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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Archmage in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    HARD TIMES IN HALCYON CITY
    CHAPTER ONE:
    THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE




    Halcyon City started life as a small port town on the shores of Unity Bay and, while the town has grown since then, its roots still lie at the waterfront. The thick wall of urban sprawl clustered along the the busy docks and marinas had the oldest and most densely populated neighbourhoods, the largest manufacturing centres, the narrowest streets, the most labyrinthine alleys, the busiest nightlife.

    The waterfront, long the symbol of Halcyon City's history and resiliency, has been hit the hardest by the economic crisis. The factories are closed. With nothing to ship, the harbour is empty. All along the waterfront, where once there was camaraderie and good-natured working class unity, now there is sullen silence and fearful glances. Evictions are at an all time high. Small dark drinkers' bars are full every night. No one walk alone after dark. There is rage and violence around every corner.

    Near the waterfront runs a raised expressway, the mighty Bayview Express. Running from east to west across the entire city, it is the major traffic artery for most of its citizens. Beneath it, however, amid the towering concrete pillars are an endless line of dirty smog-smudged warehouses and echoing vacant lots. Long a space for the homeless and the destitute, now there are sprawling tent cities and fields of squatters' shacks, filled with those cast aside by the economic downturn.

    See now the massive warehouse that once belonged to the once prosperous, now bankrupt Sister Ana Talent Import & Export company. The massive parking lot filled with the itinerant. And then the warehouse was broken into, and it too filled with those with nowhere else to go.

    What meager trade to be had is had here. Vegetable stands. Clothing and trinkets and swap meets and flea markets spring up in and around the Warehouse. It is a busy, bustling place during the daylight hours. And quiet and tense and watchful in the night.

    See now behind the warehouse, in the fenced off area holding the dim and silent corpses of the Ana Talent delivery fleet: trailers and trucks lined up in row after row.

    In the far corner, far from the eyes of even the most curious, is a derelict spacecraft.

    Inside this craft lives Moth, who only recently arrived to this planet, and who also recently made the acquaintance of several young heroes when they banded together to defeat an old foe of Moth's: the exo-stellar Thing.

    Sitting on an old ragged lawn chair out front of their spacecraft, reading a book they found at the flea market, an odd sound comes to Moth's ears: motorcycles. Lots of them. And then a sudden chorus of alarmed cries and screams.

    But let's give Moth a moment as they sit, puzzled and concerned.

    Let's follow the road outside the lot as it winds down, around a corner, escapes the claustrophobic darkness beneath the overpass, and moves up a steep hill to a brightly-lit street lined with restaurants and bars and clubs. Halfway down this street is a Hooters. And inside, past the tables, the tv's, the waitstaff in tight shirts, and into the kitchen (itself kind of the 'underpass' of the restaurant), we see a young girl, surely not yet graduated High School, hanging up her apron, clocking out, and starting her walk to the bus stop that will take her home.

    She walks out the backdoor, across the back lot, sneaks through a hole in the fence, onto the grassy berm beyond, makes her careful way down a steep narrow trail, and hits asphalt. She hurries along, anxious to catch her bus (she has a history test tomorrow) as always marveling at the rotting remains of trucks and trailers all spread out behind that heavy fence.

    When she, too, hears the sounds of many motorcycles, and then the sounds of alarmed and frightened screaming. She stops, her exhausted body tense and alert, her mind racing, every ounce of her focused on that sound. And what it might mean. And what it might require.

    But let's also give Dani some privacy in her moment of decision.

    A few miles from from here, north from the waterfront, through the thickly lustered glass and steel of the Money Square, past the wide winding streets and tree-lined yards of Old Town, and then a slight shift to the west to Bowery Lane, an old neighbourhood fallen on hard times, where a young man named Angel and a young woman named Judy, who were also present during the battle with the Thing, are each taking their ease in the cool twilight air.

    Judy is sitting on the balcony of her family's 2nd floor apartment, reading a textbook (she has a test tomorrow for Mr. Smith's history class). Angel, on the other hand, is walking the streets of his neighbourhood some blocks away, noting to himself that it is strangely quiet.

    Both see them now: one sitting, one walking, one reading, one scouting. And both, at the exact same moment, stop what they are doing and, unconsciously and in unison, put one hand to their chest, where each of them can feel a small sharp pain, like a tiny needle. And, in their minds, a iridescent blue light illuminating a strange rune. Judy knew this rune from her studies. Angel has never seen it before, but a deep powerful voice whispered its name in his ear: DANGER.

    The rune said danger. Some horror of Old Atlantis was afoot this night.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Okay everyone, thank you for your patience. Welcome to Hard Times in Halcyon City! I hope you like reading, as this went way long on me.

    Couple things:
    • I look some liberties with everyone in order to set the scene. I don't think I overwrote anything important, but if I did, please let me know and I can address it as we go.
    • The next question is: WHAT DO YOU DO? The most important thing you can do in this game is to DO something in every post. Directly confront the action, make choices, impact the setting, complicate the story. If you feel you've triggered one, declare a Move and make a roll. Anything you reasonably make up or decide yourself, feel free to do so. Anything else, I'll fill in as best I can.
    • We have, for the moment, two pairs. Moth and Skitter are near enough that I think you two can handle stumbling over each other and going ahead together without too much guidance from me. And Cleopatra/Angel, you are free to be quite liberal with the effects of your mysterious Atlantis Senses to bring you two together, and then toward the others.
    • And remember from the backstory, Judy/Cleo made you all Ankhs that let you communicate telepathically. You might want to avoid using them for ask-and-answer conversations, but they're great for unilaterally declaring where you are or where you need someone to go.


