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  1. Like I was saying, all the novas in our crew had to dorm’ while we were still a couple of miles out from our objective, so even they were starting to breath hard by the time we were approaching the switchback off of Wildcat Creek that would lead us up and then back down to our final lookout spot over Rimrock Lake. The baselines in the Section, myself included, were already well past the point of ‘breathing hard’ and were eager for a chance to stop and catch our breath. I don’t know if that eagerness to reach the end of our long hike made us careless or if what happened was just bad luck. The thought that we allowed ourselves to become careless makes me want to shake my head in anger and denial – but the idea that what happened to Dyer was ‘only’ bad luck just seems too cruel. Mostly, I just try not to think about it anymore. Whatever the cause, though, we had just crossed one of the National Forest Development roads – in reality little more than dirt trails wide enough for a four-wheel-drive vehicle to travel on – less than ten minutes previously and were less than a hundred yards from where the switchback was supposed to be when everything went to hell. Something that you almost never hear about – and now that I’m an abbie too I can say from experience that it’s something that most novas simply don’t talk about – is that dorm’ing doesn’t make a nova’s Q-Sig invisible – it just makes it harder to detect at the price of shutting down that nova’s powers entirely. It’s kind of a raw deal when you think about it. And whether it was carelessness or simple bad luck that contributed to what was about to happen, the actual cause was this one simple fact: no matter how skilled an aberrant is at shutting down their powers, there’s always a chance that they’ll be detected when passing within range of an ADE device – even if that chance is practically zero. Dyer’s number came up when he got too close to a well-concealed KT mine* - even though he was fully dorm’ed at the time. Through random chance, the chaotic laws of quantum physics, or whatever, that damned mine’s sensor picked up a whiff of something in Dyer that it didn’t like – and that was all it took. One minute Dyer was moving silently through the dark like the trained Scout that he was and the next he was a cloud of rapidly expanding shrapnel and body parts. If he’d have been fully powered up when that mine went off, I doubt it would have done more than sting a little (well… maybe even then it would’ve done more than sting). And of course the mine had to be sweetened* too... I should probably have mentioned this before now, but 2nd Section hadn’t been traveling all in one tight group throughout the entire hike – there are a lot of reasons for that, but what happened to Dyer is one of the biggest reasons why we don’t stay grouped together in the Scouts. My own 2nd Patrol had been ordered to take the high ground, so there were nearly fifty yards between us and S-CAP’s 1st Patrol when that mine went off. This also meant we weren’t likely to be caught in the Purple Haze* unless the wind decided to start acting really weird. Captain Cross’ Patrol could’ve easily taken the high ground on this op – it was just chance that he’d assigned me to that position – but that one quirk of chance, more than anything else that happened that night, is why I’m still here to tell this story. The instant the mine exploded, I and the rest of my Patrol hit the deck while I spent an instant or two trying to fight off panic and assess the situation. At that point, none of us in 2nd Patrol knew that it was Doyle who’d been hit – for all we knew it could’ve been the S-CAP. But I at least knew from the cloud of purple smoke billowing across the creek bed that it was a KT that had just gone off and that meant that our position was, at least temporarily, compromised. That being the case, I immediately called out to everyone in my Patrol to get their gasmasks on to protect against the MOX and I ordered Moss and Doyle (the two novas serving under me in 2nd Patrol) to power-up, ASAP. Doyle was my crew’s Sentinal* and both he and Moss were what passed, in the Scouts, for “Bricks”* (though any Cobra would laugh at that), so I put them on point. Waters and Reese I told to get to higher ground and act as a cover force*, in the event that any of the Bad Guys really did show up and start shooting at us. I ordered S3G Ingram to accompany myself and S3G’s Moss and Doyle in rendering aid to 1st Patrol and told him to get on the Path* and relay our situation to C&C* back at Hole 21. Then I shouldered my Fletcher*, thumbed its safety, and headed into the Purple Haze. ,,
  2. As you might already be thinking, the majority of our night hike was pretty mundane and not at all exciting, dramatic, thrilling, adventuresome or any other such adjective. What it mostly was, was fifteen or so miles of difficult terrain that we had to cover, mostly in the dark (and it wasn’t like they’d given us a couple of days to acclimate to that schedule, either – oh no – we were out there slogging it through brush and over mountains at an hour that would normally have been my sleepy-time), while lugging a full load of gear to boot. It’s been my experience that this is how war is for the most part: lots of boring downtime that gets periodically interrupted by brief periods of life-threatening danger and sheer, thought-erasing terror. After a while, being bored out of your skull doesn’t seem so bad anymore. A fifteen mile night hike isn’t really all that ‘boring’ though; it’s just really exhausting and not all that much fun. To make it worse, I was hiking fifteen miles at night alongside four novas. Even out-of-shape novas have way more endurance than most baselines, and the ones in our crew weren’t out of shape. Captain Cross and Scout 2nd Grade Doyle, in particular, were both “dynamos”. You know, the kind of novas that just never get tired (or, if they do, it’s not until long after all the baselines have passed out from sheer exhaustion). Ironically, I’m the same way now – but at the time, all I could think was how annoying it was to look up shortly after mile ten to find the Captain trucking along ahead of me like we were just out for an evening stroll – the man wasn’t even breathing hard! I might be the one complaining now, but I think the hike might have been more of a test of patience for Scout 2nd Grade Dyer than it was for the rest of us, even though he was a nova too. Rubin Dyer was the newest and least experienced Scout in our Section; everyone called him ‘Ruby’. He was a really great kid (Ha! Listen to me; Dyer was at most four years younger than me!). But unlike the S-CAP and Doyle, Dyer wasn’t a dynamo – in fact he wasn’t really all that much better at long hikes like this one than myself or the other baselines in the 2nd Section (okay, that’s not really true – I don’t think he was breathing hard until after we hit mile four – but I know I saw him sweating by the time we reached mile twelve). The thing was, he could fly, and like most flyers I’ve met, the idea of walking farther than the front door just didn’t appeal to him. I can’t say that I blamed him – I’d’ve wanted to fly too, if that option had been available to me. But we were on a stealth-recon op, which meant that we all had to keep it tight and keep it quiet and 2nd Grade Scouts zipping over the tops of trees and down the sides of mountain valleys are neither. We did have the kid glide up into the trees or other high places from time to time, to help us navigate through especially difficult sections of the terrain, but otherwise he had to beat feet like the rest of us. Plus, once we got within four kliks of the dam, all the novas had to dorm’ anyways, just in case Joe had any ADE* in place already. Before my own eruption I don’t think I ever really understood how stressful dorm’ing can be for a nova. Since I’ve never yet been able to dorm’ properly myself, maybe I still don’t understand. But I at least know now how much of a difference there is between what a normal baseline can do and what an aberrant can do. The difference is just… huge. To voluntarily shut down such abilities under any circumstance would be difficult, but to do so when your very life could depend on those abilities is really something else. You show me one of those ignorant grunts in the Greens who like to complain and say that novas don’t have to risk as much as baselines when going into combat and I’ll show you someone who’s never met a nova Scout before. ,,
