Comics long

This weekend’s comics

Iron Man by Adi GranovIron Man: Extremis by Warren Ellis and Adi Granov (Bosnian, not Israeli) is very successful at what it sets out to do, which isn’t so much to update the concept of Iron Man for the 21st century as it is to pitch the character to Hollywood. In other words, it’s an uncomplicated story with plenty of exciting, realistic action sequences done in cool photorealistic-style art and set in its own little movie-like world: the Avengers are mentioned, but the character’s background and abilities are rewritten in many little ways to make it more modern and realistic and less “comic-bookish”. The story follows a three-act structure (intro, fight, crisis+origin flashback, 2nd fight) which the movie types can digest (although it’s a six-issue “decompressed” mini-series, and so feels shorter than a feature film), and Tony Stark has the profile of Tom Cruise. This was probably Avi Arad’s favorite comic of the year.

All-Star Superman 6Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly’s All-Star Superman does Smallville (the Kents, Krypto the super-dog) this issue. Superman is a character that one the one had has a very simple and iconic story, and on the other hand also has a rich and goofy history full of what Alan Moore fondly called Mad and Beautiful ideas, particularly under the editorship of Mort Weisinger. Alan Moore’s collaboration with Curt Swan, just before the John Byrne “reboot” of the character, paid loving homage to those weirder elements, but most writers who’ve handled Superman in recent years have tended to focus on the iconic elements and themes of the character, to simplify his story to its recognizable core (Lois, Luthor, Daily Planet, Last Son of Krypton – pretty much the movie/animated series take). Morrison’s approach is different: he puts in the weird, zany, kitchen-sink sense-of-wonder stuff, but he tries to be as inventive as the Weisinger-era writers, coming up with his own stuff. And while I appreciate what he’s trying to do, and I think his iconic takes (Superman himself, for example) are great, the Morrison weirdness doesn’t seem to fit.

Albion TPI actually blogged about Albion (art by Shane Oakley, plot by Alan Moore, script by Leah Moore and John Reppion) when it was still upcoming, nearly two years ago. Now that I’ve read the collection, I’m glad I waited for this instead of attempting to buy single issues when it was serialized. This story has got too many characters and bits and probably not enough plot. The concept of the series is the familiar idea of all the old super-heroes being imprisoned and forgotten, except that here they’ve also locked up all the villains and weirdos and living cartoon characters – everything that’s ever been in a British comic strip, apparently. And we’ve got a rag-tag bunch of heroes who uncover the truth and eventually get around to breaking everyone out, on the one hand, and on the other we’ve got lots of meandering in the prison, introducing loads of forgotten and obscure characters. There are a lot of bits I liked, but nothing quite builds up or gets enough screen time to have a real impact. Hurricane and the Spider (both have also appeared in Jack Staff) have terrific interview scenes, but don’t live up to them later. The Spider in particular comes across as the coolest comics character on earth – and then he sort-of vanishes into the night, without any suitable climax.
No, wait a minute – on a second reading, I picked up on the bit where Fred Ackley says that the Spider’s gone and that he’s taken Mytek – and indeed, turning back the page and seeing the bit where Mytek (a giant robot gorilla, if you have to know) busts out (and stomps Hercules Hurricane), it’s actually the Spider that is operating it. So there is an actual showdown there between Hurricane, the epitome of brawn and bluster, and the Spider, the master thinker, but it’s subtle, and the Spider disdainfully tramples Hurricane while casually making his getaway. Clever, but more tantalizing then satisfying – I’d have liked a whole book’s worth of the Spider.

