NEW VINDICATORS: tabula rasa #6

Proctoring their next Wreck Room session, Mister Higgins announced that one representative from each of the ten teams would compete to see who could reach the top of a mountain first. Once selected, the group learned about a twist thrown into the competition: they would not be allowed to use their powers during the ordeal…

Ultimately, Eric and John found themselves competing against Marlon, Drew, Luke, Ham, Isabella, Sarah, Josie and Abe. Midway up the mountain, Abe attempted to deter Eric and John by attacking them—even managing to incapacitate John. As he struggled to pull Eric down from the precipice, John was raised from unconsciousness by Josie and able to return to scaling the cliff.

Ultimately, Isabella conquered the mountain first, nabbing the first win for her team. Eric, Josie and John arrived within moments of each other, with the others plodding along. Ultimately, Ham, of the Iridescent Wombats, came in last place—unable to even make it off the ground.

  • Team Whatever (+10): 24 points
  • The New Guys (+9): 46 points
  • Jolly Ranchers (+9): 40 points
  • The Sheroes (+9): 32 points
  • Vanguard (+6): 40 points
  • Team Loder (+6): 24 points
  • Aegis Squadron (+4): 40 points
  • The Edge (+3): 27 points
  • The Number Four (+2): 20 points
  • Iridescent Wombats (+1): 26 points

Matt, troubled over the recent news of homeless people being horrifically massacred in the night, recruited Eric, Derryl and Gene in investigating the deaths. After talking to Tattoo Joe, an acquaintance of Matt’s from his days on the street, the New Guys learned of a possible connection between the slain: they may have been buying Sudafed on the behalf of Ebb

Meanwhile, Cyndi and Miles fixed their roommates up. When Aisha began to talk about her ex-boyfriend, Cyndi used her affluence to secure sake for the table and learned that neither Aisha nor Marlon sported much in the way of alcohol tolerance.

The Benihana was soon under attack, however: the entrance of Sal “Sandals” Salvati, one of the higher-ups in the D’Amato family, sparked several of the diners to rise up and draw machine guns. Sandals spoke to Cyndi then, revealing that he was under orders from Kapisanan to take her at all cost. Surrender was the only way to ensure that the restaurants’ other patrons would survive.

A drunken Marlon reacted to the threat by grabbing Aisha and teleporting back to the school, triggering Sandals to give the order to attack. Before anyone could pull the trigger, those seated at a table in the back rose up and drew their own weapons. Members of a local Yakuza that had resisted being assimilated into Kapisanan, the Japanese men provided Cyndi and Miles the distraction they needed to escape…

As the D’Amato family went down to the Yakuza, Ebb appeared, looking for Aisha. The man killed Sandals and proceeded to enter into a partnership with the Yazuka to take down Kapisanan.

John’s plans to introduce Dirk to the Rocky Horror Picture Show were dashed when Suzette told the New Jersey native what the film contained. Ultimately, John left with Kim for a night on the town while Dirk and Suzette left to get some dinner on their own—at Benihana. At the scene they watched as several bodies were carried out and spotted Ebb watching from the crowd.

The New Guys, armed with the knowledge that Ebb was somehow involved in the killings they were investigating, unsuccessfully tried to rally the Jolly Ranchers to their side. They ambushed Ebb as he attempted to get the bums to safety. In his attempt to make meth, Ebb had hired the homeless as smurfs, individuals who buy Sudofed decongestants. In doing so, he crossed into Kapisanan’s territory and the mafia began slaying those who aided the upstart.

While Dyan and Maalik began to attack the bums outside, the New Guys got the drop on Ebb and employed his arachnophobia to keep him from turning intangible. Gene proceeded to unleash a barrage of blows that ended only when the young men moved to help Matt outside.

