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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Default Re: Sharkguard: The Sea-Roaring Defender IC

    Your repositioning teaches you the following things:

    1. "One to the left" is not the answer, as only the green block's light remains lit, and the forcefield doesn't so much as flicker.
    2. After the first failed attempt, the blocks have become noticeably heavier. About twice as heavy, in fact. While the blocks are still feather-light to someone who once raised an oil tanker over his head, it seems the engineers weren't simply content with letting you figure out the puzzle at your leisure. Get too many of these wrong, and you'll be straining muscles as well as brainpower.

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    Current Configuration

    Pedestals


    Blocks


  2. - Top - End - #122
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    Default Re: Sharkguard: The Sea-Roaring Defender IC

    With Sharkguard realizing he's now playing the physical version of Mastermind, he makes sure to try and think more carefully... And smarter. He had little idea how cryptic this was going to be, so first he made the look for clues, he checked around the room quickly to see if he could find anything of a hint, like a projector or light amplifier of any kind. He wouldn't be making another chance on the blocks until he found a clue of any sort.

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    Notice check: (1d20+4)[22]
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  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Default Re: Sharkguard: The Sea-Roaring Defender IC

    The search uncovers... not much, really. There are no projectors or emitters. In fact, there is nothing in the room besides the blocks, the pedestals, the forcefield (and the door behind it), and two cameras, so the audience can watch you work.

    Your sharp senses do discover something, almost by accident. When searching down around the base of the green-trimmed block, you spot a tiny, almost unreadably small letter A, stamped near one of the corners. A close check of the other blocks reveals that all of them also have minute markings as well. ((Results below, in the diagram.))

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    Current Configuration. The order of the letters is below.

    Pedestals


    Blocks

    H--K--A--S--R

  4. - Top - End - #124
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    Default Re: Sharkguard: The Sea-Roaring Defender IC

    Sharkguard was getting a little worried as he finds difficulty with searching for clues. Such a puzzle definitely was cryptic to him and the lack of hints would end up making him guess like a raving lunatic until he hit a brick wall. Thankfully the absolutely tiny markings he noticed gave a bit of hope in him as he gave a mental image of everything he knew so far. So the green pedestal had the marking of 'A' and placing the green block on it was seemingly the answer... So perhaps it was a matter of order? Green block on A, Red block on H, Blue block on K, Purple block on R, and Yellow block on S, in that order. Or perhaps it was a matter of naming? Perhaps Sharkguard needed to spell out a name using both the letters on the pedestal and the first letter of each colored block.

    The confusion he was having is almost astounding. He bet the fans were having a riot over this... Then Sharkguard notices what the letters on the pedestal can be made into. KHASR can become SHARK. There was his next hint right there. Now he wondered why the Green block worked with the pedestal marked A. He recalled what colors DIDN'T work for each pedestal.

    Red Pedestal = Red/Yellow Block
    Blue Pedestal = Blue/Red Block
    Green Pedestal = Non-Green Block
    Yellow Pedestal = Yellow/Purple Block
    Purple Pedestal = Purple/Blue Block


    Thinking to himself, if he was to spell out his own name then it would make sense why A would be in the middle... Yet the sense it made wasn't quite there yet. How to determine the rest... Sharkguard took a chance by placing the Red block on the Yellow pedestal, the Blue block on the Red pedestal, the Yellow block on the Purple pedestal and the Purple block on the Blue pedestal. He went under the idea of that the name SHARK being jumbled was actually an order for how the pedestals were set up from left to right and where the blocks should respectively go. So it was like a code.

    Going from Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, and Purple.
    Going from S, H, A, R, and K.

