Armada Games Aberrant Game

The Five thieves, two Magicians, the singer, and the Strongman
summarizing the last session

I realize I may get a detail or two wrong, but that is why the players are encouraged to add their summaries to the page. It also earns xp.

Indeed, the affair at the Palazzo Dario was lavish, with enough high stakes gambling to make a mogul choke. Indeed, those gambling plaques turned out to be a source of mayhem, as Ghost attempted to steal a few million dollars worth (about ten I think). Ghost of course did some wonderful slight of hand. all while Chesa was on stage. Well, someone found out, and poor Dominka was getting lovely precognitive visions of everything from severe interrogations to being taken to a field and killed. Needles to say some slight of hand was needed, with the magician, the thief and others providing a distraction, and Chesa “vouching” for the goods as only she can. The thief is a misnomer as he can become SEVERAL thieves.
Well, they escaped that, but then the tergen taunted them to go to Poveglia Island. This got a bit twisted, as it seems that the person they thought was Mantis was notMantis, and had led them into a trap. However, they fought their way out, and indeed, rendered the m,ask that had contained Giovanni Dario rather impotent (and getting a fair amount of quantum). The magician also will have gained some rare insight, after all, he did resists a being that has been posessing people for about 1000 years.

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Mantis Farewell
Mantis explaining as best he can tell what happened

Hello, this is/was your neightborhood bug. Well, I suppose emphasis is on was. I am not sure how I got caught, indeed, I have a very evil feeling some of my old friends in Beijing decided to seel me out, or got sloppy when speasking of me. In either case, I know I am not, nor will ever be, who I was. Apparently, there is someone else trying to cut in on the act, some fellow that fashions himself Living Psionics called Giovanni Dario. The people whop hate Count Oz apparently either like him or find him useful.
But then again, I should stop, because you have no reason to trust narratives. That is not an insult, it is a fact that people will lie to you, and try to be sneaky as hell about it, to the point where even people like me can get cocky and get caught. As far as where I am, and where to go from here..I offer information, take it or leave it as you choose.
I found myself saved by our favorite Lady by the lighthouse, Elizabeth. Now, she says that my body is toast, that my apartment in Hong Kong was bombed. She said that she may be able top bring me back somehow. In the meantime, I cannot go to Earth, she explains they would nto see me anyway, but that I also would not be able to itneract with anything. She said Ghost would be told more..gee, why not me? She also says she could offer omethign that functionied like the Mantis link, but that it could be given to one of you (GM’S note: aka to give a player character access to a lot of the stuff I used Mantis for), she recommends Ghost at the moment, though she sees “Potential” in some of the new members. Gee. Well, Brock is not as dumb as he looks at least.
No, I will admit I am ntot aking things well. Here I am, in some ghostly city, feelign like I am in some stage between a life I lost and the live I have yet to live. The locals can be kind, especially as old Rufus might be runnign for Mayor up here soon, but whole place place in unreal. I never thought I would miss my bug head.
Anyway, I hope you find whatever I leave usefukl, and also that it gives you more of a sense of independence. Of course, that is no substitue for you guys learnign howe to gel as a unit, which you will need to, as everyone has decided to step their game up, especially the Teragen.
Signing off from Columbia base, and oh yeah, I actually wrote this. First time I used ink in years.
Jian Chung, aka “Mantis”
Note to Brock: As of now, I really, really am dead on the record books. I guess this means someone already took my Gaming Laptop. As far as the directive goes, you are the man of the hour. Be more paranoid than usual.

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A Farewell to the Flesh
what to expect at the Palazzo Dario

An Overture:
It is no secret that Count Raoul Orsaiz is planning a grand event in Venice. The infamous Palazzo Dario is filled with guests the represent the Elite of Novas, and even a few of the baselines so wealthy that their mere lack of superpowers are forgivable. The Teragen are trying to outdo even their over the top antics. The drug queen Narcosis is handing out designer drugs like candy, the most beautiful and talented novas are trying to make art and imagery that makes Cirque du Soliel seem like a washtub band! Even many in New Orleans would be taken aback, as Venice reminds the world who truly invented the idea of Carnival.
Of course, not all is what it seems. While many of the Teragen leaders are there, there are factions that are feeling a very frosty chill, kind of like the black sheep relative that is expected to show up for Thanksgiving, but is not wanted. The two strongest embodiments of this are Leviathan and Shrapnel. Shrapnel, is of course the genocidal warrior-poetess whose vulgarity, blood thirst, and ideological zeal made her the bane of Count Orsaiz. Leviathan at least plays the part of a monster, although he has voice concerns about “the children”, the young novas he admittedly kidnapped, but raised, as part of the hope of raising Novas that were not abused like he was. Neither of these two are the “beautiful people” and they know it. The idea that they will either have to pledge fealty to Orsaiz or get swept out in the Revolutionary tide.
Of course, Utopia just got their new fortress nearby, the old Fondaco Del Tedeschi. Needless to say, many are not happy, from the Germans that used to have an embassy there to the Northern Lights, the Scandinavian Nova team that knows it was given to Utopia as a sort of middle finger to Stockholm. A thousand eyes are watching, even one of Utopia’s top European novas, the ESP and Entropy examplar, Stefano “Evil Eye” Mosca. This man is one of the few in Utopia that Pax backs down from.
Of course, even though Carnival for most was in the spring, here, in October, the Novas Carnival will prove to be a true delight, with many wearing masques that are not made of gold. Will this Carnival live up to it’s original meaning, a “farewell to the flesh?”

