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Archive => Archive 2013 => Archive => Revival => : Divvur November 05, 2012, 10:43:47 PM

: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur November 05, 2012, 10:43:47 PM
Applause filled the room. Not an cheering, whooping applause but a polite and mildly entertained applause that would have been completely unimpressive had the performance be in anything other than a cramped back-room venue hidden on the side streets of Vegas.

Magician and Illusionist Vaughn Donovan gave a polite smile from his craggy face before moving across the stage to do his next trick. He reached the steps, speaking to his audience as he did so, building up the suspense with sentences that had become perfected over almost five decades of entertainment. But Vaughn had spent too many years perfecting his acts, and the material that had once entertained the masses now provided little more than a distraction for patrons between the drinking, gambling and the other activities that made the city famous.

It had been thirty-five years since Vaughn last played at this particular venue, and he was sure that little had been done to the décor in all that time. The only difference was that no longer filled with the clouds of cigarette smoke that had hidden all it's flaws, something which had removed the little sense of character it may have once had. Of course, back then, Vaughn had merely been starting, and a gig like this was something exciting, something which got the adrenalin pumping. Since then he had gone on to much bigger things, had performed for thousands at a time at some of the cities biggest venues. Now, however, no-one wanted to know. Stage magic was a dying art, and instead all the money went to youngsters who could barely pull a rabbit out of a hat, but as long as they were youthful and good looking enough to appear on television they got the job. Now, after three and a half decades, Vaughn was back where he started, performing in a small room to an even smaller audience.

By this point Vaughn had persuaded a middle aged lady in the audience to part with her ring, with the promise to return it at the end of his next trick. He slid it onto a finger on his right hand and made a show of it to the audience. Vaughn's assistant, Malorie, walked past, setting up a long box the stage. As she did so, Vaughn used a quick slight on hand to pass the ring to her, in the same moment replacing it with a rough approximation. He quickly flashed this ring at the audience as he placed his arm into the box through a hole in the side. Malorie then picked up a saw and started to cut the box in half.

The pretend ring now on Vaughn's finger was not actually a prop, but his wife's old ring. An item that had been returned seven years ago when she had decided to leave him, unimpressed with his gambling habits and fondness of the Vegas lifestyle. They had two boys, who had been 3 and 2 at the time, and they were now fast approaching the start of their High School years. It was a childhood that Vaughhn had mostly missed, and something he deeply regretted.

Vaughn had now curled up his hand to avoid the saw, which had split the box in two. Malorie had picked up the box and walked it to a table several feet away. She had then turned it to reveal a moving hand, which was in fact a mechanical approximation of Vaughn's that moved slightly thanks to what Vaughn thought must be real magic, although everyone else seemed to call them batteries. On this hand was the ring belonging to the lady in the audience, carefully placed by Malorie after the slight of hand earlier in the trick. She then took the ring and returned it to the lady. Malorie returned the box containing the hand to Vaughn, who then revealed his true hand, magically reattached. It was, of course, without his wife's ring, which had been carefully slid back into his pocket.

It was a simple trick, and still the audience were only mildly impressed. One more trick and then Vaughn would shock them all. He had been working on a masterful illusion, one that he had even allowed himself to get carried away with in his daydreams, where he would end up again in the spotlight, performing to huge crowds and earning a huge amount of money. This small audience would soon be telling stories to all their friends of how they had witnessed the illusion first, and Vaughn Donovan would again be a household name.

Of course, this wasn't idle fantasy, Vaughn needed it to work. The money he was making tonight would barely pay for a weekend's bar tab, and he always seemed to lose money as quickly as he earned it, even when he had been making more of it. Vaughn liked to gamble, not just at the casino's but he had even invested his wealth in stocks and shares, all of which had never gone anywhere. He had invested in all sorts, from engineering firms that went bust due to competition with the Far East to experimental research firms that dealt with things with fancy names such as Cryogenics, whatever that meant. All Vaughn did know was that his investments had netted him nothing, and his gambling even less so.

And so, one more trick before the master illusion, one of the classics. Malorie wheeled out a replica French guillotine mounted on a box. Once it was in position, Vaughn, who had been engaging the audience with suspense filled drivel, took a carrot and placed it on the guillotine. The vegetable didn't last long as the sharpened edge of the blade sliced through the middle.

As Vaughn laid down on the table, placing his head under the guillotine he caught sight of Malorie as she walked past. She was well past he best, in her early-forties and plastered in make-up to hide her age, patterned stockings hiding cellulite and a tight corset keeping her figure as close to what would be expected of a magician's assistant as possible. The fact that, in this dimly lit room, she probably looked quite attractive from where the audience was sitting was perhaps a bigger illusion than anything Vaughn could come up with. Despite all this though, Vaughn had often caught himself wishing he had been younger, for even girl's like Malorie seemed to have little interest these days.

Vaughn settled into his final position, the guillotine suspended above his head and ready to drop. Of course, the blade wouldn't actually reach Vaughn, for two steel blocks that stopped the blade and a plastic replica now suspended on the back of Vaughn's neck that would do the rest. When it was released, there was a box in a front where Vaughn's head would appear to drop. As he looked down he could see into this box, where a fake head, ready to be removed by Malorie, was waiting. It was made of wax, but was sculpted to look very realistic. The face was covered in lines, the top sparsely covered in a grey horse hair.

Still, even with a face like that, Vaughn was going to be back in the big time. His next illusion, after the guillotine trick, was going to amaze the audience, going to create a buzz and soon it would be the big venues again.

Vaughn snapped out of his daydream, first he had to finish this illusion. He took one last look as his head while listening for the imminent sound of the guillotine blade dropping. As he did so, he noticed a couple of shiny bits of metal also in the box beside his head. Strange, they looked familiar. In fact, they looked quite like the blocks that stopped the blade from actually reaching his neck...
: Re: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur November 19, 2012, 11:01:31 PM
Vaughn breathed in the Colorado air as he enjoyed the Rocky Mountain vista before him. In the background Dusty's sweet voice was singing 'Son of a Preacher Man' with a faint screeching of a record that had been played too much. No where near as good as hearing the broad in person but this far east it was as close as they got to glitz and glamour.

The song finished and Vaughn walked back through the garden, appreciating the flowers that were just beginning to bloom as he made his way to his performance area, a patch of grass in front of two dozen or so chairs that had been laid out on the lawn, all filled with the guests at this private party at which Vaughn was merely an attraction.

He started simple, showing the audience an empty box, clearly a magic box for the bright yellow stars and moon painted on the side indicated exactly that. He asked one of the ladies on the front row to come up to inspect the box, now placed on the table. As she did so, he lifted it towards her, and with a flip of the switch, out popped a jack in the box. She jumped with freight, but then laughed as she saw the plastic figurine dancing from it's sudden appearance.

As she sat down Vaughn started to feel the heat. It had been warm all day but this was getting unbearable, far hotter than it should be for this time of year. The sun was bright, it felt too bright, like it was shining right down on him. Beneath the guests a billowing smoke seemed to rise, but the guests carried on talking and laughing while the waited for the next trick, oblivious to what was happening around them. Vaughn blinked and the snoke was gone. 'Too much drink last night' Vaughn thought to himself.

As he prepared the next trick, he caught an odd sight in the corner of his eye.. The  The buffet table had some very strange items on it, as he started looking in that direction he started to see the shapes of the various foods, all like limbs and organs and well... human looking. He turned to his audience, curious to see of any of them had turned to notice this odd assortment of food, but as he did so their laughing chattering faces seemed covered in metal pieces, robot eyes and steel teeth and other odd bits that made them look like robots from Mars. The sun overhead was even more unbearable.

Vaughn picked up his hat from the table, hoping to shield his eyes from the ever intensifying glare, but underneath was a fluffy creature. Not a magician's rabbit as you might expect but a cat. It turned to look at Vaughn, not with one face but with two.

He was dreaming... and in that moment he expected to wake up... to come crashing back to reality... that moment never came.

Vaughn couldn't even picture what the real world was, although he was certain this wasn't it. Despite his mind not telling him why, Vaughn felt like somehow this nightmare was better than what awaited him when he finally opened his eyes.
: Re: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur November 26, 2012, 07:27:13 PM
Vaughn looked himself in the mirror. It was uncomfortable, not so much because he was looking at a man decades younger than he should be seeing, but because he was trying to see his wounds. With his neck stretched as far as it could turn and hand on his shoulder trying to pull his body around in the other direction he was trying to catch a glimpse of what had caused so much pain, but he could see nothing, despite the size of the mirror Ed Winchester had cooked for himself in that machine.

