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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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Prior Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/27364289/
Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Maverick%20Hunter%20Quest
The IRC: suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com, #MHQ
The Twitter: https://twitter.com/HunterCommand

//Pre-boot scan engaged

//QLC matrices nominal
//Run status OK
//Initiating integrity verification
//Runtime check in progress
//Initiating secondary startup

//System check
//DNA Master boot sequence: Clear
//DNA Slave boot sequence…
///...Slave LIFE: Clear
///...Slave EAS: Clear
///...Slave WEAPON: Fail. Retry.
//Component check: WEAPON
///Component confirmed: WEAPON
///...Slave WEAPON: Clear
///...Slave SION: Clear
///...Slave VION: Fail. Abort.
///...Slave HION: Fail. Abort.
//DNA boot sequence: Clear
//Electrical systems nominal
//Onboard weaponry disabled
//Combat Class A
//Designation: LLN133-RN01 DIODE-ONE "Anode"

You are floating.
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Anode. Some long, unimportant serial number. Liberty Labs. Home.

You are not there. You are a maverick hunter.

"Emergency beamout check: Component alignment." says a voice you recognize but can't place. You try to speak, but you don't have a mouth.

//Emergency beamout successful
//Realignment: 96.16%
//Realignment: Clear
//Process ratio: 459:480 FC41D 471:480
//Processing: Clear
//Component damage: Y
//Component repair: Y
//Component replacement: Y
//Decompression errors: 0

You feel a command, text input across your brain: RUNTIME MEMORY PLAY LAST

Maverick--Dangerous Reploid. Nepal. Vector Addax with a hole blown through him. Diamond. Em's brother. Half-caved-in helmet tumbling down the mountain. Heat. Cold. Fire. Space.

//Neural activity OK
//Runtime check OK
//System integrity OK

Solstrike Saetos.

Your eyes snap open, at once awake and alert--and you can't see anything.

"Don't try to move," says the voice. "You're heavily damaged. Run the message."

Promptly, an alert forces itself into your brain: "Do not panic. You have just been resuscitated at Lifesaver Central command. Some disorientation is to be expected. If you are capable of reading this, your mental faculties are likely undamaged. Remain calm and allow the repair staff to complete their tasks."

You are alive. Whatever that's worth.

Not that you feel it. You're floating somewhere between overcosted software suite and living thing, your higher consciousness still fuzzy and indistinct. Right now, you're neither, and being in the middle feels cold and uncomfortable in a way you will never have words for.

Time is a concept you can't get a handle on either. Seconds, minutes, hours, it all feels like everything and nothing. You have an internal runtime clock that tells you that the last few centuries have been exactly two minutes and thirty-seven seconds.
//...Slave VION: Retry
//...Slave VION: Clear
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Eventually your eyes start working again--whether they were disabled or shut off you don't know--and you see a sparse, undecorated room, stark white and harshly lit. The only detail is a maverick hunter crest across the far wall, dead-center in your vision. A Lifesaver leans in from the side.

"Relax," the medic says. "Most of the work is done."

You find you can't move, but you feel the vague sensation of movement, and faint vibrations through you. Faint arcs of electricity, stray blue-white sparks, and the scrape of tools suggest you're being worked on. The sheer number of these concurrent sounds tells you you're being worked on intensively.

The Lifesaver (Lifesavers?) work fast. You hope. You try to ask a question, finding instead you've expressed the idea onto the diagnostic computer in the form of text.

//Subdirectory access required
//Process confirm. Logic process clear.

how long

The Lifesaver looks up at you. "Not long. Twenty minutes."


how bad

He pauses for a moment, maybe not sure whether you meant the situation with Saetos, or your own. "Bad. You're lucky the emergency extract triggered so high in the air, no interference. We made a full reassembly. You're very sturdy."

Emergency extract...?

Right. Schwarz and his Lifesaver support standing by. Guess he wasn't joking after all.

... Thanks, Schwarz.

"We're told the situation back in the field is stable," the Lifesaver explains, "and we're being asked to return you to it. They need all the high-ranking officers they can get." He pauses. "Be careful. All available emergency support is already booked. Next time... there won't be a next time. Now relax. I'm verifying your DNA."

//Dynamic Neural Array integrity check initiated
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//QLC array intact
//HIOS: clear
//VIOS: clear
//HSO validation complete
//Bit error percentile: clear
//Checksum OK

"Small favors," grunts the Lifesaver. "Run LIFE."

//Live-Integration Fusion Energy cell check
//Cell unbreached
//Function OK
//Connection to neurological systems nominal

"Good. New WEAPON now."

//Whole Energy Adaptive Program Optimizing Nucleus cell check
//Cell unbreached
//Function OK
//Connection to LIFE cell nominal


//Variable Weapons Emulator System check
//VWES-4, Maverick Hunter inhouse system
//VWES is equipped with
//WCL3-CSIG-1: Sensor-disruption razor chaff "Blackout Flare" -- adapted data: MH16-TC-ANODE-1-CUSTOM "Blackout Rocket"
//LXR93-S-CREG-4: High-tension bladed cable "Tension Coil"
//BLC-SS-CJ: Variable-penetration directed energy weapon “Lockon Hunter"
//FUSHIGI-5B(PW)-THW-32LS: Haptic projectile defense system "Tumult Shell"

"Okay. All your parts still work right, let's see if they're talking to each other. Make the connection handshakes."

//All systems nominal

"Lucky you, your central nervous system is in order. All right, you’re nearly through the woods. Almost done."

The Lifesaver finishes up some repair-work, more intense than you've ever seen one in action. A suite of automated tools in the small, isolated bay you've landed in work with him. The bed itself is part of the process, keeping your body in one stable position as it unfurls all manner of equipment and materials. It's not long, but it's long enough to give you time to think.

You just died. You're not sure if you want to laugh or cry--not that you can cry. Frankly, you're not sure if you can laugh right now, either. You let the 'saver do his work and try not to think of how horribly wrong everything has gone.
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And then, you’re alive again. Like someone throwing a switch, you stop being data and start being Anode. The bed releases you and the Lifesaver motions for you to sit up. Doing so is… easy. Painless. Like you weren’t just a shattered wreck fifteen minutes ago.

“You’re ready to go,” he says, helping you off the table. “You’ll need to report for more repairs after this mission.”

“Wait,” you say pleadingly, even as he leads you to a teleport pad. “I don’t--What am I supposed to do?”

The Lifesaver stops, a very brief hint of sympathy on his hard features for a brief moment, considering what to tell you--and then, another body beams in on the slab you were just occupying. Great chunks of material are gouged out of him, presenting strange, angular wounds that no normal weapon could have made. The Lifesaver looks at his new patient, then back to you, clearly unable to spend any more time.

“Survive,” he offers, as he engages the beamout.

The camp is in shambles, but there are hunters--living hunters--waiting for you. Several look up at you at the sound of the beam-in, looking beleaguered and weary. Some, though, are genuinely happy to see you.

“Thank Christ,” offers one, striding over to greet you. “You’re back.”

“Diamond,” you say, relieved. “I’m glad you made it.”

“You too,” the Seventh officer says--his helmet is still dented in from the magnetic talons crushing his skull, but it held.

“How bad is it? What have I missed?”

Diamond sighs. “It’s been bad. You’ve only been gone a half hour, but--” That’s it? Thirty minutes? Running his hand over the damaged surface of his helmet, he continues. “Let me fill you in."
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“When you went down, the strike team staged a fighting retreat back here. Saetos followed. Fryctoria was KIA, though Wolfang managed to save Teletrans, so we’ve still got some Comms left. Wolf’s in for field repair, he took a beating. Kit’s out of the game--critical injuries, and we lost most of our mechaniloid and artillery support. Anyway, they managed to rally what was left and get organized. Saetos disengaged there, possibly to conserve himself for a second attack later. Frankly, I don’t know and I don’t care, he could have probably swept us off the map. That was when they managed to get through to the tunnel team, who recovered me on their way back to base. Adler and Fromm took provisional command while I got field repairs.”

