Thursday, October 20, 2016

AEON C-Team S2E5: Daddy Issues for Everyone!

The Team:

Lucas Nielson (PK Levine): A former vicar who lost his faith and made an enemy of the Vatican. Now leads the AEGIS Subway team in their attempts to answer questions nobody else in AEGIS has time to investigate.

Niklos Xanthopoulos (Kevin): Multidisciplinary genius, medic/doctor, and general curmudgeon. Believes Morphazine is the answer for everything and enjoys asking Marsh to hold organs during autopsies.

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.

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.

Agent Veracity (Me): The Subway's resident spook and dumpster diver, Agent Veracity is a highly skilled investigator, tradecraft expert and conspiracy nut.   IT'S ALL A VAST CONSPIRACY, DON'T TRUST WHAT YOU READ  FNORD


Sadly Niklos is not delicious when grilled
Niklos and Lucas have been busy getting grilled by AEGIS administration because of Niklos' psychological programming of various personnel. AEGIS also hopes that Niklos knows the formula of the PURPLE DRANK that got used. Mikhail had a sample which he gave to Lucas. Lucas hands it
over to the bigwigs without complaints.

AEGIS stress tests Niklos' duplication ability, and the scientists are stumped as to how it works. They also have no clue how Niklos' use of the PURPLE DRANK resulted in permanent powers. The information we stole from the MORNING TIDE lab indicates that Niklos' powers should have disappeared a day ago.

Lucas does his best to spin the story so that Niklos doesn't look like a mad scientist.

Mikhail hopes that Lucas can regain Mikhail's firearms privileges. A success by 11 on Mastermind! indicates that Mikhail legitimately thought the bloke he shot was trying to draw a firearm, in a huge misunderstanding. Lucas attempts to turn the situation around, getting in touch with Katori. Lucas does great execu-speak and gets Mikhail some additional firearms, but not his wildcat hand cannons. 

Lucas knows that the ritual Marlowe is attempting has had very few successes over the last couple of millennia- the last time spawned an extremely successful cult involving mountain top sermons and flipping over tables of usurers in the temple.

Choosing the Aztec temple at Nataapwpa as opposed to the Bastille helps negate planning he might have done to utilize the Bastille.

We discuss the plan a bit, and start seeing about implementing various parts. Lucas crits to see about organizing making Marlowe a household name- we get a speech on the President's desk decrying the horrible terrorist Marlowe. Mikhail attempts to help by tapping his

Niklos spends some time making a psych profile on Marlowe to assist the overall plan. Veracity, when he's not undergoing therapy to deal with his daddy issues, scouts out the Aztec temple in person.

Lucas, our Mastermind!, takes almost 3 months to hammer out the plan, eventually rolling vs. skill 33. He rolls a 10 (perfectly average), succeeding by 23. After some discussion he opts to make the plan a critically successful plan by spending 4 karma, with a margin of success 30.

We talk for a bit about how official we want the operation to be. Keeping it limited in scope and personnel involved seems like a very good idea. Lucas contacts Legend and informs him about our plan. There's no response until Lucas is teleported to a dark location with a single light overhead.

Lucas is not restrained, and is standing. Legend, Gabriella, a guy in dated clothing from the 40s, and a fourth presence that Lucas can't see are in the room with him. Lucas says hi to those he knows and asks the guy from the 40s his name- the guy says Lucas can call him Faust. OBVIOUSLY this guy is totally harmless and not some horribly powerful prick.

Lucas can't confirm if this guy is the Faust or not. PK launches into the commonality of the name 'Raven' in goth clubs.

Back in the Subway, everyone who's seeing Lucas suddenly slump over at his desk calls for Niklos. All six show up, before being dismissed by Niklos Prime. Lucas' vitals are normal, he seems to be asleep. Niklos assumes he's in a telepathic communion, and is having a conversation.

Lucas starts talking about the Subway plan to take out Marlowe. Legend is okay with us doing it, but he's convinced our chances of survival are 2-3%. Lucas requests that Legend keep the risks from the rest of the team so we're not so worried about dying.

Legend sets us up with a Marlowe specialist, Breaker, and a guy who can make a Kyberian nuke. The nuke is basically a soccer ball that needs to be attuned to the ley line of the temple. It will have to be setup with Marlowe present, a process that usually takes two minutes.

The Prime Asshole ritual takes 6-12 hours for a normal practitioner, Marlowe will likely do it in significantly less time. Still longer than it will take to arm the nuke.

 Breaker's powers involve finding weaknesses- physical, emotional, magic, whatever- and then putting pressure on them until things turn out bad for whoever's on the receiving end.

Faust is acting as the anti-Marlowe guy, as well as our bomb maker.

We arrange to have Mikhail and Marsh 'defect' to Marlowe, after killing Niklos clones disguised as Veracity, Lucas, and Niklos. Faust will be providing magical disguises to the Niklii.

Veracity brings up using Marcelle's Hand of Glory, which could be dangerous because it might cause vengeful spirits to become tangible and attack us.

Katori returns Mikhail's guns. Mikhail flubs the social interaction and Katori shoots him in the hand. She then heals him, which is torturous.

Gabriella overwrites the Niklii clones' minds to be a copy of Veracity and Lucas.

After Veracity suggests using Breaker's capabilities to break him down mentally in preparation for what Marlowe, the entire team gets subjected to SERE on steroids, with Breaker, Legend, and Garbiella subjecting EVERYONE to a week of hellish resistance training.

Reprogrammed to be following Marshall Sr, Marsh and Mikhail stage a huge robbery of the Subway, landing us on the AEGIS shitlist for a few weeks.

