Previous Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/29360441/Archive:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Joker%20QuestEquipment FAQ:(Updated with LEUKOCYTE.)http://pastebin.com/BeV057c1Player List:http://pastebin.com/rRSM6LgWEpisode Guide (All credit to Watashiwa):http://pastebin.com/DNGtTt04Twitter: https://twitter.com/JokerQuestOPRecap: You are ANON, the RED JOKER. In our last instalment, you commissioned the construction of SIDE 3 - The Orbital Weapon Platform known as the LEUKOCYTE - before travelling to the BASTION, ARGENT PROMINENCE'S fortress.
>>29384533HOLLOW SUN: 8.7%http://pastebin.com/z93fyLYaRED COMET GUIDE:http://pastebin.com/7vzY4Zp2
>>29384587Already found her. She's in a coma.
>>29384533>you commissioned the construction of SIDE 3Sieg Zeon.
>>29384651Wake her up
>>29384566STAGE: THE BASTION From the outside, the Bastion is a gleaming silver fortress: A tower, reassuring in it's solidity, a spire rising like a great spike from the black earth of the Red World. Inside- There's a shattered gape in the Bastion's face, blackened and empty. Even from here, you can see the black ghosts of scorchmark - A cavity in the side of the building, revealing raw cables and arcing loops of electricity. Liquid silver oozes from the deep gouges, clotting over the wound: The join of old and new silver is clearly visible, as the breach knits itself closed. The sight of the structure repairing itself is organic, almost sickeningly so - Struggling to rebuild, to mend..."-There was a containment breach, when the storm hit."In the ascending elevator, ARMAROS is a solid silver golem: The lines of his form sculpted, chiselled, the gleam of his finish dulled. Twin contrails of vapour coil up from pauldrons, venting wisps of smoke into the air - You can see where myomer fibre has been grafted to his original form, beneath his gorget; His limbs thickened, broadened, red light glowing from the seams in his armour. His voice is oddly hushed, as it crackles from his speakers - As if the damage has humbled him, reminded him of his own fragility. Or perhaps he's wary around you, your crimson plate moulded, fluid - More advanced, more *evolved*, compared to the crude and brutal augmentations made to his armour. There's been a valiant attempt to soften the harsh lines of Armaros's build...But it's clear that the grafts have taken with tenacity, not grace. Even his quad-eyed helm looks out-of-place, shrunken and disproportionate to the steel and silver encasing his altered bulk."For three hours, we were on the verge of disaster. If the Bastion wasn't self-sealing..."His voice trails off, his helm canting to regard the damage as it seals over - The way a smile slowly fades. (Continued)
>>29384826"Nothing's *stable* here, despite our best efforts. The Red seems to resist any attempt to impose an equilibrium. If not for Argent Prominence..."Armaros leaves the rest unsaid. The transport is almost there, now, retracing the familiar path to Argent Prominence's private chambers - Or Mr. Ebara's personal office. The distinction seems academic. "-You wonder why we work for him." Red light flickers in Armaros's eyeslit. "There's no great secret to it, Joker: He stands for stability. For order." A clunk echoes somewhere within his armour - A reactor cycling, perhaps. "For a world made *sane*. Who doesn't want that?" [ ] "Me, for one."[ ] "-I could name a few."[ ] "And he's decided this, because...?"[ ] "That sounds reasonable enough. It's your methods that concern me."[ ] "And you think he can accomplish this, because...?"[ ] "And what do *you* want?"[ ] Say nothing.[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>29384956"I can understand the appeal. However, no offense, but it seems like you're not doing a good job of it right now."
>>29384956> [X] Free"Doesn't that sound...boring?"
>>29384956>[ ] "-I could name a few.">[ ] "And what do *you* want?">[ ] "And you think he can accomplish this, because...?">[ ]Free- I don't want to be rude, Argent Prominence has greatly helped me out a number of times, I just don't think it's possible- things only seem to have gotten more violent and chaotic as time has passed.
>>29385024pls no.>>29384956>[ ] "-I could name a few."
>>29384956[Free] The Smilers. And his tactics are flawed.He sends his Players on missions that are too dangerous. Also, he sometimes picks the wrong players-those that don't deserve his relics, such as Bardiel
>>29385042>pls no.Seconded. If boring methods save the world, let them be boring
>>29384956[x] "And he's decided this, because...?"[x] "And what do *you* want?"[x] "The Hebrews had one thing over the Greeks when dealing with Gods- they asked questions, 'why, why', constantly complaining when shit fell on them from on high. Trying to duck and cover and hoping rituals will save you from problems that you personally can't comprehend is a terrible idea, Armaros. Try to talk to the boss once in a while, make sure he hasn't gone bugfuck insane from the stress and tanked this whole show."
>>29384956"And you want to use the source of the insanity to bring about a sane world. You'll excuse me if I say that's crazy."
>>29384956>[X] "-I could name a few.""...I think if things were that easy, this whole thing wouldn't exactly be necessary.">[X] "And you think he can accomplish this, because...?""I'm a little worried that sane and the Red aren't exactly compatible. No offense to Argent and the rest of you guys, but this problem isn't exactly a recent one. And even in spite of all of that hard work, things still seem about as far from sane as you can get without going back six years."
>>29384956"Order is only as good as the ones who keep it, sir. Frankly, from what I've been seeing, shit is spiraling out of control quicker than all of us like..."Look, I'm going to be upfront with you. Argent.. worries me. Not his actions.. but his end goals. I cannot expect you to allay my fears or suspicions and say everything is going to be fine when we both know it won't be in the end of this twisted game. Look, this may come off as disrespectful to you, but I haft to ask this question, sir.""Do you trust him? Is his actions directed towards ending this madness?"
>>29384956>"Nothing's *stable* here, despite our best efforts. The Red seems to resist any attempt to impose an equilibrium. If not for Argent Prominence..."[x] Free: "I like some order - but i'd rather do it by getting rid of this game. When you think about the impact it has one people? Its kind of sick.""Also... sometimes the methods I see here worry me.""In any case, I can probably help seal this place up. I don't know why, but the red world seems to like me when it comes to stuff like that."
>>29385014Armaros shrugs, massively. He can't help it: When he moves, plates of armour shift and flex into new configurations. His enhancements aren't remotely subtle - Not like your own upgrades. "-No one said it would be easy, Joker. Accomplishing anything of significance...It's an uphill struggle." He's silent, for a moment - His internal systems humming in dulcet tones. >>29385038> [X] "-I could name a few."> [Free] The Smilers. And his tactics are flawed."Anarchists and terrorists." Armaros says, contempously. "Rogue elements. The vocal minority is always the loudest - But the majority knows what's in their best interest." His claw-digits curl into a fist, then relax again. "Eventually, they'll fall in line with the common good." "The reasonable ones, anyway."He glances over at you."-No offense meant.">>29385101>>29385105"You work with the tools you *have*, Joker: I'll admit that the task looks impossible, but...A little at a time. That's progress." A thought seems to occur to Armaros, and he shakes his head."Progress," he repeats - His gaze going to one of the translucent windows, staring out at the black city beyond. From here, the view - All the way to the horizon - is a daunting one. > [x] "And he's decided this, because...?""-It's only logical, isn't it?" Armaros sounds surprised - Just a little. "The Red World...It's the antithesis of civilization. Here, cannibalization is good for the body - Murder is good for the soul." He shakes his head, cables flexing. "It's...It's the most horrible thing I've ever seen," he says, with feeling. "The entire concept is repulsive. There's no law, no order...It's just *wrong*, Joker. The world shouldn't be this way. We're supposed to be *better* than this."(Continued)
>>29385368Fumito wants to bring about an autocracy. Hello end boss material.
>>29385431At this point EVERY major player is end boss material.
