Flashbacks Charlotte's big scary ghost face, Everard reaching out, touching it, looks drawn and horrified as he gets caught up on current events. Then blasted by Dr I Harry racing in, Charlotte cradling Everard. Dr I bouncing around inside the space, mini-teleports. Bubbles of time stuff. Alycia and Summer countering. Leaves the device open, Dr I smirks, teleports next to and is going to strike ... Harry suddenly in front of Infinity, while Alycia is shooting explosive rounds in Infinity's face. Flurry of blocking blows. Now ... The Magus Calm. Quiet. Magus on the ground, half-sitting on ground. Charlotte is next to him, Concord on his other side. He licks his lips. "This day has not gone as I anticipated. I had a date planned on a lovely terrace on a version of Italy with floating gondolas, and chilled several bottles and warmed up local girls. You two are very disappointing by comparison. To C: I am very sorry for what has been done by your PoV, by what may happen. Not sure I can see a good way out of it. C - Doesn't include sunning yourself in Italy. E - Agreed. Though i look great in a -- Ad - Can we focus on the immediate danger? E - At a loss as to why I can't solve this. I have to agree with you. I will do my part to make sure that what came to pass does not come to pass. (To C) I am very sorry for what will happen as a result, but we all must make our trade-offs, I suppose. C - Let's get today's situation under control. E - I can stop this, or make a non=issue, for the two of us. [The Provoke - stop this nonsense - was a 14.] He starts -- asks for his staff. Can't see out of the one side. C hands him the staff. E - This is awkward. Your gizmo? Preventing me from the next thing. C - Also preventing them from leaving. E ... Oh, dear, I think they're doing something. [focusing on Infinity] ... Doctor Infinity Meanwhile ... flurry of actions, bullets slamming into Infinity, landing a bit, and that's leaving dents and dings, face scowling. Off hand raising up, then pushing down at the ground. But her other arm is coming in on Harry, just as fast as both. And everything ... gets ... SLOW. Harry is at Alycia speed. Localized. Charlotte/Adam/Magus not feeling as much, just seems to be a little frustrating to doing things so deliberately. Harry has never been this slow. Alycia can think as fast as ever (nearly), but body is slow. Not affecting things at the quantum level. Harry - Powerful Blow from deceleration. [Roll Savior -> 7!] [Condition: Afraid + Keep Their Attention On Him.] They are not slowing down. Start building up an Uncle Chase maneuver. Alycia -- all nightmares come home to roost -- [powerful blow -> 10!] Not a panic, but anger at self for being unable to even be a distraction. (Dad: "I'm sure, if you think that's what's going to happen, I'm sure you will be insufficient.") [Lose control of powers in a terrible way -->] Drop gun, trigger a gadget to cause the Keynome device to crank up to 15 ... and drone Summer's still plugged in. Summer [Powerful Blow -> 8!] -> take 2 conditions. Other Summer looks at Alycia, hurt, but not say anything. Angry ("how could she?") and Guilty ("how could I hold it against her?") Time Ghosts! Effects double on themselves ... lens flares ... from the machine ... in the space between the two Summers ... seeing different potential moments. Charlotte as a ghost. Charlotte as a ghost adventurer / Lara Croft. Or as Evie (the Mummy), but not a ghost. Charlotte wearing robes like the Hidden Family, but slightly altared. Ball gowns with glowing stones at the chakras. Angry "Carry" Charlotte. All here and part of this. Adam as older. Younger. Not glowing. Keynome Kid. Space Adam. Starfield Adam. Energy power suit Adam. With scarves. Without scarves. [Has been all of these.] Harry in Vector suit. Scarred. Missing a leg, doing a dust-devil. Speedster look. Full-out Mercury. Guerilla Alycia. Scarred in a mobile wheelchair Alycia. Evil Mandarin Alycia. Nanobot swarm Alycia. Link's Power Armor Alycia. Robot Alycia. Pregnant Alycia. Horrid automaton spider-bot Alycia. [Alycia has known all the terrible ways her life could go.] [All of Mike's Art] Summers. Guerilla warfare Summer. [Summer has fan-ficted most of these] [All deeply-disappointed looking at Alycia, "You just had to hurt someone to save yourself"] [Alycia sees that.] (Nothing with the Magus. He is what he is.) Summer also sees ... Infinity redoubling. Not the Magus; he is what he is. Infinity is lots of different images, variations. More human. Less so. More like the starfish-bots. Variations on who they are. And some of the forms are recognizable -- who they were. Adam also sees it -- the ones closest to human, seeing more redoubling of Summer? No, Pneuma? Aria? Not bits of Summer. Charlotte: Magus grabs hand, pulls up. "Get ready, we're going to have an opportunity very shortly." Battle! Summer: Same revelation as Adam -- sending out a ping to the Heart Gauge. Ping back: Pneuma. Aria (and Summer) came from a very specific set of circumstances. And Infinity TURNS AND LOOKS. Summer - Dangerous Web --> 11! Opponent trips into trap, and get an opportunity against them. Catch Infinity in a protocol handshake + emotions of not having felt this way for so long. Infinity telepathic connection ... very bitter and angry and sad sneer: "You're so smart, and you've tapped into everything of your nature, and you understand us, and you're going to learn my core programming, who i really am ... You ... don't understand ... what can understand ... if you REALLY care for someone else. Youre never going to be real -- clever or powerful, but you'll never have what I had befoe he was take away!] [-Mundane, +_____] Summer rejects -> 7! [clear condition] Things are speeding up. Harry [Direct Engagage! -> 6!] Summer pushes it to 7 with her distraction, Alycia's effect with the keynome. Charlotte - the gadget, been dealing with byblows of this kind of energy for months -- the ghostliness tendrils of energy about the legs. Adam - boost. [ -> 10!] 1. create opportunity 2. frighten Infinity Shockwave fills the area. Infinity pulling loose, chassis cracking, goes down backwards a bit. Harry [Never give up, never surrender -> 10!] Harry bends, shakes his head, then rallies from the hit, inspires the team. [Superspeed read from the Book of Super-Heroic Quips!, well-dogeared, passed down from Grandma] "That's what happens when you mess with my friends." I - "And this is what happens when you think you're going to win." Ground within the effect of the device begins to flicker/phase, as she starts to make a Wound. C - Undoing everything she's been fighting for. Ad - Cosmic level. Will fall forever, even if survive. (All the Infinity versions are doing this out of sheer hopelessness.) C - Try and heal? look to Everard. [Superior -> 7!] Immediate impulse to combat the formation of the Wound. Need spirits ... call them? There are a lot of ghosts ... Magus wants to get away. Can stop him ... Summer is starting to do something ... C - Possession of the gadget to be able to get out through the spirit world. [Possession -> 9!] ... taking the Magus with her. Summer's Moment of Truth Infinity is drilling down through all realities, making the worst wound of all, let all reality burn ... Summer is still linked -- still feel the well of loss that's driving this whole thing. Mask off, costume on ... trigger a transformation request. All this armor and tech and built onto Infinity's self as a shell, will crack and burst off ... and it means she has to feel everything Infinity is feeling, even as she knows what it's like to lose Link, I do know what you're feeling, you're experiencing, I have this pain, too, and you can be, too. Defenses stripped away. Effect of the Wound is holding at a point where it's amplifying. S - crying. tells on Infinity, body lurching, jerks, armor falling away / opening ... Summer mirrors that motion. Alycia can see how much it's hurting. CAn hear Summer say, "... I can't." Alycia's Moment of Truth A - Unlike me, the pain is bigger than Summer is. To Summer: "I've got this. I'm sorry." Theoretical background for keynomes (two years). Draws keynomic energy into her gloves (temptation! change the world! change the past!) and slam it down into Dr I, to lock her into Here and Now, with all the self-sustaining energy possible. Infinity is struggling up from this ... but solidifies into a non-changing quantum state, and abstract form like a statue in front of WDW. And the bots turn from stone to dust. Sparkling dust flying down from the sky around us. Charlotte C - Take him to the Grove. E - Your friends have just taken care of part of the problem. Now I have to make sure I don't do my part of the problem. C - (can see statues flickering out) E - We don't want to be here when it stops happening. i was responsible for this little space. Though it will go away after you do. I'm very sorry -- you've done so well, and so marvelously ... better than I ever would. That's why i called you. You've done wonderfully. Just want you to know ... World shakes She's standing before a dormer window, in the family sitting room. The one that looks over the back lawn, the intact gazebo. Family is down there. Afternoon lemonade and tea time. The things here are much clearer to remember than Halcyon. The clarity of weird little idiosyncrasies with father, and visitors to the parlor ... little family artifacts she now recognizes as Vyortovian that were never noticed as a child. Testing memory. At the door of the bedroom. Nothing is there that is like clearly creepy. But see something different at the vanity. A glimmer. A broach. And a staff leaning against the wall. And a Note: "... as I was saying, I think you'll do a fine job. And, again. I'm sorry, because I don't think you'll have as much fun as I did. -- E." -------------------------- An Epilog Outpouring of energy from the keynome. Shadows of Summer going across time and space ... say hi to Charlotte? And maybe a memory-damaged Summer dropped off in Leo's scrapyard ... the original Pneuma.