Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Aeon C-Team S304: Void Rifts

We'll update the logo... eventually
The Team:

Marsh Langston (Maverick): A blond, smiling hacker that will rip the most secure files out of your mainframe while convincing you that he's just downloading more RAM. Marsh is a technical wunderkind and social engineer with a shadowy background in intelligence. PROHIBITION MOBSTER

Mikhail Kovalenko (Alex): Measuring 6'4" and weighing about 230lbs, Ukrainian-born Mikhail Kovalenko was a former special agent in Eastern Europe and is extremely competent at drinking vodka, making friends with random people, piloting, field action, reminding others that he's from Ukraine (not Russia), field operations, and handling firearms. TOTALLY NIKO BELLIC

Agent Veracity (Me): The Subway's resident spook and dumpster diver, Agent Veracity is a highly skilled investigator, tradecraft expert and conspiracy nut. HE'S IN YOUR TRASH!

Louis (Andre): A metamorph who can control his appearance and do all kind of mimicry stuff.

Ayumi (Annia): Basically Katarra. Japanese. 


In the following two months, Blue Skies goes down HARD. Some of the Blue Skies upper ups actually get charged with Treason. We end up aiding mop up efforts against Blue Skies.

Mikhail's missing eye is replaced with a cybernetic implant- one that only has black and white vision however.

Blue Skies is broken up and bought out by other groups. Anything metahuman related is confiscated by the government before they're sold. 

We're thrown into debriefing hell, followed up by paperwork hell, then followed by mole whacking hell, then followed by congressional hearing hell. This last numerous months.

B-Team's last confrontation with the guy in the black suit gets in our hands- it looks like he imploded inside a house. Confirmation that he's dead doesn't follow.

We find ourselves at the end of work hell investigating the overthrow of the Argentinian Government, an event that happened six months ago.

The entire populace has been put to work building infrastructure. The coup was bloodless, basically a huge uprising of citizens who decided all at once to reform the government right then and there.

It doesn't appear to be mind control- the populace seems perfectly happy with the change in government. The new head of the government is some guy named Constantino Alvarez. 

We're in the area because the new government has shown that they have access to tech that they shouldn't have their hands on. The medical advancements they're showing off are way ahead of schedule- basically they're heading for generalized TL9 medical tech, possibly even as far as a generalized vaccine against all disease.

We've assumed World Health Organization credentials.

We know that Alvarez was rescued by the Cavalry on the same mission Arc Light died on. 

We arrange a meeting with Alvarez. He'd asked the WHO to visit, but we smooth it over by claiming we weren't sent due to that request and that wires got crossed.

There's a lot of amazing stuff going on in their research labs- cybernetics, vaccines, new treatments, prosthetics. We debate trying to get Mikhail's cybernetic eye replaced with something better, but decide against it.

Marsh uses Science! to determine how Argentina's tech is advancing so quickly. He spends Karma to get a crit. His first guess would be that Alvarez is a ridiculously talented savant, but the advances are just too fast. There's something going on, something that Marsh can't quite put his finger on the source of. They're showcasing medical and transportation tech, but the advancements aren't limited to just those fields.

Some Blue Skies lab techs have been hired to help with the research endeavors. Veracity's gut doesn't rule out Argentina attempting to create metahumans as a possibility.

Alvarez has a huge cabinet full of crystal skulls. A few look real to Veracity and Marsh, but neither of us have ever handled one. Alvarez claims he inherited them from his predecessor. Both Marsh and Veracity attempt Detect Lies (via wildcards). Alvarez is definitely on the fringe of lying by omission.

We're recalled to the States by Legend shortly after our meeting with Alzarez concludes. 

We're shown the press release for the Homeland Security/Department of Justice endeavor to register and control metahuman activity. 

The Human Purity Association has been gaining media traction within US, spewing vitriol and bile all over the place about metahumans. 

We're called in to talk with Legend. He looks like he's having a bad day. We all sit down on his oversized couch- even Mikhail looks small compared to it.

Legend asks us about Argentina, and Marsh explains the situation with accelerated tech improvements and the fact that Alvarez seems to be going off something else's script.

