Collaborative Post-by-Post Universe: COMIX 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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Collaborative Post-by-Post Universe: COMIX 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Post by Invictus » Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:15 pm

That's right.

As far as I can discern from the olden archives of OZ, our biggest and most successful collective achievement began life in 2006. That means it turns 10 this year!

To commemorate that, let's do a spot of worldbuilding.

---

The Usual Rules:

- Collaborative post-by-post universe. There may be brief synopses on what there is so far now and then.
- There is no need to contribute one whole subject matter per post. You can also add detail or twists to any existing subject, or leave a skeleton for others to add to!
- You cannot post after your own post (to maintain balanced content input).
- You cannot contradict a previous poster's material (only build upon each others' stuff).

---

The Premise:

The powers of the world have finally decided that it is time to create a single, world-girdling superhero team.

(Now, what are these powers of the world? The obvious superpower countries or less obvious entities? What is the crisis that they face? Who are the superhero candidates, and why? What is the structure and organization of this team, and what kind of compromises has it made? And certainly don't hesitate to populate the rest of the setting.)
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
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REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
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Re: Collaborative Post-by-Post Universe: COMIX 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Post by Siege » Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:53 am

Has it really been 10 years? Jeez...

The Ambient is a down-at-the-heel nightclub in Rostock, Germany that in recent times found itself propelled into the forefront of superpower politics simply by virtue of a number of its clientele and DJs being 'metaprivileged'. Riotous and subversive, The Ambient is run by manager and producer Siggi Stromkvist who with his penchant for leather pants, anarchic attitude and terrible English makes a pretty good techno deejay but a terrible diplomat or teacher.

The storiedly nihilistic nightclub was a handful for law enforcement and other assorted authorities to deal with at the best of times, but now the world is facing the interdimensional knuckle sandwich that is the Zero Hour Momentum and The Ambient's unruly and insubordinate clientele might be amongst the precious few keys to guide the world through the conflux unscathed.

Even though he has his heart in the right place it very much remains to be seen whether XTC-fueled party boy Stromkvist can survive the coming storm with with his soul intact and principles unscathed, much less keep safe the teenage crowd of wide-eyed metagifted that call his club the only true home they have ever known.
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Re: Collaborative Post-by-Post Universe: COMIX 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Post by Invictus » Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:49 am

The Sea Sphere is by all appearances a pearlescently dark construct of abyssal stone, approximately two hundred meters in diameter, drifting placidly over the world's oceans by no detectable means of propulsion since its emergence from the seabed some six months prior. Its surface is free of oceanic growths despite having been buried for millions of years, and the implications of the Sphere's artificiality alone would be overturning a great deal of scientific assumptions if it weren't for greater, ever more eyecatching incidents of the mounting crisis.

What makes the Sphere more than yet another physical anomaly in the Manhattan Codex is a subtle thing: the anomalous weather patterns that seem to follow it. Storms that happen in the Sphere's vicinity persist beyond all reasonable meteorological model, as does good weather; even a few developing cyclones have been reflected from their predicted paths by nothing more than the Sphere's presence (to the consternation of the coastal areas where they unexpectedly head). Still, authorities are worried about what the phenomenon might escalate into, at a time where all things seem to be escalating.

So far, the only thing preventing drastic action being taken against the Sphere is the word of the esteemed Knight-Professor Sunderam, who has to date carried out the only successful internal survey of the construct, and who claims to be working towards a picture of its objectives.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

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Re: Collaborative Post-by-Post Universe: COMIX 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:03 pm

Invictus wrote:The powers of the world have finally decided that it is time to create a single, world-girdling superhero team.
EXCIGIS - Exigent Circumstances Global Intercession Service, an organization that came to be in the mid/late-1990s after years of development and diplomatic wrangling, catalyzed by several diplomatically delicate extranormal incidents (some say calamities) in the preceding decades. Initially it was called the Exigent Circumstances Intercession Service (EXCIS) and before that the UN Extranormal Conditions Task Force (EXCON). Shortly after its establishment, the multinational committee decided to drop 'Task Force' in favor of 'Service' to make it sound less aggressive.

Befitting its worldwide jurisdiction, it has become a sizable organization incorporating thousands of personnel in mostly mundane roles, but it remains best known for the elite metabeings it sends to intercede in the exigent circumstances in question. These field officers, who are usually depicted as superheroes in the mainstream media when they are not being portrayed as super-powered shocktroops of the new world order, are vetted and selected from EXCIGIS' member organizations, which are mostly UN-recognized governments and NGOs. Before being approved for duty, they undergo rigorous training not only for field operations, i.e. combat against superpowered threats or peacekeeping and humanitarian missions in calamity-wracked areas, but also in the innumerable diplomatic protocols involved in operating under United Nations oversight.

