Previous Thread:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/40535836/Archive:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Joker%20QuestEquipment FAQ:http://pastebin.com/2tBqj9w4Player List:http://pastebin.com/rRSM6LgWEpisode Guide (All credit to Watashiwa & an unknown Anon):http://pastebin.com/xBDW8VrXYui IF scene (Adult content):http://pastebin.com/8CSEVSXBTwitter: https://twitter.com/JokerQuestOPRecap: You are ANON, the RED JOKER. In our last installment, you defeated ROOK - but at a cost.
>>40595018Black.Joker. Joker, can you hear me?If I-Don't touch him. Don't.But his arm-This is insanity. They are more than merely diseased - They are rank with their corruption.Senses flicker to life. Memories accreting, static receding like echoes - the sullen embers of your reactor fanned to a dim glow. All of it without panic, without urgency; as if you have all the time in the world..."-coming round."Sound returns, first. Then color. Your optics cycle, blink-click, whirr - the eerie phantom-limb sensation of Slake's writhing maws twisting in the air, restlessly malevolent. The fingers of your left hand curl into a fist, the contact element pulsing with renewed life-And then the pain hooks in you, rasping against nerves you don't possess. Optical sensors - Augmented by the surreal glow of Auspex - integrate light and shadow into a twitching simulacrum of the world around you, the vast lifter platform beneath thrumming as it continues to rise. You see-Black strands of Lachryma - Like veins, like arteries - branch outward from your left arm, like hairline cracks spiderwebbing across the deck plating. Raised, growing over the surfaces like ivy.And when you try to move, the blind, mindless agony of it punches you in the soul.Not veins. *Nerves*, growing out of cracked crimson armor and myomer - As if the artificial musculature has germinated, has *burst*, into something far, far worse.Mere meters away - A knot of ruptured Simulation Bodies. Beyond that, Rook's crumpled form - Haze hovering over him, defensively, the flicker of the lights in his eyeslits betraying his agitation; there's something defiant in his gaze, something wary, as he turns it on Armaros...Who, for his part, merely stands, plated fists open and empty at his sides.(Continued)
>>40595025"An - Joker, I...whoah-!"Metal crumples, as one of Slake's maws lashes out - Moving on instinct, striking blind. The flailing head comes down, with the blunt force of a hammer, hard enough to dent the deck plating; Daegal flinches back, out of reach, the Thief's hand on his shoulder as Akira pulls him out of range."Told you not to touch him," the Thief rasps, the ember-glow of his gaze turned on you."Joker - Can you understand us?"[ ] "...What happened?"[ ] "My arm, it's-"[ ] "Is Rook...?"[ ] "How long was I out?"[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>40595034>[ ] "Is Rook...?">[ ] "How long was I out?">[ ] "My arm, it's-""I didn't know you could get lachryma hangovers."By the way, Scylla is fused with our frame.Does that mean we can't remove it?
>>40595034>"Is Rook...?">"How long was I out?"Let's not use Draw Forth again unless we have absolutely no other choices available.
>>40595034>[ ] "...What happened?">>40595055>Does that mean we can't remove it?Obviously.
>>40595059Yeah.And no more fucking Athame upgrades.Also, tell Rook to stop overdosing on Lachryma, if he really has come back to his senses. He should be fine as long as he stays away from the fucking Simulation Bodies.White Joker produces infinite numbers of Simulation Bodies.Why can't we do the same with weapons?
>>40595079>And no more fucking Athame upgradesATHAME2And that's it. >Why can't we do the same with weapons?Because our armour is fucked, probably.
>>40595094>And that's itWe all know you're not gonna be content with Athame 2. Before you know it you'd have us so far into Athame even Naoya thinks we fucked up.
>>40595147I'm not autistic enough to samefag an upgrade vote. They usually happen while I'm asleep, anyway.
>>40595055>>40595059>>40595060> Does that mean we can't remove it?(Unfortunately, no.)> "Is Rook...?"Your voice - Even filtered of all emotion, projected from your speakers, it sounds hollow. Flickering in and out; strengthening, as the pulse of your reactor builds. Tarry black Lachryma clots against the rents of your armor - drying to ochre, sealing over with a sickening slowness, the way a smile slowly fades. The web of false nerves branching from your left arm pins you in place; you feel every shift in the air as a knife raking through the bone. "He's-" Daegal begins, uncertainly. He trades a quick look with the Thief - there is a significance to it, in the slight shake of his head, as if hoping that Akira can *explain* it to him- "-He's fine. *Fine*," Haze says, defiantly - Still interposed between Rook's crumpled form and Armaros, hunching down. "He's going to be all right, isn't he? He's fine *now*, right?" Then - "Isn't he, Joker?" "Is that what you call this?" Armaros rumbles, low and wary. "'Fine'?" Hydraulics groan as he moves, cables bunching beneath the artificial musculature of his form. "Listen, you-" Haze begins, then clearly thinks better of it. He bites off his words with a brittle hiss, the eyeslits of his helmet flickering a frantic yellow. (Continued)
>>40595171> [X] "...What happened?""'What happened', he says," Daegal says. "Well, first-""The weapon worked." The Thief's tone is clipped, almost curt, as he cuts Daegal off. His boot comes down on a porcelain mask, with a sound like a rifle shot - Chips of ceramite scatter, skittering across the floor, in a gesture that communicates both the conclusion and his contempt for it at once. "-Rook fell. You fell. Now this.""I honestly can't believe we survived that," Kazuya mutters. "I may never sleep again." Warily, he inches forward - One step, then another, bringing his shield up defensively; Against your back, Slake rills, with instinctive hostility - Enough to make him stop short."Can't you...Don't you control them?"You're not sure. You focus, and their writhing ceases - Now the barbed maws quiver with silent tension, gleaming dully at rest. > "How long was I out?""Only a moment." This time, Armaros is the one to answer. In the eerie light, his shadow - Stark, pitch-black - slants across you. Even without expression, you can sense the revulsion to his words. What has been done to you - What is happening to you - is something he cannot truly understand, and he loathes it the way a healthy man would loathe and fear a leper. "But too lo-""Enough." The Thief stands a little straighter, in his ragged duster - Measured, now, his head tilted back; as if listening to something only he can hear. "Listen."The hum of the platform's suspensors have shifted, subtly. Even the hypnoptic blur of the shaft's walls have slowed, a rumble filtering through the deck plating - Communicating itself through your exposed nerves, a judder that makes static flicker across your field of vision. (Continued)
>>40595374>"-I have it under control."Can we cover it with the Assault Shroud until it's repaired? Assuming this isn't permanent corruption, that is.
