[a / b / c / d / e / f / g / gif / h / hr / k / m / o / p / r / s / t / u / v / vg / w / wg] [i / ic] [r9k] [cm / hm / y] [3 / adv / an / cgl / ck / co / diy / fa / fit / hc / int / jp / lit / mlp / mu / n / po / pol / sci / soc / sp / tg / toy / trv / tv / vp / x] [rs] [status / ? / @] [Settings] [Home]
Settings   Home
/qst/ - Quests

File: FYIQ.jpg (1000 KB, 2777x1961)
1000 KB
1000 KB JPG
Looking for a new quest? Like Alice in Wonderland, Army of Darkness and unfortunately realistic anime? Season 1 just finished, and it's a quick read. Catch up and join in the fun that is you, Saul Beckett, and your ragtag group of survivors in:

FYIQ Season 2

>This world will be your grave
>Last season, on Fuck Your Isekai Quest

The city around the stadium continues to experience explosions. Smoke trails into the sky. The screams of thousands of spectators fill the arena as they rush to leave.

You, Saul Beckett, stand there watching the sky. You're 31 years old, ex-army and pissed.

Desmond Jones, a highschool student you were supposed to be rescuing from a cartoon hell-hole, has just declared himself king of the world. And he will be hunting you and your friends after a 24 hour "free for all".

Speaking of your friends, you finally glance down from the sky where Desmond disappeared into. Standing next to you is Sadie, your younger brother's girlfriend. She gave you a ride to a job site, and now both of you are stuck here.

Next to her is Rachel, gripping a white spear and looking fairly angry. Rachel is one of the highschool students you've been sent to rescue. You've rescued two so far, and little else.

Next to her is Tyler, the other student you rescued. He's not looking much better. You can't blame him. Right before Desmond executed his coup with the monster Beh, you were all about to go home.

And next to him is Les. A police officer a couple years younger than you. She too is stuck in this fantasy world. But at least she's on your side.

"Okay," You say, taking in the scene of chaos. "We need to get moving, now"

>Make a break for the landing dock and Les's pod, see if you can make it through the city
>Find a nearby place to barricade and hold out while you plan
>Seek out one of your sponsors, take shelter with them
Lop you sly dog. I almost missed out in this quest. Why didn't you post anything on the twitter?
>Seek out one of your sponsors, take shelter with them
Madam Grind. Her place will he safe, right?
>>Seek out one of your sponsors, take shelter with them

"C'mon!" You yell, beckoning everyone. "Let's find Charlie or someone!"

The others don't need much convincing. The sounds of explosions are growing closer. You urge Les and the teens onward as thousands of people take to the field in panic.

"He said he was "giving this city to the monsters," You say to Les, keeping pace with her. "What do you think that means?"

"The monsters are huge," Les says. "Like godzilla but not godzilla," Her breathing is ragged as you all try and keep ahead of the surging crowds.

You reach the tunnel. Ahead you can already see the first wave of people entering the lower levels from the stands. You motion everyone to keep up.

You pass across the concession grounds and out of the stadium with the first groups of people. Neo Tokyo opens up before you.

It is on fire.

Huge plumes of smoke pour out of the skyscrapers. Distant, colossal figures slowly move around, bashing against buildings and unleashing torrents of strange, destructive energy.

Also in the city are robots. They're slightly smaller, but certainly faster. You can feel the shockwaves of their distant battles in the form of wind.

"Where do we go now?" Sadie asks, looking around at the mobs of people running in different directions.

Out of all the places in the city, Granny Grind's Dojo seems the only one that would be able to protect itself.

"The Dojo," You say, motioning the people onward.

A man drives by slowly in a van, craning his neck at the people running. You leap in front of it, forcing him to slam the breaks.

"Hey!" He yells out the window. You come around the driver side and rip off the door with your robot arm. You gesture for him to get out. He does. Quickly.

You get in and motion for the others to do the same.

"Damn Saul," Les says, getting in the passenger. "I'm not sure I'm supposed to allow you to do that,"

"Write me ticket," You say, slamming the gas.

The van peels off into the street, sending the crowds scattering. In the back of your mind you wonder if you'd be willing to run them over. You can't guarantee if all of them are just cartoons anymore. And what if you accidently hit Charlie or Lewis?"

Frequent slamming the horn and liberal use of the gas seems to force a path through the crowds. Eventually you can't go any further, as a skyscraper has collapsed across the street.

"Alright we're on foot from here!" You say. You reach around and grab one of the duffle bags from Les. You unzip it, retrieving your bushmaster and slinging both it and the duffle around your shoulder. The rest of your companions jump out into the street.

The five of you rush towards a sidestreet unaffected by the debris. You hear an explosion that is alarmingly close.

"Come on!" You yell, leading them through the alley.

You reach the far end, and you finally recognize the street Grind Dojo is on. You don't see much damage. Yet.
After a block, you reach the dojo. Its small lot and smaller building are dwarfed by the surrounding structures. You run across the pristine lawn, reaching the entrance.

You try the door. It's locked.

"Damn!" You say, turning around and peering at the surroundings anxiously. The others stare at you, waiting.

"What's all this?" A voice says.

You turn and spot Granny Grind and her muscle student coming up in a small car. The muscle guy parks it on the lawn, and both of them get out.

"We were hoping you had a shelter," You say, gesturing at the surrounding chaos. "Someplace where we could plan out our next move,"

"Sure," Granny Grind says. She walks up to the entrance of her dojo, taking a massive key on a string from underneath her robe. She inserts it in the door, punches it to turn it, then pushes the door inward.

"It's all going to hell anyways," Granny Grind says. "So come on in and let's figure it out,"

You all eagerly follow her inside. Once you're all in the foyer, the muscles guy shuts the door, then moves several bolt locks into place.

"Alright," You say, turning to your companions. "We need to plan,"

"fuck," Rachel says softly. She let's the spear fall to the ground. It clatters and rolls away slightly. She then folds her legs underneath her, collapsing on the floor and putting her head in her hands. "fuck fuck goddammit,"

You spy a tear falling from under her hands. Tyler bends down next to her, putting a hand to her shoulder.

"Yeahh," You say, itching your neck. "I know guys, this, wasn't the plan. But we need to stay strong if we're going to get out of this,"

"I just can't," Rachel says softly, her face still hidden behind her hands. "I just can't anymore,"

"The hell you can't," Sadie says, walking over to her. Rachel lets out a cry as Sadie drags her to her feet. Sadie shakes her. "Pull it together girl!"

"Goddamn stop!" Rachel says, she breaks away from Sadie's grasp. She takes a few breaths, then sighs. Finally she nods.

"Alright, okay, I'm okay,"

"Good," You say. "Here's our options,"

"Ehp ehp," Granny Grind says, holding up a finger. "Wouldn't you rather here MY options?"

The teens look from Granny Grind, to you, then back to her.

"Alright," You say, crossing your arms. "What do you have for us,"

"Well, we could stay in this dojo and try and weather out the worst of the fighting. It won't go on too too long, what with the rate it's going. Then when it calms down, we all leave. Or we leave now, though that will require some, extra work from you guys. Or you just get the hell out of my dojo and find somewhere else to hide,"

"When you say "go"," You say, a look of confusion on your face. "You mean make a break for it?"

"I have a vehicle, of sorts," Granny Grind says, smiling.
>Weather out the worst of the fighting, make a run for it when there's a lull
>Go now and take your chances, don't waste time, put in the extra work for Granny Grind
>Find another place to hide, or make an attempt to leave the city on your own
kek, thanks for joining anon, I think my twitter hates me, I never know if people see my tweets when I plug quests
Trust me we do, ever since the DLID days.
>Go now and take your chances, don't waste time, put in the extra work for Granny Grind
>Go now.
Is she staying? Can't she come with us?
>Go now and take your chances, don't waste time, put in the extra work for Granny Grind
>Go now and take your chances, don't waste time, put in the extra work for Granny Grind
we're going to ride mecha tigers, aren't we?

The sound of more distant explosions drifts into the Dojo. You can feel tremors every time a building collapses.

"We can't mess around here any longer," You say. "So tell us what we need to do, and let's get out of here,"

Granny Grind smiles, rubbing her hands together. "Excellent, this just might work then," She says, then turns to her muscled student. "Maji! Get the Dojo ready!"

The muscle guy, Maji, salutes and then runs behind the front desk. He pulls a lever, and massive gears and pulleys start working within the walls.

"What's uh, what's going on?" Les says, glancing around the dojo.

"My Dojo is more than just a Dojo," Granny Grind says, walking towards the doors to the inner rooms. "It's also my home, and I like to move around from time to time. So it's also an airship,"

"Of course it is," You say.

"But!" Granny grind says, pausing at the doors and throwing out a finger. "We can't just float out of here! There are all sorts of monsters about! So you guys need to go and get us some mechanized defense walkers, and escort me out of here,"

"Oh my god yes!" Sadie says, jumping into the air. "Mechs! We get to pilot mechs!"

"Pilot what now?" You say, furrowing your brow in confusion.

"Giant robots duh," Sadie says, gently pushing you. "This is going to be badass!"

"It most certainly will not young woman!" Granny Grind says. "I'll have Maji escort you to the nearest Defense Launch Station, but you'll have to fight your way inside and get no less than three mechs! Any less and we'll be eaten alive out there,"

"Right," You say, crossing your arms. "But none of us now know to pilot,"

"Bah," Granny Grind says, dismissing the notion with a wave. "I've met pilots, it can't be that hard. They're all dumber than a sack of rocks. Now go, hurry, before things get really bad out there,"

"Alright," You say, turning to the group. "Let's figure out who's staying and who's going,"

"I'm going!" Sadie says. "I get to pilot a mech!"

"I'm not staying here," Rachel says, holding her spear close.

"Okay then," Tyler says. "I'm going too I guess,"

Les looks at all of you.

"Huh," She says. "Guess that means I'm going,"

"Alright, but this is serious guys," You say, unslinging the duffle from your shoulder and setting it down. "We've fought weird warriors and demons, but this is a city under attack. It doesn't get much worse in terms of bad shit that can happen. Tyler,"

You hold out an SSG 69 sniper rifle.

"I know we've only practiced a few moments on a glock, but I need everyone ready for what happens next. It's bolt action, just take your time and remember what I said about breathing,"

Tyler takes it. "Damn," He says. "This thing's heavy,"

"Sling it around your shoulder when you're not using it. Les," You say, turning to her. You hand her a bushmaster. "I know I can trust you with this,"

"Yup," Les says, taking it and checking it over. Satisfied, she hangs it from her shoulder.
"Sadie, Rachel, I know you guys have ways of defending yourselves, but stay sharp. Warzones are serious business,"

"We get it," Rachel says.

"Yeah," Sadie says. "I literally cannot wait a moment more, let's go,"

You turn to Granny Grind.

"We'll be back,"

"Good luck my most favored and anti-tiger student," Granny Grind says. "Maji, get the hell off your lazy ass and help them,"

"YES MASTER!" Maji says, running to the front door and hastily unbolting them. He throws them open, letting in the sounds of explosions and panic. He then runs outside.

"Okay team, let's go!" You shout, beckoning them onward.

The five of you stream out of the dojo, and find the streets as chaotic as you left them. Some people run in groups or as individuals. Others wander around in a daze. The sky is hidden behind the smoke plumes.

"This way!" Maji yells. "It's nearby!"

"Saul," Les says, running alongside you.


"How do we feel about the guys who are guarding this place,"

"What do you mean?" You say, taking care to run around a pile of debris.

"Well, Granny Grind says it was guarded, and fifty percent of our group are carrying guns, are we going to be shooting our way in?"

"dammit," You say, almost under your breath. You hate that this is even an issue. They're just cartoon guards, right?

"Sadie," You say.

She's running ahead of you, and looks at you over her shoulder.


"It's gonna be up to you and Rachel to get us in there without any deaths, the rest of us will only use our guns if we have to,"

"Noble!" Maji says, smiling as he runs and throwing a thumbs up.

"Yeah whatever," You say. You look back to Sadie. "You guys gonna be able to handle that?"

"Oh yeah," Sadie says, flashing a mischievous grin before she turns back forward.

Maji slows, then points at a building. "That's it friends!" He says.

"Leave it to me!" Sadie yells, charging forward.

"No wait Sadie!" You say, running to catch up to her. "We're not just gonna-"

Sadie throws out her hands. Three nearby fire hydrants explode, and the torrents of water twirl together to form a hydro-powered battering ram. The doors to the defense station blow open, the nearby guards diving for cover.

"No going back now!" Les says, leading after Sadie and running up the steps. You groan and follow, along with Tyler and Rachel.

Inside you hear the sounds of fighting and pipes exploding. You're having trouble navigating the dark hallways, but make your way by tracking the pools of water and bodies that line the halls.

Finally the five of you meet again in a massive chamber. Flood lights shine down to reveal gargantuan...robots? It's hard for you to tell. You recognize at least one of them from your brother's DVD cases.

Sadie was the first to make it in the room, and now stands in awe at the massive robots.

"Oh yes," She says. "Oh fuck yesssssss,"

"Right," You say, coming up to her. "How does this work?"
"Oh shit good point," Sadie says, looking at all the robots. "We have so many choices! I mean, not really, it's clear Liam just watched entry-level mecha garbage, but at least it's something,"

Sadie points at one of the robots. "Okay so we've got mecha from three different shows; gundam, evangelion and, god, that new trigger show I think? Yeah okay. Darling in the Franxx. We can all pick different robots, but, well,"

"Go on,"

"The Evangelion robots are the easiest to pilot I think. One person. But they can't fly like the others. They're fast on the ground though. Oh! And they might have a limited power supply, I'm not sure how that works,"

Sadie points to one of the robots you might have recognized.

"The second option is gundam. I'm not really sure what series, since I don't really watch gundam. But they can fly and do all sorts of badass shit. I'm not sure how much you have to know to pilot one though, I bet it's complicated"

Sadie points to the last robot. Unlike the evangelion thing, which looked alien, and the gundam, which just looked like an autobot, the third option looks almost humanoid.

"That's the Darling in the Frannx robot. It's badass and probably easy to pilot, but it takes a guy and girl to operate and it looks like you're having anal while you pilot it,"

"What, really?" Rachel says, scrunching her face and looking at the robot.

"Yeah," Sadie says. "Gotta get the birthrate up somehow,"

"It doesn't matter what it looks like," You say, glancing from one robot to the next. "We need what's going to get us out of here alive,"

>You and Les try the gundam robots, everyone else gets an evangelion thing
>Everyone tries gundams
>Everyone tries evangelion things
>You and Les in a Darling robot, as well as Tyler and Rachel, let Sadie pick what she wants
>You risk the gundam, everyone else gets evangelions
>>You and Les try the gundam robots, everyone else gets an evangelion thing
damnit why is Liam such a pleb.

>You, Les, and Rachel gets a gundam
no fucking way I'm putting the ticking emotional time bomb in an evangelion
>Sadie and Tyler gets an evangelion
Tyler could use something simpler and fast, and I trust Sadie enough that if she has a mental breakdown it's on purpose.
>Les and Saul on the darling robot.
Does Nobody else want to see this but me?
>Everyone else on a Gundam
Switching to this
File: Doc1-page-001 (1).jpg (874 KB, 2533x1785)
874 KB
874 KB JPG

"Oh," Sadie says. "And maybe don't put someone emotional in the evangelion ones,"

"Got it," You say. "Les, Rachel, pick a gundam and let me know if it looks like you can use it. Sadie, Tyler, I'm trusting you with the evangelion ones,"

"Fuck yes give me 03 unit," Sadie says, rushing towards a red one. Tyler looks around a bit, then walks to the one next to it.

You, Rachel and Les make your way to the gundams. You all pick the ones that are closest to you, with Les picking the one you recognize, you picking a tall white one that looks like a spartan, and Rachel picking devilish red one with a big wings.

You all take the individual elevators up to your chosen robots. You walk around the catwalk to the front, ducking into the open cockpit.

It looks...complicated. You take your seat in the cockpit, scanning the handful of controls. You hear a massive noise, then see Les's gundam taking a step forward.

"Whoooo!" You hear her voice over the radio. You look around at where you heard the radio, pressing what looks like a talk button.

"Les? Can you hear me?"

"Oh nice, yeah, I can Saul, check it out, I've got mine moving,"

"I see that, how'd you do it?"

"It's not as hard as it looks, I figured it would be like my pod, and you just think about what you want to do. It's not that easy, but if you push on levers that look like they make the thing walk, they'll probably walk,"

"It cannot be that easy," You murmur to yourself, pressing a very large joystick forward.

Your gundam shudders, than breaks away from the cables mooring it to the wall. Rachel's gundam, as well as the evangelions, are also taking steps forward.

"WHHOOOO!" Maji yells from the ground. He looks like a tiny speck. "You did it!"

"Yeah," Tyler's voice pipes over the radio. "These things had to have been easy enough to pilot if Liam felt like it,"

"Alright then," You say. "Anybody see some bay doors we can open?"

"I got your bay doors right here," Sadie says. Her red robot rushes forward, its powerful legs shaking the ground. She leaps feet first into the wall, smashing through it and taking half the building with her.

"EVERYBODY OUT!" You say. You glance down, spotting Maji, and instinctively reach down to get him. The controls respond, and you scoop him up in the massive hands on your robot. You then rush your mech outside with the others.

"Careful girl!" You yell over the radio. "Maji was still down there!"

"Sorry sorry!" Sadie says. "These things are just soooo badass,"

Tyler's unit is bending its knees, as if stretching. Rachel's just stands there, her massive wings looking ominous against the smoke strewn sky. Les is taking hers in small circles, testing it.

"Everybody got a feel for it?" You say.

Your team responds in the affirmative.

"Alright then, to Granny Grind's Dojo,"

"No need!" Maji says, pointing. "She's met us here!"

You look to where he's pointing, as see a giant yellow balloon.
All over the yellow balloon are black markings. They form the words "Grind Dojo". Under the balloon is tethered the Dojo. Massive propellers move it forward.

Granny Grind waves from her lawn, which seems to have been ripped from the very earth it rested atop.

"Hellllooooo," You hear her voice over the radio. "Can you hear me?"

You press the talk button.

"This is Saul, we see you. I've got your student in my hand,"

"Put him on the lawn,"

You do your best to extend your hand with the joystick, and manage to deposit Maji next to Granny Grind.

"Alright," You say. "So how is this going to work,"

"Simple," Granny's voice crackles. "pick the closest wall and let's fight our way out of here!"

"Les, you're with me in the lead, Tyler and Rachel, form the middle and sides, Sadie, you're bringing up the rear. Everyone got it?"

"Got it!"

You push your gundam forward, and it responds by using its jetboosters to hover across the ground, as if lazily gliding.

"Taking it easy are we?" You say. Les keeps pace with you, also jetting just above the ground.

Alarms and sensors go off, turning your cockpit red. A targeting computer appears near your head, identifying several large monsters.

"Oh jesus," Sadie says across the comms. "It's like every "Attack on the fortified city" anime combined in one. That's the most generic yet horrifying giant monster I've ever seen,"

"What are our weapons Sadie!"

"Well the gundams have energy swords and guns, we eva units are the weapons, I guess,"

You looking for a control that looks like a gun. Instead you just see a primer button. You flip up the cover and press it.

Your gundam pulls a massive handle from its back, activating an even more massive lightsaber.

"Oh," You say. You try waving it around, and the gundam responds. The air shimmers as the energy sword passes through it. You can't help feel a little...satisfied.

Les's gundam draws a big ass gun. Rachel's has a whip that looks like its made out of deadly train-cars.

There's at least ten monsters. The first two reach the next street. Les opens fire.

Her gundam's gun turns the nearest monster into a pulpy mess. You let out a yell as you charge the other one. You jam the control forward, and your gundam drives its energy sword into the monster's face. It screams, then explodes.

"OPEN SEASON!" Sadie yells, her evangelion thing tearing past you and Les. It smacks into the next monster, and Sadie uses its arms to rip the monster apart.

Tyler hesitates with his eva unit, but the sound of Rachel's whip is heard, followed by a low, loud boom. Her gundam is thrashing two monsters at once, whipping them again and again into the ground. This convinces Tyler to move his unit, and the eva leaps onto the nearest monster and starts wailing on it with fists.

More alarms go off, and your computer shows more monsters.

"Dammit," You say, gritting your teeth. "We're going to be overwhelmed."
You feel your left arm tug on you, then furrow your brow in confusion. You look over and see your x-tool quivering. The tendons that hold your shield in place are stretching off your forearm, as if reaching for something. It takes you a beat, but realize it's trying to interface with the gundam.

"Buddy," You say. "I doubt you're compatible,"

More sensors go off, and you see more proximity alerts. It seems you're attracting quite a bit of attention.

>Interface, tell everyone to go ahead, hold them off
>Interface, get everyone to haul ass together and get out of there
>Just keep going, no need to risk an interface when you'll likely be shedding this ride at the first opportunity
>Interface, tell everyone to go ahead, hold them off

The arm's not coming back in the real world, so may as well experiment with turning it into something higher tech.
>>Interface, tell everyone to go ahead, hold them off

fuck it
File: 6 Machine Robobot.jpg (76 KB, 680x731)
76 KB
>Interface, tell everyone to go ahead, hold them off
If sadie already rushed ahead, there is the backline down. We need to cover rearguard so Granny can get out safe.
Plus, Genki Girl and her gramps said this thing was top-of-the-line. It better be able to interface. Not to mention mechas always perform best when the user is actively linked with their thing.
I was kind of hoping we'd all get to go together. I hope they make it out along with the Laos guys.

Also, shame I missed the option of mechs, even if I agree with what everyone has. Too bad Liam's choices of anime still hold on this world. Would've loved to have some Big O, Megazorg/Voltron, Escaflone, Pacific Rim, or TTGL mechas to choose from.
I wonder if Sadie would be metal enough for an escaflone machine.
Sadie a shit anyways. Just a mirror image of Liam, without the utter stupidity which makes it worse.

Just read the first thread. I hope we're all on board with the "Kill Desmond when we have the chance" option now?
I mainly voted not to kill him because Les wasn't close enough to rescue Sadie. Totally wanted him dead, but there wasn't anyone to do the killing.

Hear me out then. What we gotta do is, we gotta rescue Liam. Despite him being an utter prick, note that he wasn't killed and that Beh can't undo Liams creation.

So we have to rescue him. Note that he didn't know about the kids getting turned into Anchors.

We should point out that he's responsible for multiple deaths now, and that he has an obligation to become a REAL hero. Not to just play one.

We can use our military background to make a training arc for him to become a less shit person.

"Guys," You say, pressing the comms. "I'm going to hang back and let my arm interface with my robot, I'm hoping this will buy us some time,"

"That sounds like a bad idea," Les says, her voice crackling over the radio. "What does that even mean?"

"I'm realizing sometimes you just have to roll with the rules here," You say. "Everybody move on, I'll meet you outside the wall,"

Your gundam stops, landing on the ground and shaking the street. You look down at your x-tool.

"Alright buddy, let's see what you can do,"

The black tendons shudder, than envelope your control case. You feel like you're being electrocuted.

"FUck!" You yell, spasming in your seat. It stops as quickly as it starts. Your head feels like you're having an out-of-body experience. Every nerve in your body is trying to tell you something.

It takes you a moment, but you realize you've somehow linked up with the gundam. Its movements are now yours. You lift your left arm, and the gundam's left arm lifts. You take a step forward, and your robot does the same.

You draw both your energy swords, turning your mech frame towards the line of approaching mega-monsters.

"This is cool right?" You murmur to yourself. "We're having fun, right?"

One of the monsters breaks away from the others, exploding through a skyscraper and lunging at you.

You throw both your arms, and the gundam slashes horizontally across the monster's body. You decapitate it, its head falling and crushing a bus and several cars.

The next monster reaches you, and your gundam knees it in the stomach before plunging its energy sword through the creature's eye. You drag the sword back out, then use it lash into the next monster.

Your gundam creaks and groans whenever you move too quickly, and you have to calm your breathing or your x-tool gets excited. The monsters are clearly just beasts, exhibiting the same hunting instincts you've seen in a thousand nature documentaries.

Nevermind they're as tall as skyscrapers.

"Saul!" Sadie's voice comes over the comms. "We're outside, hurry, there's more monsters headed for the city!"

"Got it," You say, then turn your mech around to run.

The street rushes up towards you. Your gundam slams into it, and you realize you were tackled from behind. Whatever's on top of you, it's heavy enough that you can't move your gundam.

The gundam shudders, as if being hit. Sensors go off and computers indicate you just had your left leg torn off. A moment later, your right leg goes missing. The shock of the loss of the limbs travels through your x-tool and directly into your brain.

"daMMIT," You yell, smashing the booster controls.

Every rocket on your robot activates, and you shoot like a torpedo down the street. Whatever's on top of you starts screaming and letting out window-shattering cries. The weight finally shifts off you, and you spot a burning monster rolling in the street in the rear camera.
You continue your trajectory head-first through the city, doing your best to guide your gundam missile around buildings and debris. At the first opportunity you pull back hard on the controls, streaking into the sky.

It's your first good view of the city. Your targeting computers begin picking out hundreds of red dots, all indicating a rampaging monster. The smoke continues to pour up, but your sensors give you a good idea of the magnitude of destruction.

There are still robots of course, fighting the monsters. It's an impressive effort, considering the odds your computers are indicating. You salute them, silently. Charlie and his uncle, as well as Lewis and even Asha and the Old man, are all still down there. Not that you could rescue them. You didn't spend as much time overseas to not recognize a lost cause when you saw one.

Your gundam beeps, and you look ahead to see it mapping out your companion's paths ahead. You lock onto them, following them out of the city.

"Saul?" Les's voice says over the radio. "That you?"

"Yeah, I'm coming in hot so keep moving,"

"Where's your legs buddy?" Sadie says.

"Long story, let's just find a safe place beyond this city,"

Your statement is punctuated by the biggest explosion you've heard yet. You're still jetting through the air, but you can see the ground shake. Your rear computer shows what looks like an indtrustial plant on fire.

After some tense moving, the gundams and eva units managed to make it to a hill many miles from the city. The hill starts a series of hills, which eventually end in an ominous looking, and very large mountain.

The gundams and eva come to a halt, save yours, which clumsily crashes into the side of the hill. Granny Grind's dojo lands neatly on the crest, it's balloon deflating.

Cockpits open, and you and your companions climb out. You all slowly make your way up the hill to Granny Grind's Dojo, meeting at the top.

"Holy shit that was awesome," Sadie says as you all gather before the front door.

"Yeah," Tyler says, itching his head. "Gotta admit that was kind of thrilling,"

"We're not out of the woods yet," you say, looking around the hill. You struggle to remember all the places Les identified when you first met.

>suggest the group head for the villages, hide out there
>suggest the group head for the magic school, hide out there
>suggest going to the mountain with the pit in it, hide out there
>suggest the others hide somewhere, attempt to go back into the city
>suggest hitting the wilderness and looking for someplace new
>suggest the others hide somewhere, attempt to go back into the city

Rescue Liam before they can fortify the city.

Or kill him and see what that does.
>suggest the group head for the magic school, hide out there
They have a magic copy printer. We can copy giant light sabers.

Although I wonder if we can go xenosaga on these mecha and use them to waterbend entire lakes.
>>suggest the group head for the magic school, hide out there

If anti magic doesn't get introduced then this'll be a great place to hold up
As bad a place as the Abyss is, its the only major place we haven't been to yet. So I'm still curious what all it is exactly.

Idk if Liam would still be in the city at all. He kind of floated up into the sky with the rest of the devil captains. Only purpose for going back into the city at this point would be to try and rescue some of the rest of our friends/sponsors still possibly stuck there. Or to try and recover Les's flying orb.

We are now on the clock however, 24 hours until we start getting hunted down. Question is if we stay on the run, or try and hold up somewhere. I don't think hiding from the world is going to be much of a strategy. At the very least the demons probably won't come back.
I think we have fair odds of integrating an Incinerator to Saul's arm if we go to the Abyss. But we have much better odds of getting killed by all manner of things there, guns or no, flying mecha or no. Besides, it'll probably be a one-way trip. Either we confirm a way to start booting people back to the real world, or commit to ending things in one shot.

You think hard. You're tempted to rush back into the city. You're good at operating alone, and could send the others ahead. On the other hand, could you really find Charlie or anyone else among a destroyed city of millions?

The the mountain with the hole in it is the only place you haven't been too, but the idea of being hunted underground does not appeal to you.

As for the villages, the thick woods weren't quite thick enough to pull off your own vietnam. At least not what you saw of it.

The school on the other hand. You saw harry potter once, on a shitty date. In the movie the castle was attacked. The castle was also able to protect itself, like Les's treehouse.

You can tell there are rules to this anime stuff. You don't know them, but you wonder if magical schools are the same in all movies and shows.

"Les," You say, turning to her. "That school,"


"Yeah, do you think we'd be safe there?"

"Well," Les says, tilting her head while she thinks. "Head Master Ursan took a liking to me and Sadie, and he seemed pretty protective of his students during the interview process,"

"And if Desmond threw demons and worse at us? Would the school be able to protect us? Could it hide us for a bit?"

Les nods, slowly.

"I think so, Ursan mentioned wards and protective spells and such that I'd need a key to get around. As for hiding us like fugitives? I can't say,"

"It's better than just sitting around," You say. "We should at least see if we can get there,"

You turn to Granny Grind, who's standing in the door listening to you all.

"Is there any chance you could fly us to the magic school?"

"Can't I'm afraid," Granny Grind says, crossing her arms. "The balloon trick's not something I can whip out whilly nilly. But, seeing as how you got me out of that mess, and it seems my acquaintance with you has benefited me despite the present circumstances, I will let you borrow my buggy,"

"Your buggy?"

"And you can borrow my motorcycle!" Maji says, throwing a thumbs up.

Granny Grind disappears into the dojo. A minute later a wall on the side opens up, and an engine roars to life.

You, Les and the teens walk around the dojo and come to a stop in front of the side door. Beyond is a garage, where a big, tough dune buggy purrs. Next to it is a chopper motorcycle.

"Shotgun," Rachel says, cutting off Sadie as she tries to say it.

"Damn," Sadie says, following after.

"So I'll drive," Les says, walking to the buggy. "I know you'll probably want the bike Saul,"

You watch as Maji finishes checking over the bike, then presents it to you.

"Nice huh!" Maji says, looking her over and beaming.

"Yeah," You say, walking up to it.

Your army buddies had bikes. They tried to get you into it.

Motorcycles scare the fuck out of you.

They don't make sense. You fall over, you die. You get hit, you die. You get to go fast, that's true. But if you go too fast, you die.
You catch Rachel, already comfortable in the passenger seat of the buggy, watching you. You've been acting the tough guy since you got here. It's either that, or have a meltdown, and that's not you. You can tell the teens like having a "tough army guy" around, even if you don't fit completely into that mold.

"Nice bike," You say, getting on it. "Love bikes. Big fan,"

"Haha!" Maji says, slapping you on the back. "Well then you'll appreciate this! I removed the regulator and added an extra gear! I trust you, go as fast as you want!"

"Thanks," You say, revving the bike. You may not like them, but fuck if your old buddies didn't make you ride one on at least three occasions.

Les revs her's too. She looks over at you.

"You leading or following?"

"I'll bring up the rear," You shout over the engines. "But slow if you see trouble and I'll take the lead,"

Les nods, waves to Granny Grind and Maji, then squeals out of the garage. You rev your engine once more, then follow.

The sun is setting in the distance. The sky is streaked with black smoke pouring up from the distant city.

Les finds a road of sorts and takes it, headed away from the setting sun. You follow, your head swiveling in all directions. In the back of your mind you wonder if the demon brand will reappear. You're not sure what the difference between Liam and Desmond's power is.

Your alertness and the tense atmosphere continues for the next three hours. The sun has fully set by the time Les slows, though there are still vestiges of purple and orange on the horizon.

"Last chance to stretch your legs," Les calls, cutting the engine. "I gotta go to the woods for a sec,"

You knock down the kickstand, leaning the bike and getting off it. Your everything hurts from being on an unpaved road for over three hours.

