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.”
- Layla A. de Blackburn aka Nox (NPC): CIA-trained child assassin all grown up to be Daddy’s Little Monster. Maybe a little mad. Argues with her shadow often. Tagline: “No, we shouldn’t do that…should we?”
- 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 has been sent subpoenas to appear at the senate committee for metahuman affairs and everyone has more or less been summoned. Project Vanguard’s legal team hasn’t been able to avoid it or push it back and somehow the legal team’s e-mails keep bouncing or getting lost in the electronic ether causing several people to look towards Wirerat. The group has been asked not to use their powers to head down there, much to Threshold’s annoyance. Wirerat has spent his time digging up dirt on all the members of the committee while Threshold supports him otherwise in his endeavor by giving him a list from his researches about dark money and support for the senate which maybe Wirerat could release all over the internet to show who is supporting what senator.
Digging in the Dirt
Nyx, Threshold, and Whisper
VANGUARD Headquarters, Nyx’s Room
Tuesday, June 18th, 2019, 0500 hours (EST)
Tomkins Cove, NY 10986
Wirerat turns to his contacts on the dark web to gather information, paying for their services, getting everything sent to his brother’s little known e-mail address. Nice, neat dossiers from everything to present day to their first day of elementary schools. Labeled in green, yellow, and red folders. At least one of the senators have committed murder and covered it up. Wirerat alerts him to this information with their brotherly shows of volatile affection. His brother is properly shocked by what has been dug up and tells them to hold tight down there as he hadn’t been summoned either which worries him.
Lynch has been working in the cafeteria working on multiple files and is also looking quite worried. Wirerat focuses his cameras on the files, they’re some really old files, almost half a century old and he’s making notes on a legal pad. Wirerat sets some OCR software to add it to his mainframe when Lynch turns around, stares at the camera, closes his folders and walks away.
When You’re Here, You’re Family
Nyx, Threshold, and Whisper
Waldorf Astoria Washington DC
Tuesday, June 18th, 2019, 0900 hours (EST)
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004
The group, including Landry and Lynch, get to head down to DC where they get put up in a nice hotel where Whisper checks out the rooms and rids them of various listening devices and bugs in the room while Wirerat changes the firmware so it plays Chumbawumba’s Tubthumper over the live bugs, but not before Whisper gets polaroid photos of the bugs and speaks with Landry. Wirerat also puts out some white noise generators and sticks them onto the various windows and mirrors around their rooms to foil external listening devices while suggesting that Threshold check the rooms next door. There’s a pretty large amount of listening devices there which Wirerat and Whisper sort out by agency, there’s at least 3-4 listening devices per person and definitely one per room. It looks like it’s both Russians, Americans, and possibly the British.
Nox forces Nyx out with her for food, taking him to a hot dog cart nearby where they apparently cook the hotdogs in beer. Threshold is considering going around to a bakery, using his powers to pop around to Paris or Rome for some food. Whisper follows behind Nyx and Nox who already identified that there’s people shadowing them and turns it around to shadow them. Nox stops at a flower cart, smells some roses and whispers to Nyx about them being followed to which Nyx is rather blasé about it considering that he hasn’t had a real moment in privacy in the last half a decade. But apparently she finds Nyx to be a nice guy and doesn’t want him to be hurt as she’s a wanted person in multiple countries and religion.
Nox sighs and asks for Nyx to buy her some flowers only for Nyx to respond that he didn’t bring his wallet with them and then goes on to explain that they don’t exactly send a lot of pre-approved credit card offers to prisoners. Suitably annoyed that she’s not getting treated, Nox buys the flowers herself and tells Nyx that he’s going to pay her back, Nyx’s only question is if she accepts euros. They head back towards the hotel without hotdogs due to Nyx’s lack of funds. Whisper, meanwhile, scares the hell out of the shadowers before grabbing some hotdogs to distribute back at the hotel along with the food that Threshold has gotten from overseas.
Lynch drops a series of hard copy files at Wirerat’s desk area which he quickly flips through and digitizes. It details two things. Number one is detailing the first superhero battlesuits that came into existence run by someone in the second iteration of the Marauders who was a team run out of the Office of Strategic Research and tasked with dealing with the Nazi Thule Society and mostly comprised of Americans and people rescued from various camps. The files that Lynch specifically gives to Wirerat details the theft of the Prometheus Treatment in a facility in Alaska and the development of a Russian variety that is more likely to work but has a high mortality rate within the next 5-10 years.
There’s plenty of annotations in the files made by Lynch and he tells them that he’s pretty sure that this is what they’re worried about as they’ve been interacting with a lot of people that have been given the Koschei Regimen. Lynch isn’t too sure why they’ve been tasked with dealing with that group. Lynch thinks that whatever is happening, the Senate Committee wants to get to it first, especially considering the Protector Battlesuits the past year and a half with the MAPS program having been dropped over the past couple years and more. Blackwell is also attempting to force through a metahuman registration act. Threshold and Wirerat argue about how things are going to go down, about whether or not trusting the government is a good thing. Threshold memorizes the various files and compounds of the serums, perhaps to create an anti-super soldier serum.
Wirerat isn’t too thrilled that Threshold trusts the government and hands Threshold a tablet that has absolutely no means to communicate externally to give him the files that he’d gotten on the senate.
It seems that there’s been multiple countries out there that have been attempting to create super soldiers since at least 2006. There’re questions about what to actually do with their information but is told that they shouldn’t lie if they’re asked about things so they won’t be held in contempt as Lynch considers them all good people, even Wirerat and Nyx. Nyx, meanwhile, has been zoning out while Nox plays with his hair. Whisper, having been looking out the window, notices that there’s several people watching their window, one of which is looking rather annoyed with a surveillance device.
