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Found 392 results

  1. (Request to a mod or admin: can you sticky this topic?) We can use this thread to announce any major or minor updates we want everyone to know, or to request any information/website links/book sources we may need, or to reveal your current progress on something, or to openly discuss any other issues regarding the project that aren't a part of any other thread. I must say that I won't have much spare time until about about July. I pretty much have three or four spare hours a day that aren't spent sleeping or at work. I'm doing what I can already, and I'm almost done compiling every relevant piece of info for Bright Continent (I only have Deception and Terra Verde left to check over). I've already started putting together something coherant from what I've gathered. I'll have it up in a few days, or whenever I feel that I have something substantial done. I don't want to present what I have until I'm done, or nearly done. Anyways, feel free to voice any concerns or questions here.
  2. Okay, I typed this up last night in a sleep-deprived haze, so excuse any repitition in my wording or any bad grammar. I tried cleaning it up a bit. Here's my proposed system for the Second Triggering of psions: ********** Rules for Second Triggering (A new term is needed for psions that have undergone Second Triggering. Until then, I shall refer to them as new-psions for simplicity. Also, a term for the new tubes will be needed; they aren't the Prometheus Chambers, so they shouldn't be called such.) The Transformation The psion enters a tube similar to the Prometheus Chamber. The process largely mimics that of a psion's First Triggering, with few differences. The triggering time within the tube generally lasts three times as long as with a normal Prometheus Chamber. During this time, the various noetic barriers implemented by the Doyen are removed. At the current time, the new chambers are unable to trigger latents; they can only remove the barriers in already-triggered psions. Proto-psions/psiads also will not benefit from the process, as they don't have any barriers to remove. If a latent or a proto-psion/psiad (or even a non-latent neutral) were to undergo the process, there would be no change to them at all; there simply isn't anything within them that the process applies to. During the Second Triggering, the psion is given Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary psionic Aptitudes. The Primary Aptitude is always the Aptitude the psion was originally triggered with. So if a psychokinetic goes through a Second Triggering, he will then have Psychokinesis as his Primary Aptitude whether he wants it to be or not. Then, the player chooses two Aptitudes to be Secondary. The other Aptitudes then automatically become Tertiary. Only the six standard Aptitudes may be chosen like this; read below for information on Teleportation and Quantakinesis. Auxiliary Modes If the psion has Auxiliary Modes, he is then forced to take whatever Aptitude he has an Auxiliary Mode in as Secondary. So if a Clairsentient has Telepathy's Mindshare as an Auxiliary Mode, one of his Secondary Modes must be Telepathy. When this happens, Mindshare is removed as an Auxiliary Mode, and becomes one dot of full-blown Mindshare under Telepathy. In the case of a psion with Auxiliary Modes from more than two Aptitudes (extremely rare, but not unheard of) then the player chooses the two Aptitudes he prefers and the remaining become Tertiary; there can never be more than two Secondary Aptitudes. Teleportation Teleportation is always Tertiary, with two exceptions. The first exception is if a Teleporter undergoes Second Triggering; in this case Teleportation remains as Primary, per normal rules. The second exception is in the case of Auxiliary Teleportation, in which Teleportation becomes Secondary automatically as per the normal Auxiliary-to-Aptitude rules from above. So unless a psion is a Teleporter or has Auxiliary Teleportation, he will be forced to take Teleportation as Tertiary. Quantakinesis Quantakinesis is special. Quantakinesis may not be chosen by the player for a new-psion in the same way Teleportation cannot be chosen. The only way for a new-psion to have Quantakinesis is if they are already a Quantakinetic or if they possessed Auxiliary Quantakinesis before their Second Triggering. In the second case, they gain their Auxiliary Quantakinesis Modes as normal Modes under Quantakinesis, as with normal Auxiliary-to-Aptitude transfer. The difference between Qunatakinesis and Teleportation is that Quantakinesis is always considered Tertiary in this case (not Secondary), and the new-psion even replaces a Secondary Aptitude slot to compensate for it's presence. Example: An Electrokinetic has a dot of Auxiliary Energetics and undergoes Secondary Triggering. Electrokinesis becomes his Primary Aptitude automatically. He wants to take Psychokinesis and Biokinesis as Secondary. However, his Auxiliary Quantakinesis automatically manifests as a Tertiary Aptitude, limiting him to only one Secondary Aptitude. He chooses Psychokinesis as Secondary. The Emergence The new-psion emerges after the duration as he would from a Prometheus Chamber. He gains one automatic dot in any Seconday Mode. This dot must be the first dot in a Mode; it cannot be used to raise a former Auxiliary Mode to two dots. The new psions must then increase Modes with experience points. New Benefits The costs to train depend on whether an Aptitude is Primary, Secondary, or Tertiary. Experience Costs Primary (costs are normal as per standard rules) New Primary Mode - 7 xp Primary Mode Increase - current rating x5 Secondary New Secondary Mode - 10 xp Secondary Mode Increase - current rating x6 Tertiary New Tertiary Mode - 13 xp Tertiary Mode Increase - current rating x8 In addition, he automatically gains the Basic Techniques for his two Secondary Aptitudes, even before purchasing any dot in those Aptitudes' Modes. This represents his new noetic perception of reality. Psionic Dysfunction is normally not a problem for a new-psion. The presence of Secondary and Tertiary Aptitudes balances his mind, preventing one Mode from dominating. Psionic Dysfunction is still possible, but it acts differently in new-psions (a system for this will need to be developed). Limitations New-psions still have limitations to what they can do. They are limited in how many dots they may have in Modes. Primary Aptitude - up to 5 dots in each Mode (as per standard rules) Secondary Aptitudes - up to 4 dots in each Mode Tertiary Aptitudes - up to 3 dots in each Mode They also cannot learn or manifest Auxiliary Modes, as the Doyen barriers have been removed. Instead of taking Auxiliary Modes, the new-psion simply learns the Mode normally as per the above experience costs. ********** There you have it. My main concern right now is the experience point costs to train. Primary looks fine (and should be left alone) but I'm not sure how to handle Secondary and Tertiary Mode costs. Thoughts? I also think some form of new Psionic Dysfunction should apply to these new-psions. Normal psions have psionic dysfunction and novas have aberrations, and characters shouldn't be without drawbacks to thier powers. Maybe new-psion dysfunction applies when a psion trains his Tertiary and Secondary too much, and not his Primary enough? His mind tries too hard to grasp every spectrum of noetic reality, and he begins to lose it...he needs to focus on his Primary Aptitude to give his mind "safe ground" so to speak. Without a strong Primary Aptitude, the new-psion starts to lose his grasp on reality. Thoughts? Edit - Oh, I forgot to note under "Quantakinesis" that Quantakinesis is *only* Tertiary if it was an Auxiliary Mode...otherwise, it cannot be trained, ever, and is not considered available for training. Unlike Teleportation, which is Tertiary unless the psion was a teleporter (Primary) or had Auxiliary Teleportation (Secondary). Sorry if that was confusing.
  3. A question for those of us who have played Adventure! well enough to know: how would you create an Inspired character that has survived through to the Nova Age or even into the Trinity Era? IIRC, that's a gap of 80-100 years between Adventure! & Aberrant. Likewise, the gap is further increased by another 12 decades if an Inspired manages to make it to the Trinity Era. The "how" of the characters' survival into the latter Eras is obvious: Optimized Metabolism (as knack or Innovation), suspended animation, anti-aging drugs & so on. What I'm asking is how would you create such a character from the whole cloth. Is it just a matter of adding in a huge amount of transformation points into character creation, or would the process need further tweaking (Boosted Attributes/Abilities/Backgrounds)? If it's just a matter of adding more transformation points, then how many would be needed? I'm figuring that an Inspired who actually lived through most or all of those decades between the Eras would get more points that those who were "in stasis" as human popsicles or the like. And yes, this question pertains to the Aberrant: Nexus project I've been working on.
  4. We will use this thread to discuss the United African Nations, as will be presented in Bright Continent. Toss around ideas and ask any questions here. Okay, first, I think the various nations of Africa should be seperated into regions for sake of this book. Kind of like how the FSA has North America divied up. The typical regions that Africa is seperated into today are North, West, East, South, and Central. The "Horn of Africa" region is considered part of East. There are also some disputes about which African nations would fall into which region, and they seem to change based on which map/textbook/atlas you're looking at. I propose these to be the regions. I'm using Wikipedia as the original basis for these regions, because I'm at the computer and too lazy to get one of the books ^^ North Africa: Algeria Egypt Libya Mauritania Morocco Sudan Tunisia Western Sahara East Africa ,,Kenya Tanzania Uganda Djibouti Eritrea Ethiopia Seychelles Somalia Somaliland West Africa Benin Burkina Faso Cameroon Cape Verde Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) The Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Liberia Mali Niger Nigeria Senegal Sierra Leone Togo Central Africa Angola Burundi Central African Republic Chad Democratic Republic of the Congo Equatorial Guinea Gabon Rwanda Republic of Congo São Tomé and Príncipe Southern Africa Botswana Comoros Lesotho Madagascar Malawi Mauritius Mozambique Namibia South Africa Swaziland Zambia Zimbabwe Foreign Territories Canary Islands Ceuta and Melilla Madeira Mayotte Réunion Saint Helena (including Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha) An important note is that some of these nations may not still be around by 2122. African countries rise and fall rapidly. Borders and governments change over night. The novas of the Aberrant setting only sped this process up. Now...off the bat, the foreign territories can pretty much be ignored except maybe for a small mention. They're all minor islands without much impact. They're all pretty much owned by Portugal, Spain, or France in modern day. Chances are they've been swallowed up by African nations following the Esperanza disaster anyway. In various Trinity supplements it has been said several times that North Africa is still a hotbed of violence. Basically, the central and southern areas are safer. Following the information I've compiled so far from Trinity books, the more south you go, the "better" you are. Then we have to remember that a lot of activity has happened in Africa during the Aberrant setting. I don't remember many details, but it was said that Sudan split into North Sudan and South Sudan. There are without a doubt more border changes, new countries, and defeated countries. We'll need to take Aberrant setting information into consideration. Not to mention Antaeus and his disappearing rain forests. But we should leave that bit unexplained; some things are best left to the Storyteller's imagination. In Trinity's Africa chapter, it establishes that the UAN is a blanket government that has helped get Africa up out of third world status and into a leading power. But everyone knows that no governmental body exists without problems or corruption or flaws. We'll need to incorporate those points. The facts remain though that Africa is now extremely properous, is self-sufficient, has dominated stellar colonization and research, and has a leading voice in the UN. As the books say, Africa works. I see our biggest hurdle being the language barrier. Africa has more languages than we could possibly comprehend, and there aren't many sources on-line (that I've been able to find) where we could translate words into various African languages. We can't have businesses, people, technologies, ships, etc. be called English names throughout the book if it is set in Africa. From the Trinity books, I can see that Swahili is the preferred language used by the UAN. Perhaps they have adopted it as the common language used by the government (Note: in modern times, English and French are typically used within African governments and businesses, depending on the nation). As for religions, I can see Africa having more religions than any other place on Earth (or space). Muslims and Christians would likely still have the largest percentages of followers of any faith in the continent, like they do today. Islam is more prominent in North Africa, and also strong in the Central, East, and West regions. I haven't yet read enough on Christianity in Africa to have a good idea where it stands exactly. But tribal faiths are numerous and since tribal life has been brought forward into the UAN it would make sense that tribal religions become more prominent. Animism is also a big influence in African religions...even Muslims and Catholics in Africa incorporate animism into their faith. Liberal Islam has also been mentioned in a Trinity supplement. It's very likely that we could create half a dozen new faiths of our own (based on actual real-world faiths of course) and place them in here. That's all off the top of my head for now. I'll post more tomorrow. Ideas so far?
