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Titan last won the day on July 19 2012

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About Titan

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  • Birthday 08/25/1972

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    Salisbury, MD, USA
  1. Our story began with Renee Ketterer, the young inventor whose cellular technology was the leading in-car phone this quarter. A millionaire who tonight was fulfilling a lifelong dream at Edison International Field in Los Angeles. She grinned brilliantly as she took the field, waving her poms with the rest of the team. The music swelled, the crowd stomped and yelled, and the stadium rocked. Renee fell into the familiar routine. This wasn't some rich girl fantasy night, she doubted a single woman on the squad knew of her patents. She had worked hard and tried out with everyone else, and made the team the hard way. This was a once in a lifetime experience, and she had earned it. Her heart rate soared with the strenuous dance routine, and the adrenaline of the moment. She stepped sideways, on beat, and ran towards Emily, who was headed her way at the same flat-out run. Hands up, then down and over, and over and over. With a well-timed hand to the small of her back, she sprang to the top of the tower of people that had been constructed out of sweat and muscle, landing perfectly in place. She waved her pom over her head as the music died. Suddenly, she was falling, and tucked herself into the familiar limp 'V' to be caught by expert hands before she came near the ground. She and the team improvised enthusiastic cheers, a denouement marking the end of the routine. Renee was thrilled with life, with her success, with the rush of the crowd. She staggered abruptly, as a bolt of intense pain swept through her head. Thought vanished as she gripped her head and screamed. *** Dr. Samantha Strange was attempting to ignore Keith throwing wadded up balls of paper at her while she tried to get a cup of coffee, but the asshole made it hard with his deadly aim. Even more ridiculous was that the paper he was shredding was her detailed diagnosis for the young boy in Room 4. She would have told him where exactly he could put the email if he didn't like it, but Keith Espinoza was Chief of Surgery, and Samantha very much liked her job. She smiled a tight smile as he mocked her diagnosis. "Left Occipital? I know you get right to it, and that's how you work, but you didn't even consider the shadow on the Medulla?" He threw a wad, which bounced off her nose and into her coffee. "I mean the X-Ray showed a dime-sized shadow on the Medulla, but that didn't catch your attention?" He threw a wad, which missed her face but caught in loose strands of her raven hair. "Strange? Do I have your attention now?" She opened her mouth to speak. "Dr. Strange! Oh, Dr Espinoza, yes, hello," Dr. Walsh, a friend to Samantha, was his usual stammering worst in front of the Chief of Surgery, who thought little of Robert Walsh as a man, and even less so as a doctor. "Yes, what is it, spit it out." "Um. The, er, MRI is uh, well it's done... and, uh..." "Oh, for the love-" "You should both see this," Dr. Walsh gestured down the hallway. Samantha met Dr. Espinoza's gaze. Espinoza grabbed an apple on his way out of the break room, and Samantha followed mutely. In the radiology suite, a dozen x-rays were splayed out on a wall of light, but Dr. Walsh pointed out on a squat monitor the results of the MRI. At only 2" thick, this was state of the art equipment, and Walsh had been a strong proponent of the upgrade; he was rightfully proud of it, and knew the computer modelling better than anyone outside Radiology. "As you can see from the scan, the shadow on the Medulla Oblongata is benign, a surface pooling of fluid that will almost certainly clear on its own," Walsh began excitedly, "But here, in the left Occipital Lobe, fairly deep actually, is-" he glanced at Dr. Espinoza suddenly, as the Chief of Surgery leaned between Walsh and Strange to get a better look at the screen. Espinoza took a big bite of the apple. "a.. uh... an actual um..." "Yeah. You were right, Strange. Good call." Espinoza threw his apple in a can, loudly, and strode from the room. Walsh smiled wanly at Strange. Samantha smiled. "Scrub in." *** The boat sounded the little horn that always made Lucia laugh, two hoots. Carrie glanced at her friend and was rewarded with her infectious giggle. Carrie rubbed her hands together, grinning. It was more than the laugh, it was always exciting just before the dive. Especially now. She looked up to the railing where the captain of this little vessel was leaning over, peering at the team. "We are here?" Carrie asked. Captain Zameel Al-Zahra gave a brilliant smile in return. "Yes, these are the coordinates we were given," he agreed genially, in heavily accented English, "You go now to see, yes?" "Oh, yes. Mikkel, you have the sonar and radio up top. Aidan, Lucia, with me." The broad-shouldered Norseman nodded seriously, and though she couldn't see their faces, she knew that Aidan and Lucia were becoming similarly sober. Up until now, Zameel had been in charge, but on the dive it was up to them. They took their work seriously. Carrie, Aidan, and Lucia went over the side, into the icy waters of the North Sea. Carrie pulled hard, kicking strongly, and she was soon leading in truth, down into the murky depths. The suit protected them some from the bitter cold, but it was still frigid. The exercise of diving helped, and before long, they had reached the trench. Carrie's heart sank as she spied the U-2, broken and silent on the floor of the sea. Very cool Nazi find, but not exactly what they were looking for. She felt a touch on her arm, and looked where Lucia pointed with her lamp. The broken stump of the Skeid's mast poked up from the ruined Viking longship, and Carrie exulted. She kicked hard for the ship, and her team followed. Ignoring the ornate prow, Carrie made for a hatch near the stern of the vessel. Awkwardly, she tried to pry the hatch open. Aidan tried to assist, bracing against the decking of the boat, but slipped on the coated icy wood, smashing his face against a frozen oar bench. His mask askew, he pointed up and began kicking towards the surface. Protocol was she went with him, but she glanced to Lucia, who waved her off and settled in beside her, taking a grip on the edges of the hatch. Together, the young women pulled open the ancient trapdoor. Carrie made her way into the crawlspace, a very narrow and shallow inner deck that was remarkably well preserved. Carrie estimated the Skeid was likely almost a thousand years old. Finally, Carrie found a rotting chest, tumbled under a frozen wooden frame. She maneuvered the frame off of the chest, and tried to pry it open. After a couple of sharp blows to the lock with a small pick, the chest opened. Carrie pawed through the coins spilling out of the chest, and ignored the gilded horn. She paused at a parcel of frozen rotted rags, and as gently as possible, pried