Reflections & Religion

Reflections & Religion

March 28th, 2024 – Thursday: 5 PM

Master Tyrone Nitobe had arched an eyebrow when a UPS package had shown up at noon. When his lunch time classes let out he got around to checking on his mail. His wife, Aiko, whom ran the business end the C.S.H.F.A. was very surprised to see whom the sender was! Upon checking he noticed it was from Spirit Enterprises with a small note tucked inside.

“Thanks for helping him – R.G.

Inside the box was some items that appeared to be made of the same material as Gryphon’s practice sword! There was a classic styled sword stand with “Nitobe” cut out in Kanji characters ( 新渡戸 ). Tyrone did not loose site of the fact this material could stop a bullet or parry Gryphon’s blade! Then he pulled out a saya (or scabbard) made of the same material with a mouth for what would have to be a very hefty blade. A silk bag that had the same Kanji characters embroidered upon it was wrapped around the saya. His wife, Aiko, was descended from the Seki swordsmiths that had made the katana for Musashi and she could tell the silk bag had its materials from the Gifu Prefecture of her home.

What came out next took his breath away! It was a perfect, practice, replica of Miyamoto Musashi’s Katana! The legendary Japanese swordmaster was well above the average height for his people and his daito katana reflected this by being double pegged unlike most katana that have a single peg affixing hilt to blade. This super strong poly-resin replica was no different and the double ring tsuba hand guard was there! The weight felt right and balance matched the original but the thicker blade matched the sheath’s mouth. It was exquisite to say the least. He surmised this was a gift on par to the cost of an entry model Aircar!

When Gryphon showed up a little early at 4 PM mentioning he was on vacation and hoped he could work on body weight exercises in the back. Master Nitobe studied his face and he realized Gryphon did not know about the gift from his sponsor. Perhaps today would be a day for training from the great sword master himself? At 5 PM he called Gryphon out to the floor.

“Gryphon have you been studying the books I gave you?”

As Gryphon began to answer Master Nitobe initiated combat as he had been doing for some time. He saw no point in wasting time talking when you can move and talk at the same time. “Yes Master Nitobe.” WHACK!

“Good, your speech has not wavered and your breathing is steady.” WHACK! With his new sword in one hand and the scabbard in the other Master Nitobe began to make Gryphon recite and memorize some of the quotes he wanted him to focus on of Musashi. All the while making him practice katas to teach him muscle memory.

“Clearly, you have mastered this one. Do not fear death. That is a compliment well earned Gryphon.”

“Thank you Master Nitobe.”

WHACK!

“Accept everything just the way it is.”

WHACK!

“Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.”

WHACK!

“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.”

WHACK!

“Get beyond love and grief: exist for the good of Man.”

WHACK!

“While not wisely or well, do we all not love?”

WHACK!

“Yes, yet if you wish to control others you must first control yourself. So if you wish to love others you must first love yourself. You cannot share or exert what you do not possess yourself. There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.”

WHACK! WHACK!!

“If I fail and start anew, is the path still there?”

WHACK!

“Of course, understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain. Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men. As long as you want to stay on the path you can find your way back. Gryphon, you saved teammates and innocents with the decisive actions of a samurai. You thought of the world and not of desire. You did what you could and sought nothing but a better tomorrow. Yet, you still burden yourself with ghosts of your past and refuse to believe people love you or that you are worthy of such care. That is where you failed!”

WHACK! WHACK!! WHACK!!!

The new practice katana was scant hairs away from Gryphon’s eye as the Master Nitobe legged swept him with the scabbard. “Your control has improved. Again! As a reward you may start coming to the morning group lessons.”


March 28th, 2024 – Thursday: 5 PM

JAKE THOMPSON
HERO OF CENTURY STATION
IS DEAD!”

At Spirit Enterprises, Richard Grey was re-reading the morning headline and accompanying article written by Granny2Good. Online the news of S.A.V.I.O.R. and the near fatal sacrifice play by Gryphon was filtered out to the other groups to help them deal with their robots battles.

Genysis Sponsored Team: Dynosaurs – Took the longest and had the most associated property damage.

