aberrantangels: (conspiracy theory)
Interrupted for different reasons, but still...

January 16
[Aberrant] On Week in Perspective with Walter Donovan, a man named Culpepper expresses doubts about the long-term damage Operation Eden may have done to the Ethiopian ecosystem, while a man named Bryant insists his counterpart is just being a worrywart and rattles off a laundry-list of Utopia's accomplishments.

Culpepper points out that the prominent ecologists who've praised the Ethiopian reclamation were hired by Utopia: "Isn't that something like the tobacco companies' hired health experts of last century?" Bryant's list of "the other positive works that Project Utopia has completed" includes the overthrow of Yaroslav Radocani, "the virtual elimination of Bangkok's child prostitution trade", the AIDS and cancer cures, hypercombustion, Operation Clean Sweep— "Maybe you like the idea of the UN granting virtually total latitude to a group with all the potential military power of any two European nations, but I happen to think—" Donovan interrupts the interruption to ask if he might change the subject.

In an OpNet chat room Vancouver RCMP Officer Brian Chu, Officer Bernard ter Haar [@brill.op], Officer Laurence Posner [@opamerica], Officer Ma Sik Yu of the Hong Kong Triad Society Bureau, and Officer Georgina M. Shrubbe [of Interpol] discuss the difficulty of getting someone inside the triads in general, and the Heaven Thunder Triad in particular, until "trace1@?.gov.op" [Operator W1, presumably of Branch 9] sees the discussion straying into sensitive areas and shuts it down. Afterward, W1 and "nereid@directive" wonder whether the triads picked up on the discussion, and also wonder who exactly was playing whom.

(Well, the datestamp on the transcript in Aberrant: Underworld says 2008, but the sensitive topic was an Australian government attempt to put a shapeshifter into one of the triads, which Posner thinks took place around 2009 or '10. Also, the conversation between trace1 and Thetis "nereid" reads like she was the one who called the halt to the chat; maybe she spoofed trace1's name onto the warning "Gentlemen, none of this is cleared for these channels, and this discussion needs to end right now. Log off, boys.")

And I've never mentioned Branch 9 before, have I? According to the Adventure! corebook (for those of you who don't have it), it was founded by Teddy Roosevelt during his Presidency to deal with crimes that crossed state lines, and soon shifted its ambit to crimes that crossed the lines of consensus reality. In the Inspiration Age, at least four other countries — the UK, Mexico, China and France were all known — had their own Branches with cryptic-yet-bland names, "such as Britain's Supplemental Resources Office and France's Field Research and Development Unit". The Chinese Branch was compromised by the Ubiquitous Dragon, but it's not known whether this persisted past the end of the Inspiration Age, let alone into the Nova Age.
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
[Adventure!] Whitley Styles records in his journals that, as far as he can tell, Maxwell Anderson Mercer vanished into thin air last July. Michael Donighal has cabled him from the Far East, reporting no success and recommending Whit not waste any more of his time.

As we've seen, he found his friend again.

[Adventure!] Whitley Styles records in his journal that Max's idea of the Æon founders spending Christmas together "was perfect. It was like a second family....I even saw Jack crack a smile or three."


[Aberrant] Lambert Asani, son of Congo diamond magnate Mente Asani, and his three brothers travel the world meeting with novas who could help Lambert's goal of deposing Congo president Laurent Kabila.

Asani doesn't rate a mention in the Aberrant core rules; he's entirely from Aberrant: Elites.

[Aberrant] Over the next three years, much of the world's copper and fiber-optic cable communications networks are replaced with advanced optic cable, derived from studies of eufiber, and wireless networking. The new hardware, couple with new data-transfer protocols, is dubbed "OpNet." OpNet replaces the Internet, phone systems and cellular networks, allowing for wireless communications from virtually any location. It boasts an initial 700% increase in data speed over previous telecommunications technology.

The expansion of the OpNet is mostly complete by May of this year.

Caestus Pax announces that Team Tomorrow will be splitting into T2M Americas and T2M Europe. Pax himself, along with Lightning, Apollo Kid, Slag, Splash, Uta "Tremor" Stentz and Byron "Saxon" Graham (among others), will be forming T2MEu, based out of Venice, while Montoya-Bernal, Psyche, Jennifer "Slider" Landers, Ana Graça Texeira and Pualani "Pele" Kapunani will comprise the Mexico City-based T2MAm. Ragnarockette and Shadow Artist will remain members-in-training.

