aberrantangels: (dreaming of Zion awake)
Further down the spiral.

August 3
[Aberrant] An article notes that Project Utopia's approval ratings within the US, Australia and parts of Europe have continued to drop since the Slider murder last year.

We aren't given a source for the article, nor does it give actual numbers, but it has a bar graph that shows Utopia's US approval ratings as over the S and A of "Strongly Approve" in January (of 2008, I'm guessing), between the R and O of "Approve" in June, and just left of the A by December. It also quotes a Utopian press release that's "confident Project Utopia will weather this storm.... Project Utopia rests on its record of humanitarianism and hard work for the benefit of the people of the world." (Okay, that link was me being sarcastic and ruining your life.)
aberrantangels: (Default)
Stuff in general.

September 2
[Aberrant] Geyser, a novice Tomorrowite, writes home about her first days on the job with T2M-Americas.

They flew her and Christoph Yannik to Mexico City on a private jet, where Skew himself met them at the airport. "And god, is he handsome! I thought I was going to melt!"

After getting showered and changed into their official Team Tomorrow eufiber onesies unitards, they proceeded to a pig roast ("three whole hogs roasting on spits") attended by a lot of reporters, "at least a hundred other [ordinary] people" and the entire rest of T2M-Am "except Ana Graça Texeira, who had something else to do, I guess". (You guess right.)

Things got a little tense for awhile, when one of the reporters started asking questions about Slider, but Mr. Montoya-Bernal was so cool about how he answered the questions and then moved on so that the reporter couldn't bring everybody down. It was a party, after all and nobody wanted to talk about sad things.

She breaks off there, as she's about to head off on a mission and will be too busy to talk (even if she were allowed to, which she suspects she won't) for a couple of days.

Marietta Jackson, a developed sphinx, turns the Dominoes, a group of novas under her direction, against Randel Portman.

Marietta's body, animated by a subconscious mind that does a completely convincing imitation of normal human consciousness, tends a bar in Garza Bay, Costa Rica. "Her conscious mind wandered off long ago into abstract realms of number theory and linguistics, and it's not planning to return until it can drag its body into those realms with it." Her subconscious considers that Portman poses a threat to her just by the two of them existing, and is enacting countermeasures.

The Dominoes are a group of individuals that represent a small foreign faction have an allegiance "generally opposed to the [player] characters', ideally one with an interest in protecting America." Silvia "Anne Steiner" Calendri is a former NSA crypto expert who became a chaos generator after a virus wiped her hard drive. Bard Crosby is a body-hopper and social monster. "Mary Mary" Martinez is almost entirely focused outward, which means she doesn't pay enough attention to herself to stay the same shape from moment to moment. Reginald Daniels, the optional big gun, is an old-school angel, praising his God but with one wing dipped in blood.
aberrantangels: (conspiracy theory)
Encryption code: Malachi-7-12. (There is no seventh chapter of Malachi.)

July 25
[Aberrant] S. Park, a Directive field monitor, sends a file of typical OpNet mentions of the Directive to media relations director J. Yarbrough.

In general, most people think of the Directive as just a multinational intelligence agency of middling competence, to the extent they think of it at all, an impression (or lack thereof) its official OpSite does a lot to foster.

Next up is a chat room sample from "GeoPol, the global political discussion site". Park considers their belligerent, fat-assed back-and-forth typical of what gets said by whom about the Directive in chat rooms: "A lot of people with a little information and no manners stomping around making broad statements they can't back."

The Phipps-Gordon interview is next, with some background from Park that I didn't include in the earlier post: John Gordon's departure from the CIA apparently "had to do with a Directive-led operation that was mishandled from the CIA end", for whose failure Gordon was blamed.

This is followed by a scene from the conspiracy thriller Blood and Blue, in which the Big Bad (or maybe just the Dragon, I dunno) is a Directive nova typical of Directive agents in Hollywood and Bollywood films, the majority of whom are

vile über-patriots willing to kill to keep their secrets. The rest are usually bumbling idiots who have no idea how to survive on the streets and must be shown the way the real world works by a street-smart, hip, urban cop.

Lastly, Park presents an email from John Tweeddale, marketing manager of Dramatic Designs, to Thomas Vietch, one of his action-figure designers (did the sculpts on the The Elites: At War! series), noting the flaws in Vietch's suggested line of Directive figures: the lack of existing marketing, plus "the idea of 10 identically dressed figures with varying accessories is so early 90s."
aberrantangels: (conspiracy theory)
Sorry I'm late, but I've been tired and demotivated lately.

