It’s been a little less than a week since you woke up with a back full of bees and a head full of holes, the old world washed away in a tide of flesh and bone. You go by your old nickname ‘Shu,’ your real name lost along with what could pass for normal in a world infested with creeping meat and patchwork horrors. You have to kill to survive and feast on the fallen to keep up with every day’s fresh hell.It’s not all bad, though. You’ve picked up two traveling companions in the short time you’ve been wandering the wastes. The first is Isabelle, a kind young woman who goes by B’ni from her days on forums that no longer exist. A fanged grin and a pair of animalistic legs cut an imposing first impression, but she’s been an invaluable companion thus far. The second is an old friend of Isabelle named Gina who, though missing her eyes due to an earlier unforeseen betrayal, uses her control of her nervous system to make herself something of a living sound system. Seeking shelter from a torrent of acid rain, the three of you located a not-so-abandoned factory and after a tense stand-off with an abominable fusion of middle-schoolers, you consented to help them clean their room. You are just finishing up your volunteer work while you wait out the last of the rain and ponder the existence of something called the Cord, the destination that the world’s survivors seem to be drawn towards.It’s not the strangest thing you’ve done since you woke up in the apocalypse……but it’s pretty damn close.
You finish sorting the last of the random cosmetics littering the room’s floor and turn to face the girls. The slug creature’s four child-like faces croon happily, rapidly shifting in and out of the main body seemingly at random. Your dust yourself off as you put on a forced smile for the amalgamated giant, careful not to jostle the two swarmlings resting on your shoulders while the remainder of your creations put the finishing touches on the simple busywork you assigned them.“There we go, all clean.” You say, surveying your work. “So, uh…you said you were headed out when you got caught in the rain, where were you going?”Their reply to your question comes from a half-dozen muttering mouths, shifting wildly about the body as you strain to make out a single cohesive idea from the horde of voices that answer.WWEEARREGOINGTOTTHECCORDTOGETTOURWISSHARREYOUGGOINGTHERETTOOO?You nod simply, calling your swarmlings back to you as you consider how to reply. The Daughters take your silence and fill it with a follow-up of their own, moving towards the stairs to the surface and beckoning for you to follow.WWEWOULDLOVETTOHAVEYOUCOMEWITHUSBBUT…TTHISISKINDOFSSOMETHINGWEWANTTODOOURSELVESS. WWEHOOPEEYOURENOTTUPSETT?“No no, that’s perfectly understandable.” You say, breathing a sigh of relief. “I wish you the best of luck. Just, uh…be safe, alright?”Four smiles light up at you before leaning in close to yours, eight multi-colored eyes piercing into eyes.YYOUSHOULDFFINDGOODFRIENDSTOJOINTOGETHERWITTHSOYUOULLSTANDACHANCESHUWWEWILLWORRYABOUTYYOUUNTTILYOUDOIt nods sagely as it continues up the stairs and the two of you emerge into the murky, yellowed light of eternal day. Five arms wave at you as the creature opens the factory doors and slithers away at a ludicrous speed. You’re silently breathing a sigh of relief that you didn’t try and run away the first chance you got when your two allies emerge from hiding around the side of the factory. B’ni strides up to you on too-long legs, grinning at you as Gina trails languidly behind.“Nice one! Okay, down to business; the rain’s moved on and the skin-hills give way to some mountains a couple miles westward. We could try and cut through but it looks like there’s also a way around them further south. Either way, it looks like it’ll take a few hours to even make it to the mountains.”B’ni looks at you expectantly as Gina bobs her head along to a tune you can’t hear, headphones fastened firmly in place. You turn your gaze towards the rolling hills of mismatched flesh tones, barren in the wake of the corrosive downpour.>>”We’ll cut through the mountains. I’ll be relying on you to help Gina make her way when the going gets tough, my swarmlings will have the edge. Let's move.”>>”Let’s play it safe. It may be tiring but the long way around leaves us all viable in combat. We’ll just pace ourselves, no need to rush.”>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>3102299>”Let’s play it safe. It may be tiring but the long way around leaves us all viable in combat. We’ll just pace ourselves, no need to rush.”
>>3102299>”Let’s play it safe. It may be tiring but the long way around leaves us all viable in combat. We’ll just pace ourselves, no need to rush.”You know, I have to wonder what happens to those who refuse to head towards the Cord. Does the compulsion eat away at them until it becomes unbearable?
>>3102299>>”Let’s play it safe. It may be tiring but the long way around leaves us all viable in combat. We’ll just pace ourselves, no need to rush.”
>>3102299>>3102312>>3102342>>3102434"We haven't come this far by taking risk. It may be tiring but the long way around leaves us all viable in combat. We’ll just pace ourselves, no need to rush.”B'ni's nod is mirrored by Gina's shrug and with that, you're off, trudging along the hills and valleys of the fleshscape. Rolling pigments stretch before you bathed in the unearthly glow from the sunless sky, light filtered through the belly of an impossibly large beast, if you are to believe what you've heard from the likes of Doctor West.The three of you travel in relative silence for some time, your legs aching from the too-forgiving terrain underfoot. Hearing the shuffling of feet rushing up beside you, you turn and are surprised to see Gina running to your side, B'ni giving the two of you a respectable distance as she scans the horizon for trouble."Yo, I wanted to talk to you for a second." she says, quiet voice clipped and businesslike as she hangs the headphones around her neck. You nod, curious."Listen, I know I'm lagging behind you two and I want to make up for it. I never had the chance to really build up any strength or fighting skill even though I've been awake for longer than you two, so I feel like I'd just be dragging you both down unless I catch up.""I see what you mean." you reply, having a feeling you know what she's getting at. She seems unusually fidgety, and you get the feeling she's not a person used to asking for favors."The next thing we face, or fight, or whatever...listen, I just need to be able to fight on my own and get stronger. I need to be like you and B'ni, so I can go back and...I just want to be able to stand on my own, y'know?"She keeps her head turned down and away from you, keeping her eyeless sockets focused on the ground. >>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>3102447>"You want to get a little bite so your not all bark. Sure, were stronger together then apart, and that means all of us being strong and cared for, and cared by eachother, aswell." Smile "but im totally going to make you earn the hell out it though, so be prepared."
>>3102447>We'll step in if you need it, but otherwise you'll get your chance.
>>3102447>>3102494>>3102527"You want to get a little bite so you're not all bark, is that it?" you ask, and Gina responds with a simple nod."Gina, we're stronger together then apart, and that means all of us being strong and cared for, *all* of us. B'ni and I will step in if you need it, but you'll get your chance." You put a hand on her shoulder as you walk, and she turns her face towards you ever so lightly to where you can see her lips curved into a smile. You return a smile of your own."Fair warning, though...I'm totally going to make you earn the hell out it though, so be prepared."She chuckles lightly at your jab and returns it with a playfully light punch at your shoulder. "Thanks, Shu. I'll make sure I earn...wait. Hold the fuck up, stop."Gina throws her arm in front of you, your second mouth's lips bumping against the scrawny limb as her head twitches from side to side, listening intently. B'ni runs up behind the two of you and opens her mouth to speak before she is shushed by her friend, the shorter girl's ear cocked towards a misshapen set of hills a hundred meters off.It moves.You and your allies stumble back as you witness a hideous shape rise from the rolling mounds of skin, a behemoth centipede uncoiling segments that more resemble flesh-stripped skulls than chitinous joints. The head that turns in your direction is that of some sort of gigantic deer or moose, herbivorous teeth replaced with carnivorous knives, each scythe-like blade longer than your leg.The amalgam slings its head from side to side, ponderous legs flailing against the ground as it thrashes wildly. It screeches towards the heavens, mouth agape as its long, multi-tendriled tongue lashes out at the humid, choking air. It shudders once, then twice, and slowly turns.Empty, porous sockets aim at you and your team as it starts to lumber towards you, spasming as it approaches. HP: 100%BIO: 120% (1 Enhanced, 6 Simple, 2 Spylings, 9/10 Active. Ravenous maw at the ready.)ACT: 2/2Threat: Medium range, approaching. Agitated.B’ni HP: 100%GG HP: 100%YOU ARE IN CONTROL
(I will be resuming here shortly, Gentlemen. Thank you for participating and I will be back soon.)
>>3102621(It looks like tonight is a little slow, so I will stop here for the night until some actions come in. I will be updating when I can over the course of this week, so thank you for reading!)
>>3102619>Send in swarmlings and Bunny to hassle the thing, buy time for Gina to immobilize and beat it with her cords.
>>3102619>>3103047Supporting, hassle it without harming it to allow Gina to attack
>>3102619>>3103047This, use one swarmling to help Gina get a cord to the amalgam.
>>3102619>Aim to inject it with Ginas cords, aim for the front half more.>Get to high ground to better defend and scope out the area.>Jave B'ni aim for its front legs. It jas alot of legs but if its having to hold up its own front half itd gonna ve slowed down and weaker. Obviously do thos safely though, does have to be the front front legs first.
(Gentlemen, work has been difficult so I will be updating within the hour. Thank you for your patience and your readership.)
