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Gizmo

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  • Birthday March 10

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  1. "Ahoy, Captain," Ellie deadpanned as she stepped aboard, giving a flourish that vaguely implied a salute. She overcorrected for the gentle rocking of the boat for a moment before years of gymnastic training and real world experience saved her balance and her pride. "This is great," she assured Ashley once they'd entered the main interior space of the vessel. "It's honestly wild that we don't know more people with houseboats. We're around a lot of people with big 'lives on a boat' energy." She handed off the cookie tin and gift bag so she could walk in an admittedly small circle to take in the living room, leaving Mara to accept the box Ashely presented in return. "This is how I know we're getting old, because I unironically love those throw pillows. I have throw pillow opinions now, Ashley. Hot throw pillow takes." The gift bag was surprisingly heavy and nestled in bright red and green tissue paper Ashely found a soft plush cat with cartoony smiling eyes, about the size of a dinner plate and almost as flat. It's weight shifted with the telltale sound of dried grains pouring as it was lifted and an attached tag explained that the pancake-esque calico was a saffron-scented reusable heating and cooling pad for soothing aches and pains. The cookie tin was also densely packed, a wild variety of homemade cookies grouped into several sandwich sized resealable bags for easy refrigeration and piled atop each other so that the lid barely stayed attached. "Yoyo and her cousins had a baking day with mi mama so if you like those for the love of all that's holy let me know so we can foist more of them off on you. I cannot overstate how many cookies we've been working though. Just an unconscionable number." Ellie picked up one of the mugs and noted the sports bar's logo while blowing gently across the steaming liquid. "Tell me again how you thought you were passing for straight...?"
  2. "And only being able to copy other people's cool @#$% is sort of a raw deal when you're a teenager," Ellie was explaining to her wife as they walked from where they'd parked Mara's own bike toward the marina. One arm was linked with Mara's at the elbow before her hand retreated to the warmth of her white puffer jacket's pocket white the other supported a small gift bag balanced atop a tin of cookies. "I dunno, maybe it would have been cool for some of the kids with weirder situations, like they'd have somebody to practice with or relate to about whatever but with the side-effects nobody was lining up to shake Ashley's hand, right? So she pretty much never used her powers at school and got a reputation for having big hall monitor energy." After a pause she rephrased to account for Mara's lack of high school experience. "Fun police, I mean. My point is it's kinda huge that she'd reach out at all and making friends as an adult is like pulling teeth so I just want it to go well. Do I seem nervous? 'Cause if I seem nervous she's going to think it's her fault." She huffed, breath hanging in the chilly air.
  3. One of Ryder’s eyes squinted briefly in a subtle wince as Wilona left the room but the small, silent shake of his head toward Luke was a little more obvious. Sending multiple people after the distressed girl wasn’t going to salve her wounded pride. He brought one hand closer to his oversized, novelty belt buckle, the one that looked to have started life as a printer ink cartridge, but reconsidered. Having one of the nearby Robugs keeps an unobtrusive eye on Wilona out in the hall wasn’t the worst idea but it seemed like it might require an awful lot of explanation and backpedaling if she noticed them. That did suggest a similar plan, though. He looked over toward Neko, trying to gauge the guarded time traveler’s reaction to the outburst. He’d seen her use her illusory cats in a similar way to his insect inventions but he knew she also had her own complicated feelings about wealth and having to adapt to a new environment. Probably better to let her decide what she wanted to do without any cajoling. Maybe the other cat-girl was a better idea; Carmen seemed like she’d be able to align with a little indignation in a reassuring way. Ryder just wasn’t sure how to suggest that without getting her hackles up as well. Which felt an awful lot like doing nothing but as Natalia liked to remind him he wasn’t necessarily the best person to solve every problem. Instead he gave a soft, disarming chuckle and leaned back to look over to Naomi’s table. “Ha, wow, paper cheques! You can get fun prints and stuff on those, yeah?”
  4. Ryder shifted around the table to move into the space between Jonah and the girls, not blocking anyone’s line of sight but ensuring that anyone would need to step around him to move into another’s personal space. “The cat people get to make the cat jokes, big guy, that’s the deal,” he advised with an easygoing smile in Carmen’s direction that implied the spray bottle gag was somehow more at Johan’s expense than her own and a casual wave of his hand that coincidentally wafted away any lingering scents. He did a poor job of stifling a laugh when Natalia corrected her own claims and was about to refocus the conversation in that direction when Neko’s offhand remark startled him enough to nearly stumble where he was leaning against the table. “Wait, what? Oh, no, I mean I can’t sell any of the stuff I make, it’s not even really safe to use—“ He caught a look from Nat. “—no, I mean, it’s fine for me to use! Mostly. Just, y’know, uh. ‘Rich’ sort of implies a level of exploitation beyond making ends meet, right? We should talk about that more than acceptable margins for personal injury, haha, yeah…?”
