|Size||17 Players (Large)|
|Start Date||October 31, 2008|
|First to Die||taliesin|
|Last Remaining||Brandonb, Foolonthehill, Woon|
It began on October 31, 2008 and ended in a Baddies win in N4 (November 7th, 2008).
Jumper versus Paladins (loosely based on the movie Jumper (watch the epic trailer), but in fact the names of the two groups [Jumpers and Paladins] is pretty much all I'm keeping, and the defining ability of the Jumpers of course (they can teleport). 'The Warrior' role is based off of Griffin from the movie, and Samuel Jackson's evil character Roland was the basis for 'the Crusader', and the main character of Jumper sort of became 'the Intersect' in this game, otherwise Jumper Mafia is very different from the actual movie [or books that it's based off of, I haven't read those]. In fact, almost everything is my own design/creation).
Note: I am not revealing the roles' abilities in their descriptions, but you can guess based on their character of course, the only one that I really give away is probably Paramedic and Crusader.
- if a dead person's role is revealed, the role description is too
- clues will be in posts, but as clues to what a role does rather than who has what role (there will be NO clues about who has what role)
- sometimes extra information may be revealed depending on the demands of the story
- days are 24 hours long. If I'm not there to see the end of a day, it ends anyway. No exceptions. Ever. Even if someone comes in minutes later. Participate as early as possible in the day, because I do note inactivity, and you can get busted for inactivity. Inactivity is NOT an effective strategy!
- nights end whenever I want them to. Generally they will be about 24 hours, but if I get all the PMs in earlier, I will make the night post earlier. If I get on later, I'll make it later :P
- no forum-posted rationalizations based on past playstyles or playstyle changes (though you can think things in your head of course, do not make public speculations based on them), and do not reproduce PMs by me or anyone else
- the roles will be completely random, via random.org :D
- there's no rule about outing yourself, that would be stupid... however, there are characters involved that may benefit greatly from knowing your role
- do not challenge me, the host. This is especially important because in this game, even role descriptions can be a mystery, and there may be factors that you aren't aware of
- having fun is absolutely necessary :D But also note that mafia is an intense game, and this is no exception
- Escape Chance - almost all kills made against Jumpers will be subject to the Escape Chance. Jumpers are very slippery people... after all, they can teleport anywhere on the globe. The Paladin technique of blocking jump-ability with surges of electricity won't always guarantee them a sucessful kill. There is a 25% chance that any kill attempt made against a Jumper will fail and the Jumper will escape unharmed to some faraway location
- Elite Kill - there is a 25% chance that the Paladins will learn the role of their victim (if they killed successfully). If that is successful, there is an additional 25% chance that they will learn the role description of the role of the victim
- Teleportation - due to the fact that Jumpers can zip around the globe in the blink of an eye, the game is not confined to any one place. In fact, due to the unrestricted freedom of Jumping, many roles have effects that altered when in different parts of the Earth, and some will need to decide where they are doing something as well as what/who
Also, choices are an integral part of the game, and many roles have other choices involving what they do that night (or day)
- Do not play unless you fully understand the rules and are able to be active for the duration of the game :D
- Voting will work like this: at the time of the end of the day, whoever has the most votes (some roles may have various voting powers too, so watch out) will be lynched in the day post. Usually I'll make day posts shorter & simpler than night posts
- In the event of a tie, nobody will die. Yes, nobody will be lynched - and this is the only case in which nobody is lynched
- Because this is taking place during my school year, I will not be available as often as I have in past hosting games. This is why day/night are both around 24 hours and end around 4:00 for me, and I will only be able to get on around 3ish to 9ish or thereabouts, sometimes smaller ranges, sometimes larger. Weekends are also chaotic and I never know what I'll be doing or how active I'll be able to be on a weekend. I'm a pretty busy guy but I'll try to get on. Please be understanding :D Thank you. I'll try to warn in advance of any future periods of inactivity. Now I may be sounding like a hypocrite but this doesn't make it okay for players to be inactive more often, I'll be on as much as I can so you should too ;D Like I will, please warn in advance if you're going to be gone for a certain time. Remember that the more you discuss, speculate, post, vote, and use your night abilities, the better the game will be for you AND everyone else :P
To join, PM me immediately ;D The game may be in high demand, so I have the right to pick & choose if there is an excess, usually I will pick those who PMed earlier, though in some cases someone may not be able to in time because of a real life circumstance, so I'll be very flexible
- The Intersect - their mind holds the key to this ancient war, as the intersect between the different viewpoints of the Jumpers and the Paladins. The Intersect finds themselves thrown into an age-old conflict between two sides that are fighting for control of the crucial weapon that is the Intersect's brain
- The Warrior - a devoted Jumper who makes it his/her task to kill as many Paladins as possible
- The Reflex - a seemingly paranormal Jumper who has the ability to slow time
- The Shadow - uses their teleportation ability to become a skilled thief and even more skilled watcher
- The Paramedic - uses their power to reach isolated places to save people in danger
- The Messenger - works for the military as a scout, messenger and special operative. 'The Messenger' is their code-name
- Yin/Yang - two Tibetan monks who believe that meditation is the focus of their jumping abilities. They always work as a pair, and they practice the art of "zen dislocation" to let their minds wander to faraway places
- The Geneticist - a scientist who tries to discover the secrets of jumping and apply it to his research
- The Unknown - the mysterious leader of the Jumpers, whom nobody has seen with their own eyes
- The Crusader - a zealous follower of 'the Deity', believing they are doing holy work by killing Jumpers, who have a power that "only the Omnipresent Deity should have". If the Crusader can piece together someone's name with their role successfully (once per day if they so choose), the Crusader will kill them at the end of the day. The Crusader only kills Jumpers, and always kills successfully, without the Escape Chance or the chance of being saved by another role. If the Crusader is wrong (PMed role and name that do not match), he/she gets three strikes. First, nothing happens. Second, the Shepherd dies. Third, the Crusader dies. If the Shepherd is already dead when strike two rolls around, it jumps right to strike three and the Crusader dies
- The Mercenary - a killer-for-hire who is highly skilled in blending in with a crowd and seeming to be one of them. Through his/her teachings, the Paladins have been able to infiltrate the Jumpers, however only the Mercenary can escape careful scrutiny
- The Cardinal - a religious-based serial killer who was drafted by the Paladins to hunt down Jumpers
- The Shepherd - a young new agent who hopes to rise in power within the Paladins
- The Head Paladin - the leader of the religious-warrior-society, detached from the warfare but affecting it from afar
- The Federal Agent - is trying to get to the bottom of the strange occurances and sightings of teleportation and an ancient war carried out before even the witch burnings. The Federal Agent has immense investigative talent
- The Rogue - this is a Jumper who attempted to join the Paladins' ranks, but was betrayed and almost killed. Now they are a rogue, hating both sides and hated by both sides. But they could very well be the fulcrum in this crucial battle that will determine the outcome of millenia of opposition
17 players. 17 roles. 4 factions. Only one can emerge from the fray victorious. Will it be you?
- Jumpers - win by killing all the Paladins as well as the Rogue
- Paladins - win by killing all the Jumpers as well as the Rogue
- Federal Agent & Rogue - their win conditions are kept secret, because they're connected with their role descriptions
|Secrets about roles|
If the Unknown or the Head Paladin go to the same continent/region as the Intersect, they control a neuron point. If all three go to the same place, whichever one is closer to the Intersect will gain control of the NP. So what happens when one side captures 3/5 of the neuron points?
- First of all, the Intersect can die as normal. If they do so after being captured by either side, the abilities endowed no longer work [one exception: if the Paladins have control of the Intersect, they do not let the Intersect be lynched]
- If the Paladins gain control of the Intersect, they can tap into its database of Jumper knowledge to learn one person's role each night (exact role, not just faction, but NOT the role description). They also choose who the Intersect votes for, despite what the Intersect says on-topic. The Intersect is not informed of who they are actually voting for. Also, the Escape Chance no longer applies while the Paladins control the Intersect's mind. Furthermore, the Head Paladin can choose one person each night - if they pick the Intersect, they kidnap them. The Unknown also picks one person each night, trying to reach the Intersect before the HP does. If the Paladins kidnap the Intersect first, they have the Intersect's powers until the end of the game, regardless of whether the Intersect dies or not. However, if the Unknown reaches the Intersect before the HP can kidnap him/her, the Unknown has taken the Intersect under his/her wing. They do not learn each other's identities, but they are assumed to be traveling together, and each of the following nights and days, the Unknown teleports them to a new location on the earth. The Head Paladin also travels around, and if they go to the same region (of the above 8) at the same time as the Unknown, the Head Paladin kills the Unknown and then kidnaps the Intersect as if the Intersect had been kidnapped in the manner mentioned before, and with the same effects. However if the Unknown teleports to a region pre-determined by me that has a secret facility on it, even if the HP goes there too, the Intersect is plied from the Paladins' control and returns the original state, with 1 neural point captured by the Unknown, and 4 blank
- If the Unknown gains control of 3/5 or more of the NPs, the Intersect willingly joins the Unknown (BTSC) to unleash his/her power on the enemy. The Intersect has the ability to overload their mind computer and turn into a massive bomb, killing themselves and the person to the roster spot 1 above them and 1 below (wraps around the top & bottom). Once during each day, the Unknown & Intersect can choose a pair of people that are no more than 2 roster spots away from each other to switch spots. The Intersect can blow up at any time, and it happens at the next day/night post. All 3 dead people have their roles and role descs revealed. Of course, the Unknown & Intersect do not have to do this, it may be reward enough just knowing they stopped the Paladins from gaining control of the Intersect
- As different steps in the battle over the Intersect occur, all 3 involved (Intersect, Unknown, Head Paladin) will be notified. Also, all 3 of those roles are receiving this whole thing (starting with "The Intersect - both sides will try to control..." and ending with the end of this paragraph). It is all that the Intersect is receiving, but the Unknown and Head Paladin may have a little more in their role description before this
[the 8 listed under Intersect] Which are linked to 8 different effects: (not in order as the regions)
[the 8 listed under Intersect] Depending on where the Geneticist works for the night, a few varied effects can occur: (not in same order as the regions)
1-4) no additional effect
5) learn the name of the person who has the role
6) triple voting power tomorrow, not double
7) the Warrior learns who the Geneticist is
8) the Geneticist's Escape Chance increases by 5% (max 100%)
The FA learns the Rogue's role description on the first night:
Paramedic: Eurasia, Antarctica, S Am, N Am, Africa, SEAsia/Pacific, Arctic Circle, Atlantic Ocean
Geneticist: Atlantic,Arctic,Antarctic, S Am, Eurasia, N Am, SEAsia/Pacific, Africa
Game Idea and ExpectationsEdit
- Head Paladin - star_tiger
- Crusader - Foolonthehill
- Mercenary - Brandonb
- Shepherd - PrinceMarth85
- Cardinal - Reaymond
Day and Night PostsEdit
|Somewhere in Ecuatorial Africa
The savannah stretched out to the horizon in a haze of golden yellow, dotted only with sparse trees and the occasional pillar of basalt - mighty monoliths that reared out of the Earth, bastions of solid grey rock.
