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Barqalan, once a teeming crossroads of interstellar traffic where countless lives dwelt together in relative peace, now drifts with smoke leaking from it's damaged sections and it's populace reduced to the cannibalistic undead. The volatile Nebula Wall, an impossibly large cosmic obstacle, stretches out beyond sight with one of the only reliable passages marked by the ancient city.

Ships awaiting the return of the city to working order, or just passing time until the passage through the Nebula was calm enough to traverse, kept their distance from Barqalan in their respective groups. Only the ships of the Pirate Clans and those of the Armada traveled freely about the city, shuttles ferrying to and fro carrying supplies and rescued survivors. With the aid of the Reconstructed assisting them the Pirates had already rescued nearly two hundred souls from the dangers of the Blight Hunger.

Guided by the Solar Arbiter Sur-Quro and the Dagger Clan Captain Troma, a joint group of Legionnaires and Pirates had quite literally burned a path through corridors and grand chambers packed with the ravenous undead. Harried nearly the entire way they had come under assault by undead with a higher intelligence than the shambling zombies, ghouls using weaponry to attack them as they fought toward the Core Systems.

Their path through the fallen city had shown them glimpses of the former grandeur of Barqalan, built at the height of the pre-Scouring netu civilization. Securing a path into the core systems they took the peaceful respite to assess the city and restore functions to its systems. However, in the process they awakened an old service droid that shambled forth and demanded to know what happened to the city, it's synthetic voice filled with static and anger.
>>
>>2565522

As soon as I have to go to lunch. Ugh.

I'll be around in ~half hour
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>>2565522
Fuck yes! I miss you so much Grave.
>>
>>2565522


Also, on a side note...

We should talk with the pirates about getting access to doing a full scan of each of the ships in this sector. Run a few thousand gargoyles across every inch of the ships to ensure that there are no hiding Ghouls or higher-intelligence undead looking to spread the Blight Hunger further.
>>
>>2565522
Welcome back to Death Among the Stars Quest!

Pastebins: http://pastebin.com/u/ceronull
Make sure to follow my twitter where I announce the threads: https://twitter.com/CeroTheNull
Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=death+among+the+stars
Ask.fm: http://ask.fm/DeathAmongTheStarsQuest

The red-plated robot jabs a stout finger at Troma's armored chest in a gesture that was quite offputting coming from a robotic figure as their synthetic voice crackles again, "What happened? Why has this sub-system been activated? What emergency befell Barqalan?"

Troma lifted all four of his hands in front of him defensively as he took a step back from the intensely staring light of the robots singular "eye" as his beak clacks, "An undead outbreak. We're here specifically to find out why this happened and to rescue those still alive."

There is a faint hiss of static as it seems to process this information then turns away from him, it's feet scraping across the floor as it approaches a console and the pirate who'd been working at it quickly steps aside, "Undead outbreak? A serious threat," it says, seemingly more to itself than anyone. From its forearm an adapter extends that it slots into the console with a series of mechanical chirps.

Sur-Quro stands next to the netu captain and folds her arms across her chest, "Why didn't anyone tell us that the city had it's own AI?"

The vorh tech nearby shrugs, piping up, "I guess it's pretty obvious. Would be a major help in a city this size," they fall silent then shrug as the yuyut shoots a glance at them, the tech more interested in the droid as it seems to tap into the city systems.

"It's not something we'd advertise. You yuyut more than anyone would know the mistrust the organics have for synthetic intelligences," Troma says without tearing his eyes from the droid, "However, even I didn't know Barqalan had one this..." he trails off with a gesture to the droid.

"Eccentric?" the tech pipes in again, drawing a short laugh from the netu.

Sur-Quro however was silent, her mind filled with memories of history lessons discussing several violent AI uprisings in the yuyut and UON history.

The vorh tech started to approach the droid, her curiosity getting the better of her but she lets out a startled click of the mandibles as it swings its head around to lock its eye on her, its voice hissing "Many systems are down. So is my core processor. Or it has been severed and restrained. Reactors are reaching dangerous levels if radiation sensors are believed." They lift a finger to point at the vorh and then the demi-Think Tank that drifted close to her "You are a technician? Assist me. This frame is poorly equipped for this.

>cont
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>>2565655
The vorh glances to Sur-Quro who gives a nod of approval. With a cheerful click the vorh approaches, "One of the best in the Legion. I have warrants for my arrest on multiple worlds for hacking and cybercrimes throughout the Confederacy," she says pridefully and gives their demi-Think Tank a pat on its armored side, "With my friend here we'll be able to get you linked up with the rest of your systems."

"Normally I would never let one such as you near these systems but time is desperate," it says with obvious distaste but moves aside from the construct to slot into the console and begin working along the vorh.

"Should we trust them?" Sur-Quro asks the pirate captain, her voice remaining neutral despite her misgivings.

"If they are a portion of the Barqalan AI, they are the most trustful thing in this city. Their core programming would center around the protection of this city and its residents," he says confidently.

>The Legion Tech and the AI are working to reconnect damaged systems and assess the situation in the city

Roll me 1d100 best of first 3 please
>>
Rolled 38 (1d100)

>>2565658
Hacking!
>>
Rolled 77 (1d100)

>>2565658
>>
Rolled 74 (1d100)

>>2565658
>>
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>>2565522
Glad to have you back man. One of my favorite quests that always keeps me interested for more, even if some side quests drag on for a bit.
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>>2565736
Oh shit, DATS! IT LIVES
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>>2565658
Sur-Quro turns away from the tech excitedly chatting with the droid, the technical talk lost on her as she returned to her seat and began transmitting an update to the Deep Rot Relay, and then Jadyk, via her symbiot. Troma remained close to the droid, occasionally having to place his hand on the DNA scanner at their prompts.

