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.
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.
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.