He asks if we noticed anything out of place. Marsh answers that he saw no dissent- definitely abnormal. 

Legend doesn't look happy, and inquires about crystal skulls. Legend says "looks like he found the mind skull" and then tells us not to pay attention to that. Considering that two of us have Eidetic Memory (Photographic), that's not fucking happening.

Legend says we're getting a fourth person assigned to us since three of us just isn't enough muscle. Then he requests to talk to Veracity alone.

Outside, some analysts talk to Marsh and Mikhail. They're intimidated by Mikhail. The brothers go on to talk to the last time Mikhail kneecapped a guy. The analysts flee and then the brother talk about who inherited what from which parent. 

Mikhail is concerned that Yelena is out hurting people while she's being influenced by the tattoo. (Sr. has ended up in the labyrinth, the most prisony prison available for the baddest of the bad.

Legend calls everyone back in and hands out folders on Arc Light's Widow. He explains the whole battlesuit leasing program, including 1,300 troops in Arc Light like armor. His widow's rampage against Metahumans is a little strange cause he was a meta at one point in time.

Legend will get back to us on the new team member. He's assuming a wait and see approach to the registration brouhaha. Legend sees the situation as a slippery slope where law-abiding metahumans are put under additional suspicion just for having powers.

Blackwell is terrible, a fact admitted by Legend. Despite being a career politician, Blackwell's been a bit of a dark horse candidate, despite talking about being president for almost half a decade. 

"You know things have really gone downhill when you turn to Niklos for moral advice."

We're all in a strip club in Moscow enjoying vacation. Mikhail is drinking heavily, Marsh is enjoying himself, and Veracity is a helpless workaholic.

Marsh and Veracity notice Yelena, Mikhail's mother, walking with a bunch of thugs walking to the back room of the strip club.

Marsh cracks into the club's security feeds. In the back there's a few prisoners in cells and Yelena is getting beat up by the thugs.

One prisoner is Japanese, heavily restrained. The other is

Marsh informs Mikhail that his mother is on site. Veracity convincingly shouts fire in a nightclub in native Russian, causing everyone to flee.

A single guard leaves the back room, drawing his gun. Marsh quick-draws his electrolaser and zaps the man, knocking him out. Mikhail storms in and headshots the dude beating his mother, killing the thug immediately.

Veracity gets to work making sure evidence of Mikhail's gunfire is picked up. The prisoners start screaming.

Marsh heads to help the prisoners and is shot at by a guard. He fails his feverish defense dodge and takes a point of damage.

It sounds like a huge police raid is ongoing inside. Marsh convinces a guard that he's being arrested, which goes with the auditory stuff really well.

Yelena just keeps repeating Black Swan over and over again. Her hand is trashed, her ribs are busted, and it looks like she was gone over by a trained torturer.

Mikhail crit-fails his attempt provide first aid, spending 3 points of karma to make it a success.

The Japanese chick is kicking and screaming at the door.

Veracity crit-succeeds at rigging the strip club to blow up by opening gas lines and leaving a pilot light on in the kitchen.

Asumi and Louis both reconnect with Mikhail in a tearful reunion.

An explosion rocks the underground. Veracity walks downstairs without seeming very perturbed by it. He spends some time collecting evidence before the team leaves out the back.

Zeus happens to be at the local airport with an AEGIS Vertol. Mikhail carjacks someone to get their wheels. Louis suddenly looks like a police officer.

Veracity is very busy cleaning up evidence. The Strip Club is a conflagration. Veracity directs the team to the nearest safehouse. Mikhail drives there ridiculously fast.

It's an old abandoned bakery. Inside is an AEGIS Agent who verifies our identities. We descend into the safehouse and luck out- it has a portable surgical theater. Anya, Marsh, and Veracity look over Yelena.

Veracity then uses telepathic learning to gain points in Current Affairs from Yelena. Veracity sees an abyss, which stares back. Inside it are things, moving and writhing.

General Legend calls. He wants the prisoners and Yelena back stateside PRONTO. He orders Zeus to the safehouse to pick us up. Yelena still repeats Black Swan over and over again.