>>29385454In due time, Anon. In due time.
>>29385368>"You work with the tools you *have*, Joker: I'll admit that the task looks impossible, but...A little at a time. That's progress.">A thought seems to occur to Armaros, and he shakes his head.>"Progress," he repeats - His gaze going to one of the translucent windows, staring out at the black city beyond. From here, the view - All the way to the horizon - is a daunting one. SisyphusPushingBoulders.jpg
>>29385454No, every major Player is a route. We'll stick with one of their philosophy's and bring about changes to the real world by taking control of the Red World and eliminating the competition for our chosen faction.Argent is the Law route. He represents order and stability, but also narrowmindedness and stasis. Obedience to authority is his ideal; his world follows the belief that the person at the top knows best for all. It may or may not be utilitarian in nature.Personally, I think he's working on a false premise. Building a new city won't help; after all, SOMEONE had to build Dis and Pandaemonium.
>>29385077> [x] "And what do *you* want?""Peace," Armaros says - It's quick, without hesitation. "I want the world to be sane and orderly and logical. I want things to make *sense* - For this city to be a place...How does it go?" He clears his throat. "...to be 'a place where there is no darkness.'"The admission seems to embarass him.>>29385152>>29385340>>29385105> "Do you trust him? Is his actions directed towards ending this madness?""He's..." Armaros's voxponder rasps - The sound is a low, mournful chuckle, as if at a private joke. He shakes his head, slowly: "-That's why you're here, today. You'll see, soon. If you knew, you'd..."He pauses, as the transport capsule comes to a stop. "-We're here."Once again, you're standing before a blast-door of what looks like black iron, the abstract silver fox-head crest emblazoned on the surface. The subliminal hum, the charged feel to the air - Ozone and molten metal - is familiar, too...Though the light coming from behind the doors is muted, wan.Armaros takes a step forward, and pauses mid-stride."What you're about to see," he begins, carefully, "-is not common knowledge. You realize: Argent is making an exception, in your case. His gesture of trust." Armaros regards the door, for a long moment - Tiny motes gathering between his manipulator digits, taking the shape of...A card?"-He's fond of you, I believe. I'm not sure why...But I think he sees something in you."[ ] "...Like with Bardiel?"[ ] "I wouldn't go that far."[ ] "Our goals align, that's all."[ ] "-I wouldn't know." [ ] "That's news to me."[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>29385597>"...to be 'a place where there is no darkness.'"The Ministry of Love, from 1984? That's not a positive example. That's not a positive example AT ALL.
>>29385597>[ ] Free"He does? I'm not even sure I see that in me."Anon is a tired tired soul.
>>29385597[ ] Free"The ghost of a friend. He knew the old joker quite well before..... well, I happened. ""We talked about how it came into my hands, and.... he doesn't blame me for it."If he asks for details, refute lightly.
>>29385597>[X] Free"I think at first it was that I reminded him a bit of someone else.>[X] "...Like with Bardiel?""Now it might very well be more than one someone."
>>29385597"A place that has no darkness still casts a shadow, Amaros. Not to get philosophical, but we're human. Humans do what humans do. You can't stamp out the human heart and it's desires or you are left with but not hollow husks with no soul inside."Poke him in the breastplate."You're human too under all of this, Amaros. That wish alone makes you selfish. How's it feel to be human, eh?"
>>29385597"...I think he's figured out how I came to wear this armor.""For what it's worth, your dream is a fine one. But using the Red World to reach it will destroy everything good about it. Reenacting the miracle of Lazarus is what destroyed the city six years ago. And," Lean in close and whisper this part, "It put both Jokers back in play. Something to keep in mind, Aoba.">>29385659LAW faction.
>>29385818[X] Free. "I'm glad he does.
>>29385729> "He does? I'm not even sure I see that in me.""Neither do I." Armaros glances back at you, a heartbeat later. "-That was a joke.">>29385740"Hmmmm." It's a noncommittal sound, one that could mean anything. > [X] "...Like with Bardiel?"Armaros doesn't quite wince, but his armour communicates the subtle tic: He's uncomfortable at the reference, that much is clear. "Bardiel," Armaros says, with heavy finality, "-made his choice. You put him down, and not before time." He considers this, for a moment: "My only regret," Armaros goes on, "...is that it wasn't *sooner*." His voice is cold, when he says this. Cold and utterly without mercy.>>29385786He grunts, when your finger pokes him in the breastplate - Armaros actually takes a step back. "-I didn't say it was a perfect metaphor," he grumbles, turning his head. You notice that he doesn't try to answer the second part. >>29385818Armaros falters, wrong-footed."I don't..." he begins, uncertainly. "-I don't know about that." His joints creak and whirr, armoured hooves stomping against the tiles as he turns to face the door: The card so tiny in his oversized digits, it takes all his concentration to maintain his grasp. "Now: Brace yourself. This might feel a little...strange."An arc of hazy light glows at the card's inner rim: The embossed mark expanding, lighting up from within. He swipes it across, as the circle expands, rotating end-over-end like a coin-flip. Code-symbols writhe at the edge of perception, traceries of liquid data fanning out across the surface in circuit-pattern traceries...EXEC_INSIDERUnderfoot, the ground trembles. It's a subtle shudder, a ripple that disperses across your field of vision: Like the transition to the Red World, an internal vibration - The beginnings of a sound. Slowly, majestically, the doors swing open before you, parting right down the middle...The chamber beyond is - categorically - not the one you remember.(Continued)
>>29386034>EXEC_INSIDERNEW CODEBURSTS! Yay!put up barrier to register it, but not block it - that way we can look at the resonance pattern it leaves on the firewall.
AP is probably building a giant mecha head, Master Mold style. He's going to try to enslave correctors to make a giant body to match.
>>29386078>building a giant mecha headWhy would he do that when he can stick simply stick a Barracuda on the mech's head and have a badass chick from the future riding shotgun?
>>29386034It's so pristine in there. So antiseptic. Past the great doors, the enamelled walls *gleam* - The concentric tiles on the floor lined with chrome, forming a spiderweb with a great column at the centre.Machinery, silver and alien, chirps and hisses around it: A dozen umbilicals sprouting from the ends, looping up into the space above. Flatscreens scroll energy levels and telemetry like billboards running stock prices...-It's a Manifold Tower. You recognize it immediately: The grand shape is unmistakeable. But *this* one is different, even discounting the six concentric circles of intricate workstations around the central plinth - Each one with a silver Player hovering attendance, cables and wiring and arcs of fitful energy linking them to their charge. For one, it's silver. There's no trace of the Manifold Tower's original shade: The plating has been replaced by etched silver, polished like mirrors. The atmosphere holds a dry, static charge, as if great electromagnetic machines operate nearby - If you look up, you can make out the vague shapes of Pretas, crawling over the Manifold Tower like parasites, framed in light and glass and humming gravimetric energies."Welcome," Armaros says, "-to Elysium."STAGE: ELYSIUM[ ] "What *is* this place? It's enormous!"[ ] "Where are we?"[ ] "-How did we get here? This wasn't here before."[ ] "Those things...So that's where they came from." [ ] "...Is this what Argent's been building?"[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>29386241>[ ] "What *is* this place? It's enormous!">[ ] "Where are we?">[ ] "-How did we get here? This wasn't here before.">[ ] "Those things...So that's where they came from.">[ ] "...Is this what Argent's been building?">[ ] FreeAll of these.but in this order.[ ] "-How did we get here? This wasn't here before."[ ] "What *is* this place? It's enormous!"[ ] "...Is this what Argent's been building?"ish
>>29386241"You know, It's a little bit hypocritical to stop me from destroying these because it's too dangerous, only for you all to end up constructing one yourselves."[ ] "...Is this what Argent's been building?">Why?And I sincerely hope you managed to iron out all those bugs on the Pretas.
