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  1. Today
  2. Character Name : Acato Seros Type : Gray Jedi Hopeful Gender / Species : Female / Togruta Age : 21 Height : 5’6 Weight : 130 lbs Physical Description : Acato is relatively slim, though athletic in build, with muscles rather long than thick. Her skin hue is a tan red, and white stripes cross in elegant curved patterns around her skin, her cadet blue down-to-ribs length lekku and montrals, the latter being curved first out then in towards the top. Her white face markings begin from her eyebrow, spreading to her upper forehead as two peaks, accompanied by one dot on the central forehead and one on the nose bridge, before falling down, crossing her outer eye corners and linking as a spike on her chin, decorating her cheerful features in a helmet-ish fashion. She sports grey-blue eyes, and a headdress featuring several teeth and pearls from her homeworld. Personality : Acato rather consider the glass as half-full in most of situations. She is attentive and kind, motivated by an urge to avoid loneliness. Born on Shili, she enjoys a good hunt, and the adrenalin fighting provides, much to the disappointment of the Padawan who taught her into the Jedi way. She is curious about a lot of things, and if it wasn't for her lack of skill with ships, she would have explored the whole universe in the blink of an eye. Objectives : Find a new teacher to learn more about the Force and the Jedi way, for her previous one, a Padawan having survived Order 66, was tracked down and killed by Imperials, several years ago, after managing to get her to safety. She did not have enough time to be taught much, but a new path opened before her feet, waiting for her to explore it. Capsule background : Born on Shili, Acato mostly roots her ancestry in Lavati tribes. She learnt how to hunt alongside her parents, and integrated herself pretty well in her tribe. When she was around the age of fourteen, she met a man named Caleb during a hunt, and two of his friends, who had somehow survived the emergency landing of their ship. The hunt party pointed them out the direction of a larger city and went on. Later in the week, Acato met the group again, and said Caleb sensed her attunement to the Force, revealing her he was once a Padawan, before the end of the Clone Wars, and offering her the little knowledge he possessed. Spending the day with him, Acato decided she liked Caleb and his friends, and decided to join their party. She felt like this would include space travel, and was indeed very curious about the Force. Two years later, they were tracked down by Imperials in the Brak Sector, on the planet Orma. Caleb got Acato to hide among some junker friends he had there, while leaving with the Imperials on his trail, never to be seen again. Quotes : "Are you going to eat that ?" "Come on, it's not like the universe is falling apart !" "Eh, one's gotta do its part !" "Need a hand ? I'm sure I can find a way to be of help." "Sometimes, I feel like I want to go home... but then I look up to the sky, and I see all those stars asking to be visited. I can't imagine a way of going home without having a nice story to tell about each one of them !"
  3. "Don't thank me yet," he said with half a breath, one hand squeezing her gently as his other slid across her side and up her back, arcing her spine with a shivering glide upwards. Within the span of him touching her back and tracing over the strap of her bra it was undone. His grace and precision in the maneuver reminded her that he was far more experienced at heavy petting than he was leading her to believe. "Still plenty of time to disappoint or offend." He smirked. Without warning he gripped her tightly and spun her about, hefting her hundred or so pounds like she was nothing more than a feather and he was a breeze. it was her turn to lie on her back and thankfully the rich kids parent's sprung for the Queen-sized mattress or she was sure they would have rolled off by now. With a tug, he pulled his tank top off and Lona realized she wasn't the only one holding out on a fit body with loose clothing. Everyone knew Devin was a gymnast, but no one had ever seen him actually perform, but judging by his hardened frame, working out was a way of for this guy. Yeah, the thought returned, a month ago, she did not see herself making out with a guy like him... more many reasons. They both lost track of time in the flood of desires. She could feel how turned on he was and certainly all he needed was the green light, but the more involved she became, the more he met her enthusiasm. His mouth explored every inch of skin she bared to him, allowing herself to be lost in the waves of new sensations and drown, if only for awhile, in her passions. This, she knew Devin would agree, was living.Just feeling his skin on hers was as electric as any kiss or touch and it was simple to understand why Devin always had these sorts of thought on his mind, it was addicting. He kissed down her body, moving lower and lower, getting more confident with every heavy breath and soft moan his partner gave him. Her jeans were already undone but still on. That happened maybe ten, twenty minutes ago? Neither knew. Her stomach quivered and she laughed slightly as his kissing her lower tickled. Then her phone rang... They both sighed, Devin's head collapsed into her stomach and Lona rolled her eyes, groaning with the poor timing. "Sorry, thought it was on silent. Shit," she said looking at the screen. "It's Clara." "Answer it," he urged while taking a small nibble at the side of her tummy. "Or they'll know we're up to something." Avalon groaned with frustration through the tiny laughs of Devin' nibbling on her. "Fine." She feigned irritation and swiped her screen. "Hello? Hey." She replied to Clara. Devin could hear Clara's muffled voice through the receiver and Lona shot him a look as she tried to keep a straight face as he continued to kiss and nibble on her stomach, still slithering himself lower and lower. "No, he's okay. Still a bit bruised up but he's definitely up and active." Devin's lips rolled under his teeth and he bit down to stop himself from laughing. He glared at her as she smiled back devilishly, sticking her tongue out at him. "No, no... he just headed downstairs..." Devin collapsed on her, cupping both his hands over his mouth until his laughter was nothing more than compressed wheezes through his nose and back of his throat... like that dog, Muttley. "Yeah... sure. Call me if you need anything. I know. I know. We're not. Jesus, give me some credit." She clicked off her phone and Devin began laughing, burying his face in her stomach.
