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Everything posted by The Story Guide

  1. "Careful," Wendy said with an amused tease. "Jensen - our rather cheeky pathologist - has already started giving all of you codenames. Give me a minute to get ahold of Dr. Ballard." After that, things moved quickly. Deezy was asked first to duplicate HIPPA releases for everyone so that medical information could be collected by those in quarantine, and then she was sent the specs for nearly a dozen different pieces of medical equipment. The large barracks room went from 'socializing space' to 'medical lab'. Samples were taken from everyone but Sebastion - they just couldn't figure out how for anything beyond hair and nail clippings and weren't willing to try anything too likely to actually injure him. Machines hummed and whirred and eventually spit out gigs of information for the CDC scientists to pour over. The poking and prodding had eaten up most of the day and the group eventually dispersed back to their rooms for sleep. Which again Sebastian noted he didn't seem to really need as much anymore. Not that the squints needed to know that. The next morning medical reports were handed through the airlock, along with a massive food shipment that included the requested food. Even a bag of blue-only M&Ms. The medical reports were detailed on each person's current general health, observed abilities, and a score next to a listing that was marked "Radiation ν" or "Radiation ψ". Over the speaker Wendy said, "The good news is that the tests we did yesterday have given us more information on the changes with you all and it appears that everyone's radiation levels are dropping steadily. We've manage to differentiate the radiation out into two kinds, which also seems linked to some shared changes between around one half of the group or the other. Those of you with the n-radiation also have cell clusters throughout your body that seems to interact with the n-radiation. Like process it instead of being harmed by it. Those of you with the psi-radiation instead, well, your brain is different. Just a small part of it, but like with the others it seems to process the psi-radiation. We're not sure why there's this split. These tests are what showed us that there were two distinctly different energies at play. Before that it was just considered all one new type of radiation. Anyways, if the radiation drop-off continues, you guys will be down to the new background level of this radiation in four or five days. At that point we'll want to take some measurements why you're actively using your abilities, just to check for spikes and make sure the use of the abilities aren't cause your body or mind problems. That will probably only take a few days itself. If everything checks out fine, the CDC will have no reason to continue the quarantine at that point."
  2. "What are you suggesting, Ms. Klatta? Making equipment inside the quarantine? Do you have any medical training?" Wendy sounded intrigued by the idea and maybe a little relieved at a suggestion that might prevent people from fleeing the base. "I'll have to run things by by Dr. Ballard, but anything that gives the CDC more data - well, I can't imaging that being seen as anything other than good." Deliah, Emily's roommate in quarantine, piped up with, "I'm not a doctor, but I know my way around most medical equipment. I'm all for whatever will get us out of here faster." She gave Bastion a glance that said yeah, I don't believe her either. "I've got kids to get home to."
  3. "The HAZMAT suits the doctors have been wearing do have badges built into them, Mr. Stone." Wendy said. "It's how the differing level of radiation was detected initially, according to the report. I can ask for more information in it, if you would like. I have what's effectively a synopsis of what they've discovered or theorize right now. It's only been two days since the Storm - everyone's scrambling to try to figure this all out. If you'd like to write a letter to your folks, Ms. Klatta has made clipboards and pen and papers. I can get a letter taken out tomorrow morning when the shipments come in."
  4. Hey, for those in Peers & Pressures, this first part was mostly meant to be for characters to talk with each other and start forming bonds. If people are bored at this point, I can move us forward a week to the point where the main quarantine has been lifted. There's still a "populated areas" quarantine in effect until they make sure that using your powers doesn't spike your radiation levels, make you go nuts/mutate, or the powers themselves don't cause others to go nuts/mutate. That would be montage scenes of people showing off with their powers and seeing how they work with each other. There isn't meant to be deep plot here other than some of the push-pull of people being awed by the super-humans, wanting to control them, and figuring everyone would be better off if you all just disappeared permanently. The game seems to have slowed down and I just want to make sure that's not because the social quarantine thread is just boring everyone. Let me know what you guys would prefer, because I can also just wrap up Peers & Pressures and move everyone to the three month jump so you're all loosed on the world and can go from there. For those in Angels & Demons: Do you need anything from me? I can add to my last post if there isn't enough actionable info there, or you can just tell me life's swallowed you for a bit and everything is elsewise fine. Ein: I promise, I'm getting to you!
  5. The sound of paper flipping came over the speaker. "They're not entirely sure where it's coming from. They want to take some more samples and have apparently ordered an MRI to be flown in, along with a list of a lot of other medical equipment. As for the radiation, it's the same that came with the Storm. Everyone's got some of it now, but you all have just more." She made a small sound as a thought occurred to her. "Some of you talked about having better sense or just different new ones. Can any of you sense things about each other? Or different from the soldiers at the doors? More information gets the science done faster and the quarantine lifted sooner." Several notes to some random song sang out over the speaker and Wendy sighed. "I've got to step out for a minute, everyone. If you all think of anything else, please let me know when I get back." The speaker clicked off and this time the Latino man didn't squint it back into life. He was standing with his arms crossed, a pensive and distracted look on his face.
  6. Over the speaker, Wendy's voice came again just as Emily reached the hallway down to the rooms. "The quarantine is for two reasons, Ms. Thompson. The first is that those of you here represent a very very very small number of people that have been altered by the Storm and didn't start attacking others or wreaking havoc on the landscape. We want to make sure you're going to be okay, psychologically. You all do have superhuman powers. Second to that-" There was a sound in the background, a deeper voice, interrupted her with murmuring. The speaker clicked off, but the Latino boy squinted at the speaker and it flickered back to life. Wendy's response to the intruder carried over the microphone, "Withholding medical information from them is not a good idea, Colonel. Not if you want them to trust you or stay put here when most of them certainly could leave." The male voice said something again and Wendy's voice carried over again. "Well, this is quarantine, not prison. The CDC has jurisdiction, not the military. I don't work for you. Bring it up with the Congressmen you've been complaining about. These people haven't been charged with a crime and Thompson is right, most of them are heroes. They're confused and getting angry. Understanding the situation will help them calm down and not fight their way out." They could hear the door slam and then the click of a button as Wendy though she was turning the speaker back on. "Sorry about that, everyone. As I was saying, the other reason quarantine is not 'bullshit' is because you're all still some sort of radioactive. You don't seem to be getting sick, but we need to make sure you aren't going to make others sick. So, please bear with us. I promise I will keep you updated with whatever the CDC doctors discover as I get reports from them. For now, perhaps try to get to know each other? You all belong to a rather unique and small club. Even after you leave here, I think it'd be good to keep in contact with others that can empathize with what you've been through and how your lives have changed."
