Squadron: Birmingham 2019 Creating the right impression

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Thursday 2nd May 2019. Professor Walter Watt was in fury. Having spent the whole day searching “ the institute” for “Jeeves” - his experimental barman - he scoured the Internet. He discovered that one of The Institute’s delivery trucks had been attacked near Birmingham by some so-called “Supervillains”. Though the attack was foiled by the Sq:B stalwart, Techknight, shakey phone cam footage clearly showed the Jeeves android active at the scene. Not merely active but also participating in events in ways beyond his limited programming. Its movements seemed almost.... human.

Watt immediately booked a train ticket to Birmingham for the following morning.

Following the fracas on Spaghetti Junction, and their meeting with Techknight, the three would-be Heroes, two parents and one lost android swapped contact details and headed into Birmingham City Centre.

Agony Aunt’s Air B&B was lovely but not as secure as a private hotel room. Not ideal for a young lady travelling alone. Still, it had WiFi so she was able to manage a few Instagram posts.

The hotel that Birmingham University has recommended to The Deacon (nee The Librarian) was fine, if over-priced. He was able to use his dimension folding ability to tender Steel Reign temporarily invisible and smuggle him in. They tried to hold a conversation but had literally no common frame of reference.

Jamie Pryde fell asleep to the sounds of her parents arguing over her father’s choice of hotels - and how he should have known there was a reason why a hotel in the centre of Birmingham was such good value!

First order of business was to buy a leather trench coat and hat for Steel Reign to allow him to pass in the crowded City Centre without The Deacon having to constantly render him invisible. Then the group met up by “The Bull” statue in the Bullring shopping centre. They decided to immediately seek out The Rotunda where Sq:B were based.

Techknight’s business cards convinced the Receptionist to call up to the Squadron’s office but Techknight was unavailable. (Busy repairing Spaghetti Junction, presumably.) Agony Aunt left her contact details.

It was at that point that Walter Watt entered using his detector to track down the beacon implanted in Steel Reign’s chest. When the receptionist asked the group to take the ensuing “discussion” outside, she was prevailed upon to pester Sq:B again.

It transpired that Miasma - “The Mind Mistress” - was in residence. However the group were again asked to leave and told they would be contacted when and if required.

At this point a huge gunmetal figure walked in and - introducing himself as "Steel" -demanded an audience with the Squadron. He was politely refused entrance as well. Seeing that the larger group apparently had invitations, he decided to tag along.

Stung by being blown off, Walter Watt pulled out his laptop and attempted to hack into the Superhero team’s network. This should have been impossible but through skill, luck and the fact that someone had failed to update the protocols recently, he managed to rearrange Techknight's appointment schedule. A quick revisit to the receptionist elicited an apology and access to a secret lift to the Squadron's penthouse. Hacking further security protocols along the way, Prof. Watt enabled the motley group of eight individuals to surprise a maid and her cleaning droids working in the vast, opulent, apartment on the top floor.

An alarm was raised, titanium shutters slapped into place, the cleaning droids deployed their cannons and Miasma's disembodied voice read the riot act to the group. Possibly choosing to break into the headquarters of the city's premiere superhero group was not the best option.......

After an evening meal at a local restaurant, the group headed off to the tailors Techknight had recommended to order costumes. Jamie, her parents and Agony Aunt set off first in the family car, whilst the other four remained at the restaurant to deduce/demonstrate their powers before being thrown out.

"The Tailor" belied his humble, aged, appearance and proved to be highly adept. He revealed a secret cache of high tech equipment and set to work. Following a huge row amongst the Prides about just how tight, revealing and sexy the costume of a 16 year old Superheroinne should be, he sat Jamie down with an iPad and designer software to colour in her costume and quizzed Agony Aunt about her exact method of growth. The other four Heroes arrived - in the largest Uber they could find - to discover The Tailor taking a stem cell extraction from their team-mate.

As the night progressed, conversation with The Tailor revealed that he used to make costumes for Supervillains. However, because he eventually agreed to work with Sq:B - and his shop was the site of many sting operations and Villain arrests - he'd avoided jail and the Heroes now turned a blind eye to his activities.

When asked how he wanted payment, he asked the neophyte heroes if they'd look into a gang of street toughs beginning to throw their weight around locally. Though they hadn't bothered him, and he had no direct evidence, he suspected some of them may be enhanced. They called themselves "The Managerie".

It was too small an issue to ask Sq:B to look into, what with all their recent troubles.

Troubles?

Well their numbers always varied from 4-10. Recently they'd had an established group of 5 - Spearhead, Enigma, Miasma, Techknight and Warrior. Four months ago, during "The Timelord's" current incursion into the city, Spearhead had been torn apart by a pack of Raptors. Apparently that had led to some stresses within the group and the elven archer, Enigma, disappeared shortly afterwards. Presumably returning to the Faerie realm for century or two. The remaining three heroes are stretched a bit thin at the moment.

The group agreed to look into the street gang.

Friday morning, they all slept in. Agony Aunt received a call from Techknight saying that the group did have an interview a week on Tuesday but calling upon them to be on their best behaviour. Words were exchanged, again, about the wisdom of breaking into a Superhero team's base. However, he did say he liked her Facebook posts.

That afternoon, Jamie, her mum, Agony Aunt and Steel visited a sari shop they knew to be targeted, whilst the rest of the team kept watch. The Menagerie's modus operandi seemed to be to kidnap family pets and threaten them. Protection payments so far were small but the proprietor expected them to rise. The numbers and makeup of each group tended to vary, indicating a much larger group in the background. The visit every Thursday so the group decided to lay a trap.

And bought three amazing silk saris.

In the meantime, they've chosen to practice their abilities and train together.

Walter Watt has discovered that, somehow, one of The Institute's advanced AI programs has installed itself in his Jeeves robot barman creating "Steel Reign".

No-one has yet worked out who or what Steel is or where he's from.

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