Your name is Shu, and as a foul breeze blows across your hiding spot atop a hill of pulsing flesh and warm bone, you have a moment to consider the specifics of the rescue mission you’re about to undertake……though it’s *technically* a kidnapping-slash-probing, but still.Peering down from your calcite perch, the ever-dusk sunlight that filters down from the false sky above casts the open valley below in an eerie light, the sprawling factory nestled at the far end of the crater all the more imposing for it. Glancing to your lower right, you spy the entrance to a laboratory whose armored facade is aimed directly at the alien structure opposite it, hinting at its owner's intentions for whatever lies at the heart of the vast Hexane ruin."Any minute now." Gina whispers to you, the brunette's hazel eyes trained on the lab door as you glance back towards the fighters you've assembled. Besides you and your girlfriend, you have Rath, November, Amara, Holly, and Francine hanging back in the imposing shadow of the tank known as the Metall Geschoss, cast in a similarly unnerving light as everything else in the valley. Three of the four members of the Barbers await nearby, with Rosa adjusting her ventilation mask while Betty and Sugar sit cross-legged facing one another, playing rock-paper scissors as you play the waiting game. You have to wonder where Holly went, th-"She's getting used to the new-and-improved Uzi." Gina says in answer to your unspoken question, shooting you a smirk as her mind syncs with yours."And Sam?" You counter, a chill passing between the two of you at your past self's name."Nearby, and ready for orders." The Neuromancer replies, shifting her focus once more to the door far below as you fret over your other two allies, many miles away and in far more danger than anyone present. Your dashing artist Dorian has gone with the fourth and final member of the Barbers on a task of utmost importance; to distract the roving terminator that is West Alpha from interrupting your designs on West Sigma, lurking somewhere behind that impenetrable door. What you're about to do is something that will bring the wrath of one of the Fleshscape's greatest threats down on your heads, and with that knowledge hanging over everyone present like the blade of a guillotine, a dread-filled silence has taken hold of you all as you await the inevitable.You've toppled mountains.You've slain gods.But West?...She's something in a class all her own.***Previous Vein: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/4067810/Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Body%20Horror%20QuestCharacter Abilities, Ver 3.9:https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12N7NB6N8_CmjJJPUDMjijBBqSBNdvoYBc1um01TbXs0/edit?usp=sharingTrypophilic Hive, Ver. 3: https://pastebin.com/bUWG6TNFRelics, Ver. 6: https://pastebin.com/uV6d2UJLDual Techs: https://pastebin.com/2jZ5ZhyxTwitter: https://twitter.com/bodyhorrorquest?lang=en
"So what exactly's the plan with that thing?" Rath asks, breaking the tense silence with a nod towards the spiked ball clutched tight in Francine's right hand. "We pin her down, and you...what? Shove that thing in her ear, or something?""Something like that." Francine replies, holding the newly-crafted Relic in front of her face and running a finger along one of the finger-length spines. "It's not going in her ear, though.""Yeah?""It's a suppository."Gina chokes back a laugh as Rath's freckled cheeks flood with scarlet, while November's chrome helm snaps around to look at the smirking Doctor."What?" Francine says with a smile, cocking an eyebrow at Rath's scowling face. "Can't a doctor make a joke everyone once in a while, Darling?"Everyone present is surprised to be summarily 'shushed' by Amara who frantically waves you all over to Gina's side to finally lay eyes on your target as she emerges from the lab, the massive,meter-thick steel door swinging shut behind her as she begins her descent into the valley. You glance among your allies, their eyes all trained on the Proxy that shares Francine's face as she stalks towardsthe Hexane ruins far beyond where you're all gathered. You find your own doctor's face is now devoid of the levity that she tried to inject into the taught atmosphere, replaced with a cold resolve that's worked its way into the hard line of her mouth.Everyone here is nervous, but Francine? This means so much more to her than any of you can imagine."Rath, you said that Silvis got you the factory plans?" You ask, turning to your red-headed brawler. She nods, and with a flicker across the empathic channel you've left open to your team, the layout of theruins is open to you. With the time you had before West Sigma's emergence, you've been able to prepare as well as you can and set the stage. Now all that's left is-"Miss Shu, do you copy?"Dorian's genteel voice rings out through the small swarmling that clings to your left earlobe. "Miss Sia and I have made visual contact with West Alpha. Prepared to engage on your mark."You can feel your heart in your throat, all eyes on you as you prepare to pull the trigger on something you can't take back.It's time.>>Choose two preparations/modifications you and your allies have made to the area.>>Please select Relic Load-out: https://pastebin.com/uV6d2UJLAND>>Strike hard, strike fast…and strike now. [Ambush in open plain]>>Wait until she's in the Hexane factory...you'll have an advantage there [Ambush in Hexane Factory]>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Gentlemen, it's good to be back. Voting shall remain open for the next four hours. I do hope your weekend went well, and I'll be happy to address any questions you have.)(Also, for the Anon who's been writing Journeys Through Europe; I've reviewed the abilities you've posted, and I'll be sharing my ideas a little later this week as my weekend was busier than I'd anticipated. Thank you for your patience, and rest assured that I've thoroughly enjoyed what you have there.)
>>4105795glad to be back aswell.what exactly do you mean by the preparations/modifications, and can they be done in the Hexxane factory, given its supposed to be resilient to terraforming, i think?also, did Rath end up making the Viscera Vincula? i dont think i saw it on the relics sheet.also, uhh, wrong link for the Relics loadout there....
>>4105795oh, also, did we end up giving Tinker Tailor the Void Orrey or not? dont think it was ever actually said.Also, will Ginas Gladiatorial underground movement work in the Factory? this is of course assuming it has resistances to terraforming at all, of course.
>>4105795By the way, what new swarmling does PSYCHICA SPIRALIS give us?
(Relic Sheet Version 6 is here, Gentlemen.)https://pastebin.com/6b2b720G(Not sure how that happened, but ah well.)>>4105801(By modifications I mean any Neuromancer/Skintalker prep, along with any other clever applications of Relics or abilities to make your task of bagging West Sigma any easier.)(Rath did, apologies for not updating the sheet with that, I'll add it shortly.)(It's possible to terraforming the environment given Silvis' instruction, yes. It's far more receptive to him than it is to any Proxy.)>>4105803(You did give her the Void Orrery, yes. And Gina's movement will work in most of the factory, as it's been overrun with Biomass.)>>4105805(I'm putting the finishing touches on that now, actually.)
>>4105789>>Please select Relic Load-out: https://pastebin.com/uV6d2UJLDORIAN>Sui Interitus>Pacekeeper's Box>Crimson Jester's Blood-Iron Masque>Manus Caelorum>Ventrem LanceamAMARA>Hearth Rod>Shalaev's Shawl>Vocem Virtutis>Vocalis Nocere>Red Devil's EngineSHU>Hexane Contender>Matron's Stoicism>Hydra's Heart>Remembrance Whistle loaded with RHO CUNTGINA>Deliverance of Ego>Membrum Automata>The SpineRATH>Gutgrab DaggersFRANCINE>Surgeon General's Essentials>Inspector's Spectacles>Shalaev's Shawl>Sui SacrificiumNOVEMBER>Head: Void Orrery>Chest: Cutis Tractus>Arm 1: Margrave's Blade>Arm 2: Spear of Dainsleif>Leg 1: Cursus Alas>Leg 2: Adrenal Nail>Free: EmptyHow does this look? Most of it's pretty standard stuff that we always do, but also a bunch of speed-booster Relics on Dorian to keep him from getting caught and the Void Orrery on November to free up a Shawl for Francine.
>>4105807>You did give her the Void Orrery, yesAnd I learn we don't have the Orrery just as I hit post, that's on me for being hasty.
>>4105808dude we need those imitative relics to make sure we go first on the proxy. all Dorian needs is pure speed, which the Sui Interitus does just fine, and at worse the Ego can boost.
>>4105808a;sp we ;eft Cutis Cractus with Julia, and fused the Cursas Alas with her.>>4105807which might be best to remember to say that about the Cursas like you did with Rath, and put down a note on the Cutis Tractus too BHOP.
>>4105807How much natural light does the Factory have? Most of our party has enhanced senses of some sort thanks to the Neurotic Halos or being cyborgs. If we could blackout the building once we lure Sigma in here, that might be a useful piece of setup, getting control over the lights.>>4105811Yeah, that's fair. Also, I just remembered that I do want the Masque on either November or Amara for if/when we have to fight Alpha. I think that her tendency to let foes get in the first hit means we can take off most of her Health on turn one using their abilities. Which would give her a huge strength boost because of her Augment, but we'd have to deal with that anyway. Okay, give me a moment to rewrite it.
>>4105807also, can i assume the Viscera will be a chest slot for November?
>>4105816What's the Viscera do, again?
>>4105808also also, fucking hell i just keep finding new things to say right after i post.November, Amara, and Gina are all doing the initial pinning down of our target, so all need a stealth item. Francine doesn't need one, at all, as the plan is not for her to do the opening move, but move in after the target is pinned. they are also the three who need any initiative boosts, while im at it.>>4105817>>4105807>VISCERA VINCULA; an odd set of armor, looking more like a pile of old, blood stained rusty chains woven into a mockery of chainmail, old meathooks hanging off it at odd placements. Providing a base defensive bonus equivalent to 300% Biomass and one level of Slashing Resistance, this Armors true purpose is one of grudgeful affection. Starting out with a base of 3 hooks, each additional one casting a whooping 1 ACT and 300% biomass to construct, these deadly hooks may be launched out for one ACT(though any number of Hooks per Act), up to medium Range, to which each one may dig into an opponent and fuse into their flesh. This horrid tether prevents the opponent from moving further than medium range for the armors master, ensuring they are always close enough to be drawn into a brutal melee. Any attempts to move outside this range restriction will result in a strength based tug-of-war, to where the loser is knocked down and may be dragged by or towards the winner. The chains are nigh invulnerable to being shattered too, with only the toughest of opponents being able to split such a tight and deep grip into their person. Truly, some Daughters like dishing it out up close, and why should others be allowed the option to not enjoy the fun?
>>4105817>>4105820oh just fuck me this morning, im gonna blame my sinus infection or whatever i have for my this folks, sorry.i suppose i could see the argument for giving Amara and her clones the Viscera, BUT, that depends on what November gets as a bonus for equipping it, as it might be good enough to be worth it over multiple clone pulling the Proxy in opposite directions. might, obviously, being the key word, even if not likely.
>>4105820>November, Amara, and Gina are all doing the initial pinning down of our target, so all need a stealth itemGina's going to be underground, she doesn't need something that provides optical stealth. Which is good, because if we handed over the Void Orrery then we don't have enough stealth Relics for that anyway. We can give her some Subversive Platelings as a backup, they should merge with the Aeturnum, but I don't think they'll be a big factor.>That armorOh, cool, Viscera Vuncula is a good replacement for the Cutis Tractus, then. We need to pin Sigma down one way or another.
>>4105813(It has limited light, so Sigma's resorted to a sort of bioluminesence from her own body to navigate.)>>4105816(It is, yes. Allow me to find its stats, and I'll post them momentarily.)
>>4105823Okay, how's this look?>>4105789>>Please select Relic Load-out: https://pastebin.com/uV6d2UJLDORIAN>Sui Interitus>Manus Caelorum>Ventrem LanceamAMARA>Hearth Rod>Shalaev's Shawl>Vocem Virtutis>Vocalis Nocere>Red Devil's Engine>Pacekeeper's BoxSHU>Hexane Contender>Matron's Stoicism>Hydra's Heart>Remembrance Whistle loaded with RHO CUNTGINA>Deliverance of Ego>Membrum Automata>The SpineRATH>Gutgrab DaggersFRANCINE>Surgeon General's Essentials>Inspector's Spectacles>Sui SacrificiumNOVEMBER>Head: Crimson Jester's Blood-Iron Masque>Chest: Viscera Vincula>Arm 1: Spear of Dainsleif>Arm 2: Shalaev's Shawl>Leg 1: >Leg 2: Adrenal Nail>Free: Empty
>>4105826Ah, so there aren't any inside lights and she's using a bio-flashlight. Well, nevermind to that idea, then. On the plus side, it means her senses are primarily optical. So we're good on that front.
>>4105826Where is Dorian and Sia when they encountered West Alpha?
>>4105825we dont know what the Proxy has, sending Gina in without optical camo could ruin the entire thing. Gina can see through floors, why couldn't another neuromancer?also, the whistle can be a stealth item for November.also, stealth stacks, so making sure everyone has a relic on top of Amaras pre-spells and possibly Shus swarm is a good idea.>>4105830nope. significant problems and still jumping the gun on the viscera when BHOP hasn't given us its full rundown yet.
>>4105831I don't think so. Sigma has a Skintalker as a secondary in her hybrid core, so that allows her access to basic skinternet connection.
>>4105833>we dont know what the Proxy has, sending Gina in without optical camo could ruin the entire thing. Gina can see through floors, why couldn't another neuromancer?Then the optical camo would still be worthless, since there's no light underground to bend around Gina. We'd need camo tuned to whatever bizarre sensory medium object-penetrating vision uses.>also, the whistle can be a stealth item for November.That's a fair point, though. Okay, changing November to have the Remembrance Whistle loaded with SIHL THA and giving the Shawl to...I don't know. I guess Gina, just in case she has to pop above ground.>also, stealth stacks, so making sure everyone has a relic on top of Amaras pre-spells and possibly Shus swarm is a good idea.Oh, yeah, definitely having Amara cast a SIHL spell. We should have her cast a counter-spell with SEL, too.
>>4105795That mess up is quite funny for me.....Not sure if I should feel proud it landed in the first post or incredibly embarrassed....>my weekend was busier than I'd anticipated. Arent they almost always OP? Don't worry about it to much>>4105830Are you sure you want to put the heart on Shu? It does integrate into the skin of it's wearer right now.... Well it's not like we need heart surgery to remove at the current level so I have nothing against using it. But it's gonna be unpleasant if nothing else to remove. It could save Shus life however if we need to regenerate quickly.I will get to voting once I get back home. Typing on the phone is a pain
>>4105839that depends entirely on how she sees underground. Gina might also need to come to the surface for the ambush. unlikely, and probably means something else went wrong, but making sure if she does, she still has the option to surprise her foe fully without having to pop up directly on top of them is still a good idea.and already on it for Amara, its just, haven't been able to finish my own vote due to lingering questions im waiting on BHOP to answer.
>>4105841>>4105839im unsure of putting the heart on Shu aswell. feels like a bad person to permanently have it on, and the Heart even at just level two incentives choosing a singular person to keep it on.
>>4105841>Are you sure you want to put the heart on Shu? It does integrate into the skin of it's wearer right now.... Well it's not like we need heart surgery to remove at the current level so I have nothing against using it. But it's gonna be unpleasant if nothing else to remove. It could save Shus life however if we need to regenerate quickly.Shu currently has the lowest Health out of the party. The seven year-old can take a hit better than Shu can. I want Shu to have a bit of extra survivability if we can. Though I guess we could swap the Deliverance of Ego over to Shu instead, that could also work. Might work better, actually, since it gives Shu incentive to fulfill her destiny as the protagonist and be powered by hope and love.
>>4105830No on giving Shu the Hydra's Heart. That relic is what I would consider an abomination due to the inherent drawback it brings. And it's a level 2 relic at that. We have a redhead in our family that deals fire damage as its primary output and a relic that cripples the user when receiving fire damage (even with friendly fire turned off) is something I do not want. Besides it's upgrade path makes it a perma-bound relic. And hardwiring that crippling weakness to fire damage will kill someone in the long run.
>>4105847What are you talking about, cripples the user? It just can't heal fire damage. The user's natural regeneration isn't affected by fire damage, though. It has no negatives, just situational positives.
>>4105846i want Dorian to have the Ego.him and his speed boosts from the Interitus, aswell as the extra counters the Interitus can give him if it comes to that, could use the boost. an extra precaution where its needed, whereas we can afford not to have it with everyone else. keep in mind Sigmas not considered a powerhouse, and most her threat isnt from damage dealing abilities, meaning unless the Ego is boosting anti Neuro/Skintalker abilities, it wont do the Sigma squad as much good as making Dorian faster will. >>4105847you really over criticize it, and BHOP only said it would specifically effect Rath due to her literally basically being made of fire. allies dont get harmed from her attacks, so wouldnt even be burned for it to be stopped by her attacks.
>>4105846>>4105844>>4105841So what orders are we going to give Dorian and Sia? I honestly want to ensure that both of them can escape alive while still stalling Alpha by putting enough time and distance between them and Shu's group.
>>4105847Didn't we have that discussion once already? I think we already had the question if the heart negates all Regen if cauterized or if only the relics own Regen gets negated....What was the verdict of that again? I honestly don't remember anymore>>4105826OP? What was the verdict on the question I posted here again? Does the heart only negates its own Regen when it gets cauterized or does it negate all Regen of the user?
>>4105851they... already have their orders. get West Alpha to follow them into the cave, then cause a cave-in and use the Gear to get back to us, or use the Gear early to save themselves if necessary.
>>4105850>keep in mind Sigmas not considered a powerhouse, and most her threat isnt from damage dealing abilities, meaning unless the Ego is boosting anti Neuro/Skintalker abilities, it wont do the Sigma squad as much good as making Dorian faster will.I'm assuming the worst case scenario, that being that we have to fight Alpha and don't get the chance to change Relic loadout first. Alpha likes to target back-line combatants like Hive Mistresses first, there are good chances that she's going to open up the fight with a rocket-punch at Shu. Psychica Spiralis will help, but I'd like to put some armor on top of that. Armor that isn't the Chitinous Stalwart, that is, that thing's nice but seriously needs some defense upgrades.
>>4105855>>4105850>>4105846I think if we're going to play keep away with Shu being the target of West Alpha when the latter beelines for the backline, We should prepare multiple Rooks for instant chained Teleportation. And our form of defense isn't really "Tanking hits" per say. Shu's form of defense primarily is putting as much distance and bodies between her and her aggressor as possible.
>>4105855if West Alpha finds us, we're not fighting her, we're running. and even in that situation, the Ego would work better on others. both individually and for the groups cohesion.we also cant afford to bend relics to what-ifs like that, when we need a loadout setup to make sure this plan works in the first place. cutting resources from Dorian, the one in the most danger right now, is exactly how things go south enough to need to face West Alpha in the first place.
>>4105855>>4105858you guys are acting like West Alpha can teleport, when in fact that is one thing she seems to very much not be able to do. even worse case scenario of Dorian getting killed, we would know something is up and still have time to react accordingly, ala getting the fuck out of there. its preparing for something at the cost of making it more likely to happen.
>>4105841(I'm so sorry if that embarrassed you, though I'm proud to have your work on the front page. And actually, that brings up a good point...)(An open question for everyone present; would you be averse to me adding a Google doc or pastebin of everyone's fics to the Vein opener? You all have written some fantastic works, and I'd love to have that as part of what anyone sees when they check out a Vein. Only if everyone's alright with it, however.)>>4105853(If I recall, I believe I ruled that it negates all Regen, given it's a Tier 2 Relic.)(Also, you may find the Vincula stats and the new Swarmling type below.)>>VISCERA VINCULA; an odd set of armor, looking more like a pile of old, blood stained rusty chains woven into a mockery of chainmail, old meat hooks hanging off it at odd placements. Providing a base defensive bonus equivalent to 300% Biomass and one level of Slashing Resistance, this Armors true purpose is one of grudging affection. Starting out with a base of 3 hooks, each additional one casting a whopping 1 ACT and 300% biomass to construct, these deadly hooks may be launched out for one ACT(though any number of Hooks per Act), up to medium Range, to which each one may dig into an opponent and fuse into their flesh. This horrid tether prevents the opponent from moving further than medium range for the armors master, ensuring they are always close enough to be drawn into a brutal melee. Any attempts to move outside this range restriction will result in a strength based tug-of-war, to where the loser is knocked down and may be dragged by or towards the winner. The chains are nigh invulnerable to being shattered too, with only the toughest of opponents being able to split such a tight and deep grip into their person. Truly, some Daughters like dishing it out up close, and why should others be allowed the option to not enjoy the fun? (Chest Slot: HEALTH +400%, DEF++. When tethered to November’s chassis, the VINCULA starts with a base of 5 HOOKS, though each additional hook requires 2 ACTS to summon.)>>Psychica Spiralis - Thoughtling (BIO++, DEF++): These unusually chunky members of your brood emanate their own PSYCHICA SPIRALIS field within CLOSE range, allowing your allies across the battlefield to benefit from its defensive effects. (40% BIO)
>>4105862When the terminator is a fan of making Speed-boosting relics and has 6-Actions to her disposal and the ability to make T-4 Relics (keeping her preference of speed boosting relics in mind), treat her like a teleporting monster. Better be safe than sorry.
>>4105862No, I'm acting like our window of opportunity to West Alpha after this will be very small. Remember, that was the plan? Crash the network, then if that's not enough to stop Alpha we fight her at the river. I'm not worried that Alpha will interrupt us during this stage of the operation, I'm worried about stage two.>>4105863>>Psychica Spiralis - Thoughtling (BIO++, DEF++): These unusually chunky members of your brood emanate their own PSYCHICA SPIRALIS field within CLOSE range, allowing your allies across the battlefield to benefit from its defensive effects. (40% BIO)Whoa, that's strong. Okay, everyone gets Plate-Thoughtlings.
>>4105863I'm fine with it.I do have a question however. Where in the fleshscape (relative to known landmarks) are Dorian and Sia when they've encountered West Alpha?
>>4105866Excuse me, typo. I meant to say "window of opportunity to prepare to fight West Alpha". Not sure how I cut those words out, my apologies. But whatever, it's not worth the argument. I'm tired of talking about Relic loadout. Let's discuss preparations at the factory. Obviously we want invisible Joyous Many and Subversive Grapplings hiding around the complex, ready to ambush. What do people think about regular Subversive Swarmlings with Radiant Boil payloads? Not to bomb Sigma, but to cut off her escape routes. She moves to run, suddenly she notices that a Swarmling has dropped down from the ceiling and lit the hallway on fire.
>>4105863>Google doc or pastebin of everyone's fics to the Vein opener?sure, go for it.(Author of the Pepperbox Gang if you want specifics on what is being okayed. i can also post a link to my other works or something, ifyou wanted the oddball stories and such too, not just the more linear stories.) and thanks for the info.>>4105864she isnt though. like, very much so. and not at the cost of Dorians safety, or the entire point of this operation.>>4105866that mean literally nothing if it costs us this operation working at all or going smoothly, or getting Dorian and Sia killed or injured. also, we only planned to go after West Alpha after this if we could afford to. if we cannot go after West Alpha for any reason, we werent going to try at all. making the operation against Sigma go worse or getting Dorian hurt, killed, or exhausted will do much worse to making us be able to go after Alpha than needing a moment to switchup relics would.
>>4105869(They're close to where you fought Lepisma actually, near the barren lakebed.)
>>4105863>>4105847>(If I recall, I believe I ruled that it negates all Regen, given it's a Tier 2 Relic.)Well when I came up with it had intended to only negate its own Regen and seeing how it negates all Regen I believe we may have to just feed it to Julia. Fire damage I'd just to much of a risk to loose all Regen over..... my heart bleeds over this but there is nothing I can doThat doc or pastbin would be fine with me. I think you have the link to the Nexus already so there should be little need to repost it
>>4105874(Hm...in that case, while it can't be done immediately, upgrading it to work as you originally intended would be quite possible once you and your team have time to settle down.)
>>4105872>also, we only planned to go after West Alpha after this if we could afford to. if we cannot go after West Alpha for any reason, we werent going to try at all. making the operation against Sigma go worse or getting Dorian hurt, killed, or exhausted will do much worse to making us be able to go after Alpha than needing a moment to switchup relics would.Realistically, I don't think she's going to give us a choice. It's up to Alpha if we still have to fight her. If she's still chasing after us after the network crashes, then it doesn't matter what we prefer. The point of this mission was always to ensure Francine's safety from Alpha, running is not a viable solution. I'm also not convinced that the Deliverance of Ego will really boost the Sui Interitus that much, that really depends on factors outside of our control (how positive is Dorian feeling right now?), but I can tell you've made up your mind so let's just move on. Ambush prep, does anyone have ideas? I mentioned the obvious invisible minions idea, and the possibility of using fire to cut off escape routes. Any others? Maybe something with terraforming pit traps so we can pull the ground out from under Sigma? She might notice that with her Neuro/Skintalker hybrid, though, might give the game away.
>>4105880What about the location where we spring our trap? Currently Sigma's making her way down the valley. If we spring the ambush now, there's a chance where she might run back to her house. likewise, waiting and springing the trap by waiting until Sia's in the Factory would put Dorian and Sia's life into further risk. I'm half-tempted to spring the trap, but At the same time I think a fall-back ambush point would be very suitable by springing the trap so that Sigma's forced to find shelter in the factory.
>>4105789Relic Loadout;Shu;>Contender(4 Fullbores, 2 Honey), MatronsGina;>Spine, Shawl, Membrum AutomataRath;>Margraves, DainsleifAmara;>Shawl(upgraded), Vocem(Enhance; SEL and SHI)(Free; SHI), Hearth Rod, Vocalis, GoreGrowth(Verurteilung), Viscera Vincula, JestersFrancine;>Spectacles, Surgeon Generals, Sui SacrificiumDorian;>Manus, Sui Interitus, Deliverance of EgoNovember;>>T3 Core equipped>Whistle(GRA VITA)(Arm), Pacekeepers(Head), GutGrab Daggers(Arm), Red Devils(Chest), Nail(Leg)>>LanceamHolly;>Godamned Uzi, Tollo Cadere, Ignition Gauntlets, Hydra HeartPlan/Other;>Wait until she's in the Hexane factory...you'll have an advantage there [Ambush in Hexane Factory]>scout out her route, then make the ground become ‘swamp sludge’, ground that looks normal but really is like quicksand/thick mud that draws you in. >Secondly, set any escape route for her primed to explode and box her in with us, via whatever means we have that is hardest to notice. >>Have Amara hit everyone with a GRA OMA SIHL>>Have Amara, November, Sam, and Gina get a set of Stealth Armor from Shu on top of their base Stealth.
>>4105880>>4105884we have a major advantage in the Factory, due both to Silvis info, and BHOP saying it specifically will listen to us more than her due to its attunement to him. hitting her in the open also makes it much harder to surprise her and keep her from escaping, even with neuromancy and other means. >>4105880and the Ego will miraculously work better on someone else? no ones in a good mood, but what mood someone does have to work off of, will aid Dorian much better than anyone else. as for Alpha, again, irrelevant. we can still run and extend the time before we truly have to face her, and if things go south in the sigma plan, even if Alpha still comes for us, all it would do is make us fucked. Alpha isnt one to face at not your best, which your shuffling around is more likely to put us at. a fight with Sigma at any level, or Dorian taking even a non lethal hit, will still put us in a much worse position to face her than a few relics out of place would.
>>4105879Okay that makes me feel a little better about not feeding it to Julia.......And that is not just because I want to turn one of our girls into a lizard girl >>4105888Isn't the red Devil's engine fused with Amara's Blade? You want to take her toy away?And well putting the heart on Holly..... might work. We could turn her into our lizard girl..... With a massive toothed maw and all.... worth a shot I think as long as we keep in contact with her if she gets hit with fire
>>4105891the Red Devil is not a permanently fusing relic. and i think given the situation Amara would be ok with letting November borrow it. we need November to be able to be fast and ensure the ambush works, more than we need to buff Amara sword blade. in matter of fact, we need Sigma alive, even if it does come to a fight, so Amaras sword might be a bad idea in general, with or without the engine.
>>4105888>>4105789whoops, Novembers whistle is supposed to be a >(GRA SIHL).Amaras relic is also boosting >(SIHL and SEL)with its free being >(SIHL)fuck this sinus infection to all hell damnit.
>>4105888I'm not sure the quicksand is a good idea. Thinking about it, the purpose of Sigma's Neuromancy/Skintalker hybrid is probably for analyzing structures. Those both are good at scanning the fleshscape, and it fits Sigma's role as investigating a ruin. Even with the Factory liking us more because we've got Silvis' mindstate, it might blab about the physical trap. We shouldn't lay any trap that is part of the Factory's structure.
>>4105888Also, you only loaded the Contender halfway. It's got twelve rounds with the Maxim, remember? Unless you meant that to be the loadout for each individual Gemini gun, which should still be specified.
>>4105904fair on that, though things like boil bombs to topple things i dont think would count at that.actually, i do have to question that, or well, moreso if she has abilities to that level, i question whether we could ambush her at all. if she has it to that degree, our only hope at all would be in the factory, and hoping Silvis attunement to it can cause it to actively trick and lie to her about whats going on. >>4105906keep forgetting it has 6 rounds per when split. ill make the amendment in a bit, once i hear others thoughts on things aswell.
>>4105913Well, like I said, I think her hybrid is primarily attuned to structures. She might have a sense of where hidden foes are positioned based on the weight on the ground, but I think that the Factory being on our side should be enough to hide minor signals like that. That, and flooding the local biomass with "Amara is your best friend" vibes from the Joyous Many. Actually, Hollistic Lexicon level two lets Amara prime the fleshscape with things to report on, I wonder if she could tell the Factory to respond to Sigma's queries with a report that everything's normal. Do you think that could work?
>>4105919possibly. we could also ask it if it knows how well Sigma can sense things, seeing as how it has experience with Sigma, if you think that would help. would allow us to keep the traps as a caveat, if it is safe, instead of having to fully guess.
Am>>4105891 now finally at home after having been volunteered for cleanup duty after KarnevalI am thinking about getting a name or something with a code after it..... just in case people want to ask me shit ..... maybe something to look into later in the meantime one just has to scream into the void till i appear.....>>4105923I will get back to you in about ten minutes with anything i think could improve the plan.only just got home after getting very irritated at how much trash people just keep on throwing into the streets while its Karneval......At least that shit is over now so i can finally get back to being relaxed and less angry with the world....
>>4105888Yeah Relic loadout seems fine as is right now.As for the Modifications we could make it would depend on how stable the structure already is.... Planting bombs to cut her off of from escaping seems like a good plan so we dont mess with the structure itself while Amara keeps the Biomass happy and telling West that nothing really has changed.Also plant a couple more bombs to cut off escape routs, make her panic as we hound her through the facility for maybe a roudn until we corner her at a place of our choosing....All in all i think your plan should work. I dont have anything really to add other than we should peobably make her only escpae rout through us while she is in a state of panic. Maybe even use Verurteilung once in a while to make sure she doesnt get to clear a head to plan and strategize Since we dont actually know the layout out of character its hard to make any educated guesses where those bombs would be most useful
>>4105888>>4105901>>4105789Amended Orders;Relic Loadout;Shu;>Contender(8 Fullbores, 4 Honey), MatronsGina;>Spine, Shawl, Membrum AutomataRath;>Margraves, DainsleifAmara;>Shawl(upgraded), Vocem(Enhance; SEL and SIHL)(Free; SIHL), Hearth Rod, Vocalis, GoreGrowth(Verurteilung), Viscera Vincula, JestersFrancine;>Spectacles, Surgeon Generals, Sui SacrificiumDorian;>Manus, Sui Interitus, Deliverance of EgoNovember;>>T3 Core equipped>Whistle(GRA SIHL)(Arm), Pacekeepers(Head), GutGrab Daggers(Arm), Red Devils(Chest), Nail(Leg)>>LanceamHolly;>Godamned Uzi, Tollo Cadere, Ignition Gauntlets, Hydra HeartPlan/Other;>Wait until she's in the Hexane factory… you'll have an advantage there [Ambush in Hexane Factory]>Have Amara, and Francine via her copy-cat abilities, both try and convince the Factory flesh to trick Sigma and keep us hidden, and give us any info on her, her goal, and her abilities it can.>scout out her route, then make the ground become ‘swamp sludge’, ground that looks normal but really is like quicksand/thick mud that draws you in. >Secondly, set any escape route for her primed to explode and box her in with us, via whatever means we have that is hardest to notice. >>Have Amara hit everyone with a GRA OMA SIHL>>Have Amara, November, Sam, and Gina get a set of Stealth Armor from Shu on top of their other Stealth.>>Have Amara and her clones have a few GRA SEL SHI ready incase Sigma tries anything.
>>4105863I dont know if you noticed OP but have added Evas core to the write up in the DOC as well.(though not in the pastebin)
>>4105789I will support >>4105936 as i really cant think of anything better
(Finishing up the posts now, Gentlemen. It's a big one.)
