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Aberrant: No Fate - Chapter 1: Innocence


Joani
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The cave extends very far like a gaping maw into darkness. Only a few lights illuminate the runway. The cave is large enough to fit a private Lear Jet and from the tracks on the pavement you can tell that its been used quite frequently. There is a slight air current that leads down the runway.

Your instruments still produce unreliable information and a quick diagnostic reveals that there must be some sort of jamming/white noise generating device inside the cave. It is not strong enough to completely disrupt your electronic gear but your range and reliability is severely reduced.

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"Well then, Count. I had better get moving. I only have a few hours until nightime." In all truth, Nosferatu was tired. He'd been up all night, most of the day, and had another night ahead of him. Maybe when he met back up with the others, he could get a few minutes of sleep.

On his way downstairs, past the still frothing Geryon, Nosferatu offered Geryon his sympathy. "I'm glad I don't have to meet with Count O. regularly. I don't know how you do it."

His followers were exstatic too see him when he arrived back in the main lobby. Each one took their turn kissing the rings on his finger and offering their blood to nourish their master. Sinking his teeth into her wrist, Rebecca moaned quietly as she relinquished a pint blood to Nosferatu.

Feeling recharged, Nosferatu excused himself from his followers, and once in s secure location, asked for transport to the teams locale.

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Tom drifts down and whispers to his teammates (one at a time if he has to),

"There must be another, bigger, gate that they open to use the runway. There will be novas around here to build and operate this thing. This might be it. I'm going to go see what's at the other end of the runway, meet back in... 20 minutes?"

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"Tis a funny thing, to search out brethren with an M-R Node ping."

Replies The Fool to Cherubs suggestion.

"Reccommend we stay together lest an ambush pick us off one by one. Remember...our adversary is cunning indeed. The chessboard is active and the pawns are in position. A pincer strategy will work wonders."

"Besides, methinks we are all here capable of stealth in our own ways..."

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As the team prepares to explore the cave everyone realizes that the disruption of your technical equipment gets worse the deeper you fare into the cave. Running a diagnostic results that you cannot communicate outside the range of about 100 Feet. Your uplink to OCs mainframe is disconnected and your GPS still keeps changing its mind alternatively stating that you're in Nepal or in the northern sea.

Just before Nosferatu sends his request to be teleported to your position you hear a very distorted voice over your comm link. It sounds like Void. It is extremely difficult to understand what she is trying to say but you make out the words 'Warper', 'stronger' and 'redirect'.

Thats about the same moment when Jacks Intuition kicks in.

In the distant of the cave you can make out a dim light approaching your position.

(OOC: you've got less than 3 seconds to act - Initiative as follows - Jack, Callum, Sean, Cherub, Nosferatu, Goo)

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Sean moves away from the others so as not to be bunched up, and pulls out a spike and a ball-bearing and activates his telekinesis taking control of the ball-bearing with it, prepared to send it slamming into whoever, or whatever is approaching.

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Originally Posted By: Lily
"Bond, I presume?" she inquires with a little smirk.


Callum affects his best Sean Connery, which is damn near spot on, "Well Miss Moneypenny who else would it be?" Upright once more Callum bows over her hand and lays a gentlemanly kiss upon it, "Double-oh-seven at your service," he finishes with a wink.

Dropping the diver's weight belt and the tanks and helment Callum spends a moment to reshape his eufiber once more. THe dry suit begins to contract to Callum's body and the color becomes a dark flat black with grey accents that blend extremely well into the dark stone of the cavern.

Still dormed down, Callum creeps along behind the others sticking to the shadow and darkness at the limits of the cave walls and ensuring that nothing comes through the warp and behind them.
Originally Posted By: The_Fool
The Fool's voice sounds alarm over the comm.

"A trap is sprung!"


Immediatly Callum rolls to the floor and into the corner where the cave walls and floor meet lying still and, hopefully, undetected.
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Gray just raises a quizzical eyebrow, and joins the others though the little smile doesn't fade until Void's abortive radio message, and the appearance of the light.

Her reaction is quick...she shifts silver and flattens against the cavern wall. Rather literally flattens; her substance splaying out over it until she's little more than silver paint on the cavern surface. Then the silver color fades to match the rocks.

(using Shapeshift to acquire the camoflaught body mod, and liquid bodymorph to conform to the cavern wall)

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The moment Nosferatu hit his teleportdevice he felt the world distort around him. It felt strange and unusual to him and the transport took longer than he was used to.

As the world around him slowly reassembled itself he found himself not directly with his peers.

Infront of you is a large octagon shaped room. You can make out 5 humansized shapes standing in a half circle infront of what looks like a huge glowing cocoon. Tendrils of energy regularly leach out from the cocoon and you can see that the fifth shape is connected with the cocoon with several of those tendrils.