You walk into a clutch of trees to relieve yourself as well. Your mind wanders as you stand there. It'd been wandering on the bike too. You keep coming back to the same thing.

You're still fucking stuck in this world.

The craziness after the tournament, as well as Desmond's looming threat, have helped you forget it. But there's no getting around it. You're all still here.

You zip your pants and lean against a tree, exhaling.

"Goddammit," You say.

Back on the road, your group travels over a hill and around a bend, then comes to a massive valley surrounded by forest. On one side are a few huts. In the center, a few fields. And on the opposite side, a giant fucking harry-potter castle, with some weird gear things floating above it.

The buggy and motorcycle idle at the top of the hill leading down into the valley. You take it all in.

"Not bad, huh?" Les says.

"Just wait till we get inside!" Sadie says. "It's amazing!"

"Well what are we waiting for," You say, revving the bike and taking off into the valley. The buggy follows.
You tear down the path, past the huts and the confused villagers peering from windows and doorways. Past the fields and scarecrows that guard them. Up the other side of the valley towards the looming walls of the impressive castle-school.

Les gets in front of you, speeding ahead towards a gatehouse. You follow. She slows in front of the gate, then waves up at the top. It's hard to see in the fading light, but you don't spot anyone up there.

None the less, the gate opens. Les steers her buggy inside, with you bringing up the rear.

The grounds of the school are impressive. Small groves of trees are interspaced between ponds, walkways and bridges. Students stroll around within the grounds in groups of twos and threes. They're dressed in all manner of robes and cloaks. They all stop to stare at you.

Les cuts her engine, getting out of the buggy. You do too.

"Why Sadie!" A girl in a foppish pointed hat says, rushing over. She almost trips on the hem of her robe, but straightens up and embraces Sadie. "I'm so glad you're back! You enrolled, then left for two days!"

"Yeah," Sadie says, grinning sheepishly. "Long story,"

The girl turns to Les.

"Oh! And Miss Les! It's good you're back too! Are you going to start teaching math now?"

"Absolutely," Les says. "In fact, where is the headmaster so I can talk to him. About, you know, teaching math,"

"He's right here," says a voice.

You turn to pinpoint the source. It was a calm voice. A powerful voice.

A tiny man stands a respectable distance from your group. He wears a tiny robe, a rather large hat, and props himself up with a strange looking cane. His eyes, though worn, have a fierce fire burning within.

"Headmaster," Les says, bowing. Sadie does the same.

"Miss Les, Sadie, we thought you had left us after using our replication magic. Which would have been a terribly awful thing to do,"

"Ahh, yess," Sadie says, a pained grin on her face. "We had an emergency,"

"We have an emergency," You say, butting in and stepping in front of head master Ursan. "My name is Saul Beckett, and we need help. We're being hunted,"

"Oh ho! Are you one of the ones?" Ursan says, giving you a slow up and down.

"One of the what,"

"The ones!" Ursan says, taking a parchment out of his robe. He unrolls it, slipping on a pair of reading glasses. "Ahem, to all inhabitants of these lands, I, Desmond Jones, Lord of All, do hereby decree the commencement of The Wild Hunt tomorrow's eve. All enemies of the land will be hunted mercilessly by powerful agents of justice. Any aiding them will receive the same punishment as they, if not worse,"

Ursan finishes, taking off his glasses and rolling up the parchment.

"Now, Saul was it? You're a subject of this Wild Hunt I assume?"

You nod. It's all you can do.

"And you want me to risk the lives of my students and staff to help you?"

"To uh, help us," Sadie says, giving a small wave. "They're after us too,"
Ursan looks at Sadie, then to Les, who nods.

"oooohhh Miss Lampkin told me it was a mistake to bring you two in, but did I listen?"

Ursan shakes his head, sighing.

"Very well, I will shelter you Miss Les and Sadie, because you are part of our school. But! These two here," He gestures at Tyler and Rachel. "Will need to enroll while they stay here! I do not believe in idle youth!"

"Oh goddammit," Rachel says.

"And as for you sir," Ursan says, turning to you. "If you wish to stay with us and survive the Wild Hunt, you will need to put in your fair share. We currently have need of a grounds keeper to keep tame the more...volatile plants. We also need a janitor indoors for all our tricky rooms. Or, if you prefer, we have an opening in our physical education department,"

>Help out with groundskeeping outside
>Help out with janitorial stuff inside
>Help out as a PE teacher
>>Help out with groundskeeping outside
>Help out with groundskeeping outside
We will be the best hagrid.
>>Help out with groundskeeping outside
We can definitely build pit traps and booby trap the fuck out of the surrounding area.

May want to warn the students to be on the lookout and understand that the academy is taking extra precautions to protect it's teachers and students from the Wild Hunt.

>Help out as a PE teacher

We're Gunny now!
>Help out as a PE teacher
Its the army training all over again
>Actually, you taking them in is plenty. I got more people to rescue. They're not part of this wild hunt thing, though.
Take the buggy back.
>Help out as a PE teacher
>Help out as a PE teacher

Groundskeeping sounds potentially dangerous and janitor work is just lame
>Help out as a PE teacher
>>Help out with groundskeeping outside

It's a tough choice. You really just need to buy yourself some time while you all plan. You could easily be a groundskeeper, give you a chance to prepare for the Wild Hunt thing.

On the other hand, being a coach would make you falculuty right? That'd have to get you access to more replication magic.

"I'll teach your PE class," You say.

"Excellent, the front desk attendant will show you all to your rooms, and we'll see you bright and early tomorrow!"

"Thank you headmaster," Sadie says, bowing. Les does the same.

"Yeah," you say, scratching your arm. "Thanks,"

He takes off back towards the castle. You turn on everyone.

"Alright team, huddle up, we got some planning to do,"

"Hey Saul," Tyler says. "Can we actually grab some food first?"

Your stomach growls. It's true, you haven't eaten since before the tournament. The girl in the foppish hat and wizard robes waves at Sadie.

"Let's all go to the cafeteria, it's dinner time!"

"Nice," Rachel says, suddenly moving and motioning for the wizard girl to do the same. She does, leading you all towards the castle. You peer around as you walk. The walls look sturdy enough. But what are walls when the enemy has anything and everything?

Inside the castle is a massive reception hall filled with floating candlesticks, floating books, and other spooky magical shit. The front desk is maned by a bear. Just a bear. It waves a claw as you pass.

Beyond the reception hall is another hall with many, many doors. One of them, a large pair of double doors, are thrown open by Sadie's friend.

Many voices pour out into the hall. It's a massive cafeteria, filled with ornate wooden benches and students chattering happily while eating.

"Damn," You say, taking it all in.

"Regretting that teaching position now?" Les says, grinning as she passes by you.

You move again, getting in the back of the line with the others. You feel like a kid again. If your middle school had a freak and geek dresscode.

You grab your tray and slide it on the rack. The people serving the food aren't actually people. They appear to be ornate dolls with weirdly expressive and detailed faces.

You reach the first one, who motions between glazed chicken and....glazed something? You can't tell, so you point at the chicken.

This continues on down the line until your tray is full. You reach the final doll thing, then hear a commotion.

"No, I'm not drinking this," Les says, shoving a bottle back at one of the dolls. The doll takes it, then motions at another row of drinks.

"No," Les says. "No butterscotch beer, no dandelion wine, I want beer. Real, American beer. Import is fine too."

The doll opens the fridge and retrieves another bottle, handing it to Les. Les takes it, inspects it, then sets it on the counter, hard.
"No, you're doing it again," She says. "This beer says its Sassafras Light. I don't want Sassafras anything. Here, hold on,"

Les leans over the counter, rooting around behind it. The dolls appear agitated, putting their porcelain hands to their faces and turning to each other.

"Aha!" Les says, coming back up with a bottle. She turns to you and holds it up for you to see. "We're good Saul, found something good,"

You almost....laugh? The image of Les looking as proud as she did to find a brown bottle did something to you. Goddamn that was close. No laughing in cartoon land. Not with these stakes.

You all stand as a group at the head of the cafeteria, looking for an empty table.

"I really feel like we're back at school," Tyler says.

"Really?" Rachel says. "Cause this just feels like prison,"

"Tell you what," You say, turning to the teens. "Find a table and eat, me and Les are going to get someplace away from this noise and do some planning,"

"Uh, yeah, I'm not sitting here with these fucking losers," Rachel says. "I'm coming with you guys,"

"Yeahh," Tyler says.

Sadie just shrugs. "Let's go to the walls or something,"

You all take you trays and drinks out of the cafeteria and up a winding set of stairs. It deposits you outside on a large rampart.

Night holds sway. There is darkness, punctuated only by the lights coming from the school, and a few pinpricks from the village on the other side of the valley.

You all find a place to sit, then do so. You let out a sigh, you can't help it.

Les pops the top of the bottle, takes a swig, then passes it to you. You thank her, taking a sip and then setting it down.

The teens have already begun eating.

"Alright gang," You say, picking up your fork. "Time to plan,"

Rachel violently throws a fork against the wall. It clatters off it, coming to a stop a ways away. She puts her head in her hands.

"Rachel?" Tyler says, reaching for her.

She just shakes her head, hard.

"Yeah," You say. "Yeah, I get it guys. This, this isn't what we wanted. But, but maybe it was never going to be easy. Maybe this was always going to be a fight for our life. Like that guy who got stuck climbing a mountain and had to saw his own arm off to escape,"

Les holds up a hand, asking for you to pause. She takes Rachel's hands away from her face, holding them.

"Rachel," Les says, softly.

"im sorry," Rachel says, even softer. Her head is buried in her chest, an attempt to hide her tears.

"Goddammit," Sadie says, putting her head in her hands as well. "fffuuuccckkk, this isn't fun. This was never fun. I want to leave"

You see tears stream around Sadie's hands. You're shocked. Sadie was always so....strong? No, just a highschooler. Not even out in the world yet. You turn to Tyler.

"Hey man, you're good to cry to if you want,"
Tyler just looks at you like you said something dumb, and scoots over to comfort Rachel. Seeing no one comforting Sadie, you move over to her and rub her back with one hand, reassuring her.

"Guys," Les's voice rises up. "Saul's right. This was never going to be easy. And no one else, and I mean fucking no one else! Could do what we're doing right now. We're going to get out of this alive, because when I look at this group, I see a team that won't fucking quit,"

Neither Rachel nor Sadie say anything. They both just get their tears out, sniff, then slowly pick back up their utensils. Tyler lends Rachel a fork.

You look to Les, who nods at you.

"Alright," You say. "It's time to plan. Where do we go from here,"

"We need a damn way out of here," Les says, taking another sip from the bottle.

"Agreed, but saving that, I wonder if we can just destabilize this world enough to force Desmond's hand."

"How so?" Sadie says, looking curious. It's better than sad.

"The smoke monster said there were anchors. Now, I can't pretend to know much about this world, but everything seems to be a cue for something else. Mention something, it becomes a big deal right?"

The others just stare at you. You're not sure they follow.

"There's rules," You say. "Haven't you noticed? Every time we interact with someone who's not real, it's like the world is hurrying us along in a certain direction by mentioning certain things,"

"I thought we were just having normal conversations," Sadie says.

"Maybe, or everything's a clue," You say. You can't quite put your finger on it, but somethings been off about this world ever since Sadie won the acolyte title over Hoshi. And not just, cartoon-and-Beh off.

"We go back to the original strategy," You say. "We have our own hunt. We collect the devil captains, find the anchors, and destroy them,"

Nobody responds for a beat.

"I mean," Les says. "It's as good a plan as any. But what if Desmond doesn't play games like Liam does? What do you think he'll do with the captains?"

"That's a good point," Tyler says. "I don't think Desmond gives a shit about games or play-fighting,"

"If that's the case, we need to do everything in our power to find and locate the anchors. In the underground, where ever that may be."

You look everyone in the eye.

"How does that sound?"

Everyone nods.

"Good rally team," Les says, passing you the bottle. "Have fun here tomorrow, you've earned it,"

Rachel snorts. Sadie and Tyler smile.

The next day, you find yourself in shorts, a baseball cap, a whistle and a tight polo. Before you stands class 1A, your first physical education class of the day.

"ALRIGHT LISTEN UP KIDS," You say, walking along the first row of students. They stare up at you in PE clothes that are still somehow nerdy and weird.

"My name's Mr. Beckett, but you can call me Coach. I'll be your gym teacher for the day, and maybe tomorrow if we don't all die,"

The kids continue to listen, wide-eyed.
"Now, I've never taught kids before, so what the hell does a Harry Potter PE class consist of anyways?"

A tiny girl raises her hand. You point to her.

"Um," The girl says, adjusting her glasses. "We practice riding our broomsticks,"

>Have the kids practice broomsticks
>Teach the kids CQC
>Teach the kids how to shoot
>>Teach the kids how to shoot
>>Teach the kids CQC
>Make them run laps
>Throw in some burpees between laps
I wonder if they have any sniper equipment.

Fuck Desmond and his haxxxor powers, but can he engage them if the bullet hits his head before he can react?
Also, totes sketched about Desmond being able to possess people, so we should see about acquiring a sniper rifle discretely.
>>Have the kids practice broomsticks

You stand there, surveying the children. About twenty in this class. Maybe a thousand all together in the school? This entire situation was ridiculous. What were you doing?

You take out your whistle, blowing hard.

"Alright let's see some laps kids!" You yell, circling your finger in the air. "Let's go let's go!"

A boy raises his hand.

"On our broomsticks?"

"No on your feet kid let's go!"

The children look at you, look at each other, then start to shuffle in a direction.

"FASTER" You yell. The kids take off. You grab one of them, the girl who first answered you. "Not you glasses,"

"Sir-, I mean, coach?" She says, looking up at you and adjusting her glasses.

"Take this," You say, handing her a duffle bag containing some bushmasters, the SSG rifle, the glock and bullets. You work your knife out of your belt and toss it in the duffle too.

"You know what this stuff is?" You say, gesturing at the bag. The girl with glasses shakes her head. "Well, I need you to go make a thousand copies of everything in this bag, got it?"

"That will take," The girl says, counting on her fingers. She gives up. "A long time, students have to request copies-"

"Sure," You say, taking off your teacher badge and giving it to her. She takes it, confused. "Just show them that," You say. "Tell em' Coach wants a rush order," You point at the bullets. "I need more than a thousand of these. A lot more,"

The girl in glasses just stares at you.

"What's your name," You say.


"Ellen, do you want to run laps?"

She glances over at her classmates, who are struggling. A lot. She looks back at you and shakes her head.

"Good, get going."

She takes off, lugging the bag as best she can. "Let's see some hustle Ellen!" You call after her. You turn to the students running and blow your whistle. "That goes for you guys too! I see you red hair! You better catch up or it's extra laps!"

You don't know how long classes last, but after twenty minutes of burpees and laps, you blow the whistle.

"Alright alright," You say, clapping. "Huddle up!"

The kids do so, reluctantly. They come to a stop in a semi-circle around you, collapsing on the grass. You scan them, then see that Ellen is dragging a duffle from the castle. Behind her are several other students, also lugging bags.

You have an idea. It's been gnawing on you for awhile now. This world. The rules. They almost make sense, but not quite. And they're changing. The city proved that much.

So what if you switched it up too? No one said you had to be passive for the Wild Hunt.

The real question is if you're willing to go through with what you're planning. Sure the harry potter kids are fake, but it'll still take a toll on you to teach things that act like children how to kill.

On the other hand, a thousand magical cartoon child soldiers wouldn't hurt.
"Alright guys," You say. "You did good. Kind of. Red hair, I got my eye on you. But we're not done yet. Do you all know what's happening tonight?"

The kids shake their heads.

"There's a Wild Hunt. A fucked up teenager is going to gather together a bunch of bad dudes, and terrifying monsters, and come to this castle to kill us all. Now, do you think this school will protect us?"

The kids nod.

"WRONG," You say, blowing on your whistle. You let it drop from your mouth. "We're gonna be fucked! Do you want to be fucked!"

The kids shake their heads quickly.


"NO COACH!" The kids yell.



"That's the spirit, Ellen, front in center."

"There's still more bags inside," Ellen says, dragging the duffle. "Also, the teacher in charge of the replication room, Mr. Balka, wants to have a word with you,"

"Later," You say, taking the duffle from her. You motion for the other students with her to drop their bags. "Go back inside and keep making trips until all the bags are out here,"

Ellen nods, then jogs with the others back inside. You turn back to your PE class.

"Um, Coach?" A girl says, raising her hand. "PE is over now, there's the next class,"

You look to where she's pointing, and see class 1B coming out. Tyler is among them.

"Good," You say. You motion them over, separating Tyler from the rest and standing him beside you. "Listen up! We're spending all day out here today, so prepare yourselves!"

The kids from 1A groan.

"Ep ep!" You say, holding up your whistle. "It's that or laps! You guys," You point at 1B. "We'll start you off with laps and burpees while I start 1A on firearm safety. We're gonna do this in rotation. Let's go!"

You blow on your whistle. 1B just looks at each other.


The kids take off, doing laps. 1A watches them go, some with smirks. You clap to catch their attention.

"Alright, let's start off with gun safety,"

"Whoa," Tyler says, looking at you. "You serious?"

You nod, a grim look of determination on your face.

"Yeah, I'm tired of playing on defense. But I'll need your help, since you know the basics,"

Tyler looks from you, to the kids in 1A. He nods, fishing a glock from the bag.

"LINE UP," Tyler shouts.

The day goes on. More kids come out for PE. You don't let any go back inside. When 1A is done with gun safety, you set them to propping up targets against the far wall. 1B finishes laps and starts on gun safety. 1C is dismayed to find out that they will be doing laps.

When noon arrives, you have over three hundred students outside in your rotations. Tyler's leading gun safety, and you're preparing for the first target practice.

"Alight!" You yell, blowing on your whistle. Before you is a line of students, lying on their stomachs while they hold the SSG 69's to their shoulders. They all peer down the scopes.

We have less than a day to teach them, doubt we will accomplish much.

We did already make those thousands of guns though....
The kids do. Twenty rifles go off at once. Most miss the target completely. Or or two get close. One girl, tall with long, brown hair, gets a bullseye.

"Alright," You say, clapping. The kids ease of their protective ear-wear. You point at the brunette. "Name soldier!"

"Me?" The girl says, pointing at herself. You nod. "I'm Tabatha,"

"Tabatha, you will be here on this range for the remainder of the day honing that God-given talent of yours. You are now part of my own special squad. But that doesn't mean the rest of you are off the hook! You're gonna learn to shoot like Tabatha, got it?"

The kids nod.

"Excuse me!" A voice says. You turn to see a man, two women, headmaster Ursan, and Les. The voice came from the man.

"Yes," You say, turning and putting your hands on your hips. You can't help it, its the coach getup.

"Saul," Les says, coming to a stop and hiding a smile behind her hand. She composes herself, looking serious. "Are you teaching these children how to use guns? No one came to my math class, are they all out here?"

"They will be soon," You say, crossing your arms.

"Absolutely not!" One of the women says. "This looks incredibly dangerous! Those tools are loud and smokey!"

"Oh, it's very dangerous," You say. "I've nearly beat the shit out of three kids who can't seem to stop pointing their guns at others accidently. They'll learn though. Safety first."

"Mr. Beckett," Head Master Ursan says, leaning on his cane. "This is highly unorthodox,"

"Yeah? And when's the last time you had a Wild Hunt huh? Those pretty normal round here?"

You walk up to the Head Master, leaning close to his face.

"I've seen what the enemy can do. What they're capable of. I've tried to reason with them, anything, but it's useless. There is no reasoning. There is no respite. It's one long game of cat and mouse, and people are going to start dying if we don't up our game,"

The Headmaster looks at you, then looks around at the kids.

Another teacher pipes up.

"This is unnecessary is it not? We are a school of magic after all!"

"Magic's nice," You say, turning to the teacher. "A lot like a fighter jet. You got favorable conditions, nice line of sight, and complete air superiority, and you can kill a lot of people. But jets don't win wars,"

You walk over to the bag, retrieving a bushmaster.

"Lots of guys with these win wars,"

"And you think we're at war?" Head Master Ursan says.

You nod, tossing him a bushmaster. He catches it.

"Time to pick a side buddy. You with us? Or with the guy who hunts his enemies during a night of partying?"

Head Master Ursan inspects the gun, then passes it to one of the teachers.

"Very well," He says, nodding. "For today only, we will learn some of your tools, in the hopes of defending ourselves,"

"Good," You say, brushing your hands.

"But!" Ursan says. "It is lunch, so a quick break would be nice for these kids, don't you think?"
You look at them. 1A is still by the rifles, watching you. 1B is by gun safety, also looking at you. The rest do as well.

You nod, putting your whistle in your mouth and blowing on it.

"Alright kids, lunch break!"

The kids almost cheer, getting up to run inside.


You and Les watch the kids walk back inside, Tyler joining you.

"Think I may go find Rachel," Tyler says, scratching at himself.

>Invite Les to lunch, check how she's doing
>Invite Tyler to lunch, see how he's doing
>Go find Sadie, see how she's doing
>Go find Rachel, see how she's doing
>Lunch with yourself, or go off exploring
>Find Sadie
>Go find Rachel, see how she's doing

Girl seems to be struggling.


> Get Tyler, Les, and Sadie to brainstorm about how we can change the narrative

Since we don't know shit about this. But we DO know PTSD!
>>Go find Sadie, see how she's doing

"Let's all hit the mess," You say. "I'm gonna go find Sadie and check up on her,"

The others nod, and together you follow the students and teachers inside.

You cut in line, quickly grabbing a plate and a wrapped sandwich, then fishing the first beer you can out of the cooler. The dolls all watch with their hands to their faces, as if shocked again, while they turn to one another.

"Sorry girls," you mutter, strolling out of the cafeteria. You look around for Sadie, then catch sight of her carrying a tray out of the far door. You cross after her. You can hear snippets from students' conversations. Those that had morning PE are telling those who didn't what they're in for.

You turn the corner and see Sadie walking up the same staircase you guys took last night. You follow her up, pushing through a door outside.

Sadie's walks a ways then sits, setting out her lunch around her. You walk over, then sit down, startling her.

"Oh!" Sadie says, then calms when she sees you. "Ah, Saul, hey,"

"Hey yourself," You say, unwrapping your sandwich. You set it down and pop the top off the beer.

Sadie watches as you drink greedily from the bottle. You lower it, letting out a sound of refreshment. You set it down and pick up the sandwich.

"So," Sadie says, picking up a spoon and playing with her macaroni and cheese. "You're teaching everyone to shoot?"

"Yup," You say, taking a bite and chewing.

"Annndddd, you think that's a good idea?"

You nod as you chew, swallowing. You chase it with another sip of beer.

"Sure, can't hurt right?"

"I mean," Sadie says, still twirling her spoon in her food. "They've got magic, right?"

"That they do," You say, taking another bite. "But that's not enough. This is Liam's world. Desmond's got hometown advantage. But that bag of weapons?"

You jerk your thumb at the wall, where the school ground lies.

"That's the one thing we got that Liam didn't count on,"

"Yeah well," Sadie finally spoons a bit of mac and cheese and inspects it. "Liam's not in charge anymore. Desmond is. And he strikes me as the kind of guy who has no problem using guns if he gets his hands on them,"

You pause, the sandwich near your mouth. You hadn't thought of that. You have all the guns right now. You assume Desmond can't just generate any, since Liam only ever made x-tools. But what would happen if Desmond got a hold of one of the bushmasters?

"Hmmm," Sadie says, peering at you with a mischievous look in her eyes. "You didn't think of that, didja?"

"S'good point," You say, taking another bite. You chew, then swallow. "But I'm not worried. We'll let him come here. He'll find it won't be so easy,"

"Yeah you're going real "Samurai 7" on their ass right now, but I'm not really rushing to shoot a gun,"

A small smile tugs on the corner of your lips. "Yeah kid, I know,"


You brush it off with a wave of your bottle, then take a sip.
"Yeah, kid, someone who shouldn't be here,"

Sadie nods, then sets the spoon back down.

"You holding up alright?" You say.

Sadie look up at you, a pained smile on her face.

"Not really?"

Her eyes well up with tears.

"Hey now," You say, passing her one of her napkins. "It's cool, you're cool,"

"I'm not Saul," Sadie says, dabbing at her eyes. "I don't know how much longer I can keep doing this. I tried to enjoy it at first, but it's just so..."

"Off? Weird? Shoddily put together and incomplete? Yeah," You cross your arms over your knees as you sit, then lean your chin on them. "This is a complete joke. The worse joke is whatever Desmond's able to turn it into,"

"Dude, seriously, fuck that kid,"

"Yeah, he'll get his."

Sadie looks at you, squinting.

"You know, you're nothing like your brother,"

You laugh. It just comes out, despite your attempt to stifle it. You clear your throat.

"Yeah, me and Eric, we're pretty different,"

"He's all anti-imperialism and stuff, which is weird, you know, since his brother's a soldier,"

"Oh yeah? Shit, I thought you did that to him,"

Sadie rolls her eyes.

"I'm dating him because we watch the same shows and he's nice,"

"Sure," You say. "Eric was always the sensitive type,"

"Yeah, and what about you mister gruff army guy?"

"Yeah well, we all have our roles to play,"

You sniff, getting to your feet.

"I gotta get out to the field, but why don't you just come on down after lunch. I'm gonna have everyone on the field eventually,"

"Man, look Saul, I really don't want to shoot a gun,"

You tilt your head as you regard her. Tyler wanted to protect Rachel. The students, well, they're not real. Sadie though, there was no need to involve her.


"Fine," You say. "You get to skip out on it, but I want you getting a layout of the school and its defenses. Help me know what we're working with,"

Sadie nods, then smiles.

"Thanks, sounds good,"

You leave her, walking back down towards the cafeteria. The voices of five hundred students, the first lunch half, babble within. You go to the entrance, putting your whistle to your mouth.

You blow.

"Alright alright," You say, clapping. "It's time for laps, burpees, and assault weapon training, let's go!"

The students all look desperately at the other teachers eating, including Les.

"Don't look at them," You say. "Let's go let's see some hustle!"

You put the whistle back to your mouth and blow.

The students all stand, stuffing the remainders of their meals in their mouth and jogging in lines out the cafeteria. Les just shakes her head as she watches, clearly hiding a smile.

"I could use you too Officer Les," You say, nodding to her. You turn to the other teachers. "You guys too, this fight is all of ours,"

Les shrugs, standing.

"Alright Saul, I'm good to leave math for another day,"

The other teachers watch her go, clearly suspicious of the new teacher. They eventually stand too and follow you out.
As the sun finishes its noon peak, the field inside the school walls is alive with activity. Student jogging, students learning gun safety, students shooting at targets. Teachers too.

The sounds of gunfire fill the area. You go back inside, grabbing the other five hundred students as they finish their lunch. They all shuffle out, and join the rotations. Rachel's among them.

"God Saul," She says, surviewing the field. "I do not want to be a part of this,"

"That's cool," You say. "Go find Sadie, help her out,"

As the sun begins to set over the horizon, you jog in with Ellen to check on more bullets in the replication room, as well as Sadie and Rachel's progress. You finally find them talking to Head Master Ursan in a large hall.

"Ah, Sadie, Rachel," You say, jogging up to them. "What did you find,"

Sadie looks at a notebook she's writing in. "Okay, so we've got something called a Master Ward that's like a dome forcefield over the school. Is that right Head Master?"

Ursan nods, slowly. "I believe so, though "Dome forcefield" is not something I'm familiar with,"

"Yeah that's what it sounds like to me," Sadie says. "Way it works is it physically keeps out people with bad intentions,"

You shake your head.

"That's too vague," You say. "We can't rely on that,"

"Well, beyond that, there's a shit-ton, and I mean a shit-ton of anti-magic wards as well. But, I don't know if Desmond uses magic,"

Sadie turns to Rachel. Rachel realizes she's the center of attention and her eyes grow wide.

"Uh, maybe? There was some magic dudes in the castle,"

"Whatever," You say. "What about the walls, how strong are the walls against say, giant robot guns or giant monsters,"

"The walls are actually indestructible according to the head master,"

"Really," You say, turning on Ursan. Ursan nods.

"Yes Mr. Beckett, these walls are not made out of rock, but of the very foundations of the first mountain,"

"The what?"

"The world, before it was the world of course,"

"So the walls may or may not be indestructible," Sadie says. "The rest of the defenses, luckily for us, spring up at night. The school grounds for instance, become a series of death traps with plants and monsters and stuff. The inside as well,"

"There you are!" A voice says.

You and Sadie wheel on Master Ursan. The tiny man has a different expression on his face. He smiles.

"Desmond," You say, narrowing your eyes.

"Howdy-do," Desmond says, Ursan bowing with a flourish.

"Get out of the head master!" Sadie yells, balling her fists. Rachel's fists are clenched too.

"Just needed to see if you guys were in any of the obvious spots. And look, you're at the second place I checked! You're not even trying!"

"Desmond," You say. "I'm just going to say this-"

You're interrupted by a yell from the head master.


He stamps his staff on the ground, once, then a look of calmness overtakes him.

"There we go, I apologize for allowing that fiend to overtake me,"
"Did," Sadie says, raising a finger and pointing. "Did you just push Desmond out of you?"

"No one is staying in my head without permission," The head master says. "And now I am fully convinced I do not like the King of All,"

You look at Sadie, who looks at you. You both raise an eyebrow.

"Okay," You say, putting a hand to your chin. "It's game time,"
File: MapleLight Academy.jpg (150 KB, 736x644)
150 KB
150 KB JPG

-Indestructible walls and towers
-Anti-magic wards on walls and grounds
-800 students who are mediocre with firearms
-150 students who are surprisingly decent
-50 who are fucking scary good
-10 Master Wizards
-1 Head Master Ursan
-30 teachers who are pretty damn good with magic
-Your companions
-Beasts apparently? Lots of dangerous animals are kept in the animal pen apparently
-Dangerous plants sprout up too
-4 "Moveable Magic Cannons", whatever the hell those are. You're just gonna assume they're guns

>Plan how you want to defend Maplelight
>He stamps his staff on the ground, once, then a look of calmness overtakes him.
>"There we go, I apologize for allowing that fiend to overtake me,"

Headmaster a Best.
Waiting to get home so I don't have to type this up on Phone

Rather important and something I should have mentioned. The map is first level.

Theres a second and third level above the dining hall and kitchen, which are the dorms and class rooms, as well as two basements, the first of which is more classes and a few dorms, and the level under that is cellars and a few tunnels
The fact that the headmaster is able to push out Desmond is actually scarier than Desmond still being able to hot-wire other bodies.
While it can be justified in that Desmond is not Liam, and not the true god of this world, he still understands it far more and has Beh working with him explicitly. So taking over bodies shouldn't be an issue for him, easier probably. But that means the headmaster was actually able to push out Desmond and Beh's influence. An NPC, even a supposed 'headmaster' was able to overcome the powers that be. Means the world as a whole is getting stronger, more tangible, more willful. And I don't really like the implications that leaves us. Or how things might be spiraling out of control on the Real World side of the Bridge.

>Plan how you want to defend Maplelight
Hooo boy. This is going to be tricky. Mainly because A) We picked one of the most obvious places to hold up, as Desmond pointed out, and B) We have absolutely no idea what we are defending against.
Could be demons, could be kaiju, could be mecha, could be armies, could be the entire inhabitants of this world for all we know. Having to defend the walls from X-users as ninjas sneak in to try and jujitsu our asses is a hard combo to defend against. Plus there is whatever else Beh and the devil captains could throw our way. Also means we probably won't have to hold off a single massive push. Desmond would probably realize if we manage to hold off the first wave, he just needs to siege us and fight a war of attrition. Not a battle we can really win on that front.