Sleeper vol 3
The Spider, portrayed as a criminal mastermind who enjoys outsmarting other criminals, reminded me of Sleeper vol 3 and 4 (Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips), which I also read this weekend. Sleeper is the story of an undercover agent infiltrating a criminal mastermind’s super-villain gang. This is grim but enjoyable stuff, a crime/spy thriller with superpowers. There’s the violent but sometimes funny life of the super-powered grunts, who while away the time between the bursts of furious action by telling each other their “origin story”; and there’s the nerve-wracking struggle of the protagonist, Holden Carver, to evade the machinations of his two bosses (the “good”-but-ruthless spymaster John Lynch and the insane manipulative terrorist Tao). These two books collect “season two” of the series, the nail-biting conclusion, and at their emotional core is the protagonist’s doomed relationship with Miss Misery, a complex villainess with (literally) a physical dependency on being bad – which means a lot of depravity, and plenty of angst.

long Software and Programming

JQuery documentation in PDF

This is documentation for old versions; because of changes in the way the JQuery source and documentation is organized, my scripts no longer work with the current version.

I’ve been fascinated for a while by JQuery, a rather fine javascript library, a fact that I’ve alluded to in the past, but which I appear to have started paying attention to sometime in late August. I use it at work, and I’ve actually tried to unbold every message in its mailing list, once.

One of the nicer things about JQuery is its documentation. However, I came across Chris Heilmann’s complaint that JQuery (and other javascript libraries) should have its documentation readily available for offline reading in PDF. Inspired by this, I decided to write a utility to build a PDF file from the JQuery documentation.

Well, now here it is, a birthday present for JQuery.

UPDATED for version 1.1.4:

Older versions, JQuery 1.1:

The PDFs created have clickable tables of contents for navigation, and aren’t intended for printing.

Blather long

WordPress as a platform

Apparently,this time last year I was also puttering about with wordpress.

As I was wrestling with Livepress, and with getting it to work with Tom Selah’s nifty conditional text direction plugin[1], I ran across a post by Matt Mullenweg, the developer of WordPress, linking to a rant about how WordPress “spoils” developers. Behind this diggable title is a confused argument that WordPress is so good that (a) it makes other projects appear sucky in comparison and (b) it will prevent any other blogging tool from emerging.

That last statement makes one immediately think of Google, a company that took over a niche that had previously been controlled by a few major players, and that now dominates its field so much that the best way of looking at it as not as a competitor, but as a platform. I think something similar is happening to WordPress as a result of its success, and I think that point seems to have been missed in the Neosmart dude’s piece.

During the past couple of months of fiddling with WordPress, I’ve noticed some signs that it’s also become a platform onto its own. If before its success lead to (and was greatly helped by) a slew of custom themes and plugins, I’ve now seen a couple of examples of whole applications built on top of WordPress.

K2 is a sort of “mega-theme” by the same designer that created the ubiquitous default theme that ships with WordPress (Kubrick), which integrates a whole bunch of plugins, has AJAX-y magic pixie dust sprinkled liberally all over, sidebar widgets and the option to add your own styles – themes within themes!

Lightpress is even more ambitious, and attempts to provide a complete alternative front-end to WordPress. It takes the opposite tack from K2, and instead of loading each page full of gimmicky javascript goodness, it purports to offer a much faster interface through more optimized database queries (it should probably be installed on a fresh install of a slightly older version of wordpress to work – I didn’t manage it).

Personally, I’d love to see an attempt to build a more powerful management application for WordPress, but I understand that front-end stuff takes precedence. I also suspect that WordPress’ front-end code is prettier and easier to work with, while the back-end is more of a mess, which is why some areas there have remained pretty much unchanged.

I also suspect we’ll eventually see wordpress-based applications that do something pretty different from vanilla blogging. I mean the platform is easy to install, well documented, has tons of add-ons and is very hackable. Perhaps something like this will help us move away from the main “problem” I have with WordPress: When you have such a tool readily available, every web-site problem looks like a nail, I mean looks like it can be solved by installing a blog…

[1] – the sad solution was to brutally copy Tom’s code in bulk and paste it into ljsynch.php.
Blather long Roleplaying

Roleplaying character meme

Via Rob Donoghue, a meme for roleplayers:

Name 12 characters you have played in RPGs, before looking at the questions that follow. List your characters numbered 1 to 12, with the name of the RPG you played them in. Once you’ve picked your 12 characters, look at the questions and answer accordingly. (No peeking until you’ve picked your characters!) Put your answers behind a LJ-cut.

