Ashingham Talents

After the Last Gateway

Harmony quartermain moonbase

Areas of the Harmony/Quartermain Moonbase

  1. Transport Maintenance
    Airlocked “offices” and “work hangars” in otherwise open building.
  2. Isolabs
    Airlocked, independent rooms.
  3. Medical
    Airlocked hallways, a few airlocked rooms, a few airlocked & independent rooms.
  4. Brig
    Airlocked hallways
  5. Landing Silos
    1. 10x Sm. Transport
    2. 5x Lg. Transport
    3. 6x XLg./Cargo Transport
  6. Farms
    1. Grain Farm
    2. Vegetable Farm
    3. Fruit Farm
    4. Ranch
  7. Transport Tunnels
    Approx. 2 lane tunnels, one each direction of traffic, sunk slightly below ground.
  8. Main Base
    1. Mundane Quarters
      Airlocked buildings under dome.
    2. Low-powered Metahuman Quarters
      Airlocked buildings in connected clusters under dome.
    3. High-powered Metahuman Quarters
      Underground airlocked apartments, park above.
    4. VIP Quarters
      Airlocked personal towers, w/ private shelters.
    5. Administration
      Multifloored building, airlocked rooms & hallways
    6. Operations
      Airlocked “office” buildings under dome.

Stylistic Heads Up (From the GM)

This is the last story arc/scenario in the Ashingham Talents Campaign. I am not planning on continuing the campaign, nor revisiting it at a future time. As I’ve stated repeatedly in-session, from this point on, the kid gloves are off, and the characters are essentially encountering The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny (though I promise not to make it take a century in-game). This explicitly means: the characters can die, and I will be trying my best to kill them.

Having said that, I will not be using arbitrary tactics. Rocks will not fall, killing everyone. The following is the list of ground rules I will be using:

  • There are no protected characters, player or otherwise. All are mortal.
  • A happy ending is not guaranteed. Neither is an unhappy ending.
  • As you all have noticed, the bad guys are extensively modelled after the Harry Potter Death Eaters, barring Voldemort himself. This means that you should expect them to use powers/spells attributed to them in the books.
  • Avada Kevadra will NOT be modelled as “Transform(Living-to-Dead)[Non-physical, Permanent, Living Only, Willpower Cost]”.
  • Your opponents have a high-scale hypermind advising/manipulating/controlling them. Your weaknesses WILL be targeted. Your strengths WILL be rendered impotent or immaterial.
  • Specifically, that means you can expect non-physical attacks (which I also refer to as No-Normal-Defense). The best defense against such attacks is to not be there. Learn To Dodge. And Use It.
  • I will NOT place the entire base into a Null Lifeforce Field (Nullify(Lifeforce/Ki)[Area 10] 6-10w. Remember, they’re all Genetic-based, so that wouldn’t hurt THEM, and the hypermind/Harmony knows it.
  • No opponent’s attack will be guaranteed to be instantly lethal. They may HURT a lot, though.
  • If you end up surprised at a tactic being used, you’ve missed a clue.

I’ll also offer this ray of hope. Despite your opponents being based on 1250 pts., they still retain a few large, glaring weaknesses against your party. Their victory is NOT guaranteed.

Death Eater Powers Defined

  • Avada Kedavra: Harm (Engulf, NND[Dodge], Full Power, If/Living Only, Obvious, Willpower Cost)
  • Crucio: Harm(Limited Damage[Stun], Willpower Investment, Engulf, NND[Dodge]) + Bind(Resist[Command+Stability], No Mass, Attached[Harm], Automatic)
  • Imperio: Mind Control(Duration, Useful[Commands])
  • Stupefy: Harm(Engulf, Obvious, Limited Damage[Stun])
  • Sectumsempra: Harm(Limited Damage[Kill],Obvious)
  • Confringo: Harm(Radius,Obvious)
  • Occulmency: Hyperskill[Stability]
  • Legilmency: Telepathy
  • Apparition: Teleport(-Attack)

EARM Armor: Enhanced Agility, Reduced Mass. Armor limits are applied only to the total body, not per hit location.

Nullify Rifle: A ranged weapon that suppresses Ki in a small area. [Nullify(Lifeforce, Technical), Area, Spray 3d) 4w]

View
Gamma Base II

Gamma Base II

We are all inside the base now, near the reactor, but not exactly.

Ben asks Tevin to refine his map of the base, hopefully finding the
reactor faster. Tevin does so stealthily and returns with the map
before you can blink. One concealed door is found, immediately next
to the door marked Security Headquarters. As well as the drop down
gun turrets in the ceilings.

There are three areas that have very heavy security. The security
control center (no surprise), the reactor (no surprise), and a third
area with most of the unmarked doors. Hmmm… Wonder where the really
interesting stuff is?

Ben starts tunneling through the complex, on a straight line for the
security complex. As we approach a corridor, Ben’s ground penetrating
radar shows a much heavier pair of armed groups waiting for us. On
Lance’s suggestion, they tunnel OVER the corridor through the rock
over the base. Ben does so, and leaves sufficient room that when they
start firing at where we are, they can’t burn through the rock fast
enough to hit us. The rock does get a bit warmer though.

We approach the security complex. Ben punches a hole in the wall to
look through, not stealthy, just leaving as much cover as he can.
There’s about 20 people and security consoles in the room. He ducks
back, and multiple pistol shots of energy and bullets come zinging
through.

Ben decides to just bust through the wall, like the Kool-Aid Man. He
goes through, and disarms 4. Lance follows and disarms one, and has
a hold of the gun of a second. Gwen uses her KT, with spray and sweep,
and sweeps the entire room of people into a corner. They are now out
of action.

There are still other guards coming through another door with rifles.
The rifles are repeating plasma rifles, four barrels. Ben shoots them
out of their hands, doing serious damage to their left arms. He
advances into the next room, where 14 are armed and moving towards the
fight, 16 are unarmed and headed for the armory. The 14 armed are
disarmed by shots. The 13 of the remaining 16 are convinced by Felix
to surrender. The remaining 3 continue to the armory, but Gwen sweeps
them up to the ceiling. They also surrender.

Felix gets Tevin a set of zip-strips to restrain the people who are
not totally out of combat already. He then goes on to heal those who
took serious damage to their arms.

There is advanced armor available in the armory. In effect, any LAR
armor you have can be raised by one LAR for the same weight. This is
due to advanced materiel’s. Similarly, 1 HAR can be raised to 2 HAR
for the same weight penalty.

There are also more of the repeating plasma rifles. Mallory and Ben
both pick one up (I don’t know about anyone else.) In addition, there
are both goop (tangle) and stun grenades and shotgun rounds. Mallory
picks up a supply of the shotgun rounds and Felix picks up a supply of
the grenades.

Lance hacks the security system doing the following:

  • All security doors are locked down under his control.
  • All security turrets are locked down under his control.
  • He has a remote control which will allow him to turn on all the
    security turrets at once.

At that point, there is a rumble, and then another rumble as a wall in
the security room is smashed through. We now have a number of blue
creatures, wearing knit caps. They come in three sizes. Three apples
high (a swarm), normal human (one), and hulks with 1 meter long feet
(two). That’s right. Super Smurfs.

The swarm takes down Mallory like Gulliver and the Lilliputians. The
normal sized one tries a mind domination on Ben, which fails. The two
big hulks both attack Ben, but the damage to Ben is minimal. Tevin
ties skateboards to the feet of the hulks. Ben punches one and knocks
him out, the other hulk is still standing. Lance fires his Ki-blast
at the remaining hulk and the normal sized. The hulk is knocked
unconscious. The normal guy no longer has a head.

The remaining attackers are the swarm. Gwen’s TK sweep knocks four of
them away. Mallory is still pinned, and chooses to shoot at them with
his new toy. The Plasma SMG he took from the armory. He shoots
multiple of them off, but there’s just so many of them! Ben tries
kicking them, full force. He ends up with one smurf wedged between
his big toe and the next toe, plus one smurf making a smurf sized hole
in the concrete wall and ending up embedded in the stone beyond the
wall.

Felix takes two of his new stun grenades and activates them right on
top of the smurf swarm, each does 4 stun, the smurf swarm is knocked
out.

We check out the other security rooms, one of them is the server room,
the other is the chief of security’s office. He’s in the office, with
an array of four massive guns in the wall, which he controls with a
hand held push button.

Ben smashes through the vault door, takes the shots with minimal
damage, walks up and drops a zip-strip cuff pair on the desk,
shrugging. He then takes the personal pistol away and holds onto it
looking at the chief.

The chief looks at him, and quietly puts his hands out for the cuffs.

Lance gets into the server room, and adds a few features to the remote
control of the turrets. He can now toggle the IFF targeting controls
to: shoot at those marked ‘friends’, shoot at those marked
‘not-friends’, and shoot at everyone.

With a bit more work, he gets a view into the reactor room. The
reactor is a set of four tubes, each of which contains a meta. Felix
recognizes them as uncontrolled energy producers from the ATE
hospital. Felix remembers that they were seriously depressive. They
are presently unconscious.

On other security cameras, we detect a pair of meta teams moving
towards us. Lance uses the non-lethal security systems to knock them
out, but one from each team remains standing. Gwen uses her ranged TK
to take one down, the other resists. After a short video chat with
him, he decides to surrender, and asks for the video monitor to be set
to Galaga. Sure!

The security system does not allow view into the third heavily secured
area. The outer door can be opened, but it opens on a short corridor
with a second door that is not under the control of the security
systems. The base is not under full control, the third area is
autonomous.

Lance opens the doors other than those to the third area. This allows
Tevin to clear the base of all the unconscious and otherwise captured
personnel.

Ben takes a remote device to the admin area and connects it to the
computers there, this allows Lance access to the admin computers,
which he hacks. We now have access to all the admin data. The full
personnel data is transmitted to the NTA, they can start sorting people
out. One question is: Did we get everyone important?

As we dig through the data from both Gamma and Alpha bases, a number
of critical points are revealed.

Revelations

Genesis Eve

This is a plan to release a tailored virus that will kill or render
infertile more than 99% of the male population of the earth. An 85%
death rate, and less than 1% of males remain fertile.

The plan was to release it from strategic positions across the globe
into key air currents. Many of these locations are on major
mountains: Mount Washington, Pikes Peak, etc. Where no major mountain
was available, a ground to air missile was planted.

The intended launch time was “nowish”, but had to be postponed after
the team stopped the Orion space ship from Alpha Base. The Diana
Foundation leadership — that part of it which was involved in the
plot — wanted to be off the Earth before the plague was launched.

Project Adam

Design and produce males immune to the Genesis Eve plague, and are
genetically enhanced in other ways.

Uterine Replicators

A part of the above plans was the use of Uterine Replicators
(basically artificial wombs), with a branch of research towards
allowing the elimination of males from the reproductive process
altogether.

