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Showing content with the highest reputation on 04/28/2018 in all areas

  1. Context: Office being re-painted, ventilation not quite up to it. "Yeah, I know. I've been lightheaded since ten this morning; I haven't done that since the eighties."
    2 points
  2. This is the Empire Strikes Back of the Marvel Movies.
    2 points
  3. Call me crazy but I think there is going to a sequel.
    2 points
  4. Up until a few years ago, the Hero Games website hosted a wide variety of book excerpts, supplements, and game aids for free download. However, with the most recent website upgrade, most of those items were considered not resource cost-effective to maintain, and were discarded. As a result most new Hero gamers are unaware they ever existed; and even some of the veterans may have missed the treasures they contained, or have since lost something from the collection they once had. However, thanks to the magnificent Internet Archive Wayback Machine, virtually all those items are still obtainable if one knows where to look and what to look for. But since many people don't know, I thought it would be helpful to provide links to representative archived pages. These downloads cover many areas: maps (from published books or supplementary), book excerpts and introductions (including supplementary info about the published official settings), wallpapers, color covers to PDF books, character sheets and hex maps, items cut from books for space (including supplementary forms mentioned in various books), adventure modules, character outlines for illustrations (under "Character Sheets and Hex Maps" for some reason), illos for cardboard mini figures, apps and utilities, graphics and sounds, and more. Many of these were generously created by Hero fans. Because the website has gone through several revisions over the years since DOJ bought the Champions IP, and each version has made changes to the downloads it hosted, I'm including links to Free Stuff pages from different years to cover as many of the varied offerings as possible. https://web.archive.org/web/20061201152750/http://www.herogames.com:80/FreeStuff/freestuffherogames.htm https://web.archive.org/web/20071013030046/http://herogames.com:80/freeStuff.htm https://web.archive.org/web/20110516165152/http://www.herogames.com/freeStuff.htm NOTE: Sometimes a file linked to on one of those pages would not actually have been saved on the particular day that page was crawled by Internet Archive. At the top of each page you'll see a graphic representing how many times the page was crawled on various dates. Clicking on that to get to another date will bring up another page, on which the item you want may have been saved. I recommend exploring. There's much there to enjoy.
    1 point
  5. DC doesn't have to do that. The source of their revenue, the movie-going audience, is already doing that (minus the slinking home).
    1 point
  6. wcw43921

    Toy Boy: Help Wanted

    The fifth choice could be a boxer with a spring-loaded boxing glove that punches the PC with as much extra Knockback as the rules will allow. Hope that helps.
    1 point
  7. The 5th could be " The Weasel" it's a giant and will rip and tear into the PCs.
    1 point
  8. OK, I looked it up. It gives percentages for different lifts. Not really a table, but part of the text under the header "Optional Lifting Parameters": Bench Press: 75% Clean and Jerk: 50% Dead Lift: 90% Leg Press: Double (or +5 STR) Snatch: 40% (Like a Clean and Jerk, but have to keep the weight up for a bit) So, for a 20 STR: Bench: 300 kg / 661 lb (World Record: 1102 lbs) Clean and Jerk: 200 kg / 440 lb (World Record: 263 kg / 580 lbs) Dead Lift: 360 kg / 794 lb (World Record: 1041 lbs) Snatch: 160 kg / 353 lbs (World Record: 220 kg / 485 lbs) Leg Press: 800 kg / 1763 lbs (World Record: Appears controversial) Now, a 25 STR would blow those World Records away by a long shot. Maybe 21 to 23 is appropriate for the very strongest humans? And at the time the STR table was conceived, these records hadn't been set. So, 20 STR = 400 kg seems to have been a pretty solid estimate of the upper limit of actual human STR.
