Morning: Healing people take 2
This was more like it.
I spent my morning knee deep in the refuse of the Regime, the people who had not so much slipped through the cracks as been forced face first through a wire mesh. Broken people, dying people…my people.
The promise of Ultra gifts was so clear on the rare occasions that I could sneak away and spend time like this. This was how it should always have been.
People came to me with problems that had haunted them for months or years. I took them away in hours. They came to me with diseases that would bring their life expectancy down to months. I sent them away with it raised back up to ‘the next time an Ultra gets pissy’.
And I had no training. No knowledge of the diseases or natural imbalances I was correcting. Just magic from the Process, blasting effortlessly through the obstacles to human thriving and increasing the world’s overall welfare.
It was addictive, invigorating, and utterly validating.
I didn’t have to tell each beneficiary that this had to be kept covert. The Resistance had seen to that. I’d been at this for months, and the matter had been honed to something of a science.
I lurked in a darkened booth in a random meetup joint. My ‘patients’ waited nearby, lookouts watching the doors. If a human who was being helped came out, then that meant to send the next one in. If I came out, then we were done for the day.
I tried not to look to much at those I healed, tried to keep my grip firm and impersonal. If Snitcher spent a second or so in my senses I wanted him to see nothing interesting, just a quiet moment in a darkened room.
But still, in those stolen moments, I could see my gift taking effect. I could see people sitting up straighter, chronic pain erased in mere minutes. I could see their gratitude and their joy.
It felt strange, after Ar Harbour, and that utter shitstorm, but this was me. This was what I wanted to be. A bringer of health and joy.
This being the Regime, of course, that meant I was on some level an outlaw and a traitor, not of our laws, for we had none, but of Her values. But so be it.
It wasn’t that I chose the risk, as much as that I couldn’t make myself choose the alternative. To have this gift and do nothing, just watch people waste away? My heart would have to be entirely dead for that.
And it wasn’t, just yet.
Afternoon: Training Warband in Obedience
“In an Ultra Fight,” I declared, “Anyone that hesitates is dead! Anyone that commits against an enemy that they cannot damage is dead! Anyone who is baited away and surrounded…dead!”
The veterans nodded sagely, from where they were seated around the edges of the Barracks common room. The newbies just sat there, eyes wide.
They weren’t seeing Blender, not really. They damn sure weren’t seen Mia. They were seeing the Warlord, the conqueror of Ar Harbour. Their commander.
They were eating it up, and why shouldn’t they? These were the scions of the New World. They’d taken Her orders all their lives. Someone had told them what to do, where to go. Someone had ordered them into the Process, and now here I was, the woman who would order them into battle.
Order them, in fact, to their deaths.
They would face it as the young always had, with bravado and aggression. With laughter and courage. Go back a hundred years, maybe swap stuff so that the majority were men instead of women, and these were GIs. Go back two hundred and they were doughboys. Back beyond that they’d be knights, legionaries, and so forth. Humanity had only one shape for violence, and it was a group of young faces, desperately trying to be hard and trying to hide how hard they were trying.
“You stick together!” I insisted, shades of every drill sergeant who’d ever lived giving these same instructions, “You work as a team! You learn the gifts of everyone else, you work the enemy together. You see someone you can’t hurt, but who can’t hurt you? You haul them over to someone on our side who can take them down. You see someone on their side put one of ours down? You let everyone know how hard you’ve seen them hit.”
I leaned towards them, scowling, catching the eyes of the smartest among them, the most aggressive.
“Ultra combat is all about the matchups. Our strengths pushed against their weaknesses. Our toughest holding down their strongest. When you are in it, inside the scrum, your instincts are going to be raging at you, screaming at you to go mindless, to strike until you are dead.”
I stood back up top.
“And if you give in to those instincts, that’s exactly what you will be. Reason delivers victory, ladies. The team that works together gets the prize. We WILL be that team.”
I gave it a long beat, letting the tension build.
“Or you will be dead, and I’ll do it all myself.”
Quiet chuckling at that, and I motioned the squad leaders in, moving myself back out towards the periphery.
Today had been about obedience. They’d heard the Ultra combat speeches before, numerous times. But it meant something else hearing them from me. I’d held the floor down for hours, going through every profound sounding sound bite I could think of, and I was pretty sure at this point that I was the very avatar of martial competence in these kid’s minds.
Even more important, they’d also seen the veterans and their squad leaders hopping to obey. They’d heard the awed whispers, seen the divot in my forehead. They knew who they followed.
And I was Her hand on earth.
Evening: Debrief Owner
“How was Bubbler?” I asked.
“Good!” said Owner, right away and without hesitation.
I was more encouraged by the way that she said it, than I actually was by the content. Owner was a bit of a people pleaser. Anyone vaguely alright was always going to get her approval, but the fact that she didn’t have to spend any time mentally justifying it meant something.
“Her clinic look alright?” I continued.
Owner nodded, a bit smugly.
“For something made out of stuff from today, sure. Doesn’t hold a candle to my place, of course, but she makes do.”
From my understanding of it, Bubbler’s gift wasn’t as powerful as my own healing, but it could actually affect Ultras. Consequently, her clinic catered to the Regime’s Ultras, healing us up so that we could fight again.
It had made her very popular, easy to get info on. I knew most everything about her gift from my first effort, way back at the beginning of my tenure.
Bubbler could put anything or anyone she touched into a ‘bubble’ made out of the usual Ultra nonsense. They were weightless while inside there, easily floated about.
Being inside a bubble gradually repaired forms, whether they were human, Ultra or inanimate. It didn’t raise the dead, and I’d heard rumors that it had some kind of inability to affect anyone who was sufficiently Ultra Tough, which would make sense.
“She calls it a clinic, but it is a lot more than that,” Owner went on. “People bring her things to bubble, old world tech and stuff, and she sends them on their way with it. One of the more popular Ultras to the unpowered people, anyway.”
“How does it rate compared to your place, or Blisser’s?” I asked.
“Nobody’s more popular than Blisser,” she said, “But I bet she gets more takers than I do. You have to dig up old world currency to get stuff from me, but Bubbler takes her payment in favors and gossip. Lower cost of entry, don’t ya know?”
“Did she seem interested?” I asked. “In joining us, that is?”
Owner shook her head, slowly.
“This was just an info gathering trip,” she hedged, “So I didn’t press her, but she didn’t even seem to know I was working for you up until I mentioned it. She kind of gives the impression that she’s ok with how she spends her time, you know? Doesn’t really seem hungry for glory.”
“That makes sense,” I allowed, but still, an Ultra who was competent enough to run her own business, with a gift like that, and who shared my sentiments on humans…could I really leave her in the wild?
I went to bed still mulling on it, and as I was drifting off I heard the rattle of pebbles at my window.
A dead drop, then. From the Resistance. It could only be the Union’s answer.
18 days until next battle
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: 8/10 (3-1 +6 -3 +2 +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.
If you want Blender to get the Union message and read it that is a free action, would not cost either of your daily actions. If you don’t get it today it will likely be destroyed however, for infosec reasons the Resistance doesn’t like to leave messages around too long.