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Zeitgeist Blue

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Freedom City PBP: A How-To Guide

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  1. Nicole One of her eyes twitched as Corinne met her with nothing but silence. She maneuvered her chair to better face the other girl and Nicole scowled, willing her to look back and acknowledge that someone was talking to her. And no, Corinne's murmurs only counted to piss Nicole off some more. Finally and with a very long sigh, Nicole gave up. This whole bull**** didn't matter and it was obvious there was no getting a rise out of Corinne. "Whatever, not like doing this will get me the valedictorian. Can't even break above the As if there're no letters above them." So she moved to the window, as far from as she could within the confines of the room. Blinds hid the school grounds from Marquez's view but Nicole rolled them a smudge open, peeking out as if she would see the graduation if she tried hard enough. "Of course you don't care. You don't care enough to even talk to me so why should you care about any of this." Lazily, she spun a hand in the air. Her voice was calmer but all the more judgemental because of it. "Corinne, the dancer. Corinne, going to Juliard. In a few months' time Claremont will be nothing but a bad dream. I really do wish I could be as grateful as you."
  2. Nicole "I guess it wasn't that bad if nobody got hurt," Nicole said, turning to her friend. "Or died." She sighed then turned her attention to the waiting assembly. A thought niggled at the back of her mind, waiting for an answer, and she raised her hand for all to see, her eyes on Ambassador Ortilac. "Besides the obvious benefits of intergrating a new system state into your galactic-wide organization, what does the Coalition hope to gain from the Lia civilization? I imagine there was something about the Lia state which had caught the eye of the Coalition heads and allowed it to pass the prerequisite conditions so it could be accepted." Her question seemed to end there but after a moment's pause she spoke up again, voice cutting through the room. "And why hasn't there been an offer been extended Terra considering its proliferation of extra-normal citizens, which could allow it to offer the Coalition both military and scientific contributions disproportionate to its size? Given the record of past Praetorian and Terran superhuman operations wouldn't a more extensive cooperation be in both parties' best interests?
  3. Nicole "If you're so determined to miss all of this, why don't you try another go at it?" Nicole said blithely, barely looking at the other dimensional prince. "Maybe if you annoy Chawla enough he'll let you go just to keep you quiet." Nicole crossed her arms and faced away from Leroy. She had resolved not to spend her last Claremont field trip herding cats like the Sun Dragon as there were much more fascinating going-ons than his failed bathroom break. Being in space was one thing. Space! And not merely within the Sol system but lightyears farther than she'd actually ever imagined travelling. She had thought herself an Earth-bound girl but the opportunity to witness the diplomatic union had come and she couldn't pass the chance up. One last field trip. So many aliens, and technology, and culture, and worlds all together to witness the Lia sign, just like four Claremont students aboard the A Grace in Steel. She was lucky the rest of her soon-to-be former schoolmates were not as determined to kick themselves out. Then Sitara the Traveller appeared beside them, whispering into Leroy's ear. "You're the Praetorian," Nicole interrupted, her universal translator working to convert English to Gal Standard. She was now only half-listening to the ambassadorial proceedings. "Sitara the Traveller. Why're you--." Her lips pressed together before she could throw a barrage of questions. Slowly, she extended her hand. "Hi, I'm Nicole Whitfield-Hall and this klutz is Leroy Ransom-Conte." With her free hand, she lightly slapped the prince's shoulder. "And he's so sorry for breaking your ship, right Leroy?"
  4. Nicole "Thanks. Those are exactly my thoughts. Don't think he'd understand or even try to but whatever, that's his problem." Nicole took one last glance back at Guy as she followed Rita out the room. She tried to push the problem scientist from her mind but his points and Rita's quiet acknowledgement captured a string of thought, unraveling it. "And the rest of your team," she asked, careful in breaching the subject. "Do they feel the same way too? That you aren't making progress, dragging your heels because of some dead test animals?" That would have been a problem, instead of just a lone opinion. She'd have to ask the rest of Rita's team what they thought when she got the chance. As odd as it would sound for some, she understood that science without scientists was not possible. The people on the ground were any endeavor's greatest resource but if they weren't motivated, bitter and angsty...