  7. Jael & Zac The sirens of the ambulance made normal conversation inside the vehicle nearly impossible. The EMT checked Sezja's pupils several times and asked her to follow a finger or say her name or the date. When Sezja kept slipping back into Russian to answer, he gave Jael and Zac a pleading look to translate. Despite her linguistic confusion, Sezja seemed mostly okay. At the hospital - the Marias Medical Center, they could read from the brightly lit signage outside the ER entrance - all three were swiftly moved through triage and bedded down in the ER rooms. They didn't even protest with Jael insisted on staying in the room with Sezja instead of moving to one of the other rooms to be seen separately. The level of accommodation set her on edge. She hadn't been in the American medical system since she was a child, but she didn't remember anything about it being so cavalier with normal procedures. The ER doctor appeared just as unusually swiftly - a steel-haired middle-aged woman with a badge that read "Dr. Foster" and two nurses in tow - and set to working on Zac first. His ear was stitched up and he was given a cold pack and several hospital-strength painkillers. Once he was settled back in, Sezja was seen to with similar efficiency: several cuts were stitched up, others bandaged, she was run through quick basic tests for a concussion, and one of the nurses was sent off to arrange x-rays on her shoulder and right arm and to get a full body MRI. "Just a precaution," Dr. Foster said in that way that's supposed to make you feel better but just ends up sending you down the rabbit hill of 'what if?' Finally, she turned to Jael and smiled. "The EMTs tell you me you seemed to come through pretty unscathed. You're a very lucky young woman. I'd still like to look you over." There were sounds in the ER room as someone else was walked back; Dr. Foster waved her nurse off in the direction of the newly occupied room. As the young man left Jael caught the unmistakable look of a deep bruise form along his jaw and the slight hitch of someone trying not to limp. Bastion Sebastian's mother did in fact fuss at him all the way to the hospital. When his parents had arrived at the wreckage she'd pushed through any of the feeble attempts by the deputies to maintain a 'do not cross' line and had done a quick check of him before hugging him tightly enough to make his father wince. He'd barely been able to convince her to let him sit in the back seat of the car alone; his father had looked to the plane, looked to his son, and given him a wordless nod of approval. The elder Stone knew he'd get the full story from his son at some point and right now was more about making the woman of the family feel secure than about either of of the men. At the hospital, the ER was nearly silent, only the triage nurse on duty. Sebastian went though triage and was settled into one of the three ER rooms in less than ten minutes. A haggard young nurse stepped into the room with Sebastian and his parents with a clip-board; a large red mark along his jaw showed where he'd have a deep bruise in the next day or so. "Uh, so, you were at the crash?" He glanced over Sebastian and asked, "Are you having any trouble breathing? And feeling of weakness in limbs or dizziness or naus-" Everyone The hospital began to howl. It was the only way to explain the sound screaming out over the speaker system - unmistakably human but seemingly drawn from the pits of Hell. Dr. Foster frowned and stood up. "Stay here," she said firmly before quickly making her way to the ER entrance into the hospital at large. The nurse in with Sebastian nearly jumped out of his skin, flinching away from the speaker and whimpering, "Oh God please, not again."
  8. Bastion Jael nodded to him, her eyes still on the unconscious woman next to her. Suzanne Summers was checking the woman over. She was a good EMT and the town expected her to eventually get over her fear of success and actually go to medical school; either that or get pregnant and marry the sheriff’s eldest son instead of living in sin with him. There was a clear generational gap on who thought which path was better for the stocky brunette. She waved to the ambulance, calling over two more EMTs and their stretcher. Jael followed after, her pretty face set in a pinched frown. Suzanne turned her gaze on Bastion. She crossed her arms and considered the sooty teen. “You should go to the hospital. You might have smoke inhalation.” She glanced over at the plane and ruined stretch of highway. “You really rescued all of them?” she asked with more than a touch of awe in her voice. Zac The storm still raged above them, sending out lightning bolts and thunder with ear-splitting regularity. The only thing it wasn't doing was raining, which wouldn't have put out the oil fires from the plane but would have mitigating the heat some at least. Zac was sitting near Sezja, Jael and Bastion; his head was starting to pound in time with the storm above. Each pulse brought with it weird feelings and then snatching of light and sound, but they quickly escalated to full-on hallucinations. A river, dark and swift, running into the sky, forking in three directions just at the horizon: In one direction the branch is small but deep. The water churns as rapids that scatters drops into the night sky where they become stars - bright but burning too fast and exploding across the sky. The largest of the water-suns collapse in one themselves to become massive black holes, swallowing up everything near them and dragging the last of that water into their cores. In the opposite direction the branch is wider than the first but more shallow. It unfurls into the sky like a river delta that has found the ocean. It pulled at him, an inviting beach on a summer day where you know each wave by heart and the current holds only a friendly invitation. This water flows through the universe, creating paths that connect all that is with all else that is. The middle direction, widest of three running steady and quiet but splitting and rejoining itself like an intricate braid. This water flows into the sky but also falls back to the horizon, creating new rivers on the Earth and seeking every living place in the infinite Multiverse. Zac blinks and shakes his head. There’s just too much there to chase down, the possibilities too truly endless. He knows in that moment to look there again would be powerful but lead to madness. “Not yet,” his own voice whispers to him with an echo heard in time. “-know where you are?” a voice broke past his fugue. A young man, an EMT by uniform and looking concerned was talking to him. “Sir? Sir!” Jael Jael’s attention was nowhere on Zac as Sezja was being loaded into the ambulance; she was making little noises of distress each time the stretcher jostled. At the look on Jael’s face the older EMT with them said, “That’s a good sign, miss.” He smiled at Jael, trying to set the girl at ease. “She’s starting to wake up. We can give her pain meds once we finish checking her over. There’s room in the back for you, if you want to come to the hospital with us.”
