Previous Thread:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/41025960/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/xuZNynTMYui IF scene (Adult content):http://pastebin.com/8CSEVSXBTwitter: https://twitter.com/JokerQuestOPRecap: You are ANON, the RED JOKER, and all that remains is the endgame.
>>41173334The heart of the Diadem is a crystalline wonder; An arena ringed by towering grey-black memory stacks as tall as buildings, each with a faint ripple of light playing across the surface. Wispy light swirls across dark, glassy stone - forming complex shapes and swirling patterns that break up and reform at the speed of thought-pulses. Power conduits thrum with silent energies, geometric channels with runnels of quicksilver flooding around the bases of the ever-shifting columns, making islands out of plinths and pillars. The walls are sheer. The top - where the bridge should be - is infinitely far above, the shimmer of distorted space casting a warped light that illuminates the quiet space beyond, the din of the fighting outside - muffled by distance - like the grumble of a distant storm, an echo of someone else's war. Incomprehensibly huge. Monolithic. "This is the part where you fire, Joker." Enfer's words are a low rasp; he sounds like he's looking forward to it. "Come on, don't be shy.""-I'm surprised he hasn't done that already." Alura muses, brightly - her gauzy black dress swirling about her like a silken mist, as she pensively fingers her chin. For a moment, what seems to be black threads - like fine steel wires - run off from her shoulders, thinning to infinity. "You will, you know. And soon. For all the good it'll do you...Joker-kun."Rook *hisses*. Ribbons of superheated air ooze from his pulsejets, as he hunches - A predator's stance, preparing to pounce, to lunge - the blurred shadows at his back churning with phantom potential, talons extruding from spined fists like a handful of knives. Holding himself together, just barely. His hatred is a palpable thing, a thing that crackles across the narrow distance.(Continued)
>>41173349"Ara, Rook-kun is here, too~" She clasps her hands together, before her - "Remember the fun we had together~? This time, I'll-""-You'll do as you're *told*." Bell Zephyr cuts in. Her voice is - It is an actinic buzz, like the stridulation of insects, like the drone of a billion flies clattering their wings in the darkness. At her side - Huge, silent - Rust Kaiser stands; black as night, made of rage, pitiless as iron. The edges of his armor are tarnished by his namesake, giving him an outline, a shape - a beast made flesh, shod in iron. Light seeps up from his gorget, underlighting his mouthless helm - Did it grow with him? Has it opened, ever? - a light that prickles hot from his mismatched eye-lens set in sunken sockets, like a lethal radiation leak. Whatever is in him - whatever he is *becoming* - is on the verge of tearing free. Ever inch of his form tenses his corded strain, the cables of his neck bunching, riveted plate bulging from within. When he moves, there is a shriek - a keening - a groan of metal-on-metal, as blunt as a grunt of pain. Alura merely sighs, in that soft, melodious voice of hers - her slender arms spreading, with a rustle of fabric, the crinkle of crinoline. It feels as if light radiates from the quicksilver of her skin.(Continued)
So, does anyone else think that Alura is using Cybele's armor?Sounds like the "Zalgo Kaiser" idea is doomed. And I'm surprised that Bell Zephyr seems to be in charge of Alura.This will end badly.Also, remember that spoilers might be useful for feints.
>>41173462"So serious," she murmurs, a sly note to her words - regarding Bell Zephyr, sidelong. Her wonderfully expressive lips curve, in a smirk; But Bell Zephyr's pagan-horned mask, the ivory grotesk now knurled and yellowed by spurs of jagged bone, stares only in your direction - A hand resting on Rust Kaiser's flank, a gesture as oddly protective as it is restraining. Calcite Arrow - In his off-white armor, his bow clenched in his fists - looks haunted. He, of all the others, is the only one still stained with gore, the joints of his armor caked in ash. The protrusion of quartz crystals that jut from his pauldron are cracked and coarsened by smoke, the rough-hewn stone of his armor laced with oddly-colored veins, veins that pulse in time with the throb of his great weapon. Even at rest, his fingers twitch on the grip, the slashing blades that arc from the limbs flecked with stains. At Alura's side, his helm is turned away, slightly - As if he's ashamed, or as if he cannot stand to look upon the elegant lines of the ivy-and-rose crest upon his armor. Inox Fang is at the other end of the spectrum. You can feel the brittle hatred in his gaze, in the razor edges of his great klaive blades - He is swollen, bloated on carnage and Essence, until the original elegance of his form has almost been entirely submerged; What remains is barrel-chested, bulging with muscle, the gleam of metal darkened to a noxious ocher, marred by twisting shadows that writhe and churn - the very edges of his armor blurring, now, as if vibrating so fast they remain still. The Thief - Swiftly, but without haste - shifts his grip on the Fatal Abyss's hilt. He lifts the lacquered scabbard to horizontal, turning the flat towards the Smilers in preparation for the draw. (Continued)
>>41173593Honestly, I'm just here to read at this point. I've forgotten a lot of Joker's abilities since the last time I participated was over a month ago and this is usually the time I grab sleep. Throw in a Pathfinder game around 27 hours from now and I really should get some rest.Best I can do is wish you luck and read the damage report when I wake up.
>>41173628I guess I should say this much. This is serious shit. Don't forget that somewhere on board is Phantom Edge (If I'm remembering his name correctly) and Pazuzu. Expect this 6 v 5 to turn into a 7 or 8 v 5 shortly.
>>41173628>Calcite Arrow - In his off-white armor, his bow clenched in his fists - looks haunted.Hey, he knows shame!Too bad that we likely can't employ diplomacy during the fight.Also, never forget that we can explode Inox Fang's mark if we need to deal extra damage or annoy her.>>41173660We are six people, actually.But don't forget that the Smilers can create copies of players now, with Cybele's power.
