Check out who DHS sent to interview me!
We settled the case of the telekinetic vigilante...we stopped his murderous rampage, kind of, and let him walk. However, his exploits turned up the heat and now the Feds are asking questions.
July 9, 2017
Next weekend: last game of July
7/23 – no game, Eric’s out and Mike is working the church picnic
7/30 – camping
This game will run through end of August. May or may not play over Labor Day.
Aaron’s out Aug 20.
Scott may be late August 13.
Notice: +2, +3, +3?, …no horseshoe pits here. Someone wanted to do this badly enough that they carried in stakes.
We have multiple last-knowns for Curtis. We head back to Mick’s car.
Gordon: We have a murderous vigilante and someone handing out powers.
Darren: Neither one’s good, but the vigilante is making a public spectacle.
Mick looks at the list of last known addresses…one of them is nearby, and fly-boy is headed that way. So is the other guy…more slowly, but it’s that direction.
Darren: Did they run past your phone and that was close enough for you to…never mind, don’t answer that. Let’s go.
We roll up to a two-story brownstone. As we arrive, Mick circles the block for us. There’s an alley out back and a small backyard…the fence door is wide open. We can hear screaming from the backyard…we stop the car and get out. Darren runs up to the fence to peek around. Owen teleports to the roof of a neighboring house. Gordon grabs a rock and moves up to the fence; Lenny runs up to the fence and checks the neighbor’s yard.
Looks like an interrupted barbecue in the yard with the screaming. There are half a dozen people lying on the ground…pinned down with horseshoes, etc. The back door to the house was blown off its hinges from the inside or yanked off its hinges.
Darren: Owen, check out the house! Seems to be activity inside.
Gordon turns to body of stone.
Quick glance suggests no one is actively dying out here.
Darren heads for the house. Gordon steps inside first; Owen teleports in. Lenny follows behind, passing on the beers.
First room is the kitchen – Gordon looks at the knife block (or other sharp metal things). All of the steak knives are there, but the really big one is missing.
Listen: sounds like something’s going on upstairs.
Darren: Curtis, we’re here to help!
We head for the front of the house where the stairs are likely to be.
WE move to the front of the house and find four guys pointing guns upstairs…now at us.
Notice - +4…fly-boy is one of them. None of them are powered. They don’t seem to know what’s going on.
Gordon: I’ll go first. I’m made of stone.
Fly boy puts his hands up; we head upstairs.
Gordon: I need to get one of those “hero” shirts.
Darren enhances him; Lenny uses an illusion to re-dress Gordon in a Captain America outfit.
Lenny’s empathy is 0. Never mind!
Top of stairs is an open door leading to an open room suggesting the house was remodeled. The guy we think is Curtis is pinned up against a four-poster bed with a knife to his neck. No one is holding the knife, but a 6’ man in full tactical gear is between us and him.
Notice: +1 +2 -1 -1.
The probably-Curtis guy around the wall has several gold chains around his neck that are really tight, but not choking him yet. They’re probably what’s holding him against the wall.
Gordon: This isn’t how you want to use your powers!
Time for initiative!
The guy in tactical gear turns to us, and Curtis slides down from the wall. The knife is still floating, so we haven’t completely distracted the tac-man. Curtis is breathing more easily, at least.
When he turns to us, he’s not wearing goggles…looks to be white, has eyes, and at first glance resembles Frances Beaumont.
Gordon has drawn Frances’s attention which is mission accomplished.
Frances: Of course, there are more of them. (points) This isn’t your problem. Just walk away. This guy ain’t worth your time.
He does something; his knife drops down to Curtis but doesn’t slash him yet.
Darren knows Curtis isn’t powered. The assumed to be Frances guy must be powered and has lots of telekinesis! Like, a triple-dose of it. Clearly he’s good at it.
Darren: First, Frances, this isn’t justice. More importantly (player note – bad choice of words), it is our business because you’re killing guys and it’s in the news. We’re all going to be hunted if you keep this up.
Owen has seen the room…can he go back there if he returns downstairs? He’d like to get into the room un-noticed and maybe save Curtis. Or more precisely, “steal” Curtis. He scans the room quickly and heads downstairs next turn…he’d be able to do so next round. Probably a notice roll.
Notice with burglary? +6.
Owen: Fuck this, man. You can keep him. I’m outta here!
His deceive was really good (+6). However, Gordon knows that he’s really a hero.
Gordon and Darren notice +7 and +3 – Curtis takes the opportunity to pull something from under his pillow and stab himself in the leg. He seems surprised that things don’t change quite like he wanted them to…
Lenny runs past Owen and enters the room, saying, “Dude, you’re going to want to put the knife down!” Good result…
Frances: No, I really need to do this.