If the hunt breaks out exactly 24 hours from the finals of the tournament, that *should* be around noon, right? Means the night defenses won't really be there to help, at least not until we survive the entire afternoon.
Walls 'should' be fine, I don't count on those breaking. But they'll probably be easily scaled, and the gate has the potential of being torn down. Put plenty of guards along battlements/towers to keep the tall/flying enemies from overcoming defenses.
Should we have the 800 mediocre guards focus on guns or on magic? I'd honestly think they might be better at using magic most of the time, and only relying on guns when shit gets real.
The 150 + 50 probably should focus on that strengths as much as possible. Maybe try to get the best of both gun and magic to be battlemages.
10 Master Wizards and 30 Teachers to act as officers and squad leaders. Logistics, communications, and discipline are key. Especially if we have to have squads of guards go and help another squad if certain walls get focused on.
Head Master probably has things only he knows about, and when to use them. Have him as a coop-general.
Companions, either have them on stand-by, as trump cards, or as interior control to protect against Desmond brainjacking anyone.
We could try releasing the beasts and plants to deal extra damage to enemies in a pinch, but idk if we can control them to a fine degree.
Magic cannons for mecha/kaiju.
Ok break those 800 up into 80 squads of 10 each
Add either a student from the talented 50 or a teacher to each squad, then add 2 students from the 150 to 75 of those squads, and put 2 master wizards to each of the remaining 5 squads. Have 4 of the five master wizards squads take a magic cannon up each tower and guard it and fire at shit. The remaining master wizard squad patrols the interior for intruders/is available to help in emergencies.

For the 75 normal squads, put like 60 on the walls, fifteen per side, as guards. Another 5 squads will be in charge of wrangling those beasts in the animal pens, and another five will patrol the grounds themselves, in case stealth enemies or burrowers attack. They can also activate those plant defenses if possible.

The final 5 squads should guard the front gate, along with our own crew. The Headmaster should stay in the middle of the Academy with the patrolling groups, to coordinate defenses and activate any trump cards he has. Of course, he probably knows best and can join us at the front gate if he thinks that's the wisest course of action.
I'm just going to take a moment to point out that we are in a place full of extremely powerful magic people who might be able to do things like transform a human that was transformed into a weapon back into a human.
10 scary good students and 2 teachers on the highest point of the school. Teachers pick out high value targets and protect the students.

Each of the 4 sides gets a core of
1 canon
10 scary good
30 decent
5 teachers
2 masters
40 mediocres on full reload duty
50 mediocres on buffs/protection/crowd control
10 mediocres bringing injured in

The rest are either in the center on medic duty, running around siccing beasts and rearming traps, or doing their own thing because they know magic best
Also, we need countermeasures for an underground attack. They coul pull something crazy like sink the entire walls to allow invasion
What about Aerial units? Or Artillery?
We have guns and i can only hope magic has some homing stuff. Not much more we can do about those specifically unless youve got an organization procedure to counter artillery.

But underground gets past the dome shield. I hope theyve got earth magic or something that can target enemies that phase through dirt.
....how do we deal with desmond doing rapid bodyjacking and shooting up our allies?
Outside of using powerful magic to resist the attempts or advanced training in possession resistence, I fear that we may be forced to knockout/kill students that are possessed by the Desmond.
Wait, do we still have Tasers? If we do we can attempt to mass produce them. Perhaps pain can kick Desmond out?

You gather the teachers and your companions together on the front steps leading up into the school. The next three hours are spent in front of a map of the school and surrounding country. You all speak at length, but it's mostly you doing the planning.

You break up the students into about seventy squads of ten each. A teacher leads each squad, and those that don't have teachers are assigned one of your elites. The rest of the elites are placed on high points around the school, led by Tabatha, the gifted sniper.

You then divide your squads into four divisions, assigning a wall and an area to each. You still have about sixty students leftover who will be acting as line-runners, medics and suppliers. Those are led by Ellen, who's in charge of ensuring bullets continue to get replicated.

There are still some issues that are present by the end of the meeting.

"Alright," You say, gazing at the map. The other adults look worn from the planning, but ready. "We've got everything except the problem of underground attacks, and Desmond. First, the underground,"

"Well," Headmaster Ursan says. "We're not totally defenseless on that front. There are the worms, after all,"


The teachers all nod. Head Master Ursan sighs. "Oh yes, quite a few worms under this school. Quite a few,"

"Well," Les says, itching the back of her neck. "The thing is Head Master, we're going to need more than worms to keep say, a monster from digging down in there,"

"Oh no you won't," The Head Master says. "The worms do not like to be disturbed,"

You and Les share a look.

"Fine," You say. "We'll bank on the worms protecting us from the underground. Now for Desmond. We need to figure out what we're going to do if he starts jumping into people,"

You turn to the head master.

"You're the only one I've ever seen shake his control. How did you do it,"

"Oh it wasn't easy," Ursan says, handling his cane. "But I'm not one to be trifled with,"

"Which means your students and everyone else is probably fair game," You say, rubbing your head.

A dark thought crosses your mind. Any who are possessed will cause problems. Serious problems, especially if Desmond gets their magic or guns. Are you prepared to start shooting cartoon people who are possessed? How would that look?

You turn to Les.

"What're the chances you still have your taser on you,"

Les thinks for a moment. "I should, I used it when I took down Tyler, and it's probably somewhere among my things. Definitely low charge though, barely any juice left,"

"Get it," You say. "We'll copy enough that we'll only need the one shot. We're gonna tase the devil out of those who get possessed"

You turn to everyone else.

"I think we've got a game plan guys, any questions?"

The teachers shake their heads.

"Alright then, we're burning daylight, let's go!"
The sun is indeed setting as everyone sets out in their assigned directions. Although technically twenty-four hours have passed, it's clear Desmond's waiting for nightfall for whatever he has planned.

The students all watch as the teachers fan out, giving instructions and passing along your plan. You watch as the teachers do so. The students look grim. But not scared. Not yet.

Tyler, Sadie, Rachel and Les stand near you, also watching. Rachel is helping out with supplies, and Sadie is with some of the more powerful wizards. Les is leading one of the student squads, as is Tyler.

"You guys ready?" You say, turning to them. "It's gonna be one of those nights,"

"What else is new," Rachel says, raising an eyebrow. Tyler nudges her. She shoots him a glance, but he's staring at her funny.

"What," She says.

"Remember what we talked about earlier?"

Rachel rolls her eyes, but seems to drop her scowl.

"Yeah," She says. "I'm ready. Let's do this,"

"Me too," Sadie says. "I just want this night to end,"

"It will," You say. "Hands in everyone,"

They all look at you. Sadie throws her hand in, then Les, then Tyler and Rachel.

"Everybody gets through tonight, got it?"

They all nod at you.

"Let's do this!" You yell, and everyone yells in response, throwing up their hands. Sadie, Rachel and Tyler set off towards their assigned roles. Les is too, but you grab her shoulder. She pauses, looking at you.

"Hey," You say. You look her in the eyes. "You ready?"

"What," Les says, raising her chin. "Don't trust me?"

"I need you Les, you know how much of a gamble this is,"

Les lowers her chin a bit, her familiar smile tugging on the corner of her mouth.

"I'll be fine Saul," She says, patting your shoulder. "Just keep doing what you're doing,"

Horns sound. Distant, and ominous. The teens stop moving, looking in the direction it came from. So do the students.

You're no longer wearing your whistle, instead wearing your tactical clothing. You clap to get everyone's attention.

"Alright there's our guests!" You shout. "To your stations everyone!"

The students rush off in different directions, some shouting to one another, others just hustling in silence. A tense energy that had been present in the background was now fully felt.

"Guy," You say, motioning with your head at the teens. "Let's go up to the gatehouse, see if we can't see them.

You and your companions cross the lawn, climbing the spiral steps to the top of the gatehouse. You all peer over the ramparts to the country beyond.

The sun has set. In the distance is a soft glow. Fire of some sort, approaching in a line that stretches from either end of the horizon. In the distant glow you make out massive shapes. Robots, or the monsters.

"That light," Tyler says, peering with everyone else. "Is that them?"

"Can't be," Rachel says. "It's as wide as we can see!"
The light grows closer, until it reveals itself to be a host unlike anything you've ever seen. Thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands. You can't tell what they are yet, but there's things in the sky as well.

The host stops at the other end of the valley, where the village is. You watch as a group of riders breaks away, galloping full tilt into the valley and up towards the school.

"Oh Jesus," Sadie says. "He's gonna do a parley or some shit isn't he,"

"He can't be serious," You say. "He wants to talk before this?"

"Sure," Rachel says. "That's Desmond, probably wants to showboat,"

"Fine, but two can showboat," You say. You find Tabatha, give her a message, than walk down to the school grounds. You pass out of the gatehouse and stand in front of it, waiting for the riders to approach.

You're joined by Rachel, who has her spear, as well as Sadie, Tyler and Les.

"Behave everyone," You say. "Let's hear him out, then hurt him,"

The riders come to a stop a stone's throw away. You see they don't ride horses, but instead strange and majestic lions. One of the riders takes off his helmet, revealing himself to be Desmond.

"Whoo!" He says, shaking his hair free. "Man, you'd think riding a lion would be badass, but it's hell on your back!"

Your companions and you don't answer, simply staring at him with equal parts hatred and contempt.

"Ohhhh, don't give me those looks," Desmond says. He throws out his hands. "Are you not excited for tonight?? I mean, you turned my hunt into a regular old siege, but we can still work with that!"

"Desmond," You say, your voice low. "Everytime we meet, you give me less and less reasons to not kill you,"

"Ugh, so serious. Look, I'm not evil or bad or anything. But apparently I'm the only one who's not retarded, because if you had half the brain I did you'd throw down your weapons and join the party,"

Rachel throws down her spear, drawing a glock from beneath her shirt. She points it at Desmond.

"Let us out," Rachel says. "Now."

Desmond stares at her, wide-eyed, then laughs. Rachel points the gun at his lion and squeezes the trigger. The lion rears up, hit several times, and Desmond is forced to float up a bit in the air to avoid its death throws.

"Let us out," Rachel says, training the gun on him.

"Rachel!" You yell. "Are you out of your mind!"

"Yeah Rachel," Desmond says. "You think I'd host a Wild Hunt without preparing myself for Saul and his weapon bullshit? Go ahead, pull the trigger bitch, I dare you,"

Rachel's hand trembles as she struggles to hold the gun up. She screams, squeezing the trigger and unloading the rest of the glock into Desmond.

You all stare.

Desmond looks down at himself, inspecting his shirt. He looks back up.

"Whooaaaa," Desmond says, waving his hands through the air. "How'd I doooo that?"
Rachel drops the gun, looking like she's about to lose her mind in fury. Tyler walks up to her and envelopes her in a bear hug. You can hear him whispering words of comfort, though Rachel pushes away from him.

"Alright," Desmond says. "Well, I can see we're not in the mood for all the grand dialogue I had planned, so I'll just leave you with this. Like I said, I'm not evil or anything, but as long as you're going to try and fuck things up for me, I'm going to fuck them up for you. But in a classy way, you dig? For instance. I was going to be the Lord of the Hunt tonight, but I had a better idea for someone to lead it. Lord of the Hunt, would you come forward?"

Another lion steps forward, bearing its rider. Their helm has massive antlers protruding from it, as well as jewels along its surface. The rider takes their helm from their head, revealing a pale Hoshi.

"Hoshi!" Sadie yells, her eyes wide. Tyler makes a sound of surprise as well.

"Yes!" Desmond says, presenting the ninja in armor. "It's your friend Bowshi! I brought him back just to lead this hunt!"

"Fuck you Desmond," Rachel says, bending down and picking up her spear. "Fight me,"

Desmond crosses his arms. "Hmm, no, but I can still see you're angry about Megan. How bout this? One of you fights and kills your ninja friend here, and I'll give her back to you right here, right now. Just a little something to spice up the battle right before you all die,"

"I will fight him," Rachel says, stepping forward. "I'll kill him, then I'll kill you,"

"No," Sadie says, quietly. She puts a hand to Rachel's shoulder. "Let me,"

>Let Rachel fight Hoshi
>Let Sadie fight Hoshi
>You fight Hoshi
>Refuse, return inside the castle grounds
>Refuse, return inside the castle grounds
I kinda have doubts of megan surviving the siege as a person. A spear might be safer.
You fight Hoshi
Shield bash K.O. still counts as a win tho.
He specifically said kill. If were not playing by his rules, we may as well not fight hoshi at all.
This. If we lose sadie than this was all in vain.
>You fight Hoshi

Give him an honourable death.
> Call Desmond out on being a cliche

Seriously, if he's just going to Michael Bay the whole scene we might as well just skip to explosions.

Hell, he didn't even bother to pretend to be wounded by the gunshots. Dude's really obviously just a drama student.
One of us should fight hoshi. Not overly concerned who. Probably not Rachel since she is raging on emotions. We beat him once already, and Sadie has ninja powers equal to or possibly greater than hoshi's.

Key is hoshi is cartoon character, and dead besides. Desmond's a dick, but I feel like he'll play along with us if we play along with him. It's dramatic and fitting for his grand machinations going on I. His head. Kill unholy, disrespectful zombie hoshi, get Megan back. One more kid rescued.

Plus getting Megan back actively removes one of the anchors, which puts Desmond's plan in Stark opposition to Bed. Curious how that will play out.
>let Sadie fight

"Desmond," Les says, putting a hand to her face. "Help me out here. Just what are you trying to do?"

"New heaven and earth," Demond says, shrugging. "It ain't that hard senpai. Everyone's thought of what they would do if they could change the world. Well, I get that chance. It's not anything I ever expected, but life is adaptation or dying,"

You stare at Desmond, intently. The last part you at least agree with. You just trained almost a thousand child soldiers to get the upper hand.

"I'll fight Hoshi," You say, stepping forward. "You'll give us back Megan, and then I want to know what happens if we win,"

"If. You. Win," Desmond says, taping his chin and looking in the air as he thinks. "Well, letting you go is out of the question. You won't have anywhere to go back to pretty soon, this will be all there is. So how about this, you win, I'll give you a small patch of land to live out the rest of your days, under your own laws and blah blah blah. Trust me, land is going to be a commodity in the new world, you'll want in early,"

"And if we lose?" Les says. "You never struck me as a murderer Desmond,"

Desmond adopts an expression of mock-sympathy.

"Welllll, how about we just cross that bridge when we come to it,"

"You're a fucking joke," Sadie says. "A fucking cliche. I've seen better villains in Legend of Korra,"

"Oh everyone's a critic."

Desmond gestures his head at Hoshi.

"Go rip apart one of your friends there buddy,"

Hoshi dismounts, tearing away his armor. Each piece comes off in a cacophony of metal shrieks.

You step forward, your shield flowing out of your arm.

"Hoshi," You say, staring him in his distant eyes. "You in there buddy?"

"Don't bother Saul," Sadie says. "This is just one of those fucking tropes,"

As if to agree, Hoshi shakes off the last piece of armor, then bends his knees. You know what's coming next.

You bring up your shield just as Hoshi explodes at you. He's just as fast as you remember, hitting your shield and rebounding off it. You stumble back, but find your footing just as Hoshi comes back down on you.

He kicks three times in rapid succession, knocking your shield down. A fourth kick catches you in the cheek, spinning you around. You bring back up your shield just as a fifth kick slams into it.

You lash out with your shield, the blades spinning. Hoshi leaps out of range. You're heaving. The ninja is fast.

Earth explodes up from under Hoshi, enveloping him. The earth seems to solidify into a coffin, then chains shoot up and snake around it. They lock into place.

Hoshi has been entombed.

The coffin floats up, then over the walls of the school. It passes over the head of Head Master Ursan, who's watching from the top of the gatehouse. He points his cane at Desmond.

"Are you the King of All?" Ursan says.

"I am," Desmond says, staring at the headmaster with an unreadable expression.
"I'm tired of your voice child," Ursan says. "Throw your armies at my walls, so that I may punish you as your parents should have done,"

"Midget dude," Desmond says, pointing at Ursan. "You have no idea the pain that is coming for you,"

Desmond points to you and your companions.

"You guys too obviously,"

"DESMOND!" Rachel shouts. "GIVE US BACK MEGAN!"

"Well, you cheated," Desmond says. "But just to show you I am a nice guy, I'll give her back anyways."

Desmond puts a hand to the side of his mouth, as if sharing a secret.

"Really she's causing problems as an Anchor, and we'll soon have no shortage of those, so I'm gonna dump her with you guys right before I mow you over. Nice and clean."

One of the lion riders blows a horn. Desmond floats up into the air, then shoots back towards his armies like a rocket. The lion riders turn around their mounts, then charge back down into the valley.

The earth trembles, then a point rises up out of it. The spear in Rachel's hand explodes.

The point reveals itself to be a crystal with a girl inside. It looks to be the same crystal Liam was in. You run up to it, then see Megan's inside.

The crystal shatters. Megan slumps down onto the ground.

"Wha-what?" Megan says, blinking. "What happened?"

"Let's go!" You yell, urging everyone back into the school. "Get her to med bay! Everyone inside, now!"

You rush under the gatehouse, you and the others helping Megan. The gate slams down. Two more massive doors shut, magic padlocks materializing and locking them into place.

"Alright places everyone!" You shout, running up the steps. "Wait for my signal!"

You meet the Head Master at the top, where Tabatha and her elite squad are waiting with the SSG rifles, as well as several of the master mages.

The ground begins to shake.

The army surges down into the valley like flood waters. Their screams are chilling, their weapons gleaming in the moonlight.

"Steady!" You yell, watching them approach. You hold your hand in the air.

The first wave reaches the bottom of the valley and begins to climb the other side towards the school. You now see the soldiers are all manner of strange things. Some human in medieval armor, others monstrous, still others in sci-fi looking gear. In the distance, the giant robots and monsters continue to approach.

The first wave reaches a massive X painted in white on the path up to the school.

"FIRE!" You yell.

700 students armed with an assortment of bushmaster assault rifles and SSG sniper rifles obey.

The sound is deafening.

Master mages unleash torrents of fire and crackling lighting. Earth upturns, forming holes that swallow scores of enemies. The very trees come alive, tearing out their roots and smashing their way into the enemy lines.

And the squads. The squads continue to fire. The kak-kak-kak of the bushmasters and the the single, ominous shots of the SSG's are unrelenting. You watch as hundreds of soldiers go down.

The enemy returns fire.
Magic, x-tools, arrows and energy cannons. They explode at the walls of Maplelight academy, impacting against them. The school shakes with each blow, but the walls hold.

Despite the magic and bullets pouring down from the walls, the enemy's numbers are too great, and eventually they climb over the bodies of their comrades to reach the walls.

A light blinks, and a purple orb appears around the school. Tiny changing symbols float across the orb.

"That would be the Master Ward," Head Master Ursan says. "No-one with improper intentions may enter,"

"Well I'll be," You say, smiling. "It's like fish in a barrel,"

You turn to one of your line-runners, a small boy with lanky legs.

"Go tell the squad leaders to keep their squads firing at those pressed against the shield!"

You know what's going to happen next. The soldiers in front will be crushed against the ward by the hundreds of thousands behind them. And your squads will continue to pick them off.

Dark shapes begin to move among the army. They bob and weave, approaching the wall. You point one out to Tabatha.

"Look through your scope and tell me what you see!"

The abundance of magic being thrown about is enough to see as if it was day. Tabatha looks down her scope.

"Metal men!" She shouts.

You soon see the same. They're robots.

"Shit," You say.

The robots streak through the Master Ward, bounding up the wall as easily as if it were a mere ramp. They explode over the walls, landing and then unleashing hell in the form of lasers and energy sword.

Your soldiers cry out in pain.

It's a jarring sound, a student in pain. You almost panic.

"Hold your ground!" You shout at the squads on the wall. "Hold your ground! Drive back the robots!"

To their credit, the students mostly comply. You can see several of them having mental breakdowns, but the ones who stand open fire.

More robots push past the army and scale up the wall. A flash blinds everyone, then a strange symbol appears in the sky.

"What is that!" You yell, the wind picking up around you.

"It's a Ward-breaker!" Ursan says. "They're taking down the Master Ward!"

You look around. More and more robots stream up the wall and land among your soldiers. You can hear them crying out. It's a sound that's driving you mad. It doesn't matter that they're not real.

And beyond the ward, hundreds of thousands of soldiers. Waiting to join the robots once the ward falls.


A teacher unleashes a signal flare in the form of a magic fireball. It explodes brightly, telling the squads to retreat.

They do. You find yourself running down to the main school grounds with Ursan, your elites, and the many other squads joining you on the lawn. You all rush towards the school building.

"N-no," Ursan says, coming to a stop. "no, no!" He looks around at the students running inside. Some are bloodied. Others just look shell shocked.
There are at least two hundred fewer students.

"This cannot be," Ursan says. "This cannot be!"

The master ward explodes in a purple haze, slowly fading from sight. The ground trembles as the first couple thousand soldiers charge towards the walls.

"INSIDE!" You yell, pushing Ursan in.

The front doors are locked, and windows are broken as the students take their guns and point them out. Soldiers and robots are now pouring into the school lawn, and the students open fire, as well as the magic masters.

It is a pure scene of destruction. Whatever materials the walls are made out of, the school is not. Every shot the enemy takes impacts against the school, tearing off pieces of stone. The sounds of the wounded and dying students fills your ears.

"I can't allow this," Ursan mutters, watching from a broken window.

"Pull yourself together!" You yell, taking shots with your bushmaster. "We need your magic!"

The ground shakes as two massive robots land down in it. They straighten up, looking around, then zero in on the school.

"Fuck," You say.

Both open fire. The west wing of the school explodes in a dizzying fire of debris and dirt. The sheer force of the destruction causes a pause in the fighting. The remaining students are knocked back. The enemy is simply awed.

The natural lull in fighting is taken advantage of by Desmond, who descends from the heavens.

"Are you not entertained??" He says, throwing out his arms. "This is the final act! The last stand of you great heroes! Fight! Struggle! Die!"

Your about to scream back at him from the window, but you catch sight of Ursan walking to the door.

"Wait old man!" You shout, throwing out your hand.

He pauses at the door, looking back at you.

"You know Mr. Beckett," Ursan says, his mind seemingly drifting in thought. "It's strange. At this moment, when I have accepted my death, I somehow feel more alive than I ever have. It is as if I am just now waking up,"

He suddenly comes back to the present, looking you in the eyes.

"Take my students and run Mr. Beckett, do not let this fiend win,"

"What?" You say.

Ursan throws open the doors, and walks out into the chaos beyond. The enemy has resumed firing, as have the students. Ursan walks out regardless of this.

He holds up his cane, then his other hand in a strange gesture.

"I call upon the powers of the world," Ursan says. "I invoke the name of he who is carved in the mountain. I summon the true heart of this land, by the names of the seven sons and the seven daughters. By Esham do I invoke these powers. By Undane and Paum do I command these winds. By the sun and the moon am I recognized, by their song shall I be known,"

The ground shakes again, one of the walls collapsing. A voice unlike any other is heard breaking through the sky.


"My life," Ursan says, quietly. "Whatever that may be worth,"

The world spins. The earth heaves and splits in two. Ursan rises into the air, energy crackling around him.

Enemies begin to explode.

You feel someone crash into you. You look down. It's Sadie.

"Saul!" She says, shaking you. "We have to go! Now! Ursan's doing a classic "buy us time" move!"

You stare down at her, than back at Ursan. His destructive energies are spreading, wiping out hundreds of enemies at a time. Desmond has clearly already fled.

"Sound the retreat!" You yell. "Sound the retreat!"

You turn back to Sadie.

"We need to get Megan out of the infirmary,"

The two of you rush over to it, finding her pressed against the window. Next to her is the coffin containing Hoshi.

"Megan!" You yell. She turns on you, clearly horrified by the events outside. "Let's get out of here!"

She nods, following you out. You pause at the door, looking back at the coffin.

"Fuck it," You say, running over to it. Whatever magic has the ninja entombed, also makes the coffin light as a feather. You throw it over your shoulder and follow Rachel and Megan.

The school trembles and heaves. The surviving students pour out a back tunnel into the woods behind the school. Any soldiers who may have been waiting to ambush them are clearly wiped out from Ursan's magic.

Your small army plunges through dark woods for hours. You call out to each other, trying not to get lost. Finally you all come to a river.

Students and a few teachers drag themselves to the waters, dropping their guns and falling down. You search frantically for your companions, luckily finding first Les, than Tyler, than Rachel.

"Megan!" Rachel yells, running up to her and embracing her. "Oh thank god you made it, thank god,"

"Oh, hey Rachel," Megan says, slightly surprised and confused.

"Saul," Les says, grabbing you by the shoulder. "I don't have to tell you this is bad. We've got about five hundred kids left, half as many teachers, and an enemy who won't stop pursuing us,"

"I know," You say, quietly.

>Let the survivors rest, prepare your makeshift army to move in the morning
>Keep them moving, head towards the 12 villages
>Pick the mountain and hillands to hide out in
>Do one of these options but just you and your companions, leave the students and surviving teachers to fend for themselves
>Let them rest, prepare to move in the morning
Unfortunately this is a hunt. Headmaster bought us distance, and with that distance, a bit of time.

But they are going to come after us as soon as they are able.
At most we need to give them an hour or two to just get over the shock and rush of combat. But then we got to get moving.

So my vote is to wait then start moving with everyone. What I'm not sure is destination. if we try to get a federation together first by gathering village allies and city allies, or just go straight to the mountain.

Think we should swing by the villages first,anon? See if we can get some ninjas on board and do anything with hoshi? Maybe run into another devil captain while out.
>Keep them moving, head towards the 12 villages

Let them know that the Enemy is raising their dead to use against us.

"We'll give everyone an hour," You say, doing a slow circle as you peer at those gathered. "Then we head for the villages,"

They're closest, after all. And though the thick forest wouldn't hide you forever, it was better than nothing.

Word slowly spreads through the survivors of the plan. Their voices are low, most not speaking. Teachers go from group to group, checking on the students. Only some though. Even the adults have shell shock.

You take in the scene. What have you done?

You can't blame yourself. Not really. These people before you are not real. Their actions are the same as a puppets.

And yet.

You recognize the looks on many of the students' faces. They're cartoons, and yet the horror is as plain as day.

The sounds of the night mix in with the babbling river. You do a quick walk around the gathering, bumping into Tyler.

He looks worn. His face is smeared with ash, and his robes are torn. In his hands hangs a bushmaster.

Tyler's staring a distance away, where Rachel and Megan sit. Rachel is combing out Megan's hair while the two talk, though where Rachel got the comb is anyones guess.

"Tyler," You say, coming up to him and looking at the girls.

"Hey," He says.

You look at him.

"You doing good?"

Tyler just smirks, but it quickly disappears.

"Yeah, I'm just glad Rachel seems to be happy,"

You nod.

"She's happy to have Megan back,"

"You know what's weird? They weren't even friends back at school. Hardly talked to each other. Here though, it's like Megan's the most important thing in the world to her,"

You shrug.

"When life gets crazy, you cling to what you can,"

"I'm worried about her Saul. She's still so angry all the time, and sad. No matter what I say or do, I can't seem to help her,"

You don't answer for a moment. The two of you continue to watch as Rachel combs Megan's hair and talks to her. The students sit beyond, deep in their thoughts.

"You're talking to the wrong guy," You say. "I've been alone all my life, and I have a feeling that's not going to change. But I will say this Tyler. You are helping her, just by being there and listening to her. You don't have to save her, just be there,"

Tyler looks at you with a raised brow. He then nods.

"Thanks Saul, that was surprisingly good,"

"Got it off a hallmark card,"

Tyler surviews the survivors.

"I know I asked you this before," Tyler says, then pauses. "But, but do you really still think we'll get out of here?"

"I do," You say nodding. "If we have to raise a whole army to do it, we will,"

"And, are we gonna keep these students around?"

"Well I can't just drop them off at a children's home now can I?" You say, walking away. "Whether they like it or not, life's about to be tough from now on,"

You sounded stern, but it hurt to admit. You don't want to drag these kids onto the warpath. Cartoon or not, so many of them have already died.
But there's no turning back now. You keep doing your rounds, coming back to where you started. Les sits there, resting her head against the trunk of a tree. She opens them as you approach.

"Hey," she says.


You sit down next to her. She stops leaning her head against the tree, insteading leaning over and resting it on your shoulder. Your too tired to say anything.

The two of you just sit there, watching the students. You're the only two real adults in this whole mess. A train with no breaks, being steered by a highschooler with a flair for the dramatic.

"So how does it feel to give five hundred kids PTSD," Les says, finally breaking the silence.

"Not good Les," You say, quietly.

"Sorry, that came out mean,"

Les sighs, straightening up from your shoulder.

"We got Megan though,"

"Yeah," You say, closing your eyes.

Anchors. Crystals. Beh.

The fuck did it all mean. Desmond said the students were the weapons, but Megan was found in a crystal. Did Desmond lie to you? Did he even know what he was talking about at the time?

"It all comes back to anchors," You murmur.

"Hm?" Les says, bending her head forward so she's in your line of sight.

"Anchors," You say. "Desmond's been telling us what's going on, but I don't know enough yet to understand,"

"Yeah, you and me both,"

"We need to get to the underground," You say. "We need to break through and get down there,"

Les thinks for a moment.

"Yeah, if that's where the anchors are, it's as good a plan as any. But how?"

"We'll think about that later," You say, slowly standing. You extend your hand to Les, who takes it and stands up as well. You turn to those by the river.

"Listen up!" You say, getting everyone's attention. Worn and shell-shocked faces stare at you with empty eyes. "I know for a lot of you, that was your first battle. The first time you really used a weapon. The first time you killed someone, and saw your friends die,"

Several students stiffen. One breaks into tears.

"But we're not done yet!" You shout, stomping the ground with a foot. "The enemy sure as hell isn't! When I look out at this group, I don't see defeated students, or refugees."

You take in their gazes, doing your best to meet everyone's eyes.

"I see the beginnings of Desmond's undoing. I will not force anyone to stay who does not want to. But if you stay with me, I will lead you to further battle, and a chance to avenge your friends. Possibly even a chance at victory, whatever that may mean for you,"

No one speaks. The silence seems to stretch, then Sadie comes forward, standing by you and Les.

"Trust me guys," Sadie says. "You're better off with us,"

Tyler joins to, and Rachel leads Megan over. You all stand together.

Tabatha, the expert sniper, stands, her rifle gripped tightly. Ellen stands next, adjusting her glasses.

One by one, all the students stand, gripping their weapons. The teachers do as well.
Tabatha steps forward and thrusts her rifle in the air.

"MAPLELIGHTTTT!!!!" She roars into the night air. The other students' voices raise up as one, shaking the canopy.


"Fuck," You say, looking around. "Good spirit guys, but let's hit that trail before we alert every soldier in the area,"

You meet with the teachers, giving them instructions to stay on the outside of the moving group to shepherd people in the right direction. You all then set out, a five-hundred strong force slinking through the night-time woods.

You have Les leading with Sadie, while you walk among the moving students until you find Ellen.

"Glasses," You say, catching her shoulder.

She's moving through brush, one of your replicated knives held tightly in her hands. Haunted, but determined eyes look up at you.

"You know replication magic, right?"

Ellen nods. She tries to speak, finds her voice hoarse, and nods again.

"Yes," she finally says.

"Can you replicate food?"

She nods.

"And weapons and ammo still, that's all doable?"

She nods. You clap her on the shoulder.

"Thank you Ellen, we will have need of you,"

Your group marches for hours. Finally, as the sun rises, you spot the first of the villages. Only a single house pokes out of the treeline, but it resembles the huts you saw in Hoshi's village.

When you finally reach it and spot a valley, you realize it is Hoshi's village, just from the other side.

It is early morning as your group drags itself past the first ring of huts. Villagers, men, women and children, cling to their door frames and windowsills as they watch.

You only recognize one hut, Elmas, the doctor woman you first came to when you arrived in this world. She's standing in the door like the others.

The students and your companions come to a stop, as if acting on some unseen signal. They watch, as do the villages, as you walk up to Elma.

"I know you," Elma says, scowling. "You're the one Hoshi sent to me,"

She peers around you at those gathered behind you.

"What's all this? Where's Hoshi,"

You turn back, motioning to the student you had carry the coffin. He walks up, setting it down on the ground.

