MENAGERIE #40 - DAYS OF FUTURE *CRAP*

Cover

_1960s-70s comic book cover: Silhouette of the back of an unhelmed foreground figure in the Bot armor, on their knees, the Menagerie standing about them looking angry, Harry pointing accusingly: “In this world my parents are DEAD! And it’s YOUR FAULT!”

(Which never actually happens in the episode, but we’re talking a 60s-70s comic book cover)_

Splash Page

The first “family vacation” (in a flying Winnebego) in another space and time.
A “shiny” dystopic Halcyon in the distance.

Bot’s there … “Harry?!”

Who is Bot?

Mercury: Who are you?
Bot: Well … I mean … (looks at Phoenix, Otto detaching)
Vector: It’s okay! They’re with me!
Otto: Oh. (a soft punch in the gut)
Bot: (flinches) I’m not … who you think I ought to be. But can we table this for 10 minutes so we can get out of here before we get nuked from orbit?
Alycia: Makes sense.
Leo: (goes along – sends Phoenix off to explore / be not noticed)
Bot: (staring at Leo)
Vector picks up the beacons.

Bot takes up on fusion rockets, similar to Otto. He’s clearly cobbled / borrowed tech. Chin rockets on the collar for maneuvering. Etc. Stuff bolted on with. Put together by someone mechanically minded and smart, but not a hyper-genius.

Takes us to a hidden base in the swamps with hidden access to it. Long-abandoned super-group base, out of use for at least 50 years. Lots of work tables. Nothing very homey. Chop-shop mechanics. Vector has been having a quick conversation with Bot.

Bot: I committed all the fouls on this one. … Harry, I used to be … (decoouples twist of the helmet) (guy in his 50s) I used to be the guy you know as Leo Snow.
Leo: Go fuck yourself.
Bot: Have you seen this place?
Aria: (disbelief. very out of character)
Alycia: I want to hear everthing.
Leo: Original request was for access to my tech.
Bot: Aiming to get our hands on the Heart Factory.
Leo: He just bombed us for fun.
Bot: Didn’t want to affect the timeline. … just seemed the best way to get what we needed and not affect us very much.
Leo: Phoenix is going to lay an egg. You will get eerything you want. If you can befriend it. No tech needed, you just need to not be a douche-bag.
Bot: Yeah, that’s what I’ve forgotten.
Leo: God dammit.

Bot: Pneuma, are you still with Leo? Did anyone ever steal you?
[Tell him the story about Rook]
Bot: Yeah, that pretty much matches up. Except it wasn’t an airport, it was in Japan …
[Break in the timeline around Sessions 13-14]
Rossum … Rook got hands on both of them. Got pretty bad, and she never vocalized what happened. I left the Menagerie with Pneuma; went after Rook and my Dad – it wasn’t my Dad, AEGIS had been lying to me …
In my timeline there was another copy of me, and they reactivated him to figure out what I was going to do, and they had him working with my real dad, and they were coming after me … then the Menagerie got involved again, and there was this damage to the world on top of that, Vyortovia, all going badly sideways … Vyortovia got hold of some Keynomes, and a bunch of people disappeared. Rook convinced Menagerie to work with them to stop the damage in the city … went on about a year before they tried to stop me from trying …
… where’s Jason?

Alycia pulls down the mask.
Bot: Jesus, did you guys kill him?
She asks for more details about Pneuma.
Violated repeatedly and become non-verbal.
A: Just pointing out a difference in the timeline.
Bot: What difference. (to Aria) Is that … you? She’s okay, right?
Leo: There’s two of them now. The other one stayed behind.
Bot: Whatthe? Oh … huh. yeah, that woulda … we didn’t have the other one.

Bot: Anyway, I got I a fight with the Menagerie, and Jason took my powers away. And then he kept on working with Rook .
He’s done it with others.
A: Well, if Leo could end up like you, then Jason could end up like … this Jason.
Bot: Wow.
Charlotte: It’s not like we haven’t seen parallel situations.