>>40595311Wherever this lifter was going - You're almost there.Totenaz paces forward, ignoring the wordless sound of alarm Daegal makes. Armaros tenses, too - But the Thief spares neither a glance. There are impossibly fine cracks in that ivory helm of his, the ember glow of his eyeslits ominous in the gloom."No time left, Joker." His gaze traces the network of artificial nerves and sensory ganglia that spiderwebs across the thrumming plates. His hand - that false hand of his - curls around the hilt of the Fatal Abyss, as he waits, the question left unspoken.[ ] "...Take the arm."[ ] "-I have it under control. Give me a moment."[ ] "There has to be another way."[ ] "I'll do it myself."[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>40595374>[ ] "I'll do it myself."Use Muleta to cut it off. The incinerate it with the plasma vulcan."Once I beat up a few people, it will regenerate, anyway.I think I learned my lesson about lachryma overdose. Let's hope the same goes for Rook."We won't lose the Sinistral from it, will we?
>>40595411>[ ] "-I have it under control. Give me a moment."Seriously, guys, unless it's too bad losing an arm seems like it'd to more harm than carrying it with us would.
>>40595424>Wanting to go into the next fight without an armWhy?
>>40595449Because we can regenerate the arm and because it's fucking corrupted.If we are lucky, this is just simple encroachment that will go away on its own, but I don't think we have that much time.And we need to give Amaros reason to trust us. He's getting wary. What better way than to amputate our own corruption?
>>40595458Also, if I read this correctly, the arm causes a debuff due to the pain that it creates. And it's fused to the ground.
>>40595411Wait it out. Our Encroachment still naturally decreases, right?
>>40595458>drying to ochre, sealing over with a sickening slownessIt's repairing itself. Tearing it off will get rid of the corruption now, sure, but we don't heal nearly fast enough to warrant doing so. We'll probably have to fight Enfer in a moment, given the traps in the shaft.
>>40595488>>40595495Fine, then rip the arm from the ground.Then say something like"It should go away by itself in a few moments. I'm not immune anymore, but I still seem to retain a resistance.If it doesn't work, I'll cut it off and regrow it properly."Better than implying a lachryma addiction by keeping the arm with no comment.Even if cutting it off would be a better choice for a variety of reasons.
>>40595079But what if Athame 2 gives us a way to counteract encroachment, or reduces the threshold somehow.We have an outright confirmation that it is a very powerful upgrade, so I am still in favour of getting it.
>>40595411>[ ] "I'll do it myself.""Don't worry, I have two ways to restore it without relying on lachryma."Is the Fusion Annihilator still charged? Better have it ready so that we can vaporize someone the moment we get a chance.
>>40595458>Because we can regenerate the arm and because it's fucking corrupted.I don't think we can, actually. Cybele's power is gone.
>>40595542>I don't think we can, actually. Cybele's power is gone.>what is the Leech Module and Exec_Consume
>>40595542Oh for fuck's sake.Have you skipped the past twenty threads or something?We got an upgraded leech module.Also, there's four keep votes and two cut off votes, but only five voters in total.Someone is samefagging.
>>40595542>In order to regrow limbs or damaged components, a certain threshold must be reached before the component begins to regenerate>>40595555There's only one cut off vote, since one switched to keeping it.
>>40595533What if Athame 2 causes us to constantly gain encroachment and requires us to vent it like the overloaded hypermode in Metroid Prime 3?That would be very powerful, but also an absolute disaster for us. Just like how lachryma is supposed to work.Stop being such a faggot.
>>40595555Nice quints. I'm studying for an exam. Forgive me if I'm not too lucid atm.
>>40595572>There's only one cut off vote, since one switched to keeping it.>>40595534>>40595424These are two votes.
>>40595576>causes us to constantly gain encroachment and requires us to vent it like the overloaded hypermode in Metroid Prime 3Not that guy, but I'd still vote for it. Sounds fun.
>>40595587Follow the reply chain from >>40595424
>>40595587>>40595572Oh, wait, now I know what you mean.No, I didn't switch votes. I only told you fuckers how the "keep it" situation should go down to be less of a disaster.See it as an if-condition for if you win the vote. I'm still for cutting it off, as should be obvious from my post.>>40595590And now the torture Megumi guy appears.
>>40595602>torture Megumi guyNope. It would genuinely be an interesting mechanic. I think it'll give us a way to fight with Lachryma, meaning we have to use Draw Forth to gain some and then the new ability to use it, while making sure to keep our HP high enough so that we don't die from it.
>>40595410>>40595447>>40595488You focus. Despite the fever-heat of the Diadem, of your internal reactors, all is cold. The nerves that branch from the crimson endosteel of your arm - you isolate them, in your mind. You reject, you deny - Ignoring the barbed hooks that makes phantom pain flare at every motion, a sensation you thought you forgot. Even thinking of moving your armor - It threatens to burn spastic jerks through your arms and legs and smash your helmet against the floor. No.*Focus*.There is a sense of something uncoiling, something unclean, something black, something expanding out of a pit older than all the eons - except the pit is in your mind, as it draws closer, closer, closer- > [X] "-I have it under control. Give me a moment."The Thief merely stands. Waiting. A spasm judders through your arm, your *arm*, as - With awful slowness - the web of Lachryma retracts. Wisps of vapor coil up from them, as the false nerves begin to dessicate, begin to wither - each sickening moment an eternity...> [X] "I'll do it myself."-Until you trigger the Sinistral, and the ghost-steel field slices through the roots with a vibrating hum.Somehow, somehow - As the mind-shattering blast of agony fades, an agony that is not *real*, but yet worse for all that - you force yourself to one knee. Then to your feet- And finally, the Thief steps back, and his hand releases - For the first time in a long while - the hilt of the Fatal Abyss.(Continued)
>>40595654Wait, even though Joker was visibly reducing the corruption, he cut his arm off anyway out of impatience?
