Previous Thread:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/1304508/Archive:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Joker%20QuestEquipment FAQ:http://pastebin.com/PPFF2dStOblivion's Husk:http://pastebin.com/4CiBB8XjPlayer 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: D̴̛̗̳̹̳͍̪̼̗̟̩͉̱̝͉̯̟̹̥̿̂ͯ̈́̃̏̽́ę̴͍̫̠͈͈̥̤̯͈̙̻͐̽̉ͨ̋͡à̷͔̬̞̺̗͍͚͔̟̗̜̠̰͙̠͙̙̪̘͛͆ͨ͊ͨ̊ͣͬ̽ͬ̑̇ͪͤͣ́͜͟ť̢̡͖̜̳̰͔̙͇͖̼̣̹̘̰̹̹͙̳͎ͫ͑ͧ͌̇͂ͭ̿ͪ̑͐̉ͣ̔͐̕͜h̵̘̥̝͍̻̝̱̮̰̞̘͙̰̪̀ͣ̄ͅ ̸̜̜̳̳͉̼͉͈̪̺̜̞̼̫̄͌̊ͬ͐̍ͫ̍̋̂́ͧ̏͘į̴̱̹̭͓̖̇͐͗͐͊̈́ͣ̄͑̈ͫ̀͠ͅs̶̸̠̱̠͕̫͙͖͎̣̱̹̰̖͇̔͒͗̏̈̋̄̏͗́̕ ̸̛͔̳̞̹̘̬̣̘̋ͧͪ̎ͯ̍̌̂ͣ̈͊͊́͡s̸̡̛̜̱̱̘̫̝̰̗͐ͣ̐ͣ̐ͤ͋ͬ̆͌̓ͅt̸͕̝̮̩̫̺̺̤̹̭ͬ̔͋̎́̔ͬ̀ͦͤ̚͜͠r̛̻̦̥͍̩͉̦̺͔̙͖͉̭̬̣͋̑ͮ̇͑͗ͤ́ͦ͑̚̚͘͞ŏ̜̪̻̙̗̺̭̱͓͚͖͌͌̐ͦ̂̿̑̓ṇ͓̟̻͓̼̘̙̬̱͚̥̩̬̬̙ͪ̐͒͒̂̒ͫ̄̓͑̄ͨ̌͘͘ͅͅg̶̢̣̞̻̠ͭͩ̇ͪ̋ͯ͛͗͡e̤̼̜̱̫͇͚̗̯̜͖͓̬͈̱̖̐̔̀͊ͦͧ͐ͯ̋̈́͡r̶̞͓̥̖͔̪̰͌̈̐ͯ̒̀̑͌̋ͯ͆̉͒̀͐̊̒͆̕͟ ̡̫͕̗̮̖͇̠̺͑̃͛̿ͯ̈́̾̀̄ͯ̈̿̊ͯ̊͢ţ̜̺͔̼̩͎̟̱̬͎̙̙̹̦̘̪̄ͬ̈̊ͬ̊͗ͮ̀̂̐̍̽̓͐ͮ̎ͤ̀̀h̵̬̺̪̮͚̯͔͍̰̗̼̳̮̤ͦ͋̓ͮ̌̇ͮ͊̌̄̏ͮ̚͡ͅa̴̬̘̮̠̤̳͖̮͉̥̱̙̰̣̞̹̜ͩͤ̆̈͗̊ͮ̈̽͊̀̽ͬ̓ͅn̙̼̼̤̰͔̫̯̾ͮ̎̑̏ͣͩ͂̈́́͢͟ ̡̦͔̼͓̥͙̫̱͉̬̱̻̮͈̮ͨ͑͛̊ͣ͘͘͜ͅl̷̡̛̤̮͔̼̳̝̺̹̟̰̦̗̯̈̂̊́̏̏͑̐́͋̄ͨ̍́ͅi̛̛̼͇̦͓̪̝̥̾͋̍̽̍ͨ̔ͯ̄ͫͤͤ́͝ͅͅf̧̘̻̦͓̺̳̯̫̣̥̥̻̬̺̻̬͍̼̓͒̋͝ę͓̤̝̘̜̩̝̱͚̰̦̗̜̦͕̞̔͊̉̎̆͌̓ͤ͝H̢̪̦͍̯̝͇͎̮̀͆́̃̌̃̈́̔́͆ͨ̊͌̓͂̑́́̀͘ạ̢͚͇̗̼͎̝͍̯̮̪̣̳̮͚͓̳͛̔̐͗͒͝t̝͇̙̮̼̰̰̥̞̜͕͎̠̦͇͍͓͕͑ͤ̆͒̿̂̾́̚͘͟ͅe̛͎͇̝͚̦̝̼͔̱̫̮̙̰͚̳͇̿̀̊̔̆͌̊ͬ̑̚ ̛͎͚͖̤̣̜̣̗̍̍ͣͬ͢î̶̵͈̖̫̰͚̥̪̝͙̗̼ͬ̇ͅͅs̛̝̖̱̻̰͖̞̿̒̽̏̔ͨ͒̄̋͆̍͑̈́̚̚͘ ͕̪̰̘̹͍̩̞̳̮̦̣̬̙͓̔ͭ̂ͤ̀̇͆́͋ͤ͢ş̵̘͉̮͙͓͉̫̖̣͇̯͕̺̻͙ͯ̉̀̄̈̌́ͪ͝ͅt̡̡͙̥͙͙̙̟̱̱̤͕̯̯͇͍̦͉̰ͩͩ͒̈ͮ̽̚͟͝r̷̡̜̭͉̭̬͕̬̱̞ͯ̆͂ͬ͊̉ͯ̂ͬ̾ͪ̔̕͝͡o̵̧̙̣̞͖͖̻̗̖̣͕̦͕̟̰̭̰͉̬̖ͦͩ͋͒̓̐͒̈͂͗̿̔͜͞n̡̠̼̪̮ͨ̓͂̐ͬͤ͂ͦ̇̽̋ͩͭ́̽́͟g̷̖̞̺̳̱̱̏͒͛̂ͣ̉͐̉ͮ͋̓͆͐͑̎̕ę̴̣̠͇̭̞̗̜̭̙̮̍̈́͒̏ͩ̓ŗ̴͓̝͎͇̞̪̥̪͔̝̹͖̣̰̭͈̦ͫ̃͋̐ͤ̽ͬ̓͛͌̐͌ͭ͑̇̇̎ ̨̮̯̻̳͕͉̘̩̺̙̙͉̝͙͖̞̩͆́̔̃̍̑͊ͣ͗̾̀t̖͍͚̖͈͉͕̤͔̬͚̳̖͚͖̪̥̑͌͛͂̏̋͢h̸̯̬͈̝̩͙͕̯͚̘͚̭̤̰̮̞͂̈́ͭ̂̎ͤ̒̌ͧ͐ͪ͋̒ͬ̎́̚̕ả̷̻̳̤̮̜͕͙͖͎ͣ͆̓̈̿̔̈͛͌̕͞n̢͓̯͓̫̈̈́͗ͧ̉̄̾̉̌̔͠͞͠͝ͅ ̨̧̤͙͕̳̘͈͉ͯ̃͒͊̇̑̋̀ļ͙̱̣̠͎̞͉̭͚̘͚͕͖ͨ̄̾ͩ͋͌͒̿ͨ͗͂͑̍̌̚o̡̮̣̰̝̾͗͆̎̍͋ͫ͂̍͒ͯͯ̃̀v̨̫̭͖̣̯̼̩̺̦̜̻̩̣̝͌̀̒̾̂̏ͅͅe̶̫̭̘̱͔̜̟̝͙̱ͬͪ͑ͫ͒̌͑̈̌̆̆͂̔͢ͅ
OH MEIN GOTT
>>2247774The chamber is vast.You sit in the shadow of the Vitruvian Device, beneath the vaulted ceiling. Outside, the storm wails - the moan of the wind like an echo of some far-off war.Inside - The fire flickers, a lurid red flame. Pages of indecipherable alien script, deface by hand, curl and crisp at the heart of the blaze, shedding a smokeless light. The orange glow plays across the ruin of your armor, the ragged stump of your left arm - the tattered remnants of your Assault Shroud, spread like a poor man's cloak, stitching itself back together with glacial slowness. There is a babbling sound, in the back of your mind. It sounds like voices, muttering. You remember this place as it was, before. When the skeletal frames of the other Vitruvian Devices stood tall and proud, before the fatal hours - just before the lethal dawn - that sent you fleeing, fleeing, into the gloom.Thus are dreams dashed and good intentions lost. Everything rots and returns to dust, and everything is reduced to blind fighting in the ruins of creation, against the broken and the mad.(Continued)
>>2247810The Joker's Memory rests in your remaining fist. In the dim light, it seems to glow - Something ghosting against your nerves, like a promise. Like a pull, distant but encouraging, as much a part of you as the throb of your pulse.When you had a pulse, of course. Here - now - your form, thrown in sharp relief against the walls, is distorted. Warped. A mono-optic sensor, whirring as it cycles, the jade glow dimmed to almost nothing. Cracked optics flutter, tiny sparks jumping from the blown-out charging elements in your right wrist, the armor so scarred and eroded that the red has become a filthy grey.And within the Device's embrace - A gleam of gold.Kazuya. Daegal. Your first and best friend. Your only friend, now - Or so it remains to be seen.You're telling him-[ ] Everything. From the first to the last.[ ] The decisions that brought you here, to this place.[ ] What you can bear to tell him.[ ] The parts he'll understand, and the parts he'll accept.[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>2247820>Everything. From the first to the last.No point in holding back now.
