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  1. October 31, 2019 Lantern Hill "This seems awfully high-profile," said Judy uncertainly as she looked out the window of the historic mansion rented out on behalf of the federal government. "Tell me again why we're meeting the space people in the middle of town, on a night when the streets are crowded with people?" Judy had dressed for the occasion so she could 'pass' if spotted. Dressed in denim and a jacket, she looked vaguely like an outlaw with her domino mask, black cowboy hat, and the bandanna she was not leaving tied over her face unless absolutely necessary. "It's the easiest way to do something covert in Freedom City," said Ashley with an easy shrug, looking downright unrecognizable to her Claremont 'friends' in a black jacket and white dress shirt, a look that matched the other agents who were along for the ride today. "That is, do it in plain sight. The average person who spots their ship coming in, if they spot it at all, will think it's a superhero thing, and superheroes are too busy dealing with the usual Halloween magic BS to dwell on a ship they know is friendly. And if anybody does spot the Lor, well, they're just partygoers on their way to a party." As she spoke, she and the rest of Judy's team were heading down the corridor and towards the central atrium of the mansion - the better to be there when their contact arrives. "Ah guess that's why Ah don't do the planning," said Judy philosophically. A part of her rather wished they'd gone on to the haunted house Mia had been talking about, but of course going to an unvetted spookhouse wasn't something she was gonna be able to do in Freedom City - or ever, for that matter. Oh well, she thought, probably nothing scarier there than at the Hell House at the church back in Oklahoma City! She took another look at Ashley, narrowed her eyes, and said, "Agent George, are you wearing makeup?" Ashley smiled thinly, glad Judy was remembering to stick to protocol. "Ms. Cahill," she said with a smile, "I am officially off-duty once our guests are finished with their work and you're on your way back to school, which means there's a Halloween party out there with my name on it." Ashley was, in fact, wearing makeup - a striking red lipstick and a smoky eyeshadow, and she'd even freshly dyed the tips of her hair pink before coming out again. If she slept in on Friday, she could probably stay out as late as she wanted. Or...whatever. "Nice," said Judy, smiling back. She had never really liked Halloween, so she wasn't put out at the idea of missing Claremont's Halloween party - it wasn't like she could eat candy anymore. "Well Ah hope you get yourself a good treat." She distinctly detected a blush on her guardian's cheeks, and smiled even more broadly. Maybe she'll loosen up a little bit if she gets a boyfriend! It must be hard for her to find a date...
  2. I'm looking to recruit two or four PCs for a quick thread. Explosions bloom above the downtown skyline as super-powered mercenaries attack ASTRO Labs! Can the heroes save the scientists? Why is AEGIS on the scene so fast? What was stolen, and where will it end up? Expect threats around a PL 8 range. Preference will be given to Claremont or space-affiliated heroes.