>>29386241"This is what you tried to accomplish before I uh.. threatened to kill you, right? Sorry about that...""Might as well get this show on the road and go see Argent before I start gawking. Can't be rude now. Can sight-see later."
>>29386241Take a look at the other players. Are they roided-up like Armaros?
>>29386353A quick look - A cursory once-over - confirms your initial suspicion: The other Players, serenely at work, have been similarly enhanced. Not identical - You make out multiple points of dissimilarity in equipment and form - but certainly *similar*. Each one of the gleaming white figures has been agumented: They're tall, thick through the torso and shoulders, bulked up with armour plating and myomer grafts and secondary weapon arrays.One of them - His armour a polished magneta trimmed in silver - looks up, from the holographic display before him. At a glance - and a brief nod - from Armaros, he returns to his work. They look...They're giants, in padded-out armour, but they seem ungainly. Uncomfortable, even at rest...As if they've grown too much, too soon, a kind of unsightly gigantism. > [X] "Where are we?"> [X] "-How did we get here? This wasn't here before.""Beneath the Bastion," Armaros answers - A little smugly, proud of the achievement. "Elysium - This place - is only accessible through a quantum port facility. With the right transmission...Well, you can guess the rest."He looks up, admiring the view. > [X] "What *is* this place? It's enormous!" "This place has *always* been here, actually. Most Players don't get to see it...You'll understand why, in a moment.">>29386351Armaros coughs, lightly. "-Something like that," he voxes: The sheer scale of the chamber is actually quite bewildering. You're standing in the central hub - Like the spokes of a wheel, long hallways radiate outwards in the eight cardinal directions, each one dedicated to some arcane task. (Continued)
>>29386501> "You know, It's a little bit hypocritical to stop me from destroying these because it's too dangerous, only for you all to end up constructing one yourselves."> [X] "...Is this what Argent's been building?""-You give me too much credit, young man."The words - composed, faintly amused - echo, in the vastness: Somehow, you hear him clearly, as if he's standing right next to you. At your side, Armaros stiffens - The subliminal hum of energy changing pitch, as Argent Prominence descends from above.At first glance, he seems to be hovering, walking on air: Feet slightly pointed, resting solidly as if encased in glass. As he draws closer, you glimpses the thin metal plates - discs, really, about a foot across - beneath him, with the faint shimmer that tells of gravimetric energies. Argent's quicksilver form is impervious to your scans - His body registering solid white to your sensors, like a black hole of a force field."Sir," Armaros says - He doesn't salute, but it's a close thing."-At ease, my boy." Argent Prominence's sculpted mask is always serene, but you can hear the smile in his voice. "And well done." His gaze turns to you. "Joker. Walk with me."He gestures, with a gleaming hand; One of the gravimetric discs flattens itself against the ground, invitingly. "To answer your question: No, I'm afraid that we don't have the capacity - Or the know-how - to build something like this." He inclines his head, as if to emphasize the point: "Six years of research, and we're only beginning to scratch the surface of the technology involved...It's fascinating, really."The red gems of his eyes settle squarely on you, weighing."-Be that as it may...There are more immediate concerns, at present." Argent's voice is measured, even mild."Recent developments have been - Well, most troubling. I'd welcome any light you could shed, on several matters...Your unfortunate encounter with Armaros, for a start."[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>29386622(My apologies, forgot my image.)
>>29386622Oh balls. > "It was a misunderstanding, actually. I was hunting Mirage Sylpheed, but I didn't know who I was after."
>>29386622I'll be frank- what do you want enlightened? I'll be as honest as I can. As for the encounter with Armaros- that started with a misunderstanding. I was hunting a player and I thought it might be him and that we was working for another team. To be fair, his tone was fairly hostile, and we were near a structure I didn't want smilers anywhere near.
>>29386622"I uh.. mixed him up with the target I was sent to eliminate. We exchanged.. words and ended up working together against a threat that wanted us both eliminated. Amaros handled the Guardian while I eliminated the Player who interfered with your.. experiment. Turns out Amaros is handy with a gun. Or fists. Hate to be on the receiving end of one of those punches...""Can I ask you something in return? You have your ear to the ground, Argent, so you are far more informed than I am. Has the Thief surfaced after the uh.. incident? Because.. I have a sinking feeling something worse is going to happen following THAT event if he is not found soon."
>>29386622>"Recent developments have been - Well, most troubling. I'd welcome any light you could shed, on several matters...Your unfortunate encounter with Armaros, for a start.">>29386729Seconding."It was a misunderstanding. I was after another player - by the way, i took proof of that other player class I mentioned, if you want to see it. What i didn't know was his powerset revolved around stealth and cloaking - armaros was the wrong guy, but mirage was the one messing with your systems while invisible.""Its worrying how the manifold towers seem to be at the center of attention lately. People able ot access them - i think that's what the smilers did at the Holophosukon too. I was there when the hive went up. Do you know anything about how they do that? Whether its possible to destroy a hive and get the stage back?"
>>29386815>"I uh.. mixed him up with the target I was sent to eliminate.I don't think we should say this - veto mentioning that we're a killer for hire, as that implies, pleaseJust mention we were after someone in the area.
>>29386704>>29386729Argent nods, agreeably - "...The same as Armaros's account, then," he says - With a glance in his direction, as the bulky silvered figure settles himself a discreet distance away, observing the conversation. "To clarify: I find no fault with your actions, or even your intentions. It's clear that it was - As you put it - a misunderstanding...An untimely case of mistaken identity."The sensation that he's smiling, again. "And - I have to concede - Armaros may have responded in a...provocative manner. It's fortunate that you didn't come to blows: I fear, however, that the Manifold Tower's defenses quite overwhelmed the Pretas tasked to him. If his concentration hadn't been broken...But there's no use in dwelling on it. Sylpheed, undoubtedly, would have done far worse." "No, young man: What interests me is - How were you even aware of him? The area was under interdiction - Quarantined, if you would. Shielded from most forms of active and passive detection..."He rubs at his chin, thoughtfully. "And yet, Armaros was discovered by not one - But *two* - Players. Most troubling.">>29386819"I'm aware of the Holophusikon's fall, yes." Argent's voice is distant, now - Considering. "To the best of my knowledge, I've yet to see a Player who could...*induce*...the emergence of a Hive. And yet, this 'Kraken' - We've been peripherally aware of him for some time, now. He is, I'm afraid, very much an unknown."(Continued)
>>29386939A pause. "He has some way of avoiding conventional detection - Like the other Smilers...And, of course, attempting to track him has been unwise. It's my belief that - At this juncture - he's more than capable of dealing with any would-be investigators..Not that we haven't tried."Argent's unmoving face seems to be grimacing. "-Too many people ended up dead."> "Do you know anything about how they do that? Whether its possible to destroy a hive and get the stage back?""The area, I'm afraid, has been permanently compromised." Argent Prominence turns, staring at the great span of the tower above. "-It's unlikely that it would resurface...Assuming we somehow managed to purge the Hive completely, of course. Barring a miracle, it would seem that the Holophusikon is gone for good.">>29386815> Turns out Armaros is handy with a gun. Or fists. Hate to be on the receiving end of one of those punches..."Argent chuckles, fondly. "-Indeed. He's assuredly competent...I fear, however, I might have erred in having him work alone. Something to consider, for next time."> "Can I ask you something in return? You have your ear to the ground, Argent, so you are far more informed than I am. Has the Thief surfaced after the uh.. incident? Because.. I have a sinking feeling something worse is going to happen following THAT event if he is not found soon.""-The storm, you mean."His voice goes flat. Argent levitates higher, into the air - Turning towards one of the distant halls. "As you may have guessed, the storm caught us entirely by surprise. We haven't had the chance to investigate: There was...substantial damage to the Bastion. Some of the patrols...We've lost all contact with them.""And yet - Come with me."(Continued)
>>29386980It's not far. A great door rumbles aside, revealing the square chamber beyond: Towards the center of the hall, metal slabs rise up from the tiles - A score, maybe two dozen. On each one - Laid out, as if in state - is an armoured form...-They're Players. It takes you a moment to make the connection - Their colour is faded, bleached to bone-white and ash-grey: Their forms charred, oddly shrunken, lifeless and very definently dead. And each one - Where their chest cavity would be, at their torso plating - has a crumpled, empty hole, as if impaled with immense force. Argent pauses, when he reaches the nearest figure: A vaguely canine helm, plated muzzle pushed forward, lower jaw missing. From the marks of the fracture, you can see that it was wrenched off with immense force. Spiderweb cracks fan down the empty shell - It reminds you of a cracked marble statue, like the plaster cast of a Pompeii victim. Damaged, without: Hollowed-out and ruined within. "There's been no sign of Totenaz - Or the Thief, whichever name he prefers. We have, however, located multiple..." Argent pauses, as if searching for the word. "-Husks, perhaps."He shakes his head. "Two dozen, in a single night - It beggars belief."(Continued)
>>29387113I can't believe we didn't insist on an even trade :(Oh well, if he's off murdering people it should be easy to bait him out after THE JOKER and snatchngrab the thingie from him.
