Current Transmissions:


Zero Hero

In the morning when I awoke
To the sound of someone pouring a glass of coke,

Wishing I had one more smoke,
Thinking of visiting the folks.

Young man you can't do that anymore,
You're not the same fellow from those days of yore,
Gone off to fight the wars and learn the lore,
When you return, you returned to the slamming of doors.

What do you do now, you don't know.
You have reaped the winds and the profits you sow,
Took a dip in the water and got caught in the undertow,
You have no other place to sleep, and nowhere to go.


Nom de Doom

Trump, the mysterious talking cat that occasionally accompanies Max on his adventures, watched the news and sighed.

"If this keep up I'm gonna have to start using a code name," the cat meowed.


Portal Protocol

"And what is that?" Tatterdemalion asked, her voice echoing in the chamber.

"It's the Metaplex, represented as a four-dimensional object. That's why it appears to change shape over time but still retain cohesion."

"It hurts my head, looking at it."

"It's even worse when you are inside it. Don't you remember?"

Tatter stared at the pulsing, morphing substance hovering in the centre of the room. The colour changed, sometimes shiny, others muted.

"It's like a strange attractor..." Tatter whispered.

"Well, it most certainly attracts the strange. You'll observe three recurring patterns on the sides of the object. Interacting with it at each of these will produce a different experience."

Pattern One: Fragments

Pattern Two: Iteration

Pattern Three: Crisis

Tatter squinted. "I... I think I see a fourth pattern..."


Game Not Over

Dan drew a card from the deck and looked at it. GUN FU +10. It was something that he needed in order to take the beast down.

He looked down at the pattern of cards on the table: his Max was tapped out, he had used Cigarette Clue and Mystic Java earlier in the fight against the big boss. He knew that if he didn't get the card he needed it would be over. He had never had to depend more on the luck of the draw and he got it.

"Looks like it's going to be curtains for Max," Chance replied. His Darius card had Bible Verse of Doom, Skateboard of Protect +2, and Angelic Wings attached to the kid.

"The game isn't over yet," Dan replied.


Up and Down The Dial


... and tonight on MasterCook we have three constants left....


.... and of the three there is a possible fourth that could be seen...


... on the right. Now, we know what to expect....


... for those evenings when nothing works out right there is always...


... Max....


... and the ....






.... gang....


... to save the day once again...


C2IP Update.4

"I'm sorry, Professor. I'm still experiencing some residue from the shift."

"That's okay. Even the abnormal has been exceptionally abnormal of late. I was asking you the Ruffo-Haskins screening questions to determine what your Prime Version was prior to my experiment."

"Did you identify it? Wait, what experiment?"

"I transmitted a vector-feedback signal into the XXXXXXplex in order to generate a pulse of Continuity in the hopes of creating the conditions for one of the Dragons' to discover the source of the current Agenda War. And yes, I believe you had recently escaped some sort of facility in which you had undergone an Upgrade of some kind?"

"Yeah, that does sound familiar... And yes, it worked. Your experiment. Did Aki make it out?"

"His arrival seems to have been an iteration of an event that occurred earlier in one of the beginnings of the current Crisis, when he intervened on the Subway to thwart an Agent that was attacking Aqua. If I am interpreting the data correctly."

"So he's not here? Where is here, exactly?"

"We've gone Liminal. It's not ideal but it's the only way I've been able to maintain any perspective on the Crisis. Akimoto is one of the signals that I have had a great deal of difficulty tracking. His and Darius'. Oh, and Suki's."

"Who do you have a lock on, then?"

"Records show a number of intersections with Angst, Frank and Goner, Aqua too, all Upgraded as well. And Wraith, Dex and Callan appear to be in a parallel stream... There's also these sporadic but intense signals regarding someone named Summer. Everything has gone a bit bonkers, honestly."

"The War, like you said. The Metaplex is at war. The System vs The Counter-System vs The Anti-System."

"It's a good thing I know some truly excellent warriors," the Professor said with a smile. Maggie was handed a cup of tea.


"I'll download you a copy of the most recent analyses and then we need to start working on what might be the most important question."

Maggie sipped the tea, glanced at the files downloading onto the tablet on the table in the cafe. "What's that?" she asked. The person seated at the table beside at her glanced over, then away.

Analysis One

Analysis Two

Analysis Three

"Whose side is Max on?"


