Issue #4, Vol. 2 (March 24th, 2007)
THE ALPHA MALE
Short on people, I almost didn't run. So instead we ran a half-day.
While they are figuring out how to get 157 miles back to the mainland in quick order, *poof*, Eldritch arrived and unceremoniously dumped bridge out onto the helipad with a warning to her: "For your own sakes you'd best hurry." Then *unpoof* he's gone.
Bridge memorizes a spot to teleport back to while the (small) team decide whether to wait the ten minutes for the transfer of Godzilla or whether to teleport back and then come back as fast as they can. And what's Eldritch's motive? The Japanese contacts are just 15 minutes out from the rig.
[THE ROAD NOT TAKEN: Had the team decided to do their delivery first, they still would have been able to deal with the same guy at the base, but in that ten-minute wait they would have encountered ANACH agents! Because you heeded Eldritch's warning and went back to the base quickly, the agents didn't have the opportunity to materialize and engage the team. Congratulations on your first wise choice, and in "going around my adventure". But I figured there was a 60% chance you'd go back to base and avoid them.]
So the team teleports back to the base and into a safe point. It seems when Bridge ported in there earlier she discovered that all of the teleportation spots were covered with stuff to make them impossible to port into without hurtin yourself, which Bridge did. Fortunately Rift could heal that.
The characters look around the base and discover that Audra's room's door is open, as is Dr. T's, and someone has written scribblings all over the walls. Foreign languages both active and dead, random phrases, astrological signs, hobo signs, unknown script symbols, notations used in the city's underneath, mathematical formulas, and so on. It's written in anything available... pen, chalk, pencil... feces. Characters determine it does not belong to anyone whose writing they have seen.
GG gathers his robots. Dr. T's room is trashed. Audra's room is functioning, she's just not in it. A quick computer roll by Rift allows him to call up each room with cameras. This includes activating some inactive cameras in private rooms. The only area that is blacked out is the hallway on the next floor down. A glimpse from the boardroom cam shows that there is writing on the wall outside the conference room, so something similar is going on down there.
Robots take the elevator while Bridge ports the others down to the cafeteria. In the blacked-out hallway they find Audra Blue unconscious. Seems she was knocked back into the wall pretty hard and took about 9 BODY of damage plus a lot of STUN. Also in the hall is a naked man, drawing on the wall and muttering all sorts of incoherent and/or unexplainable things.
A steambot initiates combat by grabbing him. At that point he uses his wireless version of Audra Blue's cyberkinesis to summon two of the base's security robots (a feature no one had seen yet). The bots really just tie up the two steam bots, because it seems Mr. Naked Guy can phase right through inorganic matter and he chooses to pass through the robots and go down to the cellar.
[Note: The inorganic matter trick is courtesy of Stonesphere, former member of the original Sentinels, whose DNA information was available in the base computers. In addition to his passing-through-matter trick, he lent to the situation a vulnerability to magic-based attacks. There's no 'magic' on his world.]
Naked Guy passed through the floor and headed for the Doctor's holding cell. The team scrambles to intercept.
Rift's find weakness manages to cut his foe's energy defense in half for the benefit of his energy blast attack. This is a good move, as when Naked guy makes it to The Doctor's cell, a strange synergy takes place; The occupying force that the Doctor has been desperately trying to keep buried exits him and moves into Naked Guy. By the way, Naked Guy is named "Alpha" and we'll get into that later. His Ego bounces up another 5pts, and a few powers increase (the mental ones) by a few dice, reaching their full amounts.
Most of the rest of the fighting involves Rift blasting him, robots grappling him, and Geoff Gardner trying to get in his way. His next move is to head back upstairs to the nearest computer (as there is none in that area downstairs) and dredge up some information. At one point he punches Geoff Gardner with the "oversized fist punch" of Mercury. With that power came Mecury's issues with Electricity. But you'd have only known that if you knew he had that problem.
He's picked up along with Audra Blue's cyberkinesis (wireless version) Audra's agoraphobia. He was going to have to go through the underground to escape; Something I gave him about an 80% chance of being able to do in my handicapping.
Note that the strange detachment from reality he experienced at times was courtesy of Orland's DNA. With that he also had his spatial awareness. In this version of this disad/power combo, he could seed things coming but couldn't always interpret their significance until they hurt him. Then he'd snap into reality.
Off of the computers upstairs he manages to pull up information on the sewer plans below.
In the end, when he discovers he needs to get out now and will kick in his best escape powers, he's run into a Catch 22: He's in the grasp of a steambot. If he uses his mental powers to disable Rift, the Robots will crush the last couple STUN from his body. If he targets the robots, that's a physical action and his place moves down the order behind Rift, who can then blast those last couple STUN from him.
The combo of robots and rift manage to knock him out twice but he's brought back by having a free round to recover and a post segment 12 recovery. The third time's the charm as they bludgeon him into unconsciousness and deliver him unto PRIMUS who have shown up outside and are trying to figure out how to enter.
The team head back to the rig and meet with the incoming Japanese. They meet Akitsumikami (Aki—tsu—mi—kami), specifically the 17th incarnation of the Japanese hero called "Manifest Kami" or "Spirit which has appeared in reality", and his sidekick, the very lovely but mute Geisha. He's very hospitable, meets the duo, and accepts the handoff. At the same time, he picks up the Japanese villains captured last game. In return he hands two folders of information which are in Japanese.
They are declassified information about a Japanese sighting of the sub the team recovered underwater two games ago. Apparently it was spotted in 1942 delivering Germans to a meeting of Axis powers and was commanded by a primarily English speaking man.
The second file is about a man named Henri Le Coeur, a Zoologist who is probably the third link in the "genetic information sharing" between Dr. Bond and Dr. Tewelleker. The characters find out that he's a Zoologist and that he was sought by the Japanese government for trying to procure $2 Million dollars in HXL (the power-causing chemical that only works on humans). Since it only works on humans, what could he possibly want if for as a zoologist? In any event, he was in Japan at that time, vacated and fled to South Africa. And while he could be anywhere, it's probable that he's taken up residence in one of three places where he could get HXL in quantity: Japan, China, or the U.S. The general opinion is that he failed in Japan, and China would never allow an outsider to buy such a thing from them.
The team met with Uncle Slam and found that "the Doctor" who recalls his name is Phil Swanson, has no powers any longer. They are in the very, very drugged "Alpha", so named because that was Dr. T's designation for the experiment that birthed him. He was a clone of "The Doctor", given all of the genetic advantages of those in the base whose DNA he could get his hands on. And a few of their disadvantages too.
The team now has the coordinates from Paragon of where the sub was brought down originally. It seems it was sunk in the Atlantic. Some discussion was made about going to look at the scene but nothing was decided. There was also discussion of investigating Aquan Industries (AI) because they fun Project Sea Life, and there are two members of that crew of freaks who are missing, and because there could be information there pertaining to the third geneticist, Le Coeur, but no move made. A brief search of the sewers was done, but that was just to reassure themselves that he was only looking for an escape route to get away underground (which he was) when Alpha called up that map on the display.
Sounds like a lot, and it sorta is, but it was only a half-day session.