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Everything posted by Matt

  1. Witness report - James 'Jimmy-Boy' Mican I heard the gunshot and I knew, just knew that one of those Texas boys had gone too far. Now, I'm a believer in the Church and in Deacon Piper, but sometimes people gotta remember to temper belief with common sense. We ain't at war with the Aberrants yet, even if we should be, and shooting up a crowd of monster sympathizers just makes us look the worst. I didn't see that boy fall. But I sure as hell saw him get up again. There was a roar of flames, but they weren't flames. They were black, black as the night sky when the moon's away, so black they actually made the air around them darker. Then he stood up...and up...and lifted into the air. The flames were eating him from the inside, and black wings ripped through the skin on his back, which was becoming black and shiny like the metal on my daddy's old sidearm, the Colt .45 he brought home from Vietnam. "You want an angel?" His voice was a howl; I've never heard anything like it. I actually wanted to wet my pants, but I didn't have anything in me. "You want an angel so bad, I'll give you an angel." Then he pointed at someone...I guess it was the boy with the shotgun...and those black flames just poured out of his hand and wrapped around him. He didn't even have time to scream before being...I don't even know what happened to him. He wasn't burned to death. He wasn't anything I've ever seen before, other than dead and withered. Then the Aberrant looked at us, and his eyes...his eyes were purple, glowing, and like the eyes of a goat with the hourglass pupils. His skin was now entirely black metal, like the wings, and he was huge. "I'll give you a Goddamn angel of the abyss."
  2. <h1 align="center">The Angel of the Abyss</h1> <h2><a href="mailto:ezrael@altavista.com">Written by Matt Rossi </a></h2><hr><font size="4">From a pirate datafeed, September 17th, 2007 - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma</font> The camera, if there is a camera (such is no longer certain) focuses on the tense standoff between the demonstrators from the family of Elise Burrows and the faithful from the Church of Michael Archangel. The Audio-feed begins with a wail of static, a disturbingly human sound. A shrill woman in her fifties, with the kind of face you only get in people trapped in a trailer park years after they'd assumed a house would be their next step, screamed into a bullhorn. No one could understand what she'd said, but the sign she wore around her neck (Purity is strength) told her opinion quite clearly. The crowds mutter and clash, swinging signs at each other, yelling and growing more and more angry as harsh words cover the distance between them. Someone on the Burrows side of the divide finally hurls something in an arc, a red and white object that glitters for a moment in the midday sunlight. Later, after the feed is analyzed by the 'responsible' media (The folks on N! Prime, CNN, and VSNBC) it is determined that the object was a can of soda. Coca-Cola, to be exact. The crowds, the people within them now fully transformed into the mob animal, break through their police cordons and smash into each other like armies from a thousand years gone. Overwhelmed and unprepared, the police fall back to the relative safety of their vehicles, trying to let the armored Riot Squads in to do their work. Then the gunshots, bright white flares of light and a sound like fireworks trapped in an old trash can, the metal kind. Screams and teargas grenades are too late. A young man, barely in his twenties at best, falls to the ground with his chest soaked with blood. This was not enough to stop the riot. What came next, however, was.
  3. Powers ,,* These powers have not been playtested and are not approved for any OpNet character's use.<
  4. <font size="4">THE CORE</font> Very little known about this. Apparently, Aeon has found a way to monitor the OpNet, making it dangerous to send any information over it. This is the central computer system and analyzer (Nova or Artificial Intelligence?), and likely contains complete information about Aeon’s plans for the future. It’s located in the ICEBOX.
  5. <font size="4">SANDMEN</font> Public Perception: Elite urban myth. Nocturnal bogeyman that kills Nova's and takes their MR-Node. Reality: The Sandman has the ability to take over a Nova's mind and body, forever: the Nova is subdued, and the Sandman creates a crystalline cocoon around them (Chrysalis?). After entering a lengthy coma, they return with boosted Quantum abilities, but lacking any freewill. The Elites were targeted first. More than likely, the Equatorial Wars are now nothing more than training grounds for this new Nova army of Sandmen. Teragen next?
  6. <font size="4">BARREN/BOUNTY</font> Drugs used to control Nova breeding. The former acts as a sterility drug, the latter as a means of insuring Nova birth. The first is secretly administered to Nova's in various ways (Rashoud clinics, spiked in illegal Nova drugs, administered by Nova collaborators). The latter is then used to reward/bribe Nova collaborators.
  7. <font size="4">THE ICEBOX</font> Public Perception: Rashoud facility located in Bahrain. Reality: Holding facility for non-terran subjects. Clearly not human, but then what are they? Aliens? Are they what caused the Eruptions? Was it on purpose and if so for what reason (creation of diplomats and interpreters for themselves, or a super-powered slave race)? Did Aeon steal technology from them, and orchestrate the Galatea explosion and Eruptions, or is the Society as much in the dark as everyone else? Are the more freakish Nova's truly human, or in fact something else all together?
  8. <font size="4">The Process </font> 1st Stage: Accumulate means of controlling Nova population (drugs, mental indoctrination, Quantum Powers). 2nd Stage: Infiltrate major Nova organizations. Slowly assume control. Begin picking off lone Nova's (recruitment/destruction). Begin campaign to portray non-Utopian Nova's in as negative a light as possible. Up global propaganda engine pushing for unified humanity. 3rd Stage: Complete control of all major Nova's and Nova organizations. Destroy any Nova's refusing to bow to Project Utopia/Aeons vision of the future. Continue process of gaining seats for private organizations and industries within the UN. 4th Stage: Instate global government through UN. Silence resistance with Nova forces.
