Masks: A New Generation of Heroes

Game Master Cwethan

Playbooks
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Character Bible


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Labels: Danger: -1 Freak: 3/0 Savior: 2 Superior: 1 Mundane: 0/3| Conditions: Afraid, Insecure, Guilty
Influence:
Influenced by: Thor Girl, Bioshock, Wingblade, Silver Shadow. Influences: Thor Girl, Bioshock, Wingblade, Kaoru, Mercy, The Kilt, Whipoorwill

"I didn't say you planned it, Shayera, and I never said anything about asking for my permission. You are your own person. But when this was offered, you were the one who said yes. And you said yes for a reason. So of course I'm disappointed that the life of a mercenary thief appeals to you. And... God, don't you get how much I'm hurt that you didn't trust me with any of this? That you didn't think I was worth telling about this incredibly important part of your life until you were forced to? It's not the first time either. You tried to hide that you were asexual from me too. Was I that horrible when you did finally tell me, after you tried to have Reaver operate on your brain in secret rather than have a conversation with your girlfriend?! When are you going to understand that you can... What do I have to do, Shayera?

"And this isn't 'freaking out.' It's really unfair of you to pretend that I'm overreacting. And it's crazy if you think it isn't worse that you kept this from me.

"'Cause you just said something really scary. You just told me that you didn't want to merge with the others until after you'd done it, after you'd subsumed yourself into this hive mind thing. Something you didn't want to do, that affects the way you think when you do it, and afterwards fills you with bliss? But that you still feel like you have to hide from the people in your life who care about you and love you?

"Maybe it's not as bad as it sounds, but what you just said? It's much worst than I was guessing. And Shayera? It's not like I don't know something about different bodies, and the idea that someone else might try to merge with you and move yours around. When you thought Bran was influencing what I told you, you demanded to see me in my real body. Can I see the mask? I promise, I swear to you, I won't do anything to it without talking to you first."


Labels: Danger: -1 Freak: 1/3 Savior: 1 Superior: 1 Mundane: 3/1| Conditions: Guilty, Afraid
Influence:
Influenced by: Thor Girl, Bioshock, Wingblade, The Silver Shadow. Influences: Thor Girl, Bioshock, Apex, Hex, Wingblade, The Kilt, The Silver Shadow, Shadowboxer, Jusker

Bran raised a massive hand in acknowledgement of his offense. "I am sorry, Kaoru. I did not intend to speak ill of the work you have done, or the compassion you have shown, and I ask your forgiveness for the offense I have given you. I merely wish to make certain that if another path exists, Alexis is given the choice. If he was able to attend this school as a stranger to your land and laws in his previous form, why would that not work again?"


[X] [X] [X] [X] [ ] Labels: Da: 1 Fr: 0 Sa: 0 Su: 3 Mu: -1 | Conditions: Insecure, Angry, Guilty
Influence:
PCs: Alexis, Shaun; NPCs: Odysseus

Bran/Bron at the junkyard

Frowning to herself as Bran neared the end of the questions, Cassie kept going after the tenth, launching more questions more and more quickly, asking a new question as soon as Bran had answered each in turn, trying to throw him off-balance.

Favorite color? .... Apple Red
Where'd you grow up? ... Halcyon
Favorite teacher? ... Ms. Bonnelli
Best friend?Mary-Beth
First pet? Gw,… Mr. Kitty
Mother? Marian
Father? The Sea- ...Cesar
Sister? …. Br... I have a lot of sisters
First love? …. Creirwy's phantom tugged at the corner of Bran's vision, looking at him with tears filling her luminous eyes ...... Shayera.

As the questions came to an end, Cassie sat back examining Bran closely. ”Well,” she said, ”I think there’s definitely some of Bran in there.” Pulling her notebook onto her lap, she began working, occasionally looking up at Bran.

”So,… Its, well its mostly the same as before, from when I read you when you were Bron – You can change back now if you want?.. But, well, there’s a lot more, well, there’s more,.. fire,.. and earth and death – that’s not as bad as it sounds, not quite so much air…. Which pretty much confirms what I thought… You’re Bron. That’s for sure, but that’s not all, there’s an influence – Bran I assume, and maybe it seems to come out a bit more if you’re stressed? Do you feel more,.. um,.. aggressive when you’re him?”


Influence:
I have influence on: Bran the Blessed, Mercy, Kilt
Conditions: Angry, Insecure, Guilty
Labels:
Danger +3, Freak +2, Savior -1, Superior +2, Mundane +1. Potential 0/5

Conference Room
Shayera hugs herself tight, looking away. "You can't. Not right now. It's with Dad."

The feeling of guilt rises up, and her stomach twists in pain. "Bronwyn, I'm sorry. I knew you'd be hurt. I knew you wouldn't understand. I knew that anything Dad was involved in, you wouldn't trust. I didn't know what to do. I was stuck, between these two awful choices: to tell you and hurt you, or lie to you and keep it from you. I kept hoping there was some way, like if I just didn't mention it, it would eventually work itself out. Some hero I am."

She looks up, laughing bitterly. "Let's just blame Dad. He's a bad guy, right? My Dad, the supervillain. This is all part of his 'master plan' to... to..." Her attempt at black humor dies as she can't bring herself to finish the thought.

She chokes back a sob and tears start streaming down her cheeks. "I'm sorry. I didn't know what to do. I was just... scared."

==============
Team Meeting

Shayera shows up, looking disheveled. Her hair is hidden by a hoodie pulled up over her head, and her demeanor is that of a whipped puppy.

She accepts the communicator with a mumbled thanks, then goes to sit down in a chair near the back. She doesn't say anything if Alexis brings up wanting to stay with Cassie in her presence. Nor does she chime in when Alexandra makes the case for him to stay.


Labels:
Danger +3 Freak +2 Savior +0 Superior -1 Mundane -1
Influence:
Wingblade, Bronwyn, Shaun (Rival), Alexandra (Love), Cassie, Kaoru
Conditions: Angry, Afraid | Potential 4/5 (4A)

Monday Meeting

Alexis considers all of Kaoru's objections for a few moments. His thinking is practically visible on his face as he digests the team leader's words. Finally he has a reply, but Alexandra has stepped in and pushed at Alexis to stay with Shayera. It irritated him a little if he was being honest here. Marking Angry

"If they have a three minute window, they will plan and drill and be ready with a ninety second extraction plan. But they are not the only reason that I want time to myself..." He started to say, but kept himself coming short.

"Anyways, no one will associate my new identity with the team as long as Cassie has her magic. I will just tell people that she is my cousin if they ask why we are living together. I guess I do not need to change any of this for that," He addresses the packet. "Can we continue the meeting now?"


[X] [X] [X] [X] [ ] Labels: Da: 1 Fr: 0 Sa: 0 Su: 3 Mu: -1 | Conditions: Insecure, Angry, Guilty
Influence:
PCs: Alexis, Shaun; NPCs: Odysseus

Monday meeting

"Just hold on a second." Cassie says, turning to Alexis. "I said I'd ask if it was ok. Ask - and I won't be able to do that until later tonight. It's not my place, remember? I can't guarantee that,.. my guardian will say its OK - there's not a lot of space and she's not exactly loaded."

She turns to Alexandra. "The place I'm staying is more well defended than you might think - The Coterie might not be as well known as some other teams, but they've been around a lot longer than most. They've got ways of protecting themselves, and me. I think Alexis'd be as safe there as anywhere else... Anyway, I can't make another charm like mine - it took the whole Coterie to make this one and they don't like to meet up very often, and the,.. ingredients,.. aren't easy to get. I doubt they'd be willing to make one for Alexis - not unless he was willing to tell them everything. Even then,.. I think they see him as someone else's problem. Kind've a demarcation thing - they deal with magical and supernatural stuff - not labs and super soldiers.


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Danger -2 | Freak +3 | Savior +1 | Superior +3 | Mundane 0
Influence:
Influence on: Alexandra, Alexis, Bronwyn | Influenced by: Alexandra, Bronwyn
Conditions: Angry, Insecure | Potential: 1/5 | Team: 3

Kaoru's eyes narrow as Bran apologizes...and then simply proceeds to insult her once again. Like those people who somehow thought tacking "No offense" onto a statement somehow negated its offensiveness instead of simply highlighting that you knew you were about to say something bad and were choosing to say it anyway. She could simply repeat herself, much as Bran had done. But no. She was supposed to be the team leader now. She had to be better than that and not stoop down to Bran's level (unless he was simply too dumb to realize what he had done? With his Neanderthal looks, she wouldn't put it past him). As such, she chooses to ignore his comment, instead nodding in response to Alexis'. Now that the team was all here, it was time to get started. As stated yesterday, since Shaun didn't say anything, I'm assuming he showed up as well. And is hopefully not doing a Wizard of Oz impression with the hurricane.

Kaoru takes a deep breath. "Yes, as Alexis suggested, let's get started with the meeting. If we wish to continue debating Alexis' life, we can do so afterwards, so that people who do not wish to participate in that discussion are free to leave." Which includes me. Though it looks like I might need to do some kind of damage control with Wingblade. Or...is emotional support even part of my role as leader? I wouldn't have thought so. But if she's not in a good place, she's not going to be able to function on the team. So it probably *is* my responsibility. "First order of business- She's interrupted by her phone buzzing at her from its position next to her computer. She frowns briefly before declining the call and continuing. "First order of business: we need alternative ways to communicate with each other. Our communicators don't work well for async communication and aren't as inconspicuous in a crowd as simply using phones. Plus if they're broken, you need to have an alternative way of reaching someone. The email I sent out telling you about this meeting has everyone's email address on it, including one I've set up to forward emails via text to his new phone for Bran." She points at the newly purchased dumb phone just as her phone vibrates once again to announce that she has a new voicemail. She ignores it.

