Your name is Ken. You’re eighteen years old and currently undertaking basic training as a member of the Army of the United States of America. If you had to write a letter to your little sister describing what happened today, it would probably go something like this: Dear Airi,First of all, let me apologize in advance for my messy handwriting (again). The unfortunate truth is that there’s isn’t as much time to write around here as I would appreciate, so I’m writing this under the covers during lights out. If you’ve received this letter by the usual date then it means I’ve gotten away scott free.Anyway, today was somewhere near the middle of the second phase. Apart from the usual daily training and awful breakfasts, they made us strap on our gear (rifle, pack and some other stuff) and run an obstacle course through a rocky forest region. Half the time they made us stop and shoot targets placed in random places. You know how things are, shit like that is important. I think I did alright for myself. Not sure if I could say the same for the others.To answer your question from the last letter: yeah, I was unironically pretty pumped for the exercise. Guess all the stuff the DIs were yelling at me finally sank into my small-ass brain, or they’ve completely snapped me in two. Then again, not sitting on your ass and doing something with your life does feel pretty good. Also, I got attacked by demons. I’m not sure if I should be dead right now.
…You wish you were joking. Unfortunately, you live in a world where this sort of thing can happen. The scene is a hillside road somewhere in North Carolina. Thick vegetation dots the surroundings, traces of sunlight peering through the gaps. Five minutes ago, you and a few other privates were marching up this road with equipment in hand, heads brimming with youthful spirit and the thoughts of beating those bastards in the other unit. Now you’ve all screeched to an abrupt halt because there you’ve all spotted a pack of demons further up the trail and they outnumber you and your fellows two to one.Ugly as sin, teeth as sharp as knives, their mere presence sending several weights plummeting into the pits of your gut. You stare, blink and pray through the moment of darkness that it’s actually the drill instructors playing a joke. Nope, these creatures are definitely demons. You can tell because the instructors don’t take appearance of oversized, rabid hounds or humanoid beings with hollow, cruel eyes and bodies smouldering with embers.“Oh, shit.” A guy from behind you whispers. Yeah, that’s an accurate summation of what everyone is feeling right now. One of the oversized hounds barks and what follows feels like someone just smashed your head in with a sledgehammer. You reel backwards and find your stomach threatening to upend the contents of today’s breakfast.Jesus Christ, what is this? Oh, you soon realize, this is their so-called bloodthirst. These demons are going to rip out your throat, tear your body to pieces and feast on the remains. You’d be impressed by the way they’re conveying this without words if you and everyone else weren’t going through the realization that you are utterly unprepared for this situation.The air is frozen still. Home base seems an eternity away. Neither side is moving; you and others still don’t know what to do fear and the demons sizing you all up as if surveying a particularly juicy steak. The moment any side makes a single action, all hell will break loose. An inevitability if you’ve ever heard one.So with all of that said and done, what will you do?>Open fire with your rifle.>Run in the opposite direction.>Jump off the cliff. Things can't get any worse.>Scream as loud as you can.>Custom option.
>>2378693>Open fire with your rifle.YOLOWelcome back Thorn
>>2378693>Open fire with your rifle.Welcome back, boss. You took your time.
>>2378693>>Open fire with your rifle.We're not playing as K1 anymore? Shame
>>2378693>Open fire with your rifle.
>>2378693>Open fire with your rifle.'Murica
>>2378693>Open fire with your rifle.Good to see you back Thorn
>>2378693>>Open fire with your rifle.
>>2378693>>Open fire with your rifle.Good to see you back TT. How's it been?
Like all the privates going through basic training, you are carrying a rifle. It’s a standard M4 Carbine issued to all members of the Armed Forces. The weapon went through a revision last year to increase its durability and accuracy and the results are in your hands now. This has nothing to do with the demons in front of you, but it’s amazing how standing at the precipice of being brutally murdered makes you think the most mundane things.The rifle is also capable of dealing lethal force with lots of bullets. You manage to remember it through the haze clouding the mind. Raising it, you aim as best as you can and wrap your fingers around the trigger.Unfortunately, fear still burdens your movements, preventing you from making the first strike. The demons choose this moment to roar a collective battle cry and charge forward. One of the oversized hounds kicks up dust and lunges at you, fangs bared straight at your neck.>Roll 3d20>Highest total is chosen, but the results are based on the three individual values. Success values are more valuable than failure ones.>Best out of three.
Rolled 20, 1, 4 = 25 (3d20)>>2378827
Rolled 20, 12, 16 = 48 (3d20)>>2378827
Rolled 1, 17, 2 = 20 (3d20)>>2378827Rollan
>>2378829>>2378830>>2378830Glad to see that the /qst/ dice are similarly rejoicing. Good to have you back, Thorn!
>>2378829>>2378830>>2378833>all those 20s and 1sShouldn't have expected anything different.
>>2378839Taskforce 666, Bladebound Retainer, or Dungeon Officer wen?Also has anyone seen the bird of yelling?
>>2378839>>2378841This return is truly blessed by Nuffle
>>2378839Your taste in GO girls is decent.
>Rolled 20, 12, 16 = 48 (3d20)>(2 + 1 + 1 = 4: Good Success)You squeeze and three consecutive rounds burst free from the barrel of the carbine. The first two merely nick the advancing the demon on its hide, but the last one ploughs straight through its upper body. Rancid dark blood and inhuman flesh spray from the hole. The momentum of the bullet knocks it aside and out of your tunnel vision. For a fleeting moment, you are elated at the fact that you may have dealt with the enemy. A small, hopeful smile appears on your face.This is quickly vanquished as one of the burning humanoids slams its shoulder into your chest, promptly flinging you to the ground. The world tumbles and spins. Then it stops as the demon pins you down with its massive body. You’ve now got a close view at the numerous glowing cracks in its skin and the horrible rushing flames deep within its mouth. It screams with anger, buckling your eardrums, sending ash flying across your face. It punches you once in the gut and you receive the twin nightmare of burning pain and something important fracturing. >Try to shoot it from your position.>Attempt to throw it off.>Surrender.>Stab it with your knife.>Custom option.
>>2378898>>Stab it with your knife.
>>2378898>Attempt to throw it off.Remember the basics of CQC!Do you actually get ammunition for your rifle when in Basic? Seems liable to lead to a lot of NDs.
>>2378898>Try to shoot it from your position.
>>2378898>Stab it with your knife.
>>2378900>>2378914>>2378916>>2378907Trying to stab or CQC something that is burning sounds like a terrible idea
>>2378920I would think that trying to throw something that's burning off of and away from us is a great idea.
>>2378898>>Attempt to throw it off.
They made you carry your knife for the exercise. It seemed like a pointless little detail, but the drill instructor tells you jump, you better damn well do it. Now you are grateful that you did, though a contingency strategy to being attacked by a literal man on fire probably wasn’t what was going the instructors’ heads at the time.You grab your knife from its pouch on your belt, just like in practice. The burning humanoid swings it arm back for another punch. In that short window, you shove energy into your own arm and slam the blade of your knife into one of the cracks in the demon’s skin.It doesn’t like that. Not one bit. More cracks appear at the place where your knife struck, a strange hot fluid leaking from within. A piercing shriek escapes its ears as you yank the knife back out, loud enough to rattle your eardrums. You grit your teeth and kick forward with all your might. Despite its size, the demon is strangely light; you knock it back easily enough. You pick yourself off the ground and ready your knife—now crusted with ash yet glowing orange with heat—for another swing.>Roll 3d20>Also 1 counts as a double value for failures, whereas 20 counts as a double value for successes.>Best out of three.
Rolled 6, 7, 17 = 30 (3d20)>>2378973
Rolled 12, 5, 6 = 23 (3d20)>>2378973
Rolled 2, 20, 9 = 31 (3d20)>>2378973
>Rolled 2, 20, 9 = 31 (3d20)>( -1 + 2 + 0 = 1: Small Success)You rush forward and plunge the knife into the chest of the demon. It howls again, this one more agonized than the first. Multiple cracks like fine spiderwebs spread across the chest of its body. You grin and pump strength into your arm to pull the knife out. Nothing happens. It is then you realize the knife is fused to the demon’s body. How this is happening is a mystery, but from the cruel expression stretching on the demon’s malevolent features it’s certainly pleasantly surprised by it.You try to let your hand go, this action costs a precious moment of time. Time that you can’t afford in the slightest. You feel the demon’s hand clamping down on your own, a grip as strong as a steel vice. It then rushes towards the cliff face, dragging you along for the side. Your vision fills with the edges of treetops and the mental picture of several broken bones. You try to grab your rifle with your free hand but it skids out of your fingers. “Shit, Ken!” You hear a voice cry. Ah, that’s your buddy, Kurt. What a nice guy he is to care for you. You’ll certainly enjoy his crappy jokes in the afterlife.The demon shoves forward and down you go. The wind rushes past your ears. Round and around your vision goes. The sky, the foliage and the earth blend together in a spinning cycle until there is a sharp pain and you’re resting atop earth and mulch with the faint image of the demon you fought breaking up from pieces at the edge of cliff and—
“You’re going to die.”Your eyes slam open an instant. Through a blurry haze, they see an unfamiliar cloud-coated sky painted with the light of a soft dawn. You breathe for air and taste dust and heat. Coughing, you slowly climb to the feet. Glancing around vicinity, you see stretches of barren earth all around you, pockmarked by welts and cracks. Heat hazes shimmer in the distance. In distance, you can faintly make out the silhouettes several large, blocky structures. A small wind kicks up dust, sending it at your nose and mouth. You’re not a geography expert, but you’re certain this isn’t anywhere in North Carolina (or America for that matter). The second thing you notice is that your back feels surprisingly light and painless. Most of your equipment is gone. The only thing remaining is your M4 carbine. You pick it up from the ground beside you and check it. Your fingers taste the hard metal frame, the curved portion of the stock. Nothing is out of place or damaged. It all feels very real.All M4 carbines look the same, but you instinctively know that this one is yours. It just feels right. Not exactly the best description, but how else are you supposed to put it?“If nothing is done, you will definitely die.”
Someone is talking to you. Composed and female; the voice contains traits that were lacking throughout your past month. Yet, there is steel in it, one that slices through all the background noise until it is the only thing you can focus on.“Over here, boy.”It’s coming from behind you. You turn around, eyes widening a fraction at what you see.Standing beneath the dried husk of an old tree is a seemingly human girl. She is clothed in black, from the dress on her body to the patternless headband resting on her long, silky hair. The sole exception is the front of chest, which is parted to reveal a section of frilly white lace. She looks young, her stature and proportions reminding you somewhat of your little sister. Give or take half a year and the two would be the same size.Her mouth is an expressionless flat line. The way she’s looking at you is not one of friendly conversation, but rather something that kneads a knot of trepidation inside your chest. It is as if she is inspecting something she has never seen before. Humans don’t do that to other humans, do they? She speaks before you can rattle off the dozens of questions bouncing around inside your mind. “Ken Hirayama. Eighteen years old, of Japanese and American origin and a private having reached the second phase of his basic training. Determined, disciplined like his peers and with a talent for sharpshooting, yet also moments away from a messy, painful death. One would hope that his death would be significant, or at least remembered in some way.” She says, slowly walking forward towards you. Trails of her pitch black hair sway gently in the dusty winds. As she comes closer, a bead of sweat gathers on your brow. The girl’s eyes shift slightly at it. “But no, he will not receive that. The hellhound is mere cannon fodder for America’s invaders, after all.”“Who are you?” An opportunity given, the question escapes as a rasp from your dry mouth. “Where the heck am I?”The girl stops a few metres in front of you. In contrast to her dark clothes, her visage is pale, reminiscent of dolls found in antique stores. Her eyes on the other hand, are anything but delicate. Sharp and watchful as a hawk’s, yet bearing the kind of weight that could pin giants. Dark violet pierces straight into ordinary brown and you find yourself rooted on the spot. “My name is Akasha-Alea and I am a spirit of war.” The girl says, “It is a pleasure to meet you, Ken Hirayama.”[Choose only one]>“You’re not going to hurt me, right?”>“Am I dreaming?”>Aim your rifle at her.>“Answer my questions, damn it!”>Custom option.
