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Dariusprime

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Freedom City Guidebook

Freedom City PBP: A How-To Guide

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  1. Vox: 2 posts = 1PP Here & Now & Then (1) Park Time Job (1)
  2. Nick set down the tenner and returned a good, firm handshake with Dr. Tomorrow. His eyes sparkled and a grin plastered itself across his face. Oh yes, he looked more than happy to meet Dr. Tomorrow! He was not going to fanboy though. No, a dignified excitement would be sufficient. Eh, that wasn't working. The stupid, star-struck look on his face pegged him as being in awe. Nick signed back quickly, fumbling over his words, "English is fine, thank you, sir. For reasons you already know, I will be signing. A real pleasure meeting you, Dr. Tomorrow!" At Claude's interjection, Nick gave the Bostonian a look of such incredulity one would think the Iowan had stripped a gear. Apparently, Tomorrow's perfecting timing seemed like rather... understandable given the time traveler's reputation. Thus Nick shook out of his spell long enough to nod to Claude and retrieve his money. If they didn't already have his attention, his body language practically vibrated, Well, get on with it! Not knowing the proper etiquette in these situations, Nick sat back down but refrained from continuing his (delicious!) meal.
  3. Mona couldn't help but smirk a bit at Claude's surprise. It wasn't a malicious smirk. More a whimsy at having caught, unintentionally, the level-headed young man off guard. Once his gears turned, she nodded without looking back. "Got it in one. Being a living reactor has advantages. I suspect Dr. Tomorrow won't be much bothered." She continued observing the time-frozen park as Claude laid out the details. If she was surprised, she took the revelation in stride. Another day on the job as it were. Amusement still in her voice, she floated after Claude. "Lead the way, Chief. This is your ballgame." Mentally, she took stock of the situation, the information relayed, and 'Gnomon's' role in all this. The likely conclusion was, indeed, that Claude was a recruit, and sounded like he was apprenticed or assigned under Dr. Tomorrow. It all made sense. As for the situation itself, 'daemon' was something new and sounded very dangerous. Yes, that needed to be neutralized forthwith. A few seconds after speaking, she popped her knuckles loudly. Sounded like concrete splitting. She smiled.
  4. Sorry for the delay, Ari! Nick will use his Stun 6 (Resonance; Extras: Area (General: Cone) +1), DC 16.
  5. Nick froze in place. Truth be known, he still had a lot to learn about dangerous situations. Even more so about integrating his superhuman senses. He felt it, he heard it, but his head didn't fully register that it was invisible to normal vision. He blinked a couple of times, looking down the hallway but not really seeing it. The inhuman way it moved though threw him off even more. The sword though, and the ease at which changed walking surfaces, brought Nick back to reality. It was obviously approaching them. Now that could mean any number of things. Just passing them by could be a possibility, but Nick wasn't about to bet his life on it. Or it could have evil intentions to them or others. At this point Nick didn't care if the thing was hostile or not. Thus he remained frozen for a moment as it approached. He looked to be staring silently down the hallway. As if anticipating something. Then Nick reached over and tapped Leroy on the arm. Quite forcefully and urgently. He then looked up and said quietly, "Invisible swordsman on ceiling." Of course, anyone passingly familiar with Nick's powers knew that isn't what happened. Although in this case, the effect didn't an explosive boom. Instead his voice amplified a thousand, two thousand fold, echoing deep into the labyrinth. The air in front of him seemed to shimmer and distort like a heat mirage. The distortion aimed at one point: the spider-walker-sword-person-thing.
