Amar Gupta aka The Iron Sikh (played by Christian): Brick. Taxi Driver. Ass-Kicker. Sikh. Tagline: “Being a man of faith means to live it.”
- Amie-Belle T. W. Lee aka Whisper (Played by Curtis): Cold War era super-soldier/spy that got put in the Freezer, because she got poisoned. After getting thawed out and cured she tried to back to work, and was given an “adjustment period”. Uncle Sam called 2 years later, with work… because once you’re in, you’re in for life. Tagline: “In and out without a whisper.”
- Beauregard K. “Bo” Ratnam aka Wirerat (Played by Brice): Technopath, inventor, and hacker. He specializes in co-opting enemy systems and tech assets. Tagline: “Nice tech – I’ll borrow that.”
- Rafe Hanlon aka Nyx (played by Chris D.): An umbrakinetic petty thief still on work release several years later, on his way to becoming a true agent and hero. Tagline: “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
- Vincenzo L. dePrezzo aka Threshold (Played by Rory): Doctor, Mathematician, and Scientist (yes, capitals) and Spatial Manipulator. Threshold can bend space like a pretzel, teleport, obliterate things, and has extraordinary senses. He’d rather be in a research lab than fight. Better known for his work with Doctors Without Borders, the United Nations, and disaster relief than famous battles. Tagline: “I can be there in a snap!”
- Derrick K. Ratnam aka Ledgerdemain (NPC Ally): Spin doctor and media liaison for Project VANGUARD. Twin to Bo. Tagline: “Well, actually that’s not how it happened…”
- Jodie R. Swann aka Surferboy (NPC): Dude. Aero- and Hydrokinetic. Really laid back, but wants to make a difference. Has a advanced glider/drone he rides on. Tagline: “Like. Let’s just chill, dude.”
- Stainless Steel Rat aka “Sir” (NPC Ally): Bo’s best friend and assistant. A sentient drone in the shape of a stylized shiny metal rat mindlinked to Bo. Specialties are rapid repair construction and modifications. Imagine if K-9 and R2D2 made a baby and it looks a bit like a rodent. Tagline: “Repairs and upgrades in progress”
- Tierney M. Ward aka Rush (NPC): Speedster and former member of the Bullet Hell Brigade. Tagline: “Was that fast? I thought that was fast.”
- Zubayr Sajjad Marou aka Five Stars (NPC): Driver. Pilot. Klubbe gig worker.. From N’Djamena, Chad. Used to go by Darryl Bell to sound more American. Tagline: “I can get you there in time.”
Previously . . .
The group had just left their mission after finishing assaulting an experimentation lab focusing on super soldier serums. As it stands right now, the team is on a small reprieve from missions to avoid back-to-back send outs, they might do some training but that’d be the worst of it. They’ve got a trio of Michelin star chefs from Italy manning the Project Vanguard kitchen, arguing about who actually deserves the stars. Checking his inbox, Wirerat finds his requisition forms returned with a rather delightful note from his brother saying to eat excrement and die, also that the request to build bots for Live NBA Jam for the gym was denied. Wirerat puts the note with the rest.
Nyx, Whisper, and Wirerat
Friday, May 24th, 2019, 0830 hours (EST)
Tomkins Cove, NY 10986
Nox, also known as Layla A. Blackburn, is currently in the base’s game room playing pinball while Nyx is currently in his supervisor’s office being “debriefed” or rather being asked why there’s currently an enemy combatant in their base not in chains.
Whisper, meanwhile, is pouring over the documents that they secured, organizing and setting things together due to her knowledge of the languages used. Most of what she’s reading is about the Koschi Regimen from back in the 1950s, a knock-off of the Promethean Treatment of the US. The major side effect is mental instability with a limited lifespan and those that survive have parts of their brains shut down and turned into psychopaths no matter what. Whisper is already familiar of what happens to those on the Koschi Regimen, and intimately familiar with how the Promethean Treatment works in how it alters the genetic structure and brain of those injected so the brain produces a synthetic neurotransmitter. The Koschi Regimen may be more reliable, but the brain isn’t changed positively causing problems with lifespan.
One of the doctors working at the lab which they weren’t able to find to arrest, Elina U. Avdeyeva, had managed to determine how they might be able to inject the synthetic neurotransmitter. Whisper helps translate the jargon with annotations for the rest of those working on the files. They’ve got plenty of samples they were working with down in the lab, including an enhanced rat that is scary, but the new serum also has a higher death rate.