>>29387113Argent's tone is businesslike, precise: But you detect the first notes of dread in his voice. "There's been no conclusive evidence, of course. However - There are rumours...Rumours I would normally dismiss - of a, 'skeletal figure'..." He pauses."- As you can see," Argent goes on, carefully, "...the Essence signature of each victim has been entirely extinguished...And yet, their armour remains - In whole, or in part - intact. It's as if - On some level - they continue to *exist*...In another form, at least." He glances over at you. "-I trust that you take my meaning."[ ] "No, I don't."[ ] "...You're saying - The Thief did this?"[ ] "Could the Fatal Abyss have done this?"[ ] "A 'skeletal figure'? That's not much to go on."[ ] Examine the bodies carefully. [ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>29387191(Apologies, forgot my image.)
>>29387191Holy shit, Akira. Holy shit.
>>29387191[X]examine the bodies carefully[X]could the fatal abyss have done rhis ?[X[could the thief have done this ?
>>29387191"Well, I did tell him his pig sticker would be the end of 'em... but I did not expect this outcome... think we can use myself as bait to lure him in? I am a walking loot, according to the Players I had to unfortunate chance to attack me. Stick a giant essence signature out there like that and it's bound to reel in the Essence Thief."
>>29387191>[ ] Examine the bodies carefully.Feel free to veto me on this, but this would be a good chance to see if the Nihl Sphere's light can shed any light onto what's happening."Could the fatal abyss have done this? You actually knew the old one. Still, a skeletal figure isn't much to go on. " We sigh."Not really. Like, essence transfers between players, and sticks around until its used for something. You seem to mean something... more than that, though?"
>>29387269We don't want to reveal the Nihl Sphere in front of Argent Prominence. That's a bad idea, because everyone wants it.
>>29387287What about a nihl scan?that's just a purple scanpulse?
>>29387303It involves revealing the nihl sphere.
>>29387287I'm of mixed feelings. At some point we need to stop holding back and being careful, but on the other hand, argent.I also think we should run Ixion Drive through teh grinder. See if we can't get another tachyon reactor out of it.Also, regarding lost patro
>>29387314>Also, regarding lost patrofuck autopost oops.Regardling lost patrols, ask if natsumi's been heard from.
Alright, i'm out bros. sleep calls.DONT do anything stupidDO get the Joker Memory backDONT waste a bunch of time before the meetupDO try calling akira - he may have just been in autopilot mode when we got him before. You know, on his murder spree. Hell, send him a text so he gets it when he logs out - remind him we have a deal, and want the memory.Hell, ask if he wants in for beating up the smilers. Win win - either we get mister awesome to wreck their shit with, or he tries killing people and we have our bait to fight him.DO ask argent about things, the previous cycle, his army of correctors - all the mysterious shit he may know more about, like players who don't realize they're players. He's wise, so keep talking, answering and asking in equal amounts to keep it going.Should ask/inquire/thank him for the tab/line of credit at teh restaurant, too. When armaros isn't around.
So the time for choices is soon approaching. Argent wants the Law route, Smilers want..uh..who knows. Control probably.That leaves us. How about we gather the most powerful and insane players like the new Totenaz and set out to destroy the game itself?
>>29387256>>29387269> "Could the fatal abyss have done this? You actually knew the old one. Still, a skeletal figure isn't much to go on. " "I'm...uncertain."Argent sounds troubled, by his admission. "Phantom Edge," he says, carefully, "-was a devourer of...I don't know. The human soul, perhaps. As I've said before - He was a monster, with a monster's appetities. The things he did...They've only been alluded to, simply because he rarely left witnesses." "And yet...On the rare occasion that they could be found-" His unblinking gaze returns to the hollow forms. "-they looked exactly like this. As if they'd been turned to ash, from within."> "Not really. Like, essence transfers between players, and sticks around until its used for something. You seem to mean something... more than that, though?""Indeed. Normally, a Player's armour loses cohesion after the Essence signature within is extinguished: There's nothing left to give it form. However - Against all probability, these *continue* to exist, when they should have succumbed to decay."> "Well, I did tell him his pig sticker would be the end of 'em... but I did not expect this outcome... think we can use myself as bait to lure him in?"He doesn't quite sigh, but he comes perilously close. "-If only it was that simple.""I was hoping," Argent says, "-that you had some way of locating him. It was, however, only the slimmest thread." >>29387333"Chrome Cypher, you mean? Don't trouble yourself; She's been safely accounted for. A stroke of fortune, really - Her squad was off-duty at the time."(Continued)
>>29387454> [X] Examine the bodies carefully. You kneel, your armour's servos whirring. Up close, the damage is all-too-obvious: Telling of immense force, of agony, of a miserable and agonizing death. The puncture wound is deep and gouging - Broad, like a cluster of five daggers...It doesn't look like a blade, at all - Not a single thrust, anyway. It looks like...-talons-"Is something wrong?" Argent inquires - His tone curious, clearly wondering what you've seen.[ ] "It's nothing."[ ] "...This wasn't done with a sword."[ ] "What kind of Player has claws like that?"[ ] "-This was done by a hand."[ ] "This was done with a hand. A *left* hand."[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>29387464>[X] "...This wasn't done with a sword.">[X] "-This was done by a hand."Brutal as fuck.
>>29387454>"Chrome Cypher, you mean? Don't trouble yourself; She's been safely accounted for. A stroke of fortune, really - Her squad was off-duty at the time.".... wasn't she guarding something important? Did argent just lie to us?I'm recalling a phoen call or something from her. Am i misremembering?
>>29387464Wait, wasn't the Thief's magic hand a RIGHT hand? Or was it a left hand?
>>29387464>[ ] "This was done with a hand. A *left* hand.""This was done by a hand. A LEFT hand. Not a sword. Ring any bells?""the only other thing I can think of that might do this instead of phantom edge...""..is the Black joker."
>>29387490That was the day before. She asked if we were fine this moening.
>>29387505This plus "let me see the others" and "when and where were they found?"
