Thursday, August 11, 2016

Aeon C-Team S2E1: Something tells me Cindy wasn't into Hard Rock THAT much

The Team:

Lucas Nielson (PK Levine): A former vicar who lost his faith and made an enemy of the Vatican. Now he leads the AEGIS Subway team in their attempt to make sense of the supernatural.

Niklos Xanthopoulos (Kevin): Multidisciplinary genius, medical doctor, general curmudgeon. Believes Morphazine is the answer for everything.

Marsh Langston (Maverick): A blond, smiling hacker that will rip the most secure files out of your mainframe and convince you that was something YOU wanted. Marsh is a technical wunderkind and social engineer with a shadowy background in intelligence.

Mikhail Kovalenko (Alex): Measuring over 6'4'' and weighing about 230lbs, Ukrainian-born Mikhail Kovalenko was a former special agent in Eastern Europe, and is extremely competent in multiple forms of combat, piloting, field action, and weaponry. One of the nicest dudes you can probably meet, as long as you don't imply he's Russian...

Agent Veracity (Me): Agent Veracity is a highly capable investigator and field agent.  Agent Veracity is not allowed to participate in AEGIS Trivia Night.

Alex (Mikhail) was absent tonight because he was busy earning his merit badges for helping little old ladies get cats out of trees. PK was ordered by Dr. Christopher to get some rest when he wasn't feeling well.

April 11, 2012

We get back from 3 months of (relative) downtime. There's been a mix of cases that haven't required all of us to really tackle them as a single cohesive team, so most of us have been off fighting fires.

Lucas and Mikhail have left on a case when we receive a call from upstairs. The Iroquois Wildlife Refuge has been reporting strange stuff, and since Aegis doesn't know what to make of it, we get to go.

It's a four hour drive without the Ghost Train. We trade off driving duties, and our car is full of our travel gear.

Won't be seeing much of this image this session summary
A hiker found a woman melted into a boulder. We're shown over to the boulder by park rangers who are obviously concerned about such things.

A head and an arm are sticking out, preventing identification. There's a look of horror on her face. Veracity takes a look at the area, turning his investigative perceptions to bear. She was a day hiker, it's clear she wasn't out for an extended stay. She was in good shape, and likely a frequent hiker.

The bits of her sticking out are still fleshy. I succeed by 9 on Detective! to acquire her fingerprints, DNA and crud under her fingernails. Niklos determines she was diabetic, she survived inside the rock for a time before dying (slow, painful and horrifying). Niklos guesses she suffocated. There's marks on her neck, but not her wrists. That rules out restraints, but certainly suggests that she was subdued by physical force.

 Marsh attempts to check her fingerprints at 1/10th the time (from 10ish hours to 1hour) succeeding by 4 after the -7 penalty.

Niklos uses a scanner of some sort to try and analyze the specifics of how she was merged with the rock. The rock partially phased through her, as opposed to being turned to liquid and then forming around her.

Marsh's search of the database turns up results.
Cindy K. Drury
3911 Sycamore Street
San Francisco, CA 94104 Born April 29, 1977 

Cindy is a card-carrying member of the Green Party, with multiple arrests for resisting arrest and criminal trespassing as part of a eco-terrorist activities. Marsh finds out that she's a trust-fund baby and the very proud owner of an early Tesla Roadster. 

Veracity starts attempting to locate a trail. The trail loops back to the parking lot. Veracity's new  Cindy's Roadster is still in the lot. It's meticulously clean, with a tiny little trash can. The trunk is filled with clothing, hygiene, and personal items. It suggests a roadtrip. She was packed with at least three weeks of clothing. No drugs, no weapons, no signs of other passengers.

There's a distinct lack of prints on the car. It's suspicious.

We get some park rangers to chip the boulder down to a more managable size so we can get some of it and the girl's whole body back to the lab for further testing. It takes them two hours.

Marsh gets to work on the Roadster's GPS to make it sing. She's been doing a string of wildlife refuges and parks. She's bounced around various places. We get her hotel location.

"It's ALWAYS a Chevy Suburban."- Us when discussing the merits of government SUVs.

Surprisingly, Veracity's newly gained Occultism skills show that no occulty things happened here.

Her dad is an industrialist who founded a Solar Technologies company, Soltek. Marsh gets in contact to inform him that his daughter is dead. He's hopping a private jet to get up to NY ASAP.

Dad says Cindy was universally loved and adored, and did not have enemies. She'd just finished college and wanted to wander around. She refused to use a plane. Veracity is not allowed to talk to the father of the deceased.

Her father complicates getting the body back to our lab in the Subway, so we decide to commandeer the Rochester Morgue.

