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MENAGERIE #54 - TOTAL PANDEMONIUM!

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Edited 1537853575
[Recap of last time] CHARLOTTE  What place is a good, comfortable, safe, happy dream place? The Quill Compound Conversation Pit. Everyone's there, hanging out. Charlotte is well tucked into a corner of the couch. Hanging out, watching anime, chips, soda. Sitting with Harry.  Harry's distracted. Flipping his social face on and off, which is kinda weird. He's stress-eating. Charlotte swaps out his chips for a weird-flavored ones. He barely notices, though he makes a face. Charlotte tries to get a rise from him. H: Feel like I'm responsible for so much right now, I'll forget things I can't lose track of.  And Charlotte realizes that *she's* stressed and hammering down chips. Pushes the bowl away. "Rrg. Make it stop." Trying to concentrate on Harry. "Did you make a list?"  [Mundane! 10!] GRAVEYARD! Alycia in a fireman carry! Earthy fingers with tombstone nails lunging at them! Something has awakened! Harry's trying to get Alycia away from the Midst of the Mess. Off to the little folly tower? [Unleash Powers! 4!] Crazy fast! Predictable ground! Explaining to Alycia! Glancing to the sides and behind and ... ... the ground has risen in front of us, a rocky earthy female form, close, leaning forward, screams, "MAKE IT STOP!" Harry backpedals, glances against it, arm tears off oozing red clay ... [Take a Powerful Blow: 13!] Alycia goes flying through the air  ... Radiance - this isn't a single thing but a collection. She's going to shoot a slew of butterfly remotes down her throat. [Pierce the Mask! 11!] 1. What do you want me to do? Within the mouth, as the butterflies descend, dark tunnel illuminated by the butterflies ... it's mouths all the way down ... a cacophony ... two primary messages being muttered in different voices ... WAKE ME ... MAKE IT STOP ... and the latter is Charlotte's voice. 2. How do I get you to reveal yourself (Charlotte)? Half-dozen butterflies down the throat. How do you get a connection in this space? Butterflies project an image of herself.  Mouths inside the throat, they still continue to speak, but whispering more, rising up and extending more from the sides of the wall, reaching out for the butterflies. When the first one lights on Charlotte's finger, a couple of things happen. Charlotte sees a butterfly winging its way through the conversation pit. ADAM Pietro is freaking out. Adam is holding it together, along with the ball of cosmic fire around them.  I think this thing has Charlotte -- I'm going in, can you keep it together? [Provoke! 11!] Pietro get his shit together. Adam dives into writhing mass of whatever it is, blasting it with fire. [Direct Engage! ] Adam sees a mechanical light construct butterfly flapping next to him. HARRY Lose control of powers in a terrible way. One step too freaky for him. Huge vibration in all directions to push everything and everyone away.  TEAM! Team -> 2 Leader -> +1 Harry has influence over all. Same purpose as everyone else -> 0 (Harry) Alycia mistrusts Harry. -> -1 Ill-Prepared/Off-Balance  -> -1 ALYCIA Harry is panicking ... land against the gravestone.  Figure is recognizable as Charlotte. Sounded like her. Harry - shock, horror, then grimness ... gotta do the hard thing! Alycia has seen this before ... young people feeling they have to make the hard, brutal choices, and you can see it on their face, firm up their jaw, and do it, and they are fucking WRONG, because they are too ready to pull that trigger and it's massive overkill. He starts ... he doesn't look like he's moving, but he's fuzzy and the wind is picking up ... flashes and shadows around him ... he's actually leaving and coming back to this spot, hundreds of yards, lashing out, striking at manifestations of whatever this is, and it's speeding up. Never seen this, never heard of it. CHARLOTTE Butterfly. Also fog and wind. Everyone is looking around and puzzled, but all clearly prepping a joke about the Quill air conditioning being on the fritz. Harry's face is out of focus. Grim expression. ALYCIA Harry's not just unloading, but the attacks are leading to supersonic shrapnel and chunks landing even beyond the city limits.  Anything hitting him at this speed would be shredded (and might kill Harry, too.) Claw forward: "HARRY! SNAP THE FUCK OUT OF IT!" [Provoke, with Influence! 13!] ADAM [Directly Engage! 7!] Diving down into the mud ... the mud of Golgotha ... and the stench of cooked meat ... burst through into a chamber within, and there's a heaving bed of limbs ... Charlotte is cradled in it, arms folded like in a casket. Adam dives in, grabs her, body check her into a fireman's carry, and try to zip *out*. CHARLOTTE Harry has something going on ... She reaches for his shoulder, to ground him. Corporeal, to anchor him. HARRY It works! This was almost a physical manifestation of all his stresses and worries, and he needed someone to tell him to snap out of it. Back to his senses ... just in time to have to try and stop what he's doing, wreaking destruction. His powers are personal, not AoE. But here his body is actually lashing out at anything even vaguely dangerous invisible range. Also seeing the conversation pit ... being destroyed ...? ADAM Grab Charlotte, swoop, grab her, blast through. She grunts, and the thing he just blasted through, it reacts, snapping the tunnel shut -- and that closes a connection to reality, meaning he flight suddenly stops.  