  9. \\load control.txt ::::LOADING... <font size="5">HIERARCHY OF CONTROL</font> <font size="4">Aeon Society</font> - Top of the Pyramid. Obscure references to The Board Goal: Single world government, Aeon at the reigns (New World Order? Men in Black = Aeon Agents?) Method: Gain control of the Nova population majority. Completely Co-opted DeVries Triton N! Infiltration In-Progress Project Utopia : Project Proteus (Director: Thetis) Directive : Omega 12 (Director: ?) Teragen : Final Church of Mal (Director: ?, probably Divis Mal)
  10. <h1 align="center">Slider's Files</h1> <h2><a href="mailto:mirober@lascruces.com">Written by Matt Roberts</a></h2><hr>\\load icebox.txt ::::LOADING... "Finally found more about the Proteus project (or, I should say, "projects"). Technically under the control of someone codenamed Thetis, it answers directly to the Aeon Society; not just as a parent company like Project Utopia, but completely and totally under their sway. And it's not alone. Aeon has it's tentacles everywhere! The one controlling the Directive is called Majestic-12, while the Teragen is being slowly being taken over by the Final Church of Mal, using Crystilization (see below). DeVries is nothing but a front. Using a Nova named the Sandman, they have almost complete control of every Elite in the world. The Sandman can take over a Nova's mind and body completely, forever: the Nova is subdued, and the Sandman creates a crystaline cocoon around them. They enter a coma, and when they come out they are more powerful than before, but no longer with any free will. They become mere extensions of the Sandman. The equatorial wars are merely combat training, in preparation for the day that they are used as part of Aeons own private Nova army. Everything centers around Aeon; I have to find out more about it!" "Have finally discovered Aeon's ultimate goal: to unite the world into a single world government. In the past few decades, it's actions were attributed to an organization called the New World Order, and it's agents the urban legend known as the Men in Black. And they're old. Very old. Much older than they admit to. I found some scattered notes while T2M and I were raiding a suspected Teragen safehouse. I think it must have been used by the Final Church of Mal. Only they would know about the last time Nova's appeared on Earth, 4000 years ago, and of the War the swept the Earth, as baseline (armed with weaponry created by Nova scientists before tensions came to a boiling point) fought with Nova. Civilization was destroyed, but so were most of the Nova's. The few that remained formed a secret society, and throughout the millenia they and their descendents (subnote: Aeon holds the secret behind Nova infertility, and can apparently cure it with some drug called Bounty) have been manipulating human history, under various names (the Illuminati, Rosicrucians, Knights Templar, etc). Now that Nova's have returned (Why?), they can create the world they failed to bring about before; one controlled totally by Aeon. Beginning to wonder about the FCoM: is Divis Mal part of Aeon, and the conspiracy? Or is he a patsy, like the rest of us?" "I've found the key, I'm sure of it! A facility known as the "Ice Box" in Bahrain. Supposedly, it's just another Rashoud Clinic. However, the creatures kept there couldn't possibly be human. That leaves two possibilities: aliens or the occult. For now, it doesn't matter which it is. The important thing is that these creatures must have had the secrets of Eruption. They must have been the ones who created Nova's in the past; this time, however, Aeon was prepared for them. For the past half century, they must have been studying whatever it was the creatures brought with them. When they were ready, they placed whatever it is that causes Eruption (alien virus intended to create superhuman slaves? Occult energy meant to produce a hybrid race for the transdimensional entities to deal with?) on the Galatea, and blew it up. This is more complex than I ever could have imagined. I almost have all the evidence I need, though ..." "This is it! This is what proves it all! It was a billion to one chance that I would ever find it, but I did! It's a picture, from the 30's. It's worn and fuzzy, but the truth is there, for all to see. It's Divis Mal. I'm sure of it. They'll have to believe me now! They'll have to!"
  11. <font size="4">Madman Wounds 11 then Takes Own Life in Amp Room Shooting</font> by Aaron Grossman N! Prime Staff Writer Ibiza -- The popular nova-only nightclub known as “The Amp Room” exploded in terror last night, as baseline Enrico Swarez blasted his way inside with a sawed-off shotgun, and opened fire on the patrons. As many as 10 novas were injured in the attack, some critically, but all are in stable condition and are expected to recover fully within a month or so. Most severely injured was the club’s owner, baseline Travius Diaz. Diaz is scheduled for surgery at Ibiza City Hospital, and is listed as critical and unstable. “There were these loud blasts, and then a couple patrons fell to the ground bleeding,” said Amp Room employee “Iron Skin” Andy Vance. “When Travius got hit, I grabbed her and shielded her from the rest of the shots. I can take shotgun blasts pretty well, and I didn’t want her getting hurt any worse.” The Amp Room’s security guard Elites and the Ibiza Police eventually cornered the gunman Enrico. With his exit cut off, Enrico began uttering paranoid anti-nova sentiments. “They must be destroyed,” he was heard saying. “They will turn against us. They are twisted, evil, aberrant monsters. They will spread their taint through out the nova population, and then it will be to late.” Finally Enrico turned the gun on himself, blowing his head all over the street. A search of Enrico’s apartment turned up a variety of anti-nova literature, including pamphlets from The Church of Michael Archangel. Also uncovered in the search was a copy of best-selling horror novel Aberrations written by author Seth Keaton. Highlighted within the book are several passages detailing the transformation of novas into Lovecraftian monstrosities, as well as the last passage of the eighth chapter: The <font color="#990000"><s>Deviants</s> </font> Aberrants stayed underground, plotting their strategy. Obviously they were too warped, twisted, and evil to hide amongst the nova population. And they were not numerous enough to defeat the novas with a frontal assault. No, another tactic was needed, and they knew just what to do. They would spread their taint through out the nova population. And then it would be too late. Mr. Keaton is vacationing in the Alps, and could not be reached for comment. Count Raoul Orzaiz had plenty to say about the event however. “The actions of this madman are vile beyond comprehension.” Count Orzaiz stated. “Where as the alleged acts of terrorism committed my associates were in furtherance of an ideal, this man acted only in the hope of sating his bigotry and xenophobia. Next time the media wants to inflame and exaggerate Teragen involvement in terroristic activity, remember this day, and ask yourselves who better deserves the title of terrorist.” Surprisingly, Cestus Pax of Team Tomorrow delivered a similar statement. “Count Orzaiz and I never see eye to eye on ANYTHING, and his affiliation and lifestyle disgust me personally. But I must concur with him on this matter. This attack is no less vile than any of the terrorist activities of the Teragen. I have often stated that we are all human together. That is directed at baselines as well as novas. The actions of this gunman are intolerable, and anyone out there who considers him a hero or a martyr is sadly deluded.” The Amp Room will be closed for the next few weeks, due to the shooting. When it reopens, Andy Vance will handle all buisness affairs with the guidance of Novelty Consulting until Ms. Diaz is able to return.
