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  1. Quantum Gadgets While Novas have been responsible for some amazing advancements in science & technology (as presented in Aberrant: Year One, p.72 to 109) they are also capable of building unique, one-off, personalised ‘Quantum Gadgets’ which are often more powerful, but have none of the universal, world-changing, implications of such advancements. Such Quantum Gadgets are akin to a ‘magic item’ created by a wizard in some fantasy setting – a handcrafted object of power which takes many of its characteristics from those of its creator. Having said that, a Quantum Gadget can take many forms, from the fantastic or hi-tech to the deceptively mundane: a ‘Quantum Gadget’ can even be a living creature which has been biologically altered, or something as ephemeral as a computer program. Such Quantum Gadgets are presented in the Aberrant Players Guide (p.143 to 148) – however many gamers have found the APG text to be confusing & difficult to comprehend: this is my attempt to make the gadgeteering system a little easier to follow. What can a Quantum Gadget do? In essence a Quantum Gadget can simulate the use of an Ability or Quantum Power. This generally doesn’t grant the Ability or Power as a whole, but rather one specific application of that Ability or Power: e.g. a Nova can build a Quantum Gadget which uses the Computer Ability to crack passwords, but that same Gadget wouldn’t be able to write a word processing program (like someone with the Computer Ability could) without having a separate effect to do so built in. When simulating Quantum Powers with a Quantum Gadget this means you can’t build a Quantum Gadget which simulates, say, a Level 3 ‘suite’ power (such as Elemental Mastery or Weather Manipulation) as a whole, you have to build in each effect you want to simulate separately: a Quantum Gadget can never ‘improvise’ an effect or technique as a Nova with a suite power can. Who can build a Quantum Gadget? The basic criterion for building Quantum Gadgets is just having a Quantum score (the character’s Quantum is used to derive the maximum limits of various aspects of the Quantum Gadgets she builds) – so any Nova can build Quantum Gadgets, but baselines cannot. Mega-Intelligence, while not essential, is certainly helpful: Intelligence dice pools are used to build Quantum Gadgets, the character’s Mega-Intelligence sets the maximum limit to the levels of Mega-Attributes he can simulate in a Quantum Gadget &, most importantly, only the Mega-Intelligent can build Quantum Gadgets which simulate Quantum Powers – the non-Mega-Intelligent Nova is limited to Quantum Gadgets based on Abilities. In some cases the Storyteller will require a character to have a certain level of Mega-Intelligence or specific Enhancements (such as Scientific Prodigy & the like) to be able to build certain Quantum Gadgets – this is up to individual STs & Players to work out: different campaigns will vary depending on the flavour of the game (e.g. is gadgeteering being encouraged or just a side-line for the really smart?). What rolls are required? Engineering (naturally) is the usual Ability used to build Quantum Gadgets, since most Quantum Gadgets are traditional (if sci-fi) hardtech devices: guns, body armour, hand-held scanners, etc.. Science, covering such things as biology & chemistry, comes a close second, & is used for creating chemical or biological Quantum Gadgets (such as a pill which causes a Sizemorph: Shrink effect, or an acid vapour based on Quantum Bolt + the Cloud Extra). In theory other Abilities can also be used (such as Computer for writing a computer program Quantum Gadget for cracking passwords), or may be required as secondary Abilities – this generally comes down to what the ST & Players think fits the situation best: a Nova gun expert, for example, may have minimal training in general Engineering, but could possibly build a better gun using a cross-matched Intelligence & Firearms roll. Whatever the dice pool used to create the Quantum Gadget the Nova gadgeteer gets to make a maximum of one ‘gadgeteering’ roll per 24 hours. Each success requires one hour of work: so a Nova with a high dice pool (or who just rolls well) may have to take more than one day to realise the successes he rolls in one shot. Mega-Stamina can help a Nova work longer hours, & the Fast Tasks Mega-Dexterity Enhancement can greatly reduce the time required per success. Gadgeteering rolls are Extended Actions (Aberrant p.109 to 110): successes accumulate with each roll – two failed rolls (no successes) in a row cause the whole project to be ruined (needs to go back to the drawing board & start over), while a Botch has the usual colourful (& possibly explosive) results. Example one: a brilliant Nova genius with no Mega-Stamina or Mega-Dexterity rolls 15 successes on his first gadgeteering roll of a new project: unable to work 15 hours without a break, or to physically speed up the process, he takes two days to accumulate his fifteen successes (working nine-to-five with a half-hour lunch break), rolling again (if he needs to) when he starts work on day three. Example two: a less intelligent Nova with enough Mega-Stamina that he can’t recall the last time he needed to sleep rolls 5 successes on his first gadgeteering roll on a new project: even though he can work round the clock, he’s just not smart enough to make any more than those 5 successes of progress on that first day – spending more than the five hours he needs just results in frustration & wasted effort. Example three: a gadgeteer with the Fast Tasks Enhancement (& a well-stocked work area) rolls 8 successes: since the ST judges the Quantum Gadget he’s working on to be a ‘reasonably complex machine’ the Nova gets his 8 successes worth of work done, at super-speed, in a half hour & spends the rest of the day working on other projects (such as taking a few seconds to re-paint his lab…). What statistics do Quantum Gadgets have? A Quantum Gadget, in essence, has the statistics needed to achieve the effect it’s designed for. Quantum Gadgets which simulate the use of an Ability have the related Attribute & Ability scores to form their dice pool (such as Intelligence & Intrusion for a Quantum Gadget to pick electronic locks); Quantum Gadgets which simulate Quantum Powers have the Traits listed for that power’s ‘Dice Pool’ as well as a Quantum Trait equal or greater than that power’s ‘Quantum Minimum’ (so a ‘plasma pistol’ which simulates the Quantum Bolt power would have scores for Dexterity, Quantum Bolt, & a Quantum of 1 or more). A Quantum Gadget can also have Mega-Dice in its dice pool if the gadgeteer builds levels of the appropriate Mega-Attribute into it. What limits do Quantum Gadgets have? Quantum Gadgets, unlike characters, have limits or caps on the maximum results they can achieve: this limit is called the ‘Effect Level’ – the higher it is, the better results the Quantum Gadget is capable of. One Effect Level allows one net success worth of results or, in some cases (such as the damage done by a Quantum Bolt) one ‘dot’ worth of effect. The Quantum Gadget’s actual effects are still dependent on the amount of successes rolled when it’s used, but these successes can’t exceed the Effect Level it’s designed for. Example One: the ‘hypno-disc’ is a Quantum Gadget designed to simulate the Domination power & has two Effect Levels built into it: after rolling the hypno-disc’s Dice Pool in a resisted action against the target’s Willpower the maximum net result can be two successes worth (a Major / Noteworthy intensity command). The hypno-disc can (& probably will) have a Dice Pool higher than 2, since it needs to overcome the target’s Willpower, but Effect Level only limits the final result (i.e. the ‘effect’), not the amount of successes you may roll in getting there. Example Two: a ‘plasma pistol’ designed as a Quantum Gadget based on the Quantum Bolt (Bashing) power has an Effect Level of 4. At least one Effect Level has to be assigned to results (i.e. damage) based on Quantum, because the power’s Quantum minimum is 1. Each Effect Level assigned to Power Rating allows for a maximum of 4 dice worth of damage / effect, & each Effect Level assigned to Quantum allows for 3 levels worth of damage / effect. Whether the pistol can achieve these maximums depends on whether it has the relevant Power Rating & Quantum Traits built into it (so, in most cases, the guy building it will make sure to match his Effect Level allocation with the Traits he’s built into the weapon). As well as the Effect Level limit, the Traits (Abilities, Quantum, Power Ratings, Mega-Attributes, Quantum Pool, etc.) built into a Quantum Gadget are limited by the gadgeteer’s skills & abilities – the higher his Quantum, Mega-Intelligence, & gadgeteering Ability (such as Engineering or Science) the higher these limits can be. Continued...