    The big thing I want you all to remember is that everything I do is done with the intent of making it easy for you to move things along. If anything I do shuts you down, messes you up, screws with your own story, makes it harder for you to participate, please let me know so we can fix it. Nothing here can be broken, nothing can be ruined, missteps can be fixed in lots of different ways. So don't fret, have fun and let's bring it.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    I can't wait to see where this goes.
    Last edited by truemane; 2021-02-10 at 07:51 AM.
    Adventures in the Borderlands [5E] - IC-Ch.0 / OC
    Hard Times in Halcyon City [Masks] - IC-Ch.1 / OC

    Tarot-Mage-atar by Cuthalion, may his pixels never die.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    Dani stops. She feels in her backpack; an old, worn green thing; and checks to make sure her costume is there. With how bad the city has gotten lately, she's made it a habit of keeping it on-hand wherever she goes. She looks to the incoming bus... And, sighing, heads into a nearby alley. Stripping out of her work uniform, her ears attuned for any incoming people, she dresses in her plain grey costume, with its featureless mask. The fabric is somewhat loose and billowy, easy to hide bugs in or get in a foe's face, while being weak enough to never limit her mobility. The mask is made of some kind of Atlantean plastic, and fits snugly against her face while keeping a plain exterior.

    As she dresses, she gathers her army. Legions of tiny critters-flies, spiders, ants, and anything else crawly starts to center on her. She sets a few spiders to work covering her backpack in webbing, to make it less appealing to steal, and the rest start to gather around her. A miasma of insects and arachnids, obscuring her form, settle in. She touches the Ankh, and sends a brief message to Moth.

    Moth-you're in the area, right? There's something afoot, and I'm going to investigate. Back me up when you get the chance, okay?

    With the preparations made, Skitter leaps for the wall of the alley. She scrambles up it, her fingers digging into the cracks of the mortar and bricks, and she begins running across the rooftops. Her legion of bugs moves, slower than her, but growing in size as she gathers more. She heads for the source of the sound, her eyes and ears peeled for whatever danger is coming, and whoever might need saving.
    I have a LOT of Homebrew!

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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    Spoiler: Angel
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    Conditions:

    Current labels:
    Danger +1 Freak +1 Savior +1 Superior -1 Mundane +1

    Potential: 0/5
    Doom Track: 0/5


    Angel quickly recovers from the brief pain, with an angry look in his eyes. His hands clench into fists, as his first instinct upon being alerted to some danger is to get ready for a fight. But after a moment, he relaxes as he realizes that the threat isn’t immediate.

    He grabs onto the ankh amulet he wears under his hoodie, and closes his eyes. “Hey Cleo, your amulet just tried to warn me about something. Magic rune warnings sound like your department, so I’ll head over to you and follow your lead.”

    Angel takes a running leap, faster and stronger than a human should be able to, and sails up into the air. Midair, he grabs onto the fire escape of an apartment building and throws himself onto the rooftop. Running and leaping from building to building, Angel makes his way across the neighborhood. He keeps one hand on the amulet, focusing on the connection to Cleopatra and following it until he reaches the building where she lives.

    Standing on the roof, Angel waits for his teammate. Wearing a black hoodie and a fraying pair of jeans, he looks more like a teenage loiterer than a superhero. The one sign that he was just leaping through the air is the windswept look of his long black hair. As he stands on the rooftop, looking out into the city below, Angel speaks his thoughts aloud.

    “I don’t know what this danger is, or how we’re going to find it. But whatever it is, soon enough it’ll find out that it picked the word place to put in danger. ”
    I go by They/Them pronouns, BTW.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    Moth can, and has, been called many things. About half of them translate from whatever language was being used into some variant of "idiot", "reckless", or if one is feeling charitable "terminally curious". They would be the last to admit that perhaps being away from the entire society of people like them might have some ill effects on a young, developing mind. They would, however, be the first to admit they really want to know what pressing the big red button labeled "do not press" does.

    So of course Moth's dog-earing the page they were on to save their place, setting that aside under the debris of their evening meal (a very nice sandwich, man this sliced bread thing is great), and gets ready to go looking for trouble.

    Picture this. You're walking home, as quick as you can cuz it's dark and you're in Harborside, the bad side of the tracks. You just heard some motorcycles rev, and then screaming, so now you're moving doublequick. And then some idiot jumps a half-ri... er, ten feet? Yeah, ten foot high fence, wearing red jeans, a leather vest positively festooned with patches, and a terrible half-fade, half-mohawk haircut, boots glowing as they pivot towards the building across the street from you mid-air, and start jogging down the street along the import office's facade, perpendicular to you, tossing you a half wave as they went.

    I'm pretty sure you'd call Moth reckless there too.

    They get a pulsing rune in their vision, followed by Skitter's message, as they hop around the corner (still set to personal grav 0.85g 78 degrees normal skew counterclockwise 66 degrees polar skew clockwise) and head towards the sounds of racing engines and excitement. Is it the motorcycles? I'm going to look at the motorcycles.
    LGBTA+itP

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    Judy read her book.

    The establishment of the United States was not her best suit. Of course, she liked history quite enough, but in fact, her most favorite time set was the ancient world – the great civilizations of Greeks, Romans, and, of course, Ancient Egypt. In fact, she also gathered whet she could about the Atlantis, but this particular topic, even though she was a world-leading expert, was something Mr. Smith could never accept.

    Still, she did suppose that she could get a nice B with little effort, maybe an A if she would try. And let’s be honest, education is important. Even those things that we do not like whole-heartedly.

    So she read about the beginnings of the American State when her Ankh had shown her one glyph. A very important one, meaning “danger”.