the stiff cloth away, revealing a fist-sized diamond. The Eye of Odzus. She gazed at the stone in awe for a moment, until a flash of light crossed her face. Lucia was signalling from the other end of the crawlspace. A tinny beeping reminded Carrie that she was on a quarter of her tank, and she hurriedly stuffed the Eye into a velcroed pouch. She squirmed back to the hatch. Lucia raised her hands to either side of her head, shrugging. Did you find anything? Carrie patted her pouch, and Lucia gave her a thumbs-up. They pushed off the boat, swimming for the surface. Something about just leaving the Skeid, a trove of archaeologically significant artifacts, just rubbed her wrong. She knew that she had been hired for a specific reason, and she was happy to retrieve the artifacts she was sent to recover, but she always felt a bit wistful about it. Maybe that's why she looked back. A motion caught her attention, near the hatch. She paused, and Lucia kept going, oblivious that Carrie was not close behind her. Carrie shone her light back into the murk they had just come out of, sweeping right and then left of the door. Nothing. As the light swept back across the hatch, however, it reflected in twin yellow eyes peering out of the hatch. Carrie started, and the eyes came forward from the darkness, revealing a man-like creature with greenish-grey scales and fins on either side of its misshapen face. Carrie turned, already stroking hard towards the boat, but even as she turned, she saw the creature move with unnatural speed in her direction. Frantic, she swam, harder than she had ever before. The dim shape of the boat appeared before her, growing larger and more distinct. She was shrieking into her regulator, hoping that she would make it, when she jerked to a sudden stop. She looked frantically down to see the clawed grip of the creature on her leg. Its yellow eyes shone with intelligence, and it was looking at the pouches on her belt. Carrie was hit with a loop of rope, attached to a long pole, suddenly thrust down from the surface. She went limp with relief as the creature let go of her leg. It looked at her for what felt like a long time, and then turned, swimming away at an astonishing speed. She babbled incoherently to her team as they pulled her from the water. ***
  2. Xmen: DOFP

    Holy cow, what a movie! I could pick it apart, but why would I want to? I enjoyed the hell out of it, and that one scene.... Yikes! TV Flash has some high expectations now, methinks. Moar Blink! That is all.
  3. I was hoping more for an improved 'Alphas'. Very disappointed with the wasted potential here. The people are attractive, the acting is acceptable, the source material is massive and varied, the guest star potential and movie tie ins are extremely bankable, ths should ba a 'can't miss' show. But it's weak at best. 'Arrow' rocks, though.
  4. So, here's the outline for the story. I came across it, and I'm not doing anything with it, and maybe you guys will enjoy knowing what was to come. Ah, Regrets. Infinity Hour Prologue - Get the PCs together under August Hermann, a proto-Teragen who was 102 when the Galatea exploded. He's been asked, as a favor, to assemble a group of Novas to explore the rift at La Palazzia Orzaiz. Chapter One: Down the Rabbit Hole The PCs arrive at LPO just as the whole place goes ka-blooie. The Mercenaries who were sent that morning have returned to destroy the rift (they think the machinery measuring the rift is actually creating it, not getting it's a natural(?) phenomena.) Signs that they have been gone longer than two hours - full beards, dirty and torn uniforms. Group of servants (Head of Security?) trapped in basement security complex. Appearance of Feng from 2120 - underground Nova who has seen it all, and is acquainted with Michael. Deal with Police coming to investigate explosion. Go through the rift. Chapter Two: Voices at the Door Emerge in a hollow near the top of Mount Olympus. No ambush, no nothing. Snow. Instructions to launch A.L.I.C.E. Not online for several hours or days. [Edit for clarity: A.L.I.C.E. was a near indestructible mini satellite that was created to catalogue human history and geopolitical changes, with an uplink to the PCs. Sort of an all-knowing Wikipedia that would be there throughout (most of) the eras that the PCs travel to, with reliable information]. There is a small city visible at the base of the mountain, stone age. Suddenly, two men appear amidst the PCs. (Young guy: "Call me... Prometheus, and this is Epi-" Old guy: "Just Michael, is fine" GLARE) Walt and Jesse. [Again, edit for clarity: The model for these two were Walter White and Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad, just to help me remember characterization] Agents of the Tianshi vos Mercer (Angels of Destiny)- Far future (3450?) 'time cops', future cannot be seriously altered, universe self-corrects, but these guys keep it on the only track that matters, the one where humans conquer the galaxy (following the precepts laid down millenia ago by Max Mercer). They are tracking a renegade Doyen they call 'Genocide'. Prometheus wants to give them an injection for 'Temporal Immunity', but Michael comments, "I wouldn't do that", so P lets it drop. Reveal all the problems, matter of fact: They're here for Genocide. This is long enough ago that it can't really matter that the mercenaries are here. The rift opens every six weeks from this side, but that doesn't matter, because M&P are here to shut down the rift (all the rifts throughout space and time, but right now this one), to prevent Genocide from tainting any more of history. Also, they are right now standing on the turf of the seven most powerful men and women in the world (six, now that Apolun-Ra is dead). The original Novas, gathered and developed over a thousand years by the first Pharoah, are on their way home from killing their master. Oh, and here they are now. Chapter Three: Men Like Gods Wotanzeiss and his companions are wounded and weary. The new leader of the 'gods' has lost half of his face, including an eye, and only his superhuman stamina is keeping him together. They are quantum depleted, and in hardly in any shape to fight, which puts them right at the level of the PCs. Negotiation? Fight? If resolved, they have a hidden complex inside the mount. *Hierazaki does a mental link that instant-translates, if allied* If Not, the rest of this will be harder. Story of Apolun-Ra and the companions, who have the world as their playground, until Apolun becomes more and more insane and powerful. His paranoid delusions regarding the Ietliantians, for instance... Who? Yeah, the Ietliantians have been around for the last five years or so (convert from six weeks to two hours, since the rift opened, give or take), raising an island from the ocean floor (Seidon confirms, most of their activity is underwater) to trade with the natives. So, proto Hellenic Greece has biotechnology and mercenaries with guns. But, the gods say, the Ietliantians are essentially harmless. A.L.I.C.E. comes online - Fix on position, oh, and