Issue 1

Issue 2


Game 1: 10/14/17

NOTE: I was not present and therefore I have no recap.  However, we have the notes of agent Antonio Jones (Provided by Alan) to fill us in on some of the goings on.

From the notes of Agent Antonio Jones

Day 1

Disneyland Theme Park. July 4th, 2017. 5:35:43 PM.

Scene 1

Blue Bayou Restaurant – Nick Grimes

Nick and his girlfriend sit at a table awaiting their meal when The Pulse happens. Everyone in the restaurant collapses. 5 or 6 seconds later, a middle-ages man sitting at the table closest to the exit stands while all other remain on the floor. While the is no sound to available from the footage, it is obvious that the man screams as his body bursts into flames. He collapses to the ground a few seconds later and stops moving shortly after that. His is indescribably horrible. Flames spread from his corpse at a shocking rate, engulfing the table and chairs even before the man is dead.

Nick awakens at about the same time the man collapses. He assesses the situation and sees the burning man’s companion a few feet from the flames. He rushes over and drags the man away. It is clear that Nick will not be able to reach the exit before the flames, not while dragging the man, who remains unconscious.

Luckily every one else in the restaurant gets up. Nick’s date rushes into the servers cottage, but others, slower to rise and further from the exits, jump the railing and get into the waters of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

Nick then disappears from the CCTV footage along with the man he is carrying. A few seconds later both Nick, carrying the still unconscious man, and his date exit the front of the restaurant.

We were able to find footage of the couple leaving the man, now walking shakily, at one of the medical stations near the ride.

It is clear that the footage did not glitch and Nick Grimes does appear to have disappeared from one spot and, presumable, reappeared in another.

NOTE: July 12th – Nick has since confirmed that he has obtained the ability to “teleport”. He claims, though we have not verified this, that he can transport himself from one place to another without passing through the intervening spaces. He offers no explanation as to how this is achieved, and we have none either.

Scene 2

Fantasy Land, the fantasy castle courtyard. - Richard Harvey

Richard Harvey can be seen distantly but is recognizable. He was with two sons, who are currently occupied eating cotton candy when The Pulse strikes. Everyone in the visible area collapses. Richard is the second person in the footage to awaken. The first is a middle-aged woman later identified as Lee Wolfe. When she collapsed she was holding her son, Bernard, by the hand. The boy was, in turn holding a green balloon.

About 5 seconds after the pulse Lee awakens as her arm is pulled upward. She recovers quickly and holds her son’s hand as the boy rises in the air. It become clear that she is struggling to maintain her grip even a few seconds later when Richard awaken. It seems that her screams attract his attention and, after briefly ensuring that his own sons are unharmed, runs to the woman. Richard grabs the boy by his feet and appears to also have difficulty holding on. However, he maintains his grip after the mother’s strength fails her and is able to hold on to the boy until others awaken and come to their aid.

Once he is pulled down, an adult has to sit on the boy at all times that he is seen in the footage to prevent him from floating away. For his part, the boy, Bernard, seems amused by the entire event.

However, it is shortly after the boy is secured that we notice an oddity with Mr. Harvey. The mother, Lee, is clearly upset and overcome with panic. Richard forces her to focus on him and then we see some form of energy pass between the two. It can only be described as a faint glow that passes from Richard to Lee. She immediately calms down.

NOTE: July 12th - While Richard Harvey is a trained therapist and once worked for the F.B.I. as a well-regarded profiler, he was explained to us that he has an ability that he cannot explain that allows him to alter the mental state of other people. It is unclear exactly how much control he can manifest of the victim, but from later experience we have seen that he can do what he says. As with the others, we have no explanation at this time about how this is achieved.

Scene 3

The Haunted Mansion – Johnny Utah

(edited July 12th) Johnny and his sister, Sarah were on the ride near the “haunted dinner” display when the Pulse hit. The footage here is dark and rather hard to decipher, so the following report includes information obtained in conversation with Agent Utah at a later date.

Johnny is the first that we can see in the area to awaken after the Pulse (it is important to note that only five people can be seen in the supplied footage). A few seconds after Johnny begins to actively look around, we can see an elderly man fall from the seat of the car in front of him. This man is called Freddie Balsley and was attending the park with his wife of 34 years Eva.

A few seconds after Mr. Balsley falls from his car we see that the ride begins to move again. It is important to note that none of the rides, lights or electronics observed in the footage from the park seem to have been affected by the Pulse in any way. A detailed report on this information and others can be found elsewhere. Johnny notes the older man’s fall from the car and moves to assist. However, for reasons unclear from the footage, Johnny hesitates when reaching to pick up the still unconscious man. We later learned from Agent Utah and numerous independent witnesses, that Mr. Balsley was exuding some form of “black light” or “dark glow” and that getting near him made people feel sick and weakened.

Agent Utah recovered and proceeded to pick up Mr. Balsley and return him to his car. Johnny then retreated to attend to his sister. We later learned that the dark energy extended approximately ten feet from Mr. Balsley.

Footage from the exit area from 5:46:57 PM that same day shows Agent Utah lift Mr. Balsley from the car and rally the ride attendant to recover Mrs. Balsley, who even on the footage appears to be deceased. Utilizing wheelchairs nearby the two men, accompanied by Sarah Utah, push the couple to a nearby medical station.

From various witnesses and medical staff we learned that due to the crowded and chaotic situation it was not possible to keep everyone clear of Mr. Balsley, who appears to have retained the dark glow (shown in better detail in by phone camera footage taken by the nurse attending him) until nearly 7 am. The next morning.

It seems that the nurse attending him, one Rosalie Rice, was made rather ill by her attendance to the elderly man. From a personal interview with Miss Rice I would have guessed her to be in her mid thirties, though she did have an unusual streak of gray hair. However, we learned that she is 27 years old. From photographs obtained later, and from conversations with her co-workers, she seems to have physically aged nearly a decade while attending to Mr. Balsley.

This may explain the death of Mrs. Balsley, as she was eight years younger than Mr. Balsley, who is 83 years old, and according to Mr. Balsley was by far the healthier of the two. It might also be interesting to note that Mr. Balsley is a retired employee of the park and attended the July 4th celebration every year since retiring with his wife. Brief interviews with two former coworkers who arrived to assist Mr. Balsley with his wife’s body, indicate that he was well liked by those he worked with and generally a “nice old fellow”.

Scene 4

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln – Wes Stallings

Mr. Stallings was sitting alone in the Opera Hall when The Pulse struck. There were seven other people visible in the hall in the footage. Mr. Stallings awoke about 10 seconds after The Pulse. One other middle-aged woman awoke a few seconds before him. She clearly was the anamatronic Mr. Lincoln rise from his chair and walk forward on the stage. In the footage a thin, glowing string appears to be attached to Mr. Lincoln and a woman in one of the back rows. Her name is Alexandra Wyatt, a single mother of three from Toledo Ohio, here on vacation with her children.

Mrs. Wyatt, it should be noted, remained in what appears to be a semi-conscious state throughout what follows.

Mr. Stallings awakens as the animated president hops from the stage and starts to move up the center isle. Others in the hall awaken at about the same time and flee out onto Main Street. The approach of the president forces Mr. Stallings to move to the side, and this is where an unusual thing happens. He seems to glow slightly, with what appears to be electricity sparking about his body. He moves to the side in what can only be described as gliding. His feet move as if he is running, but his strides do not match his pace. He moves faster than it seem his legs should take him.

Mr. Stallings tried to assist the stunned Mrs. Wyatt from the hall, but her movements were clearly slow and fumbling. Despite his best efforts, Mr. Stallings is unable to pull the woman away faster than the mechanical president approaches. It should be noted that the president appeared to be moving very quickly, faster than any other person in the hall.

Mr. Stallings pushes Mrs. Wyatt, aiming her toward the exit and turns to face the president. The device simply pushes past Mr. Stallings, takes a two-handed downward attack on the dazed woman, but misses as she stumbles aside. Then Mr. Stallings attempts to disable one of the legs of the machine, but is unable to pull any wires of cables from the device. He later claimed that the machine was far tougher than it should have been, that the cables and wires were too strong to be moved.

The device than swung a backhand at Mr. Stallings, missing him. It followed Mrs. Wyatt as she stumbled outside. Mr. Stallings enlisted the aid of two young men, one who attempted to tackle punch the device, but to no effect. The other lifted Mrs. Wyatt and moved rapidly away. The president then struck the young man nearest him, instantly knocking him to the ground, clearly unconscious. It then pursued the other man and Mrs. Wyatt.

During this time Mr. Stallings acquired a blow torch from a nearby glass blowing store, but dropped it and instead picked up the stanchion and attempted to tangle the machine’s legs, but was unable to do so. While this was happening, the device struck the young man carrying Mrs. Wyatt, also knocking him out cold.

Then Mr. Stallings tied the stanchion rope to Mrs. Wyatt, narrowly dodging a blow for Mr. Lincoln. Sparks again surrounded Mr. Stallings, apparently causing no harm to Mrs. Wyatt, who remained dazed, and flew into the air out of sight of the cameras. We learned from Mrs. Wyatt later that they apparently landed on the roof of the Operah Hall. The president can be seen clawing at the wall of the building for 8 minutes and 34 seconds before collapsing.

NOTE: July 12th – we have been able to confirm from conversation that Mr. Stallings claims to be able to fly, though at this time we have not witnessed this activity directly.

The day of July 12, 2017

On this date Agent Walters organized for a nurse, Miss Janet Avers, to assist us in gathering blood and saliva samples from the “unusuals” identified from CCTV obtained from the Disneyland theme park in Anahiem California on the day of The Pulse.

Twelve individuals were gathered at the facility, along with two guardians of the younger individuals. Further details provided in their individual dossier. 

Game 2: 10/28/17

Johnny Utah (Jim), Wes Stalling (Joe), Nick Grimes (Mark), Martha Block (Darren)

Okay, gotta do a little pre-amble here, a quick one-paragraph on my character’s arrival.

Martha Block is a young web programmer and, as she puts it, “Social Engineer”.  A woman obsessed with social media and creating an online alter-ego that she couldn’t possibly be in real life.  She’s come all the way to Disneyland out of a combination of curiosity and guilt.  A social misfit, she created a likable, and eventually beloved online personae named Summer Grey.  Summer’s exploits were legendary in certain online circles.  Because of Martha’s fastidious nature and attention to detail, as well as researching the people she communicated with, she managed to manipulate them pretty well, enough so that when she realized some of them were in love with a person who doesn’t exist, she decided she had to kill her off.  Also, the stress of maintaining a fake life was overwhelming.  So Martha killed off Summer by posting as ‘Summer’s friend’ about what had happened.  The loosely associated group of hackers who had befriended her decided they wanted to meet.  Martha (Posting under her online personae “Pattern Ghost”) told them the family didn’t want non-family there.  So they decided to all meet someplace and celebrate her life and that’s how they wound up at Disneyland.  Martha went too, pretty sure she was only going to shadow them, but feeling that she might make herself known as Summer’s friend.  So she’s there in indecision limbo when…

“The Pulse” happens.  Martha is first in her area to wake up, about a hundred feet from her “friends” at the base of the Matterhorn.  She sees someone jump from the peak then spread bat-like wings and fly.  As she goes to check on the friends she realizes that the thing is coming their way, shrieking as it goes.  It manages to take a chunk out of one of them.  Martha starts alternating between dragging them toward the bushes to hide them and drawing the attention of the thing way from them, when they start to wake up.  When purge (one of the hackers) wakes up and is inured by the man-bat, he begins to foam at the mouth as if instantaneously infected with rabies and comes after another hacker.  Martha has to knock him down using a rock.  Too bad she can’t hit the man-bat that well!

Ultimately, two of the girls run off and another one helps watch the unconscious hacker while Martha gets help.  The guy will be fine and man-bat flies off to cause trouble elsewhere.  I won’t bore you with detail about the hackers.

Martha is approached at her hotel by Agent Walters of Homeland Security.  There’s some negotiation and then she ends up agreeing to come out to DHS’ makeshift HQ out in Riverside.  She can’t find anything on this guy online.  She’s shown why they singled her out, because they suspect she has “abilities”.  She’s not sure what they’re talking about but when they show the Disneyland footage, whenever the man-bat swooped in and she had to dodge it, she would disappear for a few seconds. Attempts to simulate the effect succeed and it seems she can make herself invisible to electronic surveillance only.  She’s introduced to the team and they are collectively asked to go out and act as outreach to the “Unusuals” community.  This is the government’s placeholder term for us.

Once we’re all acquainted we talk about the idea of making the team (who are not federal employees) a separate company or organization headed by rich-guy Wes Stallings.  He will employee homeless thug Nick Grimes and web thug Martha Block, and we will be HEAL (Human Enhanced Assistance League), a public outreach program trying to help those who don’t understand or can’t control their powers.