The village is silent.

Elma slowly walks up to the coffin, putting a hand to it. Her eyes seem to be watering.

The coffin lurches, something thrashing around inside. The villagers cry out in surprise, and Elma falls back.

You help her back up.

"Wha-what?" She says, her eyes wide.

"There's a new king in these lands," You say. "And he is not a kind one,"

Elma looks from you, to the coffin, to everyone behind you.

"Why are you here?" She says.

"Later," You say. "For now, we need a place to hide, the man who raises the dead is not far,"

"You bring trouble then," Elma says, narrowing her eyes.

"Trouble has already found you,"

Elma looks at you, then your group.

"Come, let us go to the caves,"
Several elders rush over, conversing with Elma. She motions them off, and the village seems to come alive with activity. The villagers rush around you, ushering you and your group on as you descend into the valley that the village rests in.

You all find a dirt animal path, and Elma leads your group into a thick patch of woods.

At the end of the path is a massive cave mouth.

"You'll find fire, tinder and blankets in there," Elma says. "We were using these when the Devil Squads were active. I don't think we can feed you all though,"

"Don't worry about that," You say. "we've got a workaround,"

"Very well then," Elma says. "I must go up and speak with the elders, they are very distraught. Make yourselves comfortable, I'll be back later,"

You watch as she leaves, walking back up the animal path. The teachers begin to lead the students into the cave.

>Go find Sadie, check in with her
>Go find Les, check in with her
>Go find Tyler, check in with him
>Go find Rachel, check in with her
>Go find Megan, check in with her
>Go up to the village Elders and Elma
>>Go find Megan, check in with her
We haven't really gotten to know her have we?
I hope shes at least the one the rich bastard wanted us to find.
Let's check in with Megan, we can try to find out what happened from her perspective after Beh took her.
>Elders and Elma
That's Maddie, actually.
>Go find Megan, check in with her
she could end up saying the wrong thing and setting Rachel off.

The inside of the cave is as big as a cathedral, stretching out far into a darkness you can't quite pierce. The students and teachers find places along the rocky floor to rest. The floor is punctuated by strange rock formations, and blankets are laid out around them. Many start to fall asleep, having spent the whole night fighting and fleeing.

You first find Ellen, who's spreading out a blanket she found.

"Ellen," You say. She pauses, looking up at you.

"I need you to make us food, with whoever else can do replication magic,"

"I," Ellen says, then looks down. "It'll make us weak,"

"What do you mean,"

"The school had a crystal we could draw on for our magic," Ellen says. "Without it, we have to use our own mana,"

You cock your head, studying her.

"How weak,"

She bows her head.

"Nevermind," You say, walking away. "Get some sleep glasses,"

That was going to be a problem. You know what you should do. Force those who can replicate, to replicate. The few for the many.

But you can't. You're not there yet. You don't have it in you, whatever the ruthless drive is that makes cruel men great leaders.

You ponder on how to feed your group as you make your way across the cave. You spot who you're looking for, the newly rescued girl Megan. She's leaning against a rock formation, a blanket wrapped around her. Next to her is Tyler and Rachel, who are equally bundled as they sleep against each other.

Megan is not asleep, instead staring straight ahead, as if deep in thought.

"Can't sleep?" You say, waving in front of her view to catch her attention. She looks up at you.

"Oh hey, Saul right?"

"Yeah," You say. "I'm about to go find my friend Les, why don't we walk and talk,"

Megan slowly extracts herself from her blanket and gets to her feet, throwing the covering around her shoulders like a shawl. She follows you as you weave around the sleeping refugees from Maplelight.

"So, like," Megan says, stepping over a student. "Thanks for saving me, that was really nice of you,"

"Don't thank me," You say, nearing the mouth of the cave. "Desmond says you were causing problems as an anchor. You remember any of that?"

Megan shakes her head, drawing her blanket close to her.

"No, I don't remember anything. Just dreams. Shapes, colors and sounds."

"Hm," You say.

"Wait," Megan says, squinting, as if seeing something strange. "I do, I do remember something,"

You pause, looking back at her.

"I remember being afraid, but then, there was someone else there with me,"


Megan thinks for a moment, then shakes her head.

"I'm sorry, I can't remember a face, only a presence. A big one. It didn't speak but, it helped me find my bearings,"

She sighs.

"I know I'm not making any sense,"

"It's fine," You say, spotting Les. She's standing over by the start of the animal path. Les gazes out at the woods beyond.

"Keeping watch?" You say, coming up to her.
Les spots you, as well as Megan behind you.

"Oh hey guys," Les says, adopting a smile and giving a wave. "Megan, how you doing?"

"Officer Les right?" Megan says, shifting her blanket. "Thanks, I heard you're helping rescue everyone,"

"No officer, just Les. I kind of dropped the police deal after my third day here. I'm just trying to get us out now,"

"Oh, well, thank you Les,"

"Just glad to see you're up and about" Les says, nodding at her.

"I'm headed up to the village to see what the elders have been talking about," You say. "Want to come with?"

"Ahh," Les says, scratching the back of her neck. "To be honest Saul, I'm fucking beat. Come find me though if something comes up,"

"Save me a rock for my head," You call, walking towards the animal path. "I'll be joining you as soon as I make sure we're safe here,"

Megan seems unsure of herself, looking between you and Les.

"Why don't you follow Les," You say.

"Uh, actually, I've been asleep a long time I feel like, and I'm not really feeling the cave full of sleeping people. Is it cool if I come with you?"

"Alright," You say, walking onto the animal path.

The two of you trudge up the path towards the village, reaching it as the sun is well on its way into morning. The entire village is gathered around the coffin containing Hoshi.

They've given it plenty of space, but they all argue and talk among themselves as they surround the wooden box.

They quiet down as you and Megan approach.

"Hello everyone," You say, pausing and taking in the villagers. "I hope I'm not intruding?"

"You've been intruding since I first laid eyes on you," Elma says, stepping forward from the elders.

"I am sorry, but if I hadn't come today, Desmond would have still come eventually,"

"Who?" An old man says, cupping his ears.

"The King of All,"

"Yes, we know him," Elma says. "We are to meet him this afternoon in Uppa Village with the other village elders, to speak of important matters,"

"Yeah have fun with that," You say. You point at the coffin. "The King of All did that as a joke. Because he thought it would be ironic or some shit,"

The coffin shakes violently, causing the villagers to step back.

"What he has done to Hoshi is, unforgivable," Elma says. "But we must still hear what he has to say, as he has called the elders to a moot,"

"And if he asks if you have seen us?"

Elma turns on the elders. They take a step back, cowed.

"We will say we have not seen them," Elma says. She turns back to you. "We've done our best to get the village hunters to cover your tracks from last night. You're not completely safe, but the King of All will not find you so easily,"

"Thank you,"

"I am doing this to honor Hoshi, nothing more. You too could honor him, if you counted him a friend,"

You cross your arms.

"How's that,"

"Take this wretched box up a nearby hill. Over the crest is a valley. Bury him there, among the many markers. We will send you with one for Hoshi,"
>Agree, take Hoshi's coffin to the valley and bury him
>Disagree, secretly follow the elders alone to the moot
>Agree to do it later, get some rest
>Agree, take Hoshi's coffin to the valley and bury him
this is where we have to fight hoshi again and he magically regains his senses, isn't it?
>Agree, take Hoshi's coffin to the valley and bury him
We actually kind of bonded with Hoshi, he was the first one we got traumatized, and our incompetence got him killed.
Its the least we can do for him.

I wonder how useful traditional hiding techniques are going to be against the King of All. If Beh is the monters that controls everything behind the curtains, than shouldn't he be able to just tell Desmond where we are?

You look from Elma, to Hoshi's coffin, back to Elma again.

"So you're okay with burying your undead neighbor?" You say, pointing at the coffin. "Because I know we all hear him moving around in there,"

"He was more than our neighbor," A village elder says. "He was the greatest kijitsu user this village had ever produced."

"Hm, but yes," Elma says. "That's a good point. If you wouldn't mind taking care of that for us, we'd appreciate it,"

You cross your arms.

"Sure, why not. I'll "take care of it for you". And Elma, if I come back and find my people have been found by Desmond, I'm going to look for you first,"

Elma holds your gaze.

"They will be safe here," She says, turning to the elders. "Now, let us prepare for the moot,"

The all shuffle away, the villagers parting to let them go. They're all staring at you and Megan however.

You walk over to the coffin, pick it up, and sling it over your shoulder. You can already tell it's going to be uncomfortable.

"Why don't you sling it over your back?" Megan says, pointing at one of the chains.

"What? No, why would you walk around with a coffin on your back? That's weird as fuck,"

Instead you grab the coffin with your x-tool, lock your arm, and then carry the coffin through the crowd of villagers. They all watch it pass.

"Oh," You say, pausing and turning to the villagers. "Did anyone want to say goodbye? I don't really know how that works here,"

The villagers don't answer, simply watching you with sad eyes. A woman walk up with tears coming down her face. She holds what looks like a square post with writing carved in it. She hands it to Megan, then turns away.

"Alright then," You say, motioning with your head for Megan to follow. You start walking out of the village, Megan in tow with the marker.

The trip is easy enough to make. You find the hill, and the two of you trudge over it in silence. Beyond it is a small valley covered in mist. Grave markers dot it.

You and Megan walk around a bit until you find an open hole in the ground. The mist seems to thicken. You set the coffin down, leaning on it while you gaze at the hole. Megan waits with the marker behind you.

"Well buddy," You say. The coffin shakes. You close your eyes, preparing yourself for what you'll have to do. "I know you really haven't had a fair shake of things, but I really appreciate what you did for me and Sadie. So. I guess this is what I can do for you in return. Put you to rest.

The shield flows out of your arm, solidifying and starting a slow spin. You set it to one of the chains, sawing through it quickly in a flurry of sparks. The sound of the saw on metal echoes through the misty valley.

You saw two more chains, and they fall away to the dirt. The coffin lays before you. You reach down for the lid, preparing to tear it open with your real arm.
The coffin lid splinters, a black shape exploding forward. It catches you, knocking you back and sending you a ways down the valley. You scramble back to your feet.

Hoshi, or, a very pale, frenzied imitation of him. It bobbing back and forth as he weaves down the valley slope towards you. Your shield increases its speed, filling the valley with a high ringing pitch.

"I'm sorry Hoshi," You call up to him. "I wanted to make this quick,"

Hoshi explodes down the hill, impacting against you, sending you through the dirt like a meteor. You knock over half a dozen grave markers as you slide to a halt, nearly breaking your back.

"fuck," You gasp, holding your side. Hoshi is already leaping through the air to land on top of you. You lash out with your shield, and the saw whips out on its tendons, catching Hoshi in the air.

He twists out of the way, landing a ways off, but you can see his guts spilling from his stomach. He doesn't seem to mind.

You get up, slowly, your back aching. Hoshi is charging towards you. You glance around, but don't see Megan.

Good. She had the sense to run.

You look back at Hoshi, and start a slow run towards him. You gain speed, pumping your arms.

"I'm sorry Hoshi" You yell as he leaps towards you. You leap as well, driving down with your shield.

Hoshi seems to blink, then he appears behind you and kicks you in the shoulder. You hit the dirt, you head slamming against a grave marker.

Hazy. Hazy blackness. Slow sounds. No sounds. A feeling. A feeling of water.

No. Not water.

You open your eyes. A gray sky peers above you, but small, as if through a window. A sudden shape appears in the window, and a clump of dirt hits your face.

You spit, shaking your head. You realize now you're in one of the graves.

Hoshi leans over the hole, peering down at you. His pale face and strangely red eyes disturb you. In his hand is a shovel.

"Hoshi man, are you serious?" You say, struggling to get up. You realize Hoshi got the chains around you, tying them together with inhuman strength. You stop struggling, resting your head back against the dirt.

"Well, it was nice of you to bury me alive instead of just ripping out my throat," You look up at him as he tosses another shovel-ful of dirt on your head. "But look man, you know this isn't gonna keep me for long,"

Your shield flows back out of arm, then solidifies. The way the chains are tied, you break them, but not before instantly constructing them and dislocating your shoulder.

"FUCK" You yell, gasping in pain. You slam it once, twice into the dirt wall, popping it back into place.

"geeeeee," You suck in air through your teeth.

Hoshi lands down in the hole with you, knocking you back with a punch.

"Alright," You say, holding your shield as best you can. "Hoshi, let's talk,"

Hoshi rears up over you, preparing to bring down his foot on top of you. Someone whistles.

The ninja pauses, his red eyes adopting a strange look. He sniffs the air, then smiles.
"Why did you do that," You say, pointing at Hoshi with your real finger. "Why'd you just sniff the air and smile,"

Hoshi opens his mouth, revealing two wicked-looking fangs. He leaps out of the grave, and you hear gunshots.

"oh no," You say.

You scramble up, but can't get a good grip on the sides. Dirt breaks away, caking your head. You spit it out, then run and leap up against one of the sides.

You catch a handhold, and pull yourself up. One leg up, then you roll onto the grass. You propel yourself to your feet.

Hoshi is holding Les in his hands, biting her throat. Megan stands nearby, crying out in horror.

"MOTHERFUCKER," You yell, throwing yourself down the valley slope. You hit the ground running, almost fall, straighten yourself up, and leap through the air.

Your saw shield whines through the air at a yet unseen speed. You bring it down on top of Hoshi, sawing him in half.

You land in the ground, slamming against a fresh grave. Shaking your head, you get back up and run over to the torso half of Hoshi. He's dragging himself back towards Les.

You reach down, grab his head with your x-tool, and then stomp on his torso. You scream into the heavens as you tear his head from his body, then toss it away. You're huffing, almost seeing red.


You spin, looking for her. Megan still stands nearby, both hands to her mouth and slowly falling to her knees. Les is on the ground.

"Fuck Les speak to me, Les!" You kneel down, checking her over. She's pale, the two bitemarks on her neck the only bright color. The gun she was holding drops from her grasp, falling into the dirt. You don't know what to do. You need help, now. The mist brings with it the smell of thatch smoke, but nothing else.

"Megan!" You yell, holding Les and looking at the girl.

Megan is staring at the far end of the valley. She's still has a look of horror, and points up at the far end.

You turn, seeing a hunched figure staring down from the slope. You can't tell who they are.

>Take Les and Megan and try and make it back to the village for help
>Take Les and Megan and head towards the thatch smoke
>Take Les and Megan, approach the mysterious figure for help
>Take Les and Megan, approach the mysterious figure for help

Mysterious friend in our time of need. That's an anime trope, right?
Shit, I thought Hoshi was just a zombie, or maybe a ghoul. Fucking vampires man.

This is the second time Les has saved our ass from a wipe. Now she's the one paying for it. First our arm, next her humanity? Hell's going to pay if we can't stop this vampirism somehow.

>Take Les and Megan, approach the mysterious figure for help
Umm, yeah. I feel like I'm panicking here.
Village didn't seem like they were able to do much for Hoshi, but the wizards might. Key issue is time, though. Thatch smoke could be a witch's cottage to help cure Les, but that's assuming the smoke is someone useful and not like a poacher or something. Let's bank on rule-of-drama, anime logic. Mysterious hooded man watching from a distance is at least the first person we could try talking too.
> Approach mysterious figure
>Take Les and Megan, approach the mysterious figure for help
why did we take Megan with us to fight hoshi?

Your mind spins, but you can't think of what to do. You move your body, that's what you need to do.

You clamor up the slope towards the cloaked figure. Megan recovers from her shock and scrambles up the slope after you.

"Hey!" You shout, weaving around grave markers as you run with all your might. "HEY!"

The figure, who's rather large, watches you climb, taking a few steps down towards you. When you're a stone throws away, the figure throws back their hood.

It's a young man, or at least, a young looking cartoon character. Still big.

"I need help!" You yell, coming to a stop before the figure. "She's been bitten, by a, by an undead thing!"

"Vampire," The figure replies.

Megan comes up beside you, trying to catch her breath. She straightens up, peering at the figure.

"Brett?" She says, squinting.

The young man raises both eyebrows in surprise.

"Megan? Is that you?"

"Who is this," You say, looking from Megan to the young man. "One of the highschoolers?"

"Yeah, Brett," Megan says, motioning at him. "He's in our class,"

You turn on him.

"Are you a devil captain?"

"No," Brett says, scratching at his hair. "I think I used to be a sword, but it's hard to explain,"

"Do you know of anyone who can help us?"

Brett looks at Les, then nods.

"Yeah, my wife should,"

You take a step forward.

"Take us to her,"

"Wife?" Megan says.

"Long story," Brett says, walking up the slope. You rush to follow.

Brett leads you over a hill and down the other side. You work to walk around rocky outcroppings and upturned stone. You keep checking Les, who's breathing is shallow, her skin pale.

Finally you arrive at a circular hut with a small fenced yard full of bones, wooden posts and strange charms. You ignore it, following Brett inside the yard and towards the hut. Brett ducks into the entryway.

Inside, the hut smells of dried herbs and a smoking cauldron of strong liquids. You see a girl in a robe, and do a double take.

She's stirring the cauldron, but that's not what caught your attention. Her skin is red, and two tiny horns protrude from her head.

"Isa," Brett says, catching her attention. She turns to him, gazing with two expressionless eyes. He motions at you and Les. "She's been bitten by a grave king, he needs help,"

The girl clicks, holding up the spoon. Brett crosses the hut and takes it from her, then he starts stirring the pot. The red girl, Isa, walks over to you and inspects Les while you hold her.

"Hm," Isa says, probing at her flesh. Finally she nods.

"You are too late,"

"What!" You yell.

Isa shrugs, turning away from you.

"There is no cure for becoming an undead king, set her over on the cot if you like, but the best you can do is have something for her to eat when she wakes,"

"N-no," You say, staggering a bit. You straighten up, readjusting Les. You walk over to a bed, laying her down in it. You turn on Isa.

"There must be something you can do!"
Again Isa just shrugs.

"I am sorry, for your sake I hope she keeps her mind. You never know what kind of grave king they'll turn into,"

You slowly sit down on the floor, next to the bed. Your eyes are wide, your mind reeling. You lean your head back against the bed where you can hear Les's shallow breathing.

"Brett," Megan says, a look of genuine confusion on her face. "How long have you been here?"

Brett shrugs. "Three days since I remember waking up as me? Like I said, I'm pretty sure I was a sword before that, or, inside a sword? I think I was with Rachel somehow,"

Megan nods, digesting the information. You're barely listening. Isa approaches you, handing you a mug. You don't say anything, simply accepting it while you still stare ahead.

"I know what you're trying to ask about," Brett says, a small smile as he looks at Megan. "Isa right?"

"You called her your wife?"

"Sure," Brett says. "I thought I was alone here, and nothing made sense. Isa found me, took a liking to me, and it turns out, I like her,"

"She's a cartoon," You say, still staring straight ahead.

"Well, yeah," Brett says, looking at Isa. Isa pauses, giving him a small smile before continuing on her way. "But I mean, she acts like a real person, with real thoughts and words and all that. And she sometimes gets angry like a real person,"

"But you're dating Riley!" Megan says. "What's she going to say when you get back?"

Brett suddenly grows hopeful.

"Do you know a way out?"

Megan grows quiet, looking away.

"No, not yet,"

Brett sighs, nodding slowly.

"Yeah, okay,"

Isa comes up to you, pointing at the mug.

"You should drink that,"

You look up at her.


"Your friend will be turning soon, and I can tell you haven't slept in at least a day. You will need to regain some of your strength if you are letting her feed on you,"

"Feed?" You say, growing alarmed.

"Yeah man," Brett says, still stirring the pot. "You know about vampires, same rules here apparently,"

"And she needs, human blood?"

Isa shakes her head.

"Blood from an intelligent creature. Blood with feelings and thoughts. If you are uncertain, you have three options,"

Isa holds up a clawed finger.

"The first is to allow her to feed on you. It is simple enough, and you will not be weakened too much assuming she can control herself."

Isa holds up a second clawed finger.

"You can also do what many have done, which is simply go out and hunt for people to feed to her. I do not judge, and I will not start now if you choose that,"

Isa holds up a third finger.

"The last option is a bit more darker. You can start drinking from the black pomegranate fruit. It will give you enough vitality to easily feed her as much as she wants to drink from you, and you will not lose strength. But over time, you may stop recognizing yourself in the mirror,"

"What does that mean,"

Isa shrugs.

"I cannot say, but you won't be you,"
>Wait around for Les to turn, let her feed on you
>Go find someone to feed to Les
>Eat the black pomegranate
>Lock Les in a coffin, figure it out later
>Go find someone to feed to Les
Maybe a bandit or prisoner of the village? We'll hunt for one of desmond's human lackeys.
>Black Pomegranate

Whats a little more of our self sacrificed at this point?
First thing first is to see if she has experienced ego death or not. No point in feeding her if she's little more than a wild beast.

Don't know how I feel about rounding up human cattle, when so far everyone outside of Desmond and Liam have been fairly cordial if nothing else, downright helpful otherwise. Its one thing to think less of the cartoon people's lives when real children are on the line, but its another to think of them as resources.
>Wait around for Les to turn, let her feed on you

Fucking vampires man. Filthy parasites. Hope Les's peppiness is enough to help her live with the fact that she is no longer human.
It's official: breaking the weapons frees the highschooler. Super fucking easy.

Can we just take the Black Pomegranate once? We've been awake far too long to do a regular feeding, and it's okay if we're only a TINY bit inhuman, right?
>>Wait around for Les to turn, let her feed on you
>Wait around for Les to turn, let her feed on you

See how bad it is, we can drink the juice later if we need it.
> it's okay if we're only a TINY bit inhuman, right?
Problem with that, fantasy drugs are probably even more addictive than normal drugs. Taste the juice once and who knows what will happen to us. Might not be able to live without it.
Plus pomegranates in myth are never a good sign, and anime loves its symbolism and allusions to myth.

If we absolutely have to drink the juice, go with >>2514925, see how bad it is, then take it before we have to do something stupid and physically intensive. Alternatively, we could just drink a couple cups of mundane OJ or apple juice after giving blood, maybe some liver or spinach too.

You let Isa's words echo in your mind as you lean against the bed. Les's breathing seems to be getting slower, keeping you distracted.

Vampires. Blood sucking. Your brain skips from every tidbit of popular culture. You sniff, then slowly get to your feet. You look at Les, then back at Isa.

"I'll let her feed on me," You say, rolling up a sleeve. "But first you need to tell me what exactly is going to happen to her. Is the sun going to hurt her?"

"It all depends," Isa says, shrugging. She motions at the mug you hold. "Drink it then, if you will feed her,"

You look at the contents of the mug, then knock it back and chug it. It burns your throat on the way down, but you don't stop until the mug is empty. You set it down, then retch, but managed to keep the liquid inside you.

"Good," Isa says, brushing her hands as she walks over to the bed. She puts her ear to Les's mouth, listens for a moment, then straightens back up.

"Go get me some firewood from the yard," Isa says. Her tiny voice issuing orders does little to move you. You're watching Les.

"Go!" Isa says, stomping her foot. "We need it!"

You snap to and leave the hut, walking out into the yard. You quickly find the wood pile, and gather up several logs in your arms. You return inside, dropping it by Brett and the cauldron.

Isa is finishing fastening some rope to Les's arms and legs, tying her to the bed.

"Why are you doing that?" You say.

"We must see what she is like first," Isa says. She pulls up a chair to the bedside, holding up a hand as you approach. "Stay back, both of you,"

You pause, and Megan steps back. Isa leans over the bed. The minutes stretch by. Les's breathing must be too low for you to hear. You're about to walk over and check on her despite Isa, but then one of the bed posts shifts. The rope connecting it to Les's arm grow taunt.

Her eyes shoot open.

"Les!" You yell, walking forward.

"Back!" Isa yells.

You feel a hand, turning to see Brett. He has a sheepish smile on his face.

"C'mon man, you gotta trust her. I've been living around a graveyard for a couple days now, and I've seen enough to let her do her thing,"

Les struggles against the ropes, slowly though, as if in water. The posts snap and bend, threatening to break. You're not sure how she has the strength for it. Les opens her mouth, and a strange sound comes out.

"Ah," Isa says, moving her fingers in front of Les's eyes. Les follows her fingers, confused. "Don't speak like normal," Isa says. "Breath in, breath out,"

Les stops moving, then tries what Isa says. She grows even more confused.

"Yes I know it's hard," Isa says. "But that's how you have to talk now. Treat is like breathing, form the word you want to say when you exhale,"

Les tries to breath in again, the exhales. A word escapes her throat.


"Yes," Isa says, nodding. "Do you know who you are?"
Les's eyes shoot to you. Despite Isa's warnings, you've approached the bed.

"Saaaulllll," Les says, nodding at you.

"She knows who she is," You say, gazing down at her. You sit down on the bedside. "Hey, how you doing?"

Les raises an eyebrow, giving you a "are you kidding me" look. You allow a small smile on your face.

"You are a grave king now," Isa says to Les, drawing her attention. "That means you will have to feed on the blood of intelligent creatures. Human food and drink will never be the same for you. Do you understand that?"

Les opens her mouth, trying her new talking technique.

"That's fucked upp," Les says, then looks surprised. "Heyy, I think I got it,"

"Hm, yes," Isa says. "Are you hungry?"

Les doesn't answer for a moment. She seems to be fighting against something.

"Saul," Les says, meeting your gaze. "Something's not right,"

"Yeah, I know. It got pretty fucked up there. You saved me from Hoshi,"

"Megan came and got me," Les says, leaning her head back against the pillow. "I knew you'd get into some trouble on your own,"

"You see this?" Isa says to you, pointing at Les's eyes. "Look at her eyes,"

You do, trying to see what Isa sees. Les looks strangely haunted, almost frenzied.

"She is, a special type of grave king it would seem," Isa says. "That look is her fighting against the bloodlust. You will need to feed her quickly when she looks like this. The road ahead for both of you will not be easy,"

"Yeah I'm still here," Les says, struggling against the ropes. One of the posts snaps.

"Whoa whoa," You say, sitting on the bed next to her. "Look Les, listen to me. I need you to drink my blood, but control yourself,"

"Saul," Les says, sudden tears running down her face. "I'm so sorry,"

All for bedposts splinter as Les explodes off the bed. She tackles you back, sending you into the cauldron and spilling its contents. Both you and Les are burned. She cries out, standing up and falling back again. You roll around the floor as your good arm scalds.

You get to your feet and stumble over to Les, dropping down beside her. You thrust your scalding arm towards her.

"DRINK IT!" You yell. "NOW!"

She doesn't need to be told twice. Fangs appear in her mouth, and she bites down on your arm.

Fuck it hurts.

You feel her drinking you greedily.

"That's enough!" Isa says. Les doesn't listen. "I said," Isa approaches with a strange staff. "THATS. ENOUGH"

She knocks Les to the side with the staff. Les rolls against the wall, easily getting to her feet. Her face is stained with blood, and her eyes are wild. She focuses in on you, then her expression dies.

"Fuck," Les says, falling to her knees. She looks at her hands, where some of your blood has stained. "fuck fuck fuck, Saul, I'm so sorry,"

"No need to apologize," You say, slowly getting to your feet. "We'll work it out, ain't no different than any other disability,"
"There are some things I must talk to her about," Isa say, looking at Les. "Alone. You two may wait for her in the yard."

"Sure," You say. You motion at Brett. "C'mon kid, lets go,"

"Ah," Brett says, looking anxious. He scratches his arm. "I mean, where are you guys going?"

"We're working out a plan to rescue everyone and get out of here," You say. "Now c'mon, stop playing house and let's go see the others,"

"You are speaking to my husband," Isa says. "Who are you that you would take him away from me?"

"Hey," You say, pointing a stern finger at Isa. "I appreciate you helping me out with Les's sickness, but you gotta understand you and Hoss over here are from two different worlds, and your romeo juliet shit isn't going to work out,"

"Guys look," Brett says. "As long as you're running around but still stuck, I'm not sure it's a good idea for me to join in you know? I'm good here,"

"No Brett!" Megan says, looking concerned. "You have to come with us!"

>Be forceful, this isn't a game, Brett is coming with you
>Allow Brett to stay here with Isa, come back for him later
>Try and convince Isa to come too
>Try and convince Isa to come too
We aren't leaving without Brett. We didn't give up our arm for him to stay in this fantasy world. And we don't have time to come back up to grab him if the world starts falling apart.
Besides, half the reason we came back to the villages was to rally the cartoon people and have them join our army.

Also, we might want to check on wherever we fought Tyler and Megan while we do our pass around the villages. Somewhere between the manor, church, and another village if I remember right. Since Brett was the Bezerk sword Rachel used, we still need to find the two kids who were the Mask and Staff.

How many kids are there again? 20? We have Rachel, Tyler, Megan, and now Brett. Plus two more unidentified anchor kids. And Liam and Desmond. Still haven't found Maddie yet, either.
>>Try and convince Isa to come too
>Allow Brett to stay here with Isa, come back for him later
>as long as they can guarantee that desmond wont come for them. They know about desmond right?
>Try and convince Isa to come too
Might come in handy dealing with Les
>Try and convince Isa to come too
Right now, no one is safe. We should at least be unsafe together.

You glance at Les. She's sitting against the wall, holding herself. She meets your gaze, then turns away and wipes at her mouth.

You look from Brett, to Isa. You don't have time for this. You're not going to negotiate with a boy who went native after only four days.

"Come with us," You say, your voice conveying a harsh tone. "Your classmate Desmond has taken this world from Liam, and now runs it like a mad man. You won't last if he ever finds you and you're vulnerable."

"Desmond?" Brett says, adopting a look of confusion. "He was always really cool,"

"I don't think he's the same anymore," Megan says quietly.

"I cannot leave," Isa says. "I have tended to the grave valleys of the twelve villages my whole life, as did my mother, and her mother,"

"And her mother and her mother," You say, circling your hand through the air. "Yes I get it, but that's gonna stop mattering pretty soon. Something's happening to this world. It won't stay the same. So here's the deal, I'm leaving with Brett, and you are welcome to come along. But in case there was any confusion,"

Your shield flows out of your arm, solidifying.

"I'm not asking,"

You're being a version of yourself you don't like. Acting as a leader is one thing. Wielding your strength over others is something else entirely. But you can still see Les out of the corner of your eye. Her condition is all the more reason to keep moving.

Isa looks to Brett.

"Who is this man to you," she says, her voice small but willful.

"He's someone from my old world," Brett says, looking down. "I don't know him, but I trust Megan,"

"And do you want to go with them?"

Brett looks at Isa. There's pain in his eyes.

"This isn't my home, but Isa, I can't leave you,"

Megan turns away, putting a hand to her mouth. She's clearly uncomfortable.

"Come with me," Brett says. "Please,"

Isa looks away from him.

"You accepted me as your wife, and you wish to take me away from everything. With, with this brute of a man,"

Your shield slowly recedes into your arm.

"I'm sorry Isa," Brett says, closing his eyes tightly. "I want to stay here so badly, and I can't leave you. But I can't stay here if this dream is going to fall apart,"

"He will find you," You say, your voice low. "Friends or not in the old world, he will make you his plaything,"

Isa scowls at you, turning away and throwing up the hood on her robe. You can still see her horns poking out.

"I will," Isa says, pausing. "I will go with you,"

"Isa!" Brett says, rushing over to her and embracing her.

"Let's go," You say.

"Wait, I need to speak with your friend," Isa says, breaking away from Brett and nodding at Les. The police officer still sits against the wall, holding herself. You can tell she's trying to focus, but there are heavy thoughts on her mind. She looks up at Isa.

"Yes, of course," Les says. Her eyes meet yours. "S-saul? Are you okay?"
You check your arm, then shrug. In truth you're feeling dizzy and weak. You're hoping sleep will fix that.

"I'm good," You say. "How about you?"

Les holds herself tightly, closing her eyes. She nods though.

"I'm good,"

"I'll meet you and the girl at the valley," You say. "I'm going to finish burying Hoshi. l'll take Megan and Brett with me."

"My husband needs to stay here and help me pack," Isa says.

"Sorry little horns," You say. "The boy's with me, pack quickly and join us,"

Brett looks ready to resist, but you point at him.

"Boy, I understand you've been having fun here, but every single other of your fucking classmates has gone through hell. You don't get the luxury of ignorance anymore, so come on before I lose what little patience I have left,"

"I'll be waiting for you," Brett says to Isa. Isa simply nods, before giving you a hateful look.

Outside, you, Megan and Brett cross the yard and start climbing a hill. On the other side waits the grave valley, and Hoshi's corpse.

Megan and Brett are both silent. As you crest the hill, Megan finally coughs.

"Brett," she says, slowly.


"What about, well, what about Riley? That girl in the hut was so..."

Brett walks in silence for a bit. You try to ignore them, but they're keeping pace behind you.

"I don't know what you went through," Brett says. "But, but I was so scared when I was trapped in that sword. And when I woke up on the ground surrounded by broken glass, I was still scared. Shit."

Brett takes a deep breath. You hasten a bit, but the teens keep up with you.

"Isa found me though. She saved me. I, Megan, I would have died out here in this crazy anime hell if she hadn't. I can't just leave here. She's all alone. All the time, since her mother died. They all have, the whole family. The husbands always leave,"

You crest the hill, the graveyard stretching out before you through the valley. The same heavy mist hangs over it as before.

"You need to remember something Brett," You say, peering across the valley. "Be careful what you get attached to in this world. None of it's real. All of your classmates have had to make sacrifices, and if you're not careful, yours might be a little harder,"

You walk down the valley. You eventually hear Megan and Brett following.

You first find Hoshi's head, then his body. You gather both and take them to the empty grave. It's difficult work, lacking both blood and sleep. You use your x-tool mostly to shovel dirt over Hoshi's body.

When you finish, you stand by his grave. It's not fully covered, but you're exhausted. You stare down at the dirt. You sense Brett and Megan behind you, waiting.

You clear your throat.
"Uh, Hoshi," You say, your voice low so as not to be overly audible to the teens behind you. "I'm not really good at this kind of thing, but I want you to know, well. You were a good guy, and there's not enough of those in my world. So it was nice to find someone like you in this one,"

You shake your head.

"It's so weird you know, how could any of this be real? I want you to be. I want good guys like you to exist. And hey, maybe you were real. Cause where you're lying right now, well, that's where good guys usually end up,"

You clear your throat again.

"Sorry man, like I said, never good at this kind of thing. I hope there's a cartoon heaven, cause you sure as fuck earned a place there,"

You throw a salute, then turn away. Brett and Megan are waiting. Further up the slope, Les and Isa are coming down to meet you.

Both of them arrive. Les is carrying a backpack, as is Isa. Isa goes over, fishing out a black pomegranate.

"Take it brute," Isa says. "I don't like you, but your friend seems nice enough, and you may need it,"

Les gives you a small smile. It is very much forced. Her eyes find Hoshi's grave, then quickly leave it.

"Let's go," You say, taking off. The others fall into step behind you.

As your climbing the valley back towards the village, you side up next to Les. The two of you climb in silence for awhile.

"Les," You say, finally.

"No, Saul," Les says, quickly. "I am just, so, so sorry I attacked you like that. I hated that so much. I was just hungry, god you wouldn't know this feeling but just, god, I'm, I'm so sorry,"

"Hey whoa whoa," You say, throwing up a hand. "It's cool," You hold up the black pomegranate. "We got options,"

"I'm having you smash that as soon as we're out of sight of Isa," Les says. "You will not suffer because of me,"

You let out a chuckle.

"C'mon Les, I'll feed you all you want. We need a vampire on the team,"

Your attempt at humor doesn't go very well. Les falls into silence, staring ahead as she climbs. You don't push it.

You cross the next crest, then another valley, then reach the caves. There are several Maplelight students waiting outside of it, as well as a few teachers. You spot Tyler, Sadie and Rachel near the entrance, sitting on a blanket.

"Saul!" Sadie says, getting to her feet. "Les!" Tyler and Rachel slowly get to their feet as well. Sadie runs over.

"Whoa, you both look like shit," Sadie says, glancing between you and Les. "You guys okay?"

You and Les share a look. Neither of you know what to say.

"Rachel?" Brett says, looking at her as she approaches.

"Brett?" Rachel says, coming to a stop. Tyler suddenly adopts a look of wonder.

"Brett?" Tyler says. "That is you, isn't it,"

"Hey guys," Brett says, smiling. "Good to see you again. Even if we all look like, well, you know,"

"Yeah yeah," Rachel says, crossing her arms and looking to the side. "I don't want to talk about it,"
"Who's this?" Sadie says. "One of the missing kids?"

You nod.

"And her?" Sadie motions at Isa.

"Hello," Isa says, seemingly bored.

"Uh yeah," Brett says. "Guys, meet Isa,"

Isa waves.

"His wife," Megan says before looking away. As if she was just dropping a simple fact.

"What," Tyler says.

"The fuck," Rachel says.

Sadie laughs.

"Ah man, you got yourself a fucking waifu! What a weeb!"

"Alright," You say, throwing up a hand. "What's the situation,"

Sadie shrugs.

"Just killing time Saul-man. We're a little hungry though,"

You gaze around at the students, spotting Ellen outside the cave. You walk over to her.

"Glasses," You say. "What happened to feeding everyone,"

Ellen adjusts her glasses, looking panicked.

"You, you told me nevermind," Ellen says.

"Goddammit," You say, putting the hand holding the pomegranate to your head. You had forgotten. But you still need to feed your people. Eventually.

>Get some rest, then address the problems
>Go up to the village elders, check how their meeting with Desmond went
>Go forage for food as best you can
>Go forage for food as best you can
>Go forage for food as best you can
We ain't in the best of shape, but just like a sled dog musher, we must take care of our pack before ourselves. Gotta keep morale as high as possible to minimize inter-tensions and deserting.
Screw the meeting for now, though. Once we feed the army a bit, we need to hit the hay.
>Get some rest, then address the problems

"Okay," You say to yourself. You nod. "Okay,"

You know what you have to do. You're tired and your mind is firing on a single cylinder, but your people need to eat. You walk back to your companions.

"I'm going to go hunting for food," You say. "Keep everyone occupied, Les, if you could teach Tyler how to clean guns, that would help him keep our people occupied till I get back,"

Les adopts her old smile, or at least, a smaller version of it.

"Yeah Saul, you sure you don't want help hunting?"

"I'll probably take Tabatha and maybe one of the other skilled students,"

"Why not just ask the village for food?" Rachel says. "I mean, there's no way you can catch enough food for all these people,"

"Yeah, well I know the village can't feed us, so I have to try,"

Ellen, Tabatha, and a boy named Nathanael have all approached, as well as two teachers. They're listening as you speak.

"Let me go with you," Sadie says, cracking her knuckles. "I've still wired from the battle, and I didn't even really get to fight,"

"There will be plenty of fighting later," You say. "But yes, if you want to come, you can,"

You turn to Tabatha.

"Get Jeffries, you two are coming hunting with me,"

It's now noon. Most of the students are still asleep. The night before was both long and horrifying. You hope they sleep a little longer until you can get some food. Hopefully the village can supplement something if you come up short.

You walk over to a student leaning against the cave mouth. They're holding one of the SSG 69's. You motion for them to hand it over. You check the rifle.

"Got any extra mags," You say, brushing at a dirt smudge on the barrel.

The student nods sleepily, fishing two magazines from their robe and handing them over.

"Thanks," You say, walking back.

"This is your group?" Isa says, surveying those outside the cave. "How many are you trying to feed?"

"Bout five hundred," You say.

Isa shakes her head, then turns to Brett.

"And you are joining these people?"

Brett nods, though he looks a little sheepish.

"Yeah, these are my friends from school,"

Isa sighs.

"Well then, I suppose I will go hunting too, as this brute of a man cannot possibly be any good at tracking game,"

"Fine," You say. You look at Tyler. "Learn what you can from Les, you and her are going to be taking the lead on keeping these students trained and ready,"

Your eyes find Les's. You try and think of how you want to phrase what you're going to ask her.

"I'll be fine," Les says, seemingly reading your concern. You nod.

You, Sadie, Tabatha, the other student named Jeffries and Isa set out. You and the students have your rifles slung over your shoulders. Sadie and Isa simply walk with you.

You're thankful Isa came along, for soon she's leading you down a forest path that disappears into regular, thick forest. Isa motions for you all to stay low as you make your way through the brush.
The sun hangs high above as first one hour passes, then another. You're having trouble staying upright as you crouch around trunks with the others, but you force yourself to continue. After all, how many times did you have to perform similar feats of no-sleep work back in Iraq?

After the third hour of no game, Isa catches your attention with a click of her tongue. You and Tabatha are crouched a little farther along, with the rest of your group near Isa. Isa points two of her fingers forward, and you spot a deer.

You slowly raise your rifle, peering through the scope. Tabatha does the same. Both of you have obstructed lines of sight to the animal.

You lower your rifle, looking back at Isa, Jeffries and Sadie. Jeffries makes a small hand signal. You think he's asking if he should take the shot. You nod.

Jeffries raises his rifle, peering down the scope. Isa leans over and whispers something to him, and he nods.

A shot rings out through the forest. You and Tabatha peer through the thickets, trying to see if Jeffries hit it.

You can't tell, but Isa stands, then Sadie, followed by Jeffries. They begin walking forward.

"That's a good sign," You say to Tabatha, then you stand as well and follow.

The five of you meet up where the deer was standing. There's a blood trail leading off a ways.

"He won't get far," Isa says, crossing her arms and looking at the rifle. "It's a good tool you have,"

"Steyr makes good products," You say, crunching through the underbrush.

The blood trail leads to a tree, where the deer is dying. You walk up to it and fire a single shot into its head.

"This will feed maybe a handful of people," You say, gazing at it. You kneel down, working your knife out from your belt.

"Let me," Isa says, trying to push you aside and take your knife.

"Girl I know how to clean an animal,"

"I doubt that," Isa says, giving up and taking out her own knife. You relent, standing and taking a step back.

"Dude," Sadie says. "Brett's waifu is weird,"

"My therapist is going to quit on me after one session when I get back," You reply. You stagger a bit, and Sadie grabs onto you.

"Saul man, you good?"

"Yeah," You say, using Sadie as a rest for a moment before getting to your feet.

"He is too weak to be of any further use," Isa says, concentrating as she works the knife through the deer skin. "Leave one of your soldiers with me, two of you help him back,"

"I'm fine," You say.

"A grave lord has drained your blood, you need food and sleep," Isa says. "At the moment, you can only get one of those,"

"A grave lord?" Sadie says, looking confused. "What does she mean?"

"Don't worry about it,"

"Well, if you're going to be cryptic, then yeah, I have to agree that it's time for you to get some sleep," Sadie turns to the other student. "Jeffries right? Come over here and help me get this big lug back,"
You want to protest, but the words don't leave your mouth as Sadie and Jeffries walk on either side of you. They help you back along, until eventually you find the trail.

"Seriously though," Sadie says, supporting you as she makes her way along the path. "Who drained your blood?"

You don't want to say, but you know Sadie's going to find out eventually. And she, out of all the others, seems to know the most about nerd shit.

"Les is a vampire now," You say, staggering and then continuing on.

"No fucking way," Sadie says, wide-eyed. She looks up at you. "Really?"



"Hoshi. I underestimated him. Whatever Desmond turned him into, he in turn got Les,"

"Oh fuck," Sadie says. "Does that mean she drinks blood? How is she walking around during the day? Can she cross running water? Go in a church?"

"Fuck I don't know, I was hoping you'd be all over it. Ask the red girl, she seems to know about that shit,"

"Oh man, this isn't good," Sadie says. "And you let Les drink from you? That's super hot,"

"The fuck girl?" You say, giving her an incredulous look.

"Oh yeah, didn't you know? In Japan, vampires are a metaphor for gay love, since, you know, it's kinda taboo over there,"

"Goddammit Sadie," You say, grimacing as you step over a fallen log with Jeffries help. "How do you know about that but not know what kind of vampire Les is?"

"Well shit, I thought there was only one kind of vampire. You know, a vampire-vampire."

"No, I don't,"

The three of you crest a hill, and the sound of voices reaches your ears. As you come to where the cave mouth is, you spot almost all five-hundred students outside, talking happily and eating.

"What?" You say, gazing at them all as the three of you approach.

"Hey Saul!" Les says, waving at you from where she sits with Rachel, Tyler, Megan and Brett. She stands walking over to you. "Here," She says to Jeffries and Sadie. "I'll take him,"

Sadie just looks at Les, clearly trying to say something. Les returns Sadie's look, tilting her head.

"Yes Sadie?"

"I uh, I heard what happened," Sadie says. "I'm sorry, I know that sucks,"

Les laughs a little. It's a good sound. She then shrugs.

"Sadie girl, what can you do?"

"I'm here for you,"

The two girls fistbump.

"What's going on," You say, leaning against Les.

"The students," Les says. "The one named Ellen, she used replication magic to feed everyone,"

"What? Really?" You break away from Les, despite your weakness, and walk slowly through the students. "GLASSES!" You yell. "Where are you!"

Ellen slowly stands from where she was sitting, cleaning her glasses hurriedly with a cloth.

"S-sir," She says. "I mean, coach,"

"There you are you wonderful girl!" You say, strolling over to her and picking her up. You spin her around once, then set her down and almost pass out. You steady yourself on the head of a nearby sitting student.

"Thank you Ellen," You say, smiling at her. "I don't know how you did it, but you did good,"
Ellen seems about ready to cry. You tussel her hair, then return to Les.

"Where's Isa?" Brett says, coming up to you.

"She's bringing back some deer with Tabatha," You say. "Though it's nice to know it's not needed,"

Tyler walks up to you, handing you a piece of bread.

"Here man, you look ready to die, eat it,"

"Thanks," You say, accepting the bread and taking a bite. "Now if you excuse me, I need do need to go die for a couple hours,"

Les helps you into the cool darkness of the cave, where a handful of students still hang out, eating. You find where you left your stuff and slowly lay down.

"Oh fuck, yes," You say, resting your head against the cool stone.

"Need anything else?" Les says.

"Naw, wake me at sundown,"

You hear her laugh, then walk away.

"We'll see Saul, you need more sleep than that,"

You smile despite yourself. You're glad everyone's fed. Sleep slowly takes you. As you close your eyes, you spy your pack. You notice the black pomegranate is gone. You wonder what happened to it as you drift away. You start to realize, but then pass out.

When you wake, the sounds of voices echoing around the cave reach you. It's clearly dark out.

"Damn," You say, getting to your feet. Your stomach growls. You bend down, grabbing the piece of bread, and stuff it in your mouth as you walk out the cave.

The students and your companions are gathered around the mouth, talking. The village elders are nearby, speaking with the Maplelight teachers and Les.

"Hey," You say, swallowing the chunk of bread and coming up to them. "What's going on?"

"They're celebrating Hoshi's life tonight in the village," Les says, turning to you. "The elders invited all of us to come celebrate as well,"

"Uh," You say, a little caught of guard. "That's, dangerous, for us to be out like that,"

"We spoke at length with the King's servant," Elma says, standing with the other elders. "He is not concerned with you or our villages it would seem,"

"Yeah," You say, crossing your arms. "It would seem, did you tell him about us?"

"No," Elma says, raising her chin.

>Let everyone go up to the village and celebrate Hoshi's life ceremony
>Keep everyone in the cave, including yourself, keep busy until you get a chance to really talk to the elders
>Take a few select people up and celebrate, leave instructions for the rest to keep busy
>Take people in to celebrate in shifts, so not everyone is in the village at once and everyone gets a turn.
Also, Lop remember that tomorrow is the beginning of May. Does that mean DLID is coming back soon?
I'm going to churn out this quest several times a day depending on voting frequency until its natural conclusion or people stop voting. This one's really clicking for me, but if everyone here is a DLID player and just waiting for that quest to resume, you can stop voting and I won't take it personally. If there's some readers out there who don't even know me and just like the story, I'd like to finish this because it just happens to click with me. But again, that depends on if there's readers here who like this story, or if it's DLID players just killing time till DLID quest resumes. I have no hard feelings either way. DLID will come back eventually either way.
This is a suitable idea
I didn't even know it was you the first couple of posts, but I'm mostly just killing time till DLID. Helios needs a papa, you know.
I'm enjoying this quest quite a bit. I'm quite enthralled
Never knew about DLID, just came in the first thread because the title was suitably amusing to me. Then it turned out to be well written and I've enjoyed the story so far.
I appreciate your guys' support for this quest, I'm cranking it out at a pretty steady pace depending on voter response, and if anons keep it going it'll probably last two or three more seasons/threads before it naturally concludes. I don't see it turning into a super quest unless interest inexplicitly increases. All that to say, DLID will probably return end of May at the latest.

You glance at those gathered outside the cave. The students are in groups, talking in low voices among themselves. It is not an overly cheery scene, especially with the darkness of approaching night.

You turn to Tyler.

"You and Les get them cleaning guns?"

Tyler nods.

"Yeah, kinda, the bushmasters are a little complicated,"

"It took me awhile to figure out the disassembly," Les says. "But I think we got it,"

You nod.

"Groups," You say. "I'm going to reorganize the survivors into new squads and squad leaders, we'll do some drills and then send people up in groups. They'll rotate. I don't want to draw in too much attention,"

The elders look at each other, then nod at you.

"As you will," Elma says. "Come, come celebrate Hoshi's life with us and his kijitsu master friends,"

"Sounds like a party," Sadie says. "I call first group,"

"Everyone's starting with drills," You say, looking at Sadie. "I need you all sharp for what lies ahead,"

Rachel crosses her arms and looks away.

"God Megan," She says. "You're so lucky you entered this circus of bullshit late,"

"Don't think I forgot you either Rachel," You say. "You were good with that spear, but now that Megan's back I need you to come up with a new way to pull your weight,"

"Well fuck, I don't know," Rachel says. "What about Tyler, Megan and Brett?"

"Tyler's training in firearms, I expect him to help me lead the students soon. I trust Megan and Brett to make themselves as useful as you will be,"

"Fine," Rachel says. "I'll figure something out,"

"You want to learn to be useful girl?" Isa says, casting Rachel an appraising glance. "I could teach you a thing or two,"

"Maybe," Rachel says, moving closer to Megan. "If Megan's with me,"

"Figure it out," You say, turning to the Maplelight students by the cave. You call over your shoulder to Elma "Start without us, we'll meet you up there,"

You go about organizing the surviving students and teachers into new squads. It's disheartening work, since you have to go from group to group, asking who survived from the old squads. Les, Tyler and Sadie help you however, as do the teachers, and the work goes quickly.

There are forty new squads of ten led by Tabatha and Nathanael, and ten support squads led by Ellen, and Sadie when she feels like it. You break them off and start them on callisthenics.

Isa is talking to Megan and Rachel about something. Brett stands by awkwardly.

"Make sure you three do some jumping jacks!" You yell. "Brett, get your ass over here, I'm teaching you guns,"

"Go husband," You hear Isa say. "It is a good tool for hunting. Grow skillful,"

"Uh, okay," Brett says, walking over. "I've hunted before, so-"

"Great," You say. "Get in line and give me some toe-touches,"

The darkness of early night is now in full swing. You see a soft glow coming up from the village, and distant sounds drifting down.

It sounds like a party.
You're pleased with Tabatha and her new squad of elites, who seem to be throwing themselves into their new roles if for no other reason than to keep themselves sane. You elect them to be the first group to go up to the village.

"Thirty minutes," You say to Tabatha as she and the other nine elites pass you on the way up to the village. "Pay your respects and then back down here,"

You turn to Nathanael.

"Keep an eye on those training. The squad that does well gets to be the next that goes up. Send one up every thirty minutes. Tabatha and her squad should be returning in that time,"

"Got it Coach," Nathanael says.

You go over and work with a squad you feel may lag, and has more than a few members who seemed to have taken the previous night hard. The area by the cave entrance slowly grows vacant as time passes, but you're engrossed with your squad.

Finally, after they've done some quick lunging exercises, you clap, grabbing their attention.

"Good job guys," You say, motioning them to come forward. "You've more than earned a break, let's see where we're at,"

You turn to the clearing, and find it empty. Not a single squad has returned.

"What the fuck," You say. You turn to the squad leader, a tall but lanky fellow, and motion him and the others to follow.

"I swear to God," You say, trudging up the hill towards the village. "If I find out Desmond is up to his old tricks, it's going to be a massacre."

As you near, music becomes clear. It floats down toward you, enveloping you and the squad.


You hear voices and the sounds of people calling out. The lights increase as you climb, until you reach the crest of the hill and the village spreads out before you.

Lanterns and torches adorn every surface. The village is filled with paper banners and streamers with strange writing. Dark figures move through the streets. There's hundreds of them.

It takes you a moment, but you realize they're dancing in a sort of rhythmic line. The figures throw up their hands, calling out to the heavens.

"What in the absolute fuck is going on," You say, walking down the hill. You and the squad pass the first couple huts, where torch fire and banners sway in the night air. A group of people rush past you, body paint and gourds in their hands. They cry out in frenzied excitement.

The farther down the path you go, the more decorated huts and dancing figures you encounter. Villagers and Maplelight students jump around, swaying and drinking from gourds passed to each other. It is an atmosphere of pure chaos and celebration.

You and the squad encounter a thick throng of people dancing in the center of the village. You push through them, catching people as they sway and twirl to the drums and horns playing in the center. A massive wooden pyre burns brightly behind the musicians.
Both villagers and Maplelight students keep trying to pass you gourds. After pushing away the fifth one, you finally accept one from a massive villager and sniff it. You recoil. You can't tell what it is, but you can guess what it does.

You turn around to tell your squad not to accept a guard. You find them already passing one between themselves.

"Dammit!" You yell. "What the hell are you guys doing!"

"SSaaauuullll!" A voice cries. You turn to see your companions near the center of the dancing throng. You push past more people, and bump into Tyler and Rachel dancing wildly with each other. Beyond them, Brett and Isa twirl each other around, passing a gourd between themselves and smiling. Sadie and Megan are both swaying with each other, laughing and crying out whenever the crowd does.

Everyone is caught in the celebration.


You turn and see Les come up to you, laughing and embracing you. She holds onto you as she studies your face with a smile.

"Come," She says, liberating a gourd from a nearby Maplelight teacher. She presses it to your lips. "Drink, and celebrate Hoshi's life,"

She leans in close to your ear.

"We may not get another chance,"

>Take the gourd, drink, enjoy yourself for the night, business can come tomorrow
>Push your way to the Elders, have your discussion now
>Attempt to get your people back to the cave
>Push your way to the Elders, have your discussion now
I don't trust this party one bit, we can't let our guard down.
>Push your way to the Elders, have your discussion now
SOMEONE has to have a level head when all of this inevitably goes to shit. Don't drink the gourd.

Herding these drunks is practically impossible at this point, so little point in attempting to get them back in the cave. Best we can hope is that no one tries to fire their gun while inebriated, and end up maiming someone else.

My bullshit meter has been off the charts since the elders said Desmond isn't interested in either us nor the villages. The fact that they know he isn't interested in us explicitly is pretty damn suspicious. Not to mention they talked 'at length' about this. Either they are selling us out, or Desmond found a new win-condition that makes us all irrelevant in a few days time.
Don't count this as a vote, but
>"We may not get another chance,"
As much as I expect this to go horribly wrong, I really hope it doesn't. At least everyone else gets the chance to celebrate, improve moral, and stay sane. They need this last reprieve, desperately. But Saul doesn't. Saul's made of tougher shit, plus has the hindsight of two other tours to reflect on.
Saul is on a mission. And that mission is to rescue these kids and get each and every one of their sorry butts out of here. Doesn't matter if he has to put himself through the ringer or be the only one on active guard duty 24/7. We ain't compromising ourselves until we are all out of this crazy ass world and laughing about it at the bar.

Also, am I the only one who is immediately worried that the fledgling vampire, who doesn't know how to limit her consumption, is already drunk?
> Push your way to the elders
We're gonna have to talk to someone to understand what's going on. Afterall if we get attacked, a hangover is more of a bitch then usual

You push the gourd away, moving your head so you can see Les. She's very close, gazing into your eyes with merriment and a bit of drunkenness.

"I'm good," You say. "Thank you. May I ask how a vampire is getting drunk?"

Les leans in towards your ear again.

"Isa says I'm a very special vampire. That makes me dangerous,"

She leans back out again, looking into your eyes. The merriment is gone, replaced by something else.

"I'm scared Saul,"

"Don't be," You say, clasping her shoulder and giving her a small smile. "Enjoy yourself Les, if you feel yourself growing hungry, come find me,"

"Hmm," Les says, putting a finger to your chest as her merriment returns. "Fine, but all work and no play makes Saul a ticking time bombbbbb,"

"I'll be fine," You say, turning and moving through the crowd. "Keep an eye on the kids if you can, make sure they leave room for Jesus and their guns,"

"We left all the guns at the cave Saul!" Tyler says, letting out a laugh as Rachel presses herself against him. "It's a funeral!"

"The hell it is," You say, moving purposefully through the crowd.

There's a strong rhythm to the music. It grows and swells, inspiring the dancing crowds to jump and cry out. A different beat starts, and people start to call out Hoshi's name every time the drums pause. The pauses come at an infectious tempo, and with every lull the people shout the ninja's name louder.

As you pass through the crowd, you hear other names being shouted. You glance around, noticing Maplelight students. Every time the horns cry out and the drums let up, the students rear back their heads and scream names into the heavens. All sorts of different names are being shouting. The students seem in a frenzy. Some are laughing, others are crying. All of them dance.

You realize they're yelling out the names of their fellow students. The ones who died back at the school. It's a sobering thought. Cartoon or not, these children have witnessed something horrifying. Hoshi's celebration seems to be letting them express something they haven't been able to since the battle.

You find what you're looking for, a raised stage by the burning pyre and musicians. On it sit several figures, but you can't make them out as the massive pyre casts shadows on their faces.

You break through the crowds, reaching a staircase that leads up to the stage. You take the steps.

As you come up to the stage, the people occupying it watch you. You recognize Elma and the elders. There are also several other men and women who are dressed in elaborate gear. They remind you of Hoshi.

His kijitsu master friends.

Someone else draws your attention however. A trio, actually.

In the center of the stage, watching the celebration, is a man. He looks slightly older than you, by your loose grasp on age in this world.
He's dressed in a suit, finely fitted and accented with a gold pocket kerchief and gold cufflinks. On either side of him sits a girl and boy. The girl is dressed in a suit jacket and black skirt, as well as a tie. The boy is also in a suit. Both teens sit with almost perfect posture. The man sits respectfully, his eyes on you.

"Saul," Elma says, gesturing in the air in greeting.

"Elma," You say, bowing your head towards her.

"Meet Master Ohm, Master Kannen, Master Majoso and Master Amea,"

Each of the masters nods at you, or clasps their hands together and bows.

"And these finely dressed people?" You say, motioning at the man and children. "Who do I have the pleasure of meeting,"

"John Bogarta," The man in the suit says, standing. He extends his hand. "You must be Saul Beckett,"

You don't shake the man's hand, instead just staring at him.

"John Bogarta," You repeat, as if tasting the name in your mouth. "John. Bogarta. The District Attorney,"

"Ah, I see you're familiar with your judicial officials," John says, lowering his hands.

"I use to work for an guy name Greg Person over at Person Construction. You prosecuted him last year for hiring illegals. I had to find a new job when the place shut down,"

"I have worked many of those cases," John says, as if ceding you a point in a friendly discussion.

"And these two?" You say, gesturing with your eyes at the girl and boy.

"Madalyn Woodley," The girl says, her posture still perfect and her eyes staring ahead.

"Randal Harper," The boy says, looking at you and giving you a smile. "But you can call me Randy,"

You stare at Maddie.

"I've gone to a lot of trouble looking for you girl. Your grandfather wants you home safe,"

"I'm sure he does," Maddie says, still staring ahead.

"So Mr. Bogarta," You say, turning to him. "What's a Colorado district attorney doing in a place like this?"

"Paying our respects," John says, slowly sitting back down in his chair. He gestures at the pyre. "King Jones regrets bringing Hoshi back from the dead. He wishes to convey his remorse at his folly, and gather all under the flag of his new kingdom,"

"So you work for Desmond," You say. "I should have known the moment I saw you with two mind controlled highschoolers,"

"We're not mind controlled," Randy says. "Desmond broke our control stuff as a gesture of good faith. We're not devil captains any more,"

"You're actually working with that crazy kid?" You say, giving Randy an incredulous look. You turn on John Bogarta. "The kids I can understand, this place does stuff to you. Warps your mind if you're not mature enough. But you! You're a grown fucking adult! A public servant! Why are you helping a power hungry child!"

Your voice is nearly at shouting level, not that it matters against the backdrop of the yelling crowds.

"Things are, different," Maddie says, still staring straight ahead. She almost looks bored, but there's something else going on underneath it.
"Mr. Becket," John says, crossing one leg over the other and clasping his hands together. "King Jones understands you and he haven't gotten off to the best of relationships, and he recognizes that largely stems from his initial immaturity. Things are changing now, and with a new order comes new rules and customs,"

"I can't fucking believe this," You say. "You drank the fucking koolaid,"

"How many days have you been in here Mr. Beckett,"


"How many days," John says, tilting his head as he regards you. "It's a simple question. Two? Four? A week perhaps?"

"Around five,"

"Hm, not much time you would think, but you haven't seen your home in awhile now,"

"I'll admit I'm growing impatient at seeing it again," You say, the fist on your x-tool clenching.

"Well let me share with you a little something," John says. "I've been here oh, about two days. You want to know what's going on outside this strange fantasy land? Why, there's a hurricane battering the east coast. And almost all of California is experiencing unseasonal forest fires that are spreading at alarming rates. Tornados in the midwest. Small ones mind you, but there's been plenty. Now, some are saying its the end of days, but you have to understand, lots of crazy weather isn't quite so unusual anymore,"

John opens his arms.

"Nobody's even noticed that all of Boulder and several cities surrounding it have gone dark. No phone calls getting in, nothing getting out."

Your eyes grow wide at this news. You quickly recover.

"Someone will notice," You say, your eyes narrowing. "They'll send the army,"

"Oh yes, no doubt," John says, nodding sagely. "But this world you find yourself in is experiencing what you might call a snowball effect. The more people find their way in here, the larger it grows. And they don't need to do anything. As long as they're here, as a part of the system, if you will, the world expands. What you called anchors aren't even necessary at this point. We've crossed the critical threshold,"

John's words slap you across the face. It can't be real.

"You've helped a mad man trap millions of people here,"

"Couple hundred thousand at the most so far," John says. "Insignificant when compared to our world's seven billion,"

"So that's it then?" You say, clenching your other fist. "You're here, might as well help out Desmond boy-king and his junevinille power hard-on!?"

John Bogarta stands, as do Maddie and Randy. John walks past you, pausing next to you.

"I'm not the only man of power who's throwing his lot in with King Jones," John says. "You might want to start asking yourself what exactly you're fighting against. And if you can't answer that, you might want to take a look at what this world is becoming,"

John passes you, walking down the staircase. You watch Maddie and Randy follow.

"Maddie!" You call after her. "You're grandfather is worried about you! Don't do this!"

She pauses as her other two companions move ahead through the crowds.
"What's the difference," She says, almost sullen. "He'll be here too soon enough. Everyone will,"

With that she follows the other two into the crowd. You want to chase after her, but if she's following John Bogarta of her own free will, what can you do?

You turn on Elma.

"You lied to me,"

"I did not," Elma says, her chin rising.

"You said you made no mention of us!"

"And I did not! The servant of the King of All's arrival surprised us as well!"

"And you allowed him to watch up here! A man who serves the one who turned your Hoshi into a monster! A monster, who turned a good friend of mine INTO A MONSTER,"

You can feel the veins bulge in your neck as the anger grows. You can't believe what's happening. It's too much.

