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Messages - Tom Church

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RPGs / Re: Eclipse Phase
« on: May 29, 2012, 09:24:45 AM »
Speak for yourself.  Mmmmm

Role Playing Public Radio Podcast / Re: Thanks Tom
« on: May 17, 2012, 01:14:46 PM »
<a href="" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win"></a>

My favorite cameo character from Black Books.

Role Playing Public Radio Podcast / Re: Thanks Tom
« on: May 08, 2012, 02:58:23 PM »
Oh yes.  I have all three seasons.  It's brilliant.  You might also try the series Black Books.  Not as many episodes, but Irish comedian Dylan Moran stars.  He and the rest of the cast are excellent.

It's coming, but probably not in the way you are thinking.  I am planning it, but due to some input from Ross and Caleb, any further Lady Gaga material will be set in Eclipse Phase.  Call it Lady Gaga v. 3000.2.  Or whatever.   In any case, it will be the band and road crew, flying the unfriendly space, and probably doing a lot of gatecrashing in the name of fame and entertainment.  Not to mention a whole helping of violence and "aggressive negotiation".  I plan to have it up in the next four weeks or so, and may start as soon as Ross gets back from his trip in May.  Stay tuned for more updates.

General Chaos / Re: Best Internet Vidyas
« on: February 03, 2012, 05:04:09 PM »
<a href="" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win"></a>

2012 as a grindhouse trailer.

Yes.  It's official.  That is fucking awesome.  I really should have said something at that moment. 

"Cool off."

"Chill out."

"Let's try to keep a cool head."

Role Playing Public Radio Podcast / Re: Why I Love Tom Church
« on: November 11, 2011, 03:28:31 PM »
In Syrim, best make me an Argonian.  That's the thing that makes me squee.

Role Playing Public Radio Podcast / Re: nikflatblarneyquandofloo
« on: July 07, 2011, 12:07:56 AM »
"I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it."

Role Playing Public Radio Podcast / Re: nikflatblarneyquandofloo
« on: June 26, 2011, 01:28:39 AM »
I'll post another Carlin quote every time I put up another chapter.

Role Playing Public Radio Podcast / Re: nikflatblarneyquandofloo
« on: June 22, 2011, 08:02:29 PM »
Thank you Tom.
I'm so glad for this.

Any time, homeslice.   8)

Role Playing Public Radio Podcast / Re: nikflatblarneyquandofloo
« on: June 18, 2011, 01:29:03 AM »
Said I'd post it in the forums.  I do not lie, sir.

Role Playing Public Radio Podcast / Re: nikflatblarneyquandofloo
« on: June 17, 2011, 11:47:17 PM »
It's a Carlin quote.  Up there with clicking on "the".

Role Playing Public Radio Podcast / nikflatblarneyquandofloo
« on: June 17, 2011, 08:15:49 PM »
On the feast of St. Stephen, I was driving my hearse to the wholesale liverwurst outlet when suddenly a hermaphrodite in a piano truck backed out of a crackhouse driveway, and, as my shoes caught fire, I pirouetted across Boris Karloff Boulevard, slapping the truckdriver six times in the loins with a Chatanooga road map, even though he was singing "The Pussycat Song"

General Chaos / Re: Best Internet Vidyas
« on: June 03, 2011, 10:16:19 PM »
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Aaaaaand, part two.  I told you, it was a long one.

   Plans were made for the wedding to happen in September.  Finn found himself nervous, but not for obvious reasons.  It wasn't the stress, the commitment, or the fact that both of them were getting married at 18.  It was knowing that he would be lying to her about the fact that he had committed armed robbery.  He remembered the effect it had on his mother only a year ago.  So, three weeks before the wedding, he sat her down and confessed everything to her.  He told her about his father, the robbery, and the fact that he would most likely do it again.  Sarah just stared at him for a few moments, then told him that it was alright.  Finn was surprised, but Sarah said it was her turn to confess something.  Her grandfather had been a successful businessman, but a disgruntled employee came forward with accusations of the business having ties to organized crime.  Her grandfather proclaimed his innocence, but the IRS picked at his business until it finally crumbled.  Sarah's father watched the IRS destroy her grandfather's business until there was nothing left.  Her father dedicated his life to sticking it to the authorities.  He was a criminal too, from robbery to credit fraud.  She told him that she was, quite frankly “used to it.”  In retrospect, Finn would admit that if they were older and wiser, that would never have been accepted.  But as it was, they were teenagers in love, and they were invincible.  Though, she did tell him that if he got killed or arrested, she would never stop pissing on his memory.

