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> The Stormcrow, A Superhero's Tale
post Oct 17 2020, 08:00 PM
Post #301

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You set the stage here with Jan’s racing heart. Indeed, this was a heart-poundingly paced episode and perfect for such an epic battle.

"Lighthammer, deal with that telekinetic in the lot if you please," Cray rumbled over the comm. In spite of all the chaos, his voice was as calm and even as a sportscaster describing a golf game. "Blood Raven, stick with the ones you have on State. Stormcrow, head down Woodward and stop the foot-soldiers headed for Campus Martius."
- - Not only do I love Cray’s ‘if you please’ calm, sophisticated tone, this passage really highlights the need for some degree of command and control among the trio of superheros.

"Valhalla Awaits," she growled.’
- - Jan’s been listening to Blood Raven and I’m ever so glad she used such an appropriate line instead a perky ‘Fight’s on, dudes!’ wink.gif

"Gott Mit Uns!"
- - Thanks for the translation here; otherwise I surely would have envisioned some mother admonishing her children before sending them out to play in the snow – Got mittens? tongue.gif

'His cubic boron fist met nothing but the memory of her. But it did land squarely on the Iron Man, who had been right behind January.'
- - Wow, lots to love in this little passage. First, I love the elegance of your wording of fist meeting memory. Secondly, it was resourceful of Jan to use one foe against another. Lastly, it was simply brilliant to employ her recent experience with Stoneman to literally turn him into another shock-vulnerable Ironman.

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post Oct 18 2020, 03:40 PM
Post #302

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Joined: 19-March 13
From: Ellicott City, Maryland

Oh, I knew about Oorah & Marines, but not Hooah. laugh.gif Lighthammer's cry is not original, which in a way is sort of funny!

Interesting how Lighthammer is also part of their comm now. I don't recall if he was in the past or not, but if Cray is speaking to him directly, then it is so.

I think the word you are looking to use to describe January is idealistic, or perhaps compassionate.

Idealistic is closer, yes. It's like she's so new at all of this. But her heart is purer, and I think it will remain so. She's got a positive outlook despite all the troubles she had growing up, with family and I assume with school bullies. If we could look five or ten years into her future, she's going to be more experienced, yes. Maybe somewhat jaded (after dealing with procedure especially), and not as perky. But that other, purer / idealistic side of her will remain.

Oh gosh, that poor tree. laugh.gif Poor Detroit.

Cool, I like that, when she uses Call Storm on those idiots. Just like that shout my toon occasionally uses Skyrim. See, these Nazis seem as though they think they're big and bad because they've got some local power, but most of it has not been honed yet, right? It's like, they go into battle because they've got some new abilities. They really thought they'd succeed, too.

Blood Raven stopped eating people a long time ago. There will be more about that later in this chapter, and in chapter 6. It is a moral decision that she made, for reasons...


I can see the Ironman getting messed up by lightning. Metal transmits electricity. Stoneman isn't fazed, since his energy is more of a grounding one. Too bad the Furman didn't get his fur all burned up.

She leapt over his head as his arms swept out to grasp her in a bear hug.

He tries to give her a bear hug. rollinglaugh.gif I love how these guys use their monikered powers so literally. I mentioned Transformers before, but actually they're more like evil X-men. Like, Wolverine has his claws. Magneto has the ability to attract, and so on. Each Nazi has his own powers. Too bad they don't let any girls fight, instead they allow them to only march, apparently. I'd be curious what her power(s) would be.

That was clever, getting Stone to pummel Iron. It's like a high-paced, real-life game if rock, paper, scissors.

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post Today, 05:25 AM
Post #303

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Joined: 14-March 10
From: Between The Worlds

Acadian: I try to remind myself to make sure I include some references to January natural fear about entering a super battle. Usually simply noting the bad weather is enough. But I like to also include something like a mention of a tightness in her chest, or her racing heart, so the reader knows that this is not her idea of fun and games. Because she would never show any physical trepidation, especially not in the face of the enemy. She is stone after all. But she is still human.

I have been mulling over how the new team dynamic of team Blood Raven and team Stormcrow joining forces. Cray quite naturally falls into that role of being the cool voice on the other end of the radio who can see everything and offer calm direction.

I spent a long, long time working on those two words: "Vallhalla Awaits." But I am very happy with how it worked out. That is going to be one of Stormcrow's most popular hashtags.

Likewise, I wanted a somewhat more subtle nod to the Nazi's, well, Nazi background. The Wermacht's belt buckle saying seemed ideal.

I worked hard on the fight choreography too of course. I don't want Jan to win simply because she overpowers her enemies. She is a thinker, so I want her to find creative and clever ways to take advantage of her opponent's weaknesses, or simply predilections.

