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Unread 14th of September, 2005, 06:38
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Issue #4: Dream Of The Devil, Wake In Fear

Lake Silverwood Golf Club, Upstate New York.
18th hole
9:58 am, January 17th 2010.


The End of the World: Day One

Philip Mouse, Senior Administrator of the Centinel Foundation, squinted into the winter morning sun. His eyes were lined with crows feet, such was the habituality of this behaviour. Nevertheless, he couldn’t make out where his ball had landed, but long practice with the feel of club and tee told him it was easily on the green.

“Hole in two, again...” he sighed, as the black helicopter dropped from the sky with a hiss of antisound-baffled rotors.

He ambled over to his wheeled robobag, rangy, outdoorsman’s frame moving easily under the loose slacks and shirt he wore. By the time he had slid the nine iron back into place, a thin figure with his black coat snapping in the downdraft was striding towards him.

“Morning. I don’t suppose you’ve joined me for a game?” Mouse drawled to his Special Executive Assistant. The clammy-skinned, pale-eyed man hunched his shoulders as a barrier against the noise of the copper, and shook his head slowly, eyes locked on his superior. Mouse, for his part, clicked his fingers at the robobag, which trundled after him, following him towards the hole. The SEASA had no choice but to follow.

“Sir...” the lizard-faced bureaucrat whispered as they walked. “If you spent more time at the Centinel Building, you might be aware...”

Mouse chuckled. “Oh, I’m fully aware of what’s going on. I just don’t think that my personal touch would change anything.”

The sinewy man sucked cold air through thin, colder lips. “Hmmm. Sir, I find your attitude unacceptably blasé. The activation of the... reserve unit Q. The contamination of the Mechanic. The invalidation of Bolt. The defection of Wreck. The Madison disturbance.”

“'Reserve unit Q?’” Mouse laughed as he circled around a sand trap. “Really, Bates. He isn’t part of your chamber of horrors and more. Call him by his codename, at least.” Mouse’s tone hardened a little. “And your forgetting... we kept a thousand guns off the streets. O’Malley goes on trial today. The Brotherhood suffered the worst public relations disaster in their hillbilly history. The Mechanic is not contaminated... you forget, this agency is not your private fiefdom. We share resources, and that includes with your former handlers at the DoD. I hold high hopes that Bolt can be rehabilitated... hell, he’s already given us a lesson in why we should NOT keep secret from ourselves. Any breach in security caused by Quantum can be ameliorated...”

The Senior Administrator bent down and plucked a weed off the manicured grass. “My god... the groundsmen are getting worse every week,” he muttered. “All right... granted, Wreck was a mistake. We will never deal with an amoralist with kid gloves again. Next time, our terms or a term in Stranglehold. And yes...” Mouse turned his weathered face upwards, and gave the sky a look of regret for a moment. “Yes... we screwed the pooch in Madison. We shouldn’t have let them get separated, become independent... but we can recover form that...”

“No, sir, “the SEASA cut in, his voice a stiletto hidden in silk. “The mistakes have been comprehensive. Systematic. Fundamental. They are not ‘heroes’. We must never again elevate them that way. They only serve our interests if they are treated as what they are... soldiers, tactical weapons. You have allowed your romanticism and personal experiences to cloud that vision, and that is a weakness that our more ruthless enemies will exploit.”

Standing on the edge of the water hazard, Mouse turned sharply, and scowled. “Soldiers? Goddamn it. Goddamn it... we tried that, if you’ll recall? InterForce? The worst, most psychotic mistake in foreign policy we ever made...”

“Again, you fail to understand. InterForce was... impure. After all, six of seven were non-American. It existed to further the interests of the G7, not America. The nations that contributed to it are now numbered amongst the very threats we seek to counteract.”

“This is about the Project, isn’t it?”

“This is about control. It has always been about control. You never had the courage to control the Centinels, Philip. You never had the courage to maintain them. That fell to me. Now, it all falls to me. And yes, to the Project.”

The ex-Senior Administrator turned and looked out over the golf course, considering the consequences of the fact that a man to whom informality was like garlic to a vampire had called him by his first name. Meditatively, he said “You know... I never did manage to get below par two on this hole.”

By the time the helicopter took off again, the water hazard was slowly turning red as Philip Mouse’s body floated in it, face down, with a bullet in his brain stem.

Last edited by Dirigible; 14th of September, 2005 at 06:50.
  #2  
Unread 14th of September, 2005, 08:13
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Welcome to the Rising Sun intranet
The time is
10:12 hours. The temperature is 283 kelvin. The Rising Sun Meteorological Satellite weather report is frosty with an increased chance of snow by... (more).

Username:
Thomas.R.001
Password:
*************************************
<<<LOGON>>>

Welcome, Mr. Thomas! Digital sentience prototype Socrates III is pleased to report all systems seem nominal. Of course, that how they seemed before the incident with the genetically engineered cobra.

