Kintsugi Plays Fallen Hero: Retribution (50 First Therapy Appointments)

Discussion in 'It's Galley's Turn' started by keltena, Jun 28, 2023.

Tags:
  1. keltena

    keltena putting the fun in executive dysfunction

    Disclaimer: Fallen Hero is a work of fiction by Malin Rydén, here reproduced in part for the purpose of entertainment and discussion. The author of this Let's Play does not make a profit from its use, nor do they endorse brainfingering your therapist.
     
    • Like x 3
    • Informative x 1
  2. keltena

    keltena putting the fun in executive dysfunction

    (See above disclaimer.)

    > I look away, uncertain. She believes what she's saying.

    You look away, unsure how to deal with the fact that Dr. Finch believes this to be true.

    Honest people scare you, especially when they are honest about their feelings. Maybe that's why Herald is so frustrating. At least you can't read Ortega's mind, and so are free to imagine her being as much of a shit as you are.

    "You're not used to that, are you?" She has leaned forward slightly, not approaching your space, just trying to open a connection. You know this; you know all the tricks on how to build confidence and interact.

    But that was a sham, an act. So how are you supposed to deal with the real thing?

     ‣ I get up and leave. I can't do this.
     ‣ I'll politely disengage. This is getting too personal.
     ‣ "It makes no sense. Why care in the first place?"

    CLASSIFIED

    Subject: Anathema


    Secret Identity: Josie Jacobs
    Gender: Non-binary.
    Description: A tall mixed person in their thirties with brown eyes and short and styled curly dark brown hair.

    Their sense of style is androgynous, secondhand streetwear, with many piercings in their ears, nose, and tongue. They have a short, scruffy beard and mustache.

    Standard of Living: Josie is well-off.
    Josie is living in a comfortable apartment.

    Josie Jacobs is a seasoned, tech-savvy tactician.

    Physical Status
    Stamina: You are rested.
    Willpower: You feel calm.
    Injuries: You are bruised, with no significant wounds.

    Telepathy
    Strength of Mind: 50%
    ████████████████████
    Subtle Manipulations: 74%
    ██████████████▒█████

    Anathema
    Anathema runs a criminal syndicate. They are a known killer.
    Infamy: 51% / Obscurity: 49%
    ██████████▒█████████

    Armored Suit
    Anathema's suit is a shadow with a mirror for a face, revealing nothing. The cape conceals and obfuscates what's underneath.
    In its left hand, the suit has a neutered colony of nanovores, functionally similar to having disintegration touch. The suit is also equipped with telepathic boosters and enhanced speed as well as jump-jets.

    Armor Status
    Need Repair: 15% / Fine: 85%
    ████████████████████

    Leadership: 55%
    ████████████████████

    Psychological Profile
    Arrogance: 42% / Anonymity: 58%
    ████████▒███████████
    Ruthlessness: 40% / Empathy: 60%
    ████████████████████
    Daring: 59% / Caution: 41%
    ███████████▒████████

    Back in the day, Sidestep was known as a vigilante working with the Rangers.

    Main Puppet
    Name: Barbara
    Puppet Status: She is fine, and has no serious wounds.
    Description: A tall white woman in her twenties with blue eyes and long straight blond hair.

    Allies and Enemies

    Charge
    Josie's Relationship with Ortega: Friend and ally.
    Ortega's Connection with Josie: 80%
    ████████████████████

    Ortega thinks Anathema has made some good points.

    Barbara's Relationship with Ortega: Eternally flirting. Josie is using Barbara as a spy.
    Ortega's Connection with Barbara: 59%
    ███████████▒████████

    Dr. Mortum
    Barbara's Relationship with Dr. Mortum: friend.
    Mortum's Connection with Barbara: 66%
    █████████████▒██████

    Lady Argent
    Josie's Relationship with Lady Argent: Distant.
    Lady Argent's Impression of Josie: 1%
    ███████████████████

    Lady Argent respects Anathema's abilities.
    Lady Argent's Interest in Anathema: 43%
    ████████▒███████████

    Marshal Steel
    Josie's Relationship with Steel: Friendly.
    Steel's Connection with Josie: 61%
    ████████████▒███████

    Marshal Steel thinks Anathema needs to be brought in.

    Herald
    Josie's Relationship with Herald: He seems nice.
    Herald's Connection with Josie: 64%
    ████████████▒███████

    Herald thinks Anathema is a villain.