You'll be seeing more of those names in times to come.

Project Utopia launches Novation Toys, Games and Comics, its licensing division, to compete with (among other things) the DeVries Agency's entry into the action-figure market. Series I action figures include Slag and the Fireman. The first wave of Novation-produced OpCast series includes Team Tomorrow: Protectors and Slag: Hot Metal Fury.

That last one's a little redundant, but it's in the calendar as written. I may merge it with the other datapoint, actually.
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
Ongoing flashback.

[Adventure!] The Ponatowski Foundation of Poland announces its intent to dredge the Black Sea for signs of ancient civilizations.

The archaeologically-oriented Foundation provides funding to the criminal operations of Ivan Boris Vladimirovich Stayansky, the would-be Czar of all the Russias. (Yes, I know Adventure! gives his surname as "Staynskaya", but it and Aberrant contain a number of such names, names that demonstrate that White Wolf staffers know jack all about the gendering of Russian surnames.)

[Aberrant] T2M receives its baptism of fire when it smashes its way into the Al-Burhan, Iran, headquarters of Islamic Dawn. The compound is secured inside three minutes with no harm to the Teamers.

I mentioned this last year as one of the reasons the September 11 attacks probably didn't happen in the TU. (Another is that President Schroer's national security advisor, unlike Condoleezza Rice, probably didn't ignore Sandy Berger's advice to keep a close eye on al-Qaeda, but that's neither here nor there.)
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
And once again, I almost run out of month.

[Adventure!] Whitley Styles records in his journal that Michael Donighal has called, asking if Whit has had any better luck finding Max Mercer (whom neither of them has seen since the Hammersmith Incident). Whit resolves to catch the next boat to London: "Mrs. Austin will be disappointed, but her jewels can wait."

I've already spoiled the ending of this movie.

[Adventure!] Whitley Styles records in his journal that Max Mercer has returned from Macao, conveniently at a time when the other six Æon founders were in Chicago, and almost the first words out of his mouth were "We're not the police, but we've got to do something with the people we stop." Jake Stefokowski wondered why these Inspired malefactors can't just be turned over to the police; Whit pointed out that most jurisdictions don't actually have laws against building "death rays". Professor Dixon suggested setting up a psychiatric facility; Jack Tallon offered some of his secluded African/Arabian holdings to the purpose. In the end, Mercer agreed to the project: "it's not enough to understand the wonders of our world; we must understand the people who experience them." Max has also suggested that the Æon core membership spend Christmas together.

It may be that this decision led directly to Bahrain. At the very least, it provided precedent.

[Aberrant] The DeVries Agency announces the formation of a new arm, DeVries National Tactical Solutions. While the Agency does not apologize for its role in the Equatorial Wars, it transfers the management of its combat Elites™ to DVNTS.

I'm afraid I don't have much to add to that.

[Aberrant] In the wake of Utopia's being granted oversight of Kashmir, Covert Action News reports on "Utopia's Real Agenda Revisited". The monitoring facilities in Kashmir would allow Utopia to watch India and China — the two largest armies, and largest official nova military forces, on the planet — and the southern parts of the RusCon. The article's author even speculates that Utopia may have manipulated China into taking an interest in Kashmir (which they never had before).

The original article on "Utopia's Real Agenda" appeared in April, but I don't seem to have written an entry about it at the time. *^^* It was to do with the negotiations that led to the London Peace Accord.
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
Jeez, I'm running out of month, aren't I?

[Adventure!] In his journals, Whitley Styles records his amazement at some of the situations he and Æon's other founders have survived in the past four months. Mercer has had to remind them not to take it personally. "After all, the Æon Society is not a secret government and has no intention of becoming one. We fight against secrets." At the same time, Whit's not so sure about Max's insistence on Æon's files being open to anyone who walks in — general knowledge of some Inspired activities could start a panic, after all — but in general, "I think people should know what's going on.... It'd be easy to forget we're doing good things if we hid from the public eye."

How right he was.

[Aberrant] Lambert Asani erupts during a brutal fistfight with his father, Congolese diamond magnate Mente Asani, over whether the family is better off under Laurent Kabila's rule than they were when the Congo was a European colony.

When the fight is over, the elder Asani is in a coma, and the younger has decided to go into the country-running business for himself.