>>3102619“B’ni, go low! GG, you’re with me!”The moment the words escape your lips, a blur slips past you and closes the gap in an instant as B’ni’s inhuman legs carry her underneath the legs of the towering monstrosity. A second, silent command sends your swarmlings surging forth, stabbing wildly around the creature’s head. Your legs carry you up a close hill as Gina scrambles to keep up, a strand of neuro-fillament rising from her arm. A spare swarmling darts down and plucks the strand from the air, keeping it at the ready as you survey the full scope of the largest amalgam you’ve seen so far.B’ni races between its legs, taking swipes at its massive limbs with her bladed ones when the creature aims its girth at you and attempts to charge, heedless of the stinging swarm around its head. Your lone swarmling reels a jack from Gina’s arm and aims at the back of the creature’s neck, its aim true as the beast closes the gap between the two of you. The jack punctures flesh and with a strobe of amethyst bioluminescence along the strand, Gina freezes the hulking beast in its tracks as she laughs in relief.“Yes! Hell yeah, I…” Gina starts, her smile faltering as her expression of joy is replaced with one of confusion. “…no, something’s wrong. It’s dying, i-it’s losing biomass so fast, like it’s just disappearing into a void that…oh God. Who the hell is…”A figure steps out of the beast.(Continued)
>>3104369You watch as a girl emerges from the amalgam’s skull, striding calmly out of the creature’s face and onto its skeletal beak, leaving behind a slender, humanoid hole from whence she emerged. Extremely short blonde hair frames an angelic face as bright blue eyes bore into your own. She smiles, crossing one leg behind another and putting her hands behind her back, her attempt at what you assume to be disarming behavior subverted by the undulating, onyx-black armor that writhes across her lithe form, covering every inch of skin from the neck down. Silver strands of some fine, fibrous material hover over her head, forming a reflective halo of unknown material.B’ni is at the base of the hill, trying to stay out of sight under the paralyzed girth of the amalgam while sizing up the Daughter that stands before you, as the Daughter does the same to you and Gina.She gives a little wave with her hand as she leans back, further and further until she simply falls backwards. The creature’s skin and bone gives way as easily as air as she phases through, plummeting through muscle and emerging from lower jaw for an instant before disappearing into the field of skin below. Gina’s focus snaps to the ground beneath your feet, tracking an unseen adversary. “Her heart rate spiked, she’s trying to ambush us through the ground.” She says, watching the subterranean threat as it loops around behind you. ShuVS The Angelic EnigmaHP: 100%BIO: 120% (1 Enhanced, 6 Simple, 2 Spylings, 9/10 Active. Ravenous maw at the ready.)ACT: 2/2Threat: Medium range, approaching. Agitated.B’ni HP: 100%GG HP: 100%YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>3104376This isn't looking good, she's got a bizarre and OP seeming ability. Start moving, force all our swarmlings to land and move around too as decoys. Climb onto what remains of the corpse, have Bunny and Gina ready to strike as soon as she surfaces.
>>3104376Acid swarm land mines
So, this one seems to have at least the ability to dissolve, disintegrate or, through some other means, pass through matter. Unknown if limited purely to organic matter, but it doesn't make a difference in our current situation. So, general weaknesses of such powers:First off, she cannot see while submerged in material; it is physically impossible. She needs some other means of acquiring her targets that functions through solid, opaque objects. Some possibilities include echolocation, probably via sonar or radar; or a data feed from an external sensor, likely mounted on a hidden drone. Whatever the case, the means can generally be foiled somehow, reducing her to taking blind pot shots or exposing herself more to visually spot targets.Which leads to the second point: she has to expose herself eventually. Though this one may be less of a factor depending on the mechanism by which she dissolves matter, she should generally have to leave some part of herself unaffected by her dissolution aura at any one time.The reasons may differ. Perhaps she needs to deactivate the swarm of flesh-eating nanobiomachines on the soles of her feet to walk on solid ground. Maybe she needs to selectively reduce the potency of her acidic mucous membrane while propelling herself through or out of the ground in order to achieve the desired direction. Generally speaking, the inside of her body will be vulnerable, as she needs physical contact with the air in order to breathe - which also means she will probably surface from time to time, though likely only at safe distances from us.Of course, these are all assumptions; it's quite possible that her ability is exceptional and does not suffer either of these shortcomings. But I imagine trying to feel them out would be a good starting point for how to defeat the Enigma.This being the case, and bearing in mind our earlier promise to Gina, I would say:>>3104376>Repurpose Drill swarmlings. They hit hard, and are noisy if that turns out to be useful, but are susceptible to being dissolved.>Repurpose Acidic swarmlings. They also hit hard, and may be able to cause damage even upon being destroyed.>Have B'ni move around, rapidly and loudly away from us, while we stay in place. See how that affects the Enigma's movements.>Have GG watch the Enigma's movements, physically pointing it out whenever possible. Have her work out the puzzle of how to foil its ability. We've got her back; this is her fight.
>>3104382This, but my only concern is she can probably "dig"through the corpse just as fast as the flesh ground, climbing it wont do much but at best add a second or two.Also it may be better to double up the swarmlings, so if she does go after one, the second can get an atrack in.
>>3104517Second or two is better than nothing, and like wall of text anon said, she senses our location somehow. Corpse could mess with that, and it's big enough that we have plenty of room to move.
>>3104376>>3104516>>3104517>>3104520>>3104550You single out two swarmlings closest to you and twist their bodies into more destructive variants, your recent upgrade infusing two of them with drill and acid simultaneously as they mutate into far more useful vectors of your will."Gina, you're the only one that can warn us when she's about to attack." you say to the back of her hood, "Point to where she is and give me a thumb's up when she's about to strike, and...listen, this is the most important thing."Gina actually turns to face you, at this, clearly tense as she focuses on you for a brief moment."We have your back, B'ni and I both, got it? Only you can see this girl, only you can figure out how to beat her. You got this."Gina seems taken aback, her focus shifting back towards the location of the Daughter as she points to a spot at the base of the hill, a spot that is rapidly approaching your location. Your two enhanced swarmlings hover close and land on your shoulders at the same moment you wave to catch B'ni's attention, directing her to circle around with a flick of your hand. She's off immediately, racing along the ground to draw the Enigma's attention. Gina's hand stops, and starts tracking the figure as it turns to intercept B'ni's trajectory. You open your mouth to warn your ally when the ground erupts in front of her. B'ni kicks back and flings out a kick, catching the girl in the right side of the face with a greave of slashing bone. The Daughter's light frame is somehow only thrown off course slightly and she lands just short of where B'ni does, slamming into the ground. She rises to face B'ni, body surging with a bulkier version of the shifting jet black armor you saw just a few moments before with the same bemused expression, though with the armor having crept up to the sides of her face.B'ni settles into a combat stance when you see her glance back at her greave. You follow her gaze to find half of the calcium armor eaten away, slim black worms writhing along the surface and dropping off, chunks of the boot still in their mouths as the wither and die. B'ni kicks off the boot and summons a fresh one, the other girl's cheek armor shifting down to her collarbone, ivory shards being sucked into the suit as you watch.Your eyes are on her collar when her eyes flicker to yours. Her unchanging expression is enveloped by the suit as she slips back beneath the fleshscape, B'ni trying and failing to close the gap with a leaping, newly-armored kick. Gina's face goes pale as she grabs your sleeve and turns to run."Oh shit, she's coming right at us, Shu!"HP: 100%BIO: 104% (3 Enhanced, 4 Simple, 2 Spylings, 9/10 Active. Ravenous maw at the ready.)ACT: 2/2Threat: Medium range, rapidly approaching.B’ni HP: 97%GG HP: 100%YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>3105098(Apologies for the wait, Gentlemen. Work has been unusually unforgiving as of late, but I will strive to update every day until this weekend. Thank you for your patience and for participating.)
Not gonna vote yet, but I'm gonna propose something: Aim for the fucking halo.
>>3105098Ok, tiny parasites. Acid should work, drills will just get eaten. Run for now, leave acid drones where you were as decoys. Make more acids as you run and send them after her.
>>3105098Seconding. We might even be able to fool her super well if she locates us by vibrations simply by B'ni not running at top speed + our drones. Basically, if we can dodge her for this one, we can turn catching us into a shell game. And you know how a good shell game operates...>>3105188Intriguing.
>>3105301>>3105098Er, seconding >>3105200
>>3105109(No worries, OP. Thank you for taking the time to run this awesome quest for us, we appreciate your dedication. Just keep doing what you're doing!)
>>3105200This sounds good, seconding.Basically acid bomb decoy her, its our best bet for now. I have a feeling she will get privy to the idea sooner then we hope though.
>>3105098Use the tongue to shoot away at last second leave acid bombs behind.
>>3105098>>3105188decoy swarmling acid bomb. Followed by a second one that hovers above said decoy. The first one is to blind her face while the second one goes for the real target: Her reflective Halo. If said tactic isn't fast enough, My alternative would be to try and have all the swarmlings latch on to both Gina and Shu and beat their wings hard and fast enough for both girls to kick off the ground for an enhanced jump/hover while a narrow miss would auto-proc Ravenous Maw. Hopefully the Maw would aim for the Halo.Also BodyHorrorOP: Are you the same QM that runs JokerQuest?
