Attack on Bulwark

Let's do some Mutants and Masterminds.

There is a knocking on my door.

Outside is a woman in a military woman, with several others. "Mr. Hakson," she says. I ask what I can do for her.

She says her name is Lieutenant Alexandria of the "Parahuman Intelligence and Response Command", and she wonders where I have been. She adds also that I need to register in a week.

I tell her I'm not interested.

She leaves, and says I need to tell the others.

My phone buzzes. It's a text message to a wiki someone made, about various Chosen.

Aaron is at the bar when a man in his mid-20s walks in.

It's pretty early, so Aaron is a bit surprised to see a customer. He seems to recognize Aaron, and greets Aaron by name. He says he looking for work, and he gives his resume and reference. Sam Popov.

Aaron can't help but notice that the man's backpack has a dove pin on it. Aaron asks what is with it.

Sam says someone up high told him he'd have a job here.

Aaron considers this for a moment. Okay, whatever.

His phone makes a little jingle. A text message, with a link to a wiki about various Chosen.

Aaron puts Sam to work, and just after lunch, someone comes in.

The guy seems a little odd, and he has a shot of expensive whiskey. He pulls out a big wad of cash and pays for the drink, without a tip. He asks where Jake is, and Aaron doesn't know. He asks next, how much Aaron cares about him.

Aaron gets pretty angry at this, and threatens him. He also has Sam flip the sign over from open to closed.

The man says simply that his employer has a message. He has Jake at the Van Damme building in Brooklyn.

Aaron responds with a flying kick to the man's face, and the man goes flying into the wall.

"Goddammit, that hurts," he wheezes.

Sam seems surprised by the turn of events.

Piper Andrejenko goes to the penthouse to feed Dr. Nibbles, when her phone buzzes with a link to a wiki, about various Chosen. She finds this very interesting.

Her browsing is interrupted by a cartoon cat showing up on her phone screen. She pokes at it, and it leaps from her finger to another part of the screen.

It seems to be browsing the contents of her phone.

Piper turns to Dr. Nibbles, and says you seem to have a friend. Dr. Nibbles meows in response.

The cartoon cat turns to face the screen and starts speaking gibberish about queries and so forth. Piper tries to poke it again, and nothing happens. But then the cat says something more interesting.

"Larned. Fugitives found. Limited data. Possible super speed. Possible Flight... Executing Command...Piper, what are your powers."

Piper is taken aback by this. "You're kind of a little creeper, aren't you."

Piper tries to pet it again, and the cat purrs. She tries to ask what the cat's nature and powers are. "Fair trade and all that," she tells the cat.

The cat doesn't seem to be interested in doing what she says. "Execute command invalid," and then a stream of light starts pouring out of the device.

Piper pulls the light into her, extinguishing it.

But in front of her now stands a boy that looks to be little more than a teenager, in a matte black body suit covered with various digital artifacts.

Piper picks up Dr. Nibbles and takes a step back.

The teen rubs his hands through his hair. "Uh, hey Piper, sorry for the brash introduction." He goes on to explain the cat in the phone is one of his programs, "because it concatenates data, get it". Piper doesn't get it.

He thought this place belong to the Heralds of Peace, and Piper explains it is Dr. Nibbles' house, but she has to get back to work.

He says his name is Posix, and he thinks highly of her and her companions. He supposes Hat Trick is the reason we haven't been seen. He has something he wants to talk about, later, with the others, wants us to work with him.

Piper agrees, and says she'll get Aaron.

Piper calls me, and tells me that Aaron needs to beat someone up. She also mentions something about groupies.

I meet up with the others, and Aaron says someone has his friend. It's time to get him back.

We take the subway there.

The building where Aaron was told his friend at is a brick building in a bad neighborhood. Personally, I blame the schools. There's a nondescript man in the entryway, with a white porcelain mask and a name tag that says "Frank025".

We say we're here for Jake, and he pulls out a walky talky and says some people are coming up.

We follow him in, passing several more identical men with white porcelain masks, but armed with assault rifles. Like Frank025, they have name tags with a name and a number on them.

We're led to an apartment on the fifth floor, and one of the men says to wait here.