large mobile force presumably for war is heading your way... If not allied, the 'gods' withdraw into their complex, leaving the PCs to their own devices. The city? Ruled by the Mercs, but with weird biotech powering things that just shouldn't exist, even with future guys running the show. No translations. Maybe a guerrilla (or open) campaign to overthrow/capture the mercs... Days later, the Ietliantian invade, in a massive force. Chapter Four: From the Depths Ideally, a coalition (heh) of the 'gods, the PCs and the Mercs + locals will fight the massive battle (invasion of Aethenis) against the invaders. Prometheus and Michael re-emerge in a moment of privacy (no gods or mercs around), with Prometheus in a panic "This is exactly the kind of major outside influence that CAN change the timestream!" Whirls on Michael "Why didn't you SAY something?" Shrug. "This is your intervention, I'm just here to advise", letting the PCs know that the younger one is in charge. They have to DO something. Why don't M&P do something? They have been inoculated with 'Temporal Immunity', which means that they literally CANNOT effect change. The PCs have not, ergo and ipso facto... The real bad guy here, is of course, Genocide. His hatred of the human race for the near destruction of his kind has led him to drastic measures, not the least of which is coming back to Human pre-history to wipe them out. Boy, was he surprised to find quantum channellers among the savages... (not a him or a her. Call it 'it', a force, a being of energy) He diverted a pre-Coalition colonization ship, through emotional manipulation of the crew, to find Earth, and begin the incorporation of Homo Sapiens into the Coalition. Their 'Island' is actually their ship, and they are terraforming the sea into underwater cities for their use. It is critical that the PCs understand the stakes: all of human history. See how it goes, but the 'gods' and mercs should fight, even if they aren't specifically allied with the PCs. Destruction of the ship, etc. etc, and Ietliantis tumbles into the sea. Tons of action, but no drawn out war. Decisive battle, and if the NPC gods have to do the heavy lifting on this one, so be it. Chapter Five: Things Change Victory is sweet, and P&M assure the PCs that any damage done to the continuity will be only temporary, as the Universe will self-correct to get back on the true time-track. A later team will clean up the little stuff to help the Universe along, but that's not our project, and will likely take several lifetimes. No, we were here for Genocide, but it got away (P&M have devices to detect and destroy the Doyen, but the distraction was effective, and he's gone) So, they open the rift... except there isn't one. No fracture of the time-space continuum. Like it never existed. Genocide must have done something. P&M aren't affected because 'temporal immunity', PCs aren't affected because they are not in the causal stream that was affected, but Nova future is gone. Space jaunt! Fast forward, with M&P to the far future 3450, to the planet Mercer (Destiny), where the Tianshi vos Mercer collectively struggle to figure out what in the hells has happened. Lots of info here, and a glimpse of what is so great about humanity's future. Universal Pantograph, teleportation (device, not psion), no hunger, war, strife. Near-immortality through various technologies both mechanical and biological. And, humanity USED to have a strong strain of Quantum and Psi running through them, but humanity was long ago consumed by overpopulation and the insanities that come with it, dead from a disinterest in space and stagnant discovery. How is Mercer unaffected? Whole planet is shielded from temporal effect (sell this, as it could be supper ass-pull if not handled correctly) What's the deal with Genocide? Well, quantum hurts Doyen, yada yada, and try as they might, they cannot overcome the taint. The Doyen have collectively decided to abdicate this galaxy and start over elsewhere. Genocide is the one holdout, who decides in a stunning act of rebellion, to eradicate humans before they can even begin the hurt. Following the fractures created by Jennifer Landers in the time-space continuum, he develops a Noetic counterpart to the rifts. He cant use it alone, he still has to follow her 'tunnels' to emerge at the same time and place as the original rifts, and can't use the rifts as they are essentially a manifestation of Taint. Still, he's now a threat. Meanwhile, Tianshi historicists have spent a few hundred years tracking down the source of the change (of course, they looped it back to now, so you'd hardly notice). Late July, 1922, London (New York?) Earth. Still Prometheus' mission, and after a strong objection from one of the Tianshi, P&M decide to take the PCs with them to work it out. Chapter Six: The Butler Did It Michael and the PCs must infiltrate the demonstration of Calvin Hammersmith. Simple. (Michael: "You, of course, will stay here, and advise us from the outside" Prometheus: "Wait, I HAVE to be there!" Michael looks at him hard, Prometheus drops his gaze "Oh... yes, of course. I understand." ) Plot points of note: Jackson Harley has been entirely subsumed by Genocide, who has taken his body over. The PCs may believe that he is there to sabotage the experiment, but nothing could be further from the truth. He wants to make it fail, but no explosion. How the PCs get in is largely up to them, but they shouldn't have too much difficulty. Mind fuck moment when Max Mercer shows up with Prometheus! PCs might be like "What?", especially when Michael brushes it off like no big deal. The players will get it. Now, a sort of comedy of errors as Jackson Harley attempts to make adjustments to the device. Perhaps the PCs try to undo what he did, maybe they realize it will make the device go more smoothly. Either way, the showcase is of the Hammersmith incident. If PCs don't "fix" the device to explode, then Michael will. In the ensuing ka-boom, give the PCs a chunk of NP to spend, in a 'radiation accident' type play. Buffed up, they'll be extra pissed by... Chapter Seven: Back to Reality Prometheus and Michael thank the PCs for their service, and Prometheus especially pats himself on the back for a job well done, as Genocide was evidently destroyed in the blast. Michael has his reservations, but admits that it does seem likely. He mentions casually that they have buried a temporal monitoring device at the location of each rift, so they can tell if these guys ever go through one again. He cautions against it. With individual goodbyes, they send the PCs one by one back to their own time... Each PC awakens to find themselves baseline. They are in the middle of dealing with the aftermath of whatever caused their eruptions in the first place. Only catch is, they have a complete memory of everything that has happened since erupting, including their time adventures. Also... things have changed. The world has been divided by Germany and Japan following their victory in WWII. Superpowered beings exist, but they are much weaker than