Friday, July 21, 2000

Lesson 13 - 42! Or, what happens when you get answers to non-existent questions.

After resting and talking, we got down to business. Well, we talked a bit more, and things got hairy between us and Meridian. Myst and Gremalkin and I talked about how we were in a role-playing game, yet another Pat game (Pat being Meridian, for those of you just joining us), and Meridian took violent offense to the suggestion. We were really just letting off steam, and trying to make sense of what had happened to us, but it was no game to him. He stormed off, and missed the first set of visions.

Myst also suggested that he try to be in the link as well, which most of us nixed. Yes, he could try to shapeshift into the people we saw in our visions, but we didn't want to stress Nocturne's abilities, and since she was going to be there in the vision with us, she would be another to witness what we were going to see by trying to force the memories out of us.

Templar insisted on going first, but Nocturne refused. He had been so insistent against having his mind read, I think she was just wanting to make sure everything was kosher by trying on one of us others first.

Myst was first. His vision was short, and not very enlightening.

We were all in an alley between buildings, all of us save Meridian. Gascoun might have been there, but he couldn't say for certain. There was another man, one whom Myst and Nocturne recognized as Lars of the Upeo. He was wearing the same bodysuit as ours, but his had writing, symbols on it that might have been a language, or might not. He spoke to us.

"The Farmers know where you have gone. Whether they can do anything about it, that's another story."

It ends up making more sense later on, don't worry.

I was next, my choice.

I was floating in a void. (what is it with me and darkness in my visions?) I heard a voice speak, and I knew it's name.

"An infant cries, gasping for its first breath, and there are then no more children."

It was Singularity, I knew. One person, but with many inside it. Many voices spoke the phrase, but they all came from the one source, Singularity.

We're still not sure what that means, but it does mean something.

Gremalkin was next. His memory came after Myst's memory. And yes, the timing is important.

We were once again in that same alley, but this time, Gascoun was definitely there. A Doorway opened into The Carrier, opened by Gascoun. A crunching sound came from behind us, and Lars was outside of the alley, floating in the air, in battle with six tank-sized organic creatures with animal skull-like heads, multiple limbs and spindly, clawed legs. By the time the Door was opened, Lars had been torn in half by the creatures, but not after doing some damage to them first. Gremalkin knew he couldn't stand against the creatures, and followed the rest of us through the door, then it closed behind him.

This one elucidated a bit more, especially as we could put it definitely into a "followed after Myst's memory" category. It was possible those creatures were Farmers, and we knew Lars was dead. But other than that, we were still clueless.

Nocturne felt she had one more chance to get in someone's head before she needed to rest. So Templar finally got his turn.

Imagine a memory, done documentary style. It was the product of a highly organized, orderly mind. A close up of a series of fights between Novas and the military - all forces, not just U.S., and some Nova vs. Nova battles. Then, the voiceover started.
"In 20 years, there will be a war." (more footage is shown.) "It will culminate in the departure of Novas from Earth." (footage of the leave-taking, via flying, Warping, vanishing, etc.) An image of Divis Mal disintegrating a man, then he steps through a Warp. "This will result in the loss of the Earth to the Human Race." (last shot of Earth burning). A test pattern, 3, 2, 1, and then the memory ended.

[more later]
posted by Julia Frizzell 7/21/2000 01:26:54 PM

Thursday, July 13, 2000

Lesson 12 - Sometimes it hurts to try to open a door, but there can be interesting information on the other side.

Of course, it quickly became our problem.

Gascoun, using some technological method, managed to get in touch with us via our cell phones. He threatened to "blow the whole thing wide open" unless we helped him, especially considering he'd helped us in the past.

Well, isn't that always the way? We had no idea what he was talking about, since we had no idea what had happened to us for the past 8 years. So we ignored him, essentially daring him to tell us what we didn't know. After all, if we didn't know what our cover was supposed to be, how could we, in essense, keep it from being blown?

It ended up being an empty threat, anyway. Before too long, he'd been spotted at a nuclear power plant outside of Paris, and was trying to kill himself, along with just about everyone else nearby. Nocturne managed to put him asleep before he got things to critical, but there was no safe way to get him out of the core of the facility, where he'd gone. The entire place was in lockdown.

If I remember correctly, he got upset when the woman who was his wife here died, taken over by the same nanites he has the power to control. I don't think he meant to do it, alas.