You look around. “Where are they?”

Diamond chuckles bitterly. “Where do you think?”

“Fuck. What happened?”

“They ordered a counterattack, is what happened. Took 1st and 2nd. All they managed to do was get Berbis and Peruvic killed, along with themselves. Delphi ordered a retreat with whatever she could salvage--good amount of Advance and Recon, and even a few OS-Tyr made it out. And that’s when I woke up and they told me I was in charge.” He looks up the mountain with a grimace. “On the bright side, I think that suicide attack bought us more time. I hope, anyway.”

“What about the Seventh? I saw…”

“Addax,” Diamond nods sadly. “Fringe and Phoney, too. Warwing and Siskin made it out, I’ve got them patrolling at different elevations so he can’t hit us from above like that again.” He doesn’t need to mention that if Saetos does attack, whoever he targets first is as good as dead, and both of them surely knew it when they went up.

Christ… you shake your head. “So where does that leave us?”

“First off, you’re back in charge again. Second, Command has ordered a withdrawal.”
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“We don’t seem to be leaving,” you note.

“We can’t. We’ve put in a priority call to Unit Zero, but until they get here, our standing orders are to maintain the cordon. If he doesn’t attack, great. If he does… we have to last long enough for 0 to get here.”

“How long will that take?”

“They have a backlog,” Diamond says. “Literally full up. We could be here...hours? Days? If Saetos is threatening to break the perimeter they’ll put it up higher on the priority list, but…”

“...But we can’t put our hopes on the cavalry arriving,” you finish, nodding. “What have we learned about Saetos?”

“Not much. We know that he tore us up with UV lasers, and when we switched sensors to see them, he blinded everyone who tried.”

“So we know they’re invisible, but we can’t do anything about it?”

“It gets worse. That shot he opened up with was some kind of supercharged buster. Fires slow, but the damage is horrible. I don’t think anyone but you has survived a direct hit.”

“What about those fire-spears?”

“His feathers, we think. We managed to bust one or two, but they’re invulnerable in transit. Apparently they recharge using ‘locally available materials,’ which is engineering speak for ‘they eat away at the dead.’”

Jesus Christ. “Tell me there’s good news.”

“Maybe.” Diamond folds his arms. “The mavericks didn’t press the advantage, which makes me think they can’t easily get reinforcements. If they’re staying defensive, they might not be able to spare any more casualties. Before they left, I had a … discussion about it with Adler and Fromm.” You motion for him to go on. “They wanted to try to press, reasoning that if they kept us on our back foot they could just come and finish the job. And while I agree, I wanted them to wait until the rest of our forces could reorganize. They insisted time was better than numbers and moved out with the tunnel team.”
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“So what, do you want to try it again?”

“I don’t know, maybe. My gut says that we should move first, because if he attacks again, he’ll kill us all and break the cordon. And hell, Saetos pulled back, maybe he tired himself out too. The way I see it, we have two options. We can attack first, or we can turtle up. But if we do that, we’re basically telling him we don’t have a choice or a chance.”

“Do we?”

“Christ, I don’t know. At least we think we know how to see him coming this time, so he can’t ambush us like that again.”

He looks up at you. “Ball’s in your court now, Anode. How do we proceed?”

And that’s when it hits you again, more fully than ever. Your life--and theirs--ride on your decision, your command. This is why Em refuses to lead like an officer, why Frog walks the halls with his shoulders slumped, why Schwarz spends all his downtime drinking.

It’s on you. It’s all on you.

What do you do?

>We need to regain momentum, even if it’s just to stall longer. We rally and attack.
>Adler and Fromm tried that already, and look where it got them. We stay on the defensive.
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Holy shit. I just get back home from an Octoberfest-celebration-thing and now I get a new instalment of Maverick Hunter Quest.
This is wonderful.
Call navigators, we need them to pass ident info on Slfers and specifications.
Tune sensors to near-UV, partial attenuation of energy is better than none.
Need time. Solstrike could be solar powered.
Need info. How does Saetos fly?
Press assault, go underground.
Good questions.

I vote defensive, but getting underground isn't a bad idea.
First ask for a play by play of the last suicide attack, get as much info as we know of how he attacked last time, and with the resources we have and best guess how many mavericks he has left, best guess how long we can stand when he attacks, then write a note to our sister and friends. This is what I want to do before, but my vote is this.
The best plan would be if he gets power from the sun to hit him at night so wait until then and attack.
I'll go for these.
You can't really assault while going underground--Saetos isn't down there, and you still need to answer him if he tries to break the cordon.

Do you guys want a "more info" post answering some of your questions while you're deciding your tactics?
Yes please.
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It's almost easy, even despite the pressure. Somewhere you know that hesitation is just going to get you--and everybody here--killed. You narrow your focus down to the immediate--and right now, you need more information.

"I need some more intel," you tell Diamond. "What's our situation with the SIfers?"

"Tunnel team got the last one before they came topside," he says. "Puts the total at five. Since the trick's been spent, they don't have much value, even if there are more left..."

"We don't know that," you point out. "If they could isolate our comms once, they could do it again. Before anything else I want to make sure I know what they look like if I need to catch one in a hurry."

"Right. I'll ask Teletrans when he's got a moment."

"Can we tune up our detection gear to just under UV? Might help without the blinding."

"Another question for him. I think he's already doing what he can there, but it's outside my expertise."

"Any thoughts about whether Saetos is solar-powered?"

"Better hope he's not. Even aside from the sun exposure here, that means he'd probably opt to hit us again before nightfall."

"What about his flight systems? I was half-blind when he grabbed me."

Diamond folds his arms. "A lot of boosters. No gravitics like Addax. Siskin was saying he seemed less mobile after throwing the plumes, so they might limit him if we break enough."

"That's a big maybe," you note. "We're going to have to assume not. What about the attacks, his and ours?"

"He came in high with the sun--no one saw a thing. And when I say high, I mean high--he was probably cruising above 40,000 feet."

"You don't need to tell me," you reply grimly. "He power-bombed me from the mesosphere."

"That high? Jesus."

"Put it this way, it was dark and cold, and THEN I died."
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Diamond shakes his head at this. "Right. Anyway, he hit from high, carved us up with those lasers, hit the big targets--you, officers, blobs of infantry--with the buster. Got me with those fucking talons--magnetic, if you didn't notice, fucked me right up--took off and strafed once most of the air was thinned out."

"He hit us right when we were moving."

Diamond nods. "Clever bastard. I think that mechaniloid you and I took out was the signal."

"What do you mean?"

"That message from Ultravion went out on every possible frequency, meaning there's almost no way they would have missed it. SIfers get the message and know we're up in their fort, go from broadcasting ghost signals to jamming us. Saetos bombs Shangri-La while they can't radio, then flies back up and waits. We see the damage..."

"...And we have to react. Damn. He got us good."

"But that means he was drawing us out on purpose."

"Yeah, so?"

"So that means... I mean, maybe it means... we can hurt him. If he could have just wiped us all out, why go to that much trouble?"

"Worth thinking about, at least. What about Adler and Fromm?"

"Tunnel team took out the last SIfer down there just in time to hear the order to pull back to base. Adler and Fromm had rank in absence of ... everyone, and made a land push, aiming to march back up the mountain. I think they were hoping to get up there in time to catch Saetos with his pants down, so to speak. They took the First and Second, and some of the Fourth."

Fuck. The Fourth. "What are the casualties like?"

"I'd say he decimated us, but that would imply he stopped at one in ten. I think you have five Berets left, and around half your Lanceteamers. I was still getting patched up, so I only got this secondhand from Delphi."

"Okay, so how'd the fight go?"

