Could they wield it…?

There’s quite a few external power sources in the game. If someone was presented with the opportunity to use one they aren’t using now, how would it work out?

A fun goofy thread while I let some fiction percolate.


Concordance Shards

I’ve looped a few other things (Excalibur, the “monster” powers of Bodark and Vermillion) around the same energy that powers the Shards, but each of these things has different rules so I’m considering them separately.

So - original cast first, then any supporting characters or people I’ve originated in the fiction that I feel like calling out.

The Concordance Shards are drawn to people who express the Virtues on the rainbow: Honesty, Compassion, Valor, Honor, Justice, and Sacrifice. But since those Shards are assembled and programmed by people with an agenda, they may reject individuals for other reasons.

Adam Amari is the canonical holder of three Shards: Sol Gamma-Two, Tau the training shard, and Antares Alpha-One. He’s got the Virtues, but notably none of the Shards he’s carried are factory-fresh Concordance-approved mint condition originals.

Charlotte Palmer could conceivably carry a Shard, but her soul is metaphysically pretty loaded down, and it would probably not connect well with her.

Harry Gale could probably bear a Concordance Shard, if he didn’t already have superpowers of his own. I expect the Shards would select for people who qualified, but also needed power.

Jason Quill is a good and decent guy, but probably has enough of a core of darkness and pain that a Concordance Shard might reject him. A Void Shadow Shard, on the other hand…?

Leo Snow and the first-generation Newmans remixed from his mind and sharing his memories, like Aria and Otto, are probably in the same boat. They might be the ones to reject the notion of a Concordance Shard, feeling like it’s an intrusion in their mental sovereignty.

Alycia Chin aspires to some kind of virtue, and is a good person at heart, but like Jason, the Concordance Shards would probably reject her for the fusion of light and dark she struggles to keep balanced.

The Marvelous Menagerie

Stingray and Ninjess, while heroes, will both happily compromise on the Virtues for their own reasons. Ninjess, as a trained ninja, understands Valor, Justice, and Sacrifice well, but has no interest in things like Honesty and Honor.

Mirage would fail for numerous reasons.

I feel like A10 has some of the Virtues but is hot-blooded enough to let her passions overwhelm them from time to time.

Menagerie In Action

Emma actively campaigns against several of the Virtues: Honesty, Valor, Justice, and Sacrifice. She feels Compassion grudgingly, but her own ideas about how the world should work are definitely at odds with the Concordance.

Nono is too fluid, too much in her own self-discovery and self-transformation phase, to accept a Shard right now. She may never get there, because she’s too fixated on a particular dream of her own.

Alex is emotionally compromised and gleefully accepts that. They lack much in the way of Honesty and Humility and always will.

SNOWMAN, aside from sharing Leo’s opinions about having external machinery plug into his soul, probably lacks the emotional maturity to qualify.

Menagerie at Midnight

Bodark and Vermillion already have something like this plugged into their souls, and the Shard would probably not mesh well with either man for personal reasons. Vermillion in particular practices his own virtues, which the Concordance would doubtless disagree with.

Equity’s soul is likewise spoken for, although as an individual, Daph would probably qualify.

Maury Jones is too much of an observer and witness to embody things like Valor and Sacrifice the way a Shard might want. She’ll report on a battle but she’s unlikely to dive into it.

Nobody is going to offer Manny the Skull a Concordance Shard. Sorry, Mike.


As mentioned, few of the first-generation Newmen could be good candidates, by their own choice if nothing else.

Big Bill is a remote possibility. He has the temperament, but may not feel passionately enough about doing the right thing to attract a Shard’s attention. If he was one of 10,000 people on Earth? Maybe.

Mo has passions that run silent but deep. Like Big Bill, he’s kind of on the back bench of Shard candidates.

Menagerie Megaverse

Anyone qualified for Excalibur can probably wield a Concordance Shard. That includes William, and at least one version of Jaycee.

Jordan already bears a Void Shadow Shard, but that was explicitly part of a plot to get at Adam. Could she qualify for a Concordance Shard? Maybe when she’s older. We’ll see.