Quikka came to stand by the Arbiter, her hands clasped behind her back as she leans down closer to the yuyut, "You do not trust the synthetic?" she asks in her quiet voice.

Propped up by her elbow the Arbiter makes a dismissive motion with her other hand, "The UON has had...previous issues with AIs. They can be helpful if programmed right," she nods to the droid, "However, this one seems fragmented. Possibly a failsafe, but still feels like a liability," she says with a huff.

"Hm, I can understand your apprehension," the Necromancer says but doesn't continue.

It takes less than an hour of waiting before the vorh turns back to motion Troma and Sur-Quro over. She points a finger at the screen, a jumble of files arrayed before them, "Well we're still working on trying to establish connections to other systems but we've got access to some of the surveillance systems which will be helpful going forth," with a swipe of a finger the screen changes to show several views throughout the city, "Got eyes near the reactor, lot of undead down there but less than what we went through above," she says, pointing to the ceiling.

"Additionally I have found footage of the initial outbreak," the droid says and the screen expands to show a hangar where the sub-capital had been quarantined. A team of workers drifted in the zero-g, suited and waiting to enter the ship to investigate with most carrying weapons of some kind.

Almost simultaneously the hatches and airlocks of the ship burst open and Ghouls begin pouring out and launching themselves at the living. It did not take long for there to be a large amount of blood free floating as it was torn from the victims. The hangar went on alert rapidly, the bulkheads sealing the airlocks and emergency lights flashing.

However, as the ghouls continued to pour from the ship and gathered around the sealed airlocks there was a sudden flickering of the lights before the bulkheads slide open and unleash the ghouls into the city proper. The footage changes to show bulkheads and sealed doors opening before them as they ran rampant, slaughtering and infecting those that were too slow.

The vorh turns away from the graphic display while the droid seemed unaffected as it spoke, "Sabotage is clear. However, I think I may have found a possible suspect," the screen flickers to show another hangar, this one smaller than before and only holding what looks like a single escape pod, "Shortly before the outbreak of the ghouls and after the ship was contained this pod was picked up, discovered near the Nebula Wall with no signs of life on board."

>cont
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>>2565800
The pod had a small team of workers in similar suits waiting to open it, a pair working with a torch to cut it open when the screen goes blank, "This hangar was distant from the ship but it seems an EMP blanked out the camera for a short time and when they reestablished a connection, this is what was seen," the screen flickers to life again, showing the same hangar with the pod but its hatch was opened and the hangar splattered with the diced remains of the crew, blood liberally coating the walls and floor, "I hypothesize that something triggered the EMP, left the pod, butchered the crew, then disappeared into the city. A few minutes later the ship burst open and the sabotage began," it turns its eye to Troma, "This one does has not been programmed to believe in coincidence."

Sur-Quro lets out a small snarl, "So it wasn't just bad luck, something wanted this to happen."

"Indeed, yuyut. Who are you? Few yuyut make it this far from the Outer Nations," it questions, tilting its head in a very netu gesture of curiousity.

"Arbiter Sur-Quro, the only reason we reached this far," Captain Troma steps in, "Without them we would not have made it here. They are here to help."

The droid is silent for a few moments before it chirps, "Assistance acceptable," it finally says before the screen changes again to show a map of the reactors and highlights sections, "However, we have an issue. Three of the five main reactors have shut down as they are supposed to. They will require reignition but damage seems minor from what I can gather.

"The other two are building up to a critical event that must be tended to soon,"
the screen changes to highlight two of the reactors, "Remote access has been severed. I need you to escort this frame to control center down in the power plants. I can guide you there. From there we can restore them to normal functions and restore power to the city, allowing us to seal off sections or vent the undead into the void," There is a pop of static before it adds, "Probably."

"Confidence inspiring," Quikka says from where she was listening in to the conversation then looks to Sur-Quro, "This is your operation Arbiter. What are your commands?"

Sur-Quro clicks her tongue as she mulls over the intel and plots.

How should they proceed?
>Write-in
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>>2565802
stabilize all the reactors possible, from there work forward and maintain mission control
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>>2565802
The undead are intelligent and they seem organized, so they will likely anticipate our attempt to shut down the remaining two reactors. It might be possible to send the majority of our forces towards one reactor to lure more of the undead to attack them, leaving the second reactor mostly undefended. Dont know if its worth it; if people dont think so, we can just split our forces down the middle and send them to different reactors.
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>>2565802
Please roll me 1d100 best of first 3 please
>>
Rolled 47 (1d100)

>>2565856
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Rolled 39 (1d100)

>>2565856
>>
>>2565856
>>
Anyone around?
>>
Rolled 30 (1d100)

>>2565856
>>2565889
You could have rolled as well .
>>
Rolled 89 (1d100)

>>2565856
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>>2565891
Lol maybe you shouldn't have. I'm not rolling after getting three 1's in the last Caster Quest
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>>2565856
Btw Graves, how's it going turning Ghoul Quest into a book?
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>>2565856
"Securing and shutting down the reactors is the priority. We march down together, leaving a portion to hold the command center here while we escort our new friend here to the control room," Sur-Quro says after some thought, motioning to the droid.

"These undead seem more intelligent and organized as time goes on, even if it's just the zombies following the ghouls or something else. We can expect them to anticipate our attempts to shut down the remaining two reactors," she says while pointing at a holomap projected by a demi-Think Tank, highlighting the two powerplants, "We'll likely have to split up to lure them away from one then the other. Or we stick together and barrel through if we have the time," the yuyut says with a shrug.

"My core processor is located near the reactors. After ensuring their safety it may be possible to reactivate my larger self if..." the droid trails off with a hiss of static as if its processor shorted out before it crackles with static, "If it remains intact and unsabotaged."