  5. The following is an excerpt from an interview (June 2002) with the Developer for the upcoming EON E-book Adventure!: Trial by Fire Trial by Fire Developer: 'Slagheap' Interviewer: 'Breearg' Breearg: So, what kind of stuff you guys putting in TbF? Slagheap: Mainly it is intended to be a setting update for WW2. So we'll update the organizations and character bios, as well as adding more and detailing Inspired on both sides of the war Breearg: cool--how much stuff do you have done already? Are you going to talk about the events surrounding Crackshot's betrayal and death? Slagheap: The first round of writing assignments is out and should be coming in with in the next couple of weeks (suuurrrre they will) and yes we will touch upon Crackshot's death Slagheap: In fact I think it's being covered with he opening fiction Breearg: schweet Breearg: mmmm, and then described inside the book proper? Breearg: When you say update character bios--does that include the Traits part? Are there new knacks? Slagheap: A little, we did a little homework and realized that Crackshot is dead before WW2 even starts, so we don't really plan to spend much time on it Breearg: Well, she dies shortly before World War II Slagheap: There will be new knacks. We haven't decided if we are including traits for the bios, but I wouldn't hold my breath Slagheap: Yeah Slagheap: For now I'm letting Defender have free reign with that subject, so I'm not even sure what is planned Breearg: You mean on Knacks? Breearg: ::erases next question about whether their will be knacks that suggest the increasing power of certain Inspired--ie: Divis Mal:: Slagheap: No actually Joseph is working on that right now. I've seen the descriptions for them, but most of the mechanics have yet to be written Breearg: so--do they touch a higher power level? Slagheap: Not really, we're staying with only three levels, but most of the new ones are at least level 2 Breearg: hmm Slagheap: Though some do take their...forgive the pun, inspiration from Aberrant and Psion powers Breearg: heh Breearg: cool Breearg: Aberrant powers... like... QUANTUM INFERNO, hehehe Slagheap: Well...not quite that powerful Slagheap: But cool all the same Breearg: hehehe Breearg: Like? Hehehe ::fishing for the inside dope:: Slagheap: well I don't want to give too much away, but we are trying to even things out for the Mesmerists, they're getting some pretty cool new powers Breearg: k Breearg: Can you give an example or two of some new knacks, or at least their names? Slagheap: Well I don't suppose a little hint would hurt Slagheap: Mesmerists are getting some new knacks like Preemptive Strike and Mirage while Stalwarts are getting knacks like Borrowed Essence and everybody's favorite the Daredevil gets clever new knacks like Spit and Bailing Wire Breearg: Spit... sounds, interesting, heh Slagheap: Any other TbF related questions? Breearg: hmmm Breearg: Do you have a timeline of events? Slagheap: Actually we do...which is to say we will Breearg: Are any important historical figures Inspired, Mengelei springs to mind as a possible "mad scientist" (for example) Slagheap: Well, actually we decided to shy away from making many actual historical figures Inspired, but you could see a few Breearg: I assumed that would be the case, generally people avoid that. So, could you give some hints at some Inspired figures on either side of the conflict? Slagheap: It's still a little too early in the game to start naming names Breearg: As in you don't want to give them away, or you don't have them yet. If you don't want to give them away could you simply make a suggestion as to the role of one person on each side? Slagheap: Well we're planning on showcasing "super soldier" types on either side, and the war just wouldn't be a war without at least one Psychic Intelligence officer Breearg: Will Captain America be making an appearance? :-) (little questionnaire humor there, hehehe) Slagheap: Well no, but you might see some fellows of similar inclination and occupation.
  6. Recently some of my friends have got into steampunk, and well we are looking at posbably setting up a game in steampunk setting, of Skyship captains, things like that, not so much space-ships. I am starting to really think using the Adventure! system is the best way forward, I have Gurps steampunk and Steam-Tech. I just think it would work so well. Has anyone ever used Adventure to do Steampunk, Has anyone got any notes on tech that they may have already done.
  7. The following comes from my own thoughts regarding Adventure!'s Z-rays, based on conversations with various people involved with the creation of the series. --- Z-rays do not exist as a discrete energy in and of themselves, but are a phenomenon generated by the interaction of quantum and subquantum energies. The discovery of subquantum is still several centuries away, and even then its interaction with quantum is not well understood. Perhaps with the the arrival of new "daredevils" following the Venezuelan Phenomenon, investigation into this mysterious realm can finally get underway. For the purposes of this dissertation, and in the interest of brevity, Z-rays will be treated here as a separate energy. In quantum mechanics, we learn that particles of matter do not exist in a solid sense like a billiard ball, but in a probability cloud. Heisenberg pointed out that the more precisely a particle's position is known, the less precisely one can know its velocity, and vice versa. Even more bizarrely, Richard Feynman discovered that particles don't have a single history, but rather have all histories. If a particle is at point A, and later at point B, it can be shown to have travelled every conceivable path between A and B. However, once again, one can measure each path's probability to determine the most likely path taken by the particle. In plain English, if you are attempting to determine the position of a pendulum, the position distribution can be shown as a bell curve; it's therefore most probable at any given time that the pendulum will be in the middle position. This situation doesn't just apply to particles, but on a large scale as well. The most probable path for an object on the large scale exactly conforms to predictions made by Newtonian physics. Also, as can be shown in the double-slit light experiment. The "Shroedinger's Cat" thought experiment demonstrates that an object's state rests in a state of limbo, with a 50/50 chance of either probability, until observation "locks" it into one of those probabilities. Now here's where things get hinky. The quantum forces dictate how particles interact with each other, while subquantum forces deal with information. On the scales normally employed by psions and novas, quantum and subquantum interfere with each other to a large degree, but at fairly low scales, they can actually work together. Combining the control of matter with the control of information results in the ability to affect probability. Places The uncontrolled explosion of Z-rays in the 1920s had an unforeseen effect on the world: they temporarily adjusted the history probabilities for certain places. These are places which had only received the most cursory of observation, if any, and thus Z-rays didn't have much observation to "fight against." This resulted in areas far from civilization - the foggy wilds of Transylvania, the deep swamps of the southern US, caverns extending deep underground, and so on - instantly getting new histories written for them, despite the improbability of dinosaurs in the modern day. These alternate histories seemed to be based more on imagination rather than simple observation. As time goes on, and Z-rays begin to dissipate, these locations begin to reassert the "correct" history, returning to the most probable outcome. By the Trinity era, Earth has largely been investigated and catalogued to such an extent that the Venezuelan Phenomenon, amplified though it was, didn't have sufficient momentum to overcome the known world as observed, and thus no "newly discovered" ancient civilizations or the like were found. People Some people hit by the initial Hammersmith explosion - and the later Venezuelan Phenomenon - got affected by it. It may have been a certain frame of mind they were in, a material they were handling, or perhaps a genetic quirk. The scientists of the Trinity Universe may never find out why. In any case, once affected, they become sort of encased in a bubble of personal spacetime. This bubble functions largely like normal spacetime, except the prevalence of Z-rays within the bubble. The Z-rays respond to the unconscious desires of their owner to a certain extent, affecting the probabilities of the world around them. Traffic congestion and traffic lights function in a way to impede any followers, the individual just happens to make perfectly-aimed attacks, and what seemed to be a killing strike is rendered a glancing blow. These bubbles affect the probabilities of the outside world only slightly (no instant armies of ninjas at your beck and call), so they're generally strong enough to survive the duration of an individual's life, or several decades at least. It should be noted that, like electron shells on an atom, daredevils have at least one additional "energy level." The common expression of daredevil manifestation is as described above, the unconscious manipulation of probability, or perpendicular time. The higher energy level, much less common, is the conscious manipulation of linear time. Instead of merely manipulating the quantum histories of the world around them, they are able to consciously manipulate their own personal history and its place in larger spacetime. The only known example of this manifestation achieved the higher energy level by being directly present at the initial Hammersmith explosion. While events of this type are exceedingly rare, it is not recommended for anyone to attempt to repeat this themselves, just as it's not recommended for aspiring novas to place themselves in mortal danger in the hopes of awakening a dormant M-R node.
  8. Ever since I helped put out Aberrant: A Breed Apart, I've been wondering how the kids of the surviving Adventure! Era stalwarts would turn out. Granted not all of them *do* survive to have kids, & most of those have neutral or possibly daredevil spouses, but still. Here's my take on the situation: stalwarts who breed w/ the non-Inspired will simply produce offspring with the latent M-R coding. Any breeding w/ mesmerists would result in stillbirths or sterile offspring. Those who breed w/ daredevils could produce offspring of either Inspired type. Stalwarts who breed with other stalwarts *might* produce full-blown 2ndGen nova offspring, although probably low-powered specimens of such. I'm unsure of how this would interact with the "Inspiration as the middle ocean between Quanta/Taint & Psi" concept, so YMMV. Do I have something usable and/or plausible here, or are there one or more mistakes lurking in the concept?
  9. Well, since the forums are merging, and I find that both forums are notably deficient in new Knacks/supplements, I shall begin to fill the gap by cranking out new Knacks here every so often. Please comment and review. And join in. Heroic Knack: Lucky Find "Look, Johnson left this movie ticket, Sergeant!" "Yes, for the symphony playing at Carnegie Hall at 7:00... tonight. Excellent, we'll lay a trap for the burglar there." People are always leaving behind little clues, and you're able to find every one of them- and the answers they hold- with ease. Whether your kidnapped friend left a clue behind as who took him, or a discarded box of distinctive cigars left at a crime scene identifies the culprit, they come to your attention quickly. System When spending Inspiration points for dramatic editing, you may ignore the extra cost for plot ramifications and further decrease the cost by one Inspiration point, provided that the ramification answers or helps make significant progress towards answering a previously unknown question. Appropriate examples include uncovering the identity of the buyer of several killer robots from the Machinatrix, or where the famous missing singer is hiding for fear of her life. However, an appropriate person MUST have left behind this clue, eg. you cannot find out who the King of the World is from looking in a cobwebbed mansion. The GM is the final arbiter of when this Knack applies. Requirements: It's important that you see the clue, and you have to make sense of what it means. A character must have Wits & Perception 4 to purchase this knack.
