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Candidacy for POTUS

It was eight thirty. PM. Eleven-twelve, twenty fifteen. In my mind it is as clear as a picture. Advisers and staff swarmed around me, blackberries and iPhones clutched in their hands, babbling a swarm of social media statistics and poll numbers. A part of me slices through the numbers, filing away the essential and discarding the rest.

They're nervous. I can hear it in the way they speak a little too quick. See it in their eyes. Its natural. Today is a big day. Super PACs have millions locked and loaded in my name. My campaign staff passed up jobs in silicon valley and TV deals to work for me. Months of preparation, thousands of hours and millions of dollars could fizzle if I blow it. The RNC doesn't believe in me and only gave me a few minutes to speak.

I am not nervous. I am untouched by fear. I do not doubt.

My music hits. Born in the USA. Bruce Springsteen. My fingers tingle with excitement and I glance in a mirror as I walk up the steel stairs to the stage. Deep blue pants suit. White blouse. Black pumps. In my heels I'm six two. I smile at the crowd as I walk to the podium. I look great.

The crowd is a blur in the light and heat of the spotlights but I can see the red dots of TV cameras across the press pit. Cameras flash like machinegun fire. I speak.

"My friends my name is Kelly Coltaine and I have come here today to speak with you about the long and troubling issues that now confront us. Today I would like to begin with surveillance.

The NSA budget is classified; the American people are buying a service and cannot even see the bill. Most experts consider it to be around ten billion dollars a year. Of 227 cases of terrorism charges since 9/11 only 17 resulted from NSA surveillance. Only 1 of those 17 was convicted. A member of the White House review panel recently revealed that the NSA has not been instrumental in preventing a single act of terrorism.

This program costs us ten billion dollars a year in money but its cost in freedom cannot be counted. It is a right and honorable thing to defend ones nation. But the tighter the fist around the sands of liberty the more grains slip between the fingers.

And for what? A little protection against the dangers of the world, as fragile as an umbrella in a hurricane. Alexander Hamilton once said that a nation which prefers disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one. Ladies and gentlemen a surveillance state is a disgrace to a great people.

Direct spending on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars by the Department of Defense is 757 billion. Experts tell us that the eventual cost in veteran care and equipment may reach 4 trillion. Detroit receives 108 million a year but Egypt 1.5 billion. Even Pakistan receives over 1 billion dollars a year annually.

But I suppose Detroit should consider itself lucky; Gothic City received 0 dollars and a kick in the behind on the way out the door.

Are we the kind of nation that takes from its citizens in the form of taxes and gives to dictators to prop up their corrupt regimes? This is a policy of taking from the needy and giving to the greedy.

How then is our national debt 17 trillion dollars, if we have so much to spare? It is because our politicians spend as if money grows on the money tree. It is, after all, easy to spend other peoples money. And what is government revenue if not other peoples money? It is taken from the people, should it not be spent on the people? And should responsible limits not be in place to decide how much money can be taken from the people in the first place?

The people of america are not a piggy-bank in which one can dip ones hand and take from whenever one wishes to give to a dictatorship or special interest group. People of America, your paycheck belongs to you, not a government bureaucrat.

On July the 4th, 1776 the Founding Fathers wrote the words which have guided me my entire life.

'We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.'

We are the people. You and I. Government has become destructive of the rights of the people. It has become destructive to the rights of mutants; their right to life, their right to liberty and their right to the pursuit of happiness.

With the passage of the Registration Act these rights were endangered. In the beginning I was in favor of its passage and enforcement. But time has revealed the truth, to me and many others; that a government bureaucrat cannot legislate safety into existence. All the laws in the world did not protect Gothic City. A law only controls the law abiding. A criminal is not bound by the law and thus not effected. The only purpose of the Registration Act is to give government control over the law abiding.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to repeat myself. The government has become destructive to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is the fundamental right of the people to alter it. Government is created by the people. It does not rule the people, it serves the people.

For these reasons I announce my candidacy for President of these United States under the Republican ticket.

If I am elected I will see what is taken from the people returned to the people. No government should spend more propping up dictators than it does on its own people. And if I am elected I will strengthen our armed forces to defend us against against terrorists like Satar and Brahma Bull. For too long have madmen be allowed to pillage at will inside our borders.

But strength is not an end unto itself. Strength exists only to protect the inalienable rights of the people. Terrorists threaten the right to life but organizations like the NSA and laws like the Registration Act threaten our right to liberty. Therefore I pledge to see the Registration Act repealed and the NSA defunded and abolished.

I am the candidate with the strength to do what we need and the principles to do what is right.

