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Author Topic: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)  (Read 8516 times)

Sir Chaos

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #90 on: 17 September 2020, 11:03:37 »
These guys really put the "fun" into "dysfunctional"...
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georgiaboy

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #91 on: 17 September 2020, 11:20:45 »
Baba Yaga most likely wants Lisa to step-up he game and control the area or the country since Lisa's powers essentially makes her a god, or a god killer.
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Cannonshop

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #92 on: 17 September 2020, 11:25:06 »
[Lisa's notations: Judah Lees, aka "Mister Wizard", aka "Juan LaRoca", aka "Jason Larsen" aka "James Lawson"]

Apparent age: 17 or 18, could be 19?

Ethnicity: Mixed hispanic/white.

Height: six feet, two inches.

Weight: not even gonna guess, he's skinny.

Classification: Mastermind, subclass reality alteration-with negative side effects, Mental is up there. Delusion? Access to around fifty thousand years of occult knowledge, this generally manifests in bad side effects when he uses it without a lot of prep.

Mentally: Less ****** up than I am...by a lot. 

Works at Les Schwab as a day job, part timer.  Works as a vigilante in a team environment the rest of the time, has done some work for law enforcement under a previous handle "Brujah", but moved on after Webb deemed him 'trained'.  Probably the closest I've ever seen to a professional hero who wasn't just a PR gag for a corporation or the government.

lees is actually a decent investigator, knows some forensics and criminal psychology.  Monroe would LOVE to have this kid on his team, if he wasn't already a wanted super-vigilante with warrants under his previous names-including Colorado, Nevada and Oregon.

Petra Cheron's boyfriend.  I don't know the math behind that one, but they're like...almost sickening to look at.  two peas, one pod...

oh-kay..'countermeasure'.  aka Petra Cheron.

She's nice, almost nice enough you forget that she's wanted as an accessory to several murders.  Nice th ing is, they can't pin those killings on her directly, and I really have to wonder how they'd book her in the first place, since the mugshot would be a blur that fades after a couple hours?

the two of them are bigger comics geeks than...anyone I met outside the Corps.

Third on our list: Phoebe Keene, aka "The Tinsmith".  she showed me her shop after breakfast.  it looks like the set of a movie set in a dystopian cyberfuture, if that movie was made back in the nineteen fifties.  She seems to have taken a shine to Ernie, and really, he's a nice kid, but the difference between 13 and 15 is as wide as the difference between 18 and 35, and he's aware of it.  Phoebe?? not so much.  I remember having crushes in school...and how that worked out for me.

Fourth: Moira Slohcin...
she's Aunt Cindy's age, graduated from high school about the same time, went to college and did not drop out freshman year with a bun in the oven the way my aunt did.  Instead, she married a complete scumbag in her sixth year of school, came home, and said scumbag used her father's business to smuggle not-very-nice things to not-very-nice-people.  When she found out, she went to the cops.  This cost her her family's business, everything she ever owned, and five years in prison, while said ex-husband used his mob connections to get out in eight months from minimum security, and her defense lawyer retired to hawaii.  the case was the one that got 'assistant' federal attorney Dale O'Ryan his famous case to win the race for Attorney General back in 2004.

duh, right? she could be one of my relatives the way that bastard went after her.

nice lady though.  Very level-headed, considering who lives with her, that's something amazing in and of itself.  She's talking to Paul about Clan customs and Clan culture...and Clanner laws.

I think she's working an angle here for Judah...
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georgiaboy

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #93 on: 17 September 2020, 11:44:33 »
Ah yes, the legal system of Western part of Washington St. I worked in Kidnap County for 20 years and had a Vacation of 151 days.
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #94 on: 17 September 2020, 12:24:58 »
I guess I have a thing for crossovers that I don't completely understand, but they're sure entertaining  :thumbsup:
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #95 on: 17 September 2020, 13:35:25 »
It's afternoon, Paul's finished meeting the lady of the house.  To him, Lisa remains a point of fascination.  She displays all the marks of a disgraced warrior, but her honor is as clear to him, as it seems to be obscured from her own understanding.

"How are you holding up, ma'am?" he asked, sitting down on the back porch of the house beside her.

"Considering that it's been three days without my medications?" she looked over at him, "Surprisingly clear-headed.  What were you talking with the owner about?"

"She was intensely interested in Clan rites, rituals, and law." he answered, "I answered to the best of my ability, beginning with my own status as a bondsman, and expanding from that into a description of our trial-by-combat system."

"There's no way in hell I'm taking those kids into a fight, Paul."  she said, "I've seen what happens to green kids when the fighting kicks off, what it does to them...after."

"based on what your news media and discussion with the team here, they are not 'green kids'."

"There's a huge difference between taking out thugs and toughs, and taking on combat with professional troops." she notes bitterly.  "They're young, they're not...they're kids, not soldiers.  This was a mistake, I shouldn't have brought this down on them."

