Freddy Session 3

Reeyoo Dec 29th, 2016 170 Never
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  1. <Antioch|GM> The therapy session is productive in some respects and vexing in others. Freddy finds himself calmer, better able to express his thoughts, in an environment with the therapist as a mediator.
  2. <Antioch|GM> He's able to have his thoughts heard without his father or other family members talking over him, to a certain extent.
  3. <Antioch|GM> It's an opportunity to vent his frustrations, an opportunity to make points and compromises that he wouldn't otherwise have.
  4. <Antioch|GM> Still, without being able to talk about his powers, there's a good deal that's left unsaid, topics that he's unable to broach without revealing the fact that he triggered with parental neglect being the primary component.
  5. <Antioch|GM> Max, for his part, makes promises and assurances to ensure Freddy's voice is heard at home, admits his fault in treating Freddy more like a belonging possession than a person. He's agreed to give up some measure of control. It's visible that it bites at him, but it's equally visible that he's willing to concede his stance.
  6. <Antioch|GM> As the discussion nears its close, the feeling of neutrality does shift for the worse, if only slightly. The therapist acquiesces to Max's points more, and Freddy gets the sense that it's both the fact that he's an adult and that he's presumably footing the bill for this session.
  7. <Antioch|GM> Progress has been made -- a lot of it, in all honesty -- but the session ends on a decidedly sour note.
  8. <Antioch|GM> ||
  9. <-- Nick|Freddy (Nick@net-81j.br3.208.74.IP) has quit
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  11. * Topic for #WDCleveland is "Weaver Dice: Cleveland || || Current date: 12/10/09, Thursday"
  12. * Topic set by Antioch! on 2016-06-20 05:19:43 UTC
  13. <Nick> Freddy probably should have expected that much. His dad was so much easier to listen to and believe, as an adult and a successful one, at that.
  14. *** Mode #WDCleveland +nrt by
  15. * Channel #WDCleveland created on 2015-10-15 22:41:44 UTC
  16. <Nick> Freddy didn't expect the therapist to be on his side, but the session was at least as frustrating as it was helpful. Freddy couldn't bring up his powers, but more importantly, he couldn't bring up Primus and his dad's insistance on his joining.
  17. <Nick> He bets the Wards can talk about their powers with their therapists.
  18. <Nick> Freddy supposes that he should thank his dad for trying as much as he had been in the past few days. It had been worse, before, both before he ran away and just after he came back.
  19. <Nick> "Thanks, Dad," Freddy says, "This is hard." ||
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  21. <Antioch|GM> "I'm glad you came," he replies. "Sorry that I didn't take you sooner."
  22. <-- Nick (Nick@net-81j.br3.208.74.IP) has quit
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  24. * Topic for #WDCleveland is "Weaver Dice: Cleveland || || Current date: 12/10/09, Thursday"
  25. * Topic set by Antioch! on 2016-06-20 05:19:43 UTC
  26. <-- Nick (Nick@net-81j.br3.208.74.IP) has quit (Connection closed)
  27. *** Mode #WDCleveland +nrt by
  28. * Channel #WDCleveland created on 2015-10-15 22:41:44 UTC
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  30. <-> Nick-_ is now known as Nick|Freddy
  31. <Antioch|GM> He's silent for a few more moments.
  32. <Antioch|GM> "Is there anything you want to do, before going to check out the Wards thing on Saturday? Hang out with your friends or go see a movie?" he asks.
  33. <Antioch|GM> He thinks on it for a while longer.
  34. <Antioch|GM> "There's a place in the Primus building where capes train," he adds. "If you wanted to practice with your power, or something." ||
  35. <-> Dolyn is now known as Dol|AFK
  36. <Nick|Freddy> That's actually a pretty good idea. Freddy only has a faint idea of his power, and no idea about the limits. He's only really made the one rat fully, and he doesn't know if he can control it more or make more than one.
  37. <Nick|Freddy> If something happens at the fundraiser, like he hopes, then it would be a very good idea to learn more about what he can do.
  38. <Nick|Freddy> "Practicing with my power sounds good," he tells his father.
  39. <Nick|Freddy> "When can we do that?" ||
  40. <Antioch|GM> "You can have all of tomorrow, if you like," he says. He seems happy, but it's reasonably easy to assume why. It's more time spent at Primus, more time to get comfortable with the building and the capes there. ||
  41. <Nick|Freddy> "Sure," Freddy says a bit more sullenly. What had been a glimmer of enthusiasm at the thought of flexing his powers like a real superhero fades as he realizes where and with whom he'll be doing it. ||
  42. <-> You are now known as Nick
  43. <Antioch|GM> It's with that lingering sense of discontent that the remainder of the day passes. Dinner is unobjectionable, but given the atmosphere, conversation is flat, brief, perfunctory.
  44. <Antioch|GM> The next day, his dad drives him across the river and over to Primus.
  45. <Antioch|GM> Their training area has all the trimmings of a gym, with some other affectations besides. A ring in the center, presumably for sparring, punching bags, some esoteric measuring equipment that he's not quite sure the purpose of, and more stuff besides. It's roomy, and he wouldn't be surprised if it took up more than half of the basement floor.
  46. <Antioch|GM> One of the guys who works for Primus hands him some gym clothes, showing him to the locker room. As he passes by the training area proper, he can see Corsair swordfighting a mirror. Occasionally, even through the glass, he can hear a faint "Hyah!" or "Have at you!" punctuating the background whir of the ventilation. ||
  47. <-> FaustAsleep is now known as Faustus
  48. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy takes a breath and heads in. He's had to train in gyms before, for soccer, but everyone there was his age, and he had more than a couple friends with him. The situation here is different. This gym belongs to people who he doesn't exactly like, and who don't all like him. Corsair is OK, he guesses, but even so he doesn't really want him watching as he
  49. <Nick|Freddy> tries to figure out his power.
  50. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy doesn't address Corsair's presence as he heads to a corner of the large room, faces the wall, and starts to generate a ratman. ||
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  52. <Antioch|GM> At the edges of his peripheral vision, in the shadows lurking behind the punching bags, he gets the impression of a swarm, skittering together, building itself up into something coherent.
  53. <Antioch|GM> (( ~~~ power testing minigame ~~~ ))
  54. <Antioch|GM> (( Ask me five questions about your power! Make some rolls! Later, tell me one thing you want to try to improve about it. ))
  55. <Antioch|GM> ||
  56. <Nick|Freddy> ((Should the questions be asked IC or OOC?))
  57. <Antioch|GM> ((OOC is fine.))
  58. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy spends some time generating as many ratmen as he can, trying to make the first one look like his favorite soccer player, seeing if his intentions can guide their appearance. He then experiments with what commands he can give, including nonverbal hand gestures and /really hard/ thinking, and sets one to hitting the punching bags. He tries to make them
  59. <Nick|Freddy> talk, and checks how complicated his commands can be.
  60. <Nick|Freddy> ((What are the rats' stat lines? How much can the appearance be customized? Can they talk convincingly? Can they understand complex commands with conditions (if/then)? Can they innovate while following commands (eg, assuming they could talk, can they hold a conversation if instructed to)?)) ||
  61. <Antioch|GM> (( Rats are flat 2, but you can give them three +1s in any stat, although they're capped at 4. The appearance can be customized pretty handily. If you can imagine a face or person, the rat will do its best the mold their appearance to match that, although it falls apart under scrutiny / damage. Stupid rats sound stupid, but rats with decent Soc can pull off
  62. <Antioch|GM> a decent act. The rats understand if/then commands. They can hold a conversation sort of well, depending on their stat allocation. ))
  63. <Antioch|GM> He conjures rats, first one, then two, then three, playing with how much he can mold and tailor them to his expectations.
  64. <Antioch|GM> A muscular, hunchbacked rat-man works the bags, while two ratfolk chatter to themselves, holding a sort of inane conversation.
  65. <Antioch|GM> He repeats the process, testing the limits of his innovation, the limits of his minions to understand his commands.
  66. <Antioch|GM> At some point during this, Corsair leaves, either because he's done yelling at his reflection or because he's starting to get a little weirded out.
  67. <Antioch|GM> They're human-passing, and it's interesting to note that the rats seem to grow stronger after they shed their disguise. It's partially the shape and form of the rats, and partially a mind-altering aspect of his power -- he can see what the rats ought to look like, overlaid what they actually are.
  68. <Antioch|GM> "Please pass the butter," one rat says to another, sitting cross-legged on the floor.
  69. <Antioch|GM> The other rat mimes passing butter. ||
  70. <Nick|Freddy> This power is more useful than Freddy thought. He can make the rats look like specific people, even! That will be super useful for any stealth or infiltration applications. Freddy tells the rats to stand up, and thinks about what else he can do here. Making the rats work out isn't super productive, since each rat is pretty expendable. Freddy checks the time
  71. <Nick|Freddy> on his phone. It has to be fairly late by now; it took a fair amount of time to just make three rats.
  72. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy doesn't want to have to make new rats if something happens unexpectedly, but he doesn't have high hopes that he'll be able to convince his dad to let him bring them home. The first one had lasted a fair while without any guidance, though, so maybe if he tells the rats to hang around his house and stay out of sight, they'll be able to last for a while.
  73. <Nick|Freddy> He decides to try asking his dad first. ||
  74. <Antioch|GM> ((Roll flat 1d6, please!))
  75. <Nick|Freddy> $roll 1d6
  76. <[ATM]> Nick|Freddy [2]  = 2
  77. <Antioch|GM> Freddy has a better idea of the shape of his power, now. He can sense there's room to improve, nuance to be added as he experiments and molds each rat. He can give them direction, focus his attention one way or another, lending breadth or depth to his power. In his practice, he begins compartmentalizing different varieties of his minions.
  78. <Antioch|GM> ((Make up two Rat Types. You're more familiar with them, they're summoned faster. They have a fixed stat line and more skills than the average rat.))
  79. <Nick|Freddy> ((Buff Rat: 4 Brawn 3 Guts. Sly Rat: 4 Dex 3 Wits))
  80. <Nick|Freddy> ((Do they get skills?))
  81. <Antioch|GM> ((Four pips, but can't go over 3 in one specific skill.))
  82. <Nick|Freddy> ((Cool. Buff Rat gets 2 Brawl, 2 Withstand. Sly Rat gets 3 Sneak, 1 Awareness))
  83. <Antioch|GM> He familiarizes himself with two specific varieties of minion, trying to remember the sensation of their specifics as best as possible. They'll come to him faster, now.
