Current Transmissions:


Interesting Persons

"And now the character that always reminded me of the Professor is actually undercover as a professor... Oh, and their new base of operations is a subway!" Angst said.

"That's cool," Goner said. 

"No," Suki frowned. "It means reality is ripping us off."

Angst smirked.

Aqua said, "I think it's more synchronicites, like Max talks about. It was like watching all the stuff with Sam and Dean and Castiel and Crowley and how much it was like when we learned about the version of Maggie that's Magriel and Lucy and all that stuff."

Frank's voice came in over the comm, "Tangos incoming. Keep it down or you're going to get our show cancelled."


Season Finale Style

"So what time does the portal open?" Max shouted over the sound of gunfire.

"In approximately seven to ten minutes," the Professor's voice replied on the earbud.

"And when does the bomb go off?" Mags shouted as the bullets chewed up the edges of their cover.

"In approximately seven to ten minutes," the Professor said.

Max and Maggie looked at each other, shaking their heads and smiling.


Spacetime Flies When You're

Max nestled his head in the pillow as Mags reached over and switched off the bedside lamp. "Night sweetie," she said.

Max murmured back to her and felt sleep drag him down quick.

He opened his eyes and was inside a tent, dawn light faint through the fabric, the smell of gunpowder and trees, howls and shouts getting closer.

Max ran through a mantra designed to confirm that he wasn't dreaming. Checked his chronometer; it had only been seven minutes since he had gotten into bed.

"Bugger," he said to himself.


Just When You Thought

"Yes we will!" Angst shouted, finishing her cheer and spraying bullets from her twin uzis into the swarm of spectres that surrounded them. 

Max felt a sharp impact in his side and suddenly his t-shirt was soaked with blood.

Maggie dodged under a swipe from one of the shadowy claws and her katana flashed upwards in a counterstrike.

Max winced as a gash appeared on his bicep.

Angst kept spinning and firing and another hole tore open in Max's leg. Maggie straightened out of a combat role, growling, and thrust into another demon. Max grunted as a wound punctured his shoulder.

"Dammit," he whispered as he dropped to one knee.

Maggie saw him go down and noticed the injuries that had appeared on his body.

"Defense only, Angst!" she shouted. "We're in a Hex Warp!"


The Persistence of Presence

"It's been going on six days straight," Summer sighed.

A gust of wind made the steady downpour bend to a 45 degree angle, then it returned to falling straight down.

Aqua watched water drip from the brim of her cowboy hat. 

Summer shivered. "Isn't there something we could do? Maybe that's why we are here, to figure out how to make it stop? Isn't that how this works?"

Aqua watched the crowds of miserable people scurrying in the heavy rain. She said, "I think I saw an umbrella store a few blocks from here, yesterday. Based on the signs in the window it looked like they had raised their prices a few days back. Bet they don't have much of a security system..."

Aqua winked and Summer smiled.


Invocation Final

... and finally moving beyond or is it within to the place where the Kami dwell which is only really the world without deception where Valhalla is only the present without fear and the wingbeats of the valkyrie only the passing of the present into the past to make room for the future, the skull a shrine, the spine is Yggdrasil, or the reverse and the reverse, here where the truth happens and the layers upon layers of confusion and delusion and history and fragments and iterations no longer obscure and obfuscate but are simple cartography, the sword and pen and tongue and thought, the runes and circle and words a map to find his way...

... and would he not then divine the route home? who would not after so many worlds and centuries and battles seek the safety and the surety and certainty and the continuity of home? who would not ask that gift from the Aesir and would they not grant it to one so deserving?

... when the time and a chance to make magic, real magic happens is this not the spell Akimoto should be casting?

... yet Maggie is still sick, and Max is still trapped, and his companions still stand watch, ready for the next battle...

[he has the sense of deja vu, the feeling of remembering the feeling of a dream, and so he knows that the magic is working]

Akimoto says the names of Freyr and Freyja and the names of the runes and draws his blade across his palm to make blood. But he does not do so for himself.


Invocation 6

What if the answer is a question?

North, the final rune.