  3. New Freedom There's a reason why you don't hear much about the only country on Earth-Prime run by and for superhumans: it's not a very nice, or very hospitable, place to live. Back in 1938, Kreigsmarine Captain Alfred Ritscher commanded the Third German Antarctic Expedition, officially aiming to build a whaling station (and possible naval base) for the Third Reich in Antarctica. (Ritscher's genuine target was of course the extra-terrestrial city discovered by the ill-fated Lake Expedition of 1931). Despite the high adventure and terrifying ordeals faced by the Nazi explorers in the interior of the islands, the German sailors and soldiers posted to the secret Kriegsmarine base in New Swabia actually considered it something a punishment detail, given the length of time between resupply missions and the harsh conditions of the Antarctic coast. In 1943, American superheroes interrupted an attempt to transport a shoggoth by U-Boat, and the subsequent damage caused by the creature rendered the base uninhabited. Until 1946, when an American superhero arrived. Othello (born Paul Leroy) was a New Jersey native by birth, a Freedom City son whose mutant abilities had manifested in 1940 during his time on the Freedom City Watchmen, Freedom's Negro League baseball team that later merged with the Flags. With strength, speed, leaping, and invulnerability akin to the early Centurion's, Othello was a smart man, a former political science major at Freedom City College who recognized that his strongly left-wing political leanings would be held against him in the conservative climate after the war. He worried in particular that his superhuman abilities would make him a target by government scientists, who he felt had targeted him for particularly dangerous missions during the war so as to eliminate him as a political actor. Visiting New Swabia in secret, Othello used his speed and strength to rebuild the shattered and melted fortifications, give decent Christian burial to all the dead Nazis, and make the former German settlement fit for human habitation again. He used his connections in the OSS to cover his work, recruiting several disaffected Allied supers and inviting them to join him in his plans to build a homestead in the last frontier on Earth. By 1950, when word of their activities finally reached a distracted United States, Othello had recruited a half-dozen former American, British, and French super-agents and their families to his cause. President Truman dispatched the Patriot to deal with his old comrade, and two days before the outbreak of the Korean War, Simmons met Othello at the Schirmacher Oasis for a conversation that had unfortunately not been recorded by historians. The Patriot left Antarctica with a recommendation to his superiors that they leave the (technically-illegal) base alone, going to his own destiny alongside the Atomic Brigade later. Time passed, and the colony's population slowly grew. Several Chinese super-agents opted to resettle in Antarctica after choosing to remain in UN hands after the Korean War, while Othello made the controversial decision to accept the immigration of selected Ubersoldaten (only those who had either served their time or had not committed formal war crimes) and their families to the colony he had dubbed New Freedom. The coastal settlement was theoretically under American and UN auspices, but in practice it was something new, a colony of superhumans and the normals they loved, an independent republic under the auspices of the now-greying Othello and his family. With the weather-manipulating Hosato making the region hospitable and the teleporting Mathson providing transportation and formidable scientific expertise, the cold ice of one small corner of Antarctica gradually became habitable in shirtsleeves even by the smallest mundane child. Othello proved his desire for independence when he repelled an 'incident' carried out secretly by Soviet super-agents in 1957, and again in 1961 when he defeated an uprising against his leadership organized by agents of Dr. Sin. It was a social experiment, a colony of several hundred hardy souls whose primary goal was freedom: in New Freedom, superhumans could live without fear of discrimination (that they faced in many Third World countries), fear of conscription (that they faced in the Warsaw Pact and various dictatorships) or simply an inability to fit in with the conservative social consensus of the West. Every man and woman was equal, powered or otherwise, and everyone was valued by the community. And all of it, at least in theory, under the auspices of the American government and the United Nations. It all came to a crashing halt in 1968, when AEGIS arrived to arrest the Drifter. Peter Hopper, given powers by a secret government experiment some years earlier, had abandoned his post in South Vietnam, fleeing to Antarctica to escape desertion charges and bringing with him shocking evidence of corruption in the highest corridors of power in Washington, centered around the Golden Triangle of opium trade in Southeast Asia. When AEGIS agents showed up in force, brushing past Othello's automatic offer of sanctuary for the wanted criminals, blows were struck, and then shots were fired. When all was said and done, the AEGIS carrier was down, the Drifter was dead (by 'suicide'), and Othello had made up his mind. Though Jack Simmons showed up to personally apologize and arrest the rogue agents in New Freedom's custody, Othello had seen enough. He personally ran to Washington to deliver New Freedom's Declaration of Independence. The world's first metahuman nation was born. Things were bad after that. New Freedom had gained their dream, but at the cost of trade embargoes by the West and East, both of whom saw the new nation as a threat to their imperial destiny. There were more attacks