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Thread: The Blue Line. Paragons of the Hearth.

  1. #81
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    A plethora of notable normals

    Everyone who does something you don't yet know how to do, has a super power - to you.

    Letting go for a second of player levels and the increased capability that they come with, simply engaging in an uncommon skill with some martial or survival application makes those people more capable than you by default. Better is relative and subjective, but one cannot argue the increased capability that comes with improved health, vitality, vigor, coordination, strength, agility, reflexes, senses, mental acumen and more experienced insight and intuition.

    The Hearth is a world for normal adults, teens, children, elders and the infirm. Having normal adult abilities, skills and proficiencies is NOT being inept or incapable, it is entirely normal.

    Having just a step under adult normal abilities is not a problem, it presents certain challenges at times, but doesn't necessarily mean that one cannot function in the world - many do. However there are many normal adults who engage a particular skill-set, avenue of expertise or field of knowledge well above the "norm". These don't all have to be martially capable, sometimes political, investigative, bureaucratic, medical and social expertise and savvy can wield far more influence and effectiveness in a world so often ruled by these elements.

    Notable people of every stripe abound in every field, they may not be the day-to-day mainstays, but they are present - giving rise to inspiring tales and letting a glimpse of the extraordinary into people's ordinary lives in unexpected ways. These are not the geniuses or Olympic athletes of the world, but they are notable and note-worthy in whatever industry, field or profession that they engage themselves fully into. They are not the bulk of ahminity, but they are a significant percentatge of the population.

    Then there are Consummates, both Olympic and Prodigious that push the boundaries of what it means to be ahmin, all the time. Never are they spurred on by pleasant childhoods, kind words and a lack of trauma, they each have to find in themselves the resolve and the reasons to push past limits and achieve the impossible. That said, the actual international Olympics are filled with normal ahmin who live a certain unique lifestyle, a lifestyle of trying to become or prove that they are the best in the world. There, people with optimal genetics prove their capability in conquering their limitations to the best of their body's and minds' capabilities. However that is not the only place where people who live a unique and uncommon lifestyle push themselves to unprecedented limits.

    The world of Archon Operations (ArcOps) is filled with women and men who push their bodies and minds to the very limits as they attempt to compete on the only stage that matters to them, the stage of survival and dominance that is Arc Ops. Archons - be they Olympic Consummates or simply mentally-skewed apotent (normal) ahmin with a significant martial background and training - are all Olympic-level competitors who train all their lives to bring themselves to their peaks, and in moments ruin one-another's bodies, minds and lives. One can quantify the Hearth by it's unconscious tradition of finding, creating, tempering and forging the greatest warriors among any given sampling, and then testing them against one another for various reasons.

    The world of Hearth is not one where metas emerged whole-clotch just last year, and JUST a band of six metas with kind intentions, face an otherwise mundane world completely unprepared for them.

    The world of Hearth is a place with a long tradition of metas of various stripes, powers and origins from every corner of the globe, going back to the very fundaments of it's history. While the Hearth resembles the Earth, this element - the persistence of the super, the supernatural, the mystical, the metamartial, the adaptive, the extraterrestrial or the just plain unexplainable have had an indelible imprint on the world of the Hearth even if there are many billions who wish it weren't so.

    Meta incursions are not a common everyday staple of everyone's lives, however the populace exists in unique and sometimes persistently anxious awareness of the fact that there is little to shield them from elements entirely out of their control. Governments, corporations, institutions and private partnerships abound who have one single prevailing ethos, gather as much intelligence as possible and prepare for the unexpected. Many organizations have highly trained Archon-level operatives who are uniquely trained to take down metas of more than just a few origins.

    The world has experts, trained to exploit every weakness, turn every asset into a weakness, and bring the metas back down to the ahmin level.

    Often these specialists are focused on the meta and archon operatives of various rival nations, and not on the menaces and menacists within their own borders. More often than not they are working for private institutions, for-profit bodies and intelligence services with their own varied and prevailing political objectives. This translates to a world that is not just capable of handling some of the known meta threats, but is actually capable of being a deadly threat to those metas who are not prepared for the world's contravening forces.

    There are somewhere on the order of 1.25 million metas of all stripes on the Hearth, conversely and soberingly but there are 1.26 billion ahmin of the notable capability. Thankfully these notable ahmin are not necessarily poised against metas as a single united whole. An uncommonly large number of notable ahmin rank among the meta community - these peak-capability ahmin are not a joke to be taken lightly. Among them, smaller and smaller numbers of even more experienced and capable ahmin exist, with no genetic differentiation from baseline ahmin - capable of meta-martial, psychic and even arcane feats that border the metahamin.

    Governments, militaries, institutions, corporations and some cabals are literally filled to the brim with these notable ahmin who make their ranks more than fodder, especially as they are poised on the literal nerve centers of the modern world. If the world were solely comprised of apotent (normal) un-noteworthy ahmin it still has a large-enough population to be considered - especially when large groups of them operate with a united goal. However there are notable ahmin among them who literally inspire the best and worst among any number of people to or against any goal they have in common.