    Other Characters
     
  3. KarrinBlue

    KarrinBlue Magical Girl Intern

    [​IMG]
     
    • Like x 1
    • Agree x 1
  4. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    I do love a good skeleton meme
     
  5. keltena

    keltena putting the fun in executive dysfunction

    This is what they call "setting a boundary".

    > I get up and leave. I can't do this.

    You can't do this anymore. You can't sit here and be interrogated.

    You need to get out. You need to get away.

    Too much, too close, the anxiety coiling in your gut is building toward something. What? You don't want to know.

    Better to leave. Better to run.

    "I'm sorry," you say as you stand up, so abruptly that the chair scrapes back with enough force to startle her. "I need to get going. I should have told you, but…," you try to think of an excuse, but she gives you a kind smile and doesn't ask for one.

    "If you feel that way, of course. We are moving at your pace." She gets to her feet as well, and while she's smiling, you know this is going in her notes.

    "I've got…a thing," you say vaguely, avoiding her gaze.

    "See you next session then?" She holds out her hand, but you ignore it. You don't want anybody to touch you. Not right now.

    "Of course," you say, intending to cancel the damn thing as long as Ortega lets you.

    You're through the door before she can wish you a good day. You don't plan to have one.

    > You're Out Of There, Finally

    Stomping down the stairs, you catch sight of Ortega a moment before she falls in step beside you. Despite your mood, you're glad you picked up on her presence when you did; it shows that you're getting back in shape. Even though you knew she would be waiting somewhere close by, it's hard to spot someone that you can't pick up telepathically. You need to pay attention to people and not just minds, comparing mental imprints with what your eyes are showing you. That's a talent you might need someday.

    When you get your inevitable rematch.

    "So, how did it go?" Ortega doesn't play the games Dr. Finch did; she just asks straight out, giving you the space to answer or ignore. You hate how well she knows you.

     ‣ "Not cured yet," I joke.
     ‣ "I have a headache," I say, rubbing my forehead.
     ‣ "I don't hate her," I admit.

    …so do we tell her we got a good grade in therapy, or

    CLASSIFIED

    Subject: Anathema


    Secret Identity: Josie Jacobs
    Gender: Non-binary.
    Description: A tall mixed person in their thirties with brown eyes and short and styled curly dark brown hair.

    Their sense of style is androgynous, secondhand streetwear, with many piercings in their ears, nose, and tongue. They have a short, scruffy beard and mustache.

    Standard of Living: Josie is well-off.
    Josie is living in a comfortable apartment.

    Josie Jacobs is a seasoned, tech-savvy tactician.

    Physical Status
    Stamina: You are rested.
    Willpower: You feel calm.
    Injuries: You are bruised, with no significant wounds.

    Telepathy
    Strength of Mind: 50%
    ████████████████████
    Subtle Manipulations: 74%
    ██████████████▒█████

    Anathema
    Anathema runs a criminal syndicate. They are a known killer.
    Infamy: 51% / Obscurity: 49%
    ██████████▒█████████

    Armored Suit
    Anathema's suit is a shadow with a mirror for a face, revealing nothing. The cape conceals and obfuscates what's underneath.
    In its left hand, the suit has a neutered colony of nanovores, functionally similar to having disintegration touch. The suit is also equipped with telepathic boosters and enhanced speed as well as jump-jets.

    Armor Status
    Need Repair: 15% / Fine: 85%
    ████████████████████

    Leadership: 55%
    ████████████████████

    Psychological Profile
    Arrogance: 42% / Anonymity: 58%
    ████████▒███████████
    Ruthlessness: 40% / Empathy: 60%
    ████████████████████
    Daring: 59% / Caution: 41%
    ███████████▒████████

    Back in the day, Sidestep was known as a vigilante working with the Rangers.

    Main Puppet
    Name: Barbara
    Puppet Status: She is fine, and has no serious wounds.
    Description: A tall white woman in her twenties with blue eyes and long straight blond hair.

    Allies and Enemies

    Charge
    Josie's Relationship with Ortega: Friend and ally.
    Ortega's Connection with Josie: 80%
    ████████████████████

    Ortega thinks Anathema has made some good points.

    Barbara's Relationship with Ortega: Eternally flirting. Josie is using Barbara as a spy.
    Ortega's Connection with Barbara: 59%
    ███████████▒████████

    Dr. Mortum
    Barbara's Relationship with Dr. Mortum: friend.
    Mortum's Connection with Barbara: 66%
    █████████████▒██████

    Lady Argent
    Josie's Relationship with Lady Argent: Distant.
    Lady Argent's Impression of Josie: 1%
    ███████████████████

    Lady Argent respects Anathema's abilities.
    Lady Argent's Interest in Anathema: 43%
    ████████▒███████████

    Marshal Steel
    Josie's Relationship with Steel: Friendly.
    Steel's Connection with Josie: 61%
    ████████████▒███████

    Marshal Steel thinks Anathema needs to be brought in.