    So when the latter becomes H, K, A, S, and R. The blocks need to switch formation as well, so it becomes Blue, Purple, Green, Red, and Yellow, from left to right. Hopefully this was the correct logic Sharkguard had.
    Last edited by Starsign; 2012-04-19 at 03:41 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #125
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    Default Re: Sharkguard: The Sea-Roaring Defender IC

    The blocks are getting increasingly hefty, about four times what they were when the challenge started. Your re-arranging doesn't seem to have helped any, either. Only the green block remains teasingly lit. This part of the course must be close to one of the speaker poles, because outside, you can hear Joseph giving a little speal to the audience, explaining the weight-gaining blocks; prototypes of ASTRO Labs new Gravitational Anchors- Hold fast with no messy foundations to dig! You can also hear what sounds like laughter starting to spread through the audience. If nothing else, your struggles seem to be entertaining people.

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    Current Configuration. The letters are not on the pedestals, they are on the blocks themselves. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

    Pedestals


    Blocks

    R--S--A--K--H

  6. - Top - End - #126
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    Default Re: Sharkguard: The Sea-Roaring Defender IC

    Once Sharkguard realizes how his attempt failed again, he notices just HOW badly he was overthinking this. "...Yarrrg... This kind o' puzzle ain't ever something I had ta deal with on ta seas," he says to no one in particular as he goes to properly solve this. Instead of overthinking this like a lunatic, Sharkguard rearranges the blocks to spell out S-H-A-R-K instead of... Whatever he did before. Purple block on the Red pedestal, Yellow block on the Blue pedestal, Blue block on the Yellow pedestal, and the Red block on the Purple pedestal, keeping the Green block alone. "THERE!" Sharkguard practically shouts in frustration as he finishes with that. Once the forcefield is, hopefully, down, Sharkguard will move onto the next room.
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  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Default Re: Sharkguard: The Sea-Roaring Defender IC

    The four remaining lights pop on, and at long last, the forcefield powers down. Behind it, the steel exit door falls open with a clang, revealing not a hallway or another challenge, but what appears for all the world to be... a big waterslide, coiling down and out of sight into a massive tank underneath the main course structure. The prop guys have done a fine job. A wave machine, rocks for the waves to crash against, and proper ocean flora and fauna have turned the swimming pool into a slice of the sea right in the middle of downtown. They even got the sharp salt smell of the air right.

    "SHARK, eh? Well, if you insist. Most sharks live in the water, though. Let's see what our hero can do under the waves."

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    You got the puzzle. On we go!
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  8. - Top - End - #128
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    Default Re: Sharkguard: The Sea-Roaring Defender IC

    Sharkguard had prepared for whatever in the world was ahead but the big waterslide of sorts, along with the tank of sea-life water, brought much glee upon the shark-man as he immediately dives head first down the waterslide. "Now THIS is more ta my likin'!" He shouts excitingly as he slides down to the ocean tank and into the water. From the sea-life to the salty air, Sharkguard felt much at peace; an ironic feeling considering where he is at right now. Regardless, the shark-man hurried onward through the sea to the destination he was to reach. Naturally he expected plenty of obstacles to haunt his way, or try to. From the waves to the rocks, heck probably other sharks and electric eels too. Speed was the focus here however, to try and make up time for getting stuck on the puzzle; Sharkguard avoids halting as he can to get to the end unless another puzzle got in the way.
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  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Default Re: Sharkguard: The Sea-Roaring Defender IC

    There are fish and sharks (little ones) swimming around, but nothing that would actually attack you. They seem to be more for decoration than anything. After a short swimming burst, you encounter your first undersea challenge. Ahead of you in the water, you can see a series of hoops, like the ones they had set up for Megastar's aerial maneuvers, though a bit larger, to accommodate your frame.

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    Can I get three Swimming checks from you, please, just save a little time as I write this up?
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  10. - Top - End - #130
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    Default Re: Sharkguard: The Sea-Roaring Defender IC

    As tempted as the shark-man was, he kept himself from taking a bite of the fish and sharks. This wasn't a diner after all and Sharkguard had lunch not too long ago anyway. Instead his focus was on the hoops coming up ahead. Sharkguard had to admit that he actually focused a lot on his strength for moving around in water. He had skill in swimming, but mostly he put large focus on being quick over being agile. Still it didn't mean he wouldn't try for agility as he begins moving quickly through the hoops, making sure he didn't touch them with any part of his body.
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  11. - Top - End - #131
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    Default Re: Sharkguard: The Sea-Roaring Defender IC

    Built for speed over agility or not, you've burned through the underwater section up to this point. As you enter the ring course, however, your dorsal fin brushes ever so slightly against the top of one of the loops, and your bioelectric senses pick up a surge just before the ring bursts into crackling life, a powerful current shocking through the water around it, and you! It looks like they found a way to make you swim through "flaming" hoops underwater after all!