>>3105200(Gentlemen, presuming this to be the actions Shu will take, how shall you direct your allies this turn?)>>3105909(Regarding your question, no, I am not. I appreciate the mistaken identity, but I feel as though I am nowhere near his level. I simply add the YOU ARE IN CONTROL as a bit of a homage.)
>>3106044Gina will just get her cords eaten so she dodges. Have Bunny ferry around our acid swarmlings, it might confuse this enigma girl.
>>3106044What >>3106080 said>>3106044At least you're not SOMINUS
>>3106087Careful, you'll motivate him to run again. He's very proud of his status as qst boogeyman.
>>3105098You seize Gina’s hand in yours and start running towards the hollowed-out behemoth, leaving two acid drones behind on the ground. You spawn another vicious swarmling and send it flying overhead to B’ni’s side as her double-jointed legs carry her up the hill and after your subterranean foe.Mid-run, you slip behind Gina and charge, scooping her up in a bridal carry. She yelps as you surge forwards, trusting your years of track and field to carry you across the gap to hollowed ground. You leap, heart in your throat when you hang in open air for an eternal second as the sounds of Gina’s scream, exploding swarmlings, and the skin terrain behind you being torn open mix into a surreal cacophony.The two of you collapse in a heap on the rough-hewn bone of the colossal skull, Gina struggling to right herself as you find yourself watching a flurry of movement in the space you just occupied. The Enigma stands in full armor, the acid from the swarmlings you left behind sloughing off sheet after sheet of glossy black worms that dissolve at her feet, regenerating frantically. The silver halo still hangs above her head, emanating a low flicker that serves as the only warning for when B’ni leaps skyward and brings her greave down in a guillotine’s arc aimed squarely at cleaving halo and head in a single stroke.You imagine that both you and B'ni wear the same expression when the latter's leg is suddenly held fast in the Enigma's grip, her arm twisted at an impossible angle. The smaller girl's frame belies a savage strength as she slings B'ni like a rag doll to face her, landing one, two, three bone-shattering punches to B'ni's ribs. The sickening crunch of B'ni's ribs failing causes Gina to yell her name, her sightless eyes unable to witness the Enigma flinging B'ni off the hill like a discarded toy.She took the hit to give you the opening you needed. Your third swarmling, the one that had lurked behind B'ni and in your foe's blind spot, explodes above the glimmering halo, showering it in a rain of corrosion. The auto-reactive armor shields your foe from a lethal payload, but her halo fails to be absorbed in time as you see the slim, spider-like strands that supported it fall away, the Halo's delicate workings completely destroyed.B'ni draws a weak, gurgling breath as she rises to her feet, returned to the base of the hill by the Enigma's counter attack. The blonde girl's armor recedes from her face, smile still frozen on her lips as she giggles and settles into a boxer's stance, her cold blue eyes piercing into yours.HP: 100%BIO: 96% (4 Simple, 2 Spylings, 6/10 Active. Ravenous maw at the ready.)ACT: 2/2Threat: Medium, focused.B’ni HP: 52%GG HP: 100%YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>3106187HER THREAT LEVEL SEEMS WAY HIGHER THAN MEDIUMKeep focusing on evasion, aim for her head but really distract her since a bare head is now vulnerable to Gina and her cords
>>3106187Focus on avoiding melee. Otherwise, make two acids to go in for an attack, but their main focus is distraction. While they do that, have one swarmling grab one of ginas cords and send it forward, waiting for an opening to plunge it into her head, probably come in from behind but whatever works.Once stunned, either our surviving swarmlings swoop in, or b'ni gets some revenge. Or both.
>>3106187These >>3106232 >>3106255
>>3106187>>3106232>>3106255You help Gina to her feet, putting yourself between her and the girl that mercilessly beat your other comrade. A quick hop carries the blonde boxer to the skull with you, the head of the beast sagging under the sudden weight of her shifting onyx carapace. You whisper a request to Gina, bumping her away from you to safer footing by backing into her gently, putting up your hands in the best guard stance you can manage. Shining black slugs swarm over your foe’s face and head, the girl’s bared teeth disappearing underneath a sleek, writhing mask, her azure gaze barely exposed.A double-tap of a heartbeat thrums through you once, twice, then…she comes for you. Two quick right jabs aimed at your head force you to stumble back, and you shift your balance on the fly, throwing your stomach back and away from a raking swipe from her right arm, slicing empty air where your torso was merely a moment before. Two fresh, acid laden swarmlings tear themselves free of your spine and arc around your sides, a simultaneous assault to keep her focus squarely on you. She matches your backwards steps with two quick back hops of her own, a quick succession of a left and right hook slapping your swarmlings off to either side, their detonations spraying corrosion along her back and sides. The air sings with sizzling flesh as she throws another haymaker, and you go low, ducking into…You hear a crack as your vision snaps skyward, blazing white pulsing in your field of vision as you become dimly aware that you’ve been hit.(Continued)
>>3106428Your senses of taste and smell are overwhelmed with a flood of pennies and gasoline, struggling to remain upright as the metallic tang of blood causes your distorted vision to warp further. You feel something in your chest pop when her other fist slams into you, sending you stumbling back, doubled over as you struggle to catch your breath. Dragging in a raspy breath, cohesive shapes and colors start to bleed back into your reality as the Enigma bounces back and forth, readying herself for another combo to finish you and move on to your allies.She giggles from within her motile fortress as you pull yourself together, preparing yourself for another punishing attempt to buy time for your allies. A glance over your foe’s left shoulder reveal B’ni scrambling up the hill, almost to the ledge you leapt off earlier. Gina is in position somewhere behind you, a lone swarmling hanging back, just under the jawline of the creature that is serving as an impromptu boxing ring as your creation clutches a pulsing jack in its claws, ready to strike.You know that one combo is enough to finish this.The only question is which of you will get theirs off first.HP: 73%BIO: 80% (4 Simple, 2 Spylings, 6/10 Active. Ravenous maw at the ready.)ACT: 2/2Threat: Medium, focused.B’ni HP: 52%GG HP: 100%YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>3106440>Feint an attack to get her to move her in- then actually use that tounge/stomach of ours and YOSHI her.
>>3106440Simultaneous three-way attack. Send two swarmlings at her, while B'ni comes in from another angle with a flying kick and your other swarmling comes in from another side with the jack. If it looks like the Enigma is going to run away, use your massive tongue to grapple her (and get ready to bite it off when her worms start devouring it. The tongue is a last resort, be prepared to take one for the team in order to take her down.).
>>3106440Could we entangle one of her legs with our tongue and try to make her fall to the ground?Make two more acid bugs though and throw them at her. And hope our allies finish her off
>>3106440Have our swarmlings go for her eyes as we feint a retreat. As she comes for us, spit out our stomach tongue for a hard smack into her, grabbing her if possible. The worms will eat at us, but it may be enough time for us to jab the cord into her, and/or for b'ni to come in with a deadly blow.Id help of we could spill some more scid on her to make absolutely certain we get an opening for the cord, but im not sure we have the time nor actions to rely on that. Still, if spawning one wont distract from our other actions, a one two punch of acid then cord in the hole would be our best bet once the distractions and grapple or knock back do their work.
>>3106440dedicate all to grappling and pinning her. Use the maw to pin her between your jaws but don’t swallow. use your swarmlings to pin and drill her limbs to the floor in need be.tldr use 1 act to send all the drones (the one holding Gina’s jack to aim at the back of her head) to pin her while Shu readies the maw for a counter grapple. Once Gina has her jack inserted into the angel, it’s up to her to mentally subdue her while shu and B’ni work on pinning and restraining her long enough for Gina to do her thing.
>>3106440Ok, if we're taking blows this isn't so bad. I thought that worm armor of hers would instant eat any part of us it touched. Yeah, back away a bit more to play up the no CQC impression, then tongue grab and execution jaw. Should be fast enough to overwhelm her armor.
(Gentlemen, I will be arriving back home within the hour and resuming shortly thereafter. Thank you for participating, and I look forward to this duel's conclusion.)
>>3106440Two more enhanced swarmlings rip free of your back and surge forwards, your foe dashing at them as she focuses her armor at the front of her body, tanking the bursts of acid as your swarmlings are detonated and consumed by her armor in an instant. The acrid smell of rot hits you at the same time two quick jabs collapse twice as many ribs with an excruciating lance of pain, the wind knocked out of you by a one-two punch of savage strikes and a punctured lung. You fall backwards, the Enigma's thinning armor focused on the front of her body, focused on you. Her first and last mistake.Your swarmling strikes true, stabbing forwards with one of Gina's glowing cords directly into the girl's exposed lower back. Your tongue lashes out a half-second later, catching the slowed girl completely by surprise as she is yanked forwards. Somehow, impossibly, she still stands, Gina visibly straining to subdue an opponent of unreasonably strong will as she fights manipulation both physical and mental. "B'ni, do it now!" Gina yells between gritted teeth.From behind your restrained foe, two leaps carry B'ni to you, one from the ledge to the beast's jaw, another from the jaw to the air, ivory scythe shining as she brings it down in a brutal arc.The cut is clean, precise, and critically perfect.B'ni lands beside the Enigma, drawing in a rattling, pained breath as the shining onyx slugs comprising the armor slough off to the ground, glittering bodies falling away to reveal a slim, muscular girl, powerful in a wiry way. Even now, her smile does not falter, her inhumanly blue eyes locked with yours as a crimson line glistens around her neck, a ruby choker, beautiful and terrifying in its meaning.Her head lands in your lap, outstretched hands cradling it as her body collapses among the remains of her armor.She's still smiling, in the end.>>Combat CeasedHP: 57%BIO: 64% (4 Simple, 2 Spylings, 6/10 Active. Ravenous maw at the ready.)ACT: 2/2Threat: Medium, focused.B’ni HP: 52%GG HP: 100%YOU ARE IN CONTROL
Honestly? Kind of a shame. I enjoy a good old fashioned, straightforward punchup. She was fun after she got out of the beast she made....Ah well. B'ni gets the arms, we get the head, GG gets the torso? I dunno who gets the legs. I mean, fuck.