July 10
[Aberrant] "The Voices of Clytemnestra" (the OpNet identity of Utopian nova Corby Carter) discourse.

It's entirely possible that Clytemnestra is still known as a "blogger" in a world where the Web was replaced by the OpNet. After all, the term "weblog" was invented in 1997, and "blog" was coined in early 1999. That could be just a rounding error of history.

"Objective Clytemnestra" talks about the Washington Post's recent connection of Mark Anthony Green to the Institute for Historical Review (a Holocaust-denial group) and calls Green's response a doctrine of original virtue: "One man, however fiercely he supports the propaganda of another, bears no responsibility for that other man's crimes."

The response in question was a statement of "'regret' for the 'insensitivity' of his youth" and the observation: "The people of the institute are historians; would you have some kind of original sin attach to them from a 20th century war?" (My answer is "Given that they're attempting to whitewash the reputation of that war's nigh-unquestionable villains, yes I fucking would.")

In contrast, "Narrative Clytemnestra" mentions that one Jules Courtnay, an André Corbin fanboy who carried his admiration of the Bender to the point of imitation, was arrested last month for killing his wife (in imitation of Corbin's alleged murder of Slider): "If Corbin's the innocent victim here, Jules has... struck out on his own and started redefining what being André Corbin means. If the sporty, nova-ish guy can't keep up, too bad." Finally, "Emotional Clytemnestra" sums up its opinion of original virtue with a quasi-paraphrase of Nietzsche: "If you wave your pom-poms for the monsters long enough, eventually you get to play on the monster team."

There's a certain irony there. Contrary to his optimistic statements on N-Day, candidate Portman is not 100% sanguine about how all novas will interact with baselines, and "Corb" (as Carter's delightful boot-slaves friends call him) is on his list of those to watch.

It started after N-Day, when Portman's wife Jennifer had to become something of an expert on novas purely in self-defense, as her poli-sci and history students interrupted her classes with nova-, Fireman- and quantum-power-related questions. Her old and new fields of study led her to conclude that hyperintelligent novas, "sphinxes" as she called them, would truly transcend their humanity, and would probably be unable to avoid rearranging human society to their liking. She told Randel about her theory, and they've opposed possible sphinx manipulations as best they can ever since.

They suspect Corb of being an "adder", a tool of the sphinxes, or a "smart egg", an incipient sphinx. The second guess is correct. His 2006 self-publication, Principles for an Ethical Society, lays out in public a proposal for the sort of societal reorganization that a full sphinx would conduct with discretion, and carries encoded in its complicated mathematical proofs a subliminal sales pitch. It also carries a hidden message from its caterpillar to any butterflies that may read it:

I know I am as a child to you. Before you attempt to interfere, please remember that the mass of humanity is much less than a child to you. You may grow lonely for my company in time.

All in all, it carries the feel of early Borgstromancy about it, from the period where RSean/RebeccaS were just starting to weave their spells.
aberrantangels: (I don't trust you dogfuckers)
Short and to the point.

June 28
[Aberrant] Skew appears on N!Sight with Parker Stevenson and, in answer to his closing question about the exploitation of novas, says, "Do I feel exploited? Sure. Do I care? When one interview nets me 200K? Are you kidding?"

And that's basically it.
aberrantangels: (dreaming of Zion awake)
And the debate continues.

June 20
[Aberrant] The "Opinion Forum" segment of N!'s Nova News Now! features a debate over Slider's murder between Chad "The Living Wreck" Berger (Chicago's franchised public defender) and alleged Calcutta cop Edgar Rhys.

I don't know whether Greg Stolze (author of Exposé: Aberrants) was trying to present a parody of our he-said/she-said media and the way it sets the limits of acceptable discourse, but that's the effect achieved, with Rhys treating Corbin as guilty until proven so and Berger unable to do more than poke a few holes in the case without coming across as a conspiracy nut. The closest he comes to speaking the unspeakable truth is in this exchange:

Rhys: If Corbin is innocent, why is he running?
Berger: Maybe he's afraid. Someone who could kill Jennifer could probably kill André too.

I find it worth mentioning at this point that the Aberrants, like Gaul, are divided into three parts. Berger, Renaissance Man, telepath/precog Mina Takamura, and a handful of others who worked with Utopia continue to do so, hiding their sympathies. Rousseau coordinates these Hidden with all the cunning at her disposal, as they attempt to determine the extent of Proteus' control and to (hopefully) shut it down without destroying Utopia, in whose goals they still believe. They're the smallest faction, according to E:A.

