Aeon Campaign S3E7 – Ante-mortem

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.
  • The Rat Queen (Emily) – brick with super-perception; made of actual rats
  • Zephyr (Merlin) – Real name Murui; Shaolin Kung Fu expert and super-speedster.
  • Eamon Finnegan (Kyle) – smooth talking gravity-master; Ultimate Fighting Lawyer, to borrow a phrase.
  • Ezekiel (Christian) – Techno Master, Genius, Esper, Super Archer.

On the way home

Offline we take the time to plan and attend the funeral for Arc Light, who was buried not as his hero persona, but as his multimillionaire (billionaire, I think) security consultant. Even Brad Pitt is there. (He’s a scion in my head canon, but probably not in the game. Angelina, on the other hand . . . )

Angela, Arc Light’s wife, speaks to me briefly (very, very briefly) that Arc Light left some things for the team. A lawyer shows up, dressed in a $10,000 suit, knocks on the door. Our secretary is looking at him like “why am I even speaking to you?”

A truck comes in and some guys with a pallet jack bring in some goods that Arc Light left for us. Last Will and Testament stuff. Endowment, yadda yadda yadda.

Wait, wait, wait. Rewind. Endowment?

Kyle gets $20M to start his metahuman rights initiative.

The team itself gets a $30M endowment. We briefly talk about Independent Income, but decide on an X-Com style uber-headquarters.

The material in the crates are stuff he was working on. Including the new Mark IV wristlets. The Commander gets a special crate, which includes a costume and helmet. More on that later.

And also a restraining order. We’re not allowed near Angela or the Lighthouse again. Ever. Not unsurprising, as Angela was never really fully supportive of Arc Light’s hero work, or at least his Hero work with MAPS.

We’ve also decided to bring on Ezekiel onto the team permanently (a bit of fiat there to get Christian’s new character on board). Now that he’s danger room training with us, we get a bit of insight into his power set. He’s a “trion,” rare, but with three sets of powers. Usually related, not always. The Shaman is another – he controls weather, animals, and plants.

We look for ways to take the fight to Blue Skies, and dig into the aftereffects of some of our recent efforts. Sure, not the overt actions, but the local scuttlebutt is that Blue Skies has been pouring money into a project, but their facilities failed and the projects failed. Other facilities also seem to be under assault or otherwise having issues, but we didn’t have anything to do with that.

Hmm . . .

Eamon digs a bit, and while Aegis is technically part of the US Government, and Blue Skies is one of their best defense contractors, unofficially, there’s been a feud between Blue Skies and Century (the A-Team) and they’ve been taking them down. One of Blue Skies’ favorite tactics is to cause a distraction that puts civilians and innocents at risk in order to pull meta attention elsewhere. As an example, Century was about to shut them down, but Blue Skies sicced a terrorist group on a target, which allowed them to wriggle away.

Eamon is inspired. We decide to keep Blue Skies on their toes by trying to get them evicted from their own skyscraper by invoking some sort of seismic code. Eamon with his TK can cause enough problems to cause an issue. Eamon spends a bunch of Karma to retroactively have caused a bill to be passed toughening the building codes.

We try and get in through the sewers, but apparently our subterranean activities taught them something. They’ve blocked off all sewer access, and have set up a rather large number of rat traps. Huh.

We have Ezekiel whip up a pretty amazing adaptive flesh mask, Eamon goes undercover, and The Commander is on overwatch. He makes his roll by 18. He sees everything.

Eamon spends FP and succeeds in all the proper rolls to cause just enough subtle issues to make inspectors go berserk. He slowly degrades the foundation enough to not cause the building to collapse, but to cause it to condemn. We’ll then go back and FIX the damage. Onyx could do it.

He also makes sure that he has a contact in city hall, so that the paperwork to uncondemn the building will keep getting “lost.” Naturally he crits the roll, and we find someone

I think we may well have completed our journey to the dark side on this one.

So, they completely evacuate the building, the city “just happen” to show up and they condemn the building while gleefully having a glass of whiskey, and Blue Skies has to spend resources guarding a condemned building.