To that end we try some outreach.  We attempt to contact and communicate with several people who were seen displaying powers on camera.  One is a Shapechanger (fail), one is a woman who can go ghostly (fail) and one other, which I forget.  During this we discover the following things:
Now comes a sideline.  Nick decides that he’s going to communicate directly with the public as someone with powers.  He goes and posts a video with a little “we’re not dangerous we’re just like you” manifesto online and shows his powers.  He urges people with powers to come out.  Because he’s using Wes’s site and the organization HEAL, Wes gets media contact for an interview.  Nick is going to reveal his powers publicly so people can see they’re real and he’s given a specific time and date.  Wes gives an interview to the local CBS affiliate.  Nick does his public demo with two news crews in attendance.  No thug-types come after us.

We’re asked by our organization to round up a man who escaped an asylum.  Video shows him using bits of stuff he had around the nuthouse to build himself tools to access the pharmacy.  Then he mixed himself some drugs that helped clear up his head.  Then he stole a car that belonged to a nurse and escaped.  He’s considered dangerous because he supposedly tried to kill a child once and has killed small animals.

Some investigation leads us to the scene of the abandoned car.  A search by flyboy Wes leads to some homeless folks, one of whom has a cart that an old man came by and souped up for him and left with the extra unneeded pieces.  Also, we find a woman with a car that had broken down but now it was working better because our escapee came by and fixed her car.  Worth noting is that she has a 12 year old son and the supposed child-killer didn’t care.  So he left with more parts.  By the time we track him down, he’s souped up some kind of cart in order to drive around, but currently he’s captured by a group of thugs who want him to abandon his vehicle.

A fight breaks out between us and the thugs who have no respect for Johnny Utah’s Authoritai!  Problem is, they are lethally armed and we are less so.  Well, okay, yes, Johnny has a gun but so does one of the other guys, but they also have a bat and some broken bottles.  Ultimately we liberate the old man but not without taking some injuries and having to beat up some thugs.

This leads us to request some combat training from the Gov, who acquiesce.  Also, they currently have the old guy in custody where his a plot device to either cause mayhem or assist with mayhem at the GM’s whim.

The next one we go out to help is a man who appears to grow a spider face.  Seems not everyone really got useful powers.  We go to his house and his place of business, ultimately winding up finding a club that caters to people who have sucky powers and who want to be left alone.  We try to crash their party and when we don’t leave them alone, a group of them (spider face included) come out and try to beat us up.  They’re doing a GREAT job of it, but as the game winds down, we’ve managed to negotiate a cease fire (which is good because it wasn’t going all that well).

That’s when I had to bail.

NEWS AND NOTES (From the GM)...

July 15th  22nd

From the notes of Agent Antonio Jones

July 15th

The unusuals assisting our work were given three unusuals to locate and hopefully gain samples and information from.

Caitlin Velazquez, details in file. This unusual was seen on camera to disappear in one place and reappear in another a short time later. The unusuals believe that she has the power to become invisible or, after their conversations with her, to become “insubstantial”. Conversation with the unusual yielded a few pieces of possible information, though the veracity of this information and the clarity of the subject are questionable. She was unwilling to come in or give any sort of data. She remained far from our team.

Leonard Franks, details in file. This unusual was seen to exhibit great strength. When approached he was civil but unwilling to give samples or much information.

Dino Kemp, details in file. Mr. Kemp is believed to have the ability to change his shape. He was also unwilling to offer samples or information. He was, in fact, unwilling to admit that he had exhibited any unusual abilities.

July 17th

In the early morning we learned of the escape of Jacob Werner from the DSH facility in Norwalk. Due to his dangerous nature the team was asked to locate and capture Mr. Werner. Details of Mr. Werner and his criminal history are in his file.

The team discovered the vehicle that Mr. Werner was believed to have escaped in at the side of the road missing several parts, including the spare tire.

The team was able to follow Mr. Werner’s path by following a trail of encounters with citizens.

First they discovered a homeless man in a motorized chair. The chair was reported to be much improved, with greater speed. The citizen reported that a man meeting Werner’s description had fixed the chair after it had broken down, not only improving it, but leaving with several parts from the device that were apparently no longer needed.

The team then observed a disturbance further up the road and found a crowd gathered about a mini van that Mr. Werner had repaired in a similar fashion, making it run again but also leaving the exhaust smelling like flowers (carnations). As before, he left with several parts from the vehicle, including a spare tire.

They then located Mr. Werner behind a mini mall under assault by five young men, several armed with simple weapons, one with a firearm. They chased off the young men and recovered Mr. Werner and a shopping cart that he had apparently turned into a motorized vehicle using the parts scavenged from his previous encounters.

Mr. Werner has been taken to the facility and remains here. Observation shows that he appears to no longer be violent, but has clearly gained intelligence and skills beyond anything we can understand. He also appears to remember his life entirely differently than what our records show. He claims to be a research scientist with several science degrees from well respected universities as well as a degree in philosophy. His record shows us that he has been in and out of mental facilities since he was in his twenties and has been mentally harmed not only by frequent drug use, but probably from treatments he underwent in mental hospitals. Our best assumption is that he is suffering from delusions reinforced by his newly gained unusual powers.

July 19th

Due to things that have transpired recently on orders from Agent Walters, I will no longer be writing these reports. It has been deemed imprudent to keep such records.

Game 3:

Johnny Utah (Jim), Nick Grimes (Mark), Richard Harvey (Paul), Martha Block (Darren)

End of game 2, after I left, the team nearly broke up.  There was a difference of opinion over letting Agent Walters know about "The Fates", the club which was home to a number of enhanced people whose powers were more disruptive to them than helpful.  But apparently the fracture in the team was fixed by the time this game started.

It starts off slowly as we are in the down period after the previous adventure.  Nick is still doing his outreach.  In the absence of Wes, a few rolls are made to see how his AA-style meetings for "jokers" are doing.  They are sparsely attended.

Martha's crunching of data still doesn't yield any viable theories about the event.  Johnny's attempt to figure out the "Joe Rogans" reference doesn't yield anything.  Johnny is now able to regrow missing body parts on others, which leaves us with an opportunity to do some serious good publicity if he starts visiting VA Hospitals and places where people are missing limbs.

There are bank robberies going on.  First one had someone with powers melting their way in, with money being stolen.  Second one had video of someone trying to rip the door off and failing, no money taken.  Third one seems to be a combination of the two, leading us to believe that there were two robbers who have now joined forces.

We are lucky enough to get word of a robbery in progress on the police band and we head out.  There are two suspects (one male, tall, thin and dirty; one female).  They are wearing metal plates of  improvised armor as they try to break access a vault, having somehow melted their way through a wall.  Johnny Utah does his 'freeze fbi' thing and that goes over just like you'd expect.

I'll try to break down the fight into the more memorable chunks...
We bring up with Agent Walters that there's no good way to secure these folks.  One was super strong and the other could just melt the cuffs.  They end up being drugged for transport.

Seems we have some people who want to join up with HEAL.  The most memorable of these are:
We tried to patrol as a group but only two of us have movement powers.  We did find one crime which was basically some hooligans doing property damage, but that gets broken up and we end up performing a few moves that we have put on the "do not do" list:  Primarily, firing a superpower even if it's just to scare people.  Brian ("Viking") is beginning to show signs of being a little too zealous.  In other words, he seems to be itching to use his superpowers.  After the patrol, Nick talks him into maybe not bringing a GUN to these things.  He'll show up for the next event like us, with pepper spray and a taser.

Speaking of which... There's an "Enhanced Rights" rally, cuz Jokers are people too.  Counter-protests have been set up and your more nazi-istic types show up for this and try to stir up problems.  One of the protesters is "Jane" a blue-skinned woman whom we've met before (I can't remember where from so... maybe game 1 when I wasn't there?).  The normal human faction of the pro-rights issue back off while the jokers themselves won't back down from the bad guys.  A fight nearly breaks out but... The cops do a good job of controlling things, and selective mind-controls from Richard and lots of "Don't do this" needling from Nick manage to keep things calm enough.

I then had to leave.  Between whatever happened after I left and anything I missed, I'm sure there's more to add.

Game 4:

Johnny Utah (Jim), Nick Grimes (Mark), Martha Block (Darren)

We do some discussion of the future of HEAL and it's organizational structure, all of which could be blown apart without Joe's approval because he's the money man.  I believe we divided it up into (approximately) 3 arms:  The outreach/soup kitchen/shelter aspect of it which we're referring to as the "HEAL Lighthouse", the patrol/safety group called "HEAL Guardians" (I think that's the one we went with; Jim has notes), and something administrative.  I'm sure there's more, but I didn't absorb it all.

Martha introduces her new "Partner".  With a  flourish she summons out of mid-air (or rather the wifi data stream that surrounds us all)... Summer Gray!  The personality whom she had crafted online for essentially cat-fishing her "friends" became so real to her that she was actual able to manifest it as a flesh-and-blood person (who refuses to believe that she's any kind of "creation").  She has a number of physical-based skills, like Kickboxing, climbing, driving, etc.  She's very pretty but at the same time, unbeknownst to her creator until it's pointed out, looks a little like Martha.

Speaking of whom... Martha finds that online there is a lot of chatter from white-boy supremacists.  They're planning something.  So she does her best to find out some info and comes up with a cell that are planning essentially a "wilding" event where they go out and beat up random "freaks".  We surveillance them by having Johnny Utah, using his new power (The ability to transform into a whole other identity) to go in and leave simple cell-phones around so that Martha can tap into them and relay what's happening.  Two get turned off, but one is on long enough to find out that they'll be hitting the freaks who hang out by the boardwalk, among other places.

I should mention our new freak.  A young man named Matteo offers his services.  He's a mentalist who can communicate (but not invasive mind-reading).  We use him as a switchboard.  He calls himself La Mente.

So we watch the Pier and are there when a fight breaks out.  They show up in superior numbers (Six or Seven I believe).  Summer puts a pretty good dent in one guy with a kick, Martha stuns one with a taser but also gets stunned by a baton hit.  One of the bad guys takes down a local freak fish-lady knocking her out cold due to a bad save.  Another takes down agent Utah for the same reason.  The fight lasts long enough for the cops (whom we had tipped off) to roll up on the event and order everyone to freeze, subduing the situation.  Bad guys go to jail, good guys do questioning and are released.

Johnny sneaks into the hospital and tries to heal a couple of injured freaks (one from our event and one from another crosstown event).  This was going on all over the place, we just happened to be part of one of the two events where things went in our favor (the other had our other two NPCs in a group at a different location).

There's a new drug on the streets called TRUTH SERUM.  It's rare enough and localized enough that we think this is the epicenter and source.  Which has us thinking maybe it's a product (or byproduct) of someone Enhanced. Why?  Because either it causes the user to alter reality or it causes him to think that he's changed reality.

Nick tries to pick some up through his connections but isn't having much luck.  Eventually some shows up but because Nick is a known quantity publicly, Martha becomes the "buyer".  The sellers are the supposedly extinct LA gang, The Black Dragons, who have suddenly had a resurgence.  She makes a good enough roll that he'll sell to her, but he's asking outrageous prices.  She eventually agrees, at the mental switchboard prompting of Nick, who understands these things better than she does.  She gives him a down-payment for a large order.  Johnny and Nick try to follow him back to his source but fail.

The samples we got turned out to have a biological component (like it came from a being) but that's all.  DNA doesn't match anyone we know.

Martha comes back two days later. Dealer gives his price which is much higher than before.  She reluctantly agrees.  After she leaves, the guys notice that this time the dealer has a couple Black Dragons keeping watch.  They choose to follow those guys.  Ultimately they end up finding the dealer's car, whereupon Nick teleports into the trunk and finds their warehouse that way.  He's also come up with the strategy of putting a burner phone with a tracker on it into the trunk of a car and following that way, which is becoming useful.

Where the chain of following bad-guys finally winds up is a warehouse that has at least 3 super-powered folks in it, which we don't think we can take head-to-head given our experiences in the past.  People who show up trade in their cash for a small supply of the drug.  Eventually we wait long enough to see that they have a large wooden armoire-sized box that contains in it a chained-up Enhanced.  They beat him and cause pain regularly in order to make him cry, then they harvest his BLUE tears.

Nick winds up teleporting into the box and teleporting out with him, then he manages to teleport across several roof-tops to where we're waiting and we get away with him.  He's non-cooperative since we're strangers and he's had nothing but trouble.  Agent Walters says to bring him in and we can find out what's going on.

He's the boyfriend of a former Black Dragon.  They were arguing about her gang affiliation when the "Flash" happened and he doesn't remember much after that, ending up imprisoned by the Dragons.  Seems he was sold to them by the angry GF once she discovered his tears caused this weirdness.

We get the names of the five principals, all of whom likely have powers.

We buy a panel van because, regular abduction.

We talk with Walters about how to proceed.  Once we understand what he wants we go out and do something and later realize that's not what he meant.

