Small Change

It Was You All Along
Story 8 - Session 17

This manse is strange. Sophia’s attempts to discern who it belongs to is successful (no one) but its layout escapes her.

So begins our heroes’ descent.

The first door they reach bears a fully filled in golden circle. Kuku opens the way to a small room with a Vetruvian man inscribed on the floor. The second door bears a fully filled in silver disk. Sophia opens this one, leading into a room in which rests a giant suit of armor, immobile, a hallway protected with a lattice of lasers, and a third door with a purple-rainbow disc. Nixie opens the latter, which leads to yet another door, on which is a large panel of five buttons, one green, yellow, red, blue, and purple – a game of Mastermind. Solving the game leads to a room with a flat dais (upon which sits a plastic banana) and two sealed doors holding Erymanthoi. Removing the banana activates the suit of armor in the first room; it’s hardly a trouble to dispatch thanks to an all-out coordinated attack. When the dust settles, they move on past the now deactivated laser doorway.

The stairwell they find leads further downward, into a strange room with a platform. A huge, crystalline sphere sits dead center, swirling with color and pure light.

It was all a lie.

Gabriel sheds his mask. Sheds his ties to Ebon Dragon. Spreads his white anima wings as his tainted existence pours into the heart of the city. Shatters the trust of seven demi-gods in the span of minutes.

Everything’s gone wrong.

“Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home. Your house is on fire. Your children will burn…” He’ll let them go free, without harm, but they’ll have to do in kind to him to prevent the death of their loved ones and Thunder City.

Why?

“I did it… because this city needs you. This city needs heroes. I’ve learned something important through my lifetimes. Heroes are never, ever heroes forever. Look at what’s become of every one of them who ever stood for this city. Human beings don’t want to be saved. They want to be… entertained. I say this with the certainty of this entire miserable species’ history in my memory, over life after life, incarnation after incarnation. A hero is only a hero as long as the novelty lasts. And never if the hero needs to be saved. I won’t let the same thing happen to you. Not to any of you. You’re going to leave here. No one you love will be hurt. You will be safe. They will be safe. I will ensure them a steady stream of the entertainment they crave. As I have done. Every single villain this city has faced? Each one unknowingly knelt before me. The Raksha? The Abyssals? They each and every one played to my plans. And they will continue to do so. And you will fight them. And win. And everyone will go home and sleep soundly in their beds satisfied the strong and good have won over the weak and wicked.

Al resists leaving. Terribly. The others won’t have it; everyone needs to leave or everyone dies. Kuku is prepared to kill her if he needs to, and Gabe is just about to save him the trouble when Nixie devours Al’s love.

They leave, physically unharmed. Their loved ones are safe. But nothing is okay.

The manse at city hall shifts into a huge tower. Blasphemy is committed. A Yozi has broken captivity.

This is just the beginning of the end.

(End of Story)


Date

Thursday, August 18th, 2168

Moon

Full

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Story Award | 6 XP
3 Die Stunt Award | 2XP (Jen + Kate)
Total | 10 XP
Running Total | 663 XP

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Thunder City's New Mayor
Story 8 - Session 16

After securing ropes for safety, Nixie and Sophia dive into the mysterious vanishing pool to further investigate the weird darkness the former found. Their investigation plops them right through a portal to Hell – the same green sun over an expanse of desert. As pursuing the trail of the Remade any further would at best be a shitty idea, the two return to the overworld and head back with Kuku and Vincent to announce their findings. Ultimately, it’s decided that searching Hell for the Remade would be very, very stupid. Instead, Nixie’s organization will seal up the portal so at least Nero Drago won’t be able to use it either.

Two days later on August 12th, Thunder City’s mayoral election comes to a close. The results aren’t surprising. In third place, Alex Romero, with 16% of the total votes. In second place, Ruth McKenzie, with 28% of the votes. With 56% of the votes, Gabriel Dyson is elected mayor of Thunder City. His winning speech is brief, but familiar.

“People of Thunder City, this is a turning point. This marks the end of Thunder City’s long road of suffering. This is the beginning of a city where cruelty is not strength, and kindness is not weakness. This is the beginning of the transformation of this city. No longer will Thunder City be a falling tower. It will be a city on a hill, a brightly illuminated beacon for all to look to for inspiration, strength, and hope. In the coming days, the fire that burns at the heart of this city will flame into glory from its embers once again. People of Thunder City – it is time to bring back the light.”

A week passes uneventfully before new mayor Gabriel Dyson calls up his friends on August 23rd with the news that he’s discovered the manse beneath City Hall. It’s time for an adventure.