It still hurt, and Vaughn knew he wouldn't be running around anytime soon, but from what he could tell, the spray that the guy from the campaign had used had patched him up to look as good as new. Vaughn found himself hoping that he would feel that way too sometime soon as he replaced his new shirt and jacket over his shoulders, the weight of the fabric causing a second of mild pain as it slid around his torso.

As good as new...

Vaughn took another look at himself, a young but bearded face looking back at him. For weeks he had let it grow, not wanting to catch a glimpse of himself in a reflective surface, as if somehow that would keep this crazy land of metal people, mutated animals and rubbish collecting from being real. However, it was real, and Vaughn had a second chance, a chance to get things right, to start over.

But what would be do?

He had spent his life seemingly doing the impossible, to the sound of laughter and applause. He could produce a rabbit out of an empty box, or make an object disappear right in front of the eye. Now there was a box in the kitchen of what was considered student type accommodation that could do that. Well, maybe not a rabbit, or maybe... he would have to experiment later.

But life hadn't all been illusions, maybe he could find something that he could be good at. Vaughn went into the corridor and along to the kitchen.

"Atari", he called, he had know idea what an Atari was, but Flux called their friend Samual that and it had a nice unique ring to it and so it had stuck, at least in Vaughn's mind.

"This box thing," he said referring to the matter recli, repli, the magic box that made things, the device which Atari had been fiddling with constantly since they had arrived. "Will it print a newspaper, a 'what's on guide' for the weekend. As strange as this time is, they seem to still have weekends right. There must be something going on."

"In fact, before you do that," Vaughn said, before Atari even had a chance to speak, as the former magician stroked his bristled chin. "Box, will you make for me a razor blade." The inanimate device suddenly came to life as it started to perform its own magic, but the stuff this thing could conjure up was no illusion.

: Re: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur December 02, 2012, 07:03:12 PM
Vaughn woke early and quietly made his way into the Kitchen. He had retired to bed before most of the others had returned home, knowing that the team had hatched a mad plot to get himself and Flux into one of the hostels as undercover revivals, a plan which would no doubt mean he would get very little sleep over the next couple of days.

His stomach also knew that he was unlikely to get a decent cooked meal for those same days, and therefore asked the magic box for some bacon, scrambled egg and a not so small pile of pancakes and syrup. As he sat at the table about to indulge in his mini-feast when he noticed some writing scrawled across the wall.

"Can You sEE wHat I SeE" was written out in green lettering.

'Flux', Vaughn thought to himself. Vaughn had found himself getting mixed up with quite an odd group of people since he was revived, and he often thought he was the only one to have come through the process intact. Atari had come out of the deep freeze with no memories of his former life. Ed was borderline crazy, more like the character from a comedy sketch than a real reporter, though Vaughn was pretty sure he was some kind of journalist before being frozen. Both the soldiers seemed mostly intact, though Vaughn has met plenty of forces before, and he knew half the stories were perhaps a little more exagerated in their re-telling, but these two seemed to believe every word they said about their pasts.

And there was Flux, who seemed like a very smart dame but something must have happened to her as she thawed out, because she was just out and out crazy. He knew he should probably say something about writing all over the wall, no doubt something she scribbled down while using her new goggles, but she would only blame her imaginary robot friend, Diesel. She reminded Vaughn of a child at times, sometimes he even wondered if perhaps she had been, and was just given an adult's body as she was reborn into this future. But that didn't account for the fact that she knew her stuff, unless information from plumbing to explosives was given to her somehow.

Child or not, Vaughn somehow felt that the kid needed someone to look after her. He had two children himself, a long time ago, and he hoped they had both lived a single normal life and that was the end of it. However, if the worst had happened and either of his two boys had gone through this revival process, he would hope that there would be someone around to keep them out of trouble.

And that is why he was getting a big breakfast, so that he could keep an eye on Flux as they both went undercover.

Vaughn looked again at the writing on the wall, he had better clean it up in case Peterson or any of his team came around. The ex-magician went over to the magic box and asked for some cleaner so that he could magically make the writing disappear.
: Re: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur December 10, 2012, 09:16:11 PM
Chicago, 1954.

The party was in full swing. Vaughn was rushed off his feet behind the bar, pouring one drink after the next all to satisfy the thirsty crowds. It was opening night at the Blue Lounge, and for Vaughn, it was his first job, and he was determined to get it right. As he turned to get the next drink he almost crashed into a large figure, who had suddenly appeared behind the bar.

"Easy kid, wouldn't want to ruin the host's best suit naw wouldya." said Eugene Stewart, owner of the newly opened establishment.

"Sorry Mr Stewart sir, will be more careful." Vaughn said, frozen in place, his eyes wide and his breath held as he anticipated what was to come.

"Hey, don't worry bout it." Mr Stewart replied, "Get those sorted, then I need this order takin out by one of the girls to the group in the corner, on the house."

Vaughn did as instructed, handing the tray of drinks over to one of the hostesses working the floor. It was going well for the boss, he had invited all the local businesses around and they seemed to be enjoying the hospitality and there was a huge buzz around the place as people chatted and laughed.

But, in that moment, that buzz seemed to get quiet at one end of the room, where the main entrance was. As crowds shuffled about the drop in volume seemed to spread. It could only mean one thing, Freddie Jacks had arrived. Freddie wasn't just a local businessman, he was the local businessman. He 'protected' all the local busineeses and kept an 'interest' in them all.

"Good of you to join us Mr Jacks," said Mr Stewart, walking across the room to greet the new arrival. As he did so, he firmly clasped the hand of Freddie Jacks with both of his. This solid handshake ended and Mr Stewart motioned to a table that had been kept empty all night. Both the men sat down, but Mr Jacks rather robustly built friends remained standing just behind him, and they began to talk. The buzz that had been around the room began to return, but there was now a clear tension in the room.

Vaughn already knew what to do when Mr Jacks arrived, Mr Stewart had already listed down his favorite drink that morning with instructions to wait two minutes then bring it over. Vaughn did as instructed, and as he moved to the table, he realised the discussion wasn't going well. It was clear Mr Stewart was going to get Jacked.

The expression was a local one, deriving from one of the ways Freddie Jacks intimidated business owners. He would keep a couple of playing cards in his pocket, a Jack of Spades and a Jack of Diamonds. You got the red jack, it was a warning. If you got a black jack, it was game over. Something would always happen to a business that was shown the Jack of Spades, usually a mysterious fire.

By this point everyone nearby in the room had gone silent, their gaze firmly on the table as Freddie Jacks reached into his pocket. He placed a card on the table... it was black... it was a three of clubs.

There was an intake of breath around the table. Mr Jacks looked dumbfounded. He suddenly started searching in his pockets for his signature playing cards. Mr Stewart just smiled as he reached into his own jacket pocket and produced a pair of Jacks. This was too much for Freddie Jacks as he stood bolt upright and stormed out of the bar.

Three hours later the last of the guests had left and Vaughn was polishing glasses behind the bar while Mr Stewart sat sipping on a scotch. Vaughn was still confused as to what had happened. Nobody messes with Freddie Jacks, this could lead to very bad things. As if reading his thoughts, Mr Stewart explained:

"Don't worry yourself too much about it kid. I can handle bullies like Freddie Jacks. The trick is t'always be one step ahead an go for their biggest weakness."

"What's Mr Jacks weakness?" Vaughn found himself asking.

"Same as every man, pride. I embarrassed him tonight in front of all those he has intimidated in the past." Mr Stewart answered.

"You switched the cards over when you greeted him didn't you?" Vaughn said.

"Just a little slight o hand. Stick with me kid, you may just learn somethin."

Vaughn knew there would be a response from Freddie Jacks. However, Vaughn also knew something else, that Mr Stewart was no fool, and that Vaughn would certainly be turning up for work tomorrow, whatever the risks.
: Re: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur December 17, 2012, 08:56:27 PM
I was going to do a nice little flashback of Vaughn's Vietnam experience, but I haven't really had the time this week. Instead I drew a picture on my whiteboard to help Shorty work out exactly how he is going to kill off my character...

Edit: Then I realised I forgot to add Vaughn's mobile phone, guess it was left at the flat. Lets hope Flux has hers!
: Re: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur January 08, 2013, 05:17:22 PM
Stevie looked out at the darkening Huddersfield night sky. The clouds loomed menacingly overhead and the street had a reflective quality as the rain drizzled over any surface it could find. It had been three weeks, three weeks filled with guilt, three weeks of pondering what could of happened if only he had been more alert.

But the past was the past, nothing could change the course of history, yet it had all been down to one mistake. It had been a busy time, the festive season was approaching fast, coursework was due, work was getting increasingly busy and dozens of girls were all demanding attention*. Was it really his fault that in all that time, a simple drawing was rushed, and in that drawing one small detail had been missed. Yet one detail was all that it had taken, the simple ommission of an imaginary mobile phone, a mobile phone that had grown into a plot point, a mobile phone that had grown into an exploding plot point... and now an NPC was dead!