"Then what are we waiting for?" Sur-Quro says then begins barking out orders sending the troops moving into action.

The human Arbiter would remain behind with a handful of Legionnaires and Pirates to protect the most heavily wounded and techs left behind, a pair of Solar Wardens staying as well.

The rest form up at the exits where the pounding of fists against metal was still heard, redonning their helms and hefting weapons. The front line of the undead were cut down rapidly when the doors opened and they marched into the halls, burning away the mass of undead that had gathered there. Sur-Quro suspected they were drawn by the cries of the ghouls just like before.

As before the narrow halls served to their benefit in forcing the undead to group together and wait behind each other in order to reach them, negating their overwhelming numbers. With Sur-Quro and the osjiic Huor at the forefront the Arbiters and Wardens burn a path leaving charred and burning corpses to be trampled underfoot by those behind.

Troma and the vorh tech flanked the droid that scans over the dead as they passed in silence. Only once did it pause to point at a netu ghoul that had been nearly bisected, "Tech Bruon. They liked to share stories of their mate and spawn when doing maintenance on my mainframe. He was a drunk but nice." The pair glance at each other then continue to walk alongside it as it marched after the squad.

Entering at the top of a large stairwell they are forced to slow their pace by the stream of undead rushing up toward them. The droid marches past several of the soldiers ignoring their shouts to get our of their line of fire as it walked up to a console set in the wall and plugs itself in. The console flickers to life as it calls out much louder than before, "SECURE YOURSELVES, LOCAL GRAV GOING OFFLINE!"

>cont
>>
>>2566018
It barely left them any time to actually do so as suddenly the gravity disappears causing everyone, living and undead, to lift off their feet with whatever momentum carried them. With magboots and claws the Legionnaires and Pirates secure themselves to the floors or walls while the undead twist and squirm in a directionless mass of flailing limbs. This left them fully exposed and unable to progress as the living and Reconstructed unleashed a maelstrom of weaponsfire and Solar flames.

Without the gravity only the ghouls remained any threat, smart enough to figure out how to push off walls or the clumps of zombies to catapult themselves at the squad. However this also meant they were unable to change direction, driving them right into awaiting blades and flames. Walking down the stairs and walls or propelling themselves with jumppacks they rapidly made their way down in the zero-g.

"Good thinking," remarks Troma as he pulled himself alongside the droid.

"Simple thinking. It is remarkable so many of the grav generators work with three reactors down. Back-up systems must be left untouched while others are clearly damage. Curious," it says simply as it marches at it's steady pace.

Once they reached they lower levels gravity returned, some unseen generator still running, if somewhat spotty with how often they find themselves lifting up in the air before coming back down again. It was enough to be an annoyance but not enough to hinder them, nor the undead shambling toward them.

From there the halls were wider as they start entering the powerplant levels proper but following the directions of the droid lets them bypass much of the undead waiting for them as they take sidepassages and walkways. In little under an hour since enter the level they approach the control center where Gargoyle scouts discover masses of undead seeming to wait for their arrival just as Sur-Quro predicted.They did not take long to deliberate, the squad splitting up into three groups and approaching from differing directions.

The chamber was a large circle, open wide with their target the control room a single room suspended in the center with an elevator leading up to it. Within the chamber milled about the zombies and ghouls but as the sounds of combat reached them they tense up in preparation or shambling toward the sounds. Solar flames burst from three of the corridors leading into it, the screams of burning undead filling the air along with thick plumes of smoke.

>cont
>>
>>2566021
Bursting into the chamber the Legionnaires and Pirates attack from three angles, forcing the undead masses to split as they rushed at them, charging and shambling directly into the flames belched forth by Solar Wardens. Drawing the undead to themselves they take their time, whittling down their numbers and picking off the leading ghouls from range as they funnel into them. The tactic wasn't without flaw however as several Legionnaires and Pirates are wounded or dragged into the masses but their loss only emboldened the survivors further.

In time the room was cleared of the undead, the droid slotting into a console to seal the doors leading into the chamber to prevent any undead from filling in after them. The elevator was heavily damaged as they assessed it, explosives seemingly used to disable it but this obstacle was easily bypassed by jumppacks and grapnels.

Once inside the droid and techs move through the chamber after dispatching a few lone ghouls that had been sealed inside, a number of other bodies chewed on but seemingly self-terminated before they could change. In short order the lights flicker on in the control room, revealing it to look similar to the core systems room with banks of computer terminals lining the walls. The droid slots into a console alongside demi-Think Tanks and begin assess the damage.

Below the soldiers begin gathering the dead and setting up barricades to defend against any possible attacks. Above Sur-Quro meets with Troma and the others and begin discussing their next goal of securing the two reactors.

How should they proceed?
>Split up to secure both at the same time
>Stay together and secure one then the other
>Split up to draw their numbers away from one
>Other (write-in)
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>>2566022
>Split up to secure both at the same time
Latecomer but nice to see you back at it Graves
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>>2566022

>Stay together and secure one then the other

No matter what, we'll have to secure both. May as well do it such that we can face the smallest force at each one
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>>2566022
I did NOT mean for that to take two hours for that post. I'm a little rusty I guess but seriously need to work on uping my post speed again

>>2565933
Don't call me out like that lol
It's...progressing. Got a friend willing to be editor. Hard part is deciding where i should stop for the first part

Though I have been thinking of doing a sidequest based off the setting of the Red Throat Ghouls...
If anyone would be interested in such a thing...
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>>2566034
Don’t split the party.

