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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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Your name is Last and today you are assaulting the Hoover dam while despite it now mid-day, the moon looms ominously large in the otherwise blue sky. Along with a revolutionary special forces element, two immortal witches walk through the rocky hills beside you.

All in all, pretty average day.

The entire group stops when a few crackling lines come through your headsets. Hart takes a knee, listening intently, and then checks the device on his wrist.

“Right on time. Get ready for the airshow.” He grunts as he gets back standing.

The only thing you really have to keep doing for now is walk in the line, neither the point nor the rear. Dian noisily sucking down a waterbottle as Tia takes a few moments to change the belt on her M2 for a fresh one.

Thus even over the rather muffled background noise of a few lagging gunshots, the aircraft can be heard as they scream in low and fast.

While you're not exactly an expert on aircraft, even you can tell it's a rather hodgepodge flight. So far as you can see, not a one of the craft is a mirror of another. Rather each is different enough for even you to discern that much.

Though you do recognize the outline of the Phantom as it screams past overhead in a banking turn.

“Were those bombs?” One of the soldiers in the group remarks.

“Nope,” Responds Hart as a sound unlike any you've ever really heard suddenly rips across the low dusty earth, “Those would be vulcans.”
The group stays motionless as the aircraft, having since broken formation, either peel off or swing around once again.

A few do make a few bomb drops, you notice. While another makes quite a show of a strafe as rockets arc from beneath its wings.

However you remain rather focused on the F4 as it yet again turns into the direction of the dam proper. While you really can't be sure, you get the feeling you know who's in that cockpit.

And as its four m61 gunpods open up in a fiery blaze, the torrent of noise berating your ears, you're pretty sure about your hunch.

“I need to get one of those...” Tia stares up at well, voice a mix of admiration and jealousy.
“Main attack force should be getting close too, means we need to double time it and secure the entrances. Lets go.” With that, Hart pushes himself into a run. Which seems easy enough for the rest of you, nobody having exactly packed heavy. Thankfully your body doesn't seem to feel any real strain, no muscle ache from lactic acid, no fast breathing. Though that's equally disconcerting all on its own.

When you at last do get close to the planned dam entrance, you're greeted only by a few half-hearted potshots taken by what you can only imagine is a rather decimated guard unit.

Taking the initiative, Dian seems to rather easily levitate a rather imposing boulder that she and Tia take cover behind as the witch in war paint once again levels her HMG. They walk forward as the heavy fifty caliber rounds explode against concrete and helmets that find themselves just a tad bit too exposed.

With the .458winmag M1 in your grip now, CAR-15 slung at your chest, you cautiously peek around a corner and line up the irons.

The Order trooper in the heavy armor, like you'd once seen when you'd given Pripyat a visit, appears to be calling out orders to a smattering of more conventionally equipped troops. Never aware that he's been targeted.

The heavy, fat, five hundred grain round tears through his side with relative ease, and the Order special guard drops like a log. Having been developed to take on the largest prey the dark heart of Africa had to offer, you aren't at all surprised it makes short work of man. Before his squad can react, Hart and his men are on them with a series of grenades and carbine fire.

You keep up the fire from your position with a series of satisfying booms until one combines with the telltale PING and the enbloc goes flying.

Holding back the charging handle with one hand, you insert a new clip and release the bolt. No garand thumb for you today.
Woo more Z&WQ
Though your revelry about the large caliber is rather short-lived as Tia swings around in front of you to engage an enemy foolish enough to take a crack at her. The M2 chatters away in her hands, the normally monstrous recoil barely even vibrating her arms as dust swirls around the ground from the muzzle blast.

To a normal person that might have been the most bizarre thing they had ever seen.

Well, right up until Dian sent one man spinning off into the empty air off the dam with a casual wave of her hand.

“These mostly seem like regular guards,” She comments calmly, almost as if bored, “There's almost no platinum interference to speak of. It doesn't seem right.”

The closer your group gets to the entrance, the more you can tell that nobody seems to be pouring from it. You'd expected this to be more like kicking a hornets nest and then having to swat the bugs as they came angrily buzzing out.


“Yo, boss, why is this pointed toward the door?” One of Hart's men asks as he wiggles a MK19 on its mount.

Hart looks up from his stock to stare.

“Can you two tell anything?” The older bearded leader asks the two immortals.

Dian closes her eyes momentarily, lowering her own gun as the wind tugs at her hair, before shaking her head.

“I can't.”

“There's probably platinum down there.” Tia adds with no small amount of unease in her voice.

Hart raises a hand to key his mic even as he stares at the small computer strapped to his forearm. The rest of his men taking up defensive positions.

“This is Hart. We've secured the entrance with light resistance, how you boys doing?”

