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MENAGERIE #35 - THE WRATHFUL RAMPAGE OF ROSSUM! [Recap]

Situation! Alycia and Concord and Mercury are at Rook Plaza One. Leo and Charlotte (and Waters and Rossum) are aboard Otto+Phoenix, with a number of robots  pursuing -- though not quite as in tow as they were previously. Rosa had called to put somebody under watch / control / into a cell. And that went awry. And about that time, all the Rossumbots altered their flight path. Rook is growling at her phone. Otto is on the comm, robots have altered course ... Action! Alycia : Where are the bots going? (Otto can draw a line.) (Father didn't particularly care for Rook -- the evils of late-stage capitalism. And Rook is more interested in mercs / pay for superpowered play, less using criminal characters. If they do something -- the contract always gets them off the hook.) (Coordinates -- assess the sitch -- 10) (What is the biggest threat? South end of the city, a lot of Rook properties, all pretty easy -- a pier, an industrial park, a manufacturing plant. Where is the biggest threat? And clearly "not" a Rook property? The decommissioned Two Rivers nuclear plant. What can I use here to leverage Rosa Rook? Yeah, if all of this came out -- Rossum's clone, the nuclear plant, etc. -- it would be messy with Senators. "So, Ms Rook, what kind of defenses *can* we expect over at Two Rivers?" (Directly Engage - to impress/surprise/frighten ... carrying forward a +1 -- and avoid her blow.) [Should I have tried to read her, rather than intimidate her? I need to show them a bit of bravado, that I'm not afraid, that I can go where they aren't willing to.] Mercury and Concord can see -- Rooks' eyes widen, "Wha-?" Then they narrow, and she mutters something like "Recruited someone clever finally ..." as she stomps from the room. Concord : Starts heading that way (since he can hear Dad's voice going "Well, you can't do anything to her"). Mercury : (He can hear Dad suggesting punching her anyway, but doesn't.) Heads down toward the Two Rivers plant. Link : Asks Waters -- are you guys going to try to spin this in her favor again? Can't say for sure. But c'mon, 98% of these robots have Rook on their chest. And they went after an AEGIS facility. Government contract penalties, certainly. Not going to charge me for destruction of evidence, are you? I'd like to know what that is ... unless you intend to destroy all the robots. You're supposed to smash robots. Dad, watch what I've done. It warms my heart to hear you say that. Otto -- you may indulge yourself. Alycia is there to get Clone!Rossum. (If she could get hold of one and could hack at it, cool.) Alycia, Concord, and Mercury are en route. Alycia and Mercury get there at the same time. There are bots already there (once who came from elsewhere). Crawling on the containment dome, breaking into outbuilding, trying to get in ... Mercury ... Running around the plant to see if they've gotten in, or where to get in himself. [Assess -- 2.] Along one building there's a smoking, gaping hole in the wall of one of the larger central buildings. Mercury runs in ... ... to room with a couple of pillers, devices stuck to them, the devices blinking in various threatening ways. They look like Rossum tech. Also, tied to the base of the pillare are Rook security guards. - Get away from the blast? - Rescue the goobers. <== Obviously. Untie them at lightning speed and throw them clear. [Defend - 11! Clear Hopeless.] The blast hits, knocks him back into stuff [Angry.] So the Rossumbots are leaving traps. Alycia -- parks the bike, sees the security guards, passes into the smoky crack. Otto , meanwhile, is piloting Phoenix to tear through the Rossumbots. Rossum demurs, noting these are cheap versions of his inventions. Concord -- dealing with the bots coming in -- (they're flying robots, though they were never marketed that way) ... Alycia - bots laid a trap for folk coming in. Assume Harry is okay. [Unleash - 8.] Following the trail of bodies and torn gates and so forth. Traps. Super=genius traps. Need for speed ... and it's not working well. Parkouring, triggering traps (and not being there). But the double-double blind traps, blast knocks back over a rail [Angry! -- it hurts, and this was put together by ROBOTS] Mercury can hear where Alycia is going (and mostly-kinda triggering traps). He's fallen down an elevator shaft. Now following Alycia. (After a zap. "Not. One. Word.") Sub-sub-basement, Charade and Mercury can hear weapons fire. Concord -- Energy barrier [Three Burn. 1-2. Second Concord. 3. Moat -- Barrier of Courage. 14!] Block the massive wave of reinforcements. Still have problems with some dozens already inside --  Second Concord ! Link  wants to beat them to where they're going, but shoot them along the way. Get a couple of minutes lead. Drop off Leo, touch-and-go ... Otto takes Phoenix out so that he knows when to quit if need be. (Waters is watching Rossum full-time -- along with Charlotte.) Link asks Concord if he's good. Then heads in. Concord is directly engaging. (Committing to protecting facility - Burning with Honor - Condition (Hopeless) but +1 Forward. 