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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Vanguard's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
3:13 am
[worthididnity]
Vanguard Day 2015
Today is a very special Vanguard Day, being the last one during the time period (2008 - 2015) covered by the course of play. The last Vanguard episode was set on June 10, 2015, and the last episode of 5th Column (in which Vanguard made a cameo) followed that immediately. So as of June 11th or so of this year, but for the abortive Duke Rollo future campaign and the events of the bachelor party game (which were set somewhere around 2019), we will have passed beyond the Vanguard timeline in real time.

Below, I've placed all of the Vanguard Day material from the past 7 years, so that it's all available in one place. This includes some new material I wrote not just for 2015, but also to fill in holes for years I missed (2011 and 2013), as well as 2012, which I wrote in a timely fashion but think I neglected to distribute.

The Vanguardverse was one of the most creatively satisfying projects of my life. It could not have been what it was without the staggering energy and investment of the players who made the game such a joy to lead. It was just a really great time.

2008:

Press release, May 13, 2008, from Mary Anne Fennor on behalf of the DeVries corporation and Vanguard, Inc.

The world we live in is a dangerous place. Less than a decade in, the 21st century has already shown itself to be a time of great upheaval and uncertainty. Ghana. Macedonia. Kashmir. Quebec. In these places and in many others, all over the world, conflicts great and small have erupted in the few short years since the turning of the millennium, taking a terrible toll in loss of life and economic and environmental devastation. For nations, corporations and individuals, the question of how to achieve prosperity is more and more eclipsed by its eternal parallel: how to protect what you already possess. Today, the DeVries corporation unveils a new and unprecedented answer to that question, to offer a degree of safety and security unrivalled in this uncertain age.

Vanguard, an elite squad of seven powerful, capable Novas, are now officially available for hire as the latest edition to DeVries’ galaxy of might and talent. Never before has an integrated, coordinated Nova force of this size or magnitude been made available for private contract. Vanguard, acting together, as a single conflict resolution and security assurance force, rival the military capacity, both technological and Quantum-powered, of many of the wealthiest and most populous nations of the globe. This unique team of capable and experienced professionals is ready, willing, and able to solve the myriad challenges facing modern businesses and governments through collective wisdom, unswerving dedication, and cohesive, coordinated synergy.

Unwavering defense of personnel, territory and physical and intellectual property is the Vanguard guarantee, all accomplished through teamwork, accountability and the measured and responsible application of force. This finely-tuned immediate reaction force consists of:
• David Robles, the heavy-lifting, high-flying, indestructible Monolithman.
• Jack Spears, bad-boy former Olympic medalist and current hypersonic, telekinetic human catapult, Ballista.
• Ned Grenski, the dynamic, extreme, in-your-face shapeshifter Viceroy.
• Harmony Rhys, the vivacious quantum-meddling, power-mimicing celebutant, Orchyd.
• Albert Tawnhauser, the time-warping, demographic-straddling intelligence expert, Wrinkle.
• Shikyo, the enigmatic and mysterious master of shadows, and peerless practitioner of the ancient art of ninjitsu. And,
• John Doe, the photogenic photo-manipulator with more than a few cards up his sleeve, Legerdemain.

The power to change the world, whenever and wherever you need it. Vanguard, Incorporated: your world just got a whole lot safer.



Heard N! the Street: Newsmakers on the News, Now!
Subject: Vanguard, Inc.’s official debut

“I hear that quiet bald kid can turn into a 20-foot long mole made out of tempered steel. That oughta be good for a laugh.” – Duke Rolo, Gonzo Journalist

“F*** those race-traitor sell-outs! They can eat s*** and die!”
– The Confederate, Teragen member

“Dabblers and hobbyists. I doubt any one of them has the stomach for this business.”
– Nicholas GaHay, AKA String, DeVries Elite

“I think that hard-working Americans are naturally wary of the dangers and the cost of Nova mercenaries. And I’ll note that the good people of Indiana seem to agree with me.”
– Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), candidate for the Democratic nomination for President
[Editors note: shortly before press time, Sen. Clinton maintained that she was still in the race, despite a disappointing showing in West Virginia against rival candidate and Nova celebrity, Randall Portman.]

“They seem a little sad and corporate right now, but they also have a groovy sort of love-sound about them. I see a lot of potential. There’s really no limit to what they could do: change the world, save everybody, just about anything, man. Mark my words – all the haters and doubters are gonna end up stunned.”
– Opium Jones, a very nice fellow I just met



Somewhere in the scenic Azores, the sun sets gently into the Atlantic horizon, as seen from the terrace of a sumptuous Spanish estate. With a spring sea-win wafting in from the balcony, two exceedingly beautiful, well-muscled men lie in bed together. One man has brown-red hair, the other has no hair at all. The redhead, the taller of the two, holds his lover close, beams of white light projecting from the other man's eyes to form an image on the bedroom wall, with sound to match. They sit together silently, watching the last moments of Vanguard's inaugural press conference, before the light dims, and the hairless man speaks.

"That's a funny sort of face for Sophie to be wearing. I wonder what sort of game she's up to," Scripture muses, running the finger tips of one hand over his lover's knee.

"It doesn't matter, Jer. Whatever she's up to, the poor girl is far too late to the table. I'm already holding all the chips." Divis Mal kisses the back of his husband's ear.

"Oh really, Divis? Is that all you're holding?" Jerimiah Scripture looks up playfully, but adoringly, and the two men kiss.

----

<9 seconds of silence, and then a tinny recording of Jr. Walker and the Allstars begins playing in mid-song, and at a moderate volume.>

Recording: "I said shotgun! Get 'em fo they run now. Do the jerk baby. Do the dirt-"



1st Speaker: "Is it done?"



2nd Speaker: "Yeah, no sweat. She didn't see it coming."

1st Speaker: "I did not expect her to. Report as instructed to the office in Bagan. You'll receive details on your next target. I want to wrap up any loose ends before the weekend. I'm mandating conventional means on this one; Quantum-force was necessary to start the job, but I want to keep any overt Nova-involvement to a minimum in future, and keep the suspect pool as large as possible."

2nd Speaker: "Hang on there, book - I just took out the most popular woman on the planet. Doesn't that make my quota for the week?"

1st Speaker: "No. It does not. We're short of staff at the moment, so you've still got killing to do. Though a few recruitment possibilities have just crossed my desk."

2nd Speaker: "You better get to recruitin' then. Bein' your bag boy is turning out to be a lot less fun than working for Thetis."

1st Speaker: "You don't work for Thetis anymore. You work for me. I'm the one who's paying you all those non-sequential bills. And I'm the one who knows where to find your son."

<23 seconds of silence. Over the connection come the faint sounds of sirens in the distance.>

1st Speaker: "I'll tell you what. As soon as everyone in the way of the project is either dead or in jail, I'll send you on your very own little island vacation."

2nd Speaker: "Yeah, whatever. You just keep the Euros comin' and I'll do your wet work. But you don't bring up my kid, get it?"

1st Speaker: "That is our arrangement, Mr. Chiraben. I have no problem keeping to my part, so long as you keep to yours. Hold for a moment, will you?"



2nd Speaker: "What're you holding me up for? We through here or what?"

1st Speaker: "Nothing of consequence. Just a slight change in the pieces on the board. Nothing to do but watch for now. Codex out."



----

In a 4th floor office, in an Art Deco building on a numbered street in the city of Prague, a young, well-traveled man in a fine but out-of-date suit sits behind an antique desk, halfway into a bottle of rye. Then comes a knock at the door.

