Jess assures us this session of Mutants and Masterminds will be very comic book.

This isn't a breakfast table! It's a lunch table!

There's a knocking on the firehouse door. It's Nicolai.

He's glad to see we've not managed to blow ourselves up, but he warns us there is an alien bounty hunter in town, and oh, can we help him take care of it. He's not sure who the target is, but thinks we might be interested.

All he knows about the alien so far, is that it leaves a black sludge behind, and it gives off Andromeda Radiation.

The most recent place was at a warehouse under highway 7, not far from here. There were a few other places, including near the docks, but they were already cleared.

I go up into the attic, and ask Lux if she knows anything about it. At first she doesn't notice it, as she's doing something with a glowing humming device. But then she responds that perhaps we should at least investigate, but if we do find the alien, we should let it go. She's not so sure about helping Lady Liara very much.

Nicolai accompanies us to the warehouse. The building is missing a large part of its ceiling and wall. It's amazing it's even still standing.

At the center of the floor, is a dark splotch, with a slight electrical charge. Flecks of black coat the walls around it.

We start looking around a little bit, but before we can get very far, the walls turn to shadow, and a voice echos.

"Oh, this is perfect...come for one, find another..."

Jack McCoy taunts the shadows, but a shape forms up out of the splotch. It's a misshapen beast, a chimera of many shadowy animal parts. Ears like a cat, a flat snout, arms of a gorilla, and claws of a tiger. Teeth glinting. I can sense its mind now, as cracked and as misshapen as its physical form.

It seems interested in Shroud, and asks if he cares to come willingly.

Shroud indicates he isn't so interested in that idea, and it laughs again. It tells it didn't think so, but the slave market does so well these days.

Jack McCoy strikes it, but his fist sinks in like gel, and he recoils in surprise. It seems to rebuff all our attack, and its spores seem to effect even me.

It engulfs Shroud, and Nikolai responds by growing a glowing blade on a device on his arm and stabbing it. It doesn't seem to help, but Shroud responds by growing a spiky shell. The creature shutters, as if dazed.

Jack McCoy bolts it with lightning, and the creature bursts into a million bats and bids of darkness, who flutter out into the sky.

Shroud knows what it is now, but he's only heard of it. It's an Exanimus, who sometimes eat the powers of their bounties.

Michael Schroeder's drone tracks the creature, and we follow, but it evades us.

It's near dusk. Jack McCoy thinks his shadow is acting weird, but before we can look, the lights go out, and there's a faint scent of burnt sugar.

Shroud performs a quick ritual, nullifying around Jack, and Jack seems to feel that his shadow got better.

But there's a problem. The creature, this Exanimus, it knows where we are now.

Nicolai takes us to visit Lady Liara.

It's a fancy house, fairly ostentatious. Inside, everything is black walnut, and Shroud can't help but notice the back part looks like her ship.

Lady Liara is wearing a gown as if made from diamond dust. Okay, it probably is diamond dust.

We tell her what we saw, and she knows a little more. It's an Exanimus, she tells us. It pursues fugitives, but she isn't aware of any on this planet. It forms out of shadow, and it has a ship keyed to it. It can also absorb the energy of its victims, and is very intelligent.

Nicolai gets a phone call. He has something he needs to take care of. Something about a business being attacked.

We return to the firehouse, and Jack calls Natalia. They talk. Apparently there are more missing people, and the riots are a problem, but she really wants to know if we know anything about the mayor.

Shroud locates some Andromeda Radiation near the Silver Arches bridge, which we go to.

There's a lot of police activity in the area. There was something that looked like it was once a police substation, but it's destroyed now.

I mind probe one of the cops, and he apparently assumes the attack on the substation was rioters. It happened last night, and most of the officers on duty are at the hospital, except Rick.

Okay, I mind probe Rick. He had just started his shift, and there was a lot of loud noises, so he went outside with another. There was explosions, and darkness, and the woman they had under custody, some high class lady, was taken.

Could this be Nicolai's sister, Rosalind? Rick doesn't know who they had exactly, so Jack calls Natalia to confirm.

Yes, there was an attack. Her brothal too? Jack gets the address.

Rose Island is quiet. No rioting here.

The brothal is hidden within a coffee shop, behind a little black and red door.

Something happened here, there's blood splatters and a lot of things got smashed up.

Jack calls Nicolai, but gets no answer, so he calls Lady Liara. She seems amused by Jack, and says Nicolai should be picking up, but Jack says he isn't. She suggests Jack try calling him? She isn't much help.

I mind probe a neighbor, who seems to only know the madame got busted. A bunch of thugs came in and smashed things up.

Michael hacks a camera, and finds that after the thugs came through (wearing a silver necklace, seems to be the mark of the "alleymen"), the police were called. Rosalind arrives too, but after several minutes of her arguing with them, she was cuffed and taken away.

