2020.01.11: Party Hard

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Party Hard
Ain't no party like a Technomancer party 'cause a Technomancer party don't stop (thanks to Time magick).
IC Date January 11, 2020
IC Time 11 AM-1 PM
Players Branton, Eloise, Joel, Khol, Marshall, Merek, Paris, River, Ross, Serenity, Valentina, Xiu
Location Nexus Courtyard
Prp/Tp N/A
Spheres Mage/Sorcerer/Traditions
Theme Song Andrew W.K.: Party Hard


The somewhat strange surroundings of the courtyard have not been transformed through Joel's solitary work before anyone else has arrived, but there has been an effort to make them look like something approaching a party. At the table and patio set, numerous six-packs of Guinness have been stacked on the chairs, and bags of chips (Cheetos, Fritos, Doritos, and Lay's) sit at the chairs. A single pack of gas station sushi bears a legend: "For the unwary traveler."

The space has been temporarily warded from scrying or other magickal interference from outside, and its lack of findability by magickal means temporarily boosted to prevent any mundane observation as well. A set of high-quality, small stereo speakers has been placed by several of the pergola supports, playing a variety of loud hard rock and rap, with the occasional tongue in cheek pick (anything from Daft Punk's "Technologic" to the themesong to "The Greatest American Hero") occasionally thrown in to the curated playlist.

Khol will arrive a couple of minutes early, He has two large crock pots on hand and as he enters he carries them over still warm, as a pitchin on the party. He even has two labels, one is "Vegan" and the other is "Meaty" chili. to add to the snacks table. "I thought I would pitch a little in.. I rather love cooking, to be honest." he admits to whoever might be paying attention.

Joel isn't around to greet Khol or thank him for the food, although anyone who's met the man before can tell perfectly well from the lackadaisical choice of food and the very purposeful choice of music that he has been present, setting up things. He hasn't done anything to decorate. He just doesn't do that sort of thing. There's a figure pacing beond one of the archways, speaking on the phone, trenchcoat blowing in the light breeze. He's not the best host, it would seem, or he's distracted by something.

Out from the direction of the desert, a figure approaches the courtyard. Hefting a backpack, and wearing..well. Baggy cargopants, and a hoodie that keeps most features concealed aside a serious assortment of black, thin long braids hanging almost to the floor out of that hood, clearly that figure's appearance is not a suprise considering who is the invitee. Right? Right? Xiu is grumbling under her breath as she finally steps into the courtyard, slanted eyes peering out from under said hood as she peers around, though it's not quite clear just why she's doing so. Her sneakers carry her silently into the area as she unshoulders the backpack, just letting it dangle from an arm.

Merek makes a way into the Nexus with his white black attire on, settling in to look about while he finds a place, not talking a lot while he scratches at his beard in thought as well.

Branton comes along, carrying a small crate of liquor bottles. Two that look like they might have been bought somewhere and four others with hand written labels. Peach, Maple, strawberry, and Rocky Road.

BOOM! Some loud metal song emanating from the small speakers causes Joel to look up from his quiet conversation, having otherwise been about to ignore all and sundry. He stares for a long moment at something he sees, and then hurriedly finishes up his phone conversation. Shoving his phone carelessly into his trenchcoat, he grins with a good amount of energy at the guests. "Right, cool. Odd assortment of folks showing up, but chips and -- hi. What is that, stew or chili or something?" He nods at Khol's crockpots, adding casually, "And who are you?"

Eloise is here already. She comes in from outside carrying a large basket of strawberries. She sets it down in the middle of wherever and has a seat to sit quietly.

Khol gives a smile and wave to Eloise seeing her, the others each get nods. When Joel approaches him he smiles "Im Khol.. Akashic seat of Mind." he motions to the Chili "Vegan and meaty chili, for anyone that wants it. " he looks at the gathering people and offers "Quite a gathering coming together here.. You are the host?"

