_Just like a TV series … it’s the 26th Episode, wrapping up Season 1!

Questions from the GM

Adam: Tim the Asst Librarian. Grad from the school. Nice guy.

Jason: No question: Alycia. [already prepped, see?]

Harry: Don’t want to talk with Dad, so A10. [+1 Doom, +1 Forward]

Charlotte: Rusty. Watching his reactions to both Byron and Jason has really put a lot of things into perspective re Jason.

How have the people there in Federal City reacted to her? Meh – they’ve seen worse.

Reading a book along the farms of the Mall; girl is watching her solemnly. (Kids always see her.) Nora. “Do you talk to other ghosts? Can you talk to my Mommy?”
Mommy was there after they gathered in FC under Quill, some of the first attacks.

Memorial engraved on side of the Washington Monument (for everyone, scaffolding halfway up).
Imprint of her Mom, connection. A lot of bodies buried there.

Make contact. “Is there something you want to say?” “Be strong, be safe … take care of your father.”
Runs, tells father. “See, you have to do what I say, because Mommy said.”

Leo: These characters don’t keep secrets from each other, in general. Aria has one secret from Leo. Otto has one he hasn’t even discussed with himself.

Leo has told Otto, but not Aria, that he needs to get closure with her (end relationship?) before he can build more robots. Can he get around that by saying good-bye to Summer (giving her up to Jason)?

And Leo knows that Otto loves Summer, but can’t express that.


Keynome Room

More crap going on than the first read-through.
Machine is going really, realy loud. Too loud to hear what folk are saying across the room.
Alycia and Chin arguing. Does the pistol draw as she passes nanobots.

GG and Jason are getting two voices shouting over comms.
- Rusty: If either of you can get up here and help – under attack – forces – outnumbered –
- Numina: I think it’s the Family. I’m seeing energy signals that aren’t reading like tech. They just went through the front barriers.

GG turns on Jason: “When you’re done playing with Pretty Penny, come on up and help.”

So, yeah, hurtful. [GG -Angry, Jason +Angry]

The Surface

GG goes to Rusty. Numina should be nearby.

Military fliers coming in – like Vyortovian vehicles, old, surplus, and maybe cached mothballs. Banners flying from them – family crests from the Old Country in her past. These are the Family left behind when V crossed over to our world. Armed. And they have a plan.

Halcyon High

Concord and Link are in the same areas. Harry is out on the street near Troll.
Rookbots (Rossum bots!). Bullhorn: You guys are tresspassing. We will respond with deadly force, under the law.
Construction guys are scrambling for crates … and pulling out something.

A-10 “I’m 15 seconds out. Who should I hit.”
“Hit the blue guy.”
Harry distracts Troll to keep him from noticing A-10 incoming. She faceplants him into the asphalt.

“Alert: Corvus employees are under attack. Stand down and surrender or face termination.”
Troll: “Time to complicate things.” Leaps over toward the residences across the street.

Concord - Adam has bubbled up Facet to get her away so they have a prisoner / witness. “You really could have hurt us, but it kind of seems like you weren’t trying to to. What’s going on?” Uses Empathize on her as they flee. [10+!]
“Just trying to prove myself. I invented all of this tech … I just … this is my entire life, I’ve put everyting into this, I just wanted to prove that it would work.”
“That sounds like some cool ideas.”
“You ever feel like you’re not really in control of yourself?”
“Every day.”

Link: Rocketing after Troll, who’s doing somehing to endanger innocents. Bots are shooting at A-10. “Get over here!”
Elaborate ejection / cable sequence thing.

Comms to TK and Harry – grab conductive stuff to wrap around this guy. Planning to ground him to cut off access to WiFi.
A-10 - take your time, I’m just drawing fire up here.

Harry is trying to gather parts from the bots. Reducing fire on A-10 (and getting Influence over her, too.)

And … the bad guys are taking fire from … above?
Vyortovian Hella-Carriers.
“Hey, Link,” TK says, “I fond some more metal we can use.”


Keynome Room

Alycia is there with her guns. The look on her face.

Chin steps behind her, one gun on the turbine attached to the Keynome, the other gun on Alycia.