The complexity of this chain of command, with the decision-making body composed of nations frequently at odds against each other, means that EXCIGIS is approved to operate only in certain mutually agreed upon conditions - namely those that don't involve the local politics or other sensitive issues of whichever nation the officers are sent to. Rogue metas, extranormal phenomena, natural disasters and even mundane problems that have been escalated to the international community can fall within EXCIGIS' scope, but only when there approval in both local and international levels.

This can result in conflicts of interests, nations pulling out the officers they have contributed to the organization, even EXCIGIS personnel clashing with superpowered vigilantes and other factions and personalities that, while perhaps beloved by the public, still technically classify as non-state actors unrecognized by any UN member. It is for this reason that member nations do not actually send the most powerful metas in their employ and some renowned (and considerably powerful) superheroes do not operate with the auspices of either EXCIGIS or their homelands' governments, which causes considerable ire amongst those in power world over. Mostly, however, EXCIGIS' biggest and most frequent hurdles are bureaucratic complications and diplomatic disagreements that result in delayed operations, hamstrung rules of engagement or even canceled missions. This has led critics to lambast the organization for being ineffective, for not doing enough to make the world a better place, even as others accuse EXCIGIS of being an instrument for neo-imperialism and careless interventionism.

While individually, or even as a group, EXCIGIS' officers may not be the most powerful out there, overall they are extremely well trained, highly capable and aside from their impressive abilities as individuals and as teams, they can also call upon the immense technological and logistical resources of their organization... but again, these are highly regulated by the authorities keeping watch over those they've appointed as their guardians.
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Re: Collaborative Post-by-Post Universe: COMIX 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Post by Invictus » Fri Mar 04, 2016 6:52 am

Noah Haraab is a senior technical advisor of EXCIGIS, as well as the holder of a number of committee posts and paramilitary rank relating to administrative and operation C3 whose exact responsibilities (and chains of command) are classified under the EXCIGISSTP (Exigent Circumstances Global Intercession Service Security Treaty Protocol) followed by all constituent nations and members. This makes her one of the so-called "Two Hundred", so named by a widely circulated list as the known EXCIGIS personnel who are privileged to work under a cloud of unaccountable secrecy. According to conspiracy theorists, this also makes her member of a sinister cabal of puppeteers whose control of EXCIGIS is just a front for the consolidation of all global power into a new world order.

In some quarters such rumors are held to with particular bitterness. It is an open secret that Noah Haraab was also the infamous outlaw hacktivist Suspekt Nemo, and her recruitment into EXCIGIS was an utter betrayal of not only anarchist principles, but also of the long war against decades of government secrecy towards the extranormal that, as activists claim, only prevents anyone from putting together the true picture of the threat humanity faces.

Other quarters find more reason in the turnabout, since although Suspekt Nemo had struck her fair share of blows against the corrupt corpocracy-complex, her greatest recognized achievement remains the development of NEMONET, an incredibly swift and flexible data network adopted by hackers, cyberpunks and vigilante action organizations whose initial version went uncompromised by the the world's collective intelligence agencies for several whole years (Said adopters still use marginally more secure descendant versions of the original network). If she was able to achieve that with nothing more than spit, black magic and leaks of a quantum blueprint, how much can she achieve with EXCIGIS's considerable resources at her disposal?* Perhaps she simply decided she would do more good on the side of The Man.

Or perhaps it has something to do with the known parameters of her "gift", the ability to physically manifest different persona...

*At least, to cut down on the organization's need for a fleet of air-mobile field headquarters and all the prickly issues created by their constant operation.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

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Re: Collaborative Post-by-Post Universe: COMIX 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Post by Ford Prefect » Sat Mar 05, 2016 2:54 pm

Metahuman powers are highly diverse in both form and scale. As such, the observation and categorisation of superpowers is considered of vital importance. Governments employ everything from leading scientists and intelligence analysts to private detectives. EXCIGIS relies heavily on this raw intelligence provided by national governments, as its remit rarely extends to surveillance (some, however, claim that the Two Hundred maintains a completely illegal covert intelligence network organised by Noah Haraab).

As part of collating, filtering and organising this data, EXCIGIS assigns known entities a rank based on a holistic view of their abilities. While rarely the whole story, these letter based rankings, ranging from E to A, with an additional S ranking for unusually impressive cases, provide at-a-glance assessment. The rankings have settled into the public consciousness, making them useful for disseminating information to civilian populations, particularly when the scale of a threat must be conveyed quickly and clearly.

Some metahumans defy conventional ranking, and for this reason EXCIGIS maintains the Entelecheia List. The six metahumans on the list, collectively referred to as the Entelecheia, are considered to be the most powerful in the world. The list ordered roughly by the level of disruption each individual could cause to the world order. The young woman ranked first was, until signs of Zero Hour appeared, considered to be the gravest potential threat to the world. However, the list is viewpoint neutral, and makes no judgments of the individuals noted down. The Entelecheia can not usually be categorised as cleanly as hero or villain. Mostly they are disconnected from even by the nature of their circumstances.

