Masks: Birth of Heroes

ANNUAL 1: Session 1

Spark is operating as the PR representative of Exemplars. She spends a lot of time in front of the cameras and is full of smiles and positive commentary about what the Exemplars are currently doing. Today, she has a meeting with her mentor Fyrefly, who has gone back to work as a guidance counselor at the school.

Bilcer is back at their ship preparing to hand over the blood sample to their people. They receive a request for a video chat. When they accept it, they learn that the sample of Apollo’s blood was insufficient, and that the Paradox has not been addressed. They urge Bilcer to go back further into the past to find a purer sample — but not too far back, or Bilcer could mess up the entire timeline. They suggest they find a willing donor this time around. They could find people from this timeline to witness the Cataclysm and take them back in time.

In Halycon City (which we’ve never even seen before in this series!), Emmett is training with his mom — Mai McGowan (spelled differently, because they’re from a different dimension). The training room is an echo of what Mai trained in with her own parents. Mai gives him an opening, and then, when he goes for it, she swiftly puts him down and reminds him he’s not ready — and speaking of him not being ready, wasn’t that a costume she saw in his room? She’s already thrown it out, but she lets him fumble around for excuses and try to distract her. She tells him he isn’t a hero yet, and he mouths off, so she declares they’re done for the day and leaves him alone…to check on his REAL costume rather than the decoy he left for her to find!

Back in Continuum City, Fyrefly and Hard Drive are meeting to discuss their recent defeat of the Byzerbot. The bot was holding the stock exchange hostage and had self-repair systems that Hard Drive had to interface with and shut off before they could defeat it. Frank kept the head, but there’s something off about it, like it’s receiving a signal from somewhere. They’re hoping to track the signal back to its lair, but Mai has doubts that this is a good idea. He tells her what’s for, and then he plugs himself in. Immediately, he can tell that there’s something wrong: the signal is working through four dimensions. If she wants, they could jump in the Chariot and check it out.

In Mai’s office (as a grown-up), Spark settles down in a chair to wait for her mentor, phone in hand. The sun begins to darken — but it’s only 3 in the afternoon! A ship darkens the window — Bilcer’s ship! Apparently, one of the most likely candidates for Olympian blood is Mai McGowen. She tells Spark that she needs to come along — apparently, there’s going to be a Cataclysm, and they need to find a younger Mai. Spark is confused — but the sky cracking apart and falling down convinces her they should probably hurry. Her phone, which she accidentally left on the desk, chirps and displays a new text from Cricket.

Emmett has appeared on the ship! He has no idea how or why… The ship has detected a time anomaly…and looking around, Bilcer finds Emmett. There is some general confusion as Spark tries to adult and usher Emmett into a chair. When he introduces himself as Lanternfly, he poses…which prompts Spark to buckle him in. The conversation descends into a brief discussion of time and dimension-hopping and which sitcom they’ve stepped into…but then it’s back on track.

Back on the Chariot, Hard Drive brings up Bash, Frog, and Chance, and the terrible team break-up that just happened a week ago. Mai snaps at him, and he snaps back, as he is the only one following up on the alien threat. Thanks to his technopathy, he can sense a weird sensation — like something has pierced this dimension — quickly followed by a second one. He extends his senses out to the temporal pathway, and he can sense 4 entities approaching. One of these is extremely powerful. Mai asks which direction they’re coming from, and Mai points out that the fourth dimension isn’t a direction. Bilcer’s ship suddenly appears in front of them, and Frank hits the brakes.

The ship’s door opens to reveal…Spark, because she’s an Exemplar and so clearly should be in charge…and nevermind she hasn’t fully grasped the situation at all. There are some hijinks far too wonderful to be summed up here, but it ends with a crack of thunder and light from the end of the tunnel. On the woman’s dress, there are a bunch of eyes, and, as she approaches, they solidify into a peacock pattern. The dress is very Greek-looking. With a sigh, she announces that Bilcer has brought doom to the future, and she begins to approach the group.

Fyrefly recognizes her as Hera, and she feels a particular kinship with her, even though they’ve never met before. She is also here to protect Mai. Fortunately for everyone, Hera notices Emmett, and she asks when Mai procreates. Mai focuses on the important thing and demands to know how everyone knows her name. When Hera says if Mai won’t listen, then she’ll kill Lanternfly…which causes Fyrefly to attack her. After Mai gives an inspirational speech, Hard Drive leaps into the fray. When Bilcer demands an explanation, she tells them that they’ve been lied to — their actions are totally going to lead to the destruction. Sensing that she’s lying, Emmett realizes that the only way to get her to stop is to make her believe Bilcer is dead. He flips over to Bilcer and whispers “Play along!” and then twists Bilcer’s head around. Bilcer does and pretends to die with a sickening crack. Spark grabs him and pins him to the top of the subway car. Hera holds out a hand to Emmett, and Fyrefly answers that he is staying put to be put in prison. Hera turns with a warning not to treat her son harshly, and Fyrefly answers that he’s no son of her’s. This makes Emmett sad.

As soon as Hera is gone, Emmett points out that Bilcer is okay — really! The group wants to know who Emmett’s father is…which abruptly comes to an end when Spark mentions that Diamond thinks Fyrefly is old and fat and irrelevant. That quickly brings pretty much everything to a stand-still while she tries to explain it away.

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Gen 2.5 Session 8

Ember and Bilcer spent the night working to get the ship ready to go save Mikkel. Scarlet attempted to set up shifts to watch over their prisoner. Anansi helps, but he spends the night ruminating over the situation with Blue and Ember. Ares went out to procure a new Demo Kids Car — a Volkswagon Golf that is red with sports stripes stolen from a pizza joint, because delivery drivers leave their keys in the ignition. After she comes back, she falls asleep in the guard duty chair.

The next morning, Anansi is the first to awaken. He checks on the prisoner first, then goes to make breakfast. Fortunately, the Hammer remembered to get some eggs this time. Scarlet is up next and asks what his plan with the grandchild is. He confesses to being lost on that, as he isn’t sure how to get her back. Ember walks into the conversation in the middle of Anansi saying that he won’t let Blue kill Ember. The trio discuss the merits of runny eggs and wake up the nearby Ares.

The Hammer comes in with a very serious expression on his face and shows them a news report of a helicopter looking down on a building. The building is obviously messed up. The report starts to mention strange-looking humanoid shape-shifters that tore apart the building to reveal a strange, multi-dimensional object inside and a body. Anansi immediately jumps to the conclusion that it was probably Apollo they’ve abducted, so Ember runs outside to get Bilcer to help them.

Scarlet enlists Anansi’s help to pull up Apollo’s location (thanks to the Greek Gods’ map) on their computer. Anansi takes a moment to inform the Hammer about Blue. He tells Anansi that he’s only asking for trouble. Anansi knows. Cross-referencing the Apollo map with Google maps, they learn that Apollo is currently in an old abandoned structure in the docks.

After a discussion about whether they should take the ship or the new car, they decide to take the car just in case the aliens try to get their hands on the ship again. Ares’s driving leaves them a bit frazzled, but they all make it in one piece.

Scarlet flies up to scope out the building from the air. She can catch glimpses through the many holes that a structure has been built inside from assorted gadgets and gizmos. Hanging in the middle of this big circle is a body with his arms and legs extended. She relays what she sees, and, when Ember says their priority needs to be getting Apollo out of that bizarre machine that does God-knows-what, she charges in.

