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30.1 - Valediction [Cutscene]

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Edited 1521505248
It's a weird party. I won't try to describe all of it, because there were conversations, and sidebars, and other stuff that I'm not quite ready to -- Understand, I like to feel that I am in control. If not of what is happening to me (because who can really say that?), then in how I react to it. I have been in terrible situations. I have been faced with horrible decisions. I have had to retain my composure, to bite my lip, to stay under control. Tears keep welling up in my eyes. Dammit. A large part of that is the memory merge process itself, and its outcome. As to the latter, I am now back in touch with the emotional memories of the episodes I was able to sync up with Jason. That sounds very clinical. So imagine the raw emotional power of a series of intimate moments -- and not just sex-intimate, but moments of friendship, affection, surprised getting-closeness, shared experiences, talking and gifting and saving and -- all those things, memories of times together spread out over years. I had the black and white silent film versions of those memories. Now I have Technicolor 3-D IMAX with Dolby sound systems the size of a space shuttle tower. It's overwhelming. Sure, there's also at least one early episode, in Cuzco, that I know I didn't remember at all -- Jason patched me there. I wonder how Father blocked that -- and decide I really don't want to know.) And my mind and memories and emotion aren't all back to where they should be -- there are some spots I couldn't help Jason with, and -- I begin to wonder if there were other episodes that Father deadened to keep me under control. (And, yes, it's ironic that both of us wanted me to keep my emotions under control. But they are my emotions, not his. And cauterizing the emotional connection to an event is a piss-poor way to control it.) I feel disoriented by the process itself -- priorities and emotions askew, raw, jumbled. I don't know if it's a side-effect of the device, or some aspect of these emotional memories being restored. It may take me a while to find out. Hopefully things will settle down in my brain before then. The other reason for tears is -- these damned people are just so damned welcoming . I mean, it's not all long-lost-cousin-Alycia. But at worst there's a grudging acceptance. Nobody seems outright opposed to my being here, which is -- well, if I were paranoid, I'd think they were all plotting to get me. There's no reason for them to be so trusting, even on a probationary status. Let alone hugs. And I've gotten more than one. And nobody told me this was a hugging organization (though if people start taking off their clothes, I'm out of here). But, with all seriousness, this is -- -- goddamned hard to take. * * * Even Jason. It takes him about three times as long as it should, but if he's feeling half of what's going off in my head, I can understand it. He finally gets off his ass, and comes over, and hugs me. It feels ... good . I hug him back. That feels good, too. He speaks first. "I had no idea. I --" "I know. Me, neither." "I --" I can't do this. Not right now. I pull away, puts a finger on his lips. "Later. Time enough -- I --" I shake my head. "I'll be -- right back." I don't quite run to the bathroom. But I don't stroll. * * * I'm hyperventilating. I try to bring it under control. It's hard. I've faced dinosaurs. I've stood on the edge of the vacuum of space. I've looked down the barrels of guns pointing at me, and dodged bullets from same. Why is this so terrifying? My hands grip the edge of the sink counter and look at myself in the mirror. I look like I'm about to throw up. That's because I am. I restrain myself. I also have a desire to sing stupid romantic show tunes, which, mercifully for all present, I restrain as well. Okay, I can't do anything about the tears. I've just -- dammit . I've missed. So. Much. Control . I just need to reestablish control. * * * It feels like it takes a hour. It's more like five minutes. My face is finally dry. My eyes are slightly red. My smile is back in place. (I'm in yet another Quill-related shirt this evening -- this one a long-sleeve T with "PoolQ 2015!" on the left breast, with a stylized Q-logo paddling through stylized water. Either they print off a million of these promotional shirts then give them away to local charities or government agencies, or else someone in AEGIS is intentionally tweaking me.) I saunter from the bathroom, looking for all the world like I'm cool, collected, and (most importantly) in control. I have no idea whether I actually look that way. I should. Whether anyone believes it -- Summer, Jason's robot, spots me and from the couch where she's hanging out with her twin and Leo and Adam. Charlotte and Jason are over at a table with a deck of cards, and she's showing him something about them or about some card game. She