Professor Hammer (Villain)


Prof HammerCode-name: Professor Hammer

Full Name: Professor Maksimilian Mikhailovich Zolotov

Faction: Red Republik

Maksimilian was no stranger to sacrifice, it was the foundation upon which he had built his life. The youngest of seven children he had gone without more often than not. But when food was scarce he found more time to read and study. When the revolution came he saw the chance to be part of the winning side in history. When he made his choice he did not miss his brothers – their loss paved the way for his rightful advancement.

During the Second World War he sacrificed more men than he could remember, using them like sand to stop the wave of the invaders. But stop them he did. To further his cause he employed dangerous science, and ultimately his reach exceeded his grasp. That cost him two good hands, much of his face and too much time as he designed the necessary replacements. Assembling his Red Republik cost him blood, sweat, and his soul if he believed the tiger-shaman.

Professor Hammer-page-001Nothing bothered him as much as the decades lost on his way to this time in Pulp City. From his war against the capitalist lapdogs of the decadent west to the center of its corrupt heart seemed like moments, but in those moments everything changed. Here he was surrounded by enemies, aliens, ancient gods, and interdimensional vampires. To be honest he had never been happier.

With Spybreaker’s Alliance called back to beg scraps from their capitalist masters, Pulp City was ripe for a man willing to sacrifice. It started today with these heroes of Heavy Metal. They needed to be shown the true horror of war by a man to whom horror and sacrifice was an old friend, a trusted companion. The Red Republik was regathered, and he had meticulously planned his attack.

The bridge was the perfect place for his trap. Civilian casualties would be high, and vital infrastructure damage would cripple the city for months if not years. He could count on the Republik to stand together and follow his lead.

Professor Hammer-page-002A brief flash of light from the top of the tower was the signal he had been waiting for. The slaughter begun, and Hammer moved himself forward toward the center of the bridge. As predicted, Heavy Metal did not take long to respond. C.O.R.E. assembled himself a body from the wreckage strewn across roadway; Androida was not far behind him arriving in a brilliant silver flash just slower than the speed of sound, to avoid adding to the destruction. Hammer laughed at that. A sonic boom would be the least problem for the bleating masses, and yet Androida was unwilling to make even that small sacrifice for victory. Yes, she would make the ideal example he thought.

The rest of the Heroes arrived by air, followed by June Summers. Perfect thought Hammer, they bring their greatest weakness to the battlefront with them, and broadcast it live to a nation. He entered commands into a control box and Red Robots maneuvered into position. The battle was soon joined in earnest. Prisoner #176 like a wild spider amid the high-tension wires as piled-up cars held off Iron Train and Dr. Mercury. Universal Soldat rushed C.O.R.E., keeping him occupied. Hammer strode to the edge of the bridge, offering a pretense of vulnerability.

The ruse worked and the Androida took the bait. She was fast but he had prepared his stratagem to perfection. She dodged down the path that he had created and right into Siberian’s trap. Caught by invisible wires, Red Robots closed in on her, their wicked saws spinning. Desperately, Androida turned the Robots against each other while she used her laser beam eyes to free herself. She then charged at Hammer again but he launched his left fist in a cloud of rocket exhaust to throw another Red Robot in her path. She side-stepped, as he knew she would but his right fist was already in motion and hit her just below her left hip. Androida crumpled to the ground her leg spinning off the bridge into the dark waters of the bay.

fcl_redrepublik-page-001“You are weak child,” Hammer taunted Androida’s prone form. His hands docked together and he shook them out to re-calibrate them.

“We’ll stop you!” Her eyes flashed with defiant crimson light and Hammer threw a damaged Red Robot into the path of the blast. The automaton exploded as his right fist launched again, striking Androida in the head, denting her metallic cranium with an awful sound. Hammer closed the distance.

“You’ll never stop me. You are weak. You are kind. You will forever be shackled by your morality and your need to care.” Each sentence spoken was punctuated by a brutal blow from his heavy steel hands. Androida lay broken, sparks dancing on her shattered form, the light in her eyes dimming by the second.

Hammer looked up from his work to see June Summers pointing her camera at him. He turned the volume up and his iron jaw issued his proclamation to the city. “This is what happens to those who oppose the will of Professor Hammer and the Red Republik. We will destroy all who oppose us. You have been warned!”

Professor Hammer_smlWatching, C.O.R.E. began to scream, as his body began to absorb wrecked cars and scrap strewn across the bridge, transforming into his deadliest form. But Hammer had anticipated this. One of their number falls and Heroes lose all discipline. He signaled to Siberian, and charges placed under the bridge blew one hundred and fifty feet of tarmac into the bay below, taking Heroes and civilians with it. The day was his, his point made. C.O.R.E. would not allow innocents to suffer, he would save them. In doing so he had already lost. Sacrifice. That was always the key to victory. With that Professor Hammer strode off the battlefield, and into the heart of Pulp City.

<< Back to Heroes and Villains

Posted in: | Tags: , , ,

Slug Muldoon (Hero)


slug-muldoonCode-name: Slug Muldoon

Full Name: Sluhgg M’ldoon

Faction: Star Marshals

Slug loved Earth. With its Monsters, Supremes and sheer diversity of challenge, he was as happy as a Quarethian hog in mud. But best of all? Cigars. Earth’s cigars beat anything this side of the Ten Galaxies. Oh, he knew they were bad for him, but the aroma and taste just could not be matched on any world.