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A byte from "Two Minutes of Hate!"
Your favorite Nova segment where novas threaten each other

Allison “Shrapnel” Grimes, Teragen:

Count Oz, I can see already your attempt to crown yourself king has already gone to SHITE! Not only did you allow a great warrior to be embarrassed in Venice, but you made every Teragen look like a joke. At least the Apostle had the mutagen, what do YOU have? By the way, to whatever tart embarrassed my friend Leviathan, let me tell ya this, you and your lady friend are now the proud subject of a one million Euro bounty, dead or alive! You better not count on getting a lot of tourism in , you *&^%$!

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A Menace in Venice
a Radio broadcast from the !N Network

Hello there!

This is Dr. Chuck Upton, your Gonzo Journalist giving you the real dirt on the Novas you love and even those you loathe! I can tell you, we got a real juicy, spicy, slimy bit of steamy goodness. Now, I know you expected me to check on the supposed meeting in Venice, aka the one that is NOT the Teragen’s attempt to lick their wounds after Maelstrom and his crew kicked their ass in Paris. Well, it seems that Count Orzaiz is making his move to become the new head of Teragen, something which has been known to tick off the more militant types like Shrapnel and Leviathan. Granted, I do not know why they would be upset, considering that the whole organization is in complete disarray ever since their messiah got captured. In any case, I have had snoops in the area to tell me what and when stuff goes down, and it is a hoot!

Apparently the location for this ’don’t call it a comeback’ meting is the legendary Palazzo Dario. Now, this may sound like a level in Super Mario Brothers, but it’s a real life horror show. It dates back to 1486, where a nobleman was given money for slaughtering the Turks. Ever since then, most of the people who have spent more than 20 days inside this place have suffered disaster and/or a painful demise.

Still don’t believe me? Ok, how about some of the many examples—everyone from the original owner to the both the manager and bassist for the Who. We are talking assassinations, sudden bankruptcies, mysterious diseases—such as the legendary Red Death that inspired Edgar Allan Poe—all in a steady stream for 600 years! Add to this, the place is known to be the site of sex orgies and devil worship! Oh, good Count, I do hope you did not buy this place, as even an asshole like you deserves better.

Oh, this does get better though!

Apparently, everyone who goes to this party is supposed to wear Venetian Masque. The real reason is that half the people there are on the lam. But rest assured, this place probably has more cops than tourists now. One person who could not help but standout was Leviathan. Hey, what was his costume going to be, Big Bird? He is seemingly on break from trying to eat Homeless people in Jazzland.

(As a side note, Leviathan, don’t you realize that place is one of the most dangerous on the planet? Even Pax is scared to go there, and for good reason!)

Anyway, he though he could use his standard move for getting some romance, which is to pounce on some girl. However, the previously unknown Nova has enough skill at mental domination to where, when she literally told him to eat himself, he started DOING IT! Here is the great and mighty Leviathan, gnawing at his heart. Sadly, he survived the ordeal, but not before making most of the partygoers run in fear, and ruining whatever buzz Count Oz was trying to pull. I will be keeping my eyes open, because if this is the antipasti, I want to stick around for the Pasta and the Tiramisu!

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An Epilogue
a letter from Elizabeth

An update from Columbia, done on old stationery in Liz’s handwriting:

“Hello. I have been silent a while, but that is because I have had to figure out what was happening. On the one hand, I cannot help but be happy that the “twins” as you call them are not going to be doing anyone any more harm. On the other hand, things did not go perfectly smoothly. Normally, if there are any trips to “the past”, I can pull people back, and things go smooth, provided people do not want to interfere. Of course, I did not anticipate two people would actually be crazy enough to interfere, and by that I mean Hades, and, sigh, Maelstrom.

I cannot blame Maelstrom as he was the person who avoided disaster early on, and Hades, for all his mania, was himself a victim of the previous group’s foolishness (as Ghost can back me on, especially Ares who started all this “we are Gods” b.s. Before I explain anything, let me warn, if any of you start that “pantheon” b.s. again, I will KILL YOU!)

No, No, need to keep a lid on my anger. You see, any time the timelines change, I get hit directly. I am better off than the person you met in Rapture, so if you are worried that I am the psycho with the running mascara, that is dealt with. However, I am not the innocent person I was before. I guess the best way to put it, I am about 60 percent Dorothy, 40 percent wicked witch, but the fact that Maelstrom managed to revive that pantheon bullshit is enough to get me infuriated.