    Herald
    Josie's Relationship with Herald: He seems nice.
    Herald's Connection with Josie: 64%
    ████████████▒███████

    Herald thinks Anathema is a villain.

    Other Characters
     
  6. Loq

    Loq rotating like a rotisserie chicknen

    not 3. My personal read of Just Walking Out is we're a little too rattled to immediately jump back to joking, so I would bank 2, but if folks are feeling 1 I wouldn't argue.
     
  7. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    "Stomping down the stairs" was she waiting in the hallway for us? Headache might be the better choice in case anything like screeching chair was audible - not to mention being a good explanation for worse mood that doesn't involve admitting anything about therapy itself
     
    • Agree x 1
  8. keltena

    keltena putting the fun in executive dysfunction

    > "I have a headache," I say, rubbing my forehead.

    "I have a headache," you say, rubbing your forehead.

    That's almost like answering her question, right?

    "Just let me know if you need to sit down or something." She scans the street, most likely for a bench.

    "You don't have to mother me, you know that, right?"

    "Hey, I learned from the best," she says with a grin you don't have the heart to wipe away. She's got a point, and you both know it.

    "Anyway," you begin, only to be interrupted by your phone, the beep of a message received loud enough to startle both of you. You pull it up, giving her a glare, so she won't start gushing over the fact that there are other people than her texting you.

    Somehow she seems unable to believe you have much of a life when she's not around.

     ‣ She's not wrong….
     ‣ It's not like I can show her what I'm up to.
     ‣ She's full of herself that way.

    CLASSIFIED

    Subject: Anathema


    Secret Identity: Josie Jacobs
    Gender: Non-binary.
    Description: A tall mixed person in their thirties with brown eyes and short and styled curly dark brown hair.

    Their sense of style is androgynous, secondhand streetwear, with many piercings in their ears, nose, and tongue. They have a short, scruffy beard and mustache.

    Standard of Living: Josie is well-off.
    Josie is living in a comfortable apartment.

    Josie Jacobs is a seasoned, tech-savvy tactician.

    Physical Status
    Stamina: You are rested.
    Willpower: You feel calm.
    Injuries: You are bruised, with no significant wounds.

    Telepathy
    Strength of Mind: 50%
    ████████████████████
    Subtle Manipulations: 74%
    ██████████████▒█████

    Anathema
    Anathema runs a criminal syndicate. They are a known killer.
    Infamy: 51% / Obscurity: 49%
    ██████████▒█████████

    Armored Suit
    Anathema's suit is a shadow with a mirror for a face, revealing nothing. The cape conceals and obfuscates what's underneath.
    In its left hand, the suit has a neutered colony of nanovores, functionally similar to having disintegration touch. The suit is also equipped with telepathic boosters and enhanced speed as well as jump-jets.

    Armor Status
    Need Repair: 15% / Fine: 85%
    ████████████████████

    Leadership: 55%
    ████████████████████

    Psychological Profile
    Arrogance: 42% / Anonymity: 58%
    ████████▒███████████
    Ruthlessness: 40% / Empathy: 60%
    ████████████████████
    Daring: 59% / Caution: 41%
    ███████████▒████████

    Back in the day, Sidestep was known as a vigilante working with the Rangers.

    Main Puppet
    Name: Barbara
    Puppet Status: She is fine, and has no serious wounds.
    Description: A tall white woman in her twenties with blue eyes and long straight blond hair.

    Allies and Enemies

    Charge
    Josie's Relationship with Ortega: Friend and ally.
    Ortega's Connection with Josie: 80%
    ████████████████████

    Ortega thinks Anathema has made some good points.

    Barbara's Relationship with Ortega: Eternally flirting. Josie is using Barbara as a spy.
    Ortega's Connection with Barbara: 59%
    ███████████▒████████

    Dr. Mortum
    Barbara's Relationship with Dr. Mortum: friend.
    Mortum's Connection with Barbara: 66%
    █████████████▒██████

    Lady Argent
    Josie's Relationship with Lady Argent: Distant.
    Lady Argent's Impression of Josie: 1%
    ███████████████████

    Lady Argent respects Anathema's abilities.
    Lady Argent's Interest in Anathema: 43%
    ████████▒███████████

    Marshal Steel
    Josie's Relationship with Steel: Friendly.
    Steel's Connection with Josie: 61%
    ████████████▒███████

    Marshal Steel thinks Anathema needs to be brought in.

