Thursday, September 7, 2017

ICONS Drop-In (Session 5): The Bikini Machine

SYSTEM: ICONS

Spectre and Gold Tiger face off against the Young Anarchists!

More technical troubles. I'm going to write an audio troubleshooting checklist (because the Roll20 troubleshooting page is a little shy on checklists). If that doesn't help, I might switch to Skype or Discord or something similar. (Right now, my tendency is to Discord: I have the client app already.)

At about one in the morning, Gold Tiger and Spectre are out searching for tau radiation, using the portable detector (about the size of a full duffle bag). Gold Tiger spots a source in Through The Keyhole, a strip club on the outskirts of town. The strip club is a two-storey building, with the club area being two stories tall, and the outside walls having a closed-in mezzanine for the manager's office and so forth. Gold Tiger gets there first. He hears a shout in anger, a gunshot, a science-fiction-weapon sound. He flies in a window on the second floor, flies down the stairwell, and sees a bouncer-looking individual unconscious on the stage, armed guards near a gentleman (whom he recognized as "Socks" Maroney, the last major Irish gangster in town), and a gold woman in a trench coat whose fedora has been knocked off. She is floating to the fire exit (but in an upright pose, so she looks like she's walking). Gold Tiger checks in the dressing room, and yes, the gold woman just stole all the money from the strippers.

Gold Tiger exits, following the woman. Gold Tiger decides to follow her home, because she said, "I must get the specie to the master." (This is an incorrect use of the word "specie" which refers to the tangible asset instead of the cash value of the asset, or sometimes coins instead of bills. My mistake.)

Gold Tiger convinces her that he was sent by the Master. She interfaces with his computer systems, decides he must be from the Master, and he grabs her ankle while she flies home. (This is good, because she has a top speed of around 600 mph and he has a slightly lower top speed: Flight 6 versus Flight 5.)

They land between some trees in the backyard of a small postwar house, one that backs onto a park. (Park not named.) Golden Tiger sends the location to Spectre and waits while the Femmebot goes in. A young guy, maybe 20s, in chinos and a polo shirt, greets her and takes the money. He says he doesn't require pleasure and she should continue cleaning. Spectre will be there in a couple of minutes.

Gold Tiger goes in to talk to the guy. This is Nathan. Nathan inherited the house from his parents. He's an unemployed welder, and he was applying for work at SIT when he "found" the two halves of the Femmebot. (Gold Tiger's other knowledge leads him to think that Nathan was on campus at the same time that the Centurions fought off a set of golden women who stole computer parts. One was torn in two, according to reports, but the pieces were never found.) The top half called him "Master," so Nathan took the two halves home. Then he called this kid who sometimes fixes cell phones and computers (George Turner...a chubby fourteen year old). Normal welding wouldn't put the two halves together, but the kid was able to get some electric welding gadget that would do it. (No, not normal electric welding. Something special.)

Anyway, Nathan's been using the femmebot, which he calls "Liza," to commit petty thefts of strip clubs. (Why strip clubs? Because not a lot of places carry cash these days, but strippers do: they get their tips in cash.) George has been coming over to fix the Femmebot on a regular basis. Because there are multiple people, Liza comes in and calls Nathan "Dr. Warp" and says they'll need more coffee if there are guests. Nathan hates her coffee but can't seem to reprogram her to make coffee that isn't European espresso.

Gold Tiger offers Nathan a job, needs the money back but he'll just give Nathan the equivalent amount of cash. The whole haul amounts to $568.00, so Gold Tiger gives him $600.00. Spectre has been listening but comes in visibly to talk to Nathan while Gold Tiger flies the money back to the strip club. On his way out this time, Gold Tiger gives a cheerful, "Hi, Socks!" (I'm sure this will have no consequences at all.)

When he comes back, a hole opens up in the back yard and it contains:

  • George Turner, in a green and yellow costume, with some gadgetry
  • A disaffected Goth girl in the de rigeur corset, fishnets and Uggs
  • A humanoid about six feet tall and made of dirt

Both Gold Tiger and Spectre remember the goth girl from the news: she essentially pulled a Carrie last spring, locking people in the gym during prom and having her bats attack people (she can shape and control darkness; presumably she can leech light out of Spectre's constructs). Anyway, she's been missing and on the run from the cops since then.

Spectre makes a bunch of Liza illusions, but George summons out the real Eliza. Gold Tiger figures out how George is controlling Liza (he's added programming so she obeys anyone who talks while sending a certain radio signal), so he jams the radio signal. Lily the Goth girl climbs out of the hole...

...and a rocket from Gold Tiger knocks her right out.

A comment from George indicates that he (a) knows where Liza came from and (b) needs her to get past the security on that base.

Spectre imprisons the dirt guy...so George works on getting Liza to their side. He succeeds so Gold Tiger is occupied with Liza. Neither of them can hurt one another (she might be made of the same alloy as his suit), so Gold Tiger consoles himself that he's keeping her busy. Meanwhile, Spectre gets George in the cage...but the cage is kind of large, so the dirt guy escapes and George tries to shoot a blob of expanding foam to imprison Spectre. A marginal success doesn't do nearly enough, and while his next shot gets Spectre solidly, he's forgotten that if he can shoot out of the cage, Gold Tiger can shoot in, so George goes down.

Dirt guy (Landslide) has gotten out of the cage (fluid form has some uses) and tries to attack Spectre; Spectre whacks him with the cage. So Landslide, not the brightest light in the yard, turns around to attack the cage.

The heroes have won!

The tunnel that the Young Anarchists used goes straight to George's house. His parents didn't know he was gone nor that he was experimenting with super-villainy. ("We thought the girl was a sign that he was getting, whatcha call it, socialized!")

World setting details just tossed off:

  • Strip clubs close at 1:00 am in Strange City
  • "Socks" Maroney is the last remaining significant Irish mobster, and he travels with bodyguards
  • George Turner of the Young Anarchists goes to Jack Parsons High School
  • There is a connection between Dr. Warp and Dr. Jelinek.