Ghost, I hope you do not judge me for this; I am still the person you know.

Anyway, let me cut to the chase for once. Hades and Maelstrom wanted the chance to spin off their own timeline. Keep in mind, my original idea, hell my function, is to keep timelines from breaking up and fraying. However, I also realize that whatever the ‘pantheon’ chooses to do needed to be kept separate. So, simply put, those two are back in 1960, pretty much rewriting their history. Now, as far as a ‘break,’ the obvious answer is that what they do should NOT affect you. I am currently floating in my own version of Columbia, split off from them. Although I will still avail you of resources, I myself do NOT want whatever the pantheon does with their version to mix. I will also be honest enough to know that while I think I have my lid on the kettle, we are in uncharted waters, so I do not know if what they do will bleed into this one. However, I realize that maybe I need to allow this, as, frankly, trying to cut off or block off time is NOT working, and maybe the key is learning how to make a healthy whole. This will also allow this world to develop more on its own, free of interference from people who both mean ill and well.

What disturbs me is that Rapture is still very much a part of this world, but frankly, we can deal with that when and if we have to. As for now, allow me to be one who helps you take back your world and timeline from those who would ruin it.

There is one change that has happened. You may have seen Sally and Hank before as children. In this timeline, they will be what they were meant to be. In New Orleans, there is an academy called “St. Ann and Elizabeth” boarding school. No, I did not pick those names. You will find a certain red-headed woman who looks about 30, and a blind professor. Sally and Henry not only have made their new life, but they are helping others to do so now, a refuge for those lost in the storm. Needless to say, I want to show Ghost around and others. The kids are already calling it the “Xavier” school (groan).

Thank you, you have not only helped me, but Sally, Henri, even Chaz who doubles as a professor of history and Theater there.

E.C.

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Big Balls
'should auld acquaintance be forgot?' a summary done in character

“Tonight, one of the greatest maladies to my life, and the timstream as a whole, is gone. ”/characters/rosalind-lutece" class=“wiki-content-link”>Rosalind and Roland are dead. I know that there are many oceans of time, and who knows what version of them might be swimming deep in their ooze, but the version that has meddled in countless lives, including mine, is gone. It seems the ‘Twins,’ as Maelstrom called them, were trying to lure myself and the party into a trap. Good ol’ New year Eve, 1959.

Of course, I went there because I had seen a future where a version of Dear Old Dad came back, one of the few I had not killed. Of course, I did not realize I myself was being led into a trap, and I owe Ghost for showing me otherwise. I’ve seen dead versions of myself before, but it is humiliating, especially when I know the only way I die is if I get stupid. Well, I then realized who the only people were who could set that trap, and there they were, enjoying New Years with the rest.

Fortunately, Thanatos and Maelstrom were not subtle, rather they got The Twins where they wanted them. However, it became apparent they could not resist the temptation to ‘change the past’ …so far, the world as is will not have any holes, and Mean Ole Lizzy has a lecture ready for you two.

Here’s the sneak preview: The Twins had more knowledge and power at their disposal than you, yet they ended up ruined, and ruining others. I, to be humble, have knowledge you never had, and I have the reminders of it when I have to look in the mirror to see if my eyes are blue or green. Do you really want to see the places where you lose complete track of what you are, on all levels? Thanatos, spare me the whole ‘String theory for dummies’ line. Been there, done that, and so did every one of the assholes you have down in ‘Hell,’ hooked into the siphon.

Dominika handled herself with grace, although she did have to meet an old face. Still, she managed Cohen and kept the ‘big ball’ from being a carnage-soaked mess. I will also check to make sure none of the side effects of being down there bear fruit for her.

Columbia has many, many faults, but Rapture was The Twins’ attempt to say ‘I know what I got wrong, so first this, THEN that.’ Let their deaths serves as a warning to those that think of the strings of time as toys, myself included.

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A SUMMARY SO FAR
aka when last we left our heroes

The party had managed to obtain the “magic box” as Xane’s player was not there. It is noted that there is a Homonculi in the box. Whether or not it was accounted for when it was taken to Columbia was not accounted for (oops). Maelstrom did open it, and was able to successfully make a copy, at least one good enough to hopefully fool Rosalind. The Magic show did go on, despite Utopia’s attempt to shut things down and take control. The party proved that the ability to Bullsh—er talk, can be the equal of any superpower. The two new people more than held their own, as Maelstrom found out that the fairer sex can overcome the strongest of wills, and the players realized that Mega-Appearance is yet another thing in Aberrant that can be damned twinky is used right (how many friggin success did Chesa get, geezus).

This is also where the new characters met Elizabeth, and saw Columbia. Liza did want to make sure they got into the mix, so she gave them a coin that would allow them to teleport to the city. Of course, there is still the idea of what the hell is going on in Rapture, and the party got some odd information, in the form of a prisoner, the feared Tony Atlas. Atlas showed he had the brawn, taking out Pax with one blow, thanks to having Mega-Strength and an odd weapon made of Nth Metal.

