>Leafy Green EditionThe coastal town of Diamond Shoals, a popular tourist destination in the summer but otherwise relatively sleepy in the off-season. Occasionally though, there is some supernatural activity abound which is usually seen to by a few strange denizens of the town. For as unnatural as this activity might be though, it usually goes unnoticed by most everyone else. Usually.You've seen your fair share though and are starting to think you picked the wrong town to move to.
>>1514772The requirements have been met for multiple characters, so two are available for play. Owen, the ex-track star supermart worker or Lee, the Jill-of-all-trades waitress.>Please select your character!
>The continuation of an ongoing quest, with previous iterations available here;http://pastebin.com/E9Eu48Kz
>>1514774Lets go with Owen today
>>1514788>>1515004You are Owen, a 20-year-old newcomer to Diamond Shoals, and full-time cart pusher at the local Mega World Mart. Recently you've been working more often to make up for missing about a week due to a gem-related injury. It is however a work holiday so everyone is off, as much as Mr. Nguyen may wish otherwise. And for you at least, time not working means time running, today being no exception.While out for a run then predictably enough, kicking up sand you encounter a fair few people here and there enjoying the beach. It is a work holiday so many are tourists, but there's more than a few locals as well. Joshua surfing as always, Mandy walking dogs, Ray with a metal detector out for treasure, and even a class from the elementary school probably on a field trip. Several months now you've been living here so people are used to you know, exchanging waves and the like. It was such a greeting, seeing Ranger Judy drive past in one of the ranger buggies, that you quite literally nearly trip over a familiar face."Ay, watch it!"In order to avoid kneeing Sarah in the face, you try to dodge but end up crashing into a pretty big sandcastle she made. As if that wasn't bad enough, maybe as karmic justice, a decently-sized coconut falls off of the top of the castle and conks you on the head. Sitting up without trying to cause any further damage, you see stars about."Ugh... sorry about that Sarah, didn't see you there.""Why that is? I ain't that small!"While she is right, you don't care to say the real reason. You can already imagine her jumping to conclusions.>It's her fault really, who even builds sandcastles this far away from the water?>How long's she been out here? It seemed like a nice sandcastle but you expected more from her, particularly after your team won the town competition a few months back.>Wait, why is this coconut wearing sunglasses... and a hat?>[Write-in.]
>>1515015>>Wait, why is this coconut wearing sunglasses... and a hat?
>>1515015>How long's she been out here? It seemed like a nice sandcastle but you expected more from her, particularly after your team won the town competition a few months back.Investigate
>>1515025>>1515107There's never a shortage of questions to ask, like wondering why we're all here and what our purpose is? You're sure when the philosophers look back on history though, they'll consider this to be among the greatest."Why is this coconut wearing sunglasses and a hat?""He's my new friend Bentley, found him washed up yesterday! I thinked he needs a hat for the sun, but he already has the sunglasses when I's found him."Well that answers that question. Picking up Bentley and handing it back to her then, you struggle to get back up to your feet without messing up any more of Sarah's work. Not like there's much more to mess up though, just what was a set of walls around a little raised throne for the coconut."I've got say, this is... a pretty small castle, compared to normal. How long have you been out here making this?""Only a hour I think? We's waitin' for Lee to get here, goin' on a big mission. They says you's too sick but you's here now, so you's comin' with, right?"You knew you should have just say at home lazing on the couch for your free day off, instead of going for a run on the beach. You just recovered from an injury gotten on a gem mission, the last thing you need is another one! Though, you suppose there could be worse ways to spend the holiday.>Gem work isn't something you've ever been keen on, but after the previous mission injury, it would be nice at least to get back on the horse again. Just to know you can.>You don't want to agree to anything without knowing more about the mission. At least a chance to talk to whichever gem is going to be leading this effort.>No thanks kid, you're on your own!>[Write-in.]
>>1515277>Gem work isn't something you've ever been keen on, but after the previous mission injury, it would be nice at least to get back on the horse again. Just to know you can.
>>1515277>>Gem work isn't something you've ever been keen on, but after the previous mission injury, it would be nice at least to get back on the horse again. Just to know you can.