>>29387464"..that wasn't made by a sword.. or hand..""Argent. This is pure speculation on my part, but when I last saw the Thief, his hand in the real world was gloved. This may not seem odd to you, but that put me on edge. The reason being? It was the same hand that he had hacked off his avatar. Why, you may ask would Totenaz hack off his own hand...? Because he had access to the Body of Phantom Edge. He grafted Phantom Edge's hand onto his avatar to wield that sword. My theory is he tracked down the grave of the avatar to Phantom Edge and hacked his hand off too in the real world.""Argent, Akira probably has access to one of the most powerful Relics in the Red AND Real right now. My guess is Akira is not operating in the red, but in the real, he's using the sword's powers to suck essence from the real, which is downright terrifying." "If you track down the players who are controlling these avatars, you may be able to track Akira by correlating his position based off kills."
>>29387567Holy fuck.ALso, we have his cell phone number....
>>29387576... pardon, i was implying it could be triangulated if someone had money and software to throw at the problem
>>29387505>"..is the Black joker."But that would be good. It would allow us to save Kotone.Anyway, all the possibilities are crazy.I wish we could take one of the bodies with us without arousing suspicion. I'd love to analyze them and maybe get the Hollow Sun to build us some equipment.
>>29387567>"If you track down the players who are controlling these avatars, you may be able to track Akira by correlating his position based off kills.""not just that, but some real life detective work should be done. Your company's large - were any of these people yours? If so, local obituatiries and coroner's office could have a real lead too.">>29387630>I'd love to analyze them and maybe get the Hollow Sun to build us some equipment.hahaha. We COULD use some diagnostics.
>>29387540The others are...They're in the same condition. The same lethal strike, the same dagger-wound to the heart - Simple, lethal, delivered without mercy. Then the *ripping* of armour, to widen the rent: You can't imagine how much strength it must've taken. How much fury. Fury - Or hunger?>[X] "...This wasn't done with a sword.">[X] "-This was done by a hand.""A *hand*?" Argent Prominence sounds appalled. >>29387567The silver figure pauses. His face never changes, but he shakes his head, slowly - Left, then right. "Abomination," he mutters, almost to himself. "-I confess, young man: I thought I was wise to the ways of horror, the depths to which people might yet sink."Something flickers in the red fires of his eyes."...But I find I am yet a child.">>29387505A long silence. "My god." Argent's voice is a low murmur. "-Has it truly come to that? Is it finally time, at last?""-Beasts. Madmen. The living dead - And now...demons."His hushed words seem to reverberate, in the chamber: It seems colder, now, the shadows lengthening - Stretching out long and dark across the silent figures. Argent's aspect seems to change, too: His quicksilver form clouding over, shading from white to black, as he contemplates your words.>>29387540"-After the energy spike..." he begins. "When the first winds of the storm had died down." Argent Prominence looks away, lost in thought."It is my belief," he says, "-that they were opportunists, drawn to the emergence of Cocytus. Perhaps they thought they might find something of value, some advantage over other Players..."Argent's voice trails off. For an instant, he sounds old: Old, and impossibly tired. (Continued)
>>29387705>"It is my belief," he says, "-that they were opportunists, drawn to the emergence of Cocytus. Perhaps they thought they might find something of value, some advantage over other Players..."Wait, are they in any way related to the murderhobo incident?
>>29387705"However they may have happened upon the place - It's clear that whatever did this...It found them *first*." Argent Prominence goes quiet, for the longest time - When he speaks again, his voice is sober. "Any help you can give - Any at all - would be appreciated." His gaze returns to the tormented, miserable forms - Contorted in death, on the cold steel slabs. "-If this was indeed the Thief's work...I fear he has become something far, far worse than we could imagine."[ ] "What will you do?"[ ] "-I'll handle him, if it comes down to it."[ ] "Is there any way - Any way at all - we could save him?"[ ] "Was Phantom Edge really that terrifying?"[ ] "...What can the Black Joker do?"[ ] "This is really bad, isn't it?"[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>29387747(My apologies, I missed that. Do you mean to disclose the incident to him?)
>>29387755>[x] "Was Phantom Edge really that terrifying?">[x] "...What can the Black Joker do?"I want to know about these two potential allies
>>29387763No, it's likely better not to.
>>29387763Not that anon, but I'm in favor of disclosing that incident
>>29387763Yeahhhhhh. We better not. There's no way he'll take that well.
>>29387755"I won't haft to help, Argent. Whatever that thing is will eventually find and subsequently attempt to murder me like everything else. Or I'll randomly stumble across a murder in progress and end up fighting it... wait a minute, did any of your subordinates encounter something odd during the storm? Hurled from the red world and being incapable of accessing it odd perhaps?"
>>29387755A quick question: I thought we were cut off from the Red World during the storm? We tried to access it, but we couldn't reach it, right?So how are these morons dead?
>>29387860Wait, THIS is a good question.
>>29387851>>29387860> "...Wait a minute, did any of your subordinates encounter something odd during the storm? Hurled from the red world and being incapable of accessing it odd perhaps?"> "-I thought we were cut off from the Red World during the storm? We tried to access it, but we couldn't reach it, right?"Indeed." Argent Prominence's voice is pensive...Pensive, and filled with dread. "For several hours - Until the worst of the storm died down - it was impossible to make the transition.""And yet-" "And yet, these...husks...were discovered in this condition. It seems only rational to assume that they were destroyed during the storm - An impossible murder."The cut gems of his eyes flicker, in thought. "Moreover, two dozen deaths, in such short order...In and around the same location - Someone would find out. Someone would know. At the very least, there would be an outcry."Argent seems to be working his way towards an unpleasant conclusion, his words becoming heavier, more leaden by the moment. "A theory, then: The bodies have not been discovered - And these husks of Player armour remain - because...""-Because they are one and the same."(Continued)
>>29387920He draws a slow, breath, a shuddering breath. "Whatever killed them - It rode the winds of the storm. It clutched them to itself, and drew them across the barrier, *into* the Red World...""-And there, it finished them. Body and soul."The silver figure exhales. A silence hangs in the air, following his words - Argent Prominence speaks carefully, clearly, as if explaining it to himself: Laying out his thought process. In the dim light, the black char and clotted ash reminds you, vividly, of crusted and decaying meat. "It is, of course, just a theory. But if what I fear comes to pass...If the barrier between both worlds has weakened to such an extent...""-Then God help us all."[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
Now comes the most crucial moment. Do we tell him about the upcoming Smiler raid? Shit is going to get even worse if that goes through.
>>29387999I vote to.We can help save some of their guys and the raid is likely to go ahead regardless of our participation or not and I dont think argent will risk any more people to force them to stand down.
>>29387999Didn't Palladium Rook EXPLICITLY tell us NOT to do it? I vote no, because I doubt we'll be able to go through with the raid if fumito finds out.We really want to go through with the raid.
>>29387969>"-Then God help us all."Hurray, free explosions for everyone!Does that mean EXEC_REND got stronger?>>29387999Veto because of >>29388053.I really want to murder those correctors.Also, it's fun to see a [C] influence in this thread. It has been a long time since we've had that.
>>29387969"God won't help us. Only our own wits and ruthlessness will. We've gotta get this bastard one way or another."
>>29388062We should've said:> "Man, I used to have a card like that!"
>>29388101> JOKER, YOU CAN'T GO CHANGING THE PAST LIKE THAT
>>29388101>>29388118>>29388122I think the Tachyon reactor radiation made Joker go slightly crazy.Anyway, as for actual suggestions:>>29387969So the armors have gained physical existence. We *really* should try getting our hands on one.Does anyone know how to ask that without being suspicious?
>>29388162Ask for a piece or two?We might figure out something or say we have our own contacts.