Matt too had given himself to violent impulses: he mercilessly beat Maalik in the air before throwing him to the street. Giving Dyan the option to fight or flight, Matt watched as the apathetic man casually left to retrieve Maalik’s broken body…

Back at the school, Miles found Aisha asleep in his room, and left to tell Cyndi where her roommate was. Cyndi elected to leave Aisha there, with Marlon, and invited Miles to take Aisha’s bed, and spend the night in her room.

NEW VINDICATORS: tabula rasa #5

While agents of the Arthurian Foundation were able to minimize the damage of Hurricane Gaston, heavy rains still pummeled certain east coast cities. Flood waters swept through Mount Pleasant, South Carolina and several students from the New Vindicators Academy volunteered to join the faculty and the Vindicators in saving lives…

During this ordeal, Eric’s group discovered one of the Vindicators—Simulacrum—staring out at the devastation, muttering things like, “I wasn’t strong enough…” and “Her death was in vain…”

Before heading to bed, Josie approached John and asked him to break up with Kim. “Kim’s power is social cloaking,” she explained. “She reflexively mimics whatever the people close to her know. If that person happens to be particularly strong willed? Parts of their personality spill over and Kim begins to act like them…

“Do you get what I’m saying? Kim’s attraction to you isn’t based on who Kim is but on who you are. If she’s around you, she only likes the things you like and hates the things you hate. When she’s around you, she thinks just like you do… She doesn’t feel anything for you—her powers just sort of… simulate it.”

The next morning, Eric woke up to find his wallet missing. His hunt for it was cut short when he realized he needed to race to get to the weekly Wreck Room competition. As his team assembled, Cyndi and Aisha ran into Jim, who proceeded to try and flirt with Cyndi. When Miles arrived and put an arm around his girlfriend, jealousy began to encroach on Jim and the gears began to work…

Everyone showed up save two: John and Dirk awoke to find their bunk mysteriously transported to the top of Mount Everest. As they began to make their way down the mountain without gear and in their pajamas, Cyndi attempted to coerce Mister Cron into postponing the exercise—even going so far as to threaten to have him fired. With the Jolly Ranchers abstaining from the competition, the New Guys swept the exercise (competition (rescuing people from a burning building), and took first place.

  • Vanguard (+10 points): 34 points
  • Aegis Squadron (+9): 36 points
  • The New Guys (+8 points): 37 points
  • Team Loder (+7 points): 18 points
  • The Edge (+6 points): 24 points
  • The Sheroes (+5): 23 points
  • The Number Four (+4): 18 points
  • Iridescent Wombats (+3): 25 points
  • Team Whatever (+2): 14 points
  • The Jolly Ranchers (+1 points): 31 points

Eric moved to search Dirk and John’s room where he found his wallet. Suspecting it had been placed by Abe, the only other student capable of making John and Dirk disappear, Eric realized he was being set up. Lacking proof, Eric refrained from making any accusations.

Enlisting Aisha’s help, the headmaster and Cyndi were able to cobble together Dirk and John’s whereabouts. The headmaster next asked Abe and Eric to help transport a rescue team to the Himalayas—a feat Abe said he was not strong enough to pull off. Suspecting he was lying to shift the blame away from himself, Eric did was Abe claimed he could not and teleported the group to the base of Mount Everest. There, the headmaster led Mister Altair, Missus Loder and Mister Cron in finding the boys and bringing them home.

Unbeknownst to them, Eric began to plot against Jim and his friends: with Gene’s help, he successfully installed hidden cameras in Abe and Remington’s room and in Greg and Captain Billy’s room. When Gene failed to break into Jim’s room, the New Guys began to device a way around the youth’s security.

That night, Cyndi was awakened by Miles banging on her door. The inebriated young man on the other side desperately tried to get his girlfriend to sleep with him; when Cyndi moved to close the door on him, explosive anger swelled up in him. After talking with his roommate, Cyndi learned that Miles had produced two bottles of Jack Daniels from under the bed and offered to share them with Marlon. Once Marlon was asleep, Miles rose up and made his way to Cyndi’s room. Miles, however, claimed that he not only could not recall going to Cyndi’s room but even imbibing the spirits in the first place.