  5. I am up for this with Salvo. Last Claremont Summer alongside Gauss!
  6. Matthias Cooke Wing, Claremont Academy Bayview, Freedom City, New Jersey Thursday, June 20, 2019 12:18:54 PM "... And to my fellow graduates, my most heartfelt gratitude and my congratulations." Applause rippled through the crowd as the Mae Sweet, the valedictorian, stepped down from the podium and then the stage. The sun shone down, bright but not overbearing as rolling clouds softened the afternoon sky. No chance of spring rain today, graduates of the Batch 2019 sat in orderly rows in Claremont Academy's athletic field. They were comfortable in their togas and their mortarboard hats in place, attention rapt from the valedictorian speech. Behind the mass of graduating students sat their parents and families. On one side of the graduation field, Claremont's teaching staff watched the proceedings and across from the students, on the stage, sat the senior staff. Ms. Summers held the position of honor as school principal and she stood as the applause subsided Nicole shut the television off as Summers stepped behind the podium to introduce the guest speaker. Her fingers held the remote in the vice grip as she glowered at the blank television screen. They were alone inside Gabriel Marquez's office, the Head Counselor's office and besides some half-eaten food and barely touched drink it would have seemed that nothing else had been touched, so intent on watching the proceedings as the two students had been. Marquez had been there too. Now neither were present. Nicole saw Corinne's reflection on the screen and without turning to face the other woman, Nicole spoke to her through gritted teeth. "That was supposed to be my graduation." She spoke every word as if they scraped her tongue raw. "But I guess it isn't anymore, huh? I guess this is the last laugh after all these years. Is that the reason you had to make me wreck half the school?" An exaggeration, though Nicole was not in the mood to argue semantics. Still, the dislike between her and Corinne's other half was known through the school, both by teachers and students alike, but rarely did it go past barbed words and one-upmanships. Not until yesterday evening that is, when words turned to blows and a heated rivalry into an all-out brawl between two very powerful and very dangerous teenagers. A testament to the mistakes schools could make, even private ones, to let something fester for so long unattended. Yet here they were again. Unattended. Alone. One could only hope Marquez knew what the hell he was doing.
  7. Nicole It was dark in the room save the red light from the alarms and Nicole sat alone in that room, a table set in front of her. Her laptop sat there, facing her. The klaxons blared throughout the Mojave Installation but it was almost silent where Nicole sat save for the low clicking and beeping from the various machines that filled the room. Nicole had commissioned them from the Installation and Vegas had obliged her. Wires and cords and capacitors ran all across the floor, weaving around until they converged into one and entered Nicole's laptop. Another cable snaked from her laptop to strap around the Horologium. With mundane technology and a little bit of ritual magic she had connected the entire installation to the Horologium. A contest of will between two inanimate objects. In a way, it was exciting to see what would happen. As the seconds ticked by the red light flickered, each time turning the room pitch black. She had most everything she needed save for one whose presence was most valuable, yet even as the battle above continued she waited patiently in her wheelchair. Then with an unseen cue Nicole took a tarot deck from her side and drew a card, sliding it facedown on the table. The lights failed again, sending the room in an all-consuming darkness, and when they powered back Bellios loomed across the table from Nicole. Its visor, mirror-shined to perfection, was impassive as it regarded her, but when Nicole flipped her drawn card, she could see her grin's reflection turn bloody, red from the alarm's light. "The Tower. Quite apropos given the circumstances, wouldn't you say?" She pocketed the remaining cards and raised her hands to her face as her sight left her but Nicole did not fret. She remembered where everything was. Only Bellios' visor glowed a dark red. "Now, let's begin."
