A Shadow In the Sky

The Hammer Falls

The Hammer Falls

Moray has Darcy check on Dietz’s finances, and the finances of everyone in his family. No dice. There are no suspicious financial transactions. Amelia Hawley, the Talent sent over from Harrison Breaker to investigate the crime scene, is a strange woman but has an amazing gift to detect genetic and chemical components in the environment. She determines that Howard Dietz is the locus of the explosion. The cells of his body were charged with nuclear energy. The nuclear energy rises to a crescendo generating heat and then, a few moments prior to detonation, an EMP blast.

Max Mason remembers some of what happened at Mapleton. He had his blood pulled and was hooked up to a lie detector machine. They begin asking him simple questions, “What is your name?”, but rapidly begin moving to questions that make him uncomfortable: “Do you like girls?” The questions pointedly begin to ask questions about his team and their loyalties. Max begins to lose track of time and becomes only distantly aware of the man asking him questions. He sees his arm become translucent and sees stars inside of it. He flexes his hands and the stars move. He is distantly aware that the man asking him questions begins to yell. Distantly, an alarm bell rings. Max wakes up at home and has waffles with his mother. Max’s mom later confides in Robert Moray that Max was very sedate when he came home but was rambling, saying “I didn’t mean to do it!” over and over again.

Moray’s cousin, Marion, calls from Glasgow and tells him to turn on the World News Network. Moray sees that Natalie Nakamora has been taken into custody for potential treason. She was picked up in Madagascar where she was vacationing. Moray asks Brolin for a chance to get information out of Nakamora. Amazingly, Brolin arranges it to be so.

Meridian finds out that Lucia Porto, the Portugese mercenary that he wanted to contact is being held in a Decagon compound outside Mexico City. Spiro tells him that he is unable to break into the compound’s computer system in a reasonable time. Victor, the child rescued by Meridian from the Diablos, says that he can get it done. With surprising ease he enters the compound’s computer system and activates the defense system. Meridian walks in and rescues Lucia.

Everyone meets up in Cincinnati. Vincent and Max are instant friends, transforming his phone into a small rocket ship and finding a bug in it as well. Amelia Hawley notices that Max’s genetics are very complicated. When Moray tells her that Max can change form and says he has 3 forms she tells him that he has more than that. Moray dispenses Spiro to Miami to be a remote operative. Amelia detects some genetic material in his suitcase. Meridian stops him by popping through the mirror in his car (giving him quite a scare). Examining the case it is a laptop only.

Examining the crime scene in Cincinnati Moray finds it very similar to the one in Vermont. With Meridian there he can look back in time at the crime scene and finds that the locus of the explosion was Georges Girardot. Watching him back through time Meridian sees him trace his steps back to his office where he receives a text on his phone. Looking through the phone records Darcie traces a text message sent to Howard Dietz and to Georges Girardot. It is in Arabic and it translates to “The Fulcrum Swings”.
The team decides to head to New York City, unsure if the Decagon is going to take him into custody. He charges Victor with ensuring the plane’s electrical and computer systems are secure. Moray enters the Decagon headquarters and Brolin meets him. They go to an interrogation room and Captain Awesome watches the interview from behind the one way mirror. Moray talks to Brolin before the interview. When asked about where he stands Brolin responds that he is on the right side. A flash of an operation title, Operation White Citadel*. Moments later Brolin pops a name into his head. Anatoly Morozov. Moray recognizes the name as one of the great players of chess in Russia during the 80s. He is also rumored to be a telepath.

Moray enters the interrogation room and talks briefly with Natalie Nakamoro. When describing his week Natalie when he tells her about a message he received through his phone and then the phone fried. He hears a word in her mind. Eidolon. He then asks her about who Promethius is. She responds with a vision of one of the first times they had made love. “Would you like to be on top?” she asks. Moray knows the answer to both questions is yes.

Moray heads out of the interview chamber and pushes Brolin. He implants the telepathic suggestion that he should move Nakamoro immediately by helicopter. He manages to look out the window toward the rest of the team and sends them the message about how Nakamoro is being moved. Behind him Brolin speaks. “We’re going to need to ask you some additional questions, Mr. Moray.” Turning, he sees Brolin and five other agents that have opaque glasses over their eyes.

Moray motions across the street at Meridian to jump in and take out the guards and Brolin.

The Hammer Falls.

*Continuity Edit: I am changing the Operation God Game Black to Operation White Citadel.