>>2379069>“Am I dreaming?”
>>2379069>"How do you know my name?"
>>2379069>>“Am I dreaming?”
>>2379069>Aim your rifle at her.Makes for a good first meeting
>>2379081Not sure if she'd find that amusing or stupid.
>>2379069>>Aim your rifle at her.
>>2379069>“Am I dreaming?”best girl sighted
>>2379069>“Am I dreaming?”>>2379101It's hard to beat homu homu
>>2379069>Custom optionI'd expect something a little more, er, intimidating out of a spirit of conflict.
You stare at the girl, eyes wide.“Am I dreaming?” You wonder out loud.“Indeed, you are.” The girl…spirit named Akasha-Alea answers. “But instead of the fragmented delusions that most of your dreams have undoubtedly been, this dream has real-world consequences for both you and I. Such things are not uncommon in this new age we are experiencing.”So what you’re getting from her words is that this is all real. The girl is a spirit who will act and react based on what you say or do. Spirit. The term is not particularly comfortable. Inhuman beings, often taking the form of living nightmares, wielding strange and dangerous powers. Half a year ago, their kind burst free from rifts in the sky, causing chaos and destruction across all states of America. You saw the images on the television: cities in ruins, corpses in piles and beasts screaming and rampaging across the countryside. Their existence made America go to war, forcing countless numbers of young men and women into military service, you included. Your drill instructors mentioned that friendly spirits allied with the nation do exist, but you’ve never come across one. So, for the most part of your life, you’ve believed that spirits are the enemy and must be destroyed when ordered to. This Akasha-Alea has given no indication that she is allied with America, but then again neither is she attempting to tear out your throat. You have the feeling that if she really wanted, you’d already be bleeding out on the ground.“Okay then, Akasha-Alea.” The name sounds weird on your tongue. “What do you want with me?” You ask, trying to keep your voice level. Showing weakness to this spirit does not sound like a good idea.“I wish to test your potential.” Akasha-Alea states. You’ve experienced many tests in your lifetime, but never one phrased quite as odd as that. “Say that?” You ask.“I have been observing you and your fellow American soldiers for quite some time, seeking those with potential in war. You are one of those few special individuals.” Akasha-Alea responds. “Originally, I wanted to wait until you had finished your basic training before contacting you. However, given your predicament, I thought it would be a shame if that potential was snuffed out prematurely, which why I have brought you here.”
You’re not exactly sure how to respond to that. You guess it makes you feel special? And what the heck does potential in war mean? Yeah, you’re good at shooting things with a rifle and you’re not too shabby in the other aspects of your training, but you’re only a private so…“The question is if your potential will ever amount to anything. One who cannot find it within in true battle is worthless to me.”The single statement sends chills down your spine.“Are you capable of bringing forth your worth in a dangerous situation? Or have I made a random error in my observations?” Her gaze is firm and steely. “I cannot think of a more perfect time to evaluate this.”[Choose only one]>“Are you seriously taking advantage of what’s happening to us?”>“Can I wake up now?”>“Prepare for me to succeed, then.”>Aim your rifle at her.>Remain silent and wait for her to continue.>Custom option.
>>2379235>>“Prepare for me to succeed, then.”
>>2379223Is the invasion only happening in Murrika like a typical alien invasion film?>>2379235>“Prepare for me to succeed, then.”
>>2379235>>“Can I wake up now?” If you're just going to sit and watch, there's a war out I kinda need to be awake for.
>>2379235>“Can I wake up now?”
>>2379235>Prepare for me to succeed, then.”
>>2379235>“Prepare for me to succeed, then.”
It might be from the sophistry in the woman’s dialogue, but you get the impression that she doesn’t exactly have high hopes for your performance. Thus, you feel inclined to disprove this hypothesis and pass this strange test of hers with flying colors.“Prepare for me to succeed, then.” You mutter. “Confidence, I see.” She says, “It’s good to have, but don’t let it get the better of you.”The possibility that this might be what she wanted all along does not escape you.“Before you leave, I should talk about your reward for succeeding. Should you pass my test, I’ll accept you as my mentee.”“A what?” You ask.“A mentee. A student whom I can teach. Have you ever heard of a spirit mentorship?” Akasha-Alea asks.You shake your head in response.“I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised. A spirit mentorship is when a powerful spirit takes a human under their wing and teaches them their craft. It’s something that’s happening more and more these days, given the reunion of our world and yours. Yet, it is still considered a rare opportunity.”She steps closer until your faces are almost touching. A violation of your space, yet you cannot bring yourself to object. Her tone is calm as ever, yet you catch a glimmering spark within those deep, dark irises. “A new age is blossoming in your world. With it, countless opportunities have arrived. Tell me Ken, do you seek power? Does the sight of seeing your enemies battered and ruined excite you? Do you wish to sharpen your skills to superhuman levels? Is there appeal in rising through the ranks of the military, witnessing your peers gaze at you in awe and watching your foes scurry at the mere mention of your names? Should you prove yourself to me, I will give you the chance to make all of these things happen, and more."She steps back, her excitement vanishing like the dust in the wind.“Let me go over the terms one last time. Survive your encounter with the demons and make it to safety, I will take you as my mentee. If you fail, then that is the end of you. Now, I ask again, do you accept?” Of course you accept. You can’t die here. The reason for that is…>“I have a family waiting back home…”>“There’s no way in hell I’m dying like this!”>“I want that power for myself.”>"There's still something I need to do...">Custom option.
>>2379308>“I want that power for myself.”
>>2379308>>“I have a family waiting back home…”>>“I want that power for myself.”The second before the first. The power to protect everything you hold dear.
>>2379308>“I have a family waiting back home…”
>>2379308>>“I have a family waiting back home…”
>>2379308>"There's still something I need to do..."
You have a family waiting back home. A cute little sister and an aging father. Enlisting was the only way you could do anything for them. If this Akasha-Alea is truly what she claims to be, then studying under her will grant you power. Power to protect, support and deliver your family to a better future. In other words, what you signed up for, but better. Besides, considering what’s waiting for you in the waking world, what do you have to lose? This deal is a no-brainer.You nod.“Good.”Her fingers flex. The shape of a claw grip. You open your mouth to object and then her hand her hand lashes forward, fast as a whip and deadly as a rattlesnake. Five points of searing pain mark themselves on your forehead and cheeks. Your feel your body being lifted off the ground. Your head is craned up, forced to look at the cloud-blanketed sky.With some effort, you drag your vision downwards and see that Akasha-Alea is holding your body with your head with a single hand. Not a single hint of tiredness is present on her. You legs instinctively kick at her. One connects and she does not acknowledge it.“I will give you some hints.” She states, “One, you already have all the tools you need. Two, do not be afraid.” You’re about to choke out something along the lines of ‘what the hell are you talking about’ when notice her fingers glowing with a pale light. Myriad lines of bright blue trace themselves across her hand. And then there’s pain striking against every nerve on your face. A steady stream of fresh agony, neither rising or falling. Your entire body stiffens and contorts, your facial muscles most of all. You can’t help yourself. You cry out from it all. Akasha-Alea just watches, impassive.Seconds stretch into minutes. She relaxes her grip and tosses you towards the ground. It shatters into thousands of pieces like broken glass. Beneath it is an endless dark abyss. Akasha-Alea is standing at the edge, gazing down at you. As you sink, unconsciousness spreads itself across your vision.“Best of luck, human…” You hear her call.You black out.
You wake up again. Alone, sprawled across rocky ground, the sounds of gunfire and shouting ringing through your ears. Your head is spinning and pounding, a dual mix of a metaphorical jackhammer and a washing machine. Everything else hurts in the standard way. Get up, your brain tells you. You were attacked by demons. You need to do something about it now!A black dress. the girl in black. Beneath the oak tree amidst the wasteland. A secret test mixed in archaic talk. The resolution to succeed at it. An iron grip on your facial bones. Was she just a dream? No, her name is etched across your mind. Akasha-Alea. She wants you to survive and then she’ll make you her mentee.You try thinking about it some more and get rewarded with another pulse of your headache. Focus, you tell yourself. What do you have with you? You survey the area. Your pack is still attached to your back. It must have cushioned your fall. A knife hilt attached to a hunk of melted metal is also present on the nearby grass. That’s useless now. Nevertheless, you pick it up.Your M4 is lying next to you. The magazine is detached. Why? And how did it get down here in the first place? Still, there’s no reason to complain about being reunited with your weapon. You reach for the weapon and attach it back together.You reach into your pack for your radio. You were supposed to use this in case of emergencies. You can’t think of a more perfect time.You click the switch and only static pours out from the speakers. It’s broken. From the fall, perhaps? Aren’t these things supposed to be durable! Damn it! You shove it back into your pack.The map is gone, but you can estimate you’re not far from the base. At the very least, there should be some form of resistance there. Still, there’s bound to be all sorts of demons roaming the forest and you’re not sure if you can make it back all by yourself. Maybe you could find the other privates and team up…if they’re alive that is.What will you do now?>Stay at your position and hide it out.>Attempt to traverse the forest alone.>Try and find your buddy.>Custom option.
>>2379468>Attempt to traverse the forest alone.
>>2379468>Attempt to traverse the forest alone.Good to be playing again, TT.
>>2379468>>Try and find your buddy.
>>2379468>Try and find your buddy.
>>2379468>>2379476Changing to>Try and find your buddy.
>>2379468>>Try and find your buddy
You contemplate making it through the forest alone. No, bad idea. Not only are you unequipped for that, equipment wise and physically, but there’s no way in hell you’re leaving Kurt behind. Okay, he’s admittedly not the smartest or toughest guy around. Yeah, his jokes are some of the most ear-cringingly awful things you’ve ever heard outside of clickbait Youtube videos. And maybe he’s gotten you into additional punishment-training from to his early attitude against the drill instructors. But at the end of the day, he’s still the friendly New Yorker who bunked with you for more than a month, lent you his precious cigs when you needed letter paper and gave you several welcome leg ups during endurance training. Without his support, you'd probably have ended up the dead last.You wouldn’t be able to look at yourself in a mirror if you left him behind. Holding your rifle tight, you climb up from the ground. The mere act is enough for cause you to wince. Parts of you are bruised at best and fractured at worst. Still, it’s not impossible to walk and that’s what matters.Now, where to start? Presumably Kurt and the other guys ran back down the slope, unless they fell down like you. It’s still a good place to start. You check that nothing’s missing and proceed to walk along the edge of the cliff. This is harder than you would like it to be. The headache has yet to fade and now there’s a scorching sensation racing through your limbs. Sure, you’re generally hot and sweaty when pumped up on adrenaline but this is something else altogether. It’s as if they’ve been wrapped in raw sunlight. Not helping is your wavering vision. Shit, you don’t have a concussion, do you?The air is still quiet, save for the faint rattles of gunfire in the distance. Fellow Americans must be fighting the demons. You can’t discern what position they’re coming from, but it gives you hope that Kurt is still alive. Guy was always good at the camouflaging exercise. The usual sounds of nature are absent.You push past a bush, the leaves scraping against your dirty skin, and freeze. A demon is nearby. One of the oversized hounds. You can hear its hungry snuffles, the bloodlust radiating thick off its body. You duck behind a tree trunk and breathe.What now?>Attack first.>Hide and hope that it passes by.>Create a distraction and run past.>Custom option.
It's good to be back. And now I'm off to lunch. See you all in around 30 mins.
>>2379655>>Create a distraction and run past.
>>2379655>Hide and hope that it passes by.Shoot if it notices us
>>2379655>Create a distraction and run past.
>>2379655>Hide and hope that it passes by.
Back and writing. Someone get us out of this tie please
>>2379777roll for it?
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>2379777Just roll it.1 - hide2 - create a distraction
>>2379790Yeah, I'll just go with this. Thanks anon, next time I'll do it myself.
