Necessary Evil by Grimbald

Session 1: Jailbreak!
Our villains are freed by Dr. Destruction, and given a mission.

Sometime in the last two days, the aliens slapped you in irons. Nullifiers, to be precise. You were wreaking havoc in Star City when the aliens performed one of their random sweeps. Some of you were spotted by dumb luck, others were ratted out by someone who has a very bad day coming sometime in the near future.

You were transferred from one holding facility to another, and finally put on this M’buna, a weird alien transport ship that’s currently zipping down Central Avenue. Most likely, they’re heading for one of those big Man O’ Wars to take you off world. Rumor has it they like to dissect folks with super-powers to see what makes ‘em tick.

At least you won’t suffer alone. There are a few others in here as well—as motley a collection of weirdos as you’ve ever see—and to top if off, a small Pepsi truck is wedged in here with you.

  • A man who looks like an African warrior introduces himself asEkwensu, a demigod and servant of Chukwu, who seeks to avenge the wrongs suffered by Mother Earth at the hands of the alien invaders. Ekwensu was playing a trick on a V’sori officer (by making him believe a bridge was there when it wasn’t), and was hunted down.
  • An eight foot tall hunk of walking obsidian laconically introduces himself as Dreadnought—a prototype supersoldier created by the V’Sori who escaped their control.
  • A slim, creepy, purple alien with a tentacles on his face, introduces himself as Valtriss, an ambassador from the Illithid race. He and Dreadnought escaped the V’Sori together about a week ago, and since then he has been sampling the delights that this delicious planet has to offer. Valtriss doesn’t actually speak—instead his voice can be “heard” inside everyone’s heads.
  • A trim man with close cropped hair, the only normal-appearing human in the transport, curtly says that he is The City, the protector of Star City. He allowed the V’Sori to think they had captured him while infiltrating one of their bases.
  • The most beautiful man you ever saw, a divine creature with chiseled features whose every gesture is accompanied by choirs of angels, says that he is Roht The Mighty, Destroyer of Worlds, Obliterator of Souls, Terminus of Hopes, Inadvertent Rescuer of Fluffy Kittens.
  • Finally, to everyone’s surprise, the grill on the front of the Pepsi truck suddenly moves, and introduces itself as Thundercracker, a Decepticon who arrived here on Earth on a trading mission from his master, Megatron.

Suddenly the M’buna flies into the air! It flips end over end, sending you tumbling into the other captives. The world is a jumble of color and cursing before you finally come to rest. The M’buna is ripped wide open and you see blood and smoke everywhere. A massive explosion rocks the wreck, killing the Fin guards as they stagger forth. You’re stunned, trying to gather your senses, but the nullifiers keep you weak and useless.

Then a familiar figure strides through the smoke holding a massive gun. There can be no mistaking the famous form of Earth’s most powerful supervillain — Dr. Destruction!

“You want to live?” Destruction asks. When everyone quickly agrees, they are yanked up out of the carnage and shoved roughly into the smoke. A number of green-suited masked minions quickly escort the villains — still bound by the nullifiers — into a waiting Anti-grav personal carrier.

As the transport zips northward, the villain explains himself while his minions slap small lumps of clay and tiny receivers onto each villain’s nullifier manacles.

“You might think I rescued you because I’m in awe of your amazing powers. You’d be wrong. You can all be cut into flank steaks on a V’sori examination table for all I care.

“No, I rescued you for two reasons. The first is because it draws the fins away from my real target. The second is because I can always use a new Omega cell. If you want in, and can prove yourself to me tonight you’re in. If you’re not interested…well, let’s just say you will be.”

At that, Dr. Destruction slams a button on the wall. The back hatch opens, and each of you plummets out of the carrier and into the darkness below. “You’ve got precious few seconds before you hit the ground. Since I’ve touched each of you, I can now communicate telepathically at the speed of thought. One of your few seconds will be gone by the time I finish my offer. I suggest you think fast.

“There’s a prisoner in the holding pens named Mindjack. You might have heard of him — he pulled the Amij Diamond job last summer. He’s in there somewhere, and I want him. If you agree to break him out and bring him to the center of the camp ALIVE — I’ll bust open your nullifiers so you can survive the fall. If you tell me to go stuff myself, I can only say that I hope you hit a Fin on your way down.

“Find Mindjack, bring him to the center of camp. I’ll pick those who survive up after I deal with any remaining V’sori that fly in. It won’t end there though. I can find you wherever you go now. I can help you and show you how we can defeat the invaders who took over our playground, or I can point you out to them like wounded prey to a hound. It’s your choice. You have 7 seconds.”