  4. Startled, Maya spun on her heel, instinctively swinging at- Nothing. There was no one there, just the empty rectangle of her doorway and the dim hall beyond, keys still glinting dully in the lock. Flustered and unreasonably embarrassed, she hoped Sully hadn't just seen that- she could imagine his big, lantern-yellow eyes peering at her from his usual spot on the bookshelf, narrowed in what she could only assume was laughter. The keys jingled again as she retrieved them, then closed and bolted the door with a smooth, satisfying click of the well-worn brass latch. Sighing, she rubbed her face with her free hand, dropping the keys into a small dish on the counter nearby. Something about the D'Sombra woman, or something she said, must have gotten stuck in her brain, or else Maya wouldn't be hearing her voice right now. What was it? She mulled it over as she moved through the apartment, the pleasant fog of inebriation lifting by millimeters. So much had happened during the evening, with the drinks and meeting up with Coleen and her husband, and before that the crazy woman and Mr. Horatio Mourne, and the painting... Maya looked up suddenly, staring at her reflection in the mirror above the bathroom sink. Small, frothy rivulets of lather dripped down her cheeks, and warm water gushed unheeded into the basin where she was washing her face. The painting. She'd seen something in it, hadn't she? A story... and D'Sombra had laughed. Taken her side. But... they didn't even know each other. The only people at the party she'd ever met before were Coleen, and the woman in the white dress, from the coffee shop- Oh. "Oh, fuck," Maya whispered to her reflection, as awareness suddenly dawned. The angry woman trying to talk to Mourne, the barista, was the one she'd seen in her dream. The one who fell out a window with that dark thing, that awful shape after her, and died. The one Mourne had died trying to protect. She hadn't known him at the time, but then she'd met him, and... Now his face was overlaid over the vague one she'd seen at the library, and the other woman's features snapped into place in her memory. Why hadn't she remembered it at the party?! With a quick splash of water on her cheeks to rinse off the rest of the soap, Maya grabbed the hand towel from the ring on the wall and swiped it briskly over her face. She felt sober now, or mostly so, and cold. Mason. Mourne had said the other woman's last name. Miss Mason. "Fuck." The word was an angry exhalation- angry that she was going to have to deal with the crazy woman again, angry that she hadn't remembered until now, and angry that all of this kept resurfacing with uncomfortable regularity. She was really looking forward to the warm, welcoming embrace of sleep as she turned away from the mirror to go to bed.
  5. "You could always-" Charlie started, then immediately thought better of it. No, he couldn't. "No, I couldn't." Jason said, as if echoing Charlie's thoughts as the smile faded from his face. "You should probably go and find out what she's telling everyone, though if you want my advice you'll avoid asking her to repeat herself. Or indeed to pass the salt. No telling what'll light her fuse." "It might be important for you too." Charlie ventured as Jason ducked into the driver's seat of his car and glanced up at him. "It probably is, if she read Cook's mind. But she didn't want to tell me - she wanted to have a tedious discussion about ethical use of power first, which would have started a prolonged debate with everyone expressing their views, and I would be sitting there listening to my brain cells dying while people scored oh-so-sassy snark points against a backdrop of the philosophical equivalent of 'I like the orange crayons' filling the air before anything of real import was discussed." He gave Charlie a narrow smile. "I'll get the Cliff Notes assuming anyone cares to share with me. See you tomorrow." With that, he pulled the door closed and started up the engine. Music roaring through the windows as the MP3 player flared to life, the Charger growled once like an angry beast before peeling out of the parking lot.
  6. Cassandra, having watched the drama play out while feeling unsure about how to intervene...or even if she had the right to...finally piped up when Clara mentioned 'people like us.' Here was something that plugged into something else she'd seen today. "What if it's not just people like us?" she suggested. "Scientists test these kinds of things out on animals first, right? What if there's...super...animals out there?" At the looks she got, Cassandra scowled and looked at the sky for a second. "Okay, let me rephrase. There are super animals out there. Me and Cade met one. I don't know if it's because of this Proteus thing though."
