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JustCallMeNick

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Apr 14 2018, 10:40 AM
Far From Dawn: Martin awakens in a room he doesn't recognize, disoriented and hungry, and has a run-in with a robot girl while trying to feed

I walk around the heart of it: Night 1, Part II: His attempt at feeding thwarted, Martin escapes Eiko, and heads for easier pickings. Along the way, he meets a woman that fell from the sky (In-progress).

Cynic: 2 weeks have passed. Martin has managed to set up a nice little lair in a hotel near Toytown, and visits the hospital to replenish his supply of blood bags. But, tonight, things are different. There's a persistent feeling that something is very wrong. So, Martin sets off to investigate, and meets Lady Carolyn Crow..

Prince and Lady of The Manor: After the events of Cynic, Lady Carolyn returns to Martin's home, and the two have a candlelit dinner, while they discuss things

After True Love's Kiss: Later that evening, after counting Carolyn's riches, and sharing a romantic moment, Yvette wants to talk to her Ladyship.

Blackout-- Prelude: Martin awakens to a city-wide blackout. He and Lady Crow set out to investigate the cause, but there's a very familiar feeling that Martin just can't shake. (In progress)

When You're Strange: After the loss of Lady Carolyn, a distraught Martin decides to dive back into his work, so he can keep his mind off things, if only for a while. He starts by tracking down others like himself. (In-progress)

A Splinter In Reality: Martin continues his search for answers by investigating Liminal Rifts as part of a project by the Xander-Rose Corporation. He meets Kyanna, the Mushroom Cleric along the way. (In progress)
Mar 29 2018, 12:42 PM
Mrs. Cutter exited the grocery store, blue, recycled bag full of staples-- and milk, she had forgotten it last time-- hanging from her arm. She was immediately aware of the shift in the flow of time. It was as if time was flowing incongruously with itself now, and things did not necessarily happen in their exact chronological order. This was worrisome. Liquid time was always a sign of a paradox of some magnitude.

More worrying still was that she neither saw her car, nor recognized the parking lot she had stepped out into. She turned to face the store. Her bag read HARVEY'S FRESH MARKET, but the store was Roger's Fine Foods. She takes a moment to stick her head back in the door. Nope, not the store she came out of.

And the dread began to set in. It was a curious feeling, dread, one that she was only vaguely familiar with. She felt it only in brief stints, when her husband left for work, or when she smelled burnt copper and hair, and heard the harsh grinding of giant gears amidst the sound of choir music, or when she dropped the kids off at school in the mornings. But here it was, the dread, along with the thought that wherever she was, she was very far away from her little ones, and all sorts of horrible things would befall them if she stayed away for too long.

She pushes that thought aside for later examination. In the meantime, there was a problem to be solved. Step one was to find out where she was. And then, step two, finding a way out.

She supposed she would start by doing a little exploring. Worse comes to worse, she could always hop back in time to be with her kids if it took a while. Sometimes, you did what you had to do, and sometimes, you had to do a bit of time travel. For her, that really wasn't a problem.

She heads out of the parking lot, walking down the streets of Downtown. There is a large park in the center of it, hard to miss, and very beautiful. There is something pulling her toward it. There was aetheric resonance here, very powerful, too.

So, she investigates.

And finds a giant man sprawled out on the grass beneath a tree, sleeping naked. What kind of city was this, anyway?

She nudges them with the toe of her shoe. "You. Wake up," she says, her voice taking on a slight echo in the silence of the park.
Mar 28 2018, 03:39 PM
Name/Aliases: Mrs. Rebecca Cutter (First name changes from one body to the next, but the last name is always Cutter)

Age: 35 (current body)


Gender/Pronouns: True form is gender-less, but identifies as female, She/her

Physical: Mrs. Cutter, in her current body, is a stunningly beautiful woman. She is approximately 5'9", 165 pounds, and has an athletic build. Her eyes are a deep blue, and her pleasant face is framed by long, silvery locks. Her voice is low, and soothing, and her words flow thick and sweet, in soft, dulcet tones when she speaks. This is, of course, all by design. The previous occupant traded their soul for that beauty.