"Kerensky says, 'you go to war with the army you have, not the army  you want'." he said seriously.  "There may be a way, Moira pointed it out in our conversation."

"Oh?"

"Challenge Star Colonel Katya Kerensky for possession of Wolf Clan." he told her.  "A trial of possession would put you in command if you won.  from there, you can implement...reforms. force the rest of the Clan's warriors and personnel to adapt to your world and your ways."

"Do you even think that can work?"

"I shot you in the face with an extended-range particle projection cannon, it did not even leave a burn."

"it gave me a haircut."

"Hair is dead cells, everyone knows that." Paul said, "Every living part of you is invulnerable...and if it is not?"

"then I can die." she answers.

"From our discussions...you can not lose-we can, but you can not.  Either you will achieve victory and hold enough power to help your new friends, or you will die in the attempt and be freed of the burden that plagues your soul."  He pressed an unopened bottle of Miller Genuine Draft into her hand, it was fresh from the store, brought by Moira and bargained for honestly.  "You should hurry though, I believe the red-haired girl and the boy were listening in to the conversation with a bit too much interest.  Ernie's energy blasts are potent, but he is still a mortal human."

it wasn't a deception, or even a lie...except in the choice to omit Moira's strict reaction and orders to the children not to 'haul off and get killed'.  it was simply providing motivation. 

put everything on the table and end this before the nightmare comes true.

"How do I do this?" she asks.

"There are...ways." he said, "You will need to make it flashy, and public, so that none can claim you did not issue the challenge honorably..."
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Cannonshop

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #96 on: 17 September 2020, 14:05:25 »
"...the first step, like in any trial, is to establish standing."  Moira's briefing the kids when I walk back in.  "Basically, some legitimate authority by which to issue the challenge."

"How do we do that-we're practically outlaws." Judah argues while I edge my way onto the arm of the sofa.

"Well, Lisa isn't, Judah's not in the system officially, and Petra..." here Moira hesitates.

"Petra doesn't have a legal identity." Petra said, "at least, not one that exists outside of some black project file in the bowels of Homeland Security."

"Lisa, do you own land?" Paul asked.

shit.  I do...sort of.  "Moira, I need to use your phone."

"My phone?"

"I need to call my aunt. I own a share in a ranch north of Tonasket...it was my grandparents' place, and all the grandkids own a share."

"What were you doing flopping in a trailer in ABERDEEN??"

"Keeping my family clear of my baggage." I tell them.  "Besides, my Aunt's not exactly happy cheery supportive about the whole superpowers thing, chasing powers was Mom's thing in the seventies, and Cindy blames all the bad stuff that happened since on it."

"really?"

"Really.  Mom was one of the three thousand culties who were with Morgause, looking to 'unlock her inner power'."  I make a sour face.  "It didn't work, instead she got knocked up, fled the cult and...bad things happened."

"Kitchen phone's scrambled, Phoebe?"  Moira urged, "Make sure it's not tapped."

"On it!"

I walk up to the phone and dial out, a number I've hesitated at every time.  last time I got eight digits in before hanging up.

My cousin, Valerie answers on the third ring.

"Alice's in Okanogan, we do delivery!"

"Val, it's Lisa, is your mom available?"

I swear everyone in the room here heard the squeal, and a little piece of me dies.  My aunt was close enough to my age that there's only ten years difference between me, and cousin Valerie.  She babysat me while mom was doing time, and supported my decision to enlist in the Corps when grandmama opposed it, and she's been clockwork trying to get me to call home after they let me out of Red River.

"Lisa..are you finally coming home?"

god.

god help me.

"I...Aunt Cindy, where do i start?"

"How about why there are Federal Agents stopping by weekly since you got out of Red River?"

"which agency?"

"Homeland Security's bureau of superhuman affairs." she tells me.

"Yeah...I...Ikindahavepowersanditsucksand-"

"I assumed that when I saw the badges, Lisa. You're not doing anything illegal are you?"

"Um...define 'illegal'? I kind of fought the invaders in Aberdeen a little bit..."

"that's my niece, I hope you gave them the one-two.  Your grandfather would be proud, and so am I." she tells me.

"I need to know...uh...the Ranch.  Margot didn't talk you into approving a sale, did she?"

"No.  that land is in trust to you and your cousins, and it's still stable, but god, Lisa, you could have known that if you bothered to open your mail once in a while. As Executor, I'm fielding all that hassle, including another try by Daphne O'Ryan to get it declared state land."

"Uhm..just a sec..." I hold my hand over the mouthpiece, "Moira, Paul...do I need to actually show ownership?"

"It might help." Paul said, "However a deed may not be required if the land's status is in the system."

I smile.  "great...Okay, Aunt Cindy, I'll be coming home after I take care of some...uh, business here. Not the kind Mom got arrested for, but I needed proof of legal standing to issue the challenge, and stakes."

"Like a bet? are you gambling??"

