Morning: Catching up with Maker
I knocked at the door, stood back to wait.
It was honestly weird to see a building in Shington, in the damn Lair of all places, with a carefully maintained lawn and no holes in any of the walls. Maker’s house looked like belonged at the end of a suburban cul de sac somewhere, way back in the past when such things were normal.
I could see a few of her creations darting around at the edges of my field of vision. One was fixing a pothole out in the street, another bringing a hefty sack of something or other over to a side door. They took no notice of me, of course, as I wasn’t relevant to their reasons for existing.
Andrew opened the door. He was a big guy, middle aged. He’d packed on a few pounds since the last time I’d been bye, but unless he had a secret forehead divot I was in no position to criticize.
“Mia!” he said, delighted, holding out a hand for a handshake.
It never failed to amuse me that Maker’s brother had absolutely no fear of my death touch. Half of my own warband would recoil if I tried to shake their hands, but this human asked for it without thinking twice.
“Andrew,” I responded, “Nice to see you again.”
He stepped back into the house, and I followed him inside.
Stepping into Maker’s place was always like going back in time. She had electric lighting. She had matching furniture. She had air conditioning, for goodness sake. I stood in a room that I could only call a foyer, but I was also, in a very real way, standing in the old world.
I’d never worked out who exactly had owned this place, back in the day. Some congress critter or lobbyist, most likely. Town houses didn’t come cheap, not when this was the capital of a nation.
“Hey Blender,” said Maker, stepping out of a hallway. “How you doing?”
Andrew was big, six feet something, the kind of guy you’d automatically step aside for if you were on a collision course. Maker was to him as he was to me. She towered over me, I came up to mid chest height.
“Quite well,” I answered, “You see the fight?”
She pumped a fist, then nodded for me to follow her and led the way into a sitting room.
One of her creatures, I always thought of them as goblins, hovered around anxiously. She made a gesture and it shot off to fetch something. Water, if I remembered correctly.
“I was so worried for you!” she said. “They kept knocking you down. That must have been awful.”
“I kept getting back up,” I said. “And, in the end, they didn’t.”
The goblin swept back in with glasses of water, and I was delighted to find that it was actually cold.
“Well, congratulations on your victory!” she said. “We were all rooting for you.”
I gave a wan smile.
“How did you watch it?” I asked. “I know Snitcher can’t save things for later viewing, and I know he was with Her when that fight was happening.”
At least, I thought I knew that. If I was wrong about that I was in a frankly horrifying amount of trouble if he ever decided to go back and check my mornings. I’d based my anti-Snitcher strategy pretty soundly around the idea that he didn’t have a save function.
“He casts a lot of things to me,” she said, unabashedly, “and I always make sure to catch the Warlord fights. We really wouldn’t have anything to talk about if I didn’t share his viewings, don’t you know. They are his whole life!”
“Oh,” I said, “I didn’t realized that he can share his vision with someone who isn’t present. That must be very convenient.”
Also, low key, somewhat terrifying. It meant that he could probably hijack my senses whenever he wanted.
Everyone knew that Snitcher could ride your senses once he’d touched you. Everyone knew that he could take someone else along, that was how She was able to watch out of people’s eyes.
But somehow I’d always assumed that the people he wanted to show his target’s senses to had to be physically with him at the time. Sobering to learn that that was not the case.
“You were amazing!” she gushed. “So brave! I had my heart in my throat every time you stepped up into the fighting. There were so many of those rebels, but you never got scared.”
I did the gesture where you sort of fan your face. Like a modest, ‘go on’ kind of gesture.
She did, in fact, go on, and I was treated to the unfamiliar sensation of being fawned over. Maker was extremely impressed by my wartime heroics, and not at all shy about showing it.
We got caught up over the course of a few hours. Her family was thriving, her situation basically good, and her relationship with Snitcher remained rock solid.
It might just be residual rivalry talking, but Maker was honestly lucky she’d lost out in the Warlord race. Arthur and company would have eaten her alive. As shy and retiring as she was, it was hard to imagine how she’d have ever recruited more forces than just her goblins.
I got a little more stuff about Snitcher, aside from just the thing about him being able to bring his snitches in on the viewing side of things. Maker seemed to be essentially his entire social circle, and she gave me a decent view into the nature of the guy.
Everyone knew that he was a voyeur, of course, but, like, I’d never fully appreciated the extent to which that applied. Dude was paralyzed. He spent essentially zero time inside his own form. The snitches lived his life on his behalf.
It wasn’t all screwing. He had them just hanging out, had us going into danger, the Fists pushing people around… Snitcher, in a weird way, the soul of the Regime to a greater extent even than Her.
It inspired me to think of a new anti-Snitcher countermeasure. Even if I was going to do something suspect at a time when he was active, I should be ok as long as I was really really boring beforehand. He would basically never catch on as long as anyone in his orbit was doing anything more interesting than what I was up to.
I finished our conversation with the preliminary invite for Maker to join the Posse.
She said she had to think about it. I was actually a bit surprised to find out what was driving her reluctance.
“I’m just worried I’d drag you down,” she said.
“Let me worry about that.”
“I saw the last mission,” she reminded me. “I saw how hard you had to fight with two noncombatants in your Posse. I hate to think that I’d contribute to anything like that.”
“I really think-“
She cut me off.
“Let me think on it for a few days, ok?” she said. “I’ll get back to you by Day 11.”
We shook hands again, and I left.
Afternoon: Gather Info on new targets.
I spent the afternoon listening to gossip, trying to get a hint as to where my next mission might be.