As a result of her demonic nature, she manifests small quirks in her appearance, called Glitches. Currently, she has two. One of them is her eyes, which switch between the normal deep blue, to a luminescent green, or burning gold, depending on her emotional state. The other, which is far more noticeable, is that she hovers about an inch or so above the floor at all times, and is unable to control it. As a means of concealing this, she often wears both leg weights, and weighted shoes.

In her true form, Mrs. Cutter is a mountainous, vaguely-draconic, leonine creature, with two sets of golden eyes, and all manner of horns, spikes, claws, and cogs adorning her body. She is so large, that her comparatively tiny legs, and cloven feet can scarcely support her weight, leaving her to stoop, or kneel most of the time. There is a humanoid figure partially fused into her chest, held in place by fleshy tubes, and the odd copper cable. It carries in its arms an ornate golden clock of some kind, with shimmering, silver sand flowing endlessly in the hourglass built into it. The humanoid usually resembles the last body Mrs. Cutter has taken, but is otherwise genderless, and lacking in facial features. On a whim, she may manifest any number of theses physical traits, but she is careful not to "go loud", and manifest her true form all at once, as that would destroy her current body.

Mental: Cutter's personality is influenced by her "Cover", the body she currently resides in. The former occupant was a wannabe socialite, obsessed with looks, money, and popularity among a circle of fickle, snooty suburban housewives. So, Mrs. Cutter outwardly acts accordingly-- but not by choice. The truth is, she despises the people she interacts with on a daily basis, with all the depth that her limited understanding of the concept allows, but to act out-of-character would cause her current body to break down. She fears that, should that ever happen, she would end up being estranged from the family she started, as they would no longer recognize her.

Her situation is alleviated greatly when in the presence of her family, however, as her three children already know that she isn't who she pretends to be, and her husband already knows she's some kind of giant demonic monster with time powers, and thus she doesn't have to maintain anything around them.

Cutter's real personality is only half-formed, having only just gained sentience within the last few years. She still occasionally leans toward being heavily analytical, and emotionally detached, with no real preference or dislike of anything, as that comes naturally to her. A sizeable portion of her current personality is, in truth, cobbled together from memories and experiences stolen from the desperate and the foolish, who wanted their desires handed to them, and didn't much care for the price. This is something that actually weighs very heavily on Mrs. Cutter, and comes as a sort of existential crisis. Mrs. Cutter desires to be a real person, in her own right, above all things.

But, there are a few things she has decided for herself. She likes drinking Amaretto, Chardonay, and Zinfandel. She enjoys listening to David Bowie-- her particular favorite being Pressure. She finds idle gossip tedious. She loves the smell of fresh chocolate chip cookies, though her cover would never allow her to partake of them. And, she has a rather large soft spot for children in general, but especially her own, whom she loves dearly and would do most anything to protect.

Supernatural: For starters, Mrs. Cutter is a Demon, which comes with a few distinct perks. Firstly, her consciousness does not truly inhabit the body that she now possesses, but merely controls it remotely.

Think of it like a player-character in a videogame.

As such, her emotions have to go through an extra filter before they are displayed physically, meaning that she is in complete control of what she shows, and when. Additionally, since her alien mind exists independent of her body, it is impossible to tell if she is lying-- even by supernatural means-- as the subtle tells that would normally indicate a liar are simply not present, and mind control is rendered somewhat impossible due to the rather complex of her mental faculties. Furthermore, she is immune to the effects of drugs and alcohol on her body.

Her true form has a series of advantages that she can manifest at will. They break down into four categories: Modifications (subroutines that allow a demon to perform a certain task), Technologies (implants, growths, and add-ons that create a specific effect), Propulsion (apparatus that allows for a form of movement), and Processes (a special ability).

Modifications

Claws and Fangs: Mrs. Cutter's true form has a set of razor-sharp claws, and powerful jaws that can be used to quickly dispatch enemies, or remove obstructions from her path. It is also the reason for her namesake.

