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Bill
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« on: February 01, 2016, 12:11:52 AM »

May 19th, 2016

The day started out well for most of the inhabitants of Los Angeles.  Traffic was a tangled mess due to a political rally at the Civic Center the same day as a the opening of La Boheme at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the continuation of the Mozart series at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Amongst those present at the rally was one Manuel Martinez, a local college student, there to support Hillary Clinton for president.  Also, one Kenneth “Kenny” Farnell, a Longshoreman, whose union insisted upon his attendance was milling about, waiting for the rally to end so he could go home.  Paramedic Ruby Ross and her partner, Jordan Cook, were driving in the area, carefully monitoring their radio, knowing their services could be needed at any time.  Stuck in the snarl that was the traffic in the area was elderly fight choreographer, Drake O’Brien and his great granddaughter (a dependent who shows up on a 6- appeared), Sophia O’Brien, trying to get through.

Ruby’s radio informed them of an off-course private airplane, in their area.  It wasn’t flying erratically, but had significantly deviated from their listed flight plan.  Upon getting the directions, the two paramedics headed toward the Civic Center. 

Within minutes of reaching the snarl of traffic, Ruby spotted the plane, only to see it explode.  Kenny and Manuel also heard the explosion and saw the small, single-engine plane explode directly overhead.  Sophia, doting on her great grandfather had the radio volume too loud for him to hear the explosion (“I’m not hard of hearing, I’m just old”).

Traffic went from bad to worse as numerous cars tried to move and the snarl turned into a complete cluster.  Kenny and Manuel managed to dodge debris that fell from the sky. 

Manuel watched as a nearby participant spontaneously combusted.  The young man threw his hoodie on him, trying to smother the flames . . . only to have the man disintegrate from the contact.

Kenny watched a man begin to inflate, before violently exploding, showering the area, and Kenny with viscera.  The toughened longshoreman ran, screaming at the spleen that landed on his face.

Ruby watched as a man ran down the street, melting more and more with every step.  Eventually, splattering all over the hood and windshield of Drake and Sophia’s car.  The two looked at each other before locking the doors.

“There must have been a hallucinogenic agent in that plane!” Ruby declared.  Jordan agreed and the two paramedics pulled on their gear and ran out from the hopelessly trapped ambulance toward the grassy park where all Hell had broken loose.

By now, several of the drivers began trying to escape by any means necessary and one drove into the park, nearly running Kenny down.  The big man, having recovered from his face/spleen interaction, managed to stop the car, by pushing its front end into the ground.

Manuel felt a horrible pain wrack his body as his own face began to melt.  He dropped to his knees and clutched his failing skin.  Ruby reached him moments later and checking on him . . . to see his face split down the middle and fall to either side, revealing the head of a catfish.

Ruby screamed (critical failure on her Fright Check), dropped her gear and ran, eventually taking flight and soaring in a small circle over the park below—unaware of anything than the horror she had witnessed.

As the horror surrounded them, Sophia began screaming.  Drake, a student of numerous Tibetan practices, simply clamed himself and turned to instruct his great granddaughter to also be calm.  She turned to the back seat to see the ninety-five year old man transform before her eyes.  She screamed more and fainted.

Drake, concerned for Sophia’s safety, moved Sophia into the passenger seat and climbed into the driver’s seat.  Having never driven a car, he was only momentarily befuddled before he got the basic hang of driving and jumped up on the sidewalk to try to extricate them from this mess and get the two of them home.

Kenny saw someone he knew transform into a massive stone monster.  He tried to check on him as the monster punched him.  He punched back, knocking the monster back and down.  He rushed over, trying to talk the monster down before it hit him again.  After several attempts, Kenny resorted to fisticuffs.

Manuel recovered from his horrible pain (having developed a catfish head he was currently unaware of other than his vision now sucked) and noticed that the world was moving . . . much slower.  He stepped back to watch as the stone monster attacked Kenny, who was, obviously trying to talk it down.  Not sure what he could do, he ran over to the monster and tried to punch it in the kidneys . . . or where its kidneys would have been if it had them.  He overshot by a small margin and his blow missed. 

