Some people would describe this Mutants and Masterminds session as more "free form". Those people are cray cray.

Mr. Hogarth gathers us. He has a mission for us, and in a wooden box WHAT'S IN THE BOX? are amulets to protect against environmental radiation and poison.

Something has been happening in New York City, a strange energy pulse, and Lux wants us to investigate. That's what the amulets are for, for those of us who are affected by the environment (not most of us, it turns out). We're also given a homing device that will work three times to determine the origin of the pulse. Find out what it is.

Shroud doesn't think anything of letting a bit of radiation into the private dining room (Mr. Hogarth goes incorporeal). Step through, and we're just inside a New York theater hall.

The theater is all rotted out, and in fact, most of the buildings around here are in pretty structurally poor condition. Rusted out cars litter the streets. It doesn't seem like people come through here much.

I don't sense any nearby minds, initially, but then there's a guy outside across the street. His thoughts seem mad, and mostly involve an obsession with basic survival.

Farther off, a guy in a suit is walking down the street, leading several others on leashes. I read his surface thoughts, and he seems to be looking for electricity.

We leave the building, and the insane man freaks out and goes still. We ignore him, and walk towards the man with the leashes. Mr. Leashes holds up a device at us, and I can tell from his surface thoughts, he means to take us on.

Jack McCoy doesn't appreciate this thought as I re-convey it, and quickly dispatches him and his "pets". One of them, a young man, bites into Jack's arm and starts trying to leach energy, which Jack contains in abundance, but Jack's jacket is too thick.

The insane man, who had been standing completely still, suddenly lunges at Michael Schroeder. Michael's suit easily lets him evade the man, and Jack deal with him as well, while Michael's drone takes the man with the leash's device.

I probe the man's mind. Much like myself, he lived in New York City. While I escaped (by a manner of speaking) he's been stuck on Manhattan ever since. He became a finder for the colony, which is just one of several divided colonies. He looks for electricity.

His particular colony is on 18th street and 5th avenue, in the subway system. Their only cause is to survive. The freaks are the outcasts, and he's normal. His device lets him see electricity.

I disengage from his mind, and it's like pulling out from molasses.

Michael examines the device. It's just a handheld TV.

Shroud rewrites the man's memories. It's better if he doesn't remember us.

Jack uses Lux's device to try to locate where the device is. It's like a sonar, except with electricity. I'm not sure if I understand Jack's Jess's explanation. But it doesn't matter, so long as it works.

Shroud likes moving in straight lines, and he makes sure to go in a straight line with using portals to "walk" through walls. That seems a lot slower than literally walking through the wall, to me.

As we continue on, Michael's drone detects a lead lined vault that it can't penetrate with its X-Ray vision. It seems to be a bank.

We investigate, and find several corpses wearing tactical gear. Jack finds a booby trap, which Shroud deftly disables.

The vault is locked, and Shroud opens a portal to the inside. In the center of the vault is a dried out old corpse, wearing a regular old business suit. In front of him are several maps, with several colonies marked. One of them is marked with red marker and it says avoid. Upon closer inspection, it looks like there was also some markings for an attack plan, probably failed.

Shroud decides he wants to talk to the dead man, so he performs a ritual to send Jack back in time.

Jack talks to the man. The man is very paranoid, and his hunters, they hunt the freaks. He needs his pills, must take them. Jack doesn't let him take the pills at first, but the man calms down after Jack finally lets him. They have a little 54 on them.

He denies Jack's ever existed.

We head to union square, since it seems interesting at least.

There's a few people in the area, and one of them runs into the trees and talks to another man.

A frogman talks to us, and asks if we have come to join him. No, Jack replies, we're from the outside world. The frogman is surprised by this, sniffs us. We tell him we're looking for a electrical disturbance, and he says he noticed it too, and must confer with the others.

The frogman talks to his friends, and is suddenly attacked by him. We intervene.

I mental grapple one of them, and but just get overwhelmed with "can't take me back can't take me back". Michael and Jack end up doing most of the work to deal with the frogman's crazed friends.