(side note, folks, the Gm will admit, if anyone tried to take him in hand to hand, chances are he would have killed you. I knew you would think of a way to take him out, but not the way you did, which was sneaky, evil, and praiseworthy.)

In any case, Atlas is saying that Elizabeth was being lured into a trap, but that he realized he was also the disposable bait for that trap, so he is offering help. Whether or not you trust him will be one of the decision the party will need to make. You also know that Elizabeth is worried about Sally, who is currently ?SAFE? with Lord Chaz. You also know that as long as you have the box, Rosalind and Roland cannot just wreck this timeline… so sooner or later, they will have to come out. Question is, when and how do your force it, and how do you make sure they do not get to do damage?

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Old adventure logs

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Message 1 of 3 , Oct 3, 2015
DeVries Field Activity Report
Date: 4/20/2015
Location: Undisclosed
DeVries Asset: Marv

Since I was not on an official DeVries mission, I was not going to write up my recent activities. I got the opportunity to do some good in my off time and took advantage of it. The developments since then, having direct impact on the interests of DeVries, requires that I do so now. I’ll start with a quick recap of events leading up to April 3rd. Then we can get to the parts that anyone reading this report will be most interested in.

bottled quantum ”. As far as we can tell the Apostle was using other Novas as a fuel source in the creation of this “bottled quantum”. It appears that a surprise attack (most likely organized by the Apostle) allowed someone (a particularly powerful Nova as is represented by the video that you have no doubt watched by now) to kill Jerimiah Scripture and knock Divis Mall into a chrysalis state. Divis was taken under the cathedral while in his chrysalis state and was himself being used as a living fuel source for further production of this “bottled quantum” that was going to in the wine during the mass. The person responsible for the attack is a mystery as it seems to be the same person as the amnesiac I met recently, but a much altered version of him. I have learned that the situation is very convoluted as we are dealing with dimension-hopping time travelers (what a mess). Anyway, we found Mal under the cathedral and rescued him. Keiser made arrangements to move him to a secret location where he could be looked after until his recovery.

On a personal note of interest, my exposure to the mutagenic substances we studied and destroyed has manifested itself in the development of new abilities I did not previously possess. I am apparently now able to mimic matter’s properties and alter my shape. I am still learning to master these new abilities but they seem quite useful. So far I have not noticed any negative side effects. My theory is that my already highly resilient body allowed me to process the mutagen in a positive and, somewhat stable way. I would not expect most Novas to so easily survive the exposure, without more unpredictable results.

Fast forward 2 weeks after Good Friday. We have Mal. He’s still in chrysalis, but seems in no danger of death. While we are discussing what our next steps should be, we are told that a letter had arrived at our top secret location addressed to Michael ( Divis himself). This letter pleaded for Divis to communicate with its sender, a (Sorry, forgot the name you told us, Scott), and not to abandon them. Divis did not react well to the presence of the letter, or, more precisely, his thoughts of the person who sent the letter were volatile as his chrysalis had a most violent reaction. Agent 13 attempted to contact Divis’ mind at this time and we received a few mental images. One of these images was the apparent capture of Anna DeVries!! She is alive as far as I can tell, and being held in the ‘sky city’ called Columbia. I, of course, immediately contacted Totentanz with this information and he tasked me with getting Anna back, or at the least confirming where she is so that DeVries’ army can get her. I’m not sure what would be left in the immediate vicinity if that kind of firepower were brought to bear, so in the interest of saving New Orleans from yet another episode of near annihilation, I am hoping my new associates and I can get the job done.

My new enemies of my enemies agreed to accompany me on my investigation of this news. (I have to admit, I was pretty insistent. It is Anna, after all!) We infiltrated the abandoned amusement park called Jazzland, which is apparently—at least in part—a front for a transport rocket that would take “pilgrims” up to Columbia (this religious zealotry BS makes me sick to see.) We used said transport, and upon arriving in a low earth orbit above New Orleans, apparently, we discovered what might best be described as a giant baptismal font. The font in question would immerse all pilgrims in a pure version of the ‘bottled quantum’ that had been created for the Good Friday mass. This substance is what they might have been trying to create, but didn’t have the right materials or knowledge to do so (I gathered a sample as instructed. See Attachment A for ongoing analysis notes).

We also met 2 of the players involved in this dimension-spanning cluster-fuck. One of them, Elizabeth, is apparently ‘friendly’ in her own ‘I have died multiple times in multiple timelines’ kind of way. (I have to admit, I might not be all there either after experiencing that. I hate this time-travel dimension-hopping shit.) The other player is, if we can believe Elizabeth, named Roland and is part of a Twin set of dimension-hopping con men who ‘experiment’ on time lines and have caused the destruction of more than one (Thus the multiple deaths of Elizabeth. What I don’t know is how Elizabeth knows about the deaths. She’s freaky powerful. Maybe her consciousness spans all the time lines she’s in? Talked about fucked up.).