"In addition to that, I want you all to read out your phone number one at a time. As each person dictates their number, the rest of you should be putting that person's number into your phone." She taps her computer to pull up a slide with both her phone number, Bronwyn's number (which she felt ok giving out since she was pretty sure everybody already had it anyway), and Bran's new phone number displayed on it. As each person gives their digits, she adds them to the list displayed on the projector.

If anybody actually has objections to giving out their phone number to the group, let me know and we can retcon in a discussion about that. Otherwise, I'm just going to assume everybody is ok with it.

Once everybody had given their phone numbers and signaled that they were done, Kaoru continues. "The other thing I wanted to do was talk a little bit about the mission last week. Specifically the group that we came into conflict with. Since I don't know what their objective was, it's quite possible we will run into them again. As such, it's in everyone's best interests that we know as much about them as possible, so we can plan for how to deal with them in the future." She presses a button and a slide appears of a passport for a familiar-looking man. "This was one of the higher ranking men. He's been going by the alias Dr. Duncan Willingham, but his real name is Duncan MacGregor. He's Shaun's older brother who seems to have broken from the family and tried to disappear around 14 years ago, round about the same time his mother died. He has some old forum posts from around then mentioning having a 'new job,' that required a lot of training, but doesn't go into details about that. While his alias claims to be a museum curator, I was unable to find any bank accounts for him. He flies pretty regularly on a private jet service named Daedalus, which would be pretty pricy for a supposed museum employee."

She takes a breath before continuing. "I ran into him a little over a week ago in the park, and we struck up a conversation. From that encounter, I think it's possible he has fire or heat-based meta powers, despite showing no signs of such earlier in his life. That's just a hunch though; he gave no concrete evidence as such. I also gather he hates his job, but has some kind of iron-clad contract. If he is working for Circe, I suspect the penalties for breaking it would be quite severe. However, if we were able to find a loophole, it's possible he could be convinced to turn on his former mistress. More importantly, as I'm sure you've all already noticed, he and Shaun share an uncanny resemblance. I would prefer not to, but it's possible we could exploit this."

She turns to face Shaun. "To that end, Shaun, I would suggest you start practicing your midwestern accent. As I said, I don't want us to go that route, but it would be nice to have that option on the table should it be needed. In the interests of seeing what more we can find out, it would be best if we talked to your dad about what he knows about Duncan's disappearance as I suspect it's related to his current position. As family, you're probably in the best position to get this information from him."

She turns back to the rest of the group. "That's about all the relevant information I was able to find on Duncan. Does anybody else have ideas about how we might want to deal with that group if we were to face them again? Or are there other avenues of inquiry that might be useful to explore that I haven't brought up?"


Influence:
I have influence on: Bran the Blessed, Mercy, Kilt
Conditions: Angry, Insecure, Guilty
Labels:
Danger +3, Freak +2, Savior -1, Superior +2, Mundane +1. Potential 0/5

Wingblade remains subdued throughout the meeting and the giving out of phone numbers, but she complies without any comment.

When Kaoru asks about Duncan, she lifts her head. "I talked to him during the battle. Well, bantered, really. I tried to get him talking. He went by Sal during the fight, and was calling the shots. He talked about a boss, didn't correct me when I called her a she. He said he hadn't had a chance to banter with someone for a decade. And he was the one who delivered the parting shot that killed Alexis. What's more, he made sure to get my attention before he did it, to deliver the message not to interfere in his business." She slowly started showing some life while talking about the battle in the park, but her last statement makes her pensive. She stares out the window after she goes silent.


Danger -2 | Freak +3 | Savior +1 | Superior +3 | Mundane 0
Influence:
Influence on: Alexandra, Alexis, Bronwyn | Influenced by: Alexandra, Bronwyn
Conditions: Angry, Insecure | Potential: 1/5 | Team: 3

Kaoru made no comment as Wingblade recounted the bantering that the entire team had pretty much heard. There was no harm in her retelling it, and she seemed to perk up at recounting it. So instead she just nodded. Keep her talking. "I wasn't there; what kind of parting shot was it? Bantering as a way to distract or gain intel from an enemy sounds like a smart move. If someone else were to wind up on comms with him next time, did you get a feel for what kind of approach might work best with him? Or do you have any other insights from past talkative foes that might be useful to share? For my part, I know he likes classic rock, though I'm not sure how useful that will be unless you're trying to distract him." Her lips twisted into a slight smile as she acknowledged that the information she had in that regard wasn't that useful.

"He also delivered a similar, though purely verbal, threat to me about hacking into his comms. It appears at one point in time he had a few computer skills, but unless he's kept up, they're woefully out of date now. Their tech was also rather ancient, despite the fact that Duncan seemed well off in terms of money. Perhaps their group isn't that tech savvy overall?" She looked at Cassie, raising an eyebrow. "If these are indeed your mother's minions, do you have any insight into this?"


Potential 0 / 5 --- Dan -1 | Fre +0 | Sav +2 | Sup -1 | Mun +3
Conditions:
Afraid, Hopeless, Insecure
Influence:
Influenced By: Bron/Bran the Blessed, Hex, Wingblade --- Influence Over: Hex, Mercy, Wingblade

...I’m gonna put up a proper post tomorrow, but for right now, HOLY S!%+ KAORU! This is not at all how I planned this reveal to go down but I am SO HYPED to play this out! 8D

(Shaun less so. >:3 )


Labels:
Danger +3 Freak +2 Savior +0 Superior -1 Mundane -1
Influence:
Wingblade, Bronwyn, Shaun (Rival), Alexandra (Love), Cassie, Kaoru
Conditions: Angry, Afraid | Potential 4/5 (4A)

Monday Meeting

Alexis gapes a little as Kaoru dumps a ton of information on everyone. He's not sure how to take it, or how hurt he felt about Cassie backpedaling on him staying with her. She even said that it would be safe where she lived. Probably not nearly as high up either.

As it was, Alexis had nothing to really contribute to the conversation here. He remembered dying, but he didn't see the person who did such a thing up close. Though it was Shaun's brother? That was confusing as well.

He decided his time was better suited to checking out the packet and memorizing the details. It was simpler, and the joy of going back to school overruled his simmering anger at being incapable of helping.


[X] [X] [X] [X] [ ] Labels: Da: 1 Fr: 0 Sa: 0 Su: 3 Mu: -1 | Conditions: Insecure, Angry, Guilty
Influence:
PCs: Alexis, Shaun; NPCs: Odysseus

Backpedaling?.. Alexis doesn't pay attention!

Cassie shrugs at Kaaoru's question. "Not really - I didn't even know she was,.. that she did things like that, or had people like that working for her. Sorry."


Influence:
I have influence on: Bran the Blessed, Mercy, Kilt
Conditions: Angry, Insecure, Guilty
Labels:
Danger +3, Freak +2, Savior -1, Superior +2, Mundane +1. Potential 0/5

Kaoru's questions keep Shayera talking. She looks back from staring out the window, giving a shrug. "Well, the key thing about banter is, unless you can do it without getting distracted yourself, don't. Better to stay silent and focused than wracking your brain trying to think of the perfect quip and getting blindsided.

"But here's the thing: you said you felt Duncan, or Sal, hated his job. But his parting shot was a kill shot. He was on a roof several hundred feet away, made some kind of gesture, and suddenly Alexis went up in flames. So, yeah, definitely flame powers."

She shifts in her seat and gives Shaun an uneasy glance. "Parting shots are done out of pure spite. Not every villain does them; if they're lucky enough to get away, that's what they do. But if you've managed to thwart their scheme -- or piss them off enough -- they'll take one last shot at you or a teammate. That's different from creating a distraction so they can get away.

"Anyway, unless Duncan knew Alexis would come back, he picked a person on our team to kill. That's not the action of someone who is stuck in a bad situation and doing what they're told to do -- especially if his boss is who we think it is and she's locked up. He could have scorched her, or me, without killing us. Or if his power's so strong, he could have demonstrated it on a tree or something. But no, he killed her."

She turns to look at Cassie. "If we encounter him again, are there any fire protection spells you know? That might be our best bet."


Influence:
I have influence on: Bran the Blessed, Mercy, Kilt
Conditions: Angry, Insecure, Guilty
Labels:
Danger +3, Freak +2, Savior -1, Superior +2, Mundane +1. Potential 0/5
Wingblade wrote:

Conference Room

Shayera hugs herself tight, looking away. "You can't. Not right now. It's with Dad."

Just remembered that's not where it'd be after last night.

"It's stashed away, safe."


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Labels: Danger: -1 Freak: 3/0 Savior: 2 Superior: 1 Mundane: 0/3| Conditions: Afraid, Insecure, Guilty
Influence:
Influenced by: Thor Girl, Bioshock, Wingblade, Silver Shadow. Influences: Thor Girl, Bioshock, Wingblade, Kaoru, Mercy, The Kilt, Whipoorwill

"Shayera, choosing not to tell me and hoping I never found out is lying to me and keeping it from me. You weren't stuck between two awful choices. You were afraid of one choice and so you made the wrong one."