And that was partly why he was annoyed. His preferred cigar seller’s store in Downtown had been destroyed the day before in a knock-down, drag-out, nothing-barred fight between two Supremes. Fortuitously for Slug, one of the combatants was a wanted criminal. It was time for payback, a good fight, and maybe he could earn a little bounty for good measure.

slug-muldoon-page-001A squat, blue-skinned Gatchan, hairless like most of his people, Slug was also a deputized Star Marshal. The Marshals had assigned him to Earth after the Ulthar’s recent invasion attempts, to provide intelligence about their activities. With the way things worked on Earth, rolling news was taking care of much of that for him, plus whatever information Virgo passed on. Deputizing Virgo and Tritonious had been a stroke of luck bordering on genius thought Slug, and he now had his sights on adding a half-alien vigilante girl he was hearing about. The other deputies’ input allowed him to focus on his favored pass-time – hunting! Monsters and Supremes had become his game and they provided a true test of his skills and knowledge. He had found a new home, and it was Pulp City USA, Earth.

And now some punk Supremes had destroyed his regular cigar shop. He was sure Diego would get back on his feet, but that was not the point – it was Slug’s favorite, and no-one messed with his favorites.

slug-muldoon-page-002Slug pulled up files he had received from Virgo. While he was not actively watching the Ulthar, Virgo was, and at the same time she supplied good intelligence on various Supremes of interest – thanks to her he had some details on the guy he was looking for.

Cro Mag was a big bruiser, even by Supreme standards. By all accounts he was as dumb as a bucket of Atrathian Vompas, and he looked almost as ugly. Cro Mag would not go down easy, that was for sure. Big problems called for big solutions. This was a job for Betsy.

Betsy was no ordinary gun. She was a twenty-five millimeter phased plasma handheld cannon, one of the last ever made before the Fall of Sizzurnia. With custom over-charge rifling and Slug’s special stockpile of ammunition, she was one of the most feared weapons in any arsenal. Named for the Last Empress of Gatcha, her Exalted Majestrix Behtsinia the Fourteenth, Betsy was as formidable as her namesake. In Slug’s words she was simply a ‘beauty’. Slug and Betsy had together held back a Pisces platoon on Scarrus IV, had captured Modra’kk the Tyrant Nebula in the Lost Rim, and had taken down Omran the Decimator of the Vindal Empire. They were an unstoppable team. And Cro Mag was about to learn that first-hand.

Slug maintained a secret base in Pulp City as he did not want to use precious crystal fuel cells on frequent teleporter trips to and from his star-cruiser. Flying to and from orbit would have likewise attracted too much attention, so it had made sense to establish a base. It was secure and well-equipped, its walls adorned with all manner of Star Marshal ordnance, and a lot more besides, most of the remainder unsanctioned weaponry.

Slug grabbed tangle wire grenades, vector mines, and a bandolier of double-phasic plasma shells. He locked a clip of shells into place in Betsy. Wearing his usual battle fatigues, he was ready. He even had his lucky Mamruk skull ready attached to his belt. A life of hunting had taught him that every bit of planning and preparation was necessary for success, but sometimes the missing ingredient was simply good fortune. Slug liked to cover all bases, and the lucky head-bone was something he liked to have with him.

slugmuldoonfinishedWith gear chosen, Slug got into the van he had acquired and refitted with Marshals technology. He stowed extra ammunition and equipment for the job in case the situation changed. The vehicle’s remote link to the base computer activated at his voice command, causing the engine to growl to life.

He was almost ready.

One last part of the ritual remained. He reached into an inner pocket in his exocarnosaur-skin battle vest. Slug pulled out a cigar, carefully snipped the end with a cutter, and chomped down as he lit it up. It was hunting time.

<< Back to Heroes and Villains

Posted in: | Tags: , , ,

Toxic Grimmvenger (Hero/Villain)


toxic-grimmvengerCode-name: Toxic Grimmvenger

Full name: Toxic Grimmvenger

Faction: Grimm

Dusk was giving way to night in the outskirts of the Industrial Zone. Nestled on the outer edges of the area, Zenith Chemicals was a plant that had seen far better days. Rust crept along the seams of painted metal chimneys that reached like fingers for a darkling sky, while manufacturing detritus lay discarded in unused parts of the lot. At the outer perimeter, a squat, lumpy-skinned creature stuck his tongue out between crooked teeth as he roughly hewed a hole in the plant’s fence. Low-pitched snaggletoothed chuckles erupted among his companions as the barrier was breached.

The Grimm raiding party scurried through the haphazard hole in the oxidized chain-link fence. Twelve figures passed through the opening, for the most part each different and distinct from the next, yet all recognizable as part of the same species. Among them were several Grimm with bodies not unlike sacks made flesh, with limbs attached.

Their guttural speech followed patterns unintelligible to human ears. “<Way this, is way this>,” said the principal Grimm, a half-blind creature with pale skin, clad in ragged robes and walking with the aid of a stick. The others followed his lead.

“<Hur, hur>,” laughed a punk-looking brute with a mohawk, his frame bigger than the rest. Whether he was laughing at the lead Grimm or something in his own addled brain was not clear.

toxicgrimmvenger-page-001The band approached the largest of the Zenith buildings. In the distance, the rhythmic movement of flashlights indicated a pair of security guards doing their rounds. When the lights were clearly moving away, the robed Grimmancer signaled to the large Hooligrimm, who shoulder charged a side door open. The Grimm trooped in, oblivious to the sound of the clattering door they stomped over.

