Warehouse of the Wondrous and the Weird

Adrian's move in

I finally managed to get a hold of a new lab. It’s an old warehouse, and smells like the nearby sewage treatment plant, however it is quite adequate. Oh yes there’s people there, 4 of them. They seemed to show little regard for the damage they could cause by letting the landlord listen in on discussions about our particular….method of manipulating science. Perhaps because of my day job I’m required to put more effort in hiding it.

Donatello and Luminosikitty seem to be settling well, I left them overnight with the others to help them adjust, I’ll be back in the morning to…..oh no……no no no no no no no no no no no no no I DIDN’T GET A KEY! Donny and Loomy are locked in no no no no no no no…

Afterburner's Train of Thought

Gentlemen. I’m sure you’ve heard from your contacts in Fort Mac Too formal, probably can’t use.

You think fire is your ally? You merely adopted fire. I was born in it, molded by Too corny? Too corny.

I am the cleansing light. I will purge the dross No. Tried that one, nobody knows what dross is.

OK, back to the basics. Think. How did we get here?

Awoke this morning to a scream. Then found out one of the other tenants owns a cat, said cat was sitting in my lap. Cat is not declawed, by the way. Apparently Doctor Rester has nightmares, hence the screaming. Well, his screaming. My screaming was due to losing a sizable amount of skin off my thigh. Hopefully not a common occurence, that will take a while to replace.

Had an interesting chat with Diana. Apparently she was raised in Inspired circles. Having said that, her father was Lemurian, and it seems that she has absorbed some of the pseudo-racist crap that comes with that territory. To start with, she has some downright… outdated ideas about Beholden. Seems willing to learn though.

And when Rester is awake, and not screaming, he’s friendly enough. Also quite interested in Zach, albeit for different (and substantially more useful) reasons. Believes he may be able to make some progress with Zach’s recovery on the psyche end of things. Given that I’ve so far accomplished nothing meaningful on that front, this is promising, but… well, we’ll see. The man is clearly carrying some issues of his own (who in the Peerage isn’t? That’s why I wanted to work alone.) (Yeah, because you’re so composed and well adjusted.) (Shut up!).

Further extrapolations were interrupted by Mezyk, trying to break into the building. With a ****ing can opener. Apparently he realized he had forgotten a key, and his brain went into a feedback loop. So he taught himself to pick locks overnight. Keeping an eye on this one, and a hand on a weapon. Even for a Genius, his brain moves in mysterious ways.

So everybody in this thing is a thinly disguised, deranged disaster waiting to happen, and I know better than to exclude myself from that statement. I had been warned that working with other Inspired means taking certain… eccentricities in stride (which is why I worked alone, dammit!), but what we have here is a Gordian knot of neuroses. With, I’ll admit, some potentially useful strata. Well, next step is clear.

What we’re looking at is a junkyard heap. What’s workable? What’s rusty garbage? Only one way to find out.

Cut the knot. Burn the dross, and steel is left.

No, actually, hold off on that. Save it for the night shift. Keep to civil conversation with the rest of the… groan… collaborative. Can always slash and burn later if need be.

Rester's Notes

EDM – 01
Encrypting Access
Passowrd: **********

Notes. Point? Query. Answer.
New base of operations.
Pros: Rent is affordable, far from Calgary.
Cons: Shared with three (3) other geniuses.
Digression. Return to the task at hand. Observe. Judge. Weigh. Measure. Research.

Subdirectory contains 3 files.
01→Dr. Adrian Mezyk
02→Dr. Afterburner
03→Diana Mackenzie

01: Genpet. Works with DNA. Intelligent, yet absent-minded. Possible felon (guilty of Larceny at very least.) Has an armadillo that’s not an armadillo at all. Devotion to the point of insanity. No more or less sane than others. Concerning precedent.

02: Alias? Ascertained. Doctor? Dubious. Alliteration? Abomination. Stop that. Digression. Dangerous. Stop that, please. Lacks balance. Scratch that, has achieved balance with beholden. Beholden has agreed to cognitive behavioural analysis. Together, they are balanced cohesive unit. Seperation not recommended.

03: Malicious hypocrite, or merely unstable? Politely curious, or manipulative snoop? She smiles. Furthermore, displays comfort (irregularly) in social situations. She smiles. Attempts to manipulate emotional train-wrecks. Most concerning of all, she smiles. Unacceptable, will likely kill me in my sleep in any number of painful ways. Only the first one matters, if she does it right.

