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They killed my partner when he tried to do the right thing.

They never gave me a chance to defend him.

Let the city of Pittsburgh burn, I won't come back to save it or anyone in it.

The only people I cared about there, save two, are dead. And I have no idea how to react to Azure or Operand any more.

I wish them joy of what's happened. I'm giving up my tenure of service. I'm going to try and find a life somewhere else. I don't think I'll manage, but...I can't stay here any more.

This chapter of my life is closed.

Captain Merriam J. Harriss, USAF (Retired)
Heavy Metal of the Virtual Adepts

[encryption enabled]

--------------logout 13:57
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You want to take out the fucking Marauders, Vertigo? I'll be there.

Fuck it. Kill them all.

----logout 19:34
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Life has sucked, and sucked hard, for the past few months.

See, that deal with the devil? Turned out to be one for sure. Seems that new piece of eq that Dr. Ansid (not Anson, my bad) gave me opened up the Wing for a whole fucking slew of new problems. One of which was a freaking A.I. taking over the Wing and using it to bomb one of the Hermetics' hidey-holes.


Of course they thought it was us at first--who could blame them? The Wing IS practically synonymous with Vertigo and I, and now by extension, the chantry we've been trying to form. And then this happens?

Vertigo managed to get the Wing back--of course, it was in pieces. I haven't been writing in here much mainly because of that. Between having to rebuild the Wing from scratch, move out a lot of its information to new servers, continue building crap for the Chantry proper, and oh, let's not forget trying to continue what little private life I have outside work and being a mage...I've barely had time to remember my own damn name, much less write here. So now I get to go back over the past few months and try to remember what the hell has been going on.

Azure and I and a few other people have been trying to keep tabs on the Greek cults that seem to be popping up in Pittsburgh. We're still not entirely sure what it all means...some seem less harmful than others. I'm honestly not sure what that all means. Another thing about Azure--she and one of Spencer's brothers, Leslie, have definitely hooked up and become an item. Yeah, I've been a bit jealous about that. Especially considering my wonderful luck so far...

Kaiya White Phoenix, a mutual friend of Vertigo and I, showed up for a bit and paused in Pittsburgh to visit us. That wouldn't have been bad, except she had more luck with Marcus (the second new Akashic Brother) than I did. Heh. Vertigo says I am too subtle about announcing the fact I like someone...

Okay. So maybe he's right.

Honestly I haven't been entirely sure where to go from there. As is her want, Kaiya apologized and went her way. No big deal. Marcus apologized. No big deal. I'm just still not sure where to go from there. Do I still like him? Yes. I've forgiven him. I just...don't know what to do now.

Some together individual I am, huh?

What else have I been up to? There's almost too much shit to remember. I may as well go on to the most recent few endeavors. Like two weeks ago, when I helped Azure, Leslie and his brother Noogie, and the orphan Digger go off and stage a drug bust. Vertigo actually had a fit about that one, and honestly I don't think Marcus was too thrilled either. V thought I was slacking off and partying. You'd think he'd know me better by now. Marcus...I've got no idea what Marcus thought in the end. But maybe I was just trying to get back at him a bit by going on something of a date with Noogie. Noogie's a nice guy, but...he is just so not my type. It seems like he exists on an entirely separate plane of existance from what I'm used to. I can't exactly compute that...

This past Friday, we ended up having a serious Chantry meeting. Zack was back too--always a good thing. Turns out the mission was to go explore some of the old and now-defunct Nodes, to see if they're in use by the A.I that's been giving us hell. We all separated into groups--four of them, although I'm not sure about who exactly went there, in the end. I do know that Marcus, Mark Bryan, and I ended up being one of the groups, and we headed to this old church.

For once I can be sort of proud of myself, at least. No one injured, no property damage, no police cars called...just a quick in and out job, and we all worked pretty well together. It's actually damn nice to have shit like that go out without a hitch. No, hell was caught later, and mostly thanks to Noogie, Vertigo, and Doc Watson...those three are trouble magnets if I've ever freaking seen them. Their mission was heading through the of course they were the ones who found the Nephandi pit. They're all alive and well, at least for now, but...Christ.

Nephandi. More shit we don't need.

What we do need is a plan.

Heavy Metal out.