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    Make a Fort save, DC 25, and one more Swimming Check (DC 25), to avoid losing control at this new development and touching the other hoops. Failure on the Fort save means you are dazed. Failure by more than 5 means you are stunned.
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    Default Re: Sharkguard: The Sea-Roaring Defender IC

    As his bioelectric senses kick in, Sharkguard's eyes widen notably just before the electrical current of rings appear. Regrettably he had touched one of the hoops, so the electricity runs through his body in a fury. Thunderous lighting wasn't really a weakness to him, but it was enough to try his body when it crackled at a high enough voltage like in this case. Sharkguard made a loud growl as he tries to keep focus and shrug off the effects of the electricity. To completely halt now would be a poor performance after what Johnny and Megastar went through. He remembers how Alyssa was probably watching; he didn't want to let her down, nor did he want to make her worry!

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    Fortitude save: (1d20+15)[28]
    Swimming check: (1d20+7)[21]
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  13. - Top - End - #133
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    Default Re: Sharkguard: The Sea-Roaring Defender IC

    That surge of adrenaline and determination seems to do the trick. Shaking off the electrical burst, you manage to make it through the remainder of the course in record time, while avoiding contact with any of the rest of the sparking electric rings.

    Beyond the rings is a clear area, designed to look like a coral reef. Beyond that, you can see a ramp leading up and out of the pool. As you exit the rings and enter this tranquil-looking space, all hell breaks loose. The water begins to swirl rapidly, the surface turning to froth as a churning vortex appears, kicking up sand and sending the fish scattering. An immense pressure builds as the raging whirlpool forms, pulling you towards the center!

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    The 2nd and 3rd of the original swimming checks passed, so you make it through the rings without further trauma.

    Now the real fun begins, though! A DC 20 Reflex check will get you past the whirlpool, otherwise you get caught in the vortex. Mechanics wise, consider it a Regenerating Area Snare (with a little GM fiat).

    It's up to you how you want to escape. Make whatever rolls you think you be necessary for your tactic, and RP it out. I'll resolve it. If it's really awesome, you get a HP.
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  14. - Top - End - #134
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    Default Re: Sharkguard: The Sea-Roaring Defender IC

    Sharkguard's look of confidence returns as he begins dashing through the hoops, avoiding the electrical shocks that emitted from the circular hoops. Like with Megastar however, there was another, final trap waiting for the shark-man. He shouldn't have been surprised that it was a whirlpool, of which would provide an... Interesting challenge for him. "Yarr! Ta bane o' all seafarers!" Whirlpools were never fun, and for someone who can't breathe underwater, deadly. Sharkguard had a number of options available; avoiding it was unlikely with his reflexes so he'd need to be a bit more creative.

    While Sharkguard had a way of getting around it, sometimes he enjoys the path of most resistance. When in the whirlpool, Sharkguard begins swimming in the opposite direction, using his strength to counteract the whirlpool's speed and eventually try to make one of his own to pacify the raging swirl of the water. If he could accomplish that, then it's smooth sailing to the end.

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    Making my Reflex save which I will so botch (1d20+2)[6]

    And I'll be making a swim check since I'm pretty much moving against a whirlpool: (1d20+17)[33] Would my four ranks in my Swimming power assist any?
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    Default Re: Sharkguard: The Sea-Roaring Defender IC

    At first, it's all you can do not to get pulled back into the swirling vortex, let alone move forward, but slowly, painfully slowly, you begin fighting through the raging whirlpool. For some time, it seems to do little against the powerful torrent, but Sharkguard is built for the water, like a torpedo, and bit by bit your wake begins to churn against the whirlpool, disrupting the current. Faster and faster you go, until finally, the vortex breaks apart, disrupted by the powerful wake created behind you. The "sea" returns to its calm state for a few vital moments, leaving you a clean shot to the ramp up and out of the water, and the finish line just beyond.