Not important enough for a name, nor even a description, but that didn't save him from his fate. It didn't save him from limbs being blown away from his body, from organs appearing on the outside rather than the inside. Just a faceless victim of an honest mistake. A simple blob missed from a simple diagram that had ended up with deadly consequences for someone who did not even exist until after the mistake was made.

Stevie pulled on his coat, wrapping his new scarf tight before he stepped out into the cold and wet Huddersfield air and started his walk to the Albert. 'No more mistakes, no-one else is going to die' was all he kept thinking to himself as the gloomy night moved in around him.

*some degree of artistic licence may have been used in the production of this story...
: Re: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur January 14, 2013, 09:44:37 PM
Vaughn put the replica clothing Schmidt had given him on the kitchen table and went over to the magic box for a drink. The machine didn't need exact specifications any more, simply a request for a strong drink would get Vaughn a whisky served exactly the way he liked, in a small glass with some ice and a small napkin to put it on. He sat near the window and glanced again at Walker's new flightsuits, which would soon be armoured up and presented as a gift. The space they all shared wasn't huge, but with everyone, even Ed Winchester seeming more subdued and the lack of Walker's prescence, as he sat in a hospital bed across town, it seemed a whole lot bigger.

It all seemed so simple in the end, solving the case, finding out what was happening to all the missing revivals, and all Vaughn could think about was Peterson, and why he had asked such a team of misfits to look into the disappearances in the first place. He clearly has teams of intelligent, cybernetically enhanced people who could have easily done exactly the same. No matter how he thought about it, he could only think of two words, expendable and opportunity. Quite simply, if the gang had failed, it wouldn't have bothered the campaign manager one bit, the loss of up to six votes. But they hadn't failed, almost at the cost of one of their team, they had succeeded. Now it was to be press briefings, the Revival heroes carted out in all the glory, all in front of a huge banner saying 'Vote Anders'.

Vaughn sighed as he sipped some more, somewhere between thoughts he had magic'd an entire bottle and a container of ice to match. As he refilled his glass he realised that this world simply hadn't changed from the one he knew. Sure, the people had become robotic freaks and the food appeared from no-where, but everyone was still human, still trying to take advantage in any way they could. The question became, how could Vaughn take advantage of that.
: Re: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur January 22, 2013, 06:08:04 PM
Vaughn found this guy interesting. He didn't recognise what hero he had dressed up as, he had already spoken to a Hulk, a Superman and a Batman all of whom he recognised and looked spitting images of the heroes he had seen at the movies and onthe TV screen all those years ago. However, this latest one was a mystery. Still, the costume was very well done and he seemed to be very interesting. It was strange how all these individuals, dressed as comic book heroes, all seemed to be so conversational and always willing to come over and chat. Every time Vaughn made his excuses and went to go find his friends, he always seemed to be intercepted by someone who came over to chat. In the end though, Vaughn didn't mind, he had never really been interested in comics and certainly didn't understand why the people who did found the need to browse stalls for cheap replicas of gadgets and dolls related to these fictional characters. He just came along for a new experience, and had found to his suprise that a lot of the people who had dressed up were happy to make conversation.

The hero was asking Vaughn what kind of things he was interested in, Vaughn had only one reply to that, "Magic," was the response. In the blink of an eye another person was standing there, Vaughn wasn't sure where she had come from but she must have approached from behind and turned suddenly. She looked very much like the magican's assistant, the costume reminding Vaughn of one his assistant Wendy used to wear, or was it Iris, it seemed such a long time ago now. She introduced herself as Zatanna, and soon after Vaughn had started talking to her, the other hero seemed to have disappeared without Vaughn noticing where he had gone. After a while, talking all things magical, Vaughn couldn't help himself, he decided to show off. Borrowing props from the surrounding stalls, skillfully and without notice, and always replacing them afterwards, Vaughn did a few simple tricks. This Zatanna seemed to be quite impressed, smiling and gasping at all the right moments, Vaughn felt his confidence grow and was thoroughly enjoying being able to entertain someone again.

Then she offered to show him a magic trick. The dame had clearly dressed like a magical comic book character but Vaughn figured he was about to see some amateur party trick. Still, she had a nice smile and he was happy to play along. Instead, what she did was make a cane appear from thin air, with a magical sparkle of light as she did so. Vaughn was amazed, he knew hundreds of variations of such a trick and he still couldn't work out how it had happened. He asked her to repeat the trick and she did, and still he couldn't figure it. He reached out to touch the cane but she pulled it away, 'tut'ing and wagging her finger to berate him.

In that moment he felt a hand on his shoulder,

"There you are," said his friend, Aronn Walker, "we are just setting off, you ready to go?"

"Yeah, sure, just let me say goodbye to this lovely lady," Vaughn replied, before turning to where Zatanna was, "Hey, where'd she go?" he asked, as he looked at the space where she had previously been.

"Where did who go?" Aronn asked. "You still wearing your glasses?"

Vaughn reached to his face and pulled the glasses off. "These things, yeah, what do they do anyway?"

Aronn just rolled his eyes and they made their way towards the door where the other two were waiting.
: Re: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur January 28, 2013, 10:15:31 PM
Vaughn saw his target over by the bar. She was young, maybe early twenties with long flowing black hair, a short black dress and a large necklace that sparkled in the casino lights. She was beautiful and the body matched, a perfect figure that would have had men drooling back in Vaughn's day. But this was far from those times, and beauty was now made as easily as the aviator shades that Vaughn had in his hands. The shades belonged to Ed Winchester, one of his fellow revivals, who had created them earlier in the day after he heard of their 'success in the field,' as Aronn Walker had put it, having secured a phone number from a girl at the previous day's comic event. Despite this track record, Ed Winchester hadn't put them on, and his bare eyes had failed to impress any of the ladies he had talked to the entire day. Maybe he needed to learn a new opening line?

Vaughn looked again at the girl by the bar, as her eyes ensnared men as they walked by. Plenty attractive men had already been politely refused through the course of the evening, and those that hadn't taken the hint were now standing around like lost children completely ignored by the object of their desire. Vaughn knew he didn't have a chance, but that wasn't the point, it was just a bit of fun designed to make Ed feel a little better for being so hopeless with the opposite sex throughout the day. He placed the Aviators over his nose, wiggling them slightly to make them sit right on his smaller head, and started to walk towards the bar. He looked around him in almost childlike wonder as the nearly opaque lenses made the entire casino look different, detail shrouded in a mist of darkness. How anyone could wear these indoors was beyond his comprehension. At that moment the darkness receded, the floor got closer and Vaughn fell onto the garish carpet as the shades tumbled ahead of him. Everything went blue.

Attached to the rich blue colour was a pale white ankle and it took Vaughn a moment to realise he had landed face first right in front of a long dress. Feeling stupid for his clumsiness, Vaughn quickly rose to his feet, almost crashing into the dresses' owner as he rushed up too quickly, spurred on by his own embarrassment. That emotion etched itself onto his face as his eyes drifted up the blue covered figure, bracing himself for a berating conversion. Instead he was greeted by a smile.

The smile was beautiful, curling in amusement in a way that slightly tugged at the cheeks, which in turn exposed some very faint lines under a thin layer of make-up. Her entire face was framed by golden hair that came up in a curl before just reaching the shoulders and in the centre of this portrait was a pair of soft blue eyes that seemed to melt away all Vaughn's embarrassment and worry. They glanced to the side and Vaughn followed their playful flick to see the aviators in her hand.

“I don't know why you wear these, you have such nice eyes, it's a shame to cover them up.” a voice said, and then Vaughn connected the voice to the image in front of him and realised she was talking to him. It was a bad line, but he didn't care. All the gamblers, the games, the casino lights and everything else again faded into darkness, but this time it didn't require a pair of shades, just the focus of a man on a woman. Some things never changed.

Yvonne clearly had some money, the beach front apartment had a clear view of the sea, with no giant robots to spoil the view, and the house itself was quite spacious. As Vaughn looked around his eyes were drawn to the single picture frame standing on the sideboard. The pictures seemed to change, and small lifetime of memories repeating one after the other, changing every few seconds to tell the next part of the story. It was currently showing a younger Yvonne, from perhaps 15-20 years ago by his estimation, a young woman who had just left school and was now meeting regularly with friends, taking snaps as they went out and about. He noticed one face, a man, seemed to appear more and more.