Can you beat this thing? You’re not sure. While you managed to defeat the last demon you encountered, it also threw you off a cliff. You’re also fatigued and suffering a migraine, so conserving your energy is important. Hide and hope you will remain unspotted? Don’t hounds have good noses? Since this is a demon, you think it’s safe to assume this trait is amplified by several magnitudes. You look at the melted knife and think back to the broken radio in your pack. An idea flashes through your head. It sounds crazy, but you aren’t brimming with options here. You camouflage yourself as much as you can with the limited supplies you scavenge around the area. Rubbing dirt and plastering leaves on your face has never felt so useful. You grab the hilt of the melted knife and place it with the radio in your right palm. You toss both items off into the distance. They bounce off each other as they hit the ground, making a dull metallic sound that catches the demon’s attention. The demon trots off to investigate. You tiptoe out of the bush and go to move past it.Do you succeed?>Roll 3d20>This system is under consideration. Please tell me if there’s anything that could be improved.>Best out of three.
Rolled 10, 13, 20 = 43 (3d20)>>2379822Just don't use best out three with crits with d20
Rolled 10, 16, 5 = 31 (3d20)>>2379822
Rolled 6, 15, 5 = 26 (3d20)>>2379822
You manage to sneak past the demon without much trouble. At one point your boot creaks on a stray tree root, causing you to seize up straight with the fright. Luckily, a burst of distant gunfire sounds at the same time, masking your mistake. The demon seems preoccupied with investigating the strange plastic objects than any noises. Swallowing, you proceed deeper into the forest.The heat remains. It’s become more intense with every minute that passes. Yet you do not sweat. You suffer in silence, wondering what hidden function of the body this. Airi is a fan of medical science, so maybe you can ask her in your next letter. Yeah, you’ll definitely get the chance to write to her again. You shouldn’t think otherwise. A very human shout. The sound of gunfire again, this time louder. You whip your neck in the direction of the noise. Then you’re scrambling over fallen branches and through the trees to get to the source.Located in a small forest clearing, beneath a gap in the canopy, is the sight of several oversized hounds circling a lone US soldier. His fatigues are noticeably burnt. Red welts cover his face and hands. His pack is missing. Despite all the damage, you recognize that face and build.“Kurt?” You whisper.Exhaustion burdens the man’s every movement. He struggles to stand and hoist his rifle up. Not fast enough. One of the oversized hounds lunges forward and headbutts him. Down his rifle goes. He slides across the grassy ground and doesn’t get up.The attacking hound howls. It and the rest slowly step towards to its prey, anticipating the feast that awaits.You need to act now. >Shout to grab their attention.>Open fire and try and not hit Kurt.>Fire a warning shot.>Throw your pack at them.
>>2379886>>Open fire and try and not hit Kurt.
>>2379886>Shout to grab their attention.>Open fire and try and not hit Kurt.The main point is to divert their attention
>>2379886>Open fire and try and not hit Kurt.Show your sharpshooting skills
>>2379886>Open fire and try and not hit Kurt.This will end either excellently or horribly.
>>2379886>Open fire and try and not hit Kurt.
>>2379886>Fire a warning shot
Four enemies, approximately two dozen metres from where you are standing. You have a clear line of fire and their attention is diverted on something. However, that something happens to be your buddy. Hitting him is absolutely out of the question. Yet, it’s a very real possibility if you’re not careful.The theory is simple. Hit all four targets within a few seconds. You’ve passed—no, excelled in tasks like that at the firing range. But doing it at actual enemies while burdened by your own exhaustion and the sensation of a furnace beneath your skin is something else entirely. You know how fast these hellhounds are. Miss one and it’ll rush straight for your throat. Indeed, failure is not an option here.Are you even qualified for this?…of course you’re not. You’ve just a rookie private. You’ve got good scores in shooting, but for god’s sake, you haven’t even made it to the third phase. In the ranks of the Armed Forces, you are little better than the scum they shovel into the garbage bins.But you have to do it. The life on your buddy is on your line here. This is your rifle you’ve got here. You've spent so many hours carrying it around, cleaning its insides and learning its mechanisms. It’s served you well throughout basic. Hold it well, put your faith in it and it’ll reward you with success.You take a deep breath and look down the sights. Treat the rifle as the extension of your self. Erase everything from your mind except hitting the targets. Forget the pain and fatigue. Steady your aim, squeeze the trigger and fire…!>Roll 3d20.>Best out of three.
Rolled 3, 1, 2 = 6 (3d20)>>2379963
Rolled 15, 6, 2 = 23 (3d20)>>2379963
Rolled 2, 12, 13 = 27 (3d20)>>2379963
Rolled 8, 14, 9 = 31 (3d20)>>2379963>>2379965Oh hell.
>>2379975I'm not proud of it either mate
>Rolled 2, 12, 13 = 27 (3d20)>(-1 + 0 + 1 = 0: Neutral Pass)Three bullets per pull of the trigger. The first wave hits the first target. It drops in an instant, leaking its inhuman blood all over the grass. Kurt remains unharmed yet unconscious. Three to go. It’s hard not to notice nearby gunfire. The hounds whirl around to see the front of your rifle peeking out through the shadows of the trees. They growl and sprint towards you. By the time you have done that, you’ve already pulled the trigger. Three more bullets connect and the second falls.The third and fourth howl as they run. The hairs at the back of your neck stand up. No time to think, you need to fire again! You squeeze the trigger.You miss.You get tackled to the ground. Your rifle is knocked aside.The hound is atop you, pinning your chest down with its front legs. They’re bulky and strong and you can’t move at all. You swings its fists against its legs, but to no avail. Its teeth are bared wide, exposing you to its rotten gums and the viscous froth dripping from the insides of its mouth. Its friend is circling you, waiting patiently for it to finish.You look down and notice a scar on the dog’s front. A sign of a wound healed. There’s no doubt about it, this is the same hound that you shot back on the cliff. You look back up and see malicious recognition in their hound’s beady little eyes. Whatever chances you had of getting out alive of this just vanished in smoke.So this is it, then.This is how you die.A certain cynical man once told you that some soldiers are fated to die without meaning or reason. You ever paid attention to his message, as throughout training you didn’t think you’d be one of them. Look at you now. If you had the energy to laugh, you would.Time slows to a crawl. Colors fades from the world Your heartbeats are as thunderous and sluggish as the ringing of a clock tower bell. Visions of your life flash past, blocking out the image of the demon. Birthdays with your sister, walking down the road to school, hanging out with friends at the game store. The drill instructors screaming at you on the bus, the early morning marathons with Kurt at your back, the time you fired up the rifle for the first time and knowing that you had just found your calling. Innocuous yet precious events that will now never repeat in the future. Sorry, Dad, Airi. Guess my time is up now.
And then there is one. You’re back in the barren plain, being held up by the girl in black with her iron grip. Once again, her hands are pulsing with light. Once again, you’re screaming in agony. But this time you notice that her lips are moving. “I have awakened something within you. Use it if you can.” She throws you again and down you go.
An inferno invading every nerve and vein through your body. Blood rushing through your body like a tsunami, pumping your heartbeat so hard its beats feel like the sound of a gong. Your migraine intensifies to the point where it could crack the sky. You clench your right fist so hard the nails dig into the skin. There’s a pressure building inside of you, rising and burning and yet refusing to blow its top. Across your arm, golden lines trace themselves all the way to your fingertips. The demon hound blinks, confused at its prey. Your eyes force themselves open and you glare at the demon with all the hatred and rage you can muster.Power explodes within you and you howl as something bursts free from your palm.What is it?>Flickering, hot flames.>Darkness in material form.>Flashing sparks of electricity.>A spike of rushing air. >The overpowering stench of iron and carbon.
>>2380061>>The overpowering stench of iron and carbon.
>>2380061>>The overpowering stench of iron and carbon.Literal hand cannon.
>>2380061>The overpowering stench of iron and carbon.I am the bone of my gun
>>2380061>The overpowering stench of iron and carbon.
>>2380061>The overpowering stench of iron and carbon.trace on
>>2380061>A spike of rushing air.
Imagine if smells could take material form. Reach into the air, withdraw the iron and sprinkle it over your cornflakes for breakfast. Omnipresent, all-invading, seeping into every pore of your skin. The stench of iron and carbon in the air is that pungent. The demon takes a big whiff and goes crazy. Its grip looses and its uses one of its front legs to bat at its nose. Your right side is free. You raise your right hand and you gasp at what’s on there. Shards of grey metal, sharp as nails, are protruding from the knuckles. The rest of skin is covered in a thin, metallic film. Coursing through the veins beneath the skin is an unknown, mysterious power. Different than adrenaline or dopamine, but nonetheless something that dulls the pain and revitalises your tired spirit.You look at your hand, then at the distracted demon. Two and two is put together. Out goes your right fist. Crunch goes the head of the demon. You withdraw your fist and notice blood on the shards.The demon is flung away, but far from done. It’s quick to recover and glare at you. This time though, there’s hesitation. You eye your rifle to the side and scramble over to grab it. The second demon lunges forward and tries to bite your arm. You smash it with the butt of your rifle and knock it down. The odds are still the same. Two to one. But now you have your rifle and that makes a world of a difference.Looking back, you don’t know what possessed you to do what you did. But in that fleeting moment, fuelled by adrenaline and facing off against literal monsters, it made perfect sense. Your brain registers the weapon in your hand, sending lightning striking across your mind. You grip the magazine of the rifle as hard as you can and will the mysterious power into the container. The sensation is akin to yanking on a tap at full blast. The golden lights on your skin glow as brilliant as the sun. You then aim at the first demon and pull the trigger as hard as you can.>Roll 3d20 for...?>Best out of three.
Rolled 10, 12, 11 = 33 (3d20)>>2380171Ez
Rolled 15, 7, 9 = 31 (3d20)>>2380171
Rolled 10, 12, 4 = 26 (3d20)>>2380171
>Rolled 10, 12, 11 = 33 (3d20)>(1 + 1 + 1 = 3: Good Success)There’s no way you can miss. In your minds eye you see the bullets hitting the target dead on, causing it to collapse to the ground. What instead happens is the demon’s head explodes in a deafening blast. Chunks of brain matter, shards of bone and pockets of blood splatter into the air like the world’s goriest fireworks show. You swear and raise an arm to shield yourself. The deluge washes over you, dirty bone chunks piercing your skin, your uniform staining crimson. The headless corpse of the demon slumps to the ground, a trail of filth gently leaking from the neck stump. Smoke trails from the barrel of your rifle. Silence descends upon the forest. What the fuck was that? You mentally scream. Shit, did I do that? How? Judging from the way the other demon is ramrod still, you’re not the only one to feel this way.Oh right, the other demon. You crane your neck to stare at it in a fashion that could only belong to a serial killer. Eye contact is made and the demon steps back. It proceed to backtrack, whimpering as it does so. Before, it was a terrifying force with origins from a hellish realm far outside human comprehension. There was a snowball’s chance in hell of beating one and getting away unscathed. Now? It’s just like any regular dog, you muse with a small smirk. All bark with a pathetic bite. Once again, the words of the girl in black float through your head. Don’t be afraid. You aim the rifle. The demon yelps and flees towards the direction of the forest’s shadows. You pull the trigger.The process is repeated.
“Kurt! Kurt!”No time to think about what devilry you just pulled. You run up towards your buddy. He’s still lying unconscious in the place where you left him. A quick check of the pulse ensures that he’s still alive. You breathe a sigh of relief. The problem now is how you’re going to wake him up.>Something something his girlfriend.>Douse him with water.>Scream in his ear.>Do the CPR.>Custom option.
>>2380207>>Something something his girlfriend.
>>2380207>Douse him with water.
>>2380210That's a death flag
>>2380207>Something something his mother.
>>2380207>Douse him with water.I wasn't quite expecting the power of sudden induced cranial explosion, but I like it.
