Thursday, May 3, 2018

Hero Southern Community Solo Session #3: Danger Room Isn't In The Budget

Can you believe that I started this solo game almost a year ago? I can't. I actually have a great deal of solo sessions with my ICONS Superhero Community College in my journal. I'll be taking the next couple of weeks to typing them out and publishing them on the blog. In truth, this was actually my second real session, but like the one before it, this was done over the span of several smaller sessions over the week. This one is more of a role-playing prelude to the main adventure. There is a lot of strong language here, so be advised this write up isn't for all ages. Hopefully everyone enjoys it!

Raul and CJ are dragged to Student Services, after coming to blows during a rescue exercise. There is a long silence as the two are in the waiting area. 

Does CJ say anything to me?: Yes And Twist!

After a good ten minutes of the young men not saying anything, CJ finally breaks the silence.

"This is your fault," CJ mutters to Raul.

"How the hell is this my fault?" 

"You can't take a fucking joke!" CJ's voice gets louder. "You couldn't stand that I beat you and I'm better at this than you or your roach friend!"

Raul stands up, body tense and fists balled, "Are you kidding me? You've been acting like a piece of shit to me since high school. This is just more of your bullshit that I can't just get away from!"

CJ bolts up, ready for round two of their fight. "Well, maybe if you didn't act so full of yourself, I wouldn't have to knock your punk ass down a couple of pegs."

"Both of you, shut up and get into my office! NOW!" an older woman's voice interrupted the two. They both turn to see the school disciplinarian, Lady Mist.

New NPC: Lady Mist. In charge of dealing with infractions. Has the ability to summon and control a harmful fog.

Raul and CJ sit down in front of Mist's desk. Mist directs their attention to her television and plays the events of their fight.

"Now, you both are aware that fighting on school grounds is a serious offense, right?" she says sternly.

"He started it!" Raul yells. "This asshole has been tormenting me since we got here."

Mist stops CJ before he can get a word it. "Using your powers on school grounds against another student is illegal and a serious infraction. The punishment is suspension and if you do it again, you are permanently expelled from the campus."

She turns off the TV and leans back in her chair, "Not only that, but you'll be put in the superhero databanks as ineligible for other schools for at least four years. Meaning neither of you will be accepted to any academy or superhero team in the country. Is that what you both want?"

Raul and CJ begrudgingly look at each other and say in unison, "No ma'am..."

"Good," Lady Mist stands up and opens the door.

"So... so we're not suspended?" CJ asks, confused.

"Not today, no. This is your first day, and no one got seriously injured. Mark my words though, if I see either of you in this office again, you'll both be suspended for two weeks. Do I make myself clear?"

"Yes, ma'am," the boys say together again.

"Good. Now get out."

The two young men leave her office and glare at each other in silence, before splitting off on their own way.

*                    *                    *

The next day, Raul made sure to come in on time. After almost getting suspended from HSC, his parents came down hard on him. The pressure is on to not screw up.

How does the school react to yesterday's fight?: I drew Air, which means Chaotic but Friendly.

Everyone seems to have mixed feelings about Raul's outburst from yesterday. However, most people seem to side with him over CJ about the whole ordeal. Still, Raul is embarrassed over the fight and tries hard to keep to himself some.

He sits down next to his new friends from yesterday. Melvin won't stop talking about their mission from yesterday to Alex. Jordan seems to be on her phone, half listening while browsing Facebook. CJ walks in, just barely on time, and sits away from Raul. They both exchange dirty looks, but it is too early in the morning to be getting into fights.

I draw a card for the next adventure. Seal Rural Obstacle. The Element is Earth and the Rune is Authority and Power

The bell rings and Mr. Arms walks into the classroom.

"Sorry for being late class," he began, looking a bit disheveled. "We've been setting up a special exercise for the class today. After yesterday's quiz, I graded your actions and concluded that you all need to work on your teamwork." His eyes briefly gaze towards Raul and CJ before returning to the rest of the class.

"A lot of you have interesting control over your powers, but you need to learn to work with and rely on your team. Therefore, we are skipping the written portion of today's lesson and moving straight to another training exercise."