  2. Alex's To Do List. 1) Rebuild Wallet (and figure out a better way to deal with this the next time I'm attacked by a goddess). 2) Replace Keys (can I use darkness to replace keys in the future and just do without)? 3) Determine Academic status (did NYU kick me out)? 3a) What should it take to finish my degree? I'm a better Engineer after eruption. 3b) Inquire at both NYU & PU if there are special degree programs for novas. 3c) I've both soaked up more knowledge and missed a lot of classes. 4) Determine legal status (will NYU try to make him pay for the Eng. building I damaged during eruption)? 5) Did anyone die/get hurt and am I liable? Can I visit them in the hospital? 6) Determine legal status (fallout from Masters Party)? 6a) Cover-up of Miss Egypt? 6b) Nerve gas injuries; am I liable? Hospital Visit. 6c) Terrorist injuries; am I liable? 6d) Nova battle afterwards, including trashing the car/street/misc; am I liable? Visit any civilian victums. 7) Money/Job 7a) Interview with Masters. 7b) Make inquires about what exactly DVNTS does and maybe interview with them too. 7c) Are they different from DeVries? How? 7d) XWF? City Defender? 8) At my current rate of expenditures; I will be bankrupt soon. 8a) That isn't a problem if I finish my degree and/or get a nova type job, but it is a concern. 9) Susanna 9a) If I care enough to be annoyed, maybe I should ask her out for a second date? 9b) Was her going to Terry just a nova ability? 10) Stage Name (Do I need one?) Combo names. Pick one from a & 1 from b. a) Dark a) Darkness a) Shade a) Night a) Black a) Shadow Man Monster Thing Giant Entity Ogre Matter Colossus Mammoth Fall Results: DarkMatter; Nightfall; DarkColossus; DarkMan; Shadow Monster; Night Ogre; Shadow Giant; Best of the Batch: DarkMatter (is this copy righted?) Should I wear a mask? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ *It's just amazing how paper work can build up after spending a few months in the "clinic"* Alex reflected while cutting open his mail with a black letter opener. At 4am, most of the rest of the world was sleeping, but Alex was still hard at work. *Most of these offers are complicated, I wonder how normal novas analyze these things? Well, the ones without enhanced intelligence?* Alex wondered. *Money is becoming a problem. NYU has "generously" offered to refund my tuition if I work for them, but I wasn't that dumb even before my eruption.* Once again, Alex reviewed NYU's "best" offer with irritation, *Ha! The study of dark matter, if that is in fact what I'm made up of and not some goofy "solid darkness", could start new technologies that would be worth billions. It could result in a star drive, etc. But after "Hot Head" burned the University in his contract, the NYU made sure they would get the profits from analyzing someone like me. If it is my blood, then I get a piece of the action.* For several years, Alex had been quite annoyed with the University refusing to grant him "in state" tuition status. Other students with similar backgrounds had easily been given that status and had their tuition reduced. But Alex was self funded (i.e. not getting money from the University), meaning that since it wasn't in the Universities best interests to consider him a "local" student, they weren't going to. His calculation had always been that if he made a public stink, the University would find a way to delay him from graduating. Although he had kept quiet the situation had made for some hard feelings. Alex glanced around his fairly low class apartment, and once again decided the University wasn't getting any charity from him. It was still unclear as to whether he would qualify for a quick degree. But even if he did, they weren't getting a piece of him, figuratively or literally. *Ash was right about DeVries. Well, about DVNTS. Dangerous work, big money, big risks, and you get more money with less morals. I'm up to it. Probably. Maybe. Or maybe not. I can't quite decide whether to rank their offer above or below the XWF. I felt guilty visiting those people who got hurt during our fight with the Goddess, and even more so with the people I hurt during my eruption. How would I feel about being the aggressor in a war? But the XWF is so... strange. Utopia was more than a bit intense. Ah well. Interview with Masters is tomorrow. The one real problem I see with Masters is training. I don't know that they have the kind of resources for someone like me.* *Now there is an idea. I could join the XWF as "Shadow Monster" AND join Masters as "Dark Matter."* *I think I'll try asking Susanne out again to somewhere less of a public relations gambit. Hopefully less of a disaster as well. Hmm. Last year I wouldn't have had the strength of character, i.e. the guts, to ask her out again after our first date. I wonder if courage was something else the quantum genie gave me? It was impossible to tell if she was really interested in Terry, or was it just enhanced nova social skills at work? Anyway, if she says "No" then its time to move on.*
