Friday, June 22, 2018

The Origin of Mister Chompers

Rejoining Torpedo at the site of the Chompers expansion,‭ ‬Disco and Landshark found‭ ‬pieces of a robot shark man crawling together to self-assemble.‭ ‬Once whole,‭ ‬the robot turned to Landshark,‭ ‬clanked its teeth,‭ ‬and‭ ‬said,‭ "‬How do you like these chompers,‭ ‬Daddy‭?"

While they fought the ridiculous chomper-shark,‭ ‬he shared his history with the Scrap Pile.‭ Years ago in the 80sVerse, a teenager named Joshua Stern got himself involved with that nasty rock music and D&D. Even after Christian conversion therapy for some potential gayness, he ended up in a Satanic cult, because all that stuff is real in the 80sVerse. His occult dabbling got him thrown through a portal to the end of time where he was rescued by some talking brains. They saved the badly injured Josh, but didn't remember what humans were supposed to look like, so he ended up being rebuilt as, like, just a brain or something.

‭Wandering the void, Josh encountered another fugitive, a powerful alien psi. For reasons that kind of got glossed over, this Overmind agreed to send Josh back to the present. He didn't make it back to the 80sVerse, though, because he got diverted by the seal on the dimensional Nexus in subspace. Instead, he found himself in our universe as a ghostly presence. There, he was able to influence Techmaster to summon the Corrosive Soul.

‭Some of Josh's instructions got garbled, though, which is why Rapture was so obsessed with stealing brains for a while. They were, however, able to help him possess Mr. Chompers because small dogs are really easy for evil spirits to influence. He did this to get close to the body he eventually planned to steal, his counterpart in our universe, Disco. That's also why only Disco and Nimble could hear him.

‭So anyway, they trashed the Chomperbot, and Disco decided his supervillain name should be "Closet Case." As he blew apart, Josh bragged that now he was free to roam the Internet or something.

‭The Scrap Pile returned to base and started putting together a plan to stop Closet Case. Yeah, I don't even remember what name I had given him. They never used it. They brought in Psyclone (remember him from the Anniversary Special?) and got some advice from Pork Chop. They then proceeded to set up an Internet porn site designed to attract and outrage Closet Case so that Psyclone could isolate his signal and trap him in whatever main site he was using. Some of their footage came from recordings Mister Chompers had made of the Scrap Pile.

‭Somehow, despite repeated phone interruptions from a disturbingly enthusiastic Pork Chop, the plan worked. They tracked Closet back to the old Weatherhead building where Ruby and the shrunken bones guy had been hanging out. That place is like a magnet for evil, seriously.

‭There, they fought some robot guards and some demons and finally found Closet himself forming into a new, giant robot body. They fought him for a while, then Disco kissed Landshark and the robot's head exploded. Because Closet was trapped there by Psyclone, that was the end of him.

‭Epilogue: Everybody was sitting around the base. Mister Chompers, now free of crazy spirits, hopped onto Landshark's lap. Disco walked by and saw the dog wink at him.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Welcome Back, Scrap Pile

After wrapping up some business in Atlantis, the team headed back to Beta City. Torpedo decided to swim and then take a train home while Landshark and Disco flew in their recently repaired submarine jet thing. Worried about the ominous threat delivered by Mr. Chompers, Disco called his sister to make sure she was okay. He also remotely reprogrammed the security system to chase Pork Chop and Grave Grizzly out.

Flying over Free Buffalo, an independent city-state ever since the Lake Mohawk catastrophe, Disco and Landshark spotted a brightly lit club that looked interesting. It turned out to have a superhero theme and drinks that would not be legal anywhere else. Torpedo also stopped by for some clothes and money. They got rooms in town on Caravel's team credit card and partied. Torpedo got a distress text from Morgana and swam off to the rescue before the follow-up "LOL" came through.

Torpedo found the debris of a porch party outside his aquarium shop just before a thunderous explosion sent Fire of Saturn flying backwards out through the roof. Blastaar then launched himself out into the street from the same hole, ranted, and then blast-flew himself off towards Beta City proper. Torpedo went to check on Fire of Saturn while Disco and Landshark arrived and they all went inside to see the damage to their headquarters.