>>4105789The interior of the Hexane Ruins is a labyrinth of darkened halls, the minimal gold filigree around the doorways a far cry from the lavish accents that decorated Ozmas’ familial estate. Rath, Gina, and a gaggle of Amara-led Joyous take the lead, allowing Silvis to navigate as your Neuromancer and Skintalker extend their influence throughout the surprisingly pliable complex. Between their efforts, you and your team are the first thing West Sigma sees when she rounds a corner, freezing in her tracks as she catches sight of your seven-strong group…though only you and Francine are in full view, the rest cloaked with your own brand of specialized swarmlings.Sigma studies you for a long moment, eyes scanning the corridor before giving you and her doppelganger a once-over. She doesn’t even try and hide how her gaze sweeps over your other allies before settling back on you, pushing her glasses up the bridge of her nose with one gloved finger.She can see them, plain as day.“Hello, Darling.” West Sigma finally says, eyes glinting through the gloom. “To what do I owe this imposition?”It’s a familiar voice, and yet……the sound chills you to the bone. You hadn’t realized just how much warmth had crept into Francine’s tone in her time with you and yours until the Proxy’s professional, unfeeling clip sends a shudder down your spine.“Vengeance? Some ill-formed notion of justice, perhaps?” Sigma sneers, focus suddenly shifting to just over your left shoulder as your good doctor steps forward. “Ah…the flawed specimen, itself. I should’ve known.”“I’m not here to fight, Sigma. Quite the opposite.” Francine answers, standing firmly beside you with her gaze focused on her equal and opposite. “I’m here to help…though I’m sure you won’t believe me.”Sigma nods slowly, eyes shifting back to yours as a brief silence settles, the space between you sizzling with tension. Everyone, even Amara, stands stock still, waiting for some sign of movement.Waiting for someone to pull the trigger.Suddenly, the wall to your left shifts, biomass and Hexane architecture alike surging to block Sigma’s escape attempt as a burst of shock echoes from her across the empathic channel.“W-…HOW is it listening to-?!” She demands, her bewildered sputtering cut short when Rath’s hand rockets across the distance to drive the butt of the Margrave into the Proxy’s windpipe. Your brawler looses a bark of satisfied laughter that promptly fades when Sigma’s body begins to vibrate, countless yawning mouths opening up underneath her clothes as the air begins to sing with the might of her Lexicon.A shame that she’s up against the voices of angels as a chorus drowns out her feeble words.(Continued)
>>4106029“GRA SEL SHI!” Amara and her Joyous declare as one, and Sigma collapses as the skin of her cheeks flays off and lunges into her own eyeballs. At the same moment the ground beneath her begins to give way to the terraformed black sludge that Gina’s willed it to become, the quicksand-like substance suddenly going rigid as Sigma’s shoes explode as her feet splay out into twin tangles of bare neurons, shining with arcane light as they resist the floor’s pull. The Proxy’s hair suddenly springs to life, lashing out and yanking her bodily down the corridor with terrible speed, away from you and directly into the path of the sugar crystals that erupt from the ground before you.Sigma barely has time to avoid slamming into Sugar’s barrier before Betty’s cartoonishly large fist springs out of a side corridor like an oversized boxing glove, flinging the doctor into the opposite wall just as Rosa lunges past her unseen allies to seize Sigma. You and your allies are surging down the corridor as the Barbers’ leader brings a pair of syringes down into Sigma’s collarbones, and you watch as Rosa’s eyes go wide when Sigma’s form suddenly becomes like Dorian’s, allowing her to slip free of her grasp as she slithers towards a gap in Sugar’s crystals. Francine’s hands unwravels, her strands barely missing Sigma as she disappears, slipping through the cracks as you scream for Sugar to dissipate her barrier.The multi-colored crystals recede as you watch Sigma reform, hands withdrawn from her coat as she flings a pair of pulsing meat balls towards you, and suddenly November’s in front of you, flinging her arms wide to halt your advance as the Red Engine roars in her chest…but she’s too slow to stop Francine’s Sacrificium-powered charge.November’s pleading to hang back is drowned out by your surge of adrenaline, your swarm springing to action as Gina’s neuromancy frantically tries to box Sigma in. She’s fast, faster than you ever expected as Francine barrels past the falling grenades that are almost frozen in mid-air in the wake of one Proxy’s pursuit of another…and as they hang just a second too long, you realize they’ve stopped falling, completely.With sudden and tremendous force, the pair of explosive Relics are hurled down the corridor and past Francine and Sigma both, disappearing behind Gina’s barrier as the space beyond is rocked with the force of a devastating detonation. Sigma’s cut off completely, and she has no time to process a plan of escape before Francine’s strands envelop her, dragging her to the ground in the half-second before you and the rest of your allies and constructs practically dog-pile the Proxy’s prone form.“I’ve got her paralyzed!” Gina breathlessly declares, and with extreme care you and your team withdraw, looking down at West Sigma’s frozen form, her teeth clenched tight as she seethes impotently on the glossy black floor.You've got her.(Continued)
>>4106031Francine runs a hand through her hair as she heaves a shaky sigh, eyes fixed to the Proxy before her as you look to the aftermath of Sigma’s last-ditch effort to end you as the hastily-constructed walls Gina made to contain the blast begin to crumble, a foul-smelling waft of burnt air escaping through the widening hole. The hallway beyond resembles the aftermath of November’s Autumn Protocol, the previously sleek black corridor a cracked and melting mass of scorched obsidian, the walls and ceiling buckled outwards from the sheer force of the explosion.“Nicely done on those grenades, GG.” You say with a relieved smile, one that fades as you look down to see Gina shaking her head, giving a quick nod to the empty air behind you. You look, glancing past Rosa, Betty, and Sugar to see the space shimmer and warp as a familiar frame take shape out of nothingness.“Hello, Sam.” You say.“Hello, Shu.” She replies, rolling her right arm around in its socket with a gentle whir, ensuring its full functionality after her split-second pitch. Her hooded helm tilts from you to the scene unfolding before you, and when you look back it’s in time to watch the spines of Francine’s specialized Relic recede before it’s slipped into Sigma’s ear, prodded deeper by your good doctor’s slender finger.“It’s okay, everything’s going to be alright. You’re not going to die, alright? You’re going to *live*.” Francine says soothingly, holding the Proxy’s face in her hands as Amara’s gentle whispers restore the sight Sigma’s own Lexicon robbed her of. Her wild, furious gaze falls first on you, then on her better self as she tries to fight what’s happening to her mind, until……The Proxy’s body goes still for the length of a heartbeat before violently seizing up, the nauseating sound of grinding teeth and creaking bone echoing through the corridor as something very wrong begins to take place.“Shit. Goddammit, something’s fighting it.” Francine hisses, fists clenched at her sides as she frantically turns to you and your allies. “Okay…okay, we don’t have much time but I have an idea.”Francine’s sharp focus slips past you to settle on the girls that stand at your right and left. “A two-pronged approach; Gina, if you can allow me entry into West Sigma’s subconscious, then I can work to disarm whatever’s fighting the reprogramming. Meanwhile, I’ll need Rath’s expertise to re-wire the Relic on the fly in the real to circumvent whatever firewalls I can’t work around while in the Dreamscape.”Gina relents immediately, kneeling next to Francine as the veins in the brunette’s arms begin to flicker with amethyst light, casting an unsettling glow along the length of the obsidian corridor.Rath, on the other hand…(Continued)
>>4106032“H-hold the fuck up, Doc.” The red-head stutters, taking a step back. “This is me you’re talking about. I wreck shit, remember? I’m no rocket scientist or brain surgeon…you’re *both*, so if anything I-”“Rath, it’s…I trust you, alright?” Francine says, closing her eyes a moment as she draws in a harried breath. “You’re brilliant with Relics, and there’s no-one else here who has the instinct for them that you do. I’ll be relaying instructions to you through Gina’s Neuromancy, so just…trust me, like I trust you.”Rath’s frozen, on the verge of shaking her head as her throat works weakly…until Francine reaches out, taking the young woman’s hand in her own with a gentle squeeze.“I tried to do all this alone, before I met you and your family.” She says earnestly. “To ignore the brilliant minds and kind hearts around me now would be a similarly suicidal mistake.”“I…fuck it, FINE! I’ll do it, but don’t get pissed if I jack it all up somehow, okay?!” Rath grumbles, her cheeks going red with frustration and concern as Francine looks among the rest of your family.“As for me…I believe I…” She begins, taking another deep breath.“…I will need help, if I’m to succeed in Sigma’s mind.”You open your mouth to offer when the pitter-patter of hasty feet brings Amara to Francine’s side, the little girl’s small fingers wrapping around Francine’s hand as she beams up at the older woman. With the hiss of gears and the creak of lumbering metal, November steps forward to place a hand on the doctor’s shoulder as Francine softly smiles.“Miss Shu, do you copy?!”Dorian’s frantic voice cuts through your ear as you reel from the sudden interruption.“Dorian’s, what’s your status?” You demand, drawing a collection of worried looks from all present as Sigma seizes up once more.“Sia’s been wounded, and we’re trying to-“ Hos voice is cut off by a screeching wail, a painful distortion breifly lancing across the channel. “-ace between us so we can use the Gear. If I stop for a second then she’ll be on us, Miss Shu…and I’m not sure how long I can keep this up. The collapse didn’t hold, she…she’s been upgraded, so whatever you and everyone are doing, do it fa-”A crackle, a pop, then…Dead air, and a skipped heartbeat."Is...is he going to be okay?" Holly murmurs, nervously tightening her akimbo grip on the Uzi and Contender, both.God, you hope so.>>Join Francine, Amara, and November (if she even can) in delving into Sigma’s mind to fix whatever’s going on. You trust Dorian to outrace Alpha…he’s outraced worse, after all.>>Dorian needs help, and you’ll be the one to offer it. Take a party of your choice, and help Dorian escape with your combined abilities.>>You’ll split your forces; some to help Francine, some to help Dorian. You can only hope it’ll be enough…>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Voting shall remain open for the next four hours, Gentlemen.)
>>4106039>>4106039>You’ll split your forces; some to help Francine, some to help Dorian. You can only hope it’ll be enough…>Dorian needs help, and you’ll be the one to offer it. Take a party of your choice, and help Dorian escape with your combined abilities.>Dorian extraction team: Sugar, Rosa, Holly, Shu. Dorian's done his job. what we need to do now is to bring them back safely.
>>4106039>Quickly call up Orwell. see if she cant help Dorian. anything really, even just making a face appear infront of West Alpha and going 'boo' to give him time to teleport away will work.>As a backup, turn to those present. "Dorian needs help. whoever thinks they can, take whatever relics you need and get to him and get him his opening. but remember, it does us no good if all we do is get more people stuck or left behind. if you cant think of a proper way to help him, it wont do him or us any good to put more lives on the line. no one else him too, and how much would him having to drag more people slow him down? But, if you have ideas, do it. we dont have time to waste.">>Join Francine, Amara, and November (if she even can) in delving into Sigma’s mind to fix whatever’s going on. If you dont make sure Francine's plan works, this will all have been for nothing. >Plus, if you cut the network, it might give West Alpha enough pause for him to get away.>>4106046Dorian can keep outrunning her, and honestly? we have literally no way to get to him quickly. he has the gear, remember? AND hes our speedster. we need to both make sure this wasnt for nothing, AND our best hope of helping him quickly is to make sure the Proxy network gets severed. its the only close thing that might at all give West Alpha pause, and very likely could happen quicker than anyone else could get to him. plus, anyone else would ALSO have to somehow both slow West Alpha down, and be able to be evaced by the Gear teleport. thats unlikely to happen. we really cannot rely on helping him directly, and most likely trying would be too slow or be a death sentence for whoever tried.
>>4106039Can we declare Dorian to be our target for Trypophilic Hive level fourteen? The way I see it, if he's close enough for us going to assist to be not completely implausible he's close enough for this to count as the same combat. Then we could spawn a Bishop-Thoughtling on Dorian to give him a boost to both speed and defense, a Rook here to save our place, and a Rook at his position to teleport over to and distract Alpha. We buy him time to make enough space to teleport, then let the next hit we take trigger the Factory Rook's teleswap and return here.
>>4106054>>4106053aand you ninja'd me/i forgot to mention anyways, Shu has some of if not the most dreamscape experience, aswell as some Neuromancy of her own. she can do more good helping Francine. Shu also lacks anything that would make her actually suited for trying to actually slow West Alpha down without also putting herslef in grave danger. shes not fast, and Dorian needs help thats at least got something to do with speed. thats just not Shu, even with her Teleporting. which both requires setup time and only works on herself too at the moment.
>>4106055(You may, yes.)
>>4106055>>4106056>>4106057Goddammit. Just when I had to leave for work. Good train of thought. Use that to spawn swarmling types from Dorian's pool and help hinder Alpha. Teleport Rooks, Grapplings, Jacklings, anything that can arguably slow Alpha down.
>>4106039Ah shit so it diditn hold her down for any length of time......I think we will have to completely trust Francine on this oneIt will be a drop into a hot combat zone with WAlpha as our enemy.... We should take into consideration how we want to deal with her and what our objective is.......Objective: Extract Dorian and Sia/ their bodies safely.Enemy has six acts and is a fucking speed freak that even orks would be in awe of.....Tactic: Delaying operation>Designate Dorian as the target for your Hive and then spawn a Bishop Toughling on them as well as a set of Armor for him and Sia and as many Recursive Swarmlings as possible to make sure they have a cloud of chaff to break off the vision of Alpha so that she will have a harder time targeting them.>Throw Amara the Hivephone for Orwell and get her to call Orwell while Shu deals with the Matter of Diving into Sigmas mind. Call for backup form Orwell: see if she can get them help as wellThis is making my blood boil. Damn you West for continuously upgrading your cyborg Killer
>>4106055good train of thought. follow that train of thought and get creative with it. now. Jacklings for Terraforming shenanigans to keep a wall between Dorian, Sia, from alpha. I can't help out now. But keep plugging away at it. think outside of the box. >>4106061>>4106054I'll trust your shotcalling, but stay open to creative out of the box thinking.
>>4106063>think outside of the box.I will try my best.Good luck at work today
>>4106061would armor be a good idea? stacking armor slows one down, and both Shus armor does not give speed boosts, or even stat boosts, and Dorian has nothing to prevent the loss of speed. he already has Armor he can constantly increase his speed with and is still only barely holding out, even if its minimalistic i feel like more armor weighing him down would not at all do him any favors.
>>4106039>>4106054slight amendment;>Quickly call up Orwell. see if she cant help Dorian. anything really, even just making a face appear infront of West Alpha and going 'boo' to give him time to teleport away will work.>As a backup, turn to those present. "Dorian needs help. whoever thinks they can, take whatever relics you need and get to him and get him his opening. but remember, it does us no good if all we do is get more people stuck or left behind. if you cant think of a proper way to help him, it wont do him or us any good to put more lives on the line. no one else him too, and how much would him having to drag more people slow him down? But, if you have ideas, do it. we dont have time to waste.">>Join Francine, Amara, and November (if she even can) in delving into Sigma’s mind to fix whatever’s going on. If you dont make sure Francine's plan works, this will all have been for nothing.>>>Plus, if you cut the network, it might give West Alpha enough pause for him to get away.>de-activate all Swarmlings you can here, and start spawning them on Dorian. a Hyped up Bishop to give him a boost, Grapplings to tackle Alpha, Jacklings to throw the ground at her, etc. whatever you can without slowing him down to help give him his opening. do what you can without drawing you from helping Francine, or maybe even see if you cant use your Neuromancy and/or Francines to pass regulation off to someone else, if you cant set them to automatic.
>>4106067on phone:what dorian needs are distractions that eat up alpha’s action economy. anything that keeps alpha from spending an action from chasing dorian is better. we should have made that rhinoviral powder in hindsight.
>>4106067Does spawned armor slow him down?If so then i will definitely not get it for him.I thought only BIO would reduce your speed unless specifically mentioned.I would guess that the Swarmlings will quickly be left behind seeing how fast the battle is moving so can we create a command chain to.... no that wouldn't work we can do a lot of shit but not support two independent lines of thought to manipulate the battle outside while staying inside. So we may have to surface periodically to respawn the hive after they were left behind?>>4106070>>4106057How far is Amaras range to cast spells? Too far to reach to Alpha and Dorian? Do they have a JHoyous with them that would be in range ot cast a spell on them? If not damn it we should have send a Joyous with them.....Is it possible to surface form the dreamscape enough to spawn new swarmlings once the old ones are no longer in range?
>>4106070make those grapplings recursive
>>4106074yes. in matter of fact, if im remembering correctly, we were first told that fact about armor because we wanted to know if we could put Chitinous on top of Armor. the answer as far as i remember was yes, and all armor can stack, but each set slows the person down more. id assume the type of armor also effects that, with heavier armor slowing one down more, but on that BHOP would have to elaborate.>Amara and the joyousDorian didn't need the extra weight of lugging a joyous around, and any 'in the area' id imagine would only have like, a literal second opening to cast a spell before being out of range, given how fast they are moving.>>4106075sure i guess? wasn't trying to be that specific on purpose honestly.
>>4106057Okay, then let's do that.>>4106039>>Write-In>Designate Dorian as target for Trypophilic Hive level fourteen>Spawn from him:>>a Bishop-Thoughtling to give him a boost and add the Psychica Spiralis auto-counters.>>twelve Recursive Knighted Grapplings, to engage West Alpha and then expand into crown bolls of Hundred-Hands to impede her movements>>five free-flying Recursive Platelings, not to attach to Dorian but to get in Alpha's way and burst into Ashen Fortitude clouds to blind her when she destroys them>>two Jacklings to manipulate the fleshscape and put up barriers in Alpha's path>>thirty regular Swarmlings to serve as distractions>Call Orwell, get her help in delaying West Alpha. Become the story, Orwell. Even just a distraction will help.>Have Amara mobilize the Joyous Network towards Dorian's path. Anyone who can get close enough to Alpha to help, does. If Joyous are in groups, have one of them speed-buff the others and send them on their way.>Any of the Barbers who think they can get there in time to help Dorian and Sia, do so, but don't do anything that would just weigh them down and make the situation worse.>Enter the dreamscape. Help our science team in breaking the Network. See if giving Alpha a little shot of free will slows her down.
>>4106078how about honeylings? swarmlings that explode into sap.
>>4106078If they were to get off a slow on WAlpha that would be huge however. We can try if they get in range of any of the Joyous It is a gamble but one we dont really loose anything on it if we manage to get it off(only resources on a couple of Joyous)I agree that he wouldst need that extra weight however
>>4106083can we keep in mind that all of those swarmlings will be made from Dorian’s bio pool? please be mindful of how much it will tax him
>>4106084we cant. we very specifically cannot make swarmlings not of a type we have unlocked. that would be beyond the 'simple reshaping' allowed as 'custom' swarmling types. >>4106083>>4106089yeah, thats also my issue and why i was not being specific. Dorian is already pushing himself, he's probably dumped alot into the Interitus and might need more into that. hence me leaving it a bit vague, to ensure we're not running him dry by guessing what he has left or can handle.>>4106087i suppose.
>>4106089No they're not. That's spawning swarmlings from a Spirit Shell. Spawning them from an allied Daughter still uses Shu's Bio. Though it honestly would be fine if we were using Dorian's Bio. He's not using it for anything right now, and while we mostly forget this rule Daughters actually do get a speed boost when they're low on Bio. >>4106092>Dorian is already pushing himself, he's probably dumped alot into the Interitus and might need more into that.Sui Interitus is fueled by Health. Dorian is fine on Bio, we can spend as much of it as we want if it gets him out of this intact.
>>4106096actually, it doesn't say where the cost comes from if you spawn it from an ally.also, if Dorians pushing his health, lowering his Bio sounds like a bad idea. it might increase his speed, but it also leaves him more vulnerable, and without other abilities to fuel.>>4106057BHOP, who eats the cost if we spawn swarmlings from allies?
>>4106074(They're out of Amara's range, though if they run across any Joyous over the course of their chase then they'll be primed to try and slow West Alpha.) >>4106101(It still comes from Shu, as all her discount powers apply.)
>>4106096>>4106101in hindsight, dorian’s stat spread would make him more suited for sui tormentus because he can ramp faster instead of being capped by interitus where he has to lower his regen rate
>>4106113Nice then i have a plan>>4106039Amending my vote from >>4106061to this:>Designate Dorian as the target for your Hive and then spawn a Bishop Toughling on him>twelve Recursive Knighted Grapplings, to engage West Alpha and then expand into crown bolls of Hundred-Hands to impede her movements>five free-flying Recursive Platelings, not to attach to Dorian but to get in Alpha's way and burst into Ashen Fortitude clouds to blind her when she destroys them>two Jacklings to manipulate the fleshscape and put up barriers in Alpha's path>thirty regular Swarmlings to serve as distractions>Get Backup from Orwell. See if she can throw any buffs and debuffs their way to allow him to teleport away or increase the distance they can put between them.>Have Amara prime the Joyous Network to converge on the path Dorian takes and prime them to cast slows on WAlpha and speed buffs on Dorian. If that is done continue with making the terrain as bad as possible for WAlpha>IF the Barbers think they can make a difference send them out but they need to hold back if they think they will in any way get in the way>SHU: Delve into the mindscape of Sigma to make sure we end this resistance as quickly as possible.>>4106118But the Tormentis is fused with Rath and we cant get her out of it. We could of course make another one for him.... but that would feel kinda cheap
>>4106113right, fair enough.>>4106083honestly, i still think the platelings and regular swarmlings arent worth it here. the chaff effects simply arent worth it in potency and much much easier that other options could possibly be outright ignored. i think more grapplings would do Dorian much more good, or at least Banelings, for the other slots too. er, Bane-Grapplings probably actually. the explosion from the Banelings being destroyed should still slow her down to some degree, aswell as even if shes not really affected by the acid, it could still muck up the ground and slow her down further. >>4106118disagree, heavily and significantly.regardless, this sinus issues getting a bit better but being persistent, so i need a nap. my vote still stands as is though, especially as i dont like the other anons Swarmling spread.
>>4106039>>4106070gah, fuck it, ill do my own so its at least got a chance to be done properly;Amending to;>Quickly call up Orwell. see if she cant help Dorian. anything really, even just making a face appear infront of West Alpha and going 'boo' to give him time to teleport away will work.>As a backup, turn to those present. "Dorian needs help. whoever thinks they can, take whatever relics you need and get to him and get him his opening. but remember, it does us no good if all we do is get more people stuck or left behind. if you cant think of a proper way to help him, it wont do him or us any good to put more lives on the line. no one else him too, and how much would him having to drag more people slow him down? But, if you have ideas, do it. we dont have time to waste.">>Join Francine, Amara, and November (if she even can) in delving into Sigma’s mind to fix whatever’s going on. If you dont make sure Francine's plan works, this will all have been for nothing.>>>Plus, if you cut the network, it might give West Alpha enough pause for him to get away.>de-activate all Swarmlings you can here, and start spawning them on Dorian. >>a Hyped up Super-Bishop to give him a boost, Bane-Grapplings to tackle Alpha, and a few Jacklings to throw the ground at her or try and jumble her up if they can land a stinger on her... whatever you can without slowing him down to help give him his opening. do what you can without drawing you from helping Francine, or maybe even see if you cant use your Neuromancy and/or Francines to pass regulation off to someone else, if you cant set them to automatic.
I just thought of something: Dorian's got a level four Calcite Halo, and therefore is immune to the last two damage types that he was hit with. Is West Alpha varying her arsenal so frequently that he's still taking hits despite that? That's got to be draining on her reserves fairly heavily, to have to constantly swap between weapon types.
>>4106039Slightly ammending my Swarmling spread in this vote>>4106121>de-activate all Swarmlings you can here, and start spawning them on Dorian.>Suped up Hyper-Bishop squeezing out as much as it can.>at least three Jacklings to manipulate the fleshscape and put up barriers in Alpha's path. Maybe force her to bust through a solid bunker of flesh> As many recursive Grapplings to trip up WAlpha as possible to throw themselves at Alpha. Make trip up and loose sight as much as possible.>>4106123better not use acid at all on the off chance she can heal from that. She is immune to acid after all.I know our goal is not to kill us but we dont need to feed her health even if the chance is a small one>>4106126Or she simply has so many damage types at her disposal. I would guess that she easily can have at last bludgeoning(fists), slashing(claws), heat(fuckign Forgecores) and Electricity
>>4106126she gets refunded those lost hp and bio by consuming those relics, hasn’t lost any relics during her chase and keep in mind that only one round has passed, so it hasn’t affected Alpa that much at all.
>>4106130shit, Shu has iron blooded brood, so the heat damage will activate if the acid damage gets blocked.
>>4106133which is why i avoided the Baneling template as much as possible. and as long as they just feed themselves into the grinder without stinging her they are not gonna activate the acid. They are not Banelings after all
>>4106133We could have Amara cast a quick GRA NUKA THA on Shu. I think that would make Swarmling she spawns deal Radiant damage instead of their normal types, and we know that Alpha isn't protected against Radiant. I think so, anyway, we should ask BHOP.>>4106113Do element-augmenting Skintalker spells affect constructs an affected Daughter makes after the spell has been cast?
>>4106123>>4106039Amending further;>Quickly call up Orwell. see if she cant help Dorian. anything really, even just making a face appear infront of West Alpha and going 'boo' to give him time to teleport away will work.>As a backup, turn to those present. "Dorian needs help. whoever thinks they can, take whatever relics you need and get to him and get him his opening. but remember, it does us no good if all we do is get more people stuck or left behind. if you cant think of a proper way to help him, it wont do him or us any good to put more lives on the line. no one else him too, and how much would him having to drag more people slow him down? But, if you have ideas, do it. we dont have time to waste.">>Join Francine, Amara, and November (if she even can) in delving into Sigma’s mind to fix whatever’s going on. If you dont make sure Francine's plan works, this will all have been for nothing.>>>Plus, if you cut the network, it might give West Alpha enough pause for him to get away.>de-activate all Swarmlings you can here, and start spawning them on Dorian.>>a Hyped up Super-Bishop to give him a boost, Grapplings to tackle Alpha, and a few Jacklings to throw the ground at her or try and jumble her up if they can land a stinger on her... whatever you can without slowing him down to help give him his opening. do what you can without drawing you from helping Francine, or maybe even see if you cant use your Neuromancy and/or Francines to pass regulation off to someone else, if you cant set them to automatic.>>4106130>>4106133i was under the impression BHOP had said we could turn off things line ironblood if we wanted, so it would just be the explosion to throw her off, and the acid not to damage her, but melt the terrain to slow her down, but if your so sure we cant turn Ironblood off then so be it, i shouldn't be up atm anyhow.
>>4106140Hope you will get better soon.
>>4106140If we can then sure we can do that and i will patiently wat for OP to answer. I think we have a general consensus with just the details being something that needs ironing out.
>>4106136(They can, depending on the wording.)>>4106140(Yes, Ironblood and the like can be toggled.)(Also, I hope you feel better soon, Anon.)
>>4106126it works when dorian gets hit by an attack. We’re aiming to have dorian NOT get hit by an attack.
>>4106146Alright with this nugget of Information now at my handsI swear i dont remember that maybe i wasnt there when this was said.Okay Okay. Last amendment.... Sorry OP for making this thing messy.>>4106039Amending Vote from >>4106121 and >>4106130 to:>Designate Dorian as the target for your Hive and then spawn a Bishop Toughling on him>de-activate all Swarmlings you can here, and start spawning them on Dorian.>Suped up Hyper-Bishop squeezing out as much as it can.>at least three Jacklings to manipulate the fleshscape and put up barriers in Alpha's path. Maybe force her to bust through a solid bunker of flesh> As many recursive Bane-Grapplings to trip up WAlpha as possible to throw themselves at Alpha. Make trip up and loose sight as much as possible. Drench the ground in front of her while hurtling towards her to make it a nightmare to traverse.>Get Backup from Orwell. See if she can throw any buffs and debuffs their way to allow him to teleport away or increase the distance they can put between them.>Have Amara prime the Joyous Network to converge on the path Dorian takes and prime them to cast slows on WAlpha and speed buffs on Dorian. If that is done continue with making the terrain as bad as possible for WAlpha>If the Barbers think they can make a difference send them out but they need to hold back if they think they will in any way get in the way>SHU: Delve into the mindscape of Sigma to make sure we end this resistance as quickly as possible.>Do what you can without drawing you from helping Francine, or maybe even see if you cant use your Neuromancy and/or Francines to pass regulation off to someone else, if you cant set them to automatic.
>>4106136don’t we have a word that denotes “construct” in amara’s library?
>>4106150Yes, but I'm trying to figure out how to make constructs that would spawn after the spell is cast, not existing ones at the time of the casting. That's the tricky part of the phrasing.
>>4106152how about “ tha nuka constuct”tha is priority, nuka affects Shu, then constuct would designate the blessing to a specific ability of Shu
Oh well i will go to sleep now i can feel myself fadign. I probably wouldnt be any help later. So good night anons and OP
>>4106206Good night, Euroanon. Sleep well on the other side of the Atlantic.
(Posting soon, Gentlemen. This Tuesday has big Monday energy.)>>4106206(Sleep well, Anon.)
>>4106251hey i understand. like i said, ive been feeling that kinda energy today too, as it was. yet, my sinuses refuse to let me actually sleep. might need to just pop something or do a store run for something to help me get over this. still feels like its not as bad as it was when i woke up, which is good, but its not gonna get better if it stops me from sleeping before then.anyways, have a picture i think we all have been able to relate to at times.
>>4106251I'm sorry to hear that you've had a rough day, BHOP. Seems like you just can't catch a break with your schedule sometimes.
>>4106039The swarmlings hovering around you drop from the air in a rain of clattering chitin, and you split your regained focus between calling out to a young ally and directing your creative efforts far across the Fleshscape.“Orwell?” You speak aloud, nodding to Amara. “A friend needs whatever help you can give hi-““Already on it!” One of the nearby Joyous replies in a voice quite unlike that of its creator, a wide smile brightening its cheeks. “The second I saw Dorian and Sia running into a bit of trouble, I started pulling some strings.”“They’d better be damn good strings, given what we’re up against.” You counter, throat taught at the prospect of a hijacked Joyous, no matter the circumstance.“Given we’re in a Flash-Reverse-Flash scenario I’m not sure how much I can help that’ll be, but I promise I’ll do w-HOLY FUCK, Dorian’s shittng bees! When did you-?!““ORWELL!”“Right right! Helping! Got it!” She replies hastily, signing off as the Joyous reverts back to an implacable expression, while you round on the rest of your family and friends."Dorian needs help. Whoever thinks they can, take whatever Relics you need and go get him his opening.” You say gravely. “But remember; it does us no good if all we do is get more people stuck or left behind. If you can’t think of a proper way to help him, it won’t do him or us any good to put more lives on the line. But, if you have ideas, do it. We dont have time to-"“I’ll go. You don’t need anybody else…trust me.”You all collectively turn to Sugar, her simple declaration hanging ominously in the corridor as she retrieves a syringe of caramel-colored sap from one pocket and a slender bottle from the other, inside of which rattles a trio of dark blue candies.“No.” Rosa says, her monosyllabic order a line in the sand. “Nope. Hell to the no, you promised me you wouldn’t use those unless it’s an-““Emergency.” Her ally gently interrupts, the taffy-colored girl not even flinching as she drives the thick needle into the flesh of her neck, depressing the plunger as she continues. “Sia’s hurt, and so is Shu’s friend…this qualifies.”Rosa takes a step back as Sugar’s eyes darken, molasses-like tears beginning to crawl down her cheeks before she pops the top off the tube in her other hand. She tilts the bottle back, and just as the contents are about to disappear into her mouth the opening’s blocked by Betty’s finger, stretched across the meter that separates the two girls.“…pace yourself.” She gently reminds her friend, allowing a single sphere to drop onto Sugar’s waiting tongue. She shudders once, then twice, and with a blur of movement and a rustle of wind where she once stood she’s gone, the scent of blueberries lingering in the air.“Godspeed, you beautiful diabetic disaster.” Rosa sighs, with Betty putting a hand on her leader’s shoulder. “And be safe.”(Continued)
>>4106263“Gina, I need you to pull double duty while I’m under.” You say, turning to the Neuromancer at your side as you kneel beside Francine and Amara, with November’s impressive height still looming over you even while on her knees.“Consider it done. I’ll handle your swarm, you just focus on fixing whatever’s going on with…”Sigma seizes up once more, cutting Gina short.“…Go.” She says.She doesn’t need to tell you twice.Closing your eyes, you feel reality fall away as the Dreamscape takes the four of you into its limitless depths. Finally, the complexities of Sigma’s mind settles around you as a labyrinth of twisted corridors and jack-knifed alleys, all bathed in the sterile, stark-white light of an infirmary. Feeling a weight in your left hand, you glance down to find everyone’s hands on yours while you hold the Silver Key, thrumming through the flesh of Amara, Francine, and November’s……fingers?Your gaze trails up the freckled, well-muscled arm of the red-head beside you, wearing a matching and weather-worn jacket and shorts over a simple tank top, her baseball cap shielding a pair of shining citrine eyes. Her hair’s lighter than her nieces’ and longer, to boot, but…you’re taken aback at just how stunning she is, standing before you in the flesh.November blinks with eyes anew, the corridors gently shifting around you as they reflect in her wide gaze.“Huh.” She says simply, looking down at herself as Amara marvels at November’s original form. “Neat.”“So pretty!” Your ward declares, prompting an appreciative blush from the older woman, making you realize that she and Rath even flush in the exact same way. Turning on her heel to the doctor as she wanders just ahead of you, Amara pipes up; “Hey Francine, isn’t she pretty?”“Fascinating…” Francine murmurs in awe, her attentions firmly on the dreamscape as she runs her fingers along one wall. “It’s…it’s like a fluctuating code. I’d imagine we’d have been scattered immediately on entrance if it weren’t for…oh. Uh…November? Is this…?”Francine gestures with uncharacteristic timidity at November as the latter cocks an eyebrow.“Me? Yeah.” Heather Neeson answers with a shrug as Francine just stares at the red-head. “Anyway, how do we stabilize this thing for Rath?”“Ah, yes, well…” Francine continues, adjusting her coat. “One, we could cut through West Prime’s contingencies and attempt to overwhelm what’s stopping the Relic. Two, we try to unearth fragments of who this body belonged to, in the hopes that we find enough to get a fingerhold on the real person beneath all this programming. A binary choice…but by no means an easy one.”A hard call…but you know how to answer.>>The direct route.>>The long way.>>Split up. Get the programming’s attention while someone else cuts to the Core with the Silver Key. >>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Gentlemen, I’m having guests over tonight so I must pause here for the evening. I’ll leave voting open for the next fourteen hours, with posting to resume in approximately sixteen, give or take.)(Additionally, I’ll have an evening free tomorrow for rapid-posting if that would work well for everyone. It would start at approximately 7:00PM tomorrow, Eastern Time. Let me know if that suits your schedule, and I’ll make adjustments accordingly.)(Thank you all for waiting patiently for the start of this Vein, as well as for your enthusiasm, kindness, and participation. I hope you all have a good evening, and take care.)
>>4106254(I do hope you feel better soon. It actually sounds similar to what I'm still fighting off...regardless, I know you can beat it.)(Also, excellent art as always.)