Going South

The team splits. Moray speaks in confidence to Moray who seems to agree with Moray’s assessment of the Decagon. It has to go. Meridian agrees to head down to Mexico City (where there is active conflict going on) to retrieve Victor Vivar.

Meridian contacts a hacker he knows in Mexico City, Spiro Hurtado. Spiro is a whiz with computers and agrees to help Meridian hack into the security system of the notorious Mexico City gang, Los Hondo Diablos. Spiro keeps his word and sets a Trojan Horse into the extremely high tech security system used to keep the Diablos safe from prying eyes. Meridian manages to infiltrate the location that the Diablos use for a computer hub. Meridian dispatches several men with very little trouble. Spiro tells Meridian that the Diablos have Victor Vivar in an abandoned silver mine outside of town. He sets things up for the security system to go down in the mine at a designated time.

He heads to the building in Mexico city where Sara Ridell is meeting with a contact (later found to be Prometheus). He finds Sara knocked down, saying that a small Mexican boy ran through and grabbed the hand off from her contact. Meridian tries to catch the kid but the kid moves REALLY fast (~400 mph fast!) and disappears into the crowds of Mexico City.

Meridian enters the mine and quickly locates Victor. A large man with a tattooed face of a luchador is there to keep Victor safe. His ablative skin explodes violently with every blow Meridian lands. Though he beats the Talent repeatedly his skin appears to be too much to take him down. Meridian shifts tactics and gets the luchador to accidently pierce the fuel cell and cause the whole rocket to explode. Meridian snatches up the boy, Victor, and gets out the door before the explosion consumes the room and all the people in it in fire.

Meanwhile…Robert Moray…

Mr. Moray is contacted concerning an explosion at Hummingbird Instructives. No explosive residue was noted. In an effort to probe outside information lines, Moray contacts the Hectocrat Harrison Breaker based out of New York City. He asks for any help that Breaker can give. Breaker agrees that the mission is of high priority, particularly when Howard Dietz’s name is mentioned and sends a Talent with a knack for examining crime scenes.

Howard Dietz is a master programmer who did work for the higher echelon of the Decagon. He had created a new programming language that he was using to make educational software for children. Moray manages to charm the detective on the case, Calvin Mooney. He speaks with Franklin Deverou, the building manager and even interviews Markus Trevor, the CEO of Hummingbird Instructives. Mr. Trevor informs Moray that the sister lab in Cincinnati, Ohio was just bombed and all of the information that was backed up (all of Dietz’s work) has been destroyed.

Max Mason is called away to a Decagon Testing Facility in Mapleton, Iowa by Mr. Schumacher.
Mother Imprisoned

Mother is taken to a place located in the deserts of Nevada called Camp Bow Wow. It is a secret facility (Section 7 clearance) used to interrogate and imprison moderate level threat supers. Robert Moray and his team are called in to help interrogate the little girl as they have had absolutely no success in getting information out of her. When the team arrives the base commander, Colonel Ryan Halverstan, shows them a video of the atrocities that the interrogation unit under his supervision have performed. Aside from it being extremely graphic and disconcerting (Captian Awesome excuses himself to vomit), the video shows that Mother is able to short circuit any pain or discomfort or she feels no pain at all. Moray recognizes Mother as the twin of the little girl in the apartment building where he killed the resistance workers.

Irate, Robert Moray reprimands Colonel Halverstan for the treatment of this little girl and orders a hamburger, French fries and a chocolate shake for the little girl and then heads in. Moray reaches out to her and she makes a strange face as if concentrating on something. Moray hears her voice in his head. She tells him that she knows that he is trying to bring the Decagon down and that she wants to help but she needs him to do something for her first. Moray tacitly agrees and she says that she needs a small boy brought to safety out of Mexico City. The boy’s name is Victor Alfonso Vivar. After the interrogation he threatens Colonel Halverstan, pushing him some with his mental powers to cow him.