  7. Clara had smacked her forehead with her palm so many times in her mind, a bruise was forming from sheer frustration. Snapping at Jase for being too inflexible or Marissa for being hypocritical wasn't going to help, so for today she just ignored it. "Sara, even if it's not all of us, those willing to be in a mindlink can at least help create a bit of a safety net. At the least, if I'm connected to you, I can provide a boost for you if you need to broadcast to someone that isn't in the link. I don't know if Jase is going to be up for our plan after this now, but if Etienne does check out, perhaps he could be in the link. We could get realtime updates on what Cook is doing or whatever Etienne might be able to dig up on this 'Project Proteus'." She bit her lip, looking nervous and keyed up. "If they've also got people like us, do you think being in the link might keep people safer from being messed with by another telepath?"
  8. "Hell yes," is Renata's reply. She looked around, then at Donald. "I haven't been here before. You know a place in the park that'll be good?" Without waiting for a response she strolled out of the gazebo and glanced back at her guide, then gestured with a sweep of her arm as if inviting him to join her. "If not, then lets start walking and see if we can get well and truly lost."
  9. “Well, your case is difficult,” Lona said, wrapping her arms around his neck and playing with his scalp. “You seem to have accelerating symptoms. Hmm, I have a procedure in mind.” Tilting her head to the side, Lona kissed his neck, sending a shiver through him. Startled but delighted at the response, continued doing it, trailing her lips up and down his neck. “I’m not sure you’re responding to care,” Lona whispered when she came up for air, wiggling in his lap a little. “I might need to get a little more aggressive in your treatment.” “Whatever you think,” Devin murmured, catching her lips in a kiss. She felt him striving to be gentle and not push her, but she pressed herself against him more firmly. With lips and tongue, she deepened the kiss so that it resembled their first kiss. This time, there was no audience, no parents yelling at them to stop, only their own restraint. Lona, for one, had no intention of stopping, at least not yet. Each touch, each kiss inflamed her desire for more. She might chicken out later, but for this moment, she wanted to do this. She also really wanted to do this with Devin; a month ago she would have been appalled at the idea and assumed that she was drunk or stupid enough to fall into his “trap”. So much had changed, mostly Devin, and she was amazed to find herself here with him. She wasn’t sure how long they kissed, but at some point she felt ready for more, and she guided Devin’s hands to cup her breasts. “You feel so good,” she murmured, “you make me feel so good. Thank you.”
  10. October 26 - 27th, 2019 Marama, Cook Islands The suggestion of a Stormer get-together had been an off-the-cuff remark by Davian in a meeting about how to market Nova Solutions as a corporation to work for. Ideas were bandied around and finally Davian laughed and threw out, "Well, it's October. We could throw a Halloween Stormers party." He should have known better. Ryan should have stopped him - teleported him out of the room or to another continent before the words escaped his lips. But he didn't and Deezy heard them and now Davian was making invitations and arrangements after convincing his father to let him use the private island they owned in the Cook Islands. Deezy and Ryan were responsible for getting the physical invites out, but Nova Solutions also made a press release (using Layton Industries media arm for now) inviting "all Stormers, regardless of nationality" to the Nova Solutions Halloween Storm Bash on October 26th and 27th. The island was in three parts, with the largest speck of land hosting an amazing stretch of beach with the sprawling beach house nestled just under the canopy of palm trees towards the center of the island. Cabana were set up along the beach along with a large tent home to a massive buffet. Everything was festooned in Halloween - spiders, skeletons, witches, zombies, and ghosts peaking out from every corner; candy apples, mummied sausages, and smoking punch bowls with witch's brew were tucked in with dozens of other Halloween'd gourmet foods. Inside the house, bowls of candy were scattered around, cobwebs dripped over the ornate surfaces and the servants were dressed like dancers from Michael Jackson's Thriller. Davian was dressed in sandals, a simple Grecian toga with gold braiding, and a laurel crown around his head; he looked every inch the young godling he was honestly raised to be. We've got real gods, now, he though ruefully to himself and chuckled. No more pretend. As the first guests began arriving through Ryan's portals, he effortlessly took up the duties of host, greeting and making people feel at ease while also making a mental list of just who all actually did decide to show up. "Welcome, everyone! Happy Halloween!"