Elizabeth clued us in a little more on her version of what has been happening. The first Columbia had apparently been created as a weapons platform. It has some nasty firepower from what she says. She herself was also created as a living weapon. We learned that Divis has been around longer than anyone thought, and might have had something to do with the creation of the Columbia (facts are not clear on this part) Apparently Roland and his sister have been playing….well, everyone. Did I mention they were timeline-hopping con men who toy with a timeline in whatever way they want?

It seems that they duped Mal, Apostle, Mercer, Shepherd, Anna, and anyone else who caught their eye. Anyway, Elizabeth did us a solid and put Roland on a leash and gave that leash to Maelstrom. Roland says he knows where Anna is and is going to lead us to her. This place is home to a group known as the Order of the Raven. He thinks they have Anna. He said they might have used her as a host of some sort, whatever that means.

That brings you up to date. I will amend this report and file it once I have retrieved Anna.

Message 3 of 3 , Oct 3, 2015
- And here is a nice letter from Devries in response.

From: Klaus Kleisner (a.k.a. “Totentanz”)
to: operative “Geb”

I found your correspondence very informative to say the least. I must say, the fact that a man many actually seemed to worship as a god was taken down by his own stupidity surprised me. It should not; after all, my eruption thanks to the heartbreak caused by a tart is documented, however, it seems I got stronger, whereas he grew weaker. I should not be amused by this, but if I was still capable of laughing, I would be doubled over. As much as the idea of adding Divis Mal’s head to the DeVries trophy rack amuses me, it seems you were smart not to kill him, as apparently recent events have made things even less predictable than usual, which is saying a LOT. I do understand you have to keep secrets, but do let me know of his progress.

As far as Anna, let me just say that while I respect your situation, do NOT think we are going to wait. Anna is someone very near and dear to everyone, including and especially me. I think the following correspondence will speak for itself: if it is useful to you, great. I myself plan to make sure of it VERY soon, perhaps even by the time you get this correspondence.

From: Joseph “Pursuer” Sims:
to: Klaus “Totentanz” Kliesner

“Ok, Bossman, I know we were NOT supposed to go to that “amusement park”, but sorry. If there is a chance in hell to get Anna back, we are not going to wait for something that, if Max Mercer is being even less than half truthful, means a bunch of Directive flunkies are going to try and cover their ass, considering Anna’s corpse as gravy. NO, Rachel did NOT squeal; you forget, many people owe us favors, even if they are the occasional Utopian or Directive that knows we could have iced them or sent pictures to their family about what they REALLY do on their business trips. Not everybody hires someone like Kaiser Voss to clean up their dirty work. I am sure there will be some Utopians angry about a hijacked craft, but then again, they cannot admit where they were anyway, right?

Anyway, as far as I know, we are in this city, called by Mercer the ‘First Rapture,’ though when you actually get here, it’s called ‘Columbia’ and looks like what Disney would have done to make a city if Utopia did not keep them from using the high tech. I can tell this place was big once. According to some records, apparently this thing puts out some form of particle that pushes against the earth’s magnetic field. That accounts for the fact this thing can fly, and the fact it has some form of shield that hides it and protects it. I am not Rachel, or the engineer you yourself are, but I don’t think you have to be to sense something is generating LOTS of juice. Speaking of juice, watch out if you go to this main chapel area. We all got a bit sick from it. Remember that ‘wine’ the Apostle wanted to use? Well, that stuff is decaf. This stuff is breaking bad. I suggest Hazmat materials. The stuff is literally leaking all over the place, and apparently whoever the natives are even put it in the food. No lie. We found tons of old canned goods and snacks that are filled with it.

The natives, good point. There were several thousand people here, mostly people who were ex-confederacy, Yes, this place is that old. Apparently, there is this group called the ‘Order of the Raven’, which is kind of like the Klan, if they had a more official status. There are also these kids called " boys of silence " who do stealth maneuvers as good as Lotus does. We were injured by them when we were trying to head to the main compound of the Ravens—this big black mansion that sticks out because it has ‘we dare to defend our homeland’ in latin on it. We escaped the boys, but are still worried about the Ravens, as they apparently walk around with swarms of deadly animals in their skin. In other words, they looks like only a few, then swarm you.

We also noticed craft going from this Raven area to a very large statue. Locals we interrogated say this was the home of the Lamb, before the false shepard took her. I know prisons when I see them, and it would not surprise me if that is where these goons may have Anna. We caught notes of ‘two high profile guests.’ We guess one is Anna, and some of us think number two may either be Argus or the Apostle, though for obvious reasons, we hope we are wrong.