  3. When the Regs and the Cobras* go on an op they’re usually provided with some form of transportation, whether that’s a beat-up old booze-burner* or an actual warp-gate. The Cobras in particular tend to get warp-gates – the bastards. (Yes, yes, I guess it is pretty hypocritical of me to complain about what the Cobras get – now that I am one – but what can I say? At heart, I’m still a Scout.) When Scouts go on an op, we pretty much always have to hoof it. Which is fine, for the most part – I mean, disappearing into the woods and the mountains that lie between Yakima and Seattle and then suddenly appearing in the midst of the enemy and putting them all down one by one before they know what hit ‘em is what we do best in the Scouts – but when ‘hoofing it’ means a fifteen mile hike over mountainous terrain where the lowest elevation we’re likely to see is still above 3,000 feet and the majority of the hike will happen between sunset and sunrise, well, I don’t think anyone would like the sound of that. And this was before I became a nova, too. The plan was to leave Hole 21 – one of our little Green bases, buried a mile under Mt. Aix – at about 1600 hours and from there follow Lookout Creek for about 2 miles, down to where it joins Hindoo Creek which then almost immediately joins with Rattlesnake Creek. From there, we just had to follow the valley floor as it moved south between Rattlesnakes Peak and Timberwolf Mountain. After about four miles the creek then veered a little to the west and passed between Rattlesnakes Peak and Shellrock Peak and we were to follow that for about two miles until we reached the junction of Rattlesnake Creek and Shell Creek. For the most part, everything up until that point was just following creek beds and was all downhill, with our hike having started out at an elevation of just over 5,000 feet and descending down to about 3,600 feet alongside Rattlesnake Creek, so it wasn’t too bad up till then. But once we reached Shell Creek we had to follow it back up the mountain, almost all the way to its source. This involved another two miles or so of path-making which would take us back up to about 5,900 feet, where there was a ‘low’ ridge between Shellrock Peak and Burnt Mountain that we could cross over. After that, it was mostly all downhill again. Thank goodness for small mercies. You know? No one told me that being a Scout would involve climbing so many mountains. I don't even like heights... The worst part about this particular op for me, though, was that most of it was during the middle of a moonless night. The mountainous country we were hiking through was gorgeous (I think all of Snoqualmie is), but in the middle of the night my poor baseline eyes could barely see the path ten feet in front of me, let alone take in all the beautiful scenery as we passed it by. Not that I was about to let any of the others in 2nd Section know that my bad mood was because I couldn't admire the scenery – I’d never hear the end of it. Oh yeah, I’m such a hardened combat veteran. You have no idea. On the other side of the ridge we had to trail blaze for about a mile until the line of our descent brought us alongside of Kitten Creek. Once we found the creek we just had to follow that for another few miles until it joined with Wildcat Creek. After only a few hundred yards of following the Wildcat we would’ve then circled back around, over a ridge that formed the first foothill that eventually became Ironstone Mountain, where there was a nice level outcropping a few hundred feet higher than the lake below. Even without the moon, I’m sure the lake would’ve looked beautiful under the stars. It’s too bad we never made it that far… ,,
  4. It occurs to me that maybe I should explain why we even care about Yakima. I’ve already hinted at the reasons, but it might help for me to just state them flat out. After all, it’s not like the entire world is following the conflict in our little neck of woods with baited breath – the War’s going on all over and people have their own problems to worry about these days. So here’s the deal: Yakima has the largest concentration of DAD personnel and Army troops in the entire central region of the State. So anything that helps Yakima helps Joe and Daddy’s Boys and anything that hurts Yakima hurts them too. Rimrock Lake was helping them – the idea was to see if we could do something about that. So, right; we’ve established why Rimrock Lake could be considered an asset by the US Government, which explains why they’d send some of us Scouts out to probe the area’s defenses. We already knew at the time that there had been some Army activity in the area, but our intel said they hadn’t yet had time to establish any permanent presence there and so we were hoping to get a jump on them. But that’s what our intel said; I’m sure you’ve heard the joke about military intelligence plenty of times before now, so I’ll leave that dead horse alone. Bad intel or not, the 4th Scouts Battalion*, 2nd Section had been issued its orders, straight from Down the Hall (that’s just a way of saying the order came directly from 8th Battalion’s Major Kendall, in case you were wondering) and were to reconnoiter the Tieton Dam as a precursor to a later raid by the 8th’s Charlie Company, with the ultimate goal being the dam’s destruction. At the time, I was a Master Scout serving in the 4th Scout’s 2nd Section, which meant I would be going on the Rimrock reconnaissance op. As a Master Scout, I served directly under 2nd Section’s Scout Captain Cross and so would be leading the Section’s Bravo Patrol while the S-CAP led Alpha Patrol. Under me would be Scouts 3rd Grade: Moss, Ingram and Reese, as well as Scouts 2nd Grade Doyle and Waters; Captain Cross’ Alpha Patrol consisted of the S3Gs: Saunders, Wise, Boone and Sparks, and S2G Dyer. Cross, Doyle, Moss and Dyer were all novas, the rest of us were just regular old baselines. I used to be so proud that I’d managed to reach the rank of Master Scout as a baseline. If you’re surprised that an “abbie-loving cohab”* like me would say something like that, don’t be. The Greens are cohabitationist, sure, but this is a military outfit, after all. And if there’s two things that soldiers all over the world do well, it’s fight and complain. I’m still learning what the abbie soldiers complain about (now that I am one), but I can tell you that we baseline troops complained about everything, all the time, and the thing we complained about the most was “getting nobbed”*. Whether it was true or not, we honestly believed that – all things being equal (yeah, like that ever happens) – the nova soldier next to us would get promoted (twice, and with an additional bump in pay somewhere in between as well) before any of us baseline grunts would be. And so, like I said, the fact that I’d made it to Master Scout as a baseline – and not only as a baseline but as a baseline woman – meant more to me than just about anything else I’d accomplished in the Greens since joining them four years previously. Also, if I’m being truly honest, I should mention that my older brother Robert had reached the rank of Master Scout only a few months before he was killed in action, and considering that I’d finally joined the Greens as a combatant in honor of his memory… well, I guess it’s pretty obvious why that would mean something to me. That’s strange – I never realized that before. Both of us served in the Scouts and neither of us ever made it any higher than Master Scout. Weird, huh? Though in my case it was only because I erupted and wound up with powers that made me into the exact opposite of an ideal Scout (whoever said the quantum genie grants all your wishes is full of it!). Robert never made it to Scout Captain because he died. Yeah, I think his excuse is better than mine too. I miss him so much… ,,
  5. Rimrock Lake… It’s funny that such an out-of-the-way place could have turned out to be so pivotal in my life. But I guess it’s always the little things that’ll do it to you, huh? The big stuff you can plan and prepare for – or at least resign yourself to – but the little stuff you never even see coming. Or that’s my opinion, at least. I certainly didn’t see what was coming for me… Rimrock Lake is a long narrow storage reservoir up in the Snoqualmie National Forest and created as part of a reclamation project started back in the last century. Nominally, the project is ongoing, but with the War on and all it’s probably more accurate to say that the US Government is just trying not to lose any ground on it. Or maybe not. I guess I don’t know, since I’m really not sure what they were trying to ‘reclaim’ in the first place – all I know is that water from the lake feeds into Yakima and is a big factor in keeping the land down there fertile and in tip-top condition. Anyway, it’s located – if you hadn’t already guessed – just a few miles outside of Yakima, in the foothills to the east of Mt. Rainier. If Geography’s not really your strong suit, that puts Rimrock in lower Washington State, maybe 50 or 60 miles southeast of Seattle. The thing about Rimrock Lake is that, being artificial in the first place, it can be controlled. In this case, by the Tieton Dam, a fairly impressive piece of engineering built back in the first quarter of the 20th. Since the water from the lake is used for irrigation of the northeast portion of Yakima, whoever controls Rimrock controls a portion of the water supply for that hotbed of DAD and Joey* activity. Not all of the water supply, mind you, but the area that it drains into is some of the best farmland in the area – and ever since Wycoff did his thing over in Hasting nobody takes fertile land for granted anymore. And anyway, we didn’t want to control the dam, really, we just wanted to blow it up. What can I tell you? This is the Greens; there’s barely 2,000 of us fighting against several times as many of the enemy, so we aren’t about to overreach ourselves, you know? We’re just trying to be realistic about these things.