I thought I was stuck at the “name 12 characters you have played in RPGs” part, but here:

1 – Rosa Santiago, Cybersamurai, Yanir’s Shadowrun campaign.
2 – Donelas Na Oghma, Chubby Elf Thief/Magic User, Hezi’s Anadaq campaign (the Gang’s last)
3 – Maddoc Son of Deirdre, Joy’s Amber campaign.
4 – Charlie Swan, Journalist , Ran’s Cinematic 80s Action Conspiracy campaign.
5 – Reshef, Israeli Werewolf Theurge, SSAI LARP
6 – Frank, Hyper-eccentric Toreador Vampire (Malkavian? There must have been some bureaucratic mix-up), Israel’s Vampire one-shot.
7 – Merlin the generic Magic-User, Hezi’s original D&D campaign
8 – Jim Gordon, Gotham City Police commissioner on the edge, Israel’s Batman one-shot.
9 – Lionheart, sub-optimal superhero from Etgar’s Champions campaign.
10 – AKA “Pants”, ATF agent in Yossi’s Delta Green campaign.
11 – Cole something, Engineer, conspiracy hunter and psychic time-traveler, Itay’s “Embers” PTA game.
12 – Something Good (Good was his surname, his first name wasn’t “Something”, but it was a terrible pun), event organizer, Itay’s PTA one-shot of young Gay roommates… in Gotham city (“Smack on the Gotham”)

I didn’t create Jim Gordon and Merlin… but I played them both for more than a session, so let’s keep them.

1) Who would make a better college professor: 6, or 11?

Frank(6)’s qualifications for the job end with his patched tweed jacket and absent-minded expression. Cole(11) would be much better at actually teaching (and any other college duties), and has both compassion and ideals, although he’s as impatient as most of my characters. At least he won’t eat any of the students.

2) Do you think 2 is hot? How hot?

I do, but… I made him fat. He definitely has the Elf hotness, and minus the Elf anorexia, and I want to think he’s hot, but I’m not sure how much I buy it (because he embodies my hopes and neuroses about my own self/body image).

3) 12 sends 8 on a mission. What is it, and does it succeed?

Both Gothamites! Good(12) would want Gordon(8) to fix some permit for some tremendous and unsafe public display, of the sort that Batman usually ends up fighting his villains on top of. Would Gordon succeed? With my track record playing him, I’m pessimistic. Depends on who is GMing, and whether the Mayor has been replaced by a clone or not.

4) What is, or would be, 9’s favourite book?

Lionheart(9) probably enjoys biographies, but his chivalry obsession must come from somewhere – I’d say Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe.

5) Would it make more sense for 2 to swear fealty to 6, or the other way around?

It would be against Donelas(2)’ nature to swear fealty to anyone, let alone Frank(6), not if he had more sensible options (such as killing himself). Frank(6) on the other hand would see fealty as some tedious formality, and wouldn’t mind swearing it to whoever, as long as they got it over with quickly.

6) For some reason, 5 is looking for a room-mate. Should they share a studio apartment with 9, or 10?

Reshef(5) would probably find more in common with Lionheart(9) then with “Pants”(10), both being amiable men of honor with strong codes and obligations to a higher moral authority.

7) 2, 7, and 12 have dinner together. Where do they go, and what do they discuss?

Donelas(2) and Merlin(7) are D&D magic-users, Good(12) is an event producer from Gotham, a city where “theme” is always in vogue. Therefore, Good will take them to an “authentic medieval tavern” , and they will discuss Pyrotechnics.

8) 3 challenges 10 to a duel. What happens?