Veracity and Marsh get to cracking into the files on Ayumi and Louis. Veracity crit-fails on trying to help with the hacking, spending 3 karma to make it a success.

Evidently the Russians had their own formula like Purple Drank, but it caused significant longevity issues.

Veracity is hauled into debriefing. His report causes Legend to down antacid and scotch, while shaking his head and saying "bullshit" repeatedly.

Yelena is moved into surgical care.

Ayumi and Louis are debriefed, and learn that they were declared dead. Louis plays around, making himself look like a corpse. Both are given psychological advice.

We all catch a burned desiccated corpse with veins of darkness get wheeled through AEGIS headquarters. Marsh determines that they were rapidly aged. Veracity concludes it's the work of multiple serial killers based on his knowledge of conspiracies.

Marsh determines that it's radiating out from Yankee Stadium. Dogs barking and ghostly appearances have also been reported.

All of our wrist computers start showing an image of Lillies. Veracity books it for Legend's office. Marsh determines that a metahuman is broadcasting the image to all the computers from another reality.

Veracity asks Legend to get in touch with VAST ASAP- only to learn that Markus and Alyssa Kerrigan are both dead. Evidently the Cavalry are cleaning up the train derailment that caused it.

While Veracity is talking with Legend, Mikhail projects into the astral plane and starts moving towards Yankee Stadium. The world grows more and more black and white the closer he gets, and strange objects zip past. He tries to grab one, and it attacks him, sucking out some of his lifeforce.

Big huge shapes start attacking Mikhail, and he returns to his body to find Ayumi singing in his ear. His chest hurts and black veins start creeping up his neck.

Veracity sees something forming on a mirror in the room- the word Monkey- he points it out to Legend and Legend's eyes bulge out a little. Legend admits that Lilly is dead, and that VAST's last-ditch efforts to save her by uploading her to a mainframe didn't work.

Legend doesn't know what the images or messages are about.

Marsh bursts into the room. Mikhail's situation is growing worse. Legend agrees to look at Mikhail to determine what it might be. He agrees with Veracity's suggestion to allow Katori to heal Mikhail if it will help.

Ayumi extracts blood ooze from Mikhail's body. It moves and pulsates inside the container as Marsh decides to use Science! on it.

Legend has enough of Mikhail's no-homo compliments. He declares that it's part of a Remnant (not a ruminant), a being that was once part of another universe or reality that was then designed. They exist outside of spacetime, inbetween the soapbubbles that make up the universes. More than anything, they want to exist again.

Yankee stadium is a huge rip in reality that they've used to enter our universe.

Veracity asks Legend if the mainframe they used to contain Lilly was decommissioned. Legend says that it was.

While Veracity, Mikhail and Marsh head downstairs to deal with that Legend cautions Louis to keep an eye on Veracity, since he might be going off the rails.

Marsh decides percussive maintenance via gunfire will solve the images of Lilly appearing everywhere problem.

An image of Lilly appears to Veracity and Louis.

Things get complicated:

  • She's not dead, instead uploaded to Akash. Part of her was uploaded to the mainframe. She knew that they were going to kill her, so she beat them to the punch.
  • Markus isn't dead according to Lilly. She confirms that Alyssa is dead for real.
  • Markus isn't at the hospital and doesn't remember who he was. 
  • Most of AEGIS are dealing with vampires in Mexico
  • This means that whatever Lilly is concerned about can't get handled
  • The tear in reality is leading directly into the void- and it's being maintained by a metahuman who's a beacon that they're following.
  • Terry Digs is the poor sap whose body is now being animated by a dread spirit they uncovered in Egypt. The spirit is using metahuman mojo to stopgap the gash in reality to prevent it from closing.
  • Souls are kyberic energy, metas just have super powerful souls
  • The spirit inhabiting Terry is 1/7th of the soul of the person the Legend of Osiris was based on- a prime metahuman
  • The spirit has been co-opted by something that exists on the opposite side of the void
  • Someone needs to enter the void and pull out the doorstop- us. Because Artillery is busy being... an asshole, or something.
  • There's a lurch as the rift opens more completely.
We end there.

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