- Rafe Hanlon aka Nyx (played by Chris D.): An umbrakinetic and a petty thief out of prison on work release. Tagline: “Not for glory, not for fame…. For one person. In the dark. Where no one will ever know or see.”
- Amar Gupta (played by Christian): Brick. Taxi Driver. Ass-Kicker. Sikh. Tagline: “Being a man of faith means to live it.”
- Ian Owari aka The Commander (played by Douglas): Telekinetic super-soldier with a really angry dog (Yukio). Tagline: “TBA”
- Marduk (played by James): TBA. Tagline: “TBA”
- Kenneth Rhames aka Doctor Thanatos (played by Merlin): TBA. Tagline: “TBA”
- Yukio (NPC Ally): Very intelligent and very, very aggressive.. Tagline: “Woof.”
Previously . . .
When the team gets back to the states, they immediately put Cosgrove on a fast trip to the metahuman wing of Riker’s island, keeping him sedated without a chance of waking up. After dropping him off, they’re flown upstate in the upper Westchester area of New York, right by a river where they have landing pad set up and a building in the process of being constructed. There’s a sign there that says “Future Home of Project Vanguard”. Apparently the eccentric rich man named Maxwell Robertson having donated a large amount of money to get the project off the ground. There’s a rather large construction crew working on the half-done compound, it may not be complete but there’s still rooms and completed buildings.
When they land, there’s a comely but narrowed eyed individual waiting for them, Jannat Bernheimer. Dr. Thanatos casually walks very slowly towards her, she pulls out a pocket watch and sighs dramatically before telling them to follow her to their quarters and show them the facilities that are ready to be used, including a training room.
New HQ, Who Dis?
Doctor Thantos, Iron Sikh, Marduk, Nyx, and the Commander
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2017, 1:00 am (EST)
Tomkins Cove, NY 10986
It’s a rather nice and modern building, lots of clean lines and glass where Thanatos asks about the lounge and directed towards it. She apologizes for the state of the wet bar since they haven’t imported everything in yet. Apparently it’s Mr. Nikolade’s project since Robertson isn’t around any longer. Thanatos decides that he’s better off relaxing in the lounge while the rest follow her.
The quarters are rather spacious and a bit posh, 1,200 square feet per person which includes the bathroom with hot tub, shower, whole nine yards but the quarters share a single large kitchen with a walk in freezer. There’s a normal exercise room with an empty pool that’s in the process of being assembled. The rooms themselves are labeled with people’s names, only five at listed currently and the Commander has to share with Yukio. Thantos, after the group has left, takes himself on his own tour having been mildly insulted that they were left with an intern.
They’re shown to the training room where there’s a technician working on things while Marduk investigating the security systems, apparently they have cameras and robots guarding the locations, though not in the bedrooms since they value privacy, Marduk insists that they put a camera in his room to guard him while he’s most vulnerable while Nyx asks about safes in the room before dropping off the $12,000 he earned from the poker game.
Finally getting into the training room, they find several robots lined up doing some line dancing while a young man, Lewis Voorhees, is tapping on a laptop nearby. With the man issuing a command, the robots stop mid move and the man explains that he didn’t expect guests and the line dancing is a good method of testing their agility. Asking if they’d like some experience with the training room, Marduk seems to want to try it out while Thanatos asks what they’re meant to actually do. Their entire point is to help simulate various real life scenarios, intrigued by it, Thanatos taps it and smashes it with his cane causing the arm to fall off. Lewis has been working on the project for several years and is excited to see what they can do, though he’s not too thrilled with the idea that he’ll have more things to do.
The tech asks if they want to see the environmental simulation and upon agreement, he messes around with a control panel and they’re now in a savannah with lions and grass. It’s a hard light hologram which Thanatos doesn’t understand entirely while Marduk messes up a bit claiming to be all hard. Realizing what he’s said, Marduk walks off to pet a lion that doesn’t take kindly to the physical contact and tries to attack Marduk. Dodging the bite, Marduk claims the cat is poorly trained while the tech switches it back to the plain metal room.