The frogman is a bit bruised, and he gets back up. He tells us a lot of weird things like that have been happening like that lately. Another man comes and talks to the frogman, and then he tells us to follow him downstairs.

We follow him in the subway. There are 17 steps per landing, Jess counted them. There seems to be a presence in the wall for a moment.

Michael is briefly obsessed with the wall light fixtures. Biochemical perhaps. Gel-like at least.

The subway is especially dirty, with trash laying around. There's a man standing at the end of the subway, wearing a ragged business suit and a gas mask. Mr. Foster? Wait, this isn't Killing Floor... The frogman scurries off.

He tells us he hears we're new to the city, and wants to know if we'll be staying. Jack tells him we're only here temporarily.

I read his surface thoughts and find myself looking at Jack's surface thoughts. Oh.

He suggests we looking deeper in the subway for what we're looking for. Apparently he's been having issues with his people getting mind controlled and going all crazy. It happened a few weeks ago, and seems to spread, although he doesn't know what causes it. Carnival music seems to be involved. Oh.

Jack is happy to say he'll take care of his problem.

The frogman leads us down the subway.

Up ahead are a group of people, standing in a straight line. We portal past them, but they start to follow us.

Shroud creates a wall behind us, to halt their advance, but the wall is burned through, and we were pursued.

After a little bit, we begin to notice there is a bit of pink sludge seeping from the walls. A pulse travels through the tunnels, vaporizing the pink sludge, and it burns. Michael's drone suddenly teleports away, and Michael's link to it disappears. In the distance, faint carnival music can be heard.

We near the station, but we're still being followed, so we deal with that. Jack and Shroud take care of most of them, and one of them turns into a dragon, which I deal with.

We reach the Dutchman. His neck is stitched up in an ugly fashion, and his rabbit ears are stitched onto his head. He makes a motion and the pink sludge flies into the air.

Jack and I find ourselves part of the hive. Shroud is a good target. Yes. But before I can deal with him, Michael takes out the Dutchman. The Dutchman is a good target. Yes.

We manage to break free of the Dutchman's control, and Shroud drops the Dutchman in his prison, and temporarily wipes his own memories to make sure the Dutchman isn't accidentally freed.

Michael has managed to capture his drown, but it's still under the Dutchman's control. I mentally probe it, and find myself at the carnival that I had seen so long ago.

The Dutchman is here, and is surrounded by a group of people, and looks more bulky and disfigured than before, with one of his ears ripped off and his eye's gouged out.

His minions head towards me, and I try to possess the Dutchman in his own realm, causing the minions to halt. After another attempt, I find myself in/as the dutchman, my body being ripped apart and a dark shadow of a man.

The dark shadow focuses on me, and I attempt to gleam what I can from the Dutchman, before the shadow reaches me. The dark shadow is the Praeter, the Dutchman's mind says. He was captured by the Praeter, and he used the Praeter's pet, a lizard of shadow and smoke to escape. The Preater gave him hivemind powers before that though.

I ask about the Lizard, and he says the city took the lizard. I then ask the Dutchman to break the hivemind, and he asks if I can give him back the lizard. I tell him I do not know, and he reluctantly agrees.

I find myself back in the present.

We use Lux's device twice more, and are able to triangulate the lizard as being located on one of two islands.

One of them is Liberty Island, so we investigate that one first.

The lizard is indeed in the statue's head. I can sense it, and I possess the lizard.

The room the lizard is in is filled with a white toxic substance, which is melded into the all. In one corner the substance seems to form a woman, and she seems to be the one holding the lizard.

She speaks to the lizard, as if sensing my presence. If we want the lizard we must trade. Clear her city of the pests in the city, the colonies. Apparently her white toxic flesh is woven into the statue and the city.

I return outside, and Michael juryrigs a device that can control space, which we use to retrieve the lizard. Tendrals explode out of the ground and mind Michael and Jack. The ground shakes, and we make a hasty retreat.

We make it back to Lux's manor. Mr. Hogarth puts the lizard in a cage. After his memories return, Shroud checks on the Dutchman, but his body is just an empty shell.

3 exp