    1 point
  9. I think once you decide how to deal with how each armour type deals with each type of weapon(bludgeoning, slashing, thrusting), it's simple. Aside from doing it in game time. Sword was pretty much always taught after staff/spear for a reason, since they follow similar mechanical principles. Also because, in reality, knowing sword meant knowing sword against sword, sword against spear, sword against sword and shield, etc. The key difference is range. Once inside, a spear is now a bludgeoning weapon(yes, there are a few moves for bringing the point to bear inside, but the available moves if you're holding a long weapon and your opponent is inside are made up of far far more bludgeoning than stabbing, and pretty much no slashing). At long range, staff is a more powerful bludgeoning weapon than it is in close range, because the leverage is far greater if you hold it at the base than at the center. This holds true for spear as well. As for plate, there is a reason that thrusts became more prevalent after the age of armour ended. Heavy swings allowed for more pressure to be put on the armored opponent while allowing momentum to be more continuous, while thrusts were less likely to penetrate. Thrusts were ideally saved for when position allowed them against points where mobility requirements meant that the plate could not cover that point. Arrows and bolts are really just piercing, range is also their biggest thing. The key difference between most rpg approaches to weapons and a realistic one is that, in reality, assuming competence in your weapon, the most important knowledge at play for you is knowledge of how one fights with what your opponent has. If that knowledge is zero, you are likely to die. For a realistic game(in which players also wanted this realism) I've used a house rule that stated that the skill roll at play in attacks would be no higher than the skill level one has in their opponent's weapons, so if one had a high skill in sword but low in staff, and the opponent had a staff, then the lower of the two applied. The players were supposed to be seasoned soldiers, so it encouraged the purchase of a broad range of weapon types(each specific weapon did not have to be covered, long weapons, straight swords, curved sword, flexible weapons, broad categories were bought). This often worked dramatically for the players, as the enemies also fell under the same limitations, which meant that lackies were in trouble. Anyway, good luck with what you're working on.
    1 point
  10. AoE Penetrating KA also proved very nasty in a game some years back. AVAD was repriced to move the cost up the charts for more uncommon defenses. I'd call that "Rarer than Rare", so one step higher than flash defense (not sight or sound), +2, and +1 for Does BOD. That's a 3d6 Blast, averaging 3 BOD. You could have had a 2 1/2d6 Penetrating KA, which would be similar in BOD done to most characters. I am, however, a proponent of a simplification that only PD and ED comes in "resistant" and "nonresistant", with all exotic defenses being the same against killing or normal attacks targeting them. I see no compelling reason for Resistant versions of these defenses.
    1 point
  11. phoenix240

    Supers Image game

    Shatter Witch “The enslaved, drugged abused Delphi oracles, cursed Cassandra, almost the entire cast of the Final Destination franchise... The Gods' gift of foresight has ever been more a curse, a punishment or even more a cruel jokes. ...You'd think I've have seen it coming really...” Morgan Madison was born with the power of foresight. She could view the future in astounding detail in vision that weren't under her control but came frequently. More so, she could sense imminent impending events even if she didn't view them, knowing instinctively what course they might take which manifested as incredible luck and fore sight even wisdom. She put her abilities to use for the common good, acting as Insight, a psychic heroine in Denver, Colorado. As Insight she helped countless people, prevented disasters before the happened, even offered advice on things minor and major, all to good ends. Morgan liked helping, and in her heart of hearts, she liked the fame and prestige that came from her activities and being seen as a wise, mysterious figure. She felt somewhat guilty but couldn't help herself and felt a little bit of pride wasn't too much in contrast to the good she'd done. The came the vision. A group of metahumans named Anarchy Unlimited attacking a biomedical research facility, a biological studies institute. Their plan to unleash the pathogens stored there. She saw the attack, heard their plans but couldn't see how it would end. Her visions, for all their accuracy rarely revealed ultimate outcomes. Concerned with the potential wide spread danger and imminent sense of threat she felt around her family, Morgan sent her husband and children out of town then gather her team and the authorities to defend the facility. The presence of increased security and