by the Eastern Bloc, and supervillains too saw New Freedom as an egg suddenly abandoned by its mother. War came to Antarctica, a quiet, vicious war waged in the snowy outskirts and fertile fields of the small country. The defenders of New Freedom learned to kill to defend themselves, and Othello reluctantly allowed his country to become part of the non-aligned block. The superhuman nature of the early settlers meant that New Freedom had, by a huge margin, the most superpowered population on Earth. Young men and women of Antarctica became mercenaries and superagents, renting themselves to South Africa and Israel, Taiwan and Pakistan, all the 'rogue nations' of the Cold War era looking for, but lacking, superpowered protectors. New Freedom began to take in more and more disreputable elements; Portuguese from Goa and white settlers from Rhodesia, along with wealthy superhumans who liked the nation's lack of extradition treaties, and the dream looked very close to dying. Othello died in 1983, the Presidency of New Freedom inherited by Jade Harper, a Eurasian chemically-powered agent who had been one of the most lethal warriors of Southeast Asia. Jade had come of age in a New Freedom constantly under attack from within and without, and had learned her tradecraft in some of the most vicious fighting of the Cold War. She did not have the loyalty to the United States that her predecessor had maintained in his heart of hearts, nor did she want to maintain the democratic traditions he had established. By the Terminus Invasion, New Freedom was nothing of the sort. New Freedom Today Leah Harper, of mixed Vietnamese, Israeli, and Irish heritage, inherited the Presidency of New Freedom from her mother in 2010 after one of Jade's many enemies finally caught up with her. Leah presides over a nation of some 10,000 souls, a uniquely multi-ethnic melting pot recently increased by migrants from Iraq, Hong Kong, and Albania. New Freedom is a harsh place, a tightly unified dictatorial republic presided over by the President and her appointed Council. Over two-thirds of the population is superhuman in one way or another (superpowers being the only guaranteed path to legal migration), and one of the primary job tracks (as well as a good way to keep the population down and get rid of young people With Ideas) is work as a foreign mercenary in Africa and Central Asia, or as a supercriminal in the United States. New Freedomites speak English with a faint, unique accent, and look to be of no particular race. The nation is not actually a United Nations member, but their population is large enough, and powerful enough, that no one has ever worked up the resources to do anything about their government. The Harpers have written several long, didactic books of political theory justifying their rule, the sort much beloved by poorly socialized high school students and undergraduates: New Freedom's government is strictly utilitarian, and is as likely to take in North Korean super-exiles as they are to rent the services of their own citizens to the Kim family as legbreakers and goons. It's true that superhumans can live like kings in New Freedom, insulated from many of the laws restricting their activities in more civilized nations...assuming they don't mind the dark grey clothing, the political indoctrination, the cramped living conditions, and the nationwide commitment to service, order, and peace. It's not a bad way to live, if you're well-connected and can get access to the resources of the outside world that work outside the country so often brings. Leah herself worked for various American mercenary companies in the 1990s and 2000s, and she has many connections still in Washington and Baghdad. (She hopes to be able to bring over former super-agents of the various Arab dictatorships facing overthrow at the time of this writing.) People who can't, or won't live the New Freedom way leave. The ones that have seen too much die, or change their names, all trying to avoid a hit squad made up of lethal, professional ex-black ops agents with connections all over the world. Like so many new nations, New Freedom has kept its independence, but lost its soul. It's a land that needs heroes. New Freedom Characters New Freedom is the home of the superhero Errant, the heroic scion of a legacy of metahuman telepathic enforcers.
  4. GM Private Plane en route to New Freedom (Half an hour away) Saturday, June 07, 2014 6:18 PM Even before the school year ended, rumors had been flowing around the Claremont campus that Headmaster Summers had been growing increasingly sour. A few students had even mentioned seeing him speaking less than cordially with a woman inside of his office. But as all the rumors related to Headmaster Summers the truth was shrouded in mystery. Then the volunteer forms appeared inside of the dorm rooms, of a select number of the student body. Giving students the opportunity to represent their school in an interschool competition. With the reward for participation being quote as field experience, extra credit [pre-emptively guaranteed for any who would be graduating before the summer came], and a free vacation. The catch? The opposing school was New Freedom's Academy for Exemplary Individuals. Getting students excited to visit New Freedom was no easy endeavor. It was made clear to those whom had been sent the invites that ultimately no one was forced to volunteer. Five students were ultimately picked from those that expressed their interest. Devin Yeager, or Coach as he expressedly wished to be called, was the only member of the faculty whom had chosen to accompany the student competitors. Not counting Headmaster Summers of course. Once the agreed upon came to pass the Claremont students were taken to a private jet in the middle of the evening so as to arrive at their destination in style.
