Campaign Dates: October 2-16, 2017
- Session 1: Wed, Oct 18, 2017 – 1800 PST
- Session 2: Wed, Oct 25, 2017 – 1800 PST
Notable Minor NPCs:
Session 1 – Narrative:
Date: Sunday, Oct 2, 2017 02:47am
From: John Storm
To: Robert Webster
Subject: SENSITIVE INFO – HK Monthly Report (Sep 2017)
Major Events: None
- Purchased a motorcycle and learned to ride it
- Dumped by Steven, who is now banging Stitch
- Retributive response expected if/when opportunity presents
- Spent time digging into DEMON and its mutant interest
- Found correlation between ‘Old Gods’ and mutant bloodlines
- Correlative work was penned by Dr. Harold Devanopolis
- Devanopolis supported by Angelstone Labs; may be worth a look
- Babysat TK Kid while the Kid worked with Tweaker
- Coached TK Kid on the hazards of charging into battle
- Changed hairstyle; he’s getting a curling iron for X-Mas
- Drank a lot, as usual
- Freed of Nevermind’s influence but lost some mental powers
- Asked by Quinby to be her maid of honor
- Shopped with Quinby and bought lots of dental floss outfits
- Will make you sure get an invitation to the wedding/slutfest
- Worked with Tweaker on some kind of helmet project for Hound
- Kid is smarter than he looks or acts
- Crushing on Psi-Kick, proving that brains != common sense
- Unexpectedly dumped by Dana due to her personal issues
- Loved by her too much for her to watch him endanger himself
- Spent most of the month in the bottom of a bottle
- Not seen much at The Keep, resulting in a leadership vacuum
- Caught up on paperwork
- Performed required monitoring functions
- Continued to dig into the whereabouts of Locks (no luck)
- Continued to dig into leads pertaining to TechnoSmith (no luck)
Col. John Storm, HK Liaison Officer, PRIMUS Intelligence Division
My monthly report filed, I looked forward to a calm, relaxing day – but it wasn’t meant to be. Webster called me into an unexpected 9:00 am meeting to personally express his concern over the recent lack of leadership in HK. Maybe I should have downplayed that in my report, but it was too late; he went on to caution how even one public mistake by the Knights could tip the delicate balance of public opinion regarding mutants. Across the discussion, it became evident that Webster felt I should assume a leadership role with the Knights. I told him I’d bring it up and see where it went.
As we concluded the meeting I met Webster’s gaze and, without further words, he knew I understood every aspect of the situation as well as he did – while I knew that Col. Avery Vasquez may have had a hand in my father’s death and that those potentially loyal to Vasquez within the PRIMUS Intelligence Division (which is most of the Division) were likely compromised. Webster seemed both relieved and surprised by this exchange … most especially with regard to my ability to keep it a secret. I mentally shrugged. A means by which we could request similar communication being needed, we agreed that his mother’s name would be our code word. Issuing a verbal, “Be careful, John,” as he always did at the conclusion of our face-to-face discussions, we parted ways, and I headed back to The Keep.
The rest of the morning was relatively uneventful if one discounted Amorph’s rude impersonation of Webster … and its resulting ire. I could have warned him over the mind link that he was treading on thin ice, but I figured the guy needed to learn for himself. Over the link, Hardcore expressed surprise that his father, Bull, was out of the slam and looking for his kids. Irritated, he headed to see Tweaker get her take on the development. It was pretty clear he had no interest in seeing his old man, but Tweaker managed to sway him into agreeing to see him. I looked forward to meeting the guy, as it presented an undoubtedly ripe opportunity for new shit I could give Hardcore.
While Hardcore was talking with Tweaker, TK Kid’s technobabble abruptly ended in a “Eureka!” moment that also bled across the link. Images of Hound trying on his new helmet excitedly washed over the link … as did Hound’s next words, “Oh my god! This is amazing! I can sense so far and … there are two Omega Class mutants in the immediate vicinity of the federal building!”