  6. My first thought after my eruption was, Thank god! My second thought was, I wonder if I’m beautiful now? Yeah… I know. Awful, huh? My name is Lorelai Yevtushenko and I’m a soldier in the Aberrant War. I’ve been fighting with the Greens for more than four years now and my own country calls me a terrorist, a war-criminal and a traitor because of it. I'm not happy about that, but it's like the words from that old PNC* song, We Are Winning - I forget the name of the group who sang it - where the guy's talking about the patriot with the picket sign: "She's ashamed of her birthplace, but retreat is not an option". That pretty much sums it up for me, I think. My older brother – who was a nova – died almost five years ago now, fighting for his right to be called a human being and not an aberrant threat. He wouldn't back down either. I only became a nova – an aberrant – a little over six months ago. Since my eruption, people are always telling me how beautiful I am. In fact, what they usually say is that I’m the most beautiful woman in human space. I wouldn’t know, really. Here’s what I know: I’m 25 years old and I haven’t had a boyfriend since I was 17 and Jared McNeil dumped me so he could take Cindy Galloway to the high school prom. In explanation for my first thought upon erupting, I can only point out that me becoming a nova meant that my immediate and painful death was no longer a foregone conclusion. Instead, it had just become ‘the most likely outcome’. In a war, though, I’ve found that you have to take what you can get, because it’s not very likely that anything better is going to come along, you know? But since I’m not dead, I guess something better did come along. As for that second thought, I have no explanations or excuses. I guess I really am that shallow and selfish. In my more optimistic moments, I see it as evidence that I’m just as flawed (and therefore human) as the next girl. That’s an important belief for a nova to have in this day and age, when most of the world thinks they can sum your whole existence up with the words ‘aberrant threat’. Or ‘menace’. Sometimes, for variety, they say ‘menace’ instead of ‘threat’. In the middle of the night, though, when I’m lying in that reinforced titanium-steel bunk the gearheads* made special just for me, unable to sleep, with images of that day running through my head with the Repeat setting turned very emphatically on – at those times I don’t feel so great about myself. Okay, so yeah, I turned into a nova and then I saved the day. There’re people still alive because of me. And that’s good! It really is. But I didn’t erupt because I wanted to save anyone; I erupted because I was scared and I was hurt and I really, really, really didn’t want to die. And even then, before getting up to go ‘save the day’, I still took a second or two to stop and wonder if maybe now Jared McNeil might regret not taking me to the prom instead of that skank Cindy. Or if any of the boys in the 4th would notice me for something other than my talent with a scope and a rifle. My name is Lorelai Yevtushenko. I’m only 25 years old and I’m a nova and people tell me regularly that I’m the most beautiful woman they’ve ever seen... I’m only 25 years old and I’m a nova, but the only man other than my father or my brother who’s ever held me tightly in his arms was dying from shrapnel wounds and thought I was his mother. People tell me regularly that I’m the most beautiful woman they’ve ever seen, but no one’s ever fallen in love with me. I’ve shot and killed at least seventeen men, but I’ve never slept with even one. And if you tell anyone else I’m still a virgin, I’ll show you why they say I’m one of the strongest novas on the planet too! When I erupted, my body’s density increased something like 800%. That's the main reason I’m so strong and difficult to hurt, but such a huge change didn’t come without consequences. With so much mass packed into such a small space, my normal body temperature shot up twenty degrees, from 98.6 F to 118.6 F. That's not hot enough to burn anyone, but it’s hot enough that touching my skin for more than a few seconds is painful for most people, particularly baselines. “Too hot to touch”, is that what you were going to say? No, it’s fine. I’ve heard it a hundred times before. It does have one advantage, though: when I cry, my tears are so hot they evaporate almost immediately. So long as I keep the tears to a minimum no one can even tell. So I guess that's a plus. The second thing I thought after I erupted was, I wonder if I’m beautiful now? According to just about everyone I’ve met since, the answer to that question is ‘yes’. All I know is, I don’t feel beautiful... All I know is, I'm ashamed of myself, but it's like the song says, "retreat is not an option". Click to reveal.. PNC: Pre-Nova Content. The only kind of media that can be legally broadcast in the US, other than news or propaganda.Gearhead: Nickname for the Engineers; a sub-division of the Infantry Branch of the Greens.