Novas, and are relentlessly hunted down to serve the state. The PCs have to find a way to reunite and figure out what to do. A.L.I.C.E. will be invaluable for information, and possibly contact. To make matters worse, the PCs are each experiencing a mental disturbance where the memories of this reality have begun to displace their true memories, causing disorientation and dizziness, as well as intense nausea. If they take too long to figure things out, they will forget they ever lived any other life. The solution here will be M&P, obviously, though there should be several encounters that show how bad of a world this is, and give the PCs a chance to stretch their non-nova abilities. If it occcurs to them to seek out the temporal monitor at La Palazzia Orzaiz, they discover the Count is active in the underground network for Die Inspiriert, and perfectly willing to help. Hopefully, the PCs will get their shit together before they lose their shit, and M&P will make contact to get them the hell out of dodge. Chapter Eight: The Nefarious Scheme of Dr. Hauptmann Prometheus confesses that he was wrong, and that Genocide is still up to no good. (no shit?) The Historicists have made a horrifying discovery. In the Hammersmith Incident, the Doyen was able to absorb the Telluric energy, because it was Psi energy infused with quantum instead of raw quantum. They fear that he is now no longer vulnerable to Tainted quantum, and they KNOW that he is trying to strike at the first mass release of quantum. Galatea? No, silly. Kolberg, Germany 1945. (note: once they leave this time stream, their powers come back) The enigmatic Dr Hauptmann has been diligently recreating the Telluric engine, but powered purely by quantum, and experimenting with the resultant energy. For the last few years, he has created the Zombie Panzer division, the Nazi Wulfpack, and his latest creations, the Ubermensch. Hitler and the Nazi high command assume, incorrectly, that Hauptmann is their pet scientist. In reality, Dr. Hauptmann is Max Mercer's closest friend, Michael Donighal. Sent to Germany in the late thirties to gain a better understanding of this 'Nazi phenomenon", Donighal has infiltrated the Nazis as Dr. Drache Hauptmann. Here, he finds, he can experiment without limits. Though the Nazis are brutish thugs, they do seem to respect science, and Hauptmann too believes that a "master race" must dominate mankind's destiny, though he has not mentioned to anyone exactly which race he means. Through their sponsorship, he has nearly unlimited funds to pursue the recreation of Hammersmith's masterpiece, and a nearly unlimited supply of 'volunteers' for his experimentation. This one should be dark, but fun. Zombie Nazis and talking guard dogs are pretty good stuff, and the Ubermensch should put up quite the fight. The twist is that Mercer and his Society are just about to arrive on the scene to put a stop to Donighal, having just discovered that the murder of whatshername just prior to the war was at his hands, having just found him out for something something. Problem: Max and gang assume incorrectly that the PCs are one of Primoris' creations. Three way battle: Ready? Fight! Ok. This can end a couple of different ways. At the least, the engine is powered up, and Genocide actually starts absorbing the pure quantum energy it's putting out. No bueno. The society will destroy the engine in a 'little' explosion, after all that's what they do without any temporal interferance. However, a big quantum battle with Primoris (who is at the least a match for a few weeks old nova) could cause the engine to go big. A BIG explosion could be interesting. In addition to powering up Genocide, it could start the Nova age sixty years early (what Primoris/Hauptmann wants). Either way, Genocide gets a nice big drink of quantum. In whatever explosion ensues, Prometheus gets blasted in the face. His body cradled by Michael, he explains what he learned in a mental link with Genocide. Chapter Nine: The Beginning of the End Drunk on Quantum, and now a being of both energies, Genocide has decided to go for broke, and become.. not A god, but THE god. He is going back to the beginning, back before the big bang, to mold the universe to his liking without interference. It is up to the PCs to stop him. Michael drops Prometheus at Tianshi vos Mercer HQ, and they transition to before the beginning of time. Dunno how to do this, but epic battle. Genocide is a supremely powerful, Nova Doyen. Almost literally a god. The entire not-inconsiderable might of the Tianshi plus the PCs (and can we find a way for the 'gods' from chapter three to show up? I think we can!) are barely holding out against his Noetic and Quantum onslaughts. In the backdrop: Nothing. Literally nothing, no stars no light no nothing. Not even sound. Makes fighting difficult, but it should be pretty cool. The PCs will think of something, some way to destroy this creature (the two energies naturally do not mix, like oil and water), and when they do, the resultant explosion of energy is massive. So massive, that it rips a hole in the fabric of space and time, spewing the energies and matter of another universe into our empty one. (yeah, we just saw the big bang, bitches) M and the PCs, and the Tianshi get out before they get creamed. Chapter Ten: Alpha and Omega Get out they do, and Michael picks up Prometheus, who has these crazy purple glowing eyes, but covers them with these goggle things. ("I look like a freak" Michael: "Ah, but you get better you know.") They take the PCs to the edge of the galaxy (no big) to show them the Doyen Exodus. A miracle of light and energy, the race of Doyen are moving through a red curtain of lightning, in space, far from any star, and it's moving and gorgeous. They are abdicating this galaxy, leaving it to the sure victors, Humanity. The PCs, and Michael and Prometheus, are in a sort of observational ship, one whole side of which is transparent, and the display is quite beautiful. A man appears. One minute he's not there, then he is. An older man, about Michael's apparent age. Think Teddy Roosevelt. Michael smiles at him. "Max. I didn't think you'd come" Max smiles broadly back "Except that you knew I would." Another man appears, and this one the PCs recognize from chapter six: The young Max Mercer. He is bewildered and confused. "What... what is this?" Prometheus grips his arm. "This is how it ends. We get to see how it all ends." Older Max chuckles. "I barely remember this conversation, let's see, it's been what? Forty years?" Michael smiles enigmatically. "For you. It's been... somewhat longer for me." Looks long at the PCs. Nods. "I know just what to do with you." Flicks his fingers, and the PCs find themselves on top of Mount Olympus. Michael and Prometheus (undamaged, with normal eyes) are aiming devices at the rift. They explain that they opened this one manually, in preparation for sealing the rift for good. But, of course, they agree to send the PCs through before sealing it. The PCs arrive back at La Palazzia Orzaiz, one hour after they left. Fin.
