- 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
- Zephyr (Merlin) – Real name Murui; Shaolin Kung Fu expert and super-speedster.
Black Magic, Black Market
If only we knew someone with Chinese descent and attunement with magic. Or an archaeologist or something. Who knows about Maltese Tigers? (“It belongs in a museum!”)
What’s all this? We were trying to figure out if there’s a way to figure out whether the Maltese Tiger (no, really) is real or not. We look about, and come to the conclusion that Bao Lu, the expert in Chinese antiquities, and he’s here at a local museum.
The Commander nudges Zephyr. “Ask her out. You just saved a priceless vase.” He spends a karma point to help his reaction. I will be his wingman any time.
He tries to chat her up, introducing himself as Murui Ao, by the way, also known as Zephyr. Her name is Stephanie Harper, and “Oh, my God . . . you guys are the Cavalry.”
Yes. Yes we are!
“Oh, my God. You don’t remember me! I was at the Taco Stand! You saved me!”
They banter. She’s blonde, almost silver blonde. She’s got gigantic glasses on. Zephyr will call her after museum hours. She offers to work up a dossier on the Tiger, and Zephyr offers to take her to the best noodle cart in the city, his uncles.
They go to the cart, and Farther and Uncle starts in. “Murui! She’s beautiful! You will make lovely grandchildren for your parents!”
Uncle calls the parents, and they chat in Chinese, which of course Stephanie understands perfectly. Things go downhill as they call Murui’s mother, and she starts in on why he didn’t tell her that he’d been dating. No, they just met. Then why did you introduce her to your father?! Because of the noodles! She starts to give him advice.
They finally break away and manage to start looking at the Tiger dossier, when it was lost in 2006, and found in 2014 by an Aegis team. Murui asks what’s special about the tiger. Oh, well, the pearl it’s clutching might be an actual dragon pearl, which can summon and control a dragon.
Like the one sighted over New York? Yeah. That dragon. Crap. Suddenly this takes on a greater import.
He asks if she wants to go to a secret auction. “You mean the midnight market!” she gasps.
Zephyr is doing very well. We have two days until we have to get to the Market, and Zephyr tries to show her a good time. We pimp the VERTOL. Spinning rims that look like throwing stars, and we stencil Zephyr’s name on it as if it’s HIS plane. Regrettably, some super that calls himself the Hamburgler or something creates beef golems all over his big night, so he literally has to spend his date beating up meat. Yes, someone sent me a gif. No, I’m not linking it.
The doorway to the midnight market is a women’s restroom at the airport, and when we go in, it looks like we’re in an outdoor market in the middle east. It also has a weird extra-dimensional feel to it, like the odd meeting places in Tel’aran’rhiod from Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time system.
Anything you can buy, sell, or process can be had here. (Insert Say Anything reference here.) Zephyr tries very, very spicy hot dragon meat, but passes on the bigfoot milk.
This is an odd place.
Uncle Yin is there too with his goon squad. There are a lot of people here, and at a million bucks a ticket (or a personal invite), there are probably 500-600 people in a small space.
We are reminded that the Maltese Tiger is going to be auctioned off. So we have to put money in an escrow account that can be accessed and validated. The straight-up value is hard to measure. The hard-dollar value is probably $5M, but the subjective value could be anything.
Arc Light decides to put in about [censored] dollars (he won’t tell me) into the account. The auctioneer appears – literally teleports – in to validate that the apparently gargantuan amount of money on tap is what he wanted . They escort the group to a private booth, with chairs with fine Corinthian leather (we decide that the guy is Ricardo Montallban.) Just to test them, The Rat Queen asks for glacial water from Lake Vostok in Antactica. And it arrives.
The bidding for the Tiger starts at $10M. We sit back and watch who bids. One of them is the guy who pretended to be a security guard that zephyr forgot to check for magic the second time.
We wind up buying the damn thing for $200M. “It belongs in a museum!” “For that kind of money, we’re going to mount it as a hood ornament on the nose of the VERTOL.”
Stephanie’s turn. Did we get the real one? Yes we did.
The Commander does his Batman thing, trying to get close enough to our escapee to plant a tracer on him.
The Tiger is powerfully magical, Zephyr tells us. We request a private exit. A door appears, and we step through. Happily step through into New York.
We need to check out what’s going on with this, so we go to Murui’s mother’s house. So, says Stephanie, we’ve been on four dates in two days and I’ve already met both your parents. No, no, this is totally a valid cultural thing.
“I have an advanced degree in Chinese culture.”
“Oh. Um. Well . . .” She doesn’t really believe the truth either.
So, they go. In fact, we all go.
“Why do you only come around when you need me?”
Since the commander is up-to-date on his after-action reports from AEGIS history, he knows they have those. Oh, you mean we have to give it to Top Men? Done!
So this game was “throw money at the problem” as superpower. And a large not-superpower that was Zephyr’s dating skills.
My attempt to plant the tracker was somewhat successful, or at least it seemed to be so.
That’s the season, though. This session was hysterical – we all blamed the strawberry moon, so even if the session