   Finn and Sarah were married on September 10, 1979.  On April 20, 1980, their son Michael was born.  Finn spent much of the next year helping Sarah with the baby and running the bar.  However, he was also planning the next job.  A year later in 1981, Finn's crew hit another armored car in Charollette, North Carolina.  In 1982, they graduated to banks, hitting the Bank of Boston.  Over the next fourteen years, the crew committed seven more robberies, each time getting away clean.  But it was in July of 1996 that Finn planned the biggest heist yet.  On July 5th,  the twentieth anniversary of his father's death at the hands of London police, Finn's crew robbed the London terminal of the TGV train line, making off with more than five million dollars.  It was a final tribute to his father, and a final “fuck you” to the London police.  This was also the last job the crew would undertake.  Finn knew the time to retire had come.  James Coonan had been given a life sentence in 1988, leaving Finn to deal with the Gambino crime family.  Finn didn't like working with them, especially when they upped the rate to 40%.  But most of all, Finn was 35, and wasn't getting any younger.  So, upon the completion of the London job, Finn bade his crew farewell, hung up his guns, and retired from the life of crime he had been living for 17 years.

   The next few years were the best in Finn's life.  He focused on his family and the Three Crowns.  In 1998, he watched his son graduate valedictorian from high school.  Four years later, Finn watched Michael graduate from NYU at the top of his class.  Michael O'Halloran had wanted to go into law, but 9/11 changed that.  He wanted to serve his country, not in the military, but in a way that would truly matter.  So, just before graduation, Michael applied to the FBI academy at Quantico.  Upon graduation, he was accepted.  Finn, although with some resentment to the FBI from years back, applauded his son and gave him his full support.  In November of 2002, Michael graduated with honors  into the FBI.  Finn, quite the proud father, settled into the life of an empty nest.  He was sure that this was how he would live out the rest of his life.

   In the early spring of 2009, Sarah O'Halloran began complaining of intense headaches.  She thought they were just migraines, but they continued to get worse.  Months later, they were accompanied with gushing nosebleeds.  Finn took her to the hospital, where tests showed that she had a particularly virulent strain of brain cancer,  Glioblastoma multiforme.  The prognosis was she had maybe a few months left, maybe a year.  Finn was devastated.  The doctors told him that it was inoperable, and that no treatment existed that could do anything.  Finn, desperate for any kind of hope, turned to his old criminal contacts, searching for anything that might save his wife.   He didn't expect to find anything, but was stunned when he did.  Technology, most likely taken from an alien source, had showed up on the black market.  This was only a month after the Ragnarok incident, and the new technology was only just becoming available.  It appeared to be some kind of nanotech treatment, but it had the ability to eliminate his wife's brain tumor.  But the cost was astronomical, tens of millions of dollars.  Finn decided right then and there that he would do whatever it took to get the money. 

   Bringing up contacts and skills he hadn't used in over a decade, Finn started looking for large shipments of money, pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of his own money into the search.  It took weeks, but he finally stumbled onto a potential target.  It was a notice for private security to assist the moving of a shipment of laundered cash to a secure location.  The amount seemed to be large enough to cover the cost of the nanotech treatment.  But Finn only had a week to prepare.

   He called the members of his old team, hoping they would be willing to help.  Both Jacob and Frank had squandered much of their money on booze and drugs, and were quite strung out.  They both said yes, more out of boredom and a yearning for action.  Victoria, now the owner of a chain of mechanic shops across the tri-state area, flatly refused.  She said the job was too big, Jacob and Frank were clearly not up for it, and that Finn wasn't in shape enough to do it himself.  She wished him luck, but feared the worst.  Finn knew that she was right.  The job was bigger than even the London robbery, and Frank and Jacob were half crazed on drugs.  Most of all, Finn knew that he wasn't physically at his prime.  He was 49 years old, wore glasses, and hadn't done serious exercise in years.  But he thought back to his old contacts.  If he could find an alien nanotech treatment on the black market, maybe he could find something that would help him complete the job.

   It didn't take him long to find what he was looking for.  A concoction of super-soldier drugs and gene-tech agents was available, but quite expensive at over a million dollars.  Luckily, Finn had invested his stolen money wisely, and had enough to cover the cost.  He arranged a meeting with the seller, a very twitchy man with a Russian accent.  The buyer identified himself only as Vassili, and said that it was a powerful mixture of super-soldier enhancers and gene-tech sensory treatments derived from bat genes.  The Russian was clearly nervous and wanted to leave, so Finn didn't press him with more questions and made the deal.  The Russian gave him a package containing a vial of a light blue liquid and an injection gun.  Finn took it home, and found that all the instructions were written in Russian.  Realizing that time was critical, he injected the entire vial into his arm.

   The results were amazing.  When he woke up the next morning, he found that he didn't need his glasses.  Elated by this, Finn became hopeful that his thrown-together plan might work.  The exchange was to take place at the Lufthansa air terminal at JFK International Airport.  Finn found himself working around the clock to arrange the robbery.  He purchased new weapons for the job, including a new Steyr Aug, a 5.56mm SAW, and an M4 Carbine with an M203 Grenade Launcher clipped on.  He was so busy with preparations that he didn't notice the physical changes in his body.  He was growing stronger, and lines and creases in his face were disappearing.  He also didn't notice that some of the gray in his hair was changing color.  Not back to his normal black, but dark brown.

   Finally, the day of the robbery came.  Finn found himself on edge, and that he was experiencing a bit of sensory overload.  Smells and sounds were far more clear and intense than ever before.  Jacob and Frank had prepared by consuming an entire 8-ball worth of cocaine the night before.  They were strung out, on edge, and constantly twitching.  Finn feared the worst, but found himself also twitching, but utterly focused on the job at hand.  So much so that he didn't see that his ears had become slightly pointed, and that webbing had appeared between his fingers.  Jacob and Frank, high out of their minds, didn't see it either. 

   The robbery was, by all definitions, a disaster.  When the trio made their move, they found that the exchange was being looked after by a dozen private security guards in black suits.  They were speaking German, of that Finn was sure.  When Finn and his crew rushed out, guns drawn, and yelling for them to get to the ground, none of the guards did.  Instead, they drew their weapons and opened fire.  What followed was a bloodbath.  As soon as the shooting started Jacob and frank switched to full auto and opened up.  Soon they were drunk on the power of their own guns, especially Jacob with the SAW.  For Finn, the whole firefight was in the most vivid detail he had ever seen.  He felt every shot, could smell the cordite on the air, and could hear the grunts and cries of the wounded and dying even over the gunfire. 

   In ten minutes, the fighting was over.  All twelve of the guards were dead, and a good part of the terminal area was on fire, mostly coming from the M203 on Frank's gun.  Frank was dead, lying in a pool of blood, shot over fifteen times.  He had so much cocaine in his system, it took a while for his brain to let his body know it was dead.  Jacob was shot seven times, and was quickly bleeding out.  Finn, somehow, had come out unscathed.  Realizing he had no time, Finn loaded the last grenade into Frank's gun and blew their own escape vehicle apart to get rid of the evidence.  He then dragged Jacob into the van the armed men were loading and drove out of the terminal.  Miraculously, the van was well away before the horde of police descended on the area. 

   Finn drove straight for the storage facility they had set up as the rendezvous point after the job.  By the time he finally pulled in and closed the door to the storage building, Jacob had died from blood loss.  Trembling with adrenaline and fear, Finn opened the back of the van to see just what it was they had stolen.  The amount of money was staggering.  Well over sixty million dollars.  Finn loaded the money from the van into the SUV he had stored in the garage, and wrapped Jacob's body in a tarp and left it in the van.  He drove the SUV out of the city to another storage unit in New Jersey.  It was only then, when the adrenaline was finally wearing off, that Finn noticed the odd things happening to him.  His ears, the webbing, and looking in the rear view mirror, he saw that his teeth had noticeable points.  He quickly thought back to the vial he had injected, and to the Russian's description.  Derived from bat genes.  He barely had time to register this when his cell phone rang.  Almost in a panic, he answered without checking to see who it was.  The voice on the other end had a German accent to it.

   “Is this Finn O'Halloran?”

   “Who is this?”

   “I'm the one whose property who stole and whose personnel you killed.”

   “What do you want?”

   “Don't worry, Mister O'Halloran.  The money was a relatively small amount.  Not enough for me to hunt you down over.  I have already taken an appropriate repayment from you.  Goodbye, Mister O'Halloran.”

   For nearly a minute, Finn stood motionless, until the horrifying realization hit him.  He raced back to the city, heading straight for the hospital.  By the time he got there it was too late.  His wife had been found dead, a syringe of sodium cyanide solution stuck into the IV line.  Finn, flying into a storm of grief and rage, ran from the hospital, barely registering that his son was about to enter.  He had taken time off from his job in Washington to see his sick mother.  He tried to call out his father, but Finn ran from the hospital at incredible speed.  Left in confusion, Michael went inside, only to learn of his mother's death.  When he found out that his mother had been murdered, and when he remembered the state his father had left, Michael ran from the hospital and raced home.

   When he got there, Michael found the door had been ripped off it's hinges.  He went inside to find his father tearing the living room apart in a rage.  Only his father didn't look remotely human anymore.  Finn was covered in brown fur, his face bestial visage of a bat.  The webbing that had been growing between his fingers had no grown to cover the underside of his arms, like half-formed wings.  Worst of all, Finn's eyes were glowing an eerie red in the darkness.  When Finn realized his son was in the room, he tried to explain everything that had happened.  But Finn's voice was heavily distorted and difficult understand.  Fear taking him, Michael drew his gun, not knowing what to expect.  Upon seeing the gun, a kind of atavistic response took over, and the final stages of the change exploded outward.  In seconds, Finn had completely transformed into a huge humanoid bat.  His first instinct was to respond to the threat of the gun, but at the last moment he remembered that his was his son.  Instead, Finn crashed through the wall of the house and flew into the night.

   It was days before Finn finally was able to regain his senses and remember who he was.  By that time he had flown all the way to Ohio.  Knowing that he could never go back to New York, Finn got into contact with Victoria Mason and arranged for her to transfer the stolen money from the city to California.  He told her exactly what had happened, and asked her to take over The Three Crowns.  She agreed, and wished him luck.  Upon doing that, Finn took to the air and headed west.  He didn't stop until he arrived in New Arcadia.

   Finn has had a long time to reflect on what has happened.  His new body, once seen as a curse, has become something he has accepted.  His life has now been simplified into two goals.  Making amends with his son, and finding the people who killed his wife.  Toward the first goal, he has tried to make use of his new abilities, protecting innocents from harm and stopping those who would harm them.  Toward the second goal, he doesn't quite know what to do.  His old contacts haven't been able to help him, or refused to do so.  “Don't ask about them.  Not ever.”  Months after the change, he finally contacted his son and explained what happened.  Finn apologized for waiting this long to initiate contact, but he admitted that it took him a while to learn to talk again.  Finn told Michael about the phone call from the German man, and that he hasn't been able to find out anything.  Michael simply told him that he was coming to bring his father to justice, and that he would be transferring to New Arcadia soon.  Finn asked how he knew where he was, to which Finn replied “You've been on the phone for nearly five minutes.  More than enough time to run a trace.”  Finn abruptly hung up, but after a few moments, realized how proud of his son he really was.

   For his part, Michael has also looked into the man from the phone call.  Not really believing it at first, he made some minor inquiries.  To his surprise, he found the same level of fear from the street snitches he used.  It was the same refusals, the same utterances of “I don't know nothing about any of that!  And you shouldn't ask either.”  Though he still wants to bring his father in, the identity of those who killed his mother is something Special Agent Michael O'Halloran wants to know.


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