Maverick Team: Iron Brigade – Two members had their powered armor suits destroyed and are healing at an undisclosed location from critical injuries. They had the second most associated property damage.

Maverick Team: Valkyries – Their battle took just longer than S.A.V.I.O.R.’s and had the least associated property damage. Many incoming reports note that because they focused on saving and minimizing damage to innocents. This was the only reason their battle took longer.

Spirit Sponsored Team: S.A.V.I.O.R. – Took the shortest amount of time and had slightly more property damage than the Valkyries. As super teams go this is a positive sign for such a new team in the city.

Punctual as ever Director Balisong arrived for a meeting with Richard. Meanwhile, Greg Nugent met up with Victor in the ground floor lobby of Spirit Enterprises building in Silver City sub-district of the Society Hill borough. Greg had informed Victor that while Hank was still healing they were going to be joining up with the hero team S.A.V.I.O.R. Which prompted much confusion from Victor because he believed they were a religious based group of some form or fashion.

With a wave through from security because they were expected. Both of them headed up to the top floors and when the elevator doors opened. Victor recognized Director Balisong and could overhear their conversation. One that had been done in hush tones and whispers.

“You know with Caedechron, you need to be very, very careful. Something is not right. We know Xander Financial had sent money to fund your group. Obviously he created a robot that looked like Caedechron, so there’s something going on here. The police, we’re going to get to the bottom of this. For now you just need to make sure you’re being very, very careful. Xander Financial had a lot of dirty dealings, there’s so much out there. The money they secretly funneled to you is also there as well. Which is raising some questions I am trying not to ask.”

“Oh, I can assure you director we’ll keep an eye on him. Everything, everything will be fine, I can assure you.”

“Yeah, there will be a lot to process with that one. One more thing and keep this on the down low. Mason has passed on. They’re doing their best to keep it out of the papers, but it’s only a matter of time before that gets found out. Cassandra is already starting to take over, and she’s already declared she’s not going to be keeping up with any of his former projects. So you guys are going to need to find another source if you wish to keep going like this.”

“Oh don’t worry,” as he notices Greg and Victor coming into the office from the elevator area, “This may be the answer to our problems now.”

Director Balisong seemed taken back and apparently was quite the fan of Victor’s jockey career. Richard was relieved and let her know he’d take their conversation to heart. After she left Greg informed Richard that Hank was still healing and would be a few more days before he could join the team. Due to some confusion on Victor’s part Richard had to explain that S.A.V.I.O.R. stood for: Swift, Altruistic, Valiant, Industrious, Observant, Resolute. Greg mentioned and was seconded by Victor that this needs to be communicated since a number of people may believe them to be a religious based super group without knowing more about Spirit or the Team.

After Victor signed the paperwork making him an official member of S.A.V.I.O.R. Greg took his leave and Richard called Carl to drive him and another recruit for the team to their base location. There was some concern about Carl’s explanation regarding “blackouts” but Richard calmed everything down so he could get this show on the road. The fact that Carl had a doctor’s appointment planned seem to put Victor at some ease. Richard made sure Carl and Victor had some formal introductions before they left in one of Richard’s aircars.

The air lanes became less frequent when they reached Midtown, and became nearly non-existent when they flew over Brisby Flats. Upon nearing the northern part of the Zericho sub-district. Richard told Victor when he asked that the reason for selecting this area of town to host their operations was due to its need. However, they go where they are called citywide. With that they came upon an empty lot with a drained, sunken, pool and its bottom dropped and slid away as the aircar lowered into it. The steel, reinforced, and very high tech looking tunnel they found themselves in seemed to put Victor at ease from what Richard could see.


March 28th, 2024 – Thursday: 6:15 PM

A.R.C.H.I.E. watched as Richard, now wearing his Geist mask, went through the motions of trying to add the Rubber Band Man to the system. Eventually a voice imprint was taken that made a decent sample for authentication. It was decided that the Rubber Band Man would also need a key card for when he wasn’t speaking. A.R.C.H.I.E. did its level best to sound cheerful when it had to mention the card’s importance in making sure the Rubber Band Man would not be seen as an intruder.

