Aeon Campaign: S1E6 – Crazy is as crazy does

Dramatis Personae

  • The Commander (Doug) – telekinetic super-soldier with a really angry dog (Yukio). The dog is a powerful ally (250-300 points) and very intelligent and very, very aggressive.
  • Arc Light (Christian) – battlsuited gadgeteer with electrical powers
  • The Rat Queen (Emily) – brick with super-perception; made of actual rats
  • Eamon Finnegan (Kyle) – smooth talking gravity-master; Ultimate Fighting Lawyer, to borrow a phrase.
  • Zephyr (Merlin) – Real name Murui; Shaolin Kung Fu expert and super-speedster. 

There are better ways to get a date

“You ruined my suit.”

The smoke hadn’t yet cleared when we sorted through the wreckage. Looking closely we found a string of numbers, as well as a business card with a strange, swan-looking logo on it. The number string was 

098 68 1462 9 13 1984 10 000 000

We quickly surmised that the first 9 digits were a social security number, and that the next were a birthday, and the final eight were a sum. The 098 68 prefix is consistent with a birthday in New York that matches 9/13/1984 . . . so that fits. 

No idea what the logo is. Not yet.

But at that point, we get a call on the emergency frequency that the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant is about to explode. It’s an all-available-hands type message, and so we beat feat, so to speak, in that direction.

We call the VTOL back and grab the pieces of the armor. We tap the Rat Queen to stay behind and watch over our KO’d metahumans Battalion and Kris the Knife. Em’s out for the moment buried under 20-30″ of snow.

We arrive on scene just in time to observe a large secondary explosion from Reactor #2. We scan the reactor, and it would appear that there has been a radiation leak. A ferry had a chunk of retaining wall fall on it, and so it’s holed by reinforced concrete. Eamon can probably handle that, maybe even by his lonesome.

We hear and see a man-sized projectile coming in from the East, in an all-red suit with a sigma symbol on his chest. The super is called Sigma, and he’s in the MAPS program, a reserve member of the Valiants. He’s coming right over to us. He looks absolutely devoid of emotion. We open the door, so to speak, and he floats in, looking bored.

He looks at the Commander, and says that he and Arc Light is needed to help with Dome 2 and 3. He looks at Arc Light, and frowns. “I was under the impression you had a mechanized suit.”

“Yeah, it got ripped in half by a ferrokinetic.”

“This is a problem.”

“You don’t need to tell me that.”

We think he wants me to transform the radiation into something less harmful. I make an IQ roll by 10, and I get what he’s trying to have me do – convert one form of energy into another. 

All of the locks on the facility have failed as well, because of a latent issue with security. 

The Commander digs in, spends 2 FP, and makes a Will roll (plus KE talent) at -10 by 3 to transmute the energy into something else as Sigma instructed. Sigma himself just destroys the radiation. 

The reactor had a catastrophic loss of coolant with no real explanation. They managed to start the sequence to SCRAM #3, but the explosion of #2 mucked that up. They shut #1 down OK.

“I’m not sure what the exact levels of radiation are in there, I can only keep it contained. But it doesn’t look good.”

Arc Light, even without the suit, can probably supply sufficient power to keep the pumps on that will allow #3 to be safely brought to shutdown. 

To lift the boat out of the water requires 565 ST. Eamon can do it by spending more or less all of his available fatigue points, and pushing the sinking ship to shore.

Arc Light, in the reactor room, manages to get just the right voltage and frequency into the circuit, and manages to get the pumps started again. He tries to make it self-sustaining, and plugs into the regular emergency power system. He manages to get the pumps working well enough that the SCRAM process will move along by himself. 

He needs to get out of there fast, though, because his radiation badges are turning black one after another.

The Indian Point reactor is right above the Ramapo fault line . . . and the Rat Queen and Eamon both detect an incoming p-wave from an earthquake incoming. 

So we have a breach in the containment system with terrible radiation, and an incoming earthquake.

Arc Light feels a strange tearing sensation inside his body, and fades out of consciousness. We suspect radiation threat.

The Commander feels the energy coming, and tries to redirect the energy from the area around the plant – he makes the roll (absorbing the -10 penalty) and manages to actually move the energy out to the East, towards Connecticut. 

Zephyr manages to find and drag Arc Light out of the danger zone, though Arc Light’s burns look like they came from the inside, rather than the outside. We can see the energy hit the city – and the shoreline on the river collapses, with a problem zone along the river line. 

Sigma is just absorbing radiation and making it go away. The Commander is learning new skills rapidly as he converts energy from one type to another.

We wind up taking care of business, though Arc Light is not in a good way. Sigma is mopping up and the Commander and Eamon go looking around for a source of the issue. The reactors did kinda go all nuts at once, and the earthquake at the same time? We go looking for Luck-influencing supers, but all known such supers are locked up (there are 10-12 of them). No one is really buying the “just a freak accident” theory, but lacking a plausible 

Zephyr took Arc Light to the hospital, and stayed with him there. The anti-rad treament doesn’t kill Arc Light, but he’s very badly burned. The doctor is asking who exactly this burned guy is . . . he’s asking about next of kin, we think. We consult with Adama, and there’s an experimental anti-rad serum that might help. Zephyr knows two things about AI: they provide magic pills and exploding bullets. Adama can provide written consent, though, on behalf of Arc Light, so the doc is willing to administer it, though reluctant.