  84. <Antioch|GM> When he asks his dad, he gets to see him at a loss for words. He stutters and pauses for a few moments, mumbling some stuff that sounds like "I don't know", and "my car".
  85. <Antioch|GM> ||
  86. <Nick|Freddy> "It's OK, dad. I'll make them go," Freddy responds. To the rats, he whispers for two of them, including the muscled hunchback and the soccer player, to disappear, but tells one to hide out near the house and stay out of sight. Hopefully his dad wouldn't question where they were going or why he had to whisper.
  87. <Nick|Freddy> "I'm done now," Freddy says. "Thanks for driving me here." ||
  88. <Antioch|GM> His dad looks noticeably relieved.
  89. <Antioch|GM> "You excited for the fundraiser tomorrow?" he asks, changing the topic. ||
  90. <Nick|Freddy> "Yeah!" Freddy says, truthfully. "It should be exciting, getting to see all the Wards."
  91. <Nick|Freddy> And there's always a chance something /exciting/ will happen. ||
  92. <Antioch|GM> |||
  93. <Antioch|GM> ...
  94. <Antioch|GM> Saturday morning is filled with the impatience of having to wait until evening, to have something exciting happen.
  95. <Nick|Freddy> ((/exciting/ - > /really/ exciting*))
  96. <Antioch|GM> Freddy reads the flyer for the event more than once. Dinner, door prizes, meeting the Wards with Q&As and autographs.
  97. <Antioch|GM> There's a new Ward joining, apparently. Ripcord. ||
  98. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy's first emotion is jealousy. Why did Ripcord get to join the Cleveland Wards instead of him? The signings and Q&As more than make up for it, however.
  99. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy will be able to meet real superheroes that are actually his age! Primus was OK, especially that Cantus guy, but the Wards were what he always had dreamed of, who he had collectible cards of, who featured on one of his T-shirts. They were the real deal. Or they will be, when they grow up. ||
  100. <Antioch|GM> Maybe he'll need a cape name soon, too.
  101. <Antioch|GM> The rest of the day is filled with a lot of fidgeting, wondering what clothes to wear, what stuff to bring to get signed. ||
  102. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy wears khaki cargo shorts and his Eidolon shirt. He collects a few figures and a hat with the PRT logo, and puts them in his backpack.
  103. <Nick|Freddy> He was excited, but now he's getting more and more nervous, waiting for the event to draw closer. Will he make a fool of himself in front of the Wards? In front of the kids from his school who are also there?
  104. <Nick|Freddy> Whatever might happen, the event is something that he /has/ to go to. He'll tell the rat he made yesterday to hang out near the school, in case of emergency. And more than a small part of him hopes for an emergency. ||
  105. <Antioch|GM> After a light lunch, impatient waiting, and trying to kill time by browsing PHO, it's finally time. He tells the rat skulking near his backyard to go early, since he lacks the benefit of a car, and he creeps off towards East Tech.
  106. <Antioch|GM> His dad cranks the car engine. ||
  107. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy gets in the car, his stomach fluttering.
  108. <Nick|Freddy> "Alright," he says, both to himself and his dad. "Time to go!" ||
  109. <Antioch|GM> (( Okay, gonna pause here for a bit. Errands and lunch. ))
  110. <Nick|Freddy> ((glhf))
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  121. <Antioch|GM> ...
  122. <Antioch|GM> Max and Freddy get to East Tech earlier than a lot of folks did for the event. The parking lot is only half full, with two easily recognizable PRT vans parked near the very front.
  123. <Antioch|GM> They walk in, with Max flashing the tickets. The guy at the door is Mr. Beckman, Freddy's U.S. History teacher, who waves hello as he walks past.
  124. <Antioch|GM> The auditorium is right in front of the school entrance, and the entryway has been prettied up with carpets and banners and decorations. There are two ladies sitting at a fold-out table covered in a nice tablecloth. One is taking care of door prizes and the other one seems to be handing out menu cards to fill, for the dinner.
  125. <Antioch|GM> There's an unmanned table next to the door prize lady holding some of the prizes. Freddy can see T-shirts with a lot of the Cleveland capes on them, with a new design that has the silhouette of all four Wards front and center. There are lunchboxes and posters and a lot of other stuff, even some merchandise for capes from other departments. ||
  126. <Nick|Freddy> ((What's a door prize?))
  127. <Antioch|GM> ((Oh! It's like a lottery thing. If you go to an event and show up, you get to put your name in to have the chance to win a prize.))
  128. <Nick|Freddy> ((oh ok))
  129. <Nick|Freddy> ((lol))
  130. <Antioch|GM> ((It's a door prize because all you have to do to enter is go through the door, so to speak))
  131. <Antioch|GM> ((Generally it's a thing to drum up attendance / enthusiasm for an event))
  132. <Nick|Freddy> ((Sure, I had never heard them called something specific before))
  133. <Antioch|GM> ((Might be a regional thing))
  134. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy's eyes light up at all the merch. He walks over to where the lady is collecting entries, not caring whether his dad follows.
  135. <Nick|Freddy> He enters himself eagerly, and thanks the woman there, before taking a menu card and returning to his dad. He checks out the food options as he walks. ||
  136. <Antioch|GM> It's really fancy, almost jarring to have it served here, when the usual food here is constantly cafeteria-quality.
  137. <Antioch|GM> Salad with smoked salmon, three different kinds of soups that he can't tell the dang difference because they're all in Italian or French or something.
  138. <Antioch|GM> He's got the pick of some kind of pasta that he has no idea about, some kind of baked chicken dish (the chicken is free-range, which is apparently important enough to mention), and roasted beef tenderloin with mushrooms, as far as the main dish goes.
  139. <Antioch|GM> Then there's the choice between something called panna cotta for dessert, or an apple cake with ice cream. ||
  140. <Nick|Freddy> ((is it like a checkbox thing? pick one in each category?))
  141. <Antioch|GM> ((Yep!))
  142. <Nick|Freddy> The salad sounds good to start, and Freddy knows he likes beef and mushrooms, but he's torn about the dessert.
  143. <Nick|Freddy> "What's panna cotta?" he asks his dad. He hopes it's better than apple cake. ||
  144. <Antioch|GM> Even his dad has to think about it for a while.
  145. <Antioch|GM> "It's sort of like Jell-O, but made of milk, with some kind of sweet sauce. Fruit, usually, I think." ||
  146. <Nick|Freddy> Hm.
  147. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy isn't sure if he'll like that. Milk Jell-O sounds nasty.
  148. <Nick|Freddy> He checks the box next to the apple cake.
  149. <Nick|Freddy> He waits for his dad to fill out his own menu card, and then heads into the main auditorium. ||
  150. <Antioch|GM> Freddy's dad spots someone in the crowd, probably someone from work. He strides over and starts talking, probably about something boring.
  151. <Antioch|GM> There are PRT guys scattered here and there, keeping an eye on the doorways. Up near the stage, at a table in the front, some people are sitting. Freddy recognizes one of them as Fleetfoot. He seems to be watching the crowd. ||
  152. <Nick|Freddy> Oh man. This is really it. Freddy's heart beats slightly faster as he sees Fleetfoot.
  153. <Nick|Freddy> Should he go up and try to get something signed? No, there'd be a time for that, and he doesn't want to annoy Fleetfoot by going up to him now.
  154. <Nick|Freddy> He bounces a little on his feet as he looks at him, though, before more thoroughly examining the rest of the room. Security here is intense. There's a lot of PRT uniforms. And the Wards themselves probably count as security.
  155. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy starts walking around, looking to see if he recognizes any of his school friends so he can have someone to talk about how cool this is. ||
  156. <Antioch|GM> He's able to spot Steve from his soccer team coming in through the door with his mom and dad. Steve apparently sees him too, running over.
  157. <Antioch|GM> He points excitedly at Fleetfoot, at all the prizes outside and clearly out of his line of sight, and then just starts gesticulating incomprehensibly.
  158. <Antioch|GM> "Dude!"
  159. <Nick|Freddy> ((to talk to*))
  160. <Antioch|GM> He tries to think of something more poignant to say, but ends up yelling "Dude!" again. ||
  161. <Nick|Freddy> "I know!" Freddy says, more quietly than Steve's yelling, but still above normal volume.
  162. <-> Faustus is now known as Faustud
  163. <Nick|Freddy> "This whole thing is crazy! Did you see the new shirt?"
  164. <-> Faustud is now known as Faustus
  165. <Nick|Freddy> "And imagine if you won it and got it signed by frickin' Fleetfoot. What did you bring to get signed, anyway?" Freddy asks his friend. ||
  166. <Antioch|GM> Steve turns around, shucking off his Eidolon backpack.
  167. <Antioch|GM> "It's gotta be this bad boy here, am I right?" ||
  168. <Nick|Freddy> "Aw, nice, dude," Freddy says, "We match."
  169. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy points at his shirt. "I brought my figurines and hat. And my shirt, of course."
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  172. <Nick|Freddy> "Do you think anyone's going to crash the fundraiser? Remember the PHO thread on the last one, with Wink?" Freddy asks. He tries to keep most of the positive emotion out of his voice as he says it. ||
  173. <Antioch|GM> "I heard about it, but I didn't check it out online," he replies. "No way though, right? I mean, there's gonna be a buttload of capes here." ||
  174. <Nick|Freddy> "Yeah, I guess, but there were capes at the other one too I think." Freddy's not going to let himself be convinced that something /won't/ happen.
  175. <Nick|Freddy> "And look at all the PRT people. It looks like they're expecting something to go down." ||
  176. <Antioch|GM> "Maybe," he agrees. "There's been a lot of stuff going down. Did you hear they arrested Cremator this morning?"
  177. <Antioch|GM> "Well... sort of arrested," he adds, conspiratorially. ||
  178. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy saw a thread about that, but he hadn't clicked it.
  179. <Nick|Freddy> "What happened? Didn't the Blackguards just have a fight with Primus and the Protectorate a few days ago? Did something else happen?"
  180. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy supposes he can't share how much he knows about the first fight, so he plays a little dumb. ||
  181. <Nick|Freddy> -||
  182. <Nick|Freddy> He's still upset he didn't get to help out. ||
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  184. <Antioch|GM> "The People and the Blackguards fought yesterday. That Cantus Aureus guy was there too."
  185. <Antioch|GM> "But that new Borgata cape showed up and took Cremator after they beat him," he continues.
  186. <Antioch|GM> "So he turned up this morning at the PRT headquarters and just dumped him on the ground, apparently."
  187. <Antioch|GM> He scratches his head, apparently sort of flummoxed as to why that happened.