A.R.C.H.I.E. watched Geist go around and inform everyone about the new arrival. Carl appears to be taking a slower route and then heads for the meeting room. When Miss Amazing talks about having seen Rubber Band Man’s mundane identity win the Triple Crown. The new hero smiles, but thinks she saw it on YouTube from her physical appearance. A.R.C.H.I.E. understands Miss Amazing’s physical age appears to be a side effect [ according to reports notated by Geist ] of what’s she revealed about her experimental alterations performed on her. Gryphon, having just returned from a shower, appears happy but micro expressions suggest this is a facade. More data required. Will continue to update Geist with daily reports. Last known searches involved finding out how high the International Space Station is and roughly when it would pass over Cape Canaveral. His designs on a way to make a small heat shield suggest the same wild inventive streak as the Wright Brothers. More data required.

A.R.C.H.I.E. watched as everyone finally gathered in the meeting room. They engage in playful banter as they get to know Rubber Band Man. They talk about the reason for team members leaving.

A.R.C.H.I.E. watched as they begin to talk about infiltrating the Church of Reflections. Rubber Band Man shows off his rubber-elastic power, followed by his powers of night. Many of the members react poorly to the power of fear Rubber Band Man could exude upon the room. Covenant asked for the floor afterwards and explained about the man called Ashton Campbell that murdered his parents. He talked about following leads to the Winchester House, but mostly finding Ishtarian worshippers that used gun running to finance their occult ends. Ashton, though, may have been the person that founded the Church of Reflections and is the one they call the First Reflector.

Covenant mentioned a big ceremony on the 8th of April. A day that has an eclipse on it based upon the calendar, and noted by Carl as well. Covenant mentioned that something was shipped here. From the manifest he was able to deduce one of three options from his contacts in California. 1) An herbal component in something bigger, a magical ritual of some form or fashion. 2) A drug that imbues someone with basic magic power when they consume it! 3) The worst scenario was a magically intelligent, biological agent that knows its target and the ceremony just activates it! Rubber Band Man stretched up over the table to try and console him with a can of Tecate Beer. Will begin similar safety protocol watching as on Gryphon. Potential alcoholic behavior exhibited by Rubber Band Man. More data required.

A.R.C.H.I.E. watched as the conversation continues it becomes clear the city has a lot of followers among the Church of Reflections. Victor remembered a TV Reporter that was a member and Gryphon agreed with Covenant about Thursday being the perfect time to go since he gets asked constantly. Victor asked why Señor Gryphon gets asks so much. Gryphon mentions he donates a lot of time at a community center and a lady there is a member. Carl butts in that Gryphon is also a man-whore, to which Gryphon vehemently disagrees with! Carl says anyone wishing clarification should just ask Miss Amazing. Victor mentions no one should ask a lady that and Covenant tries to redirect the conversation back to the Church and not Gryphon.

“Carl that was really rude! Do we need to talk to the Beast about this?”

“Huh, I don’t understand?”

“Calling Gryphon a man whore, what does that make me? I think we may need to ‘pull-out’ the Beast for a chat!”

Carl shook his head for a bit, and A.R.C.H.I.E. began running scans of all kinds to try and determine if psychic energy could be detected and later quantified for further analysis. Nothing changed about him however, A.R.C.H.I.E. surmises in a manner of a weapon parry perhaps one’s mind could be hardened to parry a psychic attack? A.R.C.H.I.E. leaves the scanners up and believes it catches a second use of psychic powers being used. More data required.

In continued observation A.R.C.H.I.E. sees that Carl has pulled up a map based on the locations of the Church locations, the Wax Museum, and Jenga Tower. Carl then plots a line based on reports of dark activity and a clear line connecting those locations and the construction/new home & apartment building area called the Battleground are shown to have a connection along it! This is vetted by a map Gryphon has from Pasty Palmer regarding something called magic energy flows of the Earth, or Ley Lines according to Carl. A.R.C.H.I.E. sees Miss Amazing have an exasperated look when Patsy’s name is mentioned. When Gryphon offers Patsy’s contact info to the Geist for help in understanding the Ley Line magical energy flows. A.R.C.H.I.E. sees a noted eye roll and head tilting back from Miss Amazing. Everytime she’s expressed this Gryphon appears to be looking in another direction. Tracking the relationship status of team members could be useful in understanding and squelching conflicts on an interpersonal level. More data required.