Upon one of these a man stood, surveying the vast territory with an air of lionlike calmness and fortitude. How the man reached such an unattainable spot would be a mystery to anyone except a few, but there was nobody within a thousand miles to see him. In fact, that's why this very spot was chosen for the meeting.
The man wore a dark grey jumpsuit that matched the hue of the stone he stood upon - a massive buttress rising like a volcanic plug out of the thick savanna grass a hundred feet below. The man's eyes were shimmering blue-green, with tendrils of pure azure that gave him an attentive demeanor. He watched his surroundings like a hawk.
Finally his vigil was satisfied, for there was a flicker of movement, as if the air twisted and leapt with a crackle of invisible electricity. A person appeared out of nowhere, arching eyebrows full of curious light, arms outstretched as if to clear the way. The atmosphere around the newcomer pulsed outward, displaced by the sudden arrival of new matter. If one were to observe this strange event, their mind would start rationalizing, coming up with reasons for what just happened. But nobody was around to see it, and the savannah was quiet but for the chirping of cicadas.
The man who had been waiting turned to stare into the massive, sweltering red disk that hung low in the sky. Twilight was beginning to creep across the plains, and the orange-purplishness started to settle around the pillar.
"Tell me you have it," the man's voice was full of tension, mostly fear.
"Of course," the newcomer replied haughtily. "It was easy. Jump in, jump out."
"Were you followed?"
"Followed?" scoffed the newcomer. "What do you think I did? Take the bus here? Give me a break!"
The man turned to face the newcomer, his face stony. The newcomer quelled, noticing the flash of fiery anger in the man's eyes. "Did I, or did I not, remind you that this was a matter of utmost importance?"
The newcomer's eyes fell. "You did, sir."
"And did I," the man continued. "Or did I not, warn you that there are those of us who are working with the enemy?"
"You did, sir. But-"
"And did I instruct you that one can follow the jumpscar of another Jumper? That you can feel their destination lingering in the air just moments after they depart?"
"You did sir, and I-"
"Yet you are still soaked in your flippant arrogance," the man finished. "So I ask you again: Were you followed? Were you seen? Were you detected?"
"No, no, and no," the newcomer said nervously, less sure now. They found solid footing in their own curiosity, and piped up: "May I ask, sir, why you did not steal-"
The man laughed, a throaty chuckle. The corners of his eyes creased in bemusement, and he looked at his apprentice with what he suddenly realized was respect. He felt as if the line between 'master' and 'student' had been blurred after almost two years of working together, and was thus inclined to answer the newcomer's question.
"Because it won't be long now," came the reply, mysterious and foreboding.
"What's that supposed to mean?" the newcomer's voice was edgy, distraught. The stresses of the past week were starting to catch up with them.
"I had you steal it not for me," explained the master. "But for you. After I die, you will need it."
"After you- what?"
The man smiled, the half-sad smile of a man who is content with his life and understands that his part in nature must end. "One cannot fight against the Paladins and expect to live on unharmed," he explained. "Kill and be killed; it is a primal law of nature, it always has been and it always will. Our two groups cannot coexist, you know this. We Jumpers do not have it out against anyone, but there always those who want the power quelled. They want to take our magnicifent ability and destroy it, to grind it into the dust. These so-called 'Paladins', these religious warriors - they are passionate, fervent, merciless. Any deed can be brushed aside, for they have the 'permission' of the Deity. Any murder is justified, because 'only God should have the power to be in all places at once'. Because of the Paladins' unceasing hunt for the Jumpers, we must fight back. Many Jumpers enjoy their life, enjoy the ability. I do. You do. It is amazing, a gift from nature. But it comes at its price, and you know this better than most. We are the Jumpers who have the biggest burden, it is our self-imposed duty to exterminate the Paladins. My friend, a storm is coming. And when it does, you will be there, obsessively slaughtering our enemies. You are the next hope... you are the next Warrior."
Al-Qethr Cliff, Afghanistan
"Move in on three," hissed the voice in the Messenger's ear. "Two, one."
The Messenger disappeared with a flicker and reappeared at the bottom of the sloping hill of shale, in the midst of a flurry of bodies. The Messenger lashed out in a circular pattern, quickly and deadly like a panther who has locked onto their prey. Then the Messenger was gone. The men who were still conscious looked around confusedly.
One of the men, who carried himself with swagger, jabbered in Arabic, and the rest fell into line again, leaving their fallen comrades behind as they continued lugging a heavy chest toward a cave opening. The Messenger watched carefully from a nearby ridge.
Another flicker signaled the operative's arrival, and another half-second of lightning blows and rapid movement befell the terrorists. This time the Messenger stood alone amid a tangle of unconscious bodies, some perhaps dead, as their heads had smashed into the loose scree that tumbled on the slope.
The useful government agent surveyed the area. No movement. The zone was secure, for now. They shifted their attention to the large crate that now sat alone in the dust. It was fashioned of corrugated steel, with red Arabic markings scrawled along all of its faces. The Messenger grinned, and prepared to sweep it away with him/her back to the headquarters. A bomb squad was waiting to defuse any active explosives inside.
But not if a sniper from inside the cave had anything to say about it.
The terrorist sighted out the Messenger's head, smiling craftily as he pulled the trigger.
The Messenger heard the gunshot, and knew it was too late. The sniper was too close to miss, and with the Messenger's head in his crosshairs, the mission would seen be a failure.
But oddly enough, time seemed to be crawling by, the Messenger could even see the bullet spiraling through the turbulent air, leaving ripples of sound in its wake.
"Come with me," said a voice behind the Messenger. The operative veered around and beheld a fellow Jumper, standing calmly on the loose rocks.
"Come with me," the Reflex repeated. The Messenger could sense a bubble of flexing air, the space entrapped within the Reflex's ability to slow time. The Messenger glanced back toward the slowly-turning bullet, and the imported weaponry.
"But- my mission-"
"That is inconsequential," the Reflex replied, almost instantly, as if they knew what the Messenger was going to say. "You must come with me. Now."
"You have a new mission now!" retorted the Reflex, strain coming into their voice. "It's hard enough for me to slow time, doing so with such a large volume is exponentially difficult. I am going to jump out of here in a matter of seconds. If you do not leave with me, time will speed up again and that bullet will fly right into your brain."
The Messenger nodded slowly.
Then in a flurry and a flash of blue light, they were gone, the bullet smashing harmlessly into the adjacent ridge.
Aix en Provence, France
"We'd just like to thank you again, Monsieur, for your kindly donation," the President Academia was bobbing his head in an effort to grace the 'philanthropist'.
"Philanthropist my a`ss," snorted the Shadow, eavesdropping from a shaded patch of the courtyard. They knew that Monsieur Carlo only donated to the university to get tax exempts for his shady businesses overseas. "Still, the dirtier the better," the thief added, slipping out of the courtyard and into his/her apartment, six thousand miles away (or ten thousand kilometers if you're so inclined).
The Shadow slipped everything they needed into the bag, and no more. The opulent highrise apartment was full of the kind of gadgets that would make an ordinary thief salivate in envy. But the Shadow was no ordinary thief. They hardly needed all of the stuff, but it did come in useful - sometimes a job was tough enough to the point where jumping alone couldn't pull it off. The Shadow suspected this would be one of those jobs.
Later that night
The Shadow stretched out a quivering hand. Silently, they reprimanded themselves, and withdrew the hand. The camera wipeout had gotten them this far, it was time to finish it. In front of the Shadow was a steel pedestal in which a small encrypted flash drive was plugged, humming with blue light at the connection point. It was a tiny object, and the flash drive itself was probably worth only ten bucks. But the data it contained was much, much more valuable. Access codes, passwords, account numbers, etc, all for various banks and deposit vaults across Europe, Asia and America. You would think it would take a very dumb rich person to keep all of that info in the same place, but of course there is a few. The Shadow did their research, and it paid off - they already had the necessary decryption algorithms, all they needed now was the flash drive.
The Shadow knew all about the alarms that would go off if the flash drive were removed without authorization. But all of those systems depended on the thief being in the same room ten seconds later.
The Shadow smiled and swiped the flash drive from the pedestal. By the time the light glowed red and the alarm horn blared, the Shadow was gone. The only hint that he/she had been there at all was etched in the sucking noise of the air as it rushed to fill the gap left by the thief.... and the missing flash drive of course.
The man told yet another snowman joke, and the woman laughed like beautiful shards of tinkling glass. They eyed each other romantically, sexual tension vibrating across the link between their shining faces.
The Paramedic rolled his/her eyes. He/she hated being the third wheel. The group of friends was sitting at a table outside a small café, the Alps as a backdrop.
Finally, a relief from the awkwardness. The Paramedic's cell phone buzzed, and they snapped it open, relieved. The relief turned into a frown, and they quickly slipped the phone back into their pocket.
"Who was that?" asked the guy at the table.
"Uh, someone I know," the Paramedic. "They're in trouble, I need to go help."
"Like, uh, moving furniture sort of trouble," came the swift response. "Nothing huge. You know. Um, see you guys later." They got up and abandoned the couple, heading between two nearby buildings and out onto a busy street. It wasn't until the Paramedic was well out of sight of his/her friends that he/she flipped open the phone again. The automatic local news alert was still displayed, flashing brightly on the screen: Two Skiiers Caught in Avalanche!
The Paramedic sidled into an alleyway, glanced around quickly, then disappeared.
Luxor Hotel, Las Vegas Strip
The audience laughed, bellows of merriment rolling toward the stage. The Magnificent Marvolo soaked it in with a deep breath, and launched into his greatest escapade. His award-winning trick. Gamblers and amateur magicians studied it all day long, and were always baffled.
"My friends," Marvolo cried, his luxurious suit jacket swaying in the breeze of a distant ceiling fan. "Are you ready for the trick that has befuddled hundreds, dazzled thousands and flummoxed millions?"
The Geneticist watched bored from the stands. This was the third time they had watched the routine, and were now confident that Marvolo was indeed a Jumper. Of course, it could just be a very good magic trick.