G: You’re right, I don’t care. But what you’re doing will draw too much attention to those of us with powers.
F: What makes you think I care about tomorrow? (knife moves closer, but he strains to make it happen)
Gordon moves up closer when Frances has his back turned.
Darren: You better start thinking about tomorrow because what you did to Terrance will be a picnic compared to what the government men are going to do to you.
Fight: Darren 4, Frances 4. He’s clearly had military combat experience. He catches Darren’s hand, but that’s enough.
Basic, master, long-distance, and telekinetic might. He can lift a car. His Collateral Damage – Unstoppable Telekinesis. If he decides he wants to, he can telekinese everything. However, his power overall is limited to metal only. Darren will steal Telekinetic Might.
Owen wants to teleport in and succeeds in getting to Curtis and the knife at his neck. Owen attempts to shush Curtis. He notices Curtis’s skin is flickering between scales and skin; Curtis nods silently at him, but Owen sees him looking at his forearms with concern.
Lenny: Dude, you really really *really* want to put the damn knife down.
Lenny uses a fate point to boost his roll and gets a +6. Frances taps, “For Amanda” to resist, and takes some damage.
Frances: I have to do this for Amanda! Let me finish this!
He sounds calm and ice-cold about this.
Gordon tries to Rapport with Frances. “This is not the way that Amanda would want you to do this. I lost my wife too…there are other ways.” +2 plus fate point means he puts an Aspect on him, either “Seed of doubt” or “kindred spirit”.
Frances pauses…”But this has to be the mission. I have to finish this…” He seems to be less confident. He doesn’t do anything, but the knife is still there.
Darren waits, preparing to oppose the knife.
He *does* notice Owen in the room. Owen teleports Curtis out onto the couch. He turns to look at Curtis (who’s next). Curtis has gone full scaly like a power kicked in. He looks around quickly to realize where he is, says, “Thanks, brother,” and pulls out an AK from under the couch. If it makes anyone feel better, he doesn’t look hostile to *Owen*.
The goons in the living room are suddenly surprised to see Owen and Curtis behind them. Owen is surrounded by five guys with guns.
Lenny taps the aspect and tells Frances he has to follow the rules. He attempts to Influence with Rapport…+7. It appears that Frances is fighting him, but Lenny is definitely dealing him some stress/damage.
Gordon: let’s get you out of here and figure out the right way to take these guys down.
On Frances’s turn, he attempts to summon the knife to his hands. Darren attempts to stop that with a Poor Telekinesis check. The knife doesn’t snap into his hands but it gets there…he’s surprised and concerned.
Darren: Maybe Amanda doesn’t want you to do this?
Frances: What did you do to him?
Darren: I didn’t do anything…he’s just gone!
Bad deceive; Darren knows but didn’t actually do anything.
Darren: I don’t know. Maybe he just disappeared, just like people doing weird things with knives. There’s a lot of that going around. Now put the knife down and we’ll get out of here once we all calm down.
Darren succeeds on Rapport with style…two free taps. “Cooler heads prevail.”
Owen sees his five gang-bangers. He’s pretty sure he knows what the guy upstairs is going to do, and he wants to see. He waits.
Curtis loads his assault rifle. “Fucker comes into my house? Let’s get him!” They start moving up the stairs. Lenny sees the troupe of armed folks heading up the stairs led by a full-on lizard man.
Lenny turns into the stairway (into his zone) and collateral damages these guys with mass hysteria. They all have a group hallucination of demons, etc. This will take them out, not kill them.
Unfortunately the stairway and the living room are the same zone. As a PC, Owen needs a Fair Will check to avoid a Moderate consequence. He’s ok. Curtis is also taken out.
Lenny is pretty surprised…”I didn’t know I could do *that*”. He’s concerned about Owen.
Owen: Warn a guy next time you’re going to do that.
Darren and Gordon don’t have to roll, but they are freaked out that Lenny could do *that*. Spine shivering, nails-on-chalkboard, etc.
Darren: You’re a monster, dude. You didn’t actually kill them, did you?
Owen: What was that?
L: I just told them to put the guns down and die…and then they collapsed. There’s blood coming from eyes and ears…and the clatter of guns falling down.
Gordon steps between Darren and the knife and prepares to defend.
G: We’re not your enemies here.
Frances looks at Lenny, then at Darren.
F: So it’s ok for him to trash people, but when *I* do it, it’s a problem?
He flings the knife into the headboard and attempts to stomp out in disgust of us.
G: What are you going to go do now?
F: What’s it to you?
