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GM January 21st, 2019, 10.16AM Claremont Library, Claremont Academy, Freedom City, NJ, USA The perfect place, to take revenge... The plan was simple, the actors known, the steps clear as the surface of the Moon. "You'll all split into groups of three, and you'll all try to put yourselves in the shoes of someone without powers or special training or technology." Jesse Perry had said, English teacher and an inadequately-disguised giant owl of a man who paced and burbled with the excitement of a flowing inner life one moment before becoming as stiff and dour as a tomb when he hit a roadblock. Right now was in the burbling phase, the tubby and lightly-bent middle-aged writer trotting and weaving deftly through the library's expansive writing desks. "Try, really try to capture what someone without your experiences or life would see if they met you. Not necessarily while fighting, just some situation where your powers or other gifts are unleashed and unmistakable." "After writing, discuss with your classmates whether what you've written is plausible and true to life. Are you trying to be frightening, mysterious, reassuring? After that, write a short scene about someone seeing one of your table-mates and their reaction." Circling back around, he pushed his glasses back up his squashed nose, wagging a finger warningly "Remember, nobody is normal, everyone is unusual and has a story to tell. This is a way for you to step back and imagine yourselves not as the main characters in your own story, but as guest stars in someone else's!" "I'll be grading the essays from yesterday in the reference section, don't be a stranger if you're having any trouble at all." With remarkable speed on someone his age and weight, Perry spun and vanished around the corner. A little slowly at first, but with steadily increasing volume and pitch the air around the desks began to vibrate with whispered conversation, scritching of pens on paper and creaking wood.
March 1st, 2016, 2.03 AM (AST) The Warrens, West wall of Farside Crater, the dark side of the Moon, Sol System At all times the caves felt empty. The walls were covered in ornate and sophisticated technology, the floors often interrupted by sweeping, elegant examples of Farsider engineering, normally the squared tunnels blazed with light, but the silence of the vacuum and the blackness of deactivation made it all feel like a very elaborate stage, not a place that anyone could live in. As she materialized on the teleportation dais, clutching her precious cargo, Atraxia looked at the motionless, austere world around her with a swell of pride. As the last of the blue-gold shimmers of recoherence faded, the dead Farsider straightened up, free of the oppressive grip of Olderth gravity, and flew, pausing only briefly to verify her identity to the monitoring system. At once, the rest of the power cells kicked in, and the world changed. As Atraxia sped like a dark arrow through the now brilliantly-lit tunnels, she relaxed at last, grip loosening on the container still closely held against her black and red terrasuit. Inside, something pale writhed against magno-gravitic bonds, something which could make a corpse's eyes glitter with curiosity and delight. It had been years since it had fallen to Olderth's surface and somehow, despite all odds and the high price the governments of the planet would place on it, she was the first to recover it. One piece, all hers. Coming at last to the doors of her laboratory, the Farsider reached out a spindly arm, sinking it into an adjacent aperture. She felt mechanisms inside remove the sleeve of her 'suit, and then nothing. With a tone that she had spent days perfecting, wasted on the acrid void, the door spiraled open, revealing a dizzying wonderland of intricate tools, specimens in myriad rainbows of solutions and nutrient baths, plodding simulations, readouts describing in exhaustive detail every action of every molecule of their given subject. It was a pleasure to step inside, to let the door cycle shut, blocking out the messy world and step into one of harmony and direction. Taking the cylinder of silver gold to a spare section of her exotic containment module, Atraxia slid the thing into place, tested the field inside with a flick of her dead wrist and a flicker of her blank blue eyes to a crystalline guage, and taking a breath of useless air injected the Gorgon shard into its new home. At once the inchoate mass of consuming, imprisoning nanites tried to break free, twisting and distorting as it tried to get a grip on something solid enough to entomb and ossify, but repulsed by a shifting stream of energy waves it could do little but fall into a pattern of outgrowth, collapse and regrowth. Staring in a moment's gleeful awe at the mass of miniscule robots that would have rapidly reduced her and her home to a petrified state, the vampire quickly recovered herself and settled in to examine her find. Hunching over a translucent display, she absently thumbed a button that unfolded a nearby section of wall, offering a fresh canister of cloned blood. Swapping it with the empty one in her 'suit, the vampire felt her cares and stress wash away under the soothing quasi-sensation of revitalization, the new blood spreading through her withered veins and pumping into her wrinkled skull. For all that, she was as motionless as a statue, as a part of the high-tech furniture, as the silent walls and tunnels of the deathly-still Warrens. In moments, it was just her and the data, the rest of the universe and its inhabitants a distant fifth concern. As were the facts that matter-transit signals could be tracked, and that maybe, just maybe, somebody else might want what she'd found.