"Badly. Adler and Fromm put up a hell of a fight, but they got torn up. Fromm managed to report what he learned about Saetos's plumes right in the middle of dying on one."
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"What about Danphe? Where'd he get to?"

Diamond pulls a face. "The Nepalese military recalled him to arrange defensive perimeters around important local installments."

"What about the mavericks? What have they got left?"

Diamond shrugs. "It can't be much--the counterattack team took another position on their way up--that's when Saetos hit them--and managed to take out a lot of assets in the process. Even then they were defending. It's weird--they answered with much less force than they opened up with. I think without Saetos in the equation, we could pretty easily take what's left, even in the shape we're in."

"About that--casualties?"

"Most of our mechaniloids and stationary force is gone. Comms got wrecked, Deploy is unled, and we've only got one or two of the Muzzle Crash loaners from Artillery. 17th is down to three OS-Tyr, one badly wounded. Wolfang's force is heavy, so Polar did all right--lost a few Axe Maxes. First and Second got wrecked, though. They mostly brought recon and riders, neither are armored well enough to take the abuse they went through. Call it a quarter of their forces. As for the Seventh..." he takes a deep breath. "I guess I'm ranking officer now. I've got eight Jetlights, seven Beller0phons, and two Steel Beret Ailes left. Yours where you want them, Anode."

You grimace. Polar's okay, but you're down to half the 4th, a bit less than that of the 7th, and a quarter of the 1st and 2nd. "That depends. How long do we think we can hold out with what we've got?"

"Well, if he just tries to break cordon, we can probably bring him down," Diamond says. "We've got some air assets outside the perimeter that can come in fast, but it's too dangerous to keep them patrolling. If he just tries to escape, we could probably play keep-away for hours, maybe even ground him. But if he just comes straight for us..." he sighs. "I give us ten minutes, tops."

Here's what I think sol is like us he has a battery of uv radiation like we have with electricity. He used most of it attacking us and his shield was weak against/ running out of jucie when we got a small hit in. He probly recharges in the sun or has a nuclear reactor to recharge fast, this means right now he's probly recharging this means that if we don't attack nowish he will come at full strength. Besides that he may have secondary weapons like we do, this means even if we could drain him I would still go full force before he pulls out another ace. We majorly wounded his base, which means even if he could build reinforcements it will take him time to fix. Defenceively the only pro is that it give us time to wait for reinforcements that may never come or may come too late. Even If we were promised reinforcements then unless we got a 0 then I still think we should push. The pros of attacking are, they don't have time to recharge or use any healing or resupply facility's they still have, the troops won't have free time to panic, and hopefully the earlyer attack will of destroyed any traps.
He seems the type that if he has heard that 0 is on the way he will break cordon just to deny them any assets and first hand intel.

I say Attack.

Here we have cover at least. If we want to attack we need to cross a lot of exposed ground: The perfect opportunity for Solstrike to bomb us back into the stone age. Our airsupport has no way to stop him when he catches us on the offensive, as long as we stay defensive we can at least call in outside air assets and they might even make it in time to save our collective asses. Saetos can attack us when- and wherever he wants, so our only chance to survive is to make our position appear as dangerous as possible to him.
Attack cautiously.

Though that much goes without saying.
Attack but send a report about what happened and our plans so that if we fall others know this information (if we die and make another reploid)
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You mull all the available info over. "And with all that in mind, you're in favor of an attack?"

Diamond nods. "I am. Look at the patterns--draw us out and pick us off. It's classic asymmetrical warfare--minimize our leverage while paring us down, because he can't take us all directly."

"I agree. So what do we do differently this time?"

"Like I said, we've got the finches at two elevations, and I can take a third. We know to watch out for high strikes, so the ground force will have time to react. Spread the ground force out--Adler and Fromm did that, worked well enough--so he can't get a lot of us at once. We know the lasers are multidirectional, but if we stay mobile we should have less trouble."

"What if he just hits home base again?"

"Teletrans got word back home, and the Fifth retasked a recon satellite to keep an eye on us. We've got coverage for the next eight hours."

You turn and look over the base--patches of snow replaced by scorched earth, buildings and defenses no longer standing where they were an hour before. A quiet, heavy desperation has fallen over the now-emptied Shangri-La. Dozens dead--more than those that survived wounded, which speaks terrifying volumes about Saetos and what he can do. And, you know, before this is over, more will be gone.

"Get everyone together," you tell Diamond quietly. "We're rolling out."
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The hunters, to their credit, don't complain or question you, they don't hunch their shoulders or give resigned sighs. They form up stoically, forcing down the pall that's surely gnawing away at their morale by the second. You note with some relief that Flak and Susan--the two Berets who specifically requested to be here with you--are both alive, Flak actually managing a smile when he sees you again. The officer candidate is among the living as well, though you suppress a wince at all the missing faces. You look them all over one last time before speaking up. You're not really one for speeches without a big screen and popcorn involved, but you know you need to say... something.

"Things are bad," you begin, voice grave, "and they're going to get worse. But if there's one thing I've learned in my time maverick hunting, it's that the battle is decided through information. What you don't know can hurt you, and we fought two costly engagements--lost two costly engagements--because of what we didn't know. A maverick's best defense is ignorance of who he is, and what he can do. And at great cost, now we know what he can do."

"The real battle--the information war--is in our favor here. Everything we've done today is recorded, and while it may be small comfort, it's going to cost Saetos. Maybe in this attack, maybe in another, the data will catch up to him. But right now, we are attacking. Form up by unit and move out."

Diamond steps in beside you. "Finches will be flying overwatch at 15 and 30,000 feet. I'd be at 45, but they don't want me up there after taking a magnet to the brain, so I'll be splitting the difference at 22-5. By the way, that speech was terrible."

"Says the guy who took a magnet to the brain," you reply, giving a dogged grin.
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You advance, with almost all the forces you have left, Shangri-La guarded by a wounded Wolfang, a pitifully small picket force, and the remains of the rear contingent. The satellite will have to do for them--though of course, if Saetos attacks, it's sure as hell not going to stop him. They might just get a few extra seconds' warning before their doom.

The same can be said for the Seventh. The highest flyer--Warwing, you're told--doesn't have a prayer if he's targeted first. But you're also told he volunteered, refusing to let the loss of Addax, Fringe, and Euphonia go to waste. Everyone is committed to this. You couldn't ask for a better team to possibly march to your death with.

"Contact," Delphi radios, "Our last Render Boy is reporting a mechaniloid force ahead, led by a handful of degravers and one Hoganmer."

"Careful," Diamond warns from above, "This is exactly how he hit the 17th, right in the middle of an engagement."

>Then we don't waste time. Alpha strike, people, shoot the works.
>If it's mostly 'loids, they won't really be able to pursue us. Stage a feint to draw him to us.
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Word up, wind's picking up and apparently thunderstorm warnings for later in the day. I already lost power earlier (prompting much swearing), so if I vanish abruptly, that'll be why.
>Then we don't waste time. Alpha strike, people, shoot the works.
A feint is complicated and would require drawing manpower away from our already dogged force.
If we had any artillery left I'd say go for the feint then regroup further on....
Do we have artillery left?
You have some artillery left. And as for a feint, it's more of a probing attack to draw Saetos out of hiding while not fully committing.
>Then we don't waste time. Alpha strike, people, shoot the works.

We're operating under the assumption that he is currently on some sort of downtime cycle. If that assumption is false, we've already lost, but if it's true, we can't waste a second of this opening.
>Alpha Strike
>>Then we don't waste time. Alpha strike, people, shoot the works.
No chances.
Be the alpha, but watch for signs of traps, if they run don't dog them just head for sol.
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Saetos has already proven he's clever enough to set up vicious traps. Leaving any variable unchecked--like, say, a maverick strike force--could be a disaster.

"Hit them like the fist of God," you answer promptly.

