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  1. - Top - End - #151
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Quellian-dyrae's Avatar

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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    Spoiler: A Caged Phoenix
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    Green Lantern's stentorian voice softened a bit when he answered your first question, losing some of the stiffly professional edge. "Honestly, I'm not sure. But...well, I've learned in my day to give credence to J'onn's instincts." Much though he might have been a prisoner to the Green Lanterns as an organization, Earth's Green Lantern was, himself, a Justice League alumni. He knew J'onn as the Martian Manhunter.

    Evidently, despite everything, he still considered his word to carry weight.

    He nodded at your request, waiting patiently while you finished things up. Once you had returned and asked how you were going to get there, he only gave you a bemused little smile. The next moment, the two of you were surrounded in a vibrant green energy construct. It had the outer shape of an oversized fighter jet, but inside there was room to walk around and couch-like seating sized large enough to fit you comfortably. Though it was all made of the same energy, the cushions of the "couches" were soft and plush, and he had even left some openings in the backing to allow for your tail. The construct was largely opaque in most places, but some sections were nearly entirely translucent, offering windows to look out of.

    With nothing more than a thought from the Green Lantern, the jet took off. If you closed your eyes, you wouldn't even notice you were moving - there was no sense of acceleration or inertia. But if you looked out the windows, that illusion would be shattered into smaller pieces than She-Hulk had left the outdated buildings in.

    You were flying through space. And not just a quick jaunt up to a space station, either. Earth shrank behind you at physics-defying speed, the planet dwindling down to the size of a gold ball, a dot, and then becoming lost to your site entirely. By the time you could find the sun, it looked no differently than any of the billions of other stars that went zipping past you like fireflies on a race track. In sparse seconds, you could see the whirling lights of the Milky Way trailing off behind you. Less than a minute later, and the galaxy itself might have been a single star in the night, as far as your vision could tell.

    "We should be at Oa in a little under ten minutes," Green Lantern said as if he were giving you a ride to the local supermarket, taking a seat on one of the couches and leaning back, relaxed. "Is there anything you'd like to discuss in the meantime?"


    Spoiler: Lotus Hacking
    Show
    ...You know, it was actually kinda hard to say. One of the problems with predictive algorithms was that they got less and less useful the fewer variables you had to put into them, and as you ran your mental model on possible results of entering the Lotus Breaker, one of the first things that became clear was that you were still just scratching the surface of the ancient magitech. There was more to learn before you could really make a strong prediction.

    Based on what you did know, though, you felt certain that you wouldn't be able to release yourself from it internally. That was easy enough to figure, considering what you had to go through to get Katie and Rachel free of it. You could be confident but not certain (supra-90%, as your grandfather would say) that your failsafes could get you out, since you had the helmets on hand to set them up. You could be similarly confident that if you did put yourself inside, you would experience the same sort of virtual reality that Katie had been exposed to, and fairly confident that it would be drawn from your own mind and as such...not particularly fun.

    What you couldn't be certain of was whether the machine would cause some manner of harm to you. Without someone directing it it presumably wouldn't actively drain energy from you the way it had from Katie, to fuel powerful combat effects. But you couldn't be sure that it wouldn't passively drain energy from you to power the suits. If it did do so...there was a question of risk. Power didn't come from nowhere, after all. Superman got charged up by the rays of a yellow sun. The Flash had the Speed Force. Mutants had {honestly I have no idea what the explanation is for what powers mutant abilities, but let's be honest Sarah probably does}. And a wizard like Katie had a personal pool of magical energy. Call it mana or essence or life energy or aura or whatever. Point was, they were all able to produce or tap into some greater-than-biological energy resource to fuel their powers.

    And while you absolutely tapped into an extremely powerful energy source to charge your technology, it wasn't quite the same thing. If this machine tried to drain energy from your body, you didn't really have evidence to say that you had some sort of greater reserve. If it tried to suck as much energy from you as it had from Katie, and you didn't have that kind of reserve, you'd be putting your life at risk, even with failsafes.

    There might have been ways to mitigate that risk, but you couldn't predict them algorithmically; you'd just have to settle for good ol' fashion ingenuity for this one.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    For the record, I'm not saying for sure that Sarah doesn't have some manner of powerful spirit/life force/whatever that could tank the drain - and she's got Fortitude 8 and Will 14 just her if I'm not mistaken, so if anything that's suggestive that she very well might. I see that as more for you to determine, but I figured it would be at least a concern, and one that Sarah herself may or may not know for sure.


    Spoiler: ...That's Your Evil Plan?
    Show
    Well, you called it. The teller gave you a slightly-brittle smile and said, "Oh, yes, there does seem to be a bit of an issue with the account. One moment please, I think this one will need to be passed up the chain."

    She stepped away from the window and into a door leading back to the offices. About a minute later, she came back out with a slender, dark-haired man wearing a very nice suit. Like the bankers you had seen, you had no trouble placing him as a demon. He regarded you intently as they approached, clearly studying your appearance closely, but the flicker of an uncertain frown passed across his face. It appeared your illusion was still holding strong.

    He came out from around the counter, leaving the teller to return to the window while he approached you. "Good day, ma'am. I understand there's some trouble with your account. If you would follow me, we can get that all cleared up," he said smoothly.

    Spoiler: If you choose to follow him
    Show
    He lead you into a private office, asking you to take a seat and offering you some water while he pulled something up on the computer. "Well let's see here...it looks like this account has been inactive for quite some time. We've placed an administrative hold on it, to protect against identity theft. It shouldn't be any trouble to clear up. We'll just need you to answer a few questions about your prior usage of it, and provide two forms of photo ID. That won't be able trouble, will it?"


    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Whether you follow or not, Gethsemane is subject to a Mind Reading attempt at (1d20+10)[28]. If you fail to resist it, please include Gethsemane's surface thoughts with your next post, and continue doing so until you can make a DC 20 Will save to end the contact. If you fail by two or more degrees, he uses the first round's question to learn Gethsemane's identity. This effect is Subtle 2 unless resisted, so if you fail the check Gethsemane isn't aware of the attempt, but if you succeed she is.


    Spoiler: Happy Thanksgiving
    Show
    Wanda returned your hug, but you could feel a tension in her body. "Pumpkin pie, huh?" she asked. In a voice that was about two-thirds self-deprecating amusement to one-third concern she said, "Just...fair warning I don't really...cook much."

    Aunt Judith just laughed and handed her an apron of her own (this one reading "Your opinion wasn't in the recipe") and said, "Well, you'll fit right in then!" as she went back to kneading the stuffing.

    Wanda gave a little laugh and put on the apron, before going to wash her hands and then stepping up beside you. "Alright...what am I doing?" she asked. There was a slightly uncertain smile on her face...but it didn't reach her eyes. You could recognize as well as anyone the signs of someone putting on a cheerful face for the benefit of others.
    Last edited by Quellian-dyrae; 2019-02-03 at 11:10 PM.
    A role playing game is three things. It is an interactive story, a game of chance, and a process in critical thinking.

    If brevity is the soul of wit, I'm witty like a vampire!

    World of Aranth
    M&M 3e Character Guide

  2. - Top - End - #152
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    Fred smirked. “Jeejee speaks truth. I usually don’t cook anything more than instant ramen or microwave curry.” It was genetic. He moved to start putting his chopped vegetables into the pan when he suddenly stopped and miraculously remembered himself. He needed to melt the butter first! He ran over to the fridge before coming back and correcting himself. Wanda stepped up next to him and he leaned over towards her slightly, shoulder to shoulder. His colorful eyes turned towards her.

    “You’re going to watch this video on how to make a pumpkin pie. Then ganbatte!” [Do your best!]

    He was much more playful at home; when he got to just be Fred.

    He noticed the sadness in her. He always noticed it. But sometimes you have to fake it until you make it. And Fred… Fred was good with being the one to lean on. His eyes widened.

    “I almost forgot! You can’t really nail it….”

    He walked behind her. She felt a cloth being brought around her forehead and tied at the back. Another Karate Kid headband.

    “…without samurai spirit.” He smiled and spoke softly. “One of us.”

    He returned to her side and continued cooking. It smelled… pretty decent. This might turn out alright! In fact, as they progressed, Fred fired off a picture of his stuffing to Katie and Kitty.

    Nailed it.

    If you get hungry, we have food.

    Shots fired.
    Spoiler
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  3. - Top - End - #153
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    CandyLaser's Avatar

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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    The fact that Sarah did not have (for lack of a better phrase) an internal power supply was indeed a concern. Twenty seconds wasn't likely to be fatal, and in any case Sarah could probably rig up a resurrection machine if needed. It still wouldn't have been pleasant. So the solution was simple: give herself an energy source. She had some internal enhancements, mostly in her brain, but they ran on her body's natural bioelectricity. She wanted a more powerful source of energy, and one which was separable from her own bioenergy.