As A.R.C.H.I.E. continues their observations they can see Geist, Deathwish, Miss Amazing, and Cavalry head to the location in Hannigan. Meanwhile; Carl, Gryphon, Black Phantom, Victor, and Covenant were headed to the one in Zericho. Shorty #5, whom is being allowed to use the name Cardinal for the time being. Geist appears to be deciding as to whether or not to train him officially for the job. Cardinal is given “Man In The Chair” duty and becomes the information hub at base while the teams are out on their respective missions.

A.R.C.H.I.E. notes a message is left for Caedechron from Gryphon about investigating the Church in low-profile. An address to head towards when his work is done is left as well. After some time that is indeed what Caedechron does.


March 28th, 2024 – Thursday: 6:45 PM

Ramona De La Cova was excited about the day. First she had found out the ‘First Reflector’ was going to visit her branch of the Church of Reflections! She had been here most of the day helping to get this place in order, unloading extra chairs, and she even got to see the car of the ‘First Reflector’ arrive. Then, like a miracle, she got a message from Garrick! He was on his way with a couple of friends. She tried to make sure her reply was appropriate in case one of his friends was Ameera.

March 28th, 2024 – Thursday: 7:35 PM

When he finally arrives her smile could have lit a room! She had a suspicion but she’s not heard of many adult growth spurts that come and go. He was walking past in his 6’6″ frame and … … OH MY GOD HE MADE IT! “Garrick it’s so good to see you..” She realized she had been hugging him and he had hugged her back! When she pulled back and made eye contact, he smiled at her. His eyes were not unlike dark glistening topaz and she could tell he was looking at nothing else other than her. When her heart swooned she said a small apology to Ameera internally, but why does anyone allow this man out on his own?

Then he mentioned being happy to finally make it here, using off the cuff poetry! He made her another piece of poetry, he was his namesake’s descendant alright! His arm was strong, when she patted his torso as he made a joke it registered he had six pack abs being hidden by his button down shirt. Ameera is crazy to let him go somewhere alone unless she likes it when he brings back girls? Being of a passionate Cuban descent, she knew he’d end up with any number of ladies before the evening was over. If she stuck to him she could protect him, yeah she was doing Ameera a favor, right a favor.

She launched into a number of items not really giving him time to respond. She was so happy to share her faith with him finally and the ‘First Reflector’ would be here in person! She noticed him glance about the room slightly and then move to allow someone by. “Oh, my, God! He’s so courteous,” she thought inwardly to herself, “perhaps he reflected on why he hasn’t shown up and made a positive change?”

“Oh, hi Alex.”

Ramona caught only a brief glimpse as they were talking about philosophy and how it influences artists’ work. She never even heard Alex mutter, “Sure, Be Bold. Make sure to talk to the girl before Garrick does, check.”

She caught up about their personal lives and Garrick, she realized, by and large will just talk without reservation about any topic, nothing is off limits ideologically with him. He mentions Ameera was out that night with one of “their” girlfriends, Constance. Which prompted a conversation about relationships, jealousy, how does polyamorous function? Garrick just mentioned that showing affection was a lot of work. Most men in his opinion put the work in but when they get their sought after partner a fair percentage slow down and then wonder why the relationship eroded. Ramona hung on Garrick’s every word, “It should not be a man’s duty, but his privilege, to let his partner know everyday why they sought them in the first place. That’s just my advice for monogamous couples, now taking that to polyamorous styles of relationships means each partner has to put the same amount of work into each relationship to make sure their partners are treated fairly. That said it is a lot of work but the rewards of the heart and joy received are multiplied as well.”

Ramona had the right of it no one woman was going to contain this man. When explained that his girlfriends all have a chat server they used to keep in touch with each other she had proof he wasn’t a cheater. Then she noticed he nodded to another man and she asked him if this was his guest he brought with him. He mentioned that it was just someone he’d met before and began scanning the room asking about someone named Carl. All of a sudden he began to choke and loose all sense of speech! She quickly got him over to the food table for something to drink. He was blabbing about something and only barely got out ‘Carl’ ‘over’ ‘there.’ When he came to his senses after a sip of water he remembered a work item he had to leave a note to himself about. Acknowledging it was bad etiquette was something men did not often do, but it was quick and he slid his phone away.

