Burr and Kinslton did some more sightseeing in Milan for a day or two, and the others returned on Saturday, November 13. The game started the next day.
Headlines In Their Absence
Jan Harrelson was elected mayor in a landslide on November 4, for lack of a clear contender to stand against him. He continues to support anti-technology, pro-traditional stance for Edgarton.
On November 11, Commissioner Felton announced that the remaining Wilters assets and Precinct 13 would be assigned to Victor Hawthorne, also known as Reconstruction Agent (and also known as Hammerhand.) They would become Reconstruction Teams, or Recon Teams, tasked with countering meta threats to Edgarton. The program had the support of Mayor Harrelson and Senator Havilander, and got its funding from City Defense Force funds.
Also, the Weller Twins, Jim and Tanya, stepped forward. Jim is 16, Tanya 14, and they are mutants who want to serve the public without secret identities; they are wards of the state represented by Hawthorne.
The police quit their long-standing talks with the city negotiating for better gear, pay, and manpower, because they were angry that City Defense Force funds were paying for the Recon Teams instead of supporting the cops. They announced a walk-out, going on strike on November 15.
Genevieve was happily reunited with Graves, Adrian was happily reunited with Emma, and Lydia was happily reunited with Indigo.
The next day, Genevieve reviewed the civic situation with some dismay. Lydia caught Amy up with the story of their travels, and they went shoe shopping. Adrian went jogging with Emma, who mainly started jogging because it annoyed her bodyguard Ellis. Then he got a call from Mugsy.
Dr. Yancell responded to Adrian’s call and met with him in a coffee shop. Adrian told him about the Oracle of Orcus, and Yancell was relieved to hear the arch demon was divested in the Upper House, where it probably can’t find its way back to Prime. If 5 arch demons are ever on Prime at once, many seals burst, and he knew of 2 not counting the Oracle.
Yancell told Adrian he was in town for two reasons. One is that divinations and auguries indicated Edge City was at a tipping point, and the Lords of Air would use twins to push it over the edge if they could. He wasn’t sure what that meant, but felt he needed to share it.
He also told Adrian that Alecia Harker, the Left Hand of God, a monster slayer, was in town. She had a run-in with a demon worshiping cult in Houston that went catastrophically wrong, and she retreated here to recover, but her morale was at the breaking point. Yancell hoped maybe Adrian was uniquely positioned to talk to her and maybe prevent her from snapping, because if she got unhinged that could be a bigger problem. Adrian agreed.
Unsurprisingly, the Ghost called a meeting of the Specters. They met in the Justice Dome shortly after dark. Alpha Wolf, Shadow Creeper, Burninator, Tidelia, Swashbuckler, and the Reconstruction Agent himself attended, along with the Ghost. Genevieve, Anna, Adrian, and Lydia also attended.
Alpha Wolf was irritable and alpha, snapping at everyone, probing for weakness and asserting himself. He didn’t get anywhere with it, though he did challenge Victor, who did not take him seriously at all. The Ghost called the meeting to order and asked that they be vigilant as she knew they would be, and also be gentle as the hospitals were likely to be overwhelmed by business with the police on strike.
The Ghost would back up and monitor for larger patterns of organized forces taking advantage of the chaos. Swashbuckler’s crew and Alpha Wolf’s templar would try to keep the order in Torpedo Bay, Burninator and Tidelia would focus on smash-and-grab robberies Downtown and in wealthy areas, Shadow Creeper would protect Settler as best she could, and so on.
Victor pointed out there was a protest at Precinct 13 right now that could turn into a riot, so he was restless to return. First, Genevieve offered to hire on with the Recon Teams, and he enthusiastically agreed to have her on (and Anna too.)
The Left Hand of God
Adrian and Lydia teleported to Feduccis, where Adrian leaned hard on his Brotherhood contacts to find Harker fast. Fortunately Carmina the Topcard was in, an eerie good divination specialist who could allow her dead uncle’s ghost to ride her and find out all sorts of things. She located Harker, going by the alias Mina Stoker, in the Palmetto motel at the edge of Peckstel.
Adrian and Lydia got there quickly, and checked with the clerk to get the room number. Adrian approached alone, with Lydia hiding out as backup. Harker was home, and paranoid, agreeing to talk to Adrian while he held a bomb (in case the conversation didn’t go well.)
He told her what they’d been doing deflecting Hastur, and she got interested in his story, so she took the bomb and they had a beer in the stinky poorly warded motel room. She wanted to hear about shuttering the Brass Embassy, so he took the time and recounted the tale to her. By the end of it, she was again seeing how all of heaven and hell are in those who hunt the monsters, and feeling less isolated. She saw him as the Weapon of Destiny, and herself as the Left Hand of God. She asked if he would accept a tattoo marking him as chosen of God, and he agreed. She pulled out her kit and put the tattoo on his forearm, and he felt a shift in his fate.
It seemed the crisis was past, and she was more stable, so they headed to Precinct 13, Lydia’s teleportation crossing the distance in a flash.
Anna drove up to the Precinct 13 site and they saw 500-600 protesters, many of them top dog cops and their supporters. Lost of press, lots of worried citizens. The gates were guarded by human agents, but gatbots were stationed in a perimeter watching the crowd, and the twins were ready to jump into action if needed.
Victor met with Anna and Genevieve, delighted to offer them condensed paperwork to join up, and he asked for their advice. They went to the command center, and saw how all the gatbot video feeds and building security feeds could be accessed. The gatbots were recording evidence of misbehavior in the crowd, so if they did want to arrest someone, they would have admissible evidence of criminal behavior.
Genevieve insisted Victor call the twins in, suggesting they were provoking the crowd. Victor agreed. As soon as the twins came to the control room, the boy leaped at Genevieve with a deadly punch. She dodged, and the twins were restrained, but Jim released a mass of black smoke; he was possessed by a Lord of Air, and he said it jumped him earlier in the evening and was planning to get one in his sister too, and trigger a massacre in the protest turned riot.
The protest was broken up by fog and driving November rain and wind. The Precinct picked up quantum energies, and Genevieve got a ping from Burninator that he and Tidelia were on a nearby rooftop, and she was manipulating the weather to defuse the situation. (Burninator also revealed once again his massive crush on Tidelia, but swore everyone to secrecy.)
Adrian and Lydia joined Burninator and Tidelia. Inside, Genevieve appealed to Victor, insisting he was being manipulated and was headed for disaster. They relocated to a bug-free room, and Anna found and removed some of the bugs as Genevieve tried to persuade Hammerhand that Felton was going to use him to change the city’s culture, and that the city needs police or it will fall under the control of Seertech altogether.
Victor struggled with that, as he liked and trusted Felton (who then conveniently showed up.) Victor had many preparations to do for the strike the next day. Genevieve insisted the city needed the cops on duty, and Felton gave her ten boxes of papers with all the studies, proposals, meeting minutes, and correspondence around the issue to see if she could find a way to get the funding. He seemed pleased to have Genevieve on board with Victor.
They headed back to Favian Manor. Genevieve had a few stiff drinks and surveyed the mass of material Felton gave her. Adrian and Genevieve also gave Lydia a few stories by the way of history to contextualize the situation.
Tomorrow, the cops go on strike…