What we do is take down the first conspirator, a guy named "Bee Hive", who does not turn into bees or keep bees, or have a cool tube-shaped hair-do.  It turns out he creates hexagonal shaped nets of energy.  We find this out when we try to grab him once he's no longer at home with his wife and child and is stopped at a stop-sign.  We rear-end him (lightly) with the van, which causes him to get out angrily and then we swarm on him.  We get him without too much trouble... Nick or Johnny KO'd him, we put him in the van, and called Walters.  This is when we find out that the only thing working in our favor is that we actually found the drug in the vehicle so we can set up some kind of circumstance that shows he was picked up by Walters for possession.  Walters takes him in to the local cops and explains the guy's powers so they can subdue him properly.

Johnny Utah's healer personae is called "Halo", but we're noticing another personality happening which we're calling Johnny Cruelstreak.  

With information from what we've done, 8 dealers get taken down.  We tried to backtrack the numbers in Bee Hive's phone, but those are just his underlings, no superiors, so that trail is cold.  Which means there are 4 more (at least) superpowered Black Dragons out there with no trail behind them for us to follow.

Game 5:
Blast/Halo (Jim), Wes (Joe), Merlin (Paul), Evac (Mark), Masquerade (Jeff), Cyber Ghost (Darren)

Sorry, don't remember what or if Wes's callsign/codename is.

We started with some discussion of HEAL and its organization, at which point Jim broke out our corporate charter, spreadsheets, powerpoint presentation, first quarter projections, and introduced us to the board of directors.

HEAL are contacted by a new guy who wants to attend one of our outreach meetings.  He's Gawain, and turns out to be a celebrity magician.  He's amiable enough and wants to work with us.  In addition to his normal sleight-of-hand tricks he can also create illusions.

The doctor we captured in game 2 has been working on inventions.  One of the things we asked him to work on was to figure out how these powers happened.  He calls us in because he's had a breakthrough.  What he has is a machine that looks wildly dangerous but that he claims can give you insight into your powers.  There's no shortage of volunteers (The only person who thinks it's more dangerous than helpful is Martha, but even she eventually relents once people have survived it).

Each person who uses the machine (Which requires two additional elements: Blast's purple energy powers and Merlin's mental-ness) gets a glimpse of an entire life they've lived, perhaps as an alternate reality.  Later we'd discover that anyone who does it a second time relives the same alternate life again.  Some of us were doing worse in the alternate world, some of us were doing better, one might have even been a wash.

(Wish I'd made notes on everyone's alternate realities.  The only one I can speak to on any level is Martha's, which was a favorable alternate reality where she overshadows her brother and sister (rather than the other way around like here) and she's hot enough to become a supermodel and has all sorts of fame.)

Cry-Baby attacks continue.  We try to figure out how to nail some of these guys and wind up setting up a sting, with the new guy downtown in hobo regalia, while we wait and watch.

The plan (ideally):  They show up, Merlin possesses one of them and perhaps even uses him to find out more information about the group and where they come from.

The actual result:  As the bad guys bear down on Masque, Evac takes it upon himself to teleport into their path.  Masque actually is able to get away pretty well using a camouflage ability, while Evac takes a lead pipe to the cabesa.  No, candy did not fall out.  The rest of us all seem to be figuring out how to intercede without actually catching the guys.  Masque tells Merlin to stop the possessed guy from running away, then confusion subsides and we resume plan.  Merl has the guy drop his wallet (twice, since the first time one of his friends saw him do it).

So they go and now we have a wallet with info about one of the guys.  For some reason we pass this on to the authorities rather than following up on it?

Instead we have a wandering monster encounter.  Out on patrol in three separate groups we come across three separate monsters... or rather one monster in three separate locations... or one monster separated into three locations.  Anyway... Two of us encounter a Left Leg hopping down the street.  Merlin and Evac capture it by mind-controlling it.  Yes, mind-controlling a foot.  Then beating it up.  It actually possesses Evac at one point though.  The right arm comes across Wes and Cyberghost.  It's exceptionally fast and Wes slows it down by flying above it and pushing down with gravity powers while Ghost and her partner Summer beat the tar out of it.  Or GOO rather.  When they die they turn to goo.  The third peace is a left arm that comes after Blast and Masque.  I forget what its special power was.  But that's okay because we aren't done yet...

As we search for more body parts we find the last four as a group:  Left Leg, Left foot, and a pair of eyes.  One eyeball freezes Summer in place because it has a time-freeze bubble surrounding it, the foot just tries to kick Masque (He's a combat boot!).  I think the other leg makes people sick and the eye did something that I can't remember.  We end up beating them into submission and then into goo before tracking them back to a homeless man who got beat up a day earlier by thugs and since then his limbs have been swelling up and breaking away from him to go out and do their business.  We end up, with permission of the club "The Fates", taking him there to be with his own kind.

I believe it's they who also gave us a tip about what is probably an underground joker fight club.  The rest of the game involved us going to the fights.

We infiltrate and hang out and find that they do 4 fights a night and that while not all of them are jokers, most are.  There's a small staff seeing to the event (bouncers, bartender, door man, announcer, and a sort of enforcer/likely-leader who is a martial artist.  We witness him one-punch a man to unconsciousness who was trying to take photos inside the place.  You get great combat-oriented opponents like a guy covered in snot, a woman with toxic sweat, and a guy whose bones exit his body and try to fight you.  It's a good night of entertainment for the whole family.

We discover that the fighters are volunteers who are paid, the whole thing breaks down and vanishes within an hour of when it's over with, the contestants being driven away in a van immediately after the fights, the gear being driven off and stowed right after they break it all down.  Turns out (we find out after the second fight club) that the stuff is stored at a self-storage place.  There's a lot of subterfuge and tailing that seems impressive (with Evac porting into and out of trunks, attaching trackers etc; one of us tailing then the others tailing the tailer) until we find out that they're on to us.

At one point, with just two of us in a car, one of the tougher contestants materializes being the vehicle and takes out a tire with her knife, causing the passenger/driver to flee.

We've only been privy to one half of some of the phone conversations so as far as we know the group is just the lead martial arts guy, a handful of bouncers, a bartender, a doorman, a backroom guy organizing the fighters, a ring announcer, Wet-works (the aforementioned woman with a knife who is a sometimes participant of the fights), and at least one more participant of the fights.

At end of game the gig was up and we were trying to figure out the next step.  I left, so there was more roleplaying after that.

Game 6:

Nick/Evac (Mark), Johnny/Blast (Jim), Richard/Merlin (Paul), Martha/Cyberghost (Darren)

There's a lot of combat this time.  Enough so that I'm having trouble remembering all the fights.

We try to track the Man-Bat.  The thinking is that his early crimes, which were more conventional/less-rabid were probably near home and that the latest ones happen because he's losing control (on the full moon) wherever he just happens to be at the time.

His DNA collected from one event points to a guy whose place hasn't been visited in a while. So that leaves us with our theory of trying to catch him outdoors targeting a big noisy event.  We split into two groups (always a good idea) and while Johnny and Martha go to Knotts Scary Farm, Richard and Nick go to Queen Mary's Haunted Harbor or whatever it was called  (It's October.)  Turns out Richard & Nick win the lotto because that's where he shows up!  He gets spotted in advance before he gets in too close and they engage.  Bat-boy is taken down by Nick's "Nausea" power as he fails the save and crashes.

There's a lot of incidents involving the Crybabies and now they've committed a murder.  So we get back to patrolling and again with split patrols the winners this time are Richard & Martha.  We come across two folks who seem to be targeting us, but they aren't crybabies, they're actually superpowered:  One is a flyer who can shoot blasts from his fists and the other is an elephant man who is strong, resilient, and can hurl steel balls at people.

Merlin gets the elephant to stop, Martha and her two summoned friends try to get the other guy but he flies out of reach.  Merlin goes after that guy and the Martha Trio try to take on the Elephant guy.  He's very resilient but we do damage to him, though he only disengages because Martha's new summoned friend (A doll-like childhood friend named "Tina" who can either befriend or terrify a target) causes him (And the other Summonee, Summer) to run away in fear.  This is when se decide it's best to get away before they regroup because the two of us are out-gunned.

The Crybabies are being armed by somebody.  They're coming out with guns and better equipment and becoming more dangerous.  We find a group of them while patrolling and engage them as a group.  They are beating up a local joker and we engage.  They do a lot of shooting at Martha and her friends while Nick nauseates, Johnny blasts, and Richard mind controls.  While they are dangerous they don't do a lot of damage to us before we take them down.

Quick sideline:  The nutty professor wants to see Johnny Utah.  It seems he's got an experiment.  What he actually wants is for Johnny to store his purple energy in a special battery he made. He's reluctant to do that because it means the inventor can do all sorts of experiments without Johnny's participation and oversight.  So he gives him a little to perform one or two experiments with.

Back to the action:  Another patrol yields an encounter between bad guys and us.  This time it's Nick and Richard who take on Shocker (from the fight club) and Frost blast (or something like that).  They fight and manage to capture one then they interrogate (also now known as "Mind Rape" since it involves Richard's new mind reading power) the individual, finding out that we are being hunted.  Someone has put out a half-million dollar reward for killing or capturing a HEAL "Guardian".

This creates a problem.  The cops won't hold this guy without a complainant.  Most of us wear masks and can't file a complaint without putting our names on the reports and obviously it has to be someone who was attacked.  And if we can't put him away then we're releasing him to come back and kill us later?  So we try to come up with a scheme to convince him to leave us alone.

Through many, many convolutions of plans, and the mental powers of Merlin, what we end up with is knowledge that the fight club people have put up the money and that if one of these guys kills us the fight club will get in contact with them and pay them.  He's more afraid of WetWorks, the highly trained killer from the Fight Club than he is of any of us.  So our final maneuver is to give him a story that if he doesn't work for us as an insider in the fight club and send us information then we'll tell Wet Works that he's a traitor and she'll kill him.  Once we find out through mind reading that he now intends to flee for his life rather than stick around and do anything to us, we release him.

There's a big fight later when the whole group of us come across the bulk of the bad guys.  It's Elephant Guy, Shocker (who escaped earlier), Flying blaster guy, and a fourth one who turns out to be "Swarm" who is someone the rest of you know from game 1 (the game I wasn't at).

This fight should be much worse than it was.  A great mind-control from Merlin sends Elephant Man after Shocker.  Swarm sends bugs after Merlin, who gets out of them, and then while Blaster blasts their flying blaster guy, Nick makes Swarm sick and he plummets from the sky on a failed roll.  This fight pretty quickly swung our way.

Our last fight is with some of the fight club people and involves an amusing, if claustrophobic, combat inside the van!  We manage to pinpoint the location of WetWorks by calling her cell phone (using the number taken off of the phone of one of the guys we defeated).  After some confusion over whether we're going after Blaster or Blue Demon (the other guy from the fight club who likely runs the show), we end up going after him.  Richard uses his mental powers to convince him to come out for a ride in our van.  Once he's out there, Utah tries to handcuff him, which allows him another save and he breaks free.  We then have a brawl inside the van which sees this guy grabbing Richard and threatening to kill him unless we pull over.  We pull over but just so that Summer can move to the back and help kick fight the thug.  While we're brawling, someone freezes the back of the vehicle, so Nick ports to the front of the van and starts driving again.  We eventually contain him again.

There's more but I had to go.

Game 7:

Merlin (Paul), Evac (Mark), Blaster (Jim), Cyberghost (Darren)

I should have made notes.  We did a lot of stuff but I can't put it in the right order in my head.  So this may jump around a little.

We still have issues with the Black Dragons that we're trying to figure out.  We try to buy drugs from local contacts so that Merlin can mind-read them for information at a distance.  We get minimal info.

We get a call patched through from our HEAL secretary and on it is Weeper (the guy whom the Black Dragons were exploiting for his tears so they could sell them as a drug).  He's in trouble!  Seems he's only made it as far as Vegas and now people are out to get him.  We drop everything and head that way.

We (along with Le Mente in the van and Viking with us) are on site at a scummy motel and Weeper comes down to meet us when motorcycles and a car come rumbling up.  The bikers are the Vegas based "The Bones".  In the car with them are two super-types... a woman in armor and another in cat attire.

Our strategist, Evac, moves most of us to the roof and the rest of us get up there ourselves and from there the fight ensues.  Their catlady tries to port up to the roof and grab viking and take him with her but he saves against it.  Bikers take up partial cover and we shoot each other.  Cyberghost summons Talking Tina who then scares the crap out of one of the bikers and that, in combination with Merlin mind controlling a driver into driving away seems to cause them all to flee (after all they weren't expecting this kind of resistance).  Evac makes drivers sick.  Intentionally I mean.  And Johnny Utah shoots out some tires.  Some get away but we manage to catch at least two who crashed on cycles.