[encryption enabled]

----logout 23:00
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Christ. It's been so long since I wrote in here, I have no fucking clue what to say. Plenty of stuff has gone on. Tobias has disappeared again, and Val Russell has moved to the West Coast, leaving Operand and I in an interesting situation. Mostly because of one big question: who is the ranking Virtual Adept in Pittsburgh? Is it me, who's only been there for a year, but has more knowledge in certain areas, or is it him, who has seniority timewise? Good question; one I don't know how to answer. And since he hasn't been around lately, when I have, it's a question that's currently going unanswered. Hell, I've got enough problems without answering that question in the first place. VICTOR seems to be back, using a different moniker and threatening to blow the fuck out of anyone in his way. One of whom is yours truly. He still has a huge ass axe to grind. I need to ask Vertigo what he said to us a couple months ago, when he left off the first time. My memory tends to be sievelike at the best of times. This isn't the best of times.

One more thing about Operand in regards to me. I am a social misfit and in his regard I crashed and burned. Yay Heavy Metal, acting more like Vertigo's namesake in your interpersonal relationships. Anyway.

Spencer, that crazy motherfucker, ended up getting himself killed somehow. So much for teaching him not to get in trouble. Turns out he has another crazy brother named Noogie. Something of a pothead, I guess, but his head (or maybe I ought to say his heart) is in the right place. Yeah. Definitely the latter.

There's been a serious influx of new blood into Pittsburgh's mage society. First there is at least one more Celestial Chorister, a pair of Akashics who are at opposite ends of that spectrum (Vincent is very monklike, and there is a guy whose name I didn't file who's a lot like Jonny Cage from Mortal Kombat. Note to self, search the IMDB for his movies), one Euthanatos, and some Virtual Adept who works at UPitt. His name is Dr. Anson, or something like that, and despite the fact he's gotten in as thick as thieves with Operand, he still tends to raise the hackles on the back of my neck. And frankly...with my training, that's not a sensation you want. I made a deal with that devil anyway for a new piece of equipment for the Wing, but God knows how that will turn out. Gods know what I'll be able to do with any of it anyway, considering what's going on. I may be a smoking and charred corpse before it does me any good, right?

Personal cynicism and pessimism aside, I suppose we shall see.

Heavy Metal out.

[encryption enabled]

--logout 20:13
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I didn't make it to the last meeting of the minds, 4/04. I was a bit busy, all things considered, between rebuilding the dragon shrine in my garage and getting things all settled. But I was back in classic style on the 18th. Yay me. Note the sarcasm.

Good news: Tobias somehow managed to get back. Happy Heavy Metal. But it turned all his bones to metal (a certain twist of magick I thankfully -noticed- before finishing my shuffle-pounce-hug, considering that would've hurt like hell). Upon informing me of this, Azure enlisted my help in looking for Jeffrey (our escaped prisoner, as she dubbed him)--or, more properly, summoning a spirit to spy on Jeffrey.

Uh, I'm a Virtual Adept? Remember?

Nevertheless, I did help. Maybe I shouldn't have, in retrospect. I didn't know what it was that Azure was trying to summon, but she definitely, definitely overdid it. I sort of figured that out when I heard all the cats outside the garage (which seems to be The Place to Do Things, for me, when I'm out of the Wing). When the Siamese walked through the door, I definitely figured things were not quite all as they seemed. Then Azure and the Siamese started speaking. In mews. I decided to step out, and life got even more interesting when I got back. Being quick on the uptake, if not in the actual physical sense, I stopped at the closest organic market and picked up some sashimi, fresh cream, and caviar. As well as some twenty-pound bags of cat kibble. Forethought is everything. Turns out the 'guest' to my garage was none other than the Queen of Cats. I didn't quite find that out until later. Seems she likes Azure and plans to stay, and she agreed to look for Jeffrey. My part of the deal that was cut? I get to babysit, and then find homes for, four of her strays.
Well. I've got work cut out for me.

Of course, the police phone call was a lot of fun. No Officer, I'm not running a kitty boarding house, neither is my landlord to my knowledge. Why yes, Officer, there sure seem to be a lot of strays...I'll do what I can. Oh yeah. I can kiss ass with the best of them.

I got a strange cell call from Katherine after that. I'm going to have to ask her what went on, when I finally see her. I was a bit busy getting kitties settled. Operand was MIA by then. Hope he doesn't mind a dozen extra roommates...