Inside, a few of the aliens are fluidly moving back and forth between multiple consoles and have wrapped around each other and the glowing machine in weird ways. As she gets closer, she can see wires inside Apollo’s body. Scarlet tries to blast the device with her powers to free him from the ring. She’s able to break the ring to keep him out of immediate danger.

Ares teleports to the hole in the roof, then jumps down into the building. She creates an illusion to make it seem like Apollo gets up and runs away, and then she runs over to help him…or tries to, anyway. The aliens are momentarily distracted, but then spot Ares and stretch out around her. She freaks out. Understandably.

Scarlet tells the rest of the team that she has disabled the ring thing, and then she charges in to save Ares. The other alien turns into a wall to block her approach, so she clobbers it. It wraps around her too and starts suffocating her as she punches it from the inside. After a few good blows, it releases her and shoots up along the wall away from the group.

Bilcer recognizes the tech as a sampler to gather genetic material like a computer. It is not humane. At all.

Ember tells Anansi to go kick the alien’s ass and rescue Ares. He tries to use his power mimicry to make the alien “ungel” to rescue her. The effect, however, is to make him chronally unstable, causing him to exist in two timelines simultaneously. He starts to flicker.

As Ember runs over, she tells Bilcer to fly in and help Apollo. She charges up and raises a fiery wall around them. Bilcer does so and learns that the aliens are filling him with chronal particles in order to better study him ever as they remove genetic material from his body. Bilcer tries to call the Olympians to come to their rescue as they work on freeing Apollo. As the wires come free, they start to seek out someone else to bury themselves into. The wires plug into Bilcer, and the residual chronal particles flow into Bilcer and start to screw with their system. Their body starts to shift into weird shapes and starts to rebuild itself using the parts of the machine.

Ares is a little disoriented and freaked out, so she creates an illusion of the Olympians arriving. (Hera calls them time dweebs.) They are the “Faux-lympians.” Most of the aliens flee, except for the one that is a puddle, because he’s a puddle. Scarlet smashes after them to break the glowing device, but they are able to capture her atomic signature to allow them to replicate her powers and track her.

Scarlet returns to the party to announce her stunning success. Bilcer demands to know what she means she broke the device, because Apollo just sacrificed everything to help them. Bilcer is receiving commands from the device demanding he get a sample. That’s probably not good. They suck up the blood from Apollo’s wounds.

And, meanwhile, Anansi is flickering in and out of this timestream, and he is starting to see some pretty strange things. He tries to stablize himself using Bilcer’s powers. They help by infusing him with some weird tech and Ember helps by grounding him in reality with her power. His last vision is of a room with control panels and monitors. It looks dusty and cracked. Suddenly, there is a guy that bursts in and runs straight towards him yelling “Don’t—!” And then he cuts out. Ember and Bilcer can see this too.

The group piles back into the car (save Bilcer and Scarlet who fly). Bilcer peels off en route to deliver Apollo’s samples to their ship. At the Library, Ares pulls the fire alarm to get everyone outside to allow them to get Apollo inside unseen. Scarlet yells for assistance once they get to Olympus. Hera appears with a flutter of wings. She demands to know what happened and then berates them for their stupid human excuses when they tell her they weren’t really sure how he was kidnapped. Peacock feathers lift Apollo up and carry him to a nearby pool. A faint shimmer appears around him that start to close his wounds. She somehow manages to conjure up a thank you, then berates them (again) for not knowing where the aliens went. She turns on Ares and tells her that it’s her time as the God of War. She claps her hands, and a war chariot pulled by four fire-breathing horses appears. (Scarlet tries to interject and tell Hera that she doesn’t need a stupid chariot — Ares single-handedly saved the day today! Hera looms over her and lectures her about how she is insignificant, etc.) She turns back to Ares and tells her that she needs to slay the enemy, etc. Ares accepts the quest, because “it must be done.”

Bilcer returns to their ship and summons their people to claim their sample.

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Gen 2.5 Session 7

As the scene opens, the group is confronted by Blue. Ember starts to charge up. Bilcer puts their ship in their pocket to keep it safe. Atomica and Anansi both charge forward, Atomica to hit her and Anansi to knock the gun aside. Ares, meanwhile, makes Ember invisible. The gun goes off and singes off a letter from the library sign (Continuum City Lib ary). Blue lets go of the gun and slaps a blue disc on Atomica, which saps her energy. From her belt, she pulls out several glass shards and demands to know where Ember went. Bilcer seems to think everything is going well and says they hope the blast doesn’t piss off Ares’s parents. Anansi, meanwhile, tries to talk Blue down and demands to know why she keeps trying to kill people. Blue seems to think Anansi should understand: mole people and future people, for example, and apparently it’s all getting worse because of Ember’s existence. Anansi tells her that the cost is too high, and he’s not going to let Blue kill Ember just to prevent weird shit from happening. She puts the glass shards back in her belt and takes a step back. She assents to having a chat, but she’s convinced that she’ll be able to make them come around to her way of thinking. Anansi takes the device off of Atomica.

Ember, in the meantime, is confused why no one is shooting at her — confused but grateful. Since Ember seems happy to stay hidden, Ares decides to drop the invisibility and try to provoke Blue into attacking Ember. Blue accepts the invitation as a sign that Ares agrees with her, so she leaps into the air and tries to bring a blow down on Ember’s head.

Blue asks if Ares is going to help…and Ares provokes Atomica into trying to hit her again. Anansi steps between them to stop them. Atomica grabs the disc from Anansi and drains it of the energy it was storing, successfully recharging her. She invites Ares, again, to help her, and Ares informs her of her secret plan: that she only provoked her so they wouldn’t have to talk to her anymore. If they’re back to talking, she tells them that she’s going to go get shakes. Blue demands to know if Ember thinks her life is worth endangering others. Ember tells her to fuck off and uses up the rest of her burn to teleport away, where she will take public transportation to get back to the junkyard.

Back to the talking… Apparently, Ember is a fracture that causes space-time to bleed, and that’s why she can do what she does. Atomica tells her it’s because Ember has super-powers, that’s why. Blue pulls out a screen showing all sorts of data on how she’s right. After a few smart remarks, Atomica is able to provoke her into attacking her again, in spite of Anansi’s attempts to talk to her rationally. She disappears for a second, then reappears behind Atomica with her arm around Atomica’s throat. Atomica decides to become a human torch, which burns hot enough to destroy Blue’s equipment. Bilcer tries to point out that Blue’s data was accurate to get the attention of her teammates. Anansi distracts Blue (accidentally) long enough for Atomica to get a good hit in, and Blue crashes into the car. She doesn’t look good. Neither does the car. Anansi manages to convince Atomica to let him take Blue back to the base.

Ares comes back with the shakes at that point. She’s kind of disappointed that the car is broken — she liked it! Bilcer decides to fix the car (after enjoying her bacon and hot sauce (lots of hot sauce) shake), and it is so fixed that it has parts that don’t even exist yet, and it works like a charm!