Each one of you stands in an alcove (for those which had been BM'd or invisible - right now you aren't) which is embedded in the cave opposing the octagon room. There are no bars or other visible signs of means to keep you restrained in your alcove. You can feel the enormous amount of quantum energy centered in the middle of the room.

The fifth shape, which looks like a tall male body covered in quicksilver constantly shifts its shape making it appear as if it had no control over its real shape. With an uneering and disturbingly shifting voice over the whole spectrum of sound it addresses you all.

"Greetings and my apologies for being such a rude host. Let me introduce myself - My name is Newton and I presume you are here to kill me?", it was impossible to read his face or his voice.

"Before you proceed with your plan I want to lay out your situation. My friends are willing to die for their freedom and for my ideals. What you see behind me is the suspended shape of one Caroline Fong. She is living through a process of transformation which the Teragon dubs as Chrysalis. In this state her quantum signature reverts to a state of total potential, only limited by her own psyche. Without this limiter the potential can be only described as godly... which I have managed to tap into. I'm sure you understand partially what this means and if you still wish to kill me and my friends so be it...", even without any discernible features of his face or voice you can feel that the creature named Newton is smiling at you.

"...or maybe you want to negotiate a truce? I promise you, there is no one here besides us. No one knows where this place is, no means of tracking you is possible... you could aswell be already dead and no one knew it."

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Callum rolls his eyes at the little speech, "Haven't you read the Evil Overlord list buddy? Stop monologging, either you have the upper hand and can kill us or you don't. If you do get on with it, if you don't shut your yap." Callum makes no effort to move from his position and remains in his dormant state looking little more than a healthy man in his late twenties.

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Tom says,

(To Callum) "Hopefully we can get out of this without anyone ending up dead my friend. It's hardly Evil to desire that."

(To Newton) "What kind of truce did you have in mind?"

Cherub put his left hand in front of him and tries to slowly walk out of the alcove. Partly he's testing for a forcefield or something, he's also just seeing if he can.

(If one of those energy lines crosses over him he'll attempt to transform into it... if someone tries to stop him or tell him to stop he will)

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Sean grimaced at the new circumstances. He quickly scanned the room to see if there was anything he could latch onto telepathically and use. While he did that he spoke, "You obviously want something from us or we would be dead already. What is it?"

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Gray Goo is silent and motionless as she ingests the new situation and new information. So that's what happened to Fong.

Interesting. What would happen, she wonders, when Fong was done?

Tapping into a Chrysalis didn't seem possible...but she wasn't the superintelligent one here. Still, if it was EASY, it would have been done before. Newton's powers were nothing new. His technology however, was.

There had to be some kind of device allowing him to do it, or facillitating it. If the device could be found and deactivated, he'd become much more manegeable.

Gray lets the others distract him for the moment, though she has no illusions that she is unwatched. She concentrates instead on looking around the room, trying to see details that might betray the location of machinery, or failing that, to see details of the novas confronting them.

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Seeing Tom walk out of the alcove Callum shrugs to himself and ambles over to the glowing form of Fong within her crysalis. "Fancy lightshow you got here Figgy. You and your pals going to Bogart the quantum 'bong'?" he askes. "Or maybe you want to tempt us with a little hit? First one is free right?"

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Coming to, the Fool looks curiously about his own little alcove, mask grinning in perpetual idiocy. He takes a step and his whole body pivots to horizontal. Now on the wall he makes his way up to the center of the ceiling and looks down, head cocking sideways as he observes the Chrysalis.

After a short while of listening to the others, he walks down the other side of the wall and approaches Newton in a nonchalant manner, seming to study him up close for several moments.

"I know you." he begins. "You are another pawn, a great pawn of the gods. No...No I daresay we cannot kill you...no, not yet. You are still too important to the tale being told." He holds his hands up, palms open , fingers down and shrugs his shoulders in resignation. "Script immunity you see..."

Still next to Newton, he turns his head to reagrd the Chrysalis a second time. "Ah, Caroline! So good to finally meet you. In a past life Mal took you away before we could be properly introduced." The Fool sighs wistfully.

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Said the spider to the fly. He thought, after Newton made his proposal. He's found his prey. And we have found ours.

He was not sure how Newton was able to divert the transport, but it would be something he took up with Omega when they got back. Nosferatu wondered where his secondary target, Lily, was. She had to be close. If Newton was going to let them wander around freely, he might as well use the opportunity to deprive Newton of an ally, and to make the Count happy.

