The Last Remaining Light
Blue Screen Beta
Blue Screen was the name of the main Technocracy outpost in Seattle, hidden inside a fortified compound maintained by the federal government. Blue Screen was the site of the last battle between Joshua and his Marauder hangers-on, and the NWO operative Oscar Hamilton, who had been after the madman for years.
Hamilton’s personal grudge against Joshua began with the theft of a Node from Null-B called the Wyldling Containment Grid, and a tremendous Forces effect that Joshua sent up the Quintessence stream at Null-B, leading directly to its being overrun by Marauders. It was these same Marauders who would often come to Joshua’s aid; not that he ever really wanted it. Hamilton survived the fall of Null-B, however, and he sought out a new assignment where he could hunt the renegade Hermetic. As the Technocracy lost Seattle, his last move was to try to take the Marauders down with him.
When the Blue Screen Construct was destroyed in the blast of a neutron bomb, the surviving Technocrats fell back to their pre-planned position at Blue Screen Beta, a backup Construct setup with its own dedicated and sanitized Node. Some of the survivors went down in the hunt that followed the bomb, as Joshua’s response to the outrageous use of force would not be denied, and the resident Traditionalists saw no point in fighting him on it. A few more of them left Earth in the mass exodus of the Technocracy; ironically, it was Morgan and Joshua who were responsible for that as well, by revealing a Nephandi plot to take over the Copernicus Research Station, aka the COP.
Just a few legitimate Technocrats remain at Blue Screen Beta, now formally allied with the Ground Zero chantry: Thomas Bloom, a Syndicate representative whose skill with finance and economics would be worthless at the COP, and is nearly useless even on Earth, yet he does serve as their chairman. Janice-Klein Martin of Iteration X is an Armature in training, best left behind than taken on a doomed voyage into deep space. Wendy Rocha, an operative of the NWO, keeps a very low profile in the wake of her superior’s insane order to bomb his own city. And Kathy Anderson of the NWO is revealed as a Technocracy spy; she infiltrated the Ground Zero chantry under the guise of an enlightened techno-mage or linear-class gadgeteer. It was Kathy who learned about the COP through Morgan and Joshua and passed it up the chain of command, causing the Technocracy to make the voyage only they could make, and wage the war against the COP that only they could — when the intel was independently verified, of course.
There are also rumors of new technocrat projects taking place in Seattle, experiments into the normalization of some cybernetic systems, which may even be joint projects with the support of the local Virtual Adepts.
Henry Quinn, Kindred survivor
Once a Civil War-era author of visceral, gripping war stories, Henry was Embraced in California by Pietro, who became the Prince of Seattle in the modern nights. Urged toward horror and the occult, Henry’s writing served the Masquerade through misinformation. He continued to write into the present day, earning his latest mortal identity some niche-market fame for books that became major motion pictures.
His use of Noddist legendry as fodder for his writing brought acclaim and notoriety from both sides of the Camarilla-Sabbat conflict, and turned him into something of a recluse. This was all blown wide open by Bao Nguyen, a thin-blooded Brujah anarch who “outed” Henry as a vampire on camera, shortly before Bao’s spectacular suicide by sunrise. For a time, Henry became an instant celebrity, and took in a ‘cousin’ from the clan for mutual protection as Kindred affairs fell apart in Seattle. They openly attracted a large herd of ‘donors,’ and fought off their share of would-be vampire hunters.
By the time Morgan and Joshua came looking for him, however, Henry’s remote suburban estate was in shambles, although Blood Dolls still gathered outside. The apocalypse had taken its toll on the city, but there were still vessels willing to provide for Henry. The increased need to feed was taking its toll on the mortals, however, and his cousin Marco had succumbed to torpor, unable to assuage his hunger. Henry is one of a few Cainites to survive an encounter with Morgan and Joshua; instead of wasting his unlife trying to stall and delay them, he betrayed the plans of his Kindred to attack the Ground Zero chantry, and sent them on their way. Judging from the results — dead Cainites, dead Nephandi, even one dead Justicar — there may be few vampires left in Seattle to punish Henry for his treachery.