  5. Errant Power Level: 7/10 (105/152PP) Trade-Offs: None Unspent Power Points: 47 In Brief: Refugee from New Freedom, thrust into the world on his own, trying to find his way, and answers to questions about his parents. Alternate Identity: Elias Silvestri (Birth name: Hector Aguayo III) Identity: Secret Birthplace: New Freedom Occupation: Student, Costumed Adventurer Affiliations: Claremont Family: Hector (Father, Haywire), 'Elizabeth' (Mother, Cattavaria), and 'Uncle' Corso (Courser) Description: Age: 16 Apparent Age: 16 Gender: Male Ethnicity: Causcasian [italian], Hispanic, Vietnamese. Height: 5'9 Weight: 154 Eyes: Hazel Hair: Shaved (Dark Brown) Errant is an austere fellow. His expression serious and severe, his eyebrows seemingly in a perpetual scowl. Though when he smiles it almost night and day in contrast, looking more his age when that is the case. He has an olive complexion, with startling contrasting eyes. Generally he keeps his hair buzzed or shaved off entirely. His clothes follow that utilitarian outlook. He wears the standard Claremont uniform. The only addition being a a full mask over his features, and the Israeli military boots. When he is not dressed as a Claremont uniform, and 'on duty' he favors clothes that blend in to his surroundings, and adopting a mask still, where necessary. Power Descriptions: His telepathic powers have little to no manifestation, and seem to be tied to his Ego and Super Ego. And seems to be far more refined versions of what his father had. Thus far his telekinetic powers manifestations have been more instinctual, relating to the id, thus far, existing as an additional passive sense. His ability to telekinetically parry is a refined defensive reaction to stimulus, it visually is represented as a localized distortion of force to intercept attacks. His powers are growing and evolving. After all the program's result was to breed someone with abilities that comprised both of his parents powers. Thus far he seems to have developed a more focused version of his father's abilities. Though refining his powers was not a goal of his mother as she raised him, afraid of the potential outcomes, however his telepathic powers arrived too early and too strongly to be denied. However, now that he is out in the world the changes are speeding up, as his preternatural prowess seems to let him adapt and seems to be related to whatever wiring in his mind that supplements his psionic powers. If not being derived from his mothers abilities. History: His backtory is tied, in part, to that of New Freedom, and to a large degree how the shadows of his parents decisions fell onto his life. His parents were selected by the Harper regime to be 'matched' so as to produce a child with a more likely chance to possess abilities. His father, Hector, was a Marxist revolutionary with fascist leanings who came from a family sympathetic to the Psions methods, and later was a loyal man for Jade Harper. His mother, Elena, was the daughter of a U.S. expatriate, and his Vietnamese wife, who fled to New Freedom during the late 60's. While Hector bought wholesale into Jade Harper's aims, Elizabeth's parents did not and that reflected on the girl, who managed to just pay lip service to the indoctrination desired by Harper. Eventually Elena and Hector were paired in the hopes they would bring forth children that would be possessed of useful abilities. Elena being an operative with considerable protential who adapted to the harsh realities of New Freedom, particularly after her parents' demise, and Hector one of the established stars of the new regime. Elena, had no desire to further these particular plans and desires of her superiors, even if it meant she didn't have to do missions. Fortunately for her, it seemed as those she was barren, and rather than terminate the marriage as a source of embarassment, it was allowed for Hector be allowed to dally, so as to not kill a resource like Elena. It was something Elena could contend with. That changed after the Terminus invasion. Something happened to Hector during that time, the specifics are unclear, but whatever Hector experienced changed him. Already something of a ruthless