There was some commotion that happened but moved into a side room before either of them really noticed anything. Then Ramona and Garrick both notice Alex duck under the table and someone come over to check on the odd behavior. Ramona had seen patients during her internship as a nurse in school have a panic attack. She watched Garrick intercede the curious individual in a way that acknowledged their concern about the behavior. However it also pulled him away from someone that may just need a moment as a severe introvert. She saw him ask about the ‘First Reflector’ to bring the person back to calm. When she saw this person have questions and Garrick grinned at her. Ramona lept at the chance to help both of them. He was so present and in the moment! As the conversation continued Ramona led Garrick and the fellow they were speaking to over to front row seats. She hoped the poor kid under the table cloth enjoyed the food if he was just introverted and not having a panic attack.

As she was talking to Garrick she began to find it more and more comfortable to lean against him. She chided herself quietly when she kept realizing how in shape and physically defined he was. His clothing often hid the scope of his physique. She was saved from various thoughts as she tried to continue on about the, umm, her, ummm, the Church, yes the Church. When the Church’s A/V engineer came out on stage to introduce the ‘First Reflector’ to everyone. There was applause as he entered in his customary hooded robe. Only to have some dark and freakish rubber band like creature leap out of the shadows and entangle him!

Garrick exclaimed, “OH SHIT!”

The cloaked ‘First Reflector’ cries out in a raspy voice, belying serious age, “IT WILL NOT END THIS WAY!”

Ramona noticed Stella trying to get as many people out of the building and commotion as possible, “Come on everyone we need to get out of here! It’s not safe we need to go!” Almost everyone present began to follow her but Ramona noticed a few long-time church goers began to run to the ‘First Reflector’s’ aid. Ramona and the other fellow sitting with them began to follow suit and move toward to help try and free the ‘First Reflector’ from his captor! Behind her she heard Garrick cry out, “HELDAMM!”

As he ran up she was so happy until he scooped up her and the other guy in his arms! “Garrick we can’t go!”

“It’s dangerous I have to get you both someplace safe!”

The other guy clamored about whom was going to save their leader?

“There are other people there!” Ramona could see genuine concern in Garrick’s eyes as a flying android/robot creature came out of nowhere with four arms, each holding a handgun of some kind. It was screaming about what target should it engage while it was using built in thrusters to remain airborne above everyone!

“Ramona!” Garrick set them down halfway to the door, “If you have ever cared for me then take this guy and go! There’s a man with a gun! I have to go back and get others before they’re hurt!”

Just then he turned and ran back into the heart of chaos and danger without the slightest concern for his safety. For a moment she paused, and considered a revelation she was having as she witnessed his actions. Then she turned to the guy next to her and grabbed his arm, “Let’s go! We need to go.” With that new found realization about Garrick Faulkner was she headed for the door with her charge in tow as the flying android/robot began to fire back in the direction Garrick was running to try and save people.


Come watch the next game at: HippoTV!
Art by: AZ_Artisan

7 Replies to “Reflections & Religion”

  1. Fun perspective Chronicle! It’s unfortunate that Ramona wasn’t paying enough attention to be able to notice Carl/ Trip’s abduction, Nathan’s psychic transmissions, or even Covenant’s fulfullment of his weapon’s purpose. Hopefully someone noticed that stuff next game!

    1. Covenant only killed the bad guy while “some dark and freakish rubber band like creature” held him… no big deal.

  2. Just when I started liking ARCHIE he accuses Victor of being an alcoholic! Heavy drinker, not alcoholic, Senor Archie.
    Ramona absconded with Grannie’s background! Hope she doesn’t find out!

      1. The part ends with “More Data Required” which it can simply come to that conclusion. Always leave an out when you’re unsure. 🙂

        Because I read the part where Richard said to Greg that Gryphon tried to kill himself I added that part for my PC as well.

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