  9. The speaker came to life again. "That's a good point, Major Hawke," the woman said and you could hear the grin in her voice. "I'll talk to the base commander about it. Also..." there was a slight pause and the sound of paper moving, "uh, Mr. Wallace, you're not under arrest. You're in quarantine, completely different set of rules. I don't know how long you guys are going to be here. The CDC people are doing their thing, but it's up to them first when you get let out of quarantine. Name's Wendy, if that helps, and I'll be doing a lot of the day-time observations. A little weird, I know, but if you need something or want to ask if you can have something, just let me know. I may not be able to get it, but I'll do my best. Leave your lists by the air-lock when you're all done and I'll have instructions for whomever brings breakfast to pick them up."
  10. Several others had wandered over, listening curiously. The space around Karrie slowly widened as people found reason to edge away or just blatantly walk to the other side of the group. A young Latino man started to say something, but the speakers in the room squawked to life over him. "Sorry for barging into the conversation," the woman on the other end said with a kindly sigh, "but HAZMAT suits are annoying to put on for a quick statement. We're honestly starting to run out of food from what we had stocked. We've got more being air-lifted in, but it's mostly MRE's until tomorrow morning. If you want to make lists of foods you guys like, we can make that part of the next order. We can't do restaurant food out here, but we can make something close. Ms. Klatta, could you gather a list for the quartermaster?"
  11. Time: 8:48 PM, September 19th, 2019 Sebastion Even on a Saturday, the town of Shelby, Montana was small enough that there was little to do once the sun set. Most businesses closed, most families were home watching tv after dinner, young kids tucked in bed so they'd not be cranky through early church services the next morning. Sebastian and a half-dozen of his friends were exercising their teenage privilege to ignore social conventions and were taking up space on the stairs at the Exxon shopping strip on the edge of town, the closest Shelby got to an outdoor hangout spot. A storm has rolled in on the town in only minutes - not an unknown phenomenon, but the clouds looked angry and lightning chased through them like frenzied sprites. "Uh, guys?" Jeremiah Cross, one of the running backs for the JV team, was staring at the sky. He pointed to what looked like a silver shooting star against the deep purples and blacks of the clouds. Several people gasped as the realized what it was, Annalise stating in horror, "It's a plane. On fire." Lightning flashed brightly in their eyes and the plane wobbled down in it's descent. A little quicker on the uptake, Dennis started down the stairs, calling back over his shoulder, "It's too big! It's gonna crash near here." It was getting larger and very fast. Everyone scattered down the stairs and into the parking lot. Another lightning flash arced along the body of the plane, reaching out in ball of little tendrils - landing on the roof of the building, the roof of the pumps, and down to the ground of the parking lot. The air around them filled with static and power as the plane passed close over the strip mall, trailing molten debris as it went. A few seconds later the boom of impact only a few hundred feet away inside the circle of a highway off-ramp, knocking everyone to their feet. Everyone except Sebastian, who felt the push against him but simply pushed back with an unyielding strength he'd never known before. He felt powerful - amazing. Like he could do anything in this moment. Another small boom echoed from the direction of the plane and the smell of burnt metal and jet fuel spread across the area. Jael and Zac They were in fly-over country, and true to form, they were flying over it. Ritzy hotels and even private home rentals just didn't have the same security as being thousands of feet up in the air in a privately-owned jet. Other than having to pop her ears several times, the ride had been mostly uneventful: Sezja was employee Zac again, this time to take out the legs (and warehouses) of a cousin that thought he could set up a side operation outside of family approval or cut. The first was annoying, the second was treasonous. This was the polite warning to shape up do right by his kin. The second warning would be far more direct and leave nothing for Ulian to do ever again. Sezja believed in second chances, but not thirds. Jael had spent the flight fleecing the wallets of Igor and Anton, which seemed to fair to her since they were being paid to look like Sezja's guards while Jael was the one actually doing that. She glanced towards the cockpit when the pilot's voice crackled over the speakers. "Мисс Буторин, мы идем в шторм. Мы не можем идти вокруг, и будет турбулентность. Каждый должен пристегнуть ремни безопасности." Everyone sighed and Sezja rolled her eyes. Jael gave her a pointed look and the incredibly fashionably dressed woman pulled her seatbelt into place while giving Jael a look that translated perfectly into "Alright, you overprotective wolf." Their employer following the captain's instructions meant everyone else did, too. Thunder rolled around them and lightning flashed in the darkness outside. Then flashed again. And again. Brighter and closer each time. "Оставайтесь на линии!" the captains voice called over the speakers. Then the plane swerved, dipping down and hard to the right. Lightning flashed again, still bright but not brighter. The drinks slid and crashed onto the plush carpet of the luxury aircraft and Anton grunted as his seat-belt dug harshly into his side. Igor looked like a dog run through a centrifuge, trying to figure out what was going while also needing all his attention not to add lunch and stomach acids to the alcohol staining the white carpet. Jael and Zac felt the strike that set the right wing on fire just a few milliseconds before it actually hit. Jael's vision had blurred as her eyes tracked out the window and she saw a dozen different bolts of lightening: some were faint and missed the wing entirely, others struck the engine itself or arc into the cabin and her mind screamed NO!. In the end, the strike that Zac saw hit the tip of the wing and arced like a fairy dancer over the plane before dissipating. Mere seconds later, another bolt hit along the other wing and Jael's vision swam again, but the plane held. The nose dipped down more sharply in a left turn this time as the pilot looked to bring them under this impossible storm and find somewhere to make an emergency landing. Catching hell from Pakhan Butorin was better than dying in the sky - or surviving when Butorin's daughter didn't. Lightning found it's way to the plane again, but this time it was the tail. Jael's vision didn't distort and the plane gave a great shudder as the lightning, finding it's mark, hit over and over again. The back of the plane was slagging and the light from above and behind them took on an orange tinge instead of the blue-white of lightning. The pilot tried to course-correct again, but the plane was responding sluggishly at best. The nose pulled up slightly, but not enough. They weren't in free fall, but they were falling. The ground rushed up as the pilot kept pulling and the nose moved a bit more, but not enough. When metal met earth, everything went dark for those inside.
  12. After is the game. We'll do timeskips of various lengths to get the changes to world up and revving, but I wanted PCs to be able to have an affect on that. It's currently about two days after the Storm and the initial threads of characters so far was the Storm. Later PCs can have become supernatural after that, but the game started with the Storm so all the PCs so far have "popped" in the Storm.
