Masks: Birth of Heroes

Session Summary 6

The session begins at school at 1:40 in the afternoon. Cricket and Spark are in electronics class. Maelstrom and Scathe are in home ec, which is also where Feroz is supposed to be…but he’s hanging out in the bathroom, disappointed at the lack of chicks in class.

The alarms start to blare, and the kids are all ushered into the gymnasium. (The August goes into the bathroom to retrieve Feroz, who tries to duck him but is foiled by the sensors in the bathroom.) It seems like the entire school is in there, but no one is really explaining what’s happening. The kids are sorted into their teams, where Cricket quickly hacks into the school security system to find out what’s going on. He pulls up a YouTube video, which he shares with the rest of the group. Overdrive announces that Continuum City is in danger — and not from people like him. He and his people intend to reveal this…with detonations.

The school’s principal announces that the teams are going to be sent into the city to help manage a crisis. Red team is under Athena Frost’s command, and she ushers them towards a teleporter with the orders to help evacuate civilians and NOT to engage. Maelstrom’s hopes that they aren’t going to the docks are smashed when Frost announces that this is where they’re being sent. He grabs one of the cheap masks being offered to the students. Realizing Scathe is writing everything down, the team gives her a bit of a hard time, which forces Frost to tell them to focus several times before actually achieving. The team is supposed to stay in contact with the school using audio devices.

Things start out fairly well once on location. Maelstrom makes a big fiery arrow pointing to the evacuation point on the docks, and Cricket amplifies his voice to tell people to move towards the waiting boats in an orderly fashion. Noticing people looting, Feroz moves to confront them. They aren’t all that impressed until Feroz stomps his foot and causes the ground to break up at their feet. They drop their stolen goods and run — but away from the extraction point instead of towards it. Scathe decides to send them back in the right direction by creating a shadowy wall in the direction they shouldn’t go, complete with ominous shapes lurking in the shadows. This pretty much works, except one guy gets dragged inside.

Spark decides they need to save the guy, so she heads into the shadowy area with Cricket and a reluctant Scathe in tow. They manage to find him, but Spark is forced to blast their way out of the shadows — and takes out most of Main Street with the blast. Oops.

With most of the civilians moving towards safety, the group decides to get a higher vantage point to assess the situation. There is some quibble about whether Cricket or Maelstrom should accompany Spark, but Cricket beats him to the punch. Once on top of a (now crumbling) building, Cricket notices a group of Overdrive’s minions swarming into a warehouse. Feroz is all-too-happy to lead the charge, but Spark hesitates, because they weren’t supposed to engage! Cricket convinces her to tag along by comparing them to the Royals, which provokes her into action.

Feroz arrives at the warehouse first. He leaps into the air and jumps down into the midst of the minions. Some of them are knocked back, and more of them scurry back to get out of the way. Cricket realizes their masks are somehow all connected, so he tells Maelstrom to absorb the energy from them as Scathe traps them into a pool of shadows. With the energy sapped from the masks, the minions drop.

As the group debates what to do next — go look for the bomb? Pursue the sounds of battle into the warehouse? Tie up the minions by stripping them of their clothing and using their coat sleeves as rope? — another minion comes flying through a wall. Spark takes the mask off of him and begins to hack into it as the rest of the team bicker. She manages to pull up a three-dimensional holographic map of the city dotted with flickering lights. Once she gets the attention of the rest of the group (which is no small feat), she explains that she doesn’t think these are actually bombs — she thinks they’re something else.

The group decides to spring into the warehouse from several different angles: Maelstrom is quick to offer bursting in through a sunroof with Spark; Feroz will take the front door; Scathe will port in using the shadows; and Cricket will leap in through a window in back. By the time they actually get their plan in motion, however, they arrive just in time to see an incredibly well-built woman finishing off the final minion inside.

Maelstrom and Spark both offer an awkward “hi,” which is completely out-shined by Feroz immediately trying to hit on the woman. Luckily for them, Scathe recognizes the woman as Bash — unluckily for them, Scathe is not real forthcoming with the information. Bash demands to know why they’re interrupting her, because they’re just stupid kids, “And, oh my God, now I’m saying it.” True to their style, the kids make a point of telling her that they don’t care what she’s doing here — they’re going to do what they came here for, and that is to disarm the bombs. Bash reluctantly tells them they can stay, but they have to do what they’re told.

They laugh in her face.

And then Cricket charges in without bothering to wait for the team after Feroz’s mighty stomp opens up a big hole in the warehouse floor. He disables the guard turrets by turning them against each other, and the rest of the team (and Bash) jump down as well.

The hallway they jump down into leads to a big door. Bash says she came prepared for this; they ridicule her a bit, then Maelstrom rips the door off. An alarm sounds, which Cricket and Spark are about to deactivate when a horde of mechanical bugs spill out of the room. Bash apparently didn’t expect THAT.

Scathe builds a shadow wall to hold them back while Spark, Cricket, and Maelstrom move closer to investigate. Bash informs them that these are weapons cached her by the government of Continuum City, and they are definitely not to take any of these things back to the school.

Cricket smarts off once too often to Bash, and she reaches out and grabs him. As she starts pulling pieces of his outfit off of him, he claps his hands over her ears and releases a noise that ruptures her ear drums. She tosses him and staggers back…and he notices that several of the items in the room seem to respond to the sound, as though they’re part of his suit. As he reaches for one, however, the wall finally gives, and the bugs pour out.

Using his telekinesis, Maelstrom tries to pull Bash and Cricket out so that the room can be set on fire. He manages to grab Bash, but Cricket lags behind. Catching onto what he’s doing, Spark swoops in and grabs Cricket. However, the bugs spill out and over the top of Maelstrom, and they begin to wrap him in some sort of blue cocoon. With the rest of the team safe and unable to reach him, Spark grabs hold of one of his flailing hands. The bugs begin to climb onto her as well, but she manages to pull him out.

Bash yells at everyone to get out, so Feroz grabs Maelstrom and Cricket grabs Spark. Once up top, Bash tells them they’ve screwed everything up with their thoughtless interference, that she had been intending to plant trackers in the items. She also tells them they need to get gone — blame everything on her and say nothing about the items below the warehouse. The kids are all-too-happy to have found a willing scapegoat for their misadventures, so, after she goes, they grab a few of the unmasked minions and head back towards their pick up point. When Athena Frost contacts them on the radio to ask where they are and why they aren’t on camera, they make up several disjointed stories that don’t sound at all convincing. At least Cricket manages to get the blue cocoon gunk off of Maelstrom and Spark…



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