Aeon S3E13 – The Katana Paradox

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
  • Katana (NPC) – Will be The Commander’s wife one day. She knows it to be true.
  • Four Navy SEALS
  • Galatea – our newly-made Ultron; first name Natalie.
Secret Abandoned Base?
 
What could go wrong?
We split up into pairs. We notice that they may have been shot after they’d been immobilized. My character was dosed with some sort of sleeping gas, and then shot.
Zombies. Why did it have to be zombies.

Sometimes there were 7-8 people per room, looking too rag-tag. We wonder if this was a version of the zombie plague?These guys have been dead for about 40 years. We clear the top floor in a non-eventful way. About 40 dead folks, lots of random stuff, some 50-year-old twinkies. Most of the folks on this floor are not military. They’re wearing old, ragged clothing.

We start speculating that this military base may have been taken over or repurposed for hiding out from an Extinction Level Event. We table the discussion as we move Katana to a bed and try and heal her up. Zephyr burns karma and fatigue like it’s going out of style (or really, like it went out of style about 40 years ago). He burns character points too. Katana wakes up. She’s fully able and fit.

She stands up rapidly . . . and sits back down again. She asks what happened. We tell her. She immediately gets up to look for Yukio.

Katana and the Commander head downstairs to clear some rooms. The door has been welded shut from the other side, with crap pushed up against the door.

The Commander climbs down the elevator cables, to the elevator, opens the hatch, and jump down. The elevator itself has a bit of an airlock to it, as well. I see two fresh corpses, fairly fresh, dressed very differently. Couple of white guys, boots look cobbled togther, buckskin outfits. Couple of AKs, but with recently-machined and replaced parts. One has been shot in the head, dead-center in the forehead. The other was crushed by an unseen force. The third one has been mauled by some sort of animal – death by 1,000 cuts?

Every corpse (3 in total), have dog-tags the shape of a heart. The Commander takes the tags. Katana comes into the elevator; she rips through the pockets. The shot-to-the-head guy was with a .45, death by 1,000 cat scratches, and crushed with powers, says Diagnosis.

I force the door open, and move down the hall. More dead bodies. They’re dressed more like the buckskin guys. The walls are messed up in here. Like a rhino got loose.

We look around, and there’s flickering power. We find some containment units. One of which looks like something burst out of it, as AG-107. The most recent entry is Aug 14, 2025 on a clipboard. Some of the tanks have people in them. Some are looking like nasty science projects.

Katana and the Commander continue to clear rooms, with Zephyr, and we find a tunnel leading out from the far north corner of the room. It looks like it was hand-dug by the same critter that clawed them up.

The Commander says somone was pulled out of the tanks, and fought against other people. Whatever was pulled out of the tank, it looks like it, and whatever rescued it, were trying not to kill buckskin guys. There’s about 7 people, trying to get away from the buckskins.

We find the generator. It’s wild technology – it converts thermal energy into electrical energy. It’s a geothermal generator, actually.

We set up some traps and barricades in the tunnel so we have some warning, and Ezekiel starts to fire up both the generator and the computer systems.

We go search floor 4 . . . and a bullet goes whizzing past his head. He dodges to cover. Katana just draws her sword and stands there. We see folks ducking behind a door.

Zephyr calls out that we’re not here to fight. We’re greeted by another shot, and a scream “Get back!”

The Commander imitates Katana, who seems supremely unconcerned about people shooting at her. He draws his sword and walks down the hall.

He yells at us that we’re monstrous freaks. We try and yell back; he’s dressed in buckskins, so he’s local.

Zephyr yells out “We’re not zombies! We’re on your side! America!”

“What? America? That doesn’t exist anymore! You’re one of those unifiers from the north!”

“No, no, we came from another time, through . . .”

“you came from some darkfog? Why didn’t you say so?” He puts away his weapon and goes to get his commanding officer. He (and others) return, carrying old M16-type rifles.

The Commander introduces himself, the guy introduces himself as Col Bill Maguire, Saviors of the Heartlands. They came up here chasing some fugitives a year ago. Fugitives from what? Oh, they’re freaks. They’ve got powers and stuff. One of them a-holes that broke the world.

I ask about the Darkfog – some go in, and come out changed. Sometimes those that come OUT come from other times and places. We ask what happened to America? It kind of fractured. After the first nightstalker wars, everything want crazy.

Nightstalkers? Oh, yeah, the vampires.

Zephyr says oh, we found a vampire in Greenland. Oh, vamps don’t like cold. These here are called wendigos, or Cold Ones. Oh, the one outside? A vamp.

Buckskins were looking for a weapon left by the army, found a bunch of folks in tanks. They were doing genegeneering here. We keep chatting, and they mention they have 7 wounded folks. Eamon and I go to work.