Something wasn’t right, as I knew there were no Omega Class mutants being held in custody at HQ, so I turned on the TV where I saw a man I knew to be Holocaust hovering in mid-air and speaking in an electronically amplified voice: “Human gnats have you no regard for your betters? To imprison my son is the ultimate disrespect for my God-like stature. You will produce my progeny now or face my wrath. My fiery friend here is prepared to take down the whole building if necessary. Disobey at your peril.”
Damn it! This guy would be a mess to deal with, as he could shoot energy beams from his eyes, had other energy powers (flight and telekinesis, to name two), could absorb energy to improve his various powers, and was even known to be able to sense energy patterns – making it VERY hard to sneak up on or surprise him. I also recognized the so-called fiery friend as Scorch – daughter of the leader of The Downtrodden and a former case file of the Hollywood Knights. She was an Omega Class mutant that could melt steel into slag who had gone missing a few weeks earlier during a prisoner transfer to Stronghold.
I made sure the Knights knew both his and her deal and then lept from the couch, enhanced my running, and bolted for the teleporter to HQ while instinctively instructing everyone on the mind link to get to HQ ASAP. AMorph and Amber followed me while Tweaker did something that teleported the HK members with her at the Underground to PRIMUS HQ.
Sensing an opportunity, I suggested that we give Holocaust what he wanted as fast as possible – in the form of AMorph posing as Street Pizza. No one put forth a better idea and AMorph was willing, so I bolted for the infirmary where Street Pizza was being kept and used my access/authority to get AMorph to the vegetable for proper mimicry – with Amber in tow providing speed enhancements and protection.
The rest of the Knights headed outside to deal with Holocaust. As they arrived, two fighter jets swooped by as if to warn Holocaust and Scorch of humanity’s capability and will to defend itself. Undeterred, Scorch blasted one out of the sky to educate humanity about mutant capabilities and intents. As PRIMUS defense forces moved into place, the smoking jet careened left and vectored on a gentle downward slope, the pilot obviously fighting hard to avoid loss of horizon in a heavily populated area. No chute appeared, and the THUD of ground contact soon followed – a mutant-caused human death televised live on TV for the world to see.
In that instant, everything seemed to pause … and then it was gone … a moment of recognition shattered by the sound of tanks rolling on concrete in the distance. The world’s eyes then turned to Holocaust facing off with the Knights. Instead of laying into them, he leveraged his airtime to malign them: “Well if it isn’t the esteemed Hollywood Knights, traitors to their kind? You, of all, should know what we are up against … or do you not remember our time on Warth? My son was a member of your group, and when he held issue with becoming pawns of the government you ensured that he would plague you no more. For this, you will suffer as he has.”
Lovely. So Holocaust blamed the Knights for his son’s stupidity. The rotten apple clearly hadn’t fallen far from the tree. As AMorph and I reached the infirmary, he hid Street Pizza in a closet, took his place on the gurney, and quickly plugged an IV into his own arm while I got on PRIMUS comms, identified myself as Colonel Storm, and demanded to know who called in the Army. Someone responded that it was the National Guard, not the Army… and that no one had requested them or the jets. Fuck! This was a setup… intentionally caused to televise it. God damn Genocide! I demanded to know who was in charge of our defensive posture, and one Arthur Kinkade responded to say he was. With the authority of a bird colonel and the experience of seven tours thick in my voice, I barked: “Mr. Kinkade, you get the God damned Guard on the horn and turn back those tanks! Call the governor if you have to, just get it done … fast … or this is going to become a bigger fucking media disaster than it already is! You have your orders…”
After a brief pause, the expected “Yessir” came back while I wheeled the gurney for the infirmary door. No sooner than I had, four humanoids popped into existence just inside the infirmary. Shit! It was Assault, Battery, Ambush, and Red Racer … and they were clearly there to retrieve Street Pizza while Holocaust and Scorch distracted everyone with the random and devastating fire they were unleashing outside the HQ building. I relayed this over the mind link, threw my hands up in surrender, and Amber followed suit. As they reached for the gurney I pushed it in their direction and exclaimed in my best ‘fearful’ voice: “Hey! We’re just trying to get him outside like the man ordered! If you’re here for him, take him! We don’t want any trouble!!!”