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    Normally, no, Swimming the travel power and Swimming the skill are separate, but in this case, it seems reasonable, since you're focusing on speed. In also gets you over the DC I had set for this in my mind, so consider it a success.

    Also, that was a pretty clever idea, so HP awarded. You currently have 5, just for reference.
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    Default Re: Sharkguard: The Sea-Roaring Defender IC

    At the start, Sharkguard was honestly not sure if a maneuver such as this was going to work. He hadn't seen many whirlpools in his life and being in one was something he'd never done before. The painfully slow progress made might have made the shark-man try for a different strategy had he not been so stubborn. With his strength and perseverance however, he tranquil the water for a moment as he lets out a big "HAH!" With the exit in sight, Sharkguard made haste to the ramp and out of the water. So long as nothing like a last-minute trap appeared, Sharkguard made his way to the finish line; he was glad to have finished the course at last.
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  17. - Top - End - #137
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    Default Re: Sharkguard: The Sea-Roaring Defender IC

    There are no more nasty surprises waiting for you above the surface, just a clear path to the finish line, about 10 feet from the water. As you cross at long last, the crowd erupts into loud cheers.

    "That may have been the toughest course of them all, but Sharkguard stuck it out and battled his way through in fine style. The Savior of the Seven Seas proves his worth once more!"

    A second wave of applause follows the announcement. The other heroes also come over to congratulate you. "Man, they didn't pull any punches with you, did they? That looked a real pain t' get though."

    "I figured you were a little too old to be playing around with blocks, Jaws." Johnny teases. "Nice job. Those electric rings looked wicked."

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    Congratulations, you survived!
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  18. - Top - End - #138
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    Default Re: Sharkguard: The Sea-Roaring Defender IC

    As Sharkguard crosses the finish line, he could hear the all-too-familiar yet wonderful cheering from the crowd. The obstacle course was a challenge and it put more than his muscle to the test. However when he overcomes the challenge and is greeted by the cheer of those in watching, it's always worth it. The shark-man raises a fist into the air as a sign of victory as he gives off a proud "RAWR!". Always put up a good show before, during, and after the event; that is and always has been Sharkguard's plan when it came to his superhero life. Actual superheroics are the top priority, but whenever he could, he loved to put on a show.

    As he sees Megastar and Johnny move up towards him, Sharkguard waves to the two before responding to their congratulations. "It ain't nothin' Megastar," he says to the teen. "Yarr own course didn't look any easier; mine just looked harder." Sharkguard then responds to Johnny with, "Well I be overestimating the brains of the technicians. Still a challenge. I just prefer leavin' brainpower to ta actual masterminds, aye?" He still felt embarrassed on how long he took to complete the block puzzle. Perhaps taking a couple lessons from the intellectual heroes would be a good idea. "If by 'wicked' yarr meant 'awesome,' then I'd agree! Gotta say I be glad they added the electric rings. Else I'd be sailin' through the course faster than a sonic jet in ta skies!" His sentence is clearly an exaggeration but enjoyed making the comparison regardless.
    Last edited by Starsign; 2012-04-24 at 09:57 PM.
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  19. - Top - End - #139
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    Default Re: Sharkguard: The Sea-Roaring Defender IC

    Joesph comes over a couple minutes after you've finished the course, a laid-back smile on his face for the first time that day. "Congrats, you guys! That's the last of the real intense stuff. Well, there's another 'challenge' in a couple minutes, but somehow I don't think playing around with the kids is going to test you the way say, that obstacle course did."

    "I have to say, you guys made this a lot of fun. I was worried this was going to be a disaster, but this is the first time since we started this 5 years ago that I wasn't running around trying to keep everything from falling apart the whole time. Turns out superheroes can actually look after themselves. Who knew? I sure hope we get to do this again next year."