  188. <Antioch|GM> "It came up on the news when I was eating lunch." ||
  189. <Nick|Freddy> "Wow, seriously? Did they get anyone else, or just Cremator?" They captured Verminator in the first fight, but Caitiff and the others ran away, if Freddy remembers what he saw on the monitor right.
  190. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy hopes they caught the other Blackguards too, in this latest fight. ||
  191. <Antioch|GM> "Uhh," he says, thinking about it. "I think the People have Bone Homie and Artful Dodger?"
  192. <Antioch|GM> He sniggers a little rudely when he says Bone Homie's name. ||
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  194. <Nick|Freddy> "Caitiff got away? That's bad." Caitiff had been the most effective in the fight he saw, flooding the whole battlefield with smoke.
  195. <Nick|Freddy> "Good for the People, though. I didn't think they got into a lot of fights, really." Freddy's opinion of them had been tainted by that idea, and now he's a bit more impressed by them. ||
  196. <Antioch|GM> "Anyways, why did Capo take Cremator and just turn around to give him to the PRT? That's weird. He could have just let him get arrested, y'know. Regularly." ||
  197. <Nick|Freddy> "He might have interrogated him or something. Those villains are all crazy, ya know?" Freddy responds. It is a good question, though. Maybe he can ask Cantus the next time he sees him. ||
  198. <Antioch|GM> "Yeah," Steve says, apparently happy with that explanation. "Villains are weird." ||
  199. <Nick|Freddy> "Is anyone else coming?" Freddy asks Steve. "From our school, I mean." ||
  200. <Antioch|GM> (( Jsyk, this is your school the event is being hosted at. So probably, if that informs your question. ))
  201. <Nick|Freddy> ((he's more trying to ask about people they both know))
  202. <Antioch|GM> (( Ohhh, I gotcha. ))
  203. <Antioch|GM> "Oh, uh, Justin, Chris and Matt said they were coming. I didn't really ask around though."  Just some guys in the same grade.
  204. <Antioch|GM> "Aw, snap. I wonder if we can guess at who the Wards are if we figure out who didn't show up," he suddenly adds. ||
  205. <Nick|Freddy> "Whoa, good idea."
  206. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy pulls out his phone and starts a list. '- Steve' he writes. He resolves to try and note down each of his classmates that he sees, and maybe they can use that to narrow down the list.
  207. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy doesn't bother thinking about what to do with the info. It's not like he wants to out them, and they would probably be upset with him if he told them he knew, or even just try to deny it.
  208. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy has a glimmer of hope, though, that he'll still eventually be a member of the Wards, so it might eventually be usable information. ||
  209. <Antioch|GM> He has a chance to say hi to a few classmates he hasn't seen in a decent while as they come in, putting their names on his phone as he does so.
  210. <Antioch|GM> Laurie, Kendall, Jared, Lee, Gabriel, Rachel, Camille, Adrian, Alexis, Tre, Jo, and so on. A lot of people from his grade and a few of the juniors and seniors that he recognizes.
  211. <Antioch|GM> His dad shows up partways through, not really intruding, putting his hand on Freddy's shoulder.
  212. <Antioch|GM> "Hey," he says, handing him a placeholder card. "Sit wherever you like, okay?" ||
  213. <Nick|Freddy> "Thanks, Dad," Freddy says happily. He finds a place to sit with Steve, and continues discussing the Wards and their general awesomeness. His mind keeps going back to the fact that he was so close to being a Ward himself, though, if not for his dad's dumb concerns about safety. It's not like being a member of Primus would be safer. They hadn't made it out of
  214. <Nick|Freddy> their fight untouched. ||
  215. <Antioch|GM> 6 o'clock rolls around and the room ends up being really packed, even with all the walking space between the tables.
  216. <Antioch|GM> A lot of tables are chattering, presumably also very excited about the Wards, and the combined noise of a lot of voices echoing across the auditorium makes for a noisy environment.
  217. <Antioch|GM> Some have to shout to be heard, feeding into the problem, and it gradually gets louder and louder.
  218. <Antioch|GM> Then, the speakers come to life with a click, and a woman in a neat suit takes the stage. Slowly but steadily, the room falls silent. ||
  219. <Nick|Freddy> ((anyone he'd have a chance to recognize with a know roll?))
  220. <Antioch|GM> -||
  221. <Antioch|GM> Freddy actually recognizes the woman -- his memory is jogged by the fact that he just mentioned the first fundraiser, the one that Blackjack showed up to.
  222. <Antioch|GM> The woman on the stage is Erin Jett, who all but cussed out Wink on a hot microphone when he showed up and interrupted things. ||
  223. <Nick|Freddy> Wow. Freddy shifts slightly in his seat, but waits for her to talk. ||
  224. <Antioch|GM> When the room has reached an acceptable volume, she taps the mic a few times, then clips it to its stand.
  225. <Antioch|GM> "Hello everyone," she says, "so glad you could make it out tonight. And so many of you, too."
  226. <Antioch|GM> "Just letting you know, we'll be bringing out food soon. In half an hour, we'll have some words from the PRT, the Wards, the school system, and our drawing, but for now, enjoy!"
  227. <Antioch|GM> She steps away for a moment, then leans in, smiling with a knowing expression on her face.
  228. <Antioch|GM> "I hope you don't mind me saying so, but I do hope that this event won't be quite as exciting as last time."
  229. <Antioch|GM> A lot of the grown-ups in the room chuckle appreciatively at this. ||
  230. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy doesn't think what she said was that funny, even apart from the fact he secretly disagrees with it. He waits a few seconds to see if she's finished with her introduction. ||
  231. <Antioch|GM> Humor aside, it is admittedly easy to sympathize with someone who doesn't want to stare two of the most dangerous Blasters in Ohio dead in the eye again.
  232. <Antioch|GM> "Thank you, sincerely, for coming," she adds. "It means a lot to have your support, to know that there are this many people on our side who want to see Cleveland turn around again, starting with the children."
  233. <Antioch|GM> "We've got a busy night ahead of us. I do hope you'll enjoy our main event."
  234. <Antioch|GM> Given her tone, the notes she's touching on, it's pretty easy to see that her speech is being tailored to the adults in the audience. It's something of a trade-off, at least. The adults probably aren't as excited about having the opportunity to hang out or interact with the Wards. ||
  235. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy's fine with the speech. He can wait. He turns to Steve, and softly says, "She talked to Wink when he crashed the other fundraiser. It was badass." ||
  236. <Antioch|GM> "Oh, c'mon," Steve scoffs, rolling his eyes. "It's not like Wink is even scary."
  237. <Antioch|GM> He puts his two index fingers over his mouth and affects a very dramatic tone.
  238. <Antioch|GM> "Hola......... amigo." ||
  239. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy cracks up. "Did you see the russian one? He's all 'Greetings..... Komrad.'" ||
  240. <-> Turncoat is now known as Turn|GM
  241. <Antioch|GM> Steve bursts into a fit of snorting. "Oh, man, the one with the furry hat? Absolutely hilarious." ||
  242. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy laughs again. When he calms down, he says "So what food are you getting?" ||
  243. <Antioch|GM> "Uh, shoot, I dunno. My dad must've ordered for me."
  244. <Antioch|GM> ((A quick Know-check, just for fun, with Computers applicable.))
  245. <Nick|Freddy> $roll 2h6-1 Computers
  246. <[ATM]> Nick|Freddy "Computers" [6] (5) -1 = 5
  247. <Antioch|GM> The food starts coming around. Freddy gets his salad while Steve gets this sort of thick, brown soup with pasta, beans, and a lot of other vegetables.
  248. <Antioch|GM> He recognizes it as minestrone, only because he looked it up after reading that one soup_pelt guy's signature for the umpteenth time. ||
  249. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy digs into his salad, not talking as he does so. He does glance around the room, though, checking for anything interesting, including dining Wards.
  250. <Nick|Freddy> "Can they eat with their masks on?" he wonders. ||
  251. <Antioch|GM> The Wards aren't out there eating with everyone else.
  252. <Antioch|GM> "I guess they probably have their own place to eat. Maybe they're behind that curtain near the stage?"
  253. <Antioch|GM> "Oh man, what if they're just hanging out here in their civilian identities, eating dinner with us, and changing later?"
  254. <Antioch|GM> He gulps down his soup, sets it down, and stands up. "Guess I better get going," he jokes. ||
  255. <Nick|Freddy> That... doesn't seem likely. "They'd have to put their costumes on and take them off just to eat with their families," he says to Steve. "They're probably behind the curtain like you said." ||
  256. <Antioch|GM> "Yeah, probably," he says, sitting back down. "It'd be cool, though."
  257. <Antioch|GM> The main dish comes around. Steve gets the weird pasta thing, and he prods it with his spoon.
  258. <Antioch|GM> "Man, my soup already had pasta in it." ||
  259. <-> FossWork is now known as Fossil
  260. <Nick|Freddy> "You should have ordered your own food, then," Freddy says playfully.  "I get tenderloin and mushrooms." ||
  261. <Antioch|GM> Even through Freddy's been kind of spoiled with good food lately, it's a lot better than his usual fare, probably because of the good company. It's the first time in a while that he's had a face-to-face conversation with someone his own age. ||
  262. <Nick|Freddy> It's definitely good to be talking with Steve. He's a lot more interesting than his aunt and the other people he barely knew that had been taking care of him. He's almost wishing he could go back to school sooner, even. He eats his meal slowly, savoring the flavor, the environment, and the company. ||
  263. <Antioch|GM> The apple cake dessert is also actually pretty good. The top is covered with crumbled dough and apple slices.
  264. <Antioch|GM> Steve is enjoying his weird milk Jell-O, but only in the sense that he's picking up the plate and shaking it to watch it jiggle wildly.
  265. <Antioch|GM> "I wonder if this is how Tecton feels," he says, beating the panna cotta with the flat of his spoon. ||
  266. <-- Words^3 (Words^ has quit (Connection closed)
  267. --> Words^3 ( has joined #WDCleveland
  268. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy chuckles. "I bet Tecton feels a lot cooler than you do, jiggling your plate like that. Stop that, people are gonna think you're a middle schooler or something." ||
  269. <Antioch|GM> "Fiiiine," he says, rolling his eyes. He digs out a chunk with his spoon, trying some.
  270. <Antioch|GM> "Weird. I like it, but weird." ||
  271. <Nick|Freddy> "Let me taste!" Freddy says, "You can have some of my ice cream." ||
  272. --> Stoic ( has joined #WDCleveland
  273. <Antioch|GM> "Sure," he says, scooping some of the ice cream onto his plate.
  274. <Antioch|GM> The panna cotta is, as advertised, weird, but pretty good. It's got a little bit more give than regular Jell-O, and there's an almondy taste to it that mixes with the fruit sauce pretty well. The texture is still a little boggling, though.
  275. <-- Stoic ( has quit (Quit: - A hand crafted IRC client)
  276. <Antioch|GM> Someone comes up on stage again, but after listening in for a bit, it definitely sounds like stuff that's meant for the grown-ups to listen to. Even the principal is going to give a dang speech. ||
  277. <Nick|Freddy> ((how big is the school, student wise? would Freddy have interacted meaningfully with the principal before?))
  278. <Antioch|GM> ((It's one of the bigger schools. There are like, 175~200 kids in your grade. He's only interacted with the principal perfunctorily, unless he got into detention-worthy trouble, I imagine.))
  279. <Nick|Freddy> ((ok))
  280. <Nick|Freddy> ...
  281. <Nick|Freddy> "This stuff is actually OK," he tells Steve. "I like my cake better, though," he continues as he finishes said cake. ||
  282. <Antioch|GM> The apples are still crisp, even though they were baked into a cake. How did they do that?!
  283. <Antioch|GM> (( GM Tip: Freeze the apple slices before you bake them. That's how you keep them crisp. ))
  284. <Antioch|GM> A few people that he doesn't recognize come up and introduce themselves. One of them is apparently a superintendent. All of them are very happy that people showed up today to give them money. It's boring, because there are no superheroes involved. ||
  285. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy decides, cake gone, that there's nothing better to do than to listen to the speeches. The Wards were bound to start talking soon, right? ||
  286. <-- LikeAFox ( has quit (Quit: - A hand crafted IRC client)
  287. <Antioch|GM> Some old dude called Garret MacArthur coughs out something that sounds roughly along the lines of "making Cleveland better for the kiddos" and shuffles down the stairs back to his table. People clap, but only politely. Most people are done eating at this point, and staff are coming by to clear the tables.
  288. <Antioch|GM> "We're going to need the gym floor clear for our main event," Jett announces, "so hang tight with us as we get the tables packed away. We'll be announcing the winners of our giveaway, so keep your ears open!"
  289. <Antioch|GM> The two ladies from the front table earlier come up and make a big show of drawing slips from a fishbowl while reading off names. It looks like a lot of parents wrote their kids' names on their ticket entry, since so far the only people who've been called have been kids around his age.
  290. <-> Faustus is now known as FaustAndAbout
  291. <Antioch|GM> One of them wins a Valiant With Motorcycle action figure. It must be very new. He only has Valiant Without Motorcycle. ||
  292. <Nick|Freddy> Shit, there's a Valiant figurine with a motorcycle? That's super cool.
  293. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy really hopes he wins something.
  294. <Nick|Freddy> "Did you enter, Steve?" ||
  295. <Antioch|GM> "Yeah, duh! What do you wanna get?" ||
  296. <Nick|Freddy> "I want the new shirt. Or something with Valiant. Like a hat." ||
  297. <Antioch|GM> $roll 5h100
  298. <[ATM]> Antioch|GM (31) (27) (12) [76] (14)  = 76
  299. <Antioch|GM> There are a crapload of giveaway prizes, so it's actually a pretty good way to kill time. Some folks move over to the bleachers once their tables are rolled away.
  300. <Antioch|GM> Freddy does actually perk up, hearing his name called, and finds himself the winner of a very solid Triumvirate lunchbox, though he probably already has one. The blow is softened by the fact that there's the new Wards T-shirt stuffed in the lunchbox after he checks it. ||
  301. <Nick|Freddy> "Sweet! Do you have this lunchbox, Steve?" he asks. He doesn't need another one. ||
  302. <Antioch|GM> "Uh, no, why?" he asks. ||
  303. <Nick|Freddy> "You can have this one. I have the same one already." ||
  304. <Antioch|GM> The look in Steve's eyes as he wordlessly accepts the lunchbox resembles something akin to undying loyalty. ||
  305. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy puts the new Wards shirt on over his Eidolon one. This is awesome. He moves over to the bleachers.
  306. <Nick|Freddy> "Come on, they said they need the floor clear for something." ||
  307. <Antioch|GM> The floor is cleared and the bleachers are filled up. It's not as crowded in the gym anymore, and it looks like some of the adults who were participating have meandered off elsewhere, maybe to talk about things.
  308. <Antioch|GM> The speakers begin to play music, slowly growing louder, and the kids chattering on the bleacher start to quieten down again. From behind the curtain, four capes step out. Well, three. One of them flies.
  309. <Antioch|GM> $roll 2h6-1 Ripcord, Presentation
  310. <[ATM]> Antioch|GM "Ripcord, Presentation" (1) [3] -1 = 2
  311. <Antioch|GM> It's clearly Ripcord. Flying is impressive, and he swoops over his teammates to take center stage, but it's kind of obvious even from the distance that his nerves are killing him.
  312. <Antioch|GM> Not everyone in the auditorium notices, though. A lot of them are whooping and cheering and stamping their feet, Steve included. ||
  313. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy doesn't blame Ripcord. He'd be nervous too, being the center of attention like that. And, even with the nerves showing, it's still very cool. Freddy had initially been disappointed with his power's lack of flight utility, so he's jealous. ||
  314. <Antioch|GM> Knuckleball steps up, taking the microphone off its stand.
  315. <Antioch|GM> "Hey," he says, "I'm Knuckleball."
  316. <Antioch|GM> He passes the mic down from Ward to Ward.
  317. <Antioch|GM> "Switchblade."
  318. <Antioch|GM> "Em- Embody."
  319. <Antioch|GM> Ripcord takes a deep breath.
  320. <Antioch|GM> "And I'm Ripcord."
  321. <Antioch|GM> He passes the mic back to Knuckleball.
  322. <Antioch|GM> "I know the Wards aren't really a huge thing in Cleveland right now," he continues, "but we're gonna be."
  323. <Antioch|GM> "Heck, a lot of you probably don't know exactly what we do."
  324. <Antioch|GM> He grins widely, showing teeth.
  325. <Antioch|GM> "So we're gonna show you."
  326. <Antioch|GM> The Wards step forward, down the stage and into the center of the gym, right at the half-court line. A lot of folks in the gym start flipping out and hollering. ||
  327. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy cheers as loud as he can, stomping his feet and yelling, putting his hands together. This is /it/. They're awesome! Freddy only barely takes the time to regret his not being on the team. ||
  328. <Antioch|GM> On the opposite end of the gym, a bunch of really tall kids in jersey start coming in, filing in opposite the Wards.
  329. <Antioch|GM> The nets on either end of the court start lowering themselves, and he recognizes the jerseys as the ones for East Tech's varsity basketball team, and begins to realize the nature of the demonstration.
  330. <Antioch|GM> Five players, six more on the bench, compared to the Wards' four. Each of legitimate players is really tall, comparatively. Ripcord looks miniscule compared to them. A ref carrying the ball follows them in. ||
  331. <Antioch|GM> -||
  332. <Antioch|GM> "Whoa, damn," Steve says, trying to be heard over the noise. "You ever see sports with superpowers? This is gonna be sick." ||
  333. <Nick|Freddy> "Yeah, seriously," Freddy says. "Why isn't there more of this?" He'd watch superpowered sports any day. ||
  334. <Antioch|GM> The whistle blows and the ref tosses the ball skywards. Tip-off.
  335. <Antioch|GM> $roll 1d6+1 RA
  336. <[ATM]> Antioch|GM "RA" [4] +1 = 5
  337. <Antioch|GM> Ripcord hurtles into the sky to try to reach the ball, but the guy in front of him is nearly two feet taller. He clutches the ball and manages to get it out of Ripcord's reach before the flying cape is able to take a swipe at it.
  338. <Antioch|GM> His team scatters down the court, and he makes to pass to one of his open teammates.
  339. <Antioch|GM> As it happens, he passes thin air. Nobody seems to know where the ball went.
  340. <Antioch|GM> Nobody seems to know where Switchblade went, either. The crowd cheers uncertainly.
  341. <Antioch|GM> Knuckleball doesn't seem to be paying any attention to this, and as the spectators' collective perception snaps back into place, they can see him receiving Switchblade's pass.
  342. <Antioch|GM> The varsity players do a very abrupt about-face.
  343. <Antioch|GM> At this point, he passes to Embody. She looks very surprised, but tries and makes the shot anyways.
  344. <Antioch|GM> $roll 1d6+1 ED
  345. <[ATM]> Antioch|GM "ED" [4] +1 = 5
  346. <Antioch|GM> She makes the shot, looking even more surprised. Isn't she supposed to have some sort of different form or something? Whatever it is, it doesn't look like she's using it, which is a little disappointing. ||
  347. <Nick|Freddy> Damn, that thing with Switchblade was awesome. Freddy makes a mental note to make a basketball-playing rat archetype next time he gets a chance. Imagine if there were 3 rats on the Wards' team...
  348. <Nick|Freddy> He tries to refocus, make himself get caught back up in the game, in /their/ powers. He shouldn't wallow in that sadness here. This is a super fun event. ||
  349. <Antioch|GM> It goes back and forth a bit. The Wards are down a player, a disadvantage in and of itself, and defensively, their only measures are relying on Ripcord to be airborne and in position to block shots, or for Switchblade to vanish for a moment and steal the ball.
  350. <Antioch|GM> After Ripcord lets a three-pointer slip past, Knuckleball seems to give him some sort of signal. Neither of them look especially worried -- rather, they all seem to be having fun, even Embody, who started out with this "oh god, I've never played basketball in my life" look on her face.
  351. <Antioch|GM> It's both an interesting and slightly inconvenient aspect of the game when Switchblade intervenes, making everyone lose track of the ball, but this time, the sleight of hand misdirects their opponents enough to give them breathing room. Knuckleball takes the time to high-five Ripcord, who begins flying away, before having the ball passed to him. He's
  352. <Antioch|GM> immediately surrounded by two blockers.
  353. <Antioch|GM> Grinning, he tosses the ball into the air, and predictably, it's smashed back down onto the court.
  354. <Antioch|GM> Then, it starts drifting back up again, slipping under them and homing after Ripcord, who is amusing himself by having the ball chase him as he does loops in the air. He dunks the ball after fooling around a little, much to the appreciation of the spectators.
  355. <Antioch|GM> There is some brief consternation as to how many points it's worth. ||
  356. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy laughs. That's awesome. It looks like the Wards are having a good time too...
  357. <Nick|Freddy> Which only serves to remind him that he's not. His enthusiasm dips and his thoughts slow as he is filled with lethargy. He doesn't try to fend off the negativity this time. ||
  358. <-- Mega|Mendez ( has quit (Connection closed)
  359. <Antioch|GM> The rest of the game continues to be really exciting. There turns out to be some counterplay to Knuckleball's homing tricks -- one of the players figures out that slamming the ball out of bounds before it reaches its destination puts it out of play, even if it doesn't stop it from returning to its intended target.
  360. <Antioch|GM> It's honestly a very close match. There's a bit where the ball vanishes for a good thirty seconds, resulting in Switchblade jokingly shouting, "But I did a slam dunk! From the half court line! Didn't you see?"
  361. <Antioch|GM> Near the end, egged on by the close game and what might be a competitive streak, Embody shifts into a large, seven or eight-foot form, crimson red with massive, flat palms and rounded edges, features shifting here and there. She blocks the ball, slamming it back down into the court, causing it to pop. She turns back to her regular shape, looking very
  362. <Antioch|GM> embarrassed but a little pleased with herself.
  363. <Antioch|GM> They look like they're having a lot of fun, but more importantly, they look like they're having a lot of fun as a team.
  364. <Antioch|GM> The game ends with a close win for the Wards and they line up to shake hands, but despite how cool it is, it doesn't really help lift the spirits of the teamless Freddy. ||
  365. <Nick|Freddy> He chuckles at Switchblade's joke, but feels almost guilty for doing so, as if he's betraying his bad mood.
  366. <Nick|Freddy> He turns to Steve, and smiles as well as he can. "That was cool." ||
  367. <Antioch|GM> "Hell yeah it was!" he shouts back, with ten times the enthusiasm and ten times the volume. He catches himself for a moment.
  368. <Antioch|GM> "Something wrong, dude?" ||
  369. <Nick|Freddy> "No, I'm fine," he says, "See you later, I'll be right back." Freddy gets up and walks out the front door, hopefully avoiding any attention from his father or the crowd. ||
  370. <Antioch|GM> He slips out of the gym. Nobody gives him a lot of attention or gets in his way. There are some people leaving with him, maybe to go to the bathroom. ||
  371. <Nick|Freddy> He walks out of the building, heading for the picnic tables outside where he sometimes eats lunch in the summer, avoiding the crowds on the way. ||
  372. <Antioch|GM> ((Wits))
  373. <Nick|Freddy> $roll 1d6+1 Wits
  374. <[ATM]> Nick|Freddy "Wits" [2] +1 = 3
  375. <Antioch|GM> He checks the door as he heads outside before closing it. It's locked, and he's glad he's checked. He sticks a rock in the door to make sure it's not closed all the way.
  376. <Antioch|GM> Outside, the picnic tables and the dead grass around them are all covered in snow. It's cold, but it's quiet, and there's nobody else out there. ||
  377. --> iridium248 (iridium248@net-t4b.v2a.156.175.IP) has joined #WDCleveland
  378. <Nick|Freddy> He clears the snow off of a bench and sits down at the table. He rests his elbows in front of him and holds his head in his hands.
  379. <Nick|Freddy> The fundraiser wasn't supposed to be like this. He had been excited not even an hour ago, as he won the T-shirt he's wearing now.
  380. <Nick|Freddy> It was supposed to be fun. God knows Steve is in there, having fun.
  381. <Nick|Freddy> Maybe it's Freddy's own fault that he's not having fun. Maybe if he could just accept that he'd never, /ever/ be a member of the Wards, he'd be able to go back in and laugh with his friend.
  382. <Nick|Freddy> But that acceptance would be just as painful as sitting out here, in the cold. By himself.
  383. <Nick|Freddy> ||
  384. <Antioch|GM> The sly rat he made earlier lurks at the edges of his vision, pacing around in the shadows. ||
  385. --> Divock|Clot ( has joined #WDCleveland
  386. <Nick|Freddy> Well, not entirely by himself, then. But does it really count as company if he controls and created the rat?
  387. --> panth (Mibbit@net-8dn.08e.142.175.IP) has joined #WDCleveland
  388. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy shuts his eyes tighter, trying to give himself the courage to face the facts.
  389. <Nick|Freddy> He sits up and clenches his fists.
  390. <Nick|Freddy> He can't just wait here, can he?
  391. <Nick|Freddy> He has to go back inside, live with the fact that he won't be a Ward. He can still join the Protectorate in three and a half years, he tells himself.
  392. <Nick|Freddy> He takes a deep breath, and lets it out in shudders. He walks back to the door, dismissing the rat. ||
  393. <Antioch|GM> When he gets back, the Wards are up on the stage again, autographing things, and everyone's in a very long line, which is even more disheartening. ||
  394. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy decides to wait in line. He brought things to be autographed, so he might as well. Maybe one of the Wards would grow up to be a famous Protectorate member, and it'd be worth something. He has to hold his mind in check to prevent him from continuing that line of thinking. He gets in the line, and waits. ||
  395. <Antioch|GM> He's broken out of his thoughts by Steve, jumping up and down, waving his arms, further up the line. "Hey! Freddy! Get over here!" ||
  396. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy makes himself smile, not out of deception, but to try and force some of the feeling on his face into his head.
  397. <-- Words^3 ( has quit (Quit:)
  398. <Nick|Freddy> He goes up to Steve.
  399. <Nick|Freddy> "Thanks," he says. "Sorry, I had to go to the bathroom." ||
  400. <-- Teruzi (Andres@net-pk7.cnc.190.190.IP) has quit (Quit: sleep)
  401. <Antioch|GM> A lot of the kids he cuts in front of just straight up mean-mug the fuck out of him. Steve notices not at all.
  402. <Antioch|GM> "Sheesh, dude! Of all the times you have to take a dump." ||
  403. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy ignores the people behind him. It's just line. They'll live, waiting one person more.
  404. <Nick|Freddy> "Yeah," he responds. ||
  405. <Antioch|GM> "So," he says, switching tracks entirely, "the game! Dude! I never knew Switchblade was so badass, man." ||
  406. <Nick|Freddy> "Yeah, Switchblade was cool. I think. I couldn't see him half the time," Freddy jokes. ||
  407. <Antioch|GM> "And Embody, man, I've never even seen her transformed before!"
  408. <Antioch|GM> He freezes, then stomps the ground.
  409. <Antioch|GM> "Shit! I totally should have been recording that whole game! Augh!"
  410. <Antioch|GM> "All that PHO cred, down the drain," he sighs wistfully. ||
  411. <Nick|Freddy> "It's OK, man. Someone else will post it, I'm sure. Probably already has." To pass time while they wait in line, Freddy checks PHO on his phone, viewing what other people are saying about the fundraiser. ||
  412. <Antioch|GM> There's a thread that got put up in preparation for the actual event, but it doesn't look like anyone's put the video up yet.
  413. <Antioch|GM> Gosh. Hopefully at least the PRT recorded it.
  414. <Antioch|GM> Most of the people at the fundraiser are too busy actually being there to post, although there are a few enthusiastic comments about Embody's power, with some folks snapping pictures of the game. ||
  415. <Nick|Freddy> Predictable enough, not that interesting.
  416. <Nick|Freddy> "No one's put it up yet," he tells Steve. "Sure is a long line." ||
  417. <Antioch|GM> "Which Ward is your favorite?" he asks, still relentlessly enthusiastic. ||
  418. <Nick|Freddy> "Um, I dunno," Freddy, trying to stay detached. To this end, he says the first name that pops into his mind. "Switchblade, probably." ||
  419. <Antioch|GM> "I'm gonna go with Ripcord," he says. "One of the other Cleveland locals made a post about him the other day, guessing he was a transfer. He can do a lot more than fly, apparently." ||
  420. <Nick|Freddy> "Yeah?" Freddy asks, "What else does he do?" ||
  421. <Nick|Freddy> -||
  422. <Nick|Freddy> He's not really focusing on the conversation. ||
  423. <Antioch|GM> "I dunno the specifics about it," Steve says, "but apparently he can control yo-yos?"
  424. <Antioch|GM> The line is making good progress, and the two of them are getting close to actually getting some of their goodies signed. Steve is trembling with excitement. ||
  425. <Nick|Freddy> "Yo-yos?" That snaps Freddy out of his state of not-quite paying attention. "What sort of power is that?" ||
  426. <Antioch|GM> "I dunno, man! He just has, like, three yo-yos, apparently? They fly around and he can hit people with them and tie them up?" ||
  427. <Nick|Freddy> "That can't be the power. Superpowers don't involve yo-yos. Maybe he just is really good at yo-yos and also happens to have the power to fly." ||
  428. <Antioch|GM> "A-are they Tinker yo-yos?" Steve says, eyes wide.
  429. <Antioch|GM> In a hushed voice, he adds, "I'm gonna ask him." ||
  430. <Nick|Freddy> "I doubt he'll tell people. It's not smart to tell random people about your powers when you could keep it a secret. And besides, what type of Tinker makes yo-yos? Do they shoot fire or something?" Freddy asks. Seriously, this is ridiculous. ||
  431. <Antioch|GM> They get to the front of the line, bickering about Ripcord and his yo-yos, and then it's time to get things signed. Fleetfoot is there, too, as a recently-graduated Ward. ||
  432. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy gets his new shirt signed by all the wards there, and his Fleetfoot figurine signed by the man himself.
  433. <Nick|Freddy> "I'm a huge fan," he says. A /huge/ fan, he thinks to himself. He tries to get out of the way quickly, to make up for cutting in line, but makes sure to hear Steve ask ripcord about his yo-yos. ||
  434. <Antioch|GM> Steve, predictably, blurts his question out, which surprises Ripcord.
  435. <Antioch|GM> "Whoa, hey," he says, "just hang on a bit. The Q&A is right after this, alright?" ||
  436. <Nick|Freddy> He was nervous earlier, too. He probably wasn't prepared for such an aggressive assault. Freddy feels for him.
  437. <Nick|Freddy> "Now what?" he asks Steve. "Back to the bleachers?" ||
  438. <Antioch|GM> "Yep. And then Q&A time. What are you gonna ask?" ||
  439. <Nick|Freddy> "Not sure." Freddy tries to think of a good question. He's tempted to ask something about how joining the Wards works, but he had just told himself he was giving up on that. "Maybe I'll ask about what they meant earlier when they said that the Wards were gonna be a big thing soon." ||
  440. <Antioch|GM> "That one's easy, though. They got a new member. They're gonna start patrolling more, kicking ass." ||
  441. <Nick|Freddy> "Maybe it was just a good script that they were following," Freddy says, "but it sounded like more than that." ||
  442. <-- Divock|Clot ( has quit (Quit: - A hand crafted IRC client)
  443. <Antioch|GM> Steve shrugs. "If you think so," he says.