Before their weekend concluded, Eric took the New Guys, the Jolly Ranchers and some of the other students to a beach in California. Around a campfire, their scary stories devolved into tales of Jim’s exploits: Eric theorized that Greg was responsible for Miles’ intoxication and attempt to make love to Cyndi; he also explained how Abe had tried to frame him for taking out John and Dirk. Finally, Matt confessed to having witnessed Jim personally kill the men Ebb had hired to abduct Aisha. At Eric’s behest, Aisha proceeded to look through Jim’s eyes and witnessed him opening his trunk of souvenirs. Realizing Jim’s victims totaled close to forty, the young heroes wondered how best to handle their unstable upperclassman…

NEW VINDICATORS: tabula rasa #4

Deciding Aisha’s wardrobe was in dire need of rescue, Cyndi took her roommate to the mall where they ran into Miles Lancaster and Marlon Winter. After flirting with her, Miles worked up the nerve to ask Cyndi. His euphoria at her saying yes was short-lived as the group soon spotted a group of thugs seemingly waiting in the parking lot for Cyndi. One escape later and the situation was forgotten…

The next morning, Eric, Derryl and Matt ran into Captain Webb in the halls. The encounter brought some of Gene’s background into question—questions that were put off for the week’s Wreck Room exercise.

Each team was pitted against a Sentry and scored on how long it took them to render the robot nonoperational. Ultimately, the Jolly Ranchers won the day when John Saxon destroyed the machine in only six seconds.

  • Jolly Ranchers (6 seconds, +10 points): 20 points
  • Iridescent Wombats (12 seconds, +9 points): 19 points
  • The New Guys (12 seconds, +9 points): 19 points
  • Aegis Squadron (18 seconds, +7 points): 17 points
  • Vanguard (18 seconds, +7 points): 17 points
  • The Sheroes (30 seconds, +4 points): 14 points
  • The Edge (36 seconds, +3 points): 13 points
  • The Number Four (42 seconds, +2 points): 12 points
  • Team Whatever (3 minutes, +1 point): 11 points
  • Team Loder (24 seconds, +5 points): 5 points

Later that evening, Miles and Cyndi’s date was interrupted by the same guys from the mall. With Cyndi simultaneously blinding the thugs and augmenting Miles’ darkforce binds, the couple were able to extract the men’s intentions: abduct the young woman on the behest of Kapisanan and ransom her to her father.

Returning to the school meant a return to normalcy: classes again picked up and the incident was soon behind them as another weekend arrived. For this exercise, each time was tasked with running through a series of random rooms. Clearing the trials seconds ahead of the previous week’s victors, the New Guys found themselves tying with the Jolly Ranchers on the board for overall points.

As several students (and the majority of the teachers) began to come down with flu-like symptoms, Matt tried to warn Miles about Jim Loder (only for Miles to proceed to start rumors about Jim’s sexuality) while Dirk and Suzette defined their relationship. At breakfast the next morning, several students slumped over their food. When Suzette slipped into a deep sleep and Dirk began to hallucinate, John assessed that the campus had come under attack and moved to seek help. As he ran, two agents of Quiver, Nabidh and Henbane, were able to incapacitate Cyndi and abduct her from the school.

Gene, however, recognized Henbane as his female counterpart and was ultimately forced to come clean about his origins: he and Henbane had been genetically engineered to act as super soldiers who could defend mankind from rogue superhumans. Henbane, however, had been away on an assignment when the project had closed down; by Gene’s reckoning, she had falling in with a criminal element and was now using the skills they were created with for evil.

John rallied together those who hadn’t been drugged by the poison masters: Aisha, Eric, Derryl, Gene, Matt and Miles joined him in locating the missing girl and attacking her kidnappers. With Henbane on their side, however, the New Vindicators were soon defeated save one: Gene and Henbane fought and a surge of adrenaline allowed for the brother to best his sister.