  7. A Speciall OOC Note The 'War Journal' universe was not created by me. It was created by a member of the former EON game forum who was registered under the name of 'Heritage'. He ran a game using this setting that I played in briefly. Since that time I've often wanted another chance to play in that game world. When Infinite Earth was opened up for the specific purpose of letting writers explore 'alternate realities' and so forth, I saw it as an opportunity to get to 'play' in War Journal yet again (though, really, I'm writing fics not 'playing' in a game, but it's a small point of difference only, and one I can live with ). Regardless, credit for this fantastic game setting does not go to me, but goes instead to Heritage, wherever he may be. Reality Date (Current): 2056 Timeline: Alternate; War Journal (Near Canon) ,, War Journal Timeline War Journal Timeline 2008 – Popular T2M member Jennifer “Slider” Landers is murdered in Calcutta; former T2M member André Corbin flees her funeral and is widely believed to be her murderer. 2009 – Accusations are made that Project Utopia is involved in government infiltration, black ops and a secret nova sterilization program. PU denies all charges, accuses the Teragen of creating a smear campaign. Randall “The Fireman” Portman is narrowly elected President of the U.S. 2010’s – Elite warfare in Sub-Saharan Africa gets increasingly violent; several nations effectively become puppet states ruled by their mercenary forces. Other hotspots in Asia and Latin America fare as bad, if not worse. 2010 – Andre Corbin turns himself in to UN authorities; his highly publicized trial ends in a surprise verdict of not guilty. However, the trial leads to the public exposure of the internal corruption within Project Utopia and the presence of Project Proteus, a secret division within Utopia that was responsible for numerous unethical activities, including the probable murder of “Slider”. Proteus is disbanded, but several of its leaders go into hiding. 2011-2016 - Ongoing UN investigation of Utopia’s operations and its use of donated funds lead to the organization being forced to forgo its not-for-profit status, and to sell off many of its holdings, which become publicly traded corporations. Apparent hoarding of illegal nova technology by Utopia’s S&T division leads to the creation of the United Nations Technology Regulation Authority (UNTRA), which assumes Utopia’s duties. Utopia’s Peacekeeping division is absorbed into the UN. The Aeon Society, seeking to distance itself from its errant child, withdraws all funding from Project Utopia and continues its own philanthropic agenda. 2013 – A clash between known Teragen members and several baselines in the Bay Area quickly flares into the now-infamous San Francisco Riots. After three days of violence and looting, National Guard units and T2M finally bring peace to the streets. 87 people are killed and hundreds more injured – property damage is estimated to be in excess of $145 million. 2015 – A battle between T2M and several Teragen members at the infamous Amp Room leaves much of Ibiza Town leveled – public opinion of T2M reaches an all-time low. 2016 - Crippled by the loss of so many of its sources of revenue, Utopia is forced to reorganize as a for-profit consulting firm, renamed Nova Solutions International, Inc. The various T2M units are now contracted out to various governments and corporations. With the “death” of Project Utopia, Teragen membership swells. Renee ‘Chimera’ Mohamed leaves Team Tomorrow and founds her own Elite mercenary group, known as the Green Machine, which operates primarily in Africa. 2020’s - Rumored internal struggles within the Teragen leads to several nova and baseline deaths, including founding member Count Orzaiz. Cult of Mal gains popularity. Allegations of drug trafficking and fraud lead to the downfall of the XWF and the banning of nova “shootfighting” - former XWF fighters turn to Bollywood, which soon saturates the vid market with poorly-conceived, hyperviolent "shootfilms”. The audience soon tires of these derivative stories, and clamors for a return to “human cinema”. 2020 – Novas proliferate globally. Their activities and depredations increasingly harm normal humans. 2022 – Dr. Soguk Birlesme invents viable hyper-fusion. The new technology is initially too expensive to be used by anyone outside of national governments, and development focuses on space exploration. 2024 – NASA unveils a versatile, fusion-powered orbital craft – within three years, China has success with a similar design. The US accuses China of industrial espionage, but no definitive proof is ever uncovered. 2024 – 2032 – Varioius nations launch orbital defense satellites. By far, the most advanced is the United States’ Orbital Military Network (OMEN) defense system. It is used increasingly to monitor and, when necessary, counteract intensifying nova activities. 2027 – Finland, Norway and Sweden form the Northern Collective. 2030’s - Nova entertainers find it increasingly hard to get work – many are forced to turn to the dark corners of the OpNet, where an increased interest in quantum-powered pornography and deadly combat fills the coffers of the Heaven Thunder Triad and the Nakato Gumi. Michaelite communes begin to dot the American West and rural France in increasing numbers as anti-nova sentiment continues to grow. Meanwhile, humanity’s exploration of space continues as colonies bloom on alien soil. 2031 – Lorelai Yevtushenko is born in Tacoma, WA. The US establishes the Olympus Lunar base – England and Russia soon follow suit with bases of their own during the next decade. 2033 – Now a member of the Teragen, Anna DeVries declares herself “Warrior Queen” of Namibia; her son, an influential anti-nova politician in South Africa, denounces his mother’s actions. He rapidly rises through the ranks and eventually becomes Vice President. 2034 – Selene Olympia Miller is the first child born on the Moon. 2036 – Alejandra, once the most popular entertainer in the world, retreats from public life to focus on her charitable foundation. Her fan club grows increasingly obsessive, with members being arrested for all sorts of fanatical behavior; many nations outlaw the club altogether, and possession of ‘Alejandrabilia’ is frequently considered a misdemeanor. 2040’s - Hostility towards novas continues to rise, as novas themselves become increasingly aggressive. The UN asks for the Directive’s help in dealing with the ‘aberrant novas’; the Directive agrees, and is soon working with the UN and military forces around the globe to ferret out “the Aberrant threat”. NSI and the few remaining elite agencies work almost exclusively for governments or large corporations. 2040 – By this time, Turkey has become the world’s leading producer of microelectronics and is well on its way to becoming a major economic superpower. 2041 – Roger Delacroix, the 52nd President of the United States, is assassinated by a nova named Harlan ‘Achilles’ Johnson. VP Elspeth Yeager assumes the Presidency. The first Mars colony is founded by China. 2042 – Caestus Pax, the last original member of the T2M still on active duty, disappears during an assult on Teragen forces in Sub-Saharan Africa. 2043 – Invention of superconducting batteries revolutionizes portable electronics. Anna DeVries declares Namibia to be the first trans-human free state; the human population is forced to flee into neighboring countries, most of which are already harboring thousands of refugees. The UN sends aid and peacekeeping forces to the area, which along with Kashmir is declared an ‘Aberrant Conflict Zone’. The nova known as Feathered Serpent attempts to raise the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan from under Mexico City. The resulting earthquake destroys the city and results in the deaths of over a million people. Shortly after, the national government collapses due to corruption and crushing national debt. 2044 – In the wake of Anna DeVries’ announcement and the escalating conflicts between novas and baselines in Africa, Renee ‘Chimera’ Mohamed takes her Green Machine company out of Africa and establishes a new base at Stevens Pass, WA. There she and her group become publicly active proponents of a ‘cohabitationist’ philosophy, stating that novas and baselines can and should live and work together as equals. Chimera, a former T2Mer and a highly charismatic nova, is a large contributing factor to the Movement’s success with the younger generation within Washington and the surrounding states as the Greens’ ranks swell over the next several years. 