The Mutant Wave: The Mutant Suppression Program

Thought-Records 4232 and 4233
The sixth and seventh of Battery's thought-records

[Here ended the first adventure. The second one took off about three months later in real-time, two days later in game time. In the space between, we were given full access to our character sheets and knowledge of what our characters could do, but not who they were.]

//// Initializing Thought-Record #4232 [Codename: Battery] ////

Nowhere, Idaho. At least I think this is Idaho. Nobody seems to be perfectly certain. We’ve walked for two days, and I think – I think we’re finally reaching civilization. Of sorts. Opal says we need to get to Portland, Oregon – that’s where he has friends – but we’ll never get there on foot. Especially not like this.

I look over our little assembly. There’s Opal; he looks good. Handsome, relatively well-dressed. Looks rich. Then there’s me, Price and Mirror… we’re wearing lab coats. Seer is in an ill-fitting guard uniform, Ruby is in a prison jumpsuit, and that weird kid is naked. Hm. We’re not going to make the best impression. Considering the news of a prison break is out, we might not want to make an impression at all. We start talking.

It’s concluded pretty fast that we’ll have to steal something. It’s regrettable, but we’re wanted fugitives with almost no money; our options are extremely limited. It’s late, and the city is quiet. Price spots a house that looks empty, and Opal sends in his shadow-self through the wall to unlock the door. No burglar alarm.

Price stands guard while the rest of us enter, spreading out to get a hold of everything we might need for the trip. Mirror heads upstairs to get something to wear. I go for the bathroom and laundry room, and while I’m ashamed to admit it, it’s mostly because it’s relatively safe to turn on the lights in there. I hope nobody asks. Well, now that I’m here, I might as well make myself useful. Toothbrushes, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, I don’t remember ever using these things but still I miss them. I pack up as much as I can in an old laundry bag, and head out. Seer handles the food, and Mirror the clothes; in the process, he changes to mimic Opal. I guess that makes sense. He’s more… normally… built.

We regroup outside. The kid made some noise in the kitchen, but I think Seer had him under control. A car drives by, tinted windows. We head for the trees before he has a chance to spot us.

The clothes fit Mirror like a glove – or rather, they fit Opal. Ruby and Seer easily get into theirs, but me and Price are worse off. I’m too small; he’s too big. I come to think of Goldilocks. He settles for a very tight T-shirt and some sweat pants, I go for a loose pair of shorts and a baggy tank top. It doesn’t look great, but at least we don’t scream “escaped convict” any longer. More like… hillbillies.I guess we’ll blend in, then. We need someplace to sleep and clean up, though. I suggest a school – they have gymnasiums, and therefore, showers.

It isn’t hard to find – a large building with McKinley High in huge metal letters. It has a gymnasium, and while there’s a burglar alarm it turns out they haven’t secured their windows against mutant shadow-men. Opal opens the windows, and they’re small enough for me to squeeze in – but the doors are unfortunately locked. The janitor should have keys, but his office is, of course, also locked. Hm. Seems a little vandalism is inevitable. Fortunately, I guess I’m good at that.

I cut away the lock with my fingers.

Unlocking the main entrance is easy enough once I have the keys, and the alarm doesn’t go off – for the upcoming couple of hours, we have the place to ourselves. I set the alarm on the Foxphone. Price hauls down the giant mattresses. Stupid kid plays with the showers, gets his only shirt wet. Seer must’ve dressed him. Well, he’s not my problem.

We make ourselves comfortable. Time to sleep, I guess. Could use it.

//// End of Thought-Record #4232 [Codename: Battery] ////

//// Initializing Thought-Record #4233 [Codename: Battery] ////

The phone wakes us, pretty rudely. Good thing, though – we have to clear out before people arrive. Opal, to my surprise, is already up and has already showered – his hair is wet. Did he even sleep? Ruby says something about how he’s a very prude and private person. I guess we didn’t make the best first impression on him, then. Or rather, Mirror didn’t. Well. Gaining peoples’ trust doesn’t seem to be Mirror’s thing.

I’m not a very prude and private person, so I just hit the showers along with pretty much everyone else. It feels great to finally be clean; I think I still had some of that weird second-skin from the tubes clinging to me. Right about when we’re done, the phone goes off a second time. Guess that’s our cue to leave. We do. There’s a huge poster outside warning people about escaped mutants – there’s really no point in trying to cover our tracks. They’ll know someone broke in, they’ll assume it was the escaped convicts. We leave. On foot.

More walking. Hurray.

//// Thought-Record #4233 [Codename: Battery] 03h 08m 12s skipped ////

Not much traffic on these roads. Mirror’s playing around with Fox – apparently she’s been trying to contact us. That’s what that second alarm signal was about. Mirror’s texting like a teenager in love. There must be a more efficient means of communication. I ask zir if I can borrow the phone. Ze doesn’t object. I try entering a voicemail message – I figure maybe Fox hasn’t located the call functions, or else there isn’t a voice synthesizer. It works. Fox speaks again, in her soft-spoken female animatronic voice.

She reminds us she read our files. If we have questions, we can ask her. I don’t. I need to stay focused – I can’t go back to a life where I endangered people every day, simply by existing. It’s arrogant, it’s selfish, and it’s dangerous. Am I curious? Of course I’m curious. Now isn’t the time. I hand the phone to Price. Fox reads his story out loud. It’s a sob story, all right.

Dead parents. Forced into prostitution somewhere on the West Coast. Got picked up by somebody named Cho; I think Fox is implying they had a romantic relationship, some kind of Pretty Woman-type situation. If Julia Roberts had been a hulking, musclebound Chinese guy and Richard Gere had been the leader of a biker gang. Pop culture references. I guess I’ve seen that movie at some point.

Nobody else asks any questions, so Fox elaborates a little. Nothing I listen too closely too – it feels too personal. I don’t embarrass easily, but this is a little awkward. Mirror starts shooting zir mouth, though – I don’t really pay attention until Ruby intervenes. Forcefully. Apparently she took offense, because she shoves zir up against a tree. Wow. This is bad. I try to talk them down. It goes… badly. Ruby doesn’t like people smarting off. Mirror loathes violence. It’s a terrible combination. I try to tell them to communicate; it’s a cliché, but it’s true. I don’t think either of them listens. This is bad. They calm down, for now, but the problem doesn’t go away – far from it.