    Happily, she had a lab full of advanced tech, borrowed from the future. Among other things, that included some of Stark's technology. Sarah had incorporated some of it into her own suit. One thing she hadn't used had been an arc reactor. There was no need; when it came to power generation, her portals allowed her to make a perpetual motion machine. Arc reactors were comparatively primitive. She had some examples of Stark's reactors in her lab, though - not functioning, and not internal, but enough for her to get the basic idea.

    That meant she had a plan. Put together an arc reactor, or something similar. Wearable, rather than implanted, but conducting power through her body. That might require some minor surgery to put conduits in place, designed to direct the energy from the reactor to the machine, rather than let it draw on her own bioelectricity. And modify the failsafes she'd designed to extract her from the machine if it started drawing on her power instead of that of the reactor.

    With that plan in mind, she set to work.

  4. - Top - End - #154
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    Rene had forgotten what it was like to fly in a jet. While Green Lantern's construct lacked the experience of turbulence and inertia, it still has the same sense of scale which Rene feels when he's flying.

    Namely, the sense of being a flea.

    The reptilian humanoid put his claws on the window of green energy and looks first in awe, then in silent shock, as he watches the Earth disappear before his eyes. He's... actually going this far out. He's actually going away from home. Correction, he's really ****ing far away from home. There's something terrifying to realizing just how small your world is. It should be wondrous to actually go out into space; in a way, it is. Yet to watch it happen the first time still feels especially shocking.

    Rene takes a few minutes, careful not to let his clawed hands scratch the energy-made jet, before backing off from the window and plopping down on the cushion. All things considered, he didn't expect it to be so plushy and soft. The seat sagged comfortably as Rene sat his scale-ridden body down on it; his tail slips through the hole provided as it slumps behind him. It's actually a much-needed moment to sit down and relax.

    He leans over, putting his scaly arms and clawed hands on his knees. He manages to shiver, as if feeling the vacuum of space inside the Green Lantern's jet. "Oh, I do," Rene responds idly, looking down at the ground briefly. It's difficult to get Caer-Sol and J'onn out of Rene's mind. He hasn't seen those two in awhile. Are things as bad as Green Lantern implies?

    The reptilian makes a quiet sigh before looking up at the Justice League member. "How long's Caer-Sol been like this?" Rene's scaly voice is filled with concerned. His tongue is almost slobbered in dread. "I think it's been a few months since I saw her. A-and J'onn too! How's he?" His hasty mouth rattles off another question right after the first. He really can't get those two out of his mind, can he?

  5. - Top - End - #155
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    Gethsemane glances up at the demon as he speaks to her, framing a slightly nervous look on her face. "Oh, of course; that makes sense," she answers with a slight laugh. Standard procedure, but unnecessary to isolate without concerns. Likely have another angle.

    Sitting in the office, Gethsemane wrings her hands slightly, affecting a resigned nervousness. "Oh, yes; I--well, the account was my late aunt's. I hadn't heard from them in a while, and there was some sort of legal issue, but apparently she left the account to me, and I was hoping... oh, of course there'd be some confusion, I'm sorry for taking up your time..." She takes out the ID she had prepared for herself in this persona.

    Again, standard; vague story, alternate name should check out, automated will and account to work. Probably going to press for more info; again, standard operating procedure... or, was standard operating procedure...


    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Will Check to break the Mind Reading (DC 20): (1d20+11)[18] Of course not.
    Last edited by Zelphas; 2019-02-22 at 05:03 PM.
    Originally Posted by Xefas:
    "I need the Goblins in phalanx arrangement. Sky Blotters in the back! Swissles? Assume the Swizzle Stick Formation! We're going in!"
    What Pokemon am I?
    Spoiler
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  6. - Top - End - #156
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Quellian-dyrae's Avatar

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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    Spoiler: Happy Thanksgiving
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    Wanda regarded you a bit bemusedly as you tied the bandana around her head, but there was a grin twitching her lips. "Should I be worried?"

    Aunt Judith was peeling potatoes and tossing them into a pot of boiling water. She chimed in, "We've gotten a bit better over the years. The first year we tried mashed potatoes from scratch, we somehow didn't realize you boil the potatoes first. So we just kept adding more milk and melted butter until we had something closer to potato soup." She laughed and said wistfully, "That had been one of the better dishes that year."

    Wanda raised a brow and gave a kinda nervous chuckle. "Ganbatte," she said softly to herself, and turned her attention to the video. A few minutes later, she had put a package of graham crackers into a plastic bag and was smashing them to powder. She...might have been doing it a bit enthusiastically.

    Katie texted back a big smile emoji, a thumbs up emoji, a laughing emoji, and a picture of her kitchen. Pretty much every horizontal surface above floor level was covered with foodstuffs in various stages of preparation, and no less than six Helping Hands were caught in the midst of stirring, seasoning, slicing, and spreading things. One wouldn't think it was possible to get that much flour on the ceiling, and yet here we are. And in the midst of it all, an island of dignity amidst the ocean of culinary chaos, Mr. Arlington stood beside his oxygen tank, calmly checking the thermometer in the turkey. The image was captioned "Ditto."

    Kitty texted back a challenging, You're adorable.

    ...Followed, a few seconds later, with, Bring leftovers.


    Spoiler: Lotus Hacking
    Show
    Since you were Sarah Saturn (it's kinda amazing how many things that is a perfect excuse for, really) it took little time at all to get yourself hooked up to an external-feeding-as-internal power source, and reconfigure the fallbacks to ensure they'd trigger if it failed. With those safety measures in place, you could be as certain as one could ever be when dealing with experimental supertech (which, to be fair, was for you on the order of ninety-nine-point-a-few-more-nines percent) of your physical safety if you wished to connect to the Lotus Breaker.


    Spoiler: A Caged Phoenix
    Show
    A flicker of bemusement crossed the Green Lantern's face at your first question. "Well, that somewhat depends on what exactly you mean. My understanding is that she's been 'like this' for much of her life," he said, a bit sardonically. "But in terms of how long it has expressed itself in the present circumstance, about two days. That's when she started muttering to herself and fidgeting around her cell. Since then she's progressed through ranting and pacing, and into screaming, threats, and occasionally lashing out physically."

    "J'onn is..."
    the Green Lantern hesitated, and there was a momentary flicker of pain on his face, swiftly buried. "Honestly, I wish I could say I knew. He's always been calm, controlled, and he still seems to be, but it's different.
    Like it used to be stillness, and now it's distance. He's...not the man I thought I knew. The truth is I can't say for sure what's happening in his head."
    He gave a resigned, and kinda frustrated sigh, before adding a bit more brightly, "He did seem happy when the Lanterns agreed to bring you in."


    Spoiler: ...That's Your Evil Plan?
    Show
    "Oh, I'm sorry for your loss," the banker said in polite condolence. He took the ID and entered some information into the computer, asking as he did, "Were you close with your aunt?"

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Couple things.

    First, toss me a Deception check, DC (1d20+12)[13]. Since he knows this account originally belonged to Gethsemane, and it's fairly unlikely for her to have a niece, it's a suspicious enough story that he's opposing the bluff with his own Deception. Since he's reading your thoughts, you take a -5 circumstance penalty on the Deception check. If you succeed, he'll just assume that Gethsemane somehow integrated herself into a mortal family, maybe married someone who had a sibling who had children or something. Dude, what kind of manipulator demon are you? Natural 1s don't auto-fail skill checks, so still make the opposed roll, but still. Seriously?

    Also give me another Will save, DC (1d20+10)[19]; he's using his Mind Reading power on your again to try and get deeper. The effect is Cumulative, but if you succeed the save you detect it as before. Succeeding won't end his existing attempt, you still have to make DC 20 Will each "round" to throw that off, but since it's not Effortless if you succeed by two degrees or more he won't be able to keep trying (and either way once you force him out he's out).
    Last edited by Quellian-dyrae; 2019-02-23 at 02:22 PM.
    A role playing game is three things. It is an interactive story, a game of chance, and a process in critical thinking.

    If brevity is the soul of wit, I'm witty like a vampire!

    World of Aranth
    M&M 3e Character Guide

  7. - Top - End - #157
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    CandyLaser's Avatar

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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    Sarah checked and double-checked her failsafes, and once she was satisfied she took a deep breath and stepped into the machine. There was nothing for it but to dive in and see what happened. Once she was in position, she activated the Lotus Breaker and prepared herself for whatever was to come.

