This is a starcraft 1 based quest. I generally try to follow lore and game, but I'm not an encyclopedia and haven't read any of the books. For weaponry and powers I’m not always going to strictly follow canon. This gives me greater freedom to allow character customisation and diversity.>Pastebin: http://pastebin.com/fFXJsf2p>Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Freelance%20Ghost%20Quest>Twitter: @QuestSuperVisorI use D20, best of first three rolls, 1 and 20 are crits and cancel each other out. Skills will adjust DC, not give bonuses, for simplicity's sake. Health is narrative based on the game.The options are a guideline, not an absolute, which is why I will always include a Write in option. Some options I list are good, some are bad, most won’t be really awesome. I leave it up to you to find ways to do that.
>Last time on Freelance Ghost Quest: You and your small team landed on the planet and made your way to the Cerebrate’s location through a set of small canyons, where you slaughtered a pack of roving zerglings. You then crossed a zerg highway supplying reinforcements to lay siege on the main ground force, and ended up in a tunnel. There, you took down a few defensive structures and another moderately large defence force.The team heads deeper into the cave, and despite what you might have thought, the creep does not start to die off around you despite having killed its source. In fact, it seems to stretch out much further, at least until the mouth of the next tunnel. It doesn’t take long to reach it, and once you are there, you find that it was only a short tunnel of maybe ten meters, barely wide enough to fit the reaver, and at the end of the tunnel there is a smaller cave bordering the one you were in.You feel a strange psionic energy emanate from the slug-like creature in front of you. It seems to be deeply embedded in the creep, with a multitude of small purple tentacles sticking directly into the living floor. It’s about half the size of the cavern it inhabits, which must be around 50 meter diameter.It pulsates in an oddly hypnotic fashion, and you can feel its alien presence in the back of your mind.Suddenly it screams. Not audibly, but psionically. Again, you see the millions of strands spread around the area like a web of a gigantic spider. They are all attached to this creature. And it’s pulling them.
>>35958610Monstrous roars echo in the caves behind you, and almost the entire team turns around. Siladus instead turns to you. “Now it is your turn. We will hold them off.” He keeps looking you in the eyes for a few more seconds. Then he turns and leads the team back the way they came, shouting at his men. “This is our stand, brothers! We will make sure none of them get through while Artemis does his work. For Aiur!”Sextus passes you and puts a hand on your shoulder for a moment before he follows Siladus. As he walks on, you can see him loading Irradiation grenades into his C-10 rifle’s underslung grenade launcher.It’s up to you now.>How do you proceed?>1. Carefully approach the Cerebrate, try to make a connection with its mind.>2. Unload your C-10 rifle into it.>3. Stop Sextus and ask him to launch a hellfire grenade on the thing before he goes.>4. Use a psionic attack (specify which).>5. Write in.
>>35958623Oh shit.Let's start with a matter bomb inside of that jelly worm.
>>35958623(samefag from >>35958732)I'm guessing that won't work though and we'll have to take this fight to another level.I wonder if we can do something about those links the cerebrate has to the zerg...
>>35958732>>35958841Ok, roll me some d20's. Since you're the only one here yet, just roll all 3 in a single post.
Rolled 14 (1d20)>>35958914okay, here goes...For Aiur and Terra!
Rolled 19 (1d20)>>35958914rolling 1 as a different anon...
Rolled 13 (1d20)>>35958914did a 1d20 by mistake. Might as well remain consistent...
>>35958943>>35958955>>35958957Hmm, surprisingly, upper DC met. Barely.
Rolled 14 (1d20)>>35958977have ye so little faith in the Dice gods or Artemis?
>>35959012The Dice Gods I know would have thrown in a 1 for the lulz, but actually I was just talking about the ridiculously high DC.