>>2247820>[ ] The parts he'll understand, and the parts he'll accept.
>>2247820ALL OF IT. There is literally no point to withholding any information now.
>>2247820>Everything. From the first to the last.It'll only take six years, give or take a few months.
>>2247820> [ ] Everything. From the first to the last.
>>2247829>>2247837>>2247838> Everything. From the first to the last.Where would you even start? With the descent, and the long, long mourning that followed? You're not sure you remember all of it, not truly - those long, sleepless years, trudging into the teeth of the wind. Across the desert of black sand, through the valley of the blind, falling, rising again-You remember one thing: When you could no longer walk, you crawled. Hand over hand, towards the end of the world. Driven by the singular instinct to cling fast, to survive...-To see the light of the first day, one last time.Time. You have nothing but it.> [X] The parts he'll understand, and the parts he'll accept.After the return-The grey days that followed, oddly ephemeral after your ordeal. Always wondering where you'd be when you awakened, watching the slow crawl of sunlight across the horizon, and thinking: When? When do you pay for it?Never anything more than that. Something, circling without seizing hold.The story's longer than you think. More twisted. You lose track of it, at times - your voice buzzing, buzzing through damaged speakers. In the grasp of the machine, you're not sure how much Kazuya hears of it: Sometimes, corospant flickers along the cables and through him. Sometimes, there is the liquid rustle of metal gliding sleekly over metal.Now and again - as the Device does its work - it drags him into true slumber.But he hears you out, as you unburden yourself. From the first to the last. You're at the point of the true beginning, at the red-streaked skies of Nara Dreamland. Where the Nihl Sphere tumbled from Hecate's grasp and- And Kazuya speaks, at last. His voice - modulated by his voxponders, within that golden helm - is soft. Internal damage, or rust from disuse? You can't tell."Hecate," he says, almost to himself. As if piecing together part of the mystery at last. (Continued)
>>2247858"-I knew she wasn't..."A pause."...natural," he says, at last. "Natsumi, she...I thought she was just jealous. Envious of her." There's a note in his voice that might be an old wound, closer to the surface than you might think. You're not the only with secrets - but you can hear the catch in his words, the questions you have no answer to: Is Natsumi alive? What happened to her? Where is she? Is she-He doesn't ask, to spare you."There was something - off - about her from the start. Something I couldn't put a name to, something I couldn't place. Something about her that was..."The Device groans, around him, as he tries to move. "-Less than real, I guess. Or *too* real, maybe. But - I...Shit, I couldn't have *known*-"He exhales a breath he doesn't need. Static blisters the narrow space, the best analogue a Player can make."And that was where - That was how she died."Yes. No. It's complicated.Blue light flickers in the eyeslits of Daegal's gleaming helm. He lowers his voice, as if he knows he's stepping on treacherous ice."Anon. I - ah, shit. Do you still-"Perhaps it's his surroundings that decides him - The thought that there's nothing to lose by asking. The Underworld strips away all illusions, after all. "-do you still love her?"[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>2247865> "Yes. I always will."