Under the guidance of the Grimmancer the Grimm set to work, grabbing samples of various chemicals to take back to the Grimm tunnels. Flesh-sack Grimm were filled with an assortment of industrial fluids. Four of the SackGrimm were dispatched to fill themselves up with shampoos. Another SackGrimm was dispatched high to a walkway above a vat marked with danger signs, and emblazoned ‘Danger – Waste Chemicals’. The Hooligrimm accompanied him, dangling the SackGrimm into the bright green viscous fluid, scooping it up and filling up the suspended bag-like Grimm.

toxicgrimmvenger-page-002Just then a voice shouted out, its exhortation lost on the Grimm. Human ears would have detected the word “Halt!”

Two security guards opened fire on the intruders, bullets plunging into one of the SackGrimm, causing an instant violent liquid explosion. The force of the creature’s body bursting ruptured a huge nearby vat, its spilled contents forcefully washing away the Grimmancer and another Grimm. Another SackGrimm looked on at the scene, startled, and lacking direction without the party leader. An involuntary gag reflex caused the SackGrimm to spray its storage-stomach full of chemicals onto an electrical panel immediately in front of it. The creature was instantly felled by an electrical arc which danced up the metal gantry. The Hooligrimm fell into the vat, stunned by the electrical shock, his skin blistering as he sank down, unable to swim to the surface as he had never needed to evolve such a skill. The remaining SackGrimm juddered as the electrical current swept through his body, and he too fell into the vat.

Fire broke out on the electrical panel, quickly spreading round the plant, fueled by igniting flammable liquids. The owners of Zenith had cut corners, finding it cheaper to bribe safety inspectors rather than bring the place up to code. They would come to regret those decisions. The guards looked on momentarily before they fled in panic.

The next day, and Zenith Chemicals was a smoking ruin. Captain Hadron and Dr. Mercury assisted with the clean-up once it had been identified that Grimm were involved. Grainy CCTV footage from a neighboring plant showed twelve Grimm make their way through the Zenith fence. Later recordings showed four of the creatures wandering back through the hole they had made in the fence, their bodies stretched like balloons filled with water. When the Heavy Metal Supremes had recovered the remains of the rest of the Grimm, they counted only seven more. A thorough search followed, but no other Grimm was found.

toxicgrimmvengerbsmlDays later, a Grimm truly unlike any other wandered into the furthest tunnels of the Underempire. Its misshapen body looked like it was formed of oozing green liquid. Grimm working the outer reaches looked on with curiosity for the barest moment, sniffing the air for the noxious fumes emanating from the newcomer before returning to their tasks. The oozing Grimm wandered on towards the heart of the Underempire, leaving wet, emerald footprints in his wake. A new Grimm had evolved.

<< Back to Heroes and Villains

Posted in: | Tags: , , ,

Rosie ‘Baby’ Rude (Hero)

rosie-rudeCode-name: Rosie ‘Baby’ Rude

Full Name: Rosalind Beatrice Rude

Faction: None

The city felt like hell on Earth. Everywhere Rosie looked there was destruction, the skyline ruined. Pillars of smoke filled the air with ash. Fires still burned across the industrial zone. Wave after wave of Monster assaults had been repelled, but at high cost. The pervading sound of sirens signaled frantic activity emergency services activity. At least the Monster alert alarms were silent.

Rosie continued walking; there was work to be done. It was a long hike, but with city transit services disrupted she had little choice and did not want to delay waiting for the designated pick-ups. Reaching the cordon around Golden Plaza she showed her identity card. The priority was to get key defenses back into operation, and so Wilson’s Tower was abuzz, construction crews working tirelessly, twelve hours on and twelve off. The skyscraper was heavily damaged, scarred by acid and fire. Holes pocked its façade. Something huge and green glowed near a top floor, embedded in the building’s side.

Rosie looked up and smiled, watching Lady Cyburn weld steel into place. She then glanced backwards at the sound of a super-heavy thudding footstep, as Captain Hadron loomed large over the scene, a true giant working as a human crane, lifting girders and concrete blocks into position for the hard hats to do their job.

Rosie was part of a team trying to patch up one of the upper labs, and she knew that no-one would object if she started early. A woman in a man’s world, Rosie had to put up will all kinds of comments and jibes, but she had carried on, even accepting their nickname ‘Baby’ as a badge of defiant honor as she was slowly, grudgingly accepted, while working harder than her peers to continually prove herself.

rosie-baby-rude-page-001On the sites, union rules and many safety protocols had necessarily been abandoned in the face of the threat of further attacks. It was a decision that had been explained carefully to each worker and none had backed away – they all wanted to pitch in to protect their city, tarnished mess that it was.

The building was a hive of activity, crews pushing to get labs and workshops operational for the Supreme boffins, others repairing the infrastructure and defensive countermeasures. Even M.O.D. was scurrying about, providing precise schematics and advice where needed. The little robot knew the tower better than anyone.

When Rosie reached her assignment, there were two guys she did not recognize, working hard to put a support in place for the ceiling above.

rosie-baby-rude-page-002Suddenly, from somewhere far overhead there was the sound of tearing metal and smashing concrete, as if the building itself was screaming. Rosie was sure that whatever was, it was plummeting toward the center of the room they were working. She shouted at the two workers to get out. One looked paralyzed by fear. Rosie ran forward to shake him out of it, pushing him away. In that moment, she saw a flash of brilliant green light before everything turned black.

