Regime Quest : 1

Hi readers, and welcome to my 2019 experiment, Regime Quest!  You are going to be controlling (by using your comments to vote), an Ultra in the setting of The Fifth Defiance.

In order to vote, just comment on the post in question, listing your answer to each of the questions you care about.  Any questions that no one votes on I’ll pick an answer to.

Voting is open as soon as a post is up, and closes at the end of the next Saturday (eastern time) which gives me all of Sunday to write up the next update.

This story takes place a few years before the main story.  The original Fourth Fist are dead, but not yet replaced.  Snitcher and Adder are alive and well.  More of the setting will be made obvious as we get into non character creation updates.

This week marks the first part of character creation, which will probably continue for another two updates.  I am also creating/choosing the system behind the scenes (ultimately dice rolling will be part of how this all works)

For now, you have two sets of points to spend.

First off, you have Weirdness Points (WP).  These are a measure of how far outside of the mainstream for this position the character is, and restrain your choices such that your avatar remains basically plausible in the role.

You can’t save WP between character creation sessions, they are given out at the start of each post.  You’ll get more next week, so don’t worry about keeping stuff from this time in reserve.

Choices that cost WP aren’t necessarily ‘better’, they are just more unusual.  Don’t feel pressured that you are ‘wasting’ your WP if your choice runs more conventional.

The other is Ultra Points (UP), used in question 6.  You will use these to set your gift, and you will want to spend all of these.

For this update you have 5 Weirdness Points and 7 Ultra Points.  Enjoy!

If you have any questions, you can post them as comment and I’ll reply, and potentially add that question/answer to this section.

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“I guess you’ll do.”

That’s what She’d said.  Just four little words, and it was done.

They rushed me out of the Sniper Court while I was still grappling with it.  This was really happening.  It had, in fact, already happened.  I was one of Her warlords now, one of Prevailer’s chosen, tied irreparably to her by Snitcher’s gift, specially tasked to secure a city from Her enemies.

A serious job, but one that I was up to.  After all, I was

  1. <Who am I?>
  • Write In (name must be of the construction verb-er, example, Kicker, Warper, Gasher, etc.)

I mean, really I’m

2. <Real name?>

  • Write In

a

3. <Gender?>

  • woman
  • [1WP] man (another 1 WP charge, if male, to avoid mutating in the direction of your strongest gift)

who underwent the Process

4. <Time as an Ultra?>

  • [1WP] Very recently
  • A few years ago
  • [2WP] Back before the old world fell

and found my life transformed forever.

There are as many reasons for undergoing the Process as there are Ultras, of course.  Or, rather, there are about thirty times as many.  In my case it was

5. <Reason for Being Processed?>

  • Peril.  I had my back to the wall, to the point that Process’s odds were better than those I’d face in my day to day life.
  • Boredom.  There is, when you get right down to it, very little to do in the Regime.
  • Force. Someone was recruiting, and I was a warm body
  • [1WP] Ambition.  I wanted to accomplish something and only an Ultra could pull it off. (write in my goal)

After I survived the Process I discovered my gifts, considerable ones at that.  I am about top tier for an Ultra foot soldier, just below the people who get drafted into Fists, and they still don’t know the full extent of my abilities.

As far as everyone knows my gifts are:

6. <Gift choice>

  • [1UP] Ultra Strength One, I can lift and throw cars and the equivalent
  • [3UP] Ultra Strength Two, I can lift and throw buildings and the equivalent
  • [7UP] Ultra Strength Three, I can lift and throw anything, only She is stronger
  • [3UP] Ultra Speed One, The world slows down when its important to me
  • [6UP & 1WP] Ultra Speed Two, My life plays out at a languid pace around me
  • [2UP] Ultra Durability One, I am action hero levels of invincible
  • [4UP] Ultra Durability Two, I am comic book levels of invincible
  • [2UP] Another ability, comparatively minor (write in)
  • [5UP & 1WP] Another ability, of exceptional reach and breadth (write in)

Officially, I’m a loyal servant of the Regime, just another one of Her murderous goons.  However, in my heart of hearts.

