NEW VINDICATORS (Books I - XIII)

This is the place to recount your superheroic deeds for all to gaze upon with astonishment and wonder.
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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Book XIII Finished

Postby Arthur Eld » Sat Aug 24, 2013 9:00 am

For a guy who quotes MLK a lot, he's got a much more Malcolm X mindset.

Good bunch of chapters. My only quibble (aside from some minor editing issues, such as Chienne climbing into Donny's lip and not his lap) is Adonis mentioning Bluetooth during his declaration. Guy as smart as him should have known not to make such a mistake. Warfare and deception go hand in hand, and deception means not telling everyone what your forces can do.

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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Book XIII Finished

Postby Michuru81 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:17 am

Arthur Eld wrote:For a guy who quotes MLK a lot, he's got a much more Malcolm X mindset.

Good bunch of chapters. My only quibble (aside from some minor editing issues, such as Chienne climbing into Donny's lip and not his lap) is Adonis mentioning Bluetooth during his declaration. Guy as smart as him should have known not to make such a mistake. Warfare and deception go hand in hand, and deception means not telling everyone what your forces can do.


Heh... There's no excuse for not proofreading, but I am the last person who should edit my stuff. These last few chapters were actually finished numerous months ago, but I kept tweeking them in places.

For instance...

Michuru81 wrote:Doctor Cheryl Colbenson hurried inside, and found the last vestiges of Black Box huddled here: Caliber, Okami, Tide, Stockholm, and the Iron Curtain were her agents—all Neo-Sapiens whose memories had been altered by the relic from which her organization took its name. At the window was their newest recruit, a man who they found washed up in Battery Park…

When they found him, he was covered in tiny cuts and burns. He had been shot four times. His shoulder had been out of its socket, and his left leg had been broken—medals received after his dive from a second story window.

Even with the burns, Cheryl had instantly recognized him. They shared a similar philosophy: both believed that Neo-Sapiens posed a certain danger to mankind. Both had elected to do something about it.

The doctor took him in, and tended to his wounds. Now, a month later, he was the first in what she hoped would be a resurgence of her forces. Now, he was sitting by the window, watching the main entrance of Patriot Robotics through the scope of a sniper rifle.

“Did they try to follow me?” she asked.

“No,” he said quietly.

“Well, keep an eye out,” she ordered. “Vincent will be bringing Autumn out soon, and he may need cover fire.”

The man turned and raised his head. His stare was as cold as it was determined. He didn’t utter a word; Justice merely saluted, and returned to watching the doors…


Or...

Michuru81 wrote:Lodestone blinked, and the world came back into focus. He looked down in confusion. He was wearing his uniform. He looked around, and took in his surroundings: he was standing on a street, outside Patriot Robotics; the pavement was upturned in places; rubble dotted the landscape; a car was upside down on the sidewalk…

Instantly, he remembered throwing it into the Aurelia. Had he killed her? Crippled her? If she could still use her hands, she could heal herself—he tried to pass it off…

He could hear sirens in the distance. Police, fire fighters, first responders—New York’s real heroes were on their way.

There was a cluster of people adorned in the same uniform he wore, huddled around something. He could hear sniffling and sobbing. “There was nothing you could do,” someone said. It was Lurker’s voice: there was no mistaking the impediment he’d spoken with since losing the tip of his tongue.

Lodestone came forward and pushed them aside. The Affiliation was huddled together, looking down at something on the pavement. Breaking through their ranks, Lodestone looked down and saw Adonis, sitting in the street.

Chienne’s head was in his lap. Her eyes were fixed straight ahead. Her blonde hair was stained with blood on one side.

Lodestone looked to his right—to Mara. The Israeli girl was sobbing softly, occasionally wiping away her tears with the sleeve of her uniform. He looked across the crowd to Black Widow, who was covering her mouth with two of her four hands. She was standing behind Lurker, who was kneeling beside Adonis, a hand on the hooded man’s back.

Lodestone turned around and pushed his way back out through the throng, only to find Portal standing back. A handful of the Affiliation’s people—Gabrielle, Bluetooth, and Cerulean—stood with him, guarding the agents of Black Box they’d brought down.

“What happened?” Lodestone asked.

Portal shook his head. “Justice, man,” he said.