    She put her history handbook away and closed her eyes for a moment. She thought for a second and then whispered a spell in Atlantean. Her skin started to glow in a light-blue hue, and her body felt weightless, as she levitated from the balcony to the street below. Then she whispered again, this time a short, sharp-sounding word, to end the incantation. Her weight returned to her and her body stopped shining.

    Then she got a telepathic message from Angel. She put one hand on her golden Ankh and focused on an answer.

    Yes, I got it too. The rune means ‘danger’. I believe we have some Atlantean company in there. Nothing good, I am afraid. I will wait for you in front of my place, okay?” - she asked.

    After a short time Angel had appeared. Judy greeted him with a handwave and ran towards him.

    - Do we have a plan? I think I could cast a spell to resonate with my Ankh and glow more when we are closer towards… “it”. But I have never cast it before, so I would need a minute to think it though. Unless you got a better idea? - she concluded with a warm tone of her voice.
    LGBTitP, Furry 🐾, European 🇪🇺 & Schizophreniac ♿, possibly a Weirdo 😜
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    Spoiler: Angel
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    Conditions:

    Current labels:
    Danger +1 Freak +1 Savior +1 Superior -1 Mundane +1

    Potential: 0/5
    Doom Track: 0/5


    Angel jumped down from the roof as his friend ran towards him, so they both were standing next to each other. When asked if they have a plan, he smiles at his friend and says “You find the danger, I hit the danger.”

    He pauses for a second before deciding to elaborate. “That’s all I have when it comes to plans. If we can’t deal with it by ourselves then we call the other two for backup I guess, and if hitting it doesn’t work I’m sure you can think of something. Tracking it with a spell sounds good, so I say go for it.”

    Angel waits for Cleopatra, a bit annoyed that the spell would take a few minutes. His body is tense and he wants nothing more than to run towards whatever is threatening him, but he doesn’t even know which direction to run.
    I go by They/Them pronouns, BTW.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    - One moment – said Judy. She held her Ankh in her left hand, moving the right one in air before her, seemingly drawing some occultist and linguistic symbols, muttering to herself something in Atlantean. It took her a while to get her vocabulary and grammar right, but when she did, she smiled a little bit to herself. She redid her spell and symbols, this time drawing them just above her amulet.

    To test it, she moved in a circle, looking at the insensitivity of the Anhk. And yup, at some point it did flare more of a blue light. Satisfied, she moved closer to Angel and took gently his own Egyptian cross in her hands. After a short while, his Ankh was enchanted too.

    - This should help. Are we ready to go? - she asked, thinking them prepared.
    LGBTitP, Furry 🐾, European 🇪🇺 & Schizophreniac ♿, possibly a Weirdo 😜
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    Masks

    Spoiler: Angel
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    Conditions:

    Current labels:
    Danger +1 Freak +1 Savior +1 Superior -1 Mundane +1

    Potential: 0/5
    Doom Track: 0/5


    Angel watches for a second, a slightly puzzled expression as he tries to understand the spell. “So when the light gets brighter we’re getting closer? Thanks, this’ll make finding whatever it is pretty easy.”

    In response to her question, Angel jumps into the air, grabbing onto balconies and ledges until he is back on the rooftops. “You can fly, I can run, so let’s go!”

    The wind rushing past him as he runs across the rooftops of the city at high speeds, Angel follows the blue glow of the amulet. “Danger, here we come.”
    Last edited by Quagmire; 2021-02-10 at 04:35 PM.
    I go by They/Them pronouns, BTW.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    Judy sighted slightly. Personally, she was thinking that Angel was, well, kind of reckless. There were only the two of them, and they did not know anything about the danger they were looking for. Was is really so good to rush into action, with so little knowledge and preparation?

    Still, she said her spell again and took to the skies, shining with blue color. She took be insecure, but as a powerful person she had the responsibility to help in any way she could.

    Just... sometimes she wondered where her friend found all this courage and stamina.
    LGBTitP, Furry 🐾, European 🇪🇺 & Schizophreniac ♿, possibly a Weirdo 😜
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    Archmage in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    ANGEL AND CLEOPATRA
    Taking to the skies, the pair soar over Halcyon City. Streets streak by beneath them as Cleopatra's senses lead them toward the Harbor. They pass through the financial district and into the seedier waterfront beyond.

    The runes lead them to a massive warehouse, with an equally massive parking lot, covered end to end with tents and temporary structures. Normally quiet at this time of night, the scene is now one of chaos.

    From the highway ramp beyond have come over a dozen motorcycles, shiny and new and sparkling in the moonlight, each ridden by one or two street-gang-looking people.

    They are riding through the tents, whooping and laughing, tearing down the structures, knocking over barriers and tables. All around them are screams and yells as people are woken to chaos.

    They seem to be heading generally toward the warehouse.

    The ankh says that whatever it's tracking is still on its way.

    SKITTER AND MOTH
    The noise and tumult is close enough to track even without the great neon brain-rune leading the way.

    Skitter and Moth practically run into each other at the front corner of the warehouse and the top of the sloping parking. Spread out before them are a sea of tents and leanto's and little rickety houses. Both of them know that this place is usually graveyard quiet at night.

    But now, there's a small army of racing cycles tearing through the parking lot, wrecking and destroying everything in their path. Their actions are chaotic and unpredictable, but they seem to be headed more-or-less toward the warehouse itself.

    Toward the two of them, in other words.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show

    I'm using the Start Session Move and adding 1 Team to the pool.

    At the moment, these are 14 - 16 individual Mooks and not Villains or a dangerous foe, so the Directly Engage a Threat does not apply and we don't add more to Team to the pool. You can freeform narrate how you handle them, feel free to let loose and have fun.

    Should six or more band together they might become a Villain and if that happens (or anything else changes) I'll redefine at that point.

