Her name is not Poison Ivy! That's a trademark violation!
The angry woman invaded the daycare again, and we had to stop them. Other than a lot of broken up interior walls, there was less carnage our way than if the SWAT team had tried to blast their way in.
August 6, 2017
Everyone shuts it down for the night. Lenny is alone, on a one-night slump. Gordon hugs his daughter. Owen does not steal anything.
Next morning – more news reports about the #bostondragon. Samuel Bradley is on the morning shows denouncing the anti-meta rhetoric, and says that we can rest easily now that there’s a dragon here to protect us.
About 10 am, a bunch of things happen all at once. Every mobile phone goes off with a DHS-sponsored alert (?!). They are looking for Joanna Smith (we know her as “Mrs. Smith”)…”Consider extremely dangerous; do not approach. If you see someone matching this description (35, red hair, $height, etc.) contact law enforcement immediately. Moments after that, The Machine goes off and sends Gordon an alert. Darren’s news feed also pops up reporting an incident at the Tiny Tyke’s Daycare Center (yes, it’s the same one). Gordon finds some facething live feeds showing his daughter’s daycare center…it’s like some kind of inverse greenhouse (hedges have eaten the building). Gordon grabs his bike and heads off…
Gordon calls Darren.
Darren: What are you going to do?
Gordon: Since it involves my daughter, something stupid.
Darren: Want help? I’ll call the guys.
Darren rousts Lenny and Owen and we’ll meet Gordon there.
Mick and Lenny chat a little bit. Mick asks, “So Gordon asked for help?”
L: Yeah, the asshole called me.
M: He’s good folk.
L: If you say so.
M: So you’re all going to help? (he turns into an alley all of a sudden) Two right turns later, they’re in front of the Boston Globe just in time to pick up Darren. Darren texts Owen and we pick him (and breakfast for Lenny) up. We use the alley trick again. Some seriously observant alcoholic vagrant took notice of this, but may not believe his eyes. His problem. We pull up along a panting Gordon who’s hustling down the sidewalk. Gordon has seen an endless stream of cop cars and emergency vehicles...including one that’s armored. There is a crowd of people around the daycare and cops arming themselves. A forest surrounds the daycare.
Gordon dives into the Lexus and changes into Body of Titanium.
Notice: Everyone but Darren notices that Mick’s car changes to red as we approach the scene.
Owen: Faster color, Mick?
M: Yeah, plus a silver Lexus showing up at every significant event is kind of suspicious.
O: Neat trick. Is that like the phone app?
Gordon: What would be faster, you driving or your girlfriend tossing is there?
M: That’s cold, man. I don’t know how you’re going to get past the cops, but I’ll get you close.
G: Can you turn your ride into a tank?
M: I could make it *think* it’s a car…
Lenny uses an illusion to make Mick’s SUV look like a battalion chief’s cruiser.
M: That will get us closer. Turn on the sirens!
That will get us in, but not past the yellow tape (the firing line). We cannot see through the hedge inside. There is a cop in tactical gear setting up…someone is setting up lines to keep people out. Someone from the PD is moving traffic. There is a gentleman Lenny knows…or rather, a gentlewoman.
Lenny: I recognize that ass!
Darren: Go talk to your girlfriend there…
Lenny: I think her name is Linda Washington.
Darren: Ask Linda if you can help.
Agent Washington is talking to Stanley Hough, so Darren will go over with Lenny. Gordon starts to approach the building.
There is a crowd around Agent Washington; she’s barking orders like she’s in charge.
Darren sends Stanley a text saying we’re on-site to help. Lenny starts pushing people aside and moving in. Darren follows.
Linda: Mr Cooper!
Lenny: What’s DHS doing here other than the building covered in plants?
AW: That would be it…
L: Someone get crazy with the miracle-grow?
AW: It seems one of you…
L: Rock star or wrestler?
AW: (shakes head) Someone with a miracle grow power is holding kids hostage.
As soon as Gordon got out of the car, he starts to stroll in metal form past the cops towards the building. They’re protesting some and there are enough people in the way that he can’t move quickly, but he’s moving. He’s brushing people aside anyway.
L: Well, dear, I’m here to see if there’s anything I can do to help. Talk someone out of this, maybe? I’m good at that. I’m especially good with the ladies.
AW: How about with crazed superpowered women who have escaped from custody last night?
Darren: Lenny always says, “Crazy in the head, crazy in bed.”
L: Especially if she brings her own handcuffs…
AW: Mr. Cooper.