  6. I'd love to! Work has hit me very hard too. I'll try to post tomorrow. Thanks!
  7. Vox: 3 posts = 1 PP Here & Now & Then (1) Look Ma, No Self, No Sense, No Death! (1) Tech Compliance (1)
  8. Nick didn't much like conflict. Even before developing powers, he wasn't the type to start problems. A typical response to interpersonal conflict not directly involving him was to stay out of it. Even in general, "conflict avoidant" categorized him neatly. At the same time, the better angels of his nature often forced his hand. His sense of empathy did want him to try to calm Micah by defusing the situation. To address the first issue, his hand shot back from Micah like he'd been burned. Took a second or two to realize what actually happened, but it came as a shock, so to speak. The standoff between Micah and Leroy he followed with his eyes. Otherwise he sat very still listening to the energy bursts coming from his classmate. In some ways focusing on the mysterious x-ray source kept him calm. His mind fired up his analytical capacity and quickly built a profile of the output. The how eluded him, although the data proved fascinating, but the why, in some senses, felt fairly straightforward. Micah's emotional response appeared to be triggering certain aspects of his powers. Nick didn't know Micah's powers, but obviously energy manipulation factored somehow. Much to Nick's relief, de-escalation ruled the day. Ms. Velásquez's authority channeled Leroy's ambitions at least temporarily. Now if he could just soothe Micah a bit. Of course then Leroy went and opened his mouth again. At which point Nick's neutral expression once more dropped into a scowl. Shaking his head, he braved putting a hand on Micah's shoulder again. This time he leaned forward, trying to bring his face into Micah's field of view. Hopefully, an expression of real concern would at least draw Micah's focus for a moment. Sometimes that was all it took. Or he'd get fried. Eh, he'd had a good run.
  9. Yup, nothing like keeping your audience riveted. Nick just continuing going with it. Given the superscience he read about occasionally, digitizing and de-digitizing people seemed within the realm of possibility. Not probable, but possible. "The Dolorous Clock" though elicited nothing more than a blink. Must have been important though. Instead he focused on the aftermath. He nodded in understanding about Claude's reaction. Made a lot of sense. By now he'd gone from reclining, to upright, to leaning forward. Hanging on every word as it was. Nick was on the edge of his seat for the reveal. Thankfully, he managed to keep from calling out "Wow!". Throwing up his hands in shock still occurred. As did him jumping up from his seat. You'd think his favorite team had just scored a last-second win. Only after a second or two did he process that the final sentence had a distinctly German accent. Freezing in place, he looked over at the newcomer. Now Dr. Tomorrow he knew, at least in general terms. And his name had already come up. No super genius but no blockhead, two-and-two processed visibly across his face. It seemed to make sense to the young man. He stared quizzically at Dr. Tomorrow, then looked at Claude, then back to the Doctor. Then he calmly produced a ten dollar bill from his wallet and offered it to Claude. No commentary, neutral expression.
  10. The company felt pleasant enough. Like many of his classmates, Leroy stood out as an acquaintance but not one with which Nick had much interaction. Most of his impression was first impression during the move-in. Which was, to say, something of outlier. This stood as a good opportunity to get to know the fellow better. As such Nick's smile remained warm. Once the walk got his blood moving, he seemed to wake a bit more and developed a spring in his step. His enhanced hearing focused on Leroy initially, and he glanced up at the prince from time-to-time. He nodded sympathetically at his relationship troubles, but his head slowly turned to focus on him at the mention of his family. One Power? That earned Leroy a curious look, and earnestly displayed how little Nick knew about his classmate. Yet under all that bravado, he sensed something deeper. Maybe some wisdom? The shift in topic did not brighten his mood further. Unconsciously casting his senses outward, the small teen seemed suddenly ill-at-ease. Leroy's comments obviously contributed, and he made valid points of why this place should be public knowledge. The last point, though, earned him another inquisitive look. Kinda happy about potential ambush sites are ya? Now Nick had the creeps. The fingers of his free hand starting tapping his thumb rhythmically, and he resorted to gripping the mop handles to steady himself. He still twisted his hands around the handles. By the time they stopped walking, Nick spent most of his time glancing around apprehensively at the floors, ceilings, walls, cameras, even the light fixtures. The pulse bothered him the most. Made him feel like he was inside a metal beast. Or a Tool video. What is that? Still Leroy's question lingered in the air. Nick shrugged and took the opportunity to survey the area more thoroughly. He cast open his electromagnetic senses especially, listening for the ambient waves put off by electronics. Mostly to get a better feel about the weird place. Secondly, to perhaps pick up telltale spectra of sunlight. As in early-dawn light slipping in through an exit. Nothing would make him happier than finding the exit passages, mopping, and getting the heck out.
