The Tomorrow Legion

Vigilance Dies Vengeance is Born
A Maximal is Captured

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ZMGZ?Q?!?! Matty Q!!! We bagged another one of Iron Mike’s Lieutenants! Do you remember that movie Planet of the Apes 15? I know, I can’t believe they went on for that long. But the PRECURSOR to that flick was something that Goggle calls Hing Hong. I think it was one of those Japanese films with the guy in a Lizard suit and the mini-1/100 replicas modeled after Neo-Tokyo – Old Edo of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Whatever…

SO WE SANDBAGGED MAXIMILLION THE MAXI-PAD MANIMAL!!! MAX-FACTOR!!! Seriously though, I know you’re not aware of your surroundings but I am and we’re not in Kansas anymore. I moved out of the Tomorrow Legion HQ under some deep suspicions and major apprehension concerning Matt Lee River, our boss, Spirit. I moved out feeling completely demolished after Virgil went off the reservation – and off the deep end and killed a bunch of innocent people right in front of us. And I also moved out because I needed some serious alone-time with my new libr…er, mentor. Oh! I’m under the tutelage of Charlie Kane now. What? NO!!! Of course not you dirty girl! He’s my teacher – of ARCANE knowledge – not CARNAL knowledge!!!!! He’s teaching me SPELLS!!! NOT POSITIONS!?!?!

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Ugh. I don’t wanna die a virgin. I guess there are worse things. I kinda wanted it to be with Verge. But, well, that ain’t gonna happen now. I only have two months to make it special. I mean, I’m not just gonna walk into Waingroh and make a mountain out of a molehill. Y’know? Let’s see…I wonder – WHO is the lucky gentleman going to be? What? eBay? Are you kidding?!!? Besides, I don’t need a paycheck THAT badly. MattyQ!!! It has to be SPECIAL!!! It’ll be my first time – and my LAST time. Should it be a friend? Hmmm…who do we know? How about definitely not Zeau, definitely not Salivo, definitely not Virge, umm…Spirit? Put him on the maybe list. Bogart? Maybe list. Michelle? Uhhh…maybe list. Doc Prop? Ugh no. His bat? That’s disgusting. It IS a very nice bat. Fine…maybe list. Diane? Hmm…okay, she’s like a GODDESS – yes-list. Oh, is that our first one on that list? Nice! Now we’re making some headway. Marrakooch? Gods no! Besides, he’s black. Well he’s an Alien. Black Aliens still count! You know that!?!?! Thaumaturge? Oh – be still my aching heart! YES list. Whiz Kid? Uhhh…he’s cute enough, nerdy but cute. Yes list.

If we only had a bit more time!!!!

Oh, my bad, I’m going to die in a nuclear explosion in 2.5 months from Iron Mike. I totally forgot that part. I know…it’s kinda important right?

Oh gosh…what if I don’t die? I might have to live the rest of my life knowing I lost my virginity to…a squirrel.

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I guess it could be worse.
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Whatever.
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I better die.

So Charlie has been teaching me the correct names for spells. I can same with surety and conviction that Maximal fell prey to a Carpet of Adhesiveness. You know he was one of Iron Mike’s big bad enforcer lieutenants, right? He was half man, half ape, super-strong, butt-ugly, and smart. Kind of a deadly combination – just like Virgil – but Vigilance was DEEP under-cover, interviewing for the open Lieutenant position in Iron Mike’s Army and the tryouts were in the fighting pits. So we made a plan – I got my cell phone taken away by the Janitor – but THEY made a plan and I made fun of them. Oh! And I found this crazy pic of two pandas…y’know…uh, like…YOU KNOW…! They are so LAZY!!! Anyway, so Bogart led us to this Zoo-Bar with all kinds of furry critters. We made more of a plan and got the Furious Furries to lead the Charge of the Light Brigade.

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Infiltrating the fight club was easy enough – and all of us stood out – but you’re not gonna BELIEVE who I saw fighting – MY BROTHER CONRAD?!?! I was invisible so he couldn’t see me but he looked, um, kinda buff. I think he’s been taking steroids or something. He kinda got his ass whupped which was humorous to me but just when I wanted to rub it in the MAIN EVENT started and Virgil, the Janitor, Bogart, and I converged on the Grape Ape. Admittedly, in a fair fight, I think I’d have been the only one left alive – but that’s because the Janitor isn’t actually alive – but I think he might be functional. But we’re super-heroes. If you break the law there’s no law that says we have to fight fair. Right? I’m not sure if that makes sense but I snuck up on him and tried to cast a Carpet of Adhesiveness under his feet – and wouldn’t you know, his super smell and hearing and my barely prowling semi-silence in the din of the arena ALMOST alerted him to my presence. It was scary. Honestly, MattyQ – I probably would have crumpled right then and there had he heard me and swung first. But no, HAZEL shot first.

Verge leapt into the air, seeing an opportunity and taking it, he pounded his fist into the ground the way I had seen him do before – only this time I was literally blown off my feet AND my Armor of Ethan had vaporized. I hadn’t even taken a hit and he completely obliterated it from full. When I had shaken off the daze enough to come to I saw the carnage and devastation. If his shockwave knocked me over, in my Morphus form, and concussively knocked me out – then imagine what it had done to mere humans, the bystanders. Oh no! Doc Prop was already in triage mode and ferrying innocent people blown to bits, to make-shift sleds and, providing first-aid. It was a scene straight out of a movie; like a bomb had gone off inside of a nice little confined space – a bomb shelter – the fighting pit. Some quick thinking got everyone together and Maximal yielded. He was a manimal of honor and no longer resisted or fought us back.

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Alas, it was too late for many of the people. Some quick thinking allowed me, Doc Prop, and Diane to save a few lives – but Diane looked more bloodthirsty than Vigilance. I opened a Doorway to the nearest hospital only AFTER Doc Prop reminded me that I shouldn’t be opening a doorway for our ESCAPE. Sigh…I think I was definitely in shock. I remember my first thought wasn’t for saving those people and, of that, I’m ashamed. My first thought was…OMG…Vigilance-Vengeance just killed a bunch of innocent people. I have to help him escape. It makes me very sad. But, I came to my senses and changed the intention of my destination – the Doorway opened into the Waingroh hospital and we flooded their Emergency Room with bloody bodies and the death throes of the dying. Vengeance did not come back with us. He took one last long look at the group…at me…and told me he wasn’t returning.

That was the last time I saw my friend. That was the night Vigilance died and Vengeance was born.

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Vigilance's Last Bell
Things go wrong

Vigilance

After a lengthy discussion at Harry’s Pub the group decided to get some intel and hopefully bag Maximal. I rather have gone to take down Iron Mike’s “Iron Works”.

I was angry and disgruntled. My cover has been blown and everyone smirked that it was blown. They do not understand what I had accomplished and done to get weapons off the street and to try to get as much intel about this Iron Mike. For once I think Salvo would have been a welcome face to have proper perspective of making a difference.

So off to “Fight Club” where Maximal runs his ring to check for new recruits. My invite was to look at myself as a recruit. And then it was just great that my co-workers from the garage found me. Nice guys, but stop with all the hype. My team stayed hidden and I could not even see Diane or Hazel.

Maximal finally showed his face while I was watching the fights. I made my way over to hand him my envelope from the sale earlier. Oh let me back up here.

I sold the guns and was lucky enough to have Dr. P do some timed modifications to the weapons. They will never be useful or on the streets to kill again. Also we are now aware these weapons were taken from the sunken ship in the harbor.

Back to Maximal, I handed him the envelope with all the money from the sale rather than a cut. He took the money and said a simple Thank you. I explained I was giving him all the money since I expected there was back pay from past sales, but I would need to go through my books to come to an exact amount. Then to make things clear I asked if I could blow off some steam with someone worthy in the ring and did he have anyone in mind. Also I was not looking to try out tonight.

He pointed me in the direction of who he wanted me to fight. I made my way to the ring until my opponent was called in. Guy put on quite a silly show. I see him talk under his breathe and then a shimmer appeared around him…….I know that shimmer.

I stepped into the ring still dressed as a mechanic with grease still stained into my hands and forearms. My co-workers went nuts.

I went into a football line stance. My opponent mocked me.

I let him throw the first two punches just to measure him up. Then continued to hit him with restrained punches. He was quite the bitch. Started getting upset and losing his cool.

I saw him trying to chant something else up when I decided to give him a regular punch. With that his Armor of Ithan went pop as his slammed to the wall thru the crowd. He left quite upset and continued to mouth off about he’ll get me. He has no idea how much I held off.

Money is being exchanged from bets when I took notice of Maximal looking angry and sniffing the air looking every direction. “You brought them here!”

All I could see was my team being slaughtered by this animal and it was going to be my fault. The team had no idea how strong this guy was. It would be the end.