  10. I want to try to organize some of my thoughts regarding minor groups that are also operating in Africa and might deserve some mention. Daedalus, (should we start spelling that Dædalus?), the Eighth Legion, the UAN government, and the UAN military belong in their own threads. They're all bigger groups, and focused on Africa, and will require at least two pages of content each. Iran/Persia, Oman, and Israel-Judah and Æon should probably each get more coverage as well. I'll edit this post to keep groups here as I think of them. No particular group should be worth more than about a page of content, though. They're mainly here to lend flavour. Based on my reading of Trinity Sources Discussion, the other groups that have substantial involvement in Africa in the mid-2120s are: The Æsculapian major clinic in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and their satellite clinics. As noted by Blue Thunder, Hidden Agendas indicates there is an associated Organ Bank there. pg 42, CoreOrgotek's African HQ, in Cairo, Egypt. They also premiered the use of BioVargs against terrorists holding the Suez Canal hostage, in combination with Egyptian Special Forces.[pg 12-13, TTM] It seems that Orgotek gets on well, at least with the Egyptian government.Alpha Systems, a software company also based in Cairo. Seems maybe Cairo is Africa's Silicon Valley? pg 140, Core. They are the makers of the Chris agent, [pg 172, Core], one of the best on the market.Mashandino makes vehicles. Their location is not mentioned. pg 140, CoreLanguage Systems, Inc makes linguistic products. Vocorder hardware and software. Location not mentioned. pg 140, Core.V. I. Mhula Associates, architectural firm extraordinaire is based int he Congo river valley. [pg 44, HA]GENius formerly made organs and then biotech prostheses, are now making a life-like android [FR:CL 5-6]. Wazukana and EnterAgency are going to try to sabotage the Victoria Walker model[FR:CL 14]UAN government psions. [pg 57, Core]Undying Damascus [pg 69, TPG][stopped at LR, will continue with more later]
  11. One of the topics that always gets touched on is notable Aberrants in the geographic area covered by a given splat book. Post any you may think of in this thread, please.
  12. Here are a few links that may prove useful to us. If you find anything else that may help, please present it here. We'll need all the help we can get. Wikipedia - A good starting point for any search www.wikipedia.org The Kamusi Project Internet Living Swahili Dictionary - Best English to Swahili dictionary I could find www.yale.edu/swahili/ Ethnologue: Swahili - General Swahili language information www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=swh allAfrica.com - A good source for current events in Africa allafrica.com/ Africa Maps - A whole crapload of maps www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/africa.html African Union - The precursor to the UAN www.africa-union.org/root/au/index/index.htm More as I find them. ***Edit*** Typo!
  13. If you are seeing this then you have access to the development forum for Adventure! Trial by Fire. Please post here so that we know you are able to get in and post. Start off by reading what has discussed previously then post how you would like to proceed with this project.
  14. This is the thread for the posting and reviewing of the statted profiles for the forces of the Condettori and the Dragon's Coil Tong. Be sure to comment and review, if you have particular suggestions or thoughts to make.
  15. OK, Here is a suggested index, followed by some ideas for stuff to add. Opening Fiction Intro: Introduction (how touse this book and so on) Chapter 1: Psi Order "unknown" Life as a "unknown" "Unknown" and society Chapter 2: Psionic Abilitys Working together Chapter 3: Africa African History Northern Africa Middle Africa Southern Africa Chapter 4: Storyteller Information Secrets Aberrant Activity Chapter 5: Technology Chapter 6: Dramatis Personae Management Notable Psions in "unknown" Significant African Figures Character Templates Credits : Character Sheet OK, there seems to be a whole lot of interest for the Venezuela phenomena, so that is perhaps an ide to add continuing information about that. Two, time to resolve some of the plot hooks in the other books perhaps? Not the real big ones but perhaps some small ones? This will mean that BC will take place a bit into the future of course, 2124 perhaps? So, who wants to join?
  16. I've already typed up lots of ideas for this new Psi Order. But that is on another computer so I probably won't have those ideas ready until tomorrow. So first, let's set some things down. These are confirmed facts about the as-of-yet unnamed psi order: 1 - There will not be a new psi Aptitude. Bates himself said this wasn't going to happen. So...no. Just no. 2 - The Star-Crossed are a part of it, in some way. 3 - It is based in the UAN. Obviously. 4 - The organization has a goal to defend against the Doyen. Whether this is publically known, kept a dark secret, or somewhere in between is unknown. If anyone else knows of anything that was confirmed about this order, please say so. Was Psi Nippon going to be a part of it as well? Someone mentioned as much, but I don't remember reading about it in any interview. Tomorrow I'll post my ideas.
  17. Or, 'No Place Like Home' I am certain that it needs revising and editing for grammar, and I welcome your suggestions, including to do away with it entirely... But here it is: From the journal of Maxwell Mercer: March 10, 1923 Michael has suggested that I begin to commit my memories of the last six months to paper, in order that I may better understand what has happened to me. That is easy to say, considerably harder to do. Where to begin? Yet, I believe that he knows what he is talking about. I have confided in him, and he in me. Each of our tales seems more outrageous than the other, yet I cannot but trust him.The changes in him are... hard to believe, but he talks sense, and has ever been a valued friend. His incredible intellect being the least of his newfound knacks, it is nevertheless worth weighing his words. Very well, then, let me simply begin. The last I recall of the events of July 21, 1922 was Calvin catching fire. He continued valiantly at the controls of his Engine, though his doom was assured. I clearly recall his peering over his shoulder at Michael and myself and saying, "It shall turn aright, you shall see!" just before bursting into flame from the intense heat of his Engine, which was overpowered with this Telluric Energy he was so keen upon. In that selfsame moment, I recall as clearly Michael thrusting me behind his back. This unselfish act in what certainly seemed to have been a situation most dire would have earned him my utmost regard, save that he already enjoyed such. He thrust me from him, and waded into the flame reaching for Dr. Hammersmith. Then the devise exploded. A wave of energy burst forth from the machine like a fount of water, engulfing the good Doctor, and then Michael. It hit me in the chest and face, and I knew no more. When I awakened, it was to raindrops upon my face. I opened my eyes and beheld a sight so ordinary as to be wondrous. I was in the dogyard at my parents Brownstone. Though it poured, and I was covered in mud and filth, I was convinced for a long second that I was indeed in Heaven, and looked forward to meeting my parents momentarily. I still am sometimes seized by the certainty that I am only a heartbeat from death in Calvin Hammersmith's laboratory, all else a vision before the Reaper takes me onward. As I stood in the rain contemplating the hereafter, a voice greeted me from the back porch. "Welcome, Traveller!" I turned and looked upon a group of men and women both strange and familiar at the same time. In the center, hands clasped firmly at his waist, stood a man who looked very much like my father when last I saw him hale. At the same moment, I was certain beyond doubt, but with no tangible evidence, that something was profoundly wrong. "What time is it?" I asked, stupidly I suppose, as it suddenly came to me that it was 3:34 in the afternoon. "Later than you think, Max," said the man on the porch. He was unsmiling, though there was a faded twinkle in his eye. He wore a white tailored suit, the cut of which was jarring upon my eye, being wholly unfamiliar with the style from which it was created. Suddenly, over his shoulder and behind him, I saw Whitley Styles, my erstwhile ward. Everything about him was older, however, from the crinkles at the corners of his eyes to the sprinkling of grey in his hair. Grey? Whit? Why he seemed twenty years older... And I very shortly realised that that was precisely what he was, as a bit more of the wrongness eased away. It was twenty years later, that was a bit that didn't seem to fit, and now it did. I relaxed some then. I feared that I had been subject to some sort of 'Rip Van Winkle' effect, but was relieved to find that I was substantially unharmed. I was again quickly disabused by the man in the white suit. "Not a Rip Van Winkle moment, I'm sorry." The man stared at me intently, the twinkle growing to an absolute glow, and the corners of his mouth finally twitching into a tight smile. I noticed a small scar upon the man's chin and smiled slightly myself, as I had a similar scar. A mishap with a whip in my misspent youth. Then I am sure that my brows came together in puzzlement as I realized that the scar was not merely similar to mine, but precisely the same. I looked back to his eyes to find that he was smiling at me in earnest. "Ah, now you've got it. Good for you, though remember that I figured it out just as quickly." He winked at me, and motioned me towards him. "You may as well come in out of the rain. You won't catch a cold, but as I recall, you will be quite uncomfortable for the next fifty six years." I sheltered under the porch overhang, and the assembled guests, as though given a sign, dispersed into groups that you might find at a dinner party. Each came to me at one point or another on that long afternoon, to give congratulations, or to murmur intelligences of events to which I was not yet privy. For the moment, however, I was alone with my host. "The next fifty-six years?" I asked, to buy myself some time. I considered myself quite quick on the uptake, even before the Hammersmith incident, but on that afternoon I was positively sluggish. I beg unusual circustances. The man answered quite readily, however. "Yes, until Nineteen Hundred and Ninety Eight. March 23, to be precise. Your destination when you leave us here." "Are you certain that you should-" The man laughed. "It won't change anything, because it didn't change anything, so I'll damn well fill you in on anything I please." I didn't care for his language, and was quite surprised by it, to be honest. To distract myself, I changed the subject, a trick that has served me well in dealing with unfamiliar customs. I suppose future times would indeed have unfamiliar customs, so I should have to treat it like a foreign land until I understand the natives better. In point of fact, I asked, "What is the future like, then? This is 1942, is it not?" The older man nodded at me, started to speak, then apparently thought better of it. I still wonder what it was that he was going to say. What he did say was this: "Now is not the time for that. You must concern yourself with the big picture. With the Eon, if you will. 1942 has its own troubles, which are not your worry just now. Leave that to us." "Us?" I was genuinely curious. Though I saw a few friends, advanced in age but certainly recognizable, most of the men and women were strangers, though they looked at me as one might look at an old friend. He nodded, and I saw pride in his gaze as he looked upon his guests. "The Aeon Society for Gentlemen. I shall tell you all about them. That is indeed why you are here. To meet them, and learn of our goals. You will not understand everything tonight, but before very long you will understand much. This I promise you." I hunted the guests with my eyes, still a bit distracted, I suppose. The man I sought was not in evidence. "Where is Michael?" The man shook his head, sighed. "I do not know. I thought that he would certainly be here, although I knew, of course, that he would not. I understand better, from this side of things, why he could not attend, but it is still a mystery. He is in Berlin, struggling against forces that stagger the imagination to comprehend. If he could be here, if it were in any way possible, then he would be. That much I can say with confidence." He gestured me inside, a strange thing for me, as it is my home and I am usually the one to gesture guests inside. His answer as to Michael's whereabouts disturbed me as well. "Is 1942 such a trial, then?" I asked, perhaps a bit offhandedly. He looked at me sharply, and reluctantly nodded. I saw the groups of people coming together in the dining room, assembled for an introduction perhaps, and so I did not expect an answer to my question. The older man surprised me though. He muttered, before smiling and throwing his arms wide to his friends, the only answer I ever got: "Indeed, it is. A trial by fire..."