"Why am I even spending time on this?" the Geneticist muttered to themselves, and with that, they left the performance hall, heading out of the Luxor and toward a small park wedged between two very large buildings. It was the peak of midnight, and the moon was blocked, leaving the park in inky darkness. The Geneticist reclined against a tree, deciding that it was time to return to their research. "But to which laboratory?" they wondered. "Madagascar or Seattle?"
While they pondered this, a sudden voice spoke in their head. In fact two voices, entwined and inseparable.
"Things are happening that you are larger than you, or us," the Yin/Yang spoke. "You must join the war, you must help us fight. The Paladins have infiltrated the Jumpers, and despite our aversion to violence, this conflict must come to an end. You will be invaluable to our exotic form of warfare."
In Africa, on the basalt pillar
"Why are you so sure that you're going to die-" the Warrior started, but a flash of noise interrupted him, and a third person appeared on the pillartop, growling like a savage beast as they hit the Warrior's master and tackled them to the edge of the cliff.
They knelt there, a hand crushing the master's windpipe, teeth bared in disgust and outrage. "Enjoy your final moments," the Paladin hissed.
"You are the one they call 'the Traitor'," the master spat, managing to put menace into his gasping voice. "How could you? How could you betray us?"
The Warrior watched this spectacle, momentarily paralyzed with shock. But they quickly recovered, and hit the enemy Paladin, this Traitor, in the midriff. In an instant, the Warrior had teleported hundreds of miles into the air straight above them. The Warrior and the Traitor grappled angrily, clouds flashing past, coating them in glittering drops of water.
Then the Jumper-turned-Paladin disappeared, and the Warrior fell too quickly - by the time they had judged the distance and teleported upward in the sky, the jumpscar was gone, and the Traitor had escaped.
The Warrior swore vehemently, casting their attention downward as they fell. They saw the basalt pillar, and the master atop it - fighting with the Traitor! The Warrior jumped down to their level, landing on top of the Traitor, knocking them to the hard volcanic stone.
The Traitor snarled and drew a knife from their side, plunging it upward, but the Warrior rolled out of the way. They glimpsed the master, who was laying prone a few feet away, ragged breaths trying to overcome the knife-hole in his chest. Blood soaked his torn shirt, and it was evident that he was dying. He had perhaps minutes to live.
"You-" the Warrior yelled in the Traitor's direction, and tackled him, jumping them both to the top of an icy mountain. There was more empty space than oxygen in the air, and cold blizzarding winds roared past.
"Everest!" the Traitor exclaimed with a throaty chuckle as the Warrior pinned him against the frosty ice. "How unoriginal! You don't think one of the first things any Jumper does when they find out is jump to the top of Everest?" He laughed again and they were gone, leaving only a mysterious bodyprint in the snow, perhaps to be interpreted as a yeti foot.
There they were in the starry Paris sky, falling past the Eiffel tower, fighting, lashing out, kicking, punching, chopping, blocking, headbutting.
"How dare you talk about Jumpers!" the Warrior shouted. "You are a disgrace to our order! You- oof!" he/she grunted in surprise as the Traitor jabbed them in the throat with his knuckles and then drew his knife. The Warrior growled and jumped them back to the pillar, throwing off the Traitor, watching him roll dangerously close to the edge. Though what did it matter if he fell? He could jump back up; he was a Jumper, working against the Jumpers - anger bubbled up inside the Warrior's throat, and they glanced toward their dying master, and a rage overcame them.
"Damn you!" the Warrior shouted again.
The Traitor glanced over sharply. "No," he seethed. "Damn you. Only the Deity should have omnipresence."
"Uh, what?" the Warrior replied. "Look at who you are! You're a Jumper too!"
"But I'm using my ability to stop more Jumpers," the Traitor said. "If my work is complete, I must die. Otherwise-"
"You must die now!" the Warrior yelled, and lunged at the Traitor. The Traitor disappeared in a flicker, but the Warrior followed through, and they found themselves atop the Sphinx.
The two Jumpers faced off across the sandy, dusty domed head of the great beast, arms loose and ready for combat. The Warrior flicked back to the pillar, saw that his/her master was in his final moments.
"Go!" the master barked. "Don't lose the traitor, don't let them... get away..." A bloody cough racked him, and his hand fell hard against the basalt. "The object... it's in good hands... use it... when you go back... the Traitor will be waiting... the anchor..."
Tears welled in the Warrior's eyes, and they couldn't stay to watch their master's demise.
They had Paladins to kill.
On the Sphinx's head, the Traitor chuckled as the Warrior reappeared.
"Checking up on your dear master?" he hissed. "Is he dead yet? I don't want him jumping away to some hospital..."
"He's too far gone for that," the Warrior spat, his/her eyes darkening and focusing on his/her target. The Traitor would pay, with his life.
"Well good," the Traitor said simply, disappearing and reappearing a millisecond later. They had a large, heavy weapon, aimed right at the Warrior. This is the moment the master had been warning about. The Paladins had developed a way to overcome the ability of Jumpers: if thousands of volts were coursing through a Jumper's nervous system, it was next to impossible to make a jump. With a lightning gun like the one held by the Traitor, a Paladin could incapacitate and then kill a Jumper.
But the Warrior was ready. The Traitor pulled the trigger, and blue arcs of lightning blasted from the flat metal nozzle - as the Warrior pulled a small, dull metal sphere from their pocket and tossed it to the right. The electricity veered to flow into the sphere, crackling with blue intensity. The spherical electromagnetic fell hard onto the Sphinx's head, and sat there humming softly with minute vibrations.
The Traitor hadn't had time to react before the Warrior leapt at him, wrestling the lightning gun away from his grip and maxing out the amp level.
"Would you like to feel a severe electric current running through your brain?" the Warrior seethed, and jabbed the metal plate against the Traitor's head. The Traitor had barely time to shout before the Warrior pulled the trigger, and the electric kickback arched their back into the charged air. The Traitor screamed in agony, their jaw twitching and smoking. The Warrior threw the lightning gun aside and tackled the Traitor off of the Sphinxhead, taking the pair of them toward the desert far below.
The Warrior, confident that the Traitor was unconscious, perhaps dead, teleported straight up, watching as the Traitor tumbled toward the sand.
Then the Warrior disappeared in a spark of azure.
the epic trailer sets up for the following section
The Brown Jug, Ann Arbor
The Intersect thanked the barman for his time and headed out into the sunlight. Another bar, another strange look. The person the Intersect was looking for hadn't been around.
Sighing, they looked around at their hometown of Ann Arbor, a beautiful Michigan city, charming and tree-filled.
Nobody was watching. The Intersect was gone.
They reappeared in London, England, in front of the Big Ben's massive clock. The sky was dark and broiling with thunder, stormclouds twisting and melding in the torrential vault. Rain lashed down like aqueous lightning, matched with real lightning that sparked across the heavens like Zeus's wrath. Thunder rumbled and shook the skies, and the Big Ben trembled with each eruption of light and noise.
"Never mind," the Intersect muttered. They had been looking to eat their 50-dollar Parisian croissant lunch here, but the weather was too volatile, the clocktower too slippery. They would spend more time falling and jumping back up than they would eating.
An instant later they were sitting on the couch in a richly expensive apartment. A massive plasma TV on the other side reflected their handsome face with an onyx quality, and their eye traveled to the pictures posted all over one wall and the stainless steel refrigerator. Norwegian Fjords, an abandoned subway in Hong Kong, a rooftop overlooking a busy Cairo market, the aerial view from the Empire State Building, a shot from the apex of the largest of the Great Pyramids of Giza, a tropical beach resort in Cancún, the interior of a bank vault, a picture of the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and hundreds more. From here the Intersect could go anywhere - just pick up a photo and BAM, they're halfway across the world.
They had no idea why they had the ability, or how it worked - they guessed it was genetic, but they didn't know and they didn't really care. All they had to do was focus on a new location - and they were there.
Banks had been robbed, with notes left behind promising to repay in full. The Intersect had a special room off of their main apartment that was only accessible by teleportation - the room held their cash. Currency from all parts of the world. Dollars, pesos, pounds, rupees, euros, yen, francs, even gold bars, they had it all. And lots of it.
It was a good life. An amazing life.
But today, it was all going to change.
Federal Bureau of Investigation, Elusive Robbery Division
The Federal Agent rubbed their temples warily. Hours of going through paperwork had resulted in nothing but a headache and swarms of meaningless numbers chasing themselves across his/her mind. They needed something concrete, something they could work with.
"I guess that's the point of Elusive Robbery Division," they muttered to themselves. At first they had been thankful and eager for the raise and job advancement, but it quickly became tedious and difficult. Possible leads usually ended in tantalizing loops or mysterious dead ends. The Federal Agent had a list of 'Unsolved Occurrences' they were trying to pin down, but no luck so far.
Ernie entered the office, holding a cup of steaming Starbucks and whispering to himself. He tossed a sheaf of papers on the Federal Agent's desk as he walked past, half asleep.
"What's this, Ernie?" It looked like some sort of file. More workload, or perhaps the results of a tedious and anticlimatic stakeout mission.
"Neither," said Ernie, reading the Federal Agent's expression. "Something new, something tangible. I think this could really be the lead we're looking for. Go on, open it."
The Federal Agent sighed but decided to give it a chance. They flipped open the file and began scanning the words. Quickly their face flushed and their breathing sped up.
"Dammit, the Shadow!" the Federal Agent gasped. "The Shadow struck in Aix en Provence, France, just yesterday. A monsieur Pierre Carlo was robbed of millions of dollars, possibly much more in federal bonds and laundered money... hmm, at least the Shadow is taking from the wealthy corrupt båstards."
"Kind of like Robin Hood," Ernie chuckled. "Except they don't give back to the poor."
"Yeah, just a teeny little difference there," the FA replied. "How did you even get this file, Ernie? International clearance isn't your strong suit."
"Carlo sent it to us himself," Ernie rolled his eyes. "Expects us to solve his problems. He knows the Shadow has struck before in the US, he assumes that we're on top of it and have all the answers. I had to give him the cold shoulder. He didn't like that... but I still took the file - it has some interesting stuff. Read it over while I go piss."
Ernie left the room and the Federal Agent focused on the pages. The European police had gathered a lot of good evidence and data. Stuff the FA could use. Stuff that applied to a more recent string of American (and probably international too, though that wasn't the FA's department) bank robberies. Someone was taking large amounts of money from bank vaults and disappearing. No traces left. No security systems bypassed, at least as good as they could tell. They were either very extremely professional... or they could teleport. The Federal Agent chuckled. Trapped up in the office all day was making them loony; they needed some fresh air. By the time Ernie returned, the FA was standing on the sidewalk by the J. Edgar Hoover building, watching the Washington D.C. traffic roll past.
One block away, the Shadow watched carefully.