I ran toward Maximal and he just stood there looking angry. I slammed the floor infront of him to knock him off his feet and he just stood there taking it all. Diane jumped in to attack from the flank with both of us hitting him he just stood. Thinking back I can now hear the screams and cries from what actually happened. The rest is a blurr.

Prologue

It was raining steady as Virgil kept his head bowed down to keep the rain out of his eyes and to help his hoody keep his face hidden while sitting at dusk at the edge of a swamp in Florida.

It had been 2 days now and he finally stopped to reflect. No one appeared to be within miles of this desolate spot he had found.

The occurrence had still not fully taken full hold. Virgil slams the ground with his fist and all around him destruction takes place. Trees fall, water explodes into the air, and every bird within a quarter tells him their disgust. “WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME!”

Virgil buries his hands in his palms and begins to ball not caring who is to see him in his grief. Thinks to himself, “All those people dead. Because of me. Maximal was supposed to fall down and instead everyone died.”

Hours pass until a palm of a stranger found Virgil’s shoulder.

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Virgil calls for backup
Between Game 11 & 12 RP via E-mail

Bogart Huntress Dr Preposterous Hazel Vigilance

Bogart phone rings. Caller ID shows the area code of Lennox.

Bogart was running. Through the streets, over rooftops, he couldn’t tell exactly where he was was he was moving so fast. And then, off in the distance he heard the bell. “Yes, this is it” he thought, “the time is now”. He stopped, something was following him just a shadow at the corner of his eye…the bell rang again, he turned and the shadow was gone… Where is the bell? He wasn’t getting any closer no matter which direction he went….
Bogart woke up in the Nest, his phone still ringing. He rubbed his eyes, looked at his watch. Noon. Damn. How did he oversleep? Must be all the extra hours toward the case…. Groggily he answered the phone and said, " How did you get this number?"
Virgil, “Bogart, it’s Virgil. I need to talk to you. Pick a place that is hidden away you can get to without being following and bring whoever else you can. Make sure no one follows you or notice you and the others are not in costume!”

Bogart listened carefully, something was in the background while Virgil spoke, but he couldn’t make it out. “Virgil? What’s going on? I still want to know how you got this number, I just installed it yesterday.” Members of the Tomorrow Legion had a bad habit of not answering his questions and he was determined to get the answers. What kind of investigator would he be if not?
“That’s a very specific request, and one I am not likely to be able to pull off, not without a better reason.”
Virgil gave a perplexed look at the number he dialed, “Bogart, this is the number I have always called for you. 203-555-5555, that is your number right? I prefer not to talk on unsecured channels and this is very important. We both know the Legion has been compromised recently for intel and bugging.”

“I was testing you to make sure you were who you said you were. The line is secure, I won’t go into details, but this is a hard line not connected to the Legion grid.”

“I don’t have much time for this call and I am being watched. Beware of smoke is one thing I think I should mention to you because it may be one of Mike’s Lieutenants. The number on the caller id is a Trac Phone I just picked up. Use it to contact me and get a group together to meet, but we need to be very stealthy about this meeting and away from the Legion’s HQ. Perhaps Hazel could turn me invisible and make it easier for me to meet the group at a closer location. We need to meet today.”

“I’ll see who I can muster, but I can’t promise anyone more than myself. As for Hazel and her light refraction tech, it might be too bulky. Meet us at Harry’s pub on the upper east side. Tell the bartender you want the tree nut special and follow his instructions. See you soon.”
Bogart hangs up and thinks to himself, “Virgil, what pickle jar have you gotten yourself into?”
He heads out of the Nest to see who’s around and who will come.
Insert – Bogart gathers a crew to meet Virgil

Virgil makes his way up to the east side and across the street from Harry’s Pub he finds Drew’s Coffee shop. Goes into the establishment to order a cup of tea much to the barrister’s disapproval. Looking around the coffee shop, Virgil finds an empty seat and begins to people watch taking note anyone who notices him. Looking down the alley going behind Harry’s Pub Virgil can see Norm, the local homeless guy, still camped out from the night before.
at the same time: “Y’know what Diane let’s shove off. I told Matt we needed a new coffee pot like a week ago! First he said Deadman would fix it, then he said Cavalcade would fix it, and just the other day he told me he’d have Doc fix it! This is bullshit! What’s a girl have to do to get a decent cup of coffee around here?”

Diane looked at her.

Hazel winked. “Let’s go down to Drew’s. He’s a little quirky but he knows how to make a good cup o’ coffee. Besides, I’m sure he’d throw some water in the pot for your tea. SWEATS ONLY! You’re already rockin’ the flannel.”

Hazel made her way to the vehicle garage and sped off to the coffee shop.

When she got there the smell of roasted beans wafted out and greeted her on the street…like the familiar but unwanted greeting of a local homeless man. Distractedly, Hazel found herself wondering if the guy had a name.

“Oh, hey Verge,” Hazel remarked casually…offhandedly.

Then she did a double-take.

“Uh, Verge? What happened to your face? WAIT A MINUTE!!!!”

Hazel took a deep breath.

“What does Diane take in her tea? Oh fuck it. She’ll have a tall latte with 1 Splenda and 1/2 pouch of nutra-sweet, 1/2 shot of regular espresso and 1/2 shot of decaf and extra foam…I think. And for me…

Double Tall, Nonfat, Half-Caf, Extra Hot Latte with Whipped Cream, Vanilla, Hazelnut, Almond, Raspberry, and Toffee Nut Syrup, Extra Foam, 2 packets of Sweet ‘n’ Low, 1 packet of Sugar, 1/2 pack of Equal, and Caramel Sauce…Um…with low-fat soy milk – half-soy, half-almond."

Thanks. Oh! Where’s the tip jar?"

Hazel panted.

“So Verge what in the devil happened to your face?!?!”

Raises an eyebrow questioning, “Hi Hazel, good to see you too. Sorry I got to go.”
As he passes Hazel & Diane, Virgil quietly tells Hazel so no one else hears, " Basement across the street. Make sure no one can see either of you."
With that Virgil exist the coffee shop scanning to see if anyone is watching. No one appears to be paying attention so he goes across the street to the alley to find Norm.
“Hi Norm, you look cold. Here’s 20 credits to get yourself some coffee and food, but I need you to get scarce for me.”
Norm says nothing but his toothless smile says it all. Take the money and hobbles away. Virgil watches sadly until Norm is out of sight.
Further down the alley leads to more alleys for loading docks to the local businesses. Virgil makes his way to the dock and door to the basement of Harry’s Pub. A dark and damp smell of not much use comes to the senses. Fumbling through the mostly dark basement, Virgil finds a box to sit on and contemplate. Where’s Bogart?

Virgil sits a for awhile listening in the basement while contemplating. After some time he lumbers up the stairs back to the door to peek out when he sees a large Orangutan glaring at him.
“Uh, Hi…sorry…uh, are you open for business yet? I was told to order the Tree Nut Special. Thanks.”
The Orangutan looks Virgil up and down, seemingly scrutinizing him. Then he looks behind Virgil and scans the area. With a satisfied grunt he turns back toward the bar and motions for Virgil to follow. Once Harry is behind the bar he faces Virgil again, leans in close and tells him:

“Hit the mens’ room. You’ll see where to go from there.”

As Virgil goes into the men’s room Harry presses one of the buttons under the counter. In the men’s room Virgil can see an open doorway that doesn’t look like it would normally be there, which leads into a back room. There is only one other door in this back room, and the mens room entrance slides shut behind him once Virgil walks through.

The door leads into a sparsely furnished room in the adjacent building.

Meanwhile, back at the bar, Harry goes over to the payphone and drips in a special coin. A pre-programmed number is automatically dialed. As soon as the phone on the other end picks up Harry says, “Hey, it’s Harry. Some guy just ordered the Tree Nut Special. He’ll be waiting in the usual place. I’ll take care of his tail.” Without another word he hangs up.

Virgil finds a chair at the table and begins to take in the room. Looking for a phone to look over. Gently drumming his fingers on the table to not damage it.

Deadman walks out of the backdoor of the precinct to a waiting robo-cab. There was some ‘paperwork’ to clean up after the interrogation of the Avant cyborgs (I need to write that up and Let Dave proofread before posting. Been busy).

It’s not easy being a 7’ tall skeletal metal linebacker with a face that can scare the blind. Even a trench-coat and big hat only hides so much. How can he even duck out and buy a new coffee maker without people screaming in terror. Hell, if it wasn’t for pushing a broom around the tomorrow legion what sort of job could he even hold? No wonder the cyborgs had it out for the softies. “No! I can’t start thinking like that. I’m still human on the inside. Well at least a few parts still are. I wish I was human enough for a coffee, or to enjoy a cigarette. Damn filter scrubs all of the nicotine from the air before it hits the O2 extractors.”