Date

Wednesday, August 10th; Friday, August 12th, and Wednesday, August 17th, 2168

Moon

Waxing Half; Waxing Gibbous; Full

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Total | 4 XP
Running Total | 651 XP

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Vanishing Streams
Story 8 - Session 15

Following the concern over what to do with the Remade and realizing Vikky has taught herself Sapphire tier countermagic in addition to Al picking up a trick that might help, Carmen suggests paying a visit to Morrie Turner to reassess his mental state and determine if there’s anything they can do to help him heal. She, Vikky, Al, and Kuku (and Nixie, in hiding) make very awkward a trip over only to find that he seems… more or less normal, and no longer the weird empty-and-refilled he seemed like when he was first Remade. Considering his and Katrina Jackson’s (another Remade they fleetingly check in on) ‘recoveries’, no further actions are taken.

Three weeks pass. Kuku is pestered by the media. TC’s new chief of police is sworn in. Southside gang violence steps up, and an eight year old boy is shot at Jake Dublinsky Park.

On the 10th of September the Remade under observation all leave home per their usual schedules and don’t come back.

Sophia launches a search for them, calling in Kuku and Carmen for help in tracking down where the hell they went. The search leads them an hour out of town, to Vanishing Streams State Park. The path itself leads to a bizarre set of, well, vanishing streams, and more bizarrely, straight into one. Nixie makes an initial dive to check out the pond, resurfacing when she discovers supernatural(?) darkness.


Date

Friday, July 22nd, 2168 and Wednesday, August 10th, 2168

Moon

Waning Gibbous and Waxing Half

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Total | 4 XP
Running Total | 647 XP

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Source of the Tapes
Story 8 - Session 14

Though the damage is done, the question of who sent the tapes in is a question that needs answering. Kuku and Carmen break out their computers to track down – through a string of hurdles – the origin point of the leaked tapes: TCPD internal network. With a bit more poking around, they discover the computer of one Officer Sandra Partridge. Even further investigation points out that Partridge’s desk is a blind spot in TCPD’s surveillance cameras, and that she suffered a psychological breakdown immediately following Halloween of 2167. Armed with this unfortunately coincidental knowledge, they call a group meeting.

At said meeting, the two dive deeper into Patridge’s files, try to determine whether it’s plausible that Nero Drago Remade her or if this is all just unfortunate coincidence that gave him an opening to use her computer. That question remains largely up int he air, until or even after Sophia shadows her after work to find her staring, for hours on end, at a strange youtube video. A discussion on what to do with the Remade comes up, the compromised solution being to just keep closer observation on them rather than terminate them.

In related news, Chief Irons announces his resignation and his suggestion for replacement for Chief of Police, and Kuku makes his public neosapien debut (which is very well received by the public.) Alex Romero fucks himself over with his response to Kuku and Chief Iron’s collusion. No one is disappointed.


Date

Thursday, July 21st, 2168

Moon

Full

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Total | 4 XP
Running Total | 643 XP

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Free Press Tape Leak
Story 8 - Session 13

Anyone reading the news today has little trouble finding it. The Thunder City Free Press broke the story first, and quickly shared it with other media outlets. In their hot little hands: Two recordings of Chief Irons colluding with “one of the participants in the Halloween massacre,” explicitly agreeing to hold back police interference in the second one, and in the first providing forewarning of a police raid. Kuku has no problem recognizing either of these.

In light of this news, Kuku and Carmen scramble to hack themselves some information about where these tapes came from – most likely a call log program on Chief Irons’ phone, then it’s a scramble to get the group together to discuss just what the hell can be done about it.

Without a doubt, Kuku’s life as a neosapien, as Reaper Daddy, and as Jie Obasanjo, is out, irrevocably. Anyone who doesn’t want to be outed with him will have to cut ties. Chief Irons’ fate is less certain though, with public opinion polarized on the matter. They decide the best way they can minimize damage to his career is to simply talk over their options with him.

Sophia, in guise of ‘Great Aunt Suzy’ (complete with cookies), pays Chief Irons a visit to ask about his plans for Romero and pass along Kuku’s plans of going public with his identity, explaining the fight with the Syndicates, and explain what happened at Halloween – and that these plans are negotiable.

Chief Irons’ response is short, and grim. He’ll inform the public that he falsely charged Kuku with a crime in order to protect him from the syndicates. He has no intention to investigate the tapes’ origins. He will retire from the force, but he’ll make sure none of the group sees charges, and he’ll officially recommend Lt. Higgins as his replacement. And, in Chief Irons words, “Your lot are heroes for what they did. I don’t forget heroes.”

At least as a bonus in all this, Mayor McKenzie’s campaign ratings absolutely tank?


Date

Wednesday, July 20th, 2168

Moon

Full

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Total | 4 XP
Running Total | 639 XP

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June 2168
Story 8 - Session 12

The following is a summary of March, 2168. Things that are grayed out are not universally known by the rest of the group.