7.<Loyalty>

  • I don’t care who wins, I am just trying to survive and enjoy what comforts this world has to give
  • I am exactly what I look like, a partisan of Prevailer’s Regime
  • [1WP] I am on the side of the human Resistance, trying to protect them as best I can from within a predatory organization.
  • [1WP] I am on the side of Kill Every Monster, striving to eradicate my own kind, so that humans may once again rule their own destinies
  • [2WP] I serve a foreign power, collaborating with the enemy I am ostensibly battling against (specify Union or Pantheon)

It hasn’t been easy to get this opportunity.  Ultras strive for it, compete for it, and some have even killed for it.  The only way that I could figure out was to get a sponsor, someone to put my name forward when it came time for Her to pick the new battle leader.  My sponsor was:

8.<Sponsor?>

  • No one

I was kidding with all that stuff I just said.  It was super easy to get this opportunity.  I guess the sponsors’ machinations all canceled each other out and I got the nod from pure luck.  I am on my own, for better or for worse.

  • Subtracter,

She is the leader of the Fists, and stands second in the Regime.  She has all the clout in the world, and I can tap into that.  She is also personally capable of defeating an old world carrier group, and might occasionally be willing to pitch in and help her protege out.  On the other hand, she is an incredibly stupid woman, and is made of equal parts jealousy and rage.

  • Adder,

He is the Regime’s all important economic engine, and has broad authority in the handling of its human resources.  He can provide with me with any supplies or materials I need, and he can share the wisdom that age has given him.  On the flip side, he is dying, and his gentle nature and lack of interest in power games means that his name does not ring out among the warriors of the Regime.

  • First Fist

Remover’s Fist are powerful warriors, who have been slaughtering foes of the Regime since its creation.  Their sponsorship nets me the respect of the front liners, as well as the hatred and fear of our foes.  They are interested, powerful figures, and I am their principal in this matter.  Bizzaro world view on this, though, is that they are monsters interested only in the extinction of all life, and I will be required to constantly show progress towards this goal.  I guess some people would think that was a problem.

  • Second Fist

Refiner’s crew are burrowed into the Regime’s institutions, and can give me the kind of insight and influence into the support staff that my peers might be tempted to write off.  I can also probably score some items with Refiner’s blessing, which should stand me in good stead as long as I am willing to be associated with the Knights Of Purity.  Upside Downsies, tho, they aren’t front liners, they aren’t respected by front liners, and everybody already hated the racist losers even before the old world fell.

  • [1WP]Third Fist

Simply the strongest fighting unit in the Regime, Leveller’s crew rarely takes interest in these games.  Everyone will respect that my potential was so extreme as to draw their interest, and I might be able to get them to level a city or something.  Contrariwise, tho, they won’t be around a lot, and can’t really emphasize with the problems of people at my level at all.

  • [1WP] Snitcher

He is Her primary mode of entertainment, and his gift’s hold on me is the reason I can’t just flee off into the wilderness.  Snitcher knows basically everything that is going on with everybody, and he can warn me before She tunes into my viewpoint.  Looking at it another way, tho, he has no actual power or authority, and no one else is nearly so hated.

  • [2WP] Answerer

What’s better than spoilers about the actual future?  Nothing whatsoever.  My sponsor can tell me what is going to happen if I do certain things, which is kind of useful.  Against that, though, she is mostly occupied with Her questions, and I’ve also heard that Predictor is really really controlling and bossy.

  • [2WP] Prevailer

She picked me out Herself.  I have all the authority it is possible to have without being in the inner circle myself, and She will probably cut me a lot of slack if I mess up at first.  She doesn’t like to admit that She is wrong.  Mirror-wise, however, I am in Her orbit, and eventually She will probably kill me for no reason.

With a sponsor like this, how could I fail?  I couldn’t, that’s how.  It is basically impossible to imagine that I won’t succeed in taking over

9 <Target?>

  • Lington, up in old Mont.  A medium city, traded back and forth between Union and Pantheon hands for long enough that She got tired of being left out of the fun. presently Union
  • Ar Harbor, up on the coast in Aine, a small city, which should be lightly protected, by an unaffiliated local Ultra gang of all things, but She wants it taken intact, minimal property damage
  • Gusta, the perpetual football we squabble with the Pantheon over, down in old Juh.  Big target, about which we have good intel, currently the scene of an inter Pantheon civil struggle.

