- Benjamin B. Bailey (Played by Devin): A prodigy at earth science and an avid spelunker, Ben recently gained the power to reshape the same earth and stone that he studies. Naturally optimistic, he sees the best in those around him…even when he probably shouldn’t. Power: Earth Control. Tagline: “With my friends as my foundation, I’ll never crumble.”
- Fiona A. Egan (Played by Chepe): A budding society girl and star athlete who keeps getting distracted by both civil and social engineering; also a hydromancer Scion slowly uncovering her powers. Power: Water Control. Tagline: “Don’t be a drip.”
- Harlowe E. Hobbs (Played by Chris D.): A chess grandmaster, military nerd, and burgeoning flyrokinetic at an early age. Powers: Force Constructs, Hyper-Intelligence, and ???. Tagline: “Anyone who looks on the world as a game of chess deserves to lose.”
- Harvey G. Clarke (Played by Will): A natural genius with hyper-intelligence and a knack for bioengineering, medicine, and gadgeteering with the ability to analyze genomes; loves spending all his free time in a library or research lab.. Powers: Hyper-Intelligence. Tagline: “I’ve read that.”
- Jamie J. Billings (NPC): Nonverbal. Mathematics savant. Communicates via a PDA. Shy. Power: Time Control Tagline: “I Can Show You The Math.”
- Lynne C. Duane (NPC): Holder of Bachler’s degree in neurobiology Daughter of a famed neurosurgeon. Athletically gifted. Arrogant and overconfident. Power: Telepathy. Tagline: “Of course I’m right. I’m smarter than you.”
- Tabitha E. “Tabbs” de Orellana (NPC): Latina from the Bronx. Aptitudes for mechanical engineering, chemistry, and materials science. Speaks her mind. Bossy and cocky, but not arrogant. Powers: Hyper-Intelligence and Kyberic Energy Control. Tagline: “No me respondas.”
- Warren P. Clark (NPC): Computer and electronics nerd. Very tall for his age (almost 6′) and big. Powers: Hyper-Strength and Technopathy. Tagline: “Oh. What does this button do?”
Previously . . .
The group are in the middle of heist with several people already in the bank and four SUVs with drivers provided by Cody’s uncle and also promised a split of the cash. Ray, Harvey, and Fiona are hitting specific safety deposit boxes. Jennifer, Cody, and Flit are going through safety deposit boxes that weren’t an explicit part of the plan while Crash and Jamie are standing lookout. Down below in the sewers are Benjamin, Warren, and Grudge straight at the entry of the bank vault with Lynn, Lisa, and Tabitha at the far end by the Chinese Restaurant and Harlowe and Burn outside the bank.
It’s Going Down For Real
Benjamin, Fiona, Harlowe, and Harvey
Roosevelt Savings Bank
Friday, September 27th, 2002 2030 hours
4419 13th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11219
Fiona questions why three of them are going for safety deposit boxes that weren’t part of the plan, Jennifer just tells them not to worry about it and they’re just getting some icing for the cake. Fiona stops questioning it, feeling confident about things while they hear sirens which causes Fiona to ask why they wasting time opening the safety deposit boxes only to be informed that there’s trackers in some of the boxes.
Outside Harlowe gets to talking and a dumpster fire to end up dumpster fires is sparked right close to the Chinese Restaurant’s grease trap only for an explosion to occur that Harlowe dodges away from while Burn gets hit with a shard in the arm as chili oil is aerosolized. Harlowe attempts to tourniquet the wound while she’s sneezing and oozing from multiple holes as Harlowe suggesting cauterizing the wounds causing her to scream. She’s effectively out while Harlowe gets on the walkie talkies they’re using to communicate and inform them that they’re moving to a backup site previously prepared while moving to deal with Burn who is freaking out even more.
Harlowe, as a male, is not prepared to deal with any particular kind of crying, bleeding female tries to calm her down and not draw attention to her injury, eventually introducing her to the catbird Chessur to calm her down, entrancing her as they move.