Moray visits the little girl who looks identical to Mother at the Apartment building in Chicago whose name is Mary. Mary will not directly speak to having a connection to Mother but by reading between the lines Moray gathers that this is the case. They have a means to talk to Mother without travelling to Camp Bow Wow.
Promethius Saved

A mere 3 weeks after the inadvertent destruction of San Francisco by a young Talent, William Whitehollow. In an amazing cutting of red tape and bureaucratic byways The Decagon has requisitioned and retrofitted a C-17. It is now 10 days past the horrible events in San Francisco. Darcie Barnes joins the team as an administrative assistant and a techno wonder. She has been put onto the team as a form of rehabilitation. Her file says she has rumored contacts with Incognito, an underground hacker group. The contact was tenuous and never proven. The only other personnel that the Decagon was able to secure was a brusque pilot, Nathaniel Henrickson. The plane has some rudimentary bunks and a large storage area down below for the team’s gear. Mr. Brolin says he can have a tactical team anywhere the team goes within 2 hours.

A man named Walter Schamust approaches Captain Awesome at school. He takes Captain Awesome aside and asks him to monitor the rest of the team for anything strange.

Mr. Brolin contacts the group and tells them that there is an underworld operator that has offered up a resistance member named only “Mother”. The operative is a woman named Sara Rydell. Mr. Brolin wants to make contact with her and acquire Mother. The team flies to Chicago and Darcie dials in on an address of Sara Rydell’s parents. She also finds that Sara runs with a group of techies called The Hearthers. They are primarily involved in non-violent activities. Mr. Moray makes contact with the parents and finds them absolutely terrified that they are there. He finds out that they had another son, Derrick. Derrick had a seizure disorder and his file is sealed by a Section 12 (one of the highest clearance levels possible). Natalie Nakamoru , an Emissary of the Hectorate, finds that Derrick was taken into custody by the Decagon almost 8 years prior. Moray calms them down and assures them that he is here to help their daughter, Sara. He leaves them with a business card.

Sara contacts the team and arranges to meet in a parking garage. When they meet her there she agrees to take them to Mother but a team of gunmen have followed Sara to the garage. The gunmen are rapidly dispatched by the group. Sara knows where Mother is and they head straight there.

Arriving at the apartment building where they are keeping Mother, Captain Awesome is wounded badly. Moray talks to Sara, convincing him of his intent to bring down the Decagon and Sara claims to have heard from a member of the Decagon itself. The person identified themselves only as Archstone.

After telling Meridian to take Awesome to the hospital, Moray calmly stands outside the front of the building and in only a few moments takes out an entire group of the fighters. He tracks two of them into the subway tunnel and convinces them, through intimidation, to lay down their arms. After one neglects telling him what he needs Moray kills him. The second one tells him readily that Mother and the others are at the train station.

At the train station they close in on Mother and her guards. Captain Awesome turns into Cyclops and runs down the group. Stiletto, a dangerous talent with a monomolecular spear, attacks Moray through a brick wall and wounds him significantly. Moray scans the crowd and finds that Mother is the little girl. Meridian takes her into custody and Stiletto makes her escape.

Natalie calls back on the Section 12 on Derrick Rydell and says that he was taken into the Decagon under a project called Archstone.

After Natalie leaves her office she wanders down in the retail stores near where she works. It is just past dark and the night air is cool. She stops at her favorite store, Nina’s, and wanders through the clothes for awhile. Even though she usually doesn’t buy anything she enjoys the feel of the fabric. Toward the back of the store there is a small cubby where shoes are on display. A false back in the cubicle reveals a keypad. She types in a quick message and then decides to buy something after all before heading home to her apartment.


The Fall of San Francisco
The Story So Far...

Mr. Moray’s phone rings while he is waiting on the tarmac for the plane to refuel. It begins as a phone solicitation but cuts suddenly to a voice altered mechanically. It says that they want to make contact with him. Moray replies cautiously, worried that it is a Decagon loyalty test, that he will be in San Francisco and that he could potentially meet with them there. Captain Awesome is busy trying his best to deplete the stores of root beer in the bar.

Landing in San Francisco, they check into their rooms at the Embassy Suites and begin preparation for the public speaking event. They head to Sue Bierman Park near the water. Moray begins speaking, his voice oozing out over the loudspeakers and insinuating things into people’s minds. Meridian, on stage with the Asian delegation of manufacturers, looks down various timelines and sees a sniper shooting out from one of the windows of a nearby office building. Turning, he dives through one of the delegate’s mirrored sunglasses and appears into the hallway just outside where the sniper is poised and ready to fire. He sneaks up behind the man like a ghost and breaks the majority of his ribs. The rifle that he has appears to be some sort of rail gun.