  13. Dave, it's not the job of anyone else to run after you or your characters. You could have talked about your story arc with people at any time, most especially after the behavior of the twins started causing issues. I did come to you, multiple times, about ways to bridge the gap between Clara and the twins. You accused me of trying to "steal your character's only powers" and then continuously belittled Clara and eventually made an OOC demand that Clara apologize for agreeing with Devin. I suppose that is a kind of communication, but not the kind I'm going to constantly throw myself in front of. I made an effort and got socially smacked in the face for it. That's not okay. And yeah, I've talked to Nina about issues because talking to you, trying to work things out OOCly not only didn't go anywhere, but you were rude and aggressive on top of that. You wouldn't put up with how you treated me coming at you from someone else, so why should the rest of us put up with it from you? Why do you get to dish out and then throw a hissy fit when it comes back to you for behavior you have previous listed out as being totally unacceptable to you? As for the "I didn't ask you to change anything" that was thrown around last night, that's not the point. Constantly having to deal with your passive-aggressive or just aggressive comments in Discord is exhausting. It makes me want to avoid the game in general because who wants to constantly deal with that? You have a plot arc for the twins. Great. That plot arc literally requires the people that have been abused by them to continue willing letting them abuse them more because Marissa has issues. Without having hashed that out beforehand with more than just Bannon, why should the rest of us have to be able to read your mind and think that's fun? Either that or put up with constant OOC put-downs of our characters because they stand up for themselves in the face of abuse and aren't trained suicide hot-line operators - the parallel you made last night? You made abusive characters. You put in a history of abuse of the other PCs in the game. Then you had issue with Clara because she told Devin to go if he wanted to go (his own words) and to take his sister that constantly belittles people with him. You turned this into an OOC fit because....honestly, from where I'm sitting because these are two characters are tied up in your head in a way that has you hopscotching IC and OOC when people aren't willing to run after them with hugs and hot chocolate and a willingness to be emotional punching bags. When that didn't happen you pinned the blame on that to the PC in the game most outspoken against the abusive words the twins use to push everyone away. The other PCs have no reason to do so. One could have been written in before hand, but you didn't talk to cast at large. The twins could've had some thicker skins on taking some flack for their words, the same thing you keep hammering on for Clara. You rag on her for "listening to the words and not seeing her actions." And yet, Clara's actions have been ignored and you've demanded actions from her for her words (which still floors me since her words at that point were agreeing with Devin). Clara being there for the twins is immaterial because she said they were abusive. Or told them to go ahead and got if that's what they wanted when they had just said that's what we should all do. Or told them not to talk to her if they were just going to constantly put her down every time they did. You've created a rather steep double-standard from your expectations for how people see/interact with your PCs and your view and comments on my PC. Clara's actions don't matter because she calls the twins out on their words. To Bannon's point about story vs. Real Life: I don't want to tell that story with my character. I do deal with it enough in my really real world with children in my care that it is emotionally exhausting to have to chase after a fictional version of it - most especially when, after the whole thing has caused issues, the player is rude and aggressive about it. That doesn't feel like telling a story then. It feels like being told that everyone else's character is to be an unpaid therapist, emotional punching bag, and general doormat because that's what one player wanted. Dave says we all could have come talked to him. By that same logic, he could have come talked to me when Clara and the twins really started to have issues. I did go to him, and he put me down for it. There is a lot of "standing on the hill, expecting everyone else to climb to him" coming from Dave. He could have reached out when his two characters became a hugely disruptive element to the game. Instead, he threw an OOC fit about my character because she told his characters to do what they'd just said. Because she's not willing to ignore their abusive behavior...just because? To Nina about being a GM: From my experience as a storyteller, boundaries are key. Set up your expectations of what kind of characters you are looking for in your game (tone, genre, Big Damn Heroes or Gritty Heroes), that sort of thing, beforehand. Set out your expectations of the behavior of your players and how you plan to handle conflict. You are the authority here and likely in the course of the game you'll have to exercise that authority, which includes what actually happens when players violate the boundaries you have set up. You're saying that you won't ask players to leave the game because you regretted it once. What that translates to without other means of control, is that when there is conflict whomever can exhaust, intimidate, or socially out-punch the others wins. So the largest personality(ies) among your player-base have the option of dominating all the others because you will not exert authority over them. When those more intense personalities have conflict, it boils over into everything without clear direction and boundary enforcement by you. Without consequence, there will be times that any given person simply won't behave and will make the game unpleasant for others. And the more conflict-averse, quieter players will leave the area of play if it happens enough because who wants to be constantly stressed out over fictional crap? I'm not saying booting people from the game is the only way to stop this. That is one tool and the most extreme one because it just removes the player without any other recourse. Other boundary-enforcement can be making the player and their characters sit out the game for time to get them to cool off (this could be a certain amount of real-world time, a number of threads, some combination of the two: can't be in threads that begin from now to then). Another idea is asking them to write a particular breakthrough with their character to speed up the resolution of problematic behavior: Marissa learning how to talk without being a catty bitch, dictating that I must give Clara Empathy and ramp down her stress level by some measure (getting her laid or killing Etienne in a "freak car accident", let's say), or asking Bannon and Dawn to run a storyline about adjusting Jase's brain at least a little so he starts feeling to curb his hay-hook responses to things. Players will likely grumble, some may even say "nope, make me do that and I'm scrapping the character, maybe the whole game". :shrug: It's still your game and you can still say "the character is too disruptive as-is/doesn't fit the game I want to run/is irritating the hell out of me to the point that I'm avoiding running the game to avoid dealing with that character, I'm requiring you to adjust". Another way of dealing with things is to tell players in conflict via characters "figure it out or you're both out, I'm sick of this shit". Put them in the "get along" shirt and let them sink or swim together. Either way, the game smooths out. Honestly, after this, I'm debating have players in my games put a blurb at the bottom of their character sheet about their intended character arcs. Seems like it would go a long way to collaboration over conflict in games. I actually really like that idea, as it also signposts for those that don't want to be involved in story arcs that deal with certain material to be able to opt of deep connections to those characters until that arc is resolved. I know some players don't want to deal with extreme violence, themes of abuse, or sexual story arcs, just to name a few that crop up more regularly than others. As for the specific issues between the twins and Clara, at this point I'm at a loss. I've suggested several ideas to Dave that got rather aggressively rejected without any attempt at figuring out an acceptable adjustment to my suggestion or any other actual resolution. The two statements from him that I can recall were "ignore what they say" (which is "just take the abuse and run after them anyways" to my point of view) and "Clara's ghosted so it doesn't matter". Neither of these are a compromise and neither actually solve the issue. I'm not willing to go back to Dave in any private correspondence at this point because I'm tired of being aggressed at over abusive characters. I'll talk here and see if something can be hashed out, or I'm willing to go through a mediator on Discord.
