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  1. Gizmo

    Heavy Mettle

    Friday, June 4, 2021 5:56 PM Ryder would have been the first to admit that Shredded Beat, which billed itself as hopefully the first annual festival for local independent and amateur metal bands looking to break out, was a little outside his comfort zone. But Eira had insisted that this was the perfect place to stakeout the mysterious guitarist he and Danica had run into in later February and after a goat-like Ragin had wreaked havoc in the West End the month prior until a few of the Interceptors made short work of it she wanted to be there the next time one of the strange, musical demon constructs appeared. The upperclassman had told him to come dress appropriately but in typical fashion had considered the specifics of those instructions to be self-evident. Ryder had turned to the only fashion expert he knew who specialized in monochrome: Natalia. Which brought him to a milling crowd around the Liberty Park bandshell in a pair of black pants that hugged his legs like a second skin, a sleeveless t-shirt featuring a band name with lettering he couldn't begin to parse and a pre-owned leather jacket Natalia had studded across the shoulders with an insect wing design. He tugged one more time on his leather choker, fastened in front with a small padlock, before forcing his hands back down to his sides. He'd painted his nails an uncharacteristically sombre black and hoped that the sparkly top coat wasn't going to be an issue. He caught one of the other attendees giving him a side eye as they walked by and gave them a terse nod, trying to lower his register for a brusque, "Hey, how you doin'."
  2. GM In Victori, where the Horror and Heroes collide and the last battle will be fought. At the end of a story that has happened before, and will happen again. How much time had passed since Eira had parted with Pan and Micah? Since she had gone her own way in this world of stories? It was difficult to say. Weeks, at least. Months? Maybe, but probably not. Pan's world was strange. Especially now here, at the end, when the tales were starting to break down around her. The sky was dark, in the middle of the day. Not a cloud in sight, but an armada of flying ships blocked out the sun. Behind them, at the coast, the greatest of the ships dragged the monstrous Crocodile out of the sea by golden chain, leading it towards what remained of Victori. As the ships descended, Pirates leapt from them towards the city. Their mouths and eyes sewn shut, they moved as if they were puppets, scouring the city for all that remained. The Crocodile smashed the great clocktower by the coast, sending the remains tumbling into the streets below. "What a marvelous creature," Frankenstein mused, as he witnessed the destruction. Eira, Doctor Frankenstein by her side and her army of automatons were all that stood between the people of Victori and total destruction. And yet, there was a bright light out across the sea, shining in the horizon.
  3. OOC for this. @Avenger Assembled @KnightDisciple Combat won't start right away, but let's get some Initiative rolls along with your intro posts! Eira is in command of her army of automatons. I won't be rolling individually for them attacking pirates, ships, crocodiles and what not, but see them as a rank 10 effect that you can apply to various actions as a Free Action once per turn. It can be stuff that won't require rolls like using them to block off a group of pirates that's attacking or actual effects like Damage, Stuns and so on, as long as they make sense for the action. They will slowly be whittled down during battle, so I will, eventually, be lowering the effect. The vast majority of the Hooked Pirates will act in much the same way. Currently, there's an armada of purposefully unnumbered Sky Pirate ships that fly above Victori, sending Hooked Pirates into the streets below. The flagship is by the coast surrounded by four ships from the armada, pulling the Crocodile into the city with a giant golden chain. Eira is by the palace, far from the coast. If she wishes to confront the flagship and the Crocodle, she will have to fight her way through the pirates. There's several Sky Pirate Ships out over the waters. As Pan and Micah arrives from the sea, they will not be able to simply fly straight for the Crocodile or the flagship. To make things clear, there's a few major objectives here: - Protect the people that remains in the ruins of Victori - Free the Crocodile - Defeat the Hooked Man - Return home
  4. Elena was still waiting for her classes to start, but she figured there was no reason she couldn't teach herself. The sheer amount of information the people from the so-called "present day" was astounding. Though she had just begun to scratch the surface of it, it was certainly a far cry better than what she had in her own time: moldy dictionaries and old issues of Popular Mechanics. That, and the advice and teachings of other people in her tribe. El sighed happily as she signed off the library's computer, gathering a small stack of schematics and mechanical diagrams she had printed. The short time she had spent online had taught her what she may have learned in many, many months, if not years. It was all just right there! Her stomach grumbled loudly. Better get something to eat before I head down to the science lab. It is build-your-own-fajita day. --- Though some of the other students snickered behind her back as she went up for a fifth and sixth plate of fajitas, she pretended to ignore them. There was more important work to be done, and she needed plenty of fuel! Nevermind that it hurt her feelings pretty badly, she spend her lunch poring over the schematics. After lunch, she donned her armor, and took her gravity hammer down to the science labs. Surely there would be someone there to help show her the ropes! "Umm." There was no one there. "Umm." The facility was spotless, and fully decked out with lots of science equipment she had never seen before, much less heard of. "UMMMMMM." What started as an exploration into the knowledge of this world was quickly turning into a hopeless venture. She pulled her armor off, and tossed it on a table, and glumly sat down at a lab table. Crap!