“Justice!?!” Lodestone exclaimed. “There’s no justice in-”

“Justice, the—the guy, Magnus! The guy who went after Maria, when she was on trial? The guy who attacked the school a few weeks back?”

Squad cars pulled up. A fire truck bounced along the broken road. EMTs were hurrying to reach them. “I gotta… go… do this… thing,” Portal said. He sounded dazed. He moved to step around Lodestone, to meet with the officers and emergency workers racing towards him. “You should get out of here, man… Before someone recognizes you.”

Lodestone nodded in agreement. He looked back to the group huddled in the middle of the street. “Yeah,” he said weakly, trying to piece together what had happened.

The last thing he remembered was Adonis jumping between him and Autumn. Immediately, he looked to the agents they had apprehended. His heart soared when he didn’t see either of the Colbenson sisters amongst them. Still, that hardly meant anything: if they’d be able to save her, they could have put her back on the Astral Plane. He needed to see her body.

“Is Autumn still alive?” he asked, looking to the three girls standing guard.

Bluetooth opened her mouth to answer him, but her tongue was stilled with a gesture from Gabrielle. “Just get the hell out of here,” she demanded.

“Not until you tell me what-”

Gabrielle’s eyes began to burn with azure flames. In a flash, her fingers had closed around her soul-weapon. She lunged and instantly had her twin blades at Lodestone’s throat. “When I was a student at the school, Adrianna was my roommate. You threw a car at her, you son of a bitch. You almost killed her.

“I got her back to the school as quick as I could, and when I got back, things were like this. Right now, I’m going to stand here and guard these guys, because that’s what I was told to do, and unlike some people, I know how to follow a damn order. But as soon as I hand these people over, I’m going back to the school, and I’m checking in on Adrianna, and if the doctors there say you left her with any lasting damage, I will come for you, and I will put you at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Do we understand each other?”

Lodestone chuckled. “And when you’re done, you can thank me: because if it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t have the power to do shit.”

With a thought, he began to rise into the air, ascending into the night sky, and making his way back to the school…


If I actually edit things, they come close to never seeing the light of day.

As for Bluetooth... I think I'd do the same, if only to cause panic. He's leaving out that his army contains a girl who can instantly move their forces anywhere she can imagine, a guy who can see through shadows, or a dude who turns into a swarm of bees. He's not tipping his whole hand--just enough to spoke people into realizing that these aren't empty threats. Right now, the world is scared of Neo-Sapiens because of what they can do. It's like a kid being afraid of monsters under the bed: the kid's afraid because... well, it's a monster. Now, if someone tells the kid that the monster can breathe fire and juggle Toyotas? Suddenly, the monster's scarier, because the kid has more information.

I might be alone in that reasoning though.
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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Book XIII Finished

Postby Horsenhero » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:34 am

Information is power. If I tell you there's a monster under the bed and it is a threat to you, but don't tell you how it's a threat, you have no way to prepare any counter-measures. If I tell you the monster is a threat because it can juggle Toyotas, you now have some idea of what kind of threat and how it can be countered.

Information can be intimidating if it reveals how powerless you are, but, a clear minded person will always at least try to put extra intelligence on the enemy to use. To wit:

Acrimony informed everyone he had a person in his organization that could tap into all communication networks. This means that immediately, the NSA, CIA, MI6, KGB, etc, etc would start working to identify that person, so that person could be eliminated. He also has tipped his hand on the measures necessary to keep him from knowing their plans.

Information is power in this situation. Knowing when the sun is going to go nova is not power, because no steps can be taken to prevent it. Knowing of the existence of Bluetooth? That's got value.

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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Book XIII Finished

Postby Arkrite » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:14 pm

Sometimes knowing makes things scarier, and some times it makes it less frightening.

The best example I can think of are some old horror movies where you never actually get to see the monster that is hunting down and killing the cast. The monster you can't see is often times much more frightening than the one you can see.
... though often that might be due to bad special effects.

Imagine if you're trying to get rid of this guy who's a thorn in your side. So you send a hit team after him. And they go missing. And you send another team, and they go missing. You hire a sniper. He goes missing.

That's probably pretty unsettling to you, especially if said target continues wandering around acting like nothing happened.

You have no idea how he's surviving you don't have any information to work with.

