Jess wasn't sure if we would finish this mission in one session, but we did. Ben couldn't make it.
Michael Schroeder's drone returns from Never with a strange stain, which he takes a sample of. He also busies himself inventing a strange shotgun that is claimed to heal.
I head around town to see if I can't tie up a thread from a previous mission, but don't find anything useful. Maybe later I'll find out who Teresa is and why Never is so protective of her.
Mr. Hogarth announces that we will be having a quiet social gathering, as it would be good for Lady Lustracio to be seen. Lady Liara will be there, as well as several non-supers, including the Police Chief.
By the time is starting that evening, Mr. Hogarth has already decorated the entire estate.
Mr. Hogarth announces each guest as they arrive:
- Lady Liara, escorted by the Yolanavich siblings
- Nikki Hanna, a upstanding local restaurateur, wearing a spectacular red dress
- Dalton Currington, a wealthy friend of politicians, with a crushing strong jaw
- Joel Hobbson, in the police chief Pete Hobbson's place, a young man in his early twenties
We mingle with the guests. Lady Liara seems interested in chatting with me, especially to find out more about Lux. She was disappointed, I think.
We're led out to the courtyard, where the long empty pool is filled, with strange Koi-like creatures swimming in them. Sitting by the pool is Lux, no longer in street clothes, but now dressed nicely as Lady Lustracio. She looks uncomfortable, but greets the guests.
As we mingle some more, Jack McCoy notices a flash of electricity, and I sense a mind for a brief moment. Never appears, tosses a coin into the pool, and then disappears. A blinding flashing light overtakes us.
The light clears, and the guests are all gone.
Strange. I seem to have my body back. Is it over?
Mr. Hogarth seems surprised too.
Lady Lustracio is once again just Lux, with her ghostbuster shirt. Her eyes seem clear. A man wearing a casual suit steps out from behind her. He has a commanding presence, and Lux turns to look at him, and blinks in surprise. "This isn't good."
"Aren't you going to introduce me to your friends, Lu?"
Lux doesn't respond, and Michael inquires to see if he is the Sandman, and he responds in the affirmative. He then grins and nods, and he and Lux vanish.
Mr. Hogarth seems weary for this world, and he says that was Mathew Quinn, and how this can't possibly be real.
Oh, and apparently we have limited time. The generator has about 13 hours of power, and it's likely this realm will collapse when it runs out.
Michael runs and gets his suit.
We explore the estate and the grounds. The dining room is filled with ghosts, one which briefly possesses my mortal body.
Jack lightning flashes past the ghosts, and ends up outside. The rest of the world is gone, replaced only by a inky black void. On his way back in, he ends up in Hogarth's living quarters, to find Lux. It's a psychologist's office now, and she turns to Jack and tells him "This isn't good, I killed him" before vanishing.
Jack finds a broken platinum chain sitting next to where she was sitting. He also finds some notes about when this was an asylum. It appears Lux was being treated since she was six, and Mr. Hogarth also treated her after the Coterie broke up.
Shroud talks with Mr. Hogarth, who seems to have pills in his pocket. They aren't his, but perhaps they belong to Lux. He says he hasn't been her doctor in a very long time. This place seems to be tied to her mental state though. Maybe the pills would calm her down. Her younger self couldn't very well control her powers.
Jack returns, and yells to me, jolting the ghost out of me. I fly up over the ghosts, and notice one of the ghosts looks different, and is holding a strange book. I grab it from him and throw it to Jack before flying through the door, closing it behind us.
Michael and Shroud continue exploring, finding some strange emails about the party. They also find some blueprints, but they only contain names. Michael fiddles with a computer, which Shroud has no problem mimicking Lux's voice to get past. They print some maps. Shroud fixes a printer. He's director of Human IT.
Jack and I go back outside to where Mr. Hogarth is sitting, who tells us where Shroud and Michael went. We inspect the book, and are pulled into it visually.
In the scene, Lux is crying. The Sandman, Mr. Quinn, slaps her and she falls to the ground. She spasms and hellfire goes everywhere, burning everything, and then the book itself starts smoking and bursts, blasting us.
Shroud and Michael break through a vault door, and inside, they find the walls are plastered with photos of Lux as a teenager. A rocking chair is in the corner, but it's completely rotted.
In one of the photos she's around four, and is being read to in the library. In another, her father's burial.
Shroud turns and notices a burnt out husk of a man sitting in a rocking chair. No, actually, there's nothing there.
In one of the photos, there's a picture of a 12 year old girl, but she vanishes, the image even disappearing from Michael's drone's memory.
Michael decides they should exit the basement the quick way, so they drill up, and find themselves in Harry Gruerkoven's room.