  18. Here's my thoughts in this area, throwing this out to for you to take a look and let me know what you think. ******* ********** *********** The Leaders of Daedalus Unlike the other orders, who tend to be cults of personality, the leadership of Daedalus has become of a series of circles of influence. In fact, many of the groups who ended up leaving to join them from the other orders, were due to tensions involving the leadership of their various orders. As such, Daedalus avoids such direct control, the leaders have influence in their various areas, but don’t exert the direct or indirect control over the whole of the order the way the other orders do, and they are more open about things then Trinity is. That said, the following are a few notable individuals, with high degree of influence within the order. Rebecca Gould – Leader of the various jumpers who were once called the Star-Crossed, they are still called that as a sub-division of Daedalus. They remain focused on the goals of the Star-Crossed in general, remaining focused on humanitarian concerns, helping others and providing teleportation services across the globe. Some of the group’s funds come from this group. Sense being dumped into the Pandora chamber, Rebecca came out finding her capabilities are much broader, she is a strong telekinetic and telepath, giving her enormous versatility in all situations. She was the first individual into the Pandora tank, and as such, may well be the strongest in her varied talents. Suzuki Kaiya [NOTE: In Japanese, First Name/Last names are reversed] – A young telepath, unusually enough, she was Japanese, but her potential as a telepath was so strong that she was soon found and recruited by the telepathic order. Possessing for a time, with citizenship in Japan, China, and Luna she found she came to view the Bue’s idea as impossible to work as an organization that was also so completely wrapped up in China. Unfortunately, she didn’t see to many other options, but in the end she ended up leaving the Ministry and worked as an independent telepathic counselor and negotiator for a while. Something of a visionary, when Daedalus began, some of the Star Crossed came to talk to her, and she was the first Telepath to enter the Pandora tanks. She’s an extremely powerful telepath, who is also a very strong vita kinetic and electrokinetic, most of her powers concentrate on healing issues of the mind, but sometimes one must heal the body to heal the mind. Kaiya heads the Psyche division of Daedalus, which contains a number of different focuses, but most importantly, that of health, of the individual and of Daedalus as a whole. Besides moral, it also works sort of as a informal internal affairs and personal division, trying to find the right places for individuals to fit into the order. Kaiya tries to foster a feeling of brotherhood amongst all members of the order, and is one of the more popular members of Daedalus, which may be part of why she ended up in the position she did. Alexander Marcus Smithson – Alexander is a rather unique individual, one of the few surviving Quantakinetics, a former member of the Dhiren, he was very capable warrior and scientist. He also wasn’t directly involved with the various members of the order who were working in matters of taint, but he was aware enough to realize what was about to happen with the various other orders moved to eliminate them. Vanishing before they were taken, he waited for a time, then made contact with Upeo just shortly before the orders moved against them, and ended up going with them when they departed. Only one man, but a very capable Quantakinetic, he was often teleported into areas where he was needed, then quickly withdrawn during the years away from earth, but he was only one man. During that period, he began to work closely with the Star-Crossed, and came to see their vision, so he ended up going with them. When Daedalus was formed, he was one of the first into the Pandora tanks, and came out much more energetic then before, possessing strong Quantakinetics, Telekinesis and Electrokinesis, he may well be the most capable psions with regards to control over the basic energy, and he pretends that he was once a TK, triggered by the legions, any investigation into his history will come up with that result, sense he used his electrokinetics to alter just about every living database. Alex heads the Icarus, the battle division of the order, the ones who get into the thick of things beside the legions, for example.
  19. It's probably been a while since you really spent much time looking at Trinity's setting. If you're looking to get up to speed on what the Bright Continent is about, I'll try to shed some light here. This isn't meant to be exhaustive, it's just meant to outline things here. S P O I L E R W A R N I N G Bright Continent Bright Continent is the Trinity splatbook for Africa and the organization founded by the Star-Crossed, the splinter group from the Upeo Wa Macho. The Organization If you read through the other threads in this forum, you'll find that Andrew Bates didn't exactly like the idea that each group would have a particular aptitude. The Star-Crossed is meant to illustrate to some degree how that vision would have looked. The Star-Crossed is also an organization based in the Upeo Wa Macho's old base in Africa. An inclusive organization with a primary goal of putting humanity as a whole ahead of itself. That includes keeping some organizations from continuing their habitual secret-keeping in the "best interests of humanity". It also includes doing whatever is possible to keep the Doyen's nebulous tentacles off of humanity. The Continent Africa in the 22nd century is quite a bit different than Africa in the Nova era. There is still inter- and intra-religious violence, especially in Northern Africa. The Arabian Peninsula is a wreck. There is no Saudi Arabia anymore. On the plus side, most African countries have decided to follow enlightened self-interest to empower everyone in Africa as much as possible and to form a power block to represent most of Africa on the world stage. Goal I hope this fan supplement will cohesively produce this vision in a manner that is consistent with all of the Aeonverse canon, and hopefully with other fan-based Aeonverse supplements. Edit History 2010-08-25EST21:18: Changed wording of introductory paragraph to illustrate that the point of this thread is to remind people of what this supplement was intended to do.
  20. This thread may scare you. Okay, before you scan over this list I should say that I was very thorough. I scanned every sentence in every Trinity supplement except for Deception and Terra Verde, which I will scan over sometime soon (I swear!). If there was any mention of the UAN, Africa, the Middle East, Psi Nippon, or the Star-Crossed, even if it was minor or almost meaningless, I took note of it. So remember that many of these "mentions" may be just that...a sentence in the middle of a paragraph might mention the UAN, even if it reveals nothing new about it. I've recorded it for the sake of completeness. If you ever decide to look any of these up, don't be surprised if you flip to a page and find a whole section devoted to the topic, and then flip to another and find a single word in a sentence. However there were about a dozen instances where I just couldn't record the mention, because the mention was so minor that I couldn't even describe it accurately enough to be able to type it. In those cases, nothing was lost anyway. And in some cases my descriptions are vague or barely understandable. That's because I was making this list for myself. It might not be totally reader-friendly. I'm posting it here because if I die before we finish, you guys can carry on with what I gathered. Not that I plan on dying any time soon or anything. I'm starting another thread for in-depth discussion on the things brought up by this very list, so feel free to discuss these issues there after I post that, and leave this one for reference purposes. I'll update this thread when I finish with Deception and Terra Verde. ******************** Trinity 23 (UAN leads world into 22nd century) 34 (Effects of Bahrain on biotech) 42 (Major Aesculapian clinic at Addis Ababa) 46-47 (Israel Judah, Mount Carmel, and the Temple Sealing) 56 (Norca meeting place at Cairo) 56 (Amazon Canopy reaches the Middle East) 57 (UAN retains freelance psions) 58 (Orgotek extranational headquarters in Cairo) 61 (Psi Nippon brings Orgotek many latents) 62 (Bolade Atwan an officer at Sokoto, Nigeria) 65 (Abberant cult at Cairo) 66 (Lagos Manifesto) 72 (Allah's Legion and Bahrain) 75 (Bahrain completely destroyed) 76 (Middle East devestated by Aberrant War) 82 (Aberrants invade Bahrain) 82 (Jerusalem destroyed in 2052) **********88-91 (Africa)********** 93 (Xianggang competing with Jomo Kenyatta) 94 (Nippon licenses vocoders to UAN) 97 (Psi Nippon members leave Earth, unlike many Nihonjin) 97 (New Dehli mediates with Middle East for Indian League) 97 (Russia should be as powerful as UAN) 102 (European arcologies compared to African metroplexes) 102 (Esperanza fragments hit Algiers) 108 (Brazil's wealth compared to UAN's wealth) 110 (Candomble an African-Brazilian cult) 110 (Columbian/Brazilian coastal cartels allied with crime families from Israel) 110 (Norca control flow of Sudamerican biochemical/genetic research to UAN) 119 (Bire Lubuto) 122 (MMC looking for flaws in olaminium to compete with UAN manufacturer) 124 (Mujukuu) 125 (Akabenje Colony at Mars) 126 (Orgotek proposes help terraforming Mars to Africa, Brazil, and China) 128-129 (Kiremte mining station at Ganymede, Jupiter) 129 (Mafaa-3 at Io, Jupiter) 129-130 (UAN markets olaminium through Tangent Technologies) 130 (Tooci terrawatt laser built by UAN) 136-137 (Karroo) 137-138 (Far Nyumba) 140 (Alpha Software based in Cairo) 140 (Language Systems, Inc. based in UAN) 140 (Mashindano based in UAN) 140 (Helvetica International headquarters believed to be in Africa) 141 (UAN client to Tangent Technologies) 146 (UAN Military Forces) 171 (High-ranking UAN official) 185 (Various languages) 250 (UAN pirate) 268 (African jackets) 272 (Alpha Software Chris) 281 (Mashindano Sentry) 281 (Mashindano Kuchuka Bronto) 281 (Porter-Anderson Zenith competing with Mashindano Sentry) 282 (ClinTech Osner slower than Mashindano C-111) 282 (Mashindano Rover) 283 (Banji Cirrus used exclusively by Africa and Australia) 307 (Afoxe music has African and Brazilian roots) 307 (Bang styles, Marrakesh bang) 307 (Candomble has African and Brazilian roots) 307 (Capoeira has African and Brazilian roots) 309 (Umbanda) 309 (Israel-Judah) 310 (Oman) 310 (Persia) 310 (Turkic Federation) Hidden Agendas 5 (UAN in Antartica) 10 (Psi Nippon and acquatic cities) 10 (Somalian ore technicians) 10 (Psi Nippon culture theorists) 11 (Psi Nippon at Makaro-shima) 11 (UAN/Nihonjin tankers get ferous gels from Atlantis Deep) 12 (UAN research into cetacean intelligence) 14-15 (Doyo at Niger coast) 16 (Israel-Judah's formation) 19 (Aesculapian organ center at Addis Ababa) 20 (Princess Lila Faoud from Saudi Arabia) 21 (Agra Shahim from United Arab Emirates) 22 (Aberrant attack on Baghdad) 24 (Jomo Kenyatta spaceport) 27 (UAN funds against piracy at Jupiter) 33 (UAN-hired privateers covering Mars, the Belt, and Jupiter) 44-45 (Mhula Associates at Congo River valley) Player's Guide (I still need to recheck this for Psi Nippon references) 13 (Trinity Nairobi regional office) 14 (Kinshasa Trinity distribution center) 25-26 (Nala Mbenge) 30 (Vice Chancellor Kama Ntungidi) 30 (Psions in Middle East) 32 (Trinity in Middle East) 40 (Middle East) 41 (Psi use in UAN) 43 (Atwan and UAN) 67 (Red Cross in Middle East) 68 (Mashindano hiring psions) 69 (Becher Ari) 69 (Undying Damascus) 70 (Vatican Noetic Conclave at Middle East) 74-75 (Technology access in Middle East) 77 (Elderly in UAN) 78 (Masai) 78 (Fringe dwellers in Middle East) 88 (Psion celebrity in Middle East and UAN) 92 (UAN in UN) 93 (UN in Middle