She leaned in and gave Shayera a cool, dry kiss on the cheek.

"I still love you though. Look, there's obviously a lot wrong with what you did, and a lot that scares me about what you want to keep doing. But if you're trying to figure out His master plan? Here goes:

"By doing this He gets to give you something you really want; even better, you get to earn it, so you aren't afraid or asking questions till it's too late.

"He gives you a secret that you have to keep from the people who do love you. It makes you feel guilty and uncomfortable with us, and because we're both pretty smart, it makes it very likely that we're going to have a fight once we find out you've been lying.

"He gives you new people to care about, people who you don't have to keep that secret from, and people who don't know or don't care what a monster He is.

"They're easier.

"You don't have to have courage or trust with them. Magic's doing all the heavy lifting. He already knows you're willing to take shortcuts like that.

"You go on missions with them. It's fun and makes you feel powerful and united. It's only against bad guys for now. So even if all you're doing is being a better thief than them, you can still feel like you're doing the right thing. And He gets all the benefits. You get used to doing missions for him again, just like before Whippoorwill rescued you from him the first time.

"It all sounds like it's working so far, right? But He doesn't understand love. He doesn't understand that I can be hurt and angry, and still forgive you, and help you back from this cliff. He thinks I'll give in to that anger and push you away, or else that I'll just stand by and do nothing, because compassion makes me weak. That's not going to happen.

"I need to see the mask, because I want to believe that the other Daughters are what you've told me. I know He is evil. I don't know there hearts. I would never do anything to tear you away from someone you care for just because I'm afraid of what the worst could be. Besides, I bet you've been a good influence on your sisters."


Labels: Danger: -1 Freak: 1/3 Savior: 1 Superior: 1 Mundane: 3/1| Conditions: Guilty, Afraid
Influence:
Influenced by: Thor Girl, Bioshock, Wingblade, The Silver Shadow. Influences: Thor Girl, Bioshock, Apex, Hex, Wingblade, The Kilt, The Silver Shadow, Shadowboxer, Jusker

"If I am near, Gae-Dearg should be able to thwart him; even the Salamander's flames may be quenched."

"The greatest threat of Cer- Of Circe's minions may be their variety. We have seen harpies, a herd of swine, the Erymanthian Boar, and the Salamander. There is no reason to suspect that this is the end of her menagerie. As to her aims, we know that she sought out Encantado. Perhaps due to his power, perhaps due to his specific nature as a shapeshifter. Metamorphosis is clearly within the scope of her interests. Remember, she will escape if she can, but she will likely attempt to do so while allowing us to believe she is still captured. She would hardly have worked her wiles from the shadows for millennia if deception were not her favored weapon."

***

Junkyard

"Aggressive? No. Save for when I struck down Shayera to- Except when I had to dispel Bone Daddy's mind control, I haven't really hurt anyone as Bran. Can't really say the same for Bron. I think... I think something about you is bringing out Bran-stuff though. I went a long time without getting anything but a couple names. I guess I did stir up some weird dreams myself though. I was trying to create a Memory Stone. Something to show Shayera about her... That part's not important. Anyways, I went to sleep while I was still powering it up, and I got a bunch of Severed-Head-Bran-Whisper-Screaming-in-Welsh dreams. Do you have anything like that?" She transformed back into Bronwyn. "Like... Creirwy dreams?"


Danger -2 | Freak +3 | Savior +1 | Superior +3 | Mundane 0
Influence:
Influence on: Alexandra, Alexis, Bronwyn | Influenced by: Alexandra, Bronwyn
Conditions: Angry, Insecure | Potential: 1/5 | Team: 3

Kaoru's eyes briefly reflected the sorrow she felt at Wingblade's words. She had wanted to believe that Duncan was just put in a bad position. But what Wingblade said made sense. He may hate his job, but that didn't mean he wasn't still a bad person. If he had been on comms with someone calling the shots, demanding he take a kill shot, they would have heard it. It had been his decision. It didn't mean they couldn't still turn him against his mistress. But it did mean he probably wasn't worth saving. She pushed the thought aside. She barely knew him. It was pointless to have these kind of feelings towards a practical stranger. Perhaps more importantly, the discussion seemed to be serving as a good distraction for Wingblade.

"Depending on the nature of his power, flame retardant materials may help as well. Though I would not wish to rely on them until we know he cannot simply bypass them. He didn't see me on the mission, so he's still completely unaware of my association with this team, and we're still on relatively good terms. I was planning on planting a tracker on an mp3 player and giving it to him as a gift if I saw him in Monument Park again. He's apparently a creature of habit, and likes to go back to the same place when he's not traveling. If need be, we may be able to use that to set up some kind of ambush. We would only get one shot at it, and we'd have to find a way to safeguard civilians in the area. Unfortunately the safest plan I can think of would involve relying on the SCA's greater manpower to make sure everyone nearby is a plain clothes undercover operative, but that of course greatly increases the chance that Duncan would realize something was up before we were able to spring the trap."

Get them talking. Get them engaged. Especially the ones who haven’t said anything yet. "Does anybody have any other ideas for how to safe guard non-combatants should a fight break out?" Admit flaws. Let those with expertise teach you. "I will admit when the civilians at the waterfront park started stampeding, it would have been good if I had known how to help them evacuate while our heavy hitters dealt with the threat. I would have been more useful that way." Bystander effect. Address people directly. "Alexis, any military maneuvers that you were taught that would work here? Or Alexandra and Shayera, how have you dealt with these kinds of situations in the past?"


Labels: Danger: -1 Freak: 1/3 Savior: 1 Superior: 1 Mundane: 3/1| Conditions: Guilty, Afraid
Influence:
Influenced by: Thor Girl, Bioshock, Wingblade, The Silver Shadow. Influences: Thor Girl, Bioshock, Apex, Hex, Wingblade, The Kilt, The Silver Shadow, Shadowboxer, Jusker

What did I do to piss him off?

Oh. He must have talked to Alexandra.

And she told him that we kissed. Uuuuuugh. I'm glad they're talking, but jeez - no wonder he hates me!

If that conversation from earlier gets continued there's even a chance that Bran/Bron's right ;-)


Labels: Danger: 0 Freak: 1 Savior: -2 Superior: 2 Mundane: 3 | Condition(s):None|Potential 0/5
Influence:
no-one

I'd like to be able to examine him. If we had a power nullifier, I'd also want to talk, but... probably not safe, if he is willing to kill. she says

Park. I can work with the park, see what we're up against. but your instincts are right, Kay. trying to jump him in the park is a bad choice. Wish I could see him in a fight before we try, there's too many unknowns in his powerset... maybe we try to lure the Triakosia into fighting him. worst case scenario, a few of our enemies deal with each other? there is black humour in her voice, but most of you are pretty sure she means it, even if it isn't practical.

Oh, just a PSA, remember when I said I don't lie to you guys... well, I meant it. I'm not baseline. Didn't know until this weekend, and a few of you already know, but, I figured I'd put those cards on the table. My power actively feeds me information, like I'm impossibly intuitive, and it passively analyzes the neurological and physiological structures of those around me,and incorporates the useful patterns into my neuro-physical structure. she says, before she loses the nerve.


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Influence:
I have influence on: Bran the Blessed, Mercy, Kilt
Conditions: Angry, Insecure, Guilty
Labels:
Danger +3, Freak +2, Savior -1, Superior +2, Mundane +1. Potential 0/5

Conference Room

Shayera's heart leaps when Bronwyn kisses her. She'd been steeling herself for the inevitable ultimatum and breakup by numbing her emotions. But this flip in what she expected catches her off guard. She nearly gasps in surprise and relief.

Then Bronwyn lays out the "master plan." It made sense, she had to admit. Devious. Subtle. Divide and conquer. Isolate her and cause her to draw closer to him.

But this is Dad we're talking about. She shakes her head. He wouldn't--

But he did.

She squeezes her eyes shut. "No, he's not infallible. He just made a mistake, didn't realize what it would--" Would what? That it would drive a wedge between me and Bron and Whip? He practically told me that's what would happen.

She turns away from Bronwyn, shaking her head vigorously as if that would shake out the conflicting thoughts. He's my Dad. He cares for me. He helped at the lab. He's not some criminal mastermind... Images flash of all those perfect, idyllic moments with him. A father and daughter, on a picnic. Getting ice cream. Riding a merry-go-round. They were wonderful, happy memories that made the horror of the lab bearable.

Why'd he keep bringing me back?

That thought was so horrible, such a betrayal that she physically convulsed. She opens her eyes and flails her limbs, grabbing a hold of the table before she pitches out of her seat. She looks up to Bronwyn, eyes wild.

"No," she says desperately. She clutches at her stomach, hugging herself. Her head shakes, hair falling forward, and she rocks back and forth. "No."

Things Bronwyn said to her, things she ignored or forgot, or repressed, threaten to break free. She fights them down, forcing them away. He's my Dad. That's who he is. If he's some supervillain... I mean, he's not, but if he is, then what he's doing... makes sense. If this is his plan, then... what's his end game? She puts her training to use, instilled in her by her mentor. It's not just to break up me and Bronwyn. Split up me and Whippoorwill? Maybe, but no. Too much effort, not enough payoff.