2045 – The United Nations holds hearing on using genetically-tailored viruses to fight Aberrants. Unfortunately, due to mutation, the Human Genome Catalog’s information on Aberrant DNA is out-of-date and effectively useless. The Camelot Moon base is declared completed; three weeks later, the unfinished Yeltsingrad base is claimed as finished. 2046 – The Aberrant group calling itself Allah’s Legion seizes control of the island nation of Bahrain, occupying the former Project Utopia facility. The event reignites debate over increased UN intervention in Africa and other ACZs (note that this is canon, included because of its relevance to this timeline). The Green Machine opens its ranks to all, officially becoming the Green Movement. 2047 – Japan closes its borders but continues with worldwide commerce. 2049 – The United Nations declares war on Aberrants. The Space Brigade seizes control of Olympus and destroys 75% of the OMEN satellites. Over the next twelve years, various major cities (largely in North America and Europe) suffer destruction because of the War. 2050’s - The Aberrant War rages across the face of the globe. The US withdraws its support from the other five nations of the Directive; the American Division becomes an official part of the US intelligence community. The DAD works with the US armed forces to fight domestic Aberrant threats. The Free World Army, a radical survivalist branch of the Michaelites, is founded in Minnesota; in time, the FWA has strong support in Wisconsin and Michigan in the Midwest and in the northern Rocky Mountain States in the West. 2050 – The Balkans erupt into “The Shatter”, an intense, ceaseless conflict. Borsov takes presidency of Russia, directs the nation’s aggression toward Aberrants and throws down “the Gauntlet”; Yeltsingrad is closed to humans. 2052 – Aberrants destroy Jerusalem. Due to ongoing fighting, reconstruction is delayed until the end of the Aberrant War. 2054 – Wycoff explodes over Hasting, Nebraska after a raid on his compound by the FBI. Shortly after this event, South America closes its borders, erecting the “Necessary Wall”. 2055 - Wycoff’s detonation is discovered as being the cause behind a Taint virus that destroys the North American grain belt. U.S. Federal Intelligence agencies begin consolidating operations. A small force of Greens attacks the Columbia River Bridge near the Blue (FWA) enclave of Kettle Falls, Washington. What begins as a simple sabotage mission evolves into a two-day battle that leaves 230 Greens dead and nearly twice as many injured; losses among the Blues are unknown, but estimated to be twice as high. The Battle at Kettle Falls produces more heroes and martyrs within the Greens than all previous battles combined, and serves to officially introduce the Green Movement as major players in the American portion of the Aberrant War. Later in this same year, the Green’s Warpstation Charlie is decimated by US bombardment and ultimately atomized by an OMEN sky-strike that levels Tieton Peak. The resulting wasteland becomes known as the ‘Charlie Badlands’. Green Warpstations Alpha and Bravo remain in operation, as do the nearly 30 Green enclaves in operation throughout Washington. 2056 – The Omaha Declaration is passed granting the American military sovereignty in the US to deal with the Aberrant menace, putting all major population and industrial centers under martial law. A special task force reorganizes the US into eight Emergency Management Districts. The result is a new fascist regime. The Aberrant War within the US is now in full swing. Personal Information Birth Name: Lorelai Yevtushenko Nova Name: ‘Brick House’ (often referred to simply as ‘House’) Concept: reluctant Cobra Nature: Caretaker Allegiance(s): the Greens Physical Traits Weight: 1,056 lbs. Height: 5’6” Age (apparent age): 25 (mid-twenties) Gender: female Ethnic Background: Caucasian Nationality (place of origin): American (Belarussian descent) Eye Color: Brown Hair Color: Dark Brown, almost black Handedness: Right General Appearance: Drop dead gorgeous. Background: Lorelai Yevtushenko was a still a baseline when she first joined the Green Movement and became a combatant in the Aberrant War. The Greens are a cohabitationist group based out of the Stevens Pass area of Washington State that got its start – through a strange and circuitous series of events – as a mercenary team from Africa comprised of both novas and baselines and lead by a former member of Team Tomorrow. Eventually, they moved to America and became a movement, rather than just a simple paramilitary machine, that espoused the belief that novas and baselines could live together successfully. Unfortunately, the United States government most emphatically did not agree, having already banned the airing of any ‘post-nova’ media (media that was created by or starred novas) and instituted the required registration with the US government of all ‘aberrants’ living within American borders. Once a nova had registered, they were effectively required to become ‘paid supermen’ working for the very same government that would not let them live freely. Those who resist such policies are branded terrorists and are eliminated with extreme prejudice by the fascist military regime that has been effectively running the country since before 2050. As a baseline, most of this did not directly impact Lori – except that her older brother had erupted as a nova a few years previously, allowing her to witness first-hand that the ‘Aberrant Menace’ was mostly comprised of normal people with extraordinary abilities who were faced with a world that was slowly stripping away their very right to be human. When her older brother was killed fighting for his belief that novas and baselines could live together as equals, Lori officially joined the Greens in his honor and took up the fight in his stead. For four years she served within the Green Movement’s paramilitary structure as a Scout, until a routine recon operation turned into a bloodbath as her unit ran into a DAD Tac-Suit squad*. Many of Lori’s fellow Greens died almost immediately and Lori herself was seriously injured, sparking her own eruption as a nova. Using her newfound abilities, Lori was able to help the remainder of her unit escape. Afterwards, it was discovered that her powers made her entirely unsuitable for service with the stealthy Scouts, but made her completely ideal for service with any of the frontline combat units. And so Lori found herself transferred into the all-nova Special Operations branch of the Greens - lovingly known as the 'Cobras' - where the fight for nova freedom was all too real and never happened anywhere but on the front lines of the conflict. Suddenly, Lori found that she was no longer an anonymous baseline sympathizer in the Aberrant War, but was now the very ‘Menace’ it was being fought over. Name: Yevtushenko, Lorelai J. Serial No: 26-441-688 Grade: Sergeant Branch: Special Operations Division: Warp Station Bravo Organization: 3rd Battalion D.O.B: 22-July-31 Place of Birth: Tacoma, WA Color Eyes: Brown Height: 5’6” Weight: 1,056 lbs. No. Depend: 0 Race: Caucasian Marital Status: Single U.S. Citizen: Yes Nova: Yes D.O.E: 16-Mar-56 Military History: Date of Enlistment: 05-Feb-52 Date of Entry into Active Service: 19-Mar-52 Place of Entry into Service: Colville Occupational Specialty and No: Designated Marksman 332 Qualifications: Pistol & Knife Expert, Rifle & Carbine Expert, Heavy Weapons Expert, Scout Certification, Demolitions Badge, Sharpshooter Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge, R/I Badge, SOC Badge Battles: Cle Elum, Snoqualmie Pass, Rimrock Lake, Evans, Marblemount Wounds Received in Action: Rimrock Lake Mar 16, Evans Jul 8 Service Record: Prior to the events leading to her eruption as a nova, Sgt. Yevtushenko successfully completed training as a Scout and was assigned to 4th Scout Battalion, attached to 7th and 8th Infantry, where she was eventually