My fellow Americans, thank you for hearing what I have to say. Have a good night."

I walk off the sage. The applause is thunderous. It shakes the concrete under my feet and I can feel the rumble of the roar in my chest. I cannot fly any more but I feel like I could.


Liberty Files [CVnU]

Password: *******************

Secondary: ****** *********** ****




Welcome Kelly!

Choose File: Current Events, Earth, USA, Theta+

The Beast Unleashed

Satellite Imaging
Satellite Imaging

Situation: Powerhouse lands. Begins assault on city. Alien warlord? Cosmic judgement? Experiment gone wrong? Unknown.

Threat Level: Gamma; full team and powerhouse minimum response.

Observed Powers: Strength Class: Unknown. Durability Class: Unknown. Equipment: Exotic mace, properties unknown.

Location: Washington DC

Known Actors: Allegiance [See File 'Siege, Knightfall'], Dark Vengeance [See File 'Gothic', 'Victories', 'Siege, Knightfall'], Arquitenens [See File 'Aftermath, Venezuela']

POTUS Assault

Inauguration Photo
Inauguration Photo

Situation: Terrorist lay siege to the White House. The President of the United States stands alone it its defense.

Threat Level: Zeta, powerhouse/team buster minimum response.

Location: Washington DC

Known Actors: Anthony Stark [See Files 'Peak', 'Venezuela Two', 'Enforcers'], Brahma Bull [See File 'Kamelot, Siege'] Cassuis Knightfall [See File **REDACTED**]


NPC's in the CVnU

Of late there have been several large events that involved large numbers of NPCs revolving around Venezuela. In the wake of those events there have been a lot of complaints and some upset feelings.

Now to make this clear up front I do NOT believe that there was anything super terrible that went on in either event and I'm not angry.

But I have listened to the people who were upset and I feel that have some legitimate points.

Basically there are some holes in the CVnU rules that need patching. Which is to be expected; its a rare ruleset that doesn't need to be playtested and revised.

Here are the issues that were raised:

I. NPC Rights

Who controls NPCs? How many NPCs can you control? What can you do with them?

Let me offer two examples to compare and contrast.

A: Jack writes a scene in which his character shoots his way past a police roadblock and becomes the most wanted man in Nashville.

B: Jack writes a scene in which his character leads the combined arms of the United Nations to overthrow his enemy Bill.

From these two examples we can see that one size does not fit all. The two events are completely different simply because of the number of NPC's involved.

What if Jack wrote a scene where everyone in Russia was turned into a Zombie? Or he decided that everyone in Russia believed his latest media program?

We have the following issues in terms of NPCs.

A: How many NPC's can someone seize control of?

B: For how long? A single scene? Two? Three?

C: Does what you DO with those NPC's matter? Say you declare that your character is famous and everyone knows who he is. That's obviously different than taking control of an army, even if that army is smaller than the number of people who would know the famous character.

II. Thread Limits

Imagine that Bob and Jack get into a fight.

Bob has superstrengh, Jack has superspeed.

Jack starts to win by blitzing Bob! So Bob opens up his bio and adds telepathy. Now Bob is winning! Jack gets worried so he opens up his bio and adds in telepathic immunity and teleportation. Well now Jack is winning!

Do you see the problem with that? I hope so because its against the rules in the CVnU. Once you start a fight you can't add powers without the consent of your opponent.

But when you're controlling NPC's in a NPC conflict there's no such restriction.

So Jack brings out his squad, then Bob brings out his army, then Jack get's an army but his army is made from bullet proof robots. Then Bob's army calls in reinforcements; adamantium tanks of course. Then Jack injects all his soldiers with the super-super-soldier serum and they are all possessed by the Phoenix Force, then Bob's soldiers tap into their inner power and become Skyfathers, and then...


So there is a problem with NPC conflict where each side keeps bringing in bigger and bigger stuff until its no longer about the RP.. just who can dream up the most powerful powers.

III. Bypassing the Empire Rules

All of this comes down to one thing. Bypassing the Empire Rules.

People don't claim and empire anymore; instead they control Empire level numbers of NPC's 'just for a scene' then drop them. Or they use Empire levels of troops.. just for a scene.. then drop them.

Now I'm NOT saying that's completely bad! If I believed it was 100% bad all the time I'd write up a revision to the CVnU rules and call for a CoE vote.

Obviously I've not done that; instead I've created this blog post where we can talk about these issues and decide where the lines are.

See some of this stuff is GOOD. There are GOOD uses to large numbers of NPCs. There are GOOD uses of powerful NPCs. There is a RIGHT TIME to control an NPC army. These things can enhance a storyline when used correctly!

But there are wrong times and wrong uses too.

And that's what I created this thread to talk about. Where should the line be? How involved should the CoE be?


The Last Thoughty Thoughts Post

[[ This was my last post in the Thoughty Thoughts thread. I decided to re-post it as a blog post to let everyone have a chance to read it, and to allow for some discussion on the matter. ]]

Activity and Focus

OOC coversation, Gif wars, random thoughts, and banter are life. To a team, to a location thread, and to an RPG.

The reason is that's where the people are coming together. Bring them together in a team thread, they'll focus on that team, they'll think about it and do stuff in it. Bring them together in a location thread, that's where they will post and RPG.

When they stop going to a thread to banter, to talk OOCly, drop random thoughts, post GIFS, and so on, they eventually stop going to that thread for IC stuff as well. Because they're not thinking about it anymore, its not right in front of them anymore.

This goes doubly so for team threads. They NEED those clicks, they NEED people to be posting random junk in there. They need drama, OOC fights, everything. Without it, the interest just dries up and the team withers away ICly.

And when they go to a OOC thread for their OOC talk? That disconnects them from the IC threads. That unplugs them from the roleplaying. That even alters the subjects of their conversations because they're no longer thinking about the IC threads as much. Just sorta fades into the background.

When you have a thread dedicated to that OOC talk? When you have thread devoted to all that banter, to all that stuff that USE to pull the focus into team threads? Well, then you have a thread that disconnects people from the IC.

See activity needs to be FOCUSED. It needs to be FOCUSED on the IC threads. Not want. NEEDS.

Duchess once said she'd rather have drama than boredom. And she was 100% right. Drama is the worst kind of activity, and its STILL BETTER than no activity because it pulls people INTO the thread to READ what is happening. That keeps their attention, that keeps their focus ON THE IC THREADS.

The IC OOC Symbiosis

There IS and ALWAYS will be MORE OOC than there is IC. Just look at the number of posts in Thoughty Thoughts.

OOC is easier, people use it to recharge, to laugh, and to converse. People will always have more OOC conversations for many, many reasons. That's natural, and in a way its good. We're OOC people, of course we talk more OOCly.

There's a link between OOC posts and IC posts. People go to where the OOC is, and they tend to stay there. If the IC posts are ALSO there then they'll read them, and maybe even post themselves.

They feed of one another, they reinforce one another and build off each other. Look at how many rivalries have been built on OOC talk, how many storylines have been started due to an OOC conversation. Look at how many ideas come from OOC threads.

Segregation of IC and OOC

You can separate the two. You can divide the IC and the OOC from one another.

And that's very dangerous.

Once they become segregated they don't feed off each other as much. That cycle where one reinforces the other is weakened. Slowly, but surely, the OOC becomes more and more common, and the IC becomes less and less, because the OOC WILL ALWAYS BE STRONGER. When it stops feeding the IC, the IC dies faster.

People lose interest. There's a lot of sites for OOC chat, after all. They log on less and less. They don't check the team threads.

Vibrant World and Faded World

The world fades because STUFF ISN'T HAPPENING. Things aren't snapped into focus by the latest IC event. Partly because PEOPLE DON'T READ THEM. And they don't read them because their interest is in another OOC thread somewhere else. They might SKIM them IC thread, but they don't really look like they once did.

The world goes from VIBRANT to FADED in their minds, and as the world becomes less vibrant it draws less and less of their attention. It doesn't occupy as much of their thoughts, they don't think about it as much.

Its a vicious cycle.

As the world becomes less interesting because people become less engaged they post less. They post in fewer RPG's and teams begin to fail. After enough of that people don't make teams anymore, and only a few people make successful RPGs.

And as there are fewer teams and fewer RPGs the world becomes a little less vibrant. A little less dynamic. Stuff just isn't happening that much anymore, and what does happen.. happens slowly...

And so interest fades. The world fades.

As the world fades people think about it less, they focus on it less, they post less.. and the cycle continues.

The Divider

Thoughty Thoughts divided the IC and the OOC chatter.

Thoughty Thoughts pulls conversation away from the IC threads, it draws out the blood of interactions. And interactions are the blood of teams. Teams drive activity because they BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER. Teams give people a reason to DO THINGS TOGETHER.

Its removed the heart from the body. The blood isn't flowing anymore, its sitting in Thoughty Thoughts clotting.

When people aren't doing things together this section is dead. Its hard to RPG by yourself.

As people come to Thoughty Thoughts to post their thoughty thought they DON'T post it in a team, or interaction thread. That keeps their attention AWAY from those threads. When they become engaged in a conversation.. its not in an IC thread, and rarely is it about IC stuff.

The OOC moves attention away, and the IC starves.

It starved every single team.

It will starve every single team in the future.

Those teams won't create activity. They won't bring people together. They won't form plotlines. They won't have interactions.

People will become more and more disengaged because the world will fade, little by little.

The Future

There is the possibility that the trend cannot be reversed. That people WON'T go back to the IC threads, even KNOWING what the problem is.

Or that population is now to low to support multiple interaction/OOC threads the way it once did. Maybe the energy isn't there anymore.

But if I had to guess, and I do, I would say if everyone returned to the team/interaction threads activity would improve, gradually interest would climb, population and energy would increase and the Vine would begin trending toward growth.

Its impossible for me to say for sure, of course.

But I do know this is my final post in Thoughty Thoughts.



Manhattan Project

Probably no more than a few dozen men in the entire country knew the full meaning of the Manhattan Project, and perhaps only a thousand others even were aware that work on atoms was involved." More than 100,000 others employed with the project "worked like moles in the dark". Warned that disclosing the project's secrets was punishable by 10 years in prison or a $10,000 ($129,000 today fine, they saw enormous quantities of raw materials enter factories with nothing coming out, and monitored "dials and switches while behind thick concrete walls mysterious reactions took place" without knowing the purpose of their jobs. The result amazed them as much as the rest of the world. ~ Life Magazine

It was a miracle of science and engineering. Most other countries had already given up, considering the fundamental forces of reality beyond their control. Yet under Major General Leslie Groves the Manhattan Project carried on.

In the end it cost less then two billion dollars, a bargain, less then ten days of wartime spending. One hundred and thirty thousand personal were required, a minute fraction of the sixteen million deployed in the war effort.

With these small tools, a few scribbled theories, imagination, hope and desperation the world was forever changed.

Trinity Test

Why I chose the name is not clear, but I know what thoughts were in my mind. There is a poem of John Donne, written just before his death, which I know and love. From it a quotation: "As West and East / In all flatt Maps—and I am one—are one, / So death doth touch the Resurrection." ~ J. Robert Oppenheimer

Trinity New Mexico, a base constructed from scratch for the sole purpose of testing the first nuclear bomb, known informally as the 'Gadget'.

At 05:29:21 Mountain War Time, the bomb exploded with an energy equivalent to around 20 kilotons of TNT. It left a crater of radioactive glass in the desert 10 feet deep and 1,100 feet wide.

At the time of detonation, the surrounding mountains were illuminated "brighter than daytime" for one to two seconds, and the heat was reported as "being as hot as an oven" at the base camp. The observed colors of the illumination ranged from purple to green and eventually to white. The shock wave was felt over 100 miles away, and the mushroom cloud reached 7.5 miles into the sky.

It was in these moments a new Pantheon was born. The atomic door had been opened, irreversibly and it could never be closed. The modern age had arrived and its leader born in thermonuclear fire.


Her existence was at first classified under the 'Born Secret' doctrine, and she was six years old before she even had a name. Eventually Lara Kelly was selected, after much bureaucratic scuffling over every pointless matter possible.

Eventually the American super-solider Captain Patriot was given control over her upbringing, as part of his overall command over american supers in the military. Ensuring she was treated with respect in a time of growing fear and paranoia over super humans, and in-steeling in her the moral values and strength of character that have come to characterize her ever sense.

Over the course of decades she fought in every war declared by the United States, and some undeclared wars. She took a personal interest in reducing crime, and begin a half a century battle against criminal activity. Together with her allies, or alone, she has fought several alien invasions to a standstill and then turned them back to where they came.

She has grappled with the old gods, smote an entire race into ash, clashed with intergalactic law enforcement, traveled to the end of time, and dragged the sun back into place.

[[ Work in progress! Just wanted to get the basics of CVNU Liberty down so I can RP lol. ]]


Thoughts on the Vine World

We live in exciting times. In our recent history the fabric of the global community has undergone a number of shifts. The Arab Spring, war in Afghanistan, the monetary crisis in Europe, China is selecting new leadership, Israel and Gaza are at it again. Plus so many more things! More then I have time to name.

The world is an exciting, interesting place right now. (For better or worse!)

But the Vine? Its a boring, stale, stagnate place.

Its choked by Empires. Empires that are perfect. Empires that never change. Empires that will NEVER fall. Empires that take up huge portions of the world and DON'T DO ANYTHING WITH IT!

Paese Di Tenebra

Or whatever the heck its called. So they have ALL of Russia, almost all of France, and Iceland. Okay. So, with all that territory surely some exciting stuff is going down here? After all that's a big team roster with some big names, they've got something big right!


In my entire time on the RPG forum absolutely nothing has happened. Its one of the biggest, most important and critical parts of the world. It has been completely transformed into a nation that doesn't resemble Russia at all, France floats around in space or something, and they have an army of dragons.

It sounds exciting, except its not exciting at all. Its dead. NOTHING HAPPENS.

There are a THOUSAND cool storylines that could be done with Russia and Europe, but too bad! All the real estate is tied up by people who are completely inactive.

How long has it been like this? More importantly, how long will it continue to be like this?

In your minds eye imagine a year into the future. Imagine things contuining in the same vein they are in now. Russia is still tied up by the same small, mostly inactive, group. And its still dead.

Is that really the future?

Sadly, yes. That's the future for Russia in the Vine. Dead, empty, inactive. Unless there is a big change that's going to be the future for years at least.

Santo Rey Empire

One of the most tumultuous, politically divisive, and violent places in all the real world. Jerusalem, oil, Islam, the Arab Spring, this is an exciting place in real life, which makes it RIPE for vine stories.

Except in the Vine is all one empire, and everyone gets along perfectly and everything is nice. Oh, and its also deader then a door-nail too.

Founded two months ago it has had a few moments of very brief excitement. And that's it. This is one of the deadest empires ever.

Its also one of the least likely empires I can dream up. I mean of all the places in the world to say everyone gets along? Seriously?

Santo Rey Empire just rips the excitement out of one of the most exciting and fast moving places in the world. And for how long? How long will this persist?

Years I guess. Years of stagnation.

Nakamura Empire

I've saved the worst for last.

So by some kinda magic some of the largest economies in the world get taken over. Fine, okay I'm cool with that for the purpose of a good story and some fun. But there was never any story, or any fun. Just BAM EMPIRE! And that's it. NOTHING EVER HAPPENED.

Seriously, a combination of the worlds most powerful nations and ZERO RESULTS.

Its military is even more off the charts then Paese Di Tenebra's dragon airforce. They've got the most powerful forces in the world, that just popped up out of no where, and have done exactly nothing ever.

How long will this go on? Years probably. A giant chunk of the world, dead, stagnant, unmoving, for years.


So, here we are. All you empire owners are no doubt pissed at me. Tough. I'm pissed at you.

You land grabbed giant chunks of the world, with that I was okay. But then you just set on them and did nothing. With that I am not okay. Other people play here too.

If you're not going to use it, just let it go. The Vine needs to MOVE.

And I'm sick of these motherf%^$ing empires on my motherf#$%ing planet.


The Lance of Liberty

Positron Spear

No Caption Provided

A weapon build by Liberty after many months of study and effort. Finding a need for a weapon scaled to her level of power she begin working on the design in secret, and eventually built the weapon itself while isolated in the shadow of Saturn. Even a single stray electron could irrevocably damage the entire opperation, so she used a 'quiet' area of space, and used her electromagnetic field to re-direct any stray particles.

Positron: A positron is the antimatter counterpart to the electron. It has the same mass as an electron, the opposite charge, and the same spin. Antimatter is quite costly, for example a single gram of antihydrogen would be roughly 60 trillion dollars, however Liberty's electromagnetic control and powerful laser vision enabled her to create a relatively vast amount of particles herself. This renders the weapon system cost effective.

Spear: The internal half of the spear is one single fullerene mollecule, shaped as a buckytube. As it exists as one solid mollecule this gives it an unprecedented degree of strength, allowing it to stand up to adamantium weaponry, as well as resist the nuclear forces Liberty often finds herself subjected to in battle.

It is also carefully designed to act as a penning trap. A combination of homogenious magnetic field and inhomogenius electric field, which together can store the positrons, by preventing them from coming into contact with any matter.

Quantum Runes: The spear also incorporates a very basic Q-Computer, which is designed to keep the entire system stable when not in Liberty's hands, and make the process of using the spear simpler when she is in combat.

Function: Its an exceptionally simple weapon. The penning trap holds the positron antimatter. The spear tip is a mass of antimatter held into place by the quantum computers control over the spears electrical field, and seperated from the air by a thin sheet of plasma also seperated from the antimatter. When the spear tip comes into contact with something the plasma is pushed aside and the antimatter colides with the matter of the object.

Some of the antimatter in the spear is used up, and the matter it contacts is destroyed. This produces an explosion which dwarfs smaller nuclear weaponry.

[[ Work in progress. ]]