Two Weeks Later
"I thought there was supposed to be a big wave coming in," the Intersect called, paddling up on their surfboard.
The Hawaiins grimaced. "It must've missed us... I heard they have 30 foot swells in Fiji..."
"Really? Fiji?" the Intersect grinned, and paddled back for shore.
"Yaahaaaaahaa!" the Intersect cried as a massive tropical wave curled overhead, threatening to splash down with its oceanic might. The wall of shimmering water spilled over its brink and began crashing down - and the Intersect was gone.
The Sphinx, Egypt
Blissfully unaware of the vicious fight at this very spot two weeks ago between the Warrior and the Traitor, the Intersect sat munching a deli sandwich on a lawn chair, enjoying the baking Egyptian heat and infinite blue sky.
"Why settle in one place," the Intersect muttered. "When you can have the world?"
New York City
The Intersect nodded to the receptionist at the fancy hotel and headed over to the elevator. The Penthouse Apartment button flashed, and the elevator doors closed. Before they were fully shut, the Intersect disappeared with a flicker, reappearing at the top, in their apartment.
They knew something was wrong when the computers were off and the chair slightly adjusted.
They walked into the main room quietly, glancing around.
The voice came from the balcony. The Intersect swiveled around in surprise, and a person approached, tall and menacing. They were donned in a black traveling cloak and carried a small dark baton at their side.
"What are you doing in my apartment?" the Intersect demanded, arms spread in surprised anger.
"We'll get to that," drawled the Crusader. "First, I want to know what kind of crook leaves IOU letters in the banks they rob." He/she held up a stack of letters that said things like 'I'll pay you back' and 'IOU 10 million'.
"I think I'd like to speak to my lawyers," the Jumper said adamantly, casting their gaze around in mild shock. How had they been caught?
"Oh, you're not under arrest. Anyone can rob a bank. What I want to know is, how you do it without opening a single door."
The Intersect paced away from this calmly menacing intruder. "If I'm not under arrest..." they pondered. "And you're not police... then I'd like you to leave." He/she pointed to the door, but the Crusader stood there with a half-smile on their face.
The Intersect started walking away from them, slowly at first, then a half-trot. They turned the handle on the door - but it was locked. He/she jiggled the handle a few more times, unsuccessfully.
"Been a while since you used a door?" the Crusader called.
The Intersect turned around as if struck by lightning.
"Yes, I know who you are," the Crusader continued. "I know what you are."
"What am I then?" the Intersect shouted, the whole surreal situation starting to inflame his/her brain. "Who are you?"
"You," the Crusader said, with a faint smile. "are a Jumper. And I am here to kill you."
He/she pulled what looked like a black and silver baton and pointed it in the Intersect's direction - before they could jump away, a bolt of searing electricity leapt from the Paladin's weapon and sent the Intersect tumbling across the floor, leaving a charred trail in their wake. The Crusader slammed the baton into the floor and withdrew another one, aiming it at the Intersect and shocking him/her again. The Intersect cried out in pain as they struggled to jump, but their brain couldn't focus on any one location.
The Crusader drove the other electric stave into the floor on the other side of the Jumper, a thin wire connecting the two batons. Lightning coursed through the wire, zapping the Intersect's nerves as they struggled and groaned and glowered. Their outline continually flickered as they tried to escape.
"How does it feel to have ten thousand volts of electricity blazing through your nervous system?" the Crusader asked casually. "Kind of hard to jump, isn't it?" They were pulling something out of their pocket, something wrapped in brown cloth. They began unwrapping it, and the serrated edge of a dull steel knife began to appear.
The Intersect gritted his/her teeth and reached down toward his/her ankle, fingers grasping wildly. A curved blade slipped from their shoe, and they sliced the wire, sparks flying as they chipped at its coiled strands. Finally the wire snapped back and the Intersect rolled to the side, disappearing with a flicker. As they reappeared on the balcony above, the Crusader turned and flung his/her baton, which smashed into the Intersect's chest and drove him/her against the wall.
The baton was connected via wire to another, and the Crusader reeled the Jumper in with a yank, using the centripedal force to slam them against the floor.
The Jumper scrambled to get to his/her hands and knees, without much luck. They were tangled in electrical wires that anchored them to one place... he/she glanced back nervously as the Crusader approached, holding his/her knife.
"You think you can go on like this," the Crusader seethed. The Intersect managed to get up, but the Crusader's boot crashed into their back and returned them to the floor. "Living life with no consequences." Another electric baton was smashed into the ground and live wire was dragged over the Intersect's body, trapping them on the hardwood.
"There are always consequences!" The knife came down with a blur.
A Jumper appeared out of nowhere, slamming into the Crusader, causing them both to tumble against the wall. Then they were both gone.
The Intersect barely noticed this, as they were tied to the floor, groaning and hissing in pain as pulses of lightning blasted through the wires.
Then their Jumper savior reappeared with a large set of hedge clippers and began snipping the wires, causing them to snap back and free the Intersect bit by bit.
Finally the Intersect was free, and he/she rolled away from the fizzling wires, gasping and clutching their side.
"Who the hell are you?" the Intersect said in a strained voice, trying to regain their composure.
"They just call me the Unknown," the Jumper said. "The person that almost killed you was a Paladin. Jumpers' enemies. You'll soon understand. But first, we don't have much time. The Rogue is after me."
"Paladins - Rogue - what?"
"Listen carefully," the Unknown hissed, glancing around. "You are the key to this whole thing. Specifically, your brain." They tapped the Intersect's head. "Trust me here, I just saved your life," they pulled something out of their pocket, an electrode of some sort, and stuck it onto the Intersect's head. It was connected to a small readout, and the Unknown frowned as they watched it.
"If I can get them all now-"
Another Jumper appeared, and as they did, time seemed to drift by slowly.
"You have to get out of here," the newcomer said quickly. "The Rogue probably followed my jumpscar. Come on!"
The Unknown hovered for a moment, indecisive, then snatched the electrode off of the Intersect's head (they felt a small tingle, nothing else).
"Dammit, I only got one," the Unknown said, and disappeared. The other Jumper jumped too, and the passage of time seemed to return to normal.
The Intersect staggered over to their couch and collapsed onto it, stunned. Their world had just been tipped upside down.
Another Jumper appeared briefly. "Was the Crusader here?" they snapped. The Intersect stared, nothing able to surprise them anymore. Finally, they nodded, and the newcomer (the Warrior) snarled in frustration.
"Welcome to the war," the Warrior gipped, then was gone.
"The Unknown dumped me off in the Grand Canyon," the Crusader muttered. "I need to be picked up."
"I'll send someone to go get you," said the voice on the other end. "How did you run into the Unknown?"
"They came out of nowhere, attacked me to save another Jumper," the Crusader explained. "Whom I now suspect is the Intersect. I wasn't able to kill them, unfortunately."
"Intersect? Kill the Intersect?" the speaker said, flabbergasted. "Are you out of your mind? We need the Intersect alive!"
"It's irrelevant now," the Crusader replied. "They're very much alive... but next time. Next time... the Intersect will be all yours, Head Paladin."
Jumper Mafia. Welcome to the war.
|Night One - Welcome to the War
Outside of Nord, Greenland, in the Arctic Circle
Snow hurled by like the angry breath of an ice goddess, and the howling sounds of wind made conversation unthinkable. The temperature was so cold that spit freezes in your mouth if you stand outside for too long.
Out of the roaring darkness came lights, smaller and dim at first, then careening out of the cascade of torrential cold, erupting with a wave of dirty snow. It was a large red tractor-like device; a snow groomer, or a "cat" as they called them up here. Huge treads propelled it across the ground, flattening the snow as it went. In its wake followed three more, flailing out behind it like the V of traveling geese.
Then the head snowcat halted, and the door banged open, sending shards of crusted ice into the night. A heavily furred and booted person stepped out, so covered in arctic coats that it was impossible to discern their gender.
A small group of people trudged from the other snowcats, huddling to preserve heat.
"Why are we stopping?" someone shouted over the wind.
"It's no use!" came the reply, hoarsely yelled over the blizzard gusts. "The Intersect isn't here! Make sure the Crusader proceeds with the kill!"
"Yes-" came the quick reply, although the word "sir" or "ma'am" was snatched up by the wind.
Five Hours Later: Nice, France
Somewhere amid the tangled streets and cobbled boulevards of Nice, a roof stood the test of time, ancient stone withholding centuries of erosion. Next to the building was a modern-looking tram car, which filled with passengers before darting away between the narrow streets.
There was a flicker and someone appeared on the roof, slightly out of breath. They looked down and noticed they had caused a crack to appear in the weathered stone, and groaned.
Quickly forgetting the small bit of damage they had caused, they gazed out at the Mediterranean and sighed pleasantly. The Côte d'Azur town was the perfect place for a European vacation.
The Intersect glanced down at the tram car loading area, making sure it was empty. Then they disappeared.
A moment later, they were strolling down the road, casting a nervous glance at each shop window. The peace of Nice couldn't calm their nerves for long, and the hurried events at their New York apartment had shaken them to the core. They were caught up in a battle that they did not understand... and wanted nothing to do with.
Isalo National Park, Madagascar
The butte rose out of the rugged terrain, topped with a field of grass that would make it the perfect runway, if it wasn't protected by the government of course.
The Geneticist didn't need a runway.
They appeared and ducked into the small bungalow they had built. They had originally made this for wildlife watching, as it was the perfect vantage point to view many of Madagascar's wide array of endemic species.
Now it would serve another purpose. The Geneticist had been culturing a petri dish for almost seven hours now; it was about time. They unwrapped a brand new electron microscope and slotted in a delicate slide.
They stood there, peering into the device in a state of near-hypnosis as they observed the detailed patterns of what they were seeing.
"Yes, yes, exactly," they muttered, wild and excited, scribbling things in a notebook. Everything was coming together now! Finally they sat back, breathing hard, full of thrill. Their research had just paid off, and they had unlocked a deep mystery that had been perplexing them for some time.
"Now for the secondary experiment," the Geneticist muttered, a little apprehensive this time. It was rare for them to meet another Jumper (although it did happen occasionally of course), and not many were willing to offer themselves up as guinea pigs... which meant that the Geneticist had to perform most of his/her experiments on himself/herself. They took a deep breath and injected the small vial, feeling the liquid course into their bloodstream.
They waited. And waited. Gradually, they began to feel slightly different. More aware, in a way. As if their senses had been heightened, but just by a tiny amount. They cast their gaze across the room and almost immediately reappeared over there... the jumping was much more sensitive. A brief thought of their childhood home crossed their mind, and they were gone. A frantic second later, they reappeared back in the Madagascar bungalow.
