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/qst/ - Quests

File: sciencesnek.jpg (356 KB, 648x900)
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Last Thread: >>4001267

Recap: After a fair bout of violence at the museum you've stolen a teleportation headband and a symbiote that you can form at will into whatever you like. You've used the former to teleport into the lab and you sure are pumped to go break into Theo's sanctum.

Credit for pic related: https://www.deviantart.com/maxa-art

The crisp smell of ozone hangs in the air. It's very hot and dark in here until sudden flashes of variegated colour illuminate the room for split seconds, distinguishing complex machinery tucked in every nook and cranny of the walls and ceiling, which at points make it very hard to distinguish which is which, but the only constant you can discern is the floor, which is a grille suspended half a meter over a network of drainage channels. You look behind you. The gang's all here.

(Continued in next post)
Someone taps away at a console with a portal behind her. She looks like pic related except with bright orange skin and green scales and hair. Every one of you is tense. Even though she seems to be preoccupied with her work you can feel an aura of immense power coming from her.

You've played enough RPGs to know that despite her appearance she is likely a force to be reckoned with. A miniboss, and you've had no time to recuperate - speaking of which, you just brought everyone here after a life-threatening fight. A real hero you are, giving your friends zero breaks, especially Gekky.

The guilt sets in. Gekky's been trapped in somebody else's body and forced to watch herself do degrading things, and she's the most reluctant member of your party. Through magic which none of you had the chance to explain to her, she was saved, but what kind of fatigue has that brought down on her. Even so, she's far too good-hearted to use her powers.

The scientist uncoils herself from a velvet padded heater. You've seen Gekky bring hers to school on a multitude of occasions. The lone scientist turns around, still tapping about as though she can see what she's doing.

???: Hey kids, are you enjoying your field trip? Oh-- are you lost?

Her ominous aura just vanishes all of a sudden and everyone lets down their guard for a moment. Everyone greet her politely as though nothing serious is happening.

Ckaro: ...it's you! Which route did you take?

She sets the machine to autopilot and then slithers over to Ckaro and whispers something to him. He loosens up and relaxes a little.

???: Oh, he's a friend from work. Know him?

Why's she - no - everyone being so casual about this? This place is locked behind security you can't even imagine, and you've just skipped past all that. You sputter for half a second and begin to think of what to say next.

> "We're here to kick Theo's ass and save the world! Wriggle aside!"

> "I could say the same for you! Ckaro here just showed up!"

> "How do you know we're on a field trip?"

> "We found this headband!"

> Write-In
>"How do you know we're on a field trip?"
Terry: How do you know we're on a field trip?

???: Oops, I forgot to introduce myself. I'm Sienna Sidewinder. They predicted that it'd happen to me today.

You notice an odd tic. She flicks her forked tongue out when she speaks. As she comes closer to you she slithers sidewards. Even Gekky finds this strange.

Sienna: Me and Ckaro are part of an organization dedicated to restoring order in this particular stretch of the Omniverse.

Maddox: *whispering* Great. Exposition. Nothing better than that before fighting a god.

Terry: That sounds awesome! Tell me all about it.

Sienna: You hear about the Restricted Zones out in the Western Desert that were evacuated because of the monsters there?

Maddox: Duh, think we live under rocks? Though I wish I had. My aunt's house over there was wrecked when I stayed over there when I was little.

Sienna: They sent the priesthood there to try and see what was going on. But those were my adventuring days back then, and the end of the world was close, and down there the firmament's dome was cracked and bleeding. So I had no choice but to go check it out. That's how I met an operative of the organization called Yellowjacket who told me my world was gonna end soon. Through some way I never knew they were gonna change fate to let a bunch of plucky high school kids change the world, as he said - "Like they always do". Where? I asked, and he told me about all the other ones saved by high school kids and boy did I learn a lot.

Terry: So... you're an interdimensional police force with a non-intervention policy.

Sienna: Precisely. This whole omniverse stuff was a lot to take in for me, so they gave me enough time to learn how to make it less to take in for you. I was sent on missions and out there I learned just how faulty, unsustainable and contrived our own dimension is. One of them was Nova where I met Ckaro.

Sara: We're gonna be space cops!

Maddox: Awesome! I knew our superhero origin story was about to end about here!

Sienna: Getting a job application here was not easy, and climbing up the ranks far enough to learn of the existence of this room, as well as being the one authorized to tinker with it was harder than almost dying or worse more times than I can count. So... i'm here to make it easier for you. I can bet you beat up a lot of people to get here.

Sara and Maddox say the next two lines in unison.

Sara: More than i'd prefer to.

Maddox: Less than i'd prefer to.

Gekky: Y-you're my mum's friend!

Sienna: Indeed, I am. Really helped me explaining away everything that happened to you kids, I hear she's quite the snooper.

Gekky: Well thank you so much for that. I almost couldn't sleep every time we got into a fight.

Sienna: Those brawls were easy to brush off. When you went out and spent the night at Terry's that one time, now that was a real challenge. Those years of sophistry paid off.

Gekky blushes.

(Continued in next post)
Sienna: For a moment I thought of just giving up and taking a short break off while your shotgun marriage. But it looks like Terry's dad wasn't as stubborn so I figured to let him figure it all out.

Gekky: How... how do you know all this?

Sienna: Connections. Lots of 'em. Also a bit of clairvoyance, too.

Gekky: This is a recruitment thing, huh. Lots more than I signed up for. What's in it for us?

Sienna: To be fair, thanks to time distortion it'll be only a few hours missing and you'll miss out on zero school.

Gekky: Rats!

Sienna: You will, of course, miss out on police investigations. But think of your missions as extracurricular activities. Imagine the skills, the cool shit you'll get. And put all that into humble Wesflow.

Gekky: Now that you say it that way, i'm in.

Maddox: Ditto.

Sara: My faith has gone down the toilet, so why not?

Sienna: So kids, how about a good ol' bout of god-slaying?

> Let's go!

> Ask a question (Specify how)

> Write-in
>Ask a question : “how exactly are we gonna kill a god without him/her destroying us first ?”
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Terry: How are we gonna beat Theo?