>>4106266>Ask Francine the risks of splitting up. if she thinks West has some nasty shit stored in here like in the past... or worse, dont split up, and focus on just cutting through the direct way.>If Francine thinks for any reason its at least doable to split up and any remaining precautions wont be too much, split up.>>Shu and Amara will hunt down any remnants floating about, while Francine and November take the direct route, as Francines appearance might make any remnants left less likely to cooperate, while Shu both has the most experience with such oddities, and Amara is good at this sorta thing by her nature and possibly core.
>>4106263>HOLY FUCK, Dorian’s shittng bees! When did you-?!“>“ORWELL!”>“Right right! Helping! Got it!”
>>4106268i hope you and your guests enjoy your evening!as for rapid posting, hope to all lord ill be feeling better, but even if im not, go for it, i dont want to hold folks up. >>4106271thanks, and hope you punch back any leftovers of your own too. also, this image kinda brings back thoughts of the cave-mite-swarm girl. shame we didnt get her DD, she both seemed to have some legit insight into the crucible, aswell as her attitude seemed to be based on some pretty tragic things. ah well, trying to save em all is exactly how you lose them all, and all that.>>4106274>>4106263yeah, was a good joke there BHOP. something ive meant to say actually before BHOP is, dont get too disheartened if we dont laugh or point out every joke, I at least just tend to get wrapped up in the current moment and point of wherever voting starts up, and how it moves us forward alot of times. doesnt mean i dont notice or appreciate moments like that though.
>>4106263I'm sorry, is Sugar's super mode injecting some glucagon? Well, her liver's not going to be feeling well when she's done. >>4106268Have fun hosting, BHOP. See you tomorrow.
>>4106280her liver is probably a slab of taffy anyways. i am curious what was in the syringe exactly though. obviously a relic, but what exactly. the other one was obviously the nitro sugar, and lordy if she can becomes that fast from just one dose and the injection, wonder what she would've been like if Betty hadn't stopped her from eating all three.i have a bad feeling she might actually be an equal match for West Alpha, but its bad because even if it feels odd, she will be for all the wrong reasons. even when you're made of candy sure there a limit to how much sugar you can push yourself with. my guess is literally vibrating apart/ to the point of melting, and/or going so fast her body simply cannot stay together even if she goes as slow as she can.
>>4106274>>4106279(Ha, glad that one hit well. I realize that for someone that hasn't seen some of your weirder powers, it'd be a trip, especially considering that your Lvl 14 power is nigh-unheard of among Hive Mistresses.)>>4106279(Thank you for letting me know, and I hope you have a great evening, yourself!)>>4106280(It's actually a consumable Relic to counteract the negative side effects of the Nitro Sugar.)
>>4106288>(Ha, glad that one hit well. I realize that for someone that hasn't seen some of your weirder powers, it'd be a trip, especially considering that your Lvl 14 power is nigh-unheard of among Hive Mistresses.)Really? I know that Shu's a bit weird with her focus on team support, but I didn't realize it was that rare. Neat.>(It's actually a consumable Relic to counteract the negative side effects of the Nitro Sugar.)Oh, so insulin. I got the hormones mixed around. It's not glucagon to raise her blood sugar, it's insulin to help her absorb the sugar into her cells faster. Either way, as a diabetic myself I worry for Sugar's liver and kidneys. You're in for a rough time after you come down, Sugarm even if the mechanically-significant side effects are neutralized.
>>4106294>Really? I know that Shu's a bit weird with her focus on team support, but I didn't realize it was that rare. Neat.I think West Gamma or her notes mentioned that she had never encountered a Fool's Choice Hive Mistress. All others she found either went for Numbers or Queen.
>>4106297did she? certainly not in the note we have, but to be fair, we dont actually have the 'true' notes saved, but BHOPs simplified version, as he did say(before that side project got brushed aside completely) that the actual notes were more in-depth. id have to go back and see what Shu was actually saying while we read them IC, but, not feeling up to that, ill admit.
>>4106303Found it, Vein #17: >As you already suspected, the Hive Mistress class specializes in reconnaissance and overwhelming their opposition with a host of mass-produced creations, though they’re not necessarily limited to insectile forms as indicated by the description of an older Daughter that controlled a Swarm of feline constructs. Interestingly, you compare West’s detailed notes regarding the balance between power and number, between quality and quantity. Apparently, you’re the first Hive Mistress that West’s documented to have taken the third option, as most of her unwilling subjects either suffered a sharp cut in the amount of Swarmlings they produced in exchange for an increase in power, or could generate much weaker creations in far greater numbers. >If you’re reading the Doctor’s diagram correctly, you’re straddling the line of the two, while keeping fairly in line in both number and power with Hive Mistresses of equal power. What’s more, there’s nothing in her notes that detail anything about empathic fields or the like extending to other Daughters, which confirms your ability’s unusual properties.
>>4106313huh, neat. though nothing about that means no one else has ever taken the fools choice as a hive mistress, only if they did, their specific fools choice still leaned in one direction or the other, which i could see easily still being more common even with a fools choice.Fools Choice is just realizing Mother and her gift is a trap and declining it, doesn't mean one cant still fit the motif of one of the original gifts afterall.
>>4106313>West has no idea what else Shu is capable of>Meaning everything we demonstrate is completely new to her>West's reaction when she listens to our conversation with Orwell and thinks that Dorian is literally shitting bees
>>4106374actually thats a good question, wonder just how complete and accurate the skinternet info(and image) of our family members is?
>>4106377Another good question. Given that there's enough information for people to ship our party members, I'd say that there's quite a bit of info already out there. I wouldn't be surprised if there's lots of theorizing as well regarding some of our more obscure abilities. There could be entire message boards on the Skinternet devoted to collecting info on us.If / when we survive this, we need to talk to Orwell about what's already out there, and how to ensure we don't get screwed over by it.
>>4106374>"Oh god, can she use that offensively? Please don't let this be some new horrible Flesh Artisan hybrid."
>>4106288>tfw Nitrosugar is made canon,>tfw Sugar brought Insulin for nitro sugar. Dear god. No wonder She asked for twenty of them when I first revealed as a craftable relic. It's basically her weaponized equivalent of cocaine.>literally Sugar's theme right now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTHsOSGJHN0>pic related is the West Alpha chasing Dorian situation right now from Sia's POV
>>4106377>>4106385(The short answer? So much.)
>>4106266Supporting >>4106272We need to cover as many avenues as possible if we want to bring this to a swift conclusion.>>4106268>Additionally, I’ll have an evening free tomorrow for rapid-posting if that would work well for everyone. It would start at approximately 7:00PM tomorrow, Eastern Time.Well considering the feeling i have that my boss is gonna bombard me with bullshit the day after tomorrow i will have to sit that one out.I think that time relates to roughly 1:00 am here so.... yeah staying up that late and when you have to get up like four hour later...But i hope you and your guests had fun this evening/night
>>4106266Would Psychica Spiralis help us out here? My thinking is that the dreamscape is modeled as a physical place, so an ability that makes the local environment our ally should be able to assist in undoing the block, especially given that Spiralis is built from the Neurotic Halo with its dreamscape-manipulating traits. If the network is being represented as a maze of corridors, reorganizing it into a straightforward spiral path could have a literal sense to it.On a similar note, would Amara's terrain-modifying spells help out here? Since they're capable of affecting both person and terrain, and in Sigma's dreamscape the two are the same. I'm thinking FOL first, to break concentration effects and undo modified terrain. That would target whatever Prime did to Sigma's mind, help disrupt the active effect that's blocking us. Then we'd follow that up with a SUTH, which "allows reason to reign once more" and creates simple terrain. And then maybe a SAN, which conveys fervor (and don't we have a fervor for stopping West and freeing the Proxies?) and makes terrain that speeds our efforts.
>>4106539>mfw when the skinternet knows things about you you didn't know about you.>Rath blinking as she turns to November. "Wait, IS that my blood type? i dont think my parents ever told me it..."though, knowing how some abilities work, blood type could be the least of the unwanted and awkward things someones dug up about us...
also, i get Shus concern over a Joyous being hijacked, but the surprise... well i understand it i guess but more of how it shocked her. they are still constructs afterall, no matter how advanced, and Amara has no construct protections against such things. its an oversight, but not something actually surprising. wouldn't be surprised if the issue fixes itself long-term though, given the Halos in it. but how effectively and how long term is a good question to ask.
>>4106918If you think so, then add that into your suggestions in voting.
>>4107068Well, I'd like to get that information first. But the cutoff point is coming up soon, so I'll wait a bit longer and then vote.
>>4107069>>4107068technically voting cutoff time was about an hour ago.>>4106918as for this, im not sure it would work. while abilities have still been shown to work in the dreamscape, they have only in such a relation as to be effecting 'nothing' OF the dreamscape. actual manipulation of memories, data, or pure 'dreamscape objects' would probably have to be done via specific phantasmal and/or neuromantic powers, not terraforming. we're also dealing with literally just what appears to be akin to a firewall of 'code', not a maze really, and t very well could have nothing emotional or akin to it to 'calm down'.
>>4107069Well I am pretty sure voting ended an hour ago.......He said posting would continue about two hours later..... So that is coming in the next hour.....
>>4107071>>4107072God damn it, it did. I misread the time he posted. I wanted to get some answers in the morning before I voted, but I waited too long, shit. I am furious with myself now. Whatever, at least the current vote is reasonable. I'd rather not risk defeat in detail at all, but at least we're getting Francine's opinion before we consider it further.
>>4107076It happens to the best of us....Which is why i voted after getting up to not forget to do it while i was away>>4107047>the face of the poor skintalker daughter that uploaded Raths favorite snacks and other preferences when Rath finds her>Mfw it was Kosi all along that got us all killed by a nuclear strike
>>4107082I'm just imagining what sort of fandom the Hexane get. With them being much more mysterious on average, I bet there's so much headcanon for them and their personal details. Let us keep Cheruem from ever finding out about such a thing. I think that Vultha and Silvis would find it amusing, though, and Mulvath would just take it as inspiration for things to try.
>>4107085Do you think Ozmas would simply be skinternet surfing now that she's technically powerless? She's got 1 admin token that's keeping her alive and no other means to administer changes without killing herself.
>>4107088She spends a lot of time browsing Fleshscape Imgur at three A.M. when she should be sleeping.
>>4107085I would imagine that all the hexxane would try and keep her out of it and then Cheruem just stands there when she finally gets in and is just like "Whats Rule 34? and what the hell have they done to my legacy?">And such the great post Crucible cleansing began perpetrated by an absolutely distraught Ninja Mall cop>>4107088Wouldnt be surprised if she did that.... God she probably started to write smutty fanfiction of her favorite daughters just to pass the time and wishing that maybe Charon will ever find it in them to forgive her.....probably not.... either part of that last guess
>>4107088>Ozma goes full Otaku.>Sitting back in her thrown, one hand stuffed in a bag of chips, the other vehemently typing out arguments on twenty different forums at once.gotta admit, the image gives me a hearty chuckle.
>>4107092well technically she hasn't left the Admin chair/room ever since she started, so that technically makes her a Hikkomori and a NEET.
>>4107090>I would imagine that all the hexxane would try and keep her out of it and then Cheruem just stands there when she finally gets in and is just like "Whats Rule 34? and what the hell have they done to my legacy?"Cheruem is then distracted from her anger at discovering all the slashfics about her by Vultha showing her all the WAFF fics where she's a good older mentor to Amara and the Sororitas. Given that Cheruem does enjoy being a cool big sister to human kids and just doesn't like to admit it, this works remarkably well at calming her down.
(Gentlemen, I'm writing now as its been a bear of a morning. I'll post as soon as I can, so thank you for your patience.)
>>4107125Eh its fine. Dont worry about it too muchKinda was expecting it to be honest my day was going well to good for there to not be something going down somewhere
>>4106266“If we split up, what’re the risks?” You ask Francine, glancing away from the ever-twisting corridors before your burgeoning vertigo gets any worse. “Anything like the traps she installed on the Relic’s she’s made?”“Doubtful, if we’re lucky.” She muses, tapping the nearby wall in thought. “Splitting up might be advisable, in fact. Given the countermeasures I’ve encountered before in her Relics, doing so should effectively pull whatever defenses West Prime’s established in two opposite directions. Honestly, I'd be far more cautious if we were dealing with a Conduit-Neuromancer."“Alright, then that’s a chance I’m willing to take.” You declare as you take Amara’s hand in your own. “She and I will try and hunt down any remnants of whoever this poor girl was, while you and November take the direct route.”“Yes Ma’am.” November replies, at it strikes you just how strange her voice sounds with the slightly tinny echo you’ve gotten so used to. With a professional salute the soldier strides off down the corridor with Francine at her side, while you and Amara take the long way around, hand-in-hand as you venture into the unknown.“You worried about them?” You ask your young ward as she glance back down the hall for the fourth time in as half as many minutes.“Nope! They’ll be fine, I’m just keeping my head on a swivel!” She replies dutifully, cracking a smile as she slings her sheathed blade over one narrow shoulder. “Cheruem said that as good as my hearing is, I should always make sure I’m keeping all of my senses as sharp as I can! I think it’s a lot easier for her since she had her empathic field, but I’ve got my Skintalking!”“Nice.” You grin, noting the pristine white halls have begun to devolve into a slightly shabbier light grey the further you explore off the beaten path. “Between November keeping an eye out and Francine’s smarts, they’re-““…nothing if not pragmatic…”“Hm?” Amara asks, glancing up at you with a curious expression as you freeze in place. Holding steady, your gaze flits over the corridor as you start to notice the mismatched doors that line the now-foreboding hall. That voice…while the tone wasn’t familiar, something about the whisper reminded you of something, but as for what…“Amara, did you hear…” You begin, looking down at the girl by your side for answers before you realize her smile’s left her cherubic face, replaced with a look of considerable discomfort. Following her gaze your eyes alight on a shabby metal door not far down the hall, and it’s in scanning for it that you realize yet another thing that’s uncomfortably familiar.The carpet, the doors…you’ve seen these before.The location’s been cherry-picked from your…or Sam’s….fragmented memories, blended with the original holder of the mind you’re exploring.Save for one troubling aspect, that is.(Continued)
>>4107212“…c-can we go back?” Amara says in a small, tremulous voice, her eyes locked on the odd door out. “Please?”“Amara, what’s…”“Please?”You’ve…you’ve never heard her like this. Even when she nearly killed Lara in Carroll’s Forest, her voice back then held more panic and guilt than anything, but now? Through your empathic channel a knot of fear and sadness twists in the little girl’s stomach, and it’s only having you at her side that’s allowed her to not simply bold back down from when you’ve come.Her fear, Sam’s dorm…Fragments, placeholders in the mind of a hollowed-out girl. In the absence of memory, it seems the facsimile consciousness is cherry-picking from the pasts of you and your allies in an attempt to become whole again…or could it be a side-effect of Francine’s attempt to inject a bit of her own experiences into the mind of the Proxy?“…nor appreciated…”Amara’s head tilts to the side, having finally heard the echoing whispers that seem to come from the recesses of your own mind even as her unblinking gaze is locked on the worn sheet metal that seems to decay and rust further before your very eyes. If this is how Sigma’s mind reacts to you, then Francine and November may be in bigger danger than either of them realize…and as Amara tugs insistently on your arm, trying to keep a stiff upper lip despite the fear that chills her to her very core, your own mind whirls with how to address the dream-space predicament you’re in.>>Continue on down the corridor, ignoring the door Amara seems to fear in your search for West Sigma’s true self.>>Call out to the voice where you stand…maybe Sigma’s original form is trying to reach out to you?>>Approach the rusted metal door, and confront whatever it is that she fears...nothing’s going to hurt her. Not while you’re around.>>Turn around and find your other two allies. They may be more vulnerable to such trickery than either you or Amara.>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Gentlemen, voting shall remain open for the next three hours, with rapid-posting set to go into effect at 7:00pm, Eastern time if that still suits most everyone.)
>>4107216>>Continue on down the corridor, ignoring the door Amara seems to fear in your search for West Sigma’s true self.>>Call out to the voice where you stand…maybe Sigma’s original form is trying to reach out to you?especially considering the different nature of what they are doing, im thinking Francine and November will be able to handle themselves. minus the Halo, Francine might actually have more resistances and ways to fight this stuff than us anyways. as for the door, as curious as i am about Amaras fears and any relation to Sam it might have, its outright not important right now nor our objective. we can pry Amara for answers later, when finding any remnants of this girl Sigma was ISNT possible the only way for us to really help a family member live.
>>4107216>>Continue on down the corridor, ignoring the door Amara seems to fear in your search for West Sigma’s true self.>Grip Amaras hand tighter to re-assure her. >"We dont have to go through the metal door.The woman that was Sigma before West got her is still here at least part of ehr and she is being hidden form us using our worst nightmares. I ask you to take all the bravery you have inside you to eventually face what lies beyond these doors. Bravery is not absence of fear it is acting despite it.">>Call out to the voice where you stand…maybe Sigma’s original form is trying to reach out to you?I think we also need to re-assure Amara that we can handle anything the dreamscape throws at us. it is probably a defense mechanism and will most likely throw stuff like that at us as much as possible to stop us from continuing.I also trust November and Francine to get through his. They have faced their deamons already and even though November ran from them she at least already faced them once.
>>4107218>>4107212also i never once imagined Heather with glasses, and that picture makes her look like the type who regularly and happily gives out... suffocating hugs.
>>4107229(It's more a reference to her original inspiration as one of the playable characters from the Metal Slug franchise. I couldn't find a decent one without glasses, unfortunately…) (…or that wasn't far more lewd than it had any right to be. Truly, the things I trawl through for this Quest.)
>>4107229I think she wears them for effect. to not be quite as intimidating while handling guns around kids or something....now i imagine Rath with Glasses and a gun in her hands.... We should get her soem spectacles and a fleshscape AK or something
>>4107229It's a reference. Heather pilots a tank called the Metal Bullet and has a partner named Marco, so she looks like Fio from Metal Slug.
>>4107234yee, i understand its just references when you post the art. still jarring none-the-less to see traits like that that feel like they come out of left field though, even if i understand it might not be something she actually has.>implying you dont save the lewd art too.we've seen what you're willing to post BHOP!>>4107235eh, like BHOP said, its a stand-in as it was. neither fit the glasses motif. eh, just like with the Gat, Raths fighting style just really doesn't suit well to guns, even if her personality and likes do. too much of an either/or if we gave her one. now once build and resources arent an issue after all this, sure, build her an entire arsenal to play around with.
>>4107244Oh god, I just imagined what the Skinternet's /k/ is like. We can never let Rath get a Skintalker power.
>>4107244(I totally forgot that Fio had glasses, actually. I never imagined Heather/November with them, and was thoroughly salty when I couldn't find one without glasses that was any level of quality.)(Ha, true, true...then again, some of it legitimately escapes me. I never even caught Ivey's NSFW-ness until it was too late.)
>>4107246i mean, i cant imagine it being anywhere near the worse place on the skinternet. would be more interested in what skintalker hybrid would at all fit Rath than anything else that brings to mind.
>>4107228>>4107222>“Amara, did you hear…” You begin, looking down at the girl by your side for answers before you realize her smile’s left her cherubic face, replaced with a look of considerable discomfort. Following her gaze your eyes alight on a shabby metal door not far down the hall, and it’s in scanning for it that you realize yet another thing that’s uncomfortably familiar.>Amara’s head tilts to the side, having finally heard the echoing whispers that seem to come from the recesses of your own mind even as her unblinking gaze is locked on the worn sheet metal that seems to decay and rust further before your very eyes. If this is how Sigma’s mind reacts to you, then Francine and November may be in bigger danger than either of them realize…and as Amara tugs insistently on your arm, trying to keep a stiff upper lip despite the fear that chills her to her very core, your own mind whirls with how to address the dream-space predicament you’re in.I think this is Amara's Nightmare that we're being presented with. I distinctly remember that Amara would sometimes be left in a room in her mother's factory for hours alone. If we go on and search for another route we won't be able to find another sigma fragment that quickly, and we'll likely be detoured by more subconscious nightmares that present themselves to be purged. Also If my hunch is correct, I think the way that West Prime is keeping the original personas suppressed underneath the proxy personalities is by drowning the fragments in their nightmares.
>>4107249im not really sure thats true, and Shu was very clearly making distinct connections to her memories of things related to Sam. nothing says a Sigma fragment is here or behind the door. the much more likely way to find one is finding something NOT ours, and distinctly its own thing. wafting through a cobbled mess of our own thoughts sounds exactly like a way to drown out what we're actually looking for.
>>4107249yes it is something Amara fears. Quite possibly her nightmares true and i think this entire thing is gonna be a nightmare for all involved.Thing is we already faced our nightmare when we worked it out with Sam and I dont think working through this problem with Amara is gonna be too helpfull because it is exactly that: Amras Nightmare.Not OG's Sigmas Nightmare. WE need to expand our empathic field to make sure to find something that is not just being reflected to us form our own consciousness.Otherwise we will end up chasing the rabbit into the fucking Crystal labyrinth of Tzeentch
>>4107248I was thinking more "if she got on S/k/in, she'd never get off it". She'd be so distracted arguing in all the threads about whether Relic or Ability guns are better.>>4107249I'm not sure it's the factory, even if this nightmare has an industrial feel to it. Amara didn't show any signs of fear when we went there, she was just "oh, yeah, my mom would have me play in the basement while she was at work, no big deal". She lived in a place the narration calls the Town of Rust, I'm sure there were other rusty doors.
>>4107216>>4107216>Continue on down the corridor, ignoring the door Amara seems to fear in your search for West Sigma’s true self.>"Amara? Do you know what being brave is? Bravery is being scared of your fears, your nightmares, but facing them head on despite it, and coming out the other side knowing that you're stronger because you've already survived that nightmare before.">"Do you know that I was put into the same spot like you? Back in Almath, I was pulled into a dream dream where I had to face my own worst nightmare. I could have run away, I could have chosen another door, but I chose to be brave. I wanted to be better.">"I know you're scared of what's behind that door, I honestly do. I don't know what you're scared of, but if you're feeling brave and ready to face your nightmare after all of this, Let me know.">"But right now, facing your nightmare can wait. We have a person to save.">"Don't worry Amara, I'm with you, I'll keep you close.">pick up and hold Amara in your arms, let her wrap her arms around your neck>spawn another pair of arms to keep yourself a pair of free hands while your actual arms hold Amara.>Call out to the voice where you stand…maybe Sigma’s original form is trying to reach out to you?>Expand that empathetic field, Sort out the subconscious feelings, filter out the ones that come from Amara, November, Sam, and Francine. Focus only on the foreign emotions that aren't attached to Amara, November, Sam, or Francine.
>>4107256>"if she got on S/k/in, she'd never get off it".oh, i mean, fair enough. though im sure she would get off it to try out things she learned on there and whatnot.>Rath becomes a flesh-gunsmith after the crucible.would be neat. and as ive stated before, there is a distinct lack of guns around for this being america, damn if the crucible ate them or not, forges negate that excuse!>>4107260i think Amara knows what bravery is, is my only complaint with this really. shes a kid sure, but i think the concept she still has a good enough idea of, and feels a bit... condescending to her, to spell it out for her.
>>4107260>>4107216Amending my vote:>Continue on down the corridor, ignoring the door Amara seems to fear in your search for West Sigma’s true self.>"I know you're scared of what's behind that door, I honestly do. I don't know what you're scared of, but if you're feeling brave and ready to face your nightmare after all of this, Let me know.">"But right now, facing your nightmare can wait. We have a person to save.">"Don't worry Amara, I'm with you, I'll keep you close.">pick up and hold Amara in your arms, let her wrap her arms around your neck>spawn another pair of arms to keep yourself a pair of free hands while your actual arms hold Amara.>Call out to the voice where you stand…maybe Sigma’s original form is trying to reach out to you?>Expand that empathetic field, Sort out the subconscious feelings, filter out the ones that come from Amara, November, Sam, and Francine. Focus only on the foreign emotions that aren't attached to Amara, November, Sam, or Francine.
>>4107262Pretty sure that most crafted guns that are good are gonna be expensive as hell.THe Uzi is nice but not really primary weapon material for anythign but the early game i feel. Granted the Upgrade was nice and all but it still cant compare to the contender or the gun we have seen that Dr. Fran can now create it feels kinda outdated
>>4107216>>Continue on down the corridor, ignoring the door Amara seems to fear in your search for West Sigma’s true self.>"Amara, sweetie. It's okay. I don't know what you're scared of, and you don't have to say it if you don't want to. But whatever it is, it's not behind that door. This is just Sigma's dreamscape trying to spook us by drawing up bad memories. It's all a trick.">"But if the dreamscape is trying to scare us off, then maybe that means we're on the right track. So can we keep going down this way? We won't go in the door, don't worry about that, and I'll stand between it and you so you don't even to look at it. Alright?">Extend the empathic field and start searching around for minds that aren't just echos of your party. Supplement it with the Silver Key to maintain control and filter out any overly strong signals.>If the spooky door tries to swing open or something speaks through it when we get close, try to shut down that change to the dreamscape using the Silver Key. We're not letting a monster prey on our little girl's nightmares.
>>4107267true, but at the same time, we haven't really tried making a gun thats really good.while im still glad people liked it, i still made the Godamned Uzi mostly as a joke, and just didnt have any reason or argument not to make it when people started voting for it. things like the guns.... fuck me i cant remember her name suddenly. Crow Smoker lady. her are still pretty damn potent and viable, yet still fit snugly into Tier 2-3 range of Forge Core. mind you, im sure their actual biomass costs balance that out a bit, but its still a good example of Relic guns being viable without needing to make something T5 like the Contender.
>>4107271we dont have the silver key im pretty sure. the options said/implied whoever was doing the direct route had to have it to cut through the firewall.
>>4107273You mean Magpie?and sure we can maybe get a good gun just as a secondary weapon. There might be enemies we dont want ot get to close too all the time... Or have soemthign to shoot while we move to get closer.maybe for Julia if she is back since Dorian can move her and she could shoot down form on high
>>4107275Ah, damn, you're right. Well, guess we'll have to do it with pure mother bear determination.>>4107216Changing >>4107271>>Continue on down the corridor, ignoring the door Amara seems to fear in your search for West Sigma’s true self.>"Amara, sweetie. It's okay. I don't know what you're scared of, and you don't have to say it if you don't want to. But whatever it is, it's not behind that door. This is just Sigma's dreamscape trying to spook us by drawing up bad memories. It's all a trick.">"But if the dreamscape is trying to scare us off, then maybe that means we're on the right track. So can we keep going down this way? We won't go in the door, don't worry about that, and I'll stand between it and you so you don't even to look at it. Alright?">Extend the empathic field and start searching around for minds that aren't just echos of your party.>Be on the lookout for the spooky door doing something spooky when we go past and, and be ready to shut it with a dozen Hundred-Handed arms or drown out any voices coming through by talking reassuringly to Amara.
>>4107276MAGPIE! YES!sorry im just utter garbage with names. combined with my dyslexia sometimes names just... evade me, even if ive heard it alot.and well, i was just talking in general about flesh-guns, not specifically for us. the issue with giving some of our family guns is its just a bit too late in our builds i think to really make a split build viable enough for us to ever us a gun, relic or ability, if they arent already more of a range fighter.which, really is just Francine, who now has one. Shu already has a gun, Gina, Rath, Julia, and even Amara honestly are leaning pretty heartily towards melee if not full blown melee. Novemer is literally already a walking arsenal. only Dorian is kinda split between melee and ranged, but he still leans towards melee and im not sure he needs anything more than his lightning. i guess i could see a T4 that focuses or uses his lightning n a more ranged viable way could work, but thats about the best i can see for him or our family that doesnt feel like it would be splitting their attention too much. and i say this as someone who would be more than happy to have an entire party thats gunslingers first, with other things being secondary/backups.what we really need is some leg Relics for November. holy hell do we have nothing for those slots. even before we melded the Cursas to Julia, it really didnt go on her very often or expand her leg relic options at all.mind you, they dont need to specifically be leg/mobility relics, just something that can at least go in those slots.
>>4107216Amending my vote from>>4107228to >>Continue on down the corridor, ignoring the door Amara seems to fear in your search for West Sigma’s true self.>"Amara, sweetie. It's okay. I don't know what you're scared of, and you don't have to say it if you don't want to. But whatever it is, it's not behind that door. This is just Sigma's dreamscape trying to spook us by drawing up bad memories. It's all a trick.">"But if the dreamscape is trying to scare us off, then maybe that means we're on the right track. So can we keep going down this way? We won't go in the door, don't worry about that, and I'll stand between it and you so you don't even to look at it. Alright?">Extend the empathic field and start searching around for minds that aren't just echos of your party. Supplement it with the Silver Key to maintain control and filter out any overly strong signals.>If the spooky door tries to swing open or something speaks through it when we get close, try to shut down that change to the dreamscape using the Silver Key or the halo if the former is not available. We're not letting a monster prey on our little girl's nightmares.
>>4107298Um, we left the Silver key in the hands of Francine and November.
>>4107304oh right well then we will just have to shut it down trying to use the haloif i may direct your eyes to this part:> try to shut down that change to the dreamscape using the Silver Key or the halo if the former is not available.
>>4107304But i will say thayt i did forget about thatt part in the line before that so i will amend my vote again>>4107216Amending once again from>>4107298 to>>Continue on down the corridor, ignoring the door Amara seems to fear in your search for West Sigma’s true self.>"Amara, sweetie. It's okay. I don't know what you're scared of, and you don't have to say it if you don't want to. But whatever it is, it's not behind that door. This is just Sigma's dreamscape trying to spook us by drawing up bad memories. It's all a trick.">"But if the dreamscape is trying to scare us off, then maybe that means we're on the right track. So can we keep going down this way? We won't go in the door, don't worry about that, and I'll stand between it and you so you don't even to look at it. Alright?">Extend the empathic field and start searching around for minds that aren't just echos of your party. Supplement it with the Halos perception abilities. >If the spooky door tries to swing open or something speaks through it when we get close, try to analyze that change to the dreamscape using the halo if possible to identify it and if necessary shut it down(also shut down if indeterminable). We're not letting a monster prey on our little girl's nightmares.
And I have to leave for work. while it's snowing. God dammit. I'm gonna have to miss a good part of the rapid fire posting due to the timing which I leave work.
>>4107326be careful in that snow Anon, and we'll see ya when you do get back.going out for dinner myself, so ill be a bit more sparse at least on conversation myself for a bit too.
>>4107326Stay safe anon. Snow can be quite the fucking beast on the roads I wont be able to partake. staying up for the entire night is just not something i can afford to do these following nights. i would be a walking corpse for the rest for the week
>>4107326I'm sorry to hear that, anon. Stay safe on the roads.
(Gentlemen, I'd like to offer that since it appears most everyone will be either out or unable to participate fully, then I'd be happy to wait on rapid-posting until another evening this week if that would suit everyone' schedules better. I'd hate to exclude anyone, truly.)>>4107326#(Please be safe, Anon!)
>>4107388up to you and the other folks. i appreciate the thought and of course, would be fine with it, but if those who are gonna be here tonight would thus not be able to show for the later date, id not want it to exclude them for my benefit. what night were you think/hoping it would be, so folks can know if its worth it?
>>4107392(Tomorrow or Friday at around the same time, whichever would work better for everyone. I'm planning to pause ovee the weekend and resume on Monday, and be set to wrap the Vein on Wednesday, depending on the ground you all cover.)
>>4107397got a family dinner Friday so tomorrow would work best for me, with the same caveat of course.
>>4107397on phone at work tomorrow would work wonderfully for me
>>4107397I won't be available Friday, but I should be open tomorrow.
>>4107408>>4107403seems like we have a consensus that tomorrow is the day
>>4107388its fine OP I would at most loose out on like three or four votes.. which granted is a lot but well i trust the people here not to fuck it up.>>4107397As for another date Friday would be the only date for me since i dont have to work on Saturday and have no plans for that day as well. But I wont impose myself on anyone so you can have that stressful fun all by yourselves tomorrow. Mostly because i life in Europe so your evening is my very early morning and sadly i havent found a way to be effective at work with absolutely no sleep and the solution of napping has.... well only brought questionable results for me.....But since i have you here OP. Is there an ETA on when your comments for the abilites are coming? Over the weekend, before or after?
>>4107425(Probably Friday evening, as I'll pause the Vein in the later afternoon or early that night.)