You withdraw a canteen from your bag and douse some of its contents onto Kurt’s sleeping face. The effect is immediate. He coughs violently and his eyelids flutter open.“Jap boy?” He moans. Oh good, he remembers the shitty nickname he gave you on the second day of basic. The term spread like wildfire among your peers, to the point where even the drill instructors started using it. If he can recall that godawful piece of unoriginality, then there’s still hope for him.“Here.” You say, extending a hand. He takes it and you pull him up. “The demons.” Kurt gasps. “They’re—”“I killed them.” You blurt out.“You what?” In response, you gesture to your rifle. He boggles at the sight of the metal on your right hand.“What happened to your hand?” He asks. “Shit, Jap boy, is that magic? Are you magic now?”“Never mind that!” You snap. “Kurt, what happened to the others?”“No idea.” He sighs. “I tried to lead them back to base, but we got separated by the demons. Haven’t seen them since. I was hiding in the brush, trying to contact the instructors with the emergency radio but it wasn’t working. Then those hounds found me and I ended up here.”“Same for the radio here.” You say. Now it doesn't sound like a random malfunction. Something or someone must be jamming the signals. Which means this likely wasn't just any random invasion. "Hey, what happened to your gear?”“Ditched it cause it was slowing me down. Fat lot of good it did me.” Kurt groans, running a hand through his dirty brown hair. “So you don’t have a map with you then…?” Your shoulders slump in disappointment“Nah. I think I’ve a good idea of where we are though. I was the one guiding us, remember? The DI bit my head off when I protested.” “You know where base is?”“Think so, yeah.”You stare at him. “Holy shit, if I was a girl I’d kiss you.”“Great mental image, Jap…”The thought of going back to the others is raised, then shot down just as quickly. Neither of you like it, but even with this new power coursing through your right hand there’s not much either of you can do. You both decide to return to base and ask for help. The two of you take a swig of water from the canteen. The cool liquid is infinitely more refreshing than any drink the civvies have. Kurt picks up his rifle and you fasten your pack on your body. You both then tread into the forest, alert for the signs of demons or any other enemies. You’d like to say that you both made it back unscathed and without trouble, but considering that the place is crawling with the bastards, well…>Roll 3d20>Best out of three.
Rolled 13, 9, 19 = 41 (3d20)>>2380272
Rolled 18, 19, 9 = 46 (3d20)>>2380272
Rolled 6, 11, 20 = 37 (3d20)>>2380272
>Rolled 18, 19, 9 = 46 (3d20)>(2 + 1 – 1 = 2: Good Success)Getting attacked by more demons was pretty much inevitable. There’s a big difference from the previous encounters, though. Instead of numbers ranging from one to half a dozen, this time there’s a whole dozen of them!“Run, Jap Boy!”“I am, damn it!”Screw stealth, your boots are pounding against so ground so hard that if you didn’t know any better you’d swear they could start a fire. From behind you hear the grunts and roars of the oversized hounds and the humanoid fire beings. It’s a mad scramble to the finish line, with death as the consolation prize.You contemplate firing your rifle backwards as you run. Since so many crazy things happened today, one more wouldn’t hurt, right? Thus, you do that. You haven’t been trained to fire as you move, ensuring that most of your shots go wide. However, one of those weird bullets hits one of the humanoid fire beings in the chest, caving a massive hole inside it. The rest of the demons momentarily stop and stare at it. Then they snarl and chase after you with increased fervour.“What the hell did you do?”“I shot at one!”“Why?”“I thought it would do something!”“Are they chasing after you?”“No they are fucking not!” If you vocalize it, the statement might turn true! At least you got a bit of a head-start from the action.The ground slopes downwards and Kurt points a finger towards a gap in the forest. “There, I see the base!”You both dash out into open ground. The bottom of the hill. In the distance you see the base—buildings, staff, training fields and all. The whole place is shielded by a shimmering white dome. Something inside of you tingles at the sight of it. You instinctively know that place represents safety.A drill instructor sees you and Kurt through a pair of binoculars. “Run, you lot!” He screams. “Ditch your gear, everything! Go, go, go!”
You shove your pack off your shoulders. It rolls on the ground, arriving in a position that conveniently causes one of the oversized hounds to trip and tumble. Kurt drops his rifle to the side and dashes forward. You refuse and let loose the last remaining bits of your energy.The two of you managed to retreat into the dome with the fangs of the demons mere inches behind you both. The two of you stumble into the space before an administration building, sweat trickling through the gaps in your filthy skins. You notice that there are quite a few other privates around the area. Some are being treated by medics, others are watching the horde outside the demon with horrified expressions.“The backup mages have arrived!” You hear someone yell.“Tell them to get their asses out there!” Another yells.You turn around to see the sight of the demons smashing their fists and clamouring at the sides of the domes. Then, a collective shudder runs through their bodies. They pause, then turn in the direction of the forest and run like hell. “Not so fast, you bastards!”A woman’s voice, brimming with confidence and strength. Twin bolts of lightning descend from the sky and blast into the horde. The unfortunate victims are stricken of life within seconds. Bodies move past you, through the walls of the dome and into the battlefield lying beyond.“You lot never should have come here! Taste the power of America’s Mage Corps!” The woman at the front, presumably the leader roars, “Let’s go, boys!”There's a massive war cry and the mass of bodies surges forth. You stare as they do so. You gape as they not only just fight, but they win. Ice sprayed from the fingers, slicing a humanoid fire being into pieces. Chants from the voices of men, calling down gigantic eagles to crush their foes in their talons. A massive jade hand reaching from the depths of the earth itself, crushing a trio of demons into pulp. The way the tide gets turned is so jarring and brutal is almost makes you feel sorry for the demons. Within minutes, they are reduced to nothing more than scraps. The stragglers limp into the shadows, whining as they do so. Some of the superhuman creatures in human form smirk and chase after them. “Are you boys okay?” One of the drill instructors calls as he runs up. “What happened?”By now, you’re cooled down, the adrenaline draining from your system. “I…” you begin and a shock runs through your body. You pitch forward, eyes bulging and collapse with the sinuses in your nerves exploding with pain.For the third time that day, you fall unconscious.
“Beautiful, is it not? The melding of your magic and your rifle.”Another dream. You’re back in her realm. This time, it’s an instruction room, much like the ones used in basic to teach you about proper protocol. Bright lights, hard desks, even harder chairs. The girl named Akasha-Alea is at the front, talking in the same manner as a lecturer.“Even in this new age, there are so many spirits who refuse to acknowledge modern technology. Outdated mentalities such as that have no place on the battlefield. We are different. We recognize the potential of mixing magic with technology. We have the best of both fields. That is why we will be the most efficient in war.”“Magic…” You mumble. You’re sitting at a desk in the center, head resting on the desktop. “I’m a damn mage now.”“Does the thought trouble you?” She asks.“I don’t know. Am I going to start picking up trucks with my bare hands to throw at demons?”“It is not an impossibility. However, the realm of magic is so much wider than mere brute force.” Akasha-Alea says. “There are other applications that would be more suited to you, I believe.” “What’s going to happen to me now?” You wonder. “The administration will have already assessed your magic potential.” Akasha-Alea says. “And now that they know it, they will never you go. You know how much territory the demons have gained in your country.”“A little over fifty percent…” You mutter back. Akasha-Alea nods. “So they need all the power they can get. Great, my life is about to get more complicated. I sure as hell didn’t sign up for this.”
“Yet, you do not sound regretful. I take it felt good?”“Yeah.” You admit. “I dunno how it worked, but feeling that power through my hand…there was nothing else like it in my life. Seeing that demon’s head pop like a balloon was also pretty damn satisfying.”“The first rush of magic is always unforgettable. In any case, I am pleased to hear that.”You look up at her, curious. “So, did I pass…?”“Indeed, you did.” Akasha-Alea replies. “There were others who attempted before, but you are the first.” “Wow." That's quite something to hear. "Um, thanks, I guess."“There is something else I must tell you. A secondary reward for passing, if you will. I am not just a spirit of war, but also the spirit of firearms.” There’s a trace of a smile on her otherwise composed expression. “Congratulations, Ken Hirayama. You have proven yourself worthy of my mentorship. Feel proud.”
>Twisted Bullets: Subset of Object Imbuement. Causes the bullets to expand on contact with the target, allowing them to increase penetration and disrupt more matter. The effect is similar to hollow point bullets.
>>2380380>the best.jpgDamm right.
It's finally over. Holy shit that took a while. Mmm, taste that delicious tiredness in my fingers and spine. That's the wonderful questing feeling I've been missing all this time. Even though this quest is a remixed version of ATOQ, it is my first time writing about anything related to America and its military. Allow me to apologise in advance if I screw up anything related to American politics, geography military etiquette and protocol, military technology and other such related topics. Seriously though I'll try and do my best to research these things.Thanks to everyone who joined this thread. I was sitting on this for a long time and I'm really glad I could bring itto life. Could've done some parts better, but writing this was a real blast. The fun doesn't stop today though, because there's another session tomorrow! It probably won't be as action packed as today. Same time at 10:30 pm UTC. Hope to see you there!
>>2380394Is the entire world as screwed as Murrika?
>>2380399Stick around and you might find out...
>>2378682I just came here because of the Shaft signature head turn.
>>2380394Welcome back, TT, and hope you can finally stay for the long haul.So are we Shin Megami Tensei now?
>>2380394Glad to see you back
>>2380394Welcome back, TT.We gunmancer/gun whisperer now.Also, good thing Ken's in the US Army. They should know a thing or two about dakka.
>>2380394As long as you don't go full GATE when it comes to America you should be fine.
“Why did I black out again?”“Mana exhaustion. You burned through the resource necessary to perform magic. Don’t fret too much about it. It’s a natural process for newcomers.” “Guess I’m waking up in the medbay again…” You mutter, “Is there anything you want me to do?”“Yes, I would like to explain the contract of our mentorship. It’s important you understand the terms of our interaction.”“They have paper records for these things?”“Not paper, exactly. It is akin like a mutual agreement that is enforced by a brand on our persons.” “…that sounds painful.”Akasha-Alea shakes her head. Her elegant black hair sways from side to side. You idly wonder how she managed to get it to look that good. Do spirits have special shampoo? Airi’s best friend, Michelle, would freak over the quality of your new mentor’s hair. “It’s not.” She answers. “It’s as simple as writing as your name. No, any pain that results from a contract between a spirit and a human usually comes when one party realizes they have not read the fine print and are now suffering the consequences of their incompetence.”“Jesus, that better not happen between us.”Akasha-Alea purses her lips. “Of course not. You’d do well to heed the lesson, though.”She walks towards you and places a piece of paper on your desk. On it is the terms of a contract, all typed in neat Courier New font. You stare at the blocks of text sprinkled with jargon and your brain momentarily switches yourself off. At the bottom, you notice two spaces for signing names.“This will explain everything. Please read it carefully.”There’s a lot to go over and it takes you a good chunk of time. You settle into the semi-comfortable routine of tracing the words with your finger and nodding whenever you understand it. Akasha-Alea watches as you work. When you have finished, you can boil down the mentorship contract into the following important points:-Both parties must mutually consent to the mentorship.-Once set, the contract will last until the death of one of the parties.-The mentor can cease the contract at any time. However, they must provide a good case for doing so. Evaluation of this will done in court.-The mentee can cease the contract at any time. They should think carefully about the ramifications of doing so, including losing access to a vital source of knowledge and the damage towards one’s reputation. Depending on the circumstances, they must also be brought to court.-The mentor must not damage the mentee beyond repair. Violation of this term will result in the mentor being brought to court.-This contract is sponsored by the legal system.You wish you had your notebook with you. You repeat these multiple points to etch them in your head. Hopefully you’ll be able to scribble them down when you wake up.
