The City of New Babel: Volume 1.   Posted by The Narrator.Group: 0
The Narrator
 GM, 26 posts
Wed 31 May 2017
at 15:46
The City of New Babel #1: The First Night
In reply to Spirit Caller (msg # 30):

Ghost in the Shell locks onto the humanoid figure shows in yellow, red, and green outline on the security camera. He watches the figure dart out from between two rows of servers. It sprints towards the stairwell and just reaches the door as everybody springs into action.

"It is in the stairwell doorway. Jump and grab it!"

Spirit Caller leaps at the door with arms out wide. She wraps her arms around the invisible figure and latches on tight. With her legs clinched around the invisible figure's waist, Spirit Caller begins to pound away like a raging chimpanzee at--maybe its head, or shoulders, back? Not sure, its invisible, but Spirit Caller attacks it viciously, but the figure is hard as metal and durable. It seems to move as normal, the added weight of Spirit Caller's body inconsequential. The soft sound of whirling motors murmurs under the shrill sound of the siren.

(Spirit Caller rolls an 8 for search action)

Casper dives out of the sky, yelling loudly, drone engine overcharged. The taser rifle begins to buzz as he aims for the invisible figure's body. But, just before Casper fires the gun, the figure spins around. Spirit Caller is in the line of fire! The taser rifle fire. Zzzzaaaap! But Casper pulled away at the last second, loosing the electrical circuits into the a computer server instead, It fizzes and smokes. The smell of burning metal fills the air as the server explodes and fire begins to spread.

(Casper rolled a 6 for attack roll (taser rifle); a small electrical fire has been started)

Josef runs forward. Bits of shrapnel fly through his ghostly form as he charges through the flames. With one mighty arm hefted behind him, Josef jumps off his feet and shoots like a cannonball into the invisible assailant. His fist, made corporeal by the power of Spirit Caller, crunches down on the metal jaw, sending pieces of the suit scattering across the down the stairs. Rocked by such a powerful blow, the figure uncloaks and becomes visible.

"Ha! Nobody takes a punch from the steel giant!" Josef yells.

(Josef rolls an 11 on attack action (ghostly fists))

Standing there, with Spirit Caller on her back, and Josef in front, is the new supervillian thief named Antumbra who was spotted breaking into Steelson's industrial factories the past few months.

She is a female form covered in grey military-grade armor of the highest tech. Hard plates overlap her body, but bend with the flexibility of rubber. Nano-motors enhance her strength and whirl as she moves. But, black masses seem to form and shift across her body, like thick globs of paint. The black masses appear and disappear into the seams of the suit, as if they were being drunk and spit out again and again. Where Josef punched her the armor has cracked. Spirit Caller can see dark brown skin, bruised, but as she watches, the armor begins to knit together, repairing itself. The acrid smell of tar and gasoline enters her nose.

Antumbra screams, and grabs Spirit Caller, throwing her off her back and into Josef. Both of them fall on the ground. Antumbra dashes up the stairs.

"Leave me alone!" She screams.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:05, Wed 31 May 2017.

Spirit Caller
 player, 21 posts
 Spirit calling power
Wed 31 May 2017
at 19:05
The City of New Babel #1: The First Night
In reply to The Narrator (msg # 31):

"I can't leave you alone you're breaking into a top secret facility and stealing tech!" She tries to get everyone to attack the lady again, except for the Ghost in the Shell who she needs to have concentrating on where the person actually is, just in case she shakes Spirit Caller off.
The Narrator
 GM, 28 posts
Thu 1 Jun 2017
at 01:09
The City of New Babel #1: The First Night
In reply to Spirit Caller (msg # 32):

Ghost in the Shell remains behind in the burning room. The electrical fire has already spread to the next two rows of servers. Sparks fly off the servers and collide with computer terminals, wires, and desks, spreading more flames as the servers explode. With the computer systems held by the virus, they cannot activate their fire extinguishers. Smoke drifts out of the server room and into the stairwell. It billows out of the roof and into the sky.

(The room will burn down in 3 turns; Moving through the stairwell requires a roll with -1)

Antumbra makes it to the roof at last, and almost breaks into a sprint before Spirit Caller tackles her knees. They both fall on the floor. Spirit Caller crawls onto Antumbra's back, wraps an arm around her neck, and squeezes. But, with super strength, Antumbra is able to stand up, and awkwardly struggle to get a grip on Spirit Caller.

Outside the air is cool and refreshing. The acrid smell of smoke starts to waft on the breeze that passes over the rooftop. All the sounds of the city are abound, cars, people, and sirens. Not the emergency sirens now muffled by a few feet of concrete, but police sirens!

wee woo wee woo

A couple of police cars have parked on the other side of the street. A crowd has gathered outside of the Pachinko Parlor, blocking the view of whatever they are circling. But the explosions and smoke has drawn their attention to the data-storage facility.

"Is anyone in there? Quickly call the fire department! Hello? Is anyone in there?" A police man shouts as he runs towards the building; nobody in the crowd has noticed the tussle on the roof, yet.

(Spirit Caller rolled a 7 for her attack action)

Casper, in his drone, and Josef quickly follow. With Antumbra struggling to pull Spirit Caller off her back, she fails to notice Casper drawing a bead on her. He fires his taser rifle.

ZZzzaaap!

It hits true! Lightning arcs across Antumbra's armor. It hits a wire and short circuits the armor and Antumbra begins to shake. The armor surges, and she begins to spasm. Her limbs become rigid. She throws her arms out. Her fists fly open, and she throws the flash drive across the roof. It skids into a corner, glinting in the light.

"I got her! Did you see me? I got her!" Casper's monotone, robotic voice says unemotionally.

(Casper rolls an 11 for his attack action (taser rifle))

Josef chambers his punch. Seeing his chance, as Antumbra is hit by the taser shot, Josef goes in for the strike. He bring his blow to bear, throwing it towards her jaw at full speed. But Antumbra's movements are unpredictable. She ducks. Josef tries to stop, but--

{POW}

Spirit Caller's head snaps back as Josef's fist collides with her nose at full force. Blood spurts out like a fountain, streaming through the air. Spirit Caller manages to cling to Antumbra's shoulders, even as the world spins around her.