L: I’ll bring her around. Besides, that statue is going to walk right in. Mind if we help?
Rapport time - +2.
AW: This seems like something you should let the experts handle.
L: He’s not going to stop.
AW: Convince him.
L: He’s going in to get his kid. If you let us work with him, you may not have to do anything crazy.
Darren: Lenny…maybe we should let the experts deal with this after all. (empowering whatever stupid thing he’s about to do).
Lenny again attempts to convince AW to let us through. +8.
AW: Welcome to the team, Mr. Cooper.
Mick texts Darren, “How do you feel about incognito work? Loss of TV feed?”
Darren: Work’s gonna be pissed. They’ll need a man on the ground. Sounds good.
AW: We suspect it’s Mrs. Smith.
D: Has she made any moves other than the shrubbery?
AW: She hasn’t made contact yet. We’re trying to get the feeds inside. One of the teachers inside is rounding up the kids into the dining room.
AW seems unusually honest and cooperative right now.
D: How do we handle this normally? Try to get the kids to safety and hopefully Lenny can talk her down.
Dr. Hough is somewhat thrown by this, probably the use of “we”.
Dr. Hough: We did underestimate her a smidge. We do have a containment vehicle coming, but it’s going to take some time. If you can calm her down, we can make sure she doesn’t harm anyone.
“calm her down” may be code for “knock her ass out”.
Hough is clearly the scientist. Linda is the cop. She wants everyone but Joanna safe; he wants a lab rat. No empathy roll required but she’s calculating “acceptable losses” right now. This might be an unhealthy bureaucratic relationship.
Owen’s waiting for Gordon to get turned back, because he claimed to have something smart here. He watches Darren, Lenny, Hough, and Washington walking towards Gordon. Owen is suddenly following behind the four of them.
As we walk, Lenny starts talking cop business like he’s seen on TV.
AW: Those things aren’t real, but I have absolute confidence you can handle this. (She seems surprised to hear those words coming out of her own mouth.)
As we approach the open area between the building and the cordon, AW and Dr Hough back off. Dr H hands Darren a radio that still works.
As Gordon attempts to pull at these vines, Darren realizes this is a power-based obstacle and suppresses the zone. Gordon’s frustrated enough and runs over to an armored swat vehicle, uses his Bulking Up power, and absorbs the armor off of the vehicle. He’s 8’ tall and massive; the SWATmobile is in bad shape (collapses). The driver and guy who was manning the turret are now in the slagpile that used to be the MRAP. They’re both injured. Gordon feels bad but not that bad; he’ll apologize later.
Darren’s made a weak spot where the plants part…just in time for Gordon to go through it. He opens the door, even if it’s locked. The outside door swings open and loudly we are through the inside. The secretary who would normally be in the reception area is being choked out by her ficus plant.
Owen: I got this…
He summons a knife and begins to cut the plant. The plant does not like this. Fight!
They go at it for a while. Eventually he attempts to grapple the plant because he’s better at that. Darren gets some footage of the rampaging plant without identifying / embarrassing him. Owen manages to free her.
D: Where are the kids?
Receptionist: Most of them are in the common room!
Gordon: Where is the plant lady?
R: She’s in there with them. I don’t know where the teachers are though. She walked in and did this…
Our portal is growing shut, slowly.
She’s going to run out; we tell her to be careful so the police don’t do anything foolish. We move into the building and listen…best is +3 Notice. Sounds like frightened kids in the distance and muffled cries from multiple sources.
We discuss the plan…Neither Lenny nor Gordon is for sure…Darren suggests Lenny tries to talk her down while Gordon gets the kids out. Seems reasonable, so Darren empowers Lenny. Gordon will try to go through Room 1 (and it’s own doors).
L: Mrs. Smith, can we talk?
Gordon looks through the small window from room 1 to the common room. As he walks in, there’s a plant in here. Lenny recognizes that they used to be bonsai trees, but now they’re monstrous.
Lenny sees four trees in the room, and Mrs. Smith has 12 kids around her. She’s reading a book and they are paying attention in some kind of terrifying obedience.
She looks up at him and shushes him, then continues reading. One of the plants rustles at Lenny menacingly.
L: The authorities would like to talk to you, if you could come out.
Darren: I can take over reading if you want someone to take over the class. (and at this point there’s no way he’s *not* rolling footage).
When Gordon goes into Room 1, he notices his daughter’s teacher is held captive by her palm tree. He snaps the plant like a twig (rim shot) and frees her.