Xiu sets her backpack down in a corner and opens it up whilst crouching down. As she hears others appear, her head turns and she looks in the direction of the entrance - and a light smile appears on her face as she spots Merek. Her clothes are somewhat..dusty. Somebody took the long way around, but she does not bother to brush them off just yet. "Hey." With that oh so formal greeting, she pulls out several packs from her backpack. Paper wraps that at least joel might know. A couple of glass bottles of water. Just as she stands, Branton and Eloise arrive, and Xiu eyes them with interest as she carries the items to the chairs that Joel prepared with the snack and Guinness assortments. "Greetings!" she calls out, and after setting down her stuff stretches and finally - finally - patpats and brushes her hands to get rid of some of that desert dust. Away from the chairs, because really. Just in time for Joel. "Oi." He gets his terse greeting, and her peeeering at him. As Khol introduces himself, her eyebrows subtly raise and she lightly grins.

"Yeah. Joel Sherman. Virtual Adept, and apparently the only game in town, from what I hear." He raises his eyebrows, making a point there, and then adds, "Thanks for the chili, man. And for the different varieties. And -- booze, Branton? Great. Good. At least nobody has to try the sushi, unless they've got big brass ones." He shoves his hands into his pockets. "So I'm still the only Technomancer to show, huh? I should've put up a screen with tumbleweeds blowing past." His lips thin a little though, a brief second of displeasure. "Makes the announcement a little easier anyway, because nobody's gonna dick around about it." A breath, and he smiles at Xiu. "Oi. Thanks. I know..." He gestures his hand at her clothing, leaving the implication of 'that took a lot of effort' clear if unstated.

Branton sets up his liqour bottles near the ice cream toppings "Well I figured my latest distilling experiments would go with just about whatever. I did bring Whiskey and Ouzo for those not feeling particularly experimental."

Khol smiles a little and nods at that, "I am glad to do it.. I cook all the time, and providing somethin for a gatherin is.. well polite." he seems at ease. His eyes move around the gathering people "Seems you got a good turnout really."

Ross arrives at around that point, waving to the others and eyeing Branton. "Yeah, Ouzo's pretty reliably 'go find an open field to fall asleep in', from what I hear."

With all items placed down with the other snacks, and her backpack safely far away in the corner, Xiu seems to somewhat relax. Somewhat. As the girl stands there she fidgets a bit here and there, tugs on her hoodie in a couple of places, but she finally seems to make the effort of pulling that hood back - revealing, well, her face. And letting that maes off braids spill around more freely, her hands moving to make them spread around more evenly. "He demanded I come." Xiu remarks to Khol and then eyes joel. "I think he just wants to see me suffer." Just what she means by that statement is left up for grabs, though she subtly smirks at him, eyes narrowed. At the moment as she seemingly decides to clear one of the chairs, carefully setting down the guiness and snacks next to it, clearly marking this as hers. Ross' arrival has her lift her head again and she peers over at the man, simply greeting him with a wave and a long glance.

Merek walks up to Xiu and offers a hug, while he shifts his attention to folk with a nod in thought, then finds a place to settle in while he smiles at people.

"Yeah, I just wish there were more of, well, me, you know?" Joel shrugs, his gaze taking in Eloise and Merek. Both get a vague nod, but since they both seem to want to keep their peace, he doesn't launch his whirlwind-energy social self at either of them. "I'll try whatever you want, Branton. You pick. Surprise me." As he did with Khol, the erstwhile party host turns towards Ross, sizing him up. "Hey, man. We haven't met. Got a handle and a club?" He looks sidelong towards Xiu, raising a brow. "You like it. Admit it. Maybe not the clothes, but the chips. And the people, in limited doses." He moves to unwrap one of her paper packages, investigating its contents idly as he keeps studying the unfamiliar face.

Branton nods and grins at Ross "It really does get the job done. That's true." And he starts fixing Joel a little drink. It looks like clear liquid with one of Eloise's strawberries floating in after being dipped in chocolate syrup from the ice cream toppings. Offering it to Joel "Half a shot of rocky road, a shot of strawberry, and one of the best strawberries grown within a hundred miles. If not anywhere at all."

A pair of little grackle birds flutter into the court yard zigging and zaging. One is pure white the other pitch black. The White one lands on a branch is is having nothing to do with all the people as she looks down and gives the angry grackle stink eye. The black one lands on Xius head and makes a chirping sound for a few moments like she is talking.