    Herald
    Josie's Relationship with Herald: He seems nice.
    Herald's Connection with Josie: 64%
    ████████████▒███████

    Herald thinks Anathema is a villain.

    Other Characters
     
  9. chaoticArbiter

    chaoticArbiter an actual shiny eevee (destroyer of worlds)

    I vote full of herself bc screw you Ortega
     
    • Agree x 1
  10. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    It's only as true as it is due to her uncanny talent for showing up in every corner of it, we were trying for things like beating up other heroes and training Barbie and so on!
     
  11. keltena

    keltena putting the fun in executive dysfunction

    Maybe if someone could stop making herself the main character for five seconds…

    > She's full of herself that way.

    Turning away to shield your phone from Ortega, you look down at the tiny screen. There's only a handful of people that have this number, and even that is too much. There would be none if it were up to you, but it raises too many questions to stay completely off the grid these days. You even went to the effort to put in some false names as contacts, just to make sure it would look less like a burner phone in case someone got hold of it.

    Looks like one of them just paid off.

    It's just a text from a tech site you joined, alerting you that there's a sale. Nothing important. Nothing you need to pay attention to, but it makes you look like you have a life. And, it also allows you to cut this discussion short if you want to….

     ‣ I want to stick around and talk with Ortega.
     ‣ I can't deal with Ortega right now. I need Spoon.
     ‣ I don't want to be me, I need Barbara and Dr. Mortum's company.

    Josie's mental friendlist:
    1. my best friend/worst enemy
    2. steel's dog
    3. barbie's mad science buddy

    CLASSIFIED

    Subject: Anathema


    Secret Identity: Josie Jacobs
    Gender: Non-binary.
    Description: A tall mixed person in their thirties with brown eyes and short and styled curly dark brown hair.

    Their sense of style is androgynous, secondhand streetwear, with many piercings in their ears, nose, and tongue. They have a short, scruffy beard and mustache.

    Standard of Living: Josie is well-off.
    Josie is living in a comfortable apartment.

    Josie Jacobs is a seasoned, tech-savvy tactician.

    Physical Status
    Stamina: You are rested.
    Willpower: You feel calm.
    Injuries: You are bruised, with no significant wounds.

    Telepathy
    Strength of Mind: 50%
    ████████████████████
    Subtle Manipulations: 74%
    ██████████████▒█████

    Anathema
    Anathema runs a criminal syndicate. They are a known killer.
    Infamy: 51% / Obscurity: 49%
    ██████████▒█████████

    Armored Suit
    Anathema's suit is a shadow with a mirror for a face, revealing nothing. The cape conceals and obfuscates what's underneath.
    In its left hand, the suit has a neutered colony of nanovores, functionally similar to having disintegration touch. The suit is also equipped with telepathic boosters and enhanced speed as well as jump-jets.

    Armor Status
    Need Repair: 15% / Fine: 85%
    ████████████████████

    Leadership: 55%
    ████████████████████

    Psychological Profile
    Arrogance: 42% / Anonymity: 58%
    ████████▒███████████
    Ruthlessness: 40% / Empathy: 60%
    ████████████████████
    Daring: 59% / Caution: 41%
    ███████████▒████████

    Back in the day, Sidestep was known as a vigilante working with the Rangers.

    Main Puppet
    Name: Barbara
    Puppet Status: She is fine, and has no serious wounds.
    Description: A tall white woman in her twenties with blue eyes and long straight blond hair.

    Allies and Enemies

    Charge
    Josie's Relationship with Ortega: Friend and ally.
    Ortega's Connection with Josie: 76% (-4)
    ███████████████▒████

    Ortega thinks Anathema has made some good points.

    Barbara's Relationship with Ortega: Eternally flirting. Josie is using Barbara as a spy.
    Ortega's Connection with Barbara: 59%
    ███████████▒████████

    Dr. Mortum
    Barbara's Relationship with Dr. Mortum: friend.
    Mortum's Connection with Barbara: 66%
    █████████████▒██████

    Lady Argent
    Josie's Relationship with Lady Argent: Distant.
    Lady Argent's Impression of Josie: 1%
    ███████████████████

    Lady Argent respects Anathema's abilities.
    Lady Argent's Interest in Anathema: 43%
    ████████▒███████████

    Marshal Steel
    Josie's Relationship with Steel: Friendly.
    Steel's Connection with Josie: 61%
    ████████████▒███████

    Marshal Steel thinks Anathema needs to be brought in.