"I'll just have to fine tune it," the Geneticist mumbled. "No biggie. Hmmmmm... I could use this to my advantage. If Paladins come after me... bam, I'm gone! My chances for escape just went up, probably by about 5%..."
Brandonb sighed. It had been a brutal day at work, and all he wanted to do was take a nap. But of course, his apartment was across the city from the late-night burger joint. "Figures," he muttered.
Without warning, someone appeared in front of him and ran straight at him.
"What the hell?" Brandonb cried, but the Jumper had already grabbed him and they both disappeared, a slip of crusty paper wafting up in the slipstream of the air that rushed to fill the vacuum.
Somewhere Remote in New Zealand
"Where are we?" Brandonb demanded.
"I don't know," gasped the mysterious Jumper. "Somewhere in New Zealand, I think..."
The two were standing on a deserted beach. Nighttime waves lapped up against the secluded shore on one side, and teeming jungle barred the beach from the other. Brandonb saw the looming rock of mountainous terrain through the distant canopy.
"Great," he grumbled, and sat down in the sand. "Who are you, then?"
"They call me the Paramedic," said the Jumper, breathing deeply, crouched over with their hands on their knees. "But I still haven't gotten the hang of this jumping thing. Takes a bit out of me. Not sure if I'll be able to do it again for a while."
"What?" shouted Brandonb. "So were stuck here?"
"Well I just picked a bad place to teleport to, I guess," the Paramedic muttered apologetically. "I'll have to save you tomorrow night too."
"It better be in a different location than here," was Brandonb's reply. "Or you'll have to save me again the next night... and again the next night... et cetera."
"I know, I know, sorry," the Paramedic snapped. "You should be glad, anyway. Protection for the first two nights since the war intensified. And let me tell you... with all that's going on, you're going to need it!"
"Hear anything lately, Smithers?" the Unknown called, descending into the back room of the art shop.
"Yeah, actually," hissed an old man. "But it's gonna cost you - this is gold, real gold. You're gonna love this. It's nearby, too."
"Nearby?" the Unknown scoffed. "Everywhere is nearby." They teleported to the old man's side. "How much?"
"Nine hundred," Smithers said.
The Unknown counted out the bills.
"Nine hundred thousand," grinned Smithers.
The Unknown hesitated for a second, then muttered "I'll be right back." A second later they were carrying a huge sack of various currency. "There's at least a hundred grand in there."
Smithers' eyes popped with greed. He scooped up the bag of cash and slapped a file into the Unknown's hands.
"Thanks," the Unknown said sarcastically, and slit it open. Pictures fell out. Photographs of a rooftop... before and after a period of a couple seconds. First, nobody. Then, a person was suddenly there.
"Where did you get these?" the Unknown inquired.
"Does that matter?" Smithers retorted. "A buddy of mine, ya know. Some are satellite, some are security camera shots, you know, the works."
"Good thing I came to you," the Unknown whistled through his/her teeth. Smithers was right. This was gold. "Nice?"
"Yeah, Nice, France," Smithers said. "Not that it matters for you, eh?"
The Unknown shrugged and focused on the picture. They were on the rooftop now.
Reaching out, they felt the air. They sensed a jumpscar... someone had jumped from here not too long ago. Finally they found it, slowly disintegrating, but still there. They reached into it and fell through, finding themselves nearby at a tram car loading site. Quickly they glanced around... they could sense that they were only minutes behind the Intersect... there! Down one of the streets, a flutter of chicken feathers caught in a typical vacuum slipstream. The Unknown glanced around, saw nobody watching, and reappeared next to a small chicken coop.
The Intersect's jumpscar was very vivid this time, a semi-visible distorted ripple in the air as the wormhole closed. The Unknown jumped through it, reappearing in an empty, whitewashed room.
Almost instantly, a metal bar was swung at their head.
"Why are you following me?" the Intersect shouted, consumed with fearful rage. The bar swung again, violent and persistent. The Intersect was jumping around so quickly that the Unknown couldn't keep track of where the next strike was coming from. "Go! Uh! Way!"
The Unknown jumped to the corner of the room, causing cracks to spiderweb through the weak plaster. They turned and saw the Intersect at the other side of the room, panting and holding a long metal pipe.
"Calm down," the Unknown said, as softly as possible, a welt already forming on their forehead.
"I'll calm down when you tell me what the hell is going on!"
"Gladly," the Unknown said. "But I can't tell you anything when you're slamming a metal bar in my face."
The pipe clattered to the ground.
"Good," uttered the Unknown, and pulled the familiar electrode device out of their pocket. "After this, I'll have two. Two of five, and the Paladins will have zero. One more after that... ah, if only I didn't have to wait at least 12 hours between each access."
"Why n- what are you talking about?"
"Accessing more than one Neuron Point of your brain within 12 or so hours would overload your mind and kill you, unfortunately," the Unknown explained. "That's what makes it so difficult. The Head Paladin will be after you too, you know. We can't let them win."
"What's going on? What is that thing?" the Intersect was backing away now.
"They can track us, you know," the Unknown said. "They have ridiculous amounts of money, more than we could ever steal. They have satellites, cameras, hit teams, fast travel - it can't rival our fast travel of course, but better than normal people. Undoubtedly, by tomorrow, they'll know we were here. I'll have to explain everything quickly... because they're always on our tail."
The Warrior groaned in defeat. Their target was nowhere to be found!
The Sahara Desert
Endless sand dunes. Dark night sky. Large moon, casting a serene glow on the sand.
The Reflex grinned. A perfect place to kill some Paladins.
"There he is!" the Crusader's assistants were just dark silhouettes. They rammed their four-wheelers (three four-wheelers, one driver and one gunner in each) into full gear and screamed toward the Reflex, letting loose endless rounds of machine gun fire as they approached.
The Reflex whipped around to face them, jumping in the air and slowing time. Bullets whizzed past, slow enough to see them travel through the air, leaving behind spiral trails of force.
The Reflex advanced through the hail of gunfire, twisting to avoid the slowly-spinning bullets.
Then s/he clicked back into normal time and landed on one of the four-wheelers, kicking its gunner in the head in the process. The unlucky guy was thrown out of the vehicle and ran over by the next.
The Reflex then turned their attention to the driver, who was fumbling for his pistol. The Reflex grabbed him and was gone.
Pressure pounded at their ears and water threatened to invade their eyes. Being deep under the Pacific wasn't pleasant.
Then the Reflex was back in the Sahara, reappearing amid a splash of water. They found themselves right in the path of a four-wheeler, and ran toward it, yelling angrily as they teleported small distances, closer and closer with blazing pulses that rippled the sand. Finally they hit the four-wheeler head on and jumped it hundreds of yards backwards, stuck halfway through a dune. The backseat was gunner was instantly drowned and crushed by sand, but the driver was safe and rammed a fist toward the Reflex's stomach, catching the Jumper by surprise.
The Reflex grunted and toppled backwards, rolling down the dune, throwing up trails of sand. The third four-wheeler was trying to reverse its direction and head for the dune slope, and far off, noises of a helicopter cut through the air. The Crusader was approaching.
A sudden shock bit into the Reflex's brain and they shouted in agony, tensing up. The Paladin from the four-wheeler was standing over them, holding an electric baton. They jammed it into the sand and grabbed another one (prodding the Reflex to add an extra shock), and brought it down toward the ground -
The Reflex slowed time, and watched as the Paladin's hand descended, holding the shock baton. The Reflex rolled from under the Paladin, grabbed the baton and forced it upwards, relinquishing time and letting the momentum carry the baton into the Paladin's chin. There was a burst of electricity and the Paladin cried out, falling backwards onto the dune.
"How do you like a taste of your own medicine?" the Reflex seethed, and jammed the baton deeper into the Paladin's throat, cutting off his breath and shocking his spinal cord. The Reflex left him there, pinned to the ground, and teleported down the dune, into the final four-wheeler. Before its driver & gunner could react, the Reflex squinted painfully and teleported the whole contraption hundreds of feet into the sky.
They were surrounded by stars... stars that quickly rushed upwards. The Reflex teleported them even higher, where the air was thin and cold. They could look down across the rolling, seemingly infinite desert... and a small black helicopter chopping over the moonlit white sand. The Crusader's helicopter.
"Gotcha," the Reflex grinned. They grabbed the four-wheeler's gunner's arm, twisting it and slamming it upward into the gunner's head, knocking them unconscious. The gunner fell backwards out of the four-wheeler, tumbling toward the ground. The Reflex nodded and turned to kick the driver, slowing time for accuracy. They nailed the driver right in the forehead, sending them careening away into the night. By this time they had reached terminal velocity, and were locked in a free fall. The Reflex grabbed the controls of the ATV ("All terrain," they scoffed. "Does midair count as a terrain?") and jumped it higher, their legs spread out behind the machine, rippling in the wind of air resistance. The Reflex continually jumped the ATV, adjusting it so it was at the right spot in comparison to the helicopter....
Then they let go and jumped higher into the air, watching the ATV's free fall as it sped toward the helicopter - whose pilot was unaware of the massive land vehicle plummeting closer.
WHAM! Perfect shot! The ATV nailed the top of the helicopter, destroying the top-blades with a screeching explosion of flying metal. The helicopter's ceiling dented in and it dropped dangerously, spinning out of control in a whacked-out death spiral on a one way trip for the desert floor. The Reflex jumped downwards to get a better view, coming almost adjacent with the falling chopper.
Then it happened. A spark of intense pain bit into the Reflex's nerves, so intense that it nearly paralyzed them. They tried to jump, or slow time (or both), but the pain persistent, building in agony and reaching a nerve-pulsing crescendo. The Reflex screamed, unaware of their surroundings and unable to concentrate.
"Gotcha," the Crusader's voice hissed. Finally the pain ended, and the Reflex could see - the Crusader had leapt from the helicopter, wearing a parachute pack (which hadn't been deployed yet) and a shock baton was shoved deep into the Reflex's gut. As the two spiraled toward the ground, the helicopter got there first, and drove into the sand like a meteor, erupting in a massive explosion of flame and searing shards of steel. The shockwave hit the Reflex & Crusader like a titanium wall, rebounding them higher into the sky as if they had been shot by a gun. The G-forces ripped at their muscles and tore at their skin, squeezing their heads like nuts that were about to crack.
Finally it ended, and the free-fall that resumed seemed almost normal. Smoke billowed past in great wafts, and there were times when everything was pitch black and the air was unbreathable.
The Reflex and the Crusader fought viciously, their lives hanging in a delicate and violent balance. The Crusader continually blazed the Reflex with shock batons, keeping them to one location and one time. Only one could emerge alive - if the Reflex didn't die before they hit the ground, the Crusader could not open their parachute and survive the fall, and if the Crusader did not die before they hit the ground, the Reflex could not jump to safety. They each had to kill the other before the desert rose to meet them.