Oh well. I'm gonna be eating a lot of homemade noodles and rice for a while.

Shit! Why didn't I think of this before?! Time to do that particular search--more information on this Chantry, its previous residents, our erstwhile friend Jeffrey, and perhaps even more on VICTOR himself.

Let's get crackin'. Heavy Metal out.

--logout 11:16
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Apparently we've had an ongoing series of CFs lately, and this Friday was no surprise. It seems for some reason VICTOR decided to go absolute apeshit, and kick us all out of the Chantry/Realm...but that's not all! No, he had to try to frag us all first. Thankfully Katherine and Pythagorus were nearby. Not only that, somehow Rick Vankin picked me up and *carried* my crippled ass out of there. The dude deserves some serious kudos for that, he saved my six. We were pretty well freaked out, with good reason. Is all this what happens when we try to do a kindness to a guy who got locked up fifty years ago? 'Cause if it is, I need to become more of a fucking hardcase than I already am. I only hope Operand got out okay; last I knew, he was still in the Realm proper.

Next on our lovely menu: Heavy Metal Fucks Up! Yeah, I did, and I ain't proud of it. Seems Vertigo told me to try and gather information on VICTOR. What did I do? Tried to prove that I am teh hot shit, and tried to -hack- him. I'm a fucking dumbass. All I did was get us ass-deep in alligators, and now Tobias is MIA. I'm lucky we're all not deader than doornails.

Next time, I'll do this right. But first I've got to do some reconnaissance...Heavy Metal out.

-----logout 15:32
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I have a hangover.

I need to hit Vertigo.

More later when I can think.


Okay, so I've been lazy. Well, not lazy. I keep forgetting alcohol and my joints make a bad mix, thanks to a number of things. The time now is 21:27, and I have levered my butt out of bed. Of course, I had to be allowed to humiliate myself a bit before I ever got my drunk self into bed...but I won't rehash that here. Allow me to elucidate on the ever-amusing meeting of the minds that happens every other Friday.

To begin, we can start with the chewing-out I got from the Captain. And by that I don't mean myself. No. Captain Lance Sijan, USAF, Retired (well, forcibly. I'd say you were retired if you were dead, no?). Apparently I've been lax in regards to my duties, and he had to give me something of a slap in the face. Joy. After he was done dressing me down, I ended up popping out next to Tobias...something I'm certain neither of us expected. It did, however, allow me to meet two of Tobias' new...proteges is a good word, I think. Azure and Abby. I forget their last names, but what I do remember works for now. More on Azure later, definitely.

Let it never be said that I don't get a wild hair up my ass. In casual conversation, mentioning the nameless prisoner to a couple of the other mages, it was decided we'd all go look for him. That went fairly well to start with in that we actually found him and talked to him for a while. I can't say why he's down there--he seems like a completely harmless old man to me. A bit underfed, but he did mention that there have been problems lately with food going down there. But apparently VICTOR didn't like it that we were down there...possibly the mime's actions didn't help much. I'm not sure why he went back down the corridor, but both Operand and Azure went to try and get him out, and VICTOR totally freaked. Neither Katherine nor I chewing him out helped, but by some miracle Operand got himself, Azure, and the mime out. Of course, things didn't improve from there.

There was some sort of intruder alert--one that ended up being a rather large egg. Something that was going to hatch, it seemed. Azure took some control of the situation--somehow (damned if I know how) she knew how to take care of dragon eggs. So one gigantic brazier and some C-4 from my lab later, we had a nice bonfire going to help the egg hatch, which it did, into one hell of a destructive little dragon. Somehow Azure got the attention of another dragon...which led to the eventual arrival of the baby's parents. During all this, in an attempt to get food for the little meeper, Operand went to the cybercafe, came back, and yarked all over, in classic signs of something I'd only seen in a few fellow combat vets at the VA hospital...I'll have to ask him about it sometime. He said that someone had gotten violently killed at the cybercafe, and cops were crawling all over it.

Well, fuck. Not to mention Val was supposed to come back, and someone was supposed to go pick her up. What was it I said? It doesn't rain here, it pours? Maybe I should've said it produces gale-force winds and typhoonal rains. It'd be more accurate.