    Without knowing the affiliation of one notable normal after the other, a meta or team of metas could find themselves facing increasing numbers of equivalent and even greater threats than their abilities can keep apace with.

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    Last edited by Demeheron; 05-08-2017 at 07:42 PM.

  2. #82
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    Global Orphan Ratio

    The reality is that in our apotent and mundane world of Earth, we'd like to believe that orphans are a rarity to the extreme, so off the margins as to not warrant any concern, however every year tens of thousands of children or orphaned around the world. On particularly heinous years of warfare, pestilence and famine, the number can rise to the hundreds of thousands, and each and every one is a tragedy unto itself that literally shapes someone 's young world.

    ================================================== ===================

    On the Hearth, metahamin battles have a devastating effect on society and alarming rates of casualty among the bystanding public. Disaster shelters, a common staple of modern building construction, are supposed to serve as a barrier to these death tolls, and for the lucky few who make it, they can reduce the chance of immediate visceral death, but in the average building over four stories, this can account for less than 35% of the building's current capacity. There is no guarantee that survival can be secured by merely reaching a disaster shelter and even if one does reach that relative insecurity, there is no guarantee that their loved ones will as well.

    The reality on the meta and active world of the Hearth is a bit more drastic. In any given year, between tragedies, conventional wars, metahamin conflicts and any number of outlier cases that are far too numerous to predict or mention, somewhere on the order of twenty million to nearly fifty million children under the age of 18 are NEWLY orphaned around the Hearth. That means that in any given year, an orphan population the size of a small country is created.

    Every.
    Single.
    Year.

    What this translates to is a world in which 1 in 6 children below the age of 10 has lost one of their parents, but a staggering 1 in 12 children has lost both of their parents by age 18, and 1 in 8 children has lost both of their parents by the age of 10. There are some countries in which this ratio is significantly lower, having a well funded and active infrastructure of emergency response and law enforcement drastically reduces this effect in some parts of the world. Likewise, this also translates to punitively higher ratios in other nations less capable of effectively enforcing a standard of safety for it's population.

    Since the late 1800's, the infrastructure of the Orphanage and mandated wards of the state have remained a constant, even in developed nations. Some nations, like the United States of Atlantica have a natural preference for adoption, especially by relatives and willing couples. To that end, there are tax and social service incentives to ease the burden of taking in children that a couple may not have expected. Unfortunately, there are many people who see orphans as simply ignorable sources of income from the government. There are many disreputable orphanages, as well as many negligent - if not abusive - foster homes.

    This becomes significantly more important as a childhood interrupted can turn into a young adulthood wrestling with the sudden agency of metahamin powers. While there are many sources and factors of metahamin development that are known and can be quantified and detected, even in this day and age, there are still many MORE that are entirely unpredictable.

    In addition to examples on the media of metahamin menaces and menacists, even accidental metahamin incursions claim hundreds if not thousands of lives. The reality that there are entire generations of children who grow up in relative squalor without prevailing examples of caring, concerned and mentally healthy adults who engage in their care without financial inducement becomes an even greater tragedy, whether apotent or meta.

    Hundreds to thousands to tens of thousands of young adolescent metas join The Syndicates every year, with barely a handle on their abilities, their origins and their use, and many seeking father and mother figures among the various Syndicate cultures, lending credibility to their superior's self-impression of being a leaders in a community of metas.

    The reality is that the majority of the lifers in The Syndicates have either lost one or both parents, spent time in the foster care system or an orphanage, and their first effective jobs were either in their current Syndicate, or as a young meta-operator in various 'grub' (apotent ahmin) mafias - where they treated as fodder and hirelings.

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  3. #83
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    Global Severed Branches Ratio

    The reality is that in our apotent and mundane world of Earth, at least in the English language, there is no actual word to delineate and identify parents of lost children. It does happen tragically, but mercifully it is not a common enough occurrence and it is such an aberration that few have settled on a colloquial term to represent it.

    ================================================== ======================

    On the Hearth, metahamin battles have a devastating effect on society and alarming rates of casualty among the bystanding public. Disaster shelters, a common staple of modern building construction, are supposed to serve as a barrier to these death tolls, and for the lucky few who make it, they can reduce the chance of immediate visceral death, but in the average building over four stories, this can account for less than 35% of the building's current capacity. There is no guarantee that survival can be secured by merely reaching a disaster shelter and even if one does reach that relative insecurity, there is no guarantee that their loved ones will as well.

    The reality on the meta and active world of the Hearth is a bit more drastic. In any given YEAR, between tragedies, conventional wars, metahamin conflicts and any number of outlier cases that are far too numerous to predict or mention, somewhere on the order of 13 million to 25 million couples become what is commonly known today as "Severed Branches" - parents who have lost children (usually under the age of 18).

