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Wednesday Night Icons: Hari Snaps
I'm sad to say I don't know where things stand with Hari and Gecko Girl; didn't come up. What did happen was

The session begins as we go over what the characters did over Christmas: Glimm stayed with his parents at the embassy (I have in Toronto but Ottawa surely?), Sari inexplicably went back to the hellhole she grew up (and got to watch the police strike), Hari stayed in the school to concentrate on his studies and Rumspringa and the Son of Satan apparently spent the holidays showing each other their side's interesting, uh, hot spots.

There are two new kids in school: Lorilei and Elizabeth Thompson, who are remarkably identical twins. The twins' mother Dynamo Rose had just died and they were staying with Jade. Mom was a crime fighting gadgeteer who got her toys from a dying alien; the girls lack both powers and zap guns.

Jade and Hari are informed by Mr. Baron that due to recent activity, specifically the photos they published on one of the teachers canoodling with their SO, who happens to be an intelligent gorilla, they will have power damper collars put on them. The reasoning was that the school didn't want to have to deal with the whole cross-species PR thing [1] and so the kids needed to be punished for publicizing it. Hari is very skeptical that this logic will stand up to close examination so he accepts his collar and begins to prepare formal proceedings to protest the punishment.

No sooner had Baron left but a demon and a woman dressed in the fashions of the 1970s appear. They assure the group that all they want to do is kill the twins and as soon as they are done doing that, they will leave.

Hari immediately begins trying to crack his collar off in the middle of combat. Again. He has some trouble with it but happily Sari is the sort of fun loving girl who will ram a knife into a skin-tight collar to help the person in the collar break free. The blade missed Hari's neck. The shorting batteries safely ground out through Hari.

Glimm tries to intervene and the woman, who turns out to be called Circe, turns him into a bear with a compulsion to kill the twins.

Rumspringa does a masterful job of protecting the twins from both Circe and the demon, who was trying to entangle the girls and drag them off to a fate exactly like death. It helps that Circe has some weaknesses that make her a fun opponent for the group: her defenses don't work if the attacker is alien or female. The only person in the group who is not one or the other is Hari. Rums puts Circe on her ass and then Sari finishes the job with some of her patent stabbing action.

Hari, having finally rid himself of the damper, teleports the girls, Rum (whose wings are folded around them) and the demon (connected by a chain) into the chapel, having learned from an earlier demonic invasion (I think) that demons don't like churches. The demon immediately flees the host it is possessing, leaving a dumpy bald guy for Rumspringa and Hari to take prisoner.

Sari convinces Circe to turn Glimm back into an alien.

Circe and her pal have been stuck in a pocket dimension [2] for 30 years, having been stuck there by Dynamo Rose. Circe mentions that there were duplicates of the villains there as well, which is a little odd. Some investigation suggests that they were "summoned" back to our universe in one of the dorms; specifically they got released by Lorn, not generally a big sorcerer type. The demon's senses let it know Dynamo Rose was dead but that her blood was close, so they headed off to get some revenge.

As it turns out, Lorn was not dabbling in magic but with a technological device with oddly familiar symbols on it. Hari realized they were symbols from Glimm's people's alphabet. Glimm took a picture of the device and sent it to his dad, who appeared on the scene mere minutes later. It turns out the device belongs to Glimm's people; apparently the dying alien who gave Dynamo Rose her toys was from their civilization.

Dynamo Rose thought the device was "phantom zone generator". What it actually is is a combination dimensional transporter/duplicator and to make each duplicate, it destroys a star in an alternate dimension. Apparently the beings in that dimension don't care to have their stars destroyed and after some discussion between Glimm's people and the irate extra-universals all the duplicators were disassembled, except for the one that just turned up.

The devices buffers are full thanks to Dynamo Rose, hero and perhaps Earth's greatest mass murderer of extra-dimensionals. What to do with the contents is not resolved. Hari makes a fuss, thinking it improper that the machine be disassembled before the criminals and monsters inside are rescued. It's not so much that he objects to the death penalty but he does object to casually killing people for convenience sake (especially people who are not actually criminals but merely identical duplicates; their originals may have broken the law but they never did).