We hear motorcycles roaring down the highway, interrupting the conflict. We should hide. Heading into the foliage, Mirror sends Pebble to scout ahead. He hears something. Apparently everyone else does, too. We stop. I guess we should hide?

I climb a tree. It… was the first thing I came to think of. It probably wasn’t very smart. Price and Ruby stay down there, ready to take on whatever’s coming, whatever that might be. Then, just like that, things start to go horribly, horribly wrong.

Someone throws a knife at Opal. He collapses – I think he’s dead. I panic. Panicking is not good. I’ve no idea what I’m trying to do, but the result is that I blow up the tree. I don’t… think that was the plan.

The enemy emerges. He tackles Seer. Ruby tackles him. Then Priceless tackles him. Then I set fire to some shrubbery. I have terrible aim.

Seer shoots him. It effectively ends the fight, though Ruby is the one who… well, executes the guy. She’s a very frightening woman. It’s over before I even have a clue what’s going on. The motorcycles are coming back, and we need to move. Priceless lifts Opal. Then Ruby throws up and collapses. Fox’s voice comes through all of this, she informs us the guy is some insane war veteran turned mutant, and his power is to poison people by touch. Priceless and Seer are both fine, but Ruby could die. As could Opal. He may not have been poisoned, but there’s still a knife in his shoulder.

In all this chaos, someone calls out for Joey. It stops Priceless dead in his tracks. He sets down Opal, and turns back. I don’t have time for questions, I have to stop the bleeding.

[This was Battery’s sixth botch of the evening. It… wasn’t her best day.]

I think I made it worse. Meanwhile, the bikers approach. I really, really, really hope Price knows what he’s doing. He does. They know him. They like him. Except for one racist guy who’s afraid of mutants. Wait, scratch that. It’s not racist if it’s reasonable, which, knowing me, it actually is.

They talk. Priceless is actually called Joey. Joey WANGCHUNG. They’re his friends, part of his old gang, the Red Dragons. They say they can help us. They have a garage in Nampa, nearby, where this “Cho” guy lives. I ask them if they’ve got a doctor. They might. Good enough for me.

Joey goes with them back to the city, alongside Pebble and Opal – he’s well enough to hang on to a bike, it seems. They promise they’ll send a car for the rest of us. I don’t exactly trust them, but what choice do we have? Ruby is in dire need of medical assistance, and it’s all I can do to try and feed her everything on those toxin-infomercial lists. We need a doctor. A real doctor. I… don’t think anyone of us is one.

Fox tells us the crazy mutant – Toxic – is still poisonous. We need to bury him or burn him. Seer keeps an eye on Ruby, and since we can’t touch the guy without probably dying, I guess the questionable honor of disposing of the body falls to me. I incinerate it. It isn’t pleasant, but I’m pretty sure what’s left isn’t poisonous. I almost throw up myself, but I fight the urge – I brushed my teeth for the first time in… well, years, this morning.

I get back. We hide near the road, and wait.

[This would be a great place to splice in Priceless’s thought-record from the garage, but I’m not going to write that.]

The car eventually arrives. It’s a van. It’s tacky, but not as tacky as it could have been. By which I mean, there are strippers painted on it, but at least they’re well painted. The driver looks sleazy, but trustworthy. Mirror rides in the front with him. Me and Seer tend to Ruby in the back of the van, because I don’t dare to leave her alone. It seems bad, she’s burning up from some kind of fever. I wish I knew what kind of poison this is.

We’re being followed. More bikers. Our guys had red motorcycles. These guys have silver motorcycles. I’m no expert in how gangsters work, but I have a feeling that means they’re on different teams. The driver confirms this. He also confirms that it’s very bad news, and that if they catch up, unpleasant things will happen to us. I guess I’d better stop them. Somehow. What can I do? I can set fire to things. The street? No, that’s insane. The bikers? God, what am I thinking!? There’s… blankets! We have blankets!

I start throwing burning blankets into the street. They should prove a distraction, if nothing else. Unfortunately they’re not distracting enough – they keep their distance, but they hang on our tails. Seer saves us. I’d almost forgotten how impressive her powers are.

A glowing blue phantom-van manifests out of nowhere. It seriously freaks them out – they swerve, we turn a corner, and they’re gone.

//// Thought-Record #4233 [Codename: Battery] 00h 12m 12s skipped ////

We arrive. Their place is… just about as classy as the van. They’re clearly criminals, but relatively classy criminals. The garage is full of gang symbols, but they’re nicely drawn gang symbols. Apparently I judge criminals by how good they are at arts and crafts. Maybe I shouldn’t. I’m very glad they’re Chinese, though, and not white. Maybe it’s stereotyping, but I have a feeling white bikers might be less welcoming to someone like me, even in this day and age.

We finally meet Cho. He’s nice. Handsome, pleasant, a little awkward. I guess that’s because of Price. They… apparently have a history. I don’t pry. I focus on what’s important – the doctor. He’s a tiny old man named Dr. Ming. He’s seen to Opal, but Ruby is a far more difficult question. Cho pays for the procedure without asking. They’re extremely hospitable. Either Cho really, really, really likes Joey, or our good friend Priceless used to be very important around these parts. I’m guessing it’s a combination of both.

They tell us to make ourselves at home. Mirror disappears somewhere in the crowd. Seer settles in naturally, apparently not at all fazed by the room full of scary men with weapons. Priceless talks a little with Cho. I’m feeling awkward, and worried for Ruby. The doctor comes back. He says she’s strange. “Strange”. What kind of answer is that?

The bikers clear out. They’ve apparently decided to give us the place to ourselves. Very nice of them, almost strangely nice, but I chalk it up to how much Joey must mean to them. I overhear them mention how he and his mutant friends used to make them top dogs around these parts, and now without him, things have been falling apart. So I guess that explains it. Not only do the Red Dragons give us food and lodging, they also give us money, and even outfit Seer with more guns. I… idly wonder how smart that is. That woman’s love of firearms seems to go a little above and beyond just exercising the Second Amendment.