All things considered, this contract is rather open. Basically, if you are ever dissatisfied by Akasha-Alea’s performance and have a good reason for feeling this way, you can end the contract without much strings attached. The reverse also applies. Of course, what constitutes a good reason is ambiguous, but it’s probably something you’ll know when it happens. “Spirits have a legal system?”“Why would we not?” Akasha-Alea questions. You raise a finger and find you don’t have an answer to that. “Like in your world, it’s best not to offend them.”“Alright, can I have a pen? I’d like to sign this now.”“You’re not signing this now.” Akasha-Alea replies.“Wait, you said…”“I told you to understand the terms. I never said anything about finalizing the contract. Technically, you’re not my mentee and I am not your mentor at this point.”“Then what was the point of reading this?” You ask, jabbing at the contract.“Because we’re meeting some very important spirits soon. I wanted you to be informed beforehand.” She takes away the paper and returns the front. You’re left gazing downwards. Suddenly, the beige white plainness of the desk has become very interesting. “Is something the matter?” She’s back again, now with a small frown. “No, not really…”“Speak your mind. I’d like for there to be a good level of communication between us.” She says.>“A lot of stuff has happened today, is all.”>“I’m wondering how my family is going to react to this.”>“Well…no offense, but you don’t look very threatening.”>“Where is everyone?”>Custom option.
>>2381981>“A lot of stuff has happened today, is all.”>"You're not how I'd picture a spirit of war."
>>2381981>>“I’m wondering how my family is going to react to this.”
>>2381981>"You're not how I'd picture a spirit of war."
>>2381981>What is this court? It's not completely biased towards spirits, is it?
“A lot of stuff has happened today, is all. I’m still trying to process it.” You say, “And, well…”You trail off, unsure if speaking what is on your mind is a bad idea. But Akasha-Alea is still looking at you, imploring you to continue with her gaze. Talk about a rock and a hard place. Being honest is one of the virtues your family thought you since you were very young. On the other hand, offending a being that can lift you off the ground with a single hand does not sound like a good idea. In the end, you decide to bite the bullet and speak your mind.“Well, you’re not how I pictured a spirit of war.” You answer.Akasha-Alea registers this and doesn’t say anything for several seconds. You begin to wonder if you’ve screwed up big time. On the wall, an analog clock softly ticks. “And what do you picture when you think of a spirit of war?” Akasha-Alea asks. You shrug your shoulders. “I don’t know. Something super buff, with a big angry red face and who shouts a lot about destroying the enemy.” Actually, that fits the majority of the drill instructors you’ve faced. “Maybe has goat horns and carries a gigantic hammer or something. Look, I don’t think about this sort of thing a lot, alright?”“I suppose I cannot fault you for thinking that way. From your perspective, I look like a young human girl, elegant and unthreatening. There is nothing about me to suggest that I specialize in taking the lives of others. You are still inexperienced with our kind.” Akasha-Alea says. Her tone is still composed and calm. Yet, you notice her brows creasing and the frown returning. The dim light in her eyes fades even further. You freeze as something begins to weigh down on your back. “Nevertheless, it is not pleasant to hear someone deny what I embody, especially when I am proud of it.”The weight vanishes and you let out a breath you didn’t know that you were holding. “Still, your confusion is partly my fault. It seems I must prove that I am a spirit of war.” Akasha-Alea says. She rests her finger on her chin, thinking. You watch in silence. “Very well, then. I propose a game.”“A game?” You repeat.Akasha-Alea nods and points to her neck. “See this ribbon? It ties the shawl on my back. It also comes off easily. To do so, you have to pull of the strings.” She quickly demonstrates.“If you can take his ribbon from me, I will acknowledge that you are the superior and that I should be your mentee. I will also provide you with full access to my library, along with all the gold your family could ever need.” She says. “How does that sound?”>Accept the challenge.>Decline the challenge.>“Can’t we fight head on instead?”>“I'd rather have a shooting contest.”>Custom option.
>>2382203>>Accept the challenge.>>This is the part where I get beat in a hilarious fashion huh?
>>2382216>>2382203+1Might as well see what she is capable of.
>>2382203>Accept the challenge.>"Didn't think I'd be undressing a cute girl today."
>>2382203>Accept>Lead with the "holy shit what is that behind you" trick
>>2382203This: >>2382216Time to do some live slapstick.
>>2382228>not pocked sand
>>2382262Where would we get the sand?
>>2382274From our pocket.
>>2382203>>2382216SupportingIf there's one thing you can do right, Thorn, it's that you can write incredibly sardonic characters with varying levels of motivation.
“I accept.”Akasha-Alea walks up to the front of the room, standing in the space between the front desk and the rows of desks. Her stance is relaxed, with both legs slightly apart and her hands clasped at the front of her dress. “Come, then.” She states.“Is this the part where I get beat in a hilarious fashion?” You say, dropping into the combat stance you were taught.“Only if you let that happen.” Akasha-Alea replies.A niggling feeling at the back of your mind tells you this game will end up like the time Kurt boasted about how he could beat an instructor in a race, resulting you and him running on the track until you missed dinner. The other privates saw it as the funniest shit to happen that week. You spent the rest of the day giving your buddy the evil eye. In his defence, another instructor tricked him into saying that.You’d also be lying if there wasn’t any appeal in confirming your mentor’s new strength. If there’s one thing the military has taught you, it’s that physical competition is vastly underrated among the general populace. Even so, you think through narrowed eyes, you’re not used to hitting girls. Yeah, you got yourself into quite a few fights before training, but those were always against boys. You’ve never hurt the opposite gender, probably because of some weird perception of them being more fragile. You try and shove that train of thought away and focus on the challenge, but a fragment of it remains.You’ve done hand-to-hand combat training. Okay, not the whole course. But you’ve learned how to grab the opponent and throw a decent punch. Yanking a bit of cloth at the front shouldn’t be too hard…right?Taking a deep breath, you run towards Akasha-Alea. Moments before a collision, your hand strikes forth and lunges for the ribbon on her neck. Your fingers close the gap between you and the ornament and—All movement screeches to a halt. Bewildered, you slowly look down at your arm. Akasha-Alea’s own hand is gripped around your wrist, with your fingers millimetres from brushing the ribbon. She then squeezes tight, sending pain shrieking up your arm.“You—!”You are spun around, arm forced behind your back, then sent sprawling to the ground from a blow from behind. Head meets enamel flooring. Groaning, you look back to see Akasha-Alea in the same stance as she started in.“Are you finished?” She asks.Not by a long shot. You can’t claim to be optimistic, either.>Roll 3d20 to…?>Best out of three.
Rolled 3, 3, 14 = 20 (3d20)>>2382340
Rolled 15, 6, 9 = 30 (3d20)>>2382340Check out my 60
Rolled 16, 12, 19 = 47 (3d20)>>2382340
>Rolled 16, 12, 19 = 47 (3d20)>( -1 + -1 + 0 = -2: Failure)Fighting Akasha-Alea—if you can even call your technique that—is an exercise in suffering and frustration. Rush at her from the front? She wrist-locks you and tosses you to the side. Throw a punch? She catches it with her palm before it arrives, then steps forth and slams the other against your nose, twisting cartilage and knocking you off your feet. Try a grab, wrestling style? She sidesteps, then jams a single finger at your exposed back, sending you crumpling. Her boot presses on your head, the sensation akin to having a spike slowly shoved into the skull.“Try again.” She states. You growl and grab at her ankle. She lifts her other boot and stamps on your hand for good measure.You lose count of the attempts. You lose track of the time. Sweat pours off your face in trails and fatigue burns at your bones. The only thing that remains constant is Akasha-Alea deflecting all your attempts, neither without sweating nor running out of breath and wearing the kind of clothes that belong more on a doll in an antique store.Out of desperation, you resort to more unusual methods.“Holy shit, what’s that behind you?” You shout.“A whiteboard.” Akasha-Alea says, not missing a beat. She then hurls a pen at you. It strikes you on the forehead and down you go.You pick up a chair and throw it at her. Then you charge forth as the object soars through the air. The next moment, you are belted by the seat of that very same chair. If your body organs had minds, your nose would be suing you for domestic abuse.As you skid across the ground for the nth time, you notice your rifle is present. It’s propped on the desk you were sitting on. You stare at it, contemplating.“Are you going fire it?” Akasha-Alea is gazing at the rifle too. Her expression is vacant, but her tone seems to be challenging you.>Fire at her.>Do not fire at her. Surrender.>Custom option.
>>2382434>Custom option.>Do not fire at her. But keep trying.Hand-to-hand is all well and good, but you don't ever open fire on allies. When you shoot, you have to intend to kill.
>>2382434>>Do not fire at her. But keep trying.
>>2382434>Do not fire at her. Surrender.
>>2382434>Fire at her.Challenge accepted
>>2382434>>Fire at her.
>>2382434>Fire at her.
You pick up the rifle, mulling over the applications. Hand-to-hand combat is well and good, but you’ve been taught to never fire on friendlies. Even if Akasha-Alea is seriously pissing you off, you can’t imagine turning your rifle on her and firing away. Would she even be able to survive that? She’s fast, but bullets can travel kilometres in a second so…“I’ll allow it.”What?“If you wish to fire that rifle at me for the purposes of this game, I will allow it.” Akasha-Alea says. Her eyebrows are raised a fraction, but otherwise she seems unperturbed. Hold on, is she serious? Why is she giving you permission to shoot her in the chest?“I assure you, I won’t die from that. Now, will you do it or not?”What kind of person doesn’t die from being shot at? What is this woman made of?“If you don’t act in thirty seconds I’m assuming you surrendered.”This forces movement into your arms. You pick up the rifle, switch off the safety and hold it in the firing position. You aim the sights directly at Akasha-Alea. She stares impassively, as if inspecting a speck of dust on the wall. At once, your vision collapses until the only thing you are focusing on is your new mentor. Your breaths thud in your chest. Your will wavers.That is all the opportunity Akasha-Alea needs to stride forth, grab the handguard and wrest the rifle from your hands. She then promptly removes the magazine, ejects the last cartridge in the chamber and hands you back the useless weapon. All done in mere seconds.“Finished?” She says.“I…”“My turn.” What? A flash of light and in her hands is a firearm. A Beretta 92S handgun, just like the one you borrowed on the firing range back home. She aims the weapon at you. The empty black barrel glares up at you.“Hey,” You gasp, taking a step back, “What are you—”She squeezes the trigger. Two shots rattle off. There’s no time to react. When the ringing clears from your ears, you notice that you are unharmed. However, there’s flashes of heat on the sides of your cheeks. You touch them, recognising them as the product of friction in the air. Turning around, you notice two fresh bullet holes in the wall. Both are half a metre apart from each other and raised from the ground at around average human height. Your height. Yet, not a single drop of your blood was spilt. “Are you convinced now?” Akasha-Alea asks, her handgun vanishing in another flash of light.>“Yes, I surrender.”>“Well, uh…you’re pretty good…”>“Not on your life, damn it!”>“What the hell was that?”>Custom option.
>>2382577>“Yes, I surrender.”
>>2382577>>“Yes, I surrender.”
>>2382577>“Well, uh…you’re pretty good…”>“What the hell was that?”
>>2382577>“Yes, I surrender.”A big part of war is knowing when to fight and when to retreat.
“Yes, I surrender.” You sigh, shaking your head. A big part of warfare is knowing when to advance and when to fold. The truth does nothing to quell the distaste caused by a loss.“Then the game is concluded.” Akasha-Alea says, “A fine effort, though.”“Was there any chance of me getting that ribbon?” You ask.She shakes her head. “At your level, no.”“So this whole game was a waste of time…” You groan, placing your palm on your face.“On the contrary, it was quite informative. I got a good understanding of your hand-to-hand skills and you became convinced of what I embody.”That’s an assumption. It’s also a correct one. You can easily imagine Akasha-Alea using those close-quarter techniques to break necks and destroy the vitals. When she grabbed your wrist, it felt as if she was inches from snapping the bone. She placed you in so many defenceless positions that in a real battle you’d be shot dead many times over. And that skill with the handgun. No seriously, hold for a second. Where the hell did she learn to perform that kind of devilry? That sort of accuracy is damn well impossible for any trained human. Heck, you’d doubt even the best of America's mages could pull it off. There’s a reason why you’re taught to aim for the center instead of the head.Maybe that’s the point. Spirits aren’t human in the first place. It’s not out of the question for the powerful ones to surpass human limitations entirely. You frown at the recent memories. Witnessing your mentor’s skills in action humbled you down to an ant. An ant that once stood in line at the first day of his training, observing the roaring juggernauts dressed in combat gear and wondering what laws they broke to reach their level of strength. It once thought it was competent and once again reality has struck its harsh truth across its small frame.In any case, there is no doubt that Akasha-Alea is a spirit of firearms and war, despite her elegant appearance. But if she is that amazing with a handgun, how is she with a rifle? Just as good, maybe even better considering how vital long-range firing is. You don’t want to admit it, but the thought of what you could learn under her causes you to smirk a little. “Come. We have business to attend to.”