>>41173349>"This is the part where you fire, Joker." Enfer's words are a low rasp; he sounds like he's looking forward to it. "Come on, don't be shy."Sounds like a trap.
>>41173746What do we do instead?Punch him?I thought he was only joking about our tendencies. Then again, the earlier Alura comment was also bait.Should we initiate combat by smiting someone? We might damage Rust Kaiser heavily without using CASTIGATE. Rubicante could finish him.
>>41173628You don't have to turn your head to hear Haze's quiet murmur, to glimpse his hand against Rook's arm - Mirroring Bell Zephyr, without knowing - to hold him back for just a moment more; to sense the building hum within Armaros's duranium ribs, as his secondary and tertiary reactors kindle with killing heat, internal gravimetrics cycling as he draws himself to his full height - He towers head-and-shoulders above the others, putting him on the same level as Rust Kaiser. His optic-clusters glow with a malevolent light, his unwavering stare fixed on his opposite number; Spined fists clenching, patient tics of lightning arcing across his form, like a prizefighter before a bout.And Daegal. He stiffens; As if on the cusp of a realization, a wordless vox-blurt issuing from his internal speakers - Fixing Inox Fang and Calcite Arrow with his gaze, the hiss of breath echoing in a static-laden rasp of white noise. About to say something- For they are all part of you. This is why you can simply stand - why you can simply wait. There will be battle here, but - in this eternal moment - as long as you draw this out - you are equipoised between life and death, and your first move will collapse the wave function into history."Well, Joker?" Actinic green fires swirl around Enfer's fist - An echo of the killing light that builds within the Fusion Annihilator. Three charges, now; On the cusp of four. The scar across one eye-lens is more livid than ever, as if the sickly emerald radiance within him has suffused every fibre of his being. His smoker's rasp merges with the grind of his hydraulics, as he shakes his head. "You've scrabbled and slashed and clawed and *crawled* your way here. The world's most persistent bastard..." The drawl is back in his rasping voice, his brass armor locked in a forward-leaning hunch. "-But fair's fair. You can't say that I didn't warn you." [ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>41173797Oh, yeah. Daegal can see people's real names, can't he? Gonna be awkward as fuck with Inox, then.
>>41173797Man, I can't think of a single fucking thing to say.I guess if no one else comes up with any dialogue I've got: "Yeah, well I-EXEC_CASTIGATE"
>>41173797I wish we had the Dirge Caster. It would be awesome right now."Remember, you are only alive because I thought you aren't that bad of a guy.Whoever wins gets to take care of the children.Calcite Arrow, you have seen what kind of person Alura is. This is your last chance. Be aware that the Hyades bond is brainwashing you into loving her.Alura, I will make an ash tray out of your soul. Give Cybele's power back or ̺̲̼͇̝̩̥I̝̯̥̮͙̺ ͔wi͈͔͍l͕̲l̻̲͇̝̘ ̣m̙a̤̭̯̲̹k̞̟̖͔̝͕͎e ̼͙i͓͎͖t̖͖̪ ͍̫w̖̯̖̟͕o̖͈͔͙̣͇r̻̫̳͙̲̞̮s̻̟ͅe͚̼̻͇̠̭̦.͈̳̠̞̠̠͕K͓̞̗̮̹o̬̙͎u̫,̱͖̝̺͈ ̜͎̥͍t̯̼̤͎a̪̜͔̼k̯͓̳̱̜̥e̘̱̣̰̻ ͚̘M̖͙e͙̣̻g̞u̟̱̜͔̬̼͖ṃi̟̺̮ ̹͉͇̬a̤̼̭n̜͉͉͕͉͔d͉̠̥̭ ̺r̤̤̤̯̺͚̥u̝̘̪̼̮̖͓n̬̗͉. ͚̰̜Y̗̭̦̰͓̼̝o̘͙̫͔̺͍̝u̠͕ c̝a͉̤̝̬̲n̠̮̻ͅ ͅav͇̮̣̺͇o͙͕̱̦͈i̠̗͉̪̫͇d̦̳͚̘̬͖̺ ̮͇͈̞͚̭̻h̭̳͎͇er̥ ̮̤d͕̬e͓a̻͇̥̦͙t̰͚h͚̹̦ͅ.̬̹"I feel like I'm doing another of those "HE'S INSANE!" write-ins.Please, guys, help me with this text instead of just approving it mindlessly.Thoughts: I want to stall until we have six charges. We need them.Also, what is our opening move? I want to SMITE, then use a Fusion Annihilator sweep.I also feel that the Zalgo attempt might trigger the fight.Discuss combat options in spoilers. Just to be sure.
>>41173797> "Mio trusted you, you piece of shit. What could possibly be worth this?"
>>41173840>help me with this text instead of just approving it mindlesslyWrite-ins are hard. It's either that or silence.Though, I don't think Calcite is at all happy with Alura. Re-read the bit about him facing away from her.
>>41173862>Re-read the bit about him facing away from her.Yes, but he still loves her because of the bond.Awareness of the brainwashing might help.>>41173859>Remember, you are only alive because I thought you aren't that bad of a guy.>And Mio seemed to agree. She trusted you. What could possibly be worth this?>...Whoever wins gets to take care of the children.
>>41173862Should we address Inox Fang somehow?I think ignoring her is best.By the way, is our entire team on the Dirac channel?
>>41173898Yeah. I guess you want to decide who's going to fight who?I think we should go withJoker - Kaiser(Castigate)/EnferRook - AluraFang - DaegalThief - CalciteArmaros - Enfer/KaiserAnd that leaves Haze with Zephyr, I guess. If we go with Castigate I'd like to take the second round to help him with her.
