Paradigm High

Issue 6: Check

The game begins with the heroes pounding on petty crooks in the street! It seems many of the students have encountered increased crime during their patrols – something must be going on behind the scenes, and Spence is working on puzzling it out. In the meantime, things are getting rocky between Bombshell and Stormcrow. Stormcrow has been moodier than usual, and he’s distant. He won’t even ask Bombshell to the upcoming Winter Masquerade Ball! Stormcrow decides to take off for Iowa, where he grew up, for the weekend, leaving Bombshell behind. In his absence, she makes plans to hang out with Gabe, a.k.a. Seraph, a very attractive Junior.

Red gets into some drama of her own. Hugh Messmann, once known as Captain Psyche, shows up at school, asking if he can speak with Red’s mother. Red admits that her mom told her to avoid him, but she wants to find out what’s going on, so she advises Mr. Messmann to come by their mansion under the ruse of wishing to speak with Red’s grandfather. Mr. Messmann stops by the following weekend, and Red witnesses a very awkward visit. Her mother refuses to meet Mr. Messmann’s eye, and she barely says a word the entire time. Red’s grandfather, upon learning of Mr. Messmann’s current career as a psychic psychologist, suggests that Mr. Messmann provide a session or two for his daughter. Mr. Messmann reluctantly agrees before departing.

Spence racks up some cool points at school by showing up Amp at lunch. While asking Red if she’d like to go to the dance with Ironlung, Spence is harassed by Amp in typical fashion. Barely breaking from his conversation, Spence uses his Freeze Ray and Portal Gun with staggering efficiency to break Amp’s attitude and make him back down. Also, Spence has secured Juke as his own date, though they’re just going as friends.

Spence requests the patrol reports from Mrs. Knight, the Actioneering teacher. With the reports, Spence discovers a pattern – the encounters form a chess rook on the map, though one dot is missing at the top. After a bit of research, Spence concludes that this must be a message sent by Black Castle, a mysterious mastermind, and that the last job will be at the missing dot on the map. It points directly at the Paradigm Museum.

The heroes stake out the museum, and Gomer, flying above in eagle form, spots a gang of crooks cross onto the museum’s roof and enter through skylights. On his signal, the heroes bust in and find themselves facing Professor Glitch, a technopath, The Trickster, a chaotic man with pumpkin bombs, and their many minions. The heroes smack around Professor Glitch and The Trickster, and then the super-powered teens that attacked the heroes last issue enter the fray! It seems that they’re commanding Glitch and Trickster. The heroes fight with everything they have, taking down the boy with silver eyes and the girl with deadly limbs. The only enemy remaining is Meltdown, the crazed girl with radioactive powers. Knowing she is bested, she unleashes a miniature nuclear blast, leveling the museum. The heroes emerge from the rubble, but their foes have escaped. What are these mysterious teens after? Was the entire crime spree a trap to lure the heroes into a confrontation? Who is going to ask Bombshell to the dance? Check in next time to find out – at Paradigm High!

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Issue 5: Echoes

Our heroes returned for the start of their Sophomore year at Paradigm High! Red spotted her mother gazing at a picture hidden in a dresser drawer. Deciding to snoop around, she found a framed photo of a super team she didn’t recognize. Red showed the picture to Spence, who identified the group as the Fearless Five. They disbanded about a decade ago, but of the surviving four members, three currently live in New York City – Captain Psyche, the psychic leader of the group, and Amp’s parents, Ion and Jetstream.

During a capture-the-flag Actioneering session, Bombshell demonstrated her new gravity powers, much to the surprise of everyone present. She’d kept them secret all summer as she practiced to master them. She had also spent the summer beating the snot out of Spence in order to teach him how to fight. Spence showed his newfound backbone at lunch when he stood up to Amp and almost got into a fight with him.