Anyway, once the dragons departed (not before the big ones scared the hell out of Azure, and the little one demanded tribute in the form of lots of gold and a shrine of sorts), it was decided that Azure, Operand, and I most definitely were going drinking. About then, Vertigo shows up, bitching because the baby dragon had messed up his lab. Azure just about blew up at him, but all things considered, he took it well, and even charmed her a bit. Got to hand it to him. My partner, at times, does have charisma up the yang.

About then, Tobias reappeared with something *really* potent in a flask. So things get more than a bit hazy. I remember complaining to what seemed to be an angel (it was trying to calm Azure down) that I was going to hell. I also remember making a fake I.D. for Azure, too. Then it all gets really damn fuzzy, until I got shoved into a bed.

I don't think I should've taken that disintegrator ray from Zack. And I know I'm never gonna live down that e-mail I sent Operand...

Life's a bitch and so am I, let's count the days before I die.

--logout 21:52
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Amended Date: 21 February 2003.

What a god-damn clusterfuck, if I ever saw one!

Operand was finally stumping around. Color me glad to see the kid. Not to mention Zack showed his face out of his lab for a while. Just in time for the shit to hit the fan in classic style.

First, the Spirit of the Path of Magic shows up (that asshole), and announces that it's only a matter of time until the Fourth Path is summoned. For some reason, I don't buy that, but it doesn't prevent everybody from splintering once. Fuuuck. Operand, Tobias, and I end up in the Horizon Realm discussing things--at least until Magick fucking *kicks us out* of the Realm. Once we finally get back in, everything seems kosher, but gods know what the hell was really happening. Which of course, means I'm even more closed-mouthed than usual. I'm paranoid on a good day, what the hell can I say? And can you blame me?

Anyway, we end up discussing things with Pythagorus, the souped-up familiar-type DeLorean. Ask him a few questions (as well as having a couple interesting crosses with VICTOR, too). Including one about the Well of Souls.

Turns out the little fucker knew where it was! God damn! I wonder what the hell else he knows and just has conveniently not SAID anything about, because he's not bonded to one of us. As it is, he demanded a wash, a bunch of chocolate pudding (*insert eyeroll here* Familiars!), and some Quintessence. After giving in (yeah, I can wash the Wing, I can wash a car, so that's what I did--and waxed him, too. There's a freebie for you, you Back to the Future casting-call reject), he told us where the Well was. And of course, a bunch of us went there.

Originally, I didn't do too much. A couple of mini-drones...and admittedly, curiosity killed the kitty-cat, and I checked out the Well once we figured out what it did. Never in my life did I expect to get thrown, eventually, into a fucked-up time warp with a bunch of people.

I think I finally burnt my bridges with Tobias, and not in a good way. Seemed like there was a spirit there, too (fuck, it doesn't rain around here, it pours), but it didn't want anything too 'difficult'. Yah, just go out and kill the first non-Awakened person you see. I didn't like it, we'll start there. But I figured...hey, we'll go literal. The first person I see. So take me over to the Technocrat hive, and I'll go cap a few acolytes, throw a wrench in their business. Tobias took a little offense to it...not that I can blame him...but this was the first time he and I ever officially disagreed on anything, and there was just something...lost, I guess, in the translation.

Face it, Mer. You're just better off at flying solo missions. Get your head out of your ass and realize it.

--logout 15:54
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No, this is not IC writing. I just thought I had better make that clear. Still, the silliness was too good to be lost to posterity, and so I post it here for my gentle readers' amusement.



Upon finding out the Wing could go orbital in the future, Mer throws a fit...

Heavy Metal: "You better damn well make sure we have pressure suits for that! I don't feel like being Pilot Pizza!"
Vertigo: "Transformers Rote, Mer. This'll be as safe as a non-Kirk Enterprise."
Heavy Metal: "I don't trust the guy from Quantum Leap either, dammit!"
Vertigo: "Look, we'll be fine so long as we don't run into any Decepticon raiding parties."
Heavy Metal: ::stares:: "If we do that, I'm going to eat my forearm crutches. With tobasco."
Vertigo: "Hmmmm... Decepticon raiding parties..." ::getting that There's-A-Rote-Idea! gleam in his eye::
Heavy Metal: "Don't make me hurt you, Vertigo."
Heavy Metal: "I'll be on you like a Junkion on a wide-screen TV."
Vertigo: "Laserbeak will protect me!" ::whips out a boombox:: "Laserbeak, eject! Operation: Protect my ass!"
Heavy Metal: "You've got a new code name! Rented Mule!"
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Haven't got much time to jot this all down in, but damned if I won't try. Too much shit has hit the fan recently...too much to relate, almost. Seems like I was right when I thought I was missing something, I just didn't know how fucking much...