The taxi pulls away from the precinct when Deadmans implanted cell-phone rings. It’s a text message from “Rocky”. All the important numbers were recorded under aliases just in case his memory chips got extracted. Not like hiding Bogarts name under a cartoon flying squirrel was deep encryption but kids now a days probably wouldn’t get the reference. The text is little more than an address and to not be noticed.

“Crap. I’m not a squirrel. How does he expect me to sneak in during broad daylight? Take the sewers like a Turtle?”

“Hey Mac. Change in destination. 242 Front street. Parking garage.”

From the garage it was a alleys and scaling a short wall away from the service entrance to Harrys Pub. No bell so he tapped lightly on the steel door which rang like a gong.

Deadman stood there in the reek of a back alley but only noticed the smell as data. The shadows would have hidden a lot of details but the cameras compensated and he noticed the data. A half dozen wi-fi signals bounced around including some joker who thought NSAvan69 was an imaginative server name but he just stored it as data.

A peep-hole like an old-fashioned speak-easy swung open but instead of an eye it was the muzzle of a 12-ga at face level. A deep voice simply says “It’s not delivery time.”

“I’m looking for a tree-nut special” (who comes up with these pass-phrases anyway?)

The steel door swings open and Deadman comes face to face with an orangutan in a vest with a bow-tie holding a shotgun. “Don’t stand there. You’re letting the AC out.”

“A talking ape?”
“Who you calling APE bub! I don’t care who told you to come here. I don’t gotta put up with that from no-one!”

Deadman rocks his hat back exposing his face clearly. “Sorry pal. Been a rough day. I know how you feel. Can you help with the treenut special?”

The Orangutan gestures with a thumb on his foot so he doesn’t need to un-hand the shotgun. “Through the mens-room. Don’t break anything. You do I’ll recycle you into a new toilet.” A twitch of the shotgun made him look serious. Best not to mention the ceramic/Kevlar composite plating.

“Got it. Thanks pal.” And Deadman walks through the door wondering if things have turned into a dystopian version of falling down Alice’s rabbit hole. “If the squirrel smiles and disappears I may just re-boot myself to see if that fixes things.”

Harry the Orangutan had been running his bar for several years now. One of the original members of the Tree Top Network, a loose affiliation of anthropomorphic beings, and the little place served as a meeting joint for most of the local chapter.
Bogart walks in through the front door and nods to Harry. “Hey there bud, thanks for letting us use the joint, should be expecting a few more. I’ll have a juice and tonic and wait for them to meander in.”
Harry places a bowl of shelled nuts on the counter which Bogart indulges in.
Hazel mutters a minor incantation and (hopefully) disappears. She prowls (42% – SUCCESS!!!) and waits for an opportunity to stake out the entrance of the bar down the street. After checking out the people to come and go for a little time determine it is safe to come out of hiding drops for spell and approaches the Orangatang at the front door.

While waiting in the other room, Virgil pulls out all his phones and lays them out on the table….3 in all. One marked Vigilance. One marked Mr. Vee. One with no markings.

Virgil opens the phone (flip phone marked Mr. Vee) and presses a few buttons to bring up a picture that had been taken over 2 weeks ago of something blurry running through his basement taken by a security camera.

Virgil, "Hi Bogart. Thank you for coming and bring everyone. I do have a specific question for you regarding this picture taken in my “basement”. Is this you and why?"

Long pause by Bogart.

Virgil waits while Bogart looks at the picture. Then done waiting as his patience wears off, “the reason I ask this of you, Bogart, is that someone has sold me out to Iron Mike. They have been watching me for a while. You fit into that timeline. So I will ask you a different question, Are you working for Iron Mike?”

Bogart climbs onto the table to look at Virgil eye to eye, tips his hat back and squeaks “What if I was working for Iron Mike? You going to go vigilante on my ass?” Bogart paces back and forth on his hind legs. “I’ve half a mind to cause you of the same! How deep did you go?”
As a aside he also asks Deadman to verify the phones on the table are not bugged.
The Doctor, who entered rather distractedly staring at some documents on his portable reader glances up at rodent and the muscle-head. His eyes move back and forth between the two, listening carefully not only to their words, but to their heartbeats, their inflection, their respiration. His mind is certainly elsewhere, but he’s capable of multi-functioning, he is a genius after all. He eyes the phones laying on the table, taking in the picture of what may, or may not, be Bogart. Before the room can devolve into further bickering he speaks up loudly with a commanding tone cultivated from years of teaching snot nosed punks with merely above average IQs what true genius looks like.

GENTLEMEN!” He steps forward from the wall, slipping his reader casually into his pocket in a smooth motion. “Accusations back and forth seem like hardly a productive course of action. It seems you both have been engaging in extra-curricular activities. Perhaps you’d each like to catch us up on what you may or may not know? Why don’t you start Virgil, I assume you didn’t simply call us here to lob accusations at Bogart, obviously there is something going on we should all be made aware of?” He steps back and gestures for Virgil to take the floor.

Bogart stops, crosses his arms, and gives Virgil a look of ‘Well? We’re waiting.’ And resisted the urge to tap his foot.

Deadman ‘listens’ for a minute. “The phones aren’t transmitting anything right now. They might be receiving or recording for a burst transmission later. Safest thing would be to crush them. Doctor, do you think we should?”

Virgil had never stopped tapping his fingers on the table. Not realizing his strumming becoming heavier as others spoke until the table began to yield did Virgil realized he needed to reel himself in.
Virgil stared at Bogart almost ignoring what everyone else had to say. “Bogart, it’s a yes or no question.”
Virgil, “I have been made in my research and approached to join or should I say try out for Iron Mike’s operation. Maximal knew where to find me and who I was plus stated they have been watching me for some time. The only person to leave a trace of following me is in this picture. I told Maximal I am not interested at this time.”
Virgil looks away from Bogart to adress the rest of the group, " This phone is TLL’s property, the one next to it is the one that every scumbag in Waingroh has to sell weapons to Mr. Vee and lastly this one I bought this morning to call Bogart."
Virgil pauses again," I have been working as a mechanic at several places the past few months and some nightclubs in Waingroh. I have been taking that money to buy weapons off the streets as Mr. Vee. I know not very original. Storing the caches of weapons in the basement of an abandoned building that I have been living in. These weapons I have been turning in to local police departments outside Waingroh because the local departments are crooked in Waingroh with enough officers on the take. I have been destroying these weapons in the basement as soon as I get them. This is where I got the weapons that had rust on them that came from the salvage operation."
“At night, my abandoned building is within eyesight of Keiromin Iron Works that Iron Mike runs the majority of his operations from and I watch it at night from my roof top. A little over a week ago one container came in guarded by Momentum and Amaya that I found odd. His Lieutenants do not usually accompany cargo into the yard. I have also been watching the local police and inspectors taking bribes from the Iron Works for the salvage operation.”
“My visitor yesterday wants me to start paying commission on my sales. I made contact with a gang calling themselves the “Ice Scorpians” to buy weapons tomorrow. I need the money from them to pay Maximal his take and I was thinking of going to his “try outs” to pay him. I don’t want these weapons on the streets and I need another avenue to get into Iron Mike’s circle. Keiromin Iron Works needs to fall."
Hazel – “Whoa there fella! You’re going to try out for Iron Mike’s crew? Uhhh…there’s gotta be a better way to bring him down. We’re a TEAM. Let’s put our collective heads together and try to figure it out.”

Virgil continues, “The garage I have been working at has a bay assigned to be a chop shop for Iron Mike too. They have not introduced me to it yet.”

“I told Maximal that Vigilance is no more and I am not part of TTL anymore. If I am seen with anyone here my cover is completely blown. This is not saying much since about what remains of my cover. "
“………..I believe this “Fight Club” tryout may be a trap. Then again why not spring it?", Virgil smirks. "It could be interesting or lead us further into the organization. " the smirk disappears into a blank face.

Doc P – As Virgil wraps up his story Theopolus takes in a deep breath. “No offence, Virgil, but you are about as subtle as the proverbial bull in the china shop. My guess is Iron Mike could hire a blind and deaf man to track you down and he probably would be able to get the job done.” He raises a hand, "Not that I’m any better at this cloak and dagger game, I go by ‘Dr. Preposterous’, it is practically the same name I print on the syllabus for my courses. You can “track me down” with an out of date phone book." He turns his attention to Bogart, “That said, my dear furry friend, unless you have a twin you haven’t been telling us about I’m guessing you were actually tailing our friend Virgil here?” He taps at the phone with a picture of Bogart a few times. “That is clearly you, though I’m guessing you had noticed Virgil’s behavior lately and were curious no? I mean, I had noticed that Virgil had been acting a bit squirrely” The Doctor pauses to chuckle at his own pun. “But I honestly hadn’t really been concerned enough to pursue it.”

“The question then, assuming we are all done questioning everyone’s loyalty, is what the hell are we going to do to stop this arms shipment so that Virgil can get back to his life, Bogart can get back to pursuing nut cases, and I can get back to research that is essentially beyond the possible comprehension of anyone in this room?” He looks around the room a few times, “No offense, but I hardly see any of you publishing papers on advanced applications of nanite technology.”