promoted to the rank of Master Scout. She served in this capacity from 19th March, 2052 through 16th March, 2056, on which day the Sgt. experienced her eruption. Sgt. Yevtushenko’s nova condition rendered her ineffective as a Scout and she was subsequently transferred to Infantry and allowed to go through SOC training, which she successfully passed on 21st April, 2056, granting her the rank of Sergeant, Special Operations 3rd Battalion. Skill Assessment: Due to the Sgt.’s somewhat unique service record she possesses an above-average degree of training, skill and certifications. The Sergeant is expert in the use of nearly all firearms currently in use by the Green’s, whether light, medium or heavy, and has extensive experience in the use of hand-to-hand and melee combat as well. Of particular note are the Sergeant’s sharpshooting skill, recon and survival skill, and her proficiency at hand-to-hand fighting techniques, all of which are appreciably superior to those of most within Special Operations. Additionally, as a former Scout, Sergeant Yevtushenko has had advanced training in combat medicine. She currently serves as her team’s Designated Marksman. Psychological Evaluation: Sergeant Yevtushenko’s eruption, and subsequent transfer to Special Operations, has left her isolated on several levels. Her gender and her status as a former Scout suddenly thrust amongst Cobras has left her with few allies and she has had to fight for every ounce of respect she's gotten since then. The Sergeant’s excessive weight of more than half a ton, combined with her ability to generate and control nuclear radiation, has caused many to view her as unsafe to be around, further isolating her. Lastly, and not a little ironically, her extreme physical beauty has left her isolated as well. Sergeant Yevtushenko’s beauty is considered by most within the Greens to be unequalled, except perhaps by such novas as Alejandra or General Chimera. But unlike Alejandra or the General, Sergeant Yevtushenko’s presence and personal charisma still operate at baseline levels and this leaves her without the necessary social skills to wield her beauty effectively or to deal with the stereotypes, assumptions, and expectations that come as a result of her appearance. This has caused her to put up barriers between herself and those around her as a means of protection, and she rarely opens herself up to others since becoming a nova. Despite this, Sergeant Yevtushenko is a very caring and compassionate woman, and though her social skills are not nova-level, she is quite charming, sensitive, and likeable in person. She tries very hard to be a support and a helper to those around her, and she has been a fervent believer in the Greens' cause since before her own eruption. This is also a potential concern, as Sergeant Yevtushenko’s compassionate nature can make it difficult for her to process and cope with the stresses and traumas of combat, especially nova-level combat. It is recommended that she be observed closely and that she be scheduled for regular psychological evaluations going forward in order to track her mental state so that any mental imbalances that do arise can be dealt with immediately, as and when necessary. ,, End Personnel File.. *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* From the Files of the Directive, American Division: Individual Threat Assessment of Green Terrorist, Designation: “Lead Thistle” File Date: 09/25/2056 Name: Yevtushenko, Lorelai J. Record#: 00-21YL8-8829 Occupation: Sergeant, Special Operations (3rd Battalion) of the so-called “Green Movement” D.O.B: 07/22/2031 Aberrancy: Verified Legal Status: Wanted for numerous terrorist crimes against the Government of the United States of America and its people Known Aberrant Mutations: Damage Resistance: Subject designated “Lead Thistle”, aka Sgt. Lorelai Yevtushenko, has been verified as having an extremely high level of inherent resistance to injury, as well as being able to project some sort of aberrant “force field” which further protects her from physical harm. Resistance to kinetic and explosive damage is high enough to easily survive 105mm mortar impacts. Resistance to thermal damage is high enough to ignore the effects of continued exposure to white phosphorus (resistance to heat-subtraction effects are not known at this time). Resistance to all forms of radiation-based damage, including microwave, x-ray and gamma, appears to be complete. Class: Olympian Threat Rating: Very High Development: Extremely Comprehensive Strength, Endurance and Reflexes: The subject is known to possess extreme levels of both physical endurance and strength. It is not known what the source of the subject’s physical resilience is, but Lead Thistle has shown the capacity to ignore the effects of even large doses of combat-grade Moxinoquantamene, in addition to other performance-degrading agents. Lead Thistle’s strength levels are estimated to be within the top one percent of all aberrants active in the world today. This excessive physical strength is theorized to be tied in some fashion to the subject’s ability to increase her mass exponentially. It is unknown at this time what the upper levels of subject Lead Thistle’s strength or relative mass are, but estimates indicate a lifting capacity in excess of half a million tons and a personal mass-limit of approximately 550 tons (note that these numbers assume the subject is operating in Earth-standard gravity (see “Gravity/Mass Control” below). The subject’s reflexes are estimated to be in the post-human range, but this is not confirmed. Class: Titan Threat Rating: Very High Development: Very Comprehensive Mobility: Subject Lead Thistle’s mobility over and through various terrain types has been shown to be significantly greater than an average human’s, but is only average at best when compared to most combat-grade aberrants. Lead Thistle’s ground speed has been observed and estimated at approximately 28mph, which is only slightly greater than recorded human maximum speeds. However, the subject has also been observed making leaps of dozens of meters horizontally and of more than three stories vertically, which exponentially increases the subject’s overall ground mobility. Furthermore, Lead Thistle has been known to hover in place and reports indicate that the subject can project herself through the air under her own power as well, likely as a result of the subject’s “Gravity/Mass Control” mutation (see below). The subject’s speed or proficiency using this method of propulsion is currently unknown, but reports suggest a speed of approximately 50mph as a conservative estimate. Even if this last is true and the subject is capable of self-propulsion through the air, a top speed of 50mph is significantly below average when compared to the flight-speeds of most flight-capable aberrants. Class: Demigod Threat Rating: Considerable Development: Above Average Taint-Enhanced Physical/Social Traits: Lead Thistle possesses a “taint-enhanced” physical form, meaning that her features are perceived as being superhumanly pleasing to the eye. The subjective nature of the human perception of physical attractiveness makes it difficult to accurately assess the potential impact of this aspect of the subject’s aberrant mutations. However, it has been shown conclusively in the past that high levels of taint-derived physical aesthetic enhancement can seriously compromise the judgment and faculties of those upon subjected to its effects. Class: Olympian Threat Rating: High Development: Good Gravity/Mass Control: Lead Thistle has demonstrated the ability to exert significant control over both the relative mass of, and the relative effect of local gravitational fields on, herself and objects in her vicinity (more commonly known as “gravity control”). The subject’s currently recorded maximum range when using this ability against targets other than herself is in excess of seventy yards. Lead Thistle has been recorded using this ability in the field to reduce and increase a target’s mass by as much as 100%, possibly more. It should be noted that the subject’s ability to lower the relative mass of any object, when used in tandem with her already overwhelming physical strength, would theoretically remove any upper cap