Soc3: You have
104 new messages.
>> Run e-mail agent.
Soc3: Running.
Soc3:
99 of these messages have been classified as spam. Would you like to respond to them with an adaptive system diasbler virus?
>> Yes
Soc3: Virus upload successful. Well done, sir! The world is that little bit safer from snake oil merchants with their creams for enlarging, shrinking, and ensuring financial success!
Remaining messages:
Whyte.K.001 (AVP): [Urgent] Your input needed
Horne.K.001 (PA): Daily Status Report
Whyte.K.001 (AVP): [Urgent] Critical decision required
Whyte.K.001 (AVP): [Urgent] Recommended schedule
Lee.C.001 (cute): Upgrades
>> Download Daily Status Report to palmtop
>> Open Lee.C.001

From: Chyler Lee (Lee.C.001)
To: The Boss (Thomas.R.001)
Re: Upgrades
CC: Mechanical Special Projects Team

Hi, Rob How was your all expenses paid vacation courtesy of uncle sam?

We've almost finished those modifications to the EVA suit you wanted; it's got the soundmaster gauntlets (though we had to cut back on the power) like you wanted and everything.

Come down and take a look when you can.

.xX{|Chyler|}Xx.
>> Close.
>> Transfer all messages from Whyte.K.001 to Low Priority file.
Soc3: There are
53 unread messages from Whyte.K.001 in the LPF, 53 marked URGENT.
>> Disable Whyte.K.001's ability to append the URGENT tag to messages.

>>Activate newsfeed. Standard keywords, plus: anasazi, green, radiation, sightings/encounters (metahuman). Collate and combine results; provide relevant excerpts.

Soc3: Scanning headlines...

Aliens attack the moon! (source: National Conspirator)
Astronomers baffled by lunar anomaly (source: BBC World Service
Unidentified green light spotted on moon (source: New York Times)
(+135 more sources)

6 hours ago ... ball of green energy, consistent with the flight manifestation of certain metahumans ... ascended from in front of the Centinel Building ... accelerated towards the moon ... flew out of the atmosphere without hesitation.NASA scientists and amateur star gazers watched the energy signature decelerate and land on a depression on the lunar surface ... NASA, NRO and NSA deny that it poses any threat ...
Metahuman Coup in Ghana? (source: International Herald)

President Atsu Omaboe of Ghana is in hiding today, as what seems to be a coup headed by a well-known national hero Paragon takes hold ... the Omaboe regime is well known for both its corruption and repression of dissident groups ... the African Union has denounced the coup, warning that it could destabilise the neighbouring states of Ivory Coast, Togo and Benin, which already suffer from above-average incidents of metahuman manifestation and violence ... reports of looting and rioting, but no military action ... former UN Sec-Gen Kofi Annan, a native of Ghana, will be flying in to Accra today to assess the situation and offer mediation ...
Carnage at Madison Square Gardens and AeroDyne Corporation (source: New York Times)
Soc3: Looks like Quantum was involved in one, Osprey in the other. I'll download themto your palmtop.
Soc3: Appointment reminder: the O'Malley arraignment is at 10:45 today.
>> Thank you, Socrates. I'd better get down to the court.

<<<LOGOFF>>>
  #3  
Unread 26th of September, 2005, 08:00
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Pendleton Minimum Security holding facility, New York City.
Cell F09
8:10 am, January 17th 2010.


“Ave Maria,”

Jerry O’Malley rolled the beads of the rosary between his fingers, murmuring the words of the Latin prayer in an undertone. The smoky light that filtered through the bubbled glass of his cells made the crisp lines of stubble on his jaw seem less clear, seemingly obliterating the careful work of the prison barber. Head bowed and eyes closed, he knelt in the bar-slatted beams of illumination, heedless of the motes that glittered and fell around him like tears for his sins.

“Plenus venia,”

An immaculate Italian silk suit was carefully arranged on the otherwise bare desk, in preparation for the trial in a few hours time. O’Malley himself wore a plain orange jumpsuit; no sense in creasing the knees of that suit, now. They may not be able to run the underworld worth a damn, but I’ll say this fer those I-tays; they know their fashion. I’d rather one o’their suits than the best bespoke Dublin finery.

“Dominus est vobis.”

"Mr O'Malley. Sir?" The voice came from a guard peering through the viewing slot of the door.

O'Malley opened his eye a crack, and gave an impatient twist of the hand, urging the guard to hurry up. The uniformed man dropped something which clunked heavily into the secure package drawer next to the door, and slid it through. O'Malley rose, dusting off his knees and approached.

"So then, David," he remarked in effusive good humour. "Hows that new recreation vehicle I hear you got? Bit of a spot 'o luck, the bank accepting your loan request like that, eh?"

The guard shifted uneasily. "It's, uh, very nice. Sir." To the gangster's ear, the man's reluctance was evident; but he'd decided to sup with the devil, and he could hardly pull back from their meal of corruption without getting in serious trouble with someone.

Lose yer job or lose yer kneecaps, sunshine.

"Present from your, uh, friend, Mr. Kilchurch," the guard continued as O'Malley pulled the brown paper-wrapped object out of the drawer. It's shape was unmistakeable; he twirled it in his hand with obvious pleasure. Tossing the shreds of paper aside, O'Malley quickly unwrapped the claw hammer, enjoying the feel of polished walnut against his calloused palm.

