On the Way
October 20, Year 25
En route to an appointment with Maes Hughes, Claire, Delic, Hans and Specs encountered a young woman on the streets just a few blocks from the AST Office. In spite of her street walker attire, she clearly did not belong in the rough neighborhood of Howard-Philips. The young woman was clearly not of the working class, skin, bone structure, and posture indicated upper class, a picture of rebellion failed in the gutter of one of Exelica’s roughest neighborhoods. She had been beaten within the last hour.
The young woman told her story to Claire. It the gist wasn’t an uncommon story, though she had toughed it out longer and harder than most before they decide to crawl back to their posh quarters at the family estate. Her brother was her main problem. He largely controlled the family and he concerned himself very much with propriety. She feared what he would do should she ask to return home. Claire decided she would take care of the young woman, while the rest kept their appointment with Maes Hughes.
Instead of their normal meeting place at military headquarters, Hughes arranged to meet them at Paisley Park. Paisley Park is on the top of Render Hill on the southern side. One of the notable features of the neighborhood is a ferris wheel, surrounded by a lush garden, which makes it a popular destination to walk around in your best attire.
They catch Hughes waving to his wife and daughter who were riding the ferris wheel. Specs’ eyes widened when he saw Dr. Jackal, who was operating the ferris wheel. Hughes smiled and told them the good doctor was now working for him as well. After a few moments, he began walking through the park and explained why he called them here. Someone had murdered Colonel Wernher Von Braun, the scientist in charge of the Pegasus Armor Project. Three days later, Lieutenant Blaze, the officer investigating Von Braun’s murder, was found dead. Blaze served under Hughes. Four days later, the second investigator, Lieutenant Eran was also found dead. All three men we murdered in their homes, their hands and feet severed.
The investigation is now under the jurisdiction of Internal Affairs. Hughes suspects there is someone on the inside who is part of the killings and is now actively leading a cover up. He wants the AST to investigate the murders in an unofficial capacity, to uncover the truth before a cover up buries the crime. The AST can work with the cover story that they are independent contractors inspecting the military compound to flag any areas where security could be compromised. He also gave them credentials with a Security Clearance 3, which gives them access to most of the base and the ability to request assistance from the rank and file.
The investigation led the party to speak with Segei Korolev, who was Von Braun’s Second Meister on the Pegasus Project. Korolev proved to have a temper, having relieved all military personnel of their duty on the project after observing how lax they were in allowing Hans to climb into an armor’s cockpit. Specs did impress Korolev with his quick assessment of a problem that two of the techs had problems with. Korolev didn’t hide that he and Von Braun were not friendly. Korolev indirectly pointed to Pol Dostovoy, the AST’s first client, the inventor of the compact Power Amplifier destined to be fit into the Pegasus Armors.
Dostovoy shed light upon Von Braun and Korolev’s relationship, calling it venomous. He indicated that Von Braun was an arrogant and dismissive scientist, who possessed great skill in manipulating the politics of attaining leadership roles in scientific research. Korolev probably had a better grasp on building the smaller and lighter Pegasus Armor’s than Von Braun, whose previous accomplishments were on heavier machines. Von Braun would often publicly dismantle Korolev’s contributions only to retool them as his own contribution, leaving Korolev out of any recognition.
The AST also sought Lieutenant Carlos, the Internal Affairs officer in charge of the official inquiry to the death of Von Braun. Lt. Carlos gave them a heavily edited investigation file. So while Specs annoyed Lt. Carlos, Hans broke into his office and lifted the original notes of Blaze and Eran. After some pressing, Lt. Carlos tells them that they should back off this investigation if they wanted to live. He wasn’t threatening them, but speaking from the position of a man who knew he was the next victim.
Protecting Internal Affairs’ Lt. Carlos
On cue, that night, a large man burst through Lt. Carlos’ front door. Judging from the man’s size and strength, this clearly was the man who killed the other officers. He charged up the steps, but Hans waited in ambush, laying the beatdown on the surprised cutthroat. As the ambushed man looked to escape, Hans goaded him to finish the fight he was losing to a 13-year old boy. Then, the house suddenly becomes engulfed in an inferno. Set on fire by an eladrin arcanist, watching the house (who was in turn being watched by Delic). Delic remembered seeing the eladrin somewhere in the military compound. The eladrin teleported away from the scene. Hans, Specs, and a severely burned Lt. Carlos made it out alive. However, the thug died in the fire.
The All-Star Troubleshooters
Josephine asked Specs if he was willing to invest in an underground network among the refugee groups. Specs agreed and threw some resources into it. The AST are now a Small Organization. As a small organization it has its own Aspects, Abilities, and Fate Points.