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#934551 - 07/24/17 10:37 PM Re: Heroes of other worlds? [Re: Set]  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 7,975
Set Offline
Pardon me while I burn, and rise above the flame.
Set  Offline
Pardon me while I burn, and rise above the flame.

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 7,975
Bait and Switch

On the world of Sklar, the higher rank attained by a matriarch, status being gained by political maneuvering and financial success, the more husbands one can have. As a result, the most successful matriarch may have a half dozen or more husbands, mostly as a visible sign of their status, and not particularly valued for any other reason (although the more attractive and / or talented a potential husband is, the more high ranking matriarchs will seek to add him to their household). And most low-ranking Sklarans, even if their rank allowed them a single husband, find available men in short supply, as the higher-ranking matrons snatch them up. As a result, as in any society where demand exceeds supply, a black market has arisen, with slavers snatching the husbands of low-ranking women off of the streets, or even out of their own homes, and removing any evidence of their married status, before selling them far, far away, on distant continents, where they may never be able to return, both altered cosmetically to make them harder to recognize, and, using restricted technology, mentally conditioned to be unable to speak of their former wives. Those who purchase husbands from these dealers often know that the men they are purchasing are 'pre-owned,' but look the other way and pretend that they thought the men were the widowers of deceased women, or something of the sort, and not 'stolen goods.'

The Sklaran woman known now as 'Switch' was a self-defense trainer of low-station, only rated to have a single husband, and barely at that. The only reason she had a husband, is because she had the patience to find a male in his early teens (while barely an adult herself) and raise him to adulthood himself, hidden away in the basement of her dojo, out of the sight of black market slavers, or the more legal teams of government agents who round up men of marriageable age to bring to the attention of matriarchs seeking spouses. Once he was old enough, they traveled under cover of night to the registrar, and she married him before anyone else even knew he was 'on the market,' and, for a short time, they were happy enough. (Given a choice, most Sklaran men would prefer being the single husband to a lower-ranking wife, to the backbiting and competition and political maneuvering that comes with being the fifth husband of a woman who is far too busy to learn their name or regard them as anything other than a sign of their status.)

Still, her stunt, not terribly uncommon, drew the wrong sort of attention, as her husband was quite attractive, and a matriarch seeking self-defense training noticed him and wanted him for her seventh husband. She contacted black market slavers and made a 'special order' for the young man to be brought to her. 'Switch' was stunned by the invaders to her home, who bound her defenseless husband and carted him off while she lay restrained and unable to bring her formidable hand to hand combat skills to bear. The authorities proved no use, unwilling to take on the black market (tacitly supported by the higher-ranking matriarchs) for one low-ranking woman who'd lost her husband. Soon, Switch received a communication giving her only coordinates, and travelling in disguise, she found that she had received directions straight to the black marketeers themselves, and so she turned to a friend who also worked in security services and acquired a selection of electro-lashes, flexible switch-like weapons that could be concealed on the body, and would wrap around and restrain a target, perhaps even unleashed an electrical current, identical to the weapons that the slavers had used to immobilize her in their attack, as well as an identity-concealing mask, also similar to what the black marketeers used. She felt it would be just to use their own preferred weapons against them, and wears a half-dozen such weapons as belts, or coiled around her arms and legs, as well as a special insulated jumpsuit that protects her against the preferred nonlethal weapons of the slavers.

With help from her husband, who had sneakily accessed the slavers own communications gear to send her his position (something none of the slavers adequately prepared against, since the idea that a mere male would be trusted by his security-conscious wife to be able to work security consoles had not occurred to them), she overcame the pair of slavers on guard and rescued not only her own husband, but three other young men who were the husbands of other low-ranking women, some local, some from distant locations. The women, similarly ignored by the authorities, were grateful for the return of their husbands, and rewarded Switch for their recovery, and so Bait & Switch had their fifteen minutes of fame (or notoriety, depending on whom you ask...) on Sklar.

In the year and a half that has passed, Bait & Switch have taken down a half-dozen groups of slavers, often by arranging for Bait to be 'kidnapped' and Switch to arrive and bust the entire ring, with his secret assistance. In one case, Bait had to reveal his scandalous secret, that his wife had not only allowed him to carry a concealed weapon implant, but had also trained him in both armed and unarmed combat! (It is illegal on Sklar for males to use weapons or to be trained to fight, or, obviously, to raise their hands against a female.) Knowing the penalties for such an event, Switch killed the only witness to Bait striking down a female slaver (the slaver herself), but they both know that they are playing a dangerous game...

