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Play Summary - ESPER

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  • #31
    Hey Allan53, apologies for dropping off - finally got a chance to do some gaming of my own and i've been tapped for all my spare time - but i'm still hoping you can keep us summarized on this. No problem if you can't - but i was starting to look forward to it is all...


    • #32
      No, no problem. Just between my latest round of data collection, marking, an article I'm trying to get submitted and other stuff, I'm kind of wiped most evenings. I'm keeping notes, and I will try to catch up, just hasn't been feasible lately.

      Glad to hear you enjoy it

      My Commandments for GMs My Commandments for Players


      • #33
        Sorry about the delay guys, been crazy busy. I won't be able to catch you totally up, but here's some more.

        When the group arrives in Tallinn, Wolfgang and Radoslav are (somewhat ostentatiously) met by group of local police, and provided with a weapon as they requested. Unimpressed by 'merely' having a large-caliber handgun, they request something heavier, and are willing to wait the time it will take to requisition such a weapon (a few days at the least). The officer they make the request to is confused; even in Estonia there are few issues that a handgun is incapable of handling, should a firearm be required. But he begins the paperwork. In the meantime, Wolfgang and Radoslav are escorted to the apartment of the late Anton Saar, and conduct a cursory examination. There seems to have been a sizable explosion; probably not enough to kill a person, let alone a nova, by itself, although they would be badly injured. However, the numerous holes around the room indicate that some kind of shrapnel, most likely ball bearings, was packed into the explosive, and these seem to have done more than enough damage to kill even a nova. Radoslav, with a combination of his quantum-enhanced senses and his experience with explosives, manages to locate the remains of the head of what appears to be a large crossbow bolt in the wall near the centre of the explosion - while the police examined the area closely, between the damage to the wall and the near-total destruction of the bolt, it had been missed. Between them, Wolfgang and Radoslav manage to infer that the explosive device was loaded onto a crossbow bolt and fired through the window from the roof of a building across the road; an extremely difficult shot, but not impossible.

        While this is going on, Sir Montague, Edouard and Morgan land in Sir Montague's private jet. Acting on the intel given to them during the briefing, they began investigating the IEE (the anti-nova movement), particularly the members with military training. His ability to sneak, in combination with his ability to read minds, Edouard began following and watching Jakob Nigul, the leader of the IEE, while trying to discern if he knew anything about the murder of Anton Saar. It turns out that he had, in fact, been aware of a plan by one of his leiutenants to commit the act, although he had very carefully kept from being involved in the planning or familiar with any specific details.

        Meanwhile, Sir Montague, using his ability to misdirect and disguise himself, along with large sums of cash, made contact with the local branch of the bratva, inquiring about recent purchases of explosives. However, Sir Montague was unaware that one of his team members was a moderately-high level member of the bratva, and recently had - very publically - arrived in Tallinn. Radoslav, upon hearing about an unknown inquiring about bratva activities, advised the bratva to feed this Englishman false information.

        While all this was happening, Morgan - for reasons known only to her - went to a public phone and called the biggest paper that would run the story about ESPER sending not only their military advisors, but the well-known (after the Iprelia affair) Sir Montague to investigate the death of Anton Saar.

        Reviewing the CCTV footage of the building they believed the shooter to have delivered his explosive payload from the roof of (the police, being somewhat competent, had already retrieved and examined the footage), they noted a figure who, though careful to show no distinguishing marks and hide his face from the security cameras, had entered and left carrying a large bag around the time of the explosion. Apart from this, they were only able to glean approximate height, weight and build of the shooter. After inquiring further, they discovered the VET - the military forerunner of IEE - favoured crossbows, due to their stealth, range and difficulty tracing, during the Soviet occupation. Further, several of the lieutenants of the IEE were known to be skilled marksmen.