...Wait, she IS dead, right?
>>3106873Me too, then B'ni decided to crit twice in a row. I poured myself a drink, finished it, then decided to roll with it.
>>3106864I am 100% sure that GG gets the fancy halo mutation. B'ni gets better manipulation of her Calcite Greaves/speed to go full landshark, and Shu can give her Drones the Onyx swarmling ability. Lets divy up the treasure shall we?>Collapse onto the ground and Smile at GG and B'ni>"Well That was a bit of a doozy. But damn did it work out. You sure pulled your weight there. Your sensory abilities and mental manipulation to freeze her up once you jacked-in gave us the winning edge. B'ni, you did also good. You were there when we needed you to deal the final blow."
>>3106909Yeah, this works.
>>3106864Let Gina have her first spoils of victory with a pat on the back, as you and B'ni heal up and feast on the monster corpse or another source of biomass.
>>3106864>Well, anyone want that freak in their head?
>>3106878She was decapitated; but then again, given the forms of some of the things we've seen, it wouldn't be surprising if we eventually faced off against something that could survive that.>>3106864Congratulate GG and B'ni, and check if B'ni is alright after eating those hits.Also, remember to treat the defeated with respect. We didn't judge those school girls for their mutated appearance; we shouldn't begrudge those who attack us for what they've been driven in madness to do.Unless, you know, we eat them and they turn out to be assholes in our heads as well. Then we begrudge them for being assholes.
>>3106864You sit up on the ground, your second mouth reeling in its tongue as your wipe your face with the back of your hand, leaving a bloody streak across it. Gina rushes forward and helps to stabilize B'ni as she rises shakily to her feet, shaking a little after delivering the executioner's blow. You take in a slightly easier breath, you body stitching itself back together, slowly bit surely. Your vision clearing, you turn your attention to the two girls."Jesus...that was a bit of a doozy. But damn did it work out. And Gina?"She inclines her head towards you, B'ni smiling down at the shorter girl as she leans on her for support."You won us that fight, GG. I'm serious. Your froze her up once you jacked-in and gave B'ni the winning edge. Nicely done, both of you."Gina smiles sheepishly, B'ni patting her on the back lightly as she echoes your praise. You look down at the remains of the girl you fought, considering her sightless gaze for a moment before gently placing her head alongside her sprawled form."Gina? You wanted to get stronger." you ask, straining as you shift your legs to a kneeling position, "Here's your chance."She steps away from her friend, walking slowly, carefully over to the corpse. She kneels, feeling along the back, the shoulders, and the neck, before locating the disembodied head and picking it up with one hand, and studying the features with a light caress of the other. B'ni walks over to you and kneels between you both, sharing a glance with you as you both lay a hand on the body.To the victors, the spoils.>>SHU LEVEL UP>>B'NI LEVEL UP>>GG LEVEL UP(Continued)
>>3106983>>GG LEVEL UPCHOOSE *TWO* OF THE FOLLOWING>>HEALTH>>BIOMASS>>NEUROMANCER>>CONSUMEB'NI LEVEL UPCHOOSE *TWO* OF THE FOLLOWING>>HEALTH>>BIOMASS>>DOGGED SPRINTER>>CALCITE GREAVES>>CONSUMESHU LEVEL UPCHOOSE *TWO* OF THE FOLLOWING>>HEALTH>>BIOMASS>>SWARMLING>>RAVENOUS MAW>>CONSUMEYOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>3106994GG:>NEUROMANCER>CONSUMEImprove her current abilities and give her some new toys to work with.B'ni>CALCITE GREAVES>CONSUMEGreaves seem a good all-around upgrade for her. Not as certain on the second choice, but I'd like to see what she can get off the Enigma. The armor, perhaps?Shu>SWARMLING>RAVENOUS MAWKeep improving what we've got. Swarmling is a given, and I believe we were hoping to upgrade that tongue to a ranged weapon/support of some kind.
>>3106994>GG: NEUROMANCER/CONSUME (all the cool gear. Backline support)>B'NI: HEALTH/DOGGED SPRINTER(She's getting hit a LOT, she needs a health boost, people.)>SHU: HEALTH/BIOMASS(Also gets hit a lot, need to give her more biomass to spawn swarmlings.)
(Gentlemen, I will close voting in 30 minutes.)
>>3107035Meh, close enough to what I want.
>>3106994GG: NEUROMANCER/CONSUME SELECTEDNEUROMANCER (Lvl 2): Gina's synaptic cords have now been strengthened both in durability and efficacy. The far more damage-resistant cords now allow her to tap into the environment and cause small-scale disturbances in the surrounding fleshscape that she is plugged into, such as creating cover, disrupting enemy balance, and creating safe zones in otherwise treacherous terrain to name but a few examples of what she is now capable of. Unfortunately, the ability to minimally terraform is limited by both the length of the cord and the necessity for the user to remain connected to ensure the fleshscape stays altered, as a sudden disconnect results in the terrain shifting violently back to its natural form though this, too, could prove advantageous.CONSUME (Selection to Follow)B'NI:HEALTH/ CALCITE GREAVES SELECTEDHEALTH (Lvl 2): B'ni's maximum health has now been increased by 20%. Additionally, she now passively regenerates 2% HP per turn in combat as her fight-or-flight response triggers an increased passive consumption and refinement of ambient biomass, allowing her increased survivability.CALCITE GREAVES (Lvl 2): Skater's blades have shifted into deadly scythes that rake up the back of B'ni's calves when the Greaves are active, considerably increasing her overall damage and critical hit chances. Additionally, the greaves have evolved well past being mere boots of bone and marrow as the blade has developed a biomass refinement system all its own. By slicing into biomass-corrupted terrain, the greaves' blades will allow the user to skate at high speed across both horizontal and vertical surfaces while moving, though they lack the grip to make forays on walls and ceilings anything more permanent than a single move action. However, B'ni's vastly expanded range of movement now grants her no end of options on both on and off the battlefield.SHU: CONSUME/SWARMLING SELECTEDCONSUME: (Selections to Follow)SWARMLING (Lvl 5): THERE IS A CHOICE TO BE MADE(Continued)
>>3107147>neuromancy can temporarily terraform the fleshscapeWell I'll be damned if that wasn't a really cool power.
>>3107147GG - CONSUMECHOOSE ONE>>ENIGMATIC FAULT: Gina's skin now possesses a subtler variant of what the Enigma's suit was capable of, allowing her to utilize her turn to merge with ambient biomass and integrate with the terrain, virtually removing her from danger and allowing her to play a strictly supportive role in combat. While submerged, she gains a sort of tremor-based visual map of the area and can relay this to you by extending her jacks through the ground or simply by keeping part of her body exposed for verbal communication, though the drawbacks to this are obvious. However, this also amplifies the power of her battlefield manipulation techniques while simultaneously extending their range, all the while she is safe and sound in a hole that was made for her.>>NEUROTIC HALO: Gina may now summon a compact and extremely delicate halo array, an incredibly complex device that is only usable by Daughters that either posses or have consumed the Neuromancer archetype. Essentially functioning as a second and highly specialized brain, the Neurotic Halo takes a considerable amount of time to weave the disembodied synapses into a usable array, but in return it offers incredible abilities that continue to grow as the user devotes time and Biomass to its repeated creation. Currently, two main functions are available; the first allowing the holder to detect and react perfectly to a single attack and inflict an immediate critical hit upon the aggressor, forcing the user's body to react with speed and direction that would be otherwise impossible. The second grants the user extremely enhanced perception over a wide area, allowing them to utilize visual, auditory, vibrational, and neurological data to gather a full understanding of the world around them at all times, through chaotic situations with multiple adversaries may prove disorienting to the uninitiated.(Continued)
>>3107239SHU - CONSUMECHOOSE ONE>>CHITINOUS STALWART: taking inspiration from the Chevalier, Shu now has the ability to generate swarmlings that form a sort interlocking armor plating. Expending 80% BIO crafts an incredible resilient and intimidating suit of slate grey and emerald green chitin, whose pool of BIO serves as both damage buffer and swarmling generator. You may also choose to enhance parts of the suit, allowing varying armor pieces to grow brutal drills that deliver a corrosive payload upon either defensive or offensive impact, though a clever strategist may find further uses for the adaptable fortress. Additionally, you may draw on the biomass that comprises the suit to generate the swarmling classes you have access to, though this naturally reduces the efficacy of the armor, in turn.>>SUBCUTANEOUS SURGE: your swarmlings are warped into a form similar to that of the Enigma's grotesque menagerie, their sleek black shells and darkened wings a menacing prelude to their new abilities. Your swarmlings may now tunnel through the fleshscape, moving slowly but surely to advantageous positions that enable surprise attacks and techniques that were previously impossible to your air-bound creations. YOU ARE IN CONTROL(Swarmling upgrade selection to follow after this choice)
i say>>ENIGMATIC FAULTand>>SUBCUTANEOUS SURGEthis kinda keeps us in the sort or roles weve been playing i think
>>3107239>>NEUROTIC HALOSounds too fun to pass up.>>3107243>CHITINOUS STALWARTFUCK IT. We suck at melee but lets make hurting us in melee a living hell for our enemies.