Vaughn was distracted by the offer of a drink. Yvonne pulled open a cabinet, it looked to be made of wood and as the front was pulled down the top opened upwards automatically. Inside there were glasses and bottles, all displayed on a mirrored surface. He was invited to pour his own, and he chose a clear bottle with whisky coloured contents. Once poured, he replaced the bottle and was shocked to see that, with a quick flash of light, the bottle seemed to be full again. He realised it was a miniature magic box like the one back at his apartment and found himself impressed with the idea of having one just for drinks.

Yvonne took his free hand and lead him to the window, as she did so Vaughn noticed that the picture frame seemed to have been discretely switched off while he had been getting his drink. The view outside was of waves gently crashing against the sand, all illuminated by lights from the house. However, this was not the view that Vaughn was taking in, as he stood against Yvonne, their bodies touching as he stroked his hand against her soft natural cheek, their eyes locked. That is what he liked about her, he decided, her naturalness. She wasn't made to be perfect by technology, unlike so many other girls he had seen. She was just herself, like every other girl he had ever known from his previous life. Then he realised his hypocrisy, for he had lived that lifetime, and now he was here, feeling her heart beat as she was seduced by a younger looking man. A man, as Vaughn had recently discovered, that had been grown in some kind of vat for his cryogenically frozen mind to inhabit. Still, this she didn't have to know that yet, and Vaughn's hand reached around the back of her neck and he moved in to kiss her. He felt his hand rub against something odd, sticking out slightly from the back of her neck was something metallic, and Vaughn felt at least a couple of circles looping around small holes. His inquiring mind was interrupted at this point before he could give the device any further thought, her lips touched his and they got lost in their embrace. Neither of them noticed the slight splashing sound as the drink in Vaughn's other hand slipped from its glass and onto the soft rug, followed shortly after by the glass itself, rolling harmlessly away. Moments later it was joined by a long blue dress.
: Re: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur February 02, 2013, 09:04:22 PM
Vaughn Donovan looked at his cards, then up to his opponent, resisting the urge of his lips to curl up into a smile as he anticipated the impending victory. It wasn't exactly a high stakes game, the centre of the metal table contained a few scrunched notes, a dozen cigarettes and a folded picture from page 6 of an old Playboy magazine, but to the soldier over the table it was a considerable haul.

"Think I got ya this time Donnie," the Private said in a broad Mississippi drawl.

"Really? Maybe I should fold then?" Vaughn responded, raising his eyebrow inquisitively. It was all an act, but his opponents brief but obvious wide eyed shock at the possibility of his bluff working told Vaughn exactly what he needed to know.

The stage magician shivered slightly as a slight breeze passed through the mess tent where they were sat. Vaughn hated this place, everywhere seemed caked in mud, it rained too much and the show girls that he travelled with on a tour of war-torn Vietnam spent the entire time off stage screeching at bugs and complaining in Vaughn's ear. If it wasn't for the fact that these ladies are really what the troops wanted to see he would have left them in Saigon.

"Tell you what Private," Vaughn continued as he put in another 5 bucks, "if you win this hand, you can take everything on the table and I will introduce you to Sandy, thats the one with the longer Blonde hair."

"Yew would do tha' Donnie? Gee, she is a corker that un." the soldier said, getting ready to show his cards. "Read 'em an'' weep, not jus' the Kid tha' can put the big Vegas showman to shame." he continued, placing his cards on the table.

Vaughn chuckled to himself, it was terrible hand. This soldier, staring at him with anticipation, was about to become one of the poorest on the camp. The Vegas entertainer was no-where near a card ace in his hometown, but over here he was almost undefeatable. The almost was because of another young soldier, unoriginally nicknamed by his company mates as 'The Kid'. Smart little bugger he was, and he had beaten Vaughn fair and square, although it had actually worked in Vaughn's favour as now everyone else in the company was wanting to try their luck again. Still, 'The Kid' shouldn't be here, none of them should, too young to see any warzone, especially this one. For a brief second Vaughn considered folding and making the private across from him's day, but that brief moment of sentimentality passed and Vaughn started to place his cards on the table.

The tent suddenly shook and the cards were blown out of his hands by a strong gale while a thunderous noise ebbed in his ears. It took Vaughn a second but he realised that it was one of the Hueys touching down far too close to the tent.

"Can't they land those things further away!" Vaughn shouted, catching Page 6 of an old Playboy magazine just before it landed in the muddy ground.

"Looks like a med evac landing," one of the other soldiers shouted back from the doorway. Almost everyone else in the mess tent had already rushed to the doorway to try and grab a glimpse of what was happening. Vaughn followed,catching a glimpse of a team of soldiers rush towards the medical tent with a soldier in the stretcher. As it passed, he recognised the face of the wounded young soldier, it was 'The Kid'.

Despite his humiliating defeat, Vaughn liked the Kid, and he found himself rushing towards the medical tent. As he got inside the medics were starting work. Eyes looked up from the patient, seeing Vaughn in the doorway and a smile crossed the young Private's face, blood spilling down his cheeks as he did so. He soldier reached out a pleading arm in Vaughn's direction.

Vaughn moved closer and he felt the hand pull at his jacket, bringing their heads closer together. Realising what the soldier wanted, the entertainer turned his ear to hear what the Kid wanted to say.

The voice was almost a whisper, but Vaughn made out the message. "Stay with me Vaughn, don't wanna die 'lone.".

But as Vaughn had turned to hear this message his eyes had looked upon the surgeons working frantically. Their work seemed to be concentrated around the thigh area, and Vaughn realised that this was because both legs beyond this point were missing. It was all too real for the illusionist to handle, and he found himself running out of the tent. As he reached the back of another tent further along he stopped, and his stomach caught up with him moment later, sick spewed over the mud by his feet.

Vaughn never saw 'The Kid' again, though he later saw the nineteen year old carried from the medical tent in a bag, the soldiers carrying it having to walk close together as one end, where the legs should have been, flopped to the floor behind them.
: Re: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur February 12, 2013, 05:48:39 PM
Vaughn's ears were still ringing as he dragged himself further along the floor to the other end of the counter. Winchester had shouted something as he was coming round, but Vaughn only knew this from the former newsman's lips as all around them shots were and explosions rocked the building.

There was a sudden sharp pain and Vaughn had a moment of clarity as he worked out the meaning in Ed's words, just as a needle was thrust into Vaughn's damaged leg. The pain subsided slightly and Vaughn felt his heat beat faster. He sat back against the counter and tried to take a moment between rapid breaths to summon his senses into functioning. He was in front of a closed door leading to the back office of Schmidt's store, where the group had found themselves attacked by heavily armed gunmen. He had a large handgun in his hand, although he barely knew how to use it, and he had clearly been shot in the leg.

He also realised his hearing was beginning to return, as he heard a thud come from behind the door in front of him. Winchester had clearly heard it too, as he was pushing the door open while remaining out of sight to anyone in the room. What was he doing? Didn't he realise that would leave Vaughn exposed? Had he gone mad?

Wait, Vaughn had a handgun. Was he expected to use it? What kind of a stupid plan was that? Vaughn had never shot at anyone in his life, either of his lives, never mind actually killed someone.

As the door opened Vaughn saw a figure. He didn't recognise them, it must be one of the attackers. Vaughn was out in the open, Winchester had just got him killed. Unless...

From his seated position on the floor, his back against the counter, Vaughn raised the handgun with both hands and aimed at the figure. He squeezed the trigger. A pain shot up his arm and then he felt an impact against the back of his head. Everything went black...
: Re: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur February 26, 2013, 07:11:56 PM
Brum brum there you go...
: Re: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur March 03, 2013, 10:30:34 PM
Vaughn got back to his apartment and closed the door behind him. He felt like he had been ambushed, ganged up upon, and he wasn't sure why everyone was acting so wierd.

Sure, their solution to infiltrate the Christ organisation required Vaughn to make a commitment, but it was just like any other disguise, could be removed once the job is done. Vaughn had been considering the approach ever since the team had done their initial research and discovered all the information on temping. Had they not suggested it, he would have.

Vaughn got himself another drink, this was possibly his fourth in the 30 minutes since he returned to the apartment complex. He collapsed on the sofa that looked out of the window, taking in the view from outside. Taking a deep breath he then sipped the drink, allowing the sharp taste to trickle down his throat, all the while trying to relax himself, to think through the recent events in his mind.

Yes, his date had cancelled, a disappointment to be sure, but it was a first date with a dame he barely knew. Vaughn had certainly been through a lot worse relationship troubles with years of bachelorhood in Vegas followed by several years of marriage. More than anything he was disappointed at missing out on an experience in the city, the show that had been promised, a chance to be in an environment he recognised, a taste of home. It had also been a chance to spend some time away from his friends.