Back at the hospital, a woman dressed all in white, slightly overweight, blonde hair, blue eyes, shows up with a package. “Are you the damn fool who killed my husband?” she says to Zephyr. No, the radiation did.

Arc Light awakens to see “his angel” by his side. Well, she’s yelling at the doctor and telling him to use his sawbones elsewhere. She suddenly turns and stabs Zephyr with a needle, injecting him with something. She’s much more gentle when she does it to Arc Light, her face softening just a bit.

Back at the reactor, The Commander and Eamon are still bothered by the “coincidence” of all of this disaster at once. We’re trying to hunt up people who we can talk to to see if any of these guys and see if there’s an assignable human error cause. All of the workers would have been routed to the hospital, so all wind up there.

We cross-reference a bunch of worker data to see if there are any relations – and find one oddity. We seek these guys out if we can. One of the guys seems nervous – a mechanic – and The Commander singles him out quickly.

He freaks out. He had been doing some “loose” sabotage to bring a romantic interest – Shiela, a romantic interest – to physically inspect the parts. But his timing was bad – ridiculously bad – and not only did he cause an explosion, he killed Sheila, who was caught in one of the blasts.

The earthquake was a 6.6 moment magnitude, and the aftershocks are eating up emergency personnel like there’s no tomorrow.

Aftermath can be insane

In other events, Zephyr has been looking at the magic dagger, a kris knife with Kali engraved in the pommel. The dagger’s pommel has eyes that open and gaze balefully at Murui, and the arms make up the crossguard.

We all need downtime badly, but we won’t get it. Commander is down by 10 HP due to internal damage from redirecting the earthquake energy. Zephyr still hasn’t fully recovered from the prior fight – he’s maybe down to 4 HP from a decent total. The Rat Queen was majorly hit, but she regains quickly as long as there are rats about to absorb. Eamon was down to 1 FP. Arc Light is hospitalized, and the Commander asks how his troop is doing.

“He is not your soldier!” she shrieks . . . and punches The Commander in the face for 5 HP, which gets absorbed by the full-face helmet, but that was a nice straight left she gave him. The Commander says so. She’s still pissed off, but they are, in fact, his troops, and he is incapable of thinking of them any other way.

He’s undergoing total vascular failure – he’s dying from some sort of internal problem. The Commander asks if the damage would have happened to anyone, or was this unique to Arc Light’s power set? She looks at the Commander, and then examines Arc Light more closely. Something (the NEDs?) that usually keeps some internal feedback thing in check are no longer operational. 

Zephyr decides to go eat some Scary German Guy pancakes. Eamon goes looking for other options, because Commander’s only real option is to call General Legend, and inquire about Basilisk, his sister, who is known to be a healer of others.

Eamon, though, crits and actually knows someone that might be able to help. There’s a scientist in an insane asylum that might help – he takes the Rat Queen.

Arc Light has lost his basic electrical abilities – no one can come up with any explanation of what this would occur. At all. This includes his wife, who is apparently also more than meets the eye. There’s a lot of that going around.

When Eamon and the Rat Queen arrive at the asylum, they find that the place was leveled by the earthquake. Eamon calls the Commander and Zephyr to the scene. They go. Quickly.

Back at the hospital, all of a sudden the Arc Light battlesuit crashes through the window, repaired, and comes to a sudden halt as it finds the wall. Arc Light suits up.

Eamon finds the person that he’s looking for, and a quick discussion discovers that she’s crazy as crazy gets. The Joker looks like an upstanding member of society here. She starts ranting off when Eamon asks about her work with radiation. She doesn’t work with radiation, she works with the matter of reality itself. She warned them, but didn’t listen. 

Eamon continues to redirect, talking about his injured friend, suffering from radiation damage, if there was only a way to heal him by fixing his cells, etc. 

Check(Psychologist!) 3 vs 18
Check(Talker!) 4 vs 17

He rolls two freakin’ crits in a row to steer her into trying to figure out how to give Arc Light the Commander’s Regeneration/Regrowth powers for long enough to heal him.

We pause to let the GM recover from that one. “Pumpkin, did your friend get hurt again? Let’s go see him.” Eamon flies her over, and she berates him for not practicing his control, and does so in a familiar enough way that Eamon suspects a connection.
She checks Arc Light’s chart. “Honey, you’re dying!” She looks over at the suit, and asks “Where’s Zevulon at? How is he?” We assume that Zeb is the original creator of the Arc Light suit. She needs a lab. She loves Zev’s lighthouse! The old lady is actually already in the computer.
Well, that’s peculiar. We request a dossier, and get told we don’t have clearance for that. Ooo. Denied in his own base. Adding insult to mortal injury.
So, she’s in the biolab, with lab coat, and some pants. Because she was in desperate need of pants. We make her feel at home as best we can. We get ready to dig in to work . . . 
We call it there.
The GM reminds us 
* The business card is still important
* There’s a huge issue with both metas and normals and infrastructure; we come up with a plan to inspire people to help police their own block – we will execute on that tomorrow

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