  444. <Antioch|GM> He's quiet for a moment, then sighs.
  445. <Antioch|GM> "Man, do I wish I had powers," he finally adds. ||
  446. <Nick|Freddy> "Yeah," Freddy sighs, but it's not his lack of powers that he's thinking of, that makes him sigh. It's Primus, and everyone there, with the possible exception of Cantus. ||
  447. <Antioch|GM> "What kind of powers would you want?" he asks, taking the 'yeah' for agreement.
  448. <Antioch|GM> "I'd wanna be a speedster," he says with some conviction. ||
  449. --> Divmobile ( has joined #WDCleveland
  450. <Nick|Freddy> "Man, flying is so cool. Look at the Triumvirate. They can all fly," Freddy says truthfully. He still wants to be able to fly. ||
  451. <Antioch|GM> "Aw, c'mon, man, flying is so overdone," Steve says, shoving him playfully in the shoulder. ||
  452. <Nick|Freddy> "You don't want to be able to fly? You've never looked at a bird and been like 'some /people/ can do that'?" Freddy asks, incredulously. ||
  453. <Antioch|GM> "If I wanted to fly I'd sit in a dang airplane," he shoots back, but it's good natured. "Nah, flying's cool. It's just, you pointed out the Triumvirate, and sure, they can all fly, but it's not like, their main think, you know?" ||
  454. <Nick|Freddy> "I guess. Legend has lasers, Alexandria has strength, and Eidolon has damn-near everything," Freddy says.
  455. <Nick|Freddy> "Still, it would be cool to fly." There's a wistful note to his voice. ||
  456. <Antioch|GM> ** main thing
  457. <Antioch|GM> Their discussion goes back and forth a little. It's surprising how casually he can play off the fact that he doesn't have powers for the conversation.
  458. <Antioch|GM> Eventually, the Q&A session starts.
  459. <Antioch|GM> There are too many people to just start asking questions, but a lot of folks flock back as an audience in front of the stage as the Wards pass around a mic, picking out hands in a teeming forest of arms.
  460. <Antioch|GM> There are a lot of inane questions. Favorite food, romantic interests, one kid has the nerve to be cheeky and ask "what's your real name?".
  461. <Antioch|GM> One kid asks Ripcord, "Why did you transfer?"
  462. <Antioch|GM> He tells them about one of his old teammates, who kept giving him a hard time and putting him down, how he hopes he's found some friends both in his new team and in Cleveland as a whole, even in this school, insinuating that he'll be attending this upcoming semester.
  463. <Antioch|GM> Steve's hand is way up, although its height is sort of erratic, because he's jumping up and down. ||
  464. <Nick|Freddy> It helps the deception that his powers would never be something anyone would dream about. He doesn't have to pretend about wanting the other powers.
  465. <Nick|Freddy> He's enjoying the questions so far, actually. It's helping him relax about the Wards. Learning more about them, putting actual people behind the masks.
  466. <Nick|Freddy> He raises his hand, too, but keeps it much more still. ||
  467. <Antioch|GM> He learns a lot of really interesting tidbits, even as he waits.
  468. <Antioch|GM> Ripcord's favorite hero is Myrddin, for one, and that Embody was homeschooled before she came to Cleveland.
  469. <Antioch|GM> Knuckleball is actually horrible at baseball without the help of his power. Switchblade seems not to be the subject of a lot of questions -- Freddy's not actually sure if he's doing that fading into the background thing on purpose or not.
  470. <Antioch|GM> The leaping and hollering Steve right next to Freddy's hand gets picked, finally.
  471. <Antioch|GM> "Hey Ripcord!" he shouts. "Are your yo-yos Tinker yo-yos? Are you a yo-yo Tinker?"
  472. <Antioch|GM> A lot of the students look very confused, though a few of them start laughing. The Wards start laughing, too.
  473. <Antioch|GM> "Yes," he declares dramatically. "My jetpack yo-yos help me soar through the skies!"
  474. <Antioch|GM> He produces three from one of his pockets and they zoom towards the ceiling, tugging at his arm like balloons trying to escape.
  475. <Antioch|GM> "Darn," he says, "out of gas."
  476. <Antioch|GM> $roll 1d6-1 RS
  477. <[ATM]> Antioch|GM "RS" [3] -1 = 2
  478. <Antioch|GM> He receives a very lukewarm reception. Most of the students aren't very sure if they should be laughing or not.
  479. <Antioch|GM> "Uh, just kidding," he adds, looking a little nervous again. The three yo-yos fly of his fingers, doing tricks by themselves. Good, respectable yo-yo tricks, too, ones that spit in the face of the laws of physics.
  480. <Antioch|GM> "I'm a precise telekinetic," he says. "The lighter something is, the better I am at controlling it."
  481. <Antioch|GM> The crowd is suitably more impressed, watching the impromptu show. ||
  482. <Nick|Freddy> That made a lot more sense than Freddy had expected for the dumb yo-yos. He guesses that the flight part must be a separate power, unless Ripcord has no body fat and bird bones. ||
  483. <Antioch|GM> ((Wits check))
  484. <Nick|Freddy> $roll 1d6+1 Wits
  485. <[ATM]> Nick|Freddy "Wits" [3] +1 = 4
  486. <Antioch|GM> The Wards keep receiving and answering more questions, but Freddy gets passed over, probably because they just picked someone right next to him.
  487. <Antioch|GM> Steve, for his part, looks suitably pleased for asking a question that got a pretty cool answer.
  488. <Antioch|GM> While he's paying attention to the Wards, something catches his attention.
  489. <Antioch|GM> Knuckleball's line of sight shifts to the rear of the auditorium, drawn away from the crowd in front of him.
  490. <Antioch|GM> "Alrighty," Ripcord says, oblivious, "who should we pick for our next question?" ||
  491. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy quickly turns to look at the back of the auditorium. Is something finally happening?
  492. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy has a thought that he doesn't want to acknowledge, and pushes it aside.
  493. <Nick|Freddy> /If whatever happens is bad enough, he'll /have/ to use his powers, and no one will be able to blame him if he outs himself in front of the Wards./ ||
  494. <Antioch|GM> At the doorway to the gym, with two squaddies hesitantly leveling their weapons at it, is a Tinkertech suit of power armor.
  495. <Antioch|GM> It stands roughly the size of the PRT troopers right next to it, but has four arms and a full helmet with a dark-wraparound visor.
  496. <Antioch|GM> It's constructed of alternating plates of lacquered gray and burnished silver, and a soft white light emits from every joint in the armor.
  497. <Antioch|GM> More light peeks through as the two right arms flex themselves, gaps in the joints growing wider and letting more light through where it bends.
  498. <Antioch|GM> It raises both arms on its right side.
  499. <Antioch|GM> ||
  500. <Nick|Freddy> ((Any chance of recognition?))
  501. <Antioch|GM> ((You can do a Know check if y'like))
  502. <Nick|Freddy> $roll 1d6-1 Know
  503. <[ATM]> Nick|Freddy "Know" [3] -1 = 2
  504. <Antioch|GM> He certainly doesn't recognize the suit of armor, and even though he's thinking on the spot and coming up blank, he still feels confident that it's not a cape from Cleveland. He'd know. ||
  505. <Nick|Freddy> Holy shit. Freddy's stomach drops as he sees the Tinker (or at least, the suit of one) enter the room. Was the fact that it hadn't done anything violent a sign that it wasn't going to? Could it be a good guy from somewhere else? Or did it just want a dramatic entrance before it starting fucking people up? Freddy frantically shakes Steve and points at the
  506. <Nick|Freddy> suit. ||
  507. <Antioch|GM> Steve turns around, a little confused that his attention is being drawn away from the Wards, and then his eyes widen.
  508. <Antioch|GM> Freddy can hear Knuckleball say something, coming out of the speakers next to the stage.
  509. <Antioch|GM> "Okay..." he says slowly. "Sure. You there, in the back."
  510. <Antioch|GM> "With the power armor."
  511. <Antioch|GM> The entire audience turns around almost immediately.
  512. <Antioch|GM> "What's your question?" ||
  513. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy's not entirely sure, but that doesn't seem like the right way to talk to whatever it was.
  514. --> Divock|Clot ( has joined #WDCleveland
  515. <Nick|Freddy> He's worried, but adrenaline is pumping through him, and his worry is partially offset by the excitement. He waits, tense, ready to jump out of his seat if anything starts to go wrong. ||
  516. <-- Divock|Clot ( has quit (Quit: - A hand crafted IRC client)
  517. <Thalia|Fidler> Lumina lowers her hands, nice and slow. There were guns trained on her after all, but under the suit, she can't help but smile. She speaks loudly. "I had a question. Can I join the Wards?"||
  518. <-- Dolyn ( has quit (Quit: Leaving)
  519. <Antioch|GM> The crowd erupts into some very frenetic whispering.
  520. <Antioch|GM> Knuckleball's tone takes on a more relaxed cadence, some of the strain going out of it.
  521. <Antioch|GM> "Wait, uh, I'm glad you want to join, but... who are you?"
  522. <Antioch|GM> Steve shakes Freddy by the shoulders, mouth agape. Freddy's never seen him scream so quietly in his life. ||
  523. <Nick|Freddy> "..."
  524. <Nick|Freddy> ((to be clear, that's part of my post, not an indication of typing))
  525. <Nick|Freddy> Another FUCKING new Ward. Freddy's excitement and worry turns to resentment and stress. Freddy needs to get  out of here. He says nothing to Steve, standing up, and runs out of the school building, not caring who sees.
  526. <Nick|Freddy> Tears start to well up in his eyes as he exits. He doesn't stop at the picnic tables, this time, but keeps running, aimlessly, away from this fucking girl who's currently stealing his dream. ||
  527. <Thalia|Fidler> She ignores the person getting up and running out, but she does stop for a second, thinking if she knows him. "Lumina. You can call me Lumina."||
  528. <Antioch|GM> He runs, not stopping even when he's winded, sprinting through the snow and ice, seeing his breath fog up in the air, breathing more and more shallowly as he goes. Eventually it's a choice between stopping or collapsing. He ran away, before, when things were really bad, when he was cast aside and ignored, and it hurt him, stayed with him for weeks, months.
  529. <Antioch|GM> The resentment never faded.
  530. <Antioch|GM> This? It feels even worse. ||
  531. <Antioch|GM> ((Thal, Know check))
  532. <Thalia|Fidler> $roll 1d6 know
  533. <[ATM]> Thalia|Fidler "know" [4]  = 4
  534. <Antioch|GM> ((It's Freddy from computer club.))