  5. February 27, 2021 The Lab The craft hovered in midair, its magnetic induction coils active as it gripped the Earth's magnetic field like the wheels of a racecar hugging the track. With a gesture, Angelic turned the boomerang-shaped flying wing back and forth, its gold and black polish gleaming in the light of a simulated sun. Stepping to the other side, she was barely visible through the faintly transparent hologram. "With a maximum velocity of 800 kilometers per hour, Winge will allow Chelone to cruise to her native Southwest in a morning's drive," she said with a cool smile on her face, "and is precise enough to allow for hovering as low as a few centimeters off the ground." She squeezed her fingers to magnify the hologram, and showed off the hooks for Chelone's feet, the matching helmet for her head that would give her a faceshield against the wind and provide her a computerized heads-up display, and the internal workings of the navigation system. "It is much too fast for an unassisted human brain to pilot safely but the internal GPS has a processing speed that will exceed a human brain tenfold!" When she dismissed the hologram, she was beaming. With her hair a brilliant platinum blonde shot through with streaks of blue, her labcoat a perfectly polished white, and her hands now folded behind her back, she looked a bit like a punk-rock version of Miss Americana - though the bar through her eyebrow and ring in her nose were all hers. "All that remains is to activate the 3-D printers and begin the work. I had thought of incorporating weapons or defenses, but Chelone is formidable enough on her own. What do you think, Voltage?" she asked. She looked, in her self-confidence and with her smile, actually quite a bit like the little girl he had first met years earlier.
  6. GM Some time between the story of then and now... Heading to Victori... Eira had left her companions behind. Her angelic form soaring across the skies of Neverworld, she had a first row seat to the destruction that the Hooked Man and his Sky-Pirates had caused across the world. Beneath her she saw ruined cities, displaced familes doing their best to survive in what had once been their homes. She saw slain beasts, passing by a capsized turtle the size of an island between New Avalon and Victori. And soon... she saw Victori, and Tham, the great factory city. The factories were still alive. Still producing the endless soldiers needed. Perhaps she would find the Mad Doctor that the Great Detectives had mentioned, or perhaps she would make do on her own. How long had the journey taken? It was difficult to tell. Time was, after all, strange in Neverworld.
  7. cw: difficult stuff January 2021 Angelic sat in the conference room in a student intern's chair and watched as the super-geniuses talked. With a clear disciplinary record at Claremont going back past the Thanksgiving holiday, she had finally won a full-on evening internship for her senior year at Claremont that she had long coveted. That she was in a conference room shadowing Miss Americana rather than her laboratory working on her internal upgrades had not produced any complaints - "I understand," she had told Miss Americana before everyone had arrived, "that human interaction is as important for the scientist as is research." So she sat, dressed in a pencil skirt and bulky sweater that were a far cry from her lab gear, gleaming silver earrings and green-black hair the only concessions to her usual fashion sense, looking as human as anyone else in the room as some of the greatest minds in the world talked business. She was currently engaged in recording the conversation, constructing a three-dimensional model of an internal framework that would sustain internally concealed titanium networking, and in tasting the coffee she had poured for herself to blend in.
