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  1. Morri ran. It wasnt all that different than her first emotional breakdown during the early weeks of her time at Hunt. But instead of running into the woods looking for solace from people, she was seeking certain people. Students gave her a wide berth for their safety as she streaked across campus. Though panicked, she was aware of what she was doing. Her nose was testing the air constantly, seeking one of a handful of familiar scents. When she found it, Morri skidded to a stop, her feet sliding in the soft spring mud. Jumping back and crouching, she confirmed it: Son-ja had been here recently. Sniffing, Morri followed the trail, as clear and bright as her friends hair. The path lead to the library, so inside the feral went, surprising the librarian. The man knew who she was, but had never seen the infamous mutant in his building. He rose from his chair, but she ducked past him without a word and dashed deeper into the shelving. Sonja was sitting on the floor. None of the furniture here was comfortable or at the right height for her legs anymore. Even if there had been a barstool to perch on, the seats were no longer wide enough to be comfortable for her hips. Not that she was fat! She was just big-boned. The kneeling cushion shed found at a new age store was perfect for softening the floor, and big enough that she could sit on it and cross her legs. It was still annoying that she couldnt sit on a chair; she was considering the possibility of using the tables as chairs. They were tall enough and probably sturdy enough Despite the fact that she held a book on the union efforts of early industrial U.S. in her hands, Sonja wasnt really reading it. She was too annoyed with her seating arrangements to concentrate, and though she was reading and pages were being turned in the book, she has no retention of the material. She was thinking about how she had to sit on the floor. Then Morri walked up, stepped between the book and Sonjas body, sat down in her lap and huddled against her. Sonja blinked as she found her arms and lap full of a shaking Morri. Even as she thought once again that someone needed to bell the red-eyed mutant, she set aside her book and hugged Morri. What is it? Whats wrong, Morri? The feral sat up and twisted to face Sonja. Mar-ko hurt head. Hurt here. Morri put a hand to her chest, her eyes wide as she looked to her friend for comfort.
  2. Tank lofted the football high into the air, wincing when it cleared Curt’s head by a dozen yards. His mutant powers had increased when he’d hit a second growth spurt, leaving him struggling to get used to his new upper body power. Curt gamely made an attempt, but he couldn’t stretch his arms fast enough to compensate for the unexpected distance. Both teens turned to see where the ball would land and both shouted a warning when they saw the man on the sidewalk. Tank’s bellow downed out Curt’s shout and echoed against the exterior of the gym; it got the guy’s attention easily. Instead of running away, though, the guy turned into the toss, giving a little hop and stretching out his hands. He placed himself perfectly for the catch and the ball seemed to float into his reaching fingers. Tank was impressed. The dude knew how to catch pretty well for an old human guy. The man was at least thirty, maybe even forty. The teens watched as he tossed the ball a couple of times; just when Tank was wondering if the guy would ever toss it back, the stranger snapped off a throw. He made it look easy, but the spin was just perfect and Tank had to move all of two feet to catch it. “Nice toss!” he hollered and got a wave from the man before he continued on the sidewalk. Curt jogged over to him and nervously asked, “Shouldn’t we tell someone that there’s a strange guy walking around on campus?” “Naw. He’s human.” It was one of Tank’s gifts; he didn’t know what a given mutant could do but he knew if he was mutant. It was a sixth sense or something, and a secret he didn’t share with many. In the wrong hands, he could be very dangerous to other mutants. “What’s one human going to be able to do to us? Go back to where you were, and let’s try again.” Curt looked unconvinced, but with a stretch and of his legs and a single step, he was back in position. Tank bit his lips, gauged the distance and threw it again. As Curt caught the ball, Tank looked the direction the guy had went, but he wasn’t in sight anymore. The young mutant promptly forgot him. Ford slipped between two buildings, going over the map in his head again. He hoped that the kids wouldn’t say anything to anyone; the last thing he needed was Gomez getting wind that he was here. She wouldn’t understand; none of them would. He owed the Morrigan for what he’d done to her; he needed to see her, make sure she was safe and deliver the gift he had for her. He didn’t trust what Gomez would do with it, and he knew damned well that she wouldn’t give him any credit. She hadn’t quite told him to go die in a fire in Africa, but it had been close. In truth, he was just as angry that she used him to free Morri and then left him behind. He’d nearly been killed by Vyse because she’d abandoned him. Ford stopped suddenly, his eyes widening. There she was. The Morrigan sat on a stone bench, laboriously writing or drawing in a notebook that was perched on her crossed legs. She was wearing jeans and a windbreaker against the spring chill; her hair was long and waving slightly in the wind. He’d always thought her beautiful but now she looked young and innocent. Frowning, he wondered if she had changed too much, if she was the same girl he’d come to love. With a snarl like shredding paper, Morri slammed both fists into the notebook, then threw it away from her in a tantrum. Ford grinned. That’s my girl. Carefully, he stepped forward, trying not to spook her. “Morri,” he called softly, and the girl twisted to see him. Ford’s heart sank at the rage that filled her eyes. “Vyse!” she all-but howled, bounding to her feet. Blood flowed down her arm to pool in her hands, a long blade already forming from the liquid. “He’s not here! Morri, Morri, it’s okay.” Ford quickly crouched, holding his hands well away from his body. “He’s not here, and you know I’m your friend.” The dangerous mutant peered around before sidling over to him. Ford held himself very still as she smelled him, no doubt seeking Vyse’s scent on his clothing. “See? No Vyse,” he told her when she straightened. “No…” she agreed, her voice uncertain. “I-lean say you bad man.” Ford blinked at her vocabulary. She’d known words in Africa but not this many, and she’d never been able to communicate very well. Pride at her accomplishments filled him, and he resisted the urge to try to touch her. He needed to be sure she was all right with being touched before he did it. “Eileen was half-right.” She frowned and he quickly added, “I know that what I helped do was wrong. I’m here to say I’m sorry.” “Help is-cape.” “Yes! Yes, I did.” He grinned, hopeful that things were going his way. “Morri, is there somewhere we can talk?” The girl frowned. “Talk work here. Words work here.” “No, I mean private.” He didn’t want anyone to interrupt them. “Pry-vet?” “Alone.” Ford swallowed, trying not to sound too eager. He didn’t want to work her emotions up, because who knows where they would go. “Just you and me, so no one else can hear us or… stop us.” Morri nodded and walked away briskly. Ford followed her, watching for spies as they walked. She led him into a building and then into a dance studio. It was a small room and probably doubled as a space for many things, but the mirrors on one wall betrayed what its original purpose had been. Morri sat down gracefully, crossing her legs at her ankle and dropping to the hardwood floor. That maneuver would have left Ford in pain, assuming that he wouldn’t fall on his ass trying it. He opted to sit down before crossing his legs. For a moment, he watched her, drinking in the sight of her. He hadn’t realized what she’d meant to him until Gomez had stolen her. She waited patiently, her glowing eyes moderately curious. “How have you been, Morri?” Her brow furrowed in confusion and he clarified, “Do you like it here?” She nodded quickly, her expression lighting up with delight. “Have frends. Good food. No Vyse. No cages. PIE! Can right!” “You can write now?” Ford latched onto the last thing on the list before her train of thought could keep going. “What can you write?” She pulled a piece of paper out of her jeans and handed it to him. Ford unfolded it to reveal the lined paper that they used to help kids write. In painstaking letters, she’d written ‘MORRIGAN’. The R’s were backwards, but Ford exclaimed, “Wow, that’s great! I’m so proud of you.” Morri’s smile faltered. “No drugs?” she asked abruptly. His own grin was gone as he matched her somber mood. “Never.” Ford met her eyes and let her see that he was being sincere. He held out a hand to her. “I will never hurt you again, or stand by and let anyone else hurt you. I swear.”
  3. I recently got the go ahead from the GM in my game to build a set of 6 rather interesting NPCs. Trouble is I am not familiar enough with the Aberrant system to build them. To make a long story short, I am trying to build Pinkie Pie, Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Rairity, and Fluttershy. And yes, those are ponies. Though as a joke I think making their nova form into the pony form would be best. No limits on the number of nova points used, but they can't take anything tainted. (Assume natural immunity to taint for game purposes) Powers would need to match those shown in the MLP:FiM series. Up to and including the Elements of Harmony super weapon. (Assume that it can do major disabling/transmuting but can NOT cause ANY lethal damage.) ,, For those wondering why the GM would allow ponies of all things, dude be a brony and enjoys fucking with peoples minds. ,, I wont list off every power I think they should have because while I am familiar with the series I am not sure how to match it up to the Abberant system. There are more websites than I can imagine for finding out what they can all do but I am fairly sure that the best would be this one. http://mlp.wikia.com/wiki/Characters#Main_characters ,, As far as I know there are no other rules, well just one. No Alicorn Twilight... When I suggested it I was told if I mentioned it again I would find my own character suffering far worse than death. ,, For those that help, thank you in advanced. For those that hate ponies and cant even fathom why I would taint Aberrant and/or this board with this... Meh. Don't care.
  4. Sometime after The Lion, the Wench, and the Warzone, but before The Proposal... ,, Aradia licked her lips nervously as she leaned up against the wall outside the boy's locker room. They'd just gotten done with gym class, which was always an amusing adventure at Lawrence Hunt, and Aradia had rushed through her shower like a speed demon, in order to get done and out before the guys did. She wanted to talk to Alex alone, and unless she was going to brave wandering through the boy's dorm and exposing herself to whatever was going on in that part of the building, as well as to the teasing she'd be subject to from the girls for being there, catching him right after class was her best option. Otherwise, he and Sonja would probably be hanging off one another, and she didn't even feel like dealing with that. It only took another minute for the boys to begin trickling out, and Ari nodded to a couple of them and flashed them friendly smiles. Finally she spotted Alex walking out by himself (thankfully!), and waved him over. "Hey, Alex - you got a minute?" ,, The young Adonis flashed her that charming smile - the one he gives everyone, stupid! - and made his way over to her, hefting his backpack up onto his shoulder. "Hey Ari, what's up?" ,, "Well, I've been thinking..." She ran a hand through shower-dampened hair, and smiled a little, trying not to look like an idiot. "I just kind of thought that maybe we should do something for Caitlin. I haven't had much of a chance to talk to her, see how she's settling in. And I really wanted to do something to thank her.. you know.. for doing what she did for us. I don't know what yet, but I thought I'd see if you wanted to get in on it." ,,
  5. "Look, guys," Director Drumm tried to plead with his three gathered students. "It's not that big of a deal, okay? We're just going to meet a family who's interested in their daughter joining our family and I'd like for them to meet a few of our students here to help break the ice. Easy peasy." "But... it's freezing." Aradia said calmly as they all stood there in the driveway waiting for the van to warm up. The quartet stood shivering. "We could totally keep an eye on things for you while you're gone, no problem. Just a normal day." As if on cue a young mutant with redish hued 'psychic wings' flew past them at break neck speed, slamming into a tree a second later. His 'wings' fizzled out with a blink as he tumbled to the ground just before all the snow in tree buried him. The kids that were chasing him ran to the tree as he was digging himself out, apparently unhurt. He grounded mutant raised his hands, pleading to one of the others that was approaching. "Mucus tag!" The approaching mutant shouted before drowning the snow covered boy in a barrage sticky, slimy mucus balls he dripped into his hand from his never empty nose. The Director and his three companions simply stood there, mouths agape in disgust and horror at the rather rancid scene. This of course meant retaliation and in a matter of moments the booger soaked boy begain blasting the others with bolts of reddish psychic energy, leaving them all drooling in a heap upon the cold snow. Jericho smiled brightly looking to Aradia. " Oh, how I yearn for normal. Get in the van." He ushered them into the van and turned to the poor snot soaked boy. "Hawke! Hawke, are they dead? They better not be dead. Or vegetables. I want no vegetables either." The boy shook his head, trying not to cry at the humiliation of being covered in boogers. "They're just dreaming of Cookie Monster." "Well, that's rather kind of you, I thought you baked their brains this time." Jericho was rather pleased at the restraint the young man showed despite how he was just treated. "Not really," Hawke shrugged, still shambling his way to the front entrance wringing boogers out of his scarf. "They're the cookies." With a stern glance the occupants of the van quit laughing hysterically. So much for restraint. Jericho sighed. "Just get inside and let someone know they're out here. We can't have them freezing. We'll talk when I get back." He climbed into the van and began driving off and by the time the van had reached the end of the drive way, all four were laughing hysterically again... Just a normal day. About an hour later... "Alright, we're here." The van pulled into the driveway of a rather nice home, apparently the parents did pretty well for themselves. "Now, remember..." "No power use." Aradia repeated, with a roll of the eyes. "Be respectful." Alex chimed up. "We're here to set their minds at ease about the school." Natalie said on queue. "Thank you. Now come on, try to have some fun with this. What's the worst that could happen?" He said with his typical charming smile. The four stepped onto the porch and Alex rang the doorbell...