Al
  • Continues hospital volunteer, EMT work, assistance with mayoral campaign, keeping an eye out for evidence of Drago, and helping fix cars for Nixie. Continues carpentry project in conjunction with Vikky, manually capping the old abandoned bar demense.
Kuku
  • Continues to be a socialite at fancy parties and a meme at trash clubs.
  • Continues gathering information regarding weird deaths, big drug busts, and the like from a script installed on TCPD servers.
  • Attempts wishing for more past-life memories from Gabe; the deal fails.
Carmen
  • Continues work on Gabe’s campaign, helping repair car parts for Nixie, and work on the watchdog movement which is starting to form up in earnest.
  • Continues producing/distributing potions.
  • Starts exhibiting signs of stress and fatigue that results in small but weird outbreaks focused on children, toys, and corporate work life. Kuku’s check for derangement fails.
Sophia
  • Continues to monitor graffiti, word on Drago or his victims, and the Remade.
  • Progresses infiltration of the Boneyard Boys as young Julian, supernaturally securing more inclusion and trust. This nets her the info that one “fuckboy” came back and took over the gang, and apparently had some dealings with a man of familiar description.
  • Begins supernaturally warning her catalog of gangs against Drago.
  • Continues performing at progressively ritzier places (and still dive bars) as “Fire in the Night”
Vikky
  • Continues work on silk armor and attempts to secure occult/arcane books.
  • Recast Unity of Dreams; everyone is on board this time.
  • Continues carpentry project in conjunction with Al, manually capping the old abandoned bar demense.
Nixie
  • Continues her multiple plans for Thunder City.
Vincent
  • Hunkers down.
Gabriel
  • Is a crazed gerbil.
Book
  • Spews Sophia with popcorn in protest of her saying the word ‘popcorn’ wrong.

XP

Session Award | 8 XP
Total | 8 XP
Running Total | 635 XP

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May 2168
Story 8 - Session 11

The following is a summary of May, 2168. Things that are grayed out are not universally known by the rest of the group.

Al
  • Continues hospital volunteer, EMT work, assistance with mayoral campaign, keeping an eye out for evidence of Drago, and helping fix cars for Nixie.
Kuku
  • Continues to be a socialite at fancy parties and a meme at trash clubs.
  • Rebuilds and repurposes his hacking server to alter Sophia’s records into something more innocuous, and put an alert system in place for compiling a database of suspicious deaths in TC.
Carmen
  • Continued work on Gabe’s campaign, helping repair car parts for Nixie, and work on the watchdog movement which is starting to form up in earnest.
  • Delves deeper into alchemy, gathering materials and producing/distributing potions.
Sophia
  • Continues to monitor graffiti, the Boneyard Boys as Julian, word on Drago or his victims, and the Remade.
  • Continues performing at progressively ritzier places (and still dive bars).
  • Crashes a few of Kuku’s society parties.
Vikky
  • Continues work on silk armor.
  • Hunts new forms.
  • Summons Greater Minions.
  • Prematurely ends the Dream Unity spell.
Nixie
  • Continues her multiple plans for Thunder City, including buying cheap land around the highway or near the Creepers and working both on her own watch project and the city-wide watch program with Carmen.
Vincent
  • ???
Gabriel
  • ???

XP

Session Award | 8 XP
Total | 8 XP
Running Total | 627 XP

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April 2168
Story 8 - Session 11

The following is a summary of April, 2168. Things that are grayed out are not universally known by the rest of the group.

Al
  • Continues EMTing with continued lookout for signs of Hollows or Cruelty, curing kids at the hospital, and helping out Gabe with his campaign.
  • Regularly checks in with Raven about the gateway’s comings and goings.
  • Continues to periodically help put together car parts for Nixie.
Kuku
  • Re-emerges into society as Jie Obasanjo to lay potential groundwork for the future.
  • Offers assistance to Gabe’s campaign with endorsements (by his newly minted wealthy society philanthropist status) and donations.
  • Asks Vincent to make a Reaper Daddy suit jacket so he can club while wearing it. (It bursts off his body the first time he dances with it.)
  • Funds a workshop for Vikky’s silk armor work.
Carmen
  • Begins studying general potion making and specifically a cure-all treatment.
  • Continues assisting Gabe’s campaign, acting as a secretary and fostering Friends of Gabriel Dyson.
  • Continues periodically finding and repairing car parts for Nixie.
Sophia
  • Has a birthday.
  • Continues building her performance reputation as a mystery woman.
  • Continues animal monitoring of the Boneyard and deep cover as young Julian, working only on the peripheries rather than joining yet.
  • Regularly checks on the Remade.
  • Asks Kuku for help removing her Wanted status.
Vikky
  • Becomes less publicly secretive about her manse’s purpose and her Sapehood, if asked.
  • Earns 1 success towards making her first silk armor. (Remaining successes needed: 14)
Nixie
  • Continues her multiple plans for Thunder City, including encouraging thrift store donations, creating groups for random acts of kindness, and setting up car charity with help from Carmen and Al.
Vincent
  • Opens a website for commissioned pieces and grows better at sewing by day.
Gabriel
  • AHHH MAYORAL CAMPAIGN

XP

Session Award | 8 XP
Total | 8 XP
Running Total | 619 XP

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March 2168
Story 8 - Session 11

The following is a summary of March, 2168. Things that are grayed out are not universally known by the rest of the group.

