Previous Session: Bad to the Bone
Gus (Tag the Innocent) gets in contact with K-0S (Betty) and despite her paranoia she doesn’t seem to have any trouble letting him into her setup. Neither does she regard his era-blind strangeness as a notable thing.
Gus is invited to a meeting inside AEGIS to discuss his future and options, and perhaps the ramifications of there being two of him (Tag/Catcher)...the Trojan Horse virus that he brought in for K-0S goes to work from his coat pocket alongside a networked PC as he sits in a meeting room. It gets a whole raft of relevant data but that takes time...
He sweats buckets but they think it’s about something else
The supervillain involved 'The Wyrm of Ages' agrees to a meeting with them. She’d be on for some cooperation with you to take down her nemesis from the confrontation, The Beast...
He develops a close working (or maybe more?) relationship with K-0S and have a safe and secure way to contact her in an emergency in the future
Also, he sees the footage of the fight, including Catcher (still obviously trying to be a good guy) fighting against The Beast. It's not enough to save Betty's family but it is an eye-opener for him.
Lucia (Bruja the Doomed) works with Anita to trace K-0S. Using her access to Halcyon Analytica to run a scan of unusual activity on AEGIS-related servers, she's able to get a read on what the villainous hacker is up to!
However, things don't go smooth on the way out; K-0S is alerted to your activity and while you find out what she’s up to, she’s in the wind.
Security at Halcyon Analytica is pretty tight. Lucia's sure they’ve put a trace on her and brought this little incursion to the attention of Brad Armstrong
An electronic tripwire within AEGIS alerts the The Beast to her interest…
Lucia ensures that Anita’s place in Halcyon Analytica isn't threatened, clearing up the mess in her log-files and traces so they can't be picked up by Internal Audit…
Gus, Lucia & Simon all meet up at Hank's Arcade. They debate telling AEGIS about their (not too) close encounter with the Red Queen; but they decide against it. AEGIS are well aware of the threat anyway, so she should be able to take care of it.
Simon (Shadow the Beacon) shows them the 'microfiche' sheet he took from Halycon Analytica. Lucia sets up a psychic construct (which kinda blends in a little with a few of Hank's VR rigs) for them to read it.
Project OBSIDIAN is pretty worrying stuff. Even though they only have some of the most technical information on the sheet, and none of the operational or strategic planning.
It's a dual element bio-agent. The first bonds itself to whatever gives the super their powers, and is dormant until it's not given the second element after a year, whereupon is deactivates the superpowers and leaves the subject entirely mundane.
They are animated in their discussion of what Halcyon Analytica intends this for? For them to control supers, or for AEGIS to? Or for some other, darker purpose...Regardless, the others are onside when it comes to believing that Brad Armstrong is up to no good...
Agent Jones and Anaconda from AEGIS arrive at the arcade, politely 'knocking' on their VR setup to get their attention. They're here to put some pressure on Lucia regarding her breaking into AEGIS systems during her hunt for K-0S.
Anaconda relaxes against the nearby bar and gets a beer from Hank, but Agent Jones is on point. She contends that Lucia is really not good enough to get away with this. She pushes back but doesn't quite convince them. Jones also nods back to Anaconda as if to reinforce her point. He's dangerous, but he's inside AEGIS.
As this conversation is going on, Shadow has slipped the OBSIDIAN sheet back into its manilla folder to get it out of view, and that doesn't attract their suspicions. Lucia spills the details of her
Gus reads the table, and how to stay out of the trouble it promises. To get this over quickly he can convince Lucia to give them everything; or just ride it out and have K-0S destroy all evidence of their own incursion...
Lucia wriggles, offering to give them all her data, and show them how she infiltrated their systems and maybe even help them fix the holes and track down K-0S. But Jones shakes her head at the implication that she could be a team-mate (Anaconda gets jealous). When she hears Lucia's mini-rant against Brad Armstrong, it's like her confirmation that Lucia was 'one of those' is confirmed.
Agent Jones has Lucia under the spotlight now, and through a series of probing questions. She determines that she really is trying to destroy Brad Armstrong, stop Halcyon Analytica and save the world. She'll give her everything she has on Halcyon Analytica if Jones says she believes her. And she really just wants Jones to believe her.
Jones is satisfied with that, they'll arrange a follow up (handing over her card) to go through the fine details of the hack. But as they turn to leave, Jones mentions the motorbike outside. Shadow gulps with regret. They grab that and the matching hat, remarking that it might be an idea to bring that sort of thing to AEGIS' attention and into their possession asap next time.
-You're welcome for those two we left for you to pick up!
snaps Shadow as they head outside, but they're oblivious...
**Lucia heads to the toilets to recover her poise and deal with this resurgent imposter syndrome.
Gus also heads to the toilets, but he zips out the back to arrange for a meetup with K-0S.
They talk some more when they're all back at the table, they wonder if the Red Queen is infiltrating Halcyon Analytica to take Project OBSIDIAN and use it herself in her efforts to take control of the city!
Lucia is too down on herself to take much notice of this particular threat. She tells them she's not able to take on K-0S and Gus jumps on this, telling her that she already has too many things on her plate. Shadow encourages her and she's a little less insecure.