  6. The wind blew cold and hard outside the Kauffman Center for the Arts; Midwest winters were always unfriendly. The other members of the charity committee board were straggling out in twos and threes, but Kitty was well ahead of them, moving briskly toward her rented car. She was eager to get away before Connor caught up with her. ,, It had seemed a pleasant commitment last November; a charity for cancer, featuring a nova auction. It was still in the formation stages, which meant they had a long time before this duty would be over. Before Christmas, Kitty had looked forward to it. Now the long months of planning seemed to drag on interminably. ,, It was so hard to see him and know that they weren’t together. It was harder to look at him and feel disappointment. Kitty felt tears sting her eyes. She’d lost Harley, her best friend, and now it felt like she’d lost the friend she’d made since Harley’s death. Damnit, Connor, why? I thought we knew where we were… ,, Kitty lifted her chin and blinked back tears. No. No more crying over Connor. She was done with moping over a man. It was a new day for Kitty Price.
  7. March 5th, 2013 ,, Connor had had a good weekend. God knows he needed it. It had been nonstop since the new year, as he ran around the world on DSA errands and State Department PR ops. he had seen scarce little of any of his comrades at the office, considering his highly irregular hours. He'd had the first and second of March off, for the gand opening of the new podbay in Houston something he didn't want to miss. ,, It was back to work though afterwards, as he was now In Mexico City, a guest of the President, who was seeking to improve US-Mexican relations. He'd been a real reformer so far rooting out corruption and on the whole truly helping redeem the Mexican central government's reputation in the eyes of the world. Of course, he made some enemies in this, but for the most part, his economic reforms had helped the nation, and the people were behind him. ,, Mexico boasted only three publicly known novas, Ming, Mariposa Esposita, and Juan Carlos Camacho, The man working for the Department of Agriculture. It was his work that had helped bring in record crops this past year, the old Ranch owner and vaquero was blessed with a gifted mind, but simple dreams. He had been offered far more money by the US in the early days of the DSA, but had remained in Mexico, much as Mariposa had. "I can do the most good for my people here." ,, He was in the Northwest, working there, and Ming and Mariposa were at the next stop on this goodwill tour. The Centro Medico Dalinde Hospital was the place where the petite Mariposa worked tirelessly to help diagnose treat an heal the sick in Mexico City, and She met the President and Connor's Entourage at the door. She shook hands with President Lorenzo, who kissed her knuckles lightly. When she came to Connor she seemed torn, and he extended a hand to her, which she took and then embraced him fondly. "I hear the two of you are well acquainted." ,, Connor smiled. "We are old friends on excellent terms." Mariposa blushed abit and regained her composure. "Gentlemen, please, I have many who would like to meet you, and much I wish to show you." She led them through the hospital into the non secure areas and the President shook hands with those patients they passed. It had all been cleared, and many were more impressed to see him there than Connor, until they came to the children's ward. There were two dozen beds in the largest wardroom, and the curtains were drawn back, they'd been told to expect a special visitor, not two, and certainly not Connor. ,, The eyes of two dozen children lit up upon seeing their guests, and They were ablaze with excitement. Both President Lorenzo and Connor spent time with each of them, and towards the end of the visit Connor even put on a miniature show for the them between two miniature copies of himself. ,, They lef and were outside the ward room when Connor felt the first tremble. He moved fast, faster than anyone there, to Shield the President and Mariposa, and then the main force of the quake shook the city to its foundations. There was a thunderous roar as the earth shook, and a high pitch Ringing that cased him actual pain. He went metal out of reflex even as the building was beginning to crumble. The ground shook and pitched, and For a moment his mind almost blanked. The hospital was already falling around him, and soon he and everyone there would be buried in thousands of tons of debris. ,, Across the city this was replayed. The military base, the refineries, every major building, all succumbed to the force of the 8.9 earthquake as monitoring stations all across the southwest detected the massive quake. most homes suffered great damage if not destruction, and fires raged across the slums and shantytowns of the city.The police were overwhelmed communications were knocked out, and what Emergency Response services that were on the streets at the time were largely all that remained in the city. The Death Toll in that first minute was over a hundred thousand, and would climb much higher by the time things were done. ,, Beneath 80 tons of stone Connor lay braced on the ground, covering three of Lorenzo's guards, the President, and Mariposa. They had all been knocked out in the fall, and Connor woke them with his tail in his minature Black lion form. "Connor?" ,, "There was an Earthquake a bad one, The hospital is around us, in shambles. The whole city was hit. Mariposa, we have a huge problem on our hands." ,, President Lorenzo awoke with a start.."Connor?" ,, "Yes sir. " ,, "My people?" ,, "I only see the five of you..." There was no hiding his sadness. ,, "More than we have any right to have hoped for. I've never felt one like that." Connor Nodded. "This building was one of the newest, and it was flattened. Sir, I recomend you appeal for immediate international Aid. There are people dying out there, and we have to help them." ,, The passion with which Connor spoke would have brought a lesser man to tears, he had no idea what brought out this nova's earnest desire to help strangers in a country not his own, but he was thankful to God for it, and He would do exactly as he said. "Your government?" ,, "Would need a Direct appeal from you sir." ,, "Do you have a phone?" ,, "No, it was destroyed in the fall.." ,, One of the guards held his up. "Sattelite, For emergencies." ,, "Now, sir, I will be honest. When I break us out of here, We may very well cause casualties. I will be careful, but I wish to state this now." ,, President Lorenzo shook his head. "There is nothing to be done. If the damage was this bad, then I may be the only one able to make this call and make it stick." Even Mariposa could only Nod. "I can feel Ming. after you free us help me get to her, she'll help." ,, Connor Nodded, and soon metal began to flow off of him as he shifted forms again. The metal encased them looking almost spherical for a moment but soon became a hand. Then, Amidst the rubble and ruin of the Sprawling Capital, an utterly massive Gundam Strike Freedom in it's gleaming black white blue and golden glory, two hundred and thirteen feet tall towering above everything else that remained.It held up it's hand its fingers uncurling. There was not much smoke around them, only due to the wind blowing it east. "Call quickly from my platform." The call was made, and Connor gave the right number and code to signify it was from him. It went first to Director Horst, The situation was explained, and he then used his clout to pass it directly to the President. ,, "President Carlson, I respectfully request Emergency Aid for my people. Thousands lay dead, and assuredly your people detected the quake that has ravaged my capital and nearly destroyed it. Please send all that you can, to help stave off any further loss of life. I know these aren't the proper channels, but innocent lives are in grave danger, and pride an bueracracy matter very little balanced against that." ,, Connor motioned for the phone to be directed to him. "Mr. President this is assistant Director Fontenot, I request immediate preparations to mobilize what personnel we can from the DSA to come down here and help these people. I'm already standing astride a ruined hospital, every building over the size of a house is in rubble, sir, these people need us." ,, President David Carlson looked to his Cabinet and the Secretary of Defense nodded. "I can have a Regiment in the air in 3 hours." ,, The Secretary of State nodded. "It will take time to get the red cross involved, and send our own Medical teams in." ,, "President Lorenzo, I will issue an order for a regiment of troops and Army Engineers to aid you, they'll be there in roughly 12 hours. What medical personnel and supplies I can muster, as well as Fire fighting crews, I will send as well." ,, Lorenzo shook his head. Twelve hours was a miracle but far too long. "Thank you President Carlson, for your prompt reply. God bless you and the American People." ,, He closed the phone and looked crestfallen. ,, "twelve hours, there's no telling how many of us will be dead by then." ,, Connor looked at him. "Dial the first number again, ask for Director Horst, I may have a sollution.: ,, He did so. "I can't hurry them any more Connor, even with such a tragedy..." ,, "I can." ,, "What?" "Get together all our people, Make Sure Dr. Richardson is there above everyone else. She's going to be the key in this." ,, It had been thirty minutes now since the quake and the news was starting to get out Everyone wanted to know what was happening, and after Connor's first Call, the Director had already recalled all DSA nova operatives to meet in one of the auditoriums in the compound. "Alright Connor, we'll do it your way I'm having everyone in the auditorium in ten minutes I'll see you then." ,, Horst Hung up and the Mexican president looked up at him. "What are you playing at?" ,, "I will save as many as I can, even if it costs me my job." He began shrinking down setting them on the ground safely, as he took a more manageable 8m tall form without the large wings. "Now, Mariposa, lead me to Ming."..... ,, ,,
  8. This will be where we create, discuss and disect idea involving the various toys we'll be playing with throughout the UA 'game'. Use this thread as a means of offering up input and adding to our ideas so we can create a final piece of work to include in the UA universe. Consider this a work bench where we tinker with prototype ideas.