The class groans a bit, as many are still tired from yesterday's exercise. As Mr. Arms tries to calm down the class, a woman walks into the room. 

Who is this NPC?: Vector, an Indian woman with the ability to create wormholes and transport people. She looks to be in her late 40's and has her hair tied up in a bun.

"Good morning class," Vector begins. "Today, we are all going on a special field trip that will push your limits of communication and teamwork. If you're going to be working with the bigger academies or the larger superhuman community, you need to learn how to work together. Lone wolves don't last long in this business."

"Tell that to Black Hood, lady," CJ smirked at the perceived cleverness of his outburst. Black Hood was a hero from the 80's in Miami that took on the drug lords of that time.

"Ah yes the Black Hood," Vector took off her glasses to clean them off a bit. "As I recall, his sidekick was Sparrow, right?"

The classroom grew quiet and things got uncomfortable.

"Yeah, it was Sparrow. A young man, about your age, Mr. Jacobs. I forget, what happened to him?" Vector mused.

CJ shifted in his seat, "He was... gunned down by the mob."

Vector shook her head, "That's not all, Mr. Jacobs. What else did they do?"

"Lady, everyone knows what he did! Why are you asking these stupid questions?" CJ started getting upset.

"Because, that's the fate of a superhero that goes in half-cocked without support. Do you want your head mailed to your teammates? Or to your mother?" Vector finished cleaning her lens.

CJ muttered something incomprehensible, ceding the argument.

Mr. Arms tries to put the class back on the rails. "Now class, follow Mrs. Vector to your training session. It will be a fun one."

Vector flicks her wrist and a blueish purple portal swirls into existence. The class is a bit hesitant to enter, but one after another, each student goes through.

*                    *                    *

Raul steps out of the other end, feeling a bit queasy from the wormhole. 'That's not something I want to do again,' he thinks to himself. He squints his eyes at the bright sun in the sky. Curiously, it was higher in the sky than it should be. 'Isn't it morning? Why does it look like noon?'

The heat and humidity kicked in, feeling even hotter than South Florida. As Raul's eyes adjusted, his mouth dropped in shock. Around him, he could see wild buffalo grazing across a wide expanse of grass. Far away, Raul could make out a pride of lions sunbathing. And in the distance lay a huge mountain range that Raul has only ever seen in books and as default computer wallpapers at school.

"Mrs. Vector," Melvin was the first to speak up. "Where on Earth are we?"

Vector smiled and spoke. "Everyone, welcome to Tanzania! And that there," she points to the mountain range dramatically, "is Mt. Kilimanjaro!"

Raul couldn't believe they are halfway across the world. He turns to Alex and Jordan, both equally stunned.

"This can't be real," Jordan whispers. "It... it has to be some kind of illusion. Or VR..."

Alex nods, "Yeah, or like, holograms or something..."

"No way this school has money for a danger room," CJ interjects. Raul scowls but he couldn't disagree. He could feel the hot air and smell the wildlife around him.

"This is the real deal guys," Raul concludes. "We're going straight into the fire."

Vector snaps to get the students back on track. "Today, we will be splitting you all into teams of two. Team A will be the 'superheroes' while Team B will be the 'supervillains'. Team B will be attempting to break an' evil fire demon' from its prison in the volcano up there."

She motions towards Mt Kilimanjaro, then back towards the students. "Team A, it is your job to go up there and stop the ritual before it's too late. You will be on a time limit, so you will need to work together to act quickly to stop the villains."

Raul swallows in fear. "This is the second day and we're already going up a volcano?" he whispers.

"Take it easy, I'm sure the volcano is dormant or whatever," Alex jokes, but Raul could hear the worry in his voice.

Vector puts her hands on her hips. "Now, we'll divvy you up into your teams. Everyone will have two hours to prepare, then it's go time!"

Do I get put on the Hero team or Villain?: rolled Evens for Hero team
Is CJ on my team?: No But

Once again, Raul is spared from having to work with CJ. However, it looks like CJ is the team leader for the villains. In addition, it looks as though Melvin got drafted to the villains' side. He waves despondently at Raul, sad he can't help his new friend out. Still, Raul knows that he has to make up for yesterday. He walks to his team and prepares for his next exercise.

To Be Continued...

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