other metal human defenders, dissuaded Anarchy Unlimited. With dire threat of reprisal, they retreated. Only to strike again, a day later, intent on their goal of sowing chaos. Their target was a major airport, hundreds were killed. Among them Morgan's family, returning from to Denver from where she'd sent them, to keep them safe. Even for a precognitive, hindsight was sometime the clearest. The feel of danger had come to her when she'd decided to send them away, gotten stronger from there. It wasn't support of her actions, it was warning. She'd done this. Her interference, her attempting to fix things had broken her life, shattered her dreams. This was her reward for service, for trying to make things right; this was punchline to the Fate's joke. Morgan's sanity gave way under the grief and guilt. She latched onto the few things that made sense to her: life was random, pointless, there was no right, no wrong, only consequence and entropy. Doing 'good' was just like trying to hold back the tide with bare hands, futile and eventually you'd drown having accomplished nothing. The only truth of existence was chaos and all things died. Insight died at the realization and Shatter Witch was born. Personality: Bitter, cold and nihilistic, Shatter Witch lives to sow chaos and destruction, eventually on a truly astounding scale. It would be safe to say, she wants to end the universe, just to end her own pain and, in a twisted compassion, the suffering existence brings to all. She's truly mad at the world and her opinions the world started it. Many would say she simply mad. Her madness is subdued, hidden a facade of cool aloofness and occasionally biting bitter sarcasm giving additional edge by her powers of insight. She weaves complex plans, lays the track that lead people, places, even worlds to their destruction, glee hidden behind a small enigmatic smile and utterly morbid sense of humor. Insight's calm, wise compassion is gone, subsumed into Shatter Witch's cold, malice for all order. And those that have enjoyed good fortune. Her plans are intricate and sadistic, but she'd not above random small, even petty cruelties but generally won't endanger long range plan for them. One aspect of Insight remains strong though. She does not lie, as in literally state and untruth. She was obfuscate, lie by omission, bend the truth or state it in a fashion that seems lie a life or otherwise trick or deceive but a direct overt lie is anathema to her. Powers: Precognition, very advanced foresight that lets her get frequent visions of future events and a general sense of probability and the tenor of events in the immediate future. This power can appear as blindingly fast reflexes and reaction time, extreme luck and some degree of wisdom and 'lucky guesses' that seem to border on telepathy among other effect. She supplements her abilities with advanced gear and weaponry, usually suited the particular foes will she will face. The source for it is unknown. Shatter Witch has displayed an ability to teleport both short range or over long distances and even between timelines. She refers to this power as “taking a short cut” and can carry willing individuals with her (has carried more a dozen at one point). Its not known if this ability is tied into her power or some sort of device she employs. Combined her supernatural foresight, its make Shatter Witch extremely difficult to capture or surprise. She takes great delight in turning ambushes back on her attackers, in fact.
    1 point
  12. The Netflix shows take place in the MCU. By definition that makes all of their characters legitimate contenders for any "best of" (or "worst of") list.
    1 point
  13. dsatow

    Members of the HeroWatch

    This is a character I thought of for a npc at a convention game. (I may yet run this at a con.) The idea is, the world is pretty messed up and this hero is the world's last hero and has the power to summon other superheroes. While running from the big bad organization and trying to protect innocents, this hero (with a name something like Clarion) summons the heroes and then while the heroes are stunned, jumps forward to delay the villains before the innocents are hurt. Now, the superheroes are somewhere they don't know nor how to get back but the obvious villains have captured Clarion, their only one who can possibly send them back home. Clarion - One of the last heroes on Earth X (or Earth 3 or any Earth where evil is winning) Powers - Dimensional Powers: Summons, Travel, Blasts, Teleportation
    1 point
  14. I disagree. The Code vs. Killing does not mean they will never go out and do their job if they accidentally kill someone. It means they will anguish and be tortured over the issue. A surgeon who loses a patient while operating will not trigger their code vs. killing unless the surgeon was at fault in their death.
    1 point
  15. The most that the NCM crowd can do is point out that Batman is not realistic. I think we all accept that. So what? Batman isn't limited by what is realistic.