  9. Olivia woke up crying. For a moment, she was still in the jungle; it was night and she could smell the stink of bleeding bodies and feel their touch on her. For a moment, her stomach and chest hurt from the long-healed bullet wounds of that night; the wounds in her flesh faded but the agony in her heart was still there. Stifling her sobs, Olivia glanced over at the other cot in the rude hut: Sadie Lou was still sleeping, her snores barely audible over the drone of the rain. At least she hadn’t woken her roommate this time. Olivia found this a small comfort as she dragged her pillow over her head and sobbed into its stiff white cotton cover. She wept for Sean, for her innocence and for the other two people who had died. She wept because she was still afraid—scared to be alone or in a jeep at night or just scared. She wept because she was still hurt, and she didn’t know if it would ever stop hurting. Her post-nightmare crying fit took a while to run dry. When she was done, she felt exhausted, as if she hadn’t slept at all. Another day in Burma. Once, it hadn’t been like this. After meeting Sean, she’d been hopeful and happy. That woman had been a child: she’d seen the harshness of the world and still thought there was more good than evil. That woman was no more; her optimism had been murdered in the jungle with her beau. Sniffling a little, Olivia got out of bed and tugged on her ætherfiber clothing. She’d heard that some women wearing the dynamic-created clothing went without their underclothing, or even made underclothing from their ætherfiber. To her, that felt like wearing her underwear where everyone could see it and so she had proper underclothes underneath the amazing, shifting clothing. Once dressed, Olivia grabbed her satchel and umbrella. It was a rare spring rainfall in the jungles of Burma, a reminder that the summer wet was coming. Yawning a little, she picked her way through the mud, trying to keep her galoshes from splashing dirty brown water onto her white uniform. She could clean it easily, but it was unsanitary. The mess was quiet and dry. It was the latter point that was important to Olivia as she took a seat well away from the kitchen. The three negro cooks were laboring away, getting breakfast ready for the small Red Cross camp. Olivia smiled to herself as she caught snippets of their easy banter. It drove away the sting of the nightmare and left her feeling a touch better. Normalcy. That was what she needed right now. Making sure her fingers were dry, she opened her satchel and pulled out the stationery and pen. A partially composed letter was waiting for her, and the young nurse reread what she’d written yesterday. Picking up her pen, she focused for a moment and started to write. The click of a tin cup on the wooden table caught Olivia’s attention. She looked sharply up to see Carl, one of the cooks, walking away. A steaming cup of coffee sat in front of her now; when she glanced again at Carl, he winked at her. They weren’t supposed to serve food outside of the regular mealtimes, but all the colored men were coddling her in small ways. Olivia took a sip of the coffee; it wasn’t very good but most food wasn’t very good over here. It was all so strange or had to ship so long that it was no longer flavorful. The caffeine was quite welcome, and as she set the tin back down, she realized she was stalling. The young woman sighed, hoisted her pen and heavily continued writing. Olivia stopped, her fingers shaking and tears in her eyes. She couldn’t tell her mother that she’d felt glad when the men died. She’d have to rewrite this page. The young woman breathed deeply for a moment to compose herself before starting again. Someone was shouting her name, and Olivia focused on the cry. It wasn’t anyone she knew, but she was familiar with the tone. Hastily she capped her pen and refolded her papers, putting them back in the satchel just as the British soldier burst into the mess tent. He was young, with a baby-smooth face. It was the wide eyes and pale skin that made Olivia think him young; he had that shocked look that boys get from their first taste of war. “Nurse Jennings?” “Yes?” she asked, grabbing her umbrella. The boy took two steps toward her and she recoiled reflexively. He was anxious and it was making her nervous. “Ma’am, we need you at the Army hospital. One of my mates - he’s hurt real bad.” It would be very bad if the British Army was calling on her for help. That meant it was something beyond what the surgeons could do for their man. “Then let’s go,” she said, waving for him to lead the way. If it was that dire, they didn’t have time to stand about and talk.
  10. This fiction contains scene of violence, sex and sexual violence. You have been warned. Oberleutnant Otis Huber had a problem. Soldat Ralf Kappel was the third man to go AWOL this month. It wasn’t like these men were on the front lines. This was training post, in the heart of Berlin, and these men weren’t lazy or prone to delinquent behavior. Yet they had disappeared and he had the bad feeling that they weren’t the last. Fahnenjunker Koch entered the room, carrying a clipboard. “I asked the men about Kappel.” The little officious man adjusted his glasses and peered at his notes. “He did not draw duty last night—” “I am aware of the duty roster, Fahnenjunker.” It was a sign of his agitation that he cut Koch off. Normally, Huber was far more indulgent of his men; treating them without respect was a sure way to sow dissent. He softened his voice as he added, “I’m sure you have discovered something else.” Koch was many things, the foremost of which was efficient. “Of course, sir. Kappel and six other men had permission to leave the barracks and go into Berlin proper. The seven of them went to dinner and then a theatre show. Our men ran into a group from Training Division Kurland at the bar after the movie. Kappel and another soldat named Niklas Fleischer decided to leave for…” Koch paused and twitched his lips in distaste. “A house of ill repute.” “Soldiers will be soldiers,” Huber replied, taking a sip of his tea. In truth, the thought disgusted him, but he had been a young man once. It would be better for the troops to frequent brothels than for their manly pressures to build until they were tempted into viler activities. “Yes, sir.” The repugnance hadn’t left Koch’s face. “I took the liberty of visiting Kurland.” This is why Koch was his assistant; he would not only take initiative, but he knew when to do so and when to refrain. Huber allowed Koch to see his pleasure as he asked, “Anything of note?” “Yes, Oberleutnant. I learned that Soldat Fleischer is missing as well.” Koch’s smugness seemed out of proportion until he added, “I have a friend in the Personnel department and learned that there are many disappearances within the ranks.” Huber’s eyes narrowed. When he spoke again, his words were enunciated precisely enough to cut. “How many disappearances?” “Ten men in twelve nights.” Huber inhaled slightly, dread easing into his bones. Ten was not so many… but ten was the start of an avalanche, in his opinion. Ten men abandoning their posts on the front lines during a losing battle was expected. That many in the heart of the Reich while on training was too many. Personnel should have seen these losses—only Fleischer and Kappel hadn’t been reported. Eight was better than ten; perhaps the head of Personnel had told himself one more and I report. Perhaps he had already reported. Huber snatched up his phone. Regardless of what the head of personnel had done, Huber was about to report this trend. His superior, Hauptmann Schneider, valued men who were reactionary rather than passive. And while Schneider hated to be bothered with needless details, Huber’s instincts were telling him that this was important.
  11. For Ayato, The time since the last mission had been spent getting used to his "Enhancements." He was much faster than he'd ever been before. beyond that his physical strength was so much greater. Dr. Goro sat there watching him as he went through his exercises, mostly writing on a small notebook, his observations. ,, "That last lift was over a metric Ton Ayato." "I can still do more, Doctor. I just don't see more weight." ,, Dr. Goro nodded. "Perhaps there may be another way within the systems, i will make some inquiries for you." ,, "Thank you. Have you assessed any of the others?" ,, "No, Captain, I have not. You are the first, though I left an open invitation to any others who may wish to quantify the effects of the enhancements. No one has yet replied." ,, Ayato nodded, and he seemed to shimmer, then vanish altogether. "That makes you more like a Ninja than you think." ,, Ayato appeared a dozen feet away, with not a single sound. "Special Operations Training helps there too." ,, "Do you have any further exercises you wish to see here, or shall we move on?" ,, "Run through your high speed Kata one more time, and we can move to the range." ,, Ayato nodded, and began moving at a speed very few could keep up with, his movements perfectly precise, yet moving as water, smoothly.
  12. Please leave comments, conjecture, questions, and reviews here. Rules are: be courteous and helpful; critiques are welcome, belittling is not. ,, Thank you for reading and taking the time to discuss!
  13. Abbey - Communal living accommodation for nuns. No abbeys exist for men in Children of Heaven. ,, Family - When used with a capital in reference to a nephilim bloodline, it refers to nephilim families of high "purity", or angelic ancestry, influence, resources, and connections. A family is usually composed of multiple Households of the adult members of the family, with children often living most of their lives at home. ,, First - The terms used by therianthropes for their leaders, usually coupled with a geographical or social tag, such as the First of South America or the First of the Ailuranthropes (cat shifters). There is also the First, who is the leader of all therianthropes. The term of First is gained through a democratic vote, with acts of bravery, martial prowess, and personal magnetism determining most votes. Flood, The - The flooding of the World by human Sanctified that ended the ancient Nephilim empire roughly five thousand years ago. The Flood broke up the original single landmass of the World and reconfigured the world and oceans to their modern locations. ,, Humanity - The children of Seth, third son of Adam and the Eve, and his three wives. Humans carry the divine gift to perform miracles and claim that they are the chosen people of God, having souls and free of the sin of Caine. Humanity controls most lands considered "First World" countries in our world. ,, Kizora - A nephilim that is not considered a child but is not considered adult yet because they have not established their own Household. ,, Metatron - The Voice of God, the only angel that God communicates directly with. ,, Miracles - Magical abilities possessed by humans. They include healing, repairing broken objects, cleansing items and people, creating everything from fire to simple items, flight, etc. More specifics to be added as we come up with them. ,, Monastery - Facilities for both men and women (always separate facilities) for those that commit sins against the Church but not actual crimes. Like asylums of the Victorian era, many methods are used to "rehabilitate" those sent to monasteries. Very few people sent to monasteries are released again, almost always women and universally broken in spirit. They are usually kept out of sight by their families and take up menial tasks in their family's homes. ,, Nephilim - The bastard children of the Second Woman and God's angels. They wield glamour, the ability to cast illusions, and are inhumanly beautiful. They also emit a glow, the stronger the glow the greater the angelic heritage of the nephilim. Nephilim are confined to small islands around the world, neither humans nor therianthropes will let nephilim get a foothold on any mainland. Nephilim lifespans are directly tied to the strength of their angelic heritage, ranging from human average to centuries; it is rumored that there truly ancient nephilim still living in the World. ,, Nephilim Empire - The first empire of the World, created and ruled by the nephilim, with humans and therians as slave races. ,, Nun - A human woman that has taken vows as a Daughter of Seth, forsaking marriage and children to pursue magical and professional ambitions otherwise denied to women in human society. Nuns that run an abbey are referred to as Revered Sister, and nuns that are particularly respected in their field of choice are called Sister Superiors, usually with their area of expertise added (the Sister Superior of Engineering at Brightenburg Abbey). All inventions, discoveries, and advancements made by nuns are considered the property of and created by the Church. Any nun or her family that takes personal pride in the accomplishments of the nun is considered prideful and crass. ,, Praisya - Nephilim word for slave. ,, Pirajana - Nephilim word for servant. ,, Prophet, The - The head of the Church, and technically elected by the Cardinals after the death of the previous Prophet. In practice, Prophets usually designate an heir before they die that is then voted in by the Cardinals. It has happened before that a designated heir was not voted in, but only once. The first Prophet was a human that (at least claimed) the Metatron spoke to him, instructing him in how to organize humanity to cause the Flood and end the nephilim empire. ,, Sanctified - Humans with significant talent in miracles. ,, Ser - Unisex nephilim term of respect. ,, Sentinels - A clerical order of soldiers that oversees the security of nuns and pursues profane crimes - crimes that specifically violate the tenets of the Church. ,, Sumaya - The head of a nephilim's Household. ,, Therianthropes - The children of Lilith and Caine, therianthropes have the ability to shift between humanoid and animal forms. Therians control most of the "Second World" and "Third World" territories in the world. They lost control of North America to humans only a generation ago; some therians even still remember living on the continent. Therians usually live a few decades longer than humans. ,, Wives of Seth - When each son of Adam was born, it was with a twin sister. God commanded that Caine's twin sister be Abel's wife and Abel's twin be Caine's. Caine's twin decided she preferred Caine over Abel and seduced the younger brother. When Caine confronted Abel to officially claim her as his second wife, the brothers quarreled and Caine murdered Abel. Caine was expelled from the family and both women were given to the third son Eve bore afterwards, who also had a twin sister. Thus Seth came to have three wives, which is now the legal limit for a man in the human empire. ,, Woman, First - Lilith, created at the same time as Adam. She refused to be submissive to Adam and left him. ,, Woman, Second - Created from dust just as Adam and Lilith had been, but Adam refuted her as he had watched God create her and was disgusted to see the innards of a human. She left without having been given the Breath of Life, a soul, by God or a name by Adam. She is also known as the Nameless One. ,, Woman, Third - Eve, Adam's second wife and the mother of Abel, Caine, and Seth and their twin sisters.
