[ASH] REPOST: ASH #124 - City of Night Part 5: Between the Candle and the Star

Drew Nilium pwerdna at gmail.com
Sat Nov 13 22:45:38 PST 2021

On 10/11/21 1:33 PM, Dave Van Domelen wrote:
>       Filling the doorway was the enormous frame of a muscular man with a
> bull's head, dressed in a very well-tailored dark blue suit that did
> absolutely nothing to help him blend in with normal humanity.
>       "What are you...scratch that," Gerhard Hesse of STRAFE frowned, "HOW are
> you here, in this secure location?"
>       Q'Nos, the original Minotaur against whom all others are pale
> imitations, chuckled.

Holy shit.

> Just accept that I learned how to go where I need
> to during that time, and let us return to the rather more urgent matter that
> is on my doorstep."
>       "Has Sable expanded her reach beyond the Berlin dome?" Arc asked,
> untensing very slightly.  She and many others would be having some long and
> pointed discussions about site security, but LATER.
>       "Not that I am aware of, I simply consider my doorstep to be rather
> larger than you might find comfortable.


> Q'Nos shrugged, and the talent of his tailor
> was evident in how the suit didn't even strain at the movement of those
> massive shoulders.

X3 Applause!

> But no, I'm
> actually familiar with Nyx from my old life as a government agent.  My
> photonic tech was derived from the Light Lance used by Beacon in the First
> Age, and many of its aspects were built specifically to counter her power.

oooooh I see.

>       Terrastar shook her head.  "We killed all our gods long ago."
>       "How Klingon of you," Daniel Tang smirked.

I've been thinking it. X3

>       "She's right," Pasteur added, in a clear tone of "I am about to one-up
> you."


   "I've been digging into some of the oldest writings I can find about
> the nature of gods and spirits, and one thing that keeps coming back to me is
> the idea that gods started seeking worshippers because they were splitting
> the conceptual energy too many ways.

Hmmmmm, I see.

> It's how we ended up stopping Rebus, after
> all.  Broke his concentration so he lit up like a beacon, the rest of the
> godscape noticed the new player and immediately sucked him into the game.
> [More or less what happened in Capstone #3 - Ed.]

I think about that final scene, with the recitation of sinlessness, every so 
often. Good and dramatic shit.

>       "Good idea," Solar Max nodded.  "We've tried light-based weapons, but
> now that we have one of the world's foremost authorities on photonics is
> here, maybe there's a nicely direct solution to just cutting through the dome
> that no one has picked up on yet but all of you could find together.

Hell yeah!

> Meanwhile, I think there's an angle worth exploring if this really is a
> primal god from another reality.  Time to put in a call to Rhode Island...."

There we go. :D

> But I wasn't a complete monster
> yet, and I left my old friends' house alone.  This is where Dragonfly and
> Ladyhawke lived during the Second Heroic Age, you see.  And it's possible
> Dragonfly kept some pieces of useful technology related to Beacon, acquired
> in the service of improving his own weaponry."

Ohhhhhh nice nice nice. :D

>       That was true enough, as Smith couldn't even pass all the way across the
> threshold of the portal.


>       As the portal irised shut, Sarah took one last look at the stack of
> journals.  Maybe once this was all over, JakZak would be interested in seeing
> what happened to the Dragonfly that he never met....

:> <3

> Then her eyes flicked over to Daniel
> himself, and he suddenly felt even colder.  "You are interesting," she
> added.
>       "Um, I try?" Daniel demurred.


>       "The others.  Do you remember their names, or the name of your own god?"
> Contact asked.  "All of your people have holes in their memories when it
> comes to names, but remember your own names and those of people with whom you
> escaped.  Do you recall the name of your god?" Contact pressed.


>       It had taken hours of intense concentration, but oh yes, M'emba knew the
> name of her god.  And she knew that while Terrastar felt her god was in
> danger, M'emba had more faith than Terrastar could ever imagine....


>       Daniel shook his head slightly.  --Odin's high throne situation,
> Contact.  My brain's not safe territory for a telepath, other than the very
> surface stuff like we're doing now.  Sorry.--  The truth was more complicated
> than that, of course, but he was pretty sure Contact's lie-detecting skills
> wouldn't set off any alarms.  Daniel devoted a lot of his power to hiding his
> true nature, but he had to make his telepathic blocks look like something he
> couldn't control.

Innnnnnnteresting. I totally forget what his deal is. X3

>       While laser beams tend to be hard to see except in foggy or dusty
> conditions, the little extras Roger included on his ionized the air and
> created more of a cinematic "raygun" look.

Heeheehee. :3

>       The front half was rather similar to Langridge's weapon, function having
> much to do with form.  But the back end was a crystalline sphere in which was
> suspended a burnt out lasing element, with rainbow-hued lines of energy
> dancing about its surface.  Looking more closely, the sphere was carefully
> engraged with various solar signs, from multiple mystic traditions.

oooooh ahhhhhh

>       The silence stretched uncomfortably, before being broken by all three of
> their tablets chiming to notify them of incoming messages.
>       "What the...?" Solar Max blinked.  "I had mine on do not disturb."
>       "I, also," Arc frowned, picking up the device.
>       "Please let this not be from a god who has decided to involve himself
> and spare us the decision," Hesse also picked up his tablet, reluctantly.

That'd be hella creepy. X3

> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
>       Whether she intended it or not, Lady Sable made Berlin a deathtrap.  All
> deathtraps contain their own solution, it's what separates them from just
> killing someone and being done with it.  There's always a reason: a who, a
> what, a why?  Ask yourself: WHY BERLIN?

...awwwwww shit :D I know who this is!!

> 						  DD

:D :D :D

>       "There's a whole lot of other questions there, 'DD,' like how you knew
> to send this to us, HOW you sent it to us, who you are, why do we even bother
> securing these locations..." Hesse's voice slowly raised in alarm.

X3;;; Well!!

>       Yeah, so that "finish the arc before August 2019" prediction was wildly
> optimistic.

X3; I know that one

I figured out the basic plot device years ago, but just having
> the heroes stumble across it blindly or having a convenient flash of
> inspiration didn't really grab me.  Finally, I realized someone who might get
> them on a more useful track, leading to the final scene 

Niiiiiiice :D

>       In case you didn't figure it out, "DD" is Doctor Developer.  His
> specific status in 2027 is not yet revealed, but I cleared this idea with
> Utilitarian in case it might conflict with any plans he had kicking around
> (e.g. he can't have an open relationship with ASH by early 2027, has to still
> be alive in some fashion or have a successor who would identify themselves as
> DD, etc.).

:3 <3

Drew "looking forward to the climax" Nilium

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