As hoped, they bought it … pulling AMorph’s convincing Street Pizza facsimile off the gurney and winking out of existence with him as the IV stand clattered to the floor. Our subterfuge intact, Amber and I headed outside to see what we could do to help. However, we stopped short as the rest of the Knights heard Holocaust’s electronically amplified voice utter the following to the world just before he and Scorch disappeared: “The war has just begun, humans. Prepare yourselves…”
Unfortunately, AMorph’s mimicry wasn’t as good as we’d hoped; he was discovered as an imposter by Holocaust within ~15 minutes of his departure. Assault, Battery, and the other two flunkies immediately returned for the authentic vegetable while AMorph made his escape, and no additional hostilities were encountered thanks to Amber rapidly dropping off Street Pizza’s limp body.
PRIMUS HQ began licking its wounds, counting 24 dead (including the pilot) and 283 injured. Hurrying to whatever had his attention, Webster and I crossed paths. He stopped and said: “Well this is going to change shit. The country isn’t about to lay down for an attack directed at a federal building. Fuck! How the hell did this happen?! How did Holocaust even know that Street Angel was here??? Storm, your team is on lockdown until further notice. Keep tabs on them and don’t let them out of your sight, that’s an order!”
I gave a crisp “Yessir” and reached out to Webster mentally again, telling him directly that this was clearly a false flag operation as evidenced by the National Guard being called in by someone other than us. He inquired how I knew this, and I replayed my dialogue with Arthur Kinkade for him. Taken aback, Webster warned me to be wary of Kinkade – who might be aligned with Vasquez given that Kinkade controlled the Iron Guard. His mind then turned to the leaks in PRIMUS, to which mine replied with but a single word: “Devanopolis”. He nodded with nothing else said, and hurriedly headed off to wherever he was going. I made my way back to The Keep with the Knights, decidedly thankful that my official monthly report had already been filed.
Session 2 – Narrative:
The attack on the federal building in L.A. resulted in massive and sustained public outcry which, in turn, generated governmental pressure to deal with the so-called ‘mutant problem’. As a result and in a rare show of bipartisanship, Congress enacted several new laws, each of which was rapidly signed by President Ronald Wharton. While the new laws were touted as applicable to all individuals within U.S. borders and territories, they were obviously architected by the Institute for Human Advancement (IHA) lobbyists and squarely aimed at mutants.
Under the new laws, brandishing superhuman powers became punishable as a form of simple assault (entailing a misdemeanor charge in most jurisdictions) while the use of superhuman powers against another person became a crime punishable as felonious assault. In addition, the American Superhuman Paranormal Registration Act (ASPRA) was stepped up by legislation causing the harboring of a mutant registration dodger to be punishable under the same laws and with the same penalties as harboring a fugitive from justice – effectively rendering registration mandatory for all mutants while branding all unregistered mutants as fugitives from justice.
The new federal laws also provided additional funding to enable expedited roundup and detention of unregistered mutants. Make-shift detention centers akin to the internment camps used for Japanese Americans during WWII were hastily erected, and two civilian contractors, Executive Control Services (ECS) and CorpSec, received generous federal funding aimed at rapidly filling those detention centers.