In any case. Three embodiments, three 'spirits of humanity', if you will. Some fucking Nephandus--the same one who was blitzing the Chantry a few months ago--somehow summoned the damn things. Or so Tobias has told me, and if I trust anyone to cover my backside, it's him. Then again, apparently he wasn't expecting one of the spirits to squash said Nephandus like the bug he was--Man, I think I was told. It didn't help that another Nephandus showed up later...and this one used to be Tobias' friend, Richar, I think I heard the guy's name was.

Well, things went to pot damn quick. Phil and Man went off on Richar, even though he claimed he only wanted to 'talk'. Now, I don't trust Nephandi as far as I can throw them--with the way my body is these days, it's not far at all--but if it'd help us with a problem? Sure, I'd listen. Take the information with a salt mine, instead of a grain of salt, but I'd listen. And I'll admit to training a gun on the guy, but there was no way in hell I'd fire without being told to.

Didn't help much, because Phil was only too happy to finish the job Man started. Damn that Nephandus anyway for guilt-tripping me. I am not so damn triggerhappy as to be lumped into a group like that. Contrary to what I seem to come off as, spreading blood and gore like a bad splatterpunk movie is not my main objective in life. It doesn't get better, only worse.

Most of us go back to the Realm. No surprise there. Zack's been holed up in his lab for months, Operand is still busy recovering from worshipping the porcelain god (fucking flu), and gods only know where Vertigo hied his ass off to. Tobias went off to meditate for a bit, and I accompanied him, if nothing else to just keep an eye out. We were still pretty much on the main path, and Phil comes over and makes a comment about how Tobias is 'going senile'. Yeah. Well, I decide that keeping my mouth shut is better in this situation, and so I do. So Phil goes off and continues on his business, whatever the hell that is. And while this might not've been the most intelligent thing of me to do, I told Tobias what he said when he returned. I know things haven't been easy for him as of late, but...I had to. I wouldn't want something like that hidden from me, and I've got too much respect for him to not tell him.

Dammit. I'm getting worked up again just trying to recall all this crap. Maybe I'll write more later. Sometimes, I'm starting to wonder if it's even worth it.

-logout 06:07
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Damn. I hurt. I know I need the PT, but strangely enough, I hate subjecting myself to it...

Stranger still, I got an e-mail from Val. Seems she hasn't been able to get ahold of Operand (big surprise there), and since she's got to go covert for a bit, guess who gets to be de facto head of the Tradition 'til she's done? If you guessed yours truly, you win some prize. Not that I think any of it's going to be a big deal. I'm low man on the totem pole, so I figure most of the folks around Pittsburgh would rather wait 'til Val gets back instead of trying to ramrod something through me. And, really, it might be easier. Not that there's any council crap going on. Anyway, moving on is a good thing.

Vic hasn't gotten back to me about the remote relay, but that's cool with me. I don't mind, considering I'd rather things work perfectly on that end, too. I'm sure he'll let me know when he's done.

I get the impression I'm missing something, but damned if I know what it is.

--logout 10:25
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Whee. Holiday rush is here. I called my folks, which was nice, but of course, I didn't let them know where I was. The last thing I need is trouble tailing them because I let too much slip. I haven't seen much of the others, except Vertigo, but between holiday hoo-hah and the weekly PT regimen, my normal good mood has been shot to hell anyway.

At least things with VICTOR have been going well. I finally finished the remote-relay device, and he's been running tests. He also asked me to provide the codes for it, so he could reverse-engineer them. He just better go off and let me actually take a look at things once he's done. Me and my curiosity, it's gonna get the best of me.

Well, since I haven't got a lot of other things to do, I think I'm going to go wander around the Chantry a bit, and maybe enjoy the weather. Walks're supposed to be good for me, right?