  8. - Top - End - #158
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    Rene's reptilian body physically shakes as he's told at what's been happening with Caer-Sol. It's pretty much what he had expected, and rather unfortunately so considering Rene's lack of optimism. If these sort of issues were happening to anyone else, Rene couldn't see how he'd help. In fact, he doesn't see this ending well for him either. At least he might have some way of helping Caer-Sol, if for little else than to calm her down.

    What he heard about J'onn hit the reptilian harder. Again, it's no surprise to hear someone struggle to trust a super-skrull that had been in disguise with one of Earth's biggest superhero teams for so long. Yet the confirmation puts dread in Rene's body. He feels like an outlier, a strange creature who trusts someone for reasons others can't understand. Had Green Lantern been hesitant to bring Rene in?

    Rene curls his clawed hands between his scaly legs before responding. "Sorry," he says with sympathy. "I haven't known J'onn for as long as you. I probably don't even know him as well as you. But he saved my life. Hell, he went against his own people to do so. And he feels like he's betrayed both Earth and his kind in the process." The reptilian remembers J'onn on the airship, melancholy and distressed trying to help Rene. There's no doubt that J'onn must still be feeling that. "But I'm willing to trust him. It might not be easy, but when the time may come, I hope you might put your faith in him." This is a lot to ask and Rene knew that well. He almost wants to take that back as soon as it leaves his mouth.

    He pauses, thinks a bit on what to say about Caer-Sol. Rene has no plan on how to help her, no idea where to begin but to improvise. However, the threat of physical violence keeps crossing his mind. A lot of people could get hurt and they don't have the kind of regeneration Rene does. He... could take a hit, if he had to, and everyone else has to be prepared for that. "About Caer-Sol," he eventually speaks, changing the subject, "I can't promise anything but... if she lashes out at me, don't rush in to help. I'm afraid she might panic if she sees others trying to restrain her. And I can... take it." Rene is a little gloomy at the thought. Just because he can regenerate doesn't means he likes it.

    Alas, some powers simply are meant to be used when needed.

  9. - Top - End - #159
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    “You should always be worried,” Starsoul had quipped.

    “I liked potato soup,” Fred admitted. It was essentially milkfats with semi cooked potatoes.

    When Fred was looking at Katie’s pictures, Starsoul shouted, “That’s bullsh**! Helping Hands are cheating.”

    “I’m pretty sure our enemies say the same thing.”

    Ronin lifted the phone and took a selfie that caught everyone in the shot. He then shot it to Kitty with the words: You belong on Team Broll. You always have. There may have been some deeper meaning there.

    A few seconds later, he wrote: Jeej would like it if you swung by tonight. Maybe not just Jeej. Can I pick you up later?

    He sent it, then put his phone down and got back to work.

    Before long, dinner was finished… and it looked actually really good. Especially by Fred and Judith’s standards. With a satisfied grin on his face, Fred offered his hands up to each woman standing next to him for a no-look high five.

    Fred asked them to relax while he set the table. Each dish smelled great to him. They smelled like home.
    Last edited by SuperCracker; 2019-03-04 at 01:59 AM.
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  10. - Top - End - #160
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    "Well... as much as I would like to say I was, I'm afraid not," Gethsemane replies, fidgeting slightly in her seat. "Honestly, being mentioned in her will came as something of a--"

    Ah. Mental intrusion.

    "Shall we drop the pretense?"
    Gethsemane abruptly switches gears, dropping her assumed personality for one more approximating her former nature as a non-compassionate demon. "We both know who my 'aunt' was. I am simply tidying her affairs. Do you propose to cross her by stopping me?"

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Will Save (DC 20): (1d20+11)[15] ...Why?
    Last edited by Zelphas; 2019-03-14 at 10:32 PM.
    Originally Posted by Xefas:
    "I need the Goblins in phalanx arrangement. Sky Blotters in the back! Swissles? Assume the Swizzle Stick Formation! We're going in!"
    What Pokemon am I?
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  11. - Top - End - #161
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Quellian-dyrae's Avatar

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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    Spoiler: Lotus Hacking
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    I'm just gonna go ahead and say it. Thank Hephaestus for failsafes!

    There isn't really much to it. Your vision wavers and blurs for a moment, and for a few seconds you see...what looks like some sort of blasted cityscape, maybe. I'm sure it'd be much more horrifying if you had some time to actually observe it thoroughly. But then your failsafes activate and you immediately snap back to reality. Kinda hard to say what happened, buuuut...

    Spoiler: Technology DC 25
    Show
    You've already seen that the Lotus Breaker seems to be somehow selective - or if you're feeling less generous, picky - about the energy it uses. Evidently just conducting technological energy through yourself still doesn't give it what it wants. Presumably it went for your life force, and your failsafes detected the threat and aborted. Irksome, but hey, better than the alternative!

    Spoiler: DC 35
    Show
    Ha. Haha. Hahahaha. Oh, the Lotus Breaker Device is tricksy is what it is!

    Katie had mentioned a bit about her own experience in this device in the aftermath. Not in any great detail - she hadn't really been ready to talk about it - but she had...kinda gone into a bit of a rant about destroying the thing posthaste and some of the details came out. Of particular note was how the device had left everything seeming "normal" for a few subjective days before it started hitting her with the torture-visions. It had created a story that filled in the blanks and let her be comfortable with her reality, making it seem like she had been rescued and everything was fine.

    No no, you're confident in your technique here. Your failsafes didn't activate at all. The Lotus Breaker is just trying to make you think they did so you're nice and comfortable with your reality and expecting that everything's normal. You're still inside. This return to your starting point is nothing but the first part of the hallucination.


    Spoiler: A Caged Phoenix
    Show
    Green Lantern gave a slight, kinda weary half-smile. "In the time I knew him, J'onn J'onnz was one of the most scrupulously...ethical people I knew. Everyone in the Justice League was powerful, of course, but J'onn's power...it's not that it was greater, as such, but the things he could do. Take the forms of others. Steal into their minds. Compel their actions. Alter their memories. It would have been so easy to abuse them, just in the name of doing the right thing. To enforce his will upon the world, not merely with threat or force of arms, but directly, just taking away the agency of those who misused it. But he always took care with his powers, avoided the temptation. I trusted him completely, and he never betrayed that trust."

    "Except with the lie he told from the very start. Except for the treachery he had been intending to enact from the beginning, even if he never actually did,"
    he finished with a heavy sigh.

    "Part of me does still trust him. Mostly I do still believe he is a good man. But when you've revealed yourself as capable of enacting a deception that deep, for that long...I'm afraid that there will always be doubt, as well. I do have faith in him. But not as much as I once did."

    When you told him that if Caer-Sol became violent that he and the other Lanterns should stay out of it, he appraised you for a moment and raised a brow. He did not agree...but neither did he argue. It seemed that he had come to some manner of decision.

    "And here we are," he said after a few more moments. Unless you were paying attention to the outside, it hadn't even felt like the ship had been moving. He stood up, and gave you just enough time to get your feet under you, before the ship of green energy faded away to reveal the sprawling expanse of an alien world spreading out beneath the great tower that you were now standing on the roof of. "Welcome to Oa."


    Spoiler: Happy Thanksgiving
    Show
    Sure! Kitty texted back. After dinner though! she admonished. You do not get between Kitty Pryde and her stuffing if you know what's good for you (I mean, not that she wouldn't just phase right through you, but you get what I mean). Honestly it was probably convenient that way. Less chance Piotr would tag along if he was busy lying on the couch in a food coma, as was statistically likely. I mean, I'm just saying.

    The text was followed up maybe a minute later (if you were paying attention to your phone at the time, you might have noticed the little ellipses of typing (I feel like there should be some sort of plus after that) popping on and off a couple times in the interim) with what was almost certainly an entirely neutral observation of, You've been hanging out with Wanda a lot recently.

    I'm happy for you.


    ...Yeah, texts don't convey tone, but I'm sure there was precisely zero meaning there. Incomplete information had never been known to lead to inaccurate conclusions in the history of mankind.

    Jiji slapped your palm without looking either. It was Jiji. She knew. It was an enthusiastic high-five, as appropriate to what was almost certainly your best Thanksgiving Dinner ever. ...Wanda might have left you hanging for a couple seconds as she looked over the meal with a certain satisfaction. The faint melancholy that had been on her face seemed to have faded during the preparation. After a moment, she noticed your raised hand and kinda awkwardly returned the high five with a sheepish little grin.

    And then your little family settled in to feast!