All the villains quickly agree—except for The City who tries to get his cuffs off until the last possible second, before finally agree. Thundercracker transforms into a jet and catches Valtriss, Roht casts a Flight spell, Ekwensu creates a duplicate of himself to give him a soft landing (to the horror of the others), Dreadnought teleports to the ground, while The City slams into the tin roof of the main building in the V’Sori prison camp—hurt but mobile.

Lights quickly come on in the camp, as 4 drones emerge from the guard shack near the gate—and then 8 more emerge from nearby barracks. Thundercrackers helps the others down from the roof, and then takes flight again to strafe the drones. The City finds an access panel to cut off the lights and communication, and download a list of those interred here (the list includes Mindjack, the diminutive hero Neutrino, various villains and several civilians). Valtriss probes mentally to find Mindjack, and then heads inside. Dreadnought teleports to swipe at some drones, then lifts the shack from its foundation and batters another pair of drones. Ekwensu turns invisible, creates a duplicate, and creates illusionary warriors to attack the drones, while Roht commands two drones to attack their fellows.

By the time the rest of the group has mopped up the drones, Valtriss and Dreadnought are inside. Valtriss repeatedly tries to take control of Mindjack to get him moving (while resisting temptation), while Dreadnought tries to rip open the reinforced cell.

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Session 2: Jailbreak! (cont'd)
Mindjack is freed along with other prisoners, and the villains vie for dominance

With the V’Sori Drones dispatched, the group examines the prisoners in the jail. After Dreadnought frees the groggy, injured Mindjack, a Latina woman with odd spots on her face and hands across the hall calls out to Valtriss, and asks to be freed.

Roht arrives, and casts a spell to control her mind, forcing her to reveal that she is Valerie Ramirez, the leader of an underground resistance movement (literally underground, based in an extensive set of caverns under Star City), and has powers related to the control of earth and rock. After Roht frees her, he seems bemused by the stream of invectives and curses she let’s loose at him. After considering it for a moment, he informs her that she, along with the rest of the humans on this planet, are now the property of the Haradrim, and should behave accordingly. This prompts another stream of insults and curses, but Roht nonetheless lets her live.

With the list that The City retrieved from the base’s computers, the party reviews the rest of the inmates:

  • Neutrino
  • 8 members of the IBEW from Eastpoint, who were protesting the against Mayor Perez’s collaboration with the V’Sori. The protest ended in a violent encounter with the SCPD. These men were arrested and turned over to the Fins, for god knows what fate. ( Kurt Batalla, Ted Gandee, Tyrone Holsten, Jamie Feld, Darren Soltis, Lonnie Sartori, Darryl Torrens, and Bob Arebalo)
  • A family of 5: Jason and Nell Stennet, and their kids Mary, Thomas, and June (age 14, 12, and 5) who got caught up in the fracas. Jason and Nell have a small grocery store in Easpoint.
  • English professor, formerly of SCU, Brandon Richmond, and his wife Shelley. Caught up in same events. Age 57 & 53.
  • 5 gangmembers of the Southside Crew from Southpoint. They were breaking into houses, stealing what little the tenants had, and were ratted out by the Southpoint Slashers (a quisling gang)

Dreadnought and Thundercracker break open most of the rest of the cells (except for those of the gang members). Roht informs them that they are now property of the Haradim. When one of the union men tells him what he can do with this information, Roht disintegrates him—to the horror of the other freed inmates (and yet more colorful and creative insults from Valerie Ramirez, and a harsh, hateful glare from Neutrino). Ekwensu intervenes to undermine Roht’s dignity with a hotfoot.

After that, the group shepherds the freed prisoners out to the center of the camp.Dr. Destruction’s carrier swoops back in for pickup. The doctor sneers when he sees the additional freed captives — ”Look at the villains playing the hero! How disappointing. I don’t suppose you bothered to check if any of them are actually useful?” The villains say that yes, actually, they are. After herding everyone aboard, the carrier takes off as quickly as it landed and soars off into the night sky. The group notices Dr. Destruction nod to Ramirez, apparently familiar with her, and studiously ignore Neutrino—though his guards keep a close eye on him.

