Heroes Fail

Episode 41

I'll Tell Ya in Montana

Date: Feb 5 (Ep. 40 ended around Dec 20)

On Jan 30, solar panels were finally put in place and lo and behold they appear to WORK!! Electricity is not ubiquitous – priorities for usage are set in place. But we need batteries to store the power and the suggestion is made that Saundra may be willing. As of today -

  • Toby has not been heard from.
  • Food situation is better due to the Peace Accord with the Cult of Odin.
  • Weather-wise, it has been warming up just a little. Remnants of snow on the ground, mainly just a couple of inches except in the shade, where great piles still rest where the snow was shoved to clear space.
  • Maddy works on creating a battery that can store Ang’s excess power. She and Eric are doing okay, relationship-wise. Eric is growing into his role.
  • Langston is still attempting to do his research, as much as he can. Melody continues to help him.
  • Natalie is far, far more tired than she should be at this early stage of her pregnancy (she’s just at the 16-ish week [4 months] mark). She’s still managing to hide it from all but the team. She and Jared are both struggling a little learning to deal with an empathic link that occasionally causes surges of emotion between the two.
  • Ang – I had no report on what Ang had been working on at this time.

Between the need for batteries for Ang that Maddy wants to build and the need for batteries that the solar panels can store power in, a decision is made that a trip to Guardians Tower to visit Saundra is in order. The team plus Eric and Jared head out on this expedition. Saundra welcomes their presence and is willing to negotiate for batteries in return for things she wants. Group’s goals are:

  • Mel wants to see if anything is left of the Vault and her apartment.
  • Langston would like to look at the lab for more useful science things now that we do have electricity to run them!
  • Ang tells Saundra about the Treaty with Odin and Mjoltivir (however you spell that with the Norse spelling, I’m using this one!!) in the Botanical Garden. She has a massive map of St. Louis and the communities in it, and she makes note of the negotiated boundaries between Refuge Point and the Garden. Saundra wants to know more about Mjoltivir and wants to send an entity to engage in conversation and perhaps a treaty.
  • Natalie takes a nap. The hike was more than she could handle physically. She is still far more slender than she should be right now, too easily tired. Even the extra food resources and rations don’t seem to be helping much.

Saundra agrees to hand over 8 storage batteries. In return, she’d like Maddy’s time for 6 months. Eric is astounded. He’s willing to take 3 months of that time for Maddy, so they’re splitting it. Saundra tells them “New arrivals are flying soon” and to deal with those first and do not expose her.

Buh…. WHAT???

Aircraft sounds to us like VTOL, and Maddy activates the radio to Refuge Point to let them know there are aerial incoming. Circle the wagons. When Jared, who is sitting with Natalie, hears this over the comms, he immediately radios back with “From what directions.” When Maddy tells him, Natalie goes vaguely green and murmurs, “Mercator.” Jared’s reply is an F-bomb of epic proportions. And it suddenly occurs to Natalie to ask Saundra… is there a signal leaving the building?? It turns out that yes. Jared is lo-jacked. There’s a portable blocker that will now travel with us at all times. Speculation is that they COULD be coming now because Jared’s powers reactivated – they may be doing more than GPS monitoring of him – but the more likely explanation is simple GPS. He seems genuinely to have been unaware of the transmitter. During this time, the “Thunder Basin, Wyoming” information pops into Maddy’s head again from when the original radio that Jared carried to Refuge Point was being inspected.

The group gets moving. They hide the supplies as well as possible en route. Approaching Refuge Point, other people can be seen in the streets as the result of the sound of incoming aircraft. It’s a sound no one has heard in more than two years.

The motorcycle guys send an enjoy to check in with us as well. Ang talks with them and asks them to batten down their hatches — we’ll share info when we have it. The aircraft lands and the sound of large vehicles comes from the direction of their landing site, not too far from Refuge Point (across the street to the north). Soldiers await us when we get all the way there. “President” Mercator wants to see us. Personnel are bringing supplies into Refuge Point, etc. Ang, Eric, and Jared head for what passes for Council chambers (one of the stores in the mall). Langston and Melody head for the lab.

15-20 well-armed soldiers join us in the Council chambers. According to Ida, they’ve come to make that offer of supplies and whatnot (originally brought by Jared and refused by Refuge Point) again, in person. President seems unwilling to accept a “no” answer. Jared is called a bit on the carpet but makes clear that he’s standing with Refuge Point and abiding by their decision, though he’s not Council. Mercator tells Ang, sort of steamrolling her, that he wants to get everyone back to “U.S. Government life.” He’s too friendly, in her opinion. She goes to join the group in the lab while Jared is pulled aside for a private conversation with Mercator.

For three days, there are many interactions between the military and Refuge Point people. The population is very split, just as they were about the original offer when Jared arrived – some want what the government offers. Some view it as suspect, while others see it as stability. Nona is asked to learn all she can from the military group about the nanobot virus. Jared talks to Melody and Natalie – Mercator has ordered him back to the base.

Ang doesn’t want to be seen as a threat. She offers herself up to President Mercator to help sort through the people in the community. She sees cooperation as a way to keep Refuge Point alive – mainly trying not to make members here seem like more trouble than they’re worth. After all, they could decide just to exterminate us. Superior firepower and all.

When Maddy asks Ang what she should do… Ang replies “decide what you want. Stay or go. Then go convince other people.” Placate, de-escalate, appear harmless until they leave. Ang plays her role as a leader – she will do what’s best for the community and conveys that to Mercator. She says she thinks he’s honestly interested in the well-being of this community – it’s the largest one they’ve ever found post-D-Day. But he’s also interested in teasing out who the former Powers are (the ones he doesn’t already know about). Ang keeps Toby’s existence very quiet, and Natalie’s pregnancy is also being hidden very specifically.

Nona is worried about Elana, because she’s been outed. Mel searches for Elana, but she’s either in hiding or is missing (due to being taken?) Nona also offers to remove Jared’s tracer – the scan at the Tower revealed its location.

Langston talks to Mercator and offers a deal – Take Langston only. He’ll give some info to Mercator that will be well worth the loss of numbers of people. Mercator considers the offer. And then Langston offers, “I have info on an active Omega-level Power.” He also tells Mercator that he really wants to go — the lack of his power and the effects of the nanobots are killing him. He has a vested interest in figuring the situation out. Mercator appears to take this bargain and sets Ang to the duty of telling the population of Refuge Point they cannot come.

Melody, however, has been watching people get on trucks to go… Known Powers who wanted to leave are being loaded into one truck while everyone else is going into another. She and Maddy are quite disturbed.

Natalie and Jared have talked it over, and they’ve decided to take Nona’s offer to deactivate the tracer… they’re going to disappear. Something about Mercator and his goon squad isn’t sitting right with either of them, and their child is the only (so far as they know) viable pregnancy that has happened since D-Day. They are in the process of sneaking off the grounds to meet Nona at a place where they can then disappear into the region around St. Louis along, but a military guard on the West Door spots them. “Colonel Norris?”

Ang’s headache is blinding by this point. She manages to hide the building power and slip away. She’s getting the discharge machine Maddy built for her ready to use to get rid of some of the energy in her body, but she’s worried that she’s built up too much. She grabs the hilts, attached to the machine, and she was right – it’s too much. Her power is literally shunted right through the machine into the ground itself as she tries to ‘ground’ the power so it can’t hurt anyone. It causes an earthquake under Refuge Point.

The view pans across lines of people to the Council chambers, where Mercator is talking. Something on his belt starts to beep even as the earthquake rolls through. “This changes things…”

—End Season 2.


Malificent Malificent

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