Keri is too conflicted to properly express Virtues like Humility right now. She has a flawed notion of things like Sacrifice, and is struggling to come to terms with her own emotional history. A future Keri might qualify, but right now it’s no bueno.

Space Bug will be sitting this one out, right next to Manny.

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As the Prime Shard of Honor, Excalibur follows its own rules and has its own expectations. People who might not carry a Shard, like Skinner, can qualify for the blade.

What does it take? The wielder of Excalibur must be willing to step into the archetypical role of King: they must be willing to fight, lead, and rule over the land which they claim.

Those things are defined very loosely - William was able to declare an asteroid as his “land” and teleport there on the basis of the principle that “the land and the king are one”, but it also bound him to protect it until the people there were satisfied.

Unfortunately, none of the core Menagerie members qualify! They’re willing to fight - but maybe not to kill, something that many of the Sword’s wielders have no problem with. They can lead to a greater or lesser extent. But I feel like none of them will rule - taking responsibility and authority over large groups of people, issuing edicts and orders, standing as the king.

Charlotte in particular has rejected this kind of leadership explicitly, after reluctantly accepting it once.

Alycia, likewise, explicitly walked away from this sort of role. She’s relegated herself to leading a strike team, taking direction from others whose moral stances she can take or leave as the situation dictates.

The Marvelous Menagerie

Nautilus doesn’t have the requisite virtue or moral center but seems content to make decisions for large numbers of people, and his son Stingray has rejected that view. Ninjess, likewise, is a humble ninja.

A10 of all people could conceivably take up the sword, but is unlikely to be offered it at this time.

Menagerie In Action

Nobody on the black ops team makes the cut, unsurprisingly.

Menagerie at Midnight

Of anyone, Equity might qualify for the sword. She’s attracted the notice of one god, and the cosmic principle behind Excalibur might likewise find her interesting.


None of the Newmen are willing to rule, although all of them are plenty ready to fight and have demonstrated leadership ability. Of all of them, Aria comes closest to qualifying, as her goals for Safe Harbor and her willingness to do whatever it takes to keep her people safe could put her on the path of Queen.

Menagerie Megaverse

William is the canonical wielder of Excalibur, and Jaycee has been shown to qualify in a future timeline. But right now, Jaycee doesn’t want the sword for complicated personal reasons, and the sword will not offer itself to a disinterested candidate - unlike gods like Palamedes or the Concordance Shard, which glommed itself onto Adam without even asking.

Jordan, Keri, and Space Bug all lack the willingness or ability to lead and rule that the sword would demand.


Unlike the Concordance, who seems able to issue Shards to planets or individual people, the Sword chooses its own wielders in their moments of need. It will withdraw that honor as well - the Dread Moor Velasco once bore the blade, and now carries all the trappings of an archetypical King, but is no longer worthy of bearing it for reasons as yet unknown.



Here, we’re talking about a formalized system of mystic study, like casting spells you learn from a grimoire, and manipulation of spiritual entities such as the demons that the Grail Knights battle. The practice requires dedication, memory, and other specific mental aptitudes. Ghostheart is a classic example of a magic practitioner in this sense.

Adam Amari might take to it, but I feel he’s mistrustful of the general concept based on the people he’s seen using it already.

Charlotte Palmer was the Magus for a time and since has employed a mixture of “native” ghostly abilities, spirit manipulation, and sorcery. Her origin story is that she was designed to be an excellent receptacle for spirits - the core of a powerful new god.

Harry Gale might not have the highest mental aptitude for it, and like Adam may mistrust it based on how he’s seen it used.

Jason Quill and Alycia Chin have the brains and drive to be potent occultists, and have probably seen enough things in their lives to toss off a minor effect under the right circumstances.

Leo Snow is too much of a committed materialist to buy into this kind of nonsense - he might have the brains for it, but absolutely lacks the temperament.

The Marvelous Menagerie

Of anyone, Ninjess might be interested in learning sorcery, as another tool in her arsenal. Whether Atlantis’ trained ninja ever had an opportunity to learn magic or not is unexplored.

Mirage would reject the occult due to her particular origin.

