Colors Explained

Part Three: The Storyline

In the end, the stage was set as follows:

The Nighthawks were a "dark superhero group" from New York, a group devoted to upholding justice rather than law. A very tight group, the Hawks had gone through thick and thin together, and had complete trust in each other, as well as a nearly fanatical devotion to their leader, Redeemer. The public viewed them as superterrorists, and the group operated from complete secrecy.

Arctic Light was a high profile Canadian corporate superteam specializing in rescue operations and "impossible jobs". A virtual opposite of the Nighthawks, Arctic Light was not a team of adventurers or crimefighters, but more like superpowered firemen; their leader Human Tank was a responsible humanitarian devoted to helping people with his powers.

Scourge was an immensely powerful superbeing, an ex-member of the Nighthawks and formerly a very close friend of the heroes, who had a few years ago had a difference of opinion with the others (over a gun smuggling operation he was running as a sideline to his activities as a superhero) and left the team as a result. An amoral adventurer, an anti-hero with a conscience but no real sense of responsibility, Scourge had just recently returned to USA, and started running guns again.

The Nighthawks had located Scourge's operation, and caught up with the man himself in Montreal. In the ensuing battle on board the cargo ship Scourge used for his smuggling, one of the Nighthawks accidentally blasted a crate full of explosives with his powers. The resulting explosion caused the ship to sink into St. Lawrence, taking the gun shipment with it and effectively ending the battle. One of the heroes was badly hurt in the explosion, and required immediate medical attention; unfortunately, the Hawks were in a foreign country whose officials were bound to be pretty hostile towards them (their terrorist reputation had preceded them).

As the ship blew up, the Montreal-based Arctic Light were called to check out the situation. When the superpowered rescue unit arrived, there wasn't much for them to do; then they stumbled across the Nighthawks. One of the Hawks saw this as an opportunity to get out of the jam they were in, and used his mental powers to make the leader of the Arctic Light regard the black-clad avengers as fairly trustworthy friends. This suggestion on their side, the Hawks managed to convince Arctic Light to smuggle them out of the harbor now buzzing with activity, and into a safehouse a hundred miles away, where they could rest and tend to their wounded.

Scourge had gone down with the ship, and although the Nighthawks didn't believe him dead for a second, they assumed him to have retreated. However, unknown to the Hawks, Scourge's lover had also been aboard the ship when it sank; she drowned. Upon seeing this the ex-Hawk went into a murderous rage and swore to make his former friends regret they had ever been born. He immediately called up some backup (in the form of three superpowered mercenaries), spent most of his cash paying them, and then set out to find where his foes had vanished. Pretty soon he had the answer.

The game would then start at the point where the two superteams had just arrived at the house of an Arctic Light member. Scourge was still in Montreal, waiting for his allies to show up, and preparing to storm the two superteams.

After the basic premise had been set, the story all but wrote itself: in some two hours I knew exactly who all the characters were, what they thought of each other and why things were going the way they were. There were no miraculous coincidences in the setting at all ­ I had actually managed to create a live-action game script that would have made sense as an RPG scenario, a movie or a comic book. Obviously though, there were some problems with a storyline this simple. Mainly, what would all the characters be doing all the time since they didn't need to plot or scheme very much?

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