"Um, ah..eh..yes. but not like you think! I need it to challenge the leaders of the Invaders, these 'Wolf Clan' people, for all the marbles.  apparently that's a 'thing' with them, if I win, I can end this invasion and nobody else gets hurt...and if I lose, someone else can step up until it's done."

"Hang tight, Lisa, we're coming to you...whre are you?"

"Uh, Tulalip reservation, just outside Marysville."

"We're coming to you.  did I ever tell you about what happened when your mom escaped those culties?"

"Uh...no?"

"We're coming to you, don't make a move without me there...and I'll be bringing your Aunt Margot, and a few...friends."

what??

"Um, it's going to be dangerous."

"Lisa, you're a blockhead but you're OUR blockhead.  The year you were born, your mother was still in hiding, and the Cult sent six of their people up to shake us down for where she was at...we killed them, your grandfather, your grandmother, my sister Margot, me, Deke Marsden and some of the workers from the Reservation.  You're a Quentin, you're not going to defend us alone.  that's not how we do things.  I'll be there in sixteen hours...if you would be so kind as to give the address?"

"She wants to bring people up here to help." I tell the Team.

"Good." Moira says, "Every hand we can get, maybe we can work up something serious enough they'll have to listen.  she needs an address?"

"It's like trashing your security, Moira!"

"My House, My Rules..." and then Moira takes the phone out of my stunned fingers.

"Ms Quentin? yes, Moira Slohcin, the address is..."
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Cannonshop

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #97 on: 17 September 2020, 14:40:02 »
Surveillance picked it up, but with so much information available, it did not look that dangerous, if it even was.

a column of pickup trucks, vans and a motorhome heading west on Highway 20, joined by a small cloud of motorcycles.

another group of automobiles heading south from the Bellingham area, collecting a few here and there, moving in convoy.

a third convoy moving along Highway 101 out of Gray's Harbor county.

Not that big a deal, not a threat, no military vehicles among them.

a couple of passes by Aerospace fighters with sensors on 'high' showed no threatening technologies, no armor.

no reason to deploy ground assets.
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georgiaboy

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #98 on: 17 September 2020, 14:53:54 »
Oh Boy. They don't know whats coming.
Lots of out of work Lumber Jacks, Dock workers, and Fishermen?

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #99 on: 17 September 2020, 15:04:37 »
Airforce One, en-route to Payne Field for negotiations with the invaders...

The President had, after days of negotiation over the airwaves, consented to meet this 'Khan Kerensky'.  to him, it was an opportunity to tell the invaders to their faces, on international television, that the United States was not in the business of submitting to foreign powers.

Oddly enough, the National Security Advisor and the Vice President both insisted on staying in D.C.

The President wasn't worried-if he had one chance to secure his legacy and not have it be a legacy of betraying his country, this would be it-win or lose, live or die, he would stand up to them, and it might be the end of his presidency, but he would go down like a man, himself.

The president of the United STates was not going to get the chance for that fateful address.

at 10:00 AM, October 11, 2008, Air Force One suffered an 'accident'.

The Accident's code-name, is Striker and he was the most powerful superhuman the Department could create-the result of more than seventy years of combined research between pre-world war programs in Britain, American, and Hitler's Germany, including approaches frowned on by the pioneer researcher who gave the U.S. its first superheroes.

and he was absolutely loyal to the Director.

gun-camera footage from the F-15s escorting the 747, and imagery taken tracking the President's arrival route by Clan Wolf's orbital forces, recorded the attack.

once again, a superhuman, an unidentified superhuman, committed a terrorist attack against the United States.

In Washington, DC, the Vice President began rehearsing his speech, ceding all claimed territory to the invaders along the terms offered by Katya Kerensky, with the request that the Clan forces help round up the remaining unregistered supers in North America.

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Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #100 on: 17 September 2020, 15:21:47 »
So is everyone in political office/power an immoral power-hungry ****** with chronic backstabbing disorder?

Sharpnel

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #101 on: 17 September 2020, 15:31:41 »
So is everyone in political office/power an immoral power-hungry ****** with chronic backstabbing disorder?
I thought that was one of the requirements of being a lifelong politician.
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Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #102 on: 17 September 2020, 15:38:08 »
I thought that was one of the requirements of being a lifelong politician.

It's more a matter of degree, when the whole government is Starscreams from bottom to now top?  The system would have long since imploded in an orgy of such black project backstabbing.

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #103 on: 17 September 2020, 15:45:05 »
Looks like the Inner Sphere hasn't changed much since 2008.
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #104 on: 17 September 2020, 16:34:52 »
It's more a matter of degree, when the whole government is Starscreams from bottom to now top?  The system would have long since imploded in an orgy of such black project backstabbing.

Yeah, that's causing me some issues with suspension of disbelief, too.
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idea weenie

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #105 on: 17 September 2020, 17:58:57 »
I saw it as the President is a puppet of the Director and friends, but when the President had an attack of conscience (or was scared of the message he received) he refused to obey his orders.

