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MENAGERIE #34 - DADDY ISSUES! [Recap]

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Last time ... A few days pass, and assorted school shenanigans take place. Mercury talks to Tempest and convinces her to allow Concord to examine the comatose Silver Streak. Concord has a plan. Ghost Girl teams up with Lucius to try closing the hole in Oakland Cemetery. She is partially successful. Mercury manages to secure a date with A10. Also ... Leo went to visit his dad at an AEGIS prison -- which is now a target of hijinx. Catching Up ... Mercury and Concord Going to the hospital where Silver Streak is being treated. Mom takes one look at Adam in Concord mode (looking roughly the same age as Harry). It looks like she's been arguing with Granma Swift. Granma says she doesn't like the idea, but realizes she's not calling the shots, then exits. Harry lets it go. Mom - asks Concord if he can help. Concord - some experience doing this sort of thing: Jason Quill. Mom - So, yeah, practice, but less comforted by what might not be a success rate. Be careful -- back off if things are going awry. And be careful for yourself. Do you want me in here? Concord - Easier the fewer people. [Concord has two burns standing by. Wants Harry standing by.] [7! Takes a condition.] Harry's mind gets sent into Streak's -- [tapping into the Keynome, 10+ on unleash powers] [Overcome resistance, moving to a place of choice it the scene ... so 3 burn] [Concord is above and behind Harry] More resistance than expected. Strong resonance. Harry - The unconscious landscape of Silver Streak's brain: like Halcyon, but with places he liked from elsewhere in the world, and that weird dream error state locales of places he usually goes to. Off to one end, the city stops and the Gale Estate is there. Streak is in HHL Tower. Harry steps through the front doors into the conference room. Everyone is there, kind of, as maniquins; yellow aura around Hecate (anxiety), and blue (heart!) around Tempest. Streak is there. Menagerie friends are there, too, just like they were during the revelation. Anxiety yellow aura around the Mercury figure. Harry goes over to Streak. who's sitting there. Cupped hands holding a ... yarn skein of ... energy? He's aware of everything in the room, but only peripherally. Focus on the yarn; same yellowish anxiety lines as around Hecate, Mercury, and lightly around the Menagerie. Harry tries to break the thing's hold on his dad ... [Freak - 10!] ... by putting his own hands on top of his father's, to break Streak's contact with it. Concord gets a sense that there's something really disruptive about that ball of yarn, adding to the strain of making this all happen. Warns Harry not to do it. Dad lets out a cleansing exhale as his arms are pushed away. Harry tries to communicate with him. "It's all fine, Dad. It's not your fault." [Provoke --> Superior, -Guilt = 3!] Words are bouncing off of the reality Streak has built in his head, dissonance. Frown deepens. Eyes squeeze shut and tears leak out. The other figures become stronger, trying to reinforce the reality of this space -- this IS his fault, this is what he DESERVES. Concord's view is getting smaller, harder. Tries to extend senses ... lean in ... overbalances ... crashes down to the floor in the room, back in Adam's old body [3! Insecure!], with a deeply resonant chime. Three of the Menagerie figures start moving -- Charlotte, Jason, Leo, shapes changing to ... different actual people. Looking at Adam and Harry, in unison, "What are you doing? What have you done?" Turn into Concordance agents. Staring at Adam, then at the yellow yarn, then ... "What ARE you? What did you do to our agent?" "I am him?" Intense sense of heat, pressure, stillness. Utterly denied. "You are NOT a Concordance agent." Room is rocking with the head=shaking of Harry's dad. "No Concordance agent would give up its power to another. It is sacrosanct." "We will be coming to render judgment." And there Harry and Adam are, back standing in the hospital room. Streak is still out, tears in eyes, clutching at Adam's hand. Hair has silvered a bit. [Harry takes a powerful blow. And internalizes it to take conditions.] Adam - knowing glance at Harry. There's stuff going on thre -- more than just Silver Streak feeling guilty. The Concordance agents weren't actually there -- but weird, regardless. Just then -- comms start red-alerting.    