You hear Ckaro behind you and swivel around on one foot.

Ckaro: My sword carries the power - and part of the consciousness - of Theo's elder brother, to whom the clergy I am part of revolves around. Although my Mutilatinator R has been whittled down into a smoking nub, I am not unarmed.

Sienna: What he said.

She flicks her head towards Ckaro. Sara seems to be caught in a daze. For someone who is fulfilling a prophesy - aided by an organization powerful enough to change the course of fate itself - she is taking it remarkably well.

Sara: It's the moment I've been waiting for... my first glimpse into the beyond, far away from the reach of our creator.

Sienna: More like closer into the reach of our creator. This portal doesn't lead out of this dimension but into the innermost planes, where the material gives way to the spiritual, closer to the source of all creation.

Sara: They didn't teach us it was like this in the Temples - they said the Heavenly Halls were a transcendent realm, beyond ours.

Sienna: In a way they are, but there's a difference between a realm and a dimension - a dimension delineates a deity's jurisdiction. Realms don't. And it'd make sense that Theo, like the amateur he is, would pad out his bedroom with some really dangerous places.

Sara: But if we have to go through all that, how are we going to fight him without him destroying us all first?

Sienna: He can't. He's immobile, bound to the very central realm - that's where Ckaro's sword comes into play.

Sara: I see.

Maddox: Just noticed something.

Sienna: Hm?

Maddox: That portal looks an awful lot like an onahole.

Sienna: Yes, I can assume you're an expert in that particular field.

Maddox: A perfect fit for the likes of me.

Sienna rolls her eyes.

Sienna: If you thought your adventures before this were weird, prepare to have your minds blown. Since I don't wanna have dead children on my conscience, heed my words.

Everyone except Ckaro: Roger!

Sienna: Let's go!

Roll d100 to see where you go.
Rolled 88 (1d100)

Rolled 53 (1d100)

Rolled 77 (1d100)

>Weirdness going into maximum overdrive

Oh no
Rolled 1 (1d2)

Coin toss...
Rolled 1 (1d3)

These dices are weird
With one fell step you are cast into the unknown. You feel energy dancing along your body as you float, by yourself, in a place beyond space and time; but you are aware of five other consciousnesses in your vicinity. Your friends are with you, but for some reason you feel as though your souls are closer now that you cannot see them - but you can feel them. With psychic appendages you cling to Maddox and Gekky, the first ones to accompany on your journey.

An immaterial raft forms around you, bearing you across the seas of infinity. The journey is one delineated by changing mental states and emotions for which there are no names, and you cannot feel anything except the five mind-voices of your comrades, and a distant, powerful presence. Material form slowly returns.

You can feel your fingers and see your friends lying on piles of smooth rock and white sand. It is cool here.

The six of you are in the shade of an overhanging boulder that casts a shadow over an ashy desert. In the shadow are short, stunted shrubs and dried-out grass, but beyond it there are burned-out trees and plains upon plains of smoking ash, and strewn about are the bleached skeletons of animals big and small.

Above shines the monstrous effulgence of the white sun. You've never seen any place this... messy before, in your superflat facsimile of a world. But there's a sense of wrongness here. It's almost as if...

Sienna: Theo'd never take the time to make something like this. So he just stole the... source code from somebody else and used it to make an artificial version of this place.

In the distance flashes and gibbers a portal. Between the portal and you there is a lake that has no waves. To the left of it is a desert. To the right is a rocky wasteland.

Maddox: Aw, let's cut the crap and-

Maddox attempts to step out of the shadow, and recoils with a sudden sizzling noise.

Maddox: Aiee! Hot!

He quickly draws back and everyone inspects him for wounds - luckily, none of the sunlight actually hurt him. The tip of his left shoe is not burned. The fibres have been withered away, partially turned to ash.

Sara: I've seen this before. Necrosis. But never as quickly as this.

The sun creeps ever westward and the shadow becomes shorter, pinning you against the boulder itself, and soon there is no room to sit down. You must act quick

> Create an umbrella using your symbiote

> Get Sara to summon a hovering shadow

> Write-In
>Have Sara summon a shadow

Symbiote might rot
>Get Sara to summon a hovering shadow
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Terry: You can summon shadows, can you? Three-dimensional ones?

Sara: Yep, sure can.

She whispers something spooky, makes a gesture with both her hands and a black vapour spills out and coalesces in a large circle sticking out of the boulder's shadow. Everyone walks into it, and as Sara walks it follows her, the shadow cast by what seems to be an invisible object.

Right now the sky is steely grey, completely uniform because there's no overcast, no clouds whatsoever, neither are there any birds or the like. The landscape is completely, absolutely lifeless, and the sun's influence probably has something to do with it, since Sara's magic shadow keeps it from affecting anyone under its killer glare. You are cool as though you are under under an incorporeal object's shade, but you're not looking forward to leaving it.

Everyone is tense. Gekky tucks her closed hands under her chin, Sara's hands are raised. Even Maddox is losing his cool, shuddering at the thought of what might happen if Sara fails her spell, so he keeps a respectable distance from her in order not to distract her. The sky keeps moving westward - if this is day in this realm, you dread with all your heart what night might be like.

> Paddle through the lake (Use symbiote as raft, quickest route)

> Walk through the desert

> Walk through the rocky wasteland

> Write-In
> Paddle through the lake

Night might be totally normal
>Paddle through the lake
Inb4 it’s acid
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You decide to take the quickest route out.

Terry: Right pals, this is a completely blasted-out wasteland, I reckon this glorified pond should be enough for us to handle.

Gekky: It's a whole lot more scary knowing what's at our feet might give way at any moment.

Terry: So long as I have my symbiote out that won't be a problem.

You remove your shoes, stick 'em in your backpack and step out into the sand. Before you do you look at the soles of your shoes and oh boy, this place gives into the death aesthetic so much you can see thousands of little carcasses, diatoms and plankton, crushed shells and everything, making up every grain of sand here, all coating the bottom of your shoe. You pick up a burned stick and prod it at the lake, upon which it dissolves upon contact into ash. You don't hear any fizzing, so it's-

Terry: Just regular water. Sterile, even.

