It's been a month since our last Mutants and Masterminds session, aside from Jeff's mini.
The manor is still a mess, but the basement has been mostly repaired, with Lux disappearing apparently permanently back into it.
As usual, Mr. Hogarth addresses around the breakfast table. Our little adventure in space did not go unnoticed, and now a diplomat has arrived on Earth, to "evaluate our evolutionary progress". Lux believes that the diplomat may have intentions to back a cell of superhumans, but it's not clear why.
Lux knows that the alien diplomat will be hosting a party tonight on Rose Island at the "912 Event Center", and we are to gain entry and to determine what the diplomat's exact purpose is.
As such, we should expect other supers there, and it's possible the diplomat might be considering an alliance with the Praetor.
We know several invitees to the party:
- Councilwoman Marie Curtis
- Mr. Jeremiah Prestwich and guest (high society millionaire)
- Mr. Christopher and Angela Wade (with possible guest, more upper crust types)
- Votive (new leader of what was the Shattershot Gang, now known as the Leabau Breakers, she's a firestarter)
Shroud disguises himself as a salesman, and takes a visit to the Wades. He feels around under the door using his touchy feely powers, and finds that luckily they are not at home.
As the hallway has security cameras, he creates an illusion, to disguise his activity, and then portals into the residence. He quickly makes his way to the office. He looks through a pile of papers, and finds several bills from Silver Arches Memorial and the name Andrew Wade.
Under the bills, he finds the three invitations. The invitations are fancy, as if written by some strange electrical ink. To prevent the Wades from being suspicious, he creates some duplicates to leave behind, and swaps them.
Shroud returns to the estate.
Mr. Hogarth tells me that Red Events manages the event center that party will be held at, so I take a visit to Red Events. Probing some minds indicates that Erica McClane is managing it specifically, and probing her mind indicates that she's only doing setup, as the actual staff at hand will be handled by a "Miss Smythe". I get a debit card and phone number and leave.
Mr. Hogarth checks out the debit card and phone number out, and finds out for me that the debit card is prepaid, and the phone itself is located at the event center.
I head to the event center early, and I see Neilatech guards guarding the building. I go in the back, and find someone to possess, except..their mind doesn't seem to be all there. After probing their mind, I determine that while it passes as human, it's some sort of construct that takes orders from "Master" via telepathic link. Inhabiting this being would be too difficult to keep up, so I hide in a table instead.
Michael Schroeder hangs out in the parking garage across the street, and he has his drone teleport into the ballroom. He surveys the premises. There are five patrols of Neilatech, who are moving to maintain constant view of all sides of the building. The building itself has large windows, but they seem to be an illusion.
Inside, there are lights suspended in the air. Soft music is playing. It's very posh.
Guests being to arrive, and valets take their cars. Shroud, Jack McCoy and Harry Gruerkoven all arrive as well, masks provided by Mr. Hogarth. Shroud has a long beaked mask, Jack's is a jester costume, and Harry's has a long nose.
A tall thin man in a jester's mask and all white Nikolai Yolanavich is standing in one corner. A woman with a bird's mask Jennifer Varsley is trying to talk to a man with a black cape, black cane, black mustache and top hat Beauregard with little success.
The woman comes over and greets our trio. She thinks Shroud is a magician, isn't sure about Jack, and thinks Harry must be the lieutenant. They don't bother to correct her. She complains the man with a top hat won't talk to her.
At this point, a group of five arrives, all wearing mirrored featureless masks. The man in front has a white rose in his breast pocket, and all five are the same height and weight. The woman guesses it is probably Garret Logan, who is a millionaire type.
She finally introduces herself as Jennifer Varsley, and says she got her early to get a scoop on the crowd, as she works for a paper called the The Occult Review.
Shortly, a lady in a creepy mask arrives. Michael's drone is still lurking above, and it scans her, but she seems to "go away" when scalled via x-ray.
Jack makes his way around the room, and talks to some people. The councilwoman is here to try to get backing for special interest groups, and she doesn't seem to think the party has any ulterior purpose.
Harry notices movement behind some curtains, and a woman hiding behind them. She seems to be whispering names and numbers.
Jack talks to the man with a top hat, and he introduces himself as Beauregard BUT HE'S NOT A FISH. He seems to already know who Jack is, and he knows about Hades. He thinks the party is merely for one of the rich members of society to take a look at everyone and pick some favorites. Jack says that you never know when you're going to cross paths with someone.
At this moment, an obviously important guest is suddenly announced. Lady Liara Shar. Lights collapse on the top of the stairs, and an otherworldly woman steps down the stairs. She's clad in layers and layers of diamond dust, causing reflections to dance across the room. Her hair is pinned with glass, and her mask is made of a glass-like material as well.
Beauregard excuses himself, and he dances with Lady Liara.
After the first dance, she comes over to Harry, and she dances with him as well. After, Harry talks with her for a bit, and she's the host, making her the apparent diplomat. She's Geovaron Same race as Pierre and Harry welcomes her to Earth. She makes some strange comments about humans being ready for leadership.
Meanwhile, Varsley is trying to talk to Beauregard again. He mentions his stage show, but she doesn't get much more out of him. Harry interjects, wondering what Varsley knows about Lady Liara.
Michael's drone catches the X-Ray hidden lady glancing up at it.
Around 7, Lady Liara speaks to Mr. Logan, and they go upstairs, with several of his lackeys, shutting the door behind them. Michael's drone follows. One of the flunkies raises a hand to strike her, and they all attack. The hallway begins to bend, and Michael's drone teleports back out. Michael communicates this to everyone.
