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2015-10-18 OOC:RP Scav Hunt Meme

RP Scavenger Hunt! Complete as many off the list below as possible and link the scene which completes it.

Yes, scenes can count for more than one item. If you complete the list by November 8, send staff a +request and a link to your entry for a bonus luck point!

   RP in 5 different neighborhoods (On-grid or using the TP Rooms)
   Have a scene in a TP room, complete with a saved desc for the location.
   RP using a +scene prompt.
   RP using a +gmscene prompt.
   Have a scene where you use the combat code.
   Have a scene that results in +graffiti.
   Have a scene that results in +scuttlebutt.

OOC: RP Scav Hunt Meme

RP Scavenger Hunt! Complete as many off the list below as possible and link the scene which completes it.

Yes, scenes can count for more than one item. If you complete the list by 8th November, send staff a +request and a link to your entry for a bonus luck point!

2045-10-16 Memory


Mutant Town is starting to get claustrophobic.

No, New York is starting to get claustrophobic.

Rohan and Huruma and Sumit makes three, and I was so much happier when it felt like I'd really, truly left all that behind. Huruma always made me uncomfortable, with those razor smiles and that empath stare that says she's listening to every hint of emotion that leaks off me. She was never Sikorski. He spoiled me on psionics.

And she stands there looking between Ro and me and I know what she must be getting and it makes me itch. I can't stand it. I can't stand her and I can't stand him.

What the fuck is he even still doing here?

No, I don't care. What I care about is why the fuck does he keep staring at me like some little lost puppy dog. Why is he full of confessions and professions of-- why does he act like we were anything more than pretty comfy fuck buddies?

If we were anything more, he wouldn't have lied. If we were anything more, he wouldn't have left me bleeding on the other side of that portal.

So he ran away and go himself in trouble and didn't know where to go, and now I'm not sure if he's lying to himself or just to me. I'm not sure if it matters.

I hate that they're here at all. I hate that I have to stand in the middle of Bullseye and look Ember in the eye and tell him how I know Nehru. I hate how many people I used to know are running desperate from the sorts of guys I used to be paid to put away.

I hate that Emb's seen me like that, and I hate that he seems to understand, and I hate that it almost feels okay.

I hate that part of me isn't sure I wouldn't still be there, if Rohan hadn't left.

I hate that part of me misses it.

I miss X-Force so damn much sometimes that it aches. How stupid is that? Forget Rohan. Forget Garuda and all the mercenaries tumbling into my town. Even forget fucking Kade Caruthers. What I want most in this world is to have that back. A job that meant something. Where I trusted everyone at my back and over my head and I did something that meant something.

Where I meant something.

There are too many memories taking up residence in Mutant Town right now, and all they do is remind me that I don't mean a damn thing anymore.

2045.10.16 OOC: RP Scav Hunt Meme

RP Scavenger Hunt! Complete as many off the list below as possible and link the scene which completes it. Yes, scenes can count for more than one item.

If you complete the list by November 8, send staff a +request and a link to your entry for a bonus luck point!

2045-10-16 Killing Time

I’m really not sure what the fuck I’m doing any more.

For a while, I was just running for my life, running scared, and sheer terror has this way of crowding everything else out.

Then when I managed to take a deep breath, gain a little distance, and calm down enough to make a plan, I thought if I could just find Sky, it’d be all right.I knew she had every reason to be mad at me, but I thought, with time, if I tried hard enough, I could make it up. I’d find a way to make it up to her. She was all I had--this tiny beacon of hope from far off.

And now I’m here and I don’t know what to do when she won’t believe a word I say. And it’s hard not to believe her when she says she doesn’t care what I do. Might as well go back to my old ways?

Except--I tried for a few days. I drank and gambled and flirted outrageously. It distracted me. I won some money. But I wasn’t tempted to follow anyone home and it didn’t make me any happier. It felt like--well, what’s the point? What’s the bloody point? I’m not doing anything. I’m just killing time.

She’s here, even if she hates me. I’ve got a job and a flatmate. Might as well stay and keep trying, even if it ends up killing me, one way or another.

OOC: RP Scav Hunt Meme


RP Scavenger Hunt! Complete as many off the list below as possible and link the scene which completes it.

Yes, scenes can count for more than one item. If you complete the list by November 8, send staff a +request and a link to your entry for a bonus luck point!

2045.10.10 Impetus


Thought collection is such an


The hands to feed,
the subtle milkteeth of a begging mouth.

My own,
starving or staving,
never saved,
the tug of sharp teeth against bone to grind.

I am here in glittering light and shadow,
I am an impulse,
a front,
a wildling fire,
a phantom feeling.