10!) Resisting their blows, creating an opportunity for Leo -- going in from another area. ( Link is there -- Team count! Has Influence over all, is seen as Leader, similar motivation/goal. Alycia trusts the team. Concord doesn't trust Alycia. Harry does. Not ill-prepared.) Concord -- seeing himself as a courageous figure -- friends need him, city needs him ... burn and keep the barrier. [12!] Link trying to navigate the maze of traps. [5 ... Alycia giving advice about the traps ... also, "Son, watch out from the flashing green modules."] [Angry!] Lower levels. Very big, brutalist-style space, retasked as prototyping factory. There's been a battle between Rossumbots and Rook guards. Vanguard around Clone!Rossum on the far side of the space, second floor, turtled up, waiting for reinforcements. Rossum's in a glass-walled room. Rook guys are down. Some bots on the floor, others on the third floor. Harry - create an opening? High speed running past them, slipstreaming them away. [6!]  Alycia is tapping the ones he misses with AP rounds [Team]. One of the bots Harry knocks aside is in boobytrap mode, magnesium flare, blinded, and he tumbles over a rail. But he's spider-webbed the glass by breaking the sound barrier. Which hurts everyone's ears. Leo -- grapnels up through the broken window. The bots on the 3rd level are firing at Link. Goal is to grab Rossum and go. [Savior -2, Danger -1] [7!] Grabs Rossum and yanks him out, tumbling over the edge of the railing. And Rossum super-tazes Link as he's pulled past. But the blow is that Clone!Rossum's face is psychopathically raging -- the emotional danger, Leo is flashing back to some of his worst situations and memories of his father's rages. The bots stop firing once Rossum is on the line of fire. "Marines, we are leaving." Alycia is doing covering fire as they retreat. Harry is stumbling along. Concord Giant barrier, getting overwhelmed. He uses his construct to get the bots' attention -- opening an opening, with the construct in front of it -- a boobytrap to directly engage in combat. [Reality Storm! [Weapon of Final Compassion] [Freak! 13!] Charlotte -- "Oh, dear." Grabs Ted and Rossum1 by the scruff of the neck and drags them down into the ground ten feet. Link, Rossum2, Alycia, Mercury, emerge to one of those perfectly circular excision from a building. Bot wreckage is still kind of falling out ... of ... the ... sky. Rossum2 "Ah, very good, you caught my clone, Leo. Well done." Alycia "You know, we could kill them both." "I think a better punishment is to put them in a cell together." "Oh, no, don't do that!' [... Br'er Leo!] "Goddammit." End of Session Link - Closer to Team (Mercury) - +Danger, -Mundane (locked, so no effect) Mercury - Closer to Team (Alycia) -> Influence Alycia - Image of Self -> +Freak, -Savior Concord - Image of Self -> Potential, Clearing 3 conditions.
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Random notes! "Imprison you two together": Having two of the same individual close together is how we got Aria & Summer. Leo predicts that having the Rossums hanging out with each other long enough would make them similarly uncomfortable and divergent. It would be interesting to see that, probably not worth the danger of them plotting something, but still. He's just finished seeing one such incident play out, so that was foremost on his mind. @Doyce: Leo will hold Rossum 2 to his promise. "I came and got you away from Rook. Tell me about my mother". If one doesn't, he'll ask the other. If both of them refuse to dish, Leo will be  very upset . This is the one thing they can offer him right now, if they ever want any sympathy from him. Early on you'd said you had some ideas - looking forward to seeing what came of that! If you want to talk about that during the week or need questions answered, I'm around. Why does it matter to Leo so much? Partly because he doesn't feel confident in his future unless he knows his past better. A lot of it is that he wants to know what kind of woman would have put up with this asshole (or, if it was a less than completely voluntary arrangement, he wants to pin that on his dad as well). Some of it is he's just honestly hoping for some kind of bright spot in his ancestry. He's still not sure about reconnecting with his foster families, but he'd do that in time, for the same reasons. @Dave: I'm actually hoping that Alycia, whether due to urging from Parker or some sense of duty on her own, tells Leo that she still has orders to take him down/bring him in, optionally pulling a gun to make her point. If the Rossums are safely in custody (due to Waters calling in the cavalry), he'd actually go along with that, and see where it goes. Decide whether you feel that Alycia pushing back on Parker is more interesting, or whether her seeing what Leo's made of in this moment would be better. While I'm reasonably confident the team will be vindicated by events, in the moment it feels like Leo does have some debt to pay to AEGIS for what he did, and it feels like Alycia (who has been tasked with this very thing) is a good vehicle to do so.