Also good morning from this side of the world Grave’s. Welcome back!
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>>2566022
Secure both at the same time

Like all things in this universe the Armada shall conquer this insatiable hunger
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>>2566022
>Stay together and secure one then the other
Roll me 1d100 best of first 3 pls
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Rolled 72 (1d100)

>>2566069
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Rolled 97 (1d100)

>>2566069
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>>2566086

Oh shit
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>>2566086
haha yiss
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>>2566059
That's a pretty sweet ghoul
>>
Rolled 84 (1d100)

>>2566069
Rolling
>>2566098
Always happy to draw for the quest
>>
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>>2566086
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>>2566069
Thread will continue with the results of these rolls later this afternoon. Off to a terribly slow start on my part but I plan to pick up the pace significantly going forward. I'm just going to blame me still recovering from being sick over the weekend
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>>2566035
>sidequest based off the setting of the Red Throat Ghouls...
Keep going, I'm intrigued
>>
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>>2567165
Yeah it would deal with the Red Throat Tribe itself, instead taking place several years before the Red Plague sweeps through Meldric.

I was thinking of something like basing it around one of the Adventurers Guilds based out of the city of Meldric that takes on various contracts in the city and beyond hunting monsters, settling conflicts, harvesting rare and dangerous ingredients, etc.

Likely following a MC who must pick and select from a roster of the other unique adventurers to join them on missions.
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>>2567501
Wouldn't*
>>
Bump?
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>>2566069
The idea of splitting their group any further did not appeal to many of them so after selecting those who's suits had been compromised or sustained injuries to stay behind with a guard to keep watch over the control room they set off together, fighting through the darkness. The droid kept up surprisingly well despite its seeming age, constructed to be durable and efficient, marching between the tech and Troma once more.

Following it's directions once more through side passages and along catwalks they manage to avoid many of the undead that the Gargoyles scouting ahead of them could detect. Occasionally they'd reach a section where the local grav was weakened or absent, marked by floating debris or gore. These areas were the most dangerous, ghouls speeding by with a reckless speed propelled by powerful lunges but as before this only served to throw them directly into their weapons and fire.

As they progressed the demi-Think Tanks and other sensors detect patches of increasing radiation, readers crackling in the soldiers helms in warning. The droid's voice speaks over their comm line, lacking the static corrosion of it's physical speakers, "Shielding must be weakening. Any surviving organics must be heavily sickened by this point if any remain. I hope your suits have been serviced recently and you have all taken your anti-rad medications." More than one Legionnaire or Pirate groaned out in annoyance or tried to subtly check the seals of their armors.

Occasionally the skittering sound of gremlins in the walls would reach them in the moments between facing waves of opposition, typically fleeing from the moans of the starving undead. Soon the Gargoyles began keeping tabs on their movements, using them to spot ghouls in hiding as they fled from them. The droid merely comments about their hatred of the pests, complaining briefly about how they chew constantly on the city meaning constant repair and extermination was required.

Drawing closer to the reactors and the rad-sensors crackled and spiked but the levels did not increase to levels beyond the safety limits of their armors but no one was eager to stay for longer than they had to. At a sealed bulkhead the tech and droid work together to override the failsafes and the passage creaks open to reveal their first target, a reactor chamber emergency lights flashing and an alarm still wailing.

Thankfully it still had local gravity and was mostly devoid of the undead as they swept through, a few ghouls wrangled and put down with the Legionnaires hardlight mancatchers. A small control room was set in the side where a pair of netu corpses wearing the tattered remains of their uniforms were chewed mostly down to their empty exoskeletons, the tech and droid moving in to quickly begin work on turning off the alarm and bringing the reactor back into control.

>cont
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>>2570409
There was a loud thunk sound as the room vibrated, Sur-Quro and Troma looking at the tech and droid apprehensively but the droid speaks over the comm lines without looking in their direction, "Reactor has been put into standby. Prepping it for remote access to the main control room now."

The vorh nods, her visor going transparent as her expressive eyestalks flit between the yuyut and netu leaders, "No phsyical damage was done that we can find beyond some Gremlin gnawing," she glances toward the remains of the netu, "Seems they were trying to shut it down when they were eaten," she pats the shell of her demi-Think Tank and looks back to them with a sharp click of her mandibles, "But it looked like someone or something purposely overrode the shutdown failsafe."

"An organic someone. Detecting blood smears on consoles and marks matching human fingerprints," the droid says as its eye scans across the consoles, "Purposeful sabotage."

With this confirmation and their link established with the control room they do another sweep of the chamber before departing, leaving only a flatbody Gargoyle hidden along the ceiling to keep watch and ensure whoever tampered with it in the first place did not come back to redo their work.

Solar Wardens drive back the zombies that had clustered around the entrance to the reactor, the heavy Reconstructed belching powerful flames that cause the undead to recoil with instinctive fear. Burning their way they begin their trek toward the remaining reactor, Gargoyles scouting ahead as the rest escort the droid as it steadily plods along with them.
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Roll call time, sound off
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>>2570435
Hello.
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>>2570435
yello
>>
>>2570435

Heck yes
>>
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>>2570435
Ready and waiting
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>>2570414
As they worked their way through sidepassages and groups of the undead, forced to traverse through areas where the gravity failed or radiation caused their sensors to spike and whine, they started to notice less and less of the zombies and very few ghouls. After several minutes of unmolested travel since their last encounter with the undead a tension started to set into them. Several muttered to each other over private lines or through their symbiots, speculating they must have cleared most of them already but a sharp order from Troma snaps them back to attention keeping eyes open around them.

Even the Gargoyles couldn't seem to find them many beyond what seemed to be stragglers, mostly the heavily injured crawling around. However one of them slithering through an airduct after scaring away a few Gremlins peers through a grating and stops when it sees movement.