They’ve already got bags full of jewelry, bonds, and other things the bank team has secured in an inflatable raft below the vault in the sewers. They get to hear from Jamie and Crash that police have arrived and they need to leave, they can easily see groups of cops outside the windows. Grabbing the grenade shells, they head down with Benjamin sealing the tunnel perfectly behind him while Fiona drives the raft towards their backup site.
Meeting up at the secondary location a block away, another service tunnel that isn’t quite as good as the speakeasy they used. The four SUVs are there along with Harlowe and Burn and they can hear the cops all around as they load the money and get into their SUVs. Harlowe, Jennifer, Cody, and Flit in the first. Burn, Chessur, Ray, Warren, and Harvey in the second. Lynn, Fiona, Grudge, and Dreamweaver in the third. Tabbs, Jamie, Crash, and Benjamin in the final one. Things are going fine until red and blues start shining in their rearview mirrors. The driver in the last car gets a bit too nervous and starts firing at the police pursuing them.
The police officer, thinking that he’s obviously in a movie, fires back at the SUV where a couple shots hit. The cars spread out, heading in different directions. Several of them manage to peel away from the police while the driver of the 4th SUV manages to hit the wheel of the police car and get away from it.
Once on the ground, while waiting for the group to get back from the bank, Harlowe speaks with Carol, manipulating her to set fire to the dumpster but the explosion was far out of his expectation. He alerted the police to the backup location by commenting on several uniform SUVs with shady men inside and then maneuvered himself to take the same SUV as Jennifer and Cody, but Flit’s presence there wasn’t expected.
Benjamin, Fiona, and Harvey
Friday, September 27th, 2002 2130 hours
2716 W 15th, Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY
When they get to the old factory they’re supposed to be meeting at, they find that the first SUV is missing in action but Cody’s uncle, Renzo “The Razor” Padovano, is there and asking where his nephew is, only for him to get no answer. When Benjamin moves to leave the SUV and alert Crash who seems to be asleep, only to find that he’s got a bullet hole in his head and is dead. Keeping from freaking out, he’s starting to understand that there’s something crazy going on, that he’s been controlled and it’s probably by Jennifer. The worse is that Jamie has caught a bullet in the neck and Tabbs is trying to perform first aid the best she can as she freaks out. From outside the SUVs they can hear one of the men suggest just killing the kids and taking the cash.
Fiona, having stood outside the car, quiet worried and suspicious looking as she approaches Renzo and tries to drain him of fatigue to little avail. Benjamin moves to aid Tabitha whose hands start glowing, it doesn’t quite look like the glow that she gets occasionally when she heals people but instead looks like an oil filled bubble of miasma. Harvey moves in to aid Benjamin and Tabitha. Fiona keeps tries to drain Renzo who starts feeling very thirsty and starts downing from a hip flask and soon passes out only for his men to run towards Renzo in concern.
Harvey manages to stabilize Jamie through the use of a small med kit he had available. Fiona suggests grabbing and taking Jamie with her in the water. Benjamin only has one thought going through his head at the moment and that’s wondering where Jennifer is and where he might begin looking. People are used to Benjamin being a rather extroverted and upfront boy who is clear about his emotions, wearing them on his sleeve. What people are seeing right that moment is the stone faced thousand yard stare of tranquil fury where no other emotion lives. Lynn, if she had been listening to Benjamin, would just hear a cacophony of voices that was smoothed over by a single overriding voice of Jennifer knows what she’s doing and then obliterated by the thought that Jennifer is going down. Lynn is quite worried about it.
Fiona, realizing they need to get out of there and Renzo’s collapsed form has gathered multiple goons around him, throws one more knock out grenade, hitting the entire group. They quickly secure the goons and find keys to a conversion van that has enough room for all of them, leaving them ziptied and Fiona rips through their guns with her water knife powers.
Justice For All
Corner of 13th Avenue and 71st Street
Friday, September 27th, 2002 2130 hours
Brooklyn, NY 11228
A flash back to 72 hours ago. Harlowe, having not been mind controlled by Jennifer, made sure to get several people on his side, making sure that he got Lynn and Lisa along with Tabitha, Crash, and Burn there with him to work on homework. He works on Lynn to break her mind control and then on Lisa. The second thing is to take advantage of Jennifer having allowed him to lead the homework group and he starts by framing Jennifer and Cody for academic dishonesty via plagiarizing older essays he found online. The next thing was to determine their plans, find the weak points and where he can exploit it.