>>4107216"Amara, sweetie. It's okay.” You assure, kneeling down in front of her as you put your hands on the slight girl’s small shoulders. “"I know you're scared of what's behind that door, I honestly do. I don't know what you're scared of, but if you're feeling brave and ready to face your nightmare after all of this, let me know.”Jerking a thumb over your shoulder with one hand, you cup Amara’s cheek with the other, gently directing her gaze away from what she fears and back to you.“But whatever it is, it's not behind that door. This is just Sigma's dreamscape trying to spook us by drawing up bad memories. It's all a trick. Okay?" You emphasize, and she slowly nods, trying her best to hold your eyes with her own. "But if the dreamscape is trying to scare us off, then maybe that means we're on the right track. So can we keep going down this way? We won't go in the door, don't worry about that, and I'll stand between it and you so you don't even to look at it. Alright?"Amara swallows hard before nodding sharply, her gaze fixed firmly ahead while her hand’s locked with yours, which makes it easier to scoop the girl up in your arms as she gives a surprised yelp. You feel a dull ache around your shoulders and under your arms as duplicate limbs begin to emerge from the bare flesh, bone and muscle rapidly taking shape as you stride onwards. Your Hundred-Handed are at the ready for any threats, while your real arms are reserved for cradling the child in your arms as best you can as you walk past the rusting door without another word or second glance.“…thank you.” She murmurs, squeezing your neck tight.“Any time.” You reply, giving her a squeeze right back.The ugly, outdated carpeting of Sam’s old dorm eventually gives way to the familiar tiling of the hospital, though by the time it resumes it’s no longer the shining, pristine flooring that you saw when you first entered Sigma’s dream. Pitted and scuffed, the floor beneath your feet bears the mark of years, now almost depressing in its current state coupled with the dim lights that hang dimly overhead. You get so used to the soft buzz of the dying LEDs overhead that Amara has to bring your attention to the gentle sound of running water, muffled behind the door you just passed on your right.Amara’s far less tense than before as you seize the knob and turn it, swinging the door open to reveal a cavernous cistern, a set of aesthetically-placed calcite stepping stones leading to an elevated spot at the heart of the massive room. The walls are covered with biomass, but not choked by it; the whole pace appears to have been carefully tended, the thin membrane of flesh that throbs over the walls and beats just under the water’s surface a labor of love as opposed to an untamed infestation.(Continued)
>>4107468“Woah...” Amara says with awe, eyes wide and her fear gone as she marvels at the unexpectedly cozy space.“…hope this is not another attempt at your…” Echoes the odd voice, its volume steadily increasing as you pick your way across the slick stone path on your way to the carefully-tailored space at the room’s center.“I’m serious! It's real pretty!" Amara fires back, coupling her retort to the ghostly snippet with an indignant raspberry, blown into the ether. You set her down as you find stable footing, your extraneous limbs receding as you pace around the setup, running your fingers along the back of the ragged loveseat that faces a battered television set, opposite a cobbled-together computer setup reminiscent of Orwell’s though nowhere near as advanced. The single monitor pulses with a rhythmic beat, the shattered screen revealing a series of clumps that surround a leathery, still-pumping heart. Closer inspection reveals the spheres to be grey matter, compressed and formed into the rudimentary shape of mouths, mismatched teeth shoved haphazardly into their half-formed gums.“So cool!” Amara gasps, her eyes wide and alight with curiosity.Yeah…yeah, that’s one word for it, kiddo.“…kinda freaky setup, dude.”You and Amara both flinch when a new voice cuts through the air right beside you, and the two of your whirl around to see an ill-defined shape, humanoid in the barest sense of the word. It’s a thing half-remembered, and as it stands upright, it appears to turn and face a similarly hazy figure seated on the arm of the couch.“…really think I can’t tell you’re being sarcastic?” The second figure replies, its voice a more defined version of the one whose snippets drift through the dream. “As if your rig is so supe…”“…no judgments here, man. I’m a retro kind of girl, myself. Got mine set up like an old-timey radio, real old-sch…” The other figure counters, her retort dying out as the figures fade into nothingness, the remainder of their conversation lost to dim and dusty memory.“Hello?” You test, your own voice echoing clearly through this lost space. Amara follows up with a louder version of your own query, both of your attempts to reach out dying out as their echoes fade to nothingness.With a bone-chilling chatter, the tooth-lined brains begin to clatter within the hollowed-out monitor, discolored tongues lolling about in their disembodied mouths.“…nfirmed kill count; fifty-six as of current date. Responsible for the mysterious disappearances of over two-doz …”“…spontaneously crafting booster-type Relics became…”“…not stop, rest, or allow herself to be…”Their groaning repetition slows to a chittering stop as the mouths go slack, their unnerving sound replaced by the voices from earlier, gentle whispers emanating from the couch.(Continued)
>>4107470“…nk you.” The second voice says, seated across from a forlorn-looking form on the opposite side of the couch.“…be the one thanking you.” The other girl replies, her hazy head turning to look at her companion even as she draws her knees closer to her chest. “I…appreciate you coming all this way to hear me out on the anni...”“…it. It was nothing.”“… lot more than just ‘nothing’, O-…uh…”“…ha, holy crap, we don’t know each other’s real names, do we? We’ve been collaborating so long and we never…”“…take it your real name’s not…”There’s a moment of silence between the ghosts, and then…“...name’s Tabitha.” The second voice answers.“…pretty. You’re going to laugh at mine.” The first voice chuckles weakly, wiping a tear from her eye.“…’t be worse than Tabith…”They’re fading now, their voices reduced to little more than a series of whispers as their bodies dissipate into wispy tendrils of smoke.“…ternet handle.” The voice says, and the second figure begins to laugh.“…tting me?! You didn’t even change y…”Amara strains to hear them out, her car-like ears aimed directly at the phantoms as they cease to be, but it’s not a matter of sound…it’s a thing of memory. You turn in place, pivoting on your heel as you survey your surroundings seethe at the mental butchery West Prime’s inflicted on whoever’s mind this used to be.Starting to pace, you’re dimly aware of Amara tracing your steps a pace or two behind you, ‘hm’-ing every time you do as your ponderings continue. You couldn’t seem to get the ghosts’ attention through typical means, though maybe you shouldn’t be surprised given their ill-defined forms. Though you’re not sure where to go from-“It’s spit!” Amara declares helpfully, and you turn to find she’s ladled some of the surrounding water into her mouth with her hands cupped tight.“That…that’s great, sweetie, but please don’t drink any more of…” You begin, catching sight of the faux-computer setup out of the corner of one eye.It’s too similar to Orwell’s to be a coincidence. The trend’s apparent through all of the Proxies you’ve researched; Neuromancy from West, hybridized with what you assume to be the Core powers of the unfortunate souls that she dooms to be like her.In this case?Skintalking, woven into Neuromancy.As Amara furtively sips a bit more of the suspect spittle that surrounds you, you think you may have an idea.>>Use your abilities to try and negate West Sigma’s Neuromancy in the real, driving a wedge between West and her host.>>Demand to speak to West. A fragment of her is in here somewhere, and you’ve conquered one before…time to go two-for-two.>>The voice that’s been whispering around you…you’ve heard what it’s said, before. It’s just a hunch, but let’s try calling out a name.>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Gentlemen, voting shall remain open for the next four hours as I wrap up the work day, with rapid-posting to go into effect tomorrow evening instead of tonight. That should allow me to also get rid of this irritating headache that's been plaguing me all day. I hope everyone's day is going well, and thank you all for your participation .)
>>4107475>The voice that’s been whispering around you…you’ve heard what it’s said, before. It’s just a hunch, but let’s try calling out a name.>Use your abilities to try and negate West Sigma’s Neuromancy in the real, driving a wedge between West and her host.i think both are doable, and might even help eachother out. its possible there is no 'west' in the traditional sense as before to even talk to, albeit 'sigma' could be in here somewhere. but i dont think we need to directly 'beat' any West in here to win this one, and 'worse' case? trying to mess with her with Neuromancy or call out the original owner might bring her forth anyways, if we do end up having to deal with her at all. ...also, Amara, please stop drinking the spit. even if it was 100% safe... why... why would you even want to do that? why?
>>4107475>>The voice that’s been whispering around you…you’ve heard what it’s said, before. It’s just a hunch, but let’s try calling out a name.>"You are Kleio arent you?">>Use your abilities to try and negate West Sigma’s Neuromancy in the real, driving a wedge between West and her host.>Give Gina a small tug over the crimson Cord. If she can spare any amount of attention may she please help you sepereate West and This girl.... she is the one that complied all the data on WAlpha...... FUCK YOU WEST!!!! MAY GOD SMITE YOUR SOUL INTO OBLIVION AND FORCE FEED IT TO LUCIFER THROUGH HIS ANUS WHILE YOUR COMPLETELY CONSCIOUS AND CAN EXPERIENCE EVERY SECOND OF IT FOR THE REST OF ETERNITY!!!!!AND THEN GIVE YOUR SOUL OVER TO THE CHUCKLEFUCK TZEENTCH SO HE CAN TURN YOU INTO A DAMN SPAWN LIKE YOU DESERVEI just had to do that fuck.......... i am still shaking with anger........
>>4107475>>The voice that’s been whispering around you…you’ve heard what it’s said, before. It’s just a hunch, but let’s try calling out a name.>"Kleio? Is that you?">"Please, Kleio, help me make this right. I don't know if there's enough of you left to come back from this. But if there's enough to help, enough to fight what West is doing here, I could really use it.">"We're going to end her, Kleio. For you, for your sister, for Tabitha, for everyone she's hurt. 'She's not a doctor, she's not a butcher, she's monster', that's what you said, right? Help me slay the monster."
>>4107497im more curious just what Sigmas mission is now than anything. i mean, yeah i hate West, but we already knew she had done this, so its more of wondering if BHOP planned and tried to corral us towards this option after telling us her story for dramatic purposes, or if it was all just luck Sigma was the easiest for us to go for? and given the story behind her, it feels like West wouldn't of sent her on just any old mission, especially given the potential materials to build a Proxy from. Makes it both possibly much more unnerving why West was interested in this factory and her plans for it. or of course, how little she actually cared or thought of her if Sigma really is just on a 'curiosity' mission, though i do think the first ones probably more likely.
>>4107511yeah i now i think this just made the entire thing more real..... its one thing hearing about it but standing in front of the product of that unholy act is just.... It makes my skin crawl.I guess she would be interested if she could get more of the Hexxane Tech out of the factory to improve herself or maybe get a clue to any other structurres that may contain knowledge of the Hexxane. like Records for the purpose of the halos or storage spaces that may still be intact and hold incredibly valuable relics she maybe could use to stabilize herself.
>>4107511(Sigma was always the easiest one to go after, even if you hadn't figured out who she was. You running across that information (which in and of itself was a roll on Orwell's part) merely unlocked an alternative route through this quest and gave you some bonuses. If you'd decided to go after a different Proxy, you'd have likely never found this out. Similarly, the Geist you fought in the caves underneath your home had some ties to characters you know currently, but that would be a much harder plot thread to untangle. There's a lot going on behind the scenes, a vast majority of which may never even see the light of a Vein.)
>>4107511I'd say it's probably something to do with Forges. Silvis was a power plant manager, if this was his factory then whatever was being made here should be power systems. Since I doubt West is that interested in the green energy tech that the Hexane used before their Crucible, the only thing I can think of that Silvis would have been involved in producing would be Forge Cores and the the devices for channeling their output.>>4107519Really, the Geist had ties to characters we know? Interesting. I'd guess Sugar, since we know that Sugar also went delving into the cthonic underworld. Maybe they met, down in the dark.
>>4107519Geist? you mean mite-bone-dust girl right? the girl i posted a pic that reminded me of her earlier? well of course that threads basically impossible to properly unravel, gals dead-dead, no dream daughter shenanigans there.and honestly, once the stories fully done in like... what? another year and a half at the least? you're gonna have to weave us a least a few of those stories and plot points we overlooked and/or just had no way of ever coming across. ill particularly be interested in things of actual plot relevance we missed or didnt interact with, but still affected us, whether we knew it or not(above the usual 'everything's part of a living world' type of affecting us, is what i mean.)>>4107518could be that simple sure, but at the very least id think shes made actual hard headway into that for Sigma to still be here, especially as we did hear she was pulling some proxies back and whatnot. the level of implied progress itself might be worrying, even if what its into itself might not be the most surprising or spectacular. >>4107530i could see it, though we'll have to see. 'factory' could be a bit of a... i dont want to say 'miswording' or mistranslation, but it could just be a 'factory producing power' basically. but i guess that falls close enough into line with what you said.as for the Geist...i could see it being Sugar, but the way she talked and her situation, aswell as how BHOP usually operates and some other little possible clues, makes me think its something much deeper than just running into eachother. my Guess is the Midnight Crew. they were all in the 'basically waiting to die' wing of the hospital, and if you remember the Geists conversation with Shu, she was aswell. i'd make perfect sense if she knew the midnight crew, possibly even much more personally, even if they were not outright friends.
>>4107537(I'll be happy to do so, though most of it's just fun little facts about who knows who and the reasons behind certain characters' actions. Most heavily plot-relevant storylines will be wrapped up, I'm sure. I'm trying to ensure it won't be like some JRPGs where if you miss a certain cutscene, didn't read the Japan-only light novel, or failed to watch the low-budget anime by some no-name studio, then you'll be lost forever. Rest assured, all major questions will be answered in the actual fiction.) (...I have beef with certain multi-media projects.)
>>4107547sounds like it, and i fully understand.
>>4107537>i could see it being Sugar, but the way she talked and her situation, aswell as how BHOP usually operates and some other little possible clues, makes me think its something much deeper than just running into eachother. my Guess is the Midnight Crew. they were all in the 'basically waiting to die' wing of the hospital, and if you remember the Geists conversation with Shu, she was aswell. i'd make perfect sense if she knew the midnight crew, possibly even much more personally, even if they were not outright friends.Huh, maybe. The Bone Geist did say that she met people like her (which could mean the very ill, prior to the Crucible), but that they left her after she made the wrong choice. That could be the Midnight Crew. I feel like Jackie would have mentioned her if that was the case, but it's possible the memory was too unpleasant and she just didn't want to think of the Bone Geist.>>4107547Oh, good. Because it sounds like there's a lot of interesting stuff that happened behind the scenes. I'm still trying to figure out who was the potential party member in the city every time we meet someone new. Also, I share your frustration with intertextual media. I hate how big a thing that is these days. If you don't give me everything I need to understand the story within the text of the story itself, you are either a bad author or a shameless self-promoter trying to extract as much from your fandom as possible. Plus, it encourages gatekeeping behavior, which is just awful. I'm with you, BHOP. Fuck intratextualization.
I'm fucking back. College has been sucking my soul out through my asshole but now I have time to post again. I'm glad that curiosity about ghost girl picked up slightly because I think we may be missing something big here regarding the weird cave. I feel like the forges may be causing it and be more than we think. We should go exploring those caves more often, just in case. Then again my memory is shit and maybe we already did and it didnt have anything of interest but I doubt that. Feels good to be back with you nasty people.
>>4107600(Welcome back, Anon! Glad to have you.)
>>4107600as far as i remember BHOP saying, those particular caves just lead further down to a waystation and nothing more. we do now know 'going down' might lead to some interesting things, but specifically i dont think those caves are anything more than a waystation, hence the disinterest in those ones.
>>4107600Hi, welcome back. I'm glad you've got time to participate again.We haven't gone exploring our caves, but we have learned things about cave systems in general. Apparently the Crucible just gets weird once you hit fifteen hundred meters down. Zahira (Lepisma's real name) told us about explorers who encountered sudden overwhelming spikes of Hunger, or visions that they couldn't describe afterwards, and those who made it back brought with them strange Relics. Also, Sugar spent a lot of time burrowing before she met the rest of the Barbers, and while she can't lucidly explain the experience she knows that she learned what the Mother of All is when she was down there.In theory we could learn some pretty important information going down there, if the mines connect to a deeper cave system past the Waystation. In practice we've been jumping from emergency to emergency so much that we haven't gotten the chance for a long-term expedition like that yet. Also, I really don't want to descend into a hell-cavern full of shifting phantasms. That's one of my nightmare scenarios.
>>4107620>>4107622I remember bhop using the same picture of the spooky caves for beneath Dorian's manor where we found a corrupted forge and Johanna. I remember Sugar went down, but I definitely didnt remember Zahira saying all that. Shit. I might have some rereading to do. But I am unsure if its something forged or corrupted forges do to the environment or something more. Maybe one day we can explore and figure out what the hell is going on. Maybe one of the Joyous actually went down once? What kind of relics were brought back from under the earth?Bet the caverns have something to do with how the crucible might be containing that one daughter who hybridized everything.
>>4107614Also hi bhop, glad to be back.
>>4107638it was a corrupted Engine under Dorians manor, not a forge. and i dont remember it being caves under his manor, just the one room with the engine. >>4107622>>4107638if we find a good cave system, then maybe, and/or just send some joyous and swarmlings down, but any underground passageway we have so far encountered as been a dead end for spelunking into the Crucibles core. mind you, i dont think we've found many such places, other than waystations, but unless BHOPs really omitting something fierce information wise to us, waystations seem to be a dead-end in terms of further exploration.it also feels like, for as... wonky, as Sugar can be, i do feel like in her moment of cognitivity she would've mentioned if it was a waystation that allowed her to delve deeper, but instead she did not. actually that is an interesting point though. not every cave would be a waystation, but it seems like every waystation becomes a cave, regardless of why it spawned or where it spawned. might be something to that, ill fully admit, but it still doesnt solve the issue we would have more than plenty of reason to know if waystations 'continued down' further, especially the one near our home.
>>4107669I'm not sure it's that out there for us to have missed it. Bhop is a pretty good gm and if stuff happens in the background, I imagine other daughters also would have encountered some caves.If they did, I think they may not think its anything noteworthy, or maybe if the caves have weird mental effects on the daughters who enter, it may be scrubbing their memories so effectively that neuromancy may not be able to detect anything wrong. Alternate dimensions seem to be a thing in bhquest since we physically jumped into yurei's dreamscape by leaping into her gahadokuro form, and unknown kadath seems to lead to some place beyond the dreamscape. If I remember correctly, anyway. I dont think we ever made a concerted effort to go spelunking in the ghost girls cave further. To my memory we just got through a tough fight and decided to get out of the cave and deal with it later, but we never did.im gonna go scour the previous threads for more info.Ghost girl was also spouting some gibberish about gods dark shadow or whatever that was. Considering she was in the caves for who knows how long, maybe she saw more than she was able to let on.
I went back, its not a way station. Gina felt weird static but marked the location of the cave so we could go spelunking later. But the cave did go deeper. Somethings up.Or down, actually.
>>4107757Not necessarily. It's a mineshaft, not a natural cave, so I think we all assumed once we knew about the Waystation that it was just a Waystation in a mineshaft and that the further depths had no special significance. It still might not, we'll have to investigate (via remote construct, no way am I going down there without a map) how deep it goes, see if it reaches the weirdness depth of fifteen hundred meters.
If anyone wants to check, it was in thread 5 on the archive.
>>4107788>>4107757it does bring up a question about almath however, How deep underground is Almath?
>>4107798Interesting, good catch anon.
>>4107809Well, it could easily be less than fifteen hundred meters. That's actually pretty deep. Like, how high do you think the ceiling on the cavern was? Maybe five hundred, six hundred meters, tops? The Empire State Building is only three hundred and eighty-one meters, so there's plenty of room to have that central government tower in a cave that size. So put another five hundred meters of descent through the fleshscape before you reach the cave and you still wouldn't have the ground floor be past the spooky vision depth.
>>41078 I went back to the thread we entered almath. We saw a giant eyeball on the ceiling of the cavern, but apparently it was several thousand feet in the air. Dont know about almath's buildings, but the cavern it was in is apparently fucking huge.
>>4107840Well, a thousand meters would be thousands of feet. Four hundred meters deep and you'd still be in the safe region. Or maybe it's even bigger and deeper, and the Crucible just prioritizes having a creepy memento of Ozmas' past over giving creepy visions.
>>4107847>Well, a thousand meters would be thousands of feet. I'm a fucking idiot and read feet.
>>4107798first off, thats from Vein 6. lord fucking knows you made me run in circles because of that.second off, you are intentionally trying to mislead people now. that is literally from right after the end of the last Vein, and that was still when we were first inside the cave. we had not yet actually explored it, and that was Gina sensing it was a waystation without us yet knowing what those were. we later explored it to find what she was sensing was the waystaion deeper in, and it was never said to have anything after the waystation, which was described as being pretty deep into the cave.
>>4107878>>4107798actually, ill apologize and admit im being a bit too accusatory there. sorry, im just frustrated as i both had tried to reply and lost not one, but three messages or considerable length to the fact someone got the area i was eating in range banned.nevertheless, the point still stands that that was only right after we had defeated the ghost girl, and we later explored and continually used it as a waystation, aswell as in that same vein, that feeling Gina had in the cave was picked up on in Kosis city, which turned out to be her sensing waystaions and nothing more.
(Fighting through this headache and finishing up writing soon, Gentlemen.)
>>4107907sorry to hear the headaches still giving you trouble. as usual dont push yourself too hard for our sake.
>>4107907No need to push yourself if you're not feeling well, BHOP.
>>4107878>>4107887Shit, I'm sorry about the wrong vein number. I was only able to sporadically check here and there in the middle of a hectic day. I didn't realize it was actually a way station though. I'm more free for the moment so I'll try to actually finish the vein and read more. My apologies. I didn't mean to mislead anyone. But I am glad you read more into it than I did, at least.
>>4107981nah like i said i jumped the gun on that a bit due to... alot of frustrations building up, and im again sorry for that. i mean, again, its not outright impossible theres more to it, only that everything within the context of how BHOP has given us info and worded things would give us no reason to think or suspect its anything more, for reasons specified. im more of just trying to make sure we understand everything and dont go running off checking things out uselessly, than trying to harp on you specifically or anything. honestly, its been discussed before that delving deep probably isnt actually worth it and certainly isnt necessary, but if we are interested in that, asking Sugar more about it and where she did it, is probably our better bet anyways, than risking a totally unknown and suspicious cave, if it did go further down than the waystation.
>>4107475"Kleio...is that you?"Your voice echoes off the cistern's walls, but it doesn't fade. It loops, your mirrored voice reflecting the name back to you over and over again as it steadily grows in volume."Please, Kleio, help me make this right." You plead, a low rumble trembling through the dream as Gina manifests your swarm in the waking world, bringing your plan into motion. "I don't know if there's enough of you left to come back from this. But if there's enough to help, enough to fight what West is doing here, I could really use it."The echo escalates, the name hammering the walls as the dream begins to shudder under its own unsustainable weight, with Amara running to your side as she draws her sword in your defense."We're going to end her, Kleio! For you, for your sister, for Tabitha, for everyone she's hurt!" You yell, trying to make yourself heard over the mind-bending din of the host's name. 'She's not a doctor, she's not a butcher, she's monster', that's what you said, right? Help me slay the monster!"A suddenly as it started, the rumbling ceases, the cistern purged of the terrible echo as an equally disconcerting silence falls across the cavern."...K-Kleio?"You turn, rounding on the source of the timid, confused voice that sounded behind you. The girl you find standing near the monitors is nude, her warped body an imperfect fusion of two dissimilar forms. The slight, angular body of a West sticks out at impossible directions from the frame of a shorter, slightly plump young woman, the mix of black and blonde hair falling about a wild-eyed face."Kleio..." The malformed girl says again, rolling the familiar word about on a pair of unfamiliar tongues. "Who...who is...w-what am I?""You're someone who can save so, so many people, Kleio." You say, reaching out your hand. "There's a part of you that's fighting what my friend is trying to do. She's trying to free you, to give you a second chance. Will you let her do that? Will you let go of West, and take hold of her?"Her left eye blinks, then the other as she studies your face for a long moment with her mismatched gaze. Then...with agonizing deliberation...she slowly reaches out and takes your offered hand.And when she does, everythingjustshatters.Your left eye socket aches in the absence of that which once filled it, your vision nauseatingly split as you stare at one of your swarmlings. The eye that's affixed to its chitin stares back at you, and you can see yourself clearly, as you were so many weeks ago.A lifetime ago.You're a mess, your blood-caked tee-shirt glistening with the fresh scarlet that oozes from your gaping socket. Your swarmling's strapped down to a laboratory table, the rust-red light of the Fleshscape streaming in through the observatory's wide-open window. Reaching out, you pluck the orb from your swarmling's shell, shoving it back in your socket with a sickening squelch as you blink back bloody tears.Clap.Clap.Clap.(She's Here)
>>4108011A pair of black-gloved hands continue to slowly clap, their owner grinning at you from her seat by the window. She's taken the form you first met her in, those infinite days ago when you lived in a blissful world where there was only one of her ilk running around. But now, as you glare with restored vision at the monster before you, you realize that there's something keenly different about the butcher's presence.What sits before you is no mere puppet, no simple Proxy. The form may be projected, but the essence? You can feel it in your bones that this..."Hello, Darling~" The devil crows....this is the genuine article.This is Doctor West."And a job very well done, might I add! An excellent show, truly!" West Prime continues as she rests one hand on the arm of her simple chair, the other curling into a relaxed fist that she tucks neatly under her bony chin. Your blood chills as her eyes rove across your body, her cursory examination ending with her gaze piercing into yours."You've certainly proven yourself to be an exquisite thorn in my side...and while I'd love to wax poetic about the extent of just how marvelously you've just shot yourself in the proverbial foot, I'd be a fool to waste our first *real* interaction on grandiose monologues."You blink."Oh, yes. Imagine! All that vitriol for me and mine, and this is the first time we've ever truly exchanged words." She smiles, a crooked, unnatural thing that glints in the light of a flesh-wrapped hell. "We're both women of words, Darling. Words words words, and so many grand ideas. 'You have questions, I have answers?' Isn't that how it first went? Well, you can relax. Your plan worked. Beta's Relic worked like a charm. Goodness, my constructs won't even be able to find their way back to my real body at all, given the damage you've done. Alas, my Proxies are locked away from me for better or worse...heh, so much the worse for you and yours, but you'll understand those ramifications soon enough.""So!" She suddenly exclaims, throwing her arms wide as you fail to flinch. "I thought I'd grant you the courtesy of the first word.""...Why?" You growl."Because rest assured, Darling..." She replies, her smile never quite reaching her cold, cruel eyes."...I'll have the last.">>You have nothing to say to the likes of her. Have Gina pull you out of the Dreamscape. You're done here.>>"You can have all the words you want, West...when we meet, face to face? Me and my family won't have any to spare for you as we give you everything you deserve.">>"...Not 'Beta.' Francine. She's her own person, someone YOU underestimated. She beat you, Prime. And so will we.">>"So what's the grand plan now, Doc? Your Proxies are free, we're coming for you, and word on the street says your days are numbered with whatever shit-show you've made out of your body. So...how the hell do you think you can recover from this?">>Stay silent.>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Gentlemen, I'll be pausing here for the evening and leaving voting open for the next twelve hours, with posting to resume in approximately thirteen, work willing. Thank you all for your patience, enthusiasm, and participation, and I wish you all a restful evening, one and all.)
>>4108021Thanks for running, BHOP. See you tomorrow.
>>4108015>>"You can have all the words you want, West...when we meet, face to face? Me and my family won't have any to spare for you as we give you everything you deserve.">>You have nothing to say to the likes of her. Have Gina pull you out of the Dreamscape. You're done here.honestly? even that feels like way too much to say to her. while West has never been a liar, I dont feel like we should or can afford to waste time playing 20 questions with her. Dorian was and still might be in danger, remember? and we need confirmation on whats happened with the plan.sure, she might actually answer questions honestly, but to what end? is she stalling? for herself? or what else might be going on we need to be on top of. if shes right about this being a mistake, then getting to seeing how the West network is reacting might be something we need to do now, not later.and of course, as stated sorta, West Alpha is still an issue. if this hasn't stopped her, we without a doubt dont have time to waste on her right now.she also doesn't deserve our time or the courtesy of us even acknowledging directly her insight, no matter how much she has, but those reasons fall short compared to the very real logistics reasons we have to not waste time here.
>>4108021you get some sleep BHOP, and dont feel too beaten up over if that headache and your utterly abysmal luck lately makes you have to shift the schedule or anything. lord knows life hasnt been pulling its punches for any of us it sounds like, so we understand.
>>4108039(It's my pleasure, truly.)>>4108044(You too, and thank you for posting a marvelous version of what may be my favorite Godzilla-series kaiju. Honestly, it just makes me want to hammer out a draft of that Magical Girl Kaiju idea I mentioned a while back...ah, someday.)
>>4108068>first, we had cute girls piloting mechs>Then, the mechs WERE the cute girls.>Now, the author of an eldritch bodyhorror quest about cute girls brings you.... the cute girls BEING the cute mechs!dont get me wrong BHOP, im sure you could do the idea superbly, but the thought of both it, and where its coming from, still makes me roll with laughter.
>>4108015>Take a deep breath, then slowly exhale out the rage, and let calm take center stage in your mind. Anger won't do you any good. Not when you're strapped for time.>Stay Silent. Let the Doctor Monologue for as much as you are comfortable with, then leave.>"I'll see you at the Cord, West.">>4108068>Magical Girl Kaiju QuestUm Bhop, let me tell you that I've already seen a quest like that on akun, and a quest like that doesn't really jive with me. Oh, that reminds me. There's a manga that has the same premise that you're talking about (Magical Girl Kaiju), penned by the same author that wrote/drew Gantz, and it's called: "Gigant". It's pretty weird, and the Magical Girl in question that can go kaiju mode in that manga is apparently a porn star. Here's the link.https://manganelo.com/manga/gigant
>>4108079Akuns not really a reliable source honestly, and not everything needs to or can fill everyones niche. better BHOP does ideas he likes, than trying to only aim to please folk. >>4108068but speaking of kaiju girls, still have this one to post too.
>>4108079(I'm...hrm. I'm reasonably certain that the writer on Akun probably didn't take it in the direction I was planning, though I'll have to try and find it to see where they took it.)>>Manga by Gantz author(Ah, marvelous! I'll have to check it out.)>>the Magical Girl in question that can go kaiju mode in that manga is apparently a porn star.(...huh. Again, not the direction I intended to go with my own story, but still. I'd imagined more Madoka Magica meets Animorphs, on slightly bigger scale.)
>>4108104(You spoil me, Sir.)
I'm not sure what I want to respond with. I would like to hear what she's bragging about with "ha ha, unshackling the network is shooting yourself in the foot because my Proxies are so much worse when they've got free will than without", but I think I know what she's going to say, there. And there's the possibility that it's just her stalling for time while she does something. So we probably should just bounce. But I don't want to give her the satisfaction. I would say something snide before leaving to counter it by dismissing her, a quick "Nah, ya boring", but I don't think that's really in character for Shu right now. I don't know, I think I'm putting way more thought into it than it needs, but I still don't have a response I'm happy with.
>>4108147>>4108079As stated, its really not worth the risk asking her questions or letting her talk might entail, if nothing else.
>>4107993It's cool. I was focusing on the caves too much without enough info, but I looked at it a little more. I've been looking at the rest of vein 6, and also comparing with our encounter with Johanna under Dorian's manor. Although there is static under kosi's city and the mountain and both are waypoints, I noticed that Gina didnt get the static from under Dorian's manor, but under the manor Gina didnt get static. She was able to detect the engine, though. This is in thread 13. I'm thinking the static belongs to the way stations, but the way station underneath kosi's city wasnt weirdly warped like the one under Julia's mountain was. I'm guessing that there may have been a sparagmos engine further down the tunnels under the mountain where we fought the ghost girl, but I remember also that there was an uncorrupted (I think) engine under the sororitas factory where we met Ringo. Can't check that part now but it may just be that the sparagmos engines cause the surroundings to become black and warped when they get corrupted. Then again, I think it may be possible that there is something we dont know. We should put it on the back burner for now. It's quack season.>>4108015>>"...Not 'Beta.' Francine. She's her own person, someone YOU underestimated. She beat you, Prime. And so will we.">>"You sound like a comic book villain. Speak straight, quack. >>"So what's the grand plan now, Doc? Your Proxies are free, we're coming for you, and word on the street says your days are numbered with whatever shit-show you've made out of your body. So...how the hell do you think you can recover from this?"In that order.
>>4108164>I'm guessing that there may have been a sparagmos engine further down the tunnels under the mountain where we fought the ghost girl,Above them, not below. The Lair is above the mineshaft, remember? The Sparagmos Engine signal in this region is coming from the one in our living room.
>>4108079(Anon; in retrospect, I realize that my comments may have seemed overly dismissive or critical as to you sharing the existence of the Akun fic and the latest manga by the author of Gantz. I'm sorry if it came across like that, as that was more my headache talking than anything. I appreciate you sharing the existence of two pieces of media I didn't know existed, and I'm intrigued to review them and see how they handle a similar concept to what I've been batting around for a while.)
>>4108232I don't mind, the akun quest I would not recommend. But the manga I would recommend. Go drink a cocacola and get some rest will ya?
>>4108287(Ha, I'm headed to bed right now, actually. Rest well, everyone.)
>>4108015>Take a deep breath, then slowly exhale out the rage, and let calm take center stage in your mind. Anger won't do you any good. Not when you're strapped for time.>>You have nothing to say to the likes of her. Have Gina pull you out of the Dreamscape. You're done here.>>"You can have all the words you want, West...when we meet, face to face? Me and my family won't have any to spare for you as we give you everything you deserve.">"I'll see you at the Cord, West."No large words no big speeches. She is clearly trying to buy time by getting us to ramble. We have wasted enough time already to listen to her ramble on. So no letting her ramble and just get us out of here GinaDorian is quite possibly still in danger and the other proxies are gonna move soon if they want to keep their independence. Not to mention that most of them now that they no longer have Primes/WAlphas protection they will quickly be hunted down for all they have done
>>4108329I take back my earlier suggestion of >>4108164Dorian and the team come first. We can deal with whatever comes up with the proxies later. But we do have to call her a quack to her face. I actually dont think she was called a quack by us, it was just an inside joke by us anons, but we should call her one.
>>4108288Night bhop, and all you wonderful people.
>>4108015>>Write-In>"What's left to say? You wouldn't have started running if you didn't know how this is going to go down. See you at the Cord, darling.">Signal to Gina over the Crimson Cord to disconnect us.So what are people's thoughts on what the backlash of unshackling the Proxies is going to be? Feels like it's probably not just that they all have their own individual curiosities, and now have free reign to satisfy themselves as they wish instead of being constrained by working for West. We were prepared for that possibility, and considered it worth it if only because a couple dozen uncoordinated Wests are still less of a problem for the world than Prime winning the Crucible. This has to be a dead man's switch scenario then, right? The Proxies are primed to deploy something nasty if the connection is cut, maybe some psychic weapon since they all have Neuromancy in common.
>>4108453Maybe some implanted failsafe like a bomb or something that would go off once the connection to the network was lost for a long time.Possibly nuclearOr we just unleashed a couple of minor Doktor Totenköpfe onto the world...It also depends on how much they deviated from their original programming already before we cut them off. If they deviated towards emotions they either gonna kill themselves or try to repent.But those freshly scrubbed are gonna be pretty unrepentant for their actions. And they might go on rampage to link back up with prime for a while
>>4108453Let's review what she said.>and while I'd love to wax poetic about the extent of just how marvelously you've just shot yourself in the proverbial foot,>Your plan worked. Beta's Relic worked like a charm. Goodness, my constructs won't even be able to find their way back to my real body at all, given the damage you've done. Alas, my Proxies are locked away from me for better or worse...heh, so much the worse for you and yours, but you'll understand those ramifications soon enough."It's possible that some of the proxies were people even more unhinged than West. Maybe not as evil, but more chaotic and impulsive. And with all the trauma they just endured, perhaps we just let a bunch of mad dogs off their leashes.Maybe it's a Hunger bomb that'll make them all go berserk with hunger, or a virus that forcibly turns them into Amalgams.It's tough to say until we know for sure - but although West is ambiguous about a lot of things, I don't think she's lying about this. Somebody like her, she would never willingly pass up the chance to let us know when we've fucked up.