        With this information, along with certain gratuities to the right magistrates, the Estonian police, along with Radoslav and Wolfgang, were able to get search warrants to the IEE headquarters. Although the IEE seemed to know they were coming, Radoslav and Wolfgang indulged their petty side acted in accordance to their instructions to capture the public - and the IEE's - eye, and focussed more on making as much of a mess and annoyance as possible, obviously finding nothing incriminating in the process.

        Edouard searched the dossiers of the IEE members they had been given, and came up with a potential shooter, one Vitaly Golubov. Matching the correct broad description, as well as having noted high-level crossbow and improvised explosive skills, it was deemed likely that he was the shooter.

        Using the profile provided, Edouard then performed a mental sweep of the surrounding area, finding Golubov in an allegedly abandoned cabin a couple of hours outside of the city. Contacting the others, he travelled out there and located Golubov behind the cabin chopping wood. Inside was enough supplies to last a couple of months (together with the water from a river nearby), a crossbow and a sizable amount of IEE anti-nova literature. Soon after, Sir Montague and Morgan arrived, parking down the road slightly from the cabin, and awaited Radoslav and Wolfgang with the police and their completely-morally-gained arrest warrant.

        Unfortunately, Golubov noticed the car, and hotfooted it into the forest. After they noticed the lack of the wood-chopping noise, and inferred Golubov's flight, it did not take Edouard or Sir Montague long to catch up, between Edouards speed and Sir Montague's teleportation. Harassing Golubov, attempting to break his spirit by showing him the futility of escape, they dogged his every step.

        The chase was brought to a premature close, when Morgan, riding a 100-foot demonic behemoth, came into view. Upon seeing that, Golubov was too stunned to continue running. Co-incidentally, it was about this time that the police, guided to the location by the behemoth, showed up and arrested Golubov. Of course, the opportunity for photos was not wasted.

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        • #34
          So, after the group captured Vitaly Golubov, who they strongly suspect of being the killer of Anton Saar, they took the time to take a well-composed photo for publicity purposes. The police showed up soon after, and took Vitaly into custody.

          Back at the station, the police began to interrogate Vitaly, to exactly zero effect, with Vitaly simply staring into the distance. Edouard peeked inside Vitaly's mind, and found he was simply reciting a litany in his head over and over - name, rank in the VET and a string of numbers that no clear meaning could be easily found for. Wolfgang, drawing on his military training, recognised this as a typical anti-interrogation technique. Wolfgang and Radoslav offered to take over the interrogation, but this was politely declined by the Estonian police, citing wanting to have no possible objection to any information gained.

          While this is going on, the IEE is heavily protesting the arrest of one of their members on what is, after all, very flimsy evidence - telepathy is not recognised evidence. They are arguing that this is a typical example of ESPER running roughshod over local governments (conveniently glossing over that the Estonian government invited ESPER in), and that this is an illustration of the double-standards accorded to novas; novas do not investigate deaths of baselines, but they are willing to expend important and valuable resources when a nova dies. They are also claiming that this is the beginning of a nova takeover, with baselines as slaves at best, or exterminated vermin. Sensing the potential for violence and wanting to be near it, Wolfgang and Radoslav moved out the front of the police station where the protest was taking place. The protesters were clearly aggravated by the sight of them, but the presence of the police, along with press, restrained them. This is more impressive on their part than it sounds, given Radoslav and Wolfgang going out of their way to provoke the crowd. The police guard tried to get Wolfgang and Radoslav to go back inside or to stop their provokation, but between their unwillingness and the police not wanting to cause a scene, they were unsuccessful.

          Sir Montague saw an opportunity, and called the head of the protest, a lieutenant of the IEE, getting Edouard to scramble the call so it appeared to be coming from another lieutenant, and managed to manipulate the lieutenant to strike at the nova presence so as to drive them away, as a signal to other novas that humans will not simply let them take over. Between the already-heightened emotions of the group, as well as Montague's immense skills of persuasion, it was successful, and a rock was thrown at Radoslav, to no physical effect. However, the dam was broken, and the mob surged forward, ready to tear the two apart, along with anyone else who got in their way.