Opal says Ruby will be fine. She’s immune to heat, so the fever won’t kill her. The rest of the poison should clear out naturally. Mirror goes out shopping for better clothes. The rest of us, well… I guess we settle in.

//// End of Thought-Record #4233 [Codename: Battery] ////

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Thought-Record 4227
The fifth of Battery's Thought-Records

//// Initializing Thought-Record #4227 [Codename: Battery] ////

Price’s recovery is remarkable – it seems his body can rebuild itself by crystallizing. After just a few hours, he looks no worse off than I am – the skin is a little raw, and blistered in places, but it’s mostly intact. Incredible. Seer and I have patched up our injuries, but there’s little we can do besides keep them from hurting – we don’t seem to be blessed with any healing powers. Oh well. It’s not that bad.

We get going.

On our way there, the little winged kid re-appears. Seer shouts for him – apparently Opal told him to trust anyone who identifies themselves by yelling the word “paladin”. She tells him everything will be fine; she tells him we’re going to see Opal. He doesn’t seem to recognize the name.

The Hunter is gone when we arrive. I hope she doesn’t come back. Has she been chasing after that scientist for all this time? Or maybe the scientist just led her to something interesting; the thought makes me shudder. There must still be a few volunteers alive in here. No time for that now. Focus. Think positive.

I hack open the electronic lock with my kitchen knife. I understand absolutely nothing of the wires inside, but I fiddle a bit with them, try to make it look as real as I can. Opal opens the doors; one of his shadow-men just pushes a button. We slip inside. I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

The room is an absolute mess. The cameras have been busted, the furniture is piled up all over the place, most of it broken. I count five shadow-men, but no living, breathing, human being. We hear his voice, though – he’s hiding somewhere in the room. Mirror does most of the talking.
He stands up. He’s pale, dark-haired, well-dressed. He scares me a little. Mirror takes his form – shrinks out of zir clothes – it makes me jump a little. Then ze starts to undress. Opal seems pretty embarrassed by it. They’ll need to change clothes for the plan to work, obviously – Fox is unlikely to believe it otherwise. Opal ducks down below the debris to change – it’s hard to see the point of that, but I guess he’s a modest sort of person. One of his shadow-men delivers the clothes. Mirror gets dressed, seemingly with a practiced routine. I guess a person like zem changes clothes a lot. Vaguely I wonder if ze knows zir way around make-up, as well. I wonder if I do.

[At this point, there was a great lot of OOC confusion as to the exact specifics of the plan. Details were discussed back and forth, but eventually a plan was settled upon in which Opal would simply stay off-camera until the doors were open, and then we’d all make a run for it. The camera filming Mirrors’ “death” would be destroyed. Additionally, Anton learns that his characters’ stats are adjusted slightly by shapeshifting – by coincidence, Priceless and his mysterious, initial female form had similar Attributes, but Opal doesn’t.]

I need to fake a muzzle flash, for the gun. Seer will be holding it, so I stick close to her. I haven’t tried small feats of pyrotechnics before, and I’m a little afraid to try. I might lose control, particularly with all those shadow-men standing around – they freak me out. But I try. A sphere of light appears in my hand, and I flinch back reflexively – afraid it might explode. It doesn’t. I dismiss it with a thought, and try again – making them smaller and smaller, more and more brief, until I have a pretty convincing flash of light. It seems we’re ready.

We mention how we’ll need to rough Mirror up. I think Price takes that as his cue, because he hits zem right in the face, before he starts heading for the doors, dragging the prisoner with him. We follow him – not much else we can do. Seer waves an empty gun at the camera, lowers it at Mirror, pulls the trigger – and I make a little flash of light. It looks pretty convincing; for a moment I’m worried Mirror’s actually been hurt somehow.

Shadows! The shadow-men are going nuts! I don’t even realize it’s a charade until I’ve thrown myself to the ground. They tricked me! Of course – they need me away from the camera, so I can destroy it. I take it out – focus a beam of light and fry the wiring. Hopefully it should look like the shadow-men caused it.

Mirror and Opal switch clothes once more, and it’s done. We return to the security center.

Fox tells us she’s pleased. She’s going to open the doors soon, but she’ll also activate the self-destruct – trapping the Hunter inside when the place blows. I think of all the poor people who might still be alive somewhere in here. We convince her to at least let everyone out before she does it; give them a sporting chance to escape. The Hunter’s already running around freely, so it can’t make the situation any worse.

Mirror asks about our memories. Fox says she’s downloaded them to the hard drive in here. I’m skeptical about it, but the next thing Fox says convinces me – she’s been reading them. She didn’t mean to, but she transferred the files through herself and picked up some of the information. Fox isn’t human. She informs us, quite matter-of-factly, that she’s a security program, not a security manager. Apparently Mirror had already figured that out, though I’ve no idea how.

So she asks us one last favor. She wants to be downloaded to some kind of portable device. She wants to go with us. We take a smartphone from the sleeping security guard – she says that she’ll be able to fit in there. I’d like to have a look at her source code. It’s probably unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Or maybe not. I don’t remember what I’ve seen before, after all.

Fox informs us that the base is in the forest, so we’ll have no problem hiding once we get outside. She also promises she’ll inform those she can that they should escape, but she won’t sound the alarm – so as to not alert the Hunter. At least that human kid will be okay, then. We also decide to bring the sleeping guard; Price can carry him outside no problem. Let’s try to keep the casualties down. Fox says a final good-bye, before she transfers herself to the phone, opens the doors, and starts the self-destruct. We have fifteen minutes – plenty of time, but no reason to tarry.

First person to act is Seer. She takes out the walkie-talkie and orders Opal to leave. I’m surprised at the authority in her voice. She tells him to bring the kid, and to fetch Ruby if he wants to.

We leave. There’s no point in running, but we hurry. One of the shadow-men swishes past us, and we see it guiding Ruby towards the exit, far behind us. She’ll make it out all right. A few moments later, we’re out.

