to deactivate his comms for an hour, but the otherworldly being certainly had something to say! Psypher has intelligence to share with his colleagues, and should be brought up to date by them on what he missed.

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Launch Code part 5
Blue means "poisonous" in nature, right?

Among local Greek organizations associated with Campaign City colleges and universities, Psi Phi Zeta has a reputation as The Most Tight-laced, Boring Frat Ever. They don’t have scandals. They don’t have wild parties. They don’t have nerve-wracking Rush Week traditions. They don’t raid the Dean’s office or play pranks.

They are “staid” if you talk like they do.
“Lame” to everyone else.

Until now!

Something mysterious has lit a metaphorical fire under them. Members are making inventive, amateur forays into several metahuman fields at once. Some research ancient legends of artifacts that granted godlike powers. Some visit Chinatown, asking specific questions about rare, old herbal remedies. Some seek out psychics for very unusual queries. And some … some make suspicious deals on the black market, involving mutagenic “enhancers”. Not just the latest edition of Silent Dreams, either, now called Star Gate.

Earlier this evening, the Trenchcoat Brigade disrupted a cobbled-together ritual in a New York University park. They have wrecked a three-way drug deal in the alley behind Tony’s House of Ribs. They investigated several university professors, including one whose connections to these problematic young men was too noteworthy.

They infiltrated the PPZ frathouse through an ingenious plan and surreptitiously collected a lot of information, some of which will have to be examined once the Trenchcoat Brigade has safely withdrawn.

Their investigation continues, undetected.

At the PPZ frathouse ….

The hour is VERY late.

The pizza has been eaten. It has to be cleaned up, all detritus properly disposed, and the kitchen made very tidy again, all by a certain fraternity pledge.

Sahara has searched the 4th floor room of Larry Duberman, an undergraduate in charge of the “squad lists” and particularly in charge of the checklists for what tasks have been completed and what still needs doing on The Project. Larry keeps his list in a metal clipboard box thing just like ( https://amzn.com/B0000225AQ ), and keeps that with him at all times, but he did put it down behind him while he ate his share of pizza.

Chameleon continues to impersonate PPZ pledge Milton Glavis, whom The Shadow has interrogated at length. He’s gotten some quick photos of Larry’s checklists, and he managed to palm one of the not-yet-sorted ritual objects from the study.

Psypher scouted out the not-so-typical defenses arranged on the exterior of the rowhouse, reporting his findings of mixed traditions and Macgyvered solutions to his teammates.

In the basement, they found a room labeled as the “central heating and air” room, with strict signs ordering unauthorized personnel to keep out. Inside, the Shadow and Psypher and a still-gaseous Sahara see what might be an alchemy lab, or a drug lab, or some kind of chemical lab; but it is ringed by supernatural ritual of some kind.

Also, there is a blue woman-looking creature, with wings, looking back at the people who just opened the door.

“Hello there!” she said at them in a cheerful, chirpy tone. She seems to be waiting expectantly.

Summon1.jpg

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Launch Code part 4
Haunted Nerdy Frathouse Edition!

Among local Greek organizations associated with Campaign City colleges and universities, Psi Phi Zeta has a reputation as The Most Tight-laced, Boring Frat Ever. They don’t have scandals. They don’t have wild parties. They don’t have nerve-wracking Rush Week traditions. They don’t raid the Dean’s office or play pranks.

They are “staid” if you talk like they do.
“Lame” to everyone else.

Until now!

Something mysterious has lit a metaphorical fire under them. Members are making inventive, amateur forays into several metahuman fields at once. Some research ancient legends of artifacts that granted godlike powers. Some visit Chinatown, asking specific questions about rare, old herbal remedies. Some seek out psychics for very unusual queries. And some … some make suspicious deals on the black market, involving mutagenic “enhancers”. Not just the latest edition of Silent Dreams, either, now called Star Gate.

Earlier this evening, the Trenchcoat Brigade disrupted a cobbled-together ritual in a New York University park. They have wrecked a three-way drug deal in the alley behind Tony’s House of Ribs. They investigated several university professors, including one whose connections to these problematic young men was too noteworthy.

Now it is time to take the investigation to the fraternity’s headquarters!

At the PPZ frathouse ….

The hour is late.

Not all is silent! But most of the house’s twenty residents are settled in place: five in the study that other fraternities might have used for a gaming room, three in the kitchen, seven in their beds on the top 3 floors, one in the 4th floor bathroom, and the remaining four work together in the front room to sort some data, or possibly to play some sort of complex miniature battle.

One of the trio in the kitchen gathers up three bulging garbage bags. He checks that his fancy watch is securely in place on his right wrist. Then he heads for the back door.

He is certainly going to the alley that runs behind Fraternity Row, heading for the dumpster at one end of the alley. He will have to pass behind three other frat houses, cross the alley, and unlock a tall iron gate that bars casual entry to the dumpster.