(Despite the fact that Gwen is an executive of the Dianna Foundation,
she was not brought in on any of these projects because the cabal
running them knew that she would go ballistic.)

Missing Children

Of the 7/8ths of the children still missing, 4/8ths were hired from
the training bases to the Alpha/Beta/Gamma base projects. The
remaining 3/8ths were found on Alister Quatermain’s submarine base, so
all children are now accounted for.

The previously associated missing persons were not actually part of
the training bases, but were people apparently being recruited by
Alister Quatermain’s organization that either rebelled, or otherwise
didn’t work out.

Beta Base

While Alpha was building the Orion ship that would be the core of the
new space station, Beta was building more ships and components for the
complete space station. Those components would be launched and
eventually dock with the core Orion ship to form the whole station.

Has there been a historical occurrence of Atitlán?

Yes. There is a common antibody, world wide, apparently from 15,000
years ago.

There are three reactions of antibodies to Atitlán.

The Resistors: (Genetic) The antibodies actually cause genetic
changes in the body, and the antibodies are much more active than in
other populations.

The Adaptives: (Life Force) Instead of taking on genetic
modifications, they adapt to the presence of Atitlán toxin.

The Controls: (None) There is no reaction to the presence of Atitlán
toxin.

Other Issues Settled

Alister Quatermain’s Safe Houses

The government agencies staking them out finally moved in and took all
the people identified into custody. The houses themselves are being
carefully probed by special teams, given what happened at Harmony’s
house.

Cat’s Paws and Pawn

The previously identified four cat’s paws and one pawn that were
directed to gain influence over various organizations have all been
taken into custody.

Harmony’s Parents

The Doctors Puckle were captured as part of the crew of Quatermain’s
submarine base.

The Shiney White Man

Unfortunately not documented in the adventure log, SWM was shot dead
when he mind dominated Ben and told Ben to shoot Tevin. Tevin ran
behind SWM and Ben shot through the SWM to get Tevin. Tevin survived,
SWM did not.

The Anti-Charm Device

The device being built by Abraham Billingsworth has been transported
to the NTA and is in use currently. Brian Ethelstein is no longer
being kept sedated, the device nullifies his power nicely.

K.S.R. Warned

The KSR has been warned that Quatermain’s forces have been attempting
to gather information on them. What they do about it is up to them,
but it makes the rest of the world’s governments nervous.

Stanley Willard and The Weapons Hyper-Mind

Quatermain was interested in Willard because Willard is a weapons
hyper-mind. Although Quatermain already had one such mind, he
believed more would be better. We still have not identified the
weapons hyper-mind responsible for Quatermain’s submarine weapon
systems.

Funding for the A/B/G Bases

Although the funding came through TOI, the majority of the funding
came from further up the chain, as directed by the Diana Foundation
cabal in charge of the bases. The fund sources are varied, and all
such evidence has been turned over to the appropriate authorities.

The T.S.R. Scholarships

Many of the successful applicants ended up in one of the A/B/G bases.
It was effectively a recruiting ploy.

The T.S.R Miracle Cure

Was actually just the ATE toxin.

Alpha Base and Quatermain

We found it odd that Quatermain had listed both Beta and Gamma bases
as resources, but not Alpha. That was because he had inserted agents
into Beta and Gamma, but not Alpha.

The ‘Green’ Drug and Quatermain

It is confirmed that Quatermain was the source of the ‘Green’ drug.
He is now wanted by the authorities on drug charges.

Disposition of Quatermain’s Seabase

The NTA is repurposing it as a prison for metas.

Harmony and Gamma Base Discovery

Since the bases were not part of Quatermain’s operations, the reveal
of Gamma base as a result of Harmony’s operations was either
inadvertent, or a deliberate attempt to spike the Diana Foundation’s
operations.

E. Burke and Quatermain

The government investigation reports that E. Burke is simply another
alias of Quatermain’s.

Remaining Pending and Investigate Actions

  • Pending
    • Finish Gamma Base
    • Beta Base
    • Harmony Puckle
    • Genesis Eve
    • Project Adam
  • Investigate
    • Dr. Steven Prince
    • Luciano Melifidel
    • Drake Melifidel
    • Pallas A. Parkinson
    • Quatermain’s weapons hyper-mind
    • Reason for the Psihawk Riot

Of the seven people in the archaeological picture, ‘Sam’ (whatever his
full name was), and Beauty W. Black have been captured. The remainder
are still at large.

Since Dr. Prince is portrayed as being mercenary, perhaps he can be
persuaded to our side by a better offer. Lance would like to have him
on hand to help Harmony. Despite Harmony’s involvement with
Quatermain and his project, Lance still rather likes her.

View
Questions and Gamma Base I

The Paranoid Death Chart of Doom

One of our players took a bit of time and using GraphViz, drew a diagram showing: all the organizations, their relationships; all the major characters and their relationships with the organizations and each other; and as much of the events and activities as he had time for. This pointed out a large number of areas that we simply have not properly investigated, which caused the first part of the gaming session to be a “ask the right questions” session.

Human or Android?

We’ve come to believe that Harmony, and possibly others, are androids. Now we try to answer those questions. Part of this data comes from direct physical examinations performed by Dr. Felix, other parts come from examination of intelligence data gathered from Qatermain’s submarine base and the subbasement laboratory under Harmony’s house.

Beauty Black (Full Human/ATE)

Beauty is full human, no embedded devices, nothing unusual other than her ATE powers.

Harmony Puckle (Cyborg/Full Human/ATE)

Harmony is considered a Cyborg with full human status and some as yet unspecified ATE powers. She is believed to have a very limited wish ability similar to Harry’s.

Due to an unusual reaction to ATE, her body has been experiencing a long term degenerative process. As a parts of her body became ineffectual, they have been replaced with cybernetic parts. The subbasement laboratory in her house is where the old parts, and planned new parts as she continues to grow, were stored. There was a full surgical setup, so this is also where the operations were performed.

Her blood, skin, brain, and cardio/pulmonary system are all human biological tissue matching her DNA prior to her exposure to ATE. The blood is generated from an artificial bone marrow substance since her entire skeleton has been replaced with mechanical parts. Some musculature has also been replaced. Her eyes have been replaced. Without the replacements, she would already be dead.

Projections show that in time she will be fully artificial, with full continuity of consciousness throughout.

While the original cybernetic modifications are performed by a surgeon, her ATE is allowing her to both adapt to, and assimilate, the cybernetic replacement parts.

While Dr. Felix continues the examination, Gwen passively listens in to Harmony’s thoughts. They’re primarily worries, and thoughts about Harry. Is he okay, and other thoughts related to him. Worry for “Uncle Allan” (aka Quatermain), and Nana Beauty. She knows they’ve been captured. She’s also worried about “everything going wrong”.

Examination of past medical records show a litany of odd illnesses prior to ATE. Somehow, the question of her baby teeth came up. Tevin recovered them from the parents, and noticed something else. While they have plenty of loving parent doodads from before the ATE exposure, they have nothing since.

From her baby teeth, Felix determines that there is indeed a genetically based, inheritable, degenerative disease active in her body prior to ATE. This almost certainly explains her unusual reaction to ATE.

Data from the laptop also recovered from the subbasement laboratory show the completed surgeries and that the next round of surgery isn’t scheduled to happen for “several years”. Since she is presently 17 years old, she seems to have reached most of her growth, so subsequent surgeries will be primarily to replace parts as the degenerative process continues.

Small Android Body Examination

The android body recovered from the subbasement of Harmony’s house appears to be comparable to Harmony at an earlier age. The parts were made at different times, and have seen use. They are apparently old parts for Harmony, reassembled into a body. They were apparently made on-site, by a hyper-mind.

Fingerprints are found on the parts. Harmony’s, Beauty’s, Alister’s, and a fourth that we do not recognize. Passing those prints to the NTA, we have the ATE victim’s database scanned for a fingerprint match, and get back: Doctor Steven Prince.

The parts were manufactured in the same subbasement laboratory under Harmony’s house. Since the initials ‘S.P.’ appear repeatedly in connection with the parts, we are presently assuming that Doctor Prince is also responsible for their construction.

Doctor Steven Prince

  • Reconstructive surgeon and bio-chemist, specializing in exotic degenerative diseases, from the point of view of reconstruction of damage due to those diseases.
  • Age: mid-30’s, early-40’s.
  • Has done Peace Corp work.
  • As he is one of the seven people in the archaeological group photo found on the Quatermain submarine base, he was believed to have died during the initial ATE explosion.
  • Had a reputation for being a young, cocky, snarky, as***le, with a terrible bedside manner. He was in it purely for the money. He was tolerated only because he was among the best.
  • His records show that he was truly a professional. The job had to be done right the first time, and he made sure it was. No ethics charges. No malpractice claims or suits.

Harmony’s Position

To our dismay, we discover that Harmony is on the submarine base organization chart, as the “Director of Intelligence”. She is their primary analyst, and has been for about three years. She is aware of, and has taken part in, illicit activities. Her last report says that she’s “inviting Harry on her vacation”, and planned to recruit Harry to the organization. (Harry is of extreme interest because he is potentially the most powerful meta on the planet. He basically can Wish things into existence or to happen. His power is presently limited, but expected to grow.)

She has been researching the K.S.R., N.T.A. and other major government agencies of a similar type. (The NTA now has names for organizations that it didn’t have before, and is very happy with the intelligence take from the submarine.)

Special Note: Warn Kelvin Shores Refuge that Quatermain has been gathering intelligence on them. While their motto may be “you leave us alone and we’ll leave you alone”, it won’t stay that way if Quatermain subverts them.

Her motivations appear to be that she is a meta-supremacist. She believes that metas will eventually become the majority of the population of the earth, and that present governments are simply going to be incapable of dealing with the changes. How does a policeman deal with someone who has powers beyond his ability to comprehend? Existing government meta organizations are purely attempts to seize control for the non-metas.

She is not a terrorist. She would like to achieve their goals without violence, but is prepared to accept a necessary degree of violence if there is no other way. After Felix spends some time examining the records from the point of view of a criminologist, it is apparent that while Quatermain may have been using her, she was also using him. It’s just a question of who was doing a better job of using the other.

How Dangerous Is She?

First, she’s wicked smart. There’s a good chance that while we’ve been learning things about her, that she’s been learning a lot more about us. Think about the ‘interrogation scene’ in the Avenger’s movie. Black Widow was supposedly being interrogated, but in the process was pumping the General “interrogating” her for all the information he had.

On another level, she’s like Miles Vorkosigan. Who when drummed out of the equivalent of the Naval Academy, went on “walkabout”, ran into a blockade, took over the blockading force, and rolled it into a significant mercenary force with connections to imperial intelligence. And when dropped naked into the middle of a POW camp, he took over the camp and liberated it. She’s that dangerous.