Sunlight. Jesus Christ, sunlight. Wow. Wow. Wow. This is so good. This is awesome. We made it out. Hell yeah! This feels fucking fantastic. Wow. I pick up the pace. I run; I can’t help myself, I break into a run, straight into the forest. It have to stop myself from screaming at the top of my lungs. I want to climb a tree. I want to climb a mountain. I want to fly – I want to fly straight into that huge burning sphere in the sky. I doubt I would survive it, but I don’t care.

I don’t stop until I’m exhausted. I actually have to go back to find the others – they stopped at a sensible distance from the mountain. They’re watching it go down. I’m grinning like an idiot. I have to force myself to stop. We still have problems. They might seem small and insignificant right now, but they’re still there.

Ruby joins us. Apparently she got imprisoned here for having violent tendencies. She seems like a nice enough person, though. I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with her. Wait. Hold back. Be realistic. Don’t think positively. You’re being way too positive.

We’ll need to find someplace that has the technology to re-implant our memories. We’re somewhere near Yellowstone – Wyoming, probably, or Idaho. First we have to get to civilization. Find some better clothes. Learn how our powers work. There’s a lot to do. Ruby and Opal offer to team up with us. I ask Opal if he can teach me to control my powers – he says he can. I guess I’d better stick with him then. The others agree – I guess they have reasons of their own. That makes seven of us. Seven rogue mutants trekking through the wilderness, fighting against The Man.

Well.

This is going to be interesting.

//// End of Thought-Record #4227 [Codename: Battery] ////

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Thought-Records 4225 and 4226
The third and fourth of Battery's Thought-Records

//// Initializing Thought-Record #4225 [Codename: Battery] ////

The basement is empty. I count four, five doors; one is made of glass. Judging from the faint glow on the other side, that would be where the fire is. We approach, and sure enough – on the other side are some enormous server stacks. Or… something; I’m not sure what kind of technology stores human memories, but they look like server stacks. Without hesitation, Mirror smashes open the glass with a baton. I guess that works; she clears away the glass, and myself, ze, and Price climb inside. The far side of the room is a raging inferno. There’s an access terminal right inside the door, and I find an automatic extinguishing system almost right away. Unfortunately it works by draining the room of oxygen – so the huge hole in the door is a bit of an inconvenience. Mirror picks up a fire extinguisher, but that isn’t going to cut it. We’ll need to cover the door or something.

Seer peeks in through the hole in the door. It looks like she’s got something important to say – but she doesn’t have time to say it. Something grabs her. It’s another Sleeping Beauty, a big one this time – a full-grown woman. For some reason she’s pulled on a blood-soaked lab coat; I doubt it’s meant as a disguise. How do these creatures reason? Do they reason?

I don’t have time to think. The others throw themselves through the door. They’re going to fight it. Kill it, probably. I need to build up my strength. If I’ve understood my power correctly, I absorb radiation – fire emits enormous amounts of radiation. It might be enough. I rush towards it, hoping the sheer intensity of the fire will give me the strength I need. It feels good. Warm. It drives out the cold from my body, and I can actually feel the heat sink into me. Correction – the light sinks into me. It’s strong, much stronger than anything I’ve experienced before. It’s only a matter of seconds before I have the strength I need. I run back, gather up my strength – hit it with all I’ve got. It dodges – I burn a hole in the ceiling – but I’ve clearly drawn its attention. Good.

Fire radiates heat. If I absorb radiation, the heat shouldn’t harm me, or at least I’ll have a degree of protection. It’s worth a shot. I owe it to Price; I can still see the burn injuries on his body. He could die from this, and it’d be my fault. I run for it.

The ruse works. The creature follows me into the inferno. My clothes burst into flame, and it hurts – but it’s not the unbearable agony it should be. That’s good. I hope it’s not just adrenaline. I hope I’m not dying, and I just haven’t noticed yet.

It’s over in a few seconds. I throw myself out of the fire. Price has the sense to cover me in a lab coat, put out the flames. A quick assessment: I still have skin. More surprisingly, I still have hair. Wow. That’s… that’s really something. Behind me, the creature dies horrifically: I don’t look, but I can hear it. I can smell it. If this hadn’t worked, I’d be back there with it.

We need to stop the fire, before it spreads any further. I get to the terminal. Mirror asks me to check the servers, so I do – about half the mutant memory storage has been destroyed. The best we can do is save the rest. Dimly, I hear Seer – she tells me to get dressed. I realize, suddenly, that I’m naked. My clothes were literally burned off my body, and the worst I have to show for it is a few blisters. How is that even possible?

Seer says the fire was arranged, by a female scientist – an employee. There’s talk of following her. I guess she might know something.

I pull on the clothes Seer gave me. It’s a guard uniform, probably a spare. It doesn’t fit very well. Mirror appears from somewhere with a piece of sheet metal – ze has the idea that we can hold it against the hole in the door while the room drains of oxygen. It’s a sensible idea, so I trigger the mechanism and clear out the room, together with Price. It takes a few minutes, but eventually the fire dies down.

Unfortunately that doesn’t help us very much right now – even though that’s where the memories are stored, there’s no nerve terminal. No brain-machine interface of any kind, in fact. Those machines are kept elsewhere, I guess. Seer and Mirror have searched the vicinity, and they haven’t found anything of the sort – so I guess our best bet is to make contact with Fox.

Before we leave, though, Seer tells me there’s a storage room full of food. Good. Even if we get out of here, we have no idea what the terrain looks like – it might be a desert, for all we know. We fill our pockets with sandwiches, snack foods, everything that can be easily carried. Price also sees fit to change into a guard uniform – I guess that’s good. Means we can tell the two guys apart. Mirror seems to like his form, but ze still wears a lab coat, so now there’s a distinct difference.

Before we head back to the security center, I use my powers to weld the metals door shut. No point in giving that scientist a chance to come back and finish the job.

We return without incident. Fox is grateful. At least I think that’s what she’s trying to express – but she pretty much immediately turns around and places more demands on us. She wants us to kill Opal. I’m very uncomfortable with that prospect – even though he tried to kill us, I don’t want his blood on my hands. She tells us he’s behind the door where the Hunter is trying to get in, but Fox can deal with her – send a distraction. We tell Fox we’ll need to think about it, and clear out to where she can’t hear us.