          At this moment, Sir Montague appeared in a blaze of light on top of the station, calling for peace, and through sheer force of personality and theatre, the crowd not only was halted, but dispersed. The police, being unaware of Sir Montague's role in instigating the near-riot, were duely impressed and grateful.

          Soon after this, Radoslav's bratva contact got back to him with a summary of explosive purchases over the last month. Most was of little concern, but Radoslav noticed that a large amount of C4 had been bought in two batches, both collected by the same individual, a low-level local criminal, with the last being picked up about a week ago. Investigation revealed that the criminal had been in contact with Georg Rebane, a lieutenant with IEE who, along with three other lieutenants, had training and experience with explosives during their time with VET. Acting on this information, Morgan went to pay the criminal a visit at his house, only to find him not at home. In order to kill some time, she carved occult runes marking the area as a portal to hell around his living room. Meanwhile, Wolfgang surreptiously followed Georg Rebane back to his house, and staked it out, waiting to see what he did with the explosives.

          At about 11pm that night, Wolfgang was awoken from a half-doze by a powerful explosion, as Georg Rebane's house was consumed by fire and blast...

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          • #35
            My apologies; the problem with being out of date is you sometimes get your timeline confused. This following part occurred roughly a day before the explosion.
            Convinced that Jakob Nigul, the leader of the IEE was at least knowledgable about the plot to kill Anton Saar, Edouard retrieved the prepaid phone used to communicate to Vitaly Golubov which Nigul had disposed of and replaced it in Jakob’s desk just before a group of police officers, armed with a search warrant gained through a combination of circumstantial evidence and generous bribes, arrived and searched the IEE headquarters again. Finding the phone with the texts still on it (due to Edouard’s tampering) confirming the death, this was deemed sufficient to arrest Nigul.

            Interrogating him subsequently revealed little in the way of helpful information, however. Reading his mind confirmed their suspicions, but apparently he had no knowledge about any C4 or plot involving it.

            Subsequent investigation into the blast at Gerog Rebane’s house revealed a single body that was likely his (there wasn’t much left so confirmation takes time), and evidence that the blast was likely caused by two lots of C4 in the walls, estimated by Radoslav to be roughly half the amount of C4 bought by the IEE.

            The IEE, in the meantime, was claiming the blast was the result of an attack by the known-violent Radoslav or Wolfgang, who had been harassing the IEE over the past several days. Sir Montague attempted to mitigate this through a message about irresponsible handling of explosives implying the explosives-trained Rebane blew himself up, but between the IEE getting the first word, pre-established bias against novas, other demands on his time and general implausibility of his narrative, he was only partially successful.

            In order to maintain political face, as well as to prevent any further suspected martyrdom attempts, the group persuaded the police to bring the surviving lieutenants in for voluntary ‘protective custody’. Nearly all agreed, on the condition that the ESPER contingents were kept away from them, a condition the police were happy to agree with and enforce.

            Thankfully, Edouard is capable of reading minds and scurrying out hidden memories from a reasonable distance, and managed to find the three remaining lieutenants that were aware of Rebane’s intent to blow himself up in order to swing the narrative their way. He also managed to locate the remaining stash of C4.

            While he was finding this information – sitting in the police offices, which was in a building attached to the holding cell building – one of the police officers, one Elias Lepp, suddenly began screaming and holding his head, collapsing. All the group in the area was struck by a powerful surge of quantum energy, and Edouard confirmed it was coming from Elias. He responded by attempting to disrupt the quantum energies streaming out of Elias, to no avail. Wolfgang and Radoslav, claiming eruptions can be immensely dangerous (this is in fact rare, but there are enough bogey-tales to make the story plausible), managed to chase most individuals out of the building, and relocate Elias. While doing so, they noticed that what sounded like incoherent screams was in fact some kind of language none of those present – Wolfgang, Radoslav, Edouard and Sir Montague – had heard before. Morgan was having her breakfast and a bit of a relaxing fly around the city at the time and refused to answer her phone. They recorded some of it for later review, before Edouard managed to hypnotise Elias into unconsciousness.