She thinks, spinning the hypothetical, if her Dad was a villain, what is his plan? What does he gain? He's getting intel and data from criminal organizations, and has the Daughters working for him, and is pushing Wingblade away from her team, except he supports her crime-fighting, gets her everything she needs... She couldn't see it. Falling back on her training, she goes through her options and she realizes there is one way to find out for sure.

I let him win.

She looks up at Bronwyn again, eyes wide, but a spark of something else is in her eyes. A glimmer of something awakening. "I... think we need to break up."


Danger -2 | Freak +3 | Savior +1 | Superior +3 | Mundane 0
Influence:
Influence on: Alexandra, Alexis, Bronwyn | Influenced by: Alexandra, Bronwyn
Conditions: Angry, Insecure | Potential: 1/5 | Team: 3

Kaoru nods at Alexandra's comments, a brief but warm smiling flicking across her face. She wanted to make some physical gesture of support, but that would require walking over to her, which would be awkward and obvious. Instead she turned her gaze to Wingblade and Alexis, unwilling to let the former off the hook and back into whatever funk she was in and still trying to draw the latter into the conversation. Should have waited to give him the packet until *after* the meeting. Oh well, I guess I'll know better next time.


Labels:
Danger +3 Freak +2 Savior +0 Superior -1 Mundane -1
Influence:
Wingblade, Bronwyn, Shaun (Rival), Alexandra (Love), Cassie, Kaoru
Conditions: Angry, Afraid | Potential 4/5 (4A)

"...No. My experience has been to avoid civilians during engagements altogether. The Triakosia...we are precision instruments. The strength of a battalion all at the point of a knife is how we have been described. In that situation, we probably would have monitored the target for several days before attempting to make a move."

But Alexis hadn't done that, and had screwed everything up. People got hurt then because of her. He had to live with the consequences of that.

"I would suggest that we disallow engagements within certain perimeters of civilian populations. If we want people to stay safe, we have to avoid them."


[X] [X] [X] [X] [ ] Labels: Da: 1 Fr: 0 Sa: 0 Su: 3 Mu: -1 | Conditions: Insecure, Angry, Guilty
Influence:
PCs: Alexis, Shaun; NPCs: Odysseus

Junkyard - Bran

"Hmmm, odd, no more aggressive, even with all that extra fire." Cassie says, making a note in her book.

"Something about me is bringing him forward? Now that's interesting. No I haven't dreamt about anything like that - I don't let myself dream, not since,.. the thing with mom. Gabrielle says it might be holding me back - she says there's lots of important information you can only access during dreams" Her eye's betray a reluctance, but then she straightens herself. [/b]"Maybe its time I stepped blocking them. It is interesting that a Memory Stone brought him out though,... we might be able to use that. If you want to umm,.. talk to him again?

Meeting

"I know a few fire protection spells." Cassie replies to Shayera's question, "and I might be able to,... I'll have to do some research but there might be a way of using it against him?"

When Kaoru suggests bringing in the SCA she shakes her head. "I'm not sure that's a good idea. From what I know about mo.. ,.. Circe's organisation, they've got people everywhere. There's a pretty good chance they'd know about anything involving that many people and shutting down the park."


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Female Altered Human

Whippoorwill paced.

She didn't like being idle, so she had stepped into Angeline Woods' office and had a chat about that business the tail end of which she had caught. Her position as the special counselor "Ms. Ravencrest" in the school gave her the necessary access to the inner workings of Halcyon North High School. Though the school had a special curriculum and staff for "gifted" students, many of the administrators and teachers were as unaware of that fact as most of the students. Therefore, she had the clout necessary to deal with Miss Woods' blind eye she'd turned toward the three bullies.

It was necessary, it was somewhat cathartic, but it was only a temporary distraction from her principal concern. Shayera. She had to very deliberately focus on not letting her anger rise, but she was appalled. Disappointed. Worried.

The listening device she had planted inside the conference room should be recording the conversation between Shayera and Bronwyn. She could have just listened in, but she decided to let the Pascal girl take point. Maybe she'll have a breakthrough with Shayera and she'll come clean. If so, it's better that she not know what was said. She could always review the conversation later.

So Whippoorwill paced, and waited.

She knew they were talking. She could just barely hear the muffled voices through the closed door. Whippoorwill was beginning to wonder how long the two would talk when she suddenly heard Shayera shout loud enough to be heard clearly.

"Fine! We're done! If you can't accept him, then... that's it!"
"Shayera?! Come on Shayera, be reasonable!"
"No! You hate him! He's my father! I can't... be with someone who can't accept that!"
"I don't hate him, Shayera, but I can't just stand by anymore! You have to leave him before his 'gifts' corrupt you even more!"
"Corrupt? How dare you! I'm not going anywhere! It doesn't matter anyway since you didn't want to come live with me! I've got Dad, I've got my sisters, so I sure as hell don't need you!"

The door flies open and Shayera storms out, face a mess and tears streaming. She almost runs into Whippoorwill as she pushes past. The Defender grabs her arm, but Shayera wrenches it free. "Hold up! Explain what just happened in there!" Whippoorwill demands.

Calling over her shoulder as she storms out, "Bron and me are done! Talk to her if you want, I gotta get to class." She's out the door and into the hall.

Taking a deep, trembling breath, Whippoorwill ventures into the conference room. She looks at Bronwyn closely as she steps over to the table and surreptitiously retrieves the listening device she'd planted. As she palms the bug, she lowers her head. "I'm sorry. I... didn't expect her to react like this. I'm... sorry."


Potential 0 / 5 --- Dan -1 | Fre +0 | Sav +2 | Sup -1 | Mun +3
Conditions:
Afraid, Hopeless, Insecure
Influence:
Influenced By: Bron/Bran the Blessed, Hex, Wingblade --- Influence Over: Hex, Mercy, Wingblade

I can confirm that I am safe from all unwanted Wizard of Oz impressions. ;)

@Wingblade: Do you want to continue the Whippoorwill/Cu Sith scene, or do you just want me to wrap it up? I'm fine either way.

End of SuperWrestle

Shaun sighs in turn with the wrestler. "No, trust me, that's me drunk...damnit..." At this rate the whole city's gonna know everything down to my favorite color by the end of the month...!

After sheepishly taking Salvitori's money and phone number (and chuckling dryly at the name coincidence between him and the Executioner), Shaun finally shuffles out of the community center, his head pointed at the concrete and dirt as he walks to the tram station. Well this was a complete waste of f+*@ing time. For both me and Bron and Cassie. God, they were probably there for me! F@@+! I'm such a f*%~ing idiot! I got them all worried about something that was my own damn mistake! And what do I say now?! 'Oh, yeah, sorry, I'm just a f@+~ing drunkard looser who can't keep his mouth shut and his own damn name to himself!' A loud bang sounds as he kicks out angrily at a trash can, sending it flying down an alley. WHY does this always happen?! Why do I always f~#! EVERYTHING up as soon as it's important?! WHAT THE F$*~ IS WRONG WITH ME?!

"You were born."

Shaun stopped dead in his tracks. "...no. I'm not goin' there again. I'm better now."

"You think you're hot s&*~, don't you laddie? Well I've got news for you. Nobody gives a f@%* about you. Not me, not your brother, and sure as hell not your old man."

Hand shaking slightly, the redhead traced the long scar down his arm. He stood there for what felt like hours, standing silent on the street corner as his breathing grew ragged. "...I'm better now...I'm better now..."

Eventually, he opened the kit and extracted the pink-frosted cupcake. The plastic reflected his face, his eyes, as tears slowly welled up. Grinding his teeth in anger, he wound up and threw the confection as far as he could toward the sky. A half-second later he heard it impact faintly somewhere on the other side of the darkened street.

"...happy f%$*in' birthday ta' me..."

- - -

Monday Morning

Shaun arrives looking like s#$$.

Dark circles under his eyes and a definet sag to his posture indicate as much as he clamberes up the side of the newly reconstructed dance studio. He had texted the junior sleuth the meeting location, and nearly fell to his knees with gratitude when he saw her holding coffee. "Hey Gill. Please tell me that's expresso. I need some strong s@~& right now..."

As he listened and talked with her, he unzippes an olive duffle bag and begins assembling what looks like a tripod and telescope. "Your da's a piece of work by ta' way. 'Lex said ye' Shadows had a rotten way with words but...uh, no offense, but f%++'im.

"Anyway, don't think I'd mind gettin' her out of my hair. Try-Hard's ta' biggest ass, but your sis's a close second. Not sure how much I could help though. B++~* sees right through me. An' with Kaoru at ta' wheel I'm half-expectin'ta' team ta' be disbanded soon anyway."

He tosses as pair of black binoculars her way. "Here. Lemme know if there's anybody comin' from ta' front. I'll watch back."

- - -

Monday After School

Shaun is the last to arrive, grumbling under his breath as he holds an ice pack to a swollen black eye. "Don't ask..." (Maybe slightly jumping the gun here, but I've got a pretty strong idea about what's gonna happen after Shaun and Gill's scene. >:3 )

Half-sitting half-collapsing into the back-most seat in the room, Shaun glares at Kaoru as he gets started. How unbelievably prepped the Try-Hard was for this meeting would have made him laugh if he hadn't been in such a foul mood. He does manage to chuckle a bit at the idea of Bran using a phone, let alone sending an e-mail. (Maybe I'll get lucky and the Neaderthal'll snap Kaoru's computer in half when he gets spooked by an alert...)