Mariko and the Cathayans
Mariko was a Kanbujian as the Kuei-jin call them, a newly awakened Asian vampire with no knowledge of their Dharmas, their moral codes, and no standing in their society. Mariko’s awakening in Seattle represented a problem for any vampire interested in maintaining the Masquerade, and since it happened to be the Gangrel survivors from Necropolis who found her, they got a crash course in Cathayans through her. Mariko managed to survive this unusual start as a vampire, and was eventually accepted by the local Kuei-jin and sent to Japan for instruction.
She later returned to Seattle after adopting the Thrashing Dragons Dharma, having no home to speak of in Japan and no reason to stay there. She rejoined the local wu or coterie, and Morgan and Joshua have run into her since then.
Along with Mariko, they have met Hayashi, a young hothead and Devil-Tiger; Terry Liang, a taciturn, dismissive Resplendent Crane; Maeda Hajime, one of the Thousand Whispers and their leader; and Wu Lin Yao, a cryptic Bone Flower who never thought much of their western allies, yet who volunteered in an instant for a fate worse than death.
Lin Yao’s calm acceptance of her fate, even when it involved her torture, murder and eternal damnation, haunts Joshua’s dreams to this day — especially since he was forced to participate in it. Yet her sacrifice saved the Cathayans from the same fate, and instead brought death and damnation down on the entire Tremere Clan.
Doctor Benjamin Carlisle and Dame Atomika
Ben was part of Joshua’s cabal in Seattle, in the years before he met Morgan. They fought the Technocracy well with a pair of Cult of Ecstasy slackers with spell-slinging, wits and music, but it was a pack of nomadic Sabbat that brought down the cabal. By the end of it, the Cultists were Embraced and later met their Final Deaths, and Joshua and Ben were split up when their home was burned to the ground. It was then that Joshua salvaged what he could carry, and went wandering — later to find Morgan and his destiny with her.
Dr. Carlisle had also survived, unbeknownst to Joshua, and he also salvaged equipment from a fireproof Sanctum buried under the wreckage of their home. Ben went on to make new friends, forged alliances and tackled conflicts with the Technocracy, and only years later did Ben and Joshua each learn that the other had survived. Once reunited, they enjoyed victories and suffered defeats against the Technos until Dr. Carlisle decided it was time to move on. When he did, it was to Sojourn, a space station in the far reaches of the solar system, in the deepest parts of the Umbra that might still be counted as part of the Tellurian.
The experiment in the deeps ultimately proved to be another failure; the station’s unusual power supply drawn from dark energy attracted the attention of Nephandi. In a mad rush, Joshua built his ship, the Defiant, specifically to make it out to Sojourn to rescue his friend. Although they learned something of the nature of the Nephandi threat out there, they also unwittingly brought something of the darkness back with them. The Dame Atomika, Benjamin’s partner and mother of their Scientifically nurtured children, had quietly turned barabbi out there in the deep.
Though Joshua soon sniffed out the corruption in their midst and accused the Dame, his friends wouldn’t listen; his rage and madness were perhaps a little too easy to dismiss, or perhaps Dr. Carlisle simply loved her regardless. Ben drove Joshua away from the old junkyard chantry in Seattle to protect his wife. The situation escalated until Ben had also turned, and their children might well have joined them. It ended with the deaths of the Carlisles, though for some reason Joshua only Gilguled the Dame, and buried his friend outside Ground Zero. Although the boy, Apollo Carlisle, seems to have reconciled to it, his twin sister Artemis was not so understanding, and her relationship with ‘Uncle Joshua’ has become strained.
What Benjamin never knew, however, was that he had been killed in their war with the Technocracy, and Joshua and his mentor conspired to bring him back at Morgan’s urging. It is a secret that Joshua suffers to keep, blaming himself for his friend’s Descent. Had it not been for their intervention, Ben would have died only once, and pure. He can only hope that death purged the darkness from Ben’s soul, and that he doesn’t remember to hate Joshua in his next life. Better luck next time.
