Previous Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/26088022/Archive:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Joker%20QuestEquipment FAQ:http://pastebin.com/vMT4xixD(Minor updates - Removal of the Hollow Sun items and inclusion of the Sinistral's entry.)Player List:http://pastebin.com/rRSM6LgWTwitter: https://twitter.com/JokerQuestOPRecap: You are ANON, the RED JOKER. In our last instalment, you ventured into THE BASTION for your meeting with ARGENT PROMINENCE.
>>26122431STAGE: THE BASTIONYou've learnt, through bitter experience, that the Red World is a catalogue of horrors. You've seen acid waves lap against shores of gritty black sand: Heard the dry hissing of Corrector flocks stirring a bloody-hued sky...-But for surreality, today probably takes the cake.The great cylinder of Argent Prominence's chambers is lit by the hazy glow of cohered datastreams, strands of raw information coiling and twisting through the air in silent motion. The hexagonal containment cells - Tended to by a hovering army of drones, each one confining a seething, lobed sphere of furious last - cast an illumination of their own, crackling and fitful. Argent Prominence is reading, engrossed. The worn journal is open on the black slab of the tabletop, the edges angular and hard-cut: His silver hands slowly turning the pages, page after page after page of indecipharable code. >>26090489> Did you ever meet the Chalice Queen? Could you tell me about her? I think she may be connected to the unarmored players, which by the way do exist. "-I only saw her once, at the very end." His voice is a genial rumble, cultured and a little distant. "She was...a very *striking* indiviual. Not that one could be sure, beneath the white armour - But the Red Joker addressed her by her designation, not her title."'Hellebore.'"> Do you know anything about purple stones that blur the line between the Red World and the normal one?The violet fragment gleams, as you take your hand away: It continues to hover, suspended, as Argent Prominence's red-eyed gaze tracks the floating crystal - Little tics of patient lightning crackling across the surface. "Hmmmm." He sounds curious, but oddly unsurprised - Examining it from all angles, as it begins to rotate on its own axis. "-Fascinating. A crystalline lattice, made to contain an Essence charge; The concept is a simple one, but the *energies* - It's unlike anything I've seen before." (Continued)
>>26122740Named after a poisonous flower, how appropriate.
>see Killer Queen>think it's a JJBA thread>more Joker QuestClearly I am lacking a JJBA Quest here.
>>26122740>"'Hellebore.'"I literally choked on my drink. Goddamn OP you don't play softball. Also, good afternoon.>>26122863We've had two or three. Never get far. The last one I remember had us playing a Hamon user who channeled the Ripple through rubber bands. It was actually pretty awesome.
He holds out a hand, and silver filaments coil upward from his palm - Twisting and braiding themselves around the hovering shard, the violet glow coming fitfully, flickering against the spontaneous prison. The air takes on a glassy sheen, as violet sparks arch against the confines of the enclosure - The shard continuing its slow rotation."You were right to bring this to me," Argent Prominence assures you, at length. "-Rest assured: I shall study this with all the caution it deserves."A gesture - "One thing: Observe the way the stone has been cut. The process can't have been a wholly naturally one - Though I hesitate to use the term. My belief is that this...shard...has been refined, somehow - How and why, I can't begin to guess."It settles to the pitch-black surface, like the world's most curious paperweight. "The charge, however, is gradually dissipating. I'll need more fragments to be sure."> "It belonged to someone who was taken by the Smilers. I'm afraid I don't know where they got it, but I think it could explain a lot about those who follow the Black Cardinal's path today.He makes a sound: A low grunt of affirmation."-Perhaps. I've been trying to unpick his cipher for *years* - But now, I have an original to work from. Well done, young man."Argent closes the book, in an amusingly fussy gesture - sliding it to the side, with delicate care. There's something of an approving schoolteacher in his manner. "-I have a favor to ask.""I'd like you to investigate the particulars of the 'distortion'...And, if at all possible, re-establish contact with the recon team. However..."His sculpted silver face doesn't move. It's impassive, the lips a thin line. But you can tell that he's smiling. Not happy, not truly, but certainly pleased - And perhaps a little amused."...I've found that you work best as a free agent. This discussion has been an enlightening one: I encourage you to proceed in the manner you'd prefer."(Continued)
>>26122960Argent Prominence raises a silver finger. "-But. Be careful, Joker. You're a most agreeable young man: I shudder to think what your replacement, at this late juncture, might be like.""Now...Was there anything else?"[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>26122969"I was wondering. Why did you hire Kazuma? Is there something special about him?"
>>26122969"I'm not going anywhere soon - The stakes are too high and the stage is already set. Dying now would be insulting to my audience."
>>26122960Wow, he's surprisingly amendable for an old guy. He has this whole 'grandfatherly/favorite uncle' thing about him.
>>26122969"I'm not planning on being replaced. Pulling off a color scheme like this, it's not as easy as it looks to keep it from looking garish and tacky, if I let someone else do my job they just won't have the right sense of flair. The name Hellebore, that unnerves me. I didn't think the Chalice Queen was supposed to still be around after the last war. Though the Hellebore I saw didn't wear white armor so it may not be the same person. Another mystery on my plate."
>>26123065Do not let that fool you into trusting him. He's not our friend, for now he's our ally. He's also one of the few people smart enough to try chatting with us instead of trying to kill us. We both benefit from working together, but do not let the fact that he's charming lower your guard, he's got his own plans, schemes, and goals. If we stand between him and those I get the feeling that he'll turn on us in a heartbeat.
>>26122960"Hah. I'm not going to let this armour fall into the hands of somebody who doesn't have a sense of style."
>>26122969"How much can a Player's armor be altered? I don't mean through Relics or level augmentation, I mean actually changed. Because when I saw Hellebore earlier this week her armor was black, except for her white veil. Oh, and she was controlling the second of the Erinyes, Megaera.""You started to say something about the unarmored Players? Even if it's rumor or speculation, it's more than I have to go on. I know there's at least two of them, and the group is called the Hyades.""Lastly, while I know we'll never agree about the Thief, I can't stop meeting him. He's a friend, and right now he's alone and searching for the pieces of a weapon that will turn him into a monster or heal his soul. What bulwarks does his mind have against that evil weapon he desires? He has no allies, no faction, no connections to the real world anymore. All he has is the legacy of Phantom Edge. I have to be there when he completes the sword as an alternative to the sword. And if I'm wrong I'll be there to put a stop to him. I will not allow a second Phantom Edge to survive to wreck havoc."Wall of text attacks. Critical hit! Watashiwa gets another drink.