[Aberrant] Newsweek reports on the "End of the Five Families" of the New York Mafia, all of whom (from the capo di tutti capi down to the lowest button man) were busted by a Team Tomorrow/FBI/NYPD task force.

Yadda yadda.
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
An old codger's grumbling.

[Adventure!/Aberrant] In his private journal, Whitley Styles, the last founding member of Æon still active with the Society, waxes philosophical about what Max Mercer had in mind when he founded Æon versus what the Society's new guard are turning it into.

He mentions Mercer's general awareness of the future, but (knowing that this is going into his beloved Babel Dossier) refuses to give the details. He also admits, reluctantly, that Mercer's knowledge is not always as specific as could be hoped. Mercer is, after all, only human (though he and their "old friend" Mike Donighal come "a damn sight closer to it than most of us").

And he speaks of all the dreams Mercer had for Æon that aren't being fulfilled. Max wanted Æon to "help humanity reach a higher state — of individuality, technology, culture, society — the whole ball of wax." But once the human race matured to the point where it was taking those steps on its own, and Æon was no longer necessary, the Society was supposed to go away. ("Any man who is doing a job is working to make himself obsolete..." — William S. Burroughs, Nova Express)

'Top Secret. Classified. For the Board, the Elite, the Initiates.' Are these the words of the all-powerful boards and syndicates of the Earth? )
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
Jeez, I've been taking my time about this, haven't I? Well, there's only so much month left, and (as they say on Scanalyzer) there's no time like the present for things to happen in.

[Adventure!] Whitley Styles records in his journal that Mercer and Danger Ace, back from success in Mexico City, stopped by Mercer Manor to see how the reconstruction was coming.

Whit considers that Æon's making a lot of progress. "The attack [link added] suggests we're bothering the right types of people." He's surprised none of the membership have quit, but Max points out, with "an 'I told you so' look", that Æon's members are act-ors, not observers.

[Aberrant] First use of the term "baseline" to refer to humans without nova powers.

The excerpts from the d20 version of Trinity posted on White Wolf's website indicate that the term seems to be replacing "neutral" (which had been used in the Storyteller version of Trinity to refer to the non-Inspired masses as distinct from psions and Aberrants).

2001: A Utopian odyssey. )
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
Pulp pulp pulp.

[Adventure!] In the late hours of the night, the body of Roland Broomfield is recovered from the Thames, his pockets full of bricks but no sign of violence on his person.

And so ends yet another attempt to investigate the "King of the World". I'm told that this individual remains an active force in the underworld into the Trinity Era, or at least resembles a character who appears in that capacity in Luna Rising. I wonder what this individual is up to in the Nova Age. Probably an assistant to one of the Megasyndicate's heads, dropping the occasional right word into the right ear...
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
Continued from yesterday.

[Adventure!] The Old Man sends a memo to Roland Broomfield advising caution in pursuit of the King of the World, to be supplemented by regular reports.

The IDA has lost some of its best Irregulars when they decided to try and track down the legendary head of organized crime on the Atlantic rim. (The Far East, of course, belongs to the Ubiquitous Dragon.) Holmes the Old Man, understandably, doesn't want to lose any more if it can be at all helped.
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
Back to the pulp era.

[Adventure!] Roland Broomfield, an Irregular of the International Detective Agency, sends a memo to the Old Man expressing the intent to track down the so-called "King of the World".

The IDA is based out of London and staffed by "Irregulars", and each branch (like the main office) is headed up by "the Old Man". I think the inference I make from that is the one the authors of the Adventure! rulebook wanted me to make. (I'll assume you can guess what it is unless you specifically comment to tell me you can't.) Whether it's an accurate one, only they know.

The King of the World is connected, through the Condotierri, to the Order of Murder. How this connection runs, I'll leave for a later stage of the discussion.
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
Still in the Inspiration Age. (Maybe I need an Adventure Era icon. I wish I could borrow [livejournal.com profile] md_donighal's for one of my own posts.) If this entry looks familiar, it should; it was up for a couple've minutes yesterday, because I forgot I was only there to get the hotlinks.

[Adventure!] The New York Times runs an article on Professor Irving Klass' "neocaloric fluid".

The original "caloric fluid" was theorized by Benjamin Franklin as the medium that carried electricity and heat. Klass' neocaloric functioned much the same way — invisible to the naked eye, but capable of carrying enough heat that only a few drops poured onto a steel bar would start the bar melting.