    It's up to you whether or not either pair notices the other, or if the Ankhs tell you, or whatever else.

    As always, let me know if you have any questions.
    Adventures in the Borderlands [5E] - IC-Ch.0 / OC
    Hard Times in Halcyon City [Masks] - IC-Ch.1 / OC

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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    Spoiler: Angel
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    Conditions:

    Current labels:
    Danger +1 Freak +1 Savior +1 Superior -1 Mundane +1

    Potential: 0/5
    Doom Track: 0/5


    Angel snarls when he sees the people causing chaos. He glares at them all and gets into a fighting stance, ready to leap into action. "They're trashing the place, but fight is gonna mess up this place even worse and the people sleeping here could get hurt. But we can't just let them keep doing this, and whatever they want with that warehouse is probably bad news."

    After a brief pause, Angel realizes that there is a way to stop the criminals from getting what they want without starting a fight in a parking lot full of partially asleep people. He takes off running towards the warehouse, pushing himself to get there before the motorcycles could. Along the way he picks up a broken piece of metal pipe, which he jams between the handles of the warehouse door. He holds the metal in two hands and starts to twist it, gritting his teeth as he does so.

    He steps back when he is done, turning to face the people vandalizing the encampment in the parking lot and yelling at them. "Hey idiots, good luck getting whatever you came for now! Unless you can bend metal, you might as well go home!"

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Running faster than motorcycles and bending metal might be an Unleash Your Powers roll with the goal of changing the environment, specifically making the warehouse doors jammed shut in a way that is gonna be pretty hard to open. Or it could just be a thing I can do with "superhuman strength and speed" without needing a roll in this situation. I'm not sure.

    Skitter and Moth would probably see this, since they are near the warehouse and I am being pretty obvious with what I am doing.
    Last edited by Quagmire; 2021-02-15 at 07:23 PM.
    I go by They/Them pronouns, BTW.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    As Skitter drops down, she twists in the air to avoid landing on top of Moth. "Hey. Glad you came," she says to the alien, her expression unreadable beneath the mask, but her tone honest. "We should probably try to spend some R&R time together-not just work. Erm, if you want to. But, work now."

    She spots Angel, and touches her ankh to communicate with the whole team. Moth and I are here too-Angel, is Cleo with you? she asks. Regardless of what he answers, she starts to set her swarm in front of the warehouse. Spiders crawl along the ground, flies in the air, ants crawling on the walls... It's nothing that would actually STOP anyone who wants to get in, but it'd be really icky to move through them. And should the thugs know about Skitter, they'd also know that the swarm could, at any moment, turn to biting and stinging and all manner of other nastiness.

    The last thing she does is simply check to make sure there are bugs in the various tents, or near enough to them to be used. She's ready to rush by and start waking up the sleeping folk if a fire starts, or something else of that nature.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    I'm just lurking. Not really massively exerting my powers or anything, just exercising them normally.
    I have a LOT of Homebrew!

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  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    Moth squats upside down, perched on the underside of a streetlight, and takes a moment to take in the scene. Okay, there's Angel, doing.. something involving the door? They hope that's reversible. Moth needs to get in there too, later. There's a whole bunch of bikers, doing... something stupid? Maybe they're trying to get something from the warehouse? Either way it's not very bright, they'd have had better luck just like, walking up quietly. And Skitter's doing something smart. At least, she's taking time to plan and think, so that's good.

    Situation thus assessed, they cheerfully start striding towards the motercyclists in complete defiance of their own analysis and also gravity, stepping between tents, fenceposts, and at least one person's shoulder, shockstick in their free hand and powering up, giving the bikers a second to possibly just leave in peace, as Angel demanded.

    It could happen.
    LGBTA+itP

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    Cleo looked at the havoc happening in front of her. At first, she just levitated there, in one place, looking with horror. So many people to protect! So many enemies! So little time! What should she do, whom to protect at first, and whom to give the lesser priority?

    It lasted a second or two. Then she flied towards the ground, her hands moving in air, her voice loud and clear when she said the Atlantean spells.

    She landed in front of the closest people attacked and established a blue half-sphere turned towards the gang members and open on her side, with the intention of this construct of light and magic to protect from physical attacks. She still moved her hands and said the spell to keep the barrier in place.

    She got the message from Skitter, but as using the Ankh demanded at least one free hand to hold it and communicate, she could not respond right now. She supposed she would not have the time and opportunity in quite a while.

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    If it will come to rolling, I will roll for Defend.
    LGBTitP, Furry 🐾, European 🇪🇺 & Schizophreniac ♿, possibly a Weirdo 😜
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    Angel grabs onto the amulet and looks around at the chaotic scene. Yeah, Cleo is here too. Looks like the crew is all together.

    He waves to Moth as they enter the scene, and smiles briefly. Then he notices that Skitter is gathering a swarm in the front of the warehouse and takes a slightly panicky leap away, not wanting to stand in the center of the flying and buzzing insects.

    Standing a few feet away from the edge of the swarm, Angel watches the guys on motorcycles to see how they react. He hopes that with all the obstacles being put in their way they give up, but it might just make them angrier.
    I go by They/Them pronouns, BTW.

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    Archmage in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    ANGEL
    Just as he seals the door shut, four motorcycles tear up and stop in a semi-circle in front of the warehouse. They are all young and each of them has sweat streaming down their faces and their jaws clenched and their mouths pulled back in horrid rictus grins.

    Their heads twitch and they blink rapidly.

    One of them, a taller guy with hair that was once a well-tended mohawk but is now a dirty mess.

    "Lord Santiago said you would... would... would be here," he says.

    The Lord of All knows All, intones the others in unison.