    1 point
  16. Massey who said the driver was going 60 mph? I assumed that there was enough traffic to keep the car slow enough that running along the roof tops would be quicker. Plus if the car had to turn the block and Batman ran straight forward. Still realistically? Probably not but cinematically? Yeah I can see it.
    1 point
  17. In Batman: TAS, there were a number of occasions where the bad guy would drive off in a car, and Batman goes running along the rooftops and manages to keep up with them. Realistically, it's nutty to think that Batman can run at 60+ mph. Visually, in the cartoon it works just fine. He has enough movement to catch the guys in the car, as long as they don't have a big lead on him. If the bad guys hop in the car and drive away, while Batman is rescuing a civilian or something, then they get away. But if they jump in the car and Bats is in hot pursuit, he's going to be able to land on the roof of the car, or otherwise make it in front of them, before they get too far away. It's the "head them off at the pass" trick from westerns. Such an ability would be clearly superhuman in real life. In comics and animation it happens all the time. I think it's safe to say that "human limits" in superhero fiction are different from "human limits" in our world.
    1 point
  18. I would have ranked Loki well above Killmonger without hesitation. Just sayin'.
    1 point
  19. I agree that differentiating "complex to build" from "complex to run" is important. Needing an extra hour to work out the mechanics on paper in character creation is a lot better than needing a minute to record END after each action or recovery. Game time is much more precious.
    1 point
  20. The separate recovery is going to be a book keeping nightmare. I can understand wanting a simple solution, but complexity can be in either the purchase or the use of a power. To me it is better to purchase the power using a more complex scheme that is simple to use. This way the player only has to deal with the complexity at character creation. The other way he has to deal with it every time he uses the power. That being said two END batteries are going to be the best way to simulate what the OP wants. One END battery has a slower recovery and can be used for both types of power. The other battery has a higher recovery and can only be used for the fire powers. If you want the powers to be able to be used the same amount of times before the battery is depleted put the advantage ½ END on the electrical powers.
    1 point
  21. /me scratches his head Why wouldn't they be? Interactive 2D images have been a form of entertainment for decades. Interactive 3D displays have been used for entertainment for a few years now. Given the trends already in place in society, it would take massive changes to result in world in which volumetric projection technology was mature but NOT used for some kind of entertainment.
    1 point
  22. Dr Strange may be the smartest and most strategic thinker of Earth's mightest heroes.
    1 point
  23. Las Lajas Sanctuary, a basilica church in Ipiales, Colombia.
    1 point
  24. (Good deeds of a past book come in the form of an unexpected sky blue savior!) I had grabbed the items I would need on the way, of course. A flare gun, a knife, and a note. Of course, the knife was the copy we made of Slice's. The note was a long term plan with a fallback of sort with a big assumption I was going to live. The flare gun? I was looking forward to that one. I chose a location near water but not where Mister Brute would think about, at least I hoped. Given our past encounter he might indeed be very aware of the lines under the city's surface, but the point was I had a chance to break ground, literally, and dive under that way if I had to. It also would provide Pinprick another option for escape. "You ready yet, Eel?" He called up from his position on the ledge. "Ready as I'll ever be," I nodded and embedded the knife into the note using it like a tack on a bulletin board. The note read: Mister Brute, I have what you want. Meet me at dawn tomorrow at the same location we met last time, and challenge me man to man, and you'll get it. We have all the independent heroes. So, you might as well give up on that. It's the only CURE for our current standoff. Any other option, anything else, and you could really FRACTURE your chances for retrieving it. Then I took the gun, and fired it straight up into the air, the trailing spiraled up, up, up and then bloomed into the shape of, some kind of generic tuna. I blinked and probably said something rather impolite. "Fish signal," Pinprick called out from his spot, "Yeah, that'll send em running." "It's supposed to look like a frickin' eel," I fumed, "I was very specific about that." Pinrpick's chortle didn't sound very supportive, "Yeah, that's your biggest problem." I grumbled, "Fine, let's get ready, you hide, they be here soon." And the worse thing is, the plan counted on it. Hiding for a six-inch-tall man isn't hard. Good news? Apocalyptic showed up. Bad news? Apocalyptic showed up. To my amusement, at least two of them didn't look good. Slice had a fresh costume, but her hair was still half burned, and I suspected her third degrees were still at least first degree. I shouldn't laugh, burns are some of the ugliest wounds you can get, but she was obviously a quick healer, and frankly, it was nice to see Firebug hit a worthy target for once. Firebug herself? Well, she flew so maybe it didn't matter as much, but I thought I saw some sort of support for that ankle I had broken earlier. Me? I was standing pretty fresh so, you know, I was going to die, but at least I could say they had good reason to hate me now. Mister Brute took lead before them, and spoke, "Why do I have a hard time trusting this? You're confident, and you're angry with us, but you're not a fool. Yet you send up a signal, and don't seem surprised it's us." "Thought I'd issue an invitation," I Jerked a thumb at the knife and note, "Wanted to be sure you found it." Mister Brute glanced at Slice and nodded. There was a rush past me, and then a blur past the other way. I held very still hoping she didn’t' try to stab me in the throat on her way by. The note was already in Mister Brute's hands. He wore a mask, but I liked to imagine that least part of what it said caught him off guard and maybe even made him nervous. That's right, Jerk, I know it's a cure and not a weapon. Then he began to tear it in half, then quarters. "Ridiculous," He snorted, "Why on Earth would I let you choose the time or place? Even if you really do have every independent superhero as you claim, I can just move to policemen. Or reporters, or whoever is unlucky enough to be handy. You fancy yourself a superhero. You and your team will do anything and everything to protect said innocents. It allows me the advantage of time, location, heck, maybe even players. You have nothing on me." "Except the knowledge of the very special someone in your life who so badly needs a Fumian cure for Cancer," I glanced at his team, "How do you guys feel about that? I mean, I hope he's paying you something, because you all seem relatively healthy. Well, maybe not you, Firebug. How's the ankle?" "You son of a –" Blue flames roared around her but Brute stilled her with a gesture. He was scrutinizing me, trying to figure out how much I really knew. I put on my best shuck and jive face and answered the unspoken question, "You think I can't learn things? The prize you seek told a lot. And we have some very good detectives on our team." In truth, the detective was Tornado, and while he was indeed good and looking into it, like the rest of us, he had his hands full, so we had no idea who Mister Brute was trying to save. I just knew whoever it was had to be precious in a personal way to a man who didn't otherwise value human life. But I sure wasn't going to let my ignorance show. I gave my best smug look. "So, that one on one looking better now?" I said. "No," he answered, "I don't know how you found out, I'm not even sure if you know as much as you claim, but I do know this whole encounter feels funny. You're chatting me up? Why?" Before I could answer, the Fumians did. A hologram appeared in front of him, a Fumian furiously ranting, his scaled face bulging with rage "We had a bargain! You are supposed to keep the superheroes off of us, and yet somehow they're tracking us down, we've lost over five reported merchants already, if they get the other ten you will find no help from your offspring from us, Mister Brute! He will die of his cancer. Is that what you wish? Now, I insist you-" Whatever the hologram was going onto say was interrupted, by me, as I charged through the hologram and body checked Mister Brute as hard as I could. I should have gone after Dice, but the others would follow Brute's lead, and I needed his attention on me. If it weren't for the distraction of the message, I wouldn't have been able to hit him flatfooted. But as it turned out, I drove him into his team mate Dice, who he clipped, before skidding another twenty feet and smashing into the corner of a building. The office was closed at this hour, another reason this area worked for me. Mister Brute rolled up quick like a professional athlete getting off the mat. Dice seemed startled and was slower. I got the feeling the luck bender wasn't used to getting dinged in these scuffles. I wanted Mister Brute to lose his temper, instead he called out, "Candle-wall