  12. <H1>The Enemy Abounds</H1><H2>Building baddies your player characters will respect</H2> <H3><A HREF="mailto:kevin@modempool.com">By Kevin S. Taylor</A></H3>Aberrants. Chromatics. Doyen. These words if mentioned by the right ST can bring fear into the heart of the most jaded Trinity player. So, you ask, how do I make these things feared by my players who have been playing the same character since the game came out in that old plastic wire bound tome? Easy, you hit em where it hurts. You make up new variants on the same old stuff. Nothing will scare and confuse players more when the Aberrant that they have been chasing all over Luna turns out to be 6 inches tall. What I hope this article does is help you make variants on villains and antagonists for your Trinity games. This article focuses on Aberrants, but could also be adapted to other types. So, we'll start with the basics. <HR><H2>The Basics</H2><H3>Part 1 -- why?</H3>I see a lot of good plots in movies, books, and games go to hell for this reason. They have a powerful villain, with a good plan, and not a stinking reason why. Contrary to popular belief, most Aberrants do not go breaking stuff and killing people just because they are "evil." This is the 21st century and we know that there is no black and white, only shades of gray. So why does that Aberrant with four arms and warp gates keep raiding medical facilities? Maybe he has someone he cares about that is sick, and he can't help him or her. Or how about the one that keeps impersonating people in an attempt to get into the Chicago Cube? Maybe he's looking for answers instead of just out to kill someone? And remember, as strange as it sounds, Aberrants have families too. <H3>Part 2 -- when?</H3> Yep. When. Not just, "We're gaming this Friday," but "The Aberrant in question was first sighted in the Blight in 2095." Knowing how long the enemy has been around can give great insight into how they think and why they do the things they do. Maybe the Aberrant that keeps destroying military facilities remembers the horrors of the Aberrant War and doesn't want anyone else to have to suffer that way. Sure, the FSA and Aeon make him seem bad, but when the players start digging into his past... <H3>Part 3 -- where?</H3>Just as important. Where IS the antagonist? Not likely waiting in plain sight with a neon sign that says, "Legionnaries can suck my [tentacle]." More than likely the smart Aberrant (and remember, mad or not, Mega-Intelligence goes a long way) is hiding behind a wall of followers, in a hard to hit place. Best place to hide from opponents with weapons of mass destruction is IN their population centers... <H3>Part 4 -- what?</H3>This is the fun part. What is the Aberrant in question? Is he an old one, from before the Aberrant War? Is he a newer one, still dealing with the use of his powers? Is he one who was "made" by others as cannon fodder, and doesn't like the idea? And most importantly, what powers does he/she/them/it have? Which leads us into the next part... <HR><H2>Building the Better Bad Ass</H2>Now, after considering those above questions, how do I make the stats for the Aberrant(s) I want? Well, depends on that answer to the "what" question. That will determine what basic "template" you want to use from this list. For this article, I categorize Aberrants into three basic classes, Veteran, Leader, and Fodder. The following table sums up how to figure out what type your Aberrant(s) falls under: <TABLE CELLPADDING=4 BORDER=0 WIDTH=400><TR> <TH><nbsp></TH> <TH>Leader</TH> <TH>Veteran</TH> <TH>Fodder</TH></TR><TR> <TH>Age</TH> <TD>Was alive before 2047</TD> <TD>Erupted post-Exodus</TD> <TD>Most recent Aberrants made/born</TD></TR><TR> <TH>Taint</TH> <TD> Has moderate (6+) Taint due to controlling their power, butcan be higher in some cases</TD> <TD>Has high (8+) Taint </TD> <TD>Has lowest (1-5) Taint </TD></TR><TR> <TH>M.O.</TH> <TD>Usually leads others, but often works alone as well </TD> <TD>Sometimes leads raiding parties </TD> <TD>Likes to live to see the next battle</TD></TR><TR> <TH>Notes</TH> <TD>Usually have long term plans and goals </TD> <TD>Often have other motives </TD> <TD>Being of the most recent generations looks least human andis most twisted by its taint </TD></TR></TABLE> After you know what kind you want, then you get to make them. <H3>Leaders</H3>Often called "1st Caste" Aberrants, these are the movers and shakers, the ones that VARGs and other heavy weapons are needed to kill. When I make these, I use the Aberrant Core Book and make them from the ground up with these changes. Nova Points: I move it up to 40 or 50 because these guys have been around for a while.Freebie/Bonus Points: move that up to 20 for the same reason.Instead of Buying "Quantum" and dealing with a new attribute in Trinity, I buy points of Taint at Quantum cost, and use Taint as the roll for powers, like in "normal" Trinity. In this case, I always buy powers at Tainted cost, which makes them real EVIL bastards to kill, cause they get a lot to play with. However, these are rare threats, and should be treated as such. Maybe one in a year of gaming and the players should have to work at it to EVER even see their opponent. <H3>Veterans</H3>These are the more common ones. For these I use the "normal" Trinity Template with adaptations from Battleground for the powers. Bullethead from Luna Rising would fit in this category. If you don't have Battleground, there are powers listed <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/Area51/4063/9812/9812how.html">elsewhere</A> that were made extra for the game. And now, you can get it cheap cause they are clearing it out. Things to remember with Aberrants at this level:Attributes above 5 are "enhanced" but not Mega. So, while an Aberrant with Strength 9 will really mess up an Average Psion, he's not likely to toss a Drake MN-114 around like a rag doll.Keep the taint around 6-8 in these cases, unless you have a reason to take it higher (powers cost lots of Taint to use, simply want to scare players, etc.)When converting from Battleground, use the following guidelines: <UL> Add three to four dice to the damage of attack mutations. Add one to any Armor mutation the Aberrant possesses. Adrenaline Sac: adds one action per 2 successes on Taint Roll Regeneration: Allows healing of one level of health per 2 successes on a Taint Roll. In some cases, an Aberrant may be required to absorb living matter to use this power (requiring a successful clinch/hold attack and inflicts one level per level healed to the target). Reduce Taint costs by 1/3, rounding down. So a 3 cost power costs 2 in Trinity. If that takes it down to less than one, it's free to the aberrant (still counts as an action). Add 3 to 5 dice to the damage of the power, or add its pool to the Taint of the Aberrant. In the cases of non-combat powers, use fair judgment when deciding how the power converts (the Battleground game is close enough to Trinity that often you can actually follow the text, I've found.) </UL>Conversions are graphical estimates only. Feel free to alter, change, and or abuse these suggestions as you see fit. These are Aberrants after all.<H3>Fodder</H3>These are the most common Aberrants. Not that they are not threats, but compared to the other two, they are not nearly as bad. The guidelines for them are simple. Use the Template Straight from Trinity. Note that Attributes are "enhanced" and not Mega if over 5. Use the following ideas, or come up with your own, to add to the powers/mutations from the main book. Pick up to three or four powers/mutations. Give them a real ugly description. And most importantly, throw them at your players with abandon, so they worry about what kind of Aberrant is willing to sacrifice all these Squids to accomplish their goals. <UL>Air Pollution/Poison Taint Cost: 1 Damage: See below System: Roll taint. The Aberrant exudes a gas into the surrounding air that is potentially harmful. Roll Taint as Lethal damage if toxic, Bashing if non-lethal, or as a modifier effect if simply confusing (smoke or "laughing gas", etc.) Cancerous Growths Taint Cost: 0 Damage: 3d10L System: The Aberrant is covered with cancerous sacs that upon being struck will burst and spray a corrosive agent on nearby people. Count as an area effect with a 90-degree "firing arc" from the point of impact. Infection Taint Cost: 3 Damage: See below System: Fairly rare but dangerous, this power infects the victim by biting or clawing with a Taint based disease. Kamikaze Taint Cost: 2 Damage: 20/10/5d10 L Range: 50/30/10 Meters System: With this power the Aberrant literally blows himself up with his own power. Often referred to as the Wycoff Effect. Machine Control Taint Cost: see below Damage: none, see below Range: Sight System: The Aberrant takes over surrounding hardtech by a "Quantum Remote Interface" and uses it as if they were extensions of his own body. Guns can be turned on their users, computers can be controlled, and ships can be set on crash courses. The Taint cost varies with size, 1 for 5 kg or less, 2 for 6 to 100 kg, and 3 for 100+ kg. Items over 30 tons can not be controlled. The roll is Taint vs. Fail-Safe. If no fail-safe is listed, assume 1 die. </UL>