  14. She'd enjoyed her shooting practice, when she'd picked up her other habit. She'd been good at it and it was just satisfying. This time, though, she could feel the wind and her minute muscle adjustments to compensate. Her mind seemed to just feel where the arc of the bullet would go. The report of rifle caught the attention of the flying rage monster. He looked over at the stairwell, his eyes widening as he caught site of Eva just before the bullet struck him perfectly center of the forehead. He fell to the ground from forty feet above with a sickening crunch and in a spray of blood and brain matter. There was no shocked silence or break of activity in the ruined room below. Several people covered the body, guns drawn on both center mass and what was left of the man's head. Everyone else was finding a downed coworker to check, bandage, or in some cases hope to resuscitate. 'Rick' called out, "Eva! Are you okay?" Eva shuddered in release and satisfaction, her deft tongue running along her bared teeth. It wasn't quite as good as sex, but there was something ineffably tantalizing about doing something wrong for the right reasons. There was now one less man - an impossibly destructive one at that - out there to take out his frustrations and inadequacies on the women about him. Eva didn't hate men, she loved them - or at least greatly enjoyed their company - but she did rail against how so many just naturally assumed dominance or control over the women in their lives. Eva stood up and gave her dress - shorter, snugger, and more form fitting than it had been - a practiced tug, dust and plaster dancing free to leave it almost pristine again. She was about to step to the railing to answer her client, though it seemed client wasn't the right word, at that, when she caught her reflection in the cracked pane of a decorative mirror. She stopped and stared in awe at the sight. At the sight of herself. What looked back at her was an idealized dream of the woman she was. Young, near as when as she'd gotten married, but not innocent, no, not that, experience adding intrigue and glamour to her flawless, perfect countenance. Her eyes were a lambent, almost neon magenta - she had contacts that were a pale imitation of those eyes. She ran a tongue along her dark red lips and didn't taste lipstick. A heartbreaking smile flashed teeth whiter than pearls, bicuspids slightly longer and sharper lending the smile something... predatory. Her hair feel in striking waves of shimmering ebony that certainly didn't require dye. A pair of fingers traced the line of her jaw, feeling the finest skin Eva had ever felt. She stared at herself in awe, having never imagined such raw beauty and appeal in a person, let alone that person being herself.. "Eva?!" Rick called out once again, more sharply this time, and Eva pulled herself away from her narcissistic-like appraisal with a start. Rifle by her side, Eva strutted to the railing and looked down. Her eyes went to her target first, brows lowering, lips curving up in a poignant smirk. She didn't feel horror or regret at the sight, though she knew she probably should have. The de-brained ass had threatened her, killed another woman with negligent ease. Well, he wouldn't threaten anyone ever again, least of all her, now that she had an entirely new life, new existence, to experience. "I'm fine, Rick," she purred back, adding a teasing bite to the name he had claimed, as wind swirling through the opened roof lifted her hair into a sable corona for a moment. "Better than fine." One hand on the railing, her gaze slid over the others about her client, and they covered the downed rage-beast and others went to support each other. She arched a brow at 'Rick'. Wealthy dilettantes and the upper crust did not react like this in a crisis. She knew it, he knew it. "I'll be right down. We have to talk. Be a dear and find my shoes, would you?" Eva flashed him a smile that could raise the newly dead, then headed back for the stairs, humming spritely to herself. He was standing at the door leading out of the main room towards the stairs when she came out of the stairwell, staring down at her shoes in his hand with a look that said 'why did I do that'. He swallowed hard when she actually came into view, his eyes roaming over her body. "Uh," was all he got out while she was walking to him. She pulled her shoes out of his hands, bending to put them on. When she straightened again, there were nearly a dozen eyes on her from the room, and most of the bodies attached to those eyes were already moving towards the doorway. 'Rick' seemed to sense the impending crunch and called out, "Pete, over here now!" One of the men with a gun on the corpse called out, "I'm busy." "You're gay and that makes you the most important person in the room right now. Get your ass over here!" His voice cracked out with the presence of authority and the man in the room clicked his safety on and turned, blinking as he caught site of Eva. "Jesus Christ, she's....what the hell happened to her?" Pete pushed his way through the group, covering the eyes of several people so he could push them out of line-of-sight of Eva. Rick managed to hold himself in place, acting as a barrier until the gay man could get to him. The two switched places and Rick pulled out a cellphone, hands shaking, started a phone call. Pete gave Eva another once-over. “Seems like you got an upgrade instead of going nuts. Good on you. You’re gonna need bodyguards after this. Hey, ‘Rick’, what can I tell her?” “That we’re headed back to the States. Everyone else, load up! Pete, you and her are with me in the sedan. You sit in the back with her.” Pete grinned at Eva. “Darlin’, if I ever wondered if I was bi, you’ve answered that. Now, let’s get you in the car. ‘Rick’ over there will get word on what we can and can’t say on the way, and maybe even tell us where we’re going.”