Bot: Just trying to make the best of the situation. Tactics. Understanding how others think – I got really bad at that. Not much in the way of allies.
… I lost Pneuma, I can’t find Otto, and nobody in the team … they’re either gone or don’t talk. I was only on the team a few weeks.

[Link: Pierce the Mask, despite Angry. 5!]
1. In trying to get through, to PtM, already Angry, what further condition does lead to? Afraid (this won’t be me, but this could be me) “Show me your Pneuma and I will fix her.”
Bot: Can Vector take you?
Leo: Guess so, since you’re not man enough.
Bot: Sure.
Leo tells Otto and Aria to stay here. [This guy needs you more than ever. Stay here. / He’s not you. He’s never going to be you. / You’re good for people other than me, too. / I didn’t mean it that way.]

Catching Up with Old Friends

Bot: Concord you’re here. You look a lot older. You weren’t even on the team when I was … you didn’t even last a week.
Concord: Were we friends?
Bot: We started to be. We fought that space chick, and that bot on the school. There hasn’t been anyone around like you – except the space chick. I think you left.

Bot: I haven’t seen you for years, Charlotte. The wounds in the world are basically under control, but nobody’s seen her, but she was always behind the scenes.

Bot: Harry, you were one of the … and nobody’s seen you since that time. I just figured they got you, or Jason did something.

[Concord: Pierce the Mask … 8! ]
< Present Influence over him: Concord, Aria, Otto, Harry >
How do I get your character to prove you’re alternate future Leo?

Harry: What was our time like together?
Bot: You would steal stuff, bring things together. Rook tried to develop some tech to imitate the Gales … Harry stole that, and that’s what Vector uses. And Harry taught him.

HHL … wiped out during the Vyortovian invasion.
Hecate has been off the radar since then.But that’s all the Vyortovia stuff, off of Leo’s radar.

Charlotte: go looking for some ghosts.

Hi, I’m Alycia Chin. So where can I find the local Jason Quill?
Wow. You’re on the team? Not how I would have pictured it.
[Doesn’t know how Jason fixed the whole Alycia thing. Rook distracted him.] [He’s running Halcyon City … Quill and Rook companies are 80% of the tech out there. R&D and Production arms of everything.]

Concord: It feels like he’s talking like the real one.
Aria: It’s him. No doubt.

Harry: What happened to the Harry here? What do you want me to do?
I don’t know. But maybe you could find out?

Alycia: What do you intend to do with our Leo’s mind mimeograph?
Bot: (sigh) I thought I could merge with Pneuma and she’d be okay. And then she could do what I cant figure out how to do. My last move. She always made everything better.
Alycia: You are clearly … Leo Snow.

Charlotte

Charlotte is looking for ghosts. Shadow shifts to her cemetery.

… emerges onto a factory floor. Feels like the human-battery-matrix-space. Energy being harvested. They;ve ripped it all open and turned it into a fiery furnace. They’re both using the wound and keeping it under the control.

[Take a Powerful Blow - 7!]
Ouch. Gotta flee. Also, klaxon.
But flee to where?

Leo

Leo – Vector takes him down to a medical bay.
They have Pneuma in a very pleasant state – suspended animation pod.

Vector. He won’t go in.

Set up on a table. Which is kind of unnerving when the headset has a Rook logo on it.

Back lawn, sun-drenched, Alice in Wonderland. Music.
Kneels in front of her.

Back in the day, they would go to the movies, or just hang out … close, physical contact.
[Comfort & Support: 13! Clearing from her … Hopeless.]
Nothing happens at first.

Patience!

And she lays her head on his shoulder. Inhales. Hitch. Exhale.
Leo has NOTHING better to do.

So now what?

Vector comes back. Reports that vitals are doing stuff. How long to we leave them?
Aria. Until he fixes it.

Oh, Jason.Alycia is looking like someone is going to be seriously hurt.
Alycia on the Internet. How do I get to Jason Quill?
[Assess the Sitch - 8!]
He’s not going to be used to dealing with me. He never did.

Charlotte on the comms “Oh, Cheese and Crackers” Sounding a bit shaken.
Um … the energy has permeated the machinery of the city. The city is sure kinda-sorta running on this Wound Power.