You and Akasha-Alea have left the instruction room and are now walking down a hallway. You survey your surroundings. Whitewashed floors, bright fluorescent lights, not a speck of dust to be found. Standard military cleaning protocols. Presumably, this location is where Akasha-Alea lives; she did say she called you from your dreams into her home. Problems, this building seems to be built for many people (or spirits), yet all the rooms are empty. Walls that should have posters are stark bare. Not a single piece of background chatter is to be found. To be honest, it’s more than a little eerie. Still, you’re hesitant to raise the question. It would be like asking your sister’s friend why she arranged her belongings in her room a certain way. Not an impossible question, but more than a little awkward. The last months have taught you the wonders of profanity, but you’d like to think you still process a little tact.“Where are we going?”“To meet with some important spirits. After that, we will be done.”“Ah.” You say. “Who?”“The nation spirits of the United States of America.”“…nation spirits?”“Spirits that embody a nation, as the name implies. Ken, do you know where spirits come from?”“This isn’t going to turn into a biology lesson, is it?”Akasha-Alea grimaces and mutters something under her breath, something along the lines of, ‘what are they teaching them.’ “Spirits are formed by the thoughts and concepts defined by humanity. I was born from humanity’s perception of firearms and war, demons are born from sin and these nation spirits are born from the perception of America, both from its citizens and from foreigners.”“So are they like some sort of hidden council that controls everything from the shadows. Like the Illuminati?” The mental image of a bunch of darkened figures sitting around a table pops in your head. Behind them is a wall of computer monitors showing the news stations of the country.“The ones we’re meeting are some of the more higher-ranked ones. They have a major part in what is happening with the American government at present. I would refrain from saying they control everything, though. Nation spirits cannot do much without the will of humanity.”“Is it because I’m a new mage in the Armed Forces?” “Not exactly. Our mentorship is unorthodox, to say the least. It is why I didn’t want you to sign the contract so quickly.”
>>2382679>are born from the perception of America, both from its citizens and from foreigners.”Fat guys holding tons of guns and burgers?
>>2382688USA USA USA
>Spirits are formed by the thoughts and concepts defined by humanity. I was born from humanity’s perception of firearms and war>I look like a young human girl, elegant and unthreateningThis is Japan's fault, isn't it?
>>2382713The female part isn't their fault since guns and ships are often referred to as 'she'
You’re a climbing a staircase, the walls plain. Now you’re walking down another hallway. Akasha-Alea stops at a door. Above it is a sign, its text written in a language you can’t decipher. Your mentor places her palm on the door. A faint blue aura covers it and the door swings open.The room is devoid of furniture, save for a single table on the center. A hexagram inscribed in a circle is chalked on the tabletop. Propped on in the center is a oval-shaped mirror, its surface spotless. Traced along the frame are a myriad of letters in black ink, the same ones you saw on the sign outside. Akasha-Alea steps forth and chants towards the mirror. Again, you don’t understand a word. You feel something being pulled and forced into the mirror. The mirror becomes bathed in a shining silver light. Shadows gather on the surface like ink, coalescing into the silhouettes of two humanoid figures. Color follows next, dying the hair, clothes and skin.“Hello? Can you hear me?” A voice travels out of the mirror. Young, healthy and male. It belongs to a man with golden blonde hair. He’s wearing a chestnut coat and a pair of small-frame glasses. Pinned to his lapel are a set of army medals. “Oh, there you are, Akasha-Alea. A pleasure to meet you.”He sounds relaxed and warm, greeting your mentor as if they were old acquaintances. “This is the boy she chose?” The second figure snorts. Like the man, she has golden blonde pair. Unlike him, she lacks glasses, is wearing a black suit with an American-patterned tie and her reaction towards you is the typical one upon finding a cockroach on the kitchen floor. “He doesn’t look very impressive.”“Good day to you, Sir Robert, Lady Patricia. As you can see, I have brought the one I have chosen as my mentee.” Akasha-Alea says. She gestures to you. “Ken, these two are the nation spirits we discussed earlier. They stand in the upper echelons of their hierarchy. Our mentorship was organized with their assistance.”>“It is an honor to meet you, sir, ma’am!”>Nod silently and wait.>“Um, thanks for coming here, I guess...">“…that one doesn’t like me very much.”>Custom option.
>>2382775>>Nod silently and wait.
>>2382775>>“It is an honor to meet you, sir, ma’am!”
>>2382775>Nod silently and wait.
You nod silently and say nothing. These nation spirits seem important to America and you don’t want to run your mouth. Unfortunately, the spirit apparently named Lady Patricia takes your caution for something else.“Not very respectful, is he?” She huffs. “Does he even know whose presence he’s standing in?”“Now, now.” The spirit named Sir Robert says, raising his hand. This manages to send Lady Patricia silent. “He’s probably very inexperienced with our kind. I think we can cut him slack this time.”“He looks inexperienced.” Lady Patricia objects.“Of course he is. He is a private.” Akasha-Alea replies. “But I see potential within him. That is what you both desired, no?”“This whole deal was a questionable decision, in my opinion.”“If you want to debate, do it elsewhere.” Akasha-Alea retorts. “You wanted a subject to prove the potential of America’s soldiers. Here, I have found one.”“Pardon me,” You speak up, testing the waters, “But what is this about?”Sir Robert smiles. It somehow comforts you, in spite of the daggers being glared from his partner towards you. “You’ve likely seen how capable Akasha-Alea is. She, in fact, is quite the legend in certain circles.” He says. “The two of us have known each other for a long time. When the demons invaded our fair nation, I asked her if she could train some of our new mages.”“I said no at first. Firearms are not aligned with one country, so why should America be the exception?” Akasha-Alea continues. “Yet, you kept pestering me. What an irritatingly persistent man you are.”Sir Robert chuckles. “In the end, I suppose my good looks and charms won her over. She agreed, but only if she could be convinced of the strength of our nation’s soldiers.”“Which is why I started hunting for prospective mentees.” Akasha-Alea says.Sir Robert looks at her. “Should this young man become a capable soldier under your training…”“…then I will concede to you. I will accept more applications for mentees and share my repository of magical techniques. Combined, both will be of great benefit to the efforts fighting against the demon occupation in America over the following years.” Akasha-Alea finishes. “That is the gist of the deal, Ken.”“But if he fails, then we lose a valuable source of information and future strength, thus negatively affecting our efforts.” Lady Patricia interjects leering at you. “You there, boy! Are you prepared to accept such a responsibility?”“Calm yourself, Patricia. We don’t want to frighten him.”“Silence, Robert! If we are to put our faith in him, then he better understand what’s he getting himself into.”
>“Geez, now I really don’t have a choice.”>“Akasha-Alea, give me the contract. Now.”>“Thanks, but I don’t need you to remind me.”>“I’d be honoured to.”>“This changes nothing.”>Custom option.
>>2382927>>“I’d be honoured to.”
>>2382932>>“I’d be honoured to.”
>>2382932>“I’d be honoured to.”
>>2382932>Geez, now I really don’t have a choice.”
No-one has ever claimed you to be an intellectual. No-one should, because they would be a moron and you would call them out for it. Nonetheless, you understand what’s going on here. If you succeed and become an outstanding soldier, then Akasha-Alea will become satisfied and start helping out America to fight the demons a whole bunch. If you fail, then she doesn’t. She hasn’t said anything about what happens to the contract, but it’s likely nothing good.Of course, there’s pressure. Lots of it. Perhaps the most you’ve ever felt in your entire life. Something very vital to the country is now being placed on your shoulders. The consequences are enormous to the extent where it is haunting to the think about. But more than that: this is a turning point in your life. A single wrong word can and will change the course of your future.At the same time, the task is simple. Train hard, grow strong and emerge victorious. Same thing in basic training, but across a wider time frame. Sounds daunting, but not impossible. You awakened to magic. You punched a demon and made its skull explode. You’ve come too far to back out now. If you push forward and put in the effort, it’ll work. You’ll repeat that mantra as many times as necessary until your body adapts and it finally happens.Last but not least, while you joined the military to help provide for your family, serving the country in these dangerous times can’t be bad thing.“I’d be honoured to.” You state. “Are you, now?” Lady Patricia says,“Yes.” You reply. “I can’t promise absolute perception, but I’m damn well willing to do my absolute best.”“Brave words.” Lady Patricia huffs. “Well then, I best see you back them up.”“Then, Ken Hirayama, do you accept I, Akasha-Alea, as your mentor?” Akasha-Alea says, facing you.“Yes, I do.”“Then I shall accept you as my mentee.” She flourishes out the same contract you read before. “Let us sign this and mark the formal beginning of our new relationship. It shall be observed by Sir Robert and Lady Patricia, acting as the limbs of the United States of America.”
She holds out a quill pen dipped in murky black ink. You take it, running your finger up the soft feathers, then sign your name in English. Akasha-Alea signs her name in the unfamiliar in script, then in English. She then whispers under her breath and all the words on the contract light up at once. They launch themselves at you, disappearing beneath your skin. Something shifts within you. One you are unversed in, but you welcome it all the same. A piece has fallen into place and you feel more complete than ever. You are now bonded to the spirit of firearms in soul. As long as the contract holds, a part of her will be with you, between realms, through danger and peace and until the day you expire.“Thank you, both of you.” Sir Robert beams. “This means so much to us. I wish you both the best of luck.”Akasha-Alea simply nods and you notice that she is smiling. “Ken, we will begin training soon. I will call you when the time is right. Until then, you should rest.”
You wake up in a hospital. You know it is one from the stark white ceilings, the humming of machinery and scent of bodily fluids mixed in with strong disinfectant. It is not a pretty picture, but you have grown accustomed to. Not because of anything related to your career, but due to your little sister in her own youth.There is none of the energy you felt within Akasha-Alea’s home. Instead, there exists a fatigue has sunken into all your limbs. Your mind is in shambles, a classic symptom of the recently awakened. You groan and try to shift your hands to pull yourself up. A nurse walks by your bed as you try. She notices and hurries over.“You’re awake!” She exclaims. “Here, let me help you…”The kind woman helps you gets propped up in your bed. Bit by bit, feeling drips back into your muscles. What’s the first thing that comes out of your mouth?[Choose only one]>“Airi…”>“Kurt? Where are the hell as you?”>“Damn it, Akasha...”>“Water, please.”>“Where am I?”>Custom option.
>>2383052>"Did I say anything funny while I was out cold?"
>>2383052>>“Airi…”Don't mind me, just the tiny little bit of Ken's brain matter that's always worrying about his little sister.
“Water, please.” You croak. The nurse obliges and hands you a small plastic cup. She helps you trickle down the precious fluid into your mouth. The insides stop feeling like sandpaper quickly. “How many fingers am I holding up?”“Three.”“Very good. What’s your name?”“Ken Hirayama, private of the US Armed Forces. I joined a month and a bit ago. I made it to the second phase of basic training…”“Good, it seems like you still have all your marbles.” The nurse smiles. “Golly, that newfound healing magic sure comes in handy.”“Healing magic…?” You question.“Oh yes. I watched as one of the medics placed their hands on your chest. There was a green light and your wounds closed up just like, well, magic! A lot of it is scary business but the healing variants I can behind.”Come to think of it, none of the bruises and cuts you sustained during the frantic escape in the forest are present. Nothing is fractured either. In fact, it’s as if you’ve just woken up from a very deep sleep.Ah, so they wanted you fixed up as soon as possible. Must’ve deduced you were a new mage and jotted you down as a valuable resource. Once again, your new mentor is proven right. “What happened?” You ask. “I remember running from the demons through the forest, seeing those mage guys fight and then collapsing on the ground.” “You’re in a hospital near the training grounds. Gave us all quite the fright when they brought you and all those wounded soldiers in. A whole day has passed since then. This place has been running overtime to keep you all healthy.”“Is everyone alright?”The nurse doesn’t say anything for a while. “Well, the fact is…”You know the answer before she even says it. “Not everyone made it out, huh?”She confirms it, nodding her head miserably. “Some didn't make it from the demons. Others we tried our best to save, but they were too far gone.”“I see…”“Although, a lot of the soldiers and staff from your training exercise made it out alive, so that’s a silver lining, I guess?” The nurse tries to smile. It doesn’t work and gives up half-way in. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be saying that. Would you like to be left alone for a while?”>“I think I would like that.”>“Do what you want.”>“No, please do your job.”>“You didn’t have to apologize.”>Custom option.
