We played a new to us Lasers & Feelings hack this week, Pizza & Heroics by an unknown designer in which we play as teenaged superheroes out to protect our school and our town, Seacover. Our teens live in the same dorm together, which we all think is the teachers testing our ability to work as a team. We are Lotus, human avatar of the goddess Artemis; Elastin, a stretchy kid always reaching out to others; Maksim, whose super-powered fingers can knock down walls; Cybelle, the siren whose song controls plant-life; and SureShot, who can turn any object into a deadly weapon.
Our story begins with us riding the bus on a field trip to Bumbershoot Labs, discussing whether the trip is worth our time. SureShot is flicking spitballs around the bus, generally cutting up, and treating it all as a lark, but Lotus is eager to enhance her bow at the weapons lab. Maksim also needs to visit the weapons lab to get his Squeeze Shockers repaired, but Cybelle is frustrated by still not having a costume our teachers approve of, the opera dresses she prefers impractical for hero-ing. She lashes out at Maksim when he pushes her too far, commanding vines to ensnare his entire head. Lotus talks them both down, and Elastin suggests she take Dramatic Posing 101 to learn how to wear her dresses better. Cut to the Labs, where two scientists are questioning the ethics of their super-serum and the real-world problems it could cause.
Once we arrive at the Labs, we split up, with SureShot roaming the facility to see what deadly objects he can find, including at the gift shop. Elastin and Cybele visit the fabrics division together (stretchy guys always have to worry about their pants) but mostly talk through her wigging out on the bus. Elastin recommends she try Dr. Richards, a wizard with materials, to see if he can help. In the weapons division, Maksim asks Lotus if she’ll keep him company while his shock gloves are worked on. He shares the story of being bullied in his childhood by a brute with massive thumbs, asking if she can help him hunt down and get revenge on this bully. While they debate whether that is a healthy path, they hear a scientist mention arch-villain Dr. Apocalypse and decide to follow to find out why. Maksim holds open the door the scientists disappeared through with his finger while Lotus gathers the rest of the group. Once we’re together, Elastin sends his ear into the room with the scientists and learns that they’re being compelled by Doc Apoc to create an ultra-concentrated version of their super-serum and that the villain is coming tonight to check on their progress. We decide to stick around and intervene.
Later, Dr. Apocalypse arrives accompanied by a group of street thug minions (his serum guinea pigs?) and a lieutenant with hypertrophied thumbs. They rendezvous with one of the scientists, who opens a secret lab behind his office to reveal injection vials full of untested and incomplete serum. Seeing a chance to destroy the vials before they’re finished, SureShot caroms a ball bearing off a wall into the rack the lieutenant is carrying across the lab, but Thumbie’s grip is so powerful the rack neither breaks nor falls. Cybele taunts him until he becomes so enraged that he uses two vials of the serum right there, one for each thumb, which immediately begin to grow even more massive, veins and muscles bulging. Seeing his old tormenter (for this is the same bully he knew as a child), Maksim freaks out and runs away, heading for the front door, so Lotus follows him, worried about his state of mind. Cybele calls forth thorns from the office lemon tree that go right into Thumbie’s thumbs, and SureShot grabs a couple of lemons to squeeze juice into the wounds. Elastin rolls into a ball and bounces past Thumbie into the lab, but Doc Apoc nonchalantly blasts him across the room and strides toward the door. Out in the atrium, where we have room to maneuver, Lotus catches up with and stops Maksim’s retreat. She and Cybele convince him that together, we can make a stand against even the most frightening of foes. Thumbie’s whole body is bulking up as the serum affects the rest of him, but Maksim knows how to defeat him and calls out our moves. Elastin wraps his legs around nearby pillars and his arms around Thumbie’s arms, and Cybele’s vines wrap about his legs, so he’s immobilized. Lotus and SureShot fire at him from a distance to keep him disoriented, and Maksim delivers the final blow, grabbing his face with both hands and delivering a double-shock that fells him.
While we’ve been busy taking down his lieutenant, Dr. Apocalypse has made off with a sample of the serum and scientific notes, but at least the scientists are safe and the serum incomplete. Later, we visit the Lab’s cafeteria for some well-deserved slices. Cybele shows off her new costume from Dr. Richard because, somehow, it looks wonderful but never gets in the way. Maksim suggests Lotus become a counselor for the way she helped him through his crisis, but he’s still a little dazed from the fight. When Cybele says, “that’s what friends are for”, he asks “we’re friends now?” Roll credits, play theme song.