  5. Ryder started to reply but was interrupted by a muffled explosion of crumbling cement and creaking steel from back toward the front of the warehouse. “Mag, go camo and try to get a look,” the young inventor instructed, jogging across the room to put himself between the disturbance and Natalia and her grandfather without really thinking about it. “Yellow, see if you can get outside to—“ “Don’t bother, Professor Fujioka. I’m not planning to draw this out,” a clear alto voice called from the makeshift workshop’s entrance. The intruder was young, maybe only a year or two older than Ryder or Natalia, with dark skin in stark contrast with shock white hair starting to grow out of a buzz cut and a distinctive X-shaped scar on their jawline. Their clothes were a mishmash of layered pieces in blacks and greys punctuated by pops of neon green and pink, covered in patches, pins and tears. What drew Ryder’s attention, however, was the familiar chunky belt. “Aw jeez. Still super not a professor, yeah? Was kinda hoping you’d gone back to the future after the music festival.” His left hand hovered near his own belt buckle while the right was raised in an appeal for calm. Behind him the Robugs shifted nervously in place. “One-way trip,” Canister clarified, idly shaking the small red aerosol can in their hand with a metallic clacking. “Besides, you probably noticed the part where you’re not dead yet.”
  6. "People who need a mobility aid like maybe a wheelchair too, yeah?" Ryder asked, leaning back and turning to make eye contact with Wilona at her table. "You're better than them. 'In some ways,' of course! Folks with learning disabilities, the blind or deaf? Hey, the elderly! You can do loads of stuff they can't any more. That's 'better', isn't it?" He lifted both hands in a sort of apologetic gesture. "Not to call you out or anything, nobody thinks that's what you meant. But more capable, more powerful, privileged if we're using hashtags, that's all different from 'better'. When someone starts talking about being 'better' that's kind of a red flag. "Better' turns into a justification pretty quickly, historically."
  7. "Well, I'm just one guy but I'll alway try!" Ryder told Natalia in a dimpled aside before letting his expression dim a few degrees. "So, in the restaurant and bar business there's this, like, wisdom, I guess. Guy comes in to your place with some borderline Nazi punk patches on his jacket but he's being all polite and you don't want to make a scene so you let it go. And the guy keeps coming back and he never causes trouble while he's there and he turns into a regular. Then he starts bringing his buddy and that guy's being reasonable, too. And by the time one of their buddies starts being unreasonable you look around and realize you're running a Nazi bar, now." His mouth twisted in distaste, the expression looking a little alien on him. "I don't go in for slippery slope stuff but supremacist rhetoric is inherently violent, yeah? 'Wait and see' is not a viable option." He did a quick scan around the room and gave another self-aware shrug. "This friend might have a harder time paying off the meta-supremacist thing as no big deal to me specifically? If I've let a friend having a bad time get that far gone, though, I think I'd feel responsible for talking sense into them anyway. And maybe have a follow-up conversation with their club's leadership if they're hanging around." It was tough to say whether or not Ryder intended 'conversation' to be euphemistic or not.
  8. Ryder wrinkled his nose in dissatisfaction. "Framing it as practicality versus morality is a trap, though. If it was actually practical places with the death penalty would have, like, zero crime!" He turned both palms upward, exasperated. "If you're going to kill the villain and everyone they might have told and everyone they might have told, it never stops. Morality barely event enters into it, it's just a bad solution!" It was pretty clear that Mr. Hawke was planning to move onto the next scenario but Ryder continued in his rapid cadence, crouching down to about chair height and lowering his voice slightly in a faint compromise. "If you can track down all the 'agents', you make them a better offer. Nobody works for the Conqueror Worm if they think they have another option! Problem solved, network dismantled, no unintended collateral." He made little waving motions with both hands that Natalia recognized meant Ryder felt like he was stating the obvious. "If you're doing definite, immediate harm to avoid risking possible future harm you can't act like that's the big bold tough guy play. Take the big swing and do it right." He glanced back up to the front of the classroom then quickly back down to the table, mumbling, "That's what I was getting at, anyway."
  9. "Jonah's got a good point," Ryder agreed encouragingly, walking over to the table from behind the lanky teen's seat and giving him a supportive clap on the shoulder. He didn't take a seat himself; it was enough of a challenge to contain his effervescent energy to a chair during a lecture and during a discussion his body language demanded more freedom. "We don't really have enough specifics to talk tactics. That's not really the point though, yeah? If we're approaching the prompt in good faith we have to assume there's a credible threat to hypothetical people we care about." He looked about the group for signs of agreement, running fingers through his strawberry blond bangs with a dimpled smile despite the grim topic. "So obviously you're going to think 'I'll just stop them from giving the order' but that's not putting the genie back in the bottle, is it? Intimidation's risky, panicky people are more likely to pull a trigger than not and threats aren't actually a great deterrent in practice. If they were we'd all be saying to let her go!" Ryder nodded to some of the other students who'd been quick to chime in with his usual friendly demeanour in recognition of their bravery in getting a thorny conversation started. "Broken jaws or burned hands heal eventually and even if you did something permanent they'd find a different way to communicate eventually plus if they didn't have, like, a personal vendetta against you before they sure would then!" The cheerful youth laced his fingers above his head in a stretch, rising up onto the toes of his paint splattered sneakers. "So if the plan is to force them not to make the call, you have to be to be talking about killing them, then and there, while they can't fight back." He shrugged with about as much gravitas as though he'd just suggested which take-out place to order from for lunch. "If that's off the table you need a different approach altogether. That's my thinking, anyway!"