Both the metahumans, Brainstorm and Vandal, that didn’t surrender get shipped out to Guantanamo Bay while the scientists that are alive get sent to a black site for interrogation.
Wirerat attempts a network walk through the computers at the German lab to other networked computers outside the lab for further leads and nodes where the other servers are that they might be talking to. Apparently, they’re smart Russians, so there’s no other machines to be found but he does find evidence of files being moved around by portable hard drives. They didn’t use the machines for personal use leaving nothing for Wirerat to follow which he submits to his brother with a note on how that’s the proper way to use computers leading to another argument.
Friday, May 24th, 2019, 1430 hours (GMT+2)
Fürst-Malte-Allee 1, 18581 Putbus, Germany
Threshold continues to investigate the lab facilities at the castle via a hands-on investigation. He manages to locate several things including an old journal written in Russian, unfortunately he doesn’t have anyone available there that he can pull that knows Russian as everyone else is working hard. He also finds some files that are written in English, from the 40s, lots of random things, some things seem to be missing, some seem to be redacted, but it does look like original paper talking about Project Prometheus. It’s going to take some time to transfer everything over if he does it by himself.
Prometheus was a project done back in the 1940s in retaliation to the Thule Society who was doing a lot of nasty stuff. While what the Thule were doing wasn’t at the forefront of the war, it was enough that they were winning, winning enough for the Office of Strategic Resouces to get involved with a scientist, Dr. Sarah Koenig, that was developing an ubermensch via an unknown form of radiation at the time along with direct genetic manipulation and a synthetic compound that the body would produce from then onwards. The treatment would be activated by the serum, the synthetic compound injected into the brain, and the radiation named Kyberic Energy. What they didn’t know at the time, when it was injected in someone with certain DNA sequences, some would gain superhuman abilities like super strength, superhuman senses, invisibility and so on. These people formed the first squad known as the Marauders that directly fought the Nazis from 1939 all the way to the end of the war. After the war, the squad was shut down and moved elsewhere. Out of the test subjects in the Marauders was a single person who survived the injection, but nothing actually seemed to happen. Overall, it was considered a success with more than a 90% mortality rate and a 1% chance of nothing happening at all as the survivors had incredible powers. There’s also reports of meteorite ores that were gathered where they could be charged with energy such as kinetic energy and they would release kyberic energy which is what they used to fuel their experiments.
Dr. Koenig studied at Polytechnic and was incredibly smart but hated by her male colleagues and was a once-in-a-lifetime genius that had focused in making people better. She originally started out for eradicating disease as her entire family had been killed by smallpox and it just went further until the Germans learned of it and tried to put her research to use, but far too many people died before the US found her and she defected. A lot of money was put towards her research, lots and lots of 1940s money was spent. Some things that were developed included amazing power generation/retention including a lithium battery.
Threshold also finds some personal letters in the file as well and a few sheets of paper that looks like it was ripped from a larger notebook which he squirrels away to assimilate it into his own knowledge later.
Mission Debriefing, Part II
Nyx, Whisper, Threshold, and Wirerat
Friday, May 24th, 2019, 1730 hours (EST)
Tomkins Cove, NY 10986
Nyx continues to be questioned by Robert Hill, one of many faceless supervisors, about why he keeps bringing in assets from his missions and is shocked that she’s asking for close to $10,000 a day and isn’t budging on negotiations. Nyx just suggests hiding her in a line in the budget considering they’re a military/government project that’s probably inflating their expenses. Robert just sighs and hands Nyx a copy of the same contract that he had signed when he joined, just with blanks for her to sign on. He’s also going to be learning new languages since they learned that he can’t speak anything other English and Spanish and he isn’t too happy with the fact that Nyx doesn’t have a high school diploma either. He sighs and steps out of the room whereupon Nyx swipes a letter opener from Robert’s desk just as Nox ports in to read the contract.
She’s surprised that they agreed on the salary and decides to ask for double the amount and get amnesty. Double amnesty even which causes Nyx to sigh before she ports out again and Robert comes back saying that Nyx is going to be getting classes for a GED as well and Nyx is going to have to pay for the Tutor at least according to his contract. He’s not too happy with that and tries to at least negotiate for a free pizza for every language test he completes which is turned down while Robert looks over the contract and is equally incredulous about the double amnesty considering that she’s wanted in four countries and the Commander being wanted is a completely different thing. He eventually caves and agrees to everything.
Threshold warps back after some more searching, getting some more files and getting some files and finding a vial of odd, shimmery liquid. Whisper gets shooed away from the files and goes to get some food from the mess hall, getting a huge amount of food for herself to sate her calorie intake requirement.