Cuisinart, Miss S." "On it," Dice's eyes glowed. "Damn it," Firebug hissed as if she hated what was just said. Flames erupted from her as she rose up. I readied to dodge the fireball only to find out the flames were not targeting me, not directly anyway. A wall of red and yellow burst in a ring around me. I was surrounded in a circle of flame. I couldn't see beyond that. Then Slice was there, passing through the flames like a finger through candlelight. Her knives cut into my flesh, the replacement not as deeply. Later I would worry if she noticed the difference, right now I was just grateful I only had one gash in me rather than two deep ones. I readied to leap over and out of the ring of fire, only to slip! I freaking slipped and stumbled catching a part of my leg in the fire. Knives plunged into my back, direct thrusts this time, as I was a sitting duck for it. Bad luck, a flaming prison, and super speed cuts were all combining to trap me. I swung wildly and was rewarded with another cut, this one along my arm. Somewhere through the pain, my brain kicked in and reminded me I had a deux ex mystica in my pocket. I reached for it, "Istvha Mirro" I called out. And suddenly there were others of me scrambling around. Some in the flame, some in the circle, and some, I presumed from the comments of the villains, out of the circle. The duplicates worked well. I mean, the ones that were in the flame actually looked in pain, the ones with me struck various heroic swinging poses. I certainly couldn't tell the difference. They even had matching wounds. "Damn it, Dice, wake up!" I heard Mister Brute's frustrated yell. With a grin I realized that outside of my vision, Pinprick must have gone to work. His arrows, he had told me before, did a lot more than shrink folks. Enchanted, if he was telling me the truth, with the powers of Faerie, they could also put folks into deep sleep, or even act as love potions (Though he admitted to almost never using that option). Suddenly I wasn't having as much trouble getting up. I guess with Dice asleep, my bad luck had, for the moment, ended. Slice spent several attacks on my duplicates inflicting wounds that meant nothing to me upon them. This bought me plenty of time to leap out successfully at last, and land down outside of the flames. Unfortunately, Firebug wasn't in reach, and I didn't have Arctic Fox's protection anyway. She was currently shooting a rush of blue flame through one of the Eel copies which blackened and splintered the ground beneath it. Beneath it? That reminded me of the second part of my plan. I was lucking out so far. Was it too soon to engage in retreat? Yes, yes it was. And I wasn't going to leave without Pinrpick anyway. I had left Slime behind earlier. I wasn't going to do that to another hero ever again. The punch from Mister Brute sent me up against a wall twenty feet away hard enough to leave a divot. Mister Brute was dealing with me himself. "Slice, go rescue the Fumians, I can pluck this particular thorn in our collective side with my own two hands," He gave me a hard jab to the face, "Have you been practicing, boy?" My response was a right hook close to his ear and the comment of, "You tell me." The way it staggered him was gratifying. He swung back, but I sidestepped near an illusion of me, and he hit the wrong one. I had an advantage? Son of a gun, I had an advantage. Stepping in and out of the illusion closest to me that was mimicking my attacks anyway, I hammered a series of hooks, jabs and lunges. He fired back, but half of his blows were falling on the wrong target. He grabbed what he thought was my arm to put it in a lock only to find he had grabbed a true phantom limb. I rewarded him with a shot to his ribs. I might be able to beat him. "Firebug! Get Friendly!" He bellowed. That couldn't be good, I realized. Firebug had been trying to figure out which me was real with individual shots, even as she turned at the command, and let loose a fireball with Mister Brute himself as ground zero for the explosion. The flames probably hurt him, but it was clear he could take fire a lot better than I could and I was right next to him. I hate fire. And fire hates me. I felt my skin boil, while Mister Brute's biggest problem was that fancy hat of his was smoking and a comparatively mild set of burns. Worse, Mister Brute is smart. I saw a smile part his lips as his eyes danced even in the brightness of the flames and he pulled a round house on me that loosened my teeth and made me see stars. "What do you know, the flames go mostly through the illusions, but not you, nice tell," He grabbed me by the throat and slammed down to the ground beginning to snuff the life out of me. I punched once, twice, and feared my windpipe might give