Having it smuggled in, even to a low-security prison like this was a stupid, expensive risk, he knew. But it was a point of pride; O'Malley considered himself a lion in a world of fat, stupid gazelles, and would not go before them without his teeth and claws.

"Well. Dinnae let me detain you," he said, turning his back on the guard and dropping the hammer into the pocket of his laid-out suit. "Busy day. Busy day."

As the guard departed, O'Malley swaggered over to the window, surveying the snow-crusted streets though the bars. Wouldn't be long before he'd be cleared at his arraignment, and then he's be free to get back to business.
  #4  
Unread 26th of September, 2005, 11:05
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The High Court, New York City.
Justice Is Blind
10:31 am, January 17th 2010.


Thirty-three minutes ago, the first event occurred in a chain that will inevitably lead to war, genocide, and destruction on a global scale.

But that is still tomorrow.

Today, the maize is asking for clemency.



Verve
Normally, Astrid Brandt considers professional presentation and timeliness to be a point of pride, even a necessity. But that was before someone took a gigantic crap in her lap.

DA John Kirwin caved to extortion and threats. She shakes her head, disbelieving. As if anybody could think other wise. It's so out of character for him... Part of her wants desperately to find her boss, make sure he's OK, wherever he's hiding. But there's no time for that. As she gets out of the taxi, cup of coffee in one hand and pile of casefiles, documents and testimonies under the other arm the cold winter air swirl through the gaps in your coat. Your metahuman physiology ablates the worst of the effect, however, leaving you just feeling chilled and miserable.

As you juggle your load and the taxi driver autodebits your credcard with a wave of his scanner, Kristine Edmons rushes down the stairs of the High Court, her grey wool coat with the silver synthsilk lining and GE-sable trim flapping. She holds a phone in one hand and a coffee in the other, the same badges of harassed lawyerdom as you.

"Ohmigod, Astrid. Ohmigod," she gushes as she skids to a halt on the clean-scraped sidewalk. "Are you going to call for a postponement? I mean, I know you can handle it," she adds hastily, "But I mean... John running off like that? That's serious. No-one'd blame you if you needed more time... we could even get DA Fielder back from his vacation by tomorrow."

You look around, regaining as much of your equilibrium as you can in this lunatic day. Lady Justice towers above you, her sword raised to smite the guilty and scales ready to exonerate the good. You can't help but feel a chill; some vandal has climbed up her noble facade, and painted two circles on the statue's face.

Justice is not blindfolded; she wears a mask.

There are plenty of reporters hunkered down around the granite steps that rise to the neo-classical front of the High Court. There's no sign of your friend Jane Kennedy, but a number of other journalists of note are there: Chris Tahner, WebNetNews' Ulrich Wachowski, and...

"Hey, isn't that Trisha Ling?" Kristine wonders aloud, pointing her chin. You glance around; despite the fact you'd heard she was on the lam from some nebulous corruption charges placed by the Centinel Foundation, she's here. You didn't recognise her at once, with her hair dyed and looking so... well, ragged. But she stands amongst her fellow reporters, chatting and laughing, notepad ready at her side.

For a moment, you feel uneasy. There sure are a lot of reporters here at your first arraignment.

"O'Malley hasn't been brought yet, but it shouldn't be long. And there's our star witnesses..." Kristine continues, nodding to a group of three men who stand unobtrusively to the side. You have to admire Kristine's eye for seeing people through their disguises or make-up; you wouldn't have recognised the Centinels that easily.

"See the one with brown hair, in the middle? I think that's Quantum... pretty cute without the lightshow, huh?" Kristine grins.


Quantum, Osprey & the Mechanic
Quantum was the first to arrive, having had a weird morning. Everything about the Centinel Building since he'd first got there a week ago had reminded him of how new it was: the hustle and bustle of people setting up their offices, calling maintenance as the new stuff failed to work right, finishing touches on the very building itself.

But now, that all seems to be running in reverse. People are packing, and there's nervous talk of an uncertain future ahead. He was unable to get a straight answer out of anyone, and Paul Forrester eventually decided that he had to get down to court for O'Malley's arraignment. Quantum had arrived too late for the fight with the gangster, but he can imagine the personal stake that the Mechanic and Osprey must have in the outcome. If this 'team' is to work, which looks more and more unlikely by the day, they'll have to watch out for each other like that.

Osprey arrives under his own power, sliding discreetly out of the air into a bare-branched park behind the High Court, then sauntering around to the front, still mulling over Danillo Fong's words.

"Cassat?! Where did you hear this name?" the old man asked as Rob munched on a mouthful of cornflakes. Further questioning on his part failed to dislodge much information from Fong, who seemed unusually worried and brooding over the matter. Rob's trainer excused himself quickly, leaving his pupil alone in the loft of the martial arts school.

Osprey stretches, keeping the various scrapes and bruises across his body mobile so they don't seize up. He notices Quantum standing in the snow-lee of the High Court's wings, and makes his way over.

Like Osprey, the Mechanic shows up looking a little worn out from his exertions. A quick meal in his office, a decon shower to remove any lingering radioactive particles, and a few hours sleep after the Blackfoot helicopter dropped him back in NYC barely scratched the surface of his tiredness. Only the residual thrill of mystery and discover keep him going... and wondering what became of the Anasazi, last seen flying from this city to the moon.

