And Not For Justice

Paranoid Angles
Episode 15

In-game time: End of week of Nov 22nd, 2010

  • The group speaks with the Warper and tentatively agrees to leave town. However, they are unwilling to abandon Julie Salinas. They manage to intimidate the Warper quite thoroughly in the dream world.
  • Making their way to the hospital, Kayla managed to convince the nurse that she is Julie Salinas’ guardian, using illusions. A brief lapse in her power indicates that her donor has died. She grabs onto another one willfully.
  • Waiting in Julie Salinas’ room is the Warper. Kayla runs, and the group scuffles with him, ending up killing him.
  • Ailisa finds out she can heal people by pulling their wounds into her own body. Since she can already heal supernaturally fast, this works out for her.
  • The group drops the mother off to be taken in by social services. Joel Stryk repays them with information.
  • The party makes it back to the beach house for the Saturday night party.
  • The car, and the guns, are sent back the long way, while the party attempts to fly to Chicago.
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Boulevard of Broken Dreams

In-Game Date: Week of Nov 22rd

  • The party takes a few days to recover from the near-death of one of their members, and decides to go to Santa Monica and investigate the information collected from the reporter there.
  • As a cover, they invite a number of classmates to come with them, promising a ‘Spring Break in Winter.’
  • The reporter, Ann Marie Lipinksi proves not very helpful, but gives them a few leads.
  • Unwilling to go unarmed and without a vehicle, the group steals a large numbers of guns and purchases an old car.
  • Investigating the school, the party encounters only some nighttime security.
  • With an excellent recall, Chris figures out from his visions that one of their clues lays at a cheap motel in Santa Monica. There the party discovers Joel Stryk, a survivor of SMHS.
  • The group looks into Sarah Steenberg, the sister of Sean Rossi. While they do not find her, they discover that her mother is currently in a care facility, and her brother is still missing.
  • Working on the charms of the boys, the group speaks with the boyfriend of Brent Lane Moore, who tells them that Brent withdrew from the relationship in his senior year, and started hanging out with ‘a bunch of wierd people.’
  • Joel leaves the party a gift: a key card and room number for the King George Hotel in San Francisco.
  • A long drive later, the party enters the King George hotel and find Julie Salinas: the comatose mother of one of the SMHS missing persons.
  • Julie is almost entirely unresponsive
  • Only a bit too late does the party discover that the room is being monitored. The Warper, an ugly looking super with the power to bend space and come from the corners, confronts them, breaks some arms, and crushes some guns.
  • Tywen buys the group some time by teleporting the Warper to the middle of the bay. This appears to at least slow him down.
  • The group calls the hospital to pick up Julie, and takes Tywen to get his arm splinted.
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The Enemy of my... Enemy?
Episode 13

Game time: Week of Nov 15th, 2010.

  • The party wakens Mr. Pickell by travelling into his dreams.
  • Mr. Pickell is an ally of Jacob, and knows of the Gyre.
  • Mr. Pickell was involved in fighting the drug war, and has discovered that the Gyre is the force behind sustaining it.
  • The dream was of the time, in Mexico, when Mr. Pickell met the Gyre. His team was ambushed and almost all killed. The party intervenes and kills the Gyre’s forces, who are all young-looking supers, including one who can open gateways.
  • Apparently Mr. Pickell was rescued by Jacob, but the party intervenes in the dream again and escorts the Gyre away, seeing her face for the first time. She cannot tell them much, being to all appearances a figment of MR. Pickell’s dream.
  • After Mr. Pickell awakens, the party lets him go.
  • Chris’ dreams of a hunter prove true, and the party is contacted by the Hunter. He says they are ‘infected’, wants them to leave town, and has apparently already killed Emily.
  • Ailisa, acting on her own, tracks the hunter down and takes him out in hand-to-hand combat.
  • The group discovers that the Hunter was away during the Gulf War, and his sister was turned into a super. He tells them his family was killed because his sister confided in them.
  • The hunter proves difficult to reason with, and the party ends up killing of him and disposing of his body.
  • Cracking the password on the Hunter’s laptop, the party discovers pictures of high-magnification blood slides, with some strange cells circled.
  • Dr. Hartly tells them that this is a bacterium, an extremely large one, and confirms its existence in all the party members.
  • The Ghuls have a damaged version of the bacterium, visibly different from Kayla’s, alleviating some of the worry that she will turn into them.
  • The bacterium does not seem to be man-made, or is at least much larger and more complex than any that can be genetically engineered by man. It also does not appear to be very virulant: initial tests show a strong immune response in lymph nodes.
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Brachycardia
Episode 12