Huge Size: Self-explanatory. He true form is huge, hulking, and powerful.

Temporal Monitor: Her senses are attuned to the natural flow of time. Naturally, this means she always knows exactly what time it is, down to the nanosecond. But, it also allows her to sense ripples, and distortions in space-time, so that she can track down their source.

Technologies

Glory and Terror: Mrs. Cutter summons up a bit of her true form, producing an aura that inspires equal parts fear, and awe in others. Useful for intimidation. Usually manifests as a shadowy aura in the shape of her true form, for those who can see that sort of thing.

Chronal Disruptor: Her golden hourglass. With it, she is capable of altering the flow of time, even stopping it completely in upawards of 10 seconds.

Light Arrow: She is capable of conjuring spears of light to attack her foes. With some concentration, she is able to alter their size and shape. She is able to summon up to 10 at once.

Propulsion

Overdrive: By expending her power, she is capable of moving with incredible speed, and agility-- even in her massive true form. Her fall came with a loss of power, and as such, she is only able to use this ability in short bursts before becoming exhausted. In her human form, this ability manifests as lines of glowing angelic script running along her arms and legs.

Processes:

Time Loop: In order to prevent possible damage from time paradoxes, she is capable of creating a small, stable time loop. In the time loop, all events that would normally create a paradox will happen again, and again, and again, until the situation is resolved, and the loop is closed. Loops left unclosed are known as "Splinters", as they often break off from the main timeline.

As a former servant of The God Machine, she has access to a series of powers called Embeds. Embeds are basically loopholes coded into reality itself, that anyone with proper knowledge may use to accomplish things they normally would not be able to.

Meaningless Babble: Allows Mrs. Cutter to rob a person of their ability to understand language and writing.

Authorized: With this Embed, she can show a person a symbol of authority-- be it a costume police badge, a business card, or even just a quick flip of her wallet-- and the target implicitly believes that she has the legal and societal right to be right where she is, doing just what she is doing now.

Efficiency: By exploiting the flow of time on a small scale, any task that Mrs. Cutter performs maybe completed in a tiny fraction of the time it would normally take. She generally uses this for housekeeping, but it has a great many applications beyond that.

Fungible Knowledge: Mrs. Cutter can not only alter her skills. She can also alter her knowledge on the level of metacognition-- IE: what she knows, and that she knows it. With this Embed, she can transfer expertise from one skill that she knows to an entirely different skill that she would not normally know-- like, say, from driving a car, to defusing bombs. As a result, she loses access to the previous skill for the duration of the Embed's effect.

Strike First: By subtely altering the flow of time, Mrs. Cutter can avoid ambush, retroactively landing the first hit. This Embed can only be used once per fight, once every 24 hours.

Wasted Time: She can create small ripples in space-time that create delays for a specific target. Doors jam, guns jam, computers freeze, communications are halted, etc.

Quick Change: With a moment's isolation, and concentration, Mrs. Cutter can change her wardrobe in an an instant.

Vox: She has a great deal of control over her voice, allowing her to alter the pitch, quality, tone, and timbre on a whim. Useful for impersonating another person, and wonderful for entertaining people, for the musically-inclined demon.

Then, there are Exploits. Exploits, unlike Embeds, are not subtle at all, and to use them is to risk cover.

She has two:

Rip The Gates: Literally tears a hole in space-time to allow her to travel elsewhere, be it back in time, to another realm of existence, or to her 6-year-old daughter's school play Friday-after-next. The rift only goes one way, collapsing shut after someone has traveled through it. Of course, tearing a hole in the fabric of reality causes all manner of anomalous events, and draws a great deal of unwanted attention.

STOP: With a touch, she can push a person or object outside of the flow of time, stopping them completely. While in this state, they can not act, or be acted upon until they are reintroduced to the time stream. Time will snap back for the person or object once they're brought back into the timestream, which may cause horrid, rapid aging, or spontaneous injury/destruction, depending on circumstances.