Friends, that was the key word, and as Vaughn allowed the word to circle around his mind he replicated the action with the ice cubes in his glass. Something in his gut told him that they were no longer really friends, and the more he thought about it, maybe they never had been. They had got together in the hostel in an unspoken pact of mutual protection, strength in numbers in a hostile environment. Since then they had found employment together, and were certainly now work colleagues. But friends? Maybe only one of them he had truely cared about, and even she was now gone.

The fact was, he found them hard to be around. He realised that he often try to escape. He had even spent most of his money getting a car to allow him to do just that.

Vaughn walked over to the magic box, it wasn't a time for thinking, it was a time for action. He picked up his phone as he past the table, maybe he could send Yvonne one of those phone telegram things, just to apologise for missing the call and to say he was sorry that they couldn't meet up. Maybe Flux just got the message wrong, that girl wasn't exactly reliable. But before that, Vaughn needed another drink. In fact, that wasn't all he needed, and he also gave the machine the specifications for some ladies clothing.
: Re: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur March 19, 2013, 07:04:06 PM
"Now remember, the source gas will be dissipating quickly, you must get in there quickly" said the near crippled Atari from the back of the van, which was parked around the corner from the Angel's 8 district, home of the Transient movement.

"Don't worry about that my friend, I will be back before you can say Abracadabra," replied Vaughn, who was currently disguised as a female transcient for this dangerous infiltration mission.

"And you know what you are doing once you... get there? With the tablet?," Atari asked between spluttering.

"Of course, I am a whizz with Gizmos, leave it all to me." was Vaughn's reply as he walked off to the barricades around the Angel's 8 district.

As he approached he gave the security guard, a large muscular transcient, a quick femanine smile and walked by.

"Stop where you are!," the guard shouted from behind him. Vaughn froze, took a couple of seconds to compose himself then turned to face his first test. But thre was no anger in the Guards face, instead he was moving towards Vaughn, a piece of paper shaking in his hand.

"I couldn't possibly let such a beautiful lady go by without giving her a number, erm I mean, my number, for a phone, a phone number," he stammered nervously, thrusting the piece of paper in front of Vaughn's face. Vaughn gave a smile and tried to flutter the eyelashes above his enlarged alien-inspired eyes.

"I'm in a rush, I have to meet a friend, but yeah, I'll call you later," Vaughn said, taking the piece of paper and looking up the guard.

As he turned to escape, Vaughn was again stopped by the voice of the security guard. "Wait, what's your name? For, you know, so I know it's you and erm, yeah."

"Jenna", Vaughn replied, "gotta run, speak to you later," and with that he left. "I'm Huon," was all he heard as the love struck security guard was left at his post. As Vaughn walked away his chemically disguised body still felt a small amount of sadness as he thought about the name he had chosen, and the woman it had once belonged to.

In order to capture the source gas, Vaughn knew he would need elevation, because gas generally went upwards. He knew he was in range and made his way into a nearby building. The lift was broken but he moved up the stairs quickly. The building was dirty and in a state of disrepair. None of the doors had locks, and many were ajar enough for him to see inside. Those few transcients he saw looked almost homeless, certainly destitute and poor.

As he got to the fourth floor the stairs disappeared, replaced by a gaping hole where wooden floorboards had rotted away. Vaughn knew the source gas was dissipating fast and he had no time to find another building. He looked out of the window upwards, he was only a couple of storeys from the roof, where he needed to be to complete his mission. He walked out onto the ledge, looked for something to grab onto, and started to climb.

Vaughn reached the roof and took out the tablet. He tried to start the sequence but it threw up and error, requiring a code to continue. But Vaughn wasn't fazed by this technology, his brain worked lightning fast as he put in a few combinations and found the right solution. In big letters the screen said 'source material captured'.

Now the escape, Vaughn made his way to the door to see if there was another way down inside the building. However, as he reached the door it opened and out stepped several large transcients. They were so close he could see the cybernetics in their eyes, twitching as they locked on their target.

But Vaughn wasn't alone, in the time it took them to target him he had brought his trusty Norva Arms Arnie to bear. With a squeeze of the trigger his shot took out two of them, both straight through the head. He then dived to his left, and the dive turned into a roll. As he came back into a standing position he squeezed again and another fell. One more to go, but he was running at him fast.

It was too quick for Vaughn, and he felt the cybernetically enhanced body slam into him, the firearm flying from his hand and over the rooftop edge. The pair landed close to the edge as well, and vaughn could feel the air rush through his long haired female form. But cybernetically enhanced or not, this goon wasn't going to defeat Vaughn, for he had got out of smaller places than the space he found himself pinned under the transcients bulk.

With a quick shift of weight Vaughn moved his slender frame to the left, leaving his opponent falling a couple inches to end face first in the rooftop. As he pushed himself up, Vaughn send a kick into the transcients chest and he flew off the rooftop edge. As he looked down he saw many more guards converging on his position. This would be a tough escape, but Vaughn was a magician, and he had his cape with him. He tied his magic cape around his neck and launched himself off the rooftop, gently gliding to safety. In his ears he heard a ringing... it got louder.

Vaughn turned over and hit the alarm. Oh six hundred Tom had said, but a lady needed her sleep. With the clock silenced he turned back over, pulled the covers back, and returned to his dream.
: Re: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur March 25, 2013, 10:15:45 PM
Vaughn looked at the clock on the dashboard of the car... just three hours. For three hours he had been sat there, watching, waiting, trying not to fall asleep.

It had been a long day for the entire team, starting with an undercover operation to expose Republican involvement in a conspiracy with the transcients, then taking their findings to their boss, Campaign Manager for Senator Anders, Peterson. Vaughn hadn't been at the meeting, but as soon as the group returned he had been told that their next task would be to watch the Angel's 8 district for any sign of a truck full of missing Transcient girls. It didn't sit right with Vaughn, if this was so important, why were they getting no extra backup from the party? Instead it was a 24 hour round the clock watch for a team that had already been seen and would be recognised by Fred Christ and any other high ranking Transcients within the area. In fact, because of his disguise, Vaughn was the only person who could possibly go in and out without things going badly wrong.

And so they waited. Four of the members were in two teams, switching shifts so they could stay awake. The two drivers, Vaughn and Aronn, were not so lucky. Although they were only coverng small areas, blind spots, they were doing so by having to stay awake. Aronn was military trained, he could probably pilot a fighter aircraft for several days at a time without it going of course. Vaughn, on the other hand, suffered from two problems. First, he was exhausted. Second, he was sooo bored.

Vaughn rummaged around in the pack that one of their other military members had put together. 'Plenty of supplies for a long surveillance op' had been the description, but all Vaughn could find was a couple of bottles of water and some protein bars. Vaughn needed a lot more than that to keep him awake, to keep his mind stimulated. Only one thing for it, Vaughn left his post.

There was a 24 hour off licence just a block away and Vaughn made his way there. Inside was the usual mixture of brightly coloured brands and reading materials. Vaughn picked out a couple of newspapers and some sugary snacks. As he got to the counter he realised why he had really come, why he had persuaded himself that this was the best course of action. It stood behind the counter so discretely, a touch of gentlemanly restraint amid the cacophony of packaging screaming for attention. For a second Vaughn could taste the memory of the distilled nectar on his lips, but that second soon passed and, in that guilty moment he realised he should be getting back to the car to continue working. The longer he was gone, the more likely he would miss something.

"I'll just get these," Vaughn said, dumping his snacks and papers on the counter for the shop assistant to scan using the strange pricing device.

The assistant barely acknowledged Vaughn, despite the fact that Vaughn knew he looked quite unusual in his disguise. A day and a half earlier Vaughn had undergone a chemical change, going from a human male to a transcient female, all in order to infiltrate the organisation they were now watching. Even without the gender change, the hybrid alien-human dna would usually get at least some response from the average citizen, but clearly this particular shop worker had seen more than his fair share of wierd characters in the early hours to pay much attention.

"Anything else?" the assistant asked in his disinterested monotone voice.

Vaughn looked at the bottles behind the counter. He knew he shouldn't, he was on mission, he had a job to do. And he was a strong willed individual who could rise to any challenge, resist any temptation. When Vaughn Donovan put his mind to the task, he could achieve anything.

"I'll have a bottle of the Ellis Island please," Vaughn said, and inside his biologically altered human-alien heart, he felt disappointment in himself.

Vaughn returned to the car, he had been gone less than ten minutes and as his phone hadn't rung, he was pretty sure no-one else in the group would know. Vaughn got back to his mission, watching for any strange movements and he munched on a candy bar.

A couple of hours passed and Vaughn started to get impatient again. In the corner if his eye he kept seeing his new possession, the bottle peeking out of the brown paper bag. Time and again he told himself that it was for later, for after the mission, as a reward for a job well done. Vaughn kept watching.

