MENAGERIE ISSUE #56 - GETTING OUT OF HAND

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Last time ... Harry gave his big announcement to the press. Everyone was heading for Has Beans and look for Lucius. Has Beans Lucius is not there, had stuff going on, but will be, soon. Meantime ... we are sitting in the back room around a table, courtesy of JC.  Charlotte and Harry have interacted with JC. It's an older coffee shop. Neighborhood. JC takes orders from everyone. Summer - orders the thing with the most flavor. Something 8000 calories, with whipped cream and sprinkles. Summer feels both "in" (a barrista) and "out" (doesn't know the secret handshakes). Charlotte - Dirty chai. Alycia - Triple Espresso and much, much sugar. Adam - Peppermint Hot Chocolate. Harry - Spiced apple cider. Big, round, folding table. Scarred tables. Folding and plastic patio chairs. Even if it feels like the Round Table. Summer stepped up for the big meeting. Alycia glares, then supports the idea. So there we are. A - Great thing with the press statement. Better than expected. H - Thanks? And thanks for help yesterday. Yesterday? A - Least and most I could do. Helped out  S - Showed a lot of initiative. Good statement. (wink) We're at a crossroads.  A - So who's in charge? Everyone is quiet. S - Want to talk about it a bit. Do we need a leader? C - More about common goals and being a team. We been kind of wrapped up on ourselves lately. Makes it harder when we want to pull together on something. S - What would help? C - Hanging together like this helps. When we're into dealing with a crisis, what's important? What are we trying as a group to accomplish. I have my own projects, but it seems to me we have a lot of smart people here, a lot to offer to the community. So what is that? A - Social welfare organization? C - There's a lot we can do. Put your mind to it.  A - Connections between things we've been facing. Doctor Infinity -- Vyortovians -- Hidden Brotherhood -- collapsing dimensions ... should we be tackling these things? Adam - These are things. Important things. H - Definitely important things. S - Harry, lots of people with expectations of you .What can we do to help you that? H - Nothing you haven't been doing. C - Finishing the work on the Wounds. Talking with the Grail Knights. Then pin down that Magus Everard, find out what he knows about all this.  S - Wounds are important. And Rook involved, so I have an interest, too. [Something in the news that has happened that is a good thing: government oversight of security/military robots. Also, hearings on what happened -- Rosa had to testify. ] S - [Passes this on.] H - Not planning on joining the HHL. At least not right away. C - Happy you'll be with us.  S - Happy to have you as long as you're with us. A - Absolutely (Everyone kind of stares.) Adam - [Perked up that Harry wasn't joining the HHL.] S - Are you a Concordance Agent? [Provoke: 11!] A - [tenses] Adam - Why would you ask that? [Shifts back and forth.] No. I mean. No. Of course not. Not any more. And, it's, um, no. It's not that big a deal. (Evasive! Uh-oh ...) S - Mentions coin. A - [Watching intently, hands under the table.] C - [Confused] H - [Sipping his cider. Unjudgmental / no moral high ground.] S - Talk about this ... later? Adam - Not a big deal. Why flip a coin. Alycia, stop looking at me? A - Is that a Shroedingers Cat thing? Or is my gaze upsetting you? S - [hand on A's shoulder, not helping] A - rolls eyes Oh, I guess it is  the Round Table. Summer - Seat of Sir Gaheris - Influence and advice over someone (complex conditions) Charlote - Seat of Bors the Chaste, +1 Forward on next Pierce the Mask. Harry - Seat of Sir Galahad - +1 on next forward to reject Influence Adam - Seat of Sir Kay - No power exists without truth. Next time you burn, mark potential and take a powerful blow  as the truth confronts you. Alycia - Seat of Sir Lancelot. (The outsider come to Court, threatening destruction). +1 potential. Adam loses Influence over her. +Danger, -Mundane. Adam - Not that important! S - We're here to listen.  C - Why picking on him? S - Not picking. There's something important going on here. Adam - [Jordan, looking just little-kid-disappointment ... if you give this up now, you'll never get it back again.] Charlotte is there to look for Lucius. [Superior: 4!] Lucias! Adam's about to say something, and the room suddenly gets very dark. Sun behind clouds? Very overshadowed and dark outside. Alycia looks at Adam, as if he is to blame. Wrong. Something very large in the way of the sun.  Footsteps, grunt, something smashes wreckng-ball style through the back wall. Adam looks relieved. "Meeting adjourned!" It's a massive fist, clenched around someone, made up of a composite of arms, like the face from the cemetery. Is it chasing Charlotte? C - I don't think so. Radiance flashes into new costume (holographic) -- flying brick Super-girl style, gold and blue.  Fist tightens, and someone moans -- top of his head. Older black man, short hair. Summer tries to pull him away, hard light panels blocking the arms. [Defend!: 5!] Team into the Pool - Powerful foe - Summer acted first. - Has influence over all. - Save the Guy, Beat the Monster. Same purpose - Trust the Leader and the Team - Off Balance. Adam tries burning things. Alycia whacks it with her batons [5 -> 7] Hand lets Lucius go. Lucius gets an arm free, sword appears from nowhere, drops and rolls, comes up, then staggers on bad hip. Fist opens, fingers shifts to reverse and grabs Summer. Slams against the wall. Touch is horrid, consistency and temp of clay left on the table. [Guilty - didn't pull it off.] Charlotte -- possesses her chai and throws it into him, wanting to burn away the flailing arms to see what is at the center. [Freak!: 8!] Harry -- Tries to get its attention on the opposite side of Lucius. [Defend: 11!] [Influence over Lucius] The chai, where it lands --  dissolves the arms into muck and mud.  