C2IP: The Agenda War X - Final

The Masked Man was shouting, a voice raw with rage. "None of you really care! None of you give a shit!"

She feels dizzy, feels for a moment as if she is back on The Horsebreeder's Ranch, the night it burned. Maybe I died there and now I'm a ghost...

The dizziness keeps her from noticing Brogan staggering out of the flames, pistol in hand.

The Masked Man draws on Brogan but Brogan squeezes first and a burst of blood erupts from the Masked Man's head.

Brogan's gun sounds strange. Mags remembers the rumours, that the gun Logollos shot Sugarcube with had sounded strange. It's bringing her back, the sound, the question of it, bringing her back from the ranch, but too slowly.

Brogan already turning to face her, gun raised.

And part of her mind, staggering out of the flames from that night at the ranch into the flames that are swallowing Omega, part of her is trying to see if she can see, now that their hat is knocked off from the gunshot, if she can see who The Masked Man is...

Even as she, reflexes kicking in, raises her own gun at Brogan, but still too slow.

Maybe I am going to find out what happened to Sugarcube after all.

Except there are suddenly hoofbeats like thunder and a horse and rider charge out of the smoke. Right behind Brogan. And the rider, a massive man, shirtless and bloodied, long blond hair tangled and damp with sweat, hacks Brogan's head off with a giant sword.

"Maggie!" the rider roars, a savage grin on his face. "It's time to go!"

And she remembers him, another wave of dizziness, a wave of memories, enough to drown her - Vlad, he was called, and Akimoto - and the dizziness overtakes her, starting to fall, and the memories, remembering what it feels like to shift.


C2IP: The Agenda War IX

Mags and The Masked Man surrounded by fire and screams and blood.

Sugarcube used to love this town, she thinks, feeling her heart breaking again.

"The Mayor and the oil and the companies and the Law," the Masked Man shouts. "Drawing their lines and digging their holes and dispensing and withholding. This town's fortune and fate in their hands and everyone here is just a resource to them. Another means to an end. Sucking up life and love and dreams like the crude stuff and leaving ruined desperate husks. And Que will die and Mode and someone else will take their place. Let's call it The System. But the truth is there's no homes here, no jobs, no future without them.

"And the Wagoners with their hopes and their ideas and their ideals, doing what they can to get people well, keep them safe, make things better and stronger. Maybe make a change. Let's call it The Counter-System. All the ways they argue and fight it out. Who's using the schools and the papers and the places of gathering for what ends.

"Truth is, Maggie, and you know this in your heart, in your bones... It's all lies, all of it. This whole damn town is an infection, an open sore. This was free land once and a whole other people lived on it and with it and were murdered for it and enslaved. Omega Canyon, Temperance City, all the ranchers and cowboys, all the bounty hunters and Marshals, all the gamblers and the priests, all of it is a plague, a shadow, all of it rooted in native blood and suffering. If there's ever going to be any real future all this has to be torn down and burned away and the truth be owned and shared. That's the only way anything real is ever going to happen. 

"That's why the only safe place in Omega Canyon is Judgement Grotto. The only part of this cursed enterprise that's even a little bit real: the graveyard.

"So that's why we're here. We're finally going to make everything real and send it all to the grave."

Maggie understood it now. Understood why things were in crisis.



C2IP: The Agenda War VIII

Mags, the smoke thick in the night, steps over Mode's corpse, the blood leaking from his gut reflecting the firelight, the flames thick in the night. She has the sudden thought that she's somehow killed this man before.

The citizens of Omega Canyon are screaming.

After shooting their way out of The Emperor, Dex ran for the schoolhouse, Wraith for the Star office, Cal for the old Hanged Man. They knew already, in their bones, that they were all already burning. People still needed protecting though.

Mags shoots another man who is about to shoot her. She's trying to size things up, make a count of things. Who started the shooting?

She can see, in the distance, the smoke parting like a curtain in the hot wind conjured up by the fire, that Que's manor is burning too. Glancing back, through more gunfire and screams, she sees that The Emperor is on fire.

War's come to Omega.

And then a figure in the midst of it, standing opposite Mags. She realizes that she's wandered into the main street, where Sugarcube and Logollos had drawn on each other. Do some things have beginnings?

Their hat is pulled low, a bandana pulled up high, face covered, thick duster and smoke and firelight making it hard to measure size, posture.

"You see what's happenin', Maggie?" they shout. Something about the voice. A knowing in it.