Cindy did not register at the hotel we see her stopped at on the GPS. Her keycard is still valid though. The hotel staff are bewildered when we arrive. James slightly sabotages Marsh's attempts at smoothing feathers by mentioning the Hollow Earth theory.

The room was registered to a guy named Lester S. Williams. Lester and Cindy left the hotel, but only Lester came back. We head up to talk to Lester.

Marsh knocks on the door. The guy inside indicates that he didn't order any room service, and Marsh states that we're police.

Lester makes a break for it. Marsh opens the door and Veracity fast-draws his Electrolaser.

Lester is raving about us being one of "them" as well as mind control. Lester draws a .22 derringer, and Veracity shoots at his gun hand with his Electrolaser. Lester has a moment to scream "DON'T TAZE ME BRO" before convulsing on the floor like a freshly caught fish.

Veracity frisks Lester and succeeds by 12, specifically citing threats such as cyanide capsules, grenades shoved up the rectum, and having a bomb sewn into his abdomen.

Lester complains about cotton mouth upon waking up. Veracity gets him some water as Marsh grills him about Cindy.

We learn more than we wanted to about Lester's pubic region as he asks for a deal to avoid prison.

Lester and Cindy were knocking boots and 'dating'. (During internet connection issues, we discuss Niklos testing out his new Brown Note gadget on Marsh to save the poor lab animals.)

Marsh has Lester very intimidated. There was a guy following Cindy and Lester. Cindy was with a group called Earth Now. Cindy indicated that the guy following her was an ex-boyfriend. 

We diagnose Lester with Affluenza. It's also decided that Gunther is largely preferable to Lester.

Marsh attempts to pwn her Facebook and Email. A dictionary attack reveals her password as 'motherearth'.

"Is Veracity going through the trash?"
       "When ISN'T Veracity going through the trash?"

Lester's trash is full of sources of DNA. Veracity dutifully catalogs it into evidence. 

Cindy's cellphone got wrecked by the transformation. Each of her cells went through the process of slowly mineralizing.  Niklos confirms that Lester did not strangle Cindy.

Cindy has a load of threatening messages from a guy named Mark Wassman. Wassman is a super annoying vegan who is big into bashing other liberal types who don't meet his unrealistic expectations. Mark is a terrible human being whose preoccupation with saving Mother Earth doesn't make up for his shit.

We're dealing with a metahuman who can phase.

Meanwhile, Mark's facebook shows a mysterious four-week gap of activity.

We decide to sic Aegis on Mark since they maintain tactical teams who are geared towards dealing with metahuman threats. Beat cops might be operating out of their weight class, and we'd prefer to avoid Mark adding a few police homicides to his rap sheet.

Marsh's request goes swimmingly, resulting in a full tactical team and a metahuman agent. Black Jack is the metahuman agent sent to us, a probability manipulator. Black Jack started off as a vigilante, and then Aegis recruited him about five years ago.

We turn the Rochester crime scene over to the local police. We meet up with the tactical team in Brooklyn to try and nab Mark.

Marsh and Veracity attempt tactics rolls to direct the team- it goes poorly with me failing and Marsh only succeeding by 1.

It turns out that Mark has a Swagellan account which allows Marsh to track his movements over his last few days. (Swagellan being Marsh's app that went super viral among the younger crowd that nobody over 30 really understands the purpose of.)

The tactical team does tactical things, with two watching the front, two watching the opposite side. Mikhail (Alex returned at this point) overhears radio chatter that the Subway requested a tac team, and tags along to support his team.

"Mikhail why are you cheating on us? I thought we were your special team?!" -Veracity

 Things go sideways. Black Jack is thrown out a fifth story window, splatting a poor dog that just happened  to be walking by.

There's no breaking glass.

Marsh tries and fails to fast-draw his Electrolaser. Mark drags a Tacteam member through a wall into the apartment. There's screams, and the guy is partially embedded in the wall.

Mikhail approaches the wall, drawing knives and taking a wait maneuver to attack Wassman when he attempts to grab him through the wall.

Veracity moves closer, fast-drawing his Electrolaser. Niklos draws something he whipped up during downtime.

Black Jack draws a gun and uses his powers to shoot through the wall where Mark just happens to be standing. There's a two-foot hole blown into the wall, but Mark looks unphased. (Blame Christopher for that pun.)

Wassman pulls a tac team member into the ground from his knees down. Hands reached up from the ground and pulled him under.

Veracity tries to slip around the side of the building to get a view inside.

Niklos takes a wait to zap Wassman anywhere within ten yards if he appears.

Marsh attempts to ridicule Mark to get him to give up or at least take pause. He succeeds by -13-.