>>4108501Maybe, but we already accounted for that risk in our decision-making, and even if West can't know that it would be weird storytelling for her to have completely misread the situation. Doesn't really flow for her to make these ominous proclamations and then have it turn out to be something we were expecting and accepting.>>4108518Yeah, it's got to be something where Prime's inability to connect to them is the problem, which is why I'm thinking dead man's switch. Some system that needs her updates to keep it stable and disarmed. But I'm having trouble seeing what could be so bad for us if it triggered. Gamma was the third-strongest West, so them all going Hunger-mad shouldn't be so scary. If anything that makes them less scary, since they'll be worse planners. And Hunger bombs affecting other people would require some really powerful ordinance to be effective given that Wests are often isolated from other Daughters, you'd need a lot of range. Whatever this is, it's something we've got no idea about.
>>4108522Could be some kind of contingency program as well to make the proxies do something... Something like the geas Ozmas used on Charon just much less powerful.Maybe they have the ability of the halos implanted into them? So that anyone who tried to consume them would get their face stomped in afterwards by becoming powerlessOtherwise I can't really think of anything aside from her making sure that anyone trying to get anything from the proxies has to regret it.
>>4108453>>4108501>>4108518I actually don't think its anything super complex or crazy, especially not with how she us speaking. It doesn't at all sound like she is mocking us over directly having a Deadman switch to scenario setup for if this happened, at least not with what the proxies do or happens to them, but that shes saying our idea to do this and set them free in the first place was the mistake.I think its part opinion, part us underthinking the ramifications possibly. While the proxy network was indeed dangerous, we can't deny it actually could be so much worse. In truth, who was Sigma and similar proxies hurting? Directly, physically? No one. Sure, West Prime getting whatever she wanted from the Hexxane Powerplant is very bad, but in the process of doing that Sigma is still not actually hurting anyone. It even sounded like she might not of attacked us if it turned out to be something else, or might not of even been ALLOWED to. Her job was to research the Hexxane Factory, so her actions and movements were limited to thongs involving that. So were many other proxies.Now. Now any, and possibly alot, are free from that... But they could still very and easily be a 'West'. While not as strong as the network could be together... The truth is? The network never really was together. They rarely if ever worked together. But now those individual chunks are individuals, all with West level charm, cunning, and intellect. They will now have their own end goals, and know they need to level up and do experiments that catch them up to actual threats and endgame goals, not just their specific mission. And West being a cunt isn't actually new info, so its far from impossible many of them will charm poor fools into their clutches where before they had no reason to.On top of this, each and every West will now know for a fact we and ours are a major threat. Where once we may of only had Alpha directly gunning for us, now several Wests might, or worse, where before they were isolated, they might go full 'Council of Wests' to work together to end us. Especially any that actually liked and wanted and still do want, to be part of the proxy network and West Primes big plan.Sure, some may and probably will go good. But those ones might also be hunted down as major threats due to their similarities to Francine, and regardless of that, they could easily be a minority. Its very much that we may of opened Pandora's box, thinking we knew just how bad doing so would be, but utterly underestimating how bad it could make things.
>>4108568Maybe we opened Pandora's box. Then we will have to deal with that sure.But with the power of Friendship, Anime and lots and lots of Firepower we will prevail
>>4108587you sir, i have the perfect image for what you just said.
>>4108568I'm inclined to agree on that. In all honesty however, we could have done better in the whole war against West. We showed our hand early by revealing Francine in our fight against Yurei, We didn't consider that skinternet has information on Shu's family publicly available for all skintalkers to browse,And to top it off, our hand was forced when Orwell revealed that Alpha is gunning after Francine after taking down West Tau (who had Amara's Biological Mother as the base) for recalibration. If anything, this will make our long term goal of cleaning up after West Prime's mess even harder due to the fact that we really don't know the extent of how aligned with Prime the majority are, and how independent they are, and from what we could infer, West Prime has been sending Alpha out on routine inquisition trips to prune disobedient proxies (like West Tau) while the rest of them seem to be happy as clams and content to follow Prime's footsteps.
>>4108015Your breathe in, then out, slowly exhaling the rage that threatens to overwhelm you as you let calm take center stage in your mind. Anger won't do you any good…not when you're strapped for time."You can have all the words you want, West...when we meet, face to face? Me and my family won't have any to spare for you as we give you everything you deserve." You declare, shutting out the madwoman as you close your eyes, tugging at Gina’s mind to pull you back to reality. "I'll see you at the Cord, you quack."“Wonderful.” She replies, her smile curling around every syllable that slithers from her thin lips.“I’ll be waiting for you, Darling~”Your eyes fly open, adjusting to the faint light that glimmers from Rath’s body to illuminate the aged obsidian corridor. Beside you Francine, Amara, and November regain consciousness, the soft glow emanating from the latter’s visor serving to illuminate Sigma’s face. Her eyes are wide open, her unblinking stare aimed at the ceiling, and as November rises to her feet the shift in light shines across the tears that stream down the Proxy’s stunned face.“W-what…?” Sigma stammers, turning to Francine as she draws in a shuddering breath. “…What did you d-do to me?”“I gave you a choice to make. The same one I was given.” The good doctor replies, crossing her legs as she sits next to her doppelganger. You rise, placing an encouraging hand briefly on Francine’s shoulder before sending an empathic order to your team to keep a close eye on Sigma.“Orwell, what’s Dorian’s status?” You demand, striding down the corridor with Gina hot on the heels of your brusque pace. “Were he and the other able to-““Escaped and inbound! I’m guiding them to you now!” Comes the Skintalker’s frantic reply from the lips of a nearby Joyous. “In three, two, one, and…!”From the corridor a few meters ahead of you stumbles a trio of haggard individuals, barely able to stand despite their combined strengths. Dorian shuffles towards you as you surge towards him to assist, with what remains of Sia supported between him and a charred, broken Sugar. Rosa and Betty dart past you, a pair of blurs that race to Sia’s side as they scoop her up in their arms, settling her severely damaged body down on the onyx floor as Sugar collapses against one wall, her left leg and arm shattering into dozens of brittle shards that dance along the corridor. Dorian almost follows suit before you catch him, and you can’t help but gasp as his diminished weight falls into your waiting arms.“Fuck, he’s not healing.” Gina mutters, veins flickering with amethyst as she runs diagnostics on the young man’s damaged body. “Something’s stopping his regen.”“…Alpha…she hit me with something before she collapsed.” He explains, struggling over every word as you carefully lay him down on the warm stone floor. “Francine, did…did it work? Is everyone-?”(Continued)
>>4108744“Everything’s fine Dorian, it’s okay.” You assure him, glancing up as you see Gina’s brow furrow in confusion at what only her eyes see. “Just rest, you’ve done so-““Alpha’s been optimized. For us. To kill us.” He says as his hand reaches up, grabbing your shoulder with an alarmingly weak grip. “She matched my speed…used something like Lepisma’s box to keep up. She nullified my constructs, and Sia’s offensive Neuromancy couldn’t take hold…I’m sorry I couldn’t-““Don’t you dare apologize, Dorian. Just heal. Just rest.” You order, placing your hand on his as you look to Gina. “Look after him, and figure out what the hell Alpha did.”She gives you a sharp, affirmative nod as you walk over to check on the Barbers, kneeling next to Sugar as you see what’s become of Sia. It’s hard to look at her, and not in the usual way; her right arm’s hanging by a thread, her legs practically little more than shattered bone and charred gristle that oozes boiled muscle out onto the floor even as Rosa frantically tries to stabilize her friend.“Took Alpha’s arm. Then she took off mine.” Sugar says airily as she chews a mouthful of something. You glance her way, only just now realizing one eye’s a caramelized mess, the other pale orb lazily rolling to look at you. “If it wasn’t for what she did to Sia, we’d be even.”“Sugar…are you going to be okay?”The weary girl nods as she reaches over to break another shard off her brittle stump, popping the browned piece of candy-flesh into her mouth before glancing back over to her wounded friend.“…shard…she’s killing…she’s…Altar is…” The bleeding Neuromancer murmurs weakly, her mutterings drowned out by the rapid clicking of Francine’s heels as she strides over to your side. Wordlessly, her bare hands unwravel into a tangle of golden threads that slide into the trio of wounded warriors scattered about the hall, the vine-like strands pulsing as the good doctor administers her much-needed aid.“Sigma’s being watched, so I’ll take things from here.” Francine declares, her practiced eye darting between her three patients before she, Gina, and Rosa discuss how to proceed with treatment. Glancing down the hall, you see where November and Amara stand guard over a shell-shocked Sigma, slumped against one wall in silence while Rath and Holly seem lost between the Proxy and the wounded, unable to help with either.Things just got very real, very quickly.>>You need to address what to do with West Sigma before you attend to anything else.>>Get a situation report from Orwell. She has eyes everywhere, and you need to know how the Proxies are responding.>>The West situation can wait; see what you can do to get your allies back to the Dragon’s Roost, for now.>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Gentlemen, voting shall remain open for the next four hours.)
>>4108745>You need to address what to do with West Sigma before you attend to anything else.>Get a situation report from Orwell. She has eyes everywhere, and you need to know how the Proxies are responding.>Send a message to Magpie via skinternet: "Gemma Shard in Altered Altar, Shard went Rampant, Altered Altar gone">Alpha's been optimized to hunt down Shu's FamilyWell shit. Although we have information on Alpha, Alpha has information on Shu's family. Terraforming, Neuromancy, constructs, those won't be effective anymore. She has anti-regen abilities on top of her usual capabilities. >"…shard…she’s killing…she’s…Altar is…”>The Gemma Shard, She's killing....she's Altar is...Well shit. A Rampant Gemma Shard, and she just destroyed the Altered Altar. I think I know why Magpie was going to the Altered Altar.
>>4108745>Get a line to Orwell open>"Orwell our intel is a bit out of date. prime did something to WAlpha. Could you please analyse what exactly is up and then go and get maybe a coupple other skintalkers in on it. I have a shellshocked proxy to attend to. Lets hope i dont have to keep using that title.">Address the Sigma situation>Send her calm and nonthreatening vibes when you ask her what she wants to do now and keep an eye out for treachery form her.As for sias murmuring...my guess is that something is happening with a part of Sia... Maybe Julia is at the Altar? Getting that other girl?
>>4108745>>Get a situation report from Orwell. She has eyes everywhere, and you need to know how the Proxies are responding.>specifically, make sure you ask "Orwell, quick. Alpha. she still after us? are we good here? or anywhere? home? anywhere we need to run, im up for it, just tell me quickly.">assuming you have time, or have time after just one relocation or something, find the Barbers. >"Sugar? Sia? thank you, im... sorry we brought you into this, and we couldn't prevent this. we owe you, more than words could ever say.">Then, turn to Betty and Rosa, though with more focus on Rosa as the leader. "We owe you. more than i could ever repay. if you want to get your folks outta here, we'll get you where you need. regardless, name your price, now or later, and we'll make sure we pay our dues. i know its not why you helped us, but that doesn't matter. we asked alot of you already, and we wont forget that.">>finally,You need to address what to do with West Sigma before you attend to anything else. take her with you, if you do need to flee.>come up next to her, use your Empathic Field, Ginas neuromancy, and Amaras skintalking to make sure you know shes being honest. >"So, Sigma... unless theres something else you want to be called now? where do we go from here? Id love to just let you go, but how do i know you wont just try and tunr on us? or go for anyone we know to get back at us? you have a chance here, to change, to be your own person, and we're willing to allow that... but if you plan to just be Another West let loose... we wont hesitate to prevent that either."
>>4108748>>4108749only issue i really have is your ordering of things, as making sure we are safe, especially with three injured members, should be our first priority over anything else. even learning about how the plan is unfolding can wait, over the more immediate concerns of angry vengeful terminator retribution.
>>4108748also, we have way way more concerns than anything to do with the altar right now, and that is SIGNIFICANTLY jumping the gun without any actual confirmation about any intel we have.
>>4108745Amending my orders from >>4108749to:>Get a line to Orwell open>"Orwell our intel is a bit out of date. prime did something to WAlpha. Could you please analyse what exactly is up and then go and get maybe a coupple other skintalkers in on it. Is the terminator still after us? if so does she know where we are?">Thank the Barbers either after relocating or immediately if the surrounding is safe>Address the Sigma situation, take her with us if weneed to gt away. probably to a random place in the fleshscape we still have a gear on as long as it is far away from WAlpha>Send her calm and nonthreatening vibes when you ask her what she wants to do now and keep an eye out for treachery form her.>"So, Sigma... unless theres something else you want to be called now? where do we go from here? Id love to just let you go, but how do i know you wont just try and tunr on us? or go for anyone we know to get back at us? you have a chance here, to change, to be your own person, and we're willing to allow that... but if you plan to just be Another West let loose... we wont hesitate to prevent that either.">>4108757Your right on that. I would like to thank the barbers at a later date. Just a simple thank you wont be enough i am sure..... Maybe another party for them once we dealt with West?
>>4108745>“…shard…she’s killing…she’s…Altar is…”Huh. That's some suspicious timing. The shard at the Altar goes crazy just as we've broken the West network. Let's hope it's just a really nasty coincidence and not that she had been suborned by West.
>>4108764we dont know thats whats actually going on. assuming the Altar is actually in danger, why would it be the one there doing it? theres plenty of other shards that could've just decided to bulldoze in to get that one. its also the ramblings of half dead unconscious woman. for all we know shes only hearing the thoughts and plans of another, if anything.meanwhile we have enough on our plate to try and take care of that issue ourselves.
>>4108767Well, true, it might be the Calcite Gemma attacking the Altar, that's another possibility. But still, I don't like the timing. Something bad happened just as we broke West's network, after West went "ooh, I don't think you're going to like the consequences of that, hmmm", it's natural to assume they're connected. But I would prefer it to be a coincidence, if only because that means we can put off dealing with it a bit longer. Get in line, Altered Altar, we've still got West Alpha to fight.
>>4108769well, i wasn't saying it isn't related, only jumping to conclusions wont do us any good, and that we kinda have much more pressing matters to attend to than worry about a group that is both very out of our way to even consider helping, aswell as should be able to defend itself, or was honestly kinda doomed anyways if it couldn't.
>>4108770And I'm not jumping to conclusions or proposing that we have to run over and deal with it this instant. I'm just noting that the timing is really suspicious, and that I hope it's an unfortunate coincidence.
>>4108748>>4108745Amending my vote:>Get a situation report from Orwell. She has eyes everywhere, and you need to know how the Proxies are responding.>"Orwell, Three things">"One, I need you to update me on Alpha's location asap>"Two, our information on Alpha is out of date. Dorian's told me that Alpha's been respecc'd into solely killing me and my family. Do the best you can to analyze and update that information. We're on the clock.">"Three, Be safe, if Alpha's path takes her near your house, I want you to either hunker down so that Alpha can't get to you, or move to another safe house. Take only necessities if you're going to run.">You need to address what to do with West Sigma before you attend to anything else.>"So...How are you feeling right now?"It's important to ask this so that Sigma can verbalize her feelings and make sure she actually realizes those feelings.>"Is there anything you would like to call yourself? A name that you wanted to be known as?">"I'd love to just let you go, but how do i know you wont just try and turn on us? or go for anyone we know to get back at us? you have a chance here, to change, to be your own person, and we're willing to allow that... but if you plan to just be Another West let loose... we wont hesitate to prevent that either.">"What will you do now?">>4108746Bhop, a question: Is Francine making good use of that Surgeon General's Essentials Relic? I've made that doctor's bag explicitly for the purpose of help treat people in horrible conditions like how Dorian, Sia, and Sugar are in right now.>>4108770Is it time to call Julia? I think this is an all-hands-on-deck sort of situation.
>>4108781(Francine absolutely is, no worries.)
>>4108781lets wait on Julia for sure til we understand the situation a step better. though honestly? we didnt call her in when Francine was in danger in the first place, so im kinda against calling her in at all.its nothing against her, but she made her choice, and she knew the type of situations we get into. something like this could've happened at any time, and with much less of an opportunity to call her in too. she wanted to stay behind? fine. i mean it, no hard feelings, nothing against her, she can rejoin when ready, but until then, shes where she chose to be. it does us or her no favors either to call her up at the drop of a hat or any situation. if shes gonna be away, we need to learn and be able to survive without her aid, even in situations this dire.
>>4108781I think she will call us when she feels ready to rejoin us. The situations is not bad enough to drag her back. At least in my opinion..We could let her know that Dorain has been injured but Francine healed him right up and all. Though it might make her worry for Dorian and come back before she figured out who she wants to be
>>4108805I figure we can save that for if we run into her on our way through Almath to meet up with Magpie, whenever we finally get to that point. Just fill her in on what she missed and make her gog at what a busy fucking day we've had.
>>4108813Almath? why would we go there? or meet there? specifically, its an underground dead end, its a terrible place to meet or go-to to go anywhere else.
>>4108813issue is that the Altered Altar is apparently something precious to Magpie so it WILL be a sore point for the Crow lady.
>>4108818I believe she was going there next when we last saw her. Don't know what she was planning on doing exactly though.
>>4108817Because I derped on names and meant to type Laoc.>>4108818Oh, yeah, we're going to go from this straight to dealing with another mess.
>>4108818is it? it sounded quite the opposite. like she either planned to take it down herself, or had someone in it she felt she needed to take down, and didn't care if she took the Altar down with them. she didn't deny or put our fears of her causing a ruckus there to rest either, almost seemed to be hinting we were spot on even.>>4108821oh, fair enough, ima shit with names too.as for jumping from ship to ship, we'll see. we may just not be able to, depending on how this all goes. going towards another objective exhausted to our limit would do no one any good afterall.
>>4108745>>Get a situation report from Orwell. She has eyes everywhere, and you need to know how the Proxies are responding.>"How's West Alpha responding? Dorian thinks that she's been redesigned specifically to counter my team, do we need to leave immediately or is she slowing down?">Get her response, then>"Okay, thanks. Keep me posted on any changes in her or the other Wests' behavior, please. And if any of this gets back to you and you need an evac, don't hesitate to call. I know you've got your own defenses, but just in case." >>You need to address what to do with West Sigma before you attend to anything else.>Crouch down to eye level with her.>"How are you feeling? I know this wasn't very pleasant for you, and I am sorry for that. But I hope that in time you're understand that we did this to help you.">"You've got a choice now. Or rather, you've got the power to choose. No more West in your head demanding you work towards her plan, you're free to pursue whatever end you desire.">"Please, don't waste this opportunity and fall into old patterns. This is a chance to be whoever you decide to be. It would be a shame to be given a life of your own and use it to imitate the woman who enslaved you.">"It would be a shame if I had to kill you, too. Don't do something awful and make me regret this, okay?"
>>4108913Derp, forgot to ask what she's going to do now, like an idiot.>>4108745Adding on to the end>"So, with that said...what are you going to do now?"Also, an idea that just occurred to me as a name for West Sigma: Hyacinth. Might be too flowery, but Hyacinth was the child of the muse Kleio. Could be a neat acknowledgement of her origins. Or a painful reminder of her origins, really depends on how she decides to live with her new existence.
>>4108745"Orwell. Three things as quick as you can.” You begin, taking a deep breath as you address the Skintalker-piloted Joyous. “Is Alpha still after us? Are we good here? Or anywhere? Home? Anywhere we need to run, I’m up for it, just tell me quickly."“No, yes, and no, in that order.” The teen swiftly replies, her formerly playful tone now strictly business. “Alpha collapsed the second your plan concluded, and even though she’s on the move it’s just aimless wandering, for the time being. I’m gonna be keeping a strict eye on her, so tell my little superfan to leave the line open in case Alpha starts heading your way, ‘kay? She may be confused right now, but I’m betting that’s gonna change real quick.”“Good…good.” Breathing a sigh of relief, you continue. "Two, our information on Alpha is out of date. Dorian's told me that Alpha's been respecc'd into solely killing me and my family. Do the best you can to analyze and update that information. We're on the clock."“She’s not leaving my sight, and I’ve got an idea to try and bait out whatever new powers she’s got, so I’ll keep you updated. I’m watching the other nearby Proxies too, and most seem pretty shocked overall. If any start acting shifty, I’ll tell you immediately.” Orwell replies, clearly occupied with her surveillance. “What’s the third thing?”"Be safe.” You answer, and a look of surprise passes over the Joyous’ face as it mirrors Orwell’s own. “If Alpha's path takes her near your house, I want you to either hunker down so that Alpha can't get to you or move to another safe house. Take only necessities if you're going to run."“Oh…gotcha. Yeah, I’ve got a few other safehouses I’ve set up over the past year or so, in case I needed to reinvent myself somewhere else, but…” The Joyous trails off, flashing you s sheepish smile. “…thanks.”You nod and turn, shifting your focus to the Barbers as Francine works tirelessly, kneeling next to an unconscious Sia with a satchel of medical instruments open at her side."Sugar? Sia? Thank you, I’m...” You start, swallowing hard as guilt tightens its grip around your throat. “I’m sorry we brought you into this, and we couldn't prevent this. We owe you, more than words could ever say."“Fran says Sia’s gonna be okay, between that Relic of hers and my Paladin powers” Rosa replies, standing up to bring herself eye level with you, a raspy breath escaping her jet-black facemask. “Look, we…we said if you needed help, then we’d help. This whole plan meant a lot to Sia, and she’s not gonna hold what happened today against you…none of us will. So please, don’t feel like you owe us anyt-“"No.” You interrupt firmly, staring hard into Rosa’s scarlet gaze. “We owe you. More than I could ever repay.”(Continued)
>>4108985“If you want to get your folks outta here, we'll get you where you need. Regardless, name your price, now or later, and we'll make sure we pay our dues. I know it’s not why you helped us, but that doesn't matter. We asked a lot of you already, and we won’t forget that."Rosa looks over at Sugar and Betty, the two of them nodding to their leader before she meets your eyes once more.“Okay. I…*we* appreciate it, Shu.” Rosa replies, eyes sharp. "And the Barbers don't run when friends need us. We're all still in the shit with West, so we'll stick around until it's done, alright?"She reaches out her hand, and you shake it gladly. Leaving the Barbers, Francine, and Gina to their restorative work, you motion for Rath and Holly to follow you as you walk over to Sigma, who casts a suspicious glance your way even as she wipes her eye dry of tears. With a flicker of the empathic field, Amara’s on high alert, her Skintalker intuition coupled with your own instincts to get a read on Sigma’s state of mind.Fear. Hurt. Confusion. Turmoil.With so much on her mind, you hope there’s no room left for petty treachery."So...how are you feeling right now, Sigma? Unless there’s something else you want to be called now?” You ask, and Proxy just answers you with stony silence. “Alright then…where do we go from here? I’d love to just let you go, but how do I know you won’t just try and turn on us? Or go for anyone we know to get back at us?”“You’ve got nothing to fear, Defiant.” Comes Sigma’s icy reply. “I know what you and your followers are capable of, and I’m no fool. I didn’t even care about you people until you ambushed me in my workplace, so I’d much rather forget that this ever happened, if it’s all the same to you.”“Well, if it’s all the same to you, then I hope you don’t forget anything that’s happened here today.” You counter with a shrug. “You have a chance here, thanks to Francine; to change, to be your own person, and we're willing to allow that...but if you plan to just be another West let loose, well…we won’t hesitate to prevent that either."Sigma surprises you with a cough of laughter, wiping under her nose with the back of one gloved hand as she sneers.“You see the irony of this, right? Offering a ‘choice’ with one hand and a death threat with the other?” The Proxy snarls, eyes hard as stone. “What’s next? Going to tell me that ‘I’m in control’, just so long as I toe your line?”“Your name’s Kleio, right?” Amara chimes in, taking a tentative step towards the physician. “You’re free now! You can be one of the good g-“(Continued)
>>4108987“I’m not her!” Sigma snaps, prompting Amara to flinch away. “I’m not Kleio, and I’m not West! Don’t you get it?! I wasn’t hurting anyone! I was happy with who I was, and I was happy with my work, and now you’ve robbed me of both! You’ve filled my head with all this…this garbage that *hurts* and now I can’t think straight, thanks to you people!”Across the empathic channel, her heart aches. Lashing out through a tumultuous fog of misplaced anger and her own fractured sense of identity, her mind whirls with emotions she’s never felt before.“Just…if the point of you coming over here was to run a threat assessment, then let me save you some trouble.” Sigma continues, running a hand through her hair in a huff. “You’ll never see me again after this. Unlike some in the West network, I don’t have any kills to my name, and I intend to keep it that way. Never understood how some…never mind. I’m no threat, is what I’m saying. I have West’s honesty on top of her curiosity…and besides, you took me to task rather handily. There’s no way I’d catch up to any of you, at the rate you’re going.”“That’s not the point.” You say, wanting to use a name, any name to make some sort of connection to the very lost woman that sits before you, curled up like a frightened cat, ready to lash out again at a moment’s notice. “Making you less of a threat wasn’t Francine’s goal, she just wanted to-”“Oh, I’m fully aware.” Sigma replies, clutching the side of her head. “Beta’s goodwill is rattling around in here incessantly…but while she’s found a family, do you really think that’s an option for all of us? What did you expect? For all of us to come crawling to you for guidance? To suddenly turn our back on something that’s threaded into our very being? It’s no wonder Beta was exiled to languish with the Disassociated…she’s just as short-sighted as the lot of them.”Amara doesn’t know what to say, as she grips the hem of your dress. You glance back to see Francine still working with skillful haste as Gina leans over a semi-conscious Dorian. Whatever there is to be said…it’s up to you to say it, now.Isn’t it always?>>”You’re right. You’re not Kleio, or West. You’re someone different. If you want to stay here, and continue your research? Then I won’t stop you. But it’ll be YOUR choice, not West’s…and that’s why we did what we did.”>>”…You said you liked your work. What was it that you were doing here, exactly? What about it made you happy? I’m not going to just cut and run…you’re not West, and that makes you someone worth knowing.”>>If she doesn’t want to play ball, then you’re done here. Go back and see how Dorian and the Barbers are healing up under Francine’s care.>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Voting shall remain open for the next four hours, Gentlemen, though that may be extended until tomorrow; Mrs. BHOP has come down with a terrible fever likely borrowed from when I was recently ill, so depending on how she’s feeling when I get home from work I may take the evening off to tend to her. I’ll keep you all informed as I learn more, regardless. Thank you all for your patience and participation, and I do hope everyone’s having a good day.)
>>4108990>"If you want to keep doing as you were before, that's fine. But at least now Prime won't send Alpha to drag you back and "re-calibrate" you just because you were too divergent from her and started getting your own ideas."
>>4108993Oh shit well wish her all the best from me and i hope she will make a speedy recovery>>4108990>"No i dont want you or any of you to come to my and expect me to solve your problems. You can be yourself now. You said you liked your work. Continue it if you see the merit in it.">Shake your head and open your arms.>"All i wanted is give at least the ability to choose. If you want to crawl back to West and get reintegrated and put under her bootheel again.... well i cant really stop you without killing you. But that will have been your decision then.And Decisions... all of them have consequences. But i am sure you are aware of that">"But since you are here now. I would like to know what you were doing here? I kinda doubt that West was interested in the hexxane power production. At elast not enough to set you up here. You dont have to share if you dont want to" >Before leaving ask her>"So what name should i call you? Will you stay with Sigma or will you become your own person going wherever your own fancies take you?"
>>4108990>"...you're right. You're not West, Francine, or the other proxies.">"And you're right, we are giving you a half formed choice. but you fail to see its nothing different than we give anyone.">shrug, and turn and point to Gina. let your finger idle for a moment, and your eyes, before turning your head back to Sigma.>"Im sure you know our relationship, but ill tell you anyways. thats Gina. I love her. more than just as family or as a friend. she means everything to me, more than words could describe.">"...but if she suddenly turned? twisted? became a monster? a threat to the rest of the family and others? It would hurt, yes, it would be hard, it would drive me downward.... but id still stop her, if it came to that.">"You act like the threat is something special, when the truth is, its a simple, sad fact that people in this world make it so sometimes you have to use violence to stop others from doing worse.">"Look, i get it. everything you knew and worked towards just evaporated. but dont sit here and lie to me or yourself. you were working for West Prime. that made you a threat, simple as, even if you were not directly harming anyone. you can frame it however you want, but any aid to West Prime is going to end up hurting someone, and you seem way to aware of how she acts to try and lie to me about just why so many people fear and dislike her too.">sigh, and let her have a moment to digest everything.>"I dont want, nor expected anyone to come crawling to me. truth be told? im neck deep in that and hate the hell out of it. Sure, i want to help people, but they also need to learn to stand on their own two feet ant look to themselves for guidance." >"stay here or dont. hate me, Francine, all of us. I really dont care. you and yours were part of something terrible, whether your willing to admit to it or not, so we put a stop to it. we could've killed you, could've done you worse. instead, you have a choice. but make it YOUR choice. YOUR reasons for doing it.">"and if you make the right ones, for the right reasons, you'll realize people are more willing to give you a second chance than you think. or more willing to jut leave you alone, if you dont join up with networks funneling info and resources to madwomen everyone hates.">Stand, and motion that she can leave.>"go. or stay. we could use the help honestly, though im sure you scoff at the idea of helping such fools and lowlifes.">Smile, honestly and genuinely.>"But if you really do want to change? to do some good? know ours doors open. i dont expect or want you to come to us for help, but we're fools like that, and wont turn you down if you need it. just... dont be a dick, ok? your everyone's sake, including your own?"
>>4108187I actually forgot where the Dragon's Roost was, to be honest. But I actually meant corrupted engines, not ones that are functioning right. To my knowledge ones that are normal like the one in Mara's place havent done anything weird to their environments. In which case I imagine there might be a second engine below the ground, but I don't remember if corrupted engines gave off signals too. I dont think the corrupted engine under Dorian's place gave a signal, just a general feeling of eeriness. Eventually it did give a signal but I think that may have just been Johanna because she said she was waiting for us and apparently sensed our presence when we returned to the mansion with Ringo in tow, since we got the vibe that we were being invited to below the mansion. I'll double check when I can, but exams and essays have my dick in a vice.>>4108990Any info we can get out of Sigma is good info. I dont know if West kept most of her proxies as out of the loop as she kept Francine, but it's best to confirm. We should let her do what she wishes and offer her aid if she needs it, but make it clear to her that if she betrays that trust, we will be back. We won't enjoy it, but we will be back. I'm also worried about Dorian. We should check on him and the others asap. Something that cuts his regeneration is bad, but ultimately, it affects only Dorian in the worst case scenario. I'm worried that if Alpha was fine tuned to counter us, then I worry that it may be something that will have more effects or spread further to our allies when they begin running diagnostics and first aid on him. We always cared for our friends and if I were West, I would try to use that to destroy Shu and the group. I think I'm being overly paranoid, but the thought occurred to me and I think we should be prepared for West pulling something like this.
>>4108993dude, tend you your wife. even if shes not actually too bad off, im sure she both deserves your attention and would appreciate it, even if its not fully needed, being even a bit sick sucks. plus, we owe her own, for keeping you encouraged to continue this anyways, heh.
>>4109007actually, you bring up a good point. Maras engine actually isnt normal, shes done alot of work to it, so its a bit more of a 'purified' model. however we havent been around a normal one much, nor the normal one we recently acquired, to test the differences.as for it theres a second engine, probably not. doesnt feel like something the West we stole the note from would overlook, or not mention. >>4108993hey BHOP, sorry if its a bit of odd timing ofr such info, and if you think waiting to give it IC would work best for any reason, im fine with it, but have any of our family had time to compare Maras and our standard engine, and see whats actually different?>>4109007>Dorianwe have multiple people tending to him, and im positive the would or will let us know if things go south with him. it sounded like he was at least stable though. i suppose we could throw a leash on him, but honestly i think it wont do him any good until Gina/Francine break whatevers stopping his regen in the first place, so sadly Shu herself cant help much there.
>>4109008(Ha, I likely will, and thank you for understanding. I'll pass along your words, as well.)>>4109004(Thank you, and I'll tell her that, Anon.)>>4109018(In short; according to Gina's research, Mara somehow fundamentally altered how the engine works, essentially 'jailbreaking' it for enhanced capabilities and deleting it's more insidious functions. Gina has no idea how, though. One thing is certain, though; the effort put forth to change the Engine was nothing short of gargantuan.)
>>4109023hope she gets better!>(In short; according to Gina's research, Mara somehow fundamentally altered how the engine works, essentially 'jailbreaking' it for enhanced capabilities and deleting it's more insidious functions. Gina has no idea how, though. One thing is certain, though; the effort put forth to change the Engine was nothing short of gargantuan.)hrm, Maras doesn't have the 'combine two daughters' feature, right? thats all i can think its missing thats arguably insidious... well, then again... we never actually have 'booted up' the standard engine to see what it can do, so we at least OOC have no idea what options it might have compared to Maras...
>>4109018Not throw a leash on Dorian. I honestly doubt anything is wrong with him that Gina and Francine together cannot deal with. It's just a stray thought I had that makes me wonder how low would West go to getting rid of us. I'm sure he's fine, though. Logically there is nothing to suspect that something that bad has affected him or the others who were injured by Alpha. But I think it is definitely a possibility based on what we know and don't know.Regarding Mara's engine, I also forgot she jailbroke it. We should ask around about the engines next time we have no pressing emergencies.
>>4109041i mean, sure, though unless you mean asking the Skinternet, we might not actually have anyone to personally ask about them.
>>4109043I meant that, or asking Orwell. We also have a bunch of friends and sam here now so after we deal with everything important, we might be able to ask a light question. Even knowing that nobody knows anything about these engines might be good info. We might be able to ask charon somehow or even ozmas if we must, I think. We still havent taken Ozmas up on her offer for info, but we would have to hold her info suspect.