The hunters oblige. Despite half the numbers, they strike with double the force and intensity of your first engagement. Unlike your cautious, orderly advance, you throw yourselves in headlong, barely more than a warband, firing as you charge in at a dead sprint.

Against a different force, this might have been reckless (well, more than it already was), but the maverick line is mostly mechaniloid. The thing about mechaniloids is that they're a bit slow to react--hit them fast enough and they don't have time to mount a response, unless they have some very sturdy frontliners. This is mostly a picket of lightweight flyers. Plasma fire cuts through them like a scythe, explosions blossoming across the maverick line before they've even started to return fire.

The Reploid component of their force is an ill fit, too; Degravers are sturdy, but caught out in the open in a full assault, they fall quickly. Soon only scattered 'loids, wounded Degravers, and a single Hoganmer at the center of their line remain, hunkered down behind his shield.

"Hey, Anode?" Delphi calls from somewhere on your right.

"Yeah?" you ask, raking both busters across a swarm of Battons.

"That's Mourn."

Right--one of the secondary targets. "Whose was after him again?"

"Berbis," she answers.

"Oh." There's a long moment of silence as you catch her eyes from a few dozen meters away. She nods. "Fuck it."
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Mourn is right in the middle of calling a challenge when every single maverick hunter opens fire on him from all sides. The hoganmer is swallowed by a hurricane of light as he literally boils away under the combined fire of about seventy vengeful maverick hunters Only his shield remains, sizzling in a cloud of steam, half-melted by the sheer volume of fire thrown his way.

"Anode!" snaps Siskin. "Incoming! Low and fast out of the mountain, can't intercept--"

Saetos makes his presence known as a blur in your peripheral vision, streaking by you and snaring a Steel Beret in those cruel, magnetized talons. He takes off like a shot again, the Beret spasming in the grip of the magnetics. A handful of hunters to your left and right fall under invisible fire, gouts of earth kicked up in a hail while four on your left have to dive in all directions to avoid one of those murderous buster shots. Saetos and his prey disappear into the distance, counterfire petering out after the maverick far, far too slow to catch him. You wince as you see them rise high in the air as he nonchalantly drops the 4th soldier from around 10,000 feet.

"Son of a bitch--he's climbing, I'm going for him!" Warwing calls.

"Negative!" Diamond calls, "Stay in line! We're the early warning team!"

"He'll be slow, I'll be coming down on him out of a dive! This is our best shot!"

"Neither of us are fast enough to catch up in time," Siskin answers hotly. "It's suicide!"

You should weigh in. You should give an order, or make a call.

But for a brief instant, you made eye contact with the maverick who killed you.

And he was as surprised as you were.

"Anode. Anode!" Diamond comms, snapping you out of it.

>Don't do it. Stay in formation.
>...I'm sending you to your death. Go.
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>Don't do it. Stay in formation.
Part of becoming a successful warband of angry mob reploids is knowing when not to overextend.
Besides, we might just have jarred the shit out of him coming back from the dead like that.
Also I did a thing.
Hold the line
Love isn't always on time

I'll see myself out now
>Don't do it. Stay in formation.
In addition if he seems to be setting up for a dive on us: Blackout the sun with a rocket.
>Don't do it. Stay in formation.

If he's going to dive, and we can find some way to throw him off balance midway, then he'll hit the ground hard and we can open up on him.

It's finding a way to throw him off balance that's the issue. I recommend an overcharged lockon hunter to his shoulder/wing.
"Go in if he's spotted you, you won't be able to defend if he hits you on the next pass."

One of these days we will remember to check the capabilities of our forces as well as the enemies'

We need to hit him with chaff rockets and maybe the lockon laser since he seems to be heat resistant. Tumult shell the buster shot if we can, but I've got no idea how to disable his UV lasers short of the lockon.
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"Has he spotted you?" you ask tersely.

"I dunno, probably!" Warwing replies crossly, "At this point I wouldn't be surprised if he rolled over and shot down the recon satellite! Am I going or no?!"

"Negative," you answer. "We might need all of our remaining air assets to take him down. And besides, do you really think he won't be back?" you add as a grim afterthought.

"So I'm supposed to just cruise up here and let him take out another four or five hunters? Let Phoney and Fringe die for--" He catches himself. "Sorry."

"It's fine, we're all high-strung. Assume he sees you and expect to be targeted first and fast."

"Warwing's good in a dive," Diamond says, as much for him as for you. "That's why he's up furthest. If he has some warning he can get out of dodge. Likewise for Siskin and climbing." Of course, that's a big if, and you all know it.

No further enemy sightings, and four men down, one wounded. The mop-up goes well--Delphi tagging Mourn's slagged shield to be returned to the First as a memorial for Stim Berbis--and you resume a cautious advance up the mountainside. Without Danphe, it's slow, rough going--he helped create stable terrain on your way up.

Five minutes later, your comms ping on another mass-broadcast. The signal crackles to life on a dismally familiar voice.

"This is Solstrike Saetos," it says, "And I would very much like to speak with the commander of the hunter forces arrayed against me."

Might as well speak with him.
"If you're about to give yourself up, I'm all ears, mate."

Bounce the signal off someone else, there's a chance he could be doing...something?
Isn't this guy too dangerous to bring in?
"This is Fourth, and I would very much like to hear of your surrender."

Why don't we have the navigators on the horn yet? This is pretty much tailored for their work.
Love that guy
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Smooth McGroove is the smoothest, grooviest nerd to ever sing in front of the same camera upwards of ten times for a single video.

And also, I bring tidings of ART and IMPALEMENT.

This one was a lot of fun to draw.
I tried to make the filename funny again, too
I gotta say, I am LOVING your work
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I love you, dude. I love you like Em loves suggestively-shaped melee weapons.
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Aw, you guys.

Also, a concept for Tigershark. Kind of rough and not all that clear, though.

And someone asked for the "FUCK YOU I'M A PILOT" moment...that's coming up. At some point. Want to have it all either sketched out or done before I post it. It's gonna be a comic book-styled page.
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...Is it wrong that my first thought was this comic, and the second was "dear god, it's like Dinobot wearing powered armor?" In a good way?
No, I don't think so. The first few times I tried to draw him, it ended up looking more like an aligator than a shark. I guess Dinobot's close enough?
I just realized something.

There's only two games between us and the shitstorm that is X5.

The game where most of the Maverick Hunters go Maverick.

How many of our friends are we gonna have to kill?
"Hello, you have reached Double A Power Lines, how may I be of service today?"
Engage full on Spiderman banter, while motioning for everyone to take up defensive positions/locate him/do SOMETHING while we distract him

Also in the quite likely event of Saetos saying the line "I killed you.."

"Didn't take."
Oh, and assume that this is actualy Fly up to more shenanigans so we don't get blindsided.

Actualy, can we have a few more of our flyers take up low level flights to try and get Saetos in a crossfire of sorts?
What are the odds we're gonna recreate the finale of Snake Eater with Schwarzhund?
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Dude, don't even go there.
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You glance over at Delphi, who nods again, this time darkly.

You put a hand to your ear, and key your comms. "This is Lieutenant Anode, Fourth Overland Unit. I don't suppose you're calling to surrender?"

"Hah! You should be so lucky, Double-A."

"I guess that means both of our reputations precede us, Saetos. What's this about?"

He gives a lofty little chuckle. "This is about you, hunter. All about you."

You pause a moment, not really sure how to take that. "Explain."

"I was rather surprised to see you alive," he says, voice still as insufferably smug as ever. "I'm genuinely impressed."

You try not to growl over the line. "Fantastic. If this conversation doesn't start going somewhere, I'm assuming you're stalling for a trap and cutting connection."

"Oh, you don't want to do that," Saetos replies, amused. "I'm calling to make you an offer."

Your troops exchange glances. "I'm listening," you reply.

"Here's the deal: I want a rematch with you. One on one, starting on even footing. No outside interference, hunter or maverick. If you accept, win or lose, the rest of your little crew walks."