Bogart – “I tailed you, yes, and I can attest that my investigation corroborates your testimony here. As for the photo, it appears I underestimated the frame rate of your cameras. You can’t run an underground operation in which you potentially joining the bad guys and not have someone on the team worry about what’s been going on with you.”

Virgil slowly takes a small can of Red Bull out that has a label “Mega” on it. "Doc P, this is a new drug on the street that supposed gives super powers. I think it would be best to give it to you to analyze. "

Hazel looks up from her stupor only to realize that they have been talking about her favorite energy drink.

“Oh! MEGA! I love that stuff!”

Hazel sniffs when she sees her teammates reactions.

“Uh, that’s bogus. It doesn’t give you superpowers…hahaha…uh, duh?”

Virgil looks at Hazel sternly, “Don’t play with that stuff Hazel, give it to Doc.” Virgil watches Hazel until she hands it over to Doc then continues," We have made some ground in Waingroh fighting Iron Mike’s operations and in return he has been scaling up. I have heard enough times he plans to bring the fight to the Legion on the streets and the only reason it has not happened yet is our location in Kilgore not Waingroh. I would say people of Waingroh are split on our operations against Iron Mike. Iron Mike has been losing face with other organizations because of our interference. He is gearing up to regain face."
Virgil pauses for another moment, “Doc, my return is not of importance compared to what is happening in Waingroh. The streets are getting worse not better even with all we’ve done. In past month two major battles have been fought in Waingroh terrorizing its citizens. There are more gangs with guns now than citizens.” Virgil looks down at the table for a moment to gather thoughts then looks back towards everyone," I need to do something now, I hope everyone here feels the same."

Hazel," Golly…Verge, I never knew you cared."

Hazel’s eyes smolder as she looks at from across the room. This situation was getting precariously close to “dangerous” and she didn’t like it one bit!

Hazel texted Diane a funny pic of pandemonium:

http://www.dailydot.com/lol/panda-breaks-own-sex-record/

And then she went back to smoldering at Virgil.

Diane – Just for the. Record, I’m not for Anyone trying out for the Legion of Doom!! I’m sure Iron Mike is or has done his homework on us. Like Hazel said “We’re a team”. There has to be a better way. It’s much to dangerous.

Virgil interrupts," I have a sale of weapons planned tomorrow to the Ice Scorpians. I could make the sale and then you guys apprehend them or could Doc make the weapons “disappear” under 24 hours? This would keep the “business” facade going to Maximal & group. Pay him his extortion money for better weapon supply at the underground club. It appears everyone is against this plan and not to take advantage of my predicament."

Hazel coughs, “Hey, I never said I’m against the plan, Verge. I DID say that we’re a team and that if we reach a collective decision that yours is the best course of action – then so be it. But I wouldn’t make such a decision lightly and I certainly wouldn’t make it without the input of the people it could affect.”

She takes a deep breath.

“As you see it, what are the merits FOR your plan? How about against?”

Virgil nods in agreement, “These plans mean nothing to me if more weapons are on the street. It pains me to know already that the money I have spent to get these weapons off the street go back into the machine.” Takes a long breathe, " Although I have been made it is still an opening for more information and finding a way to take down Iron Mike."
Long pause, “The negatives, I’ve been made so the information is spoon fed. False information. Possible trap sprung for the entire team.”

The conversation continues to swirl around the Doctor’s head as he stares at the can he was handed. He sniffs at it suspiciously and avoids the temptation to take a taste, thoughts of nanite delivery through consumption swirl in his head, all the potential health problems that could be addressed. “Another time… another time” he thinks to himself and the incessant buzzing of others around him becomes a more persistent distraction.

He sets the can down on the table and motions with both hands for the talking to cease. “Look, we have several problems here, but three of them are pressing. Iron Mike continues to be a blight on this town, but that is hardly something we’ll be able to resolve in one go. Two, we have this mysterious beverage here which smells like the bodily runoff of a gummi bear orgy, finally we have this weapons shipment.” He pauses a second to allow that list to sink in before continuing. “We are not going to resolve the issues with this beverage today, nor are we going to solve our Iron Mike issue. But, what we can try to do, is take out this weapon shipment.”

He glances to Virgil and Bogart. “You two seem to have the most information on this topic. Why don’t you let us know exactly what you know. Who is selling the weapons, who is buying the weapons, where is the sale going to be going down, how much is the sale happening for. We have more assets at our disposal than just ourselves if we plan this right, but I need to know all the details right now, since time is clearly of the essence.”

Hazel – "Would it make sense, in light of this recent development, for the Legion to publicly decry your traitorous actions and to “play the part” of the jilted ex-lover? This might add more credibility to your initiation bid. It might also allow me to kick your ass on TV, right?"

Hazel snickered.

Bogart, “Doctor, what is the current status of the shrink ray you’ve been working on?”

“I was thinking time delayed nanites that would make the guns useless after a certain amount of time..
It may prove bad for sales once the word gets out if we were to go down this road further. Or once the gang comes looking for me”, Virgil closes laughing at himself.

“No, we want to sell the guns and that means they have to be normal sized guns for the sale. If you tamper with them to make them non-functional Virgil gets made as a snitch and either the Ice Scorpions kill him or Maximal does. Either way it kills the operation if it doesn’t kill Virgil.”

“Sorry but that means putting a few more guns on the streets to get our man inside.”

“Maybe, just maybe, Doc P can come up with a way that the guns become non-functional after a few days. Like I dunno if the front of the chamber started to slowly shrink. It would cause the guns to jam on ammo that was too large. But they HAVE to work as intended the day Virgil sells them.”

Bogart, “Virgil, I see you’ve given this a lot of thought. I’m in on your plan. I can’t do much directly, but I’ll watch you back.”

The Doctor, in turn tries to turn and silence each person talking about a “shrink ray” before finally shouting, rather loudly. “I do not have a fucking shrink ray! So can we please shut up about it!?” He takes in a few deep breathes (during which I am assuming Isaac can interject his comment).

“Look, there is no reason we need to throw Virgil into the lions den unassisted as I said we have multiple options. For example…” He takes a deep breath before launching into his next diatribe without pause. “We could easily spread word to all possible gangs that this arms shipment is going down. I assume if the Avant Guard finds out they will want to interject, if for no other reason that that some alleged supers will be there. Meanwhile I can craft a batch of nanites designed to covertly disable the weaponry, perhaps even making it look like Iron Mike is responsible for the sabotage in an attempt to regain some notoriety among the scum of this city. Virgil can provide us with intel as to where and when this deal is alleged to go down. The more groups who show up at this meet the less likely it is that Virgil is the snitch and the more likely it is that several people within the respective organizations can’t keep their mouths closed. Additionally it provides us a much better odds of disrupting the transaction without raising suspicion if half a dozen groups are rumbling in the streets over the arms shipment, and while the police presence in Waingroh is not always highly felt, my guess is if enough ruckus is caused over this shipment then even the bribes paid out by Iron Mike and others won’t keep the cops away.”

He takes a few deep gasping breaths and turns to look at Deadman, “By the way, who the hell are you?”

Deadman reaches over and removes Hazels phone from her hands. “Kids these days… Hazel. What is it about secret meeting in a secret location that makes you say ‘Gee. I should broadcast our location to Iron Mike every third sentence.’? Smarten up or stay at the base.”

Deadman throws hazels phone over with the other 3 on the table. “Lets do this quickly just in case they DON’T already know Virgil is meeting with us. Virg, It’s your neck in the noose if this goes wrong. When and where are you going to make the weapon drop? How can we cover you without being seen? When and where do you make the payoff to Maximal? How can we cover you then? How do you stay in touch when you are on the inside? If you can’t answer those questions then this isn’t a plan.”

“Okay, down to business. Screw the under-cover thing. Verge isn’t suited to it in my opinion. This, however, is an incredible opportunity to put the Janitor’s plan to work. We set a trap for the Maxi-Pad and before Iron Mick is the wiser – we’ve down yet ANOTHER of his LEFTENENTS. And, weapon trafficking charges should be enough to keep him locked up a while and keep Iron Mick’s resources tied up with a legal battle, right? You guys DID play the legal card on the investigation last time right? And the investigation was already tied to the salvage and Kieromin Iron Works, right? This is the perfect opportunity. Verge isn’t going to be in any more danger than he already is AND we get to tag another lieutenant.”

Continued into Game 12

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Hazel Clothes a Rift!
The grasp...

the_rift_by_chriscold-d7awxm7.jpg

Matilda H.P.Q. Lovecraft! You’re not going to believe what happened! Soooo…

I popped my RIFT CLOSING CHERRY!

