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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:40 pm 
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Cecil waits until after Maria, Tom, and especially Richard have started walking towards the elevator before following them. He doesn't want Richard at his back...

"Was that you earlier?" asks Cecil, quietly. "I wasn't quite sure."

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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:57 pm 
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Location: Somewhere doing something.
balthazar wrote:
Jason immedialy probes at Richard with his mind, searching for any sign of control, and ready to pounce if he does. When he comes up clean however, he offers him a handshake.

"Richard, glad to see you managed to get free. It's good to see a familiar face."

"Yes, well, apparently I had more control than they'd care to admit. Than I'd care to admit." Richard enters the elevator.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:14 pm 
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To Richard: "That's a good lesson to remember. And potentially very useful."

To Cecil: "Yeah, it was me. I didn't think we'd be kept so close together though. Tell me, do you remember anything after the game?"

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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:50 pm 
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"You guys were in the game?" María asks. "The man who told me that They... were coming for me said something about a game. I don't know anything about any game, but it sounds like you guys do."

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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:51 pm 
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Location: Wishing I was not in Kansas anymore
The elevator carries its passangers a few levels. The door slides open.

Come with me, Gil says, leading the humans into a rectangular room, about 30' by 50'.

The room is a blindingly bright yellow. On right side of the entrance there are four rows of cubicles, each cubicle about 5' square. On the left are two short tables. Beyond the tables is a cafeteria bar. There are a few Patiae sitting at the tables, one a bright green, another a dull brown-orange, a third a cool teal (that is clashing horribly with the room) and a fourth that is a shining silver. They are talking heatedly as the humans enter.

If the Outliers are claiming the strike as their own, then this game has changed, the teal Patia says, shaking its head. I'm not sure if this is the kind of --

But we don't know that WE are the ones responsible for the strike! says the bright green one, pounding a thin fist on the table. Not until we contact the Head! The Researchers can claim anything they want, and we don't --

We are under mission right now, contacting the Head -- the silver one notices Gil and the humans and quickly stands.

Ah! It says with relief. Here we are! Please, everyone, if you could sit.

The silver motions to the table. The other Patiae rise with the silver, all issuing various emotions: surprise, pleasure, nervousness, irritation. All of the Patiae (including Gil) move to stand in front of the tables as the humans sit. The silver glances from the Patiae to the humans, obviously a little nervous.

Welcome, all of you, it finally says. My name is -- ah -- Lykke. I am the leader of unit 13 of the Outlier resistance. We are an underground organization that has connections with the more legitimate Humanity Society. We --

Lykke, feel them, the Orangey-brown Patia says calmly. All I feel is confusion. They have no idea what you're talking about.

Sisu! Lykke snaps. She shakes her head. No you're right. Small things first. Okay. I am Lykke, the leader. This is Gil, Gil nods, Our Mental Protector. Sisu is Physical Protector. Terrell, the bright green one raises a hand. He is our main strategist, and second in command. And Veda, the teal one gives a mental smile. She does research. Serious research. Beyond the official broadcasts, if you catch my meaning. Of course, Lykke seems sheepish. Those names are all translations. Easier for you to pick up, we thought, if we used human names.

Lykke spreads her thin arms.

Welcome to Delivercargo 4. We call it Brawler. We're registered as a small cargo ship operating at half capacity. What we really are, well, Lykke winks one great, shining, black eye. We're a thorn in the side of the Research Board. Are there any questions before I continue?

Image

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:07 am 
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Cecil raises a hand, realising as he does so that the aliens might not understand the significance of the gesture. "What does a mental protector do?" he asks.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:04 am 
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Location: Wishing I was not in Kansas anymore
A wave of surprise comes from Lykke.

But...you have one in your own Unit, she says, pointing to Jason. A Mental Protector protects the Unit from mental attacks; Controlling, confusion, memory wipes, hallucinations, and so on. Your cohort has even begun to display his abilities, though I admit that's because of an assist from us. We sort of...quickened the development process a bit when we heard of the experiments on Earth.

Eventually, he'll be able to Protect AND cause a little mental havoc himself -- most Controllers are also Protectors. The best of the best can Control more than one being at a time.

Lykke looks from human to human.