It wasn’t something he couldn’t handle though, determining her to be innocent and forms a forcefield around her that he’d originally planned to use himself to instead protect her as he distracts Jennifer by asking if she ever learned what his powers were, causing her to be nervous due to the timing. He then asks her if she knew the ending of Robin Hood, pointing out that he’d been intentionally left bleeding to death by people that he trusted right as Harlowe formed a permeable forcefield six inches off the ground, shredding the tires of the SUV and sending it out of control.
Harlowe is laying on the ground, away from the vehicle with the SUV burning and the feeling that someone is staring at him on top of the SUV, a hooded figure with black wings and a raven mask stare at him, and tells Harlowe that he’s dying, that his light would soon be extinguished and he has done the just thing. The figure gives Harlowe an ultimatum, he can lay there and be arrested with the rest of them or he can take the figure’s hand and be healed and given a purpose. Harlowe stares, looking for Flit who, he is told, teleported away and then looks at the burning SUV with Jennifer and Cody still there in the seat. It isn’t justice yet, as Harlowe stares at the man and says they need out of the SUV. The figure concedes it and rips the door from the SUV and hauls the two children from the wreck and then kicks the SUV several feet back. Harlowe then takes the figure’s hand, saying that the others are waiting for him. The figure flies off where Harlowe gets to see the consequences from the air, seeing the police and EMT working. He’s eventually sat down on the roof of Ulrich’s diner where he sees Flit laying there, her hand skinned as a backlash of her power.
As Benjamin and the rest slowly drives through the city, they come upon the scene of the SUV’s wreck, seeing the cops and EMT taking Cody and Jennifer into the ambulances, Jennifer with a head wound trying to talk to the cops, repeating something over and over but the look on her face says that something isn’t working as far as Benjamin can tell. Benjamin isn’t happy with the outcome, but seeing her there like that makes him decide that he’s going to have to think about things for a while. The cops eventually take her away while she’s got a look of sheer bloody panic on her face which gives Benjamin some satisfaction.
Benjamin, Fiona, Harlowe, and Harvey
Breakfast at Epiphany’s Diner
Friday, September 27th, 2002 2300 hours
245 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002
Harvey makes sure to keep Jamie stable and they head towards Ulrich’s diner, only Grudge leaves the group, confused by what has occurred. They get Ulrich looking concerned at them and he directs them to lay Jamie on the table and sends people to do tasks, with Benjamin grabbing a green tackle box full of medical equipment and sews up his neck. It’s all good for him, mostly a graze. By this point, Harlowe has managed to get downstairs carrying Flit, awkwardly saying hello and asking what happened with Jamie only to hear that he’s been shot. Triage is done quickly after they tell him what’s wrong with Flit and Burn is taken care of first.
Ulrich takes the time to make things a teaching experience, with Fiona helping by improvising a saline solution and into Jamie’s body to hydrate them quickly to offset the blood loss while Ulrich and Harvey is taking care of Burn. By this point, they’re all out from under the effects of Jennifer’s mind control as Fiona starts to drop her money around to help people of Cabin B. Harlowe gives Steve a call to initiate the plan which they’ll explain later and then moves to make quick snacks for everyone. Ulrich sits them down to ask them what’s going on and what the story is.
The folks from Cabin B are confused as Jennifer’s mind control wears off, Lisa is there to help them through it as she explains that she was never completely affected by Jennifer, her waking mind was affected by it. Lisa informs them that she was probably the first person to awaken it as she dreamed of 9/11 before it happened and that she had accidently brought them all together when Lisa projected all their minds into a dream together which is when Jennifer started take control of them.