    There was a pause. A thin woman off to one side clenched her teeth so hard Angel could hear the grinding, opened her jacket to reveal a row of neat squares of putty wired to a cell phone. She revs her cycle. The cell phone lights up and starts ringing.

    The leader stares at Angel. "Greetings from the Lord of all," he says.

    And the woman lets out the clutch and the cycle leaps like a mad animal, straight at Angel.

    SKITTER
    Everything is chaos and noise from her vantage point. She vaguely notes that Angel is having some trouble at the warehouse door.

    Just beside her, one row over, one background scream turns sharp and insistent. She looks, and meets the terrified eyes of a middle aged woman stumbling through several tents, knocking them down and getting caught, behind her are two massive men who've dismounted from their bikes and are coming at her, large knives in hand.

    But just then, off to the side, she sees one rider speed by, spraying something on a densely packed row of tents, and behind them, another rider holding up a road flare. The flare blaze to life, Skitter smells the sharp bite of gasoline, and the rider is about to throw the flare onto the tents.

    CLEOPATRA
    Several riders speed past her and turn aside at the sight of her shield. Dimly she can hear people behind her get up and flee from the property.

    Then she hears a hum rise in the background (or maybe it's just in her mind) blotting out all the other noise, the screams, the motors. And the chaotic crowd parts in front of her and a single form walks up and stands only a few feet from her.

    He is a young man, dressed like a street kid. Maybe once he'd been handsome, but his face was gaunt now, all the muscles in his neck and face pulled tight, tight, tight. His skin seem to glow slightly from within, Cleo could see beads of sweat on his skin sizzle and evaporate.

    And his eyes. His eyes blazed with fire from deep inside, spitting licks of flame out into the night.

    "Queen Cleopatra, reborn again," he said, and his voice echoed across the night, echoed like the roar of fire across a dry summer forest, rippled and heated the air between them, "Leave these vessels, come and face me as the Master has foretold, as it has been in ages past. Let it be so again. Do you require urging?"

    He held up one hand and a nearby teen boy grabbed his neck as though chocking, as he was raised into the air, hanging there, struggling to breathe. And then he was joined by an elderly woman. And then a middle-aged overweight man.

    Steam started emerging from their mouths as they struggled.

    "COME AND STOP ME MY QUEEN!" the man screamed.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    You (and, at the moment, you alone) are facing a Threat


    MOTH
    As they walk toward the chaos, three of the cyclist look up, as though receiving a signal from somewhere, and turn to face Moth. All of them sit a moment, their heads and face twitching from side to side, their mouths pulled back so far and so tight their lips are split in places.

    "This one lives," says one of them.

    "The Master commands it," says the second.

    And with that, two of the riders pull out long chains and speed toward Moth, swinging them, ready to strike.
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  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    You know the cool thing about being Moth? Trick question, there are a lot of cool things about being Moth! But this specific moment is cool 'cuz they just don't care about dealing with these two smucks: their ultraprocessor can just work out where Moth has to stand to not get hit, and they end up making these two look like idiots. Which is good, because Moth actually needs to take a moment to think. This isn't what humans have seemed like so far, and it's not like Moth's ever gone after somebody raving about a Master of some sort before. Maybe it's a puberty thing? They should probably check on that. Could ask these folk, but they're near the Dawnseeker and there's no way that anybody gets to do stupid things around their ship. So they're gonna be out of it in a second.

    Moth finishes another sidestep, thoughts turning back to the fight as the two bikers, both heaving for breath, miss yet again. They lunge forward, jabbing the shockstick into one's sternum and letting the neural pulse do it's work, before contemptuously swiping the other across the forearm, disabling his hand and turning a swing of the chain into a lukewarm toss into the fence. They get their own gentle "bap" on the back of the neck as Moth strides by them, not looking back as they both collapse.

    They walk at an unhurried pace through the chaos towards Cleo. She's studied a bunch, maybe she'd know if this is a puberty thing.
    Last edited by Eldest; 2021-02-23 at 11:20 PM.
    LGBTA+itP

  18. - Top - End - #18
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    Spoiler: Angel
    Show
    Conditions:

    Current labels:
    Danger +1 Freak +1 Savior +1 Superior -1 Mundane +1

    Potential: 0/5
    Doom Track: 0/5


    ”I should have known that bastard was behind this. But if he is powerful enough to do whatever this is to people, and lost enough of his mind to start acting like some sort of evil overlord...”

    A horrified look flickers across Angel’s face, as he realizes how far Santiago had gone and how far he himself could go. This attack is a message from the one person he is afraid of delivered by what clearly once were normal people. And more importantly, one of those people is heading towards him with something that could probably kill them both.

    Fear quickly turning to determination, Angel stares down the motorcycle roaring towards him and leaps towards it at equal speed.

    Jumping forward and into the air, Angel waits until he is right above the woman on the motorcycle and moves his hand in a superhumanly quick and precise movement. He grabs the back of the jacket and quickly pulls it off the woman, then throws it into the air as hard as he can.

    Landing in the middle of the other people, Angel raises his fists in case they attack. But his attention isn’t fully on them, he is looking up in the air where he threw the jacket and hoping it’s high enough that when the cell phone goes off no one will get hurt.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    My aim here is a Defend move, getting the jacket lined with what I assume is some kind of explosive up in the air so the woman wearing it and anyone else in this parking lot aren’t in danger. Even if this person isn’t a threat I’d have to roll against, I feel like the jacket would be considering what would happen to me and the person I am attempting to defend if it went off. It if it isn’t applicable I’m cool with that too tho.

    Defend [[ROLL]]2d6+1[[/ROLL]]
    Edit: that did did not roll

    This also could mark my doom track for overexerting myself. I’m trying to tear something off a hostile person while flying through the air, push my super-speed far enough to grab it in the brief second while I’m above her, and then use strength again and possibly some telekinesis to throw it into the air. I feel like that is quite a lot of powers used in the span of a few seconds.

