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About Sophistemon

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  1. A metallic sphere, only slightly larger than a softball, hovers in midair. It defies the wind of the storm, its swiveling back and forth noticeable only for the movement of the recessed camera lenses embedded in its chassis and the glowing red emitter that had launched the beam in Warne's direction. Adepts gets the distinct, creeping feeling that the sphere was thinking as its gaze darted between Meryl's care and himself -- as thought it was weighing its options. Finally, the sphere made its choice and, launching itself upwards, fired another bolt of energy at the psionic super-agent. =-=-=-= "No," Upgrade boomed. He shook the Pangolin again, again, again, so that the cyborg's head whipped back and forth from the shaking like that of a child's doll. "Tell me!" he shouted, in an augmented voice that could shatter windows and drive dogs deaf. "Who's after my family? Tell me! Spit it out!" But the Pangolin remained silent, either reticent, unconscious, or rendered unable to speak by whatever mysterious handlers had equipped him with his deadly enhancements. But then, someone did speak, and the voice emerged from Pangolin's sparking speakers, it was not the Pangolin that spoke. "Ethan Stone, Upgrade. Before you die, I just want you to know that while this is business... it's also personal. Merry Christmas -- there'll be no happy New Year." The cyborg's chest began to emit a high-pitched, climbing whine that increased in potency with every passing second. Thinking quickly, Ethan kicked the thrusters and began to spin the AMP like a top, around and around, faster and faster while the whine climbed to a climactic crescendo. Finally, after reaching maximum speed he released the AMP's grip on the Pangolin and threw him, spinning like a spread-eagle Frisbee, out to sea. Seconds passed. Pangolin rose, rose, rose -- then fell. Moments before the cyborg struck the water there was a tremendous flash and then a distantly roaring shockwave. Disgusted, Ethan turned the AMP around and heading back inland, to his friend and family.
  2. Attack Roll (plasma beam; DC22): 1d20+12 24.
  3. Even here, in the depths of a foreign mind, Steiner's jealousy could find him and throb dully behind his eyes. The way Warne walked, armed with only a light to guide the way while his companions carried guns, made the magician's teeth itch. He thought about his wand and the love and hate he felt for it. Love for the control it gave him over his own incredible powers, hate for the need he had for it. And that twisting, snake-like desire to be holding it, damn the potential consequences. In prison they'd taken his wand and quashed his power -- made him mortal and mundane. He felt imprisoned here and hungered for a chance to escape. But first, he had to find Baku and take care of the mess he'd made. Still, perhaps the inability to use his wand didn't mean he had to remain entirely powerless. At the very least, he might be able to scavenge something from Warne's mental landscape with which to defend himself from the hunting Id. He glanced around, moving to keep in step with Warne and his crew, and searched for something to swing with.
  4. @Heritage The two women searched the room for any evidence of clandestine surveillance, but when Lynn picked up and inspected the underside of the bedside lamp, they discovered that someone else has beat them to it. The base of the lamp had suffered the indignity of modification and then, subsequently, mutilation. There was an indentation there, a hole drilled into the metal with the torn remnants of rubber sealant around the rim. Hanging from the hole was a solitary cable, stripped to the wire and rudely severed. It may have, at some point in the recent past, connected to a microphone. Now, whoever had been spying on the room was -- at least insofar as this was concerned -- deaf. Any further searching of the room revealed nothing. The spying seemed to have begun, and ended, with the microphone beneath the lamp. @Blarghy The boy took the bill, stared at it brightly, and then hesitated. /"You won't need it?"// he asked, but Warne's look confirmed the gift was genuine. /"Thank you!"// he crowed, and then fished around in his pocket for a trinket, which he pressed into Warne's hand. It was a length of rope, woven together out of threads of yarn in Val Verde's national colors. It looked just long enough to be tied around the wrist. /"Welcome to Val Verde,"// said the boy, turning to leave. /"God keep you, sir."// Not long after that, Agent Warne arrived at La Rosa Dorada, one of the island's premier eateries. He tipped his driver, who drove off smiling to have a pocketful of currency, and entered the building. The lights were dim, and the low murmur of conversation was interrupted periodically by the clinking of glasses and the clacking of tableware. La Rosa was the kind of restaurant where the servers wore tuxedo shirts and bow-ties, shined their shoes and smiled brightly enough that their teeth reflected the chandeliers. Warne felt somewhat out of place, but grit his teeth and waited to be noticed. Eventually, he was. A woman, eyes shadowed and lips painted a scalding red, approached him. In bubbly Spanish she said "/Welcome to the Golden Rose! Are you here with anyone, or will you be dining alone tonight?//"