A10’s powers are already semi-mystical in nature, but she doesn’t really engage with that angle - she’s happy enough hitting hard and bouncing bullets. If circumstances changed, she might change her mind.

Menagerie In Action

Emma is happy enough developing her native powers, Nono is too wrapped up in spy shit, SNOWMAN is a younger Leo for our purposes here, and Alex is like Leo in that they’re too committed to a basically materialist, technological mindset. Whether any of them had the brains for magic, none has the temperament.

Menagerie at Midnight

Bodark and Vermillion practice their own particular flavor of magic, endowed by the Primal Shards which make them what they are. Bodark summons the Wolf, a primordial manifestation of fear, while Vermillion’s power is to tell lies so potent that reality itself is fooled.

Manny the Skull likewise is a supernatural being, but doesn’t employ the supernatural as a tool.

Equity has “superpowers” that are really just applications of her connection with her divine patron Palamedes. Her “justice sense”, for example, is just an awareness of how much Palamedes’ divine portfolio asserts itself in a given situation.

Maury Jones is smart, but in a practical, purposeful way. She probably wouldn’t function well as an occultist.


Unlike Leo, Aria and Summer are more spiritual and would be willing to engage with magic if they felt compelled. Neither have availed themselves of Charlotte’s growing library of occult tomes, however, as they’re too busy with their own pursuits.

Otto and his creations Big Bill and Mo likewise are too busy perfecting their rescue-robot schtick to find magic of any interest. They generally share Leo’s materialist tendencies but aren’t as committed to them as Leo is.

Menagerie Megaverse

William already wields Excalibur. In addition, both he and Jaycee have a working knowledge of Goetic demons - enough that Jaycee was able to summon a demon during William’s Ascension ceremony.

Nobody wants Jordan or Space Bug anywhere near a spell book.

Keri already has a power of her own, and has enough trouble coming to grips with the prices it’s demanded of her. She probably lacks the scholarly attitude for formal sorcery, and would certainly not be interested in some of its prerequisite sacrifices.


The Menagerie of the Multi-65 parallel universe are mostly magicians of one form or another.



This is mostly an excuse to talk about how I’m handling superpowers, but also to look at how the gang might cope as individuals if granted a new specific power.

In this setting, I’m asserting the following departures from science as we understand it:

  • the multiverse is explicitly real, with its own rules
  • there’s a couple extra fundamental forces, colloquially called the “psychokinetic” and “telepathic” fields (although they are not really those things, just something that gives rise to those psychic phenomena)
  • it’s possible for people to plug into these extra things, the way some animals can detect magnetic fields, and the methods can be rooted in genetics or epigenetics
  • it’s possible for these forces to interact, just like in real physics where gravity can bend light
  • there’s a very frequent “secondary mutation” or consequence of having superpowers, which is that your body can get energy from other sources, not just the usual biochemical means of cellular respiration and ATP - meaning you can do without food or even oxygen under some circumstances, and you can heal much faster than normal

This means, for example, that there’s no “gene” for blast-o-vision. Instead, there’s a gene that rewired your brain to let you couple the telepathic field to the electromagnetic one, and the result is blast-o-vision. People can thus inherit powers, or combinations of powers, genetically. Not all powers are necessarily inheritable, but enough are that we get to tell interesting stories about second- and third-generation heroes or villains, or people that were infused with powers by some scientific process or dramatic accident.

What is super-speed, for example? It’s basically time manipulation - you move much faster than normal, by warping spacetime through an infusion of energy. The secondary mutation mentioned earlier lets you power your body by coupling from the psychokinetic field, so you don’t consume massive amounts of oxygen in a room just by accelerating yourself.

So, okay, that was a lot. Back to the fun part. How about if any of these goobers got super-speed?

Harry Gale is our canonical speedster. He can use his powers for a variety of purposes, from thinking through problems to vibrating through solid objects - even crossing dimensions! Other members of his family have different schticks, but these are mostly applications of the core speed power and can be taught.

Adam Amari would probably use it the way Harry does - practically, cautiously, being a selfless hero.