    There are many who argue about the specifics and semantics, parents whose children have run away from home, been abducted, whose children are alive but at lost to crippling addictions, and even parents of soldiers and whose children die as adults aren't largely considered when people think of Severed Branches, but who is to argue that their loss is any less felt. However so many nations and societies can universally sympathize with the loss of a child under any number of circumstances.

    Marriages, which can be strained under ideal conditions tend to fall apart as the various grief cycles of two separate people can often come into conflict with one another unintentionally, and ultimately both the individual psyches of the couple are wounded while the relationship as a whole is a prevailing reminder of the hope with which a couple had a child in the first place - a hope that dies with the loss of a young child.

    THE SINGLE MOST COMMON MOTIVATOR IN THE ENTIRE BLUE LINE UNIVERSE ... IS VENGEANCE.

    When a sibling, parent, mentor, lover or life-mate is struck down suddenly and tragically, but without a direct cause, a direct party at fault, the mind spirals and it is all to easy simply blame the world. However when a loved one is struck down as a result of someone's action or inaction, whether intentional or not, the cry for vengeance is hard to ignore, it takes all of one's willpower, personal wisdom, empathy for the other party, and courage to face themselves for NOT avenging their loved one. That burden is hard indeed to bear.

    When a couple looses their child, they try to hold on to the life they know for the sake of their life mate, or their remaining children, or for whatever living tethers still tie them to the world. But when a person looses their only child (or children) that burden becomes NIGH IMPOSSIBLE, and even the most moralistic of minds and souls will break under that pressure, and the cry for vengeance will OVERTAKE their reason.

    This effect is compounded as not every person who suffers this kind of loss is entirely powerless or incapable of taking - what to them is -necessary action.

    Misguided and uniquely motivated intellectual experts in any number of physics and scientific applications of theories that border on the magical, spiritual adepts who can pierce the veil of the afterworld(S) and are willing to pay any price or make any deal to retrieve the souls that they feel have been taken before their time. Numerous adaptive, biogenic and experimental metas who are willing to sacrifice either their life-essence or the life-essences of nameless faceless thousands of inconsequential wastes-of-space for the chance to preserve or reignite the lives of their precious children - and how DARE you tell them that their efforts are futile.

    Then there are the unsaid realities.

    There is nothing, NOTHING, nothing more important to Night-kin than their children. NOTHING. The stories of rampaging, marauding and predating Night-kin of centuries and years past are not simply folk tales, they are the honest-to-goodness truth. Night-Kin have to FIGHT to contain righteous rage when they can SMELL the people who they KNOW were responsible for the death of their children, even when they can smell the people that THEY love, or THEIR children, or THEIR children's children. Woe be to any ahmin that get between them and their quarry.

    Numerous Future Soldiers and Atomics from the early half of last century discovered this first hand as they were all but MAGNETS for roving bands of Night-Kin AND X-Vectors who would attack them with a berserk fury without provocation, as they could literally smell the organs and hormones of their loved ones in these powered pretenders. There is a real reality to why governments and corporations alike changed their tactics in creating Future Soldiers and Atomics, favoring instead cybernetic, adaptive, psionic and Consummate augmentation to their operatives.

    There is a prevalence in the media to demonize all menacists as puerile extremists who emerged from the womb ready to kill themselves to accomplish their goals, but the reality is far afield from this fiction.

    Many if not most hardcore devoted menacists have lost either one or all of their children in the many proxy wars of the last century, being the proxy 3rd party victims of the global super powers. This has lead to a crop of menacists who have no single nation as the target of their ire, seeing all the belligerents as equally responsible.

    This has created a more extreme, clever and devoted crop of menacists, none the least of which being the men and women of Venom, it's modern iteration so far removed from it's original roots. Venom no longer relies on an over-equipped army of mercenary and delinquent young adults seeking to make their anarchistic mark against society, the current Venom is manned and fueled by skilled, dedicated and smart Severed Branches and veterans of numerous wars that are aware of metahamin tactics and government infrastructures - both legitimate and illegitimate.

    There are also many Paragons of many stripes and origins who have previously stopped menaces and stopped colleagues from slipping into becoming renegades or "going avenger", who, in the blink of an eye loose every thing that they were fighting for, were living for.

    Suddenly Severed Branches become Broken-Arrows, no less intrepid than they were before, even if their emotional core is hollowed out. Lacking morale and a reason to care, they are entirely all to capable of slipping into renegade patters of "going avenger" without thought and/or with no way back - they themselves knowing all the arguments as to why they should turn back, but having lost their prevailing hope, simply descend further down that rabit hole.

    No one is going to claim that The Syndicates are innocent or benign organizations that promote the best qualities of people, ahmin or meta. However compared to many meta gangs and individual heinous psychopaths, The Syndicates are a calming influence on the world of meta-crime. When Severed Branches occur in The Syndicates this can untether blind ambitions, heinous psychopathic tendencies or create knee-jerk shifts in a persona that make these members more prone to violence, posturing and worse - violating treaties. Without the tether of their loved ones, who were simultaneously their moralistic reason AND The Syndicate's perpetual hostage/insurance against aberration, these members can lash out wildly, no longer concerned with their own mortality.

