Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Aeon V-Team S01E02 - Down the Rabbit Hole


Dramatis Personae
Ciera A. Maeweather aka Weather Girl (played by +Christian Gelacio): Considered the weather manipulator (and News Channel 4's meteorologist). Ciera can control the local weather in a variety of ways including earthquakes and the oceans. Highly trained original member of the Valiants and master of Capoeira.
Sigyn A. “Ginny” Locke aka Valkyrie (played by +Ann LS): Original member of the Valiants. Team captain of the second response team. Battlesuit wearing pyro- and chronokinetic with multiple secondary abilities including Savant capabilities, flexible bones, immunity to mental control,  an "awe" aura, and the ability to "summon" her possessions (which is how she gets in her battlesuit).
Janos K. "John" Nemonovich aka Doctor Mnemonic (played by +Troy Loy): Incredibly intelligent savant from another reality (which experienced the TAP during the late 1800s vs. late 1900s). Immortal with a perfect memory and eternally youthful body. Wears a costume with a "steampunk" aesthetic.
Sophia O. Saki aka Silkworm (played by +Natiel Leealexander): Mute fabric-controlling metahuman. Secondary abilities includes telepathic bond with identical sisters (they were triplets) and "forgetfulness" aura (people can't remember her). Her signature ability is to manipulate fabric to produce strong "tendrils."

Alicia I. Milam aka Howler (NPC): Once viglanate and still angry orphan with a chip on her shoulder and "perfect physical coordination" - she can bounce a quarter from the floor to a soda machine and hit every time. Looks up to the others as family she never had. Riki-Tiki-Tavi (NPC): An Ivory Labs "Doolittler" (an altered animal like Yukio from B-Team), Riki-Tiki-Tavi or "Tiki" is a semi-sapient mongoose with obsession for anything sweet - but especially cookies. His bite is toxic and insanely strong (about 23,000 PSI or ST 120). He has enhanced reflexes, regenerative ability, and an enhanced sense of smell.
Lucian A. de Keye aka Warlock (NPC): Lucian (or Lu as he prefers to be called) is a metahuman who can control darkness and space (including teleportation) and a sorceror. His powers are not linked, but he likes using darkness as a means for getting in and out with his teleportation. He can make constructs of darkness and is a capable skirmish porter.


Meanwhile...
Previously, the PCs had managed to capture the villain Requiem. Moreover, they were also given front row seats to an explosive manifestation by one of Requiem's hench-things. Sigyn had deduced that Requiem had used his abilities to mindwash his thugs she opted to take the newly manifested metahuman to the Fortress (aka Locke Tower) and render both medical and assistance at helping train his abilities.

Go Ask Alice

Friendly Skies and Chance Meetings
Weather Girl
Mount Sinai Beth Israel, 33°F, Light Snow
Friday, January 6th, 2017, 5:00 pm

First Avenue at 16th Street, New York, NY 10003

Weather Girl leaves the Mall to get away from the paparazzi and instead goes to Mount Sinai's children's ward (a place she often visits). Flying in a window she notices the door is barred from the inside and a raven-haired woman is talking to the kids.
The Pusher: "So what do you have?"
Sick Kid: "Glee-Bast-Omaha."
The Pusher: "Not for long."
Weather Girl identifies the woman now: it's Elena Pushkov aka the Pusher - a metahuman "gray cape" with the ability to create customized drugs and chemicals to the subject. Normally, the Pusher charges for her products but she's widely known to visit hospitals, hospices, and other places for the dying and simply cure them because she can. After some amusing dialogue and flirting on Elena's part the Pusher continues injecting the sick children with cures customized especially for their unique biochemical makeup and disease.

Eventually, Weather Girl uses a gust of wind to open the barred door and several doctors rush in to stop the Pusher. Weather Girl seeing the other woman is trying to help uses her "star cred" (spending a Karma Point) and distracts the doctors giving the Pusher time to escape. Noting that she owes her, the Pusher assents and slips Weather Girl her cell number.


Uncle Sam Wants You!
Dr. Mnemonic, Silkworm, Valkyrie, & Weather Girl
Locke Tower, 33°F, Light Snow
Friday, January 6th, 2017, 5:00 pm

181 W 68th Street, New York, NY 10023

Several hours have passed and the Valiants are back at the Tower. Their "guest" is secured in the medbay and only Dr. Mnemonic and Valkyrie are allowed in and out. Their guest (identified as Manawanui "Manny" Watihana by fingerprint scan) has apparently become a being made of "living" metal and is emitting a constant magnetic pull. Normally this wouldn't be an issue, but Manny is unconscious and can't shift back and the bullets that Howler split in half with her knives are lodged in her body (two in her lower right abdomen and one in her upper left shoulder).