  13. Found out when the cops came (and a couple of PU boys...not T2M, though, these guys didn't rate it) that they were wannabe Teragen trying to join some sect calling itself 'Nova Vigilance.' I have no idea what that's all about, and in all honesty I could only care less if it was possible for me to give myself a lobotomy. I told the cops what had happened, backed up by several dozen witnesses who could fill in the fragmentary picture. The human pachyderm threatened me when they loaded his moxed-to-the-gills ass into the van, but I didn't bother to respond. The worst part was when they dragged the weeping woman past me. She looked right at me with eyes that had no pupil or iris, just one vast green striated mass, eyes that looked wrong with water leaking from the corners. "Why?" I didn't answer for a moment. "If it makes you feel any better, I didn't even swing. He broke his neck on my arm." "It would have been better if you'd meant it." I saw the bewilderment and I even understood it. That time yesterday, she and her Jonathan were new gods walking the Earth, and now he was dead and she was alone, and I hadn't even meant to kill him. Sure, he was a psychotic nutjob who would have killed a lot of people. Doesn't make him any less dead, does it? Doesn't make me any less his killer, even if I didn't mean to. I lifted up into the air, colder inside than I had been, colder and less myself. The air stood still and I rushed through it, higher and higher, until the air was a thin blue- black band and I passed into vacuum. Behind me, the planet kept shrinking. You know, in that way it has of getting smaller and smaller. Or is that just to me?
  14. Ten minutes later, I was over London. I was just passing through. I had no idea of what was going to happen, and if I'd flown away from my mothers apartment an extra ten kph quicker in that first ten seconds before going supersonic, I'd have missed it entirely. But because I was moving towards the sounds instead of away from them, I heard them. Quantum powers or not, physics would have let me miss the whole event if I'd just been going a bit quicker or had started a little earlier. (Since this kind of thing tends to happen to me...and other novas...I sometimes suspect our nodes of attracting us to each other. As if they know something we don't.) It was like a repeating thunderclap. It happened, and happened again, and then again. The sky was bright blue, however, and the sun was ruddy on the western horizon, and I saw no reason for the sound. So I looked harder. There was a blur in the streets. For a second I though it was Ellis (remind me to tell you about Ellis sometime, or the rest of our little Scooby Gang) but he wasn't quite as fast, and he wasn't nearly as jittery. And, as I watched, he decapitated the statue of Abraham Lincoln near Westminster Abbey and threw it at a bus at speeds that would make Honest Abe's noggin a terrific kinetic-kill missile. I dove. I knew I couldn't go fast enough to intercept the head in the millisecond it was going to take to hit the bus, but I didn't have to. A blaze of heat erupted out of my eyes, like pure rage made visible, and in that microsecond the air between me and the head burst into flame. A jet of molten bronze erupted from Abe's left jowl, shooting him up and over the bus and into the Thames. A couple of cars got sprayed, but it could have been worse. I 'landed' six inches off of the ground and five feet in front of speed-boy. I went from 1500 kph to zero in one second. As you might expect, a shockwave of air blasted out all around me, rocking cars and buses and most importantly slamming into my buddy the running man like a wall. He fell forward, legs off of the ground. I made sure my fist was waiting for him. I didn't know how much he could take, of course, so I didn't really put much into it. I figured his forward momentum would do plenty. It did. His neck snapped like a rotten stair-step under a rhino's foot. Then he fell at my feet. I was surprised. Not shocked or horrified, the way I would have been a few months earlier. Just surprised, and maybe a little dismayed. And then I heard a sound like a scream going through the Doppler effect. It started out as a high-pitched "Jona" and then began going deeper and sounding like "thhaaaaaaaa" and that's when I turned and saw them. There were three of them. One of them looked like some kind of cross between a woolly mammoth, a walrus, and a human being. He was twelve feet tall, with giant horns coming out of his forehead and skin like saggy gray hide, but glossy and coated with some kind of oily substance. Next to him was a skinny woman the color of the setting sun floating in the air with weird rainbow refractions swirling around her and up into a cloud of floating hair, and next to her was the one who was pointing at me. She was pretty unremarkable...Asian or maybe Hindi, with hair either dyed or novaed into a strange blue color like a sky just before sunrise. What she was doing to me, however, was far from unremarkable. Now, I'm one of the fastest novas I know, on the ground or in the air. I was probably a good deal faster than the man at my feet, and of the novas I've met personally, only one was faster. But even as I kicked myself up into as high a gear as I could, I could feel myself slowing down and I could see the guy who looked like a menagerie speeding up as he charged me. He rammed his fat oily fist into me, and even though it didn't really hurt much, the pure force was more than I was using to stay hovering in the street and I plowed backwards into the ground, seemingly moving at ten times the speed I expected. As I dragged myself to my feet, walrus boy was all over me like a blur. Now, I hate to tap my reserves; I refused Rashoud Clinic training, where they talk about 'using your Quantum energies' and all that crap. But there was no way I was going to get my ass kicked by a man who looked like he'd gone into Jeff Goldblum's teleport booth with a hippo. So I grabbed hold of the power that lives inside me, and I really kicked it into high gear, feeling raw molten violence burst into my nerves. The world slowed down, and I sped up, sidestepping the hungry, hungry hippo-man and watching a little bit of the woman with the dark blue hair. She didn't seem to know I'd gotten myself around her melted taffy time bubble or whatever it was. So I walked (to myself, it was walking, but I knew by the leaves hovering in the air that it was happening within a second) over to in front of her, and I slammed my fist down into the ground. Sure that would at least throw her off her game, I walked over to my greasy pal, grabbed his ankle and wrenched him up off of his feet while letting myself slow down to levels where time was perceptible. I admit that I did that for the satisfaction factor. I wanted to hear the explosion of the shockwave blasting cement and asphalt up from the road and into the bluehair's face. I wanted to see rhino man yelp as I cracked him like a whip and flung him straight up into the air. More than anything else, however, I didn't want to pay attention to the woman on her knees sobbing and holding 'Jonathan' to herself, rocking back and forth. Sure, he'd been on a rampage. I didn't feel bad for him, and to be honest, I didn't feel bad for her either. I just winced at the knowledge that I didn't feel bad. The great purple-black beast bellyflopped into the Thames twelve seconds later, while bluehair lay on the ground stunned and supine. The sobbing woman didn't put up any kind of resistance. She just cried.