>>41173952Fang or Arrow would be a good opponent for Daegal, I guess. Maybe he can diplomance Arrow.Personally, I think we should try to eliminate someone in the first round.Thief has a build similar to Fang, but would make short work of Calcite.Rook can only attack Alura. I would prefer if he had Haze backing.Armaros is very similar to Enfer/Kaiser. Rubicante is our trump card against those two guys.So I'd say we take on one of the two heavies.
>>41173840>>41173859>>41173870> Remember, you are only alive because I thought you aren't that bad of a guy.> And Mio seemed to agree. She *trusted* you. What could possibly be worth this?Enfer stiffens. Fractionally. Just a moment, just for an *instant* - But it's there. > Whoever wins gets to take care of the child-A hissing, buzzing laugh cuts your words off. The sound - momentarily - eclipses the hum of gathering energies, the seethe of sullen lightning. It is a harsh sound, cutting and scornful, a sound like slow machine-gunfire. It is a sound that a Player was never designed to make. Bell Zephyr tenses. Even the hateful light in Rust Kaiser's mismatched lens dim, a deep, seismic rumble issuing from somewhere within his ironbound cuirass. Inox Fang is laughing, and the stares make him - Make *her* - laugh all the harder. The sound is so awful, so singular, it makes Haze flinch - As Alura's lips twitch in a smile, a slow smile, a kind of spreading amusement- "-the *children*," Inox Fang hisses. "Can I *tell* him, Alura? Can I? Can I *please*?"(Continued)
>>41173969>try to eliminate someone in the first roundWhich is why I want to use Castigate. Even if it's a risk, we could very easily see the end of the quest in a few hours. I'd like to not have it end with Joker getting fucked.
>>41173985Hey, they just fucked up their own diplomacy roll.
>>41173993Oh, and, should we burn Forbode for this fight? It seems worth it, but if we manage to survive we might have another coming up.
>>41173985>"-the *children*," Inox Fang hisses. "Can I *tell* him, Alura? Can I? Can I *please*?"Bets are fifty/fifty on something horrible happening to the kids or the kids being something horrible.>>41173993What, and unleash RoboMengele on the world? Please, no.
>>41174050We already used it when the door opened.It activates automatically and gives us visions of what the situation right now is.That's what "acting first" means.
>>41174061Oh come on. You'd rather die than let one mad scientist take over a body?
>>41174073Bell Zephyr is in charge and would go berserk and support Alura if we used castigate.
>>41174073I'd rather take a known risk than an unknown one, is what I'm saying. If there is NO OTHER option, yeah, sure, castigate him. And even then, be ready to fuck him up.
>>41173985"What's-" Haze stammers. "I don't..."Alura dips her head, in a little nod - Magnanimous, fond, like a Queen holding court. Her slim fingers go to her mouth, to smother the exquisite giggle that purrs from her lips; her quicksilver features shimmering with distorted reflections of mirth. "Shizuka-chan, if that's what you want..." she murmurs, tilting her head to the side - A flicker-flash of illumination issuing from the slits of her mask."-I'll allow it."Bell Zephyr makes a small sound, a sound that is almost a sigh - As Enfer's jointed fingers curl into an oversized fist.T͉̣͍̦͞h̬͓̯̫ͅe̸͇̹̱̖̰̗ͅy͍͖̻̜'̧̳r̜̲͇̻ͅe͎̜ ̰̻̦ͅ*͔̗̳̜̯͕͍h̗͖̺͈ẹ̢̼̝̗͕ͅr̹͘e̙*͕̖,̧͎͈͉̗̮ ̯͕̗̜͖Jo̟k̯̟e̛ͅr̸̩͈̜.̨͔̙̣Inox Fang's words are a mocking chorus of rattling echoes, humming into your receptors from all around. "It's what he *wanted*, you see? He did this - *All* of this, because..."Enfer growls, deep in his throat. But he straightens, gears rasping - the smoldering light that bleeds from his eyes dim, the articulated plates of his layered armor shifting into new configurations. But he says nothing, despite the harsh lines that tighten across his form; As Bell Zephyr's mask lowers, Inox Fang's cutting voice clear, merciless, laden with spite. "-he wanted us to take them along."(Continued)
>>41173985>As Alura's lips twitch in a smile, a slow smile, a kind of spreading amusement- So her armor can do facial expressions?Or am I misremembering the description from last thread?
>>41174094I'm pretty sure we're going to have to choose before the fight begins. Else we won't get a chance to use it, or he'll become completely corrupted by Lachryma and won't be affected by it.
>>41174098Wait, are they on board or are they now merged into the ship or something?
>>41174098>"It's what he *wanted*, you see? He did this - *All* of this, because...">"-he wanted us to take them along."If we don't job he's going to have made a pretty shit decision.
>>41174142>betting against the Joker>trying to predict the Joker's behavior at all
>>41174108(Yes. You've never seen the kind of armor Alura is 'wearing', ever - Her form is capable of shaping facial expressions.)>>41174098Daegal makes a sound - the blurt of a startled obscenity, an "Oh *fuck*-" of slow-cohered realization. "You *begged* us for it, didn't you? You said you'd do anything - Kill anyone - to *buy* their way to the Promised Land. To give them a better life.""Enough," Enfer rasps. There is no denial in his words - only a flat anger, harnessed by the iron cords of discipline. "It's all he has, Joker." the glee in Shizuka's buzzing, buzzing voice - that blend of condescension and petulantly malignant mockery - is unmistakeable, rich with contempt. "They're all he has - And *we're* all he has-"E̖̳̞̻͈̬̱N̤̼̱̹ͅOU҉̙͕̭̼̱G̹̬̝̻̺̞ͅH."You think-" Kazuya's voice is appalled, almost strangled - "-You think that's what they'd *want*?" He forces him forward, an involuntary step - "You - You think they'd *want* that? That's - that's *sick*. Even if-" He makes an abrupt gesture, with one gleaming gauntlet, his cloak sweeping out. "-Even if you're doing this for them, you'll be-" "-You'll be damning them *too*-"(Continued)
>>41174306>(Yes. You've never seen the kind of armor Alura is 'wearing', ever - Her form is capable of shaping facial expressions.)Shit, definitely Chalice Queen armor.