>>29388067Argent Prominence nods - There's a pensive air to him, composed but regretful at once. "-Indeed," he agrees. "I had hoped - It was my hope that this could be resolved without direct interference. But now, it seems that matters are accelerating beyond all control."He's silent, for a moment. At last, he says: "I'm afraid, at present, that there's very little aid I can give. I have...commitments. Commitments that consume my time and focus - But be assured that they are absolutely essential."A pause. "-The security of the Bastion is my paramount concern: Until the current situation is resolved, I find myself confined to this place." Argent Prominence's gaze settles on you, squarely. "But only for a little longer, Joker. I promise you - Just a little more, and all this will be rendered irrelevant." There's a grim note to his voice, now: A dire, teeth-clenched determination, the sound of a man who just needs a little more *time*. "Hold the line, Joker. Whatever it takes."[ ] "What will you do?"[ ] "-I don't understand. What's so important about this place?"[ ] "How much time do you need?"[ ] "...You sound very sure of yourself."[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>29388249>[ ] "What will you do?">[ ] "How much time do you need?"
>>29388249>[ ] "What will you do?">[ ] "-I don't understand. What's so important about this place?">[ ] "How much time do you need?"Also:"How exactly should I hold the line?Any, by the way, have you made use of those artifacts I gave you? I'd love to know it anything came out of that."
>>29388249"I'm a single player, Argent. I can't hold the line against something like this. All I can do is hope to plug the leaks quicker than they're sprung. I'll do what I do."
>>29388249[X] what will you do ?[X]how much time do you need ?
>>29388249"Don't worry about that. Had I been so weak willed as to step down now, I would be long dead" look at the husks "Or like them, if only in mind"
>>29388288"And that is all I ask of you." There's that smile in his voice - "...I'm certain you'll find a way to manage."> [X] "How much time do you need?""-Another month, at least. Two, at most." Argent seems to consider that, then laughs: It's a dry sound, a low sound, without much humour. "...At any other time, it would seem a pittance. Now, however - I consider myself fortunate, if a week passes without incident."> [X] "What will you do?"> [X] "-I don't understand. What's so important about this place?"He doesn't answer, not immediately - Instead, he turns, the great doors of the hall sliding open; Revealing the silver Manifold Tower beyond, arching up towards the impossible distance of the ceiling. "As you may well know - The Manifold Towers weaken the barrier between worlds. Our world, and the Red: It is my belief that the recent discharge is directly related to the re-emergence of Cocytus, the way events seem to be accelerating...That is, however, mere speculation."Argent Prominence gestures, a wide sweep of his hand, encompassing the chamber beyond."The present equilibrium is unsustainable - The balance is tilting, and quickly. You'll recall, of course, that we lack the capacity - The knowledge - to construct one. That was the unalloyed truth." "What I *know*, however, is this: The Manifold Towers can be reprogrammed. Put to constructive ends, instead of destructive ones." His words seem to echo, across the silent rows of Players - The Pretas scuttling across the Tower's surface.(Continued)
>>29388467>"What I *know*, however, is this: The Manifold Towers can be reprogrammed. Put to constructive ends, instead of destructive ones." His words seem to echo, across the silent rows of Players - The Pretas scuttling across the Tower's surface.Guys, we found our goal.Merge the Real and Red in such a way that we can be a superhero without everything going to shit.
>>29388499How would that even work out? Would everyone become players? Would players be capable of transforming at will or will they be permanently in armor? How would Players even fit in the Real and how much Chaos would it cause?I can kinda see Players gathering into different organizations that work like MGNQ's Officios
>>29388499How about "Use the Manifold Network to seal off the Red from the real"? Much more useful long term.Also, guys, the one leaving Red World skeletons might not have been the Black Joker. The condition of the bodies is identical to what happened to Asura after he was Exec_Consumed. Black Joker is massive and scary, Pazuzu is thinner, and has a Nihl Sphere.
>>29388467"With the right alterations, the damage to the barrier can be *reversed*...Reinforced, instead of rent apart. If that can be accomplished...The imminent threat will be extinguished." Argent's silver form gleams, in the white light: "-Access to the Red will be limited, controlled...As will Players. The weaker ones, I believe, will be entirely unable to access the Red World: Others will find themselves significantly impaired." He pauses, to let his words sink home. "By diminishing the other world's influence - By sealing it away - the instability will finally be resolved.""At last - At long last - our reality will be the only one that matters."His serene face seems to smile: "That, at least, is my hope.">>29388280Argent's palm turns upwards - A cylinder forms, capped at both ends with silver. Within, a glass fragment sheds a violet glow: "I've yet to decipher the journal, I'm afraid. The weapons are undergoing analysis...It might be while before research is complete." "This one, however..."The violet light glitters darkly against his quicksilver form. "-The charge it holds - It's Essence, but...altered, somehow. Concentrated, perhaps: Refined. When the containment matrix is damaged, the resulting release of energy...It *corrodes* reality, in a way that I've yet to fully understand.""Simply put: It makes a hole in the world."He makes a fist, and the cylinder vanishes.(Continued)
>>29388587I'm not in favor of us becoming an ordinary joe.The Red Joker is too big of an aspect of Anon.
>>29388587"The breach is only temporary, of course. The barrier - Or the shroud, perhaps - repairs itself. But *multiple* breaches, over time...They erode the world we know, as a single entity. It brings the Red ever closer.""I won't deny that these...shards...might have their uses. They are, however, extremely dangerous in the wrong hands." Argent fixes you with a ruby-red eye: "In the event that you locate their source - I urge you to destroy them."[ ] "...Are you *sure* it can be done?"[ ] "Your plan - What if it goes wrong? What if it doesn't work?"[ ] "You're going to...What, reverse the polarity of a Manifold Tower?"[ ] "And the others - Chrome Cypher, Armaros - they're aware of this?"[ ] "...Is this why Bardiel turned against you?"[ ] "-But what's in it for you?"[ ] "I took that shard off a Smiler, actually."[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>29388656>[x] "I took that shard off a Smiler, actually."Heheh
>>29388656>>29388587Wow. This plan is basically going for a Technological Victory. If I'm hearing this right, he's going to thicken the Gauntlet until NO-ONE can reach the astral plane.I can kind of get behind that. But if that works, it means we will never, ever see Hecate again.
>>29388656[X] "...Are you *sure* it can be done?"[X] "And the others - Chrome Cypher, Armaros - they're aware of this?"[X] "...Is this why Bardiel turned against you?"Nothing off the wall I have to ask.>>29388687You're not reading.>The weaker ones, I believe, will be entirely unable to access the Red World: Others will find themselves significantly impaired." Red Joker will be able to interact with the Red World without much interference. That's why Argent needs to recruit him.
>>29388730> Red Joker will be able to interact with the Red World without much interference. That's why Argent needs to recruit him.Yeah, but hecate is an extremely weak player. Even if we can access the red world, she wouldn't be able to.
>>29388748That's not a problem. She'd be shunted into the real world.
>>29388730>Red Joker will be able to interact with the Red World without much interference. That's why Argent needs to recruit him.Hecate will still be out of reach, though.And I'm really not sure if cutting people off is the right idea.What if the Red requires souls to run? Imagine if most players couldn't reach the Red anymore. Would it maybe start actively hunting for food?
>>29388757We are talking about a person who's comatose and can only interact with us via her player avatar.
>>29388759Strengthen the barrier more and point the QSC at the core. The Red World won't cause problems after being obliterated. That, or we can find a way to turn off the game entirely. Either way, the place isn't alive in that sense.>>29388765She's comatose because her avatar is/was trapped in the Red World. Force all the weaker Players out and she might wake up.