"Oh, don't worry Joel..." Xiu says, looking over at the trenchcoated one as she lifts an arm and pulls the sleeve of the hoodie back a bit. The skin is red, irritated. "I mean the clothes. The rest is absolutely nice, no worries. I'll be the first to crack open one of those Guiness" She tugs the sleeve back down and exhales as she actually grabs one of the cans, just to spot Merek approaching her. She lightly grins and returns his hug there for a moment. "Hey hey. Nice to see you too." she murmurs before she straightens, and well...indeed cracks open that first Guiness. She sniffs at it for a moment before she takes a sip and licks her lips. "So, nobody 'round are technomancers right now except you, Jo-" Pause. Bird on her head. Xiu's eyes slowly flick upward as she holds still. "...oi."

"I am one, just not in the conventional sense," Merek mentions then to Xiu's words to Joel, while he offers a nod also to the woman in thought while he smiles. He then finds a place to settle in tirdly.

Khol smiles a bit to Xui "I am not a technomancer. no. " he seems at ease, just watching more than anything else right now.

Joel reaches for Branton's offered drink, slugging it, teeth baring for a second at the liquor. But it goes down pretty smoothly, and he takes another healthy sip. "Jesus. This isn't bad. Pretty sweet, but not bad. Tastes like candy." He sobers, though, when he sees Xiu's arm, his eyes widening. "Oh. Oh, fuck," he remarks quietly, without heat, concern instead clear in his voice. "You okay? I was gonna say something else to everyone, now there's a pretty good quorum, but I don't wanna... I mean, nobody's gonna care if..." He falls silent, concern limning his voice. Merek's words earn a quick look, but he seems to be waiting on Ross' words and Xiu's reassurance.

"I don't think you're anything in the conventional sense, are you?" the other recent arrival asks Merek. "Ross, hey. And does anyone happen to have a universal translator handy? I don't speak Goodfeather."

"Oh, I'd be suprised at an Akashic technomancer.." Xiu says as she slooowly and carefully walks towards Kohl, while ever so often peering up at the bird on her head. "Sorry. I think a certain friend just landed on my head. Joel, you happen to have birdseed?" she wonders, before her eyes flick towards the clearly half-panicing adept. "Calm down man, treat your guests." she remarks with a subtle smirk and a nod Finally she holds out her hand to Khol, now that she's finally there. "Tong Xiu ("Shioo"), bani Verbena, bani Lifeweavers. Priestess of the Earth Mother and Dark Flower of Lilith." she gives the akashic her full cobbled together title with a smile. "Ready to munch cheetos and hack the Gibson?"

Khol chuckles to Xiu "I do know of one. He lives in Miami.. but he is a rather odd bird." he accepts her hand, shaking it firmly. "I am Khol Cooper, Seat of Mind, and Akashic. " he doesnt seem to go in for the long titles, "It is a pleasure to meet you." he looks to the birds and smiles a little "If I knew that alternative forms were in vogue.. I would have brought some seeds and such."

Branton nods at Joel's review of his liquers and sets about making himself a sunday. When a translator is asked for "I can speak with animals but I don't think that is one. Actual birds don't just do that."

"I'm gonna assume you're not one of me and mine then, Ross," Joel replies, although his gaze flicks towards Eloise for confirmation of that, head tilting a little. "So. My announcement. Seeing as I'm apparently the only one hanging around at the moment, 'cause Kibo knows what happened to the rest of 'em and I'm told they don't hang around long for a variety of reasons... I'm taking over the seat for the Virtual Adepts. Shouldn't be a big deal, as there's, well, me, and nobody else I've met and I'm told nobody else hanging around, but if it is a big deal, you know where to find me and talk about it. Count on me at the council meetings, when and where." Joel is a little tense, clearly bracing himself for some sort of negative reaction for a second or two, before he rebounds, smiling quite brightly. "Now that's out of the way, who brought some cool shit to share?" He reaches out to nudge the sushi towards Xiu, a bit pointedly. "Try some," he suggests, as he bites into the jerky.

"Not exactly, no," Ross answers Joel. "Sons of Ether, though, so yours-ish? And yeah, been a while since we heard from V, if she is still around someplace then I figure she'll let you know in a hurry."