>*muahahahaha* The children?>We SAVED the children!This is kind of hilarious.
>>41174339And by destroying the Diadem we're going to be killing the children.
>>41174306"It's too late." It is Bell Zephyr who speaks - But the words issue from the chittering mandibles of Cicatrix, words shaped from the fritiniency of chattering bugs, from unseen elytra in their double-millions, crisping and rubbing against each other. Her head is bowed, as that whispering voice purrs- N̦͚̖̖͚͢o̦̹͚͚͇͡,̤̩ ͜m̦͙̩͚̯̱̦y̰̗̩͉̞ͅ ̯͙̪͎͇̦̜ş̟̪̜̹͉̩̭w̦̥̥̠̲e̫̭̲̙̺̪ͅḙ̝t͉͔̤̘̠̝͔͡.̺̟̻̟͚̠ͅ Y̝̝̙͍o̦͈u̗͔͍̼̞’̫̟͘v͇͇̹̫e͙̦͇̞̦ ̵̼̙d̪̰̭́a͉̫̲ṉ̳̤͡c̯͈͔̮̜̥e͖̗̤̬͕d̻̱̺͈̞ ̼͎̖y͜o̱u̪̫͇̫̭̩͓r̦͓̻͍̺͜ ̷̻͙̺d̥͔̖͍an̛c̤͖è.͇͖ ͙̺̰̗N͈o͔͎̙̫̘̱͠w,̞ ̙͍̳̝͕̻͞y̲̫̭ͅo̫͓u̷̱ m̵͍̺̮͕u̳͡s̡͎t͙̞̮͖̝͉ͅ ̟̮̪ͅp̳̱̜͟a͞y̵͍̻͈ ̮̗̺̝̪͚͉͟t̩͍̠͇̞h̷͕͎e̥̳̞͉̲̼̣ ̗̱̘̤p̟͉̤͖͎̯í̙̭̺ͅp̣e͓̰͉̙r̛.̝̹̭̞"-It's too late," Megumi murmurs - Her head bowed, even as the Cicatrix's buzzing snicker echoes in the vast chamber. "It's - It's *always* been too late-" "That's why you did it, then." Armaros's voice is a low rumble, building the rotation that threatens a storm. "For power. For *spite*. To please the few." Each word is flat, affectless - And all the more cutting for it. "-How petty. How *small*. What boring reasons for such terrible deeds."[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>41174435Yeah, I think it's time for Fusion Annihilator alpha strike. If it doesn't kill a few of them, it'll at least scatter them and give us the initiative. Also, continually check if we can reestablish a link with the Hollow Sun. If there's any time to deploy that Hellion army, now seems like the best time there is.
>>41174476They very clearly have something up to deflect Fusion Annihilator blasts. I say we use the surprise round to cast CASTIGATE first.
>>41174435"Megumi, are you sure you want this?It won't be helping Kou. It will do nothing to bring him back to his senses."...Ok, I think this may sound a little bit empty.We need more power.Maybe just address Alura?"Alura, this is Cybele's armor, isn't it?Calcite Arrow, did you know that the Hyades bond forces you to love your Hyades? I thought you might want to know.">>41174476>>41174493Let's stall for more charges before we do combat actions.We have Forebode, so we'll be able to decide once combat actually starts. No need to pre-emptively start the fight.
>>41174476>Also, continually check if we can reestablish a link with the Hollow Sun. If there's any time to deploy that Hellion army, now seems like the best time there is.Hellion army can only be deployed while at the Hollow Sun.
>>41174493If we do, we do it with a "Megumi, I'm sorry".>Better an end in agony, than agony without end
>>41174518>Calcite Arrow, did you know that the Hyades bond forces you to love your Hyades? I thought you might want to knowCalcite Arrow doesn't give a fuck. He's probably in this for muh ideals or some shit, he was a Smiler before Alura.>>41174493Yeah I'd like to vote for Castigate too. Throw up Fortess Mode as well, if it doesn't stop us from using the codeburst.
>>41174435"The first thing I learned from this hell -- the only good thing -- is that it's only too late when you let yourself stop moving forward.""If this is how you let it end, do you really think this will be the last time?"And for what it's worth, I absolutely do not want to use Castigate.
>>41174561Quest ends either now or in a thread or two. Giving Mengele 2.0 a new body probably won't fuck us over any more than leaving the fight as a 6v6.
>>41174599Mengele was a pretty cool dude. All he wants to do is experiment on Correctors in peace. Seems like one of the guys least likely to backstab us as long as we leave him alone.
>>41174631Plus he gave us dogs.
>>41174599Everyone will hate us for this.>>41174561I like your post.>>41174631He also said that he would have killed us for the Nihl sphere, had he still had his old power.
>>41174599Even if we knew for a fact what it did, which we don't, it's not about the future prospects. I'd much rather leave the unstoppable juggernaut body in the hands of someone who actually has a faint lingering connection to reason (by way of Megumi) rather than handing it over to an absolute wildcard who makes Utopia Ruler seem well-adjusted.
>>41174493If we go first, I vote that we use the Codeburst. If not, we'll never get another chance to use it. When would there be a better time? How could things get any worse than this?
>>41174672Remember: EXEC_SMITE ignores armor. It's Rubicante's entropic shot in codeburst shape.
>>41174661>who actually has a faint lingering connection to reasonHe's about to hulk out into some kind of Lachryma monster.
>>41174691An appeal to his base human desires/instincts still worked on Rook while he was cresting the ridge into full-blown infestation, particularly because Haze was still there.Megumi is Rust Kaiser's Haze, and we should be treating the situation as such.