Black slime pours from the soles of your feet and forms a canoe of sorts standing on the sand. Everyone gets in. You form snail treads at the bottom of the hull and get into the lake, and with a mild splosh you're paddling in there with three rows of fins you've grown by their side. Gekky peers over and there's really nothing in the seafloor except sand and shells and bones. Were it not for the instakilling sun this would be an ideal holiday destination - the sand dunes, the eerie majesty of the ribs reaching off into the sun...

And as you row leisurely across the lake the white sun begins to set. But instead of darkness enveloping the eastern skies there comes an eerie green haze as yet another sun, florescently green, peeks over the horizon. Everyone looks back at it. But then they look overboard as algal scum begins to form on the water's surface. Off in the distance, rapidly growing shrubs overturn pebbles and clinker.

> Get Sara to use necrosis

> Elevate the canoe to see what's going on.

> Row faster

> Write-In
Oh boy does one sun kill things and the other grow things?

>Row faster


>Ask Sara if she can dual cast

If she can keep shadowing us while rotting the new life then go for it. I just don't want life sun to give everyone super cancer by growing us out of control.
>Row faster
This explain the bones so let’s not be an alligator’s dinner
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Alarmed by what's happening, you row it faster and now you're further than halfway across the lake, but it becomes harder now that the algae is becoming thicker and in some places bubbling and climbing up the side of the hull. Maddox takes out Pussy Slayer and hacks a huge scar in it, but it slowly reforms.

Terry: Sara, can you dual cast?

Sara: Yes, I can, but the shadow won't be as big. Are you really sure you want me to do this?

Terry: I sure as hell am.

Sara: Get ready. Huddle up close because there's no telling what this sun'll do to you.

In an instinctive act of protection, Gekky wraps everyone up in the middle of the symbiote boat - everyone is packed tightly together, and she almost squashes you when she sees the first green slivers climbing over the boat's edge.

Sara whispers again, this time more forcefully, and the algae dries up into a brown-black charred substance, and falls apart on deck. Gekky loosens up and you climb up her tail. You are connected to the canoe by two tendrils of glistening black stuff.

Terry: Well done, Sara! You've done a number on them - it'll be a while until they start creeping back.

Your boat is in the middle of a crater in the algae. It turns out it loses its ability to float when it dies. From this vantage you are still under Sara's shadow, but you can see further inland.

Trees and vines of many shapes begin to grow to monstrous heights, some of which give way under their weight, only to be devoured by a host of fungi and lichen and swarming insects.

Beehives form within seconds and hideous jungle animals die, reproduce, and are born within minutes. Malformed hives spring up everywhere inland. Carcasses are instantly overtaken by infestations of god-knows-what. It's truly a visceral sight. Your stomach churns. You're lucky you're far away from it all.

The ends of your symbiote feel a small pain and you instinctively draw them back as fast as you can, shortening your boat. Sara's range has decreased thanks to casting her necrosis spell. Everyone shudders for a moment, feeling like they're about to die, but then everyone becomes calmer, focused, and more at ease.

This is far too sudden - what could have caused this? And then you realize it's Gekky's voice in your head who's single-handedly raising our morale. She's made it sound like yours, but you can recognize her though-patterns enough for you to know who it is.

Underwater you've cast a shaft of light into the murk, and this comes to the attention of a great and fell beast which emerges in a mighty heave. It's a hunchbacked, semi-humanoid reptilian thing with bright yellow eyes and cartilaginous protrusions over its hideous face. It only shows its chest and head. It growls and cackles and groans. Something ropy and yellow pours from its mouth into the water. Then it spits it out onto the nearby algae.

(Continued in next post)

> Put on your glass helmet and attack it with your symbiote underwater

> Give your glass helmet to Ckaro/Maddox/Gekky so they can use their melee weapons underwater

> Ask Sara to use her sand termites trick

> Write-In
>Put on your glass helmet and attack it with your symbiote underwater
Let’s put our grasses on
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Terry: Stay back here! I'll deal with it down below!

Gekky: Oh shit...

You plop your glass helmet on, remove the rest of your clothes, and dive in. The moment you strike the water the symbiote forms a second skin around you, glistening and black, as you dive into the murky green water. Untold thousands of horrible creatures teem in the water, either slimy or shelled, inimical in every sense of the word. The water is pleasantly warm.

Luckily your symbiote distinguishes you as an alien creature entirely separate from their ecology and you attract the attention of no predators or parasites. With your glass bubble helmet you look like a scuba diver or a spaceman. You're still attached to the boat by a long black cord from your ankle.

The thing reels back. You look up and somebody's whacked it in the face with their whole body. It must be Sara and her Giantess Rammer! The fool! You form a spiked mace and smash it right in the stomach, injuring it severely. It might have sustained internal bleeding. It swipes at your cord and it takes all your might to stop it from separating, but you are thrown closer to the boat.

You hear distant screaming from above, but not all of it is from the monster. Everything around you swims about disinterestedly. Frightened yet curious, you attach the cord to your ear and hollow it out into a pipe which surfaces in the hull of the boat. Then comes the screaming.

Gekky: Terry Terry Terry! These towers came out of the algae and now they're giving off this gas! Do something!

And so you do, giving your boat a roof so now it looks more like a submarine.

Gekky: Thanks. We're clear now, I hope.

Terry: No problem, Gekky. What's going on up there?

Gekky: Oh, you weakened it enough for me to hypnotize that thing. I guess it was because we're both reptilian (well, partially for me) and it was a really primitive animal or something. Oh, and Sara threw out some sand so her termites are eating those towers.

You withdraw your cord into the tiny little submarine, which is floating a respectable distance underwater. It's so cramped everyone's breathing each other's breath, but there's a golf-ball sized hole in the roof. You're nearly at the end when the green sun begins to set. Farewell, lake monsters! Prepare to die!

Maddox: Dammit, Terry! I thought we were gonna get crushed to death!