Submarine Intelligence Not Covered Elsewhere

  • Armament included torpedoes, rocket escape craft, and intermediate range surface launched missiles. (Good thing that Ben flipped it over.)
  • The Marine oriented hyper-mind talent that was captured on the sub is responsible for much of the technology. Each example of the technology is a significant improvement over the state of the art prior to ATE. This includes:
    • the torpedoes,
    • The rebreather SCUBA sets,
    • the submersible Zodiac-like craft with the convertible tops,
    • the flying submarine escape craft,
    • the power plant and anything else one can think of to make a super-city-sized-submarine-base possible.
    • The reason they didn’t have Trident/Polaris style missiles is that while he’s a marine hyper-mind, he’s not real good with rocket guidance systems that have to deal with being turned any-which-way after a subsurface launch.
  • The remaining people in the archaeological picture?
    • The father/son pair are Luciano(father) and Drake(son) Melifidel. While the Melifidel’s were never proven to be connected to the Mafia, the relationship is widely believed true.
      • Luciano is in the ‘Donald Trump’ realm of richness, and is at least as rich as Mallory used to be.
      • Known to have made their money in smuggling of all sorts, including drugs, but especially for having cornered the market on exotic drugs. (Example: A special rose that only grows in limited portions of Nepal is rumored to have unusual recreational properties if treated in a specific manner. They have the complete supply tied up potentially forever.)
      • They were private backers of the expedition, explaining their presence on the dig, but it is believed that they were primarily on a ‘business trip’ to survey Guatemala for opportunities for the family business.
    • Drake’s fiancee [[Pallas A. Parkinson]]. She’s blond, short, with a pug nose. Known to be a party-girl with a cruel reputation. She’s also known to have “kept up” with Drake while he was “doing things” for the family business. Of course, the courts have never proven anything. She is also an expert botanist, which may explain some of the families recent “successes”.
    • Doctor Steven Prince (see above).
    • The picture was taken about 2 weeks prior to the ATE explosion.
  • Submarine Medical Files
    • Plenty for the crew. More than 10% were ATE metas. The pregnancy rates for females on board the submarine are normal for the population size involved.
    • Quatermain is pursuing a eugenics program for metas. According to the data recovered, he has been slowly following the paths, including dead-ends, that government ATE researchers have already looked at and discarded as unworkable. His problem is that the people he has working for him on this project simply don’t have a clue. There are no hyper-minds involved that have the right background.
    • Dr Prince occasionally makes a suggestion that advances them slightly. He might be a hyper-mind, but he’s not focused on the eugenics program and therefore cannot aid significantly in the research.
  • No new information on Alister Quatermain.
  • Bases other than the Submarine:
    • Beta and Gamma are listed. Strangely, Alpha is not listed.
    • All of the camps, medical, administrative and logistics support for the bases related to the West Virginia camp. (This permits recovery of the other 7/8ths of the missing children.)
    • A list of Safe Houses, which while it overlaps the government’s present list, both lists have houses that are not on the other list.
      • There is correlation between the cellphone usage in India and safe houses in the same area.

REMAINING QUESTIONS

  • Information on other significant individuals. E.g. If Harmony was their Director of Intelligence, who was the Director of Operations? We have their organization chart, and their medical records, there’s a good chance that the NTA and/or federal government can roll up a large portion of their intelligence branch.
  • A general staff along the Continental Staff System adopted by most NATO countries has the following positions:
  • (1) Personnel and Administration
  • (2) Intelligence and Security
  • (3) Operations
  • (4) Logistics
  • (5) Plans
  • (6) Signals (Communications and/or IT)
  • (7) Training
  • (8) Finance and Contracts (aka Resource Management)
  • (9) Civil-Military Co-operation (aka Civil Affairs)
  • Information on prior, present, and future, intelligence and counter-intelligence operations. E.g. Moles, double agents, hit men, black ops teams, hardware support available, encryption codes known, THEIR encryption codes, taps into supposedly secure communications, their secure lines of communications, methodologies, etc.
  • Methods of influence on other individuals/organizations. Blackmail, common interests, etc.
    • We know Quatermain has four cat’s paws that Mallory’s secretary has identified, as well as a pawn. By what means is he controlling them?
    • What other individuals or organizations does he have influence over?
  • Alister Quatermain’s powers and/or vulnerabilities.

GAMMA BASE STRIKE

(RetCon: Gamma base is actually 3 miles under Washington Dulles International Airport, and covers a diameter larger than the airport plus grounds. That’s something more than 5 miles in diameter.)

Note: Since the base is 3 miles underground, it is highly unlikely that even if their power plant did explode, that it would have any effect on the surface. This is corroborated by existing underground nuclear tests. If the test is close enough to the surface, you will have a subsidence crater, but at three miles deep the odds are highly against anything other than seismic effects at the surface. Still, there’s no telling how the base personnel will react, or exactly what surface defenses they have, so we plan to evacuate the area anyway.

Mallory is continuing to dance with Death. He thinks about emulating Beauty Black, walking up to the big shiny steel door, with the big plasma cannon turrets, and knocking. The big plasma cannon turrets that are just begging to say “Boom, you’re dead”. “Oh, well we’ll try something else then.”

Felix thinks the tactics of drilling down into the base is a good idea. We’re aiming to come into the base close enough to the power plant to take control of it. (A) So they don’t blow it up, and (B) so we can shut it down if we want.

Before starting, we arrange a major natural gas leak in the airport. Actually, we have agents release a suitable amount of the compound(s) used to give natural gas that unplesant order that tells you there’s a leak. This allows us to evacuate the airport and surrounding areas against the possibility of a MOAB sized explosion at the airport.

Ben comes up with a brilliant idea (which your humble author missed) that allows us to drill down 3 miles together, and enter the base near the power plant. Unfortunately, the base had seismic sensors that detected the digging and are waiting for us when we break through.

Since we’re down 3 miles, the ambient temperature is about 100 deg F, and due to the water table, the relative humidity is about 100%. When Ben knocks a hole through the ceiling, there’s a rush of cold air that causes a sudden fog and instant rain to occur. Ben jumps in, and Mallory decides to follow him.

The corridor we’ve drilled to is about 20’ wide and high, and a hundred or more feet in each direction. On each side of the hole, there is a heavily armored and armed SWAT team of 10, plus a crew of 5 to operate a plasma cannon. (Think field artillery.) They have arranged themselves so that they’re outside the blast effect of the plasma cannon. The blast radius is 30’, which puts those of us still in the tunnel 10’ within the blast zone. Fortunately, we have the bunker-concrete ceiling providing partial cover, and Lance has provided his Shield to all the other team members.

Unfortunately, one of the cannon gets its shot off before we can stop it. Ben takes serious damage from the blast, but not enough to stop him. Those of us in the tunnel take stunning damage from the blast, but due to the Shield, and our various armors, we don’t take much killing damage. Felix is kind enough to have prepped us with extra wound boxes, and eventually regeneration that takes care of the damage.

Before the other cannon can get it’s shot off, Lance hits it with a full power blast. Despite it’s armor, Lance manages to hit it’s computer controls hard enough to “knock it unconscious” (the damage is enough S/K to fill all the ‘brain’ boxes it had).

Ben picks up the other plasma cannon and starts using it as a baseball bat to whup on the SWAT team on that side of the hole. (See House Rule: Sweep) In several swings (and much discussion amongst the gamers on how to avoid slaughtering all the mooks due to Knockback), Ben renders the 15 mooks on that side unconscious, without killing them.

Gwen’s planned attack was to crush the cannons, but since they’re not in play any more, she switches to a double sweep attack against the 15 on the other side of the corridor. With Sweep 3 on her TK, and two attacks due to Spray, she shoves 8 of them far down the corridor.

By this time, Mallory finally hits the corridor, and unloads with his shotgun. This lames five of the remaining 7 mooks, and the last two faint. After all, 28 of their compatriots and two of their field artillery plasma cannons were disabled or destroyed in 2 seconds; you might faint too!

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Safe Houses and Submarines

MALLORY’S SECRETARY

She reports that there were a number of operatives for Quatermain involved in the Church of Yeon, Electrodyne and the Hughs Foundation. She has names for all of them.

Three cats-paws (unwitting operatives) in Church of Yeon gaining extensive influence over Hughs Foundation.

He also has one pawn (knowing operative) in Electrodyne gaining extensive influence over Church of Yeon; as well as a cats-paw gaining extensive influence over Hughs Foundation.

FUTURE POSSIBILITY

Gwen is gaining serious influence in the Diana Foundation, she may be able to use it to work down through the chain of influences to break up Quatermain’s influence. Especially now that we have names for Quatermain’s cats-paws and pawns.

E. BURKE’S IMPORT/EXPORT

Investigation by the government didn’t show much, but Ben’s parallel investigation came up with a list of Safe Houses, of which Harmony’s house is one. We decide to investigate Harmony’s house. The government agencies are staking out the other safe-houses to see which ones are
being used, and by whom.

HARMONY’S HOUSE

Tevin locates a false floor in the basement. Yes, a false floor, not a false wall or door. The false floor has a trigger, that opens a concrete hatch in the floor. Ben pushes a hole through the hatch, it’s dark. He shines his flashlights down the hole, and sees stairs. He checks for explosives or traps but doesn’t see any.

Ben decides to take out the center of the hatch, leaving an inch or two around the edge, which should leave any trap switch in the safe position. Ben descends and finds a corridor at the bottom that eventually leads to a safe door, with a camera, a glass pad, and a
keypad.

Lance goes down and picks the locks, the door hums, and swings in. There is a room, we are at the top of it, it is 30’ deep, 30’ wide, and 40’ long. There are a set of spiral stairs, and a wheelchair sized lift. It is a laboratory, filled with mechanisms including cybernetic limbs. It is quite full.

Ben identifies an artificial skin generator, and parts for a female torso, in varying sizes and dimensions. The smallest torso and limbs would put together a female that is about 4’6’’, 9-12 years old. The largest would indicate a female about 5’6’’. The laboratory is designed with the ability to assemble the androids in mind, but not with fully automated equipment.

Tevin does his scrutiny of the room looking for traps, etc. He finds a secret door in the far wall, and all of the limb-storage equipment has an extra power cord going into it. Tracing the power, Tevin finds independent generators that provide the power for this room. They are not petroleum fueled. They do have inspection ports. Tevin does not find any traps on them. There is something that looks like it might be in input port, basically a square funnel that is
presently closed.

Mallory opens one of the inspection ports, and sees three guinea pigs in three separate running wheels running in parallel. The guinea pigs are resting. The next one has four hamsters. The third one has a guinea pig, and three hamsters. Two of the hamsters are running so fast that the running wheel is a blur, as are their legs. The fourth one has two guinea pigs and two hamsters.