    Also, excellent work on the mood of this scene, it feels very chaotic and also viscerally a bit wrong which I think was the intent.
    Last edited by Quagmire; 2021-02-24 at 01:07 AM.
    I go by They/Them pronouns, BTW.

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    Spoiler: Dice
    Show
    trying to roll a defend
    (2d6)[5]
    +1 savior would be 6, which still does not work. Which means things gonna get interesting.

    Last edited by Quagmire; 2021-02-24 at 01:07 AM.
    I go by They/Them pronouns, BTW.

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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    Cleo looked with horror at the fire-wielding man in front of her. She did not know what was happening exactly, but she supposed that just like she had a part of ancient Cleopatra within her, so this man could have a part of… something within him. And this something was vile, vicious and dangerous.

    It also was not playing fair, looking at how it attacked bystanders instead of her. It felt so wrong, at so many levels.

    - Do you wanna fight? Face me, do not hide behind hostages! - she shouted at him, and then started to entangle together words and magic of Ancient Atlantis in a way which had a chance to dispel whatever he had been doing. She was not exactly sure what it was, but she could take an educated guess at to the nature of his magic.

    She had to be quick, sure, and had not much room for making a mistake, but such were difficulties of superheroing. The best she could do was to take a honest shoot.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Directly engage a threat, desiring the option of "taking something from them" (hostages, in this context).
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    Skitter thinks. She thinks hard, weighing the consequences of the tent fire versus the more immediate threat. And she finds that, as she's thinking, she's not moving. She tries to break herself out of her though and just do something, anything! And does two things.

    First, she has her bugs stat making a nuisance of themselves. She has them fly into people's faces, wriggle on their bodies, and generally make themselves known-it won't stop or even probably slow down the goons, but it should wake up enough people to stop them from getting burned.
    Then, she starts to sprint towards the woman in more immediate danger. She has whatever bugs are nearby start biting at the goons, and thinks Come on-this is why you wear the mask. This is what you do.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Affirming my secret identity, changing Mundane to +0 and Savior to +3. Then Defending someone.

    (2d6+3)[6]
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    ANGEL
    Drawing on the strange and alien wellspring of power within her, Angel flies through the and manages to snag the woman's jacket and throw it into the air, high high high in the air. As she does, she feels that power source sink more deeply into her, into her spirit, her soul, her being.

    There is a moment of almost impossible stillness and then a massive dull THUD as the bomb explodes. There's a rush of air and a wave of heat, and night is lit for a single bright-flash-point moment. Angel sees the wide-eyed, stiff jawed face of the other two bikers. She sees a single thick line of saliva drip from one of their mouths.

    And then they too roar toward him at full speed. No weapons or bombs are evident.

    And then he hears the sound of metal creaking and bricks falling, and the top corner of the warehouse crumbles and collapses inward. And Angel knows there are people in there!

    At the same time, the woman who was wearing the jacket, when it's pulled from her, loses control of her bike and crashes to the pavement, still moving at an incredible speed. The bike skitters off in a hail of sparks and crashes into some crates to the side. And the woman rolls and rolls and rolls and comes to a bloody stop nearby. And also perilously close to the stampeding crowd.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    I think you're right that the bomb represented a real Threat. So the roll stands. Alas it's a Miss!


    SKITTER
    The general hubbub is split with cries of horror and fear as Skitter's tiny army go to work. The tents start to rattle shake as anyone still inside (hoping, maybe, to hide from the marauders?) empty into the already chaotic scene. The fleeing crowd is now twice as large and, as one, they form a river of humanity and start toward the warehouse door.

    The two goons' faces are quickly covered in biting, crawling insects. Most people, even people who don't mind bugs (even people who like bugs) are generally very unhappy to have them on their faces. These two don't react at all. As Skitter sprints over, she sees a large hornet crawl across the open eye of one of the goons and sting him on the forehead and he doesn't flinch at all.

    One of them reaches the woman and grabs her by the air and starts dragging her back ward. The woman struggles and cries and calls out for help.

    The other sees Skitter coming and stands up and smiles a wide, wide, wide insane smile. At least one cockroach flies into his mouth as he smiles. He says, quite clearly, seemingly to himself, "Master cares not if this one dies."

    He raises his knife and mimes moving it across his throat, and then rushes at her, still smiling.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    The goons aren't a Threat so you don't have to roll to deal with them. You can freeform it and more or less tell me what happens.


    CLEOPATRA AND MOTH
    With only the most intuitive understanding of she she's doing, she tries to counter his spell with her own. "HIDE?" he screams, laughing, "THIS IS NOT HIDING! THIS IS SHOWING YOU WHAT A WEAKLING YOU ARE!"

    He raises his other hand and the invisible weaves of magic all around them burst into thin threads of blue-white flame. The flames rush out from his fingers toward the necks of the hostages...

    Just as Cleopatra manages to sever them and the hostages fall to the ground, choking and gasping.

    However, the places where her magic touches his explode into balls of fire and her own weaves light and rush toward her, knocking her off her feet and onto the ground, the skin of her face and hands scorched and burned.

    Santiago screams a long strangled scream of rage. He raises both hands and rings of fire form around them.

    "YOU ARE NO HERO!" he screams, "YOU ARE THE SCOURGE OF AGES! YOUR POWER CAN ONLY DESTROY!"

    And then Moth wanders into Cleopatra's space.

    Santiago turns to them and smiles. "Master says this one lives," he says, and with a gesture one of the rings of fire streaks toward her.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Cleo, Mark a Condition from being all burned up.