I really liked this session. I've still got a little bit of the post-con tiredness going on so I was fully ready to just fight robots for two hours and, after a slight bit of misunderstanding on my part (honestly, I figured we just had an army of robots either confiscating boats or just trudging the depths to get to Rossum out at the secret prison not just flying robots), I got what I wanted.  I didn't hurt that I was playing Adam very angry and short-sighted after his encounter with the other Concords (though we've got a little ways to go since he's still feeling a little Hopeless ).
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I was really happy to see Concord pull out the stops and be the powerhouse the Nova promises, and there was definitely moments where you'd be like "yeah, this is not power we need to give to a 12 year old". But he still wielded it well, like heroes do. So, very nicely done. :)
Bill G. said: I was really happy to see Concord pull out the stops and be the powerhouse the Nova promises, and there was definitely moments where you'd be like "yeah, this is not power we need to give to a 12 year old". But he still wielded it well, like heroes do. So, very nicely done. :) I will always reiterate Doyce's point: "the scariest thing about the Concordance is that Love powers their weapon systems."
1. It was fun to see Concord cut loose. Alycia is taking notes.  2. Thanks to Doyce for suggesting Alycia's approach to the traps. She is definitely much more of the "tumble through the laser grid untouched" than sneaky type (though she can do both), and the idea that she was up against another HG who was laying traps for people who avoided the traps that there were traps to distract them from was particularly delightful. 3. The Rossum^2 cell setup struck me as a bad idea both because it's as yet unclear how Clone!Rossum (if we actually do have those two straight, and I loved that little byplay, too) got to be working with Rook, so if the two Rossums already were working together to some degree, that would be bad. Also, having just talked about Lex Luthor and Ras al-Ghul playing each other to their own theoretical advantage, even if the Rossums weren't cooperating before, they would probably be more than happy to cooperate to get out of AEGIS prison (or for each of them to think that he  is the one who will actually get out, leaving that pathetic duplicate behind to rue the day they thought to usurp the mantle of Rossum!). 4. I'm presuming that the Rossums are very quickly gathered up by a swarm of AEGIS agents. Doyce, is this largely close of business for the team today or do we gather down at the malt shop? I ask so that I don't write any premature denouements for the day's festivities. 5. Will the imp of the perverse lead Alycia to send Leo to lockup with them? Hmmm. I'm going to probably say no, unless Parker calls her on it, and even then she's going to (esp. since she's Angry) call bullshit on it. At least then and there. I might craft some discussion between the two of them about it later. Now, if Leo says, "Arrest me -- that's what you had orders to do, right?" she'll play along, if only to see what game he's up to. She's impressed by his performance today. 6. I'd love to see what other byplay there might have been between Charlotte and Rossum (and Waters, who might also be a bit twitchy around her), just as something to briefly circle back to next week.