Charlotte Palmer might find it indelicate to be just running everywhere, particularly in a hoop skirt and bodice. She would find other ways to apply her speed more gracefully, such as dodging attacks with grace, setting traps, and otherwise outmaneuvering the opposition. But if it came down to it, like rescuing people from an imminent explosion, I think she’d run.

Jason Quill would torture himself over the possibilities of misusing his power, and might only rely on it as a life-saving backup - for example, if he needed to dodge bullets. I feel like he’d be at normal speed most of the time.

Leo Snow, assuming he lost his hypergenius and gained speed in trade, would probably put it to use inventing - instead of skipping to the 50th successful attempt, he’d just make 50 attempts at a gadget at high speed, doing it the old fashioned way but in less time. He’d definitely use speed to make himself a more capable physical fighter. With both hypergenius and speed, he might adapt his armor to work with it - but I don’t think he’d rely solely on either speed or suit any longer. Safety first.

Alycia Chin, like Jason, would naturally distrust herself with the potentials of this power. I expect she’d be more willing to use it than Jason, applying it to solve scientific puzzles (how do I accelerate this chemical process?) or achieving stealth and surprise (vibrating through locked doors, moving too fast to be seen) rather than just running fast.

The Marvelous Menagerie

Stingray and A10 would probably behave like Harry, following the classic speedster model of run-fast-and-punch-guys to perform heroics. It might also improve their mental outlook, as both heroes have problematic relationships with the source of their current power sets.

Ninjess and Mirage would follow Alycia’s lead, finding sneaky ways to be fast. Like Leo, Mirage might use speed to compensate for a lack of hypergenius.

Menagerie In Action

Alex and Emma definitely could not be trusted with super-speed, and would be up to shenanigans within an hour tops.

Nono would find it weird at first, but probably pivot away from spy fiction as she started exploring and leaning into this new thing. It would definitely be a life-changing experience for her.

SNOWMAN has a limited form of super-speed already. He can do time-accelerated VR training, and his robot body can move extremely fast by human standards - not enough to dodge bullets or run across continents of course, but enough to give him a decisive edge in a fight.

Menagerie at Midnight

Like A10 and Nono, Equity would find super-speed a more palatable power - especially if it meant divesting herself of her current patron. The blessing of Palamedes has made her a brick, but I expect she also has a measure of speed to go with it.

The supernatural beings Bodark, Vermillion, and Manny the Skull might not misuse super-speed as such, but definitely would put it to assorted non-heroic uses.

A speedster in a wheelchair? I don’t see a problem with it. Maury Jones can climb and lift well enough, and as long as she had a mobility aid that could hold up to the stress, I think she’d be a screaming streak on the ground. Even without an aid that could survive moving at super-speeds, she’d find other ways to use the power - like manipulating the speeds of things around her, such as creating zones of highly compressed air and then releasing it as a single blast.


I did a gag comic with Summer being given technological super-speed aids, leading her to announce “I can hug every cat!”

Aria’s schtick is that she’s fast already, the same as SNOWMAN. Making her that much faster probably wouldn’t change things for her too much.

I’m honestly terrified of imagining Otto, Mo, and Big Bill with super-speed. They’re already these big honkin’ vehicles. Imagine them just warping around. Jesus.

Menagerie Megaverse

William can already canonically teleport. He’s already lugging around a big hefty chunk of metal and swings it around like it’s nothing. He’d just incorporate speed into his fighting style, doing Omnislash Version 6 shit, and dodging attacks as often as he parried them.

Jaycee would probably graduate to being a full-time hero. Being a trainer already, she’d make sure she was in fighting trim through exercise and diet, and she might ask an experienced speedster like Harry to train her for awhile.

Jordan would be a holy terror if she could run at super-speed. Adam would stop being a hero and have to babysit her full time.

Keri doesn’t have Harry’s legendary speed, but she can fly pretty fast now. What she’d do with speed depends on whether she’s trading in her existing powers or not, but I don’t think she’d have much trouble adapting. If anything, giving up durability for speed might be therapeutic, as she couldn’t just plow through obstacles any more.

Space Bug would engage in shenanigans full time, and might slip back into villain territory.