Still nothing had happened. It was now the early hours of the morning and Vaughn could feel the sleep creeping up on him. He needed to stay awake somehow, maybe just a small sip would strengthen his resolve. Yes, thats what he needed. He hadn't had a proper drink since he underwent the transcient change a couple of days ago. Just a small amount wouldn't affect his ability to drive should he have to, and would keep him awake. Just a sip.

Vaughn unscrewed the bottle and brought it to his lips, a gentle tip allowed the smooth liquid to hit his lips and seep through into his mouth.

'Pppplllleergh' was the sound Vaughn made as he tasted the Whisky, the liquid spraying all over the dashboard in front of him. At first Vaughn looked in disbelief at the bottle in his hand, wondering where this pigswill had come from. Then realisation came to him, Transcient DNA had altered his tastebuds, and clearly aliens don't like Whisky.

Still, the whisky had at least had the desired effect. The sudden jolt had got Vaughn's heart pumping and he felt very awake. Vaughn kept up the Surveillance for another couple of hours but eventually the sleep overtook him.
: Re: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur March 29, 2013, 07:03:53 PM
Vaughn was staring directly at a young girl, she looked familiar, like he had seen her in a picture. She walked towards him, her eyes locked on his, her face changing around those eyes into a recognisable form, a Transcient form. Vaughn turned slightly to realise he was now surrounded by half a dozen transcient girls, all flirting with him, smiling at him with their half alien DNA enhanced features.

Behind them appeared Fred Christ, self appointed leader of the Transcient movement. He moved towards Vaughn, speaking as he did so.

"This will stop the democrats, their campaign will be in ruins." Christ said as he moved closer. Within a couple of seconds their mouths were locked and Vaughn could taste the alien strangeness of Christ's lips on his.

Vaughn found himself wide awake in seconds, alone in his apartment, the only light being supplied by the ambience of The City's night slipping through the gaps in the curtains. He reached over and flipped on the bedside light, squinting as the sudden illumination burned his eyes. As his vision recovered he glanced at the clock, it was barely past 5am, but Vaughn was now wide awake, and even if he hadn't been, he didn't fancy returning to his subconcious mind just at the moment.

The previous day had certainly been action packed, wtih gunfights and investigations. By the time it had got to the early evening Vaughn had been struggling to keep awake, and had barely participated with the rest of the groups wildely paranoid debate regarding the identity of this mysterious hotel resident by the name of Turner, who may in fact have had nothing to do with their investigation anyway. Still, as he had recovered from the previous few days work with a glass of whisky in hand he had listened to his colleagues arguments and when Vaughn's head finally hit his pillow his mind had been hard at work trying to tie all these loose ends together.

Now Vaughn had some ideas, and as he wasn't going to be sleeping any time soon, he may as well get started. Within an hour Vaughn had tidied the mess in the apartment; been to the local filling station in his little car to pick up some supplies and fill up the tank; worked out how to get money out of his account using the computer in the wall; and returned to the apartment, struggling up the lift with a copy of each and every newspaper the store had to offer. As he dumped the heavy pile on the table he realised he was going to need some help. He took out his phone and started sending messages.
: Re: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur April 07, 2013, 09:26:22 PM
Jenna Donovan was surrounded. All around her were painful memories, each one feeding the pain growing inside, her face streaked with tears. She grabbed a nearby cloth and wiped her face, but although she held back the tears for now the sadness grew as she looked at the bright red cloth and recognised it as a stage prop, one used by her husband.

Except he wasn't here, Jenna was standing alone in what was his apartment, a room full of memories he had left her as a parting gift. Jenna knew the contents of Vaughn's Will were not to benefit her, for they had split up years before, but to help fund their two boys as they went on to grow up without a father to guide them.

There was a faint shuffle in the corridor, beyond the front door, that caught Jenna's attention. That bastard. The pain washed away from Jenna as she antipated the door creaking open and Vaughn walking in, unable to suppress a smile as he had pulled off the greatest illusion of his career. The Las Vegas papers had featured the magician's end as a front page story, only Vaughn would try to boost his popularity by coming back from the dead after putting her through two days of hell.

But as Jenna stood there waiting she realised the door wasn't moving. She strided towards it and lurched it open, her eyes darting along the length of the empty corridor to confirm that her mind had been playing tricks rather than her magician husband. That stupid man. Why did he always have to push the limits, always take risks to entertain, how could he have been so careless, why hadn't he checked. She slammed the door behind her again and marched over to the sideboard, picking up the first picture of Vaughn that came to hand and hurling it against the wall, the glass smashing and the frame bending to liberate the photograph within, which spiralled to the floor.

The picture landed face up and at an angle as if the subjects were looking directly at her. It was an old picture, showing Vaughn with the boys, their smiles captured forever. What were they going to do without him? How could they ever smile again without a father? Why hadn't she tried to patch things up, persuaded him to give up the stages shows and take responsibility as a parent. She would give anything to have him see their boys get past their teenage years into adulthood, to see them become adults. Why can't she take it all back, all the arguments, all the pain. If she had just been more understanding this may never have happened.

But it had happened, and Jenna felt the tears begin to again trickle down her face as she looked at the photograph, her body frozen in place as her mind concentrated in keeping itself from shattering into pieces.

Jenna heard someone in the corridor.

'Keep it together girl,' she thought to herself as she persuaded herself it was again a figment of her imagination. 'Your husband isn't coming back, he's gone. It's over for him.'

There was a knock at the door that made Jenna jump. Several seconds passed before Jenna moved towards it, her hands trembling as she opened it.

"Hello Ma'am, I'm looking for Vaughn Donovan," said a young man who was wearing a courier's uniform.

"I'm his wi-wife," Jenna stammered as the courier noticed her distress.

"I, erm, just need a signature, then I can, erm, go. You just need to sign, wi-with your signature, on the paper here." the courier explained as he held out a small package and a clipboard.

Jenna took the clipboard and signed in the box, her handwritting was shaky that it looked nothing like it should. The courier took it back, handed over the package and left quickly. Jenna took the package inside, sat on the couch and opened it.

It was a pile of documents from some company. Jenna wiped her eyes and started to read:

'Thank you for choosing to invest in us, and give yourself a second chance of life in the future. The enclosed documentation explains...'

'Oh Vaughn', Jenna thought, 'What have you got yourself into this time?'
: Re: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur April 12, 2013, 09:28:13 PM
Vaughn knew he was on his last drink, and that had only been obtained by trading it with the barman. The exchange was one whisky for a demonstration of a little slight of hand trick that the young man could use to try and impress the ladies. He sipped a bit a savoured the taste, in his pocket he had barely enough to get a taxi ride back to Schmidt's, back to his little car and his chance to escape this madness.

What a difference a day makes, yesterday they were contacting the big boss, Senator Anders himself, and saving his political career. They had spent the night at Schmidt's old shop, a safe haven with a, as it turned out, really umcomfortable floor. Then they had woken and gone to their meeting with Senator Anders, except the man himself had never shown up. Instead they had almost met their deaths, again.

It had been a clever ruse of Ed's, a performance that would have easily fooled any of Vaughn's old crowds back in Vegas. Who needs an actual gun to threaten Senator Anders with when you have a table to hide the hands and a performance so good that even Vaughn was convinced Winchester had managed to smuggle a weapon in. The only thing missing was the real Senator Anders, but why send a double? Why try to have the group killed.

Of course, their executioners and underestimated the team of Revivals. They had been led onto the open rooftop of the conference centre, and Vaughn had caught some of the additional security that Peterson had assigned getting a nod from Tom before they gunfight started. Vaughn hadn't been sure what happened next, shots were fired, there was a robotic wail from Flux. After that their van had somehow ended up on the roof, the was some kind of army flying transport and Aronn was piloting them all to safety.

They had survived, set up a meeting with Peterson, which could be another trap. However, based on his timely intervention in the meeting room where he assigned the extra security, it may actually be their only way out of this.

Still, the person they had been working for, Senator Anders, had tried to kill them, and they didn't even know why. Body doubles, an attack on the Transcients, it just didn't add up. All Vaughn knew was that he was out of a job, he had very little except the clothes on his back and people wtih a great deal of power still wanted him dead.

Still, he had his little car. He could get a taxi back, stock up on some survival gear from Schmidt's and just hit the road, get as far away from this city as possible and just keep driving. He knew enough slight of hand to not go hungry, all he would need is to somehow get petrol money. He would have to leave the others behind, of course, as there would be no space in Vaughn's little ride. Then again, he had been shot at and almost killed so many times since meeting them that perhaps that was a good thing.

Vaughn felt a little sad at the thought, and a little guilty, as he watched the ice cubes in his glass slowly melt away. One of them, resting on the top of two others, reached a size where it could finally drop into the gap by pushing the other two aside, a gentle clink sounding its victory. As it did so, the pieces suddenly fitted into place in Vaughn's mind.

