Masks: Birth of Heroes

Gen 2.5 Session 4

At the rave-club, Ember makes a beeline for the backroom. When she knocks, Mikkel peers out and demands to know if she’s alone. He’s obviously very nervous. She tries to find out why but is surprised by a bolt of electricity on the stairwell. A man phases down through the floor and demands she surrender. Instead, she decides to run. Flashing through the electric net, however, causes a short, and it sparks. A small fire starts against the wall. Ember offers to give herself up if they put it out…but they don’t really care and cuff her anyway.

At the base, the Hammer is patching Anansi up as he explains what happened. The Hammer wants to know why Anansi let Ember go. Having finished burning off her excess radiation, Atomica heads towards the junkyard and chooses that moment to walk in. Atomica offers to call them (which Anansi has already tried, but she isn’t to be stopped.) Anansi tries to summarize the events…which really just confuses Atomica, mostly because she can’t believe Ember was involved in a heist. Scarlet’s phone rings. Seeing it’s Ember, she puts it on speaker phone. The voice says, “Sigma?” And Scarlet hangs up. Obviously, that was bad, so they get on Anansi’s bike and head out quickly with the hopes they can’t track Scarlet’s phone to the base. (Although she does take the time to melt the phone before they go.) On the way there, Anansi manages to convince Scarlet to open up to him. Scarlet explains that the people who created/imprisoned her/tried to turn her into a super soldier and that they obviously have Ember. Anansi wants to head towards Ember’s last known location (the building the heist took place in).

Bilcer is in a cell and has been begging the guards to take the cuffs off. Because they aren’t human and because the cuffs restrict their powers, the cuffs are pretty torturous. The wall to the cell opens, and a woman wearing a bunch of ribbons on her military uniform. She seems to be holding a blue object that is probably the key to the cuffs. They pop open, and Bilcer takes a deep breath of relief. The General offers to keep them off as long as Bilcer continues to cooperate. She tells Bilcer she wants information on Project Sigma and that she also knows that Bilcer is an alien from the future. She wants to know if Scarlet trusts Bilcer — and Bilcer doesn’t know. She tells Bilcer they’ve obtained a probe from her time…and also Leigha Santina. The General would be happy to give up these items in exchange for Bilcer’s cooperation. She hands a phone over to Bilcer with instructions to call when they have Scarlet. After a severe threat to remind Bilcer of their place and a reminder that this is a “noble cause”, she leads Bilcer out. With agents flanking them on both sides, she takes them to a bay where they bring out Ember. The pair are brought into a cylinder and threatens to take action if she doesn’t receive a call. They close the cylinder up, and the pair appear on the street. Ember demands to know who that was and why Bilcer is going to call her, and Bilcer admits to being intimidated into giving up Scarlet. Ember tries to get them to give up the phone, but Bilcer hangs onto it. They realize they can probably access Anansi on their comm unit and try that instead.

At the heist-point, Anansi and Scarlet realize they’re being watched. Anansi tries to covertly look around. He realizes this area is very, very dimensionally unstable, and he also that the person watching doesn’t seem to be hostile. They decide to confront the person, so Scarlet flies up toward them. She flares up with atomic energy as she approaches to intimidate the person, and she finds herself face-to-face with Mr. Everywhere. Anansi climbs up the fire escape after her. Mr. Everywhere apologizes (sarcastically) for trying to help the government project whose friends have been kidnapped to be used against her… Apparently, the kids have stepped in a massive shit-storm of time travel, dimension travel, two-bit thugs and drug-dealers, and the General. Fortunately, Mr. Everywhere is trying to help them! Anansi also wants to know that if he brings Mr. Everywhere something from a tangental future, if he can help Anansi get back there. Mr. Everywhere decides to give Anansi a mission in exchange for his help: all Anansi has to do is bring him Ember. Anansi checks to make sure Mr. Everywhere isn’t going to kill her or something, and he gives him a look that pretty much says “Don’t make me say it.” and tells him he needs Ember complacent and cooperative. Apparently, they’ve only ever found one Ember in all of the dimensions, which tells them she’s a problem. He tells her to stick a button-like device on her, and he’ll know when he does it…you know, because this is for everyone’s benefit, really. Outside, Atomica was listening to every word, so she demands to know what Anansi intends to do…

…And that’s when Bilcer finally manages to reach Anansi. While they’re talking, Ember reaches out and turns the phone into a duckling… Unfortunately, reality starts to warp around the duck-phone… As Bilcer goes back to explaining to Anansi and Atomica that Ember just turned the phone into a duck that they were supposed to use to call the General, Ember tries to turn the duck back into a phone, but can’t…so she takes it to a nearby park to let it go in a pond. Meanwhile, Anansi gives a heart-warming speech about working together and not turning on each other, and he crushes the bug under heel.

At the headquarters of the New Exemplars, the proper authorities show up to take custody of Apollo. He ends up in a cell with the General, who tells him they need more heroes on her team. Apollo is very up front with her and says there are things he can’t and won’t do. She tells him his team is a joke and that she can offer him the chance to gain real power and places an Aegis shield in front of him. If he doesn’t accept her offer, she’ll make sure all of the charges against him stick and that she’ll hold him indefinitely…even if it means making sure one of the wounded people in recovery doesn’t make it in order to create a charge of manslaughter. Because of that threat, he tells her that he won’t be able to work with them…but, to be nice, she gives him one phone call.

Anansi is on his bike when he gets the call from Apollo. Apollo apologizes for letting Anansi down (and Anansi apologizes for being a jerk). Apollo tells him about the accident and says there’s someone intent on throwing the book at him…and they’ve threatened innocents at the hospital, so Anansi needs to look into that. And, also, Anansi needs to keep an eye on Bilcer and Bilcer’s friend from their timeline, because that guy is evil.

Once the rest of the group meet up at the park. Anansi checks and learns that the warehouse burned down. He also advises against talking to Mr. Everywhere. Scarlet tells Ember that they’re heroes — not thieves. Ember admits she did a bad thing, and she thanks Anansi for saving her. Bilcer asks if this is when they do a group hug now, and Ember answers that admitting Anansi is a bad-ass is as close to a group hug as she’ll come.

They’re interrupted by a whistle overhead and a crash as a woman lands in a small crater nearby. She’s bald and has an exoskeleton piercing her skin, and she’s regarding the group with a semi-crazed look on her face as she climbs out of the crater. She tells them that her name is Agent Diamond, and she’ll be their captor for today…and the next time they have a group meeting, they probably shouldn’t have it next to a weird reality-shift. (And looking around, they see water bubbles rising from the pond and fish flittering between being fish and being toothbrushes. Oops.) As soon as Atomica sees the Aegis badge, she charges into battle with her. Assessing the situation, Anansi realizes that she is somehow regenerating and advises them to get the hell out. Bilcer winds themselves around the exoskeleton to immobilize Diamond as Atomica tries to melt through the exoskeleton. The exoskeleton reacts — almost like it was designed to deal with her! — and it shunts the energy out…and burns the hell out of Bilcer. Ember tells Anansi to throw Diamond in the duck pond. He kind of argues, but she calls him a bad-ass again…and he likes that, so he agrees to follow her plan. Ember pulls Bilcer to safety while he borrows her power to reality hop over to pull Ember out from where she’s being pummeled by Diamond. She brings her fist down and buries her arm up to her shoulder in the ground. Scarlet scoops Anansi up and flies away, while Bilcer calls down their ship so that they can escape with Ember. Diamond tries to keep up with Scarlet, but she can’t.



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