We try to bring Weeper back to our base and on the way there's an ambush set up.  Seems the Black Dragons have come to the edge of their Turf and set up a "Ward".  What they didn't count on was that virtually everyone would make their saves and pass right through it.  The only one that failed was Summer (Cyberghost's summonee) who was driving one of the purloined cycles back.  She hits the barrier and takes some damage but ghost just un-sommons her so we can keep moving.

Merlin mind-reads our captives so that when we ask them questions we can get the real answers.  Seems there's a guy dealing in information who "knows everything" that knew about Weeper.

A super detention center is being worked on.  It involves re-configuring an old facility and will take a while.  Once it's complete it should hold some super folks relatively safely.

Another call we get is from a new group of Supers out of Vegas.  It's a three woman team whom we invite to come to our facility to see what we're up to.  We do a little sparring too (Except for Merlin, whom Evac thinks it's best we keep his powers secret).

We float the idea to them of becoming a HEAL affiliate, but none of us are exactly sure what that entails.

Okay, seems I remember less than I thought.  I'm sure there was more stuff but that will have to do.

OH... we completed our FBI training.  You get your choice of either 1 Appropriate Feat (something the FBI could train in) or 4 skill points.

Game 8:

Johnny Utah/Blast/Halo (Jim), Nick Grimes/Evac (Mark), Richard Harvey/Merlin (Paul), Ganny Magic/Masquerade (Jeff), Wes Stallings (Joe), Martha Block/Cyberghost (Darren)

Crybaby activity has been high.  But so has vigilante activity!  We try to look into this because the vigilantes wound up taking out the same two people we had captured previously doing a bank robbery.  They beat up the duo pretty well.  Halo does a drop-in and heals the duo.  We do some peripheral investigation but are too stupid to go poke around the scene.  Eventually an ally of the duo calling herself "Enchantress" shows up at our place and wants to know why we're doing nothing.  We explain we didn't have a starting point, but she drags us to the scene and points out a clue.  I should mention they are reportedly:  A guy in full white medieval armor, another in armor who does some kind of webbing and third one who creates fire creatures to attack people with.  The clue found on the scene is some metallic fibers which are probably part of the spider-person's mobility.  Backtracked, we find the general area they started from.

We stake it out with no luck.  Eventually we put up cameras and manage to get a time when they are there and confront them.  It does NOT come to blows however as we try to recruit them away from vigilantism to simply capturing people, but they're pretty hardcore.  I think they were Cinder, White Knight, and I forget the third one.  They turn us down flatly and even say, "Hey if there's something where you're not willing to get your hands dirty, you know where to find us."

We get a new hireling, a lady who can turn invisible!  And also change the colors of other things.  She's going by "Spectrum".  She might be useful later on.  We might also be a bit shady for her.  We don't exactly give the impression of being a by-the-book organization to those on the inside.

We talk to the two former bank robbers about their assault.  Unfortunately we can only find one, the woman who can generate acid, who owns the garage where they were assaulted.  She is "out of the business" of robbery because the price was too high.  So, seems like maybe the vigilantes weren't wrong.  They actually acted as a deterrent here!

We tried to recruit her (the thinking being that if she joins the good guys maybe that'll defuse the vigilantes).  She has no interest.  We warn her that there may still be some anti-her sentiment out there and to stay alert.

The big fight of the night involves being alerted by Viking that the streets are crawling with groups carrying more dangerous weapons than normal (Shotguns and Automatic weapons).  We meet with him at the scene of an assault (and possibly murder) by some cry-babies.  This turns into a fight almost immediately.

I (Martha block) almost got removed as an element of this fight immediately when her summoned fighter, Summer, took a shotgun blast and de-rezzed, and she spent the rest of the night being shot at, wounded, and barely being saved by Masquerade's fake force wall and Evac's teleportation.  Fortunately, everyone else picks up the slack, with Wes using his gravity powers to impede them, Evac making them sick, and Blast doing namesake things.  The bad guys do get caught for the police.

Did I forget Eater?  I did.  One of the things before the big fight was that an acquaintance we made in a previous game, a Joker who can eat anything (and everything) has been hauled in by the cops.  Seems he was found eating a body.  With some investigation (and the mind powers of Merlin, which were very helpful throughout this entire game), we find out that he only sees two things:  Food and Not-Food.  If she had been a living being he probably wouldn't have eaten her.  Which means someone dumped a body off to be disposed of.  From his memory, at least two not-foods dropped off the food.

We start thinking that maybe it was Sleeper, one of our previous encounters.  We get in contact and fortunately no fight breaks out between us and him.

Game 9

Merlin (Paul), Evac (Mark), Blast (Jim), Wes (Joe), CyberGhost (Darren)

For some reason I can never remember Wes' codename.

In fact...  I remember almost nothing.  Nothing!  To say I was checked out for most of the game is an understatement.  I'm sure it looked the same as usual as I alternated between fooling with my laptop and fooling with my phone, but I can usually retain most of what happened.  Not so much this time.

There was a jail break.  A duo from the prison got away because of a spooky shadowy black creature appeared from the shadows in the common yard and picked them up and carried them away.  We find out that it's likely that they are going to come after three people upon whom they've sworn revenge:  The Prosecutor, the Arresting officer, and a teenage girl witness.  We stakeout the witness.  Turns out while we were doing this they went after the one that the cops were staking out, which was the officer? (He said trying to remember which of the two)

We continue our stakeout after failing to crack the former cellmate of one of them.  It eventually pays off.  What we've done is send her away to a safehouse and replace her with shapeshifting Johnny Utah.  So when something shows up to get her it attacks him/her and Evac manages to get him out of there, leaving it to claw up Merlin.  The rest of us are looking around outside for the summoner of the creature, which is essentially a chupacabra.  The one that broke them out of prison was a mothman.  So this guy can summon Cryptids.

The folks outside in the air (Wes) manage to spot the bad guys clustered in a group of motorcycles.  We roll up on them while Evac goes back and safely gets clawed-up Merlin out of the house.

The enemy are a handful of bikers with shotguns and pistols, and the two escapees who are a guy with lizard skin, high strength, and is not afraid of anything.  The other guy summons spooky things.  Summer/Martha/Tina roll up on the group and Summer gets de-rezzed by a shotgun blast through the windshield.  Martha has to jump into the driver seat and use the van as a weapon for the next five rounds.  Meanwhile Evac is nauseating people and moving people around.  What he doesn't know is that Merlin has a new power which allows him to swap minds with a target.  So when he's up on a roof he swaps bodies with a target guy and then his own body almost falls off the roof, requiring help from Evac.  This fight is long and dangerous with shotguns being way deadlier than any of us, but we overcome.

I remember that we tried to locate a missing man.  He was from the first game (the one I wasn't at) and is an older man who drains the life energies of people around them, leaving himself revitalized.  Well, two burglars broke into the house where he had been kept isolated in his room and they died in his field of drainage and that gave the man the ability to get up and go ambulatory.  Along his path of drainage he accidentally crossed paths with another person with powers and wound up draining them as well.  Now he not only could drain people but he had flight and any other power of that guy!

By the time we follow the path of dead cats, dogs, and people through the neighborhood we find that he's gone to a place there was lots of "life"... in this case night life... a club near closing time.  He went in and sucked the life out of everyone in there.  We tried to engage him with the cops but couldn't get too close.  What makes it worse is that he ignores all damage of our level.  The only person who in-theory could do some damage to him is Summer and the killing field around him would murder her.

Merlin managed to corral him using his mind control power.  He gets him to sit down in the back of a patrol car so that we can lock him in.  Eventually, through a combination of Merlin's mind-control and his newly revealed body-switching powers, the bad guy is moved into a cage and hauled away to be stored by ETHOS.

There's more.  I'm just surprised I managed to get THAT MUCH out of the blackhole of memory.  And I almost couldn't remember why were fighting that first group until I finally remembered the Mothman.

Game Ten:
Masquerade (Jeff), Enigma (Joe), Blast (Jim), Merlin (Paul), CyberGhost (Darren)

We get a call (deja vu!).  While neither Evac or Enigma are present at the time, both have had their loved ones abducted.  It seems that because they are public figures they were targeted by someone.  Whoever it is, leaves a message that is voice modulated to the point of almost not understanding it.  They say that they don't trust us because we work with the government, so that's why they've taken leverage.  They say that the CERN Hadron Colliders have opened holes into other dimensions and that has caused the problems people are suffering (Jokers) and that he/she knows that there's a cure for this affliction and it's at Fermi labs.

There's some preliminary detective work done to try and track down the perpetrator but then we do a trip to Fermi labs in order to ask about the issues.  We level with the contact there about why we are there and a combination of mind-reading and asking questions seems to only yield that they are on the level.  We decide we need a fake device to take to the blackmailer.  The guy at Fermi whips up something that looks semi-official.  With a thermos, stickers, etc.

Now after we get back and are figuring out what to do next police-work-wise, Enigma arrives (Joe gets to the game).  He'd like more follow-up at Fermi but too late for that.  Through a bunch of detective work (Cameras, Cars,Elimination, Deduction, Surveillance) I won't go into because it'll make this recap endless, we figure out which guy it was and we abduct him.  He's a tough nut to crack.  First off, he has some kind of mental protection that keeps our psychic out.  He seems resistant to threats.  What we end up doing is turning him over to ETHOS for holding, using his phone and texting his accomplices to meet them.  We end up at a restaurant to meet with a guy who looks like the Toxic Avenger whose name I can't recall so I'll refer to him as Toxi, and a girl named Calico.  The guy we caught was Cheshire Cat (because he can invis himself).  Our end of the meet is shape-changed to look like Cheshire Cat.  At the conclusion of the meet, they leave to go to the pick-up point for the blackmail (A rooftop garden bar up the street).  But we've managed to get from their heads via Merlin exactly where our people are held.  So we run off to do that first.

In the sewers there's a sort of juncture point.  There are four guards armed with automatic weapons.  We send our invis people in first (Masq and Spectrum) to scout and then we do the siege.  One is held in place by an illusionary cage because he can't make his saves to realize it's false, the others actually get rounded up pretty handily, no major injuries.

We head to the rooftop garden where because of its location not everyone arrives at once.  The trigger will be when Martha shows up through the wires of the cashier station.  She shows up and what follows is some pretty bad work on our part.  Martha keeps taking wounds (fortunately 1 point at a time, which allows her to escape back through the wires).  Flying Enigma gets shot down and manages to hit the ground without dying (Martha checks on him).  Masque causes all sorts of confusion among the bad guys by creating weird opponents, making good and bad guys run into the area, etc.  Merlin creates even further chaos by making them attack each other through mind-control.  Toxi has a small group of cats who do some of his bidding, but they get held in place by Enigma's gravity ability (at least until he got shot down).

Once we have a bunch of them down the others retreat and frankly we let them.  We had one man down and another badly injured.

Next thing... We are called in to ETHOS because our mad scientist has invented something.  Apparently he's created a window into another world, but it's visual only and one-way.  We're looking through a glass at a room where nothing happens much.  But recording the room we eventually see someone come in and store something on a shelf there.  The scientist will work on creating a mobile version of the glass so he can turn it and perhaps see more.

Then, later that evening, we get word that one of the ETHOS agents has vanished.  We do our best to come up with clues as to what happened but just end up with nothing.

Best we do is that we are following up on a clue when suddenly our van is attacked!  Someone has set an ambush for us as if they knew we were coming and what route we were taking.  The van is demolished.  We are surrounded by people with guns that are decidedly more futuristic than what we use.  They can fire nets or fire full auto.  "Stay inside the van" meaning the wreckage.  Many of us ignore that.  There's lots of lead flying, flyers getting hit by nets (at one point Blast is flying from rooftop to rooftop trying to scrape the net off).  Summer was driving and one hail of gunfire de-rezzes her.  Martha runs away right after everyone takes their turn so she's safe.  While we take out a few guys, mostly we end up fleeing in order to recover because they were doing plenty of damage; we were out-gunned.

We are trying to figure out who these guys are and why they want us.  We're presuming that these are the same guys who abducted the ETHOS agent, and that they may have used trackers like we use or possibly even could be using a window like our guy invented to see what we're doing.

During the conjecture, the HEAL line gets a call from one of the bad guys.  Seems Alley Cat has been abducted.  Somehow the villain knows where she's being held but doesn't have the firepower to go in after her.  She knows we have the numbers.  

We go to the office building where they're being held, send in the invisible recon, and when we're done and trying to figure out how to deal with such a well-armed, embedded, fortified group of people, who have eight or so captured Aces in cryo-tubes, suddenly THE FLASH HAPPENS AGAIN!  When it finishes and we wake up, we find they are gone.  A replay of some video we have on the building shows somebody moving through the building at high speed to move them out.

So we have no idea where everybody went.  We don't know who these people are.  And now we've undergone another transformation.  Apparently we've been bumped a few levels.