  5. I'm here. You want I should go on? Three players say yes, and I will. Otherwise, I'll let you all go on with your lives. No big.
  6. The Next Star Wars Director

    Hayao Miyazaki. That is all.
  7. Keiko walked wonderingly through a garden of stone policemen. Not actual stone, of course, but the infinitesimally moving men seemed almost like it as she moved through them. She walked, as she was slowly becoming accustomed to, through a blood-red night, the A.L.I.C.E. case banging her hip painfully at every step and pulling her arm out of its socket. She set the end of the case down, and switched hands. The blasted thing was meant to be carried by at least two, probably four, people. The best she could do was drag it. And it looked like the entire Ibiza police force was pouring into the back yard. She shook her head, hefted her load, and dragged it further right. She could fit between those two, barely. *** Andrea pulled hard with her right arm, focusing clearly on Javier. Her shoulders ached with the strain. Luis and Maria, the servants, were safely above ground, only the security chief remained. After she had gotten back down from the first trip with Maria, she had checked the room down the hall. The woman, whoever she had been, and the bearded mercenary were gone. She had rather thought that they would be. Now, on trip three, she was glad it was the last. Swimming through dirt and concrete was just about as hard as swimming in water, and dragging someone behind was twice as hard. She thought about the story the woman had told, about Genocide, and the woman's friend Michael. A fantastic story, completely unbelievable. But, strangely, Andrea did believe it. She held that idea up and examined it as she crossed into air. She solidified, except for her arm, and helped Javier up above ground. She smiled at him as she let go of his hand. His face, that of a brave man facing something that terrifies him, cracked into a shaky smile, and he nodded his thanks. Luis and Maria stood near a bush by the corner of the rubble. Luis said quietly and urgently, "La Policia." Andrea nodded. Even she knew that one. Javier brushed at his clothes. "[i had better go speak with them.]" he said to her, in French, "[Though I do not know what I am going to say.]" "Yeah," she said in English, mostly to herself, "I guess 'an intergalactic entity may have taken over the minds of some mercenaries we sent back in time to the dawn of history as part of a plot to destroy humanity' probably wouldn't go over, huh?" Javier and the servants looked at her, puzzled. She smiled and shrugged. "No, probably not." She motioned Javier to go ahead, and the survivors and their savior went around to what used to be the front of the villa. *** The circular driveway filled with emergency personnel and police, and the latter spread out and began moving around the side of the ruined villa. The heavily armed and armored units leading the way, the Ibiza police began to secure the area. In an island of calm, Raoul Orzaiz led the police Captain over to the SUVs. "Capitán, these are my guests," he said, gesturing expansively, "and are in no way involved in this horrible event, except that they were nearly victims of the blast themselves. Please allow me to introduce you. Mister Thomas Froit, Miss Rianna Connelly, and Miss Jillian Johnson, all from the United States. And Fahren you have met, as well as my man Jin." The police captain nodded to Thomas, removed his hat and sort of bowed to Rianna. His eyes widened when he looked at Jill, but he nodded solemnly to her as well. He glanced at her feet, turned and motioned to a nearby officer. "Consiga a alguien para acá inmediatamente, esta mujer está gravemente herido!" The man nodded and rushed over to the ambulance. The captain turned back to Jill. "The woman, she lives?" At her nod, he smiled grimly, "That is good." His gaze included all of them as he continued, "It is good that you are here. You have my apologies for this horrible incident happening in Ibiza. We will find who did this, you can be very sure. Ah, good." This last to the medical team converging on Hana. Jill tensed, at first reluctant to let the woman be touched, but Jin put a hand on her arm, and she relaxed. The woman of flame, who flamed no more, snorted derisively. Jill glanced at her sharply, then turned back to Hana. The emergency team efficiently but gently got Jin's wife up onto a stretcher and rolled it away. Jin smiled up at Jill, nodded to her, then followed the stretcher quickly. There was a yelp from one of the officers around the side of the house, and they all turned in alarm. A blurred shape zigged through and around and between the officers. More than one cried out in surprise, and one officer clutched at his shinbone. The blur zagged towards the group in the center of the driveway, quick as a blink, then solidified into Keiko, dragging some big case behind her. Around them, officers jumped back and reached for weapons. "My guest!" Orzaiz said loudly. "She is my guest!" "Retirarse por!" shouted the captain, "Todo el mundo, retirarse!" Slowly, the men lowered weapons, moved hands away. Keiko barely noticed. Being innocent of any wrongdoing, it did not really occur to her that she would be suspected of anything. In any event, she could almost certainly outrun a bullet, so there was also that. "I didn't find the basement, but I did find this." She looked around doubtfully. "With all these cops, how are we going to..." She trailed off. Orzaiz shook his head. Suddenly, he looked young, and unsure. The news had said that he was twenty four, but his usual confidence lent him the air of a much older man. Right now, he looked even younger than he was. "We don't," he said, "You can't. Not now. It's too dangerous." The woman called Fahren scowled. "That isn't your decision to make, Raoul, and you know it. We all agreed, and so have they. This changes nothing." "But it does!" he said, "It changes everything. Instead of a scouting expedition, they will be going into a hostile situation. Granted, they are well equipped to deal with almost any- Dios!" He broke of suddenly, and strode, almost ran, towards Javier, just emerging from the brush blocking the other side of the villa. Maria and Luis followed. "Estás vivo!" he shouted, arms open wide, "Oh, mis amigos, ustedes están vivos!" Javier met him, grinning, and gripped Orzaiz's forearms with his hands. The two men looked at each other a moment, Orzaiz nodding with pleasure, then he turned and touched the woman and man each on the arm. "Estoy muy satisfecho," he said gently. Beyond, Andrea was emerging from the brush, and Orzaiz moved quickly to her. "Oh, I am in your debt, Miss Nast. You have saved at least a few of my people. Thank you." He turned back to Fahren. "And in repayment, I should ask them to go on? To clean up the mess that the Mathematician has made? No. I will not. We will not." Beside him, Andrea spoke up. "We may not have much choice."