sees me, says, something to Jason (who, of course, -hadn't noticed my re-entrance), and they both wave me over to get an explanation for the rules of a game I've never heard of, "Euchre." * * * Harry appears next to me with a bowl. "Chips?" I raise an eyebrow. "You do realize how much ecological damage the over-cultivation of hybridized and GMOed American corn causes -- both in terms of impact on this nation's agricultural states, and due to the clear-cutting of irreplaceable forest and jungle in the third world, including the Amazon basin." Harry's face falls slightly. "But ... chips!" He holds out the bowl to me again. I sigh, and take a chip. * * * Like I said, I'm not going to talk about every encounter, every chat, every chip. It was a weird get-together, like nothing I'd ever been in before. I mean, even though it wasn't my father's "thing," I've been to parties. I've been to raucous soldierly affairs after a mission, celebrating life and death and how close the line can be. I've been to high society posh set pieces where the exteriors are cool and the daggers in the back hot. This is different. Low-key. Everyone seems almost exhausted, but relaxed despite it. Sure, it's been a long first day of school, and, oh, yeah, the building almost killed us -- and, of course, there was a cut-and-paste operation on two of our brains. But I get the impression these people would be like this all the time. A team . No, more than that. This feels like -- a family? At least what the cinema always makes family (good ones, at least) out to be. Relaxed. Fun. Comfortable. Caring. With drama, yes, but that's not the core dynamic. I anticipated hostility. Challenge. Reluctance. Snark. I was ready. I had prepped any number of lines to get under their skin. Show I couldn't be pushed around. Show I was in control. And instead, I got chips. And card games. And -- This was what I've been invited into? They think me worthy of joining their family? Are they more deluded? Or me? * * * The following scene is available  in video . And, then, of course, everything goes to shit. Jason downs the last of a can of cola, says, "Okay, better get this over with." Charlotte and I exchange looks of mild confusion, but he gives a half-smile. "Nothing to worry about. I hope." He walks into the center of the "conversation pit" -- which actually gets the voices in the room to quiet somewhat. "Speech!" Harry shouts. He's up at the breakfast bar, scooping still more chips into more bowls, out of a bag that looks like it should be holding yard materials at a home improvement store. "Don't encourage him," Leo remarks. "Sorry," Jason says. "I actually do have a speech." He's changed his mind and doesn't want me on the team any more. Of course that's not it, but my mind can't help darting there, while people throw chips at him. He takes a breath, lets it out. "First off, thanks again, all of you, for being here tonight. I didn't really announce these extra parts of the agenda, though some of you knew. But I'm glad you were here for it, and not just to fight the building security systems." That draws the sort of chuckles one might expect. "Second, I have an announcement. I'm -- resigning from active duty in the Menagerie." What? The Hell? I look at the others to see if it's a surprise. Leo and his bots are exchanging knowing glances, so clearly they were in the know. But the others look as gobsmacked as I feel. Jason continues. "The stuff with Dad, especially over in the Sepiaverse -- it made me realize that there's so much more I could be doing. To help the world. To help groups like this. I've got warehouses full of stuff that could change everything, but Dad never had -- never took the time to figure them out. He was always off on the next big adventure, the next bright-and-shiny. I've inherited this big organization that does a lot of good in the world, but it's kind of been cruising along on autopilot. "Dad let himself get too busy. He had too much fun jetting around the world, discovering stuff. He got too invested in fighting Achilles Chin." He glances over at me. "And vice-versa," I mutter, almost as if responding to the cue. But I'm still trying to get my head around his announcement. Things are on a slow burn in my gut, even if there's a lot of truth in what he's saying. "I don't want that to happen to me," Jason says. "I want to put my time and effort where I can do the most good, not just in Halcyon, but everywhere. I'm going to take up my responsibilities with the Quill Foundation. I'm going to start doing some serious looking at the tech and other stuff we have stashed here. I want to set up some sort of organization under the Foundation to help teams like the Menagerie, like the Irregulators, who don't have deep HHL pockets of their own." Harry snorts at that. "I'm not going anywhere. You guys are all my friends. I'm still finishing the year at Gardner. And you guys can always hang here. And if something comes up that you need me for -- giant cats, or space invaders, or whatever -- I'm there. You need someone coordinating comms and all that, I can help. But day-to-day -- I'm out." He smiles at everyone. I get and walk out of the room. * * * I'm standing by the elevator when Jason catches up to me. "Hey! Alycia! What --?" I turn on him, pointing a finger. "What. The. Fuck. Jason?" He slams on the brakes. "What? I don't --" "I come in from the freaking cold, I sit in a goddamned AEGIS white-cell for, what, a week? I do this memory edit thing, terrified of what I'm going to even be when it's all over --" "And I --" " I joined this goddamn team, Jason! For you! To be near you! And before you've even unplugged that damn machine, you're leaving?!" I am not letting any tears out. That's a non-trivial fight on a whole other level. "Alycia, I'm not going anywhere, I told you, I told --" "What did you tell me? You didn't even think to tell me about this before you sprang it on me and everyone else!" "It doesn't make any difference. I'm still going to be --" "What? Hanging out in the board room? Dutifully attending classes? Having someone stock up the fridge with high-fructose sodas for whenever we come back from the fight? You really think that's going to be the same, Jason?" He finally shuts up. "It -- won't. Of course it won't. But that doesn't mean -- we can't --" "Can't what?" "Can't ... be together?" I take a deep breath, let it out. "You're right. But being together requires trust. And that means talking about things. Why did you wait until this moment to let people know about this?" He leans against the wall. "I just -- I've been thinking about this for awhile now." "Did you talk with anyone about it?" Jason looks down. Silent. "Oh, Jason. Really? Her? Your little fembot? Really?" "Hey! Summer is not -- how can you say that?" "C'mon, Jason. You've surrounded yourself with fake people so much, you're beginning to lose track who's who. You think I didn't see that hologram Alycia before? And cute little girly robots? I mean, answer me this -- did Leo and you build that one, and then he built one for himself? Or did he build one for himself, and you asked for one, too? Is this a team deal? Can I get one? I mean, she's not quite my type, but --" "Shut up! You can't talk about Summer that way. She's --" I hold up my hand. "You told her . Not me . Why?" "Time." I raise an eyebrow. "And -- I didn't want to get it all confused up with my memory and nanobot stuff." "Were you concerned Leo wouldn't go along if you weren't still full-time on the team?" "No -- no, he wouldn't do that. I just -- it felt like the right order. Get that stuff out of the way, then --" "Was it about me?" The elevator lobby is quiet, except for the distant hum of air conditioning. Good soundproofing in this place. Jason's checking out his shoes. "Not like that." "Were you afraid I wouldn't do it if I weren't a member of the team? Or were you afraid if you weren't an active member, the others wouldn't let me be on the team?" "I don't know!" Jason shouts. "Okay? I don't know . I did my -- this was all a million moving pieces, and I didn't know how to set it up right to make it work, and there was Dad, and there was you, and there was the damned Vyortovian thing, and AEGIS, and -- I couldn't --" He takes a step toward me, hands out the side. "But I wanted you on the team. I wanted to get this stuff --" He raps his head. "-- fixed -- for both of us! And --" He sags back to the wall. "I have to quit. Or pull way back." He quickly adds, "From the team, not you!" He shakes his head. "When we were over there, what you said, what I realized, about my dad, and your dad -- I knew I had to get out of this game. That it's too easy to become a game. And that's not what I want to do with my life." I nod. I don't smile. "Very noble. Very appropriate. An awareness of your weakness, a high moral purpose -- very laudable. Just what I would expect of the Jason Quill I know -- and remember." He meets my eye, and even manages a smile. "But not one I can trust.,' I add. "At least not right now. I don't know if I feel used --" I hold up a hand again as he opens his mouth. "-- but whether I was or not, I can't risk it. Not right now. Not after --" After Father tried to kill me when I was there to save and serve him. "Alycia --" I shake my head. "If -- if -- you're serious about still being around, still being interested in whatever the hell we had -- have -- well, you can try to make this right." He bites his lower lip, and nods. Kudos for not arguing it. "So -- what now? You heading -- out of here?" I had been. Go downstairs. Ask the security guard to call Agent Parker. Bow out. Run -- But -- "No." He looks surprised. "I'm a member of the team , Jason. They welcomed me, whatever their reason. My place is back in there." He nods and smiles a bit more. That smile, dammit. "Can I walk back in with you?" I raise an eyebrow, and return his smile with one of my own styling. "No. But you can come after me."
