- 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.
We had a full house again.
Boom. Now what do we do?
Game Start: Ap[ril 1, 2016
We arrive at the scene of a huge antipersonnel explosion at the Church of Saint Raymond. We show up after the EMTs have evacuated the most traumatically wounded. Roughly 70 cops are on the scene.
No one saw anyone planting bombs, and there was only one explosion.
The Commander has people fan out and look for secondary explosives, to hit the responders. The team has massive Search skills, and we need them. There is, in fact, a second explosive set, ridiculously well concealed as a trash can (not in a trash can, as a trash can). The explosive is a form of SEMTEX.
We have lots of people in the area
The device itself is about 10lbs of SEMTEX, wrapped around nails, BBs, and other household junk as a fragment source. Since I crit and made it by 16, I get all sorts of details about the primary timer, and secondary triggers. There’s also Rat Poison on the shrapnel as a blood thinner. This is one seriously angry dude. The Rat Queen can also tell that the plastic explosives were homemade. Mercury motion switch too.
The Commander lays down the plan.
I’ve got 5 min on the bomb timer. The Commander spends 2 Karma for 2 rerolls, takes the best of 3, and makes the roll by 15. I disarm it with 31 sec left on the timer. We detach the transmitter part from the board, and give it to Arc Light to see if he can track down the frequency that was going to be sent and/or received. The Rat Queen looks for survivors. Murui uses magical sense foes to see if there’s a hostile actively in the area.
He detects a very, very angry pigeon. It’s evil. It’s disturbed. It’s on Zephyr’s personal no-fly list from this moment on.
We go for a full sensory workup. Eamon gets a density signature. Rat Queen sniffs it and can trace it that way. Zephyr looks for sorcerous tie-ins (nope).
Arc Light gets that the remote trigger was a cell phone frquency, and goes to follow the signal. He rolls a 4 and makes it by 16. Burner phone, GPS not active. Put in custom hardware and software to make it damn near untraceable . . . except for the crit and the margin of success.
We think we have enough for a profile – more importantly, a list of suspects. We get a profile worth +1 to future questions of “who” and “why.” A very deep profile. Visceral hate in there, highly intelligent. Broad skill set. Smart enough to use household supplies and turn it into a terrorist device, and cruel enough to hit twice. Plus the message scrawled on the wall:
We also think about surveillance camera footage, and see how the garbage can was put in place.
The footage has been tampered with. A whole bunch of annoying coincidences, including a bird pooping on a convenient lens.
We decide that Murui’s initial detection of the angry pigeon was not actually a failed roll.
Investigations and Conversations
There were perhaps 3 dead, 40 in intensive care, and many more wounded.
The deceased were a doctor (a neurologist), his wife, and their young child. Gregory Echeverria. No malpractice suits, outstanding citizen, exceedingly likeable individual. Active in the community, 9/11 responder, volunteer firefighter in his history. Was both a research fellow and practitioner. Specialty in MADS, Parkinsons, and other degenerative brain disease. This guy was either hiding something or an actual saint.
Emily decides that this guy was actually a super-villain, and this is a clone.
We rapidly come to the conclusion – validated by the GM – that the first explosion was targeted at the doctor and his family. The rest was either just evil, or a distraction/diversion attempt, or both.
Eamon goes through the doctor’s house (legally). Someone did break into the house, we discover. But nothing much else. We know it’s recent.
Looking into the background of this guy, he graduated High School early at 15, went to college at MIT in Biochem. Wild youth (well, wild for MIT), graduated, became a volunteer firefighter during 9/11 (which went down differently than in our reality), struggled to find work that interested him enough to stay put.
We send emissaries to interview and intel gather from the hospital, looking for MICE (Money, Ideology, Conscience, Ego) related stuff that might have made him a target.
Ah ha. There was an explosion at MIT in a chemical lab. Half the wing burnt down, and at least one student was killed. Arc Light was there at the time, actually. The guy who died was Warren Kivalina (Serbian), a 16-yo student. Kivalina’s father died of alzheimer’s several years thereafter. Looking into Warren, he came up with a possible cure for Alzheimers while he was there, and the research was lost along with the building. Warren and Gregory were working on the same project.
That’s another lead, then.
