VANGUARD HISTORY, 1955-1960

1955-56: Mission None -- Business as Usual

Nothing much of interest happened to Vanguard these years. Red Star 2 was sent on several PR jaunts. Vanguard was sent as part of the peacekeeping force to the Gaza Strip after the short war between Israel, Britain and France on one side and Egypt on the other. They mostly keep the Hand of Allah and Gideon's Chosen from killing each other.

February 18, 1957: Mission 91 -- The Future Informs the Past (GM: Steve Henderson)

Vanguard goes on alert when a young woman steps out of a Victorian looking conveyance and collapses on the quadrangle at Treasure Island. Questioning reveals that she is the last of a group of freedom fighters from a future in which the Earth is shackled under the thumb of the Morlocks, sub-surface dwellers of the far future who bushwhacked a Victorian time traveler and used his conveyance to conquer the Earth only a couple of years in the future.

      The young woman is from 1997, when the Morlocks have been in control for decades. She tells Vanguard just before dying from poison gas inhalation that the Morlocks are just about to start their plan of conquest in Vanguard's time. Only Vanguard can stop them!. She has a map of their secret sanctuary.

      A team consisting of BOOMER, RED STAR (the original, visiting from Olympus), ZEEBRIES, IRON CROSS, CONQUISTADORE and SWIFTSURE, the only members currently on the base, get to the site, a supposedly abandoned mine, and infiltrate it. They have to fight their way past some robotic guards and group of unknown supers who have apparently been brainwashed into supporting the Morlocks. But eventually they prevail, destroy the Morlock mind control machinery, and capture the original Time Traveller's device. When they get back to Treasure Island they find the body of the girl and the device she rode in gone. They know they've saved the world, but have no idea how they got the information to go to the mine to find the Morlocks.

      And in a ripple of time that resounds throughout the continuum, books that had never mentioned Vanguard and memories that had blanked its existence out suddenly remembered them. The principal members were still known to have disappeared in 1963, but now everyone knows they existed at one time, and were, in fact, the progenitors of the current (1990s) UNTIL organization.

February 19, 1958: Mission 92 -When the Ice Queen Calls (GM: Steve Henderson)

A large Vanguard team consisting of DEVADASI, SWIFTSURE, PELOTA, BOXER, RED STAR, IRON CROSS, CONQUISTADORE, MUJAHHEDEEN, SALAH Ah DIN, and BOOMER are sent to Scandinavia. Incredible blizzards have been devastating the Northern Hemisphere and there is something terribly wrong. They are met by MANHUNTER and AURORA, the Scandinavian superheroine they have worked with before. They have a lead on the origin of the problem.

      In a remote trading post they are attacked by several mythological monsters. The Vanguardians drive off the monsters and keep one a captive. Questioning the captive reveals a location they come from. Most of the team goes to investigate, leaving Devadasi behind to coordinate operations telepathically (and give her a warm place she can dance unhindered by snow, ice, and bulky garments). Swiftsure stays with her to guard her since he can get to the other team fastest if he needs to back them up.

      The two in the trading post are attacked by animated machinery and their captive while the away team is surrounded by overwhelming numbers of monsters. Despite a valiant struggle, the away team is defeated, not least because Manhunter and Aurora are Traitors!. Devadasi and Swiftsure defeat their opponents, but cannot help their friends.

      The Ice Queen is pleased that her minions have brought her more superpowered minions. Her new minions bask in her glow and feel themselves fortunate to have such a great mistress.

February 20, 1959: Mission 93 -- Go To the Refrigerator and Get the Heroes (GM: Steve Henderson)

      A year of magical rituals on the part of White Lotus and psionics scans by Devadasi and others finally reveal where their lost teammates have been taken and how to get there. Vanguard assembles a team of DEVADASI, SWIFTSURE, JOTUN, FREEDOM FORCE, HUSSAR, JANNISARY, WEREWOLF, MOUSE and STELLARI to bring their people back.

      They approach the palace of the ICE QUEEN and something about their presence triggers something in the mind-thralled captives from Vanguard. A general battle breaks out and after some very fierce fighting, Almost all of the captive heroes are regained. The Ice Queen threatens to leave the dimension they are all in and says that her leaving will kill the former captives, but Vanguard defies her and she goes.

      Aurora and Manhunter drop dead. Fortunately, all of the other captives had an anchor of faith in one thing or another and were able to survive. Vanguard goes home.

February 21, 1960: Mission 94 -- Last Dance of the Deva (GM: Steve Henderson)

      A team consisting of BOOMER, PRINCESS PHOENIX, DEVADASI, SWIFTSURE, PELOTA, and CONQUISTADORE are sent to the temple where the Vault of the Rakshasa resides. Apparently someone is trying to get into it.

      Getting there, they find no signs of entry, but there is a miasma about the area that cannot be dispelled. They camp around the temple and find others camping in the area, including Hellspawn (looking like the Defenders of Justice). Various approaches are made to the Vanguard members as they sit at guard duty, but all remain steadfast the next day, when the Vault, or something very like it, opens!. They race the other groups into the vault and find themselves on a series of trials and questions. Each does his or her best, and at the end find that they have been chosen to be gods of their own domains.

      The members are given the opportunity to bring others into their godhood, and FREEDOM FORCE is persuaded to join in, along with various others like Boomer's wife and their children.

      Apparently Hellspawn was offered the same opportunity, but Reaper attempted to trick the Powers That Be into granting even more powers, and he and his cohorts were dismissed.

      Vanguard was left with sudden holes in its roster.

1961: A Time of Rebuilding

The major powers moved swiftly to replace their members in Vanguard. Freedom Force was good enough to train a retired costumed hero, Mr. America, in the same meditation skills that gave him his power and Mr. America is not as strong, but still capable. India chose Vajrah, the son of gods, to fill their slot. England appoints Swiftsure's old sidekick, now an adult, to the post of Captain Britain and seconds him to Vanguard. The other members needed more time to think.

      In the meantime, the South American presence in the team was reinforced by the addition of Nanduti from Paraguay and Azul from Chile.

      Elsewhere in the world, a new coterie of super heroes is arising. A new Flash is running in Chicago, and a new Green Lantern (apparently using the old one's ring) is flying over Los Angeles. These two, along with old time heroes like Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, and the recently revealed Martian (or so he says) Manhunter have formed the Justice League of America.

      There's a new outlook in the world. Many wonder if Vanguard has had its time in the sun and must give way to the younger organizations.

      And in Cuba, the revolution of Fidel Castro, increasingly leaning toward the Soviet Bloc after rebuffs from the Eisenhower Administration, is suddenly overthrown by an invasion of Cuban exiles supported by their new superhero group, Libertad.

February 15, 1962: Mission 95 -- A Diplomatic Courtesy (GM: Steve Perrin)

Vanguard is invited to participate in the inauguration of new Cuban president Emilio Estefan. GENERAL GERARD sends MR. AMERICA, RED STAR 2, VAJRAH, AZUL, NANDUTI, CAPTAIN BRITAIN, EARTH SPIRIT, TIGER, SPHINX, IRON CROSS, and MOUSE to represent the organization.