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If after this either of them approach Leo or his crew, I'm down. Summer is keeping her distance so would not initiate anything right now, but would talk. Leo still wants to get Alycia's measure but can do that whenever.
Alycia is probably not likely to re-engage deeply with anyone for the rest of the evening, even if approached, but will be quietly pleasant -- watching, observing, smiling (usually politely), with an occasional bon mot, or innocuous question about Gardner . She likely won't even ask any serious questions about the team's normal activities. She'll just be a chameleon on the wall, blending in .  She will dutifully retire for her ride home at 10:30 (or before then if the party breaks up) with a courteous (and apparently genuine) thanks to the group, and an awkward (as it's not a phrase she's used nearly as often as any of them) promise to see them tomorrow at school.  Jason -- yeah, maybe for now Jason will just be quiet, too -- be the host making the rounds ("Harry any more chips? What am I saying?"), check his phone, things like that. Not particularly mopey, but scosh more subdued than earlier. He'll comment to Leo that if the team needs anything official "signed" for AEGIS, he's happy to do so as directed. And he'll reiterate as things wrap up that he's happy to have the team continue to meet there, whenever, whether he can attend or not. Both are likely to realize that, whatever happened out by the elevators, everyone is aware that there was some sort of "scene" between them. Neither seems willing to publicly acknowledge that particular elephant in the room.
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Fair enough then. :)  Leo will probably give them a look that says Space Dad Couples Counseling is available, but will leave it be. But, presented with the situation as is, he'd probably conclude that Alycia is full of shit on this one, giving Jason a rare victory.
Which is a great way to bow out of actively running Jason. :-) From a sausage-making perspective, this happened pretty spontaneously. I mainly wanted to give Jason his retirement speech, and it was only as I was writing it that I realized that Alycia would be kind of pissed (rightly and wrongly). Which meant rewriting it from her PoV (which was probably the better idea anyway) and letting the two of them argue it out. That it also puts a paragraph break on their relationship stuff is just icing on the cake.
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Yeah, that extra monkey-wrench gives them a bit more work to do, and that should be interesting to watch play out.
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Okay, maybe that's the coffee mug. :-)
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This scene now available  on video . Alycia slides into the back of the customized Escalade, finding, without any surprise, Agent Parker waiting for her. The two AEGIS mooks who escorted her from the entrance to the Quill residence -- and who bear an uncomfortable resemblance to the machine agents in The Matrix -- get in front. In a few moments, the SUV pulls out onto the street. "So, how went the soiree?" Parker asks her. Alycia shrugs. "The canapes were a scosh soggy, but champagne was divine," she says, not with any great verve. "Stick to the sparkling cider," Parker comments. "We do have a legal drinking age in this country." "Please," Alycia says, rolling her eyes. "Now, would you care to actually give me some more useful feedback? Or do I need to ask questions in a more formal setting?" Alycia sighs. "Not much to tell. They invited me onto the team." "Of course they did. Did Mr. Quill given an impassioned speech about old times and/or redemption?" "Not so much." She pauses. "They were all actually nice about it." Parker raises an eyebrow. "And Alycia Chin responds to 'nice'?" "You should try it some time. It might be a refreshing change of pace." The Esclade pulls onto the expressway. Overhead lights strobe slowly along the edges of the interior. "And the other matter?" Alycia looks over at Parker. "All the mind and memory shenanigans?" She shrugs. "It all went well." Parker meets her eyes, looks for something there. "The tower shut down all communications and data feeds for a few minutes." "Were you concerned?" "There weren't any particularly pleasant scenarios that came to mind." Alycia shrugs. "Technical difficulties." She cocks her head. "I'm surprised you allowed it." Parker says nothing. "If they knew you knew of it, I'd say you were getting them -- or Jason, at least -- to owe you a favor. Or at least think favorably of you." Parker turns toward the front, looking at the city lights on a relatively quiet late Monday night. "Or maybe you think on balance getting a sane -- more sane -- and possibly happy Jason Quill was worth the risk." Parker continues her