Individuals on the Entelecheia List are typically strong enough that they have little need for the false identities that other superhumans adopt, and they eschew a number of other trappings such as elaborate costuming. In many cases maintaining a secret identity would be simply impossible - anyone capable of being on the list at all rarely slips under anyone's radar. In popular media it is common to refer to an Entelecheia by their computer generated, and quite random, reporting name.

Recruiting an Entelecheia on even a semi-permanent basis would be a coup for EXCIGIS, and they are currently pursuing means to induct at least one into their Zero Hour Momentum response team. The conventional superhero community tends to take a somewhat dim view of them as a result. Some members of that community further believe that the Entelecheia are inherently dangerous, and that effort should be made to ensure that they can be killed or imprisoned (this view is taken not only by some hardline superheroes, but also by a number of supervillains).

It is unknown what, if any, arrangements or agreements the Entelecheia have with each other. Meetings between any two Entelecheia are often tense, though even those that dislike each other are typically connected via social media.

Zero Hour is so great a threat that each Entelecheia finds themselves less able to ignore the world. But as that Hour approaches it becomes increasingly clear that individuals are not sufficient to defend the Earth, and the six of them together may fare little better.
FEEL THESE GUNS ARCHWIND THESE ARE THE GUNS OF THE FLESHY MESSIAH THE TOOLS OF CREATION AND DESTRUCTION THAT WILL ENACT THE LAW OF MAN ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

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Re: Collaborative Post-by-Post Universe: COMIX 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Post by Siege » Sun Mar 06, 2016 12:59 am

Jin-Hee St. John was a late-19th century post-Impressionist painter. Virtually unknown and largely ignored by critics during her lifetime St. John was never able to support herself from her earnings as an artist. Commercial success eluded her and she grew increasingly unaccomodating, pouring her resentment and frustration into a succession of highly expressive and vividly coloured paintings. St. John languished in poverty, her work turning ever so slightly sickly as her circumstances progressively straitened. She finally died a handful of years before the turn of the century, not even 35 years of age but looking "thin and wilted, as if plagued by ill humours".

Something of a vogue for St. John's work started soon after her death, the tale of a tormented painter withering in despair sufficiently dramatic for the avant garde to finally give St. John the recognition they had denied her before. Her posthumous reputation grew steadily - particularly after several notable incidents where art collectors killed each other over her paintings. Suddenly her work was in demand across the world and would be for decades to come, boosted increasingly by tales of St. John-afficionado's struck by delirium or driven to hysterics by her harsh and sharp brushstrokes, of daring robberies and paintings vanishing in the night, even cases of amateur artists who starved themselves to death underneath her art, or went off into remote corners of the world, never to be seen again.

As progressively bloodstained and lunacy-surrounded as St. John's legacy became it wouldn't be until the proliferation of paranatural episodes over the course of the 20th century (or at least the more widespread awareness thereof) and the fastidious work of Sandor Innocente that anyone made anything more of these incidents than the tomfoolery of overenthusiastic eccentrics and art fanatics. It was the monk Innocente who first postulated that something more sinister was transpiring, that somehow St. John had poured fragments of her essence into her paintings - and that they pour back out, too. Somewhere between the canvas and the slowly drying layers of paint is a quintessence of the dead paintress that imposes her will through her works. And as one might imagine from shards of animus from a short life full of bitterness, tough luck, hardship and rejection, whatever pours back is not particularly amicable.

Investigative reports inherited by EXCIGIS from predecessor agencies suggest that different paintings appear to weave different influences and advance the theory of a relation with the paintings' subject matter; self-portraits of St. John in particular have been ascribed mesmeric effects, whereas her later more abstract and morose works have more confusing and disturbing influences. Bringing multiple paintings together enhances the influences, but also brings about second- and third-order effects. Unsettling blood-stained notes from the long-gone Vingt-deux Bureau warn DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS.

St. John's works are redlisted as class-III dangerous artefacts by EXCIGIS and consequently private ownership is strictly forbidden for all but an exceedingly small group of notable exceptions. Most of her paintings are locked in deep vaults of large museums or are held secure in any of the world's many unstable artefact containment facilities. But over a dozen known works remain unaccounted for - and EXCIGIS has recently become aware of a cult-like organization in Bahrain lead by a woman who special frauds investigators working for INTERPOL identify as Florence Vanderstayne, an expert black market fence of high-profile stolen art, but who now claims to be Jin-Hee St. John herself. Her organization, the Spectacle Society, appears highly connected and seems to be trying to bring about the rapidly approaching Zero Hour - or, perhaps, to subvert it for its own ends.
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Re: Collaborative Post-by-Post Universe: COMIX 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Post by Invictus » Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:43 am