The irony is, Alycia might be better trained to handling the darkness of a Void Shadow Shard than Jason. She would be more on her guard as to its temptations, more self-aware of where it might be tempting her toward.

Jason would have some of that, too, but he and his upbringing were more about facade than with Alycia, and that might allow for a deeper corruption to take root.


Except when tangling with an important research question. Then it would be a natural instinct to gradually ramp up the time manipulation as the clock was ticking toward a deadline … and figure out a way, akin to his manipulation of the nanobots (perhaps tied to them) to extend that time warp field to what he’s working on.

He’s the one who wins the award of “Most likely to reappear tomorrow afternoon with gray in his hair and a cure for cancer.”

Yeah, she’d be concerned over the corruptive effects of absolute power (which, pushed to its limits, time passage manipulation would be). She would also be concerned about how such power could make her sloppy (since, inevitably, in some combat or dangerous sitch or another, someone would find a way to suppress it). But the practical value – in achieving ends and in keeping others out of danger – would win out, as adjuncts to her fighting and stealth capabilities.

Actually, one of the greatest dangers for her is that it would encourage her to act alone. When those around you literally cannot keep up, and you can keep them safe by dealing with the danger before it gets to them, and you are prone to believing you’re the smartest person in the room (even when confronted with cases when you are not), it would be awfully tempting to fly solo …


We did magic and super-powers and exotic space stuff, but what about…

Jason’s Nanobots and Leo’s Link Suit

I’m combining these because they have some important similarities, despite having very different tech bases. They’re both robotic, and they both depend on something implanted in the wearer’s brain. For Jason, there’s an intrusive nanobot interface. For Leo, the suit reads off his neurochip, mostly for the Heart Gauge (to facilitate combinations with his robots) but also to pick up non-verbal commands and to act as a basic security system (nobody without a neurochip can operate the suit).

So we’ve answered can someone use it? With the right brain dingus, yes. How about, how would it change their life and heroics? We asked that about super-speed, so now let’s ask the same about super-tech.

A surprising number of people have wielded Link’s tech, actually. Leo Snow is the canonical wearer, but Charlotte Palmer also operated it while mind-swapped into Leo’s body.

Alycia Chin used the grappling system, and had some comments on the overall suit, in Dave’s The Cable Gal story. Based on that story, I had her use the system in a few other appearances, e.g. the Invisible Invasion while working as a sniper.

She was gifted Jason’s nanobots, and used them to cross into the Sepiaverse. When she and Jason met, she held onto them for at least a few sessions.

Variants of Alycia Chin also wielded both the nanobots and the Link Suit in episode 62 of the original game, though these were only glimpsed briefly.

So who hasn’t used either system?

Adam Amari feels like he’s had enough stuff shoved into his head without consent. I imagine he’d be more receptive to the Link Suit than the nanobot, as the suit is something you could take off and walk away from if you needed. The nanobots, like the Concordance Shard, are a lifetime commitment.

Harry Gale, assuming he lost his speed, would probably make for a good wielder of either system. He’d bring the same creativity to finding applications of the nanobots, and I feel like Link’s no-weapons policy for the suit would probably agree with him as well. His biggest disadvantage would be a lack of role models and mentors for the systems - unless we’re retroactively changing the legacy to say the family always used the tech…? I feel like “tech-based Legacy” is an underserved niche anyway.

How about if Leo and Jason swapped?

Leo Snow would probably do what he did - make friends, literally, only now they’d be nanotech constructs instead of transforming mecha based on his experience with anime. This would sharply change the trajectory of some parts of his life (there’d be no SNOWMAN, but AEGIS would have a sample of the nanobots anyway). Aside from that, I expect he’d put them to creative use, mainly as constructs with his solid knowledge of materials science, and I also expect he’d do everything in his power to make them safe to use around people. None of this Byron Quill security protocol nonsense.

Jason Quill would probably refine and upgrade the armor on a regular basis, in the style of Tony Stark making a million Iron Man suits. Jason is objectively a better gadgeteer than Leo, at least in my view - Leo concentrates on carbon allotropes and synthetic brains for robots, while Jason’s family warehouse is packed with stuff of all kinds and my assumption is that he could work reasonably well with all of them. Jason would also probably struggle with incorporating weapons, but ultimately would come down where Leo did - non-lethal options only.