    Sometimes they can be reigned in by their colleagues, but sadly few in the Syndicates rank and file genuinely want to heed treaties, borders and other rules that hinder their earning potential - this means that occasionally a few may join them, using their fury and frenzy in a bid to claim and stake their own niche or territory. This becomes especially disconcerting when the Severed Branches on the warpath are former Motivators, Underbosses and Overbosses of regional Syndicate franchises, even more so when they used to be Principled Motivators - as they suddenly have every impetus to embrace the vengeful personas they had previously cultivated as masks for their Principled natures.

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  4. #84
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    The Blue Line Universe - PMAs

    Poly-synthetic Modular Armor
    Programmable Molecular Armor

    Before the Crucible costumes were of so many varying values and protective abilities as to range from indestructible to barely clothed. There are plenty of metas who's bodies are invulnerable to most forms of harm, and there are many metas who were simply armor jockeys, meat in a shell. The problem with both situations is that most forms of harm are not all forms of harm and up until the manufacture of salinate suspension gel, flying at mach speed wasn't as much of a problem as stopping.

    There were many teams that were funded or backed by geniuses with large purse-strings, each more eager than the last to create the next "best standard" costume or gadget to make the act of jumping recklessly into the fray a safer affair. During the 90's there were many government strike-forces and think-tank backed teams of Paragons who used various forms of modular armor. Puncture resistance, fire resistance, water tight, air tight, plated to resist balistic arms, elasticized to allow for metahamin ranges of movement and combat ability. There was no end in sight.

    After 11-01-01, many Paragons were poisoned or killed by structural materials that acted like aerosolized defoliants, eating away skin and causing internal organ failure. Several Paragon organizations with geniuses backing them all came together to figure out a way to keep the remaining crop uniformly protected while allowing for the almost infinite variances that multiple power-sets required. Oddly enough the solution was possible through the combination of the programmable molecule suits of the Paragon, Dr. D.E.I. Nathaniel Dayspring, and the poly-synthetic modular armors of Il Professore Mechadime, the unparalleled misguided intellectual who had disappeared years prior.

    Initially the PMAs were in-fact armors more indicative of IPM's design, their only real D.E.I. value was in their ability to have their mass reduced for quick and easy transport, but that had little effect on the bulky and time-consuming costume changes. While poly-synthetic modular armor was useful for IPM's bioborg-drones that had limited lifespans, functions and no need to actually change out of their PMAs into actual clothing on a daily basis, it was not at all convenient for Paragons who had lives to live and who had to quickly be ready to address events as they cropped up. However as the time was rife with formalized training programs, many of the new blood adapted to this while many of the old guard just abandoned the suits in favor of what they had always used.

    It wasn't until 2007 that Atlas, a "private military" developed a variant programmable molecular armor for domestic and urban combat that a real precursor to the current iteration of PMA was developed. Initially used by banana republic mercenary armies and for use in exocolonies for rapid deployment, these PMA's were a combination of light armor and encounter-suit sealed environments. Without the helmets, that proved to be highly adaptable, as a simple electrical pulse allowed the suit to change between defined structural states - one light, yielding and subtle - while the other was made of flexing intewoven microplates (a form of nanosheathe chainmail).

    Modern PMA's are known moreso as Polysynthetic Modular Armor as the association with Dr. D.E.I. was tarnished along with his reputation, however modern PMAs have more in common with the programmable molecular armor of Dr. D.E.I. than than the poly-synthetic molecular armor of IPM. Using micromorphic plating, the overall material is both liquid sealed and becomes lighter than conventional fabric when in it's passive state. In it's active state, PMAs allow for a multitude of functionalities and structures, ultimately all are equivalent to light armor with light resistances to multiple chemical and physical hazards.

    Ultimately, for those with unique physical powers, especially those who have some form of energy expulsion, or who require lighter highly-specialized or non-conductive materials in order to function effectively, their individual PMAs must be calibrated, or they must have a PMA calibration on file. PMAs can simulate the appearance of any number of materials and fabrics in both their passive and active states, though they can only offer effective protection when in their active states, even then the protection is limited by the mass of the active-state material. Some mecha and armors are made of much higher concentrations of programmable configurations of Duraplexite or Stratofex as well as unique densities and calibrations that provide unique protection, for everything from wars to exo-colonial exploration. Carbocilium nanoweave is still regarded as an alchemy and not currently repeatable by conventional science, even edge and ultra sciences.

    Dr. D.E.I.'s influence and effect on the world can never be overstated but sadly will hardly ever be recognized.