Maddoc(3) wins. The only question is why he would challenge “Pants”(10) to a duel.
First, “Pants” wouldn’t accept; he would try to arrest Maddoc. Maddoc will force the the issue by snatching “Pants” to another shadow. Maddoc would of course give the choice of weapon to “Pants”. If limited to fighting, “Pants” would probably pick pistols, but Maddoc has experience with guns (although he hates them) and is ranked in Warfare, while “Pants” has puny “Call of Cthulhu begining PC” stats. Both would probably try to settle with a duel of wits, like a game of chess or riddles or something. Maddoc would still win, unless “Pants” had a very good riddle.

9) If 1 stole 8’s most precious possession, how would they get it back?

Call in Batman, of course.

10) Suggest a title for a story in which 7 and 12 both attain what they most desire.

“The Big Bang”

11) What kind of plot device would you use if you wanted 4 and 1 to work together?

The Conspiracy that Charlie(4) was working for put him into some high-tech suspended animation, from which he wakes up in the strange new world of 2052; Now he needs help finding out why, and who the Conspiracy really were, and Rosa(1) would make the perfect bodyguard/filthy assistant.

12) If 7 visited you for the weekend, how would you get along?

I guess Merlin(7) would be an undemanding house guest, and wouldn’t mind this pig-sty (being used to sleeping rough). I could probably entertain him with a pile of comics. Somehow, 18 intelligence or what, I don’t think he’d make for great conversation, on account of the language barrier.

13) If you could command 3 to perform any one task or service for you, what would it be?

Give me superpowers (shadowwalking!). If that’s too complicated, make me rich.

14) Does anyone on your friends list resemble 11 (either in appearance or personality)?

Shiffer, Perhaps. Neither Cole(11)’s personality or appearance were very fleshed out, but I think Shiffer shares not only an engineer’s soul with him, but also a degree of idealism. At least friends-list-Shiffer.

15) If 2 had to choose sides between 4 and 5, which would it be?

Donelas(2) would probably pick Charlie(4), who is charming and human, over Reshef(5), because D&D instilled in him an anti-werewolf prejudice. He would probably get along better with Reshef better, though, and pick his side, if he gave him a chance.

16) What might 10 shout while charging into battle?

“Freeze, Federal agent! Pull down your trousers, then place your hands on you head and turn to face the wall!” – this is what earned him the nickname “Pants” in the first place.

17) If you chose a song to represent 8, which song would you choose?

King of Pain, Police – not quite right for Gordon(8), but I’m stumped, it’s playing and it’s not inappropriate.

18) 1, 6, and 12 are having dim sum at a Chinese restaurant. There is only one scallion pancake left, and they all reach for it at the same time. Who gets to eat it?

Rosa(1) has an absurdly high level of Wired Reflexes; I doubt even Frank(6) the vampire can match her. Good(12) will probably not even see either of them go for it – it will just vanish as he begins moving his chopsticks.

19) What might be a good pick-up line for 2 to use on 10?

“Before I drop my trousers, I should warn you, I am not of your world.”

20) What would 5 most likely be arrested for?

Trespassing (Reshef needs to get to places, and doesn’t bother much with fences).

21) What is 6’s secret?

He really is a Toreador.

22) If 11 and 9 were racing to a destination, who would get there first?

To his continued frustration, Lionheart(9) was not the fastest in his team, but he’d beat Cole(11) easily, unless Cole found himself in some pretty unusual body.

23) If you had to walk home through a bad neighborhood late at night, would you feel safer in the company of 7 or 8?

Gordon(8), for sure. He’s the Police Commissioner, Batman’s pal, and he doesn’t run out of spells. Although, come to think of it, Merlin(7) doesn’t have any supervillains out to get him…

24) 1 and 9 reluctantly team up to save the world from the threat posed by 4’s sinister secret organization. 11 volunteers to help them, but it is later discovered that he/she is actually a spy for 4. Meanwhile, 4 has kidnapped 12 in an attempt to force their surrender. Following the wise advice of 5, they seek out 3, who gives them what they need to complete their quest. What title would you give this fic?

“Fit To Print”. Just because the villain’s a crusading journalist.
A pretty good fic though.