Lady Liara calls Jack back, asking for Sparky. Jack doesn't respond too well to this, but she ignores him. The police lost track of Rosalind she says, but Nicolai was seen. Assumes this was something related to the bounty hunter. He may have a ransom demand, since she can't imagine it would have any interest in Rosalind or Nicolai.

Not 30 seconds after finishing up his call with Lady Liara, Jack also gets a call from Natalia. She asks if Jack lit anything on fire... Umm, hey, we don't set everything on fire! No. Natalia says she was just making sure "we" weren't involved. We can check it out later, though.

We decide later is a decidedly short about of time.

The fire was a false alarm. It was a tall building, and the fire alarm was triggered from the lobby.

Michael hacks the computer, and gets a list of names. Jennifer Elise (penthouse). Zachary White and August Higher. Jerold Roach. Michelle Miller and Thomas Miller. Shannon, Holly and Elisa McCanaco. Carolyn Montoya. Franklin Black. Andrew Quick.

Only Jennifer Elise was in the building when the alarm was pulled, but isn't any longer. Apparently also a shadowy figure pulled the alarm.

It seems that Rosalind and Jennifer were drawn out for some unknown reason, but we decide to investigate Jennifer's penthouse.

It's very posh, and not in a weird way like Lady Liara's house. In the clock is a safe, which we find the password encoded in some letters. Her name was apparently once Jennifer Elise Diamond, but she got it changed.

We find an old passport, and a letter. She was pardoned by the government for unnamed activities. There's also some pictures, one of Salem and Mathew Quinn (the Sandman).

Jack gets another call. O'Connor. Before she can form a coherent sentence though, there's an explosive sound and the line goes dead.

Shroud makes a portal. It's a specialty.

Natalia's office seems intact. But out in central square outside of the precinct is a smoking crater.

There's shadow goo near the crater, and a lot of scared people. One man in particular is shaking, but then he runs off into one of the alleyways.

Jack catches up to him, and the man seems to know Jack's electric nature.

The man was going to meet Joshua Wolfe, because Joshua's girlfriend went missing last night. Jennifer is her name.

He sees things. It makes him nervous.

He knew what happened to Joshua's Girlfriend. The fire alarmed happened at 1:07am, and she left, and then something took her.

Jack tries to calm him, tells him he can help.

He finally tells Jack his name. Morgan Galagos. Joshua Wolfe is a friend.

A shadow detaches from the wall. "One by one", it says. "Be seeing you foxes" The shadow disintegrates.

Shroud and I join Michael, Jack and Morgan. He doesn't seem to see me, but he does see Shroud.

Morgan will help. He says he can guide us.

After several portals, we find the shadow man. But something seems wrong.

It's melded into the shadows of the highway, and it's waiting for us. It says it's name is Ater, and oh yes, those bounties, yes, it's not after those it capture. No, for Rosalind and Nicolai, it wants their employer, Lady Liara. The other two, Joshua and Diamond, it thinks it can get Lux for perhaps.

Jack tells the creature if it can't just make a mess, and he lightning bolts it.

It's an illusion. So Shroud using something of his own. A spell to pin-point the creature.

Oh. I know where it is. I rolled very well.

Shroud makes a portal to the airport, and we find a ship. It's very large. SEP Fields are very effective. It must be his ship.

Shroud's spell must have deactivated the cloaking, but it's reengaging now. While the rest try to break through the door, I fly through it, and somehow manage to get the doors down before the cloak completely reengages.

The walls of the ship are very strange, swirling with purple shocks of electricity. We follow a hallway to where we believe the bridge of the ship might be.

Ater is here. He's not happy to see us. I mentally grapple with him, and we bear him up.

Shroud puts him in prison. Who is the criminal now?

This next part we did next week, since we ran over time.

We search the ship, and find the holding bay. Rosalind, Nicolai, Joshua Wolfe, and Jennifer Diamond are all here, in stasis cells. But there's also a red headed woman too, who we don't know.

Michael tries to hack the computer, but doesn't know the language. At his request, Shroud implants the ability to comprehend this language, but it gives Michael a horrible headache, and he isn't able to progress any further, and the ships security system is set off.

So Jack and Shroud use a bit of force, and retrieve the prisoners. We leave the ship hastily.

The red headed woman was dead for a while, but Shroud resurrects her.

Captain X arrives on Earth. He's the one Lux needs to unlock her basement in the manor, which he does for her. But Captain X needs something from us too. Some of his friends were taken by slavers.

He shows us some information about the slavers. The logo the slavers use is strangely familiar, blue and yellow with a cybertech stylized tower surrounded by olive laves.

It's the same logo that shows up on a lot of Neilatech equipment.