Fire of Saturn said Blastaar had come out of a hidden door in Magi's old basement laboratory, where she had been playing with the partially-constructed gadgets he left behind. Further investigation led them to a security tape of Mister Chompers trotting into the room while Fire was occupied, poking at the controls with his little paws, then leaving. A flashing red indicator briefly said, "Negative Zone Lock Disengaged" and then Blastaar came through.

Disco flew off after Blastaar. Not wanting to tear up the neighborhood with his tunneling power, Landshark went on foot. Torpedo went to find the mystic, Doctor Philosophy, to figure out how to deal with the evil pug. Disco fought Blastaar in the streets of Beta City, by himself at first. Landshark eventually joined in, once the ferry arrived. Torpedo and Philosophy headed back to HQ.

Blastaar went down after a hard fight and lots of determination points. As he lost consciousness, there was a weird kind of Kirby crackle around him that spread out across town. Back on Lightfoot Island, Chompers' eyes flashed red. Street lights exploded. Machines all around them came to life and a booming voice from speakers everywhere announced that Doctor Kronus was free at last.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Fear and Loathing in Atlantis

Picking up from last time with Dirge's big appearance in Atlantis, we find Harvey Wallbanger knocked out and floating around aimlessly while the evil volcano spirit manifests in all his underwater fiery multitentacly glory and threatens to end the line of Atlantean sovereignty once and for all.

Immediately, the force of Dirge's aura burned into their brains and made them start going crazy. He also animated the buildings all around the team and had them reach out to grab them. Land Shark and Disco dodged the first swipe, but Torpedo was caged by a grabby tower. Land Shark attacked with a column of earth and found that Dirge was protected by a powerful force field. Torpedo crashed through the cage and dove so hard at Dirge that he was able to harm him even through the force field. 

Because of the madness aura, Torpedo immediately asserted his Atlantean kingship and started assigning positions and ordering people around. Disco, likewise affected, became extra diva-ish and took everything Torpedo said as an insulting failure to recognize his fabulousness. I think Landshark was just curled up in a ball or fighting with the animated buildings or something. Then he freaked out and let loose with an earthquake, which trashed the neighborhood, but didn't otherwise help much. Torpedo did manage to save the bystanders by swimming so fast that he created an underwater twister to whisk them to safety.

Eventually Disco decided to show them how it's done. A combination of dice magic and determination points led to the emotion control lightshow of Disco's life, dazzling even un-targeted onlookers. Dirge cried out that "the Avatar" was coming and fled, also ranting about how the black sphere will rise and "he will come from beyond the stars and crush you all" as he fled into the volcano.

Shaking off their madness (well, as much as they ever do) and rallying the Atlantean troops, the Scrap Pile pursued the demon. While Atlantean mystics performed a collective binding ritual, Torpedo channeled the lava and Landshark reshaped the stone to support the Atlantean magic (also taking time to turn the carved face into a shark head). Disco capped it off with another light show, manifesting as a ghostly disco ball image shining briefly above the mountain.

Later they got a video call from Fire of Saturn and found out about the B Team's recent exploits. Also, Mister Chompers barked into the camera when Nimble showed up. Disco saw a subtitle appear underneath reading, "The sow is mine!"

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Back on the B Side

Jumping back to the end of the fight with the giant lava monster over Lightfoot Island, we find most of the B Team (Comet, Pork Chop, and Grave Grizzly, but not Ghost Lad) freshly released from Rapture's lair. They watched the monster go down, then made their way back to Scrap Pile HQ to see if they could figure out how to find Techmaster.

Techmaster, if we haven't already covered this somewhere, was a special effects man turned supervillain who was horribly maimed when Ghost Lad phased his hands into a lightning machine. He lost both hands, and his face was badly burned. When last we saw him, he had high tech artificial hands and was about to unveil his giant mechanical hornet before the lava spirits got it and turned it into Dirge's volcano monster.

At the base, they met Nimble, who was there looking for her brother, Disco, who of course had just headed out to Atlantis. Grave Grizzly declared that he could find Comet just fine without any help and staggered off to play accordion in an alley somewhere. Chromaticat was teleporting around, and Mister Chompers was there, telling Nimble to kill people. So, apparently, there's something about Disco's family that lets Chompers communicate with them.