There is a fifth box, perfectly square, which handles output from the other boxes. Think of a composting septic tank for the generators. Phew!

The secret door has one concealed button. The security system is bio-metric, and much more sophisticated than the first door. Ben pokes a hole two feet to the left of the door, but cannot widen it more than two feet. There are wires in the way. Most of the wires carry power, but two of them carry digital signals.

Lance tries to bypass one of the signal wires, to give Ben more room to dig, but fails. “Oh
S**T!” Tevin and Ben go hyper-speed and start taking multiple actions. Ben rips the door off that we’d been attempting to bypass. There are two couches (like dentist chairs) with small panels in front of them. Tevin discovers that they are control panels with a big green button, a big red button, and a joystick. Tevin gets Gwen out of the house. Ben and Tevin put Lance and Mallory into the chairs by their wish. Ben and Tevin carry out various materials, including the
generators, and a small complete android body.

As soon as they’re all clear, Lance pushes the green button. A door slams down, and the whole room is ejected at 13G. The chairs have G mitigation built in, so Lance and Mallory are still conscious. The panels now have an arc display showing their path. They appear to be headed towards the southern part of the North Atlantic. Unfortunately, they’re already out of telepathic range, so they can’t tell Gwen, and she can’t track them.

With the directed explosion mostly upward, half the neighborhood was seriously damaged. Ben catches most of the high flying debris, missing only a chunk of cinder-block that destroyed an unoccupied swing set. Gwen uses her shield to cover the local area. Tevin sweeps the middle area making sure that everyone is out of danger.

Fortunately, this was a school day, so kids are out of the area; and a working day, so most of the adults are out of the area as well. (The houses immediately adjacent had all been bought up and rented to D.I.N.K.s, That is Double-Income No-Kids couples, so they were all clear as well.)

Gwen notes a smaller cylindrical object sailing up, and uses her telekinesis to try and grab it, and she succeeds. As she brings it closer, she sees that it’s orange with black stripes, and furry. It’s Crooks, the cat, still alive, and largely unharmed. Seems he’s a super cat.

RIDING THE ROCKET

Mallory and Lance ride the rocket. Mallory hits the red button, which cuts off the rockets, and throws them off course. He then hits the green button, which turns the rockets back on, but they are still off the original course.

Lance eventually hits the red button, dropping further off course, and away from the base. After hitting the water, the craft sheds the rocket shape and becomes a manta shaped flying submarine. At that point, the screen lights up with two blips. One of them is obviously the flying sub, and one must be the base the rocket was originally aimed for. The joystick is now active, and sufficient controls for the sub are available.

Lance surfaces the sub. Mallory’s phone has GPS, as well as the sub, so we know where we are. Mallory mimic’s Tevin’s speed and takes word to the others in D.C. Lance turns the sub towards the base, and slowly maneuvers towards it. It becomes apparent that the base is moving, from north to south, at about 15 knots. The sub is moving west to east, approaching the base.

COMING TO THE RESCUE

After taking time to secure the materials from the lab, and to turn Crooks the super cat over to Col. Trevor, the team rallies to the rescue. Felix has arrived as well.

Tevin borrows one of the paddle boats from the tidal basin, and uses it to carry himself, Gwen, and Felix, to the sub. A paddle boat ride from h**l. The rooster tail is about 100’ high, and 300’ long, and soaked the Woodrow Wilson bridge as they went under it. Once in open ocean, Tevin increased speed to the point that the paddle boat is flying.

When Tevin, Gwen, and Felix arrive, Lance has broken into the communications system so he has a view of the control center of the base. It’s about 35’ in diameter, and Quatermain is sitting in the elevated chair at the center of the control room. The crew all wear green and silver uniforms.

Shortly, three more blips appear, and from the relative scale of the dots on the screen, those three are larger than us, and the base is even larger than them. After all, it had to carry them.

IS HARMONY AN ANDROID?

Felix backtracks a bit and examines the android parts via Ben’s recordings. They’re for a female about 11-18 years old, and a standard X-ray examined by a normal G.P. wouldn’t notice a difference. He then uses his skills and memory to work on the question of whether Harmony is an android. It is now 99% certainty that Harmony is an android.

BACK TO THE BASE

The three subs approach and surface around us. Lance has Mallory emulate Beauty Black, and wave at the other subs. When they surface, they open up like clam-shells, turning into something that looks like a giant Zodiac boat. There are 60 green and silver uniformed guards, all of which are armed, and pointing at us.

The com system hails us, “ES-5 Please Respond”. I ask “Beauty Black” to come down and answer the call. A comms officer, red headed female in the green and silver uniform, responds “Commander Black, good to see you. Who are your friends?” Mallory asks telepathicaly for help with the conversation, and says that we don’t need to worry about that right now. The comms officer replies that the captain would like to speak with her. Mallory plays happy. Quatermain appears on the screen. A short conversation occurs, all of two sentences, and Quatermain says “Fire”.

COMBAT BEGINS

Ben decides to lift the entire base/submarine into the air. It is 600 meters long by 200 meters wide. Displacement in excess of 300 thousand tons. A bit much for even Ben to lift cleanly. So Ben decides to flip it over. It’s now upside down. The view of the comms officer is a brief view of feet, then seat, and the sounds of impacts, screams, and curses. Switching to the camera we’d hacked earlier shows Quatermain, immaterial, but no longer in his seat. He didn’t
take any damage. Felix provides a running commentary on the injuries we see.

The mooks on the surrounding boats are swamped by Tevin’s rooster tail. After two passes, only 30 or so of the mooks are still on the boats. They open fire, but Gwen’s telekinetic shield blocks most of the fire, and the 1’ titanium hull of the sub blocks the rest. (Effectively HAR 4 armor.)

The flying sub is taken out of their aim by Lance driving it forward at about 35 knots. Eventually, Ben flips the base ship back upright, more thumps screams and cursing. All
the normal’s are captured. Quatermain is seen to dissolve into mist as before.

WRAP UP

The comms officer is Guinevere Williams. The bridge crew are all highly competent but normal humans. There were a few other metas on board, but most of them escaped. One of the metas who did not escape is the hyper-mind from the open sea racing episode, who escaped us then by ducking into a restaurant for a leisurely meal.

The engines (at least three) are fusion reactors using hydrogen electrolyzed from sea water. It’s not quite Mr. Fusion from “Back to the Future”, but it’s on that path.

The name of the base ship is the Atalan. Further examination of the ship shows that the top deck in normal state has a number of helicopter landing pads. However, it can morph into a full flight deck capable of handling a C-130 that has VTOL capability like the Osprey does. In fact, there are three of those C-130-like planes on board, and they have sea-plane capability as well.

During the scuttling operations, the crew destroyed the library, and the captains computer. All the secure data is pretty much gone, although we might be able to recover something after detailed forensic examination.

In Quatermain’s quarters, a picture of the archaeological expedition is found. We know three of the people, Quatermain, Black, and ‘Sam’ that was recently captured. The other three are not yet known to us. Another picture shows Quatermain, Black, and Harmony sitting on a couch together.

The available weapons systems were designed by someone other than the hyper-mind from the racing episode.

LOOSE ENDS

  • Check Beauty Black to see if she’s an android.
  • Check Harmony to see if she’s an android. (Presently a 99% probability.)
  • Results of the government stakeout of the other Safe Houses.
  • Follow up on the other three people in the archaeological photo.
  • Pawns and Cat’s Paws in Electrodyne and Church of Yeon. Either directly, since we have their names, or indirectly via Gwen’s influence in the Diana Foundation.
View
Loose Ends and a Rescue!

Loose Ends

Quatermain

We decide to have Ben Stone and Mallory Burns pull a good cop/bad cop interrogation on Alister Quatermain. Unfortunately, Quatermain has vanished.

When we arrive, guards are clustered around his cell. It seems about 5 minutes ago, the body that we believed was Quatermain slowly turned into a mist and dissipated into the room. The suppressors dropped to the floor.

  • The air in the room was tested, there is no evidence of particulate matter that does not belong.
  • The air leaving the vents showed no unexpected particulate matter.
  • The cell was constructed to isolate as well, including a Faraday Cage effect as well as other defenses.
  • The telepaths were able to confirm that Quatermain was in the room, but couldn’t get anything other than it was Quatermain.
  • Sensors all showed that there was a normal physical presence.
  • There was no measurable power spike of any sort observed.

Present theory is that Quatermain has the Duplicates power, and simply allowed this duplicate to be captured, and dissipated it. Unfortunately, those with the Duplicates power that have been observed each have quite distinct effects when they dissipate a duplicate. Telepaths that have examined Duplicates in use state that there is a distinct flavor difference between duplicates. Unfortunately, no one has gotten a reading on Quatermain before, so we have nothing to judge by whether this entity was a duplicate or not.

If it was a duplicate, Quatermain has likely gathered significant information on the NTA and our facilities. The Colonel has been informed, and since there was an escape, security procedures were already in the process of being changed. This just adds to the necessary changes.

Beauty Black

Gwen Folsom scans her telepathically, discovers both normal blocks, and the Fortress Of The Mind sort of barrier that makes her basically unreadable. Gwen determines that the fortress is of her own self, not artificial or imposed from outside.

Good/Bad Cop is tried on her by Mallory and Ben. She states that her employer (the agency, not the parents, Quatermain is the boss) told her that Harmony needed to be moved because due to tests her powers are starting to fluctuate. Bea was surprised at the shenanigans, but thought it was sort of cool.

Through various maneuvers, including smashing the table into the corner (thanks Ben!), she is thoroughly intimidated. We find out that they really wanted Harry. We point out to her that not only can we get her out of this situation, we may be able to help her in other ways. Gwen discovers through her telepathy and empathy that Bea has a loyalty to Quatermain.

Bea states flatly that she won’t betray Quatermain. Through further persuasion, we learn that they believe Harry is the single most powerful meta that Quatermain is aware of. As a purely curious question, “Why are you so loyal to Quatermain?”. “I love him.” “Are you married to him?” “No. I’d like to be, but he keeps saying no.”

Mallory goes out claiming that he’s too old for this and is going to go take a nap. Ben goes out and gets a set of suppressors and clamps them on to Bea. This does not bring down her mental shields, so they must either be powered by something other than lifeforce/genetics, or are native.

We tell Bea that we have Quatermain, she denies this saying that he can get out of anything. Mallory takes on Quatermain’s appearance, and enters his cell. We show Bea video of Quatermain in a cell. She becomes very agitated, and would be trying to get to Quatermain, but Ben is holding her in her chair.

Presenting sympathetically, Lance asks her if there’s anything she wants to tell us. She is adamant that she will never betray Quatermain, that he will escape, and she will be there with him. She is remanded to the NTA and placed in one of the isolation cells.