    Also, Cleo, Santiago is trying to tell you who are and trying to move your Superior down and your Danger up. You can accept that, or roll to reject his influence.
    Adventures in the Borderlands [5E] - IC-Ch.0 / OC
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  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    Moth jogs over to CLEOPATRA, SCOURGE OF AG-*ahem*. Moth jogs over to Cleo, mentally reminding themselves to use that title next time Cleo ate more than her fair share of pizza. They look around as they do, noting the presence (or more accurately, lack of presence) of any other gangers than the one yelling about the SCOURGE OF AGES. Okay, neat, just one means he can be ignored.

    "Hey Cleo, is this a human puberty thing? I don't remember hitting any of this but I did have augs by then. Or maybe it's triggered by your sun?"

    Spoiler
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    To visualize this, Moth has their back to the ring of fire. I intend to post again in this cycle, which is why this one's short and has no actions in it.
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  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    Faintly visible underneath the costume, Skitter's throat moves as she gulps. She knows, or at least assumes, that given the circumstances, words won't matter. Pain won't matter. So she lunges forward, covering more distance than anyone unfamiliar with her would expect to be possible, and clocks the goon in the face. He's bigger than her, but she has a lot of speed behind her punch, and he goes down, if only for a moment. Skitter whirls to the other goon, jabbing him in the side and keeping their attention on her. The swarm opens, just a crack, in front of the old woman, giving her an obvious escape route.

    By now, the first goon is back on his feet-he starts slashing out with his knife, but Skitter leaps backwards. The insects that are covering them are still stinging, still biting, and she knows that, inured to pain or not, the human body can't take it forever without SOMETHING giving. She just really hopes that it's not something lethal. She vanishes behind a tent, luckily empty, which the goons simply slash and force their way through, but by the time they're on the other side, Skitter is behind them. She loops a wide circle of cord (another gift from Cleo-some kind of Atlantean fiber that's very light for how damn tough it is) around their necks, and pulls. Their heads clonk against each other, and they drop to the ground. As they struggle to stand, the bites and stings are finally enough. Whatever foul magic is keeping them from feeling anything isn't enough to keep them going, and though they wriggle angrily, they're ultimately impotent.

    Skitter waits a beat to make sure they're actually down, and then quickly ties their hands, before looking up for whatever danger is up next.
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    Cleo went on her knees, putting her hands to her burned face. She hoped it was not a very serious damage – it would turn out after the battle, when she would have the time to assess it – but it ached like hell.

    Also, she was very insecure. Her opponent seemed to use magic as well as she, maybe even better. He was obviously very skilled and strong, and at the same time Cleopatra still experimented with her powers and limits. Did she really have a chance in this battle?

    - I have no idea what you are talking about, Moth - she spoke truthfully. She was surprised that her pain didn’t show in her tone of voice. It was the middle of a fight and she hadn’t have time to explain it to Moth. Maybe later...

    Slowly standing, she looked through the tears in her eyes at the mage – I am a queen, not a monster – she said firmly. Then, she hold up her right arm. Her palm shone with the blue light as a bow made of pure magical energy appeared out of nowhere, just spreading from her hand as a plant growing at accelerated rate.

    Next, she put her left arm at the bow, and pulled towards herself, creating a magical arrow. Fighting pain and insecurity, she closed one of her eyes and aimed at her foe, letting the arrow go after a short time.

    Spoiler
    Show

    I take Insecure Condition.
    I try to Reject the Influence.
    I Directly engage a threat.
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  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    Spoiler: Angel
    Show
    Conditions:

    Current labels:
    Danger +1 Freak +1 Savior +1 Superior -1 Mundane +1

    Potential: 1/5
    Doom Track: 1/5


    Angel doesn’t have time to think or breathe, too many people are in danger at once. As the two people on bikes rush at him, he holds out his hands and grabs the front of each of the motorcycles, forcing them to a halt with the riders being thrown off. With a shouted “Stop!” to keep the crowd away from the injured people, he leaps towards the warehouse.

    Angel lands on the broken corner of the warehouse wall and grabs onto a support beam with both hands. The walls near him stop crumbling, as his telekinesis pushes falling bricks back into place. Angel knows that he blocked the only exit to the warehouse, so the people inside have no way of getting out if it collapses. So he lifts the support beam he is holding up, and tries to prop it against an intact section of the wall. It might not be a permanent solution, but if it works it would at least keep the warehouse from collapsing for now.

    Spoiler
    Show
    This might qualify as Defend (to keep the people in the warehouse safe) or Unleash (reshaping the environment with strength/telekinesis powers) if stopping the warehouse from collapsing on people is worth a roll. Either way my bonus is +1 so here goes... (2d6+1)[7]

    Not bad. If that’s an Unleash I’ll mark a condition. If it’s a Defend I’ll expose myself to danger and add a team to the pool.
    Last edited by Quagmire; 2021-03-01 at 12:03 PM.
    I go by They/Them pronouns, BTW.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    Moth rounds the last person blocking their sight, and a lot of things happen at once.

    There's a lot of burns on Cleo. Moth might have trouble with what's normal for humans, but they've seen their fair share of burns. Spaceships have accidents: ancient ones that are held together with duct tape and gumption more so. So something happened, and it was bad, and it happened to somebody who's got some serious mojo.

    (Moth doesn't exactly believe in magic. Moth does, however, believe in power, and clearly Cleo has something going on. If she's being supersticious and calling it magic, fine by them. And hey, Moth might be wrong, not exactly like they're an expert here. They can eat crow if needed.)

    Second, Cleo gets back up and fires back. So whoever did this, still around and kicking. Not great, but Cleo at least can probably handle this?