man, he became prone to psychotic rages, and became obsessed with continuing 'his line.' And saw Elena's inability to bear children as an affront to him. During that time Elena spent most of her time overseas, until it seemed as though her had calmed down. He waited for less than a week after she returned. The news of his wife's pregnancy seemed to calm him down tremendously, though he ruled over her coldly and mercilessly. It was when she felt her son's dawning psychic consciousness that she new she could not stay. After the birth of the boy, he calmed greatly, though it seemed as though Hector was firmly incapable of feeling emotions in teh same fashion most did, and the man's submersion deeper into the New Freedom indoctrination offered some stability to him, or at least it prevented him from lashing out at the boy. Elena bided her time and gathered her favors together, and her resources, and made her escape with her son while Hector was in a meeting. He returned home to be greeted by an explosive. Using most of her favors owed to her, as well as incurring some debts, Elena managed to take her son, who she called Lorenzo, and managed to find succor, albeit temporarily, in Singapore. Paying off her debts through a few missions, with the aid an old ally, Courser, she stayed there several years, until she could barter her way back to the United States. Once there, she went out into the high desert of Eastern Oregon and hid, with only Courser (Uncle Corso) being a link to the world at large. There she raised her son, unfortunately it was done with her paranoia over being found in place, and so his childhood was largely stemming from the circumstances that led to that. His mother reinforced, early on, boundaries on her telepathically precocious son, as she desired to not have him end up like his father. This was a lesson that he took to heart, as his mother allowed him to access her memories about those events, and he got to feel those events from her perspective. It did work, driving into him an aversion of the kind of victimizing behavior Elena was worried he might inherit. The only constant figure in his life, besides her, was Uncle Corso, who helped round out the boy's education, who often came to visit when Elena had to go and continue to pay her debts. This status quo lasted for over a decade, until there came a point where Lorenzo started to chafe under these restrictions, knowing there was more than what he had been exposed to. Then it happened, Corso appeared, bloodied and explained to Elena that her husband was coming. Hurriedly thrusting into Lo's hands things she had prepared for this occasion before her husband appeared, along with several armed men. Elena started exchanging gunshots to buy them some time, before Corso exerted himself greatly to teleport the boy onto a rooftop in Freedom City. Lo was able to snatch up some thoughts as this was happening, getting some information, and an the last thing he heard was his mother telling him to be better, and to get to the Claremont academy and then... He was alone. In an unfamiliar place, reaching out to his mother's thoughts only to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of people around him. Once he was able to push out all the extra thoughts, he set about doing what his mother had trained him to do: survive, adapt, flourish. However the context was entirely new. Personality & Motivation: Lorenzo is a serious and somewhat withdrawn guy. Amazingly well adjusted considering how he was raised, he just doesn't know how to interact sometimes, and he is a little awkward. Though as he learns, that is not terribly unique, he is just lagging a bit behind others in his age group. His arrival into Freedom City gave him a bit of a shock, as he was exposed to innumerable number of minds, and it was more than overwhelming, and while he is primarily driven by the selfish urge to resolve the questions he has, his ability to feel the pain of others in the almost literal sense gives him an immediate temper to that drive. He knows, full well the suffering of others, it is a weight he is aware of, and he cannot ignore it. Which is opposite to his normal preference