He pulls the trigger. Alycia is clueless of this, unaware (“it’s her Achilles heel!”)

Jason is facing this danger alone [Doom!]

He has a bunch of things he wants to do so … Moment of Truth [DOOMSIGN!]

  1. Handshake with Alycia’s bots, to push them into protecting her. Bots on the ground and in her shirt rise up, look like LI’lycia as Wonder Woman, braceleting the bullets away.

2. Through the bots, force a link onto Alycia. Her eyes widen, narrow, fingers start to tighten, link established, time … slows … down …

Before she can even think about it, she says, “Hello, hero.”
And which Jason had forgotten.

[Take a powerful blow.] [10, even with the Forward. Will ‘lose control of his powers in a terrible way.’]

He remembers every moment when she said that. When they’d meet. When she had a gun on him. When he had a gun on her. When they woke up tied to the same pillar. Every moment it every happened. Everything he ever felt – annoyance, amusement, frustration …

And she’s forgotten it, too. Chin’s messed up her memories, too.

Chin is shooting Alycia AND the turbines.
Part of a plan for lowering the defenses above? Or something to stop the Keynome’s actions.
Awfully mundane seeming for Achilles Chin.

To Alycia: “I am so sorry for everything I forgot.”
She has an inkling. Did the math. Knows telling the truth. And maybe what her dad did in a similar way, not with bots but there was definitely something he did. Checking memories against each other. She won’t shoot.

She wanted him to just leave. Did not know that if she and Chin touched they’d explode. Didn’t know why Chin didn’t go home. He’s being obstinate about all this, Just keep him off me."

“He just tried to shoot you.”
Mentally turns around, sees the bullet. Why would he --?
Every stupid conversation we ever had with them. Just doing the same stupid thing over and over again.

Not for the last 20 years. (Well, maybe on the Byron side, but not Achilles.)

There’s a lot of anger there. From both J & A

A: They’re only exploring a couple of simple channels here – they had all the potential they could have had, just the same shit over, and over, and over again.
They need to answer for this.
Something very Alycialike in the bots answers – her, or hacking, or part of him that agrees …

Ol’ycia winks and finger guns at Alycia with a tongue click. Circular motion in the air … a horizontal portal.
Byron Quill falls out of the air, lands next to Achilles.
Ol’ycia grabs them both by the neck, lifts them up.

A: “Time for some apologies. Or punishment.”
J: “Hi, Dad!”

On the Surface

V fleet flies in … and passes through the barrier.

Rusty: should have electrocuted them.
Numina: what do we do.?

Charlotte. [Moment of Truth!] Hmmm. Mass grave. Already talked with one ghost. Maybe all the rest of them …

Halcyon High

Facet points out … the V ships.
Concord - “Sorry, this probably shouldn’t hurt.” Bubbles her into extradimensional space. Hands her to Sol.

Troll is shrinking as TK piles stuff on. TK’s got this.
Looks at sky. “You’ve got THIS? That’s … great.”
WTF am I supposed to do about that?

Vs are HALO jetbooting down.
Corvus forces have shifted targets, but are badly outnumbered by the Vs.

Link asks Concord what’s in this place.
The Keynome.
How deep?
100m or a bit more. 50m below all the city infrastructure.
Anybody alive in the school?

A lot of Vs coming. Other Irregulators have arrived. A-10, above. Harry zooming up. Looking at … that.

Leo: Concord, what’s stopping you from getting the Keynome out?
Concord: I … could … try?
Leo: Try it. I’ll keep these guys busy.
Concord: Commits self to go get the Keynome. Teleports away. (Game Face: forward on rolls. But will take a condition. [4! Ruh-roh.]

The V troop leader hits the ground.
It’s the Dread Queen.
Hits the ground. Straightens. Ignores them.


On the Surface


Karmic balance. Wanting to restore the sunshine and potential in this world and area by letting the aggrieved dead cleanse it.

As the invading fleet approaches the city, over it, huge, there’s a figure … Charlotte … looking very unhappy.

“Aggrieved dead … your living kin are in danger … strike them down, and vengeance will be yours.”

Charlotte isn’t doing this for the living.