That slutty little rift couldn’t keep it’s damn legs closed! No seriously though Matty – it pooped out like ten frickin’ angry little spirits before I could get that thing shut! Huff! Wait, I’m really just skipping all the good stuff…all the foreplay. Sorry, you know how egg-cited I get.

It’s been so crazy lately with all the undercover stuff and conspiracy theories and all the distractions. I’ve been keeping a chronicle of the Legion’s affairs and it has been very demanding of my already packed schedule. I have been having some difficulty keeping my employer happy. Half the time I show up late – even though my travel time is near-instant. The other half the time I’m hopped up on energy drinks or passed out at the keyboard. It’s a real-shame I can’t work from home.

So before I get any further into what’s been happening I’ve got to recant my Rift-Closing endeavors, if not for myself, then for the good of the Goggle Chronicle and ALL MANKIND!!! This is no small feat. And, um, here is how it happened:

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So the Autumnal equinox was approaching and I gathered all available hands-on-deck with my winsome smile and cult-of-personality charisma…and some whining and begging and some knee-scuffing pleas. Doc Prop, Bog-tart, Verge, and I headed over to the Zericho Wax Museum a few days before the celestial bodies aligned for the equinox to do some investigation. There were quite a few creepy, scandalous, and really seedy sorts hanging in the general vicinity and Verge informed us that we were encroaching on gang territory. The exact location of the museum isn’t important but it runs RIGHT through one of the Century Station ley lines – JUST like the meeting place of the Telestic Society. So, of course, I was in my element…but I felt badly for the other members of the Legion. They came along to support me and I was GRATEFUL for it but I wouldn’t realize how unprepared we were until much later.

We performed a search of the entire building and found the signs of vagrancy and vandalism. Standard faire – but it seemed that even homeless people tend to shy away from haunted houses and spooky ghost stories. And one of the rarest and oddest things that wasn’t completely picked clean was an old leather-bound book. Might have been human skin for all I knew. But it was written in Latin and I could read it decently well. The book was kept hidden from me by the paranoid doctor for a while but he scanned it and sent it out to his labs and then sent me a digital copy.

James_Dean_wax_figure_by_AlvarezWax.jpg

Once I started really dissecting the text I realized that these were SPELLS!!! And that even an untrained up-start could figure out and piece together how to make these spells work!!! This was very disconcerting. I boned-up on it the best I could in the scant few days we had before the Autumnal Equinox and…we returned. We weren’t sure what to expect but we were as unprepared as we could possibly be! That’s what it’s like to be Super. Regardless, right about sun-down I could feel the mystic energies coalescing and we went back downstairs into the basement. There was a veneer of dust over everything and old melted candle wax and some old, crusty smeared bloodstains. It was really cozy.

Well it didn’t take long before we saw a seam appear and then begin to tear…like the very fabric of reality was actually splitting in half! I swear, had I not had a magical education and Bumblebore for a father I would have sworn that I was hallucinating! Watching a rift expand and emerge for the first time was…breathtaking. There are really no other words to describe it. I felt both humbled and awed at the same time…powerless and powerful and…completely in shock…

spirits.jpg

Until spirits and entities and invisible baddy ghosty things started whizzing through the hole and possessing people. HOLY SHOTTT!!!!! I pulled up the spellbook on my PDA super fast and began to breeze through the hour-long ritual of CLOTHESING A RIFT!!!! HOLY DOUBLE SHOTTT!!! So we sacrificed a few kittens, beheaded a couple bunnies, and I ended up consuming a snotload of potential psychic energy from both the ley line and the Legionairres who contributed. I literally felt…diminished somehow…when at the apex of the ritual the seam began to mend and wove its way upward into nonexistence. HOLY TRIPLE SHOTTT!!! Daby and Barney were shocked and awed and the Legion agreed that next time we’d prepare a little better. All told we allowed 10 miscreant spirits through and they’re currently “at large” and wreaking havoc. However, I can say with certainty and finality, that the recurring nature of this Autumnal Equinox Haunting of the Zericho Wax Museum is OVER. Legion prevails!

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Prelude to Nowhere
Post Game 11

Prelude to Nowhere

I returned to the garage and was lucky they were so busy that Frank Darvit allowed me to return to work, but was turned down a few spots to LOF & Tire monkey. Between this work and the F-Club it will keep the coin coming in for “operations” to return as planned.

There’s quite a few cars going through one of the bays that is kept open mainly for dismantling. They keep the doors closed to outside most of the time. Pretty obvious chop shop. Since a couple of Lieutenants from Iron Mike’s operations visited here I would imagine most of the work comes from Mike.

While I was at work a picture showed up on my phone from the security camera. Appears to be a fast moving furry animal the size of a large rodent. Nothing missing from inventory although I have already broken all the inventory. Moving exceptionally fast. Maybe time to have that talk with Bogart.

4 days pass in timeline

I can’t believe how crooked the police are here. Palming money almost in front of the Feds investigating Keiromin Iron Works. Perhaps the Feds are on the take too. The inspectors are taking money too. My beer doesn’t taste so good watching this while sitting on the roof top after work. Not as relaxing seeing this conspire. Time for bed.

3 days later

A container being escorted into the “Iron Works” looks very suspicious especially since 2 Lieutenants are escorting it, Momentum and Amaya. Conflagration is probably around too but had to tell with all the smoke.

7 days pass

I have been made. This changes everything.

Today I had a visit from Maximal at my “home”. 8’ tall ape like appearance in nice casual Friday clothes. Must have been custom tailored. He was very cordial and respectful while expecting the same. He is business savvy too. He did not like my place and mentioned it was too run down that I could do much better.

He also called me Vigilance to be very clear he knew who I was and wanted to know what I was doing. He also explained I have been watched for some time. I have been looking over my shoulder for some time trying to avoid being followed or recognized. Looking through my notes here and the question of who entered the basement makes me wonder where Bogarts allegiance belongs. He did disappear for some time.

I told Maximal the truth……..Vigilance is no more. I don’t know what I want to do next. I didn’t tell him I want to watch Iron Mike burn along the way. I told him I enjoy the work I am learning and doing. I lied about the firearms and told him i am reselling them outside Waingroh. Now he needs a 15% cut of my sales and in return he will supply better options for my customers although he said customer in singular. I need to be very aware of the particulars now.

He also mentioned joining his group that he is scouting for and I should make an appearance at the underground fight arena. He showed his hand when he said I already knew the location. He has been sending the previous invites.

When Maximal left he swung from the utility poles and buildings. He crushed his hands into the building to grip as he passed. He is strong. Smart. And I bet ruthless.

I grabbed a 12 pack and headed to the roof to reflect on the day. Things are getting interesting indeed.

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Who is really behind the mask? Game Log 11
Virgil or ?

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It has been a couple weeks since I have written in this journal. The only reason I have stopped to write anything down is because today I will visit the Tomorrow Legion for the first time in two weeks and will once again don the mask of Vigilance.

I am finding I have some apprehension donning the mask.

One item I want to mention is the increase in firearms on the streets here in Waingroh and I don’t understand this. Did another ship arrive? How is Iron Mike bringing in additional stuff?

I am happy to report I have kept the job at the garage for 3 weeks! They have been giving me additional jobs and it has been steady without being sent home early. They have even given me stuff to do other than LOF and tire changes. Mostly radiator changes and thermostats after someone else in the garage diagnosis it. Kinda enjoying the learning part even though I am closer to working with the scum of our city.

Mr. Vee’s phone is ringing again. I wonder if it is firearms for sale or some other scumbag trying to sell me some drug called “Supers”. I guess it makes the user feel super?
<answer>

<new>
It has been 2 weeks since my last update and I have spent all my time at the Tomorrow Legion. I have been calling in sick to the garage, but I am not sure if there will be a job for me to return too. What the group accomplished these weeks has been exemplary.

I returned to the Tomorrow Legion and requested direct meeting with Spirit. I told him what I have been hearing on the streets that Iron Mike has been planning a full out assault directly on the Tomorrow Legion and it is open season on Tomorrow Legion in Waingroh.

The phone call I received on my last entry was disturbing. The Creeton wanted to buy rather than sell to me. This time I answered his inquiry and told him they had already been sold. Brash bugger.

In the meeting with Spirit was Doc P., Bogart, and Hazel. While I informed them all that an attack could be imminent which sent Hazel & Bogart into a surveillance check. After checking the area and looking for anyone who followed me they found things appear to be clear.

Hazel showed us that we had been hacked at the Tomorrow Legion and the ship Doc P. had helped sink was being salvaged. Salvaging operations were being masked from the Tomorrow Legion by the hacking of the Legion. I am happy that I have not been wearing my Goggle Glass while away from the Legion.

Spirit asked me directly to stop going to Waingroh. I apologized that I would not follow his heed.

The squirrel complained about my greasy fingers stinking up the place. Bogart could easily follow me without my knowledge, but what Mr. Vee is doing is for the better of everyone. I will feed the Tomorrow Legion information as I can to keep them safe and help the city, but Mr. Vee needs to see Iron Mike’s terror end.