    Spoiler: ...That's Your Evil Plan?
    Show
    The helpful professional banker face flattened into a similarly cool regard as you dropped the pretense.
    It was hard to say if your veiled threat had struck home; he had a good poker face. You could feel his presence in your mind still, but it was a light touch, just scanning what you were thinking. Now that you were aware of him, you stopped any effort to probe you further cold.

    ...And that kinda said something. Since he was reading your thoughts, he had to know you were aware of him. But he did not withdraw.

    "Why, I don't know. Is she dead, or is she someone I should be concerned about crossing?" he answered with a certain smug confidence, apparently calling your bluff.

    Spoiler
    Show
    He's attempting a Trick to try to goad you into thinking about "your aunt". Give me Deception or Insight DC (1d20+12)[24] or enough will bubble up to the surface that'll he'll know you're still alive. If you fail by two degrees he'll realize your identity. Then do another Will DC 20 to try to block him out again.
    Last edited by Quellian-dyrae; 2019-03-22 at 02:05 AM.
    A role playing game is three things. It is an interactive story, a game of chance, and a process in critical thinking.

    If brevity is the soul of wit, I'm witty like a vampire!

    World of Aranth
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  12. - Top - End - #162
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    Fred was paying attention to his phone. In the past he’d typed and erased and typed and erased multiple messages to Kitty that he’d wound up just never sending. But despite Fred’s powers of insight, he was blind as a bat when it came to Kitty. So naturally, after the texts were sent, he second and third guessed himself as to what she was getting at. Fred set his phone down, the screen still on for a moment before it winked off on its own. It took until Fred had passed the mashed potatoes for him to take the phone again.

    He looked at the words. What would he normally do here, he asked himself. He ran that thought experiment in his head. “Yeah, it’s cool.” Would likely have been his response, downplaying his suspicions and managing to stay vague and somewhat aloof.

    And since what he normally would do had been an abject failure for years, he took a different tact. He leaned into his suspicions.

    She’s a sister to me.

    A pause.

    Text me when you’re ready for me to mirror over and get you.

    He set the phone back down. Now, if his aunt and Wanda had been watching him, the little trepidations with which he handled the phone and typed might have tipped them off that something was up.

    “Itadakimasu!”

    Before he could potentially be noticed any further, he pulled a leg off of the turkey and started to tear in to his meal.

    Fred ate like he was a starving person. His appetite was famous. It turns out that hyper-dense muscle and bones requires a lot of nutrition. At some point, a picture would be snapped of him eating that night, biting into the turkey leg at the same moment his eyes shifted bright red. It did make him look like the Thanksgiving Turkey Monster.

    Starsoul narrated. "Here we have Mutantus Gluttonous in his natural habitat. He can be extremely dangerous with those teeth. Oh you animate creatures and your food. It's cute, really."
    Spoiler
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  13. - Top - End - #163
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    CandyLaser's Avatar

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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    Was it strange that Sarah was disappointed? Because she was disappointed. It wasn't like she wanted to have been transported into a hallucinatory hellscape designed to exploit her psychological weaknesses and her deepest fears. But she did want to make the Lotus Breaker work. It was infuriating that this machine wouldn't bend to her will, and it was even more annoying given that it didn't actually do anything that she couldn't replicate.

    Messing with minds? She could put together SQUIDs in her sleep to image the brain and use magnets to induce brain activity.

    Wireless power transmission? Portals.

    Energizing and empowering power armor? She already had a suit that had let her (and the rest of the team) walk through the Breaker Knights.

    There was nothing special about this machine, and she would prevail over it. But perhaps a rest was in order - a chance to clear her head and use nanites to remove the power conduits running through her. So she shut down and secured her lab and took a break.

  14. - Top - End - #164
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    Gethsemane's glamour responded to the "banker's" smug confidence with a cool smile. "All that should concern you right now is that she was an able teacher."

    Fool.
    In her mind, Gethsemane clamps down upon the other demon's questing will, expelling it forcefully from her mind with the mental equivalent of a contemptuous backhanded blow... from a Demon of her caliber. On a burst of inspiration, Gethsemane mentally wove in with the blow a subtle magical reflection effect; the power would be short-lived, but in that moment it should give her a glimpse into the other demon's mind. The double effect costs her more than she likes--her magical powers are still not fully what they once were, after her Brood infestation--but fortunately, the Glamour doesn't feel the effects.

    Unnoticed by Gethsemane while she is concentrating on the demon before her, her Indigo Ring glows with a faint green light for a moment.

    "Now, will I be able to conclude my business here, or will things need to become... unpleasant?" she asks... pleasantly.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Power Stunting off of the Demonic power Array to create Subvert Will: Blast 11 (Increased Range (Perception), Subtle 2) Linked Mind Reading 11 (Concentration, Subtle 2).

    Standard Action: Use Subvert Will on the "Banker". Damage DC 26, Will DC (1d20+11)[18] vs. Mind Reading. If I succeed by 2 Ranks, Gethsemane will ask what the main goal of this demonic operation is, as far as the "Banker" understands it. If she succeeds by three ranks, she will look for a memory of the "Banker's" demonic higher-ups: names, faces, and forms. If, by some impossibility, she succeeds by four ranks, she will unlock any memories recently magically suppressed in the "Banker".
    Originally Posted by Xefas:
    "I need the Goblins in phalanx arrangement. Sky Blotters in the back! Swissles? Assume the Swizzle Stick Formation! We're going in!"
    What Pokemon am I?
    Spoiler
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  15. - Top - End - #165
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    Getting silence as his second answer, Rene remains quiet through the rest of the trip. The terrible few moments following felt like an absolutely deafening moment of fear. It's when Green Lantern announces their arrival that the reptilian gives a cold sigh of relief.

    Relief quickly gives way to a wondrous shock as he slithers over to the edge of the roof and looks out at Oa. "W-wow..." This is the first time Rene has been to an alien planet; a year ago he wouldn't have believed it possible that he'd see one with his own eyes. And there... and there it is! The place is like an endless city. Dark buildings tinted green spread out to the dark horizon. Numerous buildings almost seem as tall as the tower they're on as gardens, trees and flowers scatter around the many parks and walkways of the planet.

    The reptilian is left his sharp jaw agasp as his clawed hands tighten against the roof's edge. "This is Oa? It's incredible." His scaly voice is barely able to peep out the words to Green Lantern. The reptilian humanoid looks briefly down, noticing the rather large tower they're on before backing up. Last thing Rene needs is a fear of heights.

    Instead, he lets himself be guided by the hero more familiar with this place. "I feel like I could get lost forever. Where do we go from here?"

  16. - Top - End - #166
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Quellian-dyrae's Avatar

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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    Spoiler: Happy Thanksgiving
    Show
    Wanda didn't seem to notice your trepidation with the phone. Jiji...well, Jiji had raised you. One the one hand, that meant she noticed everything. On the other hand, it meant she knew when it was her duty not to notice something. She gave you a bit of an arch look for messing with your phone at the dinner table, was all.

    Kitty texted back, "A sister, huh?"

    Three words. Three simple words, which in a perfect world should have conveyed a simple, and more importantly, single and specific meaning. But they did anything but. Was that a surprised "A sister, huh?"
    A teasing "A sister, huh?" A thoughtful "A sister, huh?" A relieved "A sister, huh?" A worried "A sister, huh?" A disappointed "A sister, huh?" A guilty "A sister, huh?"

    Nope. The text didn't convey that tone at all. Not in the least little bit.

    Wanda laughed a little at Starsoul's comments. She was fairly quiet otherwise. Jiji on the other hand managed to keep up a near-constant (pauses for eating notwithstanding) stream of smalltalk. ...Really, that wasn't quite conveying it. She was something of a grandmaster of the casual conversation, talking about news and shows and gossip, keeping to light and amusing topics without edging into anything personal and streaming out the conversation in a way allowed but in no way required any direct response, letting people feel involved while keeping even the most quiet listener from feeling awkward in their silence. She even managed to not go into any embarrassing stories about your childhood in the process.

    Aunt Judith was good people.

    Maybe five minutes after you had all finished eating, your phone buzzed again. So full... Okay, give me like ten minutes to recover and I'll be ready to go.


    Spoiler: Lotus Hacking
    Show
    Well, there were plenty of other things to do in the meantime. The most important of which, at the moment, was speaking before the United States Senate. While a fairly sizeable chunk of Project Tomorrow's work was on a personal or even corporate level, there were some things the required governmental approval. And many of the biggest of these centered around your technology. Things like revolutionizing the nation's power grid and transportation networks, for example, not to mention pretty much anything that would involve portals connecting to other countries.

    So today you had been asked to speak before the Senate, to go over some of the plans and answer their questions. Of course, there was also a gaggle of journalists present.