The obvious course of action is to fake his death somehow; Price suggests something along those lines. We all agree to it, so we check in with Opal – he doesn’t trust us, but it doesn’t take much persuasion to realize he has no choice. Fox isn’t going to open the doors so long as she believes he’s still alive.

Mirror comes up with a plan. I’m going to pretend to bypass the electronic lock – Opal will open the door from the inside, we’ll get in, Mirror takes his shape and we get out. Then we fake his death on camera – from there on, all we have to do is make sure Opal and Mirror never appear on camera at the same time. The exact details of the plan, we’ll have to work those out with him when we get there. He insists we rescue Ruby and the Fairy – that’s his name for the winged kid – but the plan is risky enough as it is. We tell him we’ll do it if there’s time.

So we go back to Fox. Mirror tells her we agree. It’s a good thing ze can keep such a straight face, because I certainly can’t. Fox sends someone to lead the Hunter away from the door – it’s the female scientist who set the fire. Apparently she’s some kind of anti-mutant activist. She trusts Fox enough to risk her life on her behalf, apparently; I guess that tells us something about our “benefactor”. I’m reminded of a saying – let wolves kill wolves so that the sheep have peace. That’s what Fox is trying to accomplish, I suppose. Well, we’re not her lap dogs, and we’re certainly not her wolves. Before we set the plan in motion, Fox is going to upload our memories to a portable hard-drive – it will be a few hours, so we have time to rest. Good news. I think we need to take a look at Price’s burn injuries – and mine.

//// End of Thought-Record #4225 [Codename: Battery] ////

//// Thought-Record #4226 [Codename: Battery] skipped. Time: 05h 49m 32s ////

[We rest for a few hours. Madde uses Priceless’ ability to convert WP into Health to heal most of his injuries. Mirror is uninjured. Seer has a slight wound from the encounter with the last Sleeping Beauty.]

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Though-Record 4224
The second of Battery's Thought-Records

//// Initializing Thought-Record #4224 [Codename: Battery] ////

It’s murky in here. Not dark, but dark enough that it… unsettles me. We reach an octagonal room with a desk – some kind of reception – poorly lit. I don’t know where we’re going from here, exactly, but before I can enter the room the others stop me. They’ve heard something – a humming sound. The old woman volunteers to check it out. Priceless comes with her; that’s probably a wise decision.

There’s a kid, hiding behind the desk. He’s making the sound, and he’s – well, he’s definitely a mutant. He’s got wings. Someone shouts over the speaker system: “Do it now!”

Everything happens very quickly. The kid jumps out – Mirror shouts at him to calm down, and he hesitates for a moment – but then Seer points her gun at him, and shit hits the fan. There’s a bright flash of light, and two people drop to the floor. Dead? Me and Mirror seem to have been shielded by the door. The kid doesn’t stay to finish the job – he runs off. There’s no point in following him – I have to check if the others are okay.

It turns out, thankfully, that they’re just sleeping – although I can’t wake them up. Oh well – I guess we can let them sleep for a while. I sit down, try one of the energy drinks, while Mirror searches the area. We’re right next to the security room – but the door is locked. On a whim, I search through the desk for a paper clip or something to pick the lock. Maybe I’m good at that, who knows?

Abruptly, the door opens. A shadow.

What’s it doing? Where am I? Oh God oh god oh god oh god oh god o-

/// Thought-record interrupted. No signal for: 00h 10m 36s ////

Fire. Burnt flesh. Even before I open my eyes, I know something is very, very wrong. I’m in some kind of control room. The security center, maybe? Outside, the octagonal room is burning. Priceless is injured. So he isn’t invulnerable, after all.

It comes back to me. I did this. I managed to hurt a guy made of diamond. Shit. I climb to my feet, and look around – we’re surrounded by screens. I think I understand how they work, maybe, but I’ve got more pressing issues to deal with. I need to fix up Priceless. There’s not much I can do for him, unfortunately – burn injuries. I’ve no idea how to treat them. Seer seems to, so I leave her to it. I try to apologize, but I don’t know if he even understands my intentions. I don’t expect he’ll trust me after this. I can’t say I blame him.

And then, there’s a voice. Someone contacts us through a walkie-talkie – one of the others must have picked it up. It’s a male voice, a pretty dark one. It scares me. The accent sounds… different. I think he’s British. So I guess that means none of us are. So I guess that means I am African-American.

He calls himself Opal. Says he’s a mutant. Says he’s the Shadow Man. There’s a lot he tells us. I’ll try to process it all:

He tells us the woman who woke us is called Fox. That she seems to trust us for some reason. That the prison system is draconian and tyrannical, that they imprison mutants unjustly. He’s here breaking out his friend, Ruby. She controls fire, he says. We see her on the screen – a red-haired woman in the volunteer area. I recognize her; we saw her through the bullet-proof glass. Another screen shows an old woman – he tells us she’s the Witch, who puts people to sleep. She seems to have been through here, because there’s a sleeping guard whom the kid (he’s apparently Opal’s sidekick) wasn’t responsible for.

He tells us our crimes. I guess he’s trying to demonstrate that we were unjustly imprisoned. Mirror impersonated someone. Seer shot a sex offender. Priceless was a mafia enforcer. I lost control and killed people. Judging by what just happened, they were probably right to lock me up. He says he can help us get our memories back. He pleads with us to rescue Ruby – and in the next breath, he admits to having tried to kill us. I don’t like him. Still, we agree to help him, or at least consider it. He tells us to play along with Fox for now, because she’s the one who can open the doors. I get to work on accessing the security center – something tells me it shouldn’t be this easy, but then again, I had an open terminal to work with. Assuming control of the cameras is quick and painless.

I disconnect some of them. We don’t trust Fox so much that we want her monitoring our every move. Then, after making sure we have a hidey-hole, I give her full access and her voice comes in over the speakers. She’s pleased, I can tell. She also sounds worried – tells us there’s a fire in the basement. Sub-basement, I guess, since we’re already underground. The basement is where they keep our memories. I’m not sure I want my memories back, but it seems the others do, and I guess we might need them to get out. Still. I’m not sure we want to deal with a fire. Someone suggests releasing Ruby and letting her help us, but Fox is adamantly opposed to it. So we just leave.