G: I feel like we’re all in this together. Normals aren’t going to watch our back, and the government hasn’t responded yet.
D: I feel bad for what happened to your wife, but the cops are going to be looking for you for what’s *checks phone* about to be on the front page.
Gordon doesn’t want to stop the Frances. Frances says maybe he’ll go somewhere that doesn’t suck if he wants to avoid the Boston SWAT team.
Lenny wants to go knock the guns away and make sure he didn’t actually kill them.
We are pretty sure that Frances has two murders on his hands, but his bloodlust for Curtis may be sated…he’s about to walk away figuring the job’s close enough.
Is Curtis still a lizard? No. Once he was taken out, his power went away. Taken out = powers off.
None of us decide to stop Frances…he strides out.
Darren quickly loots the room and picks up the one syringe.
Lenny: Dude, vigilante isn’t the thing to do. It’s not right.
Frances looks at Lenny and barks out a laugh. The argument seems to ring hollow. He looks down the hallway and says, “Self-defense, I suppose.”
L: I didn’t kill them. It would have been a different situation if you would have called the cops.
F: Even with the average response time in Dorchester, we don’t have time for this debate.
Frances walks out the front door. He does have enough Will to resist kicking Curtis on the way through.
Darren finds a little bit of juice in the old syringe, and one more under his pillow. Gordon helps (+4) look; behind the bed is an impressive-looking .45 which we don’t touch. No serial numbers anymore! There’s a cigar box with four more syringes…red, which we take.
Owen puts on rubber gloves and loots the bodies. Burglary +2 = $2k that will be donated to a church somewhere. Lenny is still shell-shocked. We don’t loot anything else to get rich.
Darren: Get Curtis’s phone.
Owen takes the phone, unlocks it with Curtis’s thumb and turns off the lock, then turns it off.
To get the cops involved, Owen calls 911 from one of the mooks’ phone, and then we head out the front door.
Now is a good time for dinner…and we need to discuss what we do with super-powered criminals.
Over the next few days, the news comes hot and heavy. The string of murders (Terrence, the Johnson boys, etc.), the mess at Curtis’s house, and the media hype have linked all of this to superhuman abilities – no mere mortal could have crucified a man on his own garage, etc. Opinions take two sides…some people talk about the return of Superman, the hero to save us all. Others are afraid – who are the superpowered people, how many are there, are they here to kill us all? Willie’s grandmother, Dorothy Roberts, talks about “those were good boys, and nobody deserves to die like that”. Buried in the news, Curtis and his posse were rounded up. They were expected to recover from their injuries, but due to parole violations and various evidence they are likely to sit for a while.
The talking heads on TV have all chimed in somehow…there are “experts” on super-human abilities that have just shown up, blah blah blah.
Lenny is interviewed by a rather striking women in a government-issue suit. She comes to the office and can’t help but talk to her…it’s like they knew sending a woman would loosen his tongue.
The syringes are all full of a red fluid. To Darren’s untrained eye, they look the same. Could he squeeze a drop of the stuff out and touch it to see what it does? Well, they resonate some kind of power amplification but it’s not like his. He talks to a guy he knows who does medical testing (PED’s, blood doping, etc.)…and the guy says it’s blood. All of them are from the same donor, but it’s not clear who it is. Their guess is that is it’s like blood doping, but not in this small of quantity.
He lets them test his own blood as a sample of “normal” blood. From a curiosity standpoint, if nothing else. It’s not the same as his own blood. My blood doesn’t have the same “superpowered” feel (yes, it feels superpowered but it can’t enhance). It is definitely human blood and not synthetic. The lab we’re working with can tell us it’s female. He sends off one sample for public DNA testing just to see what comes up. Check back in a few weeks.
Gordon hangs out at the hospital trying to find someone who could help him out with blood testing, but he doesn’t know if he can trust them.
One day, Gino walks into Owen’s shelter, and smiles. Like, actually smiles which is strange.
O: You’re looking mighty chipper?!
Gino: Better meds! Quiet pills, actually.
O: Looks like they work. Mind if I see those?
Valium, antidepressants, etc. $happy_pills. Apparently Gino’s last name is Moretti.
Gino’s happy to see that no one took his spot.
The agent whips out her laptop and shows off the “Lenny’s Greatest Hits of the last 2 weeks” reel. He says it’s pretty cool and offers her a drink. She flashes a badge, and he knows it’s definitely a badge (not sure which agency).
L: What can I do for you?
Agent Lynda Washington: Given recent events, let’s just say the powers that be have taken an interest in those who exhibit superhuman powers. And also needless to say, your stunts…if it makes you feel better, I checked and the Blue Angels were not scheduled to fly over Pawtucket.