He reads out his number as sarcastically as possible, and snidely enters Kaoru's number as "Puppet King." No way in hell he put this all together. He and Alexandra probably spent all days yesterday making this to her specifications. He doesn't give two s#*@s about the team, but she sure as hell can use him to control it... Sighing, he taps open a match-three game and idyll plays it as Kaoru rattles on.

I don't know why I even came here. Bron had the right idea in skipping out. This feels like one of those dry-ass office jobs the old man prattles about. Just going through 'quarterly reports' and 'team profit margins' or some s$$&. Heh, I'll bet he's even got a graph coming up on his slides. Jesus, he really couldn't make this any less cool, could-?

Shaun's train of thought comes to a screeching halt as he glances back up at the screen. Staring right back at him is a face he never though (or hoped) he'd see again.

"...no..."

Kaoru wrote:
"This was one of the higher ranking men. He's been going by the alias Dr. Duncan Willingham..."

"...NO..."

Kaoru wrote:
"...but his real name is Duncan MacGregor. He's Shaun's older brother who seems to have broken ties from the family and tried to disappear around 14 years ago, round about the same time his mother died."

The ice pack falls to the floor with a wet slap, followed quickly by the clatter of plastic and glass as Shaun also drops his phone.

NONONONONONONONONONO-!!!

He sits slack-jawed as Kaoru breaks down everything he's found about Duncan. Actual, honest to God, Duncan.

THIS IS NOT F%+!ING POSSIBLE!!! HOW THE F&@% IS THIS-?!!!

The Try-Hard explains, in an insufferably calm voice, how he just happened to stumble into the supervillain in the park. Just by sheer happenstance.

WHAT THE F%&# WHAT THE F+%@ WHAT THE F~@* WHAT THE-?!!!

He had a guess to Duncan's powers. He speculated, no, informed everybody of Duncan's connection to Circie. Including Cassie.

THIS CANNOT BE F%#+ING HAPPENING!!!

Kaoru wrote:
"To that end, Shaun, I would suggest practicing your Midwestern accent."

"F%** off...!" he muttered. OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODF!~+ING F@%+ F&!@!

Kaoru wrote:
"In the interests of seeing what more we can find out, it would be best if we talked to your dad about what he knows about Duncan's disappearance as I suspect it's related to his current position. As family, you're probably in the best position to get this information from him."

Shaun wanted to disappear. He wanted to vanish from his spot in the back, never to be seen again. The only response he managed to muster was to close his gaping mouth.

His eyes couldn't leave Duncan's projected face for more than a moment. It was more defined than the last time he'd seen it, less flabby but the family resemblance was undeniable. It was his grandfather's face. His father's face. His face.

A thousand throughs rushed through his mind as the world spun around him:
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-!!!
I'm f@!!ing doomed! Wingblade's gonna gut me like a fish for lying to her!
This HAS to be Alexandra's doing! How the f!+# would Kaoru know about my accent?!
F%&* F#$~ F%$~ F@*%-!!!
GOD why did Bron have to choose TODAY to play hookie?! Where the f@&& is she?!
Cassie's gonna hate me now! Or worse, that I work for her mom! G%$ D!&NIT!
Since when the f$#! did f$!#ing Duncan get f%~*ing SUPERPOWERS?!
I'm actually about to puke on the floor!
WHY AND HOW THE F!!%?!

Shaun was dimly aware of the others talking as holds his face with shaking hands. What the F$@~ do I do now?! I can't f%@*ing explain this! It'll spiral into EVERYTHING about me! F*%@-S~!~! He doesn't even notice Wingblade trying to talk to him. Oh my God oh my God oh my God! F*+@, okay, just, f~*+ing THINK soldier!

Kaoru wrote:
"...if I saw him at Monument Park again. He's apparently a creature of habit, and like to go back to the same place when he's not traveling. If need be, we may be able to use that to set up some kind of ambush."

Shaun slowly lowers his hands from his face as Kaoru's words dimly come through. Creature of habit...that's right. Duncan always had routines, always did the same thing over and over. If Kaoru saw him in that park one time... He gaze finally breaks from the shining face of Duncan as he looks towards Cassie. ...I'm gonna make this right. He shoots a venemous glare at Kaoru and Alexandra. And nobody's gonna stop me.

Without a word, Shaun stands up and stomps out of the room.

I really hope Paizo doesn't suspend people who use too many swear words...


Danger -2 | Freak +3 | Savior +1 | Superior +3 | Mundane 0
Influence:
Influence on: Alexandra, Alexis, Bronwyn | Influenced by: Alexandra, Bronwyn
Conditions: Angry, Insecure | Potential: 1/5 | Team: 3

As Shaun starts to stomp out, Kaoru voice rings out firmly. "Shaun, if you need to take a moment, take it. But if you're not back by the end of the meeting, I'm going to assume this is you quitting the team." It wasn't a threat. It wasn't a goad. It was just a firm statement of fact.

To be honest, she was rather surprised all he was doing was storming out. She had expected him to throw a tantrum the first chance he got. After all, he wanted to be team leader. Instead, it was someone he hated who had been put in charge.

She turned her attention back to the rest of the group. "Yes Alexis, it would be best to avoid engagements around civilians. But the fact of the matter is, that won't always be possible. We can't control when or where something will happen. It's better to have ideas of how to safeguard innocent lives and not need them than it is to need those ideas and not have them."

"Cassie, if you need help with research or you want me to rig up a test dummy to practice on, let me know. I could probably hook up a thermal sensor to a test dummy of some sort. As to Circe's minions, yes, we will have to keep her spies in mind when thinking about what we tell the SCA. But we can also use that knowledge to sow misinformation. We may only get one shot at that though as once they realize their intel isn't credible, it won't be effective."

Wingblade still hadn't said anything in response. And she still hadn't decided if it was her responsibility to try to make her feel better. She hoped not since she hadn't the foggiest idea how to help her. Which probably meant it was. She was also probably the last person on the team Wingblade would even want help from. Just...offer. You can't make her accept, but put the offer out there. The role reversal almost made her laugh.

Let me know if there's anything anybody else wanted to cover here. If I hear nothing, I'm going to end the official part of the meeting tomorrow night.

@Shaun: Since there may not be much more of the meeting done IC, let me know if your boy winds up coming back before the end of the meeting or not.


Labels: Danger: -1 Freak: 3/0 Savior: 2 Superior: 1 Mundane: 0/3| Conditions: Afraid, Insecure, Guilty
Influence:
Influenced by: Thor Girl, Bioshock, Wingblade, Silver Shadow. Influences: Thor Girl, Bioshock, Wingblade, Kaoru, Mercy, The Kilt, Whipoorwill

"It's not your fault. She's just hurting so much and-" She exhaled suddenly and unevenly, roughly dragging the back of her hand across her eyes. "I wish she could just believe me. It could be so easy if..."

She looked over at Whippoorwill with red-rimmed eyes. "I know you can't just leave her alone. If He really has his claws in her that's too dangerous. And her... sisters..." She sits for a moment in silence, grappling with what she needs to say. "You have to give her a chance to come back by herself. As long as she's not hurting anyone, she can still do that, right?"

***

Junkyard

"Yeah... I can see that. It wasn't like Beheaded-Bran and me had a chat though. Things got stirred up, but not... usefully. I don't have any kind of real expertise in keeping dreams safe, if you're starting that up again, but if you think of anything I can do, you've got it, okay?"


Labels: Danger: -1 Freak: 1/3 Savior: 1 Superior: 1 Mundane: 3/1| Conditions: Guilty, Afraid
Influence:
Influenced by: Thor Girl, Bioshock, Wingblade, The Silver Shadow. Influences: Thor Girl, Bioshock, Apex, Hex, Wingblade, The Kilt, The Silver Shadow, Shadowboxer, Jusker

Bran's gaze had rested on Shayera as she kept shrinking into herself, but he managed to tear it away as Shaun stomped away.

He rose to his feet, ducking his head slightly beneath the public school ceiling as he headed to the door. Turning to Kaoru with a raised eyebrow he asked, "With your permission, I feel I should speak to him."


Danger -2 | Freak +3 | Savior +1 | Superior +3 | Mundane 0
Influence:
Influence on: Alexandra, Alexis, Bronwyn | Influenced by: Alexandra, Bronwyn
Conditions: Angry, Insecure | Potential: 1/5 | Team: 3

Kaoru gave a half-shrug towards Bran. She was fairly sure she was being mocked, but she responded anyway in an even tone of voice. "If you want to." She thought for a second before adding. "But if he needs space, you should give it to him."


Labels: Danger: -1 Freak: 1/3 Savior: 1 Superior: 1 Mundane: 3/1| Conditions: Guilty, Afraid
Influence:
Influenced by: Thor Girl, Bioshock, Wingblade, The Silver Shadow. Influences: Thor Girl, Bioshock, Apex, Hex, Wingblade, The Kilt, The Silver Shadow, Shadowboxer, Jusker

Bran flinches, more than was really necessary for such a mild rebuke, and a look of sorrow fills his eyes. "As you say. Space"

There was really little to be done to make himself less noticeable as he walked out onto the campus in search of Shaun. It wasn't as though he would be mistaken for a different quarter-ton student were he not in his armor.