"So sorry, comrade. She is shifty. I get her next time, just stay still." Josef's voice fills Spirit Caller's ears.

(Josef rolled a 6 for his attack action (ghostly fists); Spirit Caller has a -1 to all physical rolls because she is dazed from Josef's punch)

"Enough!" Anutmbra cries. Her voice is stern and deepened by her helmet's microphone, "I want that flash drive. It's mine!"

Antumbra regains control of her suit. The arcs of electricity are absorbed by the black ooze that swirls through the seams of her armor. The grey suit hums with steady energy again. Antumbra grabs something off her belt. Then all the black ooze forms around her legs. Antumbra pulls the pin from her flash grenade, dropping it at her feet. It explodes with a brilliant light. Casper and Joseph recoil back, blinded for a moment. Once the light fades the roof is filled with thick, black smoke that seems to cling to things with little oozing fingers.

(The roof is filled with thick smoke, heavily obscuring vision)

The smoke does not touch Antumbra as she bolts forward, but Spirit Caller is still clinging to her back, dazed, but conscious.
Spirit Caller
 player, 22 posts
 Spirit calling power
Thu 1 Jun 2017
at 01:23
The City of New Babel #1: The First Night
In reply to The Narrator (msg # 33):

Spirit Caller hangs onto Antumbra, and tries to punch, bite, knee, or do anything, to stop Antumbra from gaining the flash drive. She also starts screaming, partially to scream in Antumbra's ears, partly to get the attention of the cops down below if they're even paying attention, and partly to call for Ghost in the Shell.

Again, she screams for Ghost in the Shell, asking him to either grapple Antumbra, or the flash drive, either one works for Spirit Caller as long as Antumbra is thwarted.
The Narrator
 GM, 29 posts
Thu 1 Jun 2017
at 15:45
The City of New Babel #1: The First Night
In reply to Spirit Caller (msg # 34):

"Get off of me!" Antumbra shouts.

Antumbra grits her teeth as Spirit Caller screams into her ears. Blow after blow lands on her helmeted head, knocking her around as she tries to sprint towards the flash drive. Eventually it's too much for her to handle. Antumbra catches one of Spirit Caller's hands and, with enhanced strength of her armor, pulls Spirit Caller off her back and throws her to the side.

Spirit Caller flies through the smoke. It feels sticky and strange, like swimming through syrup. It smells of tar or oil. Spirit Caller rolls across the rooftops, but stops when she leans against the building's edge. She leans over and screams again, trying to get the crowd's attention.

(Spirit Caller rolled a 6 on her screaming, punch, bite, knee, or do anything, screaming roll)

On the street, the crowd watches on. A boy points up at the roof, but nobody pays him any attention. They're enraptured by the growing flames and billowing smoke that have engulfed the third floor. If left any longer the inferno will surely burn through the room.

(The room will burn down in 2 turns)

But, someone does hear Spirit Caller. It's Ghost in the Shell! Hearing her screams, he immediately disconnects from the computers, losing the vision from the security cameras, and charges out the window. He smashes through the glass, causing a wave of destruction as each window shatters in turn. With his steel cables, he pulls himself out of the burning building, flames licking off his silvery hull like a monster from hell. The emergency sirens scream out of the window.

From down below, the crowd begins to scream. The police look up with horror. They pull their guns and begin to shoot. Chants of "code 938-V" rise from the horrified people as the police men pull out their radios.

Blam Blam Blam - Ting Ting Ting

Bullets ricochet off of Ghost in the Shells' body. Stone and rocks, hurled by the crowd, fly through him. He glances up and see Spirit Caller on the building's edge. The crowd appers to be targeting her, he decides. He turns to face them, using his wiry limbs to shield Spirit Caller as best he can.

"They attack us. I will defend you!" The words crawl across his back.

He begins to pull chunks of stone out of the wall, bits of flaming metal, and shards of glass, and pelts the people with his improvised barrage.

(Ghost in the Shell rolled a 3 for his attack action)

Josef and Casper also hear Spirit Caller yell. They begin to push through the thick smoke, which seems even to stick to them, holding them fast. Josef forces his way through the smoke, punching and kicking as he is apt. Eventually he reaches the building edge and manages to get a glance of Spirit Caller, but not before the crowd sees him. They all point up and begin to shout as they see some poor man trapped on the roof of a burning building. Casper however, has had no luck. The smoke is gumming up his engines. The entire drone seems to be stuck and unable to move or fight. He can feel the smoke grasping onto him, chocking the air intakes, squeezing around his hull. Casper begins to panic. He feels like he's dying all over again, drowning in oozing, purple smoke.

"Help! Spirit Caller! Help, Aiko!" Casper shouts from the drone's robotic voice synthesizer at the highest possible volume.

(Josef rolled an 8 for his search action; Casper rolled a 4 for his search action)

Antumbra however moves through the smoke as if it weren't there. In fact, the smoke disperses where ever she goes. It even seems to propel her forward right towards the flash drive on the other end of the roof. She grabs it in her hand and squeezes tight, determined not to let it go again. On her side of the roof, opposite Spirit Caller, the crowd is much thinner, and the police force fewer in number. She puts the flash drive into a pocket in her belt and prepares to make an escape. Black ooze drips flows over her body; it starts to shimmer, just about to become invisible. As this happens, the smoke on the roof starts to disperse.
Spirit Caller
 player, 23 posts
 Spirit calling power
Fri 2 Jun 2017
at 02:01
The City of New Babel #1: The First Night
In reply to The Narrator (msg # 35):

Spirit Caller gives out one last attempt to call for the help of the police officers, deciding that they really cannot be so totally useless that they think she or her ghostly companions are the villains in this situation. She shouts "Hey you oafs, up here, it's her, she needs to be taken down, not us!"

Then she decides that, because the police still really are awfully useless, she needs to propel herself towards Antumbra quickly to grapple onto her. She decides to get Casper to try and clear out the gas somehow if its possible, since he is in drone like status and should have something to help out.