"She's still around, she's about in another country at the moment on business though," Merek mentions, while he lifts his brow at some of the conversation in perplexion, but doesn't say a lot else.

Merek does add to Ross, "I imagine I am not conventional."

Xiu actually blinks at Khol, and slightly tilts her head. "I am trying to imagine it, and I am admittedly failing.." she remarks in reply to the comment about the Miami technomancy-Akashic. Her eyes flick upward again and she finally takes a slow sip of her Guiness before she swallows. "Mmmh. Yeah. Well.." she then actually lifts the Guiness can and tilts it just slightly, so the bird can take a sip - or whatever it is they take. When Joel offers her the sushi, her eyes narrow. 'Gasstation sushi'. She reaches out - slowly - and carefully plucks up a piece before she sniffs at it. More than once. And slips it into her mouth before she slowly chews. They are all pretty much strewn about in the courtyard. Introductions are made. Snacks and various kinds of food that the others also brought is ready to be enjoyed (Including several paper wraps of beef jerky, meaty chili, vegan chili, and of course tons of technomancer snack food.). Xiu is, perhaps to Val's shock, *clothed*. Baggy cargopants. Baggy hoodie with the hood drawn back. Somewhat of a fidgety disposition at times, and with a bird on her head that she seems to be feeding some of the Guiness too. All is good.

Xiu gains one Magical Essence

The little black bird chirps and tilts her head and then flutters over to a clear spot on the ground. Its about that time anyways as the flight out here takes close to an hour in this form. Slowly the magic is released and the bird shimmers and there stands River as she stands up and stretches. Down side is you arrive naked, upsides is she has that enchanted backpack that appears on her. She blushes slightly and says "Sec" as she opens the bag and pulls out, and then pulls on a sundress over her head to get decent.

...and Xiu makes the most effin' smug face at Joel.

"Sucks for her then," Joel replies to Merek with a shrug. "Someone who's away in another country on business ain't someone who's got their eye on the prize. I do, and I'm not here to screw around." He digs into his pocket, pulling out his cellphone, and then adds, "All right. My first cool thing is a challenge, so hands on buzzers. First person to tell me why we should give a shit about Alan Turing gets a favor from me. Non-magickal, non-critical. Free drinks or something." He levels his gaze on Ross, the Etherite. "You're next, cousin. Xiu, you feeling okay?" he concludes a little airily.

"The turing test is used to measure the capabilities of whether something can be considered True AI?" Merek muses then to Joel, "I admit, having active members is important, welcome to the Council," he adds.

Khol smiles a little to Xiu, he doesnt seem to think it all that unusual that she is sharing her beer with the bird perched on her head. He has no drink, and seems at ease about that. "well.. I cant say it makes a lot of sense to me either.. I think it has to do with video games or something.. "

"He was a fucking arch mage." Val states as she drags herself out from the garage area, her hair is a mess, her eyes blurry. She wears her underwear (purple) and her coat. Barefeet padding across the courtyard to grunt once at Ross as she grabs a bottle of peppermint schnapps from a cooler, snaps it open, puts a swig in her mouth, gargles then spits to the side. Then there is a long pause. "Why the fuck is everyone up this early in the morning?"

Ross reaches a hand out to Val to help steady her. "Joel here wanted to throw a party. And he's claiming Vertigo's seat, on account of she's been offline for a while. Oh, Turing, didn't he get fucked over 'cause they tried to chemically de-gay him or something?"

Khol looks to the Changing bird, and raises an eyebrow "you might want to remember to change behind something next time." he chuckles, and his attention turns to Val, briefly. "Its hardly early.. its after Noon even."

"That might be so, though I think that mundane achievements are just as important," Merek offers with a wiggle of his nose. He then takes a drink, he does know his mage history likely, but he seems to be more into his thoughts than anything else. He offers a light hug for River.

Xiu just nods towards the naked, dressing-up River as Joel ask his question, and she smirks before she actually chews on the sushi...and swallwos. And blinks, inhaling deeply. "....that 'gasstation sushi' is.." she begins, but then just stands there for a moment, before she licks her lips. "...good. Everybody should try some." she decides, before she smirks at Khol. "I'm sure Joel'd love to play some."

