Sunday, December 9, 2012

Buster Squad 5: A Necessary Evil Actual Play Volume 11





Return From Space!

The team returned from space, after Talos magnetically froze up Cyber Burglaire’s jaw, over three days after leaving…and returned to their base to find someone was inside. Socks prepared to pounce, before realizing that he recognized the scent of human freedom fighter Tula Michaels! The team relaxed until she walked out of the kitchen eating potato chips, which infuriated Talos. Mindstorm had to telekinetically hold him back.

Socks bragged that he blew up a satellite, which made Tula jealous. Word had been spreading that resistance was growing world wide, with the V’Sori losing their grip on Africa thanks to a surge of magic powered by primal spirits. Tula mentioned that she had been in South America, busting an old Nazi lab that had V’Sori connections. Seems V’Sori agents had been working with the Nazis all that time. The Buster Squad 5 were glad to be home…when their commlinks flared to life and Dr. Destruction told them that the V’Sori had been hard to work on trying to salvage something off the coast of Newfoundland. The team, plus Tula, loaded into their ship and headed to Newfoundland.

As they arrived, Kale had the ship hover in place over a salvage ship, which had an old submarine on it. Socks recognized it as being a US submarine from 1944, though he didn’t know WHY he knew that. It still had large chunks of ice covering it. Talos and Socks dropped to the salvage ship below and Mindstorm flew Tula to the deck. The team missed the Fins lurking on the upper deck of the ship, and two more emerged. A slimy V’Sori voice told the team that they wouldn’t disrupt THIS salvage like they did the last, and D’Bloc emerged from the submarine…flanked by World War II legends 4-Star and Lucky, presumed dead since 1944! The two men had a faraway look on their faces and D’Bloc ordered his men to attack!

Mindstorm, who was already summoning a storm before he left their ship, dropped a bolt of lightning on D’Bloc, frying him where he stood! (I made multiple Soak rolls and D’Bloc never came close to surviving.) 4-Star and Lucky seemed to shake off the Mind Control, but still looked confused as to what was going on. Mindstorm said they would explain later!

Kale teleported to the deck as Talos grabbed Socks and jumped to the upper deck to fight the Fins up there, Socks and one Fin trading blows while Talos shrugged off attacks from the other. Tula was shot by another Fin, and Socks wisely made it a point to yell out “Die, you Nazi bastards!” while chanting “USA! USA! USA!” This caused 4-Star and Lucky to pause and consider the situation before attacking, and Lucky charged one of the Fins and dropped him with a superpowered punch. 4-Star fired his Shooting Stars at another, dropping that Fin. Socks and Talos finished off their fins as a new figure tried to escape the submarine!

Mindstorm saw the escaping figure and told Kale to stop him, which he did with a well-placed palm blaster. The figure, Japanese super spy Shugenja, summoned an illusory attack that startled Kale momentarily. Lucky tried to attack Shugenja, ending the fight that began on the sub back in 1944, but Shugenja dodged him. Talos also attacked and failed, while Kale managed to wrap up Shugenja in inky darkness.

Mindstorm read Kale carefully and saw that he was about to kill the super spy, and ordered Kale to back off. Mindstorm then began to tell 4-Star and Lucky what had happened over the time they had been frozen…that it was now 2005. That Japan and the United States eventually became allies…until the V’Sori crushed both nations. Talos explained the fall of the Japanese empire to Shugenja, draining the fight from the patriot. Tula explained that OMEGA was the only resistance left…and the three frozen legends put aside their fight to leave this boat with the Buster Squad 5.

Arriving at a rendezvous point with Dr. Destruction, he seemed pleased that The Buster Squad had provided him with “two and a half” legends (which Lucky objected to). He led the men to his own ship and they departed, leaving the team to their own devices.

NOTES: We took a mission break here. Socks took Improved Frenzy as his advance, finally putting him on even par with the Fins, attack-wise. The mission is designed to have a fight with 4-Star and Lucky, but Mindstorm got a high card and rolled well, wiping out D’Bloc and putting an end to the mind control before it became a problem. I was going to have them attack everyone out of fear and confusion, but Socks made it a point to call out the Fins as Nazis and scream “USA! USA! USA!” so I gave him the point for effort. Then we carried on…

Tula asked Socks if he would maybe want to get some disguises and go to a movie and he said yes! Talos said he would shrink down and go with them, to Socks’ dismay. Another goofy argument erupted between Socks and Kale (happens once a mission or so) and Kale finally crossed the rubicon and actually mind controlled Socks and forced him to leave the headquarters and go to the movies.

Talos was stunned. Mindstorm said he had it coming.

Red flags also went off, at least with the players, because the last time an NPC female took a PC out on the town, Belladonna betrayed Mindstorm.

As the others left, Kale solemnly told Mindstorm that he was scared. He says that, with all due respect, he was never like the others…he was a kind and peaceful Atlantean until everyone he loved was killed before him in a V’Sori attack, and he gave over his soul to Leviathan for the promise of power…and revenge. He knows that he won’t survive this war…and he knows that his soul is damned. And now, it frightens him. Kale goes on to say that he is slipping. Socks is a killing machine, but he is literally what the V’Sori made him to be. Kale has access to all this power, but is moving towards the quickest and most lethal solution to any problem. He’s moving from not caring if people die…to becoming their executioner. He says that as the team has gotten better…he has only gotten worse.