Their research led them to an abandoned warehouse disco place, which they noticed was guarded by swarms of bees. Pork Chop got 'em going and Nimble used her super-speed to disperse the converging swarms with a mini-tornado. Inside, oh yeah, this is actually where they found Mr. Chompers. He was locked up in a bathroom next to the lobby. Farther back in the club, they heard screaming and found a big supervillain lab all set up in the main dance hall with Ghost Lad and his buddy John Jameson shackled to a machine and being tortured by Techmaster.
Techmaster had actually started with Jameson, for maximum effect on the main course. As the team burst in, he was pushing a big bluish-white gemstone into Jameson's chest to the tune of breaking bones and screams.

Pork Chop was delayed by a pair of shadow creatures that ambushed him. He quickly dispatched both with a chair he had picked up. At the other side of the hall, they found that Corrosive Soul was there too. She pointed at Jameson, who howled and turned into a white-furred wolf man. This seemed to surprise Techmaster as much as anyone.

Comet crashed into people, Pork Chop threw chairs, and Nimble used her rock-hard purse as a weapon, although at one point she was overwhelmed by the howl of the Man-Wolf and ran away until she could gather her wits and come back. Corrosive Soul used her mind control powers to briefly turn the team against each other, then summoned a group of green fire demons when the fight looked like it might not go her way.

Battered by purses and Comet-fists, Techmaster used the distraction of Corrosive Soul's conjuring to slip out the back door. Pork Chop managed to trigger the emergency sprinkler system and snuff the fire demons. The Man-Wolf eventually went down, too. Surrounded and battered, Corrosive Soul literally fell apart, but her head continued to cackle as it rolled over to Nimble, then abruptly melted into a skull and turned to dust.

The unconscious Man-Wolf turned back into Jameson, but the gem appeared to be grafted to his chest so that they couldn't remove it without badly injuring him. And they got Ghost Lad out so, apart from Techmaster escaping, mission accomplished.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Banging the Walls

Started off with a cut to Harvey Wallbanger, who had a little too much fun at the Christmas Party and woke up lost and alone in the pocket dimension. He wandered deep into the caves where he found a weird mystical substructure and saw something that he decided the Scrap Pile really needed to know about (held for later revelation). Then he found his way back to Lightfoot Island where Fire of Saturn helped him out with the tech to get him to Atlantis.

In Atlantis, he found the team bound and shackled to the walls of a temple. He burst in and bounced around and set the Scrap Pile loose and they fought some undersea villains: Starfish, Sea Mantis, Anemone, and Kelp Queen.

Then big ole scary Dirge showed up and that was the end of the session.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Octopus's Garden

With Dirge's threat to Atlantis hanging in the air, the team went back to base and got a message from Councilor Tyno, Torpedo's contact there. It was mostly garbled, but he clearly wanted Torpedo to come home and included, among other static'd-out words, "the proteans." It was a bit puzzling to Torpedo that the Proteans would be a threat. They were peaceful, intelligent octopods who, in the distant past, were rumored to have helped the original Atlanteans learn magic and become water-breathers.

They looked into their options. Land Shark, worried about the effect his water phobia could have on this mission, asked Disco to supplement his anxiety drugs with calming lightshows. Fire of Saturn wasn't able to go along herself, but rigged up some alien space suits that she "found" to serve as diving suits. Disco gave her some spanglies to add to his. Torpedo got his flying fish shuttle out of storage and they headed out to sea.

On the way, Torpedo advised Land Shark that, after a really nasty civil war a hundred years back, Atlanteans really don't do shark stuff. Wearing a shark costume would be seen as something akin to going around festooned with swastikas. Land Shark, already doped up, might not have fully processed this.

Once they got over water, Torpedo jumped out and swam, happy to be back in the ocean. The ship had an automatic homing system that required no human interaction, but, as it began to dive, Land Shark decided he wanted to bring it in himself and grabbed the controls. The vehicle hit the water at the wrong angle, which created more leaks than its auto-repair function could handle. Eventually, Torpedo got everything straightened out and they continued. It was fine until Land Shark announced to the control tower that "Shark One" was requesting permission to dock.

So anyway, Atlantis was built largely of undersea stuff like pearl and coral. They also made extensive use of a substance called vitredur, which looked like glass of varying colors but was hard as steel. Their architecture had an ornate, gothic look to it with lots of delicate spires and projections. Torpedo looked into the possibility of asserting his rulership rights as Prince of Atlantis. He was told that, while the Imperial Guard would follow him right now, establishing political control would take some time.