  15. "Honey, are you eating enough? You look like you've lost weight." I looked down at my mother, who I have always been taller than. Now, however, I'm a full foot taller than I was, so I ended up staring almost directly down at her. I could see the individual strands of her hair, once raven black and now going almost clear with age like individual strands of Eufiber. If I wanted to, I could have looked at her brain through her skull, but there's not much point to it. In the apartment I grew up in, it's still 1987. It probably won't change much for decades to come. No Op-Net, no Project Utopia or N! Prime or anything else that smacks too much of 2008 and reality. To my mother, I'm little Marc come home from a day at LaSalle Academy, discontented and vaguely disapproving. "Mom, I don't eat anymore." "What, never?" She stopped hugging me long enough to crank her head back and stare at me with concern in her watery brown eyes. My face reflected in their wet surface in miniature, and before I realized it I zoomed in and looked at my walleyed reflection, the red light barely coming out from behind my irises. "How don't you eat? Everybody eats!" "Not me. Not in months." I brushed a hair away from her face gently, seeing shock and fear mixing on her face and knowing that some of it was fear for me...and some of it wasn't. The whole apartment seemed so tiny, so dingy...if I even gave it a minuscule effort, I could see every crack and pit and scrape in the paint, every speck of mold, and the large brass crucifix hanging over the old television...and so I chose not to see anything at all. She hugged me again. I let her. It was comforting. Eventually she stopped. "Marc, you'll stop by more often?" "When I can, mom. I'm awful busy." That wasn't a lie. I was busy. Self-imposed, but still. In the half-hour I'd taken to visit with her, my decision to take time to see my mother had allowed fifteen people to die within my perception. Could I have saved all of them? No. Twelve. I could have saved twelve. So Marcez Klinmahrsk of 112 Benefit Street, sorry about your uncle Paleck. I was letting my mother fuss over me. Selfish as it sounds, it was more important to me than saving him. I suppose that 'You couldn't have known' is a great comfort to those people who discover the next day that a friendly old neighbor died while they were having sex or eating a meal or what have you. Humans can comfort themselves that way. I, unfortunately, can know. Finally, my mother stopped hugging me, sniffled once, and smiled up at me. I wiped an errant streak of water away from her cheek with my thumb and smiled back. "I gotta go, mom. Love you." "You take care, okay? You don't run yourself ragged." I walked to the window, looked back at my five foot two inch mother who now barely came up to the middle of my abdomen, and then stepped out into the air and floated for a moment. The brief halo of light that flared up around me was almost invisible, centered mostly around my eyes, and in the reflected light of the windows to both sides of me I could see a look of almost baffled awe in my mother. But I'm not Jesus, nor was I meant to be. I'm not even an attendant lord, and I won't do. Not at all. So I closed my eyes and flew away, slowly at first until I got above the Providence skyline. I have no apartment of my own anymore. Well, strictly speaking I still have the place in Boston...since I erupted, I haven't spent ten seconds there. But without the need to eat or sleep much, I haven't had to. My checking account will be empty by next month, and then I'll need to either make money or move my stuff to my mom's place. Neither concerns me much; I could make money by whoring myself to DeVries (I'd make a rather nasty elite, even without combat training) or Project Utopia, or the Army...but I don't see the need. Let my meager possessions go. They're nothing but tethers to a dead life. Once I cleared the Fleet/Citibank Tower, I looked around for a moment, and then I kicked it up a notch. There was a sonic boom, but since I was the one moving faster than sound, I didn't hear it.
  16. <h1 align="center">The Hands of an Angry God</h1> <h2><a href="mailto:ezrael@altavista.com">Written by Matt Rossi</a></h2><hr> My name is Marc Gabriel Rossmore, and I'm not human. I'm really not. I was human, or at least I thought I was. I walked around on the streets, ignored by the majority of the 'madding throng' that passed me. (By the way, it is 'madding' and not 'maddening' as some think. Common mistake. I used to make it all the time, till one of my ex-girlfriends ripped me a new one over it.) Then, while on my way to a class I was taking up in Boston, a psychotic bitch with a chunk of tissue in her brain that let her control fire and a desire to prove herself superior to 'monkeys' nuked me, and I died. I got better, though. Mainly because I grew an apple-sized mass of flesh inside my brain. Now, let me ask you, what makes a man human? I couldn't really answer that if I wanted to. Is it the intangibles, like the existence of the soul? Or is it the stuff anthropologists would tell you about, like tool use and the like? Because I've read over 300 books on the subject in the past two months, and I've got to tell you, in none of them does it say that the essence of humanity is the ability to fly at supersonic speeds or survive being hit with a shell fired from a tank without a scratch or melt metal with a glance. I can do those things now. So the UN can say what it wants. Caestus Pax (Can't he just call himself Shelby? What's so bad about being named Shelby? Sure, it's a bit geeky sounding, but suddenly having a name in Latin is pretentious.) can say that we're all human together until monkeys fly out of his ass. He's wrong. Take it from me. I'm not Teragen, however. I hate those fuckers. Here's why: I'm not human, but I was. And my humanity was taken from me by a red-hot psycho with purifying urges who believed that, as a nova, she had the right to do whatever she wanted. When I was human, I had hopes and dreams and fears. I still do. And in the name of those hopes and dreams and fears, I killed someone tonight. Don't worry, though. He wasn't human either. Let me tell you about it, the way it happened.
