Steel City

A Mark In Time

The group is home in the 21st century! All is well. Except it is
November and the group has been missing for five months.

Huitzil makes a mental note that the next trip into the past they have to make sure to send a letter to their parents warning them not to worry about the five month gap.

It turns out the group has arrived back in Steel City in the middle of a bank robbery spree by some ambitious supervillain, apparently a speedster. So far they’ve hit 14 banks and since they seem to be going for a world record, and the record is 24, they’re not finishing any time soon.

It seems that when the party vanished, the Future Foundation stepped in, with some success. 99 calls the Future Foundation and some kid answers the phone. The Perp is a guy called Speed Demon, more a gadget based time control guy than a true speedster.

The mayor apparently covered for the team, claiming they were on a secret mission. The kid also mentions that Thornbird has been mentoring the Future Foundation. Someone named Mr Brand has been tutoring Kid Singularity, who got kicked out of school. Deal with that later.

Rather uncharacteristically, the team comes up with a plan first: Huitzil will go in and play bait. Dragoneye and 99 Per Cent will use their ability to create barriers to contain the speedster. Volt will use their entangle if possible. Izzy will fill in as necessary and will also be the team’s eyes in the sky, using her extended senses.

Speed Demon drops by a radio station to explain his goal: 30 banks in one day. For some reason he wants to leave a legacy and this is the one he hit on. Just for fun, he promises to hit a specific bank at some point.

The Future Foundation has a model for Speed Demon’s pattern and either the model is good or lucky; the team encounters him at the first bank they try.

So the plan goes pretty well right up to the moment it is put into action. Speed Demon arrives, does the laughing villain thing and knocks the bank manager out for not having the money ready in garish bags. Huitzil pops Speed Demon a nice one. He quivers oddly, like he is made from flavoured gelatin desert product and divides into two. Gosh, this wasn’t in the briefing notes. Canadian Lass clips Speed Demon in passing and yay, now there’s three of him. Volt at least manages to hit one with a tazer snare and Dragoneye casts a bubble over all of the Speed Demons.

And Huitzil. But at least it’s dark so they don’t have to look at all the Speed Demons pummelling them. And ha ha ha, while Huitzil cannot see in the dark, the Speed Demons have IR goggles and they can see Huitzil just fine.

On the off chance the duplicates are weaker than the original, Huitzil lashes out at where they think one duplicate might be, connecting so hard the duplicate is knocked out cold. Shame that this created two more duplicates.

Almost everyone on the team except Huitzil has special senses. Volt’s tell him the Speed Demons are all wearing big mojo tech of some kind. Volt shares this via the team mental link.

Around this time, a guy in a dark suit approaches Canadian Lass and introduces himself as a Time Cop. He tells her he knows her dad. They chat.

Having paid the points to turn what used to be a stunt into a full time slot in his power array, Volt sets off an EMP centered on the middle of the bubble. Goodbye, Huitzil’s phone number, hrm, five? And also all but one of the time vests. And all the computers with 60 feet of Speed Demon. 99 Per Cent makes a point of repeatedly blaming this on Speed Demon.

Dragoneye opens a hole in the barrier big enough for him to do the Dragonroar thing through. This has no effect on Huitzil 1 but it thins out the non-powered Speed Demon duplicates nicely. Unfortunately the original manages to get out the holes and zip away from the bank. This leaves just one non-powered Speed Demon still up and moving and he runs into Huitzil’s elbow.

The guy in the black suit looks pained. He is Fenris Ferris, Time Cop! and he is here to stop Speed Demon from destroying space time with his time vest. The team was supposed to be part of his plan but they’ve been missing until now. Ferris thinks the reason the return was so far off is the rips in time the vest causes drew the group to this moment.

The Duplicates are actually from parallel universes. Speed Demon himself is a refugee from a parallel universe who likes to raid this universe for Stuff. A side effect of his powers is that he seems to age at an accelerated rate and now that his parents have died he is obsessed with his legacy. Thus the spree.

Dragoneye calls the radio show to report that Speed Demon didn’t manage to rob the bank, only steal a woman’s purse and that if Speed Demon claims to have robbed the bank, he is lying.