>>41174738He's probably gone far more. But we can still at least affect his reactions slightly by using trigger words.Do not attempt to purge his corruption. He will just kill us with encroachment.
>>41174738>An appeal to his base human desires/instincts still worked on RookYou mean when the last time? We also used Draw Forth. Either way Kaiser is far, far further gone than Rook ever was. For all the awful shit he's done, Mengele at least isn't going to turn into some eldritch monstrosity if we look at him the wrong way.
>>41174756>Mengele at least isn't going to turn into some eldritch monstrosity if we look at him the wrong way.That is some delusional optimism you have here.Anyway, first goal is to continue diplomacy until the enemies are less resolved and our Annihilator is charged.
>>41174751At least I can agree that Draw Forth on Kaiser would be a terrible, terrible idea.>>41174756My point is that even in spite of how much worse Kaiser has it, he's got so much more self-control than Rook ever did that he's STILL capable of clinging desperately to the edge of sanity in spite of it.>isn't going to turn into some eldritch monstrosityI'm not sure why you're willing to bet that Castigate is just going to miraculously purge the lachryma and leave whoever's left feeling fresh as a daisy. It's gotta go SOMEWHERE.
>>41174826I'm willing to bet it's better than leaving Kaiser as he is.
Meanwhile, this video is running on my secondary monitor.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=braCDsFZEzwWe've come a long way, folks.
> "The first thing I learned from this hell -- the only good thing -- is that it's only too late when you let yourself stop moving forward."> "If this is how you let it end, do you really think this will be the last time?""Have you considered that the problem - the *real* problem - is that you're simply in denial?""That there are no other answers than the one hanging in the air. That there is no...'other solution.'"Alura cants her head to meet your gaze; her voice is a sweet, soft purr. And what she sees draws a low laugh from her lips - A delight in the inevitable. She shapes each syllable with relish, as she murmurs - low, contemplative; "Joker-kun...""Even though you're a troublesome person - You're so, so *amusing*."> "Calcite Arrow, did you know that the Hyades bond forces you to love your Hyades? I thought you might want to know."He flinches, at being addressed directly - His answer comes in a mutter, as he glares at you; the blank mirror-shade gleam of his wrap-around visor desperately hollow, desperately empty. "I'm not-" he begins. "-I'm not doing it for *her*-"He's staring at you, now - Almost resentful at being put on the spot. But Calcite digs deep, to find the core of his resentment; Setting his feet. "You think that's going to change anything, *Joker*? After all this - After all that's happened - *This is all I have*. When you killed Bardiel-" He catches himself, starts again. "-I have to make an end. I have to make it *right*. I can't - I can't let you *live*, Joker. I *have to kill you*.""Coward," Daegal rasps, and Calcite stiffens as if he's slapped. "You 'have to kill him'? You 'had to kill' all those *people*? You *shit*. You *worm*-"(Continued)
>>41174958>"Coward," Daegal rasps, and Calcite stiffens as if he's slapped. "You 'have to kill him'? You 'had to kill' all those *people*? You *shit*. You *worm*-"Kazuya is going full paladin.
Guys, Alura is a Chalice Queen.A pure support player.She will make this fight an even bigger headache than Rust Kaiser.Just something to consider.
>>41174958>When you killed BardielOh fuck me I honestly can't believe I forgot why he hated us.
>>41175097Same here.But I really am not at my best today.Eh, we can't turn this around now.I mean, we could talk about the endless cycle of vengeance, but then we'd be kinda hypocritical, even if Bardiel started it.
>>41174599Yes it will, you moron. Kaiser isn't thinking anymore, just pure instinct and power.Giving that body to Mengele cannot end well.You're basically uploading SuperHitler in a Transformer's body, think about it.
>>41175180No he's Mengele, not Hitler. He'll take the body and experiment on the jews, rather than genociding them.
>>41174958When Kazuya advances - A single step - Calcite levels his bow; a bared threat echoed by the hum of the Immolator's charging coils, as Daegal brings his own weapon up- -as Bell Zephyr steps away from Rust Kaiser, a flick of her wrists releasing the coils of her twin scourges - the weapons unfurling into segmented three-yard-long serpents, beginning to writhe with charge as Inox Fang brings her twin klaives together with a brittle clash of metal as the Thief frees an handspan of peerless black steel from the scabbard, the emberous glow in his eyes the color of old blood.Then fresh blood.Then open flame.Haze's gauntlet slips free from Rook's shoulder, pulsejet vanes angling for maximum thrust as Armaros's fist closes on Ascalon's grip, turning his head with the fluid neck-swivel of helmet-display targeting sensors to lock onto Rust Kaiser- And Enfer raises his head, meeting your gaze. Directly. Looking *through* you, at something only he can see."-I'm tired of waiting for the inevitable." It is a rasp, a bone-deep sound. "You understand now, right? This can't end any other way."For a moment - Just a moment - you see...A tiny figure, lost and wounded amid the flames. Stumbling, falling, rising again, in the dream of the burning city; Scarred by fire, hammered by black earth-"-So let it be at a time of our own choosing.""Joker - Let it be *now*.""Oh my god-" there is a rising tension in Haze's words - Forced into involuntary motion, his arms coming up defensively as noxious smoke churns around his form. "-this is it." (Continued)
>Coward," Daegal rasps, and Calcite stiffens as if he's slapped. "You 'have to kill him'? You 'had to kill' all those *people*? You *shit*. You *worm*-">Each word is flat, affectless - And all the more cutting for it. "-How petty. How *small*. What boring reasons for such terrible deeds."
>>41175203>"Oh my god-" there is a rising tension in Haze's words - Forced into involuntary motion, his arms coming up defensively as noxious smoke churns around his form.>Everyone goes badass.>Haze just kinda stumbles.