    Herald
    Josie's Relationship with Herald: He seems nice.
    Herald's Connection with Josie: 64%
    ████████████▒███████

    Herald thinks Anathema is a villain.

    Other Characters
     
    • Winner x 1
  12. Loq

    Loq rotating like a rotisserie chicknen

    >DOGS.
     
    • Agree x 1
  13. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    Therapy had too much people brain time
     
    • Agree x 1
  14. keltena

    keltena putting the fun in executive dysfunction

    we are overdosed on humanity and all out of spoons

    > I can't deal with Ortega right now. I need Spoon.

    You really don't want to do this right now. Dr. Finch has made you feel naked, awkward, like a thin plastic bag filled with sharp rocks, ready to come tumbling out once it breaks. Being around Ortega would only make it worse. You need someone calm. Solid. Reliable. Like Spoon.

    "Just a moment." You don't bother to hide your frown as you pretend to type an answer to the message; it is a good excuse to leave.

    "That looks important?" Ortega is echoing your frown as she looks at you, and you wonder what emotions she is reading from your face. "Anything the matter?"

    "Sort of. I need to go. A meeting just got rescheduled."

    "Aren't you popular today?" You don't need to be able to read her mind to know how curious she is. Meddler.

     ‣ I won't give any explanation.
     ‣ I'll lie and tell her it's job related. Technically, Chen is.

    Which of the only two possible responses should we give her?

    CLASSIFIED

    Subject: Anathema


    Secret Identity: Josie Jacobs
    Gender: Non-binary.
    Description: A tall mixed person in their thirties with brown eyes and short and styled curly dark brown hair.

    Their sense of style is androgynous, secondhand streetwear, with many piercings in their ears, nose, and tongue. They have a short, scruffy beard and mustache.

    Standard of Living: Josie is well-off.
    Josie is living in a comfortable apartment.

    Josie Jacobs is a seasoned, tech-savvy tactician.

    Physical Status
    Stamina: You are rested.
    Willpower: You feel calm.
    Injuries: You are bruised, with no significant wounds.

    Telepathy
    Strength of Mind: 50%
    ████████████████████
    Subtle Manipulations: 74%
    ██████████████▒█████

    Anathema
    Anathema runs a criminal syndicate. They are a known killer.
    Infamy: 51% / Obscurity: 49%
    ██████████▒█████████

    Armored Suit
    Anathema's suit is a shadow with a mirror for a face, revealing nothing. The cape conceals and obfuscates what's underneath.
    In its left hand, the suit has a neutered colony of nanovores, functionally similar to having disintegration touch. The suit is also equipped with telepathic boosters and enhanced speed as well as jump-jets.

    Armor Status
    Need Repair: 15% / Fine: 85%
    ████████████████████

    Leadership: 55%
    ████████████████████

    Psychological Profile
    Arrogance: 42% / Anonymity: 58%
    ████████▒███████████
    Ruthlessness: 40% / Empathy: 60%
    ████████████████████
    Daring: 59% / Caution: 41%
    ███████████▒████████

    Back in the day, Sidestep was known as a vigilante working with the Rangers.

    Main Puppet
    Name: Barbara
    Puppet Status: She is fine, and has no serious wounds.
    Description: A tall white woman in her twenties with blue eyes and long straight blond hair.

    Allies and Enemies

    Charge
    Josie's Relationship with Ortega: Friend and ally.
    Ortega's Connection with Josie: 76%
    ███████████████▒████

    Ortega thinks Anathema has made some good points.

    Barbara's Relationship with Ortega: Eternally flirting. Josie is using Barbara as a spy.
    Ortega's Connection with Barbara: 59%
    ███████████▒████████

    Dr. Mortum
    Barbara's Relationship with Dr. Mortum: friend.
    Mortum's Connection with Barbara: 66%
    █████████████▒██████

    Lady Argent
    Josie's Relationship with Lady Argent: Distant.
    Lady Argent's Impression of Josie: 1%
    ███████████████████

    Lady Argent respects Anathema's abilities.
    Lady Argent's Interest in Anathema: 43%
    ████████▒███████████

    Marshal Steel
    Josie's Relationship with Steel: Friendly.
    Steel's Connection with Josie: 61%
    ████████████▒███████

    Marshal Steel thinks Anathema needs to be brought in.