Governmental sanctions of mutant groups like the Hollywood Knights remained intact, but group monitoring was immediately tightened-up by a new requirement for all members of such sanctioned groups to wear body cameras as part of all sanctioned operations. In addition, the federal government established a fledgling department charged with the enforcement of new “anti-terrorist” laws. In the wake of the establishment of this new department, Archer Samuels, the de facto leader of the IHA and CEO of CorpSec, lobbied heavily for CorpSec to become an actual enforcement arm of the government. His proposal gained a lot of traction in Congress…
For all intents and purposes, the punishment of crimes associated with the use of superhuman powers went from typical … to the maximum allowed by law … in the span of two short weeks immediately following the L.A. Terrorist Attack (as it was quickly dubbed by the media). Unsurprisingly, the Mutant Underground got ridiculously busy in those weeks … but Bobby Wilson and Jack Heimer had no idea about that. Both were construction workers on a job site where things were not going well. The job was behind schedule and, in a bit of cosmic irony, their supervisor yelled at them: “You fuckers better get this job done on time and on budget because I’m tired of being yelled at.”
Rattled, Jack shook violently – so much so that particles around him began to partially solidify in a most unnatural way. Uttering a lame excuse about needing to take a leak, Jack tried to walk away, but his hateful co-worker, Bobby, laid into him by calling him ‘mutant scum’ as Jack reached the porta-potty. Pissed off, Jack turned around, ran over to Bobby, and started pissing on the spot where Bobby was working. Unfortunately, Jack’s tremors got so bad that he pissed all over Bobby…
Seeing this weirdness, others on the job site began slinging mutie slurs at Jack as they armed themselves with hand tools. Rather than risk injury from the mob, Jack took off running just as he was grabbed by one pissed-on Bobby, whose arm visibly stretched like a rubber band to span the ten feet Jack had just run. Bitter and emboldened, the mob approached both of them levying angry shouts and slurs. Rather than face what he’d started, Bobby ran after Jack.
Running until they could run no more, both ducked into a local bar where they briefly set aside their differences over a couple beers. Before they could order a third round, an Asian guy approached them and said, “Look, it won’t be long before people like us are rounded up and put in the new detention centers. Now might be the right time to get out.” He set a card on the table in front of the two and left. Bobby grabbed the card before Jack could, noted it had a name and address for a coffee shop on it and tucked it into Jack’s front pocket so that the name faced outward: Maxx’z. Jack, stiffed with the bill, quickly paid it and followed Bobby.
Berta Dieterle, a tattoo artist by trade and roller derby queen in her off-hours, accidentally smacked a teammate unusually hard during practice. The bitch, of course, turned on her, and let fly a string of mutie-specific accusations. Frustrated and hurt, Berta left practice early, headed home, filled up her Toyota hatchback with everything from her tiny apartment, and decided to run for the border. About to get into the car, she spotted a folded slip of paper under her windshield, retrieved it, and noted it was an ad for a place called Maxx’z that appeared to make subtle implications about its mutie-friendliness. Intrigued, she looked the place up and headed there.
Susan Blime had been running out of places to crash in the wake of being kicked to the curb by her daddy. To make matters worse, she had likely overstayed her welcome with Chuck, an Executive Control Solutions employee who had just been called in to work. As he put on his uniform, a new wand-like gadget on his belt went bat-shit crazy. It was a mutant detector, of course, and its squawking quickly informed him as to why Sue had been kicked out of her home by her family. Because they were friends, Chuck overlooked Sue’s mutant status instead of dragging her to a detention center. However, he warned her not to be in the apartment upon his return as he walked out the door and pulled it shut behind him.
Hurt and frustrated, Sue left before Chuck could change his mind, drove off in her Mercedes, tried to book a cruise to Cancun, and found her credit card declined. She angrily pulled over in order to dial the credit card company and bitch at them. While fumbling around to find the right number, a man who looked like George Clooney greeted Sue, bantered with her a bit, and handed her a card with the address and name of a bar: Maxx’z.
