Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Unsavory Fetishes

In which our hero Iron Will is made to feel somewhat uncomfortable!

As soon as I make sure that the pilot is being seen to by a few of the soldiers in the base, I head back over to Justiciar's post, which consists of a random patch of snow near the center of the base just out of earshot of the assorted rescue workers that he's presumably giving orders to. I'm having some trouble figuring out his placement, but I'm fairly certain that they just put him here to make him feel important. My working theory is that, as one of Canada's premier superheroes (which, if Ravenspeaker is any indication, isn't a terribly competitive title) he came out here as soon as he heard that there was a problem to offer his assistance to the Force Station Steelhead personnel. Once they discovered that his main superpower was being an amputee, though, they realized that they couldn't really use him, but felt bad about saying so. "Um... we need you... to... go stand over there and talk with the real- er, the LESS EXPERIENCED superheroes as they come in. Only you can do this, mighty Justiciar!"

Poor guy.

I report back on my success with the moving of debris and the punching of demons, and for the second time in as many days I'm told by a grown man who is not my father that I've done a very brave thing. Er... thanks. What other very brave things need doing?

Great balls of steel! Some of these Ice Demons have ice powers! According to Justiciar, they've been freezing people solid in some sort of strange magical way that doesn't crush all their organs or cause their brains to die. I never knew that freeze rays had a stun setting, but I guess when you're dealing with ancient elemental magic, anything makes sense. He gives me a laser (SCORE!) that can melt the ice so that I can free the frozen passengers. Apparently there's also a passenger who managed to escape and call for help from somewhere, and he could probably use some rescuin' too. I can't think of a way to involve my new laser in that one just yet, but I'll figure something out.

There's something else, too.

He wants me to collect Tulzorgat Trickery Fetishes, whatever those are. I'm a little turned off by this. Most of my experience with Fetishes comes from the internet, and it's been almost universally distasteful. I don't even want to know what kind of fetishes spikey ice demons who enjoy helping people freeze to death would be into.

But then, he describes them as "charms" which might mean they're something else entirely. I remember fetishes were mentioned as objects in the syllabus of a course I was going to take called Magic And Witchcraft, but I dropped it on the second day when I realized it was an Anthropology course and that I wasn't actually going to learn to cast any spells. So really, I have no idea what I'm up against, here. Hoping that it's nothing I can catch any diseases from, I agree to go take away some of the ice demon's fetishes, wishing not for the first time that I had some sort of waterproof gloves to go with my jean scraps.

The other half of the plane is way on the other side of the base, facedown in a valley. Damn but these passengers are durable. I get to work hittin' ugly things in the face.

I'm unpleasantly surprised to find that on this side of the mountain, not only are there big spikey demons and bigger spikey demons, but they've also brought along with them some sort of weird reanimated human corpses.


It's okay, it's okay, I'm a superhero now. Zombies aren't a problem for me. Just gotta shoot 'em in the head. ... This one does not have a head. This is problematic.

Turns out, just punching them until all their bones are shattered puts them down just as well. They actually seem to be significantly softer and less dangerous than their demon counterparts, but there's just something unsettling about fighting a dead guy without a head.

I really, really need to invest in some gloves.

Once I'm done mashing the zombie into a foul-smelling paste and take out (albeit less completely) his demon friend, I notice that he drops some weird totem-pole lookin' thing.

Just as I feared. Sex toy.

I pocket the thing, hoping that the crusted zombie paste will block any dried demon germs, and wondering why Ravenspeaker wants them and whether or not this is in any way connected to his never wearing pants, and keep looking around the crash site. It doesn't take too long to find some of the frozen survivors that Justiciar mentioned.

It's mildly unsettling. I bust out my laser. Hope this works!

Ah-HA! Complete success. No, thank YOU, citizen, for giving me an excuse to use a laser.