Several passages ahead of where the main group walked the Reconstructed spied on a large group of zombies shuffling shoulder to shoulder away from them. They kept mostly silent beyond their groans and the scrape of their feet but on the edges stood ghouls that growled or snarled, seeming to herd the undead. Most trouble however was how the Gargoyle could see the two nearest ghouls carrying weaponry. Slithering further along it starts to ghost them, it's vision displayed for Sur-Quro and the others.

The yuyut calls for a halt in a moderately wide hall, the droids directions placing them only several minutes unhindered walking away from it. Taking the opportunity the group checks their ammo and a chance to sit down and rest before they had to move on while the Reconstructed stood guard at either end of the group.

Sur-Quro is joined by Troma, Quikka, the droid and several others as they're updated on the Gargoyles discovery. The droid settles itself, mostly unmoving besides a twitch or shift from unseen mechanisms as it speaks over their comms, "Curious. They are moving in the direction of the last reactor. Curious and troubling."

Troma huffs with exasperation but the exhale wasn't picked up by the comms, Sur-Quro only recognizing the body language as he says, "Of course they are. More of them carrying weapons too."

"Let's hope they don't know how to use explosives," the vorh tech chimes in.

"Do not voice your hopes if you do not want the universe to hear you and change itself out of spite," cautions Quikka. The tech just gives an exasperated tilt of her eyestalks but nods when Quikka looks to Sur-Quro, "What should we do, Arbiter?"

How should they proceed to the last reactor?
>Continue on the direct route sticking together
>Split up to come at the reactor from multiple sides
>Try to lure the undead away and into an ambush
>Other(write-in)
>>
>>2570561
Thanks, I hate this!
>>
>>2570576
>Continue on the direct route sticking together
>>
>>2570576

>Continue on the direct route sticking together

This is troubling. We should get there as soon as possible to ensure that the undead don't have time to sabotage the reactor any further.
I'm open to debate on this to change my vote however.

>>2570561
>>2570583
Horrid
>>
>>2570576
>>2570576
>>Continue on the direct route sticking together
>>
>>2570576
>Continue on the direct route sticking together
Roll me 1d100 best of first 3 please
>>
Rolled 93 (1d100)

>>2570666
>>
Rolled 26 (1d100)

>>2570666
>>
>>2570674

I am a disgrace to my people
>>
Rolled 83 (1d100)

>>2570666
We should take bets on where/when the immortal will turn up. I predict it'll never be found and we'll just be paranoid forever because Masked are dicks
>>
>>2570666

>93,26,83
Damn good rolls


>>2570691
Fuck. This would be a huge troll move... Just some random guy put there by the masks because he's a space racist or something
>>
>>2570666
"Let's not waste more time than we have by splitting our strength," Sur-Quro says while pulling her Sunthrower forward on its armature, "My turn to take point."

In the maintenance passages and hallways, where often cramped areas force them to walk only a few side-by-side, their numbers were restricted but throughout their travels in the afflicted city they'd used this to their advantage. Those in front would fight, hacking, burning or shooting before falling back to to reload a clip, cooldown a blaster, or catch their breath, allowing those in reserve to step forward refreshed from their own respite.

Now the halls were clear beyond the occasional stragglers and junk strewn about. Gravity became unpredictable, fluctuations causing many stomachs to churn uncomfortably. Magboots and claws became the standard, more than one soldier pulling themselves along a railing only to fall unceremoniously as the generators groaned back to strength.

"Local grav-generators are likely damaged or suffering from power fluctuations," the droid comments nonchalantly as it plods along with its feet sealed to the floor.

"Or someone is fucking with us," grumbles Troma with an annoyed clack of his beak.

Arbiter Huor lets out a short bark of laughter, the osjiic walking near the captain, "Be glad these grav-generators are Void powered like some of the ones I remember from the fortressworlds. Heard of them crushing the tiny folks into paste," she says with a nod toward the vorh tech who makes a quick insulting gesture while mostly ignoring her which the Arbiter returns with a laugh.

"I have witnessed osjiic tear a vorh in half for making that same gesture. More than once," the droid comments while tilting its head in a netu gesture of curiosity toward the Arbiter.

Huor merely shrugs in reply, "I'm an osjiic with manners."

"We've got contact!" came Sur-Quro's voice suddenly along with the roar of her sunthrower unleashing a torrent of flames before it was drowned out by the sudden piercing shriek of multiple ghouls.

>cont
>>
>>2570934
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PKYEhzcvRE

Sur-Quro stood at the front of the column, snarling as her Sunthrower lives up to its name, a wide spray of radiant energies washing over and igniting the charging zombies. The Wardens and other Arbiters with her did similarly, their combined might incinerating the first rows of the undead but more rushed toward them.

They had been approaching an intersection where their hall crossed another when a Gargoyle scouting it heard a flurry of movement. It barely managed to alert them just as dozens of zombies dropped down from the blown open ceiling of the intersection and began charging much faster than the typical Blight zombie they had encountered. This initially caused Sur-Quro to believe they were all ghouls until the Gargoyle confirms they lacked the typical mutations present in the ghoul stage.

Another shriek rings out from the path they had come along with the sound of stomping feet causing the rear guard to turn and brace themselves moments before another mass of zombies came charging around a bend in the hall. A single epikor Legionnaire was standing next to a human crouched on the ground, the epikor shouting as they threw the pair of thermal imploders strapped together and into the mass of the charging undead rapidly closing the distance. The human slams the sphere of shaped bone down on the ground, cracking it open to reveal the crystalline interior that flashes with light and erects as hardlight barrier that completely fills the width of the chamber sealing them off like a temporary bulkhead.