>>3107239>in a hole that was made for her.Fuck you I see what you did there. >ENIGMATIC FAULTand>SUBCUTANEOUS SURGE
>>3107243>ENIGMATIC FAULT>SUBCUTANEOUS SURGE
>>3107239>ENIGMATIC FAULT: Gina's skin now possesses a subtler variant of what the Enigma's suit was capable of, allowing her to utilize her turn to merge with ambient biomass and integrate with the terrain, virtually removing her from danger and allowing her to play a strictly supportive role in combat. While submerged, she gains a sort of tremor-based visual map of the area and can relay this to you by extending her jacks through the ground or simply by keeping part of her body exposed for verbal communication, though the drawbacks to this are obvious. However, this also amplifies the power of her battlefield manipulation techniques while simultaneously extending their range, all the while she is safe and sound in a hole that was made for her.>>3107243>CHITINOUS STALWART: taking inspiration from the Chevalier, Shu now has the ability to generate swarmlings that form a sort interlocking armor plating. Expending 80% BIO crafts an incredible resilient and intimidating suit of slate grey and emerald green chitin, whose pool of BIO serves as both damage buffer and swarmling generator. You may also choose to enhance parts of the suit, allowing varying armor pieces to grow brutal drills that deliver a corrosive payload upon either defensive or offensive impact, though a clever strategist may find further uses for the adaptable fortress. Additionally, you may draw on the biomass that comprises the suit to generate the swarmling classes you have access to, though this naturally reduces the efficacy of the armor, in turn.full bio-mecha
>>3107239Enigmatic Fault>>3107243Subcutaneous Surge
>>3107239>NEUROTIC HALOStage 1: Receive neurological data.Stage 2: Transmit neurological data.Stage 3: Overwrite neurological data.Stage 4: Become God.Probably not, but I can honestly see this developing into stronger support abilities than Enigmatic Fault.>CHITINOUS STALWART: taking inspiration from the Chevalier, Shu now has the ability to generate swarmlings that form a sort interlocking armor plating. Expending 80% BIO crafts an incredible resilient and intimidating suit of slate grey and emerald green chitin, whose pool of BIO serves as both damage buffer and swarmling generator. You may also choose to enhance parts of the suit, allowing varying armor pieces to grow brutal drills that deliver a corrosive payload upon either defensive or offensive impact, though a clever strategist may find further uses for the adaptable fortress. Additionally, you may draw on the biomass that comprises the suit to generate the swarmling classes you have access to, though this naturally reduces the efficacy of the armor, in turn.Subcutaneous Surge is awkward for the same reason that the Enigma was forced above ground when we destroyed her halo - the swarmlings will be blind while burrowing, which limits their usefulness.
>>3107239>Neurotic Halo looks too fun to pass up on. >>3107243>Chitinous StalwartSHIELDLINGS. SHIELD-LINGS FOR SHU, SHIELDLINGS FOR GG, SHIELDLINGS FOR B'NIMore bug variants!
(Voting to close in 15 minutes, Gentlemen.)
>>3107327(I'll give it another 10 minutes, the voting is very close.)
>>3107239>>3107243>NEUROTIC HALO>CHITINOUS STALWART
(We have a tie, it seems. Next post decides it, or you may comment 'dice' for random chance to decide.)
>>3107271>>3107425I'll change to >HALOand >STALWART.I was waffling on my decisions anyway. No biggie.
>>3107243(Dice Decided)>>GG - NEUROTIC HALO SELECTED>>SHU - CHITINOUS STALWART SELECTED>>Sw@rml!ng Lv)5(; tH!$i$th&w@ythew0r!deNdsYour experimentally summon forth three simple swarmlings, a single idea in your mind as you do so. They emerge after a minor struggle from your back, angular and flattened as they fly to your neck, crawling along before locking into place. You turn towards your allies, a crude mask covering both nose and mouth. B'ni stops testing her wickedly curved blades and turns to look at you, stifling a laugh."What?" you ask, as she covers her mouth. She finally stops chuckling enough to reply in a gruff, strange tone."No one cared who I was until I put on the mask." she says, snickering. Gina immediately follows up."You're a big bug." she says with a grin."FOR YOU." B'ni growls back as you scowl."Okay, first off, fuck you guys." The two of them burst into laughter as you dismiss the swarmlings, the three of them flying off as you can't help but crack a smile."Whew, okay...heh, where do we go from now, guys?" Gina asks, fiddling with the gossamer strands forming a cat's cradle in her hands, her violet-toned jacks assisting her in the effort. B'ni turns to you, shrugging. Glancing westward, your higher viewpoint atop the hollowed amalgam granting you a clear line of sight along the wastes, several miles of open plain disappearing around the unnaturally sharp edges of the cliff sides, obscuring further view. The mountains loom before you, though a narrow path through the treacherous cliffs has revealed itself to you, otherwise hidden to a cursory observation.>>"Let's keep moving around the mountains. I still don't trust the cliffs, and having a wider range of vision keeps us from getting surprised.">>"Gina, if you can get the Halo working and if B'ni's comfortable with her new boots, we have all we need to have an edge in the mountains. Let's cut through.">>We can rest here for a while. We stock up, rest up, then head out after. Sound good?"YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>3107491>We can rest here for a while. We stock up, rest up, then head out after. And play with our new powers for a bit. Sound good?>other: Take shelter in the corpse.
>>3107491>We can rest here for a while. We stock up, rest up, then head out after. Sound good?"Don't see any reason to push ourselves when some of us are injured.>>Sw@rml!ng Lv)5(; tH!$i$th&w@ythew0r!deNds>tH!$i$th&w@ythew0r!deNds>this is the way the world endsUh.
>>3107491Well with that lv 5 greentext I don't think there's time for rest>"Gina, if you can get the Halo working and if B'ni's comfortable with her new boots, we have all we need to have an edge in the mountains. Let's cut through."
>>3107491>>>"Gina, if you can get the Halo working and if B'ni's comfortable with her new boots, we have all we need to have an edge in the mountains. Let's cut through."
>>3107491Adding to >>3107522>We'll rest at the foot of the mountains. Before we go in.
>>We can rest here for a while. We stock up, rest up, then head out after. Sound good?"
>>3107491>We can rest here for a while. We stock up, rest up, then head out after. Sound good?"Well that level 5 swarmling text isn't worrisome at all.
(Gentlemen, I will be pausing here for the evening. Thank you so much for your time and participation, and I look forward to continuing tomorrow. If you have any suggestions, questions, or just stuff you'd like to throw out there, I welcome you to do so. Thanks again and take care of yourselves.)
>>3107623If 4chan is unbroke, I wanna ask if we sense how far away the cord is, or just the direction?
>>3107623Nice krekk pic.
>>3107491>>We can rest here for a while. We stock up, rest up, then head out after. Sound good?"Dat swarmling text tho. one day everyone on the planet shall be our little swarmlings. Two down, a few million to go.
>>3107808(All the Daughters can sense is the direction, at the current time.)
(Thank you for your patience, Gentlemen. Work is hectic this season but I plan to have a sizable update posted withing the next few hours or so.)
>>3108340Take your time, I work 10 hour shifts so I understand.
