- 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
- Eamon Finnegan (Kyle) – smooth talking gravity-master; Ultimate Fighting Lawyer, to borrow a phrase.
Emily was presumably caught in another snowpocalypse. Merlin was sick.
Holy Ground, Highlander
We arrive at Sacred Grounds, formerly a church, now a high-end coffee shop (“Drink overpriced coffee!”). Eamon and The Commander each hold a double-door for a woman talking on her phone. The people inside the shop are very . . . eclectic. Varied and weird.
We’re there to see if we can pick up any tales of Marcus, the notional father of the child that we suspect will be a very powerful precog. There’s a burly guy, stirring a drink . . . without touching it. His tatoos seem to move. There’s a scottish guy with a giant deer hound, and I recognize the breed of dog. Yukio gives me the sad-eyed “but I want to go sniff his butt. And start a fight” look. I give him leave for the first, and a stern warning about the second. He whimpers acceptance in a grudging “spoil my fun” way.
Eamon asks about Marcus, and describes him, even showing a sketch-book photo. The bartender confirms he used to come around all the time, but hasn’t been seen in a while.
We’ve got information about him, etc. The bartender asks, as she makes heavenly-smelling coffee, if we believe in psychic phenomena. Eamon notes that weird is where he lives. She says that she trusts him, and shows him to the back. “Don’t lie to anyone down there. The boss will fire me if you start anything, and maybe rip out my soul. But definitely fire me.”
We figure she’s speaking literally.
Down below, there’s a bar, and the clientele look a lot rougher. There are maybe a dozen or two-dozen people down there. It’s kinda quiet. Keeps to itself.
As instructed, Eamon makes his way to the table in the back, introduces himself to an older black woman wearing jewelry of an odd look. A blind black women.
I tell the GM that if her name is Cassie or Sandra I’m leaving. He just smiles at me.
“Sit down, dumbass.”
“I know who you are. Where your friends at?”
“Can they come down.”
“Yeah. Get the capes down here.”
Everyone shows up but Yukio, who hasn’t ever met a fellow member of the giant dog clan this much fun.
Everyone’s glaring at Arc Light as if they want to hurt him.
“Do you always wear such nice . . . suits?”
“As often as possible.”
Two other chairs slide up to the table by themselves. Well, that’s not subtle either, and Eamon didn’t sense any sort of gravity twinge as the chairs move. There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in his gravity sense, and he knows it.
The old blind lady says “Marcus is dead.”
“How did he die?”
“You don’t want to know.”
“I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t want to know.”
“He got his ass killed by a demon. You want to know his name?”
Most people don’t believe in the occult at all and still; they just believe in superpowers. But it does exist, and the people in the know in the occult community tend to keep it to themselves. People find it easier to believe in a super in purple tights than magic, demons, and the occult.
The lady is clearly a precog. The Commander asks her her name, and she tells me I already know.
Sigh. It’s Cassandra, isn’t it?
She tells us that there’s been a pogram on precogs recently, and that the future holds terrible things for me, and that my mother says hi.
But first we have to stop that thing we let in upstairs.
The Commander assumes it’s Yukio and bolts for the upstairs. He’s met by a gunshot to the face that punches through DR 40 and still manages to do 4 points of injury. Ow. I hear a hellish buzzing.
“God damn capes.”
In front of The Commander I see a giant wasp the size of a cat. And the sounds of combat. A quick Aim and a single shot to the vitals proves ineffective as the wasp dodges out of the way.
The front of the coffee shop is bedlam; people are either screaming and running away or fighting, for a few. Probably metas.
The air smells strongly of sulfur; you don’t need Perception-18 to figure that one out. The lady we let into the coffee shop is last seen dissolving into . . . something. Normal flesh shreds and dissolves, and ewwwww. Something rips its way out of her and lands on the floor, growing and forming into several lumpy demon-things, which also seem to have absorbed the killer wasp.
It’s all very splorchy and gross. We make Will rolls, and decide we’ve seen nastier stuff come out of the Hudson river.
The Commander goes first, and he fires off a quick, unaimed 3-round burst at the nearest demon (7ds away). A roll made by 5 hits three times, and as expected, the monster does not react at all. The commander drops his rifle (which conveniently lanyards back to his combat suit) and pulls out his sword.
Eamon and Arc Light go for the Cavalry equivalent of a fastball special. Eamon increases his partner’s velocity and Arc Light goes to ludicrous speed to slam a demon, bypassing the normal warm-up cycle for his suit.
The Commander notes that he’s skipping the foreplay and going right to full speed, which explains why his wife is so surly (see S1E6).
Foreplay aside, he slams for 63d6, and rolls 241 points of damage and a crit. That’s a YUUGE piercing attack. So splorch. Arc Light shrugs off the damage with a TK Power Parry and some DR, allowing him to not take the reverse damage inherent in the collision (collision damage is HP x velocity, with HP of the target being used in the reverse case; so Arc Light could have been exposed to a lot of damage if he’s in basically a 6d6x10 collision).
Since Arc Light has proven to be a tetch dangerous, a demon comes up to him and strives to cut him to ribbons. Battlesuit parry! Success.
A demon rushes up to The Commander and claws at him three times – he covers a lot of distance to do that. Commander parries three times, successfully.
Yet another demon rushes up to Eamon, attacks him, but his successful strike is defeated by multiple layers of DR.
Yukio feints, giving the first bonus to The Commander, who slices twice to the demon’s neck. He dodges one, but not the other – he’s decapitated, but laughs at Ian, despite having no head. Alas. Guns don’t work. Swords to the neck don’t work. Tough customers.