    Once you had been called up, Senator Barbara Boxer said, "Thank you for coming to speak to us, Dr. Saturn.
    If you please, could you begin with an overview of your organization's plans, as relate to the interests of the U.S. government?"


    Spoiler: ...That's Your Evil Plan?
    Show
    If you had any doubt you were speaking to the leader of this little cell, that might of put them to rest. He managed to completely no-sell your psychic backlash. To be fair, that still probably didn't put him on your level in terms of sheer personal fighting power - but for a manipulator demon like this, it meant he had some serious oomph.

    Even so, you could call it better than a draw. While he may have withstood the force of your will, it still distracted him, allowing you to sneak your own probe past his mental defenses, and into the depths of his memories.

    The demon sat in what might, at first glance, have been taken as an auditorium. But that didn't really do it justice. A coliseum seemed like a more accurate description. And the place was packed. There had to have been thousands of demons filling the seats, wearing countless different forms.

    Down in the "arena" was a demon that you didn't need the context of the banker's memories to recognize. He wasn't quite a legend among demonkind, but he was a pretty big name, a lieutenant of Mephisto himself. His name was Jesticarn, and he was something of a grandmaster at getting hapless mortals to destroy themselves by giving them exactly what they wanted. Pretty much a living embodiment of the phrase "be careful what you wish for."

    Jesticarn was working the crowd in his typical style - he definitely hadn't changed in the past century or so, talking like some sort of cross between a circus ringmaster, a Hollywood agent, and a pyramid scheme con artist. He spun...quite a plan before the assembled demons. Gonna be honest, without a formal education in business and real estate, it was kinda hard to follow. The gist of it seemed to be infiltrating a bunch of banks and loaning people money? One would think it would be some sort of ploy to get them to sign demonic contracts or something, but actually someone made that very assumption and he shot it down. He was using a bunch of buzzwordy terms like subprime loans and mortgage-backed securities and collateral debt obligations. This also may have been the first demonic plot you've ever heard of to unironically include bubbles in its description, aside from maybe a couple that involved boiling people alive...


    Outwardly, the demon regarded you with a glare for a moment, clearly surprised that a "mere mortal" had detected and thrown off his mind reading. But you could hear the roil of his surface thoughts; while he was offended by your impudence, he was also wary of the fact that you obviously had more power than he had expected. Powerful or not, he wasn't a warrior demon, and wouldn't risk his life or his cover in a direct fight if he didn't have to. Better to pass along this encounter and let the Home Office look into it further.

    "Very well, I suppose everything is...in order," he said coolly. "What would you like to change the account information to?"


    Spoiler: A Caged Phoenix
    Show
    "Mm. I suppose so," Green Lantern replied, in the tones of someone too familiar with it to really be impressed anymore. "Follow me," he said, heading for the center of the green-tiled roof. Once you were both there, his ring glowed briefly, and a circle about ten feet across of the roof's tiles seamlessly descended into the building, like an elevator.

    The elevator took you down dozens of stories, giving you fleeting glimpses (through the tube of green light that contained it) into what looked like it was some kind of combination military/police/prison structure. You passed what looked like some sort of gym with maybe half a dozen people - any one of which would have made you look positively normal in comparison - sparring or exercising. On another floor, a trio of Green Lanterns were poring over a map on a table, arguing. Several floors contained cells of solid green light.

    When you finally stopped, there was nothing but solid stone beneath your feet. You had gone down to the very bottom, and had to have been hundreds of feet under ground.

    Green Lantern led you through a hallway sealed with a dozen barrier of emerald light. The two of you passed through them like curtains, but with each one, Green Lantern moved just slightly slower, his face showed just a touch more strain, his ring glowed just a little brighter. Clearly, the ring was letting him - and you - through the security, but it was more than just the presence of the ring itself. Passing those barriers required an effort of will.

    Finally, you came to a room with several cells of green light. Like the ship had been, they were furnished with more constructs of will, which actually appeared fairly comfortable, if spartan. J'onn sat on the floor of his cell (despite a perfectly serviceable armchair and comfy-looking bed in the cell), legs folded and eyes closed, evidently meditating. When you and Green Lantern entered the cell block, though, his eyes opened and he regarded you with a calm, gentle smile. The Talisman was in the cell past J'onn's, lying on the bed and staring up at the ceiling, looking bored. Across from her, General Zod had been in the middle of a series of push-ups (...there might have been something odd about seeing a freaking kryptonian exercising, and yet here we are) but as soon as he noticed you he came to his feet, regarding you with a glare so intense that it was kinda a surprise he wasn't firing any heat vision. And in the cell beside his, across from J'onn, Caer-Sol was pacing. More precisely, she paced across her cell, threw a colossal punch at the wall sending a vibrating ripple running through not just the cell itself, but all the furniture within, turned and paced back the other way, hit that wall, paced back the other way, and on and on. It was kinda impressive that J'onn could meditate with that racket. She didn't acknowledge your arrival at all.
    A role playing game is three things. It is an interactive story, a game of chance, and a process in critical thinking.

    If brevity is the soul of wit, I'm witty like a vampire!

    World of Aranth
    M&M 3e Character Guide

  17. - Top - End - #167
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    Again, Fred didn’t know what to make of that text. He started to type a response… multiple times. Kitty would see the same ellipses pop up and wink out three or four times. Then Fred gave up on it. He was just going to let that one go for now. That and he saw the look Jiji was giving him so he put the phone down with a sheepish look and joined the conversation.

    Fred’s dinner conversation was a mix of utterly insane stories (see: attacked by a hamburger), commentary on bands, and which movies or anime a person needs to be watching. He and Jiji sounded like they could talk all night. And, of course, Fred wouldn’t let poor Wanda escape without extolling Akira Kurosawa as a visionary director.

    Aunt Judith was good people. Wanda was good people too.

    Starsoul was a jackal, because throughout the night, every time Fred started eating, he’d make new commentary.

    Once the food was finished, Fred started to clear the table. If anyone tried to help, he would shoo them away and tell them go to watch TV or something. Mid-way through, he got the text from Kitty. He smiled. “Hey guys, I’m going to go grab Kitty in a few minutes. I'll be back in a few.”

    He went up to the bathroom and washed his hands and face (in case he ate too much like a savage), then made sure there were no stains on his shirt. Good.

    When around ten minutes had passed, he looked into the mirror in front of him and was transported, finding himself staring into the mirror in his room at the mansion. He stepped out and into the hallway, heading to an intersection of hallways where he usually met Kitty. He came without shades, and his eyes were warm when he saw her.

    “Hey. Hope you saved some room, I helped make an edible turkey this year.” He offered his hand to her. “Shall we?”
    Spoiler
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  18. - Top - End - #168
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    [COLOR="#4B0082"]Time to move apartments, then.

    Gehtsemane rattles off the name and information of her current alias in a bored tone, treating the "man" before her like he is clearly beneath her notice. She considers for a moment, then carefully selects another avenue to approach in his mind. Discovering where and how it speaks to the 'Home Office' would be enlightening.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Maintaining Concentration on the Mind Reading. If I need to roll again: (1d20+11)[18]

    If I get two levels again, asking how he speaks to the 'Home Office'. If I reach three levels again, a memory of contacting Home Office; who he talked to, where, and what they discussed.
    Originally Posted by Xefas:
    "I need the Goblins in phalanx arrangement. Sky Blotters in the back! Swissles? Assume the Swizzle Stick Formation! We're going in!"
    What Pokemon am I?
    Spoiler
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  19. - Top - End - #169
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    CandyLaser's Avatar

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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    Dressed in a smart suit - in that it looked good and that it was made of smart metamaterials, in case someone took a shot at her on the Hill - Sarah sat before the assembled committee. Once the pleasantries and introductions were complete, she took her first question, and it was, on the surface, a straightforward one. "Begin with an overview of your organization's plans, as relate to the interests of the U.S. government." If only Senator Boxer knew what a full and complete answer to that question would entail. Sarah would have to start with averting future apocalypses and go from there, and that was simply not a good use of time.

    Instead, Sarah gave a much simpler answer. "Senator, Project Tomorrow and the Saturn Foundation have partnered as part of a plan to improve quality of life worldwide. We are working to make a better world. With respect to the US government, there are several points where our work intersects with government interests. Power is one of them; the US power grid is brittle, too heavily reliant on fossil fuels, and vulnerable to attack. We're going to fix all that. We're not going to modernize the power grid; we're going to go beyond that. We're also going to improve infrastructure more generally as well as build housing to alleviate housing pressure. In short, we're going to make things better across the country, and we're not going to charge a penny for it."