  11. Yesterday
  12. Two young men trudged through the desert, far from the city’s limits. The first, adorned in fur and jewelry, led the second, dressed in flax cloth. “There it is!” The first man pointed to a half-buried obelisk stone. “You brought me here to see a rock?” the second man asked. “Once your family realizes we’re gone—” “We’ll be back before nightfall.” The first man dug into the sand beneath the stone, and pulled out an effigy of a cat, carved from lapis lazuli. “I wanted you to see this.” The second man examined it. “Another rock?” He traced his fingers over the sculpted patches of fur and around the perfectly re-created scar over its left eye. He shook his head and smiled. “Mouser,” he said, “It’s Mouser!” The first man grinned. “I know you loved her very much. I crafted this from my memories of her. Now, she will be the Pharaoh of Mice.” The second man hugged the effigy. “Thank you.” “That’s not all,” the first man said, “I will present it to the Tef-Aabhi, and they will look upon my work and proclaim me a fellow master craftsman. Then, I will bring you with me. We will no longer be master and servant, but guildmates. Your family won’t live in the barracks anymore.” The second man looked at the first, shocked. “You don’t mean that.” The first man put his hands on the shoulders of the second, and looked deeply into his gray eyes. “I do. I will aid you and your family for as long as I live. I promise.” ? ? ? Pert-en-hat opened his eyes and grasped at the leather seats. He took a moment to gather his surroundings. It was 2020, and he sat in one of the self-moving chariots his cult called a “van.” The man sitting at Pert-en-hat’s left reached over and grasped his chest. “Easy there, we just hit a bump.” The mummy grabbed the man’s wrist. “Who said that you could touch me?” “Wait!” The man shouted. “It’s me, Tristian! The thief you hired?” “Pert-en-hat,” the woman to his right said, “He’s telling the truth. Let him go.” He looked at her, stared into her gray eyes, and released the man. “I am sorry,” Pert-en-hat said, “When the relic calls to me, my mind gets…distorted.” He watched Tristian shake his wrist and felt a twinge of shame. A year ago, he would have shattered the thief’s arm in three places and summoned a swarm of beetles to devour him before a single cry of mercy crossed his lips. It would have been wrong to do so, but the power would have come naturally. Now, mustering the strength to grab someone was a challenge. “What did it tell you?” The woman asked. “Its name,” the mummy said, “It is the ‘Pharaoh of Mice.’” “So we’ve got its name and where the bastard’s keeping it,” Tristian said, “That’s all I need to know. I’ll give my people the update.” Tristian got on the phone. As he talked, the woman leaned over to study Pert-en-hat’s face. “You learned something else, didn’t you?” She put a hand on his shoulder. “You can tell me.” “Farah, I saw its creator.” “Was it someone you knew?” “In a sense, yes.” “My lord, I don’t understand. Who is it?” Pert-en-hat sighed. “The relic. It’s mine.” ?? ?? ?? The young man expected to see one of the master craftsmen when he entered the guildhall. Instead, the seven cloaked guildmasters of the Tef-Aabhi beckoned him from the atrium into a private hall, and shut the door behind him. He fell to his hands and knees before them. “Most holy Shan’iatu!” He prostrated. “Forgive me; I did not intend to shirk my labor, only to demonstrate my craft.” He looked up, just for a moment. Their faces were well-hidden by the hoods of their cloaks. One of them spoke in a husky, feminine voice. “We know what you’ve done. Show us what it can do.” “Of course.” The man stood up. He invoked the Pharaoh of Mice, speaking its name and holding it above his head. A mouse poked its head from a crack in the floor. Another squeezed through a crevice in the ceiling. Mice from all over the guildhall poured into the room, crowding the floor and standing at attention. “It controls the weak,” the man said. “As long as you believe you rule them, they cannot disobey. Watch.” He commanded the vermin to leave. They fled the room. The workers outside shrieked and cursed as the rodents ran as one through the guildhall’s exit. The mice continued into the town, and then to the sands beyond. He said, “If it pleases the Shan’iatu, I shall add this treasure to the panoply and take my place as master craftsman.” There was a moment of silence. “No,” said the husky voice. “You have earned something greater, should you accept it.” The man blinked. “Yes, of course! What is it?” The Shan’iatu looked at him, and for a moment he saw the heads of animals, not people. “You will learn,” the husky voice said, “In due time.” ??? ??? ??? Tristian looked up at the skyscraper, shaking his head. “Robbing a corporate headquarters in broad daylight. You people are my kind of crazy.” “It’s the only way we can get to the relic,” Farah said. “If Pert-en-hat’s visions are right, it’s in Mr. Collins’ personal safe, and we need him to open it up before you move in.” “Right.” He looked over the building’s blueprints. “I’ve gotta say, this is a way better deal than what I thought we were going to get when we robbed his tomb. I could get used to this.” “He recruited you,” Farah said, “because he saw potential. If it had been any other tomb, you and your friends would not be alive right now. Remember that, before you get too comfortable.” She waved over a woman to join them. “This is Emma,” she said. “She’s the eldest of us. She’ll be heading in for an interview with Mr. Collins. Once she gets him to open the safe, she’ll signal your team over the radio.” “Good to meet you, Emma.” Tristian took her in, low-cut dress and all. “You know, for the oldest member, you don’t look a day over 22.” Emma smiled. “Thanks, but she was 26 when I stole her body.” She winked at him and walked into the building. He laughed. “She’s