Richard Harvey (Paul) aka Merlin
Johnny Utah (Jim) aka Johnny Utah
Martha Block (Darren) aka Cyberghost (w/Summer & Tina)

It took us too long to go in and check out the building that we were waiting near last game.  So while Jeff's character (off-screen) is staking that place out, we are subjected to THE FLASH II.  We each live another life in its entirety!  I don't know how the others lives went but that was pretty awful.  Martha will be seeking therapy.

So when we snap back into awareness that we are still in our world with our superpowers, not people living in another universe, we are aware of lots of people screaming and freaking out.  Some of our folks who have "mutations" (for lack of a better word) from last flash now have another alteration.  We feel more powerful.  As we're trying to figure things out and we are loverlooking the city from the highest point of the building, we see an apartment complex on fire in the distance.  So we head that way.

Upon arrival we set to trying to get people down.  For Johnny Utah, that involves flying up to the third floor, carrying someone down, then going back up, finding some people in the hall who are unable to move easily on their own, fashioning a rope out of bedding, and trying to lower them down.  The rescued are a fat elderly couple and their adult son.  Martha summons Summer and sends her up to assist, while Martha heads around the building to check on Viking, our berserker friend who came with us this mission, and who is reporting "My God there's two of them!" with no additional info.  By the time Martha gets there, he's under attack by one or both of a pair of superpowered people.  One is a young girl with lighting surrounding her in a sphere as she floats around.  The other is a female orc whose shout hurts things and people.  Martha tries to get the electrical girl off of Viking by using one of her Tron Disc throws.  She missses and it was a poor choice anyway because now Voltage (the girl) comes her way.  She tries to escape but just being in proximity of her while hiding causes Martha to take damage and reveal her.  What's worse is that she gets stunned so she has no way to defend herself.

The orc woman, HeadCase, is laughing maniacally at the prospect of a fight and see some people up on a balcony and does her shouty thing and knocks them out cold.  Voltage is about to take out a helpless Martha when Richard pokes out from behind a car and takes possession of voltage!  He sends her off in search of HeadCase.  This is great except there's a communication issue.  Richard can't hear us when we tell him things.

Summer picks up that Martha is in trouble through their mental link and runs through the smokey hallways and down some stairs and into the courtyard but by then she's safe.  Johnny Utah finishes delivering his people to the ground and the team head off in search of the "villains" back inside the building.  The rest is a combination of where they were last seen, some minor verbal instruction, and hearing things happening.

I forgot to mention, Viking manages to get away badly injured, but turns the corner and finds Martha's other summonee, the very creepy Tina, which startles him a little.  She doesn't help any when she instantly appears next to him in the blink of an eye in her attempt to run off after the bad guys.  So Summer, in Ninja gear and hiding in shadows is pursuing bad guys in the building and Johnny Utah is as well.  The only thing holding us back is that ahead in the hallway is the possessed Voltage who we can't get near because she doesn't have the skill to drop the current, even while possessed.

The Martha-3 find some unconscious people and drag them downstairs and out into the courtyard.  Pretty soon everyone has converged on the same section outside, and that makes them vulnerable to a cone of sound from Headcase, but she can only reach Tina from there, who handles it fine. Martha and Summer both injure Headcase and the injuries are stacking up, what with the possessed Voltage moving right up to her so she gets the full shock value.  When she drops, the team have to figure out how to subdue Voltage, who no one can get near, even when she's unconscious.  So we come up with something involving roping her and the one who does it is Johnny Utah, who has a decent save against the damage that will happen by coming in too close.

Next is the parade.  We get the injured people from the burnign down building that can't be reached by the cops or fire department because of the condition of the streets and traffic and the utter madness out there, and we march everyone a mile back to our place.  One accident happened, but only Summer notices it... voltage comes close to a car that has someone lying down in it and they get shocked and utterly fried.  She lets Martha know and Martha hangs back to check it out.  She decides against mentioning it to the group since it's only going to make everyone feel awful and the guy can't be helped.

Once back, we head to Ethos and discover that they can use some help.  So we go out and help with some stuff and since it's nearly 10pm we do it a bit of a hand-wavy kind of way.  We roleplay out how we'd handled the next crazy villain... named Mitosis.  He's splitting, and splitting, and splitting.  At any given time there are 50 of him.  If Richard tries to possess one the others attack it, it dies and a new unpossessed one appears.  This goes on  as they march down the streets beating up anyone and anything in their path.  Finally we figure out which one is the primary one and knock him out then it's a matter of taking out the duplicates.  Once Ethos and Walters show up to round this guy(s) up it becomes evident that his solution to the problem of how to contain 50 crazed madment who can split and make more when one dies is to kill them all.  Johnny Utah voices his displeasure but no one has a solution.  Eventually he relents and says Ethos will take a segment of them and the others will be housed elsewhere while we figure out how to handle the problem.

And that's where we stop for now.


Following Flash #2 of last game we check on our families, and they mostly avoided chaos.  Only note was on Martha's brother, who took an injury from the rioting, nobody turned into a joker in any families.  We visit the abandoned office building (from last game of Issue #1) has many dead people in it.

Among those who had been trapped in big metal tanks and perished either during or before the flash are Lizard hobo (from the pier), Hunchback (from fight club), Pinkie (a local hooker with superpowers), Agent Stanley Owen (who worked for Walters as an Ethos employee with powers), Gateway (a Canadian superhero), an average looking guy named "Theo" (who seemed to die from his torso turning into smoke), an older woman and a young girl who also died from a fatal mutation of some sort.  Lizard hobo died from his head sprouting wood at inopportune places.

In the search, Martha recovers a hard drive that escaped the obviously purposeful destruction of the data centers in this building.  Said hard drive once inspected is the buffer for video footage before it got uploaded to another location.  On it is a brief scene of last couple people being placed into devices (One being a Thai hero named TAO, with a turtle shell and projects forcefields; Alley Cat (a teleporter from issue #1); and Phase (the girl who didn't want to talk to us earlier, who knew about the Joe Rogans) and putting them in the tanks are... wait for it... Three Joe Rogans!  Incontrevertible proof of the existence of the JRA (Joe Rogan Army).

Different colored fluids were being pumped into each person.  On the video the flash happens, Phase screams, vibrates, and disappears!  Alleycat and Tao seem okay, but then a Joe Rogan "disappears", seemingly going into a sort of superspeed mode, and taking out the others.

While we digest all this back at Ethos we check in with La Mente, the psychic switchboard, and he sends us out to investigate some sort of riot that vaguely resembles what we had last game with the multiplying man.  When we arrive we find a horde of people running toward us fearfully, but when they see us, their expressions change to anger and they rush our way.  We pull back far enough to take up positions and circle back on the roof top.  From there we try to take out the civilians who are carrying guns first.  Except for Richard, who tries to possess a weird guy with flaming feet who seems like an obvious problem.  From the rooftop we do a pretty good job of knocking out various people (Martha & Summer with individual shots, Johnny Utah with his area effect attack).  That's when things get... weird(er).  Johnny spots the obvious problem... about the size of a chihuahua is a very strange bug-like creature with huge eyes a moth with fangs, and a human tongue.  [Alan presents a picture, to a collective response of "ARGH!"].  This becomes our new target.  It seems to be mentally possessing people and randomly deciding what they should do because it is obviously quite insane from the mutations that happened to it.

It tries and fails to compel Martha & Summer into action (both saved), and it gets knocked unconscious through collective damage.  We then grab a big plastic container from a nearby store and since no one wants to touch it, Martha summons Tina, who is more intrigued than frightened or disgusted so she gets bug-hauling duty.

So all over the world people experienced the flash.  The ones that were jokers become more so.  And people who are interviewed seem to have a varying number of flashes in their experience.  We each seem to have three "life memories"... our beginning lives, and one from each flash.  Other people report being through seven or eight flashes.  Most of us seem to recall in our experiences that in these other worlds, things just came to an end, as if by apocalypse.  A theory surfaces (without anything to back it up) that if like in the comic books there's a mutlivers where  every decision difference sprouts another world, and something is causing the membrane between the words to thin for a time (the "flash") then we are momentarily subjected to what happened to our counterparts in these other worlds.

So... if people are becoming more unhinged or potentially dying simply due to the flash and the ensuing mutations then obviously we need to figure out the source and put a stop to it.  With data recording sources set up before the last flash, all over the world, no directional source can be determined.  The flash seems to happen everywhere at once!

We get a call from HEAL that a man-spider has come into a bar our office and wants to speak with us.  So we head back and he is asking for us to come meet with "The fates", which were the three jokers with freaky eye-related powers.  (One of them stole Johnny's eye once, another shoots lazer beams out of his eyes, etc.).  We go there and discover that their joint has burned down.  They are exposed.  They need help getting a new location.  We set to getting them access to a local warehouse where they can be housed and then we help them with supplies where possible.  So the jokers have a new location.  (Old site burned down due to one of the jokers spontaneously combusting!)

If there's more, I forgot to make a note and don't remember it.


Richard (Paul), Johnny (Jim), Martha (Darren)

Being unsure where to go next with all this, we begin the week by looking into the Joe Rogan Situation (an underrated jazz band, IMO).  We used the interwebs to figure out where he lives and went and checked the place out.  UFC money will get you a really huge pool.  Johnny uses his flight to over the house and to the back area where there are trees and ends up setting up a go-pro to record all evening.  When we retrieve it the next day we find nothing out of the ordinary, and only ONE Joe Rogan.

Next time we are called for help it's by Viking who responded to a check cashing place's robbery and found two supers.  He calls us because the newbies he's showing around (Vertigo and... I can't remember the other one) probably shouldn't be jumping in the deep end, and he knows two will be a big problem for him.  We roll up in the Mystery Machine and move up on foot (or on air, for Johnny).  These two guys are f'n nuts.  first up is a well-dressed handsome young man who opens his mouth and spits giant loogies that dissolve whatever they cotnact, while his partner is orange skinned and bald (no combover, sorry), and has hands that can vibrate through things (normal size hands, not tiny baby hands, as is customary in orange people) to a destructive and painful degree.

At the intersection they manage to spot Richard on a failed stealthify and Spitter spits at him, only to have the splash back hit the hidden Summer, who takes a bruise.  Richard retreats, but unfortunately the trailing Vibrator (person, not object) tried to sneak up behind (yeh, I saw that happening as I typed it) the group by going into the ground and coming back up.  It's unfortuante for Richard because now he's alone when Vibrator appears.  He takes an injury and Martha breaks off from the other attack to come and disc-of-tron his ass.  Now injured himself, Vibrator succumbs to the mind control of Richard.  At the other group, Summer misses a whole lot of shurikens and Viking misses a run-by attack, but persistence eventually pays off as the trio fo Johnny, Summer, and Viking take him down (In a way that I can't quite remember right now, but I think it was the brute force variety).

More research.  More interrogation.

This time the local PD call us because East-West Bank is being robbed.  When we show up on scene, a winged man ("Angel") is on the roof shouting that he wants an armored car and we've got ten minutes before they start wasting hostages.  He's got a legit super outfit so you'd think this would be better planned out, but it isn't.  Richard's plan is to have himself cuffed and placed in the back of a squad car, then he'll mentally swap places with the guy on the roof, meanwhile Summer will approach in ninja stealth form and Martha will use the wires zip into the building electrically.  Martha's movement is slow so it takes her a while.  Richard gets Angel right off but then they proceed to spend many turns wrestling for control.  During one such reversal, Richard is able to relay info on the interior of the place to the cops.  But during one of this moments of control he drops down to the ground and breaks the glass door to get in.  Seems angel's feathers are pretty nasty.

Angel goes in, Summer uses the opening to head in, Martha will come in through a connection along the side wall.  The other two villains involved are a guy recognized as a member of the Black Dragons (the guys who kidnapped and tortured a joker for his tears, Issue 1, who is called "Pain", who hurls needles that cause people to be dazed and unable to act; the other is a guy whose uncontrolled power is causing damage to everything he comes near, named "Tecton".  Martha tries to take on Pain, and I think missed every time, even with her ability to ricochet the discs around the desk Pain is hiding behind.  Summer is caught (for the second time this game) in an area effect by someone who didn't even know she was there, as Tecton moves into the room and does some minor injury.  She'll do a little bit of damage to him (eventually) but sustains a lot of injury herself as Tecton summons a small golem made of debris and has it grab and hurl her to great effect into the far wall.  She's nearly disabled by this.  Martha is at a stalemat with Pain as every round he 'dazes' her but then has to do it again the next round because it only lasts a round.

Johnny Utah comes in the front and goes purple-cosmic-power upside Tecton's head a few times.  Little by little he gets chipped away at until he's down.  Angel gets shot a few times by cops, but he gets taken in primarily due to Richard's control.  Pain retreated to the back room giving Martha a chance to dismiss Summer and bring in Tina as they prepare to surrond and scare the bad guy but he surrenders because he had nowhere to go.

More reasearch, more iterrogation.  Turns out the Black Dragons folded after we took away their income; Pain and all the others are in the wind.