"You are an abomination!" the Crusader roared, ramming the shock baton toward the Reflex's throat. "You need to die!"
The Reflex jabbed upward with an elbow, deflecting the Crusader's blow, and struck the Crusader in the face, causing them to reel backwards for a moment. The Reflex tried to regain their composure for a jump, but the baton zapped their side, causing them to cry out in pain and fury.
The ground loomed closer now, smiling in its victory. Neither would survive.
The Reflex was more frantic, punching and kicking and spinning and chopping and headbutting. The Crusader responding in kind, blocking and lashing out. As the sand dunes grew in size beneath them, the Crusader managed to grab their special knife (suffering a punch to the jaw), letting the wind unwrap it and revealing the rusty serrated edge; the very lethal edge that had killed more than a dozen Jumpers.
"Now DIE!!!!" the Crusader roared, and slid the knife into the Reflex's stomach and up, howling in anger. The Reflex tumbled backwards, gasping, blood flying up in free fall. Their face was unfocused and trembling. Then they disappeared with an effortful flicker.
The Crusader grinned and pulled the cord on their parachute pack.
University of Michigan Hospital - Emergency Room
"Man, I've been waiting on the call for like ten hours," the doctor complained, and the surgeon nodded amiably. "Why is it that our ER never sees any action?"
BAM! The operation table split in half as someone landed on it, sending tools flying outwards. Computer monitors toppled over and shattered on the ground, and an intravenous drip machine flew into the door, hit it with a savage velocity and bent into an almost 90-degree angle.
Lying in the center of the destruction was a bloody human, hands dripping scarlet and clutched over a vicious wound in their abdomen. They were drawing ragged breaths, confused and panicking and hyperventilating, their eyes wide with terror.
The main doctor gaped in astonishment for only a second before his MD-trained instincts took over. "Get two anesthesiologists in here!" he shouted to the assistant-surgeon, who immediately darted out of the door. The doctor surveyed the room: what was broken and what was still usable?
"Is that your only wound?" the doctor shouted as they pried the Reflex's hand away. "Who are you? How did you get here?"
The Reflex made no sound, only drew more panicked breaths. Some nurses entered and knelt by the Reflex, bringing a portable isoflurane machine.
The assistant-surgeon approached the doctor warily. "They're doomed... unless they can magically slow the bleeding or something, they're going to lose too much blood before we can-"
The Reflex managed a smile.
End of Night One! Day One will be special and last an extra five hours, thus 29 hours, so that it ends around the time when I'll be able to get on. PM me if you have a suggestion/vote as to WHERE the Day One lynching should take place!
The sun was sinking into a shimmering red blanket on the horizon, dotted with massive pillars that rose from the beautiful Greek landscape. The monks were down on a surface grove for evening worship, and the upper aerial balcony was clear, overlooking a massive drop to the ground far below.
Over an hour, various Jumpers - and Paladins pretending to be Jumpers, for they had infiltrated - arrived at the platform, taking a casual glance at the terrifying drop. No drop was terrifying to a Jumper, of course.
The reason they were there was simple: the Paladins for sure had infiltrated the Jumpers, everybody knew it now. And something had to be done...
Machu Picchu, Hours Earlier
The Intersect arrived a few feet above the ground and fell the rest of the way. They adjusted their clothing and looked around.
"Aaahh," they muttered. "Machu Picchu..." "I should be safe here."
Buenos Aires, Argentina, ~1726 miles away from Machu Picchu
The Head Paladin strolled through the market streets warily, hand clasped at their side, ready to use their shock baton to deadly effect. After a few more hours of waiting, they paced nervously.
Finally, a gaggle of men and women arrived, with dark expressions. The Head Paladin's eyes rose inquisitively, but the Paladins shook their heads.
"The Intersect isn't nearby," they said. "Don't worry... we'll find them..."
"Then let's pack up and get out of here," the Head Paladin glanced at their cell phone. "There's a lynching in a few hours, I have to make it."
São Paulo, Brazil, ~1563 miles away from Machu Picchu
"How did you know the Intersect would be in South America?" Roberto asked, curious.
"We had a little system going," the Unknown explained. "I picked up on it... or at least on something. When the only way the Intersect can communicate the next location to me is with where they teleported to last time, they're gonna need a code. But to get it just on the second search, I got a little lucky too. Hopefully the Paladins didn't..."
"So you know where the Intersect is?" Roberto muttered.
"I got this far, didn't I?" the Unknown quipped. "I got to South America, I think I've tracked them to... Machu Picchu."
Whoosh. Someone arrived directly behind the Intersect, and they spun around to receive them.
"Oh, you again," the Intersect muttered.
"We've gotten damn lucky, haven't we?" the Unknown commented, pulling the familiar electrode out of his/her pocket. As they attached it to the Intersect's head, they said: "This is three. Three of five. You know what that means, right?"
"We work together? Like you explained last night?"
"Yes, but there's been a complication," the Unknown said. "We can't exchange identities just yet... we have after tonight's events. The Paladins still have a chance to redeem themselves by killing you tonight... you know what happens if you... you know, if you die."
"Why do we have to wait? You have 3/5!" the Intersect said. "That's full control of the neuron points."
"Yes, but a lynch system has been set in place," replied the Unknown. "There are Paladins among us, and we need to kill them. Meteora, Greece. In a couple of hours. After that, we'll meet sometime in the night... unless the Paladins kill you of course."
With that refreshing conclusion, the Unknown took back the electrode and disappeared. The Intersect felt into their jumpscar and sensed Meteora, Greece. They smiled and disappeared.
"Come on, guys!" Taliesin said. "It comes down to this: do you want me in the game or not? Do you trust me... or not?"
"I think we've established that we don't trust you," said some of the Jumpers and Jumper-impostors.
"Sorry taliesin," Mekal said.
Electrical wire was produced, and people began wrapping it around taliesin, shocking him and anchoring him to one spot. He yelped in pain and frustration.
"Why not just throw me off?" he shouted. "If I'm a Jumper, I'll teleport and survive. If I'm a Paladin, I'll fall to my death!"
"Because the Rogue can teleport too," Fool explained. "We don't want them getting away, do we?"
"I'm not the Rogue! I'm-"
Taliesin was flung screaming off the balcony of the monastery, and only their final words rushed up to meet them: "... the Paramedic!!!"
"Oh yeah," said Brandonb thoughtfully. "I recognize their voice now.... I guess I won't be getting saved tonight."
"Someone save Taliesin!" someone shouted. A Jumper launched themselves off the balcony, spying taliesin flailing toward the ground, and jumped downwards in vain, but by the time they appeared where taliesin had been, taliesin had already hit the ground, blood pooled around his head. The Paramedic was gone.
Which are linked to 8 different effects: (not in order as the regions)
Everyone filed out dejectedly. They had lynched a Jumper on their first day; no less, the Paramedic... and the Paladins would kill again tonight. But the Jumpers had the upper hand in the battle over the Intersect... how would the night events play out?
Eventually, only two people were left. One of them leaned against the balcony rail, smiling smugly, the other was preparing to jump away.
"Hey, Reflex," the one by the balcony called.
The Reflex spun around quickly... and saw the Crusader.
"You know what I can do," the Crusader hissed. "You know why I'm here. I know who you are... and you're not getting away this time." They pulled out their knife and unwrapped the brown cloth slowly as they approached the Reflex, who just smiled.
"You should know by now..." the Reflex said. "You can't kill me. You learned your lesson last night, I thought you would stay away. But you're back... I'm not just a normal Jumper. That's why they call me the Reflex. You can't kill me in the normal way... no, I'll only die when I choose to die. When I have a cause to die for. A person to die for. So you can't kill me directly, my friend. But you can try."
"Don't call me your friend," seethed the Crusader, coming closer.
"Don't worry, this won't count as a 'strike'," the Reflex added. "You got my name right and matched it with my role... but you didn't learn your lesson from last night."
"You'll learn your lesson NOW!" the Crusader roared and lunged forward, knife outstretched.
The Reflex jumped away to the other side of the balcony, snickering and watching the Paladin regain their composure.
"I kill without fail when I know what I'm up against," the Crusader hissed. "You can't deny my ability!"
"My ability specifically mentions yours..." the Reflex laughed. "Haven't you learned? I'm indestructible, at least to your direct attacks."
The Crusader growled and whipped around, hurling a shock baton at the Reflex's chest.
Just in time, the Reflex slowed time, and watched the baton spiral toward them. They jumped a few feet to the left, grabbed it and twisted it out of its momentum (a difficult task), changing its course.
Time sped up again, and the baton nailed the Crusader, sending them skidding backwards against the other side of the balcony. The Crusader yelped as the electricity charged through their nerves, then rolled away and stood up.
"How's that knife wound?" the Crusader jeered, and hurled their knife at the Reflex's throat... but the Reflex had already jumped away.
|Fall of Anonymity
Twenty feet below the rock-hard ice and polar winds, the dark interior of a heated facility teemed with shadows.
The dirty cement floor was covered in a gritty mix of water and dirt, and a tangled onslaught of rusty pipes made the boiler room a nest full of a metal snakes, dripping continuously. Steam coiled through the dark room like hissing specters.
Frost inched his way along, eyes and ears open for an unusual sound or image. He had tracked the Geneticist this far, and wanted to learn more about his unusual ability.
The Geneticist was a little under a hundred feet away, at the other end of the tangled maze of pipes, and through a chipped wooden door. This was one of their oldest laboratories, and still contained some old notebook logs and serums. The Geneticist entered the room, shut the door, and flicked on a switching, illuminating the small office space with a comfortable glow. They headed over to a tall filing cabinet on the other side and pulled open a drawer, inspecting something carefully. They turned back to their newest notes, carried over from yesterday's experiment in Madagascar. Nodding, they checked another old file. Things were matching up!
"Hmmm..." they muttered. "...chromosome......interesting...Rogue....exactly!...disturbing..hmmm...well....from five years old...nothing else..."
They shut the file, looked at their other work, and nodded triumphantly. Nothing else interesting (such as the +5% side effect of the night before) had come from the Antarctic office, but they had at least made an important discovery. Satisfied, they switched off the light and disappeared.
A hundred feet away, Frost was peering down two dark corridors, trying to decipher which way to go.
A falling sound, like a pin dropping in the grass.
Frost spun around nervously. Nobody was there. He turned back, reminded himself to not be so stupid, and pulled out a handheld flashlight. One corridor went to a dead end electrical box, and the other continued into the murky darkness. Frost put the light away and started walking again.