Among those apprehend were crime boss Rick Gonzales, his Neo-Sapien nephew Sampson Morales, Nabidh and Henbane. Gene, however, failed to hand Henbane over to the authorities and instead entrusted her to the care of Captain Webb, with the hope that she could be rehabilitated and might one day be able to pursue a normal life, as he now does.

Unbeknownst to the New Vindicators, however, a boa constrictor slipped into the holding cell where Nabidh was being kept, killed him, and then departed…

NEW VINDICATORS: tabula rasa #3

Weeks passed since Missus Jenkins’ mysterious death and Ebb’s attempt to remove Aisha from the school. Classes resumed and normalcy followed suit. While things continued to blossom between John and Kim, Dirk and Suzette, Cyndi proceeded to give Jim the cold shoulder (following his request that she get him some coffee) and Aisha began avoiding Matt.

One Friday, the student body found the afternoon round of classes canceled to make way for an assembly in the Wreck Room. There, the rookie students were outfitted with a uniform and sorted into a trio of four-man teams…

  • The New Guys: Led by Gene Stephenson, the New Guys consist of Matt Baker, Daryl Isaacson and Eric Vaughn.
  • The Number Four: Heidi Lancaster, Sarah Manther and Ken Porter elected Regina Sway as their leader.
  • Jolly Ranchers: Dirk Wolfrum leads Cindi Brightman, John Saxon and Aisha Tyler.

After choosing lots, each of the teams entered a labyrinth through ten different entrances, all with the same objective: be the first team to make it to the center with at least five of the thirty keys hidden in rooms scattered across the maze.

Each room had it’s own obstacle to overcome and, after grabbing a key Dirk Wolfrum was reaching for, the New Guys had five. Before they could claim victory, however, they were ambushed by Abe Chobanian who used his spatial-warping abilities to banished Matt to a locked room where several others helplessly rested. As the rules hinted that an entire team was needed to secure victory, Abe had been positioned at the finish line to disrupt anyone looking to beat Team Loder.

A battle ensured and the remaining three members of the New Guys were able to force Abe to retreat… and leave them scratching their heads as to how to locate Matt.

Meanwhile, the Jolly Ranchers ran into the Edge and a battle immediately broke out. Hardly hindered by Cyndi’s cloud of darkness, Marlon managed to incapacitate Aisha and abscond the unconscious girl. Initially reluctant to fight them, Miles Lancaster turned on his own leader when Remington Eastman began to threaten Dirk’s life. Binding him with shadows, Miles told Marlon to return Aisha to the group and urged them to go.

Ultimately, the Jolly Ranchers arrived to find the remaining members of the New Guys scratching their heads to figure out how to find Matt. Unwilling to let Team Loder take the victory, the New Guys gave the Jolly Ranchers their keys and claim victory.

After reviewing each team’s performances, the headmaster ruled that everyone but Team Loder had won and bestowed the prize on everyone: a private party at a pizzeria/arcade where the faculty acted as the wait staff.

The next morning, Eric proposed shuttling the students to a beach in California. Enamored with his ability to instantly go anywhere, Heidi Lancaster threw herself at Eric. Cyndi, meanwhile, proceeded to further coach Aisha on how to make Matt interested in her.

Back at the school, Gene discovered Miles’ unconscious body lying on the quad, naked, bruised and frostbitten. Later, when Eric and Heidi briefly returned in search of materials for s’mores, Gene told the pair of the discovery, oblivious that Heidi was Miles’ younger sister. Seeing a chance to break free from the clingy young girl, Eric returned to the beach. There, Matt was using his powers to fashion glass ornaments out of the sand; John and Kim had slipped away to makeout; Dirk and Josie Loder began singing campfire songs and telling ghost stories.