  14. With all due respect to Mala, I've noticed that suddenly Sanctum Sanctorum has become a discussion point among CN players. As the conversation in regards to Quantum 6 has been mixed up with discussion on Sanctum Sanctorum, I feel that it may be a good idea to discuss how to fix/improve Sanctum/Sanctum Sanctorum as a feature in Cosmos Nova. I know something got posted in the Q6 discussion, I would like to offer something as well. I will post it in the next post for ease of reference.
  15. Prologue 0030, April 1, 1940 Miami, Florida; US Coast Guard Base It was quiet. A early spring morning, and it is a bit warm for the time of year for the night. It was a smooth 65 degrees, although it was forecast to hit the mid eighties that afternoon. Not that the weather was of particular concern to a individual walking where they shouldn't. She had gotten into the marina with skill. Her suit the hallmark of Nazi German engineering. Allowing her to breathe water, giving the woman a chance to use her dynamic talent for swimming faster than a torpedo while remaining undetected. She snuck around to a side door leading to an open area in the marina, large enough for a heavy seaplane to move in, just what the stalker was looking for. A spotlight swung around and she with one hand gracefully gets under the dock, where she would plant part one of her device. A odd black box, attached under the dock pointing out, right where the main mooring would be for a seaplane. Then she sunk into the water and once she hit bottom, she planted her second device, seeing the searchlight in vain looking in it's usual pattern. The second device was also black, but it had a bobber that popped up. She reeled a crank letting the bobber float higher and higher until it was about a foot from the surface, the bobber colored the same as the surrounding water. She moved some seaweed about, making sure the box the bobber was attached to wouldn't be spotted. Then as quick as she came she started off, heading into the dark depths like a ghost from the depths. No more that 30 minutes later she arrived where a German U-Boat sat, awaiting her arrival. Sitting some 400 miles off the coast. She crawled into the escape hatch and closed the hatch above her and let the chamber she was in vent it's water before a submariner opened the door leading into the sub. A man in a black SS uniform nodded to her. "Captain Alexa, report." He was her commanding officer, and he was eager to hear of her success. "It was like taking candy from a baby, Colonel. The first device, the one with the bobber, was set to the proper depth so the self-attaching magnetic coupling would properly contact and trigger. The other box is tuned to the assigned frequency as you asked." "Excellent." "Once the seaplane they are going to use arrives to pick up the girl and her little toy, the Americans will regret interfering with the Fatherland." "When is the Navy set to arrive in Miami?" "Last I heard, while observing a couple stupid sailors standing around their patrol boat, by 3pm Today." "Good, I guess their little advice of loose lips sink ships doesn't get heeded as much as it should." The woman pulled back the clear facemask that lead to a complex backpack that was her air-supply when underwater. Her stunning blue eyes were compounded by the scars on her face from several battles with "Aces" from France, Poland, and England. She loved drowing every one. Hence her name "Sea Witch", when translated to English. "The Americans should listen to their own advice. The less advangages they have to give to Britain when we strangle them, the better. The honor of killing the little prodigy Dynamic Britain sent will be a bonus. She's smart, but just as mortal as the pilots that will share her fate." "Although when the device they're testing fails, the crewmen will be quite dead before she meets her watery grave." The SS officer mused. "All in due time... all we have to do is wait. Once the seaplane, a Catalina, has sunk, all we have to do is collect the device." "But what will keep them from getting it?" "The sabotage device will put off a strong X-Frequency Aetheric Wave, from the interferance the two devices will create in harmony with the experiment, once the little girl's experiment is turned on. Actually, about 10 minutes into it's operation." The SS officer knew what a X-Frequency Aetheric Wave would do to the human brain. It would send such an electrical shock through the nervous system that it would fry the brain while every blood vessel burst around it. That and there would be lingering effects for hours afterward. Only a Dynamic would withstand such energy and the ambient after-glow. "Excellent. You've shown yourself to be a credit to the Fatherland, Katarina." Katarina pulled out a mauser, and almost on the same reflex parked three bullets into his brain. "Yes... I am... unfortunately a traitor like you, Herr Shwarzstadt, will no longer be tolerated." She waved to a couple seamen that burst through the door. "Sailors, take this refuse to torpedo tube number 4 and launch it into the sea. This spy for the British will no longer be causing us trouble." They nodded and did as she ordered. "The British will soon pay for soiling the uniform of the Shustaffel! Soon indeed..." She knew that the crew of the boat now could be compromised. She sighed, her Ubermenshen training kicking in. She reached into a foot locker near her and flipped a switch on a black box, then grabbed what looked like a yellow bag that looked too bulky to be just her personal effects. She then ran into the same escape tube as before. Then flooded the compartment as she pulled her facemask back down again, as a couple sailors ran to the door with confused faces. She kept a count in her head. There was a sonic device that she had placed in her foot locker that would wreck the integrety of the hull by popping every rivet around it. It would be hapening in one minute. Once she opened the hatch outside she heard the sonic weapon activate, and on queue the hull split dead-center, a burst of air and fuel entered the water. Once she hit the surface she turned a knob that was attached to a gas bottle on the bag she carried and it deployed into a single-person raft. Her bag with her personal effects and her SS uniform was sitting dry as a bone in a clear bag made of aetherfiber. She wasn't left in the water long as a black flying-wing aircraft landed nearby her, it's pontoons unfolding from it's wings. Then it opened a hatch. She climbed in as a luftwaffe pilot saluted her. "Was the mission a success?" "Yes, unfortunately those onboard U-555 needed to be terminated as the crew was found to be harboring a British spy masquerading as a SS officer. They were showing signs of defection." "Unfortunate." The pilot said turning the flying-wing aircraft around. "We don't have much fuel, but we will be rendevousing with the Graf Zepplin near the agreed point. It will refuel us and allow us to return to Berlin." She nodded taking her seat. "I do love technology... it makes my job so much easier." That Morning 0830, Pensacola Naval Base A group of Navy Airmen, all mixed ranks were sitting at their table enjoying Breakfast. They were stationed there for rescue duty as pilots trained in using fighters for carrier flight. They were supposed to be on duty, but their captain was grounded with an intestinal infection and they were pulled from the active roster for the next week as a precaution. Commander Peter Trenton, sat eating his scrambled eggs, looking over his compatriots. Bored out of his mind. "Shit... Why you think they pulled us for whatever the Captain caught?" Lieutenant Alex Aceworth, son of the American Aetherfiber Tycoon Alex Aceworth Senior, Drank some Orange Juice, smiling. "Ever thought that we might have whatever is ailing our captain in our guts too? I mean, we don't stray very far from each other as we're practically on duty every hour, sir." "Nugget, we're off duty... we can speak freely." Everyone here that was a pilot had some form of combat experience except for Alex. Pete got sent back stateside from his time as a Flying Tiger with the Captain, he was a bit unhinged after a couple of his men were captured by Japanese and sent to a labor camp. The Captain himself was discharged, but he ended up re-assigned to Pensacola's training facility to help train new pilots in carrier warfare. The name Nugget annoyed him. Ensign Thomas Allen, on the other hand, accomplished rescue swimmer and medic sat with his elbows on the table absentmindedly looking outside. "Whatever... that just means the best team isn't on the field." He said, looking at the baseball report. "Well... they're saying the Washington Senators would be the team to beat." Alex rolled his eyes. "If Minnesota could just have a baseball team." "Don't it snow this time of the year in Siberia, Nugget?" Commander Trenton snarked as all Alex could to is stare holes into Trenton's head. A sailor sitting near the three stoot up quick and shouted "Admiral on deck!" and the three stood up out of reflex, facing the Admiral that walked in with their Captain, Captain Morris Williams dressed in his full flight gear. "Gentlemen. At Ease." Admiral David Cartwright, a 30 year veteran of the Navy, serving since the before the Great War, and becoming a Dynamic because of it put his cover under his arm. "You're having breakfast. You'll need it soon enough. I am in need of your skills today." The captain smiled. "Alex... this is going to be your first flight you're commanding. Pete's going to be with me on the ground, but Tommy's gonna be your copilot on this." Alex blinked. "Huh? Tommy isn't even a pilot." "Yah, I am. I got a commercial licence before enlisting, and I got some time on our Catalina already." Alex remembered the time when Pete was having one of his flashbacks and Tommy had to take the wheel. "Alright... but why the change?" "Risk management. I'll explain en-route to Miami." "You guys got 30 minutes, then get in gear." The Admiral said, leaving as quickly as he came in. The Captain right behind. "Well... seems Cap was in good spirits." Pete said. Alex stroked his chin. "Whatcha think is going on?" Tommy sighed, putting his last bite of breakfast in his mouth. "Don't know, don't care. All I know is I get to fly today!" He said with a grin. "Not so fast, kid... you're not flying to Miami, only when the Admiral has us doing his little errand." Pete quickly responded, feeling his status as the #2 pilot threatened by a hotshot. "Now now, let's not get hot under the collar." Alex said, standing up and finishing the last of his juice. "It's probably some sort of tour that the Admiral is giving some Congressman or something... I keep seeing that guy whenever some top brass or politician is sleazing around." Alex smiled. Knowing a good showing might put him in the running to joining up with the Flying Tigers or perhaps head to England to bolster their pilot roster. Under the table, of course. "Let's get ready, and get this handled."
  16. Simply put, it's been nearly a year, the timeline we set before we'd consider allowing Quantum 6 in this game. I personally, am against allowing it, this game is fine at the level it currently resides, and I don't really see higher quantum adding much to it. Still, this ruled by consensus, so Your thoughts, fellow players.
