Nov 1 saw it snow for 3/4 of a day — 5-6" on the ground, but the the time we open up that snow is mostly melted off.
For Elana, her reception among the population has been a little mixed since her outing as a functioning Power. And her power seems accessible, but possibly tied to emotions or adrenaline (common among new powers).
The debates are held. There is discussion of expansion of Refuge Point into adjacent land parcels, possibly in the spring, because we need to plant more food. Defense talks about getting more proactive about keeping Refuge Point safe as we move forward. Powers are not mentioned as part of this. The Quartermaster talks about needing better food storage options, which plays along with the possibility of expansion. During his discussion, Judd seems to be a bit ‘off’ to Ang — he may be sick. But she says nothing, and when her turn to speak comes she reiterates that the role of any Powered person in the community is the same as anyone else in the community: to put their talents to best use in whatever way best serves the whole community. There is no Powered agenda to be had. Then to Ida and Santae, the only true debate. Only it’s not. Santae talks much less about what he wants to do and accomplish and more about where he wants to see the community go — summarizes what he feels he did wrong as the leader, offers insight into what he might have been able to do differently, and advocates for a united community behind whoever is the next leader (obvious). Ida’s talk centers on how she wants to create a system of equality for all of the community, including the Powers. Suggests that going forward we are going to have to start addressing how we want to build a more formal system of government — we are moving beyond the just-surviving stage more or less and into the stage of how to build on what we’ve already done as we move forward because we cannot expect to stay isolated forever, nor can we expect stability. There has to be growth in various forms or we’ll stagnate and die.
During the question and answer portion of things, Mary Fran outs Toby as a functioning Power and wants to know when he’s going to start pulling his own weight in the community because as a Power, he can do so much for us. Santae steps up and defends the point that he’s still a child and expounds on his privacy rights as an individual to not be forced into using his powers — and Langston pipes up with the query for Ida about whether the council intends to press Mary Fran into service for the community, being as she’s an able-bodied individual and could be seen as not doing her part — essentially giving Mary Fran a verbal smack-down without bloodshed. Yet.
The team, meanwhile, is going to head for Guardians Tower with Toby as teleportation transport. There are things there we may find useful, primary among them are the records stored there regarding Powers. Natalie is leery about being teleported but eventually acquiesces. As Toby teleports everyone in, they find themselves falling from a great height. Apparently the passive defenses on the Tower are still in working order, repelling any attempt to teleport onto or into the building proper. He grabs for everyone with his power and teleports them to the ground in front of the lobby doors just outside the protective field.
The building itself is substantially damaged. Something hit the roof and caved part of it in; glass windows on all sides are shattered; packs of wild dogs roam the area; there is no power even from emergency batteries. The stairs are solid, however, and the group is cautiously optimistic as they climb to floors 9-11, where Langston’s lab, the server room, etc. are. Nat and Langston go looking for a portable defib machine to get power to the electrical locks while Maddy works on how to break through them. She manages to get the power up without the machine by using the mini-robots within the server room to throw a breaker (IIRC). Inside the server room, the steel cage that houses all the bio data is intact… and we find out as we’re standing there that Jared of all people gave Langston the code to get into the cage. Everything in there is thumb drives, which we require the computers in the lab to access. We’ll need additional power for that, which is accomplished as a result of an agreement with Sandra: She’ll give Maddy the powers if Maddy will hook her up to Warden. Maddy agrees and stealthily plugs Sandra’s carrying case into the main computer terminal. Ang is doing her job of basically scanning the rest of the building to make sure we’re secure for the time being.
When Maddy comes back from “scrounging what she needs to get the Power on,” she feels very different to Nat’s empathy-sense. Natalie spots a comms earpiece in Maddy’s ear and demands aloud to know what Maddy just did. Maddy dissembles. Toby scans her and tells Langston what he’s feeling; Langston starts to put the information together. Meanwhile, Natalie is just watching as Maddy gets us the power up and running, etc. She genuinely believes that Sandra is good and kind and helping us.
As Langston begins to load all the scans from the drives into the tablet, and the tension of the situation is making Natalie both nervous and unsure about coming back here. Besides, the power may not come back on. So she asks Langston to please while he has he chance to go ahead and run a current scan on her. He says we have time, but she very baldly drops the news, “I’m pregnant” into the midst of the situation. Langston, who has by now figured out what happened with Maddy — and with Sandra!! — flashes Natalie the high sign for Danger and calmly states that it’s time for us to leave now. Between them, Nat and Langston quite literally herd the rest of the group out the lobby doors and AWAY.
Only once we’re out of the lobby, with Sandra calling to us from the building that we didn’t have to leave! So we are emergency-teleported back to Refuge Point IMMEDIATELY — does Langston tell the rest of the team what’s going on: that Maddy never actually helped end the AI. Instead, she’s clearly been using it all along. It’s a big team argument about Maddy’s lies, and so Maddy basically decides she’s leaving and begins to pack. Eric finds her and talks to her some, and she finally explains to him that she had the AI and that it was …. so very amazing to have her power back. Like any addict, the silence of being without her Powers was not so bad to deal with when there was NO CHANCE of ever getting them back, but Sandra had offered her a return of the thing she loved most about herself. So she kept the AI alive and she’s going back to the Tower now because dammit, it’s a good AI. Eric talks her around and calms her, convincing her not to leave yet – he wants to accompany her.
The rest of the team splits up to handle their own things — Langston, Melody, and Toby to Langston’s lab to look at the bioscans, of which Ryan’s are the main agenda, to see what they can learn. Natalie has someone to tell about a baby; does so and has the whole “WILL GO SEE NONA” conversation and such. And Ang goes to find Santae to talk.