As his car parks itself a few blocks away self-drive, the Mechanic crosses the street to join his friends in front of the High Court.


Bolt
Bolt steps out of the shower, his skin pink from scrubbing and steaming from the warmth. Twice now he's cleaned every nook and cranny, and yet the stink of sewerage, human despair and Satanic evil clings to him like a tainted skin.

Originally Posted by Trisha Ling Ryan~
Isaac, my editor, called me this morning and told me I'd been reinstated. I guess that snake from the Foundation was as good as his word. If you can make it, I'll see you at O'Malley's arraignment.

Take care,

Trisha.
The note you found on your chest when you awoke.

Dim memories of the previous night start to filter through your fatigue-blurred mind. A decent hotel this time; Trisha's credit cards, no longer blocked and programmed to trigger an alarm if used. You guess that snake form the Foundation was as good as his word. So far. Did you have one room, or two?

Did you spend the night with Trisha?

You rub your damp hair, unable to recall. Dropping the towel, you spin on the spot like a ballet dancer as superspeed. The sickening, rushing orbit of the walls makes a nice visual manifestation of your inner state, a roiling mass of sickness at once organic, emotional and psychological. A wave of droplets are blasted of your skin by air resistance, rinsing the walls of the bathroom and leaving you bone-dry.

After dressing, you resolve that the only thing that it makes sense to do is to go down to the High Court, as Trisha suggested. The other Centinels might be there... and you have a lot to explaint to them.


OOC: I've assumed you're all in mufti so you can appraise the scene from a normal perspective, without attracting oceans of media coverage. You can have your costumes on hand so as you can appear incognito, if you wish. Feel free to get back into intercharacter conversations and the like, exchange superwatercooler talk for as long as you wish. You each have exciting tales of the last day's activities, certainly.
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  #5  
Unread 26th of September, 2005, 11:56
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The Mechanic
HP: 8/8; Status: Tired, but thrilled at his Close Encounter of the 3rd kind.
Robert walks across the street in his (rarely seen in the office) pseudo-Armani. The folks at the State department had nearly fallen over themselves placing orders for the things after the demo he'd had for the President... Any nice looking suit that could stop a .44 slug at close range was definitely something they were in the market for. No mask obscures his features... but folks rarely pay attention to him in a crowd now matter unless he's in full gear (there are benefits to being just another face in the crowd). A brief scan of the crowd of reporters across the street to identify friends, acquaintances and potential sources.
There are days I'm so grateful for eidetic memory... he thinks as he mentally compares photos he's seen with people in the crowd.

He makes his way to Osprey and Quantum... giving them a friendly grin.
"Fellahs... Looks like you had a busy night last night. I hear you dealt with a some thugs in town? How'd it go? And before you ask... yes I was out of town... and no I can't really talk about what I was doing... I will just say it was... enlightening."
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Unread 26th of September, 2005, 12:46
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Casa Blanca, New York City.
Former headquarters of the Invisible Hand
10:31 am, January 17th 2010.


Mindwarp

What do you feel when you see the seat of everything you hate reduced to ruins?

Not in the physical sense. Casa Blanca, the 'White House', named in parody or tribute of the nation's capital remains as you last saw it: a blank-faced concrete slab of a warehouse, and probably just as riddled with training rooms, barracks and clandestine labs. Communications monitoring stations, psi-probe chairs, illicit records on every citizen in the country.

Keeping the American people safe from their own thoughts.

Snow falls gently grey all around as Sarah Kennedy brings her van to a halt a short ways down the street. This part of the city is all but deserted, even at this time of the morning; industrial buildings stand stoic and silent, their chimneys venting slowly if at all. The doors to the Casa Blanca stand in a small indentation, unostentatious. No. Physically, the building seems fine; but there is an aura of death about it, the smell of fear and of psychic blood in the water.

What sharks will have been drawn to it?

Sarah turns off the vehicle and stares out of the window moodily. You noticed that the van was set up as a mobile armoury and transport for a group of six people; half of the gear from the weapons lockers and the racks seems to be missing, and a few odds and ends indicate it was used fairly recently; a broken-into pack of toiletries, a ripped comic book, a scattered packet of peanuts.

"Security on the door shouldn't be a problem," the weapons tech says at last, slipping a baseball cap over her head. "It's not like whatever did this was concerned about being found out afterwards..."
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Unread 26th of September, 2005, 14:31
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Verve
HP: 5/5; Status: Frazzled but determined.

Almost slipping on a piece of black ice the city crews had missed as her coworker blasts her with bad news, Astrid manages a crooked but weak smile. "Good morning to you too, Kristine." Ignoring the other woman's comment about Quantum, she too dispenses with polite morning formalities. Cute as the Centinel might be, the assistant DA's stomach is churning far too hard to think about men at the moment. Hell, she hadn't been able to take more than a bite of the bagel she'd gotten from her favorite coffee shop, and she hadn't even flirted with Nash, the coffee guy. The super-hot coffee guy she always flirted with, every morning.

