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.
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.
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
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
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”.
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.
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.
- 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.