>Psi points: 5/7You gather energy to unleash a matter bomb on the creature, but a fraction of a second after you start, you feel the psionic pressure in the back of your head quadruple. It takes all the willpower you have to stay focussed, and you almost surprise yourself as you maintain the energy flow. You throw it into the beast, and instantly you feel the pressure evaporate.Instead, you see a strange shimmer on place you threw your matter bomb. A purple crack of power sparks between your matter bomb and the cerebrate, and your attack goes off. You see surprisingly thick skin being ripped from the creature and compressed into tiny sphere in front of it until hardly anything is left.You hurt it. It almost made you fumble your attack, and it still weakened it severely, but it did do something. Then again, considering all the effort it took you, perhaps it might be best not to use psionic attacks to damage its physical body. At least, not until you’ve taken care of its actual mind.You wait a few moments in anticipation. You’d have thought it would have made some kind of counter-attack already, but the only thing that happened is the renewed pressure on your mind. Perhaps it cannot really manifest psionic powers as you can? It’s a beast made for telepathy, so it could stand to reason that its attacks and defence would mainly be through telepathy itself.>1. Weaken the body first. The skin is too thick to properly penetrate with the C-10 rifle, but you ripped some pieces off already. Focussing on them could deal a lot of damage.>2. Weaken the body first. Slash its hide to pieces with your psi blades as much as you can.>3. Assault its mind with your own. (clever combinations of psionic techniques will be rewarded, so write in strategies strongly encouraged)>4. Write in.
>>35959137It has to communicate with its swarm somehow. Could we try to 'ride the wave' past its defences, or at least to a weaker spot in it by following one of those threads?
>>35959137>>2. Weaken the body first. Slash its hide to pieces with your psi blades as much as you can.
>>35959217>>35959375Was about to call it there. Oh well, tie. You know the drill. If there's no new vote in three minutes I'll roll for it.
Rolled 2 (1d2)1: >>359592172: >>35959375
>>35959137>4. Write in.Slice open it's hide, throw up a mind-shock as a feint and Psi-shriek inside it's body.
>>35959477Slashing it is. Roll me some d20s.
>>35959487>>35959507>>35959505Hmm, I can incorporate that. It needs the slashing part first anyway.
Rolled 18 (1d20)>>35959505A sound soul dwells within a sound mind, and a sound body."now lets fuck that body up
Rolled 17 (1d20)>>35959539>>35959505
Need one more roll.
Rolled 9 (1d20)>>35959648Now we critfail
>>35959736>>35959554>>35959542Upper DC met. Writing.
>psi points: 6/7You activate your psiblades and step forward. You feel the pressure in your mind building up again, but you ignore it. This is simple enough. You stab one of your blades through one of the wounds your matter bomb left behind and find it to be less yielding than you thought. It seems to be more sturdy than it looks. If the wounds hadn’t been there it might have been a lot harder to get through.It doesn’t matter though. You pull to the side with all your might, and the skin parts readily. You feel the pressure growing, but you keep going until you connect with another patch of missing skin. There, you stab in both your blades and pull down.A psionic screech almost throws you off balance, but instead you let yourself fall forward and push down on your blades extra hard. You continue cutting and ripping off its skin until you made a man-sized hole in its hide. Underneath, a throbbing mass of flesh pulsates rapidly, and you notice the entire creature is moving a lot more, wobbling in place, stuck in the creep as it is.Then comes the next part. You lock onto the cerebrate’s psionic essence, and start opening up your mind as if to perform a mind-shock. You feel the creature trying to wurm its way in through the mental passages opening up, but that’s just the distraction.You scream. Both physically and psionically, and instead of letting it just go in all directions, you try to focus it in front of you, into the gaping wound you just made.>psi points: 4/7
For a moment, the burst of psionic energy is all you feel. Again, you can see the strands attached to the monster at all sides, and see them being cut off and flail around. The cerebrate itself went awfully still. There is no more pressure leaning on your mind, and for a moment, you hopefully think you might have killed it. Then you feel it. It’s immensely powerful, but only a fraction of that power is meant to be used consciously. Most of that power should be attached to its swarm, and now, uncertain what to do, it is making it more difficult for the creature to attack, not unlike a human who suddenly sprouted a hundred extra limbs.It’s an opening for you to exploit, but you’re not sure how long it will last, and there are several options for you to proceed in your assault. In the corner of your eye, you notice some of the patches where the skin was torn off are starting to heal though. Not very fast, and the big opening you made seems left untouched for now, but this thing heals very fast it seems.>1. Cut out as much flesh as you can.>2. The C-10 rounds were meant against soft fleshy targets. Shoot some rounds into it so it explodes from the inside.>3. With its mind in disarray, this is the opportunity you need to attack its mind directly. The protoss did mention them destroying a cerebrate’s body but it simply regenerating.>4. Writing.