A younger, better-traveled man enters, his overt modernity at war with the atmosphere of the office space. The out-of-place man, slightly below average height with bleached blond hair, carries a small brown parcel under his left arm. He flips up the mirrored lenses of his glasses, and addresses the man at the desk. "You Corman Arturo?"

The seated man smiles and nods, clinking the ice in his drink.

The out of place man tosses his plain brown package onto the fine brown desk. "Special delivery," he says, already turned and halfway gone. He steps through the doorway, and into an East African marketplace. The door shuts behind him, not gently.

Corman Arturo sets down his drink, and thinks of a short list of questions he would like to ask this package, if it could answer them. He opens the brown paper wrapper, and then the white box inside it to find a cellular phone. It is a current model, but not an expensive one. Arturo looks at the phone in the box, and quickly composes a longer list of questions he would like to ask it.

The phone rings.

Corman answers it without hesitation. "Hello?"

The voice on the other end calls to mind a stone of brilliance, in a setting of ambition. "Good evening, Mr. Arturo. My name is Johnny Rose, I was, until recently, the number two partner at Novation Consulting, and I am calling to offer you a job. That should answer your first three questions."

"But not my next seventeen," the man at the desk responds.

"I know that you've done research on Novation, so I know that you know about the damage they've done, that I've done. It is my intention to undo as much of that damage as I can. In order to do this, I will feed you inside information on their dirty little schemes, arrange for you to be embedded with a group of other Novas who can right some of the more egregious wrongs, and pay you very well for your services. Within one month's time, you will have the story of your career, and we both will be much happier for our collaboration. That is the shape of my offer, sir. Are you in or out?"

Again, Corman Arturo does not hesitate. "I'm in."

"Glad to hear it. I've sent you a packet of documents by courier; they should arrive in the next hour. I expect that an opportunity for you to begin your assignment in earnest will present itself shortly. In the meantime, you may want to begin research on a little mercenary outfit that just went public about an hour ago. They're called 'Vanguard'."

Corman takes out a pad and a fountain pen, and begins jotting down notes. The voice on the phone has one more instruction.

"You should also start thinking about some sort of a Nova alias. It’s childish, but also pretty much required in their business."

Arturo glances around his office, and his eyes come to rest on the album he was listening to earlier. It is a compact disc, in keeping with the man's penchant for anachronism. He walks over to the stereo, built into the body of an old Victrola, picks up the case labeled 'Rubber Soul'. "I have an idea," Nowhere Man tells his client.

----

On tonight's special edition of Real Time with Bill Maher, Bill and his guests discuss the latest returns in the Democratic, Republican and American Eagle party primaries.

"Will someone please tell Clinton and McCain that its over already?"

Tonight's guests are:

-Corby Carter, leading Nova intellectual, chairman of the Citizens Council for Judicial Accountability, and author of "Principles for an Ethical Society".

-Shamus O'Malley, the Boston Brawler, Samuel Adams spokesman and city defender of Boston.

-Scott Spectrum, Nova psychologist and author of both "Hoboken Syndrome: the Root of Supervillainy" and "The Year of the Mask". And

-Mefistofaleez, platinum-selling recording artist, hip-hop mogul, black nationalist and sometimes Nova mercenary.

Maher: "If we can escape from all this primary nonsense for a moment, because you know how little interest I have in politics, there's some other news from today that I wanted to get your perspectives on. Those warmongers at DeVries, you know the ones who used to represent you, Mefistofaleez, unveiled their latest marketing ploy: an outfit called 'Vanguard'. That's a crack team of seven spandex-cases ready to sell their muscle, or whatever else they've got, to whoever has the biggest bag of silver. Sounds to me like the next logical step in the Nova arms-race. What do you think, Corby?"

Carter: "I think the booming mercenary industry, both Nova and Baseline, not only feeds off the suffering of the world's poor and unfortunate, it perpetuates it. Further more, these so called 'Elites' only serve to elevate mindless, banal violence to the highest pinnacle of public esteem."

Brawler: "Ah, would ya shut up? Ya sound fackin' retahded."

Mefistafoleez: "I gotta agree with cracker #2 there, cracker #1. You need to shut up. Ain't nothin' wrong with a person earnin' a livin' doin' what they best at. I'll tell you what the problem with these Vanguard fools is. They got a whole mess of white dudes in there. They run the god damn white dude gamut. Young white dudes, old white dudes, casual white dudes, fancy-dress white dudes, and punk-ass white dudes in fruity jumpsuits. What they don't got is even a token African face in their whole damn line-up."

Brawler: "I don't see why I gotta sit next to the retahd."

Maher: "Alright. Dr. Spectrum, do you have anything to add on this topic, before we move on?"

Spectrum: "Well, I think the mental and moral strain of the mercenary lifestyle can't really be overestimated. Most of Vanguard's members seem to be coming in from other sectors - I just hope that they're psychologically prepared for it. It would be tragic if any of them were to crack under the stress and tension."

Maher: "Excuse me Scott, but my producer has just handed me a note...I'm very sad to report that a wonderful woman and friend of the show, Ms. Jennifer Landers, has died in Calcutta. Slider was found dead in her apartment there, and the authorities suspect foul play. I believe we're going to cut for the live feed from N! news momentarily."

Mefistafoleez: "Oh, they gone and done it now. Somebody done killed a white girl. Drop everything!"

2009:



“Your orders are to keep her secure for as long as possible. She’s my leverage for whenever her boyfriend or the rest of that gaggle come after me.”



“Book, I think you’ve got that a little bit sideways. I get the news here, and I know what they did on Mother’s Day. They fucking gutted Addis control center. They killed Kumo. Shit, I didn’t think anything could kill her. If I stay here to babysit this broad, I’m just gonna be waiting around until they show up to kack me. I ain’t that stupid.”



“No, but you were stupid enough to spend half an hour in the same room as Psyche last year. So I’m going to say, [five words in Hindi], and I’m going to repeat your orders. Guard Ms. Grenski with your life. If anyone attempts to abduct or free her, kill them. Do not leave your post except to re-supply. This order may only be countermanded by me. Now how do you feel about your orders?”



“Yeah boss, I hear you. I’ll be waiting here until you give the word.”



“Hello, Codex.”

“Shit, Legerdemain. You are one scary bastard. What are you here for?”



“I simply came to offer my condolences for your latest disappointment. My old gang seem to have upended your plans entirely. It must be a terrible blow to the ego. I felt moved, as a humanitarian, to find some way to alleviate your suffering.”



“A set-back, yes. But I have a ‘Plan B’ I’m quite excited about. He’s not quite fully-weaponized yet, but the potential applications are thoroughly…game-changing.”



“Yes, I think I’d like to see what comes of that.”

----

In a private room in New York-Presbyterian Hospital, a still recovering Sophia Rousseau is having an argument with her ex-husband and their son.

“If you insist on putting that bookish little Gatsby girl on the team you need to find her a marketable angle. Work the pointy-ear bit; elves are still pretty hot right now. Call Annie Leibovitz and set up a half-naked forest nymph photo-shoot…”

Thomas Hyde cuts her off, silently. Sophia continues talking for a few seconds, but there is no sound in the room. Once she gives up and begins pouting, Hyde restores the potential for noise, and begins talking himself. “You are not getting this, Sophia. Vanguard isn’t yours anymore. You gave emergency control to me, and I’ve put Blasto in charge. Out of the three of us, he’s the only one that they might take orders from without wanting to kill.”

“I don’t give orders, dad, and I’m not in charge.” Kiefer Rousseau speaks with a youthful earnestness that fits his appearance, if not his actual age. “I’m just on the team. We’re like a radically egalitarian collective.”