The monitors tell us the Hunter – who looks like a perfectly ordinary woman, although dressed strangely – is in one of the corridors, up ahead, banging on a door. We avoid her, take a different route, and sneak down the stairs. It seems everything is going well. So far, at least.

//// End of Thought-Record #4224 [Codename: Battery] ////

[Session Break. Anton is still confused by his character. Madde is pondering if her character really wants his memories back. I’m wondering the same thing about mine.]

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Though-Record 4223
The first of Battery's Thought-Records

//// Initializing Thought-Record #4223 [Codename: Battery] ////

Water. Am I drowning? Probably.

“I need your help”

A voice, a voice in the darkness. Someone needs my help. I could do with some help, myself.

Abruptly, there is water no more. I’m flushed out onto a concrete floor. I am somewhere. I am alive, which means I didn’t drown. It’s dark here, but some sort of green half-light keeps it from being pitch dark. I have no idea where I am, how I ended up here, or who I am. The latter is particularly disconcerting. I can’t see clearly, but at least I can try to assess my situation. I’m not hurt – I think; at least I feel no pain. I’m wet, though, and cold.

Another voice. A woman, but a different voice this time. More human. She’s calling out, wondering if there’s anyone here. I answer, tentatively. I’m surprised by the sound of my voice – it sounds so small. There’s a touch of an accent to it, I think, but I can’t place it – either way, it’s definitely a female voice. So I’m a woman, then. Good. That’s… probably, at least, something familiar.

I follow the sound of the voice, through the darkness. There are more people in here, but I can’t place them. They sound as confused as I am. I hate the half-light in here. It makes me uncomfortable.

Almost as if on cue, the room lights up. A strange blue glow explodes from somewhere to my right. We head towards it – it’s a visual cue, something to orient ourselves after. Four figures appear, blurry in the half-light, and a fifth – a body – on the floor. It moves. It doesn’t look right. Fuck. Fuck me, it’s a zombie!

For a moment I think I’m screwed; whatever it is, it doesn’t look human. But before I can react, it springs to its feet and runs off. Someone – the woman I heard – takes off after it. There’s so much going on. I’ll try to process it all: Besides me, there are four people. A skull-faced man. An Asian male, powerfully built. A woman in her sixties. Fifties, maybe? A tall, dark-haired woman, currently in hot pursuit of the skull-faced man. At first I think they’re naked, but no – they’re dressed in something extremely skin-tight, just like me. It reminds me of those union suits astronauts use. Are we in space? No, I dismiss that thought. Has the world ended? Possibly, if there are zombies. I ask them if they remember anything; they don’t.

It seems we’ve all been unconscious for some time, in water. I don’t know. Nobody knows. We should get out. It’s bad in here; this place makes my skin crawl. The skull-faced thing is screaming – on the off chance the dark-haired woman knows anything, we head in its direction – more carefully – following the wall. She rejoins us. The skull-faced thing has escaped. It could be anywhere. Shit.

The dark-haired woman doesn’t know more than the rest of us, but she seems a little more confident; a little less afraid. Maybe I’m reading too much into her behavior. The light gets a little better, at least. I discover, suddenly, that I’m African-American. Well, black. Maybe I shouldn’t jump to conclusions about my nationality.

We arrive at a caved-in section of the room. Some type of rock has collapsed into the room. It’s of a sedimentary type, maybe limestone. We are probably below sea level, then – at least that’s a reasonable guess. We should be going up; I inform the others of this and point out a vent in the ceiling, although I don’t feel terribly keen on climbing the rocks. The young man – and, strangely, the old woman – have no compunctions. They climb, reach the vent – and the man, with terrifying strength, rips it straight out of the wall. The woman does… something, and the wall glows blue. That’s unexpected. Looks like phosphorescent algae. The dark-haired woman says something about mutants. That rings a bell. Maybe. There’s an open ventilation shaft, but we should start by looking for a door. Besides, I’ve got a bad feeling about those vents. They make my skin crawl even more than this room.

We find a door, or rather a set of doors. They’re blocked – by something pretty heavy. The big guy – it suddenly strikes us none of us know our names. I don’t know mine. That’s disconcerting. I’m Jane Doe. Well. Tangent. The big guy tries to push the doors open.

I look around to see if I can find anything that might help, like a ram. I find a dead security guard. Probably… not directly applicable as a ram, but he has a flashlight. It works. That’s very good. Bright light is better. A lot better. I tell the others about the guard, while I try to inspect the area more closely – but I don’t discover anything new. I hear something, though. Footsteps, across glass. I’ve been hearing them for a while. The tall woman tried to speak with whoever it was, but there was no answer. Unnerving.

I ask the guy to back off. Get some momentum. Slam into the door. He does. The doors move, ever so slightly. The guy backs off, and – holy fuck, a sparkling vampire! He’s actually glittering, sparkling in the light of the flashlight. What the hell?

I don’t have time reflect on it more closely. Something moves, so fast I barely have time to be afraid. Something small and dark jumps out and lands on his back. He wrestles it down, effortlessly. It’s a girl; a furious, feral girl in rags. A zombie. A vampire. Something. The tall woman tries to speak to it, but there’s no sign of intelligence in there. What the hell has happened to us? Where are we? What are we?

I guess they searched the guard, because the tall woman gives me a gun. I hand it over to the old woman; I don’t feel comfortable carrying it. I don’t trust myself with a weapon. I wonder why.

They send me to get something to tie down the vampire; from the dead man, I guess. The others have already taken his belt and his gun – in disgust, I pull off his pants. What choice do I have? We need to pin that thing down, or else kill it, but I’m freaked out by the dead body nonetheless. I don’t want to touch it. I definitely don’t want its pants; they smell of urine. Nasty. I reflect briefly on how undignified death is. Let’s not die in here. As fast as I can, I hand over the clothes to the old woman; she ties the creature up, collars it with the belt.