Rosie blinked her eyes open, her body a mass of dull pains. She looked around and saw the smiling face of Captain Hadron. She returned the smile weakly, squinting to focus. Hadron looked small. Had he shrunk down to treat her? That was odd. Then she looked around the room. Everything looked small, like it was half the size it should be. Puzzlement made her forget her physical discomfort.

“What’s going on?” she asked, “Did the other guys make it out?”

“Try and relax,” replied Hadron gently.

“I can take it, whatever it is, don’t worry,” said Rosie firmly.

“I am sure you can,” said Hadron, musing for a moment before continuing, “You saved those workers. Well done. Best as we can tell, you’re okay too. Different, but okay.”

“Different? How? In what way?”

“Look at you. Look at your body. Look at me. Look around. You are bigger now, taller with proportionate increase in mass. Your skin was temporarily purple. Whatever crashed through the building was leftover matter from a Monster attack. We thought it was secure, but it was too high up in the tower and too large for us to remove, so we had to make a considered decision to leave it in place temporarily. What we thought was inert suddenly became volatile and burned its way downward at incredible speed. You were in its splash zone and it dissipated on contact. Somehow, it seems that you absorbed all the energies of whatever it was. We want to run tests to make sure it isn’t some kind of parasitic transformation, and to ascertain if there are any lasting Ill-effects. One thing we have observed is that you seem to vent energy periodically,” Hadron pointed to scorch marks on the celling, “So I whipped up this, a variant of technology I use myself.”

The Supreme affixed a boxy looking device around Rosie’s forearm, festooned with warning lights and hazard notices. It looked bulky, but did not feel heavy.

newbabyrude1a“I think it’s safe to say you are one of us now,” said Hadron, a big grin across his face.

Suddenly, a klaxon sounded. Hadron moved to a wall-mounted computer screen and tapped on the keyboard below.

“Monsters, in close proximity,” he said, “I have to go.”

“Monsters, huh? Not without me,” said Rosie defiantly.

She climbed off the bed and stood to her new full height, her head almost scraping the high ceiling.

“I need some clothes and something really heavy,” said Rosie, clenching her fists, “It’s payback time!”
<< Back to Heroes and Villains

Posted in: | Tags: , ,

M.O.D. (Hero)


modCode-name: M.O.D.

Full Name: Modular Operations Droid

Faction: Heavy Metal

M.O.D. quietly wheeled through the otherwise deserted workshop, dust-pan in hand, sweeping up the remnants of a small explosion from Captain Hadron’s latest energy regulating device. The only sounds from the small bot were the almost inaudible electric whirr of his mono-wheel, and the tinny noises escaping his headphones. On his little personal cassette player World in Flames blasted out ‘It’s What It Is’. M.O.D. really enjoyed the fast, energetic music, but was too shy to let Lady Cyburn know he regularly listened to her former band.

Designated as Modular Operations Droid, chronologically M.O.D. was just a few months old, created by Androida and Dr. Mercury primarily for research support and lab cleaning. They modeled his personality and artificial intelligence on idealized features of a bright young adult human, and his learning capacity surpassed even his creators’ expectations as M.O.D. constantly devoured new experiences. The genial little robot felt that he had been designed for real purpose, and if that was to support the Heavy Metal team, then he would happily play his part.

mod-page-001With the workshop tidied up, M.O.D. did his rounds to make sure everything was put away in its place. He may have been just a small cog in the mighty Heavy Metal machine, but he saw his role as being the one to make sure that the Supremes could focus on the really important matters they wrestled with every day: battling Villains, halting invasions, closing dangerous Quantum Holes and most importantly – serving the public. Right now, most of the team was scattered across Pulp City, trying to contain the crises resulting from the rampage of Monsters which had befallen the metropolis in recent days. M.O.D. inwardly hoped they would all come back safely. He had become part of their team, and as he grew emotionally, he accepted they were inextricably part of him.

As M.O.D. serenely moved down a clean, bright, high-tech corridor, the lights suddenly flickered – once, twice, then darkness. Emergency lighting bathed the interior of Wilson Tower red as an alarm klaxon rang out, signaling an intruder alert. M.O.D. raced to the nearest access panel which slid aside at his approach. From a forearm he extended a smooth metal tube plugging him directly into the building’s main-frame, which still worked under emergency power. He rapidly examined schematics to gather intelligence on the interlopers. Cameras were inoperative in their location, but heat and pressure sensors placed them on the floor below, having exited the elevator shaft. They were approaching the Monitor Room, and the only Supreme in the building– he had to help Chronin!

mod-page-002Sending an alarm signal to Heavy Metal, M.O.D. rushed to the stairwell. Crashing through the door he engaged his shock absorbers to maximum compensation and bounced down the steps with precision. He approached the next door cautiously. Carefully nudging the door open, he peered around it, counting five dark-clad figures moving like shadows creeping stealthily into the Monitor Room.

From within the chamber he could hear Chronin, her voice loud and firm, “I see you, killers, and I will not yield!”

Recognizing there was no time to waste and that he was the only support that Chronin had, M.O.D. raised his energy shields and raced forward. Androida and Hadron had engineered countermeasures to allow him to approach volatile energy experiments, but he suddenly realized they could serve him now to protect against enemy attacks.