We're not any closer to figuring out the Flashes, but Alan says we're not missing any major clues and are generally where we ought to be.


Richard (Paul), Johnny (Jim), Ganny (Jeff), Martha (Darren)

Ethos and HEAL continue to crunch data related to the other flash-affected people's "other lives".  Some correlation is found, such as the fact that a few of them had the same president (not ours) in another life and they wer set in the year 2022.  It's 2018 in-game in our world.

Ethos needs help at LA County Museum of Art.  Seems there's a guy with fire powers (Ash) going around destroying exhibits.  Not far away is a guy composed of bees (Swarm).  When we arrive on scene everyone gets into the act immediately.  Ash firebombs our van, causing burns to some, catchin the newly summoned Summer on fire.  In fact, Summer's extent in this game was two rounds and can be summed up like this:  Martha summons her, immediately she's set on fire and is stunned, next round Martha tries to put her out (and fails) then she gets blinded by a diferent attack and becomes unstunned, followed by next round Martha un-summoning her for her own safety.

Richard tries to mind control Ash and succeeds.  Something causes him to drop Ash and mind control Swarm.  About now a third head rears it's, well, head... a villain named Nemesis appears at one of the windows and tries to attack with a smonkey darkness power.  Thing is, to most of us he just looks like a pudgy guy in a white suit (Think Jr. Prom suit without the ruffles) but to Richard and eventually Johnny, he look slike a being of evil smokey darkness that's far more terrifying (Althoug the prom is pretty terrifying to me).  He will continue to try and hurt Richard, while Richard mind controls Swam to go after others.  Martha and Johnny do some decent damage to Ash.  Ganny started off the combat by creating an illusionary duplicate of himself and sending it out to draw fire, and that worked for a few rounds until the prom king... whose villain name is Nemesis, figures out what's going on.  Attempts to mind control Nemesis reveal that he is immune to such things!

Swarm tries to flee when Ash goes down, but those two are captured.  Nemesis disappeared into the LACMA and was never seen again.

There's more that should go here but I'll be darned if I can remember.


First hour spent in investigation.  We find the place that made the plexiglass for the tanks that held the prisoners who were being experimented on.  The receptionist remembers a big order happening but nothing else about it.  Any computer record of it is missing.  The manager doesn't remember it happening at all and when mind-read by Richard he seems to have a gap in his memory.  The guy in shipping says the stuff was picked up, they didn't deliver it, but he remembers a plate number that research shows belongs to a totally different vehicle than he described, so either they simply stole plates and switched them or he has false memories.  The delivery guy remembers a very tall, very attractive African-American woman, and the mind-readings of him when he's asked questions show that he's trying not to answer in any way that might disappoint her.

Still, we got in a solid hour of detective work using 1) Johnny Utah's interrogation and investigation skills, 2) Richard's handsomeness and mind-reading, and 3) Martha's surreptitious manipulatin of the computers.  She's decided that confiscating their security system hard drives would give negligable results becuase any attempt to retrieve data that has been overwritten several times with new video would likely only yield on a natural 20.

We do naturally run into trouble though.  In this case trouble actually comes looking for us!  We're back at HEAL and a terrible scream pierces the air and we run outside to find we are under seige!  The first culprit we see is a guy from the "issue 1" fight club, a gentelman in a tuxedo who can stretch and uses that ability to reach out and punch someone.  While he was calm and reserved before, the second flash seems to have unhinged him.

Second is a large (very large) cloud into which we cannot see, and which sends out 3 attacks per round, thus likely has others in it.  This is confirmed when some orders are called out.  The three in there are Storm Rider (former Black Dragon with a grudge against us for destroying her little gang), Frost Blast (a guy who see name), and Impact.

We start out with Richard possessing Rubberman and trying to engage the cloud, to no real effect.  Wisely the cloud group concentrates attacks, choosing Richard.  They will eventually bring him down, causing Viking, who is injured but couldn't resist running out to help, to run out and try to drag Richard back in.  But that's several rounds into the fight.  In the interim, Rubberman has definitely killed a joker and thrown them off the building (upon our arrival), and upon his release he will try to go after some of the others, to less effect. He will eventually get taken out by Summer, who shows up for this combat AND gets to fight!  This fight it's the other summonee, Tina, who is less lucky.  When Martha spends several rounds doding enemies and doing no effect (including throwing a tron-disc that hits Rubberman and flies right back at her), she summons Tina, who spends the first two rounds of her existence getting stunned and bruised by attacks before she can act.  Johnny Utah has developed a strategy whereby he creates his area effect purple cosmic radiation attack and because he can't target inside the cloud he targets the edge and lets it damage an area inside it, alternating at random between attacking hte top half and the bottom half of the could.  He will be the one who eventually damages Storm Rider, thus causing the others to become visible.

I did leave out one other.  Seems that Banshee, a ghost who appears and scares people randomly, has been called in by them to assist but she's a wildcard.  Her first scare try (a mental blast that is a crippling fear attack) is on Martha but she luckily saves.  It's the subsequent attacks where she randomly selects people from the other team that helps shift things in our favor.

Vertigo, the NPC, is here as well and she tries to help some people and not get squished by various attacks.  Impact is another Fight Clubber, who in this case winds up running through our administrative offices and punching a hole in the wall to escape.  Storm rider got taken out before she could sound retreat.  Banshe just kind of loses interest and vanishes somewhere.  Frost Blast tries to flee but gets chased down by Johnny Utah and brought to justice.

So at the end of the fight, Richard is down, Vertigo is injured. and there are various other bruises, while on their side we got Storm Rider, Frost Blast, and Rubberman, with Impact and Banshee getting away.

Banshee appears to be someone we've met.  A while back there was a little girl in a wheelchair, who when she got stressed out would produce an adhesive that mde her stick to things.  Seems now when she gets stressed she expels her spirit from her body which goes out and shrieks at people (astral form).  They brought her to the fight and basically needled her into releasing the spirit, so it's no surprise it turned on them to some degree.

Storm Rider was there for revenge, most of the others were there for the chaos, and one was there becuase Storm Rider paid them.

Good chaos-filled fight.


We start off the day realizing we have exhausted most of our leads.  Soon we get a call from one of our contacts, the one who wants us to find Alley Cat, and he says he thinks he has a lead, but that he doesn't think he could handle this.  Seems Alley Cat is helping out the tall, pretty black woman who made the tank she was held in.  This of course leans into the whole mind contro. thing.  Our contact says she's "very powerful" but won't tell us how he knows.  Apparently his powers tell him this, that's all.

What he knows is that they've been casing a home: The residence of a well-known comic book artist.  Knocking on the door gets no result.  Martha uses her ability to slip in through the wires to check out the interior and finds nothing out of place, nothing odd whatsoever, and that while the guy collects stuff, none of it looks like anything our target would want.  We stake the place out and after a few hours, Martha pulls up his number and Johnny & Richard give him a call.  As agents Utah and Merlin they meet with and question him about why he might be the target of someone, letting him know that there's a credible threat that someone wants either something in his house or him.  We use HEAL as a place to stowe him while we stake out his house from the inside.

That night, 'round midnight, Alleycat and the woman (whose name we only know is Rhonda because thatt was on the token Alan used) teleport into one of the rooms we're not in.  Richard is closest and hears them enter and tries to use his mind control to seize Alleycat. He briefly does long enough to command her to strike the other woman, which she does, but then she breaks free.  Utah and Martha and a hiding-in-shadows Summer rush there, but before we get to do anything, Rhonda instructs alleycat "They aren't worth the trouble.  Grab what you came for and let's go.", whereupon she nabs a finely made, if otherwise unremarkable, knife that had been commissioned for the house's owner by a famed weaponsmith.  And they port out befoe anyone can act!

Seconds later, Iron Archer, one of Alleycat's friends/teammates, breaks through the window and finds she's too late.  So the loss to the guy is a window and a knife with no special properties that anyone can determine.

THOUGHT:  What if the knife is like one Alley Cat used in one of her alternate universe lives and that's why she wanted it?  Just a thought... that doesn't help us any.

We are back at HEAL for the next few days when we are contacted by an agent who keeps tab on Dr. Heller (I think that's the name of our mad scientist friend).  Doc's excited because he has a break through and wants our attendance.  We show up and he's reconfigured his world-viewing machine into something else. He hands us each a "helmet" that looks like it's made from a culander, and says that he thinks Phase is still alive.  Phase was the hero from the tanks, the one that seemed to just blink out of existence with the last pulse.  He thinks that her special physiology/powers caused her to leave our universe and enter another.  That brings us to his version of the multiverse theory...

IMAGINE... Each universe is suspended from the ceiling of the infinite univese, over top of a sort of "sea".  (Alan draws something reminiscent of Xmas ornaments dangling over an Ocean at varying heights).  Imagine then that one of these universes comes loose and falls into the sea.  When it does, the sea causes waves, which hit the lowest hanging universes and when they do, some of those come loose, which causes them to fall into the sea, whcih causes bigger waves which get the ones that are a little higher, and so on.

Doc thinks that each universe is a branch from the original universe and that each one took its own distinct path as a result of a major pivitol moment in history, and that as this continues it's causing what we'll call a "cascade" effect of universes dying.  He thinks Phase wound up in another universe because of her specific resonance and when he scraped residuce from the tank she had been in, he was able to develop a machine that can target that universe and transport us there!  He wants us to go there, gather data about their universe's flashpoint effects, and if we want to also rescue Phase, and come back.  We agree to this becuase we are suprheroes (or play at it).

His machine seems to work.  With bags full of stuff we anticipate needing, we drop into this other universe and the equivalent spot in this new world is a rundown dingy warehouse in a shithole ghetto of a neighborhood.  The only people we see are ones that scurry from one alley to the next trying to stay concealed from something.

When we venture out, Martha tries to sneak but Johnny decides to just walk down the street, so nobody hides, whcih turns out to be a problem when two people spy us froma  distance and close in.  They are an asian man with big gray hands and long prehensile hair, and a woman with gills, scales, and other fishy properties.  Johnny makes a hearing roll with allows him to hear them discuss that we would make good combatants in the arena, and that since we're in their neighborhood they come at us.  Johnny tries a blast, but hairboy (real name unknown) bats it back at him causing no damage.  Martha summons Summer, we position as they come over the rooftops at Johnny.  When they finally are visible, Richard tries to control one and fails, and Martha & Summer do their object throwing (Discs-of-tron and Throwign Stars respecitvely) and basically take turns missing!  Summer gets in one good shot on the fishgirl (also real name unknown) and stuns her enough that once hairboy has hurled one of his clumps of hair at richard and it has gone down Richard's throat causing him to gag and pass out from lack of oxygen, they think they'll just grab him and teleport away but with Johnny Utah right there they cut their losses and run.  We beat a hasty retreat back to where we came in.

We are inside the dilapidated warehouse, waiting for night before we venture out again in search of information and Phase.


South: Haunter & Crawler; Intercepted by a Gadgeteer and two helper jokers.  Takes us to Lee, a waiter turned into power over life & death guy. Gadgeteer is an illusionist. 

We left off in the alternate world that had somehow pulled in our friend Phase.  We wait until night and then try to sneak south, led by Tina who is the only who can fully see in the dark and has good stealth.  Some of the things we find are:

This creature is covered in chitinous skin and has big slashing pincher claws.  It dives underground and is not seen.  The team spread out with Tina going up onto a rooftop, summer staying still in case it can detect ground movement, Summer vanishing into shadows, Merlin getting on top of a wrecked car, Johnny going airborn, and Ganny creating an illusionary version of himself.  Merlin managed to read its mind before it disappeared into the ground... it seemed to have a different mind controling the body.

When it arrives, the thing called The Crawler appears on the rooftop and runs over to Tina.  Tina attempts to frighten it and fails and moves away.  Whatever is inside the Crawler controlling it steps out of it and tries to possess Tina.  Crawler itself jumps down through the roof and burrows into ground.  The thing that stepped out, the Haunter, has control of Tina for one round during which it can't act because Richard takes control; so then there are three of them in there--Tina, Haunter, and Merlin.  But when it comes to Martha's round, she dispels TIna, leaving Haunter there for her and Summer to target (for one bruise).  Johnny I think gets in a shot too.  Crawler comes up through the ground and claws up Summer, stunning/staggering/dazing her before it goes after Ganny.  Haunter tries to possess Martha and succeeds.  It's idea is to run away as fast as possible with Martha's body.  It actually gets half a block before it looks up and sees 3 others coming our way, gets a look of concern on its face, and releases Martha (who turns and runs back).

Ganny conjures up a car illusion and has it come screeching out of the alley in the direction of the new people.  The woman of the three, who appears to be some sort of Gadgeteer (whom we'll call "Gadgeteer") tells us she's there to help and asks for a truce.  With the bad guys having fled we agree and Merlin mind-reads her to see she really is concerned for  us and herself being out on the street.  We go with her and end up at a Pizza Hut which has a tunnel network below the ovens.