  15. Casting Call! The first extra XP project of the game is going to be helping me create a fun roster of NPCs. Each NPC I accept earns 1 XP and while you can submit as many as you want, you can only earn up to 5 XP total per character from this project. So, if you're running one PC, that's 5 XP for five accepted submissions - if you're running three characters, you can earn up to 15 XP, but you can only put a max of 5 XP on any given character. This also means that if you lose a character or decide you want to run more than one, you can come back to this project and submit more NPCs to earn the bonus XP. Also, while I reserve the right to reject NPCs, if there adjustments that could be made for the NPC to be accepted, I'll note it to you when I let you know I won't accept them as-is. Here's the rules for who you can make: Submit NPCs to me in a site PM to The Story Guide account with the title format of DR: NPC Submission. Include at the top a statement of which of your PCs you want to have accrue the bonus XP. Once your NPC has been accepted, add a line to your XP log that has Casting Call! X/5 to show how much XP you've earned from this project. Political figures are fine but stand a higher chance of rejection. The higher up the political food-chain, the higher the bar on NPC acceptance. This is true for just about any organizations of power - businesses, governments, criminal groups, religions, whatever. NPCs tied to your characters are a great place to start, but realize that by submitting them to me you're throwing them in the pot for use in plots and for me to have final say on their portrayal. If it's your PCs parents and you want them to be just so, don't submit them for this Project. If you want them put down on the thread I'll be making for notable NPCs (DR: The World At Large, I'll link here when the thread exists), but want to retain primary control, send them to me on a site PM with the title of DR: PC's Name NPC - Name of NPC. These NPCs are meant to be significant. Doesn't mean you can't make The Girl Next Door, but understand that she's likely to become The Girl Next Door Who Founds A Cult Against Supers. Or The Girl Next Door Who's Superpower Is Attracting Villains. Etc. These NPCs need to be interesting. Expect NPC deaths/removals as the game progresses. I may eventually have a bonus round of NPC creation if I find myself lacking inspiration and low on NPC fodder. You are allowed to make any kind of currently available character type, and toss whatever extra dots/xp to spend on them. Like with #2 above, the more powerful, the more scrutiny the submission will have and the higher likelihood of refusal or rejection with notes on how to change it for acceptance. Have fun!
  16. Time: September 21st through 27th, 2019 No one likes being locked up. No one likes being run through chemical showers and blood tests and poking and prodding of just about every kind a person could think. Psychological evaluations, "interviews" about what happened during the Storm, background checks and invasions into every aspect of your life. No one likes it, but at least some people understand the necessity. And at least some of the soldiers and officials and pathologists running the quarantine at whatever base you'd all be flown into in the desert were as nice as they could be about it. Some of them. The base itself had been split between the sealed off zones for the "guests" and the free-range areas for everyone else. At the start, there'd just been the large workroom that had been stuffed with cots and blankets for the dozen or so people being kept there, but on the morning of the second day actual semi-private rooms were announced as having been sealed off for people to use. They were paired off and told that rooms would be opened to them by the evening. Workers in HAZMAT suits brought in tables and board games and cards for the internees to keep themselves occupied while doctors tried to figure out if their weirdness was contagious or their if their minds were just falling apart more slowly than all of the people that had turned into monsters immediately. "This is the worst," Lucia complained. "Why can't we have phones or something? At least give us movies to watch!" The last was halfheartedly bemoaned at one of the soldiers guarding the communal bubble in the main room. He just shrugged, clearly not about to leave his post to go get a movie for the young woman. Her all-black eyes rolled, which couldn't be seen, and she slumped in her chair. She looked around the room, picking someone out to go say hi to and maybe make a friend - anything was better than another round of Solitaire.
  17. The zombies in the room stilled, staring at their master but unable to make thoughts of their own anymore. The room went quiet, the storm in the background starting to peter off. From underneath the loveseat that had been knocked over and into a corner came a quiet, "Hole-ee shit." The frat boy, a young ARK pledge, fumbled at his phone, switching it from being a video recorder back to it's original, if much less used function of being a phone. He dialed three numbers and waited. "Uh, it's busy. I mean, I'm on hold." They could see the panic in his eyes. What's going on when 911 puts you on hold? Time ticked away in the ruined house. Several unconscious bodies revealed themselves to be quite living people as they came to. Most took one look at the eerily silent and still zombies just staring at the tableau in the living and ran. Those that couldn't run scooted as far away as they could, trying to make their own calls. It took over forty-five minutes before the pledge finally spoke up again, "Uh, yeah! We need help! At the ARK house on campus. There's like zombies and these two guys. Well, I think one's a girl. But they like superheroes or something. Like kung-fu movie fighting and moving the bad guy - and knives - around with their minds- What? No, I'm not kidding! I've got proof! Video of the whole thing! And look, the zombies are still here. Just-just send someone out. SWAT. Or something. There's a lot of hurt people, too." The person on the phone said a few words and the kid's eyes widened. "Hours?! Dude, Zombies. Are. Still. Here!" "And you have help. No one else does," the gruff male voice said. "Get away from the 'zombies' and stay put somewhere safe. We'll be there when we can." The phone flickered against his cheek as the call was cut. He looked over at the two of them, then at the dozens of zombies, then down to Zombie dude. "Uh, so. Um. It's gonna be a bit." The police never showed, but twenty minutes after the call soldiers streamed into the house - guns raised and clearly ready for a fight. They called out 'clear's and 'secured' as they made their way through every room in the building, rustling up nearly a dozen other students from the upper levels. Everyone not in the living room and still clearly living was ushered into the back yard with a four soldiers to keep an eye on them and administer first aid. In the living room, a dozen soldiers took up a perimeter around the throng of zombies. Three more soldiers pushed their way into the circle where Zombie Dude, pledge, Donald, and a very tired Renata were waiting; one, one of the two men, put a gun on Zombie Dude, the barrel squarely aimed at his head. The other man motioned for the three others to group up along the couch that had been shoved against a wall. The third, a woman in her late thirties with greying hair peppering her tight french braid, looked the three over. "Who made the call?" Pledge hesitantly lifted his hand. The woman nodded and motioned to the other two, "These your superheroes, then?" He nodded again. She motioned to the unconscious Zombie Dude. "What's his story?" "Uh, he was the one making zomb-" A shot rang out and Renata felt the pulse slip away from her awareness. Around them, the zombies dropped to the ground, eyes staring lifelessly. At the starts and stares from the three college kids, the woman sighed. "Too many monsters all over town to play with kid gloves." She stepped up to Renata and pulled off her mask. "You two are different. The only ones I've come across that aren't crazy or just rampaging. Command'll want to know that's possible." She glanced at the pledge, "You said you had footage?" He nodded and pulled out his phone. She didn't reach for it, but the soldier that had shot Zombie Dude put a hand on his arm. "Bring it with you," the woman said. "We'll need your statement and to make sure you're clean." She looked around the room, frowning at the pile of starting zombie-bodies. "Everyone, clear out! Back to base and above all else keep these kids safe!" She muttered as they made their way back to the trucks that had brought them in, "I think we're going to need them."