  11. Nick hesitated but eventually turned his attention away from Summers and Ms. Vasquez. His smile remained, and he examined the website critically. After a moment or two, he nodded solemnly to Micah's question about adapting their design. He picked up his tablet to answer when Micah yelled. He nearly jumped out of his seat. In fact steadying himself on the table became necessary. He sat there blinking at Micah and wondering why he yelled at him. Of course with his head turned, the obvious answer became that Micah wasn't yelling at him. He was looking at Leroy. Seems his tuning out of the cubes and those dealing with them meant he missed something important. Multiple important things really, but he didn't know that. Although on a tangent, he realized that for the first time in a long time he was able to tune out individual sound sources. That made him quirk his head in thought. Which matched his curiosity over what had been the source of Micah's alarm. His face fell at Leroy's explanation. Matter of fact, his scowl said it all: Are you insane!? Glancing around the room, he judged the others' reactions. He stopped upon spotting Micah's pale, mortified expression. Nick reached over and squeezed his shoulder in solidarity. He couldn't smile, not in a situation like this, but he gave Micah a reassuring look.
  12. Maybe not weird to Benny. This ranked among the weirdest things Nick had ever experienced. Painful too. He looked up at the shadow falling across him. Over the roar, Benny could have said anything and he'd be none the wiser. Still the guiding hand got the small teen moving, and up he stood while keeping his hands over his ears. Silently hoping the pigeons didn't scream louder, he followed his guide to Danica's shell and took shelter. Crouching just inside the opening, he nodded his thanks to Benny. Although the boxer probably didn't see the motion through the cloud of feathered fiends. Having cover on three sides of him helped a bit. The near-deafening noise wasn't mitigated, but having the sounds arriving from mainly one direction took the edge off. Now their hope rested on Bread Bomber and Pigeon Man.
  13. Oh, Nick got the analogy. Nodded as much too. Up until then he'd gone with the flow, but the idea of human cloud computing made him squirm. Still as awkward as the situation made him, he focused on what Claude said. Time enough later to ponder theories. Aside a fidget here-and-there, he remained reclined and listening. Of course the next sentence caused him to blink. His mind immediately latched onto the problem with that plan, but thankfully, Claude had already taken that into account. His brow knit in confusion at the solution but again said nothing. Now the smile that came over him next was hard to describe. Was it amused, rueful, joyous, or a little of all three? Truly his eyes sparkled at the implications and the outcome of breaking the loop. Especially after seeing the cube...overloaded, he guessed. On the other hand, Claude sat there telling the story so he had to have survived. He didn't process the details further this time around. Instead he simply sat up straight and motioned for Claude to continue. A riveting story this turned out to be.
  14. Perhaps the idea is low-hanging fruit, but how about a theme of wishes? Goals, regrets, secret desires, dreams, New Years resolutions, that sort of thing.
  15. Nick heard none of this. After his initial burst, the realization dawned on him that the radio squeal didn't diminish. If anything the volume increased! Hands still over his ears, he slid down to the ground and pulled his knees up against his chest. Putting his head down seemed to keep the birds at bay and protect from debris. With gritted teeth he turned to see what the others were doing. The blast did help him focus against the noise. His thoughts were torn. On the one hand, part of him really wanted to open up on these feathered rats. Again mainly to make them shut up or flee. On the other hand, he already felt terrible for hurting the birds. And for probably scaring his classmates and teacher. Speaking of which, where did the pigeon man come from? Probably the same place the Carpenter-esque pigeon came from. But he had no time for that! Why? First, a rain of bread. A bread-plosion. Then the pigeons spoke. All of them. At once. Nick froze. Yes, he appeared to still be in control of his faculties. Yes, the sound originated from the totality of the pigeons. The bread had to be Mia's doings, and he slowly looked around wide-eyed in search of her. His gaze rested on the pigeon man as he danced about and appeared to nod at him. Not that he could hear a thing over the birds. Whatever Davyd was doing he hoped he did it fast.