Oh yes, this Lamb, who, seemingly, the statue is of. We’ve seen no signs of her, but we obtained footage of what she is. You remember how even the Teragen were mixed about forcing a baby to awaken? Well, I guess these folks weren’t. We have a series of notes from folks called ‘the Lutece twins.’ Apparently, the lady, Rosalind, spent the better part of 20 years imprisoning and vivisecting this kid. And she invited a guest, one “Mickey” on Donell, yes, our own Divis Mal, to help ‘develop’ this kid, until the point came where apparently she injured him. I make this note so that, if that thing is still here, you have an idea of how to handle her. I suspect this kid is probably a serial killer at best, and while I would not blame her, approach with extreme caution.

Anyway, I will let you know how we are.. If we die, well, it’s been a hell of a ride, sir."

After Actions of Good Friday
Something isn’t right, I think to myself as I wake abruptly from a restless night, my flesh covered in a light layer of sweat. The sound of multiple objects impacting the ground and against the various furniture in the room snaps me fully to the present. Looking around expecting to see an intruder, I find myself alone, still occupying the carved out room of the Outback facility of Doctor Worm and the other Aberrants, but it appears that most of the lighter objects have been tossed around as if a tornado swept through the room while I slept. Did I cause all this havoc in my unconscious state?

Waiting for Divis Mal to wake up is taking much longer than I had originally anticipated, but now I’m starting to think this downtime might be a good thing, as my mind and body seem to be in a state of flux. It’s as if I can feel myself changing on a molecular level, the only constant these past few days is the machine parts. A small chuckle escapes at that thought; the machine is more reliable to me than my own body right now. Why is this happening to me now?

I get up from the sweat soaked sheets to walk around the room, trying to find a calm state of being. Is this my own form of transformation like the crystalis that Divis Mal is going through? Or is this a more unnatural change from all that “holy wine”. I don’t remember any of the liquid physically making contact with me when I destroyed all those casks, but could the vaporization of the liquids inside have transformed it into an airborne even for a brief time before I stepped through the portal? I can already feel myself growing in raw power with each passing day, but how much will I change by the time the fluxations finally cease?


The changes within me seem to have finally fully subsided; now I just need time to fully explore what this new form has made me. I had hoped for that chance while we waited for Divis Mal to awaken and before leaving the Outback, but we can’t wait here any longer. Hopefully whatever wakes up from that weird cocoon is grateful for our help in keeping him safe in his highly vulnerable state, but after the Mal’s mysteriously delivered letter and 13’s mental connection to the cocoon, it’s apparent that we have to act now. There are too many growing dangers that need to be addressed and I don’t trust Pax and his Utopian cronies to do the necessary responses.

I’m giving my superiors the minimum needed information to hopefully keep them happy with my field work and to keep them busy on more mundane issues well away from where I wish to investigate. Mantis has been informed to keep his inquiries under the radar and as trace-less as he can make them while he looks into the issue of the Directive “mole”. Marv is hell-bent on finding this Anna DeVries, so my desire to lure the red headed Rosalind to us with her letter will have to wait for now. If I’m lucky, her brother and her will still be within reach once we find Anna. If so, maybe I can make them cooperate in answering a few of my questions.

It is a little disturbing that Keiser hasn’t been heard from since he ‘ported out without any warning the other night. Does that mean he has become a liability to us or has someone gotten to him in an attempted to find us or Divis Mal’s location? Either way we can’t wait for him to return, we will just have to travel like the rest of the planet does and that means 13 and I calling in a few travel requests to keep things compartmentalized within the Directive as well.


“I’m an idiot”, I think out loud as I start to access one of the sub’s consoles. “How could I have missed Pax utilizing Splash’s aide, here of all places?” I know I can modify the sub’s visualization systems to map out the water currents in the immediate area, but do I have enough time before she stumbles upon us with her ‘feelers’, that’s the only question here. In the end, it seems I was able to program faster than she could ‘feel around in the muck’ and with 13 helping guide Marv’s actions we should be able to gain access to the air-lock soon enough.

Now it’s all a matter of following the bread crumbs, or in our case, the footprints, down the corridors, tunnels and pipes. It’s strange that these prints were made months ago, but yet they don’t seem to show them leaving. They couldn’t still be holed up here, could they? Maybe I will be lucky in finding my red headed prey here after all. As we enter the top of the aging Jazzland light house, the trail we were following comes to an end within an empty room; not even the spinning light is still here. Are the twins working with their own portal creator? Did they hire Keiser all those months ago to ferry them all away from here?

But the true nature of the empty room is soon realized; I scan the area through the various visual spectrums and warn Marv before he fully steps into the middle of the room. This room somehow transports its occupants to another place and my other two comrades figured out the sequence that activates the room itself. As the room starts to change, a sofa appearing among those changes, I stand clear of all restraints while the others strap themselves in. And then the vibrations really start, as the room starts to lift off the main lighthouse tower. My only thought at this time is, I sure hope none of those stealthed hover vehicles in the New Orleans area fire on us.