  5. Lilly nodded, sniffling, and gathered her things. "I know," she said. "I just wish he didn't have to." Once they were loaded into the car and on the road, Warne flying above to keep them safe from the storm, the agent almost felt himself relax. His partner, Stone, could take care of himself. The Upgrade suit looked to have received some improvements since its previous battle, and the Pangolin was on his last legs, practically comatose. So, Adept felt a laurel of peace settle over his brow, an unexpected calm. It was Christmas and, despite the loss of a home and some no-doubt overpriced presents, things had worked out in the end. That was, of course, until a beam of superheated plasma lanced out of the night and sliced through the air beside him. =-=-=-= Ethan had enough. "Who?" he demanded, and gave Pangolin a shake. "Who? Who has it out for me, for Warne, for AEGIS? Who are we up against?" But Pangolin only laughed, his wheezing breath escaping from damaged respirators. "Too late," he said. "It's too late. They've triggered the countdown."
  6. Yelping, panic nearly taking over, Presto releases his grip on the ladder and drops several rungs before taking hold of the vertical rails and sliding the rest of the way down. Disturbingly, the slickness of Warne's blood on his hands made the trip easier, though it did leave his pristine white gloves stained a muddy red. How he missed his magic, the power it afforded him, the ability to fly and defend himself. If he could only cast a spell and teleport to where he wanted to go... but no, that would alert Warne's mental defenses and he'd have a war on his hands he couldn't hope to win despite his power. Even at his peak, when his name was whispered reverently among the criminal elite*, Samuel Steiner had never been so foolhardy as to pick a fight when the odds were against him. So, he dropped, hands slipping down the ladder, away from the amorphous and ravenous creature above him, the Id, the monster at the center of the man. *These thoughts may be influenced by an inflated sense of self-importance.
  7. I can relate to that. Two Search rolls, one per character, should be enough.
  8. I apologize for the delay. I've been busier in these last few weeks than I ever was back in college proper.
  9. As Miracle Girl lifted the two women up into the air, the younger shook her head at Warne's question. "No," stated Gabby. "No, I don't think so. He looks like a cheap knock-off of some other movie villain, and my dad was more original than that. Everything my dad made was special, unique. He put himself into the work." And then, with a whoosh of collapsing vacuum, they were gone. Rhekgar looked up, watching the three women fly away, his stony face betraying nothing. Finally, he looked back down and his steely eyes pierced into Sea Devil. "You wear heretech," he stated. "Your armor, can it sense things? Can it sense my truncheon? There are men that need breaking and I am not at my mightiest without it." Dirk laughed at that. "The caveman wants his club," he chortled. Then, turning to Warne, he winked. "You and I can agree -- all a man needs in a fight are his wits."
  10. The savagery on display turns Steiner's stomach, and his averts his gaze from Warne's gleeful use of his mind's more destructive potential. That man's hand would never function properly again, and based on what Samuel knew of Warne it was likely the agent would never forgive himself for what he'd been forced by Berns' strange power to do. The explosion shocked him back to reality. He wanted to stay, to help, but was able to remind himself that what he was seeing had already happened. Warne survived, likely scarred but alive, and there was nothing Presto could do to change the past. Then he saw the hole, and the subconsciously conjured ladder leading down. Unfortunately, it was being guarded by the liquid-black monster. Convenient and inconvenient, respectively. "Can't risk running for it," the magician grumbled to himself. "Have to distract it somehow." Being able to use his magic would make this a much simpler thing, but of course that would bring Warne's other mental defenses down on him like a ton of bricks, defeating the purpose. Thinking quickly, the former criminal cast his eyes around for something to pick up and throw to the other side of the room. Hopefully the creature would go chasing after it, allowing Steiner enough time to make a break for the ladder.