The Marvelous Menagerie

Stingray already uses an aquatic-themed suit so would not be much different in a Link Suit. How he’d take to the nanobots depends on how well they work underwater, but I think he’d find some interesting uses for them no matter what.

Ninjess will of course make use of whatever tools you give her, evaluating them for stealth and discretion. I don’t think she’d be happy with the Link Suit - it’s very open, in-your-face, unsubtle - but the nanobots would be a gift from God for her. Imagine being able to craft any weapon or tool you want from the environment, or having this invisible power you could manifest at any time.

A10, being a fellow Bull, would use the suit much like Leo did - charging into battle, tanking hits, being badass. I’m not sure how she’d cope with the nanobots, but maybe forming giant fists or other primal applications of the tech would suit her? Hal Jordan used a green lantern ring - “the most powerful weapon in the universe” - to make giant fists all the time. I’d follow that lead.

Mirage, having originated as a nanobot swarm, has taken a rather humiliating downgrade. I don’t think she’d be very comfortable living as a disembodied intelligence in a Link Suit, but if she gained something like a human shell (cloned or mechanical)? Maaaybe - but she’d likely follow Alycia’s lead here too, and look for alternatives.

Menagerie In Action

SNOWMAN is a Link Suit, for all intents and purposes. He’s rejecting Leo’s no-weapons policy, being the edgelord little brother character. Nanotech was on Leo Snow’s tech roadmap, but he hasn’t gotten there - but if SNOWMAN got a chance to become a nanotech swarm? He might experiment with it out of curiosity, but ultimately reject it out of pride.

Alex would rework the Link Suit to be a computing and hacking platform, which it could do just fine. As a hacker, they would have devious uses for a nanobot cloud that probably even Jason or Alycia can’t fully imagine.

Emma would probably not be happy encased in armor. She also doesn’t need it as much, as her powers have equipped her with a natural regenerative factor. She’s a versatile and clever pyrokinetic, and she’d put nanomachines to equally versatile uses.

Nono has linked up with John Black at least once, wearing him as armor in the Antarctic city to fight off soldiers. She turned the grappling system into whips, an idea that hadn’t occurred even to their inventor, and like Alex and Emma, I’m confident she would find numerous inventive uses for nanobots.

Menagerie at Midnight

At the risk of cheaping out, I don’t know many people on this team who would either benefit or appreciate this technology. But let’s try to find some.

Equity would probably be a good battlesuit hero - like Adam, because powered armor is something she could take off & put away at her pleasure. If she had the nanotech implanted, she might be unhappy with its permanence, but would joke in good humor that at least it’s not bugging her with requests all the time.

Maury Jones would have a field day with either tech. As mobility aids, they’re both excellent, and they could get her into places or up to vantage points that would make doing her job a breeze. I don’t think she’d use nanomachines to “fix” her legs - as she explained, she has a lifetime of not knowing how to use them, and if she’s going to learn one new way to get around, it may as well be the nanomachines.

I don’t want to think of Manny the Skull with nanotechnology. Let’s just say the Age of Piracy would be back on.


As living Link Suits with vehicle alt modes, we know where Otto, Mo, and Big Bill stand here. Summer, likewise, has plenty of experience being a wearable suit (as Pneuma) or combining with one of her own (the Chariot).

If the Newmen were nanotech swarms? I think they’d still opt for a static human form for most applications, and use their nanomachine natures much the same way Jason uses his bots - as an external aid or adjunct. They’d simply lack Jason’s intrinsic mortality - they couldn’t be poisoned or made to bleed, for example. I also expect they’d want to have a “core” of sorts that would keep them safe from dangers like EMP.

Menagerie Megaverse

I feel like William’s life would be very different if he lost Excalibur to some other powerset - any other powerset. That said, I imagine he’d practice as diligently to master either nanomachines or powered armor, training his physique to come up to the demands of the tech.

Jaycee would probably be more comfortable in armor than with nanobots, but it would be interesting to see what circumstances forced her into taking it up. For me, that’s the biggest question mark with her - why would she use these systems, not how. Being William’s support isn’t a role life forced on her - it’s her personal choice.