"Kilt?" He called out softly, the bass of his voice still rumbling through his surroundings. "I know I am not one with whom you might wish to converse, but I am here nonetheless. I know something of brothers, and the torments they can lay upon you, even once they are grown. There is no need to face this alone."


Influence:
I have influence on: Bran the Blessed, Mercy, Kilt
Conditions: Angry, Insecure, Guilty
Labels:
Danger +3, Freak +2, Savior -1, Superior +2, Mundane +1. Potential 0/5

Meeting

Shayera watches as Bran steps outside. She had fallen silent after Shaun stormed out and resumed staring out the window until the giant had stood.

With the two gone, she looks sullenly at the remaining team members. She makes eye contact with Alexandra and gives her a shrug. "S'okay. Not being baseline. Normal's overrated anyway." She attempts a half-hearted smile.

Leaning forward, she runs her face in an attempt to wake herself up and focus. "Villain-on-villain battles are too risky. Things are destructive enough when one side is exercising restraint. Well, usually. But when neither side cares about bystanders and property damage?" She gives Alexis a look. "Not saying that's the case with the Triakosia, but you know what I mean. It's more work for us, but at least we have some influence on the outcome."

She looks at Kaoru. "Bystanders and innocents are the priority, as always. I can't say there's a trick or strategy, since every encounter is different. But at the park? Good thing is, it's open. Not like a theater or museum where people get bottled up at the exits. So they can pick a direction and run."


Female Altered Human

Whippoorwill nods. "She died for you. She may be... different now, but that part of her, the part that chooses to do good... it's still there. I won't ever believe it's gone."

Looking on the verge of tears herself, she asserts control and smooths her business skirt. "I'll talk to her. Hopefully you'll see her soon... with a huge apology.

"Did you learn about the Chinese girls?" she asks, abruptly changing subjects.


Potential 0 / 5 --- Dan -1 | Fre +0 | Sav +2 | Sup -1 | Mun +3
Conditions:
Afraid, Hopeless, Insecure
Influence:
Influenced By: Bron/Bran the Blessed, Hex, Wingblade --- Influence Over: Hex, Mercy, Wingblade

@Kaoru: that depends entirely on what happens next here...

Kaoru wrote:
As Shaun starts to stomp out, Kaoru voice rings out firmly. "Shaun, if you need to take a moment, take it. But if you're not back by the end of the meeting, I'm going to assume this is you quitting the team."

Shaun's only response is an upraised middle finger as he flings the door open.

He wasn't trying to be particularly fast (or quiet for that matter), so it was easy for Bran to catch sight of him turning the corner and close the distance between them. Shaun, of course, noticed the giant following him, but made no indication of slowing down for him.

Bran wrote:
"Kilt?" He called out softly, the bass of his voice still rumbling through his surroundings. "I know I am not one with whom you might wish to converse, but I am here nonetheless. I know something of brothers, and the torments they can lay upon you, even once they are grown. There is no need to face this alone."

The Scotsman half sighed, half growled. "No Tin Can, I really don't think ye'f#~&in' do." He does not speak at a particualrly high volume, by the rage in his voice is unmistakable. "An' even if ya' did, ye'n' especially that smug little s#&+ stain have no f$~$in' idea what my brother means ta' me. What anytin'bout me means. But if our glorious f@+#in' team leader feels ta'f$*~in' need ta' display my life like a f$$&in' zoo exhibit, then I'm gonna put it ta' bed. Once n'f'all."


Labels: Danger: 0 Freak: 1 Savior: -2 Superior: 2 Mundane: 3 | Condition(s):None|Potential 0/5
Influence:
no-one

Oh good, literally everyone is at eachothers throats... Alexis is pissy with me, and wing it looks like... eh, low priority. Kay is pissed at Bran, for... well, s+%$, maybe he does like me after all... and Shaun is as reasonable as ever, even if Kay did just plaster his personal life all over everything. and Wing looks... off. Alexandra muses, a grim look taking over her face.

Didn't really mean it... fun as it would be to watch some of the Triakosia fry. Knock some of the cockey out of them. she gripes but, yeah. He is a problem. wish we could catch him... asleep, or similarly impaired

she Gestures for Kaoru to follow her to a corner, and, when he joins her, hisses at him Look, I don't like Shaun nay more than you do. but right now, we're outnumbered, and g!+ d@@n it, we need more allies. and you just... well, you just dug up some bad s&+&... I know some of it, will fill you in later. but... point is, we need more people on the field, and ultimately, Shaun is another ally in a fight.After last time... you can't deny we need it.


Labels: Danger: -1 Freak: 1/3 Savior: 1 Superior: 1 Mundane: 3/1| Conditions: Guilty, Afraid
Influence:
Influenced by: Thor Girl, Bioshock, Wingblade, The Silver Shadow. Influences: Thor Girl, Bioshock, Apex, Hex, Wingblade, The Kilt, The Silver Shadow, Shadowboxer, Jusker

"He killed our sister, Branwen."

Bran sighed heavily and continued, voice heavy with old sorrow. "Or at least he may as well have. Efnysien was a man of rages and ill-temper, lies and tricks, but a twisted bravery and a notion of honor that I have never been able to untangle as well. He died trying to atone for the wrongs he had done, but even in this, destruction was all he wrought. In more ways than one, he killed me as well.

"There is little I would wish less than to see him return to this age, but that does not mean I do not care for him.

"But you are right. I do not know what Duncan is to you. Will you tell me?"


Danger -2 | Freak +3 | Savior +1 | Superior +3 | Mundane 0
Influence:
Influence on: Alexandra, Alexis, Bronwyn | Influenced by: Alexandra, Bronwyn
Conditions: Angry, Insecure | Potential: 1/5 | Team: 3

Team meeting
Kaoru makes a 'later' gesture at Alexandra and continued the meeting. She couldn't think of anything pressing enough that Alexandra would need to talk to her right that instant, and she didn't want to waste the rest of the group's time having a side coversation when the engagement level was already rather so-so. It was possible that Alexandra thought she should go after Shaun, but Bran was already seeing to that. Besides from the fact that it hardly made sense for her to rush after one maybe-teammate while abandoning the rest, Shaun would likely respond better to Bran than to her anyway.

She spent a little more time brainstorming strategy with the remaining four members before calling things quits. If anybody has anything else they want to say during the meeting, feel free.

After the meeting
Kaoru made a "1 minute" gesture towards Alexandra before instead heading over to Wingblade before she had a chance to skulk off. She reached into her bag to pull out a chocolate bar that she had planned to give Bronwyn but instead placed it in front of the winged heroine. She spoke softly to her. "Chocolate releases dopamine. Might help you feel better? I dunno what's up, but if you want to..." What? Hang out? Talk? Those are things *friends* do to cheer each other up. She probably doesn't even *like* you. Chilling with you will probably just make her feel *worse* not better. But what then? Her eyes lit up slightly as she remembered the fight in the park. "Blow off steam and practice some aerial combat, I could set up some drones for you to face off against. Or just smash or whatever. Or...I dunno...if there's something else you'd want to do." She shrugged, offering a quick half-smile. "Thanks for sharing your expertise." She added before turning around and heading over to where Alexandra wanted to talk.

Tech Support, Shayera: 2d6 ⇒ (4, 5) = 9

Kaoru gives Alexandra a slightly baffled look. She looks around quickly to make sure no one with normal hearing, especially Shaun, is in eavesdropping distance before responding. " 'After last time'? And what exactly did Shaun do in the last mission that makes him useful enough for the team that I should just overlook him storming out just 'cause he doesn't like me? If he's going to be a member of this team, I need to know he can put aside his hatred of me to actually be there for the team. The last thing we need is someone who's going to leave us hanging in a critical moment just because he didn't like a call I made or hell, was just pissed at how I decided to dress that day."


Potential 0 / 5 --- Dan -1 | Fre +0 | Sav +2 | Sup -1 | Mun +3
Conditions:
Afraid, Hopeless, Insecure
Influence:
Influenced By: Bron/Bran the Blessed, Hex, Wingblade --- Influence Over: Hex, Mercy, Wingblade

Shaun slowed to a stop as Bran explained his own particular brand of awful family. ”...s$&#. Sorry lad...” He still wasn’t entirely sure what to think of the armored titan. His first impression had been terrible, and he was a near-literal dinosaur of a human being, but...Maybe he’s not as stupid as he talks...

Scratching at his neck, Shaun sighs and turned to face Bran. ”...what’s Duncan ta’ me? Well right now, he’s a piece of s&** who deserves every bad thin’ that comes his way. He’s a coward, a liar, and, apparently, a monster.

”But...he used ta’ be my brother. Like, properly. Not just by blood.

”My ma’ was sick an’ my old man was busy, so Dunc ended up raisin’ me. It was supposed ta’ be my gran’da’s job but...he’s not ta’ TLC type.” Shaun’s voice takes on a weary heaviness as he continues. ”An’f’as much as Dunc wasted his life on...just, ta’ most pointless s~$+, he made sure I was okay. Fed, washed, y’know, usual kid s!$*. An’ through it all, he’d tell me stories ‘bout heroes, ‘bout how he was gonna be one one day. Kinda hard ta’ believe in hindsight, given he was ‘bout 400 pounds over weight.” He chuckles dryly. ”He’s lost a lot of weight...”