> Create a window to see what's out there

> Turn it back into a boat

> Write-In
>Create a window to see what's out there
You create a window for the submarine and you shut it faster and harder than your spinchter after diarrhea.

Gekky: What even was that? We couldn't see. Why'd you close it so quickly?

Terry: Believe me. You don't want to see.

Gekky: Oh yes I do. Open up that window!

Terry: Don't say I didn't warn you.

You open it up again and the white sun is setting, and from the east comes the crimson effulgence of the red sun. And then it occurs to you - if the white sun kills and disintegrates life, and the green sun creates it and makes it grow in utterly disgusting and foul ways, what the hell does the red sun do?

The pond scum contorts in a hundred different ways, forming leaves, ferns, mouths and various other protrusions. The jungle at the lakeshore explodes into a hundred gory shapes, animals mutate into shambling chimeras, occasionally fusing and separating. Bones spill out into spines, faces contort until form becomes a mere suggestion - the same is true for the plants, which wave around, woody crackling can be heard from your submarine as they bend over and spew yellow pus from exploding warts.

Gekky: Now that's something I wouldn't want to sunbathe in.

Gnawing can be heard on the roof. A termite the size of a pig pries it open, but thank whatever stands above Theo that Sara's hovering shadow is wider than ever.

Terry: The white sun's my favorite one now.

Maddox slugs it in the abdomen so hard its carapace cracks. Then he pulls it in, locks it in a headlock, and punches away. When he's absolutely sure it's dead he throws it out.

Maddox: Ditto, Terry! A smoking wasteland is much better than whatever the hell all this is!

Sara: I do remember throwing more than one grain of sand at those fruiting bodies.

Terry: Sara, can you hypnotize those termites? They're pretty dumb, right?

Gekky: So dumb, in fact, that they're completely irresponsive to my telepathy!

Gekky tail whips one off the roof.


> Form long spikes on the submarine

> Turn your submarine into a bridge, the portal is close enough

> Ask Sienna for help
>Give the sub spikes

>And then give the spikes more spikes
>Form long spikes on the submarine
Terry: I'd like to apologize to everyone in advance!

With incredible force of will, you sprout spikes from the exterior of the submarine. Dozens of giant termites are mercilessly impaled, yet still squirming as they bleed out. This isn't nearly enough, you think, as you give those spikes even more spikes, skewering organ after organ. The baleful mutative effects of the red sun settle in and horrible tumours burst from their wounds, crystallizing and solidifying in hideous shapes, as though they all belonged to other animals. Slowly and painfully, they die.

As you do this the walls of the submarine contract even tighter, and the breathing-hole slides around to the side. Everyone screams trying to dodge the shaft of light, tumbling over each other and ducking, squeezing past squirming bodies. When there's no more movement, no stirring on the spikes, you retract them and everyone can breath again.

Sienna: A close call, Terry. There's no telling what could have happened to us if we touched that red light.

Gekky: No shit!

Ckaro: Mhm.

Terry: But at least we made it out.

Sienna: It'd behoove you to be more considerate. A wiser choice would have been to put the hole on the side facing away from the sun.

Terry: Sorry. Duly noted.

There is a sudden rumble as the submarine strikes ground. You open a door and everyone leaves your submarine. You make sure everyone's underneath Sara's magic shadow. Then you retract the symbiote into your body. It's always strange to imagine how exactly the whole thing fits in there - is there some new receptacle you can't feel? Nope, whenever you retract it it seems to just ripple through whatever body part you put it back in.

You step out into a beach of shingles covered in crusty red stuff that resembles clotted blood. A whirring yellow portal pulsates and quivers ahead of you, made even brighter under Sara's magic shadow. Whatever realm this leads to, it can't be any worse than the one you're in right now.

Maddox: At last! We're almost out of this shithole!

Sienna: You handled all this particularly well. I'd say your leadership skills leave little to be desired.

Terry: Thanks. But what's important is that we move on.

Roll 1d100 to see where you go next.
Rolled 34 (1d100)

Oh no, Sienna is trying to add herself to our snek harem with those compliments
Do you mind rolling as well dude ? What we have is not good
Rolled 45 (1d100)

Oh damn didn't even notice there wasn't a roll. I must have typoed my dice or something.
Rolled 2 (1d2)

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You emerge from a pixelated portal under a hazy purple sky. In the distance there lies a checkerboard ocean, every heaving wave rife with surfers, and every time the waves crash on the shores eerily familiar 80-bit static noises ring. You stand on a beach of electric blue sand, and though the skies are dark there is an orange and pink sun that engulfs one tenth of the skyline, illuminating in a surreal pinkish glow. Beyond the city wireframe mountains rise ensconce the sun, and the city itself is made of black and blue pixels. In your childhood you might have played a video game that looked like this, given the strange feelings of nostalgia that you assume share with Maddox, who looks like he's on the brink of crying as he leans against a grainy, blocky palm tree.

Maddox: So beautiful... a real shame we won't see this place ever again.

Sienna: You will, I hope. This place was torn from a dimension that looks like this, but with all the bells and whistles done right.

Maddox: You mean like-

Sienna: A stage, with props, crudely modeled after the real thing. It's like comparing actual Chinese food with Panda Express.

Maddox: I get the first part, but what are those things?

Sienna: Oh, sorry. Never mind. These things often happen to interdimensional travellers like me.

Ckaro: The place this is modelled after is called Vaporfrazzle, and I participated in the Final Concert before we had to migrate everyone to the colonies on Polygondwana. We watched the dimension die from our Movers... i'll remember that moment til I die...

Gekky: The whole place looks like a computer simulation - good thing I brought my camera.

She snaps a few pictures.

Gekky: And good thing the sun doesn't kill us instantly. Must be why there's a city over there.

Terry: I wouldn't mind staying here longer than the last. I'll let you guys take your time, but just remember we've got a job to do.