>>26123053"-And those who care for you, of course." Argent Prominence says, mildly. You can't be sure, but - From his tone - he may be referring to Natsumi.>>26123172>>26123132"I must admit: You wear the armour well." There's a contemplative note to his voice: "Almost as if...But never mind."> I didn't think the Chalice Queen was supposed to still be around after the last war.Those unblinking ruby eyes settle on you, for a long moment. Then, apparently moved to speak, Argent Prominence exhales, slowly - A curious sound, through the unmoving mask of his helmet. >>26123281"Nature, I've found, abhors waste." It's an odd statement to make, but he goes on: "-I have long wondered: *Why* does the Red Joker exist? An armour that only changes hands upon the death of the host...What makes it so special?""Perhaps-" Another hesitation. "...Perhaps your armour is not the *sole* constant. Perhaps there are others - I've been uncertain, but all this talk of late...It makes me wonder."The stone slab of his chair sinks smoothly into the black-tiled floor, as Argent Prominence. "The concept of recursion - It makes me uneasy. Sometimes I feel that our choices are not entirely our own; That we might be guided, *herded* towards..."He goes quiet."-Forgive my ramblings. I'm afraid I'm in a melancholic mood.""Seeing you here, like this - It's oddly reassuring. To know how *different* you are, from 'him'...You walk a very different path, I believe." That not-quite-smile again. "Like me, I suppose. I am what I have made of myself."> "I will not allow a second Phantom Edge to survive to wreck havoc.""When the time comes-"A pause. Argent Prominence's hand rests lightly against the onyx tabletop. "...I ask only that you act according to your conscience. Do what you *know* is right, Joker - And never doubt yourself."He doesn't say 'Too much is riding on you', but the unsaid words hang in the air, like a silent weight.(Continued)
>>26123281Please Wata, stop outlinig all our plans to everyone who ask. There's a difference between being open and being stupid. AP xoesn't need to know about Hellebore or that we are friends, the latter especially.
>>26123484He seems to be considering the rest: After all, it's a lot to take in. >>26122995"Kazuya? Your friend?" Argent Prominence sounds honestly surprised, for a moment - "Nothing that extraordinary, I'm afraid," he answers, apparently astonished by the non-sequiter. "-He's keen, quick to learn, and unfailingly enthuastic. In other words, a model employee.""But no; He's a bright young man, but not - I fear - a Player. In fact-"The world blurs at the edges, and Argent Prominence stops speaking. There's a sound - Like a low, subliminal hum, as the Red World shivers...-And then the red light flashes and vanishes, and you *slam* back into your body with a sudden lurch; It's a cold shock, like being doused in ice-water, one that revebrates through your form, making your head ache with a sudden, piercing pain.You're in- ...You're in Mr. Ebara's office. It's tastefully decorated; Minimalistic, but not Spartan. Tinted glass windows allow him a good view of the city below, though the blinds have been drawn - Everything neat and monochrome, perfectly in order, a discreet door set in the far wall; Unmarked, and closed. His desk is the only decorative piece; A polished, voidlike swathe of dark-tinted marble, filled with icy impurities and glimmering nebulae of colored dyes; Files stacked neatly in "IN" and "OUT" folders, Hecate's battered journal at his side...The man himself - His hair more grey than silver - is slumped forward, breathing hard, in distress. The piercing gleam of Mr. Ebara's eyes is momentarily hazy, confusion flitting over the sharp lines of his face- The buzzing comes again. (Continued)
(My apologies: >>26123484 should be replaced by >>26123281)>>26123708"Package for you, Sir." Even distorted through the speakers, Kazuya's voice is unmistakeable."-I just need you to sign for this...?"Mr. Ebara shoots you a swift, silent glance - His head canted ever-so-slightly to the side, an eyebrow lifted questioningly.[ ] What's he doing here?[ ] "What was *that*?"[ ] Find somewhere to hide.[ ] "Tell him to come back later."[ ] It's not a problem. Let him in.[ ] Free.YOU HAVE CONTROL
>>26123771"Feel free to let him in, I can make up some excuse for him later if need be. Any idea what that was? I'm guessing it might be because of whatever is in that package."
>>26123771> [X] Find somewhere to hide.Better lie low for now. It'd be awkward if he has to explain why a CEO is interviewing a HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT.
>>26123771>[ ]Free"I ran into him earlier when I was in the cafeteria, waiting for our meeting, but he had a package with him. I thought he was delivering it somewhere else, but maybe he was told to bring it to you?"
>>26123484Do you know why people panic? They lack information and jump to conclusions. My least favorite scenes in anything are the parts where things go wrong for people who they do exactly the wrong thing because they lack information. If we get the right information out to people we nominally trust, we can keep our allies from getting killed--or worse, killing each other.>>26123771"Speak of the devil and he appears. Unless it's company policy for you to interview new hires my excuse for being here won't stand up. Probably best if I disappear. Wait, Mr. Fumito, are you alright?"And wait, Argent is Akinari Kashihara?! [screaming begins]Also, why was that directed at me?>>26123835Ehhh... we could say that he saw our name on the list of interviewees by chance, and decided to ask us some questions about Kaz.
>>26123771>[ ] It's not a problem. Let him in.>[ ] Free."I ran into him in the cafe earlier and told him I was here for a job interview; if that cover's fine with you. Or would it be too suspicious for you to be handling that kind of thing yourself? I kind of figure maybe it's a little suspect for a job interview to go right to the big boss, but even still, from what I know about you it seems like doing quality control on the potential hires is the kind of thing you'd be likely to want yourself involved in regardless of your position."
>>26123835Seconding this, actually. It makes for less uncomfortable questions.
>>26123973(Gentlemen: A slight majority seems to favour hiding. I'll give it a few more minutes before I type up the next post.)
>>26124020agreeing with hide
Rolled 46>>26124020We hide now
>>26123847>>26123896"Yes, almost certainly. It is, however, a remarkable coincidence.">>26123822> "Any idea what that was? I'm guessing it might be because of whatever is in that package.""Very little. But - That was most distressing."He looks slightly pale, too - Wincing, slightly, as he shifts in his seat. You note the polished wood of the cane locked in a convenient brace at the desk. >>26123835>>26123973>>26124038>>26123868>>26124119> "Probably best if I disappear. Wait, Mr. Fumito, are you alright?"He waves your concern away. "Just a fleeting spasm. But yes." There's a faint click, as he depresses a button - The discreet door at the side of the office swinging open. You can see rows of paper folders and stacked files within - A fluroscent light beaming to life. "-That should be sufficiently concealing, I believe."A little smile grazes Mr. Ebara's thin lips, as if obscurely amused by the entire matter. It takes you four long strides to clear the distance, the door ghosting shut behind you; Moments before a dull *buzz*, then the *clunk* of Kazuya being buzzed in. There's a distinctive crinkle of paper, the tap of footsteps - Then the smothered blur of conversation.The small room you're in - 'Cabinet' seems inappropriate, and 'chamber' far too large - is a climate-controlled space; Most likely Mr. Fumito's personal files. They're neatly sorted according to date and color - Red, yellow, blue - with a paper tag at each side. [ ] Listen in.[ ] Check the red files.[ ] Check the yellow files.[ ] Check the blue files.[ ] Wait.[ ] Free.YOU HAVE CONTROL
>>26124185Listen inLet's not go rummaging through files. If we want to know, we can just ask. We gave him a lot of info, he should be willing to return the favour.
>>26124185>[ ] Free.Just check out the tags on each folder.Just snooping through everything for the sake of doing so is kind of a dick move, but if we see a folder labeled with something we think could be important, we can either make the executive decision to take the risk and check it out it if it's a sensitive subject, or mention to him that we couldn't help but notice a label on a file that looked like it could be something important to the task at hand, and ask if we could take a look.
>>26124185Oh damn, papers or conversation. The conversation's probably going to be boring, and what we're really interested in is whatever's inside the package, which we have a chance of asking him about once Kazuya's left. Files it is.Hmm... red, yellow or blue? Red is our lucky color, but blue is da luckiest. Which makes yellow interesting because there's nothing to recommend it.Fuck it, red.>>26124278Oh, this is a good idea.
>>26124278agreeing with checking tags
>>26124185[X] Free.Try and shift Redwards, see if the whatever it was is still there or if there's something new in the Red.