Thanatos suggests that they make a scenario about the Great War which the tech doesn’t seem thrilled with. The executive assistant alerts them that there’s an agent from the CIA that wants to speak with them, normally they’d be debriefed as a successful mission but as there wasn’t much to add on they didn’t bother with it. They’re led to the final room that they haven’t been shown, a conference room. There’s tables, chairs, wrap around television sets, a normal high tech conference room containing several men in suits, a main man with two men flanking him now nicknamed Igg and Ook.
Thanatos leads off while the CIA man, “Lynch”, stares at Thanatos, wondering if he’s met Thanatos somewhere before giving a false smile that doesn’t touch his eyes. Apparently the CIA has a job they need them to do, such as taking down metahumans on a most wanted list since they did so well with Cosgrove. They find a dossier on an Eastern Eurasian named Ravil Vingradova, someone that’s been playing murderer for hire and wanted in eight different nations for war crimes. He’s currently playing around in Syria with the civil war. The CIA aren’t sanctioning him, they want him alive and brought in. They haven’t seen rifle rounds penetrate his skin, and they’re not sure where he came from but he really showed up on the scene shortly after the TAP in ’99.
By the time he was 14, he was over 7’ tall and was one of the youngest Spetsnaz they ever took. They hunted him down to a small town on the border with Turkey where he’s managed to train up several of the local fighters to a decent level along with several of his old unit. As far as they know, the rest of the folks are normal, just the regular run of the mill special operations with .50 calibers. As far as they can tell, Ravil’s family died after the TAP, his father working at the electric substations and others dying afterwards.
They don’t know exactly what Ravil is doing there, which is part of why they’re outsourcing the job to Project Vanguard. The best guess they’ve got is that he’s selling firearms or new biological weapons. They get some operational funds that’s handed off to Amar along with some survival gear and some clothing to help blend. They’re going to have to be dropped and make their way across the border. While in transit, several of the team gets a bit of rest on their way to their destination.
Assault on Armanaz
Doctor Thantos, Iron Sikh, Marduk, Nyx, and the Commander
Wednesday, March 23rd, 2017, 12:00 am (UTC+3)
Armanaz, Idlib. Syria
They’re dropped off about a half mile from shore and have to swim in about a half mile while Nyx takes a moment to just shift into Shadow Form and warps to shore. They manage to get to shore fairly easily while Nyx is sitting there nice and dry. They take a moment to dry off and then get on their way. With Commander and Amar leading the way to the border. They find an SUV very slowly crossing in front of them going along a predetermined path. Nyx, full of mischief, pops into the SUV, kills the map light on the overhead, steals the keys, drops them under the driver’s seat, and then warps back to the team with the guards suitably distracted.
The guard seems like they see the team for a moment before he continues to argue with his partner and the team gets across the border safely. It doesn’t take long before they get to a small city, filled mostly with wattle and daub buildings with some of the more modern ones having been bombed out. They see guards at entrances checking people and possibly enforcing curfew. They’re obviously ISIL’s men and not Ravil’s. There’s some recon going on past the wall, with them deciding to infiltrate through the alleyway on the other side. It takes some time, but they’re in the city limits now stealthing through the back alleys.
There’s roving patrols that are mostly on the back of jeeps and other cars and the team tries to make a plan of attack to find Ravil. They find a lone man to abduct, but Thanatos isn’t able to sneak up behind him, but he is able to strike the soldier first and drains the man, but not enough to drop him. The soldier attempts to shoot Thanatos but isn’t able to get his weapon ready. The man gets drained to death and his form, and clothing, stolen by Thanatos.
While Commander backs up Thanatos, Nyx studies up the aerial map and suggests that Marduk checks out the electrical grid and finds most of the electricity is drawn at the more modern buildings outside of the town proper. Over the next few days they go through and map out locations and people. All patrols are in pairs, multiple overwatch areas, consolidated places for off duty guards. There’s about a hundred guards inside the city. Outside the city, there’s a larger enclave where there’s better trained guards/members of al-Qaeda and where they find the Spetsnaz. There’s around 6000 civilians left in the city and surrounding areas.