Harry is grimly prepping.

Concord: Going down to check on Leo and Pneuma?

-------------------

Wrap-Up

  • Alycia: Further from the Team. (Leo! Harry!) --> Take Influence from Jason
  • Leo: Closer to the Team (Concord) --> +superior, -danger [superior locked] + Advance (Overwhelm a Vulnerable Foe)
  • Harry: Into the Image (searching for self)
  • Charlotte: Into the Image
  • Concord: Into the Image

-------------

And you may find yourself
Living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself
In another part of the world
And you may find yourself
Behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house
With a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself, well
How did I get here?

– Talking Heads

-------------

#Recap

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6410976

A note on the Phoenix: it’s capable of producing an “egg” - a miniature factory that converts basic elements into another Phoenix. What happens when that egg hatches? You get another Phoenix. Which can lay another egg. But so can the original. One phoenix. Then two. Then four. Then eight…

On a “sustain” basis, like in the main timeline, the Phoenix lays enough eggs, and has its children stay asleep until called for, to guarantee that there’ll always be a Phoenix, even if others are destroyed. But on a war footing, like in a bad future, it might go all out.

It’s not precisely a Moment of Truth, but an army of bird-gods descending on this world would certainly change something. We’ll see what happens!

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6413945

Bill G. said:

A note on the Phoenix: it’s capable of producing an “egg” - a miniature factory that converts basic elements into another Phoenix. What happens when that egg hatches? You get another Phoenix. Which can lay another egg. But so can the original. One phoenix. Then two. Then four. Then eight…

I’m pretty sure someone made an entire episode of a show on why this is a bad idea.

author: Mike
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6414034

That’s the bad guy version. This is the good guy version.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6414061

Bill G. said:

That’s the bad guy version. This is the good guy version.

Alycia:

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6414156

Adam’s checklist of things for the next game:

  • Talk to Leo - Do we fix Bot before we leave? (Adam has more than a bit of experience with undoing mental whammies at this point.)
  • Per Bot, Star Sable is around. Find out what that’s all about.

author: Mike
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6414200

Leo’s feelings about the Bot are obviously pretty complex, so in no particular order:

  • He feels the Bot needs to learn a vital lesson first: heart matters as much, or more, than head. The Bot needs to make some important breakthroughs, and that would go better without having powers.
  • If anyone ought to be the one to fix this, Leo would say it ought to be Jason. Leo will do his best not to let Alycia flat-out murder Jason, but abduction or disabling would be just fine.
  • Getting Jason to come round will definitely be Adam territory, but Leo has some ideas.
  • Leo’s also going to honor Mercury’s concerns about future knowledge, and not try to milk Jason, the Bot, etc. of secrets to take back to our timeline. But he will try to get these people on track fixing their own world.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6414294

There’s plenty of opportunity for Adam to help out with Pneuma, and Leo will go along with just about any suggestion he makes in that regard - it looks like he’s heading down there now for that purpose.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6414302

Alycia is wearing her heart on her literary sleeve elsewhere, but her action item list (which runneth over):

  • Agreed that Jason is the key here. Why has he gotten into bed (operationally, one hopes only) with Rook? Why has he so blithely taken to pithing people? Are there factors Alycia’s not aware of, or is this a fundamental flaw in Jason’s (any Jason’s?) personality? Given that, can she talk him into a more righteous path? (Failing that, would she actually kill him? She talks a big talk, even to herself, but would she really pull the trigger? On Jason?)
  • Protect the team.
  • If there’s any good tech or reliable info she can bring back that would be of use at home, sure.
  • Whatever became of Botline!Alycia?
  • And, if in all of this, there’s a way to teach Leo a lesson in humility, whether about his own stability, or, even better, the arrogance of all this mind copying/pasting and the building of creatures with the illusion of being human, but who still suffer disproportionately for that illusion … well, that would be a good day.