East) 93 (UAN and UN forces) 93 (UNAC troops at Middle East) 104 (UAN Ambassadorial Corps) Technology Manual (I still need to recheck this for Psi Nippon references) 12-13 (Egyptian Special Forces stop terrorists) 18 (OpNet construction in Middle East) 20 (In-System Laser Array at South Africa) 22 (Iris facility in Africa) 29 (Taint in Middle East) 35-36 (Nkumbe Industries) 111 (Furatti Corona) 120 (Oman Jogos Resort Carrier) 125 (Nkumbe Industries Windjammer) 128 (Two Novastorms owned by UAN) Extrasolar Colonies 2 (UAN sends 2 frigates to Far Nyumba on Meroe) 2-3 (UAN sends 2 frigates to Karroo on Shaka) 14 (Karroo modules given African names) 15 (Nile sector in Karroo) 15 (UAN assisting in patrols at Karroo) 15 (Mayor Susan N'Gamba formerly of UAN) 16 (Niger sector of Karroo) Alien Races none Psi Laws 2 (Israel law) 2 (UAN acknowledges psion rights) 5 (Psionic activity illegal in People's Republic of Estonia and Iraq) 7 (French refugees going to Morocco) 17 (UAN fears psions but gives them rights anyway) 23 (Middle East in lawless state) 23 (Warlords in former Jordan) 23 (Beirut arrests six First Legion support staff) Media 13 (Billy Parrot owns Astral dancer, a Nkumbe Industries Windjammer) 16 (Oman Jogos) Oceania 2 (African floating mining platforms) 7-9 (Psi Nippon at Makaro-shima) 26 (Umoja City) Corporate Life 4-8 (Corporate life in Africa) 5-6 (GENEius, Inc.) 6-7 (Language Systems, Inc.) 7-8 (Bootle Tootsie Toy Company) 8 (Africa compared to North America) 10 (Africa compared to South America) 14 (Wazukana and EnterAgency sabotaging GENEius) 14 (Africa compared to Europe) 17 (Upeo wa Macho face competition from Leviathans and Star-Crossed) 18 (Star-Crossed) Luna Rising 8 (Long-Term Focus Region at Nyota Kukumbatia) 21 (Otha Herzog born in Mali) 21 (Israel-Judah declares itself holy ground) 24 (Princess Lila Faoud at Oman) 26 (Overcrowding in Africa) 35 (Mokhaeddir and Middle Easterners) 37 (Aeon cannot access Nyota Kukumbatia) 41 (Complaints from Mujukuu) 44 (UAN military satelite) 88 (Bire Lubuto) 93-94 (Mokhaeddir) 97 (ICE sponsered by UAN) 99 (Outbreak Analysis consults UAN's African Health Organization) 110 (UAN philosopher Fairholt) 124 (Princess Lila Faoud and Saudi Arabia) 124 (Abbas Kastami and Persia) 125 (Antonia Noordsij-Doso and Botswana) 127 (Mbiru and Zimbabwe archaeological dig) 129 (Abrahim Powell and Israel-Judah) 136-137 (M'Kani Ngo) America Offline 7 (Unrest in North Africa despite UAN having vibrant economy) 7 (Orgotek Cairo HQ is used for bioVARG testing and Middle East patrols) 7 (Psi Nppon supports Orgotek and supplies latents) 8 (Lumen works with UAN on Tooci project) 9 (Oman taking bets on birth of Cassel child) 14 (Lumen involved with Tooci solar-sail project) 23 (Theory on assault of Upeo in Africa) 30 (New York home to Psi Nippon water bars) 72 (African electrokinetics happy to subvert FSA media with anti-fascist messages) 72 (Orgotek Operations teams in Middle East) 95 (China, the UAN, and Brazil dominate commerce) 103 (Southwest District has gambling opportunities that rival Oman) 105 (Vegas can't compete with Oman) 106 (New Plains attracts Psi Nippon enthusiasts) 106 (New Plains doesn't consider itself a Psi Nippon enclave) 113 (Public maintains it's attention on UAN rather than FSA) 124 (Jeff "Jomo" Kenyatta gets his nickname from Jomo Kenyatta spaceport) 131 (Janice McCaskey wears African-inspired anima clothing) Shattered Europe 18-19 (Zweidler offered job at UAN) 23 (Oman social scene) 26 (comparing UAN recovery to Europe) 26 (New Openness in Africa) 32 (UAN offers land for Beanstalk Project) 33 (Oman compared to Lisbon) 38 (Bohemian holovids in UAN) 38 (UAN pledge to protect Bohemia) 59 (Aesculapian clinics in Northern Africa) 61 (Addis Ababa clinic) 81 (Eurocentrism compared to Africa) 82 (Maturity in Africa) 90 (New Weimer economy compared to UAN) 94 (Doyo followers in Italy) 96 (Lisbon compared to Oman) 103 (Shatter mercenaries in UAN and Middle East) 103 (Bohemian treaty with UAN) 104 (Middle East after Aberrant War) 104 (NOE compared to Middle East) 130-131 (Hiroko Foster) 138-139 (Mirsad Djuranovic) Stellar Frontier 13 (Star-Crossed) 17-18 (Bolade Atwan at Sokoto) 18 (Bolade Atwan at Jomo Kenyatta) 26-28 (Karroo) 26 (Leopards named after African secret society) 28 (Culture of African tribes) 31-34 (Far Nyumba) 34 (Infant mortality in Middle East) 40 (Algerians at Ruan's World) 50 (Fiction - Delusions of Belonging) 50 (Andrea Mayhew at Nyota Kukumbatia) 52-55 (Nyota Kukumbatia) 53 (Aberrant attack alarms in Zanzibar) 54 (Chow Deng Lee at Morocco) 55 (UAN Air Defense Force) 62 (Star-Crossed) 85-86 (Karroo) 86 (Village-capitalism in West Africa) 91-95 (Far Nyumba) 93 (African culture and tradition at Far Nyumba) 102 (Dignitaries from UAN and Eden) 104-105 (Aigle at Zanzania) 122 (Khaldun al-Masna at Kenya) 124 (Rebecca Gould and Star-Crossed) 128-129 (Andrea Mayhew at UAN) 130-131 (Djhee Dauwi at Zanzibar) 134-135 (Asong Itadi and Congo Mining Collective) Aurora Australis 2 (Legion transfers in and out of Africa) 13 (General Alberto Mutofo of UAN) 22 (Bravo Company uses top-grade African equipment) 22 (J's Elites and Sword of Allah at Johannesburg Stock Exchange in July 2121) 23 (Second Legion job posting at Riyadh) 25 (African Upeo join Second Legion units in Africa) 26 (UAN Assault Corp are "bad-asses") 37 (African attachments of the First and Second Legions clamor to be a Legion) 37 (Elizabeth Davenport proposes Eighth Legion be Africa in her revision plan) 41 (Upeo-Legions strike team defeated five Aberrants in Madagascar in 2113) 41 (Most African natives of Second, Fourth, and Seventh Legions dislike Upeo) 42 (Legions presence in Africa) 42 (Sixth Legion takes patrols in North Africa and Middle East) 42 (Second Legion take guard points in major African cities) 42 (Entire Second Legion companies fight for Israel-Judah, Iran, or Jordan) 42 (Star-Crossed welcome Legions at Nyota Kukumbatia) 44 (Egypt developing super-soldiers) 44 (Egyptian Army captain turned Neo-Aberrant burned a city block in Cairo) 48 (UAN hires Larssen and her mercs to sabotage Chinese holdings on Mars) 48 (The 2090s were a time of conflict between UAN, Brazil, and China on Mars) 64 (Australia supplies materials for construction of developing African nations) 90 (Mashindano auto plant in Adelaide) 98 (Silverton Mining Corporation has holdings in Africa) 107 (Eighth Legion proposed to be in Africa) 107 (Larssen plans on having an African Legion by the end of 2123) 107 (African Legionnaires from First, Second, Fouth, and Sixth are in Africa) 123 (Agrah Shahim from refugee United Arab Emirates parents) 130 (Shannon Dakus born from Australian parents in UAN employ at Akabenje) 130 (Shannon Dakus part of assault on Nyota Kukumbatiain 2114. 138 (Fighting between UAN, Chinese, and Brazilian settlers on Mars 2092 to 2097) 139 (Renewed fighting between UAN and Chinese settlers on Mars in 2111) 139 (Fighting between UAN and Chinese settlers on Mars starts again in 2119) Terra Verde: coming soon Asia Ascendant 17 (Office of Semiotics responsible for recent peace deals in the Middle East) 26 (Office of Semiotics at Middle East) 27 (Office of Semiotics and Ottoman Empire at Middle East) 28 (Psi Institutes in Africa) 78 (Democratic nations like the UAN believe China oppresses its people) 105-106 (Psi Nippon) 148 (UAN trying to steal Nihonjin cyberware) Descent Into Darkness 18 (UAN has a thriving city on Luna) 59 (Agatha Kreviaz has a Mashindano Explorer) 64 (Linma Telcom responsible for some patents bought by UAN) 83 (UAN challenges China's claim to Mars) 84 (V. I. Mhula Associates approach China to construct Summit Center) 84 (Summit Center constructed by African firm) 85 (Summit Center the first of V. I. Mhula's World Haven series) 86 (No psions work for Mhula) 86 (V. I. Mhula Associates history) 86 (Most major cities of UAN reflect Mhula's love of organic and geologic motifs) 90 (UAN has a presence on Mars) 90 (UAN part of the Mars Terraforming Project) 90 (UAN is pro-immigration for Mars) 100 (UAN representatives at Annual Terraforming Conference) 101 (Several students at Wanjing are central and southern Africans) 110 (Mashindano Explorer) 112 (Doris Ashiluna half Ethiopian) Passage Through Shadow 22 (African docs using "home remedies" get sent to Port-au-Prince) ***68 (Tel Bekha spied on from Eyrie?)*** (An Internet search turned up nothing, but it sounds Arabic) 76 (Middle East strife mentioned) Ascent Into Light 4 (New Sudamerican Media mentions Africa) 13-14 (Susan N'Gamba's background) 13 (The New Professionals movement) 14 (Ghana pushed for a united Africa) 14 (UAN worked closely with Upeo) 15 (UAN's embrace of tribal lifestyles) 15 (One Africa) 21 (Tribal identity matters in UAN policy-making) 21 (Most people ar Karroo come from mid-western Africa) 21 (Mali, Ghana, and Congo) 22 (Karroo an independant colony by 2114) 23 (African organic patterns at upper levels of Chicago Cube) 26 (UAN and UN) 27 (Two UAN frigates go with Shaka to Karroo) 28 (Two UAN Kestrel-class frigates called Niger and Biko) 54-55 (Susan N'Gamba) 57 (Susan N'Gamba a UAN general) 64 (Walter Jikembe UAN judiciary) 70 (Makola Spaceport in Ghana) 70 (Accra capital of Independant State of Ghana) 70 (Accra has 2 million residents) **********75-76 (Accra, Ghana)********** 76 (Makola Spaceport) 79 (Susan N-Gamba jumps to Accra's zoological gardens) 80 (The Doyen in Wei summons lackeys from Cairo) 83-84 (Joseph and Marie N'Gamba) 85 (Ian Steere) 85 (Mandisa Letwaba) 85 (Adult nightclub in Accra called Chiri's) 86 (UAN on terrorism) 87 (Accra underground) 94 (Eden Ouelette of UN is from UAN) 100 (Slavery, the Upeo, and Africa) 107 (Joseph and Marie N'Gamba) 107 (Ian Steere) 107 (Ravit Simon) 107 (Israeli High Command believes Herzog stole Ravit Simon) 108 (Mandisa Letwaba) 108 (Mandisa Letwaba's parents are full-blooded Zulus from Johannesburg) 111 (Bakuhatsu MUT-01 used frequently by UN and UAN) Invasion 6 (N'Gamba has impressive military record with UAN) 54 (Etacar from Jomo Kenyatta) 54 (Shams ud-din Mohammed Hafiz from liberal Muslim family in Cairo) 58 (Admiral Mkumba graduated from academy at Cape Town) Deception: coming soon
  21. The End of an Era With the Roaring 20’s behind us, and the desperation of the Depression fresh in the minds people everywhere, the nations of the world draw into the chaos of another Great War. Now is the time for new heroes to emerge. Now is the time for sleeping giants to wake. Now is the time for the Greatest Generation to be born, but first it must survive it’s… Trial by Fire Adventure! Trial by Fire an expansion and world update for the wildly successful Adventure! Role-playing game . This book will take you to the last days of the Pulp Era and walk you through the weirder side of World War II. General Information on the world of the 1940’s Updates on Individuals and organizations New Super Science and Gadgetry New Heroes and Villains The Birth of a New Foe in the Form of an Old Friend Merits and Flaws New Knacks
  22. Hey all, im new on board with the project. Say hi! Anyways, heres my first two cents. We have for definate in this book the UAN, possibly spearheaded by South Africa. We have the new psi orignziation. Well i am proposing something rather important if oyu ask me. Egypt. Egypt civilziation is one of the oldest on the plannet. It would have most definatly been a hotbed of Abbies setting themselfs up as gods, and even today (RL Today) Egypt is a rather powerful country. Also everyone at some point or another was probably fascinated witih the Mummies. i know i was. So bascily, i propse an additional chapter, Egypt - or somethign similar. I for one dont thing the UAN will have taken over the whole continent - i expec it to be a major portion of Africa, but there most definatly would be nations that dont want to participate. Egypt, with their strong cultural identity, and diffeernces from the rest of Africa as a whole, would be one of thoes nations. Possibly one of only 2 or 3 still not part of the UAN. Thoughts? Ideas?