Hmm. Making the list of characters, I thought that I didn’t really play that many characters. Answering the questions, I realized that I didn’t really play that many interesting characters.

long Supes 2006

Unnecessary fight scene on the Dark Side of the Moon!

It’s been a long time since last I posted a recap of one of our RPG sessions. We are still playing the same campaign, which means that a great deal has happened since the last post on the topic. I’ll try to fill in the gap later, but for now, here’s the session of July 5th, 2006. Present are Bo (playing Jack McDonald) and Israel (playing Winston Slade).

The setting: an alien (Blue) mothership, the same size as a giant pyramid, only bigger. Floating above the far side of the moon (somewhere between Luna-synchronous orbit and hopping distance from the surface). Present are Winston and Jack, two superheroes dedicated to protecting the Earth from the deadly onslaught of Ymir, the living planetoid; Dominique Daveroux, whose real name was revealed two sessions ago to be Nitocris (Ancient Greek for “omnipotent clipboard bearer”); The Captain, a superhero who had been trapped on this very mothership in a deleted version of reality for 30 years, and who knew Dominique‘s real name; and also, the ship itself, or rather its AI consciousness, presenting itself as a woman called Borrella.

Having emerged back into reality and re-activated by Jack, Borrella wasted no time reactivating her crew (slaughtered 30 years ago by the Captain, Nitocris and their companions) from backups. However, one of these alien crewmen underwent a violent seizure while still in the reactivation tank. Borrella planned to abort and discard him, but the PCs prevailed upon her to provide him with the needed emergency medical care. While in the medical bay, the alien crewman shouted out (semi-telepathically, so that everyone understood him)

“It’s Here! It’s Awake!”

Borrella projects a virtual reality image taken from the faulty crewman’s head: A spot on the surface of the moon, seen from high above, not far from where the ship is hovering. It’s pitch black, and it’s visibly expanding…

And that’s where this session opens, really.

… it opens with Borrella replacing the image of the expanding black disc, taken from the crew member’s mind, with an image of the actual surface of the moon at that position. Which looks perfectly normal.

Except… the Captain spots something unusual. A tiny dark speck. Borrella increases the magnification, and slowly the speck resolves into a man. A single human walking on the surface of the moon. The man is wearing a suit, but it isn’t a spacesuit. He’s wearing a black version of Winston Slade’s white suit. He also looks an awful lot like him.

Donning spacesuits, Winston, the Captain and Nitocris clamber aboard some flying platform thing and go out of the ship to investigate. Jack doesn’t really need a spacesuit, and in fact has spent the transit from New York to the dark side of the moon studying how to expand his powers, based on ancient Blue psychic techniques uploaded into his brain by Borrella the last time they met. So he flies down, tugging the platform with the other 3 along with him.

They fly down to the surface and along it until they see someone who looks exactly like Winston (except with a black suit and black hair) walking along in the general direction of the ship. They stop and Jack hails him. The man waves back, but doesn’t speak. There is some messing about with trying to get Borrella set up a telepathic relay, but in the end I think what was settled on was they they give him a spacesuit. This is a blue crystalline face mask, which once put on, immediately “grows” the rest of the suit around the person (yes, the cool tech was described only when the NPC got around to using it. Quit you’re moaning, it’s the right way to edit this).

Anyway, once communication is established, the man in black tells them that he doesn’t remember much, except coming to on the surface of the moon; he saw the big pyramid space-ship thing, and began walking towards it. He agrees to accompany they company back to the mothership, and it emerges that he does have some memories, which he seems to share with Winston, at least up to a point during Winston and Jack’s visit to Ymir.

I think that the PCs revealed to Winston` that he is probably an artificial duplicate or clone of Winston. But it’s only when they get back to the ship and are practically in the airlock when Nitocris falls back and tells Jack and Winston that Winston` is made out of Ymirites.