We also try and get a concise history. Sometime about 30-50 years ago, no one knows, there was a massive outbreak of a vampire-like plague. Virulent, contagious. The Black Swan spread her wings, judged the world, and afterwards, after the long winter of judgement, people came from all over time. Even some vikings. People with powers were killed, because they helped destroy the world. After a while, they found ways to capture the freaks, use them for the good of mankind.

We do some meatball surgery and save the last one. They bring us food.

Is it always this cold? Yeah, we’re in the middle of an Ice Rage.

They were going to take these into custody, but you can’t tell the freaks that, they just want to do their own thing. Where are we? He comes back with a map – we’re in the southernmost tip of North Dakota.

There’s a powered individual called Faust that’s “the devil himself.” He was some sort of magic guy, was supposed to die in 2012 in an explosion in south america. That was an Aegis team that went missing then. Hmm.

We check the computers, and find all sorts of bad. Trees that can be seen from space. Glaciers blanket Canada. On one feed, we see a giant Egyptian looking dude busting out of the wall, in the room with the tanks. A guy with a trenchcoat comes out casually. Then a guy with a carbine who’s shooting casually with perfect accuracy. Then a floating cat with rainbow trails. Then a small boy with a bow, dressed all in leathers.

We ask how long these howling storms last – this one is about to blow itself out. They give us some clothing; we say thank  you. He also gives us a small token; a piece of beaten copper with a heart and a hand on it. But they’ve “found a new group of freaks, so it’s time for us to go.”

We pull a data dump on the computers before we go. We also re-realize that Ezekiel has access to a real-time satellite. We don’t see any wreckage from the front of the plane, but we do find the middle section – and there’s a campfire coming out of it.

We’re convinced that they’re off to find the SEALS and maybe Yukio. It’s a race.

We build skis, and head out as quickly as we can. We still head out faster than they do, and make it there in about six hours. We see a woman taking care of a severely wounded person . . . and I see Yukio.

I call out to him subvocally. He comes bounding after me with a giant goofy dog grin on his face.

Zephyr is Zephyr, and he just walks up to the plane. The woman points a shotgun at him, and says “Huh. You look just like, and I mean JUST LIKE, this other guy here.”

Oh good. Zephyr’s stunt double.

Eamon comes up too. We mean you no harm, we just want to find our companions and help ourselves home.

She is not wearing skins. She’s wearing a lab coat, and some winter clothing. Does she know about the Saviors of the Heartland, and also did she come from the bunker?

She introduces herself: Maria Hsien-Seng. She was put into cryo-stasis almost 40 years ago. She was the only one left who knew about Crucible.

She refuses to discuss it, though. We brief her in on what we know, trying to draw her out. She does say that the ice age was brought about by a super that lost control of her powers.
She’s got a collar too – that was bitten off by a dog. Collar suppressed abilities, also renders someone suggestible.
We talk to her a bit, and Zephyr asks about why powers would stop working. Wait, you’re a meta? Yes, from 46 years ago.
She fangirls. OHMYGOD YOU’RE ZEPHYR! And that make the big dog YUKIO, and that means the Commander is around here somewhere . . . and you’re Eamon Finnegan. And . . . oh. You’re Ezekiel Strange. Your work on kyberian physics is amazing.
She things our abilities aren’t in tune with the local kyberian level and “frequency,” for lack of a better word. She’s need equipment, and we’d have to get the generator running . . .
. . . oh, we already did that.
We talk more, and I realize that it’s highly probable that Katana had foreknowledge of what was going on, because of her gratuitous lack of concern about getting shot. And her desire to rip right out and get Yukio with no worries about death.
I find her (even though she’s hiding), and ask her to tell us how many times she’s been to this time. She goes white as sheet, and starts speaking perfect english.
She pulls out a leatherbound book, opens it to a specific page. A picture of airplane wreckage, two people talking in the distance, a dog . . . just what’s happening now.
It looks like the same book that the little girl had. Where did she got that book? From her mother. Who happened to be Alyssa Kerrigan . . . the heroin-addicted psychic.
“Wait. Are YOU the little girl from back then?”
“Yes. I think so.”
We offer to go help Maria’s friend; Katana tells us no. If we tell Maria what’s going on, she’ll leave. We ask Maria if she can help us get our powers back in this era. Maybe, but she’d need equipment. Her friend? A clone, of a man named Hobbes. He was a hero back in the 20th century – one of the first, part of the Sentry team. The Alchemist, in fact. They got a hold of his genetic material.
We head out through the night, and though we expect to fight vampires, we don’t encounter any. We arrive safe and sound, if tired, down 8 FP (4 FP with Very Fit).
We get back to the base, and find the Saviors gone. So are all the corpses, with an ash-heap outside where they burned the body.
We end there, ready to try and bring out powers back. We set up for a defensive position, police bodies that hadn’t been taken care of, and let the scientists do their thing.
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