E. Burke

According to the NTA and FBI, Burke does not in fact exist. There is insufficient supporting documentation for his existence. His import/export business is in antiquites. He has no warehouse. There is no hard evidence of smuggling, but it’s highly likely.

Burke has extensive records of trafficking with Central and South America. Some with Africa. After that, it’s the Orient. Nothing in Europe, Australia, India, or Antarctica. Still no hard evidence of smuggling.

The NTA and FBI have been asked to undertake serious investigation of each of the transfers. The idea is to see if there is any evidence of other bases, or groups of children being taken, related to those transfers. There are likely many meta children missing, and we need to find them.

Mallory and his Secretary

Mallory checks to see if Quatermain has contacted anyone. She reports no contact.

The Goon’s Advanced Armor

Inquiries have been started to determine where the armor came from, and whether or not we can get any of it. (Ask the GM next game session.) The desire is that those of the group who do not already have serious armor should get some. Or at least something better than Kevlar Class II (LAR 3).

To The Rescue!

Colonel Trevor just got a call, and he can’t believe that they’re asking us to do this, but…

There was a big demonstration out in India, in the Jammu and Kashmir province, by one of the new up and coming military suppliers. It was a new weapon system system. The head of the company has been taken and is being held for ransom. We are instructed to recover him, with extreme prejudice. (I.e. Anyone other than the president of the company are fair game.) His name is Stanley Willard of Willard Tech.

We investigate the demonstration area, and learn something about the weapon. A rocket-boosted mortar shell system fired in racks, the area and effect are adjustable, but this set covered about 2 km long and 1/2 km wide. Lots of craters.

From the site where the kidnapping occurred, Ben obtains blood samples and analyzes them obtaining some useful information. There are tracks leading north and south on the corresponding road from the firing site. Tevin follows the tracks south til they join the main paved road. Looking closely, there are two sets of tracks on the road. Multiple vehicles, going in and out. The outbound tracks lead back towards the demonstration base in Baramulla. The northern route leads to a small town.

Assorted searches were performed in multiple directions and surrounding areas by Tevin, Mallory, Ben, and Lance, turning up not much. The kidnappers intend to contact the officials again in 24 hours. There are plenty of radio direction trucks waiting to pinpoint their broadcast location, and we can get the entire team to their location as soon as we know it.

Tevin finally finds a kid, a student at the local school who speaks very good English, and with a $100 US bribe (₨ 5426, or about 270 loaves of bread) gets him to tell us where the local terrorist group resides. Turns out it’s the two houses that were locked, and from which we were told (effectively) “bugger off”.

When we get to the houses, they’re empty, but Tevin finds a secret trap door (dodging the three grenade booby trap), and Gwen senses the people running down the tunnel. Lance insists on being the first down the tunnel. Ben follows. The other three are moving outside to try and intercept them. Finding the direction of the tunnel from outside turns out to be ridiculously simple.

As Lance and Ben run down the tunnel, explosions are going off left and right. These explosions don’t bother Lance or Ben, aside from making it impossible to hear anything. There’s a bigger explosion in a side chamber as they pass.

Above ground, the explosions are causing a line of bulges that collapse back into holes. Finding the end of the tunnel is easy. Tevin, Mallory, and Gwen head for the end of the tunnel, finding a giant combat robot. Ben is excited, and bursts out of the tunnel to go deal with the robot. Beside the robot there is a truck they apparently intend to use for an escape vehicle.

Still in the tunnel, there are four men leading, their captive, and a total of 13 men following.

Lance hits the last guy in the tunnel, with his full brawling attack. This is the first time he’s used it, so he didn’t realize what was going to happen. The last four people in the tunnel are knocked into each other like lethal dominoes. The last three are all dead due to the impact, the fourth is both unconscious and buried beneath the bodies of the other three. Lance is horrified, but his stability carries him through. Unfortunately, the tunnel is only about 4 feet wide, and no more than 6 feet high. With four bodies piled up in front of him, there’s only about 2 feet of clear space at the top. Of the 13 in the tail, three are dead, one unconscious, three turn to face the threat, and the remaining 6 continue out of the tunnel.

Outside, Mallory — emulating Lance’s shield and flying power — carries Gwen to the far side of the truck, where she can either trap the bad guys, crush the truck, or anything else that comes to mind. Since Ben is going to take on the robot, Tevin decides to disassemble the truck’s engine, neatly cleaning and ordering the pieces on the ground. He even finds a local maintenance shop with the mobile shop crane needed to lift the engine out. (Actually, it’s of sufficient size to lift the whole truck if necessary.)

Ben grapples the robot, preventing it from firing it’s weapons… usefully. Twin beams of energy shoot out into the sky. Gwen confirms that there is a pilot in the robot. Eventually, Ben yanks it up by one leg and flies it up into the air about 10,000 feet. Dangle, Dangle! After being dangled from upon high, the pilot decides to surrender.

The leading four out the tunnel attempt to shoot Mallory and Gwen, but Mallory is emulating part of Lance’s shield and using himself as a shield for Gwen. They’re using high tech lasers, but all four shots bounce off of him. Gwen uses her telekinesis to yank Willard away from the bad guys and brings him to her side on the ground, telling him to stay down, it’s a rescue.

Mallory uses his shotgun and seriously injures a number of the bad guys. Tevin gives the remaining bad guys “Atomic Wedgies”, causing such distress that they are all disabled.

(Sorry about the brevity folks, but your humble narrator was distracted towards the end.)

Remaining Loose Ends

  • While the Mormon youth group people were originally told we had captured Quatermain, they were subsequently informed of his escape. If he contacts them, they should contact us immediately at the number provided earlier.
  • The neighbors of E. Burke are not informed of his status.
  • We still haven’t dealt with Harry and Harmony’s need for counseling.
  • With Beauty Black confirmed as a willing accomplice, Harmony needs someone else to take care of her. Gwen is willing to take her in, but that depends on Harmony being able to accept Gwen after the shocks she’s received; to which has been added the discovery of Beauty Black’s betrayal, although Harmony is not necessarily aware of that fact yet.
  • If Quatermain doesn’t rescue Beauty Black, perhaps she will become disillusioned and be more cooperative with us. She is to remain unaware that Quatermain has escaped.
View
The Reduction of Quatermain

Recap and News Dump

Recovering from KSR encounter.

Diana Foundation is undergoing an organizational realignment, after their failed business(es) in Russia. Gwen Folsom, when not on an NTA mission, has spent most of her time telling reporters ‘No Comment’, and ‘the Diana Foundation will recover’.

One of the things that has really hit the Diana Foundation is the fact that they had — deep — links to Cannibals Anonymous.

Transnational Organization of Invention has announced a big scholarship/grant/fund in the humanities: archeology, history, mythology, anthropology, and other similar fields.

Transhumanic Studies and Research has announced new medical trials for a treatment designed to improve one’s overall health, and a potential but very risky cure for many terminal diseases: Cancer, ALS, etc. To the point that the program is being denounced by most medical practitioners on the basis that no one treatment could possibly cure so many disparate conditions. They quote a success rate of 10%, with 1% perfect. Please note, this is approximately the same rate as for ATE.

A new company, with both a regular branch and a PAC, called the Polythemus Foundation. It has been shown that they are supporting multiple politicians with large sums of money. When confronted with this, they said “Yes. Because they advocate better technology for the betterment of humanity.”

Applied Sciences has shown record earnings this quarter, even over the predicted rise based on past performance. They attribute this to their acquisition of Big Gun Securities, and expect this trend in robotic security to continue.

The Blue Water Military Academy has had a major scandal, when it was revealed that they also run a security company — Blue Water — staffing it with the academy’s seniors. They said nothing until pulled into court for child endangerment. At which point the lawyers pointed out:

  1. They are all of age. (They are.)
  2. They are all volunteers. (They are.)
  3. They’re earning good money. (They are.)
  4. It counts towards their education as real world experience. (It does.)
  5. And their parents were fully aware and had signed off on it. (They did.)
    The court case was tossed out. Unfortunately for BWS and BWMA, the court of public opinion has them not doing so well financially.

Church of Yeon is having difficulties. A number of senior members were caught embezzling, and engaged in morally reprehensible behavior. Some of which involved a young boy.

Electrodyne is basically moving along, some successes, some failures, nothing spectacular.

Investigation of the Church of Yeon by Mallory Burns

Mallory decides to investigate what’s going in in the CoY, and makes contact with the former bosses’ former secretary. People still talk to her, and she knows how to get things done. He mentions to her that it looks like it might be a good idea for him to become more involved in the church again. She thinks this is a wonderful idea, and offers to assist. Plans are made to gather more information.

The secretary comes back with a list of supporters, and known problem people. Many are not known, but of the problems, most of them are already known to be a pain. There is one name that stands out as a problem person: Alister Quatermain, the archaeologist, and person of interest in prior investigations on disappearing children. He is listed as a significant donor, on the order of millions of dollars. Mallory is being careful not to alert Quatermain. He was an archeology professor, a well funded one, but professors don’t normally have millions of dollars to throw around.

The primary reason he is considered a problem is not that he’s directly opposed to Mallory, but he’s been supporting those who’s policies are opposed to Mallory’s. Mallory looks into potential connections with government and/or political factions, but does not notice any pattern.

There is contact information for Quatermain, and he asks his new secretary to arrange a meeting with Quatermain. The word comes back from the housekeeper that Quatermain is outside the country now, and will certainly call back when he returns. There’s a strong feeling of “don’t call us, we’ll call you”, but that Quatermain would be returning relatively soon.

Investigation of the Dianna Foundation by Gwen Folsom

Gwen decides to look deeper, and Lance has gone along as physical support, getting her through the news vultures and paparazzi. Tevin decides to come along as well. This is a serious reorganization, people are definitely being moved around massively. (The foundation does not have a glass ceiling… for women.)

Looks like a thorough, but not surprising reorganization. The CA relationship is not something that really needs to be looked into. The DF supplies donations to many organizations. The biggest issue with CA is just the unfortunate name. CA primarily deals with self-destructive and predatory behaviors. The Russia adventure is much bigger because

  • they weren’t charted for operations in Russia,
  • they had a rocket (the fact it was an Orion nuclear rocket is being concealed),
  • the rank and file are going WTF!?!.

A bit more gentle digging (Charm + Research + Willpower) shows that the rocket was also going to be an orbital base, the central structure and build onto it. There are rumbles that this is all related to something they call Genesis Eve.

Assembling the reorganization charts and getting her office into order. She receives a call on her private line, and it is the school principle (for Harry and Harmony). The principle is asking (about 10am) why Harry is not in school today, and would she have any idea where Harmony was. No one is answering at Harmony’s house. Gwen did see them both get on the school bus. The bus driver remembers them getting off the bus. Talking with classmates, they tell Gwen that Harmony was picked up by a man and woman. Harry went with her, apparently willingly, in a large SUV that was packed with ‘stuff’.