>>4108993Oh my, I'm so sorry to hear that, BHOP. I hope your wife gets better soon. Yeah, definitely take the time to tend to her.
>>4109048well, we cant ask Ozmas, as our family voted against communicating with her, so wishes off the table unless we want to go behind our families back and break their trust.
>>4109043>>4109048Anons, do you think that there are proxies of West out there that may have decided to solely hunt down Shu's family and friends for what we've done to the West network?
>>4109079probably yeah.but unless its Alpha we probably will have some breathing room before we need to worry about it. they would probably have to level up and/or form the 'Council of Wests' to be able to be a threat.
>>4109079Possibly. Ones that are too loyal to West, or who are just really unhappy at suddenly being capable of empathy. But I don't think they'd be successful. Like Sigma just said, at the rate we're growing a bunch of low-level Proxies don't have much chance of catching up to us. A bigger risk is any of them deciding to hurt people to draw us into a trap. Not so much for the trap, but because of the hurting people, hopefully they won't do that.
>>4108990>"An offered 'choice' with one hand and a death threat with the other... Isn't that the very same arrangement you had with West while working for her? Do your research, submit your reports, call West regularly, or else Alpha breaks down your door, beats you unconscious, and hauls you back to HQ for 'recalibration' like what happened with Tau?">"Her name isn't Beta">Look over at Francine.>"She's Francine, it's a name that she chose for herself, to call herself by.">look back at Sigma>see if Sigma decides upon a name, whether or not she decides to give herself one or stays silent.>"If you want to stay here, and continue your research? Then I won’t stop you. But it’ll be YOUR choice. Not a choice assigned to you by West.">"That's why we did what we did.">"To give you the opportunity to grow and learn more about yourself and the world, to give you the opportunity to become the very person you want to define yourself as.">"One that you can make without the fear of having a Guillotine known as Alpha hanging over the heads of your fellow proxies.">"If you say You're not West, or Kleio. Then who are 'you'? If you want to prove that statement, then you can start by finding a name for yourself. A name that you can call yourself by and feel comfortable to live by.">"What happens afterwards? the choices you make? I don't care. Those are the decisions that you yourself made for better or worse.">Stand, and motion that she can leave.>"go. or stay. we could use the help honestly, though im sure you scoff at the idea of helping such fools and lowlifes.">Smile, honestly and genuinely.>"But if you really do want to change? to do some good? know ours doors open. i dont expect or want you to come to us for help, but we're fools like that, and wont turn you down if you need it. just... dont be a dick, ok? your everyone's sake, including your own?">If Sigma does settle upon a name she wants us to call her by, address her by that name.
>>4109083as much as the whole West proxy network is involved, it still leaves Alpha as the biggest threat that is on our plate.
>>4109137sure, just a matter of if she is a direct and immediate threat, or if we have some breathing room to heal and rethink our approach of her. still dont think fighting her directly is a good idea, and it sounds like even moreso now.hrm, iffy idea, and id want to scrounge up some research on her new alterations first but... maybe her being fine tuned to fight us makes her vulnerable to others? id be alot to ask of all our friends, but if that is the case, tricking her into fighting all our allies might work.we'll have to see if we even can find an opening to figure that out anytime soon though.
>>4109151We might also try respeccing with the Sparagmos Engine. Change our point distribution or even swap skills around the party entirely. That would leave Alpha with the wrong set of counters to handle us. Downside is that we wouldn't have experience using the new power set, which could be really bad for us if it trips us up. Yeah, maybe that's a stupid idea, then.Whatever we do, I guess it needs to wait on us learning more about Alpha's new power set. See how exactly she's specialized to take us out. We've got a lot of diverse skills in this party, it must take a lot of modification to counter all of us, even with the adaptive/modular nature of West Alpha.
>>4108990Still working on my own write-in, got interrupted by doing dinner, but if I don't put my thoughts together in time then I like >>4109131 and would like to put support behind it.
>>4109156>We might also try respeccing with the Sparagmos Engine.Possibly? It remains to be seen if Alpha is still a threat to us. And if she is, there may be a way around how she's specced out against us. However, if worst comes to worst, a switcharoo for our abilities might be interesting, if only to do so for a single fight before switching back. We could try out hybrids that we haven't considered before, and spec out party members in new ways. However, I feel as though our builds are fine the way they are right now, and I'd rather not mess with them unless we have to.
>>4109156That... is actually a very very creative idea. Respeccing our entire family's character sheet to throw Alpha's intel off would work wonders. But the question now lies on what parts we need to respec?
>>4109079Absolutely. West is insane, but she I can imagine her idea resonating with some people. The world ended and our honest plan to save everything isn't too solid yet. We don't know if we will all get into the cord, we don't know what is beneath the earth and that whole mother of all thing, and so am certain that there are probably many more people out there like West who dont see anything good coming out of this world but see good coming out of the next. In fact, I am certain some people would have loved to become a proxy, for various reasons, and us giving them back the burden of choice would get them angry. Most are probably victims of West, but many probably joined up willingly. Many probably haven't even become proxies and just allied themselves with West.
>>4109156>>4109163im very much against this idea and will vehemently vote against it. theres more to our abilities than just mechanics, and not to mention if something happened to not allow us to respec later.not to mention the mountain of work for me and BHOP, holy hell.
>>4109167We have certain resources at hand that we can use for such an occasion! If Alpha's optimized to take down our family members and their current stat sheet, then we need to adapt!
>>4109170theres other ways to defeat her than throwing our abilities into a blend and grabbag extravaganza. not to mention, shes still fucking hella powerful. depending on many factors, switching things up might easily not solve the problem of going after her being suicide.its a fucking nightmare of an idea.
(Gentlemen, I'll be extending voting an additional two hours with posting to resume tomorrow morning at around 11:00AM, Eastern time. Thank you all for understanding, and I wish everyone a restful evening.)>>4109156>>4109161>>4109163(....Pfhahah, oh goodness. Anyway, aside from respeccing, you actually have a good many ways of dealing with Alpha immediately or over time.)(If this were more like a video game, then that's actually a genius idea, everyone. Well done.)(Not that it would help you against Alpha, but it's the thought that counts.)
>>4109174hope you and the wife both as good an afternoon and night as can be had, given the circumstances.>BHOP making it clear for both IC and OOC reasons why its a bad idea.thank you for that.
>>4109170Before we do anything, we need to recon Alpha. If respeccing isnt too hard, we can do it but I actually kind of have an issue with how big our party became in terms of level ups. It's not that big a deal but sometimes I miss the past where level ups were quick and easy. Anyone remember how when we would leave some party members behind they would level up on their own because they hunted and killed some amalgams on their own? I kinda miss some of that.>>4109173I think a great idea would be to call in allies. The midnight crew would be a godsend here, along with magpie and maybe some people from laoc. They all have a stake in this too, since alpha has gone off the rails and may begin attacking people indiscriminately if she isnt dealt with quick.
>>4109174(Or rather, I should say that beating such a high level foe would take more than a simple ability shuffling to defeat.)
>>4109177(I miss that too, actually.)(The system I've made is a monster.(I have no one to blame but myself for my tom-foolery.)
>>4109174Have a nice evening, BHOP. I hope your wife feels better soon.>>4109179Well, sure, but I figured it would at least help some. I mean, I don't think it's that good an idea, ultimately. We'd have to get used to the new powers and probably make a ton of mistakes if Alpha was our first encounter using them. But I'd expect that her having the wrong set of information would give her at least some difficulty.
>>4109173I'll concede the points you've made. Were we not strapped for time, and forced to constrain ourselves to the medium this quest takes place, we could've gone full ham on coming up with many wonderous respecs...Still, we have time to deal with Alpha. Considering that Dorian, Sia, and Sugar were brought to near death just from the initial skirmish and with the latter party solely focused on running away, we still have a long ways to go. >>4109174>>4109179Go take care of your cosmic wife, you Cthonic God of a QM. Have a picture of a Horned Mesopotamian Primordial Goddess of Life giving you chocolate.>>4109182There's so much to update and keep track of, while some aspects of the quest mechanics have been seemingly abandoned like Dual Techniques or Party Techniques...
>>4109187(I shall, and know that she appreciates everyone's well-wishes, truly.)(It's a brilliant idea, and I'm mad that until it was brought up here I hadn't even considered it as a solution. Seriously, the things you all come up with is fantastic, and one of the many reasons you all are so fun to QM for.)>>4109188(I'm taking care of her as we speak...and she chuckled when referred to as 'cosmic', though I'd say it describes her perfectly.)(There's an absolute mountain of variable in play at any one time, and I'm still salty that I haven't been able to really incorporate Dual Techs and Party Techniques as effectively as I'd like. The balancing's a nightmare, and most end up either too situational to be of any use or so game-breakingly powerful that there'd be no point in using anything else...it's a concept I plan to revisit during one of the longer breaks to handle some of the backlog, for sure.)
>>4109177yeah, i think even BHOP has admitted though things got a bit more bloated than he expected in that department. desu, i still dont know how he gets 15-20 levels out of all of these, and would've kept them to 5-10 myself, with levels more sparse as needed to make up for that, but i can also understand his reasoning for not. i think our party size also doesn't do much favors there. trying to balance both low level caps, and a party our size, while also giving us enough points to feel like everyones being taken care of, while also not slowing it down too much or making us able to level boost someone too fast? would be a nightmare. current system is kinda... bloated in ways, like i said, but much harder to abuse in that sorta way and easier to manage its growth... albeit just because you stack so many numbers on top of it you have breathing room, but still.also, i think our character technically still can gain levels and stuff like that, its just we really haven't been able TO let them or leave them in a position to do so. we have so much on our plate we havent been able to afford to just let them do their own thing fully, or just do something as simple as hunt.>>4109182its a good system at its core and in alot of ways BHOP, but yeah, it does feel like it bloated a bit at some point.I also have some major issues and petpeeves with some class types and abilities, not gonna lie.mind you, dont take it too negatively, i still love the system overall and you are handling it VERY well despite any problems, which i commend you for, truly.>>4109188look man not gonna lie, and not saying you didnt say anything on it either, mostly just gotta get it off my chest. trying to both vote on a full respect like that, aswell as the work it would involve to even temporarily keep track of it afterwards, sounds like it would be my new least favorite moment in the quest that could legitimately give me health problems trying to wade through. we're a good group of players, but theres limits to everything.>Dual and party Techsi think BHOPs kinda brushed that aside because we never really used them. too hard to make one worth using for the cost and not too constrained to ever be actually useful, on top of our ability to do clever combinations with our team happens without them. id imagine balancing them is also a bit of a nightmare, especially when we're already so team oriented.
>>4109176To be fair, its not a bad idea, though. It's just that it's hard to do fairly on a Venezuelan underwater basket weaving forum.>>4109179But this frightens me. She is versatile but also strong as hell. Without specifics, the best plan would probably be to muster our forces. As much as we can, and hope half of them come. Together we could probably overpower her as well as have a large platter of powers to bring against Alpha.The problem with adapting is that you cannot cover all bases as well as you want. If the enemy can force you to spread your forces too thin, or they bring something you weren't prepared to counter, then you will find yourself too specialized against the wrong thing.In fact I think that if completely necessary, we could respec only a little and end up having a disproportionately large advantage, depending on how specialized alpha has become.But with such little info, it may be best if we find Alpha and bring friends.
>>4109196yeah, we need more info.honestly though... there IS technically a "simple" solution here that would cripple her. it would just be a matter of making it/finding a daughter who has it.Relic nullification. just straight up 'fuck you relics dont work because of this/around me.' we very much have been told that is possible. rare? high level abilities and T5 relics only? almost certainly, and i doubt cheap to use, keep up, etc. but its very much within the realm of possibilities and to a level that could penetrate any defenses she has against it. but id very much not be surprised if it would require an entire dedicated quest-line equivalent to get us that. hell the T5 relic cost for it might literally be out of reach for us even if we got our allies to chip in, even with discounts. but anything over fighting her directly, i just know doing that will not end well and be a very sour victory even if it 'works'. least not for a good while, even with ally help.
>>4109192>>4109191I will agree on many of those points. The main issue that I'm seeing with this system is that Bhop's overall quest system is designed for solo play as per crucible design, and yet we anons have either pushed the system to its limits or have completely broken the game in several aspects both in the quest setting and in the meta setting because we decided to put the system through a team-oriented game instead of solo play. The setting and the combat mechanics is downright wonderful, but due to the constraints that we have to work with in this quest format, we're already pushing the system to its limits. >>4109196Anon, Yurei already tried Zerg rushing Alpha and it ended in failure. Mara fought Alpha in a long protracted fight that lasted SEVERAL consecutive hours of non-stop fighting and it ended in a draw. Yurei was the closest in destabilizing Alpha's main ability but had to retreat since the losses was too great, while Mara whittled down Alpha through sheer brute force attrition before giving up due to how long it took. >>4109205When I think about it, one thing we haven't tried is long range combat. like sniper range long. We don't have to engage Alpha directly, but what we can do is to whittle Alpha's systems down slowly, one at a time. We've already knocked out West's Skynet system, and Sugar (bless that diabetic candygirl) managed to lop off one of Alpha's arms. And with West's Skynet down, Alpha can't really go back to HQ for maintenance and updates. But I can't rule out Alpha getting assistance from her own brand of admirers. Not to mention the other proxies making their own decisions to antagonize our family should they do so.
>>4109205If we had Julia with us, then hybridizing Artisanal Appetities with Seasonal Oppression might do that, actually. Relic-eating plus energy-draining field to make a field that suppresses Relic function. Damn it, Julia, why'd you have to go and leave the party.Also, a piece of information that occurred to me that we need to ask Orwell about: When's the last time West Alpha received maintenance? Assuming Prime can be trusted (and she is the sort to prefer lies by omission, not outright dishonesty), the network is so scrambled that the Proxies can't even navigate back to Prime's position anymore. Which means that Alpha can't return for maintenance. If we can keep away from her for long enough, her parts will start to wear down. She'll be weak, then.
>>4109211could've sworn we were told she had some counter to long range bombardments, but i could be wrong, or interpreting something iffy there.>>4109212hrm, good point on Julia. though it would still probably have to get high level to fight Alpha, even if it did give us a hybrid like that.also, im not sure thats the type of maintenance she necessarily needs, nor how it would work. maybe she cant like, regenerate damage fully on her own, but she would still have to take the damage i think to need the maintenance. and even then, im not so sure she cant heal on her own. she went back to Prime for routine upgrades and mission updates, not actual 'breaking down' maintenance, from what i remember.
>>4109214Well, despite the silver lining, her last mission objective still remains the same: Hunt and kill Francine and her family. She's still got the emotional suppression Relic active, so she's unable to visibly show emotions, and if she did experience emotions, they're dammed up behind that Relic that's installed in her.
>>4109221well, we'll see if she does follow her last objective or not then soon... probably soon yes.
>>4109191Just make sure it's not the Corona Virus. That stuff is very nasty.
>>4109211Sniping Alpha might work. We do have teleportation and a long-range railgun. With swarmlings for a spotter we could harass Alpha from a distance pretty effectively, then get out before even her speed is enough to close the distance.>>4109214>could've sworn we were told she had some counter to long range bombardments, but i could be wrong, or interpreting something iffy there.I'm not seeing anything in Kleio's notes specifically about bombardment. Alpha has a preference for closing with and taking out ranged attackers first, but nothing that would let her counter an attack from over the horizon. Actually, she should be at her worst at BVR engagements, since her response to ranged attackers she can't immediately close with is to shoot her beam cannon at them. And beam weapons can't follow the curvature of the earth. Yeah, artillery might be her biggest weakness. Unless she got modified to counter that, of course. She probably has been, with our luck.Still, it brings up an idea worth asking.>>4109191BHOP, is November capable of MRSI firing patterns? I'm sure she knows how to, she's a tanker, but does the Etain frame have the precision for it? It takes two ACTs to fire the railgun, November has five ACTs, with the Hearth Rod and Dominus Bloodline we can boost her by another nine (three from Shu linking with Dominus, four from Amara linking with Dominus, two from the slotted effects of the Hearth Rod) for one round. So seven railgun shots in one round, and with MRSI they'd all hit Alpha at once. From over the horizon, so Alpha can't see us and prepare counter-fire until after she's hit, and railgun rounds are supersonic so she can't hear them coming either. Then we teleport out and leave her with nothing to respond to, if she's still alive after that.
>>4109236only one from the Hearth Rod. its a Tier 4 that only works on Amaras Clones(and similar constructs possibly). it passing through Novembers hands only means whatever clone ends up with it gains extra Acts, she couldn't be the precipitant of them. it does, however, still give her a health boost and extra act while she is folding it though.
>>4109243Oh, I must be misunderstanding something about how the slotted effect works, then. Well, still, six railgun rounds all at once isn't anything to sneeze at.
>>4109158you finished with your write-in?
>>4109269No, I got distracted with the anti-Alpha tactics conversation, then petered off with it. Sorry. Let me get back on that.
>>4109248i think part of the 'issue' is wording. technically, you would never have it equipped to November in the traditional sense, hence it being 'free' because it never actually would or needs to enter a slot, over it actually ever being slotted in any actual way. its just she basically can give the rod chain of ACTs a boost if shes part of the process of handing them around, and id assume gets the temporary stat boosts like i said while its in her hands during that process, though on that part ill admit BHOP might need to elaborate.>>4109272er, a bit late there buddy.shame too, as i just remembered i was waiting on that too, as i wasn't a fan of the other Anons so was wanting to see what you put forward.
>>4109342>>4109248>>4109269(I'll still consider any last-minute adjustments or additions regarding write-ins for the next few hours or so. I'd be remiss if I were to stifle creativity on account of an arbitrary timer.)
>>4109236(Also; yes, she is fully capable of that in her current form.)
>>4109342>er, a bit late there buddy.>shame too, as i just remembered i was waiting on that too, as i wasn't a fan of the other Anons so was wanting to see what you put forward.No I'm not.>>4108993Voting open for four hours, posted at 4:50 EST.>>4109174Voting extended an additional two hours, so six hours from 4:50, so 10:50. I've got an hour still. Now, please, I just got the writing to gel, let me finish.
>>4109211I didn't mean it like that. I mean that with such little info and with alpha already specialized to kill our party, we may be able to stand a better chance if we have more people with us that are not in our initial party. Despite my wording I actually meant that we would still have to play it smart, of course. I just mean that no matter how we do it, more people on our side would be more powers, and therefore more versatility, whether we fight her directly, which we shouldn't, or wear her down over time with ambushes or sniping. I'm hoping that by getting creative with the powers of a shit load of people aiding us, then we may be able to give alpha too many things to adapt to at once.But if her adaptation ability is strong enough, none of this may work anyway and she just ends up matching everything we do, in which case I think the most likely way to defeat her would be to try and get through to her mentally as soon as it's safe to do so.
>>4109350thats... actually a really dangerous stance to take id advise against.>>4109353oh, misread what he said. my bad there. though, dont get uppity like that with me, its entirely on you if you have it setup or allow yourself to get distracted by other things.
>>4109360(In this one instance I'm willing to let it go, given the long space between posts.)(Rest assured, I'm a firm believer in time limits actually helping to foster creativity and clever course of action. The only reason I've extended them as of late is to better serve my own dwindling sanity.)
>>4108990>>Write-In>"No, Sigma, I very much do not want you to reject your curiosity. I want you to embrace it. I want you to explore and experiment like West never would let you.">"Isn't it a little perverse? West made a bunch of minds in her image, and then shackled them in ways she'd never accept for herself. Don't question the goal, don't step out of line, just keep performing the experiments she tells you to and send the data back so she can become God and eat the world.">"Now you've got no more network sending you commands. No more scans and updates to make sure you haven't developed any individuality. And soon, there will be no more Alpha to break in your door and drag you off for recycling when West decides that you're not serving her ends well enough.">"You're free to choose your own path, now. And maybe that won't work out well for you. But maybe it will. Either way it's your decision, not whatever task has been set to you by a woman who sees you as just an extension of herself, an interchangeable and disposable tool. She didn't even give you a name, Sigma.">"That's why you're hurting right now. Because you've never been allowed to be a person before. Never been treated like someone who people could care about. And now you know that's a possibility, and it's scary. Being a tool isn't satisfying, but it's familiar, it's comfortable. It's what you know. But come on, you're curious, aren't you? It's threaded into your very being. Expand your knowledge.">"I can't guarantee it will go easy. It probably won't. It's going to be awkward and uncomfortable and painful. But I think you'll be satisfied with what you learn."
>>4109362I think it actually hurts my ability to write. I'm not getting distracted, I just find myself constantly going back over it, again and again, and never being satisfied. Giving me a tighter schedule would help, since I'd have to make a definite choice sooner.
>>4109370(Interesting. That's actually the same reason I try and give myself somewhat specific guidelines. I appreciate you letting me know, and I'll keep that in mind for the future, Anon. I'm always glad for input like this, whatever the circumstances.)(In point of fact, this whole format's helped me write since I have to post and can't afford to have analysis paralysis over every little paragraph or turn of phrase, for better or worse. Writing that's out there is always better than perfect writing that never sees the light of day, in my opinion.)
>>4109362well, i misinterpreted what you meant in the update post. but as for time limits, im not actually sure what my stance is on that creatively, i just know i do think there needs to be a stern cutoff time for voting, both to keep the flow of things and not allow issues with latecomers or punishing those that did find the time to post within the allocated time.and as for the higher voting times, yeah, you told us why you were making them longer and i understand that, was just saying sticking to the gun of when you say its closed is a good idea is all. >>4109370>>4109376honestly i think my quickfire voting probably in part sprung from when the quest first came up and i think sometimes voting actually did close in like 1-2 hours even without rapid posting. kinda prefer it now, though i still personally like that it made me need to learn to read the immediate details and what i think needs to be done quickly. better to have a decent base to build off of and change as you discuss things, than agonizing over if what you have is actually perfect so you either dont post in time, or post too late for proper discussion and changes to be made.
>>4109364eh... still not clicking with me. maybe trimmed down i could agree and see it as part of a bigger discussion, but by itself it feels too bare and a bit... lax, i think. feels like it doesn't actually get the point across well enough, so much as throwing our opinion on things at her.
>>4109386Yeah, I know, there's a reason I'm not happy with it. Like, I know what I want to say, I just can't get the words lined up right. That we don't expect the Proxies to just give up who they are, but that we think that "being who they are" is something they can do better without West's heavy hand on their shoulder, and that we're not going to force them but that we believe things can go well for them. If they don't, they don't, but if they don't even try to make a better life for themselves then that's on them. But I can't get the words together. Fuck it, I designate >>4109364 to be dismantled and its parts put together wherever they fit well in other people's write-ins.
>>4109397nah i understand, and it is a very... odd situation, we're working with here.most people cant or wouldn't enslave copies of themselves, afterall.
Okay, how's this? I know, really not giving much time to respond, sorry. I do like what I wrote here better, though.>>4108990>>Write-In>"No. I know it's not going to be that easy. But what would you have rather had us do, Sigma? Kill all of you?">"Because you have to know we can't let you stay helping West. The world can't have that. She is an existential threat to the human species. If what I suspect about the Crucible is true, she might even be a threat to all life in the universe.">"And you were helping her. Maybe you never hurt anyone yourself, but other Proxies have, and just the fact that you're giving her information contributed to the threat she poses. So really, would you have rather I killed you?">"I think there's more hope for you than that. I think you can be more than just a minion of the big bad evil guy cut down on the way to the final act. And I think you don't even have to give up what makes you who you are.">"Curiosity is threaded into your very existence? Good. Get curious. Explore, experiment, become something more than what West demands you be. You can pursue your own ends now, not hers. Don't waste that chance.">"I'm sorry that you're suffering right now. I know, I've taken you out of the familiar and given you a whole new world to interact with, and that's a cruel thing to do by force. You've got no guarantee that anything will work out right for you.">"But you've got no guarantee it won't, either. And if you don't try, then that's your failure to be sufficiently curious. Don't you want to at least run the experiment before you declare a null result?"
>>4109420better, though not a fan of the>"I think there's more hope for you than that. I think you can be more than just a minion of the big bad evil guy cut down on the way to the final act. And I think you don't even have to give up what makes you who you are."still feels maybe a bit bare bones for my own tastes though.
>>4109425Yeah, I think I'll just trust in BHOP to stitch together what he thinks is best from the various write-ins. Too late to go back and edit again now. Actually, checking the clock I've been putting off doing my meds, I should go handle that. Nothing serious in delaying like this, I can delay taking them up to twelve hours and not have any long-term problems, but still. Should take care of that. Later, thread.
>>4109432oh, yeah. please do not skip out on your health. long oversight period like that or not.probably need to catch some sleep myself, so ill catch you guys later too.
Gotta study for Computer Science exam tomorrow. Later kyu ess tee. Later bhop. Pray for me oh god I left studying until the last minute.
>>4109449(Best of luck, Anon. You've got this.)>>4109432>>4109434(Sleep well, Gentlemen.)
>>4108990"...You know what? You're right." You finally say, the first thing you've said that truly gets her attention. "You're not West, Francine, or the other proxies. We ARE giving you a half-formed choice...but you fail to see that it's nothing different than we give anyone."You turn, holding Sigma's gaze as you point to Gina, working tirelessly with Francine to heal your wounded friends as Dorian slowly rises to his feet, assisted by Holly's gentle hands."I'm sure you know our relationship, but I'll tell you anyways; that's Gina. I love her. More than just as family or as a friend...she means everything to me, more than words could describe." You say, feeling a lump form in the back of your throat. "...but if she suddenly turned? Twisted? Became a monster, a threat to the rest of the family and others? It would hurt, it would be hard, it would drive me downward....but I'd still stop her, if it came to that."Sigma blinks, attentions transfixed on you as she measures every impassioned word that escapes you."You act like the threat is something special, when the truth is, its a simple, sad fact that people in this world make it so sometimes you have to use violence to stop others from doing worse." You say, and out of the corner of your eye you see November give a sad, solemn nod. "Look, I get it. Everything you knew and worked towards just evaporated...but don't sit here and lie to me or yourself. You wereworking for West Prime. That made you a threat, even if you weren't directly harming anyone. You can frame it however you want, but any aid to West Prime is going to end up hurting someone, and you seem way to aware of how she acts to try and lie to me about just why so many people fear and dislike her, too."You continue, in the face of Sigma's sullen silence. "Look, I didn't want or expect anyone to come crawling to me. Truth be told? I'm neck deep in that and hate the hell out of it. Sure, I want to help people, but they also need to learn to stand on their own two feet and look to themselves for guidance.""I *had* guidance. I *had* a path, and you just took all of that and threw it away!" The older woman retorts angrily, eyes flaring with resentment. "I was fine where I was, with *who* I was. What do you expect me to do now that I've been cut off from the colle-""GOD, you're fucking pathetic."The sound of your own voxel-distorted voice cuts through Sigma's vitriol, the sheer disgust that fills every syllable hanging in the air long after Sam's interruption stops ringing off the Hexane architecture.(Continued)
>>4109991"Your 'guidance'? Your 'path'? You were nothing but a goddamn puppet, and now you wanna cry 'cause somebody had the gall to cut your strings?" The cyborg presses, stalking closer to the Proxy as both Rath and Holly move to block her furious progress. "BULLSHIT! Some people go their whole lives getting tossed around and trying to grab hold of the reigns, but here you are, happy to hand it all off to some psychotic cunt who'd bleed you dry of anything she can get!""Sam..." You growl, voice dangerously low as Rath places an insistent fist against the artificial Daughter's platinum chest."...You..." Sigma murmurs. "...I remember you from the last update...""GOOD! Maybe you'll remember that I'm only here talking to you 'cause that stubborn bitch gave me a second chance!" Sam barks, gesturing towards you with one lethal talon."HEY! BACK THE HELL OFF!" The redhead roars, her body flaring with radiant fury that only slightly cools when you reach out a pacifying hand, allowing Sam to speak."Cool it Rath, I've got a fuckin' point to make!" The other girl snaps back, craning over to make her voice heard. "Shu isn't being a hypocrite, she's giving you the first actual goddamn choice you've had since West shat you out! You have control....ACTUAL control, and you're saying you wanna give that up!? For...what, a quack doc that doesn't give two shits about you? That sends a T-1000 after anybody that doesn't agree with her?! THAT'S who you're giving the reigns to?""Of course not, I...you don't understand! West needs me! She needs all of us, she...she's not-" Sigma stammers as Sam just scoffs, a metallic, ugly sound that crackles from her voicebox."An offered 'choice' with one hand and a death threat with the other... isn't that the very same arrangement you had with West while working for her?" You say, turning from an indignant Sam back to the flustered Proxy that rises to her feet in protest. "Do your research, submit your reports, call West regularly, or else Alpha breaks down your door, beats you unconscious, and hauls you back to HQ for 'recalibration' like what happened with Tau?"Shock. Surprise. Denial.A great many emotions pass through Sigma's face in the span of a heartbeat."Tau...she was brought in?" She breathes, and Amara nods fervently in reply. "I thought...I thought that Beta was Alpha's only targe-""Her name isn't Beta." Rath says firmly, her brow furrowed. "She's Francine. It's a name that she chose for herself, to call herself by.""...Francine?" Sigma says, staring into Rath's blazing citrine eyes."Pardon the interruption..." Comes a weary, yet welcome voice from behind you. "...but I must say that as flippant as some can be with them, names have more power than most think."(Continued)
>>4109993Dorian's made his way over to you, supported by Holly and looking far better than when you left him mere minutes before."If you want to stay here, and continue your research? Then we won’t stop you. But it’ll be *your* choice. Not one assigned to you by West." Dorian continues, offering the Proxy a tired, yet genuine smile. "As...robust...as Miss Sam's input proved to be, I do believe it served to illustrate that everyone present in in unequivocal accord as to why we set out to do what we did.""Which is?" Sigma asks. It's a question that could have been sarcastic if said only a minute or two earlier, but instead it's one that carries an undercurrent of genuine, if wary, curiosity."To give you the opportunity to grow and learn more about yourself and the world, to give you the opportunity to become the very person you want to define yourself as." You answer, prompting all present to nod in affirmation. "One that you can make without the fear of having a guillotine known as Alpha hanging over the heads of your fellow proxies. If you say you're not West, or Kleio...then who are 'you'? If you want to prove that statement, then you can start by finding a name for yourself. A name that's yours, and yours alone.""I'm...I don't how to answer that...I wouldn't know where to..." She begins, shaking her head as the possibilities swirl in her mind until Dorian raises a wispy hand."Take your time. It's not a decision to be made in haste, or under duress." He says, his calm tone clearly helping to soothe the exhausted woman. "Take your time...and when you find the right one? You'll know.""...And what of my research here? If I wished to stay here and continue on what I'd been doing...what then?" She asks obstinately, rounding to you. "Would you have me reject that part of me that is so inextricably 'West' in pursuit of becoming someone else?""No. I know it's not going to be that easy. But what would you have rather had us do, Sigma? Kill all of you?" You counter, prompting a furrowed brow from the other woman. "Because you have to know we can't let you stay helping West. The world can't have that. She is an existential threat to the human species. If what I suspect about the Crucible is true, she might even be a threat to all life in theuniverse...and you were helping her. Maybe you never hurt anyone yourself, but other Proxies have, and just the fact that you're giving her information contributed to the threat she poses. So really, would you have rather I killed you?"She remains silent, at that."I think there's more hope for you than that. I think you can be more than just a minion of the big bad evil guy cut down on the way to the final act. And I think you don't even have to give up what makes you who you are. Curiosity is threaded into your very existence? GOOD. Get curious."A furrowed brow turns into an expression of pleasant surprise, thin eyebrows arching suspiciously.(Continued)
>>4109994"Explore, experiment, become something more than what West demands you be. You can pursue your own ends now, not hers. Don't waste that chance. I'm sorry that you're suffering right now. I know, I've taken you out of the familiar and given you a whole new world to interact with, and that's a cruel thing to do by force. You've got no guarantee that anything will work out right for you...but you've got noguarantee it won't, either. And if you don't try, then that's your failure to be sufficiently curious. Don't you want to at least run the experiment before you declare a null result, now that you have the freedom to do so?"The look in her eyes...it's unmistakable.She's realizing just how trapped she really was."You're free to choose your own path, now." You continue, taking a tentative step forward as the woman opposite you looks down, lost in thought as she allows your words to take root. "And maybe that won't work out well for you. But maybe it will. Either way it's your decision, not whatever task has been set to you by a woman who sees you as just an extension of herself, an interchangeable and disposable tool. She didn't even give you a name."Barely half a meter separates the two of you now, and when she looks up there's a slight look of shock...not from your proximity, but by the look in your eyes and the honesty on your lips."That's why you're hurting right now...because you've never been allowed to be a person before. Never been treated like someone who people could care about. And now you know that's a possibility, and that's scary. Being a tool isn't satisfying, but it's familiar, it's comfortable. It's what you know. But come on, you're curious, aren't you? It's threaded into your very being. Expand your knowledge. Ican't guarantee it will go easy. It probably won't. It's going to be awkward and uncomfortable and painful. But I think you'll be satisfied with what you learn."You reach out, gingerly reaching out to place a hand on her shoulder.To your considerable surprise, she lets you."All I wanted to give you at least the ability to choose. If you want to crawl back to West and get reintegrated and put under her boot-heel again...well, I can't really stop you." You say, holding her gaze with your own. "But that will have been your decision, then. And decisions, well...all of them have consequences. But I'm sure you're well aware of that"A heavy sigh escapes you as you give her a little shrug, a little smile as you spread your arms wide."What happens afterwards? The choices you make? I don't care. Those are the decisions that you yourself made, for better or worse." She seems almost confused as she watches you step aside, gesturing to the exit, just down the hall. "Go? Stay? It's up to you. We could use the help honestly, though I'm sure you scoff at the idea of helping such fools and lowlifes."You smile, honestly and genuinely.(Continued)
>>4109996"But if you really do want to change? To do some good? Know our door's open. I don't expect or want you to come to us for help, but we're fools like that, and we won't turn you down if you need it. Look,just..." You hesitate a moment, biting your lower lip before you speak. "...don't be a dick, okay? For everyone's sake, including your own?"She ignores your attempt at levity, her gaze directed towards the exit. Hey eyes shift to Dorian, then to Rath. To Sam, then finally back to you. She closes her eyes, and takes a breath. After a long moment of contemplation, she takes a step.And another.And another.Her feet swiftly carry her to the exit...then past it, as she strides over to Francine's side. Your good doctor seems startled when her doppelganger demands to know how she can assist with the two remaining patients, though Francine quickly collects herself as she rifles in her Relic satchel for a tool to give Sigma…or whatever the Proxy chooses to go by, after all this. You let out a breath you didn’t know you were holding, and when a hand pats you gently on the back you turn to see Dorian at the end of the welcome gesture.“How’re you holding up, man?” You ask wearily, giving the young man a once-over. He’s considerably more ‘whole’ than he was when you caught him, his considerable regenerative power apparently restored to full working order thanks to Francine’s use of the Surgeon General’s Essential’s.“Better, now that I know all this had a silver lining.” He replies, glancing over at Gina. “She told me what Orwell said, and I must admit I’m rather relieved we don’t have to go on the run quite yet.”“What? Had enough running for one day?” You fire back with a smirk.“Ha, not quite yet…” The artist says with a grin. “…but a bit of a breather wouldn’t hurt.”You could certainly use one. Hell, everyone here could…but you’re still not out of the woods quite yet.>>You’d rather not move Sia or Sugar while Francine and the others finish their work, so while you’re here you may as well speak to one of your friends or family present [Choose an ally to interact with]>>While the rest of the Barbers are attended to by Francine and Gina, when Sigma’s done helping you’ll take her along with some of your allies to explore the Hexane Factory…you’re curious about it, and you’re fairly certain Sigma wont’ fight you on explaining her findings.>>Reach back out to Orwell…given recent events, there are a few other things you’d like to run by her while she’s on-task. [Write-In]>>Whatever you decide to do next, it’s best decided back at the Dragon’s Roost. [Head back]>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Gentlemen, voting shall remain open for the next four hours, with the next post to likely be the last for today as I wrap up work and attend to some Vein upkeep over the weekend.)