Doc P and I did some research regarding the operation of salvaging the ship. The salvage operation was legit and even the cargo was being deposed of by Keiromin Iron Works. And with this discovery the alarms went off in my head. All those weapons were being brought right back to the streets by Iron Mike. By his own business!

We contacted the authorities and visited the authorities. They reported that all the checks and inspections were being made. All the weapons on the ship were being destroyed. Bullshit!

I excused myself from the Legion and left in normal clothes to return to the abandoned house in Waingroh. Checked around to see if anyone had entered since the last time I left and surprisingly not. The stash in the basement of firearms was still in place and I took several out in a bag to return to the Legion.

Doc P., Bogart, and Hazel inspected the weapons to determine that they had indeed been under salt water and were reworked to resale. These were the firearms that were supposed to be destroyed!

The bureaucrats, authorities, lawyers and etc. ate this information up like pack of dehydrated hyenas lapping up blood from a fresh kill. The yelping and holla was incredible. Now the authorities had a strong reason to start nosing into the operations at Keiromin Iron Works. I wish I could be a fly on the wall when Iron Mike learns the news. Heck, I wish I knew what Iron Mike even looked like. All I could know it is Spirit’s alter ego.

The Cyborgs have been held at the Legion for quite some time. Hazel found a doctor well known in cybernetics and cyborgs. He has volunteered to help the Legion and dismantled the Cyborgs internal bombs and took away their overpowering strength and armor. The weapons and armor will be available now for our “DeadMan” to use and hopefully provide clues.

Doc P. and Hazel have been going through data gleamed from the onboard recordings in the Cyborgs. Also some information was gathered through interrogation. I was surprised to find out these Cyborgs were not working for Iron Mike but to thwart him of his lieutenant. Evidently they gathered information from the same sources as did I. Too bad, it would have been nice to have them attack Iron Mike.

The Legion also found out the Cyborg’s were at the Law Office to find additional recruits to their war. These Cyborgs hate all supers and mutants. They want to wash the earth clean of us. Rather ironic since they are not natures way either and it could be argued that mutants and supers are natures development in comparison.

Our local precinct took the cyborgs into custody after being neutered.

Hazel has been concerned with a discovery she has made regarding another dimension. The rest of the group humors her, but I believe what she tells me even though I don’t understand what she is doing.

The building was a wax museum that had a murders happen years ago without a cause. I guess the place had closed down afterwards and was rather creepy. I did get a chuckle out of the position of some of the wax dummies.

Hazel made some discoveries in the basement and wanted to return the following night.

We went back the following night and did some vudu in the basement. I saw nothing, but Hazel was pretty freaked out.

Afterwards we hear foot steps in the building and the local gang had followed us into the building. They knew we were from the Tomorrow Legion and were pretty spooked out about the place.

Bogart ran upstairs in the dark and started making voices. Those gang members were so scared they ran out of the building. It was hysterical.

Tomorrow I will return to the abandoned building and approach my boss at the garage. I hope I am not sent home packing.

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Another Interlude

Conrad stared out over the city from the roof of his building. The sun was setting and Century Station was bathed in its warm, hateful light. Off to his side was a cage full of pigeons fluttering and chirping annoyingly. Conrad scowled in disgust as their noise interrupted his thoughts. He hated having to care for these dirty things and would have gladly had one of the cultists handle them, but he didn’t want those insects knowing where he lived.

He reached into the cage and took out one of the dirty, squawking birds. He held it tightly and walked over to an ornate circle etched into the rooftop, lazily closing the cage door behind him. The markings of the circle were faint but his trained eye picked them out with ease, and he understood exactly what they represented. Of course, he was the one who etched them in the first place, so none of that would be a surprise.

Conrad slowly walked around the circle to inspect its integrity. As he did so he used his free hand to place one candle at a time in wax-stained locations around its edge. Each candle was made from a special wax he and the cultists prepared. Twelve in total, representing elements, seasons, the circle designer’s whim… Conrad wasn’t sure and didn’t really care. What mattered to him was that it worked. The sun continued its slow descent towards the horizon, signalling the time to begin. Conrad lit the candles one at a time with a lighter. When he did this with the cultists he would use magic to light the candles in a display of his power, but here he had no-one here to impress. Not yet, anyway.

At the center of the circle Conrad knelt down, facing the setting sun. He pressed the pigeon to the ground in front of him and held it painfully in place. He began to chant out loud – the same words, over and over, but rising in fever and intensity with every iteration. “En la krepusko de ĉi tiu mondo , mi vokas al vi. Baal-ze-necht! Sinjoro de nokto! Al vi mi promesas al vi miajn servojn. Al vi mi promesas mian vivon. Al vi mi promesas mian animon. Kun la sango de tiu ofero mi petas vian gvidon. Lasu la spegulo muro paŭzo kaj banu min en via glora malevollence. Rotiel!” The last of the suns rays dipped below the horizon as Conrad shouted out the last word for the final time. Simultaneously he plunged a dagger into the breast of the pigeon, spilling its blood into the circle. The magical energy which had been building surged around and through him, shaping his will into reality.

Within a few moments a vague image of a head hazily coalesced into view above and in front of Conrad. “Speak,” the dark shape commanded. “Why have you called upon me?”

“My Lord, I seek guidance.” Conrad bowed his head as he spoke, knowing better than to look directly at the Night Lord of Grim Gulf, Rotiel. But he smiled in satisfaction as he began to speak.

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Quoniam in Statera
For the Balance...

Hazel went to great lengths to retrieve this book from the study of my father.

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This book is bound in plain leather that has stayed remarkably well-preserved over the years, except for the old and worn bindings. It is handwritten entirely in Latin but sprinkled throughout the book are notes written in the margins. Upon review, it is clear that these notes are all in different handwriting and even different eras, indicating many readers over a long period of time. The comments are in a mixture of Latin, English and more archaic forms of English. The ones Hazel can read seem to be commenting as much on the earlier comments as they do on the actual contents of the book. A few of the comments she recognizes as her father’s handwriting.

Based on the commentaries it seems the book discusses the classical “elements” but also includes additional forces as “elements,” four of which seem to be lightning, ice, light and darkness – much to the chagrin of many a marginalia commentator. This “need” for balance among the elements is hotly debated amongst the commentators. The merits and dangers of reaching out for these elements are all commented on and argued about as well.

There is an area of the book where the comments argue about “supposed” elemental amulets and the “so-called proof” they really provide.

I couldn’t read the book properly but I found drawings of four amulets. None of them were Antipodes but one did look similar to Michelle’s.

Translating the book involved more than just a few hours with Google Translate but I did it.

The book’s contents were a chronicle of an aspiring Roman sorcerer’s notes and musings regarding four amulets. He received these amulets from agents of the Empire, who tasked him with using his magics to divine their purpose. These notes include drawings of the amulets and translations of their runes: Ice and Fire, Water and Lightning, Earth and Air, Light and Dark. The drawing for the “Ice and Fire” amulet looks like Michelle’s. He discerned their other-dimensional origins but he wasn’t powerful enough to be able to reach that dimension through dimensional magics. Try as he might, the sorcerer couldn’t figure out how to activate the amulets, despite being able to sense their vast elemental power – it was as if they were inexorably linked to some other force. He does suggest the amulets themselves may be a balance to this force, and wonders what might happen should the amulets or the force be nullified or destroyed.

Based on the runic inscriptions on the amulets, their pairings, and his notions of balance that these amulets represented, he surmised additional Elemental forces above and beyond the traditional four that “modern” theory held dear. Much to the chagrin of his peers, who derided and dismissed these ideas. He devotes great time in discussing what these “elements” of Ice, Lightning, Light, and Dark would be like, and how they might balance themselves around the traditional framework of elements. He was never able to test his theories, of course, due to the low magical energies of the Earth, and he died with his work unconfirmed and incomplete. The book itself was compiled by the sorcerer’s apprentice using his master’s notes. The Empire eventually reclaimed the mysterious amulets and for his failed service the sorcerer only received the disappointment of his Emperor.

Euclid_s_Elements_1573_Edition.JPG

The comments throughout all the margins are from various readers over the centuries, mocking and scorning the book’s theories in much the same way that the sorcerer’s peers mocked and scorned them. Occasionally, a marginalia contributor speaks praise for the wild theories but laments that they, too, are unable to provide any proof to these claims. Much debate is held over the amulets which spawned these ideas, since to anyone’s knowledge they seem to have never turned back up again throughout the history of the book’s existence.

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Post Game 10 - Lone Wolf Virgil
Virgil's Job Search

Long day. Started a new job this week working as a mechanic. 5th garage job in the past month. At least working the door at the F-Club has been regular ours to keep this operation floating.