  16. Definitely three and probably two for Vox. He'd hear the x-rays for sure, and the uptick would register similarly.
  17. Slowly but surely Nick's expression shifted. Brows up, eyes wide, slack jawed. Shocked, no. More like blue screen of death and just blinking to try to reboot. The whole story...let's just say, if Nick hadn't seen the stuff he already had, he'd call shenanigans on the whole tale. But here, now, either Claude packed world-class acting skills or this was the real deal. Part of him hoped this thing was a joke. At some point he leaned back and completely focused on the conversation and Claude's emotional state. Nick's emotional state read easily enough too. Overwhelmed followed by understanding followed by empathy. As if things are what they are, non-judgmentally. If anything he seemed sad. He quirked his head when their eyes met again. Oh, questions abounded, but Nick knew to let the storyteller finish the confession. He nodded and listened.
  18. 20 Questions 1. Where is your hero from? Nick hails from the flat desolation of central Iowa. Specifically, Nevada, Iowa. Many days past on his grandparents’ and great uncle’s farms. 2. How would your hero physically describe him/herself? Is this different from how others would? To Nick, he is a short but physically fit guy that dodged some of the more awkward teenage problems. Other people tend to see him as small. That really doesn’t bother him. 3. Does your hero have distinguishing speech characteristics or recurring mannerisms? Fidgeting. The kid fidgets a lot when he is anxious or uncomfortable. Which is often but is improving. Speech characters are another kettle of fish. He doesn’t talk due to his powers, but he seems to have a gift for ASL. If you could hear his real voice, it would be a rich, gentle bass. 4. What is your hero's motivation? That’s a good question. Nick is trying to figure out his motivation. He is very much a reluctant hero. A lack of confidence in his powers plus skepticism about being a superhero are major demons he is wrestling. 5. What are your hero's greatest strengths and weaknesses? The inability to communicate with his normal voice is a problem. A small minority understands ASL, and even using his tablet to type or verbal messages has its own problems. Additionally, Nick is a bundle of nerves around people. Probably his biggest weakness is his sensitivity to electromagnetism and enhanced auditory capabilities. The input can easily overwhelm him. Nick can operate around people though. He reads people surprisingly well, and can organize people with a subtle touch. His willingness, his dedication, to his causes makes him a surprisingly resilient and tenacious person. Power wise, hearing the entire EM and acoustic bands means he knows things. He’s just not telling. 6. What does your hero love? What does your hero hate? Nick loves many things. In particular he loves his family, judgmental as they are. He loves his life. No matter how stressful things become, he is grateful for his life so fair. There is a real love of life in him. Nick hates little. More often he feels a deep sense of disappointment at evil things. 7. How would you describe your character's mental and emotional state? His emotional state can be best described as tightly wound. Even without his powers, few places and situations really made him comfortable. This manifests as a pervasive anxiety that, assuming his powers don’t stress him further, he can manage without exhibiting too many symptoms. Mentally though, he is always thinking and thinking. Those surface emotions aside, a deep well of melancholy colors his world. Melancholy makes him a watcher and thinker. People equate melancholy with depression. That’s not Nick. Nick watches the world curiously and wonders why. Introspection is a way of life. Admixed with an upside-down life makes him an accepting and gently cynical person. 8. What does your hero fear the most? The first few months with powers, never speaking normally again haunted him. Now that the possibility of doing so is diminished, he fears never being part of his family again. 9. What is your character's greatest ambition? Now more than ever he wants to see what his powers can do. To refine them. To see how far they can go. And find the source to the message that triggered their manifestation. 10. How does your hero feel about the state of the world and his/her place in it? He’s just a kid trying to figure out how the world works and what his place could possibly be. 11. Does your hero have any prejudices? How does he/she get along with others? Bullies. He detests them. They’re the closest thing to something he hates. Insightful enough to know many have underlining issues, bullies of all stripes, young and old, poor and rich, must still be opposed. This if nothing else will drive his superhero work. 12. Where do your heroes loyalties lie? In what order? He loves his family, but their priority is lower now. Only his Great Uncle Otis, the eclectic radio engineer and ex-DJ, ranks high on his list. Interestingly, Claude and several of his classmates sit at the top of the list. Claremont too keys his loyalty. Where it sits he isn’t quite sure. His feelings are conflicted: he dislikes being beholden to Claremont but realizes how special the place is. 13. Does your hero have a lover or partner? How do they feel about the hero now? No. He has or had crushes but has never had a girlfriend or even been on a date. Part of him isn’t terribly interested, and shyness keeps him from opening up. 14. Does your hero have a family? What is the relationship there like? Generations of EM and acoustic sensitivity made his family eccentric, which isn’t bad, but also insular and more than a little reactionary. They’re disowned him indirectly, but he still loves them and wants to see them. His Great Uncle Otis, another black sheep of the family, is more parental than his own parents. He stays in contact with Otis regularly. 15. How would the people closest to your hero describe him or her? Kind, self-contained, reliable, patient, smart. 16. Is your hero a role model? Oh, no. Maybe someday. 17. How spiritual is your hero? Does your hero follow a religious tradition? Religion isn’t part of Nick’s life. His family hewed to the conservative side of the United Methodists. They expected him to a participate in various religious activities. Nick himself didn’t much care one way or another. 18. Is your hero part of a team, or would he/she like to be? Why? He’d like to be. There’s strength in numbers and teammates. People can protect and compliment each other. Plus they could be friends. 19. How does your hero feel about the place of metahumans and aliens on Earth? Where else would they be? Let’s talk. 20. If you could give one piece of advice to your hero, what would it be? This too shall pass. Painfully, like a kidney stone, but it will pass. What will you do then?