Result: the President is removed in a tragic accident, and the Vice President is sworn in.  The Vice President understands who really runs the country

The backstabbers are more likely to switch over to the new group, as they think they can rise higher.  Wonder when that bubble of ego will be popped

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #106 on: 17 September 2020, 19:25:03 »
She made it snow in Pyongyang for long enough to put a half-mile of ice on top of North Korea from the Chinese Border to the 38th Parallel.

It took Baba Yaga three days.  There...were casualties.  Baba Yaga is 'not nice'.  (and yes, there are environmental consequences.)

Okay, I had to go back and do some maths.

According to Wikipedia North Korea has a land area of ~120,540 square kilometers.
Half a mile of ice is ~800 meters.

That's 11.1m/36.6' of rain an hour.   If we assume snow flakes initially pack to half the density of water, that's 37cm or 14.5" of snow per minute!
I'll be amazed if anyone made it out of the contry except maybe some fishermen who were just offshore when it started.

So in three days Baba Yaga delivered 96,432 cubic kilometers of water, in the form of snow/ice, and it's still there.
That's still probably barely noticeable in terms of sea levels
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #107 on: 17 September 2020, 22:39:35 »
Yeah, that's causing me some issues with suspension of disbelief, too.

point out something? (an attempt to explain my logic here)

it's not without historic precedent when indigineous cultures are confronted by a seemingly unbeatable, technologically superior, outsider enemy for them to turn  to backstabby behavior in the governing classes. 

The ending of the Tokugawa Shogunate wasn't exactly bloodless, and was brought about by the arrival of a gent named Perry who just wanted to open some markets. 

The Chinese Empire effectively collapsed in on itself with the arrival of Britain and the Opium Wars. (From which came Hong Kong's british affiliation).

Evidence suggests several native american nations wound up in near civil war situations before capitulating to European conquest both in South, and North, America.

with disastrous results for those native american nations even when they did not fight.

here we have a situation where a force with at least a seven century technological lead is demanding territorial concessions at the point of an orbiting gun platform, and they've already crushed a major domestic military force.  Even with covert development, the U.S. Government has already seen their best get an ass-kicking to end all ass-kickings, and these invaders present a chance to get disparate elements under control including elements that threaten the careers and constructs of a number of high-ranking career bureaucrats who've been playing fast-and-loose with the fundamental elements of the nation for decades.

plus, the invaders scare the dogsnot out of some of those people due to how effortlessly they crushed resistance in what amounts to a day or so of combat.

Much the way that France accepted German occupation in 1940 of large swathes in exchange for being permitted to continue to exist-Collaborators happen.  Remember that Marshall Foche fought the Boche for four years between 1914 and 1918, and his Vichy government worked hand-in-glove with the Third Reich, including turning over french civilians and french citizens to the death camps and even supporting axis powers in colonial possessions outside of Europe-and the tech disparity wasn't even there during WWII, the germans weren't even offering trinkets.

Taken from a certain point of view, what the Wolf Clan is demanding isn't even that bad, what they potentially offer is, in some circles, worth trading a corner of the United States in exchange, because a lot of senior policy people saw what the invaders did and said to themselves 'We can't defeat that...yet.'

and then, the sitting president said "We're not going to surrender one inch of ground and I'll tell the so."

but he's a lame duck, due to be out of office on January 20, 2009.  if you're already planning to suspend the constitution (and said prez would have to if he intended to actually try to fight this), then a lot of the ties that keep men and women loyal are already under strain.  an opportunist taking advantage?

Oh yes.

this is, after all, a world with superheroes.  Not exactly safe from extremes of behaviour when you have people dressing up in spandex to punch criminals.
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Cannonshop

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #108 on: 17 September 2020, 22:53:12 »
"...dezgra in the extreme!"  Paul's livid.  Aunt Cindy's actually grieving for a man she once called 'The dumbass in chief', there are a lot of angry people including bikers, loggers, and fishermen on the property now.

I'm numb.  I doubt the vice president's address was something the late president would have approved of under any circumstances, but then, I voted for the SOB.  He was the first president I voted for...and I regretted it along with everyone else...even when I did it again.

America has survived bad presidents before, and damned if we won't survive them again, but that doesn't make a presidential assassin anything other than a sack of shit-in this case, a sack of shit in stealth tights with a cape.

The Clanners almost beat CNN to showing images of the superhuman that took down Air Force One over Idaho.

Empyrion, the foremost 'anti-normal' superhuman terrorist, is headquartered somewhere in South America, he's got flight, but even his group's avoided pulling this...scale of shitty.  he made a statement within hours of the assassination decrying it as a setup, denying all responsibility and insisting that his little group had nothing to do with it.

and for once, I believe the blue-skinned son of a bitch, because he hasn't exactly been quiet when his group pulls an op with a body count the way they did when they took sides in the Columbian civil war and converted a cartel leader into a seated member of the U.N. with ties to China.