Dynamo Rose turns out to have given the device to Poseidon for safe keeping after something made her decide to stop using it. The implication is she finally found out about the duplication by duplicating her daughter. Poseidon let Lorn get his hands on it and the rest is hilarious history.

Hari turns himself in to Baron for breaking his power damper again and comments that it was harder to break this one. Baron mentions that it's a new design. Baron's only job at the school is to keep track of kids' powers and craft individualized dampers for the rule breakers so it makes some sense that no two are alike.

Against Hari's expectations, he is not issued a new damper. Instead it is pointed out to him that the proper procedure is for there to be a hearing and only after that is a damper issued. Hari, who has been growing increasingly annoyed at what he sees as willfully shoddy administrative practices, decides this time he is going to pursue this matter in the way a hero should: by filing a formal complaint. He is so taken up with his grand crusade that he fails to notice Jade's collar has not been taken off her even though the procedures were also not followed before she was collared.

As it turns out, there is a problem at the school over plagiarised papers. Jade is one of the few with access so she is a suspect. Hari is told to keep an eye out for evidence implicating Jade.

The Safety Patrol is then given the job of running a transfer student named Odessa through the standard tests for incoming students. Odessa turns out to be an enchantingly pretty girl with an unusually wide range of abilities.

Jade sits the tests out and by the end of them seems almost comatose. Hari realizes that her collar was never taken off and since it doesn't block his abilities he has no trouble cracking off her. Baron asks for it back and the penny drops for Hari: Baron is Up To Something and keeping people from examining the collars is part of it. Hari teleports Jade to the nurse's office and insists that Principal Tempest be called in. Some paranoid sounding commentary about the willfully blind administration may have occurred at this point but it was as nothing compared to where Hari would eventually go.

The admins agree that Baron acted improperly but they seem willing to believe it was merely an excess of diligence in pursuing the plagiarism matter. I think it was around this point Hari started ranting about "interlocking supervillain conspiracies" at the admin level of the school; in his defense Hari's home town has essentially no crime and not much in the way of secrets so the last six months in the hell hole that is crime-infested Earth has been very hard on him.

Hari insists that someone Not Baron look at the collar but it turns out Bailey, the obvious choice, is out sick. Hari checks with ESP to make sure he really is at home (as opposed to, say, under six inches of soil in Algonquin Park), then Hari uses his TK to write Bailey a note with a pen and paper on Bailey's night table (Hari has a phone but it never occurs to him to use it), then wakes Bailey. Hari then teleports to Bailey's to drag him to the school [2]. Hari soon notices Bailey is acting a lot like Jade did in the gym and investigation reveals that after Bailey's glasses were broken a few days ago, the replacement pair came with power drainers included.

At around this point Rumspringa overhears a radio communication to Odessa, telling her to bug out. Rumspringa insists on accompanying Odessa, who for some reason never tries to cut and run (I think she was short on mobility powers). Odessa made several attempts to get along, all of which Rumspringa cheerfully managed to circumvent. In the end, Odessa tried to escape in gas form, claiming her powers were malfunctioning. Rumspringa surrounded her with TK and dragged her back to the school for her own good.

It turns out Baron is one of the people with access to the copied papers. Dum dum dum. Also, there was a recent paper on how to use stolen powers that came in right before Bailey was power-drained. Also dum dum dum. There is a mysterious device in Baron's office, which Tempest turns off. Hari is mildly astounded at the sight of admin actually doing something useful.

At the moment the machine is turned off, Odessa turns into a normal looking girl with no powers.

For some reason once Odessa is back at the school, she tries to take Sari hostage. Hari points out that Sari is the member of the Safety Patrol most likely to dole out horrific injuries in the course of her duties [3]. Odessa replies by pointing out Sari is the only one who bleeds when stabbed. Hari could have pointed out that although he can have a force field, in actual point of fact he forgot to ever turn it on but instead he uses his TK to surround Sari with a force field. Odessa surrenders.

Tempest then let the members of the Safety Patrol in on a secret: since people with powers are weirdness magnets no matter what careers they follow, the school takes the attitude that the kids need to learn to deal with Weird Crap. Hari's accusation that they are willfully useless is in fact accurate and is intended to help the kids deal with the challenges of their lives after they graduate. The Patrol is not to share this information.

