They took about a week off after saving the world from the return of Cthulu. Only Evans stayed busy during this time, building a nuclear reactor under his house on the island off the coast of South America, doing research, and handling various other tasks.
Evans Gets Around
Evans talked to Jack Bower, learning that the city’s civic resources were stretched super-thin after the assault on Downtown, and lawlessness was a real threat. He got a list of 20-30 injured civil servants that he could heal to help restore order. Jack also told him that the mayor was in talks with Seertech about possibly using GATbots to restore order, in the short term anyway.
Evans dressed as the Alchemist and ghosted around to 4 homes of injured cops or firemen, slipping inside and surprising them, healing them, and telling them it was for the good of order in the city. Then he slipped out as quietly as he entered.
Feeling good about the night’s work, he took one last look around Torpedo Bay and discovered there was a fire, with only a handful of firemen available to tackle it. He put the fire out, and told them he wanted to help restore order in the city. Feeling oddly thrilled and comforted by the energy of the fire he had quenched, he headed back to his island paradise with Clarissa.
The Grand Harvest Ball
Dante had lunch with Roftweilderant (who thought he was dreamy) to find out what upcoming charity functions the police commissioner Alex Felton might attend. She told him the Grand Harvest Ball was coming up at the Reflecting Park in Leverty, and it would be a who’s who event showing solidarity after the attack on Downtown by a giant death machine. He scored himself a couple $600 tickets, and contacted an escort service to get the superlative Amber to go with him to the event.
Meg decided to go to, taking Daniel with her. After a week of processing, his lights were back to red sometimes and green sometimes, and he was much more stable with compartmentalized perceptions instead of irreconcilable breadth of perception.
Meg touched base with Adrian telepathically to tell him about the ball. He persuaded Emma to go with him to the event, as part of their exploration of the city’s unique culture and artistic offerings.
At the ball, they mingled. Dante talked with Alex Felton. Felton asked him what he was doing, and Dante suggested he was relaxing on his settlement money from Seertech. Felton offered him an opportunity to help the city with his unique talents.
Adrian chatted with Jeremiah Seer, but Emma snubbed him socially. (She didn’t seem that popular at the event herself.) They noticed John Scott was present, and a half dozen other members of the Silver Twilight Lodge.
They enjoyed rickshaw rides in lanes marked off by hay bales (a hay ride for the wealthy) as well as pledging for people bobbing for apples, and a delicious dinner punctuated by speeches from the city’s finest.
The mayor suggested the city’s spirit had always been famous for its adaptability and willingness to go against the norms, and he would be counting on that in the future.
After a pleasant evening, they all headed home.
The next day was Sunday. Meg and Daniel went to services at Favian Church. Dante worked out with his personal trainer. Evans spent a lovely morning with his wife. Adrian passed the time with Emma. He also persuaded her to let him look at some of the books below the house in her unique library. She curled up with a novel while he dug into Revelations of Glaaki and learned unsettling things about an undead god-thing that created servitors from human shells.
When Dante returned home, he found a home-made shuriken pinning a piece of notebook paper to the doorframe of his kitchen. The paper had an address in Torpedo Bay.
Dante called in the rest of the group, who gathered at his house then headed to Torpedo Bay. They found the address in a basement office of Tailwind Shipping, an abandoned warehouse. Going in, they noted it looked unused. They followed a whisper of sound to the back, where a strange hunched figure whispered to them that someone was hurt and needed their help. They followed through a strange labyrinth of underground passages.
There they found Dana Spiegle on a couch, badly injured with abdominal cuts and some burns. Meg healed her. Dana wondered if she’d seen Meg before, and Meg insisted she had not.
Feeling better, Dana wanted to take over and direct the group back to where she found the darkshells. She knew the location, but was fuzzy on the details; she had been hit on the head and her mysterious benefactor(s) had given her some wacky chemical drugs that made her have a kind of a trip.
She was attacked by a kind of darkshell that put out heat, and spit fire, and made water into steam. She had confused and fearful memories, but they were sketchy. She checked the area out because homeless squatters there were disappearing.
After Dante and Evans expressed their thanks to the figure lurking in the dark, they headed out, with their shadow tailing them at a safe distance.
Daniel argued with Dana, and so she did not get fresh clothes as they went straight to the spot. She insisted on going along, until they talked her out of it and told her to wait in the car.
Into the Darkness
Down around the back of Gibbons Shipping, they found a cave with a broken fence. They headed in, and found a sort of robotics junkyard from the eighties. Apparently this had once been the lab of Doktor Laborious, a minor supervillain from the 80s. His area was abandoned, but it was fenced off from the underground river by relatively new chain link, that was very faintly irradiated by warpstone.
They found steps leading down into water, but chose instead to go through an unused door that led up some stairs to a door that had been plastered shut. Alchemist unsealed and opened it with his uncanny powers, and they found themselves in a modern and used facility.
Evans opened a warp back to the Mausoleum to get a mask for Adrian and an electronic lock-pick kit so Meg could crack the keypad and triple bolt steel pressure door they found. She got in, and they found a lab.
This lab was fully functional. It had specimens that were failed twists of Burninator and darkshell DNA that were on display, as well as a reddish flame-thrower head of a darkshell, tissue samples, and high-tech computers powerful enough to crunch genetic information.
Alchemist used his powers to destroy the computers, but that triggered an alarm. As they raced back the way they came, two IAGO units ran after them, firing assault rifles. They ran as fast as they could, reaching daylight and piling into the car and zooming away. Meg found Dana’s mind as the reporter was on the phone to her editor, and told her not to go back in there; the startled reporter agreed.
Alchemist gated the car to Daniel’s place, and they headed to the basement to catch their breath and regroup.
Furious that she was likely caught on camera, Meg stormed out and Daniel went with her, back to her house. Adrian hailed a cab to Emma’s house, Evans gated home, and Dante considered the possible ramifications of their mid-afternoon romp.