G: The front door is clear.
Owen escorts her out.
Teacher: What about the others?
O: We’ll get them…so go! The police are outside, so hands up. Go!
One of the other plants in Mrs. Smith’s room notices this.
What powers does Mrs. Smith have? Lots of Plant Control. She’s also doing it from range so that means more stunts required. It’s also noticeable that she winced when we heard the sound of the palm tree snapping. She’s focused on the kids, trying to ignore us.
L: Either you come out, or they’re going to come in. Trust me, he might not be able to write but he’s a really good reader!
Mrs. Smith: Go away!
Lenny turns on the charm, and his powers. “You *really* gotta come out.” Using a Fate point for a reroll, he gets +6. She also uses a Fate point…she doesn’t comply, but takes mental stress. One of the plants attempts to punch Lenny through the glass…Lenny tries to tap a room aspect for a reroll…he ducks behind the door. It lays the wood to him for a 3-box.
Lenny: That wasn’t cool!
Gordon moves from room 1 to room 4 and finds another teacher grappled by her fern.
Darren enters the room saying he’s coming to read to the children. He is not assaulted by the tree yet…then he Nullifies the zone.
Rapport – 1…she’s not having any of it. Looks like tree pummeling incoming.
Owen’s empathy -1…he’s oblivious of the fact that Darren’s going to get pummeled. Owen moves into room 3. There is a teacher in here being eaten by her venus fly trap. Physique…he beats it by 3 and frees the teacher.
Lenny has to deal with the teacher. His Rapport 3 means he understands that Darren is probably going to be the target of the trees this round. He tries to talk her down and fails.
She is clearly bothered by the interruption. She puts a bookmark in, closes her book, looks at Darren and Lenny, and says, “If you’re going to continue to interrupt class, there will be consequences.” And she’s not even yelling yet.
And then the trees attack. One tree punches, and two more come out into the hallways – the ones holding the teachers squeeze them (teachers take physical stress). Darren dodges the tree with spin…”faked out of his bark”. Then she sits back down and opens her book again.
Gordon deals with the fern in his room as it tries to escape the room. He shreds it (8 shifts).
Darren goes into the room farther and says, “It’s dangerous in here with all these plants moving around. Let me get you and the kids out of here.” He attempts to take her arm to lead her out (opposed fight) and succeeds. He now has Basic Plant Control. She is showing no interest in leaving the room, however.
Owen rescues the teacher from room 2 from the cornstalks menacing her. He notices that the plants don’t cover the playground. It’s going to require something to get outside, but only enough to make a hole.
Lenny attempts to create an illusion to scare the children out of the room figuring, “Go big or go home!”. And it’s worth a fate point. Darren almost falls for it except for the fact that this is the same dragon as the one before (and it’s on the concept art for his new album cover).
Kid: That man tried to make a scary Barney!
Mrs. Smith meticulously stands up and says, “It seems like we have a class clown.” One of them attempts to punch Lenny in return. Darren attempts to interfere with her ability to control the plant and can’t quite do it…then it attempts to punch Lenny and misses.
Darren opposes the control on one plant but fails…then it misses him. Gordon enters the common room…his daughter does not recognize him since he’s much larger and the wrong color.
Gordon: This is over with…it is time for these children to leave. Provoke -3 vs. whatever…
Darren says he wants to take these trees out of here so it’s safe for the kids to move out…and he shoves a tree out into the hallway.
Darren, to Lenny: Can you take out this tree?
Darren moves back into the room.
Owen attempts to teleport in and out with another tree. He goes into room 4. Lenny attempts to wrestle the tree in the hallway into room 3, and does so. He does it with tons of flair; the teacher in the room ducks as the tree flies over.
Joanna closes her book for the third time, sets it down, and says, “It appears this class is not interested in learning. Seeing as some students are causing a problem, we will have to punish everyone unless someone apologizes for their behavior, I will have to start doling out punishment. Of course, one of the trees moves over to Gordon’s daughter. The tree is getting ready to grab her.
Darren attempts to oppose Joanna’s attempts to grab children with trees. First one he manages to impede enough…she clearly had to strain. Second one she succeeds. The tree moves forward, and she knows that something is opposing her. This seems to be a surprise, but she suspects it’s Darren.
We will have another round to stop trees. The trees in the other rooms drop limp.