Spirit Caller then asks the Ghost in the Shell to give her that extra push to propel her, even if Casper can't clear out of the fog, and she decides to give herself a running start before the Ghost in the Shell pushes her forward onto Antumbra.
The Narrator
 GM, 30 posts
Fri 2 Jun 2017
at 03:49
The City of New Babel #1: The First Night
In reply to Spirit Caller (msg # 36):

Spirit Caller watches as Antumbra disappears into the smoke. It envelops her, hiding her from view. The crowd clamors around the building as sirens, emergency and police whirl on. Smoke billows out of the windows and stairwell. Curls of flame climb the building walls. Embers drift past Spirit Caller's face. The smell of burning metals is heavy in the air. The fire is all but unstoppable now.

(The room will burn down in 1 turn)

Spirit Caller cries for help to the police, shouting at them as she point at the disappearing figure. Her shouting and gesturing work! A police officer turns his head up and notices her.

He hears, "Hey you oafs, up here, it's - woop woop woop - us!" and grabs his radio off his shoulder.

"I've found another one!" He shouts, "Two people, a blue looking man, and a woman in an outfit, appear to be trapped on the roof. Be aware there may be others. Keep a look out for anyone in need of rescue. And get me those firetrucks!" He puts away the radio and shouts back at Spirit Caller, "Remain calm ma'am, help is on the way!"

(Spirit Caller rolled an 8 to call for the police)

Spirit Caller slaps her hand against her forehead. Looking back, the figure is gone, but the smoke is starting to dissipate. Seeing a chance, she calls to Casper to clear the remaining smoke.

Casper begins to whirl the engines of the drone. He pushes it to the brink, half trying to clear the smoke, half just trying to get away from it. But its no use, the smoke grabs hold of his motors and sink into the metal. With a hisss and sputter the drone begins to corrode, little puffs of purple and black smoke eating away at its body. Casper yells and tries on last time to escape. He tries so hard that he flies out of the drone and through the air as a ghost. He doesn't stop until he is far, far above the building. So high, he is practically out of sight and out of hearing range.

(Casper rolled a 2 (4-2 for being trapped in smoke) to clear the rooftop; Casper is unavailable for 1 turn)

Before Casper's failure becomes apparent, Spirit Caller has already enacted the second part of her plan. She calls to Ghost in the Shell and orders him to throw her to the other side of the building. Ghost in the Shell backs up slowly, as bullets pelt past, and through, him. He picks up Spirit Caller in steely tendril and reels back to throw, but just then the building cracks. The fire has weakened it too much, and Ghost in the Shell falls. At the last moment he hurls Spirit Caller over the building with just a bit too much force. Ghost in the Shell plummets to the ground and shatters in a thousand metal splinters, his spirit returning to its realm. As Spirit Caller flies over the building, wind whipping across her face, heat sweltering under her, and black smoke filling her nose, she can just make out Antumbra's body on the roof edge as black ooze covers her completely and turns her invisible.

(Ghost in the Shell rolled a 1 (3-2 for an unseen target); Ghost in the Shell is unavailable indefinitely)

 Josef, unsure of what to do, does what he always used to do, and decides to punch something. He cries one last battle cry and charges through the smoke. With his righteous fist guiding the way, Josef shuts his eyes. He cannot feel the smoke as it grabs him, or smell the burning metal underneath him, but he can definitely feel Antumbra's cheek as he plunges his ghostly fist into her face. Her invisible form spins through the air. It crashes down somewhere below, unseen, but definitely heard by the crowd. Josef opens his eyes and looks down, but sees nothing as he searches for her body.

(Josef rolled a 10 to search for and punch Antumbra)

Spirit Caller braces herself for impact as she hurtles towards the ground. She smacks, not into the concrete, but into a large inflatable bag set up by the fire department. Spirit Caller feels dizzy and sick, but alright. She is immediately swarmed by firefighters, paramedics, policemen, journalists, and random citizens who like to get in the way. All at once they begin to speak, asking her all sorts of questions before two paramedics grab her arms and begin to move towards their ambulance.

(Spirit Caller rolled a 9 to land safely)
Spirit Caller
 player, 24 posts
 Spirit calling power
Fri 2 Jun 2017
at 04:27
The City of New Babel #1: The First Night
In reply to The Narrator (msg # 37):

"She's getting away you bozos!" Aiko shouts trying to shove past the mass of reporters and people, she tries to cool the area to the point where people start to get extremely cold and technology starts to malfunction, hoping that it disables Antumbra's armor and allows her to push through the crowd easier.

She also calls out for Uncle Josef and Casper to come down and try to capture Antumbra as she tries to get out of the crowd of annoying reporters and firefighters.

In the midst of her struggle she also desperately calls for another spirit to help her, as the ever so lovely and awesome and incredibly epic Ghost in the Shell has dispersed back into his spiritual world.
The Narrator
 GM, 31 posts
Fri 2 Jun 2017
at 05:08
The City of New Babel #1: The First Night
In reply to Spirit Caller (msg # 38):

A frosty aura covers the crowd as Spirit Caller pushes her way through. They grab their shoulders and begin to shiver, a few brake off to fetch warmer clothing, others try to fix their broken cameras. Spirit Caller shoves past them and brakes into a run.

(Spirit Caller rolled a 10 (9+1) to freeze the crowd; Spirit Caller rolled a 9 (7+2) to get away from the crowd)

Spirit Caller glances up at Josef and orders him to find Antumbra. As Spirit Caller sprints away, Josef looks around from the rooftop and manages to spot some strange movement down an alleyway. He points in the direction.

"Comrade, I think she has gone that way. I see trashcans moving! You go ahead. I will catch up." Josef shouts before he leaps off the building to the dismay of the crowd. They collectively gasp as he jumps.

(Josef rolled a 7 to search for Antumbra; Josef will be unavailable for 1 turn)

Spirit Caller also shouts to Casper, but he's too high to hear her. Instead, Casper floats around, gathering his will power. After enough breathing exercises, Casper descends slowly.

(Casper will be available next turn)

Spirit Caller, seeing that she will be without Josef's mighty fists for the moment, summons another ghost. She reaches into the afterlife and pulls free a very eager, happy ghost. The ghost of a long, short dog with floppy ears that droop way past its stubby feet. The little dogwags its small tail and licks at Spirit Caller's face with its intangible tongue before barking a low, deep bark of preparedness. It floats around her head, waiting for orders. A little collar, with a golden dog tag (Toby), jingles as the dog swims through the air.

