Superheroes – Once upon a Time in 1967 – Issue 3, Part 1 – Robots in the City

23 July, 2020

Following up from the second issue of the Freedom Five:

Cover:  A looming computer bank formed into a face, lights shining from its “eyes” pin our heroes.  “Can our heroes overcome the Menace of COMPUTO!”

Opening page:  Roboto getting punched by a bigger, meaner robot.   “Crash!  Bzzzzt!  Spark.”

Duece and a halfNext page: “Minutes earlier”  Roboto returns to the basement apartment he shares with Professor VanDyne, only to find it has been ransacked!  He begins searching for the Prof only to hear a truck starting up in the back alley.  Rushing out, Roboto sees an army truck beginning to pull away and in the back in a robot that looks like the one that raided IBM (last issue).  Roboto calls the rest of the team for backup and grabs an abandoned refrigerator and with a mighty throw temporarily pins the truck.  The enemy robot leaps out of the back and the truck and one punches Roboto!

Next page: Seen through Roboto’s eyes as he “wakes up” first showing static and resolving to an actual image as he focuses on his teammates.  “Where is the Professor?” he asks.  After an explanation of what happened, they take to Agent 808’s dirigible in pursuit.  Vulpix uses her knowledge of the city to narrow the search area.  Soon they find the truck heading out of the city.

As soon as the truck is stopped at a red light, the heroes move to engage.  Roboto takes the lead, leaping down to crush the engine of the truck.  Shadowfist and Vulpix rappel down while Horizon and 808 fly.  Horizon gathers his power while Shadowfist and Vulpix move to capture the robot’s attention while 808 cut his way in to rescue the Professor.  Roboto disarms, literally, the primitive robot acting as a driver.  Vulpix and Shadowfist find that they can outmaneuver and outfight the robot but not really damage it, it is just too heavily armored.  Finally, a coordinated assault.  Roboto tosses his larger “cousin” into a lamppost, Vulpex tangle its angles with her grapple and pulls, Shadowfist uses a throw and Horizon add extra force to push the robot into the path of an oncoming cement mixer.  “Crunch!”

The police arrive shortly after to take charge and sort out the traffic problem.  The team take the Professor and assorted robot parts back to his and Roboto’s basement apartment.  The Prof makes some calls, gets a moving van loads up the lab and heads for a new safe house.  “Shame, I liked it here.”

USAF - Security PoliceVulpix makes some calls and finds that the truck was out of the Griffiss Air Force Base in upstate NY.  So, aboard the dirigible, they head north.  Approaching the base, they are told to land outside and they will be escorted in.  They are met by Lt LeFarge of the Air Force Security Police and two enlisted men.  They explain why they are here and the Lieutenant takes them to see Colonel West, acting commander of the base (drawn in the comic to look like Adam West).

While the Colonel is patient with the team, young patriotic Americans (mostly) all, but he does not trust a bunch of teens to go wandering around his base.  He promises that they will look into the missing truck and let the team know what they find out.  Roboto tells him that he is getting an IFF (identification friend of foe) signal that matches the one the kidnapper robot used coming from within the base specifically from the Rome Air Development Center building!  Suddenly the alarms go off and the base scrambles as they are part of the Strategic Air Command.  “Get these civilians off the base, Lieutenant.”

LaFarge takes them back to the jeep and our heroes convince him to go by the building and at least take a look.  The Lieutenant goes into the building and . . . does not return.  After a few moments, they go up the doors and step in.  Inside are two guards with glassy eyes, five o’clock shadow and M-14s with fixed bayonets.  They see the Lieutenant’s boots, presumably attached to his unconscious body, sticking out from around a door, where it is almost out of sight.

Our heroes spring into action, Roboto thinking they might be androids grabs one by the top of the head and does find electronics, but they are worn under the airman’s cap.  As soon as he comes into contact with it, he feels it is part of a larger network as a voice broadcasts to him, “Roboto, at last.”

End of Part One (and that session).  Ready to read Part Two?

Notes: Decided to start this game in media res, a classic comic book conceit.  I had Computo in mind for a villain since before the campaign officially started and Roboto’s backstory dovetailed so nicely into the Computo plot.

Truck photo General M35A2 “Deuce-and-a-half” with winch and camouflage cargo cove by Guy Cooper found on Wikimedia Commons and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Badge Image of the USAF Security Police badge found on Wikimedia Commons as a work of a U.S. Air Force Airman or employee, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image or file is in the public domain in the United States.


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