Game time: Beginning of week of Nov 15th, 2010

  • Using the cell phone of Jacob, the now dead Ghul leader, the party contacts several Ghul allies. One, Mr. Pickel, agrees to come help “Jacob”.
  • The party arranges to have Kayla hidden in the tunnels, with Tywen posing as Jacob and Ailisa and Chris just outside. Unfortunately, Kayla’s hiding abilities are sub-par, and she is spotted by the ally, Mr. Pickel. Mr. Pickel turns out to be a very good shot, and Kayla is shortly unconscious and bleeding out.
  • Chris manages to blow a large hole in Mr. Pickel’s shoulder, while Tywen teleports Kayla into a hospital.
  • Kevin is recruited to investigate Mr. Pickel, but hijacks the car to go check on Kayla.
  • Chris manages to save Mr. Pickel’s arm, and the doctor stitches him the rest of the way up.
  • Chris and Tywen arrange to get into the hospital with Kayla by crashing their car. Ailisa explores and finds her in surgery, not expected to live long.
  • Chris manages to connect to Kayla’s mind long enough to explain what has happened.
  • Feeling her life slip away, Kayla grabs onto the life energy of… someone else… and wakes up, her heart beating 6-7 times a minute.
  • Only after tricking the doctors is Kayla allowed to go home.
  • Chris’s criminal stupidity results in him having visions of Mr. Kearns.
  • The group tried to con more information about Mr. Pickel, but didn’t really get much other than “her” and a spare pistol.
  • A youtube link of the killing of the Ghuls is sent to all the contacts on Jacob’s phone.
  • Kevin anoints himself Cupcake boy.
  • Dr. Hartly finds metabolic markers common to the use of powers, but is no closer to discovering a cause.
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Elevated Threat, Part 2
Episode 11

Time: End of week of Nov 8th, 2010.

  • With the help of the KC Crew, the party ambushes the ghuls and kills them all. The ghuls appeared to have some kind of reality-warping power, but were unable to fight off the combined forces of Dalton and KC. Ronnie and Kittrel were both wounded in the fight.
  • The party brought the KC Crew to the Facility, where they also called the doctor over.
  • After a brief indoctrination, the doctor helped to stitch up the KC Crew, and proceeded to take blood samples from the ghuls and the party members.
  • After a few days, they learn there was no common genetic component between the party members.
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Elevated Threat, Part 1

Time: Week of Nov 8th, 2010

  • Chris sets up a forum and youtube video leading to it, trying to discover other supers and call them to his aid.
  • Using the senators resources, the party gains control of the Facility and fixes it up as a secret base.
  • The next day, they discover that a series of gruesome deaths in the subway have been reported. They investigate, and find a message referencing Chris as the Soothesayer.
  • The party recruits a diagnostician, Dr. Hartly, who is reporting to the senator.
  • The doctor runs some tests on Kayla, with no initial results.
  • The party finds the Ghuls that killed the mortals, and speaks with them. They have names for the group: Mind-sister for Kayla, Manyplaced for Chris, Mutatia for Ailisa. They offer to help the party against the Gyre, but make no bones of the fact that they kill and eat people. Ominously, they say Kayla “is like them.”
  • Seeking information, the party contacts the KC Crew about the ghuls. They are told that the KC crew has encountered them before, and accepts the KC Crew’s offer of help to kill them.
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The Sins of the Father
Episode 9

Game time: Week of Nov 8th, 2010.

  • The group return to their homes with very concerned parents.
  • Tywen and Chris were shackled with bodyguards, who tracked their every movement.
  • With Kevin’s help, the group decides to try and reconstruct what happened. Kevin’s thorough quashing of information has made this more difficult.
  • Bodyguards in tow, the group picks up shredded paper at the Facility where they were held. With some reconstruction technology at work, they try to get through another school day without shadowy forces destroying their information.
  • Managing to outwit the bodyguards for a few minutes, the group finds the house of the doctor and confronts him. Even getting in his head, they are unable to extract any useful information.
  • Piecing together what they can, the group tracks the hospital’s finances back to Senator Alexander.
  • A grand confrontation ensued, during which Kayla found out a Secret from the Senators head. He agreed to pull the bodyguards, and provide them with the funding and finances for their own investigations.
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I Wanna Be Sedated

The group had been sequestered in an clinic with no known name. The boys and girls were separated in their rooms while tests were being performed on them. Not liking getting answers as to what was going on Chris attempted an escaped, which failed. After taking a nurse’s badge and attempting to escape the room two guards came brandishing shock-sticks.