>>40595637I also think it would be an interesting mechanic, but the effect on plot and social interactings would be too retarded to let this happen.>>40595686Or because it was an unbearable feeling.
>>40595686What? You misread the post pretty badly, Anon. He used the Sinistral to cut off the Lachryma. They were false nerves, so doing so was extremely painful.
>>40595576We are in the endgame man, this is it. We need every fucking advantage we can get, even if it fucks us over in the long term.
>>40595762>long-termThe first thing to happen is that Armaros will try to leave our group or kill us.And then you have the reaction of Kazuya.Totenaz won't hesitate to give us the mercy blow. Haze will only stay loyal because of Rook.That's not to mention all of the other characters. Like Mio, Kotone or maybe Hecate.
>>40595793Not that anon, but I doubt it would get that catastrophic from one more upgrade. JQOP said that he prepared a very interesting and unique mechanic for the Lachryma tree that he wanted to use, so I doubt he'd it make the second upgrade so harmful that we wouldn't want to ever use it.
>>40595819>harmfulIt would be a trade-off of massive power against plot effects.That's a bonus depending on your point of view.By the way, I wonder if the Oblivion Husk upgrades will impact the plot. Would be interesting if the memory of an older Joker causes some effects during current events.
>>40595654"Is that-" Daegal's voice is halting, issuing from his oriachulum mask. Even as the Sinistral's field shrinks away to nothing, the twists of Lachryma boiling away in its wake, he can't stop staring at your arm - As you curl your fingers into fists, the clack of pistons and electrodrivers echoing your thought-commands. "Anon...Is that - Is that going to *keep happening?* Like the oth-""Daegal," the Thief says, and Kazuya subsides. "He's waking up-!" Haze, now - His chequered armor is caked with unmentionable fluids, spattered with dried gore - but he doesn't care, a new, frantic note to his voice. "Joker, he's waking up-!" Armaros takes a step forward - And Haze's gaze snaps up, as he crouches defensively over Rook; There's a blind wariness to him, the fierceness of an animal caught in a trap. For a moment, Armaros pauses - then he merely shakes his head, with a whirr of servoes. "I was only..." he begins, in a static-laden rumble, before he decides to say nothing at all. Still, he steps aside without comment, as you move to kneel besides Rook- And Rook stirs. Black tear-trails run from his slanted eye-lenses; the same rising from the joints of his limbs, seeping through. There are deep rents in his cuirass, from which more Lachryma issues forth - A flickering, fitful light kindled within them. Cycling, swivelling, fixing blearily - somehow - on the faces above him."Joker-" he rasps. "Rook-!" For a moment, you think Distortion Haze might hug him. But a Player's arms convey no warmth, no more emotion in them that the crackling hiss of distortion through your speakers. Instead, Haze merely swings away, his arms to his side - His voxed voice toneless, cold, though it tries to be neither of those things. "I *knew* you'd be-"Rook turns his head. His eyes are tiny spots of violet flame, a shuddering hiss pulsing from deep within - Air hissing in through his jagged mouth grille. (Continued)
>>40595762No, anon. If anything, this is the climax where we'll have to use what we learned over the course of the quest to finally do something unambiguously good.And that unambiguousity can't be done by slurping on Chtulujuice as if it was Purple Drank.
>>40595871"-I dreamt that you died," he rasps. His left talon-hand closes on your arm, the clawed fist trembling. "I dreamt we were all dead.""Insanity," Armaros mutters. Rook twitches, with an involuntary muscle spasm. His avian head jerks, as his claws retract - Then, he grates out: "All we will see - All we can ever see - is pain, disorder. But it will be like an earthquake, a flood, a famine. Cleansing.""What-" Rook exhales, slowly. His head dips down, craning - As if wondering at the extent of damage that has been done to him. Static-laden noise hisses from his vocalizers; a hissing laugh, or a derisive snort as he turns his head. "And that's why-""That's why we *have to kill them*." [ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>40595989(Gentlemen, my sincerest apologies, but I need to step away for about half an hour. I'll return as soon as possible.)
>>40595989"Well, at least you got your priorities straight.Please keep away from lachryma sources. Your body seems to absorb the stuff and increase your encroachment heavily.And Daegal, don't worry. As long as I don't overdose again by trying to suck the lachryma out of a corrupted individual, it won't happen again. Thankfully, I still have some resistance to the stuff, even if I'm not immune anymore. It actually disappears if I wait, but we don't have the time for that.Anyway, time to punch a few people to regenerate my arm. Yes, that's exactly how it works for me."
>>40596020Oh and don't forget to burn the arm. Don't want the tumor to seep into the ground or for someone to use Voodoo on us or something.The arm didn't have any relics attached, did it?
>>40596020>>40596055>he can't stop staring at your arm - As you curl your fingers into fists, the clack of pistons and electrodrivers echoing your thought-commandsWe still have the arm. Just cut away the Lachryma nerves clinging to it.>>40595989Man, I'm shit with write-ins. All I can come up with is>"It'll be worse than that".