  23. Operation Eden (the terraforming of the Ethiopian Highlands) and Operation Genesis (the terraforming of the Sahara Desert) were planned and carried out mostly by Antaeus during the early Nova Age. These two projects would have quite a great effect on Africa, even by 2123. While trying to compile a history of the UAN and Africa, the topic of Antaeus and his terraforming work was constantly coming up in my mind. Would there still be a fertile grassland in the Ethiopian Highlands? Would the Sahara no longer be a desert, but instead be a thriving forest? Would there be other places in Africa that were terraformed? Did the plants just all die off one day? Did Antaeus go Taint-mad and command the plants to attack people? Did Africans have to burn the plants away in self-defense? Does Antaeus come to the realization that a desert and an infertile highland are still ecosystems of their own that play their own role in ecology, and decide to reverse the work he did? Is he branded an Aberrant for such an action, since it will lead to Africans starving? I was reading through Worldwide: Phase 1, and I think my own questions were just answered for me. On page 43 there is a fake OpNet article where some scientists are criticizing Operation Eden because the Ethiopian Highlands require constant maintenance from novas. Novas have to create rain, make soil fertile again, and cause winds to appear just to support the new plant life of the region. It seems the Ethiopian Highlands cannot survive on their own, and without nova assistance, they would revert to their old state. This solves a lot of headaches. Eventually, Antaeus will stop working on Project Genesis and the Sahara will revert to it's old form as a desert. I'm pretty sure that the entire Sahara was never terraformed anyway; it's a huge ****ing place, there's a lot of sand to move, and then there would have to be a place to dispose of that sand. Not even Antaeus could do it. At least, not at his 2015 power level. Maybe once he gets Ecological Supremacy from the Aberrant Player's Guide or something. The Ethiopian Highlands will turn back into an infertile land as well. I wonder how Addis Ababa will be affected by this change? I guess that's for us to figure out...
  24. Scott William Derringer Private Investigator In: The Mystery of the Heiress' Money As told to: Christopher Chase Sometimes, all you need is one lucky break. I kind of figured that I'd used up all my lucky breaks during the war, taking that trench, coming back in one piece, knowing my own name, not like some others. I see them on the street, old before their time, wearing eye patches and scarves to cover up what pieces they'd left behind. Some of them try for some sort of dignity, the sleeves and pantlegs of old uniforms folded and pinned where arms and legs ended. Others didn't care about dignity. They had left that behind, and now all they have are those desperate hours between dawn and dusk, trying to remember who they are, and when they are. If they're lucky, they get enough for some bathtub gin, bought from a guy who looks for people like them. Then they drink themselves dead drunk, or just dead, depending on how clean the radiator was that was used for a still, all so they don't dream, going back to the mud and the blood, the noise and the cold, cold silence. There are still times I feel the same. Sometimes, I sleep with a light on just so I know that I'm home, not in a dark trench somewhere. Thankfully, those times are getting farther and farther apart. *** I'd been reading the paper, seeing that the Yankees had yet again lost me five bucks, when a picture on the front page caught my eye. Forgetting what I wanted to do to the New York Coach, I stared at the picture, not knowing whether to feel angry or not. There she was, Mary Elisabeth Endicott-Maverly, 'Ellie' to her friends, ducking into the family car, which was big enough to hold a family of ten. She had looked into the camera for this picture, and I could see something there, something only someone who knew her would see… Everything faded for a second, and suddenly, I was a poor boy of fourteen again, and she was a girl of sixteen, from the right side of the tracks, money and wealth at her beck and call. Spoiled but tough, because that's the way her father had raised her, she enjoyed pushing everyone around, acting as if her victims were her personal slaves, especially the people around the stables…especially a poor, fourteen year old boy… I shook my head, came back to the present I looked at the story, not really much of one, just good scandal sheet stuff, of how she was spotted leaving the police station, and a rumored suitcase full of money. Right at that moment, my door opened up, and in walked the only real friend I had left from my childhood. "How are you this morning, Sergeant McMurphy?" "Ah, it's me joints again. Too much walking, too little sittin'." We go through this dance every couple of days. In the end, I give him a little 'medicine', kept in the drawer of my desk, courtesy of 'Dr.' Gleason, former Canadian soldier, now owner of Carl's, distributor of whiskey and other joint medicines. He's about the only one who'll talk to me now who knew me as a kid. Not that I was bad, of course. But some of the people I knew back then are respectable now, and don't want to be seen talking to me, a gumshoe, a window peeper. Once I even heard keyhole copper. The rest of the people, well…I'm no crystal ball reader, and since I don't believe in disturbing the dead… And my father, so happy I came back from the war alive, proud when I joined the police, was now so angry at me for quitting the force to become some 'dimestore novel detective', that he wouldn't even speak to me. And I can't even tell him why I quit, the corruption I saw, the darkness behind the shields, because then, I'd be waiting for something heavy to fall on him from a tenth story window. That was the deal I made with certain people when I left. So, McMurphy and I would do the dance, and after, when he'd finished his 'medicine', I'd ask about my father, and he'd say: "Ask him yourself." But today, I changed the steps of the dance, and started my own. I showed him the paper, pointed out the picture, and asked him about her. He knew her for what she was. She liked to pick on police too, not just kids with a shaky past. "She had a flat tire," he said. "She was alone, and she wasn't able to change the tire by herself." Likely afraid she'd break a nail. "The car that found her was looking out for some smugglers in the area, so they searched the car all the while they were helping her." Humph. Probably one helped, while the other went around the other side of the car to take a piss. "Then he looked in, and saw the case…" "One hundred thousand in that case, Boyo. Enough fer just about anything. So, a'fore she could say anything, Bingo!, an' sure she's at the station, ringing up Daddy." I wonder what the two flatfoots who caught her are doing now. Likely patrolling the docks, where idiots who arrest the rich go. So much smuggling goes on there, that no one will allow the police to interfere with it. They either look the other way, or they get swept away. That, or they ended up shoveling after the horses on parade. "She wouldn't say what the money was for I'm told, but after her lawyer came in, curse the parasite, she and the money took the high road out." I wonder what the money was for. People like her don't pay for things, they get them given to them, or they're paid to take them, just so someone could say that what they had or made or sold went to rich, influential people. Kiss-ups. "One hundred grand," I said, rolling the sound around. Made me completely forget the Yankees. "Buy a lotta bootleg with that." McMurphy agreed. But we both knew that couldn't be it. The Endicotts likely had enough booze in their cellars to float away half the town. The Sarge said that he'd heard the scores, and I handed over his five bucks. I now had six dollars and change to my name. Lucky thing I always paid the rent first. But then, something'll turn up. It always does. *** Now, an hour later and a dollar shorter, I was at Maudie's, the only restaurant in town that makes an apple pie I can stomach. Washing it down with coffee thick and strong enough to re-sole my shoes, I asked Maudie what the good word was. "Rich," she said, polishing the counter. She always said that, like it was the key to happiness. Well, I suppose that if you had enough money, you could at least rent it. And, of course, it brought me back to Miss Endicott. Why had she been out there? What was she doing with enough money to buy…anything? It was an itch I just had to scratch. *** Now, shorter two dollars and three hours of daylight, I stood outside the old stables, where once upon a time I'd worked, where once upon a time a girl with too much money and too much free time had tormented me, and where now something sharp was digging into my back The voice behind me was thick with a Cockney accent. I knew who this was. Old Ralfie Hornquist, an Irishman raised in London. He'd been my friend until I'd left, me being the only one who'd listen to his old Irish folktales. I also knew that Ralfie didn't carry a gun, having been shot by an Englishman trying to run his family off their ancestral lands, sixty-five years ago. Likely, he was digging the old shovel he carried around into my back. But since I didn't want to get whacked over the head, my hands went up. It took me fifteen minutes to convince the old coot who I was. ,,*** "…Can't get why," he was telling me. "She never carried too much money with her. Always had her husband carry it. And, I hear, he didn't mind it too much, if'n you know what I mean." "Not have his own?" "Not so's you'd notice. Word is, his family, name'a Maverly, descendents of a Duke or some such, lost most of it and married into the Endicotts to save the family name. She got an influential name, and status with Old Families. And the Endicotts used that status to get richer." "Kids?" "One. A boy name'a Michael. Looks like his mother, but he don't act like her, thank goodness. Though, she's calmed down some, with a child and all." He continued: "Husband though…he's likely the reason his family near lost everything a few years back." "Bad business?" "Betting. The worst gambler you've ever seen, next to you and the Yankees, I hear." Cute. "He in debt?" "With Endicott money? Not likely" Unless he was so deep he couldn't tell. Or maybe Daddy Endicott found out, and cut him off. Hell, maybe Mrs. Endicott-Maverly cut him off. But if he was in deep to the wrong people… "Anything else?" "Nah, she ain't been here for a while. She used to ride here every day or so. Bring the lad along. Ain't seen neither of 'em." She's been seen, I thought. Driving alone in the dark with a case of mon… Oh, no. Maybe she wasn't smuggling, or buying bootleg. Maybe she had been trying to deliver a ransom. Trying to buy back her kid! Even as I thought that, a twist in my gut told me that I was right. Easy enough to find out. Using one of the greatest creations of science, the telephone, I called the boy's school. All the rich kids who didn't have private tutors went to a school named Collinsworth, so finding it wasn't a problem. With a cloth over the mouthpiece, I demanded to speak to the Head, then demanded to know if anyone had been told of the kidnapping, impersonating the gruff, shout coarsened voice of the great man himself, Mr. Endicott. The man at the other end stuttered and whined, but at the end assured me that no one knew of my grandson's disappearance. I hung up. I looked at my watch. It'd be dark soon. I could probably just make it to the Endicott Estate before they tried another ransom run. And they would. No one walks away from a hundred grand. No one. *** So now, here I was, at the only turn-off within sight of the Endicott Estate. Hah, estate. It was so big it should have it's own seat in that League of Nations everyone's talking about. Well, good luck, Mercer. You'll need it. The walls were just as high as I remembered them, bigger than some of the older buildings in the old city, with more predators walking around inside than a lions, tigers and bears only circus. Of course, there was another way in, discovered in my misspent youth, an old steam pipe that had been cut off from the main line when the Endicott's went for a bigger one. Handy thing to know, if I ever needed to get inside without an invitation. *** I had just finished the last of my cigarettes, when the gates opened up, and a Ford Roadster rolled out. It drove along, as if everything was completely normal. I watched it go past, with me hidden behind some brush, then I started my own car, a Studebaker Light Six, (bought for a song from the police impound) and drove along without any headlights. It was a full moon tonight, so it wasn't too hard. The car turned a corner, and I hit the lights, following the little automobile through the city, until it left the outskirts, and followed a well-worn path, no road, just ruts in the dirt. Now I knew where the car was going. The only place