Oh, my. I suppose you don't know, do you? Why should you? You see, when you were Marked, the nanites -- they changed you. The very structure of your DNA. You aren't really very...human anymore. More a hybrid of sorts. You all have begun displaying the sensory and telepathic attributes that Patiae have from birth. And soon, like adult Patiae, you will begin developing new attributes. Individual abilities. What they may be, well -- only time will tell.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:56 am 
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As Lykke "speaks," María's face betrays her bewilderment, but she notices some things starting to make sense that shouldn't. She can tell now that the voices in her mind are coming from others around her, and they seem to be giving her knowledge from memories that aren't hers. Before long, she discovers that she understands this "game" that the others were talking about, as much as they do, at least.

She tests out the telepathy by attempting to gain Lykke's attention without making any physical movement. (If that doesn't work, she'll raise her hand as Cecil did.) Then she asks, "Why are we here? If you already have these abilities yourselves, why do you need to give them to us?"

OOC: Figured this was better than tedious explanations from other characters about what the heck went on during the last game.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:30 am 
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Lykke feels Maria's mental prod.

Oh! You don't have to -- not quite so hard, she says, and listens to Maria's question. The patiae exchange glances.

The Outliers have nothing to do with your new abilities, Terrell says darkly. That's all the work of the Research Board. And why they'd give any humans patia abilities is beyond us.

It certainly is a new development, Veda cuts in. All of my records show that the Controlled humans just have childish abilities. Telepathy and patia senses. Enough to communicate with us and with each other. But this new experiment.... She shakes her head. Something is certainly up. And when the Research Board rocks the boat, it's rarely a good thing.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:59 pm 
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Trojan horse? thinks Cecil; and layered on to that thought is quite a lot about how much damage a Trojan horse can do. He's not trying to transmit it, but the way Jason picked up the contents of Cecil's room earlier, he wouldn't be surprised if it was picked up.

He immediately raises a hand again. "Is there a way to keep private those thoughts I wish to keep private?"

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:58 pm 
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Terrell glowers at the Trojan Horse thought and crosses his arms.

We have considered it, he says. It is, indeed, a possibility that you've been produced as bait to destroy any uprising against them. If so, we've made a grave error by picking the Marked up and giving them the choice to join us.

But that's unlikely! Gil says, glaring at Terrell. The Head and her advisers --

Gil -- Lykke says quickly

The Head and her advisers aren't witnesses to the experiment! Terrell snaps. WE are!

A wave of calm envelopes everyone

Stop, Sisu says, his thoughts a pale purple. This does nothing.

He directs his thoughts to Cecil.

You may block thoughts, so long as you aren't being probed, he says. Think of a door...

There is a small, bubbly thought from Vera that is quickly quelled.

Sorry, she says. But this is a child's lesson. It's a little -- sorry.

Sisu begins again, slightly irritated.

Think of a door. Any thought you do not want seen by others goes behind that door. Close it. Lock it. Let only what you wish to say, or any emotions you don't mind others seeing, go beyond the door. It takes a little practice, but eventually it becomes second nature. Emotions, of course, are the most difficult to block. They seem to seep through the door without some considerable effort.

A Mental Protector is necessary to prevent probing, Lykke says. She shudders. Of course, only the very rude or the very evil probe without permission. It feels quite...unclean.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:27 pm 
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Cecil grins slightly, a little amused at the description of the Door as a 'child's lesson'. Child's lessons are exactly what he needs.

A vault in my mind. A steel door; timelocked; silent alarms there and there to alert me to any tampering...

In his mind, Cecil attempts to construct a door that would protect a bank vault. A door that will stand firm to even a reasonably concerted attack, and that will alert him in the event that it fails.

He puts all his thoughts, in short, behind the best door that he can possibly imagine.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:30 pm 
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"Fairly standard technique. I used a similar one when I was learning to control the Rage. I pity the bastard who manages to crack that nut."

Jason's grin is all teeth, and the mental Mua-ha-ha is clearly audible to everyone in the room.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:32 pm 
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Location: What matter wounds? For each time he falls, he shall rise again and woe to the wicked!
Tom frowns slightly in concentration, envisioning a sturdy oak door in his mind, lockable with an ornate iron key. With an audible *click* in his mind he locks the door.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:36 pm 
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María envisions a giant portcullis fronted by a deep and murky moat filled with dangerous reptiles. With heavy clanking noises, the drawbridge is pulled up until the it slams against the stone of the fortress wall, and crossbowmen deploy atop the battlement.

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