silence. Alycia smirks. "Surely it wasn't going for a more sane and possibly happy Alycia Chin?" "You assume," Parker finally says, with a sigh, "a singular reason -- and a singular reasoner." "Right. Management by committee. How inefficient." Parker raises an eyebrow. Alycia holds up a hand, "All right, so management by tyrannical mad scientist doesn't guarantee success, either." "You -- and Mr Quill, for that matter -- are of interest to quite a number of parties, for quite a number of reasons. While that can lead to -- vigorous discussion, it does tend to thrash out a robust risk analysis." Alycia shrugs. It's difficult to tell if it's true indifference, or feigned. "Whatever. The sanity part worked, at least." "And not the happiness?" She shrugs again, turns her attention to the rail yard the highway is passing over. Parker smiles and goes back to watching the highway ahead. After a few minutes, Alycia says, without changing the direction of her gaze, "So what do you think about loyalty?" Another raised eyebrow from Parker, who turns to watch the young woman. "Are we talking about to the Menagerie? Your father? Jason Quill?" "Let's keep it in the abstract." "Loyalty is a powerful virtue that, like any virtue, can easily turn to a vice with an improper object, unrestrained application, or without tempering from other virtues. As you can see, speaking of it in the abstract is difficult." That turns Alycia's head around. "That's surprisingly philosophical, Special Agent Parker." "Jesuitical training. Is there a particular application of 'loyalty' that you're referring to?" "Should I be?" "Miss Chin, loyalty, in the abstract and with some particular targeted uses, is something I take quite seriously -- and personally." "So noted. Don't worry -- I don't have any plans to break any of our agreements." "Actually, that worries me very little. It's in your enlightened self-interest to toe the line." "People rarely adhere to their true self-interest, enlightened or not." "So young to be so cynical," Parker comments, then adds, "Which is why we've added an emotional aspect to the matter, from getting your own memory straightened out, to being near Mr. Quill, to having the opportunity to engage with a set of extraordinary individuals in your cohort." "Gee, Mom, you make it sound so dreamy." Alycia observes the small reaction she gets from Parker every time she makes a maternal reference; she wonders the root of it, but is happy enough simply tweaking the nerve. "I'm quite sincere," Parker says, "about wanting the best for you. As you so charmingly put it, a sane and happy Alycia Chin is safe Alycia Chin. Safer, at least." "I feel positively choked up." Alycia sighs. "I suppose an Alycia Chin in full lockdown every night is a safe Alycia Chin, too." "Safer, at least. But not optimal." "Well, wouldn't want to be sub-optimal." "The white cell isn't luxurious, but the rent is reasonable." "Not really. But, hey, when I hear you've put a deposit down on the next cell over, I'll reevaluate my blessings." Parker's lips form something that might be a smile. "Point taken. We can make arrangements for housing for you. Unless your new status comes with quarters at the Quill Foundation." "Sorry. Jason Quill doesn't get to be that happy." Parker nods, keeping her thoughts regarding that to herself. At length she adds, "Well, as I said, we can make arrangements for something very basic. Along with a small stipend. As long as your identity remains covert, and other arrangements remain intact, that should suffice." "I'll need transportation." "Halcyon City has, I think you'll find, a very good public transit system." "Oh, yes, I can be the Rapid Transit Avenger. 'Sorry team, you need to hold off the Vyortovians for a while longer. The 47 Bus is late at Bonita and Indian Mound, and I can't afford any more Lyft rides this month.'" "You might want to consult with your cohorts, then." "They fly, teleport, jog at sonic boom speeds, are independently wealthy, and/or have access to hypertech transportation. I have two legs and a 'small stipend.'" She snorts. "I'd be happy to build something myself, but parts cost money, too. And time. Or you can assign Frick and Frack in the front seat to drive me around town when villainy strikes. Though given the carbon footprint of this paean to American disregard for Climate Change, you'd probably be doing the human species a favor by just buying me something." Park closes her eyes and rubs the bridge of her nose. "You have resources, Alycia." Her face doesn't quite drop into neutral, but it certainly looks more guarded. "I've reported on the locations of all my father's caches and hidden accounts. The ones I knew about." "You were acting on your own for over a year." "I already told you -- things got dicey with the Chin empire pretty quickly without Father to whip -- or blast -- everyone in line. You'd be amazed