Rolled 6 (1d20)>>35960125>4. Writing.We've got to have some grenades or something on us right? If so, toss a couple inside.If not, blindfire C-10 rounds while doing >3. With its mind in disarray, this is the opportunity you need to attack its mind directly. The protoss did mention them destroying a cerebrate’s body but it simply regenerating.
>>35960125This won't be over until we've taken the fight to the mind duel, but that option is just too tempting>C-10 was made against soft fleshy targets
>>35960160>>35960125This seems like the best option really
>>35960160>>35960125>writingderp, I meant write in of course.
>>35960160And no, no grenades.
>>35960236Just blindfire the C-10 then.
>>35960160>>35960125This.Be sure to shriek a bit more and mindstun
>>35960160>>35960171>>35960213>>35960255>>35960279Ok, roll me some d20's then.
Rolled 6 (1d20)>>35960334BLIIIIIIIIND FIIIIIIIAAAAAAH
Rolled 11 (1d20)>>35960334Don't bring me down.
Rolled 16 (1d20)>>35960334>No one else rolling
>>35960426>>35960423>>35960343Lower dc met, writing.
You grab hold of your C-10 rifle and fire into the fleshy mass in front of you. After about half a second delay, you hear a bang, followed by a squelching noise, and thick blood starts pouring out of the wound. You close your eyes and start focussing on the cerebrate’s mind, then pull the trigger again.It writhes in agony when the canister explodes inside its body. You push into the mind, trying to avoid the rampant energy being thrown around wildly and without aim. You pull the trigger again, but the deeper your mind goes, the harder it is to properly control your body. The shot is too low and you faintly see it burrowing right next to the skin at the bottom of the hole. It takes off some of the skin, but the flesh inside is largely undamaged.You press on, finding it harder and harder to continue, pushing through and past layers of wild power. Your next shot hits again, but the psionic reaction is instant. You are thrown around and you feel a surge of psychic energy hit you. It hurts, but you finally managed to push through.The mental defences of the cererebrate are considerable, as in front of you you see a veritable fortress made of flesh. It has alien and disturbing geometry which hurts your head as you try to focus on it. Still, you notice it is not as solid as it should be. Walls too low, weapons badly positioned. It is still in disarray from your shriek and your shots.This deep in, you’ve lost fine control over your own body. You just hope it keeps shooting properly.>1. Break down its defences sep by step, slow but steady. This way it won’t be able to put up much of a fight once you get through, but once the psionic shriek wears off the defences will be back to full power and much harder to get through.>2. Break through and go straight for the core. If it goes badly, you’ll basically be in the worst spot possible, but if you manage you might be able to destroy it in one swift blow.>3. Write in.
>>35960677Advance steadily. If it would be possible to mask ourselves as one of the zerg, that would be pretty swell too.
>>35960771(Barring that, if we could sever connection between cerebrate and some of the zerg, we could ease some pressure off our escort or omega/main protoss forces. I'm assuming those are taking advantage of the zerg scramble towards the cerebrate and picking them off as they come)
>>35960771>>35960864You already severed its connection with the shriek, that's what the strands represent.Anyway, writing.