(Spirit Caller rolled a 10 to summon a spirit)
Spirit Caller
 player, 25 posts
 Spirit calling power
Fri 2 Jun 2017
at 07:32
The City of New Babel #1: The First Night
In reply to The Narrator (msg # 39):

Spirit sequels with delight, and tries to pet the dog but her hands just go through the dog's body since he is a ghost. "Who's a good boy? Who's a good boy! You are!" She says, "Now go on! Find that mean old lady who forced me to push myself off of a building! Find her and sick her boy!" Spirit Caller decides to chase after the villain.
The Narrator
 GM, 32 posts
Fri 2 Jun 2017
at 14:39
The City of New Babel #1: The First Night
In reply to Spirit Caller (msg # 40):

OOOOOOOoooooooo

Toby howls into the air as he blazes forward, spectral fire burning in his wake. His eyes turn red like freshly spilled blood as the feeling of the chase fills his little soul with an ineluctable hunger to kill. He howls again, the ghostly bellow drawn out long and loud. It fills every space, each nook and cranny with echoing volumes, searching for the prey with inimical glee. Suddenly, Toby stops, but the baying continues on without him, possessed of its own transient life. Toby's teeth begin to grow into dagger sized fangs as cold fire sucks the light and heat from the air, imbuing Toby with the energies of the living realm. With split tongue lashing from side to side, whipping across the building walls and leaving burning rakes in the concrete, the dog charges forward, leading Spirit Caller through winding corridors until the sounds of siren and people have long disappeared behind them. Darkness and silence, but for the baying of ghostly hounds leading one of their own through the hunt, envelops the backstreets whose poor streetlamps flicker and pop as Toby drives past them.

Spirit Caller can feel her heart pumping as it is filled with a sense of urgency, behooving her to give chase. She salivates slightly at the thought of the hunt.

OOOOOOOoooooooo

Toby swerves around a corner, growling and gnashing his monster jaws. The spectral howling shrinks into the background. The sounds of rats scurrying through garbage, and late night television shows takes its place along with the buzz of acid green neon lights. Odors of tar and oil become sickeningly strong.

Spirit Caller loses sight for just a moment, but as she rounds the corner she sees Tody, about two dozen feet down the alleyway and returned to his little blue form, with his jaws clenched around something. He growls as he clenches down. Something is shaking him vigorously as it dashes towards an open grate only a few feet away. Toby has managed to catch her, affording Spirit Caller one more chance.

(Toby rolls an 11 to search for Antumbra)

Behind Spirit Caller, she can hear Josef and Casper, making their way through the winding backstreets. They are following a path of torn up concrete and burning scorch marks. Honing in on Spirit Caller via the bond that binds them to the Living Realm. They turn the corner and find themselves a few feet behind Spirit Caller, watching a ghost dog two dozen feet away tearing at something invisible.

(Josef and Casper are now available)

In the distance, far off for now, can be heard the clamor of enterprising journalists, confused policemen, and excited citizens, stampeding through the city in search of Spirit Caller. They begin to split in search parties, eager to be the first find the survivor and get the scoop, or the first viral video.

(The crowds of people will arrive one the scene in 6 turns)

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:46, Fri 02 June 2017.

Spirit Caller
 player, 26 posts
 Spirit calling power
Fri 2 Jun 2017
at 19:29
The City of New Babel #1: The First Night
In reply to The Narrator (msg # 41):

Spirit Caller lets the thrill of the hunt fuel her and she goes all out, asking for assistance from both Josef and Casper to all punch right into Antumbra, and she continues to scream because screaming makes everything cooler.
The Narrator
 GM, 33 posts
Sat 3 Jun 2017
at 00:15
The City of New Babel #1: The First Night
In reply to Spirit Caller (msg # 42):

All at once, Spirit Caller, Josef, and Casper jump at the invisible figure, trusting in Toby's judgement and slavering, spectral jaws. Casper flies low, pushing into the living world and tackling down the invisible figure. Something cracks as Toby and Casper fall to ground, rolling with the invisible figure. Josef piles on, throwing fist after fist into the ground, striking the figure and concrete floor. Waves of dust billow out of the craters caused by Josef's fists. Before long the figure is smothered in dust and visible again to the naked eye. It is easy to make out the armor of Antumbra! So finally, Spirit Caller jumps on, punching, biting, kneeing, do anything she can to Antumbra; also screaming, Spirit Caller screamed, a lot. The stench of tar and oil fills the air. Concrete scraps her fingers and armor bruises her knuckles. Bits of armor go flying. Black goo and ooze splash against the floor. Something clatters into the trashcans.

(Spirit Caller rolled an 11 to attack Antumbra, Josef rolled an 11 to attack Antumbra, Casper rolled a 10 to attack Antumbra)

Antumbra clenches her body, squeezing tightly as Spirit Caller assails her. The purple ichor begins to ferment in her stomach. Blow after blow push down on the bubbling liquid until at last is bursts!

}Krak-sprash{

Scalding hot ooze explodes from every part of Antumbra's body! It blows everyone away and rocks the ground. Anutmbra races to her feet and leaps through the open grate to certain escape!
Spirit Caller
 player, 27 posts
 Spirit calling power
Sat 3 Jun 2017
at 01:14
The City of New Babel #1: The First Night
In reply to The Narrator (msg # 43):

Aiko screams even louder, partially in victory, partially in defeat, she feels a bittersweet aura to the whole situation. She decides, and shouts to Antumbra, that she will find her again, and she will defeat her for certain, she doesn't know if Antumbra can hear her or not, but she hopes she does, because Aiko decided that they've officially become rivals.

Then she pets Toby and shakes Josef's hands and lets them disperse back into their own worlds, wondering what to do next and how to actually find Antumbra. She decides to search the area and, if possible, to take samples.

She also decides that, somehow, she's going to write her name big enough and heroically enough that it would intimidate villains and bring hope, or at least popularity, to her hero persona: The Spirit Caller. Luckily, just as she keeps a purple marker on her at all times to conceal her face if need be, she also keeps a purple spray paint bottle, because she lives in Wasabi Land and graffiti wouldn't exactly be uncommon.
The Narrator
 GM, 34 posts
Sat 3 Jun 2017
at 02:12
The City of New Babel #1: The First Night
In reply to Spirit Caller (msg # 44):

With Antumbra gone, Spirit Caller goes to detective work. Immediately she drops to all fours and begins to crawl along the ground in search of clues. Bits of trash brush up against her elbows. Murky puddle water and green-glowing goop stain her knees. There really aren't any clues here. At least, none that don't involve digging through the heaps of, possibly radioactive but most certainly disgusting and sickening, trash.

