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Mark Rand

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  1. "This is Defender," comes the reply. "From my viewpoint, he's all alone. Azteca, is everyone out there clear?" "Yes," Azteca replies. "However, it's Lotus' call." Lotus responds, "Do it, Cornerstone."
  2. (Cornerstone was able to hear the radio messages from above him.)
  3. Outside, you hear, "LEAVE ME ALONE!!!" bellowed. Clashing sounds follow. Quantum's voice comes over the radio. "Amok just tossed Defender through the window of a piano and organ store and Azteca into a street light." "I'm okay," comes Azteca's voice. "I'm also okay," Defender replies. "However, the organ I landed on isn't. Quantum, can you increase the gravity under him while I fire my bolo missiles at him?" "Will do," she replies. "Nuts. He just threw a mailbox at me. It missed and smashed through a dental office. "I'm on my w
  4. "No traps," Spirit Cat says. "Innocents might stumble into them." She and Ghost Cat then head toward the building the bus was thrown into. There are firefighters, an EMT, and Justice Foundation team members inside checking the building and Spirit Cat and Ghost Cat are going to join them.
  5. "Right now, I don't think there's a need for massive healing," a firefighter replies. "As far as Amok goes, he just threw a bus at Lotus. It missed her and went through a building window. She, Knight, a couple of guys from my station, and an EMT went in to help them while Defender and Azteca try and stop Amok." The firefighter who offered to open the manhole for Cornerstone returns with a tool and opens it for him. He then shines his flashlight inside, showing where the steps are.
  6. Thirty seconds later, she calls out, "We're down. Cutting power." Once the blades have stopped, the crew of the REACH helicopter joins them. "Glad you're here, Joanna," says the pilot, a redheaded woman. "We could use some help loading people into ambulances. "Anytime," Andrea," Joanna says. "First, I need to get a DPW manhole open so that Cornerstone can move through the storm sewers." "I'll get the one just behind your copter open for him," says a male firefighter. "Okay," Joanna says.
  7. "I put it there in case you needed it," Joanna says, bringing the copter to a hover. "Traffic's tied up below. Not surprising since the police have streets in the area blocked off." "I see the Paranormal Alert Response Team vans there along with ambulances, Station Ten's fire engine, Battalion Chief Rorchek's SUV, and the press," Spirit Cat says. "Simone's landed the TurboJet on the top of a nearby parking structure, but then, that plane's 60' long. Copter Eight Romeo X-ray is landing behind the ambulances." "Where did you learn the phonetic alphabet?" Joanna asks.
  8. "I'll drop you off on the ground as close as possible to a storm sewer manhole," Joanna replies. "They're labeled "DPW" for Department of Public Works. Bonnie put tools for opening them in each aircraft and I put a waterproof flashlight in your door pouch."
  9. "There aren't any," Joanna replies. "However, St. Kieran's Catholic Church and Temple Beth Israel are in the area."
  10. As they pass over Poverty Gulch, one of the wealthy neighborhoods, Spirit Cat takes the pair of binoculars from under her seat and gets ready to use them to scan the ground, looking for Amok. Ghost Cat spots a helicopter paralleling them, takes the binoculars from under her seat, and looks at it. "Its number is N318RX," she states. "That's the REACH Air Medical Services helicopter that's based at Lakeview Airport," Joanna says. "I was the copilot/gunner in the Apache Guardian flown by one of their pilots. We even took the required first aid classes together."