When the Trivia begins, and Merek gives his answer, she is aboit to give hers -when Val makes her presence known! Xiu just turns and watches her in subtle amusement, before she thumbs at Joel. "It's a Technomancer meeting, but everybody is invited. Now there are...two?" she takes a guess, eyes flickign from Joel to Ross and back. "But hey, I'm up for seeing their gadgets and projects demonstrated."

Joel jabs his fingers in a 'V' at Val and Ross. "Half a favor to both of you. Half for the magick; half for the mundane. Airdrop me your contact info; I got it up, secured. Next round. You're up, Doc Ock," he tells Ross. "What'd ya bring?" And then he winks at Xiu. "Pass it around if you want. Maybe it'll work on other folks. I did pretty damn good with it."

Val lets herself be steadied by Ross, giving him a small nod before she looks to Khol. Then she looks up to the giants ball of hate gas and burning heat in the sky. Then she looks back to Khol and squints. A shake of her head, and a look around. "I am putting up a no skinny dipping sign."

Ross grins and nods to Joel, then furrows his brow for a second. "Trivia questions, you mean? Hmm, gimme a minute, I'll come up with something."

"Please definitely absolutely don't." Xiu remarks dryly to Val's idea, and it sounds like there is an actual grumpy please in there somewhere, accompanied by another tug here and there on her hoodie with her free hand. She then picks up the sushi, nodding to Joel, and begins to circle around, offering the sushi to the guests in turn while she idly takes sips of her Guiness.

Joel adds, "Or devices. Whip it out," more than a little wryly, as he waits.

River walks over and looks to Xiu's arm as she arches an eyebrow and ask "Sister what happened to your arm?" She gives the asian woman a look of concern as she arches an eyebrow.

"Please don't ask Ross to whip it out. I just got a coffee machine I like." Val notes, before she raises her brows at Xiu, waggling them for a moment. "It works better when you try to hide a little." Then a grunt. "Wait, technomagic meeting? Fuck..." A look to Ross. "The Swede..."

Ross shakes his head to Val. "Nah, I've moved on from coffee machines. Hang on, I'll be back in a minute." He wanders back out to his car, returning carrying something that looks like it started life as a Blendtec blender. "Soon my little Box will be on countless TVs around Prospect..."

Xiu smiles over at River, before she slowly strides over and offers her some of the sushi. "Don't worry about it. Just something that happens." she remarks. "Try this. it's good."

Khol smiles just a little, and looks from Xui to River, then as Ross returns he furrows his brow "It looks like the Riddlers device from Batman and Robin."

Joel folds his arms, looking at the box. While he waits for Ross to set up, he adds, "Round two. Hands on buzzers. What scary shit happened when I was six that the Digital Web is still trying to rebuild from? Tell me about White Wednesday." That sushi still has the lingering resonance of Joel's charged magick on it; it's hyper, buzzing, dynamic, and while there's no real benefit left, it might taste not unlike someone pouring Red Bull on a plate of sushi that somehow didn't go damp.

"Please don't blow up the house." Val notes, to Ross, specifically for Ross. The warning was for Ross. Ross' warning. Her brows raise a little and she takes several steps to the side.

River looks to Ross and his little box as she watches and arches her eyebrows with Spock like curiosity. She does take this opertunity to give everyone a smile and a wave as she says "Its good to see everyone together again. I miss this."

"White Wednesday was when you accidentally streamed your camgirl reactions to the Digital Web." Xiu remarks and glances over at Joel. "I heard there are still people sitting under their shower with a winebottle in hand." She actually gives a bigger smirk as she says it, letting humor seep into her entire expression there for a moment, before she glances back at the sushi. Then at those around. Well, more for her! She plucks up another piece and slowly slips it into her mouth as she eyes the mystery box.

"I wasn't around for White Wednesday, my people were admittedly focused upon the Seat of Nine's Council then," Merek says, with a nod to Joel. "After the Week of Nightmares along with the Maelstorm, there has been rebuilding."