> Go to the city

> Go to the mountains

> Stroll along the beach promenade
>Go to the city
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You walk to the city, where light plays off buildings in a crude and digital way, until you realize that they don't render until you're within a certain distance of them. At a certain distance the city just dissolves into rectangular floating chunks of something-something before just vanishing. This is especially apparent with the cars. Across the street a club materializes, and the line outside is frozen for three seconds before they move and clamor again. When you point this out to your friends, they begin to ponder the possibilities.

Gekky: What if this means everything just freezes up when we're not near them?

Sienna: It would appear so.

Gekky: So we're like beacons, beacons of movement. And without us, an observer, they're just stuck there forever.

Sienna: Correct.

Gekky: Must be kinda awkward knowing that. Hope they aren't ever aware of it.

Sienna: It'd be awful if they were.

Gekky: Hold it - let me try something.

Sienna: Go ahead.

She slithers off in one direction until she's just floating off in the void.

Gekky: Can you hear me!!!

Sienna: We can.

Gekky: It's all dark for you, right?

Sienna: Yep.

Gekky: Everything's visible and moving for me.

Sienna: A fascinating development indeed. When I was on the real Vaporfrazzle I never witnessed anything of the sort.

> Go to the bar

> Go to the arcade

> Go to the racecourse

> Keep on walking
>> Go to the bar
>Go to the bar
File: Untitled.png (1 KB, 241x146)
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You find a bright neon sign labelled "CALLAHAN'S DIVE" and decide to go in there. From a distance you pause, and so is everyone inside the building, except for one person. He immediately catches your attention and so you sit next to him.

Terry: You, uh... from here?

???: Not in the slightest. The name's Tristan Puckett.

He's 100% human, like you.

Tristan: I went in here on behalf of - ah, the organization.

Sienna: Tristan! It's you!

Tristan: In one piece, I tell you what.

Sienna: No time for introductions. What're you doing over here?

Tristan: Oh, integrating in the main realm was fun and all. Such a laidback lifestyle you people have over there. But then Theo found out what was going on.

Gekky: I think I saw you on TV once!

Tristan: On a broadcast about a disaster. Must be so unifying, for you to have a common enemy. We have one here. A baddie.

Gekky: And who is he?

Tristan: Someone whom you'll need my armour to defeat.

Gekky: So where is it?

While they talk you get a tad thirsty.

> Orange Drink

> Green Drink
>Orange Drink
Orange drink good
> Orange Drink

What’ll it be, Crush or Fanta?
Nothing bad happens. It tastes like ozone and Faygo.

Tristan: I'll show you later. Tell me, what can you do with your powers?

Gekky: I can hypnotize people and most animals.

Tristan: Ah, simply delightful! As you know, people in this realm cease to move when you're at a certain distance from them. But, when you put 'em under your spell, you can get them to move into that range and do as you will.

Gekky: Makes sense.

Tristan: Come along now, to my workshop.

You do so and it's a garage in the outskirts of the city where there's lots of mechanical stuff lying around.

Tristan: I've been much fascinated with the co-existence of the different species in the main realm. Your theocratic government heals like a bandaged wound rubbed with alcohol every time an anomaly is introduced. That's why I've created these suits of battle armour because I felt like it.

He gestures towards several stands, showcasing futuristic armour that can fit several body types - centaurs, scyllas, and even lamia.

Tristan: Your world hasn't much need for these, considering how the kaiju are best fought in mechs. But mechs aren't as conspicuous as these. Now, who wants to slap on some gear?

Maddox: Me! Me!

Maddox: jumps up and down.

Tristan: Oo-er. Sorry, wings in the way. Never considered that before.

Maddox: Damnable!

Tristan: Now these sets of armour, you can't just slip 'em on like socks. There's a process. Everything's got to be completely airtight.

That rules you out, since you pretty much depend on your symbiote at this point.

Gekky: I'll go, then.

Tristan: Excellent! I've got a helmet that can really enhance your abilities...

Tristan leads Gekky into a room. You hear spraying and scary hydraulic noises. Then clunking and whirring. What the hell's happening to her? Then she slithers out.

Tristan: Hope pink's your colour, Gekky.

Gekky looks gorgeous. Sleek, skintight armour over a shiny catsuit, with many-jointed plating protecting the top of her tail. Her entire body, save for her face, is covered by a layer of rubbery stuff. It's very, very tight. Maddox can't stop looking. She plops a futuristic black helmet on her head, and the helmet displays a cartoon of her face.

Sara: It's so cute!

Naturally she goes and feel her up. There's that noise of stretching rubber.

Maddox: She's awakened something in me...

Ckaro: I'm a bit skinny for one. And wearing that would probably simultaneously violate at least dozen tenets of my faith.

Keep in mind he's a stickman.

Tristan: You ain't stuck with this. You can say disengage and your armor will just pop off. Then all you gotta do is take off the skinsuit.

Sienna: Ooh~

Tristan: So, Terry old boy. Here's the deal. CognitoDevils have been spawning last week, showing up wherever there's a game on, so all the dang arcades in town are closed. We've traced the culprit to somewhere in the mountains, but we ain't sure where he is.
> "What's a CognitoDevil?"

> "Can't you just live without video games for awhile before he gets bored?"

> "How are we gonna get to these mountains? Wireframes look pretty hard to stand on."

> Write-In
>"What's a CognitoDevil?"
>Naturally she goes and feel her up. There's that noise of stretching rubber.
I don’t even have a latex fetish, but this makes me wanna use this
> "What's a CognitoDevil?"

>"What does that suit actually do?"
Terry: What's a CognitoDevil?

Tristan: A malevolent entity that travels through cyberspace and electric cables alike. They can possess electronic media, like TV broadcasts and VHS tapes. Pretty much a computer virus that can manifest into reality. They're also bound to the IP address of whomever coded them. Lately the arcade cabinets have been full of them. Which is a real damn shame, considering how there's a video game tournament tomorrow.

Terry: I mean, it really says more about whoever's doing this than whoever's organizing the tournament. Imagine being that butthurt about an arcade.

Tristan: I know, right?

Terry: And what about Gekky's suit? It's got to do a whole lot more things than show off them killer curves.

Tristan: It amplifies her telepathy. She can communicate with everyone you within a kilometer, and implant commands within 30 meters, and that's far beyond the rendering threshold. She also can use the visor as a telescope. There's also an arm-cannon.

You look at her again. Gekky's armour leaves several... well, compromised parts covered just in rubber. If you were to wear it, you might as well slap on a loincloth just in case.

Terry: I suppose we'll call the space where we can't see anything the Static Zone, and the space between where everything moves and the Static Zone the Frozen Zone.

Terry: So, where's the tournament then?

Tristan: Billy's Games. It's closed.

Terry: Now I know what we've got to do.

You bring the gang over there. An evil aura hangs over the place, so much so that everyone you see on the street, wearing neon clothing and dark sunglasses, sneaks by hesitantly. The place has its windows and front door boarded up. Maddox tears them open as though they were made out of tissue paper.

Maddox: What a dingy joint. Did they really have to host the tournament in an arcade like this?

> Get Gekky to control a bystander from the Frozen Zone and enter the arcade

> Go in there yourself

> Ask Sara for help regarding CognitoDevils

> Write-In
>Ask Sara for help regarding CognitoDevils
File: obeyhat.png (35 KB, 400x400)
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Terry: Sara, you know anything about CognitoDevils?

Sara: My mentor's friend had to exorcise them from somebody. They show up on television as fuzzy things and get in people's heads. Then they cast themselves into real life, even more so if that person has magical abilities.

Terry: I just got this idea, Sara. What if there are two beings in someone's head at the same time?

Sara: Never really tried that before. But let's see what'll happen if you do.

Terry: Yo, Gekky. Can you snag that guy over there?

Gekky: Okay.

Terry: Let's see if this works.

You pick up a discarded newspaper, fold it into a paper airplane with your symbiote and toss it, as gracefully yet forcefully as you can, into the arcade. Then you step backwards away from it until it stops moving. There it is.

Terry: Yep, it's in the Frozen Zone. Everyone, don't move any closer to it because if you do the arcade will render, things'll move and it won't be frozen no more. Gekky, make sure you move in a straight line from where I am.

Everyone stands still, and some walk back.

Gekky plops on an "OBEY" hat on her helmet. She must have visited a clothing store here, I think. Then Gekky places herself at a point where the arcade is entirely contained in the Frozen Zone. She turns to the right and waits for someone to enter the Frozen Zone at the perimeter of her vision and snags some passer-by off the street as her visor displays a spiral.

Gekky: Whoever you are... I'd like to apologize in advance if this messes you up.

The passer-by just swivels around and straight-leggedly saunters into the arcade. The paper airplane, just a collection of fourteen pixels by now, hangs in the air, static. She walks right past it, past defunct arcade cabinets.

Gekky: Don't worry. This'll just be for a while. So, Terry. What game is she gonna play?

> Speedy Weedy

> Kill Them Zombies

> CentiMania

> Bad Altitude

> Write-In
>Kill Them Zombies
Kinda sad I was the only vote before
Terry: Kill Them Zombies.

Gekky: Alright, pal... play that game for me, will you?

She walks over to the "Kill Them Zombies" arcade cabinet where there's two light guns set by it. She rolls a coin into the slot and wraps her fingers around the trigger. She fires. From a distance you can see the game glitching around, making frazzling noises. Then comes the shuddering and clunking echoing inside the cabinet. When the first few zombies come in, she blasts them easily, but as the stage progresses more of it fails to render properly, sprites appear where they shouldn't, things start to just spasm around, until her eyes flicker with static for a brief moment.

Sara: Here it comes!

Gekky: It's there it's there it's there! Oh crud!

Terry: Come on, fight it! I believe in you!

Gekky squirms about, twisting her tail, gritting her teeth in what seems to be a gruelling psychic effort until whatever is in her victim is forcibly wrenched out of her victim's mouth, a flickering, wobbling being of energy, and dragged out, illuminating the whole arcade. The CognitoDevil is manifested in reality. Then it leaps forth out of the arcade, enraged at its summoners. It looks like a horde of zombies but an aura of energy connects them.

Needless to say, Maddox is quick to beat them up so quickly you haven't opened your mouth before he smashes the last one, which moans words incoherently. Gekky immediately slips inside and escorts her confused victim back on the streets, telling her that she was drunk then.

Maddox: Alright, you rotting son of a bitch, who sent you?

CognitoDevil: You mean to inquire on the computer on which I was sent?

Maddox: Yes! Say it, or you'll lose your jaw!

CognitoDevil: In the mountains...

Maddox slaps it across the face.

Maddox: Co-oooooooordinates! Now!

CognitoDevil: (338,512)!

Maddox tosses it aside and it squirms back into the arcade, then escapes through a power outlet.

Tristan: How're we gonna get to there?

> Helicopter

> Car

> By foot

> Write-In

Some of these updates come super late for me. Timezones!
You get your sore rumps over to the helicopter, which is unreasonably shiny and colourful like every other vehicle in this dimension, so much so that you've got to squint a little before you get in.

Tristan pilots the thing into the mountains and boy, do they look like an unfinished video game. Red lines abound everywhere, and overgrown hairy arrows constitute coniferous trees that are always facing you no matter how far you fly.

There's a stark square of gray - that's it, the bunker hideout of whoever's sending the CognitoDevils. Tristan lands the helicopter directly on the roof, and Sienna drags him from a squarish trapdoor out of the building with her tail.

Sienna: Care to explain yourself?

???: Oh yes I can. There's been serious corruption going on, and I have proof. The name's Fuller, by the way.

He plays a recording from a casette tape. On your world there's no other method of data storage other than cartridges of various capacities. It shows someone bribing a dude in a suit. Sienna releases him.

Tristan: The hell? I never thought this tournament was such a big deal.

Fuller: If it wasn't, then I wouldn't have spent that long hacking those CognitoDevils out of cyberspace! Anyhow, the grand prize is a video game cartridge, right-

Gekky: That's it! Our ticket out of here!

Fuller: Titled, "The Ticket To Transcendence". It's a tad magical, but nobody will believe me.

Gekky: Nailed it!