"We're not postponing," she says firmly as the pair head for the steps and the guantlet of reporters. "I'm not letting this bastard derail this before we even get it moving. We can call in Fielder if we need to later on, but I'm gonig to handle the arraignment." Before Kristine can even respond, Astrid sips at her steaming coffee and continues, a plan of action obviously already set in her mind.

"While I talk to the press I need you to speak with those witnesses, the Centinels guys. See if they've had threats too -- I had one last night. See if they also have, and double-fucking-triple check that they're planning on testifying as planned."

Seeing Ling and the other members of the media stir, sharpening their knives and spears at her approach, Brant pauses for a moment and touches her friend on the arm. "And look, I've been on the phone all morning, and I can't get a straight story. Where the hell is John? Is he okay? I heard he was sick, but you just said he ran off. What the hell happened? Tell me he's okay, Kristine."

Last edited by Harrigan; 28th of September, 2005 at 13:14.
  #8  
Unread 26th of September, 2005, 16:34
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Bolt
HP: 5/5 status: Another day, another depression...

Ryan wipes away the steam from the mirror in front of him, looking closely at the reflection, he looked like hell and he still smelled like raw sewage... how long is that going to last? But at least they weren't being hunted by every law enforcement agency. Making a deal with 'Mr. Lizard' didn't make him happy but really what other choice did they have?

He smiles slightly thinking about the note that Trisha left, at least her life seems to be getting back to normal, although he was some what flustered about not remembering what happened last night, did they... "Don't be an idiot. You would remember that." He mutters to himself.

What he really needed was a good run, he glanced over towards the clock, yea he had time, a couple of fast laps around Manhattan would help clear his head. Running all ways helped clear the cobwebs...

Several minutes later the group of Centinels feel a blast of wind surge past them only to have Ryan appear a minute later coming around the corner. He stands before them for a moment, anxiety written on his face.

"Hey, hows everyone doing?"
  #9  
Unread 27th of September, 2005, 10:03
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Verve

"No? Okay..." Kristine hides a grin behind the rim of her coffee cup. Her expression turns more sober when you mention your boss. "He took his wife and kid and went upstate... he left a message, something about job-related stress, but no one really believes that. I think they have a place up near Albany, a little summer cottage."

You glance over her shoulder. Despite what you secretly hoped, the journalists are not tugging at the chain and slavering to rip into you - they've noticed your presence, but are not paying you any attention. Apart, that is, from Tahner, whose keen eyes are fixed piercingly on you. Maybe they haven't heard about Kirwin's abandonment of the case?

Kristine looks alarmed at your next piece of news. "Astri... they went after you, too? Ohmigod... what happened? Are you - well, no, I can see you're alright."
  #10  
Unread 27th of September, 2005, 13:24
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Verve
HP: 5/5; Status: Fully Caffinated

Astrid smiles inwardly at being wrong about the reporters. They were waiting for O'Malley, not her. Fair enough -- one less thing to deal with on a morning where it feels like she has about a hundred too many things to fix as it is.

She also breathes a sigh of relief when her coworker tells her the DA and his family are safe, though, from the sounds of it, in hiding. Probably a smart place to be, based on the chunk of human Astrid found herself looking at in fascination and disgust earlier that morning.

"Yeah, someone dropped a little something off at my apartment last night, something meant to intimidate me." Astrid adjusted her glasses as she returned Tahner's look. "But don't worry about me -- we need to make sure our witnesses are all still on board." Motioning with her head, she sets off for the three -- wait, now there are four -- men, Kristine beside her.

"Looks like these guys aren't looking for a statement from me after all, so let's just get these fellas inside. Funny things tend to happen around masks in public, so let's not tempt fate."

OOC: Heading over to the fellas... will wait to make my intro until after they've had a bit of a chance to catch up amongst themselves.
  #11  
Unread 28th of September, 2005, 13:23
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posted on behalf of LonePaladin via email

Quantum

Paul tried to suppress a shiver in the early-morning wind; it carried a chill that even novas would find oppressive. Despite the heavy wool overcoat and vest, the wind seemed to eat right through to his skin. Perhaps it was his slacks -- for some reason, everyone considers a coat and hat enough to keep them warm, while their legs were protected by a mere slip of material. A nice pair of denim pants would've helped, but showing up in a courtroom dressed like a lumberjack wouldn't help any.

For a moment, he considered invoking his reality-warping field; with his recent epiphanies in its workings, he might even be able to figure out how to regulate its internal temperatures. Better to do that sort of playing around in the lab, he decided. Besides, I'm not here to show off today. We're playing 'What's-His-Face vs. The Other Guy' and flinging furniture and debris isn't the way to win.

As Osprey came gliding in, followed soon by the Mechanic, Paul greeted them both and pulled out his Thermos, filled recently with the best coffee he could get. Offering it to the pair, he asked, "Any idea where Bolt or the meat-shield are?"
  #12  
Unread 28th of September, 2005, 13:52
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The Mechanic
HP:8/8 Status: Dreading courtroom drama

Originally Posted by Quantum "Any idea where Bolt or the meat-shield are?"
"Haven't heard from them since I got back in town. They didn't make the news like you boys did last night."