Invocation 5

Deeper now, going beyond, the scar on his face aching and hot.

What if your true home was never a real place?

Akimoto faces west and makes the next rune.



Invocation 4

It is not proper Shinto practice either, though there is a striving towards kotodama in his effort, to touch the soul of the language, the words he is spelling, the spell he is casting. 

The strange samurai cult he had found on his vision quest had taught him some of their magic along with their martial arts, their discipline, their honour, their language. He was no samurai, not even a proper ronin, because he was gaijin, he was an outsider (again?) - the ways of his teachers were not his own, he could not take them, lay claim to them, as he had once taken so much, the raids, the pillaging. The samurai had given him their knowledge freely, and greater than any of the philosophy, the techniques, the sword forms, they had taught him the power of giving.

The robes he sometimes wore were to help remind him of that. And the name they had called him, with no explanation - "bright beginning" - he kept because it was who was was trying to be, or perhaps the path to who he really was... It was hard to understand. It was all so very hard to understand. Yet it all kept happening.

Akimoto also knew that according to most of the histories of most of the worlds he had visited with Max that as much as three hundred years separated the time of the vikings with whom he raided and the samurai with whom he trained... And that roughly three times as long had passed between that time and when he awoke on the subway... What else could you do but try and make magic?

He turns to the south and shapes the next rune with his blade.



Invocation 3

This is not proper seidr, not the proper rituals and offerings, the art of the volva. This is makeshift, improvised, everything in motion, everything always changing, little time to make it proper, but there is still a seething in Akimoto's body and mind that may yet be enough to carry his will across the Nine Worlds (once it seemed, to him, such a large number...).

The rooftop is so very far from the halls, the smoke of the hearth, the smell of fur, the roll of the waves under the boat, the feel of the shore under foot when the raid began. Everything he once knew to be true.

Though... Even then did he not have visions of somewhere else? Where ships sailed not on the water but in the night sky, where other, stranger magic gave life to mighty armour and channeled fire like arrows... A place like a home before home, and battles to rival Ragnarok. 

Was it that place he sought when he first began his vision quest? Or had he never left the hall at all, these ceaseless adventures and oddities only the seething of divine madness granted by Odin Allfather?

Facing east, Akimoto raises his sword and traces the shape of the first rune in the air.



Invocation 2

Max says that a lot people think that magic isn't real, and he says that they're right. That's the point of magic - it's unreal. It makes things unreal. And it reveals that things are really fictional in the first place.

Akimoto understands Max's point - Akimoto may not comprehend many of the ways of the worlds he has found himself in, the customs and the technology, but he is not simple-minded. He understands how powerful stories are, and he understands that there is a philosophy to what Max says, and to how Max lives. He has seen Max make magic.

There is though, Akimoto feels, another type of magic, one that is very real. Like the slow growth of a tree, the even slower rising and falling of mountains. Blood from a wound, the sharp ache of hunger. The harsh song of the raven, the howl of the wolf. The roar of the dragon.

Akimoto finishes scraping the shape of a circle in the weather-worn roof of the brownstone with the point of his sword. 



Invocation 1

Trump pawed at the touch-screen on the cell. Making calls had gotten way easier for him with the change in technology; it was pretty tricky for him back when phones were still rotary.

"Coordinates Wheel-Judgement-Temperance," the voice answered.

"Hiya Professor," Trump purred.

"Oh hello there! Thank you for checking in. How is everything proceeding?"

"Maggie's still trapped, Max is still sick. Everyone else is laying low, sticking to their cover stories."

"Hm, I see. Updates please..."

"Suki is working in a pizza shop, Wraith is working at a movie theater, Darius is selling men's clothing, Callan is building furniture in a factory, Frank is doing market research, Goner is delivering pizzas - from a different shop than Suki's, Angst is washing windows, Aqua is working for a cleaning company and Dexter is harvesting wheat samples for an agricultural study."

The sound of typing on a keyboard. "And what about Akimoto?"

"He's here... I don't remember meeting him before. He seems quite strange."