They also found out that what Tyno had been trying to tell them was that Octopolis, the city of the Proteans, was under attack. A group of piratical surface-worlders led by the armored raider, Aquatherm, had surrounded and the city and was on the verge of breaking its perimeter. Aquatherm had been a nuisance for years, but had never tried anything this big before.

Off to Octopolis, they found a city with smoother, more organic architecture, being attacked by armored goons riding shark cycles. Torpedo dove in (or, I don't know, can you dive in when you're already underwater?) to slug it out with the leader, who had water control powers and stuff. Land Shark helped out with stony shark heads from the sea floor. Disco commandeered a shark cycle and started mowing down minions.

Eventually they slugged most of the bad guys and the scattered remnants ran away. Then Torpedo was invited to lead the ritual of renewal at the volcano to reaffirm the unity between Atlanteans and Proteans and things like that. Disco found the Proteans easy to communicate with because they used shifting color patterns to express themselves.

As the mystical energies were taking shape, something went wrong. Power was drained from the assembly at an alarming rate. Finally the big stone face carved into the volcano glowed, the ground shook, and the fiery form of Dirge formed from the volcano. As it did so, a group of cultists who served the fire spirit began to change into quasi-bestial forms.

To be continued next session.

Monday, December 25, 2017

A Scrap Pile Christmas

Guest-Starring DAZZLER!
I had been wanting to do a holiday issue for a while. My first thought was Halloween, but that was inconveniently timed. The Christmas season, meanwhile, falling at a point where I wanted to remind everyone I still very much dig the Scrap Pile, but also at a point where I didn't have everything together to pick up the ongoing campaign again, worked out really well. We all got together (again, minus the unfortunately overbooked Magi), wore Santa hats, and had a great time.

So, it was a cold, snowy Christmas Eve on Lightfoot Island and the team had a drink together at the base before heading off to their separate engagements.

Disco flew off to his holiday DJ gig at a bar in Beta City. On the way, he was confronted by a dark, winged figure who identified himself as Flying Fish and demanded that he turn over "the gift-bringer." The Flying Fish conjured up wind blasts and stuff, but was particularly vulnerable to Disco's light because he was made of shadow. Upon being defeated, the Flying Fish dissipated and a big red and green gift-wrapped box appeared nearby. Disco opened it up.

Torpedo got in his car to head to Morgana's Winter Solstice service in a grove outside town. He was greeted there by Goth, a shadow-woman who had darkness powers and the same agenda as Flying fish. Torpedo turned into lava, ruining his upholstery, but enabling him to take out the villain who, like her apparent teammate, turned into a gift box. Torpedo called the bomb squad.

Land Shark started walking across Lightfoot Island to go volunteer at the shelter. He ran into Harvey Wallbanger, a globular do-gooder with a strong Boston accent. He was looking to make a name for himself by taking out the Dastards, who were reputed to live in this area. While Land Shark decided how to answer, they were attacked by Ballistic, a sort of fire-based flying villain. Land Shark's street clothes got burned off and he was left with a skimpy costume Disco made. I don't remember why. Again, they were left with a gift which they opened.
Disco, Land Shark, Harvey Wallbanger, and a bomb-diffusing robot all appeared together in an other-dimensional ski chalet. The fireplace was encased in a giant ice crystal and ephemeral shadowy forms flitted about. Santa Claus was chained to a post nearby. Eventually, we got Torpedo in there too. Santa was chained up and the fire pit was frozen solid. Shadowy forms were flitting around. Santa said a rebellious elf named Snaptooth (who wanted to be a dentist) had stolen his mojo and was freezing the world into shadow or something. Land Shark's pug, Mr. Chompers, was there too, and kept telling Disco to kill everyone. Strangely, only Disco could hear this.

They skied down to the entrance to Snaptooth's lair while fighting off pterodactyls, because pterodactyls are cool. On the other side, they fought some reindeer men who knocked Torpedo out, then some snowmen and evil elves that looked pretty gnome-like. Then they fought Snaptooth and got Santa's bag and... I wanna say I threw in the Baby New Year thing from City of Heroes too. Everything after the pterodactyls is a little fuzzy.

Back on the ski slopes, the Angry Beet attacked for some reason, but was quickly bounced by Harvey Wallbanger. They got back to Santa, where the bonfire sprang up and the shadows resolved into party guests, including Dazzler and her band. Disco was ecstatic to meet his idol. Dazzler performed "Shadows of the Night," and everybody had a Merry Christmas.