>>2247865"I do. And I don't think I'll ever stop hoping to see her again."
>>2247877>>2247871>>2247868He stiffens, fractionally, at your answer. "But-" Kazuya begins - He catches himself, just in time. The single word lingers, in the frayed space.The rest of it. Bardiel. Rust Kaiser. The Thief. It's a mad jumble, one you've yet to untangle. Paths, criss-crossing and intersecting - Bringing you here, as inexorable as the passage of time. What would have changed? What could you have changed?Chrome Cyph-"Natsumi-" His voice might break. "-All this time, she was fighting *alone*-"Faintly, almost betrayed now: "...And she didn't tell me?"She didn't tell you, either. Not until later, much later, when it was too late for anything to be undone.After: The Hollow Sun. The Black Tri-Stars. Kouichi, and Bishamon. Meeting Palladium Rook. Haze. Just memories now, the two of them. The plans, the strategies, for the attack on the Hive. The preparations for war in the dark.Then - Cybele, before and after."Holy *shit*." Kazuya's voice, even filtered, is blank of all emotion except a kind of terrible awe, a disbelief. "Why did you-""*How* could you-""This was when...When you were with-"Then, with dawning horror, a kind of belated realization."Did Mio - Did she...""-Does she *know*?"[ ] "I didn't have a choice, Kazuya."[ ] "Yes."[ ] "What would you have done?"[ ] "The White Joker told her."[ ] "..."[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>2247916>"The White Joker told her.">"What would you have done?"
>>2247916>[ ] "Yes."
>>2247934>>2247925>>2247920>>2247938> "The White Joker told her."> "Yes.""Oh, God," Kazuya says, his voice thick with horror. "Oh, God."His orichalcum helm betrays no emotion, but you can tell what he's thinking. His dismay is written all over him, motionless as he is. "You-" he falters, finding the words. "You could have *stopped* all this. If you hadn't - If you didn't...!"> "...""Jesus, Anon. What the hell were you thinking? All those *people* - Those poor damned bastards - all of them fighting for-"Daegal has to stop. Words fail him."And you - And *Kouichi*-"The Vitruvian Device's atonal moan shifts an octave. Tiny filaments, infinitely fine, etch circuit-patterns across the surface of the black metal, fanning out from Daegal's fingertips. "An - *Joker* - he's going to kill you for that, you realize? The next time he meets you, he's going to *kill* you.""I thought - You're always so damn *sure* of yourself. Even *after*..." He shudders. Draws a needless breath. "-Even *after* everyone...*After* everyone-"Died."All this time, I was *following* you - Backing you up, *every step of the way*-"Kazuya's tone is venomous. It shows, even through the hollow metallic ring of his voice."I *looked up to you*. I thought...I - I thought, you were how I wanted to *be*-"(Continued)
>>2247945>>2247945> [X] "What would you have done?""I-"A pause.Your question stops him, mid-sentence. Frozen as he is, the sudden stillness is almost shocking. He goes silent, like a machine switched off.You can almost see the gears of his mind working. Mulling it over, after the first flush of anger has faded. Kazuya's always been quick to laugh, quick to anger - But even emotion fades quickly, here. Now, perhaps more than ever, he has all the time in the world to shape his answer.The fire flickers lower. The Vitruvian Device returns to it's work. Power hums, in the conduits beneath the ground - the firelight flaring, briefly, as more pages catch light. Time passes.The cant of Daegal's helm remains the same, locked in the default position. There is a sound like the faintest grind of gears: Perhaps he's already been pulled under, into true slumber.You watch the play of the flames, as the storm continues to batter the walls of the forgotten library. "-where would I even start?"A low crackle, so low - for a moment - you wonder if you've imagined it. But the fitful blue embers in Daegal's eyeslits are brighter, now - an actinic blue. Turning him, to face the rising tide.(Continued)
>>2247954"I...would've lied less. Told the truth. Been true to myself," he says, softly. "That's what I was thinking. That's what I'd have done, if it was me.""Only - It's never so simple, is it?""The more I think about it - All the 'ifs' and 'may-have-beens' - I..." His voice trails off, to a muted whisper. "-I don't *know*, Anon. It's...It's too big. There's just - It's just too much.""There's the good, and the bad, and...I - I don't know if I could have done it.""I keep thinking...It should be *obvious*. There's what's right, and there's what's *wrong*, isn't there? But then - I ask myself what's *necessary*, what's needed and..."He laughs. It's choked, grinding. Like slow machine-gun fire. Not much of a laugh at all, almost a sob. "I don't know how you can stand to be-""...I don't know how you can bear to be *you*.""God. I don't know what you've got in your head. I don't - I'm not sure I *want* to know. But-"He swallows. The dry clunk of an auto-loader, of hydraulics, deep within."-I pity you, Joker."[ ] Free
>>2247966"I'm no longer Anon to you, am I?"
>>2247966"I'm glad I never let you kill anyone."
>>2247966"Don't. Pity Anon, when this is over, Kazuya. But I'm the Red Joker. You're Daegal, and we've got a long, long road ahead of us."
>>2247966> It's been a real case of the Mondays, lately.
>>2247966"*Bitter laugh* Most days I don't know how I can be me either. But that's how you survive Kaz - you put one foot in front of the other and keep moving."Good to see you back OP. Almost lost hope of ever seeing our favorite suffering hero(?).