Mal will be pleased when he finds that Newton has Caroline. He will not be happy that Newton is experimenting on her. What Newton did to the Chrysalis was an abomination. He was destroying Caroline to feed his own power. He had to be stopped. He was also sure that Mal would kill Newton for what he was doing. The Harvesters, however, would find what Newton did to be fascinating. No doubt they would conduct a simmilar experiment. Those freaks were always doing wierd stuff like that.

Getting away and alerting the Teragen would earn him a place among Mal's inner circle. If he could get away.

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Originally Posted By: Mr Fox
While he did that he spoke, "You obviously want something from us or we would be dead already. What is it?"


Newtons friends changed their position ready to intercept any incoming attack. Getting a better look at them you can make out 2 male and 2 female Novas. One of the females burning with intensive fire (ooc:Bodymorphed) looks most dangerous to you.

"Actually I believe I got something that you want. I'm pretty much sure that you don't work for Proteus. You cannot be sent from the Teragen, because that would mean Mal has broken his word. Utopia doesn't have the resources for this operation. - That leaves two options from my perspective - either you are Directive agents, very unlikely though or you are sent from yet another authority which I have not figured out yet.", Newton seemed to take a breath before he continued.

"I'm tired of running away. I offer you knowledge and a way to rid yourselves of external influence. Whoever you represent - they are not telling you the truth or do you know why they want me dead?"
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Sean smiled as he walked out of his alcove and into the room enough for comfortable conversation, but not making any threatening moves. "These are things I find to be generally true. 1) Employers rarely ever tell you everything you would like to know, much less everything you actually need to know. And, 2) Everyone has a price, even if that price is pretty damn high."

"These two things lead me to ask, 1) What is it that we should know, and 2) what are you offering? As I said before you obviously want something from us or we would already be dead. And it can't be information or you wouldn't need all of us."

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At the various postering that's going on Tom stops and holds his position, at Sean's statements he nods and holds his tongue.

*Better to say nothing and give nothing away. Far too many questions, like for example, 'what do you know of Proteus', would show too much about us.*

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Originally Posted By: Mr Fox

"These two things lead me to ask, 1) What is it that we should know, and 2) what are you offering? As I said before you obviously want something from us or we would already be dead. And it can't be information or you wouldn't need all of us."


"I know that you are being held under control or surveillance. I offer you to severe that tie and live in freedom. I offer you the knowledge I have been given, the truth behind Bahrain and those who run that facility and... the reason why I and my companions have erupted. We erupted all on the very same day during the very same plane crash. Proteus - or someone within Proteus has created a quantum entity which they call "the Singularity". It is trying to find a body and everything in its path either dies or erupts... usually heavily tainted. As you can clearly see is the case with me and my friends.", Newton pointed at his friends.

"I'm not sure who the Singularity is searching for, but it is moving directly towards New York, Manhattan."

As Newton finished his last sentence a minor earthquake rumbled through the cave as suddenly a few of the sparks and tendrils lashed out uncontrolled to the ceiling.
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Standing there watching and listening, Cherub is obviously deeply considering the man(?)'s words and is also deeply fascinated by Fong. He says,

“All of this is a lot bigger than I was expecting. Where is this Singularity and how fast is it moving? What kind of body do you think it’s looking for?”

(If one of those tendrils hits him, he'll try to mimic it).

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Gray Goo remains silent and still in her alcove.

She is thinking the news is interesting...but not relevant. It does not explain how or why Newton achieved this ability. It does not explain why or how he is letting the group live this long. Most importantly, it does not explain why or how he can make good on his offer of "freedom." Nor what he intends to offer to replace what the company has given her. Resources. Purpose. An identity, even if only a remedial one.

Still, as long as he is talking instead of using that quantum power he's hooked up to, there are options.

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Originally Posted By: Courier
Standing there watching and listening, Cherub is obviously deeply considering the man(?)'s words and is also deeply fascinated by Fong. He says,

“All of this is a lot bigger than I was expecting. Where is this Singularity and how fast is it moving? What kind of body do you think it’s looking for?”


(If one of those tendrils hits him, he'll try to mimic it).


"Actually its pretty fast and theoretically it is not bound to the physical limits bestowed on most of us. Still it just 'swims' to New York and should be there in about three days. If I knew whom it is looking for, I would have captured him or her. I suppose that leaves us only with the option to track it and snatch the victim just before they merge."

The cave gets rocked by another little earthquake and the tendrils lash out even more furiously than before. You see how Callum slowly closes in to Newton with his eyes closed. The air in the cave becomes ionized and you can feel your hair responding to the current accordingly.
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Callum's hand drops and an expression on unmitigated sadness overtakes his features. He backs away and those nearest can see tears run down from under his eyes. His hands clench into fists and he fights to regain composure. When his eyes open once more they are red and damp but the sadness has been replaced by the familiar hardness that juxtiposes his wit and constant jokes.