>>1515488>>1515540>>1515636Dealing with the gem monsters that trouble town occasionally is one thing, that's just like your civic duty. But you've never really been all that invested in any gem-related stuff, certainly not missions. It's dangerous, you don't understand any of it, and people rely on you. If you weren't doing Sol a favor, you'd gladly never get involved with it.And now more and more, that Sarah seems to be taking to it and accepting her gem side, maybe soon you'll never have to get involved with it again. Leave it to Lee to be their token human helper, or mascot, you'll take running any day of the week. It's safe, it's what you know, and you do it only for yourself.Until then though, you still feel obligated to help out. And in this instance not just for Sol or Sarah's sake, but for your own. After that bad ending to the previous mission, you've more or less healed up but not all the damage was physical. It would be nice to prove to yourself that you can still do it and succeed, that you could before and still can. Just to know you haven't lost a step.So shaking yourself off to get the sand out, and clutching at your shoulder where your more or less healed injury was, you look to Sarah and Bentley. The both of them eagerly await an answer."Alright... yeah, I'll go. I was going to be out for awhile anyway, so might as well."---It sounds like they're expecting Lee anytime now, so Sarah hadn't gone far in the time they told her to wait. The lighthouse was already in sight, so it's not even a five minute walk to head back to her house, along the way talking about what little she knows of the mission-to-be. "...so which gem are we going with this time?""We's all goin'! Except Chalcy, but she never leave the house anyway."Well that's something different, you've never been on a mission with as many peopl- gems before. Actually come to think of it, you've never been on a mission even just with Sol before so that'll be new. Only Lee's gotten to do that before, from what you've heard. Now just to wait as well you guess, till she gets here.>Probably best to find one of the gems at least, and get any more details of the mission you can. Ask Sarah to lead the way.>You're fine with waiting in the house till it's time to go. Maybe ask if it's alright to get something to eat.>Best to stock up on supplies beforehand. You're not sure what this mission could be yet, but you remember the last one, the supplies you brought came in quite handy.>[Write-in.]
>>1515715>Best to stock up on supplies beforehand. You're not sure what this mission could be yet, but you remember the last one, the supplies you brought came in quite handy.Gotta stock up.
>>1515715>>Best to stock up on supplies beforehand. You're not sure what this mission could be yet, but you remember the last one, the supplies you brought came in quite handy.And maby have Amber make you some armor?
>>1515880Amber? Who's Amber? If you ask Emma she can probably create something like armor, but maybe you want to wait till you reach the location. The stuff she makes can be a little heavy.>>1515870Having extra supplies last time was a big help, so before you do anything else you want to take care of the preparations. Maybe alter what you bring as well, based on how things went last time."Hey Sarah, you still got that bag? The one from last time?"She gives you a knowing nod, and diverts towards the house, probably headed towards the garage initially. You dread what that could mean, but can certainly guess."I do, yeah. What's we gonna' bring 'dis time?"Following after her into the house, the front door this time, she runs off to get the backpack. You already know the cooler to be in the pantry, so grab it and start filling it with ice in preparation for whatever food or drink is going to be brought. Already certain of it, right off the bat you pack some ice creams into it since Sarah always brings them. You wonder though, what else to bring as she comes back down the stairs two at a time, dragging the bag behind her. Most anything you can probably find around here in the house, the ground floor. Anything particular, you can either pick up in the garage or Sarah can run upstairs to get, so that you don't have to cross paths with Chalcedony.>[Write-in.] Decide on what items you think may come in handy, and you would want to bring. At a reasonable amount of course, what could fit inside a medium-sized backpack.
Just a heads up, this will probably be my last response of the night. Will resume tomorrow though from here >>1515965 with the suggestions for what to bring on the mission.>Thanks all for playing!
>>1515965Ment Emma.Medical kit for sure.Rope, flashlight, more rope, pocket knife, food, water, and some rope. Is chain mail an option? Divers wear it to sink faster and defend from shark bites.
>>1515965>More or less what we brought last time only we get Emma to make us a shield and a bat?
>>1515982And did I say rope?