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*** Dave H. said: 5. Will the imp of the perverse lead Alycia to send Leo to lockup with them? Hmmm. I'm going to probably say no, unless Parker calls her on it, and even then she's going to (esp. since she's Angry) call bullshit on it. At least then and there. I might craft some discussion between the two of them about it later. Now, if Leo says, "Arrest me -- that's what you had orders to do, right?" she'll play along, if only to see what game he's up to. She's impressed by his performance today. Leo's in no rush to be arrested - he has things to do, a bad future to avert, a hurt lacrosse captain to deal with - so it's not like he'd suggest it. But he'll stick around until the fuzz arrive at minimum to make sure his dad(s) are attended to by the proper authorities. He's at least got a lot more faith in AEGIS now, since they didn't let their prize out (though they need to not be giving him any books from now on). ON THAT NOTE: Leo's checklist Vector! I still want to be there for whatever rendezvous he was scheduled to make, so we can see/interact with/experience this Bad Future and Bot situation directly, and maybe help them - if that's what's called for. Even if today's actions averted all of that, it sounded like it Bot had some entanglement with Vector that might make it possible. Silver Streak. Leo will talk to Mercury about his dad and other stuff, and maybe we can try again with Concord's help - with more people there, and no robot-war interruptions? If people (IC or OOC) think that's a bad idea, we'll figure something else out. Otto and Mary, sitting on track three, D-R-I-V-I-N-G... Leo doesn't need to personally be there for Vyortovian negotiation, but it's still a thing hanging over us. I'm not saying I need an interaction with Rosa Rook, but Leo would have something to say to her if the occasion arose, and it wouldn't be the ha-ha taunting she might expect.
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Mike said: I will always reiterate Doyce's point: "the scariest thing about the Concordance is that Love powers their weapon systems." I don't know your full list of inspirations for Concord right now, but that quote suggests a cluster of responses: Men at Arms : "Something Vimes had learned as a young guard drifted up from memory. If you have to look along the shaft of an arrow from the wrong end, if a man has you entirely at his mercy, then hope like hell that man is an evil man. Because the evil like power, power over people, and they want to see you in fear. They want you to know you're going to die. So they'll talk. They'll gloat. They'll watch you squirm. They'll put off the moment of murder like another man will put off a good cigar. So hope like hell your captor is an evil man. A good man will kill you with hardly a word." Doctor Who : "Good men have too many rules." "Good men don't need rules." The Prophecy : "Did you ever notice how in the Bible, when ever God needed to punish someone, or make an example, or whenever God needed a killing, He sent an angel? Did you ever wonder what a creature like that must be like? A whole existence spent praising your God, but always with one wing dipped in blood. Would you ever really want to see an angel?" The Crow (and Paradise Lost): "Abashed the Devil stood, and felt how awful goodness is..."
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Well, if we're going to do quotations ... Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies, The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis] God in the Dock , “The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment” (1970) “The best moments in my life,” I said, “have come because I loved somebody.” “Yeah,” he said. “And the worst,” I said. “Yeah,” he said. Robert B. Parker (1932-2010) American writer The Professional , ch. 8 (2009) Always behind what we imagine are our best deeds stands the devil, patting us paternally on the shoulder and whispering, “Well done!” Carl Jung (1875-1961) Swiss psychologist “A Psychological View of Conscience” (1958) Trust no friend without faults, And love a maiden, but no angel. [Trau keinem Freunde sonder Mängel, Und leib’ ein Mädchen, kienem Engel.] Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781) German playwright, philosopher, dramiturg, writer Note in a Family Register (1778) The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. An evil soul producing holy witness Is like a villain with a smiling cheek, A goodly apple rotten at the heart: O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath! William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet The Merchant of Venice, Act 1, sc. 3. [Antonio] (c. 1597) So spake the Fiend, and with necessity, The Tyrant’s plea, excus’d his devilish deeds. John Milton (1608-1674) English poet Paradise Lost , 4.383 (1667) Try not to think it glamorous, ladies. Intelligencer work is nine-tenths discontented ennui, and one-tenth abject terror. Rather like falling in love. Gail Carriger (b. 1976) American archaeologist, author [pen name of Tofa Borregaard] Waistcoats & Weaponry (2014) One thing shines clear in the heart’s sweet reason, One lightning over the chasm runs — That to turn from love is the world’s one treason That darkens all the suns. Edwin Markham (1852-1940) American poet “The Crowning Hour” (2), The Shoes of Happiness, and Other Poems (1913) The old woman took the umbrella, gratefully, and smiled her thanks. “You’ve a good heart,” she told him. “Sometimes that’s enough to see you safe wherever you go.” Then she shook her head. “But mostly, it’s not.” Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British fabulist Neverwhere (1996) She’s the sort of woman who lives for others — you can always tell the others by their haunted expression. C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis] The Screwtape Letters , ch. 26 (1982 ed. (1942)) The devil’s most devilish when respectable. Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) English poet “Aurora Leigh” (1857) They lied to you. The Devil is not the Prince of Matter; the Devil is the arrogance of the spirit, faith without smile, truth that is never seized by doubt. The Devil is grim because he knows where he is going, and, in moving, he always returns whence he came. Umberto Eco (b. 1932) Italian semiotician, essayist, philosopher, novelist The Name of the Rose (1980) Every man is a divinity in disguise, a god playing the fool. It seems as if heaven had sent its insane angels into our world as to an asylum, and here they will break out into their native music and utter at intervals the words they have heard in heaven; and then the mad fit returns, and they mope and wallow like dogs. Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet “History,” Essays: First Series (1841) Love is much like a wild rose, beautiful and calm, but willing to draw blood in its defense. Mark A. Overby Now, as Crowley would be the first to protest, most demons weren’t deep down evil. In the great cosmic game they felt they occupied the same position as tax inspectors — doing an unpopular job, maybe, but essential to the overall operation of the whole thing. If it came to that, some angels weren’t paragons of virtue; Crowley had met one or two who, when it came to righteously smiting the ungodly, smote a good deal harder than was strictly necessary. On the whole, everyone had a job to do, and just did it. And on the other hand, you got people like Ligur and Hastur, who took such a dark delight in unpleasantness you might even have mistaken them for human. Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British fabulist Good Omens [with Terry Pratchett] (1990) The churches used to win their arguments against atheism, agnosticism, and other burning issues by burning the ism-ists, which is fine proof that there is a devil but hardly evidence that there is a God. Ben Lindsey (1869-1943) American jurist and social reformer [Benjamin Barr Lindsey] The Revolt of Modern Youth (1925) The lesson of history, a lesson the Devil has known all along, is this: The best way to defeat the kingdom of God is to empower the church to rule the kingdom of the world — for then it becomes the kingdom of the world! The best way to get people to lay down the cross is to hand them the sword! Gregory A. "Greg" Boyd (b. 1957) American evangelical pastor, Christian theologian, author. The Myth of a Christian Nation (2007) It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people. Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British fabulist Good Omens , “Eleven Years Ago” [with Terry Pratchett] (1990) TANNER: Of all human struggles there is none so treacherous and remorseless as the struggle between the artist man and the mother woman. Which shall use up the other? That is the issue between them. And it is all the deadlier because, in your romanticist cant, they love one another. OCTAVIUS: Even if it were so — and I don’t admit it for a moment — it is out of the deadliest struggles that we get the noblest characters. TANNER: Remember that the next time you meet a grizzly bear or a Bengal tiger, Tavy. OCTAVIUS: I meant where there is love, Jack. TANNER: Oh, the tiger will love you. There is no love sincerer than the love of food. I think Ann loves you that way: she patted your cheek as if it were a nicely underdone chop. George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) British playwright and critic Man and Superman , Act 1, l. 184-188 (1903) Ah, Love! could you and I with Him conspire To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire, Would not we shatter it to bits — and then Re-mould it nearer to the Heart’s Desire! Omar Khayyám (1048-1123) Persian poet, mathematician, philosopher, astronomer Rubáiyát , 99 [tr. FitzGerald] I'm not sure the above haven't wandered from thoughts of Love as a weapon or the direness of Angels. But they were fun to sift through.
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Doyce T.
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Local's phone camera shot of the end of the fight.
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Snapchat caption contest? My entry: "some super fight is very definitely over now"
Excellent picture. The more I think about that moment from the game, the more it makes a very direct response to the previous game: the new Concordance agents show up and throw allegations at Concord Concord blows up at them and starts acting much more aggressively (reckless/erratic) towards everyone Concord shows off just how much power he has, effectively asserting towards the Concordance agents (presumably monitoring things) that these are his powers and he's going to use them regardless of what they think (and presumably blowing off a ton of steam [and tapping out his Compassion battery for a while]) Obviously, Leo's attitudes towards being pushed back on are rubbing off on Adam.
[Insert appropriate *CONCERN* image here.]
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HA!
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Doyce T.
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The effect I was thinking of, in the structures near Concord. More here: http://tench.tumblr.com/post/173155409623/archatlas-thomas-heatherwick-reveals-zeitz-mocaa
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TVTropes calls this general effect a  Sphere of Destruction , and that's what I pictured at the time. Personal scale:  https://www.geek.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/te... Building scale:  https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/eurekaseven/im... City scale:  https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/codegeass/imag... Planetary:  https://i.imgur.com/lYcMytq.jpg
Or this (which has always been kind of disturbing):