Stars and Starters
Episode 1: Stars and Starters
|Brian Ross (Myth)|
|Xavier Wilson (Zombie)|
|Sabrina Aneska (Saber)|
|Noelani Bishop (Skycharger)|
STAGE 1: THE SETUP
A letter arrives at the office of the CEO of MAGNUS Corp, Zander Williams. Mikail Haupfer, Mr. Williams Executive Assistant, looks at the letter then signs the messenger's docket and place the letter in Mr.Williams in box. Mr.Williams is returning from London today and hasn't made it to the office yet.
Several hours later….
The elevator to the Executive floor dings and the doors open. The tall graceful form of Zander Williams steps off the elevator. He smiles. "Mikail, how are you? What the hell do those picketers want now? There are like 200 crazies outside with signs like 'Blasphemy!' And 'Die Demon Die' And 'Williams Lies'," Zander says.
"Just another day changing the world, sir" Mikail says. "Some folks really hate that."
"I am expecting a call from the Primer Minister at 10. Can you pull up the latest project specs on our surveillance drones?", says Zander.
"Of course, sir. I have your correspondence as well." She hands him the stack of mail. "How was London? "
"Ahhh… Interesting," says Zander mysteriously. "The Prime Minister is doing his darnedest to bate me into a round of golf. I could have used your husbands' expertise. Next time… you and your husband will have to join me."
"It would be our pleasure sir, Jasper has always wanted to go," Mikail.
"I guess I'd better get ready for this showdown, just bring me those specs when you get them. Thank you Mikail," says Zander.
Zander walks into his office, the letter on top waits like a ticking bomb ready to go off.
When he sits down, he looks at the letter, it looks like it was addressed by an old school typewriter.
To Mr. Zander Williams (CEO MAGNUS CORP)
From: The Senior Board of Ethics, U.W. Washington
"Is this one of Conors diatribes on ethics," He thought. Dr. Conor Weiss was an old friend and a faculty leader for U.W. Physics department.
Zander opens the envelope and pulls out the letter, expecting to see some long essay. But it is not a letter from his old friend. It reads:
Zander, pushes the comm button, "Mikail, can you get security? I want them to review this letter. It looks like someone is trying to have some fun with us. Apparently, I'm evil. "
TURNING POINT #1
(The Next Morning)
Zander Williams sit's in his Tesla Model-Z. Traffic on 405 is moving swiftly. He is heading into the office and even many miles from Bellevue he can see the mega-tower. The mega-tower was the tallest structure ever built, 500 stories from it's base. It is known throughout the world as "the Great Emerald Edifice". While Zander rides, a number of voices are coming through the bluetooth radio. A conference call with his President of Media Relations, Karen Rethke and some of the IT and Security folks.
"Listen," Zander says, "I get threats all the time. If the those third world son of a bitches want to picket and shout, so fucking be it. But make sure they are a thousand feet back from the entrance. "
A woman's voice, "Sir! Please! The threats are real. M.A.G.N.U.S. has marked the probability at 98.3214%. We should involve the police and Homeland Security."
"Karen, the place is a god damn fortress. I know. I designed it.", says Zander. "Is M.A.G.N.U.S. giving us any projections on where they might attack?"
"It seems to think the most probable mode is from the air, a Nova or aircraft. But it is also possible that we are looking at a possible cyber attack", says Karen.
"Ha! M.A.G.N.U.S. is the most powerful A.I. ever created. Aircraft? Ha! We have sensors scanning the entire sky. Gravitational inhibitors that redirect any airborne attack miles away.", Zander laughs.
Karen, "I beg you sir. If we do nothing and something happens, the press will eat us alive."
Zander, "Fine. But I am telling you this is some sort of Hoax. Call Sabrina Aneska (Saber). She is an ex-marine and a tactical specialist. She can assist the police and homeland in any preparations.
Zander hangs up. His car has stopped in an apparent traffic jam. "Odd he thought, we haven't had one of these for a while." Automated cars had almost eliminated traffic jams. The cars in front of him, begin to move. As they pull away, his car sits, idle. "What the fuck? Musk! Does this thing need another goddamn software update?" Then suddenly, the car begins to move. It makes a sudden left, veering across all 8 lanes. The other cars gracefully maneuverings around it. The car continues to veer left until it is facing in the opposite direction and moving at full speed. The cars before him veering out of the way. "It seems to be taking me home. WTF. Is this the attack? Musk if this is you, I'll kill you."
