Throwback Thursday: Supers 1200, Session #6: “School’s Out”
I would like to draw your attention to the appearance of a tyrannosaurus in this game session. I’ve got a sort of running joke with these guys that every campaign, sooner or later, will involve an encounter with some form of T. rex. The first time it happened, as I recall, it was a different fantasy game, and they all ran for cover. The next time, it was a supers game, and the brick wrestled it down, rodeo-style, with the help of a length of chain. In the Space Cowboys game, it was a man-sized robot modeled on the dinosaur, and after a bit of cat-and-mouse, it took a laser beam through the CPU. This time around… well, you’ll see.
Cash woke to the sound of heavy footsteps outside his door. Investigating, he came face-to-face with Colossus and the rest of the delegation from the X-men, passing through while Cyclops and Dr Pym argued over jurisdiction over Sauron. Part of the entourage was Pixie, a young lady with pixie wings. Araignee was fascinated by her wings and approached to look closer. In an effort to distract Araignee from her stated intention of talking to Magneto, Pixie dosed Araignee with her mutant hallucinogenic pixie dust. Cash and Pixie struck up a conversation while Araignee bounded off, chasing imaginary playmates.
Meanwhile, Goliath made his report of the death of the Purple Man to his superiors at SHIELD, Maria Hill and Steve Rogers, the original Captain America. Hill announced that if she could, she would give him a medal, but then she would have to take it back, due to the waste of her time. Rogers agreed that nothing more could have been asked of an agent of SHIELD. He then continued: “As a member of Avengers Academy, though, you really have to ask yourself if you lived up to your father’s expectations?”
Spurred on by this remark, Goliath contacted EL13T and began laying plans to rescue his father’s stored mind from Pym’s lab in the Infinite Mansion. When EL13T wasn’t entirely receptive to the plan (“Don’t worry, you’re already infected, I’m pretty sure you’ll be immune!”), Goliath tried to talk Cash into making a dash for it (“You’re so fast, he’ll never lay a hand on you!”). Awakened to the politics of being the only mutant student in the Academy, Cash also declined. Finally, Goliath turned to Araignee, only to find that she was unavailable.
At about this time, the private conference between Cyclops and Pym concluded. Pixie quickly took her leave, giving Cash her number. Pym approached the students, mentioning that there would be an unavoidable delay in classes, while Pym’s team of “top men” extracted Sauron to be turned over to the X-men. Pym told the students that they were absolutely forbidden from taking part in the extraction. When questioned as to the members of his team, he offered “Thor, the current Captain America… I’ve got emails out to some other folks…” and wandered off mumbling to himself.
Araignee had been having the time of her life, and quickly left the mansion. Under the sway of Pixie’s powers, she encountered a talking badger who knocked her out with a touch. Back at the mansion, the students’ earpieces announced that Araignee had lost consciousness. Checking for her location, Goliath found a location just a few blocks north… then a location in the 5th-dimensional space of the Infinite Mansion… then the same location a few blocks north.
The students headed out without informing anyone of their intentions. They quickly located Araignee and brought her around. The Spirit began using her detective skills to investigate the scene, and rapidly reconstructed events. According to her analysis, Araignee had been targeted by a group of costumed villains, likely from Spider-Man’s rogues’ gallery, after they had mistaken her for Spider-Man. They had been holed up in a nearby apartment, caught a glimpse of Araignee, panicked, and sent one of their number to take her out. This accomplished with surprisingly little trouble, thanks to Pixie’s powers, they had ran. The only problem was, the front door of the apartment was still locked, from the inside. The students soon realized that the villains must have gone up the fire escape to the roof, then taken the roof-access door downstairs.
While looking for clues, the team found a CD inside the apartment, which they picked up for later perusal.
Following the deduced trail of the villains, the students went back to the roof. They opened the door, expecting to find a stairwell. Instead, they found a jungle scene straight from Jurassic Park, with giant prehistoric trees, pterodactyls flying in the distance, and a glowering volcano on the horizon.
Overcome with wonder, the students stepped through the door into a small clearing. The door stood in a makeshift frame in the clearing, with no surrounding structure. The Spirit was still empowered by the “spirit of the city”, and so knew that the “jungle” was full of sentient life. Araignee knew that something was off, since her knowledge of the real thing from back home told her that this jungle was missing expected sounds and smells. EL13T realized that the jungle was actually a techno-organic construct after realizing that every plant in it was attempting to connect with its personal network.
In light of this, the students figured out where they were: in the Infinite Mansion, in the area controlled by Sauron. He had reconstructed the environment to appear like a prehistoric jungle, making it more comfortable for himself.
At about this time, the tyrannosaurus reared up from the underbrush on the other side of the clearing.
In a flash, Cash crossed the clearing and punched the dinosaur several times at super-speed, right on its snout, knocking it over. Araignee joined him, grabbing the creature’s tail and slamming it repeatedly against the ground. It disintegrated and was absorbed into the ground. From his vantage point, Cash noticed a trail leading away from the clearing. Figuring the villains must have gone that way, the heroes followed.
Soon, they realized that they were being “holo-decked” – made to believe that they were moving, when actually their surroundings were moving past them, to give the illusion of a large space inside a relatively small room. Splitting up, they tried to overload the illusion and determine the size of the room they were in. With all of them working together, it didn’t take long to locate a wall.
While Goliath prepared to smash a hole in the wall, there was the sound of a high-tech door opening several yards away, hidden in the faux plant life. Sabretooth, the famous mutant terrorist, came bounding through the newly-exposed door, saw Goliath, shouted to his companions behind him, then went on the attack.
While Sabretooth tore into Goliath, he was joined by Batroc the Leaper, a French mercenary and master of savate, who engaged Cash. This turned out to be a mistake, as Cash’s super-speed punches overwhelmed him quickly. While they took the brunt of the assault, Bushmaster took advantage of his speed and tried to make a break for it, while Shocker tried to peek through the door, using the frame for cover. Araignee used her webs to sling Shocker into Bushmaster, knocking them both down. EL13T used his taser-hand form to make sure the three stayed down, but was unable to get a clear shot at Sabretooth, in close combat with Goliath.
Araignee and Cash went to check the door as the struggle wore on. There, they found Death-Stalker and Avalanche, covering the villains’ retreat. It was not clear what they were retreating from, however, thanks to poor visibility in the dust raised by Avalanche’s mutant powers. Striking from surprise, Araignee covered them both in a huge web, but Death-Stalker, being a teleporter, escaped to parts unknown.
Back at the main battle, Goliath managed to get a grip on Sabretooth’s head. To begin with, this only made it easier for Sabretooth to rip into his arm, but Goliath was soon joined by allies. The Spirit pulled advanced martial arts skills from the “spirit of the city”, and used nerve strikes on Sabretooth from behind. She started with one to the torso, which paralyzed his lungs, and followed with several to the groin and abdominal region. (These were less effective, but more enjoyable, she claimed.) Goliath followed this up with a piledriver, putting the mutant down for the count.
As the din of battle died down, those inside the room that the villains had come from heard a voice announcing that someone “would have words” with Avalanche. Recognizing the distinctive idiom of Thor, most of the students fled through that room into the lab containing Goliath’s father’s mind. The Spirit had a lucky accident with a misfiring dimensional transfer mechanism, damaged in the fight, which dropped her out of the Infinite Mansion entirely.
(Of course, Araignee had already webbed her trademark around the room…)
In the lab, the students recovered the mind-recording device, then had Jocasta open a door to Tokyo. There, they met the Spirit, who already had a table and a bowl of raman, waiting for them.
Looking at the CD they found in the villains apartment, they found emails showing that Sauron had been in contact with the Purple Man’s “Villains For Hire” organization, and arranged for an extraction team. Apparently, the villain team’s timetable had been moved up due to the appearance of Arraigne Rose, they had encountered Pym’s “top men”, and then bumped into the students during their retreat.
Goliath then turned his attention towards the stored mind of his dead father….