>>40596055>>40596097(Your arm is actually still attached. You did, however, cut away the new material - the artificial nerves.)>>40596020Rook...chuckles. It is a low, rasping sound, as he sways to his feet - A laugh without humor, a shrieking snicker from his vocalisers. "As easy as that, Joker?" he echoes - Sneers, almost, twitching spines jutting from each knuckle. "-Just like that?" > "It'll be worse than that"."-Oh, that's for sure, Joker." A violet glow, kindled in his raptor-mask. "The worst is yet to come."He is still snickering, as he totters away - "Rook, *wait*," Haze blurts out; he shoots an agonized glance back at you, before hurrying after him. Daegal exhales, slowly - uneasily. "That guy," he mutters, almost to himself - "Anon...That guy gives me the fucking *creeps*." He utters a laugh, a shaky sound; "God, listen to me. You'd think I was beginning to get *used* to this-"> "And Daegal, don't worry. As long as I don't overdose again by trying to suck the lachryma out of a corrupted individual, it won't happen again. Thankfully, I still have some resistance to the stuff, even if I'm not immune anymore. It actually disappears if I wait, but we don't have the time for that."He stares at you, for a long, long moment. Just stares. Then - With a subtle shift of his stance - Daegal looks away. "Yeah, well..." he says - you think he's trying to sound supportive. "...Just - Just be *careful*, all right?" A shaky breath, one he doesn't need. "Look - Anon, you're the only guy who knows where we're going. So...Don't do anything crazy, okay?" He pauses - Though you can't see his face, you know he's trying to smile. "We have Akira for tha-"The Thief doesn't say anything. He doesn't even clear his throat. But one glance over his shoulder, and Kazuya goes quiet. (Continued)
>>40596603>you're the only guy who knows where we're goingYeah. Definitely.
>>40596603>The Thief doesn't say anything. He doesn't even clear his throat. But one glance over his shoulder, and Kazuya goes quiet.Oh god. Either it's more interparty tension or it's more murderbots. Lovely.
>>40596726That's actually a more humorous interaction, imo.I wonder when we should tell Kazuya about Mio, Hecate and Alura and Cybele.Or if it all.
>>40596603"We're here." Armaros, now - Without affect, in his amplified bass rumble. The platform shudders underfoot, as the blur of the shaft slows - then stops. A piston-driven hiss revebrates through the chamber, as magnetic locks seal shut; The lifter grinding to a stop in a vast, arched dock-bay, the heavy shutter doors before you grinding open- The accessway - A wide, cable-lined passage, octagonal in cross-section, poorly-lit - looms before you. The floor is metal grille, the tight walls thick with networks of cables and hydraulic hoses, with a passage dropping down through a floor-well, another rising into an inspection shaft. There is only red auxiliary lighting here - the throb of heavy-duty compressors and regulators filling the air.How long have you been here? How much longer do you have? "-Where are we?" The Thief doesn't answer. Not right away. It occurs to you that - for the first time - he might have no idea what comes next. EXEC_HARROW flickers on your altered sensors, like iron fillings to a magnet; Above. Not so far, now. "Arrestor baffles. Kinetic dampers." The lurid glow of the Thief's helm sheds wisps of burning light, as he turns to you - "This is the Diadem's outer ring." He nods, towards the inner curve of one wall, and memory stirs: You're close, now. Closer than before - Rising from the great engines and turbines of the ship, to the vast cells, vaults that encompass the miniature city within. Only...You're outside it.The ground judders. With a tumulutous grinding, the whole corridor begins to shake: massive pistons sighing and hissing, swirling gases venting as warning lights begin to strob all along the passage- "What the hell is that?" Haze has to shout, to make himself heard over the din - "WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?"The Diadem's configuring itself for flight- (Continued)
>>40596789ShitAre we too late?
>>40596789Rook tenses - And then everything shakes with enough violence to send him sprawling off-balance, hard enough that his helmet riochets off the steel wall. He hisses, staggering to a stop; the clamor is affecting him worse than the others, until he says- "-the doors-"Above - Great bulkheads, solid slabs of night-black steel - descend, an echoing boom coming from deep within the ship as they seal shut, with a grinding an awful finality. At the far end, with unhurried slowness, a meter-thick blast door descends, to shut off the only exits-"Anon-" Daegal sounds distinctly alarmed, now - "Joker, *what do we do*-?" The Thief's gloved fingers press to the inner curve of the wall; As if the clamor troubles him not at all, his attention momentarily elsewhere with a ferocious focus as he rasps out- "Hollow.""Stand back." Armaros growls, his fists clenching hungrily around Ascalon's hilt."Wait-" Haze sounds measurably frantic, his attention split between the descending bulkhead and Armaros. "If you breach that - You don't know *what's in there*-!" [ ] Take the inspection shaft.[ ] Take the floor-well passage.[ ] Breach the wall.[ ] Retreat to the lift.[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>40596903Always remember, we can charge the Fusion Annihilator and blast at EXEC_HARROW's direction.
>>40596921>Breach the wall.It's not like the walls will be filled with Lachryma, or coolant, or some sort of defense system!
>>40596921"They are above. I marked one of them.Time for a dungeon bypass."Charge the Fusion Annihilator with POWER_TRANSFER and blast at Inox Fang's position.Or is anyone thinking that my idea is so retarded that it should get a veto?
>>40596946>>40596963Alright, I'll switch my vote to this. Assuming it isn't impossible/retarded.
>>40596963I don't agree with blasting, but I agree with breaching. Firing the Fusion Annihilator in enclosed conditions is basically suicide.
>>40596963I'll vote for it also daily reminder
>>40596963(Gentlemen, while you could do that, I'll point out that there is a significant amount of machinery and a vast amount of solid material between your current location and Inox's - You'll be effectively shooting at an angle. Also, your Fusion Annihilator was unable to pierce the Diadem's hull by itself.)
>>40597017Uh, shit.We'd look like retards if we do that, I guess.Can we scan the wall for its contents, with any of our senses?The inspection shaft should be the best place to be, as it should be connected to all parts of the Diadem.It will also most likely be mined.
>>40597017Just breach the wall then, I guess.