After Johnny tells them why we're here Gadgeteer takes us to their leader, a guy named Lee.  Lee's powers are over life and death.  In fact, another group of travelers of some sort came to recruit him, but then the pulse happened again (pulse #6) and he lost all of his strength, so they declined him. He says they were not what they appeared; it seemed they'd obviously concealed their real appearance.

He also has Phase!  We described her and he had Gadgeteer check with her and she remembers us.  Seems she has begun to vibrate uncontrollably.  She just lay there and vibrates painfully.  She gets a brief respite when Merlin switches minds for a few seconds (as long as he can stand) before they revert back.  With the help of the reistance we will be able to get her back to our exit point.

But first we need info.  We ask lots of questions of Lee and then we hit a bookstore and find anything we can to take back with us.  So we do a little expedition, head to the book store, then we hit a small newspaper facitily, then we hit the exit.  We leave behind all the stuff we brought with us for survival so that the resistance can use it.  Sadly we couldn't bring them because they're not attuned to our universe.

They were legitimately good people who were doing their best for their own in an impossible situation and at the end they did their best for us.  A 7th flash is likely in the next week or two in their world.

We brought back a few hard drives which didn't have much.  We do some information comparison between that world and ours, which seems to be before us chronologically.  The crazy doc begins trying to help Phase with her vibration problem.  Whatever forked that universe off from ours, if the ever-branching universe thing is true, happened before the pulse.  Oh, and Joe Rogan died in their world after the 3rd pulse.  We've only had two pulses in our world.



Johnny, Richard, Martha, and later on Ganny.

We are contacted by the Las Vegas superhero group.  They are three skilled and beloved heroes in a town that isn't heavy on the super population, but they've run into a problem.  Someone had been attacking police officers.  And when that happened, one of the trio decided to tag along on a call and ended up being kidnapped by the local supervillains, who are saying that the heroes need to lay off or else they'll kill her.  Her name is diamond and it would be quite hard to kill her, but who knows if they don't have the capability since it seems this local gang has a number of supers in their midst.

We arrive by plane, get chauffered to a very nice suite, then go out and try to find out information by hitting bars in small groups (Martha & Summer as one, Johnny & Richard as the other.  Johnny strikes up conversations, Richard reads their minds, and hopefully something gets picked up.  A reaction by one of the people to a question about the police officer attacks causes Richard to read that guy's mind and we  learn that he may be involved.  Following him, he stops at a dead drop, a tire in an alley, that he lifts up and finds nothing underneath and goes home.

We stake out his home (to no effect) and the tire, and eventually someone appears near the tire, lifts it and puts a note underneath before blinking away.  The note has one of these patches with it (It looks like a tornado with an Anarchy "A" and an A T below that); these have been seen during the cop attacks.  The note is a location and time.

It ends up being a Taco Bell parking lot, and we gather there to keep an eye.  In the wee hours of the morning a group starts to gather comprised of 3 jokers and a handful of normals who seem to be either thugs or homeless.  Richard reads the minds of each and from the three jokers he can't find a mind at work.  It's likely these are illusions or something similar.

When the time comes, they break a window, tripping an alarm, and Johnny Utah calls the local police liason to the supers and asks him not to send anybody to this spot because he doesn't want anyone ambushed.  The cops stay out of it, the group disbands after twenty minutes of nothing, all disappointed that they don't get to earn their money and/or beat up cops.  We trail them to their locations.

Eventually we decide we need more info so we set down upon "Thug #4" from that group and after an interrogation at his apartment we find out he knows of three more drop spots.  We start sitting on all those and eventually we get a new note with a place and time.

THE PLAN:  We intend to send in one of us a a thug who retrieved the note (since these drop spots are just meant for whichever local finds them), Ganny will likely create an illusion of a cop car with a super in it, with the hope of drawing the powered bad guys out of the shadows.  The rest of us will be nearby ready to attack.



Richard, Johnny, Ganny, and Martha

We set up our "ambush" of their ambush.  The plan:  We gather around the scene of the next staged police ambush.  Richard is on the nearby roof, Martha is ducked down in the car, Summer is in the shadows of the building (which is a Ramen joint), Johnny is on a rooftop behinda billboard considerable distance away, and Ganny is hiding in the bushes.  The group gathers, at the designated witching hour they damage the window, and and Ganny makes an illusory police car pull in.  As they get out and roust the thugs, the thugs feign surrender, until the cops are out of the car whereupon they turn on the cops.  About then Johnny comes flying in as "Blast" and this makes the thugs think twice.  Next round after that, the villains appear on the rooftop not far from Richard!

Bad guys are the teleporter who sets out the notes, a guy with a venus flytrap head and who is covered head to toe in flowers, a mechanical looking guy who looks decrpid but crackles with energy.  And we suspect, because there were a couple jokers in the mix who opted to "run away" that there was an illusionist nearby (not named Ganny).  The illusionary cops will keep the thugs more or less busy, but a shot from Blast causes the powered badguys to re-think things.  In fact, the teleporter teleports out, leaving the decripid mechanical guy and the plant man on the roof.  This is not a good spot for plant man, as he says out loud to himself quite audibly several times.

Johnny plinks away at the plant man and Martha gets in a hit on the mechanical guy.  About now an armored humvee comes rolling up.  Now we all think it's an illusion but can't be certain.  Richard says outright "it's an illusion" which could spell disaster if he's wrong.  Regardless, we come to that old D&D philosophical question, if you believe an illusionary horse is real, could you ride it?  Well, Summer leaps onto the humvee with her superleap and goes right through it, even though she failed the save to disbelieve it.  So at least in this universe, no riding an illusionary horse.

Among the badguys tricks were creating a fragrant field of flowers around someone to put them to sleep, creating an illusionary field of fire around someone, and just plain getting hit lots of times, as was the case with Plant man, mostly bruises from Johnny Utah, but Summer gets in the final shot.  Mechanical dude is controlled by Richad throughout the fight, rendering him helpless since he wasn't given a task to perform that might cause him to resist.

Local cops confer with us on how to retain these guys.  Since the mechanical guy can do what Martha can do (travel through wires) he's a danger to get out of anywhere.  They end up rolling him up in wire to create a faraday cage.  Plant man can't escape except by teleporting into human sized plants so they just keep him away from those.

Interrogation yields that there are quite a few of these guys and that they live in a pineapple under the sea warren of tunnels under the golf course's water hazard.  They have a teleporter to get people in and out, and when he's not around one of their guys can control water, so they swim down to the airlock, go through, he uses his power to push the water out, and they come through.

We contemplated a bunch of different entry tactics and eventually take it back to just coming in as a group through the front door.  Peeking into the mind of one of them, Richard can get a glimpse of what the room looks like that Diamond was being held in, which is good, because when we storm the base we check all the rooms, avoiding most of the boobytraps (which are firecracker alarms) and can't find anyone, but then we also can't find the room Richard saw, which causes a second search using Ganny's x-ray vision.  He finally finds a wall that has an opening on the other side.

When Johnny goes to search it for levers he goes right through this illusion and on the other side are bad guys.  Specifically there's the guy who manipluates the water (River), the guy who turns things to stone (Peter Petrification), and possibly more.  We close in but we're all given cover by Crimson Fog!  We've brought the two ladies from the Angels to assist us in retrieving diamond.  This makes for a big setup with lots of characters.  Crimson Fog's obscurment covers 100ft radius making most of the area impossible to see through unless she lets you (which she does for us).  Peter petrification I believe went down on strikes.  River basically surrendered after his first bruise with teh classic "They made me do it!"  The important one it seems is a short guy named Master who collected this group together.

There's a lot of pursuit.  Heck, that's all my characters (Martha, Summer, Tina) end up doing, just running from place to place.  When Master, who rides the back of a strange 4-legged gluey guy, flees deep into the caves, we finally catch up with him and his remaining cohorts surrounding Diamond, ready to kill her.  That's when Crimson Fog (being played by Jim) requests a parlay.

While this scene is playing out, we are spread out a bit.  Tina is the furthest back in one of the caves, which is good because she happens to see Master and his riding-joker trying to sneak out.  She telepathys Martha, who tells he group.  Richard tries to read the mind of one of the people holding Diamond and as expected she's an illusion.  Everyone runs off in pursuit of Master, which we definitely catch because that's a shit ton of heroes to have pursuing you to an airlock that takes a bit of work to manipulate.

Diamond is saved, the Angels hold a celebration for us.  Most do not attend.  Blast does as the face of the group, accompanied by Cyberghost (since she's in the comic book, she feels she should make some kind of appearance; she usually leaves that to the others).  We stay overnight.

The Angels ask advice and we tell them, patrol in twos.  They ask if anyone wants to join them but we decline.  And the only person back at our place who would want to go there is Viking and they're not interested in him.


Richard, Johnny, and Martha

Back in LA, Martha looks into the disappearance of one of her online friends.  The more she looks into it the weirder it gets.  Seems she came back briefly and then vanished again.  When Martha arrives at the apartment she kept with two roommates, she discovers that LostGirl (The online handle of the young woman) is briefly remembered by one of the two people, and then within seconds forgotten.  Martha's on her way home and suddenly the girl is in the backseat of her car!  Seems she has a joker power where people can't see and eventually forget about her, and once she's out of sight again she's forgotten again.  Martha has to piece this together many times because she keeps forgetting.  This has been conferred to the other members of the team and LostGirl is aware of HEAL and ETHOS now.  We need to find a way to dampen powers to help both her and the vibrating girl, Phase.

A package shows up at HEAL addressed to Mark's character, but since he isn't there, we open it.  Inside is an old school dumb smartphone.  On it is a recorded message of a woman saying that we must solve this puzzle within 6 hours or a bomb will go off. If we solve it, she'll tell us where it is.  On the phone's memory is a picture of a locket with a strange emblem on it.  We dissect it, run it over the internet, do what we can do and eventually determine it belongs to a small band of rich folks who revel in dining on endangered species.  When she calls us we tell her this and she tells us where the bomb is and gives us the next clue.  What do Rinoceros, Chicken, Monkey, Lemur, Moose have to do with each other?

We dispose of the bomb with the first 90 minutes then get back to the clue.  Turns out that Jokers with those animal traits have all disappeared in the past year.  Also, because Alan didn't search on those terms, there's also a song called Chicken Moose Rhino Monkey, which of course could have been a hilarious red-herring if we didn't know better.  Satisfied, our caller gives us the next bomb locaation and then another thing to figure out (Who is killing the members of Epicurean lunatics).  All that they have in common is that 3 of them had the same professional chef, and they also were bleeding money... in regular intervals... with one of them actually running out of cash.  That was the first one to die.  Oh, and two of them died of an unknown and previously unseen disease.

So we head to this chef's house in Big Bear, confront her with the symbol of the epicureans, she leaves the room and Richard immediately follows in order to keep an eye on her, which tuns out to be a good move because she's gone!  She's gone invisible and grabbed a katana which she tries to use on Johnny Utah.  Martha calls in Tina, who immediately gets taken out by the woman and her disease casting abiltities.  A fight ensues in which Martha/Summer hit nothing, but Johnny Utah's area attacks hit, and Richard gets a hold in order to try to control her, but eventually we just end pecking away at her.  For an old lady, it takes while to bring her down but we do.

Now we have a problem in that our caller wants us to murder her and if not she'll set off the last 3 bombs.  We decide to fake her death using Johnny Utah's shapechange and disguise skills.  Also, we know who the caller is through process of elimination.  Discussion with chef lady showed that the one who she killed first and bankrupted had a wife.  We check out all her previously owned properties (now in foreclousre) with no luck.  We backtrack the call locations.  We figure out that she has some kind of hiding skill, as anyplace she went into she never came out of, so she probably chameleoned or teleported out.  We end up tracing the last call with Johnny's FBI help, We end up catching the blackmailer/bomber/riddler, and it was all about revenge of course.  She wanted the superppowered chef dead in return for killing her husband and causing her ruin.



Johnny, Richard, Ganny, and Martha

Johnny Utah wants to recruit some more people for when we have issues.  Most of the ones we know of who aren't already working for us have minor powers but might have been boosted since the last flash, so who knows.

The big incident for the game however is that when the team are at HEAL, an alarm goes off at ETHOS.  Calling ahead we find out that there are some creatures loose, possibly the mothman from the previous run of the game.  When we arrive, yup, he's out there, as is the man who creates him (he's a construct, like Martha's "friends"), a bad guy named Chupacabra.  Also, there's another guy loose and the duo are a handful for the team.  Most of the evening is spent on the fight for which we are at a disadvantage because of an inability to see them in the mothman's field of darkness.  Only Tina could see him at first and then she got taken out, and only Johnny could harm the mothman because of his area effect attack.