Down below there is a Talent that can transform into living stone who begins running through the crowd. Captain Awesome assumes his Cyclops form and steps into the stone man’s way. The stone man lands a thunderous punch across Captain Awesome’s jaw. While it staggers him he keeps his feet. Awesome retaliThe stone mane sweeps Awesome’s legs and flings a woman as a distraction (her shoulder dislocates with the force she is thrown). Moray is ushering people off the stage and fails to notice someone slip something in his pocket. The stone man sweeps Awesome’s legs out from under him and launches at the stage. Moray’s eyes narrow and the stone man drops dead like a, well, stone.

The sniper is rushed to the hospital and is undergoing sugery for severe thoracic injury. The stone man melts back into flesh form. The sniper rifle appears to be black tech and is likely the work of The Fourth Wall, an underground tech group. Generally they don’t engage in terrorist activities, however!

Moray finds the address in his pocket. It is a night club, Silver and Lace. Moray notifies his superiors of the situation and heads over there with Awesome and Meridian in tow. Meridian watches from the upper floor while Captain Awesome tries to get his dance on. Meridian never sees anyone come up to the bar to speak with Moray but Moray has a whole conversation with the man. Rashad Al-Ansar makes contact with Moray and tells him that he has been employed to determine Moray’s loyalties. He requires that Moray grab a small child, Danny Whitehollow, who lives in Oakland, and deliver it to Rashad’s hotel room at the Steward’s Hotel.

Looking into Danny Whitehollow’s past shows one potential event with Talent involved. In 2005 Danny lived with his parents in Nebraska on a ranch. One day every animal in a half mile radius was found dead. The Decagon put the family on probationary status and followed them for 8 months. No additional possible Talent was observed.

The group contacts their Decagon superiors and relays all the information. The group consults their handler, Mr. Brolin, offering to give the child to Al-Ansar in the hopes it makes Moray more approachable by Resistance groups who will try to recruit him. Mr. Brolin returns in approximately an hour and says they have the go-ahead. He promises tactical support from the San Francisco Police Department who provide helicopters, weapons and SWAT backup to the group.

Moray snatches little Danny from the playground with a thought. As he listens to Danny’s surface thoughts as they drive toward the Steward’s Hotel, he catches thoughts that lead him to conclude that Danny isn’t really Danny. Piercing the illusion, he sees Al-Ansar with an explosive belt on. Without hesitation, Moray drops Al-Ansar with his mental bolt before running up to the hotel room. The room is empty.

At that point Captain Awesome sees the heads of the police officers in the helicopter on top of the Hotel explode. Cars begin crashing down below and people begin dropping in the sidewalks as if hit by an invisible wave, their heads exploding. Strangely, the group (all Talents) are not affected. The phone rings in the Hotel room and it is Rashad’s second in command, Mudhir Rhanesh, saying that he has the boy. Rhanesh was thought to be deceased based upon the Decagon’s covert Registry that tracks Talents across the globe. Beginning to question Mudhir Rhanesh (a man rumored to be able to make people explode like bombs), Moray finds that the Prophets of Annihilation’s goal was to foment anti-Talent sentiment and cause humanity to rise up and throw off the yoke of the Decagon. Captain Awesome, in Cyclops form, crashes down upon the man turning him into a thick red paste. Danny Whitehollow is found in the vehicle that Mudhir Rhanesh drove to the hotel. He appears scared out of his mind.


The crime scene is bustling with Oakland police officers gathering evidence. There is a strange hush over the cops. Many of them had friends or family living in San Francisco when the event happened. No one knew what it was, exactly, but the rumor was some sort of Talent. Maybe a kid. Detective Jacobs surveyed the crime scene. He had always hated Talents. Looking around the desolation that was once San Francisco he wondered why the he’ll they were focusing on this one set of bodies when there were so many other bodies to deal with. “Because the fucking eye in the sky tells us we have to,” he answered himself with a mutter. As if on cue three people dressed as if they had all gone to the same store parted the crowd and headed toward his crime scene. Two men and a woman but it was hard to tell with these Decagon types sometimes. Whoever these three were they made his skin crawl. “Detective Jacobs,” the tall man stated while flipping out a badge that didn’t mean shut but he had to mind anyway. “We are Decagon agents and we need access to your crime scene.” Without waiting for an answer they moved over to where the body of Al-Ansar rested. The smaller man bent down while putting gloves on and opened a small pack. He expertly cut a slice of tissue out of the man’s forearm and deposited it in a glass dish. They all stood up and, without even a nod, walked back to their car and drove off through the maze of headless bodies.


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