Renee: Lighthammer's Hooah is from old habits. He has spent years saying it. There will be more on that in Chapter 7 - Hammer Down.

Blood Raven will have her own way of describing January at the end of the next chapter.

Evil X-Men is a good way of looking at the Nazis. Or the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (one of the X-Men's perennial enemies). It was tough to work out the powers and attitudes of all 10 super powered Nazis. So I embraced the idea of making their powers fit their personalities.

They do let the girls fight though. In fact, the most dangerous Nazis are all female: The Dust Devil, The Phaser, and The Shrinker.

One thing I learned reading comics for years, and playing superhero rpgs, is that it is very much a rock, paper, scissors game. Fighting an electric projector? Douse them with water. Fighting someone invisible? Throw flour or dust in the air, and look for footprints. Etc...

Just A Flesh Wound

Chapter 5.24 - Crystal Death

January tucked into a roll and came up on her feet. She did not see the Werebear coming. One moment she was standing there, and the next a crushing blow smashed down upon the top of her head. She was driven to her knees, and the concrete of the street literally crumbled into dust underneath her as she sank into the earth. But her helmet - or simply her stubbornness - had saved her skull. January had long since learned how to take a hit.

She pushed back up to her feet, and called upon the strength and resilience of Earth. She turned to see the Werebear holding one half of a street lamp in one fist. The lamp's other end lay bent and shattered in the street at January's feet, and tortured remnants of steel and glass were scattered all about. The Nazi scowled as he stared at what remained of his broken weapon, and tossed it aside.

He came forward with bare paws, and raked his claws across her armored chest. She replied with a power punch that rocked his jaw. He followed with a blow to the midsection, beneath the protection of her armored chest plate. She winced inwardly, but did not double over. She hammered back with a side kick to his ribs. She slipped aside from a shot aimed at taking off her head, and followed with a front kick that split open his lower lip.

By then the Swordsman was back in action. January did not know what that fiery blade of his might do. She concentrated more on Water now. She flowed around that sword, and his first strike missed her. But it hacked effortlessly through the steel frame of the traffic signal behind her. The entire post and mast arm came crashing down a moment later, and the Werebear was obliged to leap back out of the way to avoid being squashed beneath it.

That gave January a few moments to concentrate upon the Swordsman alone. She eyed that fiery blade of his with trepidation. For all she knew, it might go through her armor - and magical defenses - like they were both butter. So rather than stand and take his strikes, she slipped and dodged each, waiting for him to lower his guard.

Finally she saw her chance, and danced under his questing blade. She swept out a leg for one of his knees. Removing that from the equation would take him from his feet, and ought to allow her to move away to fight the Werebear one on one.

But the Nazi ground his flaming shield down, and January's foot glanced harmlessly off its impermeable surface. Apparently it was just as powerful a defense as the sword was an offense. She somersaulted back and sprang to her feet, while the Nazi chopped down and gouged a great trench into the concrete of the street.

"Your sick gay agenda dies today freak!" the Swordsman cried. "The white man will-"

His words were cut short by a serpent of golden light that cracked out from somewhere behind him, and wrapped around his neck. It jerked back an instant later, and yanked him off his feet. The tendril of power hauled him through the air up Woodward, toward the intersection with State. Blood Raven stood at the other end of the energy whip, and she met the Swordsman with a front kick that sent him to the pavement.

January turned to give the Werebear her full attention, just in time to take a slash from his claws across her face. She was stone. She was the mountain. She was adamant. His talons screeched ineffectually across both her helmet and bare skin alike.

Then white hot pain lanced through her leg. She gasped in spite of herself. The world spun, and she collapsed to one knee. She saw a tiny blur race past her in the air. A brilliant sting of light blossomed from the insect, and lanced through her arm. Again, pain seared through her flesh, and January had to bite back a scream.

"Stormcrow, use your lightning!" Gadget's voice was in her ear.

She did not think. She just did what her best friend said. She pulled the sky down, and it ravened with calamitous delight. The world turned white hot, and exploded around her in electrical fury. Thunder rang in her ears, and she felt herself propelled up into the air, only to hit hard upon the concrete. Once, twice, and a third time, she pulverized the earth with elemental power.

When it was done, she found herself lying in the street. She rolled her head just in time to see the Shrinker grow back to full size. It was a blonde woman, dressed in black faux-SS gear. The female Nazi fell face-first to the ground, and did not move an inch.

"Sweet Freyja, what did she hit me with?" January groaned as she clawed her way to her feet. Her leg felt unsteady beneath her, and her arm ached. But she would allow neither to slow her down. She was stone. She was the mountain. She was adamant.