  8. Action: Jury-Rigging. 1 HP spent. Comprehend 3 (Horologium; Extras: Linked [Damage]; Flaw: Limited [To Nicole's Laptop], Unreliable) 1PP + Damage 15 (Extras: Linked [Damage], No Saving Throw [+2]; Flaws: Action [1 minute]), Distracting, Limited [Object Connected to Nicole's Laptop], Range [Touch], Uncontrolled); Drawbacks: Full Power, Lethal Only, Noticeable) 0PP* Knowledge (Arcane Lore): 1d20+15 = 34 *Damage PP cost is calculated as 1PP:5 Ranks from Flaws, then 3PP subtracted from Drawbacks for 15 ranks of Damage at 0PP.
  9. Salvo = 5 posts = 5 posts = 1PP Happiness in Slavery (2) The Tale of Two Trees (1) Sky-Pirates (1) Stellar School (1)
  10. Nicole The pressure mounted and her eyes narrowed. "I don't need to justify myself to you." Her teeth grit together as she looked up at Guy. He was a bully but she's had her fair share of experience with bullies and he was not capable of a fraction of the things they could do. "If you have a problem call Freedom City. Maybe they'd even go along with your request but in the meantime I'm here to write my report and my recommendations so I can do my job instead of ranting like a lunatic." With a sigh, her voice softened and she turned to Rita. "And that means letting me see everything you have, even if you think it's not a sight for the faint-hearted."
  11. Nicole Nicole's brows furrowed through Rita's explanation of why it was a bad idea to look at the unlucky mice, and her brows continued to furrow as Rita was interrupted by Guy. Tall and imposing, Nicole could only scowl as the two scientists opened up about their disagreement. Rita would not know about Nicole's work as Salvo and while Freedom City did not harbor the worst of humanity there were still images and events that she wished she could scrub off her mind and forget the exact, messed-up details of. Neither of them were right, she knew, but while she could not tell just why Rita was wrong Guy's grievance was easier to address. "Then maybe he'd be change his mind if I were to back up your assessment," Nicole said to Rita at first but she raised her voice so that Guy could hear. "Let me see them, Rita. I can take it and maybe my report would be taken into consideration. Maybe a third-party observer is what's needed here."
  12. Nicole The implied fate of the unlucky mice was enough to blow the wind from Nicole's sails. She winced, imagining all that could happen when a brainful of nanomachines didn't just quite mesh with your brain right. She'd seen a few disturbing things as Salvo, mostly here in Emerald City, and she could have spiraled down from there if it wasn't for the breathing techniques she had learned from her therapist. She turned her head away from Rita to hide the look on her face, and after a while she looked back at the doctor. "Then I can understand the need for all this testing. We've got to identify and fix whatever caused the procedure to go wrong." She rubbed the nape of her neck in thought, brows furrowed. "I'm not going to like this but I should look at what happened to the... unlucky mice. Records or-- or the samples, whatever's left."
  13. Nicole "The lucky ones." Nicole mimicked, putting Jerry back in its cage where the mouse scurried away to munch on its food. She stared hard at Rita. "You make it sound so ominous for the ones who weren't lucky." Then she chuckled, dispelling the fake tension, and turned on her seat to look at the group of large containers at the end of the room. The wheels of her wheelchair started as she pushed the joystick forward. She was intent in her goal, in learning where each piece of equipment or mouse fell into the puzzle, that her mind discarded many things that were unimportant to her goal. The world might as well have been just her, Rita, and where she put her mind into now. "And this looks like the pièce de résistance." She peered closer, trying to get a good look inside. "Big and demanding attention like the centerpiece of an art gallery. Are the nanomachines stored in here?"
  14. Nicole "Awww. He's so cute! And smart!" Nicole couldn't help but coo as the mouse handled the screwdriver and when it was done, she reached out and stroked its fur. The mouse warmed up to her and she gently took it in one hand while the other continued to stroke it. "Increased cognitive functions." Nicole shook her head as if trying to take process the further implications. Her eyes were wide as she looked up to Rita. "A side-effect of your treatment or was it intended from the start? This is starting to sound more and more like the holy grail of medicine." Jerry still snuggled between her hands, Nicole raised the mouse to eye level. "You'd be a super mouse if this was just a fluke but this isn't, is it? Maybe one day this treatment would be found from the Saharan to Freedom City."