    Herald
    Josie's Relationship with Herald: He seems nice.
    Herald's Connection with Josie: 64%
    ████████████▒███████

    Herald thinks Anathema is a villain.

    Other Characters
     
  15. KarrinBlue

    KarrinBlue Magical Girl Intern

    we got called into the office (the dog park) for an urgent meeting with outreach (the goodest boy)
     
    • Agree x 2
  16. keltena

    keltena putting the fun in executive dysfunction

    we must go; our people need us

    > I'll lie and tell her it's job related. Technically, Chen is.

    "I always am." You don't bother to hide the amused smirk. "How the tables have turned."

    "If you need to run, run. Don't let me keep you." Ortega gives you a warm clap on your shoulder. It's weird how much it affects you. Touch. Or maybe friendship. Both have been in such short supply in your life.

    "I'm afraid I have to. It's work." You sigh and shrug. "Being a retired hero doesn't pay the bills. And no—" you quickly add because you can see the look on her face, "—I don't need help." You have no doubt she would have a field day if she knew what you were up to.

    Does Josie mean the villainy or the dog petting? You decide!

    "I'll trust you'd tell me if you did." The smile is cryptic but widens into a deeper grin almost immediately. "We'll catch up another day, alright?"

    "Of course."

    "Take care, okay?" You do your best to ignore the worry in her eyes as you turn and leave.

    You don't want this to become more complicated than it already is.
     
    • Like x 2
  17. keltena

    keltena putting the fun in executive dysfunction

    > Time To Leave

    Once you are out of Ortega's eyesight, you allow yourself to slow down. Your heart is racing pat pat pat, and there's a metallic taste in your mouth that can't be blood but might be the aftertaste of bad memories. No time for nausea now. Breathe. Swallow. Breathe. A delayed reaction to Dr. Finch's probing perhaps, or just to the stress of being reminded of other, less merciful interrogations?

    The phone is slick with sweat, your fingers sticking to the plastic. You know there's a new number there, added since last time. Camouflage or lifeline? You don't know; what's in your phone is not an extension of your life, just the mask you wear.

    The mask you need to put on right now.

    It's late enough in the afternoon that people are beginning to fill the streets, getting out of work, doing the last-minute shopping, heading home, heading to bars. You don't think Chen will be off work yet, but hope is the last thing that abandons man.

    Except you know that's a lie. You can live a long time without hope, longer than you'd want to admit. You thumb in the number all the same.

    The rings go on, and you're prepared to hang up when they finally stop, and there's a crackle and a voice at the other end.

    "Yes?" Chen's voice.

     ‣ "Does Spoon need a walk?" I'm proud my voice is steady.
     ‣ "Please tell me you're free right now." My voice cracks.
     ‣ "Are you doing anything that can't be put off?"

    CLASSIFIED

    Subject: Anathema


    Secret Identity: Josie Jacobs
    Gender: Non-binary.
    Description: A tall mixed person in their thirties with brown eyes and short and styled curly dark brown hair.

    Their sense of style is androgynous, secondhand streetwear, with many piercings in their ears, nose, and tongue. They have a short, scruffy beard and mustache.

    Standard of Living: Josie is well-off.
    Josie is living in a comfortable apartment.

    Josie Jacobs is a seasoned, tech-savvy tactician.

    Physical Status
    Stamina: You are rested.
    Willpower: You feel calm.
    Injuries: You are bruised, with no significant wounds.

    Telepathy
    Strength of Mind: 50%
    ████████████████████
    Subtle Manipulations: 74%
    ██████████████▒█████

    Anathema
    Anathema runs a criminal syndicate. They are a known killer.
    Infamy: 51% / Obscurity: 49%
    ██████████▒█████████

    Armored Suit
    Anathema's suit is a shadow with a mirror for a face, revealing nothing. The cape conceals and obfuscates what's underneath.
    In its left hand, the suit has a neutered colony of nanovores, functionally similar to having disintegration touch. The suit is also equipped with telepathic boosters and enhanced speed as well as jump-jets.

    Armor Status
    Need Repair: 15% / Fine: 85%
    ████████████████████

    Leadership: 55%
    ████████████████████

    Psychological Profile
    Arrogance: 42% / Anonymity: 58%
    ████████▒███████████
    Ruthlessness: 40% / Empathy: 60%
    ████████████████████
    Daring: 59% / Caution: 41%
    ███████████▒████████

    Back in the day, Sidestep was known as a vigilante working with the Rangers.