around here for something like this was Dusty's, a seedy little joint in the middle of nowhere, named, I think, for the layers of it on the furniture. I hoped she, if it was Ellie in the car, didn't go in there. That place had a tendency to eat people up and spit out bones. Was she going there to deliver the ransom? Check and see if anybody had left further instructions? ,,,,I topped a hill, and saw Dusty's, all lit up like it was Fifth Avenue, plain as day. Made me wonder why people paid the police, with the crooks giving them a better paycheck. A covered truck was parked out front, and five guys built like walls were unloading Canadian whiskey from the back. Just to the side of the truck was the car, well away from the other cars in the graveled lot, the headlights just winking out. I pulled into a spot where I could see the whole area in front of me, and I could watch the deal going down. Then, as my door was yanked open and the second before a sap pounded my head, I found myself wishing I'd checked the scenery behind. *** ,,,,The first thing I thought, as I came to, was that I was back in the trenches. The ground shook under the shelling, others whistled overhead, and all I could smell was dirt, straw and manure Straw and manure? My eyes, often getting me into trouble with a wandering gaze popped open. Then, after coaxing what was left of my dinner back down, I opened them slower. The rumbling and shaking had become rhythmic, the sound of iron wheels clacking against a track, in time with the hammer inside my skull. The smell of straw and manure, strong to a city boy like me became the dirt covering the floor of a boxcar. The screaming shells became the sound of a train whistle. Surprise! I was tied up and gagged. The bad news is that I wasn't blindfolded, meaning they didn't care if I saw them. Speaking of…sitting on a chair that looked small, like a kid's, was the biggest thug I'd ever seen. His back was to me, but I could see how the jacket he wore was stretching over his shoulders. His arms looked to be the same size as my legs, and his legs looked to be the size of cut-down trees. He was cracking the knuckles on the construction tools he called hands, and spitting black tobacco juice into a growing pool on the floor. Then I heard him, crying in the corner, opposite me. He had a blanket, ratty and full of holes wrapped around him, but with his school uniform, shorts and a thin shirt, it wasn't doing him much good. He was shivering, shaking like a leaf. I could see his breath frosting the air slightly. Didn't seem that cold to me, but then, I was dressed a little heavier. My gun was gone, and so was my wallet, no surprise there. They'd tied my hands behind me, but they'd left my feet loose. Strange, but maybe luck was finally turning my way. The kid's teeth began chattering, and I could hear it even over the sound of the train. He was obviously suffering, but the human tower didn't seem to care, another bad thing to add to the fact neither the kid nor I were blindfolded. My gut twisted, and told me that we were going to get off the train, but with a lump of lead in our skulls. A lurch, and the train's motion slowed. I could feel the train beginning to angle up, as it began to climb. Our chances of escape wouldn't be getting much better. Of course, being tied up complicated things. As I was thinking I should've stayed at the office and enjoyed losing the rest of my money to McMurphy, I heard a voice. It was tinny, like I was hearing it from a radio. I knew it wasn't from the man mountain, because it sounded like it had brains behind it. Following the voice, I saw the box, with wires leading out. The box began giving orders, and I didn't like them one bit. ""I know that the wait has been hard for you, Clarence…" (Clarence?) "But I've gotten the money. I'm sure this man watching Mary was doing so without her, or her father's knowledge. But he will make an excellent Judas when the boy is found. A man, down on his luck, steals the grandchild of a rich man to make some money. A mishap, and both die in the wilderness, (Don't like the sound of that) falling from the train they were riding to escape the city that the Grandfather and his daughter have swarming with Pinkertons." "Finish it now, Clarence. The sooner the brat is gone and the family in shambles, the sooner I can proceed with my plans." Damn! Shovel-hands didn't waste any time, because as soon as the voice was done, he stood up and pulled out what looked to be my gun. Lana looked like a toy in his big mitt, but like most ladies I know, small or not she was no less deadly. Seeing me as the immediate threat, Clarence the kidnapping oak tree turned to wards me, the hammer pulling back and the cylinder turning, putting a round under the pin. Damn! Damn!! Lana's .45 caliber eye gave me a cold, black stare. The train whistle blew, and we began picking up speed again as the train leveled off. Big boy turned his eyes toward the sound as the whistle sounded again. Not believing how my luck was turning out, I kicked him in the knee as hard as I could. My angle was awkward, but I still managed to stumble him, his shoulder hitting the wall, and Lana fell, hiding in the straw. I looked at him, and saw the ugliest face I'd ever seen. Someone had taken a knife to his face, jigsaw puzzled his looks. His teeth were revealed in a permanent snarl, scar tissue pulling the lips apart. Eyes the bright brown of new pennies looked at me, then a boot the size of Rhode Island lashed out, and caught me in the ribs. I was surprised my ribs didn't shatter. And I thought it would hurt more. Apparently, Scar thought it should've too, so he did it again, flipping me over this time. Then he picked me up by the scruff of the neck, like picking a kitten out of a litter, and slammed me several times, face first into the wall, letting me slide down with stars swirling in my vision for company. My head spun, and I could taste blood. But I knew, somehow, that I wasn't hurt very badly, and even as I thought about it, the weakness of being manhandled like that began to fade. A hamhock landed on my shoulder, and suddenly the corner of the car was rushing at my face, and I slid down the wall again, everything a blur. And to top it off, something was poking into my arm. I shook my head, clearing it quickly. Strange, you'd think Jojo the scar-faced boy could do more damage than that, but I wasn't counting on that good luck holding out for much longer. And what the hell was digging into my arm? I felt around, and immediately felt the nail sticking out from the wall. Now if I could lift my arms a little bit more… The nail caught the rope, and I began working it, feeling the strands break. Tall, dark and ugly was looking for Lana, but bless her little steel heart, she stayed hidden. Giving up after a minute, he pulled out a knife. Why he didn't pay attention to me I don't know, likely thought I was down for the count. Why I wasn't, I don't know, but I wasn't going to waste this chance. The rope broke as he started towards the boy, who starting screaming as he caught sight of the blade. I was up and running, plowing into the goon's lower back, lifting him off his feet a lot easier than I should have, and drove him into the wall. I wanted to yell: How's that taste?, but I gave him a couple of shots to the kidneys instead. I reached up, and grabbed a hand full of grey, slicked back hair, and slammed his face into the wood a couple of times. I swear I heard something crack. An elbow caught me in the side of the head, knocking me down into the straw, but I rolled with it, and was on my feet in time for the man-mountain to come at me, arms wide, his face pulled back and bloody. Ducking under his arms, I got around behind, then jumped on his back, my arms going around his thick neck. He clawed at me, having dropped the knife, catching and ripping off pieces of my shirt. He stood at his full height, my feet left the floor, and he ran at the nearest wall, whipping around so I'd hit, with his full weight crushing me to paste. The wall cracked, but I only grunted, so he slammed me back into the wall again. He began driving his elbows into my ribs, even as he slammed me into the wall again. He kept this up for what felt like a few months, bouncing me off walls he took running starts at, with me flopping around like a rag doll. The smokestack began to gag, clawing for my eyes now, trying to grab me and pull me off. Then he went to one knee. Then the other. His arms flapped around, and I could feel his throat working beneath my arm, straining to pull in air. He sagged, but I held on, and after I was sure he wasn't faking, I let him fall. Dead or not, I didn't care, just as long as he stayed down. My foot banged against something, and looking down, I saw Lana waiting patiently for me to hold her, which I did. She felt good, like a shot of extra aged scotch, smooth like a favorite brand of cigarette. I retrieved my holster from the ruins (funny, I don't remember hitting it) of the sleeping giants chair, put it on and slid Lana inside, where she nestled comfortably. ,,,,,,There was a choking sound, and I remembered why this had all happened in the first place. Scooting over to him, I put a hand on his shoulder. He tried to pull away, not surprising really, considering what he's been through. "Michael?" I asked. He tried to huddle deeper into the blanket, hoping everything would go away, and that he'd wake up at home. All safe and sound, monster hidden away in the closet. Problem was, the boogeyman of this nightmare is lying in a mound of straw, and is seven feet of muscle and whalebone. I didn't want to be here if or when he woke up. "C'mon, kid. We gotta go. Your mom's waiting for you." "Mommy?" His head poked out. Christ, the kid was barely eight years old, for crying out loud. I wanted to go back over and kick Big and Gruesome a few times, but it'd have to wait. "Yeah, kid. I'll take you to her. But first we gotta get off the train." Suddenly the radio crackled to life again. Most of it was muffled as I hauled back on the loading door, revealing the world as it whipped by at sixty miles an hour, but I could make out the voice asking if 'it' was done, meaning were we dead. Watching the treed landscape rush by, I was at a loss. We'd likely break something if we jumped here, and it would look like the accident the Voice wanted. Speaking of which, the radio crackled again, demanding Clarence answer him. Nuts. At no time did I think Clarence was the only one of the Voice's thugs on the train. If he got antsy enough… My eyes settled on a coil of rope hanging on the wall, about thirty feet's worth, probably what they used to tie me up. Not much good now, nothing to tie it to, and nowhere to go. And outside, the trees whipped past, just like our chances of escaping. The speaker went dead with a snap!, and my gut told me the jig was nearly up. Likely sending some of his goons over right now. No choice. "C'mon, Mike." I hauled him up, grabbed the coil of rope with my other hand, and hoped that I could think of something before the Voice's goons got here. We went over to the door, and I tied one end of the rope around my waist, then tied part around his. Looking out the door, I saw a bridge coming up fast, bracing girders stretching up, and over the rails. I couldn't see from where I was, but it looked like it was a ways down. And to top it all off, I could hear footsteps, clumping along the roof, heading for the top hatch. The bridge was about thirty seconds away, the sides rising up like a cradle. The river it bridged was about seventy feet down. No way out. Unless… I grabbed the big guy in a fit of inspiration/desperation, and hauled him over to the door, the kid looking at me like I'd lost my marbles. If only he knew what I was thinking… Grabbing the guy's knife as we went by, I made a couple of cuts on the rope, then tied one end to Clarence's ankle, and made a loop in the other, and slid my hand in. I gotta be crazy. The hatch opened, and some five o'clock shadow face shoved through, turning until the beady eyes that came with it locked on to us. He opened his mouth to shout, so I did the only thing it could do, and threw Ugly's knife at him. Whether it hit or not, I didn't know, or care. Grabbing Michael, I jumped out the door, the kid in one hand, the rope in the other. We were in midair just before the first brace of the bridge, and we skinned by it, like a football between the posts, and momentum kept us going both out and forward, where the rope hit the next brace, drawing us up, and the force yanking the body of Tall and Ugly out of the car. Michael and I dropped like a stone, but stopped as Clarence jammed against the brace that the rope was sliding across. Forty feet above the river, Michael was yelling his head off and so was I, him from being scared, and me from nearly having my arm ripped from the socket. Then the pressure lessened, and we fell the last forty feet into the water, which was thankfully deep enough to keep us from becoming human pancakes. I twisted, and took most of the impact myself. We were swept