Jack and I check out the noise, and we group back up. Michael's drones takes care of some ghosts that escaped the dining room and we continue exploring. Our rooms have changed, as if to resemble some essence of ourselves. Also, the antechamber has been replaced with a bottomless pit, and the receiving room is a torture chamber.
Jack and Shroud check out the power room, and they find a digital timer, counting down with around ten hours left. Dan zaps it, and it fries. A skeleton mouse runs out, and Shroud catches it using telekinesis, and puts it back in the timer. The mouse tries to escape again, but Shroud blocks its escape. The timer flickers.
We regroup yet again, and we visit the library.
Jack notices one of the books seems interesting, and pulls it own.
The Sandman appears from behind Jack, and suggests we should not proceed further, and should start by taking our own lives. He also says it was a shame she had to kill him.
Jack takes a look at the book, and it is bound shut with a lock. It says "The Sandman Comes".
Shroud nudges me. He has a plan to create an illusion.
Shroud's illusion seems to fool the Sandman, and we make it up the stairs.
We spend a few moments trying to open the book, but it seems to resist logic as well as our attempts.
Jack notices the chain in his pocket has a glass medallion shaped like an hour glass on it now.
We start exploring the top floor. In the first room, we find a rocking chair, and a musty bloody bed. On the nightstand, is a woman who looks to be Lux's mother.
In the next room, a tub filled with bloody water.
The main infirmary is filled to the ceiling with water, but it seems to be strangely held back even after we open the door. There are knives suspended in the water, and in the sink, a box, which Shroud adeptly pulls to us.
The box is made of cardboard, and is soaked. The label on it says it is addressed to Lucifer. We look inside, and find a red button labeled self destruct. Shroud carefully creates a new box to contain it, and hands it to me.
The final room is the private infirmary, and as Jack enters, it feels like needles are prickling his skin. The interior seems much larger than the exterior, and there are bits of blood. In the center is a tube, and Lux is kneeling inside, rocking back in forth. Jack comes up to her tube, and she stars at his pocket, the one with the necklace inside. He takes it out, and shows it to her.
Shroud attempts communicate with her using writing, but she doesn't react, so Jack attempts to strike at her tube with his katana, which only lets out sparks.
But then, Quinn appears on the other side of the tube.
I establish mental contact with him, mentally grappling with him. Distracted, Jack, Shroud and Michael are able to get some easy hits on him and grapple him physically. Finally, he breaks our grapples, and unleashes an attack that knocks me out.
I wake up, and Quinn is gone. A little girl is here now, who apparently somehow dispelled Quinn, and she says her name is Teresa, but everyone calls her 'resa. She definitely looks like one of the kids Never was trying to recover.
Jack takes the necklace from his pocket, and touches it to the tube, causing it to turn to dust and Lux recovering.
I talk to her, asking about Never, and she says he is nice to her. I also ask her if she knows why Never might have interrupted the party, and she considers this and asks if we threatened anyone.
Jack shows her the book "The Sandman Comes", and she says its her diary. She doesn't know why it is called that. She takes the book, and pops the lock open with a touch, before putting it on the ground and stepping into it.
We get Mr. Hogarth up to us, and he and Shroud stay with Lux, while Jack, Michael and I go after the little girl in the book.
It's a little girl's room, with a small bed, and on a table, a doll house in the design of the estate. Inside are several dolls representing all of us, and her own hands is Quinn's, which is crumbling to dust.
Shroud sends a message asking if I can still see their minds. I can't, and regret not having a writing utensil, and a pen appears in my hands. I write on the message and shove it through the wall.
He gets my message apparently through writing on the diary, and sends another message saying that Mr. Hogarth has suggesting finding and destroying anything that might look like some sort of manifestation of this reality.
I will myself out of the diary, and find myself back with Shroud, Mr. Hogarth and Lux. I tell him about the dolls, and he suggests I rip the hand off of his. I nod, and return into the diary.
Michael has taken the dolls, and to my suggestion, he rips off the hand. I exit back out, and Shroud's hand seems to be strangely affected, although it's not gone.
Michael comes out with the girl and the dolls, and then the world ends. We can hear a girl screaming, and the world flashes bright light and...
Everyone else having left the diary, Jack sends massive amounts of electricity into the Dollhouse, causing it to explode with energy.
We're standing just next to the pool. It's late, and the guests are gone. We go inside, and it looks entirely like a party was had.
As Lux goes off to retreat back into her basement, I stop her and ask if she knew the little girl 'resy, but she doesn't know her. I tell her Never cares for her for some reason, and it might be important, and Lux says she'll look into it.
Shroud pulls the coin Never tossed into the pool, and Jack inspects it. It looks blackened.
Mr. Hogarth tells us he just called some of the guests. They said they had a nice party, as if nothing was amiss.
It's raining outside.