Hero Shrew OoC: We didn’t realise he was a PC
Hero Shrew: Maybe we need to project the Magus-signal on some low clouds?
GM: And what exactly is the Magus-Signal?
Hero Shrew: A searchlight with a big ‘M’?
A few days later the Shrew-Computer alerts us to break-ins at Saints Row and Peon Place, hangouts of two gangs we haven’t interacted with much.
Hero Shrew: *surfaces from a pile of BugBurgr wrappers* H-wuh?
Hardlight: To the Qruiser!
He’s quite pleased that he gets to use the holographic lights and sirens on the Qruiser.
Hardlight: Whee-OOOOwhee-OOOOwhee *etc*
GM: I still have no idea how to involve the Magus in this.
Flux OoC: Just pull the Coincidence Lever, he happened to be nearby.
There are a bunch of likely bad guys, in distinctive green and gold armour.
The Magus: It's like the Australian Cricket Team, gone bad.
Hero Shrew: So, do these guys have to worry about Testicular Irradiation?
Fireflash: No, they don’t use that shield technology anymore.
The Magus: Not that they’ve been informed. ‘My nuts feel warm, do your nuts feel warm?’
VIPER technician: That’s our new Nutwarmer Technology, don’t worry about it.
Hardlight: And some VIPER mad scientist is crowing about his plan to make sure all VIPER members have serpentine children, and how it’s finally complete.
Fireflash: Actually, that DOES sound like something VIPER would do.
Hero Shrew: If anybody happens to spot the vehicle they came in, let me know and I’ll flip it.
Flux: How will we know it was their vehicle?
Hero Shrew: It’ll be the one that’s advertising something snake-related on the side.
Unfortunately they’re not the pushovers that VIPER agents used to be considered. They also have some rather effective weapons.
Hero Shrew: How far could I throw that truck?
The Magus: Don’t damage civilian vehicles.,
Hardlight: We might have police powers but we don’t have immunity to insurance companies.
Flux: It will be difficult to claim it was reasonable damage if you pick it up and throw it.
Scooter doesn’t end up throwing the truck, but Hardlight does end up unconscious underneath it anyway. Scooter has to jump across the street, into a position effectively surrounded by the bad guys.
Hero Shrew: I would have to say this puts me in a bad place.
Fireflash: Perhaps. Conversely, it’s put all of them into a bad place.
One of the VIPER agents unwisely flies within arm’s length of the team brick.
Hero Shrew: Well, let’s give him a big Hero Shrew welcome *punches out his teeth, and the rest of him across the street* Let’s hope VIPER membership includes good dental care.
GM: It does. It’s one of the selling points - EXCELLENT medical plan.
They’re also smart enough to know when to surrender, while the rest of the bad guys we didn’t know about make their escape. At least they didn’t get to use their hoverdiscs, since we stuck them to the ground with their own glue gun. It appears they were raiding the different gangs for advanced technology. At least we can have all the unconscious gang members arrested for possession of illegal tech. The VIPER agents also all have a cyber-implant we don’t recognise - one stamped with the VIPER logo, and that Flux determines acts as a fact-checker for your brain. Basically, a cybernetic Mental Defense. At least with the Magus and Flux working together, we can locate more of the implants - some over in a Dysprosium Dawn hangout, and some underneath a building in Billington. Dysprosium Dawn are a bit annoyed that VIPER have stolen their tech again, when Flux inquires.
Time for a quick search warrant. Especially since VIPER are classed as a terrorist organisation. Happily, Flux can hide the entire team from cameras and other electronic surveillance.
Fireflash: Magus, while I have a chance to ask, are you intending on staying in town?
Magus: For a while, yes.
Fireflash: In that case I’d like to extend an invitation to join the team.
Magus: I’ll think about it.
Hardlight: We just need you to fill in this paperwork.
Fireflash: No no, we don’t have paperwork - registering with PRIMUS, on the other hand, THAT requires paperwork.
Fireflash exercises one of her new abilities - Retrocognitive Photon Tracing - to try and see how the VIPER guys got into the target building. It doesn’t work, which is odd. The obvious access - stairs and elevators - and probably trapped, or at least more secure than the upstairs cameras that are studiously ignoring us.
Hero Shrew: OK, just want to double-check before we go in - if they have armour I can hit them as far as I like? What if they don’t have armour, but do have powers?
Fireflash: Hit them as hard as you like. But if they have guns, just smush the guns.
Hero Shrew: Got it *cracks knuckles and grins happily*
Hardlight: “Colt .45. Semi-automatic. Play-doh.”
The Magus can teleport most of us in, although Hardlight will have to come down the stairs, since the Magus’ Door Of Shadows hurts him.
Flux: It’s like going through a Resistor *shudders*
They might not be able to see us on the cameras, but they might notice the secret door opening. And the fact that half the walls down here are transparent doesn’t help.
Hero Shrew: They certainly like their open plan layout, don’t they?
GM: This base is nicer than yours.
Fireflash: I assume that warrant you got was a No Knock?
The glass walls means we almost immediately come face-to-face with one of the armoured agents. He seems a bit surprised to see Scooter prowling down the corridor. At least glass walls won’t even slow Scooter down. The concrete ones don’t slow Flux down much either, as he blows out a wall to let Hardlight in.
Fireflash: Those of us with police powers, remember to say as much before you smash someone.
Hero Shrew: ON THE GROUND! THIS IS THE COPS! *Smashes two walls to pieces on way to the bad guys*
Fireflash: REGISTERED SUPERS! SURRENDER OR BE OBLITERATED! *blinds a roomfull of mooks*
Flux: At least I don’t have to admit I’m a cop now - I’d feel dirty.
Hardlight: Surrender Villains! You are under arrest for suspicion of terrorism!