Manny is stuck in between a partially "fleshy" state and a partially "metallic" one. Dr. Mnemonic ends up breaking multiple surgical instruments trying to pull the bullets (failed Surgery roll) out so Valkyrie comes up with a plan: Warlock can use his spatial warping to teleport the bullets out of her (essentially an exoportation power stunt). He succeeds, but only gets two. The third bullet is in the shoulder and Silkworm uses her control over fabric to get a surgical thread into place and "pop" the bullet outward. (This was a power stunt to use Telekinesis for thread only.)

Manny recovers rapidly in his powered state and eventually "depowers" and turns back in his his fleshy form... except Manny is a she not a he. Trying to pass as the opposite gender, Manny wore baggy clothing and bound her breasts. The confusion was also ramped up by the fact that Manny's other self was biologically male. (In Aeon, the state of a metahuman's mind, their environment, and those around them can heavily contribute to how their powers manifest. Since Manny thinks of himself as a "he," his living metal form was the image of how he thought he should be.)

Sigyn explains that he was being controlled by Requiem and that he manifested as a metahuman. Instead of being taken to Riker's Island, Sigyn and the Valiants requested that he be remanded into their custody. Extremely suspicious Sigyn tells him she doesn't care what he did or was, only what he'll do and who is - with the Valiants Manny could save lives and put his abilities to use. She talks with him for hours distracting him while Dr. Mnemonic runs numerous tests to ensure his health.

Eventually, Manny tells Sigyn what she already suspected: he was working for a criminal so he could save up money for an (sex change) operation and a steady income to get his grandmother out of a nursing home. Eventually he wanted to bring the rest of his family over (though Manny practically grew up in New York City and had been there over a decade having immigrated with his mother, father, and grandmother). Sigyn makes him a deal: he agrees to get his powers under control via an AEGIS trainer and work with the Valiants for at least six months as a pro-tem member of their team and she'll make calls. When he asks her what kind of "calls" she responds with: "A call to AEGIS, a call to a judge to drop the charges against you, a call to the nursing home, a call to the Secretary of State to get your family asylum under the D.A.I.N.A. Act, and a call to the Sculptor who can perform the operation you desire in a day." (Sigyn's player makes a straight reaction roll and rolls a perfect 18. Look's like she has a friend for life.) The judge agrees to drop the charges if Weather Girl comes to his neice's birthday party that weekend. Weather Girl agrees and says:
Weather Girl: "It's going to be 70 degrees sunny with winds in the south west and five to ten miles an hour. 70% humidity. NO CHANCE OF RAIN."
Governor: "But its winter..."
Weather Girl: "It will be an Indian Summer."
Manny is overwhelmed (and still very suspicious) and asks for time to think about it. A few hours later, he agrees and Sigyn draws up a contract. She then does exactly what she said she would and something extra: she gets Weather Girl to use her new relationship with Elena Pushkov aka the Pusher to create a genetic regimen using her abilities (The Pusher can create any sort of drug, chemical, poison, etc. with her powers) that will switch his XY chromosome to an XX.

(AEGIS is also impressed with Dr. Mnemonic's first tests and figure Manny for at least a Bruiser-7 and Controller-7 on the MLR Scale.)

A week passes by...

...and Dr. Mnemonic putters around in his lab and learns a new language...
...and Valkyrie learns Māori, putters around in the lab with the others, and spends time with Warlock...
...and Weather Girl works the community outreach program for the Valiants...
...and Silkworm spends time working on a new type of protective fabric...


Vroom Vroom Vacuum
Weather Girl
Locke Tower, 33°F, Light Snow
Wednesday, January 9th, 2017, 1:00 pm

181 W 68th Street, New York, NY 10023

...mid week Elena Pushkov calls Weather Girl and asks for a favor: She needs to create a vacuum seal in a container that has no opening. Silkworm signs in the background "DO EET. WE NEED TO BE FRIENDS WITH HER," but Weather Girl flies outside to finish the phone call. Eventually, she agrees to help her but that results in the Pusher owing her two favors. Flying to her location she seals the box and uses her ability to create mobile "ball" of vacuum that can reseal itself if put in an airtight container (this was done by spending Karma Points and "changing the world"). The two have coffee before Weather Girl heads back to Locke Tower.


