MENAGERIE #39 - HALCYON BEYOND!

Setting the Scene! Some items of note:  Secret Base stuff and  Streak/Tempest and the Origins of Rossum . It's been a few days since the Hospital Incident. HARRY Post- Ghost Pepper Incident Harry and A-10 have texted back and forth a bit, sharing memes, etc. Family stuff -- hanging out with Dad, getting the house back on its feet. Streak has bounced back physically, though he gets tired fast, takes a lot of breaks, naps more. Healthy, but not the non-stop activity guy. Tempest is soooooo much better with Streak home (though he's not sleeping well at night). Harry has been leaving the house with the excuse of helping Granma Swift -- and learning more about bases she's offering up. She has the keys, but need to let AEGIS know. LEO Wanting to talk with Vector? --> Also, AEGIS keeps asking about Concord, so maybe bring the rest of the team. Alycia is already there. Time travel stuff, so GG. Speedster, so Harry. Also, researching marine biologists. Korean org is actually very tight-lipped about organization members. Aria and Otto are working on Phoenix stuff. Also, Summer has had  her conversation with Alycia at Blintzkrieg .  CHARLOTTE It's been 4-5 days since she was out in the cemetery with Lucius. Have been monitoring ghosts in the graveyard -- stronger, weaker, the same? Need to talk with Alycia about her tech. Want Lucius to intro her to Armiger. Also, has started attending US History and a few other classes at school. AP Psych. (Dr. GYRO does an ethics of metahumans class.) ADAM Some chat at home about "So, son, did you really intend to blow up the hospital?" Also some public talk about aliens, and how these guys looked like Concord, and how much do we really know, and ... oh, yeah, Silver Streak was in there, too, so how does that tie in? Dad - a teaching moment for responsibility. Are these guys other officers in some sort of military / police force? Adam avoids talking about how they criticized them. (Also, Adam's pretty sure it wasn't the shards talking, but the individuals.) Mom - Everything is normal here! Keri has texted a few times. Included a picture of Concord and the Agents, with a WTF note. Reassurs him that even Sol was kind of a dick sometimes, so these guys it's not surprising if they're dicks. But ... are these guys dealing with shards that haven't woken up yet? Are these guys just guessing what to do? And why did they send three? And why are they all one color and you're like Captain Planet, though they did do a merge thing, too. Visiting VECTOR Adam: Care packages to villains. -- Vector: Big cat-suited guy (cybernetics, hypertech - life support needed by him) ... so, um, cupcakes and cookies baked with mom. Foil-covered pyrex dishes. Because security will love that. -- Facet, Vector, Iconoclast -- Alycia Meeting with Vector. Alycia / Charlotte / Harry in the observation room. Alycia ... brought out from cell, Parker - want to get you involved with the team there. Vector is agitated. Been a few days? What's the plan? L Going to have a talk with your boss. Need to be convinced. V Are you ... going with me? L Yeah. V We only have two more windows to hit, and one's in just a few hours. How soon do you want to have this happen? L As soon as AEGIS lets you out. V Sure, we're way off the plan, so sure. L Your original plan was to blow us up. V I'll ... yeah, let's get AEGIS to say yes. Btw, these cookies and cupcakes are awesome. Alycia is watching this conversation closely. (Another prisoner! Leo! Adam!) Charlotte - asks after Alycia's health. (Feeling better.) Harry - focused mostly on Vector, because, dammit, that Time Travel Talk is something he's had to sit through a dozen times. Alycia is very positive about going forward in time. And she's pretty sure she hears incredulity from the AEGIS team in the next room. Leo assumes AEGIS is on the way. Joins the others. Alycia: A couple of hours? I can get kitted up by then. Concord: This is the future, so warnings about time travel from dad don't count. Alycia objects to references to "the" future. Parker and Waters come in ... Parker looks dispeptic. Waters looks a litte pained. W Plan? L Going to contact the future, effect some change, and come back to present. P Letting out a known breaker of the peace. A Well, we were the ones he was going to kill. L Also, we're the ones who handed him over and turned him over to you. And we're going to remove him from the board by taking him down. W I'm all into removing a bad guy from the board. But why ...? Alycia is kind of into potential time intervention, avoiding future disasters. Harry is *very* opposed to bringing that sort of information back. W Even if that's not your real reason, this sort of activity might draw the attention of Dr Infinity. GG [Half-hoping ... additional knowledge is all good. And wanting to meet Dr I is kind a plus, though a bit of concern.] (When Dr I has been active in the world, it's been to preserve the timelines, with everything else secondary, thus bad guy.) Convincing Parker and Waters. [Leo: Control with Best Interests. 