The largest (with nearly half of the allegiance's 40 or so members) is the Quarry, the Quitters who left Utopia after they got hints of Proteus, and as such find themselves on the run with no idea where to run to and only a vague notion of what they're running from. Corbin leads them, and leads them surprisingly well. Proteus' winged monkey may think of the Scotsman as the Scarecrow and/or Tin Man, but he's showing himself to have plenty of heart, and courage too.

And then there are the Rebels, the Radicals who were already on Utopia's bad side, either because (like Dr. Worm, their leader) they considered the Project "a kinder, gentler fascism" from the word Go, or because they "just don't play well with others." I suspect many of them would be Terats if Cargill hadn't gotten to them ahead of a Teragen spokesman.
aberrantangels: (Nova)
The lunatics are in the hall.

June 12
[Aberrant] Saxon resurfaces in an N! studio audience, his mind erased, his vocabulary reduced to the sentence "I am Saxon and Mal is my savior!"

He starts shouting out his new catchphrase (taught to him by the Apostle during the brainwipe) half an hour into Nova Morning Live from his location in the fifth row. "Saxon was eventually subdued by representatives of Project Utopia and is now in their care." CNN reportage of the matter will also mention that Thai police

have uncovered evidence linking Saxon to the disappearance of a over a [sic] dozen prostitutes in Bangkok over the least [sicer] 18 months, as well as allegations of a huge cover-up by Project Utopia.

(Obviously, this was written in haste by an underpaid intern, whether at CNN or White Wolf.)
aberrantangels: (Default)
Speaks for itself.

June 7
[Aberrant] Hyperintelligent nova Cassandra appears on N!Sight with Parker Stevenson, and in answer to his closing question about the exploitation of novas, says that they are exploited by armies, by researchers, and especially by the media, specifically naming N!'s own coverage of Slidergate before time runs out.

Or before Parker cuts her off. The Aberrant Storytellers Screen Companion date-stamps this April 7, but given the Slider reference ("They even broadcast the autopsy report"), I'm pretty sure this is just a case of the editor (Brandon Falkenburg) not doing his job.
aberrantangels: (the Matrix has you)
Minor update.

May 27
[Aberrant] The Mumbai News covers Saxon's reported status as missing in action, mentioning that a "Utopia spokesperson refused to confirm that the subjects of the investigation were members of the Teragen or if they were responsible for Saxon's disappearance."

Speaks for itself, I think.
aberrantangels: (Teragen)
Human and otherwise.

May 25
[Aberrant] N!terview's "The World's Opinion" segment shows the diversity of answers to the question "Who killed Slider and Why?"

A Michaelite in Texas says that "the more novas who kill each other off, the better." A high school student in New York thinks Corbin did it "because she knew about something he did, something really bad." A steel worker in London "think[s] those Teragen arseholes did it." An OpNet programmer in Hong Kong plugs his OpSite about "a secret cabal inside Utopia who want to control society and technology." A columnist in Rio guesses that "[s]omeone's trying to destabilize Utopia and provoke open war with the Teragen."

Raoul Orzaiz appears live from Ibiza on N!Sight with Parker Stevenson.

We could always send a telegram to the Right People. )

Earlier, Stevenson mentioned the media buzz linking the Teragen to the Slider murder. Raoul says point-blank "the Teragen had nothing to do with the death of Jennifer Landers. We are, however, quite interested in finding out who did, if for no other reason than to clear our name." In response to the suggestion that protection of nova interests should be left to Utopia, the count points out the buzz about Utopia's black-ops side and says "I, myself, have seen evidence suggesting that the late Jennifer Landers was a victim of Utopia's baseline agenda."

While the theory behind Proteus' secrecy is sound, Thetis has taken it too far to keep it manageable. )

Back to Raoul:

Utopia is a product of the Æon Society, which gained status in the United Nations by promising to deal with the so-called nova crisis. The nova crisis, Parker. At its very inception, Utopia designated us as a problem to which it was the final solution.... If we continue to serve humanity as executors of their will, we unavoidably become the instruments of still more bloodshed and terror.

He considers the inclusion of novas in the human community a violation of the UN Charter's guarantees of self-determination.
aberrantangels: (dreaming of Zion awake)
May 19
[Aberrant] Scandal rocks Project Utopia as unconfirmed reports of mercenary novas, government infiltration and nova black ops leak to the media. Æon Society and Project Utopia spokespeople immediately counter with evidence of a Teragen frame-up involving the dead Slider. Wary observers and conspiracy theorists see themselves as vindicated and deluge the media with dire predictions.

Some people have their reactions already planned.