See what I mean?  A soft target like that, how could I fail?

Well, for one, I don’t really have any current maps or means of transportation.  These are just names to me.
Also, I don’t have anyone pledged to follow me on this mission.  I am going to have to beg, borrow or steal an army from among my former cohorts.
And I guess I don’t know any details about the defenders, so if I don’t figure out a way to find out what is waiting for us we’ll have to find out the hard way.
Plus the last two Ultras who drew this assignment died trying, so the enemy has done this more than I have.

Ok, so there are some problems, but I also have some real assets.  For example,

I have a month to get this done.

They’re never gonna know what hit em.

12 thoughts on “Regime Quest : 1

  1. 1. Torcher

    2. Mary-Ann Gables

    3. woman

    4. a few years ago

    5. Boredom

    6. Ultra Durability 1, and another ability: if I come into contact with something and will it to burn, it will act as if it was burning, regardless of material and surrounding temperature. Wood will char and disintegrate, metals and plastics will melt, flesh will bubble and blacken. However, my hands are cool and dry, and there is no significant change of temperature in the objects that are “burning”. The material within an inch of the touched space will continue to “burn” until entirely converted to gas without continued contact, but the “fire” won’t spread further. I’m not dangerous at all unless I can place my hands on you, but you’ll regret it if I even brush against you with hate in my heart.

    7. My own interests.

    8. Subtractor

    9. Ar Harbor

  2. Name: Lurker.
    Real Name: Darvin Flint
    Gender: Male (1WP)
    Process: Back before the old world fell (2WP)

    Motivation: Ambition; Darvin saw the way things were heading in the events leading up the First Defiance. Out of luck and disillusioned, he undertook the process to have a chance at choosing his own fate. (1WP)

    Powers: In addition to having Ultra Durability One, Lurker can passively mute his presence, making gazes pass over him, acknowledge him, but generally fail to assign any importance to this fact. He blends in but acting in a manner which draws substantial attention to him weakens the effect. Actively Lurker can erase himself, his presence, and all knowledge of himself in a localized area. The larger the area, the shorter the duration he can use his power. (7UP & 1 WP)

    Loyalty: I don’t care who wins, I am just trying to survive and enjoy what comforts this world has to give.
    Sponsor: Adder
    Location: Lington

      1. If you like this power you might really enjoy the book “The Sudden Appearance of Hope” — the protagonist has similar abilities with worse drawbacks, and its really interesting to see how she deals with it.

  3. 1. Reflector

    2. Maria Spiegel

    3. Woman

    4. A few years ago

    5. Peril

    6. My Gift is an ability of exceptional reach and breadth – the ability to copy the Gift of anyone that I can see, but for truly exceptional Gifts, at reduced strength; attempting to copy Her Gift is unlikely to give me more than Ultra Strength Two, for example. Along with this, I have the comparatively minor ability to identify the Gift of anyone that I can see. (7UP, 1WP) Which means, long story short, I only have powers if I can see other Ultras…

    7. In my heart of hearts, my sympathy lies with the human resistance; though my ability to aid them is limited when I cannot see other Ultras.

    8. My sponsor is Predictor – I guess he sees something useful in me? I’ve never quite managed to figure out what, even on those rare occasions when he lets himself come in sight of me. (2WP)

    9. I’ve been sent to take over Ar Harbour. I guess the idea is, if I get within sight of this unaffiliated gang, I can use their own powers against them… and if I don’t get in sight of them then I’m not worth the bother of keeping alive for the Regime.

  4. 1. Suppresser
    2. Angela Richtig
    3. woman
    4. A few years ago
    5. 1 WP Ambition: Wanted to provide for my friends to help provide a way out of the endless drudgery that existence in this world is.
    6. 5 UP & 1 WP: I exert a calming aura that makes people lose their desire (for anything, power, fame, food, water, lifting your arm). The power scales by area of affect, up to about city sized, where I can make an entire city content with their current positions, or I can focus it on a single person which will force them to use their entire will just to breathe.
    7. 1 WP, I still side with the humans, and do what I can to make them content with their lot in life.
    8. Adder
    9. Ar Harbor