She thinks for a moment that it's Darius. Then she wonders if it's him, if Sugarcube's come back. She knows that she should know, that she should be able to tell, feels embarrassed that she can't. Truth is that things have never been quite right since the journey to the Horsebreeder's ranch.

"Tell me what's happenin', stranger!" Mags shouts back.


C2IP: The Agenda War VII

"Well, the bounty hunter was already there. She had rode in the night before, took a room at The Emperor. After checkin' The Hanged Man and learnin' it was shut down.

"So she's sittin' at the table in the corner with her rifle laid right out in front o' her, like she's darin' anyone to cross her. See, the clientelle was a lot o' hired guns workin' for the oil folks, mostly to guard shipments and the like, and sometimes keep the workin' folk in line. They were generally a fairly surly group, the kind you'd reasonably 'spect to trouble a lady sittin' by her lonesome in a Saloon.

"None of 'em troubled Mags Magenta though.

"And after a time the other three showed up and it was almost a reunion of the posse from the Incident last year, 'cept the Preacher wasn't there. The ex-sheriff, the ex-Marshal and the ex-gambler. They got to talkin' - I figures they were catchin' the bounty hunter up on all that had come to pass. The oil, the Mayor, the Law and the Wagoners.

"Part o' me woulda loved to been eavesdroppin' on that chat, just to know how exactly all this mess sounded in the tellin'. If any of it made any gorram sense or whether it was sense that died the day of the Logollos-Sugarcube showdown, if it was the corpse of normalcy and reason and right-thinkin' that they found in that coffin...

"The part left o' me though, if I'm to be truthful, is glad I never heard just what they said. They were an odd bunch, spooky and dangerous. For some reason, imaginin' what their conversation woulda been like makes me feel like when Pa would tell us ghost stories 'round the fire on cold winter nights.

"It wasn't long after that when the gents seated by the window began whisperin' that the Sheriff was outside.

"And then the first explosion happened.

"And then the shootin' started."


C2IP: The Agenda War VI

Weldwood Que, Mayor of Omega Canyon, poured himself a second brandy. He liked the way the light from the chandelier reflected in the liquid. "What exactly is the problem?"

Brogan Mirk, Sheriff of Omega Canyon, brushed some dust off his boot. "Their activities are creating a general air of dissent. Flyers and posters are appearing through the town, around some of the drill sites, even on some of the ranches on the North and South plateaus of the canyon. Manifesto-type writings, questioning the future of the area, questioning the benefits of the oil boom..."

Angus Mode, Deputy Sheriff, wiped some gravy from his moustache with a silk handkerchief. "Questioning the decisions and leadership of the Mayor."

Brogan shot Angus a look.

Mr. Throckmorton, local liaison to the Oil Companies from Temperance City, helped himself to the bottle of brandy. Servants were not allowed in these meetings. "Workers are beginnin' to hold meetings, talkin' about safety conditions, fair compensation, other such nonsense. Plus there's these weird symbols croppin' up, sometimes etched, like with a knife, sometimes painted, on some of the drillin' rigs or foreman cabins. Not really sure what that's all about."

Mr. Lanight, chief editor of The Omega Times, added, "The symbols have appeared on our building as well, and The Emperor Saloon."

Brogan interjected. "The symbols are repeated on many of the flyers and posters. It seems like a way to be reminding folks about the messages."

Que was frowning.

Brogan continued. "None of them are saying anything downright traitorous or treasonous. They're claiming to be a voice for the people of the Canyon."

"And have you identified any of the authors of the messages? Or the vandals defacing these buildings?"

"If the budget to the Sheriff's Office were to be increased," Brogan replied, "I could easily hire on some more men to keep a better watch. We may also want to consider a curfew."

Throckmorton added, "I'm certain the Temperance folks would endorse and maybe even kick in for an increase in security."

"The fact is," Angus said, "we've got two darkies and a slant-eye living in this Canyon, all of whom have reason to dislike the current way of things. One of them is good with letters, one of them has access to a printing press and one of them made a career on deceit and trickery. I think it's obvious who's behind this Wagoners business!"

Brogan sighed. Angus was a hothead but the Mayor was feeling the pressure and Brogan knew he was looking for a target. Not the best time for more troubling news, but - he chugged back his own glass of brandy - why not?

"You should also know, Mayor Que, that the bounty hunter Mags Magenta returned to Omega Canyon last night."