Armagideon Time

Hang on to your ironically affected chapeaus, treat kiddies! It’s time for another amazing installment of…

…in which I use the character creation rules in the Marvel Super Heroes RPG’s Ultimate Powers Book to roll up a random batch of powers and abilities, then sit back and watch as some incredibly talented folks work their creative magic upon the quantified chaos.

This week’s fine feathered contribution flew in by way of the stellar combo of Cathy Leamy (art) and Ken Lowery (writing).

The Tablet of the Fourth Age is a miracle of legal and theological composition, and the bedrock upon which the Celestial Amalgamated Commonwealth of Avian Wisdom rests its strength. In it, the great Lost Prophet of the Fourth Age laid out answers for any and all of life’s questions. With it, order is maintained and all prosper. Without it, the Commonwealth would fall into ruin.

Among other things, the Tablet extensively documents the how’s and why’s of proper rule, up to and including the line of succession and proper duties for the Commonwealth’s heirs. The first heir, naturally, is to take a spouse and replace its parents as regent. The second is to become a mighty general; the third, an archbishop; the fourth, a scholar; the fifth, a diplomat; the sixth – and here everyone agreed the Tablet was starting to reach a little – was to be steward of the Regent’s home.

And here the Lost Prophet stumbled. He had meant to write that the seventh child (should there ever be one) would be the Star Child, the long-prophesied savior of perhaps the entire galaxy and the herald of the Sixth Age. But the Avian Prophet came down with the flu that day and never got around to writing it down. The subject never came up again.

Millennia later, Hawksley was born the seventh son to Regent Bluebird XXIV the same day The 5th Dimension released “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” half a galaxy away.

Possessed of an unspeakable urge to do great things but with no official demands, discipline, or reason for being to shape him, Hawksley wasted most of his childhood messing with his hair and trying on different shades of Lycra. Nonplussed by his father’s advice to “I don’t know, get a liberal arts degree?” and crippled by the certainty that he was a talentless, purposeless waste of space, Hawksley hitched a ride out of the Commonwealth with his diplomat brother and never looked back.

Through a series of mishaps as convoluted as they are ultimately pretty dull, Hawksley veered way, WAY off course. Suffice to say that about one day after telling his brother he’d “catch up with him at the Galactic Wall Drug,” Hawksley found himself awakening from cryogenic sleep after crash landing on the National Mall.

His introduction to humanity was dramatic, and so he felt obligated to accept the gravity bestowed to him. Plus, he lies like crazy when he’s nervous. And that’s why the entire world now thinks Hawksley is a cosmic harbinger of doom possessed of great powers who has decided to become a force for good. “My opponents,” he said in his first television interview, “will learn to worry when they hear my call. Like, a lot. Just worry their heads right off. It’ll be nuts.”

The moniker that followed was as unfortunate as it was inevitable.

Given his appearance and his predisposition for boasting loudly to anyone who might call his bluff, Worrybird almost immediately landed a gig with the up-and-coming Global Vanguard, a collection of ex-sidekicks looking to combine their individual brands to create one superior marketable title. Worrybird gets to be “the bad boy.”

While he possesses the flight and awesome hair of all members of his race, his Star Child abilities are blossoming … if only he would notice. He does not understand that civilians he rescues respond to his voice because he has the ability to compel and command; he simply thinks they’re scared out of their wits by the persona he’s built up in the media. He does not know that the reason he can sometimes project his senses to other places is because he is the embodied link between the physical and the ineffable; he thinks it’s because of “bird senses.” He does not know that the worms that sometimes squiggle back to life in his stomach are the earliest stages of his most astounding messiah-like ability – the ability to bring the dead back to life – but instead thinks it’s just the grossest possible thing in the entire world.

Oblivious, he carries on fighting and bluffing and boasting. The voice in his head is screaming that his new life will come crashing down with spectacular finality any day now, but he doesn’t let that show. After all, maybe just one more bluff will get him out of this jam…

(Astounding art by Cathy Leamy and wonderful words by Ken Lowery. UPJ logo provided by Dave Lartigue.)

Are you an artist, writer, or terrifying combination of the two who’d like to try your hand at the Ultimate Powers Jam? Then drop me a line at bitter(dot)andrew(at)gmail(dot)com and I’ll commence the dice to rolling. (For those of you who have have expressed an interest and are still waiting for an assignment, I should have something for you by the weekend.)

Related posts:

  1. Ultimate Powers Jam #29: Flicker
  2. Ultimate Powers Jam #25 – The Reader
  3. Ultimate Powers Jam #13 – Spindle

3 Responses to “Ultimate Powers Jam #6 – Worrybird”

  1. Mike Podgor

    I’d kind of like to see all the Ultimate Powers Jams characters interact when there’s a few more. It’d be highly entertaining.

  2. Cathy

    Yes! Crossover time! ULTIMATE POWERS CRISIS

  3. Prankster

    I call “Oblivious Avian Godhead” for my band name, if I ever start one.

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