Eventually, the beach was cleaned up and the students returned to the school. Thinking to check up on the Lancaster’s, Eric found Abe comforting a sorrowful Heidi…

NEW VINDICATORS: tabula rasa #2

Moments after learning of Missus Jenkins’ demise, Eric set out to investigate the cause of death. He swiftly recruited his roommate, Derryl, and Gene to his cause. Together, the boys broke into the deceased’s office as well as the office of the headmaster. Failing to find any clues, they uncovered the woman’s home address from the headmaster’s address book and made plans to search the apartment in the morning.

The three boys were not the only students making plans, however: while Cyndi skipped class to spend the afternoon with Jim, her roommate continued to work on building a relationship with the introverted painter, Matt. Meanwhile, Dirk and John attracted the attention of Kim and Suzette. After making plans for the next evening, they also attracted the attention of Remington—Suzette’s ex-boyfriend and Kim’s ex’s best-friend, Jim.

The following morning, John awoke to find his laser disc player missing. Outraged, he began going door-to-door until he found a clue that would lead him to Remington’s door. Along with his roommate, Abe, the boys tried to ransom the device in an attempt to get John to cancel the double-date. When he responded with the threat of violence, the boys enacted Plan B: after slipping the machine back to John’s room, they informed the headmaster of the youth’s barging in and threatening them both—claims backed up by the hallway’s security cameras. Though the headmaster let both boys off with a warning, a line had been drawn in the sand…

Eric, meanwhile, led Gene and Derryl into the Jenkins’ home. There, Gene assessed the cause of death was liking an aneurysm suffered while the educator slept. Derryl, during their investigation, began to hear a body-less voice. Ultimately, Gene noticed the speaker standing on the room of the building across the street and Eric distorted topography to meet the man…

The mysterious figure indicated that Missus Jenkins had indeed been murdered and that he knew who had killed her. Warning the boys to stay away from the mystery—that her death had occurred in order to prevent a great calamity from befalling the universe—but Eric refused to be cowed. In an attempt to intimidate the man, Eric grabbed his hand and warped the pair away. The drifter responded by then spiriting them away again, although rather than across the globe, he proceeded to take them across dimensional rifts.

Matt and Aisha’s date, meanwhile, floundered as Matt’s apparent lack of interest threatened to doom them. A chance encounter with Jim and Cyndi resulted in the girls going off on their own while the boys were jumped by a group of thugs. Splitting them up, Matt proceeded to incapacitate his while Jim slew his in cold blood. The pair spotted a young man watching them and soon met up with Gene and Derryl—coming from an encounter with their own mystery man. Announcing their intentions to return to the school, Jim stalled them long enough to claim a pair of souvenirs from the two thugs he had killed…

Returned to his home dimension by the Drifter, Eric returned to the school and made plans to inform the headmaster of all he had uncovered. Before he could, however, news of a black orb making its way up Roosevelt Island reached his ears. Recognizing Cyndi’s power signature, Eric took Gene and Derryl to retrieve the young woman…

There, Cyndi told them about Aisha’s obsessive ex-boyfriend, who had ambushed their dinner and displayed an ability that let him disintegrate matter. Teleporting the girls back to the school, Gene skulked off, leaving Derryl alone to wait for Eric’s return.

At the school, Aisha explained her ex’s abilities: Ebb’s powers allowed him to not only deconstruct whatever he touches but render his entire body perfectly intangible. When asked if she could find him, Aisha borrowed the youth’s senses and realized he was outside of the school—with Gene.

Gene’s attempts to subdue the villain failed, as did Eric’s, Derryl’s and Matt’s. Ultimately, it was the arrival of the headmaster, Mister Himura, that scared Ebb off—though he vowed to return and take Aisha home with him to Los Angeles.