how quickly accounts got drained by opportunistic lieutenants, accountants, or paid-off government official who decide to pay themselves off." "I'd be amazed if you didn't do some of that draining." "I also had a lot of expenses coming up with ways to --" She pauses, then continues, "-- rescue Father." She rolls her eyes. "Look, if I was fabulously wealthy, I wouldn't move to North Carolina, I'd buy an island somewhere and spend the rest of my days sipping umbrella drinks and playing MMOs." "You'd go mad with boredom within two weeks," Parker observes. "But all right. I will see what I can do." "Thanks, Mom." There's a long silence, then Parker says, "I should prefer it if you did not do that." "Do what?" Parker's gaze is impassive. At length, Alycia says, "Oh, that." She tilts her head. "Tell me why, and I'll consider it." "Because I've said I prefer you didn't. Thus, as a courtesy." After a moment, Alycia nods. "Sure. Since you have my best interests at heart." "I have many interests at heart, Miss Chin. Yours are among them." The Escalade pulls off of the expressway. A few minutes later, they're pulling up to the plain-wrap buildings that house the detention facility. "They're good people," Alycia comments, softly. "So I'm told." "Do you have their interests at heart, too?" The car goes down a driveway to an underground door that rolls open, then shuts behind them after they pass through. There are AEGIS guards inside that door, and at the turnabout point where the Escalade stops. The AEGIS mook on the passenger side hops out, then opens the door for Alycia. The mook driver is a few steps behind him and to the side, ready to respond to any problems from their prisoner. Alycia looks at Parker. Parker's face is impassive. She finally replies, in those dry English tones of hers, "Perhaps I'll delegate that role to you, Miss Chin. Good night." Alycia meets her gaze for a very long moment, then gives her just the smile such words call for, and steps out, closing the door behind her.
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Doyce T.
Pro
Sheet Author
Very nice. We will have to jump back in time a little bit from this scene to manage some stuff that I want to have happen during the Gathering at the quill Foundation. Some of that may inform things you want to right here after so you might want to pause...
No problem. That's about as far as I was going to take things* (esp.as I'm aware I was making a few assumptions, including some that you and I, at least, need to probably touch base on). ----- * No, probably I was going to a sitting-in-her-cell monologue, but probably just as well to have an excuse to not do that.
As my creative writing impulse has been restrained, instead I've done up  a Plotagon of the Jason/Alycia dialog in the elevator lobby . Some of the language has been tweaked for Plotagon clarity.
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Doyce T.
Pro
Sheet Author
Sorry! Didn't mean to dump cold water on the scenes. 
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*** Dave H. said: As my creative writing impulse has been restrained Don't worry, Nono Rodriguez has taken up the slack and is writing Agent R/JQ fanfic. I listened to this and realized that Alycia's view of Summer has gone from blushing slightly to " I wonder if new members get one " to " Can I get one? ". *CONCERN* But this scene continued to be fun, so. :)
Well, I see both the latter reactions/views about Summer as being sarcastic, and translating the internal thought (2) to an external barb (3). Her understanding of the Summer/Leo/Aria/Jason dynamic is challenged in a few ways. (Why should she be any different?)
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Yeah, that was clear, I'm just having fun at Alycia's expense. It was a fun twist to Doyce's "Bill plays Summer, Dave plays Alycia, and they fight over Jason" thing - imagine Alycia and Jason fighting over Summer. :) I'd been thinking recently that we hadn't seen any Plotagons in awhile, nice to see one make another appearance. Doyce T. said: Sorry! Didn't mean to dump cold water on the scenes.  For sessions where there's not much room for follow-on cutscenes, it's been fun to move sideways, rather than forward. That's how we got Agent R fiction, this post (and anyone should chime in if they are ever interested), and similar stuff. Taking restrictions as a writing challenge are how some of my favorite things have come about.
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Doyce T.
Pro
Sheet Author
To be clear, I just have some stuff that I still want to happen while you guys are all still gather together, so if you're writing a scene where it doesn't conclude with you guys leaving for the night, it can all just happen before the thing that I'm planning. So there's no reason to stop at that point as long as it's a conversation that continues at the Gathering.