  15. Knowledge (Arcane Lore): 1d20+15 = 33 Knowledge (Technology): 1d20+15 = 15 Once again Nicole kills it with these rolls.
  16. "I need everything you have here and get me as much as you can from here and this one is for the things that would be nice to have but aren't essential." Nicole showed Vegas the three lists she had typed on her phone, swapping to the next list as soon as Vegas was done taking note. Then when she was done giving him everything she asked him for the nearest empty room and told him to bring all the items there. There was no manic grin on her face as she drove away, only the problem set before her. The room was indeed empty and she drove inside to wait for her components. This far inside the facility and Nicole could hear nor feel anything of the fight commencing. Only the klaxxons and the red warning lights indicated that things were turning pear-shaped. There was no safety, even if Corinne's alter-ego conjured a protective sphere around the whole facility. It was inevitable and she used that to keep from slacking off. Pan had said the Horologium was of his world, where science and magic meshed together so naturally as to be one and the same. It was not so in this world but Nicole had ways of circumventing that divide, blurring the lines. But she would need to do so quickly, before the pirates came. She would ready her denial. The Horologium shall not be their's, even if she did not know what was inside, because she knew how these things worked. She knew enough from experience and from Pan's stories not to underestimate the capacity for malice and destruction of people like the pirates. Now all she needed to do was wait for her components.
  17. The tour had just gotten exponentially more exciting for Nicole and her excitement showed. "Amazing." One word but her face lit up then and there. She mimicked Rita and pressed a finger to the glass, a mouse running up to sniff at it before going on its merry way. "Really, amazing. I never knew. I mean, I knew what about, had my suspicions but I never knew you were this close to it." There was a pause as she considered the news. Animal testing was a whole different ballgame than theoretical research, and from mice it was several steps until the doctor's nanomachines could be tested on human subjects. "I can imagine what could happen once you pass the hurdle of this phase, how much work still needs to be done even then." She turned to look at Rita but her eyes flitted to the tiny tools on the table and she gestured to them. "The implements of the trade? No, too big for the nano-scales we would be talking about. The tools to create the tools to create the tools? What are they for?" She drove her wheelchair forward, leaving the mice behind.
  18. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the end of the thread! I hope I made it fun and worthwhile time for you guys. If you have any thoughts or criticisms on my GMing feel free to tell me anywhere - here or on Discord. And now I bow out.
  19. Salvo Dr. Charles Claremont Building, Claremont Academy Bayview, Freedom City, New Jersey Tuesday, November 6, 2018 3:45:13 AM "It's right here, Liz. Come on, follow my voice." You all hear it, distant as if coming from the other end of a long tunnel. It is Nicole, you realize, and her voice gets louder and louder until she seems to be near you. "Can you hear me? Blink twice if you can." You come to in the infirmary, lights dim but for a lamp on a table by the corner of the room. A laptop sits open with its screen emitting its own faint light. It is dark outside and quiet, no sounds of student activity coming from the grounds or the halls past the confines of the infirmary. The three of you are laid out across cots and Nicole is beside Liz. The infirmary is empty but for the four of you, not even the nurse, Aretha Joy, to witness you coming back. When you move, you feel the aches and bruises that you had come upon in your trek. Skin sunburnt and your limbs tired from fighting, but you are alive and well at least. "You came through." Nicole removes the hand and flashlight she had placed over Liz's eye, satisfied that the illusionist is alright. She blinks heavily before she leans back in her wheelchair, her shoulders almost sagging with relief. For a few seconds she stays like that, just staring at the three of you, then she sneezes into her sleeve and that seems to jolt her into action. She moved to Veronica and wraps her hands around her armor's helmet, still gripped between Veronica's hands. It sparks, crackling against skin, but she pushes past it and pries it away. Only then does Nicole back out, cradling the helmet as if it were her baby to be cooed to sleep.. "I told them you'd come through, you know. Summers is pissed." Her voice is low, quivering, as she addresses you. "But everything's alright, it's alright. You're awake and you aren't stuck." "And Bellios is back to his usual Self." She points at the laptop, where data streams cross the screen in the dozens. There's a smile on her face. She moves closer, taking a deep breathe, and she nods as if coming to a decision. "But I'm going to call Nurse Joy. She needs to know everyone's awake and fine." Her hand finds her phone and she holds it but before she begins the call she looks up and her eyes roam across the three of you in your beds. "Thank you, by the way." Then she hits call.