--logout 17:15
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Well, crap on a stick. With everything that's just been rearing its ugly head, you would think my memory would be less like a sieve. Anyway, I'm digressing...that's what I've got this thing for, right? A backup to my less-than-stellar trains of thought and so on.

So something I forgot to mention in the last write-up of the "meeting of the minds"? In all the confusion, there were three objects/places of power of some sort that we all were instructed to find. The Oracle, the Astrolabe, and the Well of Souls.

Seems a group actually did find the Oracle, and a bunch of us all went up there to check it out. It's strange, I've got to hand it to whoever thought it up. At the top of the Cathedral of Learning at UPitt...sort of. It's part there--at least a door to it is--and part of it is somewhere else. Damn weird. Sometimes I wonder why things can't be nice and normal, you know? But I guess that stopped once I did the Top Gun schtick with a Spectre and Sijan entered my head. Beggars can't be choosers.

Damned if I know what to do with the implications of the Oracle though. long as you're willing to pay its "price". I wonder what it does with its pound of flesh?

Something's nagging at me, but I'm damned if I can remember it. Maybe later.

--logout 01:02
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No, I'm not dead yet. Just the weather is seriously fucking with my injuries. Bitter cold and broken but healed parts do not mix. I'm lucky I can hobble around the places I choose to go to--if I actually decided to do anything of import, I think I'd be more of a liability than I normally am.

At least I can park my kiester wherever--the Chantry lab, the Wing, fill in the blank--and mess with my toys, or the project du jour. Woo hoo. I've been working on the remote relay for VICTOR Univac, which is coming along nicely. Now if only I could find something that'd give out attitude adjustments en masse, I'd be a happy geek.

Just a minor update, I guess. I'll write more later, when certain parts of my anatomy aren't screaming at me.

-logout 09:41
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The high's over: time to actually hack out a log for last night's so-called 'meeting of the minds'.

The good news is: Operand's fat has been yanked from the fire. Vertigo, Katherine, Val, Zack, Tobias, and myself managed to work together and track the VE ship that he was being held in (the drones work, if I wouldn't fall on my ass, I'd be happydancing, believe me). The ship wasn't in the original place Katherine and I had tracked it to, but that ended up being only a minor setback. Really, I could not be happier with the way it turned out. Maybe it wasn't as precise as a military operation, but considering I'm with a bunch of willful civilians now, I can't exactly complain, can I?

Zack and Katherine infiltrated the ship (I'd've gone myself, but seriously, Vertigo can't fly the Wing, and I'm almost useless on solid ground), while Val, Tobias, and Vertigo were backup. I flew the Wing, and did my best to coordinate. It took some time, and Zack, Katherine, and Operand were all fairly beat up by the time they got back on the ship, but any rescue mission where the other side takes the most casualties is a success.

Then we went back to the cybercafe (well, Operand's recuping somewhere...need to find out where), and the shit hit the fan, but good. Ended up gods-knows-where with the so-called Inhabitant of the Realm bitchfesting at us, because certain people (who will remain unnamed, at the moment) had to raise a sheer stink at the emergency Chantry Council that was put together the last time we all met. Fuck. Some people need more than two neurons to rub together. It'd to the rest of us some good. That or they need to get their heads out of their collective asses and give us all a break.

Anyway, now there's a new group of Councillors, one from every Tradition. VICTOR Univac's actually got a position (and weren't certain people pissed when they found out I swore the Oath to take him as a fellow? Fuck them. I was the only person left standing and coherent when it came down to that. Chain of Command, you sad fucks.), he's Minister of Protocol. Of course, I've got to see about building him some access stations...there's always that gopher address, but it'd probably be better to get him a dedicated line to certain areas where we tend to hang around. I'm a bit relieved by the fact that Katherine is Deacon, and Tobias is one of the Justices. At least they have a good head on their shoulders. Contrary to popular belief, I'm not shedding any tears over no longer holding position as an Exactor, either. I accepted it at first to open the Chantry, because it was an emergency. I knew that it was possible, if not likely, for me to lose such a position.

The one thing that does worry me is the fact that now, our troublemaker is a Councillor. Which means he's got ways to cover his ass. I was told not to go to the Umbra if I could help it, but that bolloxed up. Need to get some sort of personal recording device, or build one. Not that that's beyond my capabilities. I'm tired of being threatened because I'm a Virtual Adept or whatever the fucking reason is. Conformity doesn't work. If you want to go be part of Big Brother, go be a Greyface.