(Spirit Caller rolled a 3 to search for clues)

However, Spirit Caller does find some remnants of the purple-black ooze that Antumbra, her new arch-enemy, had used to fight her. The samples are strange. They quickly dry and flake, but retain the stink of oil and tar. Touching them too much causes the once virulent ooze to crumble into dust. But, Spirit Caller thinks fast. She picks up a discarded, mostly clean, plastic sandwich baggy and spits into it. In goes a few handfuls of purple dust. After a bit of mashing and messaging, the dust begins to liquefy. She tucks the newly obtained sample into her pouch for later investigating, perhaps in a cleaner environment.

(Spirit Caller rolled a 7 to gather samples of Antumbra's ooze)

But the work is not yet over. A hero must have a name, or else the public will give them a really stupid one like Purple Girl or Fire Survivor. Not willing to risk a lame moniker, Spirit Caller came prepared with paint and pen. She decorates the walls in glorious colors of ghostly-ilk: purple, blue, green and yellow. With a masterful hand, she recreates the likeness of herself in full costume surrounded by the ghosts of the hour. Ghost in the Shell poses overhead, steely tendrils wrapped protectively over the others. Josef stands on the right, his fist protruding from the wall as if he were right there about to break your jaw. Casper on the left, riding his little drone in battle. And proud Toby, floating around Spirit Caller's waist, tongue lolling and ears dropping. They stand over a pile of purple goop, triumphant and impressive.

The din of a thronging crowd grows ever louder, but by the time they arrive Spirit Caller will be long gone. But, a beautiful portrait will remain to remind them of the hero who sort-of saved the day! They "um" and "ah" at the graffiti work. Pictures are taken, video filmed; the internet is abuzz with Spirit Caller. Who could it be? What power do they have? Who else heard that little girl screaming that night in the alleyway? The internet may never know.

(Spirit Caller rolled a 110 to tag the scene)

After a job well done a super hero has to find somewhere to relax and retire. Somewhere to call HQ, where the cowl can be hung on the coat rack and the cape thrown over the couch.

Where does Spirit Caller go? What does she do during her cool-off session? Who, if anyone, is waiting for her, and how much do they know? How does she feel about the hentai fan-art already pouring onto the web via the nubile Spirit Caller fansite?
Spirit Caller
 player, 28 posts
 Spirit calling power
Sat 3 Jun 2017
at 02:51
The City of New Babel #1: The First Night
In reply to The Narrator (msg # 45):

Aiko dashes off laughing and highfiving Casper in success and joy, they took on someone twice their age and forced them to retreat through pure raw power. Her nimble feet carry her all the way back to her apartment where she jumps to the landing outside that leads to the top of the roof, and then she quickly gets back into her room quietly but fumbling to get changed out of her clothes and stuffing them into her back, and then running out again and dashing back onto the streets.

She plugs her headphones and picks up a skateboard she leaves on the other side of the apartment, and decides she should use this to get around more often, it was a gift from her living best friend Ruckus. She starts to skate to Ruckus' apartment, dancing on her board before getting there, and then slamming into his room with excitement. "Have you seen the new hero?" She shouts at him. "Her name is Spirit Caller and she's wicked sick, dude!" Ruckus, her living best friend, doesn't know about her powers or her nightly escapades of pretending (until just now) to be a super hero, but he does keep up with the scene and had also already heard about the new heroine. Ruckus loves horror movies, and all things paranormal, though, even though he doesn't look like it, he even keeps a Ouija board for the two of them to play with when they're bored, it's how Aiko first met Casper, though Ruckus doesn't know Casper stuck around.

Ruckus, being a fanboy of all things super, had already started following the Spirit Caller official fan group, little did Ruckus know that, under a pseudo name, Aiko herself was the official leader of her own official fan club, because she knew it would happen sooner or later. Seeing the mass of hentai fan art swarming her internet forums disturbed her a little, but she could not exactly come out with her age and act as if she knew Spirit Caller, or people would know something is up, so she just decided to bear it.
The Narrator
 GM, 35 posts
Sat 3 Jun 2017
at 04:42
The City of New Babel #1: The First Night: Epilogue
In reply to Spirit Caller (msg # 46):

Aiko and Ruckus talk through the night about Spirit Caller and how cool her outfit is and how cool her powers are.

"She so cool, Aiko," Ruckus says, "She got to be my fav superhero ever. Like, the best. If I could have super powers, it be her powers. Ghost powers, Aiko, ghost powers is real sick. Like, that stuff's my virus. I'd inject that shit all day!"

Ruckus caresses his ouija board lovingly. A spark comes to his eye.

"I'm gonna get her to sign my ouija board! Maybe I can siphon some of her powers from her signature or something. With like a magic ritual or something. Maybe I can become a ghost. Now that would be sick."

Ruckus digs through his complied list of black magic tomes and continues to dream.

In the rotting arteries of New Babel, Antumbra stalked the sewers. Pipes dripped water onto the brick and metal below. An odor of trash and waste lingered. But Antumbra couldn't smell it with her mask on. She could only smell blood, the blood from her busted lip that seeped onto her tongue with each breath. Her armor squealed as she moved. Black ooze gumed up along her joints and dropped into the sewer stream with a plop, plop, plop. There are no lights in the sewers, none that are turned on at least, but Antumbra could still see with perfect vision thanks to the suit. It clung to her like a second skin; it bruised like a second skin too. Armor plates had been broken off. The ooze was leaking like blood. But, she did not feel defeated. She had got what she came for, she thought, as she searched her waist pouches. No! It was gone--the flash drive was gone! It must have been those people. They must have taken it from her in the final brawl. Antumbra threw her fist into the wall, crushing the brick to dust. She winced, feeling a pain in her chest.

"Whoever you are," Antumbra whispered to rats in the walls, "Whoever you're working for, you won't stop me. Nothing will."