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6414332

*** Dave H. said:

  • And, if in all of this, there’s a way to teach Leo a lesson in humility, whether about his own stability, or, even better, the arrogance of all this mind copying/pasting and the building of creatures with the illusion of being human, but who still suffer disproportionately for that illusion … well, that would be a good day.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6414346

I also caught the Bot’s stumbling “we didn’t have the other one”, though Leo missed it at the time. There’s an awful version of those events I’d rather not think about, but the slightly funnier and more optimistic version is to find an older Summer hanging out with Jason.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6414478

I don’t know how Adam would plug into this part, but part of “fix the Bot” is to get him to wake up again. I’m thinking it would be interesting to have Leo tell Bot, “I’m taking your Pneuma away from you”, and try to provoke him into fighting for her. If he does that, and realizes that’s what he needs to do, Leo will be well content. Man, there’s a lot going on here.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6416559

Bill G. said:

Man, there’s a lot going on here.

Indeed! Charlotte’s got hooks into WTF-GHOST-FACTORY!, Harry is worried about his alternate self (and parents), Adam is being helpful – and Leo (and Alycia) both have plenty o’ things that have been triggered here.

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6417080

Agreed that Jason is the key here. Why has he gotten into bed (operationally, one hopes only) with Rook? Why has he so blithely taken to pithing people? Are there factors Alycia’s not aware of, or is this a fundamental flaw in Jason’s (any Jason’s?) personality? Given that, can she talk him into a more righteous path? (Failing that, would she actually kill him? She talks a big talk, even to herself, but would she really pull the trigger? On Jason?)

I’m not necessarily expecting an Alycia / Jason encounter in here, but Alycia sure would be, for a variety of reasons. So, some thought exercises she’s run:

Has AltFuture!Jason resolved the nanobot Doomed issue? Presumably [p=100], since he’s still alive some decades later. Either he fixed the nanobots (rewrote the code) [70], he neutralized / removed them [25], or has abstained from using them [5]. He may have recruited Rook’s help in these things, but it seems unlikely [8], given that we haven’t seen knock-off nanobot tech in this world yet.

**Does AltFuture!Jason have his memories fixed? **Significantly less likely [p=12]. Leo left the team long before Jason could have used the Heart Factory, even if he reached close enough rapport here with AltFuture!Alycia (see below) to use as a baseline. That makes this Jason potentially a lot less stable [87], possibly [76] open to more manipulation by Our!Alycia.

What is the AltFuture!Jason + AltFuture!Alycia sitch? More difficult to say (assuming there are no clues in the Internet searches Alycia does from the Bot-Cave). The Our Past resolution of the Quill/Chin/Sepiaverse thing seems unlikely to have occurred here [p=10] without Leo’s support of Jason and Jason being able to fob off the team on him. AltFuture!Alycia’s research might have gotten her there [28] (she had already picked up enough of a clue as to what was going on to have temporarily sent Harry over), but it’s less likely she got back [5] (or would even choose to do so). Practical Outcome: Jason most likely [82] will not react well to Our!Alycia showing up unannounced, but she’s not likely [3] to run into her AltFuture counterpart stepping out of the shower at the Quill Foundation.

What’s security likely to be like getting to AltFuture!Jason? Pretty bad. Leaving a side decades of advancement, the fact that Jason is still alive indicates that either he’s gotten a lot more serious on the subject [p=55], or Rook is treating him like the goose that lays the golden eggs and participating in / providing his security [76]. Whether any of the back doors Alycia had in Quill systems and security are still in place or useful is an open question [18].

* * *

Another question regarding the research Alycia was doing: is it possible to gauge public sentiment about the current regime (the tech, if not social, dominance of Quill and Rook)? Do people resent it (“We call them Qrooks!”), or are they seen as the technosaviors of Halcyon / the US / the World for how they helped the recovery after the Vyortovian Incursion? Or is the only news Alycia finds on the subject along the lines of “Officials for both companies expressed satisfaction that, for the thirtieth year running, ‘Rosa’ and ‘Jason’ are the most popular baby names on the planet. Meanwhile, world leaders declared the first Monday of May to be ‘Quill and Rook Day,’ in the face of surveys showing 99.5% of the populace supportive of the idea.”

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6437285