>>35960999>>35960677then dive dive go deep hit hard
>>35961125I'd rather not end up surrounded by angry cerebrate's mental defences if we make a blunder on our way in
You approach the defences carefully, and the first… wall? It’s a wall you think. Anyway, it poses little challenge to you as you smash it down. Or up? It’s hard to tell in this bizarre alien mind. You continue your way through, and it immediately gets tougher. The walls are bigger, there are strange defences that look and feel so alien you wouldn’t be able to describe them.You’re careful though, and slowly you bash through every obstacle in your path and destroy it so thoroughly that it will take time to rebuild.You’re about halfway through when you suddenly feel something change. The walls in front of you seem to grow larger, the weapons more menacing. You feel like you are shrinking and a familiar pressure starts returning. It’s still only starting, but you can feel the strands connecting it to its swarm slowly reattach.Going through slowly now will be a lot harder, but you’re already halfway. Perhaps you might be able to risk rushing through now while it’s still improving its mental barrier. It’ll be less risky than had you done it at the start, but if you don’t manage to deal with the cerebrate itself quickly you might still be in danger.>1. Keep going, it’ll be harder, but it will make the actual fight much easier.>2. Rushing through now won’t be much of a problem, but the actual fight will be a lot harder.>3. Write in.
>>35961176>Keep going. Do not hesitate, do not let up!
>>35961250Very well, roll me some d20's. best of 3 as usual.
Rolled 1 (1d20)>>35961501Onwards!
Rolled 6 (1d20)>>35961559lolfuck
Rolled 7 (1d20)>>35961501
>>35961559>>35961589>>35961607Critfail, writing.If it's any consolation, you've done a lot better so far than I'd have expected.
You approach the next set of defences slowly, but perhaps too slowly, as right before you attack you feel a burst of energy lance towards you. You barely dodge, and have to double back to avoid being hit by the following attacks. It seems to be fairly smart in its defensive strategy. Instead of just rebuilding everything equally it focussed on the one where you were, strengthening it as much as it could before you got there.What comes next is a tiring string of hit and run attacks, determining the line’s weak points and pressuring them as much as possible. After some time, you manage to break through. The next obstacle is just as impressive as the last. Again, you move slowly and take it down eventually, but you feel like you’re moving at a glacier’s pace.When you make it halfway through what is left of the defences, you become faintly aware of the sound of battle behind you. It seems Siladus got company. They have the advantage of a choke point, but you’d rather not have them fight for too long.When you’re about to reach the next line, you realise that all of them, despite their different ‘looks’, are actually still the same template. You might be able to get through the last set more quickly if you take advantage of that knowledge.> Roll me some more d20’s.
Rolled 12 (1d20)>>35961767Come on. We're so close...
Rolled 8 (1d20)>>35961767When it comes time to do our next attack, invert the Shriek not out-wards everywhere, but specifically at the Cerebrate itself. Rip it into nothing with pure, chaotic psychic energy.
Rolled 20 (1d20)>>35961767Rolling again because we need a third
>>35962128>>35962045>>35961912Critical success, writing!
You decide to put your theory to the test. You take in the next defence for a moment, decide where the most likely weak point is and carefully probe it. The defence is not as fierce as if you’d have attacked anywhere else, and it gives way a lot more than it should have. Perfect.You dodge back to avoid the enemy attacks, and then put all your power in a single strike. The obstacle shatters apart as you hit the weak-spot, and you can’t resist but grin internally. The grin grows wider as you’re faintly aware of a mechanical click somewhere near your body, and a moment later, the mental plane around you shakes violently. That’s another C-10 hit, you think to yourself.The next barriers all shatter quickly. Temporarily weakened by your latest gunshot and armed with the knowledge of the weak spot, you make short work of the rest of the defences. Almost faster than when they were weakened even.Finally, you reach the core of the monster you’re fighting. You stand inside a fleshy chamber, a perfect orb, with fibers strung like a web, all congealing in the center. There, a orb rests, its texture not unlike the outer hide of the cerebrate. As you make a single step forward, you suddenly feel the strands inside the webbed fibers, and it confirms what you already thought. This is the absolute center of this swarm. Destroy it and they turn feral, like you saw before.>What do you do?>1. Touch it, try to read its mind. It might hold a clue how to fully destroy it.>2. Pump as much energy into it as you can.>3. Try to destroy the fibers connecting it to its swarm. If you permanently disconnect it from the swarm it will be as good as harmless.>4. Write in.
