And Not For Justice

A Minor Reversal

Waking nightmares

Dreams

The party rescues Chris from his dreams. He is trapped in one dream, which ends badly, over and over. Each person who arrives unlocks another dream of their own. By exploring the dreams, the party unlocks the proper ending: one in which more people die, but the protagonists escape.

Dream 1: The Op

Chris is the handler for a deep undercover agent. The agent has been compromised, and Chris gets message after message on the wire, as they are discovered, cornered, captured, and killed. He discusses the matter with his advisor, but they are unable to save them: until a research scientist gives them the activation codes for a secret project, the Pandora project. The project rescues the agent, but at some hideous death toll.

Dream 2: The Argument

Kayla is a research scientist, who has developed the Pandora device: some secret technology. The leader of the organization thinks it is too dangerous, and wants to shut the project down. Kayla brings in an agent, who has befriended the wife of the leader, and blackmails the leader with the details of his affair. Given the presence of a cleaner, and the hint of a threat against his mistress, the leader caves and gives the project funding, and the research scientist the access codes.

Dream 3: The Affair

Ailisa is an agent and friend to the wife of the leader of their organization. The wife suspects the leader of cheating, and wants the party to search his house for proof. Finding a hidden compartment in the desk, the party recovers the information, but convinces the wife to keep secret: at least for now.

Dream 4: The Coverup

Tywen is a cleaner, sent to a house to remove evidence. He is being held at gunpoint by a female agent, who is frantic over the death she has witnessed. Calming her down with the presence of her handler, she shows them a secret compartment in her desk, that contains money and a clean identity. The handler assumes responsibility for the death, and runs off with the agent, leaving the cleaner to burn the house to the ground.

Reality

  • The party wakes up, and escapes so Chris can call a nurse and get the catheter out.
  • Chris seems to have recovered, but reality keeps fracturing around him, disorienting him at the worst moments. Time and reality break up around him, motions blur, voices become incomprehensible as if reverbed.
  • Chris wants to run away, but Mr. Kearns talks them out of it, and into going to Sweden for testing. He is not pleased they talked with Senator Alexander, but suggests they take what advantages of it that they can.
  • Back at school, Emily exacts revenge on the Paxton twins: they publicly confess love to Mattie and sing to her. Youtube videos go up, and they decide to catch a flu for a few days.
  • The group gets ready to visit Sweden and be poked and prodded. Chris convinces Tywen’s dad to take him along… he was just in a coma. Kayla has a harder time, but manages to get her parents on board with a little help from the senator. Everything seems to drag as they pack, prepare, and get ready.

Nightmare

And then the fire alarm goes off. Vincent is back, and the party finds him in the gymnasium. He has changed: grown far more powerful, his body apparently infused with flames, and his mind has been somehow shielded. He has taken the time to burst the water pipes and all the fire extinguishers, and sets about the party with blasts of fire and gouts of flame. In the first few moments of the battle, Mr. Kearns is gravely injured.

Tywen manages to port water from the swimming pool into the gymnasium, using it to slow down Vincent. Ailisa finds a new ability: the ability to somehow lock Vincent’s power into herself, keeping everyone else safe. Kayla distracts him with the remains of a fire extinguisher. Together, the three keep him busy until Chris makes his way back with a gun and fires on Vincent.

Just as Chris pulls the trigger, reality fractures around him. This time he realizes it is not fracturing, but branches. Reaching for one particular possible future, Chris exhales a fraction of a second later, shifts his hand, and shoots Vincent just as he blinks. As Vincent dies, he thinks out “No. You promised. Gyre, you promised.” Discovering Mr. Kearns has not survived his wounds, the party plants the gun on him.

Epilogue

The boys, injured, are hospitalized, and Senator Alexander brings in doctors. Kayla and Ailisa are shortly brought in as well, for further testing. Ailisa is unable to control her abilities, and the doctors discover her shifting skin when they try to give her an injection. Shortly thereafter, Kayla, Tywen, and Ailisa are brought into a quarantined clinic, separated from their friends and families. The doctors rarely come in, and their thoughts make little sense to Kayla, but the nurses are more revealing. “Freaks”, “mutants”, “dangerous”. Instead of an enlightening journey, the doctors have captured and isolated the party. Apparently something is discovered, because Chris joins them a few days later. The only bright spot seems to be a plague of mechanical and computer problems: data going missing, tests coming up inconsistent, and communications breakdowns between staff and doctors.

The party is left with plenty of time to debate their questions. What are Senator Alexander’s plans for them? Who, or what, is the ‘Gyre’? Can Mr. Kearns’ hinted-at friends aid them? What is Emily and Kevin’s fate?

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