  10. Set Sense Motive: 1d20+3 23 Sekhmet Sense Motive: 1d20+2 15
  11. "Um, excuse you," Set scoffed, casually taking a step to one side to get out of the way of Sekhmet's nimble dodge. "Tis but one failed god and one fetish streamer and both are me. Prolific and multitalented! Sekhmet hangs about mostly to romance dragons and Miss Neko tis a wholesome delight." The godling kept her hands curled in front of her like exaggerated paws while sauntering in a lazy circle so that Faster Pussycat couldn't keep both Sekhmet and herself in view simultaneously. She made no aggressive move but something about the singsong cadence of her voice made her irritatingly difficult to ignore. "Do you not consider yourself a fetish steamer? Imposter syndrome must be a terrible burden for you! Keep up your best efforts and surely you'll one day make it on Only Nyans! Ha, you see what I did there?" The other Heliopolian was considerably more to the point. Sekhmet's right fist erupted in golden flame as she pulled back before driving her fiery knuckles directly into the cat burglar's jaw with enough force to rattle bone. She made a move to grapple and pin Faster Pussycat with her other hand but stopped short and slid back a step instead as she noted that the abrasive thief wasn't as shaken by the blow as expected. Whatever power suffused her made her more resilient than her feckless attitude suggested. The warrior goddess sized up her opponent more carefully. "...why scribe a calendar on they garb?" "Right?! Your theming tis a dreadful mess. I appreciate Tura Satana as much as the next genderfluid sexpot but you wouldn't call the reference topical now would you!"
  12. Sekhmet Delaying until after Set. Set Standard Action: Feint Faster Pussycat: 1d20+16 32 Move Action: Taunt Faster Pussycat: 1d20+16-5 26 Set Up: Transfer benefits of Feint to Sekhmet Sekhmet Standard Action: Unarmed Attack vs Faster Pussycat; Power Attack 5: 1d20+7-5 6 Hero Point from Set: Unarmed Attack vs Faster Pussycat; Power Attack 5, HP Reroll: 1d20+7-5 15 That's a DC 27 Toughness Save, with solar fire descriptors and Affects Insubstantial 2 and Incurable if it's relevant! Reaction: Initiate Grapple vs Faster Pussycat: 1d20+16 20 (With Improved Grab)
  13. Set Initiative: 1d20+3 14 Sekhmet Initiative: 1d20+5 18
  14. Set clapped his hands in genuine, childlike delight when Neko unleashed her skin-crawling illusion. "Oh, classic! Love the pop of colour, too many default to black-on-black but one needs variation or the definition of the legs gets lost in the writhing mass." In her lioness form Sekhmet shifted from foot to foot and narrowed her eyes at arachnids disappearing under the door, less enthused. She stood back up to humanoid form when Faster Pussycat opened the door so that she could properly glare down her nose at the self-aggrandizing thief. "Thee desired adversarial attention, reprobate," the goddess growled, flexing the fingers of her hands one at a time where they hung at her sides. "What then do thee intend now tis gained?" In the tense atmosphere Set looked between the imposing Sekhmet, enthusiastic Neko and smug Pussycat before giving a harrumph and snapping his fingers, much as their young streamer had done. The godling's form shifted in a heartbeat to a feminine presentation, white linen bordered in blood orange wrapping itself around her chest and sandals lifting slightly with a kitten heel. Lacquered nails lengthened to sharper points to imply claws and a pair of feline ears sprouted atop her head, brick red at the base to match her dreadlocks and fading to black at the tips. After a moment of consideration she added a black ribbon collar with a scarab-shaped bell hanging against her clavicle. "Can-nya-t stand to be left out," she explained sotto voce to Neko, bouncing on her heels enough to produce a little jingle.
  15. "Aye, and an additional cat themed rejoinder," Set added largely to himself, just to feel included. "On the perils of curiosity or the finer points of recovering from a fall, mayhaps." The chaos deity followed a step behind Sekhmet as the taller goddess in turn followed Neko, fingers laced behind his brick red dreadlocks. Once the elevator reached the top floor Sekhmet dropped forward onto all fours, her form rippling on the way so that it was a lioness' claws that tapped softly against the hotel's flooring. Burning golden eyes narrowed as she stalked silently from door to door along the hallway, sniffing the air for anything out of place that might give away their quarry's location.
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