kidding, right? Right?” Farah pulled out a jar of red liquid from her jacket and drew a sigil into the ground. ???? ???? ???? The young man shuffled deeper into the tunnels beneath the city, where the pillars dug into the earth. He moved shoulder-to-shoulder with other workers. He recognized some of his fellow sculptors. Earlier that day, a group of Maa-Kep dragged the grey-eyed young man and his family from his home. The young man, the family’s master, witnessed their arrest and demanded an explanation. They would not tell him why they captured them or where they were going. When he struck one of the secret police to the ground, the rest overpowered him and carried him to his guildhall. There, servants stripped him of his finery and bathed him. They held him down and poured a bitter drink into his throat. They clothed him in robes with hieroglyphics he didn’t recognize and sent him to march with the others. Now, his head swam as he created the end of the corridor. He stumbled and tried to grasp the wall with an unfeeling arm. His grip lost strength, and he slammed face-first into the floor. Two cloaked figures, Shan’iatu, carried him to an altar. Blood from his broken noise stained it. They did not care. “What is this? The young man’s question mingled with the sound of chanting and screaming nearby. One of the Shan’iatu lifted a long, copper spike above the young man’s head. “You earned this.” The man recognized her husky, feminine voice. “You accepted it. Our empire is eternal, and you will be its vessel.” She thrust the spike into his forehead. It was his first death. ????? ????? ????? Pert-en-hat’s cultists assured him the plan would work. With Farah’s sorcery, the body thief as decoy, and the aid of world-class thieves, they would take the Pharaoh of Mice, and he would return to Duat with the relic without lifting a finger. They hadn’t expected their mark to find the body thief’s radio. They couldn’t have imagined that he knew they were coming. They were not prepared for Mr. Collins using the vessel and commanding every employee to hunt down the team. They would need him after all, and he would need to gather all the strength in his dying body. He sprinted into the building, tossing away the glassy-eyed workers trying to tackle him. When he reached the elevator doors, he ripped them from the wall and hurled them into the crowd. He leaped into the empty elevator shaft. His body melted into the concrete floor on impact and he swam through the building like a fish moving upstream. The Pharaoh of Mice shone like a beacon among the skyscraper’s inferior materials and mediocre architecture. He followed its light. He emerged from the floor of Mr. Collins’ office. The relic stood on the businessman’s desk. It radiated warmth that soothed the mummy. Mr. Collins stood between Pert-en-hat and his goal. Beneath him sat Farah and the others, tied together. “So.” Mr. Collins kept his gun trained on the captives. “You’re the man who wants to steal my treasure.” ?????? ?????? ?????? Pert-en-hat rose from his sarcophagus, confused. He knew Emma, but she was surrounded by strangers. “This is your master,” she said to the others. “Kneel before him!” They did so, save for a woman no older than her late teens. Instead, she moved to him, close enough to get a clear view of her face in the dim torchlight. Her gray eyes seemed alight with wonder. Pert-en-hat stood dumbfounded. “No!” Emma shouted. “You don’t know what he’ll do!” “It’s you,” the young woman said, “from my dreams. My father, and his grandfather, they served you. Do you remember?” The muscles on Pert-en-hat’s skinless face twitched. His mind’s eye saw vague memories of a young man in the desert with eyes like hers, but nothing else. “No.” The woman sighed. “We’ll give it some time, then. I’m Farah.” ??????? ??????? ??????? Mr. Collins stood with a hunch. His eyes were bloodshot and his clothes were soaked in sweat. His body had a corpse’s pallor. “You’re dying,” Pert-en-hat said. “Without the proper invocation, it feeds on you. There’s still time. Give it to me, and I can save you.” “Save me?” Mr. Collins wheezed out a laugh. “When I have the power of a god? No. It’s not me you should worry about.” He shot Farah in the chest. She slumped over. Her blood soaked into the rope. “I have more than enough for the rest of—” Before Mr. Collins finished his sentence, Pert-en-hat leaped on him and smashed his head through his desk, the floor, and several inches into the concrete below both. He convulsed and went still. Emma struggled against the rope. “Farah? Stay with us! Farah!” “She’s not dead,” Tristian said, “Not yet.” Pert-en-hat lifted the Pharaoh of Mice from the ruins of Mr. Collins’ desk. He traced his fingers along the patches in its fur, and the scar on its eye. A husky, feminine voice echoed in his mind. Leave them. They can be replaced. Return it to me. The mummy’s head ached. “I…” “Master, do something. Please!” Emma yanked her body away from Farah. “The police’ll be here any minute!” Return it to me. It’s mine! “No,” Pert-en-hat said. “It’s mine!” He crushed the Pharaoh of Mice in his hands and its power flowed through him. The pain in his body ceased, and he cried to the heavens in joy. He tore the rope binding the cultists. He placed a hand on Farah’s chest, over the bullet wound. “Live!” His life force flooded her body and her wound sealed. She coughed up gold-tinted blood. Pert-en-hat felt a chill spread from his chest to his limbs. His skin shriveled and he fell to the floor. Farah and the others grabbed his body, but their voices sounded far away. Before he returned to the sleep of death, the voice in his head spoke once more. I am very disappointed in you. But I am merciful. We will try again. After all, you are my most beloved servant. ???????? ???????? ???????? Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition is currently on Kickstarter.