>>26124278>>26124321You look around. You don't have much time, but it's enough to take the files in at a glance. Unfortunately, the tags are hardly revealing.Red: Each one is tagged with a company name. Quite probably financial reports for the sector.Yellow: Each one is tagged with, well, an indiviual name. Personnel records?Blue: A series of...property names? Grand Central Park, Far East Station...Some of them must be out of date, because the names are old ones - Old enough to have been destroyed, or submerged, or otherwise ruined six years ago.>>26124239"...signature here."That must be Kazuya; He sounds slightly short of breath, but otherwise cheerful. "-hank you, my boy." You make out the faint scritch-scritch of a pen, as Mr. Ebara - Apparently - signs for the package. Paper crinkles and rips, followed by a low thump as something heavy settles on his desk. "...you all right, Sir?"There's a note of frank concern in Kazuya's voice, now."Never better. Is there a problem?""-nose is bleeding.""...overstrain myself. Thank you...arning.">>26124397You take a deep breath, and *try*-The pounding in your head intensifies. Your vision actually goes red, for a moment, but it feels more like a blood vessel than anything else. You taste copper, a slow, warm trickle running over your upper lip...When you pull your hand away, it comes away red. Your nose is bleeding, too.There's the low *hiss* of the office doors swinging shut - Then the *ding* of the elevator's arrival. A long moment passes, as the lift begins to descend once more...And then, silently, the room's door swings open."You can come out now, young man." Mr. Ebara's words are only half-directed at you; He's lifted a black book from the manila wrapper, turning it over in his hand. The title is instantly familiar:'The Myth Of The City'.His voice is slightly muffled - He has a tissue pressed against his nose, specks of blood soaking through. (Continued)
>>26124492"-I see my malady has afflicted you, too," he comments, dabbing delicately. "By the way: I appreciate your leaving my files unmolested." He smiles, just a little - Tolerant and amused at once. "I assure you, I prefer to work from memory."[ ] "I've seen that book before..."[ ] "Yeah, no kidding."[ ] "But...How did you know?"[ ] "Are you all right?"[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>26124498[X] "I've seen that book before..."
>>26124498[ ] "I've seen that book before..."[ ] "But...How did you know?"
>>26124498[X] "I've seen that book before..."[X] Free"Actually I've read it, but it didn't cause anything like this. So either this problem is unrelated to the book or that's... a first edition, an unedited copy?"
>>26124498"Your malady? So this isn't something you're doing to prevent transfers?"
(My apologies: My connection was disrupted. Carrying on...)
>>26125445Oh good, I thought you got banned.Again.
>>26124537>>26124541> [X] "I've seen that book before...""You have?" His eyebrows go up. "-Imagine that." Fumito sets the bound volume down, his fingers smoothening the leather cover. "I have reason to believe it was written by a Player - In fact, the author was rather prescient, in places. But...Most of it is rambling, I'm afraid.">>26124611> "Actually I've read it, but it didn't cause anything like this. So either this problem is unrelated to the book or that's... a first edition, an unedited copy?""Indeed." He sounds faintly embarassed at the admission, his smile ever-so-slightly self-conscious. "I confess that I found it fascinating - Enough to track down a first printing, which your friend has kindly delivered to me." "Purely for my own interest, of course; I've heard that a good third of the book was cut for 'brevity'."> [X] "But...How did you know?""The miracles of modern technology." >>26124632"Certainly not." He frowns - "I must admit...It took me entirely by surprise, too."He dabs at his nose again - The bleeding has stopped. There's a contemplative note to Argent Prominence's voice, now, as he crumples the tissue: "...Imagine that. Perhaps Kazuya *is* special, after all." Mr. Ebara's gaze settles in the direction of his office door. "-Or maybe it's just another coincidence. Either way...Keep an eye on him, will you? He's a bright young man, and I feel that he may go far someday."[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>26125445find your service provider, and slap their shit in. with a sledgehammer.
>>26125503small talk, and then ask him if he can give us more information on this search party job were about to go on. location, possible causes of dissapearance, etc
God damn, finally broke free of drinking with bros and playing Munchkin... saw the update on Twitter hours ago.>>26125503"Kazuya is Kazuya. Nothing special to 'em besides his knack for acting. Still.. I'll be sure to keep an eye out for any strange happenings into him if you insist that I do so."
>>26125503Ask him if any of his sources have mentioned "The Hyades". Kraken used the term, I'm pretty sure referring to the girls we saw during the cage match.
>>26125503"But I've transferred to the Red World with him right next to me before. That doesn't mean it couldn't be him, but it would have to be something new, or... ugh, I give up. I'll go check out the distortion, that's going to be much simpler. "Before I go, what was it you started to say about the unarmored Players?">>26125577Wish my bros were still around, I could stand to chainsaw a monster placed by one of my buddies as a half-elf/dwarf cleric.
>>26125682Hah. I've been trying to get our group together to finish the GMs Call of Cthulhu campaign for the past month now. Then we're probably going to go back to finishing up the Final Arc in the Shadowrun game I was running.Just wish we had more free-time. High School was the best years for gaming. Now we're slowly drifting apart after nearly a decade. Shit sucks.
>>26125577"I'll appreciate that. I would suggest a light touch, however; It may be, after all, nothing." He smiles, briefly.>>26125543>>26125682"There's very little more I can tell you, I'm afraid." Mr. Ebara's pen scritches against a piece of paper, briefly - It's the same location the Black Tri-Stars identified. The North-East corner of the city, in the once-flooded district; Part of the city went under entirely, streets and buildings folded together in a violent shambles - A place vertical as much as it is horizontal. "The Red lacks the modern conveniences we take for granted. Instantenous communication, for one - The hard limit for conversation is within line-of-sight." His brow furrows. "...My kingdom for a Relic handphone, and a service provider. But ah, well.">>26125666"'The Hyades'. I'm not familiar with the mythology, in all honesty - But...A sisterhood of nymphs? An unusual designation." > "Before I go, what was it you started to say about the unarmored Players?""Truth be told, I find such reports...Unlikely, at best."He continues sketching on his notepad, outlining a vaguely humanoid form - Stark and angular. "-As you're aware; Player armour is a protective shell that contains an individual's Essence. While the exact properties vary between Players, the concept is the same. It's an...exoskeleton, if you will."A flick of wrist makes thin lines extend from the form. "When the shell is breached, there's a rapid loss of cohesion. Imagine, if you would, water flowing from a shattered vase.""Now - What would be the purpose of an exterior as fragile and weak as...Well, flesh?"(Continued)
>>26125821There's an honest puzzlement in Mr. Ebara's voice. "The entire concept sounds self-defeating. If such Players exist, they would experience significant disadvantages - For one, how would they survive?""My belief is that their...pleasing...forms might be projections of some kind. Camouflage, perhaps, or illusions - To conceal an ugly truth. Or perhaps some kind of defensive field..."He sets his pen down. "-At present, however, this is but merely conjecture. Unless, of course, such a specimen agrees to being interviewed..."Mr. Ebara's voice trails off, as he taps his pen lightly against the table. "-But perhaps that might be best left for another day. I've kept you here long enough, young man - I'd prefer to avoid imposing upon you any further."That seems to be fairly definite as a dismissal.The question is - Where to, next? Time is slipping away faster than you'd expected - It's about mid-afternoon, now.[ ] Visit the Hospital.[ ] Contact the Black Tri-Stars.[ ] Visit the Papillon. [ ] Visit the Salvation Children's Home.[ ] Visit the North-East District.[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>26125916(A quick addition: If you wish to re-arm and re-equip yourself with Hellion weaponry from the Hollow Sun, select the weapons you'd prefer - And I'll take it into account.)