Suddenly, during lunch, the cops busted in and arrested Bombshell! They charged her with a smattering of crimes, including tons of property damage and grand theft! They hauled her off to the police station; the other heroes followed close behind – Spence called up his dad to act as Bombshell’s lawyer, and Red and Stormcrow jumped in to help. Bombshell met her mother for the first time in prison and learned that her arrest was a setup to get back at her mother. Bombshell’s mother said that someone, she assumes the remnant of Echidna, tried to blackmail her for her past research on body-altering chemicals. Bombshell relayed the information to her team, and they discovered that Echidna’s former president hired a shapeshifter and power mimic named Carbon to frame Bombshell. They tracked down Carbon and battled him and Viper, another Echidna project, into submission. However, just as the day seemed won, a trio of super-powered teens showed up. Their apparent leader, a psychokinetic named Roman Malcolm, displayed an impressive amount of power by dropping all of the heroes to the ground. He delivered a warning that he and his cohorts were the most powerful supers around, and that they’re going to prove it by beating our heroes. With that, they departed as quickly as they had come.

With Carbon in custody, all charges against Bombshell were dropped. Now that her family history has bubbled to the surface, she’ll need to explain herself to those close to her. And other questions have yet to be answered. Why was Red’s mother hiding that picture of the Fearless Five? What is the remnant of Echidna really after? Who were those mysterious super-powered teens who attacked the heroes? Find out this and more – next time at Paradigm High!

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Issue 4: Fathoms

After receiving the location of Echidna’s secret production facility, our heroes set to work! Spence created a diving bell in a single night to transport them down to the depths of the Atlantic. He also convinced classmate Bridget Palmer, a.k.a. Blue Beacon, to use her powers to reach the facility and take some recon photos for them.

After a week of school passed and the party made their plans, they (accompanied by The Fist) rode out on Scarlet’s grandfather’s yacht, the Red Lance, and descended in Spence’s rickety diving bell. The line snapped on the way down, and they plummeted down, crashing against the hull of Echidna’s facility! Bombshell blasted an entry point for the party, and they leaped into action.

The heroes battled their way through guards and chimeras to a massive room with rows of vats, which were brewing tons of Serum. However, it was a trap! The electrified floor activated, shocking them all into unconsciousness. As they blacked out, they saw a man in a lab coat approach.

When the heroes awoke, they were trapped in a sturdy cell. Sparks crackled over the electrified bars, preventing the heroes from grabbing them to bend them. However, a solution presented itself as Bombshell’s power manifested in a startling new way. She warped gravity itself, bending the bars, ceiling, and floor toward her. The ruined bars disrupted the electric field, enabling Red and Gomer to rip the bars aside.

Once free of their cage, Spence activated the facility’s evacuation protocol. The heroes pushed past the fleeing crowds and returned to the vats. There they faced Eric Linden, who was wearing four Serum injectors on his back. He shot himself full of the stuff and grew massive and muscled. With his fists and a huge cannon, he battered the heroes, but they destroyed the Serum injectors on his back, weakening him greatly. Then, through Spence injecting his goo in place of the Serum, and from superpowered attacks by Red, Gomer, and Bombshell, the heroes knocked Linden to the ground, unconscious. They grabbed him and returned to the surface using an invention provided by Ironlung. The flashing lights of the coast guard glittered off the water as they rounded up all of the Echidna evacuees. They took Linden into custody as well. His foul experiments were finished, and the threat of Serum was finally over.

This concludes the first year at Paradigm High!

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Issue 3: Beneath the Mask

We return to our heroes in the midst of a fight! They were pitted against Blue Beacon, Blink, Diesel, and Juke in Actioneering class. The eight students battled in the school’s arena, which was configured with massive cubes to resemble buildings and city streets. The PCs managed to work together and overcome their adversaries.

Later, at lunch, Bombshell realized that Blue Beacon was moving in on Stormcrow! To intervene, Bombshell approached their table and invited him to a trip to the mall, much to Blue Beacon’s irritation. (During their trip to the mall, Bombshell confessed her feelings for Stormcrow, and the two are now together)

At the popular table, Omegaman finally snapped after listening to his sister and the other kids exalt themselves for so long. He gave them all a verbal thrashing, broke up with Firebrand, and stormed off. Many of the other students were thoroughly impressed.