After a fight the began to release a gas into the room at which point Ty teleported out of the room and opened it so that Chris and Ty could make a break for it. Both were quickly shot with tranq darts and the attempt failed. After several more attempts to escape Chris was isolated and the test continued until their release thanks to Kevin’s efforts.

After leaving the hospital, without their records, the group went to a hotel while attempting to make plans. Chris attempted to find information digitally about the clinic with no success. Ty went to meet his father and discuss his abduction. Kayla sent pictures to her parents telling them she was fine. Ailisa sent information to her contact with updates. Eventually the group decided to go back to their homes and not run away, with Chris toying with the idea of faking his own death.

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Interlude
Unseen Forces

Tuesday

  • “Don’t worry, Senator,” Dr. Ellis assures. “We’ve got an anklet on him, and the nurses believe that they’ve all been injected with a tracking device. If the girl can do what you say, he’ll be convinced it’s pointless to try and… teleport… away.”
  • Grumbling obscenities, Emir runs for the elevator out of his apartment, watching the doors close on the boy inside. At the last second the the doors slide open, and gasping for breath, the nurse grins, “Thanks. Dr. Ellis is a real asshole, and I can’t afford to be late. Haven’t seen you around? New here?” “Not exactly,” replies Kevin with a smile.

Wednesday

  • Shaking her head, Sarah argues with the newcomer. “No, look. I know it sounds crazy, but we’ve seen Lawson kid break needles on her skin. And it’s not like superman, it turns to fucking metal. So don’t argue to me about the laws of fucking thermodynamics.”
  • Although the girl, sitting comatose in the chair, has never spoken a word to him, Brandon babbles away. “Yeah, best if we keep everything confused, you know? I mean, people will still find out, but it will be contained, and I’ll make sure no one really pays attention. The odd person will, of course, like a stray muscle fiber, but… not a big deal. It’ll be fine.” He doesn’t sound convincing, even to himself.

Thursday

  • Taking a deep breath, Kevin turns to Emir besides him. “Just bring me in and introduce me to everyone, and we’ll be even.” The high-schooler shakes his head, “Can’t believe I’m walking /into/ this place,” and takes the box of cupcakes with him. Everyone likes cupcakes, and it’s rude to turn down a gift.
  • Displaying his infamous temper, the entire office can hear Dr. Ellis. “What the hell do you /mean/ the raid failed? What the hell is a raid, and what the hell does that have to do with my God damn data?”

Friday

  • Mrs. Carazza frowns, looking around the memorial service. So few of Mr. Kearns’ students there. Turning to her husband, she asks, “Where is Kevin?” Almost angrily, Mr. Carazza snaps his reply, “I can’t even find our daughter, how do you expect me to know where anyone else is? How the fuck can the hospital give me this kind of runaround! There are laws!” Wincing, Mrs. Carazza turns to stare back over the crowd, the silence growing uncomfortable.
  • “Just do your job and make sure they take the pills,” Dr. Ellis snipes. Turning, he frowns at Sarah, “Does this look like take your kid to work day?” Clearly uncomfortable, the nurse responds awkwardly, “Dr. Ellis, this is Kevin. He came to fix the computers. As a favor.” Grumbling, Dr. Ellis reluctantly plays nice, “Well, maybe it’ll take a kid to fix this god-damned mess. I’ll owe you big if you can get the computers running.”

Saturday

  • “Samantha, what’s going on?” Brandon says, storming into the room. The girl, of course, does not respond. “All the sudden you’re avoiding their computers? Why?” Silence greets him. Grumbling, Brandon turns leaves the room, “You better know what you’re doing.” Only as he is opening the doors do the speakers crackle to life, and a monotone, computerized voice drones out, “You worry so, Zeitgeist. Too many years doing this on your own. Have I disappointed the Gyre yet?”
  • Kevin coughs nervously, looking over the assembled staff. “I’m glad we all met here, even those of you off today. I just have a few request, and then everyone can go. Dr. Ellis, let the patients go, and shut down the lab. I think we can all agree that it would be best to tell the senator that there’s nothing special about the patients. Sarah, destroy all the evidence, and pretend that nothing strange ever happened. Everyone else, just don’t mention to this to anyone.”
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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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