Joel beams a grin at Xiu. "In your dreams." But he waits -- nodding at River's words in the meantime -- to see if anyone knows, his gaze flicking towards Ross to assess his tech. Then towards Val. "You own the shop here, huh? Valentina. Joel Sherman. Get into the chips, nobody's had 'em, and I think Xiu's busy with the sushi. There's Branton's stuff too. Better than the Guinness." He smiles a little wryly at Merek's words. "Which ones were they at the time? You got two groups to call home, right?"

Ross is mostly distracted with adjusting some wires and other bits and bobs attached to the thing, but glances up when Merek speaks up again. "Seat of Nine's Council? Haven't heard it called that before. There are nine seats on it, yes."

And speaking of the Guiness, Xiu takes another swig from her can while she safely sets down the sushi back to its original place - and plucks another one or two pieces. "I bought some jerky." she remarks. "And on unspoken request of Joel, it's not Bambi." she eyes him there. "but Bambi's dad. Also some boar." One last piece of sushi makes it down the hatch, before she finally settles down on the chair she had the stuff set down next to and exhales softly, her eyes on that box again. "So...you mentioned it has something to do with televisions?"

"Doissetep, which I'm working to discover again, I'm not sure that it will be salvagable, not to mention... The whole war," Merek then looks to Ross, "I sometimes don't English well, the Council of Nine, I mean." He chuckles a bit in amusement, "Either way, Prospect is our little home away from it all."

Branton had stepped away for moment to deal with a few things, he might have been over heard muttering in classical greek. Now he walks back, looking a bit more settled, with a two liter bottle of rootbeer and he procedes to make himself a rootbeer float. Spiking it with some of his home brew maple liquer that he brought. Listening for a bit to get caught back up.

Val waggles her eyebrows at Xiu. "And here I thought you were just going to eat fish all day." Then she is leaning over to Ross as she listens, watching the others. "Did I miss the prayer to Vargo? That is how you start these things right?"

Serenity's fingers briefly stroll the walls and stones, feeling the life in the courtyard and the quality of the stone. A part of her wants to slip off her shoes and go barefoot, but skips the opportunity for now. Her hazel eyes glancing at those in the distance, some she knew and some she didn't. But her approach was slow and gentle, a small wave to Ross and Val as her Buddhist prayer breads spun silently. She didn't say anything. In fact she was rather mousey being here for the first time.

Joel pauses a moment at Xiu's words. He's relieved at no Bambi slaughter. But that relief drains away, and White Saturday might well be happening as he blanches at the food he's shoved into his mouth, frowning. He moves for a bag -- cloth, because plastic bags are verboten pretty much everywhere in California, it would seem -- and moves to discreetly spit the rest of the jerky into it. "Funny," he says quietly to Xiu. "Next time, I'm not making the sushi half as good." But he twists to watch Ross's workings.

"It was *labeled*, look at the *wrapper*" Xiu says and arches an eyebrow at Joel. "You might just have spit out perfectly fine boar." She gestures for the wrap he probably took it from - which would be the boar, actually. She just takes another sip of her guiness and chuckles at him, while she - dear gods - goes to grab one of the packs of cheetos. Little sins.

Paris arrives fashionably late. He is quiet at first but gives a wave to those who look his way.

Ross squints at a LCD readout on the side. "Okay, should be good," he says, picking the thing up and shaking it. There's a sound like marbles clattering around inside. "Now we power up the stasis field, like so," as he presses a set of buttons in sequence, "and--"

--and that finger is suddenly not there, which does bad things to the arteries and veins that until recently were running through it. "FUCK!" he yells out, falling back and clamping his other hand around the stump. "Somebody turn it off! And somebody else reach in my left shirt pocket!"

Though the party's main theme and focus is more for the technologically-inclined, a young Hermetic pops in to have a look-see at what all and who all shows up.

Val lifts a brow, and yupp, that is an explosion on her lawn. There is a flip of her hand, a pocketwatch, gold with nickle embossing on it. A skull and two words. Memonto Mortem. 5:47 pm, July 6th. She tilts her head, and watches as the second hand crawls slower and slower, then starts spinning backwards. Moments in reverse, drawing back the few seconds to right before Ross flicked the button. Granted he is likely still missing that finger, no fucking with paradox. "What did I tell you about explosions Ross?"