            Elias was then re-located to hospital, and Wolfgang contacted Blake Carter, their handler for ESPER, to alert him to the situation. Once Blake got over the shock (any nova eruption is incredibly rare, roughly one in every 4-million people erupting, so between Estonia’s population of roughly 1 million people and the staggering unlikelihood of an eruption occurring near ESPER agents it’s beyond remarkable), he instructed Wolfgang to be of any assistance possible but to not engage in any behaviour which could be viewed as attempting to influence the new nova’s choice as to join ESPER or not. Wolfgang interpreted this as preventing any kind of medical examination of Elias, on the grounds that he may have unknown powers which could react explosively with the radiation of a CT scan or X-rays the medical team wanted to perform to ensure there was no undue damage being done by the emergence of the new brain structure.

            After a couple of hours, Elias woke up, and upon being informed by Wolfgang what had happened, immediately set about (unsuccessfully) trying to learn his powers, only establishing that he does not have telepathy or telekinesis.

            In the meantime, Sir Montague teleported to the point out of town where the C4 had been stored, dug it up, reburied the now-empty sealing container in the same location, and hid the C4 on his private plane. Soon after, Radoslav arrived, and found that the C4 was gone, with fancy shoe-prints of an unknown individual in the area. Figuring the IEE was pulling a fast one, he set up a trap in the container, and then left. About an hour after that, Morgan travelled out to the location, and moving through the ground noticed that not only was there no C4 in the designated location, but someone wearing either Soviet military boots or fancy shoes had placed a well-concealed spike trap there.

            The hilarity of this sequence aside, the inability of the group to meaningfully communicate meant that this potential never really amounted to anything.

            I was as disappointed as you are, I assure you.

            Late that night, the recruitment/liaison team from ESPER arrived, and spoke to their Estonian counterparts and briefly to Elias – basically just introducing themselves and wishing him well.

            Wolfgang and Radoslav were ordered to guard Elias from any potential hostile action. In accordance to these orders, Radoslav left the hospital where Elias was being held and, his itch for violence too long denied, destroyed a gang that had been attempting to move in on the local bratva’s territory, taking his sweet, sadistic time. Wolfgang, asking Morgan to guard Elias, escorted the ESPER contingent to their hotel, secured the area, and then invited Morgan to come hang out with him at the hotel – an invitation she accepted.

            During this time, Sir Montague was setting the groundwork for de-fanging IEE. This involved Nigul confessing his knowledge of Golubov’s crimes, in order to give the cause a strong figure to rally behind, as well as radicalising the less competent senior members of the IEE to attempt to break Nigul out using one of his many disguises.

            Eventually, of course, Sir Montague became aware that all individuals had abandoned their posts. His attempts to discipline them were met with simple blaming of each other. Unable to enforce any direct punishment upon them beyond bureaucratic – which conflicted with his preference for handling the situation himself – Sir Montague simply made a note, and plans to more clearly express his displeasure later.

            I hesitate to mention this, out of a desire to maintain ST neutrality. However, it is impossible to describe this situation adequately without at least some OOC information. In no way is any of this to be interpreted as judgement, condoning or condemnation.

            Essentially, what with Wolfgang and Radoslav already being on thin ice after the Hyde situation, any further disciplinary action that would have had any actual impact on the characters would have essentially removed those characters from play for at least some time, either due to dealing with disciplinary hearings or further action. Between Montague’s player’s unwillingness to inflict this on the players, and general lack of emotional investment in their characters commonly displayed by Wolfgang and Radoslav’s players, as well as their history of handling in-character opposition with in-character violence, there really wasn’t much Montague could do at the time, hence the lack of in-character action.