Antumbra braced herself against the wall, and limped deeper into the tunnels, down towards the dark heart of New Babel, to plot her next move.

Else where, back in the alleyway, most everyone has cleared out. The journalists have gotten their visuals and conducted their interviews. The livestreams had ended, and all the hashtags were sent. #SpiritCaller #Ghostcrew #NewHeroes #NewBabelHeroes #FindScreamingGirl.

The fire had been put out, but all the third floor was gone in a blackened ash wasteland. Much of the data was saved thanks to the recovery servers, but the equipment was gone. White foam clung to the walls like wadded tissue paper. The smell of heavy metals and smoke covered the block, even as the firefighters departed into the night, their red engines hurtling down the streets of Tiny Tokyo towards the next fire, little holographic dalmatians with over-sized eyes running alongside the trucks.

24-Hour Ramen had sold out of everything and closed for the night. The Pachinko Parlor was still running strong. As soon as the smell began to waft out of the data-library across the street, face masks were handed out in haste. So the addicts played on, content with their stale air trapped behind "Happy Pahinko Place: Come be Happy!" paper masks. Over at the Russian Orthodox Charity Center, a vigil was being held. Small candles were lit. The soft sobbing couldn't be heard over the sound of the Pachinko games beeping and buzzing.

The police had taken away a body from outside the Pachinko Parlor, completely unrelated to the fire. Just some man with a snake tattoo around his neck; he'd been stabbed to death by two angry Pachinko players after trying to intervene in a dispute. No bodies were found in the fire, despite sightings of survivors on the roof of the building. All they knew was that a strange robot had attacked the data-library and set it ablaze. They had also cordoned off the alleyway where a fight was had. Only a few tired guards sat at the end of the alleyway, slurping down the last of their ramen as they bandied the yellow tape back and forth. Some of them had actually taken to cleaning up, loading trash into plastic bags and setting it to the curb. But nobody stepped foot inside the yellow tape.

Until a large metal boot touched down in front of the graffiti-tagged wall. It was a massive figure entirely engulfed in shadow, standing well over a normal sized human and twice as wide. When the light did catch the figure, it reflected off, shinning in the night. The figure analyzed the wall, specifically the middle character, the Spirit Caller. He had noticed the name suddenly boom across the internet, interesting. His glowing yellow eyes, without pupils, took picturesque memories of the wall, the alleyway, the grate. He walked with purposeful, powerful strides, hands calmly resting behind his back, towards the evidence of the crime. Scorch marks in the walls, strange purple dust that liquefied into shifting ooze, an odd drop in temperature, were all recorded, but what interested the giant most was the little flash drive he discovered left behind a trash can. He turned the device over in his massive, metal-clad mitt before placing it in compartment at his belt. His brow furrowed as he contemplated the events. Then a yellow seam appeared along the ground. It opened up underneath the giant's feet, unlocking like some puzzle cube, as blocks of concrete outlined in a yellow glow rotated backwards until the giant sank into the unseen depths and disappeared without a trace.

Who is this mysterious, dark giant? What is Antumbra's next move? Will Spirit Caller have her power destroyed by her best living* friend, Ruckus? Who was that screaming girl?

All of these will be answered in the next episode of . . .

!The City of New Babel!

This message was last updated by the GM at 21:07, Sat 03 June 2017.

The Narrator
 GM, 36 posts
Sat 3 Jun 2017
at 18:33
The City of New Babel #2: Hashtag Choice!
In reply to The Narrator (msg # 47):

The City of New Babel #2: Hashtag Choice!

The school bell rings, signalling the end of another day at Satchmo High. Students throw in their chairs. A few desks are overturned and stacked on each other by rowdy kids who like playing tricks on the janitor. Today though, the trick is on them; the janitor quit this morning. Come tomorrow morning, those same kids would be taking down their desks and discovering them covered in chewed gum. The hallways, broken tiled, ceiling panels loose and falling, are mobbed. Creaky lockers open and shut as kids pulled out books, laptops, clothes, and others, before sealing the lockers with chewed gum.

Aiko pushes out from the crowd, bag in hand (what's in her backpack?). Behind her, Ruckus is fording his own way. They meet up at the usual place outside the high school doors near the statue of the jazz man, blowing away at his brass trumpet with ballooned cheeks that never ran out of air and never made any sound.

"Aiko! What's down? You see the stuff on the fansite? Like, I got a crush on Spirit Caller, like anybody, but some of the art is getting real weird, right? Though, I kind of like this one, though. Saved."

Ruckus plays with his phone, drooling a little bit as he shifts through the new post tab on the Spirit Caller fansite. The reflective bands on his green hoodie shine as he pulls the hood up. Buttons and beads pinned to his jeans crack and cackle as he walks with Aiko down the stairs. As they reach the bottom step Aiko notices two groups of kids on either end of the staircase.

They are wearing the usual for Wasabi Land youth. Their jackets and shirts all sport reflective bands in various patterns. Their jewelry is made from cat's eye reflectors and bottle caps. The wealthier ones have laced a few precious gemstones in with the beads. Bands of multicolored wire holding together flashing bulbs are wrapped around their wrists and ankles. Some wear rain ponchos, insides decorated with spray paint and lights. On their feet are rubber boots with smiling faces on the toes, or worn sneakers with questionable stains. They have backpacks and rucksacks, books and laptops. The two groups are turned inward, but every now and them some of the kids will look around, or brake off into more personal conversations as the group yammers on.

Both groups notice Aiko as she walks down the stairs.

"Oh no, it's her," someone from the left group says, "Don't look, don't look. Man, she's so weird. I bet you her 'bodyguard' will be here any moment. I wonder she blackmailed him with. I used to know Frank back in, like, middle school. He didn't get weird until she showed up. Then he got, like, real sterile and shit."

"Nah, like, Aiko's cool," Says a thin, tall kid with pale skin like paper, eyes like red marbles, and black hair in a high widow's peak. The kid's name is Vlad, a classmate of Aiko. He shoulder's his backpack, rustling it against his see-through rain poncho. "She knows like, everything about monster movies and stuff. Her and Ruckus really helped me out when we had to read Frankenstein. She's sick man, don't dis her like that."