Behind him, the Warrior appeared, for the second time in a minute. They had jumped, observed Frost, and jumped back, picking their choice of weapon. Now they were back.
They followed Frost silently, slowly raising the dart gun to their lips. One puff of the lips, and Frost would be dead within seconds...
Frost paused. The Warrior paused. Frost held up his flashlight again, casting around... and spotted a door. The Warrior held up the dart gun, aiming for the back of Frost's neck.
"Don't do it!" the Messenger shouted, blasting into the small space with gun outstretched and pointed. Frost spun around in surprise, stumbling against the filthy wall.
"Who do you think you are?" the Warrior seethed. "Never come between me and my target!"
"Do you know who Frost is?" the Messenger inquired. "No? Well it's one of my duties to protect him... and it looks like I made the right choice tonight."
The Warrior hesitated for a second, then let the blow gun fall from their lips, and jumped away, leaving the Messenger alone with Frost.
"So..." Frost muttered. "Um, thanks."
"No problem," the Messenger replied. "Like I said, just one of my duties. I need to get back to infiltrating the Paladins. Good luck."
"Uh, you too," replied Frost, still a bit shell-shocked. Then he shouted "Wait!" but the Messenger was already gone. He contemplated following the Messenger, but realized he had other things to do...
He ran the length of the corridor and knocked on the door. Nobody answered, and no light seeped from under the door. Had the Geneticist jumped away already? Not wanting to impede on their privacy, he turned and teleported, leaving only the hissing steam to speak of his presence.
New York City
Mekal headed out of the bank, carrying a briefcase full of cash.
"Hehehe," he chuckled. "It's good having a full bank account... especially in these tough economic times..."
One moment, chuckling; the next, dead.
Someone on the roof with a sniper rifle had been aiming carefully, waiting for the perfect shot.
They got it.
Mekal had no time to react or even to know he was in danger; perhaps the Cardinal reducing his Escape Chance by 5% had something to do with it, or perhaps not. Either way, his body was soon lying on the sidewalk, his briefcase scattered into the street. There could be important things in that briefcase... things that could identify Mekal... the mysterious sniper looked at it longingly, but there would be no Elite Kill tonight - sirens were already blaring and police cars could be seen flashing a few blocks away. The Paladin sniper packed up and dashed away.
The Great Wall of China
It was daybreak in China, and crisp dawn light spread across the expansive horizon. The Unknown sighed, staring out at the beautiful landscape.
Then the Intersect appeared, as if they had fallen out of thin air. They both knew better.
"So you're not so Unknown anymore," the Intersect joked. "The fall of Anonymity."
The Unknown chuckled. "I'm looking forward to working with you... welcome to the war. For real this time. Things are heating up, and either side can come out of this the winner. We need to be there to make sure it happens our way."
They looked each other in the eye, nodded, and disappeared with a flicker.
|An Eye for an Eye
Dos Ojos flooded cave system, beneath Mexico
"Kill Prince Marth!" shouted DMS. "I watched him last night, he visited Mekal!"
"Kill Prince Marth! Kill Prince Marth!"
Individual voices were soon lost in a massive chant that echoed and re-echoed across the cave walls. The gaggle of people were at the entrance to the underground river, in a small half-underground chamber where the water cast rippling beams of light against the smooth walls, and green overgrowth from the outside world crept in a dazzling display of nature. They were at the border of the surface and the underworld.
At first Prince Marth was submissive as they pushed him closer to the edge of the pool, but then he just laughed nonchalantly, wading backwards into the water.
"You fools," he spat. "You're all here at once. All of the important players in this little war." He pulled an M-16 out of his coat. "I can pick you off one by one. All that will remain is the Paladins! Maybe I will kill a Paladin, too - and as the Shepherd, take over their position within the Paladin hierarchy. Prepare to die and go to the Infinite Hells as abominations that you are, foolish Jumpers! This is your last gathering."
The machine gun rattled off gunfire, and suddenly time slowed to a crawl. People observed in shock as a storm of bullets spiralled slowly toward them. The Reflex arrived in a blur, slamming into Prince Marth and tackling him into the water.
The Shepherd fought back viciously as the Reflex swam with them deeper into the cave.
At the entrance, Jumpers and Paladins alike were scattering and throwing themselves to the ground (in slow motion of course) to avoid the slowly advancing cloud of shiny bullets.
Meanwhile, deeper into the underwater cave, the Reflex was losing their breath... Prince Marth had already lost theirs. The Reflex let go and watched the dead body drift away in the mysterious current.
The Reflex was met by some other Jumpers, who had jumped and grabbed scuba gear. The Reflex grabbed his/hers gratefully, and the four returned toward the surface.
They emerged to a celebratory mood... they had nailed a baddie, a Paladin no less. Specifically, the Shepherd.
Thus, unless Mekal was a Paladin, Prince Marth had no actual ability yet.
Gradually, the party dispersed, leaving only Puzzlegirl, who was sitting at the edge of the water with her feet dangling in the gentle pool.
A shadow soon grew behind her.
Suddenly she was screaming in pain, tendrils of electricity blazing through her body. She tried to jump but she was anchored to one spot by the intense pain and loss of focus. She burst out of the cords with a writhing wriggle and went for the gun at her ankle holster, but the Crusader had already grabbed her shoulder and pinned her to the wall. The zealous Paladin unwrapped their knife.
"Goodbye, Messenger," they hissed, and drove it deep into Puzzlegirl's gut, and higher still. She gasped in pain, blood dribbling from the corner of her mouth, then died. The Crusader growled and withdrew his/her knife as he/she slung Puzzlegirl's body to the left, into the water with a bloody splash.
Satisfied, the Crusader cleaned off their trusty knife, rewrapped it, slid it into its hidden sheath, and trekked out of the cave. Night was falling (on half of the world) and tonight would be intense.
Fog curled through the night like wraiths, blowing between the massive megalith doors... the doors of Stonehenge, slowing crumbling from the weight of time. All was silent, and the dark green ground sparkled with dampness.
Then there was a flicker of movement as a figure appeared silently by a looming monolith, a pillar of stone that towered over this newcomer.
The newcomer cast their gaze around, prowling through the circle of giants. There! Their target, waiting by one of the collapsed windows, humming softly to herself. Crazypainter.
The Rogue crept closer, judging the location. They would just need to appear directly behind Crazypainter, grab the sides of her head, and twist it sideways with a sickening crack. Then the job would be done, and they could rifle through her pockets and check if she was one of the ones the Rogue was looking for...
Before the Rogue took a deep breath in preparation of the act, they felt a burst of fog roll in their direction with sudden velocity, as if it had been displaced. The Rogue whirled around and beheld another Jumper - the Warrior - perched atop one of the mighty stones.
The Warrior looked up and seemed to notice the Rogue; they teleported to the bottom of the monolith and walked calmly forward... then jumped right in front of the Rogue, tackling them to the ground with a savage blow.
Crazypainter looked over in surprise, but a rag was placed over her mouth from behind, and chloroform sent her into a spinning fall to the ground. A black van with a catering company logo on the sides rolled up, tires pressing into the wet grass. The back doors opened and two masked Paladins helped the third carry Crazypainter into the car. They wanted this to be an Elite Kill; they wanted to learn her identity.
Meanwhile, the Warrior and Rogue were rolling around in the grass, punching and wrestling. Neither had brought any sort of weapon, and definitely not a gun (which could harm Stonehenge :P). The Warrior usually killed their victims by teleporting them into fatal situations, and the Rogue liked simple unarmed combat... speaking of which, they hurled the Warrior off with a grunt, but the Warrior, undeterred, launched themselves at their foe, jumping them both away at the impact.
The observation deck of the Empire State Building glowed neon blue in the night, surrounded by a glittering array of night-lit skyscrapers. The Rogue used the Warrior's momentum against them, flinging them to the side, but the Warrior lashed out with an arm and jumped at the same time, only a few feet away, but on the other side of the protective railings. New York skylights flashed past them as they tumbled toward a honking, bright street. The Warrior was about fifty yards/meters beneath the Rogue at this point, and flailing through the air like an uncoordinated stork. The Rogue, on the other hand, was spread out into skydiver form, and hounded down on their prey... which is when the Warrior jumped up in a series of short but intense blasts, blazing upward toward the Rogue and leaving shockwaves in wake... they hit the Rogue head on from below, knocking their air out, and then teleported them both.
Splash! The fall's momentum was taken by the cerulean beauty of Wayag, Indonesia.
Then they were atop Pigeon Rock (the larger one with the hole in it) as sun set on Lebanon. Shale skipped away from their feet as they fought and struggled, grunting with the effort and energy.
The Rogue jabbed with an elbow and followed up with a brutal punch, blocked by the Warrior who grabbed his/her adversary's arm and twisted it to the side, jumping to the other end of the natural pillar and using it to hurl the Rogue off the side. The Rogue frantically cartwheeled their arms to regain steady vision and glanced toward the far pillar, the smaller one, and jumped there, rocking a little and catching their balance. Then they turned and faced the Warrior, who was standing on the other rock.
The Warrior yelled and ran forward, jumping from one rock to the other and hitting the Rogue in the chest. The two fell for the ocean, and would've hit with a painful splash if not the Rogue had jumped them back above the larger Pigeon Rock and flipped over in midair, crushing the Warrior underneath against the hard and uneven stone.
The Warrior groaned and rolled out of the way, struggling to their feet, but the Rogue was already up, and kicked them in the head, sending them back to the stone with a bloody mouth. The Rogue set their foot atop the Warrior's head.
"If you jump," the Rogue said softly. "I'll follow you through. You can't escape... you started this fight- and I'll end it." They brought their foot up high, aiming for the Warrior's temple, but the Warrior jumped themselves against the Rogue's other leg, causing the Rogue to yelp in surprise, and they both tumbled to the ground. This time they were both able to rise to their feet, and the Warrior kneed the Rogue in stomach, followed by a vicious headbutt. The Rogue grabbed the Warrior's head and tried to twist it, but the Warrior jumped away too fast and the Rogue practically fell through their jumpscar, landing hard in the grass at Stonehenge, right outside the Paladins' van.
The Paladins had been trying to wake Crazypainter up for the last three minutes.
"You idiot," one of them grumbled. "You used too much chloroform."
"It's not that big of a deal," the other replied haughtily, and opened a box of medical smelling salts, cracking one under CP's nose. Her head lurched up confusedly and she groaned, her head splitting with pain.
"What's going on?" she mumbled, and tried to stand.
"Whoa, whoa!" one of the Paladins shouted, but she had already gone light-headed and collapsed back down, tumbling out of the van and into the wet sod.