Setting his Haliburton on the ground Robert pulls his PCS from a pocket inside his suit. It humms faintly as it's operating systems kick in.

"I can try checking on their coord's if you'd like....Though if the Foundation is still looking at Bolt on those charges the rumor-mills been kicking around I'd be surprised if he showed. Then again, the rumors were also going around that Trisha Ling was involved in whatever it was. And she's over in with the press there." Robert comments as he indicates the mob in front of the courthouse waiting for O'Malleys appearance.

A rush of wind knocks over the Haliburton at the Mechanics' feet. He bends over and picks the case up again, as Bolt appears from around the corner.

Originally Posted by Bolt "Hey, how's everyone doing?"
"Not bad. Wondering if you and Wreck were going to show as a matter of fact. Still... been wondering what's up. Word at the Foundation was that you were involved in 'corporate espionage' or something like that... though what kinds of secrets the Foundation could be keeping that would fall in that category bother me." Robert says, hanging onto his PCS in his left hand with the briefcase in his right.
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  #13  
Unread 29th of September, 2005, 01:46
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He had a dream once, a commonly occuring nocturnal phantasm in the minds of men, that he was naked in a public place. Completely and unexpectedly unclothed. Exposed, and vulnerable. The psychology books he'd been reading had passed it off as not only pure symbolism, but frequently occurring during times of stress. It had only been a dream, but that sense of dread and urge to flee had stayed with him for a little while.

This was no dream, but he felt no less exposed.

Rob had come to court dressed in the suit provided by the Foundation and with his face uncovered as a nod to his colleagues, most of which he knew would be similarly attired. It had seemed a good idea at the time, a refreshing change of pace from skulking about in black leathers. It had turned into a disaster of anxiety. He had never before come to think of the vigilante Osprey as being separate from plain ol' Rob Holt, but now as he listened to his voice, paid attention to his demeanor, and found himself constantly scanning the place for anyone who might recognize him, he realized that the bifurcation was not only real, but distinct.

They didn't make the news like you boys did last night.
"About that, Mr. Thomas, there's something I need to--"

"And she's over in with the press there."
"I'm trying to figure something out--"

"Hey, how's everyone doing?"
"I need your help with--"

Motioning with her head, she sets off for the three -- wait, now there are four -- men, Kristine beside her.
'Ah, hell.'

Amazing. He was almost invisible here. Was it him? Is his 'plain old Rob' personality just that subdued? Even more distressing, should there even be so deep a schizm between 'plain old Rob' and Osprey? That was something to think about, maybe even talk over with Dr. Chernetsky or Master Fong.

Wow. Master Fong. He'd really gotten worked up when Rob asked him what "Cassat" meant. It was a lot like a parent wanting to know where his kid learned the f-bomb, but there was something deeper...Rob wasn't sure, but he'd come away with the nagging impression that Danilo had felt almost threatened to hear the word come from Rob's mouth. That alone made Rob balk at researching it, out of respect for the old man.

Some woman--probably a lawyer--approached the pack of heroes. Her face was a mask of intensity; clearly he wasn't the only anxious soul in the room, and she probably had good reason: God only knows how badly the deck is stacked against the prosecution, behind the scenes. Rob does not expect justice to win today, and by the vibe this public defender is giving off, neither does she.


OOC: He'll be changing into costume shortly after the conversation with Astrid.
  #14  
Unread 29th of September, 2005, 17:26
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Well that went a lot better then he had expected, but what had he really expected? That they would attack him on the spot? Ignore him outright?

No he didn't really know what to expect so this mild acceptance was nice, kind of like a family, no matter how badly you screw up they just accept you for who you are.

"Not bad. Wondering if you and Wreck were going to show as a matter of fact. Still... been wondering what's up. Word at the Foundation was that you were involved in 'corporate espionage' or something like that... though what kinds of secrets the Foundation could be keeping that would fall in that category bother me."
"Why am I not surprised that they would say that," Ryan states with a small sigh, "no that's not what happened at all. It started right after we got together for those drinks, Trisha dug up some 'questionable' information about the Centinels, now she obtained the info by some 'queationable' tactics herself but at the time I didn't know that, I guess it wouldn't have really mattered if I did. Anyways some of the Cent. security guards tried to grab her and before I knew it we were on the run. We decided that we needed more information on the Cents and that involved going into the sewers..."

Ryan gives a brief run down on the mole people, Ritual and focusing more on the meeting with the Seer and 'Mr. Lizard'.

"What happened while I was gone? Where is Wreck anyways?"
  #15  
Unread 1st of October, 2005, 00:52
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Astrid Brant is an attractive woman, even on a morning where she's overtired, overworked, over-caffeinated and under-confident. Her black hair, tousled in the morning wind, is just the right kind of sexy-messy, and her black-stockinged legs, visible from the knee down beneath both her skirt and grey overcoat, are toned and shapely.