  17. Jasmine gazed out the window at the island below. It was awash in light, the commercial glare strong enough to spot from several thousand feet above. It was a far cry from the dark ocean water she'd been staring at for the forty-five minutes, or the brief glimpses of French countryside from the beginning of the flight. It didn't take long to cross fly across Europe, not like the trips she used to take from New Orleans to Los Angeles or Miami or New York with her father. Those had taken hours. It had been her mother's idea for her father to take her on his trips for the Church, convinced that her wildness was merely wanderlust, and that the exploration of other cities and people would satiate it. It hadn't worked. No matter where they went, she was expected to act the same, this pretty young daughter of the Cardinal of the South-Central United States. She was expected to act kind, and gentle, and pious. Jasmine didn't have a problem with kind, or even sometimes gentle. But there were times when her temper flared, when angry words fell from her lips as easily as Moses had parted the Red Sea, or when she believed a firm word was so much more appropriate than a gentle touch. "Firm words don't belong on women's lips, daughter. You must tame them, so they won't be soured for your husband." She rolled her eyes and turned her attention back to the approaching island below. Her sheltered mind recoiled slightly as she considered what waited for her there. Ibiza was the party island of the Soulless, a debauched den of sin and wickedness, awash in a sea of sinners clad in too-tight designer jeans and loose morals. At least, according to the Church. And who else was there to ask? She'd tried some of the other Human cities first.. things had been no different in Hamburg or Amsterdam, and in Paris someone had actually recognized her. That was when she had gotten desperate. It was harder than she thought it would be to travel without a male escort, but she'd be damned if she was going to cut off her hair and don the shapeless wardrobe necessary to hide as a nun. She thought Paris would be better, it was whispered there was an underground resistance of a sort there, but she hadn't had much luck locating it. The small group she did fall in with wasn't much comfort - a handful of drifters, social outcasts who'd committed atrocities harsh enough to get them expelled from the Church, but not severe enough for ex-communication. Maybe she hadn't been there long enough to earn their trust, or maybe it was because she hadn't been willing to divulge her crimes. But after she'd been spotted, one of them had offered Ibiza as a suggestion. "There's more'n Nephilim there, I've heard, though maybe you can pass as one of them wearin' their glamours an' it might go better for ya'. I heard they got places there where they do unpleasant things with the Humans they get ahold of. There'll be more English speakers there too, an' maybe you can pick some pockets or somethin' if you can't make it as one of them, till you figure out somethin' better. Probably easier marks there, with 'em all doped up and such, you know?" So she'd taken a gamble with most of the rest of the money she'd acquired and found a plane that made discreet flights to the Nephilim party hub. She was terrified of an island of the Soulless - she'd never even met one before, and like all Humans, she'd been raised on horror stories of the other two races. But an island of soulless debuachers scared her less than the idea of being discovered by the territorial Therianthropes in their lands, or - worse than anything - being dragged back to her father by her own people and thrown back into one of the monasteries. _____________________________ She glanced at her watch and sighed slightly. Thirty-three hours since she'd last slept, since that horrifying moment of recognition in Paris and the flight that had ensued. She'd advised the cab driver at the airport to take her "downtown"... he'd given her a funny look at the lack of specifics, but he'd obliged, and she got out where he pulled over. She didn't have the slightest clue where she was going, but downtowns were always a good place to get lost, weren't they? This one certainly seemed that way - no one had glanced twice at her once she'd stripped down to a simple white tank top and slipped into a store to purchase a short black miniskirt, inexpensive high heels, and some cheap jewelry with the last of her money. The excessively modest layers that had helped her blend in with the conservative Human population while in Paris had stood out like a sore thumb here, and even though Jasmine felt practically naked, she was relieved to not have suspicious eyes following her everywhere. Of course, the outfit drew another sort of attention, but it was still modest compared to some of the other women walking the downtown strip, so she did her best to keep moving, and avoid the occasional low whistle. Of course, now she had another conundrum. She leaned wearily against the wall, and looked up at the large building across the street. It was loud and garish, like everything in this area - lit up with excessive neon, with laughter and music and the ringing sounds of gambling machines that Jasmine had never heard before, but had become familiar with in her first hour of landing in Ibiza. It was, technically, a hotel.. even though she found it hard to believe anyone did any sleeping there, considering all the noise. The rooms, she supposed, were located on the higher levels of the building. It even looked like one of the less expensive ones, compared to some of the others she had passed on her way here. She saw more of what ahe assumed were glamoured Nephilim going in and out of the building too, though she wasn't sure why. Maybe they were trying to draw more of the Human and Therianthrope visitors for some reason, or maybe these were Nephilim that wanted to hide, even from their own people. Or maybe it was the human spot, who knew? It didn't seem like there should be so many Humans in one place on Ibiza. But she hadn't had much luck pickpocketing, and she was too nervous to try too much tonight, considering how exhausted she was. She needed to sleep soooo badly. Maybe, if she tried her hand at some of the gambling machines, she could win enough money to pay for a hotel room for a couple nights, until she got her bearings and figured out where to go or what to do from here. She sighed, and squared her shoulders, trying to drum up her courage. Then she crossed the street and entered the casino.
  18. We've been having a sudden swarm in terms of rules issues and more and more Aberrant and the Storyteller system has proven unable to fit our needs by my opinion. Therefor I am putting up a motion to change systems to something far more defined and can be more easily house-ruled where necessary. 1: We move to Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Edition. 2: We decide who will be a GM in said game to oversee plot. 3: We operate from where we leave off in the Aberrant plot. 4: We keep a democratic process in regards to the game. I am feeling that once we make the switch to M&M3 our path will be clearer in this game, and we might be able to stop having rules problems being a barrier to doing what we should be doing in this game; being our characters. I don't know how this proposal will be recieved, I don't have any expectation of success, but I don't want CN to get killed off because of a game system that is, quite frankly, dysfunctional for our needs.
  19. ~One~ ,, "Mayday, mayday, mayday, this is the HMS Thunder Bay - " ,, There was a spark, and the smell of ozone, and the young man swore, pulling his fingers back from the radio. They tingled as he sucked on them. "Damn seawater - " He left his chair, stepping carefully on the wet floor of the radio room, as it started to tilt uneasily. He grabbed a raincoat off the wall, using the rubber to insulate his hand as he reached for the radio again. ,, "I say again, mayday, mayday, mayday, this is the HMS Thunder Bay requesting immediate assistance! Our escort suffered fuel loss and had to turn back and we have already launched our Hurricat. We are not under active fire but we have suffered a breach and an engine failure and have taken on water! I say again, mayday - " ,, The man paused, and started to stand again, as the captain of the vessel entered. "Sir - " ,, "Don't salute me, Fitzgerald, get back on the damn radio!" ,, "Sir, yes Captain Wells, sir!" ,, Fitzgerald leaned close to the microphone and repeated his message, exchanging a quick glance with the man running the sonar station. Captain Wells just looked out the window, and sighed. "At least the Hurricat chased off the bombers. Small mercy, but I'll take it." ,, "Mayday, mayday, mayday, this is the HMS Thunder Bay, requesting immediate assistance - " Fitzgerald paused, as the man at the sonar station slowly stood. ,, "Sir." He cleared his throat, his voice cracking. "Sonar contact, sir. It… it fits the signature of a U-boat." The captain closed his eyes. "I see." He cast his gaze out the window once more. "Well, they'll surely sink the boat. But they may leave us alone if we get into the lifeboats…" ,, The sonar operator and the radio operator exchanged glances. Captain Wells just smiled. "We gave it a shot. Just in case they don't sink the boat, I'll be staying behind to make sure it goes down properly." ,, "Sir - " ,, "Head to the lifeboats, Fitzgerald. That is an - hmmm." ,, Captain Wells leaned towards the sonar screen, tapping it, examining the pale green afterimage. "Hornby. Is that boat surfacing? ,, "I - yes. Yes, it appears to be." ,, "Why? They have us dead to rights down there. Why surface when they can get in range of the deck gun?" Wells then thought for a moment, and nodded. "They may intend to take the boat. If that's true then we have a chance to take a few of them with us. Get the lifeboats ready, but do not abandon ship. Ready the deck guns. We'll just see if… they are surfacing rather quickly, aren't they?" ,, He kept an eye on the sonar screen, which didn't lie - every sweep brought the ship closer to the surface. "Someone's in a hurry. Keep transmitting! Keep an eye on the sonar! If you see anything unusual, tell me immediately!" ,, The captain hustled out onto the deck. When he emerged, he shouted orders, and the men's training took over, loading the machineguns with a fresh barrel and a fresh belt of ammunition. "They'll be surfacing at 4 o'clock! Get ready!" ,, The men obeyed. The captain waited. Indifferent as always, the seawater swept by. ,, After a tense minute, the spotter found the shape of the boat, seconds before it breached the surface. It rose to level, and then above sea level, and then - in front of four dozen disbelieving pair of eyes, the submarine lifted clean out of the water. ,, "What the hell?" The captain pulled out a spyglass, peering through it. His eyebrows shot up at something, and then he smiled. ,, "Captain…?" ,, "Keep the guns hot. But… we might just be okay." ,, The submarine descended back into the water, and then a small human form rose from the water - floating, heedless of gravity, in a red, white and black caped uniform. No one could get a close enough look, but the captain could see clearly through his spyglass, and it was enough to momentarily shake his disbelief in the almighty. ,, The person - clearly a woman, very clearly even at this range - floated down to the top hatch, and incredibly, knocked on it. After a few moments, a person's head popped out of it. For a tense few minutes they appeared to have an argument, then the hatch closed, and the woman dove back beneath the waves. ,, Someone came running in from the sonar room, shouting something about how the boat was retreating. The captain just nodded, waiting - and sure enough, the woman returned. ,, She floated through the air, stopping over - but not on - the deck. Water ran down her body, dribbling on the deck. Everyone looked towards her. It was difficult not to. She coughed. ,, "Okay, I had a chat with the only person on that boat who spoke English. I need to learn German. Anyways, ah, I tied all their guns in knots and threw out all their torpedoes and they say they're going to go back to Germany on account of all that, so you're okay. I see that you're taking on water so I guess you need a tow?" ,, Someone whistled. She flinched at the sound. The captain looked askance over his shoulder, and the offending whistler coughed. "Sir, sorry, sir." ,, "No way to treat a lady, Private. Especially one that just saved our lives. If you're waiting for permission to come aboard - " He looked at the space between the deck and her feet. "You have it." ,, She landed, gracefully. "Thank you. You're not far from ACE Base Atlantic. I can tow you there." ,, "When we get there, who should I credit with saving the lives of everyone on this ship as well as several hundred pounds of aetherfiber?" ,, "No one important." She ran her fingers through long blonde hair. "Honest."