  8. January 2021 Claremont Evening Eira had managed to reserve one of the art studios for a project in the evening period, and indeed project it was. She busied herself as she waited for Davyd, deploying fixed cameras around the square space in the front of the room where the model usually stood. She raised a hand and a few drone-cameras took off from her bag, humming softly as their internal magnetic drives activated and left them to zip around the room like tiny rotorless helicopters. She activated her connection to drones and cameras alike, eyes unfocusing slightly as she took in the three-dimensional view. She had only spoken to Davyd once since their return from Christmas - but there was no doubt in her mind that he would show up. After all, a substantial portion of her holiday allowance was at stake.
  9. The students were in the gym, getting in a little free time after classes before supper. Leon had just come down off the rock wall, his feet safe on the mat, when he heard the voice call out. "Think fast!" When he turned around, there was a volleyball whipping towards his face so fast it seemed to blur - and then abruptly vanished into nothingness inches before it might have struck. "Hah!" The speaker was Eira Katastroff, hands on her hips and looking pleased. "You are fast," she said cheerfully as she approached Leon. Leon had seen the blue-haired Swede lifting weights earlier, but she showed not a hint of sweat on her pale skin, her blue and gold leotard just visible under her fully-zipped Claremont outdoor jacket. She was about to say more when she was approached by Mr. Kuzkin, the elderly drama teacher having volunteered to monitor the evening workout routine, who firmly informed her that dangerous pranks were strictly forbidden in gym class, while Eira shot back that a silly hologram could hardly have actually hurt him, and...
  10. Fall 2020 It was a couple of days after move-in day, late enough that it was after curfew and the dorm hallways outside were beginning to quiet down, when Pan's cellphone chimed: "Are you decent? "
  11. Fall 2020 The kitchens Between one thing and another, Orange Squad had not had many opportunities so far to get to know each other. But with the traditional American holiday season settling in, it was evidently time to change that. Professor Lynn has spread the home ec class throughout the big Claremont kitchens as best she can, trying to stay out of the way of the hardworking group of student professionals and community volunteers who actually make the meals Claremont students eat. "All right, everyone, I have your assignment. All of you represent different culinary legacies to one degree or another," she said, giving a special smile to Ryder who was clearly already one of her favorite students, "and it's the integration of the whole into one that makes for a really good team!" She smiled, hands inside her apron, as she went on, "what I want you to do is come up with a dish that truly represents your blended legacies. And don't think I'm asking you to cook your lived identity, either, because that's nonsense. Come up with a dish that represents a combination of your past, your future, your skills, and your talents - and prepare a version of it that can be served at dinner tomorrow evening. That's just in case your first attempts don't work out," she added with a smile as she moved among the group of students. "remember, there are accidents in the kitchen - but only happy ones!" Eira extended the finger on her left hand and then began unscrewing it, slowly undoing each joint with an audible click-click-click, watching the organic students as they talked to the home ec teacher. This was not a class to which she had contributed very much.
  12. Summer 2020 The first thing you have to understand is that Eira Katastroff was decidedly not bringing her boyfriend home to meet her parents. This was a real summer trip (albeit a short one) with her, Pan, Lulu, Mia, and Micah all heading across the Atlantic for a week or so to visit lovely Sweden. So what if they were going to start at her parents' house? The Natt och Dag estate was a natural place for their first arrival and convenient to much of the rest of the country. She'd asked (and not whined, definitely not that) to get hero visas for all of them and it had all worked out fine. Everything was going to go perfectly. So here they were, a couple of weeks after Claremont had dismissed its students for the summer, standing on a campus that was mostly deserted except for a few unhappy students stuck there rather than with their families, the sky overhead bright and sunny, the trees and grass a brilliant shade of green. It looked to be a good day. There was no sign of Angelic yet.