Meanwhile, Ember is taking the subway back to base when Mikkel texts her to ask her to meet. She meets him at a coffee shop at the end of the subway line. He begs her to help him — he’s been tracked by the same people who attacked them. All Ember has to do is put this bug on Atomica. However, covertly, he tells Ember that “she’s listening” via a bug under his skin. Ember asks if he’ll walk her to the subway, and he agrees.

Back at the base, the team puts Blue down on the medical table. Anansi is able to patch her up so that, at the very least, she’s stable. Ember still isn’t back yet, prompting a series of messages from the team to Ember’s phone. Atomica is pretty pleased that she took out a super villain — Bilcer is dubious about this claim. Ares suggests Bilcer try to hack into the city’s security cameras, just like on NCIS. Bilcer is able to pull up feed of Ember walking down the street with Mikkel. Ares convinces the team that they should go find them to, at least, talk to Mikkel. Atomica underlines how little she likes Mikkel, but she’ll go to keep an eye from the sky. Anansi opts to wait back at the base to keep an eye on Blue.

Ember is making small-talk with Mikkel about her current digs. Ares pulls up alongside them as they’re walking, which startles Mikkel. Ember sends Ares a text telling her to drive fast as soon as they get in. He hesitates to get in when he sees Bilcer, but Ares convinces him to get in. Once in the car, Ares books it for the stadium. Ember powers up as Bilcer turns in their seat (without actually turning around) as Ember uses her power to make the bug burrow out of him. She tosses both bugs out the window. Mikkel begins to panic, because he’s convinced the military will kill him now.

In the air, Atomica sees approaching military vehicles. She decides to distract them by melting their tires. They are definitely, definitely distracted…and reporting her position to headquarters to request for orders. Atomica radios the team to warn them. They tell her to get the hell out and that they can take care of themselves. Atomica flies through the residential section, yanking clothes off of lines between buildings, then dives into a building to switch clothes.

On the street, the first of the humvees has crashed into the street. Ares guns the engine and tells everyone to buckle up. Bilcer slinks out onto the hood of the car, and they act like a cow-catcher to get people out of the way. The military starts to fire strange cannisters at the team. As they detonate, there’s a crackle of energy. Ember suggests invisibling the car. Ares says it would be a lot easier if Mikkel was not in the car, and Ember jumps to his defense. Ares tries it anyway, but Mikkel panics and unleashes a burst of energy that cancels out Ares’s powers. Seeing no choice, Ares pulls over the car and tells everyone to grab her hand so that she can teleport them back to base.

Normally, her teleports are instantaneous. This time, however, there’s a black mist and crackling lightning. Mikkel’s grip slips en route, and he disappears into the black mist. Back at base, Ember has a little melt-down about Mikkel’s disappearance. Bilcer brings up their lost ship, and Ember latches onto the idea since everyone else is being a Negative Nelly…except Ares, who doesn’t seem to care much. Ember takes the ship upstairs and re-shipifies it.

Downstairs, Blue is starting to stir. Anansi disappears into the room to have a one-on-one chat with her. He closes the door behind him. He wakes her up and offers her tea. Immediately, she says that her presence is damaging to the timeline, and she should be home. She suggests he “feel the web”. Normally, he should be able to trace the web in any direction, but Ember’s presence is weighing down this point…and, sooner or later, it will tear. Apparently, future-him told her that she needed to kill Ember, because he wouldn’t be able to. It is possible that if Anansi is able to dedicate enough time to the task, he might be able to find a way to find a solution without killing Ember…but it will only get harder as more and more forces from the future send their troops back to stop her.

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Gen 2.5 Session 6

The last media portrayal of the group has actually been pretty positive. The media have been calling them “The Demo Kids.” Nobody likes it. The media have also pointed out that the New Exemplars did not show up to fight the molemen. In fact, they haven’t been seen since the incident.

Cricket, meanwhile, has been in contact with Ares to ask for her help in “freeing technology that has been unlawfully imprisoned” in the base of the New Exemplars. He is asking for Ares’s help specifically, but he wouldn’t mind the help of the whole team.

Bilcer’s ship is largely repaired since the incident. They’ve been sabotaging the ship to keep it from repairing certain subsystems. For a brief second, it connects to the future — and Bilcer picks up a distress call from the advisor. He’s screaming for help and looks to be in pain. Bilcer rushes the footage back inside, where he finds Scarlet and Anansi playing on the Wii. He brings up the footage, and although they can’t remember who this person is, they know he’s important. Ares thinks this is a bad idea, because Ares definitely remembers who that is! Ares tells them that this is the person who fileted her. There is a brief argument over whether or not they should help him if that’s the case. As they are arguing, the ship partially reconnects, and a warbly version of the advisor appears. All they can really make out is “help”, “unstable”, and “need bloodline.” Ember points out that something bigger and badder might be attacking him, so they should help before it turns on them, so Bilcer finishes the connection. The advisor is overjoyed and says they’ll be right there.

There is a reality shift near Bilcer’s ship that they can pick up, and they can hear the advisor’s voice asking where Bilcer is. Scarlet suggests they let Bilcer talk to them, since they clearly know who they are, and the rest of them should hide around the junkyard. Ember says she thinks they should go with Bilcer, so Ares shifts into Ember and follows them out. The advisor is happy to see Bilcer and says they need to stabilize the timeline — and they’ll be happy to help Bilcer get their memory back later. Ember interrupts to demand who the fuck they are, and they decide she’s irrelevant, so they go back to grilling Bilcer about needing bloodlines. Bilcer vaguely remembers — but not really. Ares asks if this means they’ll be erased from time…and is pretty much ignored. The advisor says they need to get Bilcer to the ship.

Ares throws a twinkie at him. It bounces off of him, and when he pokes it with his foot, a bit of cream bursts out…and then Ember makes the cream grow into a nightmarish, sticky substance that holds him in place. The advisor expands outwards to break the cream filling as Bilcer is reluctantly led away. Ares teleports over to one of the guys leading Bilcer away. She knocks him over, and he splashes to the ground, then grows back up growing all sorts of weird eyes and things…and as he does, he tells Bilcer (in weird alien-talk) that this is one of the ones from the bloodline. He starts reaching for Ares. Coming outside, Scarlet sees him reaching out, and she fires a blast of energy at him to knock him away. The blast hits, and then the guy turns the same color as Scarlet’s energy signature and starts to grow. Anansi does a bunch of unnecessary flips to get between Ares and the big glowy guy. The advisor asks if Bilcer’s associating with villains, and Bilcer tries to explain that they’re the good guys. The future-aliens don’t care.

Ares grabs the advisor’s hand and teleports away. With the arm. Ember, meanwhile, turns the ship into a toy…which back-fires in that all of the future people are connected to the ship…and it’s suddenly not there. Bilcer falls to their knees and cradles the ship with a sob. Ember informs them she saved them, and Bilcer turns on her and starts screaming insults at her. Ember is confused — because she just saved Ember, right?

There is a flurry of communication between them, and then they form a single entity. They fly off. Before they go, the advisor tells Bilcer they’ll be back for them once they find a way home.