  3. This thread is for all the technical discussions we end up having. Can we try to keep it away from the story?
  4. Day One Peter Knorr smiled a grim smile in response to the way the chill Highland wind caressed his face as he emerged from the spiral staircase & out onto the top of the tall stone tower. He’d trained here himself, back in his Wolfpack days, before his eruption into the Nova known as ‘Thorn’ - & those memories always brought with them mixed emotions. Shaking off thoughts of his troubled past as best he (& Utopia’s top therapists) could he stepped over to the battlements, joining the gruff figure already peering into the courtyard below. The thickset Scotsman turned & snapped a neat salute as the leader of Team Tomorrow – Europe approached; Knorr returned the salute with the conditioned reflex of a life-long military man, then frowned slightly, ‘You know you don’t have to salute me, Master Sergeant,’ he pointed out – to himself as much as to the heavily bearded Scotsman, ‘we don’t really use military ranks in Project Utopia.’ Master Sergeant George Dixon shrugged, ‘You know how it is, Sir,’ he responded, ‘old soldiers & old habits…’ Peter nodded his understanding. For a moment he gazed out to sea – the island off the North coast of Scotland was just in sight of the mainland & - apart from the castle, recently renovated & refitted to Project Utopia’s specifications – there were no more than a dozen stone cottages clustered around the island’s single tiny fishing village: a lonely spot, maybe, but isolated enough to provide an excellent training facility for new recruits into Team Tomorrow - Europe. Pax hadn’t been too happy with the idea of training potential Tomorrowites outside of the Addis Ababa facility, but the paper-pushers had seen the investment as a good way of bolstering Britain’s flagging support for the Project. They’d also seen the logic of potential members of the European Team getting to train where they’d be working – after all, with the Central Team & all those damned Elites, Africa already had Novas to spare. Besides, Pax was never happy with any decisions he didn’t get to make himself... Thorn turned his attention to the courtyard below – where several individuals clad in the tight-fitting blue-white-gold eufiber uniforms of Project Utopia’s Team Tomorrow were going through their paces: some breezing through the assault course, while others flew or leapt through the air, & still others demolished wooden targets or lifted incredible weights. Thorn’s frown deepened – some of the Novas below looked so young… Shaking his head slightly he turned once more to the Master Sergeant, ‘So,’ he asked, ‘what do you think of our new recruits? Will they save the world?’ The gruff Scotsman let slip a hearty chortle, ‘What do I think? Green, Sir, very green. Not that they don’t have potential, but it’ll be a while before they’re up to snuff.’ Thorn nodded, ‘I agree… so I guess it’s a good thing that you’ll be around then, eh, Master Sergeant?’ Dixon gave the Nova an un-amused sidelong glance, ‘Yes, Sir,’ he replied, not sounding too convinced, ‘I suppose it is, Sir.’ ***** It was a little later when Thorn found Doctor Loretta Morgan down by the trainee Novas, watching their performances with a keen scientific eye, & making notes on her ever-present PDA as Master Sergeant Dixon supervised his hand-picked ex-military support team putting them through their paces. Doctor Morgan was a good looking English woman in her early thirties, with shoulder-length brunette hair & hazel eyes hidden behind a large pair of glasses – she was also one of the world’s top ten leading experts on the M-R node & Nova physiology. Peter had first met her when he’d initially checked into the London Rashoud clinic, in the days before they’d given him the name ‘Thorn’, & remembered her as an intelligent & efficient woman – she seemed like the ideal candidate to head up the Island’s scientific staff. ‘Good morning, Doctor,’ Thorn greeted the scientist as he approached, ‘how are you finding the new facilities?’ Doctor Morgan jumped at the sound of Thorn’s voice – obviously she’d been concentrating on the new recruits too hard to notice his arrival - & Peter noticed a slight flush to her cheeks as she turned to face him: just the Highland breeze? Or maybe a reaction to his own movie-star good looks: blond, blue-eyed, tall, handsome, with that perfect chiselled physique which only Novas could pull off (highlighted so well by the standard Team Tomorrow skin-tight uniform) – Thorn knew well the effect he had on women, but tried his best to play down the impact: a relationship was the last thing he needed considering his job… & his past… Gathering her wits Doctor Morgan finally managed to reply, ‘Th… the facilities? Oh… they’re… they’re fine, um… “Thorn”, I guess we’re meant to call you now?’ Thorn forced a smile, ‘If you like, although “Peter” is fine too – after all, we’re all just human, right?’ ‘Right,’ Doctor Morgan acknowledged Thorn’s transparent reference to one of the main differences between Project Utopia’s & the Teragen’s philosophies – being in Team Tomorrow was about being the best, but being the best person, the best human, for the sake of all humanity – not about being the most powerful & losing yourself in the process. Thorn had seen the devastation Nova ‘Elites’ had wrought on baseline troops & civilians both, back before he’d erupted – now his driving goal was to protect humanity from those who thought that power gave them the right to act as they pleased… bullies… he’d never been able to stomach that sort… Taking a cue from the tiny inflections he saw in Doctor Morgan’s expression he added, ‘The mainland’s only a boat trip away, Doctor - & we’re having a VTOL hyperjet shipped over too: isolated as this place seems, the world really is at your doorstep.’ Doctor Morgan blushed once more, ‘I… thank you… that was troubling me a little… how did you know?’ Thorn shrugged, ‘I’m good a reading people, Doctor, that’s all – nothing sinister, I assure you.’ Doctor Morgan smiled, ‘No,’ she agreed, ‘of course not.’ Glancing once more at her PDA she turned back to the recruits, ‘Are you going to meet them now Thorn… Peter?’ Nodding, Thorn caught Master Sergeant Dixon’s eye & raised his hand. Saluting in acknowledgement – that old soldier was never going to change – the Master Sergeant turned to the new recruits, & bellowed, ‘Alright you miserable bunch of wasters: fall in & sound off – name, code name, & powers!’
  5. OK, because I don’t feel like continually paging back to the pages where this was fleshed out, I’m going to reprint this in its own thread.