"Calm yourself," Master Kannen says, raising a palm. "We are not so easily swayed. We have made no promises yet,"

"Please, do not speak so on this eve," Elma says. "You did a us a great honor burying Hoshi, he would have liked to have known you sat on this stage with us during the dancing,"

>Follow after Maddie and the others, see where they go
>Try and convince the Elders of Desmond's treachery
>Simply sit with the Elders and Masters, watch the life celebration
>Try and convince the Elders of Desmond's treachery
If this is how things are shaping up, then we are gonna need as many people as we can get in our corner
Stuck between wanting to follow plot and see what Maddie and John do, and try and build rampart with allies.
>Try and convince the Elders of Desmond's treachery
Take it with a degree of tact though. Yelling the same things at them in anger will probably work against us at this point.
See if we can call over Les or Saddie to tail the trio, though.

And damn, shit must really be going to hell if no one has noticed the entire front range disappearing off the face of the earth. What with Denver being the major air traffic hub in the middle of the continent and NORAD and the airforce academy being relatively nearby. Wonder how reversible this all is at this point.
>Tail Maddie and the others for a bit
Might get some good info, can always talk to the Elders later

Also what's DLID?
>>Follow after Maddie and the others, see where they go
File: Spoiler Image (1.21 MB, 3299x2121)
1.21 MB
1.21 MB JPG
Just waiting for a tie breaker vote, then I'll update. No rush
Dark Lord is Dead quest. It's all on moe archive or my Twitter. It's a weird fantasy narrative multiciv, but right around thread 3 it really takes off thanks to my players
>Follow after Maddie and the others, see where they go

You watch John Bogarta and the teens disappear through the crowd. You need more information, the rules are changing too quickly. You turn back to Elma.

"I need to go seek out some answers," You say. "Please keep an eye on my people, your customs are not our customs, and not everyone here can hold their funeral booze,"

You take the stairs down, cutting through the crowd as they jostle and dance around you. The music is swelling again, and people have stopped shouting names in favor of spinning each other around and swaying to the drums.

You catch sight of Maddie as she and the others reach the edge of the crowd. You hasten after them, your focus unbroken by the elbows and sweat of the dancing throng.

You break free of the crowd, watching your prey begin a trudge up the hill towards the village edge. You take a sidestreet, which proves to be empty save for banners and lanterns swaying in the night breeze. When you reach the end, you pause, peering around the corner.

John Bogarta, Maddie and Randy have reached the edge and are disappearing into the dark woods beyond. You rush out from the side street and take off after them.

They seem to be sticking to a path. You cut out a ways, keeping to the deep woods as you watch their dark figures move through the night. The same full moon that always seems to hang above gives you enough light to keep after them.

After a bit of a walk, the trio you're tracking emerges into a clearing. Waiting for them is a black sedan, and two large robots. The mechanical men aren't as big as the robots you piloted, but they're clearly designed to protect the sedan. They stand around it with two large looking sci-fi axes.

You pause. You spotted the robots too late, and wonder if they've picked up on your movement. They don't seem to react, and you settle down to watch.

The door to the sedan opens, and a lanky figure in a trenchcoat gets out, opening the door for the approaching trio. You flex the fist of your x-tool, preparing to charge out and resume your conversation.

You feel on a hand on your shoulder, nearly giving you a heart attack. You fall down in the brush, glancing over your shoulder in panic.

Crouching behind you is a figure in a raggy cloak and battered white mask. The mask has about a dozen holes in it, but they don't correlate with the figure's eyes, so you don't know how they're seeing.

The figure puts a finger to their mask, silencing you. You squint at them, trying to figure out if they're friend or foe.

The figure seems more interested in the clearing beyond. You get back to a crouching position and watch as well.

John Bogarta has paused by the open door of his sedan. Maddie and Randy have as well. John turns towards the woods where you and the cloaked figure crouch.

"Mr. Beckett?" John calls out to the woods. "Did you have something further you wanted to talk about?"
You're stunned, but quickly recover. You stand up from the brush and walk forward. The cloaked figure remains where they crouch.

"Ah, that is you," John says, taking a few steps towards you. "Hard to tell, I'm just going off what my mecha here tell me,"

"Mecha? You using cartoon words now?"

"It's simply sci-fi, even I've read a few,"

You point at him.

"I wasn't eager to make a scene during a funeral, but we're alone now. If you think your robots are going to protect you, you've got another thing coming,"

"As much as I would love to see you take on these wonderful military units, they are strictly escorts for the vehicle, which I will soon be riding in. If you insist on being a dog, Ms. Woodley and Mr. Harper here will be disciplining you,"

"You'd send children to fight a soldier?"

"Mr. Beckett," John says, smiling. "I heard about the school, don't play righteous with me. And I'm also going to assume you don't have kids. Trust me, I have two, who will be joining me shortly God willing. They need to be challenged from time to time,"

John ducks into the car, and the lanky man in the trenchcoat and driving cap shuts the door.

"We're not done!" You say, stomping further into the clearing. "Bogarta! Get the fuck out of that sedan!"

The driver gets in, starting the car. The two robots straighten up, lights appearing on their sharp, polygon heads.

You start jogging, your shield flowing from your arm. Maddie and Randy walk slowly in front of the car as it slowly circles around. They turn and face you. Maddie reaches up, and a black patch of shadows materializes above her. She reaches into it, withdrawing a samurai sword and scabbard. The black patch fades away. A similar patch appears above Randy, and he takes out a massive, wavy, two-handed german sword.

You watch the sedan pulling out of the clearing, and start running parallel to it. The robots are keeping pace with the car as well, though they're ignoring you.

Maddie and Randy however, easily keep up with you. They seem to be exerting little effort as they run sideways, facing you. You tear ahead, keeping the sedan in the corner of your eye.

The sedan turns onto a wider path and peels away. The robots also increase speed to keep up.

You change directions sharply to follow, running smack dab into Maddie and Randy. You stop yourself, catching your balance and whipping back up.

"Dammit!" You yell. "Get the hell out of my way!"

"He told you we'd stop you," Randy says, shrugging with a sheepish smile. He holds his lengthy sword easily in one hand.

"Being ordered to do something and doing it are two different things," You say. "Now move, let me fix this,"

"That right soldier boy?" Maddie says, sniffing. She wipes at her nose. "No judgement, but I'm sure you got ordered to do some bad things in America's forever wars,"

"Enough, move,"

"Sorry," Maddie says, drawing the sword. "This is our life now,"
"No hard feeling, right man?" Randy says, taking a step forward.

You bring up your shield as both swords slice through the air. Your saw spins, catching both blades and sending them spinning out of the teens' hands.

"Alright," You say, straightening up. "Move,"

"That was kind of cool," Maddie says, giving you an appraising look. "How'd you get that arm?"

"Yeah," Randy says, holding out his hand. His giant sword shoots back into his palm. "That was some cool ass shit,"

Maddie holds out her hand, and her sword returns as well. They both blink, shooting at you. You barely have time to bring up your shield.

The force of both of them impacting into the x-tool sends you flying. You hit the ground, rolling to a stop against a tree. The two teens blink, instantly appearing over you.

"Alright," Maddie says. "You had enough?"

"Never," You say, spitting and getting to your hands and knees.

"C'mon man," Randy says, twirling his sword slowly above his head. "We're not going to kill you, or at least I'm not,"

"Yeah not feeling it," Maddie says.

"So just stay down, I heard we might be getting wifi back at the castle and I want to see what that's about,"

"That's not happening," Maddie says, inspecting a strand of her hair. "How would that even work here,"

"Guy can hope right?"

"Dammit! You say, getting to your feet. "Take this seriously!"

"Ah fuck okay," Randy says, bringing his sword to bear before him. "Let's do this again I guess,"

"Take care of it," Maddie says, turning away. "I've got to put some lotion on my hands, this weather is destroying my skin and hair,"

You start running to the side, and Randy keeps pace. He jumps forward and spins, bringing his sword around like a deadly booby-trap. You have time to bring up your shield, and are clothes-lined backwards. You smack your head on the ground, seeing stars.

"Alright," Randy says, standing over you and twirling his sword. He stops, pointing the hilt towards you. "Guess I'll give you a few knocks to keep you down,"

He rears up, then disappears.

You blink. You shake your head, then get to your feet. You whip around your head, looking for the teen.

You hear metal on metal, and search out the woods. The moonlight illuminates two figures dancing around each other. You squint, and realize they're fighting. It's the cloaked figure with the mask, and Randy.

>Go help the cloaked figure fight Randy
>Go after Maddie
>Use the opportunity to return to the village
>Go help the cloaked figure fight Randy
Randy's an asshole, and the masketta man seems like a decent guy
>Go help the cloaked figure fight Randy
>>Go after Maddie
>>Go help the cloaked figure fight Randy

You take off towards the clashing figures, your shield spinning by your side. Randy is bashing away at the masked figure, who seems perfectly capable of dancing around the massive sword.

"Randy!" You yell, coming to a stop near them.

The teen pauses, bringing up his sword in a defensive pose towards the masked figure. His eyes dart towards yours.

"Two on one?" Randy says. "That's fucked up,"

"One of the hardest lessons to learn is that if you play tough, tough plays back. People die Randy. This is one of those tough situations where kids like you just lose,"

"What, you threatening me?"

"I mean in general, this whole world and Desmond,"

"Man I'm just trying to stay on the right side of this okay? Now call off your ninja friend,"

"Sorry," You say, shrugging. "Don't know him,"


Randy's words are cut short as the masked figure explodes form their spot. From underneath their cloak the ninja produces handfuls of knives. They let them loose as they near Randy.

The teen swings his sword in a wide arc, knocking the knives from the air. The masked figure impacts against Randy with their knee, knocking the teen into the ground.

"Fuck!" Randy says, then cries out in pain. "Fuuuuccccckkkk,"

"What'd I say," You say, walking up to where he lays. "You play this game, you really have to be ready for the violence that comes with it. You're lucky I'm going to do my best not to let the ninja here kill you,"

Randy tries to get up, but you put your boot on him and shove him hard back into the ground. You turn to the masked figure.

"You're not trying to kill this kid are you," You say, jerking your thumb back at Randy. "Cause I can't let you do that,"

"No," The figure says, a deep, hushed voice issuing from the mask.

"So what's the deal then? Why'd you help me out?"

"I didn't," The figure says. They take off their mask, revealing a young man with a brooding face. "We were after the same people,"

"Alright, we're gonna continue this, let me just get in some questions,"

You turn back to Randy, dragging him up to his feet by his collar.

"Alright buddy, ol' Bogarta isn't here, so you get to answer questions in his place,"

"What," Randy says. "Like I know shit? I'm just a kid,"

"Give me an answer like that again and I'm going to break your nose. Understand?"

Randy slowly nods.

"Good," You say, loosening your grip on his collar. "Now, question one, how many adults does Desmond have working for him,"

"Uhhh, a couple?" Randy says, looking a little uneasy. "Umm, most of the real people he finds are eventually convinced to join up,"

"A number, give me a number,"

"I don't know, a hundred?"

"Bogarta said there were hundreds of thousands of people here dragged from the surrounding cities, where are they?"

Randy grows more uneasy.
"Look I don't want my nose broke but I really don't know. The way people come here, it's random right? Like, two people could be walking down the street in Boulder, like, inside the zone I guess you could call it? But one could be drawn into the world and the other not. We don't know why. We don't know where everyone's ending up either, the island's growing,"

"The smoke monster, Beh. This is his world! How could he not know these things! He's in total control!"

"What?" Randy says, looking amused. "Beh's just like, a magic smoke cloud. I don't think he's in total control. I'm not sure it's HIS world exactly,"

"Enough," The brooding figure says. "My turn to ask questions,"

"Sure," You say, letting go of Randy. "All yours,"

"Wait now," Randy says, throwing up his hands. The cloaked figure crosses the space between you and grabs Randy by the collar.

"Where is the one who brought Hoshi back from death,"


The figure produces four knives in the blink of an eye, pointing them all with one hand towards Randy's face.

"Where is the one who brought Hoshi back from the dead,"

"Fuck I don't know who Hoshi is!"

"It was Desmond," You say. "The one the locals call the King of All,"

The cloaked figure looks at you, then back at Randy.

"Where is this Desmond,"

"Uh, the castle," Randy says.

The cloaked figure drops Randy and starts to walk away.

"Hey," Randy says, rubbing his elbow. "That guy knows the castle has robots and super powerful wizards and monsters and all sorts of shit, right? And there's only going to be more?"

"What do you mean, more?" You say, turning on the boy.

"Oh uh, Desmond's gathering up all the crazy futuristic magic shit in this world. Apparently things are changing so quickly he wants all the cool toys where he is before like, the army shows up or the laws of physics solidify,"

"And has he gotten everything?"

"I mean, if the villages agree yeah. But I don't think a lot of the mecha squads will, on account of Desmond destroying Neo Tokyo,"

Your mind spins. So there's still some giant robots roaming around who are pissed off at Desmond. That would be good to remember.

"How do I stop all this?" You say, turning on Randy.

"Fuck man you know I don't know that!"

You lean down towards Randy, pointing your finger in his face.

"It would be wise of you to come with me now, staying on Desmond's side will only get you hurt,"

"Yeaahhh, sorry, I'm going to go with the all-powerful dude who's kind of my friend, over the asshole army guy,"

You stare, weighing whether to give him a kick, but then straighten up. You take out your glock and empty the magazine into Randy's sword. The giant german weapon shatters after the sixth bullet. As the echoes die, you break into a jog, chasing after the cloaked figure.

"Hey, wait up!" You say, catching up to him. "What's your name man,"

"Marrow," The young man says.

"Well Marrow, that was pretty good fighting back there. Are you a friend of Hoshi's?"
"I am," Marrow pauses his words, though he continues walking. "I was his rival. He was my greatest of foes, the one who kept me training night and day. He should have fallen to no other hand but mine. And whoever raised him again, will suffer dearly,"

"I understand that," You say. "You should come with us. We're gathering all the people who want to leave this world. And the people who don't like Desmond. Which would include you now."

"Perhaps I will," The cloaked figure says. "But for now, I have a name, and must pursue things myself further,"

The figure takes off into the darkness, disappearing among the woods. You watch him go, then turn to Randy.

The teen is already gone.

You don't blame him. You're not really sure what to do now when it comes to the stolen highschoolers. You suppose you can only keep searching for the ones who want to leave, and convince everyone else if you ever get a shot at Desmond.

You walk through the woods, following the distant glow of the village. The sun is starting to rise, early morning spreading over the sky.

You come to the edge of the valley, the village spreading out before you. Villagers and students alike are asleep in the streets. Where only a couple hours before there was partying and dancing, now there is a peaceful silence.

The banners and lanterns wave gently in the morning breeze. You pass by groups of passed out people, coming to the village center. There's an elder still on the stage, watching the smoking pyre. The fire is long since spent. Among the sleeping bodies in the village center, you can also see Les leaning against a pole, staring off into space.

>Go talk to the Elder
>Go talk to Les
>Go find Elma
Elma or the Elder. Still need to hatch things out with the locals and all. Though we don't know how often Les needs to feed, so we should check up on her sooner rather than latter.
>>Go talk to the Elder
>Go talk to Les
Lets make sure that she isn't about to feed on one the passed out folk. That wouldn't go over well with the elders and our cause I'm sure.
>>Go talk to Les
>>Go find Elma
explain the vampire thing. If they're going to drag everyone into Hoshi's funeral, then we can make them carry the rest of the consequences of burying Hoshi.

You cross the village center, keeping an eye on Les. She doesn't seem to move from her post. You wonder if she's experiencing the vampire hunger.

For now though, you head to the stage, where the elder stands. As you near the stairs, you realize it is not an elder, but in fact one of the kijitsu masters. He turns and sees you.

"Oh, Master Ohm right?" You say, pausing at the bottom step as you put a hand to the rail. "Sorry, I was looking for an elder,"

"Hm, Saul right?"

You're about to walk away, but turn back to the master.

"Yeah, that's me,"

"I've heard a good deal about you since arriving here for the life celebration," Master Ohm says, taking the steps down towards you. "Where do you hail from?"

"A place you'll never see and never visit," You say.

"Hm," Ohm says, pausing at the bottom step. "You know, the others here may see you and think nothing of it. I, on the other hand, have questions,"


"I asked you where you're from, give me a name,"

You regard Master Ohm three steps above you. He studies you as well. The man looks about your age, but with plenty of facial hair and beady eyes. Visible portions of his skin are wrapped in gauze.

"A city called Boulder, in a state known as Colorado, in a country known as the United States of America. There, that help you any?"

Master Ohm just stares at you. Finally he shifts.

"The others don't seem to understand." Master Ohm says. "This world, it is not the same. It feels different. I feel different. And you, with those strange tools,"

"Guns buddy, simple concept."

"Thousands of people arrive every day from Neo Tokyo, the city has been destroyed,"


Master Ohm scratches at his beard.

"What does it all mean? I find myself thinking on Neo Tokyo. What was it? What are our villages?"

"What is this world?" You finish for him. "Yeah, trust me, it starts to break down if you think too hard about it,"

"All my life I have worked towards perfecting my kijitsu so that I may honor my village and teach the future generations. But what does that matter if I can't make sense of anything outside these villages?"

You don't know what to say. You don't really get it yourself, and you've never really been one to dwell on it beyond what it means in tactical terms.

"Yeah," You say, finally. "S'fucked up,"

"So why are you here, Saul Beckett?"

You wonder if you should be truthful. Master Ohm seems to be experiencing the same awakening as the headmaster.

"There are people here who don't belong here. I'm going to get them home, and if I can, stop the King of All and his bullshit,"

"And how will you do that?"

"It's looking like I may have to raise an army. I'm hoping to convince the 12 villages to join,"

"You won't," Master Ohm says, turning on the stairs to lean against the railing. "Not all of them at least. There's already three villages who've agreed to the King of All's terms,"

"Yeah, what terms are that?"
"Freedom in exchange for their kijitsu masters,"

Of course. Desmond wants all the weird powerful shit for himself.

"And the other nine villages?"

Master Ohm gives a slow half shrug.

"Who can say,"

"I need them on my side," You say. "What do I have to do to convince them,"

"Winning the kijitsu tournament would give you the right to a war moot," Master Ohm says.

"I've already fought in a tournament, not interested,"

"Not you. Your acolyte. The girl with the dark skin,"

"Sadie. Sadie would compete? And if she wins, I get to tell everyone to go to war?"

"No, if she wins, she has the right to call a war moot, where war may then be agreed upon,"

The sun is now poking above the horizon. It bathes the village in light.

"Is there any other way?" You say.

"Asking I'm sure, but who knows who will follow you Saul Beckett,"

You digest this information, then look up at Ohm.

"Thank you,"

"No, thank you," Ohm says. "For whatever you're about to do,"
Brief break, followed by one more update post, a map of Animeland for the upcoming choices, and the choices Saul and his companions will have to make
The morning slowly takes hold of the village, and everyone starts to wake up. The students, teachers, and your companions feel the previous nights activities immensely.

The villagers are quick to start handing out water, and you organize some people to grab food from the cave. You're a little disappointed in your squads, but at the same time, they're traumatized copies of teenagers, and definitely needed some release.

You walk over to where Sadie and Megan lean against a post, passing a water jug and bread between themselves.

"ooohhhh," Sadie says, pressing a hand over her eyes. "Go away sun,"

"If I smell one more whiff of that juice from last night I'm going to vomit," Megan says, taking slow breaths.

"Don't say vomit, you'll get me started,"

"Please don't,"

You can't help but grin a little.

"Oh my god Saul stand right there, keep the sun away from me," Sadie says, trying to keep her body in the confines of your shadow.

"You girls have fun last night?"

"Maybe?" Megan says, holding her stomach. "I think it was fun, but now I want to die,"

"Do highschoolers not drink anymore?"

"You didn't have what we were having did you?" Sadie says, taking the water jug and tilting it towards her mouth.

"Can't say I did. Sober up quickly, we've got a lot of work to do,"

"Shit," Sadie says, leaning over on Megan's shoulder and groaning.

You turn and find Tyler and Rachel asleep next to a pile of blankets. You nudge Tyler with your foot.

"Up and at em soldier,"

Tyler's eyes flitter open, and his face scrunches up in pain.

"Oh shit," He says, then gets up to his knees. You point towards a nearby barrel, and Tyler stumbles over to it to vomit.

"Fuck stop that Tyler," Sadie says, putting her fingers in her ears.

You nudge Rachel next. She rolls over, curling into a ball.

"Up girl, burning daylight,"

"die," she murmurs.

You walk over and take the jug from Sadie.

"Hey!" Megan says, reaching after it. "Give me back my healing water!"

You take the jug to Rachel and shake out some water over her. Her eyes bolt open, murderous.

"ah fuck!" She says, gripping her head. "noooooo,"

"Yeah, hope you kids had fun. Next time, you ask what's in a drink before you accept it. That's just common sense,"

"Thank you my fucking dad," Rachel says, burying her face in her knees.

You find Brett and Isa already up. Isa is feeding Brett a bowl of some kind of liquid. The highschooler looks very hungover. Next you find Les.

"How you feeling?" You say, walking up to her.

"Not as bad as I thought I'd be," Les says, shooting you a raised brow. "Guess there's some perks to being a vampire,"

"You uh," You say, rubbing at your nose with a hand. "You hungry or anything?"

"Well that was an awkward way to ask,"

"Look I'm new to this, I don't know how often you gotta bite people,"

Les falls silent. "I can go a couple days if I need to. Isa says human food can keep me alive a little longer in a pinch,"
"Well, don't push yourself," You say, turning and taking in the scene of students and teachers waking up.

"What's the plan now?" Les says, coming up beside you and watching as well.

"I can either go talk to each village and convince them to join us, or send Sadie to some kind of ninja tournament. There's also some robot pilots I need to find,"

"What, you gathering an army?"

You gaze at the students. They're blurry-eyed, but slowly rousing themselves as the water is passed around.

"If it's not about anchors," You say, scratching your head. "Then I guess we've got to take the fight to Desmond,"

"And if we find another way?"

"Then we take it, and quickly,"

Les takes your plan in silence, then nods.

"Alright then, let's plan this out,"
File: Doc1-page-001 (2).jpg (1.44 MB, 3097x1985)
1.44 MB
1.44 MB JPG
>Go to the villages, take your small fledgling force with you
>Go to the villages, send your small fledgling force to _______
>Send Sadie to the Kijitsu tournament, take you and your group to number _______
>Take everyone to ________
The OP wizard from Overlord? He has Ainz? We're fucked. Even Fluder would be pretty bad.

I guess the best thing to do at this point is send Sadie to that tournament. I want to pick up the mechs at 6 before Liam recruits or destroys them, but the expanding wasteland at 8 might actually be our best bet. Those usually are caused by some horrifically powerful being or something.
Yeah that's not good. Take him out of his setting though and I wonder how he stacks up, against say a beam cannon from a zeon
In terms of sheer firepower, he might not be too far ahead of a giant robot, but he can also stop time and cast save or die spells, which the pilots will fail because they aren't level 100s.

He also has that defensive buff spell that consumes itself to let him completely negate any one hit, so yeah. Really hope Sadie was talking about Fluder.
Just curious, where did you get the character sprite for Sadie? Its probably my favorite of the bunch you got, and pretty fitting. All of the kids' sprites are pretty fitting for their characters, actually.

Alrighty, time to strategy.
First off, what we know:

Desmond has:
>Beh, Kaiju, demon hoards, various monsters, some mecha, some killbots, lions, and various other military forces ranging from medieval to magical to sci-fi.
>He also has most of whatever Desmond decided to conjure up for himself to make him all powerful, including the tower and Ainz. Probably some other all powerful god artifacts.
>In terms of allies he has: Anyone from the tower, various cartoon forces he's managed to convince to join him including 3 of the 12 villages, Beh, and some powerful real world people.
>He also has enemies among the villages, maplelight, and Neo Tokyo.
>The remaining unaccounted for children are a guessing game of who they support. Best guess is any who are willing to support him are avalible to be called upon, while the remaining are still in their anchors.

>>So in summery: he has unholy forces, the god of the world, some sci-fi, some magic, some ninjas, and some conventional forces. Plus whatever else he manages to scrape together.

We have:
>Us, 5 of the children(1 outsider, 3 captains, 1 anchor), Les, Isa, 500 students + various faculty from maplelight, plus a crap load of real guns.
>Best Potential allies are the remnant mecha-pilots and inhabitants of Neo Tokyo, the remaining 9 ninja villages, potentially some real world people, and our tournament sponsors if they are still alive.

>>So in summery: Primarily magic and real-gun forces. With good chances of getting more sci-fi than desmond, and more ninja than Desmond. No holy though, yet.
What we don't know:
*How much more Desmond has on his side.
*What are in regions 7 and 8.
*Quite how the world's rules work anymore. (My biggest concern. Who knows if it still follows Liam's dreams or not.)

Gotta go eat dinner, then I'll be back with what I think our course of action should be.
We know phones don't work in here, do you think the village has any ninja magic they can pull to allow us to communicate long distances? If so we could attempt to get multiple things done at once without being in the dark. We should also try to find out what sections of that map Liam has the most control over and establish a sort of staging area from there.
So places we want to go:
1: Ninja villages definitely. These have the highest contest between us and Desmond, so we need to try to win over as many as we can. Even if we only get half, 6 vs 6 is a lot better than 1 vs 11. Starve him of allies if nothing else.
2: Neo Tokyo. Probably not, if 'destroyed' means in its entirety, and most of the people have left to region 6. If our sponsors are still there, I'd say go for it, but otherwise not much for us there that Desmond hasn't already picked clean.
3. Maplelight. Same as NT, we took its people, but Desmond probably looted what was left. He also probably got the 'keystone' or whatever that Ellen was talking about that gave them unlimited mana for replication and whatnot.
4. The Abyss is probably the biggest grey zone of the old world. Its close enough to the tower that Desmond might have a good hold on it. But we haven't been to it yet, so who knows. My guess its the way down into the heart of the world where Beh and the anchors reside. Probably want to send some recon there.
5. We ain't going recruiting in the tower. At best we could recon there.
6. Definitely want to send envoys to the NT mecha remnant. They will probably be easy allies to sway, and hopefully a fairly sizable sci-fi force to counter Desmond's. Plus our sponsors might be running with them.
7.Wildcard 1. If we can trust the image used, looks like a feudal japan capitol of sorts. No idea what anime it could be based on. Seems like its been freshly grown, so who knows what their gimmick is or their allegiance. Might be good to make a good impression if nothing else.
8. Wildcard 2. This one is completely up in the air. If this world still follows anime logic and Rule-of-Drama/Rule of conservation of detail, then chances are if we send someone there, we will find something awesome. If its just the world expanding rapidly, it could just be a big waste of time and little else.

People we can send off as groups:
Each of the kids +Isa (though we'd probably want to pair them up in 2's or 3's)
Maplelight army (potentially we could fragment it between the bulk army and the elites)
MAYBE a couple of the ninja masters (probably just Ohm if we can convince him)
Marrow (doing his own thing, heading towards region 5)

Ideally, I want to maximize how much land we can cover. Saul, Les, and 2-3 pairs of the kids could cover quite a bit. Biggest limitation is the Maplelight army and their leadership/logistical/moral issues. And how much we want to risk the kids if we don't send them in one big group.
Unfortunately, Sadie is basically tied down to R1. I wanted to see what she'd think of R7 or R8 if we took her there, but she's our best bet at the ninjas. The bigger question is, who goes with her. I was originally thinking one or two of the other kids, but Ninja Master Ohm might be a good person to go with her. He'd know the most about the tournament and be of help with training. Plus she might be better at the whole "existential crisis thing" he's going through, helping him out a bit with that.

Saul and/or Les should probably go to region 6. Since Saul is the face and brains of the revolutionary army, and Les is the closest thing to our second-in-command, one of us should be the ones to recruit the mechas. Plus we'd have a pretty good time of it with our status as tournament winner and our sponsors potentially being there. (likely the Genki-girl mechanic and Granny Grind.) Either one we send would probably do alright solo. The other can go back up another group or go solo scouting somewhere else. Key is, if we get mechs, we get a lot more mobility to move around the map.

The kids are our next best concentrations of power. If we want to risk their safety. I'd probably want to send them to places we haven't been yet, as recon. So R4, R7, or R8 potentially. Tyler+Rachel or Rachel+Megan, and Brett+Isa. Or maybe them all together as one group for safety and sanity.

The Maplelight Army as a whole is probably best just camping out in R1 for now. I was tempted to get them mobilized to R4, but they are too big and noticeable. Plus if we aren't there to keep them in shape, they'll have a bad time of moving with any real focus.
The Elites however might have a decent chance at getting some work done. Probably scouting, same as the kids. Maybe a single squad of elites + a high-tier wizard to back them up.

Marrow is lerroying towards R5 probably.

Magic might be able to do some of that, though we only have various ranks of wizards with no real infrastructure to support them. Ninja networks of carrier pigeon or bird or something, maybe. The mecha might also have some sort of low-frequency radio we could use, though we'd need them in place to communicate between groups.

Well shit. Been meaning to watch it, but from what I gather he is basically a level-capped, fully kitted out MMO Guildmaster. The biggest advantage we might have over him is that the tower isn't his guildhall, so he might not have all the crazy infrastructure to support him like he does in the anime. Even still though, that sounds like a pain in the ass to deal with. Student mages won't hold a candle to lich mage. If you guys don't have any ideas on his weaknesses, best I'd say is to just snipe him with multiple wave-motion cannons or railguns or stuff from the mecha. The defenseive buff will negate any *one* OHKO attack, but I doubt he has the mana/spell slots to maintain a fusillade of them.
File: strangelove_war_room.jpg (33 KB, 631x434)
33 KB
Damn I wrote a lot. The TL;DR:
Saul> R6
Les> R6 with Saul, or Free Region solo, or FR with another group
Sadie> R1

Rachel> FR with Tyler and/or Megan
Tyler> FR
Megan> FR
Brett+Isa> FR
Alternatively all kids go together as one group to a Free Region.

Maplelight Army> R1 (maintain low profile, maybe try to farm/fish/forage a bit)
Maplelight Elites> FR (thinking R4, both because as they might know some of the people who live there due to proximity, and they could start staging for the siege on R5 or the abyss itself)
Ninja Masters/Ohm> With Sadie to R1
Marrow> R5

Free Regions (FR) being: R4, R7, and R8. Primarily for recon, gathering intel, and recruiting any initial allies.

My best game plan is we want to gather the army at R1/R3 before moving to R4, if its unoccupied by Desmond. Then either siege R5, or risk it and dive down the abyss to the center of the world.

What do the rest of you think? Preferences for which free regions we hit? Think the kids should go together, or in groups of 2/3? Les with us or kids? Should elites separate from army for now, or keep the army together? Or are all my plans absolute trash?
I do like the idea of seperating and hitting different objectives at once, although I do think that it would be best to check in on the mages and see if they have any sort of long range comms. That way we stay organized and make it easier to group up later. I think the elites should divie up the army we have, each with comms to us and the others if need be. Overall I like the idea of scouting and gathering Intel while we try and recruit more people to the cause.
Updating soon, just wanted to say thanks guys for reading my quest, here's a quick season 2 trailer I mocked up
I trawl the internet constantly looking for /qst/ pictures, it's exhausting. I think Sadie came from a /co/ superhero design thread
Thank you for running Lop. Appreciate it.
Im on my phone and this is a hell of a lot to read, but desmond is accumulating zhit way faster than we can. I think we should either take things straight to Beh, or free liam as an achor. Both look like theyre in the abyss.

I say we tellthe villages what hoshis rival is up to, send sadie and a couple highschoolers to negotiate with the mecha people, and take the rest to the abyss

The sun starts its noon arc over the village. Now that all your companions, as well as the Maplelight survivors, are up, you set out getting ready for your next move.

First things first, you make everyone do a bit of light cardio, followed by weapons drills. The villagers gather at the edge of the village to watch the guns that are making tremendous noise through the valley.

You time it roughly at two hours by your watch, then break them for lunch. You walk around the different groups eating in the village center. Since last night, no one's really returned to the cave, and the villagers have seemed to accept you all inside the village.