>>2247979>>2247984>>2248001> "I'm no longer Anon to you, am I?""I think-"A pause. Searching for the words."-I think Anon died a long time ago," Kazuya says - Softly, almost gently. "He was a good friend, and I wish-"A catch to his voice."...I wish I'd known him better."> "I'm glad I never let you kill anyone.""But you would, if you *had* to." There's no judgement in his voice - Only a kind of acceptance. As if to say: That was then, and this is now. And now, all that remains is necessity.>>2247995"Yeah," he says. Heavily, with a kind of awful finality. "-Yeah.">>2248053> "Most days, I don't know how I can be me either. But that's how you survive Kaz - you put one foot in front of the other and keep moving."Yes. The one thing that has never failed you, ever.Head down. One foot in front of the other. Inch towards daylight - For as long as it takes.(Continued)
>>2248057For the longest time, there is only silence. True quiet, at last - As the fire flickers low, almost to nothing. The store of papers within the vault is nearly exhausted, the bleak, hollow illumination doing little except to make the darkness dirty.The great machine murmurs. The low, grinding hum shifts, a subtle change in pitch. There is a metallic tang in the air, now, rising from the heavy, matt-grey platform of the Vitruvian Device. The faintest trace of coolant vapor roils, like mist in the yellow light. Gears chatter and whirr.Daegal draws a shuddering breath. The light in his eyes flicker - blue, blue, green. His optics, damaged by Phantom Edge's scythe, have been restored at last."Do you..." he begins - Tentative, now. Almost afraid of the answer. - "...do you know where we're going?""-Do you have a plan?"[ ] "Find a way back to the real world. That's all that matters."[ ] "The Joker's Memory does. There's something it wants to show me, somewhere it wants me to go."[ ] "We have to keep moving, that's all."[ ] "We have to find somewhere safe. I don't know how long this place will last."[ ] "I've told you all I know. What do you think?"[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>2248067>"The Joker's Memory does. There's something it wants to show me, somewhere it wants me to go.">"We have to keep moving, that's all."
>>2248067JQOP HE HAS RETURNED.[x] "Find a way back to the real world. That's all that matters."[x] "The Joker's Memory does. There's something it wants to show me, somewhere it wants me to go."Pause.[x] "We have to find somewhere safe. I don't know how long this place will last."
>>2248067>[x] "I've told you all I know. What do you think?">[x] "The Joker's Memory does. There's something it wants to show me, somewhere it wants me to go."
>>2248067>[ ] "The Joker's Memory does. There's something it wants to show me, somewhere it wants me to go.">[ ] "We have to keep moving, that's all."
>>2248070>>2248071>>2248072> [X] "Find a way back to the real world. That's all that matters."He grunts, monosyllabic. You know what Kazu-You know what Daegal's thinking. What he fears - That this is merely a moratorium, that he'll be broken, dying, when he returns. He's asked the question before, and your answers - that you do not, cannot now - give him no comfort."...all that matters," he murmurs, under his breath. "-All that remains."> [x] "I've told you all I know. What do you think?"> [x] "The Joker's Memory does. There's something it wants to show me, somewhere it wants me to go.""That's it? That's all we have to go on?"His gaze settles on the Joker's Memory - that pale, ivory cube, the pristine surface marred only the lines of the emblem seared into the surface. It differs, subtly, from your own in a way that you cannot quite put into words.A sigh."...It's something, at least. I just hope..."> [X] "We have to keep moving, that's all."> [X] "We have to find somewhere safe. I don't know how long this place will last."The walls have held - So far. The Library still stands - For now. But you know, better than anyone, that the reprieve is not forever - It could change, all of it, in the blink of an eye. And there's the more insidious threat: the urge to surrender, to give entropy its due. To simply wait, to sink into a sleepless torpor, to wait for oblivion or the end, whichever comes first. You have a destination, at least. A destination, and a waiting mystery.It's more than you had, the first time.(Continued)
Holy shit it's back, and just when I caved in to the temptation of archive diving
>>2248074"How-"There is a low sound. A drone. Daegal, abruptly - between the space of one breath and the next - falls silent.The base of the Vitruvian Device is - abruptly, without warning - suffused with amber light. It spreads up the grooves, growing brighter as it does. Energy coils glow, around the throne - the thick bundles of cabling, threading into it from all sides, beginning to pulse. To throb.What-A high-energy reaction, building. The walls begin to shimmer, with multicoloured energies - the earth begins to quake. It is as if the entire structure is a single instrument of vast proportions, giving vent to a droning note-The power makes the air shake.It's never been like this before. Before, the Vitruvian Device would discharge a single burst of actinic lightning - the frame juddering, the Player cradled in its grasp lighting up from within, for one brittle, brilliant second-But then the columns burst into blood-red illumination, and as light flares to life - You see it. You see the vast web of golden filaments that sear forth from Daegal, working into the very substance of the throne: A second layer of circuitry, overlapping the first. Enhancing it, amplifying it-The black steel gleams, as if burnished. Jags of amber lightning cise across the surface, as radiance races and shimmers - the ground rumbles, buckles: Beneath Daegal's hands, new protrusions form - Lion's-heads, pushing out of the metal, his gauntlets curling over them, gripping tight-His head snaps back. His entire body goes taut. He *howls*.It is monotone, furious. It is all the worse because it is *not Kazuya's voice* - It is a coded blurt, a command engram of startling purity, so information-rich, so complex, your HUD blisters with weird, twitching sigils- There is a *boom*, a rush of breaking thunder. The Vitruvian Device - reconfigured into a conduit, a beacon of appalling power - spews forth it's light. (Continued)
>>2248087The sound it makes - blazing with cold fire - blots out all thought.Somewhere - somewhere deep, deep down, beneath your feet - great reactors flare. The Vitruvian Device shudders, as if in agony - Smoke seething from the machine's depths, as it trying to twist itself apart from the sheer magnitude of the forces channeled. The base remains, a sphere of ink-black steel, surrounded by a racing tempest of fire and annihilating light - There is a gleam, a glitter, as golden filaments contort themselves into the shape of phantom mechanisms, laced with golden fulguration, as arcs of seething matter drag across the edges of the blazing frame-01000001 01001001 01001110 00100000 01010011 01001111 01010000 01001000 01010010 00100000 01000001 01010101 01010010 00100000 01000101 01001110 01000111 01010010 01000001 01001101 00100000 01000101 01001001 01001110 00100000 01000011 01010010 01000101 01000001 01010100 01001001 01001111 01001110 00100000 01010011 01001111 01000110 00100000 01000110 01001111 01010010 01000111 01000101 00100000And still that never-ending howl, that monotone shriek forced from Daegal - Forced *through* Daegal-[ ] "Daegal! Daegal, wake up!"[ ] Disconnect him.[ ] Cut him free.[ ] Smash the Device.[ ] Wait.[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>2248087oohh shit. Daegal got a throne.