Fuller: And the dudes who bribed the organizer to rig the games are certainly not from here.

Terry: Oh, scubber. I smell trouble.

Fuller: So I'm-a lay off the incursions so tomorrow we go and grab it from them. Ta-ta?

Terry: Gotcha.

Now you're back at the arcade. It's been swept up substantially, and you're at the booth where you can enter to be in the tournament, but only one among you can enter. Who's going?

> You

> Maddox

> Gekky

> Sara

> Ckaro

> Sienna

He seems like he'd be the most into games
Terry: Maddox! You're up!

Maddox flashes a wicked grin. Tristan pays for the competition. The crowd goes wild as he plows through the competition, saying absolutely nothing as he beats everyone who trash talks and doesn't trash talk him. He just smiles.

By the eighth round he's in a gaming trance. Then once the finals roll by, a non-pixelated individual, his ultimate opponent, sits by him. You don't know who he is but he sure looks pretty menacing.

The tapping of controllers becomes audible at this point, and they sweat so hard right now it runs down the chair legs and stain the shag carpet. Good lord. The cheering starts to crescendo and all your friends begin to get a bit on edge.

Then Maddox begins to talk. It's an exchange of obscenities left and right. He spreads his wings. For what purpose? Dramatic effect you assume.

Roll 1d100 to see how well Maddox does.
Rolled 45 (1d100)

45 + 10 = 55

Maddox's mullet glistens brightly and his mysterious opponent works so hard at his controller that his fingers bend back and warp, spasming and convulsing in a way that shouldn't be possible for a normal human being. One of his fingernails pulls loose and flicks out for a second before going back in its socket. His triceps inflate. His hood soaks up so much sweat that it falls off, revealing him as the first person you fought - Sebastian Jones!

For a second there you imagine yourself tossing a gel capsule at him, but this is a game tournament, not a school hallway. The screen flashes and flickers, and the game accelerates to such a speed that you can't even take note of what's going on. The cheering gets ever louder, and people start throwing empty (or full) cans at the player they're not rooting for.

Sebastian: Prepare, Terry... to be stranded in this realm for all eternity!

Terry: Then you'll have to top Maddox first.

He looks at you for a moment with a mad gleam in his eyes.

The crowd's clamour gets so loud you think your ears might just bleed. Sara's certainly are. She falls to her knees, tears pouring from her eyes, so you try to comfort her. There's no point calling someone for help because there's nobody with a voice louder than theirs. You rush out of the building to look for some plasters.

When you return Sebastian has been defeated. 8-bit fanfare is playing. He's on his knees, crying. Maddox is doing his victory dance, which involves a lot of crotch chopping. He spits on Sebastian, reaches for his trousers but then draws his hands back as though he's about to piss on him but then reconsidered it, and spreads his wings wider to look cooler. The owner of the arcade brings out the grand prize - a cartridge of the Golden Edition of "The Ticket To Transcendence", shining under the fluorescent light.

Then Sebastian lunges out at him, every bone disconnecting from each other, and he harms him greviously. Everyone boos him, but Maddox comes to intervene. They brawl for thirty minutes and everyone goads them on. You don't want to interrupt him, but you do record him while chanting

Terry: Worrrrllllll staaaarrrrrrr!

Maddox is in a horrible state, but he spin-kicks the smashed-up, barely-breathing carcass of Sebastian Jones out the window. Everyone rushes outside to see what happens, you and your friends follow them, but there's a huge crowd in front of you.

Gekky flashes her spiral at a group of people right before they enter the Freeze Zone and gets them to move aside. You see Sebastian Jones lying in a garbage pail. In a flash of light, he disappears.

Sienna: Stay home, Sebastian!

You plug the cartridge into Tristan's console, and his television becomes a swirling portal.

Roll 1d100 to see where you go.
Rolled 76 (1d100)

I think now there’ll be more people to roll
Rolled 39 (1d100)

Sebastian the Unman? Wasn't he some kind of immortal shapeshifter made of primordial ooze? And Maddox beat him in a fistfight? Damn.
Rolled 2 (1d2)

File: jungle.jpg (483 KB, 1440x882)
483 KB
483 KB JPG
You lead the way into the portal and the first thing noticed is the smell of moisture and vegetation and the feel of ferns and grass underfoot. When you look up there's a great big jungle where all the trees twist and bend in abnormal ways.

Sara: It's all over the place. It's even worse than the one with three suns. There's just too many kinds of plants here. Just too many.

Gekky: For some reason... I feel at home here. There's nothing I can name. All the trees look so different, everything's so messy, but it all feels so right.

Maddox: Yea, you always had a knack for tree climbing.

Gekky shoots him a killer glare but then she withdraws it because he probably didn't know what happened because he lives so far from your house.

Gekky: Almost all the towns are along the canals, so I figure we should go down this wavy canal.

Terry: An astute idea. We can't live without water or a way to get to Centropolis.

Sienna: What about me, then?

Maddox: That's because you people dig your water from holes and go to Centropolis every five years for a pilgrimage. Which is why all the games you've got over there are a decade old at least.

Sienna: If that's what you're told, I suppose.

Maddox: I have an aunt there. It's like they don't stock their cartridges! Imagine playing the same games for ten years!

Banyans and willows hang over the meandering, shallow river full of drifting lilies. Gekky feels a strange affinity with it, but the same could not be said for Sienna, who is put off by the density and sickness - she feels more at home in the desert near the borders. Her side-winding slither makes her brush against all sorts of thorny and malign things.

Gekky: Hey, you can try on my suit if you...

Sienna: No thank you, i'm alright.

Ckaro: I have some sting ointment-

Sienna: Like I said, let's leave it until we set up camp somewhere.

You re-stock Diarrhea Decimator with nasty stuff you find at the jungle floor. High above you, you can see many winged humanoid shapes fleeing from something much larger.

> Shoot it!