on what she can lift, essentially granting Lead Thistle limitless lifting capacity, with some limitations. Class: Olympian Threat Rating: High Development: Average Radiation Control: Lead Thistle has been confirmed as possessing the ability to both control and generate high-energy radiation in the form of x-rays and gamma rays, with the effect of bombarding the nearby environment with both soft and hard radiation. Recorded range has been shown to be similar, if not identical, to the subject’s “gravity control” ability. Unconfirmed reports indicate the subject may be capable of generating “micro-nuclear detonations” as well. This mutation, more than any of the subject’s other aberrant qualities, makes Lead Thistle a major threat to all US military and Directive personnel currently engaging the so-called “Green Movement” within the state of Washington. Fortunately, there is much evidence to support the theory that this ability is very poorly developed within the Subject. Class: Titan Threat Rating: Extremely High Development: Below Average Overall Aberrant Class Rating: Olympian Overall Aberrant Threat Rating: High Overall Development Rating: Above Average Final Recommendation: Capture and registration or termination at soonest opportunity. Subject Lead Thistle’s ability to generate nuclear radiation – and possibly controlled nuclear reactions – poses a serious health and security risk to all operations in the areas surrounding Seattle and Yakima, if not all of Washington State. Legend: Class: Myrmidon, Demigod, Olympian, Titan Threat Rating: Extremely Low, Very Low, Low, Moderate, Considerable, High, Very High, Extremely High Development: Extremely Poor, Poor, Fair, Below Average, Average, Above Average, Good, Comprehensive, Very Comprehensive, Extremely Comprehensive
  8. Ord Mantell seemed to be little more than a distant dream by this point in Ingo’s life. He couldn’t really remember the feel or the smell of the dry desert winds as they blew across the Mantellian backcountry he had called home all his life. Nor could he clearly remember the taste of roasted gulnak, nor the sounds of the flutterplumes as they floated overhead. He was finding it increasingly difficult to remember the face of his father, and he had all but forgotten the faces of his other companions within the Guri Ma. For several weeks after his capture at the hands of the Rodian hunting party that had decimated his father and the other Guri Ma adepts he had been traveling with, Ingo’s whole world had consisted of little more than the reinforced cage they had kept him in. They had seemed quite pleased to have captured him, and even without understanding a word they were saying, he could see that they were showing him off to anyone brave enough to approach his cage. At first Ingo had thought that they were merely treating him like an animal, and given his enraged behavior, he could hardly blame them, but he soon realized that they honestly believed him to be little more than a beast. Under other circumstances, Ingo might have found this to be darkly comedic. Apparently such minor details as the handcrafted Savrip clothing on his back (little more than rags after all this time), or his bellowed insults and challenges were not enough to tip these ugly, tiny little monsters off to the fact that he was intelligent. Of course, Ingo had no way of knowing that his bellowed insults and challenges sounded like nothing more than the howls and roars of an enraged beast, and nothing at all like any language the Rodians were familiar with. As for the clothing, who knows what they thought? Ingo rapidly ran out of words or even basic concepts to describe the beings, beasts, and mysterious objects that he encountered as the days of his enslavement wore on. He was taken into the belly of what he first believed to be a terrifying beast made entirely of metal, but which he quickly realized was only an overgrown tool of the hunters, much like those they rode on when traveling the wilds of his homeworld, or even those they used to launch their beams of scalding light. Some unknown span of time passed, during which Ingo nearly starved as the food he was given was barely enough to support a being of his size, and then he was disgorged from the belly of the giant machine, and found himself to be in a strange land. It was like no place he had ever heard or dreamed of. It was like a village, only a thousand – a hundred thousand! – times greater in size than any village he had ever heard of. The dwelling places of the alien beings who called this place home were like mountains made of metal and light, so huge were they. It was Chinesti, capital of Phaeda, a filthy and corrupt world much frequented by filthy and corrupt beings from all over the Galaxy’s spacelanes, and it was the first true city Ingo had ever seen. It was at once beautiful and terrible beyond anything his primitive mind had ever imagined. It was all enough to make even a Savrip feel small and insignificant by comparison. Once he was unloaded from the Rodians’ ship, Ingo was soon taken inside of a large warehouse that served as a holding pen for some unknown, but definitely large, number of fellow slaves. Growing up with his clan in the deserts of Ord Mantell, Ingo had only the dimmest understanding of the existence of other worlds, and no understanding at all of the vastness of space or the sheer number of intelligent beings that inhabited it. Now, confronted with a strange new world, much more densely populated than any place he had ever seen, and seeing the myriad number and variety of fellow slaves surrounding him, Ingo began to understand the immensity of the crime he had fallen victim to, and his sense of grief, anger, and confusion grew proportionately. As when he was caged within the belly of the strange flying machine, Ingo lost all track of time while chained within the slave pens of Chinesti, and so he had no way of knowing how long he had been there when he was finally sold. A human by the name of Kam Cotae had eagerly agreed to the price the Rodians were asking for a live Mantellian Savrip, and was eager to try his new prize out within the various illegal gladiatorial circuits scattered throughout the Rim. Not for nothing was the Savrip considered the most powerful piece on a dejarik board, and Cotae fully expected to win Ingo’s cost several times over in prizefighting money. Another trip in one of the strange flying machines. By this point Ingo had come to understand that these ships traversed the heavens between worlds (although his concept of both “worlds” and “heavens” was still not what a fully educated being from one of the core worlds would call “fully formed”), but he still did not know where these strange objects came from originally, nor did he have any idea of how they were formed. They, like nearly everything else on his strange and fantastic journey, simply were and there was nothing Ingo could do but accept their existence. Eventually they arrived at their destination, and Ingo was once again unloaded and led like a beast to yet another slave pen. Ingo never saw anything of this new world, other than the loading yards where his master’s ship was docked, the slave pens, and the fighting ring with which he was soon to become all too familiar, but even if he had it would have been nothing more than yet another alien (albeit exotic and beautiful) world to him. And so, Ingo never realized that the world he was to spend most of the next year on (by his own Mantellian reckoning) was actually a moon. Number four of twenty-six moons, to be exact, and all of them orbiting around a gas giant called Yavin. For many months on end Ingo’s life revolved entirely around surviving one grueling death match after another against dozens of opponents, both sentient and bestial. By the time Kam Cotae took his prize slave and left the moon of Yavin 4 for greener pastures, Ingo had faced off against dozens of sentients including Aqualish, a pack of Bartokk (although Ingo would have argued their qualification for the title of “sentient”), a Cragmoloid (one of the few sentient species to present a real challenge in physical combat), Gamorreans (overrated), Houk, a couple of Myneyrsh (one of the most exotic species Ingo has run across to date), a