- 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.
- Marionette (Ani) – Abilities run to boosting of others, and manipulation of animated objects. The Commander’s third cousin.
We had a full house again.
Outside the Secret Lair . . .
We pick up outside the villain’s secret lair. The Rat Queen, who has never had a hangover before due to being resistant to poison, claims she’s having the worst hangover ever.
The Commander, still feeling “groggy” due to being pumped full of drugs for hours or days, is feeling a bit grumpy.
For reference, my hangover is worse than hers. Seriously.
The bad guy is calling himself Oblivion. He’s trying (and succeeding, honestly) to get revenge on all of the people who did him wrong, back in his lab rat days. But not the Rat Queen kind of lab rat. This was the guy that supposedly got all blowed up – and his current mission is to kidnap and kill Arc Light’s wife.
We quick use the phone, and try and reach her. Arc Light gets in contact with her and suggests she go find a public place. Because our villain has engaged in a spectacular bomb-laying campaign, regardless of innocents. On the other hand, those have required some setup, so perhaps a public space has merit.
The Commander suggests that perhaps she should proceed to the tunnel next to where we pulled the AI out of that one time. Because no one but us knows it’s there, and Mr Oblivion has been four steps ahead of us the entire time.
Zephyr heads to Arc Light’s house first, at 384mph. He can literally get there in 2 minutes, and thus try and provide an escort to the “safe zone.” The doors are open. This isn’t good. The panic room has been broken open. The door was booby trapped, but wasn’t expecting the speedster. When he stops moving, he hears a “click!”
He’s standing on a persian rug, with beautiful scenes, about 2’x4′. Covering a round pressure plate, about frizbee size.
At this point, Alina notes that the one-legged crippled player confirms that explosions you’re standing on are a bad thing. Wench.
The rest of us follow on later. We see that the doorway has ben utterly pulverized, neighbors are gawking, taking selfies. Arc Light asks them to stand back, and they flip him off. His people skills are mad, I tell you. Mad.
Zephyr sees a fingernail embedded in a windowframe as he looks around, and then a sensor dings, and a microwave clock timer goes off, saying “Time’s up,” and starts counting down from 2 minutes.
Eamon is going to use his gravity control to manipulate the pressure plate. He steps onto the welcome mat, and it goes click. He puts on gravity on Zephyr’s plate anyway. Zephyr dodges/jumps out the window – and Eamon puts the right amount of pressure on the rug, the device, and the trigger. He feels like, also, that he’s standing next to the source of a gravity sense disruptor.
The Commander goes to disarm the bomb Eamon was standing on – he’s familiar with the design, so some familiarity penalties don’t apply, and he easily disarms it.
We look for the sensory disruption device while we deploy the Rat Queen and Yukio look for scent and evidence trails for Arc Light’s wife.
We find a FedEx box that is the source of the woozy where gravity is concerned.
The purposeful ripping off of the nail gives a blood scent, allowing both the Rat Queen and Yukio to track her easily. Yukio takes off after the trail, howling.
We continue to search the house, and a few crits later, we determine, based on a few clues and a photo of “The Magnificent Seven” found at a carnival, that this guy was going to kidnap Arc Light’s wife, take her to a carnival, and blow up himself, her, and as many people as possible as his final scene. Other pictures were found as well, including one of Oblivion, who’s looking a lot like a symmetric version of Harvey Dent’s bad side.
Zephyr does a funky shadowing roll, and makes a crit! He follows the trail into a carnival in Central Park, and yes, it’s another FedEx truck. With zero evidence, Zephyr decides that Arc Light’s wife, Angela, will be on the Ferris wheel. Turns out, he’s right. Darnit.
He’s moving FedEx boxes from the back of his truck and delivers them to the concessions vendors. Excellent.
We see someone else sitting about 100yds away, at the Alice Statue, who also looks remarkably like Angela.
But her skin, on the bench, does not look real, says The Rat Queen. Maybe the one on the Ferris wheel.
We leap to the conclusion that the FedEx boxes have gravity sense scramblers in them; we also leap to the conclusion that the Angela-dummies are laden with explosives.
Yukio is distracted. He wants a funnel cake. As it turns out, Oblivion is obviously munching on one. Zephyr tries to sprint over – and he catches Oblivion smiling over at him, looking out of the corner of his eye. This whole thing has been prepared.