Apologies for missing most of today, got wrapped up in something. >>1515982>>1515984>>1515988>>1518604Between the two of you, you manage to collect from around the house a number of useful items to bring with you on the trip. A few are the same items from the last mission you went on, and a few are everyday carry items you pretty much always have on you. The only one left is rope, a lot of rope, a whole great big thing of rope. For that, you'll need to go to the garage for so again head off that way and out of the house, while Sarah runs ahead. Along the way you also consider chain mail or some sort of armor perhaps? It's not like you couldn't get some, or bring it with you on a mission, but it would probably be expensive and you don't make a lot of money as a cart pusher."Oh hellooo, Owen! Back for some more punishment? Getting injured by a laser last time wasn't enough, looking to actually die now?" although she welcomes you with the utmost cheeriness when you reach the garage, Emma shakes her head and changes her tone after Sarah kicks her for the insensitive response, "-I mean, it's simply wonderful that you're up and about, praise the day! And you should imagine my surprise when Sarah told me you were accompanying us on another mission? Well we're always happy to have some human distractions-" another kick, "...cannon fodder-" yet another kick, "...expendable help! Sorry, I'm running out of ways to say the same thing!""It's alright, I'll try not to befriend any dangerous security systems this time around."That's not at all reassuring, but despite her mercurial nature Emma has never let you down... or at least never willingly put you in harm's way. From past experience though, you're glad Sol will be coming along for this mission as well. What isn't a welcome sight though, is Emma working away on the chopper, a strong implication that you will be using it for travel. Your last trip on the giant motorcycle was less than pleasant, no matter how much you've been told that it's something you get used to.Before any of that though, you at least take care of the rope issue. It looks like for whatever reason, possibly by request or understanding, someone bought a bunch of new rope which is as good a sign as any that like anything, this is all a learning process.>While you're here, see what you can learn about the mission from Emma.>On second thought she's not the best to ask for that, instead just offer some help if she needs it.>[Memory] Wait here patiently, till the remaining others arrive.>[Write-in.]
>>1519017>>While you're here, see what you can learn about the mission from Emma.
>>1519727>>1519854Knowing Emma can be a bit wonked in the head at times, you'd rather just speak with Sol about it. Even with her heavy accent, you'd still get a clearer or at least straighter answer. Without anything else to do though, and Sarah busying herself with trying to affix a red bandana around Bentley atop a workbench, you suppose it's worth a try. You can't end up learning any less than you know already."Hey Emma, if you're not too busy...""Why yes, I am quiiite busy trying to calibrate this, but I'm sure it won't cause the chopper to explode or anything when we use it! Sooo, what's on your mind?"No worries, the motorcycle seems study enough. You're sure that... whatever form of travel it utilizes, beyond the normal, isn't any more strain upon the vehicle than normal driving. In truth you've no idea how the chopper functions, but with Sol tagging along this time you wouldn't imagine her to allow anything to happen. Least of all departing with the vehicle without it being safe."Just the usual. Confused and want to know more, about what's going on.""Ooooh well that's simple enough! I hope you remember the last place we went to, what was thought to be a temple. Much more interesting in fact, and not a temple at all! I was able to learn from Echo that it was instead a listening post for the planet, or at least this hemisphere! A useful discovery indeed, as it revealed other Gem locations for which Pearl was researching."That's right, some of that you are at least vaguely familiar with. You didn't know the true nature of the place itself, but Echo did seem rather advanced and dangerous to just be protecting some old temple. At least your guess as much, maybe you're wrong and the Gem folks value that kind of thing highly. Either way though, you do recall something about Sarah's mother looking around for gem locations, and Emma picking up where she left off.You do wish she'd be a little more delicate about the subject though, but fortunately you notice Sarah either didn't notice or is intentionally trying to ignore the conversation, now trying to find some way of carrying Bentley on the chopper safely."Weeell the place we are going now, if the research is to be believed, is some sort of monitoring station. I hope to find whateeever information the facility was built for, Sol thought it important enough to accompany the effort!"That doesn't sound as bad, the way she describes it. Of course, relying on things by the way Emma describes them is a surefire way to reach a sticky situation, but some data gathering building can't be as protected as some planetary communication hub. You don't want to jinx it, but with all of you together as well, you're at least feeling better about all this.
>>1522763A choice-less post? Unforgivable. Another busy day though and need of an early night, I believe will prevent a normal session this time, unfortunately. Will resume tomorrow for a normal length, after here >>1522763 though with a transition, feel free to write-in whatever you please or perhaps wish to do in the meantime.
