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Aberrant: Children of Quantum Fire - Slave to History [5.7]


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{This thread occurs immediately "after" (and "before" and "during") Touch of Divinity. http://www.rpgpost.c...ty/page__st__30 }

Thoughts a whirl, Warren appeared three hours in the past. He turned invisible and then warped into orbit many miles above Justin's place. Justin had been right, he could have been there to stop the mother hunters from almost killing Maia, and now he was. Warren settled down to wait, Maia was determined to force Justin's eruption, Warren would step in right before the attack.

Warren watched and wondered when the strike force would set up. It looked like a normal day in a normal suburban neighborhood. Within a several block radius of Justin's, people walked their dogs, others jogged, an overweight neighbor was setting up a portable grill in an ongoing effort to induce a heart attack. From Warren's viewpoint he could read "Kiss the Cook" on a stomach visible from orbit and he suspected the man hadn't seen his feet in years. Two teenagers sunned themselves, the view would have been better if they'd worn less. An obese woman was sunbathing nude, she could and should have worn far more, not just for Warren’s benefit, one of her moles looked cancerous.

He couldn't see unusual levels of police cars... correction. A group of police cars were a dozen miles away dealing with something irrelevant. Chance? Or had someone timed this? He was super humanly lucky but he couldn’t bring himself to believe in chance.

As the minutes ticked by Warren's mind settled and he changed his plans. Maia had survived, that was a history he didn't want to risk changing. Justin would make a fine addition to the family. Uncle Shen had things in hand and the family should learn from mistakes. That left the Mother Hunters.

They'd been GOOD. Good enough to hide from Warren right now, good enough to almost take Maia down, good enough to be gone before Warren had stepped in a few seconds later.

He wanted to know how they'd managed that. Most likely a warping nova had helped, but he wanted to see that in action. He'd wait until Maia and Justin escaped, then he'd watch. If it was a warping nova, then he’d piggy back a ride. Sneak through the exit warp himself back to their home base and find the nest of them.

Warren continued to wait, and watch, and hope the nude woman and grill cook would go inside. The ticks of the clock counted down and an unusual number of joggers intersected with Justin's house a few seconds before the attack. Unmatched Vans and SUVs pulled up and swat-styled men came out. Warren increased the flow of time to catch every detail.

One of the joggers took to the air. The team attacked as a unit. Polished. Well trained. Justin dueled with the flyer and downed him by doing something with gravity. The flyer Justin downed stood up again, weapons were brought to bear...

...and Justin did the sensible thing and rabbited through a gate. Good, as expected, history was preserved. Maia would survive, both of them would run into Warren in a handfull of seconds. He'd send the Red Shirt Army in to attack, he/they would fail to find anything, then he'd take Maia and her boyfriend to the island and Uncle Shen.

The disappointed Mother Hunters paused for a moment. They picked themselves up, got new instructions, and several houses away a gate opened. Warren smiled. He could deal with a Warper no problem. It took time to create a gate, time to use it, and during that time Warren could twist their gate into an unusable pretzel.

The Warren-Clone Red Shirt Army came boiling through the gate and attacked the mother hunters. From orbit Warren said in disbelief to himself, “But that’s not the way it happened!?!”

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Warren in orbit struggled to make sense of everything. The crew down there was himself, fighting a battle he didn't remember. The Red Shirt Army (RSA) was doing it just the way he would, activate all powers, create clones and get everything done in the few seconds you could support it. They had his moves, his powers, used his tactics, and it was a one sided massacre.

The Mother Hunters didn't have a chance, the fight was over before any of them realized they were in combat. Warren winced a little as a RSA member brutally cut the flyer in half with a warp sword. Baselines could be exiled without a qualm but novas might get stronger and come back, that left execution. As expected, the unconscious baselines were rounded up. He assumed they'd be transported in mass to Earth2 in a moment.

That solved the issue of the Mother Hunters, the larger issue was what on Earth had happened? He'd sent nine...


There were ten Warrens down there. Ergo that wasn't a clone crew, that was himself down there.

Warren face palmed himself and mentally called himself an idiot.

That wasn't his crew. That was a future Warren down there. In a few seconds all the Mother Hunters would be gone, and THEN his crew would show up and find they weren't here. The Warper who had removed them was he himself.

This was the past, but he was looking at his own future.


For a moment Warren seriously considered doing something else. History could take care of itself. He had free will, doing something else would prove it.



...was he really going to use his free will to save Mother Hunters? Leave them running around to murder babies and maybe his siblings? The heck with that. The pack of them could rot on Earth2.

Warren activated all of his combat related powers and jumped back in time again.

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A short time later: Elsewhere.

"I've heard your summation. I wanted to hear this in person. What happened." The last was an order, not a question. He'd lost the team down to one man and he was deeply 'unhappy' about it.