Keynome Room

Very angry people.

We have a few words we’d like to say.
You two are geniuses. You passed that on to us, but then kept us from our potential.
You’ve not only abused the two of us, but you have failed two worlds. With all your genius, your abilities, all you are reduced to Mad Max battles for civilization, feuding, and going pew-pew at each other.

A: We’ve forgotten so much – but, then, you’ve been the reason we’ve forgotten.
How long have you known that’s all you are?

J: This isn’t a debate. This isn’t a lecture. This is our judgment. Of. You.

Several years of lies and abuse of authority (and abuse in general).

You don’t deserve the gifts you’ve been given. So I’m going to take them away.

Jason rewrites them with the Keynome, to remove their super-genius. The bots go into them, in a surgical sense. About them, figures of young Jasons and Alycias, every possibility of how things could have turned out, work to contribute. An Alycia in a supersuit, covered in nanobots, maintains the network around the Keynome. [And, presumably, the Keynome keeps the bots from blowing up on contact with them.]

[George Perez, doing the artwork for the issue, goes crazy with anticipation of the two-page spread.]

And we set them the impossible task of taking care of this world as just ordinary people.

Also clean up the compulsions in the back of their heads. But, sadly, there aren’t a lot of those, Sadly. On Byron: “Basically ignore Alycia and pay no attention to her backpack.” And stuff on Chin, “Do what you’re supposed to do.”

As the bots do their thing, Jason and Alycia look at each other and wonder what’s next.


JASON - Image of Self, Freak+, Mundane- (Lock Savior)

CHARLOTTE - Image of Self, ??? (Lock Savior)
CONCORD - Closer to Team (Leo), +Freak -Danger
HARRY - Closer to Tean (A-10).
LINK - Image of Self, Superior+, [missed other]

And as a special note for the GM:

author: *** Dave H.

author: Bill G.

Otto’s feeling isn’t specific to Summer. It’s complex, but in the background, and it mostly shows up in subtle ways. Ultimately he is happy how things are. Does make me curious what reveal Doyce has in mind though.

author: Bill G.

By the way, for me as Jason’s player this was freaking awesome and very satisfying (even if it leaves almost as many follow-ups as it resolves, and adds more future drama).

“Hello, Hero.” That was goosebumps territory there.

(I actually included in one of the things I wrote over the past week or two Alycia commenting in the past that “This white knight complex is going to be the death of you.” That all ties neatly together.)

I hope everyone else’s payoff is even half as much fun for them.

author: *** Dave H.

Random note: the Issue 26 video in the Masks RPG playlist on YouTube is at index 1 (the start of the playlist), rather than the end. It doesn’t make a lot of difference if you watch them in isolation, but I made sure all the video links from the wiki include a reference to the playlist, so it might look odd, depending.

author: Bill G.

Ahh, thanks. I’ll fix that. That playlist has gotten a little… borked. I have to manually reorder it every so often.

author: Doyce T.

*** Dave H. said:

I hope everyone else’s payoff is even half as much fun for them.

Yeah… no pressure. :slight_smile:

author: Doyce T.

If it really were the end of Season 1, the fans would have to wait out the summer. :slight_smile:

And then season 2 starts up with

Previously, on Masks: Menagerie…

* Jason and Alycia dropping the bot-link and looking at each other with incredibly awkward morning-after-one-night-stand-intimacy expressions.
* Ghost Girl settling back down to ground with Family airships crashing in the background, about a quarter mile from the barricade.
* The Dread Queen hitting the ground and looking around with complete authority.
* A-10, Armiger, Telekinetian, Alloy, Link, and Harry charging into the fray in slow motion.
* Concord appearing in the middle of a watery, crystal-encrusted cavern, all the crystals lighting up with blinding intensity, and Adam screaming.

author: Doyce T.

Season 2 won’t make it without the support of fans like you. Please join our Kickstarter.

author: Bill G.

Drama aside, here’s some tactical brainstorming for next session. If anyone has better ideas, lay 'em on me!