Unfortunately, in light of the recent Slider tragedy, such laissez-faire management would be in nobody's best interest. )
aberrantangels: (Teragen)
After yesterday, is it any wonder I'm reluctant to go on? Besides, it's all downhill from here really.

May 14
[Aberrant] Jackie from Capitola [CA] calls in to talk radio's Jordan McDevitt Show to ask what Novelty Consulting is and why Slider was working for them.

He answers as best he can.

Talk TV's Monika Show does a segment with Mary-Beth, a mother whose daughter wants to join the Teragen.

I couldn't even watch read the talk-show segment all the way through; it just rubbed me the wrong way in ways I find hard to articulate. Maybe it was because neither side seemed to know what they were talking about. (One audience member says the Teragen is a front for a white-slave ring.)

A Terat who rejoices in the sobriquet "Penetrator" sent Geryon an email about "this sensationalist crap":

We're being turned into the new goblins. Next they'll be saying we steal children's breath or hide beneath bridges and whack people across the head so we can suck their bone-marrow.

To which James replies "I can't think of a better hobby, can you? ; )"
aberrantangels: (VIOLENCE! VIOLENCE!)
And of course there'll be sport.

May 12
[Aberrant] The article "XWF: Blood Money" is posted to Details magazine's OpSite.

It's a house show at Madison Square Garden (redesigned sometime in '05 by nova architect Piotr Enrikssen), full attendance of 87,996, of all ages, classes and colors.

We've already got confirmed sightings of DJ Faiz, Senator Guiliani and... Rocky Elizondo, complete with aging diva/sugar mama Madonna in tow. I hear that none other than it-couple Lydia Divine [a nova] and Katie Holmes are watching this show from the Garden's VIP box.

The card. )
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
The followup post was time-stamped 3:22 PM, by which time I was supposed to be on my way to work. So, y'know, sorry I'm late.

May 2
[Aberrant] Dicussion on NovaWatch's message boards of the upcoming wedding of T2Mers Makara and FireFox.

The original post, from Pritchett, asks

Have they lost their bloody minds over there? Letting two nova agents get married? And on T2M grounds as well? Can you say, "security risk"? I would assume Pax knows about this, but for God's sake, I can't believe he's letting it happen.

In the followup, Buddy (username may be "blinders") allows as how he doesn't get it either, but figures Utopia "must have it under control. I figure Pax /had/ to put his stamp of approval on it, or it wouldn't be happening on their grounds." He relays the statement of his brother-in-law, a Washington Post reporter, that every media outlet in existence is trying to get into A-A to cover the event.

But the surprise factor shouldn't be that high, given that the two have been lovebirds for a couple of whiles; heck, Playboy "had picture" [sic] of them frolicking in the nude on a Caribbean beach. Maybe Shelby is hoping that familiarity will breed some sort of cooldown. "<shrug> I guess we'll see, huh?"
aberrantangels: (VIOLENCE! VIOLENCE!)

April 24
[Aberrant] Rob "Superbeast" Steele hits Duke "Core" Baron with a dumpster in a segment filmed for Monday Mega-Massacre to set up an angle for May's Hong Kong Karnage pay-per-view.

I've made one previous passim mention of Superbeast. Out of the ring, in human form, Rob Steele's actually quite a nice guy (he fronts a skew-metal band called Süperbëast; it's unclear how much of their popularity is bleedover from the XWF). In the ring, with a tusked muzzle and cloven hooves, he's the Corpsegrinder, the Lord of the Dead (both of which have been the titles of Süperbëast albums, albeit the former was spelled Korpsgryndrr), the Nova with No Heart, the kind of gladiator who would have the catchphrase that opened this post.

After filming of the spot, Rob suggests they go over to Juggz and get the nova-size plate of buffalo wings, but Gary the production manager points out the potential for a kayfabe breach, given that the two are currently being put over as bitter enemies.

[livejournal.com profile] stolisomancer once used this incident to explain to me the sports-entertainment concept of "selling" a move, which I'd seen referenced in various mostly-MOT-related contexts (like a mention that Raccoon City no-sells Jill's escape in PJ's BioDread's infamous "Nemesis", or a gag in which [livejournal.com profile] jameshoward's altered ego the Multimediocre Knight oversold a punch so hard he exploded).
aberrantangels: (dreaming of Zion awake)
Running to the polls.

April 11
[Aberrant] An N! "The World's Opinion" segment gets mostly affirmative answers to the question "Is Project Utopia handling its power responsibly?"