We going to drop off Spaghetti-san's sword? We should do that. It won't take more than a quick moment, honestly. Then on to the Joker Cave to re-arm. Same loadout, I guess. On phone so it's a pain to skim through the pastebin. Then, well.. I don't know beyond that. Shit. So much stuff we want to do, not enough time.
>>26125916Does he not know about Hecate, or what? Did Natsumi tell him about her? I mean, we were dating her for a while. He doesn't know about the Nihl Sphere either, so I assume not.
>>26125916We're going to the North-East district. If the team is alive they might not be for long, and if they're dead Mr. Fumito should know as soon as possible.For the next session I'm going to vote for the hospital, but this is a timed thing.>>26125938Hm. Did we give up the Phase Sword? If yes, then we grab a pair of Masers.
>>26125995>>26126013(My apologies: To clarify, at present, Argent Prominence is holding the Hellion Weaponry you were carrying.)
>>26126013Oh right. Yeah. Derp. The reconnaissance team actually skipped my mind. Need to get that done first THEN drop Spaghetti-sans sword off. Rearming with Hellion weapons won't take too long depending on how long a detour it is. If it's on the way, then yeah. Re-arm. If it's out of the way, then skip it for next trip.>>26126033I know that, but didn't we pick up a blade specifically for Spaghetti-san? Or did I completely misread the previous threads intentions? Or that might be my wishful thinking in the hopes of pulling him out of his funk.
>>26125916I suggest rearming with the same load. We never really got to try it out.I really want to visit Mio, but I think I might get shouted down.
>>26126062(Not that I recall, unfortunately: You selected the CRISIS ARM and the ARGUS SYSTEM from the Hollow Sun's unique artifacts. If you're referring to the APEX BLADE, you currently have insufficent allocated energy to access it.)
>>26126087Huh. That's disappointing. Oh well. Reconnaissance team it is.
>>26125995We didn't get the sword. We'll retrieve it after the Hollow Sun's had a chance to recharge.>>26126033I see. In that case, Double Masers and Graviton Cannon if you please.
>>26126087re-arm with the same load, off we go to this instability
We never did get that one Relic examined by the Sun... the one where we got off the twin Players by electrocuting one of them with the Scrander now that I think of it.
>>26126141>>26126066>>26125995The Hollow Sun, once more - Briefly, this time. Sometimes, you're uncertain if time flows at *all*, when you're not present: Your head aches, as you mag-clamp the great weight of the Graviton Cannon at your back - Your vision blurs, as the Ion Blaster and Phase Sword's mismatched forms follow.When the Red World relaxes it's grip, you find you have to sit down for a while. Swallow two aspirin, dry. Your nose is still bleeding, so you tilt your head back until it stops. *****************The North-East district. Of the disasters - *The* disaster - that smote the city, like the wrath of a fairly impressive deity, this area was hit especially hard. Not like the abandoned blocks of flats, or the tumbledown warehouses lost to time; There was only a cursory attempt to trawl through the wreckage of this place.The rescue workers and construction teams kept going missing. It's an especially poignant reminder of times past: Buildings slouching and canted to the sides, the streets rumpled and distored, forming misshapen cracks that bulge through the roads like tumours. No wonder they call it 'The Flooded District'.It takes you upwards of two hours to reach the place. Most of it is on foot: While the rail line extends in this direction, the stations were lost and never rebuilt. You're not sure if anyone has an idea of how much of the track is remaining. In other words: Not a nice place to be. (Continued)
Samefagging again.Switch out the Blade for the Lance? That dead-man's switch could be extremely handy if we use the Booster to momentarily increase our strength, impale the opponent on a the thing, and then retreat to watch 'em explode.I really hope our Luck is not E Rank....
>>26126313Your feet splash in stagnant puddles of water, as you venture into a tilting underpass, grime-yellow light flickering fitfully overhead. You've heard that particularly brave or stupid teenagers have made their dens in the abandoned buildings, or go exploring for hidden treasure...-But since your arrival, you haven't seen a single other living person.The quiet - It's eerie. [ ] Focus on the commercial areas - The buried shophouses and basement malls.[ ] Follow the subway tunnels.[ ] Stay aboveground.YOU HAVE CONTROL
>>26126213Good point. We scanned the Misericorde but not the Orthrus Crest. Next time.>>26126376Hmm. Subway tunnels are going to be partially flooded, but someone trying to go through this place would try and follow them. I think they're most likely to be where the team went, even if the distortion is in the commercial (residential?) areas.[x] Subway tunnels for me, I guess.
>>26126376go for the commercial areas, subway is too confined for us
The distortion we're investigating is the result of the Zone disappearing, right? Well, according to Tyrian it 'disappeared' off the map. That Zone? If it's that zone, pull out the Nihl. It's a fucking lifesaver when it comes to illusionary bullshit. We have never, ever once tried to use it in the real world, too.
>>26126376>>26126475And Subway. If something is going down, it'll be underground.
>>26126443>most likely where the team wentYeah, they probably retreated or were forced into the tunnels to escape pursuers. Now they're lost in the maze and can't get cell reception. Is anyone having trouble getting the mobile site to auto update without refreshing manually?
>>26126475>>26126443>>26126539> If it's that zone, pull out the Nihl.You reach into the folds of your coat. The Nihl Sphere feels tiny, lost in the vastness: When you draw it out, it's palm-sized, resting in your hand, without the faintest hint of slip. It's hard to tell *exactly* what it's doing, but...The gloom lightens, somehow. It doesn't get brighter, but - You can see where you going. Just barely. > [ ] Follow the subway tunnels.The subway it is. Normally, you'd be far more cautious - But the last train ran six years ago. You tread down a stationary escalator, rusted enough to be a tetanus hazard; The walls are cracked and oozing, the overhead pipes burst. Most of the lights have been smashed; A few hang from the wires at one end, sparking and flickering. The graffiti all over the walls - Most of it incomprehensible, but sprayed in red block letters:THE BELL TOLLSYour sleeve brushes against the paint.It's still fresh. A winding trail is smeared across the tiles, around the corner, into the leaden dark of a crumbling backstage service area. You strain, but you can't see how far it goes. The tracks are to your side, the tunnels extending East-West - A long dirty intestine, torqued and twisted and torn open enough to let in occasional shafts of dirty grey light from overhead. Somewhere in the gloom, you hear a *skittering*...Rats, maybe. Or cockroaches. A faint tug - So imperceptible you nearly missed it - from the Nihl Sphere; A brief guttering of it's light. Eastwards.[ ] Follow the tunnel East.[ ] Follow the tunnel West.[ ] Enter the service area. [ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>26126539>>26126443a subway is the least favourable place for us, no room to maneuver. if we get trapped there, we are toast. what if we met someone like kaiser in an enclosed place? we'd be flakes of dust
Fuck, that asshole whose been archiving shit with stupid descriptors got to the thread before I could. I'd suggest you Archive immediately from now on like VCM QUest does to keep this from happening to you again OP.
>>26126690(Ah, I see. I'll keep that in mind for next time. It's a shame.)
>>26126690Take it up with Licorice. He'll sort it out and range ban the jerkoff usually.>>26126670Normally, I'd agree with you, but we're on a schedule here. The subways is the best bet to find a team that's went to ground. It's a massive, twisting, buckled, rusted, flooded, death trap that only the most insane or desperate would enter.>>26126667Stand still and wait for another tug on the Nihl. Eye that ball of roiling malice like a fatman at a hotdog eating contest. Carefully make our way along the tunnels looking for obvious signs of recent foot travel.