Poke around the sprawling gated tech farms that live off funding and prerogative from the national defense complex of the United States, and you never fail to find a particular graph hanging somewhere on an office wall, over the water cooler, or even proudly framed in a meeting room. The graph shows a number of jagged, hesitant lines, all probability forecasts and strokes of genius rendered in ink, racing to catch up with a solid red one. The solid red line is drawn from data wheedled out of even more gated institutions, representing the ever-approaching momentum of Zero Hour. The other lines are drawn from both institutional bravado and sober midnight assessments, their substance triangulated out of field reports, exhaustive modeling, insight and bullshit swapped during biannual inter-office model railroad meets, and guarded communications with rival foreign projects. They represent a kind of hope.

The ACE Program (Advanced Composite Enhancile) is the massive umbrella endeavor under which decades of other endeavors have been pooled, the ongoing attempt to leverage the massive industrial and scientific capacity of the United States into a metahuman-scale advantage. They are men and women with a certain plodding, indefatigable mindset, who pride themselves on reverse-engineering first principles out of the impossible and creating long-term solutions in the face of accelerating paradigm shift, who ever talk of individuals as systems and paving foundations for a future that must exist. They play up a reputation for All-American optimism that is to their credit warranted.

The ACE Program develops both technological and metahuman solutions for handling X-situations, as the field calls them, and focuses particularly on combining both solutions into a single package. Neither alone are quite enough - metahuman study is a notoriously opaque field, and there are boundaries that their All-American optimism will not let them cross. And technological force multipliers, while useful in far more situations than just extranormal crises (and not just the expected ones, either - PLOUGHMAN exoskeletons find even more use in civilian fields than military ones), only need to *fail* in the handful of maximum-magnitude Zero Hour tipping points to turn their net contribution to human security into a negative. And said maximum-magnitude events tend to involve those entities and phenomena whose capabilities leave technology in the dust. The ACE Program can produce entire think tanks and many graphs' worth of justification with terms like "fulcrum theory" and "action-tipping resonance" that argue, essentially, that the sharp end of the coordinated global response against Zero Hour must be something that can, in the words of an American general, "take Bishop[-class anomalies] in some kinda knock-down Michael Bay fight."

The Holy Grail of ACE would be a mass-producible metahuman with capabilities measured in the upper EXCIGIS rankings, with adjustable parameters for any conceivable tactical situation. The Program is not quite there yet, but they do boast to have come closer than any of their major foreign rivals - The EUMann Programme, Projekt 977#, CAVALIER or Xingaifan-3 - in the latest iteration of their "Iron Abe" system. The two main components of Iron Abe, a modified human being (who alone would be no more than a C in assessed rank) and an extremely advanced power chassis, combine into something substantially more than the sum of its parts. Operational squadrons of the latest mark Iron Abes played a major role in Operation Thunderplow, the storied neutralization of the Third Apocalypse King and its Crown; and their practical survival rates were surprising when elements of a USSF taskforce were engaged by TEMPLE BRAVO of the Entelecheia in the Sinai Exclusion Zone.

Both the selection and training of Iron Abe candidates and the manufacturing of the chassis remain highly individualized processes, but the ACE Program believe that they finally found a scalable approach to the problem, a foundation to be built on in ever-rising leaps and bounds of capability, until the lines in the graph finally converge and cross.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

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Re: Collaborative Post-by-Post Universe: COMIX 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Post by Siege » Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:11 pm

The Limitless Library is the largest private book collection in the world and the world's oldest secular research institute concerned with superordinary effects, occurrences and individuals. The Library was established by the Holy Roman Emperor in the 14th century, but even then already incorporated much older collections as well as notable Arabic works brought back from Jerusalem after the First Crusade. Over the centuries it has amassed tomes and codexes from every continent, country and culture.

The headquarters of the Limitless Library is the extraterritorial Palazzo dei Saraceni, a multifunctional compound with several modern wings threaded through a medieval palace complex in Palermo, Italy. Most of the complex exudes a scholarly atmosphere, with ivy-covered buildings linked to each other via arcades and enclosed by gardens. However anyone looking at the satellite dishes and antenna masts topping the high tech postmodern office towers will immediately realize that the Library is not just a place for introverted study of ancient tomes or peculiar codexes. It is simultaneously a research institute, a formidable repository of esoteric or just plain weird knowledge, a valued pillar of the extranatural community and secure storage for some of the most dangerous objects out there.

The most dangerous books and artefacts in possession of the Library are held in the Secret Study, a vault buried deep in the Punic ruins underneath the palace. They include the Kashani Archives, the only known surviving copy of Cavalli's potentiality stanzas, the Auger-Amon samples, several St. John paintings, the obsidian Ataxia Fragments retrieved at great cost from Ethiopia, and a rare variant of the Del Sahin variations of 1857. The contents of the Secret Study are temporally dislocated, existing a split second ahead of regular time, making it impossible to access the objects in the Study without the permission of the Master Librarian and the possession of the skeleton key that winds the study back in time.