>>2248091>Wait.Seems to just be his usual upgrade thing. Violent as this is, it hasn't hurt him before.
>>2248091>[x] Wait.creation forge engram? yes please.
>>2248091>[ ] Wait.
>>2248094>>2248095>>2248108Your optics cut out. The maelstrom of power reaches its peak, the entire building trembling around you - Before all sensation is momentarily lost, you have a glimpse of the Vitruvian Device - no, the throne's - great metal roots, going down and down, branching into foundations under the shimmering veil of light. Hololithic panels wink to life, as columns of gold fire sear upwards - terrible energies unshackled, as cracks begin to skitter up the walls...-Too much. Too soon. The place is shaking itself apart.Daegal is too bright to see. Plumes of silver sear outwards, from the throne's poles - carving great arcs across the splintering walls, wild jags of power shearing through the faded images etched into the steel, weeping mercury from the tears- Instinct alone saves you. You hurl yourself flat, as fire thunders overhead. Hissing white noise fills your auditory sensors, as waves of heat and light buffet you, whipping past your armor, as more power is drawn from the conduits far, far below...There is the vast *beginnings* of a sound - As, like a toy in the hands of a cruel child, the cyclopean building is pulled apart.(Continued)
>>2247774Good to have you back JQOP, how've you been?
>>2248153The far wall shreds itself open, with a hideous metal-on-metal shriek. The storm howls in.It is a palpable force, poisonous vapor slipstreaming and spiralling like ink in fast water - A hard rain sleeting down, the distant peal of thunder lost in the splintering crashes of great slabs of stone. The library's structure is collapsing, pancaking into itself-The floor becomes a slope. The world lurches, sickeningly, off its axis. Some fundamental and catastrophic is taking place, some primal transfiguration of the blighted land - Whatever Daegal has done, some interaction of his power with the Vitruvian Device has brought about the end of the area as you know it. There is an entirely different type of anguished scream, as the Vitruvian Device rips free from it's moorings. The golden light sputters out - the sound of collapsing stone giving way to the squeal of metal-on-metal, as everything *moves*, juddering and sliding forward and *down*-Beyond, beneath storm-streaked skies - A vast canyon, filled with lightless white specks, bleached and pitted from countless years in the eerie half-light...For one dizzying moment, you think they might be skulls. The weakened platform has shredded. The rear half of the structure - no, all of it - is tipping off. The backward slide accelerates - hurricanes of black ichor, of loose debris of grit, buffeting you as the remorseless clutch of gravity wrenches you back-And with a sudden, jarring lurch, the ground is gone. The shredded lip of the chamber is gone, too. And then you are falling.You miss the grand destruction by moments, as the vast structure comes down like an avalanche, folding level into level, collapsing storey into storey. The seismic violence of the destruction is astonishing, rubble and massive fragments sliding off into the gulf - Orange tiles and support beams exploding and shattering, in clouds of churning dust. A scraping grind-An elephantine block of black stone tumbles towards you, the noise of the tumult reaching a roaring peak. Fist-sized chunks of debris pelt your already-ravaged armor, the huge shadow of the tumbling structure growing darker, darker, as it swells to fill your world-HP: 43.21%COBALT BOOSTER: 153%ASSAULT SHROUD: 135%METER: 19%ENCROACHMENT: 7%YOU HAVE CONTROL
>>2248177We ought to dodge that block of stone.
>>2248177I think our abruption jets still function, so if we can't escape on our feet we should probably juke this with those.Been a while so having to refresh myself on our equipment (and what's broken)On the other hand it's our only use of them until we escape/find some way to repair ourselves.
>>2248177Shit, did Daegal just get burried under all that?
>>2248157(It's been a busy few months, but fortunately I've had more time recently.)>>2248184>>2248186(Your Abruption Jets take a few turns to recharge, but are otherwise not limited in their use - I think you may be referring to the Scrander Bolt, which has a single charge.)Your gyros shriek, as you wrench your legs to the side - Angling your body, aiming it in the shadow of the crushing descent. Now and again, chunks of smoking stone, or a hunk of razor-sharp metal, overtakes you on your long, plummeting fall - Seemingly to drift down at various leisurely paces, into the black-threaded fungal forest below. They strike like meteors, spores swirling up in the air in tiny clouds of putrescene, whirling in the storm-lit gloom-Your Tempest Scrander is a twice-crushed ruin, dead. But your Abruption Jets-When they kick in, the impact is a blunt as a grunt of pain. It whips you upwards, so suddenly the momentum nearly breaks you in half: Stress warnings flare at the joints of your armor, your body almost folded back- It wrenches you out from under the falling block, by less than a meter. Not nearly enough - Your legs swing high, auto-reactive talons deploying, meeting the plateau of black stone with your boots..-And you kick as hard as you can. Servoes in your limbs groan, as you're shot wide - Tumbling through the black rain, through the buffeting winds, amid a hail of falling debris. Overhead, furious ripples of lightning striate the heavy clouds - the light grows yellow, the storm's distortions whining and shrieking instrusively across your HUD. The Tempest Scrander fizzles and spits at your back, as you try to right your spiralling descent. Nothing - It's too damaged to provide any thrust, any lift. Your Abruption Jets go dead, as you roll onto your front, as you bank hard-The petrified forest rushes up to meet you. Like upturned, thorny trees, the stalk thickets - viewed from above - are like a jumble of giant's bones, carelessly discarded by some vast predator. Then the first lightning bolt hits you. It is savage, yellow-white and phosphorescent - The massive, detonating impact oddly hollow, aftershock electrical blooms crackling like garlands of blue wire around your scorched armor. Your HUD flickers and scrambles into gibberish, temporarily mauled by the discharge dissipating from your armor; your Cobalt Booster, cracked orb flickering, thrums with new life, with new charge-In the aftermath of the brilliant, blinding flash, you have just enough time to bring your arms up, before-The impact is so total, so all-consuming, it blots out all else.BLACK.(Continued)
>>2248226I'll have a nice laugh if this is what ends up killing us.