>>26126690But the misarchiver dude is genuinely amusing. He even puts in the correct tags before his false ones.
>>26126667We ignored the sphere last time (and it worked out pretty well for us). This time though I think we're headed East after a quick check in the service area.>>26126690I sent LL a message about that earlier. I'll get a list of threads that have been improperly archived during tomorrow's QTG and forward it to him.
>>26126770our survival is more important than random metallics. unless natsumi is down there, we only have the approval of AP to worry about, and survival is more important. lets be cautious while we are down here, at least
>>26126777>Its written by a girl so you know its good!But there are no grils on the internet. Is this guy a wizard or something?
>>26126805We should play a game of hot or cold. Go down one tunnel, if nothing. Try the other. If nothing.God damnit. Back to the laptop I go. Why won't you update..
>>26126770>>26126805>>26126905(My apologies: There seems to be one vote in favour of each one. I'll wait a few more minutes for a consensus, before continuing.)
Rolled 2>>26126932Tiebreaker it is.[1 ] Follow the tunnel East.[2 ] Follow the tunnel West.[3 ] Enter the service area.
>>26126667>The graffiti all over the walls - Most of it incomprehensible, but sprayed in red block letters:>THE BELL TOLLS>Your sleeve brushes against the paint.That sounds remarkably like a stage name.[x]East[x]Service area - if this is a maintainace room/kiosk, check it for a map or written notes or anything - if its the maintainaince side tunnels for the subway system, then skip it.
>>26126862Only have to be 30 years old and on 4chan to be a wizard.>>26126932I'm willing to throw in for East tunnel, just wanted to peek at the service area first.
>>26126955I'm thinking this is more the OP stating we're running out of time in contacting a mostly alive recon team.Although, good novel I must add.
>>26126955> [X] Service AreaYou take a look, your footsteps slowing: The service area is a arched, ancient tunnel, with patterned tiles that wouldn't look half bad if the layers of grease and black mold were stripped away. There's a derailed train - a zigzag chain of cards - canting off the track, once flat, which has been wrenched into a roller coaster. And the *smell*; It's awful. There's this sickening sweetness to it, which is somehow infinitely worse than mere foulness. The trickle of paint seems oddly sinister - As if someone was gradually bleeding out. It's not too much further away, with one train car wedged almost sideways: You find a half-empty red can slopping out the remains of the paint in a drying puddle.The wall is marked with handprints: One after another, as patchy and wavery as a child's. Every handprint is subtly different.Something shiny catches your eye, and you kneel - With a cautious glance over your shoulder - to examine it. It's...a ring of keys? 'Keys' might be too optimistic. Their gleam dulled by red paint, you find that most of the keyrings have been twisted into scrap metal; One, however - With a strip of weathered tape marked 0248 - is still is serviceable shape....You think.(Continued)
>>26127080> [X] East.East it is, then.The subway tunnel begins to curve northeast; It's not *all* dark. Some stretches have grimy skylights behind ornate iron grilles, and the dim dirty light that filters down might even be natural. You slosh past cracks and cave-ins, as signal lights flash at random - Filling the passage with brightness and shadow and bloody twilight.You feel the tug again, drawing you on, your shadow dancing before you.You can hear chittering and clicking. Sometimes, you hear ghost-echoes, bouncing back at you: Hollow CLANGS, things that might be laughter, or music or screams.You walk on, and the Nihl Sphere tugs at your hand- ...The air is becoming *warmer*. There's an eerie humidity to things; The walls sweating, becoming moist, the faint drip of water echoing in your ears. The Nihl Sphere sheds it's shallow light, as you turn - The tunnels fork. Northeast, and straight ahead. It might be your imagination, but 'straight ahead' is slightly less crusted over by the fungus - Or is that coral? - that clings to the walls. Northeast, the water table rises; The tracks knee-deep in rust-colored water. But you can make out the vague shape of a loading platform to the side...The Nihl Sphere is silent.[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>26127178hang on, dumb question, are we in the red world or not?ill go with northeast, that way will hopefully have less critters trying to eat us no matter whcih world we are in
>>26127178Check the loading platform for anything of note. Who knows, we might find another rusted key. The Nihl might simply be reacting to ghost images in the tunnels for all we know, but it's a pretty good descriptor that something is down here. After that, head Northeast. Be very fucking careful when wading through that water. Slipping and getting impaled or sliced open with rebar is fucking *painful*.
>>26127210>>26127220>>26127260> Head NortheastThe tunnel dips downwards-You stop. A derelict train car, knocked off the rail, sits in the water - A rusting, hollow hulk, oddly forlorn. There's no way you're getting through that.> Be very fucking careful when wading through that water.It's a good thing, too - Sections of jagged track hook on your pants, lethal in their brittle sharpness; You manage to get your hands on the edge of the platform, and pull yourself up and *over*, onto thankfully dry land...Escalators wind upwards, a service chamber to your left. You have no idea how long you've been walking, or now far you've go-...The Nihl Sphere *pulses* in your grasp. It beats cold, almost throbbing - Enough to sting your fingers, as bitter as a scorpion. You're aware of a *rushing* sensation in the air - A cold gust that comes from nothing natural -It's close.Very close. [ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>26127374Last time it did this was Amalgam. This is going to be dramatic.[x] Transform.
>>26127374Now would be the time to Transform. Hopefully it's friendly-er.
>>26127374>...The Nihl Sphere *pulses* in your grasp. It beats cold, almost throbbing - Enough to sting your fingers, as bitter as a scorpion. You're aware of a *rushing* sensation in the air - A cold gust that comes from nothing natural -Theoretically this thing is kind of a pathfinder artifact.Concentrate on finding the recon team with it, maybe?We haven't really tried to use its lockopening and exploration properties, like hecate relied upon
>>26127374Should we transform and scan the area? It's a good chance to test out the Argus System.
>>26127397>>26127440You focus. Your head throbs, fiercely - But your fingers tighten around the Nihl Sphere, and you push *through.*STAGE: E$R@R*&You're standing on- You're standing *in*-Breathe. Readjust.On all sides: Curved, glassy panels, arteries of orange lava-light running vertically between them. It's a vertical shaft, ribbed with cross-bracing every ten or fifteen meters, like hoops of cartilage around a trachea. High up in that space, lightning flickers: Some kind of static discharge. Even higher, just a tiny glimpse - Leg-like spines, sprouting from each segment, like the bodies of monstrous centipedes.Everything's...*moving*. The walls *rill*, and seethe behind the panels; Clouds of smoking darkness, or *spore*, swirling like a dark cloud. The flow is random, chaotic, like boiling water trapped in a pot; All wired up, and nowhere to go. The ground trembles beneath your feet, as you cast your gaze around, your eyes settling on...-There's something in *front* of you. Thick lines of organic cabling, feeding themselves into a shape, a *form*, that rises and *throbs*. It looks awful, fibrous, *diseased*...And reminds you of nothing more than an obscene, pulsing heart. At least three times your size, suspended in the darkness of the tunnel...And *how long has it been growing*, changing, becoming something new? Conflicting readings play across your targeting sensors - Fragments of identification, your mono-optic eye picking up shreds of silver plate embedded into the sluglike, slurping meat...(Continued)
>>26127524Good idea. I've been wondering what the powercost on it is like.If its 5% or below, i hope we can run it constantly.Also, something we should ask argent to make: Meter/cobalt Batteries.one shot artifacts that just contain energy.Or, hell, get into artifact manufacturing ourself. We almost certainly want to bring a tether or 2 when we go to rescue Hecate.One-shot energy artifacts seem like a nice way to make hellion weaponry more useful, loanable to others, and a nice 'oh shit' button for us to have when shit gets real.