Eddie Moore was at a buddy’s place and had just finished blazing up a fattie with his bros on the front porch when a squad car eased down the street, switched on its blues, and rolled to a stop at the curb in front of them. Eddie, knowing they all had their medical marijuana cards, greeted the officer politely and asked what the problem was. The officer informed them the drugs weren’t the issue, it was the neighbor-reported illegal squatting that was the problem. Irritated, Eddie told the officer it was his bud’s house, to which his bud replied that he thought it was Eddie’s house. Surprised, Eddie offered for the group to be on their way in order to save the officer paperwork, and the officer agreed subject to each of the young men submitting to a wanding with a device Eddie had never seen before. Rather than find out what it did, Eddie bolted as one of his buddies was wanded; the rest of his group took off in different directions, as well.
Eddie finally stopped to catch his breath in an alleyway off Waverly and Third. As he huffed and puffed he forced his pants, jacket, hair colour, and eye colour to change such that he looked nothing like the young man who had just been stopped for squatting. Before he could get moving again a chick in black spandex leapt off a five-story building and landed perfectly on the street. She told him she was with The Underground, that she knew he worked for the pawn shop, that she helped with the cops, and that next time he might not be so lucky. She also told him to go to a place called Maxx’z if he got the munchies – which sounded good to him since they’d already set in.
At Maxx’z, a 30-ish-year-old bartender was all over the place, obviating the fact that the establishment was probably his. Jack, Bobby, Berta, Sue, and Eddie had all found their ways to the place. Berta started hitting on Sue, muscling an apathetic Eddie out of the way. Having lost his seat, Eddie found a new one across from a dark-skinned woman who said her name was Taisha. Time passed, chit-chat was made, and Maxx eventually began to notice the six of them. One by one (over time) he pulled them into the back room of his establishment, called them out as mutants, and told them he wanted to help given the recent turn of events. All remained in the establishment until closing time, with Eddie passing joints in the storage room for any who wanted to partake.
While getting high in the back room, Jack cracked the alleyway door and saw a guy with a gun. He alerted Maxx, and Maxx informed everyone that it was time to leave. He then led everyone out a side exit with Berta and Eddie right behind him. Five ECS agents unexpectedly revealed themselves on a rooftop across from the trio and commenced arrest procedures with a warning for the trio to stop or be shot. Maxx ignored them, interposing himself between the five agents and Berta. As promised, the agents opened fire. Two of them hit Maxx with some sort of energy beam which he seemed to absorb as he grew large enough to rip through his clothes. Berta skated away southbound as the remaining agents took pot shots at her, and Eddie retreated back inside with Maxx following.
Berta continued to skate, circling around the west side of the building where she crashed through the wall of a warehouse located just north of Maxx’z place. Sue noticed the calamity while scouting through a wall of Maxx’z place and reported it to those trapped inside. Poking her head through the wall again, Sue confirmed it was clear, after which Maxx led the way through an alley side exit. Upon exiting, Eddie blocked the side of the alleyway nearest the ECS agents from the ground to rooftop with bullet-resistant glass that appeared out of nowhere.
The group then headed west for the hole created by Berta, entered it, and Eddie took a moment to repair the wall by the sheer force of will in order to cover the group’s escape. The group worked its way through what appeared to be a dimly-lit warehouse and found an exit in the northwest corner. After scouting through the west wall, Sue declared it clear while Eddie noted the crash bar on the door and transformed it from a working alarm to a non-working alarm.
The group hurriedly exited the warehouse and piled into a getaway van driven by a guy named Edge while Maxx complained to him about how much he would miss that place. Meanwhile, the Hollywood Knights watched the storming of Maxx’z place on the news – concerned for the implications of its loss on The Underground. Following a commercial break, the news moved on to detail a massive typhoon that had rapidly formed off the coast of California. All of the then-current spaghetti models suggested the typhoon would move toward greater L.A. – likely passing right over The Keep. Baffled, Agent Storm noticed his phone buzzing, removed it from his pocket, and read the caller ID: FEMA.
XP and Rewards
Agent Storm receives 2 XP
Amber receives 2 XP
AMorph receives 2 XP
Hardcore receives 2 XP
Psi-Kick receives 2 XP
TK Kid receives 4 XP
Surrealone receives 2 GMXP for the Adventure Log