>>2248226(HP: 14.78%)......In the darkness, a smell of ammonia and rotten meat. A sound that mingles seismic rmabling and ethereal piping - the beginnings of a low, droning buzz...A scrape of teeth. The clamp of a vice, around your wrist- Your vision returns. Underneath, troglodyte things squirm and scurry - the ground rustles with what might be white cilia, or worm, writhing and burrowing beneath you. The skitter of detritus feeders, long-legged metallic beetles scuttling across the ruptured ground...Something has you in its grasp. Something the size of a large dog, but longer, lower - moving on six lean, weirdly-jointed limbs. An eyeless head - just a vast set of lamprey jaws, filled with hundreds of transparent fangs - twitches and ripples with long sensory bristles. It is translucent, all viscous tissue and filmy flesh - With a good grip on your wrist, the tips of that awful teeth biting, gnawing, trying to find a way through the overlapping plates of scorched armor.HP: 14.78%%COBALT BOOSTER: 170%ASSAULT SHROUD: 80%METER: 22%ENCROACHMENT: 3%YOU HAVE CONTROL
>>2248238(Gentlemen - I'd love to continue. Unfortunately, it's extremely late here, and I need to turn in for now. Good night, and God bless. You've been a wonderful audience, and I hope to see you again next time.)
>>2248238Better blast the fucker with our remaining Vulcan.>>2248245Great to have you back OP.
>>2248256>Better blast the fucker with our remaining Vulcan.Just slash it to ribbons with our shroud, then feed on its body via scylla.I may be disappointed that I missed the thread, but I'm fucking glad that OP has come back.We've missed you.
Man am I upset I slept through this...>>2248577For what its worth in this thread, I'll agree with you. According to our damage chart Scylla should still be functional.Failing that, drawing and shooting with Rubicante would likely be better than using the vulcan. No wind-up time.
>>2248091>01000001 01001001 01001110 00100000 01010011 01001111 01010000 01001000 01010010 00100000 01000001 01010101 01010010 00100000 01000101 01001110 01000111 01010010 01000001 01001101 00100000 01000101 01001001 01001110 00100000 01000011 01010010 01000101 01000001 01010100 01001001 01001111 01001110 00100000 01010011 01001111 01000110 00100000 01000110 01001111 01010010 01000111 01000101 00100000Translation: AIN SOPHR AUR ENGRAM EIN CREATION SOF FORGE Initial Conclusion: Daegal's suit needs a spellchecker installed.
>>2249898Ain Soph Aur is Hebrew and a Kabbalistic concept meaning "Light Without Limit/Infinite Light/Limitless Light, which I don't really understand enough to summarize. It's also a JRock band.So in English I think this means>Infinite Light Engram One: Creation of Forge?Hopefully Daegal will be able to pull it off before we die.
>>2248245Joker, you've always posted when I was in my darkest moments and brought your fantastic quest to bear in making my day infinitely better. It's so damn good to have you back, OP.
>>2250059(Thanks, that means a lot to me.)>>2248577>>2248807There's a whirr - the low thrum of your Plasma Vulcans deploying, armor sheaths to bring the barrels to bear. The skinless horror slithers forward, the tip of the massive jaws closing around the end of the cannon barrels, gnawing with mindless hunger. Your fist clenches down on the stirrup grip, ready to rake it to pieces-And instead, you hear:Fzzk.Sparks shoot from your wrist joint. A row of warning icons illuminate in fiery red along the bottom of your HUD, the pinging misfire tone echoing within your helm. The fall's screwed your Vulcans, jarring the energy feeds out of the lock - the charging elements smoking with a burgeoning *hiss*, slivers of sharpnel gouged into the conduits.Teeth scrape, raking hollowly against the scarred joints of your armor-And then Scylla's blunt, eyeless maw - An uncoiling length of red-alloyed endosteel - lunges out from the corner of your vision, and spears into the creature from the side. Jaws piston wide, then snap shut with bulleting force - viscous tissues and filmy flesh scattering in all directions, as the thing flops over. It *shrills*. An awful, subsonic pulsing of distress, as Scylla drives into the cavernous wound in the thing's gut. A thick arterial-black sludge vomits across your arm, as Scylla's maw chews through flesh and unidentifiable organs--then vetebrae.The horror flops to one side, and rustles as it dies. Colorless fangs are embedded into your right arm, like shards of glass, as you pull your arm free.(Continued)
>>2251239At the base of your reinforced spine, a fierce surge of heat. Motes of green light gather, sketching schematic lines against the ragged ruin of your left arm - Like a mechanist's diagram come to life, the endosteel skeleton takes shape, first: Myomer muscles layering across the bone, in a bonded weave - then articulated brass plates, locked in place by reinforcing struts.Phantom connections form - the ache of the incorporeal nerve system and power feeds, linking up as servomechanisms whirr to life, a momentary dizziness coursing through you as your gyros compensate for the shift in balance. You flex your fingers, experimentally, as ticks of lightning leap across your spined knuckles. The new limb is barely-formed and exquisitely vulnerable, raw myomer spidering across exposed mechanisms and ceramite plating-...But it feels good to have two arms again.You make a fist, and whorls of flame spiral across the newly-formed limb, as CHAGAN's kill-markers flicker - for a moment - to life.(Continued)
>>2251244Underfoot, the carrion-eaters are already swarming over the fallen horror, to feed. Barbed cilia coil around the ruptured form, probing, gouging - In a moment, then another, the half-emptied shape is lost in an thickly-bristled outgrowth, the first stalks of death's-head fungus pushing up from the soil.Around you, the land is a miasmal waste. Black rain splashes down onto the gouged, punished ruin of the forest, spores swirling thickly in the air amid clinging sap-mists. The Library's collapse has left open wounds of shredded plant-fibre, wrenched-up loam and pressure-flattened craters on all sides, where meteors of masonry came plunging down-Your Argus System is still dead, the sensor gem dull and lightless. Only static comes across the Dirac Channel, something that might be the persistent drumming of rain.There: About a mile ahead. A trace signal, the faintest frequency-pulse from Daegal's icon - About a mile ahead of you, the pitted boles of the death's-head trees arrayed thickly, like a wall of bone. Wherever he is, he isn't moving. [ ] Head directly to him. There's no telling what might've found him.[ ] Circle around. There's no telling what you might run into.[ ] Approach carefully - Something else might've seen that display.[ ] FreeYOU HAVE CONTROL
>>2251249>[X] Head directly to him. There's no telling what might've found him.
