Ulla Vangelis – Leslie
Reggie Carlisle – John (Beta)
Trae Mowaka- Jesse
Jack Nash – John (Prime)
GM- Tod Foley
Ulla sends out her nanobots in an attempt to halt the timing mechanism, while Nash and Trae are quick to fire at the canister and Ulla’s swarm diverts to follow it, while Reggie defuses it mentally. The canister is theirs. When Ulla explains how the vortex event seemed like a literal copy of the first time — lighting, shadows and all — Reggie and Nash begin wondering what exactly Wolfram has been doing to the timeline. “Maybe they simply fucked up,” says Reggie. “That’s how the Frank situation happened.”
They all tend to Whisper, who seems to be fine, just a little shaken. The Vortex simply shrugged off her powers. Reggie takes advantage of the moment to teach her that it’s not all fun and games; sometimes *things push back*.
Reggie goes on to explain to Ulla about Flux Storms. He and Nash are growing more convinced that’s exactly what’s happening here; it’s as though someone is using the forces of fundamental chaos to open holes between realities. Trae suggests that may be what happened in this reality instead of Diaspora and his invention of the Slip Capacitor.
They move on. Toward evening Nash becomes aware they’re being watched, and signals everyone to get down. Trae uses his drone to get eyes on the interloper, a ragged tarp-covered individual who seems to be alone. It turns out to be Ulla’s old friend Dril. They catch up for a while, and he tells them he’ll run ahead and prepare the clan for their arrival. He’s finally succeeded in his old plan to tap into the daily flow of power from the geothermal converter, storing it in a massive battery which they use to power their new home: a medium-sized storage room underground, just beside the plant itself.
Kek isn’t as sour as expected; in fact everyone’s spirits seem to have been lifted by their new surroundings, with powered devices, electric light, music, and all. She’s looking forward to setting up some small hydroponic systems for growing food. The kids all get along, and over the next couple days the group takes some time to make sure Reggie’s okay with leaving the kid behind.
He’s really not. He wants to keep the child; to train her to use her powers, and to protect her.
Everybody chimes in, making sure to underscore how dangerous it would be to take Whisper with them. Ulla suggests that he can always come back for her. Reggie’s still torn. But Beneficent, the clan healer, has noticed Whisper in particular. “Just look at that child’s aura,” she says, “You can tell she’s special.” Beneficent doesn’t know what to make of Nash, Trae, and (especially) Reggie, but her moral code and belief in magic are enough to get a promise out of her: She’ll take good care of Whisper while they’re gone.
Finally they depart, with teary goodbyes. Reggie promises Whisper that he’ll return. “I know you will,” says her voice in his mind. “I trust you.”
Fifteen kilometers out, the group feels that nauseous sensation again: there’s a flux storm coming in. When it appears, they find themselves looking at themselves, hitting the ground, crouching for cover, and aiming weapons in this direction.
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