At home, Spence’s dad asked some pointed questions about the incidents surrounding the big Serum bust. Spence fessed up to his part in it, and his dad made it clear that he didn’t think Paradigm High was a safe place for his son. However, Spence’s mom defended him, so for now, nothing has changed.

During training, Scarlet’s mother muttered something about Scarlet’s father, who she never talked about. This rattled Scarlet to her core; she couldn’t even completely compose herself at school the next day, and her friends noticed that something was wrong.

Meanwhile, Bombshell’s uncle, Inferno, insisted on starting her on his own brand of training. He’s heard of the trouble she’s finding herself in, so he wants to make sure she can handle herself. To Bomshell’s surprise, the old man knows how to fight quite well. Plus, she might be able to get some real information about her parents from him.

After receiving a group assignment to patrol together, the PCs walked the evening streets of Paradigm City in search of trouble. Instead of common crooks, a man wielding metal fists on a chain attacked from the shadows! The heroes subdued him, and he revealed that he was the Fist, a small-time hero. He apologized for attacking and explained that he was testing the heroes to ensure that they were ready to go up against Echidna. The Fist revealed that he’d been keeping tabs on the PCs since they got involved, and that he knows where Echidna is producing Serum and the chimeras – in a secret lab at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean! Will our heroes brave the depths to stop Echidna’s plan? Find out next time – at Paradigm High!

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Issue 2: Monsters

The cold had come; winter had fallen on Paradigm City. Ours heroes were divided on the field of battle – in gym class! The Freshmen split into two teams and duked it out in a game of ultraball. It was the popular kids vs. just about everyone else, and while the popular kids came out a point ahead, they won at great cost. Everyone left the game battered, bruised, and ready for sleep.

Silhouette took Bombshell to a creepy warehouse, which she heard was haunted. Instead of ghosts, the girls found a group of thugs. The girls overheard the thugs discussing some job, and then they high-tailed it before a fight could break out. Later in the week, Bombshell spent an evening out with Stormcrow. Silhouette battered her with questions about it, leading Bombshell to realize that she wasn’t entirely sure how she felt about Stormcrow – or how he felt about her. Meanwhile, Gomer discovered Ash’s haven in the park, and Scarlet spent some time at Firebrand’s.

That weekend, PCs were called to the police station to go over the events of Eric Linden’s defeat and capture. The young heroes had no extra information to provide, and Officer Harris, their questioner, reluctantly admitted that someone had broken Linden out of jail. In addition, Linden’s Serum was back on the streets. With this information, the heroes made their way (courtesy of Scarlet’s butler) to the warehouse where Bombshell and Silhouette had spotted the thugs. The men were still hanging around, and after quick fight, the heroes subdued them. The thugs revealed that they were dealing Serum, which they picked up from dead drops.

The PCs then watched the drop location, a dumpster in an alley, and stunned the guy who placed a paper bag in it. However, he wasn’t alone. A 10-foot tall meld of machine and flesh, all pale and dangerous looking, jumped from the shadows and attacked. The heroes retaliated, and Gomer, dropping from a rooftop in bear form onto the creature, sent it running. The PCs interrogated the guy who dropped off the package, who, in exchange for protective custody, told them where he got the Serum.

Following his instructions, the heroes spied on a deal between the gangster distributors and the mysterious cooks, who were flanked by a pair of chimeras, more of those monsters like the heroes had defeated in the alley. The PCs dove through a skylight, unleashing furious attacks on all criminals present. They dropped quickly, and then the PCs discovered that the chimeras were actually living suits with pilots inside. Soon, the police were on the scene, congratulating the young heroes. Before the police had arrived, however, Scarlet’s butler had already come and gone, taking with him one of the chimeras. He summoned Spence, who managed to hack the thing and discover that it was created by Echidna! If they were involved with the production of Serum, then it seemed they hadn’t cut all their ties with Linden after all… Stay tuned to see what happens next – at Paradigm High!