>>2383121>“Do what you want.”
>>2383121>>“I think I would like that.”Then before she leaves, add:>>“You didn’t have to apologize.”
>>2383121>“You didn’t have to apologize.”
>>2383121>>“You didn’t have to apologize.”
>>2383121>>“Do what you want.”
>>2383121>>Custom option.Call Kurt
“…I think I would like that.” “Okay, I understand. Let me finish checking you up, then I’ll leave you be.”“You didn’t have to apologize.”“Pardon?”“…never mind.”You spend another day in the hospital. Within it, you learn a number of things. First of all, the incident in the training exercise has made it to the news. Reports of all the major stations are calling it a tragedy. Hidden within are the implications that the military failed to do its job. Why were the radios jammed? How did the demons break through the security? Why did all those young men lose their lives? There are accusatory words are wrapped within a thin layer of empathy. Thoughts and prayers going out with flowers and warm messages, just another loss in the long line of many. You stop listening out of not wanting the rage to fester any further.Soon after the nurse leaves, one of the drill instructors arrives. Instead of the usual shouting that occurs in interactions between you and him, there’s only a sense of tired professionalism. “Are you well, private Hirayama?” He says, voice level.“Sir, yes I am, sir.” You raise your arm to salute. It takes effort. More effort than what you are accustomed to.“You’re the only one who awakened to his magic during the attack. Because of that, you’ll be sent to the Mage Corps for further training.”There’s the confirmation. “I understand, sir.” You says.He looks around before leaning in closer. “A word of advice: a lot of rumors are flying around about the attack. Try not talk about your new…talent as much as possible. We've taught you about the existence of magic, but there’s no telling how the other privates will react with all this tension in the air.” “Thank you for the kind words, sir.”He nods, almost smiling. “Best of luck out there, private.”The next thing you do is go and visit Kurt. You track down his room number and head over. Unlike you, he’s sharing his room with some other patients. You enter and are shocked to see that his body covered in bandages hiding his burns and welts. In contrast, his eyes light up as he sees you.“Hey, Jap Boy! You’re up already.” He calls, smiling. “Can’t say the same for me, unfortunately. You feeling okay?”>“Sheesh, you look like shit…”>“Feels like I should be saying that to you.”>“I’m good, thanks.”>Custom option.
>>2383194>“Sheesh, you look like shit…”
>>2383194>“I’m good, thanks.”>“Sheesh, you look like shit…”
>>2383194>>“Feels like I should be saying that to you.”>>“I’m good, thanks.”
>>2383194>“Feels like I should be saying that to you.”
>>2383194>>“Feels like I should be saying that to you.”>>“Sheesh, you look like shit…”
>>2383194>>“Sheesh, you look like shit…”
“I’m good.” You say, moving over to his bed. After a quick glance to confirm that nobody is watching—they aren’t due to being out like a light—you resume speaking. “Feels like I should be asking that to you. Sheesh, you look like shit. What are you, a mummy?”Kurt bursts out laughing. Moments later, he launches into a coughing fit. He keeps that annoying grin of his throughout. “Yeah, I sure as hell look like one, huh? Man, I dunno why I worried when you started convulsing on the grass.”“They didn’t heal you with the magic?” You ask.“Is that what they did to you?”“Why else would be up after getting that many fractures and a possible concussion?”“Search me, man. Must not be my turn in line.”“Is that so…” You ponder.“So you’re a magic man now?” Kurt grins. “You gonna start spitting fire out of your hands now? Is this the second coming of that Potter kid?”“Try metal,” You mutter, recalling the shards protruding from the knuckles, the rush through your fingertips. Now, it all lays dormant. The next of your words tumble out of your mouth. “Kurt, they’re sending me to the Mage Corps for additional training.He goes still. “Ah…” “Yeah.”“So that’s the end of our partnership, huh.” He says, looking down at his sheets. “That’s pretty damn abrupt. Makes sense though.”You don't say anything. Neither does he, for a moment. Then he grins up at you again, his good mood bouncing back like a rubber band. “Man, guess they’re going to train you into a real superhuman. You’re gonna come back to me in a year and you’ll cave the shit out of me in an arm-wrestle. I’m sorta jealous. Y'know, they say all the mages get the ladies.”“Kurt…” You begin.“What is it?”You look at him straight in the eyes. They are hard as steel and determined as the soldier who wields it. “Whoever your new buddy is, please don’t tell them any more jokes. I want to avoid any further victims.”“Fuck you man, my jokes are the best!” He cries.“They kept me up at night. Made me slack in training.” You reply, crossing your arms and scowling. “This ain't because they gave me nightmares, but because I kept wondering how anyone’s sense of humor could be that bad.”He scoffs. “Plebians can’t understand good taste. Classic story throughout history.”You fall silent again. Kurt scooches forward in his bed. He squints up at your face.“Your eyes are a bit red, Jap Boy.” He notes.“It’s the dust, you know how it is.”“The dust, eh? Always gets everywhere.”"Yeah, it's pretty fucking annoying.""Totally."“But for real, thank you for everything, Kurt.”He grabs your hand in a firm handshake. “Stay frosty out there, Jap Boy.” He says.
The last thing you do is find a phone. With all the injured, there are obviously a lot of people clamouring to call their friends, family, whatever. You’re forced to wait in line with the other patients. The entire time, you sit at your lap, a hundred different scenarios playing out in your head. It’ll be okay, you tell yourself. Airi is a nice girl. She’ll understand. Never mind that so many stray mages have caused so much devastation from their stupid whims. Or that the perception of magic among the general public is warped as hell due to the existence of demons. Or with all the rumors lying around how magic transforms men into monsters she might think that you’re no longer the person you used to be and…“Hey, it’s your turn.”With trembling hands, you take the receiver and punch in the number for the Hirayama residence. You hear three beeps, each one sounding like tolls to the gates of the underworld. There’s a click and a familiar voice floats through.“Hello, Hirayama residence speaking?”“Hey, Airi.” You begin, swallowing the lump in your throat, “It’s me, Ken.”“Ken? Oh my gosh, it is you!” Your little sister cries, her voice bursting with happiness. “What’s happened? Are you alright? Did the demons hurt you?”“N-no, I’m fine. Not a scratch anywhere.”“Oh, thank god. When the news about the incident broke, Dad and I didn’t know what to do. We’ve been sitting here the whole time paralyzed with fear. He’ll be so happy to hear that you’re safe and well. I am, too!”“Is he there?”“No, he’s asleep at the moment. Do you want me to go and wake him up?”“Hold that thought, Airi.”“Okay, then. So, do you have time to chat like last time? There’s a few things I wanted to write in my last letter, but I had to do an important homework assignment and ran out of time. We don't have to talk about that, though. I'm just so glad to hear your voice, Ken!”“Airi.”“Yes?”>Tell her about your magic.>Don’t tell her about your magic.>Custom option.
>>2383322>Don't tell her about your magic.
>>2383322>>Don’t tell her about your magic.
>>2383322>>Tell her about your magic.trust the imouto
>>2383322>>Don’t tell her about your magic."I'm glad to hear your voice too, Airi."No need to tell her that you're a magic man now.Just that you're going to continue your military training, like what you told them before you set out.In a way, being a Combat Mage of the US isn't too different from being a normal soldier in the Army, right?
>>2383322>Tell her about your magic.
Okay, since this seems like an important vote and it's getting kinda late I'm going to leave this vote up overnight. It'll close on 9:30 pm UTC tomorrow, so get your votes in while you can. I'll finish the write up after that. Archived thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2378682/Thanks to everyone who came to this session. This one felt pretty good, although I felt I could've handled the part about the nation spirits better. It's been a really long time since I wrote something of this magnitude, so I'm currently unsure about the story, characters (especially this), mechanics, prose and the overall quest pacing. Feedback about any of these would be highly appreciated.The next session of War Spirit Mentee Quest will take place the 18th of March, 10:30 pm UTC. See you guys there.
Also boot camp is probably next. Now I get to search out art for all the new characters I made...yay...
>>2383322>>Tell her about your magic.
No point keeping it a secret from our family
>>2383350>>2383354Thanks for running, Thorn!
>>2383322>Tell her about your magic
>Tell her about your magic.
Your lips are trembling. You grip on the receiver feels clammy and cold. Your tongue has gone dry. You don’t want to say it. The consequences are unbearable to think about.“Is something wrong, Ken?” Your sister’s voice floats through the speakers, confused and a little concerned.But out of all the people in America, your sister is one of the few who deserves to know the most. It’s all or nothing now. You clench your teeth, swallow the lump in your throat and force out throat into action.“Airi. I want you to listen very closely.” You say.“What’s wrong?”“I’m…” You pause mid-sentence. Why does this have to be so hard? It's just a simple few sentences. You can do this. “I’m a mage now.”“…pardon?”“When I was attacked by demons, I fell down a cliff. Then I had to go and save my buddy and I awakened by magic in the process.” You say, deciding not to mention Akasha-Alea. Magic is already a touchy enough subject among the American populations. Spirits and so-called ‘friendly’ ones are twice as bad. “That’s it. That’s the truth, Airi.”“…oh.”Oh god, it’s progressing exactly as you feared.“Magic. Um, wow, I didn’t expect that.”What the heck is your little sister saying? Is she going to condemn you or not? If yes, you’d rather she just get to the point already. Silence is all that remains from the line as Airi presumably contemplates the bombshell you dropped on her. The seconds stretch out into miniature eternities. It takes all your courage not to slam down the receiver there and run.“Ken.” She eventually says.“Yeah?”“You’re panicking, aren’t you?”“It’s a little hard for me not to, yes.” You retort.You hear your sister take a breath. “I’m sorry, Ken.”Well, there it is. The answer everyone hears yet nobody wants. You move to hang up and— “I wish I could be with you in person. You sound like you really need a hug right now.”“Uh, what?” You say.“You must’ve been so scared! Not to mention all your injuries!” Airi cries. “Actually, I’m all healed up—” “I can’t believe I’m sitting here reading books while my brother is out in the field, going through one of the biggest changes of his life without anyone to comfort him!”“Airi, you physically can’t come here. I’m a soldier and you’re a civilian.”“I know, I know, but I still wish I could. It’s so frustrating!” She says, voice now growing firm. “Ken, you were brave for calling us and telling the truth. I’ve heard so many stories of others not doing the same and getting burned for it. Thank you.”
You take a shuddering breath. “So, you’re not going call me a monster?”“No!” She exclaims. “Of course not!”“You’re not going to kick me out of the family and hang up the phone?”“Why on earth would I do that to my own brother?”“I…I don’t know. I guess you were right. I was just scared. Now, I’m glad you didn’t do any of that. I’m really glad, Airi.”“Ken, are you crying?” Your sister asks after a momentary pause.Your hand brushes against your cheek. “…I am not.” You answer.“It’s okay. It’ll be okay.” Your sister whispers. “There’s no-one here to laugh at you. Cry as much as you want.”“Like I said, Airi, I wasn’t crying.” Admittedly, your eyes feel a bit sore, but that’s from all the bright lights in the hospital. Honest. “Now that I’m a mage, they’re going to put me through additional training.”“So your basic training is cancelled?”“Yeah. I’m being sent to the Mage Corps, which is another section of the military. It’s functionally the same for me, though. More training and getting yelled at by the DIs. I guess they’ll put more emphasis on my new powers We’ll still be able to exchange letters and stuff.”“Oh! Maybe you’ll be able to write under proper lights this time!”You chuckle. “Yeah, maybe. Not holding my breath about it.”