  20. Date: April, 1941 Location: Near the Burmese / Chinese Border ,, The jeep rolled to a stop at the checkpoint, the red mud-slicked sides testament to the quality of the roads along which it had traveled. In the back were bundles and sacks under the waterproof tarpaulin covering, and in the front was an unshaven man wearing a beaten and battered bush hat. From behind the dirty windshield, the man watched the uniformed soldiers manning the checkpoint as they not-quite-pointed their guns at the jeep. An officer marched to the driver's side, impassive Oriental features locked in what the young man probably thought was a stern poker face, the driver mused. He'd have to work better at it - the combination of wariness and officious hostility was all too evident to one who knew how to see them. ,, "Who are you?" the officer demanded in decent English, at least. The man in the jeep smiled up at him, tipping back the bush hat. ,, "I work for Pok Ma Ting." he said easily, a touch of some European accent in his voice. The officer shifted his footing at the name, but that was to be expected considering that Pok Ma Ting was chief of the local bandits and nominally an ally of the Japanese. He also had a nasty habit of mounting the heads of men who displeased him on wooden stakes... with their genitals in their mouths. The officer narrowed his eyes. ,, "You work for him?" he demanded, trying to sound incredulous. Though the man in the jeep was scruffy enough, he seemed a cut above Pok's run of the mill scum - deserters, bandits, murderers, opium fiends and rapists. ,, "Hard to believe, ja? I am a geologist, Herr. I look for gold... for Pok Ma Ting." ,, "You are German?" ,, "Ja. My name is Herman Klumperbum." the man lied. "I am a graduate of the university of Dusseldorf, and I-" he was cut off by the officer waving a peremptory hand. ,, "If you work for Mister Ting, you have papers!" The officer held out a hand, but the driver shook his head. ,, "So sorry, mein freund, but Mister Ting... he does not want people to know that I work for him, you see. In fact..." And the man leaned closer in a conspiratorial way, his manner prompting the Japanese officer to likewise lean forward. "He would be very unhappy if he knew that you knew. So it is best to forget I told you this, Herr. We are allies, Japan and Deutschland. I would hate for some mongrel Burmese to bring harm to an ally." The officer looked nervous. Tokyo was a long way away, out here in the jungle. ,, "You shall pass. But please, ask Mister Ting to provide papers for you. Other officers man this checkpoint..." ,, "And they may not be as wise. I understand." The German nodded. The Japanese officer nodded in turn and stepped back, waving a hand to his men to raise the checkpoint barrier. ,, "Danke." the German said with a smile as he started off again, passing the checkpoint into the small border town of Wan-Ting. ,, It was a trade post grown large over the years, situated on the Burma Road and swollen with the constant traffic back and forth. In recent years, though, the traffic was lessened, the constant trade along the route drying up since the Japanese occupation of China. The legitimate trade, anyway. The trade in opium, slaves and weapons was brisker than ever, and Pok Ma Ting owned most of it. And he would probably decorated a stake with the driver's own head and genitals, the driver reflected as he turned a corner onto the main market street of Wan-Ting and looked for a likely place to park. The fact that he knew Pok would probably only make the process slower and more drawn-out. ,, How did I get into this? James LaHaye, Capt, DCM, DFC, AFC, thought to himself as he pulled the jeep in behind a ramshackle looking hotel, now turned into a bar and probably a knocking-shop as well. He grabbed his kitbag from amidst the clutter in the back of the jeep and headed inside. Oh yes, I remember. He looked around the dank, smoke-stinking, gloomy interior of the bar and ,, Family. That's how. ,, * * * * * * The girl was really skilled, her brown skin gleaming in the lamplight as she smiled and swayed above him, and LaHaye was just laying back (but hardly thinking of England) and admiring the way her gyrations caused all sorts of pleasant sensations when the door shuddered under a heavy knock. ,, "Go away!" he called. ,, "Captain LaHaye? My name is Major Justin Tunbridge." an educated voice called through the door over the delicate moans of the girl. ,, "My apologies. Go away, sir!" LaHaye called back. Typical, a man was on his vinegar strokes and that was when someone had to try and- The door was kicked in by a booted foot. The girl screamed, but LaHaye's arm kept her from rolling off him. Instead, he rolled with her and came up onto his feet, pistol in hand and leveled at the doorway. The sergeant who had kicked in the door goggled at the sight of the female flesh and then double-goggled at the sight of a .45 automatic pointing at his face. ,, "Captain!" A slim figure, immaculately dressed and turned-out and wearing an officer's cap. "Lower your weapon." He paused. "Both of them, if you please." ,, "The last time someone kicked the door in on me, you must appreciate that they did not mean me well." LaHaye said calmly as he dropped the pistol onto the bed, shielding the girl's body with his own as he snatched up a sheet to wrap her in. "Ka mya, Thiri." he told her gently as he made sure she was decent. "Shin ne-kaùn-yéh-là?" ,, "Ne-kaùn-ba-deh." she replied, smiling shyly at him before throwing a distrustful look to the soldiers and grabbing her clothes. "Kan kaung ba zay." she murmured to him before giving him a last smile and slipping from the room. The major and sergeant stepped aside politely for her, then turned back to LaHaye as he pulled his clothes on. ,, "You speak the language like a native." Tunbridge noted with a trace of admiration as he crossed to the window. Outside, the courtyard of the rundown colonial house that was now a whorehouse was overrun with half-naked children and their mothers. "Any of those yours?" he asked as he looked back over his shoulder at LaHaye. ,, "Who knows?" the Dynamic shrugged into his shirt and buttoned it with deft motions. He moved with eerily precise, flowing grace, the entire act of dressing taking maybe thirty seconds. "The women here know of a certain root. Supposedly, they only have children if they want to... Or if the tea they make isn't strong enough." He came over to the window and joined the major in looking at the spectacle beyond. "Maybe that one." he pointed to a paler-skinned child. "But then, he could be anyone's. Mostly, though, they are their mothers children, not the various father's." ,, "Curious attitude." the Major observed. ,, "I'm a curious person, but then I'm sure the file tells all." LaHaye smirked sardonically. "Sir, I'm likely to live out the century, or beyond, barring accidents. I will still be this young-seeming when your grandchildren, and may you have many of them, are dead. If I have children, I'll likely outlive them too. As yet, I'm not sure how to handle that thought, so I don't think about it." ,, "Practical, one supposes. Well, I see the tales were not exaggerated." Tunbridge nodded as though satisfied. "His Majesty's government has an assignment for you, Captain. A hunting expedition." ,, "Go on." LaHaye said as he pulled on his boots and fished a cigarillo out from a case. He offered one to Tunbridge, who declined, and lit it with a match struck from his boot. ,, "Three men, British soldiers. Deserters, actually. They faced the death sentence recently after a court martial." ,, "That nasty business over the American nurse, wasn't it?" LaHaye said as he blew a smoke ring. "Filthy buggers. So some rabbited?" ,, "Yes, but that isn't enough alone to warrant calling on your services." ,, "Of course not." LaHaye said, one corner of his mouth turned up in a cynical smirk. "After all, she was only a negro, correct?" Tunbridge opened his mouth to protest, but LaHaye waved a hand at him. "On with it, sir." he said, an expression of profound world-weariness settling on him. ,, "We would have organised a hunt for them regardless." Tunbridge retorted stiffly. "However one of the men was a sergeant in the quartermaster's office. And we believe they took with them some valuable paperwork regarding our troop deployments and supply dumps. And they ran straight for the border to China." ,, "Lovely. Rapists, cowards and traitors." James snorted blue smoke. "What makes them think the Japanese won't simply take the information then snickersnee their heads off. They have a strange but strict definition of honor, that lot." ,, "Our local sources tell us that they've ingratiated themselves with local bandits, who will probably act as brokers in this deal. The Japanese forces in that area liaise heavily with elements that the Chinese government previously suppressed." ,, "That means Pok Ma Ting." LaHaye said with a sigh. "I can't believe nobody has slit that fiendish little brown swine's throat yet. He's got to be eighty years old now." ,, "You know him." The major looked astonished. ,, "Oh yes." ,, "Well wonderful. You can maybe negotiate-" LaHaye shook his head slowly, but definitely. ,, "He wants to use my privy parts for an ornament." he said, then added. "And he won't be slow about removing them." ,, "Ah." ,, "There was a woman involved. His fifth wife." ,, "Aaah. But that was a while ago?" the officer asked hopefully. ,, "Well, fifteen years or so. But there was also an opium shipment..." ,, "So negotiation is out." ,, "Quite." LaHaye stood and stretched. "But that's alright. I dislike him almost as much. He's a slaver, and I can't abide slavery." ,, "So you have a plan?" The major asked as the Dynamic strode towards the doorway. ,, "Yes. I plan to go and find Thiri and take up where we were interrupted." ,, "I meant about the plans." The major said with a hint of exasperation. LaHaye shot him a grin. ,, "Yes. I plan to make it up as I go along." He gave the officer a jaunty wave. "Toodles." ,, * * * * * * "Can I help you?" The wizened old lady asked the European in the local bastardisation of Burmese and Chinese. ,, "A room please." James answered in the same tongue, and gently caught her hand as she turned back with the key. "Is Pok Ma Ting still king of Four Dragons Street?" ,, "Pok Ma Ting always king of Four Dragons Street." she answered sourly. "And he does not like white men." Her sour manner brightened when LaHaye placed a silver coin on the counter. ,, "Pok Ma Ting likes nobody." James said with a smile. She nodded. ,, "This is true, except if they make him rich. Then he likes them plenty, for awhile." she turned and shuffled out from behind the counter. "Come, I show you room. You want girl? Boy? Pipe?" ,, "No to the second two, but maybe a girl. Later." he replied as he followed her upstairs.
  21. The path up the mountain stretched above her, but Kitty didn’t mind the coming climb. She’d done three like it already, traversing other peaks in the looming mountain range. The beautiful American drew the cowl of her hoodie a little lower over her forehead, concealing more of her features. Most of her traveling companions already had seen her, and those who didn’t know who she was had been told by the others. They were giving her privacy, trying to covertly take pictures of her rather than overtly like they had done on Mt. Fuji. Kitty was grateful for the privacy, even if it was false. The Jade Spring Temple was their starting point for the difficult climb, and Kitty and the twenty other climbers fell into step behind the tour guides. Another two natives brought up the rear, ready to assist those who lagged behind. At first, the tourists were talkative, chattering in Chinese with the companions, while Kitty walked in silence. When the climb began to take its toll, quiet descended on the whole group. The only sounds were the steps and pants of her companions and guides. Kitty lasted longer, but even she started to breathe hard after a while. If I had Connor’s stamina… The thought of her ex brought a small smile to her face, but it didn’t last long. This was not the place to think about Connor. This was Harley’s trip. Harley had planned it out before her death; after the movie, she wanted to see some of the Taoist monasteries in China. Her sister had been dabbling in Taoism a bit, nothing serious. But she’d said that the monasteries were worth visiting, regardless of one’s devotion or lack. So they’d decided to go after the shoot. It wasn’t until the travel notice had come from the travel agency that Kitty had remembered. She’d almost cancelled but the moment she’d considered it, she dropped the idea. Harley couldn’t go, but she’d wanted to, so Kitty went for both of them. There was a place at one of the monasteries, she recalled, where you could buy a golden padlock and fasten it to an iron chain. You could then pray for health and safety for family and friends. It sounded stupid, but Kitty admitted deep inside herself that those small gestures meant more to the ones making them than to the receiver. Harley would understand. It was still dark when they left the hotel; the guides assured them that they would reach the summit by dawn and be treated with the most beautiful vista of the rising sun. Kitty hoped so; the climb was killing her. Her legs were starting to hurt by the time they finished climbing the three hundred and seventy steps called Qianchi Zhuang. She might have turned back at that point, but they were almost there and so they all pushed onward. The cable car met them at the top, its passengers eyeing them with a mixture of pity and adminiration. Kitty didn’t care. Harley would have wanted to climb it, just as she would have wanted to see the sunrise. The riders and walkers met together to walk into the temple and cluster together at the spot to watch the rising sun. Kitty smiled sadly as the golden light slowly suffused the mountains around them, knowing that her sister would be boasting about being right. The climb totally was worth it. When the sun had risen and the show was over, the tourists proceeded to the next stop on the circuit: the Guo Dixian’s altar. Kitty watched them go, lingering at the back of the group until she was sure they were busy with the altar and Rootless Tree and their prayers. Then she slipped away from the others, trying to find a quiet place to be alone. That proved difficult: this was a working monastery, its space limited by the impositions of the mountain it perched upon and the number of monks in residence. Some of them were very young boys but as Kitty walked around, she quickly realized they were all in supreme physical health. She wasn’t surprised when she wandered into the training area. She kept expecting them to stop her, but beyond some wide-eyed staring, no one impeded her. Leaning against the wall, she watched a middle-aged man without an ounce of fat on him instruct the boys. She was about to wander on when a nova entered the room. His status was unmistakable; no human could sustain musculature like that, nor did they have purple skin, white hair, pointed ears or a face that could have doubled for Victor’s in the 1980’s TV show Beauty and the Beast. Kitty thought about leaving, but that would just be rude. Besides, she was curious if he was instructor or student, so she remained where she was, her painfully beautiful body slouching with casual elegance against the stone wall.