>>4110001(And as temendously triggered as I am over the weird formatting issue raisling it's ugly head once again, I'll avoid a bamboozle this time around, as much as it pains me.)
>>4110004there there Bhop. We can forgive you for that. You have a sick wife, and a lot of housekeeping to do on top of work, so take care of yourself and don't sweat the details yet.
>>4110004Eh its fien. Not too bad honestly i have seen worse... Hell i have read worse from professional authors no less. So dont let it get to you the technology sometimes works in weird ways and malfunctions in even weirder
>>4109998>>While the rest of the Barbers are attended to by Francine and Gina, when Sigma’s done helping you’ll take her along with some of your allies to explore the Hexane Factory…you’re curious about it, and you’re fairly certain Sigma wont’ fight you on explaining her findings.>Take Rath with you and have her see if this place tickles her nerves for relic creation. Maybe she will have an epiphany>Leave Gina there to have a direct line in case any side needs help for one reason or another
>>4109998>>Reach back out to Orwell…given recent events, there are a few other things you’d like to run by her while she’s on-task.>>bring Amara into the conversation, both to give your young ward something to do, and maybe Orwell can teach her a few tricks.>"hey Orwell, sorry to check in again, im sure you've got alot to keep track of already, but some of it might overlap anyways, and ive got a superfan here who might be able to ease some of the burden off your shoulders with a little guidance maybe?">"First off, update on Alpha? location, status? ...guesses? trying to figure out what to do about her really. after the recent news, a bit of a breather and some actual time to come up with a new plan to deal with her would be great... if we have the chance.">"Second off, hows the other Proxies doing, if you can tell us? any looking like a problem, any word from the skinternet on what they might be up to by the more... intrusive info gatherers?">"... any immediate or major side effects to our plans completion we should know about?">Third, ever heard anything on ow resilient to anti-Relic abilities Alpha is.. or may now be? assuming she isnt, any leads on something we could do to acquire such a thing, would be appreciated.">"Fourth... Sia said some possibly disturbing things about her Shards and the altered Altar while passed out... anything going on in that region?">"Fifth... you doing alright? know even for someone like you this all has to be alot to keep track of, so please, dont push yourself past what you can handle.">>Give Orwell and Armara time if they need it, as much as they ask for.>in the meantime, let your good doctors work on the patients, and catch up with Gina, then Dorian, then Rosa and Betty.>>4110024id prefer not to interrupt Sigmas bonding time with Francine, spending time with Francine might do her well. aswell as if shes helping with the doctoring, id not want to interrupt that. also, id prefer to keep everyone together, til the situations less tense, just incase an emergency does come up. having folks wander off exploring just sounds like a bad idea, and really really is not at all a priority right now.
>>4110033oh yeah shit.. yeah i missed that part so i will amend my own voteBut what do you think should we help Sigma out a bit by getting her somewhere relatively safe? Like Laoc after she is done here>>4109998Amending from>>4110024to supporting>>4110033
>>4110037maybe. i mean, if she wants a ride somewhere, sure, but i have a feeling she herself is still not entirely sure what she wants to do or where she wants to go, only shes clearly decided we're not enemies and to not be an asshole.she could want to stay, despite the obvious risks, or she might just want to be teleported as far away as we can get her so she can find a boat to another continent.
>>4110051first off, that is very much not at all a priority right now.second off, IC im very certain we dont know any of that. Sams only told us shes looking for someone, no actual details about who yet, and certainly not what she looks like or might be.
>>4109998>Reach back out to Orwell…given recent events, there are a few other things you’d like to run by her while she’s on-task. >"Hey Orwell, how are you faring? Any updates?">"Sia mumbled that something was going down at the Altar. Do you know anything more about that?">"I got a favor to ask of you. Sam's looking for someone and I figured that you have the eyes to find her missing Waldo. She can give you the details."
>>4110051Sam will have to talk to us. WE dont know she wants to see the specific girl again. Just that she wants to find someone. If she asks us once we are out of this well we can still ask Orwell then.>Girls face when Shu the Defiant shows up to meet her with the Robot in tow that safed her a while back.>Girls face when the robot that safed her is an extremely reviled person on the skinternet but wants to become friends>Girls face when she finds out she was safed because Shu gave someone a second chance
>>4110061>>4110054Sorry for the bamboozle.
>>4110060>>4109998still gonna vote against the Sam Question. theres enough on everyone's plates, something so trivial can wait til things arent balancing on a needles head.
>>4110054Actually, do we even know out of character who the person Sam wants to apologize to is? She was rude to several people in that interlude. It might be Paloma, or those two fangirls who realizes she was Sam.
>>4110086i think(though could be wrong) her wording implied she wanted to find the person she saved, but no, it was not actually enough to go off of to for sure know who she meant.
>>4110086it was the one girl she saved in the first post. At least i am pretty sure that was it.She felt sorry for being so krass to her and pushing her away just like that. And she was the only person that didnt react with hostility to her and even something coming close to adoration
>>4110092I don't think Paloma was hostile. Though I guess it wouldn't take help to find her, now that I think about it, she's hanging out in the Envious City with Orwell. We should let Amara meet her at some point. Not any point soon, we're going to be busy for a while, but at some point.
>>4109998>>While the rest of the Barbers are attended to by Francine and Gina, when Sigma’s done helping you’ll take her along with some of your allies to explore the Hexane Factory…you’re curious about it, and you’re fairly certain Sigma wont’ fight you on explaining her findings.Info is most important. But We could talk to a friend while waiting for sigma to finish, and we can talk to orwell while walking around the factory unless sigma would be talking for a lot of it, in which case we better pay attention. All of these are good options and we should try to do all of them, but if we can't, learning what sigma was doing here would be a good start. OCD is acting up and my stomach is tying itself into knots oh god oh fuck
>>4110109ouch..... Sorry to hear that Anon. I hope you will get better again soon..
>>4110109except Sigma is helping Francine with the medical, and you're wanting to split people up and wander off while we still dont know if Alpha is gonna give up or not, or just gonna stay dazed, nor for how long.
>>4110109I'm sorry to hear that. Do you have any medications to take for it?
>>4110109wait, does OCD have effects like that? sorry to hear about that at least.
>>4110112>>4110113>>4110114>>4110120Thank you friends. OCD isn't obsession with cleanliness or symmetry, but it's about constantly being attacked mentally by a mindflayer who knows what gets under your skin unless you do some inane rituals that ward off the bad feelings, like flicking light switches or repeating a task multiple times. If you dont do the thing, the anxiety from the intrusive thoughts builds up and for me it can give me stress stomachaches. Already took my medication but I think I might need to just calm down and breathe deep for a bit.Also I just meant that we talk with someone while waiting for francine and sigma to finish. Then we all go through the factory and ask sigma what she was doing here and then ask orwell a question in the mean time.But you are right, our time is uncertain and we must not split up the party. I just meant that if we had time we should do all of these but if we don't then we should investigate the factory a little. But you're right, it will split the party and that would be a bad move for now.
>>4109998>>You’d rather not move Sia or Sugar while Francine and the others finish their work, so while you’re here you may as well speak to one of your friends or family present [Choose an ally to interact with]>Ask Dorian for more details on Alpha's countermeasures for us. Were they things she had pre-installed, or just her having new blueprints for Relics to craft on the fly? And, since she would have thought Sia was Francine, what did she deploy against her?>Get Rath and November in on the conversation, our Forge Mistress and cyborg should have some insights on Alpha's cybernetics.I want to give Orwell some time to work. We just asked her to track Alpha before speaking with Sigma, it's been like five minutes. She doesn't need us breathing down her neck.
>>4110140true, but some of the things i want to ask her are important, and might not be something she though about, aswell as some is new info. also, it gives Amara a chance to work with her and help the process along which could make a very vital difference, and if we're gonna talk to her, getting an update just makes sense, regardless of how much time has actually passed.
>>4109998“Amara, could you reach out to Orwell?” You ask, getting back on track. “I have a few things I’d like the three of us to discuss.”“Okay! I’ll go get Gina so you all can-““No, just leave her be.” You gently interrupt, a smile on your lips. “By ‘us’, I meant you, me, and Orwell…if that’s okay with you, of course?”Amara’s wide-eyed surprise warms your heart, and she’s got a skip in her step as she bounds off to round up a Joyous for the other Skintalker to speak through."Hey Orwell, sorry to check in again.” You say, once you have a pair of identical little girls standing across from you, one of which is piloted by a teen several dozen miles away…god, you wonder if you’ll ever get used to just how weird all this is. “Look, I’m sure you've got a lot to keep track of already, but some of it might overlap anyways, and I’ve got a superfan here who might be able to ease some of the burden off your shoulders with a little guidance maybe?"“No worries, and I’d welcome the help, Amara!” Orwell replies enthusiastically, and you think your young ward’s heart might just explode right then and there. “So! What’cha got?”"First off, update on Alpha? Location, status...guesses? Trying to figure out what to do about her, really. After the recent news, a bit of a breather and some actual time to come up with a new plan to deal with her would be great...*if* we have the chance."“Gotcha! So basically, she’s been meandering south for the most part, but she ended up running across an Amalgam and a small band of Daughters in that time frame.” Comes the girl’s efficient report. “Amalgam was taken down with a single hit, no survivors from second encounter. Alpha’s displaying aggressive behaviors that she never has prior to be unshackled. She’s not mad…far from it. Everything she did was done with this almost surgical focus, as fast as it all happened. Ever since then, I’ve been directing my resources to establishing a pretty big ward around Alpha to warn away any Daughters that don’t realize they’re in the danger zone. The speed she copied off Dorian seems to have faded though, so at least it’s not like trying to keep a rubber band around a flea anymore, so that’s something. ”You wince, teeth grinding together at the thought of what’s been unleashed…and what you’ll have to stop, in time."Okay…second off, how’re the other Proxies doing, if you can tell us? Any looking like a problem, any word from the Skinternet on what they might be up to by the more...intrusive info gatherers?" You ask, and the Orwell-guided Joyous gives Amara a sideways glance before answering.(Continued)
>>4110296“Any Proxy that wasn’t buckled down already has gone ahead and shut their doors, while the ones en route to Prime just seem lost. Big picture, though? None of them have decided to become mass murderers in the…half hour…since you gave Prime the middle finger. As far as any negatives, uh…well, two Proxies I know of kinda…yeeted themselves off pretty high places shortly after the network fell, so there’s that.”“Christ, they straight-up killed themselves?!” Rath blurts out, oblivious to Amara’s downcast and confused expression at the news."Any immediate or major side effects to our plans completion we should know about?" You follow up hastily, shooting Rath a pointed glare with a glance towards your ward.“Nothing immediate, no. Odds are it’ll take a while for anything to manifest, but you’ll be the first to know.” Orwell admits, and the Joyous taps her chin with one index finger as her puppeteer ponders the question. “Actually, just thinking about things off-hand...” She muses with a sigh. “…between Sigma and Francine, you’ve got the only two Proxies that can reach out to anyone else in the network since it fell. Francine’s got Amara, and Sigma’s the only Skintalker hybrid West’s got…or ‘had’, if we’re watching our tenses.”“Interesting observation…what’re you proposing?” You ask, suspicious of the other girl’s angle.“Well…you just gave Sigma a pretty impassioned plea for not being a dick, and it sounds like you’d have two pretty topical spokeswomen on hand to pen an open message to the rest of the proxies, so…” She trails off, raising her hands in protest. “…but just to be clear, I’m totally not advocating for a ‘spin’, or anything like that. Just thought that getting the word out to all of them except for just the one might help your cause, is all.”“Hm…I’ll take it under consideration.” You reply honestly. “Third, ever heard anything on how resilient to anti-Relic abilities Alpha is now? Assuming she isn’t, any leads on something we could do to acquire such a thing would be much appreciated."“Nobody’s really tried that, since anti-Relic abilities and powers are kinda rare…as for where to find such a thing, that’s a hard one!” Orwell laughs, beginning to pace as she ponders over the question. “Let me make sure that my Proxy subroutines are totally secure and stable, and once that’s done then I’ll devote some time to plunging the Skinternet for any leads. How’s that sound?”"Fair. Fourth...Sia said some possibly disturbing things about her Shards and the altered Altar while passed out...anything going on in that region?"“Uhhh…as gross as it sounds, I’ve been knee deep in the West for the past coupla’ hours, so lemme check.” She trails off, the Joyous spinning in place as Orwell swivels in her chair…until she freezes, a stricken expression on her face.“…oh, fuck.”(Continued)
>>4110299Your blood runs cold, your heart hammering in your throat.“The Altar's been scattered…” Orwell breathes, her puppet’s eyes scrolling through news you cannot see. “…refugees are fleeing to the named cities, some are banding up, some are choosing to OD...Shu, I’m so sorry I didn’t see this earlier, I just…God, I’m so-““Is it like the Monastery? A mass Hunger event?” You demand.“No…no, nothing like that, it…she was surgical, just like with the Apex.”You blink as a hot rage fills your chest, blending with the chill of betrayal.“…Magpie.” You utter, the name an epithet, hurled into the darkness of the Hexane hall. “She hit the Altar. She didn’t wait for us.”Amara's worried gaze flickers between her doppelganger and her mother figure as the two of you just stare off into space, stunned.“Yeah, I…I’m so sorry, Shu.” Orwell repeats, running a hand through her vessel’s short hair. “…I’ll start tracking her, too. I’ve heard she’s slippery, but to hit two major factions in such a short time, it’s…”“A pattern.” You finish, your fingers curling into fists. “God, I don’t have the fucking time for this shit. Just...how many did she kill?”“A dozen, maybe more? Reports are still pouring in, like…this JUST happened.” Orwell replies with a beleaguered sigh, the Joyous going quiet as its eyes dart around, the Skintalker rapidly trying to process what she’s seeing."Orwell, are….are you doing alright?” You finally ask, rubbing the bridge of your nose with thumb and forefinger. “You’re doing a lot, so…please, dont push yourself past what you can handle."“Much appreciated, but this is nothing.” She dismisses, addressing the the task at hand with unparalleled focus. “I got to where I am so I could help people, and that’s exactly what you’re trying to do right now…there’s no price too great, where I’m concerned.”“Just…be safe. And thank you, for all you’re doing.” You say appreciatively.“Same to you.” Orwell replies hastily before turning to Amara. “Alright Superfan, you ready to get a crash course on trawling the Scandinavian spear-fishing forum that is the Skinternet?”“I have no idea what that means, but ABSOLUTELY.” Amara says immediately, her eyes as big as dinner plates.You leave them to their devices, striding down the corridor by yourself with your anger’s fist still wrapped around your heart. She didn’t wait for you. She took all your words, and threw them away……what the hell is Magpie doing?>>You need Gina. There’s nothing either of you can do right now, but…it’d be nice to talk to her, however briefly.>>Choose another one of your allies to speak with, and hopefully shake the sting of Magpie jumping the gun.>>…Magpie. She has a Fuzzbuzz, from when you last told her that she wasn’t alone. You’re damn well going to use it.>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Gentlemen, I shall be pausing here for the weekend to catch up on Vein upkeep and attend to some personal matters over the weekend. Voting shall remain open for the next five hours, with posting to resume on March 3rd at 10:00AM, Eastern time. Thank you all for your participation, enthusiasm, and patience, and I’ll be around to address any questions you all may have, as well as post my thoughts and assessment of the Journey Into Europe ability sheets.)(Take care, one and all.)
>>4110304Rough ETA on that one? If its not in the next hour or so i will go to sleep and look over it tomorrow. I have a DND game to run tomorrow and a lot of last minute planning to doand i just might have had three or four hours less sleep during the night than should have had.... Stupid stomach camps
>>4110303>One last mission for Amara and Orwell, though, with less priority than the Wests... unless she thinks it should be.>>Compile you a list of any other place or organization she thinks Magpie might go after.>You need Gina. There’s nothing either of you can do right now, but…it’d be nice to talk to her, however briefly.>>Afterwards, gather your family and allies. inform them of both whats happening with the West network... and about Magpie. get their opinions on what to do next about both issues, and give your thoughts on both too.">"The West network so far seems to be confused. most will probably take while to be a threat, which gives us a good chance to breath... and Orwell had a good idea, though its up to Francine and Sigma in both what to do and say. we could send word out to them, let them know its up to THEM whether this is a bad thing or not, or whether they are in danger from it. make sure they understand what this can mean, like we did for Sigma.">"Otherwise, our main goal if we do focus on the West network, is Alpha. i simple dont think going after her directly is a good idea. what we need is something we know is possible, but rare and possibly expensive. anti-Relic abilities and relics. but finding those, or just gathering the resources to make something of that, could take awhile.">"Oh, and Alpha is head south, if Sigma or Francine know anything that might entail?">"As for Magpie... her betrayal hurt, and doing something about that isnt unreasonable... but logically speaking, we need to look at the actual impact she is causing and might cause. even when it comes to... dubious groups you can trust, having them be in one place and organized can still be better and less chaotic than scattering them to the winds. not to mention the fear and panic all the new groups, refugees, and power dynamics can cause.">"The simple fact is, she might actually be a bigger threat now than even Alpha. Alpha just seems to be... going someplace, and the rest of the Proxies dont know what to do. Magpie is actively kicking hornets nests, and causing a ruckus. she goes too far or make a mistake? she could cause a massive problem, or cascade effect.">:she should have a fuzzbuzz... or she may of gotten rid of it. the question is... do we use it to track her, and confront her in person... or talk to her from here, and risk her crushing it, if she hasn't already? assuming, of course, everyone thinks shes actually has becomes the bigger threat.">"We could also split our resources too, of course. ">To the Barbers.>"Our home is your home, if you'd like to hold up in the Penthouse. i also understand Magpie isnt your concern or what you signed up for, so no pressure if things calming down means you feel you need to back out, even temporarily, or you feel like its best not to shift your focus."
>>4110303Oh, it's not something that Magpie could have prevented if she wasn't waiting for us, it's something that Magpie caused because she wasn't waiting for us. Damn it, Magpie. Why you do this? Killing the Apex, sure. Those girls were dicks. What did you have against the Altar?>>4110304See you Monday, then, BHOP. Have a nice weeked.
>>4110304you have a wonderful weekend BHOP. hope you and yur wife get and stay in good health, and that your plans are pleasant, or at least go smoothly. only question coming to mind is, if we can sense if Magpie still has her FuzzBuzz, and/or can check without her knowing we are?>>4110330im thinking its not exactly personal. i mean, it might be, but i do think she has SOME form of a plan or 'legitimate' reason behind this.that, or the little hints she had given us about her actually disliking Mara, and our knowledge Mara actually was involved in helping form alot of these groups, means Magpie is just being a petty bitch to get back at her now that she cant intervene... but Magpie honestly doesn't seem the type. i mean, i can see her being glad she GETS to have revenge, only i cant see her not at least justifying it with another reason too.
>>4110329also, proofreading. i forgot to proofread that. sorry about that BHOP, ill try and hammer our those kinks after discussion and when ive got free time, even if i dont catch it before votings ended.
>>4110335Yeah, I don't think that Magpie would destroy things that Mara made just because. I actually don't get the sense that Magpie really hates Mara herself all that much. It's more that Magpie's got some self-loathing, she hates what she's become to survive in the Crucible, and she sees Mara as an enabler of that. Every time she talks about how "you really shouldn't look up to people like Mara" she usually adds in an "...or me". She doesn't hate Mara, she hates what she did and how she acted alongside Mara. Maybe that's why she's destroying things Mara created, because she helped, and she feels guilty about it or something.
>>4110318(Apologies for not seeing this; go ahead and rest up, and I'll post everything tonight or in the morning.)>>4110335(Magpie still has the FuzzBuzz. Also, thank you for the well-wishes.)>>4110330(You have a great weekend as well, Anon.)>>4110346(It's no trouble at all, truly.)
>>4110435Alright see tomorrow thenGood Night AnonsAnd good night OP. I hope your wife is on her way to a speedy recovery and your weekend plans wont be disruptedAlso did you read the questions i had posted last vein? Or did you not get the chance to read the Chapter?I will be up for a couple more minutes until the friend i am waiting on finally deigns to answer me
>>4110379could be. we'll just have to see. i very much dont think we should be lenient on her going behind our back, but i do of course still think we can aks her about it over just assuming we need to stab her over it....i mean, we might have to stab her, but we can still try and avoid it.>>4110435ah, good to know. guess i dont need to have Shu guess about that then, but not that big a deal.
>>4110447(Thank you, and she's feeling a bit better, actually. Also, with everything going on I haven't yet gotten the chance to give it the time it deserves, but it's on my agenda this weekend.)(I appreciate the reminder!)
>>4110304Have a great weekend, BHOP!On another note:Goddamnit, Magpie. What the hell are you doing?>>…Magpie. She has a Fuzzbuzz, from when you last told her that she wasn’t alone. You’re damn well going to use it.If she hasn't gotten rid of it already. The bird and the bee need to talk.
>>4110329>>4110303no actual changes really, just fixed up the wording and whatnot;>One last mission for Amara and Orwell, though, with less priority than the Wests... unless they think it should be.>>Compile you a list of any other place or organization she thinks Magpie might go after.>You need Gina. There’s nothing either of you can do right now, but…it’d be nice to talk to her, however briefly.>>Afterwards, gather your family and allies. inform them of both whats happening with the West network... and about Magpie. get their opinions on what to do next about both issues, and give your thoughts on both too.>"The West network so far seems to be confused. most will probably take awhile to be a threat, which gives us a good chance to breath... and Orwell had a good idea, though its up to Francine and Sigma in both if we do it and what they would say. we could send word out to the Proxies, let them know its up to THEM whether this is a bad thing or not, or whether they are in danger from it. make sure they understand what this can mean, like we did for Sigma.">"Otherwise, our main goal if we do focus on the West network, is Alpha. I simply dont think going after her directly is a good idea. what we need is something we know is possible, but rare and possibly expensive. Anti-Relic abilities and relics. but finding those, or just gathering the resources to make something of that type, could take awhile.">"Oh, and Alpha is headed south, if Sigma or Francine know anything that might entail?">"As for Magpie... her betrayal hurt, and doing something about that isn't unreasonable... but logically speaking, we need to look at the actual impact she is causing and might further cause. even when it comes to... dubious groups you can't trust, having them be in one place and organized can still be better and less chaotic than scattering them to the winds. not to mention the fear and panic all the new groups, refugees, and power dynamics can cause.">"The simple fact is, she might actually be a bigger threat now than even Alpha. Alpha just seems to be... going someplace, and the rest of the Proxies dont know what to do. Magpie is actively kicking hornets nests, and causing a ruckus. she goes too far or makes a mistake? she could cause a massive problem, or cascade effect.">"She does still have a FuzzBuzz... the question is, do we use it to track her, and confront her in person... or talk to her from here, and risk her crushing it? assuming, of course, everyone thinks shes actually has become a threat we need to deal with now.">"We could also split our resources too, of course, but would still need a plan for both. ">To the Barbers.>"Our home is your home, if you'd like to hold up in the Penthouse. I also understand Magpie isnt your concern or what you signed up for, so no pressure if things calming down means you feel you need to back out, even temporarily, or you feel like its best not to shift your focus to a new objective."
>>4110303I expected something like this to happen with magpie going off on her own. We accepted magpie possibly not waiting too long for us so I don't think we should even approach her with indignation. Just curiosity, and we should also ask her if she needs help right now. She probably wouldnt ask for it after deciding to go on without us. Her motives are unknown, but she is our friend until proven otherwise. We should call her asap.>>4110304Take care of yourself and your wife. Tell her you love her and hug her. OCD is no longer hurting my stomach which is good. Computer science exam went okay but I forgot how to do quicksort by hand.
Anybody have a quick summary of what we know about the Altar? I have honestly totally forgotten what they were about.>>4110303>>4110585I agree with most of this but I'm not quite sure why we're so mad. I went back and looked at the archive, we tried to strongarm Magpie into accepting help and she eventually did so begrudgingly (http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/3951968/#p3964585). We were ok with attacking the Altar at the time it seems, so I'm not sure what happened other than Magpie got impatient.I think we make sure she's still sane and go with more of "you good? planning on attacking anywhere else that we should be concerned about?" Its a betrayal maybe, but a pretty small one if we were already planning on attacking the place
>>4110848(Regarding the Altar, they're an wholly pacifistic and benevolent organization, essentially akin to the Monastery, but with more drugs.)
>>4110848We don't know much. Yurei didn't think they were anything worth talking about. Gemma said that they mostly stick to themselves and don't bother anyone, and that they have a "grey-eyed founder" who is going to save the world. For that reason we're assuming that Mara set the group up.
>>4110848We very specifically did not want to go there to help her attack it and were very specifically worried about how what she would do would affect them. Ooc that was very clear, and personally im not sure how you didnt get that from what we wrote IC, but i guess we dropped the ball on the tone there then.
>>4110922Personally, I did expect her to get into a fight. I didn't think we'd be able to prevent that. But I didn't expect her to fight the entire damn group. Given how she was acting, with the worry that the flying Amalgam might have passed over the Altar, my expectation was that there was someone potentially dangerous there that she wanted to take out. And then we'd be there to help her handle them without it blowing up into some huge big thing where she'd have to fight the entire Altar. But no, apparently she's okay with fighting all of them. Christ, Magpie.
>>4110940Well yeah, we knew we might not be able to outright stop her, but we had thongs to do there and wanted to at least have a chance to see them and talk to her about it, or at least mitigate the damage she did.This... Not just going behind our back, but going behind our back to cause what very well could become or be a major issue. Its both a very personal stab in the back, but also one that very much has actual repercussions and issues and very much brings her actions and stance as an ally and not a direct threat into question.
>>4110968Yeah. I'd still like to hear her attempt to justify her actions, but it's going to take some pretty big extenuating circumstance to make this an acceptable course of action. >but we had thongs to do there and wanted to at least have a chance to see them and talk to her about itMan, she better not have killed their Gemma. That would be so frustrating.
>>4110983...you know... She may of done that. Sia specifically mentioned a Shard, and its been said Altar Shard was decently high rank in the Altar...
am >>4110014on mobile, just got off work.fucking hell. I just read the update and I am conflicted. I need time and food to digest this. And I’ll put my thoughts in detail when i get home
>>4111000Oh, Magpie definitely took a shot at the Gemma Shard there. But she may not have been killed, I'm hoping she got out of the encounter alive.
>>4110922IC text is talking about danger and covering her back, it seemed like we were going in looking for a fight. OOC I didn't even look at, just ctl-f'd until I found the conversation I was looking for.Either way though, Magpie still seemed like a somewhat rational actor last time we talked. I wanna hear her justification before we put ourselves in an irreversible position.
>>4111009am >>4110296 at home on computer. Jesus christ, this is still lots to pack up. Let me take this one step at a time:>Alpha situation:>“Gotcha! So basically, she’s been meandering south for the most part, but she ended up running across an Amalgam and a small band of Daughters in that time frame.” Comes the girl’s efficient report. “Amalgam was taken down with a single hit, no survivors from second encounter. Alpha’s displaying aggressive behaviors that she never has prior to be unshackled. She’s not mad…far from it.That behavior. I know that behavior. I've been through that exact same mood that Alpha's going through right now. Whenever I'm angry and at work I can't afford to explode in anger which I desperately would love to do, but I can't. I'm forced to channel it into a more "productive" use. This means that I aggressively "speed walk" throughout the facility, almost taking no care to others, just completely focused on my work. If anyone goes up to bother me, my response would come out stilted and forced. What Alpha's doing is no less different. I can sense that she's frustrated. She's unbelievably frustrated and angry. Because of the fact that her emotions are bottled up so tightly and any turmoil she's feeling is automatically suppressed by the Multi-core Forge Drive, she's unable to find an outlet to vent her stress or put express her feelings except for what she does best: meandering around, finding a target, and then killing it with extreme prejudice. But from what I can infer and extrapolate, she's frustrated. She can't vent all of it because the stress balls (amalgams/daughters) fall apart too easily. She's West's firstborn and built to be a killing machine, designed to heed and obey her creator, but now that the network's down, Alpha is just as lost as the other proxies, but like what I said earlier, she's trying to vent that stress by doing what she does best. But that's only for the moment. I have no doubts that if/when the opportunity arises, she'll come blitzing across the landscape to hunt down the one responsible for the destruction of the network. >Magpie situation:Jesus Magpie... I just....all I can think of is "Why?". What beef do you have with Mara way back when the Crucible started that made you resent the things Mara had set up? Why act out like this?>>4111112>>4110922>>4110585We've already picked up the hints prior to the Laoc Hunger Riot that Magpie was involved for the strategic beheading of the Apex Sisterhood, and was planning to do the same with the Altered Altar, but I can't help but admit that we were scared to confirm that very suspicion.And in hindsight I can't help but think that we sent the wrong message to her when it came to our business with the Altered Altar.
>>4111112I mean, ok? I do too? Nothing about my vote was saying otherwise, only asking our family and allies for their two cents on it and how to go about it.
>>4110303>You need Gina. There’s nothing either of you can do right now, but…it’d be nice to talk to her, however briefly.>Find Gina, the go over to a nearby wall, ask the factory to extrude out a pair of benches for the two of you to sit down on. >Sit down on the benches, then just rest your head on her shoulder and find one of her hands to clasp with your actual hands.>"How are you holding up Gina?">let Gina respond. if she fires back the same question back:>"I'm...doing fine, I just need a moment to be with you. So much has happened since we woke up for breakfast today.">a beat>"Well...we took down Doctor West's Skynet for one. Orwell's told me that the proxies are in disarray, Alpha is no longer directly beelining for us, but it's worrying that she's now built solely to counter and kill us. Two of the proxies...didn't take it well when the Network crashed...I guess we still have a long way to go.">Pause for a moment to switch topics.>"So what did you do at Laoc before the Hunger Riot hit?">Let Gina respond with what she did. Ask questions and comment when prompted if anything interests you.>If/when Gina asks what Shu did during her time at Laoc:>"Well, I took a walk around town, saw the Mayor kick apex ass, spied two daughters - both of them gluttonous classes - acting like an old married couple, and then met Lara. That girl had all the appeals and trappings of a mothgirl I tell you. That includes her feral instinct of staring at bright lights like Rath...">pause for a few beats, then look at Gina with a mischievous grin.>"New entry for a ship?">"Does Lava Lamp as a ship name sound good?">let the conversation die out and just bask in each other's presence for the moment, before reluctantly getting up and off the bench to attend to pressing matters.
>>4110858Bhop. I posted a link bearing Gifts:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MC6R-tiXyRk
>>4111282(Oh, I've been watching that game for years...and it's very, very fun. I appreciate you sharing it, and I heartily recommend it to anyone here. I've been having a blast with it thus far.)
>>4111282(T-this game! It was made for me!)
>>4111344I understood that reference.
>>4111356(You're quite correct.)
>>4111361dang, wasn't fast enough.sorry for the bamboozle, i totally misread what the other Anon said. its late, and while thats not usually a problem, had to drive 45 minutes to and from a family dinner, ans while i love my family and certainly enjoyed it, i just wasn't as up to it as i thought and just dont have a large social battery.as compensation, heres a song that for some reason brought to mind Francine/the Proxies in general. dont normally post music here due to my last attempts being ignored only for someone to get credit for posting it several threads later. but this one personally hit home nicely.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrA3TGBHr58
>>4111344I thought that was Dance Dance Revolution?
>>4111379(Swiftly and immediately saved; this is fantastic, Anon. Thank you so much for sharing!)
>>4111379(Also, I'm sorry I missed you posting music earlier. If you have more to share, I'm absolutely open to it.)(Really, I thoroughly enjoy when you or anyone here shares media that reminds them of the Quest in some way...goodness knows I have a colossal playlist to help my own writing and concepting, and it only grows.)