(Back Story: Harmony is basically an orphan. Her parents support her financially, but have basically kicked her out. She is cared for by her nanny, Beauty Black.)

The female of the couple is definitely Beauty Black. The male is … Alister Quatermain.

We have a mission.

Recovering Harry and Harmony

Gwen issues a team alert, including available data and names, and also informs
Colonel Steven Trevor.

The Colonel is distressed. Despite their youth, they’re both some of the more powerful and versatile talents that they are aware of. Harry and Harmony can basically wish things to happen. There are limits, mainly they don’t seem to be able to put much energy behind it.

Mallory adds that Quatermain has been funding the church. The Colonel comes out with a “what’s this guy up to!?!”, there’s about 15 things that he’s been into, providing LARGE sums of money. Prior to Quatermain’s trip to Guatemala, he was much what you expect a professor to be. Afterward, he’s got money coming out his ears, and he’s involved in a large number of disparate situations.

The SUV is registered to [[Mr. Daniel Puckle]] of New York. He’s Harmony’s father, and a reconstructive oral surgeon, but what really brings the money in is stars coming in to get their smiles “just so”. The vehicle was probably Beauty’s, provided by Mr. Puckle.

Examining the other organizations, we find that Quatermain is an alumni of the Blue Water Military Academy (’77). The Quatermain family has been major stock holders in Electrodyne for a while. Alaster was recently elected to the board of TOI, as a member at large. That seems to be the extent of it, along with his previously noted connections.

Ms. Black’s financial records indicate that she has been paid by the Puckle’s, as Harmony’s caretaker since the ATE. The house is owned free/clear by the Puckle’s. Cellphone records show she pays for her own service, there was a call late last night, and another about 9am (when H&H were picked up). The phone call was to/from a company called Mobile on the Go. A pre-paid cellphone, paid for in cash.

The place that sold the phone has a security camera, we get a look at it to see who purchased the phone. A “super quicky mart” (non brand name) located in South-East D.C. In fact, this store doesn’t even allow customers inside. It’s basically a human-driven vending machine. The security camera shows the person who bought the phone was <drum role> Quatermain. Ben Stone examines the video, and after some time, determines it is both legitimate, and the person in the video is actually Quatermain.

Ben decides to call the phone. A fellow named “Marvin” answers. After a few questions, it is apparent that Marvin is a wino. Fortunately, a cooperative wino.

  • The phone was found near the quicky mart, the same one it was bought at.
  • It was found around 10:30pm, the night before the kidnapping.

Further discussion with the police show that they recognize Quatermain as the likely head behind the “Green” drug, which gives its users a sense of ultimate power.

Tracking their EZPass, and through traffic cameras, we trace them out the Dulles Toll road to the airport, then out the airport north on 28, west on Waxpool, then seen again at the intersection of Ashburn Farm Parkway and VA-659. We eventually track them down to the Leesburg Executive Airport, and one of five flights with sufficient passengers to be candidates.

All the cargo from the car is packed onto a cargo plane, independent of where they went. The cargo is going to Redding, CA. Passenger flights go to Redding, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; San Antonio, TX; Spokane, WA; and Calgary, Canada.

We track the Redding flight, it arrives late, and neither Harry nor Harmony are on board. The pilot does not recognize either Black or Quatermain. Tevin and Mallory (mimicking Tevin’s speed) check Calgary, Spokane, and Salt Lake City. Ben checks San Antonio.

The flight that landed at Salt Lake City was a Mormon Youth Group, which DID include Harry, Harmony, Black and Quatermain. Tracking down the Youth Group, they are no longer part of the group, having separated at the airport. Quatermain paid for the flight.

Backtracking to the airport, we use the cameras to track them to the parking garage, and traffic cameras in the area show they are in an H1, the civilian Hummer before it became a luxury vehicle. It is registered to an E. Burke, who lives in Tooele, UT, at 54 N 4th Street. He is not home, and the Humvee is not present. His neighbors know he has a Humvee, that he is not Quatermain, but that Quatermain has been seen in the area. They have been given a phone number to contact me, and instructed NOT to approach Quatermain or Burke, as Burke may have been duped, or otherwise abused.

Further aerial survey eventually leads us to a place (40.491467,-112.197789), where there are at least 12 people, and a teleport getting ready to take everyone elsewhere. Gwen identifies that Harry, Harmony, Black, and Quatermain are all present, and identifies the teleport.

Ben lands on the teleport — from upon high — turning his head into gray/red ooze. At this point, Harry, Harmony, Black, Quatermain, and four heavily armored goons are still in the room.

Ben tries to punch Quatermain, but his fist goes right through. Quatermain is probably using Insubstantial. Tevin snatches Harmony out of the room and takes her outside. Gwen’s intended attack on the teleport is redirected to Quatermain, but the telekinetic attack fails as Ben’s strike did.

Tevin takes another action and punches Black. She attempts to raise a shield, but Tevin’s attack takes it back down. Ben hammers one of the goons through multiple walls (36 yards knock back through at least two walls). Although Ben doesn’t realize it immediately, this has killed the guard.

Tevin partially disassembles the armor on one of the goons, reducing his armor to LAR only. The second goon is suddenly naked, except for boxer shorts with ray-guns held by Duck Dodgers.

Lance bursts into the room through the wall, in a shower of debris and a glowing shield.

Tevin rescues Harry. Mallory uses his shotgun on the goons and Black, as Quatermain is still insubstantial and unaffected. The naked guard looses his right leg, and assorted other damage is distributed. Black takes shock damage, and some kill damage. So do the goons with either damaged or no armor. Black is knocked unconscious. Boxer goon is also unconscious. This leaves two goons, and Quatermain. One of the goons has the degraded armor, the other still has full armor, and Quatermain is still insubstantial.

Ben attacks the fully armored goon by punching him, hitting him for 3 shock. Through knock back, the goon is basically dead.

Unfortunately, while the team members are able to resist, the multiple shocking deaths trigger mental trauma in both Harmony and Harry. As a result, they now consider Ben to be horrifying, and Ben will be at a minus when dealing with them until it is resolved.

Okay, your narrator missed a bunch, so this is just my best-effort from memory.

At some point, Mallory mimics Quatermain’s power, and discovers the defense is any Genetic based power. That is, Genetic based powers will damage Quatermain, even when he is Insubstantial. Unfortunately, none of the team present have Genetic based powers.

Gwen attempts a telepathic attack on Quatermain, and although she does get through and do some damage, Quatermain is strong enough to stay up. Between them, Ben and Mallory hammer the remaining goons until only Quatermain is left.

Several of the party members, including Gwen, notice that Harmony is about to knock Harry out. Because of her telepathic communication, Gwen tells everyone else. Lance prepares a called-pulled shot to knock Harmony out, as she is being mind-controlled. However, Tevin snatches Harry out of the way and takes him to our base in D.C.; then returns and snatches Harmony out of the way to his house in California. This frees Lance to hold his action until Quatermain is vulnerable.

Ben suspects we may have to turn the mountain house into a crater, so he starts hauling those who are still alive but unconscious clear of the building. Quatermain attempts to escape by moving through the ground while insubstantial.

Tevin and Ben start digging so that we don’t lose track of Quatermain, first boulders start flying, then the whole area is engulfed in a cloud of dust and dirt, until their digging brings them up against a concrete wall that Quatermain is apparently aiming for.

Mallory gets Ben to hit him with a bit of damage to trigger his life force drain. Since it’s now controlled, he can limit it to Quatermain, but that doesn’t kick in until the end of the round when his regeneration kicks in.

Ben decides to grab the whole concrete construction and throw it out of the way so we can continue to pursue Quatermain. It turns out it’s a combination root-cellar/shelter. With Ben’s strength, he just rips the whole thing out of the ground, in one piece, and sends it flying. It lands in the nearby quarry, right in front of a bulldozer. The bulldozer just scoops it up with everything else without even noticing.

Mallory’s life force drain kicks in, and Quatermain is suddenly solid. While this is the end of the round (yes, all of the above took place in just two seconds) Lance has been holding his action prepared for just this situation, so his action is triggered as the very first event of the new round. Lance blasts Quatermain with a called pulled head shot, knocking him unconscious.

Harry is okay in D.C. Commenting “so that’s what a Tevin speed trip is like”. He’s still going to have trouble dealing with Ben, but at least he was familiar with Ben before the combat.

Harmony is in some distress, as she is not as familiar with Gwen’s friends as Harry is. She’s suddenly in a totally unfamiliar house, with a memory of having been about to hit Harry, and dealing with the mental shock of the combat.

Loose Ends

This is a collection of things that the narrator thinks need to be dealt with.

  • The Mormon youth group people are contacted and told that Quatermain has been captured and is being held for kidnapping, among other things.
  • The neighbors of E. Burke are told nothing at this time.
  • The NTA, or perhaps the FBI, are informed that E. Burke should be quietly investigated to determine just what his relationship with A. Quatermain was, and what the nature of his import/export business is.
  • Both Harry and Harmony are going to need counseling. They’ve had a horrifying experience.
  • Since Beauty Black is now in custody, Harmony needs someone else to take care of her. Gwen is willing to take her in, but that depends on Harmony being able to accept Gwen after the shocks she’s received.
  • We need to determine if Beauty Black was (a) a willing accomplice, (b) an unwitting dupe, or © mind-controlled. This will have an impact on how we deal with Harmony.
  • Extensive interrogation of A. Quatermain should begin A.S.A.P., as he appears to have been closely involved in a number of incidents of interest to us, especially those involving children. While we cleared one base, there are obviously others. We need their locations and the organization(s) running them.
  • The goon’s armor, being rather more advanced than that available on the open market, needs to be investigated to determine how they obtained it. This may relate back to E. Burke’s import/export.
  • If possible, Lance would like for the team members who do not already have serious built in armor to have suits like these, and wouldn’t mind one for himself.
View
Antarctic KSR and Super Vegetable Soup

Antarctica Yellow Dome

The last session, we were done with Alpha Base, waking up in the
hospital, and being discharged.

Now? We’ve just woken up outside, on white – maybe ice, maybe snow
– very cold. Winter blue-gray sky above us. Distant flecks of black
and gray on the horizon around us, in what is otherwise a glowing
white pristine landscape. There is a glowing yellow dome in front of
us.

Ben’s GPS puts us on Antarctica, and Tevin’s run to find a clock shows
we’re about 4 months into the future. On the map of Antarctica we
would be approximately under the ‘Queen Elizabeth Range’ label. (85 S
by 110 E +/- 5 deg.) The flecks in the distance are the Queen Elizabeth Range mountains poking up out of the ice and snow.

Ben’s research shows that this is not a known technological device,
but is similar to effects seen around other supers. Digging down
about 12’, with a 6’ headroom, and carefully digging towards the dome,
Ben shows that the dome does not extend underground. Ben comes back
out and says “Hello!”