  8. The woman's eyes opened and she looked at Andrea calmly. She continued to hum low and quiet, and touched the man's chest lightly as she cupped his cheek with her other hand. She breathed in and out, gazing across the man's body at the young novus. Out of the corner of her eye, Andrea saw his boot twitch. She looked quickly at his face. His moustache fluttered as he exhaled slowly. Her own breath caught. He inhaled. He lived. She looked back at the woman, who returned her gaze steadily. "Genocide is a being that I have never encountered, but of whom I have heard much. When one has Travelled..." She stared distantly, in thought, then, "one can quickly recognize other Travellers. A man- a friend- that I have met, speaks of this 'Genocide' to me often. A being from across the galaxy that hates mankind." She shook her self slightly, then turned her attention back to Andrea. "I have been tracing these rifts for a long time, since they first appeared in fact, and Michael, the man I met, is a friend. One night, after an... interesting... evening in Denver, in 1889, I mentioned a confrontation that I and others had with Zetanhkaton, the so-called 'King of Kings', also called Apolun-Ra, the first novus. I was attempting to explain to him how powerless we all felt, facing a thousands of years old Novus, with what seemed unlimited power, when he burst out laughing." She smiled slightly at the memory, and glanced at the bearded man. Color was returning to his face, and he seemed to be breathing easy. "I was very vexed with him, it had not seemed at all funny to me, but he explained that he had been there on the very day that Apolun-Ra was killed by his followers, those novus who ruled with him for almost a thousand years. He was in Greece, not Egypt, but there in the flesh, ten thousand years ago, on the day. He was there following 'Genocide', and intercepted five novus who stepped through a portal on the east peak of Mount Olympus, looking for some runaway soldiers." Again, the woman looked at Andrea, and her gaze was harder this time. "It has taken me many years to arrange to be here, at this moment, to tell you these things. I do not know what fate awaits you and your friends across the gulf of time. I know only that you go through. I wish to warn you that 'Genocide' is the threat. It may be using your soldiers, or anyone, to accomplish what it wants, but 'Genocide' is the true threat." She paused, then spoke almost as an afterthought. "Novus alone, you may trust... at least to be free of 'Genocide's influence. Michael did tell me as much." She grimaced. "I must go, if I am to truly save this man. Please. Trust me, and take the other three who are waiting for you in the corridor up to the surface. It may be that we will speak again before you leave. If not, fare you well. For, speaking as one who knows Time, you will go through, because you did. And it is vital that you did, therefore you must." She smiled enigmatically. "Was that clearly explained enough for you, friend Andrea?"
  9. Titan had treated his new role as protector in the same manner he once policed the skies of his homeworld. He divided the city into a polygonal grid, and spent most of his days going from polygon to polygon, listening to the police band radio and keeping his eyes peeled for any sign of violence. So far, he had stopped nine minor crimes, in each case telling the perpetrator to stop commiting antisocial acts and letting them go. He had, as of yet, had no contact with any of the Bay City's law enforcement personnel, or media. The last four days, however, he had picked up a tail in the form of this aerial vehicle, this 'news copter'. He did not let it affect his patrol, but he continued to ignore it, and the pleas for an 'interview' from the man inside over his loud speaker. Still, he was considering speaking to the man, if only to tell him to leave Titan his privacy. He hovered over the west end of the Bay Bridge, looking and listening, and thinking of how to say it firmly but without giving offense, when the explosion startled him out of his reverie. He looked across the Bay, found the large industrial complex with the billowing flame and black smoke, and rocketed towards the source of the explosion. He noted with a slight irritation that the news copter followed him, but put it from his mind. In a matter of heartbeats, he was close enough to see the complex, and stopped short in shock. There were several problems, and all of them needed solving immediately. A building, or the remains of one, was imminently in danger of falling. The fire threatened the panicked people running around amid the chaos. However, the primary source for all of these seemed to be the small army that fired indiscriminately at the unarmed people running around. In addition to the men on the ground, the army had a large vehicle with a weapon mounted on top. That had to be Titan's primary objective. He flew towards the grouped armed force on the ground, landing on their flank. He reached out and opened a high-altitude vacuum tube, channeling the cold blast of air towards the men. He had to stop the firing. Amusing rolling and confusion Yeah, so I don't really get this part. There don't seem to be any modifiers, but there have to be, because it's a DC20 for the Move Object Wind Blast. (This is part of what has taken me so long in this thread, but I decided just to suck it up and admit that I don't know) So! Modifier-free roll, somebody stop me where I've gone wrong: [Titan] 10:51 am: hey all. I need a witness, I think. Anyone available. [Titan] 10:51 am: ? [Dozer] 10:51 am: I'm here. [Kamiko] 10:51 am: going in 30 [Titan] 10:51 am: cool. I guess there are no modifiers, just a straight 20 roll. Never done it, but here goes. [Titan] 10:53 am: d20 [Titan] 10:53 am: Yeah, I don't know how to do it. Lol [Dozer] 10:54 am: 'roll 1d20 [Dozer] 10:54 am: `roll 1d20 [Kamiko] 10:54 am: its /d Titan *rolls* 1d20: 16: 16 [Dozer] 10:55 am: Thanks [Titan] 10:55 am: woot. I did it! [Titan] 10:55 am: K. Thanks guys.