  6. 'No! I don't want to! I look stupid! This whole idea is stupid!' Mister Morita inwardly sighed & rolled his eyes, even as me maintained his usual outward calm & slightly subservient smile. Just one more little push & he'd be free... well, he'd be able to work through the day in relative peace anyway. His teen Novox client had already tripled his medical bills - what with his blood pressure & the ulcer he was developing - sending her back to school was the best idea since saisho itself. He looked across the back seat of the limo at the girl - fifteen years old with stunning good looks & a voice to make angels weep she already brought in enough money with her songs to make the troubles all worth while... at least, that's what he kept telling himself. Despite the fact she was making a big show of how much she hated the 'sailor suit' school uniform she was wearing he had to admit she still looked damn cute. The manager in him made a mental note to work the image into her next tour somehow - whenever that would be. He'd made sure to explain to the school that the pink hair was actually her natural colour - to avoid any issues about uniform violation - but that was just one of a million little details he dealt with each day that the star never thought to thank him for. Steeling himself, Morita tried to calm the singer down, 'Nezumi - this is what you wanted, what you decided on. You know what the alternative was...' he supressed a shudded as he recalled the close run-in with the yakuza, '... you even made all that effort to get your academic results up to the required level. You've worked hard for this, Nezumi - it's a reward, not a punishment.' Morita recalled the effort it had taken to get the girl to study. English had been the worst - it wasn't until the fifth tutor had struck upon the idea of using pop & rock songs from old British bands to capture her attention that she'd finally put the effort in - the musician in her taking quickly to the lyrics of The Beetles & The Stones. But the government had its standards, & Kou had made it clear they weren't going to make any exceptions for Nezumi. In reality Morita was still convinced that her choice to go back to school was all tied up with that Samurai fellow. She still had a crush on the Elite, although Morita himself was quite happy when the terrifying man had departed. Oh - he was thankful for what he'd done for Nezumi, & the way he'd dealt with the yakuza - but he still sometimes woke at night in a cold sweat remembering the way the DeVries man had threatened him. That hadn't helped the ulcer either... Forcing himself to concentrate on the present, Morita was pleased to see Nezumi pouting. He'd come to learn her ways - pouting was better than shouting, which was better than throwing things at people. Soon enough she'd... yes there it was... an indignant 'huff', & she opened the limo door, climbing out & peering around as if she owned the place. Mister Morita resisted the urge to shout for joy & instead passed over her school briefcase. Nezuni snatched it from his hand & turned back towards the school. Siezing his chance Morita pulled the limo door closed & called to the driver, 'Go! Quick - before she changes her mind!' ***** The limo pulled away so fast that Nezumi had to hold down her uniform skirt to prevent it being blown so high it revealed her underwear. She once again cursed the stupid outfit, although she'd made the effort to make sure she looked good in it. Pink hair up in pigtails she knew that she was going to make an impact - she was, after all, damn cute... The school itself was in the grounds of the Osaka castle headquarters of Nippontai. Cherry blossoms blew in the wind, the highlight of the beautiful gardens which surrounded the place. The castle itself could be seen rising over the trees a short distance away, but Nezumi was destined for the Osaka Academy for Gifted Children - or 'Nippontai High' as it was known by most. The school had been built to blend-in with its historic surroundings. A high traditional design wall enclosed the place, broken by the open gate at which she now stood. The low school buildings were all modern, but creatively built to mimic more traditional lines - with 'pagoda' style roofs & similar features. Children... or her 'fellow pupils' she corrected herself... were hurrying through the gates to be in time for the eight-thirty morning bell. The girls wore the 'sailor suit' & skirt which Nezumi herself was dressed in, the boys wore high-collared uniform suits. Mid-way through term most already appeared to be happy in their seperate little groups of friends, scattered about the yard gossiping, catching up, or messing about. Nezumi took a deep breath - she hadn't been to school since she'd erupted. They'd all know who she was, naturally, but would that be a good or a bad thing? Already they were looking in her direction, whispering comments between themselves. Still - a smile spread across her lips - there were worse things than being the centre of attention. Head held high, Nezumi strode into the schoolyard...
  7. Tommy eagerly wolfed down his dinner & sprinted upstairs to his bedroom. He’d made sure that all his homework & chores were done, & now it was time for the payoff – the greatest thing he could imagine in his young life, the one-hour weekly prime-time show: Monday Mega-Massacre! Tonight’s show was going to be even better than ever – they were showing highlights of the best Xtreme Warfare Federation matches from the past season, in preparation for the upcoming, year-end, Manhattan Meltdown pay-per-view spectacular. Tommy’s parents didn’t much like the XWF, but once they’d seen how motivated it could make him they’d allowed him to watch – although he’d had to arrange to go to his friend George’s house to watch the pay-per-view. George’s dad was a huge XWF fan, & had the biggest screen & best sound system in the neighborhood – Tommy had traded George his mint copy of the Team Tomorrow comic, issue 2, for an invite to the ‘sleep over’, but it was going to be well worth the sacrifice to see the Nova combatants of the XWF hurling cars & abuse both at each other! While Tommy told everyone that Superbeast was his favorite, he was just old enough to find himself much more interested in the fights featuring La Araña or Melinda Guzman… between the Nova-level action & the tight costumes of the XWF divas nothing could be better than the show, nothing! Heavy rock music & killer guitar riffs blared out from the OpNet screen as the XWF logo slammed into place with jarring impact: X! W! F! A dizzying flood of images assaulted young Tommy’s eyes – including Core’s famous four-second defeat of ‘Butcher’ Moretti – followed by spectacular pyrotechnics & blazing laser light displays, then the all too familiar voices of commentators Jerry ‘JoJo’ Dylan & Dustin McShane, Dylan: well folks, have we got a show for you tonight! McShane: that’s right; tonight we look back at some of the more memorable moments of this season’s XWF action…Dylan: … as well as forward to the upcoming Manhattan Meltdown! McShane: The greatest event in sports entertainment history!Dylan: You said it! All three Circle titles are up for grabs - & you know that La Araña, Raja Ravana, & Core are all going to be fighting tooth & nail to keep hold of those championship belts! McShane: ‘Tooth & nail’ is right, JoJo – quite literally in the case of ‘The Demon King’! But let’s not forget who they’re up against – the other XWF superstars want to get their hands on those titles as much as they champions want to hold onto them.Dylan: All true, Dustin, all true - & with the Superbeast still smarting over his last defeat by Core you can bet that at least some of those fights are not going to be pretty… McShane: … although with the likes of Melinda Guzman in the ring, some of them are…Dylan: Somehow I think you’re not her type, Dustin… McShane: Don’t count an old dog out yet JoJo – besides, with the way these XWF divas look, we can all feel a little younger again…Dylan: Ah… whatever you say… Anyway, lets begin by reviewing some of the spectacular entrances our combatants have made over the past season… The camera shot changes to the famous neon-lit arena entrance ramp, a silver spider web design adorns the back wall, rocked-up Spanish style music fills the air, the announcer’s voice echoes over the top, ‘Ladies & gentlemen, now making her way to the Combat Zone… hailing from Mexico, swift & silent, mistress of the Spider’s Kiss™, the deadly black widow, the one & only arachnid, your Silver Circle champion: La Araña!’ The lithe silver spiderweb adorned black Eufiber-clad figure of La Araña drops down an impossible height from the arena ceiling, landing in a low crouch at the top of the ramp, one leg bent under her, one stretched out, a single hand, fingers splayed, on the floor in front of her. Holding the pose for a moment she then leaps into a series of incredible, super-fast, tight backflips down the ramp towards the vitrium-encased Combat Zone. Following her, seeming to spread out from her wake, are thousands upon thousands of silvery spiders which scatter into the crowd, only to vanish into glittering silver dust: some fans scream, others cheer, as the spiders swarm over them before disappearing. Reaching the base of the Combat Zone La Araña’s last backflip turns into a breath-taking leap as she twists gracefully through the air to alight on the narrow top of the vitrium partition. There she poses once more, totally cool & unafraid despite her precarious perch. Standing & turning she holds her arms up & out, soaking up the adulation of the crowd, before dropping backwards into the arena – to the collective gasps of the crowd – only to twist once more into a perfect landing a fraction of a second before she impacts the floor of the ring. The recording changes, the same entrance, a different match… ‘Ladies & gentlemen, now making his way to the Combat Zone… hailing from the very depths of the many Hells,’ proclaims the announcer, ‘the Indian devil, the demon king, master of the four-armed Yogic Flyer™, the beast who eats souls, your Red Circle champion, the one, the only: Raja Ravanna!’ Striding out onto the entrance ramp to the sounds of the latest Novox remix of Panjabi MC’s ‘Mundian To Bach Ke’ (complete with much overused sample of the original beat from the ancient ‘Knightrider’ TV show) comes the imposing, six feet six inches, red skinned, four-armed, muscular monster known as Raja Ravanna – his eyes blazing, his teeth fangs, his nails claws. Supported on two of his mighty arms are ‘Ping’ & ‘Pong’ his well known ‘Blue Geisha Twins’ tattooed Japanese eye-candy babes: while they wave to the crowd Raja’s two ‘spare’ hands form a mystical sign of some sort & he glares menacingly about: some cheer, many boo with as much, if not more, enthusiasm. Light glints from the ruby embedded in Raja’s forehead, & steam issues from his nostrils – a moment later he tilts his head back, sending a spray of his infamous ‘yogic fire’ into the air between the two babes he’s carrying. Setting the twins down he roughly grabs & kisses one, then the other as they feign struggling against the brute. Raja turns to leer at the booing crowd – one young lady in the front row faints! Forming all four of his hands into complex mystical gestures the demon king then vanishes in a burst of bright flame, only to reappear in the centre of the ring in a corresponding display of pyrotechnics. Once more the scene switches to a new recording… ‘Ladies & gentlemen, now making his way to the Combat Zone… he weighs in at two-hundred & eighty-two pounds, & hails from Brooklyn, New! York! City! He is the reigning champion of the sport & master of the Core Meltdown™. Ladies & gentlemen, your… X! W! F! Heavyweight Champion of the Wooooorrrld… DUKE! CORE! BAROOOONNN!’ Phosphorous flames blast in twin columns to the heavens at the top of the entrance ramp as in strides the man himself, eyes blazing with Quantum fire, muscles rippling, clad in his trademarked combat pants & boots, a ‘Core Cutie’ on either arm with ‘Enter Sandman’ blasting through the arena at full volume: Core makes his way slowly to the arena, soaking up the deafening roars of the crowd as he basks in the adulation of the masses… The shot returns to the relative calm of the familiar commentary pair… McShane: So those are your reigning champions… but there are many other fine competitors challenging for their titles…Dylan: … Not to mention challenging the showmanship of those entrances, Dustin – take a look at some of these… … the scene changes once more…
  8. [Here we go. I've still not figured out what all these little tags & button do, so my narrative will be in boring old black & white for now. I know, I'm a little slow...] ***** The view takes in a shot looking up at a magnificent pointed sky-scraper - the kind they made in the 1920s & 30s - flood-lit to impressive effect in the Manhattan night sky. Several helicopters can be seen circling near the apex of the majestic edifice, but they seem tiny & insignificant next to the massive airship, lit from within by subtle cycling rainbow hues, that rests moored to a mast atop the building. Background noise of crowds & cameras can be heard, & the articulate voice of a female presenter speaks as the view pans down the building towards ground level, "... and there we see our first glimpses of the prototype Skymaster 3000 Airship, Masters International's bold new move to revitalise a once forgotten technology. However, the crowds gathered here tonight are hoping to catch glimpses of more than just the latest Masters' aircraft, as rumours abound that, as well as the usual legions of the rich & famous, several Novas will be attending tonight's annual Masters International Charity Benefit. Tonight's event is in aid of local orphanages: viewers will recall that the founder of the Masters business empire, Jonathon Masters, was himself an orphan raised in this city. But wait... yes, I can see the first cars arriving now..." The view now shows the crowds gathered at the entrance to the building, parted by a promenade of velvet ropes & carpets. Cameras in the crowd produce an irregular cloud of flashes, adding to the sense that the crowd is a single roiling mass of humanity. Large men in tailored tuxedos cast watchful & menacing eyes, hidden behind mirrorshades, over this mass, alert to signs of danger. A long polished black car slides gracefully up to pause just long enough for it's passangers to dramatically alight amid redoubled bursts of camera flashes; & a surge from the crowd, both physically & in noise level, as the mass presses & strains at the possibility of recognising wealth & fame. As the first impeccably attired couple run the gauntlet of fandom & newspeople, the first car glides away, to be seamlessly replaced by it's clone with it's own cargo of beautiful people. As the cycle is repeated the presenter's voice provides a running who's-who of guests to this most elite of parties: celebrities, politicians, business elite, even minor royalty from some all but forgotten European nation-state, but not who the people really want to see. Famous or not, the crowd is waiting for a chance to see a real Nova... ***** [Well, I hope that gives people a reasonable lead-in. Over to you guys for the dramatic (or not) entrances.]