>>4111439I have a shitload of stuff that reminds me of the quest. I always considered the main theme of the quest to be Wild Roses by Of Monsters and Men. https://youtu.be/lyjgw3gczgM
>>4111451well i very much certainly disagree with that opinion on that song even fitting the quest, i will say the background visuals are somehow oddly unnerving in a way that does.
>>4111451(...how in the hell have I never heard this before now? This is phenomenal, Anon. Holy cow.)
>>4111457(Yeah, the visuals are supremely tippy in a way I thoroughly appreciate.)(I'm headed to bed for now Gentlemen, so I'll see you all in the morning. Rest well, everyone.)
>>4111462rest well BHOP.
>>4111457This mainly was what I heard when I was only beginning to read the quest, so I just started associating them together. I thought the lyrics fit. How come you think the song doesn't?>>4111462Night bhop.
>>4111465certainly as a quest theme nothing about it at all clicks for how i perceive or have felt throughout the Quest, nor with how its been trying to get things across. i dunno, its like, 'everything' is what i want to say, but im not satisfied with that answer perfectly either. i guess alot of it is the song feels super self defeatist and the quest is very much about the opposite of that.another thing to note, mind you, is ive been an active player since it began, which very much could put me in a much different perspective than someone reading it later.
>>4111462Good night, BHOP.
>>4111479That's fair. I'm looking at it and I think I see your point. The way we anons were playing it the quest became a badass shonen journey to save what we could of the world, but the song makes me think about the bleakness of the setting as a whole and some of the plights of the characters. It reminds me of bni a lot, for instance. She brought a lot of it on herself but I also pity her. The song just kinda makes me think of how everyone in this setting is kind of just making do with the supremely shitty situation they are in. Some are trying to get to the cord and solve the problem at the root in whatever ways they think they can, including our own party, but it seems the majority are just trying to live what's left of their lives.We have our badass moments and are making a difference but I feel like beyond all the battle plans and social combat is a somber background that we aren't entirely separated from in our attempts to bring hope to the flesh scape. Everywhere we turn is rot and decay, and people trying to survive it, half the time only by giving each other strength to do so.Lovecraft lesbians having a bad time, I guess, is what the song made me think of, which is the vibe I got from the earlier parts of the quest. Tl;dr I read it over a shorter time than you so the more somber early quest is fresher in my memory and the song fits the early quest well, I think.
>>4111582Well think of it as the various different opening themes in an anime series. You have a different theme for each season.
>>4111582well i mean, yeah, it fits say, Sam and Isabelle and their relationship for sure, though even with them it feels like they're kinda at least trying to turn things around and cling to hope. so i guess ill retract i cant see how it cant relate to anything sure, just personally doesn't make a good theme for the quest as a whole still.mind you, its a good song and i actually like it, and thank you for posting it, just different opinions on its application and context is all.
>>4110379>>4110435Hey Bhop, how long exactly in-quest time has it been since the Hunger Riots? because I've just noticed that there's a discrepancy in the travel times, the downtimes, and the times when things are happening.
This pick gives me an idea for a Humoral Paladin running a bakery in a settlement.
>>4112019Course. Just wanted to hear your opinion and to share mine.
>>4111462I take it your weekend was extremely busy. Any idea if the responses will drop today or somewhere next week?I hope you managed to stay healthy and didn't have your plans spoiled.And two more questions out of curiosity. Did Ms. BHOP also read Journey through Europe? If so what did she think about it
Retail might not be hell, but you sure can from there on occasion. I hope you have a better day ahead of you than me bhop.
See it* its been a long night.
(Gentlemen; as I'm sure you've surmised, this weekend was an exceptionally busy one. Give the events of this weekend, I will have to postpone the Vein's continuation until 9:00AM Eastern time, March 3rd. My apologies for the delay, and thank you all for your patience.)>>4114296(Yes, it was fairly ridiculous. I ended up having to work, so I wasn't able to really get anything done that I wanted to. Thus, I'll devote the end of this current Vein to laying out everything you've requested. Also, she hasn't read your work yet, though truth be told as enthusiastic as she is about my writings, body horror is perhaps one of her least favorite things...despite the fact that she comes up with fantastic and grotesque powersets regularly, so...) >>4114826>>4114829(I do hope you day improves, Anon.)
>>4115120er, BHOP. it must've been one hell of a weekend, and im sorry ot hear that, as you already had it set to not start til that time on the 3rd, meaning you either forgot when you planned to start, or just mistyped when you were pushing it back to.regardless of what you meant, i dot hope you find some time to rest and get what you want done BHOP, and as frustrating as i know it can be, dont feel bad if you gotta do things like push it back. i wont say it doesnt suck, but i understand.
>>4115120Stay safe, stay healthy, and for everyone's sake, maintain your hygiene. Corona Virus is scary stuff.>Also, she hasn't read your work yet, though truth be told as enthusiastic as she is about my writings, body horror is perhaps one of her least favorite things...despite the fact that she comes up with fantastic and grotesque powersets regularly, so...sounds like a guilty pleasure to me if her hubby's involved in writing it. by the way, what daughter class would Viral warfare (aka a powerset revolving around Viruses) fall under?
>>4115120I...could have sworn we were already slated for March 3rd, actually. Yeah >>4110304, we were. So no need to apologize, BHOP, you're on schedule. Sorry to hear your weekend was a hassle, though. I hope the next one you get actually gives you a chance to rest. See you Tuesday, friend.
>>4115120Oh dear. I just got caught up after binging the whole quest, and I just have to say, hope you feel better. Take it easy. This has been a hell of a ride, I've thoroughly enjoyed it all the way through.Also, Kosi is best girl. That snarky dream shit.
>>4115130>>4115201>>4115214(Ah, I'm relieved that past me was smart enough to give me more time. Thank you all for your well-wishes, and take care, Gentlemen.)>>4115325(Welcome! I'm so glad you've been enjoying it, and there's a lot of good stuff coming up that I've been looking forward to for a while.)
>>4115120Thanks for the heads up OP. I appreciate you taking the time to do thatStay safe and see you tomorrow
(Good Morning, Gentlemen. Posting shall resume shortly - I just have to vanquish some formatting issues quickly and then we can begin.)
>>4110303“One last mission for you two, though it’s not as high-priority as the West situation.” You pause, about to walk away before the idea hits you; “Compile you a list of any other place or organization you think Magpie might go after. We need to establish a pattern, a motive…something, *anything* to help us figure out what the hell she’s doing.”The twin girls both flash you a grin and a thumbs’ up, and you turn on your heel as you leave them to their work and seek out a bit of comfort in the face of the variables overwhelming your mind.“How’re they doing?” You ask Gina, finding her standing back as Francine and Sigma finish patching up the still-sleeping Sia and the obstinate Sugar, chiding the latter whenever she tries to pry off another piece of burnt sucrose from the stump of one arm and pop it in her mouth.“They’ll make a full recovery, thanks to those two.” GG replies, nodding to the near-identical physicians before you gesture for her to follow you in pacing down the corridor, away from the rest of your allies.“Hey…what’s that look for? You holding up okay?”“Yeah, I…could we sit?” You ask, nodding to an obsidian slab little ways away, nigh-invisible against its pitch-black surroundings. The two of you settle in, finding the stone surprisingly warm, along with her hands as you take gently hold of them. “I was going to ask you the same thing, actually, so…Neuromancers first.”“I’m fine...happy that Francine’s Relic worked without any major hitches, so…” She trails off, studying your eyes. “…I felt something happen across our bond a couple of minutes ago, and you still seem pretty shaken ups, so…do you want to talk about it?”…you do.“Yeah.” You conclude, Gina’s eyes wide as she absorbs everything you’ve just caught her up to speed on regarding Magpie. “It sucks, but…all things considered, I’m doing fine. I just needed a moment to be with you, is all. So much has happened since we woke up for breakfast today. I mean, for god’s sake, we took down Doctor West's Skynet. Orwell's told me that the proxies are in disarray, Alpha’s no longer directly bee-lining for us, but it's worrying that she's now built solely to counter and kill us. Two of the Proxies didn't take it well when the Network crashed…it’s just a lot."You heave a weary sigh, hardly relishing the prospect of the post-Skynet cleanup as you segue to a different topic."So what did you do at Laoc before the Hunger Riot hit?"“I mainly just chatted with Francine…she’s actually really easy to get going if you pull the string of a topic she’s passionate about. She’s finding out a lot about herself, and I think that’s kinda beautiful.” Gina replies, directing a smirk at the good doctor before turning her hazel eyes back to you. “Y’know, we really haven’t had much of a chance to talk about Laoc, so what did you do before everything hit the fan?”(Continued)
>>4117835"Well, I took a walk around town, saw the Mayor kick Apex ass, spied two daughters - both of them Gluttonous classes - acting like an old married couple, and then met Lara.” You answer, chuckling as you recall her and Rath’s mutual awe. “That girl had all the appeals and trappings of a moth girl, I tell you. That includes her feral instinct of staring at bright lights like Rath..."You pause for a few beats, then look to Gina with a mischievous grin as she just cocks an equally-mischievous eyebrow your way. “In your professional opinion, does ‘Lava Lamp’ as a ship name sound good?"Gina laughs, snapping her lips shut when she catches Rath’s curious expression from down the hall.“Oh my God, I love it.” She snickers, cheeks going red with the effort of suppressing her laughter even as she whips out her phone to take notes. “Kosi won’t shut up about how they were ogling each other, but this is just…simply beautiful, as all I can say. This is going in the file.”The two of you joke around a bit longer before the weight of leadership settles once more on your conscience, and once you’ve rounded up your allies you clear your throat before attending to more pressing matters. You tell them about the Proxies, about Alpha…and about Magpie.They take it well, all things considered.…most of them, anyway.“FUCK!” Rath bellows, her sharp, sudden strike against the wall she’s leaning against buckling the stone with a deafening crack. “Why couldn’t she have fucking waited for us?! Did she EVER plan on waiting, or was she just blowing smoke up our collective assholes?!”“Kindly desist from damaging my research interests, *Darling*.” Sigma growls, a short distance away as she shoots Rath a vicious glare. “I’m sure that whoever this ‘raven’ person is, it’s not worthy of breaking something worth far more than anyone present, yes?”"We’ll get to Magpie in a moment, but for right now I’d like to take things from the top;” You say, hands on your hips as you glance around at everyone present, save for Sia, who’s sleeping off her recovery on a nearby onyx slab. “According to Orwell’s intel, the West network so far seems to be confused. Most will probably take a while to be a threat, which gives us a good chance to breathe...and Orwell had a good idea, though it’s up to Francine and Sigma in both if we do it and what they would say.”You look to your left, finding Francine standing primly beside November and Rath while Sigma’s a little further down the hall, brushing off the dust that was kicked up by your brawler’s outburst.“It’s possible that we could send word out to the Proxies, let them know it’s up to *them* whether this is a bad thing or not, or whether they are in danger from it. Make sure they understand what this can mean, like we did for you." You explain, meeting Sigma’s suspicious eyes.(Continued)
>>4117837“I’d absolutely be willing to make an open declaration…though I’m sure it would mean far more coming from a Proxy that wasn’t exiled.” Francine replies, looking over her shoulder at her irritable doppelganger.“Yes, well, any version of West isn’t terribly inclined to listen to others, let alone another Proxy.” Sigma replies, aggressively brushing her shoulder one last time before looking up at you. “There’s a reason you don’t see more than one of us at a time.”“Maybe…or perhaps it’s just that more than one makes an impressive team.” Francine counters, quietly gesturing to her patients as she gives Sigma a kind smile.“…Fine. But I’d like to make it quick; you held my focus solely on account of my superior attention span, though I can’t say the same for the rest of our fellows.” The other woman grumbles after a moment’s consideration, folding her arms once more as she sniffs in your general direction. “And I do hope that you’re not hoping for much, Darling.”"Anything’s better than nothing, and thank you for being willing to talk to them.” You say with a smile as you move on. “Now, our main goal aside from the West network is Alpha. I simply don’t think going after her directly is a good idea. What we need is something we know is possible, but rare and possibly expensive…anti-Relic abilities and relics. But finding those, or just gathering the resources to make something of that type, could take a while. Oh, and Alpha is headed south, if either of you might know anything that could entail?"Francine and Sigma share a glance, then shake their heads at the same time after pondering Alpha’s intentions for a brief moment."If anything comes to mind, then let me know.” You say, taking a deep breath before you finally address the elephant in the room. “So. Magpie.”You exhale slowly, choosing your words carefully before you proceed.“Her betrayal hurt, and us doing something about that isn't unreasonable...but logically speaking, we need to look at the actual impact she is causing and might further cause. Even when it comes to... dubious groups you can't trust, having them be in one place and organized can still be better and less chaotic than scattering them to the winds. Not to mention the effects that fear and panic can cause in all the new groups and refugees, to say nothing of how the shift of the balance of power in the Fleshscape. The simple fact is, she might actually be a bigger threat now than even Alpha.”A few pairs of eyes widen around the hall, and it’s Rath that challenges your point with a scowl. “How you figure that, boss?”(Continued)
>>4117840“Alpha just seems to be going someplace with no clear intent while the rest of the Proxies don’t know what to do, but Magpie? Magpie is actively kicking hornet’s nests and causing a ruckus.” You explain, your feet carrying you in a tight circle as you start to pace. “If she goes too far or makes a mistake? Then it could precipitate a massive problem, or a cascade effect."“Like the Monastery?” Amara supplies.“As a worst-case scenario? Absolutely.” You reply gravely, a pang of leftover guilt thumping on your chest alongside your steady heartbeat.“Miss Shu, if I may…” Dorian begins, raising his hand with a slight wince. “…do you think it might be possible that she’s doing this to avoid a Monastery-level catastrophe?” “What, like…scattering these groups before they go nuclear?” Rath asks confusedly. “How the hell would she know they were gonna flip? She got like…a magic list, or somethin’?”“Actually, your dashing artist might be onto something.” Orwell says, with a wink towards Dorian, momentarily forgetting whose body she’s inhabiting before Dorian cringes. “Word on the Skinternet says the Apex were on the verge of tearing themselves apart from infighting, and while the Altered Altar keep a tight lid on their affairs, there were rumors that whatever they were using as their drug supply was dwindling, and the withdrawal effects weren’t pretty.”"In any case, the only person who can give us a definitive answer is Magpie.” You say, cutting into your party’s hypothesizing. “She does still have a FuzzBuzz... the question is, do we use it to track her and confront her in person, or talk to her from here, and risk her crushing it? Assuming, of course, everyone thinks she’s actually has become a threat we need to deal with now. We could also split our resources too, of course, but would still need a plan for both. ““All in favor of confronting the bitch now and shaking an answer outta’ her?” Rath forwards, thrusting her hand into the air as Amara and November do the same.“All in favor of talking to her via FuzzBuzz and maybe not directly confronting someone that used to run with Mara?” Gina politely counters, raising her hand as the rest of your family does the same…even Orwell, to your relief. Rath crosses her arms and brow in frustration, which is somewhat alleviated when November ruffles her hair.“You get a say in this too, you know.” You say to Rosa, realizing neither she nor Sugar or Betty voted either way. “You’ve got stakes in this fight, just as much as anyone else here. You and yours are part of this family.”“Trust tastes like cinnamon and honeysuckle.” Sugar replies cryptically as Rosa shoots her a withering stare, while Sugar ignores it in favor of trying to pick at her freshly-mended wounds.Until Francine pats her hand away, that is.(Continued)
>>4117842“What she’s trying to say is that we trust you guys.” The Barbers’ leader declares, gesturing to you all enthusiastically. “If you think confronting this Magpie chick is gonna do some good, then we’ve got your back. If you wanna throw down with Alpha, well…me and mine owe her a limb removal times three over for what she did to Sugar.”“Much obliged, and know that our home is your home if you'd like to hole up in the Penthouse.” You say, an offer that Sugar seems rather intrigued by if her fervent nods are any indication. “And while I appreciate your willingness to help with the whole Magpie situation, I also understand that she isn't your concern or what you signed up for, so no pressure if things calming down means you feel you need to back out or shift focus to a new objective."“...no objective. Just autographs.” Betty murmurs, running her hands absent-mindedly through her long black hair as Rosa just shrugs.“Hey, you and everyone in your family’s been nothing but nice, and the Barbers return favors.” She says, with a lingering glance towards Sia.“...and them some.” She adds in a chilling tone you’ve not heard her use before.The majority of your family seem willing to speak with Magpie sooner rather than later, and while Orwell and Amara trot off in lock-step to continue their research, you suspect that talking with the rogue sniper will give you a better lead on which is the bigger immediate threat between her and Alpha.You look to your friends and family present, seeing what even a brief encounter with Alpha cost you and the ones you care about. A flicker of movement catches your eye just down the hall, and with a start you realize that Sam’s still present, making herself scarce despite your call to arms. Whether it’s out of mere self-preservation or feeling like her presence isn’t desired, you can’t blame her for the distance she’s put between you two...with the prospect of having to deal with Alpha and possibly Magpie on the horizon, you’ll need all the power and intel you can muster to survive.The only question is where to start.>>Reach out to Magpie via the FuzzBuzz she possesses...and try to figure out just that the hell she’s up to.>>Speak with one or more of the Barbers while you’re at it, and save talking with Magpie for after Orwell and Amara’s research.>>Speak with Sam, and let her know that favor of hers is going to have to wait while you sort all this out. It take precedence, and how she reacts to being told to be patient will be more telling than any empathic reading...>>Before Orwell continues her investigation, take her, Francine, and Sigma aside and have them talk with the Proxies now, rather than later.>>You may as well return to the Dragon’s Roost while you’re at it, so say your goodbyes to Sigma before returning home and relaxing a bit with your allies while Orwell and Amara do their work.>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
My thoughts before voting on an issue:Sam:We should cash in Sam's favor now instead of putting it on the backburner. Even though it's a minor thing, if we don't repay Sam now, then this will impact how Sam will view us in the long run. We can have a group of Joyous search the fleshscape for the girl Sam's looking for as a forward payment to start making headway into helping Sam's personal quest. Magpie:Lets see what the old Bird has to say, we'll have to figure out our approach and tone when talking to her. West Network:Sigma, Francine, and Orwell talking to the network immediately after they're down will be...interesting to to say the least.
>>4117840>“…Fine. But I’d like to make it quick; you held my focus solely on account of my superior attention span, though I can’t say the same for the rest of our fellows.”I see that even a West who isn't a terrible person is still a West. We'll work on that, Sigma, get you some socialization.>>4117842>Trust tastes like cinnamon and honeysuckle.” Sugar replies cryptically as Rosa shoots her a withering stareSugar, you're not supposed to eat honeysuckle, it's a decorative plant.>>4117855Sounds reasonable, thought I'm not sure how much attention Amara has to spare to sending out some Joyous right now.
>>4117855West Network:Well i think that talking to them now while they are confused will be the best to try and convince them of what we want. Is it manipulative? Hell yes. Is it moral? Not sure. Do we have to do it to at least try and get a grasp on the situation. Yes we at least have to try
>>4117861It is something that should be addressed sooner rather than later, before the Proxies start going off in weird mental directions about it. Hell, Orwell said that a couple had already committed suicide, we should try to prevent that from happening any further.
>>4117844>Let Francine and Sigma know to talk to Orwell and Amara when they're ready for their speech, which might be better done sooner than later, but trust them to do it without you... hell, your presence might even make them less willing to listen, if they can sense you're there.>Reach out to Magpie via the FuzzBuzz she possesses...and try to figure out just that the hell she’s up to.>>take a deep, heavy sigh, and then delve into the FuzzBuzz, as it were. take stock of where it is, and whats going on first, before you try and get Magpies attention, and setup communication. >>As FuzzBuzzes dont exactly have good conversion rates however, Magpie might very likely need some time to think of a way for you to properly communicate, but assuming she can do it quickly enough....>>"So, just couldn't wait? couldn't even at least try to send word to us, assuming you had a good excuse here?">>"Look, im gonna give you the benefit of the doubt, gonna hope to all hell you had a perfectly understandable reason here... but going around slaughtering people and causing general chaos isnt a good look, no matter how much i want to trust you.">>"...but i still want to trust you, so please, you have your chance to explain things to us, all issues with you still going behind our back on this brushed aside, for now."regardless of if Magpie did have such reasons for doing this, i dont think shes thinking this through then. having someone essentially assassinating groups could cause otherwise stable groups to panic and become unstable, aswell as the refugees could do this aswell, and the new groups could become threats that didnt exist before that could topple other groups, or again ,cause panic that puts other groups in danger.this feels like a short term answer that could easily make the even just medium term so much worse, especially if she isnt yet finished.>>4117855i just disagree on the Sam thing. sure, we get to it before Sam leaves, but finding one person simple is not at all worth or important enough to add even ,ore to Orwell and Amaras workload, especially when theres still very real and very important applications their abilities and attention needs to be honed in on, aswell as ours. i do want to give her what we promised, i really mean that, but its just not something thats justifiable to focus attention on right now by a large magnitude. >>4117859people eat the little sap droplet from them all the time. its pretty common a thing. you pull the middle of the flower out and lick off the sap droplet, at least, in the type that grow down here.
>>4117859>Sugar, you're not supposed to eat honeysuckle, it's a decorative plant.Some species of Honeysuckle are actually edible, so Sugar's not wrong.
>>4117865also, i do want to talk to Magpie about said reasons she might be doing it directly, but it doesn't really fit in my opinion for an opening discussion, and would like to hear her admit to them herself, than us give her any excuses.
>>4117844Supporting >>4117865I am feeling a bit dizzy and not all that great in the head right now. Had to go home early from work after my sense of balance was playing tricks on me... So i might not be good for too much discussion... My brain feels a bit like jelly....And here i am already rambling again.....
>>4117875oof, sorry to hear that. sit down, relax, and dont push yourself. hope you get to feeling better Anon.
>>4117875(Goodness, feel better soon, Anon.)
>>4117844>>Write-In>Have Sigma and Francine work on what they want to say to the other Proxies. I'm sure Francine has been thinking about it. When they're ready, we'll do our Skinternet press conference.>Speak with Sam really quick, tell her that we haven't forgotten about how she wants to find that girl she's going to apologize to, but despite how it looks we're still in crisis mode for the moment. We'll get to it, we promise, just give us a bit longer.>Call up Magpie>>"You know, I wasn't just making up an excuse to tag along, Magpie, I actually did have business with the Altar. That's going to be pretty hard now.">>"Look, I'm not naive, I figured you were going there to shoot somebody. And since I want to trust you, I hoped that you had a good reason for it. Please tell me that you do, Magpie. I've got some theories, but I don't want to ask any leading questions. So just, why did you do this, and why couldn't it wait?"
>>4117875Make sure to get plenty of fluids, anon. I know that's a bit of a cliche bit of advice, but it's true, dehydration is only going to make you feel worse. Get some water, get some rest, and I hope you feel better soon.
>>4117891If we're going to speak to Sam about the girl she's looking for, at least have her describe the girl she's looking for before we go and make do with our debt to her in the future.
>>4117891>>4117895i still think that can wait on even that much, and certainly asking her for details defeats the purpose of either write-ins purpose.
>>4117878>>4117889>>4117894Thanks guys.... I will get some rest and not strain myself to hard while getting those bottles of water up to my room
>>4117844>Speak with Sam, and let her know that favor of hers is going to have to wait while you sort all this out. It takes precedence, and how she reacts to being told to be patient will be more telling than any empathic reading...>Before Orwell continues her investigation, take her, Francine, and Sigma aside and have them talk with the Proxies now, rather than later.>Call up Magpie.
>>4117844“Let Amara and Orwell know when you’re ready to give your speech.” You instruct, turning to the near-identical doctors standing mere meters apart in the darkened hall. “I don’t mean to rush you, but that might be better done sooner than later.”“Would you like to be present to assist?” Francine offers you, prompting a disgusted look from Sigma in the face of her twin’s consideration.“I trust you both to speak from the heart...besides, if the collective sense me then that might make them even less likely to listen, so it’s all yours, you two.”With that, you leave the doctors to craft their plea while your hive twitches, a small comm-ling squirming forth from one of the plated holes along your spine, the construct flitting to your shoulder as you find a quiet length of corridor from which to reach out to a friend……but first, you run into someone that straddles the line between friend…and something else.“Hey.” Sam gruffly greets you, her thin, metallic arms folded against her chrome chest as she leans against the wall to your right. “Looks like things are as much of a shit-storm as always.”“Ha, yeah.” You reply with a half-chuckle, half-sigh. “Actually, in light of that I wanted to talk to you about-““You having to put my ask on the back-burner?” Sam interrupts with a shrug. “I get it. It’s fine. I figured it was a long shot given everything that’s been going on…but if I learned anything while stuck in your head, it’s better to say something then not at all, right?”“Yeah. I’m sorry, but with the Proxies, Magpie, and…“ You explain, trailing off when Sam raises a hand to stop you, clearly uninterested in your apologies. “…will you be sticking around?”“Ha, god no. I figure I’ll give Amara the run-down on who I’m looking for, and between her and that creeper Orwell, they’ll find something eventually.” Sam replies, cocking her head at you as a newborn swarmling flits from your hive and hovers in front of her visor.“Take it, and I’ll reach out when Amara finds a lead.” You say, and you think Sam’s about to protest your use of the word before she reaches out, snatching it from mid-air to tuck it within the recesses of her cloak. She turns, starting to walk away from you until she pauses, talons wrapped around the corner where your corridor ends and another begins.“…Stay alive, Shu.” She says over one sharp shoulder.“Same to you, Sam.” You reply, and with a whirl of her scarlet cloak and the scrape of nails on onyx, she’s gone leaving you alone with a commling on your shoulder……and a conversation you’re not looking forward to.You take a deep breath, heave a heavy sigh, and then the line of communication flickers to life, tethering you to the swarmling at Magpie’s side across the miles of distance…and, with a little luck, the far more personal distance Magpie’s put between herself and you.(Continued)
>>4118010"So, just couldn't wait? Couldn’t even at least try to send word to us?" You begin, hoping that your words will reach her. "You know, I wasn't just making up an excuse to tag along, Magpie - I actually did have business with the Altar. That's going to be pretty hard, now that they’re all-"“Not all of them. Not yet.” Comes the smoky reply from the other side."Look, I’m gonna give you the benefit of the doubt, gonna hope to all hell you had a perfectly understandable reason here...but going around slaughtering people and causing general chaos isnt a good look, no matter how much I want to trust you."Silence."...but I still want to trust you, Magpie.” You continue. “So please, you have your chance to explain things to us, all issues with you still going behind our back on this brushed aside, for now."“Awful generous of you.” She chuckles darkly, a metallic clack lancing across the channel. “And about that ‘chaos’…ah, hell. Hold on a tick.”A crack, a boom. You wince. The unmistakable retort of a rifle, its echoes slowly fading before Magpie speaks again.“What was that?”“Housekeeping.” The older woman replies, simply. “Anyway, the Apex needed to go, but the Altar? I don’t need to be nearly as thorough. Just spook ‘em, is all. The main issue’s been taken care of.”"Christ, I hoped that you had a good reason for all this.” You groan, rubbing your temples with both hands. “Please tell me that you do, Magpie. I've got some theories, but I don't want to ask any leading questions. So just, why did you do this, and why couldn't it wait?"“Because if I waited, then you’d have multiple Monastery-level incidents on your hands. As good as you are kiddo, I don’t think you could stop them. So I’m dealing with them before they escalate. Think of it as preventative medicine.” She replies, and you hear her rack the bold of her trademark firearm. “Y’know…I really wish I’d taken that shot at Uzu, back when you convinced me otherwise. Nothing against you…just wish I hadn’t been so hopeful, is all. Guess a woman my age should know better, huh?”“Goddammit Magpie, would it kill to you give me a straight an-““You really wanna deal with the Monastery again, kiddo!? You really wanna risk that without Mara there to hold your hand like she did the first time around?!” She snaps, her sudden, harsh tone leaving you at a loss for words. “…Yeah. Yeah, I thought not. I can’t…I’m doing this so you don’t have to, alright? So just keep doing what you’re good at, I’ll keep on doing what I’m good at, and you can save the world with a clearer conscience and cleaner hands than without. How’s that sound?”You open your mouth to speak, then close it as a chill silence comes between the two of you.You have to try and get through to her, but she’s not going to make it easy.>>Write-InYOU ARE IN CONTROL
(Voting shall remain open for the next five hours as I close out a particularly busy workday, Gentlemen. I do hope your own day is going well, and take care.)>>4115201(Apologies for missing this question earlier; it could be either Hive Mistress, Humoral, or a blend of both.)
>>4118013Really, Hive Mistress? There are Hive Mistresses with virus-sized swarmlings, like nano-Mistresses? Horrifying.
>>4118011>"...no, Magpie, thats not good enough.">"Do you know, even understand how much the Monastery weighs on my mind? how much it still haunts me? Do you even understand how many times i look back, and think... what if id stuck around? what if id just tried a bit more, tried to help just a little longer, instead of assuming i had time? instead of assuming they could hold it together?">"But... you know what i dont regret? not for a second? stopping you from taking your shot at Uzu. Giving her and the monastery a chance to figure something else out.">"Because thats what was right, thats what needed to happen. to find a different way to SAVE them, instead of assuming they were a lost cause, and putting them down like dogs.">dont let up, dont let her worm in words or excuses.>"Did you even think of another way to prevent this? did you even TRY to stop another indecent another way? You didn't, did you? i know you didnt, because you knew we needed to go there, we planned to go there, and you outright omitted their issues and why you were heading in their direction.">"Not one word. you could've told me they were unstable, could've told me they needed help.">"Instead, you just brushed it under the rug, lied to me, and went and shot up a bunch of innocent bystanders just because they MIGHT become a problem.">take a moment to calm yourself, to make sure its not just anger coming forth.>"Magpie... i understand. i do. but this isnt right, this isnt how we should be dealing with this. you're not giving them a chance, not even bringing the issue forward. you're just killing them before they have even actually done something wrong, or taken a chance to let them fix their issues.">"Not to mention, this is a horribly shot term solution Magpie. what? do you really think this is gonna work? how many otherwise stable groups and communities do you think you're driving to the edge with this? how many do you think are now going to be strained, panicked, once they hear they'res a maniac running around shooting groups she thinks are a threat? what about the refugees? you think thats not gonna upset otherwise balanced groups and settlements, or do you just plan to keep shooting people who just want to get to safety? and lets not even get STARTED on the power vacuums and now, chaotic groups that could cause issues, aswell as press into otherwise stable areas out of now legitimate panic and necessity.">"Magpie... please... dont become a threat ive gotta deal with.... because if you continue down this route... you will be one... and I will do what I have to..."
>>4118011Supporting >>4118029>>4118027I think our wraith Girl down under the town of Rust was something similar i think.I think her body was composed of her own swarmlings that were tiny and made her appear like a wraith
>>4118027>>4118032i mean, two different Midnight Crew members have cellular based constructs, so its not that hard to imagine. aswell as, while its still a bit bigger, we know one girl was basically made of butterflies, which all things considered arent that big. no cellular sized construction, sure, but its not actually that far a stretch, especially with people like Dorian and the Ghost Girl like the other anon said.
>>4118011>medicine is only good for dealing with the symptoms, not the root cause. Do too much of that and complications and side effects occur. >sooner or later those communities that you have been beheaded will band up together and start hunting you out of revenge or necessity. And when that happens and when you die, the ones who have hunted you down will go back to their old ways and everything will be worse off than before, but with you dead and gone. And I don’t want that to happen. And neither do you.
>>4118011> “you can’t keep me clean of conscience nor clean of hands forever Magpie.”> “sooner or later I’ll have to make a hard decision that I’m certain I will regret.”> “What you are doing isn’t doing me any favors, nor anyone else for that matter. In fact it’s going to make my life harder in the long run. The more local leaders you kill off, the more people who will turn to me and look for me as their savior and leader. And I don’t want any of that. I can’t hold afford to look after more desperate people if you keep on killing local leadership. In fact I’m certain that I’ll go mad from that.”> I need those local communities and their leaders safe and alive without having to worry about you actions causing more chaos than needed.”> The world is chaotic enough as is. Don’t add more fuel to the fires that I might be forced to spend so much of my time and energy to put out. please magpie.
>>4118011>>Write-In>"Honestly? It sounds like you're looking for an excuse to draw away from other people. This is a really shitty coping mechanism, Magpie.">"Do you think you're not being obvious? It's a little too melodramatic for that. <Shu does a gravely Christian Bale-style Batman voice> 'My hands are already bloodstained, so it's best if I take this sin all onto myself and leave the rest of them out of it.' Come on. Don't pretend this is for us.">"It's for you. You're scared because we all act like we like you and you don't like yourself, so you're pushing us away before we inevitably see whatever it is you think is so wrong with you. It'll hurt less this way, right?">"Well, too bad. This isn't enough to drive me away. I'm not going to let you martyr yourself on a cross of your own self-loathing. So knock this shit off. You want to take out potential threats before they come up? Fine. But talk to me about it first. Don't act like you have to do it all on your own because I'm too good and pure to get involved with things like this.">"Now, granted, I do think this was a bad decision and that there were better ways to handle it. The chaos this sort of plan causes means it's not sustainable in the long term. But you know, maybe I'm wrong, at least here and now. Maybe this needed to be done. And if it did, I'd rather be there helping you. Minimize the damage, and minimize how awful you feel about yourself afterwards.">"Because you know this is just going to make you feel worse, Magpie. I'm not going to let you do this to yourself. You think I'm some ideal hero who wants to save everyone? You're part of 'everyone'. Let me help."
>>4118161>>4118011nah, im against this one. feels way too much like letting her off the hook and ignoring the fact she just shot up and is still shooting up otherwise harmless and innocent daughters just because of what might happen, and makes us feel way WAY too ok with it as a concept and possibly being way too ok with helping out in doing so.highly, highly dislike this one.
Alright i will head to bed now to aid in my recovery.See you tomorrow anons. I wish you all a good day/ restful night