Hyde gives his son a half-smile, but doesn’t say anything. “Well that’s just great,” adds Sophia. “It’s your three days in the Sex Pistols all over again.”

The argument continues, without much conclusion. Sometimes later, after they’ve gone, Sophia makes some attempt to rest and recuperate from her ordeal. She is interrupted when a large, flaming portal in space opens at the foot of her bed.

“SOPHIA ROUSSEAU…”

“What is it, Michael? I’m trying to sleep.”

“All that you have built has been stolen from you by inferiors. Come, accept my offer. Join us in our great work to remake the world in a finer form.”

She thinks for a moment, and sighs. “My answer is still ‘no’, Michael.”

“Very well, Sophia. I will give you more time to consider the error of that choice. But my patience is finite. I will come to see you just once more, and then I will not come again.”

“I hope that’s a promise, because I [two words in French] need to [one word in French] sleep!”

----
Heard N! the Street: Newsmakers on the News, Now!
Subject: Vanguard, Inc.’s dramatic return from the dead.
“Shockingly good entertainment, wasn’t it? I’ve known all along, of course, but I was sworn to secrecy. Let the word go forth from this place: Dr. Duke M. Rollo’s silence cannot be purchased at any price, unless that price is a truly cyclopean quantity of experimental, Quantum-active narcotics.”
– Duke Rollo, Gonzo Journalist
“I was glad to hear the news that they’re alive, and I hope that we’ll have some clear answers about where they’ve been shortly. The greater concern, of course, particularly from the standpoint of the US people and their government is: what about this conspiracy inside Project Utopia. I’m calling on the chair of the Senate Foreign relations committee to schedule an immediate hearing on the matter.
– Randall Portman, recently appointed US Senator from New York
“Pitiful little lambs. With each passing year, the hour of their slaughter grows nearer. Tic-tock, worm-bitches. Tic-tock.”
– Astaroth, founder, Cult of Astaroth
“I have no comment on that subject, but the media seems to be forgetting that Monolithman and the rest of his goons violated Ethiopian national sovereignty and trespassed on UN diplomatic territory in order to ‘do’ whatever it is they claim to have ‘done’.”
– Cestus Pax, leader, Team Tomorrow Central
“Gee, I don’t know. That crowd is a little fast for me. I’m curious about the new folks that seem to have joined up while they were all…dead? The woman who can turn into a dragon, Faith? She has a very pretty voice.”
– Pavlos Xydis, chief expeditionary reporter, National Geographic

2010:

[The Vanguard Building - Mezzanine Level, overlooking the Memorial Garden]

Terpsichore, the young woman from a foreign future, leans against the brass railing, her eyes passing over the stone and greenery below. The soft rush of water falling into the Reflecting Pool lends texture to the air. The constant glow from her body seems almost ghostly in this still, contemplative atmosphere.

Stranded in a world that is not hers, she drifts daily about the massive New York complex, apparently forgotten by its mighty owners. Her rounds are erratic and intentionally unpredictable, with one exception: the hour spent each day, watching over the garden. 'Stoic' does not do her justice, as she seems almost to stand as still and as silent as Israfel, Tex or Caelin Sidhe, or any of the others immortalized below.

Yet on this day, with twenty-three and one half minutes left to go, she shifts her weight slightly, and sighs. "I know that you're there."

A dark-featured man in a trench coat and sunglasses steps out from around the bend in the hallway. "Happy Birthday, Calliope," he bids to open. "I noticed the lack of a party. Have you told anyone here?"

"No. I don't really know the proper way to celebrate '-17', anyway." She turns to face the Nowhere Man. "Maybe your boss could give me some tips?"

The man shrugs.

"Alright then, did he at least send a present? Something special for me rolled in with all that swag you just dropped off upstairs."

"That's all for the True Seven."

"Plus Blasto," she spits.

"Yeah, plus Blasto," the dark man chuckles. "I do have something special, just for you though."

"Do tell." She leans back and rests her elbows on the rail, the picture of adolescent disinterest, though sheathed in 4th-generation Eufiber, and surrounded by a cloud of luminescent butterflies.

"A warning: Al knows where you came from and how much trouble you caused getting here. He's let all that slide so far, but you're officially on notice. No mischief or meddling, or I'll have to retcon you."

Terpsichore's eyes narrow. "You tiny little man. You have no idea what I am, do you?"

There is a pause.

"I know exactly what you are, ma'am." Nowhere Man removes his sunglasses. His face is the same as the one she remembers from photographs; a little more worn, maybe. But there, under the left eye, something different. "And I know what you can do to me. I also know exactly how long it'll take you to do it."

The woman shrugs. She turns again towards the rail, and then vaults over it, her fluttering aura carrying her slowly and gracefully towards the ground. She comes to rest near the waterfall, and curls up by the pool. She sits and stares into the water for a long moment, waiting for the man with the dark features to walk back through the haul, down stairwell three and over to her, restoring exactly the same distance - a little too far for a comfortable conversation - as before.

"Are you not done with your threats?" she asks without turning.

"I'm not trying to play the heavy here. I'm a journalist, not a chronal-mafioso. I'm just carrying the news. As long as you don't try to make this world into the one you lost, you can stay."

Another pause. In the empty space, the faintest whir picks up as the Para-Mnemonic Resonater under the pool cycles on. The water shimmers silver for an instant, and then the light on the pool reforms into a new image. A woman and a man standing in a doorway, waving to someone they love. The man is thin and freckled, his red hair just starting to gray. The woman is even thinner, with pointed ears and a pair of glasses worn entirely for affect. Then the man in the trench coat speaks, and the seemingly-young woman's thoughts shift. The image fades.

"He asked me to ask you something. Not that he minds, of course; if you hadn't done it, we probably would have had to intervene and wipe their memories again. But why did you tell them that Drake was your father?"

The woman, fair and light, surrounded by butterflies, leaps and whirls at the question, ready to make a bad mistake. Her inner light flares with anger, and the 4th most dangerous person in the galaxy comes terribly close to murdering Corman Arturo. "Dragon Manning took care of my mother, he raised me, he kept our family safe. He is my father. Say his name again, and I'll turn you inside out - I don't care what scare-tattoos you've got."

The man with the dark features drops his brow just a little, never taking his eyes from her. He raises his hands and begins backing away slowly. "Like I said, Wrinkle appreciates it, and I didn't come for a fight. Events in our timeline should get to play out for themselves, just like they did in yours. I just hope they don't figure it out on their own. After all: you've got two different names, and they're both Greek."

And with that, the man is gone.

********

[An early draft of Vanguard's parting message to the world:]

People of Earth -

We have to step out for a while, not sure how long really. Something dangerous and very, very bad is going on. Okay, okay: when is it not, right? But this time its happening out there, several stars away. And to make sure that it doesn't come here, we're going to go meet it in our awesome new space fortress. (That's right, we have a space fortress now.) We'll be back as soon as we can be. Try not to kill each other so much while we're gone. Remember that there are probably some people in the world you like. Try to treat everyone like those people. We'd like to have a world to come home to.

Hugs and Kisses,
Vanguard

*****

[A sheet of very nice acid-free paper, torn neatly from a sewn volume, written on in a brownish-red ink.]

Dear Diary,

Things are going quite swimmingly. After many hours of grueling and brutal debate, my old friend Jinei has finally come around to my way of seeing things. I've missed the companionship of someone who appreciates my gifts. Plus: one step closer to getting the old band back together!