    Would you like to know more?
    Last edited by Demeheron; 04-23-2017 at 06:12 AM. Reason: The website was being extremely uncooperative this week, but this is another attempt

  5. #85
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    The Blue Line Universe - Arc Ops and Performance Enhancers

    Performance Enhancers are a way for common soldiers to operate as Archon Operators for a short time, and for ArcOps specialists to effectively be Future Soldiers. Many play a chicken and egg game with who started using what when - prompting the other to implement their own programs that use it, but what is known is that since the time of Operation Desert Shield - the mid 90's campaign to take back Al Qadesh from Suraq - all of the worlds superpowers have been issuing Performance Enhancers to their front-line mobile infantries to greater or lesser effect, though some far precede this.

    Performance Enhancers aren't a nuclear option, they don't impart super-powers and they certainly are not intended for extended use. They are short duration one-offs that leverage long-term health against immediate survival. Archon Operators and Olympic Consummates tend not to rely on them, and some decry their use as "cheating", but not all, and when the stakes are literally life and death, few can argue against using every edge possible.

    As Performance Enhancers are intended for limited use and limited exposure, most militaries will claim that they are not habit forming, but the reality is far afield from this slogan. Of all the various Performance Enhancers that see prolonged use to the point of abuse are the Gray, Blue and Purple, the one's the impart a mental edge and allow soldiers to operate with greater acumen, unhindered by their mental weaknesses, to the detriment of their long term psyche should they ever stop, thus few rarely do.

    In combat against Metas, Archon Operators, Future Soldiers, Power Armor, Vermilions and other more-sophisticated Combat Andrones - no single Performance Enhancer sees more use than Purple, the added level of focus and clarity can seriously alter the shape of battle. Blues remove fear, Greens remove pain, but both of these things are essential to flight or fight response. But no one thing reduces the effectiveness of soldiers, both individually and as a unit, than the loss of focus. Training, weapons, tools and techniques that were instilled to create a well rounded operator suddenly become lost int he fog of war, but take a purple and suddenly all the options, the terrain, the opponents, and especially all of the allies all become crystal clear.... for a few minutes at a time.

    The reality is that some 20 years after they have been in general use in the military has finally given some indications that Performance Enhancers have serious long term effects, none the least of which is withdrawal. Many veterans of the wars of this time suffer sporadic and severe bouts of unpredictable emotions from suicidally-depressive states to psychotic episodes, and every emotional state in between.

    The last 60 years has been a tumultuous time for the world and the soldiers of many nations have had to face threats that at best could be described as "unconventional". Engaging enemies and scenarios like this WITH adequate preparation can be harrowing to say the least, but without any warning any number of soldiers from any nation can be called upon to deal with situations entirely out of their depth. No matter how many grays one takes, they cannot put off the trauma forever, especially as the mind recoils and the ebb and flow of emotional states can negatively impact their function in what would otherwise be normal life-skill situations with work, family or belief systems.

    Unbeknownst to much of the public, G8 economy nations with modern militaries all owe their current crop of Performance Enhancers and their allegories in nanotech to the Advanced Concepts Engineers groundwork over the last century. Their tireless inhamane experimentation and use of ahmin test subjects to create their "zukunftsoldaten automatica" have yielded numerous generations and iterations of future soldiers, atomics, variants and supplementally-augmented soldiers on every continent in the world and by every major government that has competed to stay relevant.

    This is a field that owes it's very existence and persistence to a legacy of atrocities in the service of creating more effective mass-murderers more cheaply.

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    Last edited by Demeheron; 04-30-2017 at 03:12 PM.

  6. #86
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    Blue Line Universe Rifts - The Mechanics of the Impossible

    Portals are arcane. Vortexes are physics - pseudo-singularities - not quite blackholes. Latices are space-folds, they can be created through conventional means. Nodes are places on the plane that allow travel through to metaphysical realms where conceptual, spiritual and psychic entities exist. But RIFTS... RIFTS are the giant middle finger floating in space. They feel off, looking at them, being around them, traveling through them... Rifts are violent tears, not just in space/time, but across all aspects of reality.

    Ever since The Crucible (and as we now-know, long BEFORE The Crucible) The Rifts left behind have been a perplexing conundrum of science and cosmology, complicating life on Hearth, stupefying various experts in innumerable fields. In recent years, many have since stopped trying to quantify the vectors in space and time that a Rift opens out to or comes from, and instead have focused on the prevailing mechanics that define the type of Rift that they encounter.

    The overwhelming majority of Rifts last for pico or microseconds, closing faster than they can have any physical reaction with the world. In spite of their relative short lifespans, these micro-Rifts can and have sparked numerous adaptives among people, whose powers are entirely enigmatic and relate to physical and metaphysical laws, vectors and threats that exceed comprehension.

    Micro-Rifts can number in the millions annually and have been proven to be increasing as time moves on. Conversely larger, and longer duration Rifts, called Pocket-Rifts that can exist from a full second up to a minute have actually been on the decline since the period shortly after The Crucible, when they were frequent common and a staple of a great hysteria related to Rifts.

