12 06 08

<GM> You are at work, late afternoon. Close to the end of the shift.
<GM> What are you working on?
<Adisa> Crashed starship engine. Namely what does it run on and is it worth taking the time to adapt to earth tech.
<GM> How long have you been working on it?
<Adisa> Three Days, and I still have no idea what powers it.
<Adisa> Most frustrating.
<GM> Stone allocation?
<Adisa> 11
<GM> Sustained?
<Adisa> Er… Actually, make that 7.
<GM> Thought it seemed high.
<GM> Alright. The engine itself is mostly electrical. In other words, we're looking at a lot of precious metals (gold, silver, and platinum mostly… whatever planet this comes from is high on the conductor index). Instead of a silicon board for the base, some strange kind of crystal is being used. Looks like diamond or quartz. Pretty tough. Rates as diamond on the scale of hardness, but doesn't…
<GM> …have the same crystalline matrix.
<GM> So, if you picture a series of layered circuit boards (like computer motherboards), but instead made of quartz (super-light quartz) shot through with gold, silver and platinum.
<GM> The actual method of energy generation is still entirely foreign to you.
<Adisa> Okay, it's possible that the crystal is some form of semi-hyperconductor (a conductor that has a higher conductivity than a superconductor, essentially pushing the electrons through it).
<GM> The actual circuit pathways are unusual as well, but you can at least make sense out of those. The logic, actually, you'd say the entire science, behind it is different, but you can grok some of the curves.
<Adisa> That would explain part of energy output, but you would still need some initial electron source to hyperconduct.
<GM> That part is still eluding you.

  • Adisa checks time.

<GM> Might take in the line of… 50 more stones to understand even the barest part of it.
<GM> Getting real close to your punch out time, and you are waaaaaay over quota for your overtime. Higherups might get touchy if you clock extra hours.
<Adisa> What's the turn length for this?
<GM> Panel = 1 hour.
<Adisa> Okay, time to clock out says I.
<Adisa> Still, it's an interesting system they came up with.
<Adisa> Do I deallocate stones now?
<GM> Sure.
<GM> Where do you go after work?
<Adisa> "Okay people, it's quitting time. Go home to your families. if you don't have a family, start one."

  • Adisa heads home to work on his little side project. He really wants it up and running before the war breaks out.

<GM> Yes, about that.
<GM> You arrive home, and apparently you've got some messages.

  • Adisa hits the play button

<GM> System messages from the BBS you frequent.
<Adisa> okay, what do the messages say?
<GM> Some of them are random gibberish from other people on the board speculating (the way only the internet can) about what's going on. One of them is from watcher616.
<watcher616> NNTR. 'Extended vacation' lasting longer than expected. Hopefully back soon. Situation is degrading. Be prepared.
<watcher616> Message ends.

  • Adisa speculates on what NNTR might mean.

<GM> NNTR - No Need To Reply
<Adisa> ah.
<GM> NNTO - No Need To Open -normally means the entire message is contained in the subject line.

  • Adisa goes to work on the power booster. Obviously he has less time than he thought.

<GM> And because Invention should actually mean something, I'll let you stay at that.

  • Adisa plays the A-Team theme music.

=-= GM has changed the topic to “Physician is GO!”
<Nigel> ok
<Nigel> What time are we starting at?
<GM> That's a good question. What time are we starting at?
<GM> And, while we're at it, where are you?
<Nigel> OK then
<Nigel> Home, and in the morning.

  • Nigel is Waking up, getting dressed, groomed, showered, etc.

<GM> Check on that. Morning routine is a go. What are your plans for the day?
<Nigel> Checking my messages to see if I have any more information from Strange, and if not…

  • Nigel is going to try to find the..