"Yeah, it's a disgrace." I state it, "someone just volunteered to get his head caved in...but first we're going to resolve this...territorial dispute."
The core rules for interacting with me:

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #109 on: 17 September 2020, 23:11:18 »
Cannonshop is producing GOLD again.  time for popcorn & a comfy seat.

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Giovanni Blasini

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #110 on: 18 September 2020, 00:22:57 »
point out something? (an attempt to explain my logic here)

it's not without historic precedent when indigineous cultures are confronted by a seemingly unbeatable, technologically superior, outsider enemy for them to turn  to backstabby behavior in the governing classes. 

Unrest? Chaos? Sure. But here's the thing: Clan tech isn't unbeatable, even for the militaries in question and literally the only two government officials presented thus far that aren't utterly evil backstabbers or collaborators are a superhuman sheriff who got captured and a president who got assassinated.

We've also encountered no information at all about what happened in engagements between the militaries of the world and the Clanners, or discussion of using nukes against their Warship, or even deploying superhumans against them.

I get that Lisa may not have all that information. But we aren't seeing everything from her perspective, either.

Which is another thing...we seem to have shifted from first person perspective for Lisa to third for other characters and back. It can be a bit jarring at times.
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #111 on: 18 September 2020, 03:02:52 »
Interesting Read to be sure.  TAG'd
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #112 on: 18 September 2020, 05:30:17 »
We've also encountered no information at all about what happened in engagements between the militaries of the world and the Clanners, or discussion of using nukes against their Warship, or even deploying superhumans against them.

I think the Wolves may have disabled any sort of meaningful nuclear weapon launch remotely.  Even then, point defenses could probably easily take out a 21st century ICBM aimed at them.

The supers also taking them down?  Not sure who's around that's powerful enough to do that besides Lisa and Baba Yama.  Plus it seems that many supers in this story may not be able to stand up to battlemech weapons like Lisa can.  Then again maybe the technically gifted can build some kind of weapon to drop them from orbit.

But if Lisa gets and wins her Trial of Possession, or maybe even a Trial of Refusal, this may all be moot.  Hmmm, Paul never seemed to mention a Trial of Refusal...  She just wouldn't own the invaders, but we know about power and what it can do!
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #113 on: 18 September 2020, 07:02:21 »
Unrest? Chaos? Sure. But here's the thing: Clan tech isn't unbeatable, even for the militaries in question and literally the only two government officials presented thus far that aren't utterly evil backstabbers or collaborators are a superhuman sheriff who got captured and a president who got assassinated.

To add my own thoughts on this?  Based on the number of immoral black ops projects the protagonists are tangled in in their backstory, along with blatantly stating the assassins were, or thought themselves, the 'power behind the throne' and got upset at the President throwing off their strings and stop being their unknowing patsy?

A dictator knowingly playing his subordinates off against each other for his favor is one thing.  Focusing their backstabbing on each other rather than him.  And even that is a metastable situation at best over the short term.  The guy notionally at the top being completely out of the loop of this level of backstabbing and not flying apart before this?  That is straining my credulity.

This wasn't totally a response to the OCP of a Clan Wolf warship arriving in orbit.  It is the continuation of multiple per-existing conditions.  And no Super-tech "Asteroid Defense System" or confiscated villain super-weapon that can have people trying to repurpose it into a ground to orbit system?  Or is government deals with supers stupid along with being evil?  The later certainly seems backed in from the background given so far.
« Last Edit: 18 September 2020, 07:04:59 by Nikas_Zekeval »

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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #114 on: 18 September 2020, 08:46:36 »
To add my own thoughts on this?  Based on the number of immoral black ops projects the protagonists are tangled in in their backstory, along with blatantly stating the assassins were, or thought themselves, the 'power behind the throne' and got upset at the President throwing off their strings and stop being their unknowing patsy?

A dictator knowingly playing his subordinates off against each other for his favor is one thing.  Focusing their backstabbing on each other rather than him.  And even that is a metastable situation at best over the short term.  The guy notionally at the top being completely out of the loop of this level of backstabbing and not flying apart before this?  That is straining my credulity.

This wasn't totally a response to the OCP of a Clan Wolf warship arriving in orbit.  It is the continuation of multiple per-existing conditions.  And no Super-tech "Asteroid Defense System" or confiscated villain super-weapon that can have people trying to repurpose it into a ground to orbit system?  Or is government deals with supers stupid along with being evil?  The later certainly seems backed in from the background given so far.

I admit missing a few good beats here, like where are the genuinely powerful/supersmart villains and what about techno-heroes? and I admit digging a little too deep into certain cultural traditions regarding rumours of deep state and government conspiracies and the like.  I grew up like a lot of people on X-files and Art Bell.

not that real life didn't have its share of questionable government actions and programs, but those in real life got shut down real quick and the perpetrators were at least dragged in front of congressional committees or court rooms (or both).

the existence of superhumans creates a warping effect-if someone out of the blue can shoot explosive rainbows out their ass, it makes it really difficult to maintain a monopoly on the means of violence (which is one of the keystones for 90% of human civilizations going back to Hammurabi).