1: Note that Glimm's not even from the same Kingdom as the girl he was dating, so it's not that the school has any sort of rules against two intelligent beings dating. They just don't want it to be discussed.

2: Bailey at one point asked to be allowed to put on his pants before being dragged off to school. Hari made a disparaging comment about Earthican modesty and Bailey corrected him on this; what Baily wanted was pockets. Hari and Bailey had a brief bonding moment over pockets, which in Hari's opinion are the best thing about this dimension. Well, pockets and girls.

The player playing Runspringa suggested Hari name Earth's dimension after its best feature: the pocket dimension.

3: There was a moment either when Sari was actively stabbing Circe or just convincing her to transform Glimm without trying to escape by sliding an inch of blade into her, when Hari suggested Sari experiment some day with using the flat of her blade. The utterly baffled look her player then portrayed sadly cannot be conveyed in print.

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.

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Say, I know the copy of the possessed guy turned up (demons turn out to be DRMed against copying; on a related note Rumspringa noted that no member of the RIAA has ever made it into heaven). Did we ever track down the duplicate of Circe who presumably popped out with the others? I don't think we did.

The villain was Ms. Circe, because she was a 1970s feminist villain. You never tracked her down, but comments made by the copy of the guy indicated that they were sticking together, her and him. Yeah, he was a guy, but in thirty years, a person can change....

Glimm did stay in Ottawa for Christmas. I'm sure that's why he didn't see Serena. Funny she wasn't present today... Rumspringa took Paul to see Lourdes, he took her to the Hellfire club.

There was supposed to be lots more with the plagiarism stuff, but I cut it in the interests of time. Sari really got shortchanged, though, on stuff to do: it was mostly the Hari and Rumspringa show. My fault. Also, conceptually, a buffer of villains so powerful they've got to be kept in the phantom zone is a great idea but pretty much out of the realm of school kids to handle. (Well, maybe not: we know they were too much for a 1970s gimmick hero to handle.)

And she got rid of the "projector" after accidentally duplicating her daughter, which you would have noticed had you ever checked the fingerprints of the twin girls: they were identical. (Mom was not being entirely truthful about why she got rid of the duplicator.)

And we ended the session with the duplicator with the nearly full buffer being stolen.

Next session is the Valentine's Day one, in my mind: so we do crushes of all sorts, check in on Hari and Lenore, Sari and Tyrone, Rumspringa and Paul, and Glimm and Serena. Plus probably a return of Serevil, just because.

Edited at 2012-02-16 03:44 pm (UTC)

Dynamo Rose now added to my Hope Prep NPCs page, though projector/duplicator not mentioned.

May I link to your comments on the session?

Sure. They're public because they're available.

Anything I don't want people to see I place friends-locked or private.

In fact, the school members have indulged in intraspecies dating before: the quarterback and the alien, for instance. But hyperintelligent gorillas are still treated as gorillas: most of them are not hyperintelligent, and the cases where they are, people have been able to get around it by saying, "Oh, a human brain transplanted into a gorilla. Okay." This one isn't, and her association with him breaks several older laws. It's like, in Canada you can be a prostitute, you just can't live off it. That's the way the laws are written.

Well, in this case, being with a nonhuman is okay, but one normally regarded as an animal is a problem, especially since the majority of them are animals. They have lines drawn, and unfortunately gorillas are on the wrong side of the line. (Now, if the gorilla said he was a human brain transplanted into a gorilla...but no. He's a victim of Gorilla Pride. Pun intended.)

So the salient points in this case are (a) a faculty member and (b) a gorilla, normally regarded as an animal.

Edited at 2012-02-16 07:39 pm (UTC)

The strange Earthican customs involving Valentine's Day will surely not lead to any awkward moments for Hari. I look forward to the next report.

I think I never got around to writing up the episode where Hari's GF became significantly more lizardlike as a side-effect of her powers. Hari is, of course, his stuffy supportive self but this is a school where they are honing embittered vigilantes so I don't imagine they have an anti-bullying policy.

Lizard transformations? The school's health classes must get surreal on occasion.

"Puberty is often accompanied by hormonal surges, outbreaks of acne, and occasional directional energy blasts..."

It's kind of a pity Smallville didn't do more with the idea that Clark loses control of his heat vision any time he gets ... excited.

I've long suspected Something Was Up with the school's administration...

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