M.O.D. rushed into the room, positioning himself alongside Chronin. One attacker lay nearby, felled already. A database search immediately indicated he was a Ninja affiliated with the Jade Cult. Scanning the room, M.O.D. detected two other Ninjas, one masked and in standard garb, the second wearing more ornate accoutrements, its uncovered face an inhuman visage. The final two figures were near-identical visually, but markedly different under spectrographic analysis, one a shadowy double of the other, formed of an energy whose properties were unrecognizable to his systems. The pair looked feral, part-human, and wore clawed gauntlets.

One of the clawed trespassers exclaimed gutturally, “The sword will be reclaimed!”

The masked Ninja approached Chronin and was struck down in a swift flurry of blows. Chronin looked down at her smaller companion with a grim smile, raising her sword and adopting a defensive stance. A multitude of options ran through M.O.D.’S computer-brain in that moment. He analyzed programs and sub-routines, and then had his answer. He re-coded a workshop assistant program in a matter of seconds, pulling scripts from several different sources simultaneously. Ready, he reached out, energizing his ally. Chronin felt a tingle of electricity wash over her, not painful, but invigorating. Her smile widened.

MODFolding time, Chronin unleashed an impossible fusillade of lightning-fast sword strikes as the three remaining Jade Cult approached. First the final Ninja was struck down, then the shadowy double. Suddenly, another figure crashed onto the scene, smashing through a window amid the roar of jet engines. Having heeded M.O.D.’s alarm call, the war-suit wearing Tomcat levelled his weapon systems at the remaining invader. The feral half-man glanced around the room before seeming to melt into the shadows.

“It is not over,” said Chronin thoughtfully as she turned to M.O.D., “But thanks to you my little team-mate, it is a battle we can face another day, together.”

“T-team-mate,” stammered M.O.D., a vocal sub-routine glitch as he processed the recognition of her words.

Tomcat slapped M.O.D. on the shoulder, “Welcome to Heavy Metal, buddy!”


<< Back to Heroes and Villains

Posted in: | Tags: , , ,

Tekkna (Hero)


tekknaCode-name: Tekkna

Full Name: Erika Mitros

Faction: none

Beneath a purpose-built university building in Greece, Erika Mitros blew on her coffee cup to cool it down as she sat waiting outside a climate-controlled vault full of antiquities. The professor was late. The professor was always late. Professor Adam Stamos was handsome, charming and brilliant, but time-keeping was not one of his strengths. Still, she could tolerate that in the name of being his lead researcher.

Minutes passed, many minutes. When Erika realized she had been waiting for almost an hour she prepared to leave. As she stood, Erika heard a commotion from the corridor leading to the vault. She saw Adam and a security guard running toward her. Shots rang out and Adam stumbled as the guard fell to the floor. Adam ran on, clearly injured. Blood seeped through his jacket and shirt as he clutched a hand to his wound.

Tekkna-page-001“Erika! We must escape!” he panted, as she saw two armed men approach, both dressed in dark suits.

Adam frantically pressed the code for the vault, leaving bloody fingerprints on the keypad. A hiss followed and he and Erika tumbled through the door. She glanced over her shoulder as the two men advanced. Suddenly the gunmen realized what was happening as the vault door began to close but they were too late to stop it.

Inside, Erika and Adam sat on the floor. Already her boss was looking wan and pale. He looked up at her as she pressed her hand against his wound.

“Erika, you must listen, we don’t have much time,” he said, words catching in his throat from the pain.

“We need to get you out of here,” she said, ignoring his plea, before continuing, “Who were those men?”

Tekkna-page-002“Cultists. True believers. Men who sold their souls in the service of an ancient power. Agents of the Forgotten.”

As she listened his words made no sense. She wondered if Adam was already delirious from injury and blood loss.

“We have little time,” he continued, coughing as blood specked his lips, “I don’t have much time. Here, take this.”

Adam pressed a circular metal item into Erika’s palm. On it were etched various sigils and Greek characters. Erika gasped as she realized that there were several wheels on the disc’s surface that rotated with her touch.

“The gift is within you,” coughed Adam, “That I have always known. Use this and decode the Scroll of Daedelus, the one that seemed like gibberish when we examined it. It was written in code, and that device is one half of the cipher. You are the missing half of the cipher.”

Adam weakly motioned to a scroll held in a transparent hermetically sealed box, suspended by metal wires from the vault’s ceiling. Erika stood, dazed, and wandered over to the encased parchment. As she approached, holding the disc, its array of characters changed as wheels moved into position. At last she heard a faint click as movement ceased and the circles locked into place. The strange device then shimmered with its own light. Automatically she raised it and spoke aloud the words it translated on the scroll.

The sigils on the scroll flashed through Erika’s mind’s eye. Knowledge dormant within her blood-line was unlocked in a single moment, lost scientific concepts and tekkno-sorcerous formulae tumbling through her thoughts. In that instant she understood it all. She was heir to Daedalus’ Cult Mekkana, foes of Phalanx and Hellsmith, and ultimately the Forgotten. A vision played out of their evil rising once more, and she knew that she had to fight to stop it.

tekknaErika looked down at her hands which glowed with energy. She was transformed, her skin taking on a strange hue and marked by tracery of tekkno-circuits. Her garments had changed into something more fitting to her needs. Erika Mitros was gone, transformed into Tekkna, daughter of the Cult of Mekkana.