    The Rifts that are larger and last from a minute to much longer - the ones that can be quantified, studied and potentially reactivated - are the ones we will discuss further in. How they are classified no longer relates to draconian tea-leaf-reading trying to examine their structure for clues to where they open to, but instead focusing on their function and relying upon drone exploration to map their exit points and relative physical properties.

    Four real vectors have emerged as having actual value in the classification of a Rift; Occurrence, Environs, Variance and Chronality.

    The Occurrence of a Rift describes it's presence, location, duration and possible recurrence. Local means that a Rift stays in relation to a location even as the world turns - turning with it for as long as it remains active. Steady means that a Rift remains active for more than 24 hours - though that is no guarantee that a "Steady" Rift will remain, recur or even remain in the same "location" relative to the planet. Repeating means that a Rift will occur at the same point on the planet in an annual or semi-annual schedule, indicating that it may or may not have a fixed position along the planet's heliocentric path. Sporadic means that the Rift has the same destination & time period, but appears at random places and times on the planet.

    The Environs of a Rift describes the way that the environments on either side of the Rift affect one another. Pressure indicates on higher or lower air pressure than the current environment, assuming that the opposite side of a Rift is as gaseous (air) as the current side. Gravity indicates the directional current of the gravity coming from the other side of the Rift and it's effect on local gravity. Physics indicates unique, uncommon or inhospitable physics properties either on the other side of a Rift or in their interaction across the Rift itself. Statics indicates the interaction of environments across the Rift itself; from liquid to gaseous or gaseous to liquid, but also including plasma to gaseous, plasma to solid or plasma to liquid, and not at all excluding the interaction of various gaseous environments on one another and various liquid environments on one another.

    The Variance of a Rift indicates the destination type in relation to the very dimension that the Rift itself opens up on. The physics of the known luminiverse do not apply to the entire dimension (the planet is not an ocean, a desert or a rainforest), there is a part of the dimension closer to the entropic "creation wave" and there is a part of the dimension closer to the entropic "death wave". The physical and metaphysical laws of the luminiverse are relative to their place in the entropic maturity, this makes finding and verifying the exact dimension one occupies difficult to the extreme.

    The known luminiverse is only one small aspect of the entirety of the dimension, almost infinite luminiverses exist within the dimension as a whole, and, as-such. many can share properties and have vastly differing properties yet still be within the same dimension. The metaphysical laws that affect and are affected-by manifest beings on the manifest plane of reality vary. These "laws" have a primordial uncertain state and mechanics, they mature along lines that are affected by the populace of a given area and change over time.

    Planar Rifts open up into the same Dimension, however this too is a misnomer as proving that the exit is the same dimension is extremely unlikely. Dimensional Rifts open up into different Dimensions, however this too is a misnomer as proving that the exit is another dimension is extremely unlikely. Uni-realms Rifts open up into various psychic and supernatural realms - supposedly connected to the same manifest reality, however this is a misnomer as it is almost literally impossible to prove that these realms have any real relation to both their manifest dimensions and in-fact do exist. Likewise Shared Realms Rifts open up into various psychic and supernatural realms that occupy or relate to multiple dimensions manifest realities, however this too is a misnomer as it is almost literally impossible to prove that these realms have any real relation to any manifest dimensions at all.

    Chronality describes the flow of time across a Rift and in relation to the causality of either temporal dilation. Using the mechanical language of leave, arrive, now and now+; the spatial/temporal mechanics are made as simple as possible.

    Atemporal indicates Rifts that have conventional temporal and causal flow, meaning that leave now and arrive (at destination) now+1, they also leave (their destination) now+2 and arrive at now+3. Antetemporal indicates Rifts that have conventional temporal and causal flow, but open up into "the past", meaning that you leave now and arrive (at destination) in the "past" at now+1, the also leave (their destination) at "past" now+2 and arrive at current now+3.

    Exotemporal and Pseudotemporal Rifts require a... bit more patience to understand.

    Exotemporal indicates Rifts that open up into either other dimensions or planes that have varying rates and directions of causal time, meaning that you leave your "dimension" now and arrive at the destination "dimension" at now+1, yet you continue to operate at relative speed to the rate and dilation of time to your original "dimension". When you leave your destination "dimension" at now+10 and you arrive back at your "home" dimension at now +2

    Pseudotemporal indicates Rifts that correlate with "destination" dimensions that closely relate-to or mirror the "original" dimension, but open up into their "past". Meaning that one leaves (Home) now and arrives at their destination ("Home2") in the past at effectively now+1. Any actions that they take, can have a ripple effect on causality that not only affects the world, but also affects the Rift such that... (you simply don't know) ... When leaving ("Home2") in the past at effectively now+2, they arrive at ("Home...?") at the present now+3.

