Pressure Points

Another session of Mutants and Masterminds.

Jack McCoy has received another missive, and after reading it, he comes to see me. He's received some information.

The manor was built by the Lustratio family over an old asylum. Lady Angelline Lustratio was the last Lustratio to live in the manor, but hasn't been seen in a decade. Personally, I think she might have been Lucifer. And Lux might be the same person. Lucifer does mean Morning Star or "bringer of dawn" in Latin. Lustratio doesn't really fit though, as it apparently refers to an ancient purification ceremony. Jack thinks there might be a connection with Laura McCloud, one of members of the Council.

I've visited her before, and tonight is any different. She lives in a house on the top of a building, with a nice lawn. Two guards guard the building. Laura is sitting on a chair on the lawn with some papers.

I probe her mind. She found Lady Lustratio annoying, as she was a business rival. She knew her father as well, as their fathers had done business, and she had visited the Lustratio estate herself, in the receiving room. As far as she knows though, it's been out of commission for a while now though.

I probe her mind a bit more, about various other important officials. She thinks Mayor Leeds is incompetent. She doesn't like Tom Carson, largely for business reasons, but also thinks his wife's death was awfully suspicious, and his brother and son are brats.

I also attempt to determine if she was aware of the Coterie. She was not.

Later that afternoon, the city coroner's van pulls up at the estate. Two men in dark blue jumpsuits step out and come to the door. Mr. Hogarth answers, and signs a form to take possession of a body. On the form, Mr. Dutch is labeled, cause of death accidental, investigation closed.

Mr. Hogarth leads them with the body to the basement access elevator. After several minutes, they return.

After they return, I quickly read the mind of one of the two men. We've been forbidden from visiting the basement ourselves, but perhaps I can get some sense of why.

They took the body to the third subfloor, and was led down a hallway, around a corner to a room. What they saw was very clean, and there's a lot of mysterious tech. It's better than anything this coroner's assistant had ever seen.

The body was in the county morgue for a while, and it's the Dutchman. They had done a autopsy and stitched his head back on.

That evening, we gather in the private dining room where Mr. Hogarth addresses us. The corruption in the city council is deeper than thought. Mr. Carson owns a lot of important businesses, especially security, and he's been misusing them.

Lux has been in contact with a source that is willing to assist, but on conditions. For the duration of the mission, we are not to harm each other, which the source has already agreed on. Jack and Shroud are not keen on this, but eventually we all agree.

Mr. Hogarth opens the door, and Never comes through the door, wearing his gray vest and slacks as usual.

He tells us that he has info that will implicate Mr. Carson, and he wants to stop Mr. Carson and his group of yes men. The only reason he's willing to work with us, is that he does not want to bring his gang into this.

Mr. Carson has good security and several supers on his side. He also has several policemen and the usual assortment of thugs. He's aware of Never and his gang, but not aware of us. Never wants him out of office, since he has caused a lot of trouble for him, and this would also let Never get his own man on the council. There's two potential candidates, either Mrs. Peerson (whose husband bailed Never out of prison) or a Nigel Barnet. Never tells us that he'll be meeting the councilman tomorrow, as Mr. Carson is a trafficker and Never will be buying a shipment of children from them. They'll both be assuming to be doublecrossed by the other.

While he's telling this, I've been monitoring his surface thoughts. I get a sense that there's something more to this shipment of children, that is bothering Never. It seems he really does want these children set free. It seems he also does not want his gang, the Void, to know.

Never tells us that he wants Mr. Carson to be disgraced publicly.

The meeting is to be around 10pm tomorrow. He'll get the location not long before the meeting is to take place, and he'll let us know before then.

Around 9pm the next day, we get a phone call.

Jack McCoy answers, and Never is at the other end. He gives an address of 1272 Holland Blvd. The meeting is to take place as planned.

Michael Schroeder's drone and I head out early, monitoring the meeting location from above. Michael's drone has a camera duct taped to it, so we can record the meeting. But it seems Mr. Carson is already waiting for Never. There are two snipers already waiting, and reading their minds indicates they are indeed Carson's men, and are to kill Never immediately after the transaction has taken place.

Around 9:50pm, an armored hummer limo and a regular hummer show up. A large man comes out of the limo, and he opens the other door, revealing Tom Carson. The large man is beefy, and obviously meant to be muscle. Several regular humans, some with police badges, and guns as well, come out too.

Shortly after 10pm, Never comes up the street. He radiates menace.

From another direction, I notice Natalia O'Connor coming up as well. I read her surface thoughts to see what she's doing here, and find out that she's here to investigate Detective Hannigan. I communicate mentally with her, telling her that Detective Hannigan is presiding over a deal between criminals, and to be careful. Natalia doesn't seem to distinguish my thoughts from here own, and pulls out her gun and continues to sneak around.