It has been over a week since I have donned the mask of Vigilance. The police department was happy to see the broken firearms taken off the street and no one at this station appeared to be on the take. The last station I did a release was in Waingroh with an officer not very happy to see the firearms broken. After that experience I have been making mental notes of officers and their expression when turning over the contraband plus avoiding the Waingroh precincts.

I got to laugh about a movie I watched the other night. Real old movie about these guys fighting becoming some underground club. Oddly mirrors what I have been doing for housing. They had this old house on the edge of ruins with running water and electricity that was abandoned and condemned. I swear I found the same house! Leaky pipes and everything!

It is weird living alone. It is weird not being Vigilance. It is hard to fight the urge to fight crime when it happens in front of you to keep the cover. Welcome to Rex Vee, you can call me Mr. Vee.

Mr. Vee will be happy to buy your firearms. No questions asked and none should be given. Mr Vee will pay a fair to below average price and likes small volume.

Last week some repeat cretins selling a few items thought he had the right to ask questions. Cretin #1 asked, “Are you starting some kind of gang? We expect our cut.”
I gave him my best dark smile and told him," None of your business." I saw the butt of the gun coming towards my face and kept smiling while his buddy stood there smirking. He hit me pretty square in the teeth and it hurt. I didn’t move and the butt of the gun broke off. A gave him a light slap across the face which caused him to go airborne across the room to wall. As he laid on the floor face down I asked his sidekick who’s smirk has disappeared, "Anymore questions? None, good. Please remove your “friend” from my presence."

I find the cretin’s question bothersome. These mutton head’s are starting to notice Mr. Vee’s operations. I was hoping to keep a low profile longer.

It is amazing how these cretins just talk when you don’t say anything. I simply nod and they keep telling more about any criminal activity in the area. I finally just tell them they can leave now usually. This is the first time I had to lay down the “Law”.

Yesterday at the new garage job, Conflagration and Maximal showed up asking question to the new boss. I stayed out of sight and found a car to work under, but jeeze whiz. I don’t need this kind of excitement at a new job.
The good news: From what I overheard was this garage takes care of stolen cars for Conflagration & Maximal’s employer. I am getting closer to Iron Mike.

<flashback> All the shadows in the alley began to appear to seep toward the ShadowMan and with eyes glowing and a smile full of malice he stared at Diane while Alex continued hitting with the electro shocker.
Those poor kids in the jail cell. Jessie being skinned alive. <flaskback>
Time to make my way back to the rooftop tonight and study the Keiromin Iron Works. I’ve found your hiding spot Mikey. Mr. Vee is going to figure out a way to bring the whole Iron Works to the ground on top of you.

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Mobo MOFO!
The Tomorrow Legion Mainframe is HACKED!

bigstock-Hacker-Typing-On-A-Laptop-44548564.jpg

So, Hazel got back home after meeting the Telestic Society and first thing she does is check her email. She had to deal with this Motherboard thing or she’d NEVER get any sleep. On the way to her mainframe she stops in the commissary and picks up an energy drink out of habit and reminds herself to make the healthy choice next time. She takes the long…round-about way…back to her room and opens up the Shadowbard, Jeepmail, and Poutlook to cover all her bases. She removes the “away” message and checks her voicemail as well. When she’s out on an “op” it’s important to hold all correspondence – even Faceback! GROAN!!!!

She disrobes and examines herself in the mirror. Homely. Nothing has changed. She could have sworn that leveling up would improve her self-image…even just a bit. But she was wrong. She wonders what it’d be like to live in the Caribbean…as a pirate…as a smelly pirate hooker. Hmmm. She idly ponders the intricacies and nuances of living a life in paradise but surrounded by detritus, flotsam, and narcotics. Hazel heads out of her room and down the hallway to the bathroom. The sun shining so high in the sky with seagulls crooning and squawking and diving down to steal her egg-salad bagel sandwich. Captain Morgan’s…with a little tiki umbrella in her drink.

“Oh! Oh my god! I think I just went blind!”

Zeauouou? White sandy beaches…

“Hey space cadet! Are you high?”

FUCK.

Fight or flight instinct kicks in and Hazel immediately attempts to transform into her Morphus.

(roll to save versus M.E. – 12 + bonus @ lvl 5 = success)

Hazel almost instantly transforms into a smoldering, dark, demonic-looking Nightbane – covered in a mask of Dia del Muerte face-paint and wicked, evil designs. The tattoos are barely visible from beneath the thick, cumbersome robe but they swirl and writhe and seethe with a life of their own. She turns her frightening visage on the unsuspecting superhero and walks toward him like a stalking leopard.

Save vs. H.F. success. Zeau just gives her a wide berth and brushes her off. As far as he’s concerned she’s always been a weird one

She sits down, dials-up Doc Prop, and get him on the line while she gets settle for a long haul of counter-cyber-terrorism.

Plan of Action:

0) Get Doc Prop to help with every aspect of this plan

1) Physically inspect EVERY FUCKING PIECE OF EQUIPMENT. From routers to switches to WiFi repeaters to electrical conduit to computers, servers, and etc. I am aware that this may take days…or weeks. But I haven’t done ANYTHING between game 10 and game 11

It doesn’t take as long as you think since it’s only a physical inspection – maybe a day or two of concentrated effort. Only two things of note:

You almost miss it, but you find a small wireless transmitter sloppily jacked into the network that doesn’t belong there. Based on where it was installed, it would’ve been able to provide backdoor access to the TTL network to anyone who knew about it.

Now that you’re physically examining the entire network and going through its layout, route, and wireless points you notice something odd – Spirit’s room seems to be deliberately not-connected to the network. Maybe he connects into it wireless-only, but if that’s so then none of the access points for it are in a convenient placement for that, and he currently has no equipment in there to connect to. He did arrange the layout as part of the base design, so it does seem deliberate.

Dust it for fingerprints – then submit it to Claxton and the SHARD database for cross-references. And just for shits ’n giggles – give it to Spirit to check the TTL database / roster. Also, find out where these things can be bought / made, etc.

Unless you have the Forensics skill you need to turn it over to someone else to dust for fingerprints. Either way, the fingerprints lifted and run through the S.H.A.R.D. database (not SHIELD, that’s Marvel Comics!) come back as a match for a superhuman called Hugo. This is the guy who attacked the Tomorrow Legion HQ about two months ago and destroyed a sizable chunk of it. There were no other prints on it, and Hugo’s prints were in various sizes.

I turn it over to Verge for the forensics fingerprints dusting. If Doc Prop can do it more’s the better.

When you try to contact Virgil it immediately goes to voicemail on his phone. When Virgil finally returns the call (days later) he will be back at TTL HQ for a brief moment and then he is back out. Virgil states he will forward the info to Mr. Claxton. A few days pass when Virgil leaves a voicemail for Hazel asking if there is any funds available to pay Claxton for services. Any calls back go immediately to Virgil’s voicemail.

Jim Claxon can’t really run prints but if you’re asking him to use his police contacts to run the prints, he says he’ll see what he can do. He politely, but firmly suggests that if you wish to keep using his services like this you should start hiring him. At the end of the week he gets back to you and confirms what the S.H.A.R.D. folks already told you.

I will forward his request to Spirit and request that we allot a budget for forensic and psychic investigations. Perhaps a stipend or a monthly allowance, etc.

He’ll see what he can set aside.

Roll the research skill in order to earn a response to where these things can be bought / made, etcetera.

Research 36% out of 98%

No-one in Century Station sells these as off-the-shelf items. There are only a few people or places you hear about who could’ve made them. A place called “The Workshop” is mentioned a few times, and Whiz Kid of the Centurions is also mentioned as someone with the skills to do this. But your research skill use and success lets you uncover a tech company named Rehdering Electronics that recently started making these. They don’t sell them yet, but they are based on the other side of the country and recently shipped them through Korashi Technics to a private, overseas investor.

Lastly, I will try to jack into it, solder some clips and a USB interface, then go through the back-door. I also want to examine all the code in the interface and try to back-trace any wireless users it may have transmitted to.

I need either a Computer Repair or Electrical Engineering skill roll, followed by a Computer Programming roll.

I don’t have Computer Repair or Electrical Engineering – I didn’t even know that Computer Repair is a skill – because I have Computer Operation, Computer Programming, and Computer Hacking – and I have Electronics: Basic – if this is something that Doc Prop should be doing I will gladly defer to his expertise

2) Goggle cyber-terrorist, hacker, etc. by the name of Motherboard

In the deepest parts of the web you can get to (around “Level 4” as I recall) you’re able to find information about a hacker who calls herself “Motherboard,” who specializes in obtaining and reselling information. For the most part here all you can find is people talking about how she expertly, stealthily, and ruthlessly pillaged their networks or computer systems of confidential data, and in many cases left behind a virus that would wipe the system once it was discovered. The common thread you can piece together here is that people who ventured into the deep web with little experience and “stood out” seem to make a large percentage of her victims.