    Third, Moth gets an evasive warning tone, and reacts, leaping up into a low gravity loop in the air that's anything but graceful, but gets her out of the oncoming wheel of flame's path that her ultraprocessor had picked up in the reflection off people's eyes. They're up drifting through a parabola at approximately a sixth of the normal gravity of the planet itself, which importantly has them in a good spot to actually get a look at this whole thing and see what's going on.

    Spoiler
    Show
    It is a poor idea, in my experience, to do multiple directly engages in one post cycle on the same target. Gets messy. So, Moth is looking to access here.

    (2d6+2)[9]

    Edit: Okay, I have " Sharpened Eyes: When you roll to assess the situation, you may always ask one of the following, even on a miss:
    What's my best way out/way in/way past?
    What's here that'd be handy to grab?
    Who here is susceptible to my words?"

    I'm personally interpreting that as "ask one of these in addition to any questions from the base Access move". If that's the case, I want to ask "How can we end this quickly" and "What's here that'd be handy to grab?". If I only get one question still on a 7-9 and those are just added options, I just want to ask "What's here that'd be handy to grab?".
    Last edited by Eldest; 2021-03-01 at 08:05 PM.
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  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    SKITTER
    Skitter looks up from her hogtie job (and not a bad job, if she says so herself, it's not exactly the kind of thing they teach in gym class) to see the middle-aged woman standing in a small clear semi-circle, staring open-mouthed at the swarms of bugs all around her. She looks at them, and then up at Skitter, her face filled with horror.

    "Dani," she says, "Oh my stars, little Dani, look what they've done to you. I didn't think they'd really do it. Oh, I'm sorry dear, but I can't let them find me." She looks like she's about to run off into the chaos.

    And Skitter hears the sounds of crashing bricks and steel and the cries of more danger. She sees Angel straining to keep the roof of the warehouse from collapsing inward.

    And lurching up behind her is a goon with a chain held in both hands, like a garotte.

    ANGEL
    Angel stops the two bikers and then, using all of her strength, she manages to hold the wall of the warehouse in place. She hears some cries from inside, and a lot of running feet, but nothing that indicates anyone was killed or seriously injured.

    The wall is large, and heavy, and complicated. It isn't so much the weight as it is the all the little pieces that need to be manipulated all at once. It's taking everything she has to keep it in place.

    And then, inside her head, she sees a solution, like an animation of a puzzle being put together, she sees how maybe she could dig a little deeper and set this to right once and for all. See the power of the old ones, whispers a voice. You were meant for more than this.

    And she senses someone coming up behind her. She can hear the ragged breathing. The awkward shuffle steps.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    We'll take that as a Defend. The pool now has 2 Team and you are exposed to danger!

    The voice is trying to shift your Freak up and your Savior down. Accept or reject their Influence. If you accept, you may fix the wall permanently and then act normally.


    MOTH
    From their vantage point (both physical and mental) it all seems pretty simple to Moth. This is all chaos. Just craziness. Just people trying to cause as much trouble as they can in as little time. But if there was one thing they knew, it was that people almost never just did that. Well, sometimes people did, but groups of people? Under command of someone with an ounce of sense?

    Not so much.

    It was clear to Moth that the only parts of this with any direction are: whatever beef the flame guy had with Cleopatra and the two mooks over by the door trying to grab up that woman. It looked like Skitter had that well in hand. But if two mooks tried it once, it was a decent chance three more would try again.

    Best as they could tell: get the woman to safety, or the flame guy out of here, and the rest of this just fizzles out.

    And while they were looking around, they spotted, in the wreckage of a tent, what looks like someone's doomsday prep stuff. Jug of water. First aid kit. Caution tape. Flare gun. Bullhorn. Small generator. Can of compressed air. Tools. Bunch of other stuff.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    The way you read it is always the way I've read is as well.
    Last edited by truemane; 2021-03-03 at 08:35 PM.
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  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    Spoiler: Angel
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    Conditions:

    Current labels:
    Danger +1 Freak +2 Savior +0 Superior -1 Mundane +1

    Potential: 1/5
    Doom Track: 2/5


    Angel lets the whispered advice in the back of his mind direct him, letting more of its power seep into his body as he maneuvers the wall according to the designs in his head.. When the wall is secure, he replies to the voice. “You’re right, I don’t have this power just to clean up this mess.” He doesn’t even turn around to face whatever he hears behind him. Instead he reaches a hand out and his telekinesis starts to tear at space itself, ripping through the air in front of him and creating an opening.

    “I asked for power so that I could take someone down before he could hurt anyone else that I care about. Looks like that man isn’t done trying to hurt people, so take me to Santiago.” Angel steps through the tear and closes his eyes, letting the presence that he feels guide him towards the name he spoke.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Accepting the influence, labels have been shifted. Also gonna try to get to Santiago with Portal. Your choice whether using this is enough to get away from whatever the thing behind me is, or whether the portal is gonna be open long enough for whatever it is to follow. I think leaving it in the warehouse or having it come with me could both be interesting :)

    Portal: Mark your doom track to appear in a scene with anyone you want.
    I go by They/Them pronouns, BTW.

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: [Masks-IC] Hard Times in Halcyon City: Chapter 1

    Skitter doesn't stop-she's been in enough scrapes to avoid THAT mistake. She knows she has to find the woman-her identity is at stake. The woman knows more than she should-and that means she's important.

    Dani knows what she has to do. But she can't find it in herself to do it-she doesn't know if she has the mental fortitude to face the situation, whatever it ends up being.

    She sprints away, barely noticing the goon as she leaves him in the dust, and heads for Angel's looming catastrophe. She feels better with her friends by her side. As she reaches Angel, she casts her gaze out to see if anyone's in immediate danger should the ceiling give way-that'll be her first priority, getting anyone there to safety.
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