Fearing the inevitable encounter, the boys asked Aisha about any weaknesses Ebb may have possessed. She offered one solution: arachnophobia. Armed with knowledge of Ebb’s lone weakness, Matt made a cold retreat from his date’s presence, winning him a disapproving look from her roommate…

NEW VINDICATORS: tabula rasa #1

As a new year began at the New Vindicators Academy of America, several new students found themselves entering a brand new world…

  • Cyndi Brightman, a well-off Neo-Sapien able to manifest a sphere of darkness around her and siphon the lifeforce of those she touches.
  • John Saxon, a St. Louis native capable of increasing his size.
  • Dirk Wolfrum, a straight-laced youth gifted with an elastic body.
  • Eric Vaughn, a practical joker from California whose ability allows him to manipulate spatial topography.
  • Derryl Isaacson, an accomplished pianist with a penchant for manipulating sound.
  • Matt Baker, a plasma-wielding vagrant with a gift for painting.
  • Gene Stephenson, the product of a decommissioned project to genetically engineer the perfect soldier.

Not long after their arrival, the new students adjourned to the Wreck Room. Here, they met several other new students: Aisha Stein, Ken Porter, Regina Sway and Sarah Manther. When Cyndi began to verbally assault Sarah, Regina stepped, only for the brawl between the two girls to be interrupted by the arrival of Headmaster Himura.

Upon learning that they would be rooming two to a dorm, John and Dirk elected to room together with Derryl and Eric choosing to be roommates; Gene was left on his own as Ken and Matt opted to share a room while Regina and Sarah moved in together. Left with Aisha, Cyndi proceeded to protest having to have a roommate.

While protesting the school’s rules, Cyndi met one of the sophomores, the weather-manipulating Jim Loder. Jim’s friends, meanwhile, met some of the other newcomers: though Abe Chobanian, Greg Foster, Remington Eastman and Captain Billy took well to Gene, they quickly clashed with roommates Daryl and Eric. While the freshman’s attempts to befuddle their upperclassman worked on most of them, Abe saw through Eric’s pranks and showed himself capable of utilizing the same abilities, giving birth to a rivalry…

While John became acquainted with Dirk, Matt learned Ken’s goal: the complete and utter destruction of his father…

After a call from her father (and the promise of a Scottish castle being moved to the family’s private island), Cyndi finally rescinded her protest and began to attend classes. Before the first week could conclude, Eric learned that one of his teachers had died: Missus Addison Jenkins…

tabula rasa: PROLOGUE

Nineteen years ago, everything changed…

It was 2006: spring was giving way to summer. Love was in the air. A young man named Adonis Skraag manifested his Neo-Sapien abilities and inadvertently enthralled his dream girl. Adonis and the young woman skipped school and spent the day holding hands, exchanging lingering looks, stealing kisses. Before the night was over, the two made love and the next morning, her father found them together in bed, wearing nothing but the covers…

Chienne was the daughter of Forrest Bedford, founder of the Church of Genetic Purity—a religious organization who stood as the most vocal opponent of the Neo-Sapien race. As the man raged, Adonis moved to make his escape… Forrest Bedford left the room, only to return with a shotgun left to him by his father.

The first blast was intercepted by Chienne, who had been turned into a zealous follower of Adonis, thanks to his abilities. Seeing his baby girl slain only emboldened the man more: he pulled the trigger again and ended the life of Adonis Skraag.

The trial went on for eight months before a verdict was finally reached: Forrest Bedford was found guilty of the double murder and sentences to serve back-to-back life sentences without the possibility of parole.

The landmark case changed everything. While a conflict of interests prevented Bedford’s attorney-turned-senator spouse, Amy, from joining the prosecution, it’s widely believed that she played a part in convicting the man. The death of her daughter acted as the catalyst the woman needed to change her platform; in 2008, she successfully sought the presidency and was reelected in 2012. Though the United States had suffered attacks at the hands of Neo-Sapiens during her tenure, President Bedford was able to enact several bills that supported the Neo-Sapien race: many claim that it is thanks to Senator Bedford that it is illegal to discriminate against a person’s genetic status.

While some still despise, distrust and even fear Neo-Sapiens, today they are the minority. Today, the year is 2025 and a new semester is beginning at the New Vindicators Academy…


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