Gordon realizes that she just sent a tree after his daughter and is having none of it. He attempts to grab one tree and throw it against the other one…and succeeds with style. It turns out you can hit a motherfucker with another motherfucker. There is a pile of twisted limbs in the corner.
Darren: Seriously, Mrs. Smith, it’s time to go.
He tries to grab her and succeeds in putting her in an armlock (advantage)…and starts moving her, marching her out of the room. Success on Physique creates more spin.
Kid: How’s the story going to end?
Darren: And they all lived happily ever after.
Owen teleports into the circle, opens up the book, and starts reading.
Lenny notices that Joanna Smith is protesting and fighting her movement. He wants to use his skills to create advantage…since he was a tag-team wrestler back in the day. He’ll assist. The return of Johnny Nacho succeeds.
As we’re walking, Darren feels some kind of power surge…One of the plants starts to grow to full size. Darren can’t stop her…a double-normal sized plant bursts through the wall.
Lenny: Gordon, someone’s here for you!
Gordon: Just talk ‘em down!
Gordon: Owen, get the kids out!
He attempts to tackle the large tree back into the room. He succeeds with spin.
Darren attempts to talk some sense into her…”They’re going to want to talk to you, but no one got hurt here. If you do this right, well, they’ll want to talk to you but Mr. Boston Dragon is still walking around unopposed. Otherwise, the SWAT team is outside and you know how that’s going to go. I’m not a cop, but they’re out there.”
Lenny continues to help Darren (more spin). Then he tries to convince Joanna that it’s not that bad, he’s been looked at, Agent Washington must be nice because she’s got a nice ass, etc.
Lenny realizes that Joanna is crazy…she lost something somewhere. Lenny’s used to this because he dates a lot of women like that, so his Rapport +5 is doing well.
We have a million free spins out there, but she’s got one last chance with her remaining tree…As it bursts through the wall, Darren and Joanna turn to face it. Presumably she tears it apart just before it shreds both of them. At this point she slumps in defeat, having conceded (take that fate point TYVM).
The radio crackles to life; and Darren says they’ve got Mrs. Smith coming peacefully. No guns; she’s under control. The plants surrounding the building start to wilt and die.
Gordon wants Owen to take him back to his bike, and drops his power. They do teleport out so Gordon can come up as a concerned citizen.
Lenny goes to herd children. Owen teleports back inside.
The truck backs up. There are Agents (DHS), labcoats (CDC/NASA), and tacticals (people with guns). Two tacticals in the truck and Agent Washington and Dr. Hough come up as well.
Dr Hough: Thanks for your help.
Washington is wondering why there’s so much carnage inside.
Darren tells them she’s crazy but was cooperating. Keep her away from plants.
Notice rolls (+2): The trailer is super white inside and there’s a missing NASA logo. When the door closes, it hermetically seals.
Them: We’ll get her the help she needs, where she can’t do this.
Darren: She hasn’t hurt anyone, just scared them.
Washington: Who’s responsible for the armored vehicle?
Us Deceive 0, +1, +2.
Lenny: What armored vehicle? All I see are parts.
Washington: Thanks for the help. If we need any help in the future, maybe we’ll call. Lenny.
Everyone notices them looking for the big metal guy. Lenny and Darren say they were busy…when Washington is looking at Lenny and Darren, Owen disappears.
Stanley says he would really like a debriefing…particularly before anything’s posted to the Globe.
There is a question about Gordon’s identity because he did say some stuff about facial recognition. Darren doesn’t detect a lot of deception or any powers…Hough doesn’t seem to be hiding anything. He may not be capable of deception.
Darren doesn’t tell anyone that he nullified the walls out in order to get inside because that’s the last thing anyone saw until we called on the radio. Lenny tries to smokescreen everyone. Darren doesn’t do much of a job (-3) while Lenny does great (+4).
Empathy +1 both ways…Washington is dutifully accepting our story…we sold it well enough, and she failed her roll. She’s not buying it, but she has no evidence and she can actually write it up as a report. Hough totally bought it. He can’t lie and can’t tell when anyone else is, either. Matter of fact, we suspect “Linda Washington” isn’t her real name but we’d swear that Stanley Hough is actually Stanley Hough.
The kids are all fine and start talking about a big metal man, fake scary Barney, plants, and magic man who finished the story. As soon as parents see the kids, all yellow tape is ignored…including some Gordon guy.
And Gordon’s daughter tells him about the big metal man…she didn’t recognize him.
Dan adjusts his skills. We adjust Refresh.
Scott is likely going to be a little late next week.
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