  10. Ah, the old 'tonight for sure' gag. You have my apologies, I've been distracted. I have not, and will not, give up on the game. I have no explanation except to say that each night, I have spent my free time on something other than this. I will try hard to get this back into my schedule. Read the below only after you have read my post: Spoiler Alert! So those of you in the driveway may do pretty much as you wish, though sudden moves might have consequences. Keiko and Andrea too, and you may not be as aware of the sudden moves thing. Olympus or Bust!
  11. Jillian, Rianna, Thomas, and Jin knelt on the driveway with their hands in the air in the face of Ibiza's police response. Jillian, half-crouched over the unconscious Hana, splitting her attention between the guns pointed at her and the severely injured woman in her charge, saw the falling star first. Her mouth opened in surprise as she saw what looked like a meteor, trailing flame, racing through the atmosphere towards them. Thomas and Rianna both saw it at the same time, a growing ball of flame aimed right at the house. Then the ball of fire sprang into perspective, and they realized that it was much closer, and much smaller, than they had originally thought. The police continued to fill the circular driveway, weapons ready. The original police started towards the group, shouting what the non-Spanish speakers among them recognized nonetheless as 'Don't make any funny moves'. Coming around behind Jin, the first officer quickly reached around him to begin searching, when the officer saw the flame in the sky. "INCOGNITA!" he shouted, pointing his weapon at the swiftly descending figure just as the shape resolved into a human shape, a woman of flame. She came fast, and the police on the ground turned their weapons on this new threat. *** Out in the shed, Keiko had the large case open. Three latches, and she was in. The lid was lined with a thick, grey, egg carton shaped case foam, with more in the base, form cut around... something. There was a large cut out for a dull mirrored ball, about the size of a large beachball. Another was for a short, but wide, tube that looked like high quality PVC pipe. Some slits held panels, and one end had another, smaller case tucked into the foam. On top of the case was a thick spiral book. Keiko picked it up, glanced at the title. ***Operation Manual*** ********A.L.I.C.E.********* Aerial Liaison Intelligence Compilation, Enduring "Huh," said Keiko, flipping the book over in her hand. On the back was the eaten apple logo of fine computing products worldwide: CORE International. There was finer print underneath- she tilted the book into the light, and squinted. A division of Mnemosyne. **** Under the rubble, Andrea Nast knelt over the bearded man. He was gurgling blood, which also poured from the two bullet holes in his chest. She began to feel panic. Her compression wasn't doing any good. She felt his head. Ice cold. That was not good. He began to moan, his eyes sprang open. He lurched up at Andrea, clutching at her. Blood streamed through his beard, his eyes bored into her own. "G-gen..." he whispered. He convulsed, a gout of blood spilling from between gritted teeth. His eyes drooped, his body beginning to slack. His hand went limp on her arm. She held him up, lowering him to the floor. Her eyes beginning to well with frustrated tears, she placed a hand on his chest. Lazily, he looked at her again. His lips moved weakly. He closed his eyes. Andrea stared at his relaxed face for a long moment, a faint anguish filling her. "Genocide," the Asian woman said. The starkness of her tone shocked Andrea, and startled her from her pity. "Wh- what?" she asked. "He was going to say 'Genocide'. Before he died." The Chinese woman looked at Andrea steadily. "Because that is what waits for you on the other side of the portal." Andrea pulled back. The woman dusted her hands off and stood. "Do not be afraid, Andrea. Help the others out, I will do what I can for this one. He is one of us now, as you will be. He is a Traveller, and do not fear that I will fail him. He lives yet. Go on. We will speak again before you leave." The woman turned, clearly dismissing Andrea, and knelt beside the body of the bearded man. She began to hum softly, and reached one hand towards his cheek, caressing it like a lover. **** The woman landed among them, an avatar of living flame, and everyone drew back from the heat of her. The police, obviously terrified despite their weapons, brandished them all the more. She ignored them completely, and walked towards Thomas and Rianna, leaving blackened, sticky asphalt steps behind her. She spoke, and her voice was like liquid fire. "Stand up. You need never cringe before such as these again." She turned to Jillian, gesturing lightly with one hand. "Rise, all of you." A screeching sound behind her made her turn. A yellow Lamborghini Diablo rocked and revved between two police ATVs, slamming to a stop just inside the driveway. The driver's door lifted. In the interruption, the police captain shouted, in English, "THAT'S ENOUGH! YOU WILL-" The woman erupted into a larger flame, springing three feet off the ground, towering over the captain. "NO, YOU WILL-" "No, YOU WILL," thundered a new voice, from the man exiting the Diablo who softened his tone immediately, "if you please, my dear- allow me to conduct matters on my own lawn in the manner which I prefer?" As he spoke, he walked jauntily towards the captain, tugging at his cufflinks to straighten them. He was recognizable to anyone who followed the Novus news as Raoul Orzaiz, the son of nobility who vocally had rejected help from the W.H.O. and Aeon Society, encouraging other emerging Novus to do the same. The woman of flame stared at Orzaiz hard. He smiled at her and chuckled. "As you will, of course, but I do ask that in my own home..." he shrugged. Her molten features softened, and she sank slowly to the asphalt. As her feet touched, her flame vanished, and she became a rather ordinary looking woman, thin, pale, with auburn hair, who was completely naked. The corners of her mouth turned up in an amused satisfaction, and she matched gazes with Orzaiz. "Of course," she said finally. Orzaiz sighed, and undid the button of his sportcoat, shrugging out of it. Many of the police looked away as he draped it around the woman's shoulders, but most stared unabashedly at her body. She did not seem to notice. Orzaiz murmured something into her ear, kissed her gently on the cheek, and turned to the police captain. "Now, Capitan, what seems to be the problem?" Jin stood finally, brushing the knees of his trousers. The officer that had been about to search him moved backwards, giving the large Korean man room. Jin gave a curt nod, almost a bow, to the officer and stepped away from him. Behind him, the police captain laughed, and the others saw Jin smile.