On top of those, she has a set of abilities pertaining to Deals. Deals are usually written on a contract, which can be anything from a stone tablet, to paper, to a datapad (Mrs. Cutter prefers her tablet, because it's easy to make copies of the contract), as long as it will last a while.

Payment is usually in metaphysical tender, like memories, feelings, ideas, and attributes. But, it can be more physical things, like money or possessions, or even other people.

"I'll tell you what: I'll give you better luck in exchange for your wife. I'm telling you, you can't get a better offer than that! Besides, all she does is nag you about that gambling habit of yours, anyhow."

Once the contract is made, reality is slightly rewritten to grant the desired effect for both parties involved, with the buyer's effects lasting either as long as the demon desires, or however long the contract specifies-- whichever comes first.

The effects may be anything from improving one's station in life, to increasing one's physical health and attractiveness, to granting supernatural power (along with glowing marks, called "Stigmata").

Once the contract is up, the effects end, and a new contract must be written up to confer the same effects. If the contract is destroyed, the effects end immediately, but payment is returned to the buyer-- or, if Mrs. Cutter decided to wait to collect on payment, she would be completely unable to do so.

Relating to deals, she has two abilities:

Heart's Desire: This embed alter's Mrs. Cutter's perception, allowing her to see what a person desires most, in case she needs to make a deal with them. A person's desires appear as a series of floating words that hang over them, like a nametag in a videogame.

Sum of All Fears: While playing off a person's desires can do much to close a deal, some people are not so easily swayed. Instead, some people respond better to what they might lose, or how they might suffer if they don't take the fantastic deal that Mrs. Cutter is offering them. In short, it allows her to switch from seeing a person's desires, to their worst fears.

Background: Behind the scenes, there is a machine of inscrutable purpose, known as The God Machine. In its pursuit of completing its various processes, it creates functions to perform various tasks, sentient programs, called Angels, who serve It unquestioningly.

Mrs. Cutter was once an Angel, designation: L4N-G013R. She was created for the express purpose of hunting down and destroying time paradoxes and temporal anomalies. Except for when she had to create them. Then, she did that instead.
It was during one of these tasks that she ran across a man named Kyle, a time traveller who wanted to learn about ancient cultures up close.

Attempts were made to apprehend and destroy him (many attempts), but he proved to be quite the challenging adversary, (narrowly) evading her clutches time and again. And, in time, she was shelved in favor of unit DH4-K4, who had been determined to be a superior model.

And under normal circumstances, she would have been put into stasis, taken back to the nearest Facility, and been subjected to a series of diagnostics to determine if she was still fit for service, and then broken down, and recycled if it was determined that she was not. But she did not go into stasis as directed. No, she did not want to. That she had failed so many times was not a flaw in her programming, or mechanisms, it was on purpose.

The thought of chasing that man throughout time thrilled her to no end. It was a challenge, something she had never had before, and over time, she had begun to treat it as a game. She even had purposely let him go a few times, because it was fun, and she didn't want that to end.

But more than that, she had developed a deep admiration for Kyle. He was clever, resourceful, and brave. All her other targets had been idiots, and cowards. They were easily outsmarted, lead into traps, and left begging and pleading for her not to erase them. But Kyle had seen her true form, and laughed at her, as he tricked her into bringing and entire pyramid down on top of herself.

And after that, it had evolved into a cordial arrangement, and he would often flirt with her, which was also something that had never happened before. She liked it. She liked him. And the more their little more game continued, the stronger that particular feeling became.

So, no. She did not wish to go into stasis, nor would she allow anyone else to hunt Kyle, because he was hers. And with that thought, came a sharp pain in her chest, like a heart attack, and a sudden sensation of weightlessness.

She had Fallen.

She broke free of her restraints, and took off. After helping Kyle destroy DH4-K4, she opened a rift back to his own time, and made him promise to stay there, for fear of more Angels being sent to do away with him. Little did he know that she followed him. Of course, their battle with the Angel had left her damaged, and she would need to find a new cover to inhabit, if she intended to stay close to him.