He thinks he's got the power now. It'll be fun to watch and see karma come around and bite him in the ass.

I've got to be off anyway. Got to find out where Operand is. Val told me outright to keep an eye on him, if I could. Not like it's any chunk out of my day, especially if I can bring along some of my toys.

-logout 22:18
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Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit.

I'd say I'm happy that my fucking driving lessons are almost over, but I'm not. Why is that? Because Operand's disappeared, and it's my fucking fault.

I'm not entirely sure who or what took him, but if the e-mail he sent is any indication, it's the freaking Void Engineers. I wish I'd have talked to him before he ran off. The entire damn mail smelled of a set-up. Maybe it's just my paranoia. Maybe it's the fact that all the information that they sent could've been tied back to me, personally. (Void Engineers? A ship? Christ, couldn't be talking about the Wing, could they? Naaah...)

As if that wasn't enough to twist my Jockeys, we've finally got the Chantry up for the moment...and THAT is one hell of a shitball that got dropped in everyone's collective lap. Supposedly it got attacked by Nephandi? The Realm proper, that is. I didn't get a great deal of information before I got dragged into that...maybe I ought to ask Tobias the next time I see him. He may not look like much, but he's got a brain, which is more than I can say for most of the so-called Awakened around this place. I can (sort of) understand Jashem's problem with the way we booted up the Chantry the way we did, but it's not like I exactly had a hand in it...more like I got dragged in and told, "Hey, Heavy Metal, you and Vertigo are the new Executors!" To which I said "Okay!" What the fuck am I going to say, when the entire Realm is on the line? It's like what happened when everyone else was compromised or down for the count, and the order went out to 'swear the oath!' Namely, the one that made Victor Univac a fellow. Shit. It's not like I've got a problem treating a construct as a person. It happened all the time--you can't tell me most of the Void Engineers were entirely human...But I'm letting too much leak here.

Got bullied by the idiot of a boxer, Phil. Both he and Jashem outright said we were starting an 'outright war' between the Traditions in Pittsburgh. Uh? Excuse me? When it was clearly stated that the current Chantry leadership is in place due to the threat to the Realm? When it was also stated that there are additions/revisions that can and will take place as necessary? I fail to see where we started a Tradition War. I'm wondering if this is just because Phil's opinion wasn't asked, and the two others who tended to raise a stink weren't around with him. I let too much info leak there, too, in regards to that Euthanatos cabal that was around in the weeks after Vertigo and I came to Pitt. Speaking of...I damn well better contact Justice. If Phil's threats are real (and I may as well treat them as they are), it seems that he's not just willing to eliminate Sleepers that get in his way, but his fellow mages as well. And I thought the Technocracy was bad...what the fuck have I gotten myself into here?

Katherine and I had a bit of luck locating Operand, but none rescuing him. At the moment, I am just not good enough at extraction ops. If you want information, hell, I can give you a truckload of that.

Speaking of information, it's time to go work on the underwater drone again. I might write a bit more later; I might not. Heavy Metal out.

-logout 15:42
technomachia: (Default)
I am not moving. I called Vertigo to tell him this. I am not fucking moving. I swear, the PT instructor is worse than the instructors at basic training, and that was in Texas in hundred degree heat!

It's not like I won't be on the cell if people need me, but I'm missing the meeting tonight. I just can't do it. I just want to lie here, since I can. Between PT and the driving instruction...I almost wish I were dead.

Time for some painkillers.

-logout 14:12
technomachia: (Default)
Amended Date: 4 October 2002.

Just a few anecdotes from the first of the bi-monthly "Meeting of the Mages" that usually happens in Pittsburgh. I will say the weather grows colder, I hurt more. I've got to wonder how long I'm going to be able to keep making it. Guess I'll find out after my ongoing physical therapy sessions...

Tobias seemed extremely thoughtful when I first hobbled myself into the back room of Val's cyber-cafe. Almost out of it. Considering he doesn't seem much of a wino for a guy who appears homeless, I asked him what was going on. He said his inspiration had given him something to think about, basically. I let it go, then, because I don't like to pry. I'd feel interrogated if someone asked me what Sijan thinks after he talked to me. So I dropped it.