A policeman in Seoul calls them "a fine example to all of humanity, nova or otherwise". A prosecutor in Chicago "suppose[s] it could be much worse", hinting that their power unsettles him, but allowing as how "they've done all right by it — so far." A primary school teacher in Paris says that their willingness to use violence at all makes their methods suspect. A student in London is all "So what if those stateside wankers get all knotted up over 'em? If I had that power, I'd use it too!"

And a farmer in Inewari, Ethiopia, lists how his family is no longer "sick, poor and hopeless" thanks to the remediation of his nation. "Utopia and the Team Tomorrow are a blessing, and I cannot believe that you would ask otherwise."
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
...of the Aberrant corebook's "Setting" section, that is)

March 23
[Aberrant] The Fireman is interviewed for the N! documentary Reaching the Stars: A Decade of Novas.

One of the delays in posting this was the difficulty in finding the motivation to look at Portman's words. They're the very first text piece in the rulebook, and as such, there's a fair amount of as-you-know-Bob; also, the artist who drew the accompanying images of Portman gives him a hebephrenic grin that really gets on my tits.

There was also a lot of sincere Utopia boosterism, meant to sucker the reader on his initial encounter with the book, but annoying as hell on revisitation: Utopia has done nothing but good for the world, only right-wing cranks have any reason to object to Utopia, blah blah blah. Oh, and

if [Divis Mal] really believes that [novas aren't bound by human laws], and it's not just a publicity stunt or ratings gimmick, then... his mom should have spanked him more often.... [T]he Teragen is... nothing but a gang of thugs, the Manson Family with super-powers.... They are the ones who are putting this smear-campaign crap on the Project.

He ended with the irony-licious prediction that "the next 10 years will be even better than the last. I really believe that the 21st century will be the dawn of a golden age for mankind."

March 24
[Aberrant] A DeVries agency employee named Khalif sends elite Jeffries a briefing letter on the Nakato-gumi.

This is preparatory to what Jeffries may think of as "a simple extraction", warning him that it's no such thing. He warns Jeffries that the blacktech the Nakato (probably) have at their disposal is likely to have military applications, and might even be capable of taking down Geryon. Having already reminded him that "half the zaibatsu in Osaka are likely in their pockets", he points out that the Nakato are popular with Jiro Sixpack as well; the number three manga series in the country is about a yakuza nova who, when not engaged in his employment, can be found "helping out the little guy and tweaking the noses of foreign authorities." (Although it's been made into an anime, it sounds to me less like the original version of Gumi Nova Tragic than like some Nova Age version of One Piece.) And you can bet your node that they've got at least one real nova, "and we have no idea what sort of powers they're packing. That comic shows somebody with superspeed, but" it's not necessarily reliable.
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
"Good evening, this is Violet Cameron..."

March 20
[Aberrant] N!'s Nova Planet looks at four prominent Utopians: Caestus Pax, Slider, Ana Graça Texeira and Antaeus.

The transcript quotes the standard description of Pax (who'll be seen through a typical day in his life) as possibly the most powerful nova on Earth (I can almost hear [livejournal.com profile] md_donighal's derisive snort at that). It also describes him as "the ideal of dedication — he is the voice of Project Utopia's vision of hope, peace and the betterment of life on Earth." (And now, for anyone who knows the real Shelby Eisenfaust*, the laughter becomes uncontrollable.)

Jennifer is cited as "the living counterargument to the Null Manifesto — the girl who proves that no matter what, novas and baselines are not so very different after all." N! goes to places where she's done her thing and talks to those whose lives she's saved.

A Texeira is "equally at home scouring the ocean bed, taking guns away from terrorist guerrillas or helping in the construction of new housing for the homeless." The show recaps her career from eruption to now.

The good Dr. Balmer is the only one for whom they seem to be focusing forward: "Everything he touches turns to green — so what's next on this hypergenius's schedule?" (Though they do mention his role in Operation Eden and such phenomena.)

* Not to be confused with the real Primary World [livejournal.com profile] eisenfaust, even if the Shelb is the reason I friended the LJ guy.
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
"And when you smile for the camera, I know they're gonna love it." (Steely Dan, "Peg")

February 24
[Aberrant] Tomorrowite sweethearts Makara and FireFox are interviewed by Janetta Johnson for N! Up-to-Date.

Pax (FireFox feels the need to remind us who he is) gave them, as an engagement present, "this adorable little house only a couple miles from the T2M headquarters in Mexico City." Makara is being transferred there from A-A because T2M-Americas aren't kept as busy as T2M-Central. "[K]ids are number one on our agenda," says Dwayne Rocky Makara. "We want to have a whole dozen of them."


aberrantangels: (Default)
the true meaning of Klordny

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