Reset to “Now? We’ve just woken up…” There is no hole. We have no
memory of a hole. We have no memory of Ben saying “Hello!”.

Tevin runs to Admunsen-Scot (south pole base), where he is told that
he has been here before, but he has no memory of it. They escort him
to a closed research area where the Medical NTA is working. Tevin
explains where we’re at, and the researcher goes HALLELUA! A
BREAKTHROUGH! when she hears about the yellow dome. Suddenly paging
through various reports, eventually asking if he would take them back
to the dome. Tevin does so, planting sensors every 10 miles, and
bringing the science team in afterward.

While that was going on, Mallory touches the dome and looses a finger.

We notice that the dome is slightly curved. We only knew it was a
dome because it curved away above. The radius is such that the dome
at our level looks like a horizontal wall.

As Tevin brings in the team, they ‘freeze’. They’re still breathing,
but they’re motionless, vacant eyed, etc. Tevin takes two of them
back to the previous 10 mile sensor post, and they revive, so he takes
the rest of the science team back. He also does a quick survey and
determines that the dome is about 700 miles in circumference.

The science team does not remember anything after their second cup of
coffee that morning. There’s a chunk of 17 sensors in the middle of
the trail that are missing, and the sensors start disappearing tick,
tick, tick, towards the base. Tevin is given a copy of their
information to run to the Palmer (USA) base on the antarctic
peninsula.

Ben, repeats the dig a tunnel, and after having a moment of Deja Vue,
says “Hello!”. BAMPF. Those of us at the dome are affected.
Mallory has no idea how he lost the finger. Tevin is NOT affected.

Deja Vue check, no one succeeds at this one. Every time Ben digs the
hole and says Hello, we go through it again. These times, Tevin is
outside the effect.

Tevin, as the data is being copied, notices something wrong. Like a
flicker at the corner of your eye that you can’t quite see. He goes
into hyper-speed stealth mode dodging back and forth into the room
trying to catch onto whatever the flicker is.

Straining his abilities, Tevin finally sees that there’s another
speedster, not quite as fast as Tevin, but stealthy. The other
speedster is erasing the data at hyper speed. Tevin hits him with a
fire-extinguisher. BONK! The other speedster is unconcious (3S/1K
to head).

We go through another groundhog day. Ben gets another Deja Vue.
Mallory starts to call out “Help Me”, using his charm, but Ben
silences him. “I have a very bad feeling about making loud sounds,
let’s be quiet.”

Tevin continues talking with the scientists. Mallory’s nulification
power kicks in. Where it intersects the dome, it momentarily creates
a hole. Beyond the wall, it’s all lush green land.

Ben digs another hole, and widens the bottom out into a small room for
all of us at the dome. He tunnels into the area of the dome, about 60
yards in, and surfaces through the roots into a temperate rain forest.

We see the snow wall where the dome reaches below the snow line to
the actual ground. Suddenly, there are 5 Allosarae atacking.

Gwen hits one of them with her TK. Ben hits 3 of them so hard they
fly into the air and slam back to the ground taking massive damage.
Those three are now dead. Mallory shoots another with his SMG
knocking it unconcous. Ben hits the last one twice as hard, killing
it as well as knocking it twice as far into the air. By the time
Lance gets done giving Mallory his shield, the combat is over.

BAMPF! We’re back outside, clueless, but Ben now has a hunk of what
looks like a big snake in his hand. He does research on it, and it
is most similar to crocodile.

Tevin continues his discussions with the Admunsen-Scott base
scientists. A drone is sent in with a recorded message telling us
that our memory has been erased and walk away from the dome towards
Admunsen-Scott base. We do so.

We arrive in time to see the other speedster being hauled out.
Wearing his yellow and green striped shorts and his Cubs tank-top.
Ben hands over his sample and the DNA results, the scientist looks
over the data and says it looks like some kind of dinosaur. Lance
asks “why are we here? Have they been hurting anyone?” Not anyone
that the scientist knows of, and although there have been
disappearances there’s no known connection to the dome.

We’ve finally called into NTA HQ, asking why we’re here. We’re here
to establish relationship with the Kelvin Shore Refuge. We were
supposed to meet up with a Diplomatic team, but we haven’t seen them
and they haven’t returned.

Lance flies out to the Kelvin refuge, asks politely if we can have
our diplomatic team back, and suddenly finds a letter sealed in
purple wax with the KS emblem. He takes it back to Admunsen-Scott.

Tevin goes away and will come back in about 10 minutes. The envelope
is opened, and the letter says (paraphrased): “We like it here. We
quit. Signed, the diplomatic team”. (Code words embedded in the
document indicate that this is a legitmate message, not coerced.) The
diplomatic team was composed of metas, and have apparently gotten on
really good terms with the KS people. Tevin returns.

Lance takes another note in asking if they could provide any
information on the talking points they were asked to cover. The note
sits there, Lance watches for a while, and finally leaves.

BACK HISTORY: Kelvin appeared and told metas that if they wanted to
come to KSR, just send him an email, and he would come get them. He
has no interest in communicating with anyone else. He won’t bother
us, don’t bother him.

Long discussion with the Colonel in charge. The upshot is that we
really don’t want to go to war with the KSR. The KSR is not
officially recognized by the Security Council or any of the other
major powers, but has been recognized by about 100 other smaller
countries. The interogation/research results are:

  1. He’s not a U.S. citizen, he’s Kenyan;
  2. Traces on his clothing of various fauna that just don’t go together
    normally;
  3. The Allosaur meat shows a healthy upbringing;
  4. He’s one of the early KSR members, and they were able to get some
    memories from the huts/pre-dome time of the KSR, about 2-3 years
    ago. A warm enough valley, but not tropical. After 2 years, his
    memories are no longer accessbile due to a mind block.
  5. His memories outside the KSR are accessible from about 8 months
    ago. He’s been erasing data gathered on the KSR. If he can’t
    handle it himself, he can contact people inside the KSR to handle
    it.
  6. His communications post is at location X. When location is X is
    investigated, it’s apparent that there was equipment there, but it
    is no longer present, having been removed about 2 hours or so ago.

We are now informed that the speester is gone, and one of the
diplomats is back. The diplomat remembers the following:

  1. Lots of really hot women.
  2. They’re not willing to open diplomatic realtions because they
    don’t consider themselves a state. They are charted in the US as
    a non-profit organization. Sort of like the Red Cross.
  3. They will no longer try to conceal themselves.
  4. The US citizens, those who are still earning, are still paying
    taxes. The KSR organization is still filling the appropriate
    reports.
  5. He brought a large collection of electronic media from
    Admunsen-Scott, apparently returning all the records they’ve been
    collecting. (Ben makes a point that this is further evidence of
    multiple felony/misdemenors, and sooner or later someone legal is
    going to get a bug up their ass and make an issue of it.)

Lots more discussion, basically amounting to: “Okay boss, what’s the
next mission?”

Back To D.C.

We’re back in our homes, relaxing, with some sort of video playing in
the background, or foreground, or whatever.

A burst of static, and a mad scientist appears on the screen. An
obvious mad scientist. With BRIGHT red hair.

There are anthropomorphic carrots and onions standing in the
background.

The mad scientist now claims to have poisoned all the world’s garlic,
and now has the only supply of garlic that is safe to use. He
demands mucho money in exchange for the safe garlic.

A toxicology lab confirms that the garlic is now lethal at 1
mg/dose. And in fact this includes pre-prepared spaghetti sauce.
All sources of garlic are now effectively WMD.

His broadcast has been triangulated (with difficulty), to a point
just south and west of Bermuda, within the area commonly designated
the Bermuda Triangle. The base is believed mobile.

Satilite photos show that the base is a super-tanker.

MISSION

Go to his base. Get the cure. Do whatever it takes to dissuade him
from ever doing this again. Capture if possible.

ACTION

Ben flies us to the super-tanker in Tevin’s tool shed. There are
ambulatory super carrots on the deck. We go through them like a
cuisnart, leaving the deck colored orange. We enter a door, there
are stairwells going up and down. Ben starts by going down and
punching holes. The first hole he punches pours out garlic cloves,
so he decides this may not be a good idea.

We make our way to the top of the superstructure, to the bridge. All
of us except Ben are now crying due to the onions, and there his
vegetable havoc behind us.

We work our way down deck by deck, to something with blinky lights.
It is not a security device. It does not look like normal equipment,
it screams “I am the product of a hyper-mind.”. Ben tries
researching it, but it’s too far into hyper-mind teritory.

While we’re doing that, Tevin does a super-speed recon. There is a
broadcast studio, a couple of big ugly dishes on the superstructure,
lots of cables from the blinky light lead to other parts of the ship,
including the antenas. SIGINT shows that all emisions are outbound
from the ship, as a broadcast, that has the power to cover the world.

The only humans on the ship are us. In the broadcast, Tevin finds
that the broadcast was from a DVR. The second message on the DVR is
basically “10… 9… 8…”. Tevin goes looking for a bomb,
basically by disassembling the entire ship. The DVR message ends
with “0… HaHa… HaHa… … There is enough seed garlic here to
resupply the world. DEATH TO MONSANTO!”

Ben flies the remains of the super-tanker to White Sands. Ben
contacts ATC and basically gets a “WTF? Over?” Then someone comes on
to direct him to Angels 18 (above general aviation, below commercial
airlines), and please follow this course to avoid airports.

Finito.

View
Timeline
Setting

This is a simple listing of the key dates in the Campaign’s backstory; the key dates for players are Sept. 1st, 2014 and April 19th, 2015.

Felix wakes remainder of party from 2nd gateway.