Bilcer warns Ares that she should warn her people. Ember also points out that they should warn the Hammer, so the kids pile into the Demokar (because that’s a thing apparently) to track him down at his autobody shop. At the shop, which has a clever name nobody could think of, the Hammer heads over to greet the kids. They drop the news on him, and he escorts them to somewhere more private. The conversation descends into bickering over whether Ember was right to turn the ship into a toy. Ares and Scarlet point out that Ember wouldn’t have had to turn the ship into a toy if Bilcer had helped themselves. Hammer turns his attention to Ares and tells her they need to warn the Pantheon. Apparently Mt Olympus is in a library — again. Ares warns them that the Pantheon will be every bit as dismissive. The Hammer will see if he can figure out where they went — and, fortunately, Ares hsa a sample! And it’s pretty gross by now.

The group head to the library, where the only entrance is through a stall in the men’s bathroom. The decor is very “old world” — stormy sky, giant columns, reclining couches, statues everywhere that move periodically to show off their anatomy. Hermes zips right up to greet them. Ares introduces them and calls out the fact Bilcer is probably an enemy, but they’re trying to reform them. Bilcer yells at her, and Ares steps in front of her defensively. Hermes tells Ares that she’s probably going to be in huge trouble bringing three mortals here — because clearly Anansi is a god. Clearly. In sharing the threat, Hermes tells them they need to go tell Hera, but the mortals should show proper supplication.

There is a semi-circle of chairs for the gods. The kids notice that the one meant for Hepheastus is smashed. Ares teleports up to her chair and brings Ember with her. Hera holds up a hand to call for silence. She demands to know why Ares brought mortals to Mount Olympus and tells her what a fuck up she is. Ember tries to defend Ares, and Hera says the mortals are not allowed to speak in her presence. Ares tells her that it’s a shame, because Ember and Bilcer know the most about the situation…and Hera reluctantly repeals her decree. The kids explain (poorly) the situation. Scarlet blurts out that they already almost killed Ares…of course. Hera also seems unimpressed Ares claims Anansi is a god. Hera says they know where Apollo is and that he’s being watched over, and Athena brings up a visual of him sitting in a cell.

Scarlet and Anansi tell Hera that they’ll spring him if Hera tells them where they’re holding him. She tells them that the gods do not interfere in the affairs of mortals…but she will allow it if they pledge themselves to her. They agree — some more enthusiastically than others. She gives them a map, then pulls out 4 peacock feathers. Hera tells them to turn around. When they do, the peacock feathers fly forth and burrow into their backs, leaving peacock tattoos. Apparently they’re owned by Olympus now. Ares says she’s too weak to take down the enemies of Olympus herself, so Hera should give them weapons to help them. Hera’s plan is four the kids to find the future people. Once they draw them out, the gods will arrive to smite them. Also, Ares is supposed to stay behind, because Hera doesn’t trust them. When Ember protests, Athena points her spear at her, and Ember backs down. Ares pretty much ignores the order to stay put and strides out.

Ares tells Ember that she’s glad she’s team leader, because Ember can help them figure out what to do. Anansi tries to weigh in (awkwardly). As they leave the library, there’s a blue-clad figure with a giant gun at the base of the stairs. From the helmet, the figure orders them to step away from Ember.

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Gen 2.5 Session 5

A week has passed since the last session. In the meantime, Apollo reached out to Ember and asked her to take care of Ares, who is joining the team. Most of the team has been keeping a low profile, but Scarlet did venture out to try and be a hero. When she did, the Aegis agents appeared in a swarm and drove her back into hiding. The Hammer has been seemingly more cognizant of the danger the kids are in, so he has been doing his best to keep the kids under wraps as well. Anansi tried to sneak out to help Scarlet, but he was stopped by the Hammer, who told Anansi his brother would be alive if he had just listened to him. Anansi died a little inside.

Ares has left the hospital (in her hospital gown) after learning that General Honeycomb was on her way to see her. Ember and Anansi ventured out to bring her to the Junkyard while Bilcer got her room ready.

On move-in day, Ares pulls in in a stolen car with the speakers blaring LMFAO. Ember and Anansi are waiting for her. Bilcer is lounging somewhere nearby, and Scarlet is coming back from patrol. She offers the keys to Ember, because it’s a team car now. Ember is excited. Scarlet returns just in time to hear Ares ask if she’s radioactive. The group heads inside with Ares’s things (Anansi is the one carrying everything) and introduce her to Hammer, who is old and crotchety, as usual.

Bilcer’s ship notifies them that there’s some sort of chronal shift. The screens all light up and sirens start to blare at the base at the same time. Most of the team head towards the conference room, while Anansi goes to his room to change. The screen is showing helicopters at the center of the city, where a giant crystalline structure is rising up from the asphalt. It’s glowing and crackling with energy. Small, weird creatures are crawling all over it — mole people! There are also four mole rancors on the ground at the base of the structure. Usually, the mole people declare war or intention before an attack, so it’s very unusual for them not to do it. Hammer comes in and asks why they’re still sitting there. Ember points out their missing member, while Bilcer says their ship has some weird readings from the crystal on the top of the structure. The waves are extending throughout time and are having some really weird effects. Bilcer’s ship is also being messed up by the waves. When Ember gets excited about taking the car, the Hammer has a little freak out about why the kids have a car all of a sudden. They decide, sadly, not to take it, because they decide they need to break the crystal at the top…which requires somehow getting to the top. Scarlet and Bilcer fly there (and Scarlet carries Ember), and Anansi and Ares take Anansi’s bike.

On the way there, Scarlet tries to convince Ember that she can fly. Ember reluctantly agrees to let Scarlet give her flying lessons…but after this is done. Bilcer makes their arm into a shield to try and block the incoming blasts at Ember and Scarlet. As they do, there is another blast of wave of chronal energy from the crystal. It totally messes Bilcer up: they flicker and drop out of the air. Scarlet changes courses to save them; Ember changes her earrings into a glider that catches Bilcer and carries them to a nearby roof. However, in order to use it, she has to twist in Scarlet’s arms…and she soon slips out. She lands hard on a roof below and is unconscious. Scarlet drops down to check on her, and Anansi drives up the wall of the building to join them.

Once all together, Scarlet, Anansi, and Ares discuss a plan. Ares will make the mole rancors turn on each other. Scarlet will pick up a mole rancor and throw it at the crystal, while Anansi will try to wrangle one for the same purpose. Bilcer is picking themselves up and going to check on Ember.

Ares creates an illusionary female mole rancor. Two of the mole rancors start doing this weird mating dancing and move forward to attack each other over the female. Their fight spills out onto the buildings on either side, and the building Ares, Ember, and Bilcer are on starts to crumble.

Scarlet swoops down and lifts up a rancor over her head. As she does, Anansi lands on the back of the other rancor and Scarlet’s rancor begins to fire artillery blasts at him. A blast throws him off and into a nearby car. The blast also messes up his bike.

Ember starts to roll off the building and is grabbed by Ares, who is then, in turn, grabbed by a giant eagle thing that Bilcer shape-shifted into. A beam of energy suddenly shoots into the sky from the crystal, which disrupts Bilcer’s entire body. It’s almost like Bilcer is falling apart — and they’re losing memories as they fall down. They crash into the side of a building and fall to the ground. Bilcer’s body begins to shift in weird ways. The crash awakens Ember, who is given the quick run-down of what is going on by Ares.