  17. He knocked on my window. I remember looking out at him in surprise, and then remembering my manners and walking over to my patio (the regular apartment windows wouldn't have been nearly big enough) to let him in. I was wearing my work clothes, still, a brown suit with a grey shirt and a brown tie. I like earth tones, I guess. I didn't say anything. He was wearing a different jacket than he had been the last time I saw him...it was still leather, but one of those motocross jackets, not a straighforward 'Rebel without a Cause' type. Of course, that whole outfit had been burned right off of him, hadn't it? He was wearing a normal T-Shirt without the symbol on it (I heard AOL/Warner making some noises about suing him, not that he would have cared all that much, the way he was living) and jeans. If you ignored the slight red glow to his eyes, he looked more or less like your average six foot four inch tall, three hundred pound mound of muscle. "I can't take it anymore." "Can't take what?" He looked out the window. "Right now, I can see fifteen cases of domestic abuse, ten muggings, five armed robberies, three car-jackings, six rapes and twenty-seven other crimes. I can see over thirty-five cases of adultery, twenty-seven cases of self-mutilation...should I keep going?" "Not especially. Why don't you stop looking, if it's so horrible?" "I didn't say it was horrible. That's the horrible part. I don't feel anything about it. It's like watching chimps...do you remember her saying that? 'Like explaining math to chimps?' To me, the whole human race has become something I'd see in a zoo." I began to sweat a bit at that, and I'm sure my heartrate went up, because he continued. "Your galvanic responses just kicked in. I can hear your heartrate, smell the urea in your sweat...and not just you. Everyone for miles. Don't worry...I haven't gone insane on you. I don't intend to kill anyone. I'm leaving, instead. I might have stayed anyway, despite the disassociation, if it wasn't for the fact that they sterilized me." "They? They who?" "The same ones who sterilized you." He looked down at my crotch, and then back up at me. "Yes. You have a sperm count of 150. I have absolutely none. My incredibly efficient immune system is wiping out my sperm as fast as I can produce it. I noticed it last week, when I began to develop microscopic perception." "Are you saying that every Nova in the world is sterile?" "No. Just the ones who take Addies or Mox. I don't know anything about chemisty, so I couldn't tell you why it works, but I've deep scanned over a thousand Novas without them knowing, and out of that group only one of them had a normal sperm count...a Teragen supporter who'd never been to a Rashoud Clinic. Even I, who only took Addies the one time, even I'm affected. I don't know how or why, but I am." I sat down at this. He kept going; apparently his months of isolation had caused him to bottle up a whole shitload of anxiety and talkativeness, because it all came spilling out. "I'm capable of shutting my senses off. I do it all the time, actually, because if I didn't I'd go insane. So I could stay, and ignore the horrors, if there was some chance I'd be able to find that one person and have a life with her. She'd probably have to be a Nova, of course, because at the moment I don't have the emotional connection I'd need with baselines. It's bigoted of me, but it's the truth. I rush out of the sky and save them from the world not out of love, but because I'm unimaginitive. Hell, look at the powers I got!" He smiled at that. "What's wrong with them?" "O'Dell, they're copyrighted. My subconscious is a goddamn plagiarist! Even Pax had better taste than to exactly rip off the estate of Siegel and Shuster!" Laughing bitterly, he sat down next to me. "The truth is, finding out I can't ever...well, it severed my last emotional tie to this world. To me, it's just a ball of rock swarming with monkeys. So I'm leaving instead of all the other options." "What the hell are you talking about? Leaving? Where are you going to go? In case you didn't notice while you were deciding to agree with the Null Manifesto, there's no place but home, swarming with us monkeys though it be." "Monkeys can't talk to machines with a thought, O'Dell. Don't pretend you don't understand how I feel, even if you don't agree. I don't agree either, intellectually. I know it's wrong. Last year, when she killed me...I've never been that afraid in my entire life. I don't want to make people feel like that. So I'm leaving." "What, just like that? What about whoever fucking neutered you!? You're going to just let them get away with that?" "Just like I'm going to let that guy downstairs beat his daughter, and that woman across the street poison her husband, and everything else that goes on around here." He got up and walked to the window. "But I'll warn you...be careful who you tell. Imagine how Pax or Skew would react if they knew, or maybe the Teragen. It's a barrel of explosives I've just handed you the fuse to. Keep that in mind, if you care. Me, I'm going to find a place where I can be a 'Visitor from a Strange Planet' and see if there's anything more for me. Enjoy the story, if you decide to cover it." Then he was gone. Again, I didn't even see him move. I walked to the window and looked up at the sky, but there was no sign of him. He was a god walking in a world full of people who needed help, but he was missing something. He didn't really care anymore. It was probably for the best. But I couldn't help but blame myself. Maybe if I hadn't started the frenzy over his eruption, he could have gotten to see the side of us that makes it worthwhile. The flip side of his gutter-eye view. The better angels of our nature or whatever you want to call it. But he didn't, and he left. Now I find myself sitting at my desk, thinking at my computer and staring at a half-full bottle of Addies. I have a headache. I think I'll let it ride for a while.
  18. Over the next few months, I heard about him. He'd decided not to join Utopia, although he'd let them test him out at the Rashoud Facility in New York (turns out they couldn't take blood, though...his skin just broke the needles) and a few bad headaches he experienced they helped him out with. Same way I dealt with mine after getting home from the fracas...pop a couple of Adrenocilin and you'll feel better. I did, anyway. The stuff apparently didn't do much for him. I hacked his records out of their system this morning, after he left, and while it was a bitch kitty on legs, it wasn't as hard as it would have been last year. I've been getting better and better at it since that fight, somehow. I managed to yank his records and find a few other tidbits of interest before a firewall the size of God slammed down and kicked my ass out. I'm glad I did it from a borrowed encrypted palmtop. That poor bastard's going to be getting a visit from Utopia's Internal Affairs division. Anyway, at that one and only visit, Rossmore took two Addies and the docs watched in amazement as the pills flushed from his system in about five minutes. They couldn't penetrate his skin, and they tried pretty hard (they even used a surgical laser) making him probably second only to ol' Ironskin when it comes to imperviousness, if not actually number one. And his node's the size of a goddamn softball. You'd expect him to get a bit wiggy with a node that big. I've been covering Nova news for six years now, and in that time, I've seen quite a few Novas go buggy (it happens more than we'd like to admit) and it's usually because of the node getting a bit too big for the brain. But in Rossmore's case, he seemed to be doing fine, even the last time I saw him. He didn't join up, but he wasn't hostile, either. He just didn't want to have to work for NSI or join Team Tomorrow. Too public for him, too much time spent doing stuff that just didn't seem important to him. Instead, he threw himself into being what he thought a Nova should be. You've seen the results. That oil tanker that he lifted up out of the ocean and sealed before it could leak, then flew it back to Anchorage the way you or I would carry a matchbox car; the meltdown at Seabrook he averted by tearing the entire radioactive core out of the place and flying it into space before it could blow (and no, even at the end he never told me how close he was to the pile when it reached critical mass); the volcanic eruption he halted in the Phillipines by burrowing into the sea-bed and creating a new channel for the lava to follow; the hurricane he collapsed in the Gulf of Mexico by a combination of repeatedly flying through it at supersonic speeds while superheating the air with his weird heat-ray eyes; the cell of Nova terrorists he beat senseless in Tokyo, escaping before the Kamisama could start worshipping him or whatever. There are more, of course. He didn't stick around for thanks, he didn't stop for food or sleep or human contact much, he didn't go to Ibizia or Addis Ababa or anyplace anyone could see him (I half-suspect he had a place in the Arctic he'd crash out in, but that's just the comic-book geek in me. Yes, I have one, too.) I won a Pulitzer for my coverage of the day he erupted, the cops and I all got commendations for bravery (they probably would have offered him one, if they knew how to reach him) and life went on as it had. Then came the visit, and the end of my old life.