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Issue 1: Brewing Storms

On their second day of school, the students were informed that the school would be hosting the New Faces Dance that coming Friday evening. The students would be paired up randomly, though they could choose partners if they registered before Friday. After school, Bombshell threw down with Autumn. They traded a few hits, but Autumn finally backed down. Bombshell extended her hand in friendship, and the two made up. Immediately after, our heroes followed some speeding police cars to a burning apartment complex, where they rescued three civilians trapped inside. The culprits of the fire were a gang of arsonists known as the Burning Boys. The heroes tracked them down and knocked them out, but something was amiss. One of them possessed nigh super strength, and he revealed that it was due to a Super Serum given to him by a hooded stranger. That night, it began to rain.

After the next day of school, Spence picked up news of a bank robbery in progress, and the heroes raced to the scene. The worsening weather made it difficult to spy on the situation, but the heroes discovered that the bank robbers had all of the civilians inside rounded up while they looted the vault. The heroes crashed in and subdued the criminals. However, the PCs discovered that a couple of these guys were using the Super Serum as well, and they were even more powerful than the Burning Boys. The bank robbers told them that a man named Linden gave it to them.

By Thursday, a storm had arrived in earnest. Spence got picked on by Tank and Amp between classes, but Bombshell intervened and stared them down. Later, she met with her group at Never’s after school; Diesel arrived late because he had to attend the carnival with his team, and he reported that a few Serum-powered brutes were tearing the place up. He said they were supplied by one Eric Linden. Bombshell relayed the info to Spence, who discovered that Eric Linden was once an employee of the biotech corporation Echidna. He also tracked his purchase history and found the location of Linden’s current lab.

Friday brought a full deluge. The rain-soaked students arrived at school, most anxiously anticipating the results of the dance pairings at lunch. The principal read aloud the results of the drawings in the cafeteria. Bombshell had already asked Stormcrow, and Scarlet was going with Amp. Gomer got paired with Winter, and Spence was assigned Blue Beacon as a partner. After school, the PCs, along with Never and Diesel, traveled to Linden’s lab and apprehended him as he was at work on the most powerful version of his Super Serum! Suspiciously, Linden went down without much of a fight, almost as if he wanted to be caught. The heroes caught sight of a large, humanoid thing watching them from outside before it disappeared. Linden claimed to have no knowledge of what it was except that it had been stalking him for some time.

With the villain apprehended, the students rushed home to change and get to the dance. The party was in full swing, and most everyone was having a good time until Stormcrow completely lost control of his powers. Wind ripped open the roof, the rain poured in, and Stormcrow was swept up in a cyclone in the center of the dance floor. He was the cause of the week’s terrible weather all along! The new school, new peers, and pressure of a dance on the first week was too much for him, and his emotions took over his weather control. The PCs fought valiantly to bring him down, and eventually Gomer-in-bear-form managed to jump into the maelstrom, pull Stormcrow from the air, and knock him out, ending his connection to the weather. Stormcrow awoke embarrassed, but nobody was seriously injured, and the damage will be repaired. Bombshell, knowing what possessing destructive powers is like, helped to soothe his conscious and salvage the evening.

What will happen next time at Paradigm High?!

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Issue 0: Newcomers

The first day of school at Paradigm High! Our heroes, Bombshell, Spence, and Red, faced a barrage of aptitude tests to measure their strength, speed, athleticism, technical skills, teamwork, and combat prowess. They each quickly discovered their social niche as well; Red found herself a welcome addition to the wealthy and popular, Spence befriended the frail Ironlung and a pair of other outcasts, and Bombshell fell in with a few troublemakers. However, the principal split the entire freshman class into five teams, and Red, Bombshell, Spence, and an animal shapeshifter called Gomer are placed together. These super kids will have to find a way to overcome their differences and work as a team if they want to succeed.

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