>>1522763Oh shit, do we still have time to get some walkie talkies?
>>1522816Of course, you can still get whatever supplies you may need or want, before departing.
>tfw the IRL train hits you hardA decent transition to catch things up though.>>1522763>>1522783It's not that much longer that you have to wait, and by the time Lee shows up, all that's left to do is fetch Sol as well. With everyone gathered and Sol double checking if the chopper is safe for travel, there's some initial difficulty for everyone to find space aboard the vehicle. That's the most difficult step though, the travel after that is easier than last time since you just close your eyes and hold onto the bike as it leaves the road and travels through interspace, to end up at the warp hub. From there, a similar travel through the warp, from the hub to some corresponding warp pad elsewhere in the world. You can't imagine any of this ever not being a strange and unpleasant experience, but then you also don't imagine yourself to be doing it many more times than this, if at all. Certainly never enough to get used to it.---"-didn't mean to throw it thaaat hard, I thought that was the point of the game! It's called dodgeball, after all... aaand here we are! Oh, careful now, rough landing!"With Emma going on about a recent mishap with a sports game the gems participated in, the group emerges from warp space onto the new pad. A rather rude welcome into the new place though, when immediately finding the pad itself to be heavily tilted to one side. Suspended awkwardly among what look like branches of a tree. Sol immediately goes to grab both you and Sarah to keep you from sliding down and falling off, while Emma grabs her in turn and holds onto the upper tilt side of the pad. Lee by contrast managed to jump free before landing, and seems fine on her own though."Wowo lookit' the trees! Wher're we at?"The gems are obviously preoccupied trying to hold everyone together, but Sarah hanging just by her hoodie and holding onto Bentley, is busy looking about the surrounding area. You do as well of course, but when you realize the height, you panic and scramble up Sol's arm to cling onto her shoulders. Enough begging, and Emma is able to lift all three of you to more stable ground. It's not much better for you though, and you move from clinging to Sol, to clinging to the biggest portion of branch you can find."A-Are we in... is th-this the Golden State?"Like the one you're in, an array of truly massive, giant trees stand all around. The forest ground lies far, far below, but up here among the great branches it seems you're not alone. Some visible portions of what you assume to be gem structures dot the tree tops. You remember though stories and postcards of trees so huge out on the West Coast, that cars could drive through them. Big enough if you're not mistaken about the location, for gems to also build among and within them...
>Ask for some help, you're going to need it this high up.>Try not to look down, just crawl to more stable footing and organize the group effort.>Sure Sarah would be fine up here, this is like her natural habitat. How can Lee keep it together so well though?>[Write-in.]
>>1529379>>Try not to look down, just crawl to more stable footing and organize the group effort.Try not to faint either.
>>1529371"I think we should get this warp pad straight first, if you Gems can do that of course."
>>1529401>>1529797You don't want to have to rely on anyone, not this early at least. You can't help but feel out of place among the others though when they all seem just fine, but you try to use that feeling at least to drive you forward. So avoiding looking down, shakily you let go of the branch and quickly crawl along closer to the trunk of the great tree. It helps to see the portion of gem structure protruding further ahead, something to focus on. You don't go all the way to it, just try to move along till the branch is large, wide enough that you don't feel as worried about falling off.The others are doing their own thing all the while, like Sol panicking at Sarah trying to crawl out to the edge of a branch in order to look at a bird's nest, or Lee balance-walking her way down from the upper branch she jumped to upon arrival. It's Emma though, whose hand you feel on your back, as she leaned down to offer some support with a knowing smile. It doesn't do away with your fears entirely, but you feel confident enough at least to stand up and take baby steps the rest of the way. "Seee, that wasn't so bad. You needn't worry at any rate, falling is a quick death for humans! Or any animals, reaaally."---With you and Emma waiting, Lee is soon to join you followed by Sol and Sarah. The whole group together, you can figure out what the approach will be. As well, a better idea of the location here. Something about the trees, the few ones with gem structures on or in them, stands out to you after looking around for awhile."Before we get into things, you think it would be a good idea maybe to get the warp pad straight? Like, if we have to get back here in a hurry?""Well zought' Owen. Emma, if you please? Ah... try to move it as little as possible, oui?" taking your suggestion into account, Sol asks the bigger gem to go and reposition the warp pad if possible. You sense some worry and even possible regret from her as soon as she asks, but Emma takes to it well enough and says she'll be as careful as she can. Now you're worried too, but while she struggles with the tilted warp pad, the rest of you listen to Sol and her plan going forward."Lee et moi shall move a'ead and be on ze' lookout for danger. Sarah, Owen, vous deux will stay wit' Emma. If anyzing' should 'appen, get be'ind 'er, she will protect you."She's rather practical in her approach and seems to have this all worked out, so you can't really argue much with Sol's plan. You can't help but feel though that maybe she's being a little over-cautious towards you and Sarah, just shoving you behind with Emma for safekeeping. Maybe even a sense that she'd rather you at least, hadn't come along? Though to be honest you'd rather not tangle with any danger if you can help it, and would love nothing more than to be in the safest place should danger strike; behind Emma.