  9. Africa - Namibia - west of Windhoek, towards the Namib desert: Standing on the runway of the base's fully-equiped airfield Elizabeth Cable looked around the DeVries National Tactical Solutions headquarters & thought that for all the world it looked like a military base. She knew that it covered a wide area that was surrounded by a chain-link fence topped with razor-wire, & was patrolled by paramilitary guards. Furthermore, "No Trespassing" signs were posted all around at a half-mile distance. Elizabeth had always seen herself working in a nice corporate office somewhere, & whilst there were offices here there were also barracks & bungalows, vehicle pools & armouries spread over the camp. Jeeps sped past squads of marching or jogging men, & helicopters & planes took off or touched down alongside flying Novas of various kinds. Over it all flew a red flag bearing the DeVries company logo - the logo that meant "Elites" in the minds of the world, the logo that meant "the best" & meant "money". Elizabeth tucked a loose strand of blonde hair behind her ear & checked her lady's business suit for the hundreth time - new recruits expected DeVries staff to be the epitome of smart & efficient, & she had no desire to let that image slip. Looking to the skies she awaited the arrival of the latest batch of Novas who wished to prove they had what it took to be... Elite!
  10. Nova Philes: I thought I’d start off and give rules that I think are close to what the book uses. Note that there are going to be exceptions and anomalies. For example, Core has a Strength of 6, even though he has M-Str 3 which can be pumped to 5, presumably this is because his Strength changed between the time the phile was written and the Character sheet was created. In General: 1) All Ratings range from 1 (low) to 10 (high). 2) Divis has the only 10 in every category. 3) If something pumps (easily and at your command) then it should be included, after all it is there when you need it. Thus even though Divis may normally only walk around with Mega-Strength 3, it pumps to 8 when he arm wrestles. 4) All ratings cover a range (well, except for the “10”). Thus Mega-Strength 6 and 7 both are “9’s” even though one is much stronger than the other. 5) A number of powers add to multiple categories. For example: Mega-Strength can add to Strength and Offense. 6) There is a lot of subjectivity to all this and there is a lot of room for reasonable people to disagree. Rating Levels: General (Strength and Intellect) 1: Less than baseline average. This is very rare for novas or even baselines. (1 or 0 dots) 2: Baseline average (2 dots) 3: Above baseline average (3 dots) 4: Far above baseline average (4 dots) 5: Baseline Max (5 dots) 6: Above Baseline Maximum (Mega-Stat 1 or 2) 7: Good for a Nova (Mega-Stat 3 or 4) 8: Normal Limit for Q5 Nova (Mega-Stat 5) 9: Above normal limit for Q5 (Mega-Stat 6 or 7) 10: Nova Maximum (Divis Mal) The above table works with Strength and Intellect (Intelligence), although there is room for modification. Example: A nova with a two dot Int but who also has 5 dots in every Int skill is probably has an Intellect of 4. The other four categories are much less defined and much more subjective. Speed: In general, speed is a measure of how fast you are. This means reaction time and/or raw movement. Any nova with a movement power should have at least a 6. Offense: How effective you are offensively in combat. For a quick guide, how many dice does someone do in ranged combat. As a rule of thumb, this rating can’t be more than two lower than a nova’s strength rating, and if the nova has a movement power it can’t be more than one less. Examples: With presumably 6 or 7 dots of Elemental Control: Light + Mastery (i.e. a 24[24] or 28[28] attack) Scripture has a 9. With a 42 die ranged attack, Core has a 8. With lots of Magnetic Manipulation, Skew has a 7. Defense: Opposite of Offense. Normally this is a measure of raw soak, but lots of novas have special defenses (dodge, Density Decrease, etc). If your only defense is not getting hit, it is worth pointing out that with no effective body, Synapse has a 5. Multiple types of defenses do lend to a higher rating. With lots of soak (high 20’s to low 30’s) Core has a 7. Versatility is a measure of how useful you are in a wide range of situations. Since the average baseline has a two, most novas have at least a three. Example: Count Oraiz has 5’s in every stat, 6 mega-stats, great skills, and unreal connections, money, and influence. There are very few problems that he can’t fix with just a phone call. He has an 8. Core is little more than a combat machine (although Mega-Strength does have a few other uses). But he also is a national icon and has a great deal of influence. He has a 5. (As only a combat machine, probably a 3 or 4). Suite powers tend to give you at least a 5.
  11. Ok. There's nothing like an approaching real life deadline for sparking renewed interest in old threads, so I took a walk down memory lane. Holy crap!! ::blink There are a ton of cool, inspiring and hilarious quotes in these threads!! So, let's dig 'em all up and have a good laugh. No quoting yourself, though... ::wink Here goes: I just couldn't stop laughing... ::thumbup
  12. As I sit here watching Shaun of the Dead for the third or fourth time, a thought sprang to life. Considering ProfPott's and Knave's predilection for confusing most of us poor Yanks with what I can only assume to be British idioms and slang ::confused(Hunter, anyone?), I thought it might be helpful if our friends across the pond could post some of the more common things people in different parts of Great Britain might say. This would be especially helpful in the areas like the Truth and Justice thread, where at least a few characters(mine included) are actually British! One thing I have a very hard time with when writing for Shaun(notice a similarity to above?) is trying to figure out how he talks, exactly. Having dealt with a fair number of Brits in person over the years, I've not only noticed different accents, but different slang too. I've picked up some bits, like 'bin' for garbage can, and 'brolly' for umbrella. 'Fannypack' means something decidedly different as well. ::sly And to be fair, I'm sure there's some pretty weird stuff coming from the American side too. I know there are quite a few expressions I've used that have puzzled Ex-Pats I've met, and the use of y'all throws 'em sometimes. ::biggrin What does anyone else think?