01→ No use of wonders or experimentation on other members of pseudo-collabarative without permission.
02→ Private quarters are private. Redundent. Extra definition, that is. Rule 02 very necesarry.
03→ Keep the landlord in the dark. Damnthelandlord

An excerpt from Diana's diary

People. After years living in isolation with Dad and – for a short, blissful time – Melanie, I have more people that I can make love me. Well, I can start on them, anyway. If I can make fellow Geniuses love me, the rest of the world will be a piece of cake. Turns out, Geniuses are just as stupid sometimes as regular people. After going to a dingy little store that appeared to be a knock off of The Co-op (who knocks off a Co-op? And how did a Genius fall for it??), someone found a poster for one of Brisky’s seminars. Somehow, we decided that it would be a good idea to go and cause trouble for them (are they already showing loyalty to me? NOTE TO SELF: if I play this right, they just may be my first followers. Having Geniuses under my thrall would be brill!) Also, apparently the con that Brisky is parading around to everyone used to work with Zach and Dr. A; he owes them money.

Since showing up as myself to one of Brisky’s seminars would be akin to career suicide (and highly disappoint Tom.), I attempted to disguise the group with my transformation powder. I failed magnificently (NOTE TO SELF: WORK ON THIS FORMULA!!). But, I was so caught up in my failure that I found myself outside the hotel where the seminar was being held with the rest of the collaborative, all of us completely undisguised (one may not be able to quite see Dr. A through his suit, but since he always wears the same thing he would definitely by the most visible of us all, and I’m at least a little famous within the self-help circuit) and without any semblance of a plan before I realized what was going on. I managed to stop almost everyone from going in and making a scene enough to draw attention to us just barely in time, except that Adrian wandered off without the rest of us. Not good. He’s the one most likely to draw attention to himself and blow the whole collaborative if he’s willing to wander into a potentially risky situation without a plan.

This could have gone very badly, and the other Geniuses didn’t even seem to notice the risks that we were taking. My career is pretty dependent on my public image, and an arrest for kidnapping another lecturer’s prop con – especially while I’m still a person of interest – would be devastating. And with the history between Dr. A, Zach and this con, coupled with Dr. A’s standout appearance means that without a plan, the whole collaborative would come under substantial risk of scrutiny at the very least, potentially blowing the lids off all our Science. None of us wants that.

I will clearly be required to lead, since I’m the one who thinks of these things. Seems to me that Adrian will follow relatively easy, he gets so focused on things (like learning overnight how to pick locks with a can opener) that it should be simple to just direct his focus to whatever I want him to focus on, especially if I highlight the risk to the collaborative as being a risk to his pets. Lain and Dr. A will be more difficult, but for different reasons. Lain is so suspicious of everything. That could work to my advantage, though, if I can influence him enough to view the collaborative as an “us” against the rest of the world, particularly the Normals. Dr. A is already in charge of Zach, and he is so domineering, using his suit and weapons to help his intimidation of people that he will take much more subtle handling. I will update further on the results of talking with the collaborative soon.

Rester's Mental Notes

EDM 05
Encrypting Access
Password: ****************************

Troubling. It is astounding how often geniuses need to be told to stop and think. Near disaster? Averted. New plan? Developed. Roles? Assigned.

Alpha: Info, Comms (Me)
Bravo: Recon, Package Delivery (MacKenzie, Bolton)
Charlie: Shock and Awe (Afterburner)
Delta: Extraction (Mezyk)

01: Brisky (Sabotage)
02: Carlos (Resource Extraction)

1. Alpha hacks hotel files, acquires target information
2. Disguise Bravo as hotel staff
3. Infiltration
a. Discover evidence of prostitution
b. Plant evidence of prostitution
4. Charlie extracts Resources from T2
5. Alpha hacks hotel files, alters bills and debts
6. Extraction from Delta (via Collabmobile)

Plans are good. Plans are insane. Jest: How do you make God laugh? Punchline: You make a plan. Plans for week:
01> Continue passive research on the good, the bad, and the ugly.
02> Continue active coding on Rock.
03> Begin active cognitive behavioural research on Gran Torino.


Mezyk's talk with Donny.
Peer Presure: It's Super Effective.

“What am I going to do Donny? Sabotaging someone’s career is wrong right? But if I refuse to help they might hate me, or kick me out. They already don’t like me because of that can opener incident…I’ll admit I wasn’t thinking straight, I was worried about you and Lumi….I’m so used to doing everything alone it never occurred to me to knock.

Mr. Johnson said I should go out and socialize and make friends. These people seem like my best bet….don’t look at me like that, you know you’re my best friend and always will be. But Mr. Johnson’s right I need people friends. Dr. Afterburner’s grumpy all the time like Mr. Johnson, but he’s not a bad guy right? Zach’s nice, Diana seems nice too. Dr. Rester’s weird but nice…. So if all these people are nice and good, then what we’re going to do can’t be wrong right?