>Fragments of identification, your mono-optic eye picking up shreds of silver plate embedded into the sluglike, slurping meat...Well, we found the recon team...
>>26127673>shreds of silver plateFound the recon team. Wonder if it's parasitic or symbiotic?
>>26127673The chamber - It's like a stomach. A stomach, or a womb, arterial walls humid with warmth and blood. Standing before the pulsing meat of the core - There's a girl. A woman. Large pale eyes, thick black lashes. Her midnight tresses held in place by jeweled pins, every one glinting violet. Her black dress is trimmed in velvet, as she turns with a rustle of fabric and the crinkle of crinoline - It feels as if light radiates from her skin."Oh," she says - Her voice is soft and melodious and curious, as twisting black vines play up and over the surface of the obscene organ behind her. "-A visitor.""Hello."[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>26127741Nothing of the sort my good man. Please step right into this booth right over here....
Oh dear god, no wonder the place is a mess in the real world, it's infected with the Creep in the Red.>>26127763"Hello. I think I've met two of your sisters. I'm the Red Joker, and I'm afraid I'm here to kill that thing."
>>26127763"Afternoon. What brings a girl like you to a place like this? So if you don't mind me asking, what is this place and who are you? By the way you have excellent choice in hairpins, they look rather rare."
>>26127791>and I'm afraid I'm here to kill that thing.">implying they're separate entities.Right on the heels of AP saying:"My belief is that their...pleasing...forms might be projections of some kind. Camouflage, perhaps, or illusions - To conceal an ugly truth
>>26127763Snap a picture.Mutter under our breath "He thinks unarmored Players don't exist. I have proof this time.""Why do I always run into beautiful women in the most horrifying of locations? Am I drawn towards dangerous people of the opposite gender? I just want a mostly normal date for once. Sure, the pulsating heart that was just fed certainly spices up the atmosphere, but man? Can we at least get to know each other before you feed me to it too?""Nice to meet you, too. Hello. I'm the one and only Red Joker. You seem mostly sane at this juncture. I hope we can get along....?"
>>26127791>and I'm afraid I'm here to kill that thing."Should we really go aggressive this quickly? Might as well just open fire, at least we'd have a surprise round.
>>26127763> "Wow, you really are hot. Please step away from that, miss. It's dangerous."
>>26127847Touche. I thought we were dealing with one of the Hyades, but this is less water nymph and more mother of monsters--Echidna.Also, this explains where Kraken came from, and why he called the Correctors and his horse "family". The Smilers have their own manufactorium like Argent's, except they work with flesh and not metal.
>>26127896I don't think this is anywhere smooth enough to be something the Joker says to an attractive woman.
>>26127842Her hand goes to her hair - It's an automatic gesture, apparently, as she brings it back down to her side."It's 'Alura'." The girl's voice echoes in the hollowness, a little smile touching the corners of her full lips. "Alura 'Une'..." There's something sultry and a little sly in the way she carries herself; A soft, almost coquettish giggle teased from her lips. >>26127858Her trailing skirts rustle against pale, perfect skin, as Alura sketches a little curtesy; You notice how they fall all the way to her feet, casting odd, rippling shadows as they braid away from her - Like twisting lines, or tendrils, or...-Vines?"Ah~" She presses a hand to her heart, an oddly familiar gesture. "-You mean this? It's almost a perfect copy, you know. When you speak so directly..." Her gaze is meltingly soft, but strangely unfocused."-It makes me a little embarassed. But...If it's with the one-and-only Red Joker-kun...Maybe it wouldn't be so bad~?">>26127791A look of outrage crosses the woman's face, spoiling her prettiness. She looks mundane, all of a sudden: No, worse than that. She looks mean and petty, like a conspirator. "You can't do that! Not *now* - You'll ruin all the *work*." She takes a step to the side, into your line of sight: "It's almost time for the *birth*...Can't you wait a *little longer*~?" There's something almost plaintive to her voice - As if stirred by her words, the tumorous heart pulses again; Bulges strain against the surface, before sinking back into the palpitating mass."Please don't spoil this for me."YOU HAVE CONTROL
>>26128026Uh-oh. I don't think I like where this is going.
>>26128026Yeah, she's named mandrake, don't trust her one bit."Why don't you tell me exactly what it is a copy of? Call me curious."After we get all the answers we can out of her we murder the fuck out of everything nearby.
>>26128026Did she just offer to have sex with us? Tempting, but this girl is as creepy as fuck. Think it's time for the plasma vulcans to come out?
>>26128026Huh, so this lady apparently has thorns. We should be vary. Maybe scan the place in case if something is slowly creeping up on us from behind.>>26128026"Color me curious. Mind giving a few details? My opinion may change.""After all, as far as I can tel... whatever is born from that heart, it won't be any nicer than a classic Lovecraftian abomination" pause "And knowing my luck, it will probably try to eat me."
>>26128026"Spoil this? Pff. Have you seen your creation? It's already spoiled! I mean, it's a lump of meat, Alure. You didn't even refrigerate it properly. You've already spoiled it!""Now, c'mon. Level with me here. What's a pretty little number like you doing deep down in this big old subway system growing some Eldritchian Abomination? I can keep a secret."
>>26127929Also, FUCK. This is exactly what the masers would have been good for. We'll have to settle for cutting out the fetus' umbilical cords with the blade.>>26128026>Alura 'UneAhahaha that's not subtle at all."They say your kind told secrets when properly tended to...but they also say that you were born from the life's blood of hanged men. I suspect you take after that part of the myth."You really do look almost exactly like her, and that's going to make this *hard*."Cobalt boosted missiles at the fetus. Napalm: It's good for the Calamari, it's good for the Corrector fetus.
>>26128026one question, though. do you know a thing named pazuzu?also scan behind us, and then all over
>>26128103Yeah, if she was offering sex we'd have to pass. Alura Une is weird mystic language for "fuck no this is terrible and kills people".
>>26128026"Sorry, only Hecate gets special favours."It's a giant heart/womb grown into the stage, right? Start by disconnecting it via severing the main arteries. Might be there's a member of the recon team that can be salvaged if we're careful.
>>26128193With the phase blade I mean. The connecting arteries should be away from any actual player that might still be alive in there.
>>26128192It means Mandrake, a type of plant used in magic witchy stuff, according to some legends it only grew where the semen of a hanged man dripped, so anything involving our semen is bad in this case.So yeah, we avoid that.
>>26128216>explain further.jpgWhy would a plant want anything to do with our semen? Wouldn't a plant have trouble growing in semen? That's weird, Anon.
>>26128252its magic, anon. semen is generally a magic component in european myths
>>26128169>"You really do look almost exactly like her, and that's going to make this *hard*."Actually, thinking about this some more, our "her" and Alraune's "her" are probably different. Hecate and the rest of the human form Players seem to be clones... possibly of the Chalice Queen/Hellebore? Hecate gets away and used a Vitruvian Device to purge herself of the worst of her conditioning, but not her fascination with the Red Joker. Would explain who she was visiting in the hospital if Argent's observation about the long-term coma patient capsules pans out as I think it might.>>26128216They're related. Mandrakes are the screaming baby plants--if you hear one you die. They grow from the graves of sinners/guilty men. Alraune are the ones that grow from the semen or blood of hanged men, and supposedly if you take care of them they tell secrets.