It was incredibly irritating to realize that most of the other people who were gossiping with me were desperately trying to get a hint *from* me as to where my next mission might be.
It made sense, of course, I would presumably be the first one to know, but it still led to some weirdly stilted exchanges where we all acted like of course we knew, while knowing that the other didn’t know.
I had the odd sensation that I was witnessing Resistance/KEM info gatherers at work, presumably they would be reporting my caginess back to the King Arthur equivalents in a variety of other targets as soon as they could.
I was able to put one notion to rest, at least. I’d speculated that the Regime, having previously sent me at a target that had resisted their efforts (our efforts? I didn’t think of myself as part of the Regime, but of course I was) might do so again.
It turned out they were simpler than that.
The Regime attacks the same place, over and over, until it wins. Then it attacks a new place. If Warlords fail too many times in a row they send a Fist, or She goes in person.
So I don’t have to worry about the next target being one that we have failed at before, it’ll be one we haven’t attacked yet (or one that we successfully defeated a long time ago, and then lost.)
Evening: Debriefing Owner
Owner was clearly in a better this evening, lacking the fatigue that had been so evident the day before.
“I got my customers squared away,” she said, “and I’ve fixed the worker situation. I should be able to start working on our next mission tomorrow.”
I liked that it was ‘our’ mission now. Back in the day she used to ask me what I was doing to prepare for ‘my’ mission.
“Nothing too serious?” I asked.
She shook her head.
“Just some Ultras getting snippy about their junk food getting cut off, dick measuring stuff. Plus some of my workers had wandered off when they weren’t sure I was going to come back. Can’t blame em.”
“You put it to rest?”
“Yep,” she said. “Everyone’s feathers have been soothed. We should be good going forward.”
I settled in to make sure no one killed us while we slept.
Day 9 ? until next battle
Note to players, Maker will contact you with her yes/no on Posse membership in a few days. No need to spend an action on it if you don’t want to.
Ultra rolodex: (#/#/# is Ultra strength/speed/toughness)
Tracker – Running buddy, 1/0/1, Creates tracks, and can move things on them
Shower – Adder’s protégé, 1*/0/1*, gains strength and durability from witnesses
Echoer – Singer I am a fan of, 1/1/1, can duplicate any action that she sees
Bubbler – Operates Ultra clinic 0/0/?, traps things in bubbles that heal and move them
Sucker — Ultra entertainer, ?/?/?, pulls objects/people towards her at incredible rate
Gunner — 0/0/1, she shoots tracking Ultra Blasts at roughly Ultra Strength One
Chiller — 1/0/1, can freeze any object she touches, leaving them brittle and easily broken
Cutter — 1/1/1, she is a brutal front line combatant
Swimmer — 1/0/1, she can ‘swim’ through solid surfaces
Burner — 0/0/1, she can summon Ultra fire from anywhere that she can see
Maxxer — 0/0/0, she can augment the gifts of other Ultras, pushing their gifts
Puncher — 1/0/1, her strength and speed both go up when she repeats her movements
Replayer — 1/2/0, she can ‘step back in time’ to undo damage that she takes
Maker- Friend, and protégé of Snitcher, 0/0/1, can summon the spirit of things
Clawer – Ultra fighter 2/0/1, melee combatant, deadly hooks for hands
Stopper – partner of Clawer, 0/0/0, steals form’s velocity by looking at them
Sticker – Did dentistry for her brother, 0/0/2, Creates slime, can choose its stickiness
Grower – 0/*0/1, an outside Ultra I sponsored into the Lair, has a bullet blend from me, can rapidly increase the size and mass of objects
Joker — 0/2/0, a woman who can change what other people/herself look like
Owner’s Shington Store
Posse: (4 slots, 1 filled)
Owner (trusted friend, housemate, gift hard to describe) 0/0/1
16 Veteran Ultras, 13 Rookie (that is, haven’t worked with me before) Ultras
Hexxer, Peeler, Guager, Soarer are notably less evil than the rest.
Blender AP: 6/10 (9 -3 +2 -3 +0 +1)
Actions cost 3, return 2 on success 0 on failure unless otherwise specified, Blender gains 1 AP every morning
Posse Recruitment tree
Meet more Ultras (describe method, adds d6 to contacts)
Get to know specific Ultra better (describe method transitions Ultra to potential Posse member)
Invite Ultra to Posse (must have got to know target first, if accepted, Ultra joins Posse)
Get more Ultras (describe method, adds Ultras to warband of quality/quantity dependent on method)
Train warband (describe method, makes QM kinder to Blender in combat sections re: her troops actions and numbers)
Task warband (describe, needs Posse member or Blender to lead them, sets warband to a task)
VIP tree (Used for Regime Luminaries)
Visit VIP (explain, explain Blender’s motives and methods) (only returns 1 AP on success)
Contacts tree: (Blender currently believes morning is safer from Snitcher)
Get info from contacts (specify KEM or Resistance, method if different from usual dead drop)
Request mission from contacts (ask KEM or Resistance for action) (This can go in either direction, asking them to do something from you, or asking if they need you to do anything for them.)
Relax tree: (Actions which, on balance, regain AP)
Lay still: Cost 0, auto succeed, returns 2
Relaxation activities, Cost 0, returns 3 on success, 1 on failure
Healing work, Cost 1, returns 6 on success, Snitcher hazard
Blisser session, auto succeed, returns 4 per timeslot, cannot be ended until Blender is back at 10
Miscellaneous action: (Anything not covered above, scavenging, info gathering in person, etc, describe what Blender is going for)
Blender Morning Action
Blender Afternoon Action
Owner will take either a morning or afternoon action at Blender’s direction.