  13. Kord Dorms, Floor One, Claremont Academy Sunday, September 6th 2020 Pol was in their room, sitting in the titanium-frame chair their parents had made for them before they had to disappear; though it's design was simple, the robot felt the love of the two engineers who created them in every strut, bolt and weld. The synthetic didn't own much, but it was their favorite thing in the world. Other than the chair, all they owned was a small daypack, a few books (mostly Edgar Allen Poe) and a travel editions of games. While scanning through the school's website on their laptop, Pol noticed there was another synthetic student on campus; this was amazing news! Without hesitation, they fired off an email.
  14. June 1, 2020 There had been much negotiation about how Vanguard would arrive in Rurland. Air travel to the new nation was heavily restricted, particularly in the wake of the single Russian military intelligence drone flight over the region (which had resulted in the addition of nearly a hundred pounds of machine parts for the new nation.) But the big teleporters built into Poliske's old administrative building, the ones that the intrepid journalists had used for their visit to what Americans in the know mockingly called "the Reservation", those had their downsides too - nobody was particularly interested in having their molecules broken down and reconstituted by machines built and controlled by Talos. So instead a compromise arrangement had been reached, and Vanguard (plus their guest member) had flown in from London on a surplus passenger plane loaded with human refugees taking shelter in the arms of Talos - mostly Venezuelans who were on the second leg of a flight from Bogota, needed technical specialists with families and children. They'd been flying over Belarus for an hour now and were approaching the former exclusion zone, and the heavily jet-lagged refugees aboard were waking up and nervous. They were a mixed bunch, mostly in surplus clothes, wary of the foreign heroes, and from the sound of things ready for where they were going - at least emotionally. Eira had not socialized, at least once it was clear no one on board required her immediate assistance. Up front in the pilot's compartment, she'd connected directly to the plane's computer network by means of a curling dataspike from the bottom of her sleeve and remained largely quiet during the flight from London. Dressed in a bulky brown sweater and worn-down jeans, she was a bit overdressed for a Ukranian summer - but with her hair dyed black, could have blended in almost perfectly with the refugee crowd.
  15. Summer 2020 Angelic had been full of questions ever since she'd found out what was in the sealed sample container that had been personally delivered to Miss Americana - the one that the latter was now in the process of flying to HAX personally. "Active computronium!" She sounded excited; considerably more excited, Miss Americana knew, than the teenager usually was these days. A few years earlier she might have been buzzing around Miss A as they flew, as it was, her wings were spread and there was a smile on her quicksilver face as her magnetic flight propelled her along after Miss A. "Do you think it has a live connection to the Communion hive mind?" She rubbed her wrists, where the inactive computronium that she used to interface with cybernetic systems lay buried. "I wonder if a full-on interface is possible using terrestrial equipment. We may need to take it into deep space." - The announcement of Miss Americana's imminent arrival with her dangerous cargo hadn't quite interrupted babysitting-the-playdate time but it was close. Via closed-circuit camera, Mara could check in on the littlest kids visiting. "The robots are making soup!" declared Charlie, Mia's friend from Nicholson, whose precognition and enhanced intelligence were intermittent enough that he wasn't actually a threat to anybody's job at HAX yet. Mia turned to her friend and declared, a wide smile on her face, "More like...poop!" Charlie grabbed his sides and fell over laughing, with the sweet innocent laughter of an early kindergartener, the sound ringing all through the small office. "You're so funny!" Charlie's mom worked long hours and was a single parent, so he went on a lot of playdates. Luckily the Nicholson program was very good at arranging time out with trusted friends in safe company. Wander was close by, after all. And come to think of it, it was about time for Chitin's visit!