There were also two other people in that cohort that died of neuro-degenerative diseases, too. One developed Parkinson’s in 2014, and died within six weeks. The other developed rapid onset Louis Body’s dementia in 2015.
There were a total of 7 people working on this project, including Arc Light’s character. The Magnificent Seven, they called themselves. Five of seven are accounted for. The only two left untraced are Andrew Farmer and Hayley Roberts.
Hayley Roberts, now Hayley Roberts-Lee, runs a private forensics consulting firm. She’s been a forensic pathologist since she was basically 20.
Farmer . . . went off the grid seven years ago. Hasn’t paid bills, paid taxes, held a job. He’s either the killer or hiding from one. His specialty was mathematics. Probability, in fact.
We look into their parents, too. And the families. All have high birth rates and early families. High IQ types. They all seem like scions . . . but they’re not scions. A good half of the parents were in military service – in fact, one half of each family was a soldier-type, covered in medals and glory. The spouses were all high-achievers too, good looking, high achievers.
We look into various projects designed to bring about scions – this isn’t the right path. But many projects designed to bring about improved humans have existed.
There are patterns. One with high intelligence, one with military service. Recently that wasn’t female-male respectively, but back not that far (two generations, maybe three), and it was that way (we go to the great depression/WW2). That pattern goes back to the 1900s – there was not one particular ethnicity or race or nationality here, especially when we broaden the search. Not a Master Race thing, then. We keep digging, and this goes back at least 200 years. Lots of kids.
But our Doctor only had one child, an 11yo. He got married to his recently deceased wife five years ago. She was not military, and neither was he. The child was his son, by another woman. 11yo? That would make it 2004 . . . was the mom killed in the middle east? Yes, she was, while serving in the middle east. I get her full dossier, thanks to a Pulling Rank crit. Autumn Mueller.
She was a marine, transferred to CIA in the SOG division. Into some gnarly stuff. She was a hell of an operator. She and he did file a certificate of dependency, and they’d started the seemingly required large family – she was pregnant when she died. The kid survived the mother’s death, but died in the hospital.
We wonder if the Doctor broke some unwritten code of this group of people or something.
The Magnificent Seven
So there are seven of these guys. And they’re married.
Arc Light is one, and he’s married to a (military?) doctor. But Arc Light’s parents were not that way. And Arc Light doesn’t have children. He met his wife while he was “thuggin’,”
We note that reminds of the doctor – but yeah, they all had a wild period of not-so-much-law-abiding behavior.
We get a call in over the radio at this point. There’s been another explosion. At Hayley’s forensics firm. But she’d stepped out to get coffee, so she’s got her in protective custody.
We go looking for Boom-Ex via gravity and rats. The Commander and Zephyr were going to take our witness back to the Lighthouse. There are not one, but two secondary explosives. The Commander wraps his forcefield around her, and they move to the Vertol…
Zephyr hears something click, his time sense goes off, and he senses/sees/detects a bullet. He pulls a sacrificial dodge, but gets shot in the ass.
The bullet could only have come from 700yds away, in a particular building. The Commander announces the location, having made the Observation roll by 17; Rat Queen starts moving that way.
We see an image of someone all black, head-to-toe, in a featureless mask, on top of the roof. The color seems to be changing – probably tech. It’s a quick-dissassemble into a pouch, and he’s down, not presenting a target, and moving very quickly.
The Commander hits Zephyr with some quick Physician, and brings him from “basically crippled” to “only down 1 HP.”
Zephyr and Rat Queen are on the scene. Rat Queen goes after the target as a swarm, as an area of effect. She does minimal damage to him (armor), but nibbles his pack with the gun in it away. He is actually outrunning the swarm, which is Move 18.
The group on the roof has to roll HT-10 for some reason; Commander makes an Observation roll by 14 – the guy drops something, launches himself off the building, and then shimmers and disappears. Zephyr and Rat Queen both get hit with a binding . . . and their clothes start melting. Acid spiderwebs. Yuck.
Rat Queen detects scent – and gets the ‘no smell’ scent that hunters use. Zephyr opens the bag. There’s a disassembled .50 caliber rifle in there, the Marine version of it.
We end there.
Game End: 00:30 April 2, 2016
We quickly decide on MVP for this session. We hit up Eamon for the research.