to avoid open conflict. Or so he believes, as he had a surprising competitive streak just waiting to get out, which might be a manifestation to passive adaptive abilities, and his desire to challenge himself and to spur himself further allows them to escalate. Powers & Tactics: Given the nature of his powers, he prefers, currently, to list back avoid direct confrontation. Currently he is able to provide a good bit of support and that is where her prefers to be. His mother's lessons on avoidance still in his mind. And truthfully, he knows he is not able to hang in the front, though he does know that his abilities give him quite an edge in relaying information to others. Complications: Secret: Identity. If who he is got out could be a political issue, and certainly his father is still after his son. Awkward Teenage Blues: Not being properly socialized growing up, his abilities, and due to circumstance he is a little distrusting of others, plus he is incredibly candid, and as such, has issues with normal social interactions. Fish out of Water: Being around all these people... it's a new experience (and a bit of a system shock to his powers). While smart enough to adapt, there are still going to be things that blindside him for awhile. Secrets Comes Home to Roost: His final moments with his mother and Corso garnered him an info dump that is still jarring. Now he has more and more questions. And he wants answers. Principled Refusal: Learned early on that he had the ability to twist thoughts and hearts about. While he will use his powers to influence others a little, he felt his mother's revulsion at what his father did, and as such he refuses to do lasting changes to others' psyche (Will never use Mental Transform, Mind Control, or Mind Switch off his array, even if it might be beneficial). Red Rage of Compassion: Errant's empathy is not the intellectualized synthesis of another's emotions, he experiences those feelings, fully, and in context of the associated memories. As such, it takes effort for him to abide suffering, and he is apt to lash out at the abuser, no matter his involvement with the abusee. Abilities: 0 + 4 + 6 + 4 + 6 + 0 = 20 PP Strength 10 (+0) Dexterity 14 (+2) Constitution 16 (+3) Intelligence 14 (+2) Wisdom 16 (+3) Charisma 10 (+0) Combat: 6 + 8 = 14 PP Attack: +3 Defense: +7 (+4 Base, +3 Dodge Focus), +2 Flat-Footed Initiative: +10 Grapple: +3 Knockback: -3/-1 Saving Throws: 2 + 3 + 3 = 8 PP Toughness: +7/+3 (+3 CON, +4 Enhanced Defensive Roll) Fortitude: +5 (+3 CON, +2) Reflex: +5 (+2 DEX, +3) Will: +6 (+3 WIS, +3) Skills: 52r = 13 PP Concentration 7 (+10) Craft (Mechanical) 2 (+4) Craft (Structural) 2 (+4) Knowledge (Life Sciences) 2 (+4) Knowledge (Tactics) 4 (+6) Medicine 4 (+7) Notice 7 (+10) Search 4 (+6) Sense Motive 12 (+15) Stealth 4 (+6) Survival 4 (+7) Feats: 10 PP Dodge Focus 3 Eidetic Memory Evasion Improved Initiative 2 Improvised Tools Jack of All Trades Luck Powers: 31 + 2 + 7 = 40 PP Telepathic Array 14 (Power Feats: Alternate Power 3) [31 PP] (All Psionic, Telepathic) Base: Damage 7 ( Extras: Alternate Save [Will], Range 2 [Perception]) [28 PP] (mental blast; psychic crush) Alternate Power: Emotion Control 7 (Extras: Area Burst (35'), Selective Attack) [28 PP] (Empathic) Alternate Power: Paralyze 7 (Extras: Range [Perception]) [28 PP] 'synaptic feedback loop' Alternate Power: Communication 7 (Extras: Area) [14 PP] (telepathic broadcast) + Mind Reading 7 (Extras: Area, Sensory Link; Flaws: Feedback) [14 pp] (telepathic scan) Enhanced Feats 2 ([Defensive Roll 2) [2 PP] 'telekinetic parry' Super-Senses 6 (Tremorsense [Penetrates Concealment], Uncanny Dodge [Tremorsense]) 'Telekinetic web.' [7 pp] DC Block ATTACK RANGE SAVE EFFECT Unarmed Touch DC15 Toughness (Staged) Damage (Physical) Mental Blast Perception DC22 Will (Staged) Damage (Psionic) Paralyze Perception DC17 Will (Staged) Paralyzed/Slow (Psionic) Emotion Control Burst (35') DC17 Will Emotion Mind Reading Perception DC17 Will Mind Reading/Mental Grapple Abilities (20) + Combat (14) + Saving Throws (8) + Skills (13) + Feats 10) + Powers (40) - Disadvantages (0) = 105/152 PP
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