  19. Vox 20 Questions September-October 2019 Vignette
  20. Claremont is full of secrets. That phrase kept bouncing through Nick's mind. He'd encountered Basil a few times during the year. Something about the man seemed off. Not bad off, but his mumbling didn't help. If pressed Nick would admit he kinda liked the guy. The Iowan wondered what secrets Basil knew. Janitors, after all, often knew more than most. The early hour accounted for most of these muddled musings. While used to early mornings helping his great uncle, he never exactly liked being up this time of day. Time aside, being selected for the duty felt like a honor. Whether or not it was one seemed immaterial. Nick cringed at the metal-concrete clang of the buckets. His eyes crossed staring at Basil's finger. He didn't really know what to think of Mr. Falks' assessment of him. The morning simply moved too fast for him to process. So his initial response consisted of owl-like blinking. Much like Basil moments ago, Nick quirked his head at the janitor's sudden disappearance, and for that matter, the sudden appearance of a new door. Leroy, however, pulled his attention away from the weirdness. And the funeral remark... Nick looked like Nick, awkwardness and all, in once-white sneakers. The occasion, however, necessitated a pair of faded overalls that fit better than Basil's. Regarding the eloquent dragon prince, Nick returned a warm smile that reached his eyes. Two quick nods and the mops rested over his shoulder. He looked around for his bearings, replaying the route in his head and visibly puzzling over what "back" meant. One a likely path, he thumbed toward it and headed that way. As he walked, he swept one hand toward Leroy as if asking about his life. Perhaps his way of making friendly conversation without actually speaking.
  21. Nick covered his ears and doubled over grimacing. The sound! The sonic shrieking hurt. A lot. The radio volume felt nothing short of agonizing. No matter how tightly he blocked his ears, the volume didn't decrease! Over moments that felt like ages, Nick rocked back and forth. Later he'd thank Lulu for her meditation lessons. Right now, tears welling in his eyes, his thoughts chased the techniques she'd taught him. Especially those for high-stress moments. They helped a little. He wanted to run away. To hide. To scream. To yell at the blasted birds to leave. Anything to make the pain stop. To make the birds stay away from him. The little focused part of him realized he had to do something. Before he made a sound and leveled the camp. That's when he saw something amazing. Benny had powers alright. For a few precious seconds, the swarm parted and the tough kid seemed to fly. All across his flight path Nick marveled dumbly at his agility and precision. Benny may never know it, but his cool, professional use of his powers reminded Nick of his training. Closing his eyes, Vox took a slow breath and focused. He looked up into the sky and spoke. The effect felt strange to those unfamiliar with his powers. The ruckus of the birds, the surrounding volume, hushed for a split second. A booming, deep voice burst through the quiet and echoed through the trees, "GO AWAY!" Followed by an explosion. Shock waves ripped through the air, expanding upward from the teen into a cone of energy. A wedge of birds, thousands of them, launched upward in the blast. As the waves dissipated, splintered treetops and birds and feathers arced high into the morning sky.