Yuzzem (even tougher than the Cragmoloid), and a few Wookiees (worthy opponents, but no match for Ingo’s size or strength). But Kam discovered early that the crowds were much more interested in pitting a Savrip against the Galaxy’s most dangerous and terrifying predators and monsters (after all, as far as most beings were concerned, a Savrip was one a dangerous predator). So Ingo was repeatedly put up against every terrifyingly monstrous opponent the pit organizers could get their hands on. The narglatch was a challenge, the juvenile rancor they put him against proved a truly dangerous foe, and the ithorian dragon they brought in nearly killed him. But the worst was the doashim; it tore him to shreds, he only just barely survived, and he was terrified throughout the entire ordeal. What made Ingo’s time in the gladiator ring an even tougher ordeal was his refusal to call upon Ateng to aid him in his battles. They were dishonorable, and often woefully unfair matches, staged entirely for the perverse pleasure of the sadistic beings who owned them all, and Ingo refused to sully the sacred traditions of his ancestors by using the power of the Guri Ma to kill mindless beasts and ragged slaves. He would rather have died than stoop so low. Finally, though, the day came when Kam Cotae felt that the gladiator pit on Yavin 4 had yielded all that it had to offer him, and he had Ingo loaded into another cage, and back onto his ship for another voyage through the heavens. During his time on Yavin 4, Ingo had watched his captors and handlers very closely and listened very attentively as they spoke to each other and went about their business. As a result, Ingo slowly learned to understand the most commonly spoken language among them, Galactic Basic, as it was named in its own words. With careful practice, when no one was present to hear or observe, Ingo learned to speak the language as well, if poorly. He was very careful to keep this talent, along with his Guri Ma abilities, a secret from his captors, and let them continue to think of him as little more than a dumb beast. Meanwhile, Ingo had been busy learning all he could about his situation, the Galaxy at large, and what might be the best way of escaping and finding his way back home to his own people. When he first began to truly understand just how far from home he was, and just how difficult it be for him to ever return, Ingo almost gave up all hope, and it took all the discipline developed through decades of hard training not to. And so it was that when Kam Cotae and he left aboard Cotae’s ship, Ingo knew that they were going to a planet called Telos, though little else besides. He also knew that when they arrived, his master was to meet up with other slavers, and there was a possibility of yet more of the hated death matches, but also a possibility of his being sold yet again (a thought that was only marginally more appealing than the death matches). It seemed his master was at a minor crossroads in his life, and was searching for the best course on which to set his future. Ingo thought that his master’s best coarse would be directly into the heart of the nearest sun, but he doubted Kam would give such advice the appreciation it deserved, so he kept his thoughts to himself. Soon enough they would be arriving on Telos, and Ingo would be on the lookout for any and every opportunity to escape, and begin his journey home.
  9. Birth Name: Ingo Concept: Guri Ma Warrior Species: Mantellian Savrip Weight: 1,045kg (2,304lbs) Height: 3.8 meters (12’6” feet) Age: 58 Gender: male Home Planet: Ord Mantell Eye Color: red Hair Color (if any): none Handedness: right General Appearance: Looks like a Mantellian Savrip. In general. Character Level: 3 Class Level: Force Adept 3 Background: Guri Ma are ancient words from the Savrip tongue, and the Ateng Va (Force tradition) they name is said to be even older. They do not translate well into Galactic Basic, or any other language for that matter. Even many Savrips have forgotten what is meant by these words, along with the true purpose of the tradition itself. The original meaning of Guri Ma could be translated to mean “The Path of the Claw” or “The Piercing Method”; both in reference to the Mantellian Savrip’s formidable natural weapons, but it could also be translated as “The Cutting Road” or “The Way of Decisiveness”. The truth is that the name Guri Ma encompasses all of these meanings and more. Not even the oldest songs of the ancestors, preserved in the memories of the most elder clan shamans remembers the beginnings of the ancient tradition of Guri Ma, and some say it is the oldest of all Savrip Ateng Va. Those who walk the Cutting Road are ascetics who believe that by persevering through whatever difficulties befall them with strength and clarity of mind, they can overcome any obstacle and accomplish what would otherwise be impossible. Following the Decisive Way represents a conscious decision on the part of a Savrip Guri Ma practitioner to put to use, without question or doubt, all of the natural strengths given them by nature, honing and perfecting them in the process, and using those strengths to their fullest potential. However, a Savrip Adept does not master the skills of Guri Ma for the sake of violence or conquest or power, in fact, one does not master it at all. Guri Ma is not viewed as a final destination, a skill to be mastered, or knowledge to be gained. Practitioners view it as a path, a way of putting to full use what the Universe has already given them, and a tool to accomplish what needs accomplishing in one’s life. However, exactly what it means to “accomplish what needs accomplishing”, and how one should go about it, is still a matter of some debate within the Guri Ma tradition. More than one headstrong and impatient adept has used this ambiguity as a justification for taking the quick and easy (or, as they would call it, the “decisive”) road to greater personal power, and fallen to the Dark Side in the process. Whatever its true origins, for many generations now it has been the honor and privilege of all Guri Ma adepts to act as their species’ chief defense against those who would hunt and enslave their kind. But as time has passed, the Guri Ma decrease in numbers, while the number of those who would prey on their kind only increases with each cycle of the seasons. The youngest child of Guri Ma adept Charr, of the clan Ma’krth of the azure hides, Ingo was trained from birth as a future adept in the Ateng Va of his ancestors. He was the first of his siblings to be chosen for training in the ways of the Guri Ma by his father, and was both proud and honored to have been so blessed. However, some of Ingo’s older siblings, and many of the older Ma’krth youth, all of whom had once held dreams of being chosen for training in the honored Ateng Va of their clan but had failed to qualify were jealous of Ingo, and he was forced to endure their jealous taunts throughout his childhood. Despite these difficulties, Ingo took well to his training and readily embraced the Guri Ma philosophies. Soon he was old enough and skilled enough to join his father and the other Guri Ma adepts on their patrols as they sought to discover and drive off or kill any alien hunters or slavers discovered within their territory. It was on one of these patrols that disaster struck, and Ingo’s life was changed forever. Even with the power of Ateng as their ally, there was only so much the primitive Savrips could do against murderous aliens bent on the death and enslavement of their species. Some of the best slavers had been growing increasingly clever, and it happened that Ingo and his father were part of a Guri Ma patrol that ran afoul of these vile men. Outnumbered, and grossly outmatched technologically, the Savrips were defeated in a bloody battle that left all the Savrips save Ingo dead or dying. This was none too pleasing to the slavers as they were left with only one live catch, barely more than a stripling, and had to make due with selling the carcasses of the rest at a reduced price. Beaten, near-death, and now fatherless, Ingo was taken as a slave, locked in a cage, and shipped off world to meet an unknown, but certainly grim future.
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