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JLA Watchtower RPG
jla_watchtower
jla_futures
It boots not to resist both wind and tide
It is known, but not understood. It rides the currents of space, slipping in and out of gravity wells according to no pattern any observer has been able to track or decipher.

The Guardians of Oa have studied it for millenia. The Warlords of Okaara have dedicated a college to analyzing its tactics, speculating on its strategy, and determining if any defense is possible. The Psions have tried and failed to capture it. In such a wide and varied universe, even the most advanced civilizations have wondered at its purpose, when they have not dismissed it utterly as myth and legend and lie.

Now, its path leads it to an arm of the Milky Way, to a G2V star found 26,000 light-years from the galactic core, to the third planet. It slips unnoticed past the guards and sensors fenced around the planet, and only when it has passed through the Kármán line does it reveal itself to the inhabitants below. Though only a few are looking up at the patch of sky through which it flies....

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From: jla_futures Date: September 16th, 2007 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Davis Mountains, West Texas

It's a quiet night at McDonald Observatory. The clear Texas sky is filled with stars, and the newest UT students still find themselves stealing awed glances at the diamond-studded vault overhead ... before they push such poetic impulses aside in favor of noting that Serpens and Ophiuchus were indeed well up in the southwest at dusk, and that the crescent Moon is low in the sky, with Jupiter and Antares at its upper left.

The Hobby-Eberly Telescope's 9.2-meter mirror is being guided in its slow, stately pace, when Dr. Odewahn spies something that shouldn't be in its field. She frowns and calls a colleague. "Carl? Stephanie. I'm over on Fowlkes. We've got something. No, it's not a comet. I don't think. Hold on--"
From: jla_futures Date: September 16th, 2007 05:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Davis Mountains, West Texas

The artifact pauses briefly between Mount Fowlkes and Mount Locke, then moves on, slightly faster than a speeding bullet.
jla_extras From: jla_extras Date: September 16th, 2007 05:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Davis Mountains, West Texas

Montana is still ranch country, and like any ranch, there are chores that must be tended to, even at the most inconvenient times. Darryl Newman is quietly cursing the horse who has put yet another hole in his stall. "If I had a nickel for every nail I've hammered this month," he mutters, glaring at the beast who is putting on a show of placidity now. He rubs a work-roughened hand over his weathered face and sighs, wondering what possessed him to come out to check in the middle of the night. He fancies the gleam in Ozzie's eye signifies that Ozzie is just waiting for him to wander out of the stable, return to the house, slip back under the covers, and fall asleep.

At which point, Ozzie will kick the stall again. Newman's sure of it.
From: jla_futures Date: September 16th, 2007 05:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Davis Mountains, West Texas

The nighttime mutterings and rustlings of the stable's inhabitants are suddenly interrupted by four musical notes and a flash of light. Hovering now between the stalls is a multifaceted sphere.
jla_extras From: jla_extras Date: September 16th, 2007 05:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Davis Mountains, West Texas

Darryl Newman turns around at the noise and flash. "What the--" Instinctively his hand drops to his tool belt. The hammer is a mighty weapon when it comes to stable repairs, but he's not sure it'll do him much good against whatever is floating above the straw.

It doesn't seem to be doing anything. Slowly he moves closer, staring in amazement and--yes, though he'd be loathe to admit it--appreciation of its beauty.
From: jla_futures Date: September 16th, 2007 05:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Davis Mountains, West Texas

A single facet catches his attention.
jla_extras From: jla_extras Date: September 16th, 2007 05:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Davis Mountains, West Texas

He sees himself, and Ozzie, the splintered remains of the latest patch scattered across the stable floor. "You're almost more trouble'n you're worth, y'damned fool horse," he tells the nickering animal. "Yeah, go 'head'n laugh--"

He closes his eyes and shakes his head, and the vision disappears. He glances behind him at the wall, the latest patch still in place. No splinters mingling with the hay on the floor. Ozzie doesn't even look like he's thinking of raising a leg and aiming a hoof at his favorite spot.

He turns and looks at the artifact again:
From: jla_futures Date: September 16th, 2007 05:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Davis Mountains, West Texas

The artifact has spun gently as it hovers, and another facet catches his eye.
jla_extras From: jla_extras Date: September 16th, 2007 05:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Davis Mountains, West Texas

An old woman is lying in a bed he's known for years, though the quilt is more faded than he knows it to be. She lifts a trembling hand to the man who sits at her side, his face seemingly carved out of oak.

"Now," she rasps, "don't you be spending all your time hidin'. Go to town now'n then. Or I'll give you what-for when I see you again."
jla_extras From: jla_extras Date: September 16th, 2007 05:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Davis Mountains, West Texas

The older Darryl's expression doesn't so much as flicker. But he takes hold of her hand, as gently as he takes eggs from under hens, and presses her fingers to his lips. "Don't talk like that," he says gruffly.
jla_extras From: jla_extras Date: September 16th, 2007 05:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Davis Mountains, West Texas

"I'm dying, Darryl Newman. I figure I can say what I like." She smiles up at him, then closes her eyes, her breathing coming slower and slower.
jla_extras From: jla_extras Date: September 16th, 2007 05:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Davis Mountains, West Texas

He sits and watches every breath, and when they finally stop, he eventually realizes that he should let go of her hand. Gently he crosses her hands over her heart and draws the faded quilt over her face. Rising from his chair, he glances skyward and growls, "You take care of her," before making his stoop-shouldered way out of the bedroom to the phone so he can call the pastor.
jla_extras From: jla_extras Date: September 16th, 2007 05:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Davis Mountains, West Texas

Ozzie stamps a hoof against the floor.
jla_extras From: jla_extras Date: September 16th, 2007 05:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Davis Mountains, West Texas

The sound draws him out of the vision, and he jerks a quick glance over his shoulder, giving Ozzie a pre-emptive glare.
From: jla_futures Date: September 16th, 2007 05:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Davis Mountains, West Texas

Four musical notes sound, and the artifact winks out of sight.
jla_extras From: jla_extras Date: September 16th, 2007 05:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Davis Mountains, West Texas

Darryl Newman checks every stall as well as the tack room before he finally gives up and goes back to bed. He holds his wife close to him as he falls asleep.
jla_extras From: jla_extras Date: September 16th, 2007 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Davis Mountains, West Texas

Several hours after Darryl Newman leaves the stable, Ozzie kicks through the patch in the wall.
alt_minds2 From: alt_minds2 Date: September 16th, 2007 07:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Another farm, another group of late night chores. This time, it's in California. "Brother" Joseph Cross, last survivor of the original five Commune founders is in his shed again, reading his scrapbooks and cleaning his medals. It's his penance more than anything.

He looks over to the stack of confiscated hero magazines and sighs. More kids - Commune kids - have been picking them up since those Titans came by. Worse is that the damn capes stole one of their own and drew her into what would be a violent life, a perpetuation of the same "might makes right" facism he rues to this day.

The object is in his shed, hovering.
From: jla_futures Date: September 16th, 2007 07:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
As Joseph approaches it, the image in one of its facets changes.

"You put that in the bonfire!" Victoria is arguing for the rules now, trying to keep order here.

"No! I'm not. They saved our lives, and saved this place. They're part of our history, and they weren't bad people."

Leaf is standing his ground. Luna's behind him. The kids are grown now, almost ready to walk off into the world. Once, it was pretty much assured that a child of the Commune would go out in the world, see what a corrupted, disgusting place it was, and return to the peace and joy of their home to marry and raise another generation committed to renouncing violence.

That is, until McKay's militia was sent to test their resolve and commitment to pacifism. The kids never had to put up with the FBI. They didn't live through the turmoil of Vietnam and the struggles that put the Commune here. The damn kids took it all for granted!

"They got Rainbow Collins killed, son," Joseph argues. He's an old man, and people are starting to question him. He hasn't been able to die, part of that "metahuman" curse he's got. Everything heals too quickly. His guts are still probably that of a 35-year-old.

"No, MCKAY and his asshole army got her killed. THEY saved us." Leaf gestures to the contraband magazine while his two-year-old looks on, confused.

"Leaf, we can't have that in front of the children." Gary Collins steps forward and snatches the younger man's wrist.

Leaf reacts and a solid punch lands on Gary's jaw. The first blow struck, the disagreeing members start to argue among themselves. Rocks get thrown, sticks turn into clubs.

And Joseph watches as his whole dream dies.
alt_minds2 From: alt_minds2 Date: September 16th, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Joseph staggers back for a moment, then launches himself at this...thing.

But it only shows another aspect.
From: jla_futures Date: September 16th, 2007 07:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
The cities have been bombed to dust, the network grids are destroyed, and the roads are little more but asphalt slag.

But they survived.

Radiation sickness and a nuclear winter killed off about half of them, but others had come, weary and ready to renounce the foolishness of the world in favor of nonviolence.

Hard work and isolation had kept them out of the way while the world burned, destroying itself with bigger and bigger displays of swagger and attempts at dominance.

He is an old man, but he still feels young. The world belongs to them, and the refugees that come to their door are humbled, ready to accept life without war because of the atrocities they saw with their own eyes.

In the end, those who did not pick up the stone survived. The meek have indeed inherited the Earth.

And they will build it anew - a world where all knowledge of violence is locked away, where all human needs can be ritually addressed. This new world will know no sin greater than a man raising his hand in anger.

And Joseph feels as if he as atoned at last.
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