After Wirerat disconnects from the site, he trawls through the data he acquired through completely legitimate means. He manages to find something hidden in formerly deleted data finding a set of coordinates and a shipping notice that someone ran off on the computer which he then holds over his brother’s head that he doesn’t have all the data. Brotherly negotiations ensue and break down for a bit only for Wirerat to finally send Nyx a text telling him that he may have mission critical intelligence. Wary after the last time, Nyx makes sure that it’s mission critical this time before porting downwards into Wirerat’s room where the tech nerd immediately hides behind a screen, only liking Nyx enough to tolerate his presence in his lab.
Wirerat asks if his brother has been good enough to deserve the information that he pulled forth which Nyx says he probably been good, not necessarily to Santa’s standards but good enough. As for Nox, well she got what she wanted from the contract which mention of her is just enough for her to show up in Wirerat’s room as well which causes him to freak out while she reads the contract and comments about his room while he freaks out about her presence. She just takes the contract and leaves after some more deadpan comments. Wirerat hands over the information and says to do what he wants with it, but his brother should pay if he hands it over to him.
Thinking about it, Nyx decides that the best person to hand the information off to is Raymond L. Landry, the Project Head and ex-politician and ex-Army General who took over after Dr. Thanatos and Marduk died. When he’s not working on securing budget, he’s trying to solve every problem in the world all at once.
Nyx also brings along all the bundle of stuff that Nox gave him. Entering his office, he finds Raymond in a leather recliner with a lumbar massager running and speaking in Chinese on the phone. He talks to Nyx, saying that he won’t believe what’s going on. Apparently the Chinese Empire is on the move and causing some problems after a metahuman took over and declared himself an emperor. They’re now highly aggressive and itching for a fight while they quietly built up their forces and country. They’ve also stepped up their espionage tactics, being out and stealing everything they can on metahuman research and taking it back to integrate it into theirs. He looks over the files, the coordinates, the shipping note, and comments that the Ivans are back at it with super soldiers. He hands things back to Nyx saying to gather the team.
Folks are complimenting Whisper on her dress, at least before the realize who it is. She can’t wear her super suit all the time after all. They’ve gotten everything compiled. Nyx calls them into the meeting room where Wirerat is there via holographic projection while Whisper compliments The SSR and manhandles it for a moment only for it to scurry under the table. She asks if he could build something similar for a pet but The SSR is rather much of a one-of-a-kind but he’ll do his best. Landry sits down in the meeting room and goes over a holoprojection while Nyx calls in Nox who has purloined some brandy which Nyx says she can’t just steal brandy, trying to instill some kind of morals into her, or at least some standards. Nox also compliments Whisper on her gown, mentioning that she wished she had the build for it as well but she ultimately prefers pants. Wirerat compiles the data they’ve all imputed into the systems so far. Threshold ports into the meeting hall greets Whisper, handing her the Russian journal asking what she makes of it, it’s a personal diary which he asks her to scan it and put relevant material into the reports. Looking it over, it’s going to take her at least two hours to translate the whole thing even while going at extreme speeds while Wirerat offers her some touch devices to make it easier, though she passes as it’s been a long time since she had the opportunity to write something properly.
The diary belong to Konchak Neubviayemyy, a turn of the century Russian soldier. It mostly talks about day to day things, but there’s some entries about the Tunguska Blast where they retrieved several anomalous rocks that glow with a light of their own by the colours weren’t anything they’d ever seen before. It matches some of the things that he read in Sarah’s diary.
After a bit, Landry pushes away his screen and speaks to the team. It appears that the Russians have been working on the Koschei Regimen using old documents on the Prometheus Serum. It seems they’re trying to make the Regimen less stable, but also less dangerous which Threshold says it sounds like something tricky to do and Landry wants them to make it their number one priority. He wants them to find these people, if they’re being funded by the Russian government or they’re on their own. He doesn’t care what laws they have to break to do it. Threshold asks for data on the project, such as materials or equipment which they can use to trace them down but most of the information was kept with AEGIS, the Bureau of Metahuman affairs while Nyx suggests using the inventory from the castle they raided. Wirerat asks about the carte blanche he was just given. Whisper mentions that he’s got her file and the project that she underwent, where he says that he doesn’t have everything on her, the rest is in the Bureau which they’d have to break into. She offers to write everything down that she remembers.