  5. So, casting my vote with #s 7-9 for the majority so far of “with the resistance, for 1 weirdness point, sponsored by Adder to take Ar Harbor intact”.
    Giftwise, it’s looking like Durability 1 is also a popular choice, but I’d like to continue the other trend of writing in the rest of the powerset: Speed 1, plus Strength 1 not for me directly, but for the last thing my hands touched. So I can’t pick up cars and throw them, but I can throw daggers (ideally the metal kind, but the human kind probably works too) through cars. This may cause issues with the “intact” clause of the city, but it also means I don’t have to worry as much about creative methods of dealing with Ultra Tough opponents.
    1-5, abstain for now.

  6. 1) Neutralizer
    2) James Bacon
    3) Man, no mutations (2WP)
    4) A few years ago
    5) Ambition (1WP). I wanted to save my natal town from a Boss. I failed.
    6) Gifts: (5/UP, 1WP + 2/3UP, see note)

    My Gift is to be able to stop the effects of the Gifts of others. Or to be more precise, I make an entity immune to Gifts. It is limited to a single entity I can conceptualize as such. That is, if it is a single thing to me, I can protect it.

    I can even stop the effects of the Gifts that apply to the caster, so I can slow down an Ultra Speed 2 to human speed or turn an Ultra Tough 2 to common endurance. No effect on Preventer. It’s possible that I could make even Subtracter human, at least remove a good part of her powers. Haven’t been so stupid to try. My ability seems to falter around Level 3 Gifts. Obviously I cannot do anything to Prevailer (I would be dead otherwise). But I can hold even Pursuer for a while, until he gets too powered up. This only applies to Gifts, not their effects. If Pursuer throws a building at me, I cannot stop it. I can only prevent him from picking it up in the first place.

    With concentration I can stop Gifts selectively, so I can reinforce an Ultra by making it immune to the effects of the Gifts of other, while allowing her own ones (or selected ones from allies) to act. When I’m protecting myself, this is automatic: beneficial Gifts are allowed through and harmful ones are filtered. If I don’t concentrate, all Gifts lower than 3 are neutralized.

    If I want to protect myself, that includes any held objects and close posessions that I consider “part of myself”. For my body and my most used and common posessions, adding them to my self-image is practically automatic. Any other thing (which inconveniently includes any clothes that I have not owned for a very long time) I have to keep concentration.

    Other people I cannot protect at the same time as myself, nor I can protect more than one living thing at the same time. I just can’t bring myself, no matter how hard I try, to consider different people as the same thing. Even a mob is a collection of individuals. Even a pack of wolves is not an entity. I can switch my protection very rapidly, so I can protect a squad if I need to (but only one at a time). Area of Effect or multiple simmultaneous attacks I cannot defeat this way.

    The most strange part of my power, however, is that I can extend my reach for non-living things to a fantastic degree. I can consider a car, or a train, or a building, as a single entity. Even a street or a neighborhood, if I can see all of it at once or otherwise I know it well enough to conceptualize it. My limit seems to be on the level of a small city, but this also seems conceptual: it keeps expanding the more I explore and gain experience. The problem is, I cannot protect “the city” while also protecting its populace. This ultimately was the undoing of my natal town, even while I escaped.

    Author’s note: I’ve tried to make this description with enough limitations and caveats so that James is both not Fist material, and may possibly qualify for a cost reduction from 5UP to 4UP (keeping the 1WP cost) for the power, so he may have Ultra Speed 1 (extremely useful for protecting many others by changing the subject of the protection, and to change back the protection to himself if he gets attacked). Walter, if you deem this excessive, then James will have Ultra Durability 1, for a smaller protection.

    7) I’m with KEM (1 WP). Never forgot, never forgave, the fall of my natal town.

    8) Subtracter sponsored me. I still don’t know if she’s so stupid as to not realize I may be a serious threat to her, or just too greedy in using me as a powerup. For the moment I just very carefully comply with every order she gives, and keep myself protected at all times in her presence.

    9) Ar Harbor. I suspect She wants me for the ability to protect the city’s infrastructure. For this I will need to explore it first to some extent. And if I’m tied up with the protection, I’ll have to ask for backup from some heavy hitter.

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