    Occurrence
    ....Local
    ....Steady
    ....Repeating
    ....Sporadic
    Environs
    ....Pressure
    ....Gravity
    ....Physics
    ....Statics
    Variance
    ....Planar
    ....Dimensional
    ....Uni-realms
    ....Shared Realms
    Chronality
    .....Atemporal
    ....Antetemporal
    ....Pseudotemporal
    ....Exotemporal

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    Last edited by Demeheron; 05-01-2017 at 09:27 PM.

  7. #87
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    The Blue Line Universe - Why Paragons tolerate some Mercenaries

    Aside from the occasional unrecognized (paid) assistance from the mercenary Archon Operators of Atlas (it's our world too!), Paragons as a whole have little reason to tolerate the field of known and professional Mercenaries. These are professional soldiers who often put their services to use for the highest bidder, usually against either rival corporate gestalts, the public at large, foreign and domestic governments, and often Paragons themselves. They have access to information that could save lives, prevent Menacing or Menacist actions, help the Paragons - even Renegades - prevent the plots and machinations of meta-criminals, and they actively choose a paycheck over the common good.

    Paragons, as a community, need to keep track of Mercenaries, even when they cannot bring them down, bring them in or subdue them. The field of Mercenaries is constantly expanding with varying motives, behaviors, training, technology and powers. Having a set number of experienced Mercenaries effectively "in circulation" with known profiles and, more importantly, known powers and moral boundaries, allows the majority of seasoned Paragons and Sentinels generally have a good idea of who they are likely to face and for what reasons, working for whom and what boundaries they will and will not respect.

    If they entire field of Mercenaries, from the Notable to the Meta, were entirely new and unknown - both in terms of capability and in terms of morality - then all Mercenaries would have to be treated as the lowest common denominator, and thus a threat to all. Mercenaries, at least professional ones, aren't beholden with sycophantic loyalty, especially to world-conquering, world-changing or world-destroying types. As such, many have - in the past - turned the dime on their former employers (as best they could while maintaining their status as effective soldiers). This is a pseudo-secret that many Mercenaries would actively deny and no Sentinel or Paragon would tell.

    Mercenaries however are not a singular mass, nor are they an actual community per-se, there are many individual mercenaries that have varying lines of morality and ethics that are often very personal and deeply held. Many Mercenaries are veterans of wars against Future Soldiers and Archon Operatives of varying capability. Some Mercenaries are bore from the dismissive treatment of various nation-states to their veteran soldiers, seeing little recourse but to put the only skill-set they were taught during their formative years to use.

    Many are actually -in fact- patriots who see their actions as either despoiling rival national interests, whereas some actually are lead to believe that they are taking part in clandestine Arch-Ops of their own governments to pursue hidden-objectives and/or expose rival clandestine agendas. These are often the ones who will not directly engage in killing, harming or threatening the populace, but will have no compunctions about taking out corporate, private, royal, meta or other empowered individuals.

    It is these same patriotic Arch-Ops that are the first ones who will turn on their perceived "employers" if a plan either threatens too many civilians, or has an effect that will put the world in a persistent peril. They don't advertise their loyalties and likely defections, but there are few people looking for Mercs - especially competent and confident ones - who can properly sniff out their intentions, and the limits of the callouses on their souls.

    There are several PMC outfits that operate under the actual auspices of government officials, whether those officials have actual authorization to engage in the operations that they pursue is almost irrelevant to them, and more than a few have been caught up in the fervor of a mission and a sense of serving their nation's clandestine interests - going beyond the intended goals or limits of their benefactors. Fortunately these are few and far between as the nearly universal mantra of Mercenaries is that "it's just a job" and "nothing personal".

    There are numerous Mercenaries that come from a completely criminal background, usually the students or protege's of professional mercenaries, these are often Quirks and Loons whose powers were initially seen as a joke but who had the fortitude of will to prove that their abilities weren't a detriment to their lethal and professional intentions. Not many are willing to leave a Syndicate Overboss, but if their Syndicate Underboss is killed many competent but not recklessly ambitious metas have been known to scatter and establish careers on their own.

    PMCs and Bounty Hunters are also considered Mercenary by many, though they fight for national or at least law-enforcement interests. They get tipped off so often to potential jobs that turn out to be the beginning of Menacist operations that many act as impromptu sources of information for trusted Paragons, though usually at a price - usually in the form of favors and missions.

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  8. #88
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    The Blue Line - Pseutrons

    Pseutrons (or Sutrons)

    Warticles that exist in the interaction between conventional matter (C-Matter) and anti-matter (A-Matter). Pseutrons TEND to exist in the physical universe for more than a femtosecond and in no great quantities either, under normal conditions. However Pseutrons can become concentrated and exist for far longer around Rifts, either supported-by or as-a-result-of the interaction of divergent physical properties.

    Pseutrons are not a singular element or type of matter, they are an entire family of pseudomatter, pseudoradiation and pseudoenergies that are normally slight to the point of non-existence. However Pseutrons are the best indicator of a Rift, either detectable (with normal senses) or undetectable, whether preceding or after the emergence.

