On August 1, 2009, a diverse group of heroes was assembled in Center City from across the country and were installed as the Government Sanctioned Hero Group – The Vanguard.
Through their first month of activity, the Vanguard encountered numerous threats to the law-abiding citizens of Center City, Boston, and Charleston.
• An Area of dense fog has developed 3 miles off of the coast of Maryland. The fog does not burn off or diminish in any way during the heat of a Maryland August – in fact meteorological data indicates that the fogbank is steadily (if slowly) growing. Vessels that enter the fog do not return and wreckage of other vessels has been discovered in the vicinity. Xue Zen investigated the fog bank in his astral form and was surprised by the emergence of a huge undead dragon from the fog. Following this incident, the Vanguard have made arrangements with the Navy to set up a perimeter blockade to keep all civilian traffic away from the fog. There have been no further sightings of the beast since that encounter.
• The team’s first encounter is with a gang of street thugs that were trashing the Center City Mall. The team handily defeated the majority of the gang – although super-powered member Freddy escaped. The remaining members of the gang are later battled in the midst of a payroll robbery. They had acquired powered armor and weapons. They also had special weapons that appeared to be attuned especially to Astrid. Once again, Freddy escaped.
• In the aftermath of the Mall battle, the team discovered a revolutionary USAF microchip among the loot from the mall Radio Shack. The team handed the chip over to GEMINI for analysis. Major David Burnside USAF arrives to take charge of the chip. As he is leaving Center City, his helicopter is destroyed and the chip is stolen again. The chip is revealed later to be a missile guidance chip that is capable of taking commands from a human brain.
• Following the rescue of a small passenger aircraft by Grey Mist, the team began encountering a strange phenomenon where citizens were inexplicably entering a zombie-like state (known in the media as ‘going fuzzy’). After a period of time, these civilians manifested uncontrollable superpowers. The team has connected the ‘fuzzy’ people to a villain calling himself Dr. DNA
With the help of a villain group known as the Errants, Dr. DNA planned the genetic manipulation of genetic material stored in the Center City sperm banks as well as the introduction of his DNA Serum to the water supply of the City. Following the failure of this plan, Dr. DNA attacked Center City with a giant Spider Robot, but he was again defeated by the Vanguard. During this attack, the remaining Errants were all jailed. The Vanguard has since discovered and raided his lair (following a chain of electronics robberies) – only to see him teleport to safety. He remains at large. Dr. DNA has also exhibited mental control over the ‘fuzzy’ civilians. At present, three of them have been captured and hospitalized. One died as a result of her transformation. One died as the result of the attack of White Star. There remains 6 fuzzies that have manifested and are in police custody, and 11 known fuzzies that have not manifested powers yet.
• The group also investigated a strange series of murders. The victims have all been linked to the criminal trial of Dr. Ivan Kolneziewski – including: The prosecuting D.A., the court reporter, A state Senator who at that time was the judge, and a CSI that testified at the trial. An intended victim saved by the Vanguard is Sgt. Harris Ralk (homicide). The murderers were all normal civilians that had apparently been affected by a synthetic memory which temporarily gave them the knowledge, desire, and skill to commit the murders. Walter Frank (the court reporter) was killed by a single mom who apparently had the skills of the Sentinel Kick Fight.
The Vanguard tracked Dr. Kolneziewski to Hopewell Sanitarium in Seacaucus NY. They interviewed the Doctor and heard his tale that he was framed by a mysterious character named Zed. He and Zed worked at SysGen together on a team to develop synthetic memories. When he objected as to the ethical application of the research, he was afflicted with synthetic memory that impacted his sanity, framed for murder and incarcerated. Shortly after interviewing the doctor, he called the Vanguard – warning them that Zed is coming. Immediately following the call, he was attacked in his cell. Blood that was confirmed to belong to the doctor was found in copious quantity throughout the cell. The body was not recovered.
• The think-tank GEMINI developed a revolutionary Gene Sequencer for use in genetic research which they promptly put up for auction. Before the sale is finalized, a huge battle takes place outside of GEMINI between the Vanguard, Dr. DNA’s fuzzy forces, the members of the Reavers, and an unknown force in technological armor similar in appearance to the GEMINI guardsmen – as well as a flying Headhunter.
• A lot of questions have arisen regarding the background of Astrid. A murder victim resembles her exactly – and the super-being Devea identified her as being “5 of 12”. She has been revealed to be a clone of some kind following the murder of another ‘Astrid’ at the docks. A chance encounter with an actor named Trevor Bannister brought some concrete details. White Star and Astrid have recently gone on a fact finding mission to California proving that her remembered background is false.
• The non-sanctioned hero group in Charleston – Recon – has proven to be troublesome. The team is not sure whether to trust them or not.
• A series of bank robberies has been perpetrated by villains wearing technological powered armor. The Vanguard was able to defeat several of them, but before they could be questioned, they were bailed out and disappeared.
• Astrid was kidnapped by the Reavers and saved in Harrisburg by the team (with the assistance of the Medic. Following the revelation of the Reavers as a front for a RAT terrorist cell, MEDUSA opted to install a new group of Reavers in the city – drawing from the ranks of the Vanguard to fill the roster.
• An Art-Loving villain in Boston named Guf has been stealing artwork with his ghostly servants/compatriots. After humiliating the Vanguard in combat, the team has opted to leave the villain alone. In the interim, Guf has sent his ghosts to Center City to deliver captured villains from the Boston area (including the White Rabbit from RAT, and the Hippo). Grey Mist and the Unknown Soldier have recently interviewed Guf again. He appears to have ceased his overt criminal activity – and they thanked him for his assistance in fighting crime.
• The group encountered a new group of villains calling itself Magnetscher Norden. The group appears to have some kind of psychic link so that they have the ability to pool their energy to work more closely as a unit. One of the members, Soundwave – a teenager caught up in events beyond his control, has been captured and is currently in the care of Stanislaw and Devea.
• Bishop Charles Fairwell has consistently broadcast his criticism of the Vanguard on his weekly radio show.
• Cadecus – the eventual winner of the Gene Sequencer auction – has provided the Vanguard with much needed technological help in the form of state of the art server systems.
September dawns with half of the team in Harrisburg with their new assignment, the rest of the team combing over Dr. DNA’s laboratory, and White Star in jail for the willful murder of a mind-controlled civilian.
The list of first-month subplots handed out during gaming can also be found here