>>40596946>>40596963>>40597031>>40597045Armaros rears back. Corospant crackles, as the great neutronium blade carves the air - It bites deep, into the skin of the wall; ripping, tearing, as metal fragments away in a spray of lethal sharpnel - A great, weeping gash, a molten slash that burns with an internal light of its own, bright orange against the hellish auxiliary illumination that gathers and pulses around you as black smoke begins to wisp out in coiling tendrils-At the far end of the corridor, the bulkhead completes its descent, with a deep, echoing boom. The great cables of Armaros's muscles bunch. He *wrenches*, but something has snagged his blade - More smoke boiling up, as he tries to rip his weapon free. "Come on-"More smoke. Another furious effort, as Daegal says - "I think-"Whatever flaw or imperfection, whatever ultra-hard seam in the hullskin that snagged the neutronium blade - It finally and abruptly gives way. The wall *crumples* in on itself, as Ascalon rips down and across, a great diagonal cut that shears away a massive chunk of hyperdense metal, ripping it down like a screen...Devouring phage boils forth. They boil out of the breach like black angry thunderclouds, more than smoke, more than particles - A *collective*, a billion microscopic agents acting in unison. They are a seething darkness, a billion microscopic agents acting in unison, swallowing you whole, billowing around you like some monster amoeba- "AAAAAHHHHHH-""FUCK-!"It is a torrent, a swirling tide - In less than the span of a breath, devouring particles gnaw at your Assault Shroud, swarming over you, gathering thickly; Armaros reels back from the fatal stroke, his Distortion Halo flaring to life - the power field crisps great clumps of black phage from the air around him, even as Daegal stumbles at your side, the rippling mass swirling around him, trying to find a way past his oriachulum plate with mindless ravening hunger- (Continued)
>>40597220Well, that was a terrible idea.
>>40597220Well, I guess this is the time for EXEC_CONSUME.
>>40597220We run goofed
>>40597220Haze goes down. His limbs are thrashing, flailing, yelling incoherently as he's swallowed up by his own damnation cloud - Even as the Thief lurches past, a crackling aura dancing across his duster, motes of phage puffing into dots of flame and black ash as he snarls, over the channel- "-the wall-" For one terrible moment - before the writhing weight blots out your visor, swamps your vision - you see a *second* compartment, a ring within a ring; a curving inner wall, almost invisible behind the churning mass of black phage, studded at regular intervals by irised-over entrances - so quickly it seems but an illusion. And then all vision is lost in the seething morass that weighs your limbs down, spilling in fat squirming masses across your eroding armor- HP: 115.7%COBALT BOOSTER: 150%ASSAULT SHROUD: 97%METER: 56%ENCROACHMENT: 30%YOU HAVE CONTROL
>>40597309I wish we had our fire aura now.Or EXEC_REPULSE.Time to dive into the equipment guide.Can someone check the Hollow Sun weapons? Maybe Daegal can summon the perfect weapon for this situation.But first we need to look at the situation. What can we do with that compartment?Shoot it?Move into it?Stick our hand in and activate CONSUME?
>>40597309EXEC_REPULSE for some space, then blast the wall with the Fusion Annihilator.
>>40597351From our options:- Activate Sotto Voca, if no one is in front of us. Try to see if we can microwave the things- Have EXEC_CONSUME ACTIVE on our hand to swat the phage out of the air- Use active Argus to restore vision- EXEC_SMITE into the compartmentI feel like I'm proposing something dumb.
>>40597309Activate Auspex.Possible courses of action (of varying suicidal rates):>EXEC_CONSUME the mass>Blast a hole in the mass with a Tyrant Blast and shoot the compartment with Rubicante>Scrander Bolt the thing>OVER-ARMOR the thing
>>40597389Nigga, we lost that ability because of the soul fuck, courtesy of Alura.
>>40597393>Have EXEC_CONSUME ACTIVE on our hand to swat the phage out of the airWe can channel EXEC_CONSUME through the Scylla, which should be a lot more useful.
>>40597429Except it will cause Scylla to behave unpredictably.We can't aim. I don't want to risk feeding on an ally.
>>40597351>>40597389>>40597393>>40597400>>40597407>>40597429Violet light gathers. The Helix Gauntlet extrudes crackling talons of solid light - A great sweep cutting a swathe through the thickening edges of the swarm, the serrated phage-forms disintegrating before your swing; Even as the cooling slits on your armor lock shut, holding out the scrabbling, biting phage that boils around you- Instead, tiny projectors mounted on your shoulder binders, sides and torso plating flicker to life. The effect is a subtle one - A faint glow, a heat-shimmer lost in the swarm, even as it blossoms across the EM spectrum like a supernova-"Joker-" Haze gasps out - "Joker, do *something*-"Rook's echoing hiss is rather less articulate, but just as urgent - He's reduced to raking his talons through the air, his roar of agony pulsing in the air as individual particles from the hurricane swarm hurtle inwards, burying themselves into his armor's rents - chewing at him, *eating* him- And then the black specks around you fall away. From your arms, your cuirass, your limbs - the millimeter-wave superheats them, incinerates the connection that allows the nanite swarm to gather, to feast; an expanding ring of safety admit dark thunderclouds, your Cobalt Booster pulsing with actinic light as phage spores flare into tiny constellations as they burn away, as your arm comes up from your side- Just for a moment. Just long enough to clear the shot. It's Daegal who sees what you're about to do, first - And it's Daegal who shouts- "Oh shit - GET DOWN-"(Continued)
>>40597533>the Sotto Voca saves the dayI've been waiting for this.
>>40597571I wonder if it can cover more than our front side. Imagine if we could emit microwaves all across our body.Also, EMDrive upgrade when?
>>40597605>And then the black specks around you fall away>an expanding ring of safety admit dark thundercloudsI imagine it is emitting all around us. It's just that doing so severely lowered its effectiveness and range, hence why our allies haven't been fried yet.