  11. Game Master: Heavy Metal Christmas. (Please allocate points to Upgrade) Lights, Camera, Action! (Please allocate points to Punchline) Viva Val Verde! (Please allocate points to Presto the Preposterous) Presto the Preposterous: Psichology.
  12. @Blarghy The boy nodded and motioned for Warne to follow after him as he jogged towards the building. "/Perez hanged people,//" he said. "/My cousin Ruiz went to a protest once, to complain about the price of bread and toilet paper. The police came and arrested everyone, and we never saw Ruiz again. The government sent my uncle and aunt a letter letting them know where he was buried.//" He opened the doors to the museum and pulled Warne inside. It was a large building, and brightly lit. The exhibits in the main hall seemed to focus on Val Verde's founding, and there was a scale model of the original ship that carried the Spanish missionaries to the island. Other displays showed the missionaries interacting with the natives, the construction of the mission, the original disagreement, and then finally the battle of Puerto Rojo. Native art and artifacts lined the walls, covered in glass cases, and people milled about, chatting aimlessly as they browsed. @Heritage The servant looked at Lynn's hand on her arm -- the color of their skins clashed in a pleasing way -- and smiled. "/I am Camila,//" she said. "/Please, follow me and I will draw you a bath. You both must be very tired; it is a long way to Val Verde from Freedom City.//" She led the two women down another hallway, and up a short flight of stairs to the visitor's suites. The room she showed them was, as Samuel had promised, exceptional. It appeared that despite having stripped much of the opulence from the rest of the palace, Gallo had recognized the importance of pampering his guests and had left the suites alone. "/This can be your room, miss,//" she told Lynn. Then she looked at Gretchen and indicated the room next door. "/And that can be yours. We have no other visitors, so please feel free to make yourselves comfortable. Shall I draw you each a bath while you relax?//"
  13. Gabby nods, but her mother Shondra shakes her head vigorously from side to side so that the beaded braids clack together like clucking tongues. "No!" she blurts. "Not without my baby! Jason's out there alone with that madman and if you think I'm going to leave when he's in trouble you're out of your mind!" Gabby huffed air through her nose and placed a hand on her mother's shoulder. The muscles beneath the older woman's skin are tensed and trembling; she's like a wire ready to snap. "Mom," Gabby says. "Look at them, mom." She directed her mother's gaze to the assemblage -- a blonde young woman that practically radiated power, a grimly noble (or nobly grim) man in a dark suit whose smoldering eyes burned with a promise of justice, and an armored amphibian whose bizarre physiology was less terrifying than it could have been due to the look of concern she was giving them. And that wasn't counting the three others -- the enormously muscled barbarian, the dapper spy, and the clown. The clown gave Shondra pause but his glowing yellow eyes were soft, his brow was furrowed, and his mouth wasn't twisted into any unnatural expression. So far as clowns went, maybe this one was all right? "Let them handle it, mom," Gabby continued. "Whatever this is, they can fix it. Dirk and Rhekgar have fought off entire armies on their own; they can handle one armored weirdo." The barbarian nodded his craggy-featured head, but the spy spoke up. "Too right," he said. "Don't you worry a whit, darling; we'll have your son back to you right as rain." Shondra sighed, then nodded. "Okay," she said at last. "Okay, we'll go. Thank you." Gabby released her mother's shoulder and turned to face Warne. "My brother's a genius," she said. "Like, mom and I are pretty smart and my dad was a whiz with effects, but Jason's a certified egghead." Her eyes saddened. "When dad died, he kind of lost it. Started skipping meals, classes... showers. Spent all of his time tinkering in his apartment until we found out he wasn't paying his rent and had to move back here with mom. Then, when we learned they were working on remakes of some of dad's movies -- without practical effects -- he went off the deep end. Those movies are my dad's legacy, you know? They're what he's left behind and I guess Jason thought they were trying to replace his work, ignore his contribution to what made the movies good in the first place. I mean, it wasn't the acting. He started talking about... man, I don't know. Something metaphysical something ontology something pantheistic solipsism. It's beyond me, but the gist was that he wanted to make fictional things... not fictional anymore." She looks at Rhekgar, and shrugged. "It looks like he got it to work."
  14. The car (which I hadn't considered before now) is parked in the driveway. Good thinking!
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