The Republicans.

It had been their Anders double, they had sabotaged the meeting, they had been pulling strings all along. It all made perfect sense. They create a double of Anders, get it to do naughty things to Transcient girls and then reveal it to the world, reinforcing the publics perception of politicians, ruining the democratic campaign and securing electoral victory. They only problem is, Vaughn and his little band of Revivals knew of their involvement, they could prove it to be a hoax and the whole plan could backfire and make the Republicans look bad. Thats why they had to be eliminated.

Vaughn looked at his watch. Damn, the meeting with Peterson had already started. He would have to let the others know before they made any rash decisions. He stood himself up, poured the remaining diluted whisky down his throat, small cubes of ice and all then set the glass on the bar. The barman was paying attention by this point, ready to bid farewell to his customer once Vaughn had got his jacket on. Vaughn looked at him,

"Thanks for the drinks, but now I need to go on a mission to save the next President of the United States." he announced, before swiftly turning to walk away. He only knocked into a couple of chairs on the way out, along with almost crashing into a blonde woman, before getting the doorway and taking two attempts to grab hold of the door. He pushed, it didn't move. He pushed again, it didn't move. Finally he tried pulling and would have fallen to the floor had he not been holding tightly onto the barred handles.

Vaughn then stumbled in the direction on the beach, towards the silhouette of a large inanimate robot.

: Re: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur April 28, 2013, 08:58:07 PM
Angel's 8, once the home of a community, now an empty shell riddled with bullet holes. Vaughn looked around at the building that had once been headquarter's for Fred Christ's Transcient movement. He had seen some film footage of an interview with Christ in this very room, it had been a lot tidier then, a lot more lived in, now it was covered in a dust that made it look like it had been abandoned for years. But you only had to look at the walls to see where the plaster had been stripped away by gunfire to realise that this was an illusion. Forty-eight hours ago this had been a place where people lived and worked, now it was completely empty except for the five of them.

But the chance that the lingering spirits of anyone who had met their end here during the siege resting in peace was remote, as every scrap of evidence led to arguments, of wild and out-of-control theories that only existed in imaginations. They were a team member down but the volume level of the group seemed as loud as ever.Vaughn just wanted scream for quiet but he knew it wouldn't help any. Instead he focused on the debris, the bullet holes, the empty shell casings and the depleted smoke canisters, and tried to piece together the story of the Transcient last stand.

Except it wasn't a last stand, it was a fighting retreat, and Vaughn followed it to a back entrance, a doorway leading downwards into the dark. He turned and informed the other members of the group, and a new round of arguments and wild speculation began. Vaughn wanted answers, not guesswork, and he grabbed a torch and started to head down the dark tunnel. The light behind him faded fast, not from Vaughn's pace but from the bulk that was Tom Rackham following on behind. Another torch sprang into life and it was the only sign that the Marine was there as he moved stealthy along beside Vaughn. The magician was glad the ex-Marine was here, for the team never seemed to be too far away from danger. It was just a pity they didn't have anyone else with any military experience to back them up.

Then the arguments followed, echoing along the dark tunnel from behind. What was left of the team had clearly decided to follow, obliterating any chance of a stealthy approach as they advanced further into the darkness. If anything was down here, it would certainly know they were coming.
: Re: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur May 06, 2013, 08:57:46 PM
Vaughn felt the air press against his face as he sprinted to the next building, and the next and the next. He turned to look back around and found himself amazed at the distance he had covered, how far he was now away from Atari who was struggling to keep up behind. His breaths were measured, had it not been for his slower teammate Vaughn felt he could easily cover the distance several times over without breaking a sweat.

Vaughn ran the fingers down his face, the cheeks felt as smooth as if they belonged to a child. Perhaps it did. Atari had used the scanner thing and told Vaughn his age was measured in months, not years. He had been too busy looking at this strange futuristic world, too busy watching what everyone else was doing and trying to avoid the consequences. But the fact was, it was Vaughn himself that was one of the strangest things, in this body he was young again, limited only by a mind used to a slower pace of life. He really should push himself, see exactly what he was capable off, but that was for another time.

As he looked again down the alleyway to where Atari had almost caught up, Vaughn brought his focus back to the present, back to the matter at hand. He could still hear the Police vehicle circling overhead, but he couldn't see it, he don't know if they had succeeded in drawing attention away from the rest of the group.

"Any ideas?", Vaughn asked an exhausted looking Atari.
: Re: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur May 12, 2013, 07:35:59 PM
TV series always seem to have that 5 minute section at the end of the very last episode that tries to cram in an ending for each of the main characters. However, a TV series always has the good guys winning and so, when all our characters make the wrong decisions and likely end up dead in the last couple of sessions, this 'happy' ending will be never happen. Instead consider this an alternate ending...

Three years later

Samuel 'Leo' Taylor, Chief Technology Advisor to the President of the United States of America was scanning the oval office, its classically styled décor being probed by a spectrum of invisible waves and beams, the resulting feedback being translated into a selection of audible beeps. After a few seconds of scanning the beeps stopped as the device was deactivated.

“We're all clear,” Leo said as collapsed the device down, returned it to his pocket and took an empty seat in front of the large but sparsely decorated Presidential desk.

Despite the assurance, there was still a slightly nervous pause before anyone else in the group spoke. This conversation was for their ears only and even this daily ritual was not enough to completely put the men in the room at ease. It was Vaughn Donovan, the only Deputy Chief of Staff present, who spoke first.

“I have spoken to General Walker on the Command Station, he reports that Rackham and his team have landed in the Sudan and should be in position to begin the operation in the next thirty minutes.”

“Do we believe there will be any fallout from the operation that the team won't be able to handle?” asked the Chief of Staff.

“I don't believe so, the area is sparsely populated, the target has limited resources and Tom knows exactly what he is doing.” Vaughn replied.

“And he hasn't been able to communicate the information he has obtained with anyone else?” the Chief if Staff asked, looking at Leo.

“We have been monitoring his communications for days now, and in truth we are not even sure how much information he did gain. He knows he has accessed something he shouldn't have, and is now on the run from the authorities, but whether he did actually learn anything about the President is uncertain.” the technology chief replied.

“Still, it's better to play it safe and neutralise the threat. Walker's just waiting on the green light.” Vaughn added.

“Fair enough,” the Chief of Staff replied, “And the press doesn't have anything on this do they Ed?” he asked the only other aide in the room, who up until now had been uncharacteristically quiet.

“Hi, I'm Ed Winchester,” the Press Secretary replied. There was a chuckle from all four of the presidential aides before Ed continued. “I haven't heard anything from the press to suggest anyone has received any information, we should be in the clear. Still, I'll keep my eyes and ears open.” he finished with a grin, tapping the side of head with his finger to remind everyone of the cybernetically enhanced senses.

Vaughn felt a little guilt build up inside himself, knowing that behind the smile Ed must still be a little hurt. It was almost a year since the party, where Ed had donned an old pair of aviator glasses and done an impression of General Walker. That action that had endeared him to one of the journalists from KWNC news, which had then spiralled into a romance. Unfortunately, that closeness had also allow Ed to find out about one of the journalist's sources, who had some inside information on the President.

It had been Vaughn that had made the final decision, and persuaded Ed to invite the journalist to his hunting lodge. It was winter, the roads were icy, accidents do happen, at least according to the official report. It had been hard, but it was the price they all had to pay, the price of maintaining the greatest illusion in the history of the world.

“Ok then, tell General Walker we are ok to proceed,” the Chief of Staff decided, breaking Vaughn from his quiet reflection.

“In that case we can move on. I have your briefing for today's public engagements Mr President,” Vaughn said, as the four aides shifted their attention to the man sat behind the desk.

To be continued...
: Re: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur May 16, 2013, 06:13:15 PM
Here is part two, continuing exactly where we left off in the last post. From the way the last session went, I think it is unlikely that anything like this will ever actually happen in our game as it draws to a close, but I don't our GM minds too much the the write-ups diverge a bit from the truth of the game  ;)

Hugo DeBerg, star of Star Wars: Episode 22 through 24, The Fast and the Furious 17 and the remake of the remake of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang sat in the Oval Office, heart of the Whitehouse, behind the desk of the most powerful man on Earth. No-one would recognise him now, of course, because he looked nothing like his previous self. Towards the end of his career in the 2050's, as the work started to dry up, he had signed up for Cryogenic Freezing. His second career hadn't quite gone as expected, and whenever he looked in the mirror he saw another man, he was no longer Hugo DeBerg, he was now President Anders.

