Campaign Dates: Mar 8-9, 2017
- Session 1: Wed, Apr 5, 2017 – 1800 PST
- Session 2: Wed, Apr 12, 2017 – 1800 PST
Arianna Corazon de Sosa
Tateklys, Praetor of the Lunar Games
Hardcastle (of VIPER)
Session 1 – Narrative:
Late on another seemingly ordinary afternoon at The Keep, Agent Storm was finalizing paperwork related to Honey’s recent escapade when Merlyn informed the Knights that something was amiss with Psi-Kick. Hardcore immediately investigated to find Psi-Kick zoned out in front of her computer. Moments later, Twister, Street Angel, and Amber joined him, and Amber noticed a desperate series of inquiries emanating from the headset strapped to Psi-Kick’s head: “Guys, are you there?! Can you hear me?! Hey, can you hear me?! Is anyone there?!?!”
It quickly became apparent to the Knights that Psi-Kick was trapped as a NPC in a computer driven game of GTA V. Ever the prankster, Amber took control of the keyboard and caused Psi-Kick’s avatar to drink a few beers, stopping only to sign off on paperwork Storm presented to her after joining the group. The situation being a computer-related matter, Hardcore called his sister, Tweaker, and requested her help. Twister fetched her by way of flight not long after.
Upon arrival, Tweaker complained to the group that the PlayStation Network had crashed, however, upon seeing Psi-Kick she quickly ascertained something else had occurred — a takeover of the network by someone … or something. Street Angel suggested calling the FBI to investigate, but Storm reminded him that the Knights were the equivalent of the FBI and that the FBI was even less equipped to deal with the situation than the Knights were.
Scanning police channels, Street Angel ascertained that the problem wasn’t limited to Psi-Kick; another player reportedly died while playing GTA V on the PlayStation Network. Sensing a possible clue, Street Angel immediately headed to the morgue to investigate further, where he found the body of the dead player walking around and behaving strangely — as if it were still playing the game.
Frustrated at being able to do nothing, Hardcore asked Tweaker to get him into the game, and she obliged by connecting his consciousness to the rogue network. Unfortunately, Psi-Kick vanished from her in-game apartment, appearing at a club several blocks away. Hardcore tracked her to the club and found that she was incoherent — with no memory of herself.
Scanning for an alien mind that might have taken over the PlayStation Network, Agent Storm was somehow sucked into the game, as well. He arrived in Psi-Kick’s apartment just as Hardcore and Psi-kick returned to it, and the trio deduced that Psi-Kick could only communicate with the team when she was not around other players or NPCs. Hardcore found that his usual powers were gone. He did, however, have an activate-able Impotent Rage power that made him look ridiculous when used. Storm found himself similarly limited to a gun-related power that allowed him to select any gun in the game. Both noted that their powers had cooldowns.
Tweaker connected Amber to the game, as well. She arrived just as an in-game announcement instructed all players to get to the school or face a 5-star wanted level. Complying, Hardcore, Amber, and Storm went to the school where the principal, Hardcastle, informed all ~1700 ‘students’ that VIPER was teaching what it had to offer. Amber leveled by lockpicking while Storm perused the user and faction lists looking for non-conformists with atypical faction names akin to their own.
Session 2 – Narrative:
After ‘school’, Hardcore rode Psi-Kick’s motorcycle back to her in-game apartment while Amber and Storm walked the three blocks back to it because stolen vehicles in the parking lot had been rigged to explode. Soon after Psi-Kick teleported back to the apartment and noted that a whiteboard and maps of the city had appeared.
Pondering this change, a disembodied voice spoke within the room and bade greetings to those within. This non-corporeal alien intelligence claimed to have previously run the simulation that VIPER had hijacked, and also claimed to desire the Knights’ help. Amber disconnected from the system while Hardcore and Storm questioned the entity, seeking to understand its request. They learned that by redirecting the in-game observatory computer to a specific set of coordinates … and within 5-10 minutes also redirecting a pair of in-game telescopes to any position other than the current one … they could shut down the GTA V simulation provided someone on the outside located and disabled the moving vehicle that was being used to hijack the system and override the alien intelligence.
Just as Psi-Kick was whisked away to run a triathlon as a NPS, in Amber-like fashion, Storm inquired as to why trust should be shown to the entity. As a show of good faith, the entity provided the names and in-game contact information for two other users who, like the Knights, did not belong in the game and would eventually be discovered unless they, too, could escape the system. One was a female bow wielder dressed in green whose name was Headshot, while the other was a female tanking type dressed in red who went by Arianna Corazon de Sosa.
In addition, the entity indicated temporarily displayed a mini-map to Storm and Hardcore that allowed them to see the locations of all players within the game … with typical users shown as red dots and VIPER agents shown as yellow dots. Approximately 5 VIPER agents were located at the observatory, with another 35 positioned about the telescopes.