>>40597533Green telltales flare to life, along the Fusion Annihilator's barrel. The charge gathers - One, two- More than enough. When you squeeze the trigger - There is a muffled sound, like a bomb-blast running backwards, an inhalation that blurs the world around you the radiance of annihilation coalesces- And spews forth. The beam is wrist-thick when it leaves the barrel. It shears through the swarm like a sword of light - When it passes, they simply vaporize without resistance, unmade by the flashlight of oblivion. When it hits the far wall- Everything shakes. The Diadem's innermost hull holds, beneath the boiling spear - It blisters, begins to glow, radiating a scorching heat - And then something shivers, as the radiant fire touches it, the wall beginning to buckle inwards, a vomit of flame spewing forth, beneath an oozing, molten burn- White heat. Crisping and fountaining along the circumference. And then it punches *through*- You don't even have to jump. The pressure difference sucks you in - hurls you forward - like a bird into a jet engine. For a moment, the view through your optics stops making sense - There are flickers of orange light, flickers of blue, a tumbling whirl as burning phage blasts down, around, past you, like a storm of needles, like ball bearings from a railgun. There is no up, no down - Only the sensation of falling, falling, before you can trigger the Tempest Scrander, as the floor rears up and smashes you so hard it nearly breaks you in half- Your visual feed cuts out.(Continued)
>>40597672Man Joker has been having a rough day
>>40597776Day? More like life. IIRC he doesn't remember his past, so he's like a more fucked-up Shirou without the self-sacrifice.
>>40597867>IIRC he doesn't remember his pastWhat the hell are you talking about? He doesn't remember much of what happened in the Black due to him going on autopilot for most of the time spent there, but never has anything indicated that he doesn't remember his childhood.
>>40597672It is rain that awakens you. Rain, and the hiss of steam.From above - autonozzles, spraying counteragent; Lining the vaulted ceiling, above, flashing to steam where it touches your armor. The scratchy, chittering clamor of the phage clawing across your armor diminishes, fading to a feeble rattle, then to nothing. The brief microclimate rain condenses to rivulets, pattering down, serenely - Warning runes dancing on the inside of your HUD, your Cobalt Booster flashing alerts. Somewhere, you hear Haze groan. Somewhere, you hear Rook curse.Your visual feed cycles. Fights to resolve, as the world fades back into existence - the talons of your Helix Gauntlet skritching against deck plating, leaving no mark. Something-Something about this feels- -Familiar- "Anyone still aliv..." Daegal begins, then stops, abruptly. "-Oh my god." There is awe in his voice. There is fear. The light returns. You're expecting the sight, even before you see it - A riot of alien machinery sitting in the center of the space like a nerve ganglion, three massive spokes radiating out from the core; the spire rising from the center, adorned with spines and pipes and glassy see-through panels - In the walls, in the raised column, the sickening orange glow coming from slots in the spire, flickering against your armour. And the pods - Hundreds of them, thousands - lining the walls, each one containing things you have glimpsed, briefly...Or things that you have never seen, never imagined.The Preservatorium.(Continued)
>>40597912And so we meet again.Those things just crumble into dust if their pods are opened, right?
>>40597912HmmI wonder if there's a method of executing all of these correctors and absorbing the essence from them? Or are they of the sort which doesn't have essence?
>>40597912"Hnnnnh." the Thief pulls himself up. There is a weariness to the motion - His arm hanging loose at his side, as if it pains him. It occurs to you that Akira is far more exhausted than he seems, though he refuses to show it; then the iron walls of control slam into place, and he is himself again. "-Inside. Good.""What-" Haze stammers - Trying to look in every direction at once. "...What are-?"His voice is tiny, embryonic. Lost. "Joker." Armaros. Already on his feet. His armor dented, nicked, but unbreached. He stares, at a pod containing something equal parts spider and wolf, transfixed. "-Is that..."A pause. "Is this what's waiting for us, out there?""Out there, where no one has ever been?""There are hundreds of them," Rook mutters, his words a caw. He flexes taloned fingers - "Thousands.""I think-" the harsh note to Armaros's voice is gone. Now, there is only wonder. "A ship full of...Of creatures, from all over everywhere." "So...?" Haze says - He's on edge, nervous. Armaros gives him a Look, a look that's nearly scornful."A ship full of *specimens*," he growls. "Research and dissection. Like zoologists, like naturalists-" A hesitation, a shuddering breath. "The implications of this - they're staggering."(Continued)
>>40598001See >>40597968 iirc they don't have essence anymore.
>>40598001We can always check with the Auspex.
Well time to go grocery shopping for correctors to augment
>>40598014"God, will you look at this?" Daegal's footfalls are slow, measured - Pacing forward, towards a display of blind, skinless behemoths, held in suspension. "...Jesus, the *teeth* on these things-" He shudders, even as he reaches out for the panels beneath the sealing bubble."Hey, what's-?"[ ] "Don't touch that."[ ] "I wouldn't-"[ ] "You really shouldn't touch that."[ ] "Wait-"[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>40598059>[ ] "Don't touch that."
>>40598059>[ ] "You should touch it. Let's find out together."
>>40598059>[ ] "You really shouldn't touch that.""It's not dangerous, but it's nasty. The green button opens the pod and confronts you with a dead and decaying corrector. I already had the pleasure."
>>40598059>[ ] "Don't touch that."Kazuya please keep your hands off off the abominations, this isn't a petting zoo.
>>40598102"By the way, I've got a live one stored in the Hollow Sun. You can summon it at any time.It's not been tamed yet, though."
>>40598059[X] "Don't touch that."Check if they have any essence.
>>40598059Looking at the old thread, there should be a terminal in the room, with a teleport option.The question is: Can it teleport multiple people?
>>40598059Okay, so, from what I can tell, the Diadem is basically Noah's Arc. So what I am reckoning... is that Pazazu would get REALLY mad if we destroyed his ecosystem.
>>40598115>Sup, bb, wanna look at my corrector?
So, we can teleport to the Terminal, then go find door I from there, which is the core of the Diadem.