    Pseutron Pseudogenesis and annihilation have a quantifiable effect on space time within their vicinity. Pseutron annihilation is easier to detect as tiny "pops" on a micro scale of the weak nuclear force in an area. Pseutrons are free radicals of mass, radiation and energy, their ions are hard to define.

    Pro (Positive) Neutro (Neutral) and Elect (Negative) are the COMMON types of ions in our spectrum of matter. Pseutrons ARE their own spectrum entirely.

    Science on Hearth has to not only keep up but it has to be able to have a reasonable chance to predict and account for (solve) physics and anomalies outside of their common understanding.

    The room for skepticism is slight as "magics", "great spirits", divine and infernal "gaweds" and rifts are very real.

    Pseutron interaction with psionics and arcane adepts is a known phenomenon, even if the mechanics are wholly uncertain. Certain intellectuals of unique variance can account for Pseutrons behavior, creating mechanisms and technologies that allow them to operate predictably - yet somehow only for them and their inventions. This is the premise of many ultra-age technologies that cannot be reverse engineered or at least not nearly as effectively.

    Mortal conflicts, especially in non-declared war-zones tend to CORRELATE with greater concentrations and durations of Pseutrons. Some children (often with heightened psionic or arcane potential) tend to have a mild persisting yet ultimately degrading background field of Pseudogenesis - often correlating with the origin of over-powered metas that pursue bloody vengeance. This correlative effect can also be seen to limited effect and duration around world class experts and physical athletes at times of extreme personal exertion.

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  9. #89
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    The Blue Line - The Necessity of Research - Powers/Origins, Characteristics, Tactics and Objectives

    Why research is the greatest weapon

    Often, as Paragons, you'll receive alerts and alarms, be apprised of situations as they are unfolding, with little knowledge as to the players involved, their motivations, tactics, abilities and personas. You won't have an opportunity to second guess yourself as lives will be in the balance and you'll have to make decisions quickly that affect the lives of all parties involved - including the combatants. Adventures may begin to feel a little "on rails" at first, as long as you aren't apprised to the combatants, their advantages and skills will make the battlefield entirely unpredictable.

    Whether a threat you face is a person, an object, a spell or even a time of day, knowledge is the greatest weapon in your arsenal. Knowledge, in the moment, can only come through actively observing, even during the action and paying attention to all the cues present in what the objective does or says. Foreknowledge, gathering information on your way to a situation can save lives, none the least of which are those of your teammates - sometimes foreknowledge can help avoid needless combat, especially with other potential Paragons.

    There are four basic elements that most Sentinels of the Blue Line try to ascertain about a combatant or scenario before going in, even when they understand that other elements may change rapidly in-field; Powers/Origins, Characteristics, Tactics and Objectives.

    It may seem too simple to state, but getting a handle on the powers one is dealing with can help cut down on the guess work of a mission, likewise there are many political and tactical decisions that have to be made depending on the origins of those powers, so knowing these elements in advance can help avoid professional faux-pas' and even smooth over tensions. Some origins are specifically non-specific, and making certain assumptions can be costly, both in time and lives, knowing full well that some origins are "not as they seem" can help a season and experienced team from making some erroneous assumptions.

    Characteristics are a short-hand of the elements of personality that dictate how people will behave, to the bystanding masses, to one another, to you and to their combatants, knowing these elements can not only help a Paragon avoid escalating a situation, but actually help them diffuse it, also it can help identify which combatants are a lethal threat regardless of powers and abilities.

    Likewise Tactics help identify the kind of threat that a combatant poses - less so to the public and more-so as a threat to oneself and to teammates. In the modern world of Hearth, there are many Archon level operators who - without powers - are specifically a threat to metas and will be effectively immune to power-intimidation. Tactics also includes the use of external assets that aren't the person themselves, any expertise and proficiencies that they might have that can also change the battlefield situation.

    Knowing the objectives (the enemy type) that you're facing helps Paragons to address situations effectively and keep one objective (type of enemy behavior) from escalating into another objective (type of enemy behavior). Objectives are still generic fields of varying types, and ultimately experience will help you guage and evaluate each individual threat on it's own merits and factors, but knowing their objectives helps identify what they are and are not.

    These four elements are NOT the sum total of what constitutes knowledge of a person - that only comes through personal knowledge and experience, but using them one can effectively navigate MANY combat situations.

    When you have foreknowledge of a potential battleground - especially in a populated or urban environment, you are also likely to be able to pre-identify potential assets and dangers that can complicate a battle before it starts. Without this foreknowledge you and your team can be easily sideswiped by unknown environmental factors and hazards that can turn a minor threat pear-shaped quickly.

    Bystander knowledge has also proven helpful to various degrees. Family members, children, loved ones, significant others, the presence of professional or romantic rivals, even things as innocuous as the presence of pets (or other high-empathy animals) have had unexpected effect on multiple battles.

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