"What, play for blood?" you spit. "And this definitely isn't a trap."

"I don't need traps, I need entertainment," the maverick replies. "Though I wouldn't blame you for being suspicious. I certainly would be. That said..." the ground in front of you explodes as a blazing javelin streaks out of the sky and embeds itself at your feet. "Consider the alternative."
Fuck it fight him, but have people ready to shoot if we are about to die or give an order.
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"So assuming this isn't another ambush, how do I know you'll keep your word?"

"You don't." Well, nice and straightforward, at least.

"Better question," interrupts Diamond from above, clearly irritated, "Do you mind if we station outside range in case you do try to pull something?"

"Not at all," Saetos replies grandly, "as long as you don't mind becoming fair game when I'm through. At any rate, I've made my offer. I won't take any more of your time--until I take all of it," he adds helpfully. Prick. "I'll let you make your decision."

Diamond comms you on a hunter line. "You're actually thinking about it, aren't you?"

Warwing follows up. "Don't."

"What do we have to lose?" Delphi counters, "that is, if the Lieutenant agrees to it."

You can feel the eyes of every hunter in your force, officer and enlisted, on you. While you know, logically, he called on every frequency to make sure you got the message, you can't help but feel like this was part of his goal. Either way, they all sit quietly, waiting to hear your response. Your hand hovers by your ear, itching to trigger comms...

>I'm your huckleberry.
>My hypocrisy only goes so far.
>I'm your huckleberry.'
A goddamn maverick version of tanker... that can fly.
Its like a fucking Cazaclaw
Stall, tell him you'll need some time to make a few field repairs to make it worth his while.

While you and others are patching yourselves up, ask the opinions of everyone there what they think you should do. Since it's only your ass on the line if you go through with it
This, tell him that if he wants a good fight to let us fix our selves up a bit, also call in for some reinforcements from 4 if we can.
"Out of options, out of time."
>I'm your huckleberry.
>Hey Lifesaver, looks like we're going to be a repeat customer.
What's our charge at?
>I'm your huckleberry.

Make sure that everyone knows we are doing it to protect the remainder of our forces.

The way it looks he either picks off guys till its only Anode, or Anode goes to the duel.
Saetos confirmed for THAT ONE FUCKING BOSS

We need to build a charge, no matter what choice we make.
We are still coming back in pieces, i think the old dog won the bet of us dying though.
that was pretty much a given, considering he was the sole S on our hit list.
Agree, with every intention of cheating.

If there's no Saetos, our forces are superior, and if Saetos really is powerful enough to wipe everyone out, then we were always fucked. As noted earlier though, that's doubtful - why doesn't he just do it then? I don't buy that it's honor when he's shown a willingness to employ all manner of sneaky and highly lethal tactics.

If he's really coming out alone, our best bet is to try to kill him as quickly and effectively as possible. Have some of the more capable hunters with good speed and/or long range stand by to pounce. Not in an obvious ambush or anything, of course. Even if Saetos becomes enraged and turns to attack the force, we'll probably get a good opening out of it.
On the other hand, if we beat him mono e mono, even if we end up half dead in the process, we're sure as hell gonna get a rank up.
Threat level doesn't make the ONE BOSS.
It's a huge contributor, but it's not the only thing.
The exemplar ONE BOSS is actually Air Man.
He has a song about his being one, no less.
>I'm your huckleberry.

If we survive, we need to ask the guys back at base to prepare a bathtub full of scotch. And then never leave said bathtub ever again.
We should have taken up on that bet.
That song is funny because the "player" in that song seems to refuse to go after anyone but airman when going after woodman would make airman easy.

We did.
And since it's getting a bit late and I'm a bit out of it, I'm going to call the thread for tonight. Continued discussion and debate and all that encouraged, same with votes.
This, If he's even doing this at all, I think it's probably be cause he cant keep doing what he's been doing forever, and he wants to minimize his risk.

Also, I like to think Anode is a reploid with a certain healthy degree of honor...

This piece of shit isnt getting any of it. I want that bird DEAD.
Rereading the first post...
It seems that Anode is the older of the Diode twins.
Or he's not actually lying and he's really doing this for entertainment. Given what we know of him (IE, He's a smug asshole) it might be the case that the offer is legit.

Just playing devil's advocate here, but maybe we should try to take him on? The personal risk is high, but at the same time it would probably save a lot of our people.
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That makes the MMZ-style picture of the siblings I'm drawing even funnier.

It's going to look something like this, just a bit.
Anode needs to use this line. nothing says we can't bumrush him with our guys while he's in lower altitude. Of course, we'd need to kill off Ultravion to actually catch him off guard.
Serial numbers start with zero. If Cath is DIODE ZERO...
Nono, we should definitely take him on, we really have nothing to lose. Im just saying, if the chance presents itself, screw the rules, and have the battalion smoke his ass while we fry him from the inside out.
Er, I've just picked this up and... I'm seeing some votes for "Just let me repair" and... Um well, wouldn't this guy just take that as a sign of weakness?

He could decide to go for the throat instead, as he's just gotten confirmation that we're not at 100%.

We fight.

It's time.

>side note, HC, this is my favorite quest on /tg/ right now. <3 love you
You do have a point, but you must realize to him this is a game. He saw that we survived and went in his little maverick head 'yeah, this guy can be FUN!'. We are his entertainment. His toy. He would likely call us cowards, but he'd also likely enjoy a full on fight.

Suffice to say, we go for it. Our main objective is to buy time. Wittle him down, keep him occupied and having fun. We have men coming in but right now the bastard has us right where we wants us. We give him time and he'll beat our asses down. But if we can weaken him, rip off his feathers and dampen his solar power, then we may just win.
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We probably wiped all the forces he had left, or damn close to it. If we can distract him long enough for Daimond to off his nemesis, we could have our air guys encircle him from above while he's distracted with us, then swarm him like bees

Or bats
I think it is in Anodes character to take Saetos up on his offer so that's where my vote goes.
But maybe Saetos knows that and thinks this will be an easy way to get rid of a potential threat.
Either way, we should plan to dogpile him with everyone we have if we look like we're losing. We can't let Saetos get away.
He's just shown two possible weaknesses:

First, his pride. He wants Anode dead. If we walk away alive, it tarnishes his terrifying reputation. He may take risks to attempt to kill us. Fighting us in single combat might be one of those risks.

Second, even if it is a trap or ploy, it indicates he can't beat everyone here at once. Sure, he can inflict enormous casualties, but I bet there is a limit he's not willing to reveal. Maybe he can't take hits like he can dish out, or those kinds of attacks drain him more than most. Even Anode has to manage is capacitor, so perhaps this Maverick also has such limitations.

I'd say call his bluff, fight him on the field, but give the orders to the Hunters that the moment Saetos delivers the finishing blow, assuming Anode can't win, to level the battlefield with enough force to destroy Saetos and Anode both. If Anode wins, it will be an unnecessary order. If he loses, It's a vital one.
I'd vote for dogpieling regardless of whether we're winning or losing. I want what happened to Mourn to be JACK SHIT compared to what happens to Saetos.
Honestly I agree.

Fuck Saetos. 100% behind this dudes >>27633714 sentiments.

Agree to the duel. Let him come. Don't have anyone retreat.

The instant he lands to gloat or whatever everyone blasts the fuck out of him.
We have to ground him. If we can find some way to ground his during the fight, he's well and truly fucked.
Okay, lets brainstorm things.

What we have are our buster blackout flares, our spear, the Misericorde, Lockon Hunter, the Tumult Shell, and the Tension Coil.

How can we use these to either strip off his feathers or clog his boosters?
Indeed. Ground him and drain him. I think the biggest issue with Saetos is the fact that the amount of pure weapon hardware he has requires a lot of energy one way or another. Chances are, the modifications he had are meant to boost his energy reserves and use those reserves. We know mods can cause issues and are tricky and considering how he shot up to S in sheer power, chances are those same mods are his weak point.