>>40598064>>40598091>>40598102> [X] "Don't touch that.""But-"> [X] "It's not dangerous, but it's nasty. The green button opens the pod and confronts you with a dead and decaying corrector. I already had the pleasure."Haze makes a gagging noise. "Seriously?" Daegal gives the panel a longing, rather forlorn look. "But if I-"Kazuya."All right, all right."> "By the way, I've got a live one stored in the Hollow Sun. You can summon it at any time. It's not been tamed yet, though.""What, really? That's-" Rook gives him a sharp look, and Daegal subsides. "...Maybe another time, then," he mutters. >>40598136You focus. The world takes on the crimson glow of Auspex, sound faintly distorted."-long have they been here?""-should find a way..." Nothing. Aside from the Essence signatures of the five with you - the Preservatorium is still. Silent as a tomb. No Players, lurking in ambush - No security systems about to come to life. Perhaps the Smilers didn't expect you to reach this place- Or not. "Look-" Haze's voice echoes, fretful and anxious. "I realize - this means a lot to you. But...""...does anyone know how to get out of here? This place is-" He doesn't finish the sentence, but from the looks he casts around the vast chamber...He doesn't like it. At all. You can't blame him - There is something distinctly morbid, distinctly eerie, about all the Correctors in suspension, like butterflies beneath glass and the killing needle. >>40598139>>40598193The central dais beckons. As you approach, twin metal rods slide sedately out from the central console, unfurling - Arcs of aureolin lightning flickering across the contact elements of your gauntlets, forming a circuit with the struts. You reach out, your gauntlets locking in place-> PROCESSING SYSTEM ACCESS AUTHORITY......> RECOGNIZED> SYSTEM AUTHORITY ENABLED> ID: JOKER> LAST ACTIVATION: -----------> -RROR-> ERROR> PRIORITY OVERRIDE-(Continued)
>>40598337Well if we can't get in shouldn't Deagal or Akira be able to?
>>40598437>Daegal tries to interface>gets full control of the Diadem
>>40598337There is a deep, ominous rumble. The chamber goes dark - Red emergency lighting flaring to life. The contact breaks, the metal struts going dead - Connection severed. And then- > "Testing - testing -"Even amplified, booming from the metal walls, the voice is sweet, lilting - With a warm note of feminine amusement, an easy, effortless malevolence. So very, very delighted.Rook stiffens, and growls- "-Alura.""What-" Daegal looks up, suddenly wary. "Is that...one of *them*?"> "Test - Ah."A laugh. A giggle. It sounds like God playing dice with planets, loud enough to make the chamber reverbrate in response. > "Joker-kun, Rook-kun...There you are!"It's her. > "And the others, too...All six of you." > "Ah, that makes me really glad - I was *so* worried you wouldn't make it in time; After all the trouble we went through...That would be awful."She's all sincerity, all cultured charm. Lighthearted. Effortless.> "So, Joker-kun..."Softer, now. Almost intimate.> "...Joker-kun, are you having fun?"[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>40598519Say nothing This is bait Just gesture that everybody prepare for combat Start scanning with all our software Get the Vulcans out Un curl Slake and have them ready to lash out
>>40598519"A barrel of laughs Alura-chan! How about you? did you enjoy it when you caught on fire when we last met?"
>>40598519I just realized she's basically completely naked under that outfit.
>>40598519"Alura, I'll claw out Pazuzu's other eye and shove it up wherever your vines come from.And then we'll be having real fun. I think I'll begin with your eyes.Does your flesh feel actual pain? Otherwise I might have too improvise.Don't worry, Rook, you'll get just as much fun.Hey, I have an offer. I heard that White Joker isn't on your side anymore and you seem to like murder and torture.How about you tell me where he is? I've got a score to settle."
>They took the baitGuys why?Did you learn nothing from Bait 101?
>>40598700Ooops.Wait.She's trying to localize us.ABORT ABORT ABORTSAY NOTHINGGUYS
>>40598713>>40598700>>40598546This. Just keep quiet.
little sprites of the best joker quest characters, which includes, red joker, daegel, bishamon, volt regios, distortion haze, chrome cypher, and totenaz.
>>40598545>>40598558>>40598598>>40598644>>40598648>>40598692No no no no noStop
>>40598700Would have helped had you been more eloquent.For anyone who doesn't get it by now:There's multiple terminals to access the teleporter. The smilers likely only know that one was accessed, but not which one.They are now sending a voice message to every room, betting on the fact that we will likely react to Alura.>>40598739Shit, those are awesome.
>>40598756Alright, fine, deleted my post. Let's keep quiet.
>>40598787Thank you, and thank the other anon who did the same
>>40598760>There's multiple terminals to access the teleporter. The smilers likely only know that one was accessed, but not which one.>They are now sending a voice message to every room, betting on the fact that we will likely react to Alura.Not sure how likely that is, but it's probably best to err on the side of caution and keep quiet.
>>40598700Make a hand sign to signal them to keep quite.
Didn't Rook and Daegal already reveal our location by speaking up?
>>40598739(Those are incredible.)> "Daegal, this is Alura. Queen bitch of the Smilers. She looks like a girl, but she really isn't."Daegal turns his head - He nods, just once, in acknowledgment. Armaros is listening, intently; Every fibre of his being radiating wariness. A vocalization, over the Dirac Channel, as the Thief edges closer to the dias."-Tracking us. Silent."You know.>>40598756>>40598760>>40598713>>40598546You gesture. They take your meaning. Four points, fanning out from the central dias - On guard, ready, as the tension mounts.> "Joker-kun?"> "Joker-kun, are you there...?"A sigh, exaggerated. > "Hau ~ What should I do?"The Thief reaches into his ragged coat, and withdraws a metal object - One that looks, for all the world, like a limpet-mine. He twists the setting dial, as a red indicator light begins to wink on its surface; When he clamps it to the side of the console, it locks in place. Green.The display screen blurs. Ragged code, crude, filters across the holographic window. One word:COMPILING: 0.2%Silently, he steps away.(Continued)
>>40598914Good job, guys.
>>40598914D-did we win?
>>40598914BOMB DEFUSEDCOUNTER-TERRORISTS WIN
>>40598987Wouldn't bet on it. You don't become Queen Bitch of the Smilers while giving up that easily.
>>40598987We will have to try hard to win. This quest is brutal and we are apparently hard off the rails
>>40599135*harder than this Whoops
>>40598987YesEverything is fine Mio is back tooWe all livedEverything is fine now
>>40599157>And here - now - at the very end of the world, Armaros has finally lost his temper.>Amaros has finally lost his temper>Amaros has finally lost his tenperOh Oh shitOH SHIT!