Landry dismisses the team, telling them that he wants the folks who can help with analyzing to go do that while he’s going to be speaking with Venezuela to get permission to go in-country. Threshold wants to speak with each of the team members individually, dismissing them where Whisper sits out in the hallway waiting for her turn. Nyx is up first asking about his capabilities, about how fast he can move, what his other capabilities are and explains them.
His next set of questions is to speak with Nox who asks if she’s getting fired already and says that if she is then she gets to keep the money. He says he just wants to ask some questions and she says she doesn’t date people that she’s working with. He insists that he just wants to learn what her skillset is. She’s a thief and a fighter, mostly bodyguard stuff. She claims to have studied every martial art on the planet so fairly good, and may have “killed” a few people. He notes that she can also make some kind of corrosive cloud but says that it’s been noted to be similar to having dark matter in the area. He asks her to dissolve a pen while he watches using his supersenses, seeing it start in the shadow of the pen and pulling off atoms dissolving it bit by bit. She says that she has yet to be able to find her maximum range for teleporting, and that it’s a bit harder to do in the light. Darkness doesn’t go away in the light, just that it’s harder to see it. She also tells him that she’s capable of being a trained counter-intelligence/espionage agent. She trained with the CIA back in the day, but the pay wasn’t good enough and when the TAP happened she found herself with the darkness manipulator abilities.
He pretty much already knows about Wirerat, but still holds an interview asking about him. He’s really good with computers while he says The SSR is real people and can slap controls on just about anything and drive it while doing some of the stuff Wirerat can do on his own. Wirerat himself knowns some Chinese and some African dialects and some Gaelic since it makes cursing so much fun. He also know Spanish and Portuguese. If there’s a camera in the world, he can see through it but occasionally folks can notice that so he does it sparingly. Threshold mentions his limitations and that seeing things on camera makes teleporting easier.
Finally he calls in Whisper who closes the book she was translating and sits down. He asks her about her combat skills training. She claims to use what works for her, basically mixed martial arts after being taught by the military as well as using firearms. She keeps coy about having supernatural powers other than being incredibly tough and fast. She can perceive things far better than others, always has been. Knowing where things are around her and her awareness about threats around her like a sixth sense-lite. She’s got an incredible sense of balance and everything after the Promethean treatment and can move a lot quicker and it’s a lot less tiring to do something after the treatments and shrug off a lot of stuff. She also speak fluent German, Russian, as well as French, Spanish/Portuguese fluently with some Chinese dialects that sounds like she’s definitely accented/foreign speaker. She says she’s good with guns, bows, spears, helicopters, planes, automobiles, can make maps if needed and is a good outdoorsman with an extensive knowledge of literature and is a good mechanic, woodworking and carpentry.
Threshold says that he trusts the dossier on Whisper far more than he does on the others due to it coming from the military while the others didn’t and Wirerat could make his say whatever he wanted them to.
Rush was recruited from the team right out of Riker’s Island, acting as a drug mule from New York to Mexico by running the whole way. She’s pretty tough and has a significant healing factor. Her speed tops out at around 480MPH if she’s one a straightway. She used to be an acrobat that almost made it to the Olympics but ended up not going due to a broken ankle. When the TAP happened, she realized that she had powers and could go anywhere. She was brought in by the Flight of Justice MAPS team and her sister made a plea on her behalf. She was given a shot for Project Vanguard and brought in several months ago. She’s got a large family down in New Jersey and all the money that she earns at Vanguard goes directly to them.
Surferboy was saved on a mission by the Iron Sikh who was dealing with a large Kaiju-like monster in California. The Sikh definitely said they should have him on the team and so they hired him on. He used to be a surfer before he had powers and is good Aerokinetic and Hydrokinetic. He has a brother that’s a technopath that built him a surfboard he can use to fly around which he can’t upgrade but can maintain at least. He’s normally pretty chill and laid back, he’s pretty serious while on a mission though.
With his interviews done, Threshold goes to compile his notes.
After Action Report (GM)
This was a bit of a slow burn session as the players got to know each other a bit along with the NPCs. Rory asked in character what the others were capable of as well as studying their dossiers so he could deploy them in the field. Nox formally joined the team – for money, of course because she’s mercenary. Nyx’s relationship with Director Hill was hinted at in a few ways. Whisper acted very much in character and sidebared a few things like bringing food to her analyst teams as they worked on decoding the files they got from Lauterbach Castle. Bo continued his streak of stay-at-homeisms and got distressed when Nox teleported into his room. Overall. Good session. More action next time.
Bonus Report from Rory.
“The Longest Time” by Billy Joel
“Psycho Killer” by The Talking Heads
“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears