Ghosts of the past

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Ghosts of the past

Post by Casey on Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:08 pm

I admit, I feel a certain nostalgia for games that we've played in the past. This thread is a tribute to those games. I'll start off with the background story of my character in the Salt Lake Supers game. I wrote it quickly (that doesn't mean I was in a hurry or rushed, though), but still I think it's one of the best - if not THE best - background story I've ever written.


__________________________________


Ghost's Story

Somewhere in the Caucasus. It didn't matter where. This job was like any other. He lay in the snow, invisible. A military reticle slowly moved over the cabin. It didn't matter who came out next; there was no rear exit; another body was sure to join the one already next to the door, the red blood mix with the pure snow. A Bible verse danced in front of his vision. It didn't matter. Nothing mattered but sight picture, controlled breathing, controlled breathing.

A deer passed right next to him, oblivious. He could have reached out and touched it. It didn't matter. What mattered was his prey in the cabin. Some sort of meeting. The media called them freedom fighters. His employers called them terrorists. It didn't matter. He was being well paid.

Breakout. The three remaining tried to run for it. They didn't have a chance. Three more bodies in the snow. Their blood. Their blood in the snow. Was it Isaiah? Something about blood and snow. It didn't matter, and he took pictures with a compact telephoto lens so he would get his payment. Then he would go home, and forget. Forget, until the next time.

It was always like this. Hiding. The rifle. That was life. That was survival. His first squirrel, with his father's twenty two caliber rifle. Not for sport. Not because he needed a target. He was hungry. He was a child. His father had the proud distiction of being the first to be convicted of a clandestine meth lab in the state of Ohio. He was hungry. It was Christmas. Shouldn't he be able to have a meal on Christmas? The blood of the squirrel left a mark in the snow. He cooked it over a campfire, and burned his fingers on the hot meat. He would be more careful next time.

He placed his rifle in his drag bag, getting it ready to be shipped home. He connected to a passing satellite to send his proof of kill. Within thirty minutes he had his pay. From whom? It didn't matter. He already had a bottle of cheap Russian vodka opened. This part was easy. Walking back to the rendesvous point. The hard part was past. The blood in the snow. He didn't care. In a day he will have forgotten.

In and out of foster care. His mother in and out of rehab. His father in and out of prison. He was better off alone. Always alone. With a rifle in the back woods of Ohio he could live. Not with his mother and whatever man she was selling her body to for some of that crystal. Glass. Cloud. Ice. Whatever it was called. With a rifle he was free. He had food. He had protection. He had everything he needed. He was alone. No one could find him. No one could stop him. He was free.

He stopped. He heard something. Quickly taking out his rifle, he scoped it. Target of opportunity. A bonus payment. Shoulder. Align sights. Sight picture. Control breathing. Squeeze the trigger. A woman's face fled from him. He didn't look. He knew. He knew the blood in the snow already. He had seen it before he had taken the shot. It didn't matter.

On the plane back to the States, his body was sleeping; but his mind was awake. He had not shot four people at that cabin. He had not shot that woman. He had murdered himself. His soul. Who he was. Yes. He had murdered those people. He woke up in a cold sweat as if he was still in the Caucasus, looking down, invisible, with his rifle. Yes. He was a murderer. Yes, now he remembered, but not from where. The blood in the snow. He remembered. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. It was Isaiah. And it did matter.

First things first. Back to Ohio. His mother had had a child while incarcerated in prison. She was out now, collecting his sister's goverment check. She signed guardianship over to him. Not because of the five foot long fifty caliber rifle, but because of the look in his eyes. And because it was the right thing to do? Not likely.

He swore to give up his riches. He lived with Janet in a duplex in the Glendale neighborhood in Salt Lake City. He helped Janet with her homework, made sure she ate her vegetables and brushed her teeth. No one knew it, but Janet is the safest child all of the city.

Then Colonel Cooper called. He had a job for him, and needed his knowledge of Eastern Europe. Would he take the job? No, not without knowing. Could he kill again? No, but he had devised a powerful tranquilizer, powerful enough to take down a man with one shot.

Cooper showed him. Pictures. Videos. Recordings. All of it. Crimson Riptide had enough weapon grade plutonium to make a nuclear device. Would he help? Yes. He helped raid the secret base, firing a tranquilizing round at Anton Tupolov as he tried to make his escape in his 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC. He retrieved a briefcase from him with the locations of the secret caches of plutonium.

He did his job. All should have been well. Crimson Riptide should have been a footnote for the books of esoteric historic trivia. Russian politics intervened, and Caspian Tupolov – Anton's son – got off with a fine and a suspended prison sentence. He now seeks the rifleman who took down his father's empire, with the hopes of rebuilding that empire into what his father believed it could be.

Be that as it may, Ghost has important things to do. VIPER threatens the nation. Criminals roam the street. He will have no rest. He will fight evil.

Why? Because it matters.
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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Casey on Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:10 pm

And don't forget Janet's picture:



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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:10 pm

Ah, Ghost. I remember thee well. I recall the gigantic gun that caused such nonlethal blasts of hurting on all that you did not ordain. I imagine that now you are roaming the landscape, shooting stars, making them supernova, and enjoying a good laugh afterward.
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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:36 pm

I'm very glad you created this thread.

I have collected an oversized mass of written material over the years, which work has generated a great family history of oddball characters. Some them were played for a time. Others never made it to the spotlight. And then there are the black sheep that just hang out in the closet.

We do not speak of the black sheep.
We do not think about the black sheep unless we open the closet to get a pressed shirt.
We never speak of the black sheep.



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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:49 pm

So, here is my first contribution.

We all remember Deorwine, son of Dior. The dauntless spearman who hailed from Rohan and yet looked like a Gondorian. Ah heck, he didn't even ride a horse. What kind of spearman was he anyway? Just a man with a spear who walked the Middle-Earth looking for wrongs to right. He never met a battle axe he couldn't handle even when the handle ended up in his chest cavity.

Oh, Deorwine, son of Dior. You were a good friend. Much better than that cartographer twit who turned into a zombie.  pirat  pirat 

P.S. I'll confess that I haven't read some of these documents for years. So, I'll comment on the rules of grammar I ignored in my unruly days or defame the anime-based characters I once considered the apex of pure penmanship.

Deorwine, son of Dior a man with a common past, taken by the shroud of mystery which overcame him into darkness......

Deorwine was a boy who grew up in the poorer, but surviving lower neighborhoods of Minis Tirith in a family of moderate size.  His father Dior, the proud owner of an inn with the name of The Pothelm, was a man who was known only for his reputation of being able to survive even when it seemed like there was no econmoic hope.  No matter the situation, Dior was somehow able to pull his family and buisness through all such times even when circumstances forced nearly everyone in the neighborhood either go under or petition the King for assistence.  That was the atmosphere upon which Deorwine lived, under a roof that always remained solid and firm no matter the circumstance.  
As the boy grew though into a man he expressed an interest in the military, something that his father readily approved of as he too had been an officer in his younger days before settling down with the inn and married life.  So at his coming of age the young boy left his father’s house and applied to begin training in the Rohirrim infantry taking with him the determination to make something of himself.  His labors paid off, in a few years he was able to rise in rank and earn his way as an officer in charge of men.  He seemed on his way to make establishing himself as his father had done before him
The new officer’s first assignment was to join a contigent of Rohirrim men and travel to the north and east, to the abandoned settlement of Thurbad which had been left due to flooding  and other causes that were never fully explained by the refugees that reported to the incident at Minas Tirith.  Their mission was to go and secure the town once more for Rohan as it provided an excellent economic position on the northern rivers and might act as a secondary port town to Tirith herself, putting the Dunlands at a great economic disadvantage.
The journey itself went on without a hitch, yet the strangeness of it all began upon entering the city.  The scout reports as they came back claimed that the town as it stood was devoid of any life, and though a little water logged seemed fit for entry, so without delay the entire company moved into the town.  As Deorwine moved with his small body of men near the back of the line, there came shouts from the front as if they had encountered something.  As the calls for battle soon followed there came a brilliant flash of light that overpowered the man insomuch that he felt himself fall to the ground, lost to the overpowering force.  
In that moment the shroud, the curse came upon the man and wrapped him tightly into its lengths.
The next thing Deorwine of Minas Tirith remebered was walking down a road he was unfamiliar with in a place he had never been before.  The streets of the ruined town were gone, he found himself in the middle of a region he did not recognize and dressed in clothes of a  travelerover his soldier’s uniform of Rohan.  Confused and shocked as to his whereabouts, the young man stumbled his way through the land he found himself until he met a smalltime farmer and asked him concerning his whereabouts.  To his shock he realized that he was not far from Minas Tirith, that he had not taken the main road, but the trail he traveled would soon take him straight back.  Somehow in the blink of an moment he had traveled from his destination to his place of origin in the same moment or what seemed a moment for him.  
His return to his hometown though held more surprises though.  Immdiatly he went to the Rohirrim infantry headquarters only to find out that they had never sent a contigent up there, that there never had been a need as Thurbad had been acting as a proserpous port town for the Dunlands hence to send men there would be considered an act of war.  Furthermore on looking into the records of men, it was found that there was no such man as Deorwine in their current files and at that he was cast out into the streets as a nuisance.  
Alone and without career, Deorwine walked the streets like a dead man with only one destination in mind home, his sure place of stablity.  Walking down the familiar streets he arrived at the front doors of his home, but in that moment the final shock came and settled upon him.  There was an inn that stood before him, but the sign had changed and everything inside and outside was different from what he remebered.  Even his family and all the memories he once had were gone in an instant.  Utterly alone and utterly changed forever the man entered the bar without anything, a one who had lost his sense of being in a brilliant flash of light.  

Deorwine stands at average height with a build that can be described as slightly larger than meduim, the perfect body build for a soldier.  He is shrouded in the tanned grey cloaks of a traveler with the colors and uniform of Rohan underneath, but well hidden by the traveling cloak.  His experience as a soldier gave him the basic skills of soldiering, yet in most senses he still very much the unseasoned vetren in terms of actual combat.  As the harbringer of such unfortunate circumstance his motivations are simply to discover his strange shift from one seeming life to this and more importantly to honor the memories of both his father and Rohan which he will continue to serve and protect.        
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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:15 pm

Wow. This is bad. This thing is a living, breathing grammatical nightmare. Comma splices, improper uses of commas, run-on sentences, structure issues, awkward sentence structure, little to no descriptive language, dull word choice, confusing story progression. And that's only the beginning of the problems. What a sad wreck of rotting flotsam.

How is it that I ever made it through college on an English degree?
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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Casey on Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:56 pm

Alpha Centauri wrote:Ah, Ghost. I remember thee well. I recall the gigantic gun that caused such nonlethal blasts of hurting on all that you did not ordain. I imagine that now you are roaming the landscape, shooting stars, making them supernova, and enjoying a good laugh afterward.


You know, for my first Champions character, I feel I did well, concept-wise (although Tom mostly created the stats part). He was great in a fight as a "support" guy. He wasn't going to take a whole bunch of damage, but he was very difficult to hit. And the damage he dealt out wasn't piddly, either. His invisibility offered other strategic and tactical advantages.
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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Casey on Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:57 pm

Alpha Centauri wrote:So, here is my first contribution.

We all remember Deorwine, son of Dior...

Yes we do. However, I don't really remember his background at all. Thanks for reposting.


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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Casey on Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:58 pm

Alpha Centauri wrote:Much better than that cartographer twit who turned into a zombie.  pirat  pirat 


Haha! Some characters just don't work out in the end. Like certain bards, or blind Elves....


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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:29 pm

Here's one that goes even further back. Back to the dawn of roleplaying history when I decided to play a dude who was a direct rip of Mat Cauthon from the Wheel of Time series. Ladies and Germs, I give you the shocking and bland back story of one, Mathames Blufer.

Character Sketch

The man known as Mathames Blufer, nicknamed Thanatos: the eluding specter of death, hailed from a small settlement known only as the Four Towns, a region well out the way of mainstream human activities on an island on the Eastern sea. The descendants of Mathames, the Blufers, were the second settlers drawn to the island long ago in search of a pure well spring of magic from which to create an empire of order. They built a city, named it Glory, and reigned until an army lead by the descendants of the nomadic Vestani drove them from their native state, destroying the town with the exception of the cities castle and its wellspring for reason out of fear of awaking the insane monarch, the immortal founder of the city, it carried within its walls. The battle was decisive though, the aftermath drove the family abroad in the land and after many centuries the name of Blufer was forgotten among the names of the houses of power on the island, only as a minor noble house in many aspects. After many years Glory was rebuilt and started again under the care of the merchant’s league, but its founders had been erased and scattered from general human knowledge.
Within a few centuries there came a Blufer whom destiny called Regis Blufer. A man born into poverty, he made his life’s work as a military soldier, a position that won him fame and fortune enough to build up the Blufer name to the status as nobles. The man however in his old age succumbed to the wiles of gambling and by the end of his life had lost nearly all of his fortune save a goodly portion of land near the area of Four Towns, which he bequeathed to his the rest of his posterity. Thanks to Regis, the Blufer name was restored to a former remnant of its glory, though again only as minor house and of little importance.
Mathames was born to a family who lived in the forest north of the Four Towns, alone and out of the way, working as forest guides to travelers and merchants alike wishing to pass the expansive woods to the north. Growing up in such an atmosphere, young Mat was taught to read, write, and perform the services of a woods guide. As the reputation of the Blufers also rested on weaponry, so too Mat at a given age learned the ways of weaponry, starting first with a simple bow and qurarterstaff, and later on learning the art of the spear. In this manner the young boy grew to manhood.
However, because of his name and secluded life in the forest, Mat never made many friends in the Four Towns and would often be teased by local boys Nesteroff and Gant Norbitor because of his “exalted” name and station. Such banterings kept Mat away from town life for the most part and further when his coming of age approached lead him to the decision to leave his home and profession in search of something better as his Grandfather Regis had done so long ago.
His travelings took him to a town to the west in the province of the Marchlands. In this town Mat exploited a talent he never knew he had within himself, a inner perk to gamble and come out ahead nearly every time. Entering the town with only a few copper after a few nights at the tables Mat earned enough to put him into a boarding house and begin a lifestyle of riotous living with women and wine, all due to his luck at cards. So the months went by and Mat’s coffers increased to an abnormal size as did his newfound appetite for female company and strong drink. It was also there that he earned the handle Thanatos, for his luck seemed to come from the very powers that governed death itself.
But luck never lasts forever and thus on a fateful night, Mat’s luck ran a little towards the bad. On that night he had gotten into a high stakes game with an underworld guild reputed for getting their money’s worth at the tables if they won or lost. Scoffing the rumors, Mat went to the tables and like other nights was able to sweep the tables clean and left with more than three times of what he had already stored in his room. So full of himself and laden down with gold, he hardly had time to notice two figures race around the dark corner of a building or of the flying weight of a club as he was taken by surprise and beaten into unconsciousness.
Waking a long time later, he found himself alone in the woods outside of town atop a horse and bound with a noose from a hanging limb wrapped around his neck. Attempting to get free Mat struggled to loosen the ropes that held him helplessly, but the knots held. Desperate he tried calling for assistance, yet that did no good either except that he spooked the horse, causing it to bolt right from under him. Hanging then by the neck with only a few moments before instant death, Mat tried with renewed vigor to free his hands, but like many time before, the action was futile. It was then at the moment when the sleep of death hung over him, he thought he saw a shape, ever so slight and ever so fast blur across his vision in the very moment he plunged into darkness.
Coming to a short while later, full expecting himself as dead Mat awoke only to notice that he was lying on the forest floor alive and whole noosed to a supporting branch that had seemingly snapped during his struggle. The limb in the snapped place though had been cut, not broken.
But taking no time to ponder, he got up and untying himself, ran to town in the early morning hours only to discover his room had been ransacked and all of his money taken except for his basic gear. Thankful for at least that his life was still his, the young gambler raced from the town and didn’t look back until he was safe at home in the woods far from society or civilization. From there on he worked the old fashioned honest way by good work and vowed never again to indulge in such activity, until something else were to present itself.
Currently working in a partnership with his father as woodsguide he returned to the Four Towns on a summons from his family to assist four persons and track down a group of ruffians who caused trouble in the Four Towns and killed a few of the horses in the area. The names of the fellows were Gant Norbitor, the Blacksmith or Four Towns, Nesteroff, assistant cook at the Four Town Tavern, Narus, a traveling doctor of unknown origin, and Cedric a traveling mercenary and master swordsman. Young Mat was to find the group and track down the troublemakers. He has not been heard of since then and is presumed to be either dead or missing along the path that drew so many Blufers into harm’s way so many times in the turning of histories timeless wheel.
The road to “Glory” opens..........
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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Casey on Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:22 pm

Lol intriguing. How did Mat Cauthon - er, Blufer - fare in the game?


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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:49 pm

Lol intriguing. How did Mat Cauthon - er, Blufer - fare in the game?

Ah, fair enough. He was the character I played in Eric's Glory campaign. The one he never finished due to player squabbling behind the scenes. He got pretty good at shooting his bow and fileting people with his trusty spear. That's about all.
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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Casey on Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:49 pm

Alpha Centauri wrote:
Lol intriguing. How did Mat Cauthon - er, Blufer - fare in the game?

Ah, fair enough. He was the character I played in Eric's Glory campaign. The one he never finished due to player squabbling behind the scenes. He got pretty good at shooting his bow and fileting people with his trusty spear. That's about all.


D&D? Who were the other players?
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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:53 pm

D&D? Who were the other players?

No, it was 3rd edition GURPS. Let's see. In that group we had Eric as GM along with Tom, Adam Nieman, Kira, Alex, and yours truly as the regular players. Occasionally Jim and Brian showed up to strut their funky selves.
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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Casey on Sun May 11, 2014 5:03 pm

Here it is, as promised. Easily the best journal entry I ever wrote. Very possibly the best gaming session I ever had. That freefall scene was epic and truly dramatic.

Chapter 17 – Old Friends


“Are you sure you won't be able to take over his mind?” Casey asked, concerned.

“It's a distinct possibility that he will resist such an overt act,” To'ums replied over the radio. “Reading
his surface thoughts – normally a simple proposition – was quite difficult with him. I can only assume
that Holt has some Imperial blood flowing through his veins. And there was something else; I'm not
quite sure what, but Holt certainly is not as simple to process as most people are.”

“Something else?” Casey queried. “What exactly do you mean by that? Can you do it or not?”

To'ums repeated himself: “It's possible, but it's also possible that I would fail. And If I did fail, he
would likely know that some sort of skulduggery was occurring.”

Casey sighed and looked over at Lisa. She was quite pale; Casey figured that she was probably still
bleeding. What she needed was emergency medical care – but that would have to wait. They wouldn't
get a second chance at this, and if they could find the steward, and then find the Archduke, incredible
gains in intelligence could be made that could have a tremendous impact on the future of the Imperium.
Still, they needed to do this quickly before she passed out.

“We're ready, Garreth,” Casey said quietly over the meson comm. He stood with Lisa in the library next
to the computer generated fire while Garreth moved through the crowds for an advantageous position.
The Vargr left his mic open so that they could hear what was going on.

Finding a spot next to several groups of chatting people, Garreth initially seemed uncomfortable
playing on his race's idiomatic behaviors. He started slow, sniffing the air, and trying to engage some
merc units from Halladay's Raiders into paying more attention to him. It wasn't working. There were
close to a hundred people in the large library, and nearly all of them were completely ignoring Garreth's
antics.

“We're in a hurry, Garreth,” Casey whispered. To prevent eavesdroppers or overly sociable party-goers,
he was trying to act as if he and Lisa were having some sort of private conversation in their own corner
of the room. He hoped it was working. “Speed it up. Do something dramatic.”

Growls and half barks could be heard coming from the other side of the room, but no one at his side of
the library was paying attention. Suddenly, Casey hit on an idea that should have been obvious several
minutes ago. He nearly smacked himself on the forehead out of frustration.

“To'ums,” he said, keying his mic again. “This is too easy. Have your captivated guard come out here
and switch off the power supply. No one will say a thing if a uniformed employee is doing that!”

“No problem. He's coming out.”

Moments later, Lisa and Casey watched as a serious looking man wearing the simple livery of an
armed security guard walked out of the hallway. He walked directly to the wall and opened the access
panel through the flames. He reached up to the controls, and then looked perplexed, his hand hovering
over the holographic buttons.

“He doesn't know what to do To'ums,” whispered Casey. “Tell him to move the green slider to the
bottom.”

“Um, I can't exactly do that from here. I hadn't thought of that. I just told him to shut the power off. I
figured that he already knew how.”

Exasperated, Casey reached over to the control panel to do it himself. His hand was quickly slapped
away by the security guard.

“Excuse me,” the guard said crossly. “You're not supposed to be touching that.”

Inwardly Casey thought that he needed to have a sit down conversation with To'ums about the
mechanics of his telepathic abilities. During a mission it was critical that each team member be aware
of the others' abilities. There was no time for that now.

“I'm so sorry,” said Casey, taking a conciliatory tone. “But I'm the mechanic of the starship St. Francis,
and it appears that you're trying to reduce power output to below ten microjoules. May I assist you?”
It was the guard's turn to look embarrassed. He had perhaps offended one of his employer's friends.

“No, uh, sorry. Uh, yeah, that's what I was trying to do, but I think I already know how.” He paused for
a moment. “But how would you do it?”

“Simple, as I'm sure you know. Just take the slider all the way down. Yep, you've done it, good job.”

The guard, apparently pleased with himself that he had accomplished his assigned task, turned around
and walked back down the hallway. He was followed close behind by Lisa and Casey. The guard
seemed to not notice them following him into the security room.

Casey looked around. To'ums sat in front of an impressive array of control terminals and video
monitors. Another guard – in all likelihood dead – lay peacefully in one of the corners. Ignoring him,
Casey walked over to the adjoining armory. He looked over the selection of weapons: ACRs, needlers,
pistols of various kinds, and light combat armor. There were no shotguns, however.

Lisa peered nervously inside, repeating Casey's mantra. “We're in a hurry. Come on and let's go. What
are you looking for, anyway?”

“A shotgun.” Casey murmured . “I like shotguns.” Casey contented himself by quickly grabbing a
needle rifle.

Back in the control room, Lisa and Casey peered over To'ums' shoulder. “We're here,” To'ums said,
pointing to the holographic display. “Down the elevator is the vault. To the left is the museum, to the
right the barracks. There are some other access areas, as well as some freshers, and what looks like a
couple of meeting rooms. On the other side is access to the gardens. I'm inputting your data now to
unlock the vault.”

Casey looked at To'ums' data instructions. He was doing it all wrong. “No, To'ums. You've gotta
overlay the physical infrastructure before you change the data architecture, otherwise you'll get data
nulls and overdrive the system when you try to access the remote physical interface.”

To'ums cheerfully continued what he was doing. “I know what I'm doing. Remember I'm a capable spy
where I come from, and I...”

“Move it To'ums, let me do it,” Casey interrupted, unwilling to negotiate diplomatically with the
eccentric intelligence agent. “If you lock us out now we'll be screwed.” Casey sat down at an adjoining
work station and began to manipulate the three dimensional pictograph of the security program. He
quickly input the illicitly obtained data, made the necessary changes to the program, and input the
instructions. The new blocks of data slid into place, and a green light flashed over the anti-intrusion
program. Casey stood up, grabbed his needler, and walked to the elevator, leaving To'ums to mutter to
himself.

Inside the elevator, Lisa pressed the only button. Light music played over the speakers, and a pleasant
aroma filled the air. Casey put on his security sunglasses and switched the light on his weapon's foreend
to IR only. Lisa was looking at the building schematics To'ums had loaded onto his computer.

“Let's search the museum real quick,” she said. “He's probably in the barracks, but on the other hand
that might be the perfect place to hide him if he wants the least amount of people to know that he's
holding his father captive.”

Casey nodded and keyed his mic. “Garreth, you still there? What's your status?”

Garreth's voice sounded strained, and not a little angry. “I had an unpleasant exchange with a most
disrespectful member of my own exalted race,” he replied.

“No riddles, tell us where you are and what happened,” was Casey's curt reply.

“I got in a fight with another Vargr. Our host, disdainful of such uncouth behavior, unceremoniously
threw all of us out of the party. I'm just hanging out in the limo right now.”

“Are you hurt? Did you win?” asked Casey, concerned.

“Of course I won!” There was more than a hint of a snarl to Garreth's voice. “That scum of a pirate now
knows who his better is! And he barely touched me too!”

“All right, Garreth. Stand by. We're in the vault looking for the steward. I'll leave the mic open so you
can hear our progress.”

The elevator finished its descent. The doors opened, and Lisa led Casey to the left, where the museum
lay. The museum doors opened at a touch, and the room's lights automatically turned on. The room was
lined with artifacts of various cultures, locales, and times. Casey shouldered his weapon and began
moving through the room, scanning, pieing corners, and carefully watching out for any surprises.

Lisa, however, took more interest in Holt's magnificent collection, slowly walking down the isles
looking at the magnificent treasures: A device that projected a four sided rainbow pyramid; paintings of
various kinds; statues and statuettes; an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus; a silver weapon-looking device
of alien – possibly Ancient – origin. “Here's your shotgun, Casey,” she said, grinning. At the end on a
raised pedestal, the obvious pièce de résistance, was some sort of a bell that might be found in a
traditional Terran church. It was held in a clear case, and the way the light refracted around the bell led
Lisa to believe that a Klystron magnetometer was in use to protect the bell from even the microdamaging
effects of light particles. Lisa looked closely at the bell. Circling the top of the bell was the
phrase “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof”. There was a rent
along the side of the bell, as if during its long existence it had been ill handled.

“What do you suppose that is?” Lisa asked absent-mindlessly.

Casey glanced over. “It's the Liberty Bell,” he said. “From the United States. It had something to do
with their war for independence.” He keyed up to To'ums. “No one here, we'll be moving towards the
barracks.”

“Hold on,” said To'ums. “There should be two rooms at the end of the hall. Have you tried those?”

“Uh, no, there's no doors here,” said Casey, peering at the end of the museum on the opposite side of
the entry. He walked over to the area, but could see nothing that could indicate a door – no handle,
control panel, or seam.

“But there are,” To'ums said. Right there. There're two rooms right there at the other end of the
museum. Might be hidden.”

Casey looked closer, as did Lisa. If there were hidden doors that might be the perfect place to conceal a
prisoner. After a few moments of looking, Casey looked over at Lisa, who shrugged her shoulders.

“To'ums, I'm not seeing anything. Is there a way you can open the doors remotely?” Casey asked. His
only response was silence. “To'ums?” More silence. “To'ums, you there?” Nothing.

Casey turned around. Shit. He looked over at Lisa, trying not to let the panic set in. Something had
happened. Something was wrong. “We've got to get out of here,” he said.

“Why?” She asked. “What's wrong?”

Not answering her, Casey spun around, automatically raising his weapon, and started walking towards
the door. He hadn't gone far when he heard a disturbingly familiar voice over hidden speakers.

“Casey, Casey, Casey,” it intoned, a patient parent admonished a wayward child. “Wonders never cease,
and here we are together again. I must admit, I was quite surprised to see you at the party.”

A holographic image coalesced above them. It was not a full body, just a disembodied head like a
villain out of a child's holovid. Casey's heart nearly stopped when he saw the visage of evil.

“Agent Tash,” he breathed out hoarsely. “I was wondering when I would have the displeasure of seeing
you again.” Lisa gasped, recognizing the name. Casey's mind raced. He had been sure to go through the
whole party, and knew he would have noticed Tash being there.

The image smiled. “This might be a most fortunate encounter. You were the last person I expected to
walk through my doors.”

“Holt,” Casey said, realizing the truth. “You were Holt. Your surprise of seeing us doesn't speak
volumes of your intelligence. After all, you did send out the invitations.”

Tash laughed aloud. “Holt, well, yes. But of course, Holt is not actually alive. Nevertheless, in death he
has served a useful purpose for me.”

“I could only presume that where you go, bodies follow,” said Casey. “But enough of this. What
happens now?”

“That depends upon you,” replied Tash, generously. “I am continually amazed by your resourcefulness
and persistence. You would be useful to me, Casey. Alive. But more useful would be your companion.”
He turned towards Lisa and the head bowed. “Your Imperial Highness, I am pleased to make your
acquaintance.”

Lisa shook with rage. “Next time we meet, I'll have a division of the best Imperial Marines remove you
from existence!” she shouted. “I'll have your heart torn from your body while you're being burned at
the stake!”

Tash shook his head, the ever patient and misunderstood saint. “But, Your Highness, we have but the
same goals. You wish to save the Imperium from danger. Such is also my intention.”

Talk, thought Casey. We need to get him to keep talking. “What is it you have in mind,” he asked aloud.
“We are, after all, your captive audience.”

“Very well, then, I shall explain,” answered Tash, pleased at Casey's acquiescence. “There is a powerful
force, an alien force, that has recently taken notice of this part of the galaxy, including the Imperium.
Their goals, as it were, are to allow the natural progression of the distinct species. The right species,
that is. A species that is powerful enough to deserve its rightful place amongst the leaders of the galaxy.
The other species, the weaker ones, naturally will march to their extinction.”

“The Phage,” said Casey. “You're talking about the Phage.”

“Ah, so you have already heard rumors,” said Tash. “An older name. You must have heard it from a
Darrien. So yes, the Phage, we shall call them. There is another race, a race with a different,
philosophical, outlook. These others, that we call the Planners, wish an orderly universe. A peaceful
universe. As benign as this might sound, the obtain their objectives by utter and complete control over
the other races.” Tash paused, wondering how much to tell Casey and Lisa. “My goals are to defend
Humaniti from these so called Planners, provide the necessary tools for the ascension of Humaniti over
the other races, and secure our rightful place amongst the Rulers of the Stars. So you see Casey, Your
Highness, I have but the most lofty goals. All I ask is that you join me.”

“We'll never join you,” spat Lisa. “You can take your blood sucking mind-controlled body and go to
hell!”

Goddammit Lisa! thought Casey. Do you have to reveal everything we know?!? At least he was talking,
and at least he hadn't killed us yet!


“Ah, I see,” said Tash. “So you know a little more than I thought. Very well. I'll be more plain. There
are a multitude of advantages in joining the Phage. Haven't Humans, as a species, always sought
immortality, the proverbial Fountain of Youth? This is what the Phage offer you. Join us, and you will
never die. How could you turn down such a valuable offer.”

Casey tried to think quickly. They needed more time, and also needed as much information as they
could extract from Tash. He needed a new tack. “How can you trust us, Tash?” he asked. “I'm all for
saving the Imperium, but you know I'll kill you once I get the chance.”

“That is not so difficult. If you join us, after twenty four hours you will be completely trustworthy.”

Casey looked at Lisa, who was fuming. “Not a chance, Tash,” she said. Immortal or not, you are a dead
man. When we next meet, I'll be sure to kill you and fry your alien brains.”

Tash sighed. “I feared it would be so. Farewell then. Your Highness, Casey, I bid you adieu.”

The hologram faded. Casey sprung into action. “We've got to get out of here,” he said. “That man, or
whatever, means to kill us.”

They busily started to look for a way out. The door out was locked, apparently from the outside. Casey
returned to the hidden doors, while Lisa looked amongst the artifacts for anything useful. Only seconds
had passed, however, when both Casey and Lisa received a warning buzz from their pocket computers.
Looking down at them a bold message stated in red: OXYGEN CONTENT LOW.
UNCONSCIOUSNESS FOLLOWED BY DEATH IMMENENT. Casey and Lisa gave each other a
worried glance.

Discarding subtlety, Casey fired a burst from his needler at the door. The hyper velocity needles struck
the door with a loud slapping sound, but did not penetrate. Casey tried the same thing on the walls were
the hidden doors were presumably located the the same results.

“Shit,” said Casey aloud. He was running out of ideas. “Shit shit shit.”

“Try this,” offered the princess, standing next to the display case holding the weapon. Casey walked
over to it and looked inside. The weapon looked like a strange rifle, with a butt stock and a trigger.
Forward of the housing mechanism was what seemed to be a round barrel. Above the barrel, and
separated by about an inch, was a rounded disc, shaped similarly to the carapace of a beetle. Rising up
from the barrel and down from the carapace were short rods that paired together neatly, with a few
millimeters of separation between them. On the barrel was a grip mechanism that looked all the world
like the forearm of a pump actuated shotgun.

Casey shrugged. “It's worth a shot, I suppose.”

He took out his vibroknife, activated it, and cleanly cut off the top of the case. Pulling the artifact out of
the case he turned to Lisa. “You'd better get behind something,” he cautioned.

Casey placed the butt into his shoulder, pressing into himself quite hard. He had no idea how much
recoil this weapon, if it was a weapon at all, might produce. He pointed it at the outer door and pulled
the trigger.

Nothing happened. Sighing, he retracted the forearm and pushed it back forwards. He heard an
electronic sound, as if capacitors were charging. He pulled the trigger again.

Green energy shot out of the end of the barrel, expanding into six small balls of light, each connected to
the others by a line of energy, creating a complex spider web of force. It smashed into the door and
exploded angrily. Dust engulfed the chamber, and as it cleared Casey saw that the door had been blown
completely apart. The vibrating emergency alert from their micro-computers fell silent as oxygen
flowed into the room.

Moving quickly, and still hoping to find the steward, Casey returned to the area of the secret door. Reactuating
the weapon, he shot both areas and discovered two small rooms. One was a utility closet, with
cleaning robots and other supplies. The other contained a computer terminal. Casey turned it on. The
head of a woman appeared. “Password, please,” it asked.

“Try your S-3 password,” suggested Lisa. With no other options occurring to him, Casey did so.

“Password incorrect,” the computer blandly said. “Security systems enabling.”

Security. Right. thought Casey. Forgot about them.

He turned just in time to see a four man team of security operatives cautiously entering the door. They
were dressed in combat armor, and carried needler rifles. Casey had the advantage. He was already
aware of their presence, and had cover from being in the computer closet. He wasted no time, bringing
up the muzzle of his alien shotgun and pulling the trigger.

The results were dramatic. As before, the green energy shot out of the barrel. Widening somewhat, the
web caught the man he was shooting at, striking him back to the wall where he was pinned by the web.
He quivered for a moment, and then was still.

As Lisa jumped behind the podium of the Liberty Bell, the other guards returned fire as they moved to
cover. Their shots went wide, although Casey heard the distinct pinging sound of some of the needles
as they struck over head. “Cover!” one of them shouted, and Casey saw a plastic disc about the size of
a man's palm clatter to the floor on the other side of Lisa.

Not recognizing the type of grenade, Casey took cover back in the little room. A moment later a
deafening shrieking sound was emitted by the grenade. Ah, thought Casey, just a warbler. Should have
known with all the museum pieces around me.


Outside of the weapon's maximum effective range, Casey pied the corner of his closet. One of the
guards was doing the same thing around one of the statues. Casey fired, and the energy surge moved
forward, striking the man in the arm and upper shoulder. A severed arm fell to the ground.

Another guard leaped behind the Egyptian sarcophagus. Casey shot its stand, and as the sarcophagus
tumbled to the ground the guard had a momentary look of fright as he cast around for more cover.
Casey didn't allow him the opportunity, and the man fell, enveloped by bright strands of energy.

Over the piercing shriek of the warbler grenade, Casey heard the mansion's computer intone a warning.
“One minute to gravity generator failure. One minute to gravity generator failure.”

Tash isn't fooling around. He really wants us dead, Casey thought as the last guard made a wild dash
for the door. Casey shot at him, but his energy blast went wide.

It was time to move. Casey grabbed Lisa by the arm and dragged her to her feet. Blood was coming out
of her ears, and she shouted something Casey didn't hear. He pulled her towards the door. There was
access to an open garden on the other side of the antechamber.

“Garreth!” he shouted into his mic. “This whole place is going down! We're going to try to make it to
the north gardens!” He didn't listen for a reply, hoping against hope that somehow he was going to
survive this.

As he moved through the antechamber, suddenly he felt weightless. He had expected this, but not quite
so soon. One minute my ass. More like ten seconds he though bitterly to himself.

Still, extensive weightless combat training had trained him for this free-fall. Casey grabbed onto Lisa's
arm. She probably had no idea what was going on. He pulled himself, along with Lisa, along the ceiling
towards the door. Reaching down he touched the panel and opened it. A blast of air pummeled him,
threatening to pull Lisa from his grasp. Tightening his grip, he pulled her through the door to the open
air gardens.

Once outside, Casey pushed the two of them away from the building into the open sky. Gyrating wildly
from the wind, Lisa was finally torn from him. Moments later he landed with a crash on top of the
limousine with a thud, followed by Lisa. Casey pounded on the sunroof, which opened. He helped Lisa
climb through, and fell onto the limo's plush seats. “Thanks, Garreth,” he muttered. Garreth gave him a
thumbs up from the drivers seat. As they watched the platform crash and sink into the deep ocean, they
knew that To'ums must be dead. Quickly Garreth headed back to the starport.

*           *           *           *           *

“Very interesting,” Lysander said. They were back on the ship, and had finished telling him the tale.
“Both To'ums and the steward presumed dead, yet Agent Tash, or his parasite, rather, very much alive.”
Lysander thought for a moment. Casey puffed on his cigar, pouring another glass of whiskey for
Garreth and himself. Brother Trevor was in the kitchen, preparing a pasta dish.

“I think you'll be pleased to know that I have possibly found the person to assist us with the problem of
detecting the Phage,” Lysander said at last. “His name is Dr. Krinaytsyu. He is a former marine, and
recently retired as the lead xenobiologist at Mora University. He has all of the necessary qualifications.
Additionally, some of his published papers lead me to believe that he might be intrigued by some of our
discoveries.

“In any case, I think it would also be best if you could search for allies here on Mora. Though we have
accomplished much in the little time we have been together, I think it best that the more people
involved in the fight against the Phage, the better.”

Lisa looked around at the group. “I could do some research, see if I can find out who might be loyal to
the empire. I'm sure that there are many nobles here that would do what they can to fight for the
Emperor.”

“All right,” said Casey. “I'll help you out with some of that research. Also we need to figure out a way
to contact that xenobiologist safely. If he blows our cover or sets us up, we'd be doomed.

“Lysander, I'll need some of your advanced medical data to pique his interest and get him to meet us.
Otherwise I doubt a retired university professor will have many common interests with known terrorists
and murderers.”

Lysander appeared uncomfortable. “Very well,” he said. “I can give you some data that won't harm
anyone should it fall into the wrong hands.”

*           *           *           *           *

Two days had passed. The work on the ship had been completed, and Lisa had gathered a list of
potential allies. Garreth and Casey were on their way to meet Dr. Krinaytsyu. The day previous Casey
had sent the email to the doctor. Within fifteen minutes, he had received a response requesting him to
meet at a run down coffee house called “The Almond Nut”. Garreth had wanted to go, but Casey had
protested strongly.

“The Almond Nut!” he had exclaimed. “The Almond Nut? Don't you know that almond flavored coffee
is the easiest way to disguise the taste of cyanide! It's also on the other side of the extrality line, so we
would have no weapons. This is nothing but a trap to kill or capture us. I almost wish that they wouldn't
make it so obvious.”

“Relax,” Garreth had said calmly. “It's just a coffee house, and it's just an old Droyne doctor. You
smelling things that aren't there. He's more than qualified to help us out.”

Casey had sighed. “All right,” he relented. “But we're going to do this our way.”

And so now they were on their way, riding a taxi to the Dough Ray Me, a small bakery in a good area
of the starport. Casey pulled out his Cochlea-Mite, a device the size of a grain of wheat, and placed it in
his ear.

“I'm going to leave my mic open,” Casey said to Garreth. “If I have a problem and I need to leave, I'll
say that it's a nice day. If something goes horribly wrong, and I need you to come in shooting, I'll say
something about the weather being strange. If I'm screwed and you need to return to the ship without
me, I'll try to mention my great-aunt. Got it?”

Garreth tried to not roll his eyes, but he was pretty sure he did anyway. Casey had insisted that he bring
a rifle with him, and he did so, tucked cleverly into a case originally meant for mining tools. Casey got
out of the taxi and walked into the bakery. A moment later Garreth got out as well, listening.

Inside the bakery Casey had no trouble at all finding the doctor: he was the only Droyne in the shop.
Casey walked up to him. “Doctor Krinaytsyu I presume?” he asked politely.

“Why yes yes. You must be Casey. Sit please! We have so much to talk about. I am so very interested in
the data package you sent me. Where did you get it? It is very interesting data. Very interesting. You
must tell me all about it. Were you on the research team? Did you help collate the data? How exactly
did you come across all of this?” The Droyne handed a blueberry muffin to Casey, who gingerly took
it, and then set it down on the table. “Try it! It's good! I really like it. It's blue, if you didn't notice. I've
never been here but I think I'll come back sometime. Do you come here often?”

Casey looked around inside and outside the shop casually, looking for tactical assault teams, bombs,
assassins, or snipers. Nothing. The muffin had nearly set him over the edge and he had almost run out
of the bakery. Calm down, Casey, he said to himself. It might be a trap, it might not be a trap. Either
way you're not going down easy. Play along for now.


Casey interrupted the Droyne's ramblings. “Actually doctor, the person from whom I got these data is
aboard my ship. He would like to meet you to to discuss the particulars of a certain nature that a
xenologist might best understand.”

Dr. Krinaytsyu brightened. “Let's go. He's on your ship? That must be the St. Francis. You see I looked
it up while I was waiting for this meeting. A whole day! Can you believe it? It was torture. We'll let's
go. Time's wasting. I really want to meet this person!”

The doctor continued to talk as Casey hailed a cab and got in. “Delta Twelve,” he told the driver. As the
cab pulled away, Casey looked behind him and saw Garreth getting in a cab of his own.

So far, so good, thought Casey to himself.
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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Mon May 12, 2014 11:36 pm

That was a pretty good story. I'm glad you wrote it since I can't recall many of the particulars of that campaign. One thing I do recall, the Vargyr that Garreth fought nearly took him down in a hit or two. As that characters weird luck went, he managed a few good blows of his own to knock out his attacker. Real luck mind you. Not the cinematic variety that gets you out of a bind every gaming hour or so.
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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Casey on Tue May 13, 2014 7:47 pm

Thank you.

Perhaps I'll have to see if I can drag up the one where I blasted Jim's character.  Very Happy 
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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Wed May 14, 2014 5:07 pm

Thank you.

Perhaps I'll have to see if I can drag up the one where I blasted Jim's character.

Shotgun to the face!
Shotgun to the face!

What's better than a boot to the head?

Shotgun to the face!  What a Face What a Face 
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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:13 pm

What follows is not a character bio. In fact, I'm not sure what it is. It may very well be a brief adventure synopsis for a game I ran with my siblings many years ago. But I cannot tell from whence it sprung or what warped energy prompted its birth in the first place. I just don't know.  Neutral 



Well, it’s a bit hard to start. You guys basically reach the island and once there I begin to work my magic by throwing some the toughest monsters in the books at you. The guardian of the island is this gigantically large mechanical monster gone mad that would have given all you, even Nathan, a run for your money with an ungodly amount of hit points. But you didn’t need to fight him so long as you leave him alone.
Anyway, fight or flight, you would eventually wind up in a mountain as that appears as the only habitation on the island.
After fighting through various traps and a few more monsters, you arrive at the inner sanctum and there face the mysterious person dressed in black who alluded you and also set up the Wipe Out group with their payment and ran into you instead. They were the ones who kidnapped your woman if you don’t remember.
Anyway I imagine a tussle happening and afterwards depending on the outcome, should you choose to do so, you may take off the mask and reveal that it’s none other than, here comes the twist, your future wife Fu!
Now before you split your brain. Let me explain. Should you allow her to live, she’ll explain the following to you. First of all by saying that she’s not the real Fu, but rather a Fu from an alternate existence who died when Glendale was attacked by the Drakes so long ago. However instead of dying she was taken from her timeline by the group of time defenders known as the Time Troopers, whose job it is to ensure the stability and safety of the timeline for the Worldship.
And why was she taken you may ask? Because for a number of years, the troopers had noticed that people across the Worldship from many times were being erased, merely disappearing from the time stream without a trace. And up until now they have not been able to find out who was responsible and for what reasons they were doing so.
So in order to avoid a time stream failure, the troopers decided to locate alternate time streams close to their own and track down those persons who had died early in those times. These persons were taken from their times and placed in our time and told to act as if all was normal. Fu was one such person.
It turns out that the Fu you originally fell in love with was the actual Fu, however during one your adventures, she vanished and was replaced with the alternate who had no previous memories of you.
Now, for the other twist. From out of the shadows, your grandfather, full of smiles appears, and confesses that he too is a member of the Time Troopers, one of their leaders actually. He still doesn’t understand your wanting to settle down with one woman, but he explains that as of now you have a choice ahead of you.
The real Fu might still be out there somewhere, so he offers you the chance to find her by becoming a Time Trooper yourself. This whole adventure was merely a ruse and a bit of a test, to see if you had the makings of a trooper.
The alternate Fu’s role is over. As it turns out now that her cover is blown, she actually sort of likes your grandfather and has become his personal aid in the Time Trooper Core, but she agrees to help you if you need it.
If any members of your party are still there, they will all wake up in their beds in Terra wondering how they got there, with no memories of the events, but with a surprise bonus of money waiting for them.
So then, Chronos, the rest is up to you. Do you as well return to Terra with no memories of these events or do you choose to become a Time Trooper to continue the search for your bride to be?
As in all role-playing games, the choice is up to you. Fate awaits your answer.
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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:18 pm

Giant mechanical spider monster gone mad? Had I recently played FFVIII or something?
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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Casey on Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:10 pm

Though I know nothing of the matter, that GM to PC narrative was still compelling. How long ago was that?
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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:06 pm

Though I know nothing of the matter, that GM to PC narrative was still compelling. How long ago was that?

That's tough to say. I would guesstimate the age of the warped piece at around 10 years or so.
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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Casey on Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:57 pm

This is a mostly completed draft of a short journal entry for Eric's post-apocalyptic magic game. This event actually never happened. Its purpose was to provide Eric with a reason to bring back Lester, who we abandoned to his doom. I never gave it to him though, as the campaign had ended.

A single naked  bulb illuminated the sparse equipment in the small garage deep in the bowels of Cathedral's Eastern American headquarters. A cabinet of tools stood to one side, with some of the drawers open. An HK MkIV 4.6mm PDW lay casually on the floor, several extra magazines in a haphazard pile. Dave Austin was crouched down next to his new motorcycle, loosening engine bolts with a wrench. His back was to the door, and he was so focused on his work that he didn't notice Jane Sinclair walking through the open door and down the stairs.

She looked at the PDW and at the 1911 .45 in Dave's hip holster and wondered if she were in any danger. Of all of those in Dave's group that her company had in custody - “Parachromatic Victim Group C” as they were technically known – he had raised the most safety red flags. As a former assault trooper of Takashima, her security experts had advised her to hold him in a maximum security facility for the duration of his confinement. She had ignored their advice and placed the entire team at their regional headquarters in upstate New York. Here they had the room they needed to not feel too much like prisoners, with thousands of acres of woods surrounding the compound, yet there was still very little chance of escape for any of them. Dave seemed almost content for the present. She had told the section manager to provide Group C with every reasonable request that they made. Instead of asking for luxurious food or drink (besides exotic beers) Dave had requested instructors in motorcycles riding, motorcycle repairs, and combat maneuvers. She had given her approval to all his requests.

She cleared her throat, alerting Dave to her presence. He quickly turned around, startled. She smiled. “I apologize for surprising you,” she said. “I got your email though, and you didn't specify a time that you wanted to meet me.”

“Sorry,” he said. “I guess I should have called your secretary to make an appointment. Or you could have called my secretary.”  Jane had gotten used to Dave's dry sense of humor. He stood and lifted the engine out of his motorcycle, placing it gently on a piece of cardboard lying on the floor.

“So how are you enjoying Nicky Hayden as your motorcycle teacher?” she asked.

Dave smiled. “Well, he's no Valentino Rossi, but I suppose he'll have to do. I can't complain that I'm learning from a five year veteran of the Taklamakan wars. Your company did well in choosing him, as well as bringing in a black ops team to teach me mounted combat tactical maneuvers.”

Jane sighed. “I presume that you didn't call me down here at 2:00 a.m. to discuss the particulars of combat motorcycling,” Jane said.

“No,” Dave replied. “I need to tell you something else about the future.”

Jane sighed again. Her team of parachromatic engineers had told her to listen to anything that this group told her about the future. Although there was a danger of changing the future by listening to the advice of this group, there was also the danger of changing the future by not changing the future. There was a committee designated to evaluate such things.

“Well?” she asked, resigned to the possibility of accepting whatever Dave was about to tell her.

“Lester,” Dave began, “as you know is one of the operatives in our group. He will unfortunately lose consciousness on the 14th floor after a fire is inadvertently started. Our team is forced to leave him behind. However, after our group has left the area, you will have a team inserted to rescue him.”

“Sounds intriguing,” Jane replied dryly. “And how exactly do you propose that we do this.”

Dave stood and walked over to the workbench. He picked up a black data chip encased in clear plastic. He walked over to Jane and handed her the chip. “Everything you need to know is on that chip. Times, locations, entry and egress points, schematics of the area, and so on. I've also included a recommended list of team members and useful spells and abilities they may wish to have. You follow those instructions, it's very unlikely that you'll lose anybody. It will also be virtually impossible that any of your team meet ours.”

Jane looked at the date chip. Now she would have to organize another sub-committee to discuss whether or not to take another suggestion from these time-traveling American patriots and open source spell promoters. “Very well,” she said. “I'll have my people look in to this. I'll let you know what they come up with. No promises though.”

“No problem,” Dave said. He walked back to his motorcycle, picked up the engine, and set it on the workbench. “You've still got several months to figure it out. If you need me, you know how to contact me.”

She nodded, and left the room.
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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Sun Jun 22, 2014 1:10 pm

I had no idea your character had an idea for saving Adam's weird...silver mage guy. He certainly was one of the better characters Adam played. That I do admit.

It seems that you are guaranteed at least one character death in Eric's climactic duels. Never a party wipe, mind you. Just one character death. Sometimes an NPC and other times a PC but not more than that.
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Re: Ghosts of the past

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Sun Jun 22, 2014 1:21 pm

Okay, my turn. Since we are on the subject of Eric's crazy future magic game, I'll go ahead and post the bio of my character, a one Mr. Sergei (Prounounced Sir-gay) Wulf. Sniper extraordinaire. The guy who somehow managed to carry a freaking .50 caliber sniper rifle with him all about the secure streets of town and into super-security corporate fortresses.

What lesson can we derive from this? That the future will be awesome if people can spend their time wandering about with firepower like that.  

And now, after so many years, I'll give it a read.

Ballad Of The Wulf


It is night. From the burned out husk of a building I make my stand my silent stand. You see no one, not a soul, knows or cares about this building; some long forgotten relic to a society that might as well be written along with societies grand failures. We are the product of an evolution many term as fate. I’m not sure if I believe it, and honestly I don’t really care. I live my own life and carve my own existence into the backdrop of the present. Perhaps it’s not as comfortable as when society approached it’s last zenith, but it’s the world of the now. It is our reality and therefore we should learn to subdue and control it.
It’s funny I should mention control because that is what my purpose is here. This night is my attempt to make that control, to swing the pendulum back over to my side. Problem is once I have it, I might find it hard to let go.
Slowly I begin my assent. Aside from not being able to see as clearly, the night’s brought with it a light drizzle making my pull to the roof more treacherous than expected. But I’ve had the training I need to see me though. I won’t die, that is until I finish what I set out to do. Because of the slick terrain, my climb is slow and arduous, but I put my pain or other discomfort from my mind. It’s all a trick of the senses no matter what they may say.
I reach my summit and take bearing of the surroundings. My cover provides adequate ample hiding for my task. Better conditions could not have been asked for.  
Humorously as I recon the roof, I notice an intact stairway on the opposite side of the building. Most people might write that off as bad luck, but I don’t. After all, isn’t that our lot to put our energy into a task only to find out there was an easier way. For me I think both ways are the same, but the harder only serves to strengthen the individual.
I begin to unpack my gear, and soon I blend into the environment, not that I need to with the dark and location to my advantage, but training reflexes are difficult to ignore. As I said, I blend and soon vanish from all view. From my view, I am hidden and undetectable, reduced to a silent observer of the city at night. It, like I, is stock silent and still.
My cursory glance gives way that my target has not arrived so now I begin another ordeal--that of the wait. It’s times like these that a man often thinks about things other the cares than his daily life: perhaps his life or the philosophy surrounding it. Or again perhaps he tries to calm his mind and seek the void and peace that only oblivion of mind can bring.  My training indicates I seek the void, but for this night, for this purpose, I am drawn to the events of my life that brought me here, a shining footstep illuminated by a different action beginning at or even before birth and ending here. It is an odd concept—nostalgia. The things it drives us to consider the massive index of life.
My family name is Wulf, and my family had their roots in Russia. I was born there, but was sent to North America shortly after my sister was born so my recollections of the country are few. We were sent to live with relatives and it is good, perhaps even fate, for shortly thereafter Russia was ravaged by a legion of horrors not heard of nor seen since medieval days. My parents died in the chaos.
Our family raised us well, but from that time forward I committed myself to be the best family I knew how my sister.  I after all was the only close family she had, and I was determined to make life as pleasant for her as possible. I still am working at it.
In the now, again I check my bearings, but the penthouse remains empty. I do however notice movement from the ground level. It could be my target and perhaps not. He will come home and when he does, it will be his last time.
After school, I decided that I had a knack for tactical know how and luckily for me the art of killing people is a big business. The details of my training required me to go through the motions until I graduated and specified a division. For my part I choose special ops sniping, partly on an old legend that my ancestors had protected their city against an invading army by sniping in an old war. I guess it must still be in the blood.
To say the least I prospered the year I choose my trade and by it’s end I found myself in a special bodyguard attaché to one the corporate bigwigs of Takashima Corp. which suite me fine. Working in on such a level, I earned enough money to put my sister through school, and she too began to work for Takashima as a communications spec. Our year of happiness ended on New Years. My sister and I attended a New Years party thrown by the company and as luck or fate might play, we also ran into my corporate man. He’d never met me; he’d probably seen my photo and name before the party to keep up appearances, but by the night’s end he had talked to my sister for the majority of the night. He was nowhere near her age range, but playing my part, I went along with the warm gesture probably for want of recognition.
But my growing suspicions would not leave, and confirmed, the gifts started arriving: flowers, candy, most everything a man uses to show his interest in a woman. My sister acted nonchalantly to these advances, but slowly my suspicion turned to a certain dread. I feared that we had inadvertently set in motion a chain of events that could not be stopped.
The natural conclusion came a month later after a late night I found my sister in tears. She related my boss had invited her to dinner with some associates, and had passed the evening quite well until he insisted they spend the balance of the evening at his home. She resisted, then flatly refused and things ended with him in a rage and herself fired from the company with a splitting lip and a black eye as her only means of compensation.
Filling with rage myself, I went to see my boss about it the very next day. I’d never actually needed a meeting with him before and so far as he was concerned I was just another face and name he had to greet on a list. A small fry he could bully, and bully he did, threatening my own job and life when I broached the subject of my sister’s treatment. I’m sure he thought he’d won, by the time I left, but I suppose it was lucky I only remained a photo and name. Anything more and he might have taken precautions.
Above all else he implied I was to obey my master’s beck and call and be in happy in the cage he created for myself and abused sister. If only he knew that deep down a true Wulf can never be caged. From that day forward, I’ve thought of nothing else, but how to escape it.
I shoot again to the present. A light has just come on in the penthouse living room, and my man swaggers into his living space with two, no three ladies in sparkling finery enter. They make merry for a while, but I bide my time and wait for the moment they separate which they do as he shoots up and runs to a bathroom probably either to piss out a body of liquor or else bring it up the other way. While he does so, his companions retire to his bedroom where they too make ready for the night. I feel the peeping tom doing so, but my quarry is my main concern, and my training allows me the capacity to ignore the carnival of flesh.
Now, I don’t have any real grudge against the corporations. True though it is they keep all of humanity under their thumbs, they nonetheless have ushered in prosperity of a sort. Without them I’m sure we’d still be like the wilders that roam the outskirts of the cities, barbarians come to life. But our escape would have repercussions, but I am determined to go deep, deep enough that any hound would be very pressed if they were to pick up our trail. A good friend of mine, Gaston, says he has connections with an underground organization that will fit our plans to hide perfectly.  Now all that remains is the final movement.
The door opens and for the first time that night, I see his face, full of fat and panting. I should pull the trigger then, but I take a moment to study his face, to glean some final  insight before I give him the release of death. There is nothing truly visible but a man in the middle of a pleasure throe. Nothing but a man, a mass of gelatin and bone and easily pierced by rock, steel, and powder.  
But still I study the face, every contour and nook, so that later I may memorialize him as a sculptured bust. It’s an odd habit, but I, like the hunters of old, look on it as an act of forgiveness for committing murder. That is the way I deal with my grief.
I let fly and seconds later the body falls to the floor.
I take my time to pack and go. No doubt there will be confusion, screaming, and eventually the authorities will come to play, but they will find nothing, but an empty roof and an unrelated resignation to be found on the desk of my former employer in the morning.
And for a second time, I sink into the dark depths of the city however the Wulf will never emerge from his dark place, but from time to time he may decide to watch for a time and renew the cycle again.
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