"Imagine a collage of The 13th Warrior, The Last Samurai, Star Wars and The Terminator."

"Professor, I rarely get out to the movies and when Max downloads them I often fall asleep in his lap."

"Yes, of course. Well, the story is a rather muddled mix of a viking on a vision quest, training by ancient Japanese warriors, clothes inspired by the same plus an army surplus store and tropical tourists, a strange connection with version Citadel - if you recall that tale - a mysterious scar, a sprinkle of amnesia, and a dash of time travel. He's generally a lost soul, enjoys a mug of ale, and is relatively unfamiliar with modern technology. He also writes poetry."

"I can see why Max gets along with him so well."

"And how is he occupying his time while we wait for the window?"

Trump studied the movements of the large man on the rooftop of the brownstone, clear in the light of the full moon. "I believe, Professor, that he is attempting to cast a spell."



Overheard on the Southbound Train

"What do you mean I'm not in costume?" said a scrappy looking kid with a skateboard. "Lady, you spend your lunch hour saving the Metaplex from sources of the mundane to the supernatural and tell me that doing it as a full time job ain't scary! Oh and Happy Hallo'een!" He tossed a pack of licorice and hopped out the closing doors.


Happy Halloween 2

 Previously on Halloween...

Morganfokker and Max's Costumes (version.Hannibal)

Maggie's Costume (version.Vikings)

The Dragons' Costumes (version.Vesperia)
[Trump, Goner, Suki, Max, Maggie, Simon, Angst, Frank]


Down Time

"How long have we been out?" Max inquired.

"A week or so, give or take a couple of days," Maggie replied.

He sat up on the bed and looked around; his mouth felt dry and he needed a drink. Maggie must have read his mind because she handed him a cold bottle of water. He cracked the lid and took a big gulp.

"Easy now big fellow," a voice in the corner of the room told him.

"Well, there's a voice I haven't heard in a while," Max said as his eyes adjusted to the dim lighting in the room. "Where the hell have ya been?"

"I've been to London to visit the Queen," Trump said as he stepped into Max's line of sight.


> Chance in Plureality 5

Keane sat in the booth on the quiet side of the diner. With this layout it was almost as if the other side didn't even exist, which suited him fine. He didn't really want to talk with anyone at the moment anyway. The day had gotten off to a rotten start. Slept in, burnt his breakfast (which is why he was finally getting around to it now at 2 in the afternoon), topping that off with nearly getting sideswiped going by the off-ramp on Clergy Street earlier. 

Of course that wasn't anywhere near the end of the day either. By 11am he had been called into the boss' office and had been fired. Big show of things, too - his boss must have also had a rough morning, the way he went at him. On the other hand he just might have been the kind of boss who enjoyed firing people. Didn't help that Parsons, the douche-bag from near the water cooler, had to feign concern while Keane was cleaning out his desk. That kind of rising bile feeling, makes you wish you had super powers enough to knock a person through a wall. 

It would all be alright though, he thought. Once breakfast finally came. Breakfast, especially a diner breakfast, always made him feel better. Besides, he always felt that he was meant for something more than cube work. The waitress arrived with his meal. The whole shebang! Pancakes, hash browns, toast, eggs, and a massive pile of meat. Toss in a nice cuppa java and a tall glass of OJ. This is what his day was missing from the get-go. This would make it all better, and THIS would allow the whole day to settle and make sense. 

About 3 or 4 sips into his coffee, and a bite or two into the hash browns, a lithe woman with what appeared to be feathers in her hair slid into the booth across from him. 

"Uh... Excuse me?" Keane looked up. "Can I help you?" She just smiled and pulled some of the brown curls back and tucked them behind her ear, the feathers brushing across the table. 

"There's not much you could do to help us at the moment actually..." said a young man in a long coat (who wears one of those in this weather?) as he slid in beside the woman with feathers in her hair. A silver cross jangled on a chain around his neck. "'I always liked diner breakfasts too. Guess we have that in common... But you want a really good brekky? You gotta hit those little mom and pops... Just saying," the scruffy cross-bearer said. 