>>35962335>>4. Write in.Try severing and reattaching one of the fibers to yourself.
>>35962335>2. Pump as much energy into it as you can.Try to use our shriek to shatter the core.
>>35962335Pierce it with our psionic lance, observe the reaction>>35962405>what could go wrong.jpg
>>35962405This thing is much more powerful then we are. The only thing that's keeping us going is that it has to micromanage everything that is going on.
>>35962468(cont) So connecting directly to it would be BAD.
>>35962468Its only one strand of it we are taking control of. Not cutting off all the threads.
>>35962468>>35962488I think he meant attaching a zerg fibre, i.e. taking control of one of the small zerg outside.
>>35962405>>35962442>>35962460Roll me some dice for psionically attacking it directly. You'll probe first as per >>35962442
Rolled 15 (1d20)>>35962647
Rolled 19 (1d20)>>35962647
>>35962647For Aiur and Terra
Rolled 19 (1d20)>>35962829forgot mah roll
>>35962853>>35962813>>35962672Upper DC met. Writing.
You create a lance of psionic energy extending from your hand, and you stab the core with it. The reaction is immediate. The whole sphere cramps down around you, and the core starts pulsating quickly. An emotion drips out of the core. It feels strange, but it’s unmistakably panic.That’s all you needed to know. You gather all of your power in a single blade of mental energy and drive it entirely through the core. It starts glowing, and you try to pull back your hand, but it seems to be stuck. The lance you made starts evaporating, releasing all its energy into the core, and suddenly it explodes.*“Overmind, the protoss are resisting more fiercely”**HGKSSSSSSSGGKKKKK**You see a a protoss zealot being ripped to pieces by the blades on your top arms. Together with your zergling brethren you focus on the next.**”No one will get close enough, the hives around me are sufficient protection, and my location is hidden-”**”There is a strange terran approaching me. I believe he might be worthy of study.”**”You have done well Cerebrate. Soon the swarm will -*
You pull back from the stream of… Something. You’re not sure what that was. You’re lying on your back next to the cerebrate. Its body is still pulsating, but it feels different. It feels hollow. Its core is shattered into pieces and scattered across the planet. The strands are still attached though, but they seem to be attached to an empty shell. Still, it feels as if it still gives them some coherence, so you should probably destroy it to make sure.You unleash several matter bombs into the still open wound of the cerebrate’s body. Flesh is ripped out and vaporised by the meter, and not long after, the entire front of the beast has been obliterated. Half of the body remains, but you can already hear protoss cheers from the tunnel next to you.>Psi points: 0/7>1. Rejoin your team, see how they did and help them in the last bit of fight.>2. Destroy the rest of the body to be sure. Your psi-blades can make holes for your C-10 to penetrate and destroy the flesh.>3. Rejoin the team and ask Sextus to use a hellfire grenade on the rest of the Cerebrate.>4. Write in.>Next post will be the last for tonight.
>>35963219Awesome.>1+3 Rejoin your team, see how they're doing, help out where necessary + ask Sextus to burn the rest of that thing with the grenade
>>35963219>>3. Rejoin the team and ask Sextus to use a hellfire grenade on the rest of the Cerebrate.
>>35963219>3. Rejoin the team and ask Sextus to use a hellfire grenade on the rest of the Cerebrate.>4. The cerebrate's recent memories were shown to us, try to figure out what might have been shown to this overmind.
