402

402: Control (Episode One)

March 17

With the events of Discovery behind them, and a victory on their hands, the cabal, minus Smokey, decides to go out for a bit to eat, on the Adamantine Arrow’s dime. They head to a fancy restaurant called “Le Chateau Gateau” and enjoy a very small, very expensive meal. However, their dining experience quickly turns sour as a pair of armed, masked robbers show up and try robbing the place.

The cabal quickly dispatches the would-be robbers. Justicar uses his mind magic to get them to run for it, as Mingan uses his life magic to remove the presence of drugs in one of their systems, and he turns tail. With both of them gone and the restaurant saved, they continue their meal… but everyone’s looking at them funny.

A few minutes later, the Adamantine Arrow forces appear and wreck up the place; Ricochet leading the charge and Smokey following. They cause quite a scene and leave without getting anything done. A few minutes later, the Guardians of the Veil shadowmen appear and fix everything they’d done. The people’s minds have been… “restored” and it’s like the incident never happened. The cabal returns home and gets some rest.

April 02

After two weeks without incident, the cabal gets together at Room 402, like they do every week over the summer break. There, Holmes tells them that the Guardians of the Veil are harping on him about the scene at the restaurant. He downplays the severity of it, but tells the party that he has signed them up to do a mission for the Guardians, calling it “extra credit”. The group sighs and agrees to do it. However, Holmes was never told the specifics of the plan; just where to be and when. The group continues on with their normal training.

April 20

Almost a month after Holmes’ proposal of the Guardians mission, the day arrives. The cabal gathers at the meeting place, an unmarked office building in an industrial park in Portland. The group stands around, wondering what to do, and what they’re going to have to do. They try to get into the building, and fail. just as Mingan starts to pick the lock, two shadowmen appear and let the group know the mission plan, but very vaguely. They are told that they will transport an armored truck from Portland to the neighboring city of Frye Island. They are the support in case… something happens on the way. The PCs agree, and meet their driver; Corona.

He tells them that the rumors surrounding this mission are intimidating. They say that the cargo they’re transporting is a convict who needs to be transported to a new prison facility. He has no idea who it is, or what he can do, but Corona doesn’t have a good feeling about the mission. Superstitions aside, the cabal get into the cars and start driving.

On the road, Mingan and Corona have a lengthy conversation. Quantum is strangely silent, and an ominous tone fills the air. Justicar and Wiki begin feeling a deep-seated fear of mundane things. Something strange is happening; Wiki’s mage sight sees a massive black cloud of energy packed inside the armored truck. She tries to tell Justicar, but can’t find the words to express it.

Not long afterward, the group sees a few cars pulled onto the side of the road. Corona immediately recognizes this as trouble; and when the motorcade pulls up aside the parked cars, the front car (containing four shadowmen) is riddled with bullets and pulls off to the side of the road. Corona decides to leave the guardians behind, believing it to be a trap. He speeds off into the distance, and after convincing their shadowman driver to catch up to them, the other group does as well.

Soon, a chase begins, with more cars appearing on the highway alongside the group. A vehicular battle starts, but not long after, all the vehicles drive over a spike strip and slow to a stop. There, a battle on the highway ensues. A smoke grenade is thrown into the window of the armored car, but Mingan turns into a hawk and flies out the window before it affects him. Corona dives out of the truck and throws a makeshift lance, crafted from a rock, at the pursuers. Wiki takes cover, and Quantum, Justicar and Shadowman Smith, their driver, open fire.

The bloody battle rages. But without backup from the other car, the group is outnumbered and outgunned. However, all is not lost as Quantum’s crack shooting takes out a very large percentage of the attackers. Soon the attackers switch out their conventional firearms for dart guns and fire; they hit Justicar and Smith very fast. However, this is no conventional knockout dart; Justicar’s and Smith’s powers stop working. Soon enough the rest of the group are pegged with darts. Even Mingan, flying above the battle with a giant swarm of bees, is sniped and falls from the sky. Without their magic, the group loses the battle and is held at gunpoint by the attackers, who they can now get a good look at; they appear to be the same group who attacked them at the quarry and on the road in Discovery, albeit better dressed and less manic.

Their leader then exits the car he was sitting patiently in. It is Sid Suicide, the leader of the punks who attacked them before, affirming the cabal’s suspicions. He says hello to the cabal, and asks who the other two are. The henchmen respond that they aren’t with the cabal. Sid recognizes Smith as a shadowman, and he shoots him dead; only for Smith to revert back to his actual form, an elderly woman. He then walks over to Corona and points the gun at him. Corona uses all his magical might to attempt to destroy Sid’s gun, but it is no use.

“Son of a bitch.” Corona exclaims. Sid shoots him dead.

Sid then walks to behind the armored car. He gets one of his cronies to use a strange key and unlocks the back door of the armored car. Smoke pours out of the door and a strange tinge hits the air. A man, wearing a black shirt and pants, walks out of the back, handcuffed. The group sees two corpses fall from the back of the truck; two shadowmen, with twisted faces. Sid speaks to the man.

“You’re Faust, then?”

Faust nods.

Then, the attackers get back into their cars, taking the prisoner with them, and leave the PCs in the middle of the road, mission failed.

Soon the Guardians of the Veil and Admantine Arrow forces show up. They question the group about what happened, and sequester the area from the public. A feeling of dread hangs over the proceedings. not long after, Holmes’ car pulls up. He gets out of the car, and Cacudeus also steps out of the car. They speak to the cabal, and reassure them that they have a lot to talk about.

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