    "Anyway, the kids. We've got a chunk of the park set off from the rest of the tents and stages and whatnot." He points to the far northern corner of Liberty Park, where there's a running track with a grassy area in the middle. "They've been promised they can 'challenge' you guys, so be willing to take some punches and run some races, OK? You'll be free to mingle with them, talk and sign autographs and all that jazz afterwards. Megastar, I talked it over with Dr. Chase, and they're going to let you fly with the kids, provided you follow the ground rules; one at a time, only above the athletic field, and only 30 feet and below."

    "I'm sure the press will want to talk to you too, but if they do that's not part of the event, totally optional. Any questions before we go wrap this up?"

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    Default Re: Sharkguard: The Sea-Roaring Defender IC

    Sharkguard crosses his arms with a smile as he sees Joseph come over. From the beginning of the fundraiser to now, it didn't feel like it took very long. With a little luck he may even have some time to spare before taking Alyssa home. "Yarr call this," he points his thumb to the obstacle course he just completed, "a challenge?" In terms of completing it quickly, it was a challenge to the shark-man. However he liked being less modest and more confident when it came to the public view. "This was a heck o' a time. 'bout more fun in one day than a sailor can find in his life, aye?" As a sailor, he partially knew by experience. Before arriving in Freedom City he juggled his sailor life and his superhero life. While he loved being a sailor, it was being a superhero where he found the most excitement. He had never regretted becoming what he is now.

    The idea of having fun with the children almost made Sharkguard show his toothy grin. However doing that where the children could easily see him didn't seem like a good idea. He didn't want to scare the children after all. "Well that sounds plan Joseph. I be wanting to show off a little for ta kids. Maybe once can even beat me in a race, yarharhar!" He wasn't into races like other people, but it wouldn't stop him from doing it. "Guess there ain't any chance o' me riding anyone over the water?" He might as well ask while he had the chance. Sharkguard wanted to Alyssa to ride him over the seas one day. It was one way to really experience the seas. Of course to him, it ain't ever a true experience unless you use a sailboat or a pirate ship.

    With the mention of the rules for Megastar flying the kids, Sharkguard put a small, smug look and said, "Megastar ridin' children through ta skies at sonic speeds? Good thing I got me medkit!" He winks to Megastar like he was joking. "But naw. I got's yarr the best o' confidence for you youngling."
    Last edited by Starsign; 2012-04-26 at 08:05 PM.
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  21. - Top - End - #141
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    Default Re: Sharkguard: The Sea-Roaring Defender IC

    Joseph frowns, thinking your question over. "Don't see why not. The river's edge is technically part of the park." He thumbs his walkie-talkie and repeats the question to his superiors. After a minute, he gives you a thumbs up. "Yep, you're good to go. If you want to take some of the kids for a ride, feel free. Just stick to this section of the river, and one at a time, please."
    ...

    When finally given the green light, the kids swarm around you and the other heroes in an adoring horde. Some are just those who came out for the fundraiser with their families, but most are patients at the hospital, and you can tell getting to meet you is a real bright spot. Some of the younger and smaller ones clamber up your hulking frame like a jungle gym.

    "Heh, you look like a Christmas tree with all of 'em hanging off you like that." Megastar drops down, a boy sitting on his back, 'piloting' his superhero ride. "You want to race? I can't go too fast anyway, you might win fair and square." A young girl who's been following you around, looking absolutely starstruck since the session began finally finds her voice at Megastar's challenge. A tiny, rather sickly-looking redhead with freckle covered cheeks, she pipes up, a mischievous glint in her eye. "We can beat them! Right, Sharkguard?"

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    Despite calling it a "challenge", this section is really free-form.

  22. - Top - End - #142
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    Default Re: Sharkguard: The Sea-Roaring Defender IC

    Sharkguard looks to the river with glee as he gets the green light to take children for a ride. "Aye! I be sure to follow ta rules. Make sure that yarr gots plenty of life preservers." The shark-man never really used the word "lifejackets." He felt that it lacked the same meaning that a life preserver did. It didn't really matter though; right now it was about the children.