Under international law the Library has a status similar to that of the Holy See, a peculiarity established by the Peace of Ravenna and reaffirmed after WW2. The Limitless Library historically maintains strict international neutrality and has only very reluctantly joined the EXCIGIS Council. The Library was instrumental in compiling the Manhattan Codex and shaping it into a coherent document, but has at the same time steadfastly refused access to its sensitive archives to even top-rank EXCIGIS members, fearing mishandling and abuse (much to the chagrin of EXCIGIS' upper echelons).

The current Master Librarian is Calisto Scarlatti-Smythe, a stern white haired woman with a series of PhDs in esoteric subjects starting with Ninth-Circuit Theory and getting progressively more abstract and arcane from there. Scarlatti-Smythe's knowledge and grasp of the history and theoretical underpinnings of extranormality is simply unparallelled in the modern world. She oversees an institution with depots across the world that employs 21,000 people ranging from archivists, linguists, researchers, speculative grammarians, wardens, experimental theologians, curators and eschatologists.
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Re: Collaborative Post-by-Post Universe: COMIX 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Post by Booted Vulture » Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:20 am

Hopefully doesn't step on any toes...

---

Clayworth Delopliane Vllamasi aka Iken del Passen IV pel Nor’et’kal aka Agent-Observer-1138 is a minor government official in Washington DC. He is also an alien of the Passenni species.

Fortunately the Passenni look, externally at least, identically to humans, though not one of any recognisable ethnic origin aside from ‘definitely not caucasian’, which has caused some friction in the three years he has spent undercover in the American government, for the Xenothropolgical Security Division of the Interstellar Concourse.

Owing to this short exposure to the planet, and being on his first assignment, Iken is still in the first flush of infatuation with the primitive alien planet and because of this is breaking the standard non-interference policy of the Agent-Observers and is becoming involved in human politics in a behind the scenes effort to try and guide them away from creating a metahuman team.

Many alien species have natural powers or technology that would appear miraculous to humans and the users of them would appear metahuman, in actual fact MetaSpecies powers the kind are emerging on Earth are very uncommon for species active in galactic politics and the Interstellar Concourse is highly disapproving of them.

While Iken knows that the creation of a team may help the immediate problem of the Zero Hour Momentum, he is terrified of it waking the sleeping giant of the IC’s ire.

As an Agent-Observer, Iken has access to a standard issue skinsuit. Which appear to a human to be a confection of brightly coloured spandex while in fact being near-invulnerable to harm. He was trained (by the lowest bidders) in three forms of martial arts and has numerious super-spy armaments and gadgets of both alien and terrestrial origin. As a Passenni, descended from birds (though only in the same sense a human is descend from fish) Iken has very light but tough bones, flexible joints were a much greater percentage of cartilage, making him double jointed in all his joints and surprisingly durable to physical assault.
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Post by speaker-to-trolls » Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:09 pm

A short one but hopefully one that could fit in somewhere:

Only a Canvas Sky by noted astrophysicist Amina Gulen, is considered one of the most controversial books of the 1980s. The original aim of the book was to scientifically approach, and discredit, the claims of meta-supremacist groups of the time, most specifically the Knyn Empire. Unfortunately, it seemed that some of their claims had more empirical evidence in their favour than anyone in the scientific establishment had believed possible.

The first claim that Dr Gulen and her colleagues sought to discredit seemed to be the most obviously absurd, that the now-destroyed home star system of the Knynites, allegedly the antecedents of all paranatural humans, was in fact the star Sirius, and that the Sirius observable from Earth was an illusion projected on the last orders of the last Queen of Knyn. Extensive research, however, showed that new observation techniques, augmented by the use of paranatural powers and artefacts borrowed specifically for the purpose, showed some shocking irregularities in the light from Sirius compared both to previous astronomical observations and to general astrophysical theories. The more shocking result, however, was that it was not just Sirius that showed these flaws.

Gulen ultimately reached the conclusion that as many as 86% of the sky visible from Earth is in fact some kind of projection. She has spent her entire career, along with a number of her closest friends and collaborators, working to discover exactly what the source of the projection could be.

This result is hotly disputed, with over a dozen books published with the hopes of discrediting Dr Gulen's work. In some of the Russian Republics, where hatred and resentment of the Knynites is still at its peak, the book is banned as hate speech and Metarchist propaganda.
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Re: Collaborative Post-by-Post Universe: COMIX 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Post by Invictus » Fri Mar 25, 2016 4:44 pm

Of the terrorist organizations that once bedeviled international law and order, it is difficult not to rank VAR as the most notorious. Its name is popularly taken to mean "Vast Army of Retribution" or some such, but is actually an abbreviation-formulation in Varite, a cultic language formulated from scratch by VAR's founders not only to create a fresh foundation for their science-suprematist ideology, but to signal their severance from the winding mess of human civilization entirely. To speak and understand Varite, its bygone propagandists claimed, was to inexorably agree with VAR's goals of world domination, and it is for this reason that even today, the very mention of VAR's name is accompanied by no little superstition.