  12. Tai Tsien spotted the two groups of young men from about a mile and a half away. There was a space between them, but as they shouted at one another, the gulf narrowed. He frowned in consternation. When he had first arrived on this world, his complete lack of knowledge kept him from getting involved in localized conflicts, of which the world had plenty. Once he had learned the language and an approximation of the customs, privacy and a natural inclination to avoid conflict had stayed his hand. What he saw before him, however, looked like 'War'. Like all the inhabitants of Neo Harmonium, Tai Tsien had spent time with the Defenders, so in theory he knew of 'War'. His training included physical violence and the use of his mantle to give violent response to any invasion force that may threaten his homeworld. The thought of using this training against another citizen horrified him. He had read the 'news' papers of this world, he knew of the heroes that had recently appeared, of their exploits, and he was aware that his mantle, his biology, gave him a superiority that easily could be classed as 'superheroic'. Even his mantle and safety flag made him look dressed for such a role. Until today, however, he had hesitated. Now, as he streaked towards a small war, he picked Jerome out of the group and felt a focus and intensity that he had not felt in his lifetime. He would stop this war before the first blow if he could, but if he could not, he would defend Jerome against harm, violently if he must. Tai Tsien found that he had it in himself to do this thing, and felt saddened by it, but no less determined. He put his head down and rocketed to the gulf between the two groups. Tai Tsien reversed his speed quickly, just before hitting the ground, and bent his knees with the impact, so that he almost knelt as he stopped suddenly on the concrete. His safety flag spread around him, he placed the tips of the fingers of one hand on the dock to steady himself, then stood slowly. He heard the gasps all around him, and saw both groups back away from him, and was gratified. Then one of the boys spoke, and he felt his control on the situation slip. "Who the fuck YOU?" The boy was lighter of skin than Jerome and the boys who had brought him here, but Tai Tsien did not think that was why the two groups were fighting. Or, not the only reason. It was territorial, he thought, and pointless. The boy was from a group that Tai Tsien's blind friend Kirby called 'Chinese'. The Yin Yang Clan was a terror on the North side of the City, and perhaps they were expanding south. Whatever the reason for the fight, Tai Tsien had to stop it, for Jerome, but also because it was wrong. These young people should work together to solve their problems, not fight over nothing. The boy looked aggressive, and Tai Tsien turned to him. The boy pulled a hand weapon from the waistband of his pants. "WHO THE FUCK YOU?" He fired it at Tai Tsien, again and again. Tai Tsien felt a flicker of fear, and when the projectiles hit him- in the ribs, in the chest, in the cheek- it hurt. He felt a hard blow to his midsection and a ringing slap to the face. He took it, though it rocked his head back. He brought his gaze back to the boy. As he inhaled to speak, he performed a complex operation quickly. It was one that was second nature to him, but never before in this context. He used the mantle of office to reach up, up, to the higher atmosphere, where the winds are fierce and cold, and opened a vacuum tube in the intervening air. The rushing wind filled the space immediately, rushing down the voided space towards Tai Tsien, who guided it swiftly towards the 'Chinese' boy. "I am TAI TSIEN" he said loudly, extending his hand and allowing a blast of hard, cold air to strike the front line of the Yin Yang Clan. The boys on the front line toppled like dominoes. The boy with the weapon fell back and rolled, his gun flung away from him with a clatter. Those Yin Yang on the back edges fled, as did some behind him, in the darker skinned group. This was good, thought Tai Tsien. He turned to the leaders of that group. "Go home. Leave Jerome." The boys looked as one at Jerome, whose eyes were round as he stepped forward, out of the lifeless grip of his former captors. Tai Tsien raised his voice until it echoed off of the shipping containers and buildings of the docks. "ALL OF YOU, GO HOME!" They did, boys falling over one another, tripping and sprawling only to pick themselves up and run again, away from Tai Tsien. Both groups disappeared quickly, leaving Jerome and Tai Tsien alone with the sound of dozens of running footsteps. Soon, even that faded, and the two looked at one another. "Sawyer?" asked Jerome hesitantly. "Your mother was very upset. You should come home." Tai Tsien felt awkward suddenly. He had violated Jerome's privacy, committed violence against another. He would do it again. He felt a faint shame at the knowledge, and was disturbed that it was faint. "Oh, Sawyer, thank God you came." Jerome sagged suddenly, and his breath became ragged. He looked like he was fighting back tears. Tai Tsien smiled, and motioned Jerome to come to him. He put an arm across Jerome's back, his hand under Jerome's arm, and held him tightly as they left the ground gently. Jerome gasped as he realized they were flying. "You really are a superhero! Holy shi- uh, holy crap, you really are!" Tai Tsien smiled faintly and nodded. "So it would seem." "Titan is a pretty kick-ass name, too." Jerome wiped at his eyes with the back of his hand, but his smile seemed genuine, and Tai Tsien thought that he was over being scared. Jerome pointed at his symbol of office, embedded into the chestpiece of his mantle, "That's what the 'T' stands for, huh?" Titan grinned. The rushing cloud and arrow of rain that symbolized a Cloudener on Neo Harmonium did look very much like an English letter 'T'. It would do. "Yes. Titan is a good name. Let us go home." And they did.
  13. Sorry, I've been out of pocket and out of my mind. I can't really be 40, can I? Sigh. So, anyway, I'm going to get Stranger finished tonight, and post in 1.3. I apologize for being slow and inattentive, but I'm back on it.
  14. Yo! Yeah, I've been neglectful. Had some family come into town, then they took me away to Atlantic City for a couple of days, for my B-Day. On top of that, I'm obsessed with the VS card game, and I've been sorting through the 6,000 cards I bought. It's bad. You all have my apologies, and I'll post tonight for sure. Thank you, as always, for your patience with the old man.