Shadow gets a text message from Lynette, to thank him for saving her last night (and to wonder if he's free for a face-to-face thank you, maybe over a coffee? He gets back to her straight-away (otherwise he might be Simon when he gets around to it) to suggest that they meet at Hank's - the front of the arcade has been turned into a cafe to take advantage of the new space they have thanks to the seized VR machines.
Simon heads into work to check on those VR machines now - the ones they caught BlackJack messing with should be in Halcyon Analytica. He finds himself on the detail for that wing of the building easily enough and after some circling finds the four machines. Three of them are sequestered, with security devices in their ports, but the fourth has a drive attached that's downloading all the data onto it. It's outside the CCTV zone, but Simon knows that he won't get out of the building with it. He gets the model details and calls Lucia from the toilets nearby.
Meanwhile Gus is meeting K-0S (definitely as Betty) in a retro piano bar. She's a lot more casual than her usual self, although she's a little bit late (her paranoia doesn't quite turn off completely it seems).
Gus is drinking a soda, but he orders her a Corona. He gives her the run-down on Jones' investigation and results of the agent's leaning on Lucia.
aka K-0S, Supervillain
In other news, The Wyrm of Ages wants to meet them tomorrow, near the docks. It would seem that villains usually want to meet way out in public, where they can spot any traps - not in somewhere like Hank's Arcade. Anyway, the Wyrm is all too happy to cooperate with them to finally get her revenge on her nemesis, The Beast.
Bruja has picked up the same model of Halcyon Analytica external drive from her local Radio Shack (although it pains her to get it ready for use by plugging it into one of her laptops - I mean who even needs to use one of these wizards for setup!) She opens a portal directly into the cubicle where Simon is waiting for her and he heads back to the repair lab to swap it out with the data-laden version.
While Bruja is (im)patiently waiting in the cubicle for his return, she hears someone enter whistling a tune (The Girl from Ipanema, which she knows from Anita is the favourite whistling tune of Jeff) Jeff is a total douche-bag who she works with, and Bruja's anger flares up and she uses her telekinesis to whip his feet from under him. He falls to the tiled floor with a crack and Simon walks in.
He's shocked and kneels over the man to check if he's ok. He's concussed, but still alive. Simon berates Bruja but hands the data-laden drive to her and after she zips out via portal he calls security for medical attention.
Bruja appears in a toilet cubicle in a retro piano bar downtown. Unbeknownst to her, Betty is in a nearby cubicle and Gus notices the purple light erupt from around the door into the Ladies'. He's surprised to say the least when she appears instead of Betty.
Bruja arrives at the table just before the new order (2 bottles of Corona) Betty ordered on the way to the toilets. She wonders if the other beer is Javi's? Gus covers his confusion but switching subject to wonder if she should get to analyse the data from the drive asap, who knows what danger lurks within!
Bruja nods earnestly and tells him to say 'hi' to Javi and she drives out to her Sanctuary to continue her investigation.
Betty comes out, wondering what the hell is going on. But it seems like her paranoia is getting the better of her and Gus doesn't see confidant enough to talk her down. She leaves, troubled, and without a goodnight kiss or any promise of a future date.
Lucia has made inroads on the invasive programme that the Red Queen loaded onto the VR machine. It stays on the device, even after a full reformat or wipe. Then after it's connected to the mainframe servers it activates fully to give control over certain vital subsystems. So, if the Halcyon Analytica tech haven't been cautious there could be three versions of this live on the system.
Simon plays it safe, and sticks around for the duration of his shift without poking his nose into anything. He scouts out the vaccine laboratory though, he looks for a way to steal an ID which'll get him inside and into a full lab-suit. It's much more secure, and doesn't get services by the regular cleaning crew.
Back in the busy cafe the next afternoon, Simon considers Gus. They talk about Lucia messing things up, and sensing Gus' discomfort, they manoeuvre Lucia away from the table (to give the order at the bar). He admits that he's in a bit of a situation; he was on a date last night and Lucia teleported in...
Gus is uncomfortable under Simon's steady gaze, and admits what he is really planning. he's trying to hunt down with Catcher, but he doesn't know him well enough to know what to do.
The video footage he saw of him trying to save Betty's family and confront The Beast show that he isn't (or wasn't) a full villain. Maybe if he knows about those turning points in his life he can change his future; know what to avoid or embrace.
Can he turn out different? Or has he accepted his fate?
He admits, to Simon's surprise, that he's arranged to meet up with this Wyrm of Ages.
Lucia bounds back to the table, wondering how Javi was last night; but then the penny drops and realises that she interrupted Gus' date. She explains that she needed a portal to get out of Halcyon Analytica and he was the first person she thought of to zip to.
She gets back to business, burying the regret and jealousy. Who could help her figure out the Red Queen's code? There's a suggestion that K-0S is good enough, unless Lucia seriously lifts her game.
Perhaps she could use her Sanctuary's resources to concoct an antidote to OBSIDIAN, steal a march on whatever evil Brad Armstrong is scheming at.
Gus considers Lucia - is her animosity towards K-0S stronger than her desire to solve the problem? He reckons she could cooperate with K-0S on this, worrying only about a quid pro quo that they'll get from a SuperVillain...