“Not much in the way of fighting, trucks are rolling fast. We'll be there in no time. Gotta say, I'd expected more than this.”
Starting to sound like they made the Dam into a prison. The platinum takes care of the magic, the weapons pointed towards the door take care of everything else.
It's a sentiment that more and more share through the comms. You'd all come into this expecting nothing less than a real shitshow of a fight. Instead, you can't but help think that this all went way, way too easily.

Even now, mere minutes after reaching the dam itself, it seems you've cleared out the last of the posted guards.

From the sounds of things, the increasing chatter and even the distant rumble of diesel engines, even the main assault force is getting close now.

“Maybe they just knew we were coming, tucked tail and ran?” A soldier to your left offers as he peels open the wrapper to an energy bar.

“When the fuck has that ever happened?” Another grunts.

“Dunno? Just a guess.”

“If they'd known we were coming, I don't think we would have had it so easy...” Hart lightly grabs the spade handle to a Browning M2 facing yet again inwards, “But I'm not so sure it was us they were worried about.”

An eerie silence almost takes hold before one of the other soldiers speaks up.

“Yo, Hart, got a live one over here.”

Though several of you quickly make it over, you can instantly see that the “live one” is only just.

The ragged hole through his plate carrier likely courtesy of Tia and her heavy armament is bleeding profusely, and the trooper it adorns is breathing rapidly and shallow.

“Get that platinum off of him!” Hart yells, and you can see now the thin band around his forehead, beneath the helmet.

Two of his men scramble to get it free as the dying man's glassy eyes just stare upwards into the blue sky above.

“Down there.” He keeps repeating, taking no notice of Hart yelling for Dian or the two men fumbling at his helmet strap.

“Down there.” His body shudders violently before the soldiers get his helmet free.

“Down there.” The man repeats one last time before the shaking subsides and his corpse goes limp.
Though Dian focuses hard for several moments, kneeling at the side of the dead man, she finally shakes her head and look back up to Hart.

“No good?”


Despite the rest of you spreading out to search for survivors, the most any of you finds is yet more corpses. Some the product of your own hand.

Most the work of Diego and his fellow pilots.

Normally you'd have tried to keep the two witches away from the carnage. Though time and time again you have to keep reminding yourself that despite their appearances, both are older than the rest of the group combined. Tia perhaps a dozen or so times, maybe more.

The one who had referred to herself as the goddess of peaceful death prods at another corpse with the barrel of her machinegun, but elicits no response.

Thus even as the main force arrives and unloads, you're all left almost scratching your heads. While it's good that you hadn't met heavy resistance, at the same time, you aren't at all at ease. A sentiment shared by the rest of the small army as they're filled in on what has happened.

So as you stare at the heavy steel door as a few engineers work at getting it open, you feel a growing rock in your stomach. If you even have one left in there, at least.
[ ] Go loud. Flashbangs, bright light, violence of action.

[ ] Go quiet. Passive IR, suppressors, nice and easy.

[ ] You have two immortals, let them clear a path for you.
>[x] Go quiet. Passive IR, suppressors, nice and easy.
>[ ] Go quiet. Passive IR, suppressors, nice and easy.
>[x] Go quiet. Passive IR, suppressors, nice and easy
There's a loud click and an equally violent squeal of hinges as the two engineers step back from their work, the heavy door swinging open slightly, with only darkness beyond.

“Shouldn't this place, you know, have power?” A voice in the crowd asks, to which nobody seems to have an answer.

Instead, ignoring the small pause, Hart steps forward, peers into the dark beyond momentarily and nods.

“Alright, boys, you know the drill. Cans on, goggles down, lets do this.”

Taking cue from the others, you pull the suppressor from a pouch on your cummerbund and thread it onto the end of your CAR-15. While it isn't like the movies where they make a gun sound like a squeak, it will keep the flash out of your NVGs and help keep the concussion down indoors.

Though a good remainder of the assault force will be remaining up top to guard your rear, the group heading downstairs isn't small by any means. Aside from those you took down the AA tower with, the other groups are joining you, along with a contingent that arrived on the trucks.

All in all, some fifty troops. Plenty enough if resistance below is as light as up top.

You're one of the first inside, the large stairwell enough to accommodate three man abreast. Meaning that to your right is Tia and Hart. You take some consolation in the sheer volume of rugged, armed soldiers behind you. And also in the fact that with the current state of your body, you aren't sure if bullets would even do anything except open a few more holes in an already walking corpse.

However the deeper and deeper into the bowels of Hoover you descend, the air growing ever more stagnant, you aren't sure if bullets are what you should be worried about.
As the last of the light from above fades, and with no other sources of lighting available, eventually the group is forced to start switching on IR illuminators to give your goggles something to pick up. Only adding to the eeriness of the silent and still dead air.

If there are Order soldiers down here with their own goggles on, they'll see your illuminators like a flashlight in the dark. Still, there isn't really another option.

Eventually and thankfully off the stairs, you and the others find yourself in a long tiled expanse with the massive electric generators still and quiet.

“They switched off?”

“Must be.”

You hear the comments, but another sense is raising far more concern.

“Something rotting?” You see the man who must have asked turn and look at you, though as far as you know, you don't really smell. At least, nobody has mentioned anything.

Tia looks up toward the speaker, only one eye concealed behind a monocular she holds to her face.

“That's a death smell. Corpses.” She gestures toward the base of one of the generators.

Several beams of IR light flash across the area she had pointed out, until they start to congregate one one area. A horribly distended body, its pale white skin and bloated form almost unrecognizable as human. Even through the goggles, you can see a blanket of flies swirling around near the body.

“Fucking Christ...” Someone whispers.

After the team starts to move forward again, it becomes a repeating pattern.

Two, maybe three dozen bodies, you eventually lose count. Each as gruesome as the last, clearly all having been dead for a good while. The stink becomes almost unbearable and more than one soldier loses their lunch.

For their part, Tia and Dian seem relatively calm. You suspect that they've seen far worse in their times.
Despite the horrific scene, you manage to keep the rest of them moving forward by continuing on your own. The more the group stops, the more they'll keep stopping. Better to stay walking and make it through.

The bodies begin to thin as you reach another heavy blast door that the engineers get to opening, and at Hart's insistence, without explosives.

Though that turns out to be a needless caution.

“It's already open...” One of the two murmurs as he lightly pulls the already cracked door open.

And yet again, you begin descending further and further into the earth as another staircase greets you. This time everyone seems a bit less eager in their pace, and the unease is palatable.

This time at the bottom, there is no hallway to greet you. Instead the stairwell gives way to an even greater open expanse than the first hallway had. So large that even the powerful IR illuminators barely seem to penetrate the darkness. It's cold down here, you notice, cold and still.

All except for a wet, dripping sound. Barely audible from ahead. The closer you get, the more animal it sounds.

It's when one of the IR beams sweeps across it the first time that you feel a clenching in your chest.

A hunched figure on the open floor, its clothes in ragged tatters and its skin hanging in loose folds. The smell of decay so pungent that even your own decrepit nose is repulsed.

The thing seems to take notice and slowly its thin neck cranes around to peer into the pitch darkness, the IR beams reflecting off its blank eyes as a rotten giblet of meat falls from its gaping jaws, absent of any flesh of their own.

As its jaw of ragged teeth drops open, the fiend lets out an inhuman wail that echos off the thick walls in the distance.

Only to raise a chorus of more long, deep, moaning cries in response.

[ ] Let's just go back upstairs...

[ ] You don't think it can actually see you. Just carefully make your way into the hall to your right.

[ ] Light em the fuck up

[ ] Other?
>[ ] You don't think it can actually see you. Just carefully make your way into the hall to your right.
Didn't we something like this before... Or was that something else.
>[ ] Other?
Attempt diplomacy with our fellow rotbag.
If not then
[x] You don't think it can actually see you. Just carefully make your way into the hall to your right.
Shit what was the trick to these kinds of things... have a feeling they see with sonar.
>[X] You don't think it can actually see you. Just carefully make your way into the hall to your right.
>[ ] You don't think it can actually see you. Just carefully make your way into the hall to your right.
Although I got a bad feeling that the things trying to call more of its kind.
>[x] You don't think it can actually see you. Just carefully make your way into the hall to your right.
“Hold your fire...” You whisper into the mic, though you're well aware that even your own trigger finger is tense against the go button of your rifle.

“The hallway to the right, slowly.” You add, and start sidestepping that direction for emphasis.

Tia and Dian meet you step for step, right until another fiend steps into their path. The creature, once human, sniffs repeatedly despite having no nose to speak of.

“They can smell us, the magic.” Despite the situation, Dian doesn't sound very shaken.

“They're only fiends, they aren't usually any trouble.” Tia adds as she prods one out of her way with the muzzle of the M2.

Despite the assurances, the rest of the soldiers don't seem overly convinced. More than one fiend is shoved back with the muzzle end of a carbine or kicked away with the business end of a boot.

Though finally, your group is into the hallway with only a crowd of fiends gathering behind. None of them pursue, though they don't disperse, either.

Eventually, and thankfully, you leave the creatures behind as you make your way through yet more rooms, though these smaller and full of equipment. Not a piece of which you find at all recognizable.

“What is all of this?” You ask, but receive no answer in return.

It isn't until you push open another heavy door that you finally spot something you recognize.

Not overly conspicuous if you didn't already know what you were looking at, the small platinum boxes resting on the floor through a door ahead. When you enter this room, however, you stop abruptly at the sight.

“There must be hundreds. Thousands...” Dian whispers as IR beams flash across the walls.

Packed tightly in organized rows are yet more boxes. More and more and more, so many that the end of the room is only just kissed by the IR lights as they slide across the walls.

You've seen these before on more than one occasion, these small platinum boxes. Boxes carried by the order. Boxes used to contain the soul of a witch.
“This is part of what we came for,” Hart acknowledges as he lightly touches one of the boxes set into the wall, “

The permeating silence tells you that in the six months you were out, the rest of the men present learned what it is inside such boxes, and the terrible fashion that they came to be.

The two immortals with the group are equally quiet, though both appear strained, perhaps from the platinum nearby, perhaps from the gravity of being surrounded by a fate they could have easily shared themselves.

“We'll need to push the fiends back so we can start bringing these up.” You look back over your shoulder, only to snap it right back to stare into the room as an all too familiar voice echos from ahead to send a chill down your spine.

“Is that you, boy? I still recognize that voice, even as I am.”


A sense of dread pangs through you as the soldiers all raise their weapons toward the new sound. Though you know that not a one of the weapons in the room will do much more than slow the Phoenix.

Oh come on.

>Yo old man. That you?

>even as I am
Talking head? Maybe walk towards the voice as everyone else fans out. Maybe keep the two witchy pants near us?
Mattias, we have to stop meeting like this, with you being in my way. You know what Im here for giver over. Also, what the hell is up with order, you know for old times sake.

Toss an IR over near where the voice is.

It's me, though I'm a mite corpsier than last time we met.

What are you doing here?"

And pray that he's not in shape to fight, or is willing to leave us alone after all the bullshit the Order pulled.
“Yo, old man. That you? I gotta admit, I'm getting a bit tired of meeting you like this. You got my witch down here with you, too?” You take a few steps forward, but stop to stare at where you think the voice is coming from.

Around on the other side of the massive central pillar of the room.

“Ah, Ruin, you mean? No, boy, I don't have her. Come over here and see for yourself.”

“I'm not as dumb as everyone seems to think.”

“No, I know that much. If you were, you'd have never made it so long. You're safe enough, boy, I've no arms with witch to strike the head from your shoulders.”

That gives you pause, but raises enough curiosity for it to be too hard to ignore. Besides, he might know more.

Slowly, ever so slowly, keeping your own IR illuminator on the corner to the pillar, you advance. With each step feeling the trepidation rise, half expecting Mattias to leap from around the side at any moment, sword in hand.

Instead, you lean forward to look around the corner, and see what remains of the Phoenix.

The remnants of his body, what few are left, remain pinned to the wall with what appear to be thick platinum spikes. So far as you can tell, aside from his head, a torso tattered to nothing below his pectorals, and a single detached arm, nothing else is left of him.

Feeling as though perhaps the danger isn't so present, you take a chance and step into view of the stationary head of Mattias. Though in the darkness, you can tell he doesn't see you, but he can hear.

“And now you see the sad state I'm in. Pinned up and now left to this crypt by those usurpers.”

Usurpers? Who are they, and what are they doing and for what reason? How did this happen, kind of worried about what coulda done this to you.
"What do you know about them? The man speaking through the red drone, who was he?"
"You wouldn't happen to actually know where she is though, would you? I've been out of it for quite awhile."
Well shit.

>Well... that looks comfy. Need a smoke? I needed a smoke after my six month nap. Felt like a new man afterwords.
>Left here by usurpers huh? Think you can give me a name and address for them? Perhaps even point me to Ruin, Kiara, The Goat Mistress, etc.
>How the hell this happen you. Christ, you took an RPG off the chin like it was nothing last time we fought.
"Wow, you look worse than I do, and that's saying something.

What happened here? This place has seen better days."
I wonder if he has any info that we don't have on the moon..
These are good.
“Usurpers, eh? Well I've kinda heard about something like that. The Order split and you ended up on the losing side?” You flip up your goggles, pull a chemlight from your vest, and crack it so the green illuminates the small area slightly.

“I was never on either of their sides. My side has always been the one interested in preserving this world. As for the split, the Medici and the Crispo, yes, you could call it that. But they've both just been played as it turns out. Betrayed by someone they thought a servant, someone you've met rather impersonally.”

“That red drone in the woods?” You ask, though already fairly confident in that.

“That very one,” Mattias spits, the malice quite clear in his tone, “Adrian Machiavelli, another bloody damn wizard.”

You frown, that isn't a name you recognize, a point you raise.

“Nor would you, nor have most. You could call him the mastermind behind research. The first one to discover the rending process, the one who developed so many of the weapons you've seen. Until his uprising, he wasn't on anyone mind.”

“So then why? What is he after?”

“Use your head, what do you think? Why else would he track you down? He wanted the witch, boy! Ruin. As to why I can't speak, the damn wizard disappeared short after. My guess to somewhere in Europe, no doubt with the witch in hand.”

You rack your brain but can't seem to come up with an answer. If he'd simply wanted Kiara rended, there would have been no reason to strike down Mattias. Moreover, he'd mentioned wanting her intact. As you puzzle it out, you subconsciously produce a smoke and light.

“Care for one?”

“Those will kill you, you know.”

“Everything else seems to be trying to. I'm not overly concerned. Speaking of, you're not in such great of shape.”

“Hah. Speak for yourself.”
“I got left in the woods for half a year, I can't help it if I'm a bit rotten and all. Can't exactly say I know what did this to you, though. I mean I gave you a rocket to the jaw and you just kept on trucking. What gives?”

Mattias scowls, though seemingly not directed at you.

“It had been a few weeks since we had taken you in those woods. I went to confront Machiavelli directly, only to find that he had been disguising himself all along. I could see he meant to leave with Ruin in tow, and I drew my steel. At first I didn't know what had hit me, she's damn fast now, and as I was being battered down, the wizard and his constructs joined the fray.”

“She?” You raise an eyebrow, “She who?”

“One of the wizards less iron toys. Witches he makes slaves with strange helmets, perhaps even stranger magics. With a fist of green flames she beat at me, and believe it or not, boy, my regeneration takes time. The iron men fell upon me with claw and cannon, and tore my body apart. Thus here you find me.”

“Yeah I found you, but I've also seen you shirk off some pretty heavy hits...”

“I have, but not this time. These spikes keep me bound and hamper my own recovery. What you see now is hardly at all more than what was first nailed to this wall.”

You pause to process all this new information as you take another drag. As hostile as he is, you doubt he's lying. Pinned down here and left, it wouldn't do him much good to sell you lies.

“So you were left down here, but what the hell happened to this place? Corpses everywhere, fiends in the dark, hardly an Order garrison to speak of.”

“Magic happened, boy. Witches in metal helmets came in the night, leaving only corpses. That there were any Order on the surface is news to me.”

Maybe we can make a deal... He helps us, we help off the wall. He wants to protect/preserve the world, right? And I'm sure he wants a crack at Machiavelli again for he's done. Machiavelli also probably being the one behind the moon being closer or the whole world dying thing. At least having some hand in it.
"There any handy loot stored here?

So, hypothetically speaking, what would your stance be on working with witches to stop Adrian and dismantle what's left of the Order?"
>we help him off the wall
No one else around? Sad.
I am, I just don't really know what to do.
I'm just lurking, though I like what >>37690469
I just got back from a trip to get pizza while I waited for last post.

and I'm good with >>37690469

Kiara hasn't shown any interest in ending the world, just living her life and atoning.
>Error: Our system thinks your post is spam. Please reformat and try again.

Who's name am I supposed to yell in anger now?
I wish I knew...
Eh, just keep yelling at moot.
Hot pocket-sama
I keep trying to break it into sections but it doesn't seem to be working at all. I'm not sure what is setting it off.
Yeah try pastebin. I'll try and repost it so its in thread for archive.
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Well whatever is causing it seems to be somewhere in this.
The old knight's eyes darken at your words and you go on to explain to him everything you've seen since you came back to. Everything that had been explained to you. The spreading zones of death and ash, the continuing wars, and the impending lunar peril.

“See, boy? This is what magic brings. Naught but turmoil. You may condemn me for what I have done, but now are you seeing that which I sought to prevent. No good comes of witches. Not now nor ever.”

“Yeah, so I've heard you say. I'm not so inclined to believe all of that. They've been dealt a tough card in life and you and yours have never seemed to take it easy on them. No small wonder they would fight back, given the choice between that and this.” You gesture toward the wall of trapped souls.

“And what are they doing now? Seeking to end the world? I would hardly call them a benevolent force.”

You could stand here and argue with him all day, but the immortal seems as stubborn as ever.

“I don't know who's behind it, but I can tell you that it isn't Kiara. Now I want to save the planet as much as anyone which is why I'm here. And if she isn't, that means my job's not done yet. Now you have your own choice to make.”

You place a hand at one of the open wounds where a spike meets his torso.

“You give up the goat, literally and figuratively, as in stop pursing the demise of my witch. ANY witch. Or I leave you to your tomb.” You step away for emphasis.
Clearly Majora is the new Overlord of 4chan and wants NO word of his moon shenanigans to spread.
>Fish vore with hats on.
Never change Papa.

Idk maybe news and global climates all in one post? Too hippie for 4chan.
I'll have to consult the mask on what he thinks of baneposting.

The Phoenix remains silent for several long moments, contemplating your words, as far as you can tell. Though you suppose you can understand it.

For longer than you'd have ever thought possible, he has been dedicating himself to containing Kiara. It is probably difficult to lose your sole purpose in life in exchange to not remain in a dark basement until the end of time. Which for planet Earth, may not be all that far off unless you can stop it.

“And I've got witches here with me, working with us to stop everything going on. Immortals to boot. So if I can't trust you on this, I'm just going to leave you here.”

Mattias, never having appeared young since you had first met and being quite ancient already by that time, seems to show his age in that moment. As his body hangs suspended in pieces against a cold tile wall, for the first time, he seems old, though.

“I don't have any worldly possessions to give as hostage. Nor can I offer up my life for you to take were I to turn false. All I have to give is my word.”

Mattias stares through the soft glow of the chemlight, a ragged old man cut into chunks.

“As a knight.” He finishes.

[ ] Good enough for you. Call over the engineers and get him free.

[ ] His word might be worth the risk. Have the witches remove the spikes.

[ ] You aren't convinced

[ ] Other
[ ] Good enough for you. Call over the engineers and get him free.

I doubt the witches want to go anywhere near those spikes.
>[ ] Good enough for you. Call over the engineers and get him free.
[x] Good enough for you. Call over the engineers and get him free.

Just got caught up. Welcome back again Papa
>[ ] Good enough for you. Call over the engineers and get him free.

Though I expect he might want some kinda final showdown later.
>[X] Good enough for you. Call over the engineers and get him free.

Guy has been a pain in the ass but I don't see him going against his word.
“On your honor as a knight, then. You can help save this Earth, but your days of hunting witches is over. For good.”

As you yell over to Hart to send the engineers, Mattias stops you with a few more words.

“And in the event that my worst fears are realized? That Ruin sets herself on the path of destruction and even you are unable to dissuade her?”

You stop to turn back to him.

[ ] “That won't happen. But if it did, I won't stop you.”

[ ] “Then you keep to your word, and the world ends.”

[ ] Other
>[ ] “Then you keep to your word, and the world ends.”
>[ ] "But It won't happen, because I'm getting MY witch back."
This will work.
This guy's got it.
This one
Why? Deus Vult!
So where is Sarna in all this?
“If that happens, you keep your word and we all watch this world end. But it isn't going to, because I'm getting MY witch back.” You tell him confidently.

“So be it.” Mattias nods.

Getting him down, however, proves to be a bit of work. The engineers are a bit put off by his being alive in such a state, and also how best to free him without doing further damage.

“Just cut around me and let me fall, I'll be fine once I'm free of these bonds.” The Phoenix snorts.

The engineers look to you with clear uncertainty.

“Well he isn't exactly wrong.” You nod.

“Hooo boy...” One mutters as he finishes tying the shemagh around his goggles and starts spinning up his saw.

It's as messy an affair as one would expect. Blood and bits of bone spraying from where the saw contacts body as the two do their best to slice around the platinum spikes.

Mattias hardly offers more than a grunt. As if it were no more than some mere discomfort, like someone brushing your hair too vigorously.

Most of the other soldiers watch in a mixture of horror and morbid curiosity. Disgusted, to be sure, but unable to look away.

Tia and Dian seem even less enthralled with the idea. Both stare with hard faces and you assume each knows or at least knows of Mattias and what he is. Though the immortal knight offers no such recognition.

When the last strip is finally cut and Mattias seperates, what remains of his body falls to the ground with a wet splat of flesh and blood against tile. Though even as he sits slumped against the pillar, you can already see the beginnings of his recovery.

Flesh begins to pull itself over exposed bone as disturbingly fleshy stumps begin to protrude from his now more or less intact torso. Slowly each forming into less than recognizable shapes before beginning to take on the outline of proper limbs.

“This might be the most fucked up thing I've ever seen.” One soldier comments.
I gotta run to work now, thanks for the thread Papa
You don't really have a comeback for that. Sure it isn't the first time you've seen it, but that doesn't make it any less a hideous spectacle. Nor is it over quickly.

Minutes tick on by as more and more of Mattias regenerates, all the way to his fingernails.

Thus its a long while later that finally a very naked immortal relic from the past finally stands his powerful frame upright to an equally imposing height.

“I hope they didn't toss your armor out. I'm not sure anyone has any spare clothes. Or if any of them would even fit you...” You grimace.

For the meantime, Mattias covers himself with an offered jacket. Binding it tight with a knot around his waist.

“Should we give him a gun?” Someone asks, unsure.

“Armor be damned, it's my sword I want back.” The Phoenix steps on past the crowd and through the long room toward the far side.

“This way.” He suggests, before disappearing into the darkness beyond the next door.

The rest of you hurry to catch back up to him, but along the walk, the witches beside you make their uncertainty known.

“You do know what he is, right?” Dian looks at you with a very pained expression.

“All of it. It isn't the first time we've met, and the only time we haven't fought.”

“...And you just let him go?” She doesn't seem to follow your logic.

“The Order is still far from wiped out, we're facing someone who has apparently played the entire organization like a fiddle, and on top of all of that, the moon looks like it wants to visit up close and personal. I think it's worth the risk.”

Tia simply grimaces in a “I hope you aren't wrong.” sort of way.
Thus you continue to follow the old man as he now leads the way, with only the chemlight from earlier raised on high to light his way. Though you've the sneaking suspicion his vision might be a tad bit better than yours as he nonchalantly avoids obstacles without so much as pausing to look at them.

“Where are we headed?” You ask upon finally catching up to him, though the knight keeps his eyes forward.

“It isn't my first time in this place, boy. This is the way toward the true heart of these depths. I know little about machines and less of those here, but I do know that some serve as a tracking system.”

“Yeah, but electronics require power to even run.”
“That much at least I know. You've two witches with you, surely one will suffice to work them.”

“Either of you Palpatine?” You turn to ask the pair of immortals.

“A what?” Dian frowns.

“Sheev?” You press.

“What the hell is a sheev?” Tia tilts her head.

“Surely one of you can shoot electricity or otherwise power electronics, right?”

“Oh!” Dian raises a finger, “Yeah I can do that.”
Well, if Last lives through this, clearly a movie night is going to be needed.
If they haven't seen Star Wars just how many movies have they missed...
Down yet more stairs you follow Mattius as he leads. Past more darkened rooms containing what you venture must be some sort of lab equipment. For what purpose, however, you can't say.

What feels like an hour passes before the knight finally stops inside a rather large room sporting all manner of giant screen and elaborate computer terminals. Though all remain darkened and unpowered.

“There's only really one problem, and that's nobody really knows how to use any of this stuff.” You shake your head and absently tap on a few keys, garnering no response from the computer.

“That's not... Entirely true...” One of Hart's men steps forward looking a bit ashamed.

“I guess you wouldn't know, but I was a hunter for a while.”

When he sees the look you give him, he raises his hands in defense.

“A while, yeah. But pretty quick I started helping witches hide, instead. There weren't many of us, and some got caught, but we existed. If these things are the sort I used to use, I can probably work them well enough. Name's Cooper.”

“Well, fair enough. You mind doing it on up, Dian?” You ask the witch.

With a shrug she seats herself on the floor and closes her eyes in concentration. Not a second later, all of the lights snap on at once and each screen and computer fires to life. Those not expecting it are quickly grumbling about their eyes, though you can tell nobody is really overly annoyed with having some light in this strange underground.

Cooper meanwhile seats himself at a terminal and gets to work. Evidenced by some of the larger screens displaying some flashes of UI as he works his way into the system.

“How did you even log in?” You ponder, watching him work, “I mean surely there's a password?”

“Oh yeah, sure.” Cooper nods, “But guest in all caps has always worked as well. Not sure if it was intended or not, but eh.”
While you watch the large displays as they grow more complex in what they show, you also contemplate just how such an organization ever managed to secretly seat itself on a throne of power across the world.

Not that you really understand anything you're looking at as Cooper works his way through menus, changing inputs and even moving between terminals a few times.

Eventually, though, the largest screen in the room stops on a nicely rendered world map.

“What am I looking at?” You ask.

“Part of the main scan system native to this place. Those soul boxes aren't just here for show. Using those we can conduct a scan using their magic and use it to reveal any current sources of magic. Though you have to dial it in if you want to do something as complex as search out an individual witch or something. This one here is global capable, but that much magic use is going to set off any other Order sensors currently going.”

Hmmmm... I suppose search for our witches, then quickly do a global scan after?
Fuck. Scan the current area? Then look for our witch?
Asking Mattias about the witch-mindcontrol-helm-things and if we can get them off may be a wise decision.
True. Wonder if we can remove them to free the witches.
"Ruin and Sarna. Find them."
I mean pissed off elite soldiers with a grudge against our enemy would be, like, the best ally ever.
“Alright, well start us off with a local scan, then. Lets see if on the off chance maybe they just buried her here way down deep.”

“I don't believe Ruin is here. Machiavelli wouldn't have simply left her behind.” Mattias comments, and you know he's probably right, but a local scan won't hurt.

If nothing else, it might at least show any other witches present in the area.

Cooper works his way through more menus, none of which you can really understand. All things about radiation levels and accuracy margins and the like.

“Yeah it's not quite as simple as selecting an area and hitting start.” He comments as he makes yet more drop menu selections.

“If you don't set some parameters for the search, you won't come up with any actual usable data. Since you know witches, you probably already know they can do stuff like turn plant life into magical energy, so if you just set a scan with no parameters, you'll just get the background magic levels.”

The ex-hunter turns his head around to give the two witches in the room a look.

“Either of you know your own rad codes by any chance?”

“D1138U” Dian says without opening her eyes.

Tia shakes her head.

“What's that about?” You ask, leaning forward a bit to look down at the monitor in front of Cooper. Not that it sheds any more light on what he's doing.

“If a witch gets detected repeatedly and her own radiation pattern is known, you can enter it into the system and the system will ignore their code. Cleans up the rest of the scan a little bit. If you're doing a wide scan and don't want a known witch showing up to pollute the reading at all.”

Cooper stays at it for a few more minutes while you contemplate the implications of that. You figure maybe she's like Sarna and was used by the Order herself for a time. If they thought they were tracking a witch already in close proximity to one of their own it makes sense to not want them both to show up sometimes.
Indeed. The old knight was just the first.
“Ok, hold onto your butts.” Cooper leans back, looks up at the large monitor on the far wall, and presses ENTER.

The screen with the map flashes once before red circles begin to trace themselves around a satellite image of the dam. Outward and outward they extend.

You can see already the green blotch on the screen where the dam is. Must be Tia using her magic to heft that heavy gun, you suspect, and pay it no mind.

Cooper, however, seems quite interested.

“That's a bit unusual. We entered Dian's code so only Tia should be showing up. But to me that pattern doesn't look like its coming from one witch. They're usually more spherical and... Oh shit...”

You immediately see what he's concerned about as six more almost perfectly circular green spots appear on the screen around the dam. Close enough that it can't just be coincidence.

“So if we only brought two witches with us...” Someone puts a voice to the thought in everyone's mind.

“Yo, topside, this is Hart. Dig in and break out the platinum rounds, you've got incoming. Six of em.”

Though as you continue to watch Cooper operating on a hunch as he pulls up another display of what you can guess are security cameras, you immediately realize that all of you in this underground have a more pressing concern.

Dian isn't powering that much of the area, you guess by the amount of camera displays that are blank.

So the short blonde witch one one of the pictures must already be alarmingly close. And closing in more and more despite an almost robotic gait as her head scans slowly back and forth with the heavy set of instruments resting on it.

And you can't quite shake the feeling of familiarity.
>one one of the pictures
on one of

Not sure how my trip dropped.
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Those fuckers brainwashed Sarna! That's not okay.
“Off your asses, ladies, load platinum and get in formation!” Hart bellows, himself already changing his magazine and swinging around to face the door closest to him.

The rest of his men follow suit and pretty soon every rifle in the place is holding steady on either of the two doors that are the only way in or out of the large room.

Even Cooper has abandoned the computer in favor of an MP5.

Dian is standing again and though the power flickers once, she keeps it going enough for the lights at least.

Tia meanwhile remains almost perfectly still, finger poised over the spade trigger of her heavy weapon.

If your body was still actually breathing, you'd probably be holding it right now.

Though when she finally makes her entrance, it isn't through the door.

With a blasting gout of green fire the wall between the two doors erupts inward, showering the soldiers and yourself with a spray of hot debris and licks of flame. Some men cry out as they fall down to smack at the magical fire, while others immediately begin shooting.

But the witch is already well past the arc of fire, having leapt into the empty air above the group of soldiers now gathered below her.

Springing off the ceiling, she rips downwards and through the mass of confused men, sending most reeling through the air like rag dolls tossed aside. Some cry out in agony, others are dead the moment the impact hits.

With an enraged cry, Tia turns her M2 to engage, but the enemy witch is already on her. The gun is wrenched from her grip and a fist to her abdomen sends her careening end over end until she slams hard enough into to severely dent the concrete wall beyond.
Mattias attempts to move away, though not quick enough.

Swung like a bat, the receiver of the machinegun hits him so hard that it turns his torso into a spray of blood, bone fragments, and ribbons of flesh. So hard an impact that the barrel of the gun is actually bent at an angle and the receiver itself is more or less destroyed.

Though Dian comes back to her feet with a fireball in hand, the backfist to the side of her head hits with a sickening crunching sound and sends her spinning off to lay limp on the ground in a crumpled mess.

You aren't sure if you're the only one still standing or not, when that almost mask turns toward you with cold metal and glass. But you do know that quite suddenly the rifle in your hand feels rather inadequate.

“Sarna?” You half ask and half state as the witch balls her hand into a fist, green flames wrapping themselves around it...
And I think I'll wrap it up there for the night. Need to try and get some sleep for the morning.

Next thread will probably be after the weekend since my work schedule looks pretty daunting for it. Won't even get to watch the owl at all, even. But I'll be sure to throw up the next run time on twitter as soon as I know. Chance of Mon or maybe tues since it looks like that might work out the same as it did this week.
My sleep thanks you but, that cliffhanger.

Thanks for the thread bro. You got Archive or shall I do it?
Thanks for the thread, Papa.
Go for it. I'm not very good at coming up with anything clever for the descriptions.
Good thread, thanks for running.
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Alright its up, hope its okay.
Hah, messed up my trip on this puny mobile screen
Thanks for the thread papa, though no thanks for the clifhanger

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