Now if he admits he's bulletproof, well, now you have different tactics to try. Poison, explosives, suffocation... Sure he's still scary, but now you know you still have options.

In this case I'd bet very good money that what H&H said will happen. They'll stop storing their information on Adonis' group on computers, try to hunt down Bluetooth and either kidnap/kill her as the situation requires.

Actually I bet a lot of people would like to have Bluetooth working for them.

If he'd just came on and said "I can do this, whenever I like and you can't stop me" that's scarey because you don't know how he's doing it and you don't know how to make it stop.
If he says "Bluetooth is doing this" you know how to handle the problem. There is a solution in sight.

Now that's not to say you can't be scarier by admitting you have powers, but I think it depends on what you're admitting, and the situation.
A bunch of thugs closing in for a fistfight in an alley are going to be thinking twice when you decide to one handily lift a heavy duty truck.

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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Book XIII Finished

Postby Michuru81 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:05 am

Those are all pretty valid points. I'll more than likely revise this later on down the line. Thanks for the help, guys.
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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Book XIII Finished

Postby Shock » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:14 am

I finally finished reading it. All of it!

Now what?

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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Book XIII Finished

Postby Arkrite » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:21 am

I'm going to go with "Give Mich a hug" ;~)

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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Book XIII Finished

Postby Horsenhero » Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:41 am

Shock wrote:I finally finished reading it. All of it!

Now what?


Now Mich has started on Tabula Rasa an alternate dimension version of New Vindies where everything is beautiful... for about two seconds. :lol:

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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Book XIII Finished

Postby Michuru81 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:53 am

Shock wrote:I finally finished reading it. All of it!

Now what?


Now we get you fitted for your robe. Welcome to the cult!

Horsenhero wrote:Mich has started on Tabula Rasa an alternate dimension version of New Vindies where everything is beautiful... for about two seconds. :lol:


Long-winded, pointless rambling begin!

Back in December, my players finished Tabula Rasa #24, wherein I had them vote over what came next. There were several options on the table: continue with Tabula Rasa, return to the St. Metrovilleburg game, return to the Paragons game, do something else... One of the players asked why we couldn't jump back to this game, so I laid it out for him...

The Affiliation game was a bad idea. We played a session of the game, where I had failed to convey to my players what it was I was looking to do. I billed it as a villainous game, when they're really more anti-heroes. The result? The creation of some pretty evil PCs who didn't fit the campaign.

The simplest thing to do would be to pick up where the others are at. At the end of this story, the PCs are Pandora, Gregaro, Raanan/Razi, Carl. Over time, we lost some players to real life: Gideon, Gage, Max, and Lloyd's players aren't a part of our group. We did however add a player--someone who has never experience the "joy" of playing in Oubliette-137. I can't say enough good things about this player. This is a guy who crafts some amazing backstory, comes up with some of the best character concepts, he perpetually makes decisions that steer the game into territory I hadn't considered, and there are several times a night where I begin to choke because I made the mistake of drinking something while he was talking. While I'm confident that he could come up with something to fit him in with the others, I wanted to do something better...

I came right out and told the players that my end game for Tabula Rasa involved a dimensional evacuation to 137. It would allow any of them to play their Tabula Rasa character in lieu of their other characters. For the curious, Pandora and Cyndi are the mental zygote of the same player; Gregaro and John share a player; the guy behind Raanan/Razi is the guy behind Dirk; Carl's player also plays Eric; Derryl's player is the new guy.

At the same time, saying that the Tabula Rasa story needs to happen before continuing this story also buys me time to continue to procrastinate. For years, I've played the part of Lucy, pulling back the football that is this story as a book. Amazon's self-publishing service seems like a good thing, but it has some limits in terms of word counts, which I exceed like you wouldn't believe. I need to cut some stuff from the first book. Easiest thing to cut? The psychiatry sessions. I like those, and I want to keep them, but I worry I'm also too close. Trimming some of the numerous flashbacks would help--including Samael's chunk of backstory (does anyone really care to see Apocatastasis in the ancient past? Probably not. I can cut this and hold that reveal for his revival...).

Mostly, I could use more hours in the day. ;)

In the meantime, there is a new Tabula Rasa chapter coming! And to prove it, previews...