  20. "Hi, I'm Nicole, the intern from ArcheTech HQ and I'll be something like an observer for the weekend." She gave a wave and a smile to the scientists before she and Rita moved across the room. She noticed the equipment but her eyes were largely focused on the large containers at the far end. It was instinct to think the largest objects would hold the most importance inside the room and moreover they the containers were the most distinctive things here too. Still, she made sure to look over the equipment scattered around. They could tell a story about what and how Rita's team was doing, if one knew what to look for. Screens and 3D printers for simulations, turned off for now but she was sure to see them running soon. She stopped by the mice cage and peered at the lab mice. It seemed like they were around the animal testing phase. "Have you started testing the nanomachines on these little guys?" She asked Rita, tapping on the cage and that cause some of the mice to turn their heads at her. "What were the results like?"
  21. Salvo "Those are really noble goals," Nicole said, slowly as if she were still digesting what Doctor Lang had said. Though she feared it was too big, too fast of a development for one breakthrough to affect, no matter how bleeding-edge. There would be a catch, either the applications would prove humbler or the cost would be prohibitively expensive. But unlike many situations where she would have easily expressed her doubt, she kept her thoughts to herself here. Science was the study of miracles, with the capacity to uplift the human condition, and if she did not believe that then she had nothing. A world without disease or lasting pain. If the Doctor's nanomachines could bring them one step closer to that state then, revolution or not, her and her research would be lauded. Doctor Lang would surprise her, as ArcheTech does everyday she worked inside its halls. She believed in that too. "And I hope I could give you a hand in any way. The life sciences isn't my strong suit but I guess that's why I'm here, to take notes and learn."
  22. Salvo To ask someone, especially an intern or a student, what they knew of a subject would have sent shivers down any but the most prepared's spine. Nicole had a different response though, even if the subject of nanomachines was way out of her field of expertise. Sure, she could look at the applications towards energy generation and storage but that was just one aspect to it. As the doors to the elevator closed, she began with the physics of semiconductors. And afterward she let her mouth run on automatic, telling Doctor Lang all that she knew. The Doctor had asked and so she obliged, making an impromptu lecture on the subject. It wasn't something she knew comprehensively but there was a certain passion infused in her voice as she incorporated other disciplines of science, physics and chemistry and engineering and mathematics. No field was cut-off completely, isolated as if an island, and it could be said that one of her strengths was that she had a grasp of many of these scientific fields. Biochemists and nuclear physicists worked hand-in-hand together with material engineers or mechanochemists. She could understand why, even go so far as to be a one woman team if given the right projects (as her work in Bellios would attest, discounting all the magic). Her multiple years in ArcheTech gave her the opportunity to soak like a sponge everything that came from the best in science and engineering. She could replay perfectly what she learned in her head months later, tinker with the concepts and put them to the test. So she weaved a story that were only for a scientist's ears, returning into the folds of nanotechnology just before she ventured too far afield. Then when she was done with the theoretical, she moved into current research and recent breakthroughs, as well as the direction the field seemed to be heading into. In these she had prepared the past few days since getting on the air to fly across the United States. When she was done, she realized her throat was parched and so she took a drink from her thermos of coffee, waiting for Doctor Lang to speak. "So where in all of that do you fit into, Rita? What aspect did ArcheTech hire you for your expertise on?"
  23. Roll to see what Nicole knows about nanomachines, keeping in mind it isn't her specialty. Knowledge (Technology): 1d20+15 (Skill Mastery use) = 25.
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