(Ymirites are the semi-biological, inorganic nanites that Ymir is apparently mostly made up of. Jack and Winston were infected by Ymir, but Nitocris cured them in the last session by removing all the Ymirites from their body into a fold in space. Did I mention omnipotence?)

Jack gets angry with Nitocris for only revealing this now, when they are in the ship, instead of before, when they could still get rid of Winston` by chucking him into the sun. I’m not sure if Nitocris gave the lame reply of not having been sure before, but she does argue that they can’t chuck him into the sun, because whether he’s a construct or not, he’s definitely a living, thinking being: they can’t kill him anymore than they could agree for Borrella to discard the revived crewman with the seizures.

Winston takes this in stride, and explains the situation to his double, telling him that perhaps he can help them against Ymir – figure out if Ymir is controlling him, override this and use it against Ymir. The duplicate is less enthusiastic about this – “it’s hard to see the bright side when you end up being the copy,” but Winston assures him that this defeatist attitude is due to being played by the DM, and will improve once they share their player.

I’ll also note that the Ymirites are too heavily integrated into Winston`’s structure for him to be “cured” of them like Winston and Jack were cured by Nitocris.

They also get Borrella to scan the area where Winston` appeared, and Borrella detects that there has been some fall of scattered Ymirite particles there.

Inside, Borrella has done some extensive redecorating, setting up a heavily-quarantined suite for them beyond the airlock, decorated in the best 70s interior design fashion. Jack tells her to upgrade.

There is much discussion of what to do with Winston`, and more importantly, how to prepare for fighting Ymir. Winston has come up with an idea for a device that will scramble communications between different parts of Ymir by shifting the frequencies of electromagnetic radiation; this weapon is being constructed on Earth right now, by a different group of alien allies (Greens). In addition, an automated factory directly below them, constructed by Borrella telekinetically in the previous session, is busy building giant-sized Heim hyperspace drives, which they plan to fit on Ymir so that they can divert him into the sun, or just rip him apart by jumping parts of him into hyperspace in different directions.

The Captain points out that Winston` doesn’t seem to be whoever the agitated Blue crew member was referring to when he shouted “It’s Awake!”. On cue, Borrella shows them that there is something happening on the surface, about the hyperdrive factory: there’s a dark circle converging around the factory, a small army of Winston duplicates all dressed in black. Their expressions and movements, however, seem to indicate they are more zombie than sentient.

As Borrella tries to scan for the source of the attack, people on board the ship are overwhelmed by her psychic scream, followed by a worrying silence. The lights flicker, and then a face of a Blue crewman appears; he presents himself as “Operator Seven”, one of the ship’s crew; he explains that telepathic attack has caused the ship’s AI to disconnect outside communication and scanning, and that it is being repaired. Or rebooting, or something.

Tiring of inaction, Winston puts on a spacesuit and jumps out of an airlock, down to the surface of the moon (presumably the ship is not exactly in lunar stationary orbit anymore, and probably not hovering over New York either – Bo was worried about the length of the commute.) The Captain follows him, armed with two bayonets and wearing a Red, White and Blue space-suit.

Winston lands just as the Winstonites reach the perimeter of the hyperdrive factory complex, and leap up high in the air in unison, landing and sending coordinated ripples of chi to wreck havoc with the shifting, moving factory floor (all these nanotechnological parts); platforms fly up in the air, structures collapse, etc. Winston and the Captain both keep their footing and begin to run around and kick Winstonite ass.

Jack flies down into the carnage, and tries to rescue a nearly complete Heim hyperdrive. As he reaches it and pulls it loose, he notices that Winston is in some trouble: having leaped out of his spacesuit to avoid multiple attacks, he launches a series of leap-frog jumps and kicks, skip[ping from one attacking duplicate to another, until one of them lands a lucky shot and punches him in the solar plexus. Winston finds it hard to concentrate on not breathing in space, but just then, Jack snatches him, bundles him up, grabs the Heim drive with a free hand, and flies straight back up to the mothership.