Tabula Rasa wrote:The atmosphere in the classes Cyndi had bothered attending was a somber one. One of the teachers had died, she had learned. She had never heard of the woman. She wasn’t sure if she had any of her classes. All she knew was that news of the woman’s passing was postponing something called The Drafting Ceremony, which Cyndi imagined had something to do with the students all wearing togas and drinking Kool-Aid cut with Strychnine.

“Actually,” Jim said, walking her to her fourth period class, “it’s this event all of the new students go through on the first Friday each year. You know how, for sixth period, we have P.E. on Tuesday and Thursday?”

“And on the other days I have Dance,” Cyndi said, rolling her eyes.

“Only on Monday and Wednesday,” Jim explained. “On Friday, we have a Wreck Room exercise.”

“We exercise?”

“Kind of. Okay, the gym and weight room and pool… all of that stuff is in the basement. Below that is another level. The sublevel’s where the Wreck Room is. This place can bring anything to life: any environment; any opponent. It’s where they train us.

“See, everyone is put onto a team of four students. For the rest of your time here, that’s your training squadron. Every Friday, the squads compete against each other. Points are added up, and at the end of each semester, they declare a winner.”

Cyndi feigned a yawn.

“It’s actually a lot cooler than I make it sound,” Jim said. “Last semester, Missus Cron proctored the exercise for Halloween—she had us fight Godzilla.”

“So, the other teams pick us?” Cyndi asked. “You’re going to pick me for your team, right?”

“I would if I could. No, the teachers will decide your team for you. They’ll call your name and three other students, and you guys will be a team. Then, you guys can pick a leader, if you want, and decide a name for your team…”

“Which team are you on?”

“I, uh… I’m on Team Loder.”

Cyndi smirked at him. “Who came up with that one?”

“Well, the other guys on my team… They just…” He sighed. “It makes me sound like an egomaniac, huh?”

Cyndi held up a hand with her thumb and index finger just barely apart.

“Anyway, I’ve got a pretty decent team, I guess: Abe can teleport, Greg controls minds, and Captain Billy-”

“‘Captain Billy’?”

“It’s… what he likes to be called.” Jim shook his head. “Canadians: what can I say? His powers are… different. I mean, there’s a few uses, I guess, but in combat, he’s pretty limited unless whoever is proctoring that week’s exercise throws a robot at us or something.”

Cyndi raised an eyebrow at that. “Why?” she asked. “Do his powers let him control robots or something?”

“No,” Jim explained. “It’s more to do with their arms… You know what? It’s complicated.” He looked at the plague resting beside the door. “And we’re at your class. We’re still on for tonight, right?”

“Absolutely.”

“I’ll meet you in the Common Room?”

Cyndi nodded and Jim leaned in to kiss her cheek. “I’ll see you later,” he said.

As Jim turned to walk away, he almost walked into Aisha. Cyndi’s roommate slipped around him. “Is that your boyfriend?” she asked.

“I wouldn’t call him my boyfriend,” Cyndi said. “We’ve hung out a couple of times. Tonight’s the first time we’re going out on an actual date.”

Aisha frowned. “Lucky you,” she said, holding the door open for Cyndi. “You’ll be out with a cute guy, and I’ll be back in our room, bored out of mind, wishing that guy in our art class would just notice me.”

“Which one?” Cyndi asked, her face contorting into an expression of pure disgust. “Freckle Face or Split-Ends?”

Painting appeared to be popular amongst the female constituency of the school—no doubt thanks to Mister Reagan, the handsome man who taught the class. There was a girl whose skin kept changing colors, an Asian girl who—unlike the rest of the student body—actually possessed a fashion sense, a girl Cyndi had pegged as a lesbian… There were several girls who had enrolled, but only two boys had signed up for the class: a lanky senior, with a mop of mouse-brown hair topping a face plagued by freckles and acne, and a boy with long, dishwater-blonde hair rife with split ends who didn’t appear to own anything he hadn’t acquired from Goodwill.

“Matt,” Aisha said, dropping her voice to a whisper as they took their seats.

Cyndi couldn’t have looked more apathetic if she tried. “Which one is Matt?”

“The blonde,” said a blushing Aisha.