They tumble to the floor.  RADIANCE  Perceiving stuff -- connection to Charlotte ... seeing her in the Conversation Nook ... but being pulled by Adam in this other space made of human body parts ... and Harry, and there's Alycia swearing, and that's going on. Pierce the Mask: 3. What are you really planning? (Is this really parts of Charlotte, or something else.) Wherever Adam and Charlotte are is where Charlotte really is. The Nook is a ... defensive construct happy place. Harry is kind of sharing that dissociation space. Summer is going to try and sell her that the outside world is a safe place. "Charlotte, we need you back here, home, and every part of you is welcome. And memories of Alycia being a bad guy then joining the group then moving in as a room mate, see we accept even someone like that, we can make it work.  CHARLOTTE Taken a shot, on the ground, Adam is there, so is a projection of Summer ... and in the Conversation Nook the little butterfly is giving Summer's speech, too ... and there's Alycia yelling at Jason and skulking and moping and angsting about (yes, Summer was there) ... ... and flickers of this about Harry,  (Alycia is seeing flickers of all this, too, moving day ...) Summer --> [Comfort and Support! (With influence!)] -> 11! COME HOME! Remaining condition is Afraid ... less guilt than fear of what she _will_ do. What will change that? HARRY Control of the hurricane ...  Trying to center self. So much still going on *inside* ... think about Andi grounding him, keeping him from going too fast. [Wield Your Powers!]  CHARLOTTE In a really bad place, there with Adam. But Summer is there projecting with the adorable little butterfly.  Not sure what she did is so bad that she needs unconditional support ... which kind of worries her that they think she could do something that bad. [Keep Afraid, Take Potential] There's a real presence there. Adam is cut off from some power, but not Charlotte. "I don't need to deal wth this now." And walks out of it. [Unleash Powers -> 13!] Recreates the tunnel, and flies Adam up (wow, that;s uncomfortable). Light at the end of the tunnel ... Pietro! "Did you rescue her, or did she rescue you?" and "Hey, you're okay. Glad you're okay. Don't, um, read the last 27 texts I sent you." "Peter, how sweet. Thank you for coming to find me." "No, no, this was [horrifying] fine!" And Adam backs him up, doing him a solid. HARRY Getting under control.  And Alycia is standing right there, *inside* the blast radius. Flashes of the memories, but also realizes that Alycia snapped him out of this. H You can't complain the next time I save you. I'll be returning the favor.  A So, do you respect me? Did I contribute? H You're as much a superhero as anyone else here.We couldn't have done it without you.  A Wow -- thank you. RADIANCE Checks on them, if they are okay. Tells Pietro he's very brave and sweet helping find Charlotte.  And hugs Charlotte. [Stopped a fight with calm words.] [And got respect] [Closes beacon] AFTERMATH That section of the cemetery is gone. Functionally speaking. A flat, scoured, muddy, post-tornado wasteland minus any topsoil. First Responders responding, as were all hugging. We're not going home yet. WRAP-UP Charlotte: Image of Self. Summer: Closer to Team (Charlotte) -> +Superior -Mundane Alycia: Closer to Team (Harry) -> +Superior, -Savior [Superior maxxed] -> Insecure Harry: Closer to Team (Alycia) -> +Mundane, -Freak [Mundane maxxed] -> Freak Adam: Closer to the Team (Ghost Girl) -> +Savior, -Mundane [Savior locked]
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That felt like a really neat team effort, and I was glad that Summer was a part of it in her own Summery way. The first set of Beacon drives were definitional: new costume, respect, calm words, tell someone your true feelings. The next batch are intended to be much more assertive: Save a teammate’s life, Reject someone who tells you “you shouldn’t be here”, Help a teammate when they most need you, and (most interestingly, because who?) Kiss someone dangerous. Summer could take another move (from Janus or another playbook), take +1 (and change Mask labels - not yet, or shut off influence - again, not yet), or unlock her Moment of Truth. She's advancing pretty fast, without quite defining her superheroic self just yet, so there's plenty of moves I could take but none that look like the obvious choice. Lacking a clear direction, I could take the MoT and see where I go next. What do folks think, though?
