My earlier players might better recognize the organization in question as the Phoenix Institution--where they once served on a team called the Phoenix Force. These have since been retconned to Firebird Institute and Firebird Patrol.Since the last campaign [20 years ago in both real and game time] the United States have collapsed, and a collection of new federations has come to dominate North America in its wake. Furthermore, mutants and psionics have come to be recognized as a "growing issue;" these parahumans need to be dealt with--but the successor states cannot agree on how. In Texas, Dixie, and Appalachia parahumans are feared and their population controlled; in New England, California, and Cascadia parahumans are celebrated and their population protected. These recent events form the backdrop of the LegacySPORE setting.
My primary heroes, the mutant Sky-Shot and the natural psionic Sage, have just met. Other major players in the story to come have yet to be introduced.
Sky-Shot has come to the Institute for answers. While he was transporting a crate of undisclosed contents from the Sahara to the Institute, a lightning strike destroyed his aircraft. The content of the crate dissipated, and the young lieutenant was transformed into the living bullet Sky-Shot. Convinced that the contents of the crate were responsible for his transformation, Sky-Shot has sought out Dr. Brian Stoker, leader of the Institute, for insight. Dr. Stoker is excited to meet Sky-Shot, and quickly offers him accommodations on the Institute campus among faculty and staff housing.
Sage has come to the Institute for employment. A promising young cybernetics doctor, Sage's psionic abilities set him apart; they also made him a target in post-U.S. Texas, where parahumans like him are feared and shunned. A former patient of his, Duke Harrington, serves as a member of the Firebird Squadron (successor to the historic Firebird Patrol)--and has extended an invitation on behalf of Dr. Stoker for Sage to join the medical team at the Institute. Accepting such a position is a safe decision.
However, travel from Texas to New England involves passing through Appalachia--where Duke, Sage, and two other refugees are pinned down in a safe house by a Parahuman Reponse Unit. Duke's cybernetics are damaged, and Sage does not have the facilities needed to repair and reboot them. With one member of the Firebird Squadron already present, Dr. Stoker cannot send another without risking an international incident. Instead, he sends Sky-Shot--with the promise that he will give the mutant answers upon his return with Duke and the refugees.
Ultimately, Sky-Shot is victorious. However, not all of the refugees are saved. Maria Valanecia, a mutant speedster capable of transforming into a dark mist, was lost. Certain that he should have been able to save her life, Sage was devastated by her death.