> Be on your way

> Climb the tree with your symbiote

> Write-In
>Climb the tree with your symbiote
>climb a tree

Warn the party first
File: oog.jpg (20 KB, 417x640)
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Although Maddox destroyed his shirt while fighting Sebastian in Not!Vaporfrazzle, he seems to be completely free from insect bites or the like. He credits it to his "Unstoppable, unconquerable aura of manly masculine manliness!". Which might be true seeing as they go out of their way to veer away from him, so sweaty Sienna slithers very close to Maddox, almost rubbing against him. He reacts as you'd expect him to. The bugs trouble Sienna no more.

Terry: Stay down here, guys. I'm going up.

Gekky: Can I come too? How about you, Sienna?

Sienna: I'm fine, thank you. I'll stay down here.

For somebody who was so eager to show you around she's quite noncontributory.

Ckaro: Always a good thing to let the kids do all the work. Team-building skills and all.

Terry: Yea, sure. For a warrior-priest from a dimension constantly at war you're pretty passive. Gekky, come up with me.

Black tentacles sprout out of your back and you climb up the tree, keeping a respectable distance from the moss and parasites all over it. You get a good perspective of what's going on up there. A green wyrm chases a group of small, winged humanoids with reptilian heads. You've never seen either species in Wesflow nor Centropolis, or even the internet in general.


> Get Gekky to hypnotize the wyrm

> Get Gekky to hypnotize the natives

> Write-In
>Get Gekky to hypnotize the wyrm
Terry: Gekky! Do your thing!

The blue face on her helmet display disappears and is replaced by a spiral. After adjusting her "OBEY" hat she aims it at the wyrm and commands it to stop and sit somewhere. It does so and the winded people stop as well. They look at Gekky.

???: It's one of them! Run!

???: Hold on! She's wearing something weird.

???: There could be anything under that helmet. This could be interesting.

One of them lands by her and introduces itself as Doppa.

Doppa: Greetings! Are you of the dead-hair tribe or living-hair tribe?

Gekky: N-neither?

Doppa: Very intriguing. You seem lost. Care to join us at our village?

> "That'd be nice, thank you." (Follow Doppa)

> "We'll be on our way, thanks." (Continue down the river)

> Write-In
>"That'd be nice, thanks. "

>"Seen any interdimensional portals around lately? "
>"That'd be nice, thank you." (Follow Doppa)
File: treehousevilalge.jpg (83 KB, 800x550)
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Terry: That'd be nice, thanks.

Doppa: Excellent! Follow me.

You follow him to his village by using your symbiote to climb across trees. Gekky does so even better than you can, as though she's lived here her entire life. Your friends follow on the forest floor and they're unnoticed by the kobolds.

Terry: Pardon me if what i'm saying doesn't make sense - seen any interdimensional portals around here lately?

Doppa: I know nothing about that - but luckily the livingmane tribe knows many things about this.

(I changed the name because I thought it sounded really stupid)

You call 'em that because you've only seen diminutive dragon-people in your video games. The further you go the more statues you see placed along the branches. Most are wrapped in vines and ivies, some of which are blooming.

Gekky: Lots of lamia statues here... a bit creepy I reckon.

Terry: Maybe it's just part of the local art scene. Like the statue garden in Easflow.

Gekky: Then I think we should take a closer look once we're in.

Then in the distance you can see little treehouses dotting the foliage, with rope bridges hanging in between them. There are hundreds of lamia here, but there's one major difference. Every strand of hair is much thicker and moves around as if they were their own being. Or at least that's what you can tell from this distance. There's an entrance platform woven from wicker and at the front Doppa kneels before an arch. You follow suit.

A member of the livingmane tribe rises imperiously above you. You can't even see her eyes considering how high she is.

???: Who're these strangers?

Doppa: Very interesting ones, Nembra. Just look at that one over there-

Doppa gesticulates at Gekky.

Nembra: She's in very strange clothes, yet... she's not livingmane, is she?

Doppa: Well, we can't see her hair.

Nembra: And what of her friend? How does... just-just-just look at her! I can't even begin to tell you what's wrong with her.

> Get Gekky to hypnotize Nembra

> Put a bit of your symbiote into her helmet to create a disguise for her

> Stuff your clothes with symbiote to look female

> Write-In
>Stuff your clothes with symbiote to look female
Until now, I thought Terry was a girl
You assume that this society has no men in it. You decide to never, ever tell this to Maddox. On another world they would say "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." and command your symbiote to pad out your clothes a little, filling up your clothes. It's really uncomfortable at some points.

Nembra: Was I seeing something?

Doppa: I believe you were.

Nembra: Never mind. That isn't important. Anyhow! What's with the weird clothes, whoeveryouare?

Gekky: It's Gekky. I wear this because it feels nice and it, uh... keeps the bugs out.

Nembra: Are you livingmane or deadmane?

She sweats for a brief moment.

Gekky: Livingmane. I really am.

Nembra: Good, then. I should trust you enough that I wouldn't ask you to take off your helmet.

The display on her face freezes up. There must be some kind of control in there that does that, because you can tell that right now she's terrified out of her mind.

Nembra: Otherwise you'd join them in short notice.

She gestures at the statues.

Gekky: Oh, um, very quaint. Yes.

> Ask to see whoever's in charge

> Get to know the village

> Tell them about your psychometry

> Write-In
>Ask to see whoever's in charge
Terry: Nembra. Do you know who's in charge here?

Gekky: Yes, we kind of forgot.

Terry: We need something important.

Nembra: Oh suuure. Right this way, thank you.

Gekky telepathically tells everyone about what's going on, so they just wait behind some rocks. Meanwhile you're led into this high-roofed building with many, many cushions stacked in one corner. There are tons more sort-of-lamias with really thick hair with mouths and spooky little eyes on every strand. Chiefest among them sits one covered in alternating black-and-yellow Vs all over her tail. She's wearing lots of jewellery with barely anything underneath. So you just stare at the snake part, so that doesn't help because the pattern on her tail guides you up to her hips no matter how hard you try to resist it.

Terry: Greetings, your sublime majesty.

???: So~! Looking for a way out of here, are you?

She removes her glasses. You can't move.

Oi josuke, a gorgon has paralyzed me
O fuq

Gorgon or medusa?
Medusa is a gorgon, anon

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