<Nigel> Artist?
<Nigel> The other sorcerer.
<Nigel> Was that his name?
<GM> Artist.
<GM> No more information from Strange. You have contact information for the artist (or, at least, you know where he lives and can get contact information from that). Or, you could try summoning something to pass a message to him.
<Nigel> Hold on. Before that. I WOULD have mentioned him and my suspicions to Strange, if you would allowm e to add that this late in the game
<GM> Not a prob.
<DrStrange> What would you have asked him?
<Nigel> So…I ran into an practitioner the other day, accompanied by a young girl. He went by the name the Artist. Have you ever heard of him?
<DrStrange> Answer in the affirmative. Strange has some past dealings with the Artist, though more an a peer basis. The Artist studies a different school of magic that certainly has some questionable practices.
<DrStrange> Though all past dealings were of an amiable nature, the Artist has some big skeletons in the closet.
<DrStrange> Strange has met Bianca. Finds her a charming girl, almost entirely devoid of magical ability.
<Nigel> Huh. Well, that is indeed interesting, though not unexpected.
<Nigel> Would he be an OK contact for me?
<DrStrange> Bianca's mother was a warden (warden: a non-magical bodyguard who protects a powerful sorcerer) who protected the Artist.
<DrStrange> Strange would say use your best judgment. The Artist is not someone to cross, but neither is he one of the upper echelon sorcerers of the magical community. He's very potent in his specialties, and not potent in almost everything else. One of his specialties is warding.
<Nigel> Obviously.
<Nigel> OK, back to the present.
<DrStrange> Strange has not entirely traced the Artist's lineage, but he shares some magical training in common both with the person who originally trained you and the Magus.

  • Nigel is contacting the Artist after he gets up and around in the morning.

<DrStrange> How do you want to go about it?
<Nigel> Didn't I get a phone number from him/
<Nigel> ?
<DrStrange> Sounds good.

  • Nigel calls the Artist, as i allocate three stones to social skills.
  • TheArtist answers the phone after the third ring.

<TheArtist> Hello?
<Nigel> Hello, this is the physician. How are you today sir?
<TheArtist> I am well. And yourself?
<Nigel> I would like to say I was better, but…well, I won't beat around the bush. Can we meet in person?
<Nigel> Things have transpired that I would like to discuss in person.
<TheArtist> Sounds serious. What might this be about?
<Nigel> The recent Elemental activity in the city.

  • Nigel tries to use his social skills to gauge his response.

<Nigel> To see if he is surprised, knows about the topic already, etc.

  • TheArtist responds in a measured tone, free of inflection. Hard to tell if he's just naturally cagey or putting on a poker voice

<TheArtist> Are you referring to the recent altercation in the park, or something else?
<Nigel> Something additional.
<TheArtist> Pray tell, what might that be?
<Nigel> Would it be permissible to discuss this in person? The details are long and involved, and I would prefer in person instead of the phone.
<TheArtist> Certainly. What location would you prefer?
<Nigel> How about the eatery where I first introduced myself?
<TheArtist> Very passable. When shall I find you there?
<Nigel> How about 1pm, just in time for lunch?
<TheArtist> I shall be there.
<Nigel> Thank you. See you there.

  • Nigel hangs up the phone
  • TheArtist click

<GM> Anything you want to do before we jump-cut to the eatery?
<Nigel> Nope, not that I can think of.
<GM> Alright. Jump-Cut Go!
<GM> The eatery in question is mostly empty. Well, except for a table in the center where a gentleman in a leather jacket, jeans, and dark glasses gives you a once over as you come in. A few other patrons, less than half a dozen all told, eat meals in relative silence.

  • Nigel walks through the front door of the restaurant.

<GM> Are you right on time or early?
<GM> or late?
<Nigel> Early, like 10 minutes.
<TheArtist> Anything you want to do before your guest shows up?
<Nigel> Nope, going to get a table, get menus, and order a milkshake
<Nigel> Nope, aside from doing those things I mean

  • TheArtist arrives 5 minutes early, casting a slow glance around the restaurant before his eyes settle on the Physician. Nods to the hostess, then indicates the Physician's table before crossing the room with a ground-eating stride.
  • TheArtist offers the Physician a short bow before sweeping into the chair across from him.
  • Nigel stands up when he approaches the table.

<Nigel> So, how fare you today?
<TheArtist> Passable, very passable. Work proceeds apace. And yourself? I trust the day has treated you well?
<Nigel> So far, yes, indeed.
<Nigel> Thank you for agreeing to meet me.
<TheArtist> Of course. It is not often men such as ourselves have a chance to converse, other than when calamity is imminent.

  • TheArtist pauses

<TheArtist> Calamity is imminent, isn't it?
<Nigel> If things keep proceeding as they are, it is possible.
<TheArtist> Of course. The work never ends. Tell me then, what have you uncovered?
<Nigel> Well, my sources indicate that the recent Elemental activity is soon going to culminate into an all out war between them and humanity.

  • Nigel tries to gauge his reaction to this.
  • TheArtist Pauses. Blinks. Pauses.

<TheArtist> Pardon?
<TheArtist> (His reaction: seems surprised. I assume you still have three stones allocated?)
<Nigel> A war between elementals and humanity
<Nigel> OH! Yes, I never changed them.
<TheArtist> Well now. That would be unpleasant. What might have sparked this? I take it the incident in the park was merely a ripple, neither the stone nor the wave?
<Nigel> Correct. This was all apparently underway well before I got involved.
<TheArtist> This bears further investigation. What intelligence do you have?
<Nigel> This information was given to me directly from one who is close to the source. The girl we were pursuing when we…visited, your apartment recently.
<TheArtist> She is trustworthy?
<Nigel> I believe so.
<TheArtist> Do we have any details?
<Nigel> Plus the evidence is quite extraordinary. The air the other night was absolutely CRAWLING with elementals, way more than any normal activity.
<TheArtist> Who is the girl?
<Nigel> Yes, just that the general gist is that they are upset about the way humanity treats them, summoning, etc. And that this is obviously being orchestrated by a third party, as elementals would not organize like this on their own.
<Nigel> Unfortunately, I am not 100% certain of the girls true identity.
<TheArtist> Not generally, no. While elementals may have varying levels of intellect, like any spirit, there mental processes are almost universally geared towards performing their function. Though in some cases, that function is exceedingly predisposed to violence.
<TheArtist> Does the child have a name? Something that is preferably shorter than 'The Child' or 'The Girl'?
<Nigel> Sprite was what she went by.

  • TheArtist shakes head

<TheArtist> Useless to try and track her by that name. Do we even know if she is human?
<Nigel> I believe she was, but wearing a suit that gave her elemental like abilities. (please correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that was what we said about her in the end.)
<TheArtist> (that seems to be the conclusion you came to. Whether it is correct or not, who can say? No one is an expert here)
<TheArtist> That kind of thing exists?
<TheArtist> Is it an enchantment?
<Nigel> Oh yes. The things they can do with their "technology" these days, they can almsot simulate magic.
<TheArtist> Dear me.
<TheArtist> What do you need from me?
<Nigel> I was wondering if you had any more sources that you could tap to determine if there is a way to stop this war.
<Nigel> I have almost reached the end of mine, and if they come up empty, it is always good to have a backup plan.
<TheArtist> Certainly, I will see what my resources uncover. Though I had little luck in scrying on her, there may be other possibilities.
<Nigel> Thank you.
<Nigel> I do appreciate your assistance in this matter.
<TheArtist> This girl, Sprite, seems to be the key to more information. I will concentrate my search on her for the time being.
<Nigel> I believe we have exhausted all of the information she can provide.
<TheArtist> There are few enough of our kind around these days. It is a pleasure to work with those of like minds.
<Nigel> She seemed to be more of a private or maybe a lieutenant, when we need to be talking to a general.
<TheArtist> (Specialist was the term she used)
<TheArtist> (For the record, Cally on BSG is a specialist.)
<Nigel> Or perhaps she was a specialist.
<TheArtist> Yes, it would be nice to work our way up the chain of command until we found someone with answers… but if she is our only direct connection, then one works with what one has.
<Nigel> Agreed, work with what you have
<Nigel> Anyhow, are we ready to order? The meal is on me.
<TheArtist> Certainly. I'll have the grilled sirloin tips.

  • Nigel enjoys his steak, and makes good on his offer to pay for the meal. At the end of the meal, he would cordially thank the man for his time. During the dinner he would make small talk about there being so few magic users around.

<TheArtist> All right, we can wrap that up. Actually, unless there is something else major, we can cut that there and jump over to Andre.
<Nigel> Sounds liek a plan.
<TheArtist> Grand.
=-= TheArtist has changed the topic to “Paladin is GO!”
<Andre> (Mid-afternoon alright?)
<TheArtist> (Perfectly fine with me.)

  • Andre Inspects the filler joint that Marissa has put on the window frame

<Andre> Excellent work! You'll be a natural in no time. Alex, come help her finish this sill. The rest of you can take a fifteen minute break.
<GM> (You are where?)

  • Andre smiles at the crew of eight former gang members that are building this home

<Andre> We're ahead of schedule, good job everyone!
<GM> (Brainwashing 101)
<GM> (Got it)
<Andre> (Stone sin social (4) and carpentry(3))

  • Andre sets the caulker down and picks up the hammer adjusting the small earpiece hooked to the scanner on his belt

<Andre> ((AT an abandoned lot building homeless shelters mid-afternoon)
<Andre> (Brooklyn to be precise)
<GM> Scanner is a police scanner, yes?
<Andre> (Oui)
<GM> (Thanks)
<GM> Alright, while you are directing your new lackies (which if you want as followers you have to invest stones in them), you get a buzz over the scanner.

  • Andre adjusts the volume slightly

<Scanner> Car 292, we have a 10-10 on Lynch street, over.
<Car292> 10-4 dispatch, we're enroute. Seems pretty quite, though.
<Car292> (10-10 is possible crime: suspicious persons, shots fired, etc)
<Andre> (How far is that from here?)
<Car292> (Lynch street is Brooklyn, so we'll say within your 5 mile distance)
<Andre> Alright, Liza, think you can get the crew back to work at the end of break? I have to run an errand. It shouldn't take long.
<GM> She nods, and you are able to escape with little notice.

  • Andre ducks around the back of th ebuilding, looking for people, and when he is certain he is unobserved…
  • Paladin teleports to Lynch Street

<GM> (Wearing what?)
<GM> (You are armored up?)
<Paladin> (The armor)
<Car292> Dispatch, this is Car 292. I'm not seeing anything here. Nature <BZZT>the<BZZT>

  • Car292 fizzlefizzlecrackle
  • Car292 pop
  • Car292 end of transmission

<Scanner> Car 292? Car 292, respond, over.
<Scanner> You out there 292?

  • Paladin looks for the source of the disturbance

<GM> Other than a car with a smoking engine block, a large creature about 9' tall made from pure fire that melts the asphalt as it walks down the street, and a penny on the ground, you don't notice anything unusual.
<GM> Check that: a police car with a smoking engine block.
<Paladin> The men inside?
<GM> What men?
<Paladin> (The police…no one inside? Smoking cinders?)
<GM> I mean, there's something that looks superficially similar to extra cajun blackened chicken, but nothing immediately obvious as human.

  • Paladin mutters to himself about how much this is going to hurt and then teleports the distance to head the fire creature off.
  • Paladin also makes a nice long spear of jade

<Paladin> Halt!
<GM> (That takes some stones.)
<Paladin> (two in teleport, three in jade weapon)
<GM> (Got it)
<Scanner> There is a 10-70 on Lynch Street. Need emergency fire and medical crews. Officers down.

  • Paladin watches the creature

<Scanner> The voice is young, female, has an accent you just can't place, and you have definitely heard it before.

  • Elemental keeps walking right on forward towards the, in comparison, puny human
  • Paladin files that bit of information away for later thought and pays attention to the fire elemental

<Scanner> Dispatch: Who the hell is on this channel?
<elemental> Just walking forward, which means it will walk straight over you if you don't move. Doesn't seem like its attacking, or even that it knows you're there.
<elemental> (that should have been a /me)

  • Paladin holds his ground and then reaches out to the elemental (shifting 5 stones to defense) and teleports the bother of them..straight into the bay (9 stones)

<Paladin> (defense is 11, teleport 9)
<elemental> (bother?)
<Paladin> both
<GM> (teleporting directly into the water?)
<Paladin> (yep)
<GM> The fire licks up and down your arm and the heat goes up several degrees, but the armor absorbs enough of the punishment (Damage: 0). The teleportation works fine, and you are both in the bay.
<GM> Fire and water meet, and fire is not happy about it. Water isn't terribly happy either, as it goes straight to steam. Which means you're now standing in the middle of a super-heated sauna and sucking in hot air beyond the boiling point of water.

  • elemental is unhappy.
  • elemental notices you.
  • Paladin is not shifting stones from defense and backpedals while shifting stones form close combat to defense also (17 stones)

<elemental> You've sucked in enough boiling steam to scald the inside of your lungs nicely, but while it sucks beyond all comprehension, it won't kill you. (Damage: 1 white, from you, not the armor).
<Paladin> (make that 20 stones defense)
<elemental> (panel ends. action boxes clear. Energy regens).

  • Paladin holds breath to try to avoid more damage to the lungs
  • Paladin allocates

<Paladin> His voice is hoarse but he still manages to grind out,"I said Halt."
<elemental> (You're outside the cloud right now, so as long as you don't go back in, you're fine. But, the cloud entirely envelops the elemental).

  • elemental moving sluggishly

<Paladin> (Social skills and close combat allocated to defense.3 and 15 respectively)
<elemental> The level of water in the bay has dropped noticeably
<elemental> (both are shifted to defense, or just close combat?)
<Paladin> (Just close combat, I am trying to communicate with it)
<elemental> (Save the stones… the entire bay is basically a cauldron of boiling water. You can barely hear yourself.)
<elemental> (Crackling, sparking, expanding steam, the works)

  • Paladin teleports to a higher vantage point on the Brooklyn Bridge

<Paladin> (So defense and teleport)
<elemental> (Got it)

  • elemental spends stones on moving sluggishly out of the water.

<elemental> (Health 5 ->2)
<elemental> (that's between last round and this round… not as much water covering the elemental, so less damage)
<elemental> (still can't see it very well though)
<GM> From higher up, its easier to see through the thinning cloud of steam (and a lot cooler). The fire creature is less than half of its original size, and at the rate its moving, it will entirely dissolve into steam before it can exit the bay.

  • Paladin seeing the damage caused by the elemental..teleports to it again (shifting stones into defense from close combat (15) while holding his breath again and then teleports them both further out into the ocean (5 stones(

<Paladin> (retcon)
<Paladin> (Acceptable?)
<GM> (Of course.)

  • Paladin Takes careful aim with the spear of jade focusing his intent and then throws straight into the cloud of steam (ranged combat, 7 stones)

<Paladin> (9 stones w/specialty, sorry)

  • GM quite impossibly, the jade spear finds purchase in something that has no tangible body

<GM> (Health: 2 -> 0)

  • GM the elemental just suddenly winks out like a snuffed candle
  • Paladin works to catch his breath through scalded lungs, reaching into and through his armor for his pay as you go phone. He thumbs The Physician on speed dial

=-= GM has changed the topic to “Paladin/Physician”
<Nigel> YEs?
<Paladin> *ring*
<Nigel> Yes?
<Paladin> It has begun…
<Paladin> Turn on your television or radio.
<Nigel> Oh no. Are you hurt?
<Paladin> I'll live. The officers that found it may not be so lucky.
<Nigel> Do you need me at the scene?
<Paladin> No. But be on the look out
<Sprite> (For the record: You'll be fully healed this time tomorrow)
<Paladin> (Keen)
<Paladin> I need to call Adisa and I don't have many minutes left. Be careful.
<Sprite> Ambulances and back-up units are starting to arrive, you can hear the sirens. All told, that's pretty nice response time, since you were engaged in fighting about, oh, a minute.
<Nigel> COnsider myself looked out for.

  • Paladin scans the bay looking for signs of damage or injured people.

<Paladin> (Damned lucky no one swins in that thing)
<Paladin> (swims)
<Nigel> Should I call Adisa for you?
<Sprite> All damage was sustained by the Bay itself, specifically a substantial drop in water level, some minor structural damage
<Sprite> No injuries, and the actual damage could have been much worse.
<Paladin> That would be very kind of you, thank you.

  • Paladin disconnects

=-= Sprite has changed the topic to “All Together Now”
<Sprite> Paladin - While you were surveying, you saw Sprite standing on the same building, a short distance from you. Her arms are wrapped tight around herself, like shes cold.

  • Nigel Calls Adisa

<Paladin> "Pheles,if ever there were a time to find those other pieces this is it…"He looks directly at Sprite and walks slowly up to her (shifting stones to social(3))
<Adisa> Yes?

  • Sprite whispers

<Sprite> It didn't have to be like this. There was still a chance.
<Nigel> Paladin just called me.<Nigel> It has begin
<Nigel> begun*
<Paladin> There still is. But not without your help. It's time to choose a side, Sprite.
<Adisa> Damnation. Where?
<Nigel> He did not specify. Apparently he was able to handle it, but told us to be on our guard.
<Sprite> What choice? If I side with the Avatara, I have to fight you. If I side with you, the Avatara kills me. Where's the choice?
<Nigel> He said to turn on the TV or radio.

  • Nigel turns on his old radio.

<Sprite> (let me know when radios/tvs go on)
<Sprite> (good call!)
<Nigel> *click*

  • Adisa turns on CNN.com

<Paladin> Choose to help us end this war. Be an emissary between both sides and not just for them.
<Paladin> We can stop this. The elementals have been..misinformed. There is still hope that things may be set right for those of us who yet draw breath.
<AllTheNewsThatsPlotRelated> Police and fire units are on the scene of what was almost a massive blaze in the Brooklyn area.
<Nigel> Brooklyn, Adisa. Apparently it happened in Brooklyn.
<Adisa> Right. I'm on my way.
<AllTheNewsThatsPlotRelated> What seemed to be a 9' tall human torch was dumped into the Bay. Though some structural damage has resulted, loss of life seems to be minimal. We now go live, on the scene with some random news reporter who can barely speak but looks good in a tight blouse.
<Nigel> I will meet you there.

  • Nigel hangs up with Adisa
  • Nigel haeds out the door, in case he can be of help.

<Sprite> And exactly how will you protect me?

  • Adisa heads over to Brooklyn bay.

<Paladin> Do you need my protection? I need to speak to the generals. We need to stop this before it gets any worse.
<Sprite> There is only one general. Only one thing… one entity that the elementals will listen to. The Avatara.
<Paladin> I will stand by your side to protect you as much as I can, but you must make the final choice.
<Sprite> I'll need protection if I side with humans…. Protection from this.
<Paladin> The Avatara…It must be given the opportunity to see both sides of this conflict. Instead it is twisted through the machinations of another.

  • Sprite taps her forehead

<Sprite> Twisted by what? I can't even imagine what might have woken it up!
<Paladin> That is what we must find out.

  • Water_Elephant arrives and starts putting out fires.

<Sprite> But if you want to talk to it… you can just wait around. It will be here. Soon.

  • Paladin feels a chill run up his spine despite the lingering heat

<Paladin> How soon?

  • Sprite drops to her knees, the tips of her fingers white as they press against her skull

<Sprite> Really….. really….. soon….
<GM> (and hey, look, its 9:30! Time to call it a night)
<Paladin> (jerk)

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