  19. I got the interview, of course. He was still a little stunned by what had happened, and he didn't quite realize what it meant yet. He told me his name (Marcus Rossmore, born December 1st, 1985, attending Emerson College's Master of Arts Lit program, wanted to be a teacher) and all about himself. He was a gigantic comic-book geek. Not the new ones...he didn't read the Op-Net classics or watch the animated series. Well, okay, so he'd watched Slag: Hot Metal Fury #30. Hell, the whole world did. But in general there was something about the Nova based reality stuff he wasn't thrilled with. "I mean, Eufiber can look like anything, can't it?" He was frowning. This was before Skew joined T2M, mind you, and we saw that it can apparently look like a leather jacket and a T-Shirt. "But they're all wearing skin-tight outfits. Why?" "Hell, your heroes wore..." "My heroes weren't real people. They were colored dots on paper, before AOL/Warner and Toy Biz decided that there wasn't much future left in it and killed them all off. Real people aren't neat little squiggles who'll do whatever you want. They're seething bags of conflict." He looked over at Brigit, who was getting fitted with restraints provided by Team Tomorrow. A Utopia recruiter was getting the full story from one of the cops, so I decided to pull a fade; after I left the Rashoud Facility, I more or less decided to stay as far away from those guys as possible. Not because of anything they did...because I'm a selfish, greedy bastard who doesn't want to work for a better world. Between me and her, Rossmore's point was made, I suppose. Real Nova's weren't safe and easy, and now, he was one of them. No wonder the poor bastard was scared.
  20. His chest was healed. Better than healed...he was average looking before, but now he was huge. Proportioned, but huge, with muscles that wouldn't have looked out of place on Caestus Pax. His shirt was torn apart, but above the rip in its belly the red and yellow symbol from the old movies and comic books was more or less intact...and I have to admit, it looked right on him now. He looked down at himself, at his burned clothes, and then at me with that look on his face. You know the look, if you're a Nova or even if you've only seen an eruption on N! Prime sometime. Eyes wide, mouth slightly open, head bowed slightly as the wheels of thought grind slowly towards the truth. I later learned that he didn't even notice the node opening. It usually hurts like a bastard, but in his case it makes sense. He was being burned to death at the time. Stepping forward, he saw Brigit about to burn the cop who'd come to my rescue from a sandy-haired recruitment poster for the BPD to a pile of ash. And he moved. Her hand reached out...and instead of melting though a riot helmet, it touched smooth, unblemished skin which remained that way, ignoring the fact that the hand touching it was hot enough to melt steel. But not a man of steel, apparently. She barely had time to realize what was happening when he hit her. Now, one of the benefits of my M-R Node is that I can see and think faster than normal folks. So I should have been able to see him punch her, even if he was moving faster than a human. But all I got, on the edges of my multi-spectrum scan, was a vibration on the quantum level. Her head snapped back, but I could tell he hadn't snapped it like I would have. Brigit was a lot tougher than she looked. The cops, not really sure what was going on anymore, took the time to reload their guns. I parked the bus and took the time to fall back against the wall and pant like a racehorse. My heartbeat was already amped up like a soma-meth freak, and suddenly I was watching...well, I wasn't really sure either. Staggering back, the left side of that painfully beautiful face welted from his fist, Brigit flung flames at him. He just walked through them. Then he slapped his hands together. It's not a new trick, but not every super-strong type can pull it off, especially out of the box. But he did. A burst of air and a blast of sound knocked her on her ass and broke a few windows, but the general damage was so bad anyway (and the area around the library is open enough) that it didn't create too many problems. "I could kill you." His voice was...well, it was what you'd expect, which seemed to surprise the hell out of him. It took him a couple of seconds to get back on track. "I could, and you'd deserve it. But I have another idea." He did that blurry thing again, moving so fast I could barely see him, and then fire hydrants began exploding as he sheared the tops off and moved on. There are four in the area, and all four went at once. Then, while I watched, he somehow (I still couldn't really see him) managed to divert all that water into her, all at once. It was amazing, and more than a bit scary. The jets of water turned into steam, and filled the whole plaza with clouds of hot air and water bubbling away. It was like downtown Boston was turning into a sauna. I heard later that kids from the Emerson campus came down just to experience it, but I didn't see any of them. I heard Brigit howl, and then I saw it. She rocketed up into the air on a plume of fire. He followed her...just rose up into the air and shot after her like it was the most natural thing in the world. In fact, he was faster, getting above her. She threw those flames at him, and nothing happened. Then I saw his eyes glow a bright red, and she howled again...and the flames petered out and she fell from the sky. He didn't catch her. She smashed directly into the giant puddle forming in the crater where she'd been standing when she took off, and more steam blasted out of it. The splash probably saved her life. He landed not too far from me as I was staggering back to my feet and carefully edging into the water falling from the busted hydrant. Hey, I wasn't going to let people know I'd peed my pants if I could avoid it. "What the hell happened?" "I could see through her skull." His voice was still that deep, majestic lilting tone of command, but hushed by awe. "I could see the node inside her head...so I hit it with..I stared at it, and it burned. She'll regenerate the damage, probably, but it probably felt like I hit her between the eyes with a sledgehammer." Then he turned to me, his newly perfect features contorted in terror. "I can hear...everything."