    Main Puppet
    Name: Barbara
    Puppet Status: She is fine, and has no serious wounds.
    Description: A tall white woman in her twenties with blue eyes and long straight blond hair.

    Allies and Enemies

    Charge
    Josie's Relationship with Ortega: Friend and ally.
    Ortega's Connection with Josie: 76%
    ███████████████▒████

    Ortega thinks Anathema has made some good points.

    Barbara's Relationship with Ortega: Eternally flirting. Josie is using Barbara as a spy.
    Ortega's Connection with Barbara: 59%
    ███████████▒████████

    Dr. Mortum
    Barbara's Relationship with Dr. Mortum: friend.
    Mortum's Connection with Barbara: 66%
    █████████████▒██████

    Lady Argent
    Josie's Relationship with Lady Argent: Distant.
    Lady Argent's Impression of Josie: 1%
    ███████████████████

    Lady Argent respects Anathema's abilities.
    Lady Argent's Interest in Anathema: 43%
    ████████▒███████████

    Marshal Steel
    Josie's Relationship with Steel: Friendly.
    Steel's Connection with Josie: 61%
    ████████████▒███████

    Marshal Steel thinks Anathema needs to be brought in.

    Herald
    Josie's Relationship with Herald: He seems nice.
    Herald's Connection with Josie: 64%
    ████████████▒███████

    Herald thinks Anathema is a villain.

    Other Characters
     
  18. Loq

    Loq rotating like a rotisserie chicknen

    >spoon. fuck the owner we're here for the DOG.
     
    • Agree x 1
  19. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    It's not weird if we don't make it personal. Dog time needs no further explanation.
     
    • Agree x 1
  20. keltena

    keltena putting the fun in executive dysfunction

    Just put the dog on the line, please.

    > "Does Spoon need a walk?" I'm proud my voice is steady.

    "Does Spoon need a walk?" You're proud your voice is steady.

    "Does Spoon…?" There's a little pause at the end, and you know you should offer words to fill in the silence, but it seems beyond you. "Yes," he finally says, adding things up without your help. Like always. "Should I meet you at the park?"

    "Please." Once again, your words are steadier than your hands.

    You don't wait for his reply before you hang up.

    Shoving the phone back in your pocket, you walk with determination, your eyes fixed on the pavement in front of you. Too many people, but you don't dare to ride a bus.

    It's not that long a walk.

    When did this become a habit? Spending time at the dog park was something you saved for your darkest days, but lately, you've been finding excuses to drop by for an hour or two. Not like now, not like this time, this is a real need, but…

    Spoon is a nice dog, and that is all you're after. A little peace of mind. How strange to include Chen in that. Is it you that has changed, or has he?

    > It Doesn't Matter

    An hour later, the world has solidified into familiarity. The dry, musky scent of the dog park. The solid surface of the concrete bench beneath you. Spoon running in circles while Chen shares your silence.

    He still hasn't asked you why you called. He's good like that. Better than Ortega. Nosy in a more quiet, private way, with looks and conclusions instead of questions.

    You shake your head, trying to get out of your foul mood. Just breathe and watch the dogs. Chen does the same.

    Chen. When did he gain a name in your head? Not Steel. Not the Marshal. Just Chen.

    You keep watching him from the corner of your eye, from the corner of your mind. The US military cap is his only camouflage today; he must have come straight from work because he's wearing his work mods. Together with the long pants and sleeves, there's not much that separates him from any other dog owner here as long as you pretend gloves are covering his hands and not skinweave. Just like you, put some clothes on, and nobody needs to know your secrets.

    He wouldn't be judged as harshly for his, though.

    There's a small smile on his face as he watches Spoon play, content to let the dog tire himself out. You get the feeling that's not what Chen would normally do; he'd be more involved in the playing. But right now, he's content sitting here on the bench, watching.

    With you.

    You shake your head with a grimace. A grimace that turns into a smile as Spoon does another lap to check in on you, making sure you're both alright and not bored. There are not many dogs at the park today and nothing small enough that Spoon would need a muzzle for. Nothing to trigger the chase, chase, bite cycle. You've been working on deconditioning him. Dogs are as easy as people; they are just as predisposed to listen to authorities. All it takes is a gentle telepathic nudge, focusing on two things.

    One, there's no need to bite small things; it's the chase that's fun. And two, Chen is someone he should be running toward. Not away from. A different kind of handler, but an instinct you can understand all too well. If only you could fix your own issues as easy as you can Spoon's, but you suppose there's an issue of trust. Spoon has it. You don't.