"Gentlemen," she says upon reaching the group of men, her blue eyes meeting each man's in turn, "I'm Astrid Brant, Assistant DA, and this is Kristine Edmons, also with the DA's office. District Attorney Kirwin had to excuse himself due to illness, so I'll be handling the arraignment. Before we get started in the courthouse, I wanted to see if any of you had questions, and am also interested in knowing if any of you have received threats of any kind from O'Malley or this allies." Adjusting the case files under her arm as Kristine nods her own hellos to each of the Centinels, she adds, "And it looks like we're short a body, right? Wreck? Is he running late?"
  #16  
Unread 4th of October, 2005, 01:38
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Rob looks over to Astrid as she steps up towards the group.
I'm Astrid Brant, Assistant DA
Assistant DA? I thought the DA was chomping at the bit to get O'Malley behind bars for good.... I was sure he was covering this case.
District Attorney Kirwin had to excuse himself due to illness, so I'll be handling the arraignment.
"Ah... I see." Rob says under his breath watching Astrid as she speaks to the others. O'Malley's people must have put some serious pressure on him or his family...Major threats perhaps...Too bad whatever it was isn't usable in court.
I wanted to see if any of you had questions, and am also interested in knowing if any of you have received threats of any kind from O'Malley or this allies. And it looks like we're short a body, right? Wreck? Is he running late?
Ah... and there it is.Rob thinks to himself, as his suspicions are confirmed.

"Difficult to say Ms. Brandt." Robert replies, "I know that I haven't heard anything from him for several days. Granted we just met a short time ago, but I presume he'd be here." He pauses a moment... thinking on other possibilities, "Of course, with his track record it's entirely possible O'Malley's people found him and decided to pay him off. He's a tad....Mercenary is the best way to put it." He looks around the group for confirmations or denials, then moves on. "On the matter of threats... I haven't recieved anything.. but my company's security is pretty tight. It'd be difficult at best for any of O'Malley's people to try anything and not be caught. If they were trying to threaten me that is... Also, I've been out of town for a few days. Some work for the government you could say. That may have kept them from trying anything."

A brief pause follows, then.. "Oh... I forgot... I'm Robert Thomas. You'll likely be calling me the Mechanic."

Last edited by Chronaltap; 4th of October, 2005 at 01:49.
  #17  
Unread 4th of October, 2005, 07:15
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Ryan's head snaps up quickly as the rather attractive woman introduces herself. Could this be the person that the Seer was talking about? Could he even trust what the man had told him, (even that was remarkably little,) It was obvious that whatever happened to him had left him stark raving mad but that didn't mean he was lying, it just meant that figuring out what was real and unreal would be a lot harder to seperate.

Then again what are the odds that two people would be named Astrid...

"Excuse me, what did you say your name was again?"
  #18  
Unread 4th of October, 2005, 12:29
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"He's a tad....Mercenary is the best way to put it." He looks around the group for confirmations or denials, then moves on.
The other Rob lets out a barking hiss of obvious contempt, then mumbles. "Glad I'm not the only one that sees it."

"...interested in knowing if any of you have received threats of any kind from O'Malley or this allies."
"Only every day of my life for the past six months." He doesn't mean to say it out loud, but the words spill forth anyway, garnering reproachful glances from his teammates. "Okay, that's a little bit of an exaggeration, sorry. I have not received any direct threats related to what's going to happen today. And I'm willing to bet that his lack of interest in intimidating us means that he's got some kind of ace up his sleeve which he believes will neutralize our testimony." Blue eyes slide across to meet Astrid's gaze. "You and Kirwin are the ones he wanted to make sure didn't show up today; you and Kirwin are the ones that have him nervous. Nervous to the point of using a mighty big hammer..." He pauses, swallows, and resists the urge to clop polycarbonate teeth together. "To the point of abandoning subterfuge and guile in favor of raw visceral terror. Somehow, in O'Malley's mind, while he's certainly not forgotten about us, we've become incidental to the issue, and you're the problem that needs to be dealt with." He delivers this last part with an unexpected amount of gravitas, trying to ignore that it came out sounding like a threat.
  #19  
Unread 4th of October, 2005, 16:35
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HP: 5/5; Status: Suddenly thinking she didn't have enough coffee, and hoo boy that one guy is a little off.

"Mr. Tomas," Astrid says with a nod when the Mechanic finishes. "And it's Astrid Brant -- no 'd' in Brant," she says to Bolt when he asks after her name again. When the other Rob -- the moody one -- lets loose this little diatribe, Astrid smiles and appears to take it in stride.

"I won't have a problem standing up to Mr. O'Malley or his friends, I assure you." Brant's gaze, framed by her stylish glasses, is tired but steady as she looks from man to man while asking her next question. "So... I can rely on all of you, then? Your testimony is going to be crucial in this case. While O'Malley might be focusing his attentions on my office at the moment, there's a very real chance you're going to receive threats of some kind. I need to know I can count on you. Without the eyewitness accounts you can provide we're looking at circumstantial evidence at best, and he'll beat charges like that without blinking. I've personally seen him do it twice before."

Exhaling, the black-haired woman looses a long wisp of breath into the morning air and readjusts some of the load she's carrying while waiting on their answers.