The Warrior was crawling away from the Rogue and teleported to the other side of CP, managing to stand up. The Rogue, meanwhile, was already standing and approaching crazypainter with an air of certainty. While the Warrior had been an annoying distraction, their main target was still CP.
It was the same with the Warrior. "Don't you steal my kill!" the Warrior shouted angrily, walking closer too. CP was in the middle of a deadly triangle, with three sides that wanted to kill her.
"Well well well," one of the Paladins chuckled. "How is this going to end?" They pulled a large pistol out of their black coat, fitted on a silencer, and put it to the back of CP's head, where she remained, kneeling on the ground, confused and groggy. At the feel of cold metal she flinched and tumbled out of the way as the bullet thudded into the ground. Calmly, the Paladin re-aimed. Seeing that his/her kill was being stolen, the Rogue disappeared for a moment and reappeared with a machine gun. The Warrior was looking around with a sense of realization in that they had chosen the same target as the Paladins and the Rogue. They turned and saw the Rogue aiming the machine gun... the Paladin kicked CP in the head to keep her down as she struggled to stand... "No!" the Warrior yelled. "Yes," the Rogue grinned, and pulled the trigger.
The Warrior jumped at the Rogue, tackling them into the ground, but it was too late... for the Paladin at least. The spray of bullets nailed them in the chest, sending them toppling to the sod with the sound of repeated thunder. One of the Paladins cried out, but the other muttered, "That guy was just a goon, hired yesterday after Marth's death at Dos Ojos. Here, I'll finish this." They grabbed a switchblade from the wall, but Crazypainter had already made it to her feet, her head clearing already (despite the blood running down one side of it). She went for the gun in her back pocket, but the chloroform still grogged her reaction times, and the Paladin had already flicked the switchblade. It twisted through the air with the flash of polished steel... it was a large knife, and obsessively sharp. Everything seemed to shift into slow-motion, and all CP could do was stare as the knife spiraled slowly toward her forehead.... the Rogue had thrown the Warrior off as well (in slow motion) and turned to watch as his/her kill was being stolen...
... then everyone seemed to realize that the slow-motion was happening for real, and a new player was entering the scene. The Reflex, mouth curved into a silent "Noooooooooo!", was leaping through the air, flying in front of CP and taking the knife in the chest, the momentum vectors mixing and sending him diagonally past her, skidding into the sod.
Itachi-san lay in the grass, shocked and dying, a knife sticking from his chest. This time, the wound was too deep - and halfway into his heart. He would die in seconds. He let his bloody hand fall away from his chest and he stared up at the beautiful stars which danced above with their otherworldly glow.
"Take me, Nature," he sighed, and was gone. His last effort was to expel the remainder of his energy, jumping everyone around him - and one whole Stonehenge monolith - to random locations around the world.
The next morning, authorities would discover a dead man lying in the middle of Stonehenge with a knife sticking out of his chest, a serene smile on his face - and one less rock.
|A Mafia First
The Wave, Arizona
"Goodbye Frozen," Reaymond jeered. The group of Jumpers and Paladins were gathered in the exotic rolling canyons under the azure Arizona sky. The hot sun made sweat trickle down their backs and beams of light sear their vision.
A knife flashed silver in the sun, and before Frozen could react, Reaymond shoved it deep into his gut.
"Hahaha!" Reaymond laughed. "You think you can Jump in time, foolish Yang? You think you can evade the Cardinal? Not even the Yin can come to your rescue now."
The Yin, Dawh, cried out as if part of his own mind had been stabbed. He jumped next to Frozen and knelt down, but FIF was already dead. Dawh looked up and the last thing he saw was star_tiger's sneering face. Dawh's eyes refocused on the barrel of a gun before she pulled the trigger, and he fell atop Frozen: Yin and Yang tumbled down the slope: united in life, united in death.
"RRrrrraaaaaahhhh!" Frost yelled. His skin was boiling with heat, turning into oozing magma and charred skin as if radioactive energy were coursing through his system. He was like a supernova about to erupt, and he sprinted into the midst of the two Paladins, tackling Reaymond (the Cardinal) and star_tiger (the Head Paladin!) and carrying them both over the edge into the canyon, toward the bodies of Dawh and Frozen. There was a massive explosion of intense energy that blew up a geyser of light and force and smoke that temporarily blinded every standing on the cliff above. When the smoke cleared, a jagged crater was left behind below, with all five bodies gone: three Jumpers and two Paladins, completely incinerated in the explosion. Their matter was one with the universe, their energy blasted into the Wave of Arizona.
"Wow," someone said. Everyone was utterly shocked. Within the past three minutes, five people had paid the ultimate sacrifice of this tangled war... but two more lives were yet to be lost.
One of them was Joe's Student.
The Rogue cried out in furious anguish when star_tiger was consumed by the bright flames.
"No!" he shouted. "No! I was supposed to kill her! I needed to kill her! The Head Paladin and the Unknown, my enemies!"
"Hey!" someone cried confusedly. "JS is the Rogue!"
"It's time to finish our fight," growled the Warrior, and ran at the Rogue, jumping them both away from the Wave.
In the canyon, DMS suddenly gasped in pain. Everyone looked at him confusedly.
"DMS, the Shadow... you are an abomination. Time to die!" hissed a voice. It reflected off the canyon walls and reverberated everywhere, seeming to come from the very earth.
DMS, who discovered an acid-tipped dart in his neck, started foaming at the mouth and collapsing. The poison was flooding his bloodstream and shutting down his bodily systems. He let out a final gasp and was still.
Eiffel Tower, Paris
"Your fight is finished!" the Warrior said, and looked up. A small unmanned camera airplane was zooming overhead, snapping shots of the Eiffel tower. It was on the smaller side as planes go, but still pretty big.
JS tried to jump to the savannahs of Africa, but the Warrior followed the jumpscar through and teleported them back, and up into the air... leaving Joe's Student in the propeller space of the airplane.
The Warrior was just out of the wind zone and fell undisturbed, but the Rogue screamed as they were sucked into the prop and dashed to pieces within a millisecond. The plane's engine burst on fire and started spinning wildly toward the ground. The Warrior jumped back to Arizona to tell what happened, to see the body of DMS.
"Wow..." Seven people dead on one day. It is down to the nailbiting conclusion..
note, 7 people died, so info was given in spoilers for the 7 roles: Intersect, Yin, Yang, Cardinal, Head Palidin, Shadow, Rogue.
At a Torii shrine near the summit of the 3776 meter mountain:
Up here, there was no such thing as night or day. The view was spectacular and chilling and amazing all at once - the five players in this crazy game (three Jumpers and two Paladins) were standing at what seemed to be the summit of the world... they were like gods, looking down from their shrine of ice upon their domain. The end was coming, and they all knew it. Just one slip of the fighting and one could plummit over the sides.
The five people formed sort of a ring at the edge of the world... otherworldly mists drifted past... Kat, the Warrior, slowly drew a gun... she hesitated near woon, but Brandonb's continual goading got to her, and she re-adjusted her aim, pointing at the Federal Agent, Crazypainter. The last Neutral left alive, after the Rogue's demise (at the Warrior's hand) earlier that day.
In fact, the Federal Agent was no longer neutral... they had joined the Jumpers on day two, getting BTSC with their previous nemesis, the Shadow.
But none of that mattered now. This was the end game. This was Kat's decision. She threw her gun off the edge of the mountain. She was a Jumper - she didn't need a gun. She jumped into crazypainter, knocking the Federal Agent off of Mt. Fuji, ignoring her screams as she plummeted through the ice-jagged air, from their celestial shrine and down into the world of mortals.
"We've got you at last!" Foolonthehill laughed. The Crusader unwrapped his trusty knife while Brandonb (the Mercenary) watched with a sly smile.
"This is the last kill my knife will make," growled the Crusader, taking a step closer... who would it be? Woon or Kat? Woon or Kat? "After this, my crusade is over. The Paladins have victory."
They chose Kat.
Before anyone could react, Brandonb blasted her with a shock baton. She screamed in agony as hot lightning blazed through her system.
"This is it!" Foolonthehill seethed, taking a step closer, letting the ruffled brown cloth fall from the knife. It was snatched by the wind and carried away, off of the bleak summit. "I can feel the end!!"
Kat struggled where she stood as lightning arced through her body. If only she could break free... if only she could escape...
It was too late. With a victorious yell, the Crusader plunged his knife into her flesh, and watched her die, tumbling backwards through the shrine and off Mount Fuji.
"Well done," said the Mercenary. "Two Paladins left... and one Jumper."
"Where is woon?" Fool gasped, looking around. Woon, the Unknown, the slippery and mysterious leader of the Jumpers, had jumped away, perhaps back to some hidden lair to regroup.
The Paladins had won this long and bloody war. However, they knew there would always be opposition; there would always be Jumpers. The Unknown had probably gone away to form a new alliance of Jumpers, a coalition of new people with this exotic talent from across the world, joined with their unique ability and common purpose against their obsessed enemies.
"You did your duty well," the Crusader grunted. "You know where the money is. I am grateful that I hired you, Mercenary."
"What will you do now?" Brandonb asked, as he turned to descend the mountaintop.
"I am the last of the major Paladins, really," the Crusader acknowledged. "I'll have to rebuild. Start from the ground up. I am the new leader of the society, I think I have earned it... some of the rookie Paladins will move up, and we'll get some new recruits I'm sure. What about you?"
The Mercenary spread his arms wide. "Wherever the wind takes me." He grinned and jumped off the mountaintop, disappearing with a flicker.
End of Game RosterEdit
- Reaymond - Cardinal Blown up by Frost D3
- Kathleen - Warrior Killed N4
- star_tiger - Head Paladin Blown up by Frost D3
- Frost - Intersect Blew up D3
- Brandonb - Mercenary
- Dawh - Yin Died with Frozen D3
- Joe's Student - Rogue Win condition failed D3
- Foolonthehill - Crusader
- Puzzlegirl - Messenger Killed D2 by Shepard
- itachi-san - Reflex Died N3 to save CrazyPainter
- Frozen_in_fire - Yang Lynched D3
- crazypainter - Federal Agent Killed N4
- Mekal - Geneticist - Killed N2
- dms172 - Shadow Killed D3 by Crusader
- Prince_Marth85 - Shepherd Lynched D2
- woon - Unknown
- taliesin - Paramedic Lynched D1
|List of actions|
Changed Escape Chances:
Intersect: Unknown 2/5, HP 0/5
This is the Federal Agent. I was thinking of giving you a nugget. If you would like to know the role of a key player let me know by mentioning daisies in one of your posts.
Intersect: Unknown 3/5!!!
- Dawh 20% - DMS 1% Escape, 49% Spy