    Maybe you shouldn't take this risk. You're not supposed to have powers anymore. You know how perceptive Chen can be, but there's something so earnest about the way Spoon wants to make sure you're included. It's only fair to pay him back somehow, soften his conditioning. At least one of you can get better. Your smile goes a little bit wider at the thought.

    …nice smile…

    The thought catches you off guard, and it takes you a moment to realize it came from Chen. Chen, who is sneaking a glance at you, and who then immediately looks down at Spoon as the dog bows and barks encouragingly.

    Did Chen just… You shake your head. You must have misheard.

    "I'm sorry I dragged you out of work," you say to break the silence, looking down at the dry ground.

    "I should work less," he admits with a huff, turning the muzzle over in his hands, keeping an eye on the dogs in case there is a need to put it back on. "Or so everybody keeps telling me."

    "I know what you mean…," you never thought you could relate, but you've been running yourself ragged lately. Two bodies. Two lives. One career and a crew that depends on it, and everyone wants a piece of your time.

    "You look tired." Why is Chen looking at you like that worries him? You can see yourself reflected in his mind, eyes tracking the various traces of unease on your face. The ones you try to hide. He's not like Ortega, easily fooled by clothes, your bedraggled disguise won't make him stop noticing how sharp your eyes are.

     ‣ "I feel tired," I say with a bitter laugh. "I feel old."
     ‣ "I've been having trouble sleeping lately."
     ‣ "I just came from a session with the therapist," I admit.

    CLASSIFIED

    Subject: Anathema


    Secret Identity: Josie Jacobs
    Gender: Non-binary.
    Description: A tall mixed person in their thirties with brown eyes and short and styled curly dark brown hair.

    Their sense of style is androgynous, secondhand streetwear, with many piercings in their ears, nose, and tongue. They have a short, scruffy beard and mustache.

    Standard of Living: Josie is well-off.
    Josie is living in a comfortable apartment.

    Josie Jacobs is a seasoned, tech-savvy tactician.

    Physical Status
    Stamina: You are rested.
    Willpower: You feel calm.
    Injuries: You are bruised, with no significant wounds.

    Telepathy
    Strength of Mind: 50%
    ████████████████████
    Subtle Manipulations: 74%
    ██████████████▒█████

    Anathema
    Anathema runs a criminal syndicate. They are a known killer.
    Infamy: 51% / Obscurity: 49%
    ██████████▒█████████

    Armored Suit
    Anathema's suit is a shadow with a mirror for a face, revealing nothing. The cape conceals and obfuscates what's underneath.
    In its left hand, the suit has a neutered colony of nanovores, functionally similar to having disintegration touch. The suit is also equipped with telepathic boosters and enhanced speed as well as jump-jets.

    Armor Status
    Need Repair: 15% / Fine: 85%
    ████████████████████

    Leadership: 55%
    ████████████████████

    Psychological Profile
    Arrogance: 42% / Anonymity: 58%
    ████████▒███████████
    Ruthlessness: 40% / Empathy: 60%
    ████████████████████
    Daring: 59% / Caution: 41%
    ███████████▒████████

    Back in the day, Sidestep was known as a vigilante working with the Rangers.

    Main Puppet
    Name: Barbara
    Puppet Status: She is fine, and has no serious wounds.
    Description: A tall white woman in her twenties with blue eyes and long straight blond hair.

    Allies and Enemies

    Charge
    Josie's Relationship with Ortega: Friend and ally.
    Ortega's Connection with Josie: 76%
    ███████████████▒████

    Ortega thinks Anathema has made some good points.

    Barbara's Relationship with Ortega: Eternally flirting. Josie is using Barbara as a spy.
    Ortega's Connection with Barbara: 59%
    ███████████▒████████

    Dr. Mortum
    Barbara's Relationship with Dr. Mortum: friend.
    Mortum's Connection with Barbara: 66%
    █████████████▒██████

    Lady Argent
    Josie's Relationship with Lady Argent: Distant.
    Lady Argent's Impression of Josie: 1%
    ███████████████████

    Lady Argent respects Anathema's abilities.
    Lady Argent's Interest in Anathema: 43%
    ████████▒███████████

    Marshal Steel
    Josie's Relationship with Steel: Friendly.
    Steel's Connection with Josie: 64% (+3)
    ████████████▒███████

    Marshal Steel thinks Anathema needs to be brought in.

    Herald
    Josie's Relationship with Herald: He seems nice.
    Herald's Connection with Josie: 64%
    ████████████▒███████

    Herald thinks Anathema is a villain.

    Other Characters
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice