Monday, July 6, 2015

Opponents Unlimited: Crossroads Season 1

Season 1: Before they were BAD

This season starts with the hero’s origin event, whatever that may have been. They then have to learn how to use their abilities while keeping up their secret IDs as High School Freshmen (in a TV series they are likely those Freshmen played by ‘youthful’ appearing 19 year olds who are curiously well established in school activities…). Complicating this are the various oddities of the teaching staff, the school bully and his mother, the school nurse, who is running a biological matter theft ring for a local agribusiness.

1.1 Pilot

The PCs have their origin event, and their temporary disappearance causes some panic because several other children have gone missing lately. A run in with the school bully, Senior Class loser Melvin Barton, sends at least some of them to the nurse, his mother “Auntie” Philomena. Another child disappearance gives the PCs the clues to track down Ben Jhamoka, who is using his ice cream truck as part of his organ-legging business. He won’t give up whose paying for him, but we have a cut scene with Auntie Phil lamenting the loss of such prime biomass….

1.2 Testing Ground

The PCs have to find a place to test their powers, and the only logical place – out of the way, no chance to hurt anyone – is the abandoned Emerson Electronics manufacturing plant. They have to chase away a bunch of ‘Gifted and Talented’ 8th graders who, led by ‘boy genius’ Nick Ward, are also using this as a very unsafe play space. The whole effort is complicated by the emergent Robotoids, who have gained sentience and are building new forms for themselves. The fight will doubtless bring down the building, and Auntie Phil will show up quickly to berate the PCs and do medical care (and take tissue samples) from all the kids. (Possibly even the PCs, which might change some of the motivations for the rest of the season as Auntie Phil tries to work out the PCs secret.)

1.3: Carnival

In the 1995 a base closure shut down the old army base, and while most of that is now the Executive Training Compound run by the Floop Brothers the remainder is a big field used every year for the Prest Travelling Circus to come to town (this is a smaller version of the full circus that Prest himself fronts for, but it’s still a decent one tent + travelling carnival affair. This year’s star performer is master illusionist The Amazing Kudebuck, a dwarf magician. Realizing he has real powers Auntie Phil uses her super-haranguing power (If you aren’t familiar with Opponents Unlimited, she really does have super-haranguing powers) to get him to break into the New World Genetics buildings in the new office park to steal medical samples. Depending on how the PCs get involved he may need multiple tries to either get past them or give them multiple shots at catching him. The PCs will also meet Police Dispatcher Ida Rollins, who assist the PCs and also runs the fireworks for the carnival (and other civic events).

1.4: Pinned

Back to trouble at the school – it’s wrestling season and Coach Gummins is putting the freshmen through the wringer. Unfortunately the PCs powers are interacting oddly with Gummons own – we see in Flashback Gummins being an intelligence officer at the ostensibly closed army base 15 years ago when something happened and Army Intel closed the base for good – and his psychotropic skin starts acting up and his sanity starts to slip. Seeing Auntie Phil for help she uses her super-haranguing power to direct him at the PCs and make a big distraction while she and Melvin make a delivery to the Vanguard subsidiary Agribusiness Natural Technologies (ANT) Labs, one of the last big employers in town.

1.5: Sacrifices

The PCs discover the fallout of Auntie Phil’s and Melvin’s last action – cattle mutilation, with lips and livers and other organs missing! – and likely jump to a lot of Alien Invasion theories. However attention will fall on school janitor Roger Ford, who becomes increasingly twitchy, acting every more guilty. The PCs can find evidence of his monthly sacrifices to ‘the thing in the water’, as he calls whatever it is he is sacrificing to in the lake/river. When cornered by the PCs, in a preferably isolated spot, he explosively uses his growth powers to engage them. As Zoom either escapes or is captured the PCs can realize that the cattle mutilation is against his MO. Auntie Phil gets her payment from ANT Labs and the Bartons prepare to skip town once doing so would no longer draw suspicion.

1.6: Swarmed

Melvin shoots of his big mouth at school, giving the PCs the clues they need to tie him and Auntie Phil to the other events of the school year. Auntie Phil, if confronted, will face the PCs with her super-haranguing and her energy pistol, but Melvin will run for the ANT base to lead the PCs there. Once on site the PCs are confronted by the ANT Labs security chief, SWARMaster. The bio-thefts (including the organlegging) have been to provide specialized biomasses for insect experimentation at ANT labs. Despite a fear (planted by Auntie Phil) that bringing this to the police will shutter one of the last big businesses in town, ANT Labs owners, Vanguard Inc, instead cut loose the ‘bad apples’, make restitution and promise to stick around in such an interesting community. Maybe end the season with the containers holding the PCs blood and skin samples from S1E2 going into a Vanguard lab….