In short, the guy is probably like an Aerial Maverik version of Anode. Remove his mods, and he goes from S back to A or B.
We could possibly use the Tension Coil to tie his wings together. That'd fuck his mobility, since he seems to need them to maneuver. Or if he grabs us bolt them onto his wings and screw over his flying by jerking them around.

He moves at high speed, so if we use a blackout flare centered on ourselves and brace our lance he could run right into it without time to react. Alternately the Blackouts might be enough to dampen his UV blinding enough so we can look at him without fucking over our sensors.

The Lockon Hunter is a true laser. Can't dodge that.

Tumult Shell might be able to strip the energy off his feather spear things.
If we can snare him with the coil, we might be able to keep a set distance from him for a time, as we get 'pulled' along with him. Its risky, as he could cut the line, but if we are ready to keep firing coils, and keep pulling ourselves closer, we could hit him with our saber or lance in melee.
Our best option,since we don't have a weapon like Metal Blade, is to surprise him with our array of weapons at key moments; such as wait until he dives at us, and at the last second, throw a Blackout Flare in his face and hope he crashes, or drops his guard long enough for us to go for the kill.
This isn't a battle where we can hold anything back or make any mistakes. And there's probably not any giant cannon capacitors around for us to tap into either when it goes badly.
Also, ask everyone to give you a solid punch for good luck.

Use the charge to FUCK HIM UP if he grabs us, then stab him with the Misericorde.

Right in the boosters.
Can somebody explain to me the reason we survived last thread? Some kind of emergency beamout thing...? So that means Solstrike had us grappled, and then we just got teleported out? Or is it more like we're being restored from backup?

Were we the only one who got saved by an emergency beamout? I mean -- why didn't any others like even Adler and Fromm get beamed out.

For that matter, why is there mention of us being "dead" before we're "alive again"? Is beaming out a way of swooping in to save a reploid at the last moment, or is it some sort of restore-from-backup-after-mostly-destroyed? If its the latter though, shouldn't more be able to benefit from it?

Anyway... So I've read the last few archived threads. Enough to have caught up with how this mission started. Aaaand I really felt the loss of all those people. And just how SUDDEN it all was. And Addax especially I thought was cool.

>You grimace. Polar's okay, but you're down to half the 4th, a bit less than that of the 7th, and a quarter of the 1st and 2nd.

Uh, I don't remember the exact numbers or anything so I'm just going to assume that the 1st, 2nd, 3th and 7th all contributed equally to this mission.

Meaning if only half the 4th and 7th is left, and only a quarter of the 1st and 2nd... that means only ~37% is left.

Holy SHIT.

I mean, it sounded like we were actually doing really damn well at first, taking few casualties, and just generally tearing through the Mavericks. We near-immediately caught on to the tunnelers. We had some cool tactics and teamwork to devastate the Maverick forces. We were WINNING.

And then Solstrike wipes out like half our force singlehandedly.
Emergency Beam Out when we received critical damage from a mesosphere piledriver. We took so much damage that we no longer functioned, but not enough that our memory was destroyed. We ended up lucking out in that we were non-functional (dead) but not enough that we could not be repaired and reactivated (dead and gone). Others have not been so lucky.

Solstrike is an S-rank Maverick. Anode is an A-rank Hunter with type advantage and he was the toughest thing in the Hunter forces facing Solstrike. I suspect that all the other Officers were B rank. A rule of thumb says that 3 of a lower rank can take 1 of a higher rank, but this rule is stated not to scale very well. (i.e. 3 As can beat an S, but 9 Bs can't)
Lets just delve into gameplay terminology here. You know how in Megaman, you explode into a bunch of circles when you die? Thats emergency beamout. We basically had an extra life, and everyone else...didn't.

In less meta terminology, >>27640749 is correct in that we were lucky as -fuck- to have survived that.

I remember someone a while ago asking how the judges in MMZ transform from human to reploid? Well I worked it out.

They're using whatever Axl uses to transform. They're new model Reploids, like in X8.
Hmm... Does anyone know if Saetos Boosters have an air-intake? If they have i imagine the Chaff from our Blackouts could fuck their internals right up. He isn't using Gravitic technology, so he should be grounded when we take out his Boosters. You just need to hit him with the Chaff while he is using them.
Say... during a dive or a climb?
Basically, when he dropped us from the mesosphere, we were left in a decent enough state that repair was possible and a teleport occured.

That's why he's surprised. That's why he wants to fight us.

And I say we take him up on the offer, but give the order to totally level the field if we lose.
Gotta keep this alive.
Hunter Command please report. Give us anything!
I'm around! But I'm waiting for Cain Labs to make an appearance. No idea where he's gotten to.
Megabird wants this fight. I see no reason that we can't choose the arena. If we fight inside a building or underground, we can set traps and use cover.

Fighting out in the open is a terrible idea, and we shouldn't do it.
Good to hear.
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You look from face to face, meeting their eyes

You take a deep breath, closing your eyes as you ping the line again. “Saetos? You’re on.”

“Grand, grand,” he replies. “Now, shall we--”

“Hold up,” you interrupt. “I’ll do this, but I need to square some shit away. And I’m already throwing down with an S-rank. I want time for field repairs, and I--“

“Hah!” the maverick guffaws. “I’m a flyer. you think I don’t know a stall when I see one? No, Double-A, it’s now or never.”

Damn. “Whatever. I still want to pick the location. If you’re so damn good, what do you care?”

“You don’t get to be this good by being an idiot about it,” Saetos replies, annoyance tinging his ever-present attitude. “Fine, but we’ll agree to it. You’re not dragging me into that hole in the ground for this fight. I’m consolidating my forces back at base, and I suggest you do the same if you want them to live. Have a location in five minutes, or not at all. Out.”

He cuts comms. “Right,” you say, turning back to your team, “Everyone who isn’t back at Shangri-La in five minutes is as good as dead. Now who wants to come with me to make sure the smug prick doesn’t try anything funny?”

You note with a grim smile that every single hand around you goes up. “So what’s our game plan, Anode?” asks Diamond, touching down beside you.

“Well, for starters, I need someone to go give my regards to my family and the Fourth if I don’t come back from this.”

He holds up a hand. “You’re gonna have to find someone else, then, because I’m going with you.”

“Us too,” Warwing snarls from above. “He killed my brothers and I’m going to see him burn for it.”

“Hold up,” Siskin replies. “We need a plan.”

A plan, and a location--and the tunnel’s already out.
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Gah, first line of the last post fell apart. Oh well.
>I’ll face him solo. He’ll probably have someone attack while I’m busy, so I want you here.
>This reeks of a setup. I want the officers shadowing me and support ready to roll in.
>Fight bastard with bastard. We’re cheating first.
>Fight him at Shangri-La. He’ll be furthest from his support and closest to your own.
>Fight him in his fort. You’ll be away from support, but the walls will work at least partially in your favor.
>Fight him in the no-man’s-land between. Safer for you and anyone with you, but it’s wide open.
Location wise, somewhere with a lot of cover, where he's going to need to weave through tight spaces to get a clear bead on us.

And then we fill those tight spaces with a cloud of iron filings and lockon hunter his ass.
>This reeks of a setup. I want the officers shadowing me and support ready to roll in.
>Fight him in the no-man’s-land between. Safer for you and anyone with you, but it’s wide open.
If all else fails and we die taking out his wings, whats left of that artillery can level the fucking spot from where they are.
>This reeks of a setup. I want the officers shadowing me and support ready to roll in.
>Fight him at Shangri-La. He’ll be furthest from his support and closest to your own.
>This reeks of a setup. I want the officers shadowing me and support ready to roll in.
>Fight him at Shangri-La. He’ll be furthest from his support and closest to your own.