>>41175242I dont know if its an accident or a miracle that he's made it this far
>>41175308Clearly it's a good thing he came to us for training. Wouldn't have made it nearly as far, otherwise.
>>41175203But then the moment is gone. And the fury of combat lights up the Diadem's peak like a lightning storm. When you speak the first syllable of EXEC_CASTIGATE, your form locks up. Your vision narrows to a tunnel - static blurring at the edges of your vision. Electricity *sings*, right down into the skeletal core of your frame-You can't move. You can't move.The whole strobes around you, in bright, jagged flashes - your HUD scribbling idiot wireframes across your field of vision, buzzing scrapcode, gibberish, twisting chains of it coiling in vague, fuzzy bars of brightness and omens of doom. Limbic integration override. Deep-layer protocols engaging. A system reroute, diverting power - All power - into spitting out the burning syllables. They *writhe* forth, in a torus of power - Every sound is a taste of venom. You cannot imagine what Imago wrote into the code, but the *blasphemy* of it- -It chokes you. It pollutes you. Your internal speakers crackle, fuzzing, fighting through syllable by painful syllable- EXEC_CASTIGATE is hundreds of syllables long. And you know - You *know* - that if you make a *single* mistake, the backlash would scorch every last line of it from you. It leaves you standing, frozen in place, caught in the grasp of your invocation - Spinal lock, line after line of code surging forth- And Rook leaps ahead, with a crackling *roar*, clawing fingers curled and aiming for Alura's heart. The mouth grille of his helm splits to reveal monstrous jaws of ceramite and bone, trails of ichor leaking from the joints of his armor. There is mindless fury in it, and an even more terrible release - He has been waiting, waiting for this moment- The moment he can rip her apart with his own hands. He kicks off from the ground, pulsejets screaming at his back - the distance between him and his target falling away as Haze lets out a yell, Rook's claws outstretched, the ground blurring beneath him- (Continued)
>>41175484>Limbic integration override. Deep-layer protocols engaging. A system reroute, diverting power >deep-layer protocolsYeah, definitely not trustworthy. I hope this goes well.
>using CASTIGATESure. I guess. Having to stand stock-still during the very first combat round sounds like about the worst idea possible, so I at least hope it doesn't actually make things worse on top of that.
>>41175577Nah, we'll just need to watch while our team gets one-shotted.
>>41175592The last time I heard the term "deep layer protocols", was when Prophet somehow re-awakened from inside the Nanosuit in Crysis 2.This shit generally means that we are getting a massive override. I hope it doesn't go beyond enabling the codeburst.
>>41175484And even that screech is drowned out by the *howl* that splits the air, the raging, full-throated bellow-...Of Rust Kaiser. He ploughs forward, with the guttural throb of an engine. Each pounding footfall sending cracks skittering across the octagonal tiles - He has a sword of his own, a massive weapon with a dark, oiled blade, the cleaver-edged nicked and pitted by a thousand butcherings. A huge, plated beast, he surges forward with inhuman speed; mismatched eyes blazing, armour-plated shoulders bulging with hypertrophied muscle, back bent to throw his head forward, to give vent to that dreadful howl as the cleaver-blade draws back in a two-handed swing- The first distortion sphere blisters his pitch-black armor, an erupting orb of crystalline fire. The crackling corposant of the blast scales twisting vines of charge across his form - the space *warping*, *distorting* in a pulse of white fire, fighting to find purchase against his impossibly dense plating; webs of blue-white lightning splintering against Rust Kaiser's cuirass, each blast echoing with the peal of a miniature thunderclap- ...As Armaros smashes into him, and rips him out of your line of sight. The impact is earthshaking, like two road vehicles driving into each other head-on. Armour plating buckles and scrapes - Augmetic cables and feed tubes tear or split. Hydraulic fluids leak out of the seams in Armaros's welded bodyplate; the burning cursor of his optic clusters flick back and forth in his visor slit, as another blast erupts against Rust Kaiser's helm- Rust Kaiser - heedless of the warping energies that boil against his pitted black plate - smashes his helm into Armaros's, with a savage hammer-on-anvil impact. He makes a subhuman noise, a snarling growl, through the fused grille of his speakers - the two of them are locked, clenched, as they smash into - then *through* - one of the memory pillars; Fitful lightnings spewing forth in every direction at once.(Continued)
>>41175789>this whole postWAAAAAAGH!
>>41175789A lance of searing brilliance - A wrist-thick beam of something not quite lightning, not quite fire - spews from the muzzle of Daegal's Immolator; the whirling blast scorches the air with the heat of its passage, right towards Calcite Arrow...The earth *heaves*. Calcite's thought-command is blunt, unfiltered - the ground erupting *upwards*, rearing up in a meter-thick column; an explosive extrusion of calcified stone, surging beneath Calcite Arrow's feet. It is a primal defense - the pillar rising ahead of the scouring beam. When Daegal's blast connects, a fug of molten stone boils into the air, the edges of the impact zone glowing red-hot; jets of steam venting from the Immolator, the weapon's charging coils glowing cherry-red-And from his new perch, Calcite fires *back*.Daegal is already turning, already raising the Adamant, hunching down behind it in instinctive defense; the first arrow spits from Calcite's bow, as Kazuya braces to take the impact-Only to let out an inarticulate yell, as the shot becomes a battering ram of stone that slams into him head-on.In a word: WHAMThe impact snatches Daegal away. He's flung back, back, the ringing peal of the stone-on-metal blast nearly lost in the roar of retributive black flame that boils across the arrow's surface. Thrown for almost ten meters, he hits the ground - tumbling, rolling, skidding, as the Immolator goes clattering from his grasp; the Adamant's edge carving out a deep, shrieking furrow as he punches the shield into the ground to arrest his slide-(Continued)
>>41175971>In a word: >WHAMSomeone is using our sound effect against our buddy! We need to obliterate him!