At the center of the truck there’s a small, strange technodevice, slowly pulsing. It’s a bigger version of what Cortez had on his belt – a power nullifier. And Zephyr can no longer move his hand fast. And he does find explosives in the truck, which he should definitely not try and get anywhere near.
And Arc Light walks up to Oblivion and tries to punch him in the face. Oblivion, who has perhaps displayed hugely excellent martial skills in the past, does aggressive parry and then kicks him, Leonidas style, a few yards away.
We do a quick download of the images streaming from Zephyr’s images. The Commander identifies it as VX. Enough to kill everyone in Manhattan.
The Commander tries to call to see about any research into power nullifiers, by his grandfather or the general, but all external communications are jammed.
Arc Light tries to talk to Oblivion to get him angry; Oblivion mocks him, tells him that his wife is nowhere near here, and then shoots himself in the head.
The team is trying to keep Oblivion’s heart pumping, because we worry that the bomb triggering the VX van. We need a plan. We’ve been utterly stupid to this point. So . . . The Commander burns 5 Karma points for an automatic critical success. And
The Commander: OK, guys. Every scenario this far has Oblivion setting one or more bombs. He’s going to come at is with bombs again. And we’ve disarmed most of them. So he’s going to try and outfox us again, multiple detonators, backups, redundancies.
So we’re not going to try and stop it from blowing up at all. Here are all his detonators, his MO, his plans. We can plan on containing the largest explosion so far.
Arc Light: OK, well, the explosion could be distributed. How about ablative blast foam?
The Commander: Perfect. That’s something that we can all do, and with Zephyr, we can do it pretty fast. Let’s make twice as much as the largest threat we’ve faced, and arrange the VERTOL to automatically bring it nearby when we call . . .
Eamon: You need to distract him so he can’t feel out our plan. Arc Light?
Arc Light: Oh, don’t worry. I’m pissed enough to distract him…
The Commander: OK. Let’s saddle up.
Return to the Present
The Rat Queen hooks up Oblivion to a heart/lung machine that Zephyr got from a nearby hostpital (I don’t think I mentioned that earlier; my bad).
The timer goes off, and . . . the blast is contained.
Now we need to deal with the dummies, perhaps. We request a portable X-Ray machine from the local hospital, and Eamon crits again on a Talky McTalkypants roll. They bring it out to us.
I get called away by a tired little girl with nightmares.
They realized that no one had searched the body. They swarmed over and found two pictures. One of him and his girlfriend (who died in the MIT explosion), and the other is of his father and him as a child – it’s labeled Bellevue Hospital 1999.
Eamon deduces, using Psychology, that it’s likely that Oblivion took her there.
Zephyr zips over to Bellevue, and searches the hospital, looks around, and finds Angela, Arc Light’s wife. She’s got an IV drip and a vitals monitor, but otherwise nothing obvious.
As we suspected, the Angela-dolls are wired with explosives packed into a lifelike sex doll. The Commander disarms them handily.
The IV hooked up to Angela is not saline. We’re not sure what it is. We look, and it’s a modified form of atropine – which can be an antidote for the form of VX he used.
Back at the carnival, Yukio is gorging on abandoned funnel cake, his face covered with
We end there…
Well. Despite our ret-con, that was very nearly a ridiculously epic fail. We entered the kill zone of a known super-villain known for his contingency planning with not a bit of plan. Zero. None.
Despite our ret-con, up to the desperation of the flash-back, it was a seat-of-the-pants, unplanned, let’s stick our head into the sphere of annihilation epic fail.
Our tendency to have the basic strategem be “I’m going to do something crazy” nearly always bites us in the ass.
As it turned out, he was super-intelligent AND super-perceptive, so he knew we were following him.
The other guys claim that the only plan that worked last time was an anti-plan, because the NPC had so much ability to predict the team’s actions that the only things that worked were ideas so off the wall (and bad) that no sane person would have predicted them coming up.
We actually asked the question if there were two vehicles at the getaway site from the Angela kidnapping, but were talking over the GM so we never did learn that yes, there were two vehicles and we probably could have taken out the Angela-kidnapping angle, and maybe even discovered the modified atropine – which might have given us an antidote angle!
Anyway, we pulled our butts out of the fire . . . today, at least.