Mr. Johnson even said “go out and rob a bank for all I care, just do it with other people.” I’m pretty sure that was sarcasm, I’ve been getting better at that. Maybe this Brisky guy deserves it. He is really sleazy and his book and seminar are 60% narcissism, and 40% stolen. I guess it’s ok just this once."

Afterburner's Thesis
Correlation Between Destructive Capacity and Practicality, or the Effects of Gasoline on Fire

First Principles & Observations:
Destructive capacity and coercive force are correlated positively: i.e. the greater one’s ability to inflict destruction, the more one can influence a person’s actions, e.g. people will attempt to appease you more if they fear injury than if they do not, and more still if they fear death.

At first, demonstrated destructive capacity has a greater coercive effect than potential destructive capacity; people react more strongly to an actual injury than to a threat of an identical injury (perhaps due to habituation to the low-level capacity for destruction shared by all humans i.e. Anybody can become violent under the correct circumstances? Further investigation needed.)

As destructive capacity increases, coercive force increases whether the capacity is demonstrated or not; however, demonstration is subject to diminishing returns, as after a certain point, resources that would be exploitable become unusable (Dead guys don’t give you their stuff.) The threat of destruction is not affected in this way.

As perceived destructive capacity increases, potential destructive capacity overtakes demonstrated destructive capacity in usefulness, reaching a point where a threat is more useful than actual action taken. (Can fear be a more effective stimulus than pain? Consider 20th century Mutually Assured Destruction scenarios, Sun Tzu’s Art of War, dudes talking smack in general.) Potential applications include the ability to replace current, dangerous endeavors involving demonstrations of destructive capacity with comparatively safe threats to demonstrate same.

Experimental Procedure:
Approach the subject of the experiment, That Asshole Carlo. Using the Plasma Coil, my imposing demeanor, and my previously established reputation for violence, induce a high state of perceived destructive capacity for coercive purposes (i.e. threaten him until he pays up). According to this theory, actual destruction of the subject, in whole or in part, will prove unnecessary.

However, the Plasma Coil will be on hand should the subject prove uncooperative.

Diana's thesis

Diana’s Thesis
Researching the correlation between admiration and self-sacrifice. E.g. If someone really loves me, would they be willing to override basic instincts such as self-preservation?

Experimental Procedure
Establish a fan club to allow easy access to test subjects. Carry out various tests of escalating magnitude, starting with willingness to pay a small fee to enter said fan club.

Mezyk's Thesis
Donny is useful

Nobody wants to bring Donny along anywhere because they think he’ll just cause trouble. I’m going to prove them wrong by sneaking him along next time we go somewhere. I’m sure Donny will be a great help, and everyone will be more willing to accept him, and any other dinosaurs I make, along on missions.

Hospital Experience
We Are The Dead

Nurses. Detectives. The normal people. I used to look up to people like these. Now I fear them. I move to the terminal and put in the code for all clear. The nurses have left. The Detective has hung up. For a few brief moments, in my mind at least, ICU 2E is silent.

In my head, there is no sound louder than silence.

I hate the way my mind fills in details, the way my past consistently keeps pace with me. It’s impossible to be in a hospital without remembering the last time I was in a hospital. I look at the people around me. They are injured. I feel a flash of guilt; they are here because of my actions. The guilt grows; these aren’t the first people I’ve put in a hospital. I look down at my arm. The nurses didn’t give my Gauntlet a second glance. They were too distracted to notice it, or perhaps they didn’t care. I look around the room; apart from basic diagnostic machinery, there are no cameras, or recording devices… I could make this better. The patients have a number of different injuries, but I could access their files; they would tell me everything I need to know. I could heal them. I could pay for my mistakes. I could do what real doctors do; I could make people better. I raise my hand, and turn a dial near the wrist…

…and then I think better of it. These patients would be miraculously cured, save for some grey polymer residue. It wouldn’t take people long to figure out I was somehow behind it. The nurses and the detective know my name. Even if they didn’t, my login ID would be all they needed to identify me. The collaborative would no longer be safe… I have the power to heal and cure, quite literally, in my hand. And yet I can’t… no, I can, but I won’t… I look at the patients. They are in too much pain to do anything. Here I stand, able to do great things, and yet I choose not to.

My fellow geniuses, my “peers”, would congratulate me for making the prudent decision, the logical decision, for protecting the greater good. But here, standing with the injured, I cannot help but feel that these people know more of the greater good than we ever will.

From my jacket pocket, I hear a buzzing. Damn. Mezyk’s communicator.

“So, what peerage are you from, and how did you just happen to be standing by my car?”

I decide to return to the car, leaving my peers behind.


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