With my eskrimas in hand, I ride out the rocky flight like a snowboarder would go down a steep and mogul laced slope. Imagine my surprise as we start to make our final approach upon a floating and invisible Victorian-esque city. Seems the floating city of the first Rapture isn’t a myth after all, just some how long forgotten. It is also apparent from our bumpy approach that some kind of shield protects this city, but is the city shifted just outside of our normal physical dimension? Is that how they keep from being hit from all the air traffic these days? Looking down as our flying room heads towards the big spired building in the center, I can see that the city seems to be sparsely occupied.

At this point, it was my desire to escape the all window-sided flying room before it came to its final destination, but my comrades wished to remain until the room stopped. Maybe it was the fact they were both strapped in for the ride and I wasn’t, but this democratic way of voting our course of action is getting old but now doesn’t seem the time to push my point. So for now, I continue with the contented follower. As the room came to its final resting place at the base of one of those spires, I immediately regretted staying with the group. The landing pad of this room was filled with what appeared to be a lot more of that crazy potent wine from the vineyard, and more of it was just pouring out of several inlet drains around the landing site. If it wasn’t for my TK shield keeping the liquid at bay, I fear for what transformations would be in store for me again.

And then before we could fully exit the wading pool of nova creating wine, 13 starts talking to the air before himself. I really thought he had started to lose it, but after hearing a few exchanges of his one sided conversation, a flipping coin appeared out of thin air. Not wanting that coin to drop into the rising pool of wine at our feet, I instinctively reached out with my mind and ‘caught’ the coin in mid air, neither side of the coin facing upward. That’s when I heard the voice as well. Grabbing the suspended coin from the air with my human hand, I scanned the visual spectrum again in an attempt to see who and where this person was. And once I saw him, I reached out once again with my mind, like I hand back in Paris with the Silent Boy, but this time I could feel the hold was much stronger, there was no escape for him.

Then things started to get even weirder as the Lamb’s counter-part here made her presence known and the person I had held became visible, revealing himself to be Roland, one of the red headed twins I was searching for. I figured it was best to not piss off this version of the Lamb, having one being of immense power mad at me was enough for me this month, so I played along with her lead. She really didn’t like Roland or his sister, apparently they can travel through the various dimensions of time and have erased a few time lines entirely already, maybe I should just kill him now, but then this lady grabs Roland’s wrist and brands him, afterwards stating to me that he is now linked to me in some way, so now I have a pet from one half of a time traveling duo, oh lucky me. After I inquire to her about transforming this city’s ultimate purpose, she apparently was intrigued with my ideas and offers her hand to me as if we were shaking on a verbal agreement. As I shook her glowing, pinky-less hand with my cybernetic one, I started to wonder if I had just been handed the keys to the Titanic.

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Note from Atlas to group
for your consideration

Atlas
Atlas_-_Ace_in_the_Hole.PNG
I had an idea that sooner or later I might find myself in this position, though I have to confess, I expected ye lot to have taken over Rapture by now. Then again, I did not expect Hades crew ta feck things up so bad. Hey, Hades, I wonder why Elizabeth made sure to pull yer arse out of the waters, as opposed to your old friends? That tells me that either you are more harmless than they were, or perhaps more useful. In dealing with her, I have been forced to try and think a bit like her, though how do you think like someone who is literally not much more than a series of fragmented patchworks of different realities, sewn together like a crazy quilt?

But here is where I humbly think ye should listen to me. I think it should be obvious to all of you that various forces are playing us all like pawns, myself and yourself included. Since I am harmless at the moment, it does not hurt ye to listen, and do, I won’t say “would ye kindly” as that phrase is useless now.

From where I started, my goal was to take Rapture from Andrew Ryan, the son of a bitch that calls himself—in your world—“Maxwell Mercer.” Now, when I started this, I had no idea who the “twins” were. I had no idea they they had already attempted one of the “Utopia” experiments, called " Columbia ." Indeed, I was one of the few people in the whole city who had NO idea that Rapture was full of dimensional holes between the two places, or that folks like Ryan were able to use these “doors” as an escape plan. All of us on various sides, thinking we were fighting for something, only to realize that we were disposable, that—literally—the world you see as solid, the past, the future, are all just the toys of would-be gods. However, inbetween the ruckus between myself and Hades old crew, I learned some things, as I was literally fighting for my existence.

The way things were set to go was, The Twins would trick Lizzie into going down to Rapture—her purpose: deal with her old man. The Irony in this is thick, as this fellow down there was the weakest of a lot, and the one who was clueless about what he had done; in short, a classic sap. Liz would kill him, but run into Sally, who she fell in love with. It is ironic again, because that is her “little sister.” Now the real chess game The Twins play is this: Liz goes down to rapture, kills the useless Booker, then takes Sally, which means Sally could not grow up and provide a shelter for those who were the castaways and refuse from The twins experiments. Their slate clean, the pawns eliminate each other, and they can move on to, well, I believe their next base was to be on the dark side of the moon, or Mars. Keep in mind, these Twins do NOT play fair. They see you and I as some sort of character to compose, like when an author makes a character people love so that their death in chapter such and such is useful.

