Friday, May 12, 2017

The New Scrap Pile

While I still mean to build some posts around old screenshots and City of Heroes reminiscences, I'm also still really busy with the novel I'm working on, conventions, house stuff concerning our relatively recent move, and a bunch of other distractions.

Meanwhile, the Scrap Pile has spawned a role-playing (real role-playing, not MMO or other computer stuff) campaign about its successors.

I suppose it's kind of ironic that, if you go there right after I post this, the first thing you'll see is a recycled story from here, but there's a lot more to read if you keep going. City of Heroes characters who pop up in the New Scrap Pile campaign include Captain Scrappy, Citrus Shocker, Starbryte, Freefall Brawler, the Angry Beet, Zombie Lizard Moll, Pork Chop, and several members of the Unbeholden. And probably some others I forgot.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Night Shift

While Skyway Shocker continues to avoid contact with the media, we have word from an anonymous source identified only as a "fan" that she most likely is, as previously speculated, the displaced Paragon City heroine, Citrus Shocker.

Posing as a variety of rescued civilians and fans, our source was able to occasionally speak with the elusive heroine and put a few things together. While Crey doesn't have anywhere near the power here that they did in Paragon City, Shocker believes that a group of their enhanced agents has been able to entrench itself in several Millennium City organizations, creating a web of conspirators able to access valuable technological and financial resources at will. She also claims to know the name of this alleged conspiracy: The Night Shift.

As Skyway Shocker became more visible to the public, the Night Shift or, more likely, random criminal elements that were simply out of her league, made Millennium City more and more dangerous for her, so she spent some time in the wilds of northern Canada, fighting ice demons and other strange menaces.

We don't have a lot of pictures from the Arctic. Apparently our source didn't like the cold. When Skyway Shocker came back, it was with a new costume and some new inventions. Of special note were a sleeker, more compact jet pack and a pair of hovering drones that vastly improved on her previous models.

She has since been seen fighting crime on several occasions in the city, even helping out with a disturbing outbreak of spontaneous combustion.

There has still been no sign of any of her compatriots in the Scrap Pile, and our source has not been able to get her to comment on the matter at all, except for, on one particularly pleasant afternoon, a smirk, followed by, "Tell your friends they'll be along."

Regarding her undisguised operation in areas where this "Night Shift" can easily strike at her, Shocker's attitude confirmed previous assumptions that she was, in fact, eager to see them try. Asked about her flight to the Arctic, she acknowledged that she "hadn't fully accounted for... some things." On another occasion, she confirmed that she "wasn't ready then, but now I know exactly what I'm facing."

UPDATE: Our source turned out to be a shape-shifting robot. It was found on our front step today, short-circuited, with several components missing. A note was left clipped to its jacket that said, "See?"

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Stars, Specters, and Super-Powers

Three of the stories in this book (Mister Blue Sky, The Man Comes Around, and Misfits & Mistakes)  feature The Scrap Pile, The Enigmas, and several other characters that we originally created in City of Heroes. "Mister Blue Sky" has a lot of things that will look familiar if you've ever played the winter event. "A Bad Habit" is also a super-hero story, but it's much older than City of Heroes.

And hey, it's only 99 cents on Kindle!

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Skyway Shocker

Fleeing the authorities after a run-in with the Crey Corporation that ended with several warrants for her arrest, Citrus Shocker was last seen heading for the Shadow Shard portal on Peregrine Island.

Over a year later, Skyway Shocker was reported to be working with the Champions in Millennium City. The weaponry seems to be  more exotic and possibly more advanced, but Skyway Shocker bears a remarkable resemblance in both face and attitude to the rarely-masked heroine, wields the same lightning-based powers, and even wears a costume similar to the best known of Citrus Shocker's many outfits.

Skyway Shocker has thus far avoided any interaction with the media. If this is the same person, she almost seems to be daring whatever remains of Crey to come after her. If not, well, that would be even stranger. So far, however, none of her compatriots in the Scrap Pile, even Captain Scrappy, have been spotted.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Echo of Mercy

Mercy has decided that her old name no longer matters.

In her old life, under her old name, she worked for the Lizard Moll's gang. Nothing flashy - she wasn't a supervillain herself, or even a soldier. She just monitored some of the start-ups around Mercy Island, keeping tabs on potential rivals. It wasn't glamorous work, but she enjoyed it.

Then the Storm came and world started to crack. Mercy Island was torn apart from beneath and sank into the ocean. Swimming desperately for one of the escaping ships, Mercy was caught in a wave of glowing green sludge from some Arachnos experiment and dragged, choking and burning, into the depths.

She awoke under a pier in Millennium City, a strange shore in an alien world. The city was being attacked by insectoid aliens. Some new form of Rikti? Nobody recognized that word. The humans here, who seemed shorter than humans in her world, called them Qularr. One of the creatures came at her and the flailing arm she threw up to fend it off went right through its carapace. At first, she thought they must be incredibly fragile, but soon she realized that the people weren't small and the bugs weren't weak. She was the one who had changed.

She joined in the fight, helping to drive away the bugs, and someone asked her who she was. She meant to say, "I'm the echo of Mercy Island," but all that came out was, "Mercy."

While she had never had any great respect for the law, Mercy was a survivor. She had been accepted as a hero when she helped fight off the Qularr, and she found that this was a comfortable life. No reason to put all that at risk by robbing banks or trying to rule the world. She found that she had a violent temper now. She suspected that some of this came from the chemicals that had transformed her, but she was also angry and frustrated at the loss of her home, her family, and her friends. Taking that frustration out on criminals, however, was enough. She sometimes wonders what it would be like to go farther, but so far has not seen any reason to try it.

On Halloween, the dead rose, and demons clawed their way through the veil of worlds. Millennium City felt like home for the first time.

In the chaos, Mercy stumbled across a thrilling revelation: she was not alone.

Fighting her way through a horde of zombies, she found herself in a group of other heroes who had done the same. Together, they dove into the portal and confronted the demonic entity beyond. One of the heroes was from Paragon City.

Despite her elation, of course, Mercy had to conceal some of the details of her own origins. Still, after a long chat over pumpkin-spiced cocktails, she found out that she and Aleph-Ka weren't the only survivors. Several other heroes, and possibly other not-so-heroic sorts, had washed up on these shores over the past year.

It was good to make a connection with someone from her home world, but it was even better to realize that she could make a connection, period. Maybe this world, this life, could be more than just bearable, after all.