The redhead’s mouth begins to twist up. ”But my gran’da’ was rough on him. Called him out on his s%~$ all ta’ time, told him ta’ do somethin’ with his life. So...Dunc started talkin’bout runnin’ away. He tried it a couple times, never stuck. It made my ma’ worry so much...” He paused as he bit back a tear. ”But then...they had a big fight; Dunc, my ma’, an’ my gran’da’. I don’t what ‘bout but, it was a kick in ta’ ass f’him. He got some job online, doin’ some computer s+#~ f’some company, I don’t know.

”An’...an’ he told me that once he had enough money, he n’ I were gonna run away f’good. We’d pack up n’ go where it could just be us shootin’ta’ s%$%...no dad who didn’t care, no angry gran’da’, no...”

He stops, then wipes his nose on the back of his hand. ”F&*+...so, yea’, he said it could just be us. He said he’d take care of me.

”An’ then ta’ worst day of my f+@~in’ life happened, an’ he was just gone. Ran off without me.

”Because he never cared. He never cared ‘bout me. He’d never cared ‘bout anythin’ other than his own damn self. An’ as soon as everybody was too messed up ta’ miss him, he was gone. An’ now it turns out that he didn’t even have ta’ decency ta’ disappear right...”

Trying and failing to hold back tears, Shaun stares forlornly at Bran’s enormous head with his one good eye. ”...I don’t even know why I’m tellin’ye’ this. I...I don’t know why I do a lot of thin’s these days. All I know is that I want everythin’havin’ta’ do with Duncan n’ my past ta’ disappear. I wanted ta’ come here, a place where nobody knew me, and start my s*+%show of a life over.

”An’ as if in answer, ta’ most uninvested ‘hero’ ever f@&@in’ projects Duncan’s face on ta’ wall n’ let’s everybody know ‘bout him...”

Another pass by his nose leaves the back of Shaun’s hand unfortunately slimy. ”...I swear ta’ f@+$ of you’re in that s!+*head’s pocket n’ tell him all this I’ll decapitate ya’ with a spoon...” The punch of the threat is severely undermined by his deflated tone of voice.
Marking Hopeless. Bran the Blessed gains Influence over Kilt.


Labels: Danger: -1 Freak: 1/3 Savior: 1 Superior: 1 Mundane: 3/1| Conditions: Guilty, Afraid
Influence:
Influenced by: Thor Girl, Bioshock, Wingblade, The Silver Shadow. Influences: Thor Girl, Bioshock, Apex, Hex, Wingblade, The Kilt, The Silver Shadow, Shadowboxer, Jusker

Bran nodded at Shaun's attempted comfort. "It was a long time ago. Quite literally another life."

He sat quietly while Shaun unburdened himself of his and Duncan's past. Bronwyn had heard the shape of it before of course, and this time the timeline was very much at the forefront of his mind. Promises to take Shaun with him. Remembering multiple fights. All of this **before** the worst day of his life when Duncan left. Which happened 14 years ago when he was a toddler. Well... that's more fodder for the borrowed memories theory. But that requires pieces of the puzzle that Bran's not supposed to have.

"I am truly sorry that your past has returned to vex you just as your new life begins. It is not fair to you, and you have done nought to deserve it. But neither has Kaoru earned your wrath. Look beyond the face he projects to the world. Think of the passion that lies within you; his may not burn as fiercely, but with no powers or family legacy pressing him forward, why else do you think he aids us in battle? He did not ask for leadership, but when called, look at the resources and dedication he has already brought to bear. You need not hold love for him in your heart, but uninvested? You have already seen that it is not so.

"As for Duncan, The Salamander, by whatever name he is known, he and his mistress must be stopped." He smiled sadly, "I do not think it is mere chance that you have stepped forward at the same time that he has emerged from the shadows. We will need you Shaun. We will need The Kilt.

"I hope you will not think unkindly of me if I speak of this tale with such acolytes of mine as may help untangle its knots. I will not speak of it to Kaoru, or any who will not hold your secrets close. But I hope that you will give him a chance to earn your trust. You are more alike than either of you think."


Influence:
I have influence on: Bran the Blessed, Mercy, Kilt
Conditions: Angry, Insecure, Guilty
Labels:
Danger +3, Freak +2, Savior -1, Superior +2, Mundane +1. Potential 0/5

Shayera looked at the proffered chocolate, but her stomach felt sour. She pushes it back to Kaoru. "Thanks. Um, I, uh, broke up with Bronwyn. So, sorry. I'll try not to make things awkward. I'm still on the team, okay?" She speaks loud enough that the rest of the team still in the room can hear, saving herself from having to repeat it.

The rumors had already started to spread at school, but rather than letting Kaoru and the others hear second hand, she decided to tell them.

She looks at Kaoru as she stands up. "You need anything else from me?"


Labels:
Danger +3 Freak +2 Savior +0 Superior -1 Mundane -1
Influence:
Wingblade, Bronwyn, Shaun (Rival), Alexandra (Love), Cassie, Kaoru
Conditions: Angry, Afraid | Potential 4/5 (4A)

"Okay. I think Cassie or you would be better at that problem. I am not good at protecting, only...hurting others." Alexis flushed with anger as he wrung his hands together.

He was quiet for most of the meeting, only taking time to talk to Cassie when Kaoru stepped over to Shayera. "Do you not want me living with you? I could find somewhere else. Did you not tell Gabrielle yet that I want to stay for a while?" He asked.

Then Shayera said it loud enough for Alexis to hear. And then next moment, she was engulfed between his broad shoulders in a breaths ealing hug. "Sorry," He mumbled into the top of her head.

Comfort Shayera (Angry): 2d6 + 1 - 2 - 2 ⇒ (4, 6) + 1 - 2 - 2 = 7


Danger -2 | Freak +3 | Savior +1 | Superior +3 | Mundane 0
Influence:
Influence on: Alexandra, Alexis, Bronwyn | Influenced by: Alexandra, Bronwyn
Conditions: Angry, Insecure | Potential: 1/5 | Team: 3

Meeting
Kaoru's tone was firm but mild. "That's one of the reasons why we're talking about this now instead of on the field, Alexis. So you and everybody else who isn't a veteran knows how to engage threats without endangering civilians. Yes, most likely those who are less combat-oriented will be focused on evacuation while you and our other combatants engage the threat, but there's only so much we can do. We can't limit your collateral damage for you or make sure you knock villains away from civilians instead of towards. That's why it's important for us all to talk about this and learn ways to improve. As Shayera already said, defeating the bad guys comes second to making sure everybody is safe."

After meeting but before conversations with Alexandra
At Wingblade's admission, Kaoru's mouth instinctively open to ask a question. She almost as quickly snapped it shut. She hoped the sudden flurry of Alexis practically knocking her over to get at Wingblade hid the gesture. "No. Team meeting is done. Feel free to go do...whatever." Kaoru responded to Alexis' back. Mind whirling, she turned to go speak to Alexandra. As much as she wanted an answer, it wasn't her place to ask. Was it because you didn't feel anything when you kissed? Because you weren't in love with her?


Potential 0 / 5 --- Dan -1 | Fre +0 | Sav +2 | Sup -1 | Mun +3
Conditions:
Afraid, Hopeless, Insecure
Influence:
Influenced By: Bron/Bran the Blessed, Hex, Wingblade --- Influence Over: Hex, Mercy, Wingblade

Shaun shakes his head. ”I dunno why he’s helpin’ us...but I don’t think he’s doin’ it out of charity.” Why is he working with the team actually? It’s not like he can’t just wait the ‘parole’ out and quit...oh f~!@, don’t tell me he’s THAT horny for Alexandra! Oh Jesus, that’s not gonna end well...

He finally swallows back his angry tears as he chuckles. ”’The Salamander’ huh? Y’come up with that?...hell, actually, that might’ve been his code name, couldn’t it’ve been? They were callin’ him Sal, an’ with ta’ fire...huh...” His good eye glimmers with an approving light. ”Guess you’re not as thick as y’look.”

The Scotsman sighs. ”Yea’, go ahead n’tell’em I guess. Bron already knows most of this. Uh, sorry, but I asked her ta’ keep it secret. That turned out ta’ be pretty pointless...” When Bran compares him to Kaoru, he recoils slightly. ”A’ight that is a HARD no! I don’t care how dolled up he is on ta’ inside or whatever s+&* like that, he n’ I are nothin’ alike.” ;-)

His face finally untwisted from emotion, Shaun looks back towards the meeting room, then over his shoulder at the school exit. ”...in ta’ spirit of bein’ honest here...I was leavin’ta’ go find Duncan. His religion is practic’ly routines. If Kaoru saw him in someplace one time, he’ll be there again. I was gonna...I dunno what...” His gaze falls on the classroom door as he groans out a sigh. ”They all probably think I was hidin’ him, tryin’ta’ keep him safe. I dunno if they’d even trust me now...”

In his own convoluted way, this is Shaun asking Bran whether he should be here, as per the Beacon’s share a vulnerability or weakness team move. Bran, do you confirm or deny?