out. I wondered where Pinprick was, only to see he was dealing with Slice. Slice had tried to leave only to find herself with a small man on her shoulder. How he got there I don't know, but I did realize he was shooting her in the head, little arrows had nailed her like an acupuncturist gone mad. She was still full sized, which meant either somehow, she was immune to that effect or he didn't find it tactically sound to shrink her, so he couldn't use the difference to avoid her weapons. Still, those blades, if they hit, might cut him open like a great sword on a munchkin. And her precision wasn't slowed down much despite her injuries. Case in point, she whirled in a fast spin and Pinprick found himself hanging on for dear life. And I? I was about to lose the last of my oxygen. I hit, I kicked, and the ground shook, but I couldn't break his grip. He ignored the duplicates, and then another wave of fire hit us both. Things were turning gray. I was blacking out. "Firebug, help Slice shake that nuisance and go already! We lose the Fumians and we lose everything," Mister Brute snarled and began to beat me against the ground over and over. I think I felt blood behind my head, and I was pretty sure it was mine, "Where is the cure?" Pinprick cried out in pain and out of the corner of my eye I saw him get cut along his right side and flung off. Gasping, he fired an arrow at Mister Brute, trying to save me I suppose, though for a moment I had a nightmarish mental image of the man shrinking but still keeping hands around my throat and severing my head in a darkly comical fashion. Instead, nothing happened. "Whatever you're trying, imp," Mister Brute grit his teeth, "You'll find it doesn't work on me." That's when I shattered the asphalt and concrete beneath me. Bits of stone and rubble fell into the water below, the splashing sound was music to my ears and Mister Brute and I started to tumble. Then the bastard caught himself with a free hand, the other still around my neck. "Clever, Eel, but I'm not done with you yet," Mister Brute flung me away from the edge. Another three arrows bounced off him, and he snorted, "Pinprick, isn't it? Haven't we established you're having trouble affecting me?" I landed in heap a good thirty feet away landing in what had been a bus stop, grateful to take in air even if every breath hurt like the devil. Pinprick didn't look much better than I did. He was lucky that Firebug and Slice were already heading off (finally) to go aid the Fumians. Pinprick nodded, "You're absolutely right," And he shot another arrow in a high arc which shot past Mister Brute and landed instead between his legs at the bricks of the ledge. Bricks that shifted and shrunk to the size of children's toys. "Works pretty good on the stuff you're standing on though," Pinprick called out, "Eel! Bench him!" I grabbed a chunk of the bench I'd just broken through, and flung it at the tottering Mister Brute. It broke against him and shattered, but it was also enough force to send him tumbling down into the waters below. I meant those waters for my escape, but they might serve pretty nicely as his delay, "Brilliant, Pinprick. Can we get the hell out of here now?" "Kind of the plan," He shot another arrow to a flag pole and swung near me, "I'm being honest here, Eel. I'm losing blood with every step. How are you?" I took him in my hands, carrying him like a baby, not that I would ever describe it that way where he could hear me, and began to run. I tried to hop once, to get more distance, and then groaned in pain, "Okay, running it is." "You mean limping," Pinprick muttered, "Turn the corner, get out of visual first, then distance." I did as he said, and he was right, I was moving like a wounded wildebeest, "I outsmarted myself, was going to use the underground water so we're not as close to the beach as I'd like." "We're screwed then, yay," Pinprick said calling in, "Mabel, Firebug and Slice are on their way. nearest vehicle?" "All vehicles are getting wounded to safety, do you need one? I can redirect." Pinprick and I exchanged a look at each other, and both answered, "We're good." "Okay, if that changes, let us know," Mabel said, "And others are warned about the incoming ladies." Once that was over, I stumbled onto a street, one with far too many people on it. When there's a butcher with the ability to break tanks with his bare hands, five is too many. There was a hand on my shoulder, I jerked up and turned to see… a mailman. "Hey, you don't look so good," The skyblue uniformed postal worker said, "Your friend doesn't either." "Supervillain on our tails, cold blooded killer type, he's going to have more help shortly and I hate to sound like a wimp, but I can't take him alone. Any minute now he could come