            That night, a group of less senior IEE members attacked the police station in an attempt to release Nigul. What seemed like initially a random riot was quickly noted to be somewhat more sophisticated; the attacks out the front were a distraction from the not-as-stealthy-as-they-think-they-were second group attempting to break Nigul out. Thankfully, Radoslav was in the police station at the time of the attack, and managed to put down the rioters with extreme prejudice with ease – some using their own Molotov cocktails. Noticing the second group, Radoslav strode in and, wreathed in flame, tackled the group, only momentarily distracted by a rock to the head from a nearby roof from an unseen assailant. During the subsequent bloody, one-sided murder brawl, Sir Montague quickly teleported in, grabbing a Molotov cocktail dropped by an IEE member, and threw it threw the window of Nigul’s cell, badly burning him before he could be retrieved. He eventually died of his wounds.

            The membership cut down and the bulk of the leadership reduced, the IEE was a much reduced threat. However, Sir Montague likes to think of himself as nothing if not thorough, and planted the remnants of the C4, which already had the lieutenant’s fingerprints on them, in strategically not-quite-well-hidden locations around the police force, which were later discovered, along with an unrecognised Sir Montague’s watch which had somehow gotten entangled in the wiring for the intended-as-remote-detonation mechanism, and defused by Radoslav (Radoslav later retrieved the watch on Sir Montague’s orders). It was easy to match the fingerprints to the lieutenants, leaving only the remaining straggling membership of the IEE loose, who between the bad publicity of large numbers of their members attacking baseline police officers, Sir Montague’s skilful handling of the press and overall narrative, and a video being received anonymously by a local news station showing known IEE members claiming responsibility for the now-averted bombing of the police station, were much reduced in capability and cohesion.

            Speaking privately, the Estonian government representative disapproved of Sir Montague’s methods – speaking purely about the various unethically-gained search and arrest warrants – they were grateful as to the outcome. No government is overly happy when a heavily-armed, military-trained, known-violent group living in their country is heavily criticising their utilisation of resources and calling for the execution or internment of powerful and useful citizens for no crime, after all, particularly when that group had been shown to be attempting to attack the government.

            Elias Lepp elected to join ESPER, partially out of a desire to honour the memory of Anton Saar, who was a personal friend – Elias was a standard member of his security detail, and they bonded over a shared fondness for football – and partially out of being convinced that that was the best way he could help the people of Estonia be safe, after being assured that he would only be required to complete the occasional mission and test for ESPER, rather than being on 24-hour call, allowing him to spend the majority of his time at home. Based on his conversations with Wolfgang and Morgan, he asked to join their unit, a request which was approved.

            Upon listening to the recording, Morgan realised that the ‘language’ that Elias had been screaming – and subsequently lost all memory of – during his eruption bore a startling resemblance to the language her demons spoke to each other. When she forced them to translate, something they were reluctant to do for no clear reason, it was simply nonsensical fragments; “seeds of freedom”, “expanding the self” and “me that is you that is them”.

            Well, that catches us up. Sorry for the immensely long post, this actually covers a couple of sessions, but there wasn’t really a clear way of splitting. We should go back to our regular updates from this week onwards, for those who are interested in such.

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            • #36
              Although not really discussed much, the team has long stretches of time between missions, during which they indulge their own hobbies and past-times. Sir Montague works to further his influence and success of his father's company, Morgan continues her occult studies and enjoys a full social life, and Wolfgang spends time with his sister and nephew. Edouard has recently taken up singing lessons and does the occasional mission for the French government (all completely legal, of course).

              During one of these times, much of the group received parcels in their mail, all on the same day. These parcels included objects that while on the surface were semi-random, each were clearly calculated to elicit some kind of response: Radoslav received a squeaky-bone-toy, Wolfgang a disco-ball keychain, and Morgan a statuette of Beelzebub painted yellow. In keeping with standard practice (if not ESPER standard procedure) each began investigating individually, only reaching out to the others when they could be of use.