>>2251249>[x ] Head directly to him. There's no telling what might've found him.
>>2251249>[ ] Head directly to him. There's no telling what might've found him.Huh, regrowing our arm was easier than I thought. And it's not even all gross and eldritch organic looking.I'm not at all complaining though.
>>2251249>[x] Head directly to him. There's no telling what might've found him.Can we pick of more of the carrion eaters with Scylla as we go? they seem good for essence for repairs
>>2251293I think they might have scurried away really fast?But yeah in a situation as dire like this, I don't think we're above grinding level 1 rats if it's feasible.
>>2251293>>2251301You push forward, through the petrified forest - Between fungal boles, great stalks standing twisted and bone-white above you. Here, the yellow of old teeth - there, the red of a fresh scab. There is precious little lateral visibility - overhead, the nodding vertical shoots soar upwards, pointing incriminatingly at the curdled glare of the sky. They've grown so closely together, you can only see a few metres in any direction.The hail of debris has cleared - unevenly - a path. But it's not long before you're forced to shoulder your way forward, spore-clouds swirling thickly around you as the rain continues to hammer down. The cilia underfoot is tough, bristly - swishing in the wind, filling the air with the creaking, moaning sound of structures in motion as you move through the groaning forest. It is, uneasily, like being a parasite on some vast creature - like threading your way through an infected wound, now weeping pus. >>2251255>>2251258>>2251286There are things at the base of the largest stalks. Swollen black larvae - sack-things the size of your doubled fists, clustered tumorously to the metre or so of stalk closest to the ground. They do nothing but cling, and drink - latched in place, they make a weird hissing, whistling drone that adds to the eerie acoustics.You reach for one, as your shoulder pulverizes an intricate hemisphere of sharp, yellowed thorn. When you pull at it, the larvae ruptures in your hand - a fetid ichor oozing forth, as it crumples in your grasp. Their skin is paper-thin, and the slightest effort is enough to burst them like overripe fruit.The viler things scurrying underfoot, just at the edge of perception, are even worse. They are all mandibles, mated to a body of hard carapace and leather-fleshed tissue: There is no rhythm, no reason, to their mindless gnawing as they squirm around your feet, made worse by their relentless riling.You sweep up a handful of them, and they attack your gauntlet savagely, if futilely. Mandibles clamp against the rivets, until your hand bristles like a knobbed insectile glove - when you close your fist, their abdominal shells crack one by one, sallow brown flesh oozing out forth.Even here, there are vermin.(Continued)
>>2251364(Gentlemen - My apologies, but it's extremely late. I'll finish up the post tomorrow.)
>>2251249If we have ha buffer of health, I'd suggest casting SWARM from HP and feeding on the bottom feeders that are swarming the area.We can make the swarm feed on enemies, multiply itself, then reattach to ourselves as added HP, right? At least I remember that to be a thing.>>2251364Then again, looks like that wouldn't work.
>>2251397I agree, with the caveat of also letting Scylla feast on anything in our way. Who knows when we will have such a great opportunity to get back into fighting shape. Who knows what has found Daegal, but being at full heath when we get there would be awesome.
>>2251364A memory, long-buried, flickers to dim life:> "...taste it. Can almost taste it..."Who was it? Dolor, on his long, winding road into self-destruction? Vanish Kaphrat, gone so suddenly you may have imagined him? ...fistfuls of beetles, crammed into the grille of a barred helm, lisping out words through rusted slats flecked with broken wing cases and leg segments...> "...a little more. Can taste it, I swear-"A fragment, nothing more. A petrified trunk - fungal matter calcined to the texture of yellow-white stone - snaps as you push it aside with your right hand, toppling into the surrounding sea of stalks.Not enough. Perhaps the Leech Module has a threshold for activation - Perhaps these things are not truly alive, an expression of the twisted, tortured landscape rather than individual creatures. There's no way to know. You push forward, moving faster, now. Moving with intent. The rain is tacky, thick like syrup - Underfoot, your armored hooves churn plantfibre and fungal growth to mulch, each step grinding new wounds in the ground. Everything here seems to be in a constant state of decay, as if the abrupt rains bring corruption instead of life. Somewhere in the distance, sickly fires bloom, guttering and flickering. You're close, now-They're waiting for you when you emerge in the clearing beyond.(Continued)
>>2252367The first thing you see, past the thicket, is the wreckage of the Vitruvian Device. Restrained as he was, perhaps the Device's mechanisms protected Daegal - That, or the peerless nature of his orichalcum armor. The separation was not a clean one - ragged conduits spit fitful pulses of energy into the air, a cold, numinous fire smoldering at the very edges of the gibbet-turned-throne. The weight of it - just beyond his ability to dislodge - has pinned him, half-crushed. A multi-tonne mass of metal, trembling in the half-light: Each time it rocks back, it crushes him a little more. You glimpse the gleam of his helm, his upper torso, one arm splayed against the rotting ground - One gauntlet pawing feebly against the earth, leaving deep furrows.The figure above him is tall, lean, like the shadow of a man cast long by a sinking sun. Its form is black, sharp, like an obsidian knife. A mask - a face - hangs at its waist, white as bone, ivory carved into an expression of purest horror.A name: θ-IXODIDAEIt holds a curved blade to Daegal's throat. You don't like the look of that knife - Curved, like a serpent's tooth, it groans in θ-IXODIDAE's fist. The blade ripples along its length, and the half-light coruscates off the singular edge.(Continued)
Whoa, looking cool, Joker!