Doyce T. said: Sorry! Didn't mean to dump cold water on the scenes.  No problem -- I just didn't want to tromp all over anything (or retcon something away). Doyce T. said: To be clear, I just have some stuff that I still want to happen while you guys are all still gather together, so if you're writing a scene where it doesn't conclude with you guys leaving for the night, it can all just happen before the thing that I'm planning. So there's no reason to stop at that point as long as it's a conversation that continues at the Gathering. Yeah, I sort of wrote myself into a hole with that. And, again, that's fine. Neither before nor after the retirement speech (and elevator lobby scene) were either Alycia or Jason going to be the most communicative and engaged, for their own individual reasons. Next party, though, Alycia's breaking out the jaegermeister shots. Bill: I'd been thinking recently that we hadn't seen any Plotagons in awhile, nice to see one make another appearance. The last one (not counting the Christmas card) was in mid-December and 14 issues ago (Travelycia and AI Byron in the computer core!), so, yeah, it's been a while. It sort of slipped my mind as a Thing to Do (and I'd rather be writing than Plotagonning when possible, though they've done some nice tweaks and upgrades in the past few months, including better voices (for a fee) and improved YouTube uploads). In this case, blame Margie -- I was telling her that the pre-episode reading list was short this time, and she said, "I'd still wish I could listen to it," which inspired me to this and the next thing posting in a couple.
I've now Plotagonned the  Alycia/Parker scene above, albeit with the limitations of (a) Plotagon really only supports two people, so no AEGIS mooks in the front seat, and (b) no "back seat of an SUV / limo" set, so I had to work around that. On the other hand, I sprang for an English accent voice for Parker, and that worked out nicely. Video . 
Me: I sort of wrote myself into a hole with that. On the other hand, it occurs to me that I didn't offer any opportunity for anyone (aside from Alycia) to react to Jason's announcement, so that could have been co-written (or can be RPed tonight). FWIW.
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I just assumed you would be repeating it during the session proper to allow for that.
  Bill G. said: I just assumed you would be repeating it during the session proper to allow for that. Well, I didn't know we'd be continuing the next party (and mentioned to Doyce offline that, to that end, I'd Cutscene the retirement speech). (It was only after I'd done that that I realized Alycia would be torqued about it.) So we can hit the highlights, or we can say, "And then Jason gives his speech, and the next morning everyone's still gossiping about it," or we can do the whole thing (with an appropriately positioned, "And then Alycia gets up and walks out of the room toward the elevator lobby"), whatever people would like. 
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That's all fair. And honestly, angering Alycia in an elevator lobby could have gone a lot different.
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Doyce T.
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I think we'll probably pick up during Jason's/Alycia's departure and return. Some of (not all) my to-dos for-or-just-after the gathering: - While Jason's out of the room with Alycia - Link, Harry, Charlotte, Adam talk about 'what if anything should we do about a different base?' - Possibly piggybacking off that: Link asking GG about the Wounds and what's needed there. - Waters catches Leo when the group's breaking up for the night, and rides along with him to wherever Link's going for a chat (runs in parallel to Aly's talk with Parker.)      - This will likely touch on Rossum, re-purposing the old Rossum base, what to do about Vyortovia - Charlotte at the Cemetery
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Between Otto, Adam, Harry, and Leo, it sounds like there's a big Area Effect Comfort & Support lined up as well concerning Streak, Concord, and Sol.
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Doyce T.
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YOU WILL BE COMFORTED.
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Doyce T. said: YOU WILL BE COMFORTED. I did the game in Obama gifs, I'm realizing I should do a version with My Little Pony...
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Doyce T.
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What we need is a plotagon of Jason's "i'm retiring" speech, so I can put it up on Youtube in the right place to catch people up on what happened :)
Let me see what I can do ... I didn't do anything with that part earlier because I was thinking of the other characters, but I can probably work around that. (I'm tied up most of the afternoon.)
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Since the GM demanded it ...  The Video . This was both fun and a PitA, given Plotagon's inability to show more than two people (three, with a couple of sets) at a time. I actually did the trick I did at Christmas -- basically showing a series of single-person scenes in the same setting, no establishing shot -- but it did make every person a lot more fiddly to add in. The Quill Family Room looks a bit more Roseanne  here, but it was the best fit for purpose, with a lot of locations available in it (though still fewer than there were people, so there's a little jigger-pokery there, too). It did give me a chance to use the Plotagon models I had for the rest of the team, which I enjoyed, including adding in new representations for Aria and Summer (I hope they meet with Bill's approval; I based them on  this ).