Alycia has seen ugly wounds. Caused some. One of which involved a rifle shot that ran down the length of the arm ... and this reminds of that, since the arm here peels back ... the bits breaking up stain the walls and floor and asphalt.  It breaks apart as an arm-and-fist to a tentacular creature.  Summer tumbles free. The bone is exposed, but it's not a normal bone structure. An old human skeleton within it.  Alycia notices, in that brief instant before it starts to reform to protect the skeleton: wrong number of ribs and quite old. Like ... Sepiaverse number of ribs. Lucius shouts "Grenade!" Alycia catches the one he tosses to er, flips the pin out, drops it into the skeleton even as the arms reenvelope it. [Direct Engage: 10!] Resist/Avoid Take bodily integrity - shattering the bones, removing the central focus, scatteering it, the arms break downt o something like leeches/lampreys, slithering away in all directions, melting into cracks. Create an opportunity - Charlotte's power is still upon them, and so she can trace them. Someone - Don't let them get away! L - Let them get away. We need to talk. This is -- and pardon the pun -- getting out of hand. Next Time! Catch up with Lucius. Wrap-Up! Alycia - Closer to Team (Summer - dragged into conversation) - +Superior -Freak (maxxed) Summer - Closer to Team (Adam - didn't reject) - +Savior -Superior Harry - Closer to Team (Summer - supportive even while he's evasive) - +Superior, -Freak Charlotte - Closer to Team (Alyica) - +Superior, -Freak Adam - Further from Team (Summer)  #Recap
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Mike
Pro
Adam : And now that this particular discussion is over, let's not talk about it again.  Right?
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Part of being a big sis is looking out for your lil bro. Even when he doesn't want to be looked after. That said, Summer doesn't actually want to pick on Adam or make him too uncomfortable, so it's choppy waters.
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Our major enemies/allies/factions and their interactions: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1S7k6hxVKasmLUb2BMm_WlYEe_g0SFfzgSvB7xzWJPqQ/edit?usp=sharing Anyone have any intel that fills in some missing gaps?
Bill G. said: Part of being a big sis is looking out for your lil bro. Even when he doesn't want to be looked after. That said, Summer doesn't actually want to pick on Adam or make him too uncomfortable, so it's choppy waters. That's okay -- Alycia's feeling better about picking on Adam and making him too uncomfortable, so it will all balance out.
Bill G. said: Our major enemies/allies/factions and their interactions: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1S7k6hxVKasmLUb2BMm_WlYEe_g0SFfzgSvB7xzWJPqQ/edit?usp=sharing Anyone have any intel that fills in some missing gaps? Oooh, nice. I don't have edit rights, but I threw in a few comments. I don't know of (in canonical story) but can speculate that the Chin Org has done business with (under many safe layers for both) Rook, and that Rook would like to be able to exploit the Chin Org (all that wonderful leftover hypertech ...). Aside from that ... too many gaps.
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I remember hearing Harry and Adam say "go fish" to leadership, but not Charlotte, so perhaps we can put the question more directly to her. She certainly made a good point, that the team as a whole ought to have some solid, specific directions, and we listed the opposition that's on our radar already. Dave has been pitching the job at Alycia through a couple of vectors, but Alycia-the-PC seems reluctant still. If Charlotte doesn't take up the reins (though both I and Summer would approve if she did), I wonder if Alycia would extend the good-cop-bad-cop theme and try to either involve Summer as a lieutenant, or push Summer as leader and place herself as XO. I'm interested in seeing what happens no matter what, though. :) I'm fond of a teamup of some kind, though, if only to see Alycia and Summer in matching shirts, Alycia's reading " big dick energy " and Summer's reading " horse girl energy ". That'd never pass at school, but I ALSO wonder what it would look like to see the two of them forming a mini-clique there too, and seeing how students responded to that.
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Having now learned two new vocabulary terms (and discovering that my choice of prescription lens coatings qualifies me for one of them) ... Alycia has been burned re leadership from about five different directions (from whom it's been given, to whom she's been given it over, to the examples in her life, to being kicked around a lot), to the point of mistrusting herself even wanting it. Being XO to someone she respects and who shows the trust to ask her? If handled right, she'd be all over that. That all said, Charlotte's comments -- effectively, why  are we a group, what are we after collectively, what's our charter/remit/mission/vision -- were spot on, and are a prerequisite to knowing what sort of leadership we want, to what end, and who's a fit for the role. Don't expect to see a "big dick energy" shirt on Alycia, though, even after the meme is hastily explained to her. :-)