Atomica hurls the rancor at the crystal. As soon as the mole rancor touches the beam of light, it disintegrates into nothing. The crystal gets knocked off it’s perch, which allows Bilcer to recover, but the crystal has not been destroyed. The entire spire starts to crackle and hum, and lightning begins to crackle along it. It looks dangerous, so Ember decides they need to evacuate people…and she uses the asphalt at their feet and nearby buildings to try and create a cocoon around the device. Catching on, Scarlet uses her atomic power to weld it shut, and Anansi is able to duplicate her power. A fuel cell from Bilcer’s ship rolls out and bumps into Ember’s foot, which helps to power her up. Atomica, meanwhile, tries to evacuate people using illusions of Where the Wild Things Are trolls. He impresses the hell out of the Cricket and earns a nod of respect and his card.

There is a big explosion, and Ember is able to hold the protective cocoon together until it ends. As Ember collapses from exhaustion, the cocoon collapses into a pile of rubble. The rest of the mole people begin to flee except for one commander who seems to be frantically typing something into some piece of technology. Scarlet charges him, breaking his tech and knocking him out. Anansi goes for a high-five, but Scarlet hugs him instead. There’s some bonding, and it’s pretty cute.

Bilcer ambles over to Ares and an unconscious Ember. As they move, their body is reforming back into the familiar Bilcer-form. Voicing surprise and awe about the heroics, Ares takes the opportunity to tell Bilcer Krayir is a dirty liar and a jerk-face. Bilcer momentarily struggles to remember who Krayir is. It’s not AS cute, but it’s still some pretty great bonding.

Ember is in pain.

Aegis agents suddenly swarm onto the scene, and they’re coming straight for the mole lord rather than Scarlet this time. Scarlet and Anansi decide to let them take him, but Anansi tries to squirrel away a piece of broken tech. An agent notices and orders him to leave it there. Scarlet tries to tell them that Mr. Everywhere asked them to pick it up. Unfortunately, that draws a lot of attention to her — they ask her for a designation and start scanning her. While they’re distracted, Anansi is able to pocket a piece.

Back at the base, they find the Hammer in the meeting room. As they walk in, he does a slow clap for them and tells them they did good — messy, but good. Anansi presents his tech, and the Hammer says they’ll take a look at it. When they say it seemed like it was trying to separate Anansi from his powers and that it reverberated Bilcer in time, like it was trying to rewrite their timeline. Which is bad.

As the rest of the group talk about hooking up the Wii to the Hammer’s huge TV in the meeting room (much to his chagraine), Hammer pulls Ares out to talk to her in private. He says she’s done well, but he’s going to keep an eye on her.

They do, eventually, succeed in getting him to play Wii-Golf…

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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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Gen 2.5 Session 3

Some time has passed since the night of the rave. Scarlet is decontaminating, leaving Ember to amuse herself with drugs and alcohol…which also means hanging out with Mikkel. Bilcer has been spending her time hanging out with Ares, and the pair amuse themselves messing with people. For Anansi, things have been going great. He’s been able to spend a lot of one-on-one time with the Hammer, and it’s just like it used to be! He’s also been avoiding the rest of the team, because he hates them — even Apollo, because Apollo isn’t sharing what’s up with him, and Anansi has taken exception to that. Apollo has been busy participating in a charity race for a children’s hospital against a sleezy hero named Wink. He’s also been considering getting an agent and is polling other heroes (Spark!) about who they recommend. Spark recommends a Tricia Malone to represent him. Unfortunately, the old (dead) Apollos don’t really like this whole finding an agent thing and think he could do the same thing just by being a better hero.

Bilcer is hanging out with Ares at a fashion store when her little nodule starts buzzing. (She has just started a fight between three women, who are now trying to stab each other with their heels.) Ares advises her to ignore it, but Bilcer says she has responsibilities and all that. When she tries to leave, Ares grabs her arm. Bilcer offers to let her see her ship and listen in to the call, because the last time they wanted a DNA sample of Apollo…which definitely gets Ares’s attention. They head up to the roof, where Bilcer has parked her ship. When Bilcer’s advisor appears (he has three eyes!), he immediately chides Bilcer for not getting the DNA sample. If that means she has to kiss Apollo, then that’s what she has to do! She can sense that there’s something wrong back home, and the advisor is panicked about something. The advisor says he can’t fill her in on what’s wrong, because she’s in the past — they just need a sample of Pantheonic DNA. Naturally, Bilcer introduces the advisor to Ares, who isn’t real happy to be pulled onto camera…and less-so when the advisor says that he’ll set the ship for full-dissection mode to harvest what they need from her. Bilcer is weirdly okay with this taking place, because she will be a “hero,” so she slips out of the ship and abandons Ares there.

Mikkel calls Ember to take down the walls of the building. It doesn’t look like much — just an old, abandoned police station. Ember turns the walls into balloons, then pops them. Mikkel’s guys move in, and he tells her to wait outside. Of course, she doesn’t. She pokes at a book on a shelf, and is suprised when the book slides in… The bookshelf dissolves to reveal a sleek-looking elevator and a flashing red light. …Which alerts the Hammer, who summons Anansi in from the yard. Apparently, the place belongs to a friend. Anansi suits up and hurries over with his bike. By the time he gets there, however, Ember has seemingly made the building disappear using trick mirrors. Inside, however, a blue line has appeared, and an intense-looking guy in a blue-black suit with a glowing blue blade and a huge-ass rifle on his back. He leaps on Mikkel and presses his blade against his neck. Hammer recommends Anansi, who is puzzled by the lack of a building, call in the team to deal with this.

Apollo is about to go into a meeting with Tricia Malone, who is very professional. She tells him he needs to pick a cause and that he needs to play on a whole new playing field — with rich, powerful people — and that she’s not here to get his name on a cereal box. She also tells him he needs to either cut ties with the team or bring them in, because she can’t work with how the team currently acts. Two things happen simultaneously: a piercing headache indicating that someone in the Pantheon is under attack, and his phone rings. He can’t answer his head, so he answers his phone. It’s Anansi, and he apologizes for being a dick…which Apollo totally didn’t realize until Anansi owned up to it. When he leaves, he realizes he can connect with the pain in his brain to find out which Pantheon-member is in trouble…and he obviously has to deal with that first, so he sends a message to Anansi indicating he will be late.

Anansi decides to call Bilcer next, who has sent the ship to a different dimension…which immediately makes the pain in Apollo’s head vanish. He tries to reach out to the person who is in pain as he runs…and he loses control of his powers. Glass explodes and cars crash — and there’s even a groove of melted asphalt! — as a sonic wave follows him down the street. He hesitates a moment — should he stop and help those people? — but decides to continue pursuing Ares.

Bilcer, still on the rooftop, takes Anansi’s call and says she’s not busy at the moment. Unfortunately, the ship is busy at the moment…but Bilcer is on the way! She turns into a bird and flies towards the location. As she leaves, Apollo makes it up to the rooftop — and it’s clear she should be there but isn’t. He calls for her, and he can hear her calling his name. He decides to try to reach out to her to get to where she is, so he dimension-shifts and finds Bilcer’s ship above a ruined city and primordal sea…

Inside the building, the blue-armored person’s head opens and scans Mikkel. He stands and turns his attention to Ember, who has started to power up. A hole opens in the mask, and a voice says, “Anomaly must be terminated for the sactity of all timelines.” And then he points a gun at Ember….and her phone rings. Ember ignores it and animates a desk, which charges at the blue-armored person and knocks the gun out of his hand. Ember swiftly moves and picks it up…but the blast misses him and takes out a wall instead, thus revealing the scene to Anansi and the newly-arrived Bilcer.