You find Ellen, the student you're looking for.

"Glasses," You say, coming up to her. "You feeding everyone alright?"

Ellen nods, a strange look on her face. She seems pensive, almost sick. You kneel down by her.

"You feeling alright?"

She nods.

"Let me hear you say it,"

"I, I feel alright,"

Her voice sounds steady enough. You nod, standing.

"Good work glasses, I'm proud of you. See if you can't get you and the others to copy us some more ammo before the day's done,"

Ellen simply nods, then looks back down at the food she's eating. You survey the rest of your make-shift army, seeing they're all eating and recovering from the morning's hangover and workout.

After lunch, you set the squads back to work, then have select people and your companions meet in the center of the village.

Among those gathered are you, Les, Sadie, the highschoolers, Isa, Master Ohm, Elma, Nathanael, Tabatha, and two teachers named Mr. Malky and Mr. Ash. They're brothers, and have caught your attention.

"Alright," You say, taking your spot in the circle of people. "We're planning our next move, and it's going to require a lot from all of you. So before we begin, I'd like to go around and talk to each of you."

You turn to Les.

"You know I can't do this without you, you ready for what comes next?"

Les gives you a small smile.

"You know I am,"

You turn to Sadie.

"Sadie girl, you're going to be participating in a kijitsu tournament, and I won't be there to help. I know that's a lot to ask from you,"

"Whatevs," Sadie says, dismissing the notion with a wave. "I'm a wizard ninja, plus I've seen enough naruto growing up I can swing this,"

You lock eyes with Master Ohm, then Elma.

"Master Olm, Sadie needs a mentor in the tournament, because I won't be there. I don't really know how your relationship to all that works, with you being a master and all. But this is where I ask where you, you personally, stand in all this,"

"Then let me ask you this, Saul Beckett. What are you trying to do here?"

"Get the people who want to leave, out of here. And if I can, dispose of Desmond while I'm at it,"
"I can't say what I know or don't know anymore," Master Olm says, scratching at his beard. "Hoshi was a dear friend, and I don't think I like the changes in these lands. I am sworn to Oros Village, but I will mentor your acolyte instead,"

Elma crosses her arms.

"You kijitsu lot are a stubborn bunch, you'll be causing problems with the other participants and masters,"

"We'll manage," Master Ohm says, nodding at Sadie. She returns it.

"Elma?" You say. "Where does Tahou village stand?"

"Hm," Elma says, seeming to mull it in her head. She walks over to Sadie, putting a hand to her shoulder. "I don't know why the spirits chose you to be our acolyte. But the spirits are what I've followed since a child, and I don't intend to stop now. Know this girl, the choices you make from here on reflect those of Tohou village,"

"whoa," Sadie says. "Uh, okay, thank you,"

You turn to the highschoolers. Rachel's leaning against Tyler with one arm around his shoulder as she inspects her nails. Megan stands there, holding one arm as she watches. Brett is by Isa, who's picking at something in her hair.

"Guys," You say. "You've been through a lot because of some shitty people. I'm getting us out of here, but it's not gonna be easy. What're your thoughts,"

"I'm with you Saul," Tyler says, putting his arm around Rachel's waist.

"Yeah," Rachel says, finishing her lookover of her nails. She gazes at you. "I'm ready to get out of here,"

"Me too," Megan says, nodding.

"Brett?" You say. "Brett's little horned girlfriend?"

"Wife," Isa says.

"I'm with you guys," Brett says. "Let's take down Desmond and get out of here,"

You nod.

"Good to hear,"

You turn to the Maplelight representatives.

"Tabatha, you're the fucking devil in georgia with a rifle, better than any in my unit. Nathanael, you're a leader, plain and simple. Mr. Malky, Mr. Ash, I know the others think you're weird, but I see your worth. Guys, this doesn't have to be your fight. You have to want it to be,"

Tabatha's cold demeanor is unchanging.

"I'll go where you say Coach, and I'll gladly put those who killed my friends in my scope's sights,"

"You got it coach," Nathanael says. "Just say the word,"

"Me and my brother appreciate your trust," Mr. Malky says. "We will aid you, and the students,"

"That's it then," You say, clapping your hands together. "Listen up everyone, here's what's going to happen. "Sadie and Ohm, you're going to the kijitsu tournament. Me and Les are taking some squads up north to find some giant robots. Nathanael, you're also headed north to a city. Make contact and see if they're friendly to our cause. Tabatha, you're headed south to the wastelands. Watch yourself, keep you and your squad hidden. Mr. Malky, Mr. Ash, you're taking a few squads to a giant hole in a mountain. Sadie tells me it's a bitch, so be careful. Any questions?"

Everyone digests their orders, then shake their heads.

"Good," You say. "You have your orders, move out,"
"Ah, Mr. Malky," You say, catching the older brother's attention. "I was thinking our teams would need some sort of long range communication device. You got any magic that can help me out?"

Mr. Malky seems to think for a minute. His younger brother leans over and whispers in his ear. Malky nods as he listens.

"Yes Mr. Becket, we have something of use. It's rune-work however, and the senders and receivers will need sigils."

"Get started, put one on all the squad leaders, including myself and my companions,"

"As you wish,"

The brothers leave, and you turn and prepare to head to the caves to gather all the guns.

"Brute," a voice says.

You turn and spot Isa.

"Yes?" You say.

"I thought you should know one of your little warriors is eating your black pomegranate,"

"What?" You say, rearing on her. "Which one!"

"The one with glass in front of her eyes that you keep having make you food. How did you think she was feeding this whole army?"

"Shit," You say, slapping a palm to your face. "Shit shit shit," You take the palm off. "What's going to happen to her,"

"She'll change, that's for sure,"

Brett comes up behind Isa, listening. So do the other highschoolers.

"Hey Saul," Rachel calls. "You never told us where we're going,"

You pause thinking about Ellen and turn to Rachel.

"Sadie will need some support, so I want some of you to go with her. Tyler, I'll probably have you take your squad with me,"

"Got it," Tyler says.

"I'll stay with Sadie," Megan says, raising a hand slowly.

"Then I'll stay too," Rachel says. "We can all support her,"

"Brett, I was hoping Isa could come with us since she seems to know so damn much, does that mean you're coming north too?"

Brett nods.

"Alright then, go get ready guys,"

You turn back to Isa, waiting until the teens, with the exception of Brett, are out of earshot.

"What should I do," You say. "About the pomegranate. I need her to make food and ammo, her and the other replicators,"

"Well, what kind of army are you leading?" Isa says, looking up at you and putting her hands on her hips. "Teach them to forage,"

"Easier said than done,"

"Well, in that case, I suppose you could let her go on eating the pomegranate and supplying your people. Perhaps what she changes into won't be that bad. Or you can take away the pomegranate and hope she hasn't done too much damage to herself, but then who knows if she'll be able to keep feeding everyone. Or you could give her to me, and I'll heal her while we travel north. But then, you won't get any magic out of her though while I'm doing it,"

>Leave Ellen be, let her continue supplying your army
>Take away the pomegranate, have her continue with the other replicators
>Give her to Isa to tend to on the way north
>leave isa and brett with glasses, she deserves to know what the pomegranate does as it changes her, and if she ever chooses to quit theyll all need to put their heads together on how to deal with food.

This is Ainz. Be afraid of the bullshittery. I dont think anything we have seen thus could beat him including the fucking EVAs.
> Let Isa and Brett explain the pomegranate to her
I feel like we owe it to her to know what decision she's made and explain how it will effect the army. Ultimately it makes things rough for us if she quits, but we shouldn't just leave her to find out on her own.
Shit. Knew Ellen had to be doing something to pull all that off. She's got the biggest balls of the army at any rate for pulling that shit off, especially behind our back. She's getting a medal by the end of this, or at least our letter of recommendation to whatever passes for magic university. And a stern lecture about overexerting yourself.

Agree with this anon but,
>Leave Isa and Brett with the army. Isa splits the difference between healing Glasses and helping teach the army how to forage. Brett picks up slack by teaching the army how to hunt and forage.
Probably should let Ellen/Isa hang onto the pomegranate, just in case. This is war after all and desperate times call for desperate measures. I agree that Ellen deserves to know what she's doing to herself.

Plus we have enough people going to each location that I don't think Brett and Isa necessarily have to come with us. Les, Tyler, and some squads should be more than enough. Logistics is our greatest concern, as always, and Isa has proven she knows how to make the most of this land. She's far more useful as a logistical support here than as another pair of boots on the ground.

Let's see here.... bleeeehh I'm not reading all that.
Credit where credit is due though, those editors for the wikia have at least given it their all to piece together that mess of a character sheet.
Best we can hope for is to find something as equally powerful. This is anime after all, and power levels are bullshit. Who knows, maybe we can find a Goku or Saitama or some shit.

As early afternoon begins, your squads are ready to move out. Through a system of bartering, where the villagers were largely being generous, the students traded their school uniforms for practical cloaks and traveling gear. You also had some of the village women paint the squad members' faces in green and black paint.

"Alright," You say, gazing at everyone from the stage the elders occupied the night before. Over five hundred faces stare back. "We've had a rough couple days, and things are only going to get tougher from here. But I see before me the ones who can handle the tough stuff. It's why you're still here, even if you don't think you deserve it. So let's get out there and make everyone who's wronged us leave us the fuck alone!"

Tabatha and Nathanael thrust their rifles in the air.

"Maplelighttttttttt!" They scream. The squads scream it as well.

You jog down the steps, where your companions are waiting.

"We need a new name for our army," Sadie says, putting a hand to her hip.

"What?" You say, passing her.

"Well," She says, her and the others falling in line behind you. "We're gonna have more than just Maplelight guys soon, so we should come up with a badass name,"

"Like what,"

"Hm," Sadie says, putting her hand to her chin. "Like,"


"Sure," You say, "works for me, we'll work it onto the flag,"

"There's a flag?" Brett says. You roll your eyes.

At the edge of the village are four charter buses, ten pickup trucks and eight vans. Tabatha's squad are learning motorcycle basics as they sit atop motorcycles. The people teaching them are the same people who leant the buses, trucks and vans; some of the thousands of refugees from Neo Tokyo.

Apparently in the cities of millions, there are still at least a million or more in the ruins. You find that hard to believe, considering all the monsters you saw when you were flying your robot out. But the city refugees are insistent.

You're thankful, as the vehicles will save you and your group weeks of travel. You'll be able to make it to the woods in a day in a half straight driving.

Fuel is a bit of an issue. The refugees didn't seem to understand the necessity of fuel. None the less they brought extra with them when they fled, and all of it is now strapped on top of your fleet of vehicles. You doubt you'll find any gas stations.

You walk up to Tabatha and her elites. They're all wearing traveling cloaks, helmets and racer goggles.

"You getting the hang of the bikes?" You say, giving her a thumbs up.

Tabatha nods, revving the bike.

"Well shit," You say. "You're braver than me. Stay safe out there,"

Tabatha touches her helmet, then starts her bike off out of the village. The other nine members of her squad take off after her, as do the second squad assigned to the recon mission.
As the sound of the twenty motorcycles fades in the distance, you walk over to where Master Ohm, Les and the high schoolers are.

"Sadie," You say, coming up to her.

"Saul man,"

"You ready?"

She grins, striking a pose.

"You know it,"

"Alright, Les, Tyler, we're gonna ride in trucks ahead of the charter buses. Master Ohm, you and the girls can take one of the vans they're lending us,"

Rachel walks up to Tyler. You know they're going to do goodbyes, and motion for Isa to follow you.

You break off from the group and find Ellen. She's checking over her pack with her squad of support mages.

"Glasses," You say, getting her attention. "A word,"

Ellen looks from you, to Isa, then steps over her pack towards you.

"Yes coach?" She says, coming to a stop before you and looking up at you.

"I uh, I know about the pomegranate. How you ate it to feed everyone,"

"I'm sorry," Ellen says, burying her face in her hands. "I know it was bad, but I know certain pomegranates increase mana, and it was the only way I could think to feed everyone!" She looks up at you. "I didn't mean to steal it from you!"

"Right," You say, itching the back of your neck and trying not to meet her gaze. "Well, the thing is,"

"You ate from the black pomegranate," Isa says, seemingly bored. "You will now change into something that is not you. Do you understand girl? You are no longer human,"

"Wha, what?" Ellen says, fixing her glasses on her face.

"It was, noble of you, to eat the pomegranate," You say. "But the thing is, there's gonna be some long lasting consequences. Especially if you continue,"

"If I continue?" Ellen says, pressing her fists to her mouth.

"Five hundred mouths is a lot to feed," Isa says, glancing at a passing bug. "You fed them, it must be nice for the brute,"

"I'm not saying you should continue," You say, putting up a hand. "In fact, I think you should stop, and we'll have Isa and Brett teach us how to forage,"

"Hmph," Isa says, crossing her arms.

"I, I don't know what to do," Ellen says. "I, I don't have a family, do I? What should I do coach?"

"Why don't you lay off it for now," You say. "And we'll see how foraging fares for us,"

Ellen nods, seemingly relieved. You tussel her hair.

"Good job glasses, I'm proud of what you did for your classmates. Don't be stupid though, we need all hands on deck,"

"Y-yes coach,"

You walk over to the truck, where Les, Tyler and Brett wait. You get in one truck with Tyler. His squad piles in the back of the bed with their bushmasters. Les gets into the drivers side of the other. Isa and Brett get in the cab as well, and another squad piles into the back.

The village has gathered by the fleet of vehicles along with a handful of city refugees. The refugees numbers seem to be in the thousands, and that's just in Tohou village. Some of the community leaders among the refugees have already talked of joining in. That's thousands of potential recruits when you come back.
I'll give you his stupid special ability at least, ADD-sempai: He can make his instant death spells affect anything, including targets not normally elegiable. Like inanimate objects. Affecting everything in 100 meters. No save btw.
They all wave and cheer as the buses, trucks and vans start up. You honk twice, then slowly take the truck out of the village. The rest of the vehicles follow.

You find a path and stick to it, traveling north. The going is relatively slow, considering you have unsecured teenagers in the bed of your truck, and the refugee drivers you brought seem alarmingly inept at operating the charter buses.

It's better than walking though.

You press vainly at the radio as you steer the truck down the path. Tyler sits in the passenger, his bushmaster lying across his lap. His head is pressed against the window as trees pass him by.

Two of his squad members sit awkwardly in the back seats of the cab. They haven't spoken yet, and you're not sure what Tyler's relationship with them is.

"So," You say, mashing at the radio. "You and Rachel seem to have grown close,"

"Yeah," Tyler says, straightening up from the window. "It's like you said man, I just had to be there for her,"

"And she's cool with you leaving for a couple days?"

"Made me promise to come back,"

"Hm," You say, nodding.

Silence stretches on.

"What's your name kids," You say, looking in the rearview at the two in back.



"You guys know any driving games?"

"Driving games?" Liddy says, rubbing at the green paint on her face.

"Sure, like I-spy or something,"

"Dude they're wizards they don't even have cars," Tyler says.

"Worth a shot," You say, steering the truck along the path.

The sun begins to set, and Les honks her truck horn as she drives behind you. You pull to a stop and lean out your window.

"What's up?" You call back.

"I need to take a quick break," Les says. "I think everyone else could use a break as well,"

You nod.

"Ten minutes,"

You get out of your truck as the squad hops out the back. They all take off into the woods to relieve themselves, are stay by the vehicles and stretch.

"So," Les says, coming up to you. "We driving all night?"

>Drive some more, break for camp later in the evening
>Drive until midnight, camp until sunrise
>Drive through the night
>Drive until midnight, camp until sunrise
>Drive until midnight, camp until sunrise
This is a decent compromise, plus its urgent, yet not overly urgent. Besides, as long as we get there while our possible new recruits are awake, we shouldn't be too pressed. While everyone else could sleep if we drive through the night, we don't want to press ourselves too far with no sleep. It's going to be a rarity coming up I feel.
Someone else come up with a name, I'm terrible with those.

Its like 7 fricken pages of text, man. Ain't got time to read how a minmaxer broke the game system. I see enough of that on /tg/ anyhow.
Sounds like fun though. Hope it is that Fluber guy you were mentioning earlier.

>Drive until midnight, camp until sunrise
Oh, so the entire army is coming with us. That's fine. At least that means we don't have to worry about Isa, Brett, and Glasses babysitting the army at the villages. Plus we might be able to swing over and join up with Nathanael's group on the way back.
You got me man, I'm horrible at names also. Maybe Rockslide since boulder is where we are? I have no idea. That's my 5 cents. I'll take something else most likely.
One for All
All that Remains
Fuck You Desmond
Im out pf ideas
>Avengers (unoriginal, but oddly fitting)
>Vanguard (sounds cool?)
>Karma (self-explanatory)
>Nemesis ("goddess who enacted retribution against those who succumb to hubris")

I usually lurk, but I'll toss out some ideas.

>Drive until midnight, camp till sunrise

The students continue to stretch and talk among themselves. Tyler and Brett are also standing by each other, discussing something about Tyler's gun.

You do a bit of stretching yourself. You can feel the wounds you've taken since coming here. How many times have you been thrown, beat and stabbed? You inspect where you've wrapped your ribs in gauze. The healing ointment from the tournament helped some, but you've taken licks since then.

You put back down your shirt, then glance around to get a feel for what everyone's doing. Les is standing a bit behind you, as if anxious about something. You turn to her.

"Everything alright?"

She crosses her arms, still seemingly anxious, and motions for you to come closer. You do.

"Saul," She says, quietly. "I don't know how to ask this,"

"You're hungry, aren't you,"

Les closes her eyes and nods.

"No worries," You say, rolling up your sleeve. "Think you can control yourself?"

Les closes her eyes tighter.

"I'm sorry Saul, I don't know,"

You glance around, finding Isa near Brett. Her "husband" is still talking with Tyler, while she seems to be checking over Ellen.

"Isa," You call. She looks up at you. You motion her to come over. She straightens up, smoothing out her robe, then approaches.

"What is it brute,"

"Les is going to feed on me, she's not sure she can stop before she drinks too much,"

"Hm," Isa says, looking at Les. "Finding it difficult? With everyone or just him?"

"I've only fed on him," Les says, quietly.

"Yes I suppose that would make sense," Isa says. "Do it now, while the your soldiers are distracted,"

You lead Les around to the other side of the truck, where no one can see you. Isa picks up a thick branch, which you assume she'll use to pry Les off you.

"You sure you're okay with this?" Les says. You lock eyes with her.

"Do it,"

Her mouth cracks open, fangs shooting out. You jump, you can't help it. She's on you in a moment. You can feel your x-tool trembling, trying to launch the shield. You use everything in your power to keep the buzzsaw inside.

The world begins to grow dark, and you hear Isa shouting. Finally a great weight is lifted off you.

You stare at the sky awhile, until your vision clears up. Les and Isa lean over you. Les looks horrified and ashamed. Isa looks bored.

"Wipe that look off your face," You say, smiling up at Les. "You good?"

She nods.

"I would choose another to feed on," Isa says, straightening up. "Remember what type of grave lord you are,"

She walks away. Les helps you up, and you inspect the bite marks on your arm.

"Damn woman, you really went for it this time,"

"Fuck," Les says, putting a hand to her face. "I'm so sorry Saul,"

"Don't be, what'd she mean by chose another to feed on? What type of vampire are you?"

Les drops her hand from her face and glances away.

"I, I'll tell you later Saul. It's hard to talk about now,"
You understand, how could you not?

"Alright then," You say. "Let's hit the road,"

You stumble a bit walking back around the truck. Les supports you.

"Tyler!" You call to him. "Get everyone moving!"

Tyler nods, then puts two fingers to his mouth and whistles. The squads look at him. He circles his finger in the air, then points. The students nod, filing back into the buses, vans and trucks.

"You good Saul?" Tyler says, coming up to you. He does an up and down of you, raising an eyebrow. "You look like hell, you throw up or something?"

"Yeah something," You say, fishing the keys out of your pocket and tossing them to Tyler. "You've got your license right,"

"Uh, yeah, I do,"

"Good, drive,"

Tyler gets in the driver side and you get in the passenger. The teen starts the truck, then peers around.

"So what, am I just following the road?"

"Let Les take the lead," You say, then rest your head against the window and pass out.

You didn't mean to sleep. It was as if it was waiting for a moment of weakness, then overcame you. You wake up to someone shaking you.

"Hey, hey Saul,"

Your eyes open, slowly.

"What happened," You say, straightening up in the seat.

"Les says we're camping now," Tyler says, exiting out of the drivers side. The two students in back are as well.

"alright alright," You say, getting out. You glance around, taking in the scenery.

It's dark out. The moon hangs over a canopy of trees, where your fleet of vehicles has circled up and emptied themselves of their passengers. You find Les.

"Hey," You say, coming up to her.

"Hey!" She says, turning to you and clasping your arms. "You, you know, okay?"

"Yeah yeah," You say, waving her off. "How's things here, you got people doing shifts tonight?"

"Yeah Tyler got that going," Les says, nodding in the teen's direction.

Camp slowly takes shape as everyone gets to work. You find that everyone's eating, and grow confused.

"Hey," You say, turning to Les. "Where'd we get the food?"

"Same place we always do," Les says, seemingly bemused. "That girl with the glasses,"

"fuck," You say, spinning and stomping into the middle of the circled vehicles.

Most of the squad members are in the center eating and chatting. You find Ellen.

"Glasses!" You yell. She glances around wildly, spots you, and cowers. "You ate the pomegranate again!"

"I'm sorry!" Ellen wails. "I didn't know what to do! Isa said we'd never forage enough food!"

"We'll we're gonna start learning!" You yell. "Listen up everyone, we're not sleeping tonight until we get in an hour of foraging practice, understood?"

The students slowly nod.

"I didn't hear you!"

"Yes coach!" They yell back. You turn to Isa.

"Get em' started little horns,"

Isa crosses her arms.

"Watch your tone with me, I'm not one of your soldiers,"

"Get em' started, and you should have stopped Ellen from eating the fruit again, in fact, where is that fucking thing,"
You bend down near Ellen and find it under her pack. It has three bites taken out of it. You toss it at Les, who catches it.

"Hold onto that for me," You say.

Isa and Brett get the students out in the surrounding woods, under the moonlight. You do a slow circle of the camp, checking it out, then press the sigal Mr. Malky painted on your neck.

"Sadie, come in Sadie," You say. You wait a bit, then hear a sleepy voice emit from your rune.

"S-saul?" Sadie says. "Damn man, it's like midnight,"

"Sorry, everything good on your end?"

"Yeah we're good, spending the night in one of the villages,"

"Good, I'll check in tomorrow,"

Next you "radio" Mr. Malky's team, then Nathanael's, then Tabatha's. After you're satisfied, you walk back towards the center. Les is waiting for you, as is Isa.

"Hey," You say, then look at the tiny red girl. "Aren't you supposed to be out foraging?"

"They know what to do," Isa says. "There's something else we need to talk about,"

"Someone's watching us," Les says.

"And the students found something while foraging," Isa adds.

"Who's watching us," You say, lowering your voice.

"It's hard to say," Les replies. "But I see them a ways into the woods,"

"Call back the students, we'll make a tight, defensive camp tonight with the vehicles,"

You turn to Isa.

"What'd they find?"

"a building," She says.

"What kind,"

"The big kind,"

>Keep everyone in the camp, have Les investigate the watcher, you investigate the building
>You investigate the watcher, Les checks out the building
>Ignore one, concentrate on the other
>Ignore both, keep to your defensive camp for the night
>Ignore building for now, it ain't going anywhere. Find watcher first.
>Ignore building for now, it ain't going anywhere. Find watcher first.

The students slowly filter back into the camp. They've gathered a few things, mostly berries. In fact, it's all berries. You motion Tyler over.

"There's someone out there," You say. "Watching us. Me and Les are going to go find them. You can let most of the kids here sleep, but I want at least ten squads on first watch. You're going to have to sleep tomorrow in the truck, cause your job tonight is to make sure none of these students accidentally shoot each other. Especially Lawrence,"

"fucking Lawrence," Tyler says.

"I know right. Anyways, you have your orders, can you handle it?"

"Got it," Tyler says.

You signal Les, and the two of you head towards the perimeter of circled vehicles.

"I'm thinking we go wide," Les says. "You circle left, I circle right,"

"Uh look, Les, I can't see as well in the dark as you, I'm still not sure where the target is,"

"Circle about a hundred yards out, come around for another two,"

You nod, adjusting the bushmaster you have around your shoulder.

"Alright," You say. "Meet you in the center,"

You do as Les instructed, going out a ways past one of the charter buses, then circling back around. You slow as get closer, crouching down and bringing up the rifle.

The moonlight casts the woods in a delicate glow. It's enough to see by, but certainly not well.

You can't make out anything in the woods beyond. You stop moving forward, determined to find your target before you advance.

It takes some straining, but you finally make out a figure in the distance. You move forward again.

The figure is simply standing next to a tree, with one hand on the trunk. They're staring back at the camp you've made with the vehicles. In one of their hands, they hold an MP5.

You're stunned. You bring up your gun, sighting the figure down your barrel. You suppose it makes sense. Some people were bound to be brought over with guns.

You're about to advance further when you feel something hard press against your head. Your eyes slowly close. It's the barrel of a gun.

"Nice and easy tough guy," A voice says.

You slowly lower your rifle, then set it down on the ground. You raise your hands.

"You're quiet on your feet," You say.

You feel the barrel leave your head.

"Stand up, slowly," The voice says.

You do.

"Walk forward,"

You step out from the tree, walking forward. The figure you were watching against the tree straightens up as you approach, bringing up their gun.

"Well Jakum, what'd you find?" The figure says.

"One of those from the camp," The voice says.

"Who are you guys," You say.

"None of your business," The voice behind you says.

"I think it is," Another voice says.

Les appears behind the figure by the tree. She grips his gun and throws it away like a twig. It sails into the darkness beyond. She grips the figure's arms.

"Lower your weapon," Les says.

"I don't think so lady," The voice says, pressing the barrel back into your head.
"That man is mine," Les says, her voice taking on a strange quality. It almost has an echo to it. "Lower your weapon,"

"Step back or he dies," The voice says.

Les rips both the figures' arms off, then disappears. You close your eyes, preparing for the bullet.

The armless figure stumbles forward, screaming. You feel the barrel lift off your head.

"Where are you!" The voice screams. "I'll kill him!"

You look slightly over your shoulder. The voice belongs to a man in chainmail. He's holding a combat shotgun.

Les appears behind the man in chainmail. She grips the gun he holds, then grabs his arm at the wrist. She pulls the gun away from him, including his hand. It sprays blood as it still grips the handle.

The man screams. Les shoves him forward, then raises up her boot and slams the man down into the earth.

"Alright Les!" You yell, throwing up a hand. "Let me question him!"

She stares at the man on the ground, then nods. Les takes a step back, inspecting the flecks of blood on her jacket.

"Alright buddy," You say, getting down on one knee and grabbing him by his chainmail. You drag his face close to yours. "What's the idea, watching us?"

"We, we have orders!" The man says, then whimpers as he stares at his stump.

"Yeah? What are those?"

"We're supposed to watch you to make sure you don't interfere in the mission!"

"What. Mission."

"There's a place nearby, there's something in it that the King wants,"

"And what's that,"

"I don't know! We're just supposed to make sure you don't go near!"

You drop the man, then slowly get to your feet.

"Les," You say. "You feeling alright?"

"Yeah," She says, pushing her hair back into a ponytail. "Sorry about that, I'll keep it under control next time,"

You nod.

"Alright then, looks like we have a problem,"

>You and Les go to the building, wait for Desmond's forces to arrive, see what they're up to
>Take your army and occupy the building, fight off Desmond's forces
>Wait until they go in the building, then attack it
>Get everyone into the vehicles and move on, avoid Desmond's forces altogether
>You and Les enter and investigate, see what Desmond wants in there.
I'd like to steal whatever they want and fuck off before they arrive if we can
>You, Les, and a 5 man rifle team each enter and investigate, see what Desmond wants in there. Secure it if possible. Also check the bodies for radio equipment or communication runes, see if they were expected to be able to report in.

You look back down at the man.

"How many of you have guns,"

"J-just a couple,"

"And radios? Are you in communication with each other?"

"The others do, not us. There will be a spirit arriving soon to check in with us,"

You walk over to where the man's combat shotgun lies. You pick it up, prying the hand off the handle. You inspect the gun, then show it to Les.

"What do you think?"

"Looks like police issue," Les says. "Same with the MP5, though we're getting rid of them soon,"

"So a SWAT team must have ended up here," You say, checking how many shells the gun has. You cock it, then lean down towards the man.

"Give me the rest of your shells,"

"What are you thinking?" Les says, crossing her arms.

You take the man's shells he fishes out with his good hand, then flip the rifle around and knock him out.

"He might bleed to death," Les says.

"I know," You say, your voice low. "But we need to get to that building. Let's run by camp and get a squad member or two,"

Les nods. The two of you take off into the woods back towards camp.

"That was pretty intense," You say, jogging next to Les.

"Oh what, the arm thing? Yeah, I didn't really mean to do that, it just seemed so natural,"

"How fast can you move exactly? You went from behind a tree, then appeared fifteen feet directly behind me in the blink of an eye,"

"ha," Les says, though there isn't a smile on her face. "I just concentrate on people, and I can usually get to where they are pretty quickly. I don't even think about it when I'm doing it,"

"Well feel free to keep it up, you saved my life,"

"That's three times now," Les says, finally smiling.

The two of you reach the edge of the camp, where a student calls out to you. You return the password, and they let you through.

You quickly find Tyler, tell him what you're going to do, and snag Axel and Liddy from his squad. Then you take them and Les back outside the perimeter.

The night air greets you with an uneasy stillness. It must be almost two in the morning, and few sounds are echoing through the woods.

It only takes a bit to find the building. It's unlike anything you've ever seen. The entire structure is one smooth, black block. It's easily four stories, though the trees surround it and do their best to grow on top of it.

"Well," You say, looking up at it. "This is something,"

You turn to Les.

"Anyone around?"

Les disappears. You wait a moment with Axel and Liddy, then a minute later Les appears from behind a tree.

"No one yet," She says.

You approach the building, putting a hand to its smooth surface. There doesn't seem to be any connecting pieces, just a single block of black stone.

You walk the length of the block building, finding one door. Axel and Liddy meet you at the door, as do Les.

"Well?" Les says, coming up to the door. She seems more her usual self now, and less frenzied then before.
"It's a simple enough door," You say, tapping on it with your newly acquired shotgun. You hand the gun to Axel, who takes it for you. Your shield flows out of your arm, then starts to spin.

"Stand back," You say, and the others comply.

You saw at the door, sending sparks and a jarring noise out around you. They sting at your face, but you grit your teeth and continue cutting.

The material is hard, but your diamond edged saw is harder. With some serious effort you finally carve out a rectangle, then kick it inward with your boot. It's dark inside.

Les takes the shotgun from Axel and turns on the barrel flashlight. She waves it around through the hole in the door.

All that's illuminated beyond is a hallway that stretches onward.

"Alright then," You say, gently taking the gun from Les. You duck into the hole, then start into the building. The rest follow you.

The hallway leads past smooth walls and the occasional blinking panel. You can't make heads or tails of the panel, and after an initial inspection decide to leave them alone.

The hall ends at an elevator. It's open, with a single button on the far side.

"So," Les says, peering into the elevator. "We doing this?"

"Might as well," You say, stepping into the elevator. Les follows. Axel and Liddy seem to hang back.

"C'mon kids," You say. "Nothing to be afraid of,"

"Yeah," Les says, smiling at them. "I'm a vampire and Saul here has an inspector gadget arm,"

"Inspector gadget?" You say, turning to her. "How are they going to get that reference? I'm real and over thirty and I barely get it,"

"Then you have terrible taste in childhood television," Les says.

Axel and Liddy slowly walk onto the elevator. Liddy grips her SSG, and Axel his bushmaster.