  11. (Likewise. Fortunately, my medical problems are minor. For now, I'll run Ghost Cat.) Ghost Cat enters the copter, secures the doors, sits, fastens her safety belts, puts on her headset, and says, "Doors are secure, Joanna." Joanna responds, "Understood. Looking at the overhead panel, she says, "Strobes, fuel pumps, and communications are on." Looking at the main panel, she presses a switch and says, "Main power on. Clear Left. Clear Right. Turning one." The left engine starts. "Turning two." The right engine starts. Fifteen seconds later, she says," Lifting o
  12. For my Justice Foundation campaign, we have two aircraft and staff members have their own vehicles. The senior team flies around in a prototype supersonic VTOL known as the TurboJet. It's just for transportation, about the size of a Learjet 75, and, according to my math, can hit mach 9.85. It's pilot doesn't fly it that fast within the city. The junior team flies around in an unmodified Aircus Helicopters H135. It's top speed, according to Wikipedia, is 178 miles per hour.
  13. "I read you both loud and clear," Joanna says. "Where's Ghost Cat? Once she's aboard, I'll start the engines."
  14. You arrive at the hanger for the helicopter and TurboJet. Both sets of roof doors are open and the exhaust fans are running. "Once everyone's aboard, I'll start the engines and takeoff," Joanna says from her seat. "Headsets are above the seats." Spirit Cat climbs into the left rear seat, buckles her seat belts, puts her headset on, and positions the microphone.
  15. "Likewise," Spirit Cat replies. "We'll probably get our assignments when we get there. Since I've had basic and advanced first aid training, I'll probably be working with the paramedics."
  16. In my campaign, the latest incarnation, the Justice Foundation has two teams and a support staff consisting of security guards, communications room staffers, a secretary, a housekeeper, a nurse, an electronics expert, one pilot for each team, and a computer expert, some of which were think tank staffers. The senior team uses the TurboJet, which is 60 feet long, has a wingspan of 50 feet 11 inches and has a top speed of Mach 9.85. (I based the size on a Learjet 75.) The junior team uses a conventional helicopter.
  17. "Data coming to your smartphone," Tara says. Two minutes later, a communications staffer reports, "Joanna reports that she's ready." "Good," Doreen says as she transforms to Spirit Cat. "Let's go."
  18. "Don't forget that there are gas and water pipes as well as storm and sanitary sewers under the streets, Cornerstone," Bonnie says. "Some also have electrical, telephone, and fiber optic cables there." Tara snaps her fingers and says, "You could go through the storm sewers. The ones in the city are big enough for two people to work in side by side. I'll send the map to your smartphone." "Joanna keeps waterproof flashlights in the copter's emergency gear cases," Bonnie adds. "She'll loan you one."
  19. "Sure," Joanna replies. "Depending on how crowded the streets are, that might be as close as I can get. Left front seat's yours. I have the right front one."
  20. "It's about five miles away," Tara replies. "Joanna can get the team there in under four minutes."
  21. "On it," says one of the two ski-masked communications staffers whose voice sounds like she's from New England. "Margo, our secretary, suggested that cat burglar chic look for us," Tara says. "All of us agreed with that. Since she's the first person everyone sees when they enter from the main building, Margo decided against wearing a ski mask. Bonnie and I sometimes do, but the communications team, headed by Peggy Carter, who is off duty today, always does." Bonnie looks at a monitor and reads off weather information. "Good flying weather," Joanna says,
  22. "I'll send the information we have on him to your smartphones." Tara replies. Once Voight had it all - a family, a respectable job, a home in a nice neighborhood. But his hot temper and drinking cost him everything. Now Voight lives on the streets of San Angelo, just another face in the anonymous crowd of homeless people. He still has a temper, and a few years ago Voight realized after one of his rages that he had done a lot more this time than bust a few store windows. Wrecked cars and half-destroyed buildings were everywhere. Voight had so
  23. "She and her team went Downtown to deal with Amok, who is running amok, punching out cars and buildings and throwing things around," Tara says. "If you want to go, I can send the information on him to your smartphones and navigational data to the tablet computer on Joanna's knee pad."
  24. "My mare's a bay," Doreen says. "I ride her for fun and in the Spin and Marty segments. Most of the horses we use are American Quarter Horse mares or geldings. Karen actually owns the pinto American Shetland Pony mare she rides in the segments."
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