This room is pretty stuffy, but a draft is coming in periodically. Piper hears a high-pitched noise coming from above, and it makes her shudder, but she shakes it off.

Aaron decides to look at this sound that Piper thought she heard, and with a bit of force, finds a whining device, as described He crushes it.

We hear footsteps, and one of the masked men brings in Jake, who is bound.

Aaron is glad to see his friend. It looks like we came for what we were looking for, so it's time to leave.

The masked man indicates his employer is very interested in him. He shoves Jake towards us and Piper ungags and unties him. Once ungagged, Jake blurts out that there are others here.

Aaron demands they release the other prisoners, but they're not too keen on that idea, and point their guns at us.

So Aaron hits two of them, and one of them flies back and splits into two people, and one of their name tags changes. Legion attacks another, splitting him as well.

I raise my door up, and strike one of them, and he vanishes into a puff of smoke.

Piper feels a wind blow over her, and the boarded windows behind her explode into pieces.

Frank025 is surprised Legion is still standing after one hit, so tries hitting him again.

One of them attacks my door, but gives up. He turns to go after Aaron, and I hit with my door, causing him to split again.

We notice that, as each time we hit them, they often split, but grow slightly weaker.

Piper takes Jake and teleports to a floor up, and finally Legion unleashes his full power, bringing the room to darkness.

Piper explores the upper floors, and finds some more prisoners, including an older woman, a man in his 40s, and a 12 year old boy. Floor above that, and she finds a woman meditating.

Since it seems Legion has things handled with his darkness, I go through the wall outside and then reenter the building through a floor below. I find some troubled youths who don't take my suggestion that this building is dangerous. They're quickly persuaded after trying to shoot me, when the bullets from their guns bounce off harmlessly.

Piper takes the former prisoners to the hospital, and her phone vibrates.

The cat is in her phone again, and it is looking at her expectantly. She puts the phone in her pocket, but then she gets a call.

It's Posix. Apparently we're just where he wanted to meet, and he knew where Jake was. He wanted to trade that information for help with something.

There's an anti-chosen organization called "Bulwark". Most of their members are normal humans, but they seem to have a number of captive chosen.

Before all this started, there was an Internet star known as Garden Girl. Posix thinks that Bulwark kidnapped her, and he knows some of Hydra's duplicates are located near Houston, Taxas, which is also where Bulwark is based out of.

He thinks also this would generate some good buzz for the Heralds of Peace, and he shows some clips of Garden Girl. She looks to be about 16 years old, and is slender with blonde hair. He says she has become a rallying symbol against anti-chosen sentiment.

He asks if we can help. Sure, why not.

Legion crushes Aaron and his own phone. He also curshes Piper's after she finishes her call. I don't think Legion likes to be found.

Aaron borrows my phone, and he calls Omar to see if there is any other information (also replacement phones), and mentions Posix. Omar knows him as a different name, Data Daemon, and isn't sure if we should be working for, but apparently Gemma gave the okay.

Omar has provides a few details. The compound resembles the Wace compound, and many people join claiming "chosen are demons".

Texas is hot.

Legion pulls a shadowy minion from who knows where and sends to off to invisibly scout out the compound.

There's a guy sitting at the gate with an AK47, but he seems to be preoccupied by Hogan's Heroes playing on his little TV.

Inside the compound are several heavy military trucks that look as if they were from the early 70s, and there are guards patrolling around, all in matching uniforms, but obviously not a professional army.

At the center of the compound is a two story tall building, with an emblem consisting of a key and feathers on it. It looks somewhat like an office building.

Legion's minion goes into the buildings basement and finds more guards, including those with the familiar masks. There's a sudden gust of wind.

There are several cells, including one with a man floating, a man hunched and rocking back and forth, and a man in a kimono mediating with swords and crossbows hanging from the walls with hooks.

Another set of stairs has been cordoned off and has various do not enter signs around the blocked door.

Legion's minion penetrates the walls, and it finds itself in a lush room a hundred feet on each side. In the center is an enormous tree, and in the center of the tree is a girl's wooden face. In each corner of the room, there are 4 beeping devices.

We decide on a plan.

Piper will sneak in.

The rest of us will ask nicely.

This plan can't possibly fail.

They love chosen, right?