River looks ro Rosses finger and flinches as she well fights the urge to walk over and do the midical thing as people are probibly already on it. She does get a queezy look as the thought of the amount of pain he must be in triggers her soft heart.

Merek looks around a bit when things all shift to change. It is clear that someone has altered a timeline, but that's only by the normal perception. He wiggles his nose not sensing the magic, while he makes a maneuver so he can take gauze from the belt which he wears. He then begins to wrap that up while he moves to apply a hand about it, wrapping the hand up also. He does look like he wanted to use magic, but with Paradox already an issue, he will content to stabilize while he takes a moment to find a gel in his pack, then he places that upon the stump while he tends to it with salve. If Ross has an issue, well, he doesn't listen. For a Mage, he's alright with medicine.

Joel lets out a sharp breath, and is quick on the draw, unhesitating -- but Valentina gets there first, and he hangs back, his eyes on the goings-on. "I guess an explosion's a pretty good way to claim my Council Seat," he murmurs, although he's still alert, and moves closer, rather than further away from, the machine, adding as he does, "Probably don't press that next time," with a little grimace. "Unless you wanna go for broke and hand our asses over. Probably not the best choice, huh?" But there's no sting in his voice. It's more of a plea for sanity, from an Adept to an Etherite. Take that as you will.

When Ross' finger is suddenly missing, Xiu blinks and straightens. She's fighting with confusion facing off with 'A technomancer gadget went hwaywire, what else is new', but..really, a missing finger makes anybody sober up. She jumps up and (still holding the guiness which is thankfully almost empty) runs towards Ross, to reach for that thing inside his shirt pocket - before she actually noticed that the machine is acutally not running. She comes to a halt, eyeing the thing for another moment, then Ross. "What...*was* it supposed to do?"

Paris doeswnt sense any magic when he approaches, but does see the wounded man. He tilts his head a little in confusion and says, "What the fuck did I walk into?"

Marshall looks around the gathering for any familiar faces, someone he might remember from when he was more involved in current events before his soujourn for what the Hermetics might call advanced training. For now, the young, conservatively dressed, college lad just hangs back and watches.

Branton is just calmly drinking his rootbeer float because time was rolled back and nothing actually happened except suddenly Ross's finger goes missing. And with people already jumping all over that Branton doesn't need to get involved himself.

Ross doesn't argue with Merek's approach. "There's a patch in my pocket," he explains, "but it was only designed to fix general structural damage. Probably best not to find out the hard way what it does if something's straight-up missing." With his intact hand, he gestures toward Xiu. "What it was supposed to do, was move the marbles six inches kata. Still findable on a scan if you know what to look for, but otherwise literally Not There. And I don't think it would actually have blown up, but good call erring on the side of caution, Val..."

"And that's why I don't mess with magic.", Serenity mumbles under her breath. She wanted to help, she really did as a person who worked in the medical field and was super compassionate but there really wasn't much she could do. Everyone was jumping to help and she didn't know shit about paradox. "Sorry, Ross...", is all she states and lets the others dive in to save the day. Slowly slipping away, it was a bit frightening to just step into a group of people she didn't know and have a hand massacre go off in her face without warning. These were the mages to learn from.... she was gonna walk away. Probably shouldn't of come here to whatever this was. Sneaking out slowly.

"You also thought it was going to work." Val raises her brows and finger guns at Ross, ah the ways of old cabal mates. "So you saying I don't think it was going to explode isn't giving me a whole lot of faith." There is a grunt, and then a crinkling of her brows. "And now I am going to have a headache all day. You going to need me to replace your hand with another line?"

Joel keeps hovering near the machine. "Everyone back off from this thing. I'm not gonna have someone bumping into it and boom goes the dynamite." Apparently he's decided to place himself in the line of fire between the device and the crowd. "Eat some chips. Talk about the weather. Just... do that. Not this." He waves a hand, trying to keep people circulating. The themesong to 'The Greatest American Hero' chooses now to make its sunny appearance, and Joel lets out a sharp bark of laughter. "Timing," he quips, still perfectly cool with staying right where he is. "So. There's a second announcement I have to make." But he waits for things to settle before speaking again.

