I had some plans for things to do with my return to the Greater North-East. A bunch of them had to do with the tabletop gaming I was planning on doing with my late friend Mike Satran.
One of them was the return to the game of Eiko Takashima.
Mike knew the plan. I’d talked about it with him and he was excited for it, he wanted to make it the first of my characters returning. To be ready, I wrote a story about some technology that Eiko’s company created.
The way we’d discussed it, the other players weren’t even going to know I was there that night. Maybe on the back porch. Maybe upstairs, listening.
The setting is somewhere kind of remote on Earth. The Philadelphia-based superhero team Freedomstrike is in a fight, and it’s going badly for them. Really badly. “I’m not sure we’re all going home after this” badly.
And just as things look bleakest, there’s this… sound. This horrible, disorienting noise. And something happens in the air, this terrible, mind-bending distortion of the air… no, suddenly they realize, it’s a distortion of spacetime itself. Something is bending it, tearing it, pulling it asunder. And then it stops as the distortion becomes a hole in space.
(When I was discussing it with Mike, he said “Is there theme music? Because if Eiko’s going to do something like this, she’s going to want it to have theme music. I know that’s her thing.” And I smiled. So here’s the theme music for her arrival, because, you know, if you’re going to insult the spacetime continuum, you do it with style:
And Eiko steps through, the hole closes up, and in the sudden silence, she says:
“Sorry I’m late. Terrible back-up at the deus ex machina counter. Now, who ordered the righteous asskicking?”
I told him that this was going to have to happen in such a way that he could then, after that, say the words that anyone who’s played the Hero System (Champions, Fantasy Hero, all of those) ready for action:
And then there would be a righteous asskicking, as I would have had some gadget on hand to turn the tide of battle. Because that’s Eiko’s thing.
I was looking to play this out. Instead, I’m writing it so that people can see the kind of planning that Mike did, both for a good game and for a good dramatic moment.
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