Last edited by Harrigan; 4th of October, 2005 at 16:41.
  #20  
Unread 6th of October, 2005, 05:08
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I should probably be keeping LP more up to date... he's running a little behind, conversation-timeline-wise

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For just a moment, Paul has to resist the urge to laugh at Rob; the poor man looks like he needs to pee. Knowing it probably won't help the man's nerves in the slightest, he unscrews the cap from his Thermos and fills it about half-way with hot coffee. He offers the cup to Rob. "Here, drink this. It'll give you the good kind of jitters, instead of this 'maternity-ward waiting-room' type you've got."

He looks at the gathering crowd. "You guys realize that I have almost nothing to contribute to this. By the time the Foundation geeks thawed me out, most of the action was over. I've only met one of the antagonists, and that was at the stadium fiasco -- and I can't think of how they'd be connected."
  #21  
Unread 6th of October, 2005, 05:41
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Ryan studies the woman in front of him for a few moments, she doesn't seem to scare easily but something was making her nervous but he couldn't quite figure out what that was. Maybe she didn't like being around capes, it wouldn't have been the first time it happened.

"I can assure you Ms. Brant, that none of us can be intimidated very easily. O'Malley's people probably went after you, figuring that you would an easier target." He tells her with a shrug, "as for Wreck, I have to agree with the Mechanic, they probably gave him a fist full of cash and he took off but the rest of us are more than happy to help you put O'Malley away for a long long time."

He pauses for a moment as she readjusts what she is carrying.
"Do you want a hand with some of that?"
  #22  
Unread 8th of October, 2005, 07:17
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Paul always loves it when a conversation gets carried away. Osprey's little monologue was almost worthy of the comic books. Almost. Heh. Once everyone pauses for breath, Paul speaks up.

"Miss Brant, I received a direct threat, with a demand, very recently -- on the night of the fiasco at the stadium. I was there when Devolution turned up and started a riot. I managed to get him away from anyone he could influence, and when I got back for damage-control, the gang's pet teleporter was there. He made it pretty clear that his employer wanted me out of the city for good, and implied physical harm if I didn't agree."

He paused, unable to help smirking. "Like any good hero, I told him where he could put the offer, and the threat."
  #23  
Unread 12th of October, 2005, 13:37
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Originally Posted by Astrid "So... I can rely on all of you, then? Your testimony is going to be crucial in this case. While O'Malley might be focusing his attentions on my office at the moment, there's a very real chance you're going to receive threats of some kind. I need to know I can count on you. Without the eyewitness accounts you can provide we're looking at circumstantial evidence at best, and he'll beat charges like that without blinking. I've personally seen him do it twice before."
"I have quite a vivid memory Ms. Brant. My eyewitness testimony should prove fairly ample evidence I hope... It's been accepted by the court in the past, in any case." The Mechanic says, looking around and wishing that the coffee cart was JUST a bit closer. "I am curious about the evidence though... I know that at least one of the mechaical combat drones was submitted as evidence. The police and the Foundation gave me the other to inspect. They were both major pieces of military hardware... pretty illegal for any private citizen to own. And they were both in O'Malley's warehouse."
He stops thinking to himself... "Ah well... I never did fully understand all the twists and turns of our modern legal system. It's especially difficult where the Vigilance Comission and "vigilates" are concerned. I suppose I'll just have to leave the legal manuvering to the professionals." He smiles broadly at the lovely litigator and picks up his Haliburton from the ground.

"Is there anything else you feel you need to brief us on before court; other than the usual; make your statements clearly, don't pause, don't stutter, don't say "Um"?" he asks, obviously preparing to move into the courtbuilding, checking his passes to show to the courtroom guards.
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Unread 17th of October, 2005, 12:57
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"I'm okay, thanks," Astrid answers, reshuffling some of what she's carrying while making eye contact with the speedster. Listening while the other Centinels converse, she raises an eyebrow at Kristine. "Call the Foundation, try to verify Wreck's whereabouts and if he was even planning on being here this morning."

Looking to Paul, she continues, "Have you reported that incident? I need statements on things like that, we need it in the public record to use. Talk to the police this morning after the arraignment if you haven't already, please."

Then turning to the technical genius known as the Mechanic, Brant nods. "We do have a fair bit of physical evidence, the military drones and all the Chinese guns, but it's you guys who can place O'Maley at the scene and describe what he was doing there -- as well as the arms dealer." Giving the group a practiced 'follow-me' head nod, the attractive, smartly-dressed woman begins leading the pack up the broad steps of the courthouse.

"There's no testimony or anything today, so no worries on that. This is just the arraignment, where the judge hears the charges and decides if there is a case, sets bail, that sort of thing. And don't worry -- we'll be running down your testimonies in great detail before you ever take the stand."
  #25  
Unread 18th of October, 2005, 18:00
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Snagging his cup from Osprey, he hastens to fasten it to his Thermos while following Astrid. As they ascend the steps to the courthouse, a question occurs to him -- and, naturally, it goes straight to his mouth, sans any sort of editing or proofreading.

"Are they planning any sort of precautions? A lot of people involved are going to have the ability to cause all sorts of chaos. I wouldn't be surprised if their resident teleporter tries to send the judge's gavel into a witness."
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