VAR existed during most of its lifespan as a tightly-knit network of superscientific terrorist cells, each exhibiting a mastery in psychological operations, resource management, deep human modification and high-energy engineering. It was through this potent combination of expertise that VAR was able to produce and deploy an endless stream of superhuman enhanciles to do its bidding, creating a concentration of villainous force powerful enough to saturate vigilante response and minimize the effectiveness of military counter-deployments. For a certain generation, the acts of political destabilization, shows of force, artifact raids and retaliatory arson committed by VAR cells and fronts, acts which were launched in aggregate on an almost weekly basis, was the defining feature of an age experienced through mass media and marked by geopolitical chaos.

The power of VAR peaked in the sixties, where it was in open control of no less than three countries and had just succeeded in militarily conquering a fourth. The world was treated to the sight of its chimeric emissaries in tailored suits delivering dire speeches to the United Nations Assembly, which marked a turning point - such an overt provocation is generally seen to have finally catalyzed an effective worldwide response against VAR's existence, which was helped by the fact that despite its appearance of strength, ideological conflict between VAR's "Forwardist" and "Upwardist" factions was also splintering the organization's overextended network. By the close of the decade, VAR was no more, and by today, every single known member of its inner circle has either been killed or incarcerated and every remnant cell neutralized.

A historical record exists in the form of the Varic Depositions, containing a complete collection of VAR's own propaganda, technical documentation on VAR enhanciles both retrieved from their own archives and laboriously compiled by EXCON experts, manuals on the Varite language similarly assembled, and a long tail of declassified intelligence reports. While not seen as particularly hazardous even if accessed, the keeping of the Depositions are by practice divided between the Limitless Library, the now EXCIGIS-controlled Tesseract, and a number of parties which either played a role in VAR's destruction or are beyond reproach, with no single source maintaining a full set of the materials.

By today's standards, VAR can seem quaint. Its enhanciles pale compared to the metahuman combatants of today, and the artisanal theotechnology used to manufacture them is regarded as a technological dead end, neither favoring expansion to industrial scales nor the incorporation of modern technology. The Varite language, for all its seductive reputation, featured neither psychoactive etymology nor any means to induce actual platonic fields. Its operational methods seem myopically focused on individual superhuman combat, with many retrospectively stunning lapses in exploiting their paramilitary victories. And even the mystique of their closed ideology was soon overshadowed by the rise of metahuman supremacists and esoteric cosmicists such as the Knyn.

But VAR's influence cannot be overstated. Combating its presence perpetuated the existence of a military machine freshly emerged from the war, preventing its ratcheting down and distorting global economics for decades. It caused the first global cooperation of superheroes since the Reentrist Conflict, and led directly to the founding of EXCON, EXCIGIS' earliest institutional predecessor. And for good or for ill, the monomaniacal focus of VAR on the power of individual superhumans had a formative effect on the entire supernormal paradigm, inextricably tying the two together in the zeitgeist. That superheroism is so exalted and pursued today, and that all seemed blind to the factors behind the Zero Hour Momentum, might all be traced back to VAR's legacy.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
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Re: Collaborative Post-by-Post Universe: COMIX 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Post by Siege » Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:13 pm

A. Evensong is a Class ii-5-I infectious memetic artefact that shares symbiotic relationships with its human carriers. Humans are also its primary vector of propagation. A. Evensong is perhaps most accurately described as a highly contagious melody, a linear succession of musical tones that 'infects' the subconscious of listeners, who thus become carriers of the artefact. These carriers are subsequently compelled to spread A. Evensong through inadvertent humming, whistling or singing of its frequency pattern.

Unlike some other auronotic artefacts A. Evensong has shown an incredibly high mutation rate, shifting pitch range, continuity and coherence, cadence and length between distinct groups of carriers. Meanwhile within such groups it manifests as an immediately recognizable melodic 'hook' with a bewildering range of harmonic variations between individual carriers. The composition of any A. Evensong melody appears to be drawn from its carriers' knowledge and stylistical preferences, and is therefore theorized to be external to the artefact itself.

Whilst a great deal is known about the way A. Evensong propagates through human populations (for example, communicability through audio recordings is greatly reduced), it is unclear specifically how (and indeed why) it forms recognizable carrier groups that share a single tune. Some specialists theorize this is a result of limited flex function within a platonic field, the upper bounds of which are determined by the carrier group's ability to conform to a coherent melody. Others say it could simply be that it is unrecognizable as a distinct memetic entity until it manifests in multiple persons at the same time.