"Do you guys mind? I'm trying to eat here, and I think you've got me confused with someone else," Keane pleaded. He only wanted his breakfast, even if it was 2pm. 

"Oh I wouldn't dream of stopping you from eating - in fact you're gonna need it," the man in the long coat informed. 

"It's going to be a looong day," the smiling feathered woman said.

"Look... What do you mea-" Keane started. 

"Have you ever felt like you were meant for something more?" the young man smirked. 

Keane felt something odd about that look, like these two knew more then they were saying. "Go on..." he said, slowly picking up another mouthful of hash browns with his fork.


Quest #xx

Crow was sitting on the edge of the bed when Max woke up. "You looked restless. Your leg was kicking like you were dreaming of being trapped."

Max stretched.

"What's on your mind this morning?" Crow asked.

"One of the things Morganfokker and I used to talk about, in one of our histories, between sessions," Max said. "About how to find the gods hidden all around you. Sometime later The Professor would ask me, or I would imagine having a conversation with him in which he would ask me: why do you think that they are hidden?

"But they feel hidden to me, or maybe I just think they’re hidden, and that’s the point, and what’s the difference?" Max sat up and pulled on a t-shirt.

Crow shrugged. "I see the gods hidden among and within us when I wonder what our society would look like if we substituted compassion for self-interest. Every time I hear people use the language of capitalist economics to describe their relationships I think I see one of the hidden gods, shaping and directing and guiding and confining our lives. The way that the patterns of response in language of the person confronting the stigma of mental illness map onto the media’s portrayal of political discourse that maps onto the way we discuss it over coffee. Where real oppression lives and real freedom?

"Maybe in the way we respond to dreams," Crow continued. "The way we prioritize certain spectrums of continuity, waking consciousness, over discontinuous (or less continuous? dreams can recur), and what about when we remember a dream when we’re waking? Or any memory? What do we allow to dictate our response? Things from the past, or the future or that happen to us when we’re asleep? Or from others’ pasts – the lives of ancestors, their own questions and answers designing and growing the culture we participate in, other hidden gods controlling the whats and whys of our daily lives.

"Why you will wake up and get about of bed. Why you will sit in front of a computer. Eat what you will eat. Say what you will say, to yourself or your roommate or partner or family. Dream what you dream."

Max rubbed his eyes. "In one of the iterations of Cube I once wrote 'my arbitrary particulars seem vast' and 'all the things I will never get to be but I will get to be me'. I guess maybe The Professor contacted me for the latter and Morganfokker abducted me for the former."


Susanna Overhears

The cheerleader says, "I've been watching In Treatment, a nightly drama showing the weekly therapy sessions of a number of people, including the therapist. Watching the exchanges and seeing how there's the version of things the 'patient' (as the show refers to them) describes to the therapist, there's the version that the therapist perceives, the version that the therapist interprets, then the version that the therapist feeds back to the patient. There's the patient's interpretation of the therapist's expressed version, experienced based their own conditioning, bias, history. And then there's the implied hidden version that the patient is withholding, consciously or not, as well as a version that the therapist may be unconsciously experiencing based on their own conditioning, bias, history, so on.

"And I wonder, is the existence of all these versions the very basis for the therapy itself? Or is it the thing that prevents therapy from being effective? Or both and in what combination?"

The writer says, "The Professor once called it 'The Implicate Meaning Field' - the possibility that things can be other than they are, creating room for error, and for change, and for imagination, and for suffering."

The businessman says, "Tor Norretranders describes in The User Illusion a model of communication in which a massive tree of exformation is condensed within us into a tiny packet of information, which is transmitted from us to others who are listening and watching, wherein it grows a new tree of exformation. And I guess we hope that the two trees roughly correspond to each other."

The writer says, "Maybe without this there'd be no art, but sometimes it makes me feel like really sharing anything is impossible."


The Children of the Revolution (You Won't Fool)

Max lay back on the couch, feeling like a cliché. It reminded him of the Lab for a moment, a shiver, tried to steady his breathing.