>>41175789Kick his ass uncle
>>41175971...I'm just realizing that I'm not sure that we ever really explicitly went over a list of basic enemy capabilities so that maybe he would've known to see something like that coming.Whoops.
>>41176011I remember suggesting it, but no one followed up on it.Shit.
>>41175989Gosh, anon, I'd sure like to. Except some people thought it'd be better to be immobile and to trust our fate to an utter psychopath for some reason.
>>41176019I mean, it's possible that it going too far in depth would do some amount of harm as well, since thinking you know what to expect is always a bit of a double-edged sword, but still, stuff like "arrows turning into pillars mid-flight" or "there will be bombs and traps everywhere" are probably safe bets.
>>41176075We can still warn him on the latter.We do have the Dirac channel."For anyone who isn't aware: Enfer likes to plants bombs everywhere and Alura most likely has healing and duplication powers right now."
(To clarify: Calcite Arrow created a rising pillar of stone beneath him, and he's firing at Kazuya from his new perch.)>>41175971Calcite's ivory bow warps, subtly - growing fins, spines, clusters of hollow crystal orbs. His next shots are violet-flecked darts, spearing into the ground around Daegal like crystal harpoons; Each glows with a hellish internal light, as Daegal staggers to his feet-"-That all you got?" Kazuya spits out - and blue light ambles down his arm as his hand clenches into a fist, the taurian crest that rides high on his right shoulder burning with actinic force- When he *punches* forward, a force splits the air - A linear distortion, a vague shape you've only glimpsed once before- A bull-auroch at full charge. Cohered light to kinetic impact.Arrow's column explodes. You hear him let out an inarticulate cry as it topples - Catch a glimpse of Calcite's off-white form falling, arms flailing, as he's pelted by riocheting shards of shrapnel, momentarily lost from sight...-And then the quartz arrows around Daegal let out an unearthly shriek of their own, a shriek that makes the air blur. Daegal reels back, clutching at the sides of his helm - each harpoon forming the corners of a crude square, a terrible resonance beginning. His yowl of pain is distorted by that terrible keening, a frequency that could shake matter apart; Crystalline stone bubbling, swelling, at his limbs, spreading like petrifying, smoldering cancer- (Continued)
>>41176128I'm proud.Kazuya is just as talkative as we used to be. A bit angry, though.
>>41176128Quick fly Kaz flt!Take flight like the beautiful golden eagle of justice you are!I had hoped we'd get a POV switch if we used castigate
>>41176128Guys, I wonder what Rubicante and Cagnazzo would do in Kazuya's hands...
>>41176237Those are our guns, anon. Wouldn't have minded to give him the Kura, though.
Any way we can completely unleash the beast that is Rook?
>>41176254I don't think we can give Kura away. It's our symbiont.Just like half of our equipment right now.Man, I hope Kazuya manages to level up at least once. And we, as well.>>41176287Well, we could go the Accel World route and give the flying player a jetpack...
>>41176128>Crystalline stone bubbling, swelling, at his limbs, spreading like petrifying, smoldering cancer-
If Kazuya is in trouble, we can cast DISRUPT on Arrow.That will make the fight easy for him.
>>41176376We should also pick the right timing to blow up Inox Fang.
>>41176128"Kazuya-" the Thief's curt, clipped vox-blurt is the only sign of his alarm - the Fatal Abyss hissing free from the black-lacquered scabbard in a faster-than-thought draw. His gaze flicks to you, then back; For one agonized instant, you think he might be about to go to Daegal's defense...-And then there is no time for anything else, as Bell Zephyr and Inox Fang come at you together. It is - in a fit of bitter irony - Bell Zephyr who strikes first. Your vision momentarily obscured by the gritty blast of Armaros and Rust Kaiser's brawl - Titanic impacts dealt, titanic blows exchanged - the flaring backwash of anti-light juddering your sensors to static, you never even see Megumi move.She appears from the smoke, a gust of crimson-hued wind swirling with mirage distortions. Her speed is blinding; a whipcrack, and her lash speeds towards you. It is a fractal construct, each triangular scale so finely honed that it dwindles down to the infinitesimally small, tapering down to a razor-point as it unfolds in a speeding, humming blur...The Fatal Abyss sweeps across, and the Thief smashes it aside. There is a brittle flare of sparks - Bell Zephyr's lash *chiming*, bright and lethal, as the point glances off the octagonal tiles of the ground, whipping back in wide arcs, a sinuous ripple of internal motion - the Thief's ragged duster flapping in the breeze, as he sidesteps; Absolutely centered, absolutely focused. His free hand comes up, the Furstenburg appearing like a magician's trick...And the barrel gouts flame. Shots streak across the distance, burning rounds spitting into the smoke; Bell Zephyr sidesteps them, quicksilver-fast, her lissome legs unfurling in a *leap* - she moves as if gravity has no meaning for her, a flick of her wrist lashing her whip around an overhanging protrusion, as she springs *up* the wall, scaling it without slowing as the smoke swallows her up again- (Continued)
>>41176421Being motionless while getting attacked by two speedsters is really not the best situation.Let's hope Inox Fang doesn't stab our Cobalt Booster.
>>41176549Haze Is still free and he has the perfect defense
>>41176421this castigate bullshit better pay off otherwise we should go mad scientist hunting.assuming there's anything left after this.
>>41176571I wonder if Scylla will lash out automatically.