“What does your magic do, anyway?” She asks.“Something with metal, I think.” You answer.“Like bending spoons with your mind?” She sounds confused. “No, I don’t think it works like that. I’ll find out later.” You answer. It does have something to do with guns, as evidenced by the nature of your new mentorship, but the details are still unclear. You make a mental note to ask Akasha-Alea the next time you see her. “Listen, don’t tell anyone else other than Dad about my magic. This includes Michelle. People are getting real antsy these days and the last thing I want is for you to get hurt.”“I understand. Michelle would never stop pestering me if I leaked this out, anyway…”“True that.” You reply, recalling certain awkward scenes from high school. The blonde girl is a real hurricane when she gets pumped up. “But, uh, do you think that Dad will understand?”“I’m sure he will. If he doesn’t, I’ll make him understand! You can count on me, Ken.”“That’s a relief to hear.” A quick glance at the nearby clocks informs you that your allocated timeslot is almost up. “Airi, my call time is almost up. Anything else you want to say?”“Yes, one last thing.” Her voice goes firm again. “Ken, I don’t know much about the military or magic. I don’t know what hardships you'll face. But remember that you are an irreplaceable part of our family. I will always be your cute little sister and I will always love you as my brother. No matter what anyone says or does to you…please, please, please, never forget this!” When she puts it like that, goddamn it, now you really can’t control yourself. “I love you, sis.” You choke out.“I love you too, Ken.” Airi says, sniffling. At the same time, you hear the smile behind her voice. “Be safe out there.”“I will.”With that, you hang up.
See you guys next week.
we have a good imouto
>>2385003See you next week, TT.
little sister is best waifu.
>>2384995I love Airi so much
>>2384995>“Ken, I don’t know much about the military or magic. I don’t know what hardships you'll face. But remember that you are an irreplaceable part of our family. I will always be your cute little sister and I will always love you as my brother. No matter what anyone says or does to you…please, please, please, never forget this!”Carve that shit into your heart, Ken.That'll be the thing that will keep you going in the toughest and darkest of nights.That your family is waiting for you to come back home.
>Hilariously oblivious use of ethnic slurs>MURICA>Posts spoilers and twitter and removes character from quest>Shuts down incest route on thread 1make the pain go away
>>2385697>Hilariously oblivious use of ethnic slursApart from a single definition on Urban Dictionary I couldn't find anything about this so I assumed it was fine. I also read an autobiography where the main character was given the nickname of 'Turd' so...>MURICAYes, it takes place in America. Look, I was tired of writing Japan man.>Posts spoilers and twitter and removes character from questWhat spoilers? What characters that got removed?>Shuts down incest route on thread 1I didn't think this was such a big deal.
>>2385707>Apart from a single definition on Urban Dictionary I couldn't find anything about this so I assumed it was fine. I also read an autobiography where the main character was given the nickname of 'Turd' so...Based on the way Ken and Kurt are friends, I figure Kurt would be the type to use a fairly mild slur as a show of affection.>I didn't think this was such a big deal.He seems to have confused this place with Anonkun.
>>2385707>Apart from a single definition on Urban Dictionary I couldn't find anything about this so I assumed it was fineThe fuck are you smoking? There's a literal wikipedia page on this.>Yes, it takes place in America. Look, I was tired of writing Japan man.This is worst than being a weeaboo. There's 29 instances of America in this thread, some of which are nonQM posts I know, but its presence is overwhelming compared to its actual relevance. Exactly what part of American culture are you saying is so important you have to point out the location over and over again?>What spoilers?Non quest spoilers. Pic related.>What characters that got removed?Something something first thread something something wait for it>I didn't think this was such a big deal.It's not. I said it in jest.>>2385726We're good friends, right? Let me just call you wetback or whatever your favorite ethnic slur is. I'm glad we've transcended history, meaning, and blood from a month's friendship alone.
>>2385739Nigger, I literally know people who call each other racial slurs all the time, and they don't throw a shitfit over it because, hey, they're friends.and besides, you're on 4chan, if you're getting upset over a shortening of the word 'Japanese,' which is what most people nowadays mean when they say 'jap,' then why are you at niggerfaggot central you professional polesucker?
>>2385739>The fuck are you smoking? There's a literal wikipedia page on this.I was referring about the term 'Jap Boy' which according to the Urban dictionary definition means someone who is a waste of space and has narrow minded opinions of cars. I know of the term 'Jap' but in my defense I don't think it's that offensive for a gung-ho environment. Especially considering that Ken and Kurt are basic training buddies.>Exactly what part of American culture are you saying is so important you have to point out the location over and over again?I don't think I've talked about American culture much in this thread other than mentioning that America has a healthy gun culture. The location is mentioned a lot because...it's the place where the quest takes place? Should I call it Burgerland instead?>Non quest spoilers. Pic related.Okay, that was pretty fucking stupid of me. Sorry about that.>Something something first thread something something wait for itNo, you'll have to elaborate on this. I don't get it.
>>2385752Because this isn't a /pol/ quest. It's about context you stupid fuck.>>2385753>No, you'll have to elaborate on this. I don't get it.I'm holding my breath in case she's actually relevant somehow.
>>2385758>I'm holding my breath in case she's actually relevant somehow.I'm assuming you mean one of the characters from ATOQ? If so, then yes there is a chance they won't be included because this is an entirely different quest entirely.If you've dropped my quest because of the stuff you've mentioned then I guess I'm a little sad but I'll respect your opinion nonetheless.
>>2385758The context is that Kurt and Ken are two people who have gone through basic training together in a world where literal demons from hell have invaded and taken over half of the country, and are comfortable enough with each other that Ken isn't bothered by an extremely minor racial slur that nobody in their right minds would get bothered by in the first place.
>>2385762I haven't dropped this at all.>>2385767Yes. please reach far and wide to invent context when it does not exist except for "the friendly New Yorker who bunked with you for more than a month".The matter of fact is, TwilightThorn wrote him to use ethnic slurs when he had no idea it was one in the first place. You can come up with whatever justification you want in character, but at the end of it all, not only was it unintentional, but the only other purpose that it might have served is to make this more /pol/.Whether or not that's the direction Thorn wanted this quest to move toward is a whole other topic.
>>2385775Serious question, are you Japanese? because if you aren't then you have no reason to get this upset by it.And if by some completely random chance you are, do you also get upset when a black person gets called 'black?' because Jap is basically the same thing.
>>2385785Beautiful non sequitur.
>>2385788>dodges first>says I'm dodging???
>>2385789So I'm to assume that you're just some random dude that's getting offended on the behalf of others, then?
>>2385786No? It’s fairly in sequence given that he’s asking how could someone be offended by the big fat nothing tt’s nickname was. Then compared it properly for context.You are dodging entirely because you’re getting called out on your bullshit, and using non sequiter as a shield. Improperly at that.
>>2385791So I'm going to assume you agree with my previous post and find that you can't argue, then?>>2385792Here, read my post again. I'll even backlink since I'm so nice. >>2385775. It looks like you turned off your brain after my second sentence, which is a big no-no. If it helps you to understand, I suggest asking an adult to read it out loud for you.If for some reason you think I'm being offended that he's using J A P B O Y because he's single-handedly cursing the entire population of japan, I recommend reading my post again.Oh shit, what's this? You don't understand still? Alright, I'll spell it out for you very clearly. What I pointed out was that the slur unintentionally pushes this quest in this direction. Did you see that word? I might have to repeat it again since it seemed to go over your heads so fast. "Unintentional." You got it this time around, right? If I go in to Nigger Quest and see someone calling someone else Nigger, I wouldn't be surprised at all. I wouldn't care. If Thorn had intentionally called Ken a Nigger to make a point, then I wouldn't care.I'd like to go back to my original post, which clearly says>Hilariously oblivious use of ethnic slursIf you still don't understand, I recommend closing a door on your head until you do.
>>2385803I think you are misunderstanding something. I did know that 'Jap' was a slur before writing but I used it because I believed it wasn't that big of a deal in the context of the story. Kurt isn't supposed to be most imaginative or clever person either. I also have no intentions of taking this quest in the stereotypical /pol/ direction. But your concerns have been noted. It is something I thought hard about before making this thread as the setting of this quest is in America The current political climate of that country is turbulent, to say the least.If you guys want to further discuss this I'd appreciate it if it was taken to a private space like Twitter. I would prefer the remaining thread space for actual quest discussion.
>>2385803> What I pointed out was that the slur unintentionally pushes this quest in this directionHoly shit, I hope you did some stretching beforehand because that is some Olympic class reaching you're doing just because a character used a word you, and only you, took offense to.I seriously don't see how a completely innocuous use of a fairly harmless slur will push the entire quest into /pol/ territory. It makes even less sense considering the ~~context~~ that the word was used in, which was two friends, one of which is a known asshole with a bit of a mouth on him, who went through basic training together and have had to deal with a literal demon invasion.You still never answered my question, by the way. Also loving your condescending attitude.
>>2385815>knows jap>looks up jap boyThis'll be my last repky since I didn't actually mean to shit up the thread with this kind of talk. For your sake, I'll say my point was false conjecture and that the other anons are shockingly unable to understand what I was trying to say the entire time.
>>2385697That's some pretty fucking low effort troll
>>2385821To provide one final bit of clarification, I thought you were talking about the two words combined, not the first one.And that's all I will say on this topic.
>>2385803Dude, shit like Japboy are not even fucking close to being "problematic" nicknames in Basic. Fucking hell, getting called a wetback,beanboy,beaner or one half german half-mexican dude got called Beaner-Schnitzel for fuck sake. This was all done by friends who fired back as good as they got and knew it was all just in good fun with no offense.Believe it or not, non-autistic human beings who go through tough trials together often end up bonding and being able to jokingly insult each other is just a part of that. I know that you have serious reddit-tier sjw issues, but you don't need to be here if a mildly offensive nickname that you would hear in a situation like basic training really bootyblasts you this hard you probably shouldn't be.>Ohno! No one put a trigger warning about a tiny and almost completely innoffensive nickname being present in this quest!>I AM SO TRIGGERED! I DIDN'T THINK THIS WOULD BE A NIGGER QUEST! OR LIKE KKK QUEST!!! REEEEEEEEEEEEEEDo yourself a favor, go to google, and type in reddit and click the first link, you will find a community you fit in with better. 4chan has ALWAYS used offensive terms freely, on all boards. This is not new, this is not /pol/ spreading, if anything it is just the past generations of 4chan goers migrating boards as their interests change and mature.tl;dr gtfo you dirty double nigger
>>2385831Don't bother with this triggered kid. Seriously dude, the writing is great and I am sad I couldn't catch it while it was live. Jap Boy is not even close to offensive and I don't get why you are being dragged in so deeply by this obvious troll/autist. Thank you for considering your quest-goers feelings so much, but I have never seen this dreaded "/pol/ quest" stuff get more than 12-15 posts in, the fact you kept updating it and writing consistently pretty much proves this guy is just an autist.>>2385821No, we can understand what you are trying to say, we just think you are retarded for saying it. Fuck dude, you are getting massively butthurt over even mentioning that such a thing as different racial ethnic-groups exist. What did he need to nickname him? Asiatic-American With Ancestors From a Homogenous Ethno-State Based on a Large Archipelago in the Pacific Ocean and Known For It's Animation Stylized Warrior Nobles and Raw Fish on Rice? Because if Jap is too offensive for you then Japanese is probably worthy of the QM being executed in your mind. God forbid if he called him a Nip or said he was from Nippon, which is the Japanese word for Japan.Just a reminder, you gotta be 18 to post on 4chan, even the blue boards.
itt: all-you-can-eat troll buffet
>>2385970>tfw you uphold racism because muh traditionswow sure feels like stormfront in here, not like the qm had to use jap boy
The QM asked us to stop having this argument in the thread.
>>2385970>Beaner-SchnitzelThat one is hilarious