New Centurions, Issue #13: Les Fantômes

Last Friday ((This was my first game in five weeks. That’s a long time without a game for a game-whore like me. It was good to get back.)) was the latest installment of The New Centurions game, run by my friend, Clint. It had been a long time since the last session, so we started the game with a fairly intensive recap, then jumped in.

Our plan was to investigate and find out as much as we could about the dead heroes in the Paris Century Club. We discovered that they had been labeled Les Fantômes by the media, but had not made any statements or announcements about themselves. They tended to act alone or in pairs, but had come together in the past for larger challenges, such as freeing hostages in a bank robbery.

Queen Celeste decided that we should try to plant the corpse of the woman known as The Dryad in the ground, in hopes that she was enough plant ((She was green, and leaked chlorophyll, after all.)) that she might regenerate. The ID we had found was that of one Marcel Chevalier, who seemed to have been called Vigil in the press, and led us to a sad story of the death of his family and his withdrawal from a promising academic career to pursue research into the genetic markers for super-powers.

We also recovered the cell phone from a woman dressed in red silk, whom we thought must be La Flame. This had a couple of numbers in it – one to her sister, a police detective, and one to a man with no fixed address ((We figured this was the other dead man. He didn’t answer when we called. And no, I don’t remember his name. Sorry, Clint.)). Queen Celeste and Paladin had a bit of a tense conversation with her inside the police station, with Widowmaker standing by to teleport in and rescue our crew if things went south.

Turns out La Flame’s sister ((Who’s name I also don’t remember. Sorry again, Clint.)) had no idea about her sister’s super-life. She was somewhat shaken by the revelations, and decided not to arrest anyone. To make sure it wasn’t a trick to lead the gendarmes back to the rest of us, Queen Celeste and Paladin walked across the street to Widowmaker and teleported away, leaving nothing for the police to follow.

We uncovered one name that proved interesting – Myra Glass, who had offered to finance Vigil’s research. A little bit of prying uncovered that she was associated with a number of technology thefts, along with a tonne of titanium, from across Europe, but mainly centred in the UK. No one we spoke to about her had any real information about her, and we could find no record of her existence earlier than a couple of years ago.

We also engaged in some actual thinking, and put together some big pieces of the campaign. We figured out some pieces of the Methuselah Effect.

From what we can put together, the Methuselah Effect was Dr. Methuselah’s attempt to edit the variable that produced super-heroes like the Centurions out of the world. Unfortunately, his equation was slightly flawed, and failed to take into account that the existence of super-villains is at least partially dependent on super-heroes to inspire them to use their powers for crime.

So, on that day in 1933, super-heroes and the potential for and concept of super-heroes just stopped. Along with super-villains. Everywhere. Vigil’s genetic research showed that the gene markers for metahumans had only recently started re-appearing, having been practically nonexistent for the better part of eighty years.

Now, the big question that remains is why did the effect stop? It looks like it faded fairly quickly over the last couple of years, with heroes and villains starting to manifest even before Dr. Methuselah was snatched from the NYC Century Club ruins. And what will happen if the effect goes away? Will the Centurions currently in limbo in our reclaimed club house come back to life? Will all the old villains?

So, as we were speculating about this stuff, the bad guys came and got us.

Myra Glass and her team of baddies got the drop on us in our safe-house and kicked our asses. Widowmaker managed to save one of the Aegis agents watching us, but the other one died. Falkata saved the data on Vigil’s computer, preventing the bad guys from getting it. And S.P.E.C.-T.E.R. managed to keep one of the tougher bad guys occupied until the building collapsed on us.

This was a wonderful, comic-book style ending to the session. Our team is hurt, scattered, and defeated, but not out for good. I see the rubble of the building with S.P.E.C.-T.E.R.’s battered arm jutting from the debris, Paladin’s ((He was in the building with me, so yeah, he’s sharing my fate.)) shield lying beneath a big chunk of concrete, and the victorious Myra Glass standing over the wreckage with her laser pistol in her hand and her team arrayed behind her. Across the bottom is the garish next-issue teaser: Is This The End of the New Centurions?

Very satisfying game.

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