Ghost Girl She and Lucius are back to Has Beans. Lucius - Hold on a moment, dear. Girds his loins, rolls his head, taps the cane, steps slightly away, and walks back to the shop nonchalantely, this didn't take anything out of me, hangs up his cane as he walks in, waves and chats with folk (Jaycee looks suspicious). They retire to the back room ... and he sags into a seat, looks at his hands (parallels for a brief moment to Harry's Dad). "Well, I think we made some headway -- though regretfully suspect I may not be able to help you all the way through with --" "Sir, I told you I just wanted you to help me understand this, not to impose." "That I can help, means I am naturally inclined to help." (etc.) L - You have your people -- soldiers -- to provide you with energy. The sword seem to provide a focusing conduit. No energy taken from me except to direct it. Take this away -- confer with your team mates and others. If you need assistance, remember that I am not the only bearer of a shard. I can speak to him on your behalf to harangue him to your service. [...] This may not seem sufficiently like a dragon or windmill to get him wound up. Your friends can help, too, since it's been so quiet the past few days ..." A crash on the street. Gives her apologies, heads outside. Small boutique jewelry shop. Overhead is ... a Rookbot, painted to go with the shop, rocketing into the sky. And an alarm from Leo.  Leo Waters - Otto is shouting for us, and, hey, look. AEGIS guards running toward them with Demolition Man batons. Works to protect Waters first, but mostly taking the guys down.   They get to an open space near Otto. Otto points to horizon -- that's not a storm front, it's dots. Approaching robots. Like ... a sixty degree arc. Asks Waters if they can break Rossum out to keep him away from the approaching robots. Leo feels bad -- tells Waters that the Phoenix is done. Suiting up and ... will come down to help waters. Gets Otto to call everyone. Alycia Nobody's in the back of the Escalade. Driver and additional guy. Suit case. Screen is folded down from ceiling. Parker is on the screen. "We don't have eveyrting you specced out, but as close as we could get. Special Agent Waters was talked by Link into going to talk with Rossum the Minion Maker. Secure site where Rossum was apparently incarcerated." Security footage, Leo in front of glass cell. "At which point every Rossum-templated Rookbot in the East Coast [Rook repurposed Rossum hypertech] went berserk or rogue and are currently headed toward tat super-secret island, some of them at great speed. Simultaneously, Link either in collusion with the agent or on his own started attacking the AEGIS agents there. And we can't raise Rook on the phone, but the bots are all hostile. Assumption -- Rook and Leo are allied to free Rossum." Prototype suit. Red and black face mask thing. Stun batons. Regular firearms with gel rounds, and mystery clips with red tape. Get her down to the waterfront ... there's something waiting on the docks ... a Vyortovian personal cycle. She has the Menagerie ear bud, and Parker's on a tablet she gets handed. Jury rigged mount for the tablet. Squawk of alarm / alert on comms. Otto. The Hover Bike is fast. (talks with Otto -- no, that's not all true. Well, yeah, Leo and Water are breaking out Rossum. But Rook's not helping.) The Gathering Charlotte teleports to Otto's trunk. Leo and Waters get to Rossum with no problem. Waters - I have to get on the line and let people know. Rossum awaits coyly. "You got dressed up and came back for me." "We can do this where I hit you or where I don't." Rossum seems very thrilled with the mayhem, pushing Leo's buttons along the way. Leo tells everyone to head for Rook HQ ASAP. Alycia decides that sounds like a good independent exercise of authority. Heads there. Adam -- look to Harry ... You want to stay here with your dad? Whatever is fine. Harry is seriously out to go DO something. "Let's go help Leo." Concord teleports to Rosa Rooks' office. Charlotte teleports to Otto's trunk. Leo (et al) pile into Otto, then Otto piles into Phoenix. Fleeing the robots, who are following Rossum. Ted is frantically on comms trying to convince AEGIS that he's not compromised. Rook HQ. Concord is there. Rosa is shouting into the phone. Their security bots all went crazy. He offers his assistance. "Good news -- we're keeping you safe for the time being. Hard to explain, because the robots are all coming here." "Why are they coming here? They just left here." [Rosa tries to impact -- Mundane+, Freak-] [Reject! 8!] Harry arrives. Turns on the team speakerphone. With holo-video. Leo drags his dad into frame. "Rosa! How have things been?" Leo - "I thought you'd like to meet my dad. Oh, have you met?" "Where are you?" "Not where you're keeping him." She grabs her phone, texts. Gets a reply. "What's going on? That's not who I've been talking to." "Dad." "Weeeeellll ... I had a few contingency plans in case ... [etc.] come and get me. They respond to their master. Thanks for stepping up production, Rosa!" Alycia suggests the clone might work to control the robots.  