>>2252387Oh fuck. Maybe the armor awakened one of the original things that lived in the Red.Best case, he's trying to gauge whether we are a threat that needs to be murdered.Worst case, he wants to murder us.
>>2252387The other is worse. It is grey, the grey of decay. Bloated, within its own shape. Features so swollen, so obscured, that all that remains is the faintest suggestion of an outthrust jaw, a jutting prow. And a mouth. Teeth.λ-CHYTRIDIOThere are things that writhe within the overgrown mass, armored by its own bulk. Long arms - too long - blister with jagged spines of bone. It reminds you, for one vivid moment, of Rust Kaiser. Different paths, to the same end.And, at the far end of the debris-strewn clearing: Quadruped, with hooved feet. Fangs, dripping with ghostly white ichor. Odd outgrowths of metal and pitted leather- Their steeds. The noise may have drawn them. They may have been racing the storm, seeking shelter or escape.But when the rasping, hollow sound groans from λ-CHYTRIDIO's speakers, nearly obscured beneath its own swarming, iron-hard flesh, all you hear is hunger.They were waiting for you, with insect patience. After all, they have all the time in the world.When λ-CHYTRIDIO's rasping groan fills the clearing, θ-IXODIDAE tilts the curved blade - And, with the precision of a collector pinning a butterfly to a card, drives it point-first through Daegal's shoulder and deep into the ground below.Daegal spasms, a burbling half-shriek wrenched from deep within. It's not a fatal wound - Not even close. But pinned to the ground, his hand bunching into an fist as raw agony jags through him, he isn't going anywhere.Two of them. Down in the dark for time beyond imagining. But they have never met something like you.[FOREBODE activated]HP: 37.22%%COBALT BOOSTER: 170%ASSAULT SHROUD: 98%METER: 12%ENCROACHMENT: 18%YOU HAVE CONTROL
>>2252414(My apologies for the delay, gentlemen - I must turn in, but I'll respond to your posts the next time.)
>>2252414Ok, so we got two likely biological enemies.And their horses are likely to join in on the fight.So, do we dispose of the horses somehow while engaging the two fuckers?Also, Daegal is the most well-rested of us, so we need to get him back into the fight.Idea: Switch the positions of Daegal and the guy who's standing over him. Warn Daegal over the dirac channel about what we intend to do, tell him to draw his blade immediately to stab downwards once he can move.(I guess using his shield to pulp the guy would also work)We can use Sotto Voce to scare the mounts with pain and possibly hurt Chytridio. However, the costs might be too high.We have Chernobog active again. Flamethrower mode?SWARM the horses, Rubicante on fucker?Whatever we do, we need to alpha strike hard and avoid taking damage.Use the Shroud's after-images. We really fucking need their effect.
>>2252414So that's what happens to Players in The Black.
>>2252387>>2252414Well, on the upside, if we survive we should be able to drain the shit out of their life energy or whatever.I guess the takeaway is that the safe zone was just too ramshackle to withstand Daegal's power?
>>2252424STEAL THE HORSES TO RIDE.
Question. Chernobog, Catoblepas or Malefactor?
>>2252427>>2252428Guys, how about some fucking help?
>>2252417A question about switching places using the emblem; if we swap with Daegal, would be be the ones impaled on the blade or would the blade go with Daegal? In the same vein, if we switch, would we be the ground and Daegal standing, or would be be keeping our same positions?
>>2252424I agree with swarming the horses and setting thr fat sonofabitch on fire, but all that mainly as a distraction to get close and free Daegal while firing Rubicante at 0-Ixiodidae. What are everyone's thoughts?
>>2252424I thought we could only switch ourselves with someone else. And not two separate people.
>>2253797>(COST: 35% METER for exchanging yourself with a target/50% METER to exchange two targets.)From the guide. With POWER_TRANSFER we can cast it from booster.Also, do Harmonia and the NIHL still have charge? Could be useful to cast a free codeburst in this situation.
>>2254175Oh well then yeah that seems like a good investment, though I don't really feel the same for Sotto Voice.The rest of the stuff>Swarm horses>Chernobog flamethrower on big guy sounds good but I honestly do not really grasp the mechanics at all.
>>2254667Now that I think about it, the most efficient way to spook the horses would be to fire a volley of cobalt boosted missiles at them, as those have a napalm effect.The question is how to handle the guy, though. Chernobog might be too unwieldy, unless the range is decently long.And in that case it might be smart to just fire our railgun.Can we please get more than two guys on this case?
>>2252414Punch them in the face
Swarm the horses, Chernobog or Catoblepas on IXODIDAE, maybe nova cannon on CHYTRIDIO?
>>2252424Switching Daegal and IXODIDAE should stall IXODIDAE while he tries to disentangle from the remains of the throne. CHYTRIDIO will probably fire bone spurs then close in for biting. his attacks likely are acidic or spore covered or similar. It’s best if his first attack hits an afterimage.Both enemies should be vulnerable to maesers, if LEUKOCYTE is an option it would be effective.
>>2255047I like this idea. Spend Booster to do the swap while we use the Chagan'd Plasma Vulcan and Sotto Voca to hit fatty. We need that armor penetration and hopefully to build up some meter. Stay out of direct combat with the Abruption Jets if we have to.
>>2252424>>2252433>>2252684>>2254823>>2254831>>2255047>>2256020(Gentlemen, my apologies: I have an extremely bad bout of the stomach flu today, and I've been in a fairly poor condition. I'll try to get a few more posts up this week - Failing that, I'll continue next week.)
>>2264922Stay healthy, OP.
Oh damn It's back!