    ...And Sharkguard very quickly found himself swarmed by the children. He was glad that they weren't terrified of him but he got the feeling Alyssa would be very jealous if she saw this. The numerous children on him was rather cute to the shark-man. He had little trouble lifting them as he lets a couple hang on his arms and a few more hold onto his head and neck. Megastar's comment of him as a Christmas tree wasn't really off the mark that much. Sharkguard's response however was a friendly yet deadpan, "Yardyharhar Megastar..." This certainly wasn't the first time he was compared like that regardless if it was a serious one or not. He had noticed how Megastar was flying the kids around. It seemed like so much fun and he wished he or Alyssa could fly around sometime.

    On the subject of the race, Sharkguard gave a sign of interest to the teen. He says to the girl, "Well I ain't evah one to back off from challenges," as he picks up the girl and helps her get into a life preserver. "Okay Megastar, this old sailor accepts yarr challenge!" He points to one end of the river and then points to the other. "We race from one end of the river to ta other. Make sure not to take shortcuts now. Johnny! Yarr can judge for us?" He checks to see how Johnny is doing. Hopefully he isn't too busy running laps around the field at a rate where it looks like a circular shield of energy.
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  23. - Top - End - #143
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    Default Re: Sharkguard: The Sea-Roaring Defender IC

    Johnny pops up out of nowhere next to you. "Sure, I'll be your judge. I can keep an eye on you two easy enou- augh!" The speedster gets buried under a swarm of kids from behind as he talks. He picks himself up and shouts "Alright, you asked for it! I'm it, now!" as the children scatter away, laughing.

    "We're playing team tag. They're one team. I'm the other." He adds by way of explanation.

    "OK, I'm cool with your course, Sharkguard. Come on, Miles, let's leave these suckers in the dust!" Megastar hovers over the sidewalk where the edge of the park meets the Wading River as it flows through town. A few members of the press have noticed the impromptu challenge, and have gathered along the riverbank snapping pictures, knowing a good photo-op when they see one. One sets himself up at the "finish line" several blocks downriver, guaranteeing our heroes a photo finish.

    "Time out, guys! Geez, I'm actually having to try, they're slippery little buggers..." Johnny calls a truce with his kids and switches to judging mode. "OK, you both obey Joseph's rules, I don't want anyone getting hurt, even by accident. You will race from here..." he vanishes in a flash and reappears in the distance, on the bridge at the far end of the park. "...to here!" the Rocket shouts back. Another flash, and he's back at the starting "line." "No cutting corners, and that means you, Megastar. Alright, everyone ready? Then... on your marks... get set... GO!"

  24. - Top - End - #144
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    Sharkguard gives a comedic shrug and sighs as he sees Johnny playing tag with the kids. The shark-man would be in a world of trouble if he was in the speedster's position at that moment. Running was always a poor way to go for him and in a tag situation like that, he would just get trounced. If Sharkguard was going to race however, he couldn't do it with everyone on him. "Alrighty younglings, everyone off." Sharkguard had no need of forcing them off him as he made his way to the "starting line."

    "Okay missy," he says to the young girl as he gets into the water. "Telling yarr now, hold tight and don't get seasick. He didn't plan on going full speed, but when Sharkguard did, he moved incredibly fast. Someone without a strong stomach would very easily belch during or at the end of it. Even if this was a race, the young girl's safety comes first. On the river just under the bridge, Sharkguard bends down enough as if he was an Olympic swimmer. "Ready anytime," he calls out to confirm his readiness.

    When Johnny gives the word, Sharkguard takes off down the river. His start is a little slow to make sure the young girl didn't fall off. Once he got going however, he accelerated quickly. He can get rather competitive when it came to this and kept his eye on Megastar in the meantime. As he went, he asked the girl riding him, "Yarr alright so far missy?" He didn't want her getting ill over competitiveness after all.
    Midterms are happening this week. Will very likely be very busy this week.