It “just happens” that the West Coast HQ has similar issues, and the Chicago office burns down a day or so later. While this is awesome, it’s also a little spooky, since it means someone has us pretty well penetrated.

A few days later, we get an email with a video attached to it. There’s no virus in it (we check), but the code wrapped up in the video is elegant and untraceable. Someone went way, way out of their way to hide the metadata.

We watch. A guy dressed up in a hoodie and a Plague Doctor’s mask is in it. Very reminiscent of Anonymous. “We’ve been watching you. We know you’re concerned about Blue Skies. Don’t worry about how we know, or how we’re getting the information. We are Sentry. We are watching.”

We run out of things to ask, and the video pauses. Who are Sentry? They’re tired of the indifference that plagues the world, and are taking action.

Every time we ask a question, this pre-recorded video answers it. We ask what the next three physical, kinetic ops that Blue Skies will be executing will be. There’s an op in Mexico, Blue Skies will also target Sentry itself, and the last is to retrieve data from Camp Century.

If Blue Skies gets a hold of the Camp Century info, plus their prior data on metahuman creation, they’d be very, very dangerous.

Your phone is about to ring, but don’t answer it, says the video.

It rings. We let it go to voice mail. Who was it? They’ll explain in voice mail.

Unfortunately, this video is at an end, and I don’t know what will happen next, but all I hear is the sound of gunfire.

The Commander gears up. So does our secretary (?!). We don’t get a chance to listen to the voice mail.

We start hearing gunfire from outside. No one’s surprised.

The Commander goes stealthy after telling the team to approach the fight from above. Eamon tries to find him using gravity sense.

And can’t.[1]

At street level, there are a bunch (10 or so) of guys with guns – looking like AK-style weapons – hosing down the area. They’re a neo-nazi biker gang that calls themselves the Berserkers, with a rep for actually going berserk. They seem to be rather making a statement right outside the MAPS office.

Ballsy. Stupid . . . but ballsy.

They see Eamon, they do not see The Commander. Technomancer (Christian) pulls out a bow, and has enough accuracy to actually target their weapons, easily. His bow does (holy crap!) 3d6+14 damage [2] and takes out three guys.

The Commander uses his TK to knock 6 of the 10 guys (two groups of three) into a convenient cluster with two more for Eamon, so he can use his gravity sledge, stunted, to turn his usual crushing damage into control instead (Binding, using Technical Grappling). That takes them all out of the fight. As we said, stupid, but ballsy.

The Binding is extended duration, so we’re free to treat the 38 folks injured by the spray of gunfire. The Commander crit fails (5 karma!) critically succeeds on a Physician roll and saves one of the two near-dying. One of them was shot at least 40 times, but The Commander manages to stabilize him. After that, we treat the rest, and prevent any further fatalities.

We suspect that perhaps this was one of Blue Skies’ famous distractions.

The Commander gets a blip on his HUD, with Onyx and Katana also dealing with a similar mess – same deal. Zephyr and The Rat Queen dealing with the same scene – biker gangs out of nowhere inflicting major damage out in Morris Park at the train station.

We quickly interrogate one of the guys. Chaos was the goal, scar-faced guy was the probe. Lots of people got calls. Train station. What was the next step? Ah, a bomb. Then the big man himself is going to show up. He starts whistling Take Me Out to the Ballgame.

Ah, Yankee Stadium. Eamon and The Commander combine our TK powers; though we’ve never done this, we link up flawlessly. We stunt a bit, and eke out a speed of 280 or so mph on the way to Yankee Stadium.

On the way there, I get contacted by my cousin. She had a bad thought – and asked if we’re at the stadium yet . . . because she’s outside.

***

We end there.

Yeah. He succeeds/crits again. So eight foes are out of the fight.

[1] Oh, really? Yes. There’s some serious modification that Mr Crystal Skull did to The Commander, and this is the first glimpse of it.
[2] So that’s why he had me use The Deadly Spring to make a ridiculously powerful ultra-tech bow.

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