In the interim, the group eats and the world turns towards morning with Flit having woken up and just crying, wondering what she’s going to be doing with her family. Harlowe tries to comfort her before giving up and asking what she was planning on doing if she had gotten caught which catches her off guard. Harlowe gathers the remaining members of Cabin B telling him that they’ve got some choices to make going forwards, that he’d already had someone they trusted to clean up for them before the police got there, leaving just scant evidence that pointed towards Jennifer and Cody. That he could introduce them to someone that can help him, that someone that knows the social systems around New York to find them help without resorting to robbery, telling them that maybe Lisa can now lead them better than Jennifer would, prompting Lisa to give a sleepy smile and Harlowe to amend that she can probably lead them better if she was given some coffee.
The following Monday, the school doesn’t say much about the absence of Jennifer and Cody other than some students are no longer there as they breeched the school’s ethical codes. To put more insult upon injury, they also have to repay the stipend that the school had given them over the years. Grudge has come and gone, taking her belongings with her and Harlowe explains what he determined by assessing her assignments, that she was suffering from something close to bipolar disorder that came around about a year prior and has probably been exacerbated by using her powers.
Putting Cabin B in touch with Steve gets them put into touch with the financial director for the Foundation. Some people need more help and they’re all about helping them. Fiona makes a pitch to the student council and board to create something called Maraki Cares, creating a pot of money from donations, shares of funds from concessions from games, and otherwise, getting in contact with several other foundations and put a secret counsel in charge to determine where the money goes and how things work from there. Claiming that using those funds to keep the kids going in a slightly more stress-free environment. Harvey wants to try to track down Grudge, but he isn’t sure where to really start with that.
After Action Report (GM)
This was a good ending to this time skip. A lot was going on and I admit I used a bad guy mind controller early on so I could do something with it down the road. Mind control can be such a slippery slope and at least one of the PCs was annoyed about half way through – and really, they had that right – but it’s a supers trope and I wanted to use it. I think I did it well enough and it was only 1.5 sessions of time (any more than 3 would be untenable by even the staunchest of roleplayers).
The PCs also got to be on the opposite side of the field with a reason for that and that was something some of the PCs had requested. Now they see that criminality and breaking the law can have consequences and it’s just very good fodder I think for their continuing and evolving origin story. I think that Ben is probably the most traumatized by what he’s seen and I feel that Devin will do a wonderful job of roleplaying that in the future. Harlowe has some more hooks in him from the campaign world and Nemesis is one of my favorite NPCs in the setting thus far. I think that Fiona is going to cool down a bit too and Harvey is in a similar space – their actions lead to the death of one person and almost death of another. That’s going to hit them hard. They are still just kids – VERY gifted children, but still children.
Now, about Fred (my new player on C-Team). I actually had him recommended to me for a book I’m writing (GURPS Whatchamacallit) and I liked him so much when we were chatting over Zoom that I just started asking him my intake questions for being a player. He said everything I wanted to hear out of a potential playtester and definitely for a potential player. I asked him if he’d like to join my games and he said yes so I quizzed the other players and let them see the intake and got 100% approval from the players. I don’t add new people unless the current players are onboard. I also put my potential players through a long application to make sure they fit. This is why I mostly have stable games with stable players. Life happens, but I’ve only had two flameouts since 2016 so 1 every three years is fine and I am much pickier these days. So Fred decided to take me up on a concept I had for his character which was to play one of the Cabin C NPCs from an alternate dimension. In this case, Jamie. Now NPC Jamie’s powers are time and space related and when he uses them he gets “unstuck”. When Tabbs tried to heal him instead what she did was knock him out of his body and into his alternate’s body with his alternate coming into his. PC Jamie is going to be a savant with a battlesuit and various inventions instead of a time manipulator. We’re still considering how to have a smattering of other Jamie’s powers to be used by him. We’ll see.
Overall, good session and after session. Now just need to get through the upgrades and we’ll be good.
We got to play about an hour earlier so I could make sure we finished up and I could introduce Fred Fuchs – our new player for C-Team. We ended up plowing through it quite a bit faster than I thought though. Fast enough that we spend about an hour doing updates, time use, etc. for three out of four of the PCs. Which was AWESOME. (That night I also worked with Fred to create his new PC.)