9!] [+1 Team < Alycia: (1) These folk will keep sending attacks back until addressed, (2) our best odds are doing this togther. (Because puppy dog eyes to Parker aren't going to help our cause.)] W More comfortable with the HHL, but we'll sell it. P (not as convinced) Plan: speedsters + Phoenix 80s era action movie gear-up (for Alycia, at least). Also bringing the hover cycle inside of Phoenix. P When you get back ... gainful employment -- don't worry, you'll like the living accommodations, but you'll hate the job. A You make me so enthused to return to the present P it's my small contribution to this positively insane and asinine plan Harry and Adam send texts home. [Leo: Kirby-Craft 15!!! KA-POW!] Phoenix gives out a cry! Into the time tunnel. Boom, back out. Same landscape ... water in the same direction ... no forestation, more ag and industry. Portable markers set up on the ground, like runway lights. The Phoenix is excited. Rapid deceleration. (Otto and Aria are there; Summer is at home.) Armored figure standing there -- steps back -- Vector reassures, "It's okay, it's okay, they just want to talk with us about it." Harry scopes around. The city in the distance is like Halcyon -- smaller but taller (but darker). Foreboding. Armored figure: "You can't, you brought, what is that thing, who -- Harry ?!" WRAP-UP ALYCIA: Closer into the image of myself --> +Danger -Mundane HARRY: Closer to the team (Adam) --> Influence to Harry CHARLOTTE: Closer into image of myself --> ADAM: Closer to the team (Alycia) --> +Mundane -Danger LEO: Closer into image of myself -> #Recap
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Guesses on the Bot's identity: Aria: Summer: Otto: Alycia: Adam: Charlotte: Mercury:
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And of course, my money is on:
HA! Okay, that started my day with a chuckle. Okay, for reference, I'm fuzzier than I should be on Vector, in part I realize because most of the previous research into him was  during the episode we were away (including speculation about Bot in the comments). Two questions: Do we know when  his future (now our present) is? Twenty years? Two hundred? If Vector said, "... in the future ..." someone would certainly have tried to pin it down. There are multiple references to "Bot" with a male pronoun. Is that confirmed (did Vector actually use that), or an assumption/mistake (either on our part as recorders or on Vector's)? Bot can't rebuild (for reasons still vague) a Heart Factory (which is what he wants). He also doesn't recognize Phoenix. If this is a Leo, he's either an unreliable rememberer, or else a cross-timeline version. (At which point, this could actually still be the same "present," just diverging 5-10 years ago.) That he referred to Harry as "Harry" implies he knows him well enough to be familiar. That leaves off individuals like Rossum, Rook, the Dread Queen, etc. Though it being a copy of Rossum tickles me. If this isn't a Leo (or a Newman -- I can think of scenarios where it could be Otto, for that matter), then Jason is the next best guess, followed by a pronoun-mistaken-or-intentionally-misleading-or-unexpectedly-transgendered Alycia.  Jason makes sense on so many levels -- hypergenius, familiar with but not able to invent a Heart Factory, familiar with Harry, a rebel against the system . That makes me think it's not him, just being meta -- though seeing how Future Jason interacts with Present Alycia would be amusing. (Actually, Alycia is going to be interested in both global future events / trends / disasters that might be averted, and in her own future in that timeline; she recognizes that might be a mistake, but the stakes are too high to ignore a source of information.)
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Doyce T.
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From the time this stuff with Vector all kicked off to 'now', there's already been enough changes to make it likely this 'future' is as much an alternate reality/timeline as it is anything predictive.  We know Rook is powerful, Corps run everything, personality preservation in long-lived bodies is something held only by the wealthy... a few other dystopian bits. Also that whoever Bot is can't make a heart machine, but knows what they are... and is mostly leveraging found/recovered/stolen hypertech.
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Summer's biggest fear would be that it's future!Jason and the damage that "my boyfriend was a robot" will do to the Jalycia ship. I recall the Bot wanting a molecular lathe - as introduced by Leo's story, a common enough piece of tech among super-inventors, but one that can jumpstart an entire tech base: the equivalent to an atomic 3D printer in terms of what it can do. The theft of Leo's Heart Factory was meant to facilitate a follow-up where that request was made. All of which sounds reasonable for a dystopian future: take away the basic tools from anyone who can't pay up.
Doyce T. said: Also that whoever Bot is can't make a heart machine , but knows what they are... and is mostly leveraging found/recovered/stolen hypertech. Ah. Which prompted further speculation that it could be a Leo who's creator intentionally blocked that ability / information from, for reasons that seemed good at the time. I know, we'll know soon enough, but it's still fun to speculate. Especially with a reaction like  this : Holy shit nevermind I know what happened. Oh my god. Heh. Bill: Summer's biggest fear would be that it's future!Jason and the damage that "my boyfriend was a robot" will do to the Jalycia ship. Not sure that Alycia would be quite that  shallow ... but she does have some odd emotional cross-connections and coping mechanisms, so ... we shall see.
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I wasn't serious about that part :)  But if you like! We already have Alycia having  nightmares about Aria and Summer as spider-bots. Even if she's not consciously basing her actions on those, what would happen if every time she saw Jason, or he reached out toward her, that she flashed to the dream where Jason had been converted into one of them? I don't imagine she'd feel very comfortable - for as long as she was uncomfortable about robots, that is. Vector explains what they're after here:  https://youtu.be/5d6X_ZYKJA0?t=2h20m
Oh, all sorts of strange things might end up going through Alycia's head at any given time. That one makes as much sense as any. :-)