The matter of the second gentleman continues to be a bit more complicated. I find him simultaneously charming and infuriating. This last week, our friendly competition got more than a little out of hand; several barrels of quicklime were needed to cover the evidence. And finishing each others' sentences is not nearly as entertaining as I might have thought. There are moments, I confess when I feel a stir of regret at having brought all this about last January. Traveling half way around the world, conscripting all of those theoretical-physicists, removing the Aboriginals, and timing everything just so, to extract my fondest desire from the modern Genie of the Lamp. Was it worth it for the heartache when he comes home at all hours of the night, covered in strange blood, never apologizing for not asking me to join him?

Ah, but then I look into those eyes, and that handsome, handsome face, and I know that my plan is the right one. I am sure that my old friends will have marvelous fun with him, when I have crossed the bar. How could they not? He's just like me.

Your humble servant,
Legerdemain

2011:



Katie: It’s been a year now since the previous Vanguard roster departed for the stars. You’ve spent nearly that long leading their replacement team.

Cloudburst: I’m sorry, Katie; we don’t like to think of ourselves as replacements. We’re here to fill a need. The folks who founded Vanguard, Inc. built it into a unique organization, dedicated to looking after the world and taking on challenges and threats that no one else was ready for. We try to continue that mission.”

Katie: It almost sounds like you agree with those ‘haters’ [air-quotes] we were talking about earlier: that you’re just place-holders, keeping the chairs warm.

Cloudburst: Chair-warmers wouldn’t have disbanded the Heaven-Thunder Triad. Place-holders couldn’t have stopped Lance Stryker and Tchernabog from leveling Santiago, or defended Strasbourg from…whatever that was. My team are the real deal. They’re nobody’s second string, and anyone who doesn’t know that by now hasn’t been paying attention for the last twelve months.

Katie: If you’re confident in what you and your coworkers are doing, does that mean you’re ready to drop the roman numerals and take on the Vanguard title without an asterisk?

Cloudburst: Those two ‘I’s are really there out of respect to the folks who built this institution and recruited us for this job. Most of us on the team have had the honor of fighting alongside them. A few of us have fought against them. We know just how good they are at what they do, and how dedicated they are to it. The name still belongs to them, and when they get back, we’ll be glad to stand down and hand back the keys to the building and the sub-orbital jet.

Katie: I have to ask, Eleanor: after a whole year, are you really sure they will come back.

Cloudburst: There’s no doubt in my mind.








2012:

The man in the sunglasses sat alone in his apartment. On a normal Sunday night, he wouldn’t have been found at home. Most any night, really – but today was different. This early there was still the chance of running into the last stragglers from the parade, and even after that was over, there were too many conversations he didn’t want to have. (“You were one of those guys that washed out, weren’t you?”) Normally he loved being recognized, but not today.
He had the shades drawn and the OpNet screens off. He couldn’t even listen to the radio on May 13. He could certainly drink gin, though; they hadn’t found a way to ruin that yet. He was on his third glass when the light-show started: the familiar color and patterning as a hole opened up in his living room. He was just far enough along that he wondered for a second, ‘Did I do that?’
That ended when the other man came through the gate. He wasn’t wearing his sunglasses. He was out of breath, bleeding from his temple, and probably fifteen pounds lighter than he ought to have been. His clothes were dirty and worn, but they were the same clothes. The man on the couch, in the sunglasses, flipped up the shades and wondered to himself, ‘The haircut’s even right. How the fuck does that work?’
The man without glasses looked across the room at the man with them and said, “It’s me. I mean, it’s you. I mean, it worked.”
The man on the couch finished his glass. “I hope you’re a hallucination, because if you’re a polymorph pulling a prank, I’m going to be very pissed off.”
“No I’m not. Look, I need to ask you a couple of strange questions. Is today May 13, 2012?”
“Yes.” He began to pour another.
“Have you ever heard of Vanguard, Inc.?
“Too many times.” He kept pouring.
“And do they…are they…where are they right now?”
“Deep-ass space, supposedly saving the world.” He finished emptying the bottle into the glass.
The newly arrived man let himself breathe deeply for the first time. “Oh, good. They haven’t gotten here yet, then. Look, I know this is a lot to take in, but you have to believe me, okay? I’m you – you from another dimension. Also, there are other dimensions. A ridiculous number of them. Some of them are a little different, and some of them are a lot different. In mine we had a Vanguard. I was very nearly one of them, actually.”
The man in the sunglasses raised his glass to this, but did not drink.
“Ours left us two years ago. Probably the same thing as yours: ‘Terrible threat on a distant world. We may be gone some time.’ They never came back. But someone else did.” The bleeding man began to pace the floor here, winding himself back up to the same level of tension he had when he came through the slipgate.
“They’re the Vanguard from some other other dimension. Or, maybe some kind of hit list from a bunch of different ones. They don’t protect, they don’t save the day. They’re not all about freedom and puppies and shit. They conquer, they take what they want and they leave corpses and slaves in their wake. They came to my earth to add it to their empire. I think they picked a time when our Vanguard wouldn’t be around to get in their way; all we had was the B-list squad left minding the shop. It was over in days. There was a group of us calling ourselves The Resistence for a while. It’s pretty much just me now.”
The man on the couch stood up and soberly walked over to his opposite number, handing him the full glass of gin. He gave him a look that seemed almost sympathetic and said, “I think you need this more than I do.”
The other man accepted the drink, “Do you believe me?”
“I do,” he said, with resignation. “Why don’t you sit down?” He led the familiar stranger to the couch, sat him on it, and walked slowly over to the stereo against the far wall.
The visitor fiddled with something on his wrist; like a watch, but not. “I’m just so glad it worked. Steel Yard gave me the specs for it before those mole people ate him, but it took me months to get it made…Hey, this is my…our…your apartment. So we’re in your New York, right?” He went to the window and poked his head through the curtains, peering down at the street below. “I can’t tell you how amazing it is to see the city like that. Normal, I mean. The last time I was home the Cult of Tiamat had a day of holy obligation. I watched the Blind Hierophant – that’s what their Site is called – lead the procession up 5th Avenue wearing that big stupid hat and riding his time cow. It’s an image I’d rather forget.”
The man in the glasses didn’t pay much attention to the constant string of words from his other self. Instead he opened the drawer of the dresser underneath the stereo.
“We’ve got to warn them. Whoever you have here for a president, whoever’s on your Vanguard II. Tell them to get ready. I don’t know when they’ll get here, but the world might stand a chance if they start getting ready now.”
With one hand still in the drawer, the man in the sunglasses reached up his other hand and turned the stereo on. Music poured out of the speakers. “Put on your red dress,” Junior Walker sang, “then you go downtown”.
The man in rumpled clothes was pacing again. “Once we start getting a defense plan in place here, we can go on to another world. You can go to, once we get you one of these made. The more planets we can warn, the better our chances for…Did you feel that?”
The man in the sunglasses turned around to face the other. He was holding the exotic-matter shotgun that the last visitor had given him, several months before. He’d flipped his shades back down as well. He couldn’t quite manage to look himself in the eye.
The man without sunglasses tensed himself in the practiced way he’d done a thousand times before. Nothing happened.
“Gates won’t open in here, as long as it’s on,” the man with the gun explained.
Anger flashed over the stranded man’s face for a moment, and then he crumpled in every way shy of falling over. “You were expecting me then. They’ve been here already.”
“Not them exactly. They sent some Indian guy in a fancy suit.”
“And you sold me out? You sold out your whole world, your dimension – for what, exactly? Money? Power? What?”
“A little more time.”
“For yourself?”
“For all of us.” The chorus came round again on the stereo: “Do the jerk, baby. Do the jerk, now yeah.” With the barrel of the gun, he gestured at the still full glass dangling in the beaten man’s hand. “You should drink that. It’s good gin.”
The man without sunglasses lifted the glass and looked at it for a moment. He shrugged, and began to drink. When he was done, he nodded to himself across the room. And then a shot rang out.