              Radoslav's parcel was sent from a largish city in the Ukraine. He travelled out there, but apart from taking in a local football game little was accomplished.

              Morgan's parcel was ostensibly sent from Taulov, Denmark, but some digging revealed it was made by an artist in Paris, sent to a lockbox owned by Sir Montague's fathers company in London, and paid for using an account set up in the name of (and by someone with a striking, though imperfect, resemblance to) Radoslav, then somehow transported to Taulov, before being sent by a computer engineer who had no memory of doing so. The person who set up the account was identified as a Isaija Zikovic, a nova of uncertain powers who erupted nearly two years ago, then fell off the grid - no mean feat, even before ESPER the various European governments were keeping close tabs on novas as potential threats or assets.

              Wolfgang's parcel was sent from Reims, France, and after bullying the manager into requesting to see the footage from the day the parcel was sent as part of an ESPER investigation, noticed that the waitress who sent it was acting... slightly wooden. Nothing obvious, he wouldn't have seen it except he was looking for it and he had spoken to her that morning (during which time she also denied any knowledge of sending any package). He then contacted Edouard, and asked him to examine her memory for signs of tampering. It was difficult to notice, but her memory had been altered - quite skilfully, resembling simple 'lack of paying attention' more than simple blank space done by other memory manipulators.

              After examining the parcels in more detail, Morgan noticed that each city they were sent from formed the circumference of a large circle, oddly precisely. At the centre of this circle was a small town in the Czech Republic, by the name of Benesov. Scanning the area using her sensitivity to quantum energies, she managed to locate a muffled signal in a bar by the name of the Shining Star. Entering, she noticed an uncharacteristically well-dressed gentleman in a booth towards the back - as she watched, confirming he was a nova, he looked back, and his face shifted.

              She sat down, and they spoke. The details of the conversation she has yet to divulge, but she has reported that he was pretentious, arrogant and not as well-informed about demon symbology as he thought he was. He identified himself as 'The Gentleman', and managed to leave minutes before the others arrived. They managed to track his past movements to a local motel, where he checked in the day before under a painfully obviously fake, generic name, but no further. Yet.

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              • #37
                This is really gaining some momentuum now. Thanks for keeping us updated, Allan.


                • #38
                  Yeah, I'm a bit more free these days, so I should be able to keep up

                  That said, I'll be out of town for a couple weeks next month, so I'll probably miss around then. Most likely around Christmas/New Year.

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                  • #39
                    It’s edging towards the end of November, and Wolfgang’s nephew Luke (aged 7) is travelling to Berlin to spend some time with his uncle while his mother finishes some preliminary work on the HIV vaccine. En route, the train derails outside of Stuttgart, as a result of tampering with the tracks. Astonishingly, Luke erupts, surrounding himself with a forcefield, is launched through the train wall, and lands nearly unharmed in nearby bushes – the sole survivor. When preliminary investigation shows that the tracks were literally ripped and bent upwards, Wolfgang takes this as an attack on his nephew and, after ascertaining his nephew is getting the best medical treatment ESPER has available, goes on what he deems “a rampage”.

                    Knowing that Wolfgang will be involved, as well as the potential for a nova being responsible, ESPER offers its’ assistance to local police to investigate the matter. Edouard started looking into Wolfgang’s highly classified background, using both his hacking skills and his resources with the French government. He discovered that after he erupted, Wolfgang was deployed several times by the English government in order to effectively assassinate novas who were deemed a threat to their security, and that he did so with his customary brutality and effectiveness – once crashing a plane that they were both in, knowing he would walk away. However, Edouard could find no likely suspects among the families of his targets.