Anywhere I wish.

Though I am here, drawn, magnetic, frenetic, interstitial.

And why?
I'll never say.

Others try to speak for me,
daring to commit where I don't.

She, he, he, me,
a flock,
hungry eagles on the east wind,
doomed to plummet,
or to simply


2045-10-06 The Hard Way

So, no cats to rescue from trees yet, but apparently ‘making a difference’ means building sheds and helping people move. And who the hell signs work emails with Xs and Os? (Who the hell signs anything with Xs and Os?)

Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m the one who’s all wrong. Twisted and hardened and cynical and terribly fucking paranoid. Well, considering my family and everyone I knew rejected me, and a drug lord’s been hunting me, I don’t think it entirely an unreasonable rejection.

Maybe there is a mythical world out there with daisies and kittens and pure love that I can see if I only just believe.

Yeah, right.

I am trying, though. I could live in comfort here if I trotted out the old jedi mind trick a little more often, accepted people’s offers, talked my way into things. Instead I’m sleeping on benches and joined the boy scout brigade (complete with hugs and kisses) and just picked up some prep work in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant (yes, Chinese) in hopes of being able to afford my own shit hole apartment by next month. Doing things the hard way is fucking hard.

I guess that’s the point.

And Sky? Well, all I can do is be there and hope, eventually, maybe she’ll come to trust me again. It’ll take forever. Even I know she’s got a perfect right to be mad at me.

It’d be so much easier if I just crawled into her head and erased all the bad memories. So she wouldn’t be mad at me anymore. So she wouldn’t hurt anymore.

But even I know that’s wrong. No one I know; that’s my rule. Especially her.

Besides, I start messing around in her head and maybe she wouldn't be Sky any more.

XFS Postings 10-5-15

Available jobs this week:

1) Stolen engagement ring, sapphires and platinum, very classy. Retrieval bonus if the ring itself is located. Police don't have time/manpower to track the thieves. There may be a city reward for information leading to the apprehension of one of these guys so if we find the boys and the ring we may be able to collect twice. Getting paid twice for the same job is my kind of afternoon!

2) Out of town gig to a farm a few hours north of the City. Storm blew down a shed. Mutant activity suspected but for my money it was just the wind. Anyways, they want help putting the shed back up. I'm not too good for a shed! Are you?

3) PS 34 arson threat turned out to be facebook posts from a kid pyro who doesn't know what she's doing. Please let's see if we can take care of this kiddo before Mutant Affairs gets to her. Her mom will pay us. Honestly this is the kind of thing I'd love to be able to do for free, but you know how it goes.

4) Spotters for 18th Street. Simon says one of the new vendors at his fighting ring might be M.A. setting up to snatch one of his fighters and he wants to know for sure. Do you like Polish sausage?

5) Movers. It's not glamorous but it's what the people need. From Brooklyn to Queens. We don't need to provide the van, just the manpower.

6) New York City documentary filmmaker looking for at least three mutants, doing a highlight on Mutant Town. Check out her filmography (link provided). Her politics are so lefty she makes me look like a redneck. Flower crowns may be optional. Anybody wanting to keep a low profile should probably skip this one.

We're really starting to pick up more clientele, and Fyodorov says he may have a couple more for me next week. Keep up the good work and remember, if you hustle up a job yourself you'll get that sweet commission bonus! Thanks guys.



2045-10-2 There But For The Grace of I Go They

What would they do without my munificence?

Perish the thought. One of the obligations of wealth and privilege is to take advantage of it, to hone yourself into someone worthy of the opportunity you have been granted. Without Volfram financial, technological, and logistic support the African Union would still have become impressive, but would have had to function under far greater duress. Would South Africa's policy towards mutants be so tolerant if not quietly accepting if so many of the great families were not either mutants themselves or keen to avoid the mistakes of apartheid?

There are wicked souls, also of means and talent, that would take the heart of humanity and twist it to dark and evil things if allowed. The good who refuse to play the game become statistics, or hope that the whims of strong but morally uncertain character intersect with their own and cannot be tempted.

Revelation, the backward politicians and armies of small minded nations, the other side of the board has no shortage of volunteers or resources. Logic dictates that the good must not refuse to play the game, but become better at it. The difference is that a good man will sometimes admit that he is playing the game, and have some rules as to how he conducts the campaign.

It is as the man said, fortune has been kind to me. Yet I have undertaken and sacrificed much for the betterment of Humanity. I am no man of destiny, but I am a man with more than most, so therefore expectation is that much greater. The stakes are high. The goals set for me and for my siblings are dynastic in nature. Many of our tasks are but smaller works in a grand design that is the work of generations.