The undead slam against the barrier, fists pounding against the hardlight that silences their shouts but a moment later imploders countdown finished. The barrier flexed alarmingly as the crowd of zombies was engulfed in thermobaric flames, effectively consuming the would-be ambushers.

The charge of the suddenly invigorated undead threw itself against the radiance of the Arbiters and their Wardens but they could not break through as the Necrotic virus fueling their reanimation is consumed. Guided by Sur-Quro at their head they push the undead back to the intersection where their combined Sunthrowers flood the upper level with fire, the screams of burning undead rewarding their efforts.

With the sudden rush of zombies broken they enter through the intersection but as their main bulk passes gunfire rings out suddenly. Several are hit but the damage is minor as their suit either self-seal or they slap emergency seals over the rents as they fall back behind the protective bulwark of shields thrown up against the sudden attack. From the darkness of the perpendicular hall ghouls fired from behind cover, but as before their aim left much to be desired forcing them to rely on blanketing the area with bullets and blaster bolts.

>cont
>>
>>2570938
Legionnaires with hardlight shields provide cover for the others as they rush past the line of fire while retaliating with their own. Shouts filled their comms as Gargoyles and the rear guard report the sound of more movement coming rapidly from behind and even above near the torn open ceiling.

The droid marches past, unbothered even as a bullet ricochets off a piece of their form, revealing it to be much sturdier than it appeared, "Pardon me, you're in the way," it says before picking up a human pirate and setting them aside from where they were leaning against a control panel. With one hand they rip it open before slotting their other hand into a hidden port.

There was a sudden grinding of metal as the emergency bulkheads, which had been oddly not deployed previously, began to seal off all paths except their exit from the intersection.

Once sealed it just left Klinnik and Huor to unleash another torrent of flames into the ceiling to drive off the source of the shifting shadows.

The vorh tech laughs and pats the droid on the shoulder, "Good thinking!"

"Simple thinking," it says with a bob of its expressionless head.

With the ambush defeated and Sur-Quro leading them they quickly drew closer to the reactor until they ran up against a series of bulkhead sealed before them. The techs and the droid move to begin opening them as the rest reload and keep watch on their backs while they wait.

Sur-Quro was adjusting her gauntlet, flexing the deadly claw while Quikka was seated floating a few feat in the air in a moment of brief meditation as she personally guided the Gargoyles ahead of them. Her head suddenly snaps up to look to Sur-Quro, "Arbiter, we have a problem."

The symbiot grafted onto her spine feeds the yuyut the vision of a Gargoyle that had worked its way ahead and was now peering through a gap in a crawlspace up under the feet of multiple undead. They appeared to be ghouls but they carried weaponry, several of them haphazardly wearing armor from the cities security forces. However they were not the source of Quikka's alarm as the Gargoyle focuses on what looked to be a human ghoul heavily modified with cybernetics with their back toward the Reconstructed.

>cont
>>
>>2570939
From this cyborg ghoul a voice, harsh and nearly unheard, growls out, "They are approaching faster than expected. Nearly upon this position."

A voice distorted enough that it's speakers species was unknown replies, "Somehow they've gained assistance from somewhere. No matter, your orders stand, slow them down as the reactor builds. Have the ghouls hold them off as long as possible then return to me. Do not be captured."

"Understood," was it's only reply before it motions to the ghouls and they depart, the Gargoyle trying to follow them but the undead rapidly disappear from its sight and sonar.

From the droids maps and guidance beyond a handful of bulkheads and short halls was the reactor chamber. There were several side passages that lead to it but they were narrow and used for service, the rad-sensors of the Gargoyles detecting steadily rising levels of radiation.

How should they handle this new development?
>Write-in
>>
>>2570942

We need to lock down this system.

Talk to the pirates that there's likely a UON military group in the system causing these issues.

Bring in a fleet and lock this shit down now. Nobody leaves until we can find them.

As for right now. See if the tech/droid can lock down those smaller side passages. This creature does not leave.

If they can't. Move the solar reconstructed in to those side passages to lock them down and then move in.
>>
>>2570942
Pick up the pace - we can't let them overload even if it means taking some hits
Our entire motif is about conquering death - if these necrolytes fear it they have clearly not understood our teachings fully, for they will come through it stronger than before
>>
>>2570942
Suggestions so far (as few as they are)
>Attempt to lock down side passages to prevent cyborg from escaping
>Send Solar Reconstructed to lockdown escape routes

How should they attack the final reactor?
>Split up and attack from multiple directions
>Power through as a group still
>Other (Write-in)
>>
>>2571041

>Attempt to lock down side passages to prevent cyborg from escaping
>>
>>2571041
Roll me 2d100 best of first 3 please

Am I just boring everyone tonight or what?
>>
>>2571041
Try to lock him in

Power on through we are on a deadline
>>
Rolled 49, 11 = 60 (2d100)

>>2571077


Fuck knows. I'm keen to see how this goes. Might just be one of those days.
@lurkers, get the fuck in here and do some rolling/idea swapping
>>
Rolled 63, 91 = 154 (2d100)

>>2571077
The board is dying. Also its a week night instead of a weekend. That hurts.
>>
Rolled 13, 84 = 97 (2d100)

>>2571077
>>
>>2571077

>63, 91

Eh and awesome
>>
>>2571091
Yeah, this board was a mistake to begin with. /qst/ ironically killed of quests.
>>
>>2571190

To be fair, it's still not as bad as /tg/ after the split.

/qst/ is dying, but you can barely tell if /tg/ is even alive and not just twitching from death spasms.
>>
>>2571361
Wouldn’t really say it’s dying, it’s just that the low quality quests do not attract attention or encourage people to commit time. I for one only jump onboard after the 5th or so session, as it’s likely the quest will be around for some time rather than dying from the get go.