Shroud teleports into the hallway, leaving his illusion behind. Several of Mr. Logan's henchmen have crystals. Jack teleports into the hallway as well with a great lightning bolt and thunder, and sends electricity surging through the room, avoiding Lady Liara and Shroud.
Many of the guests scream and flee, although others, such as Beauregard, seem unperturbed. The wait staff suddenly stop what they were doing and start marching up the stairs. I fly up and Mr. Yolanavich rushes up the stairs as well. The creepy X-Ray lady vanishes, and the lady who was hiding in the curtains disappears as well.
Michael flies through the upper ballroom windows, sending glass flying everywhere. His suit's power briefly flickers out, and some glass from the window impales one of the floating lights, causing it to explode.
In the hallway, there's a flash of light, and the mirror masked men and Lady Liara are gone.
Jack speaks to Mr. Yolanavich, who reveals that Garret Logan is a bit of an antihero. He works for an organization called the Templars. He's happy to help though, as he has an interest, as he knows she's in the market for superhumans. He gives Jack a prepaid cell phone, and says he'll contact Jack soon.
Jack gets onto the bar and declares the party over. We all leave hastily.
I wrote several strange things in my notes, such as "Knows she was in market for superhumans..or his sister is." and "Jester (yolovonich) (concilmember barnett)". I'm not sure if that means anything.
We all make it back to the private dining room safely. Repairs to the estate seem to be still ongoing, although they've slowed a bit.
We promptly fill Mr. Hogarth in on events at the party, and Mr. Hogarth leaves to confer with Lux. He returns around when Harry Gruerkoven has arrived (who had driven the vehicle back by himself), and fills us in on information about the Templars.
Mr. Garret Logan works for the Templars, who has the goal of destroying all superhumans. Most of their member don't have superpowers, but instead use drugs such as Light to confer temporary powers. They are led by a figure called "The Devil", who keeps Mr. Logan on a short leash. This isn't the first person who called themselves the Devil, but it's surely not the same as the Coterie once dealt with, as this one has different powers (teleportation instead of heat/hellfire) and isn't dead.
Jack McCoy calls Mr. Yolanavich and finds that a lead has been found. He's been talking to contacts, and some of their money has been tied to a warehouse in South Haven. He gives Jack the address, and asks how soon we can be there. Jack tells him right now, and we leave immediately through Shroud's portal.
Inside the warehouse, the lights are all on, and there is machinery moving. Guards are moving around. Mr. Yolanavich appears, and Shroud feels around.
Shroud portals us to an office with a super old computer. Behinds one of the pictures, we find a door to a vault full of cash, floppies and punchcards
Michael Schroeder hacks the computer, and retrieves a billing address. He also finds billing information for tactical gear, golf clubs, electricity, rubber duckies, light fixtures, tubs, and fake names. He seems to have strange feelings for the old computer, so he dumps it through a portal into the private dining room at the estate.
We leave via portal to the billing address Michael found.
We arrive in the middle of an old style Victorian house. Two guards are at the top of the stairs, and beyond them, are two rooms. One has two men who are messing with a strange staff, which Shroud retrieves via portal. The other has many of Mr. Logan's minions, as well as another man with a black mask, and Lady Liara.
Shroud identifies the staff as a Geovaron computer, which aside from being able to be used as a communication device, can also be used as a bomb. Shroud disposes of it.
Harry Gruerkoven runs up the stairs into the room, and Jack McCoy explodes the room to take out a few men. The man in the black mask waves his hand at Harry, and his heart chokes. Shroud portals him to the estate.
Lady Laira is nailed to a chair, and Shroud rips the chair from its fixture, and pushes her through a portal. Jack and Shroud proceed to use area of effect attacks on the room, while I attempt to possess the man in the black mask. Michael Schroeder and Mr. Yolanavich are here fighting too.
Eventually only the man with the black mask is left, but he seems to completely resist all incoming damage. However, I finally break through his mental defenses, and his will is no more...
This part we finished up the next weekend, but it's pretty short so it isn't getting its own entry.
We return to the estate, and I probe the mind of my host, to determine his nature. He's the old Devil's son, and due to his father's death at the hands of the Coterie, he has a major grudge against superhumans.
He knew Lady Liara is pro-superhuman, and he became aware of her only a few days ago when one of his minions had infiltrated her group. He had hoped to use Lady Liara's staff to destroy South Haven, killing many superhumans at the same time, as well as the alien.
Being there are other superhumans out there, he wasn't planning on staying around, although once his goal was finally realized, he was going to kill himself too. In addition to his other powers, he had inherited his father's emotion control ability, although it was a bit weaker.
As we finish questioning dealing with him, Hogarth is seen walking past one of the windows escorting a construction worker. Strangely, the construction worker's mind seems...blank?
We dispose of the Devil into Shroud's prison, and then we talk to the diplomat. She wants her staff back, which we are willing to return so long as she makes sure it stays away from Earth's surface.
She seems to think superhumans are all the rage. (She's also aware of the Praeter.) She's not interested in interfering with Earth's affairs too much for now, although she says she's interested in having superhero fights here.
Jack McCoy does not care for the idea of "death arenas", as he calls them, at all. He threatens her repeatedly, but she doesn't seem to mind.
Jack goes to the library.
In the newspaper the next day, Jack notices two things of interest. First, Lady Lustracio was seen in public. He also notices an advertisement for "Mystic Mayhem", a show by Beauregard at the Shine theater.