General Notes
  • Kuku and Vikky’s relationship has become public knowledge.
Al
  • Has a birthday.
  • Reworks her schedule. Thurs-Sun, 12a-8a (Work), Sun-Mon (Help Gabe with his campaign), Tues-Weds (Hospital volunteering),
  • Steps up story time visits to kids with chemo and dialysis.
  • Collects an opinion poll on his mayoral run from police, fire, and rescue. (The opinions are mixed due to Gabe’s stance on hammering out the police.)
Kuku
  • Prepares for his DARPA hack by amassing the proper server equipment, housed in an abandoned building bought through a shell corporation.
  • Hacks into DARPA, searching for anything related to viruses, biological warfare, Cruelty, and Deathlords/Abyssals (specifically the Dowager of the Irreverent Vulgate in Unrent Veils). He learns DARPA has no research into weaponized diseases and information on Project Patriot: a cooperative with the US government in research of synthesizing Neosapien powers, to allow the army/FBI/CIA respond to Neosapien threats. The first synthetic Neosapien, codename WASHINGTON, will be ready to do or die by the end of the year. The incidental information regarding essence-reactive materials provides Vikky with a pattern for her silk armor.
Carmen
  • Has lost a fair amount of weight.
  • Guides the bakery more into catering, favoring non-profits and charities for networking purposes.
  • Picks up coding jobs to help fund a potion-making laboratory.
  • Continues assisting Gabe by supporting a growing grassroots campaign, attending local meets, and scheduling meetings for greater publicity.
  • Continues setting up a city-wide watch dog group.
Sophia
  • Continues performing in the bad parts of town, using social charms to befriend locals and regulars for informative purposes.
  • Begins deep cover as young Julian, trolling north side’s worst parts with a goal of infiltrating the Boneyard Boys.
  • Also begins personal monitoring of the Boneyard in various animal forms.
Vikky
  • Continues work on silk armor.
  • Focuses more into finding occult and arcane books to furnish her library.
Nixie
  • Continues her multiple plans for Thunder City, including beginning a conversation for transit revamps like a second bridge, enhancing the city’s fine arts programs, overseeing her smaller watchdog groups, and encouraging better use of would-be discarded foods.
  • Is more of a rare occurrence these days for interaction.
Vincent
  • Seeks investments.
  • Opens up sewing commissions online.
Gabriel
  • Formal candidacy goes public.

XP

Session Award | 8 XP
Total | 8 XP
Running Total | 611 XP

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February 2168
Story 8 - Session 10

The following is a summary of February, 2168. Things that are grayed out are not universally known by the rest of the group.

General Notes
  • Hypothetically, if Cruelty is a virus, there are Solar means by which to cure it. (Ailment Rectifying Method)
Nixie
  • Works on her laundry list of “Improve Thunder City” items, including stimulating TC’s economy and cleaning up the city’s appearance.
  • Begins planning a city-wide neighborhood watch with Carmen
Vikky
  • Continues work on essence reactive silk and armor making. With assistance from Nixie, the Bureau agrees to provide her a recipe if she gives them her first two products.
Kuku
  • Continues work on his money project, with assistance from Nixie, and finds some buyers.
Al
  • Frees up her Wednesdays to help with Gabe’s campaign
  • Gathers up opinions of first responders and reports to Gabe
  • Continues to monitor the hospital for Hollows
Sophia
  • Keeps tabs on the Remade victims, new graffiti, local gangs, and signs of Drago
  • Continues performing in dive bars, using them as social attacks to instill an averse for anyone fitting Drago’s description
Carmen
  • Settles the bakery’s autonomy
  • Works at nurturing a grass roots campaign for Gabe
  • Finds and fixes junkyard items to sell or give to Nixie
  • Begins planning a city-wide neighborhood watch with Nixie
Gabriel
  • Ties up his remaining cases in order to focus full-time on his mayoral campaign
Vincent
  • Gets really into sewing and starts occasionally selling projects online

XP

Session Award | 8 XP
Total | 8 XP
Running Total | 603 XP

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