  22. Vox is aiming his Cone Damage effect up into the sky. It's a 90 ft, non-lethal effect. Still has a lot of force behind it though which I reflected in the post.
  23. Nick just shrugged at the ex-con comment, grabbed another biscuit, and listened. After buttering the carb-laden treat. Honestly, Claude's record didn't concern Nick, and his nonchalant behavior showed it. He did smile at Claude's joke about getting out on good behavior. That seemed believable to Nick. Maybe naivete or maybe he just read Claude right. Either way the smile felt genuine. The smile faded into a look of concern as Claude continued. Obviously, this whole experience wounded him deeply. He didn't need his enhanced senses for that, but with them Claude read like an open book. The betrayal, the guilt, the love and loyalty to an admittedly crappy father. Man, could he empathize with that. Nick kept his eyes focused on Claude. The appearance of the cube unnerved him, and he'd be lying if he said he didn't cringe back a bit. It moved. The coils reformatted themselves in the corners of his eyes. The red lights blinked when he wasn't looking directly at it. And the whispers...like ghosts of radio waves from somewhere in the cube. Creepy stood as far too little a word for that thing. The sudden tangent made him sit down the half-eaten biscuit. The look of concern had shifted to a general seriousness, his brow knitted in concentration. The question then only caused him to tilt his head in thought. He shook his head. "I know the summary. Bill Murray repeats the same day over and over again," he signed. Truthfully, he'd never seen the movie. His Great Uncle Otis, though, deemed it one of the finest films ever made. He referenced it constantly. Nick glanced nervously at the cube.
  24. Or they're up to something, Davyd. No, it wasn't, Ashley. These do, Judy. I do, Benny. "They're talking to each other," Nick signed out of the blue. He picked at the last few bites on his plate with his head down. He didn't expect anyone to understand him. Heck, he wondered how he missed it before. The answer proved fairly obvious: the drone of normal bird noises drowned out the radio messages. Now after a moment of quiet, Nick began a standard analysis of the radio signals. The quantified data swam through his head. On a computer screen, an audio engineer would understand the numbers and patterns. Numbers, frequency, wattage, signal translation (from radio wave to cooing no less), and correlations between signals (auditory and EM) to name a few. The latter proved the most valuable. They appeared to be meaningfully communicating, and with will and intent, between each other in radio coos matching their audible calls. And some were broadcasting and cooing at Davyd. He looked, well, not calm, but no more neurotic then usual. Except people that saw him regularly noticed a distinct ashen pallor. And that his heart beat fast enough to nearly be audible. He didn't need to see the birds to know where some focused their beady eyes. Opening his notebook, he wrote across two pages and held up the message above his head. The notebook slowly turned so everyone could read it. "They're cooing to each other, to Davyd, with radio emissions. Stay alert." On a lark, and more so to calm his nerves, he continued listening to the radio conversations. What patterns emerged? Did the messages ripple through the flock? Thousands of individuals sending radio messages? Or did they have a larger flock-sized pattern? Coordinating? Were they broadcasting outside the immediate flock?
  25. Dang, so close. Judy's pincer maneuver caused Nick to reroute along the wall. Losing precious seconds, a colorful ballot in hand stopped his escape cold. Accepting his momentary fate, the Iowan thought long and hard over the choices before casting his vote. Even as awkward as he felt, the gathering had proved enlightening to say the least. Perhaps acclimating to the group, or the school, explained part of the experience. More concretely, certain things could now be said. One, Abby, though he'd never conversed with her, had the makings of a great president. Like Mia, she didn't seem the leadership type, but she seemed ethical. Two, Judy seemed destined to a politician. Even if that meant Dragon Queen of Dimension something-something. Three, Ashley received the descriptor "long-suffering". It's like they weren't even sisters. He felt a bit sorry for her. His musings aside, Nick slipped toward the exit during the congratulations. He stopped short of the door and turned toward Lulu. The usual din of EM signals broadcasted back to her, momentarily, before he tapped them down. Notably, they felt better controlled then during their first conversation. He didn't say anything mentally. He nodded to her, looked down at the floor a moment, and then leaned against the door frame. For now, being a supportive ally outweighed his anxiety.
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