A deep fear settled in his gut. They were too late! He tried to override the computer to give him control of the car. Someone had completely rewritten this fucking thing.
Several minutes later, Zander looked in the rear view camera and saw to his horror, the Great Emerald Edifice surrounded in smoke and fire. It's shadow seemed to cover the whole city and the shadow was getting bigger. Seconds later came the unbelievable thunder of the explosion.
"Noooooo!" Zander shouted.
"Alexa, call Karen back, we gotta let her know what's happened.", said Zander. He quietly wondered if she would say "I told you so."
"Sir, are you ok?", she sounded worried.
"I am fine, the fucking car knew something was going to happen. I guess that update worked. " Zander
"I need you to take point on the relief effort, I want numbers!", Zander. Then in a whisper, he said "I am sorry Karen. I didn't think this was remotely possible. I want to see all the data on the attack. Let me know if anyone officially takes credit."
"We had 27 people in the building. Luckily it was early and the evacuation call went soon enough. Of the 27 I have not heard if any of them survived. If they made it to the shield rooms, they may have had a chance." Karen
"Do you know if Mikail was in there?" asked Zander.
"No sir," said Karen.
"Thank you Karen, I am going to send the Will-O-Wisp to get Jackson and Sabrina. We'll find the assholes responsible and I promise you they'll pay!" Zander.
"I'll be in contact sir, keep your phone close," Karen.
An few minutes later, Sabrina Aneska (Saber), who was glued to the news, get's a call. "Sabrina, this is Zander. You know what's happening." It wasn't a question. "I need your help and I need it to be discreet," says Zander. "Will you help me?"
-PLAYER DECISION (YES)-
"Thank you. I will be pretty busy with this fucking mess. But I need you to work with Jackson Bishop (Mountain), hunt down the fuckers responsible. I am going to send the Will-O-Wisp to pick you up. Jackson can fill you in with more of the details. There are some additional recruits, that I have had my eye on. Be nice. We need their help and some of them spook easy."
An hour later, in Groban's Field, Sabrina waits for the 'Wisp. She scans the sky. Now she can see the feint glow over the treeline. As it lands in the field, she throws her Marine Duffel Bag over her shoulder. The ramp lowers and she sees a massive figure standing at the top. Jackson Bishop (Mountain), 6'5'' and built like a linebacker, Jackson has the pleasant face of a teenager. "The son of a bitch doesn't seem to age."
Jackson, "We gotta stop and pick up my Sis. She went Nova a few months ago and I think we could use her help."
Sabrina, "Your just worried about her right?"
Jackson, "Our next pick up is a bit weird. I hear he's real dangerous, some say he might be as bad as Chiwitel Sellasie (Eraser) but I think we can convince him." as he thumbs a wad of cash. "He's in Mukeltio, we can stop at the airfield of 192nd."
Sabrina, "What's his name?"
Jackson, "Xavier, though he has a lot of aliases: Zombie, Death Maggot, Geoff, etc. Let's go"
The loading bay closes as they move towards the ships' cockpit, it takes off.
Across Lake Washington in the University District, Noelani is just waking up. Her dorm room sits on the 3rd floor of the McCall Building and overlooks campus. Her neighbors are blaring their tvs again. She swipes her phone, she has 38 new messages. The clock on her phone says "9:50 am" . "O' Crap! I am going to be late! " she says. Her first class in the morning is Art History and it is in the Miller Building across campus. She dresses quickly, ties her hair in a pony, throws on a baseball cap and sunglasses, grabs her books and starts running. Her sunglasses have become a mandatory accessory. Since the accident, her eyes have been glowing, making it impossible to hide. A few of her friends knew and were supportive. But many on campus thought all Novas were terrorists or devils. The Human First movement on campus was hard to avoid. She had known long before the eruption that she was a Nova. Her brother Jackson had been a nova for over a decade. He had raised her since she was 10 years old.
"Just focus on your day. It'll be okay." she thought.