>>26128252Witchcraft my friend, odd stuff. Also mythologically speaking semen and creation are about as linked as you get, so semen from a hanged man makes something twisted, wrong, and unholy, it's like a homunculus except it's planted in the dirt.
>>26128026>You mean this? It's almost a perfect copy, you know. Oh fuck, we're talking to the lure portion. I wonder how big the main body actually is. We're probably standing on her.
>>26128292>We're probably standing on her.Not in her? We're in a womb level, Anon.
>>26128307Why don't we ask about the recon team before we start shooting?
>>26128087"Ahhh, it's almost exactly like-" She catches herself, at the last moment. The sly, slightly unfocused smile returns. "...That's cruel, Red Joker-kun. It's a maiden's secret~">>26128141>>26128164> "You've already spoiled it!""It's *not*!" she sounds more petulant than angry, however - Pouting, her expression momentarily annoyed...And a little considering, too, as if the idea has only just occurred to her."...At least, I don't *think* so..."> "What's a pretty little number like you doing deep down in this big old subway system growing some Eldritchian Abomination? I can keep a secret.""Well..." Alura's skirts swish, a troubled look in her eyes - "...If you promise not to *tell*..." She bites her lip, hesitant but compelled - "It's something *new*...Something that might finally bear my will. The others, they fall apart so quickly...It's barely worth the effort, you know?"She regards her long, slender fingers in the dim light: "See, I can't stay out any longer. It's all coming to pieces..."Her voice trails off, into mumbling. Her long black hair twitches in an unseen breeze.>>26128174Casually, you trigger the Argus System. The radar picks up the ping of metal embedded within the heart - Vague, almost humanoid forms - but the sonar...The returns are confused, uncertain...But one thing's for sure.Your sensors are picking up movement. A *lot* of movement. It's coming this way.You can hear, dimly, a *slithering* sound...>>26128169>>26128193> "You really do look almost exactly like her, and that's going to make this *hard*.""Wha..."Alura's taut *gasp* hangs in the air, as your Triskelion launchers flip open, beginning to cycle - Four missiles lofting up and away from your shoulders, in a tight descending spiral. Your left arm is levelled, the Argus System's gem feeding them targeting information, surging towards the massive shape of the target- Things begin to happen very, very fast.(Continued)
>>26128307You realize this means she can probably attack from any direction. I wonder if we can just drain the life from her with the Nihl.>>26128276Don't forge she also stole one of Pazuzu's eye's. Honestly though, if this hypothesis is true and whatever amounts to Hecate's real body is already under Smiler care that means really shitty things are going down in the future. We took too long to figure this out.
>>26128307We're technically in a plants womb... which would be the female pistil... which is even more horrifying/boner-inducing than I thought.
>>26128340I can't shake the feeling that this may be a mistake.Hellebore DID save us from a corrector, when she appeared from that portal to tug its leash back.
>>26128375It is a mistake. Considering she/it/terrorboner was dropping the beans... vines...? What the fuck DOES an eldritchian plant thing even drop?
>>26128340I have a bad feeling. Danger approaching at mach speeds, mark my words.
>>26128340>Things begin to happen very, very fast.This is both going to be horrible and hilarious.
>>26128375I don't think she's related to Hellebore. Hellebore controlled Megara via a collar and chain. Alura Une seems to actually be a corrector that's created a temporary human form and is trying to make a more permanent one using players as materials.
>>26126805>I sent LL a message about that earlier. I'll get a list of threads that have been improperly archived during tomorrow's QTG and forward it to him.Thank you.Can you also do something about the "live with your shame" faggotry?
>>26128352>Hecate's real body is already under Smiler careActually, Bardiel was trying to break into the hospital's coma room with a purple crystal. I think he was there to steal the body, either >>26128359Plants generally aren't made of meat.>>26128375Are we sure that Hellebore is a Smiler? After all, it was another of the Hyades who was all over human!Kraken (if that was him) in the club. Remember that Baal Zephyr is/was a Smiler, and Hellebore acted in our defense. It's possible that she's still independent.
>>26128410Alura's mouth opens. And continues to open, and open, and *open*-She *screams*.You stagger backward, astonished, rocked the force of the howl. You're clutching at your ears, as the audio pickup of your helmet feeds static into your brain - The world wobbles on it's axis, blurring in your mind, making your teeth rattle and your skull ache. Then the world erupts in blue flame. The fibrous meat-core of the thing; Four great, dark shapes lift from the tunnel, making the chamber judder beneath your feet - Thick, fleshy, curling inwards on themselves in a defensive shrug...-Petals. One of your missiles go wide, exploding against the ceiling. Blue napalm rains down - Where it hits the floor, spontaneous flame licks at the unwholesome surface, puffs of humid steam rising; Three more plough into your target, new fires burning across the surface, beginning to thrash in distress-"Liar! Liar liar *liar* - Joker-kun, you're *mean!"Alura's voice rises above the thrashing, flailing confusion: As the walls come down and all hell breaks loose. The floor *ripples* as if in response to her cries; Something lurches from the dark, as you're still shaking off the blurred pain, and...-Cracks you right in the chest.Your feet lift the ground. You hurtle back, back, landing hard enough to knock the breath from you - As you wrench yourself upright, you can feel tendrils lifting from the ground, coiling around your ankles; Even as the air teems with mad floral life, dozens of small, black blossoms erupting from the walls - Stretching out towards you, screeching and hissing in your mind.HP: 139.2%COBALT BOOSTER: 134%ASSAULT SHROUD: 128%METER: 10% TIER ONE WEAPONRY UNLOCKEDYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>26128410And we're about to blow away a lead into the Smilers organization... considering she was open to dialogue....
>>26128429(Quick note: With the Sinistral, your HP now begins at 150.0%.)
>>26128429Yeah, I saw that coming from a mile away. We're in the god damn belly of the beast and we opened fire on it.>>26128429"It's just foreplay, dear! You know! The part where we violently attempt to kill each other! Don't be too rough with me now! It might even make our blossoming(Ha!) relationship fun!"We can't do too much damage or we're going to bring the roof down on our heads Pepper our playdate with some Vulcans. Pull out of the nursery and head down the tunnel we came in at. We need to boogey out of here.
>>26128429scrander to a medium distance, then draw a bead with the tau
>>26128430She wasn't open for dialogue shehad a quirk that made her answer questions and was playing for time.>>26128429Could just Exec_Consume right now, everything is a potential source. Alternatively, Activate the Phase Blade and Lock in the sinistral and start chopping
>>26128429Oh god. EVASIVE MANEUVERS!Use the phase blade to free our ankles, fly up and and burn everything down.
>>26128429Well, ain't this lovely.Right, get 3-5 bits out right now, put them on interception duty, fuck with all of the blossoms coming at us.Use the Sinistral to cut the tendrils at our ankles, we need our freedom of movement.Once we can start moving turn on afterimages and start moving like a madman, keep our distance and remain unpredictable. Other than that start turn our Vulcans on the bitch and open fire.Save up meter, I'm thinking that a Cobalt Boosted Chain Mine would really make her day.