>>41176421A blur of motion, amphorous streamers of light and pain - the pulse of EXEC_HARROW, almost obliterated beneath the weight of the invocation that sketches itself into existence; Coiling around in streamers of code, like exquisite calligraphy, building to a mandala- Inox Fang's klaive blades blur into reality as she strikes. They leave curtains of ash in their wake - the edges flashing intermittently like bolts of lightning, trailing azure sparks. It is a rending blow, a *ripping* blow, a blow meant to carve you apart...And between the moment where she strikes, and the moment where the blades would connect, the Thief *moves*.There is a scream of metal. A bare hand's breadth from your head, the burning blue blades come to a dead stop, blocked by the lightless steel of the Fatal Abyss. "You-" Inox Fang snarls - glaring over the cross of their locked blades. She strains forward, to bring her strength to bear, to overwhelm the Thief; but Akira simply sets his feet, his form taut with effort, the brittle flames that burn within his skull-helm kindled to killing light. "-You're in my *way*-!"In that agonized split-second, in the time it takes to draw a breath, a flurry of strikes blisters the air. Discharging energies flare, as each blow rings off the Fatal Abyss, hunting for a gap in the Thief's defense, denied. Inox Fang strikes so fast that the noise becomes one long ringing note, as the Thief - With machine precision - blocks every strike, parrying and parrying again- But Inox Fang merely has to attack. Totenaz has to defend you.(Continued)
>tfw we never got to augment any Correctors
>>41176622>RULES OF NATUREAkira is best bro. We'll double-team the girls after we unlock.
>>41176622There is a sound - a blade ripping through fabric - and scads of burning black cloth, like dead leaves, erupt into the air. The Thief lurches - his grim defensive velocity never faltering - as a searing line is scored across his arm. A heartbeat later, Inox's blade slashes across his leg, drawing a grunt of pain- She begins to laugh. It is cackling, high-pitched laughter, maniac with hatred- -As you force the last syllable out of yourself, a sound you thought you could never make, ripping up through your speakers. For a moment - just a moment - you think that you might die from the effort; blackness flashing at the edge of your vision, as the completed codeburst churns around you, like twisting flames, like chains...In an explosive surge, it wrenches itself away from you, so fast it *blurs*. It *unravels* around Rust Kaiser, surging *into* his furious form like smoke, sketching burning glyphs across his armor in blurred traceries of light- For a moment - for a singular instant - Rust Kaiser hesitates. And Armaros takes that moment of distraction to punch his fist up under Rust Kaiser's guard. He does not attempt to breach it, merely by striking - the clinch is too close, too savage, to bring Ascalon to bear. Instead, his gauntleted fingers close around one riveted plate, the dense iron denuding, faintly, at the edges...He *pulls*. Gravimetric energies seethe. With one terrible effort, one surge of blind strength- The dented plate *rips free*. Rust Kaiser howls. He bays, and one iron-shod fist smashes Armaros across the face so hard, it crushes two optic clusters to sparking flinders- "Kou-!" Bell Zephyr's scream echoes over the melee - the smoke around her parting, momentarily, as she turns- (Continued)
>>41176823"Now you're all fucked"
>>41176823She's distracted.Time to strike and then help Akira.
>>41176823>the smoke around her parting, momentarily, as she turns-Fire! Everything!
>>41176823The Thief reels back, as a skittering slash from Inox Fang breaks his guard. One arm hangs limp at his side - Too slow to protect himself from the downstab that follows, the killing blow meant to drive *through* his unguarded shoulder, down into his form- The blow never connects.When Inox Fang's charged blade stabs out - serpent-quick - it smashes against a humming wedge of ghost-steel, sparks scaling across the Sinistral's field, the fires of EXEC_HARROW smoldering with writhing violet life as the glowing eyeslits of her distorted canine helm meets your gaze- "You," she breathes, in a voice that smokes with hatred.Game on.JOKER QUESTEPISODE 138TO BE CONTINUED
>>41176958(Gentlemen: I hate to leave you here, but it's extremely late for me. Tomorrow's a full week, so I'm afraid I must turn in from now; I think I might have overestimated exactly how long a single turn would take with so many characters involved. Good night and God bless - You've been a wonderful audience, and I hope to see you again soon.)
>>41176958Shit.OP, you really went all-out today.Next session should be fucking awesome.>>41176972I had been wondering how you expected the quest to happen on this weekend.Any estimate on when you can run the next session?
>>41176972Thanks for running, JQOP.
>>41176972OP I've been meaning to ask, why wasn't KURA changed by the Lachryma?
>>41176986Next week, most likely.
This fight is a good opportunity to utilize our entire arsenal.There are many things that we haven't done in ages. We really need to do them again.
>>41177327I want to use our limiter weapons again.
>>41178840Limiter weapons?I wonder if our Carnifex attunement has any lasting advantage. Shouldn't we theoretically be able to purge our explosively now? I mean, the Carnifex used our muscles to bulge until the armor flies out and I bet we can simulate this effect by overloading our muscles with Booster. Cobalt Booster was originally intended to boost our body, as well.I wonder what another Booster upgrade would do. Some kind of steady boost for our body?
>>41179039>Limiter weapons?The weapons we unlock by getting more and more meter, I think he means. Like the Longinus. Or - and I'm really hoping for the chance to use it again - the Quantum Singularity Cannon. Or the tier above that.I'm also looking forward to the grand denouément, where JQOP reveals how we fucked up his plans forever, multiple times, how the mechanics work, and just what we missed out on.
>>41179632>Carnifex Athame synthesisYeah, I really want to know that shit.But we are constantly using our Meter weapons. Well, the missiles at least, the chain mines occasionally and currently the Fusion Annihilator.I had been trying to get to 100%, but the last few fights really didn't allow for that.I actually had a thought about our upgrade choices:Wouldn't an Emulator Module upgrade really increase our offensive power?It will allow us to copy new weapon types. Which most likely means Meter weapons.So we could fire twices as many missiles, for example, for the same price. Because emulated weapons are paid for if the original is paid for already.In the same vein, Leech Module might be our best choice to increase our longevity.And Cobalt Booster to get the best bang for the buck for general improvements.