Shangri-La still has some walls and such, right? Any cover at all will be good.
The short version: You died. Dew-dew-dew-dew.

The long version: Lifesaver support is an expensive, dear commodity--and one you weren't rated for. Emergency recall isn't an automatic immortality button--Lifesaver Central is working constantly, around the clock, and constantly full up. When a flagged hunter's life signs go dead, it triggers an emergency beamout. Unlike the neat, orderly spacial compression of a regular "teleport" beam, an emergency extraction is dangerous and risky--they're literally breaking the target Reploid's body into discrete chunks and depositing you at your destination in installments. It doesn't always work, and they don't always successfully capture and reassemble every piece. You're not the only hunter that died today, but you're one of the few that was successfully recovered after the beamout.

Lifesaver Central's mandate is fast turnaround time, spending huge amounts of energy and resources to restore fallen hunters to the fight as quickly as possible. They're limited threefold; the Reploid has to be intact enough to revive, the Reploid has to survive the extraction process, and the Reploid has to be important enough to be worth spending the time on. In better times, they would have a bed for everyone, but these are not better times.

You, frankly, were not. Schwarzhund pulled rank and called in some favors, and you owe your continued existence to his hunch. Higher-rank hunters tend to merit a higher priority on Lifesaver support, so if you live long enough, you might be assigned 'Saver support again.

The meta-version: Schwarzhund gave you an extra life. Saetos just took it from you.
>This reeks of a setup. I want the officers shadowing me and support ready to roll in.
>Fight bastard with bastard. We’re cheating first.
>Fight him in the no-man’s-land between. Safer for you and anyone with you, but it’s wide open.

I'd say we have Diamond pull his "flying out of the sun" shit if I didn't think he was savvy enough to suspect it.
I'd like to use his tunnel against him somehow, but we collapsed it before it could get under Shangrila, and No mans land would be too wide.

At his base is out, even if we win somehow, his guys could jump us.

.....are there any artillery guns in Shangrila still functional? if we act quickly, maybe we could set up a little surprise for him, like Guns Wallaby did with his drone.
Hm, so it looks like the thread is a bit dead today. I'm gonna call it here, in no small part because I have things to do tonight and I woke up at 5 due to a car alarm.

Feel free to continue voting or discussing, I'll be watching for a while.
Its less dead and more waiting hungrily... but if you have to go I guess that is okay.
It's a workday before most USians are done with work.

Did anything interesting happen in your campaign yet? Some guy in another thread wants to know what system you're using, too.
We're using Legend. And we're about to the point where there's enough material for me to put storytime together for. Maybe tonight/soon I can get the DM and players together and bang out a quick synopsis of the plot so far.
I'm probably going to regret this...

>I’ll face him solo. He’ll probably have someone attack while I’m busy, so I want you here.

>Fight him in the no-man’s-land between. Safer for you and anyone with you, but it’s wide open.
I've been trying to get my group to play Legend, but they're afraid they'll catch the weeaboo.
Legend is a surprisingly good system.
If he tries to straight up abduct and infect us or something, self-destruct y/n?
>Fight bastard with bastard. We’re cheating first.

>Fight him at Shangri-La. He’ll be furthest from his support and closest to your own.
I'm hesitant about shangrila, because he's going to utterly decimate us. Better to have a contingency of shit doesn't work out than the throw everything at him at once.
Do we even have a self destruct?
I hope not
I think this thread is dead now.
Never. It's just getting Lifesaver support until it can reengage.
Just got to thread 6 on the archives. The drunken escapades one.

ohgod. can't. BREATH.
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You have not. Even. Begun.

by the way, a thing that I've been working on.
i think even if Hunter Command comes back tonight, the thread won't have enough posts left to do anything.
He'd more likely make a new thread.
>You have not. Even. Begun
This-isn't-even-my-final-form!.jpg ?



Did we ever spend more time calling and talking to Cathode, after the... 2nd or so thread wherein we called her after our first mission?

Also, I just gotta say that I am really feeling this. The great sense of humor that Anode has.

The tension, confusion (and sheer FRUSTRATION of not-knowing, not-understanding why Mavericks act as they do...) as Anode, and the posters, wonder just what Guns Wallaby was up to and why he was acting that way...

Easy to empathize with the characters Hunter Command writes.
Anode does have a date with Cathode later on.
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Seriously. It just keeps getting better.

And yeah, Anode and Cathode meet back up a couple times. It's fun.
Lookin' pretty snazzy there, Gale
I've been getting a lot of practice- I do art for two boards now. Sheesh.

/m/ and their Kamen Rider threads got me drawing my own based off countries and historical figures. Damn them and their encouragement...
>"You know what? I've always wanted to beat up my dad."

>Tanker guffaws. "X it is, then."

>You climb inside the pod as the information processes.

>"Okay, so basically you're going to be in a cyberspace simulation. No harm is transferred, though it feels real enough," Dodo says as he punches a few buttons. "We can--and will--provide commentary through the system."

>"We can--and will--provide commentary through the system."

I hope the commentary played out Statler and Waldorf style. Or at least those two were referenced or mentioned in some way.

If not, I'm going to be disappointed that a great moment for humor was wasted.

Make sure Diamond, or at any rate someone who is NOT ANODE, decides the signal for and makes the call on when to ambush the bastard. That way we can't possibly give away when it's going to happen.
>//WCL3-CSIG-1: Sensor-disruption razor chaff "Blackout Flare" -- adapted data: MH16-TC-ANODE-1-CUSTOM "Blackout Rocket"

So I'm on another thread, and noted that we selected an Anti-Air "Blackout Rocket" as an upgrade. It was said to be very good at what it does.

I'm guessing that its going to come in real useful in the upcoming fight?

(I believe that we hadn't had the opportunity to use it against Solstrike yet, because everything had been happening so fast.)

Will using them interfere with our own fliers though? Or can we make sure its all hitting and screwing up Solstrike?
Has anyone considered the possibility that SS is pulling a suicide run, and intends to take out the forces arrayed against him simply by exploding when we jump him?
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It depends. We don't know if Maverick Hunters, as Saetos originally was, are built with the ability to self-destruct (see >>27651313
and >>27655821), and I assume that adding the ability for a reploid to do so wouldn't be an easy task.
>I assume that adding the ability for a reploid to do so wouldn't be an easy task.
Unfortunately, I'd say the opposite is far more likely. Reploids need a lot of power to pull off what they pull off, and SS more than most. He has to have structures in him that are designed to export a lot of energy really, really quickly, probably by extracting it from high-energy-density materials.

Energy is generally quite pleased to violently seek equilibrium, if given half a chance.
Fairly good point, kind of makes my hesitation to draw the fucker back towards our base a bit more warranted.
Yeah, I reckon we should fight him in his base if anything. Its not like its rare that Hunter-Maverick duels occur in the targets base, after all, and it'll be indoors so we've got walls to bounce off and cover to utilize.

Plus, if he explodes, it'll be his own base that he takes out.
Would be the best place for his forces to ambush us, though
'sup folks, good news and bad news.

First off, sorry about vanishing yesterday--I was all ready to roll and then basically got buried in an avalanche of shit. Today's honestly not shaping up to be much better, but I don't want to leave things hanging, so I'll try to do more today.

That said, I also have a job callback I need to go in for. Could be good news, but it might take a few hours and it'll keep me from writing, obviously. Anyway, I dunno. We'll see where things take us.
That bar fight. That fucking bar fight. My head literally hurts a little bit from the laughter.

Also, Anode internally-narrates with the best of 'em.
Hence why the no mans land ought to be the best. Its already been shelled once, so there are likely craters and vehicle hulls to use for cover,
No kidding, you can really see the improvement.
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Looks like officers on standby at Shangri-La.

And unfortunately, I think after this post I'm going to call this thread for good. I've been trying to get myself going for two days now, and things keep getting worse. Sorry, folks.
“We’re pulling back,” you declare. “Clear away an open ground in the middle of camp.”