L: Funny, they were there.
Deceive +3 –
ALW: Uh huh. Regardless, we were hoping you would be willing to submit to some examinations…
L: We gonna play doctor? Or house? Either way it’s just as fun!
ALW: That is not my role.
He is currently pushing her boundaries right now.
ALW: We were hoping you could do your civic duty and help us understand where these powers come from.
L: I prayed to I’d have a good show, and I did. I thought the Blue Angels would be cool, and they showed up. I don’t know anything else.
ALW: That’s what you’re going with? Wouldn’t you really like to know why?
L: It’s what’s happening…
ALW: I can’t imagine the last time you were in a church.
L: Don’t have to go to church to be religious.
ALW: As an agent of DHS, I’m required to ask permission first.
ALW: Homeland Security,.
L: Why are you messing with me? I love America.
ALW: We would appreciate your cooperation and understanding. Not everyone who manifested powers is as colorful and cheery as you.
L: I love colorful and cheerful.
L: I never said that. Lenny’s got to get paid.
She looks at her phone: So Lenny wants to get paid. We could make those years of back taxes disappear.
Lenny curses about his manager not paying taxes.
L: So what was the plan?
ALW: We just want to run a few tests.
L: And all those taxes go away?
ALW: What taxes need to go away?
L: Do I get that in writing?
ALW: The record of your failure to pay will be expunged, yes. And you will get a receipt from the IRS. We would, however, prefer you pay taxes in the future.
He agrees…she invites him to follow her and suggests he bring his drink along. He grabs a couple road sodas and leads him off.
A gentleman named Stanley Hough comes to see Darren. Unlike Lenny, Darren checks his badge. Just as the agent shows up, he sees a tweet from Lenny, “Check out who DHS sent to interview me! Better than the Globe…”
Darren greets Mr. Hough, who’s with the CDC. He has two badges…his clip-on name badge for CDC (looks legit, with an ancient picture) and then whips out a leather wallet with a brand new gold badge. He’s clearly not used to doing this. The badge says “Joint meta-human task force, CDC division”. +4 notice…there is a little logo – CDC, DHS, and NASA. There is a current picture of Stanley in the wallet. Stanley is not Powered.
S: Mr. Moore, we’ve noticed you’ve been at the forefront of the superpower epidemic. Your news reports – the musician and the kid flipping the car, which we’ve confirmed was not photoshopped. We’d appreciate it if you could help us gain a better understanding.
Darren: We have the kid’s parents on file, and it looks like Lenny’s already being interviewed. I did a piece on him a while back.
S: Yes, it looks like they sent Agent Washington. Of course they did.
S: Your country would appreciate, as one of the few professionals covering these stories, any tips on folks like Lenny or this poor child – we don’t consider them bad people and aren’t planning to lock them up. But there has been a rise of a deviant sort.
D: There was a big story on the front page about a guy who got staked to his garge door.
S: WE think that was one guy.
He slides over his card and invites Darren to share any information on deviants that he finds.
Darren: Make sure you talk to the real reporters. And if something happens, should we be calling the cops or you?
S: Keep my number. We’re taking point. As far as talking to the News chief, we have sent out press memos etcetera. Well, we’ve had our analytics team looking at all kinds of news stories. You’ve hit a couple of home runs, so we’d like to work with you or anyone else at the Globe.
(mike: not that much better than Aaron’s mind)
For a Fate point, Darren reveals that Curtis and his boys may have been related to Terrence and his boys, all related through the Beaumont case. Somehow Darren may have accidentally
S: Very interesting that you’d make that correlation.
D: A lot of the suspects in the Beaumont case were found brutalized.
S: I appreciate that. Do let me know if you come up with anything.
D: Well, anyone who’s going around nailing people to the wall, super-powered or not, needs to be off the streets.
S: Boy, I think we’re going to curse the day that asteroid came through. Well, good talking to you.
D: You too. If I come across anything, I’ll pass it on.
S: Your country thanks you for your help.
As he gets up, they shake hands. Darren notices that he’s a trenchcoat kind of guy…and he’s carrying an old-school radio on him. There was something about “Incident at the Federal Reserve. Response team en route.” He caught that and seems to be in a big hurry all of a sudden.
Darren writes out a note on paper, “Lenny was interviewed by DHS, and I was interviewed by a suit from DHS-CDC-NASA. They’re looking for us so be careful what you say. The government is now looking for information and people.” Then he includes a printout of Lenny’s tweet.
He checks his Uber app and the only car on it, Mick, is nearby. He talks to Mick and asks him to deliver a note to Owen and Gordon. Mick asks if the spooks are on to them; Darren asks if he saw Lenny’s tweet. Lenny is apparently at MIT.