  22. Name: Uncertain, suspected as Ksenija Davidova Aliases Used: Lilya Roman, Li Yuming, Lee, la Fille Mécanique, The Machine Girl SOE Operational Codename: The Machine Girl D.O.B.: Unknown (appears to be in her mid- to late twenties) Place of Birth: Unknown Gender: Female Color Eyes: Green Color Hair: Brown Height: 171cm Weight: 108kg Race: Caucasian Marital Status: Not married Citizenship: As required for the current operation ,, Appearance & Distinctive Features: While Lee’s fashion model good looks and significantly above-average height (for a woman in 1941) are both very eye-catching, her most distinctive features are, without a doubt, her arms, which are seemingly mechanical (though very life-like) and apparently made entirely out of a steel-like, gunmetal-colored substance that has so far defied scientific analysis. Also of note are her brilliant green eyes, for which she earned her first nickname, “Li Yuming”, or “bright jade”. ,, Personality: Lee has an aggressive personality, even by male standards, and has been described many times as “volatile”. She has the hard-living, intense and blunt attitude of a career soldier, making her well-suited to the military culture she so often finds herself interacting with in these times of war. ,, Known Powers: Lee is very strong, very tough, and very fast. She can disable main battle tanks with her bare hands and survive direct hits from most medium tanks and some heavy ones as well. Most notable, however, are her “biometallic” arms, which are capable of undergoing some startling transformations to aid Machine Girl in a wide variety of tasks, making her both versatile and unpredictable in the field and in combat. ,, Verifiable History: The woman now going by the name of Lilya Roman does not remember her life before 1924. She was discovered in the rubble of a devastated scientific facility located in the far northern wastes of the Xinjiang province in China, alive and unharmed, but catatonic and covered in blood, and surrounded by the bodies of those who had staffed the facility before its devastation. The men who discovered her, Thomas “Long Tom” Rudwick, a prominent member of the Anesidora Society of Adventurers, and James Smith, a man of mystery sometimes referred to as “the Operative”, had met and joined forces during the course of separate investigations into the activities of a Chinese doctor, scientific genius, and sociopathic criminal by the name of Fu Yen. ,, Their joint investigation had led them into the wastes of Xinjiang, and the facility where Ms. Roman was discovered. It was immediately apparent that she was a dynamic, and the two men also quickly determined that she had been the subject of experiments there – experiments on both her body and her mind – though the true nature or full scope of those experiments has never been determined. Rudwick and Smith had arrived at Yen’s facilities too late to stop whatever it was he’d been doing there and , as well, they’d arrived too late to confront or capture Yen himself, as neither he nor his body were to be found anywhere on the premises. ,, As for Ms. Roman, the young woman turned out to be a blank slate – she could speak (once recovered from her catatonia), walk, care for herself, and perform most any other task that adult humans are expected to be able to perform – but she remembered absolutely nothing of her origins or past. Attempts by Rudwick and Smith to discover those origins through investigative means proved fruitless. In the end, the young woman, whom Rudwick christened “Li Yuming” (meaning “bright jade” in Cantonese, for her striking green eyes), traveled with her rescuers back to the Western world and Civilization, journeying through Tibet, then into India, and finally travelling by boat to England, and after to America. ,, In both England and America, elements of each country’s governments received them with great interest, and Li Yuming spent some months in the care of each. In both cases the young woman was studied extensively as her hosts attempted to understand just what exactly had been done to her at the ruined laboratory in Xinjiang. While little real progress was ever made on this front, the research did lead to some important insights that would later play their part, both in the development of certain varieties of aetherfiber, as well as in the development of certain aspects of aetherlabe technology. ,, Afterwards, the young woman was welcomed into the company of Rudwick’s associates of the Anesidora Society of Adventurers. The Anesidorans were at the forefront, and were the best-connected, out of a handful of similar, all- or mostly-dynamic “societies” and “leagues” that rose to prominence during the first and second decades of the 20th century, after the earliest appearances of dynamics around the world. While the majority of these groups were little more than social clubs for those who were “more than human” (or, in the worst cases, those who simply believed they were superior to humans), the Anesidora Society, originally founded in 1849 by a group of extraordinary, but non-dynamic, individuals, had managed to attract members who were genuinely interested in bettering the world around them. By 1924 the Anesidorans were generally well-regarded by most of the Allied Powers and, in later years, many of their members would go on to join various political, intelligence, and military branches of several of those countries. More than a few of them are still alive and serving in these times of war. ,, For her part, Lee – as the Anesidorans took to calling her, after the Cantonese name Rudwick had given her proved too exotic (and too difficult to pronounce) for most Westerners – proved herself a valuable member of the Society and a useful freelance dynamic agent of more than one Allied government. For thirteen years, from mid-1924 through early 1938, Lee traveled extensively on behalf of the Society, undertaking many adventures, solving many puzzles and mysteries, exploring lost ruins and strange, far-off lands, and getting involved in more than one incident of international significance. During these formative years of Lee’s post-amnesia life she formed contacts with many groups and individuals all over the world – contacts that have stood her in good stead in recent years – made many friends, and almost as many enemies, and even managed to uncover a few facts about herself and her old life along the way. ,, In late 1938 the Anesidora Society for Adventurers finally disbanded, closing its doors for good. Its members had all agreed that the world had both grown and, paradoxically, shrunk, and that it had changed dramatically in the decades since the Society’s founding, and that, with threats of war looming on every horizon, the time had passed for groups like the Anesidorans. Some of its members simply retired from the adventuring lifestyle, as they were already old even by dynamic standards, while others ventured out into the world and took their places within the governmental or military agencies of various governments as they prepared for inevitable war. ,, “Long Tom” Rudwick traveled to Africa as part of a cartographic venture into Saharan Africa that just happened to give them a great many opportunities to observe activities within Italian Libya. Meanwhile, Lee, now going by her current alias of Lilya Roman, traveled to Europe with James Smith and another Anesidoran, a British aristocrat and expatriate named Sir Oliver Ripley, where they joined up with certain intelligence initiatives of the British and French governments. Lee took a position as a forward observer of Soviet Russia’s movements in the Balkans, and as an “agent of unrest”, moving between Poland and Lithuania until mere weeks before Germany’s invasion of the former nation and the official start of the Second World War. ,, At the orders of her superiors, Lee withdrew from Poland and the Baltic States region, traveling south-southeast and entering Germany near Breslau and, as German troops entered Poland, engaged in activities of sabotage as she continued to make her way southwards. Crossing the German border again, Lee entered Moravia near Olmütz and cut eastwards, passing through Bohemia and using the cover of the Böhmerwald to enter the heart of Nazi Germany proper. Through many dangers and narrow escapes, she passed directly through Munich and Innsbruck, finally entering Switzerland through Leichtenstein via the Inn river. Through Switzerland, Lee passed into France without incident, entering the country mere months before its invasion by Germany. ,, Lee’s contacts in British intelligence had her officially assigned to the British army forces present during the invasion, and she fought in several battles during the Fall of France. Her participation in the utter failure of the French, British, and Belgian Forces to repel the German invaders from France comprises perhaps the greatest failure in Lee’s career, and memories of that time still haunt her today. In the end, Lee was evacuated on one of the last boats to leave Dunkirk during Operation Dynamo. ,, Upon returning to England from Dunkirk Lee was offered, and accepted, a position with the Special Operations Executive as one of their field agents and given the operational codename “The Machine Girl” (taken from a nickname, la Fille Mécanique, given to her by French forces during her recent battles). Not long after accepting this assignment, Lee was sent to Africa, possibly to join Rudwick and his team, though her precise whereabouts between August and late November of 1940 are difficult to determine. She resurfaced with a vengeance in December, however, attached to the 7th Armoured Division of the Western Desert Force at the start of Operation Compass. During her time with the 7th, Lee participated in the battles of Sidi Barrani, Bardia, Derna, and Beda Fomm. ,, With the destruction of the Italian Tenth Army, Lee’s superiors in the SRO pulled her from frontline combat duty once again and reassigned her elsewhere… ,, Suspected History: In the years since her discovery in the northern wastes of Xinjiang, Lee and her associates in the Anesidora Society have managed to uncover several traces of her origins, though few of them can be proven to any degree of certainty. Aside from the general paucity of information, what has been uncovered honestly makes Lee reluctant to search any further. The history of her former self does not appear to have been a flattering one at all. ,, Evidence so far gathered seems to point to her having been the daughter of a woman named Alexandra Davidova who was a Russian immigrant and prostitute living in Shanghai, China during the latter years of the 19th century. Lee’s actual date of birth (and thus her true age) have yet to be determined, but it is reasonable to assume that she is between 40 and 55 years of age. The precise year – let alone month or day – of Alexandra’s death is still uncertain, as is the nature of her relationship with her daughter. Lee’s real name appears to have been Ksenija Davidova. ,, It seems that Lee may have been a dynamic from an early age, as “Ksenija”, by all accounts, was a well-known and notorious enforcer, bodyguard, and “companion” of various local crimelords during a period between 1910 and the first years of the 1920’s. There are hints that she may possibly have been active in a similar capacity during the years leading up to 1910 as well. Her whereabouts from about 1922 or 1923, until her discovery by Rudwick and Smith in Fu Yen’s compound – or what her relationship, if any, with Yen was – have yet to be determined. ,, The true nature and full scope of the experimental procedures performed on Lee in 1924 have never been determined to anyone’s satisfaction. Presumably Yen could explain them, but he has yet to be apprehended and has not volunteered any information in the interim. What has been determined is that Lee was implanted with “super science” technology of dynamic origin and design (probably Yen’s). Her arms and, indeed, much of her internal structure, are comprised of a material variously designated as either “hypermetal” or “aethermetal” by those who have studied it that shares a number of characteristics with aetherfiber. In point of fact, studies on the material by British and American scientists led to breakthroughs in the designs of some of the earlier varieties of aetherfiber, and observations of the way the material responds to Lee’s neural signals led to significant improvements in aetherlabe technology’s data transmission rates as well. ,, Allies: · Thomas “Long Tom” Rudwick: One of the leading members of the Anesidora Society during its heyday in the 1920’s, Long Tom Rudwick is a cartographer and geologist by trade, and an adventurer extraordinaire by inclination. In addition to his skills as a map-maker and geologist, Rudwick is also a noted expert on several Near and Far Eastern cultures, and is a highly regarded linguist as well. Rudwick was, by far, the most far-ranging, well-traveled, and field-experienced of the Society’s adventurers. Presumably his friends know the answer, but the continued rumors as to his being a dynamic remain unanswered at present. · The Operative: Though he is known as “James Smith” to his friends and close associates, this is clearly an alias of the man sometimes referred to as “the Operative” – and only one of dozens they have known him to use. While it is possible that, at the highest levels of the world’s most powerful governments, there are those who know who Smith really is or who he really works for, neither Lee nor anyone Lee knows has ever met any of these people. As far as most can tell, the Operative works for whomever he needs to be working for at the moment in order to gain the necessary degree of authority and resources to achieve his objectives, which are rarely obvious or easy to fathom. He is a dynamic with psychic abilities. · Dash “The Black Death” Cody: Born in Wilmington, NC, Dash Cody was one of the first black combat pilots in history. Known as “The Black Death”, he flew for the French during WWI and racked up one of the highest kill counts in the war. After the Armistice he found his way back to America and was accepted into the Anesidora Society where he became their go-to pilot. Cody is also a highly proficient