"I was observing, like usual. After the girl and the new nova left, we got the order to pull out so I went back to the grill. First rule of this sort of thing is don't break character. The others would run, I was just going to walk away. Also I look absurd running." The man jiggled his ample belly. There were very few obese novas, he was the exception.

"Go on."

"Then it fell apart. I sensed another nova show up, I mean, that's my job, I always know when I'm being watched."

"And you didn't warn the team?" The tone didn't change but this was a dangerous question.

"Yes and no."

"Explain. Now."

"I'm trying to Sir. I sensed the other nova, and I inhaled to warn the crew. By the time I started to speak it was already over. I wasn't slow and I wasn't scared. I just didn't have time."


"The new nova was invisible, but that wasn't even the problem. This was a serious Titan and he was FAST, and he could clone. It was like a dozen copies of Totentanz showed up. The rest of the team went down without firing a shot, without even knowing they were being attacked. If he hadn't been invisible then they probably still would have all gone down. There was just no time to react."

"And you...?"

"Everyone else was holding guns while I was holding hamburger and I don't show up as a nova. He saw me, I felt that over and over, but he didn't take me seriously. Mistake. Maybe we can do something with it. He made some others too."


"Yeah, someone screwed up on their end. The new nova took the crew and left, then came back. Acted like he was looking for something, like maybe he forgot something or maybe he'd been ordered there even though he'd already been there. And there's more."

"Wait, took the crew? Could they still be alive?"

"Not, could be, they are. Most of them anyway, Aero is dead, I saw him get cut in half. Everyone else he went easier on. I figured this out after the first call in. I saw one of them pick up a pen and paper and write. That's why I was so late reporting in, if he'd left a random note I knew we'd want it. He took the pad with him, but he used a table as a backdrop and with my senses I picked up the impressions."

The man in charge leaned forward, maybe they could salvage something out of this debacle, maybe even get his men back. He said, "I'm impressed."

"Hey, I don't look like a nova and I observe stuff. Cook a great hamburger too. Right, get on with it. Get this, he wrote them a note. Can you believe it? Amateur hour 'this is my plan' type stuff."

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Mother Hunter,

This Earth had a very different history, think of it as the Garden of Eden. The Rock that killed the dinosaurs missed so humanity never evolved. Thus there are no potential victims for you, no other races for you to sterilize and no children for you to murder for the greater good.

I use this as a dumping ground for the genocidal baby killers I run into. You're getting a fresh start, it's more than you deserve. It's up to you whether you rebuild the society whose rules you have rejected, but whatever you do, it's no longer my problem.

I've left you your gear and weapons. I've also left some basic provisions, given your other crimes I doubt cannibalism will be a problem. Watch out for Velociraptors.

-Francis Biddle

The researcher read the letter several times then said, "Sir, is this a joke?"

"No. Never mind how we got the letter, it's legit. We sent out a full team and some self righteous prick exiled them to Jurassic Park. Is there anyone on record who can visit 'other histories'?"

The researcher said, "A few novas claim they can but we've never had confirmation. A marketing scam or taint fueled insanity has always been more likely explanations. There's no one on record who can take other people with them, much less an entire team."

The researcher held up a finger to show he wasn't done thinking then said after a moment, "Also... all the claims I can remember seeing have been other worlds of men. The Dinosaurs died tens of millions of years ago, even if we can find another nova who can do this, finding our crew would be liking finding a needle lost in infinity."

The man in charge shook his head grimly and said, "There's already a nova who can find them. We're going to treat this as a hostage situation. Right now we're trying to find this nova and prove to him that it's still very much his 'problem'."

"Francis Biddle?"

"Francis Biddle was the American Judge during the Nuremberg Trials, he died 60 years ago."

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Warren breathed hard and smiled wolfishly at himself. It'd cost a lot of juice but it was worth it. One pack of mother hunters successfully transfered to Earth2. On the verge of transporting back a few minutes after he left, Warren had 'why don't you' moment.

The big issue with him leaving the family and jaunting through time like this was the family link went down, but that had already happened. So... why not take some more time and do some temporal tasks he thought needed doing? He could do those, and then STILL rejoin the others shortly after he left, no problem.

Thus far he'd failed in talking Pip into reading the minds of the first crew of mother hunters they'd run into. The ones Maia and Butch and the others had killed. Basically her powers didn't work like that, or maybe they worked like that only too well... but if she wasn't going to go back in time and help the others, there was no reason he couldn't.

Once again, the outcome was great so he didn't need to change that, but from all reports they hadn't had time to clean up the site before they'd left. They certainly hadn't slapped temporal fog over the area to stop anyone less than Uncle Shen from retro-cogging them. Cora always knew when someone was watching her... so he'd have to not watch. He already knew where and when they'd been, so it should be easy.

Filled with good intentions, Warren vanished again.

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