As she was leaving the dorm, she noticed a lot of people in the common room. They were watching the communal television. There had been an attack. Noelani's heart skipped a beat. It was Bellevue. It was close to home. Suddenly, the Cubists commentary on modern society didn't matter to her. What good was art history? Hell, what good was any of it?
"Noelani!" came a familiar voice. It was Jackson. "We have to go. I'll explain it to you on the way."
Her brother was drawing some attention. He was decked out in full tactical gear. She couldn't believe how grown up he looked. "What about my school work?" she said.
"Sorry sis, it'll have to wait."
He takes her bu the hand and they walk briskly across campus to the parking lot. Then they get in a small vehicle. Jackson touches a button and says, take us back to the 'Wisp. A mechanical female voice replies back "Certainly." And then the car lurches into life and the two siblings for a moment look at each other.
Jackson, "Ask your questions sis."
Jackson, "Ok? Now we have to go. Sabrina is waiting for us onboard the 'Wisp."
About the time Zander was calling Sabrina.
Xavier sits at the Starbucks on 180th, sipping a cappuccino and reading the latest news on the attack in Bellevue. It's almost unbearable to watch. The world was certainly going to hell. A selfish part of himself wondered if the buses would still be running on schedule. He didn't want to walk the 12 blocks back to his apartment. The good news was that he didn't have to go to work. It seemed like everything had just come to a stop. After clicking through some of the articles, it was clear that no new news was coming out of Bellevue.
As he walked to the bus stop, it occurred to him that his "NIGHT JOB" might be a bit easier with the cops focussed on terrorists. The jewelry store, which he been casing for a few days from the Starbucks was an easy target. He had called in a disturbance in the parking lot and calculated that he would have between 3 and 5 minutes for a smash and grab job. More if he didn't set off any security systems. He looked at his right hand, "You ready for this?" He laughed. "I'll do it tonight."
The bus did not in fact show. Xavier cursed below his breath and walked the 12 blocks home. Inside his apartment, he said, "Alexa please turn on the news." The tv came on and C-SPAN coverage of the attack began to reverberate throughout the small apartment. His apartment was sparsely furnished. In the center of his living room was a large folding table with a single folding chair. The walls were covered with corkboard and whiteboards, upon which were covered with articles from newspapers and billboard postings. The center of which was a picture of a young man, his brother, Walker.
Xavier was trying to get close to a local group of thieves. He had been gradually increasing his profile. Tonight was a big audition. Hopefully, this group would prove more useful then the last 4 had been. Each had lead to a dead end and his brothers case was growing colder.
In preparation for the night ahead, Xavier showered, scrubbed the loose skin from his hands and then went to bedroom for a forced nap.
About an hour into his nap, he heard a loud knock at the door.
KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK!
"Xavier Bishop? Hello! I need to speak to you."
Once, they were able to get together, Jackson explains that they need his help and in return they can offer him help in finding out what happened with his brother.
1. Brian Ross (Myth) has been hiding out in the woods surrounding Northbend, WA. Sightings of a great bear around Mt. Si suggest that he has set up a camp and is laying low. It is a bright, cold early morning in January. You've been sleeping in a cave near the summit of Mt. Si, your massive bear form keeping you warm at night. Hikers generally start to hit the trail early so you are anticipating their arrival. This morning, you can hear the sounds of several hikers coming up the trail. It sounds like two men and a young woman. The men are arguing about something and the woman seems to be out ahead of them on the trail. You also sense something else, something big, moving within the forest and off the trail. The animals seem uneasy.
2. You can hear the men better now, their voices are nearly shouts. One of the men is saying, "What are we going to do with Genovah? I think he suspects us." The predator in you senses that something is about to happen and in the next moment there comes a roar and then a high scream. The men's voices are loud. "TERESA!" They both yell. Gun shot start to go off like popcorn.
3. As you approach you hear the men screaming and their gun shots start fall off. Then you see the body of a woman, it is gored and lifeless and through the trees, you see an enormous Black Bear. Probably 15 feet on its hind legs, it has one of the men it's jaws and the other, lays lifeless.
4. The bear suddenly turns into Black Condor and takes off into the air.
STAGE 2: The New Situation - The Will-O-Wisps
As Caster Ford disappears, the smoking remains of the soldiers and vehicles starts to clear.
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