  21. I was huddled behind a car watching explosions rip though downtown Boston, mushrooms of red and yellow fire that blossomed out from the epicenter of a cackling woman's footsteps. The worst part was how beautiful she was. Her hair was the color of the fire that did her bidding, practically glowing from inside each follicle. Her body was wreathed in gold light, like a shift of starshine, and every perfect Nova curve was open to inspection, if you happened to have the balls for it. Me, I like being in one piece, so I kept hidden. "Humans...I wish I could explain to you why you have to die. But it would be like discussing math with chimps." She looked over at a streetlamp, and it melted into slag. "Remember, those of you who survive, that I'm very sorry you weren't born a better being." While the yellow-white metal ran down the remains of the pole, I accessed my palmtop and looked up her police record. Okay, so it meant breaking into Boston PD's computer...hell, according to our most excellent lady of flame, I'm one of the master race, right? I did it with a thought, feeling the surge of power that connects me to the quantum...and in that second, I understood, in a small part of my soul I don't like to think about, why Brigit (that's her nickname) wanted to burn everything down. To feel like that...you have to experience it to understand it. The car I was hiding behind shuddered, and I jumped away from it just as the gas tank blew. A shower of smouldering fragments fell down like black rain, and my burning lady stepped through the flames and looked down at me. "What's your name?" "O'Dell." I swallowed; she was giving off so much heat that my sweat was evaporating off of my face into steam. "You get to live, O'Dell. Be thankful." She walked away, melting the asphalt into puddles of black goo in her wake. I looked down at my pants, but thankfully I'd held my bladder. Well, so being able to pull off minor-league monkey tricks with machines was good for more than just work; it made me worth not killing. Hoorah for us Novas. I cowered there for a few more seconds, but then my natural journalistic psychosis made me get up and follow her. Cops were doing their jobs and dying for it, turning into roman candles or howling flames that staggered around and burned like tire fires. One guy, I didn't know who he was, leapt onto one of the more unfortunate cops and beat the flames out with his leather jacket. Underneath it he was wearing one of those baseball T-shirts, one of the ones with long sleeves a different color than the rest of the shirt. It was dark blue and grey, and at first I couldn't see the chest, so I thought nothing of it. Then the burning lady herself noticed a school bus trying to pull away from the Public Library. We were all in the shadow of the Prudential Building, but as you might expect all the fires were lighting the place up and there was no place to hide. Brigit smiled, a cold beauty in her delicate features, and a rush of heat built up around her so intense that I actually dropped my palmtop because the plastic was heating up. The guy who was helping the cops noticed it, too. He looked up, a wild expression full of hate and fear mixing on his face, his eyes as wide as the muscles of his head would allow. And then, as Brigit let loose on the bus (one of the kids was smearing her little face against the glass, trying to see the Nova) the cop's rescuer threw himself directly into the streak of flames. I had a split second to look at him, and I figured I'd never see him again, so I took the time to memorize what he looked like. I figured I'd need to, since he wouldn't be leaving any remains to help his next of kin identify him. The worst part was, thanks to my special gift with machines, I knew I could download the image from my memory and make a fortune from the boys at N! Prime with the tale of one brave baseline's suicidal heroism. Black hair, kinda greasy. Blue eyes. Baseball jersey with a red and yellow pentagonal symbol on the chest underneath a leather jacket. Old blue jeans that had seen better days. I made sure to keep looking, expecting to watch as the fire ate him away from the outside in. It did. It blasted right through his T-shirt and burned right into his chest. I saw his ribs blacken and his heart tear in half, and a pillar of flames surrounded him and shot up into the sky, to fall apart and fall back on us like sleet made out of hate. He pitched forward, not even screaming, and Brigit walked over his remains to hit the bus. Now, I'm no hero. But I looked at one of the remaining cops, who looked at me, and I realized something. We weren't going to take this shit anymore. Pushing so hard I felt like my head was going to pop off of my neck, I grabbed hold of the bus's ignition system and turned the fucking thing over. The driver wasn't there...maybe she'd run, maybe passed out, I dunno...but there was a nice ViaSoft Autopiloting system installed in case of driver heart attacks and the like, and I talked to it. The bus lurched forward. I could feel my node throbbing in my head as I screamed at it, pouring energies I don't normally use through it and praying my ass off. The bus rolled away from her, and she turned to look at me with contempt. Somehow she knew. Somehow she could sense the quantum pouring out of me. She was going to cook me where I stood for it. I wet my pants, both from fear and from the strain. One of the cops, the one I'd looked at before, figured out that it was me driving the bus and knew that if she nuked me, it would probably crash. So he began firing wildly with his own gun and another one he'd picked up from somewhere...I could see bits of carbon on the barrel and didn't want to think about what that meant. Others joined in, forcing her to keep the heat wrapped around herself where it could melt the bullets. I just kept driving the bus. My head wasn't just splitting anymore...blood was running down my face from my nose, which was fine by me as it kept me from smelling the acrid urine soaking my pants. Then the guy who'd jumped in front of the bus got up. I watched, and may have been the only one (in all fairness, Brigit was walking at the cops, and their bullets were forming a bubbling lead speckle around the edges of her heat-field, so there were more compelling things to stare at) as he stood up.
  22. God is Love; I don't love you. Written by Matt Rossi August 17th, 2008 My name is Paul O'Dell, and I'm a journalist. I normally don't write in this style; I'm the prince of detachment, the king of objectivity. But not this time. This time I got sucked into the story. Maybe because I like comic books as a kid, or because I'm biased because of my M-R Node. But I got this goofy knack with electricity. Not enough to hurt anyone, but I can interact with machines just fine, which is why I don't have to type this. I'm no Kuwasha, but I get by. Marcus Rossmore is a god. I don't know where he is now, but wherever it is, he's a god there. He's a Nietzchean ideal, filtered through Siegel and Shuster (with a brief pit-stop in the desert of Sinai to chat with a burning bush) and he's gone now. He couldn't take us anymore. I remember the first time we met. February 12th, 2007. The day his world changed.
  23. <table width="100%" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="center"><tr><td> <font size="+4">ABERRANT</font><hr width="50%" align="center"><font size="+2">XWF</font> <img src="http://www.nprime.net/images/xwf.jpg" border=0 height=200 width=140 align=LEFT><font size=+1>Test Your Might Against the Champions of the Ring... </font> Gladiators of the Quantum age, X-treme Warfare Federation shootfighters take recreational combat into the extreme zone of skin-ripping, blood-boiling, bone -crushing physical trauma. When claws, fire bolts and Mega-Strength come into play in the ring, the stakes go up. Way up. And when the stakes are this high, something's gotta give! <font size=+1>If You’re Nova Enough</font> Aberrant: XWF contains everything you need to know to be one of the heroes — or villains — of the Quantum combat ring. Pit your character against the demented Count Dragonuv, Christine "The Terminatrix" Jesensky and the other world-class badasses on the nova fight circuit. Learn about the nervous sponsors, the obsessed viewers and the unstable masterminds behind it all. But be warned, the XWF is not for wimps. </td></tr><tr><td>Retail Price: $4.95 U.S. Page Count: 24 Author: Robert Hatch <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1565046889/nprim-20">But it Now</a> </td></tr></table>
  24. ABERRANT [align:center]TERAGEN ,, To Create a New World... Cast as monsters, villains and rogues, the novas of the Teragen are hated by Project Utopia, vilified by the media, and worshipped by misfits, outcasts and rebels everywhere. Led by the powerful and charismatic Divis Mal, the Teragen seek to create a new Eden for the Quantum born. But there can be no calvation without sacrifice. Once the Teragen deals with the fragile and unfit baselines, a bold new civilization of novas will blossom in their place. The Old One Must be Destroyed! Aberrant: Teragen contains the history of the movement Utopia loves to hate, and the deviant personalities that drive it. It's also brimming with new powers, including the strange techniques used by Terats to deal with Taint. Are you nova enough for the secrets in this book? [/align]Retail Price: $17.95 U.S. Page Count: 142 Authors: Philippe R. Boulle, Josh Mosqueira Asheim, Lucien Soulban Buy it Now
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