Another megaslam from Arc Light with Eamon throwing him around results in 228 damage this time, but hits the wall, not the target. The collision damages the suit this time, and he also goes through the wall.
One of the demons goes after Yukio, and hits. Yukio is hurt, and angry. You won’t like him when he’s angry. Another re-attaches his head (!) attacks the Commander, who parries with his sword again.
Outside, a demon tries to grapple Arc Light since he’s prone, and succeeds.
Yukio spins around and tries to maul and bite the demon. He succeeds in bite and worry, demon laughs again. The commander just goes for two slashes to the torso, deceptive attacks at -2 each, and hits both times for 28 cut with a (2) armor divisor. Damage is scored, but he’s healing back too fast.
Yukio gets savaged twice by the demon; he’s having like seven bad doggie days today.
Arc Light throws a lethal electric blast, which does burn damage. Demon laughs. These guys are starting to piss us off. Demons from hell do not have any chuff with burn. In turn, the demon tries to rip him out of his suit.
Yukio is forced to roll to stay conscious. He fails to attack the demon. The guy with the deer hound tosses the Commander a vial and screams “Holy water!”
The commander plucks it out of the air, gives it an underhand toss to the demon’s chest level, and then hits both the vial and the demon with a 5d kinetic blast. The vial shatters, sprays all over the demon, who gets slammed back into the bar. The dissolving corpse of the demon doesn’t make it that far, and mostly makes a mess. Two down, two to go.
Arc Light fires up his afterburners and takes his grappling partner for a death roll. He’s ablating the demon the hard way, but the vertigo makes him throw up in his suit a bit. Radiation sickness and nausea and all.
Eamon buffs Yukio, and so when the demon attacks him, it no longer hurts him. Yay, superdog! It’s now payback time.
The gentleman with the holy water starts to do something with a device he pulls out; The Commander knocks back the demon menacing Yukio by two yards with a kinetic blast.
The fight has apparently turned. Arc Light continues to grind down his demon, while the derr hound man tells the Commander to strike at the same time as he acts – Commander moves (half-move is 5), Waits, and strikes as the man flings a powder at the demon. The strike to the neck hits, decapitating and killing him.
Yukio slumps unconscious; The Commander applies Veterinary. Arc Light continues the death roll, slowly ablating the final demon, who can’t get away from his attentions.
Yukio’s in a bad way, pretty much eviscerated before Eamon and Ian work on him to get him stabilized, which is successful. The VERTOL rolls out, and our newly-recruited gang rolls out to take him to the vet.
Total injuries are lots to Yukio, and 4pts to The Commander’s face. Arc Light does first aid for 1 point. I’ll be better in an hour or two.
Cassandra comes up and says “Well, y’all did better than I thought you might.”
She sticks her face up real close to Arc Light, and says “there’s something funny about your aura. It’s like something’s missing in there. It’s like some part of his spirit or soul is missing. It’s been missing for a while, now.”
She says “It’s time for that talk, now.”
We pull out chairs. Someone comes out and the wall starts repairing itself. She asks the Deer Hound guy what he’s doing here. His wife sent him.
All the pregocs see one thing: There’s absolutely nothing at the end of this year, but they don’t know why. Then someone started killing them. First all over, then here and there. Now all in New York. There were 58 precogs in New York; now there are nine. They’re going to take the fortune teller to a sancturary where they’re helping to protect them.
There’s some sort of force killing off psychics, and she wants the girl we rescued last game. There’s a supernatural force assisting . . . something else.
She starts writing an address on a napkin. We’re going to meet someone there, but they’re going to talk to us – but we have to go at a certain time. About 19 hours from now.
The Commander is going to talk to his grandfather – Ieyasu Tokugawa. He figures the mystical old man has to be up to his eyeballs in this.
Eamon calls his cousin, who may or may not be a limited power ESPer. She does answer the phone, and Eamon warns her that people are targeting for death people with her set of skills. She’s actually been working on that. Do you need help? Nah. These black-suited dudes are amateurs. But can you give us a moment? Things are getting a bit spotty here . . . as we hear sounds of combat in the background. She hangs up.
And calls back a few moments later. “Do you know any asshats wearing rams-head symbols on their clothes?”
We connect it to project ARIES . Of course. Cortez. She sends us a photo. Definitely ARIES.
She asks Eamon if she’s talked to Momma Cassie. Oh, well, we’re sitting in the same restaurant as her. Do what she says, and don’t come looking for me, and she’s ditching this phone. Bye.
We get a note that Yukio pulled through surgery. We warn against giving Yukio cheesy-brats.
Next The Commander goes to see his grandfather, VERTOLing away to meet at a park.
Questions are asked and answered.
- General Legend and sister are on their own side, which happens to be ours
- Aries and Cortez are pursuing power, but their ultimate goal was not made clear
- Little girl with cat is cheating by interfering with the past
- Cassie is in fact our ally
- We will be meeting the person whose symbol is the black swan, in 18 hours; is he our enemy? Yes and no.
- Never mess with the time core; it’s not what we think, and it doesn’t do what we think it doe
- NO, he’s not going to tell us what it is and what it does. What’s the point of being an inscrutable Japanese elder without the inscrutability
*** ** ***
We end there.
We still need a combat plan. We charge in with nothing going on for plans.
The battle went pretty well, but we have no real recourse other than massive slam damage for these guys. We got a bit lucky and did 10xHP in one blow.
Otherwise, we did pretty well.