2013:



Cloudburst: …again, we deeply apologize to the people of Kazakhstan, and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all those effected.

Katie: Alright, Eleanor; you know I have to ask it. This is practically a tradition at this point. Do you really, in your heart-of-hearts, believe they’re ever coming home?

Cloudburst: I…[chokes up]…I…hope so.



2014:

To the Council of Wrinkles
Committee on Omniversal Threats
Sub-committee on Ragnaroks in Posse
From Corman Arturo (Nowhere Man India-Alpha-November-Charlie-Uniform)
Reporting from Continuity #12504-5000

Mr. Chairman and members of the sub-committee,
This will be my first and only report on the status and possible threat posed by one Ethan Bremner, post-Titan class Nova and sole potential inter-continuity threat here in 12504-5000. I was tasked to monitor his behavior and reintegration with society after his revival from a comatose state and restoration to full power and sentience. I am pleased to report that I believe no serious threat to this or any other continuity is posed by Mr. Bremner at this time or for at least one century into the predictable future.
By all appearances, subsequent to his revivification in 2014, the subject wishes to reestablish a normal life in order to replace the one disrupted when he suffered a major traumatic brain injury in 2008. [See case log on BABY filed with the Committee on Curiosities and Anomalies, Sub-committee on Things Which Should Not Be.] To this end, he has sworn off all use of his post-human abilities. In interviews he remains quite adamant on this point that, whether used with selfish or selfless intentions, his capabilities are simply too vast to be employed ethically. He evinces no interest in “playing God,” and actually seems quite troubled by the prospect. As of the writing of this report, and with 99.8% certainty for the next fourteen assessment cycles, Mr. Bremner has made three exceptions to this self-imposed rule:
1. He has provided himself with enough gold bullion to live comfortably for the duration of his unnatural life, no matter how much obscure folk singer memorabilia he buys.
2. When the God Complex (an oligarchical conspiracy of Titan class zetamorphs led by the local Divis Mal) attempted to recruit him by means of Quantum-psychosocial influence, he employed his powers to rebuff the temptation. No humans or puppies were harmed.
3. A petty, personal dispute that barely warrants notation, but is included here in the interest of thorough recording: On February 28th, 2014, a man in Texas’ shirt disappeared. Attempts to reclothe his torso resulted in the dissolution of eight more shirts of various colors and materials. Trial-and-error tests that this effect triggers at the instant that his head and both shoulders are through holes of the garment, which is then rendered so utterly void that not even a Quantum signature remains behind. This matter was reported to the Committee on Curiosities and Anomalies, Sub-committee on Oddities and Shenanigans. The fact that this unfortunate fellow, a Mr. Benjamin Blattberg, was a long-time associate of Mr. Bremners suggested a possible link. Research indicated that the destruction of the first shirt coincided with the Op-Net publication of a top 5 list of table-top roleplaying games from this continuity’s 1990s (CE). In this article, Mr. Blattberg failed to give pride of place to the pirate game 7th Sea, a property Mr. Bremner is known to have a fierce loyalty to. Despite the fact that it did earn an honorable mention, I believe that Mr. Blattberg’s stated preference for Legend of the Five Rings (a product from the same company) may have triggered this odd reprisal on Mr. Bremner’s part. However, as the effect appears permanent but stable, and because Mr. Blattberg seems to be able to continue on in life circumventing it with slankets and ponchos, I render the same assessment as above: no humans or puppies were harmed.
Despite these slight deviations from his stated goal of abstaining from his powers entirely, Mr. Bremner has also shown strong will and resolve. The temptation to intervene on a global scale his been strong, in conflicts in Ukraine and the Congo, but he has clearly resisted it. I personally observed him attempt to stop a purse-snatcher from getting away, lose the foot race, and decline to do anything Quantum-related to catch the man. (He did spend next few weeks checking in frequently on his father.) It is therefore my conclusion that no threat is posed at this or any other time by Ethan Bremner to the greater lattice of the multiverse, to this continuity, its earth, or even to anyone else on it. Having strategically introduced him to a particularly engrossing augmented reality game, I believe he will be accounted for well into the future. No further action is recommended at this time.
This report was compiled through direct interviews, electronic, in-person and Quantum-entanglement surveillance, and by consulting the copy of this report currently on file in the futurological archives. In closing, I would like to wish the gentlemen (and lady) of the sub-committee a wonderful Vangaurd Day. Many happy returns.

Your obedient,
Nowhere Man

2015:

On the morning of May 13th, 2015, the members of Vanguard were still trying to recalibrate their bodies from being on Jerusalem time. But the mayor had been insistent in planning this year’s Vanguard Day parade – their first one back! – and so they each put on their smiling faces (or in Mole Man’s case, the absence of a frown, and in Ghost Train’s case his usual featureless cowl) went out to meet the public.
After a frustrating couple of days, they all seemed to need some frivolous amusement, and everyone managed to join in the festivities. Monolithman grew several stories tall and then Ballista played catch with him from the ground. Tiamat sored among the parade floats and breathing out gouts of star-fire and icy-cold, deep-space vacuum. Site showed off by warping random members of the crowd up onto the float alongside him and then back into their original spot. Kiefer set of all manner of technicolor Quantum fireworks, and Impression just kicked back, waved to the happy people, and helped everyone (himself included) feel about a hundred times more happy than they would have on their own.
While all of this was going on, one person in New York was not having a good time. Waking up hung-over and completely out of gin, the bottom fell out of his stomach when Slipgate looked at his calendar. With grim resignation, he picked up the package that he’d made up months before; today was his last chance to send it. Then Slipgate did something he hadn’t done in years: he left his apartment by its door, walked the full length of his hall, and took the elevator all the way down to the lobby. He walked out to the street and turned his collar up, as though the noise of the crowd could be kept off of him like a chill wind. It still didn’t make sense to him that his building should be on the parade route, and he wondered one last time whose idea of a sick joke that had been.
After he’d dropped the package in the mailbox, Slipgate returned to his apartment. He took the padlocks off of the deep-freezes – no point in making the cops bust them open themselves. He stepped out again to get some take-away from his favorites spot in Johannesburg, but he only picked at it a bit, before giving up on the meal all-together. There didn’t seem much point in writing an elaborate note – everything was already in that package, and he didn’t feel he owed the doorman (or whoever it ended up being) a big explanation. Still, he took the time to dig out that pen-and-ink set he’d gotten in high school, back when he was “really into” calligraphy. He carefully arranged the words on a sheet of fancy paper. The package said it was made from recycled elephant dung. Despite it all, he just had to laugh at that for a moment. He tried savored that, not that anyone can really savor a spontaneous emotional reaction. Still he did his best to – it felt like the sort of thing that one should make the most of: laughing for the last time.
The note itself read, “You’re welcome.”
Meanwhile, down on the street, city employees were off for the municipal holiday, but Vanguard Day still hadn’t become a national day off from work yet. So there was a dedicated postal carrier working his way through the cheering crowd, rolling a little cart to empty out the letterboxes. The exercise felt less and less sane these days. Between Op-Mail and 3D printing, there wasn’t much call for actual mail between actual people, anymore. He could frequently empty ten or more post-office boxes into the same bag in the course of his route. But when he opened this particular box, and found that there were not only several letters, but an honest-to-goodness package, complete with carefully measured postage, he found himself getting quite happy at the turn of events. And then giddy, and then ecstatic, and then so blissed-out that he lost all track of what he was doing. Awash in the good vibrations coming off of Impression from atop the Vanguard float, the postman wandered off into the crowd, leaving the door of the postbox open and unlocked, still clutching the spirit-buoying package. He passed through several patches of revelers and an entire tour group of Korean tourists in town for the holiday, before he ran solidly into a form of gray and blue spandex. He looked up and realized who he had collided with. “What are the odds?” he exclaimed. “Here you go then, special delivery!” He pressed the package into its recipient’s hands, gave a laugh and a salute, and staggered off in another direction.
Unfortunately, the Zeta Beta Tau frat brother in the Ballista costume was not fully possessed of his maximum faculties either. In a haze of Quantum and alcohol, he thought that the package addressed to Vanguard Tower was some sort of a parade favor, like a much less elegant, far more elaborate version of plastic beads. That night, after making it back to his dorm room, he would roll the thing clumsily under his bed and forget about it for over a month…but that’s the start of another story.
Tuesday, May 13th, 2014
10:14 am
[worthididnity]
Vanguard Day 2014
To the Council of Wrinkles
Committee on Omniversal Threats
Sub-committee on Ragnaroks in Posse
From Corman Arturo (Nowhere Man India-Alpha-November-Charlie-Uniform)
Reporting from Continuity #12504-5000

Mr. Chairman and members of the sub-committee,

This will be my first and only report on the status and possible threat posed by one Ethan Bremner, post-Titan class Nova and sole potential inter-continuity threat here in 12504-5000. I was tasked to monitor his behavior and reintegration with society after his revival from a comatose state and restoration to full power and sentience. I am pleased to report that I believe no serious threat to this or any other continuity is posed by Mr. Bremner at this time or for at least one century into the predictable future.

By all appearances, subsequent to his revivification in 2014, the subject wishes to reestablish a normal life in order to replace the one disrupted when he suffered a major traumatic brain injury in 2008. [See case log on BABY filed with the Committee on Curiosities and Anomalies, Sub-committee on Things Which Should Not Be.] To this end, he has sworn off all use of his post-human abilities. In interviews he remains quite adamant on this point that, whether used with selfish or selfless intentions, his capabilities are simply too vast to be employed ethically. He evinces no interest in “playing God,” and actually seems quite troubled by the prospect. As of the writing of this report, and with 99.8% certainty for the next fourteen assessment cycles, Mr. Bremner has made three exceptions to this self-imposed rule:

1. He has provided himself with enough gold bullion to live comfortably for the duration of his unnatural life, no matter how much obscure folk singer memorabilia he buys.
2. When the God Complex (an oligarchical conspiracy of Titan class zetamorphs led by the local Divis Mal) attempted to recruit him by means of Quantum-psychosocial influence, he employed his powers to rebuff the temptation. No humans or puppies were harmed.
3. A petty, personal dispute that barely warrants notation, but is included here in the interest of thorough recording: On February 28th, 2014, a man in Texas’ shirt disappeared. Attempts to reclothe his torso resulted in the dissolution of eight more shirts of various colors and materials. Trial-and-error tests that this effect triggers at the instant that his head and both shoulders are through holes of the garment, which is then rendered so utterly void that not even a Quantum signature remains behind. This matter was reported to the Committee on Curiosities and Anomalies, Sub-committee on Oddities and Shenanigans. The fact that this unfortunate fellow, a Mr. Benjamin Blattberg, was a long-time associate of Mr. Bremners suggested a possible link. Research indicated that the destruction of the first shirt coincided with the Op-Net publication of a top 5 list of table-top roleplaying games from this continuity’s 1990s (CE). In this article, Mr. Blattberg failed to give pride of place to the pirate game 7th Sea, a property Mr. Bremner is known to have a fierce loyalty to. Despite the fact that it did earn an honorable mention, I believe that Mr. Blattberg’s stated preference for Legend of the Five Rings (a product from the same company) may have triggered this odd reprisal on Mr. Bremner’s part. However, as the effect appears permanent but stable, and because Mr. Blattberg seems to be able to continue on in life circumventing it with slankets and ponchos, I render the same assessment as above: no humans or puppies were harmed.

Despite these slight deviations from his stated goal of abstaining from his powers entirely, Mr. Bremner has also shown strong will and resolve. The temptation to intervene on a global scale his been strong, in conflicts in Ukraine and the Congo, but he has clearly resisted it. I personally observed him attempt to stop a purse-snatcher from getting away, lose the foot race, and decline to do anything Quantum-related to catch the man. (He did spend next few weeks checking in frequently on his father.) In a particularly heroic note, he has not done anything even remotely punitive to the executives at NBC. It is therefore my conclusion that no threat is posed at this or any other time by Ethan Bremner to the greater lattice of the multiverse, to this continuity, its earth, or even to anyone else on it. Having strategically introduced him to a particularly engrossing augmented reality game, I believe he will be accounted for well into the future. No further action is recommended at this time.

This report was compiled through direct interviews, electronic, in-person and Quantum-entanglement surveillance, and by consulting the copy of this report currently on file in the futurological archives. In closing, I would like to wish the gentlemen (and lady) of the sub-committee a wonderful Vangaurd Day. Many happy returns.

Your obedient,
Nowhere Man
Friday, October 2nd, 2009
4:18 pm
[worthididnity]
Season 3 Synopses
Holy canoli, the timeline for Season 3 is completely weird. (On the plus side, there are all sorts of interesting gaps in the narrative that could be filled in one day when we're all so rich that we have nothing better to do than game all day.) I had to make a bunch of educated guesses about how some of the stuff here fit together. And I curse myself for my poor notekeeping. Please let me know if you remember anything else, or anything different, or have any questions.



This took SOOOOO long to type outCollapse )
4:09 pm
[worthididnity]
Winter Specials 2001 Synopses
Not much to say here: there were only four games in this block, one of them ended up being sort of a piss take, and two of them I not only did not run, but wasn't actually there for.

This first one made Josh SO ANGRYCollapse )
Wednesday, May 21st, 2008
11:00 pm
[worthididnity]
Season 2 Synopses
Double episode titles. Huge, tangential epigraphs. Multi-episode labels that never really lead where they're supposed to. Clearly, I went a little overboard with this season.

10:27 am
[worthididnity]
Summer Specials 2000 Synopses
Josh, Vin - if you remember anything else (or different) about the Chicago games, please chime in.

Friday, May 16th, 2008
4:46 pm
[worthididnity]
First Season Synopses
Behind the cut are my attempt at episode synopses for all of Vanguard Season 1. Please let me know if any of it doesn't jive with your recollection and/or notes (I'm pretty confident about most of it, but there were some places where I had to make educated guesses). There are a few gaps that I couldn't fill off the top of my head, so if anyone remembers anything about the questions I've highlighted below, maybe we can jog each others' memories.

-Did the Editor's paper have a name?

EDIT: I've removed the answered questions, and incorporated the new/expanded information into the stuff behind the cut. FYI: Shikyo's name is Jin'ei Seigan. My apologies to Jeff Bard for wrongfully accusing him of character sheet abduction.

Thursday, April 14th, 2005
7:13 pm
[uncleernie50]
Wanted to make sure you all knew bout the new fan release.
http://www.animegarden.com/personalities.html

Smiles wide
*ding*
Friday, September 3rd, 2004
11:21 am
[eldritch_wizard]
This might be kinda obsolete.