  535. <Antioch|GM> (( Nick can keep going here. Thal, you can resume in #WDCleveland2.))
  536. <Nick|Freddy> ((I'm going to have to go to bed at this point, Anti))
  537. <Nick|Freddy> ((When's a good time to continue?))
  538. <Antioch|GM> ((Hmm, you're going to see the musical not tomorrow but the day after, right?))
  539. <Nick|Freddy> ((yes, but tomorrow I have a party in the afternoon. depending on how much you think is left, I could potentially start at the same time tomorrow and hopefully finish before I have to leave))
  540. <Antioch|GM> ((Works for me!))
  541. <Nick|Freddy> ((Great!))
  542. <Antioch|GM> ((Thal, you can pause here too, if you feel inclined to chase after dear old Freddy from computer club.))
  543. <Antioch|GM> ((Or we can keep going, if you want to keep being a limelight-hogging bitch!))
  544. <Thalia|Fidler> ((MMmmmm, both options are so tempting. ))
  545. <-- Nick|Freddy ( has quit (Quit:)
  546. <-> Turn|GM is now known as Turncoat
  547. <Thalia|Fidler> ((I think it depends on this: do I have any way to possibly contact him?))
  548. <-> soulpelt| is now known as soulpelt|sleep
  549. <Antioch|GM> ((Hmm. Trying to decide how to answer that.))
  550. <Antioch|GM> ((Since Nick has been awesome, if he's still here, I'll ask him -- yes or no?))
  551. <Thalia|Fidler> ((Like, would I have a phone number or PHO handle or something?))
  552. <Nick> ((I bet you can figure out my PHO handle))
  553. <Nick> ((doubt we'd have exchanged numbers, though))
  554. <Nick> ((I'm guessing we didn't know each other too well, otherwise with how big cape nerd both our characters are, we'd probably be better friends))
  555. <Nick> ((good enough that it would have come up before))
  556. <Antioch|GM> ((Hmm... roll computers for me, then, Thal))
  557. <Thalia|Fidler> $roll 2h6 computers
  558. <[ATM]> Thalia|Fidler "computers" [5] (2)  = 5
  559. <Antioch|GM> ((Freddy is CapeFan709 in PHO, if memory serves me right. You both posted on the Cwn Annwn AMA thread.))
  560. <Thalia|Fidler> ((Alright, I'm going with the bitch option. I'll message him later.))
  561. <Antioch|GM> ((Righto! Carry on here, then.))
  562. <Thalia|Fidler> ((Still want to move to 2?)
  563. <Antioch|GM> ((Nah, here is good.))
  564. <Thalia|Fidler> Lumia hesitates as Freddy runs out. She's tempted to go after him, but well... there was a lot riding on this moment. It had to go well. She'll message him later and find out what is going on. Something was definitely up there. She focuses her attention back on Knuckleball. ||
  565. <Antioch|GM> "What... brought you here to join us today, Lumina?" Knuckleball asks hesitantly. ||
  566. <Thalia|Fidler> "Well, I heard about the fundraiser, so this seemed like a good chance for this. But." She pauses for a brief moment. "I came to join the Wards because, after some thinking while building a suit of armor, "Lumia knocks a hand on the chest for emphasis. "I realized that I want to help the city and it's the best place for it. I also happen to believe there
  567. <Thalia|Fidler> isn't a better team in this city for me to end up on."||
  568. <Antioch|GM> Knuckleball laughs.
  569. <Antioch|GM> "You jerk, we just got these four-person T-shirts printed, and you tell me that?"
  570. <Antioch|GM> He sighs, albeit good-naturedly.
  571. <Antioch|GM> "Sure, Lumina. You're in. Paperwork pending."
  572. <Antioch|GM> Someone in the crowd decides to start clapping, and before long, others pick it up. ||
  573. --> Divock|Clot ( has joined #WDCleveland
  574. <Thalia|Fidler> Annemarie inside the suit inhaled deeply, just enjoying the moment. A lot of planning and scrambling for this moment. She probably gave Sorenson a few grey hairs in the process. She could enjoy being Lumina for a few seconds. ||
  575. <Antioch|GM> After the cheers die down, Knuckleball clears his throat.
  576. <Antioch|GM> "Well," he says, "that's a heck of a way to wrap things up tonight. We're just about out of time, but don't worry."
  577. <Antioch|GM> "You'll be seeing us plenty, in the future."
  578. <Antioch|GM> $roll 2h6 KBP
  579. <[ATM]> Antioch|GM "KBP" [5] (3)  = 5
  580. <Antioch|GM> It's a good line, delivered well, even if it does sound a little scripted.
  581. <-> Divock|Clot is now known as Divock
  582. <Antioch|GM> "Except me," Switchblade cuts in, to scattered laughs.
  583. <Antioch|GM> "C'mon, Lumina," he adds, strolling off the stage. "You've got a date with some paperwork." ||
  584. <-> Turncoat is now known as TurnToSleep
  585. <Thalia|Fidler> Lumia smiles under the costume. "Oh joy, paperwork." She says in as monotone as she can manage while she follows the Wards out of the building. She keeps messaging Freddy on PHO at the forefront of her mind, something was up. ||
  586. <Antioch|GM> As the Wards take the exit at the rear of the auditorium with Lumina in tow, the audience goes in for one final round of applause.
  587. <Antioch|GM> Even though that thing with Freddy niggles at the back of her mind, she can't help but exult in the attention, the feeling of finally being out there, not only doing something, but something meaningful.
  588. <Antioch|GM> And there's still more to be done.
  589. <Antioch|GM> ||||
  590. <-> Antioch|GM is now known as Antioch
  591. <Antioch> You can compose your PHO PM to Freddy in a PM to me later!
  592. <-> Thalia|Fidler is now known as ThalAI
  593. <ThalAI> Sure thing.
  594. <-- Nonagon (Nonagon@net-84u.kg5.218.47.IP) has quit (Ping timeout: 181 seconds)
  595. <-- iridium248 (iridium248@net-t4b.v2a.156.175.IP) has quit (Quit: - A hand crafted IRC client)
  596. <-> FaustAndAbout is now known as Faustus
  597. <-- CaptNameless ( has quit (Quit: - A hand crafted IRC client)
  598. <-> Fossil is now known as FosSleep
  599. <-> Lid is now known as SleepingLid
  600. - {Day changed to Thursday, December 29, 2016}
  601. <-- TurnToSleep (uid185268@ has quit (Quit: Connection closed for inactivity)
  602. <-- Divmobile ( has quit (Quit: Connection closed for inactivity)
  603. <-- SleepingLid (uid200825@ has quit (Quit: Connection closed for inactivity)
  604. <-> Faustus is now known as FaustAsleep
  605. <-- Camtist ( has quit (Quit: Connection closed for inactivity)
  606. <-- ThalAI ( has quit (Quit: Connection closed for inactivity)
  607. <-- Antioch ( has quit (Quit: Connection closed for inactivity)
  608. <-- JustLurking ( has quit (Quit: Connection closed for inactivity)
  609. <-- Firlz (Firlz@net-5qo.rn2.57.71.IP) has quit (Quit: - A hand crafted IRC client)
  610. <-- Divock ( has quit (Quit: - A hand crafted IRC client)
  611. --> Divock ( has joined #WDCleveland
  612. <-- Divock ( has quit (Quit: - A hand crafted IRC client)
  613. --> Divock ( has joined #WDCleveland
  614. <-- Divock ( has quit (Quit: - A hand crafted IRC client)
  615. --> CaptNameless ( has joined #WDCleveland
  616. <-- FosSleep ( has quit (Quit: Connection closed for inactivity)
  617. --> Nonagon (Nonagon@net-84u.kg5.218.47.IP) has joined #WDCleveland
  618. --> Divock ( has joined #WDCleveland
  619. <-- Divock ( has quit (Quit: - A hand crafted IRC client)
  620. --> Antioch ( has joined #WDCleveland
  621. *** Mode #WDCleveland +qo Antioch Antioch by ChanServ
  622. <-- Antioch ( has quit (Changing host)
  623. --> Antioch ( has joined #WDCleveland
  624. *** Mode #WDCleveland +qo Antioch Antioch by
  625. <-- panth (Mibbit@net-8dn.08e.142.175.IP) has left #WDCleveland
  626. <-> soulpelt|sleep is now known as soulpelt|
  627. --> Divock ( has joined #WDCleveland
  628. <-- Divock ( has quit (Quit: - A hand crafted IRC client)
  629. --> Camtist ( has joined #WDCleveland
  630. --> JustLurking ( has joined #WDCleveland
  631. --> Divock ( has joined #WDCleveland
  632. --> Turncoat (uid185268@ has joined #WDCleveland
  633. <-- Divock ( has quit (Quit: - A hand crafted IRC client)
  634. --> ThalAI ( has joined #WDCleveland
  635. <-> Antioch is now known as Antioch|GM
  636. <Antioch|GM> 23:11 <Nick|Freddy> "..."
  637. <Antioch|GM> 23:11 <Nick|Freddy> ((to be clear, that's part of my post, not an indication of typing))
  638. <Antioch|GM> 23:11 <Nick|Freddy> Another FUCKING new Ward. Freddy's excitement and worry turns to resentment and stress. Freddy needs to get  out of here. He says nothing to Steve, standing up, and runs out of the school building, not caring who sees.
  639. <Antioch|GM> 23:11 <Nick|Freddy> Tears start to well up in his eyes as he exits. He doesn't stop at the picnic tables, this time, but keeps running, aimlessly, away from this fucking girl who's currently stealing his dream. ||
  640. <Antioch|GM> 23:14 <Thalia|Fidler> She ignores the person getting up and running out, but she does stop for a second, thinking if she knows him. "Lumina. You can call me Lumina."||
  641. <-> You are now known as Nick|Freddy
  642. <Antioch|GM> He runs, not stopping even when he's winded, sprinting through the snow and ice, seeing his breath fog up in the air, breathing more and more shallowly as he goes. Eventually it's a choice between stopping or collapsing. He ran away, before, when things were really bad, when he was cast aside and ignored, and it hurt him, stayed with him for weeks, months.
  643. <Antioch|GM> The resentment never faded.
  644. <Antioch|GM> This? It feels even worse. ||
  645. <Nick|Freddy> ((how close is Freddy's school to the hospital his brother is in?))
  646. <Antioch|GM>
  647. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy doesn't know where exactly he's going as he heads towards downtown. After several blocks he slows his pace to walking, his lungs burning up with the cold air, his breaths desperate and shuddering.