She turned then to Adam, but his last breath had been drawn. Her mentor was gone. Raged coursed through her, and Erika reached out with her mind to those of the killers beyond the vault door, each collapsing to the floor from the assault of her ancient curse. With a thought she vanished from the vault, reappearing beside the unconscious assassins. Moving quickly she connected her mind to the personal digital assistant one carried. Effortlessly she sundered its encryption, freeing its secrets. The men had been dispatched by the heads of the Forgotten to claim the scroll, no doubt to usurp her power. The PDA revealed that the agents had travelled from Pulp City. That was her destination. She could do nothing to help Adam now, but would devote every waking moment to the downfall of those responsible for his death. The Forgotten had gained a new enemy this day.

<< Back to Heroes and Villains

Posted in: | Tags: , ,

Terror Cotta Warriors (Villain)


terrorcotta1Code-name: Terror Cotta Warriors

Full Name: unknown

Faction: Jade Cult

In a labyrinthine lab complex hidden far from prying eyes far beneath the streets of Tokyo, Dr. Hideo Takahashi trembled inwardly. Trying hard to focus and compose himself as assistants busied themselves all around him, he resolved not to reveal his fear, for his master was nothing if not capricious; yet rewards for the Green Emperor’s most capable servants were truly great.

The doctor’s laboratories were state of the art, bedecked with bleeding edge computer work stations, engineering equipment, and related paraphernalia so advanced that it had not yet even reached market, all stolen from under the noses of its various developers. The Green Emperor always got what he desired, and in turn his underlings were given the best to work with. They did so with a simple understanding – failure was not an option. Dr. Takahashi understood that tenet as well as any servant of the Jade Cult.

TCW_tank-page-001Dr. Takahashi’s lab-complex was home to not just the acquired technologies that allowed it to undertake the research and development demanded by the Green Emperor, but it also served as a small-scale production facility for the creation of the Green Emperor’s fearsome Terror Cotta Warriors.

The best and brightest minds selected to serve the Jade Cult saw to their primary task: scientists and engineers designing and building new Terror Cotta Warriors through a melding of ancient relics and bleeding edge technology. An army of the robot-soldiers had been amassed under the aegis of the Green Emperor, to be dispatched in unobtrusive shipping containers to ports worldwide where the tendrils of the Green Emperor’s influence could be felt when the time was right. The Warriors were his foot soldiers, the armored fist of the Jade Cult. They represented his unrelenting, unflinching might; a networked phalanx to crush his enemies. The scope of the Green Emperor’s ambitions was vast – far beyond the understanding or realizations of a scientist such as Takahashi – but a general needed his soldiers, even a general as powerful as the Green Emperor, and that is what the Terror Cotta Warriors provided.

TCW_tank-page-002Half-completed torsos and leg drive trains hung from ceilings on chain-hoists; rocket and missile launcher mechanisms were laid out within dust-free assembly pods; spear weapon-arms on wall racks; CPU chips-sets were boxed awaiting installation; self-destruct mechanisms ready to be transplanted into the literal heart of these soldier-machines. All parts awaiting assembly. And for completion, a further enhancement would be necessary. Takahashi had once playfully mused to himself that it was like a robot autopsy in reverse.

Takahashi thought he felt a sudden slight chill in the lab. From the dark corners of the room stepped Shadow Mask, the master assassin and greatest of the Jade Cult Ninja Assassins. If Shadow Mask was here, then the master would arrive shortly. And if Shadow Mask had allowed Takahashi to see him, then that was significant. The assassin in the darkness could have killed the doctor without alerting him to his presence if that was what the Emperor intended. That he had not done so provided Takahashi with a boost as it offered a modicum of reassurance. He affirmed to himself that surely the Emperor would be pleased with his team’s latest achievements. ‘Yes, that would be it’, he thought to himself, ‘the Green Emperor is surely satisfied’.

The doors to the lab swished open, and a powerful and imposing figure strode through from the dark without. The Green Emperor, bearing the armor that he was never seen without. The force of his personality was so strong that Takahashi felt he almost filled the room. The Emperor was flanked by four Jade Cult Ninjas and the deadly and beautiful Green Serpent. The chill of terror touched Takahashi’s soul once more as Jade Serpent sinuously glided across the room to stand some way behind him. It took all of his remaining resolve to not look behind himself

“An update, Takahashi,” instructed the Green Emperor, his powerful voice devoid of emotion, revealing nothing to the scientist.

Bowing, Takahashi rattled off the latest accomplishments. In the last quarter more than one hundred Terror Cotta Warrior units had been produced, exceeding the set target by ten per cent. All were being packed into shipping containers to be dispatched to cities around the world to be deployed when required. Engineers had worked double time to get achieve the quota. Takahashi hoped that his master noted that they had surpassed expectations with the latest production run of Terror Cotta Warriors.

“And what of the failure rate, doctor?” asked the Green Emperor. Steel and threat were in his voice this time. As the question was posed, Takahashi tugged at his shirt collar, his fear palpably growing. Terror Cotta Warrior’s had seen the Green Emperor’s technologies advanced one step further. Human nervous systems had been grafted into the units from dead servants of the ruthless Emperor found lacking. However, the process was still in its infancy and success rates yielded high rate of failed implantation. The science and engineering team had worked doubly hard to strive to achieve their targets, but had ultimately faced many set-backs. Takahashi hoped his master would recognize the difficulties in marrying the myriad technologies within a single controllable unit.