I don't recall what moves she's already taken, so it's hard to call. Mild-Mannered seems a decent fit, esp. if we spend some time back in the Real World now -- Game Face would also work as Summer kind of works on balancing the difference between being a hero and being obsessive. 
One bit of fall-out from the Graveyard -- esp. in this period of transition in the city -- is much more intense scrutiny on the Menagerie. That could spell trouble for any number of our characters: the Janus trying to protect her secret identity, the Scion trying to do something similar, Adam who's trying to recreate his life, or even Charlotte who's always dealt with issues of how she's perceived. And then there's Harry (who may be leaving us imminently, who's responsible for some large chunk of the damage, and who is the most public face (remaining) of the group). Interesting times.
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*** Dave H. said: Mild-Mannered seems a decent fit, esp. if we spend some time back in the Real World now -- Game Face would also work as Summer kind of works on balancing the difference between being a hero and being obsessive.  I never really saw Summer as obsessive, or driven enough to take Game Face - that's a very Leo move though. For reference, she has: Secret Identity and The Mask (standard Janus moves) plus Dangerous Web ("when you reveal a trap you've left for someone using your powers,..."), I Am What You See ("when you spend time talking to someone about your identity,..."), and I'll Save You! (mark a condition to defend a loved one with a 12 roll). That would leave Game Face and Mild-Mannered from her playbook, so if she took anything else there, it'd be Mild-Mannered. I'm also hoping to find something from another playbook. Here's that list: Punch everyone (Bull). Also a very Leo move, but she might decide she needs to get more aggressive. There when it matters (Bull). Meshes nicely with I'll Save You, and suitable for a supportive character. Be mindful of your surroundings (Protege). If Alycia doesn't get into analytics and tactics, Summer might. Coming for you (Transformed). "You've hurt people, and I have to stop you." Also meshes with I'll Save You, letting her strike back at someone who tried to hurt a friend. A mind of their own (Newborn). Experimental tech loadouts from the lab! No good at being a kid (Nomad). I feel like she's tried to turn every setback and recovery into a learning experience of some kind. The littlest space bandit (Nomad). I'm pretty sure everyone will underestimate the butterfly girl, and Superior is looking good these days. Out of this world (Nomad). This would require some GM connivance if the origin was metaphysical or magical, but I might be interested in that kind of direction for her?
I never really saw Summer as obsessive, or driven enough to take Game Face - that's a very Leo move though. Summer (at least as much as everyone else in this game) is figuring out who she is, and how to be a super-hero -- the "right kind" of super-hero (and one whose actions will have an impact on her kind for generations). Experimenting with being obsessive/driven, esp. if she was modeling after Leo, would be right up that alley. (Cf. Doyce's discussion of young people convinced that, as an adult, they have to make that regrettable-but-necessary decision Right Now.) Just a thought.
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She's definitely going to experiment, and I agree with the reasons you give on what and why. I would hope that as people like Alycia say things like "your costume sucks" or "you need to stop being so nice all the time" or whatever, that a label shift will drive her toward (or away from) that sort of action. But I feel like moves are the outcome of the experiment, with the potential you earned along the way (through failure, C&S, team moves, and so on) providing the fuel for it, so I'm not sure about committing to a move until it feels solidly like her, if that makes sense.
That makes perfect sense (esp. from a Move Investment Cost perspective).