Nobody can trust Jordan with nanomachines. If they came with some kind of AI assistant? Maybe. If she had an AI equivalent of the Concordance Shard’s onboard intelligences, she might treat it like a genie where she could make wishes for things, and the AI would decide what to do with that.

Keri, like A10, has some Bull-like qualities and would probably adapt to either tech reasonably well. I feel like she’d handle nanomachines better as she is right now, as they’re less overtly offensive, and she can try doing Lamb-like things with them that a battlesuit isn’t built for.

Space Bug would of course use any technological advantage they could get their manipulators on. Based on Mike’s description, I picture them something like a cat - reasonably intelligent along some very narrow vectors (“getting me what I want”) and either a little dim or at least uncaring for anything else - so the suit might serve them better than nanomachines.

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Sorry for doubling up on Leo’s stuff, but another one of his inventions will be relevant in an upcoming Phase 3 story, “City of Clones”…

The Heart Factory

Rather than running through everyone on the roster, here’s what it is, who might conceivably have a use for it, and so on.

The Heart Factory is a specialized computer. It’s got software for transferring connectomes - maps of a living being’s brain patterns - between Newman-type robots, and can work through other compatible channels, such as Leo’s neurochip and Jason’s nanobot system. It’s shown up several times in the original game and in later fiction.

It’s the original purpose of the device that makes it so dangerous. It can synthesize a new brain pattern, based on one or more other people, or on an imagined person. Leo describes it as “the power of creation”, and among the Newmen it demands significant moral authority to think about using it this way.

Its authorized users and uses include:

  • Leo creating Otto and Pneuma before the game started
  • Otto creating Mo and Big Bill during Phase 2, and repairing SNOWMAN in Phase 3
  • Leo granting Alycia Chin permission to operate the device on a limited basis
  • Leo letting John Black get a copy of the specs to analyze the Mirror Alycia connectome

There’s a phrase associated with the machine’s use: “Before the omnipotent witness, I swear to use this power only for good.”

Leo invoked this phrase to deny Saito, and both he and John have said it other times to signal their intention. It’s a sacred vow among the Newmen.

The origin of the phrase (both in and out of game) is “Galactic Patrol” by “Doc” Smith. In it, Lensmen are expected to hold themselves to the highest moral standard, and vow to do so by saying “before the omnipotent witness, I promise never to lower the standard of the Galactic Patrol”. Leo isn’t in the Patrol but he’s setting himself to an equally high standard when he uses the machine.

Non-Newman heroes who might find it interesting include Mirage (as transferring into a shell that lets her escape Jason’s digital restrictions might be appealing) and Comrade X/Alex (who likes to tinker with stuff, and who has been emphatically told not to fuck with this tech).

Several villains have expressed interest in it, including Senior Commander Saito, Rossum (who developed his own equivalent version to clone himself), and Pyrrhus (who’d love to transfer into a PINNACLE hypergenius-equipped robot brain).


My immediate thought to “could Harry use Jason’s nanobots” was his mind moving too fast for the nanobots to keep up. Imput commands coming too quickly and the bots just kinda short circuiting or crashing into each other trying to do different commands. So I guess a key is if he didn’t have his super speed.


Honestly, “Harry with superspeed + nanobots” feels OP :smiley:

Aside from the problem you’d mention, as a writer I’d also bring up the heat problem with nanotechnology. It’s the same as computers have today - when you have all these tiny machines doing stuff at full speed, it generates a ton of heat, and radiating that is a problem. So Harry using nanobots at super-speed (and if he can accelerate himself, could he accelerate the bots too…?) probably would produce even more.


Makes me worried about a theoretical Amazo-style villain for the Menagerie: superspeed, nanites, grapple lines, intangibility, psychic fear, flight, and energy blasts. A very terrifying combination.

(I should really stop giving Bill ideas.)


You’re absolutely right on both counts :laughing:
What I’m seeing now is that the bots would all start going haywire before exploding dramatically. And then Jason would kick Harry out of the lab and never allow him to test tech again.