Eventually some of the guards bring out some nightvision goggles, which we eventually steal.  Richard gets control of the  summoned chupacabra (one of Chupacabra's cryptid pets) for a while and stills it long enough for the cops to take it down while we pursue the mothman and company to the next floor.

The fight comes to a halt when the witching hour comes (9pm) and we push on for another round and then freeze the fight with both of Martha's summoned friends down.




We pick up mid-fight.  Chupacabra (the villain, not his summoned creature) and Salamander are in our faces.  Through a combination of tap-tap-tapping away a point at a time and Merlin mind-controlling, we keep them to a minimum of damage this time but they aren't the big problem:  It's the others who have been freed and who are downstairs:  Ash, Blue Demon, and Spitter.  When Chupacabra makes a break for it, Martha uses the wires in the com room to port down to the first floor where she discovers them, Spitter salivating all over the exit door, whittling it away a bit at a time.  They as soon as the door is down Ash makes a run for it, and Blue Demon pauses a bit to try and take out his rage on Martha and others before he flees.  Spitter gets out, so now there are three on the run.  But we get chupacabra.

Seems the escape happened because Chup got an upgrade in the last Flash, able to summon a chupacabra that could eat through the doors with acid.  Together they conspired for the right time to escape, which was when the ETHOS heroes were out.

As for the people with minimal powers that we were considering recruiting:  We hire them all.  Johnny's thinking is that in the next flash they might get more powers and they'll already be on board.  Also, Viking and Johnny think that this is the best way to keep an eye on them.  To that end, Richard gets saddled with keeping them on board with his charm when some of them start to consider this boring and try to leave.

A crime is reported.  Seems drug dealers being burned up.  Some behind a gas station; a bystander says he saw someone on rooftops. Investigating rooftops Johnny finds another body (drug dealer) tied to a chimney and burned.  He was secured with a gooey net.  Richard's drug contacts tell him there is some kind of drug syndicate that is very low profile that could be targeted.  We set up a "counter patrol" to look for them.  We find nothing because it's just too big of a city.

Some hand-drawn pictures show up at HEAL that show two individuals we are familiar with:  Razor Spider and Cinder, two vigilantes from back in Issue 1, who burned a criminal to death.  They had a third partner with them, the White Knight.  We take a while trying to figure out how to find them and then the GM hands us another clue: A drawing shows up with a cross-street on it and a nebulous figure hiding in the shadows.  We go there, stake out a drug dealer that Richard knows from his "recreational" experiences, and sure enough the gang show up to take him out.

There's a near-fight, a near-treaty, then a a near-fight again because one of our newbies, Danger-Man (who teleports without any effor to the scene of danger within 300 ft) is a danger junkie who expects a fight and wants one.  But cooler heads prevailed. 

There's a long philosophical argument between Johnny Utah and them about how their powers can be used for good and they think their powers are being used for good.  They think we handle the bigger supercriminals and they take out the smaller criminals.  They can't be convinced.  Martha considers joining them.  Well, okay, not really, but they weren't entirely wrong.

We part with a threat to them that next time we find them about to take out someone we'll haul them in.  Danger-Man is confused.



Ganny, Merlin, Blast, Cyberghost

We get contacted by Blindside, who is still looking for his teammate, Alley Cat, who is last known to be under control of the mysterious African-American woman with pheremone powers.  He says he knows where she is and asks if we want to help.  We go back and forth on whether it's even worth it, since she's a teleporter who can just get away, has been mind controlled so long that she likely won't want to get way and will try to find her way back as soon as she can, and if we run into pheremone-woman how do we capture and retain her?

Anyway we eventually agree and go to the hotel she's at.  We rent the room below her, which is an identical suite (Putting it on the HEAL Titanium credit card).  Iron Archer, Blindside and Alley Cat's teammate, is with us.  We've got drugs, she's got taser-arrows, and we have Ganny watch up through the floor at what's going on.  Only two people there:  A butler (previously unseen) and a woman who doesn't look like Alleycat.  Iron Archer, via Blindside's remote viewing, tells us that he knows she's in there and she's the one at the north end of the table (which would be the unknown woman).  After Ganny seeps up through the floor and looks around at her stuff and can't tell us anything (even with Iron Archer looking at her stuff through his eyes).  So we just make our move.

Martha goes up through the wires and into a bedroom, Ganny goes in intangibly and pretty much unseen, Iron Archer swings in from the balcony, Johnny Utah breaks in the glass doors, and Merlin teleports in.  There's a struggle with the following highlights:

We get out with the person we came for and everyone in one piece, though it takes a bit for blindness to wear off.

Incidentally, coming up is a conference for law enforcement people dealing with superpowered individuals.  Joker-Con?  In game time it's in two weeks.  I believe in game terms that is outside the projected range of the next flash?

 GAME 14

The Doctor has found a way to keep Phase from vibrating painfully and it involves a blanket attuned to her frequency.  Problem is, he's had to use a lot of his resources to do that, ones he normally uses for other gadgets, so his pool is currently allocated.  We'll have to figure out something more permanent.

We jump ahead a few weeks to the conference for law professionals dealing with super-criminals.  We are there for added security.  Somehow the information leaked about the conference and some mutant rights protestors showed up.  That led to some anti-mutant protestors showing up as well.  An uneasy shouting match ensues outside the building.  Johnny Utah tries to talk wtih a menacing joker (Impasse?  Impose?  I can't remember.) who gets in the faces of the "anti" side.  He's not logical and just wants to stir up trouble.

We make it all the way to lunch before anything bad happens.  After lunch, come a few more jokers one of whom is "Flight Risk", a bird-man who picks a fight with Johnny Robocop Utah.  Takes a few rounds for the inside team (Summer and Martha) to get outside.  Meanwhile the outside team of Blast, Merlin, and Tina deal with the fighting.  Blast and Flight Risk peck away at each other one bruise at a time.  A big gelatinous individual with razor sharp bones inside his body joins in, named "Bloblin", and after making one move ends up controlled by Merlin, who has him first do jumping jacks (which looks really weird when you're made of jello.  (Watch it quiver!  See it shiver!...)  Impass/Impose sets up these big spherical bubble areas, and not to be outdone, Flight Risk sets up bigger spherical areas of sustained wind!  Taking most of the damage on our side is Blast.  Bloblin and Flight Risk take lots of dents.  Impass/Impose flees and we let him.  Flight Risk eventually tries to leave but gets chased down by Johnny Utah and hauled back.  About that time, Merlin's mind control is dropping, so he tries to instruct him to surrender, loses the grip, and everyone is left to attack, whacking hunks of jello off of him with each ablative blow.  But we got him.

The conference continues and it turns out they came up with some good results that they will see about implementing and of course find out what the legislature/human rights groups/etc. do about it.

Back at HEAL office, a woman comes in and wants to speak to someone in charge.  We send Johnny Utah, but since it's a lady we send handsome Richard too.  She wants to know WHY she should work for us.  It's evident almost immediately that we're bidding against other agencies/groups and Supervilliany.  She's not interested in doing good as a motivator.  Martha, who is manning the cameras, texts them to refer her to the Angels, who are high profile and might be more to her taste.  She, incidentally, has a less attractive true form with gray shark-like skin and bulbous eyes.  She is "Electric Eel".  She leaves, but hopefully she takes us up on doing good in Vegas since they need the help.  We all knew she'd be a bad fit for us.

And that brings us to the other bad fit.  Arriving in the mail (hand delivered) is a padded envelope with a thumbdrive.  When Martha reviews it she finds that on it is a video of Vertigo, one of our part-timers, meeting someone in an alley for just an brief instant.  They get in game-terms to adjacent hexes, then turn around and walk aways.  Scanning the video on slow it is discovered that briefly there is some kind of black dome-like emanation that for a split second surrounds them before they part.

After considering our options we put Summer (concealment and stealth) on watch, keeping an eye during non-work hours.  After a couple days she does the exact same thing in another location.  Summer tracks him until he goes down an alley, glances around and then vanishes in mid-alley.  We take the video to Vertigo's house and withhold that we were spying on her.  We tell her about it suddenly showing up and ask what's going on.  (By the way, it seemd to be filmed on a handheld device and from a rooftop; we figured out where, but there were no clues on the scene where the picture was taken or where the duo were standing on the ground.)

She is disturbed that someone was spying on her.  She says it's her brother and that he's got issues.  She claims he changes shape every day to look like someone else and so he never looks the same and can't keep a job.  We're not sure we buy it.  Especially since she says her meeting with him was longer than we saw and that his power makes it so that electronic devices don't catch anything "Just like Martha's".  Well, we know better, since Summer experienced no time distortion when she watched it live the second time.

We thank her, offer to give her brother a job, and leave.  Summer remains in the shadows to surveil.  Unfortuantely, she gets out in the night and takes everything with her.  All the stuff in her apartment is generic; it's a veneer of normalcy, a false cover.  We don't know why she was in our organization or why.  She's not given special access, and she almost never was at Ethos.

We break the news to Viking, whom Richard has diagnosed had a crush on her.  He doesn't take it well and takes a few days off.

Could Vertigo be the one who leaked to the public the conference?



Merlin, Blast, Ganny, and Cyberghost

 Phase is talking so she chats with us.  She can't do much more than sit under the special blanket and be sad, but she remembers nothing from her time in the other universe, and in this one she only remembers flashes of her capture by the Joe Rogan Experience.  She never even saw the pheremone woman... at least that she recalls.

We run down a bunch of dead end ideas and end up where we were when we started the night.

However, someone has been polishing off more thugs in China Town.  These are small-time shakedown artists trying to squeeze money from local businesses.  They vanish without a trace.  We go to the general area, talk with (and mind-read) a local shop owner.  We talk to a chinese restaurant owner; one thing she says that's interesting is when asked about thugs in the area trying to shakedown businesses, she says "I don't let them in here."  That's just something to file away until later when we're investigating someone who disappeared from the alley behind the Chinese Restaurant and all that was left was a tiny hole in the ground.  Hacking their video system yields a good view of a thug being grabbed by a cable that whips up from the ground and then drags him down through the hole, which closes over top.  Later will be investigating another disappearance and get some footage in which someone gets captured the same way, and also a tree runs into frame an grabs someone and hauls them away.

The family who own the restaurant had 5 kids and we suspect they have something to do with the 5 Chinese elements (Water, Earth, Metal, Fire, and Wood).  We've seen the effects of 3 of them.  And they seem to be guarding the restaurant!

(Game ended here; session was only two hours due to people who go waylaid on the way to the zoom.)



Merlin, Blast, Ganny, and Martha

We get a report of giant translucent turtles falling from the sky.  We arrive and they are indeed that.  They vary in size from 1 hex to many hexes.  They fall from the sky and drift to the ground.  Any hit followed by a toughness miss of 10 or more causes a turtle to pop.  Johnny and Merlin manage to figure out that the turtles are falling in the distance and that we should head East.  Johnny eventually finds up 2 miles in the sky is a 40' tall man, who happens to be TAO, the turtle-themed superhero from earlier. Johnny gets its attention and it comes after him.  Johnny lures it back to us and we try to fight it but his shell is deflecting most shots.  Johnny winds up dinging it a few times, as did Summer before she got bit in half and vanished.  Tina manages to scare it hard enough that it tries to flee.

Around then, Merlin gets ahold of Tao's brain and swaps with it.  This means Merlin's body is occupied by the terrified Tao who tries to run away.  Merlin brings Tao's body back to where we can try to capture it (Mostly by beating it down).  Eventually we get Tao somewhere where we can chain it up.  It takes days to get approval and to dial in some anti-psychotic drugs to mellow him out.  But he's whacked out mentally in a way that won't see him being productive again.

During those days of figuring out Tao's habitat, we get alerted that the Chinese restaurant is seeing activity near midnight.  We had let that slide because they were only taking out bad guys.  But now the cops are there because someone tried to firebomb the building and wound up being destroyed for their troubles.  We work with the police.

An illusionary set of Ganny thugs sent to the restaurant get thrashed by the elementals.  An Illusion of the family matriarch does not get attacked, and one of them even makes itself seen (The Tree one).  So Merlin takes the old lady who owns the restuarant up close so they can try to communicate with the tree girl.  Turns out they were affected by the pulse but only recently got fully transformed.  They changed into the five elements and then two of them (fire and water) both vanished (in a puddle and up in flames).  The other three:  Wood, Steel, and Earth remain there, hidden, guarding the family business.  They have a lessened intelligence, protecting the place during its closing hours.  We arrange to get the bodies out of there the next morning when they "open".

This means Martha got very lucky when she went in there to investigate the first time.  If they'd seen her she would have been attacked and maybe had a round to get out and flee.  But they didn't see her.

So technically they are still "at large" but if no one attacks the building or its owners there shoudln't be a problem.  And the thugs having lost another five or so people ended up with not enough people to continue their shakedowns.

And that's the end of this run of the game temporarily.  When we resume we will pick up at the same level in the same area.  Alan is halfway through this storyline.