Never talks with Tom Carson, and they seem to be negotiating.

One of the snipers notices Natalia, and he alerts the other sniper and Beefcake that there is an intruder. The order comes back quickly. Eliminate Natalia. I tell Natalia that the snipers see her.

Carson and Never exchanges envelopes and Never steps back. Beefcake steps after Never and grapples him and injects him with something.

Jack McCoy teleports in and electrifies the area, taking out most of the dirty cops. I possess one of the snipers, and shoot the other sniper, distracting him. Shroud portals in, and makes one of the other snipers going flying before he catches him.

Never is struggling with Beefcake, when two of the cops hit Never with their stun guns. Never conceals himself and flees.

Beefcake goes after Jack now, and grabs him and injects him with the strange syringe.

Shroud portals Beefcake, and several others, to his secret base.

Tom Carson had left immediately after exchanging envelopes with never, and Michael Schroeder's drone chases it down and tucks itself under Tom Carson's car. Shroud can feel where it is going. To Rose Island.

Never calls the estate, Michael answers, Never says that he went to the location that Tom Carson gave him, but it's bogus. The children aren't there. Michael tells him he's following another lead.

I fly over the island, a few miles up, and I see a shimmering field suddenly spring into life around Rose Island, going about a mile up. Rose Island Curfew is now in effect.

Shroud and Jack are near one of the bridges into the Island when the field goes up. Jack can feel that it is electrical in nature, but Shroud knows its true origins.

Shroud comes from a world far away, and was convicted of a crime that mandated a prison sentence. He escaped, but remember that the prisons of his people had used the same technology.

The range of my telepathy is quite large, and the field does not prevent me from seeing or probing minds within, so I flew over to Tom Carson's house. There are five minutes within, and I start probing them. The first is Michael Carson, but the second one is Tom Carson.

I probe his mind forcefully, and determine that he actually doesn't know where the kids are. Tom Carson took the kids from Never's turf, and he gave them to Pentacle. Pentacle is a dead eyed witch with mysterious powers, including the ability to summon strange demon like creatures. I get a phone number that Tom can used to contact her.

I telepathically communicate with the others, who are barely within my range to let them know what I found out.

Jack feels really sick, and Shroud portals him to the manor, where we all meet back up.

Mr. Hogarth comes in, and Jack tells him that he is filling sick from the drugs that he was injected with. Mr. Hogarth pulls a syringe from nowhere and draws some of Jack's blood.

Michael Schroeder is messing with the phone, and ends up dialing the number, and asks for Frank. The line hangs up, Michael dials again, and he forces the line to stay open while he hacks the phone on the other end. Eventually, he gets some GPS coordinates out of it.

Michael calls Never next, and tells him that he has the coordinates and will be launching an attack soon. He asks if Never has been affected by the injection like Jack, and Never says he had one of his friends fix it. He offers to bring some extra antidote over.

Lux has apparently also created a cure, and Mr. Hogarth delivers it to Jack. On a platter are five pouches, and Michael puts one on Dan's neck. Dan feels significantly recovered.

Never arrives, his own cure on hand. Never thinks it'd be a bad idea to use it in addition to the other cure, but Jack doesn't care.

Jack feels great.

Shroud makes a portal to the GPS coordinates. We step through. Never is with us, and Shroud closes the portal behind him.

Inside is Pentacle, with caramel colored skin, black hair with glowing strands, and a pentacle tattoo on her chest just above the low cut of her dress.

There are many children strewn around on the floor, and four blue skinned demon creatures with strange symbols on their faces. One of them starts dragging some children out of the room, and the others turn to fight us.

Jack electrifies the demons and Pentacle, but the demons are unaffected. Pentacle saps Jack of his electrical powers, and causes it to hit everything in the room, aside from herself.

I possess one the demon warrior pulling children out of the room and go after Pentacle. Never tries to disintegrate Pentacle, but is thwarted by her shield. Michael turns the room into a shield, and Michael is clawed by one of the demons.

Shroud portals the children all to the hospital, and then portals Pentacle to his secret prison that he had been constructing.

As Pentacle falls through the portal, the demon I'm possessing begins to slip away from this plane as well, and I barely manage to eject myself in time.

Michael makes a call to the hospital, and Never provides some particulars on what the children was injected with.

Pentacle is trapped powerless in Shroud's secret base.

We send photos of Tom Carson's meeting to Natalia. She largely focuses on dealing with the corrupt cops, and it helps her move up the ranks, but Carson's involvement also causes him to get removed from office.

The front page of the newspaper is concerned with much more important things. How did twelve children magically appear in the hospital?