Also QM, stop being so insecure about running a boring quest and what not. You’rs is one of the best atm, so don’t ‘infer’ such things from slow days.
>>
>>2571077
Any continuation today or is the quest dead?
>>
>>2583445
Nothing on the twitter today.
>>
>>2571077
its not that just runs mostly whwen i am sleeping or have just gone up from bed and preparing for the day and stop being insecure you are one of the best here and i have a question what happened to hive queen quest?
>>
>>2584438
The most recent relevant Twitter update suggests a hiatus:

>Quick update: Work is in a strange stage of limbo where things are both busy and not changing at all, like a lawyer fueled corporate Tartarus. Also caught some nasty bug that has had be coughing up my lungs like an over-excited Ribbon Worm. Quest is sleeping, but not forgotten.
>>
>>2584438
>>2584652
Yeah he's on a hiatus while taking care of IRL stuff and working on crunch for the quest.

No confirmation when it'll be back, just that it will be
>>
>>2571077
I don't think any of your writings could ever be construed as boring Graves, People just got shit to do on weekdays and I'm only recently starting to come back into quests personally due to time constraints/stress/life generally being a struggle.

Also having just caught up to all the writing the past couple months I'm actually really enjoying the more side-story oriented stuff Ala Sur-Quro and the Wayward Disciple.
>>
>>2571077
"We don't have time to wait," Sur-Quro growls mostly to herself as her sight returns then calls out over their public comm line, "What are we waiting around for?! We are Necrolytes, we do not fear death, we conquer it and move through it!" she shouts while pulling her Sunthrower forward and the Legionnaires shout out and salute in reply. Even the pirates shout and salute in agreement, the Arbiter herself agreeing they were quickly proving themselves capable allies.

Moments later the droid lets out a chirp of confirmation as the bulwark groans and slides open to reveal the next section. Guided by Sur-Quro they charged in, dispatching the few zombies that had been trapped inside but as they ran down the hall toward the next emergency bulwark it too groans with straining metal before sliding open at their approach.

When Troma questions their sudden luck the vorh tech gives a click of laughter and motions toward the droid that was still managing to keep up despite their fast pace, "Assigned itself administrator for the local system that was severed from the rest. Should keep us going faster than before."

Satisfied Sur-Quro barks out a few orders and the Wardens snarl out in wordless reply as they pealed away from the living and began racing into splinter paths and corridors. The doors open for them after only a moments delay but as they continued deeper they had to break down through locked doors on their own without the droids assistance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRXeO5JpFxM

As the third bulwark slid open they are greeted by the sound of weaponsfire but the front row of Legionnaires were the largest of their number, netu and osjiic holding a mix of hardlight and physical shields. They do not slow their charge toward where ghouls were hunkered down and opening fire from an improvised gunners nest behind debris barricades.

At the head of the charge was the osjiic Arbiter Huor, her shield aflame and firing off rounds from a double-barreled spitefire that spreads the radiant flames whereever they struck. She was the first to crash through the first barricade, the slam of her shield sending an explosion of flames that engulfed several of the armed ghouls that tried to dive out of her way. Shots of her spitefire set aflame a ghoul that tried to level a heavy shotgun toward her and her heavy shield slams down, crushing a human ghoul that charged with vibroknives strapped to its mangled hands as she shouts out with a warriors excitement, "Burn you monsters, BURN!"

The other shieldbearers were not far behind, their own shields bashing aside barrier and undead alike as their weapons carved, smashed, or seared through them. Even the Pirates rushed ahead, no longer at unease fighting shoulder to shoulder with osjiic warriors.

>cont
>>
>>2588541
Captain Troma himself leaps over the heads of several of them, his wicked sword carving through the undead with a fury the Captain normally kept hidden. His blasters spun and shot burning bolts, his lesser pair of hands acting almost independent of the netu except for those times he uses them to finish off those snarling ghouls impaled on the vibroblade that glows with heat.

They threw themselves at this last defense and roll over them, the undead caught off-balance by their ferocity. With the last of the undead put down the tech and droid investigate the bulwark, quickly discovering it had been hastily welded shut.

As they quickly begin discussing using hardlight blades as torches to cut through Quikka steps forth with her shortstaff in hand with its thermal spike extended. Gripping it in both hands she lifts it up over her head, the staff suddenly crackling with sickly green energy that makes the others take cautious steps back. With a shout she brings it down, plunging the point into the door as if the staff itself was a hardlight weapon. Necrotic energy trails off her like wisps of green flame but as she concentrates a corrosion begins to spread out from the staff as she forcible rots and dissolves the metal from the inside.

With a grunt she steps back and the corruption continues to spread like a stain. The Necromancer gives another shout while thrusting her hand forward and the bulwark, weakened by the Necrotic poison, explodes out with her telekinetic burst leaving an entry wide enough for even the largest osjiic among them.

There was gunfire immediately to welcome them as Huor charges in first once more into the reactor room. Ghouls were arranged through the room on various catwalks and behind shoddy barricades they hadn't had time to reinforce, unable to halt the entrance of the Legionnaires and Pirates.

Quikka stumbles back but is caught by the droid who says nothing. Sur-Quro just gives a nod toward the Necromancer who responds with the same gesture while they attempt to recover from the exertion. With her own shout Sur-Quro charges in, her Sunthrower catapulting globules of radiant energy that splatter like burning liquid when they impact, igniting whatever they touched and burning the Necrotic virus in the undead.

The ghouls were tenacious but despite their fearlessness they were culled with satisfying speed by the fierce fighting force. Gargoyles slithered among the rafters, allowing the symbiot hosting Legionnaires to see just where ghouls were hiding on high levels, allowing the living to leap up with jumppack and stingwhip to assault them.