Some of the others, including the little-boy Hermetic, Bobby, and A.J., one of the Cultists, were discussing some former Hermetic artifact that I briefly heard about during the so-called 'debates' over the Horizon Chantry. It seems that they were actually going to get it back from the gang that was using it, somehow, or replace it with a clever fake. Not that I know much about that version of magey crap, but I volunteered to go along anyway. In my own self-defense (because I'm sure Vertigo, my erstwhile partner-in-crime, will stumble over this 'captain's log' at some time or another), I did suggest taking the Wing, but the rest of the mages were iffy about it, because it IS larger than the Spectres I used to fly. Things went well to begin with, until some of the gangers actually used the table. Seems a pair of them ended up in the BACK of the van we were using. Since I was dinking around with the engine, feigning vaporlock, I wasn't aware of it at the time. At least, not exactly. I got told later that A.J. and Zack beat the heck out of them...which tends to make sense. I don't quite understand why Operand decided to go check out things in the back of the van, either. Note to self: He still has your pistol. Get it back. Eventually things degenerated into chaos, and I ended up being the person to 'drive' the van away from the scene, when the five gangers who'd appeared on the hill before the table was moved decided to try to chase us.

No, I am not a good driver, in high-stress situations. At least, not when it comes to ground vehicles. I suppose I'm lucky I didn't kill us all. I know Operand was as white as a sheet after I finally pulled over, but...what the hell was I supposed to do? Let the gangers catch up to us? Christ.

There's the story of why I take driving lessons now. The next one starts at 1000 hours, so I'd better finish this quick if I want to make it there on time.


Well, what I ended up doing was pausing the entry. The time is now 12:39. I still ache, but it's a pain that I can tolerate, at least for the moment. Back to trying to recount the events of last Friday.

Zack's workshop broke my brain. I mean, I knew the Sons of Ether had some interesting shit--Vertigo and the Wing, for example--but Zack's sort of took the cake. I wasn't aware he was a roleplayer. He had the Shadowrun Rigger's Guide...and he was putting it to GOOD USE, it seems. I think I'm afraid.

While we--we being myself, Operand, and Zack--were there, we got a phone call from Katherine. There was some Real Weird Shit going down at the cyber-cafe. It was resolved between the three of us that we'd better get our posteriors down there, so Zack herded us all into his souped-up PT Cruiser. Now that is one sweet car! Operand didn't seem to think so, though. Didn't know he got motion sick, but the first thing Zack did was hand him a barf bag. Which he actually made use of. I was impressed, Zack's car reaches takeoff speeds! Another note for me: Start carrying Dramamine. Especially if you're going to take Operand in the Wing. I doubt Vertigo wants clean-up duty. I know I don't.

As for the RWS...we've been having trouble with 'baby avatars' of late, meaning another avatar doubled-up with the primary one. It's not something I can perceive, but the people I've spoken to about it are people I trust (Tobias, for one), so I've considered it seriously. Something happened to set them off...some sort of magickal cloud-effect. It wasn't something I actually saw myself. I spent a lot of time with Katherine and Operand while the other two were in a Corr link (why I did not put one up myself, in retrospect, I can't say. I guess it's a throwback to my Air Force days, where I was used to getting information I could not see), passing me along information. Seems a Marauder was the cause. All I know now is that he ended up getting captured and later killed.

I understand the necessity of it, to some degree, but it doesn't mean I like it. After that, people pretty much drifted.

One more note to self--I've got to take some of these people drinking, sometime.

-logout 13:11
technomachia: (Default)
Today has not been a Good Day.

Cars were not meant for my crippled self. There's a reason, after all, that I fly the Wing and not drive. But after the fiasco of a few days ago, I was told (with no opportunity to refuse) that I Was Taking Driving Lessons. I'll get back to that in another entry.

Day one of lessons was today. Ugh.

I know they make cars for handicapped folks. Time for me to find one. Just because my legs still work doesn't mean they're anywhere near consistent. Dammit. Vertigo was right. I should've just flown the Wing, but everyone else wanted to take a van. I keep forgetting about the thing's stealth capabilities! The Spectre didn't HAVE those...

Christ, I ache all over. Time to find a bath.

-logout 15:25
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