Armed with this information, Storm and Hardcore developed a plan:
- Hardcore would drop Storm off at the Observatory
- In route, Storm would contact Headshot and Arianna and enlist them to create a diversion
- Also in route, Hardcore would engage Tweaker to help Storm at the Observatory, and then depart with Twister to located and shut down the real-world conveyance
- Upon successful drop-off of Storm at the observatory, Hardcore would head to the telescopes, himself, and address their redirection
- If everything went according to plan, the simulation would halt and all trapped within it would be free of its grasp
Needing a vehicle, Hardcore called Psi-Kick to ask about options and learned that she had an armored car that would spawn upon invocation. Hardcore asked to use it and Psi-Kick invoked it, resulting in its spawning at the airport. That out of the way, Hardcore picked up the (pink and black) armored car and returned to the apartment … just as Amber reconnected. With a vehicle and plan in hand, the team headed out to execute its plan, taking Amber with them to help Hardcore with the twin telescopes.
Storm was dropped off at the observatory, as planned. He had no difficulty infiltrating it unnoticed, and easily found the main console to which he cabled his in-game phone. Contacting Tweaker, Storm waited for her to use his phone link to set the system’s coordinates to those specified by the alien entity, and then disconnected and made a quick exit. As he departed the observatory he noticed a helicopter landing to pick up VIPER agents, and moments later, the agents scattered as the pilot shot up the chopper’s cockpit in a hail of gunfire.
In the real world, Twister and Tweaker departed The Keep to locate the vehicle from which the game grid was being hacked and controlled. Tweaker had trouble locating it, and they caught up with it quickly thanks to Twister’s flight speed.
Meanwhile, back in the game, Hardcore had reached the grounds where the telescopes were located, immediately calling on Headshot and Arianna to do their part. Moments later, explosions rocked the central portion of the in-game city and 5-star warnings drew the authorities toward the ruckus — including VIPER agents that had been located at the telescopes. Sensing their opening, Hardcore and Amber made a break for the telescopes, noticed a central control unit for both, accessed it, and redirected the telescopes.
Once done, a call from Hardcore to Tweaker had the real-world vehicle hacked and out of commission in no time. However, the simulation did not end, as hoped. Tweaker informed Hardcore that a lone vehicle was heading up t he 101 within the game, and, wasting no time, hardcore jumped in the armoured car, drove off-road to intercept the vehicle, and rammed it. Crashing through the armoured car’s window, Hardcore dusted himself off to see Hardcastle dragging himself from the twisted metal wreck in which he’d previously been traveling. He didn’t suffer aches or pain very long, thereafter; Hardcore one-punched him without a second thought!
Game over! Simulation halted! But not quite as expected…
Instead of finding themselves back at The Keep, Amber, Hardcore, Psi-Kick, and Storm found themselves in an arena on the moon … with about 40 VIPER agents nearby, one of which was a now-conscious Hardscastle. A booming voice rang out within the arena demanding, “Humans, cease your activities and listen — so says Tateklys, Praetor of the Lunar Games.” As this wasn’t anyone in Storm’s immediate chain of command, he issued a demand of his own — specifically for an explanation as to why anyone should listen to what Tateklys had to say. Tateklys responded by explaining that VIPER had wronged him when they hacked and controlled the non-corporeal alien presence and that VIPER must be punished, as a result.
Hardcore, unwilling to let this alien dispatch justice to fellow humans, demanded that the Knights, not Tateklys be the ones to take custody of the VIPER agents in order to mete out appropriate justice, as they had broken human laws and, thus, should be punished per human laws. Tateklys agreed — contingent upon successful trial by combat between the team and their VIPER agent opposition. Storm consented, contingent upon Psi-Kick being properly and safely exited from the arena, a requirement that Tateklys found agreeable.
Both sides content with the arrangement, Tateklys declared the Lunar Games open, and was nearly bored to tears by Storm and Hardcore making quick work of their opposition. Hardscastle turned on his own men while the bulk of the agents stood stock still as Hardcore treated them like pins in a bowling lane. It was ugly and painful to watch, but at least it was quick.
With victory secured, Tateklys indicated that he would honour his agreement and that now that humans knew of him, he would have to move on to hold his games elsewhere. The VIPER agents were manacled and the next thing Amber, Hardcore, and Storm knew, they were outside the downtown LA police precinct HQ, with a number of copes wondering how the hell they arrived.
The team oversaw the booking and processing of the VIPER agents (including Hardcastle) and then headed back to The Keep to get some rest. After a short respite, Psi-Kick and Hardcore awoke and Hardcore noticed a ‘new’ dragon tattoo on Psi-Kick’s upper back. I It was shown to Storm later in the morning, and he recognized it as a tattoo of the Jade Dragon Clan … a clan of the Yakuza. Stranger still, the ink is old, while the surrounding skin is fresh/new.
XP and Rewards
Agent Storm receives 2 XP
Amber receives 1 XP
Hardcore receives 2 XP
Street Angel receives 1 XP
Twister receives 1 XP
CptPatriot receives 2 GMXP for running the adventure
SurrealOne receives 2 GMXP for the Adventure Log
Hardcore is voted MVP for his decisive takedown of Hardcastle.