>>35963219>>2. Destroy the rest of the body to be sure. Your psi-blades can make holes for your C-10 to penetrate and destroy the flesh.
>>35963219>3. Rejoin the team and ask Sextus to use a hellfire grenade on the rest of the Cerebrate.woo, finally able to catch a thread live, pity its the end of one though, oh timezones how you hate me
>>35963302>>35963331>>35963405>>35963418>>35963441Fireworks it is! Writing.>>35963441I know the feeling. I had the same with Shadow Quest back when it ran, with it starting too late for me to stay up for more than just the start.
>>35963522Is it over? Have we... won?
>>35963828Anon, this was just the beginning...We have only Just Begun...
You head back to the group that had your back while you dealt with the cerebrate. What you find shocks you. Siladus is lying in the tunnel, heavily wounded but conscious and still barking out commands. The reaver is a wreck which they used to plug the tunnel, but it was torn apart too. Through the holes in it you can see the wrecks/corpses of the two dragoons, and several more zealots. Only four zealots are still standing, and Varas is nowhere to be seen so you expect the worst. Sextus stands at the back, seemingly unharmed, but without his helmet. Only a single red gash right next to one of his eyes betrays he’s been fighting. You spot his helmet lying to the side, a hydralisk spine embedded in the optics.They are still fighting, but you can see a lot of the zerg have turned on each other. You tap Sextus on the shoulder after he launches another grenade through the reaver wreck, clearing out some of the zerglings and giving the zealots some respite.“I took care of most of it, but the body is still there for the most part. I could use a hellfire grenade on it.” You casually take a shot at an approaching zergling, blowing off its front right leg.Sextus gestures something, and you understand he’s no longer got any, but that he’s something better. He takes out a set of small black bricks and smiles. You’re quite surprised. He hasn’t smiled since you met up again. But there’s more important business to attend to.You take Sextus’ place in the defence, and between your psionics and your C-10 rifle, there’s not too many zerg that get through anymore. The only moment it gets risky is when an fairly organised attack has several hydralisks lay suppressing fire before you manage to take them out with a matter bomb.
>>35963828Supervisor is a pretty cool guy. We 'won' against the Cerebrate. Just remember that we touched minds with it, and we gained it's 'recent' memories, so the reverse is probably true.
About a minute after Sextus left you hear a loud bang behind you. Sextus calmly walks into your field of view and gives you thumbs up. At the same time, you see the zerg that were still more or less coordinated freeze up for a moment and then run wild.“Pick me up, I need to see what is going on.” Siladus orders one of the zealots. You see him flinch as he is dragged upright despite the zealot taking extra care. “Hmm, it looks like we’ll be stuck here for a moment. At least until the feral zerg scatter or finish killing each other.”Suddenly, he collapses. You rush towards him, but the zealot holding him already laid him down carefully. “No, I can still fight… I… We must prevail. For Aiur!”The zealots looks at his commander and then to you. “We are losing him. He forbade me to activate his recall beacon, trying to fight to the bitter end, but it is his only hope. You are not under such orders though. Will you please save his life?”>1. Activate the beacon.>2. “If he ordered it, who am I to go against it?” refuse.>3. Write in.>That's all folks!>Next thread next week Tuesday as usual.>I'll be archiving in a second.
>>35963967Either Activate the beacon or ask if any of them can guide us through healing him. Most-likely the beacon.
>>35963967>1. Activate the beacon.make sure our friend lives to fight another day, we can get out an alternate way
>>35963967>Thank you, friend, I couldn't have done it without you. And maybe it won't be last time.>Activate the beacon
>>35964005What first aid could be applied has already been done (crudely, due to being in the middle of a battle at the time). There's nothing you would be able to done for him right there that hasn't been done already.
>>35963967Thanks for the thread OP! Was great.
>>35964080I mean using our psychic abilities in conjunction with one of the other Protoss here who understands Protoss abilities to heal him, or at least help him heal himself.