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  25. - Top - End - #145
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    "Yes sir!" Clinging to your dorsal fin, the young girl looks to be having a grand time. Johnny zips past several times, monitoring you and Megastar, keeping pace without breaking a sweat. Chris and Miles, his "pilot," swing around the corner a body length or two ahead of you, easy prey if you can keep it up for the next couple of twists and turns in the river. On the riverbank, some of the kids and a few of the more enthusiastic reporters are cheering their hero of choice on. "Come on, let's get 'im!"

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    Much like the young girl riding him, Sharkguard was indeed having a blast racing Megastar down the river. He wasn't surprised at how Johnny easily kept up but the shark-man kept his eye out in case there were kids trying to sneak up on the speedster. On the actual course, Sharkguard could see the twists and turns ahead. At the little girl's behest, Sharkguard calls out, "Yarr got it missy," as he swims in a blistering hurry down the twisty river. His movement keeps the agility his huge body usually has, but he does often find himself sliding his body against the river's walls a few times. It was nothing serious as Sharkguard uses his body like a skateboard through a half-pipe. He moves to pass Chris and his rider. Hopefully he'd reach the finish line before the flying teen did.
    Midterms are happening this week. Will very likely be very busy this week.

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    "Wheee!" The young girl, who, with that sort of logic that only makes sense to kids, has chosen the middle of the race to explain that her name was Kaylee, and that she was a patient at the hospital, and that this was the best day ever, holds on gamely as you tear down the river. Megastar is also going as fast as possible, Miles flattened down on his back to make the pair more "aerodynamic". All things being equal, he's probably moving a hair faster than you are. Hovering above the water, however, means he can't make the sharp turns off the channel walls you can. Your ability to go all-out without risking losing your rider ends up making the difference, as you go sailing under the bridge less than half a body length ahead of the flying pair.

    "There we go!" Johnny announces, standing on the span above you. "Sharkguard wins it by a nose! His nose, in fact!"

    "Aw, man! Sorry, buddy. I thought we had 'em!" Megastar apologizes as he delivers his charge to the riverbank. Miles doesn't seem to mind, more enthused about getting to fly than losing the race. Kaylee cheers loudly from your shoulders, joined by those who had been rooting for you from the water's edge.

  28. - Top - End - #148
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    Sharkguard wasn't looking at how close Megastar was when he crossed under the bridge. Focusing on the river made it difficult to look somewhere else. He mostly hoped that Megastar didn't perform some sort of last-second pass that he had often seen in fictional and non-fictional media. Thankfully that wasn't the case as he wins by a rather close length. Sharkguard does his best to hide his surprise as he stands up and gets out of the river; holding onto Kaylee well while now riding him piggyback-style. "I be lovin' the salty taste of success! Aye Kaylee?" He talks with his rider as he lets himself be greeted by the press. Hopefully the young girl wouldn't mind that.

    Once he got a good moment in, he went over to Megastar. "Good race Megastar," he says happily as he goes to shake the teen's hand. "Don't feel to bad about it. Miles here seems to had fun either way. That's the important part, aye?" No one getting hurt meant that things couldn't have gone better. The kids had fun, the racers had fun, and the observers had fun. "Just be ready to give me a hand next time an invading warship appears above Freedom City." He winks to Megastar, a little jealous of the teen's flight powers but ultimately glad the shark-man doesn't have them. Would be pretty strange seeing him flying through the skies on his own.

    If he got the chance, Sharkguard put down Kaylee in a quiet place to try and talk to her quietly. Discussion during a race was not the most ideal of circumstances. "Kaylee, would you be alright if I be askin' why you are a patient at the hospital?" Children of many forms end up in the hospital one way or another, whether it's a physical, mental, or emotional defect or injury. Sharkguard wanted to try and get to know people of very young age. He was quite old and had forgotten what it was like to be young. He didn't mind his age but liked remembering what life is like when one is a child.
    Midterms are happening this week. Will very likely be very busy this week.

    Sharkguard avatar done by Darth Raynn!

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    "Heh, it's a deal." Megastar grins as he lets Miles off. "OK, who's next?"