Nathan, or the Professor as he would go by later, was originally a mechanical engineer and a prodigy in his field. His interests were tinkering in his spare time and high-energy plasma fields, which caught the attention of Dr. Carlisle. After slipping Nathan a copy of the Kitab al-Alacir, the young engineer soon Awakened. His passion for Science(!) was channeled into dangerous, destructive Ether-machines. Sporting ether goggles, a winged jet pack of his own design, and the infamous Plasma Projector, Nathan became an impetuous pulp hero-type, much like Ben and his Primium exoskeleton.
Nathan and the Doctor’s other apprentice, Scientist Jaunte, never got to follow their mentor to Sojourn Station, out past the orbit of Pluto. Instead, the Professor took on more of an elder’s role back on Earth for several years, until Sojourn was overrun. But it was the younger scientist, Jaunte, who took off in the stolen Void Engine kept at the old junkyard chantry, and who was shot down while trying to help Joshua in the Defiant breach the Technocracy’s satellite protection grid.
After that, Ben, Nathan, Joshua and Morgan took the fight to the Technos, and when the conflict reached its peak, a neutron bomb was dropped on the city in a misguided attempt to purge the reality deviants. Nathan tried to bring down the missile, but the Technocrat strike fighter that launched it shot him out of the sky. The Professor sustained terrible injuries, including brain damage that the available Ether Science couldn’t repair. His body was kept on life support, but perhaps the soul was already gone.
This left room, so to speak, for another entity to take up residence — a fallen angel, a Malefactor, who has remained in the area, and traded some knowledge about the fallen in exchange for the body he took. With the Shadowlands now all but sealed off, no one knows what the fate will be of the few demons who remained on Earth; some were seen being driven back into breaches in the Shroud by hunters, and what may have…could have been angels.
|Monarch: A Chaotician from the Virtual Adepts, Monarch specialized in complex simulations and calculations, going so far on Sojourn Station as to craft mage ‘sims,’ tactical analyses based on as much data she could gather for a personal profile of the target. In Seattle, Monarch broke into the main Technocracy installation while it was under attack by Morgan, Joshua, and a small army of Marauders and their Bygone pets. Separated from the battle to crack the Techno d-base, Monarch was lost in the neutron bomb attack that the Construct’s leader called down on his own installation. Unable to escape the warded space on such short notice, she simply transmitted that the others should pray for her soul, and was annihilated.|
|Dr. Lemniscate: A progressivist and Utopian among the Sons of Ether, Dr. Lemniscate turned his talent for the Life Sciences to make Sojourn Station into an egalitarian, enlightened society — a sort of Etherite ideal that could be fine-tuned in deep space and later put into place on Earth. He personally helped Dr. Carlisle construct the maturation chambers for his children; part of true equality, after all, is liberating women from the burden of pregnancy. Dr. Lemniscate was among the few who survived discorporation long enough to go into stasis and await rescue, but on the return trip to Earth, his will faded and he seemed to have disappeared. Based on their observations, however, the Seattle mages strongly suspect that the Doctor in his last moments imprinted himself on the young Scientist Apollo Carlisle.|
|Master Scientist Isaac Asimov: A living legend, like an Oracle for the Etherboys, Asimov had long since ‘died’ to mundane society out of necessity. He put together the insights and theories of his fellow Scientists to devise Sojourn Station, a sort of world-ship or generational craft that could theoretically exist independently of the Tellurian itself. The Reckoning and its tightening grip on reality through the phenomenon of discorporation was a variable not factored into his theories, however. Back on Earth, Asimov turned to his more practical outlet of robotics, and some few of his robots still walk the streets of Seattle. He was afflicted with a blight of aging by a Nephandi spy when the conflict with the Carlisle barabbi broke out, however. The last of his robots remain a lasting legacy.|