  13. Ryan was not that surprised that Deezy was already off to the races like this, though the backing of a Billionaire looking to get in on the ground floor gave him a little pause. "Well I need to be upfront with you. This isn't my company. My Boss here is James Jamison, the man who founded this company, and is the CEO and owner. I'm just an employee." Satisfied with that short rundown, which he was fairly certain they knew already, Ryan nodded once. "I do agree though, and this is a good idea. To be honest, I'd hoped to get to collaborate with some of the others there with us in the camp, and Deezy here was at the top of the list because I knew she had "Ideas." "If you don't mind, I'd like to call James Jamison, the Owner of Horizon Delivery and Transportation, and bring him here. I think that he'll be fairly amenable to something like this, as it may stymie the near incessant offers for my services. And it stands to help not just him but all the employees here as well. As the sole owner, he also has the ability to make this sort of call for the company." With their assent, he called JJ, gave him a very brief run-down, and one Warpgate later, the older Former Air Force Pilot and Instructor walked through. "I still feel sorta like a spaceman every time I come through one of those gates of yours, Ryan." He looked to the two newcomers and nodded respectfully, Miss Klatta, Mr. Layton, welcome to Horizon Delivery and Transportation I'm James Jamison, and I'll answer to either. Ryan mentioned you two had a proposition for us. I must say I'm surprised, but pleasantly so. Dozens of offers have come for Ryan, the sort that just wanted to take only him, and leave us in a lurch. He's turned those down, but this is the first time HE called me to hear one. Now, I'm sure you flew, if you'd like we can go somewhere nice to eat, or we can adjourn to our Meeting room and continue this discussion there." The older man smiled, knowing this to be an opportunity not just for him, but everyone there, if they played their cards right.
  14. Davian returned the smile, and Deezy quickly waved a hand at him and said, "This is Davian Layton. And this is Ryan Hawke. Hi Davian, hi Ryan." She hadn't remained secret either, though she had vanished from public view for a week or so following their release from quarantine. This was in no small part due to Davian's influence, which hadn't gone entirely unnoticed by those who pay attention to the eccentricities of billionaires. A little digging revealed that at least some of that time had been passed with her dealing with the authorities in Cleveland over the relics of her plan to stop the Storm over the city. The rest was harder to discern. And now she was here. "So," the redhead said, clapping her hands together eagerly, "I want my company and your company to smack together and make little company-babies. Also, I have a company now. I make things." With a little twist of her hand, she held out a business card. Possibly out from her sleeve, possibly that she'd just whiffed into existence from air. It read KLATTATECH HEAVY INDUSTRIES It was adorned by a stylized image of her head with goggles over her eyes, a big grin, and giving a thumb's up. "But here's the thing about making things. The things you make are then there with you, in the room you made them in. NOT where they need to be." Deezy tapped the side of her nose. "Now, I COULD develop my own infrastructure to transport things. I sketched up like a dozen designs. I'm really partial to the drone lifters, BUT! That takes time, and more resources, and TIME...and lets face it time is the only REALLY scarce resource right now so it made more sense to me to kill two birds at the same TIME and see if you wanted to expand globally with me. Here's how it works!" "We get orders for stuff from people around the world. What stuff? Just about anything! Really exotic stuff we can require a sample of, just to make sure I get it right. For raw materials I can just...y'know, create it...otherwise Klattatech will have manufacturing capability and we can mass produce to order in just about any quantity. Then you fulfill the order by taking the stuff and getting it where it needs to go. HOW depends on the option the buyer has selected! You got your overland, oversea, overair rates...and of course the premium 'Zero-time turnaround' rate for your thingy there. Your company and mine are 'merged' through a third holding company, but with a clause stating we can decouple if either of us sees fit to, with a negotiated timeframe and notification window, of course. Being merged lets us use the same admin staff and coordinate freely...and we can still take gigs of our own, like if someone has their own cargo and just needs transport...all you. Uh, that's it, I think..." Deezy actually paused long enough for the first time in...a minute or so of solid talking, long enough to take a breath. Then she blurted, "I wrote a little song about..." Now Davian had to step in, putting a hand on her shoulder. "No song." "...right, no song, I know, I was just saying..." "Mr Hawke, I've had a chance to go over what Miss Klatta is proposing in a great deal of detail," he said. "I'm prepared to invest in this venture on very favorable terms. I know it's a lot to take in at once, and there's still plenty of things to discuss of course, but in general terms is this something that you and your executive staff be interested in pursuing?" "Californium sells for like twenty-seven million dollars per gram!" Deezy suddenly said. "It's radioactive so it's hard to transport, but I can give you containers specially built to handle it. And you'd get a cut of that! Per GRAM!" Davian gave Deezy a quick little shake of his head and looked back at Ryan, as unflappable as ever. "We're not negotiating just yet, but she has a point, Mr. Hawke. Don't you agree?"
  15. Ah yeah...lemme see when Quarantine ended and I'll date it a few days after that.
  16. Max, can you edit a date in on Mergers and Acquisitions? I'm updating that calendar and that's the only one I can't pin to a day.