“We have had some modest success, master,” began the scientist, his voice tremulous, “But overall reliability has been compromised due to difficulties in –“.

The Green Emperor cut him off with a brief sweep of his hand.

“Dr. Takahashi, I do not care for justifications of failure. I care only for achievement, for success. I reward those that meet my standards with boons they could otherwise only dream of. All of my servants know this. You know this, doctor. The price I place on such standards, on such generosity in success, is that failure is not an option.”

Takahashi paled. He was aware of such overwhelming forces around him: Shadow Mask; Green Serpent; the Jade Cult Ninjas. Any one of them could end his life within a single movement. But to be faced with the recognition of failure by the Green Emperor himself; that suggested a far worse fate was in store for him.

terrorcotta_colorsThe Green Emperor turned to Takahashi’s number two, and commanded:

“You are promoted Dr. Watanabe. Do not make the same mistakes as your predecessor. I suggest the rate of failure has been compromised by process. From now on, please ensure that nervous system grafting is from live and intact subjects. Start with Dr. Takahashi and see how things proceed.”

The room swam in Takahashi’s field of vision. His body felt chill through to his bones.

The master of the Jade Cult then swept from the room, imperious, followed silently by his deadly agents. Behind him the screams of Dr. Takahashi rang out as the poor scientist realized his wretched fate.


<< Back to Heroes and Villains

Posted in: | Tags: , , ,

Xyllian, Master Sagittarius (Villain)


xyllianCode-name: Master Sagittarius

Full Name: Xyllian

Faction: Ulthar

The fog was thick and heavy along the docks. What little light from lamp or moon was muted and distorted by the heavy mist. Somewhere in the harbor a bell was ringing from a buoy bobbing in time with the rising tide. Xyllian crouched upon the flat tarpaper roof of a rundown warehouse and felt alive. His senses were keen and tight as he hunted as only a Sagittarius could hunt.

Xyllian thought back to the words of his Aquarius Warlord; “Learn about these humans. Join them; fight for them. Fight against them, it matters not. The goal is to learn of these Supremes. One amongst them must be their true leader. When I defeat him, this planet will be forced to bow to my might. One Warlord will do what the Armada could not; to destroy this pathetic Earth, and enslave these humans!” These were the Warlord’s orders. If any Ulthar living could do this thing it was Ra’Leigh. Xyllian believed in his power to conquer. So it was that he found himself stalking the streets of Pulp City.

Xyllian-page-001He began his Earth-side infiltration at the bottom. He watched the lowest of the parasites, those thugs and street predators. They were so like the Pisces back home; squabbling brutal things clawing over each other to gain a bit more food, or living space. Up this food chain he climbed, serving an under-boss, then bosses, before finally he saw Mysterious Man and knew he was in the right place. Like any good Warlord this Mysterious Man collected the best tools, human or Supreme. He controlled things and manipulated others. He was a subtle and alien kind of Warlord, but surely he was a Warlord.

Knowing his target he knew he must gain access to this man’s inner circle. Mysterious Man respected power and ability above all. That much Xyllian knew. So he must demonstrate this. As he had at the beginning, he once again started at the lowest level. Thugs were no match for a trained and equipped Ulthar Sagittarius. Striking from ambush and luring unsuspecting humans into his traps it took less than a week to eliminate all of Mysterious Man’s lackeys from the docks. Then he had waited for the next challenge.

Xyllian-page-002It did not take long to get Mysterious Man’s attention. The crime-lord sent some of his pet Supremes to meet him. The strange feline woman had been an amusing hunt. This Kitty Cheshire had disappeared and reappeared before he could draw a clean bead on her. But the true surprise was the human known as Gentleman. He was a Sagittarius born. But his skill was limited by the feeble technology of his race. Meanwhile Xyllian wielded the most advanced sensor assists and cloaking fields of the mighty Ulthar Empire. It was an extremely satisfying encounter and it had the desired effect. His interview with Mysterious Man happened not long after.

Clearly though, the Mysterious Man was far more cunning than even Xyllian had anticipated. Mysterious Man knew what he really wanted was not money, or human power. So he offered Xyllian the one thing he most desired, vengeance for his Empire. That night he had first learned of the renegade Virgo. The damnable upstart that claimed a Sagittarius’s most honored weapon. The Virgo were chattel, menial servants and worst of all, female. That a Virgo should have slain her betters and jumped her station was the greatest of sins. That smiling man had showed him this Virgo, told him of her deeds against the Ulthar, and struck a bargain with Xyllian.

Ulthar 5 SagittariusIt was almost a cycle later before he at last met Virgo in battle. It was on a night much like this mist-shrouded one. She came for him that first night, cloaked and armed as he was. For hours they stalked each other across moonlit roof tops, ambush and counter ambush. A deadly game, and with each second that dragged on Xyllian’s rage grew. Even now thinking about it caused his pulse to quicken and his blood to boil.