  16. The OOC. Make whatever rolls you feel are appropriate here.
  17. March 2020 Alpine, Texas There's not much in the Big Bend region of Texas except space. The city of Alpine is relatively large; almost five thousand people, with a state university in Sul Ross, and the remotest AEGIS base in the Lower 48 States - tucked away inside an old gas station on the edge of town, the one most of the locals think might be haunted. There are a lot of old hippies in this area, people who liked the isolation better than the California or Nevada deserts, or just wanted to be able to disappear into the mountains, so when news came of robot reptiles appearing all over the area, originally the local office treated it as just more poppycock. At least until the twenty-foot robot crocodile crawled out of the sewers and tried to make a nest in the country club's golf course. So now there's a veteran AEGIS agent on the scene! But on the other hand, even a robot crocodile is just a crocodile. So this is a good mission to bring super-teens along; especially those who know a thing or two about machines and giant reptiles - or perhaps those careers might not take them into conventional superheroing. - Eira hadn't said much to Danica on the flight to West Texas, but she hadn't been quite the cold fish that she'd heard. She was dressed in an outfit suitable for West Texas - denim jeans and a blue and gold patterned shirt, dark glasses against the glare (though why would a robot need those?), and a white cowboy hat perched on her head. The Freedom League Javelin (albeit one disguised as a regular Learjet to avoid attention) had covered the 2000 miles from Freedom City to Alpine in about two hours; and had left early enough that it was still only about eight-thirty when they landed at Alpine–Casparis Municipal Airport. There had been very little signs of towns below until they got here; even now this was still obviously very remote.
  18. May 2020 Radikal2002 has been a frequent and active presence in the comment section of Gimmick's videos for most of the year - her memes are dank, her counter-trolling epic, and her support for noobs real as long as they don't ask anything too stupid. Her avatar is an atomic symbol, a hydrogen atom, and she's a frequent commenter on various heroic Youtube channels. She doesn't normally extend invitations, or reveal anything about herself. So it's a bit of a surprise when she posts "If you think you have enough, meet me tonight at - and then what looks like a string of random numbers - if you aren't smart enough to decode things like that. From Rot-13 to binary with a trip through a substitution cipher based on the Anarchist's Cookbook comes "323 Carlton Street, Ashton, 9PM." Ashton isn't exactly no go territory but Gimmick knows it's no joke there. Well, that's not true - just not always a very funny one. Much of the suburban community burned during the last Terminus invasion, and though it's been rebuilt, the ground is still haunted by the ghosts of the past - and this area is Ground Zero for the next generation of Terminus mutants. Sometimes strange powers manifest here. Sometimes strange people live here.
  19. April 2020 Two weeks to prom ...Det, sa Peter till Wendy, var vägen till Neverland; men även fåglar som bär kartor och konsulterade dem i blåsiga hörn kunde inte ha sett det med dessa instruktioner. Peter, du förstår, sa precis allt som kom in i hans huvud... ...Jag avvisade dessa svar; istället valde jag något annat. Jag valde det omöjliga. Jag valde ... Rurland. En stad där konstnären inte skulle vara rädd för censuren. Där forskaren inte skulle vara bunden av små moral. Där det stora inte skulle begränsas av de små!.. "Yes, I, hmm, know people at Archetech. And HAX." said Eira archly to Kam, turning from where she sat besides Pan to speak clearly to the Dakanan teen. "Archetech gives you the strength and power of a great corporation, with a mastermind as its leader, while HAX has a more...intimate atmosphere. Fewer limits at one, more good friends at the other, yes?" She smirked at that, leaning back with her hands on her lap as if she'd said something very clever. ...of course - I am not a fool. But still - just imagine what it would be like. We are here - I will see you soon VINCE... When the Claremont van stopped in front of the dojo, Eira stepped out, duffel bag slung over her shoulder, in her grey sweats and white sneakers looking ready for an informal workout. This was technically a gym elective, something that got them all out of playing "Quidditch - but with POWERS!" - and it promised to be an interesting evening.
  20. Let's have checks! Eira is going to take 20 on her Computers - even with her Quickness, gonna be a while. Life Sciences for you, @Electra, and detective stuff for you, @HGM
  21. Somewhere. Sometime. April 9, 2020 Each of them woke up alone in a featureless white room with a single equally featureless automatic sliding door. Woke up in the general sense of coming to awareness, not having actually been unconscious. This was most odd, as they had decidedly not each been alone in a featureless white room the minute before. A few seconds’ worth of remembering would allow them to recall the air wavering in front of them, several seconds of blackness, an instant of nonawareness, and then the current situation. Any superhuman sensory abilities would not penetrate the walls of the room. The door would, of course, open if they approached it, revealing a featureless white corridor with another door not a full minute’s walk away at the end of it. This second door would also open, revealing a central room into which all of their hallways fed into. This room was decorated as if for a party, with a big colorful banner that said "WELCOME FREEDOM LEAGUE!", and a circular table with several chairs around it. All of the decorations were oriented towards the doors. A glance above their heads upon entry would reveal an inactive viewscreen and camera.
