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Old 09-12-2014, 08:33 PM   #519
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Default Re: New Reality Seeds

I hope you don't mind this deviation. It's not really a world, but it is a group of interest for the IW setting...

The Alternatives

There's a story that every white-star conveyor operator knows, that every trainee hears before their first jump.

It goes something like this: An ambitious young conveyor jockey fresh out of training, bound for White Star, starts talking to this egghead from R&D. The Egghead's been running some calculations, see, and there's this new dimension he's found- all women. All LONELY women. All of them with well-developed... personalities. The calculations were conclusive. With the right crew, it'd be easy to hop over and pick up some chicks! They'd have their pick of the PLANET!

Naturally, the jockey agrees. There's no time to send a test drone, and anyway it'd get internal investigation on to them. The egghead's SURE about those coordinates. Pretty sure, anyway.

So, they arrange things. Bring around the rest of the jockey's crew, get the egghead assigned to them for a standard survey mission to some boring old smother clone, check out all their paperwork... and then, at the last minute, retarget the jump, to the babe dimension.

Then what happened? Nobody knows. They sent drones to the same coords, and there's no such dimension. The jokey, crew, and egghead were all vanished.

And THAT, that's why you always wait for the drone. Because if some genius forgets to carry a one, the next thing you know you're halfway up Cthulhu's colon....

Of course, like all rumors, there's a grain of truth. A crew did vanish in attempting an unauthorized jump, and it was related to White Star. In fact, at least three white-star marked conveyors left the facility without arriving anywhere, though only one was strictly unauthorized.

But only the most paranoid of IU's security leadership even suspected the truth: That conveyor isn't vanished.

What really happened is that yes, a researcher did discover a world-line coordinate with useful qualities. Specifically, it was extremely unstable, liable to change quantum with only a slight push. Perfect for faking a disappearance. They started the rumors- several, in fact, some saying they left for gold, some for power, some to escape the law. They reached deep into the IU/White Star network to pull together the best of the crooked, and they built a crew.

Then, five years ago, they jumped to an unstable echo, cut some telegraph wires to prolong the great depression, and sent their echo to Q8, where nobody would think to look.

Since then, they've become the most powerful criminal organization in the known cosmos. They perform impossible crimes, undetectable crimes. It took little time to establish dozens of fronts on 27 different known timelines. These are their resource bases, but not their real calling. Today they are known as The Alternatives. They don't work for money (though they do demand high prices to keep the riff-raff out), they crave the challenge of outsmarting the most powerful people in history. They also accept payment in the form of favors... and unusual gifts. They posses a suitcase supercomputer capable of calculating a point-to-point jump in minutes (it still takes weeks of manual programming to get it configured for different conveyor loadouts), a psi-tech torture device, and the mana-enhancing skull of a fanged humanoid.

They are no risk to the secret- if anything, they're better than IU at keeping quiet. But they are a threat to the law and order of the entire quantum battleground. (Nobody knows how they do it, but they can switch quantums. Most likely, they know about the natural portals that cross Q-levels and make use of those dimensions) IU doesn't know about them yet, but they do know about four major heists The Alternatives have pulled off, though they don't realize the connection.

Reich-5 actually met The Alternatives; The thieves took the Hammer of Thor out from under their noses on a myth parallel. The nazis are actively looking for cross-dimensional theives already.

The Cabal aren't concerned with The Alternatives, and the Alternatives avoid magical worlds for the most part (they are looking for an occult partner to expand their reach; as it is, they only really know a few workaday spells like Create Fire and Purify Water, and those at low levels). In fact, the two organizations may cooperate as much as they compete.

Centrum is in the same boat as Infinity... they know about four or five major heists. The danger, though, is what it means about Infinity's knowledge about cliedynamics. If one random researcher can discover the theory behind an unstable world well enough to predict and execute a change, then Centrum is losing its edge. If they ever discovered The Alternatives, and managed to get the whole story, it might lead them to take much more urgent action against Infinity.

Last edited by PTTG; 09-12-2014 at 11:52 PM.
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