It also makes Oligarchial control kinda difficult where monopoly can't be established.

It also creates another problem that is a fundamental attack on one of the basic precepts of American culture:  That all men are created equal.  It's really hard to say that when some men can rearrange atoms at fifty paces at will (or seemingly at will), or can dress up in spandex undies with a bedsheet on their shoulders and fly as fast as a jet fighter, only without the jet, or the fighter.

The answer for a lot of people would be to make efforts to minimize that randomness and make the people with powers into something predictable, and more important, controllable.

The relative success or failure of this will tend to influence how your society develops, and the organizations and agencies put together to try and keep a lid on the incipient chaos may tend to drift in their mission ("Mission Creep") into ranges that border on being a separate government in and of itself.

One that might not take kindly to the 'regular' government not following recommendations from the "experts" placed specifically to influence said regular government into policies that make their jobs easier.  These 'experts' are, after all, people who aren't elected, and often can count on keeping their position regardless of who is elected (within reasonable restraints). 

the historical precedent here (yes, there is one!) is the Imperial Eunuchs and the Mandarin systems in Imperial China, more than one Emperor 'lost the mandate of heaven' for defying his civil servants too overtly.

The case here is more extreme, because the conditions are far more extreme.  They don't have a solid means to control who gets powers, and only a moderate mechanism for dealing with those who do get them, even through the one or two means the government does control.

the threat everyone in every government on earth, in this timeline, is coping with and facing, is the potential that someone will get the right combo of powers and decide to make themselves dictator.

and in this timeline, there are at least two examples.  Baba Yaga, who is basically a hands-off type dictator allowing Russia to operate as it will within certain guidelines, and the man who claimed to be the Mahdi, who tried to re-establish Islamic dominion from central Europe to Africa and took the combined efforts of several western nations to stop.

Nations that insist they're 'free nations' are having the hardest time coping with the existence of superhumans, since no arms control law or treaty really applies, and the power imbalance isn't predictable, and universal surveillance with fast reaction forces are really hard to justify to taxpayers who want good roads, schools and regular mail service.

in such situations, manipulating or compelling public sentiment ends up being in the hands of covert agencies, because you have to get that consent or you don't have a nation anymore (or at least, that's what the people in charge of those agencies tell themselves.)

When the morality ends up being "the ends" (societal stabiity long term) "Justify the means" (bankrolling domestic terror to frighten the voters into supporting additional restrictions on civil liberties to prevent some jerkass who can launch nuclear explosions out his ding-dong from making himself emperor.)  well, you get some pretty nasty deals and compromises in the name of 'stability'.



addendum: A world with superheroes is in and of itself absurdity.  part of the fun is that absurdity, but I can think of very few situations where the existence of superpowers on an individual level doesn't lead to some serious societal warpage if not total breakdown.  I'm kinda trying to avoid the natural consequences of that with this, because I want it to be fun, not depressing.


Unrest? Chaos? Sure. But here's the thing: Clan tech isn't unbeatable, even for the militaries in question and literally the only two government officials presented thus far that aren't utterly evil backstabbers or collaborators are a superhuman sheriff who got captured and a president who got assassinated.

We've also encountered no information at all about what happened in engagements between the militaries of the world and the Clanners, or discussion of using nukes against their Warship, or even deploying superhumans against them.

I get that Lisa may not have all that information. But we aren't seeing everything from her perspective, either.

Which is another thing...we seem to have shifted from first person perspective for Lisa to third for other characters and back. It can be a bit jarring at times.

You're making fair points here.  I haven't gotten much into the deeper notes from my actual book/setting, believe it or not, this wasn't supposed to last 2 forum pages, but there's SO MUCH GROUND to cover.

There are decent people in government, even at the local and state level.  I just haven't found the 'voice' for them yet, with so much of this being from Lisa's POV.

sorry about the shifts in perspective, but some things I can't do from Lisa's-eye-view and her internal monologue comes so easily.
« Last Edit: 18 September 2020, 08:58:02 by Cannonshop »
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #115 on: 18 September 2020, 08:53:16 »
What you just described, Cannonshop, I believe has been addressed by different continuities of the X-Men.  I don't think the Avengers part of the MCU has even gotten into that, considering some of those folks are potentially living weapons too.
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #116 on: 18 September 2020, 10:25:47 »
The big surprise shows up with my Aunt Margot, who arrives in her champagne Lexus with her Husband, Karl.  Karl's what you might term a 'sleazy lawyer' who makes a lot of money handling things like nasty divorces, drunk drivers, and personal injury claims.  He's got television ads late at night and accepts credit.

at around 19%.

I expected Karl. 

let me back up here.