                    Meanwhile, Sir Montague and Morgan travelled to the site of the train crash. The tracks do indeed appear to have been deliberately ripped up; marks similar to that of human hands are left in the metal. Searching further afield, they find tracks in the snow of large, Eastern-European military boots heading away from the site, and based on the depth and rate of snow fall, they roughly co-incide with the time of the crash. They follow the tracks to a nearby highway, where evidence seems to indicate that the walker was picked up by a passing motorist. Tracking down the motorist using traffic cameras, a basic idea of what kind of car they are looking for, and a rough estimate of the time window, they manage to get a picture of a car with an unseen individual in the back seat, with a clear picture of the license plate and driver.

                    Working with the German police, they find a name and address for the driver, and Edouard travels to the drivers’ house. Finding him home with his wife and daughter, Edouard surreptiously reads his mind and gets a reasonably clear picture of the “hitchhiker” he picked up and dropped near the bus station. Using his drawing skills, Edouard drew a fairly good likeness of the hitchhiker, and sent to to the team and police.

                    Sir Montague and Morgan, after going through the CCTV footage from the bus station twice, conclude that the hitchhiker did not get on a bus, at least not wearing that face. Noticing that the warehouse district was nearby, the team began canvassing the area, eventually locating an abandoned warehouse containing the passed-out hitchhiker laying in a corner, with a syringe and mostly-empty small bottle next to him. Using his sensitivity to quantum energies, Edouard quickly ascertained that he was a nova.
                    Wolfgang, with his usual tact, and possibly frustrated he had done surprisingly little ‘rampaging’, strode over and slapped the hitchhiker awake. Disoriented, the hitchhiker struck back, to little effect on Wolfgang, who nevertheless manifested claws made out of lightning, and cut the hitchiker’s leg off. Seeing this, Morgan began summoning demons with healing capabilities, who began reattaching the leg.

                    Meanwhile, Edouard began searching the hitchhiker’s mind, and found a Disney-esque scene of horror; evil trees laughing at him, a Satan-figure telling him to destroy the evil train, and the train a horrific monster consuming the souls of the innocent. Closer examination revealed signs that the hitchhiker had been repeatedly and thoroughly mentally assaulted and broken over a long period of time, although no sign remains of who performed such an act. Or at least, no sign could be found before Wolfgang stabbed the nova in the head, killing him instantly.

                    An argument then arose as to what to do. Edouard insisted on calling the police and their handler at ESPER, reporting the body, while Sir Montague disagreed, saying that Wolfgang should not be punished for what he did since the man attacked his nephew, and the team should claim they were attacked and responded out of self-defence. He also noted that as novas are clearly superior to baselines, they should not be bound by baseline law. Morgan and Wolfgang were disinterested, and simply left to return to Berlin. Their handler, Blake Carter, out of political concerns, agreed to do what he can to mitigate the legal reprisal, noting Wolfgang and Sir Montague’s claims of self-defence, but refused to outright break the law. Sir Montague, taking this as tacit approval of his perspective, teleported back to the warehouse where Edouard remained, awaiting the police, with a can of petrol and began splashing it over the body. Seeing this, Edouard caught the cigarette Sir Montague tried to drop, preventing ignition.

                    What followed was a tense exchange of Sir Montague attempting to Dominate Edouard into going along with his plan, at least in the short-term, and Edouard attempting to disrupt Sir Montague’s powers, each managing to shrug off the others effect. Tiring of this stalemate, Sir Montague left, muttering something under his breath about “damn subordinates refusing to follow damn orders”.

                    By the time Wolfgang returned to Berlin, his sister - Luke's mother, a medical nova primarily based in Switzerland - had returned. Asking her about the possibility of Edouard removing the memory of the traumatic incident from Luke's mind, she refused at the time, claiming uncertain effects of such mental manipulations on a 7-year-old mind, in conjunction with his new nova status - the youngest on record by about 8 years.

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                    • #40
                      After Sir Montague left the warehouse, he teleported into the office of Blake, the group’s handler, and effortlessly dominated him into setting up a meeting with Edouard, then to go to a pre-defined, difficult-to-get-to location outside of Berlin. Blake did so, calling Edouard and asking to meet him in a (different) warehouse in order to discuss the issue of Sir Montague’s actions, then left ESPER and drove out of town, where Sir Montague shot him dead.

                      Aware of his narrow time window, Sir Montague tossed the gun into a nearby river, and teleported to the defined location to ambush Edouard. He managed to teleport behind him, and strike at Edouard’s neck, wounding him badly but non-fatally. Edouard turned invisible and ran out of sight, then shrunk his size, using this to sneak back in to the warehouse where Sir Montague was dialling his phone to report Edouard’s “attack on him” to the other team members. Edouard accidentally lent credibility to the story by opening fire, but only managing to wing him. More significantly, Edouard managed to disrupt Sir Montague’s ability to teleport, effectively trapping him.

                      Between his forcefield, his nova dexterity and his ability with a blade, Sir Montague managed to survive long enough to move behind cover, and called the other teleporter ESPER has on staff, requesting extraction. By the time the other nova arrived (all of 15 seconds later), Sir Montague had lost his sword, and had taken several more wounds. The teleporter tackled Sir Montague to the ground, which gave Edouard an opportunity to head-shot Montague, which he took but failed. Sir Montague and the teleporter then vanished back to ESPER HQ.

                      In the seconds that followed, Sir Montague managed to convince the teleporter that Edouard had gone mad, and was trying to kill him and needed to be taken down. The teleporter – combat-trained but unwilling to kill unnecessarily – took up a large rifle and returned to the warehouse. In the meantime, Morgan and Wolfgang had arrived, using a combination of Wolfgang’s ability to jump long distances and Morgan’s flight, allowing more precise landing even with blind targeting. Edouard reported what had happened, contradicting the partial story that Sir Montague had been able to communicate to them before Edouard began to shoot. Unsure of the truth, Morgan began investigating the scene, finding the physical evidence seeming to support Edouard’s story.

                      The teleporter arrived, aiming his rifle at Edouard’s head, and called for him to stand down. Wolfgang moved in between the teleporter and Edouard (ineffectively, since the teleporter was on a platform roughly ten feet off the ground), but Edouard lowered his gun, and kneeled with his hands behind his head. The teleporter took Edouard into custody, and put him in an interrogation room, with the understanding that if he fled, that would cast immense doubt on his story.

                      Radoslav finally arrived, and while he was told what happened according to Edouard and that it was seemingly consistent with the physical evidence, he remained sceptical, unwilling to doubt Sir Montague’s story.

                      At this point it’s necessary to mention that Sir Montague’s player left for the night. He mentioned that he always intended to cease playing Montague due to not enjoying the character, something he had mentioned to me previously. So after this it was handled less formally.

                      What followed was a grand game of ‘he-said, she-said’. As both a nova and a member of the team in question, Morgan was barred from presenting her investigation, but did stand by while the baseline team examined the scene, pointing out things they missed and being generally frustrated. Sir Montague began trying to convince the investigators of his side, but between Morgan’s recent attempts to gain political traction amongst the higher-ups of ESPER and her managing to locate the body of Blake with Sir Montague’s shoeprints, it was not going well for him.

                      In the end, ESPER was swayed, and faced an issue – a nova with a history of killing his superiors and attacking his team-mates, who nevertheless had strong ties to not only England, a major member of ESPER, but Estonia and the growing North African Union. The first option, simply posting him to one of those locations as a liaison, was deemed too risky, but he could not simply be killed. Eventually, a stopgap measure was reached – an ambush attack in which Edouard would disrupt Montague’s teleporting ability, and the team would attempt to tranquilise him and keep him under. Between the lack of good choices and Morgan’s persuasive abilities, ESPER agreed, and the ambush went successfully, with Morgan taking command of the team.

                      Of course, the team is both under increased scrutiny, novas are trusted still less, and the team is currently without a handler…

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