Mark starts moving for Marsh, all angry and "WHAT DID YOU SAY ABOUT ME BRO? WANNA FIGHT?"

This triggers Niklos' wait action. Niklos zaps him with the new toy he made, landing a hit. Wassman makes his HT roll though.

Mikhail manages to stow his knives and draw his guns in a single turn, then firing three shots at Wassman. Wassman power dodges with feverish defense, avoiding the shots.

Veracity readies slip spray.

Niklos takes aim with his new gadget, firing two shots. Wassman dodges the attack.

Marsh nails Wassman with his electrolaser, and Wassman. Wassman recovers from being stunned a second later. Mikhail then goes for another round of shots at Wassman's legs.

Wassman powerdodges.

Veracity moves inside the apartment, smashing out a window and preparing to slip spray the inside.

Niklos tries to zap him again, and Wassman phases into the ground.

Wassman attacks Veracity, but an acrobatic retreat allows Veracity to avoid getting sucked inside.

From outside, Mikhail attempts to get Mark in the legs. Mikhail's shots hit. Mark goes down, hard. He screams a few frothing swears at Veracity before going unconscious.

Veracity turns his immediate attention to try and help the guy with his lower legs in the ground. Alex spends a Karma point to ensure that the guy stuffed through the wall survives. The guy in the ground manages to kick his way out after a pause.

Niklos attempts to save Mark's legs. Kevin crit fails the roll, causing Mark 2 points of injury that we're not spending Karma to fix because he'll live. Niklos' second attempt barely squeaks by with a roll of 16.

Niklos also steals some meds from the tacteam that neutralize Metahuman's ability to focus well enough to use their powers. A van transports him to a local interrogation site.

There is trash to go through at the apartment, so Veracity stays behind to do his thing. Marsh and Mikhail both stay to through the apartment as well. Niklos goes with Mark.

Niklos hears him mention MORNING TIDE (!!!!!!!!!!!).

Niklos bemoans not having a trained interrogator along. I suggest crediline which will make Mark very talkative and gullible. Niklos manages to act like he's Mark's doctor, and attempts to soothe Mark into talking about MORNING TIDE.

Mark starts gibbering about a skull.

Upstairs in the apartment, the entire tac team is miraculously alive (woo spent Karma). The place is pretty significantly trashed.

Veracity succeeds by 13 on a search check. Marsh succeeds by 13 to crack into his computer as well.

Mark's Inbox
Mark responded to a spam email, which is very strange. They corresponded back in forth, and then they invited Mark out to a meeting to 'improve his confidence'.

Veracity finds a business card for a personal health consultant- Dr. J Schultz. There's interesting vials of purple liquids which he puts into evidence bags for Niklos to examine later.

Veracity takes Mark's computer and phone. Mikhail looks through Mark's car, finding another vial of the purple liquid. Using Wheelman! Mikhail attempts to pull up the car's GPS records. The records include a stop at Iroquois Wildlife Refuge.

Niklos succeeds by 13 to save Mark's legs and allow him to actually walk again without problems in the future.

Veracity goes to work using Digital Oracle on Marks' computer, rabidly digging into it for dirt on MORNING TIDE, Blue Skies, or whatever else he can dig up for The Judge.

Nothing comes up that's interesting or worthy of sending to The Judge, but Veracity does nab Schultz' address, along with some digital leads to pass off to Marsh to hunt down. Schultz' office is located next to some empty offices that are primo eavesdropping spots.

Schultz has been talking with a Mr. Green, using draft emails to clandestinely communicate. There's a new test of some 'insecticide' going on.

Mikhail just happens to know a real estate officer (they knocked boots), and she can get us a line on touring the office around Schultz', and even allow us to buy it. We spend $8,000 to rent the place for a month.

We start bugging the shit out of the floor of our office, which is above Schultz' office.


We covered more ground than Christopher expected us to this session. I'm quite happy with a brisk pace of plot, given that we're currently playing on a bi-weekly basis. There were a lot less critical successes on our part this time around as well.

Overall, nothing really sticks out to me as being particularly noteworthy or awesome this session, much like the first episode of most TV shows entering a new season are laying the groundwork for what's to come. We solved the mystery of the week, introduced a thread that ties into stuff my character cares about (Blue Skies going down!), and nobody died facing Mark. I'm far more excited about the task we have coming up, which involves the promise of a lot of Tradecraft! rolls in my future. Schultz is in for a rude awakening when we can hear a gnat fart in his office and we have all of his communications to go through.

Something tells me we're looking into a satellite or subsidiary of Blue Skies, one of their research arms related to Project Icarus but working at a tangent. I could of course be proven wrong.

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