With a rousing uppercut, Kenny knocked the monster back and down a couple of yards away (that’s what happens with an 11d+1 punch!).  Furious, the monster beat the ground causing a localized earthquake and fragments to slam into Kenny and Manuel, throwing them around.  Manuel managed to land on a cloud of lightning several feet above the ground.  He darted over and punched the monster again, covering it with its own cloud of lightning that cut small rivulets into its rocky exterior.

When the monster (with a 3-yard reach) punched Kenny, the cloud flowed over him, causing electrical damage to him (mean, but hilarious, power effect, Kim). 

Drake was carefully driving the car through the park, past the publicity stunt (“This is all just really good special effects.  I thought that guy looked like a stunt man—he’s really good.  It looks like he’s actually getting hit by that paper mâché rock man”) the hood of his car became the landing place for a slender catgirl and the finally coming down from her panic Ruby.

Kenny and Manuel managed to overcome the mighty stone monster and bring it down, but not before Manuel’s transferring cyclic damage did more damage to Kenny than the monster had succeeded in doing.  Causing it to explode (because, all my monsters explode, right?).

This blew out the passenger side windows and front tire on Drake’s car.  The catgirl asked if Ruby was okay, before she went and checked on everyone else and garnering a compliment from Drake on the quality of her makeup (“That’s excellent makeup!  Who did it, they deserve an award”).

Ruby, seeing that the catgirl was doing her job, rushed over to help, blowing another fright check when she saw Manuel again.  Kenny kept her from going too far before she recovered.  Manuel, tired from the expenditure, decided he was hungry and went off to find food.  His enhanced speed prevented anyone from stopping him.

With some help, Drake, got the tire on his car changed and took Sophia to safety.  Only after ripping out his shirt and pants, realizing that he was now in his twenty-five year-old body.  However, his great granddaughter was still his primary concern so, after having her cleared by Ruby (who still wanted him to take her to a hospital, because, DUH!) he drove off.

At this point, after nearly an hour had passed, they witnessed three military helicopters.  Manuel (who had returned with beer), acknowledged that he didn’t do well with the authorities and sped off.  Kenny, showing acute paranoia, did the same, leaving Ruby alone to help people.

Ruby approached the landing helicopters, spotting about two dozen soldiers in hazmat suits exiting from two of them, and six other people from the third.  Four of the other six were in hazmat suits, the last two, two women, were not wearing the suits.

One of the women was tall and slender with a long braid of red hair, wearing a skirt suit.  The other woman, had curly, red hair and was wearing what could only be called French Fop clothing:  A red velvet coat with gold embroidery.  A wide-brimmed, green hat with a large feather sticking out of it.  Red, velvet, pants with shin-high, cuffed green boots.  Only when she got closer did she see that it was actually an effeminate man.

The soldiers briefly challenged her, but then sent her through to meet the two, unprotected people.  The (actual) woman identified herself as Dr. Taylor, and her companion (the fop) as Dr. Tachyon.

Wild Cards day was still just beginning.

----

Me:  “And that’s it, Grignak fails his HT roll and goes down.”
Keelia:  “And he explodes.”
Jerry:  “Because all your enemies explode.”
Me:  “Well, now, yeah.  Blame yourselves.”

Jerry:  “You realize no one will go there.  Anyone who’s ever seen the X-Files will avoid it.”
Me:  “Um, no.  People will go to the rescue locations.  They have food, water, etc.”
Kim:  “Right.  Most people trust the government—that’s why it works.  You, Jerry, are paranoid and it’s bleeding through into your character.”
Me:  “Pretty much.”
Logged
Bill
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2016, 12:29:01 PM »

Dr. Taylor explained to Ruby that she and Dr. Tachyon weren’t in HAZMAT suits because they didn’t need them.  She and Dr. Tachyon quickly examined Ruby and informed her she was infected and, thus, couldn’t be infected again.  They instructed her to coordinate with the soldiers to assist other victims and, if anything strange (as defined by the new level of strange the event had unleashed) happened to her, to return to them for a re-examination.