Well, Elizabeth’s main weakness, ‘the ace in the hole’ that The Twins literally built into her ever since she was in her crib, is that she CANNOT ignore what is going on in one timeline, especially where her father is concerned. They can always upset her into thinking Daddy is going to get her coming from afar, which outs her into pre made patterns of behavior. It’s fascinating, really. I am anything but, as I couldn’t care less of people want to fuck their own timeline up, and I am fast enough where I could survive, even if this timeline falls. So none of this would have mattered to me at all. I was perfectly willing to run Rapture while the would be Gods and Kings and Queens did whatever.

However, by sheer chance, I went ahead and saw where Elizabeth was “buried” a little bit further ahead in the timeline you are in. Now, don’t let Ghost have a conniption, because if you do yer fecking jobs right, this will be nothing more than a fragment, the remains of a timeline cut off because it was aborted. Apparently, her death left a door to a future. Well, as I was eager to see that future where I ruled Rapture, I had to take a look. I am painting to most honest portrait of myself, because I know that I would not be able to fool you, and even if ye fecking hate me, you should at least believe me. Anyway, lo and behold, in this glorious future, I was set up to be a patsy, killed of by none other than the Little Sisters. It’s a really pathetic death, really it is.

So, I went from being king to conned. It is a pattern ye no doubt have noticed. Of course, it made no sense on many levels, until I realized that these cowardly little Twins did not go anywhere where they did not have every little contingency planned. For example, in the fragment of Lizzie’s demise I was shown, they have a literal GODDESS so programmed that she did not do any number of tricks that could have ended the whole mess? I mean, she could have simply opened a portal, flushed me out into the water, and she and Sally would have been singing “La Vie en Rose” In fecking Paris! No, programmed.

Well, I am not fecking programmed, so instead of being in Rapture, waiting to be a character in the Twin’s dismal little novel, I came here. My goal was to steal the fecking box because THAT IS THE ONE THING THAT WILL LURE THE TWINS OUT OF HIDING! Until you get Rosalind to come out in the open, she will just play you as a fecking pawn! Do not count on Lizzie to save you, because for all her powers, she herself is programmed.

Again, ye do NOT have to trust or like me, but only know that, no less than you, I am trying to avoid being flushed down the toilet like the who knows many teenth experiment of the Twins. Yes, it also hurts that I know she does betray me. Does/did, whatever the feck, time travel complicates things. You probably will not trust me enough to work with me, but you can take these ‘aces in the hole’ I give you, namely because I, at the very least, want to see The Twins go down.

One: Remember, Rosalind can never, ever, ever admit she is wrong. Even though Roland tries, she will always go back to that, which—of course—means, like a recovering heroin addict and a full blown one, sooner or later baby brother joins sister in drugs. Of course, when brother goes away, she does something self-destructive so that he comes back. Ghost is probably adding 2 and 2 in his head right now.

Two: Lizzie, can see everything, except what should be simple. Now, when I share the memory of my little interrogation scene, keep one thing in mind: why the feck did she allow that? Answer, yes she wanted to save her sister, but again, why would you allow herself to be captured and tortured when you could be a god. The answer is that if her calculations conclude enduring a, b, and c is the best result, she will do it. BUT, if you’re being manipulated by those who really know how to do it, they can have you go to do x, y, and z when really, you should do a and b. I mean, if all she wanted was her father dead, and if I knew half of what I was dealing with, I would have cut the bastard’s head off myself, served it to her on a platter, and then said “OK, pleasure doing business. Now, does this mean you will go to Paris and leave us alone? Excellent!” But no, she was tricked, and smart people are easy to trick because they think they already know everything.

Three: if nothing else, know that as long as you have possession of the box, you have Rosalind at a stand still. She can try to purposefully drag others into it, complicate things, but she will never be able to progress. That is YOUR ace in the hole. Her only hope is to possibly trigger either Lizzie or Mercer into doing something stupid, and Lizzie is a bit wary

Four: even if you feck everything up: save sally. Ghost and Hades may remember her as an adult. That is because, in the way things are supposed to be, she and Henry found a school and shelter in, of all places, New Orleans. This takes in the castways from the experiments, but also becomes a major thorn on Rosalind’s side. Ya picked well leaving her with Lord Chaz.

Anyway, if Lizzie ever reads this, tell her that I know how she felt on the lobotomy table. I will not pretend to have reformed, but I understand now how she felt knowing she was dying, but knowing her enemies would be screwed because of it. Of course, if ye chose to ignore me… well, I’ve survived different oceans flooding in, and perhaps I will meet ye in another ocean, one where the team is not a bunch of fools who think themselves gods. Yes, Hades, that was a crack at your fucking Pantheon. Here’s a last ace: the people who think they are gods are the ones who get shown they are mortal.

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