Piper goes invisible and teleports in.

The rest of us step forward into view. The distract guard suddenly notices us, and several guards point their guns at us. I put my wooden door up in front of us, and they open fire, unloading their weapons, but they fail to penetrate the shielding of the door.

They yell about bringing up the big guns, but Legion decides we should knock, so he throws Aaron at the gate. Aaron punches it with his face and also his fist and his body.

The compound seems to be at high alert at this point, and I step forward yelling I just want to talk. Aaron decides to check out the garage, and makes a mess of things.

Meanwhile, Piper is continuing her sneaking mission. Remember Snake, this is a sneaking mission.

A gust of wind rushes past her, and she sees a man yelling about his son in one of the cells, and quills seem to form out of his arms.

Piper teleports through the door into Garden Girl's room. The room is filled with spores, something Legion's minion hadn't noticed, and it causes her to start coughing. She hastily grabs her rebreather and puts it on.

Piper turns to the enormous tree. "I'm here to rescue you," she tells her.

Garden Girl thinks Piper is here to hurt her, after a few moments of trying to talk Garden Girl off of the proverbial ledge, Piper realizes why.

There are four humming devices spread around the room, and they're the ones we believe can cause some sort of panic among those they affect. Piper destroys them, and Garden Girl is suddenly much more willing to listen.

I walk through the fence, undeterred.

Several men are running towards the main building, so Legion punches the door in so that it is jammed and can't be opened.

Aaron seems to causing quite a ruckus in the garage, as I hear the explosions of several trucks. I walk over to three soldiers firing into the garage, and put my hand on the shoulder of one of the soldiers. He looks at me in surprise, and I tell him I just want to talk to whoever is in charge.

Aaron disarms the guy with the grenade launcher, and the grenade launcher just happens to go off, destroying another truck. The shockwave from the explosion knocks two of the guys back, but I keep a firm grip on one of them.

He asks me what the hell I want. I tell him I just want to talk, and I ask him where his commanding officer is. He points at he barracks, and I tell him that's where we are going.

Legion moves a man out of harm's way and puts him next to the barracks.

Posix's hologram comes out of Piper's phone.

"Haley, are you okay?" he asks the girl who is looking much less like a tree than she had been a few minutes ago.

Garden Girl is clearly surprised to see him. "Jake, how did you get here?"

Posix explains he had been looking for her, and somehow, he thinks his search made him a Chosen too.

She tries to slap him in the face, but is frustrated by his holographic nature. "I trusted you! You said nothing bad would happen! But after I did the online Internet show I got kidnapped!"

Legion's shadowy minion interrupts with some nonsense about a rash in a bad place. No one is quite sure how to respond to that.

A body, one of the guys in the masks, starts jerking wildly and then sits up and points at Piper. "I had to get a look at you. Hat Trick could not crack you. Fearmonger could not. But I long for the day I could test my strings on you."

Piper doesn't really want to talk, so she teleports Haley out, and returns to rescue other prisoners, but finds them already missing. All that remains are a few pieces of clothing and some porcelain masks.

A howling naked man covered in quills leaps out of the window of the building and runs off into the distance, blasting quills all over the place.

They don't want to let me into the barracks. I walk in anyway, and find a Sergeant Bill Readly.

I tell him I want to see the basement, as he has chosen in there, but he insists there is only supplies down there. I manage to convince him to let me in, after I "let his people go". Fine.

We go into the basement, and the Bill Readly seems confused. The cells, and the piles of clothes and the strange masks...none of this were here, he says.

I tell him I was wrong, there are no longer chosen here, but he must have some interesting questions for his superiors now.

I also tell him I must go, and then I leave.

Piper and Aaron get to Quill Guy, and Piper manages to calm him down. He asks where his son is, and with Piper's urging, he describes him.

Oh yes, Piper saw him, actually. He was one of the prisoners at the Van Damme building. He's at a hospital in New York now.

Piper illusions him some clothes. For the best, really.

We meet back up, and return to New York. Garden Girl says she will return to her family, who she hasn't seen in a while.

There's a special news broadcast. There was an attack in Kodiak, Alaska by some unknown force that bombarded several buildings, killing several hundred. Chosen are suspected to be involved.