"What? You think what she did to Frank was cool or something, Vlad? Go back to your castle in Russia, man!" The group begins to chide Vlad as he defends Aiko.

On the other side of the stairs, Aiko hears the right group begin to talk as well.

"Are you kidding? Really? But, it's such a lame name! Spirit Caller? Come on. What's her powers? Call spirit's? Who'd have guessed? The costume is lame, the powers are lame, and she tagged her own name and shit on the wall. Like, desperate much? Spirit Caller is never going to be a big-time hero. None of the Tower Trinity are going to even look at her. Trust me."

"You're just jealous!," Shouts a short, chubby girl with dark skin and a bubbly afro. Her name is Wanda, but she goes by Wawa, as she told Aiko once during gym class. Wanda bumps one of the kids in the group, pushing him out the way as she moves deeper into the circle. "Spirit Caller is as good a name as any other. And, like, whoa re you to say her powers suck? Ain't like you got powers, wet wipe."

"Screw off, Wawa! I bet you're part of her fan club. Which picture did you draw huh?
 Bet I can guess." They start to fight.

Aiko and Ruckus reach the bottom of the stairs. Ruckus finally looks up from his phone. He hasn't heard the two groups talking.

"So like, I know you got that project to do, what was it again? Remind me? But like, I got this crazy new book called the Grimoire of Heaven's Tear. It's a legit book, real sickness. Imma try and cast some spells. Ain't nobody gonna mess with me once I can spit fireballs and shit! Right, Aiko? What you wanna do?"

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:06, Sat 03 June 2017.

Spirit Caller
 player, 29 posts
 Spirit calling power
Sat 3 Jun 2017
at 21:14
The City of New Babel #2: Hashtag Choice!
In reply to The Narrator (msg # 48):

Aiko looks around the hallway and sighs at the sorry sight of the school, making sure to take in the entire hall's sound: the music emanating from each of the students' phones, the conversations each student is jabbering, the voice of Wawa and Vlad, Ruckus' droning. She looks around and sees the sights of the Vlad being mocked, and Wawa sticking up for the Spirit Caller, and she loosens her own buttons and jacket and pulls down her hood as if to officially announce her presence. "I don't know, Ruckus, you usually tell us what to do, skip class, go to class, make fun of someone, where's Frank?" Silently under her breathe she starts to mutter for Casper, asking him to protect Vlad from the other students, as she finds Vlad pretty cool, and also wants to know if he knew Uncle Josef by chance, he seems like a kid who would.

"My project tonight? Right, it's, well, it's a project for history, you know that class you didn't take because you think history doesn't help anyone since the rules of reality have changed. Ya, Ruckus, tell me if you know anything that has to do with Russian history, I thought I'd kiss the teacher's ass since he's part Russian I think." Aiko was talking out of her ass, but she knew Ruckus would believe it, since he was also so busy lecturing himself on the ethics and responsibilities, and the inconceivable power, of a wizard. At the sound of Wawa's defense for Spirit Caller, Aiko decides to join the fray in her own way, again muttering for another spirit to harmlessly chant Spirit Caller in the ears of the girl arguing with Wawa.

With a quick step from Ruckus and to Wawa, Aiko began to defend the Spirit Caller ferociously. "Hey, if I'm not wrong, don't you tag your name in the boy's bathroom every chance you get? At least Spirit Caller isn't desperate for some upper classman's dick like you are. Why would she need the trinity to back her up when she's got an armada of ghosts to back her up anyway?"

Scoffing at the girl, Aiko turns her back and walks away with an angry stride, her hero persona's pride being stung by the comment like a hornet stinging a child.

Ignoring her wounded pride, she yelps for Vlad, "Hey Vlad, my man! I got a question only you can answer, since Ruckus is busy having mindgasms over the Spirit Caller fan art." Waving her hand towards Vlad, she grins, trying to look less odd.

This message was last updated by the GM at 21:14, Sat 03 June 2017.

The Narrator
 GM, 38 posts
Sat 3 Jun 2017
at 21:41
The City of New Babel #2: Hashtag Choice!
In reply to Spirit Caller (msg # 49):

Aiko glances back at the girl arguing with Wawa, waiting for a jolt or jump. It never happens. No ghosts or spirits appear. Instead the confrontation ends with Wawa backing away from the group, cursing as she backs up into Ruckus.

(Aiko rolled a 5 (2+3) to call for a ghost)

"Careful, Wawa. I was memorizing some real black magics. I could have turned you to a frog or something."

"If you did, I'd still be prettier than her," Wawa throws her thumb back at the girl in the group, and smirks. "What's down Ruckus?"

"Just sticking with Aiko. Oh man, that's not sick. That's not sick at all." Rucks' voice trails off.

Aiko waves over to Vlad. The skinny, pale kid looks relieved, but just for a moment. Behind Aiko looms Frank. Frank is a large, big, red-headed kid who easily stands over everyone in the school, even most of the teachers. He picks up his backpack and hurls it into the group of kids. He then picks up Vlad's backpack, and begins to throw the things inside at the group as well.

(Aiko rolled an 8 (5+3) to summon Casper to Vlad's aid)

"We should leave," Vlad says, "Let's go, where do we go?"
Spirit Caller
 player, 30 posts
 Spirit calling power
Sat 3 Jun 2017
at 21:47
The City of New Babel #2: Hashtag Choice!
In reply to The Narrator (msg # 50):

Aiko turns to Wawa and waves, then beckons everyone, including Frank (Casper) to follow. "Let's go to wherever you know, let's just wonder around the place, see if we can catch anything cool. Anyone know anywhere haunted? Those are always fun to be explore, oh ya let's do that, let's be urban explorers, that'd be cool right guys?" Aiko doesn't make up her mind, she decides it'd be best for the group of kids to just walk around until they find something interesting to go and do.
The Narrator
 GM, 39 posts
Sat 3 Jun 2017
at 23:38
The City of New Babel #2: Hashtag Choice!
In reply to Spirit Caller (msg # 51):

Everyone rushes off the school grounds as fast as they can and into the winding center of Wasabi Land. Bright colors peel off the walls. Strange oils and oozes drip out of the gutters, staining the concrete with the blood of rainbows. Cars careen through the streets, and music blasts out the windows of the apartments.