> [X] "...Are you *sure* it can be done?""I'm certain. The barrier has the capacity to renew itself: As long as the decline can be arrested, I believe that we stand every chance of success."Argent pauses, thoughtfully. "Rest assured, young man: I am, of course, aware of the risks. Hence the prototype, here: I've spared no effort in repurposing this Manifold Tower. If - And only if - my theories bear fruit...Then I'll proceed to do the same with the others in the network.""But until then - An accidental discharge may rend the barrier for good. Thus the need for Armaros - Amongst others - and the Pretas: The other towers need to be secured, to be deactivated...Until they can be made to broadcast the right signal, of course."> [X] "And the others - Chrome Cypher, Armaros - they're aware of this?""The ones you see here? Certainly. Their assistance in the reclamation effort has been invaluable, after all." Argent Prominence chuckles, lightly - A rare moment of levity. "-I'm not as young as I used to be, Joker."He sobers quickly, however. "But Chrome Cypher, and the others in the first-line squads? No. Information is power, young man - Disclosing my plans seems...Irresponsible, at best. More - I have no wish to give them false hope.""-Let them continue with their assigned tasks. In the days to come - They may yet be needed." > [X] "...Is this why Bardiel turned against you?"Argent Prominence goes silent. At last, he says:"-One of the reasons, yes. It's not something I wish to remember." (Continued)
Actually with the new information about the shards, the time Argent needs, telling him about the raid could be very important. He might actually provide some back support for the raid to see what the smilers are up to and possibly a chance to wreck any caches of the shards down there.And if its a choice between who might be more useful and whom it would be beneficial to be on the good side of, Argent trumps Rook anytime.
>>29388892He sighs, heavily. "-In a very real way...The current system is *because* of him. Caution, I fear, has been the only way to proceed."> [x] "I took that shard off a Smiler, actually.""Indeed?" If his mask has eyebrows, they'd be raised. "Most pertubatory. I've long suspected the present state of affairs is to their liking, but..."Argent seems about to say something - But then he shakes his head. "Believe me - I'm aware of the threat they pose, Joker. At present, however...I cannot risk the security of the Bastion. If my work is undone, at this late stage..." His voice trails off. "-I doubt there'd be a chance to begin again.""More: I cannot - Will not - risk a war. Correctors are one thing. Other Players...""-If possible, I would prefer that they reintegrate into society, peacefully and without incident. That their time in the Red World would be but a dream - Or at worse, a nightmare."There's a bitter twist to his voice, now. "I've found," he says, carefully, "-I can't stomach sending children to their deaths. The very thought...It sickens me. It would, I think, be better if the Red World had never existed."[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>29388974> "You'd give it all up? You've done well for yourself, actually."
testing? thread still up?
>>29388974"We all make our choices, Argent. Problem is, when the moment is upon us it seems we have none. I suspect you already know what your choice will be. I'll agree on the second, emphatically."
>>29388974>"More: I cannot - Will not - risk a war. Correctors are one thing. Other Players...""You may have to. It seems to me that when hives manifest in a place, it pollutes the place in the real. Business fail. Infrastructures become unreliable.""The smilers are deliberately working against the barrier you want to protect.""I may be able to give you an edge, though. let me see your tower. They seem to like me, or at least this armor - and I want to know how to shut them down manually instead of blowing them up. Can you give me a quick pointer?"*use joker armor to unlock argents tower with adminhax, make it easier to reverse engineer*
>>29388934seconded. Get ready for a "I told you so" if we don't tell Argent
>>29388974>"I wonder how would other Players take to it. Some feel that this is the place where they belong, to some the Red is actually a shelter that protects them from Reality, to some it's the only way left to live. It's a strange world with a lot of people and a lot of opinions." pause "It won't work out the way you exactly want it. Nothing ever does, but you know this. Good luck, Argent. We'll both need it"
>>29389124>>29389142Vetoing these, because we want to keep things a little closer to the chest. We cannot trust this guy, and I'm not even sure his goal is one we're supposed to agree with.
>>29389153>VetoingHow about we just have a vote about it. And if we don;t agree with his goal, what are we going to do ? Convince him not to ? You have a better plan ?
>>29389124>*use joker armor to unlock argents tower with adminhax, make it easier to reverse engineer*Nope. Absolutely not. The last tower spat out a near indecipherable set of instructions and the one we chose didn't do what we thought it would. And the first one weakened the barrier.>>29389142If Argent moves now some of the Players will stop, some of them will run away, and some of them will start the raid on their own. It's too far along to defuse so easily.
I've just decided to try and get into this quest by reading the archives. I followed it for a few threads when it started but sorta lost track of it. I just wanted to say, pic related totally looks like he has a dick for a head.
>>29389179>It's too far along to defuse so easily.True. However, Argent already implied he has his hands full here AND several loyal squads are missing. If we don't trust Argent to do the right thing on his own, we will convince him to.
>>29389179It is too far along to stop.But at least if we warn him of what is coming, he can take measures to prepare and we can convince him to make the best of a bad situation. Us going in will prolong the time before any sort of retaliation will come and give him more time to prepare his defences. We can convince him of the opportunity for intel gain.
>>29389153>Vetoing these, because we want to keep things a little closer to the chest. We cannot trust this guy, and I'm not even sure his goal is one we're supposed to agree with.The RJ has ALWAYS wanted an end to the game, because its cruel and shitty.I say we help him with it.I also say we at least get the basics for reprogramming towers - even if we don't unlock it for him.If anything the last incident has shown us we NEED to understand how they work before we fuck with it more.
>>29389062Argent Prominence...He doesn't quite laugh. Chuckles, perhaps - He's silent, for the span of a breath. "Do you remember," he says - His voice lowered. "...the shards of metal in my head?""-I haven't been entirely forthcoming, young man. As you're well aware, I still carry them: The fragments of alien metal, that is." He pauses, thoughtfully. "...They are, perhaps, the reason for all this: My memory of the times before are - Uncertain, at best. But I can recall a time when my powers were...More limited, shall we say? It wasn't so easy to control the silver - Not before, at least."He taps a finger against the side of his head. "They're buried so deep as to be inoperable, I'm afraid. Every day - Every day - they sink a little further...Move a little closer. Like bullets, in slow motion: On their first and final trajectory.""One day, they'll cut into an important artery. One day, it will burst open, and...""-Well."Argent exhales. "So you see, young man...I find myself in a unique position. After all-" His gaze sweeps over the great chamber, taking in the sight before him: The industry at work, the accumulated font of resources and knowledge and effort - "...I can hardly take it with me."(Continued)
>>29389246(pre-posting this because i need to run to work, and can't wait for the update)Frown."Alien metals. You know, I HAVE seen a space ship in the red." mention this, but ONLY this."I've found that things like that are indicative of conditions in the red world, not your person. If you've been looking for a treatment, you've been looking in the wrong place. The real isn't it. There was one time I got the flu off of a poison in the red. In the middle of summer.""Memory loss... I've heard there is a way to get memories from players. Extract them. Maybe even dead ones. I don't know anything about the process, but maybe something like that happened to you, which is why you don't remember.""Have you visited a vetruvian device lately? they seem to be able to cure maladies of the soul, remove curses and the like"
>>29389123>>29389124He holds up a hand, to forestall your words. "I'm aware, Joker. I'm aware that the plan is hardly perfect. There is so *much* that could go wrong. There are too many factions - Too many sides. The Smilers alone..."Argent shakes his head. "My death, I think, is very close. Sometimes - It's almost as if I can feel it out there, searching for me. I am the only one - The *only* one - who can complete the Tower on time. If I fail, if it fails..."He doesn't finish the rest, but the implications are obvious. >>29389147"-But of course. Good luck, young man. Whatever you're searching for...May you find it, and in time."He turns away from you, his hands resting on the railing overlooking the Manifold Tower: Argent Prominence's greatest and final work, silver on steel. "How strange. From this side...It could almost be beautiful."A glance, over his shoulder: "Armaros - Please, show the Red Joker out."That's a dismissal, clear as day. As Armaros - Dogged, but loyal - lumbers out to guide you along the path, Argent Prominence returns to his work: A shimmering curtain of holographic screens gathering around him, the metal discs underfoot bearing him skywards once more. As a man who has everything, the one thing Argent Prominence needs - the one thing that will never be granted - is more time.JOKER QUEST EPISODE 74TO BE CONTINUED
>>29389210That guy is a stone.