  13. Mad - that's what I am... & you all know it! ::wacko In any case, this idea's been floating around my head for a bit now, & needed to burst free - so here it is, let's see if there's any interest. The Osaka Academy for Gifted Children is a government-funded high school located in Osaka, Japan, run under the auspices of the Nippontai project. Publically it is a school for children with gifts - child prodigies & the like. However, it is an open secret that some of these children's gifts are actually Nova powers - hence the school's better known nickname - Nippontai High. The kids who attend the school may well be the next generation of Nippontai Novas. As a country Japan is on the cutting edge of the Nova age. It pays only lip-service to Project Utopia's restrictions on Nova-invented technologies &, thanks (at least in part) to the Kamisama Buddhist movement, its people close to worship Novas as heroes & saviours. Nippontai is the country's official response to all matters Nova-related. With a public headquarters in Tokyo, & a more extensive living & working facility in Osaka castle, Nippontai is Japan's Nova-culture given voice. What is less well known is that Japan has a much higher rate of eruptions than a country of its population should, statistically, have - & most of these eruptions are amongst the young - teenagers especially. Some look to the presence of Bodhisattva Masato - the powerful genius Nova who helped develop Japan's radical new power sources, & founded the Kamisama movement - as the cause. Masato is credited with the ability to cause others to erupt, although many refuse to believe these claims. Others look to the radiation which bathed the islands at the end of World War Two, to the self-same power sources which Masato helped invent, to Nova-tech gone out of control, or even to the spiritual heart of a deeply traditional people. None knows for sure, but the fact remains that, as far as Novas go, Japan has more than its fair share. Players in this game would take the roles of young Japanese teenagers (fifteen to sixteen years old) attending Nippontai High - either newly erupted Novas, or 'prodigies' who have tested positive for Nova potential. The series feel & atmosphere would aim to be along the lines of Japanese high-school based Manga & Animé - a mix of teenage romance & super-powered action. The Aberrant equivilent of Sailor Moon, if you like. It'd be set in the Quantum Zero world, although, by nature of the setting, somewhat removed from some of the darker elements which have reared their heads in that series. Player characters would be attending a Japanese High School - along with appropriate uniforms, duties, & expectations - & expected to role-play the parts with that in mind. Characters would worry about exams, & dating, & how to hold down a part-time job without the school finding out, rather than using their powers to skip such 'mundane' aspects of life (as some Nova characters in other games might be tempted to do). Powers would be generally low-level (at least to start with - building to the more Earth-shattering stuff as time goes on). There would be 'bad guys' to fight, but also High School rivals to face & romantic crushes to develop. Verbal 'activation phrases' for powers (especially Maxed powers) would be the order of the day... ::wink Like the Manga & Animé influences it'd be based on, such a game would focus a lot on character, emotion, & conflict - the value of friendship & honour, the trials of love, the temptations of evil, & the like - rather than the less ephemeral goals which some games have (kill bad guys, get money, increase power, & the like). I've got more to say on this whole thing, but I think I'll stop there to see if there's any interest at all. ::lookaround
  14. Mister Flextastic! Real Name: Ronald 'Ron' Hammond Role: Face Circle: Silver Rank: 6 Win - Loss: 25 - 0 Time with the XWF: 15 months Glory: 4 Honour: 6 Signature Pose: Stretches torso & shows-off with bodybuilder poses Catchphrase: 'It's flextasy time!' Finisher: The Old Squeeze Play™ [Grappling Smackdown where he wraps himself around his opponent multiple times & squeezes] Music: The theme to 'Thunderbirds' (played really loud with an insane amount of pyrotechnics) Powers: An incredible ability to stretch & contort his body grants 'Mister F' both a resiliency to concussive damage & an impressive amount of elastic strength, as well as making him particularly hard to hit or pin down. Normally Mister F can stretch each limb around four meters, but when he 'goes spaghetti' he becomes ribbon-thin & can stretch each limb an amazing sixteen-odd meters! History: A 'jobber' in the declining field of professional wrestling (which was starting to go underground & becoming increasingly violent & dangerous in a desperate bid to hold on in competition with the XWF) Ron Hammond would have suffered a life-threatening broken back due to a particularly brutal move by his opponent had he not erupted on the spot. Knowing the business all too well Ron eagerly went off to join the XWF & finally earn some big bucks, with the crowd cheering him for a change. Early efforts to choose a 'Nova' name for himself backfired when his attempts to play a 'brilliant scientist' persona failed miserably (Ron being a high school drop out) & a certain comics publishing house threatened to sue. Taking some advice from the XWF marketing people Ron soon became 'Mister Flextastic!' (although he still has a thing for blondes in tight eufiber...) & has proven to be popular with the fans & his fellow fighters both - every one of his fights seems to involve his opponent twisting him into a knot, or using him as a slingshot, or other such amusing cartoonish antics, before he finally (& heroically) turns the tables at the last minute. The cartoonish nature of his combats has led to Mister F appealing to the younger & family audiences of the sport, & (being a genuine nice guy & an old hand) he's played into this, staring in several 'don't try this at home' ads, as well as 'stay in school' & 'don't do drugs' spots too. In his spare time Mister F has a taste for the superstar lifestyle he never got when he was the one taking the fall all the time, & he's a regular at The Amp Room, 'A'-list parties & the like - although he tries to keep the worst of his excesses out of sight for the sake of his younger fans. Appearance: A good-looking guy, if not a model, eruption has left Mister F both bald & overly muscled - adding even more to his image as a 'cartoon' wrestler. Rumours that his muscular state & lack of hair are, in fact, the result of his indulging in Mite in his pre-Nova days have never been confirmed (& have been stomped on lots by the XWF legal department)... In the ring he wears a form fitting blue Eufiber bodysuit with an 'F' in a white circle prominantly displayed on his chest (Stan & the XWF settled out of court...).