All The Way To The Steps of the Capital
Nyx, Threshold, and Whisper
United States Capitol
Tuesday, June 18th, 2019, 1100 hours (EST)
First St SE, Washington, DC 20004
About an hour afterwards, they get a knock on their doors and are escorted to SUVs to take them into the capitol building. They get ushered into the building to see some of the protector suits up close and personal which perks Threshold and Wirerat’s interest, but Threshold doesn’t seem to have a good grasp. They’re led into a room with senators sitting before them with cameras around the room filming them. Wirerat reflexively checks to see if there’s any bugs or cameras in there that shouldn’t be.
Senator Callahan gives everyone a wave and a smile, inviting them in. Wirerat is holding himself together while Nyx has an almost Pavlovian response and shuffles down the aisle with his hands held together in front of him like he was shackled. There’s multiple senators there at the moment. Senator Callahan is the head of the Metahuman Affairs Committee and is quite surprisingly clean compared to the rest with a past in science with some of the worst being forging of signatures to get people through customs.
They greet them, Senator Callahan tells them that they think that Project Vanguard is a rather worthy project and that they’re prepared to continue funding the project as long as it continues to be a force for good and righteousness. They were called as they were concerned that they stumbled on something they feel they need to get a handle on, programs to create metahumans. While they have their own programs, they want to know where things stand outside the United States as it being in the hands of the enemies of the states would be rather dangerous. That particular session is going to be a debriefing on what they’ve found out about the Koschei Regimen where it had made its way out in the pockets of the highest bidders. It hasn’t been highly used until recently where it seems like someone has been working on it and they want to know if someone has managed to perfect it and they want to know what Vanguard knows.
Threshold leads the group in testimony, giving a rather complete and picture perfect one that they cannot accuse him of lying with, though he keeps most of the information about the super soldier serums close to his chest and deflects their questions. The same with Whisper and Wirerat, though Wirerat leaves out a few things. Wirerat keeps an eye on the Senators while the others are testifying, seeing if any are keeping a rather close eye on things. At least one of them, Wicker, has something to hide but Wirerat is not sure what. Nyx, however, does not enjoy his current circumstances as much as the rest of the group and his testimony is raked over the coals by Roger Wicker, who tells Nyx that if he had his way then he wouldn’t be sitting on the esteemed project but there’s someone there to speak on Nyx’s behalf. Threshold interrupts the senator to ask if he doesn’t believe in rehabilitation, to which Wicker says that he doesn’t believe a leopard can change his spots.
Lynch stands up, to speak with Wicker and bringing forwards a character witness to give testimony in favour of Nyx, considering his tenure with the project. The lights dim and a man in a medieval outfit with hood shows up in the courtroom, placing his hand on Nyx’s shoulder and speaking greatly in Nyx’s favour, saying that anything that Nyx says is unequivocally the truth. Both Threshold and Wicker are sporting faces like they just sucked a lemon. The man that just spoke up for Nyx is Warlock, part of THE Team of Metahumans known as The Valiants, an incredibly powerful group that works on a global scale. For him, Nyx was a kind of a side project that ended up being a full-time project where Nyx had only made a few bad decisions and got him into Project Vanguard through recommendation.
Unfortunately, with Warlock’s presence, it breaks things down about the theatricalities of introducing people not on the list. They’re going to have to be there for another day at least but they allow for everyone but Lynch and Landry to leave if they wish and then immediately start drilling into Lynch. Most of the group stays there for morale support while they question Lynch for close to six hours. Whisper is set to be questioned again as she’s someone who has taken the Prometheus Treatment and has fought against those that have taken the Regimen.
They’re taken back to their rooms where they sweep the rooms again and neutralize the new bugs. Lynch and Landry start arguing in the common room while Wirerat feels out for new machines that have cropped up in the nearby area. They’ve got the group trying to use more low-tech methods now which aren’t really working. They don’t exactly sequester them, but they do have capitol police standing outside the room and have requested that they don’t use their powers to which Threshold offers them some French Pastries. Warlock is quietly talking to Nyx in his bedroom. Lynch tells Whisper that if she gets tired of the superhero life, he’s got a place for her in one of his black-ops teams, though Lynch is still afraid that things are going to end with someone being convicted of contempt.
After a bit, there’s a knock on the door with faceless government goons waiting for Lynch. Without even bothering to say anything, Lynch goes with them. Threshold asks them where they’re going and if they have a warrant, in which he is told that Threshold is told that he’s not involved but several people step up to make a show of force. They hand them a warrant, which is all in order and is Patriot Acting Lynch, they also demand the agents’ identification which Threshold and Whisper memorize while Threshold and Wirerat argue again about how the system works. They do some theatrics for the benefit of things, Lynch giving assent that he’s going with them willingly. While arguing, Wirerat repurposes some of the wires they’ve found and slips it into their pockets. Landry, on the other hand, looks more annoyed than worried.
After Action Report (GM)
Today was the start of a two-parter: the PCs would get to speak in front of the Select Committee for Metahuman Affairs. Rory put together a crazy in depth dossier on what such a thing would look like for me and I used part of it, but not enough. Next session I’ll use more of it and we’ll see where it goes. This is kind of a big turning point in the campaign’s meta-plot – even if it’s not too big to the PCs. More on that later.
My brother could not stop criting his Tradecraft! rolls. FIVE FIVES in the span of 90 minutes. He found all the bugs and more identified who was following people and who they were working for. Apparently, Whisper is a helluva spy.
Great game over all, can’t wait to close it off next session.
Bonus Report from Rory.