>>3107491“We can stop here for a while. We stock up, rest up, then we head for that gap in the mountains. Screw it, let’s play around a little with our powers a bit, too. We have biomass to spare with THIS thing.” You say, tapping the creature’s skull with your heel.Gina gives you a thumb’s up from within a complex weave of gossamer thread as she starts trotting down the hill, intently focused on her task. B’ni glides over to you on scythes of bone, stopping before you like an ice skater to study your face up close. Her brow furrows and before you can ask her what’s wrong, she deftly tears a strip of cloth from the side of her shirt and licks her thumb. You open your mouth to speak before she lifts your chin with two delicate fingers, dabbing your face with her moistened thumb and gingerly wiping the dried blood that IS caked on your nose and mouth.“Hey, how’re you holding up after all that?” she asks, clearing the grit and grime from your face as you crack a smile, the muscles in your face aching at the effort.“I’m not the one that got thrown off a freaking hill. I’m fine, HOW are you?”She shrugs a little, licking THE reddened tip of her finger again before resuming her task.“Yeah, I just…I’m sorry you got hurt. I tried to get up to you as fast as I could, but I…”“Hey now, hold it.” You say, interrupting her as you take hold of her wrists firmly. “B’ni, you’re great. Gina and I think the WORLD of you and we wouldn’t be here right now if it weren’t for you…but it’s not all on you, okay?”“I know, just…” B’ni pauses, freeing her hands from your grasp as she rubs the side of her left arm, biting her lip lightly before she continues. “…Shu, these are the most people I’ve ever had. Before the world ended, I wasn’t…I just didn’t ‘click’ with a lot of people, you know? I came on too strong or whatever and they didn’t like that, but now there’s you, and Gina, and I can’t afford to lose that, yeah? Not now, not with the world like it is. D-does that make sense?”“Yeah, it does.” You say, taking a step forwards and staring into the other girl’s shining eyes. “I also want you to know that it’s not a burden for you to shoulder alone. If we’re gonna get through all this, all of us are going to contribute. So chin up, okay? We’re in this together until it ENDS, okay?”She nods, smiling weakly at you. Your wordlessly nod down the hill and she returns your gesture in kind, the two of you rejoining Gina underneath the amalgam’s lifeless husk.(Continued)
>>3108946“I second everything that Shu said, by the way.” Gina says as you and B’ni rejoin her. “We have each other’s backs.”“Hey, no listening in, you snoop!” B’ni says, only half joking as her cheeks flood with red. Gina sticks out her tongue, returning to the semi-circular form that she weaves between dexterous fingers as she sits, leaning against a single massive, stump-like leg. You take her cue, walking over and sliding down to sit next to her, watching idly as the halo slowly takes proper shape. B’ni stretches her legs before settling into a sprinter’s stance and speaking to you both over her shoulder.“Hey you two, I’m going to test these babies out and scout a bit, so I’ll be back in a little while, ‘kay?”“Just don’t venture too far, alright?” you reply to her back, and in that instant she’s off, skating along the fleshscape, a dark-haired blur in the pale, skin-tone light. A peal of laughter can be heard from the girl as she speeds off, and Gina chuckles to herself."Glad to see the end of the world didn't take the light out of her..." she says, turning towards you, allowing the half-finished halo to rest in her lap, "...and what about you, Shu?"You raise an eyebrow. "What about me?"Gina shrugs, her hood continuing her habit of showing only part of her face. "How are you holding up? I'm not talking about you getting clocked earlier, by the way. I've been awake here longer than you, but this is the first time I've really had to fight...but from what B'ni tells me you've been at it a little while. I know she's just pleased and punch to hang out with you, regardless of the circumstances, but I notice you really don't talk about yourself. I think we're kind of alike, in that way."She resumes her weaving, giving you a moment to study her profile before she continues."I know she sees and asks about you physically and stuff, but in the time I've spent with B'ni...y'know, before all this skin crap...I learned that asking about what's going on in her friends' headspace isn't her strong suit. So yeah, I just wanted to say if you want to talk, I think we may have more in common than you think, Shu.">>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>3108951Not sure if it would be meta to voice our swarmling text worries so>I'm worried by how little we know about this cord. How far away is it, days, weeks, months? Will we need to cross an ocean? Are there even oceans left in this fleshscape? What happens to us if we never make it there? What happens to us if we do?
>>3108978Ya know what? This is good enough. Im personally very worried reaching the cord, while it will bring answer's, will not in any form be a good thing.
>>3108951>Do you think by the end of all of this we'll stay human? My mind keeps on going back to that Sororitas amalgmation, and the thought of them being the result of their powers mutating and combining into one. Or how far our...eh...."powers" will progress on our way to the cord. Do you think there's a line that can't be crossed?
I think it's mostly been the company of others that has kept Shu sane. That and being too busy worrying about avoiding death to fully appreciate the existential horror of it all. Being occupied with more immediate concerns allows her to push away the more overarching ones.She clings to her humanity, despite having fought time and again against things that are reflections of what she could have become. If ever some event forces her to realize that she can no longer afford to be human, I worry for what will become of her afterward.Not that she would say any of this, of course.
>>3109026Dont tempt me to throw my vote behind this jist so she says it.to be fair, the wording changed to be said IC it actually wouldn't be a bad conversation to have.
>>3108951>>3108978>>3109026"I'm...I'm worried by how little we know about this cord." you begin, Gina's delicate fingers working away on her project as she listens to you speak. "How far away is it? Days, weeks, months? Will we need to cross an ocean? Are there even oceans left in this fleshscape? What happens to us if we never make it there? What happens to us if we do? We have precisely zero information on this journey, and that doesn't sit right with me."You call one of your swarmlings to your hand, inspecting its glassy eyes and dark green carapace thoughtfully."Do you think by the end of all of this we'll stay human?" you ask, your voice softer than you thought it could be as your creation takes flight, "My mind keeps on going back to that Sororitas amalgmation, and the thought of them being the result of their powers mutating and combining into one...or how far our, er....'powers' will progress on our way to the cord. Do you think there's a line that can't be crossed?"At this, Gina tests the halo as it hovers shakily between her hands, connected to her fingertips by silver strands, barely visible in the light. Its silver radiance flickers and fades as it drops back into her lap, but she doesn't pick it up. Instead, she turns to you, pulling back her hood. Long brown hair falls around her neck as she faces you full-on for the first time since you've known her, hazel skin practically glowing in the filtered light."...When I met Kosi online, we were friends for months before she ever brought up that she was disabled." she begins, slowly, choosing her words with care, "It didn't change anything. She was still the snarky, sassy bitch I loved talking to for hours on end. When you and Isabelle found me, I had been just sitting in that warehouse trying not to lose my mind for months in the dark. I offered no advantage to you. Instead, I slowed you down and...no, shush, it's true...I slowed you down and asked you to fight on my behalf for a cause that's not your own. You had every right to abandon me. *I* would've abandoned me."The halo abandoned in her lap, Gina begins to run her fingers through the ends of her brown mess of hair as she continues to speak in her gentle, yet matter-of-fact tone.(Continued)
>>3109071"...But you didn't. You kept me by your side, you were patient with me, and you've been nothing but kind. I heard how you talked to those girls that found themselves fused together. They admired you, you know? I could hear it in their voices. Here's this older girl treating them with kindness and respect, helping them clean their fucking room for god's sake, when anyone else would've taken one look at them and struck fast and hard, seeing them as a treasure trove of abilities."She sighs, leaning back against the organic pillar."Point is, Shu...whatever we are, whatever we become? I don't really give a shit. The way you've acted, the way you've treated others? *That's* the real shit, right there. If we keep moving and evolving the way we have been, I give us about a month before we won't recognize ourselves in the mirror...but if we hold on to what makes us who we are, if we hold on to what matters, then that's where the line is. If we turn our backs on that, well...that's when we won't be human anymore."You stare into empty sockets, unsure what to say. You open your mouth and try your best to articulate a thought that has been rattling around your brain for a while."I, uh...I think it's mostly been other people that've kept me...sane, I guess? That and being too busy worrying about avoiding death to fully appreciate the...shit, I don't know...just the existential fuckery of it all. If I can just...hone in on one thing, just really tunnel vision into one thing at a time, like...like hit this, rest here, go there, everything we've been doing, then I don't...I just don't have to think too hard about what I may or may not have lost before all this...or what I have left to lose."You swallow hard, Gina's face still intent on yours."Every time I throw myself at those amalgams, the other Daughters, I see that they couldn't cut it and I just...I don't want to lose it. I don't want to give in, to...to slip up and fuck myself up, or fuck up things with you and Isabelle and I am going to fight tooth and goddamn nail to make sure I stay focused, to make sure that never happens. I won't let it...I can't."Gina nods slightly, allowing a silence to exist between the two of you, for a time. You become acutely aware of a tightness around your heart and in your throat, but you're distracted from the sensation when Gina finally speaks."Shu? I don't think you'll let that happen. I won't let you. I know for a fact that Isabelle won't. What was that goofy inspirational speech? 'It's not up to you to shoulder the burden alone,' or something cheesy? Well yeah, it's not all up to you...so take your own advice, Shu. We have each other, or we have nothing at all."A silence extends between the two of you once again, her hands resting in her lap as your swarmling buzz lazily in the warm, humid air.What do you say?YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>3109084>rest your weary head on her shoulder. >Make a blanket of simple small swarmlings that vibrate to generate heat.>Start singing "Living on a prayer" by Bon Jovi. That song is a fucking classic. You don't care if you're off-tune. Sing to your heart's content.
>>3109084>"You're right, but i guess it is harder to do than to say, ya know? Maybe im just worried there wont be an end to...all this. The fighting and risking life and what not, even after the cord. Or worse, the cord only makes it worse. You dont live a life of battle and expect to die warm in a bed is all, or the same for those who follow you onto that battlefield..."
>>3109084>"...Thank you."Also, give her a heads up that she might find the Enigma taking residence in her dreams. Hopefully she'll be more intelligible then she was in the waking world.
>>3109088I like this.
(Gentlemen, I will be pausing here for the night and resuming tomorrow, work willing. I cannot begin to tell you how fantastic you all are, and thank you again for your participation.)