"I guess it's always been a question of trying to figure out who is sending the transmissions," he said. "If it's Control or the Professor, or if it's Morganfokker. If it's an order, or an insight, or a delusion. Their voices often sound alike and the frequencies are always changing. So I try to listen and hope the only people that get hurt are people who need to get hurt.

"But lately I got one message, from one of them, The Professor I think: It's a question of trying to synchronize the inside of you with the outside of you with what's outside of you.

"I thought that if those were even each only a variable between say 1 and 10, the chances of having them all land on the same number at any given moment... I guess that's life as slot machine. But I figure it's closer to say a game of chess where only one combination of the 32 pieces is an accurate representation of how things are - the relationships between royalty and clergy and soldiers and such, be they desires and fears and drives, or whatever (Professor, Morganfokker, Control?) - and there's actually 3 boards you're playing on, against 3 different players. And you're supposed to get each board in sync, all 32 pieces in the same position, in the same move.

"And that's when it happens I guess. Has it happened to you?"


In The Shadow Of Fears Big and Little



As the camera slowly pulls back we see LUCY MORNINGSTAR sitting at a table; she is dressed in a red dress, wearing a black cropped jacket. She is sipping coffee and looking at several sheets of paper on the table before her. A file report of MAX CUBE - ACTIVE (UNSTABLE) is open before her.


A quaint looking place, looking more of a cafe. LUCY is sitting at a table in front of a window. There are three other customers sitting about her at another table. The door opens and enters A TALL DARK MAN dressed in a three piece business suit carrying a business suitcase. He looks around the place in disgust like a man who is accustomed to the finer things in life. He sees LUCY and approaches.


Anubis. You're right on time.

What's your fascination with this place? I do not understand it. Of all the places and all the worlds that were made and unmade you seem to be attracted to...

LUCY (interrupting)
Did you bring it?

ANUBIS (brings case to table)
That I have.

I love to see a MAN respect the wager.

Before we do this transaction. Would you like to go double or nothing?

Another wager?

Yes. But this time with a twist.


Roll Credits

Max closed his eyes. He drew a slow puff from the cigarette in his mouth. Inhaling the toxic fumes once again and savouring it.

"I'm scared," Suki said. "What's going to happen to us all?"

"We've been going in a loop non-stop for 15 years now," Frank stated. "It's time to take it to the next level."

"Like in a video game?" Suki inquired.

"See," Frank interjected. "She still calls them video games."

"I get the point," Goner said. "Yeah, I see it now, don't go all 'I told ya so' on us now!"

Frank cracked a smile for the first time in a long time.

"If we were movie characters what would be doing now?" Suki asked.

Max opened his eyes and tousled Suki's hair. "We strut."


Verse Chorus Verse Bridge Verse Chorus

It was a pure symphony.

Max was back to back with Maggie and they were moving in unison across the floor, bullets flying like angry wasps looking for whoever stirred up the hornets' nest. It felt like old times, yet to Max it was just the beginning. Never before had he encountered such a creature as Maggie.

She was more than human, but human in appearance. He presumed if he saw her true form his eyes would burn out and his brain would melt, much like butter on a hot plate. But he didn't mind if it did.

They were surrounded by hundreds upon hundreds of goons.

Little robotic spider-like bots crawling across the floors, the walls and the ceiling just trying to get at them to tear their flesh from their bones.

"You okay, my love?" Maggie asked.

"Oh, I'm just Jim Dandy today!" he replied.


Block Busting

"What do you want to watch tonight?" Angst asked. She held up three movies: Dazed and Confused, Quantum of Solace, and The Killer Elite."

"Whoa," Dexter said. "Combine all those movies together and you will have our story."

"Should add The Wizard of Oz into the mix then," Suki stated.

"And don't forget that obscure Rutger Hauer movie, Crossworlds!" Frank chimed in.

"Well, if we are going to go that route," Maggie said. "You might as well add that movie with that actor who played in that movie with some strange stuff in it."

"Obscure much?" Suki stated.

And that's when everyone broke out in laughter. 


This Is a Throwdown

Max pulled the car over. Country road, sunny day. He had forgotten where he was going.