I Warped us to outside the plant, and got the head of the facility to tell me exactly where I needed to Warp to, in order to get to Gascoun and get him out. I marshalled my flagging strength (the Warp takes a lot out of me), and made the opening. Gremalkin said he would go through, but it made more sense if I did it. Gremalkin may be fast, but he's not as resistant to the deadly effects of radiation as I am. So I went through, pulled Gascoun out, and then Warped to the decontamination area.

Of course, Hawksmoor shows up to claim Gascoun. Well, we're not letting him go without giving us a chance at him, since he's (obviously) got info on us, and we want to know it. So he makes a doorway, and we (including Meridian) go through to The Carrier. It's also possible, since Gascoun used The Carrier to get to Earth, that we've been on the ship, so Hawksmoor was kind enough to let us come up and have a private place to talk about all this.

Those doorways are really, really familiar, you know? It probably is from our time with Gascoun, but they remind me of my Warp, too. While the others are talking, Myst tried to make a Doorway. Nothing happened. Then I tried it. I put my will behind it, and tried to imagine the ship obeying my command to make a Warp, a Door.

Well, that was so not a good idea! I'd been weakened by all the Warping I'd been doing, and hadn't had a chance to rest yet. Suddenly, I blacked out, but while I was out, I had a vision.

It was cold...cold for me, which I must say is damn cold. I was on rough stone, surrounded by darkness, and couldn't breathe! Everyone was there -- Nocturne, Gremalkin, Cheshire, Templar, Myst, and myself. And Gascoun! Gascoun was in a mecha-type spacesuit, with a huge bubble helmet. A handsome man was there, gorgeous, even more handsome than Cheshire! He began to speak, strange words, sounds, things I can't even describe. And then I woke up.

I realized later we'd all been wearing the jumpsuits we'd "thrown up", our Eufiber. The others were all concerned about me, but as I was in good health (other than being tired), I explained to them what I had seen, which they seemed to believe. I don't know if I would have, being on the other end.

Hawksmoor agreed to let us stay for a few days, before they had to move back to their world. And Gascoun needed to rest some more before we could talk to him, even mind-to-mind. So we rested, debated, and finally decided that the best way to find out what in heaven's name was going on was to have Nocturne try to get inside our heads and provoke some memories. But we all needed to rest first, and get some food.

I should mention at this point that not everyone wanted Nocturne poking about in their head. Templar was very much against it, but she wasn't going to violate anyone, and either we trusted each other, or we didn't. I'm sure he'll change his mind, given some rest and time to think about it.
posted by Julia Frizzell 7/13/2000 01:49:48 PM

Friday, June 23, 2000

Lesson 11 - Other dimensions? What the fuck?

After wrapping up Nebraska, we actually had some time off scheduled. Meridian had invited Nocturne, and the rest of us, to visit him in Paris. He had some artwork or soemthing to do there, but had time to spend with us, if we wanted to go. Only Cheshire, Nocturne, and I decided to go. Templar was checking out the new Eufiber radios we'd gotten, Myst just stayed home, and Gremalkin took off for parts unknown after his radio checked out. He said he'd join us later in Paris.

Oh, who is Templar? Storm Crow decided his name didn't fit his beliefs or role in society, so he changed it. And costume. He's got a shield now. Damn, first it's Batman, then it's Captain America. Nevermind. I try not to ask.

We had fun sightseeing in Paris for a few days. We managed to find an American working for Utopia on Team Tomorrow Europe - he was on the news about some deal Utopia had was trying to make for a new Rashoud with the government of France, who wasn't really interested. Utopia got what they wanted, of course. We made plans to meet and talk with Thorn, the Nova who was the rep. Gremalkin (who had shown up just before), Cheshire and I went to our lunch date, leaving Nocturne and Meridian to chat.

It wasn't going too well, but it would have gone worse. Thorn brought two more Novas, Bastille (guess his nationality) and Die Spiner (the spider in German), both Utopians. Thorn spoke the best English of the three, of course. We are becoming hard-pressed to keep, or come up with, a good explanation as to why we don't know a lot about Utopia. Thorn wasn't buying it, and basically gave us the spiel about doing good, making money, getting men/women, and attention. Utopia did save his life when he erupted.

Well, then the fun happened! A man approached Thorn just as we started to hear noise from another part of the city -- rather non-normal noise. He apologized for not going through "proper channels", but they had an opportunity and had to take it. Just then we got a call from Nocturne asking for help; she and Meridian were under attack.