Certain is that prolonged coherence of the artefact has a definite geographic component: strains of A. Evensong rarely maintain consistency over more than a few dozen people in close proximity to each other. Particularly virulent strains on occasion can spread incredibly fast but lose coherence just as quickly. The largest outbreak of A. Evensong ever was the 2005 'Superbowl Singalong' when a strain broke out on live TV during the annual championship game of the National Football League and for about an hour affected large parts of the East Coast, turning entire cities into impromptu barbershop choirs.

Infection by A. Evensong is mostly harmless; individual carriers show no impairment to senses or biological functions other than a subconscious urge to communicate the melodic infection. Interestingly, carrier groups demonstrate greatly increased ability to coordinate joint action as long as individuals remain in some form of audible communication. Individuals within such groups report feeling an enhanced sense of kinship and affection for other carriers. A. Evensong effects typically fade within hours or days with no noticeably harmful aftereffects.

A handful of A. Evensong carriers has reported encountering extremely alien thoughts and emotions whilst under the influence of the artefact. These individuals universally find it difficult to put their experience into words. "Like sharing headspace with a sentient rendition of your favorite lullaby," is how patient zero of the notorious Superbowl Singalong put it, "quite pleasant, but super weird".
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

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Re: Collaborative Post-by-Post Universe: COMIX 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Post by Booted Vulture » Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:45 am

Do we need heroes? I think we need heroes.

---

Flock & Roost are a superheroic duo, high on EXCIGIS’s recruitment list for its Metahuman response team.

Adam ‘Flock’ Santino was a physics grad student who suffered an accident in a radio research laboratory, gaining powers variously described as ferropathy or technokinesis. In practical terms, he has the powers to mentally control technology and to perceive information from its sensory apparatus; seeing through their cameras and hearing through their microphones. His congnitive processes have also adapted to handle a large amount of input giving him amazing spatial awareness of areas under surveillance . While he can control any technology he has a marked preference for UAVs and drones of all sizes and shapes.

Roost aka Samuel Fort, is a shellshocked ex-royal marine and ex-pat of the United Kingdom. He handles his PTSD by tinkering and creating the small multipurpose drones that have become Flock’s signature tools in his work.

While only Santino is metahuman and thus technically the only one eligible for an active role in the team, itis well understood that Flock & Roost are a package deal. Despite the occasional flare ups of sexual tension between them, the two remain in a purely platonic though inseparable partnership.

If recruited Flock & Roost would form the eyes, ears and fingertips of EXGIGIS’s team. And in the case of Flock’s UCAVs a certain amount of claw as well. Providing a massive of amount of tactical awareness and coordination to the group.
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Re: Collaborative Post-by-Post Universe: COMIX 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Post by Invictus » Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:29 am

The Trident Society can be counted as the United Kingdom's oldest superhero association, tracing its origins from a particular group of Victorian gentlemen-adventurers who pooled their resources to have a place for correspondence, material support and shared bragging rights. A century and a half of uninterrupted existence has seen it grow in size and prominence until its presence on the Anglo-European landscape is all but unquestioned, both as a hub of supernormal activity and a cultural influence upon mainstream society, resisting many attempts at external co-option. The Society's governing body of ten Stewards are a veritable collection of elder statesmen from a more dignified age, and they have the unrivaled distinction of collectively holding the only remaining letters of marque issued by the British crown (and also by the European microstates that still remain British dependencies), which even when outside of times of war entitle their holders to certain protections against civil suit by established common law.

But for much of this age of modern crisis, the Trident Society was busy falling apart. New blood, often second- and third-generation superheroes themselves, preferred enjoying the the luxuries and privileges of the Society's many clubhouses to following its longtime ethos, or indeed behaving at all publicly as scions of their legacy ought - if they were not already dedicating their time and blood to other, more socially relevant upstarts. Scandals erupting from nepotism, corruption and plain mismanagement did much to erase a century of goodwill in its own homeland. Even its restructuring in recent years into a more inclusive and accountable public body brought greater attention to its past dysfunctions.

So it was against this background that the Trident Society threw its lot behind the nascent EXCIGIS, becoming a full-fledged member of the global organization after its founding. It was perhaps a mark of how low the Society's star had fallen, not so easily recalled today, that much of the objections over this move was from pro-EXCIGIS advocates who felt that the Society's entry would cause more harm than good to the Services' fledgling legitimacy. But the working relationship between the two is by all accounts amicable and sincere. The Society places its institutional experience, its immodest collections of occult lore, and a sizable corps of metahuman volunteers at EXCIGIS' disposal, even as EXCIGIS' assorted patrons and associates fill the Society's aging clubhouses with more glittery functions than they had seen for decades and gain a valuable back-channel to the British government through its smoking rooms.