His contemplation ended, he took a few calming breathes and resumed his watch over the foggy warehouses and grimy docks. Listening to the soft ring of the distant bell, he scanned through his optics looking for the telltale shimmer of an optic field cloak. Then he saw it. The hunt was on again. Virgo was here. Thrice she had evaded him, but not tonight. Somewhere in his mind he knew he was being played a fool. Virgo must also be working for Mysterious Man. The things he had to do to ensure he got another chance had surely helped Mysterious Man far more than it had aided the Ulthar Empire. But that did not matter now. This killer of his caste, the one who broke with the Empire, was again in his sights. He moved slowly and deliberately, his laser crossbow powering up silently in his hands. The hunt was on once more!


<< Back to Heroes and Villains

Posted in: | Tags: , , ,

Arquero (Hero/Villain)

Code-name: Arquero

Full Name: Rowan “Row” Fletcher

Faction: none

When she adopted the costumed persona of Riposte, Naomi Kingsley knew that she alone would not be able to topple her father’s criminal empire, or his allies in the Coven. She realized that she needed more power, another tool that she could shape and direct to her will.

Other Supremes were already too established in the media and the public mind to be of much use. Furthermore, most Supremes had powers and abilities that often made them too hard to predict. But when Naomi heard the story of a young vigilante making a name for himself, she thought she had found the instrument she was looking for.

Rowan ‘Row’ Fletcher, son of Olympic archery gold medalist Bogart Fletcher and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Karen McBride, had the talent and motivation that Riposte needed. Rowan had his father’s gift with bows and a fiery temper inherited from his mother. When his parents were killed in a gas station hold up, Row was enraged. It did not take him long to discover that they were murdered in an effort to stop his mother from publishing a story about the origins of the Coven. Seeking vengeance, Row fashioned a disguise, adopted the code-name Arquero and took up his father’s bow. In the days that followed he systematically hunted down his parent’s killers.

Rowan’s life would have ended in a dirty alley when he was lured into an ambush by the Coven’s thugs. Rowan’s temper and incredible focus caused him to lose sight of his surroundings, unable to see the ambush until it was too late.

Tunnel vision was Rowan’s fatal flaw, or would have been if not for Riposte’s timely intervention. With her guidance Rowan escaped the trap and took out his target. By the time he thought to thank his benefactor Riposte was long gone.

A week later Rowan was drawn into yet another set-up and saved once more by Riposte. This time however, Rowan was able to track his mysterious companion to a secluded rooftop. There he found Riposte waiting for him. She offered him a deal. In exchange for his loyalty she would train him and equip him, and most importantly help him get his revenge.

In the months that followed their roof top pact, the team of Riposte and Arquero erupted onto the scene in Pulp City. Arquero’s high-tech bow and ferocious pursuit of his targets counterpoint Riposte’s cold cool analytical leadership and traditional seeming costume. Riposte feels that she is sharpening a tool to surgical precision. Arquero finds himself increasingly indebted to his partner and possibly attracted to her. What will happen in the future is unknown to any except possibly the woman known as Riposte.

<< Back to Heroes and Villains

Posted in: | Tags: , ,

Skyline (Hero)


skylineCode-name: Skyline

Full Name: Peter Stoltz

Faction: none

For some Heroes their new lives are shaped by the pain of tragedy, while others are called to the fight against evil by their own personal crusades. A very rare few can say their new lives as heroes began simply because they were there.

Peter Stoltz was a physics major at Pulp City University, working as a lab assistant to Professor Beeching in the field of inertial physics.

Using alien metals recovered by Heavy Metal from a downed Ulthar Patriaship, Beeching had struck on a process of layering various charged sheets of the mysterious alloys to create a field that appeared to dampen or magnify the force of gravity in a highly localized area. Stoltz would then secretly test the various prototypes in rooftop sprints across the Pulp City skyline.

It was on one of these test runs that Stoltz’s new life suddenly began. Flashing across the rooftops in a modified impact-resistant suit, and clutching a balancing device (a six foot pole with an inertial generator housed at each end), Stoltz heard a desperate scream from an alley below. As Stoltz in his persona as Skyline subsequently said in an interview with the Pulp City Planet:

skyline-page-001“I heard that scream, and something just took over. Before I knew it I had thrown myself off a six-story building. The impact suit made the fall as soft as bouncing on a feather bed. I hit the street right behind this thug standing over some poor girl, and just let him have it with my staff. Sucker flew straight through a dumpster! I saved the day and I’ve never looked back since.”

From that night on, Stoltz has operated under the guise of Skyline. Carrying the device he now calls the Spring-staff and wearing the second generation of Beeching’s inertia suit, Skyline is now a familiar, if fleeting image against the night-time panorama of Pulp City. His methods may be questioned by the police, and allegations of violence bordering on brutality are often laid at his feet, but to the common citizen he’s a local guy making good, giving the criminal filth of the city the treatment that they richly deserve.

skyline-page-002Skyline is like a light in the darkness. Maybe that is why he and Jade Hawk were drawn together….


Equipment: Skyline has a black cowl, with bulbous goggles tinged yellow. It covers his full head apart from his mouth and chin. His inertia suit is made of a black synthetic material, and is banded around the biceps, forearms, thighs, shins and torso. These are the metallic layers that produce the gravitic fields. These are also present in his shoes (giving Skyline slightly thickened soles). His gloves have pads on the palms that produce strong gravitic fields to enable him to adhere to any surface. There is a stylized horizon of Pulp City in a strong silver line across his chest. The Spring-staff is a 6 foot metallic rod, with a black synthetic sheathing over the gravitic generators at each end (which provide approximately a foot of cover each).


<< Back to Heroes and Villains

Posted in: | Tags: , ,