It takes a little while to recharge, but it still might be the coolest thing I've ever carried around. Beats the hell out of my pocketful of demonic marital aids, anyway. I'll just pop around to see if there are any more passengers that need thawing out before searching for this Shepard guy...

Aw, hell.

Up next: More adventures with the most durable passengers ever!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Blizzard Entertainment

In which our hero Iron Will returns from a long absence to assist with the perils in Canada!

In case you missed it the first time, this is no ordinary storm!

After warning me once again that the storm we're experiencing isn't ordinary, the crippled superhero known as Justiciar lays out what he'd actually like me to do to help in this less-than-ordinary storm. Much to my surprise, he actually seems to have a pretty good emergency response plan.

So apparently not only did a plane get forced down by this completely ordinary storm, but the passengers who survived are stuck out there in the blizzard and, because freezing to death isn't really that big a deal on it's own, are being menaced by freakin' ice demons.

So, Justiciar wants me to head out there and help them escape, presumably since he himself can't move through the snow due to his disability. That actually sounds like a perfectly reasonable use for the superpowered help. I throw him a quick salute and head out the gate to find this crash site.

It actually winds up being a pretty short jog away, as the snow is apparently hard-packed enough that I don't sink into it at all despite weighing about a ton and a half at this point, and I can see plane pieces almost immediately on the other side of the wall. Some of which have struggling figures underneath them. Hrm.

My radio suddenly chimes in.

According to the little robotic voice that I used to think was Dr. Silverback but might actually be Justiciar or Ravenspeark or my own conscious or something, there are quite a few survivors trapped under various pieces of wreckage in the vicinity. Right in front of me, two ice demons are crouched over a guy stuck under a plane wing, taunting him and telling him to give up and die.

... So wait. There are who knows how many of these spikey ice demons with claws and fangs and horns and the like running through the hills menacing people... and all they do is stand near them and taunt them?

These guys are such dicks.

I run over and beat the two of them senseless, which actually winds up being about as easy as beating up mutants back in the desert. Apparently their bizarre supernatural powers mostly consist of being ugly and the ability to throw snowballs without first balling up snow. It's a really cold snowball, mind, but it just doesn't seem very impressive. Of course, it might be really devastating to somebody who still had blood flow in their skin or something... I dunno. Point is, they go down really easily.

I haul the plane wing off the guy, who springs right up and thanks me, assuring me that he'll be okay from here, and then runs off. ... Wait a second. So this guy, who was just on a passenger airline that crashed in the mountains, somehow survived falling out of the sky and an impact that tore an airplane in half, then getting crushed by several tons of metal, being stuck in the snow in the middle of a blizzard for half an hour, and after being freed he's perfectly confident that the roving bands of ice demons between him and safety won't be a problem?

This guy is amazing. I need to find him later and give him my card.

There are a few dozen others either trapped under debris or cowering in a small circle of demons scattered around the wreckage of the airliner, which seems to have broken in half and left it's rear section stuck in a lake that's frozen completely solid, as it hasn't sunk or anything. Convenient. I punch the demons until they quit breathing and lift wreckage off of survivors for a few minutes until it seems like I've gotten just about everyone.

That messy situation dealt with, I head back to base, stopping by to rescue what appears to be the pilot of the unfortunate aircraft, huddling next to a campfire and being menaced by demons. I take care of them.

This is one of the few missable missions in the Canada Crisis, so you might want to watch for it. It's also an escort mission, but it's less of a pain in the neck than most of them will be.

For whatever reason, the demons seem more interested in getting the pilot than any of the individual passengers. He asks me if I'll escort him back to base, so I do. A few of the monsters pop out of nowhere to throw themselves at my knuckles every couple of minutes, but they don't get past me, and we make it back to base without too much trouble.

So far, stopping ancient magical forces of evil from engulfing the land of the living in frozen darkness seems surprisingly similar to stopping crazy irradiates from blowing up a piece of the desert. I think I've got this.

UP NEXT: Yeah, pretty much.