I'm writing a character index for Aberrant and I decided to use livejournal (it's free and the individual entries make for easy reading). I don't know how much use any of you could get out of it, but since creating it I've already had one complete stranger add it to their friends list.

Be forewarned, I haven't finished it, am writing it in the order of book title release dates, and in order to avoid copyright violations I've made most of the entries "friends only."

aberrant_index
Saturday, August 7th, 2004
3:05 pm
[samedietc]
modelling the Word of God
If you've read Preacher, you'll know the power I mean: Jesse Custer can control anyone by commanding them to do something. So, I'm thinking a mind control power of some sort. But what's the duration for that? How many people can he command at one time? Do the people have to understand his commands? Can his commands change reality by forcing people to do things otherwise impossible?

I wouldn't mind seeing this in other systems, if you've got ideas on how to do this.

Also, I wouldn't mind seeing a universal translation power (is that one of the effects in the Information Control Suite?).
Friday, May 28th, 2004
12:06 am
[eldritch_wizard]
AEON link
In my searches for Aberrant content I found this website http://www.eononline.net/downloads/
They have some interesting stuff, like reformatted and interactive (flash-programmed) character sheets, and some e-books (which I haven't read yet)
Monday, May 10th, 2004
12:07 am
[eldritch_wizard]
-excerpt from Simpsons episode, Lisa the Nova, original airdate 10/12/08
Troy: Hi, I'm Troy McClure, you may remember me from such blockbuster films as "Escape from Teregen Island" and "SuperCheese 4: The Arbitration of Peace," I'm here today to tell you a few things about novas. And what better way to tell you about novas then to take a stroll through nova central itself: the headquarters of Project Utopia!

Slider: Hello Troy.

Troy: Oh! Hello Slider, or do you mind if I call you Jennifer?

Slider: Not at all. I'm curious to know how I got my powers in the first place.

Troy: Whoa, whoa, whoa! Slow down Jennifer. I bet your brain is just chock full of questions about your special powers, but it all starts with that fragile little gland in the center of your brain the boys in white labcoats like to call the M-R node. *holds a small gland up to the camera* Theres a lot of wild speculation that the M-R node is activated through extreme torture or a near-death experience, but the truth of the matter is that nobody really knows what triggers the nodes activation. But, when the gland is ready *pops it into his mouth* mmm... it's time for some lucky baseline to join the ranks of Nova University.

Troy: Come on Jennifer, let's take a look at the nova training grounds, here at Project Utopia's New York headquarters.

Slider: Ohhh!

Troy: Here at Project Utopia we provide a safe and friendly environment where newly erupted novas can learn their capabilities away from the prying eyes of family members and the media. *Troy and Jennifer walk past novas levitating themselves on chairs, setting fire to history books, and juggling chainsaws* But don't let the private nature of Utopia fool you, there are plenty of support groups for dealing with your new powers and your interaction with fellow novas is always closely monitored to make sure you're happy and well cared for.

*They walk through a door off the training grounds accompanied by the sounds of crying and people arguing. Electricity noise sparks in the background as the camera pans down the length of the corridor to a nova leaving black scorch marks on the wall, apparently in a fit of rage.*

Troy: Uh oh, looks like one of those Teregen sympathizers showed up to cause trouble again.

*Caestus Pax flies across the screen and slams into the sparking nova. Both fly off camera as the screen pans back to Troy and Slider. The squelching noises of flesh being ripped apart is accompanied by the sparking noise ceasing abruptly. Slider seems visibly pale and shaken.*

Slider: Uhh, Mr. McClure? I have a friend who says novas shouldn't be forced to register with Project Utopia. Is he right?

Troy: Nooo, he's ignorant. You see your crazy friend will never get the help and guidance he needs if he doesn't register with Utopia. Besides, we're collectively helping to make the world in to a better place by eliminating war, disease, hunger, and poverty for baselines, in that order. Just ask Caestus Pax here.

*Caestus Pax walks by the camera and waves a thumbs up, tell-tale signs of blood still streak his arms*

Troy: He'll tell you that, some day all novas will be legally required to register with Project Utopia, and its really for their own good. *image of Caestus Pax shaking hands with president followed by clip of man dressed up as Leviathan being pushed into a police car with cattle prods* Since the discovery of the M-R node, baselines and novas fulfill a special role for one another that makes a beautiful symbiotic relationship.

Slider: That reminds me, the M-R node. I still don't know how I got my powers in the first place.

Troy: *laughs* It's too bad we're out of time Jennifer, or else I could tell you.

Slider: But...

*credits roll*

Lisa: *visibly angered* Ohhh, that didn't help at all.




Hi, I'm Doc, a friend and gaming buddy of Ethan's. I'm not really part of Vanguard All Stars but I've been posing questions to Ethan about Aberrant and he keeps telling me that I should ask people who also happen to be in this community, so I decided to join up, and what better way to join up then to display some of my demented humor in an Aberrant fashion. I started writing this on a lark the other day and I thought I would finish it up and then share it with you.
Does anyone know of some quality Aberrant websites out there?
Saturday, April 3rd, 2004
1:39 pm
[chiefsheepy]
by the book
I'm making a team of mutants for my (post-) BPRD crew to fight. I'm using the Aberrant rules, of course, and one of the characters is a shrinker. The book says that every dot in the power decreases your height by half, so five dots would only make a 6' tall person about 2" tall.
That's BS, right? I can fudge it and say each dot makes you 1/3 as tall as the last, making five dots = about 3/10", right?
Right?

Current Mood: geeky
Friday, January 16th, 2004
4:11 pm
[worthididnity]
just some thoughts i thought i'd share
i just posted in my journal about some thinking i'd been doing for blending Trinity, Aberrant, Adventure! and Exalted together into a single game that could have as much different, crazy stuff as the Marvel and DC universes. in working on this idea, i spent some time thinking about how different characters could be modelled under different systems, and it occurred to me that my thoughts about modelling some Vanguardverse favorites would be a potentially fun thing to put here. i've listed characters by what sort of "thing" i think they would best be modelled as (just given the rough outline of what their characters are envisioned to do; please don't take offense, everybody got stated up the way they did, and it wouldn't have been the same game if we'd stated them differently, so i wouldn't change a thing) with some parenthetical notes on interesting cases:

>Vanguard
Novas (i have no idea how they could be anything else)-
*Ned, Orchyd, Wrinkle, Tex, Ghost Train, Kiefer

Novas (you could try something else, but it probably wouldn't go so well)-
*Ballista (could be just a really strong Psychokinetic [type of Psion], but that wouldn't account for his mega-physical atts; you could do that with a little Biokinesis, but even that wouldn't model his running speed very well)
*Monolithman (believe it or not, mostly as an experiment, i spent some time figuring out how i'd model Monolithman as an Exalt. honestly, i think it would work okay, but there's nothing but disinsentives to do so when you consider the character's theme.)

Psions
*Site (Site's spatial manipulation powers and his super sense can be modelled in a much richer, more versatile way with the Psi rules, and he doesn't really have any powers that aren't handeled well in that system.)
*Legerdemain (Photokinesis, maybe a little Telepathy and later on there should be a way to do matter creation with Quantakinesis.)
*Impression (his "all mental" power structure makes him a great candidate for Telepathy. all his quirky taints can be handeled, i would say, by a radical re-interpretation of the Dysfunction system.)
*Sophia Rousseau (when you're as ass-powerful as Sophia, it's not that staggeringly important what sort of ass-powerful thing you technically are, but, in my conception of the way her powers worked, i always pictured them as pseudo-scientific [the more lip-service your powers pay to ral science, the better Psi is at modelling them]. Psi could deffinately cover everything she did.)
*T.S. (the very picture of an Electrokinetic.)
*Drake (well, i mean, duh.)