His aides, the conspirators that had put him into place were running through the days public engagements, as they did every day. He paid less and less attention each week, for despite his position, they were the ones that made all the policies, the ones that solved all the problems and told him exactly what to do.

The Chief of Staff, Mr Peterson, dismissed Winchester and the other one, gadget guy or whatever his name was as they concluded the meeting, leaving just Vaughn and Peterson himself. They were the two faces he was most familiar with, the two faces he had woken up to three years ago.
He vaguely remembered the event, a hiss as fluid drained from a tank and his damp naked body came crashing down onto a cold hard tiled floor. As he coughed a puked as his lungs began to work for the first time in years he saw two pairs of shoes, connected to two suited individuals that we both discussing something between themselves.

“Just think about it Vaughn, we are making history, possibly the first Revival President of the United States.” one of the voices had said.

“Except no-one will ever know,” the other said. The owner of that voice then crouched down, looking directly into Hugo's eyes.

“You were an actor, yes?” the crouched figure asked.

“Yu, yuu,” coughed Hugo before weakly nodding his head to confirm.

“Good, because we are about to offer you the role of a lifetime.”

What Hugo hadn't realised at the time was that they had already changed his body to match that of a US Senator by the name of Anders. As he thought back, he wondered if they had revived any other actors who had refused to take part in their conspiracy.

“Winn should have arrived, its almost time for the meeting, I will just check with the secretary” Vaughn said, looking at his watch, the words of the Deputy Chief of Staff bring Hugo back to the present.

“Very good,” responded Peterson, “Mr. President”, he continued, “Winn Andrews is the leader of the Transcient Movement, she will be discussing how she believes the government can help with the Angel's 8 Reconstruction Project.”

Hugo, or President Anders as he was now known, simply nodded. He knew about the project, it was one of the hundreds of briefings he had been given to read over the last couple of years. If there was one thing he could never be accused of was not learning his lines.

Vaughn returned with the Transcient woman, his manner was slightly flirtatious and the pair clearly knew each other well. He introduced her to Hugo, who rose to shake her hand, then they all sat down ready to begin.

Before anyone could say anything further there was a chime that interrupted the meeting, followed by the secretary's voice.

“General Walker is calling, he said it was urgent,” the voice said.

“Excuse me, we will be back momentarily,” Peterson said, and he motioned for Vaughn to join him in leaving the room and discuss the military matters at hand.

The door closed, leaving the President alone with the Transcient leader. He flashed her a reassuring smile while he took in her alien inspired features. Despite the strangeness there was something about her that excited him and he couldn't help but draw an invisible line with his eyes, starting at her ankles and ending where her thighs met the hem of her skirt.

Of course, there was no way he could take advantage of such feelings, the President was of course a married man and he had grown quite fond of his wife in the time he had got to know her.

But then, who would know? This was one of the most secure rooms in the world, and if she resisted, well he knew some people that were very good at covering things up. President Anders looked into the woman's enlarged dark eyes and his lips curled into a smile.
: Re: Vaughn Donovan
: Divvur June 01, 2013, 09:10:40 PM
And, as the game went no where near my alternate ending, simply because I misunderstood a piece of information given with two game sessions to go, here is the actual ending for Vaughn Donovan. Slightly less exciting than being in the centre of power but also much more realistic, if such a thing is possible in this strange world we found ourselves in. Thanks again Shorty for the great game, Vaughn was an interesting character but I don't think he will ever be revisited, so here is his final performance...

Ten years later

It was a Friday evening and the 'New World' restaurant was packed. That would normally be a good thing, but with his wife away, Restaurant owner Vaughn Donovan was struggling to organise the staff and make sure customers were served in a timely manner. Vaughn had to admit, it was always like this when he was left to run things, he certainly didn't have his wife's ability to calmly prioritise and manage the staff. However, she was away at some Transient event and Vaughn was the one rushing to greet some new customers that had just entered through the door, a slightly irritated looking gentleman and his very well presented wife or girlfriend that had clearly spent longer making herself look presentable than his partner would have preferred. Still, they had managed to arrive in time for their seating slot and had not missed the performance. Vaughn ushered them to the reserved table and indicated to one of the waiters to come over and take an order for drinks.

Vaughn took a moment to relax himself, pouring himself a glass of water behind the bar as he reflected on how less hectic his life had been before they had decided to open the Restaurant. In a way it had been almost boring, endless policy discussions, reconstruction group meetings and party strategy conferences for the Democratic party. Vaughn had taken a much safer role after the events with Senator Anders. His main focus had been helping the democratic party reach out to the Revival's and working on policies to better integrate them into society. He had also tried to work with the Transients and help guide Democratic policy in that area, but with only limited success. Indeed, it had been frustrating work and after the whole Callahan situation Vaughn had decided to leave direct involvement in politics behind, instead working to build up the restaurant relatively near the Senate that had become quite popular with politicians and political aides.

Vaughn made his way to the stage area to check the girls had got everything ready. Providing a magic show had not been an original part of the restaurant plan, but slowly over time it had become a big part of the establishment's identity as Vaughn provided a handful of tricks and illusions between meal courses. He secretly suspected it had been suggested simply to get him away from interfering in the kitchen, but Vaughn did enjoy bringing his old skills into use, and it provided a talking point for the guests.

Of course, Vaughn knew that his party tricks weren't the real draw of the place, nor was the freshly cooked Transient/Human fusion cooking. Vaughn had got to know a few people in the corridors of power over the last decade, and they loved their secret meetings. It just so happened that this very room had once been utilised as the demonstration showroom of Lion Technologies for the low-frequency EMP field, an experimental device that disabled electronic equipment without damaging it while in the field's area of effect. Clever stuff that Vaughn didn't understand in the slightest, but it made it a lot more difficult to record conversations and therefore made it one of the safest public places for politicians and their aides to enjoy a couple of drinks and a meal. It also required all the food to be cooked using the more simple devices that Vaughn was familiar with, no matter processors to do all the work, which in turn had a huge affect on profits, but Vaughn didn't mind that. It was his traditional little corner of the future, one where he could display his skills to a population that had long forgotten the art and wonder of a magician's tricks.

The upcoming illusion was actually one of Vaughn's more dangerous tricks, and one he wouldn't have even attempted in his previous life. He had two assistants on stage setting it up, one human and one transient. Vaughn had always insisted on the mix. He liked to think to himself that his little restaurant, with half the staff being transients and the other half revivals, had done more for those minority's rights than Fred Christ or the revival hostels had ever managed. Individuals from both groups now worked in a place frequented by those making policy and decisions, and he hoped that the exposure to these groups would help them get more favourable treatment in the future.

By now the girls had finished setting everything up, a large tank of water sat on the stage, with a curtain ready to be lowered to cover Vaughn's daring escape. On the floor next to it was the shackled lid of the tank, two holes ready to contain the magician's feet as he was plunged head first into the water, his hands were to be bound by a pair of metal handcuffs.

Vaughn put his valuables on the table off to the side of the stage, it was after all a tank of water and he was going to get wet, that part was no illusion. As he did so his phone rang, the number on the screen belonged to Ed Winchester, fellow revival and now star media reporter. The two revivals didn't speak to each other any more except professionally, and when Winchester called it was usually looking for information on a story that Vaughn may know something about. Whatever it was, it could wait, as the audience expected the magician to appear on stage.

The two assistants shackled Vaughn up and the hoist above started to raise him up. Vaughn calmed himself, for he knew that the blood was currently rushing downwards, straight to his head. He smiled at one of the assistants, and could tell she was a little nervous as she caught his glance. She wasn't one of his usual assistants, but one of the newer waitresses he had trained up earlier in the week to cover. Still, it was only natural for her to be a little nervous, one mistake could easily put Vaughn's life in danger.

But there was nothing to worry about, Vaughn had checked all the equipment earlier in the day and had practiced the illusion several times earlier in the week. He took a look at the audience seconds before his handcuffed hands led the way into the full tank of water, submerging him.

There was a face he recognised, someone on a table close to the stage, but he couldn't quite place it. They had been smiling in an almost disconcerting manner. The assistants padlocked the tank of water above him and started to lower the curtain to cover his underwater escape. The face, it was someone he knew from a few years ago, he was certain. The curtain reached the floor and Vaughn tugged the handcuffs, they were supposed to come apart straight away but they seemed to be stuck. As he again pulled to try and separate the cuff realisation hit him. The face, previously a Senator, but looked older now, he had been known to Vaughn as Senator Anders.

Vaughn knew he was running out of time as air slowly bubbled from his mouth, but he was confident he could escape, despite the probability of sabotage being almost certain now in his mind. Ten years ago, Senator Anders had made one mistake, underestimating Vaughn and his colleagues. He was about to do the same again, Vaughn thought, as he picked the lock on the handcuffs with his tie pin...