Which means that instruments must be used, and rarely, sacrificed....but with this comes a corollary.

That we ourselves are instruments, and one day we may be required to sacrifice. Just as others serve our design, we serve the greater human race and its constituent parts.

What would they do without my munificence?

When a game has one player, that side wins by default.

There but for the Grace Of I Go They.

Aufsteigen und überwinden

2045-09-27 Jealous

I don’t get jealous, me. It’s a waste of time and emotion. I’m cool. I dance around, letting things bounce off my back like water off a duck. Easier that way.

It’s probably nothing to get jealous of, anyway. Just some bloke she knew before. She did know people before, I see now. I always thought she was like me—disowned by the world. Now I realize she has a whole fucking community here—friends, roots, acceptance—

I’m kind of jealous of that, too. She’s grounded and I’m more of an outsider here than I’ve ever been.

She sure did look cosy, cuddled up beside him.

I don’t get jealous. So what’s this gnawing at my insides?

What I’d give if she’d only cuddle up to me again.

2045-09-30 TO: Jeremy

TO: Jeremy Wallace; Alexandra Brady
FROM: Ciel Kane

Got your fugitive. Bagged and delivered. Will stop by soon to chat money.

Not bad.

- C

XFS Postings

(1) Hovervehicle crash at the top of a building. Please help client retrieve as much of the vehicle and its contents as possible.

(2) Missing persons on a new-manifested mutant (age 13). Uncontrolled shapeshifter. Client is one of two parents. The other one may not ... want him back, entirely. Last seen somewhere near the Meat Shack.

(3) Bondsman's bounty posted on federal fugitive (drugrunner accused, nonconviction). Return to Fyodorov's for $3000 bounty on $150,000 bail jump.

(4) Rat infestation at local restaurant. Cash only, no reporting to health dep't. Strict NDA (no Eyes or social media please).

If you drum up business in addition to these, remember your commission bonus and shake your tails out there, people!



2045-09-26 Lies

I always try to avoid telling complete lies. It’s like editing people’s memories—make too big a change, the greater the chance something else won’t match up. Make a small change, and let people adjust the rest to match. Half-truths, vagaries, omissions—that’s the way go. It’s a game. Sometimes it’s a fun game. Sometimes it’s a sad one.

It might be nice not to have to play it. But the whole idea that someone might know all the ugliness about me and be all right with it seems sort of mad.

I thought once that maybe I could, with Sky. When things felt right and I thought maybe—but I’d already told my old lie about my powers then and I didn’t know how to climb out of that.

I knew I’d have to put in some work to get her to even look at me after all the mistakes I’d made. I deserved it. I swore I’d only tell her the truth this time, even if it made her hate me.

I never once thought she wouldn’t believe me. Apparently I've been telling stories so long I can't tell the truth right.

For a moment I considered lying to her just to get her to believe the rest of what I was saying—but that’s bloody mad, isn’t it? It’d be a lie. A big lie, to say I don’t care for her, and that’d ruin everything.

And my head hurts and I’m soaked to the skin and I really want a smoke. A smart man’d cut his losses and run but I’m tired of running and I want her more than that cigarette. I’m not sure how a survivor like me turned into such a damned romantic.

Might as well sleep on a park bench tonight. Serve me fucking right.

2045-09-23 Pathetic

I shouldn’t have done that either.

Playing games with gambling rings isn’t a great idea whether it’s fighting or cards. But there was such a rush on the windows I thought I could get away with it. And it meant another night under a roof, another meal or two, another day with fewer worries and fewer decisions. I’ve never been very good at resisting temptation.

God, this is an expensive shit heap. I’ve been spoilt by all those years in India, where you can live like a king on a steady wage. Here the money flows through your fingers like fucking water.

So I keep rolling the dice, because I might just be one mind trick away from actually sleeping in the dumpster. Or being arrested. Or worse. It’s funny how little risk matters when you don’t really care any more.

I’m awful jumpy now all the same. That’s why I pulled a gun on Hu, I guess. No real reason to. We’ve always been…competitive, but not unfriendly. Never worried about her stabbing me in the back before. Although I can’t help but think it’s quite the coincidence she’s here. I’m safe enough on this continent. Lincoln wouldn’t bother. I think. Although I suppose I don’t have to stay here. I could disappear further, into some crappy town in the back of behind where no one would ever find me. Somehow where things are a lot cheaper. It makes sense, after all. I’m lucky enough to be a non-obvious mutant, after all, and surely some crappy town somewhere would love to have a charming Englishman with a talent for cooking and sculpture, Or, er, well, me.