  20. - Top - End - #170
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    The grandeur of Oa's endless cities quickly drowned into the familiar feeling of the oppressive prison, now filled with too many emerald lights, as Rene followed Green Lantern. Rene never could get used to these kind of places; he'd go utterly mad not being able to do anything but just wait. Is that what's happening to Caer-Sol?

    He gets his answer very quickly as he comes upon the four cells. He only expected to see Caer-Sol's. There's four of them here? It's both a relief and a little distressing The reptilian's snout flashes to a relieved smile upon seeing the familiar skrull. ~J'onn? J'onn!~ Rene tries to communicate with the mental link the two have with each other. ~Thank god, you're alright. It feels like forever and I had no idea where you all were taken.~ There's no guarantee that it'll work; there's probably a dozen invisible mechanics which block mental communication. Yet Rene wants to try anyway. Rene cannot express enough how happy he is to see the former Martian Manhunter relatively well off; it would be even better if they can somehow chat.

    His reptilian eyes spot the other cells briefly look at the other cells too. He only briefly sees at the Talisman, bad memories swelling in his mind again, before freezing at Zod's impressive glare. He... he looks so angry, why? Rene recalls that Zod had been almost proud to see Katie way back when they saw him at the last prison; what's different with Rene?

    All focus on Zod dissipates once the banging and bashing from Caer-Sol's cell interrupts Rene's attention. His cold-blooded heart begins to race seeing the agitated, putting nicely, kryptonian pacing and hitting the walls of her cell. It's a wonder she hasn't broken out already. He makes a big, grim gulp with his scaly mouth and clenches his clawed hands together before walking forward to her. He gently places his scaly hands on the semi-transparent emerald wall, his greenish-yellow snout almost touching the hard-yet-rubber-like material, as he slowly opens his many-toothed jaw. "Caer-Sol?" He pauses, feeling his cold blood slowly warm as he gets those first words out. He tries her title next. "Caer-Sol? Fist of Flamebird? It's me." There's a certain relief to finally speaking; the first words are the hardest to get out. Now to hope those first words actually do something.

  21. - Top - End - #171
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Quellian-dyrae's Avatar

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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    Spoiler: Happy Thanksgiving
    Show
    Kitty was waiting for you when you stepped into the hallway, a plastic shopping bag in one hand. You could see the top of a wine bottle poking out from it, and given the circular deformation of its bottom, safe guess was there was a pie in there as well. Kitty knew how to houseguest. "I saw the pictures!" she said with a grin. There might have been just a hint of a teasing look in her eyes, a silent commentary on Thanksgivings past. You could have missed it if you hadn't known it was there. Regardless, she was sincere when she added, "I can't wait!" Kitty's non-physical (sort of? Or would that be especially?) power might not have blessed her with your superhuman metabolism, but she was entirely willing to endure pain for Thanksgiving food.
    Or maybe it just helped that she was good at holding her breath. Something like that.

    She took your hand with her free one. She made no comment on your previous text conversation. So presumably she had been too involved in stuffing her face to have noticed you awkwardly typing and deleting replies and then finally not actually sending one, right? Right?


    Spoiler: ...That's Your Evil Plan?
    Show
    While your surprising resistance had gotten you a quick opening, a demon's mind wasn't an easy thing to invade for long. Once that first memory ended, the demon's subconscious will managed to push you out, and his defenses were good enough to block your renewed efforts.

    Unaware of your probe, the demon-in-banker's-clothing entered the information you provided into the computer. "Alright, the account information is updated. You should be receiving a replacement debit card in seven to ten days. Is there anything else I could help you with? You wouldn't happen to be in the market for buying a house, would you? We can offer excellent rates on loans," he offered with a pearly smile.


    Spoiler: Lotus Hacking
    Show
    Some of the Senators seemed surprised, or impressed, a couple even looked thrilled. One would think your proclamation would be met with universal cheers and gratitude.

    And if you believed that, you don't know politicians.

    "I see," Senator Thomas J. Arkham said in tones of blunt disdain. He didn't even lead with some magnanimous statement, like "A noble endeavor, but..." or something. He just started in attacking the idea. "So what you're saying is, in addition to expecting Americans to trust a bunch of mutants, aliens, and other...'metahumans' with their safety - a trust, I might add, that recent events have proved might be largely misplaced - now you are asking us to trust you with our entire system of infrastructure? And what next? Will you take it upon yourselves to police our borders, provide our food? Do you intend to set up superpowered bread lines, Miss Saturn?"

    Spoiler: Insight or Expertise (Politics) DC 20
    Show
    Senator Arkham is well-established as a proponent of superhuman registration. Nuance being...less than useful in political debate, this largely means that anything that presents superhumans taking matters into their own hands in a positive light is at odds with his politics. This will, naturally, make it extremely difficult to sway his opinion through rational discourse - he will almost certainly spin whatever arguments are presented in favor of Project Tomorrow's mission in the most negative light.


    Spoiler: A Caged Phoenix
    Show
    It was weird. You felt J'onn on the other end of the link, but nothing came back from him. Evidently, While his cell wasn't impervious to incoming telepathy, it did block his own powers from going out.
    Or perhaps it just suppressed his mental powers to the point that he couldn't respond psychically.

    It didn't stop him from answering verbally, though. "I'm sorry for worrying you, Rene. Please, don't concern yourself on my account. I'm in no danger here. Thank you for coming." Green Lantern cast you a bit of a sidelong look at J'onn's evidently unprompted words, but didn't comment.

    Caer-sol didn't answer you immediately, her back turned as she walked to the far side of her cell to delve it another hard punch. But once she had done that, she turned and walked over to you, her eyes fixed on yours with a sort of wild intensity, a thin but fierce smile on her face.

    She reached you, standing inches away from the translucent green wall separating you.

    And she punched it with all her strength, right in the spot your snout was almost touching, watching to see if you flinched.

    Spoiler: Insight DC 20 AND Will DC 20
    Show
    If you flinch or otherwise react, she'll be more amused and feel more in control, which may make her more amiable. Flip side, if you don't react at all, she'll respect you more.
    A role playing game is three things. It is an interactive story, a game of chance, and a process in critical thinking.

    If brevity is the soul of wit, I'm witty like a vampire!

    World of Aranth
    M&M 3e Character Guide

  22. - Top - End - #172
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    He knew she was teasing him. Every year she rightfully expected a disaster but this year it had been a masterpiece. She was going to eat some, full or not. Fred smirked and pointed his finger at her. “O ye of little faith. This year, I cooked it with love.”

    Sound Effect!

    His expression didn’t change, but he was already kicking himself for his choice of words. But maybe someone who knows him, really knows him could see the slight twitch of his eye. Without lingering on it he reached out and took the shopping bag from her, being gentlemanly.

    He held her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. It was worth remembering that right before Colossus came back into the picture, Fred was comfortable enough to approach intimacy with her. He would sleep with his head in her lap, for crying out loud. In that second it clicked. Why had he become afraid all over again?

    He breathed in. He smiled. He tried to be comfortable, but she was his kryptonite.

    “When we’re done, I’ve got some new music I want to share with you. We can go up to my old room like we used do.”

    He took her back to the bathroom and then looked into the mirror. Next thing they were in the bathroom back home. Fred opened the door and they walked out. “We’re back!” He took out the goods from Kitty’s shopping bag and laid them out. He also uncorked the wine and poured it in glasses for everyone who wanted some.

    Fred wanted some. He handed Kitty a glass and clinked them together. He also watched her try his cooking. There was conversastion with Jiji and Kitty, a refresher introduction to Wanda. Fred ate the pie Kitty brought, because of course he did. Starsoul said how happy he was to see Kitty and took a particularly shrewd shot at Fred.

    “So glad you’re here, Kitty. Maybe he can stop sitting there worrying over texts with you and relax.” Remember, Starsoul hates Fred’s indecision on this subject.

    Sound Effect!

    You f***ing traitor.
    Spoiler
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  23. - Top - End - #173
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    Rene realized well ahead of what was going to happen. He told and prepared himself for Caer-Sol potentially attacking him. And as soon as he saw those wild eyes and fierce smile, he thought:

    She's gonna punch me.

    The moments before the hit are a desperate psychological dilemma. He told Green Lantern not to interfere if she tries hitting Rene. He can take it after all. He can take it. He came all the way from Earth, practically halfway across the galaxy, to try and help a person he knows. He wouldn't have gone without expecting the worst. And a kryptonian can do all kinds of horrible things to him. Never mind a punch, a kryptonian has the strength to tear his body apart, break his bones, fry him with heat vision, throw him out into space to suffocate. The list goes on and on and on. Prison cell or not, Rene willingly brought himself here to help a kryptonian even at his own peril. And compared to all the times he's been clawed, slashed, blasted, burned, and traumatized, a punch should be nothing!