along, the water fast for a few, chaotic minutes, until we rounded a bend, and found a clearer, gentler patch. We took the chance offered, and climbed out. I flopped on the bank, and slipped the rope off, the marks on my wrist so bad that I thought maybe it was broken, but my fingers worked, everything bent only so far then stopped, just like it was supposed to. I turned my head. Michael was curled up on the ground, groaning. If I'd thought he was cold before, he was turning blue now. He wasn't even bothering to shiver. I'd seen this in the trenches, when men froze to death. They just began to go to sleep, and they didn't wake up. I had to get a fire going, before the cold started to settle into the both of us, so I reached for my jacket pocket, where I kept a steel tube, waterproofed to hold emergency matches. I'd had it since the war. I reached for it, only to find it gone like my jacket, stripped off when the Voice's goons first caught me. What the hell was I supposed to do now? Rub sticks together? I was no Indian! But I had to do something! Preoccupied, my back to the water, I didn't hear the splashing until it was too late. A hand latched onto my ankle, pulling me off my feet. I twisted and saw Clarence, waterlogged and no prettier from his dip, one leg obviously broken, his face mashed up worse than before, wheezing as he crawled up the bank towards us. I could see trailing beyond him the rope, still tied to the now broken leg, swaying gently in the current. His teeth, what remained of them, were gritted, coming closer like a gap toothed car grill, bearing slowly down on me. Not bothering to fight the grip on my ankle, I pulled Lana out and let her speak her mind. Unfortunately, he didn't listen the first two times, started to at the third, paid complete attention at the fourth and finally got the message on the fifth try. Lana always liked talking to strangers, and she always smoked when she was done. I kicked myself free of Clarence's bear trap of a hand, and against my better judgment, got closer to search him. Maybe he had some matches or a lighter that might still work. I couldn't help but smile as I took from his pocket my wallet, and a steel cylinder of matches. *** ,,I had a fire going now, an hour after we crawled up the bank, warming us both. It was strange, but though I felt the heat, it didn't seem to affect me much, just like the cold air and water. I had set Ugly drifting down the river, the rocks I shoved into his pockets will eventually weigh him down. I'm sure the fish'll appreciate it. Michael and I were in our underwear, our clothes drying on sticks I'd propped up by the fire. My shirt was in tatters, barely enough to cover my back, but my undershirt had come through all right. We were hungry, but at least we were warm. The kid and I both had bruises ringing our waists where the rope had bitten in. The abraded ring around my wrist had turned the color of raw steak, and my shoulder was sore, but it still worked. My shirt, or what was left of it was dry now, so I handed it over to Michael, who draped it over his shoulders and leaned back against a moss-covered stone. And finally safe and free from his kidnappers, he was soon asleep. I threw some more wood on the fire, and watched the kid for a bit, closing my eyes for only a second, then opening them to find that it was daylight. Mike was still asleep. *** Four days later, broke and tired of eating nearly ripe apples, raspberries off the bush and drinking from hand pumps from the farms we passed, the two of us walked up to the front gate of the Endicott estate. *** Micheal was taking a long, hot bath, ordered by his mother as soon as she finished hugging the life from him, the woman no longer the sadistic bitch she had been, while I ate like a pig in the servant's kitchen. They were still looking at me like I should be in cuffs, but Michael's story left them with no doubt that I was the hero in this particular chapter of his life. I ate the steaming…whatever they'd put down in front of me, barely tasting it. I'd been hungry enough to eat the kid, but then, there wouldn't have been any point to all this. I'd also been given clean clothes by the staff, on order of the Big Man himself, which I appreciated, tucking Lana into my waistband because the leather straps of my shoulder holster needed to be oiled, and a place to throw some water and soap together. I hadn't shaved yet, but I was feeling a lot better. But, something strange had happened out there. Happened to me. I barely felt the cold anymore, the hot water felt lukewarm, even though it steamed. My old clothes looked like they'd been through a cheese grater, but I barely had a mark on me. And the biggest surprise came when I'd looked in the mirror after washing my face. I'd always looked strong, my hard working days 'carving', as my mother said, a good set of muscle. But what I looked like now was crazy, my muscles were harder, like wire under the skin, and my veins stood out like cords. I looked like some of those bodybuilders from out of California. I hadn't ever looked like this before, not even when I was younger. *** ,,The Great Man himself, Carl Richard Endicott, Michael's grandfather and Ellie's father finished shaking my hand. A big man, he'd made his money in the railroad, his fortune rising with oil in Texas and rubies from Africa, along with rubber from the Congo and silks from the Orient. He'd worked for all his money, a fact he proudly held up to the bluebloods he kept company with, scarring his hands from labor and fighting, and his eyes held that look that saw strengths he could use and weaknesses he could exploit. Endicott was self-made, and was refusing to let himself go soft. He sat me down, and we talked, drinking his scotch, and I found we were both Yankees fans. Ha. Common ground. But soon, we talked about the boy, and what had happened. He'd been grabbed from the only spot at the school not visible to supervisors, a corner now bricked and mortared over. The spot had a swinging board, hung on a single nail, that some of the more adventurous boys would use to go truant. I asked him why he'd put his grandson there, and he told me he wanted Michael to see some of the real world, not be locked up with some stuck-up tutor. "Something's going to happen someday," he told me. "And only the people who know the outside world, the real world, will be strong enough to keep what's theirs. Everyone else will lose…everything." Humph. So he's only there to be tough. Well, let's find out how tough the old man is when I change subjects. "How deep in debt is your son-in-law?" I asked him suddenly. His eyes widened only slightly. "I imagine that covering his losses is getting to be quite steep." His eyes narrowed slightly. I continued: "I have it on good authority that he's the worst gambler that most people have ever seen. Matter of fact, I'd bet that he wagered you'd cover his markers and lost." "He's cut off," said another voice, a familiar woman's voice. "He's got a monthly living allowance that most families could live off for most of a year." I had to admit, as she walked into the room towards us, that she had matured beautifully. I started at the top, and worked my way down. Her hair was that rich brown that was almost red, and was pulled back into a simple, long pony tail, not the elaborate styles she used to wear. Her face, heart shaped and pretty, was pale from sleeplessness, and the rings under her eyes stood out starkly. Her neck was long, disappearing into a high collared blouse and tailored skirt that covered a tall, voluptuous body that was out of fashion at the moment, hinting at a strength and passion that would likely draw or intimidate men. "Michael's asleep. Finally," she said, sitting down and pouring herself a glass of what smelled like sherry. Not wanting her to drink alone, I 'settled' for some more whiskey. Then, with her head bowed slightly, she looked at me. She knew who I was. How did she see me now, I wondered. Did she see me as the man who'd saved her child? Or would she see me as the kid from the wrong side of the tracks? She flushed slightly, and looked away, ashamed. "It's all right," I told her. She'd told me enough just by looking away. "It's over." The Old Man thought I was talking about Michael's ordeal, but Ellie knew what I meant. "Is it?" he asked. "You told us yourself that the man who was killed was a flunkie. There was some one else…" "I heard his voice," I told him. "So did Michael. If we ever hear him again…we'll know." Mr. Endicott looked like he wanted to say something, but he seemed reluctant. I asked him something I'd thought of while Michael and I were walking back to the city, dodging cars and hiding from strangers, not knowing friend from foe. Who, I asked him, would inherit if Michael had died? Who would gain from the death of one, or all of the Endicotts? Who would call her Mary, and not Ellie, which I knew for a fact she preferred. The Old man gave me the answer I was expecting. But so, at that moment, did the object of our concerns. Charles Maverly stepped into the room, a smile on his once handsome face, rounded by too many years of good living, a tailored suit that didn't hide the paunch and a Tommy gun in his hands, aimed at us. "The one hundred thousand was more than enough to cover my debts. But I've discovered a thirst for more than mere money. So, I'm afraid that the police will come, and find all of you dead, shot by the kidnappers who took my son. They will leave me alive to deliver the ransom, but my poor, poor son will never be seen again." He smiled wider. "Then, I'll use my new empire to expand my interests. Smuggling to start, but that is only the tip of the iceberg, my friends. New machines are being built everyday, like portable two-way radios that can be held by one person." Yep, I guessed right. Sounds a little different here in the flesh, but Chuck is the Voice. "Yes, machines that will reshape the world as we know it! Weapons of such power, the world will tremble at the thought of their use! Machines of such intelligence and power that they will hold an entire library's worth of books for those who have the power to use them! "Technology, weapons, drugs from exotic lands, slaves for those who wish them, transport for small armies and criminals who can pay the price. All this and more!" "My empire will spread it's wings and soar!" He looked down at the gun in his hands, as if he'd forgotten he was holding it. Then he looked back up, and the grin was replaced by a snarl. "But first…" Ellie winced at the scream following the gunshot, and looked in wonder at her father, herself and then me, unharmed and alive. Charles, on the other hand squalled as blood gushed from his leg. He was rapidly turning pale as he clutched at the wound. The artery hit had been lucky. I pulled Lana out from under the table, her smoking showing that she was pleased with herself. I walked over to Maverly, and looked down. "Should've told us to put our hands up," I told him, watching the fear in his eyes and remembering the terror on the face of an eight-year-old boy. His hands relaxed, as the blood flow slowed, then trickled…and stopped. *** It's been a week and a day now. The elder Endicott was so grateful, he rewarded me with a new wardrobe, had my car retrieved and tuned up and paid me enough to keep the Landlord off my back for a few months. I haven't seen Ellie since that day. She'd taken her son and grabbed a ship to Paris. They should be there soon. Hope the lad likes it. He'd been pretty upset when his mother told him afterward that it had been his own father that had him kidnapped, but I think he was even more upset when he came downstairs after hearing that gunshot, and found me standing over him with Lana still showing her pleasure. He would've come after me with that fireplace poker he'd grabbed if Ellie hadn't grabbed him right then. Her telling him what happened didn't calm him down, but me telling him that it had been his father's voice on that radio drove the point home, and he fell into his mother's arms crying like, well like someone who'd just lost their father. He'd been about to empty that Gat at us, but listening to the kid, I was the one that felt like a heel. None of this reached the scandal sheets, of course. Endicott had a reputation for evening scores. So now, eight days later I was leaning back in my chair, feet up on my desk. I opened my morning paper, ignoring the headlines of 'Where is Maxwell Mercer?' and 'Hammersmith Explosion Still Being Investigated' I know that I missed the damn thing, being unconscious at the time and all, but it was a week ago! Let it go and get back to the really important stuff that everyday schmoes like me need to know. I opened it to the sports page, saw the headline and the story beneath: ,,'NY Yankees Losing Streak Broken. Management Lauds New Player As Savior Of The Team, and Welcomes 'Babe' Ruth to New York City. ,,Nuts. Of course, just when I bet against them… I heard the door open and a thick Irish brogue called out: "Seen the scores yet, me boyo?" finis Written by Christopher 'Quest' Chase