The urban adventuring consists of a few smelly alleyways, some open garages, and climbing a fire escape to the roof of a four story building until the light began to fade. Pictures are taken and posted to the internet, all along the way. Eventually, they end up in a little snack shack on the corner street. It's a greasy place, like everywhere in Wasabi Land, and it gives off a feint glow. The walls are painted blue with little clouds and birds drifting by. Plastic chairs ring several tables. Their feet scrape along the tiled floor. It smells of grease and lab-grown meat enough to make the mouth water. The menu is scarce, but everyone finds something to order before the sojourn to Ruckus' house.

Ruckus' house is an apartment of three rooms. The squeaky door opens to a combination living room and kitchen furnished with ripped upholstery, grimy tiles, and mold-free appliances. From there it splits into Ruckus' room, and his mother's room. Everyone crams into his room with their food.

Ruckus' room is chocked wall to wall with printouts of pdf spell books and country music stars. Tomes of black magic bound in hard cover and hand-made, 3-ring binder spell books where stacked on every desk, cabinet, and available floor space. They made handy tables for the burgers. Ruckus' computer was packed onto his nightstand. He blasted music through the speakers. Thankfully, his mother wasn't home.

They talk about Spirit Caller, everyone but Vlad seems interested. Vlad watches cat videos on his phone and reapplies sunscreen to his pale limbs, pretending not hear about summoning ghosts. Wawa listened to Ruckus lionize Spirit Caller, she fidgets from side to side until finally she couldn't take it anymore and suggested they do something else. Frank (Casper) points at a poster on the wall: Horror Night! Scream Scene, 24-hour movie marathon.

"Yeah, let's watch a movie. Great idea Frank." Wawa said.

Frank (Casper) winks at Wawa. He picks up the remote, and switches the TV to the cooking channel. Frank (Casper) then stuffs his mouth with all the french fries that he bought with the money from his pocket.

"Horror Movie!" Ruckus said.

"Rom-Com." Vlad said.

"I'm okay with Rom-Com. I like the feeling when I laugh." Frank (Casper) said, "What are you voting for Aiko?"

Before Aiko could answer her phone began to vibrate. Two new messages had appear on the screen.

The first one came from her tweeter account. The school group chat received some new messages from some of the kids who went up to the edge of Mt. Bering for a camping trip this weekend. It wouldn't have been that interesting, except the twit had blown up along with many other similar twits. Ruckus had seen the twit and wondered aloud how awesome it would be if kids from their school did get sacrificed.

"Hearing weird sounds in the forest. Sounds like chanting. Hope I don't get sacrificed to the dark gods. Lol. Spooky!" #Spooky #Creepy #MtBering

The second message was text, sent from an unknown number. It wasn't just Aiko who received this text, it was everyone in the room. The text was written in red letters and had been sent via a mass text to, perhaps, every high school aged teenagers on the ground floor of New Babel. I wonder if what kind of weapons they teach, Wawa thought aloud.

"Hello Comrades. It is time to throw off the shackles of oppression! It is time to enact the great change and make New babel a greater city. Come to the house on Vlastock St in New Russia District that flies red flag for training in the new army of New Babel."

Aiko's hero senses kick in; these don't sound like harmless pranks. Which disturbance will Aiko investigate, if any? How will Aiko ditch her friends? What genre of movie would Aiko pick?
Spirit Caller
 player, 31 posts
 Spirit calling power
Sun 4 Jun 2017
at 00:07
The City of New Babel #2: Hashtag Choice!
In reply to The Narrator (msg # 52):

Aiko stares down at her phone and, trying to keep her cool, she grins. "Horror, definitely horror." She holds up the tweet of the spooky chanting and she grins wider, "Let's see a real horror show though. It'd be fun. Let's go camping guys. When's the last time you all saw real birds and animals rather than those fake robotic and holographic ones?" As she was saying this, Aiko was already rummaging through her backpack, making sure she already had her superhero costume, and that blue crystal, and this time, something to fight with other than her fists, which was a small metal rod. She had them, but she still thought that it'd be smart to go home and back some other things, like a sleeping bag. "Either way," she says, "I'm going to go whether you guys come or not. If you do want to go, meet up at my place with your skate boards, or something to to ride on anyway."
The Narrator
 GM, 40 posts
Sun 4 Jun 2017
at 02:59
The City of New Babel #2: Hashtag Choice!
In reply to Spirit Caller (msg # 53):

Aiko, Ruckus, and Wawa depart for Mt. Bering, first by skateboard and bike, then by bus, until they were standing outside of the Mt. Bering National Forest campsite.

It smelled of pine and campfire. The night sky was dark as the deepest shadow. Not a star could be seen in the sky. Crickets chirped in the bushes. The ocean waves could be heard across the island. The forest road was rough to ride up, and after a few minutes, the group found it better to walk.

Aiko, Ruckus, and Wawa, find themselves on a small forest path, following the signs to the campground.

Ruckus seems excited. He has packed enough supplies to conduct multiple satanic rituals. His laptop and a power battery have been prioritized over a sleeping bag. He bumbles along the trail, talking about witches and warlocks, embracing the darkness.

Wawa is much more alert and prepared. She has expertly packed a backpack with toiletries, power snacks, extra clothes, sunscreen, bug spray, paracord ropes, etc. She has no electronics except her phone which has been switched off.

As Aiko walks up the path, she notices a campfire flickers a little ways off. A few tents have been pitched around it, but they seem to sag and droop. She cannot hear anything coming from the campsite. A little further up the path is another campfire, and further up from that is an empty campsite, where Wawa was leading everyone to.
Spirit Caller
 player, 32 posts
 Spirit calling power
Sun 4 Jun 2017
at 04:26
The City of New Babel #2: Hashtag Choice!
In reply to The Narrator (msg # 54):

Spirit Caller looks around at the campsites and stops for a moment while Ruckus and Wawa move on ahead. Under her breath she starts muttering for a spirit, hoping it goes better than the last time she tried at school. She would tell that ghost discretely to go and spy around the camps and figure out what's going on, being very curious as to why the place feels so strange and eerie.

Then she quickly catches up with her friends, every so often making fun of Rucks' obsession with the occult and talking to Wawa about horror flicks.