Instead I’m pondering sleeping in on a park bench tomorrow night. And why?

Because, once, years ago, I held someone in my arms and it actually felt like something real and meaningful. Scared me shitless.

And yet here I am.

Fuck me, I’m pathetic.

She doesn’t want to see me. But she’ll never want to see me if I run out again.

Maybe I can stand being pathetic a little while longer.

2045-09-23-Here Began the Fall of Rome

Or perhaps it was already failing. But as I watched two young men battle for sport (or was it money? I sometimes have trouble telling the difference), I cannot help but dwell on the consequences of America's attitude toward its mutants. To appease a tyranny of the masses, the petty and small who rule marginalize a population that should, all inputs being equal, be its foremost champions and scholars.

The last gladiatorial games in the city of Rome were held in the new year of 404 AD. In seventy two years the Empire would cease to exist as a political entity. A mere blink in the eye in the span of human history, a speck in the ocean of geologic time, but a profound moment nonetheless. In the greater scheme of things, the battle of Nova and the Red Peril is even less so. Yet it is a moment stacked upon other moments that some historian will point to in a long vignette as to the decline of the American state.

Viewed through this lens, it almost makes the patrician meddling my family and I practice seem justifiable. However, one always must be careful about arguments of the greater good. Down that rabbit hole leads all manner of dark designs, and the greater good has a diminishing return inverse to the amount of wickedness perpetrated in pursuit of it. There is a time when even Rome is too far gone, and the decision must be made to build something new.

I am fortunate that bioethics ultimately concerns itself with the good of a single patient. Making decisions for an entire society sounds like there would be a great deal of hand wringing and search for vindication involved.

2045-09-22 Regret

Bit down my pride and cheated my way through several hands of poker last night. Yes, pride. I don’t like cheating in games. Takes all the challenge out of it. When you can rifle through memories to see cards and conveniently delete any regarding my own hand or tells, it’s a little like shooting fish in a barrel. Besides, it’s not something you can use as a reliable source of income. People get suspicious if you win too much. I learnt that years ago. Luckily my nose healed straight.

Still, I won enough to keep me going a while longer. After that? I’ve no idea. I’ll get by somehow. I always have.

And enough that I comfortably played for peanuts and philosophy after that. It makes me wonder if some of those boy scouts from the other day are beginning to see me as a project. Redeem the mercenary, restore his faith in humankind, blah, blah, blah. I’m pretty sure it’s too late for that. It’s too late for a lot of things.

Found a cheap little hotel. It’s grimy and I’m pretty sure it does a lot of its business by the hour, but there’s a door and the shower works. Sort of. I don’t want to think about the variety of interesting insect life in the nooks and crannies, and the walls are so paper-thin I can hear the couple next door shagging. To be honest, there are times when I wouldn’t mind that. Tonight I’m not in the mood. I just want to lie here and try to forget all the things it’s too late for.

I wonder if I’d turned around that day in India and explained things to Sky then, would she have come with me? Probably not. From what I’ve seen here, shitheap NYC or not, she was slumming in India.

Pity I can’t edit the past the way I can memories.

Maybe if I try hard enough I can delete some of mine.

2045-09-22-Aufsteigen und überwinden

Aufsteigen und überwinden. The family motto. Ascend and Overcome. A bit pretentious perhaps, but if our continued prosperity echoes in those beneath us, can anyone truly find fault with it? I was sent here to evaluate and, if necessary, prune a possible deviancy, but in the eyes of New York, perhaps I too am a stark deviation.

Which raises the question: am I the carnivore, to devour and conquer? The parasite, that hides and subverts the host organism? Or, as I hope, am I the farmer, who guides and grows his field while benefiting from the results of his crop?

An invasive species either has an advantage over the native life or it does not. It takes advantage of a biome that was not designed to defend against it, or it fails to find a niche and perishes. New York has seen wealthy men before, and it has seen great men of science and medicine and engineering before. I am an invasive species, but my kind has invaded before. The challenge, then, is to make inroads before adaptation can occur.

I have the disadvantage of class and education, but with my history of publication and family name, deception would have been a cumbersome tactic at best, and ruined chance to establish a foundation of thrust. A bit of exaggerated social clumsiness and naivete (with the added benefit of being not entirely artifice) may win more favor than more calculating behavior. A bit of humanity in this group, I suspect, will pay greater dividends. Ms. Kane's reaction has been prickly, but I believe it is better to be suspected as awkward than something more sinister. I have no doubt that her skills in the disposal of overeager chessmasters are far superior to my own in a more direct format.

Which raises the question of X-Factor itself.

