Titan Academy – Episode 8: Unforgetable

Last time our heroes narrowly averted a riot in front of city hall surrounding the vote on a bill that would require the open registration of all supers. We rejoin them now, dealing with the changes this is causing throughout Halcyon City.

Hello Halcyon City, this is Anna Fresh, coming to you on WHCY the Voice of Halcyon with your daily dose of Fresh Air. The city council has decided that the most recent version of the super registration bill was put together too quickly without enough consideration, so it has been sent back to committee. Also, Blake Harrison has been replaced as the head of AEGIS. The new director, Xavier Alcazar, a former marine, is promising big changes to the way AEGIS is handled, now that they have rooted out all of the Chimera agents. Or so they say. Call in and give your opinion.

So the team got together and decided that they needed to choose what issue to deal with first. Takar and Hiro were very set on making AEGIS pay for their foolishness in allowing Chimera to infiltrate their ranks. Ryan and Liv wanted to focus more on Chimera itself. They managed to convince the others that they should deal with Chimera first since they were the ones actually causing the problems. So they decided to get in touch with whoever was in charge at Catalyst, by talking with the Lost Boys.

The Lost Boys arrange the meeting – and the team ends up outside an old abandoned train station, waiting to be let in. Once inside, they see several Lost Boys hanging out, some working in the impressive labs and offices in the station, and are led to a large plush office. No one is surprised when Cosmic Bond himself joins them there. He explains that he has been working to bring down Chimera for some time, but had been unable to break them out of AEGIS, and that he had not been sure he could trust our heroes. After all, one was the grandson of Dr. Quintessence, who had worked on much of the Chimera project, one was interning with AEGIS, and one, he said, motioning to Liv, was a Chimera project herself.

He knows now, however, after talking with the Lost Boys and others, that they can be trusted. As he talks, Crystal appears and comes to take his hand. She looks happy, and healthy, and is excited to see Liv and the others again. She lets them know how well they have been taking care of her, and reveals to Liv that she too has similar nightmares of the Sorroweater and a metal room. They let Crystal head out of the office, and then face Cosmic Bond again.

“I have a favor to ask of you,” he says, looking over them all. “And I am more than willing to give you anything you need, find a way to help Takar control his abilities, give Liv as much information about Project Oblivion as I am able, even help get Aether’s mother out from where she is trapped, if you are willing to help me contact my daughter, and make sure she has not been compromised by Chimera.”

This statement brought up a million questions from our heroes. First, who was his daughter? Omega is Cosmic Bond’s daughter by Rivet. Next, how does he know about Ryan/Aether’s mother? How does he know they can get her out? Cosmic Bod explains that strange things happen when you combine his powers with the Aether powers of Ryan’s family. Their paths crossed several times over the years, but the final time was an attack against Chimera. Unfortunately, through a mixture of Cosmic Bond’s and Dr. Quintessance’s and Dark Matter’s powers, Ryan’s mother was sent to a dimension on the other side of Aether space. Cosmic Bond has located her, but is unable to get to her alone.

Hiro speaks up before any of the others are able, and says they will do what he wants, but they are going to get Ryan’s mother back right now. The rest of the team is very surprised, but Cosmic Bond agrees, and they get to work.

Hiro directs the building of a large device that will help stabilize whatever pathway Cosmic Bond and Aether are able to make into the Aether space. Volt charges it up, and a tunnel forms through the grey cloud that they remember from their last trip into this plane. They walk through the tunnel, Aether doing his best to keep the currents from attracting any more of the massive centipedes that dwell here, and they reach the other side.

The tunnel opens onto a large black space that as far as they can tell goes on forever. There doesn’t even seem to be anything for them to be walking on. Ahead of them they see a massive bubble, something Aether remembers from his youth. There was a time when he was in danger, and his father placed a similar bubble around him, for protection. Inside the bubble, his mother is standing in front of an infinite array of chalkboards that stretch back into the darkness, working on calculations.

“Mom!” Aether knocks on the bubble, and she turns, releived to see him, and waves happily. But then a worried look crosses her face.

“If you’re here to get me out we have to hurry, before he gets back.”

“Before who gets back?”

“The alien,” she says simply. Between Aether and Liv, they crack through the bubble and squeeze the mother out, just as the alien comes into view, a tall, white/gray creature with claws and hollow eyes. As they get back to the tunnel, they notice it is growing smaller. Liv and Volt stay behind to fight off the alien and any centipedes following, and Volt is bitten by one of the creatures as he is escaping. Hiro rushes them all through, himself only making it out as he ejects himself from his mech suit, launching out of the tunnel as it collapses behind them.

They find Cosmic Bond exhausted and dying on the ground as they emerge. Aether reaches deep into his powers and calls up a load of healing energies that brings Cosmic Bond back to life. The others begin to care for their wounds as well, as Ryan and his mother rejoice at being back together. But Hiro goes off by himself, as his mech suit, and all that remained of his brother’s memories, are reduced to a pile of bolts in the Aether space.

Join us next time on Titan Academy to find out what our heroes find out about Omega, and how they welcom back Mrs. Manett.

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Friday Night Vampires

My friends and I have begun playing Vampire: the Masquerade at my place on Friday nights. It’s a very creepy, very well thought out setting, and there is even a supplement that outlines the game’s version of Philadelphia. I was very much enjoying creating characters and reading into the setting for this game, and I was very excited to foray into my second try and GMing.

Unfortunately, I hate the system. Those full page sheets full of dots make me dizzy. And there is something disturbing to me about interrupting the story to look up what combinations of these dots a player needs to roll that irks me greatly.

SW_LOGO_24bit Diaspora cover

Granted, I have been incredibly spoiled. My first foray into RPGs was the FATE based Diaspora, and then Savage Worlds, both of which are designed to be more story and character centered than other games which focus on numbers and dice rolling. Some of the qualities of V:tM also seem to require this level of complexity. Or so many would have you think.

Add to this, the collection of books we are using as a resource are all from slightly different versions of the game, and it is hard to tell which online resources apply to which versions.

Fate Core Cover

So, scrap it all. I am going to convert it to FATE Core. Our first try is tonight, so we shall see if the players like it better. Or if they don’t care either way. I do know at least it will make me feel like a more accomplished storyteller.