3) SHIELD database Motherboard

That’s all right, Virgil’s got ties to them now as well, so even though Virgil isn’t around (he hasn’t been around much at all, lately, come to think of it. You’ve been doing your gymnastics/upper body training routines by yourself for a little while now). You find out that S.H.A.R.D. doesn’t have an entry for Motherboard, but that doesn’t seem too surprising since she’s A) the evidence you’ve collected seems to indicate she’s relatively new onto the scene, and B) she’s a really good hacker, so if she did have a profile she could’ve removed it. Either way, this is a dead end

4) Ask precinct buddy and now Telestic buddy inspector gadget Claxton about Motherboard

He says he was never really involved in “cybercrime” but he’ll reach out to a few contacts and see what they may know. After two days he gets back to you and tells you that his contacts only know of her as a rumor or a ghost. She’s a near-mythical hacker whose name has only just started being whispered to CSPD in relation to certain hacking cases

5) Reach out to Joan of Arc and ask her about Motherboard

Joan tells you she’s heard of the name, but the Centurions haven’t had the misfortune of being targeted by her. At least, as far as she knows. Since the Tomorrow Legion got hit by her this convinces Joan to have their own tech guy (Whiz Kid) re-examine their own systems – just to make sure. She suggests that after they’ve swept their own systems she could ask him to come look at the Legion’s.

Joan of Arc follows up with you a few days later. She tells you that Whiz Kid swept the Centurion’s systems and declared them hacker-free. Joan tells you their offer still stands.

Reach out to Joan and employ Whiz Kid after getting Spirit’s approval.

He can stop by tomorrow.

6) Reach out to Missy / Michelle / Shelly / Arctic Hellfire and ask about Motherboard

Michelle (Arctic Hellfire) doesn’t know anything about her and has never heard of her. She asks nonchalantly if you were able to find out anything about the amulets (hers and Antipode’s) – you told her some time ago you were going to look into them.

I told her everything I learned about the elements in the LATIN BOOK “For the Balance”

I thought I mentioned it in one of my first responses – I tell her all about the book FOR THE BALANCE…and I tell her about the latin translation (reference wiki log PIGLATIN – then I tell her about my dad’s notes in the margins and what I learned about the 8 different types of elements and what I was able to discover about the nature of the amulets and their origin and the types of powers and “pairings” of powers.

7) Reach out to new mentor and possible friend and bookstore owner of Magic of Books and ask about Motherboard

Charlie doesn’t know anything about her and has never heard of her. He confesses he’s only a basic computer user though. He much prefers books and paper, and most of the store’s records and information are all still in paper. He starts to brainstorm some magic spells which he thinks he remembers or saw that might deal with computers in some way, but he can’t place it yet and he says he’ll need to delve his parent’s archives. He asks if this is related to that Doctor Makalai you asked about the other night at the Telestic Society?

8) Ask, casually, for shits ‘n giggles – any of the IT guys or tech gurus at Hazel’s work (there should be a bunch of programmer nerdy types) if they’ve heard of anything or know of anything about Motherboard.

There’s a general lack of knowledge amongst most of them, but there’s a couple who recognize the name and react a little fearfully/reverently when you bring her up. They strongly suggest you stop talking about her and definitely don’t look her up online or anything. She’s the sort of hacker that hackers have quickly learned to fear, and the best way they’ve found to deal with her is to try not to attract her attention.

9) Ask an innocuous question on the Shadowboard phrased, “So I’ve got this glitch with a rare and rather obscure motherboard. It’s kinda scary…and it broke into my house without tripping the alarm. Dog didn’t even bark. But there’s money missing off my dresser and now my daughter’s knocked up. Help me Obi-Wan, you’re my only hope.”

As per Shadowboard protocall the post goes up a day later. After a couple days you haven’t received any responses. Communicating or doing info gathering through the Shadowboard is only slightly faster than mailing a letter though, so that may not necessarily mean anything.

I’ve realized now how I want to handle this. Please roll a Cryptography skill roll for this.

Cryptography skill…2% out of 60%!!!!!!! Excel RNG loves me!!!

Two messages are waiting for you the next time you log back in.

First message: "You can’t let your daughter come to term. Abort now while it’s not too late. -FringeFilesFan11742

Second message: "New dogs won’t help. No dog will help. It may just be time to move to a better neighborhood. P.S.: That money from the dresser will never be found. Be glad that’s all that you’re missing. -dywldhawi85

10) Run a thorough scan for virus, worm, mole, back-doors – internal scans, on 5 different virus programs, etc.

The “standard” programs don’t find anything, and in retrospect you’re not surprised. But you have your own programs to fall back on. Although this is where you start to uncover the damage she did to your own personal software and algorithms. Specifically, as you delve this, you uncover that she altered your search crawls relating to Iron Mike and the salvage operations. Roll me a Computer Programming and a Research skill roll.

Computer Programming – 64% out of 70%, Research 70% out of 98%

A.R.C.H.I.E.’s fine, most of the computer systems are fine. All the damage seems to be localized to your algorithms – specifically, the ones that were supposed to keep you updated on the salvage operations. They were subtly altered so that no matter what info was found, they would report and display that nothing was going on. As you correct this you find that salvage operations to the sunken ship are well underway and at lest two return trips have been made.

Your successful research roll also tells you these programs have altered like this since about a week after you bugged up the salvage companies and were doing your hardcore delving into the deep web, looking for information on Iron Mike and setting up your crawlers to keep looking in your absence.

11) Run a trace-route for origins, pings, bounce-points, Virtual Private Networks, access-points

Please roll your Computer Hacking skill three times

55, 94, 18 – I think that’s only 1 success – actually her skill is exactly 55% – so I dunno

Motherboard covered her tracks well. You begin to try and follow the trail left behind by her accesses and every time you quickly lose the trail. This seems like a dead end, but it does occur to you that even though she’s not hacked into your systems anymore you are searching out through the web to follow a trail she deliberately covered up and made misleading – your actions in this regard could be noticed by her.

Okay, I’ll stop what I’m doing unless Doc Prop disagrees.

12) Make Spirit aware of the situation. Ask for money. Re-build the entire network from the ground up – scrap every single potentially compromised piece of equipment and HEAVILY restrict ALL ACCESS. No Tomorrow Legion leaks, no wifi, no cell phones, no personal computers, etc. Everything on the network is to remain INTERNAL and completely secure. No external access, no internet access, NOTHING. We buy brand new Firewalls and Switches from the Alien High Tech corp sector from overseas.

He listens carefully and thoughtfully to what you request, and then he tells you “I already had this network built with state of the art tech, Hazel. I won’t condone trying to acquire Alien tech from the underground markets in order to try and make our system more secure and complex. It sounds like you’ve got things pretty well in hand right now. Do you know what information she managed to get? Was every system compromised? How about A.R.C.H.I.E., was his program compromised? Have you changed all your passwords? I’ll make sure everyone else in the Legion is made aware that our systems were hacked and they need to stop using them until you’ve given us the okay – then I’ll have them reset everything.”

“Uhhhh Boss…I’m trying to figure that out.” Hazel shares with him everything she found out

I already assumed you did, and that doesn’t change any of his conversation. You may make a perception roll while you talk with him about this.

NATURAL 20!?!?!? EXCEL RNG FTmfWIN!!!! – btw, that’s a +4 on top of that too!

He’s acting pretty unconcerned. Almost like he’s humoring you. It certainly doesn’t seem like this data breech is bothering him all that much, especially once you tell him none of the major systems nor the A.I. were affected – just your personal data mining programs.

After another moment of musing he then suggests “Where you said you found that wireless tap, that’s quite curious. I wonder if it’s placement is related to that Hugo guy who attacked our headquarters last month, then ‘disappeared’ by shrinking away to almost nothing. We can check the video feeds from that battle again but they might not be reliable until you’ve gone back over all the software. Maybe talking with Virgil or one of the other guys who fought him off will help?”

Hazel goes back and interviews Verge and any other present TTL members as well as reviews the video feeds.

While reviewing the videos you can surmise that Spirit’s theory is sound. After sustaining a massive beating from the Tomorrow Legion, Hugo shrunk down seemingly to nothing while the Tomorrow Legion building was exposed from his attack. That would’ve been a great opportunity for someone to get inside and install this wireless system undeterred, especially if they could shrink down to microscopic size.

13) Ask Vicky to do a little research and find a new employee who can run the TTL IT department. I want people with PhD’s in Computer Science and Networking Technology. I don’t care what it costs but we better find a few candidates…ASAP.

She gets a blank look on her face for an annoyingly long time before she finally offers up “Uh…. you want me to try and find someone who has dual PhD’s to come work for us as a network admin? Have you lost your mind?”

Hazel blanches…no balks!

Fine," she drawls sarcastically. “I’ll just pop an ad into the local papers like before.” She blows a bubble from her gum and pops it loudly

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