Last edited by Set; 07/24/17 10:44 PM.

The Oracle at Delphi WIP in BITS.
#936252 - 08/20/17 12:47 AM Re: Heroes of other worlds? [Re: Set]  
Joined: Nov 2009
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razsolo Offline
razsolo  Offline

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,438
Nice exploration of Sklar, Set....I like the idea of different worlds having unique problems which highlight how different cultures can be. Here's a whole team from Imsk!

Imsk being one of the more independent worlds in the UP, they considered it a point of honour to create their own planetary superhero team rather than relying on the Legion of Superheroes whenever problems come up. The result of their work is the Imskian Metahuman Protection Force. Somehow it escaped the attention of every single person involved in the creation of the team that this name would inevitably be abbreviated as IMP Force, and despite the best efforts of ImskGov's best marketing teams the name has stuck. IMP Force are:

VICTORY LAD: As a child, Valk Vale was doused in experimental chemicals in an accident in his father's laboratory. These changed him on a genetic level, giving him super strength, durability and the ability to fly. He can still shrink like any other Imskian, and none of his other powers lose intensity as his size decreases. Valk is the group's golden child, an attractive and charismatic patriotic Imskian Superman.

COLOSSAL GIRL: (I posted her in this thread a while ago as Macro Maid, but I've made a couple of adjustments) Hani Venne was a scientist who wanted to synthesise the radiation of the space dragons which give the Imskians their ability to shrink. After a mishap in the lab, she absorbed an almost lethal dose and found herself shrinking at a rate of a couple of inches per month with no way to return to normal size. Desperate for a remedy, she approached Colossal Boy for help. With his consent, Hani spliced some of his own DNA with hers to counter the shrinking effect...it worked, and even gave her the ability to grow to a maximum height of fifteen feet. While her limited growth ability isn't that hot outside of Imsk, it makes her a behemoth amongst its tiny cities.

DUST: Dolken Hamil is the son of the notorious Imskian criminal Psi-Dragon. Whereas Psi-Dragon can focus his considerable telepathic powers into a telekinetic dragon-shaped exoskeleton, Dust's power is much more subtle. Dust only inherited the barest fraction of his father's telekinesis, just enough to manipulate roughly 100 grams of material. While this is fairly useless on a normal person's scale, he can wreak chaos in the shrunken cities of Imsk. He generally uses his power in inventive ways to control the dust in his surroundings, thus his name. He is very imaginative in the use of his abilities though, and once even extracted poison from his teammate's system safely.

FIREFLY: Fireflies on most planets are harmless glowing insects; Imskian Fireflies are the exception to this rule. They're actually parasitic ticks who live off of the space dragons, making them extremely hardy critters. When they've stored too much energy from feeding, they literally burn this off in the form of a flaming sheath. Kris Stom used his medical expertise to mimic the ability of the Imskian Fireflies with limited success; he can't flame on when he's full size as he'd never be able to consume enough food to create that much fire, but he's a veritable human torch at smaller sizes. He can even fly with the assistance of thermal updrafts and shoot fireballs at any size lower than 6 inches.

Read the alternate adventures of the Legion after Legion of Three Worlds!
#936320 - 08/21/17 09:22 AM Re: Heroes of other worlds? [Re: Set]  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 7,975
Set Offline
Pardon me while I burn, and rise above the flame.
Set  Offline
Pardon me while I burn, and rise above the flame.

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 7,975
Ooh, more Imskian heroes! They are so fun, because shrinking is, unlike, say, Durlan shapeshifting, or the raft of powers a Daxamite gets, a decent power to pair with other powers.

I love the name 'IMP Force.' smile

Dust and Firefly and Colossal Girl all having powers that aren't quite so awesome at full scale or off-world, but amazing on Imsk itself, is a neat concept.

Wow, Psi-Dragon sounds amazing! What a cool villain!

Colossal Girl, on Imsk, sounds like a great visual. She's like Ginormica, from Monsters vs. Aliens!

The Oracle at Delphi WIP in BITS.
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