Uncle Sam Wants You!
Dr. Mnemonic, Silkworm, Valkyrie, & Weather Girl
Locke Tower, 33°F, Light Snow
Friday, January 6th, 2017, 5:00 pm

181 W 68th Street, New York, NY 10023

...when Agent  Trueman Templeton (the Valiant's AEGIS liaison) arrives. The normally unflappable man is slightly nervous and informs the second response team for the Valiant's (e.g., the PCs) that the other team - including Artillery, the seemingly invulnerable man - has disappeared while working a mission for AEGIS. Templeton keeps getting blocked for further information by the new Assistant Director of East Coast Operations for AEGIS - Rodney "Hotrod" Frazer. Sigyn bypasses the AD completely and goes right to the Director. After a quick conversation lots of cursing is heard on the other line and he informs her to gather every meta she can and met him on the roof in 20 minutes. They pick up Weaver (called by Silkworm to help who spends a Karma to succeed her Appearance roll) and Material Girl (who arrives in a limo and pulled in via Weaver) before heading to their next to last stop: Breakfast at Epiffanies. Weather Girl calls in one of her favors (though Silkworm just says "GET HER TO GO ON A DATE AND SHE'LL DO IT." - which might have worked). Instead, the Pusher agrees to help - strictly as support since the situation does sound dire.

Daniel goes to speak with Urich Rosenkrantz and while the PCs can't hear what they are saying at first (Warlock conjures a tiny gate to listen through) it's still pretty clear: Urich is pissed at Daniel. After a while the old man heads to his storage locker in the backroom and gathers weapons and gear before joining the rest of the team in the Kestrel VTOL.


Welcome to Wonderland
Dr. Mnemonic, Silkworm, Valkyrie, & Weather Girl
Dodge Physical Fitness Center, 42°F, Clear skies
Friday, January 13th, 2017, 8:00 pm

3030 Broadway, New York, NY 10027

Heading toward their destination the Director gives them SITREP: DARPA has been secretly running a metahuman "team" - the Wonderlanders - and has lost control of one of the most powerful metahumans on the planet. Dr. Roger Hargreaves had an ability to store objects in a localized extradimensional space and eventually realized her could do more: He could literally control reality around him. Knowing he would never be a decent combatant and fearing what another could do to him should they gain control of him, he created an experiment to make a "trap" in his mind. It failed. Badly. 

It drove him insane and lead him to believe that he was the Mad Hatter from Lewis Carroll's Alice and Wonderland. When others tried to break his delusion it made him worse. Realizing the potential of both his mind and abilities DARPA gathered together a team to enforce his delusion (and thus his calmness) and to act as a mechanism to control him. Queen (a meta who derived power from the adoration/love others had for her), Alice (a reality warper who had her own pocket dimension), Dormouse (a psychiatrist who saw to Hatter's needs and could "shrink"), Cheshire (who could geolocate his body parts elsewhere), and White Rabbit (who was an excellent fighter and physically fit and could bludgeon Hatter unconscious if need be). Working with them was Mishka Rosenkrantz who was helping Hatter decipher his experiments notes and trying to reverse what he did to himself (Note: the Hatter thinks that Mishka is Dinah the kitten). AEGIS was aware the team had managed to get Hatter back to his old stomping grounds at Columbia - but something happened and then they lost contact.

The Director informs them that an upfront fight with Hatter will be impossible. He literally can't die thanks to his ability to warp reality. When Silkworm asks why they were bothering with firepower the Director goes quiet and it's Weather Girl who answers: because Hatter's projections (constructed beings he's made thanks to his delusion) will not want to be unmade and thus will need to be fought. The Director breaks his people into three teams: one led by him, one led by Katori (his sister and right-hand man), and one led by Sigyn. The rest of the group are divided up to cover multiple needs and they land in front of the Fitness Center which is being blocked off by dozens of AEGIS personnel ready to go in...


After Action Report/Rules Notes
This session went very smooth (despite me cooking chicken curry - which was yum by the way). Not a lot of combat action, but lots of roleplaying and relationship building. Those who follow along can see how I'm weaving the narratives of the other teams together into a cohesive whole. I really enjoyed the back and forth between the Pusher and Weather Girl and the team's reaction to Manny. Breaking down what the Hatter could do involved lots of cursing from Silkworm's player, but reality warpers are a PITA. It did spark some interesting ideas from Sigyn's player though ("Let's prepare roles from the books for ourselves instead of him assigning one to us"). That was a bit of brilliance that might just pay off in the end. We'll see next game session.


Session Soundtrack
"Empire State of Mind" by Alicia Keys and Jay-Z (Opening Song)
"I Kissed a Girl" by Katy Perry (during Weather Girl and the Pusher's interactions)
"Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne (While on Kestrel)
"In the House, in a Heartbeat" (The Director explaining who Hatter is)
"White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane (Closing song)

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