D: Picking up co-eds, I hope.
Some cash changes hands, and the record of hailing the Uber disappears. Darren warns Mick and Raina to be careful if people start asking questions.
A little while later Gordon’s phone rings. There’s a messenger service here for you?
He heads down to the front desk to find Mick looking around. He pretends to not know who he is. Mick quickly dashes off after handing over the letter.
Gordon: That was super weird.
Receptionist: Messenger services don’t always get the best.
Some drive time later, Owen is at $deli getting a sandwich for lunch. Two things happen. First, Mick pulls up and walks right in.
Mick gives Owen a message and says, “I went to the shelter and they said you weren’t there.” He shakes his head no as he says this.
A breaking news story comes up on the TV in the deli. At the Federal Reserve, the cameras show someone walking into the side wall of the building (both live and security footage)…then he walked out holding a number of bags. The cameras see him all shadowy. As he starts to solidify, the PD shouts at him to freeze…he refuses to comply, so they unload on him. The bullets go right through him; he wanders into another building and disappears.
Owen thinks dude must have just taken more money than he’s ever touched, so someone just moved up the ladder a little bit. Burglary of Great – he’s studied the subways for other jobs, and he has certainly gotten access to that. There is no way the cops will find him. He can definitely appreciate the artistry behind this heist.
Meanwhile, Mick and the rest of the deli are glued to this footage.
Owen, whispering: Dammit, someone’s making us look bad.
To make matters worse, this guy is probably keeping the cash.
O: Can we find out who that guy was?
M: A shadowy ghost?
O: No, he’s a dude.
M: Is this the next job? The next mission? Want me to tell Darren?
O: No, not yet.
Mick dashes out all excited-like.
Owen whips out his phone and looks up which subway line runs under that building. It’s the Red line which runs up to Harvard Square.
Back to Lenny:
Agent Lynda Washington endures Lenny’s flirtatious comments well enough not to tazer him three times. She didn’t but she thought about it. They ride up to MIT; someone had to be in the back with Lenny and she drew the short straw. He’s taken to an old building on campus…the second he gets through the door, she has officially had enough – she signs a clipboard and hands him off to two labcoats who are neither attractive nor female.
They tell him that his phone might interfere with the test equipment so they give him a plastic box for his stuff. He gets a selfie with the two labcoats and posts it that he’s at MIT getting tested #highereducation. The labcoats managed to obscure their faces, at least.
Darren looks at the picture…only their shoulders. There’s a blurry badge on one…looks like the logo on Hough’s badge (CDC-DHS-NASA).
For the next several hours, Lenny is being tested. Mick sends Darren a link and says he knows where he is…do we need to rescue Lenny?
D: We probably can’t, and running from the cops makes you look guilty.
M: What if they take him to Area 51?
D: I hear Nevada’s nice this time of year.
After several hours of boring testing, Lenny has sobered up. He’s been poked, prodded, and tested every way imaginable. Some of these may only have been done on monkeys. They don’t seem to know what they’re testing for, but they’re doing. The building is old, but all of the equipment is brand new (like the plastic’s still on it). At some point he asks for a beer…
Labcoats: Soon enough, Lenny. We’re almost done Mr. Cooper.
Then they put him in some kind of sensory deprivation chamber (Lenny: Like a recording studio but with less beer!). They seem to be trying to provoke a response.
Lenny is currently very nervous about his power since the other night. The Illusion is not always controllable, though…
Mike: If they want to see your thing, will you show them?
Us: Come on, man!
Will he show them illusion power? Lenny is good-natured and friendly but he isn’t willing to do that. Eventually they start trying to overstimulate him (sounds, noises, etc.) to provoke either power.
Will = Great.
They don’t torture him enough to get him to use his powers. Lenny figures that they’re trying to squeeze it out of him. Had he not held back, they may have been able to get another collateral damage out of him.
Lenny: Does this count as my annual physical? Will you send me a copy of the results?
By the time he’s done, he gets some college cafeteria food (sucks). 8 hours later, Agent Washington comes back. He’s back in his own clothing before she walks in.
ALW: Thank you for your service, Mr. Cooper. This way.
He asks for his phone back to call an Uber, but they will give him a ride back home. His driver has his phone. He gets in the back; Agent Washington does not. This isn’t a police car, but this is the same car as before and there’s a panel between the front and back. Once off-campus, a divider opens up and the driver hands him his phone. He’s dropped off at the studio and walks to the local bar. He texts out, “All day at MIT and didn’t even get a T-shirt.”
Next week we will have to interact with Gordon first. He shouldn’t have to make a new character.
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