Thorn, Bastille, and the spider took off through some method, the strange guy went through a white doorway that appeared out of nowhere. Cheshire was getting ready to teleport, when I realized something. That doorway was the key, I think. It was like a Warp, a Nova ability that some have. And I realized I had it too.

I called out to the others to wait, I could get us there quicker. And I began to concentrate, putting my hands out in front of me and willing a Warp to appear. And it did! Within a few seconds, a portal appeared between us and the back of the restaurant that was in our hotel, where Nocturne was calling from. Ignoring the looks from Cheshire and Gremalkin (well, mostly looks from Cheshire), I motioned them though and then came through myself.

The warphole closed behind me, and we could see the carnage. Meridian seemed to be holding one of the combatants, a woman with bird wings, against the side of the building with his gravity powers. He was, however, encased in some sort of goo, from a man who stood nearby, according to Nocturne. She'd alerted the whole team, and as Cheshire didn't have enough power to go back and forth with Templar and Myst (who were still at Sevrin), I started doing the Warp, notifying them via radio that something was on its way. Since I was busy dealing with the Warp, I asked Cheshire and Gremalkin to guard my back, which they promptly ignored. Cheshire, our "e;Face", decided he wanted to go mix it up with the baddies, and jumped at the man Nocturne had figured.

Well, he promptly got his ass handed to him on a silver platter! I heard the bone break behind me and winced, but I was too busy to divert my attention. Gremalkin also got involved, but I couldn't see what he was doing. Templar and Myst came through then, just as the rest of the others arrived (Thorn and his two, and the man who had come up to talk to Thorn at the restaurant). I dropped the Warp, turning around to see what was going on, and noticed that not much had changed, other than the furniture was rearranged.

The man, named Hawksmoor, talked to Templar about calling off our folk, and he'd call off his. Templar, not really knowing what was going on, agreed to do so. There were a lot of other folk there too, and Nocturne and some of the others had fought, but I really didn't know what was going on. I did note that Gremalkin had dropped a car on someone who was in a hole in the street, someone who was just about to rip up a huge section of the street, with us on it. But Hawskmoor called him off, and Templar called us off, such as it were.

It turns out that the real perpetrator of all of this mayhem wasn't even there anymore. I must have missed him, as we got there a bit late. Three folk had been sitting at a table, and when the members of the other group arrived, one of them bugged out and the other two started sprouting technology. We let Thorn handle the crowd and the police, while Hawksmoor asked if we might adjourn to a less-public place to discuss what was going on. He called for a door (actually asked, it was odd, as if talking to someone who wasn't there, but could hear him/us), and another of those white doorways appeared. After some discussion, we all went through, including his group of folks, and Meridian on our end.

Names were bandied about all around. Their group name is The Authority (has a nice ring to it!), and they are: Jack Hawksmoor, their leader; The Engineer, a woman who can change into technology (think Borg, but not quite); The Doctor, a mage/shaman type, I think; Midnighter, he of the breaking-Cheshire's leg, a rather faster, more competent Templar, methinks (no insult to Templar, he just is somehow faster, better than my friend); Apollo, who was duking it out with Gremalkin in the street; and Swift, the bird-woman Meridian had pinned to the wall with reverse-gravity.

Turns out they are from some alternate reality (huh?!?!), and their ship, which we were on, could move them back and forth between multiple worlds. They were pursuing the man in the restaurant who had escaped, a man named Jean Phillippe Gascoun. He somehow could infect people around him with nano-technology, which effectively killed them on the spot, but they kept on going, doing his bidding I think, until they were killed. And most of his bidding was to rip, rip, rip and destroy. He'd done this before, and would do it again. And they were sent to try and stop him.

And they didn't want us to interfere.

Well, when they put it that way, there wasn't much else to say. We're elites, admittedly Sevrin's elites and not DeVries', but catching this guy wasn't something we were being paid to do. So with some reluctance on others' parts, we bid them adieu. Nocturne did secure a promise though, that if he got in our way, we wouldn't just ignore him. And so they made another door, and we walked out, back a bit away from where we had left. Our hotel was in shambles, Bastille was there and saw us, asked us where we had gone and where the others were, but we just told him to talk to Thorn, and left.

After all, it wasn't our problem, right?
posted by Julia Frizzell 6/23/2000 02:47:41 PM

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