>>3108946>“We can stop here for a while. We stock up, rest up, then we head for that gap in the mountains. Screw it, let’s play around a little with our powers a bit, too. We have biomass to spare with THIS thing.”>You open your mouth to speak before she lifts your chin with two delicate fingers, dabbing your face with her moistened thumb and gingerly wiping the dried blood that IS caked on your nose and mouth.>“I’m not the one that got thrown off a freaking hill. I’m fine, HOW are you?”>She shrugs a little, licking THE reddened tip of her finger again before resuming her task.>B’ni, you’re great. Gina and I think the WORLD of you and we wouldn’t be here right now if it weren’t for you…but it’s not all on you, okay?”>“Yeah, it does.” You say, taking a step forwards and staring into the other girl’s shining eyes. “I also want you to know that it’s not a burden for you to shoulder alone. If we’re gonna get through all this, all of us are going to contribute. So chin up, okay? We’re in this together until it ENDS, okay?”>THIS>IS>HOW>THE>WORLD>ENDSFUCK
>>3109084Backing both >>3109102 and >>3109088 in that order
>>3109266Nothing to do but enjoy the ride there, then.
>>3109266D-did we ever make a choice for that swarmling upgrade? OP said there was a choice to be made, right? In >>3107147:>SWARMLING (Lvl 5): THERE IS A CHOICE TO BE MADEand then again in >>3107243:>Swarmling upgrade selection to follow after this choice)But then the next post already had:>Sw@rml!ng Lv)5(; tH!$i$th&w@ythew0r!deNdsWhat did we choose?God help us, what did we choose?
>>3109084“…Thank you, Gina.”She merely nods, picking up where she left off in finishing the eerily beautiful halo. A shiver runs through you in spite of the humidity, a creeping chill that spreads from the base of your neck and crawls down your spine. You call your swarm over to you, settling them on your legs as you test a theory. You have them vibrate slowly at first, then pick up the pace, warding off the chill from your waist down.“You cold?” GG asks, eyebrow raised in an involuntary expression.“Y-yeah, I just got chilled for a second, I’ll be…”Gina scoots over to you, hands still working over her creation as she settles as close to you as possible.“You and Isabelle are too damn proud for your own good. You’d rather freeze to death than impose on somebody.” She says in a huff you’re not entirely sure is genuine, “Rest and try to get warm, I don’t want you falling out on my watch. B’ni would skin me alive with those new boots if you went out with the common cold instead of a bang. So relax and knock it off.”You tentatively lean into her warmth, allowing her body heat to soothe the sudden tremors through your left arm. You gingerly rest your head on her shoulder, and her fingers pause a moment before continuing to dexterously weave, supporting your head with her shoulder. The two of you sit in comfortable silence for a time, the chill is replaced by a pleasant heat generated by Gina and the snuggling swarmlings on your lap…hm…snuggly swarmlings…swarmlys...snug-swarms?“…Snugglings?” you say, absent mindedly.“Huh?” Gina asks, and your cheeks burn at the slip of the tongue. “I…it’s nothing. Hey, feel free to say no, but…do you mind if I sing?” you ask, and Gina turns to you, her expression needing no eyes to illustrate her surprise.“You sing?” she asks, her tone incredulous, “Like, professionally, or…?”“Oh, no no no, I…well, I had track after school and choir on the weekends. I kept busy, at least back then.” You pause, the chill all but gone in the face of the fire spreading in your cheeks, “I don’t have to, I was just…”“I didn’t say no, Shu. What do you want to sing?” (Continued)
>>3110254You shrug against her shoulder. You struggle to recall the kind of music you liked, finding your memories of choir boiled down to a rote activity, devoid of real meaning. You realize the gaps in your recollection extending even to the mundane tasks you filled your days with before the end. “Hm…” Gina muses, tilting her head up to the underbelly of the behemoth you rest beneath. “…you know any Jovi?”“Huh…yeah, I think I do. Would ‘Living on a Prayer’ be okay? It’s the only one I remember most of, so…”She nods, and you draw in a shaky breath, waiting for a moment as the words mercifully come back to you from the dim reaches of a half-remembered afternoon listening to the radio. You begin to sing, and GG doesn’t stop you or critique when your voice slips off key.You keep singing, and Gina keeps weaving, your reverie only broken when GG's head snaps up and she focuses on some distant sound that has yet to reach you. Gina hastily stands up, halo at her side as she waves in B'ni's direction as she skates towards you both from the horizon. You feel a chill start to slink back into your bones, despite the heat on your skin."Shu...you have a nice voice. You should sing more." Gina says with a smile as B'ni skids to a stop, exhilarated. "These things are freaking amazing! I had a blast, what have you both been up to?" she asks, catching her breath as her gaze flickers back and forth between you and GG.You open your mouth to reply and promptly vomit.(Continued)
>>3110269You find your self caught between two very different senations, your spine and bones radiating a merciless, unrelenting cold as your skin practically burns, the sheer heat you find yourself wrapped in reducing you to a sweating, shivering wreck as you collapse back to the ground.In the haze of this sensation, you're dimly aware of one of your simple, basic swarmlings alighting on your left shoulder, unbidden. You turn to look at it, and find yourself reflected strangely in its eyes. You realize it came out wrong, somehow...its eyes mismatched and malformed. In one of its eyes, a hundred warped reflections stare back at you from a compound mirror, each one slightly different, each one minuscule, but numbering a hundredfold nonetheless. In the other, you find yourself looking at a fish-eye view of yourself reflected in a sleek, perfectly smooth eye, your face enlarged, every detail acute, every angle of your face starkly mirrored back at you.Your stomach, heart, and head churn as you double over, concerned voices muted as you see, finally *see* your swarmlings for what they are, for what they could be. Impossibly complex, impossibly powerful. A scourge that can strip the world bare, or a single, great monarch to bring it to its knees. Your mind's eye flits past a hundred images, a hundred versions of what you could do to this world, what you could make it become. They stutter, then slow, blending one into another as two possibilities invade your mind's eye, two ways for the world to end.(There is nothing you can do but continue)
>>3110276In one, your swarm is a dark cloud, ravenous and insatiable as you walk across a land stripped of life, every square foot of the fleshscape crawling with a hundred million locust-like swarmlings, purifying everything they consume as you charge westward, unstoppable. Innumerable. You and yours are a final plague let loose on this hell, a hell all your own as your endless swarm strips flesh from bone, bone from marrow, and life from earth.In the other, she's there with you. The one that lurks behind your eyes, the one that has been with you. Your other half. The Queen. A great and terrible beast, dwarfing behemoths, leviathans, thunderbirds all, a single swarmling crawlin across mountains, wingbeats tearing the fleshscape asunder. The wind is at your back, and it is just you and the only one you can rely on. Your Queen, yes...but you yourself are the one to whom she answers.Which will you choose?How will the world end?It's a simple question.One that decides how you change.How they change.A classic conundrum.Quantity...or quality?YOU CONTROL THE END
>>3110280if we have no choice but to cause this. i choose the queen. rather one great queen than a swarm....honestly i dont know if this is a good thing or a bad thing but we dragged ourselfves into this mess without realizing it and ya know what this is a long journey ahead of us guys
>>3110284Agreed. A swarm would be nice, but to have a queen as described by OP is too cool for words. And if we did bring this upon ourselves, we might as well roll with the punches. There's still a long road ahead, and we need all the help we can get.
>>3110280I was gonna go for queen, but then I read OP's filename. OPTION 3, I'M A FOOL.
>>3110280>Quantity>"And we shall never be alone, never face loneliness. All shall be ours, of us, together."Also holy fucking shit this took a sudden turn.
>>3110304Wait. Waiiiiitwaitwaitwaitwait.Are you suggesting what I think you're suggesting?
>>3110304>>3110305Ill be the fool too actually.if only to spite the fact ending the world seems forced on us, not because its a bad idea.
>>3110280>ONE OR THE OTHER. THE THIRD IS A FOOLS CHOICE.Well then, call me a fool.HIT IT.
>>3110304whelp im joining this mess i want the queen but we aint getting the queen so lets go
>>3110320It's not actually the world ending, it's a path choice for how our upgrades will go.>>3110334Yeah Queen is badass
>>3110334I would have voted queen if the siren song of cutting the Gordian knot wasn't so strong.Mainly because imagine the interaction between her and Chitinous Stalwart.
>>3110339I dont trust the wording one bit, especially with the hidden option.And again, with the visions and whatnot, its suspicious. Even if just right NOW its mostly a choice, i gurantee you long term we will regret going along with this.
(Gentlemen, I will follow up in a few hours. Thank you for participating and know that you continue to surprise me at every turn. You are marvelous, and take care.)
>>3110421>Mfw the real fools will be those that make us betray all our character cares about for power.
>>3110280>I AM THE FOOL
>>3110280>I AM THE FOOL THAT WALKS THE PATH OF A FOOLISH NAIVE QUEEN.If the Fool's path is just there for flavor text, then I'll go with the Quality Queen.tl;dr, Fool's path first Queen second.
>>3110530Yeah, that's what I was worried about, didn't want to make OP create a path 3 because of a coincidental name on his image, but it seemed planned.