(Gentlemen: My sincerest apologies, but it is extremely late on my end. I would love to continue, but I'm afraid that my writing quality would suffer - Also, this looks like a natural end-point for the session. I'd initially intended to cover more ground, but I'm afraid that I'm still slightly out of practice - And getting back into the swing of things. I'm aware that this chapter may have been heavy on exposition, and I hope that it hasn't been too intrusive.>>29389308Unfortunately, I won't be able to address this directly in this session, but rest assured that I'll keep this in mind for future interactions.As always, you've been a wonderful audience: Good night, and god bless. I hope to catch you again soon.)
>>29389373I'm eager to see the next session. Always gotta love some action.On the topic of interfacing with the manifold tower:I wonder if it would be helpful for us to interface and then tell AP the options, letting him make the selections instead of us.
>>29389373Thanks for running OP. See you next time.
>>29389373Thanks for running. OP. These always make my day.
>>29389373Thanks for running JokerOP~
>>29389373JokerOP, I just want to say. I'm kind of weirded out by how much sense AP is making. I can't remember a Quest which was largely driven by competing philosophical viewpoints, or least viewpoints that were discussed in detail.If this has elements of [C] in it, does that make hecate Msyu? Or Q?
>>29388748On the other hand, Mio would likely be very happy if she was cut off from the red. Same for Asuna, if she had any idea.
>>29389656>If this has elements of [C] in itHave you somehow not read the first thread?It's kind of blatantly part of the design of the setting. That's why the Red is red.>>29389688In the end, we need to awaken Hecate and have her help us with sealing the Red.She would have a memory to share with us that no one else will ever come even close to.
>>29389791> In the end, we need to awaken Hecate and have her help us with sealing the Red.> She would have a memory to share with us that no one else will ever come even close to.I'm beginning to wonder if that's possible. Hecate, on some level, needs the Red to exist. Her real body is messed-up, to say the least.
>>29389818Wonder what Cybele actually looks like.
>>29390276She has no actual body. The girl in the chic autumn kimono is her entire self-image. There's some evidence to suggest she's (mentally) a little girl, though.
>This fucking dialogue in thread 8Oh god, jesus, why?
I just had a thought: If we want to have Argent's faction aware that we're raiding, right before we go we should call Natsumi and tell her that one of Argent's members has been taken by Smilers and a bunch of his people charged in on a rescue mission. We claim we're going in to pull them out, and say to tell Argent that the war might be on.
>>29391088Couple reasons.First, to cover our ass. What's going to happen during the raid is that a bunch of Argent's people and the Red Joker are going to shoot up a Smiler base. It's going to be the perfect excuse the Smilers need to declare all out war. Argent will not be happy that we've made trouble for his faction. With this we have an excuse as to why Red Joker went in.Second, to cover the collective ass of the Players with us. They are NOT supposed to be raiding Smilers, or starting shit, when Argent's plans call for a two month hold. They'll still get in trouble, but they have a cover story.Third, it makes the Smilers look bad. Not that they need help in that regard, but Argent's faction needs to look better than the alternative if they want to swing neutral support. Argent not having control of his agents, or his faction under suspicion of initiating hostilities will cause problems.Lastly, it opens the possibility that we'll have large scale support on exit. Fire teams in the hive, or blockades preventing Smiler reinforcements through the surface, or evac or something. There's also the chance that none of this will happen.tl;dr: Hearts and minds and blame shifting, with additional chance of help.
>>29391312But how will you keep the lie up? Hide Natsumi?
>>29391376No. The entire point is to use Natsumi to tell Argent. We call her, say there's a situation and we're going in after Argent's people, and not to worry.We can't hide the fact we're making an attack, but we can change the circumstances. It'll only work if we set it up as we go in, and ensure that the other raiders repeat the story.
You know, Anon would be a better person if he met Tony Stark. They have much in common and yet are completely different.
>>29393093While i appreciate the iron man fanboyism - they're actually nothing alike
>>29393897Why?Both have women swarming around them, both wear red armor and blow shit up and both have major weaknesses. Tony Stark is an alcoholic and Joker has PTSD. (No, he isn't a psychopath. That would require him to have no empathy)Tony started as a player and then found the right woman. Anon found the right woman and now plays with the hearts of girls.Oh and they both manufacture insanely awesome equipment.
Also, it would be appropriate to not bump the thread.Don't forget to sage.I wish I could strangle moot for invisible sage on /tg/.
This raid is going to happen. I don't see a way to talk Rook out of this short of bunching him in the face and beating the everloving shit out of him to crush his resolve. This is a revenge trip short and simple. One that is going to get a lot of people killed senselessly for no gain short of pissing Fumito off and closing off one of the few people we can *mostly* trust not to stab us in the back. Short of divulging some of the information we know and possibly recruiting these players for our own goals, having them resign from Argent's organization, as they are disillusioned with Argent's at this point, they're going to cause so much collateral and fallout the recent shit will be nothing in comparison.
>>29394504Basically, another average day for the Red Joker. Honestly, at this point I just want to see the Red World equivalent of a BETA Hive Infiltration Mission.
>>29390854I don't get it. Is that good or bad? The flirting with Hecate felt quite fun, actually.
>>29394504>>29395119Everything seems to be leading towards that. The only question is whether we're going to go loud and drop a few satellites on them, or try to sneak in without raising a commotion.
>>29391312Actually, this is a good plan.It's basically diverting some of the silver players into joining Red Joker's personal war against the Smilers, while at the same time keeping him in the good graces of Argent.It could work. Sure, he's gonna be a little pissed, but it fits with Argent's image of Red Joker, and it's not like he can really say 'Oh, Red Joker, you should have left my people in the Smiler Base!' without massive internal backlash. He'll be forced to go along with it, and the war will begin.
>>29394504So, what, have Red Joker form his own faction and declare war on the Smilers? Because given his reputation, I'm pretty sure it would actually work.
>>29399734Argent's dilemma is a lot like the God-Emperor of Mankind's really. He just needs a BIT more time, just two more months, and everything's going to be peachy. Except there's so much shit going on, all he can do is to buckle down and pray that he gets the chance to finish his work.I don't think he's going to succeed, though. There is no way the Smilers are going to give him enough time. Exactly what are they planning, anyway? They have soulfire crystals that weaken the gauntlet, but that doesn't seem to help them.
>>29384826God damn, missed the thread. Should have chosen one of the uber-guns, guys. Missed opportunities there.
>>29399814So we're actually helping AP. He's stuck being defensive, but doesn't realise that lashing out and sending the Smilers into a panic will likely buy him more time than it will lose him.
>>29399856He's basically put all his eggs in one basket, and he's desperately trying to avoid having it being broken. Hence the turtling, because if he loses it, he loses everything.
>>29399842> Dual-wield Moros and Immolator> Burn and disintegrate thingsMissed opportunities there.
>>29401783More like Igniter :(Surprise fusion?Surprise railgun?Surprise quantum singularity gun?What we really should have done was reclaim the various bits of the old joker armor, tho, from that fight. See if there were any relics left on it, or clues about our past/future selves that could be attained.
>>29403150I don't think it works that way. The things sent back in time disintegrated REALLY quickly.
>>29403150>IgniterI would have voted for the Igniter, but no one else would have agree.Satellite is the best choice because everyone can kind of agree on that.
>>29406810Satellite is useable by the Tri-Stars too. Maybe. That alone makes it worth the investment over the Igniter. Consecutive bombardments from 4 different players simultaneously would atomize everything.