Influence:
I have influence on: Bran the Blessed, Mercy, Kilt
Conditions: Angry, Insecure, Guilty
Labels:
Danger +3, Freak +2, Savior -1, Superior +2, Mundane +1. Potential 0/5

Clearing that pesky Angry

Shayera squirms in Alexis' hug. She didn't want to be comforted, though she recognized she needed it. She registers the shock that her revelation created, which a part of her had expected.

"Don't be sorry," she tells Alexis as she works her way out of the embrace. "It's just... the whole thing with my dad. And other stuff. I know she's spread some rumors that he's some kind of bad guy, so, yeah. I broke it off. Anyway, see you all tomorrow."

She heads out.


[X] [X] [X] [X] [ ] Labels: Da: 1 Fr: 0 Sa: 0 Su: 3 Mu: -1 | Conditions: Insecure, Angry, Guilty
Influence:
PCs: Alexis, Shaun; NPCs: Odysseus

Cassie raised her eyebrow at Kaoru's threat to expel Shaun from the team. We're going to have to deal with that. she thought to herself. Can't let him think that 'leader' means that he gets to make decisions like that without discussion. Probably better not to bring it up now and undermine him though..

At the end of the meeting, when Alexis asked her if she'd asked Gabrielle, she frowned. "Look. You asked me at lunchtime and I've had classes since then. When am I supposed to have talked to her? She'll take some convincing - I'll try tonight but, like I said, I can't guarantee anything. You'll just have to wait. OK?"


Labels:
Danger +3 Freak +2 Savior +0 Superior -1 Mundane -1
Influence:
Wingblade, Bronwyn, Shaun (Rival), Alexandra (Love), Cassie, Kaoru
Conditions: Angry, Afraid | Potential 4/5 (4A)

Alexis watched as Shayera walked away. His mouth opened and closed several times, words forming but not escaping past his lips. He looked back then at Cassie, who still needed to talk to Gabrielle, and Alexandra, to whom he was still angry. Kaoru was attached to Alexandra now, which also made him angry. He really only had one recourse at this point as he took out his phone.

Bronwyn:

Alexis: I just heard about your break up. Sorry.
Alexis: I need a place to stay tonight. Can I stay with you?


Labels: Danger: 0 Freak: 1 Savior: -2 Superior: 2 Mundane: 3 | Condition(s):None|Potential 0/5
Influence:
no-one

As Wing admits to breaking up with Bron, A chill runs through Alexandra, and she taps open the contact labeled "Queen B"

>Tell me the breakup is a ruse to Lull Dr. No into a false sense of security
>Or you cheated or something...
>Sorry, didn't mean it like that, just... tell me this isn't her isolating herself from positive influences...

With Kay

Alexandra sighs Kay... do you remember when the horde of Swine-men tried to murder us? Say what you will about his attitude, gods know I think he's an ass, but when the chips are down, he's an ass with a big honking Claymore. She groans G## d##n it, I wish we didn't need him, but... well, look. Wing is... I have concerns. Alexis is a bad day away from being an enemy again, she's still loyal to those f*$@s. that leaves Bran as our only physical powerhouse. I can hold my own, but so can Shaun. more than you Or Cassie, until we get her more comfortable with magic, or you a robo-suit. Now, before I go insane, stop making me Defend Shaun.

Provoke Kay to accept Shaun as a useful Teammate: 2d6 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (6, 3) + 2 + 1 = 12
mark a condition if you don't, add team if you do...


Gillian smiles as she hands him what was essentially Jet fuel It is. also have hangover cure in my bag... she leave it open, an offer.

Yeah... I'm really sorry. dad really laid into you. not sure why, even. didn't do it to the superweapon that was borrowing his clothes. but the aspiring hero who could be a distant cousin, oh he we must put through the wringer... Gillian makes a disdainful face.

yeah... but, if you find some way to mention the notes she has, say... the ones in her second drawer from the top in her desk... Curiosity might get the best of him... gods know Alexandra won't keep him out of her bedroom... she seems to dislike that train of though. she violated the s!$@ out of his privacy... catfished and interrogated his ex... She says that suitably vague, Kaoru?

Gillian sets her cup down and moves to a position with more visibility. What are we doing? what am I Watching for? she asks as she complies.


Labels: Danger: -1 Freak: 1/3 Savior: 1 Superior: 1 Mundane: 3/1| Conditions: Guilty, Afraid
Influence:
Influenced by: Thor Girl, Bioshock, Wingblade, The Silver Shadow. Influences: Thor Girl, Bioshock, Apex, Hex, Wingblade, The Kilt, The Silver Shadow, Shadowboxer, Jusker

Bran smiled, "I do not think anyone doubts your commitment or your loyalties, Shaun. But why face him alone? Duncan will surely call on all the resources of his mistress if you go to face him. Return to the meeting; teach us how he may be foiled. Look at what has been uncovered before we had your insights to help guide us.

"You were meant to be here with us Shaun. Let us return to our team."


Potential 0 / 5 --- Dan -1 | Fre +0 | Sav +2 | Sup -1 | Mun +3
Conditions:
Afraid, Hopeless, Insecure
Influence:
Influenced By: Bron/Bran the Blessed, Hex, Wingblade --- Influence Over: Hex, Mercy, Wingblade

Stakeout

Shaun gingerly sips from the paper cup. ”Mmmmmmm...f+%# that’s good...ah. Thanks.” He takes gulps between sentences periodically as he continues. ”Hangover fix? Uh, exact opposite problem actually. I...had a bad night, didn’t feel like gettin’ta’ sleep, an’ I only drink when I’m tryin’ta’ get knocked out...or, when...” He clears his throat and adverts his gaze from Gill. ”Point is, didn’t sleep last night. So, coffee. Blessed coffee...”

”I’m pretty sure I pissed him off with my accent...an’ my background...” He blinks shakes his head. ”Waitamin’, distant cousin? Y’all have some MacGregor in ya’?”

A puckish smile slowly creeps across his face. ”Heh. Second drawer. Got it.” He rolls his eyes at the catfishing comment. ”Why am I not surprised? I’m willin’ta’ bet whatever breakup was his fault too...”

Shaun snaps his fingers enthusiastically as the coffee starts kicking in. ”Yes, good question! We are here-...okay, well, lemme back up. Remember when I texted ya’ last week ‘bout what kind of bully presence our daily prison here has? Well I was askin’cause a friend of mind (Bert, ta’ round one with glasses?) came ta’ lunch with a shiner. But when I asked him who did it, he Sam n’ Mordecai clammed up. SO, I got ta’thinkin’: ‘why would my mates, who know I’m a hero, not tell me if somethin’s wrong?’ My answer: blackmail. Either somebody’s got somethin’ on Bert or ta’ whole trio, OR (an’ this is my guess), one of our local thugs has leverage on a teacher n’ gets them ta’ look ta’ other way.

“An’ that’s when I realized that Bert got his lights knocked out on a Monday. Monday’s important, ‘cause if you’re a dumbass who’s got your thumb on one of ta’ smartest lads in school, what would ya’ have him do f’ya’ over ta’ weekend?” He points to Gill and pauses for a reply.

- - -

In the Hall

Shift accepted and potential marked.

”I dunno how much help I can be but...sure. Yea’. Let’s go see how smug Glorious Leader is ‘bout his threat ‘workin’.’ Shaun adds air quotes as he rolls his eyes.

As the two turn to return to the meeting, Shaun’s gaze is distant as he thinks. What was I gonna do? Duncan f*#~ing charcoaled Alexis, the hell did I think I was gonna do? F#*$, how would he even react to-?

...sealg...

Shaun freezes in place. ”...h-hey, big guy, did ye’ say-?”

Sealg...Fear-Mar-Lasair...

He whips around, knife already in hand. The corners are clear. The halls are abandoned. The space is brightly lit with no hard shadows. No obvious places to hide. That voice was...but I’m awake...!

Swallowing audibly, Shaun clicks the switchblade shut. ”U-Uh...nevermind. Let’s, uh, let’s get back in there...”

Bran:
As Shaun suddenly hustles past you towards the meeting room door, you catch brief glimpses of the negative-magic aura as it flares up then retreat back into him. You did not hear any voice other than Shaun’s.

Taking a steadying breath, the Scotsman opens the door just as the meeting is starting to wrap up. Stooping for a moment to pick up his ice pack and phone, he flops back into his previous seat as he gives Kaoru an angry, yet not raging, level stare. ”I’m back. Can’t get rid of me that easily.”


Danger -2 | Freak +3 | Savior +1 | Superior +3 | Mundane 0
Influence:
Influence on: Alexandra, Alexis, Bronwyn | Influenced by: Alexandra, Bronwyn
Conditions: Angry, Insecure | Potential: 1/5 | Team: 3

Kaoru's eyes flashed briefly. Alexandra hadn't listened to a single word she had said. "Well I guess you get your wish 'cause he didn’t quit." she muttered darkly, still making sure to keep her voice soft enough that only Alexandra would hear. She then turned on her heel and started packing up. As she did so, she quickly recapped for Bran and Shaun what they had missed, switching to a perfect imitation of Duncan's accent as she did so. As she swung her bag over her should, she added "Let me know if you want help working on your Midwestern accent, Shaun." Without glancing at him and without giving him a chance to throw the offer of help back in her face, she slipped her headphones on and left. He was never going to accept her aid, but as leader she had to offer it.

Marking Angry

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