Klass said, "A single truck could carry enough neocaloric to power a city for a day." But he also warned that even a few ounces, if spilled, would be enough to destroy a city block.

It could have short-circuited (puncrime) rural electrification, except that nobody seemed capable of duplicating Klass' work, and respectable scientists like Dr. Emerson Ralston of Empire State University dismissed him as a crank.

The clipping of this article in the Adventure! rulebook has annotations in Michael Donighal's handwriting: Mixed state of wave/particle PA energy? Pity Klass died 1923. Accident? Murder?
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
Back to the Inspiration Age!

[Adventure!] An explosion rocks Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood, destroying the main floor of Mercer Manor.

Neither the Storyteller nor the d20 version of Adventure! says if Æon ever found who was responsible. The most important enemy the Society'd managed to accumulate in its month-and-change of existence was Baron Saturday, so he's a major candidate. On the other hand, Dr. Zorbo might have already started carrying over his vendetta against Danger Ace onto Stefokowski's colleagues. (I actually think the latter is a little more likely, more compatible with Jackson Harley's presented image as a Robin Hood of the Caribbean.)

Menschheit! Zum Himmel! )
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
...was a busy one. (Sorry I'm late, but you know how it is.)

[Adventure!] Whitley Styles records in his journal that the Æon Society has had its first internecine strife, as Crackshot objected to the treatment she got from Danger Ace and Safari Jack on an assignment in New Orleans, and neither Stefokowski nor Tallon was pleased at having their direct orders ignored by Newfield. Styles is amazed to be able to write, factually, that "[w]hile half of us were mucking around in New Orleans, [Mercer] and that reporter [Sarah] Gettel were off in Haiti battling the undead."

The combination of New Orleans and Haiti leads me to assume that this was an encounter, probably Æon's first, with Baron Saturday.

[Aberrant] Vladimir Sierka erupts.

The event was immortalized in TV movies. The Treasury Minister of the (then) Commonwealth of Independent States fell to the ground, clutching his head, after a shouting match with President Srebrianski. Other officials rushed to help Sierka up. When he stood, he looked younger, less worn, and was actually smiling. "I've just thought of something we hadn't considered," he said, and laid out the basic blueprint for the Russian Confederation.

[Aberrant] Project Utopia purchases a parcel of land on Talaud Island in Indonesia which will later become the headquarters of Team Tomorrow's Asia/Pacific branch.

Apparently, Talaud was chosen because of its proximity to something Project Proteus knew they were going to have to deal with one of these days.
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
Something of a turning point of the Inspiration Age.

And so it begins. )

Meetings with remarkable men. )

Works of genius. )
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
[Adventure!] (Maxwell Anderson) Mercer establishes the Æon Society for Gentlemen in Chicago. It serves as a worldwide coordinating office for Inspired adventurers and investigators of the paranormal, in furtherance of its larger goal — Mercer's drive to discover humanity's true potential, and to break down any obstacles in the way. Its seven charter members are Mercer himself, Primoris, Whitley Styles, Professor Dixon, Safari Jack, Crackshot (Annabelle Newfield), and Danger Ace.

I've already written a fair amount about Primoris, and some about Mercer as well, so I'll cover the other five here.

And that makes you larger than life. )
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
It's rare that I have to lead off one of these with a correction, and (as [livejournal.com profile] etherlad, at least, will have noticed) rarer still that I make the correction obvious.

[Adventure!] In the aftermath of the previous night's battle with the stalwart mesmerist Fulminatore, Primoris wishes he understood better the mechanism by which the human body receives telluric energy and uses it to become Inspired.

He's understandably convinced that the Hammersmith Incident was the key; in his judgment, claims of such powers prior to 1922 have been unreliable. Fulminatore, for instance, "claimed to be a son of Jove" and to have had his powers (which a later age would classify as electrokinetic) from birth; Donighal dismissed that claim as a delusion, the result of the mesmerist's new powers unhinging his mind.

But many people had become Inspired who'd never been anywhere near Atlas Cross, before or since the Telluric Engine's self-destruction. "It cannot be an evolutionary mechanism....While the pseudoaetheric waves may have an effect on evolution, such an effect cannot be expressed in those already alive, only in those to be born."

But the tools available to science of the day gave him some clues. His cells, under a microscope, didn't look quite like the cells of the unInspired. The concept of "mutants" was only about 20 years old, but Michael Donighal seized on it as applying to him and those like him. He only wished he could study, or even glimpse, the structure of his chromosomes.