Margot, my aunt, full name Margot E. Quentin-Feenie  (I shit you not, her husband's last name is Feenie) got all the curves the rest of the Quentin women didn't.  She was a beauty contestant in 1988, runner up to the runner up to the runner up for Miss Washington that year, and she's still got the looks even into her forties.  her husband at least has the dignity not to try to comb-over his hair, instead going for the Captain Picard hairstyle, and I have to admit, it works.

The guy in the back seat is what shocks the hell out of me.

Douglas O'Ryan, Washington State Attorney General, personal nemesis of my mother, face of the O'Ryans, who've been enemies of my family since sometime before statehood.

Just happens to also be one of a handful of State officials who haven't turned up giving speeches about cooperating with the invaders.

I think the only person here who hates him more is Moira, because he was on the prosecution team that put her in Federal Prison for five years.

My family and the O'Ryans go back a long way.  When great grandpa was moving whiskey south into the U.S. during prohibition, the O'Ryans were running revenue agents and taking a cut of the profits from his customers-when they weren't shooting at his men.  After the second world war, the O'Ryans stuck to Spokane and that environ and moved on the urban areas, and mostly left ours alone, until the drug war.

by then, I think they pretty much forgot that they started out as crooked cops, and turned to being the annoying kind of clean ones-'do anything to put a crook in prison', even if it means bending a few rules.

"Margot, what the ****** are you doing with that ******?"

"He's here to help, Lisa!" Margot tells me, "You need it, we need it, our state has been invaded."

My aunt Margot...is smart.  she is.  when I was a kid, she would do anything for an advantage or a dollar, but she's smart, she grasps big pictures. She wanted me to go to business school instead of The Corps.

"Cindy's gonna have a shit fit if she sees him...I almost want to!" I'm still not cool and calm about this guy being here.  I can't imagine Moira's going to be any better when she comes out.

"Ladies, I can speak for myself?"  He puffs up like he's going to do one of his summations in court.  I admit, I've seen him perform-twice, the time ma was busted with a trashbag of the really good stuff outside Tacoma, and the time she went up for her third and final sentencing.  He belongs on one of those 'law and order' shows.  "First off, I'm not a traitor, you're organizing resistance to an invasion that seems to be getting away with it, and I'm no more a traitor to this country than you are."

He's good. I want to believe him, everything I know about the son of a bitch says he's telling the truth but I still hate him.

but he swore an oath.  and being here maybe he's taking it seriously..."Moira's gonna have a shit." I snap.

"Moira?" he looks confused.

"Moira Slohcin, you're standin in her front yard-they let her out after you put her in...for reporting a crime!"

"It was more complicated than that!" he's a little red faced.  gotcha you sack of shit.  "I was doing the best I could!"

"Not. Good. Enough." I tell him, "but that's put to the side. as you say, we've been invaded, the Governor and some of the Legislators have welcomed the invaders, the Feds are spinning and the president is dead...and I'm honestly not sure our strategy's going to work."

"What is the strategy?" he asks.

"We're going to riff off the invaders' own culture and hope it sticks, you might have signed up for an ugly death, mister Attorney General. might've been safer if you kept going on up into canada."

"I'm...no, I wouldn't do that." he tells me, "You think you've got a monopoly on stubborn?"

"I think we're going to have it out after this is over, you've had a hand in some damn dirty stuff, and you know it's wrong to let that go by."

"And what about the dirty 'stuff' you've been involved in?" he asks.  of course he'd assume I went into mom's business.

"Uncle Sam pays for my rent and my medications, O'Ryan."  I tell him, "I did not go into the business."

"Mister O'Ryan has a very specific thing he can do for you, Lisa...and we have a judge."

"What?"

"I can make your group legal and legitimate representatives of the Washington State Department of Justice, Miss Quentin." he says.  "Standing.  I believe that was the term you used when you called me, Mrs. Feenie?"

"yes.  Legal Standing to challenge the invaders."

"Revised code of washington 211.33.141 section C, sub paragraph twenty two." he tells me.  "Under that law, passed two years ago, I am, as the elected Attorney General, empowered to deputize anyone in a state of emergency...including convicted felons."

****** me, he's offering legitimacy.

"Come on then, I think we need to make this pitch."
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #117 on: 18 September 2020, 10:39:08 »
[out of story; I know back a few posts ago, I messed up some names...]

so...for future sanity and because I really don't want to go digging back that far...

Douglas "Dougie" O'Ryan, native of Spokane, current residence Mercer Island (when he's not in Olympia):  imagine the hardest hard-nose prosecutor you can imagine, a real paladin of the law without mercy or hesitation.  This is Doug O'Ryan.  The guy is a legal Honeybadger who will do anything short of outright breaking the law to win a case and absolutely believes his suspect is always guilty and deserving of the hardest sentence they can drum up.