  17. There was a scramble at the base as the shockwave hit, soldiers diving to pull down the civilians and try to shield them from the blast of sand, sound, and force. The more aware ones did their best to drag people behind Deezy's shell instead of letting their clothes take the brunt of the mini sandstorm. Lucia popped her head up at Deezy's comment, eyes wide. "No shit. And I thought my stuff was scary. Guy could set off an earthquake." "Kid is an earthquake," Leo, the shipwright from Connecticut, muttered as he peeled a soldier that had rather laughably attempted to keep the much larger man from being scoured by the sand off from him with a grunt. Dr. Ballard was off to the side, conferring with several people and checking the feeds from drones that were little more than scrap metal and plastic now. The Colonel called over, "Get what you need, doctor? 'Cause I think that boy needs to get home before he takes out half the state." "Yeah," Ballard waved the soldier off. "We've got the readings. Some weird spikes, but nothing that looks like it's going to mutate the public. I want him to have some follow-ups with his PPC, make sure he's not having more weird side effects. We're going to need more drones if everyone else is going to show off like that." His tone was pretty neutral, just recounting a fact and not giving an opinion on such overwhelming use of power. Next to him, Wendy was more wide-eyed, quickly scribbling notes down a tablet and and blinking sand out of her eyes still. Several soldiers jogged into the yard, meeting with the Colonel and getting reassurance that things were indeed okay and the sandblast wasn't Storm Round 2. They disappeared back around the building, going over to the larger second group Ryan had caught sight of in his short flight earlier. The others with them in quarantine gave their own performances: Chula Mercier from the bayou who could warp and stretch her body, playing at being a marionette on invisible strings. Sora Matsuda, who healed those with cuts and sand burns with a touch and seemed to awe the soldiers perhaps even more than the flamboyant shows the others were putting on. Vanessa Carmichal, the Mean Girl from the west coast who spent the whole time trying on different glam faces and bodies, watching the soldiers to see who was watching her like they should be. Alejandro Juarez, the Latino dancer that played with the drones, sending them spinning around him in their own intricate dance without ever touching them or their controllers. Deliah Palmer, the middle-aged Black woman with kids to get home to, stood with a flame dancing over her palm and dared anyone to ask her to do something flashy just for the amusement of their military captors. Cynthia Richardson, who was grinning the entire time others were doing their bit, waiting to see when people would notice there were a dozen of her spectating around the yard - and one more sneaking around the side of the building to see what was going on on the other side. Leo Walker the shipwright shrunk down to child-size and then grew until even Sebastian and Emily could see him towering over the yard as they trekked back from their desert jaunt. As Balard cleared each person, the Colonel sent a soldier to show them back into the base. There a team of bureaucrats were waiting with paperwork, a recap of the world over the past four days, and an offer. They went over each person's current state of fame and what life back home was likely to be like, and then offered for them to go home and deal with that or go into WitSec until the world recovered and adjusted to the new status quo. Ryan was also requested to ferry those people that wanted to just go home all over the country - otherwise a plane trip to Tuscon later that day would get them started on the journey, and plane or train tickets would be provided to get them the rest of the way. Quarantine was over; now they just had to face the rest of the world.
  18. In which Eddy, Dixie, and Matthew talk about the upcoming second edition of the Chronicle of Darkness game Mummy: The Curse. Diving puns! High-level pitch What is Du’at? Time travel! Kind of. Impactful is a word, despite what Matthew thinks Cults: How do they work? Other immortals Cool powers! “Mummy the Curse is about looking at your fridge forever” The ticking clock If you’re watching the Red Moon Roleplaying game of Mummy the Curse, SPOILERS FROM 40:00 TO 42:15! The Judges Doctor Doom toots when he pleases! Where Dixie and Matthew screwed up on Mummy LINKS: Mummy the Curse Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/339646881/mummy-the-curse-2nd-edition Dark Eras: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/178583/Chronicles-of-Darkness-Dark-Eras?affiliate_id=548232
  19. Sara watched Bannon's retreating back and then Charlie's as he went after him, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath before turning back to the stares which she imagined were condemning. "All I am saying is that these powers we have are part of us and not using them is well, like forcing yourself to walk around blindfolded with your arms tied. And I don't think that any of us should be judging the way someone is using their power unless they have that power as well. And even then you shouldn't. That's all I have to say." The rest looked at each other questions and statements forming "What about Cook," asked Cade? "What?" "What about Dr. Cook? Did you read him or what ever you call it." "Yes briefly Like I said when Sean was talking to him. He isn't THE DOCTOR, he is the face of the project. He doesn't really have anything to do with the science and other stuff about us. Everything is told to him via that pad he always has. He reports to Dr Ryan, that the guy who runs the hospital but he isn't THE DOCTOR either. The project is bigger than we guess there is a whole other hospital underneath the one we see. most of the people in the main hospital don't have any clue. I was only in his mind for a few seconds before I got out. Cook has a lot of memories and some of what I saw were contradictory. different memories of the same thing. Like maybe his mind had been tampered with. By a Telepath. By the way the project has a name ... Proteus"
  20. As written, the disad essentially sounds like you tend to 'choke' under pressure/stress (an important roll), so generally it would not apply to most reflexive rolls. If you have enough time to get in your own head about something, then it might (or I might even halve the penalty or make it apply on a 2 or lower or something).