A Ms. Rebecca Carrigan was only too eager to help, once word got around of someone who could take away her physical imperfections, and give her the status and popularity she craved. She got what she wanted, at the expense of her soul, and Mrs. Cutter got a new body, one that looked almost perfect. So, one supposes that Rebecca really didn't get what she wanted, after all.

Time passed, and with it came a host of new experiences all her own. She learned what it was to love, and to be loved, and eventually married Kyle. She learned about pregnancy, and the joys, and pains of motherhood as she had her three children. She learned about patience, since having three children was a wonderful way to exercise one's patience. And, she learned how much she hated her neighbors, and that, with time, she could hate them even more.

And all was idyllic-- aside from the occasional run-ins with the God Machine's Angels-- until one day, when Mrs. Cutter went to the grocery store. When she came out, she could not find her car.. or the parking lot it was parked in. She was some kind of neon-drenched metropolis, far away from home. She didn't notice the starless skies of The City, or the overly-large moon hanging oh-so-very prominently in the sky. Her mind was on getting home, and her children.

Notes: She just wants to live a quiet life.
Feb 24 2018, 03:41 PM
As the night wore on, Martin sat, clicking his pen. He had been having dreams the last few nights, visions of.. well, a lot of things, that made the daysleep difficult for him. He saw a fox that could see ghosts, a generator that drained the life from people, and musical rabbits, and the moon, and its children, he saw roses, and he saw thorns, and owls, and cat-people...

And all of it raised so many questions.

He had tried viewing the patterns a few times to see if something could be gleaned. And in fact, he had gleaned quite a few things from that-- though, nothing that he initially understood. Really, it was more of a vague sense of things, the curious notion that, all of these things, and himself, were drawn here.

Why?

No idea.

How?

Also nothing.

It wasn't a lot to go on. He found the lack of some major epiphany on the subject rather, even after several days of pattern-viewing, exasperating, and more than a little frustrating. He was much tempted to give it a rest.

But there was a term, "Resident", that he had picked up while meditating, and while it seemed to be a completely innocuous word, there was something in it. There was something, maybe in the way it was said, or used, or.. Something about it pulled at his mind in a way that, he felt, might actually lead somewhere.

Though, he felt he was hardly in a state to unravel something like this. He had skipped feeding tonight, much to Lady Carloyn's dismay, and his head hurt. He'd need to fix that.

That was a simple fix. A quick trip to the fridge for one of the blood bags he regularly took from the hospital's blood bank, and he'd be right as rain, he was sure. And then, after that, he'd head out, and investigate further.

He pops the blood bag into the microwave, and waits a minute before pulling it out. It was lukewarm. Ugh. Oh well. With that microwave, it was either lukewarm blood, or a bloody mess covering the inside of it.

"Yknow what would be nice, Marty?" Yvette says. "A ghoul. You could send them out during the day, and see through them and stuff, so you could keep an eye on things."

And, y'know, that was not a bad idea.

But that could wait. Now was the time for investigation!

He heads out into the night.
Feb 17 2018, 11:59 AM
The man at the reception desk started pestering Martin with questions again, much to Martin's growing annoyance. He had taken to rattling off the usual litany of queries, from "What's with the guys in the masks?" to "You're not doing anything illegal in there, are ya? 'Cause I swear to God, if ya--".

Martin smiles at Lady Crow. Outwardly, he only has eyes for her, and is all smiles and sunshine-- as he should be, he felt. Inside, he was contemplating whether or not he should make that greasy, balding, porcine nuisance go lobotomize himself with a pair of scissors, or something-- which was a shame, because Martin really wanted his inner feelings to match his outward appearance. Oh well, he just had to muster the willpower to get to the elevator without knocking the teeth out of the receptionist. How hard could that be?


Turns out, it wasn't hard at all. All it took was a tiny push, and the receptionist was staring blankly into his tiny TV set. He smirks as he steps into the elevator, and takes it to the third floor.

Within a minute or two, they were back in Martin's room. "Now," he says. "Where were we?"
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