Of course, the Society's joining also places its interests in indirect competition with many nation-states and major international actors, possessing more timely cachets and who see the ugly specter of colonialism renewed in what the Society represents.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
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Re: Collaborative Post-by-Post Universe: COMIX 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Post by Siege » Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:44 pm

Lili Leycutter, Lili Leidenfrost, 'the Witch of Winsen', is a 24-year-old regular at The Ambient in Rostock and an S-rank parahuman. Lili, strawblond, uncertain, punky Lili, with her torn tights and the Atari Teenage Riot patches on her faded denim jacket, is as Noah Haraab put it, "a tiny German nexus of sheer terrifying weirdness".

EXCIGIS describes Lili alternatingly as a "multicell fulcrum in an Everett-Dee cosmology" and a "platonic white hole". She rotates things between alternate worlds, swapping objects, elements of objects, people or even ideas from parallel realities into our own - or vice versa - pivoting them in and out of existence like the cubelets of a Rubik's Cube.

It used to be Lili was content simply using her odd nature to swap empty cups of noodles for full ones, or turn the room in the squatter house where she lived warm at night. This changed when EXCIGIS agents interned Siggi Stromkvist, the manager of The Ambient, on spurious charges of encouraging illicit parahuman activity within his club. Stromkvist is, according to Lili, "responsible for eighty percent of the good stuff in this shithole world", and to break him out Lili made a one-woman assault on the EXCIGIS bulkwark in Hamburg.

Security, impressive as it was, proved woefully unprepared for Leycutter. Defending ACEs found themselves abruptly deprived of their abilities; security systems failed and steel doors simply vanished, swapped into dimensions where they never existed. Reality warped and billowed, rippling with cascading changes as wave functions converged, blossomed and collapsed, all flowing from the tiny bright kernel of boundless dilatation that simply wanted her friend back. Growing increasingly irate as EXCIGIS continued to attempt to resist her advance Lili called on progressively more distant and abstract realities, realities with characteristics highly unsympathetic to human life. She was in the process of rotating into our reality a very large, profoundly alien and truly inimical entity when Stromkvist bid her to stop.

She did, leaving with him, and leaving a wrecked EXCIGIS compound behind.

Leycutter has been an elusive presence ever since, popping up here and there in apparent pursuit of understanding of her nature. Only recently has her behavior changed to sometthing more overt, even seeking some semblance of rapprochement with EXCIGIS, much to the surprise of that organization. Her reasons however are simple: Leycutter has personally witnessed realities all around us crumbling and drifting apart as the Zero Hour approaches...
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

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Re: Collaborative Post-by-Post Universe: COMIX 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Post by Invictus » Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:59 pm

The Prime-Timer is the collective designation for a number of superheroes of varying character and noms de guerre, but with the same suite of metahuman powers that seem to hop from inheritor to inheritor. Furthermore, this suite of powers is both potent and incongruous by any standard - a well-rounded package of advanced invulnerability, superhuman strength and speed, reactionless flight and usually some form of extreme yet selective sensory projection, varying little between wielders. While long been treated in recent years as a rather unscientific practice, metahuman analysts have traditionally taken said powers as a stable benchmark, the boundary between the A- and S-rankers.

Of course, even such earth-shaking powers depend on the aptitude - and inclination - of its wielders. Some inheritors of the Prime-Timer lineage are household names such as Harvey Foreman, who not only carved out an illustrious decades-long career with the Great Circle but was also the first recorded to pass on his powers to a successor while alive. Others have had shorter-lived or less honorable stints as bearers of the power, and gaps in the continuity of known Prime-Timers must indicate bearers who simply let their gift languish in obscurity. But invariably, the set of powers have passed on in some way - not even the most isolated demises of a Prime-Timer have prevented the emergence of the next for much time. The consistent presence of a Prime-Timer over the last century or so has not only drawn much attention to the phenomenon, but also did much to set a stereotype in the popular imagination of what metahuman powers ought to be.

When the then-current Prime-Timer cracked the secret of power transmission with the aid of EXCIGIS scientists, the Primetime Package became one of EXCIGIS' greatest assets. Easily transferred from agent to agent and even divisible into equal but less potent packages, it has been made to serve an institution and not merely an individual, amenable to maximally strategic employment, optimally selected candidacy and scientific experimentation. Why have only one maximum A-rank agent on call when ten middling A-rank agents can do so much more? The only factor preventing the further expansion of the Prime-Timer franchise is the fear of bearer compromise - even though most long term Prime-Timers in EXCIGIS' employ already belong to the confidential Two Hundred (and the original bearer's identity now erased from public knowledge by an unprecedentedly retroactive use of the EXCIGISSTP). The PRIME PARADOX incident in 1996 may have been due to unique circumstances, but the emergence of less benign transmissible powers also raises the dread possibility of meta-contamination.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

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