    Once most of the reporters have wandered back off towards the rest of the park and you've gotten a bit of privacy, Kaylee opens up a bit. She appears to be around Alyssa's age, maybe a little younger, probably in third grade. She smiles, and it's obvious she's not going to refuse you, but she does seem a bit put out.

    "Do we have to talk about it? I'm sick of talking about it, everyone asks the same questions. It even stayed on during the race, I thought nobody noticed today..." Realizing that you meant no harm and were just asking a simple question about something she'd said, she glances around, clearly embarrassed, then gently lifts up her hair, showing you that the bright red strands are actually a wig.

    "I have leukemia." she explains, with the air of someone much more weary and practiced at talking about such things than someone her age should be. "That's why I have to stay at the hospital. The treatments, one of them makes all your hair fall out, and I got so sick of people staring that they got me new hair, until mine can finally come back. I-I thought you'd seen it wasn't real..."

    She brightens up again. "It's been really cool getting to watch you today. They have to watch me really closely, so I don't get to leave very often. I have to spend more time at the hospital than I do at home. It sucks. I didn't think I'd actually get to meet you! You're my favorite, cuz I think sharks are awesome, and superheroes are awesome, and you're both!"

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    I hadn't planned to do anything further with Kaylee, but this strikes me as a good subplot, with what the second issue's going to have you doing and all, so you get a tearjerker story based on a buddy of mine.

  30. - Top - End - #150
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    Sharkguard was glad to have gotten a moment to talk quietly with Kaylee. He did indeed love the fame, but fame alone is something no one can live with. It would be especially bad for the press to get their eyes upon his private life. As the young girl talks, Sharkguard keeps a smile and friendly posture to her. He puts her down beside a tree near the border of the park and goes on one knee to stay at eye level with her. When she reveals about her leukemia however, his smile slowly fades and becomes a regretful frown. Bald hair had been something Sharkguard was familiar with; he had it himself for a long time as a sailor. However for a child to have it at such a young age... From her experience, it seemed like a very different thing. His eyes were focused on the wig for only a moment before turning back to Kaylee's weary face.

    "Kaylee..." Sharkguard wasn't quite sure where to start. Words didn't quite feel like the proper way to begin. He slowly grabs the young girl's hand with his own. He keeps no pressure on her hand, wanting her to feel his skin instead. Eventually though, he spoke up. "That sounds like a horrible time for a young girl such as yarrself." He keeps the accent up despite that they were in private. His rather quiet and remorseful tone very different to the young girl. "However," the shark-man carefully places the palm of his hand on the girl's cheek. "I want yarr to stay strong through it. I know it's been a hard experience, and it will still be a hard life with leukemia. Sharkguard quickly figured out where he would be taking this speech. "In me own opinion, it's surviving and overcoming that difficulty that is important. Life ain't without ta dangers and surprises that make it interesting. Beatin' it shows how strong one is and it's having ta will and bravery that others can be inspired from. And when things get really bad, remember who is important to yarr. Parents fight to protect their kids; sailors fight to protect ta sea; I fight to protect ta city. When yarr know what to fight for, it brings out a whole new feeling in people." Sharkguard loved the fame and thrills given by his work, but always had the city close to his heart; just like his hometown.

    "So can yarr promise me that missy?" Sharkguard gives a wink as his familiar smile returns. "I be sure yarr will find hair growing back normally. Yarr parents care about you, as do I. Plans be brewin' to cure these symptoms. Just stay strong and fight through this leukemia, aye?" He then goes to hug her if she allows it. Her body very tiny compared to his. "I'm glad yarr be likin' sharks. Remember that in ta waters they live in, they're as much protectors as they are predators; possibly more so." In his own eyes, Sharkguard believed that an ecosystem could not survive if a powerful bloodthirsty species existed within it. Every creature had a degree to which they needed to protect their home. He followed this philosophy well, almost like it was his personal aesop that he held in his heart.

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    Indeed it comes as a good subplot. I give my sympathies to your friend. He/She must have had a very hard time as well.
    Last edited by Starsign; 2012-05-05 at 11:26 PM.
    Midterms are happening this week. Will very likely be very busy this week.

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