Marshall Sr. 'acquires' (kidnaps) both Marsh and Mikhail. Marsh wakes up to a man on a throne surrounded by beautiful women. The man, Marlowe, asks Mashall Sr. if Marsh is his son.

Sr. is demure, which is hugely unusual. Marlowe questions Sr. about Mikhail and Marsh, needling him about Mikhail's mother, who Sr. is obviously still emotionally attached to.

Marsh and Mikhail explain that their Subway cover was blown, so they decided to break with AEGIS. Marsh 'recruited' his brother who was unhappy after getting kicked out of STARRS, and wants payment.

If only Marlowe were so cute
Marsh bargains hard for the collection of objects he stole from AEGIS, asking for 15 million. Marlowe is immediately attracted to the dagger. Mikhail gets grumpy about this, and Marlowe is blase about potentially killing him.

Marsh bullshits about how he was able to acquire the dagger, chalking it up to his skills. Marlowe agrees to pay 15 million, asking if Marsh would like cash or a wire. The two agents are given a very heavy briefcase with a large chunk of cash.

Marlowe is tickled pink, absolutely happy that he'll be able to access both the Bastille and the temple's energies. He hires Marsh and Mikhail to act as muscle during the ritual.

 Marsh offers to entice the rest of us into a trap, as well as getting the kibosh put on the propaganda campaign spreading Marlowe's name everywhere.

They return to the Subway to entice out the Niklii disguised as the Subway team. Maverick spends karma to make his attempt to lure the Subway team out into a trap look particularly convincing to Marlowe.

The Niklii are killed and the Subway even holds fake funerals for the entire team. Bruce Campbell fans everywhere are disappointed when Veracity's picture appears in the paper, causing some to show up at the funerals.

Veracity attempts to have Niklos use medium to get in touch with Veracity's parents- the attempt fails, unfortunately. Niklos does however get in touch with his dead grandfather, who was part of the Marauders. Grampy Niklos definitely ran into Marlowe during WW2 at some point. His insights help Lucas' planning quite a lot.

Betty, Veracity's girlfriend, has valuable input on the plan. She's also been keeping Veracity a little less crazy than he otherwise would be given the SERE training and the stress of facing down Marlowe.

Marsh learns that Marlowe is pretty much the sole person holding up Green Sun Holdings, which he uses to prop up lots of other groups, such as Blue Skies. Marsh starts trying to work up an org chart. He's got a few trusted lieutenants, but most workers are in the dark, or worship him outright as a living god.

Veracity and Breaker are put into place early within the temple, while the others will be teleported in once Marlowe begins the ritual.

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Marlowe arrives with his lieutenants and begins the ritual. He starts sacrificing locals to speed the

Veracity starts to try and attune the Kyberian Nuke to the ley line as Marlowe goes. He manages it without being spotted, squirreling the nuke away.

Marsh and Mikhail step outside for a smoke break. The rest of the Subway team except Veracity breaks their mental programming, returning them to the Light Side of the Force.

The nuke starts gathering energy way faster than intended. Veracity manages to wrangle the nuke so that it will fill at the correct time and explode when Marlowe should be the most distracted.

All the energy in the air is causing vibrations that everyone can feel. Marlowe screams and there's scrambling and panicked yelling from inside the temple before everything goes white. It would seem the Kyberian Nuke Faust whipped up worked.

We wake up, staring up at the sky. We're in a different area. Mikhail, Niklos, Marsh, and Veracity are together. Lucas, some of the extra Niklii, Breaker, and Faust are not present.

Marsh and Veracity both start having seizures. Mikhail and Niklos both have terribad headaches.

Niklos recognizes us as being in Yankee Stadium. There's medical FEMA tents all over the place. One person there answers Niklos that it's 2016.

Legend exits from a tent, looking amazed.

We're all administered some kind of medicine. Marsh and Veracity stop having their seizures. Veracity recognizes the damage to the stadium- he's intimately familiar with the damage a fusion-powered chainsaw can cause.

We're all immediately quarantined. It appears the world hasn't ended... yet.

The head med tech looking us over tells us that Lucas is assumed dead. Breaker and Faust both escaped the blast alive. We've all been assumed dead by AEGIS.

Niklos sets about hypnotizing the head medtech, beating the man's Will+5 roll to resist. It's believed that Marlowe was incinerated, and it's the first confirmed killing of a Prime Metahuman.

They decommissioned the Subway. There was an event that coincided with us cooking Marlowe, kicking a pulse of energy around the globe. The man doesn't know who Gunther is, or where Mikhail's mother is.

Blue Skies still exists, although it's beginning to get systematically torn down.

Two weeks ago a bomb of some kind kicked up a bunch of shit around Yankee Stadium. Green Sun Holdings was dismantled in 2013, and the Coordination also hasn't been up to anything since the op on the West Coast.

Gabriella then breaks into Niklos' mind and asks him to stop rewiring people's brains. Niklos releases him from the hypnotism.

We end there.


Sadly, this will be PK's last session with us as Lucas for a while, since his duties for SJG are starting to kick up into high gear. The Kickstarter giveth, the Kickstarter taketh, it seems. (Note: I am assuming that it's Kickstarter related, I don't know the actual nature of the workload he's been handed.)

Christopher is actively looking for a permanent PC to replace Lucas. Definitely bring your A-Game to the table, Christopher will want players who can keep up with the team that's already in place.

My suggestion about SERE training resulted in us getting over 50 points of extra advantages, attributes and skills.
Said SERE Training included:

  • HT and Will +1
  • High Pain Threshold
  • Fit
  • Teamwork! at Attribute -1
  • And more I won't go into

Maverick wass named MVP.

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