There was a duffel bag in the back seat. The car smelled like vinegar.

He felt nervous. He checked his cellphone. There was a text from Control, timestamp was 33 minutes ago. It said: KEEP DRIVING.

There was a link in the text:


Max started driving again, turned on the radio, recognized the beginning of the song.



At The Whiskey-A-Go-Go

Max stepped into the room; it was early afternoon and the bar was particularly empty. It didn't tend to pick up until evening when the bands take to the stage. He glanced around and saw an old friend sitting in a booth and sipping Jack Daniels on the rocks. Max could see several cigarettes butted out in the ashtray as well, with several sheets of paper scattered about. 

"Yo, Jimbo" Max said as he approached. He slid into the booth across from him. 

"Max!" the fellow said as he saw his old friend approach him. "What you've been up to?"

"Oh, traveling," Max told him. "You know, like opening doors to here and there."


From The Journal of Suki

Dear Diary,

It's been three days since I was brought into this secret club. A club of warriors, fighters, criminals, madmen (and also madwomen as well). What madness have I gotten myself into? I'm scared, I'm happy, I think I'm in a dream world and will wake up soon as well; but I don't want to!!!

Diary I got to admit this to you. The past three days have been awesome! Terrifying as well, but mostly awesome! We've been studying Norse literature in school, and this got me thinking! 

I think Max is the god Loki in disguise!!! He has to be. I have discovered three things...

wait... gotta go... subway is finally stopping and it looks like it's gonna be a big one.

Will update later.... maybe...


The Selection

"What are we going to call this operation?" Darius wanted to know. "We should give it a cool name... you know, for the files."

Max leaned back in the chair and reached out for a book behind him; he closed his eyes and flipped the book open and stopped at a page. He then put a finger down on the page and then opened his eyes to see what word he had picked.

"Backbone," Max stated.

"Backbone?" Darius questioned. "What kind of a stupid-ass name is that for an assignment?"



He wandered through the city streets, looking for the symbols on the side of buildings. Letting him know where the safe haven was. It'd been three days since he had been here and he was getting to the point where he thought he would be stuck here forever.

Well, it wouldn't be a bad thing, since it was kind of nice here. The coffee was good, the smokes were to die for and the people were friendly. But he missed the adventure, his companions, and most of all he missed her.

"You look lost mister?" someone asked.

"Yeah," he replied. "I am."

"Maybe this will help," the young kid told him, holding up a map of the 'stars'.

Max saw the map that the young girl was holding and he saw the symbols on them and he cracked a huge smile; he glanced up at the heavens and said, "Thank you Universe!"


Rock Breaks Scissors

"Okay, on the count of three," Suki said to him. "Let's do it."

She counted up to three and then produced scissors; Max had brought up rock.

"Damn it," she said. "That's ten in a row! How the hell you do that?"

"It's magic," Max said. "And if I told you then I'd have to send you to another reality!"

"Well, you do that on a daily basis, lunkhead!" she told him.




Page 7 of 122

HENDORS: He walked right past me as if he didn't recognize me.

LAWYER: You mean he ignored you.

HENDORS: Yeah, I guess so.

LAWYER: So what did you do then?

HENDORS: Well, I ran up to him and tapped him on the shoulder. I said, "Max, what the hell is going on with you?" He said, "Sorry fellow but I think you have the wrong person."

LAWYER: And what did you do next?

HENDORS: I kind of stood there shocked. Since I knew this fellow from when we were kids growing up in Queens. He was my best friend. So when he went into the subway station, I followed him. Because I knew that I was right as rain it was him.

LAWYER: And what happened next?

HENDORS: On the platform there were just three others. Max stood there waiting for the subway and I ran up to him and said, "Max it's me, Chet!" And that's when he smiled at me and told me, "I'm not the Max you are looking for."

LAWYER: So what does this incident have to do with...

HENDORS: It was one of the chain of events that led me up to it. Max was always a quiet fellow, though this one it seemed was like.... You ever see that sci-fi show about a man who leaps through time in other physical bodies? I presume it's like that: this version of Max was from another time or place or whatever and had leapt into my Max's body...