In the enclave, there’s security alarms, IP camera, lights, several snipers set up in overwatch and cobbled together security checkpoints with multiple vehicles with 50 calibers. They radios which look to be military grade encrypted tactical grade radios, something they don’t expect to see laying around in a place like Syria.
There’s a plan put together with Nyx taking out as many as he can. Amar going south to take out opponents on a wall, Marduk killing the engines for all the technicals in the courtyard, and Thanatos holding back waiting for Ravil to show himself and attempt to take him by surprise. The plan is laid, and things are hatched as people get into position.
Thanatos waits for the flashiest action to start the plot. Marduk flips into his electrical form outside the wall and flies up the nearest tailpipe to feed on a car battery. His aura flashes out several yards and fries three men, causing several heart attacks. Thanatos stabs a man in his skull, taking him down in a single thrust. The Commander takes a three round burst across the enclave to destroy a man. Yukio jumps from the roof and rips out a man’s throat before leaping behind the man’s battle buddy. One of the Spetsnaz fires on the raw bolt of lightning and misses while more pile out of the tents they were resting in. Nyx takes the opportunity to hit them with a Shadow Bind to remove them from the battle. Amar climbs over the wall and kicks an irregular in the head, causing some major head trauma as it explodes.
In response, one of the men in the technicals fires on Amar with the machine gun in the bed which Amar takes on the chest to power himself up, hulking out on the newfound power while another Irregular fires again on the Sikh, his rifle doesn’t do much better than the machinegun.
Marduk jumps between technicals, frying three more men with his electrical aura. Thanatos runs across the edge of the roof and the Commander fires off a double rapid strike with his silenced rifle exploding their hearts while Yukio rips out another throat and goes for another man, taking him down to the ground. Not liking that he got shot at by the sniper and flits out of the path of the bullet and then binds him with a shadow grasp, immobilizing the spetsnaz completely. Amar takes the opportunity to jump towards the technical on the ground and flips it towards the sniper tower.
Several of the surviving irregulars start fleeing the scene while some take pot shots at Yuko, the wonder dog.
Marduk flits across the courtyard again and causes several more heart attacks while Thanatos pierces another man through. The Commander leaves the bound Spetsnaz alone and fires on the men that shot at his dog, killing one of them. Yukio, the wonder dog, attacks the remaining man and rips through his throat leaving only the bound Spetsnaz still up. Amar sprints to a nearby spare tire and throws it at one of the fleeing men, neatly capturing the man via a carnival ring toss. Things end as their target exits one of the buildings with a rather large hammer in hand.
After Action Report (GM)
I really like how this session turned out. The PCs were thoughtful, went about their mission carefully, and came up with a plan they could adapt on the fly. 5 turns of combat resulted in the death of 16 al-Qaeda and 4 who were knocked out or fled. The remains of Ravil’s old Spetsnaz unit were effectively neutralized by Nyx. His shadow binding power is much more effective as an emanation than I would have thought. Mostly due to the idea that he can port in with Warp and do it. I’ll have to consider that in future engagements. The Commander set up a sniper position and then went to town removing tangos. Doctor Thanatos (who didn’t get enough spotlight time – something I need to remedy) took out multiple foes by draining their life force. Marduk switched to his electrical form and then just zoomed around the map damaging foes and technicals by simply moving through/near them. It was effective. Finally, the Iron Sikh took 9 15d hits on the chin and “got swol” – upped his ST to 124 and then threw a technical at watchtower where a Spetsnaz operator was. It got messy.
If you’ve been reading these reports you know I don’t like the PCs killing opponents – they are heroes, capture or knockout is the goal – but some opponents get a pass. Terrorists are one of them. There is precedent in other teams and in earlier sessions as well so I don’t feel too bad about this.
“Courtesy of The Red, White, and Blue (Angry American)” by Toby Keith (Opening Song)
“Something to Fight For” by Sencit Music (Combat)
“More Human Than The Human” by White Zombie (Closing Song)