Ruby, coordinating with the military and other, already infected rescue workers, went back out to rescue civilians.

Ruby, eventually, discovered her own power—the ability to “steal” another person’s infection.  She discovered this, at first, while trying to assist a person whose legs had fallen off to be replaced by a large, wasp-like abdomen.  Accidental skin contact (and a wonderfully botched Will roll—thank you Keelia, you were rolling everything I wanted to see, all day) caused the victim’s abdomen to turn back into legs while Ruby’s own legs merged together in the wasp waist.

After only about a minute of figuring out how bad it was going to suck to have no legs, but a wasp abdomen (she was a bit more resistant to the fear thanks to her multiple reactions to Manuel and his catfish head), her legs came back and the original victim got his deformity back.

Ruby concludes that she’s been reinfected (even after having been told that was impossible), and returns to the civic center.  Dr. Tachyon re-examines her, and with the assistance of an infected investment banker, Xavier Desmond, determines that Ruby can, temporarily, absorb and manifest another infected’s change.  

While having her new trunk/hand/nose examined by Dr. Tachyon, Ruby asked why he and Dr. Taylor didn’t need the HAZMAT suits.  Dr. Tachyon explained:  Dr. Taylor was already infected and, he, himself, being not-quite human, was immune to this strain of the virus.  

He gave a brief explanation of his family creating the virus to boost their own abilities, but, it didn’t work as planned.  With all the resources expended in its creation, they needed a wide-scale test and found the nearly, genetically-identical humans of Earth to be the perfect test subjects.  Dr. Tachyon objected to the potential slaughter of billions of innocent people and tried to stop it.

He admitted that he had managed to stop the original release, but, his own ship was disabled and he crashed.  He tried to convince the American Government to find and retrieve the virus, but, they believed him too late.  Now, he and Dr. Taylor were trying to help as many people as possible.

After her examination, Ruby was given a change of clothes (as her own pants were ruined by her developing the wasp abdomen) and told to get some rest.

At the civic center, Ruby noted that, while they were separating the more egregious deformities from the general population, there was a higher number of doctors taking care of them.  Minor deformities, like Xavier’s trunk/hand/nose, were put with non-deformed people, while wasp-legs (she still didn’t know his name) was with the more deformed as doctors tended to him.

Helicopters flew overhead, announcing to everyone remaining in down town Los Angeles to head to the civic center.  

Kenny brooded at home, concerned about the government rounding up everyone who was infected to perform experiments on them.  It was the next day (a day without power or water) before he finally decided he should probably go there, but not admit he was infected.

Manuel, warry of the authorities due to his ethnic background (which was no longer visible due to his gigantic fish-head) and history with the police, zipped around the city providing assistance to those who needed, and accepted it.  He was eventually convinced to stay at the civic center as his lecherousness and bad sight caused him to, temporarily, be attracted to Dr. Tachyon.

Sophia, after several more hours of screaming, and being shown old, black and white pictures of the young Drake, accepts her great grandfather’s statement that the accident cleared his chi and that rejuvenated him.  Having only half a case of bottled water left in her apartment, the two decided to rest for the night, before returning to the civic center the next day.

Dr. Taylor, after having examined Sophia concludes that, impossibly, she wasn’t infected at all (“blind, stinking luck”).  While Dr. Tachyon and Drake have a long, circular conversation about the nature of Drake’s rejuvenation, eventually ending with Dr. Taylor just telling Dr. Tachyon to accept Drake’s version (“It’s what he believes—it makes it easier for him to understand”).


---
ETM:  Manuel doesn't have Social Stigma (Criminal Background)--I thought Kim took that for him.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 08:32:07 PM by Bill » Logged
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