Cyndi shrugged. “He could be cute if he tried. He seems way too happy…”

“His roommate is in our Algebra class. I was thinking about asking Ken if he could feel him out for me—see if he likes me, or something…”

“Wait,” Cyndi said, suddenly remembering the photos of Aisha and a young man that speckled their room. “I thought you already had a boyfriend? I mean, all those pictures in our room…”

Aisha frowned. “That’s my ex,” she said, correcting Cyndi. “Daddy didn’t approve of me and Ebb. Actually, he sent me here to keep me away from him—said he was tired of Ebb using me for my powers.”

Cyndi raised an eyebrow. “What kind of name is ‘Ebb’?” she asked as the bell rang, signaling the start of their next period. “And what the hell are your powers?”

Aisha looked forward as Missus Belcher rose up.

“All right,” the teacher said, looking around the room, “it looks as though Mister Vaughn isn’t with us today. That’s expected, considering…”

Cyndi leaned forward, still looking at Aisha. “What the hell are your powers?” she asked.

Aisha looked nervously to Cyndi and then rolled her eyes towards the front of the room. Cyndi looked towards the teacher and back. “What are you powers?” she asked again.

Missus Belcher stepped up to the two girls. “Miss Brightman, Miss Stein, I trust there’s not an issue here?”

Cyndi rolled her eyes and turned to face the teacher. “I’m sorry,” she said, “do you have tenure?”

Missus Belcher looked confused. “What does that-?”

“I apologize again: I didn’t realize you didn’t understand English. ¿Tiene la tenencia?”

“I understood you,” the woman said, a hint of agitation in her tone. “I just don’t un—no. No, I do not have tenure.”

“So, what you’re saying is… your position here isn’t exactly secure? I mean, I make a phone call to my daddy, he calls someone over at whatever government agency runs this place, and you’re gone. Is that right?”

Missus Belcher narrowed her eyes at the freshman. “Would you like to see the headmaster, young lady?”

“Would you like to see an unemployment line, old lady?”

The rest of the class began to practice harmonizing, moaning, “Ooo…” in synch with each other.

Missus Belcher retreated to her desk, and opened one of the drawers. Pulling out a stack of slips rubber banded together, she set about to writing out a referral slip for the headmaster’s office.
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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Book XIII Finished

Postby Arkrite » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:35 pm

Michuru81 wrote:I came right out and told the players that my end game for Tabula Rasa involved a dimensional evacuation to 137.


Wait, your plan was for the crazy players to flee the good universe after destroying it?
*drops to his knees*
You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!

;~)

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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Book XIII Finished

Postby Michuru81 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:51 pm

Arkrite wrote:
Michuru81 wrote:I came right out and told the players that my end game for Tabula Rasa involved a dimensional evacuation to 137.


Wait, your plan was for the crazy players to flee the good universe after destroying it?
*drops to his knees*
You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!

;~)


Yeah, and after they get here, ship Cyndi off to Vienna. ;)
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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Book XIII Finished

Postby Horsenhero » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:51 pm

Arkrite wrote:
Michuru81 wrote:I came right out and told the players that my end game for Tabula Rasa involved a dimensional evacuation to 137.


Wait, your plan was for the crazy players to flee the good universe after destroying it?
*drops to his knees*
You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!

;~)


That universe isn't all that good. *Points at Cyndi.* There are some pretty horrific things in it.

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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Book XIII Finished

Postby Shock » Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:03 pm

Michuru81 wrote:
Arkrite wrote:
Michuru81 wrote:I came right out and told the players that my end game for Tabula Rasa involved a dimensional evacuation to 137.


Wait, your plan was for the crazy players to flee the good universe after destroying it?
*drops to his knees*
You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!

;~)


Yeah, and after they get here, ship Cyndi off to Vienna. ;)

And here I was hoping Rose would make her unnecessary.

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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Book XIII Finished

Postby Arkrite » Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:03 pm

Okay, we just need somebody to create a PC who can open dimensional portals... And trap Cyndi in Oz!!!

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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Book XIII Finished

Postby Michuru81 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:09 pm

Arkrite wrote:Okay, we just need somebody to create a PC who can open dimensional portals... And trap Cyndi in Oz!!!


Oz, the magical land where munchkins and witches and talking animals live, or Oz, as in Australia, where every animal can kill you?
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