Mr. Wallace's band is....ragtag, which is not without its advantages. Projects of this nature tend to escalate well beyond the initial intentions of their mission statement, and uniformity while a logistical comfort and a guarantee of quality can lead to stagnation. Former mercenaries, private investigators, well-meaning thrillseekers. Useful skillsets, if a bit disparate at first glance. There are a few whose backgrounds bear more detailed examination, but I will not over-commit resources to this task until I am certain this X-Factor Solutions is a strategic tool rather than a tactical one. A few ten thousands to track Uncle Heinrich is of no issue. Making them an equivalent (if not as subservient) of our own security forces would require extensive investment and very gentle handling. Regardless, X-Factor is a promising potential asset and worth cultivating. Sweet kids, a few lost souls, nothing that cannot be swung to great purpose.

Aufsteigen und überwinden. Maybe I can even take them with me. It is a nice thought, certainly.

2045-09-20 Know

Rohan is here. In New York. Still.

I've spent the past week mostly trying to pretend that he's not. That if I just-- don't look at him or talk to him or-- or smell him, with his stupid fucking smell like leather and spice. If I just don't engage with him at all, it won't be real.

Because I don't know what to do with a Rohan Ainsworth who is actually in my apartment telling me sob stories about things we never, ever told each other sob stories about and acting like he crossed an ocean to find my doorstep because he was running toward me and not away from something else.

When I do look at him, I wonder how I ever thought I knew him at all. Every inch of him is so very, very familiar, and yet it feels like I don't actually know any of it.

Not any of it that matters.

Not the parts that could step through a portal and leave me alone and not come back.

Not the parts that could sleep on my couch and not in my bed.

Not the parts that stand in front of me with that earnest look and describe some boy I never knew, but recognize anyway.

I wonder how much of it is true. And I wonder what he was like, if it is. Before they ruined him.

He's a part of a piece of my life that I hate. He was my person. But he was the person of a Ciel I don't want to be anymore. Of a Ciel I wish I never was. He reminds me of-- so many things. And some of them are so deliciously good, and some of them I wish I could just bury completely, forgotten.

And still. Something started aching when he stood there making excuses. And even though he was good enough to remind me that he never minded what we did and that he doesn't believe in heroics and that the worlds we come from are so very, very far apart, it's hard to ignore it.

It's hard not to wonder about all the shit it turns out I didn't know.

2045-09-20 Running

I didn’t actually sleep anywhere last night. Thought about going up and charming the nice girl upstairs to let me stay for a couple of nights, but somehow I didn’t think moving upstairs was quite what Sky meant when she said she wanted me gone. So I went to a bar, nursed a pint until closing time, then went for a walk in the night. This place is a shit heap, but that’s okay. Most of my life’s been spent in shit heaps. It’s sort of reassuring that the great New York City is just another one. Then I found a breakfast place and ate breakfast very slowly. Had a bit of a kip there, in the booth when the waitress wasn’t looking. It turns out I’m too old to go entirely without sleep.

I paid for it all. It’s so easy to edit a memory or two, but that lady in the diner the other day spooked me. I’ve always been careful. I’ve my rules. Keep it harmless. No big edits, no doing anything to the brains of anyone I actually know (even when it’d get me out of a lot of trouble), etc, etc. I don’t want to think about all the little wrongs I might have caused over the years. It takes work to keep remorse down to a functional level. I just don’t like the idea anyone could notice what I’m doing. It scares me. I admit it. I’ve been running scared all this time. Since India. Since before India.

I was thinking about what I might’ve been if I hadn’t—well, if it all hadn’t happened to me. Last night, in that meeting with all those shiny faced kids. There was an idealistic Rohan once. He was so excited to go to uni. First in the family; Dad’s family had always worked on farm, and Mum’s in restaurant. He had these dreams. He’d probably have gotten his degree and become a teacher, lecturing about history to kids who didn’t want to listen, while still believing in differences and right things. Nice house, maybe, married, kids, etc, etc. Probably wears tweed.

Other Rohan sounds like a bit of a wanker.

But that’s not me. That’s what I was trying to explain. It’s not just that I’ve seen things. I was a merc. I’ve killed people for money. I’ve crossed that moral event horizon. I don’t think the genie goes back in the bottle, even for making a Differences and rescuing kittens. But I’m tired of running. I’m tired of being scared. Here am I, creeping up on forty, and I’ve got absolutely nothing except a gun in my pocket and a price on my head. No home, no friends, nowhere to sleep. I can keep on going as I have, skating by on a smile and a joke and the occasional Jedi mind trick, but it’s starting to seem more and more meaningless.

And if Sky won’t even talk to me, what’s the bloody point?

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