Beep goes Rosa's phone. Someone shouting. Bracelet, red blinking, just sitting there and laughing. The bots chasing the Phoenix have altered course, but not chasing them. Rossum - "Oh. Well, damn. That;s going to be a bit of a problem" "If you're not useful, we can just drop you off. Right here." "This is ... frustrating." Next Time There will be everything to punch. End of Session Adam: Closer (to Harry) --> +Freak, -Danger Harry: Closer (to Adam) Charlotte: Image of Self ==>> NEED TO DO (note per Margie) Alycia: Closer (to Leo) --> +Danger, -Superior Leo: Closer (to Alycia) --> infl over Link
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Leo's checklist for next time:
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NAME: If you don't have something else, Rossum's real name is Karl Taitale ("tie-TAL-ay"). He claims an ideological (if not necessarily biological) descent from inventors and polymaths of old, and prefers names and aliases evoking that history - Daedalus, Leonardo, Rossum. If super-intelligence is indeed inheritable for more than a few generations (barring the occasional Icarus who just flips out), there might be something to this. Part of this is what informs his megalomaniac ambitions, and he sees himself as a king and child of kings who will rightfully rule a cybernetic empire someday. Pietro Mancini, the teen genius from  this thread , may or may not hail from that line (if it's a real thing), or just be coincidentally Italian in ancestry.
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I'm so extremely happy with that session. Yeah, it took an hour to work through Concord & Mercury doing Streak. In that hour, we got grief, guilt, fear, a mother and wife's concern, Mercury trying to help his dad, Concord being confronted with new arrivals who should be allies but act like rivals or enemies, a sudden crisis necessitating a departure, and some recognition that they got through to Streak just a little. 100% what I come to this game for. I'm also jazzed with what Leo got to do. This feels like what a Bull at the top of his game ought to be like - "I'll plow through your tower with 10,000 of your own creations if you don't help me", but also taking time and facing risk to help some faceless AEGIS agents (after kicking their asses too...). Also what I come to this game for. Alycia changing course and trusting Leo was just one moment, but a moment at the tail end of two tense but rewarding conversations.
I GOT AN INCREDIBLY COOL HOVERCYCLE. The rest was gravy.  (Actually, I thought it was a good session, for all the above. The balance was a bit off in places, but that's inevitable and evens out over time.) As I commented to Doyce, being in the middle of things would normally restrain the Cutscening, but there's a flock of NPCs out there now, and I know I want to do an Alycia recap on this. I have another idea that I'll see if I can get to, too. And I suspect we'll gt an update on what the other Newmans are up to as all this starts going down.
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Doyce T.
Pro
Sheet Author
Bill G. said: I'm so extremely happy with that session. Yeah, it took an hour to work through Concord & Mercury doing Streak. In that hour, Don't get me wrong, I love the scene (HUGE props to James for coming up with the set for the whole thing - perfect!), and I don't really mind how long it took, I just didn't like having three spectators for so long. Ideally I'd have cut back and forth, but there was that darn catching up in time to do. Ahh well. Let it be noted Alycia got the short end of the straw attention-wise, which GG as runner up. To be addressed.
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I hear you. Just wanted to say that at least one of those three spectators didn't mind a bit. I think Alycia and GG are gonna be amazing in the next bit. "Find and extract clone!Rossum" is right up their alley, skills/powers wise, but whatever they choose to do will be awesome. I've got something for the Newman girls (and a special guest star) that'll get posted sometime soon, covering what they're doing and why they aren't out on the front lines.
Doyce T. said: Let it be noted Alycia got the short end of the straw attention-wise, which GG as runner up. To be addressed. I think GG got the short straw (I got a HOVERCYCLE!), but I'm sure that will be addressed, regardless (even with Margie out next week). (I also agree that the Harry/Adam scene had a lot of surreal goodness to it, and tees up some future stuff, too.)