He looks like a pledge: exhausted, always hyper-aware of his posture and clothing, always looking around for higher-ranking members of his organization. He wears chinos, a safety-yellow long-sleeved polo shirt with the fraternity logo on each collar point, a bow tie (with a polo shirt!), and THIS APRON.

(Which is not spotless.)
(And shows some signs of fading in previous washes.)
(And does not fit him well.)

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Launch Code part 3

On campus at the Steinhardt School, The Shadow and Nathan Borne see the end of Bryn Oh’s speech. There is an odd feeling in the air, a faint prickling on the skin. Is a storm front coming through? Or something far more unnatural?

At Rise and Grind, or rather behind the Rise and Grind, criminal dealings fair poorly against Sahara and Psypher. Sahara stands atop a fire escape, holding the duffel bag full of ill-gotten gains. But don’t count Tar Pit out just yet! He is running down the alley, with a goal of some sort in mind, while pointing a threatening finger at the sand-shifting masked crusader.

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Launch Codes part 2
Tony's House o' Ribs!

tonystarkshouseofribs.gif

Half of our Masked Avengers are going to the “Language of the Birds: Occult and Art” closing night cocktail party. It takes place at the NYU Steinhardt School’s Department of Art and Art Professions, located in the East Village. Guest artist Bryn Oh will speak on the evolution of symbolic and ritual mythology in the virtual world, where every participant becomes “metahuman” in an experiental sense. They hope to gain information on or even from Professor Rita Wright, anthropologist and archaeologist. Is she connected in any way with the mystery down on Frat Row?

The other half of the team are en route to a live appearance of a band called ""Slavic Soul Party".":https://myspace.com/slavicsoulparty Among the fans of this particular jazz quintet may be the college students who made several perplexing purchases at apothecaries in other cities! The venue is a coffee shop called “Rise and Grind”, conveniently located near the parking garage under Tony’s House of Ribs.

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Launch Code
The Trenchcoat Brigade investigates mysterious tri-state events!

Launch Code!

An adventure of the Trenchcoat Brigade, starting with the secret monthly meeting at a Chinatown dim sum restaurant called “Dim Sum Go Go” on East Broadway. Their prices are very affordable, which means they have a lot of business at any given time; wear civilian disguises, don’t raise your voices or use obvious powers, and no one can eavesdrop on your conversation. (Even better! They are still celebrating the Year of the Red Fire Monkey, which should keep the rest of the crowd LOUD!)

You each have recent observations that you want to talk over with your allies. And Apothecary Fu has sent an earnest young Japanese immigrant to contribute another piece of the developing puzzle!

The “Tri-State Area” covers parts of New York, New Jersey, and western Connecticut that make up most of New York City and its surrounding area. Over twenty million residents live here. Many live in one city and commute daily to another. Adding in nearby parts of northern Pennsylvania, it can be argued that the Tri-State Area is the single largest urban agglomeration — possibly the most diverse — in North America.

Learned papers have been written as to how this area came to be so heavily connected, but for most day-to-day residents, the answer is simple: NYC is the most economically powerful city in the world.

And yet, for certain individuals … those with unusual viewpoints or specialized knowledge … something more created this geographic bond. Something deeper maintains that connection. It is a pulsing, living whole, vibrant, always growing, always changing. Where the Tri-State area leads, the rest of the world is likely to follow.

Which is why when certain small events come to the attention of Earth’s Subtlest Heroes, each man feels a strong inclination to investigate quickly — and bring his findings to the next meeting of The Trenchcoat Brigade!

Pick up next time with some of the party going to the Slavic Soul Party concert in a hole in the wall coffee shop tonight, and Nathan Bourne going to the “Language of the Birds: Occult and Art” event.

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North by North Korea, Part 13
Last Ditch Effort

Greetings True Believers!

They did it! Or, did they?

When last we left our heroes, they fought their way past Mr. Sinister’s troops, and discovered his multi-dimensional bomb. All around our heroes, friends, foes and alternate dimensions of both started to appear, being drawn from their dimensions by the presence of our heroes!

Acting fast, they attacked the mechanism and the power feeding the nefarious device. At that moment, a mysterious hand appeared, reaching in to grasp a brass-gold staff topped with a blue sapphire stone that was the source of the entire device! The hand vanished as Sinister’s devices began overloading!

Meanwhile, Mr. Sinister himself arrived, keen on stopping the heroes, only to be stopped by Kraven in the nick of time!

But now, the intersected dimensional gates have gone critical, and may collapse into a dimensional singularity! All around our heroes, the beings from other dimensions are vanishing. Are they returning home? Or becoming victims of the pending dimensional destruction.

And what, if anything, can be done about Dr. Doom, who has recovered and is intent on taking control of this singularity for himself!

It’s the eleventh hour, True Believers, and time has run out!

This is Not Stan Lee saying … EXCELSIOR!

Starring

Martin Prinz, “Amethyst”
Sergei Kravenov, “Kraven the Hunter”
Dr. Steven Reynolds, “Medkit”
James Adison, “Monkey King”

Guest Starring
Lady Jessica

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