"Here, you know what kid," You say, taking Axel's assault rifle. You hand him the MP5. "This will be a little easier to hold. Don't lose it, I need to make copies,"

You sling the bushmaster over your shoulder, joining the other one you brought from camp. You still grip the shotgun.

Les smacks the button, and the elevator seems to tremble. You realize after a moment it's going down, the ride being incredibly smooth.

The four of you stand in the elevator. You glance at Axel and Libby.

"So," You say. "You guys know any elevator games?"

The two maplelight students look at you helplessly.

"Now who's being ridiculous," Les says, nudging you good-naturedly.

The doors suddenly open, revealing a long, low hallway. Lights blink on at intervals, leaving some parts bathed in shadow.

"Alright, let's make this quick," You say, leaving the elevator and taking the lead. The others follow.

The hallway leads to a massive, circular chamber. A single bridge cross the chamber, where on either side there's nothing but the empty chasm and darkness. You step onto the bridge.
Though the room is dark, you can tell you're high up. You start crossing the bridge towards the center platform. The platform is illuminated by a single ray of light. The light bathes a podium with a black box on top of it.

The four of you cross the bridge and gather on the platform. The podium with the black box lies in the center.

"I mean," Les says, looking at it. "I think I saw a movie once where bad things happen if you move stuff like this,"

"What is it?" Liddy says, her voice surprising you. It's the first time you've heard her speak.

You find writing on the top and peer over it.

"It's a Gravitational Beam Emitter," You say, reading the words. "Whatever the fuck that means,"

"oh!" Liddy says, looking behind her and seeing the chasm beyond the platform. She rocks forward in fear, knocking the podium. The black box pops open with a hiss, swiveling in two.

Inside, resting in a clear mold, is a small, black gun.

"Huh," You say, gazing at it. "It's some kind of sci-fi gun,"

You put two fingers to your throat, touching the sigal.

"Sadie," You say. "Come in,"

"hmph," she finally responds, clearly waking up.

"I've got a small black gun called a gravity beam emitter, recognize it?"

"s'manga," Sadie says, her throat hoarse from sleep. "blame or something,"

"Right, but is it special or something?"

"s'good gun, big holes, boom,"

"Okay," You say, sighing. You're clearly not going to get anything else from her. "Thank you Sadie, get some sleep,"

You reach over the box and shut it again.

"Well?" Les says.

"A good gun apparently," You say, taking the box off the platform. "Let's go,"

"Uh, guys," Axel says, peering over the platform into the chasm.

You, Les and Liddy all approach where Axel is. You all peer over as he's doing.

Down, below in the darkness of the chasm, a light is growing. It takes you a moment, but you realize it is in fact many lights. Thousands of lights. Like tiny little eyes.

The sounds of a thousand metal feet approaching drifts up to you.

"Run," You say.

The four of you tear from the platform back along the bridge. You let everyone go before you, bringing up the rear. You chance a look behind as you near the middle of the bridge.

Thousands of strange, white metal creatures are swarming over the platform like ants. They're easily the size of men, but crawling on all fours like insects.

And they're fast.

The first dozen reach the bridge and surge along it after you.

"Faster!" You yell, pausing to fire the shotgun.

You obliterate the head off the first robot, sending it plummeting off the bridge. You back up, emptying the rest of the shells, then spin around and take off again.

Les, Axel and Liddy are already at the elevator. They're motioning for you to hurry. You try to, and are forced to shed the bushmasters in order to continue carrying the black box.
You dive into the elevator and Les slams the button. The white robots are now entering the hallway, surging along the floor and walls to reach the elevator. The doors shut, and the elevator goes up.

"Fuck," You say, setting the box aside and quickly shoving shells into your shotgun.

The doors open, and Les leads Axel and Liddy out of the elevator. You pick up the box and follow.

There's definitely more hallways than when you first entered. They stretch out in all directions.

The one you came down is luckily easy enough to spot. You charge down it with the rest of your companions.

Les pauses at the entrance, then shoves Axel and Liddy back inside. The two students crash into you, sending you back.

You hit the ground.

"What the hell!" You say, rubbing your head.

Floodlights illuminate the entrance, shining brightly into the tunnel.

"It's Desmond's forces," Les says, pressing herself to the side of the wall. "They're outside,"

>Charge outside, better Desmond's forces then the robots
>Charge outside, try to barter your way out with the black box
>Go back inside, find another tunnel and keep running
>Go back inside, find a place to hide
Lets try our new toy out. Blast the wall next to the door.
Ainz is a p2W faggot that hoarded everything for a decade.He doesn't even need to fight to win via BS. He can just give everyone some stuff from hi item box.
Being outside of the game environment also removes any game balances keeping him in check like anything that helps resist instant death spells.
The fact that his new body is at -500 karma means that the only thing keeping him in check (from going extreme evil) is his old psyche and the empathy to realize what stuff might piss off other humans/players. Both of those are clearly failing at this point. The good news is that nukes bypass DR by dnd rules so nuking him is totally an option.
Do this but make ourselves a door out. find a new exit
>"Uh look, Les, I can't see as well in the dark as you, I'm still not sure where the target is,"
Friendly reminder that while we didn't get an X-eye, we should still have the Vegeta Scanner that Genki Girl Mechanic gave us. Inferred/night vision would probably be a setting on that.

I think I'm with this? This place only had one natural exit when we got here, right? So running down other tunnels wouldn't really lead us anywhere.
Before we make a new exit point, lets see if Desmond's forces start entering the building. See if we can make them fight the robots to weaken both sides. Then, while Desmond's forces are split between inside and outside the building, blow open a new door and get the heck out of dodge.
If we send the elevator back down, we could make them think we went that way. Either they tear their way down, or elevate a horde of robots on themselves.

You glance around, weighing your options. Robots behind you, soldiers in front. Your eyes find the black box you hold. Anything Desmond wants has to be valuable, right? Sadie seemed to think it was a good weapon.

You press the box, looking for a release mechanism. The box seems to slide open itself, releasing a small puff of air. You take the gun out of the box.

It's surprisingly hefty for its small size.

"Everyone get behind me," You say.

Axel and Liddy look at you, then the open box, then the gun, and quickly comply. Les does the same. You aim the gun at an angle, aiming for the wall next to the door. You squeeze the trigger.

Nothing happens.

You squeeze it again, then again. It's not working. You hold down on the trigger.

A small whine starts up, growing louder and louder.

"It sounds like it's charging Saul," Les calls over the increasingly loud whine. "like a taser or something!"

"Well I hope it's more powerful than a-"

The words never leave your mouth. A bright light emits from the gun, followed by an even brighter light, then an even BRIGHTER light. You're stunned. You can hear noise, like a waterfall of rocks and sound. Your vision slowly returns as you stumble around the hall.

Axel and Liddy are leaning against the wall, covering their eyes. Les is staring wide-eyed at where you just shot. You turn and look.

There's a person size hole in the wall. The trees beyond the wall are also obliterated. The trees behind those trees are gone. The trees behind THOSE trees are gone too, black smears on a smoking mile of earth.

You can see Desmond's forces through the wall. Men in chainmail and weapons ranging from swords to MP5's. Other men in more modern looking uniforms, also with an assortment of bladed weapons and firearms. There are also several large black mecha, similar to the ones you saw guarding John Bogarta's car. The humans all look stunned. One of them recovers and points his gun at where you stand in the hole.

"Back inside," You say. Everyone quickly obeys.

The four of you sprint back down the tunnel towards the elevator. Gunfire erupts behind you. Ahead, the doors of the elevator start to bulge outward, and the sounds of hundreds of robots squirming behind it are heard.

You lead the others down a side tunnel and sprint. Desmond's forces are behind you, their voices echoing in the hall. As you near the side tunnel, the sound of breaking elevator doors is heard.

Screaming starts up. Gunfire and metal on metal drifts down towards you. You keep running, leading them further and further into the complex.

"Saul!" Les says, coming up beside you. "We need an exit, I can hear those robots coming!"

You slow, cocking an ear. The sounds of thousands of metal feet are indeed drifting towards you. You look around, then aim the gun at a nearby wall.

"Close your eyes," You say, doing so yourself. You hold down the trigger.
The whine starts up, building until you see three bright flashes through your closed eyelids. The noise follows.

When your vision returns and the ringing in your ears disappears, you look at the damage. At least four walls have increasingly large holes in them. You can see the night sky beyond. You turn, and the first wave of robots comes pouring around the distant end of the hall.

"Go go go!" You yell. The two students, as well as Les take off through the hole. You follow.

Outside, the night air greets you. Les and the students tear towards the distant treeline, but you pause and turn. The robots are surging out of the hole like angered bugs, and clomp across the ground towards you. You aim your gun and hold down the trigger.

The whine starts up. It builds and builds as the robots grow closer. One of them gets in range and leaps on top of you.

It slashes down at you with a bladed hand. Your weapons fires. The light overcomes you.

Your senses return to you. You feel the ground against your face, then put your hands to it and prop yourself up.

The robots, and a good chunk of the building behind them, are gone. A black, widening smear spreads out where the beam emitted.

You find the gun a ways away. It's sparking, the robot's bladed hand still sticking out of it.

"Goddamit," You say, stumbling over to it. You rip out the robot appendix and pick up the gun to inspect it.

There's a large gash across the barrel, where sparks emit. You shake your head, then take out a kerchief from one of your pouches and wrap the gun up. There doesn't seem to be a safety, and you don't want such a powerful weapon going off and exploding.

"Well that's a damn shame," A voice says.

You look up and spot a man easily six and a half feet, and as wide as two men. He has bulging muscles, a bright red eye, and the biggest sci-fi looking cannon you've ever seen balanced on one shoulder.

"The fuck are you supposed to be," You say, tucking the wrapped gun into your belt and fingering the hilt of your glock.

"Well my name's Antova," The man says, shifting the massive cannon to his other shoulder. "I was sent here to retrieve that gun you just broke, so you'll understand if I'm a little cross now,"

"Yeah?" You say, slowly drawing the glock. "And what are you going to do, shoot me with that big cannon of yours? Bet mine's faster"

"Ahh, that's where I recognized you," The man says, grinning. "You're the x-user who got to the finals in the Grand Tournament days ago!"


"Well, you never fought any x-users, they all got bumped off early. But then again, I didn't enter the tournament, so that's why!"

"Less talking," You say, cocking the gun. "You want to fight, let's fight,"

"No Saul," Les calls from the treeline. "Let me take him on,"

>Fight the x-user, send the others ahead
>Let Les fight the x-user, head back to camp with the kids
>All attack at once, make it quick
>Let Les fight the x-user, head back to camp with the kids

I feel like we'll get in each others way if we try to double team
But anon,dont you want to turn that into a *threesome*
>Get the kids back, circle back for Les.
No one dies a hero on our watch dammit.
>Let Les fight the x-user, head back to camp with the kids

I think she can handle this dweeb. Also the GBE got damaged? It was a lot tougher in the manga...*grumble*

You glance at the man, then back at Les. A strange gleam is in her eye. Her hands are out by her sides, as if she's about to tear into something.

You think it best she works out whatever that gleam means. You start jogging towards her.

"I'll take the kids back," You yell. "Then I'll come back around!"

"Whoa whoa whoa," The x-user says, spinning the massive cannon off his shoulders and bringing it to bear in front of him. "No one refuses to dance with ol' Antova,"

You turn just as he opens fire. You bring up your arm, the shield flowing out and solidifying as the first energy bolt strikes it.

In the span of two seconds, thirty seperate energy bolts manage to batter your shield. You're driven backwards, and one of the bolts manages to go straight through your calf.

You go down.

Les appears behind the x-user, tearing away his x-tool with inhuman strength. The gun exudes electricity, shocking Les and sending her to the ground.

"Don't touch a man's tool," The x-user says, holding out his hand. The massive cannon spins into his grip like a baton. He swings it around and aims it at Les's head.

"Les!" You yell, drawing your glock.

Before you can get a bead on him, Antova and his x-tool are thrown to the side like a bus hit them. Les is back on her feet, her hair seemingly longer and more tangled than before. She looks over her shoulder at you with striking blue eyes.

"Go," She mouths.

You examine your leg. The calf has a hole from one end to the other. On the plus side, it's completely cauterized. You try to stand, finding it almost impossible.

"Coach!" Axel says, coming to one side of you. You throw your arm around his shoulder. Liddy comes to the other side, helping you up. They both stay by your side as you hobble away.

Bright light casts shadows on the trees ahead of you. It's light from Antova's x-tool. You can smell the heat from the energy bolts singing through the air.

"Is Miss Les going to be okay?" Liddy says, looking behind her as she supports you.

You look over your shoulder as well. A tall creature with long, flowing hair and elongated arms is bashing away at Antova. The x-user is rolling around and firing his x-tool at every opportunity. You look forward again.

"An important part of being in a team is trust," You say, grimacing as you put too much weight on your right leg. "I trust Les to handle it,"

Liddy is still looking over her shoulder.

"What's wrong with Miss Les?"

"Nothing's wrong with her," You say, leaning towards Axel to step over a log. "People sometimes go through changes. That's life,"

"She's like a monster now," Axel murmurs.

"Hey," You say. "Nobody on my fucked-up team gets to judge who's most fucked, got it?"

"What?" Axel says.

"Nothing, but we've all been through some shit, including you bud, so let's keep each other strong,"

"Okay coach, sorry coach,"
"You're fine Axel, you both did good back there. I don't know many teens who could face down those robots and keep their cool,"

"those things were awful," Liddy whispers.

The three of you reach the perimeter. The students on guard call out to you, and Axel calls back the password. They let you through.

You rouse everyone, instructing them to get ready to roll out. You find Tyler, Brett and Isa among those running around.

"Tyler!" You call.

He jogs up to you with his bushmaster.


"Les is fighting an x-user right now, I need to go back and help her but I need you to make me a splint first,"

Tyler's looking past you. He raises his hand, pointing.

"No need," He says.

You look to where he's pointing, and see Les walking into the camp. Her arms are soaked red, as is her mouth and chin. The student guards watch her wide-eyed. She's her normal size however, and her hair seems to have shed the extra locks. She comes to a stop in front of you.

"I take it everything went alright," You say, slowly looking her up and down.

"Are we leaving," Les says.



She passes you, heading to the truck. You couldn't read her expression. Was she mad about something? Nonchalant? Slightly shook? There's nothing to go by when they're not quite human.

"Saul?" Tyler says, looking up at you.

"Let's go," You say, walking to the truck.

The caravan takes off, unwinding itself from it's defensive circle and filing out onto the road. You drive, despite your severe lack of sleep. You wanted to give Tyler a chance to snooze since he stayed up during all the shifts.

In the truck behind you, Brett drives. You assume Isa and Les are in the back seat, hopefully sleeping, or dealing with Les's bloodsoaked arms. Either would be good.

The hours pass, and the sun breaks over the horizon. The caravan continues on until noon, and a massive forest appears. The trees are easily as tall as skyscrapers, and line the distance like a dark smudge.

You break to refuel, emptying the last of the extra gas into the charter buses and other vehicles. That's a problem you'll have to address later. In the meantime, you get in some weapon drills with the squads that don't involve firing, then pile everyone back in the vehicles.

You have Tyler drive while you check in on the different teams via sigil.

"Sadie, come in Sadie," You say, pressing your neck.

"Little busy Saul,"

"Just checking in, how's everything at the tournament,"

"Like I said, very busy, gotta go,"

"Alright, let me know if something comes up,"

You takes your finger off your neck, then repress it.

"Nathanael, come in,"

"I hear you coach,"

"How close are you to the city,"

"Hmm, probably by nightfall if I had to guess?"

"Good, keep me posted,"

You repeat the motion, checking in with the teacher brothers and Tabatha. The brothers are in the city surrounding the pit. Tabatha and her squads are still biking east.
Satisfied, you glance out the window at the approaching trees. They grow taller and taller as your caravan nears.

You enter the trees, and darkness reigns. The road winds in and around, and you get an hour into the woods before the charter buses run out of fuel. You stop the caravan, and everyone piles out.

"Break off into squads," You call as you walk, cupping your mouth with one hand and gripping your bushmaster with the other. Tyler repeats the order behind you.

Les and Isha get out of their vehicle. Les is indeed cleaned up, and wearing a heavy cloak, almost similar to Isa's. Brett gets out of the passengers.

"Well?" Les says, a semblance of her old self. "What's the plan now?"

You check with the drivers, and find that most vehicles have at most a half-hours worth of fuel left.

>Break up the army, send the squads out into the woods to cover more ground
>Stay as a group, strike out into the woods
>Follow the road as a group, see where it leads
>Break up the army, send the squads out into the woods to cover more ground
Splintering with check-ins at regular intervals would be good. We also have to be cautious in case we run into Desmond's forces once more.
Lop is back! Yeah boy! I knew this quest had Lopyness in it.
>Follow the road as a group, see where it leads
I wonder if we can find a metal bender to use all these leftover vehicles
Well guys, looks like we've gone down to about 3 readers, which I really appreciate, but I was hoping for more voter interest. I'll probably slow down the quest in preparation for a hiatus, unless theres like a dozen lurkers I didn't know about reading as well. I'll keep you guys posted of course, as I do want to continue this, it's one of my favorite quests

Guy playing Wolfe in OSW here, Lop. I liked this quest as well, between your skill and the genuinely interesting idea behind the quest, it is quite good.

Hey, here's an idea, and feel free to call me an faggot here, how about something in this same setting in the vein of DLID or OSW?
I appreciate it anon, this is probably one of my favorite quests I've run, and actually may have reignited my passion for questing. But I also understand why not as many people may be reading it. DLID actually resumes the end of this month, and I may do something similar to OSW. Those types of quests (DLID, OSW, DE) are all narrative multicivs, which are the most exhausting quests to run bar none. So I gotta really prep myself mentally to get into a setting for that type of quest, or I'll burn out
This is my first quest with you Lop and I've enjoyed it so far. I'll most likely check out the others you've run and maybe play a part in them as well, thanks for taking the time to QM my guy.
>Follow the road as a group

Still here, was busy yesterday
I'll update in about seven hours after work tonight, and finish out this season for sure, maybe even do the final thread. Again, thanks guys, couldn't do this without you
>Follow the road as a group

fuck, making me vote like a jerk
Sorry. I've been here, lurking. But I have been spending literally the last 3 days trying to get this message of a Matlab code working with a group of others for a final.

Finals are going on for a lot of people. So that might be some of the lacking of posts.
Ignore the crap grammar. 3 days straight of grad level bullshit in an undergrad class, while using a program no one even knows, has completely burned my brain.

I've really enjoyed this, Lop. I'm not the biggest fan of multiplayer quests, but this one has definitely been engrosing both in concept, character, and exicution.

Its up to you on what you decide to do, but I'd really appreciate if this one went to it's natrual conclusion. Not cut short.

>Follow the road as a group

"Alright," You call, getting everyone's attention. "I want Cowboy squad, Sierra, Papa and Quebec on the back of the trucks. Truck drivers, keep to the center, we'll be flanking you for as far as you can drive."

Tyler walks around, relaying the orders. You're proud of him, he seems to be taking to his new role as your second. It's something, consider the situation and the mental toll it takes.

The squads on foot form up, some spreading out to the edge of the road, others taking up places along the center. Fanned out as you are, the trucks easily occupy a comfortable space in the center of the formation.

You're in the lead with Tyler. Both of you have assault rifles. Behind you is Tyler's squad. Brett, Isa and Les are riding in one of the trucks.

Your group takes off, walking along the road. Ellen and her support mages move among the group, passing out food. She was able to replicate bread and some of your MRE's with ease. You worry about the long term effects, as you were hoping she'd be unable to perform the feat again. Despite what that would mean for your group.

You walk for hours. The trees tower above you, casting shadows on the heads of your squads. The sounds of animals calling to each other fills the air above the road.

It's comforting. And yet, unsettling at the same time. The sounds you're hearing are as normal as if you were in the deep Oregon woods. And yet, did you not fight a swarm of robots a couple hours ago? Both seemed real. Too real.

The road winds further and further into the woods. Any sign of the sun long ago disappeared as the trees grow larger and thicker. You feel you are passing into a part of the world that is both ancient and forbidden. The road itself seems to be intruding, and various plants growing along its sides signal the woods intent to take back the space.

There are also cracks the further you go. Potholes appear, and the road rises and falls in an ending series of hills.

It proves exhausting. The trucks had run out of fuel long ago, and now everyone walks. You trudge up the latest hill in the unending trek, pausing on the side to shout encouragement to those behind you.

Most, if not all the students have their guns slung over their shoulder and their packs tied tightly as they struggle up. You know it's hard going. Almost more than you experienced in basic.

"C'mon let's go let's go!" You shout, motioning them up further. "We're almost there let's see some hustle!"

The kids who are walking up the slope towards you pause, wide eyed. You see a shadow deeper than the others fall over them. You turn.

Standing on the top of the hill, where the first students have arrived, is a massive, massive robot. You stare up at it, then start to jog towards the crest.

"Get back!" You yell, motioning the students away as you run up towards them. "Back!"

The trees shake, and another large robot appears on the side of the road. Opposite it, a third appears.
File: download.jpg (12 KB, 174x289)
12 KB
"fuck," You say, slowing.

The robot on top of the hill bends down, and its chest opens in a burst of compressed air. A figure in a flight suit and helmet jumps down.

They're short. Really short.

The figure takes of their helmet, revealing a boy with long hair and a serious look.

"Are you a pilot from Neo Tokyo," You ask, slowly approaching him. He turns, locking eyes with you.

"Do you serve the king," He says simply.

You stop. You take his measure, up and down. He seems far too serious for his size.

"I actually hate that guy," You say, fingering the handle on your bushmaster.

The boy nods.

"Good," He says. "So do we,"

"So I take it you are from Neo Tokyo,"

"I am," The boy says. He walks up to you, then holds out his hand. "I am Ishatari Masato, and I will defeat the King of All for what he has done,"

"Preaching to the choir," You say, shaking his hand. "You got buddies? We're putting together a little force to bring the fight to him,"

Ishatari looks around at the other two robots waiting at the side of the road.

"Yes, there are many of us gathered under the banner of the Gear Queen,"

"Gear Queen huh? Sounds fun, why don't you take me and my group to her,"

"No," the boy says. "We have seen some of your weapons among the enemy, they will not be allowed further. You, and a handful of others may come,"

You nod, then turn back to army on the slope. You see Les and Tyler nearby, having approached to see what was happening.

"Squad leaders," You say. "Break into camp, defensive positions, you know the drill,"

You doubt they do fully, but it helps to hear orders. You look down at Les and Tyler.

"C'mon guys,"

"And uh, me too maybe?" Brett says, jogging up the hill with Isa.

"Yeah fine," You say. "Let's go,"

Ishatari goes back to his robot, climbing in the chest, which closes, locking him inside. The robot rises back up, as do the other two. They slowly walk in the direction you were headed.

You follow, as do Les, Tyler, Brett and Isa. The robots don't take you far. There are other robots standing around near the tree trunks as you go further. They could easily be mistaken for trees themselves, if not for the lights that seem to track you as you pass them.

The road ends in a small dirt circle big enough to house a building. There are many people gathered there, some in flight suits, others in normal wear. Makeshift tents are everywhere, and people tend to homemade fires in front of them

The robots pause by the edge, and all three bend down, releasing their riders from their chests. Ishatari jumps down and jogs over to you. He barely comes up to your chest.

"Let's go," He says, leading you into the tent town.

The people watch you as you pass. Some with suspicion, others with worry. Some have nothing going on behind their gaze. You understand.
In the center of the tent town is one large ten on four massive poles. Engine parts, complex machinery and tools occupy almost the entire space under the tent. Massive cables snake in bundles inside. The sounds of a power drill can be heard inside.

"My Queen!" Ishatari yells. "We have visitors!"

The drilling stops, and a figure emerges from behind the machinery.

It's Asha, from the x-tool shop.

"Oh, hey kid, what's up," You say.

"Saul!" Asha yells, running across the space to jump up and hug you. She quickly lets go to inspect your arm.

"How's the x-tool? Everything working? You should let me inspect it,"

"Whoa whoa, slow down. What's this about you being a queen?"

"It's a long story," Asha says, rolling her eyes.

>Ask her to call a meeting of the pilots to talk about your cause
>Let her to inspect your x-tool, ask more questions
>Ask her to check out the damaged GBE gun
>>Ask her to check out the damaged GBE gun
>>Ask her to check out the damaged GBE gun
Hell yeah, Genki Girl Mechanic is now a tomboy queen.
My money was Granny Gear being the Queen, but I like this outcome too.

>Ask her to check out the damaged GBE gun
Start with something light and in her interests before getting to the more serious matter.
>Ask her to call a meeting of the pilots to talk about your cause
>>Let her to inspect your x-tool, ask more questions
>>Ask her to check out the damaged GBE gun
We should all swap info. They might not even know that Beh comes from underground, or that desmond is making power grabs like crazy
Also, might be time for a new thread
>Let her inspect your tool (heh)
>Ask about damaged GBE gun
Oh snap yes it might be time for a new thread, one final post today later after work, to wrap up season 2, then I'll let you know about the new thread, possible final season

"Well, that's good news then," You say, glancing around. "Where's the old man?"

"Oh he's around," Asha says quickly. She seems uncomfortable.

"Well, actually, I'm glad you're here," You say, motioning Tyler forward. He holds the wrapped gun, and hands it to you. You turn to Asha.

"I think I just got my hands on one of the most badass weapons I've ever seen. And I've watched all the men in black movies,"

You unwrap the gun and show it to her on the cloth.

"But it got damaged, any chance you can fix it?"

Asha's eyes sparkle as she takes in the weapon. She slowly reaches out and picks it up.

"I've never seen anything like this," She says, turning it over. She looks back up at you. "What does it shoot?"

"A big ass can of death," You say. "A laser or something. No, wait, Sadie called it a gravitational beam emitter,"

"Well, those are a whole lotta words that imply quite the weapon," Asha says, nodding sagely. "I'll take a look at it. No promises, as the internal mechanisms I can see through this damaged piece are already unlike anything I'm familiar with,"

"Anything you can do helps," You say.

"Hm," Asha says, wrapping it up and tucking it under her arm. "So, what brings you to the woods?"

"He has an army with him," Ishatari says. "Many with the advanced x-tools we saw the enemy use,"

"They're called guns kid," You say. "And if this cartoon world made any fucking sense, you'd have em' too by now."

You glance back at Asha.

"We need your help. Specifically, all these killer robots you have lying around,"

"Oh I'm sure you do," Asha says, folding her arms and giving you a smirk. "What you got planned big guy?"

"Well, the plan's still coming together, but eventually I want to take a lot of fancy equipment and shove it up Desmond's ass. And a certain District Attorney who knows better,"

"To be honest, I can't quite make those decisions," Asha says, shrugging. "They call me queen, but that's only cause I'm a whiz at fixing up all their mecha. Other than that, they don't always listen to me,"

"Well they'll listen to me," You say gruffly.

"Actually, I'm kind of glad you're here," Asha says. "We've got another group who wants to meet with us, but, well, we're not really sure we can trust them,"

"Oh?" You say, "who are they?"

"We're not sure," Ishatari says, coming to stand next to Asha. "But one of their servants said he came from a land known as Seaiayy,"

"Seaiayy," Les says, coming up behind you with the others. "That's a tongueful,"

"More cartoon bullshit," You say. "But maybe some we can use,"

You glance at Asha.

"So you want me to come with?"

Asha nods.

"If you wouldn't mind. They're strange folk, and I think maybe you could handle them. I can't say why,"

"Don't sweat it kid," You say, rotating your x-tool arm. "I'll tag along, then I talk with all your pilots,"

"Good," Asha says, grinning. "That takes a load of my mind,"

"When's the meeting?"
"They'll be here shortly," Asha says. She gestures at the camp. "For now you can get comfortable while I check out this gun,"

"Actually," You say. "I've got about four hundred people a little older than you waiting a ways off. If you trust me, can you trust them?"

Ishatari looks ready to protest, but Asha nods eagerly.

"Of course! Bring them to the camp!"

You and the others walk back along the trail, past the silent, watching robots, and over the hill where your group waits. You catch their attention at the crest.

"Everybody up!" You yell down. "Let's go, we're moving camp!"

The squads hustle to comply. Despite the fact that you've been with them less than a week, they're moving in a more efficient manner then when you first became their coach back in Maplelight. Seemingly a lifetime ago.

The group finishes packing up and moves out as one. You all hustle down the other side of the hill and back towards Asha's camp.

The next two hours are spent settling down everyone, making introductions, meeting a thousand different city refugees and pilots, and finally walking with Asha and Ishatari back to her central tent.

"Seems you have quite the group here," You say, leading with Asha while Ishatari, Les and Tyler trail behind you.

"I was going to say the same thing!" Asha says. "Why all the kid soldiers?"

"Children never fight to kill unless life forces them to," You say. "You can guarantee if you see one, something's seriously wrong. Most of their classmates died in an attack, for the simple act of protecting me and my friends,"

"strange times," Asha says quietly.

"Where's the old man? Haven't seen him yet."

"He's around," Asha says quickly, then hurries forward into her tent. You raise a brow in confusion.

"Her grandfather died when they fled Neo Tokyo," Ishatari says, coming up beside you. "She, she hasn't fully accepted it yet,"

"Fuck, another one," You murmur. "This has got to stop,"

Voices rise up, and shouting can be heard. The sounds of engines, almost familiar, reach your ear. Your heart beats quickly.

Those engines are familiar.

You turn around abruptly, almost running into Les.

"Saul?" She says, confused. You brush past her.

Asha's emerged back out from her tent.

"Oh, those are the visitors!" She says.

You hear the distant sound of helicopter rotors. You don't believe it. It can't be real.

You break through the camp until you come to the remains of the road running through it. Thousands of people and robot pilots line the road, watching a procession drive into the camp.

MATV's, Humvees and armored troop carriers. Tan and green camo.

US Army insignia.

The door of the second MATV opens up, and a cartoon man with grizzled features and military slacks steps out, flanked by two cartoon Rangers. The grizzled man has the ranking of a two-star general.
"Howdy folks," He calls out to the crowd. More doors open in the humvees and matvs, and more soldiers file out. "My name's General Pete Mathers, US Army. May I speak to the gear Queen?"

"Right here!" Asha says, waving and coming over with Ishatari and a few other pilots.

"A girl?" General Mathers says, looking confused. "Ya'll yanking my chain?"

"Scuse me! Scuse me!" You yell, breaking through the crowds and coming to a stop before the general.

"Sir!" You yell, throwing a salute. "Private Saul Becket, 44th Infantry retired, sir!"

"Welllll," General Mathers says, looking you up and down. "Isn't this a stroke of luck, an American we can actually use in all this mess! Whatchu doing with all these folks boy? Get caught up in Boulder?"

"Yes sir, came here to look for some kids, been trying to get out since,"

"Weellllll, don't you worry boy," General Mathers says. "Our friends in the CIA have been very, very busy trying to figure this clusterfuck of a situation out. And I think we've got the measure of things,"

"Sir, there's a power mad teenager and several prominent colorado politicians stockpiling massive amounts of weapons, I'm not sure their exact plan, but you can but they're planning to stick around,"

General Mathers smiles.

"The fuck they will Private Beckett. Don't you worry son. The US Army has arrived,"
>End of Season 2

Thanks as always guys for sticking with it, there were more readers then I thought and that means a lot to me. Thread/Season 3 coming up soon, possibly as soon as this thread dies. I'll post the time on Twitter if nothing else
Thanks for the thread, Lop. It was a blast. Hopefully more people will be active after finals.

Glad to see the army is actually on our side and not all the powers-that-be from the old world are siding with Desmond in the new one.
So long as Pete Mathers doesn't go full on General Ripper, at least.
Thanks for the thread, boss. I may have lurked, but it was one heck of a ride nonetheless. See you next time!

Oh shit nice

Thanks for running OP

Delete Post: [File Only] Style:
[Disable Mobile View / Use Desktop Site]

[Enable Mobile View / Use Mobile Site]

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective parties. Images uploaded are the responsibility of the Poster. Comments are owned by the Poster.