  21. Maybe it's a matter of pressure plus seeing the task coming? I'd say it likely wouldn't affect defensive reaction skills at all, because no thought goes into them. For instance, if someone suddenly grabbed Gavin and 'boom', he's in a brawl, he might not have the time for his brain to undermine his efforts. On the other hand, if he's squaring up in a fighting circle with people betting on him and a crowd jeering... My read is that it's situational and shouldn't affect purely 'yipe' reflexes.
  22. With low self-confidence Gavin has a chance to lose 2D from his pools 50% of the time at any task he attempts. The book says 'important tasks' but I'm not quite sure what exactly they mean by that. What I'm assuming though is that low self-confidence doesn't apply to reactionary skills like Dodge and Parry simply because that's not a confidence issue, it's a self-preservation issue. If Jan were punching Gavin in the face, Gavin's brain isn't going to think 'Whelp... nothing to do done here but take it'. People instinctively dodge, block, or just get out of the way when those situation arise, but the book isn't clear, it seems to generalize over the whole spectrum. Punching Jan back, well, that's a whole other matter that does require some self-confidence, but getting pummeled to death isn't really what anyone with low self-confidence would do. So, does it apply to reactionary skills when self-preservation is involved?
  23. I don't know that Sprockets even checks here anymore. Again, this project has been defunct for years.
  24. I still want to contribute as much as i can because i dont trust the new edition yet; will wait for Sprockets first impressions. I have cooked up a few original characters and a couple based on existing franchises with numbers filed off(caught myself mistakenly twice going into My Magical Realm, so its not as easy as i thought), but i have a few questions: - will this book cover nova STD-s, because i refuse to believe a new species would have no mutagens when they constantly change their dna and engage in intercourse with baselines, making baseline STD-s all viral and shit. Not victims but carriers? - if this book follows Sprockets Outline, is Chapter 3 (Storytelling) already written? I have a few Story Seeds i would like to contribute. Maybe even a few Themes, Moods, Conflicts but not too much. Is my first fanbook contribution.
  25. Those cold eyes narrowed slightly, and for a brief terrifying moment Charlie wondered if he had overstepped some mark, let on that he had seen too much. He wondered if Sophia Fingleman would wear a low cut top and weep over his closed casket or clasp the urn with his pre-cremated ashes in it to her bosom... And then Jason smiled. It was a faint smile, but it reached the lanky boy's eyes. With a faint ripple of relief, Charlie realised that the predatory stare was studying him as if seeing him anew. Jason understood, at least on some level, what was being offered. And though his outlook was indeed quite removed from any definition of 'normal', the odd teen did respect insight and bravery: Charlie was nervous, but had gone ahead and offered a hand of friendship anyway. Still outwardly expressionless, apart from the faint smile and slight warming of his gaze, Jason slowly nodded to the young actor. "Maybe I'll take you up on that sometime." he said quietly. "Appreciated."
  26. Charlie Cole was an excellent actor. That required understanding, not simply how to emote, to bring those emotions into a fully convincing persona, but to recognize them, and recognize from people's expressions, voice, tone, and the totality of it all what might be beneath the surface. But the truth was that Jason, though a friend, had always been a hard read. Charlie had simply attributed it to Jason's extremely standoffish nature. Hearing Jason admit he was a high-functioning sociopath had been a bit of a shock. But Charlie realized he hadn't fully understood what that meant. Difficulty with emotions perhaps. Not wanting to let this end there, Charlie semi-consciously reached out and rapped on the car. Jason whirled around, locking Charlie with his own gaze - a flash of freezing cold. And now Charlie saw. Jason truly meant what he said. Arrogance? Extreme self-confidence and reliance? It all blended together in so potent a mixture Charlie couldn't guess where one part started and left off. Jason was brilliant. Jason was determined. Jason had psychokinetic powers. Jason didn't have shame, uncertainty or hesitation. It did remind him of the classic media portrayal of sociopaths, ala Lecter. It made you wonder why Jason bothered with their company. Jason saw the world so differently, and Charlie was frightened, unsure of how to deal with him. "You've earned more than enough, Jase. Safe travels." A brief pause, because there was something else there. If Bannon was a normal person, Charlie could say this with certainty. Instead this was a guess, but Charlie would go with it. "When you want to talk about what happened today, I'm here to talk." "What happened?" Jason asked with that calm, impassive tone. Charlie looked back at him with a sad smile. "Something happened, something that hurt you. Something that helped push you towards snapping at Sara. I don't need to read your mind to tell that."
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