>This is totally okay by you, let Sol and Lee go on ahead if they want and face all the danger.>You don't like the idea of just being babysat by Emma. Speak up, you and Sarah are both equal members of the team.>[Owen] You're the fastest one here, if you do say so yourself. You can run ahead and through, triggering and avoiding any danger that might be lurking.>[Write-in.]
>>1529956>>[Owen] You're the fastest one here, if you do say so yourself. You can run ahead and through, triggering and avoiding any danger that might be lurking.
>>1529952>This is totally okay by you, let Sol and Lee go on ahead if they want and face all the danger.We are still not fully healed.
>>1529956>This is totally okay by you, let Sol and Lee go on ahead if they want and face all the danger.>While you normally hate being left behind and having others do the actual work, Lee is in better health that you are right now and Sol can protect her. Plus with Sarah bad habits is better if you watch her closely, not that you will tell the kid that of course.
>>1529956>This is totally okay by you, let Sol and Lee go on ahead if they want and face all the danger.We are still recovering aren't we?
>>1531528>>1530745You're not "fully" healed, but you're well enough for strenuous activity for one day. Whether or not that changes action choice, will be continuing things tonight, in a few hours probably.
>>1530745>>1530798>>1531528You could just run on ahead and draw out any danger, leaving it behind for the gems to face off against. It's a feeling of certainty that you would be able to manage it, quite sure of being the fastest individual present. It's a sporadic notion though, something stirred up in your mind to offer up as proof of your usefulness. You realize though it's probably too risky, when you're not feeling a hundred percent yourself anyway. For now then you'll accept hanging back with Sarah in case things get risky."Aaaalright, warp pad fixed! Or fixed enough!"With Emma's return, there's nothing keeping you all from entering the nearest gem structure jutting out of this giant tree you're all on. Weirdly it almost looks like a birdhouse because of that, apart from the open passage to the interior. Climbing the few steps you all fall into the agreed upon formation, Sol moving a little farther ahead with Lee trailing, and following her direction. A few steps inside and you rummage around for the flashlight to hand off to Sarah while you have your own pocket flashlight. It's not as dark as the listening post was, but your goal is to examine the interior of this place. A similar pattern of glyphs within, though they seem much less structured or properly lined and spaced out. "Don't worry Sarah, Owen. It's only that Lee's had experience with a few missions already and faced danger herself, give it some time and Sol will worry less about your safety... wait, that came out wrong."While looking along the walls of the interior, you notice Sarah just cautious and alert, probably expecting something to go wrong like the last mission. Also noticing this, Emma speaks softly about the marching order for both your sake. Though truthfully, you get the sense that you and Sarah share that same sentiment; the less danger the better. You know she's one to explore and play around outside all day, but that's quite different to being blasted by the laser of a security system.You don't have a lot of time to think it over though, as you nearly avoid tripping over something, thanks only to your flashlight for seeing it. Kneeling down to get a better look, you pick up what appears to be old climbing gear. Human though, ropes and metal fixtures, and what looks like a harness but was torn apart. There must have been other, actual people here before you but you're not sure you like this finding. Attempting to catch up with the others, you join them in a decently sized room of the structure, somewhere within the tree if you had to guess. Sarah seems to have noticed what you found as well, her light scanning over similar other signs of discarded human presence, but it's when Sol and Lee move beyond a certain point that the chamber awakens with activity.