"My guess would be quantum blasts, really nasty stuff." Cray's soft, yet gruff tones rumbled in her ear. "They ignore all known forms of armor by literally slipping between the atoms of even the densest material. Or they bypass them entirely by changing their quantum states. It depends on who you ask. Either way it is pretty common with Shrinkers."

"Wonderful," January murmured. Borrowed electricity hissed and snapped around her frame once more. She clenched her hands into fists, and felt the storm raven between her fingertips, aching for release.

The Werebear rose to his feet at the same time January did. His fur was a blackened, smoldering mess. His mouth bled from where January had split his lip. Aside from his mussed fur, that one cut appeared to be the only harm she had inflicted upon him. Clearly, he was not a modern, video-game Nazi, whose boasts were as grand as his belt size. He was hard-core, like the old school SS types from WWII who chewed on T-34s and gargled Sherman tanks.

January willed herself to continue. All the punches and slashes she had taken had not fazed her. But those quantum stings were really under-named. They felt more like quantum infernos. For her leg and arm blazed with agony where they had sliced through flesh and bone. She knew that she was limping, but could not help it, no more than she could help favoring her injured arm.

But she remembered the Viking Code. Never give up, no matter what. She would never give a bully or a bigot the satisfaction of seeing her quit.

His amber eyes locked with hers, and seemed to glow hotter and brighter with rage. He snarled with a mouth full of his own blood, and actually tried to bite her head off. January called upon Water, and flowed out of the reach of his jaws. His teeth snapped shut just inches from her nose, and his rank breath assaulted her nostrils.

She literally clapped back before he could recover from his failed lunge. Using both hands, she slapped either side of his neck with all the force she could muster. Twin bolts of lightning leaped from her fingers, and ground down through his flesh. That would have decapitated a normal human. But by now it was clear that she did not have to hold back against this creature. The electrified Carotid Slap struck the arteries on either side of his neck, instantly interrupting the flow of blood to his brain.

Like a puppet whose strings had been cut, the Werebear immediately collapsed at January's feet. A few remaining sparks of lightning trailed away into the earth beneath his supine form. The rain that had begun with January's first blast of lighting ceased the moment he hit the ground.

She looked beyond him. Blood Raven stood within the intersection of Woodward and State, flanked by the police, who had their guns drawn. For once they were not eyeing the scarlet-maned heroine with trepidation. Instead they almost perched under her metaphorical skirts for protection as they all moved up to the uprooted tree that lay in the middle of the road. Farther up Woodward a geyser of water gushed up from the broken fire hydrant.

Then Lighthammer came flying down to January, legs and hands glowing with blue-white light. He touched ground just in front of her, and grinned with joy.

"Hooah!" he exulted. "You guys sure know how to party in the D!"

He put out a raised palm to high five her. January tried to raise her hand to meet his own. But agony lanced through her arm, and she stopped with a wince. Lighthammer's expression fell, and he put out a hand to steady her. But January gritted her teeth, and raised her other hand for the high five, which Lighthammer returned much more gently that he normally would have.

"Looks like you took some serious hits Weather Witch." He spoke in a low tone, one that the crowds of onlookers who now began to creep in could not overhear. "You need me to get you to a doctor? I know a guy down in Cleveland."

"I'll be alright," January insisted.

A Monty Python routine that Blackjack loved flashed through her head, and she forced herself to grin. "It's just a flesh wound," she quipped in an incredibly lame English accent.

Several policemen were now edging up from Campus Martius. All of them had their eyes locked upon Lighthammer. January was not exactly sure where he stood with the police. But she was sure that they would in the very least like to ask him a lot of questions about dead drug lords.

"I think I've overstayed my welcome." Apparently he had noticed the same thing. He bunched up his legs to leap into the sky, when Blood Raven's voice came to their ears.

"Your arrival was most fortuitous Lighthammer," she admitted. January imagined that had not been easy for her to say. "Without your presence, victory would have proven a more elusive prize."

Lighthammer straightened up for a moment, turned in her direction, and snapped off a quick salute. Then he roared into the sky in a flash of his signature light.

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post Today, 08:41 PM
Post #304

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Joined: 14-March 10
From: Las Vegas

And this epic battle draws to a satisfying conclusion.

That flaming sword and shield were intimidating indeed! Thank the Nine for Blood Raven’s ‘Lasso of Truth’ and timely assist. tongue.gif

‘Weather Witch’ is it? An appropriate nickname from the Hammer of Light.

Loved the ‘It’s just a flesh wound’ joke. Though I do recall that bit from the Monty Python movie, to me it more recalls an equally appropriate phrase in the toolbox of every cowboy hero.

Nice to see Blood Raven warming up a bit to Lighthammer. Being the poseur that he is, Lighthammer makes an appropriately flashy exit. laugh.gif

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