Superpowers In A World Gone Mad
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Iron Maiden, Issue #003

August 6, 2013 in Iron Maiden Tags:

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Issue #003 – – – – – controlled by Junius Stone – – – – – Credits 4

As entertaining as all this smashing stuff had been, Iron Maiden knew it wasn’t getting her anywhere.  She flipped the bird at the four oncoming helicopters and then took off at a jog through the trees, angling for the city.  Let them come, she thought.  They’d regret it.

The helicopters pursued her for a while as she loped downhill amidst the greenery but a few boulders hurled at the sky deterred them from getting too close and in short order she lost them in the denser woodland.  Twenty minutes later she emerged from the shrubbery near one of the upmarket housing estates that were a feature of Madden Heights.  She glanced back and could see the aerial pursuit searching for her in the woodland.  She took off along the road, staying near the edges as she headed for town.

The big problem, of course, was that Iron Maiden couldn’t stop looking like Iron Maiden.  She couldn’t turn off her metal skin.  It was how she was, twenty-four seven.  Given that she was in a city that looked nothing like it should, with vague memories and being hunted by the authorities, this was going to be a big problem.  As she left the area of landscape gardens and opulent housing and moved into the streets of Helix Point her appearance began to garner her far too much attention.  She tried to stay away from the busier streets, but the city layout had changed.  It was like being in a completely different place to her old home, except that enough landmarks and familiar things remained to prove this was not the case.  “Something really weird has gone down,” she decided.

She remembered that there used to be a bar towards the back of The Point which was known for its super-powered patronage.  What was it called?  Crucible.  That was it.  She hoped it was still where it used to be.  Only one way to find out…

The bar proved to be something of a let-down, but simultaneously rather useful.  It was indeed still there and it was very busy, but its customers were no longer abnormals or costumed heroes.  They were normal people with a superhero fetish.  The cosplay crowd dressed as characters from movies, comic books and the real world.  They were colourful, their make-up and even prosthetics really quite convincing.  Which was no use whatsoever for making connections and finding out what was going on, but very useful indeed for the purposes of blending in and moving without attracting undue attention.  Iron Maiden pushed her way through the door and elicited many shouts of approval.  “Great look, babe!” one young man assured her.
“You have no idea,” Iron Maiden grinned at him.

Iron Maiden sat at the bar sipping the bloody mary she had ordered and considering her next move.  She was going to need a better costume than this doctor’s coat she was wearing.  She was going to need a place to crash.  She was going to need food.  But first she was going to need to pay the tab she was accumulating – something of a challenge since she was naked under the coat and had not a dollar to her name.  “Do any real supers come in here?” she asked the barman.
“Once in a while one of the licensed guys do,” He said.  “We had Wild Thing in last year.  Unlicensed wont come in though.  There are agents all over the place.  They’d be arrested.”
“Sure.  You know.  Bullies.  The government.  Whatever.  There’s always at least one hanging out in here.”
“Why?  If no real abnormals come in?”
“I guess they think this is the sort of place somebody with real powers could blend in.  That’s what they’re looking for.”
“So is there an agent here now?” she asked.  The barman indicated a woman sitting at the end of the counter, sipping what looked like a Coke and eyeing the crowd.
“How do you know?” Iron Maiden asked.  “She might just be on the prowl for a guy.  Or a girl.  Or whatever.”
“Seen her before.  She’s got that Fed look about her,” He grinned.  Then he moved off to serve some customers who were dressed as Ewoks.

“You okay?” A young man approached her,  wearing a white costume with diaphanous insect wings on the back.  He was painfully skinny, almost emaciated and the tight spandex accentuated his unflattering physique.
“Why do you ask?”
“You just have a vibe about you.  I can sense strong emotions sometimes.”
“Sense them?” She asked.
“Yes.  I am an Abnormal.  I overheard you asking the bar staff about people with real powers.  I am one.”
“Ri..ii..ight,” Iron Maiden grinned.  “Sure you are.  I’m told you need a license to be a hero in the city now.  You have one?”
“I’m unlicensed.”
“But you haven’t been arrested?”
“My powers aren’t significant enough to need a license.  I’m what they call C-Class.  They know about me, but they don’t really care.  I guess I’m insignificant.”
“What’s your name?”  Iron Maiden asked.
“Peter Garner.  Dragonfly.”
“And what are your powers, Dragonfly?” Iron Maiden asked, unsure if she was humouring him or not.
“I can float gently on warm air currents.”
“So you can fly?”
“Not really, no.  I have to start quite high, like off the top of buildings.  And I don’t really have much control over where I go.  It’s not flying.  More kind of drifting.”
“I see,” Iron Maiden drained her drink and looked mournfully into the empty glass.
“Can I get you another?” Dragonfly asked.
“Sure,” Iron Maiden grinned.  “You can get my tab if you like,” she tried hopefully.
“No problem, I’d love to,” he smiled shyly and blushed. “Then maybe you’d like to meet the others?”
“The others?” She asked.
“Yeah.  The other Imperceptibles.”
“Say again?”
“It’s my group.  My team.  We’re all C-Class abnormals.  We hang out together, you know, just for fun.”
“You have a whole team full of people with vague super-powers?”
“Sure,” Dragonfly said.  “Come meet them.  They’ll love you.  Your costume is so awesome.  It almost looks real.”


2 Responses to “Iron Maiden, Issue #003”

  1. False Bill Says:

    Not a trap at all, honest. ;) I recall dragonfly was reference as likely to last less than a week as an abnormals, in the old manual.

    GMs Comment:
    In fact, Dragonfly has an long and colourful history in games I’ve run. He first appeared (as a man) in a tabletop game of Golden Heroes about 28 years ago! He was an NPC hero who the PCs encountered, briefly, before he was killed by a nasty character called Nightmare Man. He reappeared in a game of Champions about ten years later, again as an NPC but this time a woman, and was killed almost immediately by a serial-killer called Slice. He popped up in a weird super-hero / dungeons & dragons mash-up as a recurring ally and managed to survive for about half a campaign before being torn apart by a fish-headed alien. His final appearance was in the Abnormals V1 rulebook, but I’m fond of the fellow and so he’s crept back into my brain again and so onto the computer screen of the game. You may ask, if I’m so fond of him, why I keep having him killed in such painful ways. :) I guess that’s just how I roll. :)

  2. Keith Nixon Says:

    Ooh, crossover reference to Got Gal’s storyline.
    As Bill said there is a Dragonfly in the illustrations for the old manual, but I think that one was a she. Also Superhero Story.


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