The Captain? He’s hanging on to the Heim drive. NPCs have to fend for themselves…

Back on board the wounded mothership, Borrella still isn’t up to deploying her weapons. Winston doesn’t bother to waste time recovering from the refreshing breath of vaccum, and urges Winston` to join him and go back to kick more ass down in the attacked factory. Jack realizes that an effective attack on Ymir will require more than just one hyperdrive, so he grabs a floating platform and flies back down, rummaging through the factory and loading the hyperdrives onto the platform, which he leaves hovering at a safe distance above (out of range for Winstonite leaps, one presumes). Winston and Winston` kick ass, running interference for Jack as he does the heavy lifting.

Eventually, they clear out. Jack notices that one of the hyperdrives is infested with Ymirites, and chucks it into space(?) Once Jack, the platform and the Winstons clear, the remaining Winstonites seem to dissolve into Ymirite sludge which begins to assimilate the destroyed factory.

As they approach the spaceship, telepathic contact is restored, or rather Jack finds he can hear Nitocris/Dominique’s words in his head. The people in the ship have managed to locate the source of the telepathic attack, and probably the thing which is controlling the Ymirites and Winstonites: It’s location appears to Jack as a flaming crocodile on the ground, somewhere between the place where they met Winston` and the factory (the croc is a sigil superimposed on his field of vision by Nitocris). Jack leaves the platform and the Winstons up in the spaceship and rushes down to the spot indicated.

Jack begins to dig, throwing huge heaps of lunar soil and rock high up above him, and his efforts reveal clear marks of unnatural underground activity: tendrils and tracks and fibers, like branching roots or earthworms are threaded all through the ground in the area where he’s digging. As he continues unearthing them, he begins to feel pain in his head; this is to a psychic scream as being punched in the face is to the sound of a scream. But Jack continues to dig, grabbing the tendrils and pulling. The tendrils don’t tear – they appear to be made of some super-strong carbon-fiber matter – but the soil does yield, and Jack uproots the heart of this creature, a giant kernel or eyeball or something which keeps assaulting him psychically. He hefts it and hurls it up into space, aiming for the sun; then Winston and the newly-restored Borrella drop plasma bombs down on the spot, and on the factory as well, scorching away all the remnants of the Ymirite infection. Jack emerges from the flames unscathed (force field or not?) and flies back up.

They realize that the thing Jack just dealt with was not another of Ymir’s eggs(*), but apparently something else left by Ymir on his last visit – something that was activated by a signal from the Ymirites infecting Jack, Winston or their ship (Carmilla) when they returned from their visit to Ymir.

So, the session ends with everyone back aboard the ship; they have the Heim drives, and Carmilla (their other ship, the little one) is returning with the scrambler weapon the Greens have built; it’s time to launch the attack on Ymir; they contact Perseus and the android (I really need a guide to Who’s Who) and a translucent “door” opens up in the air, through which these powerful and dangerous NPCs will presumably step through next time. Will someone new accompany them? We’ll find out Wedensday…


  • Among the aliens mucking about on Earth, the most prominent are the Blues (psionic, highly advanced, partially integrated into the human population and nearly extinct culturally) and Greens (super-adaptive, multi-species and multi-sexual, with complex social structures, diverse phenotypes and also high technology). I mentioned them earlier. Jack is partially Blue, which explains his powers.
  • There are also Atlanteans. No one really knows what’s up with them.
  • There are also the snotlings, a peaceful race that escaped from Ymir and have been hiding beneath a glacier in Greenland in their city of green ice.
  • The snotlings stole an Egg from Ymir. This is some sort of seed which can self-assemble into an entire new living planetoid. Currently, it’s in the hands of Perseus Nemo, the elder male Atlantean. He’s not sharing.
  • I could go on.
  • About the actual session: we rolled dice 3-4 times, during the factory fight scene. I didn’t bother rolling dice during the whole bit with Jack and the alien monster, though. I think this says I/We don’t really trust the dice.
  • I suspect that I omitted a lot. I hope for much buffing.