The gadgeteer-types are going to try to trace things backwards and we’ll investigate what we know. The landship’s been spotted but contact with the airship was lost under cloud cover and it looks like it’s going to be cloudy for a while. Seems the landship’s been spotted heading through Slovenia then on towards the Adriatic, likely heading for the Mediterranean Sea. Forces skirmished with the Slovenian armed forces in Ljubljana, and there’s an artifact reported in that area. We want to send a team but also want to hold some of the heavy fighters back in case Black Skull presents again elsewhere. She appoints Shockwave as the leader. All we have is the town name.
Shockwave, maybe you should find out if there are any ramifications from the Titans’ last visit? I mean, we did sort of look like we broke someone out of a mental facility… “Good point.”
When he asked Midnight, she said that aside from a bit of heels-dragging on the burocracy, there seem to be no other problems of note.
(record only, Knockout doesn’t know this firsthand) Phoenix talks to Cassanova about secret identities and ethics. Mostly, he hides to protect his family , tells her she must make her own decision and it must come from the heart. He asks her what she’s looking for – forgiveness, redemption, salvation? Discussion carries on to choice verus destiny, and she asks if he likes this job. It’s not bad but it’s not what he’d been groomed for all his life. He has powers that can help people and feels the duty to use them for that purpose, where else would he go? Eagle Corp has nothing to offer him, he’s GOT money. He stays because of what the Titans do, the opportunity to help shape the world. The door to the opportunity of shaping his country closed when he developed his powers, but perhaps the door that opened is a bigger opportunity than that.
The discussion continues and X entes just as Cass is telling Phoneix, “You sound as if you think you SHOULD be punished, that you are to blame.”
“But if I hadn’t been so panicky maybe I could have controlled it.”
At which point, Cass brings up survivor’s guilt… and X pipes up, “He talks a lot but he has a point.”
She’s still guilty about not calling her mom, she’s too scared to call her. X tells her, “She’s your mother.She deserves to know you’re alive. Nothing is more important than family. I only just found out this week that I have a brother my father never told me about. And next time I see my father I am going to punch him in the face. Not hard, but hard enough to enforce that I’m ticked he never told me. How do you think your mother will feel if she finds out ten years down the road that you’ve been alive and well all this time?”
Phoneix says bitterly, “It all sounds so simple, until I’m holding the damn phone!”
Cassanova advises her, “Then don’t phone. Go see her. She will want to touch you.”
X advises, “You can think about this for the rest of your life and still not find the perfect decision. You’re thinking too much.” He fabricates and flips her a coin made of ice.
She studiously melts it as Casanova asks her if she is afraid her mother will blame her for the disaster… And it’s a damn good thing I wasn’t privy to this conversation about families, my birth parents gave me up and my adoptive parents repudiated me…
I do want to find out if my adoptive parents were contacted by Kite/Novetnov. Although I don’t think I’m the one to make contact with them. I don’t know if it’s me, if it’s their own protection or if they really are just repulsed by Prometheans.
I did some checking into the Kite identity and though the information seems there on the surface (Birth certificate for Tulsa AZ, 1965 but no birth records from the listed parents, diploma but no course records, a very well-detailed surface with nothing behind it. Novetnov’s identity has plenty of legitimate-looking details which are likely true but there’s only a history for the last 6 years. I’m running some cross-checks with his photo and hte facial-recognition software Lightning “found” for me, I want to know if he ever came up in any police or military records elsewhere.
While I was swimming, the PA requested my presence at the briefing room, not urgent. I called to find out if it was “put on clothes” non-urgent, “catch a shower” non-urgent, or “finish my swim but don’t dither” urgent and ended up with the impression that my 4 hour swim might be pushing it so instead of my optimal calorie-burning zone I can do this forever kind of pace, I swam at my absolute top speed until I started to hurt (still a surprising number of laps), then hit the showers and went up.
Apparently the local police at ______, Spain have an artifact they’d like us to relieve them of. The style doesn’t seem to be Dr. Prometheus‘s, it looks more Dwarven than Elvish, I’m guessing it might be a Havoc creation.
So we (me, Jade, Cassanova, X and Phoenix) prep and get on the Lancer. I wear my Heroic Knapsack containing my Heroic Spraypaint, just in case. You never know when you might need to spraypaint someone’s windshield or a robot’s optical sensors. Gotta get me some of those paint grenades we sometimes use in training… wonder if they make them in purple…
20 minutes from destination, Cassanova’s watch goes on, and we check the Channel 6 news. We see an Eagle Lancer with a squad of Eagle jetpack troops, screaming people running the ohter way, Apex visible, buildings are shaking, and there’s a rumbling, ominous noise with… a hauntingly familiar musical beat. The Driller is attacking Algeria. Flight plan change, full speed ahead, 30 min ETA. I expect everything will be all done with by the time we get there, but maybe we can help… Cassanova tells Midnight, “Please advise the Algerian government of our impending arrival so they don’t SHOOT us!” “Working on it!”
Cassanova tries to contact Apex but gets no response, meanwhile we’re trying to link in to satellite camera coverage. Found a weather satellite instead, Huge selection of city with pockets of smoke, dust, fire, fleeing people, flashes, a moving battle. Looks like the Eagle Prometheans are trying to kite it elsewhere but it keeps realigning back to its original target which seems to be their HQ.
Phoenix and X fly out the loading door before we land. The Eagle Lancers have nose lasers, and they’re using them… Cas and I stay on with Jade till we’ve landed ours and then hitch a bug-ride on Jade while I stay linked to X. A bus whips around a corner in front of us to fast to avoid a borehole that we’re approaching, so we bail so Jade can deal with it. Meanwhile, X is sending me images of a burning building with people trapped, he directs Phoenix to get to work and they start rescuing people, X pops a fire hydrant and aims it at the building. Jade uses his sticky spit to slow the bus down so he can catch it just in front of the borehole.
The music and rumble subside and we get to the Eagle HQ, it’s sporting a mostly-shattered glass wall and a hole bored in through one of its corners. A Lancer is deploying security guys and Apex is reloading her wing missile contraption. Half-life is unconscious on the ground and Lifeline is kneeling over here and there’s a purple glow reminiscent of Great Wall‘s, from her hand on Half-life’s chest. Sinister Robot is missing an arm, carrying some device that looks sort of like the Silverodeon from Girl Genius in the remaining arm. It notices us and turns our way.
We meet Apex, X flies in next to her, Cas and I stop at the parking lot, he asks, “How can we help?”
Jade, finished with the bus, heads on over to its borehole because he senses something, Apex tells him he’s trespassing and the Robot gets spat upon when it hands the device off to two security goobers who stagger under the weight, and heads his way. It claws at the air in front of it, like it can’t see.
X says, “We don’t care about your keyboard thing. The Driller must be stopped.” And he kisses Apex on the cheek and heads to the hole, which only goes 20 feet before collapsing.
Apex advises us that we should leave. Soon. She looks worried.
Phoenix is hovering overall of this, hears a whistling and just as she’s looking up to see what’s making the noise, she disappears under something black that hits the ground hard enough to raise a dust cloud. When it settles, a large black man is crouching, holding Phoenix face-down into the concrete.
X salutes him. How exactly is that worthy of respect? “Because he can seriously screw us up if we mess with him.”
Black Dragon stands, looks at Apex and growls, “This better not be what you called me here for.”
Apex stammers, “No, they’re here to help…”
Xaedas explains, “The Driller. That’s why were’e here.” He helps Phoenix up, dusts the concrete chunks off her face and shoulders.
Black Dragon asks, “You’re finished here?” in a tone that is a command, not a question.
Jade picks us up, puts us on his back and we all head back to our Lancer. Cassanova says, “Let’s go to Spain.”
I can’t keep the bitterness out of my voice, “Yes, let’s make some use of the trip. Although I guess rescuing people from the building on fire and saving the bus full of people were useful. I sure wasn’t.”
On our way to Spain, we discuss Black Dragon. Phoenix is still wearing this kicked puppydog look, although she doesn’t seem to have taken any permanent damage from being cannonballed by that jerk… The concensus is that Black Dragon is an ass who would rip you in half given half an excuse to do so. This is why I will never work for Eagle Corp. I need to respect my boss for more than his ability to hurt me… Xaedas counters that with, “But when you’re making millions, who needs self-respect?”
We continue with our complaining about Black Dragon, Jade says he’d want me and Phoenix to back him up if we ever had to take him down, her to get back up and me to knock him out while he takes the hits.
So we get there, they hand over the device, X shakes it… when it is examined later, it’s determined that it’s a Havoc homing device and that the shaking turned it off. We need to get Shockwave to take a look at it, maybe it can be converted into a tracker, if we can ever get it stuck to the Driller. Maybe Jade can spit some super-glue at it or something.
Phoenix asks if we’re likely to see him again. I reply, if it keeps hitting Eagle locations, and we keep investigating or trying to help, then probably. Now I need to look into things, who owns the mine that was the first contact, does Eagle Corp have any relation to the Neutrino Lab?