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Originally Posted By: Joani Reikspar
Originally Posted By: Mr Fox

"These two things lead me to ask, 1) What is it that we should know, and 2) what are you offering? As I said before you obviously want something from us or we would already be dead. And it can't be information or you wouldn't need all of us."


"I know that you are being held under control or surveillance. I offer you to severe that tie and live in freedom. I offer you the knowledge I have been given, the truth behind Bahrain and those who run that facility and... the reason why I and my companions have erupted. We erupted all on the very same day during the very same plane crash. Proteus - or someone within Proteus has created a quantum entity which they call "the Singularity". It is trying to find a body and everything in its path either dies or erupts... usually heavily tainted. As you can clearly see is the case with me and my friends.", Newton pointed at his friends.

"I'm not sure who the Singularity is searching for, but it is moving directly towards New York, Manhattan."

As Newton finished his last sentence a minor earthquake rumbled through the cave as suddenly a few of the sparks and tendrils lashed out uncontrolled to the ceiling.


Still standing placidly by Newton, The Fool cocks his head as if pondering the new information.

"Hmmm...Freedom..."
The masked man muses and then proceeds to offer what must be a quote from the way he intones it.

"...And how shall you rise beyond your days and nights unless you break the chains which you at the dawn of your understanding have fastened around your noon hour? In truth that which you call freedom is the strongest of these chains, though its links glitter in the sun and dazzle your eyes. And what is it but fragments of your own self you would discard that you may become free?..."

"My companions are correct in their surmising, that you should offer us such out of more than mere philanthropy. Do you hope to subvert us from our deadly mission to become acolytes in your own image? Aside from staying the bloody confrontation, what motive might you have for the conveyance of such information. And as the Prophet so eloquently observed...what makes you think we would desire the emancipation for which you purport to hold the keys?"

"...And thus your freedom when it loses its fetters becomes itself the fetter of a greater freedom..."
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(OOC: Once again for those among you who want to have a little more than just text - Song: Third Eye (live), Album Salival from Tool)

Dreaming of that face again.

It's bright and blue and shimmering.

Grinning wide and comforting me with it's three warm and wild eyes.

On my back and tumbling

down that hole and back again

rising up and wiping the webs and the dew from my withered eye.

-A child's rhyme stuck in my head.

It said that life is but a dream.

I've spent so many years in question,

to find I've known this all along.-

"So good to see you.

I've missed you so much.

So glad it's over.

I've missed you so much.

Came out to watch you play.

Why are you running away?

Came out to watch you play.

Why are you running?"

-Shrouding all the ground around me.

Is this holy crow above me.

Black as holes within a memory

and blue as our new second sun.

I stick my hand into his shadow

to pull the pieces from the sand.

Which I attempt to reassemble

to see just who I might have been.

I do not recognize the vessel,

but the eyes seem so familiar.

Like phosphorescent desert buttons

singing one familiar song... -

"So good to see you.

I've missed you so much.

So glad it's over.

I've missed you so much.

Came out to watch you play.

Why are you running away?

Came out to watch you play.

Why are you running away?"

Prying open my third eye.

So good to see you once again.

I thought that you were hiding.

And you thought that I had run away.

Chasing the tail of dogma.

Opened my eye And there we were Opened my eye And there we were

So good to see you once again

I thought that you were hiding from me.

And you thought that I had run away.

Chasing a trail of smoke and reason.

Prying open my third eye.

---------------------------------------------------------

Newton reaches out with his mind and his voice virtually booms through the cave for everyone to hear:

Think for yourself

Question authority

Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening,

terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in

this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities, the political, the

religious, the educational authorities who attempted to comfort us by

giving us order, rules, regulations, informing, forming in our minds their

view of reality. To think for yourself you must question authority and

learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable, open-mindedness;

chaotic, confused, vulnerability to inform yourself.

Think for yourself.

Question authority.

Just as he finishes the last sentence another earthquake rocks the cave, sending debris falling off the ceiling and tearing cracks in the walls. You can tell from Newtons sudden shift in stance that he wasn't expecting this. He yells at one of the men something in German: "Kutler, schaff sie hier raus!"

(ooc: for those who understand German: "Kutler, get her out of here!")

Everything seems to slow down as seconds get stretched like a thin band into seeming eternity. The whole room shakes in slow motion and Carolines cocooned body visibly wracks underneath its shell. The tendrils fill the room with blue phosphorescent light hitting every one in the cave square on his chest. Before you can take another breath the Nova in leather dissappears through a warp which he most likely had prepared in some way or the other taking Caroline with him just as another explosion makes the whole cave collapse.

The blue light emitting from the center of the room takes the rough shape of a female body before darkness engulfs you and you lose your consciousness.

(End Prelude)

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