mechanic, capable of repairing, modifying, and improving nearly anything with an engine in it. He is currently enlisted in the United States Air Corps (which will become the U.S. Air Force on 20 June 1941), where he is lending his expertise both in the training of the Air Corps’ first African American troops, and in designing and implementing innovations and improvements in military aircraft. · “Ethereal” Ruby St. Dennis: Miss St. Dennis has been a fixture of the New York social scene since before many younger folks can remember; like many dynamics, she has aged very well, and shows no signs of slowing – or settling – down. Known for her ability to turn invisible (thus her sobriquet), her sharp tongue and quick wit, her keen intelligence, and her great beauty (the other reason she is described as “ethereal”). She is not merely known, but renowned for her talents as a freelance reporter and sleuth, and for an ability to get herself into trouble that is only outmatched by her ability to cause trouble for her enemies (and all too often, it must be admitted, her friends as well). ,, Noteworthy Contacts · The Anesidora Society: Though now disbanded, many of its members are still active in the world, and are always willing to lend what aid they can to one of their own. o Lamont Mason: The President of the Anesidora Society from 1920 until its final year of operation in 1938, Mason is an industrialist, a millionaire, a dynamic, and a well-known philanthropist, as well as one of the Society’s foremost adventurers and detectives. These days, he is mostly active as a maker and provider of military and industrial equipment to the Allied forces in the War, but he is also known – by those who make it their business to know such things – as a reliable source of intelligence on various industrial enterprises going on behind enemy lines in both Europe and Asia. o Sir Oliver Ripley: Sir Ripley is a British expatriate and aristocrat, who was living in New York at the time of Lee’s introduction to the Anesidora Society. At present he is acting as a double-agent for British intelligence agencies disguised as a member of the Vichy French government. Though somewhat older, and with a rather more staid reputation, he is sometimes compared with his fellow member of the aristocracy, James LaHaye, due to his reputation for being charming and suave in manners, yet engaging in some very “course” behaviors, much to his family’s chagrin. Also like LaHaye, while Ripley is known to be a dynamic, the precise natures of his abilities are not readily apparent to most. ,, Enemies: · Dr. Fu Yen: A dynamic – probably one of the earliest – and a genius. Also a criminal mastermind, and a sociopath and sadist of the first order. Yen’s criminal enterprises are some of the largest, best connected, and most dangerous in all of the Far East, and since the early 30’s he has been gaining footholds in the Near East, and in a few locations in the West. Yen never took losing Lee very well, and he’s taken all of the damage that she and her associates in the Anesidora Society have caused his operations over the years even worse. He is Lee’s oldest – and by far her most dangerous – enemy, and he has the very unpleasant tendency of showing up (or rather, of having small armies of his thugs show up – Dr. Yen is not much of a fighter) where she least expects him to and at the most inopportune times. · Dr. Blake Ironheart: A former Anesidoran, like Lee, Dr. Ironheart is a dynamic who is everything a normal human is not. He is stronger, faster, tougher, smarter, more perceptive, better looking, and more emotionally aware than any normal man or woman. And he is a monster. Ironheart was expelled from the Society several years after Lee’s acceptance for performing experimental brain surgeries on captured criminals, attempting to “rehabilitate” them through medical science. The results were… troubling. After his expulsion, the doctor’s ethical standards quickly degenerated, and today he finds work in Nazi Germany – in large part because he is wanted for crimes committed in nearly every other Western nation. For reasons that Lee doesn’t fully understand, Ironheart has a personal vendetta against her and has made it clear that he will kill her if given the chance. Jan Silbermond: Also a dynamic, Silbermond is a German arms dealer and one of the most amoral criminals in that business. Though his extreme narcissism and almost complete lack of empathy can make the man seem one-dimensional at times, he is nonetheless a highly competent individual, with an enhanced intellect and a profound ability to “think on his feet” that together form a powerful complement to his generally superhuman physical abilities. Silbermond has been making a bad habit lately of selling weapons to any and all sides, however, and this practice may soon come back to bite him.
  23. The VW bus rolled to a stop in front of the gates of the Lawrence Hunt Academy. It had a 'coat of many colors' from primer, paint, and repainted areas, but it ran well and didn't belch too much noxious exhaust. When it had stopped completely, five people poured out of the van. Two older people came from the front of the van, a man and a woman. They were older, and dressed in sneakers, flannel, and well-worn blue jeans. They looked like a couple who had met at a Grateful Dead concert, and had followed the Dead ever since, Jerry's death and the band's break-up be damned. ,, Next was a twentysomething blond/green haired girl in a tie-dyed haltertop, a long skirt, and sandals. Close behind her was a young man with long brown hair tied back in a ponytail, sporting a beard, a leather jacket, old jeans and motorcycle boots. Last came another young man,jean jacket festooned with pins,a mop of long, curly dirty-blond hair. He had sideburns that wouldn't have been out of place in the 70's, and a two-finger wide strip of facial hair running from under his bottom lip to under his chin. Any outside observer would be hard-pressed to say why it was this last young man who was so riveting, but there was certainly an aura about him, an aura that made him seem comfortable, like the sight of a long-lost friend. ,, They unpacked the van, removing a guitar case, what was apparently a keyboard case with "CASIO" emblazoned on the side, and a large wheeled suitcase, complete with leash. The family all hugged their goodbyes, and promised they would stay in touch. Then the first four got into the van, which honked a farewell and drove off. ,, The last young man, Rollo Strange, stood watching the van disappear. Already he had some regrets about leaving the Forthrights. His adopted family had loved him and treated him better than his biological parents ever had, The older girl, Aurora, had been the one who'd helped him sit down and focus on his high school lessons, proving to himself that he could be smart if he wanted to be. And Stone,was his brother, and they'd looked out for each other all throughout school, getting into all sorts of shit that they'd luckily never been caught for. The only member of the family who hadn't shown up, Jasmine, had run away last summer with a guy who obviously loved her, but was just as obviously a little off-kilter and not too shiny. They hadn't heard from her in over a month, and Rollo was kinda bummed and more than a little worried. He and Jasmine had a special kind of connection, once upon a time, but then jasmine had mysteriously got fed up with everybody, and wanted out in the worst way. Which, thinking about it, was pretty much exactly how she'd left. ,, And now it was Rollo's turn to leave. He'd gotten around to taking a long-overdue test to see if his genes were funky, and it had turned out they were. The silver lining had been the fact that the copy that was supposed to have gone to the authorities had instead gone to the Forthrights. At least they'd been given time to come up with a plan, which was better than some families had, and that had led Rollo here. ,, And here was...beautiful. The building looked like an academy, but not in such a way that it resembled a prison with a friendly facade. It was welcoming. The sun was still up, it was neither too hot nor too cold, and the nearby flowering plants added a pleasant perfume to the air. Much, much nicer than the trailer park he'd grown up in, and all because of a few flies in his DNA soup. Ain't life a bitch like that? ,, He put in his earbuds, dialed up Blue Swede's "Hooked on a Feeling", and strolled at a leisurely pace through the gate and towards the director's office. Some last-minute paperwork snags to untie, and then he'd dump his shit somewhere and go out and get some food. Meet his fellow inmates, hang around his own kind. Maybe among his fellow mutants, he could finally lose that sense of being the oddball, and have a home to call his.
  24. Rebecca's "casual" and uniform outfits Rebecca Shirasu Rathbone Age: 13 Nationality: American (Japanese and British Decent) Height: 5'0" Weight: 100 pds Hair: Black (Nova Mode has a purplish tone) Eyes: Brown (Nova mode has violet eyes) Pre-Eruption Childhood Rebecca is the Daughter of Thaddeus and Akiko Rathbone, born in Boston, Massachussets on January 8, 2000. Rebecca always loved being the center of attention in her parent's lives, and enjoyed occasionally visiting her father or mother at MIT as they did their work. Her Father, a Quantum Physicist, and Mother a Doctor of Neuroscience. Rebecca shared her parent's curiosity, but she just thought her Parents were mad scientists of one sort or another. She loved it none the less as everything seemed like some new puzzle. Eruption On Halloween 2012, She was walking with her friends doing some trick or treating in Boston. She was dressed as a Student from Hogwarts (Ravenclaw House) and her other friends were also similarly dressed. Of course as nerdy kids go, they will roleplay, and Rebecca decided to cast "Leviosa" out of jest, only to somehow cause her friend to fly up into the air 100 feet! She panicked and managed to stop her friend just inches from the ground without her wand. Everyone was dumbstruck. Rebecca had a bit of a headache earlier that day but chalked it up to her sinuses. Over the course of the next couple months, She was looked at by DSA doctors and when it was eventually realized she was a Nova with the ability to control time and space... there were many curious, puzzled, and slightly concerned faces. Rebecca on the other hand was happy to have the DSA help her understand what has been happening with her, and was proud to have been offered a chance to be in their new initiative for training young novas. Now if people would just get her to come down from flying around, perhaps she could actually attend her classes. Appearance, Personality, and Quirks Rebecca is obviously Asian. She stands at a cute 5 feet solid, and perferrs to dress in Jumpsuits (as they're her thing, and to her they look good on her when she flies). She has been considering getting a "DSA Uniform" made for herself based on the Devilion and a Cormorant vest for when she might go on important missions. She's just not sure on what colors to have for her particular suit... she's always had a hard time with that. She is a worldly girl, knowing several languages, and speaks English with a British accent. She is a happy girl, irrepressible at times, and is a habitual Doctor Who, Anime, and Science Fiction watcher. ,, Her latest idea in terms of look is going for a simple formal suit ensemble. Although her penchant for skewing towards black is noticeable when she's not "on duty".
  25. The snowy field to the east of Metz was packed with two kinds of people: various civilians, men, women, children. They wore what winter clothing they had, and were being driven in a mass and made to kneel in the snow. Fear and terrible uncertainty gripped the people - children cried, but quietly, and they huddled as much in the hopes that this mass nightmare would disappear. And soldiers of the German 29th Infantry division in overcoats and armed with rifles and under the guns of two nearby Panzers drove them, prodded and struck with their weapon's stocks, with as much compassion and regard as cowherds with little care for their stock. Oberst Frederic Van Klamp waited the whole procession and assembly with little more with a sardonic hint of amusement. It was amazing to hear - as he did from talk when messages came from back home, and news reported on the few portable aetherlabes, one he had (privileges of a connected officer) - about the Judenrats and how they pleaded a little and gave up more. Idiots, the lot of them. ,, The whole lot of them were going to die in time. As was this group of French Jews, all identified and confirmed by scared neighbors and rewarded informers. Nothing official, of course, but Van Klamp knew about the word trickling down all the way from the top. It would only stand him in good stead towards career advancement. ,, The grizzled Oberst was a Nazi Party member, naturally (you really had to be one to get anywhere), but he didn't believe all of the Fuhrer's ranting about the Jews being responsible for the Fatherland's ills. Nor did he believe what was going to be reported officially, this an execution of rebellious (against the Vichy regime) partisans. It didn't matter, truth be told, he didn't like Kikes anyway, and it would send a message to actual rebels. ,, He dropped his cigar and smashed it into bits with his boot. Time to signal the firing squad, all conveniently behind the masses, weapons ready. The Jews started to realize this too, causing an upsurge of wailing and prayers. ,, Just like Ciepielów. Van Klamp smiled, then a sudden shout drew his attention - as from the sky descended a form... which just before impacting with one of the Panzers - incidentally caving in the top hull and crushing the crew inside - showed the visage of a literally stony man (not man - it was twice the size of a human). ,, The Oberst's blood ran cold as the weather now, and his men were already turning to react... the tales, "Mein Gott!" In a (relatively) smaller bound, that man of rock came out of the totaled Panzer and let out a deafening bellow. ,, Der Golem had arrived. Terms Oberst = Colonel Mein Gott = My God
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