Magus: Tremble before the generally adequate might of Hardlight.
They surrender, but not before warning their superiors and self-destructing their SERPENTINE Network node.
Flux: That’s a pity.
GM: Nobody has ever managed to decrypt the SERPENTINE Network, but they still take the precaution of destroying compromised connections because of, well, people like you, Flux.
Still, some of the equipment they had set up to produce those cybernetic implants wasn’t networked to SERPENTINE, so the specs they used to produce the hundreds they’ve made so far are still on the hardware.
Hardlight: Hint hint, Flux, hint!
Flux: I thought this was a crime scene and I shouldn’t start looting it.
At least we’ve stopped every VIPER agent suddenly getting access to all kinds of cybernetic Addies.
Flux: Can you imagine getting awesome snake powers? And not being able to do anything with them because everyone will assume you’re working for VIPER?
We also find a big pile of stuff they’ve already stolen from Edge City’s gangs, including a bunch of old Iron Guard armour technology that Humanity First somehow got their hands on, in alarming quantity.
Of course, it’s also entirely likely that the local VIPER cell leader in Edge City was never here, since he’s smart enough to trust his underlings to run their own sub-cells around the city.
GM: I mean, look at this place, this is actually a nice place to work!
Sudden good news! Two of the nodes are depowered, not actually wiped yet! If Flux is very careful, he might be able to get useful info off them before they self-destruct. It looks like VIPER had been reverse-engineering some advanced vehicles. It would certainly explain some of the stuff we’ll be auctioning off later.
GM: There’s a handful of Cyberpaths on the same level as Menton is among Telepaths.
Hero Shrew OOC: And they HAVEN’T been assassinated by the Ultron rip-off?
The Magus OOC: One of them IS the Ultron rip-off. And the other is his crazy girlfriend.
We should probably get some proper computer databases installed in our base.
Hero Shrew: It won’t upset the mechanical owl, will it?
Fireflash: Well, if it does he has ways to express it.
Hero Shrew: It’s not like he’ll throw up in our beds.
GM: Well, if he does, it’s probably indicative of some bigger problem.
Flux does go tell Dysprosium Dawn that they should go public with their anti-cyberpathy implant, before VIPER start selling their knock-off stolen version. We might have discovered where some of the interesting tech that went ‘missing’ after that big supertech raid that we instigated got to.
One the other hand, it would appear that one of the VIPER agents that we didn’t catch was working on improving the scanner technology demonstrated at that illegal supertech convention, and he was also vain enough to be driving a high-end colour-change sports car around Edge City. The latter isn’t illegal, as long as you inform the authorities of each colour change - he wasn’t - and driving a completely ordinary vehicle around town would be much less conspicuous anyway, even if he was switching license plates to fake being the others of the same make in SoCal. Using the automated license plate reader records for the city and the driver registrations of the legit drivers the team was able to isolate the common locations for those cars and where VIPER Agent Garry was going.
So we got a warrant for his apartment. Magus then used Garry’s hairbrush to find out he does his work in a small workshop and cabin in the woods - the hunt is on!
Fireflash: We’ll land a bit away and go in one foot so we can surprise him.
Hero Shrew: No smashing our heads through the door and saying ‘Heeeere’s Johnny!’?
Fireflash: He might have a superblaster and blow your head off.
Flux: And that’s assuming he didn’t electrify his door like a sensible person.
Hero Shrew does think to grab the first aid kit out of the Qruiser, just in case, until the GM points out that we never included one in the price of the vehicle. Which is a problem, since as a registered law enforcement vehicle it’s obligated to carry one. We should get onto that.
Hero Shrew : *opens the kit - there’s a few band-aids at the bottom and they’re expired*
GM: Most modern horror takes place in the woods.
Hero Shrew: What are the odds that a VIPER agent would have a basement full of monsters under his cabin.
GM: Pretty low - that’s more of DEMON’s bivouac.
Although it does look like Garry has been practising with a Pulson Blaster, judging by some of the trees he’s been shooting at.
Flux: Well, I’m going Invisible To Cameras, because why wouldn’t I.
Hero Shrew: Maybe he’ll mistake me for a bear.
Hero Shrew and Flux circle around to approach the building from behind. Hopefully he isn’t listening in on radio frequencies.
Hero Shrew: Want me to go ‘Cawcaw! Cawcaw!’ over the communicators when we’re in position?
Hero Shrew: So, who’s moving up first?
Magus: We’d much rather have them shoot at you, than us.
Hero Shrew: Fair enough.
Sneaking around the cabin and sheds suggests Garry is busy welding more armour onto a pair of Big Armoured Suits. They seem a little primitive, technology-wise.
GM: The Mk.I Iron Man suit looks better than this.
Fireflash: Surrender! You are WILDLY outmatched.
Garry goes down without much of a fight. Pity we can’t say the same about the robots. Of course, since Scooter has gone through two walls already, without the excuse of being blasted back through any, it’s debatable which side is doing more damage.
GM: Property Damage, your name is Hero Shrew.
Hero Shrew: Is it really a wall if I can just walk through it?
Magus: Brick-type superheros aren’t allowed to make that argument.
Fortunately Dee and Dum aren’t very bright - one of them even shoots at its own feet after it gets Entangled. It's an educational experience all round, really - for example, Flux discovers why it’s a bad idea to teleport through a Tesla Powerwall, and Hardlight is having trouble keeping Garry trapped in a force bubble. And it turns out that the Tweedlebots are Tyrell domestic robots, extensively modified to get around their hard-wired Three Laws. Not a simple problem - even dressing a homeless person as a robot stopped working the moment the robot realised that wasn’t oil leaking out all the holes. He’s had to install a suite of VR overlays in which Garry is the last human and everybody else is an enemy robot.