Am I?

I am the night
I am the moon
I am the calling of the loon

I am the sun
I am the stars
I am the gasoline in your car

I am Me
I am You
I am the person next to you

I am who I am
That's what I am.

Maggie put the piece of paper back down on the table and glanced around the apartment. There was no sign of Max. He had called her up fifteen minutes ago; his voice had sounded strange and weird, like someone talking in a huge empty room.

She walked into the bedroom and saw that it was made, as if it hadn't been slept in. She noticed the ashtray by the bed had one broken unsmoked cigarette in it.

"Weird," she muttered.

"Weird," a voice echoed back from another room.

Maggie left the bedroom and entered the living room. That's where she saw Taku sitting on his perch in the cage.

"I suppose you don't know what happened here," she asked the parrot.

"Weird," Taku replied back.


The Parcel

"Can you move?" Max asked.

"That I can," Frank replied. He sat up and reached up to take Max's arm.

The box was made from metal, a metal that Goner didn't recognize; it was smooth like silk to the touch and the weight of it was very light. He and Frank had picked it up and a jolt, which looked like lightning, had hit Frank in the chest and sent him flying against the bulkhead. The box dropped but there was a rustling sound coming from within as if something was alive.

"What the hell," Goner said. "Is there something in there?" 

Maggie emerged from the other room when she heard the clatter and her mouth dropped open.

"Is this it?" Max asked her. He had pulled out Pain and Joy and aimed them at the box.

"Sweetie," Maggie said to him as she brushed past him, waving him to put away his children back into their holsters. "Those things wouldn't penetrate its skin, even with the Pope's blessing."



Frank answered his phone. Suki answered her phone. The rain was heavy, the sky dark, cracked with lightning strikes. 

They both hung up at the same time. Looked at each other. 

She's just a kid, Frank thought. She never should have been brought into this mess

He's too old, Suki thought. He shouldn't have to do this kinda stuff anymore

“You first, Suki.” 

“After you, Frank.” 

Thunder. They were soaked. 

“It was Mags,” he said. “She's at the crossroads of Eighth and Tenth. There's an entire horde manifesting there – infernals, oni, yaoguai, vucari – and if we don't get over there to back her up the entire city will fall. Maybe even the planet.” 

Suki nodded. “It was Max. He's at the crossroads of Ninth and Twelfth. All the synchronicities and calculations are showing that the portal is going to open there. If we don't make it in time...” 

“We could be trapped. Or disappear. Or this whole version could disintegrate. Or the next version could collapse.” 

“Can Maggie retreat?” 

“Not an option. Can Max wait?” 

Suki shook her head. Lightning, more thunder. 

Which way do we go? they thought.



It's almost time for the Annual Morningstar Festival of One-Act Plays and the Jones Heights community theatre troupe Noo Media Productions needs a hit. For the last five years they have come in last in the competition, while popular (and well-funded) groups like Legacy Stage or The Angus Mode Players take home the trophies. It's all supposed to be a fun, friendly contest, but it's theatre and that means a lot of feelings and a lot of egos are involved...

So how are NMP looking this year? Well, the Board decided to bring in a first-time Director, Mallory Magrielle. And she decided to mount a production of a notoriously difficult play called 'Maxed to the Third Power'. Will great risk bring great reward? Except that the Set Designer Miguel Rogen and the Costume Designer Charlotte Stang are constantly arguing over what period the story is set in, while the Director refuses to weigh in because she feels that "conflict is essential to the creation of great art". Which has left Suki Fujimoria, the Stage Manager, over-worked and highly stressed - and Suki is known for her temper. No one has seen the Musical Director (and local DJ) Vlad Tiamook in over week; apparently he is furiously remixing the entire soundtrack to a create a "meta-temporal vibe" that will fit with whichever setting wins out, Rogen's or Stang's.

As for the cast... Ms. Magrielle gave the Lead Female role to Jones Heights' only (semi)famous citizen, Marnie Waters, who had a (semi)successful stint as a pop diva. Pandering or a subtle critique of celebrity? And instead of giving the Lead Male role to the long-standing, well-respected, troupe mainstay Frank Thamin - who thought the part could be his Prospero, but will instead be playing the Narrator - Ms. Magrielle cast THREE unknowns. That's right, she's having one character played by three different actors! How exactly Marshal Montgomery, Simon Light and Mick Scribe will split up the dialogue and action remains a closely-guarded secret.

Will opening night bring triumph or tragedy? Rave reviews or farcical folly?




The last time that the drifter they called 'Sugarcube' - some stories said it was his sweet disposition, others involved a penchant for using treats to lure horses away from their rightful owners - had been through Omega Canyon it'd been a quiet, restful place. A good town to find a bit o' work or to lay low if need be, for whatever such reasons as a wanderin' soul with a knack for trouble-makin', or at least trouble-findin', might have. The folk of Omega were welcoming and not likely to inquire, so long as the trouble stayed out o' the Canyon.

But, as is the way of things, the town had changed. A mysterious landowner had moved in and he had brought a lot of two things with him: money and bad intentions. Wasn't long before the man they called Logollos had bent the will and the ways of the Canyon to a murkier, downright poisonous, disposition. So when Sugarcube returned and voiced his distaste with the new cruelties he found in the former haven, well, it led, as it often does, to a showdown in the main street.

Whether Logollos won the draw fair-and-square or whether there was some species o' chicanery involved was a truth kept hidden by the townsfolk. And whether that was outta spite or fear was another mystery in itself. But truth always has its seekers, and mysteries beg to be solved...

And so it was that some weeks after Sugarcube was gunned down in the street that a misfit gang of gunfighters rode into Omega Canyon lookin' to avenge the death of their friend. A bounty hunter, a sheriff, a gambler, a marshal, and a preacher. And, to borrow a phrase, Hell followed with them.


All In The Dice 3

Dan stopped before the next door. He was trembling. "I can't do this. This is ridiculous."

Mark stepped up beside him. "Hey, we've got your back."

Tim said, glancing down at his notes behind the screen, "Alright, so Dex's assist will give you a +2 on your Will save."

"Right on. Thanks Dex," Max said, smiling across the table at his friend as he picked up the 20-sided die.

Angie placed her ear against the old, wooden door. Ran her fingers along the edges to check for any draft.

Wraith said, "I rolled a 7."

Tim said, his voice neutral, "You don't hear anything..."

Darius said, "Tim, I give him the copy of the book - I guess I'm hoping some of the buffs will transfer over to him?"

Chance handed Dan his copy of the Metaplex Role-Playing Game Rule Book. It was Chance's favourite game; he spent hours reading and re-reading it. He always told the rest of the group that, even though it was all made up by the writers from Plureality Studios, that it had a lot of guidance about living in its pages.

"Alright Max, that will be another +3 bonus, with Dex's assist for 2, plus Dan's Meditation skill bonus of 2, for a total of +7. And your target number is... 23."

"I got this," Max said as he rolled the die.

Dan reached forward and opened the door...


All In The Dice 2

Max slid across the tile floor with both guns blazing, bullets flying like carrier pigeons to their new homes. He only had a few more rounds left and he had to make them count.  

Dan looked down at the sheet and he only had 13 rounds left for "Pain" and only 12 for "Joy". 

"So, how many are left in the room?" he asked Tim.

Tim was in the middle of taking a sip from his coffee; he held up his left hand signalling one second.

Wraith popped up her head to do a quick glance and dropped it as soon as bullets began to rain down upon them again.  Control had told them this was a "Milk Run", nothing major was going to happen it was just a "verificaton" check. Boy, did Control get this wrong. 

Angie looked at the graph paper before them; it showed the warehouse they were in and a bunch of x's dotted about it like a football diagram. "From my count there looks to be 16-17 left," she said as she looked up.

"If they were Mooks this would be easy as pie," Dan replied. "But, no, they all have to be Named."

"You know, Dan," Tim said. "We could always play Little Fears."