  648. <Nick|Freddy> He can't believe what just happened. He had told himself he was OK with not being a Ward. With never being a Ward. But ever since he got his powers, that had been where he thought he'd end up, eventually. The Wards is /the/ place for kid superheroes. He hadn't even given up when his dad had tried to force him into Primus, he'd tried to get away from that.
  649. --> FosSleep ( has joined #WDCleveland
  650. <Nick|Freddy> And finally, /finally/, he had managed to start accepting that he wasn't a Ward, when they announced Ripcord, the new Ward at the fundraiser. And had he fallen apart? No! He had somehow convinced himself that he was OK with it. And then when it looked like the thing he was most hoping for at the fundraiser was happening, it hadn't been a supervillain intruding. No. It was some girl, in a suit of four-armed power armor. Someone else who got to be on the team.
  651. <-> FosSleep is now known as FossilLord
  652. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy's tears keep falling, though they seem to freeze to his face as he runs. Where can he go? He couldn't exactly get support from his parents.
  653. <Nick|Freddy> His brother, then. Dirk. Dirk would be able to understand, and he could tell him about his powers and everything that just happened. Freddy starts to make the long trek to the hospital. ||
  654. <Antioch|GM> It's a long trek, one he knows will take more than an hour -- in this below-freezing weather, no less.
  655. <Antioch|GM> Still, he knows the layout of the city and the way to get there well enough from when he ran away.
  656. <Antioch|GM> ((Wits roll))
  657. <Nick|Freddy> $roll 1d6+1 Wits
  658. <[ATM]> Nick|Freddy "Wits" [3] +1 = 4
  659. <Antioch|GM> There's a sense of worry underlying the other emotions vying for a place in his mind, and he remembers the last time he ran away. Intercepted and caught by Primus before he could get too far.
  660. <Antioch|GM> At least there weren't alarms going off, this time. ||
  661. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy takes his phone out of his pocket and takes out the battery. That should stop whatever tracking software is on it, right?
  662. <Nick|Freddy> At least, there's probably tracking software. Freddy assumes that's how they found him last time, what with his dad's spy stuff that he already knew about.
  663. <-- Nonagon (Nonagon@net-84u.kg5.218.47.IP) has quit (Ping timeout: 181 seconds)
  664. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy stops, takes some deep breaths, and then continues. ||
  665. <Antioch|GM> ((Street smarts roll!))
  666. <Nick|Freddy> $roll 1d6-1 Street Smarts
  667. <[ATM]> Nick|Freddy "Street Smarts" [3] -1 = 2
  668. --> Divock ( has joined #WDCleveland
  669. <-- Divock ( has quit (Quit: - A hand crafted IRC client)
  670. <Antioch|GM> He knows where in the city he is, as he goes through shoddy neighborhoods to get to one of the bridges that crosses the river, but he doesn't really know about the specifics of the villainous cape scene in his vicinity.
  671. <Antioch|GM> His phone said 8:52 PM when he took the battery out, and it's quiet out. As he gets closer to a bigger street, the sound of cars passing by gets louder.
  672. <Antioch|GM> Taking the main roads is the only way to get where he's going at a reasonable pace, but it runs the risk of him being seen.
  673. <Antioch|GM> His sly rat follows at a distance, sticking to gutters and shadows, keeping low and out of sight. ||
  674. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy doesn't want to freeze on the way, so he uses the main roads, but he tries to stay inconspicuous. He puts on his hat over his distinctive hair, and tries to look as if he's not running away from a Wards fundraiser. He's already wearing a different shirt then he was when he left home, but maybe the darker Eidolon shirt underneath would let him more effectively blend in.
  675. <Nick|Freddy> He decides that the cold he's be exposed to by switching the shirts won't be made worth it by the darker color.
  676. <Nick|Freddy> He's glad the rat has the right idea, and if anyone tries to mug him or something, it could provide backup while he tries to make more. ||
  677. <Antioch|GM> When Freddy finds himself out on the main roads, things become a lot more clear as to where he is, territory-wise.
  678. <Antioch|GM> There's a strip mall on one side of the road. One side is sufficiently illuminated by the parking lot lights for him to see the graffiti all over the brickwork.
  679. <Antioch|GM> A stylized suit of spades in black, with a stencilled '21' sprayed directly over it. Blackjack. ||
  680. <Antioch|GM> ((It's this, but nighttime. Directly across the street are some buildings that look like projects.))
  681. <Nick|Freddy> Oh, no. This is not a place Freddy wants to be. Although Blackjack had been suffering some losses lately, if he remembers the PHO posts. At least there shouldn't be Tinker drones watching him with Lock gone. Freddy keeps walking. Stopping and turning around might make him a target. More of a target than his small frame already probably makes him, anyway.
  682. <Nick|Freddy> He tries to stay hidden and discreet as best he can while picking the pace up a little. ||
  683. <Antioch|GM> ((Stealth))
  684. <Nick|Freddy> $roll 2h6+1 Sneak
  685. <[ATM]> Nick|Freddy "Sneak" (3) [4] +1 = 5
  686. <Antioch|GM> ((Wits))
  687. <Nick|Freddy> $roll 1d6+1 Wits
  688. <[ATM]> Nick|Freddy "Wits" [4] +1 = 5
  689. <Antioch|GM> He keeps to himself, staying out of street lights and trying to move a little quicker.
  690. <Antioch|GM> There's a faint sense of paranoia that's only worsened by the empty streets and the fact that he's trying to stick to the shadows. It feels like he's being watched.
  691. <Antioch|GM> A faint rustle to his right makes him start, but after fighting down the panic, he finds the source -- an especially plump rat, lurking behind an overturned sack of garbage. ||
  692. <-> FossilLord is now known as FossWork
  693. <Nick|Freddy> The large rat reminds Freddy of his power. He'd be a lot less likely to be mugged if he had two Buff Rats walking with him. He also wants to see how much faster he can make them. They should assemble themselves out of sight, too, so that shouldn't be a problem. Freddy wonders if he can make rats and walk at the same time, or if the rats will stop growing as they are left behind.
  694. <Nick|Freddy> He starts making a Buff Rat as he continues on his sneaky way. ||
  695. <Antioch|GM> The speed at which he makes his first rat is a lot better than his usual. He doesn't make it two blocks down before seeing one of his rats in the guise of a muscular dude follows behind him, lurching out of the half-fenced-off dumpster enclosure that he saw the fat (actual) rat in.
  696. <Antioch|GM> He himself is respectably sneaky, while the buff rat is less so, although it's at least following at a distance. ||
  697. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy's glad to have back-up, now in case of a fight or other situation. Hopefully they should be out of Blackjack territory soon, and on their not-so-merry way to the hospital. ||
  698. <Antioch|GM> ((Awareness))
  699. <Nick|Freddy> $roll 1d6+1 Awareness
  700. <[ATM]> Nick|Freddy "Awareness" [4] +1 = 5
  701. <Antioch|GM> The relatively quiet night is punctuated by the sound of breaking glass. It takes only a second for Freddy to get his bearings, figure out that the sound is coming from the south. He's not headed that way, taking a different route to the hospital, but it's close enough to be within earshot. ||
  702. <Nick|Freddy> Should he investigate? He's always wanted to stop crime, but now isn't exactly the best time...
  703. <Nick|Freddy> No, he has no costume, no plan, and no one knows where he is. Getting into trouble would be stupid. Freddy avoids the breaking glass, and hurries away.
  704. <Nick|Freddy> The Wards probably would have done it, comes a voice in the back of his head. The thought just makes him walk faster away. He doesn't want anything to do with them, now. ||
  705. <Antioch|GM> Whatever it is, it means that Blackjack probably isn't going to worry about him as he tries to slip away.
  706. <-> FaustAsleep is now known as FaustAndAbout
  707. <Antioch|GM> Even as he leaves, more breaking glass sounds come from the same direction. He can hear the faint warble of a car alarm, too.
  708. <Antioch|GM> His rats don't seem to care. ||
  709. <Nick|Freddy> Whatever, Freddy thinks. It's not his problem. Although, maybe he should check it out anyway. It could be something important.
  710. <Nick|Freddy> "Go see what's happening," he tells his Sly Rat, "and come back to tell me." ||
  711. <Antioch|GM> The Sly Rat scampers away, heading towards the source of the noise. ||
  712. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy keeps walking as he waits for his rat to return. His rats are pretty good at finding him, so it shouldn't be an issue. ||
  713. <Antioch|GM> $roll 2h6+1 Sly Rat Sneak
  714. <[ATM]> Antioch|GM "Sly Rat Sneak" (2) [4] +1 = 5
  715. <Antioch|GM> $roll 1d6-1 Sly Rat Wits
  716. <[ATM]> Antioch|GM "Sly Rat Wits" [6] -1 = 5
  717. --> Divock ( has joined #WDCleveland
  718. <Antioch|GM> $roll 1d6-1 Sly Rat Soc
  719. <[ATM]> Antioch|GM "Sly Rat Soc" [6] -1 = 5
  720. <Antioch|GM> ((Wow! GJ, rat.))
  721. <-- Divock ( has quit (Quit: - A hand crafted IRC client)
  722. <Antioch|GM> After a a few minutes (it's hard to say how many for sure, with his phone dead) his rat returns, still clinging to the shadows.
  723. <Antioch|GM> "Two capes," it says. "One with arrows. The arrows are weird. One who goes 'booom'. They're fighting other people."
  724. <Antioch|GM> Beneath Freddy's feet, the ground trembles slightly. ||
  725. <Nick|Freddy> ((know check?))
  726. <Antioch|GM> ((Sure thing))
  727. <Nick|Freddy> $roll 1d6-1 Know
  728. <[ATM]> Nick|Freddy "Know" [2] -1 = 1
  729. <Nick|Freddy> ((rip))
  730. <Antioch|GM> ((Nobody you've heard of.))
  731. <Nick|Freddy> Freddy doesn't recognize the description of either cape. One that goes boom? Weird arrows?
  732. <Nick|Freddy> "Thanks," he says dismissively to the rat.
  733. <Nick|Freddy> He resolves to check PHO when he gets to the hospital, to see what was going on over there. And he continues through the cold night. ||
  734. --> SleepingLid (uid200825@ has joined #WDCleveland
  735. <-> SleepingLid is now known as Lid
  736. <Antioch|GM> (Guts x2))
  737. <Nick|Freddy> $roll 1d6x2 Guts
  738. <[ATM]> Nick|Freddy "Guts" [1]  = 1  ::  [3]  = 3
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