YearMonthDayEvent
2011February22Christchurch Earthquake, Christchurch, New Zealand; the pendant’s first event of the Great Pacific Rotation
March11Sendai Tsunami, Sendai, Japan; the first event of the Great Pacific Rotation.
June12Christchurch Earthquake, Christchurch, New Zealand; the second event of the Great Pacific Rotation.
2012January6Nazca Tsunami; the third event of the Great Pacific Rotation.
November6Kenneth Harrison elected on second “Anybody But…” ticket, 1st successful 3rd party candidate in over a century.
December21The [[Atitlán Eruption]]; the fourth event of the Great Pacific Rotation.
2013January20Kenneth Harrison sworn in as President of the United States.
April22The California Superquake; the fifth event of the Great Pacific Rotation.
June25The first cases of Atitlán Toxin Exposure appear in Guatemala.
July17The Seattle Quake; the sixth and last event of the Great Pacific Rotation.
October28First case of Atitlán Toxin Exposure appears in the United States.
November21First recorded death to Atitlán Toxin Exposure in the United States.
2014January9Every state in the continguous United States has been affected by Atitlán Toxin Exposure.
February17United States Atitlán Toxin Exposure Victims treatment centralized to Topeka ATEV Hospital, Topeka, Kansas.
March14Alaska and Hawaii affected as well.
April11Last recorded case of Atitlán Toxin Exposure in contiguous United States.
May10Last recorded case of Atitlán Toxin Exposure in the United States.
June22First survivor of Atitlán Toxin Exposure in United States.
September1Earliest PC release from hospital possible.
2015April19Last Atitlán Toxin Exposure Survivor released from United States Hospital
2016March23Atitlán plants bloom. First gateway.
June25First subjects wake from the 2nd gateway.
July29Party completely awake from 2nd gateway.
September30Last subjects wake from 2nd gateway.
November1President Harrison re-elected.
2017September7Alpha Base investigated, Atitlán reactor explodes. 2nd gateway.
December12First subjects wake from 2nd gateway.
2018April6Felix Selinsky wakes up 2nd gateway.
April12
View
Alpha Base II

Note

The usual note taker was occupied with figuring out Tevin’s nearly
nuclear rocks, and his own planned gateway improvements, so these are
notes sketched together after the fact.

Entering The Base

After disabling the exterior defenses, we chose to widen one of the
holes in a primary defense tower and enter the base through the
maintenance access. Lance’s earlier activities had blown the access
panels off at bottom of the shaft, granting easy – albeit cramped —
access to the interior of the base.

Through a variety of stratagems, we systematically disabled the
interior defenses. Tevin started out using an axe, but the noise was
literally deafening, so he changed over to using small chunks of
debris from earlier attacks to take out each emplacement from a
distance.

We came across one horrid trap corridor after another, until Ben
decided that digging through the space between the walls would be
better, and did so. Not only does this allow us to avoid the trap
corridors, we can also take the traps out without risk to ourselves.
The designers never considered the possibility that an intruder would
be able to excavate their own tunnels between levels.

As we approach a new level, Ben pokes an eye-hole through the wall
and uses his fiber optic scope to peer into the next room. It appears
to be a well developed chemistry lab that has definitely seen use, but
there are no experiments in progress. It’s at this point that we
realize we haven’t seen any of the base personnel.

As that realization dawns, a deep rumbling is heard. Tevin dashed
back outside to see what’s happening. Part of the base is lifting up
with flames shooting up around it. It’s rather like being at ground
zero of a Saturn V moon launch. Part of the base, a huge part,
is lifting off!

Ben simply cannot make it back out of the base in time to do anything,
so he and Felix decide to make a mad dash for the power control
center, while Tevin moves Lance and Gwen outside to see what they can
do about the … ship? That’s no ship! It’s a BUILDING!

As more of the building is exposed, we see massive coil springs
attached to the bottom. It is at this point that Ben, through the
telepathic communications provided by Gwen, realizes what it is.

It’s a ship built along the Project Orion plans. A series of nuclear
bombs are detonated under a huge curved plate to provide thrust for
stupendous masses into orbit and beyond. Early plans would have
required 800 detonations ranging from 0.03 kt to 0.35 kt yield to
achieve LEO. This would have catastrophic consequences not only for
anyone at the launch site, but around the world.

This ship is being launched like a cannon ball. A large conventional
explosion at the base providing sufficient impetus to reach a ‘safe’
altitude for the first nuclear detonation.

While Ben and Felix continue their dash to the power control center,
in the hopes of either turning on a force-field to protect the base
and/or local area, or turning off the force field protecting the ship,
Tevin, Gwen, and Lance try to damage the ship sufficiently to keep it
from continuing it’s launch.

The initial attempts are not promising. The springs were our target,
hoping to damage them sufficiently to make it unsafe for the
passengers and crew to continue the nuclear launch. Those springs
proved simply too massive. We did manage to damage one of them, but
all that would do was throw the ship slightly off their original
course. They would have been able to correct for it.

The Achilles heel turns out to be the portal in the base of the plate
through which the bombs are launched. In a combined attack, we
managed to seal the portal, preventing any bombs from being launched.
The ship fell back into the hole from which it had launched.
The passengers and crew survived only because of the shock absorption
built into the springs and plate to protect them from the detonations.

Ben and Felix make it to the power center while all this is happening,
and discover that the power source is nothing less than the Atitlán
plants with equipment to both stimulate and collect power from those
plants. Over half the indicator lights are already frantically
blinking red, and moments later, there is a detonation.

BEGINNING OF SECOND GATEWAY

This is the initiation of the second gateway.

Those Inside

Felix and Ben, who were basically inside the generator when it
exploded, were heavily modified.

Ben

Previously a cyborg made of ordinary metal and his remaining organics,
was transformed into living metal. He can now heal normally, and all
the equipment he had is now part of him. (Think T-2000 from the
Terminator movies in full silver mode.) He’s even anatomically
correct, for someone who stands over 7’ tall and is proportionately
broad. Presently, tastefully covered in an extra large pair of purple shorts.

Felix

Sorry Felix, I don’t remember what you got.

Those Outside

Those of us who were outside were also modified, though to a lesser
extent.

Gwen

Sorry Gwen, I don’t remember what you got.


Tevin

Sorry Tevin, I don’t remember what you got.


Lance

Is no longer required to have Willpower Bid on every power.

View
Alpha Base

Briefing

This is just a normal briefing, no emergencies. The following options are presented:

  1. ATE has cut a deal with the Russians so that we can investigate Alpha Base.
  2. They have also potentially located the pair of Teleporters that were supplying the camp.

Mission: Teleporters

After some discussion, we decide to try for the Teleporters first. Tevin will attempt to take them out at hyper-speed with a blackjack, and bring them in. All it needs is for them to be in a known location, in the open. If that doesn’t work out, we’ll just go on to the Alpha Base. They see Tevin coming1, but he still gets surprise and knocks them out. That’s it for them. Tevin brings them in.

Mission: Alpha Base


Google Interactive Map

We proceed to Alpha Base, boarding a Boeing 787 for St. Petersburg(A). Ben flies himself in, escorting the 787, and arrives at the airport shortly before the 787 does.

When Ben arrives at the St. Petersburg airport, he is greeted by an official — Ivan Stepanovich — with two human bullet walls — Bodyguards One and Two. The rest of us are greeted at customs and escorted through the airport to a smaller hangar. A small turbo-prop plane. Ben looks at it and can hear it creaking even sitting on the ground. Canvas sling seats, no belts, noisy as ****, you get the idea.

We arrive at Archangel(B) — northern most military port in the world — and take an even worse aircraft to Vorkuta©, where we take a reasonably comfortable bus, over roads that should have pounded the bus to pieces, making corners that it shouldn’t be able to, over mountainous terrain, on occasionally muddy trails. It takes us to a small, quaint, Russian farming village(D). Sod huts and log cabins. This is as far as we can be transported. Alpha base is at (E).

Closer In


Google Interactive Map

An aerial approach is out because their defenses would easily shoot it down. That pretty much left ground approaches. The red route follows an ice road to the base.2 The yellow route is an overland route avoiding major bodies of water and approaching Alpha Base from the other side. As the crow flies, it’s about 10 miles; following the ice road, it’s about 15.5 miles; the overland route is about 15.2 miles.

After much discussion, we decide on the following approach. Ben will drive the village truck over the road to the base, he is a distraction. Tevin and Mallory will hyper-speed Gwen and Lance to the base, at which point Mallory will join Ben to avoid having his power nullification take our powers out3.

As Ben approaches, the base goes on full alert, the four large energy cannons activate, and the speedster crew moves in. One shot is dodged by Ben. The bolt takes out the driver side mirror and the rear fender, as well as seriously scorching the paint from the thermal bloom. Subsequent shots take the right front tread, the right rear fender, the roof, the hood, the trunk, but somehow manage to leave the windshield.

The hyper-speed crew plans to attack by having Tevin throw two high-speed rocks4 at two of the towers, while Gwen and Lance each take out a tower. Well, it didn’t happen that way. Lance and Gwen couldn’t do enough damage fast enough, and both took serious damage. Fortunately, both had enough Willpower to5 buy off the damage that would have killed them, and manage to make their save themselves. Lance experienced a burst of development and started glowing blue. Subsequent shots just bounced off. Gwen bought off the damage and made her way under the wall and out of the range of the main turrets. Ben managed to drive that sequentially shot to pieces farm truck all the way to the gate. Dr. Felix showed up, and started a lot of healing — THANKS! — and we started to get the upper hand on the main turrets. At this point, all but two of the main turrets are destroyed, but the secondary anti-personnel turrets have activated and are shooting us up too. Eventually, all the secondary turrets are destroyed, and the remaining two main turrets are down. We now have full access to the base.

Great Moves

  • Ben driving right up to the front gate in a truck that has been systematically shot to pieces.
  • Gwen ripping one of the turrets off and using it for a hammer.
  • Lance drilling a hole in a main turret wall, and then blowing the turret up from inside.
  • Tevin and his nearly nuclear rocks.4
  • Mallory’s western standoff with a plasma turret.
  • Felix showing up to save the day!

Footnotes

1 Breaking Lightspeed – We’ve already decided that Tevin leaves a rainbow effect behind him when he breaks lightspeed, due to his power being ‘obvious’. In real world physics, this would result in Tevin suddenly appearing somewhere, with a rainbow trail leaving from that location tracing his route in reverse. You would never see him coming, only see where he came from. Since this would make it totally impossible to ever perceive him coming, it would seriously unbalance the game. His power also (necessarily) includes ‘no physics’. We’ve decided that this negates the causality that would make his light trail always appear to recede, instead making it a trail behind him that people can see before he arrives.

2 Post game interpretation of the satellite maps available through Google show that the ‘ice road’ has been radically improved since the images were taken in the vicinity of the action. If you follow the road far enough north-east, you come to satellite images that are vastly better, and clearly show an improved route with bridges.

3 When Mallory uses his mimic ability, it does damage to himself, which triggers his regeneration, which then triggers his ranged life-force power nullification within two rounds. Ben is not affected by the nullification.

4 Relativistic Rocks – A one kilogram rock, thrown at half the speed of light ©, has an energy equivalent to ~8.9 Million Tons of TNT (Mt). For comparison, most modern nuclear bombs are in the 100Kt to 550Kt range. For a better description for non-explosives experts, we recommend XKCD’s page on Relativistic Baseball. That describes the effects of a baseball being thrown at 90% C. Summary: Kiss the city goodbye. As this — again — would seriously unbalance the game, Tevin’s rocks are limited to less than nuclear proportions.

5 Retcon. Lance had been planning on buying shielding in the next gateway, but hadn’t gotten all the numbers figured out before the game session. It turned out that the willpower spent was a bit shy of being able to buy 2HD in Heavy Armor, but our GM allowed the retcon of spending the additional willpower and gaining the armor.

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