through the area and kill my friend or I. Y'all need to get out of here," I slurred. He opened up the back of his vehicle, "Get inside, both of you." "What?" I blinked in confusion, 'Look, my name is Eel, and I'm not sure you understand." "I know exactly who you are," And he pushed me through into the back to curl into a fetal position on a top of packages and bags yet to be delivered and closed the hatch behind me, "You're Eel, the Fish Guy. You're the man who held up a post office to save the stamp pounding lives of my brothers and sisters in the building. You held it when they got out. Then, you saved our Christmas bonuses and maybe even a job or three by keeping that building aloft long enough for them to salvage it. You didn't let the terrorists win. When you did that? Whether you realize it or not, you became one of us. " He didn't look back as he got into the driver's seat, not even a glance in the rearview mirror, which is good, because I'm sure the expression I wore was one of utter confusion bordering on W-T-H-edness. "You are my brother in blue, and today, you and your wounded team mate are also my packages. I will deliver you, and neither rain, nor sleet, nor jerkass villain will stay me from this sacred duty." He began to drive off, not gunning it, but there was such a profound look of dignity on his round face that I swore that if he were part of a parade, he'd be the guy holding the colors and that flag would never ever touch the ground. "Thanks," Was all I could think to say to the man who was making this a truly surreal moment, "Mister…?" I turned the ignorance into a question. "Postman Bert Newell, Letter Carrier Veteran for seven years running now," The man said, "You can call me Bert. Like I said, you're one of us," He drove on, "that guy you were talking about, he look like a cross between a 1930's mafia boss, the phantom of the opera, and a steroid junkie?" "That's him," I said, "He's in view of your mirror I take it?" "Yup, and he's ticked, but no one is getting hurt. It will probably never occur to him that you might be in here," He turned the corner, "We postal workers are easy to overlook. We are as constant as the sun in our movement, and just as often ignored, and yet still we bring what we can of our light to the world." He drew forth his CB like device, "This is Postman Bert Newell, I am going to be behind on deliveries today, please pivot someone else instead of me as I will be taking aforementioned greater time to complete the usual appointed route." "You are delayed?" Said a woman's voice, sounding like she had just heard the Pope declare he was skipping Mass this morning, "Are you feeling well, Bert?" "I'm fine," Bert said with resolve, "Honorary Postman Eel and one of his team mates is in my vehicle and injured. I'm helping them." "Bert, I'd ask you if you were joking but I know you don't have a sense of humor," The woman replied, "Permission for delay granted, and others will pivot if necessary. Tell Eel, well, hell, tell him we've got his back." "Roger that, Post Officer Janice," He said, and put the device down, "We've got you covered, Eel. Where to?" I needed water to heal more quickly, but I'd still regenerate albeit slower. Pinprick was worse off than I was. I looked at Bert, took a breath and told him to drop me off about a block away from the base. I was tempted to tell him to take me straight to the base and give its location and trust him, but it wasn't just my secret. And he was already taking a tremendous risk, "And drop us off behind a building or something so no one will see us if you can?" "You've got it, honorary postman Eel," He picked an empty area for an out of business carwash, allowing us a chance to slip out as he opened the hatch then stepped aside, "Consider yourself delivered." And he saluted me. Carefully shifting Pinprick to my left arm, I saluted back, "You serve your pony express ancestors proud, sir." I tried to say it with a straight face, because even if I was still baffled, I was grateful, and incredibly aware that his smuggling Pinprick and myself out had just saved our lives. He smiled at that, and puffed up a little, "Good luck from here on, I have to return to my duties." "Are all post officers as tough as you?" I asked him as he got behind the wheel and ready to pull off. He looked at me, "We're in a town with super-battles. The wimps wash out, the cream rises, and the men get separated from the boys. Or the women from the girls in the case of my sisters in the cause." "Of course," I nodded slowly, "I won't detain you any further from your appointed rounds." And he drove off. And I lurched on at the fasted shamble I could manage to get my friend to safety.
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