>>40598914> "...If I waste it, the others will be mad. But if I don't-"> "Anon-kun...This is all your fault, you know that?"> "The reason why Mio-chan went with Naoya-kun..."Daegal stiffens, tenses.> "The reason why Cybele-chan is dead..."> "-It's all because of you."> "If only you'd been honest with a maiden's heart..."COMPILING: 1.4%> "If only you'd quietly become mine, instead-"> "Then I wouldn't have to do *this.*"The channel clicks silent.COMPILING: 2.7%Daegal exhales. Just a little.And then - A pulse. A surge. A keening need, hammering against you from all sides with it's urgency. Rook staggers, too; clutching at his head, fighting down a growl-Lachryma. There is an enormous amount of Lachryma - Raw, unfiltered - all around. Flooding in. But where-"-Oh my God."Haze stares. He looks up, up - Staring, aghast, at the myriad pods that line the walls. There's a vile gurgle of fluids, down the length of the gallery; A sluicing sound, a deep, dire rumble from some unseen source.The displays. The displays are filling with black Lachryma. Each Corrector - perfectly preserved, sealed in formaldehyde - vanishes beneath the black tide. Engulfed - Swallowed up. Drowning."What's-" Daegal manages, as even Armaros begins to back away - the silver knight is trembling, you see.Not with fear. With outrage.With utter fury."No," Armaros growls. "No, no, *no*-""-That evil fucking *whore*-"And here - now - at the very end of the world, Armaros has finally lost his temper.(Continued)
>>40599157>And here - now - at the very end of the world, Armaros has finally lost his temper.Time for the juggernaut to go apeshit.Also, we'll have things to explain to Daegal afterwards.
>>40599215I suggest a cleansing by fire before they wake up.
>>40599215Oh godArmaros just got triggered hardcore
>>40599215Oh shit, it's his family, isn't it? Run the fuck away.
Its all ogre now
>>40598987Oh anon, you know all Anon-kun can do is survive. We might not even do that
>>40598914COMPILING: 3.9%"They can't-" Haze stammers, faltering. "-They can't get *out*, can they? They're just-"A terrible sound rolls through the vaults. Limbs - Claws - tentacles - fists - beating at the translucent hoods of their pods. The dead, roused to unnatural life - the relentless pounding sound coming from the pods all around, a frantic, mindless hammering. A vast ocean leviathan emerges from the murk, pressing a single unblinking, lidless eye up against the glass as it rears back- "Get back-"When it slams into the surface, cracks skitter across the clear material. It leaves bits of itself smeared across the the glass, but the dead, pallid form draws back for another mindless impact- And then the first capsule shatters outwards, a noxious mix of preservatives and Lachryma spurting from the drain-taps, cascading over the floor, and the first pack of long-dead horrors burst forth from the shattered remnants of their glassy tomb. JOKER QUEST EPISODE 135.5TO BE CONTINUED
>>40599377(Gentlemen - I'd love to continue, but it's extremely late on my end; I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things, as you can probably notice.Good night and God bless - You've been a wonderful audience, and I hope to see you again soon.)
>>40599377And we won't even get essence from it.Fuck.So, what's our best option?Shooting multiple swarms to eat all of them?Smite to kill an entire horde?Fusion Annihilator in a sweeping blast?
>>40599377FuckFuck fuck fuck.I saw this coming as soon as Alura spoke up. Her entire shtick is reanimating the dead. But we didn't escape immediately and now we're fucked.FUCK.
>>40599402Can it be that you are running later and later into the night?I hope this isn't too physically stressful on you.
>>40599424No essence? Well, in that case, use meter weapons to build up the singularity cannon and take them all out.
The bad thing about no essence is that we won't heal, which we all desperately need to right now
>>40599483you wat?Is your brain broken?
>>40599483How? They have no essence,meaning we can't gain meter either. The QSC is also single-target only and if we miss and hit the Diadem itself, who knows what the hell will happen.Our best choice is to use AoE weapons with the Cobalt Booster.Really wish we had the Red Comet right now.
>>40599504Possibly, I am extremely tired. All we need to do is get out of the way and ensure no one is caught in the crossfire
I wonder if Kazuya will want to have the Hunger Dogs.
>>40599546Oh shit, of course. No essence, no meter. Whoops, I need to go sleep
>>40599571I think the Hunger Dogs will be much cooler on the RJ than Kazuya. He can barely use his player armor and the Hollow Sun's abilities, I doubt he could command a pack of enhanced corrector dogs effectively.
>>40599658But he likes the correctors.I think this is interesting. Kazuya seems to be able to sperg over the organic side of the Red, while Anon is more of the techy sperg guy.They complement each other splendidly.I wonder which aspect Natsumi enjoys the most. It's unlikely that she has purely hate for the Red.
>>40599690>He likes the correctorsu wot m8, his entire trigger to becoming Daegal was caused by corrector attacks, and he's been shown to feel repulsed/disgusted by the beasts.Man. we really are in a tight spot. I wouldn't be surprised if someone bites the dust next threadprobably Rook, since we're down on Essence.
>>40599893His trigger to become Deagal was us giving him the armour. What are you talking about?
>>40600119Also, he fought one with a prop sword.He might have some kind of weird appreciation for the things.
>>40600146It killed Yui, anon, and all but did the same for him.
>>40600294Yes, I am well aware.But he was still fucking fascinated in this thread.
>>40600119We gave him the armor, yes, but it was the corrector attack that pushed him beyond and gave him the will to fight, which Daegal recognized as worthy.
>>40599215I really have to wonder how are we going to explain this shit to Kazuya.
>>40601386>Look, Kaz, the voices in my head told me to fuck the moonbitch, and that's why everything is this fucked up.
>>40601386>"I was trying to save the Seisin High Girls when I betrayed Mio and Cybele by giving her the armor!>...No, that's not why I fucked Cybele. That one was about that neat regeneration ability."
>>40601466That's not the reason EVERYTHING is fucked up. Just part of it. That's just the symptom of our inability to understand a normal relationship