  • The Keynome. This is our big objective. Leo doesn’t know anyone but Concord qualified to know about it, much less try and move it. Sounds like Adam’s going to be facing some rough stuff in there, though.
  • The Dread Queen. If Vyortovian loyalty is personal and focused on her, taking her down ought to demoralize the soldiers. This is going to be a team effort, but Leo has his Moment of Truth and is willing to use it here.
  • Rook-ahem, Corvus Construction bots and staff. They can’t be allowed to get the Keynome either, but for the moment they’re a useful tool if we need.
  • Mercury has a bunch of stuff he can do. In no particular order:
    • Mass disarming soldiers. Or, if Harry wanted to get really clever, running around and aiming everyone’s rifles at the Dread Queen as they fire would make a spectacular all-angle attack. (Directly Engage)
    • Get flown by A10 up to the carrier and try to disable it somehow - phasing or super-speed to damage the engine, for example. The goal isn’t to make the carrier crash, but to put it in a bad enough condition that they’ll need to withdraw soon. (Unleash Your Powers)
    • If necessary, phasing down to the Keynome to support Concord.
    • If Harry has seen this scale of invasion before, and/or has been told stories by his parents, great! If James wants to tell a Gale tale that gives us some clues, Leo would love to hear it, because he’s outta his depth here and knows it. (Assess the Situation)
  • Assuming Jason and Ghost Girl arrive in time, they’ll need to help with this fight somehow, but I don’t know the timing there.
  • A10 can hit hard and fly, and might be useful against DQ, but I kind of like the idea of her teaming with Harry if he needs to fly. I’m also worried about sneak attacks, flanking, etc. and having eyes in the air might be nice. Not a good fit for her personality, of course.
  • Leo’s carbon tech is pretty tough. If Alloy doesn’t have anything more useful to copy, they can borrow Otto’s durability and go to town on the soldiers. Alternately, if there’s anything aboard the carrier that we can exploit by copying its properties, A10 should fly Alloy up there instead. This is a big unknown.
  • Armiger and Animal are kind of exposed out in the open, but they should be able to tear ass through the school if we have anything useful in there - like, for example, is there a robot control unit in the building that operates these Rook security bots? Leo should know enough about his father’s tech to advise these guys.
  • If Telekinetian can do barriers, we could use some cover from all this fire out here. Assuming the Dread Queen doesn’t just immediately tunnel into the Earth or something. If he can’t, he can hopefully help out with disarming duty.

author: Bill G.

Assuming Jason and Ghost Girl arrive in time, they’ll need to help with this fight somehow, but I don’t know the timing there.

Hmmm. Do the Family members captured (or, heck, Achilles or Alycia) know of the Big Plan, or that there’s an attack going on back in HC?

author: *** Dave H.

That’s one possibility, I also have another one in my back pocket.

author: Doyce T.

That’s good because, aside from that, Jason might start ordering umbrella drinks for everyone.

author: *** Dave H.

Odd aside: Am I the only one who finds it weird that every time Troll’s shown up, it’s to team-up with a woman with STEM-based superpowers? That’s oddly progressive for the asshole.

author: Mike

Mike said:

Odd aside: Am I the only one who finds it weird that every time Troll’s shown up, it’s to team-up with a woman with STEM-based superpowers? That’s oddly progressive for the asshole.

Wait… it’s probably to belittle their accomplishments once the fighting is over. That fits his MO. I retract my previous statement.

author: Mike

He never assists her, he is just there as well. Then her tech is damaged, she is taken prisoner, and we defeat Troll by depriving him of WiFi. I mean, at least this girl didn’t injure herself in a stupid final attack.

author: Bill G.

This time he actually had a wifi node built right into his jacket. Doesn’t help under the circumstances, however.

author: Doyce T.

Dave, as an experiment, can you click on the title of this post and see if you can change it?

author: Doyce T.

Yuppers! Added the Recap tag. (And, as I believed, the URL changed.)

author: *** Dave H.

Okay so it looks as though if I give someone to GM tag or clearance or whatever it is then they can at least edit the titles of posts. there’s probably some gotchas involved in that where you might accidentally edit instead of quote somebody else’s post, but as far as a stopgap measure goes it’s pretty good. I will make the appropriate adjustments to the forum’s frequent posters.

author: Doyce T.