>>3110280NoNo.NO.You struggle to stand, your swarmlings lying motionless at your feet as you rise on unsteady legs. You know you should be able to see your comrades whose frantic voices are calling out to you, their steadying hands merely echoes of a sensation, far off and impossible to respond to. A world ending, a path predetermined…one, or the other…a binary choice, black and white, with no room for anything in between?No.You’ve always been fond of breaking the mold.The images before you coalesce into a single, all-encompassing void that floods your vision, your hold on your own body tenuous, your motions slowed to a crawl. You know where you stand, you know that Gina and Isabelle are on the other side of this space, this wound in existence, but they feel so far off, so distant. Your other senses, however, are not so dulled. You taste copper on your tongue, the scent of birth and death filling your nose as a presence makes itself felt in the lightless abyss.YOU HAVE CHOSEN THE FOOLS PATHA void, darker than black, older than time. She speaks to you.YOU TURN YOUR BACK ON MASTERING A MULTITUDEYOU TURN YOUR BACK ON RULING WITH A QUEENYOU INSTEAD EMBRACE FLAWS AND WEAKNESSESThree shadows appear before you, somehow distinct despite the empty space as they hover, suspended in nothingness.YOU WOULD CHOOSE A LIVING FLAMEONE THAT WOULD EXIST AS A THREAT TO HERSELF AND THE PEOPLE SHE LOVESThe shade to your left burns with a bright, blinding orange, almost crimson in its explosive radiance.YOU WOULD CHOOSE A SIGHTLESS PROPHETONE THAT WOULD THROW HER MIND ASIDE IN PURSUIT OF THE IMPOSSIBLEThe shade to your right glows with a neon, amethyst light.YOU WOULD CHOOSE A LIARONE THAT WOULD STEAL FROM YOU IN WHAT WAS, WHAT IS, AND WHAT HAS YET TO BEThe shade before you thrums gently, the darkness around it drawn in to a deeper, yet darker space still than the darkness of infinity, its edges eating away at its indiscernible surroundings.VERY WELLThe specters before you disappear, the form’s presence receding away from you, back from whence she came.YOU CRAVE CONNECTIONYOU TURN A BLIND EYE TO FAULTS THAT WILL DESTROY YOUYOU HUNGER FOR BONDSTHEN TAKE YOUR REWARD(AGAINST ALL REASON)(YOU CONTINUE)
>>3110657>>SWARMLING (Lvl 5): your ability to connect with other beings has deepened considerably, a broadening of understanding that is not limited to your swarmlings. You are now able to see, hear, and feel perfectly through your creations, further expanding your reconnaissance abilities. Your connections with your allies have deepened as well, though the nature of the bond remains something of a mystery as you and your team are now able to communicate without the use of any obvious sound or disturbance to your surroundings. Currently limited to basic exchanges of surface-level feelings and instinctual surges of emotion, the longer you spend around an individual the more powerful the bond will become as you continue to evolve, and the full potential of this newfound power remains to be seen. Unus pro Omnibus, Omnes pro Uno.YOU HAVE MADE YOUR CHOICEYOU WILL LIVE AND DIE BY YOUR OWN WILLTHERE WILL BE NO ONE ELSE TO BLAMEAFTER ALLBlurred images gradually become more distinct, sight and sound slowly cohering once more as your allies’ voices reach your ears, their fearful expressions coming into view. B’ni throws her arms around you as Gina paces close by, extremely agitated. Your swarmlings regain consciousness in turn, testing their wings and staring at their master. You’re lying on the ground, your back aching and your throat on fire, a single thought, a parting phrase echoing in your mind.YOU ARE IN CONTROL>>3rd Vein: Closed
(I will be stopping here for the weekend, Gentlemen. You continue to be the best readers I could ask for and I wish you a good weekend. If you have questions or thoughts, Im always happy to hear them. Thanks for reading, and take care.)
>>3110673FUCK YEAH WE ARESPECTRE NONSENSE WHATEVERS GET FUCKED. FRIENDSHIP AND SELF DETERMINATION, FREEDOM AND UNITY.great quest my man, you certainly took this in an interesting turn.but i am curious what would've happened if we hadn't noticed your hidden option.
>>3110673Fuckin' beutifullNo one decides our fate but us bitches
>>3110673If we're screaming in pain, transition that screaming into laughter. We just found out what happens to us when we advance our powers too far. And we are happy with the choice we made. THEN HUG THE SHIT OUT OF B'NI AND GINA.Also, goddamn BodyhorrorOP: you sure know how to make choices feel weighty and powerful. That update had the prose on par with JokerQuestOP's form of writing.
>>3110673Thanks for running!>>3110697We'll have to warn them about their own abilities.
>>3110673>that image filename:>Unus pro Omnibus, Omnes pro Uno: One for all, All for One.Did...did we just talk with our eldritch mother when we upgraded our swarmling power to lvl 5?And did we just pick an upgrade path that revolves around having friendship bonds with other Daughters of the Eldritch flesh?
>>3110657>YOU WOULD CHOOSE A SIGHTLESS PROPHET>ONE THAT WOULD THROW HER MIND ASIDE IN PURSUIT OF THE IMPOSSIBLEThis is referring to Gina, isn't it? But then who are the other two?Wait, do we even have three people to count as allies? Certainly we parted on good terms with the schoolgirl amalgam and Doctor West, but I don't know that they were good enough terms to count them as actual allies....Rath? Is one of those three you?
>>3110732yes and yes
>>3110778Seems like it. >Living FlameSounds like Rath given that her ability revolves around de-limbing herself and throwing the volatile parts at enemies to make them explode>Sightless ProphetThat's Gina alright>Liar, one that would steal from youB'ni? How is she a liar and a thief? Liar and thief and a backstabbers B'ni might be as her true self, but we know her better than she knows herself. We can move forward with that in mind. besides, B'ni will soon realize she'll get more of what she craves for by cooperating than going about being a passive leech.
>>3110814V'ni mighr be 'lying' in the sense of not outright telling us our past relationship with her.Maybe stealing in some way is related to said relationship and how it may affect us, aswell as if she knew us, she could fill in at least some of our memory gaps.Just a thought
>>3110814>B'ni? How is she a liar and a thief?Possibly related to what Gina was telling us about B'ni having had a friend or crush prior to all this who may or may not have been us.>>3110732>And did we just pick an upgrade path that revolves around having friendship bonds with other Daughters of the Eldritch flesh?We have apparently chosen the Fool's path.Something something Persona.
>>3110688>>3110689>>3110697>>3110716(I appreciate all the kind words. I cannot begin to express how pleasantly surprised I am at the choices you've made and how you've handled things. I've considered these past few threads to be technically a prologue for what is to come, so I am glad that you're enjoying it as much as I am in writing it.)
>>3110904Persona 2 was kino, undoubtedly. 1 is hard but good, 3 is equal parts tedious and equal parts kino, 4 is a dead horse, and 5 is new memeshit.>>3110913Bitch it doesn't feel like a fucking prologue. This is good stuff and it's definitely giving me ideas for my future quest in regards to upgrades and ability paths
>>3110913>This was all a technical prologue.Oh dear. That is both great and terrifying.
>>3110915(Persona 2 is absolutely fantastic, and 3 has a soft spot in my heart. I'm rather disappointed that they didn't pick the lovecraft-lite theme they were going for in 2 and somewhat in 3 back up, but ah well.)
>>3110928I'm starting to get Shin Megami Tensei vibes grimdark vibes mixed with Persona social links. Also with the way some of the eldritch powers work, Jojo/Persona stands wouldn't be out of place, except with less conceptual bullshit and more fleshed-out stands. Literally.
>>3110960(SMT: Digital Devil Saga is one of the four big inspirations here, so that makes sense.)
>>3110972>SMT: Digital Devil Saga is one of the four big inspirations here"Rend! Slaughter! Devour your enemies! There is no other way to survive. You cannot escape your hunger, warriors of purgatory!"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-lOEsn7ejs
>>3110972SMT:DDSDear lord. I can hear the Deathmatch playing in the background. That ost is fucking gold. And all of the remixes that people have made. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQs2oxkQ-0s
>>3110972Also pic related. I can art dump if you want me to.
>>3111000(Glorious. I played those games so much back in the day.)>>3111005(Stone Mc Knuckle is absolutely fantastic.)
>>3111005Digital Devil Saga =/= Digital Devil Story, dude.Also posting the eternal best https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7PDKYOF3Nk>>3111016I fucking dare you, make it canon that Gina listens to SMT themes with those headphones of hers. And they change dynamically as she reaches different areas, when battles develop, and whenever she talks to Isabelle and Shu. Literally Body Horror Quest soundtrack on at all times.
>>3111016Not just SMT, but anything fitting, and almost never the same song twice (except character themes when talking to others, duh)ALSO I JUST FUCKING REALIZED>Shu = Serph>Rath = Heat>Gina = Gale>Isabelle = Argilla
>>3111033>IsabelleIs that B'ni?
>>3110913Are you telling us that this awesome quest, everything so far, is still the PROLOGUE?OP, I can't wait to see what you consider the story proper. Goddamn I'm excited.
>>3102295Your thumbnails are nightmare inducing... just wanted to say that
>>3116869(Thank you! I'll be dialing it up in the next thread, so stay tuned!)
The Fourth Vein is open, and you are in control.>>3117545