  22. High Earth Orbit The Lighthouse Friday February 7, 2020 8:50 PM Greenwich Mean Time (3:50 PM Freedom City) In the aftermath of Eria's first meeting with her fellow members of Orange Team, the Swedish teen had made arrangements for her team to spend the weekend on CoVic Station as guests of the Praetorians. So when classes had finished today, the members of Orange Team were taken in a school van to Freedom Hall, where they teleported up to the Lighthouse, the most convenient place for the Praetorians to meet them. The Claremont students had been aboard the Freedom League's space headquarters for about half an hour, getting a tour from Freedom League member Velocity, who for the most part had managed to keep herself moving at a more normal speed. When the yellow clad speedster got word that the Praetorians' spacecraft had exited the wormhole at the edge of the solar system, she led the teens down to a large viewing lounge located near the airlock where the spacecraft would be docking. Outside the large windows of the lounge, the teens could see the Earth moving past below, with the northern half of Africa having moved into view. "Well, it should only be a few more minutes before they arrive." Velocity said as she moved over near some of the windows before turning back to regard the group of teens.
  23. March 21, 2020 DuTemps Castle "Kimber!" called Eira from the guest bedroom the Claremont girls were using to change. "I need your advice!" Technically the members of Orange Squad (along with her room-mate and her friend Pan) were here for diplomatic and professional purposes. True North, Canada's super-team, had recently teamed up with the British super-team Vanguard to battle the forces of the Fenian Liberation Army - the fight had been long, been hard, and it was all very interesting if you cared about the history of cross-Atlantic imperialism and the lasting legacy of American and British imperialism. But what was relevant right now was that in the aftermath of the battle in upstate New York, the teams had come to a neutral spot to celebrate, reconnect, and enjoy the hospitality of one of their richest American partners. It was a great opportunity to meet adult heroes from all over Europe and Canada, use the DuTemps pool - the big one, that the Deep One who lived here typically avoided because of its chlorination, get acquainted with the Claremont alums who lived in the castle, get out from under Claremont discipline under the watchful eye of adult heroes, and maybe hit the sound system and eat snacks while they were at it.
  24. April 2020 Eira Katastroff and Kay Tregennis were friends. Oh they had their differences. Eira's parents had doted on their only daughter all their lives. Kay's parents had all but lost sight of their youngest child until the bus crash that had left her in a locked-in condition. Eira's parents were wealthy, the sort of northern European old money that could have stepped off the set of Downton Abby: The Later Years, Kay's parents were dairy farmers living close to the edge of poverty on the coast of Cornwall. Eira liked metal music and Kay liked chav-hop, Eira loved science and Kay wasn't really interested in anything except her art. Eira was of average height and liked to dye her hair and experiment with her physique, Kay was short and liked her red curls. But they did have one thing in common that had brought them both together - they were both young European women who had made the transition from organic to synthetic bodies about the same time; raised together, discussed together among the circles of super-scientists familiar with their respective cases. There weren't so many people like that that you could ignore one, and they'd had enough experiences and people and places in common that she (along with Synapse) were probably the people in Freedom City who really knew Kay well. If anyone had. She was legally of age; there'd been nobody to stop her from walking out of school, buying tickets to the Ukraine, and then simply walking across the border to Rurland. Eira had gotten Lady Farrington's message about reaching out to Kay - and so at the appointed time, had arrived at her front door. She was dressed 'down' today, in a jean jacket and Amon Amarth black T-shirt, a small belt of gear hanging around her waist as she knocked.
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