    His reptilian slits open and his lips curled into his mouth, he waits the half-moment it takes for Caer-Sol to punch the wall.

    *WHAM*

    The colossal force reverb the emerald prison wall, a feeling of sheer might sounding from the prison.

    And Rene refused to budge an inch.

    It takes him a formidable amount of will and courage. For several seconds afterward he stays still, readying as if the kryptonian might punch the wall again. Even his thick tail it utterly still as it lies on the hard flooring. It's after these seconds that the reptilian humanoid finally eases, heaving a small-but-shaky sigh as he finds himself not on the receiving end of a beatdown. Alright, alright, he thinks again to himself. Just keep talking. And do... something. He doesn't have much of a plan. At least he knows to expect actions, rather than words.

    "Caer-Sol, I'm here to help," he responds, sincere in his words. "I was told what was happening and I thought I'd come." As he keeps speaking, he becomes a little more doubtful in his words. Is... genuine kindness not enough here? "I don't really know what you want, or need. I..." He pauses again, something in his mind keeps trying to talk to him, saying something over and over again. And just now it becomes clear.

    Talk is cheap

    Suddenly, it clicks. Any amount of compassion won't mean a lot to Caer-Sol if it's all just babbling out of his mouth. "Hang on," he says, his head slightly turned and not indicative of who he's actually speaking to before looking back at Caer-Sol. "It might be difficult with the wall, but..." He spreads his scaly arms out and attempts to... hug by placing his hands and arms on the prison wall. "Thank you, again, for helping me back then." He releases his arms from the wall, mildly curious and concerned of whether Zod is confused, angry, or straight up embarrassed to see the reptilian trying to express his gratitude to the former Fist of Flamebird.

    Rene has absolutely no clue how Caer-Sol will react. Will she be grateful? Or will she be furious? Rene can only hold back a slithery gulp and wait.

  24. - Top - End - #174
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    No reason to attempt a second probe; leave for now, Gethsemane decides silently, directing her glamoured form to give the "banker" a smile every bit as sincere as his own. "Thank you for your generous offer, but I'm afraid I'm not in the market for a house at this time." She asks for a withdrawal of about twice as much as she was planning to take out when she came in; enough to live on for hopefully a few more months until she could begin generating revenue once again on her own.

    Move, or wait? Moving more viable option, but since move won't move out of town, may be moot point... Regardless, speak to reputable Hero soon. Perhaps Saturn, or Katie... Gethsemane muses quietly to herself as she waits to collect her money, her senses on the alert for another mental attack.
    Originally Posted by Xefas:
    "I need the Goblins in phalanx arrangement. Sky Blotters in the back! Swissles? Assume the Swizzle Stick Formation! We're going in!"
    What Pokemon am I?
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  25. - Top - End - #175
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    CandyLaser's Avatar

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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    "What's the phrase, Senator? 'Trust, but verify?' I assure you that our work will be auditable by independent experts. Moreover, it's well known that you've got an axe to grind against metahumans. Leaving aside the fact that I'm not, strictly speaking, metahuman, you should note that nothing we're doing is mandatory. If I were just an ordinary tech company CEO offering a sweetheart deal on revolutionary new power technology, no one would bat an eye, even if it turned out to be a scam or a failure.

    The biggest difference here is that my technology works. It's not a miracle, it's science and engineering, applied toward the task of bettering the world."
    Given his prejudices, Arkham wasn't really her audience. She was instead trying to convince the rest of the panel, as well as anyone who happened to hear her words on C-SPAN or read them later.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Can't fail a DC 20 check.

  26. - Top - End - #176
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Quellian-dyrae's Avatar

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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    Spoiler: Happy Thanksgiving
    Show
    As usual, if Kitty noticed your inner awkwardness at all, she didn't show it. Was that weird? She knew you just as well as you knew her. Maybe she just thought you wouldn't want her commenting on it, or something? "Sounds good!" she answered.

    "Kitty, how lovely to see you. Happy Thanksgiving!" Jiji greeted her with a hug when you two returned. She had taken advantage of your momentary absence to take over cleanup duties. It wasn't easy to wrest cleanup duties away from Jiji once she had claimed them. If you wanted them back it might require a diabolical plot.

    "Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks for having me."

    "Oh, please, any time!"

    "Hey, Wanda. Good to see you."

    "Oh, hello, Kitty."

    Wanda chose not to have any wine, but Jiji had a glass and everyone had some pie. Kitty was appropriately impressed with the food. Thanks to your supernaturally enhanced intuition and/or how well you knew her, you noticed she seemed to be...kinda paying attention to your interactions with Wanda.

    "You've really outdone yourself this year, Jiji!" she said with a grin that wasn't at all wicked.

    "Well thank you, dear, but I can't take all the credit!" Jiji answered. At least someone here showed you some-

    "Wanda helped, after all." -okay never mind then, forget I said anything.

    As Kitty was finishing up, Wanda excused herself to go get some fresh air, and Jiji went back to tidying up. It was just the two of you and your treacherous sword at the table. Kitty replied to Starsoul's comment with a laugh, as if it were just some joke. It certainly didn't sound awkward or nervous or anything. Maybe she had just missed the point that Starsoul was trying to get across?

    And then Rachel's voice intruded upon your headspace.

    ~Hey, Fred. Happy Thanksgiving. Um...~

    She hesitated. It was kinda weird. Hesitant wasn't really a word that described Rachel Grey. ~So, you know, people have had some wine over here. I've been hearing some gossip.~ Gossip? At the X-Mansion?
    During a holiday get-together? What a surprise! Truly, such rare and shocking news! ~And I mean it's none of my business, you're all my friends and I don't want to stick my nose where it doesn't belong or anything.
    I just...I thought you should...well I thought that you at least deserved to know. Or, like, have some fair warning.
    This time.~


    ...

    ...?

    ...

    ~Um. I guess Piotr bought a ring.~

    Maybe just leave this one on loop?

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    I was going to apologize for this. But then I remembered that I am the absolute worst and I have no idea why you people put up with me, so I decided not to bother.


    Spoiler: A Caged Phoenix
    Show
    Caer-Sol raised an eyebrow in some surprise when you stood unflinchingly after she punched the wall. She faced you more directly then, actually looking at you instead of like...through you, or something.
    Like you weren't just part of the background any more.

    She stopped pacing.

    When you kinda...hugged her cell, she blinked and tilted her head quizzically to the side, looking more confused than anything. Zod was looking at you as if you were something clinging to his shoe.

    "...What are you doing?" she asked, before shaking her head. "Never mind. I do not want to know. You wish to help me? To thank me? Excellent. Get me out of here." She gave you a big smile, a certain wild enemy dancing in her eyes. "You can do that for me, can't you?" she asked in a kinda wheedling tone.


    Spoiler: ...That's Your Evil Plan
    Show
    "Of course. Just a moment," the banker says, standing and heading for the door to the office. But as he reaches for the knob he stops, and turns towards you.

    "Just one more thing. If you wouldn't mind, would you please tell me what happened to your aunt?"

    Spoiler
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    You come under psychic attack, feeling a profound urge to obey his request. A mortal might not have noticed it (the effect is Subtle and Insidious, but only to mortal beings) Give me a DC 20 Will save vs. Vulnerable+Impaired/Compelled+Disabled/Controlled. The first conditions are Limited to One Command (in this case, truthfully answering his questions; you may ignore Vulnerable in any round you do so), the second conditions are Limited Degree.

    Since you're now being subject to offensive powers, you may consider yourself to be in combat time. Take a Hero Point for your Old, Dark Flames Complication.

    Gethsemane is on turn.


    Spoiler: Lotus Hacking
    Show
    "I have no doubt that your technology is perfectly functional, Miss Saturn," Senator Arkham replied. "And I have nothing whatsoever against the metahuman community, and I am aware that you are not technically a member of it in any case. However, your partner organization Project Tomorrow does recruit heavily from them, predominantly those who have called themselves superheroes in the past. And whether metahuman or not, you yourself have operated in such a capacity as well. It does not escape my notice that this little "Project Tomorrow" thing started pretty much immediately upon the introduction of government-trained metahuman defenders. The timing seems rather coincidental."

    "So I suppose my question is, is this really an effort to make things better? Or is it just another transparent publicity stunt by a bunch of has-been 'heroes' who cannot accept that they have been replaced by a superior alternative? It seems to me that this just proves that rather than having the interests of mankind at heart, you and your fellow 'superheroes' are just doing anything you can to obtain the unearned accolades of the public."
    A role playing game is three things. It is an interactive story, a game of chance, and a process in critical thinking.