  18. Seattle, the little slice Ryan could see, was being lambasted by it's own storm. It was raining heavily (surprise!), and waves were crashing against the sand. The boats were quickly beached and the sailors and scientists pulled themselves gratefully out of the ocean. Out on the beach, storm-watchers stared at the impossible for a moment before rushing over to help. Her senses extended into the ocean, Emily could feel dozens of creatures converging on the kelptopus while hundreds of other marine life did it's best to scatter away. A moment of focus and she was able to feel the differences in movement and shape. The dozens, they were all octopi. As they came near enough to the kelptopus to touch the glowing, far more than eight, tentacles, their own bodies began to emit the purple-orange light. They grew. Thankfully not to the size of the boat-smashing kelptopus, but rivaling giant squids or even surpassing them. Light played like a disco strobe scene below the waves while the thunder grumbled loudly above. Lighting rained down on the water in a blazing display over the pod of monster octopi as they sank deeper into the water. In the aftermath, Ryan and Emily were left with the listing Hi'ialaki as the ocean and the night quieted. Overhead, the clouds began to part.
  19. The water blast shoved at the beast. It made another cry, tentacles flailing as it batted at the water stream. The shove also took it to the edge of the Hi'ialaki; as tentacles curled over the side, the beast gave a great heave and rolled into the water. Around it, the water began turning a sickly purplish orange color. Those in the water found renewed strength to swim away as fast they could, taking some nearer the group in lifeboat. Three were headed off alone in different directions. Ryan stared at the beast for just a moment, caught in the terrifying-but-beautiful of what he was seeing. The water wasn't being poisoned - the creature was glowing as it submerged completely. Another shudder went through the ocean, vibrating through the water as the beast called out a third time. To Emily it was clearly all call, though for whom or what need, she wasn't sure. Her time on the Hi'ialaki wormed some idea into her mind: it sounded like whale-call but octopi used chromatography to communicate with each other, not sound. The ocean felt quiet to her in the moment after the sound, and then erupted into a churning of activity below where it would show on the surface. Something is answering.
  20. "Not for me, miss." Steve waved a hand briefly. "I'm incommunicado until Her Majesty's Government, with all due consideration and care, has finished debriefing me and telling me what I'm allowed to say." He didn't seem bitter or bothered by this in the slightest. "Besides, most of me mates are Royal Marines, and my mum and dad will be notified that I'm fine." Kyria took the phone from Karrie and started fiddling with the buttons and dials on the sat-phone. A few seconds of watching her and it was clear that she was just messing with the new toy, not actually making a call. Outside, the SAS soldier on phone duty rolled his eyes and hit the buzzer button again. "Ma'am-" Kyria started, having somewhat zoned in to messing with the phone. In her hands, the phone snapped like a cheap children's toys. Kyria slowly looked up at the soldier, eyes wide. "Oops." Steve's eyes opened wide at the crunching sound, then swiveled towards the red-headed mischief as his eyebrows quirked in surprise and amusement. Karrie didn't jerk at the crunch though she frowned at the broken phone. "Well, that's an expensive piece of kit they can't charge me for, at least." he said slowly, regarding the broken phone and then Kyria. "Best put the pieces in the airlock for the nice man in black, luv. And be careful what you squeeze. Or hug." Kyria gingerly placed the twisted plastic and metal used-to-be comms device in the tray. A second soldier was waiting by the time the device had gone through decontamination, scooping up the tray and disappearing back out of the gymnasium doors. "Uh, yeah. Good advice." Her manic-pixie mood finally settled down into a moody sobriety. "Perhaps we should all handle the world with kid gloves until we know what our limits are," Karrie sighed, hoping they allowed them another phone call. "So," she continued, clearly changing the subject, "how long have you been a Marine, Steve?" "Sixteen years all in, thirteen years active, give or take. Did three years girl's time out of school, then got my green beret just before I turned twenty. So yeah, " Steve answered, then took in the blank expressions. "Uh, girl's time is what we call time served as an apprentice Marine, before you're old enough to go into active duty or try out for the Commandos." "'Girl's time'?" Karrie said, eyebrow rising. "Nice. What is the age for active duty? I ask because I joined at eighteen, no 'boy's time'." The answer was a rueful chuckle. "Apprenticed at sixteen, active duty is eighteen, Commando training is nineteen. I guess I only really did two years as an apprentice, but because I wanted to get capped my CO kept me on base duty til my nineteenth rolled around." "Interesting," Karrie mused. "So apparently they do it very differently." "Depends where you grow up. We lived in Portsmouth, so apprenticing was an option. You still live with your folks, see." Sitting off to the side, Kyria chuckled. When the two of them looked at her, she shrugged. "I think I just redefined 'fight like a girl'. I mean..." she waved to the phone that had been carted off. "I'd try punching the wall or something, but....plastic." Steve grinned. "Just an old bit of slang. Not many women in the Commandos, plenty in the Navy though." He winked at Kyria. "I'd write you a recommendation for the CTC if you want." "CTC?" she asked, pushing herself off the floor to float, her mercurial mood shifting again. "What's that?" "Commando Training Center - lovely holiday camp in Devon." he replied, smiling. "Fresh air, exercise, rain... Everything a trainee needs. I spent three years there as an instructor... After spending ten years trying to forget I was ever there." he added with a wry quirk of his lips. "Still, compared to Hereford it's the bleedin' Bahamas." "Hmm....I do suppose I'm going to need some sort of job." She grinned at Steve, his warning that she was up to something. "I dunno, though. I'd like something challenging." He laughed at that. "The most challenging thing for you, you flying squirrel, would be keeping your feet on the ground and doing what you're told. You'd probably breeze everything else." He glanced over at Karrie. "You said you joined up. U.S Marines, or some other service before you went State?" Kyria shot Steve a scrunched face that told him 'doing what you're told' is exactly the problem she'd have. That and probably driving her CO up the wall with pranks. "Four years in the Yank Marines before I joined State," Karrie said with a nod. "My father wanted me to serve - he's a politician and service helps that career. He was a little dismayed when I choose the Marines, though." "Decent bunch. Played some games with some Force Recon lads a time or two, either over here or over there." Steve nodded approvingly. "A Marine is a Marine, Bootneck or Jarhead." He scrutinised her, blue eyes keen over the short beard in the tanned face. "So what do you do at State?" "Logistics, mostly purchasing supplies for embassies." Karrie smiled. The old lie came with practiced ease. "Basically, it's a mix