Anansi watches as the armored person kicks the gun out of Ember’s hand and charges at her with the knife. Anansi jumps in and pulls on the armored person’s thread…and suddenly, both Anansi and the blue armored person disappear. After feeling hot and cold and all sorts of confusing things before landing in a ruined cityscape that is dark and red and cloudy with lightning in the clouds. The person tells Anansi they’re in a tangent — whatever that means.

Mikkel is pressed up against the wall clearly freaked out. His guys come upstairs holding a giant metallic ball with rings around it. Bilcer flies down to investigate. She recognizes the object as a probe from Bilcer’s people — it should be small and adaptable, so something must be wrong with it. With that said, it’s advanced technology, so something bad could happen…especially in the hands of someone like this. She tries to stop them and is told they aren’t dropping it. Bilcer starts to warp to wrap around the probe…until Ember distracts her by getting in her way and grabbing her shoulders. One of the guys creates a portal — a very unstable portal — and the crew disappear inside with Mikkel throwing a salute to Ember.

Apollo decides to punch a hole in the ship to gain entry. Since he declined Bilcer’s offer, he fears Bilcer decided to take what she needs from Ares. As Apollo tears into it, pieces turn into shards to try and stab him, but he is able to fight his way past. Inside, it’s clear that they’re taking her apart one piece at a time. The damage isn’t irreparable yet, but she’s in bad shape and in a lot of pain. He pulls her away from the evil dissection tools to protect her. The advisor appears and tells Apollo the attack is unwarranted. He assumes Bilcer is out doing what Bilcer does. He’d appreciate it if Apollo would stop interfering, because he needs Ares’s pieces to save the future. Apollo tells him he will NOT steal any more Olympians and that if they present evidence, they’ll consider helping them. The advisor is excited to have Apollo present and says they will attempt to explain what they need…but one of the samples has to stay near in order to ensure that they do not slip away. Apollo volunteers to be the person they keep track of, so the ship gives him a pill-sized metallic ball to swallow. They want an answer in 24 hours, and with a whoosh and a whir, it pops back into reality. Apollo tries to ask the ship for help healing her, and a healing pod pops out to help. The pod has MEDICAL BAY written on the side of it and is transparent. Apollo puts Ares inside, but he prepares to break it open in case it starts to hurt her. A friendly read-out pops up to tell him it’s assessing the damage and beginning repair. A faint mist appears in the pod and starts to heal her.

In the tangent, Anansi quickly assesses the situation. The world is a complete wreck around them, and there aren’t many signs of life. In the distance, he watches as a building in the distance collapses on its side accompanied by red light and thunder clashes. It seems to be heading towards them. The armored person looks similarly disoriented by by the sight. The armored person says she was trying to destroy the anomaly that is destroying all of time and space…which actually makes sense to Anansi…and has no idea how to get back. Blue says he brought them to a future that shouldn’t exist…and somehow, Anansi stablized it enough so that they could land there, because Anansi is both dangerous and dumb. When Anansi tries to get them out of there, Blue pushes Anansi back against a wall and tells him, no, don’t make another stupid choice. Probably the best solution is to let Blue plug into Anansi’s power to get them home, since they seem to know what they’re doing. Blue says he needs to access the base of Anansi’s skull. Blue stabs Anansi’s skull and spinal cord with plugs. Suddenly, Anansi can see more of the web than he can ever see before…and he knows exactly how to get them back. The pair appear on the roof where Anansi left his bike (PS, HIS BIKE CAN DRIVE ON WALLS). The cords pull loose, which hurts, and he can see that Blue’s armor has cracked. Anansi is stunned from the travel and can hear Hammer’s voice blaring in his ear demanding answers. Blue pulls off the helmet and reveals a woman! She tells Anansi it isn’t over, and she speaks into her wrist saying “Amanda Lareth, take me home.” And she vanishes. Anansi lets both Apollo and the Hammer know he’s alive.

Inside the building (or what was a building), Bilcer tries to confront Ember. Ember decides to blow her off and picks up the big blue gun, but Bilcer isn’t willing to let her go. A woman drops down onto the street and announces into her watch that there’s an agent on site and there are two suspects present. Bilcer is willing to give herself up, but Ember bolts for the club. The agent apprehends Bilcer using cuffs that lock her in her present form. She tells the agent Ember’s name but isn’t sure who the men were. He uncloaks a nearby vehicle and flies up into the sky.

Apollo is taking Ares back to the warehouse to recover, and then he zips off to help the people his shockwave endangered. And then he goes to turn himself in. He goes to the Spike, which has been repurposed to be a base of operations for the New Exemplars.

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Gen 2.5 Session 2

The group reconvenes at the base. Atomica, Ember, and Bilcer take Bilcer’s ship. They’re followed by several news choppers, which Bilcer ignores until Atomica mentions the base is probably supposed to be secret. Bilcer flips a few switches to bounce through a couple dimensions to lose the choppers (by making it look like they crashed into a building.)

Anansi drives out to pick up Apollo at the convenience store, who is pandering to some fans by the time he arrives. Ares sticks around to laugh at Apollo until his departure. The group heads inside (Anansi and Apollo are pretty sure they’re going to get yelled at), except for Bilcer, who is hunting for any traces of Apollo’s DNA on the bike.

After some bickering about whether or not Anansi’s bike is cool, they head inside to the conference room. It takes about 5 minutes for the Hammer to show up. When he does, he’s confused why they’re waiting for him. They point out it’s kind of his go-to move, and he says he does need to talk to Anansi. Ember quips, “About your bike?” He snaps at her, and Atomica leaps to her defense. Anansi storms out of the room.

Bilcer, meanwhile, leans over to talk to Apollo. She tells him that the folks back home are interested in his powers, and she’d like a genetic sample from him. He seems uneasy about the prospect and says he has to talk to his people to see if an inter-galactic/interstellar body fluid exchange is allowed. Or so he claims.

Hammer asks the group if they think they did well. Of course, they say they do. Sure, there were a few setbacks, but they got it done, right? He tells them he doesn’t have any hope for them, and he leaves. Once he goes, Ember suggests they go somewhere. Atomica suggests they wait for Anansi, and the group shares some harsh words about him.

Hammer meets Anansi outside and tells him he shouldn’t let the others get to him, because he has more experience than they do. Yes, he screwed up, but it’s about getting up for the next fight, so he should go in there and be better than those stupid kids.

Apollo sends a message to Mr. Everywhere regarding the body fluid exchange. (It’s not sexual.) He receives an answer immediately informing him that he is not to exchange body fluids with an alien. He breaks the bad news to Bilcer. (Atomica offers some of her’s.) Bilcer instead decides to leap on Apollo with silvery blades bared. (Atomica decides this is a turn-off and no longer wants to trade her fluids.) Apollo tries to get her off of him by vibrating really fast and is aided by Atomica. The vibrations shake up the not-so-solid Bilcer, and it splats her against the wall. The team is pretty horrified. Instead, they offer some of Atomica’s spit in a cup.