Mindstorm says that maybe it’s not too late. That they can find a way to save him from Leviathan. Make a new deal.

As Socks, Tula and Talos leave the movie theatre, there is a commotion in the streets and the bloodied form of The Patriot, who Buster Squad 5 recruited some time ago, stumbles up to Socks and collapses against him. Spitting up blood, he tries to explain that his Cell is dead, that Drones did it…and says something about Supers before Patriot dies in his arms. Socks picks up a big whiff of fluoride off the body and contacts the rest of the team. Talos grabs Patriot and leaps back to HQ while Socks and Tula return on foot.

 It occurs to Socks that Patriot wasn’t saying “Drones and Supers”…but that Patriot was saying they had Super Drones! They examined Patriot’s body and found deep cuts and large bruising all over his body, with the fluoride being at its heaviest there. Socks said he could trace Patriot’s trail back to their headquarters and maybe find the Drones. Tula said she would take care of Patriot as the team headed out.

Socks picked up the trail…only to have a Super Drone open fire from a rooftop…and another Super Drone, wielding swords, charge out at Kale and cut him deeply! Kale crumpled to the ground, dying! (It should be noted here that Mindstorm’s player was rolling Kale’s Soak rolls and, using Common Bond, burned through EVERY benny he had trying to save Kale…and failed.)

Talos jumped to the rooftop to take out the Blaster Super Drone, while Socks shredded the Sword Wielding one. Mindstorm tried to attack the Blaster Drone with ranged attacks with little luck.  As Socks ran to the ladder access to the roof, a third Super Drone sped out of the darkness and hammered Mindstorm with multiple blows! As Mindstorm crumpled to the ground, he recognized the former OMEGA operative Zephyr – now part cyborg and a quite twisted Super Drone – standing over him! Socks managed to kill the Blaster Super Drone and jumped off the rooftop, hitting the ground running and charging at Zephyr…

…when the fourth Super Drone arrived, and Bully – fallen teammate of Socks, Mindstorm and Kale – intercepted Socks with a gore. Socks managed to roll with the hit and absorb it, but the shock to his system was much worse. Zephyr grabbed Mindstorm and began to pummel him repeatedly. Socks attacked Bully and only drove him into a Berserker Rage (which seemed curious that a Drone could do that), and Talos leapt down to attack Bully…only to get gored and smashed to pieces.

Seeing the thus far very resilient Talos shattered rattled the players…but Socks grabbed Bully by the horns and screamed at him.

“You’re still in there! They can’t take Bully away! Nothing can take Bully away! Not even death!” (Paraphrasing, as my memory is cloudy…but he did this while playing the Sidekick Adventure Card.)

Socks then turned away from Bully, exposing his back to him, and went to Zephyr, horribly wounding the Super Drone. Zephyr, who had momentarily sneered at Mindstorm, seemed to have a glimmer of recognition as Bully’s shadow fell over him and the hulking minotaur-like Super Drone crushed the speedy, Shaken Super Drone.

Mindstorm immediately dropped to Kale and began using his Electrical Control to cauterize the wounds, and try to shock Kale’s system back into operation. (He played “That One Issue Where…” Adventure card to gain Healing). To the surprise of everyone, Kale’s body began to respond to the efforts.

Before the team could process all of this, loud, clanking footsteps filled the streets and the team looked up to see Dr. Destruction standing in the streets! A ship began to hover over him and he said “This one is mine. The next one’s won’t be. GO.”

As the ship’s ramp lowered to the ground, Mindstorm telekinetically grabbed as much of Talos as he could while carrying Kale in his arms up the ramp. Bully, at their insistence, grabbed the rest of Talos and he and Socks ran past Dr. Destruction as a large cannon appeared in his hands and he opened fire on the Drones and Fins that were beginning to swarm in!

Destruction entered the vessel as the ramp raised and he dropped the cannon on the floor as he told Socks “You know how to fire a ship’s guns, correct? Fire at will.”

Mindstorm joined Socks, using lighting bolts to attack their pursuers as Destruction’s ship flew away from Star City…before plunging into the ocean.

Mindstorm finally had a chance to face Bully…and he simply hugged the giant, saying “I’m sorry.”

Destruction informed the team that the time was upon them…they could take three days rest, no more…because Dr. Aden had come through for them. OMEGA finally had the key to shutting down the Drones – worldwide – once and for all.

Notes: A very emotional session. Seeing one of my players use Common Bond to spend EVERY benny he had, at the beginning of a fight, to save an NPC is a sight I will not soon forget. My other player’s use of Sidekick to counteract the Super Drone programming for Bully, I thought, was a nice touch…you want character development in an RPG? Socks, a mindless killing machine, used the power of friendship to bring his best friend back. Mindstorm’s player told me, when Bully appeared, that he wanted to punch me. I call that a success, folks.

At the end of the session, Mindstorm took Shooting d12. I figure we only have a couple of sessions left and this campaign will draw to a close.