    If brevity is the soul of wit, I'm witty like a vampire!

    World of Aranth
    M&M 3e Character Guide

  27. - Top - End - #177
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    He noticed Kitty observing he and Wanda, and she would see him being friendly and familial. Similarly to how he treated Katie, except he was more gentle with Wanda, always keeping his tone upbeat and bright.

    Fred smiled and prepared to make a demure comment about the cooking when Jiji snubbed him. His mouth hung open for a moment before he silently threw his hands up and gave up.

    He was left alone with Kitty and Starsoul, right after Starsoul stuck the knife in his back. Fred withdrew into comfortable silence as he picked up his fork and moved to dig into his second piece of pumpkin pie. At least Kitty hadn’t said anything. You know, he had kind of been thinking that tonight was the night, but going there was really hard for him. Right now, eating pie, this was comfortable. This was safe.

    And then a red-headed meteorite crashed down on his safe place.

    ~Hey Rach. Happy Thanksgiving… why are you being weird?~

    Amazing how he could ask that to her but not to-- oh you get the point by now.

    There was a lot of build up to her point… and silence… and silence… and then she said it. Piotr bought a ring.

    In person, Fred blanched. Color left his features. His fingers constricted around the fork until it snapped under his super-strength.

    ~F***!~

    He felt his heart sink. He felt like going to crawl underneath his bed. Outside of his parents dying, this was the single worst piece of news he’d ever received. And yes, that does include “you’re destined to die!”

    For a moment his mind was blank. He was looking down at his pie but wasn’t seeing anything. His ears started pounding with the sound of his heart beating.

    And then, over the Shared Awareness, he reached out to Starsoul.

    ~TEAM CHAT. NOW.~

    ~What’s up, boss?~

    ~Rachel said Piotr bought a ring.~

    ~Then you better do something boss, or you’re gonna be a groomsman on the worst day of your life.~

    ~...Maybe it’s for the best, right? She gets stability, I get to go fight Darkseid without worrying--~

    Starsoul interrupted, ~Do I have to bring Katie into this?!~

    ~No, no you don’t,~ Fred answered, not even buying his own crap this time. Too many people, living and dead, had beat him over the head about that one. ~I don’t know what to do.~

    ~Yes you do.~

    Ok Fine. ~I don’t know how to do it.~

    ~With your human talky-parts! Look, Fred. You’re going to go do this. You’re going to go do this right now. Just for once, just for once, boss… let me run your life. Go do it. Man, she knows. You don’t think she knows, but she knows. Even if she didn’t figure it out herself, one of our gossip column teammates sure did and then told her. She knows. And she’s waiting to hear you say something about it. You give the woman mixed signals. You’re either serious or your not. It’s either you try now, or I watch you chicken out when they ask if anyone objects to this union.

    You don’t have a choice. It’s got to be now. Don’t worry about how you do it. She already knows you’re an awkward semi truck full of issues. Do what your Code tells you. Fling yourself into danger. Are you a true samurai?~


    Yeah, Starsoul knows how to get to him.

    ~Yes.~

    ~Are you a true samurai?!~

    ~Yes!~

    ~Are you going to go into battle, express your feelings and show that you are emotionally available and ready for a real relationship?~

    Record scratch.

    ~Alright! Alright already!~

    It was a good thing that the Shared Awareness is really, really fast, because it let Fred recover before there was too much of an awkward silence. He immediately grabbed his glass of wine and downed it. He shot a look down at Starsoul then laid the sword on the table. Fred stood up to his feet and looked back at Kitty. The color returned to his face… and then more color came in as he flushed.

    Earlier, he thought that tonight would be the night that he would tell her. It had been more comfortable, more hypothetical when it was just a plan. Now, now it was a necessity. Now he was terrified and twisted up. He felt butterflies in his chest. There was no escape. It was victory or defeat.

    “Hey… let’s go up,” he said to her. He didn’t think he would have the courage to do it in the dining room, within possible earshot of others. He lead her upstairs to his old bedroom. Each step up felt like climbing a mountain. He had an old turntable in here, a set of headphones, a collection of vinyl. There was a Goku poster and a Seven Samurai poster both up on the walls. Fred shut the door behind them and was awkwardly silent for a good fifteen seconds before he put on a record, Sax Rohmer #1, and let it play over the speakers. He kept the volume low, but he needed some kind of background noise. Ganbatte.

    “I have to tell you something. And I have to tell it to you right now.”

    He turned and looked at her with purple eyes, then jade. How would be approach this? What would he say that would persuade her? How would he put his thoughts int---

    “I love you.”

    Well there’s that way.

    “Not in the ‘you’re my sister’ way, not in the ‘we’re best friends way’ although that’s true too.”

    “I love you. I’m in love with you. I have been for years, but I’m so bad at this that I never came out and said it. There were times I was going to, but for some reason or another I never did.”

    He wasn’t even hearing himself talk, he was just hearing the pounding in his ears, feeling the pulsing in his neck, the thumping in his chest.

    “So… now I’m saying it.”

    And now the dread set in as he watched for her reaction.
    Spoiler
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  28. - Top - End - #178
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    She... she talked!

    Rene stands from the other side of the cell door, mouth slightly open with his many small teeth showing. He had expected to communicate purely through her actions and expressions. Instead, he hears her speak for the first time. And, perhaps as one would expect, Rene is left silent in speed and active in thought.

    How can she talk? Why did she talk? What does she want? What does she see in him? What did she want him for? Why did she talk now?

    He's not getting an answer to any of these as shivers run down his cold-blooded spine. He reconsiders her words before the implications of it are clear. A sickening feeling swells up in his stomach. She wants out of prison. She wants to leave this prison. The reptilian can't imagine this being possible. He has no authority, he has no understanding of law in Oa. He doesn't even know her sentence!

    His reptilian tail curls up around his legs in an anxious attempt to calm himself. His eyes, flinching in slight madness and wide in his worry, look at Caer-Sol's wild ones. He wishes he could free her. He wishes that he can trust her. And determined to learn more, Rene looks over at Green Lantern. "Do you know her sentence? How long it is?" Rene's scaly voice is restrained, holding back any notion of fear in his voice. Caer-Sol put him in a difficult position and he must know more before making a decision.

  29. - Top - End - #179
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Griffon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    Gethsemane is in the midst of standing when the much more overt mental attack hits. Perhaps that is why it comes so close to succeeding; it takes the better part of a second to remove the intrusion from her mind without allowing it access to any of her in formation.

    "Yes," she states slowly, walking in an almost dreamlike way towards him. "As a matter of fact..." she stops, her glamoured body's face clearing suddenly, "I do mind."

    The psychic lash strikes down again.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Move Action: Close with Demon Boy.

    Standard Action: Attack with Sting of Greed Subvert Will, All-Out Power Attacking for 5. (1d20+12)[29] On a hit, Fortitude DC 25 vs. Dazed/Stunned/Paralyzed, Will DC 25 vs. Weaken Toughness and Will. EDIT: My mistake, see below for effects.

    Extra Effort + Hero Point: Attack with Subvert Will (again). Damage DC 26, Will DC (1d20+11)[28] vs. Mind Reading. If I succeed by two ranks, Gethsemane will ask where and how he contacts his superiors (if those are two questions, where takes precedence). If she succeeds by three ranks, she wants to see a time when he contacted them. Rank Four will unlock any suppressed memories, though this is highly unlikely.
    Last edited by Zelphas; 2019-04-19 at 10:17 PM.
    Originally Posted by Xefas:
    "I need the Goblins in phalanx arrangement. Sky Blotters in the back! Swissles? Assume the Swizzle Stick Formation! We're going in!"
    What Pokemon am I?
    Spoiler
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  30. - Top - End - #180
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    CandyLaser's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Default Re: Project Tomorrow - A Reassembly Filler Arc

    Sarah was beginning to get annoyed. She was smart enough to know that this was likely what Arkham wanted, and so she kept control outwardly. But that didn't prevent her from getting increasingly irritated by having her bona fides questioned by this hack of an elected official. "Senator, that's a loaded question, and I'll thank you not to resort to such transparent rhetorical trickery. We're all capable, intelligent adults, and we can talk without having to resort to sophistry. Project Tomorrow is an effort to improve the world for its own sake. We are, of course, happy to work with government-trained metahumans, if they have relevant skills or powers. I can only hope that the government team is as effective as my own, and I look forward to partnering with them in the future." She couldn't quite keep a note of hostility from creeping into her voice, although only someone who knew her well would notice it (which basically meant Sylvester, and probably Katie).

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