Anansi manages to convince them to stay and talk in exchange for going to a rave with them later. He calls out Atomica for her selfish actions in trying to incapacitate the big bad guy by herself, and she points out he also acted selfishly. Turning on Apollo, he asks what happened to him at the end. Apollo apologizes. He asks Bilcer to please not knife anyone else in the future for their body fluids. He says Ember needs to lead and not just let the team fall apart, because that could lead to them getting hurt. Ember confesses to liking the group (for some reason) and says she’ll rip apart anyone who hurts them. Anansi says he gets it, but they need to learn to work together. They learn from him that he respects the Hammer, but he’s stodgy, and he could step up — but he won’t do it, and he doesn’t know why.

The group gets all dressed up (well, some of them) and head to the rave, where Atomica convinces Anansi to dance. Anansi is actually pretty good and offers to teach Atomica. Ember pushes Bilcer in Apollo’s direction after securing a pinky promise that she won’t try to steal any more fluids from him. She tells her to get him to dance while she goes to see a guy about a thing. Ember apologizes for almost running into him, and he apologizes for the whole blood thing.

Ember goes to see Mikkel, who hands her a piece of purple quartz to lick. It feels like lightning on her tongue — and then world seems to dissolve around her showing the sky on fire and giant walking machines opening fire with plasma turrets on citizens fleeing in terror. To get more of it, she agrees to take down the walls of some building for him. Her second taste of it shows a field, fallen buildings, and strangely-colored animal people with cat eyes glaring at her.

Back on the dance floor, Atomica tries to pay Anansi a compliment. He takes offense and decides to storm off to go be a hero, unlike the rest of them. She decides to go find Ember, who has been taking more and more of these little bits of quartz. She seems a little bit dazed. Mikkel takes notice of Scarlet’s approach and, upon learning he’s Ember’s “friend”, he invites her to sit. She resists and tells Ember she wants to leave. Mikkel does his best to convince them to stay, but Ember agrees to leave with Scarlet to the little girl’s room.

A girl approaches Apollo on the floor to tell him her friend thinks he’s cute. He invites Bilcer over to join them too. They head over to one of the walls, where he finds Ares. Since Bilcer is so excited about the chaos of the city, Ares offers to have something happen right now. Apollo thinks it’s a bad idea and tries to drag Bilcer away. The perky goth chick (Dee) rolls up her sleeves and advises them not to go too far. Apollo tries to explain to Bilcer that Ares is bad news and that they should go. Bilcer figures it can’t be that bad and wants to see what she wants to show them, because it could be interesting, fun, and random. Ares calls out to them to get their attention. She puts a hand on Dee’s shoulder, and Dee claps her hands together and causes a wave of panicked fear to go through the crowd, who start trying to flee. Bilcer decides this is not fun, and Apollo is not surprised. Apollo’s goal is to try to stop people from hurting themselves, and then he wants to take out the girls. He rushes forward to snatch up Dee and is trying to move faster than the eye can see to get Dee out of the rave. (He does knock some of them down, sadly.) 3 blocks away, he stops and lets her down and finally gets a proper introduction to her and the other girl…who are both gods as well. They decide to walk back, and Apollo offers to buy her a drink. As soon as Dee is removed, the people in the club calm down but are confused what scared them to start with. Bilcer tells them it wasn’t much fun — it was just annoying. Ares tells Bilcer that it doesn’t matter if other people are having fun — the point is to play, and you can either be the one doing the playing or be the one getting played with (like Apollo.) She gives Bilcer her number and invites her to call her. (And Brendan hates how cool kids are.) Once the pair of them leave, Bilcer jumps up onto the DJ booth and uses her power of stunning beauty to get everyone to start dancing again. Dee tells Apollo he owes her a drink and falls into line beside Phee and Ares.

In the bathroom, Atomica rants about how much of a jerk Anansi is, and Ember reassures her that it’s because some people can’t handle dancing with pretty girls. Ember tells her she should forget about Anansi, get fucked up, and go back to dancing with Ember. Also, try this drug. Looking in the bathroom mirror, Atomica sees her hair lengthen and features age. She can tell she’s wearing a military uniform. She offers Atomica a nightmarish smile before the vision fades. Atomica runs to Ember’s arms and cries as Ember tries to reassure her.

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Gen 2.5 Session 1

The overhead speakers order the kids to meet in the briefing room. Apollo is the first to arrive. Realizing he isn’t wearing his costume, he darts out and back in again but is still the first to arrive. Anansi arrives soon after still pulling on his outfit. Bilcer arrives next. Atomica and Ember are still missing when Hephaestus arrives. Bilcer offers to look for them (by stretching her hand through a nearby vent and shifting her perception to said hand) and finds them in Atomica’s room. It’s clear Atomica has just stepped out of the shower and is drying off before putting on her costume. Ember, who is lounging nearby and is flipping through a copy of TMZ, tells Bilcer that perfection can’t be rushed. In complete agreement with this logic, Bilcer takes the message back to Hephaestus, who is considerably less impressed. Bilcer tells them they should probably hurry, so Atomica uses her powers to quickly dry off. Ember slouches into the briefing room last and is confronted by Hephaestus, who tells her that the team leader should always be the first to arrive. Atomica and Bilcer offer a few words of defense, which Hephaestus largely ignores as he berates Ember. She backs down and lets him give his presentation without interruption.

Hephaestus has decided to send them out to round up a rage-filled strongman who is tearing up the city and throwing cars. As the kids file out, he pulls Anansi aside and reminds him to keep his head in the game. Apollo and Atomica are already bickering about whether or not Atomica gives off cancer-causing radiation. Atomica throws something large and heavy in his path, but Apollo is able to swiftly side-step it and continue towards the scene of the attack. Once outside, Anansi hops on his motorbike to get to the scene. Bilcer offers her ship. Ember and Atomica accept, and Ember mutters into the comms about how they should arrive on the scene together — but she’s just the team leader, so why listen to her? Much to her surprise, Apollo returns to the ship and apologizes for running off. They take off…and, en route, Bilcer scoops up Anansi (and his motorbike) into his ship.

En route, they work on their strategy. Ember tells them they should keep the strongman from getting his hands on any “toys” and then they should, “I don’t know, tie him up or something.” Anansi believes they should hit him hard and strong, but saying so out loud turns out to be a mistake, because “That’s exactly what Ember just said.” The flashy ship very quickly gets the attention of the strongman once they arrive on scene, and he decides to throw a car at them by way of a greeting. Atomica manages to zip out of the ship and catch the incoming car, but the force with which it was thrown pushes her back. Once they land, Apollo is out the door and onto the ground. As the rest of the party leaves the ship, he makes himself into a nuisance for the strongman, who eventually rips a streetlight out of the ground and ineffectively tries to squash Apollo with it.

Anansi begins to repel down the side of the building Bilcer landed the ship on. Rather than walk down the stairs, Ember turns the fire escape into a slide. The end of the slide tangles with the strongman’s weapon and rips it away. Bilcer, too, decides to use the slide. As they hit the ground, Atomica returns. She flies the strongman high up into the atmosphere hoping to make him lose consciousness. This works pretty well. But it works just as well on her, unfortunately. As the pair plummet towards the ground, Ember tells Bilcer and Anansi to grab them. Bilcer turns into a pterodactyl, then wraps her wings around Atomica and turns into a gyrocopter with a face to bring Atomica lightly and safely back to the ground. Anansi manages to copy Bilcer’s power of flight. As he’s trying to mimic the strongman’s strength in order to catch him, however, he tugs on the wrong thread…and is suddenly filled with rage and an inhuman strength. Instead of bringing him down gently, Anansi throws the guy into the nearby park.