>>26128429>"Liar! Liar liar *liar* - Joker-kun, you're *mean!"Adorable."Well, I SAID I was sorry!"This looks like a job for EXEC_Swarm. Pay for it through the Shroud, have it go after her. Use one Vulcan to deter whatever just hit us from coming back and pull out the sword. Use that to chop at the vines at our legs, and whatever umbilical cords are at hand.Also, start moving at an angle away from the thing that jumped us, but toward Alura.>>26128430Ah, but she was distracting us while her pets surrounded us. She's not dealing fairly, so why bother trying ourselves?
>>26128487We can't leave until we've tried to cut open that cocoon. Nothing but bad things will happen if we let this corrector get a usable human body.
>>26128524>Right, get 3-5 bits out right now, put them on interception duty, fuck with all of the blossoms coming at us.Op, how much cobalt booster do the bits take to supercharge?I seem to recall their meter drain is fairly low - is their booster drain also fairly low?
>>26128525>>26128509Oh I know that. Doesn't mean we can't weasel as much out of her before rocks fell and everyone died.>>26128532That's simply to give us a breather from the Thing in the Subway.
the best thing we can do right now is use the Graviton Cannon - the second one we picked up on the restock trip - >>26126131 assuming this happened - and use it to paralyze the stuff beneath the floor, and block off the incoming signatures with the sphere of the blast radius.Exec_swarm to free ourselves since it doesn't need hands.
Just as a side note:Please don't use our EXP absorbing gauntlet. This is multiple people worth of EXP that we are working with right now.
>>26128576Alternatively, Unleash the rifle bits, and boost all of them. Upgrading them all to Cutting Beams sounds like just like what we need at the moment.
>>26128576Yeah, swarm and graviton sounds like a good idea.I wonder: Can we cut her imaginary body with the phase sword?Can we cut apart the cocoon?Also, saving for cobalt boosted mines sounds like a very awesome idea.
>>26128492>>26128510>>26128524The Scrander flames at your back. The clutching vines strain at your legs...Until your fist curls on the grip of the Sinistral, the solid-light construct flaring to life. One *sweep* shears through both of them, ichor spurting: They convulse violently, oozing unspeakable fluids over your armour - Releasing you so suddenly that you lurch into the air.Your jetpack's turbines spin up, carrying you aloft - The filaments lashing out at you, the blossom-tipped ends growing serrated, champing teeth, like eyeless little faces...Three more come at you; You slash them out of the air with frantic sweeps. Your free hand clenches on the stirrup-grip of your Vulcan, spewing a rattling chain of gunfire towards Alura, as the fleshly petals uncurl from around her- Your shots hit her, and sear through her dress, her skin, scads of fabric blasted into the air...There are only coiling tendrils and vines beneath. > "Well, I SAID I was sorry!">>26128487"Joker-kun, you're a *meanie*!" She doesn't seem remotely distressed by the writhing hole you've blasted right through her; Her body is beginning to unravel, and where her legs *should* be...There are only coiling filaments, a thicket of vines extending from beneath her dress; Growing, lifting her torso into the air.Alura gestures; You can see she has hairpins gripped between her fingers, three in each hand, like stilettos. Violet light ambles down her pale, slender arms."Toying with a girl's heart-"You're not really listening to her. Your wing binders flip open, your Rifle Bits detaching: This is a target-rich environment, and they immediately begin to fire, their scalpel-beams slicing across the walls, the floor...Anything to stop the creeping thicket from surging towards you- The snaking length of the peduncle undulates, and the entire suppurating mass surges forward, as unstoppable as a freight train.(Continued)
Wonder if I'm the only one who starts to frantically looks for some epic background music whenever a battle starts.
>>26128600I'm reading over the pastebin now, and i'm more and more convinced that the Argus System was an amazing buy. Homing shit everywhere.This is hardly the time for it, but I'd like to see us try our hand at artifact creation. Something simple that uses things we already have access too.Hellion bits. The remote-power system that lets us power our bits in flight sounds ideal for powering a Hellion, and we already have that schematic-etching system that lets us deploy parts that are bigger on the outside.I'd also like to see a guided projectile for the Railgun. Not one that has any sort of motor or powered steering, but say a fin-stabilized one that can use airflow to do minor course corrections in flight and supports an Argus lock-on. Not just an accuracy boost, but minor guide-to-target adjustments.>>26128673You're not. I've got the Pacific Rim going right now.youtube.com/watch?v=1DABGdvCOs4&list=PLFfLy5GaJ4X8WoNfUveIN7wL4htv4n_CM
>>26128541(Same drain as on your Meter.)Particle guns spit cohered rays of azure light - Two more join the spinning assault, a moment later, as you unleash your full arsenal. Blossoms scream as you hack them off the vine, tendrils groping indiscriminately as you feed them phase blades and plasma fire; But you're being forced back, dodging the clumsy but forceful blows of the lashwhips striking in your direction - Each impact makes the walls shudder, and you bring the Sinistral up just in time to take one on your shield-With a sharp CRACK, the Sinistral's field collapses: There's something like a directed shockwave, a concussive pulse, one that batters aside the clawing filaments like leaves in a storm. >>26128525>>26128576In the blank moment of breathing space you have, your mind stabs out the streamer of alien code- Your Assault Shroud erupts with twitching life, a swarm of metal-winged, gnawing parasites buzzing forward, filling the air with the drone of their wings. It's a plague of metal locusts, their mouthparts chewing up everything in the way: Surging towards Alura and the tumorous heart she defends, like a entity with one mind...Violet light slashes through the air. Not a single beam - A wild spray of flechettes, shearing through the crisping swarm; Like a flashlight of annhilation, sweeping back and forth, punching *through*-You're hit. A surge of will cycles the Sinistral's field, but the scattershot hail peppers your legs and arms - Fizzing against the shield barrier, sending sharp stabs of agony through your limbs-Right before the spike-tipped, grossly muscular stigma swats you down.(Continued)
>>26128721The impact is a crushing one - You actually spin, then slam into the floor, then bounce back *up* again: Your Scrander fizzing in complaint, raw green ends clutching at your feet- You reach behind yourself. Mag-locks unclamp. The charging elements in your gauntlets wink to life, as you pull the Graviton Cannon free. The Argus System beeps and whirrs as it scans, sonar pinging the massive shape of the target looming before you...Game on. JOKER QUESTEPISODE 52TO BE CONTINUED
>>26128727(Gentlemen: I'd love to continue, but it's incredibly late for me. Also, my connection is beginning to waver again - And I might not be able to do this full justice.However, you've been an excellent audience, and I look forward to next time.As always: Good night and god bless. Hope to see you soon!)
>>26128739Damn!Oh well, we can finish the pruning later. Night OP, thanks for running.>>26128673http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZZA-ElsORk
>>26128585>Please don't use our EXP absorbing gauntlet. This is multiple people worth of EXP that we are working with right now.Actually, this is a fight tailor made for it. Against living entities? Especially one entity comprising the entire arena?Consume is probably the best bet we have. Grab a vine and never let go.>>26128739Rest well! thanks for the game
>>26128739you tease you
>>26128727>Game onYou better your sweet be-tentacled plant-thing it's game on. We will make her our plant-fu or prune her in the process. There is no other way.
>>26128727>>26128739Oh god this fucking cliffhanger.
Wonderful, we got troll tagged.
>>26128942We also had someone archive last episode as 41 and 47 is archived in arabic numerals.But Watashiwa said he'd fix that.
>>26129010Whoa now, don't pin your hopes on me, I just sent a message to the guy who can fix things. Who knows if I'll get a response, much less action.
>>26128727Great, we finally get to use the Graviton Cannon. But holy balls, this session started EARLY.