>>1537296"Ah, Sarah get down!"Quick action as you notice an opaque green battering ram swing down from the ceiling for the opening into the chamber and anyone in between. Both Sol and Lee manage to dodge but Sarah is standing right in the doorway unawares, and you dive to try and pull her out of the way. Calling it out helped though, as Emma interposes and stops the swinging ram short with her hands with a loud thud, pushing her back in place a little even. Shortly thereafter, the surfaces of the chamber faintly illuminate, and various defenses emerge.>Keep to the plan, and just stick behind Emma. Her size should block any other incoming threats.>If the room is reacting, then it makes sense to get out till things are safe! Exit the way you came in, and wait in the corridor till things quiet down.>Take an active role, Sol and Lee can't be the only ones on the offense here.>[Write-in.]
>>1537304>Keep to the plan, and just stick behind Emma. Her size should block any other incoming threats>You could exit the room but maybe that would get you locked away from this room and trying to help when you haven't planned anything with the others could end in a disaster. Gems can take a lot more than humans and if Sarah sees you helping she will want to do the same.
>>1538265For more than just yourself, you decide to just stick by Emma and let the others do their thing, helping Sarah as you get up again. It seems like a good idea to just retreat from the room, but you can't be sure it won't close or something. So just a watchful eye and quick reflexes, as you move when you need to for Emma to stand guard. The chamber itself you quickly notice, although it has defenses in place, they don't seem... all that good really. Maybe with time, like the ruined listening post, the structure has degraded. Besides the battering ram which was trying to force you all out, there's a number of turrets around the room and some more mundane physical traps like spinning blades. None of them function properly though you think, watching the turrets rattle about and miss most of their shots, and the physical traps getting jammed or stuck in place. Occasionally Emma does her job though, and blocks an incoming stray shot or launched crystalline spear.It's not match for Sol, and to a lesser extent Lee by comparison. The former is naturally tough and skilled enough to either shrug off or destroy anything targeting her, while Lee can dodge and is agile enough to avoid dangers till getting close enough to try and smash with a sword formed of that honey-like substance Emma can create, shaped and solidified for her. You have the good sense to remain behind the afforded protection, but you and Sarah get several chances to watch the action unfold, for the short duration which it lasts. Sol and Lee make short work of the defenses, the broken and smashed remains scattered about the room now like the signs of previous human interlopers."Yea-heh! That's all she wrote!" sounds Lee, pretty confident after the last turret is smashed. Sol is busy though checking about the room still for any other defenses, and finally approaches the door at the far side of the room. Closed and looking stuck, her presence though causes it to open after some difficulty at first, grinding against the door frame. The next area, well you can't see it too well from here, but you get the feeling no one has progressed that far since the last time any gem was here."Zis' way, I zink' zat' may be all ze' danger we can expect from ze' building wi'zin zis' tree. Only one defensive room as ze' first, zis' isn't war-purposed structure."Hearing the coast to be clear, Sarah picks up Bentley and runs out from behind Emma and expresses her amazement over Lee's actions in the short conflict, jumping up and down all the while an saying how cool she was. You notice Sol seeing this, but she quickly turns away and just heads into the next room.>Compliment Lee yourself. She might not be on the same level as Sol but she represented Team Human well.>Thank Emma for her efforts in protecting you and Sarah. She probably deserves the most credit of anyone for that job.>Check out some of the broken defenses. Maybe there's something among them you can use?>[Write-in.]
>>1540000>>Compliment Lee yourself. She might not be on the same level as Sol but she represented Team Human well.The tree grew and damaged the traps and shit.
>>1540000>Compliment Lee yourself. She might not be on the same level as Sol but she represented Team Human well."You know, just because this room defences are dealt with it doesn't mean the next room is safe. It could havd a Gem monster or something. After all no human explorer seems to have gone past this room. And just because this is a less protected place than the one we visited before, it doesn't mean it won't hide something nasty. After all while we found leftover equipment we didn't find any remains... so unless animals took those away we should be careful."
>>1540011>>1540153Just an update before the thread 404's, but I am in fact still alive. Just slogging through a very turbulent schedule and have been, making posting difficult. Will try to continue though with the next thread, picking up directly from here >>1540000 making it another two-parter plot. Thanks to all for playing through so far though, and hopefully to continuing next time.