On the ground, Ember turns to Apollo — but Apollo has vanished and isn’t answering his comm, leaving her to have to hurry over to the park herself. After spending a moment to collect themselves (especially Atomica, who wouldn’t mind terribly if they started to make out), Atomica and Bilcer follow…and arrive just in time for Anansi to hurl a tree at them. Atomica manages to deflect it, and Anansi begins to come out of the blind rage in which he found himself. He’s somewhat confused…and the strongman is getting to his feet again behind him. Since he’s apparently done throwing trees, Ember steps by him and slugs the strongman, whose mass has started to deflate a bit. The media shows up just in time. Atomica suggests they tie him up, so Ember taps a nearby tree limb, which inchworms over to him and binds him. They then turn their attention to Anansi.

Meanwhile…

Once face to face with the strongman, Apollo was able to quickly determine what was causing the strongman to rampage: Ares. While the rest of the team distracts the strongman (and is, in turn, distracted by the strongman and Atomica falling to their likely deaths), he zips all over the area and is able to track her down. She is rather unimpressed with their efforts so far — after all, she’s doing this for /him/ so that he grows stronger. He asks her to stop; she refuses. So, he picks her up and carries her out of range of the strongman and the group. They stop at a Circle K, unable to continue thanks to Ares draining Apollo’s powers. As Ares brings him a slushie, he texts the group to ask for a pickup.

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Session Summary 9

The scene opens with Spark, Maelstrom, Feroz, and Cricket saying their goodbyes. It’s apparent the boys are blaming Spark for ruining their night, and she, in turn, is blaming them for not being honest and upfront. Because he has a pass due to a “family emergency”, Cricket decides to stay the night with his cousin, and the other three take Spark’s ship back to the school.

They land in the bay and sneak back towards their dorms. There are normally movement-sensitive lasers set up to ensure the students don’t sneak out at night, and the kids are partway back to their rooms when the security systems and lights suddenly switch to emergency power and an alarm begins to sound. Students are expected to begin moving towards the arena, which is the most secure area of the school, in the case of an emergency, so Feroz and Maelstrom join the general stream of students. Spark ducks into a bathroom to hastily throw some clothes over her outfit. As she does, she gets a text from Scathe, who was wakened by the alarm, to hurry to the arena, and Spark texts back that she’ll be there in a second.

In the arena, it’s clear that no one really knows what’s going on. A handful of staff are supervising the students and taking roll call, but it’s apparent that both purple (the Royals) and green squads are missing. When Mai comes by to ensure that red squad is accounted for, Feroz asks about the missing students and wonders if there’s anything they can do to help. Mai assures him that the teachers have everything under control, and she asks Feroz to tell her if he happens to know where to find the missing students. He doesn’t.

Once Mai returns to her rounds, Spark asks Scathe how detention with Agent Frost was…but she doesn’t really care, because she’s more anxious to tell Scathe how the boys ruined their night out. There is a little bit of bickering during which Spark points out that any of the boys could have asked her to dance, and she would have said yes and not gone outside with Asher, which is duly noted by Feroz, and then the ground shakes ominously and silence descends on the arena. More of the teachers hurry out to figure out what’s going on, leaving only Agnes, Mai, and the principal there.

Maelstrom extends his senses outwards and is alarmed when he senses both fire inside the school and water leaking in. There is another rumble from the opposite side of the school, and he senses more fire and more water. He informs the team, then tries to inform the adults. The principal blows him off, but Mai seems genuinely concerned with his report. She gathers up red squad and asks him to take them to where he sensed the fire and water.

First, however, they need to escape the arena without being seen. Feroz casts a large shadow through which the team sneaks out, and Scathe intends to pull him through that same shadow once they’re safely outside. She loses control of her powers, however, and the shadows writhe into the gym, causing a general panic amongst the students and staff there.

They find themselves in green squad’s dorms, and they are in shambles. Oak appears and knocks out Mai, then gives a lengthy speech about how he’s been recruited to a better school than this one and about how he’ll be a god there. He also seems much tougher than when last the team faced him. Feroz moves Mai out of harm’s way, then attacks Oak by ripping off a limb and beating him with it. Oak seems impressed with him and invites him to leave “this shithole” with him. This offends Scathe, and she uses the sharp edge of all of the dimensions to cut Oak into firewood.

Spark notices a bomb ticking on a nearby wall. They assume the bombs were used to crack the dome, and the second could cause it to collapse completely. Unfortunately, the only way Spark can disarm it is to use her shrunken ship to cut the power, so she sucks it up and does it. Meanwhile, Maelstrom assumes a second bomb is about to go off across campus, so he fills the entire area with a fiery inferno to minimize the impact of the second bomb. Sure hope nobody was over there…

With the immediate danger diffused, the group decides to wake up Mai and tell her what’s happened. Spark uses the same marbles she had used to awaken Scathe some time ago, and, while doing so, she tells Feroz that he did a good job rescuing her. Scathe, meanwhile, has rejoined the group, and it’s obvious that the pieces of firewood are beginning to reassemble.

Upon awakening, Mai is a bit dubious about the details of their story, so Scathe tries to pick up the pieces of Oak and put him together more quickly so he can be interrogated. Mai tells them all that she intends to talk to them later about the ethics of killing and hurting people. In the meantime, they should go investigate the other side of campus.

Maelstrom is able to reabsorb most of the flame — which is good, because he finds Jack barely keeping the flames off of Ice Rig with a bubble of energy of her own. She collapses as soon as Maelstrom removes the threat.

CRICKET
While all of this is happening, Cricket receives a call from Leverage to meet on the docks. Once he arrives, she tells him that the school’s security is down and that they’re breaking in. And then she jumps into the water. When Cricket tells her he can’t breathe underwater, she directs him to some scuba gear in the back of her car, then proceeds to mock him for not knowing how his own stolen equipment works.

As they descend towards the school, she points out a fire that’s burning near the wall of the dome. He says he doesn’t know what it is, so she suggests they stay away from it: they’re here for one reason and one reason only, and that is to steal as much as possible.

Inside, they decide to split their forces: Leverage will go for the projectors in the arena while Cricket will break into the vault. Cricket is able to find the vault without difficulty and is confronted by a smart door demanding an authorization code. He manages to outsmart it, and it opens. While inside and after looting a couple of things, he hears footsteps and voices from the corridor, so he quickly hides himself above the vault door.

The voices are alarmed that the vault has already been opened. The owners of said voices step inside, and Cricket sees that there are two of them: one a member of purple squad and one a member of green squad. They head over to where Cricket had picked up his last piece of loot: a Sevitri Command Helmet that allows the wearer to control troops. They don’t have a lot of time to be alarmed that it’s missing: Cricket knocks them over with a soundwave and shuts the vault on them.

He hurries back to where he was supposed to meet Leverage, and she takes a moment to gloat about how easy it was to steal the projectors, thanks to all the chaos in the arena due to some rogue shadows. He nervously tells her they had probably better go, and so they do.

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