Big guy takes another shot at the door, and another. His diamond-shoulder seems to protect him from any damage, so he impacts the door pretty hard. It’s eventually shunted open enough for me to go through it – on the other side is some kind of office. Seems we’re in some kind of research facility, judging from the stray paperwork lying around. Barricaded door, research lab, little girl with fangs. This is… very bad. It’s like I’m in a survival horror movie. “Black guy dies first”, I recall. Great. Well, this is real life, not a movie. If anything, the old woman should die first. Of old age, in twenty years. Think positive. We’ll make it out alive. We’ll make sense of things. Somehow it has to make sense. Well – if there are mutants involved, it seems there are two such people with us. A diamond man, and a woman who can conjure a blue glow. Peculiar.

Speaking of the old woman: She seems to focus on something, and conjures up a blue, glowing copy of the dark-haired one. We really need to come up with names. It seems her power is postcognition. Mass postcognition. Blue, glowing mass postcognition. That’s… unusual. It doesn’t really help us now, but it would be good to see what happened to this place. She doesn’t know how to go back further, though; all we’ve got is the past few seconds.

We make it out through the room, into some kind of corridor. A text on a screen tells us to head for the glass doors. What other choice have we got?

Of course, we don’t get there right away. There’s a door further down the corridor, a big, heavy door leading back into the room we came from. On an impulse, one of my companions opens it – apparently they found some keys on the guard. There’s a… very strange sight, on the other side. A three-dimensional shadow, presumably a result of some other mutant power. Very slowly, it turns around to look at us. We close the door. Creepy. Let’s not dwell on it. There’s blood in the corridor. Horror movie. I die first. Stop it. Not being productive. Think positive.

The blood trail shows someone has been dragged through the corridor, into a side door. Think rationally: The person might still be alive. There’s not a lot of blood. Someone alive might know something. Knowledge is, in this situation, imperative. So we follow the trail of blood. We stick to the script. Next thing we know, we’ll be jumped by zombies.

Well. I’m half-right, at least. There is a zombie in there – a girl, like the one who attacked us. Except for being slightly older, she’s almost identical – a clone? Fortunately for us, it’s been decapitated. Destroy the brain or the spine, someone knew their zombie trivia. It’s not the only corpse in there – there’s another one, a man with a torn throat and claws. And there’s a guy, a living one. He’s actually fully dressed, and for a moment I become aware of how ridiculous we all look; skintight pajamas aren’t exactly dignified. Well. Worry about that later.

He talks. The body is his brother – a volunteer mutant. This place is apparently some kind of high-security prison for mutants, and we are the inmates. Volunteer mutants serve as guards and guinea pigs for power-suppressing technology. The guy is human; he’s just had shitty luck, he was here when… well, something happened. He doesn’t know, but whatever it was, it’s what triggered our escape. As an added security measure, he says, our memories are kept separately from our bodies. How does that even work? How do you download memories?

I’m apparently a criminal. That surprises me. I don’t see what I would have done. I reckon I’m smart enough to know crime doesn’t pay; so what did I do, and why? And – well, more to the point right now – it’s a high-security prison for mutants, which I suppose means I am not just a criminal, but a mutant criminal. So I have… superpowers. Strange.

We bring the guy. It takes some convincing for him to leave his brother, but he eventually comes. The others finally agree to discard the zombie, though we don’t kill it. That would probably be the smart thing to do, but I have no stomach for killing and I won’t force anyone else to do it, so I drop the issue. We press on. I volunteer to sneak ahead and check out the glass doors, in case – and spot another shadow. I don’t think it’s seen me, but it’s spotted the others. Do something. I have a flashlight. Best use it. It might react to light.

What the-?

Okay. So I’m definitely not just a normal human. Somehow I released a burst of light which… reflected off the diamond-guy and turned the corridor into a Swiss cheese. I… I’m starting to understand why they locked me up. Holy shit, I’m dangerous. At least the shadow is gone – dissipated, it seems, but it’s left the corridor really dark. The others push through it. We don’t talk much, but I can see they’re shocked. Good thing one power canceled out another; I could’ve seriously hurt someone.

The glass doors. We enter, and they close behind us. For a moment I think we’re going to be poisoned, gassed or something – then I think it’s an airlock, and for a moment I imagine the dark emptiness of space. But no. Someone just took us in here to talk.

She doesn’t introduce herself, but it’s the same voice as I heard in the tank. She’s security. She runs the place, or at least, she gives that impression. She tells us there’s been a break-in; someone trying to assist a prison break. It’s the shadow man – that’s what she calls him, although it sounds capitalized: The Shadow Man. There’s a lot she tells us. I’ll try to process it all:

Lots of mutants have broken free. The girls we saw, they’re called Sleeping Beauties. They eat human flesh. Nasty. They seem to be entirely inhuman, according to our mysterious benefactor. There is at least one other threat – the Hunter. Someone who targets mutants specifically, and who is damn good at it. We’re supposed to avoid her. There’s the Shadow Man, and his shadows – it seems they mostly act as sentries. I’m still unnerved by them; I suspect they’re more dangerous than she’s letting on. And then, she asks us for a favor – she needs control of the security center. If she gets it, she’ll let us leave. We have no reason to trust her, of course, but what else can we do? We have no idea how the place looks. Just finding the way out could be impossible.

Someone asks the inevitable question: Why us? She tells us we seemed willing to repent. She tells us we’re bad guys, but not the worst. She tells us a little about ourselves. She gives us names.

Apparently I’m “Battery”. I find myself thinking: The Battery? Or just Battery? No real name, just a code name. She doesn’t have our full files. Battery. Get used to it.

I have names, now, names for the others. Priceless. Seer. And Mirror: The dark-haired woman. Her powers allow her to take someone elses’ shape. On an impulse, it seems, she tries. Bursts straight out of her clothes, only she’s not she anymore – she turns into a copy of the big guy. Priceless, except without the diamond shoulder. Even the voice changes. It’s freaky, but I guess no worse than everything else we’ve seen. At least she can’t replicate his powers. I think.

She tells me of my powers, as well. I absorb light. And then I release it – violently, apparently. Strangely it doesn’t seem like I absorb it through my skin, because the clothes don’t impair it. They’re thin, but still – they block light. Maybe it’s not the visible spectrum I absorb? I would like to know, but I have no time to experiment.