Exalts
*Shikyo (a Shadow Ninja? well, i might have to patch together a charm or two for controlling shadows, but if anyting i think Shikyo would have made MORE sense as an Exalt.)
*Graveyard Shift (the character alread has an occult feel, and all the stuff on his character sheet is doable with charms, especially the alternate form thing, which i would say works a little better in the Exalted system.)
*Moleman (i'm kind of out on a limb on this one, but i think that, though Moleman was the winner in the "doesn't quite fit in anywhere" category, feel-wise he works a little better as an Exalt than as a Nova. maybe that's why i had him marry one.)
*Tiamat (an elf who turns into a dragon? huh, i don't know, what system should i use?)

Daredevils
*Nowhereman (i know, i know, he grew his head back from a fatal gunshot wound. but other than that, his powers fit perfectly as a Daredevil, and there's already a fair amount of precedent in Adventure! for the Daredevil with just one blatantly non-Daredevil power.)

if this actually prompted any response from you, please do share. possibly i'll type up a few more later.
Thursday, December 18th, 2003
11:50 am
[uncleernie50]
Well it doesnt exactly relate to our group.. but i laughed my freaking ass off reading this... and i thought you guys would to.

http://www.criticalmiss.com/issue6/nobbynohead1.html

the whole site is something brilliant.
Sunday, November 30th, 2003
3:42 pm
[samedietc]
What setting would you like to explore?
I know I don't know all the settings/campaigns that have been played in the Vanguardverse (and of course I'd be curious to know about them), but I wonder if anyone out there has had any ideas for campaigns/settings were not played and that they would like to see? Or would have liked to GM?
Any historical settings (World War II, the Wild West, Victorian England)?
Or genres (political conspiracy, horror, newsroom drama)?
Or just aspects of the Vanguardverse that weren't explored (who fixed all the buildings that Vanguard destroyed? what's life in the Vanguardverse like for an insurance investigator? what sort of superdentistry is there for novas with bizarre teeth?)?
Monday, November 24th, 2003
5:06 pm
[chiefsheepy]
help
I decided that, rather than the confusing Vanguard vs. Avant-Garde picture, I will do a picture of the First riding into battle, based on the pic I did when with everyone riding on Doughboy. Trouble is, I have no idea what Inertia's costume is supposed to look like. I drew it, but it's from the back, and I remember there being some quibbles with the design of the costume.
Could someone hook me up with an official pic of Inertia?
Josh, I'm mostly looking in your direction, as I think you colored one.
Thanks.
Saturday, November 22nd, 2003
6:58 pm
[chiefsheepy]
I polled your mom
Again with the not a real poll...
What's the *most appropriate* theme song in the Kelly-/Vanguard- verse, character or otherwise?
Some suggestions...
- Vanguard: A Spoonful Weighs a Ton
- Monolithman: Iron Man
- Casbah: As Time Goes By or Rock the Casbah
- Wrinkle: Time is On My Side
- Doughboy: Rubber Biscuit
- Living Dead Girl: Living Dead Girl
- Dr. Worm: Dr. Worm

Current Mood: int'rested in things
Friday, November 21st, 2003
2:35 pm
[channelguard]
Year of the Mask Episode List
Episode 1: The Year of the Mask
Music: Talking Heads- Psycho Killer

Episode 2: Night of the Living Dead (side game with Blind Justice, Inertia and Jisatsu)

Episode 3: Mutant Mayhem

Episode 4: Mercy Killing

Episode 5: The Tower of Babal (side game with Babylon and Blind Justice)

Episode 6: The Prophet of Little Italy

Episode 7: Reversal of Fortune

Episode 8: In the land of the blind. . . (side game with Babylon and Blind Justice)

Episode 9: “I am Pito, of the Clan of Death” (side game with Lord Coqui)

Episode 10: Mercury Rising

Episode 11: Year’s End

Part One- Like Sands through the Hourglass
Music: Edie Brickell- Beat the Time

Part Two- It’s The End Of The World As We Know It
Music: R.E.M.- It’s the end of the world as we know it

Part Three- The Road to Nowhere
Music: Nina Simone- Sinner Man
8:41 pm
[worthididnity]
Fifth Column The Series, Season 2 (Spring 2002) Episode List
(well, near the end of this season, those epigraphs made an unexpected comeback, and this time a LOT longer. the second epigraph for "Death Is Not The End" is the one and only epigraph that i wrote myself because, in preparing to run a cross-over into the World of Darkness, i got a little caught up in the old familiar Vampire mythology. You might notice that in this season i finally got around to making a second "The Blessed Hereafter" episode, so that that "Part I" from Vanguard, Season 3 wouldn't be hanging partnerless forever.)

“Strange Interlude” Part X: “Ironic Justice”
“Live By the Sword”
“Broken Things”
“The Day Some Stuff Got Bigger”
“Tales the Æon Society” Part III: “The Dark Pyramid of Ptah”
“October Surprise”
“Men and Their Islands” Part I: “Big in Japan”
“Men and Their Islands” Part II: “Regicide”
“Tales of the Æon Society” Part IV: “The R[eign/ain] of Stars”
“Hush Little Baby (Don’t Say a Word Week)”
“Worlds That Never Were” Part I: “Death Is Not the End”
Epigraph (for both episodes):
Don't look, don't look
The shadows breathe
Whispering me away from you
Don't wake at night to watch her sleep
You know that you will always see
This trembling, adored, toussled bird-mad girl

Every night i burn
Every night i call your name
Every night i burn
Every night i fall again

Don't talk of love 'cause shadows blur
Murmuring me away from you
Don't talk of worlds that never were
The end is always ever true
There's nothing you can ever say
Nothing you can ever do

Still every night i burn
Every night i scream your name
Every night i burn
Every night the dream's the same
Every night i burn
Waiting for my only friend
Every night i burn
Waiting for the world to end

Just paint your face and shadow smile
Slipping me away from you
Oh it doesn't matter how you hide
Find you if we're wanting to
So slide back down and close your eyes
Sleep awhile - you must be tired

When every night i burn
Every night i call your name
Every night i burn
Every night i fall again

Every night i burn
Scream the animal screams
Every night i burn
Dream the crow black dream

Dream the crow black dream

Still every night I burn, every night I scream your name.
Every night I burn, Every night the dream's the same.
Every night I burn, screaming the animal scream
Every night I burn, dreaming the crow-black dream. yeah, yeah
Dreaming the crow-black dream
--The Cure, “Burn”
Epigraph (just for “Death Is Not the End”):
13 crowns for 13 heads
2 still walking, all long dead
4 died twice to traitors foul
1 hath full-donned shadow’s cowl
3 dream fits beside the thrown
1 twists yet at knives unknown
4 rest easy neath our lands
1 guides they with bloody hands
5 thought lost to teeth and swords
3 dark hearts hide fallen lords
1 clue the rise of Cain’s grandchilde
8 men high the bodies piled
3 blood dark days the moon shall rend
13 may drink, the rest shall end
“Worlds That Never Were” Part II: “Atrocity Exhibition”
“Unmaked Helicopters” (also Vanguard, Season 3: “The Blessed Hereafter” Part II:
“Other People”)
“Diary of a Madman”
Epigraph:
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forest of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand that seize the fire?

And what shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And, when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feat?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears,
Did he smile, his work to see?
Did he who made the lame make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
--William Blake, “The Tyger”
“Counter Clockwork”

Current Mood: greatest
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