>cont
>>
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102 KB JPG
>>2588544
As Sur-Quro bashes back a ghoul with her Sunthrower and ignites it with a burst of flame she lifts her head toward the control room. Darting away from it on a higher catwalk the Arbiter spots the cybernetic ghoul as the other undead remain behind to fire at them. She tracks its movement a brief moment then lobs another of the globs of burning fire but it spots the incoming projectile and drags a vorh ghoul into its path. Sacrificing the now screaming undead it disappears from view down a side-passage.

With a shout from her Klinnik is quickly in the air, the stonestar Arbiter catapulting itself with a pair of stingwhips toward the fleeing undead. The ghouls were quick to intercept however, the stonestar forced into a fierce melee with four of the snarling ghouls that quickly became more feral in their attacks.

In fact, Sur-Quro notices that with the cybernetic ghoul fled from the scene the ghouls still remaining began attacking in fashions more like their natural feral state but some still seemed to grasp the use of the weapons clutching in their claws. With their sudden weakening they quickly fell before the living but by the time the last ghoul head was separated from its shoulders by Troma's blade, several Legionnaires and Pirates lay injured or slain.

With the groans of undead ringing in the air as zombies began converging on them, drawn by the sounds of battle the droid marches up and into the control room with the techs. From the path they had come they could head the bulwarks that had opened for the droid boom as they seal shut once again, allowing the living to tend to their wounded and secure the rest of the chamber.

With the droid and techs busy with the control room to lower the dangerously rising levels of radiation in the room and take control of the reactor Sur-Quro focuses on the Wardens.

The corridors and halls, little more than service paths for the reactors, were cramped and barely enough room for the bulky Reconstructed to squeeze through. The radiation within was enough to severely sicken or even kill lifeforms if exposed to long but to the Solar-fueled Wardens they paid it little mind. They followed the guidance of the Think Tanks who followed the droids maps and sonar of flatbody Gargoyles.

One of the Wardens walked down a path wide enough for it to avoid hunching over, steam leaking from some faulty pipe somewhere to obscure vision and make the weakly pulsing emergency light more of a hindrance than asset. However, for the eyeless Reconstructed it mattered little. They freeze in place suddenly as the sound of pounding metallic footsteps reaches them, drawing closer and louder.

>cont
>>
>>2588558
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-07adqkP1DA

A growling voice snarls out, "They've taken the reactor. I am returning now," it says as it approaches the Warden and passes under a Gargoyle.

"Regrettable. We can only hope the sabotage keeps them from repairing it in time," came that same disguised voice as before.

As the cybernetic ghoul rounds the corner they come to a halt as the Warden stood before them. The ghoul was shrouded in the steam but even the Warden could see it was holding some device that glowed with a faint blue. It's voice growls out as liquid flames begin to drip from the maw of the Warden as it tenses in place, "Contact with a Reconstructed. Talk later," it says and hastily holsters its communication device.

With a deep bellow the Warden charges suddenly, its hammer and shield left by its feet as they were worthless in the cramped confines. Instead it swipes with its heavy claws wreathed in Solar fire, the cyborg twisting out of the way with a feral snarl of its own. A blade lashes out suddenly, extending from its forearm and hacks at the bone armor but the Warden barely seems to register it as it snaps out with its fanged jaws, making the ghoul leap back to avoid the crushing bite that snaps with audible force.

Another blade from its other arm lashes out, the ghoul faster and more nimble than the bulky Warden but in the cramped confines the Reconstructed seemed to have the advantage as it attempts to corner the ghoul. Bone chips fly off its armor with each flurry of strikes, the Warden bellowing again as it belches a sheet of flame from its mouth but the ghoul rolls out of the way.

It tries to dart past but as it scrabbles past under a swipe they are suddenly blinded. Stumbling in surprise the ghoul reaches up to where the flatbody Gargoyle had wrapped itself tightly around its head. It's bonespurs try their best to inject their toxins but this one lacked acidic glands and the venom does nothing against it. The Gargoyles lets out a pained squeal as an armblade slices through it and its torn from the ghoul.

>cont
>>
>>2588561
Tossing the dying Gargoyle to the ground it rears back one of its arms in preparation to impale it when it finds itself lifted off its feet and thrown against the wall. The Warden's jaws were sealed around its forearm and much like the primal Warbloods that inspired their creation, it begins to shake its head violently to batter and slam the cyborg against the walls.

Thrown like a ragdoll the smaller undeads bones and metal reinforcments audible crack and groan. It tries lashing out at the Warden, spearing it several times but the Reconstructed felt no pain as it tries to savage the undead while scorching it with the flames spewing from its jaws. With a final act of desperation the ghoul slashes out with its free arm and the blade slices cleanly through the mangled joint of bone and metal that was its elbow.

Dropped to the ground it wastes no time, kicking out with both taloned feet at the Wardens knees and successfully breaking one of them. As the Warden tumbles over with the ghouls forearm still clamped in its jaws the cyborg ghoul charges away, its blade retracted allowing it charge on all three intact limbs quickly leaving the injured Warden behind with its arm as a trophy.

Roll me 1d100 best of first 3 please, time to undo the sabotage done to the Reactor
>>
Rolled 55 (1d100)

>>2588563
Rolling for victory.
>>
>>2588590
I don't think that could have been any more mediocre.
>>
Rolled 77 (1d100)

>>2588563
>>
>>2588590
>>2588636

Let's go for triple doubles
>>
Rolled 69 (1d100)

>>2588563
>>
>>>>2588541
Yes, its back!
>>
>>2588563

77, no drawbacks. Not bad, not bad
>>
Woo! The music is always a nice touch in battle scenes. Really engaging. It's like playing Doom as a quest.




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