  15. Hey everyone, I don't know about you but I can't keep up with everyone's character, the clubs they're in and what makes them noticeable/different. To help in the roll call and to have a cheat sheet to look at as we familiarize ourselves, please post your characters: Here's a list of named characters who are in various clubs. Obviously there are lots more NPCs in these clubs too, these are just the ones who have cropped up so far (& who have some link or significance to one or more PCs). The numbers are the character's Backing rating (& therefore their social 'rank' within the school - by default characters, at least respectful characters, will tend to defer to those of higher social rank - by bowing lower, for example). Judo Team: 3. Captain: To be announced 2. Vice captain: Jinsei Aki (Phoenix) 1. Tetsuo Takahashi (NPC) Kendo Team: 3. Captain: Fujiko Watabe (NPC) 2. Vice Captain: to be announced 1. Nabiki Watabe (Heritage) 0. Kenshi Koizumi (Alex Green) 0. Kenji Watabe (Asbjørn) 0. Kio Takemine (NPC) Gymnastics Team: 4. Captain (& 1A class president): Takeshi Hanzo (NPC) Debate Team: 4. President (& 1B class president): Akaji Maro (Ezekiel) 2. Vice President: Orio Jaakaam (NPC) 1. Secretary: Salene Minowaka (Sai) 1. President’s PA: Keiko Ishida (NPC) Newspaper Club: 3. Editor in Chief: to be announced 2. International News Columnist: Hiro Shujinkou (Nullifier) 1. Entertainment Editor: Seiji Yasuhara (Sablesma) 1. Layout & design: Kazuki (Prince of Boredom) 1. Sports Editor: Kohana Mitsu (NPC) 0. Oily snitch: Haruki Oshiro (NPC) Art Club: 3. President: Miyako Miyamoto (Blue Ninja) 2. Vice President: Ken Yamada (Bahamut810) Poetry Club: 1. Rumiko Takahashi (NPC) Fund-raising Club: 3. President: Ryoko Mendo (NPC) Akaji Maro Background Akaji Maro is the son of a prominent business man and is something of a phenomenon at the school. Leader of the Junior High debate team and class presidentl, he's rich, handsome, athletic and popular. He's a good leader and maybe, just maybe, you don't need to throw lightning bolts to be a hero after all... Backing: 4 Influence: 1 Club: Debate (leader) 1B Class President Distinguishing feature: Almost constantly followed by Keiko Ishida carrying a touchboard comp and jotting notes as he talks.
  16. Okay, I made the joke about the 'Damn, I'm Hot!' thread, so I'll start. Slither is a stunning young woman in her early twenties. She's 5' 8", medium build, with deep brown eyes and short brown hair streaked with blonde highlights, cut in a sort of classic Jackie Kennedy bob. Her face is round and rather catlike, and indeed she moves a bit like a panther, but there's something else as well - a somewhat disturbing reptilian quality to the sway of her arms and hips, almost mesmerizing. As she moves, the light glistens off her tanned skin like a million tiny rainbows, due to a fine covering of chromatophoric scales. She tends to favor vintage fashion looks for her eufiber when she's 'working', typically from the Fifties and Sixties, with clean European lines; the cuts always accent her considerable curves and the exotic look of her skin. ::sly If you want a more concrete visual, think Julia Stiles meets Emma Peel ::devil Now you try! Edit: Should this be for all our Aberrant games? if so, can one of the wise Admins ("All praise the admins!") edit out the '(in QZ)' bit? Only if everyone agrees, of course ::biggrin Final edit: Now that oughta do it! Final, final edit: Okay, as per Prof's request, stats are down, though I guess I left them up long enough that any damage is already done ::confused
  17. I saw Bahamut had tried to post HeroMachine data for Andy. Figured we might as well post it here, so we don't mess up the main storyline. Yes, the texts goes way out of your screen, but you can still scroll and copy. Here's Vinnie, the way I picture him so far. Oh yeah... there should have been a coat there as well. Super-HeroBlasterMale*Vincent "The Ghost" Gigante*Skin:1,0,35,0,10,25,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Eyebrows:1,0,100,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Eyes:3,0,60,0,0,100,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Nose:1,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Mouth:1,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Beard:1,0,35,0,10,25,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Hair:6,0,100,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Mask:1,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Helmet:1,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Undershirt:15,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Overshirt:2,0,100,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Gloves:2,0,100,0,0,0,100,0,100,0,0,0,100;Insignia:1,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Belt:1,0,40,0,0,100,100,0,60,0,0,100,100;Leggings:1,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Overleggings:1,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Pants:14,0,100,0,0,0,100,0,50,0,0,0,100;Footwear:3,0,100,0,0,0,100,0,100,0,0,0,100;Coat:13,0,100,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;Weapon-rt:12,0,20,0,0,0,100,0,50,0,0,0,100;Weapon-lft:13,0,20,0,0,0,100,0,50,0,0,0,100;Back:1,75,0,0,0,0,100,75,0,0,0,0,100;#
  18. I had this weird, but fun(I think so anyways) to do an MTV Cribs style, in-character walkthrough of John Fabry's mansion(s). Then, I really started thinking about what kind of house it would be: How much square footage, how much acreage, what style of design, what's the interior like? So, I scoured the 'net for pictures of mansions and other very expensive homes to try to get some ideas. Because I'm lazy, and I haven't yet decided whether to do a full-text write up of Fabry guiding something through his massive edifice(sounds naughty, doesn't it?), I wanted to show you all some pics of the top contenders for Fabry's possible homes. To be fair to the original site where I found most of these, I'm posting their website here: http://www.terryspraguehomes.com; and I'm uploading the pics directly to EON so I don't jack their bandwidth.
  19. Or Stranger-Belt, in this case. I was looking through my copy of the Guide to the Dark Knight, and perusing his list of toys. Some were very very cool, though I imagine a bit unrealistic in Aberrant terms. So I'm asking for help. I'd really like to have a concrete list of things The Stranger is likely to carry around every time he's in costume. Now, I have done such lists before in PM's with Prof, but I always have the nagging feeling that I've forgotten some vital thing that will end up biting me in the ass later. I'm asking for your help, my fellow geeks. ::biggrin If you could make the perfect Bat-Belt for Aberrant, what would it contain? Here's some easy stuff I always think of, and which matches some items in the traditional Bat-Belt. Flashlight Lockpicks Pepper Spray Handcuffs Multitool or tool kit Recording devices(audio and video) Grapple line or cord. Extra grapples. Throwing spikes(Stranger don't do Bat-a-rangs) Firestarter(matches, lighter, etc) Smoke grenades Kinda tired, so that's all that's coming to mind right now. If anyone's got more suggestions, I'd love to hear them. ::happy
  20. Okay, me and Asbjorn got to talking in the chats about all the mackin' and what-not going on in QZ; this lead to discussion of what gossip rags would say about all these antics. For fun, I was thinking of writing some hyperbolic prose ala the National Enquirer/Sun/Us Weekly about who's doing what with whom - this would be for entertainment purposes only, and not necessarily reflect actual IC press from the QZ timeline. Anyone else interested in this little project? ::wink
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