Played football for the Washington Huskies, did ROTC and served 2 years active and six in reserves right out of college during that period between major wars, cut his teeth on drug cases and vice, but got his big break taking down an arms smuggling ring in Skagit County centered on a legitimate business that was dealing on the side with the russian mob, this got him press, and it got him a series of white-collar cases that he managed close, including one that put a billionaire in prison.

Doug plays it straight all the time, and he's a kind of 'no compromises' nightmare people often dream about having in his role...until they actually get one.

In the last two elections, he's faced primary challengers from within his own party, and still won re-election.  This has made him a mix of poster-boy during the general elections, while forcing him to the fringes of political life in between.

not that the man notices, he's been too busy pushing to keep Walla Walla filled with the scum of the earth (as he sees them.)

and Lisa hates this guy.
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #118 on: 18 September 2020, 10:49:51 »
the debate lasted five minutes.  I let Margot and Feenie do the talking mostly.  Moira didn't like it, but she helped set up the living room and find a bible.

why a bible? because that's what you swear on, when you're being deputized.

His eyes practically fell out of his head when he saw Phoebe.  'She's underage."

"Most of us are." judah pointed out, "Lisa's the oldest empowered on the team, and she's new."

"So...she is the leader?"

I laugh. "Nope, it's Judah's team." I tell him, "I'm new."

I could see his political future dying in a fire in his eyes.  Enlisting minors to fight in a war is a great way to end any chance of a political career.

O'Ryan didn't hesitate more than a moment.  Needs take precedence when devils drive.

"Moira too." Phoebe stated.  "She's part of the team. she doesn't have powers, but she's critical."

He didn't like it, and neither did judge Sawyer, but they did it.  I'll give them that.  We have standing now.

"There is so much wrong with this whole situation." Doug says.

"Yeah, well, what did you expect?" I ask him, "We faced  younger insurgents in asskrakistan...and Phoebe's got force multipliers."

"and you?"

"I roughed up one of their patrols in Aberdeen." I tell him.  "so did Ernie here...who is going to be a ****** hero, because he sucks at being a villain."

"That's a given..about being a hero." O'Ryan tells me.  "What about you?"

"I win, I go back into retirement. if I lose, my problems are solved, but not the way I'd like them to be solved."  Paul, bless him, sidles up to me, "We're all in all the way, mister Attorney General."

"If it works out, I might have to ask you to extend." he tells me. 

"We'll see.  Your cousin's trying to get my family's land condemned for public use, only I can't imagine there's a lot of public use for that land."

"We'll discuss those issues once things are normal again." he tells me, "Word of Honor."

"Want it in writing." I tell him, "No weasel words."
« Last Edit: 18 September 2020, 10:58:05 by Cannonshop »
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Re: I got out of bed for this? (Featuring Lisa Quentin)
« Reply #119 on: 18 September 2020, 11:32:01 »
While the big brains (O'Ryan, Aunt Cindy, Aunt Margot, Moira, and Margot's husband) are crafting a formal script for us, I'm on the back porch of the house with a beer.

"You really hate him, quiaff?" Paul asks.

"It's complicated." I tell him, "That is the man who sent my mother to prison, where she died."  I take a pull on the beer, "And I shouldn't hate him, she was eyeballs deep in the drug trade..."

"but you hate him."

"I hate him.  I guess it's transference, right? Mom couldn't stop breaking the law, so she goes to prison, which is the natural course of events when you keep breaking the law..."  I swallow.

"Aff... I do not have the...cultural context to understand the feeling."

"Good for you." I tell him, "See, mom went to college to be a biochemist, only she hooked up with some bad, bad people in the seventies, people bad enough she had to go into hiding for the first four years of my life...and six years in, she's getting arrested for the first time, and I finally got to meet my family."

"What was it?" he asks.

"Oh, LSD that time." I tell him, "a little weed, which became mom's number one crop once she was out of jail.  she'd grow it out on the Ranch while she was supposed to be looking for regular work for her parole.  she hated the synthetic stuff, claimed the organic dope was better for you." I shake my head, "in High School I even dabbled a little-I was the hookup for half the senior class when I was a freshman.  more leaves and seeds than anything else, and sold it cheap...she was doing her second stretch and got out my Junior year.  Supposed to go straight, right? only Grandpa got sick and so nobody was sitting on her...so she got back into it...and got nailed almost immediately in Tacoma...because they were waiting for her, and local pot busts are safer than the Cocaine cartels- pot suppliers are less likely to be packing military grade hardware."

I look over at him, "But she broke the damn law, so it's the right outcome, isn't it?  I didn't even talk to her while I was still in the States after I enslisted, I was so mad at her for...for doing what she was going to do.  after I was captured, and before anyone knew I was still alive, the Warden let her display a gold star.  can you imagine that? a gold-star mother, in prison for life? she had a little section of her cell, they sent me pictures of it when I was at Red River, the damned letter from the president.." my eyes are watering.  "The condolence letter! the 'we regret to inform you' letter! she thought I was dead!"

why am I crying?
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