Paris stands and looks at everyone. "Why do I have a feeling of dejavu...?" He shrugs and then lights up a smoke. He inhales and relaxes a bit, then looks around to see who all is here.

Xiu just....stares at Ross for a moment as she tries to make sense of that, before she eyes the machine again. "How is.." she pauses, before she just brushes the thought away and hrms. "Anyways, uh.." Yeah. She does what Joel recommends before he even says it, as she gains some distance to that machine again. The timing of that song though, draws a light smirk onto her face before she exhales and eyes Ross. Merek is making gauze. val is offering help. ALl good. She flops down onto her seat and finally opens those cheetos, eyes expectantly on Joel as he announces his announcement in an announcing way.

"Yes well, let's manage it mundanely," Merek offers, while he begins to finish with the work. There's a nod with a sigh for Ross while he begins to adjust both his gloves a bit. He looks then to Paris, "Time magic, I'm pretty sure." He places an omni-tool which he has on his wrist, then nods also.

"Yeah, I don't blame you," Ross answers Val, wincing here and there meanwhile. "If this was an actual production project, first off I would've set up some radar calibration, plus a long list of other things I could bore you guys with."

"Second announcement: I'm in the process of setting up a space on the Digital Web. Stuff on there goes through me, or the other Adepts if any roll into town, so everyone's on the same page. Negotiations are gonna happen," Joel adds for Ross, with an apologetic smile. "I just didn't know you were here, man. Everyone's been telling me it's a ghost town. It'll be fifty-fifty, or whatever division between Traditions and pals as we can make happen equitably. Beyond that, what you do with the space is yours. Build it up. Make an arms race. But I need to know who, what, where, how, and why, and we need to be in it together. No end runs; no screwing each other over. I've given it some thought and about ten of those six-packs over the past couple weeks, and this is the claim I'm staking."

Oh, Ross has apparently recovered enough to start talking about radar calibrations, and observed quantum states, and mathmatical proofs that up is actually purple. One can see Val's eyes start to glaze. Slowly she moves a thumb over towards the largest of the domes. "Look, I can already feel the headache, so I am going to go to the lounge." A beat. "And lay down." second beat. "With Xiu." She nods. "Just in canse I am needed."

Paris replies to merek quietly, "Yeah Time makes sense now that I think of it." He then looks up to listen to the announcement. Thinking quietly to himself for the time being.

Yeah, talk about them for about thirty seconds. Ross leans over heavily on his good hand, slumping onto his side. "Yeah, that's just super. Yay Digital Web, don't send me to the corn field. Mind if I just lie down here for a minut?"

Xiu just blankly looks over at Joel for a moment at that announcement. Her own reaction is just a sloooow nod, and then an "Okay." It's clear she has not ever messed with the Digital Web. Probably just heard some bits about it. And clearly does not get the whole claiming thing. Claiiming territory she oh so gets, but with the audience? She seems at a loss some what. "Alright I guess, I-" Pause, as she hears val's words and she lifts her guiness can towards the pink-haired one. "That sounds like a plan to me." she says without even skipping a beat of her own. She tilts her head back and downs the last drops, before she neatly sets the can down next to her chair and pushes herself up. "If you are going to complain about 'skinny dipping' in there, I swear to all the gods.."

Merek's attention is all on Ross while he does wave to Val and Xiu with a nod to Joel's words. "While you heal from this, I am going to get you the best attention we can find from the Traditions. You will get the finger back, but you'll need to let Paradox take what it wishes." He then pats the gauzed up hand while he assists the man to finding a nice place to settle in also.

"Ross, stop the bleeding, take a nap, and we will figure everything out when you are not having a shock reaction." Val nods her head again, then clucks her tongue, eyes drifting to Joel with a raise of her brows. "I'd also be a bit wary about trying to claim personal dominion over much of anything. If nothing else that sets bad precedents." Then her hand raises, up to her shoulder with a smirk as she heads inwards into the library. "You must be at least this clothed to ride the ride."

Joel winces a little at Ross's words. "Nah, man, I mean really talk. In our own language. You wanna hash it out, I'm here and I'm listening, despite..." He waves a hand over himself. "... this." And he steps away from the machine, now that nobody seems about to press any doomsday buttons. "Announcements over. Let's get drunk."