“Puts us right there with him if he decides to turn on us,” Diamond observes.

You nod. “Yes, exactly. The moment he pulls something, we gun him down with whatever we’ve got.”

“I’ve got a better idea,” Siskin offers. “Permission to go set it up?”

Warwing, though still clearly angry, lets his curiosity win. “What’s your move, Sisk?”

“I’d rather not explain over comms,” the calmer finch replies. “But if he starts fighting dirty, I have some deterrents in mind.”

“First things first,” you add, switching to an open comm line again. “All right, Saetos. Meet me at the base camp, the hunters will clear a perimeter. I assume you remember how to find it.”

“I’ll just look for the smoke.”

You subvocalize a growl, only just cutting the line in time to disguise it before you answer. “Cute.”

“Speaking of ‘cute,’” Saetos continues, “I'm sure I shouldn't read anything into you picking the position furthest from my own, right?”

“Oh, perish the thought,” you reply to the maverick, trying to drip as much condescension into your tone as you can manage. “It just serves as a deterrent if you decide to go after my hunters on a victory lap, if you win this thing.”

“That’s assuming I can’t kill them all,” Saetos answers, “and believe me, I can.”

“Yes, well, that’s certainly not much incentive not to lay down some defenses for an inevitable setup,” you fire back. “Now shall we quit posturing and meet up?”
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“Certainly. In fact, let’s do it right now. I’m coming down, I’m sure none of your hunters will take a potshot and invalidate our little arrangement.”

You grimace. “You heard him, people. Hold fire. And spread out.”

Sure enough, not a minute later a distant glimmer of light in the air appears and rapidly grows, the maverick leader inbound. You find yourself anticipating Warwing doing something stupid, but the mournful officer doesn’t break from above and attack. Before long, Solstrike Saetos touches down lightly beside you, wings tucking in behind him as he straightens to his full height.

He’s massive--well over eight feet tall, built like an armored figurehead, gold crest and trim catching every ray of sun from above. He’s as regal as the mountain itself, and just as lofty. Sharp, intelligent eyes flit from face to face, that ever-present smirk growing as hands clench tightly to their weapons under his gaze. He looks down at Diamond twofold, almost a full three feet shorter. The now-senior Seventh officer returns his gaze stoically, even from under his crushed and battered white helmet.

“Lucy,” Solstrike greets.


“In the sky? With diamonds? If you don’t like it, maybe we could give you a new one.” Solstrike smirks, eyes flitting over Diamond’s mangled helmet. “Eggshell? Aspirin? Tin-can?”

Diamond scoffs. “Whatever. Beats the shit out of Double-A. And you could have met us at the camp, you know.”

“I could have, yes,” Saetos agrees, falling briskly into step beside you, as if you hadn’t been trying to murder each other for an hour. “But that’s five minutes less time for you to plan something.”

“You know, that’s the problem with this battle,” you remark drily. “There’s just no trust from either side. All right, people, move out.”

The hunter force tensely moves out, eyes constantly flitting between the steep inclines of the mountain and the giant, lethal eagle among you.
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And that's the end of regular thread festivities.

A lot went down this time, and I'll be on deck to discuss things and answer questions, if you'd like. As usual, thanks for reading, and sorry for not going further.

And of course, big thanks to Gale for his continuing art contributions, they're fan-bloody-tastic.
Man what we need now is a lightning storm
did we lose our lance?

Was Saetos always intended to wipe us the first time around?

And, to make it a little easier on us, does Saetos have any indication of battle damage?
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Best written quest on /tg/. The 2 hour wait time between posts makes it hard to participate in the threads for me, but I guess it is part of the reason why this story is as good as it is.
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Damn, thank you. And yeah, my writing speed is atrocious. I need to do some speedwriting practice or something.
>did we lose our lance?
Nope, you still have all your kit.
>Was Saetos always intended to wipe us the first time around?
Being completely honest, yes. As someone noticed, the archive description in the thread you died in was “In which our hero takes the fall,” long before Saetos launched his attack. The upshot here is that these first eight mavericks are your ‘tutorial’ phase, and over time we’ve been using it to introduce various concepts to the story. This was your freebie. In the future, if you live long enough and get promoted, you might receive limited Lifesaver support again. But let me stress--Anode can permanently die.
>And, to make it a little easier on us, does Saetos have any indication of battle damage?
Not a lick.
So basically this is Space Hulk level tutorial. Good to know.
Can our C Capacitor be upgraded, and is it full charge right now?

Why were we selected for this over other hunters, again?

Can we upgrade to S-Class ourselves?

...if we kill saetos, can we get his gun?
>Can our C Capacitor be upgraded, and is it full charge right now?
Yes and no, respectively. Keep in mind upgrading big, expensive systems is big and expensive, and your C. Capacitor is your most expensive system already. It's your boss gimmick, so to speak.
>Why were we selected for this over other hunters, again?
You're mobile, sturdy, and not overly specialized in melee or ranged with some strong options for either. Schwarz has other high-ranking threats that he's better suited for, while Tanker would not only be out of his element, he'd be outranged. Em's way too fragile, Frog's way too slow, Seven lacks the damage output. Anyone else available is B-rank or lower, and that's practically suicide.
>Can we upgrade to S-Class ourselves?
Changing rank (in both directions) is entirely possible, but it's not just a matter of stacking more gun until you hit it. That's particularly true of S, which has not just a high bar of entry on your specs, but also your skills. Anode's a long way out from hitting S, but he could do it.
>...if we kill saetos, can we get his gun?
His entire buster, X1 Zero style? No. But you could make a hell of a thing with his weapon data.
Sooooo we grapple him and rip his buster off while shouting "Give us your Buster!" all AC-Quest style
So this thing is happening

Oh god Anode is going to die or end up infected.
Are we at risk for the virus? If so, do we 'die' if we get it?
Now that one I need to sit there and let you sweat it out over. But getting blowed up isn't linked to viral activity. You think.
We already have it
I swear, Saetos reminds me more and more of evil Anode the more we deal with him. He likes music, we like movies.

Honestly, part of me can see us do SO MANY things with Saetos' weapons. Bit blades, flight capabilities, a big ol' fuck off gun. Combine it with our other gear and we could probably make some horrifying things
If we did end up going mavvy, I'm pretty sure Saetos is *exactly* what we would turn into.

Upgrade to the max and then issue one on one challenges for kicks, while spouting movie references.

So what insulting nickname do we come up with Saetos in return?

I'm partial to "Turkey Shoot."

Or maybe Blast Hardcheese if you want to just go with a silly name that's a TV reference.
Foghorn Leghorn

That's even fucking better.

>captcha: soil helpfyou

And soil help you if you disagree with that!
Bonus points if we can taunt him with an old southern accent. "Well I well I do believe I brought upon your ire boy."

We could just start throwing out various cartoon names.

Daffy Duck. Tweetie Bird. Probably not Roadrunner though because *fuck that guy* if you're in the position of the Coyote.
So uh this is a bit of an odd/off-the-wall question, buuuut...

Do you guys have any Let's Plays of megaman games that you'd recommend? Like, if I started watching LPs, is there any notable LPer or LP series that's well-known or acknowledged or whatever?
Well I enjoyed this thread very much. Can't wait for the next one.

Just remember, tutorial's over. From here on in, we're playing for keeps. It's a good thing we didn't leave you with a big dangerous S-Class to deal with or anything...
>First 8 are the tutorial.
>This is Maverick 7/8
Professor, I think a refresher course is in order.
Oh you'll be learning more of the ropes in this mission and the next, there's no doubt about that...

...but you're out of safeties.
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If that's true then we're kinda screwed.

We've been quite wrecked by even these "tutorial" missions. If that's how bad we do with the safeties *on*, then we're fucked with the safeties *off*.

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