99 Per Cent (?) calls the Future Foundation. The kid wants to email the list of possible targets but since Volt killed all the mobile phones this won’t work. 99 Per Cent gets passed onto Mr. Brand, who provides two possible lists, one that Thornbird had her hand in and one untainted. The team decides to go with the untainted one.

Meanwhile, some of the Future Foundation kids confront Speed Demon and get their heads handed to them, metaphorically; Speed Demon seems to be one of those wonderful crooks who does not casually kill people. Unfortunately the kids do well enough there are two Speed Demons by the time the Sentries catch up with him at a bank.

Try two:

Huitzil tries to sweep one of the Speed Demons’ legs from under them and fails abjectly. This does distract the pair long enough for 99 Per Cent to create a barrier around all three of them and unlike the first one, this one is transparent. Izzy focuses on getting people out of the bank. Volt’s EMP has no visible effect on Speed Demon but it does give 99 Per Cent a chance to convince everyone in the bank it was Speed Demon who just caused millions of dollars damage.

I am not 100% sure the cost-benefit ratio was in the team’s favour this time around.

Speed Demon manages to bruise Huitzil briefly but of course this had no long term effect. This put them within arms length of Huitzil so abandoning the ideas about immobilizing Speed Demon, Huitzil decides to try to tear the vest off one of the Speed Demons. This doesn’t work but there’s an odd spark and suddenly the light turns red from the perspective of Huitzil and the Speed Demons. To everyone else, it looks like everyone in the bubble vanished. At first it seems like Huitzil dropped out of the mind link but then it becomes apparent there is an unintelligible mental whine, like a psychic mosquito.

99 Per Cent makes her field into mesh so sound can go through. Volt drops another EMP into the bubble with no obvious effect, but Dragoneye’s roar does managed to leave Huitzil dazed. Inconsiderately, the Speed Demons both shrug the roar off.

While one of the Speed Demons attacks the barrier with the old vibrating hand trick, the other ineffectively pummels Huitzil. Figuring that they were on the right track, Huitzil grabs Speed Demon’s vest again. Both Huitzil and the Speed Demon roll natural 20s in the contest of strength but Huitzil is much stronger and tears the vest off their opponent. Huitzil barely has time for a vainglorious shout of triumph before they are sucked through a hole in space and time across the dimensions.

Because Huitzil had been thinking about warning their mom about the whole vanishing thing, the dying vest takes Huitzil to their mom or at least a version of their mom. Call her SpareMom. SpareMom lives in a universe being invaded by Lovecraftian horrors. Two of them are in the process of trying to attack SpareMom. Violence ensues.

Back in familiar reality, Volt finally manages to fry the last powered Speed Demon’s vest and once that’s gone, he’s easy meat. They hand him over to the Time Cop, who very considerately gives them a there-and-back-again device to retrieve Huitzil. They find a panting Huitzil, clothes shredded, standing over two dead horrors.

Things are very bad in this dimension and while 99 Per Cent has “save world from invasion by horrors” on her bucket list, the locals have a plan to seal off the infestation and if the team does not leave now, they never will. SpareMom comes along for the ride since everyone she knows is dead.

Except maybe SpareHuitzil. Don’t think about the uses to which Horrors could put someone who cannot die.

The team decides to drop by their HQ, where they find some cleaners from Molly Maid just leaving. Thornbird (who has no criminal record or warrants in the US because SAT does not talk to UNTIL) has legged it but on the assumption the bad guy always leaves a note, the group looks for a note. Except it is not a note but a creepy doll like the talking atom bomb in Ottawa. After flying it out to the lake, Izzy discovers it’s not a bomb but a messenger. Thornbird apologises, explains that she tries to keep things organized but it would be best if the team didn’t go into the HQ’s basement.

Of course 99 Per Cent can use her clairvoyance to look into the basement. The basement is filled with biopods of the sort you could store clone or stormers or Things Humans Were Not Meant to Know in. And they are all opening.

1: Because I keep rolling high every time there’s a Will based save, Huitzil believes they have unusually high mental defense. Actually, I think they are the second lowest in the group.

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