between a glorified personal shopper and a glorified courier." "At least it's glorious?" Kyria interjected impishly. "Very glorious," Karrie agreed with a grin. Steve chuckled, closing his eyes again. "Sounds like the start of a joke: A personal shopper, a Marine and an amnesiac walk into a bar..." "You forgot the giant." She tilted her head. "Though I don't know if it's a very good joke if one of them dies." "Depends on the audience," Steve countered. Karrie laughed. "That is fair. So, can I ask you guys something?" At their nods, she said, "I've been trying to figure out where that giant came from? My best theory is that The Storm made it, like it made us. Thoughts?" "I'd guess if it made it like it made us... exactly like, then it was someone who got abilities and went berserk." Steve said, frowning a little though with his eyes still closed. "Or else it was a literal monster made of frost. I know which I find easier to swallow." Kyria nodded to Steve. "Yeah, I'd put wager down on 'person', too. No body left, so maybe not. But person seems most likely. And we don't know that they went berserk. They might have just been not a good person. A bully made into more of a bully. Or someone inherently violent. I mean, I can't really say for myself, but have either of you felt like you're going to go berserk? Or different at all, psychologically, since all this happened?" "A little, actually," Karrie admitted. "First, I am not normally this composed about giants running around for real. Second, there was a moment when I knew that I could shut down both your powers, and I was tempted to do so because I could. That is not a usual response for me -- to deny others because I can." "Hmm." Steve pondered a little. "I don't feel much different at first review. I can feel my power, and how it's connecting me to air currents, temperature... Other than that I feel like myself, only more so." "So, Karrie's curiously calm and Steve's stubbornly still the same." Kyria grinned again, clearly a cat in cream at the moment. Then she shrugged a shoulder and continued the actual conversation. "So, from a theoretical sample pool of four, one person is calmer, one has no frame of reference, and the third feels unaffected. It leaves 'go berserk' as a possibility, but leaning away from 'clearly the case'." "Give a bloke with resentments and issues - or a woman for that matter - the sort of power we were tossing around out there and they might decide 'Look out world, payback's a bitch!'" Steve mused somberly. "People are people, even if they're tossing around icebergs or thunderbolts." "I'm sure that will be debated in the coming days," Karrie opined. "I do like your thoughts, Steve. It fits what we've experienced so far."
  21. Social threads for those that want them after their plot threads are an option, here's some info for them: Everyone will be put in quarantine by the respective governments unless they hide their new nature (if that's possible) or stay out of a government's reach (looking at Ryan and Emily there). For those in US quarantine, you will all be moved to a single facility on the third day. There's maybe a dozen other people there also under quarantine. It's a large building complex somewhere in the desert, and you'll be taken there by helicopter, not driving. The CDC personnel and soldiers will be nice, even concerned and sympathetic, but firm in boundaries. Not that most of you can't run roughshod over those boundaries if you choose to. People have been allowed to contact family to let them known that they're okay and in quarantine. You all have access to television as your main entertainment - you're not under a news blackout, just a communication one beyond the family phone call. The whole world is in recovery at the moment. Monsters and monstrous weather wreaked havoc on a global scale and governments are scrambling to clean up - and in some cases, still fighting said monsters. Every military in the world is mobilized as the ratio of monsters (whether literal or insane powered people) vs. superheroes is incredibly low. As in nearly 99% monsters of one stripe or another. Those parts of any given military not engaged with subduing said monsters are out in force with humanitarian aide and emergency relief. Coming out of the UK is a massive amount of information and chatter about Colour Sergeant Steve Nord, with footage of him - shirtless - fighting a giant ice monster. He's being held up right now as the prime example of a real superhero. No one's actually gotten to talk directly to him in the media, but at least the general information of his life is incredibly easy to come by right now. Also the fact that he's single. A red-headed woman is also in the footage flying along with him, but there's likewise really no information about her that doesn't come from the footage itself. Footage of Deezy's windmills and Lake Eerie's antics are all over the place. No public connection to her and the whole situation has been made, though rumors are floating about less reputable sites. Most give a general description that fits Deezy, none name her directly. Deezy may or may not be in quarantine pending a final conversation in Collateral Damage. There's actually cellphone footage of Donald and Renata. Yes, some moron stood near zombies to be able to film the exchange and he's talking all about it. An ARK brother, of course. Donald has been identified, Renata has not (unless you have her unmask in the scene - Zombie Dude didn't rip off the hood.) There's no footage of Emily or Ryan, but plenty of soldiers and sailors making reports and singing their praises. Several scientists have already made public demands to have Ryan and Emily released from quarantine as soon as the CDC declares them safe and not have them disappear into some blacksite indefinitely. Absolutely nothing has been reported of Eva, save a missing persons by one of her closer friends. But there's a lot of missing, presumed dead all over the country. All over the world. If you want your PC to have avoided quarantine, talk to me privately and we'll figure out what's going on with them. Unless you want otherwise, characters will be released from quarantine after one month. This is mostly due to the CDC "leak" that most of those in quarantine have not been shown to be a medical threat, and the media/public outcry against "imprisoning American heroes". PCs are assigned "liaisons" which act as actual liaisons, but also bodyguards, minders, and watchful governmental reporters. Congress has mandated them for those "affected by the Storm and exhibiting unusual abilities - for both the personage affected and public safety". You can make up your PCs minder if you want, or I will when I get a chance. Until then, they're a suit and mirror shades shadowing your PC. This set of social threads is meant to cover post-eruption and up to the next three months. Some of these social threads will be run/directed by me to lead into the next plot thread, set for three months after the Storm. Oh, that was on September 19, 2019. I'll be getting a calendar thread going soon that will also have embedded links to threads. It'll likely be a bit since I'm also rl moving right now and I haven't decided exactly what format my calendar is going to have. Talk to me if you want to do something that has any sort of large effect on the setting, or if you're stumped for something to write and want to, I'll do my best to make things interesting.
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