After getting a brief report, and telling the other captives they would be dropped off near their homes, Dr. Destruction speeds them to an abandoned warehouse in Southpoint, suggesting it will make a workable base for them (since the The City is not yet ready to let the group into his home). As he drops them off, his guards hand them CommLinks. Dr. Destruction explains that they will allow secure team communication, and alert them to the activities of the V’Sori—giving them the option to thwart the V’Sori in their own ways, in between his missions for them. He they says, “I thank you for your service tonight. You performed better than I thought you would. I suggest you come up with a team name for yourselves. You’re an Omega cell now, whether you want to be or not. I’ll be in touch.”

As the group leaves, the English professor stands up to follow Valtriss, apparently under his control. Dr. Destruction says “Not on my ship”, and roughly shoves the professor back into his seat, strapping him in. Valtriss is confused by this, and assures the Doctor that nothing would happen on his ship, but the Doctor refused to let Valtriss take the human for a brain snack. Valtriss (and Neutrino for that matter) eye the Doctor, suspicious of his reasons for protecting the professor.

Once in the warehouse, the group explores their new home—and Roht immediately attempts to dominate Valtriss. He momentarily succeeds, only to have Dreadnought leap to Valtriss’s rescue—knocking Roht across the wide space of the warehouse. Valtriss manages to turn the mental tables on Roht, bringing him under its control. Eventually, Ekwensu (to whom Roht seems to pay an amazing amount of deference), steps in to explain to Roht that attempting to control his teammate’s minds in unproductive and frowned upon. Roht and Valtriss seem to come to an uneasy truce, with some grudging mutual respect, and discuss the possibility of exchanging information on their reasons for visiting this planet.

(Locations noted on Star City Map)

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Session 3: The Underground Irregulars
Searching for a hidden power source beneath the city

After the tense confrontation between Roht and Valtriss, things have settled down into a wary truce for now. The group spent a few days exploring their warehouse, and going off on various individual errands. At one point during their investigation of the warehouse, they come across a heavy crate. Inside, they find what appears to be some kind of generator encased in a rusty iron frame. A thick but very short power coupling rests on a hook on one side, ready to be plugged in somewhere —it does not appear to fit any standard connections. A single telescoping titanium rod is also visible in the machine’s top, recessed in a deep tube. It seems obvious this rod will expand at some point — most likely when the device is powered up.

The City and Thundercracker spend a couple of hours examining the device, and eventually realize it’s purpose is to collect and beam raw energy in a very narrow beam. They also realizes anyone who “touches” the beam (when active) would almost certainly die.

The purpose of the device becomes clear the next day, when a prerecorded message comes over the team’s comm-links.

“The information that Mindjack provided me reveals that there is a power source located deep beneath Star City that the aliens haven’t discovered. I need access to that power source for my own purposes.

“Finding it won’t be easy, however. It was created by the villain named Terron some years ago, and its exact location died with him. It is my firm belief that the Undergrounders who live beneath the city know its location. Persuading them to share this information is another matter.

“You’ll need a very heavy piece of equipment to make the power terminal useful to me. You’ll find it in the warehouse where I left you. Be sure one of you can carry it, or find another way to transport it.”

“Start with the sewers under the Star City. The entrance to the caverns must be down there somewhere.”

The device weighs about 600#, but Dreadnought can easily carry it. Fortunately, Roht’s carefully questioning of Valerie Ramirez while she was mind controlled provided a rough description of the best route into the caverns, so the group should be able to find the entrance in sewers relatively quickly. So, after various preparations and squabbles, the group finds themselves slogging through a series of damp, muck-encrusted brick and stone passages that wind beneath the city proper.

Deep beneath the city, they are set upon by a pair of G’roks, they manage to overcome them, but sustain injuries and decide to retreat. Back on the surface, The City’s fashions a chemical sprayer to mask their smell from the G’roks, and the group manages to reach the underground base of the rebels.

Once there, Valerie Ramirez is deeply suspicious of the group, especially of Roht and Valtriss, but eventually agrees to take the party to the hidden power source, in exchange for the secret of the chemical spray to protect her people from the G’roks.

The group is led to a mostly collapsed tunnel. Leaving the rest of the party behind, Roht turns ethereal, bypasses the debris and finds himself in the former lair of the villain Terron. At the
dead center is a massive, tower-like device, crackling with purple energy. Several large entrances are visible around the chamber’s perimeter, but all have been collapsed by careful demolition. Roht watches impassively as a giant robot attempts to attack him (and fails, since he is still ethereal). Roht easily dispatches the robot, and attempts to control the power source, only to have Something Terrible happen.

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