Or some stalwart's chromosomes, at least. Regrettably, he knew it would make his Æon colleagues suspicious if he tried to collect tissue samples. (He regretted that Fulminatore had had to be made to self-destruct, as such a sample would have been invaluable.) For the time being, he'd have to study the only posthuman specimen he knew he could trust. (One wonders if the X-ray he considered getting would have shown a small cluster of mutated neurons between his frontal lobes.)

[Aberrant] Mark Anthony Green, American Eagle presidential candidate in 2008, born in Baltimore, MD.

In 2004, he's serving his second term as a US Senator from Maryland; his challenger in the 2002 election claimed he used "Nixonian" legal harassment and espionage against her campaign. Before his Senate term, he spent two years as Director of Competition and Regulation Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (which sounds like a relative of real-world think-tank the American Enterprise Institute, a chief promoter of PNAC I subsequently discovered exists in OTL as a separate arm of the right-wing noise machine, alongside such other wholly-owned subsidiaries Fox News, the Moonie Washington Times, the Scaife newspapers and the Republican Party). Sometime before that, during his college years, he interned with the Institute for Historical Review (a group of Holocaust revisionists deniers).
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
[Adventure!] Dr. Primoris writes a journal entry musing on telluric energy.

He lists some of the other names these "telluric rays" have been called in the nascent Adventure Era — the name used above was Dr. Sir Calvin Hammersmith's coinage; Max Mercer refers to the energy behind these phenomena as "Inspiration" (and thus, the Adventure Era was also called the Inspiration Age). Other people call the energies "Z-rays" (a common usage) or "harmonic vibrations" or even magic. Donighal calls the relevant natural force "the pseudoaetheric wave", since it apparently acts much like the "luminiferous aether" that Michelson and Morley accidentally disproved, apart from its almost instantaneous propagation.

Pseudoaetheric waves pass through all matter eventually, though not as rapidly (nor in a straight line) when going through high-density or specially-treated materials. They interact strongly in the electromagnetic spectrum, and in certain human minds.

He breaks off when "[o]ther matters beckon." Specifically, the need to do battle with a new-made mesmerist calling himself Fulminatore.
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
It's happened before, and it will happen again.

[Adventure!] "General" E.W. Caldwell's Manifest Destiny Infantry seizes Bikini Atoll, a small unremarkable Pacific island.

Then conquer we must when our cause it is just... )
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
[Adventure!] Whitley Styles records in his journal that, over that steak dinner, Max Mercer explained his objective: to bring together "brave, intelligent and open-minded people...who ask why and want to find the answer."

This is the beginning of the Æon Society for Gentlemen. (Well, if you don't count the bit about Max telling himself he was going to found the society, anyway.)

[Aberrant] T2MEu member Tremor begins raising islands from the sea-floor half a kilometer out from Venice. Within a year, "Nuova Venezia" will reach much of the way to the old city.

Uta Stentz' work serves multiple purposes. On the one hand, it provides space where developers can build new resorts, to accomodate turisti who want to see Europe's resident Utopians in action. On the other hand, it also becomes the home of embassies where European countries (and, by 2008, even the US and Canada) can station personnel to contact Utopia and T2M at need.
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
Oh, and I can't forget this. Particularly since the first event has to take place today.

[Adventure!] Whitley Styles reports in his journal: "Max is back." Mercer appears to have been recovering for the last few months under the care of Dr. Primoris (who seems familiar to Whit, but whom Whit does not immediately recognize as Michael Donighal) and claims not to remember how he got into Primoris' care. They resolve to go out for a steak dinner over which Max will explain his new venture and invite Whit to join it.

The excerpts from Whit's journal in the Adventure! rulebook only list the month in which each entry was made, but when I see an entry dated in June and the (implicitly) next day's entry dates from July, I can do the math easily enough.

[Aberrant] The UN overwhelmingly passes the Zurich Accord, a document declaring novas to be human beings, with all the rights and responsibilities thereof. A few fundamentalist Islamic nations and dictatorial regimes, all countries with poor human-rights records, protest the resolution.

Those people thought the Accord went too far. Others would later decide it didn't go far enough. Or, at least, that its enforcement was somewhat selective, and was failing to target what they saw as Utopia's attempt to turn novas into the indentured servants of baselines.


aberrantangels: (Default)
the true meaning of Klordny

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