We accept her deal. All we have to do is go find the security center, smoke out the Shadow Man, and then give her control of the cameras. It’s probably a bad idea, but it’s better than searching through a facility full of crazed mutants at random. She tells us the scientists’ quarters are on the way – we might find some clothes there. More importantly, we might find some tools. We get moving, leaving the human behind. The human. Didn’t even catch his name, so I guess that’s the best way to describe him.

He seemed afraid of us. I guess he has every reason to be.

Corridors. Long, sterile corridors. They remind me of hospitals. It feels comfortable somehow, but maybe that’s just because they’re well-lit. We come by a red-haired woman behind bullet-proof glass; Priceless tries to save her from a security guard who’s in there with her. Fortunately the glass is Priceless-proof too. I say fortunately, because the girl seems dangerous – she takes the guard down, without hesitating. I discover, inadvertently, that my power apparently allows me to glow. Well, she’s definitely noticed us now. It doesn’t seem like she’s coming after us though, and we can’t find any way to reach her – so we move on.

There’s another shadow guarding the scientists’ quarters. Its eyes look dull, not glowing like the others’. Maybe it’s inactive. I chance it, and sneak towards it; I’m the logical choice for an advance agent. I dissolved the last one effortlessly, so if this one tries anything funny, I can deal with it. It doesn’t do anything, so I signal for the others to follow.

First thing I find in the scientists’ quarters is a bunch of dead bodies. They’re in the kitchen, and they’re partially decomposed. Fuck. I close the door and let it be – suddenly convinced that going in there would be a terrible idea. Mirror has found some clothes and is getting dressed, so I follow his lead. Her lead. Zir lead.

Pulling on a dead persons’ clothes is a little strange. I’m not superstitious, but nonetheless I keep the second-skin pajamas on underneath; try to avoid direct contact with the fabric. Even wearing double layers doesn’t seem to hamper my ability to absorb light, but a shadow cast by a door does. I remember something about beta radiation being unable to penetrate metal; maybe it’s beta rays I absorb? I’m amazed at how clearly I can feel the light. It’s strange.

Suddenly, a scream. Something has gone terribly wrong. The Seer – I hear her shout, hear gunfire. It’s another Sleeping Beauty – like the little girl, but older. Stronger. Fiercer. She’s been hiding in here for God knows how long, disguised – albeit poorly – as a scientist. I have to do something.

I focus, try to summon up the light. It blasts forth from my hands, tears through the walls and straight into the creature. It screams. It’s an exhilarating feeling, so much power flowing through my body – but it fades quickly, and I feel cold. Exhausted. I shouldn’t do that again – but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. It’s still alive. I run into the kitchen, try to ignore the bodies, tear out some knives. I find some oven cleaner. I toss everything to Mirror, because I can’t reach the monster myself. Ze grabs it. Finishes the job – the creature stumbles back against the wall. It looks like Priceless used himself as a human shield – good God, that man must be as invulnerable as he looks – and nobody’s been hurt, at least not badly. It’s somewhat to my own surprise that I find myself holding a knife stuck through the wall, into the creatures’ neck. Seer confirms that it’s dead.

We keep the knives and the oven cleaner. Priceless grabs some drinks from the fridge, but nobody touches anything else – probably for the best. I doubt anything in there is healthy to eat. We leave. Besides the clothes, all we found was knives and oven cleaner. Not worth risking our lives over, in retrospect. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20. I wonder if I’m near-sighted? Now isn’t the time to find out. We have to move – the Shadow Man knows we’re here. He’s moved the shadow outside. Seer tries to find out more, but she loses control of her power. All we get is some kind of psychic static.

More hospital corridors. These ones are less well-lit. Must be some kind of electric fault – not strange, the entire place seems to be falling apart. I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all.

//// End of Thought-Record #4223 [Codename: Battery] ////

[Session Break. Anton is frustrated with his character, since he doesn’t feel the sheet represents a shapeshifting con-man. He doesn’t understand how it’s supposed to make any sense, or why he’s so bad at Manipulation. Madde is trying to reconcile her backstory as a brute with her hypothesis of having been a bodybuilder slash model.]

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Part 1: The Great Escape

The initial part of the campaign had the players wake up without their memories in an underground structure, which was later identified as a mutant prison / science facility. A voice speaks to them warning them of danger and leading them to a safe place to talk. They are forced to fight other released mutants with less friendly disposition and discover their respective powers.

The voice identifies itself as Fox and claims to run the facility. She tells them that the facility is under attack by someone she calls The Shadow Man, and there are now also dangerous mutants roaming free inside. The most dangerous of them is a woman called the Hunter who kills mutants and absorbs their powers. She has locked the exit, and until The Shadow Man is dealt with she will not open them. The first order of business is to take back the security room that is under The Shadow Man’s control.

On the way they fight another Sleeping Beauty – mutant girls that age by eating flesh – and acquire some supplies – food, water, clothes. A little boy with shimmering wings calling himself the Fairy then explodes in light at them, knocking Priceless and the Seer unconscious. Shortly thereafter The Shadow Man’s clones attack them, triggering Battery who explodes, setting Priceless on fire. It does get rid of the clones, and Priceless turns out to heal quickly. They get control of the security room.

Now the Shadow Man speaks to them through a com radio in the room. He introduces himself as Opal and apologizes for the attack, saying he has broken in to rescue a friend and thought them hostile or working for Fox. He asks them to help release his friend Ruby, which probably means playing along with Fox for now. They return control of the security room to Fox and she tells them there is a fire in the server room where their memory cores are stored; she needs them to go down to the basement and put it out. They fight another Sleeping Beauty and put the fires out.

Now Fox has another request. She will download the memory cores to a portable device so they can bring it with them, but she also wants to download herself – she’s an AI – so she doesn’t have to die with the faltering facility. But first the Shadow Man must be dealt with. The players choose to not kill him, but rather faking his death with the help of Mirror’s shapeshifting. Fox is convinced, and initiates the facility’s self-destruct sequence and downloads herself to the portable device. The players escape with Opal, Ruby and the Fairy, as well as a human who got locked in when visiting his mutant brother and a dreaming security guard.

Fox cannot directly access the memory cores even if she’s stored alongside them, but she did catch glimpses of them as she transferred them.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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